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THE following little work is a translation of 
" Trois Seances sur Paul Rabaut et les Protestants 
Frangais au XYIII me Siecle," by M. Louis Bridel, 
Pasteur, Lausanne. It was prepared at the re- 
quest of the Young Men's Christian Association 
in that city, and the first reading attracted an 
attention which led to repetition and publication. 
The few paragraphs that bear the impress of 
having been written in Switzerland will not on 
that account be less interesting to English readers, 
feeling as we may that our own nation shares 
with the Swiss the honour of offering a refuge 
to the oppressed and persecuted Protestants of 

Should any one ask what is to be understood 
by " the Desert," an explanation shall be given in 
the words of a French Pastor on trial for the 
capital crime of exercising his ministry, as re- 
corded in the minutes of his examination : 


" Questioned in what place he had baptized 
and administered the communion. 

" Answered that it was in the open country, 
or in the desert. 

"We called on the accused to tell us what 
he meant by the desert. 

" The accused said that he meant by the desert 
lonely and uninhabited places where he assembled 
the faithful; sometimes in the neighbourhood of 
Alais, of Sauve, &c." *' 

Whatever difference of opinion may prevail 
among Christians as to the splendid yet myste- 
rious prophecy of the resurrection of the martyrs 
in Rev. xx. 4, f on one point there is little room for 
controversy. The blood shed and the sufferings 
endured in past ages for Gfod and a pure gospel 
are not " water spilt on the ground," even though 
success did not crown the heroic confessors and 
their cause for the time seemed lost. The thrones 
and dominions in the hearts and minds of men 

* See "Histoire des Eglises du Desert," by M. Charles 
Coquerel, 1841. Tome Ire, p. 230. 

f ' ' And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment 
was ffiven unto them : and I saw the souls of them that were 

o t - 

beheaded for the witness of Jesus and for the word of God, and 
which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither 
had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands ; and 
they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years." 


are yet for them, for the doctrines they preached, 
the truths for which they made so brave a stand, 
and which they grasped so firmly in death. And 
if happier generations see the triumph and reign 
of those truths, will not the heroism and faith and 
patience of the men who waited and suffered for 
this end have a resurrection too, and form part of 
the character of the church in its best and brightest 
days to which we are looking forward ? By the 
labours of historians and Christian biographers, 
many a noble character has been disentombed 
from the oblivion or misconception of ages and has 
risen again into the activity of a glorious example. 
The past has treasures of faith and fortitude yet 
to be unveiled : and amidst the fulness of gospel 
light and religious liberty granted to us, we may 
be stimulated to greater Christian devotedness, to 
higher and more unworldly aims, by communion 
with the self-renouncing and martyr spirits who 
have left their seal on the history of the church 
and the world. 

It is as an humble contribution to this object 
that the Translator presents the following Sketches 
in their English garb. They are taken from the 
closing period of European martyrology, a de- 
cadent age, yet destined to usher in that series of 


changes winch we hope is preparing the way for 
the true freedom, and regeneration of the human 
race. The Sermon of Paul Rabaut, inserted in the 
Appendix, will be found a valuable addition to 
the narrative. Headers who bring to its perusal 
associations of the lightness and frivolity usually 
attributed to the French character, may be struck 
with its adaptation to meet those tendencies in the 
people to whom it was addressed, by the earnest 
and perhaps rather sombre views of religious truth 
which it presents. The comprehensiveness of the 
discourse must have been a special necessity for 
times when opportunities for hearing were few 
and uncertain; and the brief summary of the 
Christian evidences indicates that the preacher 
was not unobservant of the advancing infidelity, 
which forty years later was to achieve a temporary 
triumph over all forms of religion in the land. 

We must go a long way back in the history of 
our own country to find the period of martyrdom 
and proscription on the express ground of reli- 
gious belief, but in France a single century will 
suffice to place us in the presence of the gallows 
and the block encountered for that cause alone. 
The knowledge of this fact, and others of a similar 
nature, has tended to produce discouragement in 

the minds of English Christians with regard to 
the progress of evangelical truth on the Continent 
of Europe. They have heard more of the violence 
and injustice of the oppressor than of the faith 
and patience of the oppressed. While, in the 
middle of the last century, "Whitfield, "Wesley, 
Homaine, and others, were rekindling a new life 
in the churches of Britain, and labouring amidst 
the encouragements, if also the difficulties, of a 
period of revival, they probably knew little of 
that lonely man of the wilderness, who, in France, 
under proscription and outlawry, was preaching 
the Gospel with a fervency and clearness almost 
similar to their own ; hunted like " a partridge in 
the mountains," yet stronger in his weakness than 
Louis XY. on his throne, for the work of the 
humble Pastor was to endure, in the existing and 
extending Protestant Churches of France, long 
after the power and state of the Monarch, the very 
foundation and frame- work of his government and 
the succession of his dynasty, had been swept away 
by the storms of revolution. 

In judging of national character, we are prone 
to form our estimate from the dominant party, 
which has often been that of the persecutor; 
but if we would see the possibilities of religious 


development in a people, we must find them in the 
heroes who suffered, rather than the fanatics who 
inflicted, the cruelties which stain the annals of 
the past. From this point of view how fine a 
type of Christians may we expect France, Spain, 
and Italy to present when the spirit of their " noble 
army of martyrs" shall fully aDimate the nations 
that once, by the immolation of their best and 

* < 

heaven-taught citizen s, crushed out the divine 
life from their race and country ! 

That there are symptoms of such awakening in 
our day, those who are on the watch for the ex- 
tension of the kingdom of God can thankfully 
recognise. The religion of Christ is not dead, is 
not obsolete, for the nations of Europe. The dis- 
torted caricatures of it will perish with the old 
and decaying tyrannies to which they are allied, 
but genuine Christianity will come forth again 
with might as in the days of the Reformation, 
free from the shackles of bigotry and worldliness, 
not the stereotype product of human machinery, 
but elastic, buoyant, as the living creature from 
the hand of Gfod. That old Gfospel which Paul 
and Luther preached will penetrate and move the 
present or a future age as it did the generations 
that are gone. Are not the nations waiting, 


longing, groaning for this, though, they yet know 
it not? But amidst the ferment of political 
changes there is also a spirit of renaissance in the 
Churches of the Continent. It is our privilege to 
stand on the vantage ground of three centuries of 
Protestantism and progressive liberty, and witness 
the dawn of a new religious era in Europe ; and 
surely we who have received the birthright of the 
Reformation, not for ourselves or our own country 
alone, should be ready to support these scattered 
and struggling communities by warm sympathy 
and liberal help. If the perusal of the following 
pages should' excite among English Christians 
some additional interest for those Churches which 
have so long and so severely suffered under papal 
domination and influence, the Translator will be 
amply rewarded, and any profits that may be 
realised by the work, after meeting the engage- 
ments incurred by publication, will be appropriated 
to assist the efforts now making for the spread of 
evangelical truth in France and the neighbouring 
countries. Acknowledgments are cordially ren- 
dered to M. Bridel for the prompt kindness with 
which he placed the " Trois Seances " at the 
Translator's disposal for this object ; and also to 
the Friend who, with a similar view, has contri- 


buted the English, version of the Ballads introduced 
into the narrative. 

Special thanks are due to M. Athanase Coquerel, 
Junior, Pastor of the French Reformed Church, 
the possessor of the Rabaut Manuscripts, for his 
obliging liberality in forwarding copies from Paul 
Rabaut' s own handwriting of the Sermon and 
Letter in the Appendix. They are unknown at pre- 
sent even to the French public, not having hitherto 
been printed, and are now, by permission of the 
proprietor, published for the first time in English. 

May these echoes of a voice which spoke power- 
fully words of wisdom and goodness to listening 
multitudes, bear with them some portion of that 
blessing which was wont to attend the original 
utterances ! 

E. T. P. 

JANUARY, 1861. 



I. Effects of the Eevocation of the Edict of Nantes 3 
II. Contemporary opinions of the persecutions : 
Saurin ; the Clergy of France ; Madame de 

Sevigne 8 

III. The work of Antoine Court 14 

IY. Martyrdom of Eoussel. Ballad 17 

Y. The French Academy at Lausanne 21 

YI. Youth of Paul Eabaut. Commencenient of his 

Ministry 23 

YII. Execution of Desubas 33 

YIII. Increased severities 45 

IX. Eabaut seized and released. Benezet and 

Molines 52 

X. New dangers incurred by Paul Eabaut. Jean 

Fabre 56 

XI. The Assemblies of the Desert. Style of 

preaching. 61 

XII. Increased danger of Paul Eabaut. Modest 

estimate of Ms own labours 67 

XIII. Arrest of Eochette and the three de Greniers. 
Efforts of Eabaut on their behalf. Letter of 

Eousseau , . . . 73 

XIY. Execution of Eochette and the three Nobles . . 78 
XY. The Trial of Galas and the part which Eabaut 

takes in it 88 



XVI. The Protestant Galley-slaves 95 

XYII. The Prisoners in the Tower of Constance; 
Marie Durand and her correspondence with 

Rabaut 100 

XYIII. The Consistory of Msmes grants to Paul 

Rabaut an unlimited recess 107 

XIX. The Edict of Toleration in 1787, and the 
.complaints of the Catholic Clergy respect- 
ing it Ill 

XX. Babaut St. Etienne advocates religious liberty 

in the Constituent Assembly 116 

XXI. He is guillotined. Old age and death of Paul 

Eabaut 121 

Appendix -, 129 

rt llj first 







" By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be 
called the son of Pharaoh's daughter ; choosing rather 
to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy 
the pleasures of sin for a season ; esteeming the re- 
proach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in 
Egypt, for he had respect unto the recompense of the 
reward .... Others were tortured, not accept- 
ing deliverance, that they might obtain a better resur- 
rection ; and others had trial of cruel mockings and 
scourgings, yea moreover of bonds and imprisonment : 
they were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were 
tempted, were slain with the sword : they wandered 
about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, 
afflicted, tormented: (of whom the world was not 
worthy:) they wandered in deserts and in mountains, 
and in dens and caves of the earth," HEB. xi. 24 26, 


these words of Scripture may be applied 
to any part of the Christian church in 
modern times, they are surely appropriate 
to the French Protestants during the centuries 
which preceded the great devolution. " No 
Christian people," says their eloquent historian, 
M. de Felice, " have been for a longer period 

under persecution than the Reformed Church of 
France." The account of their terrible sufferings 
and of the constancy manifested under them fills 
the mind at once with horror and admiration. 

How protracted the period of their oppression, 
from 1524, when the first martyr of the Reforma- 
tion, Jacques Pavannes, was burned alive in the 
Place de Greve for having written against the 
worship of the Yirgin and Saints, to 1775, when 
the two last pro test ant galley-slaves were released 
at the beginning of Louis the Sixteenth's reign ! 
With some intervals of very short duration, it 
may be said that persecution raged against the 
Protestants in France during- three-fourths of the 
sixteenth century, the whole of the seventeenth, 
and three-fourths of the eighteenth. Who can 
recount the sufferings, physical and moral, endured 
})y hundreds of thousands of Christians during 
those two hundred and fifty years ! 

But without reproducing the melancholy picture 
of the persecutions which attacked the Reformed 
Church in France from its cradle, or tracing the 
course of its history in the seventeenth century, we 
will confine ourselves to a few words on the effects 
of the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes. This 
revocation, which was fully consummated in 1685, 
but which had been projected and incipiently 
commenced at the assassination of Henry IY. in 
1610, produced a two-fold result. It led a con- 
siderable number of the Reformed to seek refuge 

in Protestant countries where they might enjoy 
religious liberty ; and it painfully affected the 
position of those remaining in France, who were 
subjected from that time to an exceptional and 
truly barbarous legislation. 

The army of refugees, that new Israel flying 
from the yoke of a new Pharaoh, numbered at 
least 400,000 exiles. It was composed for the 
most part of a moral, intelligent, and industrious 
population who enriched the countries bordering 
on France : some even established themselves at 
so great a distance as the Cape of Good Hope, in 
the vicinity of which may still be found the 
remains of a French colony dating from that 

Of this multitude of emigrants for the cause of 
religion, many settled in Switzerland. It is difficult 
to determine the exact number of these, but if we 
estimate them at twenty or twenty-five thousand 
we shall not greatly err. Some thousands remained 
in the Pays de Yaud, whither similarity of lan- 
guage and worship, as well as facilities of a secular 
kind attracted them ; they were also well received 
in the Canton of Berne, where, on various occa- 
sions, opportune succour was afforded them. In 
the autumn of 1687, the streets and squares of the 
city of Lausanne were, during several weeks, 
covered with groups of families and individuals 
who, flying from persecution, met again within 
the walls of that hospitable city, after having 


been obliged to separate at the frontier, to escape 
the strict surveillance and pursuit of which they 
were the objects. In a single day more than 2000 
of these unfortunate victims of fanaticism were 
computed to have arrived at Lausanne, on their 
way to different countries. The number of French 
refugees who permanently established themselves 
in this city may be reckoned at 1500, the whole 
population of Lausanne not then exceeding seven 
or eight thousand. Of these fifteen hundred, about 
eighty were pastors, who continued in correspond- 
ence with, their former churches, sometimes visiting 
them secretly at the hazard of their lives, as Claude 
Brousson, who, after several of these truly apostolic 
journeys, was seized at Pau, and hanged at Mont- 
pellier, in 1698. About 700 of these confessors 
of the gospel established themselves at Yevey,* 
220 at Yverdon, 710 at Merges, 775 at Nyon. 
Most of our people number among their ancestors 
some one or more of these French Protestants ; 
and many families among us are descended directly 
from the refugees, and have thus preserved a name 
rendered honourable by so much suffering and 
Christian courage. 

It would be difficult to enumerate all the benefits 
which the Canton de Yaud has derived from these 
new comers of the 17th century. In a secular 
point of view, their influence was considerable : 

* For an account of the escape of one family among these 
refugees, see Appendix. No. I. 

some of them brought us improved agricultural 
processes, and productions formerly unknown to 
our soil ; some introduced valuable manufactures ; 
others founded or revived the commerce of our 
small towns. Yiewed intellectually, their influence 
was not less considerable. Some of the refugees 
belonged to the educated and literary class, and 
they contributed to purify our language, till then 
rude and incorrect. Our national character has 
also received something from this French element. 
If there is amongst us something of an enterprising 
spirit, a touch of energy and vivacity, assuredly it 
is in a great measure attributable to this source. 
We owe much to the refugees also in a religious 
or protestant point of view ; a faith more firm 
and enlightened, a greater attachment to liberty, 
respect for personal independence and the rights 
of conscience. 

The number of the Reformed who remained in 
France, and thus by choice or necessity prepared 
the future of French Protestantism, is estimated 
by Sismondi at about a million. Of these, between 
two and three hundred thousand, according to the 
same historian, perished by persecution ; some 
being arrested in their flight and consigned to 
the galleys, others shut up in prisons, hospitals, 
or convents, in which barbarous treatment and 
even poison were called in to aid in shortening 
their lives ; while from ten to fifteen thousand 
died on the wheel or the gibbet, tortured, burned, 
decapitated, or hanged. 


The Protestants were overwhelmed with, vexa- 
tious 5 persecuting and cruel edicts. From 1680 
to 1730, that is in the space of only half a century, 
no fewer than a hundred and twenty of these may 
be counted, increasingly oppressive. These edicts 
not only deprived them of religious liberty, of 
their assemblies, which were prohibited, of their 
pastors, who were condemned to death, but assailed 
them in their property and means of subsistence, 
expelling them from all public employments, 
shutting them out from, every honourable career. 
Their personal liberty was attacked, and they were 
hunted like wild beasts ; then, worst of all, their 
children were taken from them, to be educated bv 

* */ 

force in a religion which their parents abhorred ; 
even their lives were often sacrificed, sometimes 
by excruciating tortures. These edicts, and the 
terrible dragonnades which enforced the execution 
of them, serve to explain, though certainly not to 
justify, the war of the Camisards. 


How were these atrocious persecutions regarded 
by the refugee Protestants in neighbouring coun- 
tries, and what was said about them there ? We 
may see this in several of the sermons of Saurin, 
preached at the Hague, and particularly in the 


admirable peroration of his discourse on the 1st of 
January, 1710, where, in the name of all the 
refugee churches, he gives utterance to his feelings 
towards France, and the monarch who was the 
author of so much misery. 

"Are our prayers exhausted ?" cried the great 
orator. (t Alas, in our days of joy should we 
forget our sorrows ? Happy inhabitants of these 
Provinces, often as you have heard the tale of 
our sufferings, while we rejoice in your prosperity 
you will not withhold compassion from our cala- 
mities. And we, brands plucked out of the fire, 
sad fragments of our unhappy churches ; we, my 
dear brethren, whom the misfortunes of the times 
have cast on these shores, shall we forget the 
suffering remnants of our own body ? Groans of 
captives, pastors in tears, virgins outraged, solemn 
feasts interrupted, sanctuaries deserted, apostates, 
martyrs, scenes of blood and cries of anguish ; let 
the long catalogue of woes touch the heart of this 
assembly. 'If I forget thee, Jerusalem, let 
my right hand forget her cunning ; if I do not 
remember thee, let mv tongue cleave to the roof 

' / O 

of my month ; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my 
chief joy.' May peace be within thy walls; may 
Grod be moved with the extremity of our misery 5 
if not with the fervour of our prayers ; with the 
desolation of our sanctuaries, if not with the cala- 
mities of our lot ; with the exigencies of those 
immortal souls of which the persecutors would 


despoil us, if not with the wants of these frail 
bodies which we drag from country to country. 

6t And then, redoubtable prince, whom. I formerly 
honoured as my king, and whom I still respect as 
the scourge in the hand of the Lord, thou also 
shalt have part in my prayers. These Provinces 
which thou art threatening, but which the arm 
of the Lord defends, these climes which thou art 
peopling with fugitives, but fugitives animated by 
Christian charity, these walls which enclose a 
thousand martyrs whom thou hast made, but 
whom faith renders triumphant, shall still resound 
with benedictions on thy behalf. May God rend 
away the fatal bandage which blinds thine eyes 
to the truth ! May He forget the rivers of blood 
with which thou hast covered the earth, and which 
thy reign has seen poured forth ! May He blot 
out from His book the evils thou hast done to us, 
and, in recompensing those who have suffered, 
pardon those who have inflicted them ! God grant 
that after having been to us, to the church, the 
minister of His judgments, thou mayest be the 
dispenser of His favours and the minister of His 
mercies ! I return to you, my brethren, I em- 
brace you all in my prayers But you 

must yourselves draw from the fountain : it is 
not enough for a fellow-mortal to supplicate on 
our behalf, we must all go to the very throne of 
God, wrestle with the Almighty by our prayers 
and tears, and not let Him go till He has blessed 


us. Magistrates, people, soldiers, citizens, pastors, 
flocks, come and bend the knee before the Monarch 
of the world. And you, birds of prey, gnawing 
cares, earthly anxieties, away, and trouble not our 

Side by side with these noble and touching 
.words, should be placed the pompous eulogies 
lavished by Bossuet on Louis XI V., "the van- 
quisher of heresy," and the adulation of the 
assemblies of French ecclesiastics. We find a 
sample of this in the address delivered on a solemn 
occasion, in the name of the clergy, by the Abbe 
Colbert, Archdeacon of Rouen, thanking Louis 
XIV. for the Revocation of the Edict of ISTantes. 
This is their language to the misguided monarch : 
"As we must acknowledge, Sire, the interest we 
have in the extinction of heresy, our joy would, 
in some measure, have predominated over our 
grief, if to subdue this hydra a painful necessity 
had forced your zeal to have recourse to fire and 
sword, as has been done in the reigns of your 
predecessors. We should have participated in a 
holy war, whatever repugnance we might 'feel to 
the shedding of blood ; we should have prayed for 
the success of your consecrated arms, even while 
trembling to see the terrible executions, of which 
the God of vengeance was making you the awful 
instrument, and at the close, we should have 
mingled our voices with the public acclamations 
for your victories, though we might sigh in secret 


over a triumph which, with the defeat of the 
enemies of the church, would have involved the 
destruction of our brethren. But now, when you 
combat the pride of heresy only by the gentleness 
and wisdom of your government, when your laws, 
sustained by your benefactions, are your sole 
weapons, we have only to render pure thanks to 
Heaven, who has inspired your Majesty with 
these mild and judicious methods of vanquishing 
error, and enabled you, by mingling with a little 
severity many benefits and favours, to bring back 
to the church those who were unhappily separated 
from it. This great work, which your zeal has 
accomplished, will be regarded by succeeding 
ages as the source of your prosperity and the 
crowning point of your glory!" 

If we wish to know the opinions entertained 
among the nobility and courtiers, let us hear also 
the witty and amiable Madame de Sevigne on this 
tragical subject. The following extracts from her 
letters refer to the sufferings of the Protestants. 
te M. de Grrignan," says she, "has taken a dreadfully 
fatiguing journey into the mountains of Danphiny, 
to scatter and punish miserable Huguenots who 
come out of their holes but, when they find they 
are pursued, vanish like ghosts to avoid extermi- 
nation. This kind of flying, or invisible enemies, 
gives infinite trouble, and in short they are never 
got rid of ; for they disappear in a moment, and 
then as soon as one's back is turned, issue from 


their dens again." Letter to the Count de Bussy, 
16th March, 1689. 

" Father Bourdaloue is going away, by the 
King's order, to preach at Montpellier, and in 
those provinces where so many people have been 
converted without knowing why. Father Bour- 
daloue will teach them. The dragoons have been 
very good missionaries hitherto. The preachers 
who are now being sent will complete the work. 
You have doubtless seen the edict by which the 
King revokes that of Kantes. Nothing can be 
more admirable than its contents, and no king 
ever has done, or ever will do, a more honourable 
act." To the same Count de Bussy. 

t( 1 admire the conduct of the King in destroying 
the Huguenots ; -the wars which have been waged 
against them before, and the St. Bartholomews 

O ' 

have multiplied and given vigour to that sect. His 
Majesty has gradually undermined it, and the 
edict which he has just published, supported by 
dragoons and Bourdaloues, has been the coup de 
grace" Letter from M. de Bussy to Madame de 
Sevigne, 1685. 

"Every body is now a missionary; every one 
thinks he has a mission, especially the magistrates 
and provincial governors, with a few dragoons at 
their back; it is the greatest and noblest work 
which could have been devised and executed." 
Madame de Sevigne to the Count de Bussy, 1685. 


At the close of the War of the Camisards, which 
lasted from 1701 to 1706, the French Reformed 
Church was almost ruined, and on the brink of 
utter annihilation. There was no longer any of 
that internal discipline which had raised so high 
the morality of the Protestants, there was no link 
of connexion between the different churches ; for 
a long period there had been no synods. The 
work of ecclesiastical construction, accomplished 
by the first synod, held at Paris in 1559, appeared 
to be entirely destroyed. 

There were now scarcely any regular religious 
assemblies or means of solid instruction. Domestic 
worship was indeed still maintained in some 
families, but many Protestants, in order to escape 
the violence of persecution, participated outwardly 
in some of the. Roman Catholic ceremonies, and 
allowed themselves to be considered new converts. 
There were no educated pastors to preach the 
"Word of God and expound it to the people. Ex- 
pelled by the Edict of Revocation, which enjoined 
them to leave France under penalty of the galleys, 
and soon after, on pain of death to themselves and 
to all who should give them any kind of assistance 
or protection, they were dispersed in exile, to the 
number of more than six hundred. They had 


been gradually replaced in various localities by 
fanatics calling themselves prophets, or professing 
to be inspired, whose declamations wearied and 
disgusted men of sense. 

At this last extremity Grod raised up Antoine 
Court, the man whom, in their just gratitude, 
the French Reformed Christians have styled the 
"Restorer of Protestantism." 

Born in 1696, of a poor family, we find him, 
from the age of seventeen, reader and preacher 
in the assemblies of the desert which, at rare 
intervals, were then held. From the age of nine- 
teen he appears to have been impressed with the 
critical state of Protestantism in his native country, 
and the internal evils which threatened its ruin, 
and from that time he resolved to re- constitute the 
synods, to re-organise the regular religious assem- 
blies, and to labour for the preparation of able, 
pious, and educated ministers who should preach 
the word of God in them. 

He began by convoking a synod, the first 
since the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes. It 
was the 21st of October, 1715. At that time 
Louis XI V., confronted by divine justice, at the 
close of that long life of glory and despotism, of 
adultery and blood, lay at the point of death in 
his palace of Versailles, abandoned by his people 
and tormented by remorse. The testament of the 
great king was about to be ignominiously set aside 


by the parliament, his funeral procession to be 
greeted with insults and curses from the people, 
stones and mud thrown at th^ very coffin which 
contained his remains. And that reformed religion, 
so often overwhelmed, for the overthrow of which 
so many medals had been struck to Louis XIY., 
so many flattering pictures painted, and even a 
statue of bronze raised to him in the Hotel de 
Yille of his capital, that religion, on the entire 
annihilation of which the distinguished Bossuet 
had congratulated his master, was raised from its 
ruins by the hands of a youth of nineteen. Does 
not the Lord always delight to make his power 
manifest in the weakness of his servants ? 

A second synod was held the following year, 
1716, and presided over, like the preceding, by 
Antoine Court, whose signature is accompanied 
by that of other pastors, the greater part of whom 
subsequently died on the scaffold as martyrs for 
their faith. 

Court next applied himself to re-organise the 
public worship of the Protestants ; he revived 
and summoned as frequently as possible regular 
religious assemblies in accordance with the ancient 
discipline. At first these consisted of a very small 
number of persons, from six to twelve forming 
the congregation. But undiscouraged by the want 
of immediate success, he continued the work. 
With the same view, and at the peril of his life, 
he made numerous preaching tours. We find in 


the documents of that period an account of one 
of these evangelistic journeys which lasted two 
months, during which he held thirty-two meet- 
ings : some of these, especially towards the close, 
numbered between two and three thousand 


These missionary journeys were full of danger, 
and often cost the lives of those who undertook 
them. Such, for example, was the fate of a friend 
of Antoine Court, the young pastor Houssel, who 
was hanged at Montpellier in November, 1728, by 
the sentence of the Governor Daude. Boussel had 
been betrayed and denounced by a man who thus 
gained the reward of 5500 livres. This amount, 
enormous for that time, had been promised to any 
one who should cause the discovery of a minister 
in the exercise of his functions. The only source 
of information we have respecting the death of 
Roussel is a lament or ballad, the greater part of 
which we will give in the touching and picturesque 
simplicity of its antique phraseology. This kind 
of literature has left us some documents of the 
piety and sorrows of the people. "We may easily 
imagine a mother in some isolated cottage, as she 
rocks the cradle of her infant, giving the earliest 
protestant education to the young family gathered 


around her, by singing in a soft and plaintive 

voice the following verses : 

Mes enfants, ecoutez le cruel traitement 
Q,u'on a fait EL Roussel, ce jeune proposant ; 
II a ete vendu, ah. ! quelle perfidie ! 
Comme on vend de la chair dans une boueherie. 

H fat pris, arrete a la cote d'Aulas, 
Lie et garrotte par les mains des soldats. 
On le mene an Yigan dedans cette posture, 
Toujours en lui chantant toute sorte d'injures. 

Us 1'ont pris et mene devant Monsieur Daude ; 
En entrant dans sa chambre on 1'a interroge : 
On lui a demande : " Q,ue faites-vous en ville ?" 
" Je suis venu expres pour precher 1'Evangile." 

On lui a demande ou avait-il preche : 

" Partout ou j'ai trouve des Chretiens rassembles." 

On lui a demande ou faisait sa demeure : 

II leur a repondu : *' Le ciel est ma couverture." 

Le soir sont arrives beaucoup de grenadiers, 
Q,ui I'ont pris et mene tout droit a Montpellier, 
Tout droit a Montpellier, dedans la citadelle ; 
C'etait depuis longtemps la maison des fideles. 

Sa me"re le vient voir avec de ses amis, 
Son beau-fr^re avec elle ; elle lui dit : " Mon fils, 
Si tu as prie Dieu, en France, c'est un crime ; 
II n'y a point de pardon ; tu en seras victime." 

Les Jesuites souvent vont le solliciter, 
Pour sortir de prison, de religion changer : 
Mais notre prisonnier sa religion dispute, 
Et pour la verite hardiment les rebute. 


Q,uand il vit les archers et le prevot venir, 
Avecque le bourreau pour le faire mourir, 
A prie le bon Dieu de lui donner courage, 
Et de ses ennemis pouyoir vain ere Poutrage. 

On le sort de prison pour le mener au lieu, 
La ou il devait rendre son ame a son Dieu, 
La tete, les pieds nus, ayant au cou la corde, 
Le long de son chemin chanta misericorde* 

Quand il fut arrive tout aupres du poteau, 
Ce bienheureux Roussel leva les yeux en haut, 
Monta long de 1'echelle, sans lui faire aucun' peine, 
Yoyant le ciel ouvert comme fit St. Etienne. 

Apres etre monte, il dit cette raison : 
" Pardonnez-les, Seigneur, ne savent ce qu'ils font," 
Et puis dit au bourreau : " Toi et tout's ces personnes, 
Q,ui de mal m'auront fait, de bon cosur je pardonne." 

Ainsi finis ses jours, le bienheureux Eoussel, 
Et son ame a 1'instant s'envole dans le ciel, 
Pour y aller jouir d'une gloire eternelle. . . . 
Faisons tous comme lui si Dieu nous y appelle. 

The following imitation in English has been 
supplied : 

Dear children, now listen, while sadly I tell 
The tragical fate of the Pastor Roussel, 
"Who was basely betrayed for a guerdon of gold, 
As the flesh from the stall of the butcher is sold. 

In the district of Aulas the victim was found, 
And by pitiless soldiers was ruthlessly bound, 
Then with insults and threats he was hurried along, 
In this cruel guise, to be tried at Yigan. 

* Le Psaume li. 


Thus fettered, they dragged him "before Judge Daude, 
No time was allowed him to think what to say : 
" What business have you here ?" the Judge sternly cried ; 
" To preach the pure Grospel of Christ ; " he replied. 

" And where do you preach your heretical creed ? " 

" Wherever the faithful my services need." 

11 In what place do you live then ? what house do you own ? " 

" The blue vault above is my shelter alone." 

'Tis evening : the soldiers again seize their prey 
And straight to Montpellier they lead him away ; 
When there, in the castle their victim they leave, 
Whose dungeons so often the faithful receive. 

His mother, with friends, came to visit his cell, 
And she said, as she bade him a final farewell, 
" My son, if in France you have ventured to pray, 
Tor such an offence with your life you must pay." 

By the promise of pardon, the Jesuits try 
To induce the brave prisoner his faith to deny ; 
But the truth he defends with a skill so profound 
As to baffle their snares and their wiles to confound. 

When the guards and the chief executioner came 
To lead him to death amid insults and shame, 
He prayed for fresh courage to conquer his foes, 
By enduring whatever their rage could impose. 

The path to the gallows he fearlessly trod, 

Grlad his life to resign in the service of Grod, 

With the rope round his neck, his head and feet bare, 

And the funeral hymn swelling loud on the air. 

Thus he mounted the scaffold, with martyr zeal fired, 
And, like Stephen, with visions of glory inspired, 
From his features upraised joy had banished all care, 
For he saw heaven opened to welcome him there. 


From the platform of death his last words were but few 
" pardon them, Lord, they know not what they do." 
Then he said to the hangman : " On thee and each foe 
Who has wronged me I hearty forgiveness bestow." 

Thus ended his course, the thrice-blessed Eoussel, 
And departed in glory eternal to dwell : 
And if God to like trials should call us, may we 
Be as constant, as pure, as devoted as he. 


The third object contemplated by Court was 
the foundation of an establishment abroad for the 
education of the Pastors of the Desert. After 
many journeys and researches, he chose Lausanne 
as the seat of this School of Theology. On his 
arrival he was received with much warmth and 
cordiality ; the freedom of the city was presented 
to him ; and here, soon after, with assistance ob- 
tained from England, Holland, and the Reformed 
Cantons of Switzerland, he founded and set in 
order the French Academy which, from 1730 
to 1812, alone furnished pastors to Protestant 
France. How many of these candidates for mar- 
tyrdom were prepared in this institution, and how 
many pastors issued from it, cannot now be esti- 
mated with precision. While we hesitate to admit 
the number of more than seven hundred given by 
M. "Weiss, in] his " History of the Refugees," we 


cannot reduce it to one hundred, as given by M. 
Coquerel in his " History of the Churches of the 
Desert." Some documents which appear worthy 
of credit fix at about twenty-five the number of 
French students usually in the Academy, and the 
studies were generally continued for three years : 
from these data and some others, it would appear 
that five or six young ministers on an average 
went out from it annually, which would give 
about four hundred and fifty as the total number 
of labourers prepared by this institution during the 
eighty years of "its existence. Antoine Court, with 
the title of Deputy- general of the Churches, was 
the President and soul of the Academy. Professor 
Polier de Bottens seconded him powerfully, and 
assisted him to organise completely this School of 
Pastors for the Desert^ of which he was himself the 
Dean till his death. 

Among the earlier Professors mention is also 
made of Salchli, Besson, Alphonse Turretin, Ami 
Lullin, a Gfenevese, Professor of Ecclesiastical 
History, and Ruchat, the historian of the Re- 
formation in Switzerland, At the time of the 
dissolution of the Academy in 1812, after the 
foundation of the Institute at Montauban, by 
JSTapoleon, the work, though still important, had 
perhaps lost something of its evangelical purity. 
Professor Durand, from the valuable services he 
rendered, was its chief support. For twenty-seven 
years he had given his paternal care to the French 


students. The names of Professors S. Secretan, 
Fr. Bugnion, D. Levade, E. A. Chavannes, who 
died in 1800, Yerrey - Francillon, Chavannes- 
Bugnion, may be also mentioned. 

It was at this Academy then that so many truly 
heroic men, ready to sacrifice their lives for the 
preaching of the gospel, were prepared for the 
ministerial office. They have for the most part 
remained obscure to the eyes of men ; yet the 
highest kind of greatness was theirs, that of self- 
renunciation, of entire devotedness to a holy cause. 
JSTone of them acquired celebrity* except Court de 
Gfebelin, the only son of Antoine Court, Paul 
E-abaut, and Rabaut-Saint-Etienne, his eldest son. 


Paul Rabaut, whose life will henceforth be the 
object of our attention, and around whom will 
be grouped the principal events affecting French 
Protestantism in the 18th century, was not a man 
of genius, nor even of extraordinary talent. JSTor 
did he perform any of those brilliant actions which 
attract public attention and acquire glory. But 
he had that which is most wanting in our times, 
and too often in ourselves, a character, an energetic 
will in the service of a simple and profound faith, 
He had a complete consecration to his duty, to his 


mission, that is to say, to Ms God. To study such, 
an individuality is indeed to steep the soul again 
in the sources of Christian fidelity and true 

Paul Rabaut was born in 1718. He was the 
son of a woollen draper, a pious Protestant, whose 
house often served as a temporary retreat for the 
preachers of the Desert. From his childhood, 
young Rabaut accompanied and guided these 
intrepid men in the woods and wild places of the 
neighbourhood, and the conversations he had with 
them strengthened him in the faith. At the age 
of fifteen or sixteen, he was induced by one of 
them to follow the same career. He recognised 
it as his duty, and he decided thenceforth to 
renounce every bright or certain prospect of a 
worldly kind, and to offer his life to the Lord in the 
service of his brethren. He became a candidate 
for the ministry. And how, at that time, were 
the preparatory studies for that office carried 
on ? It was not then a choice between so many 
celebrated colleges or so many distinguished pro- 
fessors ; the storm of persecution had overthrown 
or dispersed them all. The candidate attended for 
some time a Pastor of the Desert, and received first 
the impression of his example, -an example of self- 
abnegation, often sublime, then at rare intervals, 
his instructions, which the scantiness of time, of 
liberty, and of books for study, rendered assuredly 
very incomplete. 


Galled at the age of twenty, in 1738, to be 
Pastor at iNismes, Habaut married, during the 
following year, Madelaine Graydan, a young woman 
whose piety and courage were equal to his own. 
Of this courage, as well as of her devotedness, she 
gave an early proof, when she and her husband, 
becoming aware that Rabaut's course of training 
had not been complete enough to render him equal 
to the important work he had undertaken at 
JSTismes, decided to separate by mutual consent, 
in order that he might repair to the Academy at 
Lausanne to prosecute his studies more thoroughly. 
Paul Rabaut accordingly left his young wife for 
three years and departed for the Academy, whence 
he returned to Msmes in 1743. "We do not 
possess any document respecting his sojourn in 
our beautiful country. What effect did the mag- 
nificence of nature produce on these young men ? 
Did they see it ? Did it exert on them that 
fascination which we have often experienced ? 
Or was it with them, as is related by the good 
chronicler to whom we owe the biography of the 
celebrated Abbot of Clairvaux ? "Bernard," he tells 
us in his artless Latin, " walking all day by the 
Lake of Lausanne, paid no attention to it, or 
rather saw not that he saw it. In the evening, 
when his travelling companions were conversing 
about the lake which they had admired, Bernard 
asked them where the lake was, and they were all 
astonished at his question." 


On his return to Msraes, Rabaut, notwithstand- 
ing his youth, stood high in the confidence of the 
church in which he carried on his ministry, and 
of the Protestants in the country at large ; hence 
we find him from this period the Moderator of 
several Synods. A melancholy but certain proof 
of his influence and activity is afforded by the 
redoubled severity to which the churches were 
subjected soon after his arrival at Nismes. The 
Chateau d'lf (in a small island opposite the port 
of Marseilles), the Tower of Constance (near to 
Aigues-Mortes), and other public edifices were 
filled with men and women as prisoners ; in many 
places even the dragonnades were recommenced 
with new rigour. 

During this period Rabaut was obliged to con- 
ceal himself, and to exercise his ministry in the 
most profound secresy. He frequently preached 
in the woods and waste ground in the environs of 
JSTismes. The Protestants, thirsting for the Word 
of Grodj exposed themselves to the greatest dangers 
in order to attend these meetings. He gathered 
round him sometimes as many as ten thousand 
hearers, whom his clear and penetrating voice 
reached without difficulty. His preaching, simple, 
sober in thought and expression, copious in Scrip- 
ture, was especially remarkable for its unction. 
He often extemporized with warmth, and the tears 
of his auditors responded to his own emotion. At 
other times he wrote his discourses, many of 


which, yet unpublished, are preserved with his 
numerous manuscripts. Besides preaching, and 
the care bestowed on his people from house to 
house, he paid great attention to the religious 
instruction of the young, being often obliged for 
this purpose to go from one farm to another, or to 
remote localities. 

The influence of Paul Eabaut over his co-reli- 
gionists appeared on the arrest of the minister 
Desubas, an event on which we shall pause a few 
moments, because it throws light on the situation 
and the feelings of the Protestants in the south of 
France. Desubas was a young pastor, beloved 
and respected by his own flock and by the 
neighbouring churches, on account of his amiable 
disposition, his devotedness, zeal, and talents. He 
was betrayed by a wretched apostate, and seized 
while sleeping in a lonely farmhouse. He was 
conducted to Montpellier under a good escort, but 
on the road thither attempts were repeatedly made 
by parties of Protestants to snatch him from the 
soldiers who guarded him, and the scafibld which 
he would infallibly find at the end of his journey. 
The troops fired several times, and a number of 
Protestants were killed and wounded. On one 
occasion especially, a considerable body of men, 
women, and children, presented themselves at the 
gates of the little town of Yernoux, to implore 
the restoration of the young Pastor. They were 
unarmed, but they uttered cries of grief, mingled 


also doubtless with some exclamations of anger, on 
which, the inhabitants of the town, who were Ca- 
tholics, coming to the aid of the disordered soldiers, 
and firing from their windows on the tumultuous 
assembly, thirty persons were killed, and about 
two hundred wounded. The Pastors of the Desert 
loudly condemned this attempt at resistance on the 
part of the Protestants, and the captive minister 
himself contributed much to calm the irritation of 
the inhabitants of Yernoux. A more numerous 
body of Protestants, for the most part armed this 
time, having returned the next day, it is impossible 
to say how far the mischief might have extended 
if the Pastor Desubas had not found means, from 
the depths of his prison, to circulate a note among 
the multitude to this effect. " I earnestly entreat 
you, gentlemen, to retire. There has only been 
too much blood already shed. I am very tranquil, 
and entirely resigned to the will of Grod." He 
was immediately obeyed. But on the morrow and 
succeeding days the same troubles were renewed 
in other places where Protestants abounded. It 
seems that on one occasion they were on the point 
of succeeding in the rescue of Desubas from his 
escort. But Paul E-abaut, who, in the recesses 
where he was obliged habitually to conceal himself, 
never lost sight of what might affect the condition 
of the churches, and who saw the extreme danger 
which would have attended the success of a move- 
ment that seemed recommencing a war of the 


Cevennes, arrived at the critical moment, rushed 
into the midst of the exasperated bands, entreated, 
remonstrated, and at length persuaded them to 
return to submission and order. From that time 
the convoy pursued its way in peace. Desubas 
went forward to appear before the Estates of 
Languedoc, then assembled, and Habaut returned 
to the exercise of his own hazardous ministry. 

tet t&e 








From Miletus Paul sent to Ephesus and called the elders 
of the church. And when they were come to him, he 
said unto them, Ye know from the first day that I came 
into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at 
all seasons, serving the Lord with all humility of mind, 
and with many tears and temptations which befel me 
by the lying in wait of the Jews : and how I kept back 
nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed 
you and have taught you publicly and from house to 
house, testifying both to the Jews and also to the Greeks 
repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus 
Christ. And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit 
unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befal 
me there : save that the Holy Grhost witnesseth in every 
city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me. But 
none of these things move me, neither count I my life 
dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with 
joy, and the ministry which I have received of the Lord 
Jesus to testify the gospel of the grace of God." ACTS 
xx. 1724. 


pIIS portraiture of the life of a true pastor 
may well characterize the ministry of Paul 
E-abaut ; and the last words, in which the 
apostle declares that he counts not his life dear to 
him so that he may testify the gospel of the grace 
of Grod, may serve as an inscription for the career 



of zeal and self-denial of the Pastor of the Desert 
whose history we are sketching. 

We left him successful in tranquillizing the 
protestant multitude who were set upon delivering 
Desubas, and then returning to his ceaseless la- 
bours and perils. 

On arriving at Montpellier, Desubas (also called 
Lubac) was confined in the citadel and examined 
by the commander La Deveze. A popular ballad 
of the period informs us both of the nature of the 
interrogatory and the sentiments which animated 
the Pastor and his persecuted brethren. We give 
it in its unaffected simplicity : 


" N'etes-vous pas ministre, 
Ou Men predicateur, 
Et de ce cas sinistre 
N'etes-vous pas 1'auteur ? 
Pouvez-vous en conscience, 
Sans nul ordre du E,oi, 
Enseigner dans la France 
Et precher votre loi ? 

"Notre glorieux prince 
A proscrit pour jamais 
De toutes nos provinces 
La foi des reformes. 
Pourquoi faire violence ? 
Monsieur, vous avez tort, 
Et selon 1'ordonnance 
Yous meritez la mort." 



Lubac avec Constance 
Repond a ce seigneur : 
" Si j'ai preche en France 
La loi de mon Sauveur, 
Les apotres en Judee, 
En Galilee epars, 
Precherent en ces contrees 
En depit de Cesar. 

" L'on n'est jamais rebelle 
Q,uand on fait en tout lieu, 
D'un coeur brulant de zele, 
La volonte de Dieu. 
Peut-on, dans nos provinces, 
,Dites-moi, Monseigneur, 
Pour obeir au prince, 
Delaisser le Sauyeur ? 

" Si, par les ordonnances, 
J'ai merite la mort, 
due la Toute Puissance 
Decide de mon tort ; 
C'est a ce divin Pel'e 
Q,ue j'eleve mon cosur ; 
En lui mon ame espere 
D'une constante ardeur. 

11 Aucun ne me pent nuire 
Sans son pouvoir divin ; 
Tout est sous son empire; 
C'est lui qui me soutient. 
Sans faire resistance, 
Je suis pret a partir : 
Prononcez ma sentence, 
Je suis pret a mourir." 


Thus imitated in English : 


" Art thou then the preacher 
Whose troublesome case, 

As protestant teacher, 
We try in this place ? 

Wilt thou dare to rjroclaim 


Without the King's leave, 
Or in France to maintain 
We thy law should receive ? 

" Our great prince has decreed, 

And henceforth will take care, 
That his realms shall be freed 

From this protestant snare. 
You are doing great ill 

Thus his laws to defy, 
And if obstinate still 

You are worthy to die." 


Thus Lubac explained 

To his Lordship severe : 
" If in France I've proclaimed 

The Great Master I fear, 
I but follow those saints, 

In Judea oppressed, 
Who braved Cesar's restraints 

And the Saviour confessed. 

" No rebels are they 

Who with zeal, in all lands, 
Only seek to obey 
Grod's most sacred commands. 


Say, my Lord, can we dare 

This submission to make, 
And thereby to declare 

That our Grod we forsake ? 

" If indeed by our laws 

I am worthy to die, 
The Almighty my cause 

Shall adjudge from on high.. 
In that Father above 

All my hopes find their place ; 
I rejoice in His love, 

His salvation embrace. 

"None can compass my fall 

Unless He shall ordain ; 
He is sovereign of all, 

And His power will sustain. 
"With submission I go 

Tour stern sentence to meet, 
In His service I know 

Even death will be sweet." 

Such is one of the forms in which the popular 
sentiments found expression. 

A month afterwards (January, 1746), Desubas 
was examined by the Governor Lenain. * The 
reminiscences of the country, the correspondence 
and memoirs of the time affirm that the calm and 
noble deportment of the minister throughout his 

* This grand-nephew of Lenain de Tillemont, the able Jansenist 
historian, should have remembered, that the Jesuits whose fury 
against the Reformed he now seconded, had in 1711 profaned the 
tombs of the learned recluses of Port Royal, and thus disturbed the 
ashes of the most illustrious of his ancestors. 


trial, his pleasing countenance, his dignity and 
grace, produced a deep impression on his judges, 
who all wept on pronouncing the sentence of death, 
which was made obligatory upon them by the 
terrible precision of the laws and the rigorous 
orders of the Court of Versailles. The accounts 
add that, when judgment was given, Desubas was 
the only person who appeared unmoved. On the 
2nd of February he was conducted to the place of 
execution. He came out of prison stripped of his 
outer garments and having his legs bare. The 
composure of his aspect, his beauty, his youth, (he 
was but twenty-six years of age), produced a vivid 
impression on the multitude that surged in on 
every side, and through which the cortege could 
with difficulty force its way. The sympathy 
increased when, on arriving at the foot of the 
gallows, he knelt down to pray. Afterwards he 
attempted to address the people, but the rolling 
of the drums stifled the sound of his voice. The 
accounts written on the spot close the recital in 
these artless and touching words. "At length, 
mounting courageously to the top of the ladder, 
he manifested to the last moment so much con- 
stancy and piety that all present without dis- 
tinction, Protestants and Catholics, melted into 
tears ; the former blessing Grod for the edification 
the martyr gave them ; the latter congratulating 
them upon the honour they derived from his 
courageous fidelity." 


The stanzas which follow express the religious 
feelings which popular opinion ascribed to the 
martyred Pastor. We may judge of the effect 
produced by such ballads when sung by the 
mountaineers of Gfevaudan or Yivarais, on their 
way to and from the almost inaccessible places 
appointed for their religious assemblies. 


"Mon sort n'est pas a plaindre, 
II est a desirer : 
Je n'ai plus rien a craindre ; 
Car Dieu est mon berger. 
C'est mon fort, ma defense. 
Q,u'aurais-je a redouter ? 
En Lui mon esperance, 
Mon unique rocher ! 

" Mon ame, prends courage 
Car c'est pour aujourd'hui 
due tu sors d'esclavage 
Pour t'en aller vers Lui. 
Tu vas etre ravie, 
Dans ce charmant sejour, 
D'ouir la symphonic 
De la celeste cour. 

" Avecque les saints anges 
Tu joindras ton concert, 
Pour chanter les louanges 
Du roi de 1'univers ; 
Dans la gloire eternelle, 
La robe tu prendras, 
De couleur immortelle, 
Apres tous ces combats. 


" Allons en diligence, 
Mon coeur, dans ce moment, 
Revetu de Constance, 
Embrasser le tourment ; 
Allons avecque zele, 
D'un regard gracieux, 
Monter sur cette echelle 
Q,ui nous conduit aux cieux." 

II part pour la supplice, 
Escorte a 1'entour v 

D'archers de la justice, 
De quatorze tambours, 
Q,ui jusqu'a la potence 
Rouient incontinent 
Pour yaincre sa Constance, 
Pour etourdir ses sens. 

Etant a la potence, 
Ce martyr genereux 
Implore 1' assistance 
Du monarque des cieux ; 
D'un courage heroi'que 
A 1'echelle il monta ; 
Ters la troupe angelique 
Son ame s'envola. 

Ainsi finit la course 
D'un genereux pasteur, 
Pour aller a la source 
D'un celeste bonheur. 
Q,ue ton sort est aimable, 
Et qu'il est glorieux ; 
Ta joie delectable 
Dans les augustes lieux ! 


Faisons cesser nos plaintes, 
Fideles protestants, 
Nos sanglots, nos complaintes 
Et nos regrets cuisants. 
Lubac n'est plus a plaindre 
II est hors du danger ; 
II n'a plus rien a craindre, 
rien a desirer. 

Cherissons sa memoire, 
Imitons son ardeur, 
Suivons-le dans la gloire 
Et d'esprit et de cceur. 
Q,ue si Dieu nous appelle 
Au tourment rigoureux, 
Imitons ce fidele, 
Nous serons bienheureux. 


" No sad fate is mine, 

But one all might desire, 
With my Shepherd Divine 

Nought can terror inspire. 
He's my tower, my defence, 

I am free from alarm ; 
Deathless hope springs from thence, 

God my rock shields from harm. 

" Then, my soul, be not craven, 

For soon thou shalt be 
Soaring upwards to heaven, 

From all bondage set free. 
Perfect rapture abounds 

In that blissful abode ; 
Sweetest music resounds 

From the courts of thy God. 


11 Angels holy and "bright 

Those full harmonies raise ; 
Thou with them shalt unite 

Thy great Sovereign to praise : 
There with glory supernal 

Shalt thou be arrayed, 
And with triumph eternal 

Thy conflicts repaid. 

" Then, my soul, thou canst dare, 

Clad with firmness and grace, 
Present evil to "bear, 

And e'en torture embrace : 
Hope and ardor shall blend 

In each glance of the eyes, 
As those steps I ascend 

"Which conduct to the skies." 

All along the short course 

To his tragical end, 
"With a guard in strong force, 

Fourteen drummers attend. 
Yain the efforts they make, 

With drums rolling around, 
His fixed purpose to shake 

Or his senses confound. 

Thus the gallows he reaches 

His life to resign, 
And there humbly beseeches 

Assistance divine ; 
Then with courage transcendent 

His doom hastes to meet, 
And with angels resplendent 

His soul takes her seat. 


Thus lie finished Ms course, 

Nobly euded the fight ; 
Thus his soul sought the source 

Of celestial delight. 
'Twas a glorious fate : 

Now what raptures are thine ! 
Thy triumph how great 

Where the martyr hosts shine I 

Let us cease to complain, 

Each true protestant friend, 
Sobs of anguish restrain, 

Let our bitter grief end. 
Lubac needs not a tear ; 

No more foes to conspire, 
No more dangers to fear, 

Nothing left to desire. 

His name let us prize, 

Be devoted as he, 
In soul let us rise 

His bright glory to see. 
And if God should ordain 

Us like suffering to bear, 
May we like faith maintain 

And his blessedness share. 

It was a few months after the execution of 
Desubas that Paul Kabaut sent to the formidable 
Lenain an authentic and, as it were, official 
announcement of his pastoral ministration. 

" In devoting myself to the work of the ministry 
in this kingdom/' he writes, " I was not ignorant 
of the consequences I incurred, and regarded 


myself as a victim devoted to death. No human 
consideration could have induced me to adopt 
such a course I believed that in under- 
taking the work of a pastor, I should accomplish 
the greatest good of which I was capable. Igno- 
rance is the death of the soul and the source of an 
infinity of crimes. The Protestants, deprived of 
the free exercise of their religion, believing that 
they ought not to attend the services of the 
Homish Church, and unable to obtain the books 
which they need for instruction, judge, my Lord, 
what would be their condition if they were 
absolutely destitute of pastors. They would be 
ignorant of their most essential duties ; they 
would fall either into fanaticism, the fruitful 
source of extravagances and disorders, or into 
indifference and contempt of all religion. Your 
Lordship is not ignorant that the ministry of the 
pastors obviates in a great measure these incon- 
veniences ; as to my own, I have neglected nothing 
for the sound instruction of those who have been 
confided to my care. I have especially endeavoured, 
after having established the fundamental truths 
of religion, to enforce the important duties of 
morality. I have preached sermons expressly on 

obedience and fidelity to the sovereign It 

is true the Protestants have suffered much in 
various provinces of the kingdom, either in their 
own- persons or those of their children, or in their 
property, and this may give reason to fear that 


the exhortations of the pastors may not have all 
the success that could be desired." 


If the Parliament* of Montpellier redoubled its 
severity, that of Grenoble followed in its steps 
with fanatic emulation. During the short space 
of two years (1745 and 1746), this court inflicted 
a number of cruel punishments. Paul Achard, 
Etienne Arnaud, Pierre and Antoine Berard, 
Jean Faure, Louis Noir, and a multitude of other 
Protestants were condemned to the galleys for 
life. By the judgment of May, 1745, twenty- one 
accused persons ; by the judgment of the 28th of 
September and the 15th of October, thirty- four ; 
by that of the 6th of November, thirty- one ; by 
that of the 22nd of April, the following year, 
a hundred and forty-five; and by that of the 
23rd of September, forty-four ; were condemned, 
some to the galleys for life, others to minor penal- 
ties. The punishments were various. Porte was 
sentenced to the carcan or iron collar and to 
banishment, Lambert to the torture, ordinary and 
extraordinary. The barns and other buildings of 

* The reader will recollect that parliaments in Prance were 
superior courts of justice rather than legislative assemblies. 


Tsnard, Payan, Pialla, Chirol, Galand and some 
others, were demolished and rased to their founda- 
tions. A great number of women were consigned 
to the executioner, to be beaten with rods till the 
blood flowed, in the public squares of Grenoble. 
Other women had their hair shaved off and were 
shut up in houses of correction. 

No class was exempt from these iniquitious 
judgments. The sentence of the 6th of November 
condemned thirty-one gentlemen of noble station, 
some to the galleys for life, all to fines and degra- 
dation from their rank. "With these ignominious 
penalties, sentences of capital punishment were 
also mingled. The minister Duperron was con- 
demned to death, and, having escaped, was executed 
in effigy at Grenoble. 


The following year the same parliament con- 
demned to death seven ministers or candidates (pro- 
posants) : * Vouland, Descours, Dunoyer, Roland, 
Dubuisson, Alexandre Rang, and Paul Favre. 
They all, by concealing themselves, escaped the 
sentence ; but one of their colleagues, Louis Rang 
(or Ranc), was hanged in the town of Die, and his 
body dragged through the streets, given over to 

* The term proposant, in the French Reformed Churches, was 
applied to a theological student in the later years of his preparation 
for the ministry. The proposants were already discharging some of 
the duties of that office : they occasionally preached, assisted pastors 
who were overburdened, &c., but they could not administer bap- 
tism and the Lord's Supper till they had received imposition of 


the vilest outrages, and thrown into a sewer by 
order of the military commander of the province 
and the Grand Yicar of the Bishop. 

While Louis Rang was in prison he received 
several letters of encouragement from one of his 
associates in the ministry, the venerable Jacques 
Roger, who was then seventy years of age. " Poor 
boy," he wrote to Rang (hardly twenty- six years 
old), " I would I were in thy place ! " This 
wish was only too soon granted. Two months 
after the execution of Rang, the aged Pastor 
Roger was delivered up by a traitor, and seized 
in a wood near Crest. He replied to the officer 
who, as a matter of form, asked his name : " I am 
he whom you have been searching for these thirty- 
nine years ; it is time you found me." Being 
transferred to Grenoble, he was there condemned 
to death by the following sentence : " The court 
declares the said Roger, duly convicted of having 
exercised the functions of preacher in the assem- 
blies of the religionists, and in various places in 
this province, in expiation of which it condemns 
him to be delivered to the executioner to be hanged 
by the neck till he is dead." After the execution 
of the aged man, whose white hair inspired respect 
and compassion in the spectators, his body remained 
twenty-four hours suspended to the gibbet, and 
was afterwards dragged to the river which served 
for its tomb. Such was the end of the venerable 
Pastor Roger, whose evangelical labours had 


commenced in 1708, that is, even before those 
of Antoine Court, and had continued from that 
time during nearly forty years. The memory of 
Pastor Roger was long dear to all the churches of 
Dauphiny, the faithful members of which, though 
bereaved of such a guide, increased in zeal even in 
face of the augmented severities of the Parliament 
of Grenoble. 

Soon after these events, the new Governor of 
Languedoc, the Yiscount de St. Priest, received 
and endeavoured to execute the order to compel 
the re-baptizing by the priests of the children of 
Protestants throughout the country. 

Accordingly, at Msmes and other places, in 
1751, he assembled the principal citizens, and 
enjoined them to bring their children to the parish 
churches in the course of a fortnight, in default of 
which they were to be punished with all the rigor 
of the laws. The Protestants refused compliance 
with this order, because the parish priests, who 
exacted a promise that the children should be 
brought up in the Romish faith, treated the 
baptized persons as relapsed, * and caused them to 

* The laws concerning the relapsed were dreadfully severe. It 
will be sufficient to mention that if one who was considered a 
member of the Eomish Church was taken ill, and refused in that 
state the religious help of the priest, he was condemned, in case of 
recovery, to the galleys for life, and to the confiscation of all his 
property : in the event of death, his body was to be drawn on a 
hurdle through the streets, and the fragments of it afterwards 
thrown into the common sewer. 


be punished accordingly if they did not remain 
Catholics, the clergy having adopted the following 
maxim : " The Church has full power over those 
who have received baptism, just as the King has 
absolute right over the coin stamped at his mint/' 
St. Priest pronounced the most terrible threaten- 
ings against the refractory. The oppressed people 
were appalled. They left their houses, fields, work- 
shops, manufactories, and sought refuge in woods 
and caves. 

The Grovernor was irritated, and wrote to one of 
his delegates thus : " They deceive themselves if 
they hope that the King will change his mind, or 
that I shall neglect to execute the precise orders 
which His Majesty has given me on this matter." 
But the desertion continued to increase, and 
St. Priest renewed the dragonnades by billeting- 
tickets thus conceived : " M. 1ST., trooper of the 
military police, will remain quartered at the house 

of , till he shall have taken, his children to 

church to receive the rite of baptism by the parish 
priest ; -and he shall exact from him four livres (or 
francs) a day till the order has been obeyed, ap- 
prising him that the force shall be increased." 

A commanding officer, named Pontual, pro- 
claimed in the streets of Cayla : " Let no one 
deceive himself; all the Huguenots shall obey or 
perish, even if I perish myself!" The soldiers, 
assisted by some of the Catholics, and often 
accompanied by the priests of the place, beat up 



the country for children, laid hands on them as 
criminals, and dragged them to church. 

" There were some," says Antoine Court, " of 
fourteen^ twelve, and even ten years of age who 
would not allow themselves to be led to church, 
and whom it was necessary to drag by force ; 
others filled the air with heart-rending cries ; 
some threw themselves like lions on those who 
came to seize them, tearing their skin and clothes 
with their hands ; others, having no better way of 
expressing their resentment, turned into ridicule 
the ceremony which was about to be performed 

upon them And in this manner, in the 

midst of these brutal and ignoble scenes, baptism 
was by force administered ! " 


Having completed the re-baptizing at Oayla, the 
commander, Pontual, whose zeal was quickened 
by the perquisites he received for the capture of 
children, continued his expeditions throughout 
the district of Yaunage, along the shore, and in 
the plains, quartering soldiers in the houses of 
the absent or refractory, to the number of fifteen 
or twenty,, who broke, plundered, and demolished 
every thing. 

The Court of V ersailles, rejoicing to see so many 
children re-baptized, ordered that the work should 
be carried into the mountains. 

Notwithstanding these odious persecutions, and 
others still more cruel, the Catholic clergy were 
not satisfied, and they frequently made complaints 


of the weakness of the governors and the laxity of 
the pursuit. The Bishops of Agen and Alais 
among others distinguished themselves by the 
importunity of their remonstrances. A magistrate, 
Rippert, the Marquis of Montclar, Attorney- 
Greneral of the Parliament of Aix, who, though a 
Catholic, was scandalised at this unmerciful intoler- 
ance, replied to the clergy in a memorial, which 
soon became celebrated, and from which we cite 
one of the most striking passages, proving that 
the persecutions called for by the Bishop of Alais 
would be ineffectual. 

" If," says he, " an exact list were to be given 
that prelate of all the Protestants who have been 
put to death ; of all the persons of every age and 
station who have been sent to the galleys ; of all 
the taxes, fines, and other contributions which 
have been levied ; of all the children who have 
been torn from their parents ; of all the marriages 
which have been dissolved and declared immoral ; 
of all the persons who have been imprisoned and 
detained in a long captivity ; of all the excesses 
even, and the frightful murders committed by the 
King's troops, and contrary to the intentions of His 
Majesty, alas ! the list would fill entire volumes. 
Every corner of France resounds with the cries 
of these unfortunate people ; they awaken com- 
passion in those who glory, I do not say in being 
Christians, but in being men, yet a Bishop is 
insensible to them, and even seeks to redouble 


them ! Would it not become him better, after 
having planted and watered on their behalf, to 
weep for them ' between the porch and the altar ?' " 


Paul Habaut meanwhile continued to travel 
through the country and to hold the assemblies of 
the Desert. On the 30th of January, 1752, (he 
was then thirty-four years old), in returning 
from one of these meetings he was surprised and 
arrested by some dragoons, with a young man 
named Benezet, a candidate for the ministry, 
(proposant) . The lieutenant who commanded the 
small troop, fearing he should not be able to carry 
off both the prisoners in safety, determined to 
release one of them, and, not suspecting the im- 
portance of his capture, set Rabaut free. Be*nezet 
was conducted to Montpellier, and there con- 
demned and hanged in circumstances similar to 
those of Desubas. He also was twenty-six years 
of age. He left a young child, and his wife about 
to give birth to another. 

Taken almost at the same time and in the same 
vicinity, another Pastor of the Desert, Molines, 
closed his course very differently : on his history 
we must pause for a moment. The reader will 
not have forgotten that passage in Saurin's noble 


sermon : " Groans of captives, pastors in tears, 
virgins outraged, solemn feasts interrupted, sanc- 
tuaries deserted, apostates, martyrs, scenes of blood 
and cries of anguish, let the long catalogue of 
woes touch the heart of this assembly." In Molines 
,we meet with one of these unhappy apostates. 
Terrified by the preparations for the execution of 
Benezet, he abjured, and thus obtained life and 
liberty. Before long, however, he was tormented 
by remorse, and life became a burden to him. 
He fled to Holland where, after proofs of repent- 
ance and a public abjuration, he was re-admitted 
into the communion of the church. The son of 
one of the pastors of Amsterdam has left us the 
following narration, containing his personal recol- 
lections on this subject. 

"Even to extreme old age M. Molines could 
never forgive himself for not having imitated 
Benezet. Through his whole life he was con- 
science-smitten ; he was continually returning to 
this idea : ' Why could not I give my life for my 
Saviour, for Him who laid down his own for my 
salvation ? ' 

" When very young I remember having seen 
M. Molines come many and many a time to my 
father's house, always accusing himself, while my 
father endeavoured to convince him that by the 
infinite merits of Christ his pardon was without 
doubt granted, and that he might hope for 
salvation as any other repenting sinner. Being 


advanced in years, lie was afflicted with deafness, 
which obliged my father to address his conso- 
lations to him in a loud voice. The countenance 
of this unhappy man, furrowed with wrinkles, 
bore the impress of despair ; but there might be 
discovered in it the faint vestiges of what had, 
formerly been a noble and dignified physiognomy. 
His eyes, dimmed with tears, attested how much 
he had suffered ; one could not meet them without 
being touched with pity ; his attitude betokened 
depression ; his head, falling with all its weight 
on his breast, and his listless hands, evinced deep 
discouragement ; his careless dress testified to his 
oblivion of external things ; all his person, in a 
word, proved that he counted himself no longer 
among the living. He was indeed maintained 
by some charitable individuals who had agreed to 
provide for his support. 

" He never came to our house and silently 
seated himself, waiting till my father, for the 
hundredth time, should repeat to him words of con- 
solation, without my experiencing a kind of terror 
mingled with childish curiosity : I described round 
him a semi-circle as large as the room permitted, 
and yet did not lose sight of him for an instant. 
He was so absorbed in himself that he did not 
perceive what passed ; nothing could distract him 
from his sad thoughts ; above all, he could not 
forget the last look cast upon him by Benezet ; 
and when he was a prey to this recollection his 


sighs redoubled, as lie thought with regret of the 
crown of martyrdom lost by his cowardice and 
attained by his friend. Thirty years of repentance 
appeared to him not long enough to weep for that 
which he called his unpardonable crime. 

" One day however an idea occurred to him 
which seemed to bring some consolation. He 
asked my father if it would not be possible for 
him to obtain permission from the Consistory to 
ascend for once and the last time that pulpit which 
he had so profaned. M. Chatelain expressed some 
doubts ; nevertheless he did not refuse to present 
his request before the competent authority. 

" The Elders of the church, with the presiding 
Ministers, decided that the request of M. Molines 
might be granted, on condition however that he 
should not preach in a church. My father placed 
at his disposal a large summer-house at the bottom 
of the garden adjoining his residence. It was 
perhaps the only occasion when the profoundly sad 
countenance of Molines was lighted up by a ray, 
if not of happiness, at least of satisfaction. When 
it was publicly known that such a discourse was 
to be delivered, the desire to be admitted was 
extreme. The greatest solemnity characterized the 
service of the evening. It is easy to imagine the 
subject chosen by M. Molines. The repentance 
of St. Peter, from the striking analogy which he 
found between his own fault and that of the 
apostle, appeared to him the only topic suitable 
to his situation. 


" The discourse produced a most powerful effect : 
the composition, the delivery, the affecting and 
almost terrible application, constituted such a 
soul-stirring appeal as was never effaced from the 
minds of the hearers. 

" M. Molines lived only a few years after this 
day so memorable to him. On his dying bed, my 
father administered consolation to this penitent 
sinner, and now succeeded in persuading him to 
receive it with the full confidence of forgiveness, 
in which he had not been able to believe before, 
and which he accepted with feelings of humility 
and gratitude, that from this moment formed to 
him the commencement of eternal happiness." 

After the death of Benezet, the Protestants 
imagined that if their real situation were known 
to the King he would be moved to compassion for 
them. It was a great mistake. Louis XV. would 
not tolerate the Reformed Religion in his dominions 
any more than Louis XI V. Besides, the petitions 
of the persecuted people rarely and with difficulty 
reached the Court. With such an object in view, 
Rabaut at this time courageously exposed himself. 
On the 19th of September, 1752, as the Marquis 
de Paulmy d'Argenson, the Minister of War, was 


making an official inspection of the country, Paul 
Rabaut, who still had a price set on his head, 
issued from one of his hiding-places and advanced 
alone on the road along which d'Argenson was to 
pass. On his approach Rabaut boldly introduced 
himself and presented a petition. The General, 
who by a word or gesture might have consigned 
the proscribed Pastor to the gallows, respectfully 
uncovered his head, and promised to deliver his 
petition. It would seem that he kept his word, as 
this document was afterwards found, with many 
others which had preceded it, in the archives of 
the state. 

After this incident, E-abaut resumed his wan- 
dering life, continuing to preside in the assemblies, 
which were often dispersed by force. A new 
method was now tried to compel him to leave the 
country. An armed force entered the dwelling of 
his family during the night and endeavoured to 
terrify his wife, at that time left in charge of the 
education of their two eldest sons, and having in 
addition the care of her aged and infirm mother. 
It was signified to Madeleine Gfaydan that she 
would not enjoy the slightest security or repose 
for herself or her family so long as her husband 
continued to exercise his ministry at Nismes and 
in the province. The Governor, by whose order 
this was done, hoped that the young woman, from 
love to her children and her mother, would solicit 
B,abaut to leave the country for a time. The 


attempt was repeatedly made, but it was fruitless ; 
Madeleine was one of those women who, far from 
fettering or retarding the activity of their hus- 
bands by the counsels of human prudence, have 
the power to fortify and encourage them in their 
devotedness. She persuaded the Pastor of the 
Desert to remain and continue his work. She 
wandered about herself for two years without a 
settled home, along with her infirm mother and 
her two children ; received and concealed by friends 
whom she soon quitted, for fear of compromising 
them, to resort to others with whom she could not 
make a longer stay. During these two years the 
firmness of this heroic woman was immovable, and 
at the end of that time her persecutors were 
wearied of this unworthy method of annoyance. 
May the courage, perseverance and devotedness of 
this Christian woman be an example to us, and 
may her memory long diffuse among us its salu- 
tary influence ! 

On the first of January, 1756, an assembly of 
the Desert was surprised in the environs of Nismes. 
The greater part of those who composed it escaped 
by flight, but several were made prisoners by the 
soldiers, some of whom belonged to the best com- 
mercial families of Nismes ; and among them was 
the venerable Fabre, aged seventy- eight. His 
son, who had succeeded in making his escape, 
came back again and entreated the oflieer in com- 
mand to take him, a young and vigorous man, 


instead of his father who, old and infirm, would 
not be able to endure the prison, the chain and 
the severe labours of the galleys. Jean Fabre, 
such was the name of this generous son, had just 
been betrothed to a young relative to whom he 
had long been attached. After a protracted com- 
bat of generosity between the father and the son, 
the officer, touched by the supplications and the 
tears of Jean Fabre, thought he might venture to 
permit the exchange.* This act of filial devotion 
made some stir, and the Duke de Mirepoix, 
Governor of the province, offered to restore the 
voluntary captive to liberty if Paul Rabaut would 
engage to leave the kingdom ; but Fabre refused 
the liberty which was offered him at that price, 
and did not hesitate to make for the church to 
which he belonged the same sacrifice which he 
had already made for his venerable father. " It 
is our Pastor's duty," said he, " to concern himself 
with public calamities before thinking of those 
which may overwhelm individuals ; he ought not 
to abandon his post till his Divine Master, Jesus 
Christ, shall command him." E-abaut, being also 
of this opinion, refused to depart, and Jean Fabre 
was conducted to the galleys at Toulon, clothed in 

* In similar circumstances, young Bazeire, of the neighbourhood 
of Clairac, had heen less fortunate some months previously. The 
entreaties which he addressed to the dragoons who had arrested 
his aged father, irritated those ferocious men, and one of them shot 
him on the spot. 


the livery of crime, and confounded with the vilest 
offenders. Touched by his generous self-devotion, 
the naval officers stationed there were anxious to 
alleviate his condition, but the Count de Saint- 
Florentin, a most worthy minister of Louis XV., 
irritated at the respect paid to the virtuous con- 
vict, issued the most rigorous orders and required 
that he should be subjected to the ordinary treat- 

The celebrated author Marmontel, having in 
one of his works pointed out this instance of filial 
devotion as a subject for the stage, Fenouillot de 
Falbaire composed from it a play entitled, " The 
Virtuous Criminal." ( " L'Honnete CrimineL" ) 
This drama, which was in five acts and in verse, 
met with great success and contributed in its mea- 
sure to circulate some ideas of toleration among 
the frivolous society of the eighteenth century. 
When the Duke de Choiseul became minister, 
Jean Fabre was liberated, after a detention of six 
years in the galleys. On arriving at TsTismes he 
again met his aged father, now eighty- four years 
old, who died of joy in the excitement of being 
able once more to embrace his son. It was not 
till some years after, that Jean Fabre was able to 
espouse his betrothed, in consequence of the ini- 
quitous laws which obstructed the regular celebra- 
tion of protestant marriages. 



But to return to our history. In February,, 
1756, less than two months after the meeting at 
which Fabre had been seized, we again find 
Rabaut presiding over an assembly of the Desert 
for the ordination of seven candidates for the 
sacred ministry, lately arrived from Lausanne, 
where they had just completed their studies. A 
select number of pastors and elders had examined 
them, and been satisfied with their theological 
knowledge. ."We may observe in passing that on 
several occasions the synods of the Desert ad- 
dressed letters of thanks to the conductors of the 

Let us briefly explain what those assemblies of 
the Desert were, of which mention is so often 
made in the history of the French Reformed 
Church in the eighteenth century. They were 
generally held in lonely and uncultivated pJLaces 
in caverns, in woods, in deserted quarries or in 
the midst of wild heaths. Those who were to be 
present were not summoned till the evening before, 
in order to avoid too much publicity. One re- 
markable trait in the character of the churches 
appears in the fact that not to be apprised of the 
holding of one of these meetings, which could 
only be attended at the peril of life, constituted a 
church penalty ; it was inflicted on those who had 
scandalized their brethren by some serious offence. 


It was necessary to take tlie most minute precau- 
tions for the security of these assemblies ; 'sentinels 
were placed all round at various distances, and 
particularly on hills or rocks from whence an 
extended view could be obtained: if a troop of 
soldiers appeared, signals were immediately made 
to indicate their approach and the direction of 
their march, in order that the congregation might 
disperse and thus, by a prompt and well directed 
flight, escape enemies who were ceaselessly occu- 
pied in searching for new victims. As soon as a 
certain number of the faithful were collected, they 
began worship by singing t a psalm, generally the 
hundredth : 

" Yous qui sur la terre haMtez, 
Chantez a haute vois, chantez ; 
Rejouissez-vous au Seigneur 
Par un saint hymne a son honneur. 

" Entrez dans son. temple aujourd'hui, 
Yenez vous presenter a Lui ; 
Celebrez son nom glorieux, 
Et 1'elevez jusques aux cieux." 

"Ye nations round the earth rejoice 

Before the Lord, your sovereign King, 
Serve Him with cheerful heart and voice, 
"With all your tongues his glory sing. 

" Enter his gates with songs of joy, 

With praises to his courts repair ; 
And make it your divine employ 

To pay your thanks and honours there." 

( Watts 's Version.] 


After singing, the Elders read the Holy Scrip- 
tures, often at considerable length. The officiating 
Pastor then arrived, having been previously con- 
cealed in some sequestered habitation in the neigh- 
bourhood. He was often surrounded by a number 
of young men prepared to protect him in his flight 
on the first signal of the approach of the soldiery. 
It must be recollected that the penalty of death 
was pronounced against every protestant minister 
taken in the exercise of his functions. The preach- 
ing, so necessary at a time when protestant reli- 
gious books were an object of most minute pursuit, 
was not to continue more than an hour and a 
quarter. This limit, which would doubtless exceed 
the measure of attention from the greater part of 
protestant congregations at present, had been fixed 
by a synod, in order that the congregations might 
not be too long exposed to the danger of being 

* In answer to an enquiry made respecting- these services, the 
Author has kindly supplied the following additional information : 

" Puhlic prayer always bore an important part in the assemblies 
of the Desert, either conducted by the Ministers or, in their absence, 
by the Elders. In the latter case a liturgy was more frequently 
employed than extempore prayer. At Christmas, Easter and 
Pentecost, the Lord's Supper was celebrated, as well as on other 
occasions. It is worthy of remark that during the second half of 
the eighteenth century no one "was admitted to that ordinance in 
the churches of the Desert, without having previously expressed to 
a Pastor or an Elder the desire to communicate, and received from 
him a kind of medal called merreau or marreau, which was placed 
on the table at the time of receiving the bread and wine. This 


We should like to be able to give an idea, by 
some extracts at least, of the character of Paul 
Rabaut's preaching, but those of his sermons which 
have been preserved are yet unpublished, and we 
must confine ourselves to transcribing the estimate 
given of them by the author of the " History of 
the Churches of the Desert," who had read several 
of the sermons of this celebrated Pastor : 

" In the style of Paul Habaut's preaching," says 
M. Ch. Coquerel, " the same qualities may be 
recognised as in his correspondence on the affairs 
of the Desert. Much simplicity and unction ; 
more of sweetness than vehemence ; little of a 
controversial character ; more of loving earnestness 
than profound argument ; dogmatic exposition 
always sustained by practical admonitions : such 
are the distinctive merits of these discourses. He 
rarely treated of the subjects of dispute with the 
Komish Church. He preached doctrines in the 
spirit and words of the Gospel, without adding to 
them, without wandering into details or losing 

medal, made of lead, in general but roughly engraved, represented, 
on one side an open Bible receiving rays from the sun, emblematic 
of the light of the Holy Spirit, and presenting to the eye those 
"words so adapted to encourage a poor and persecuted church, 
" Fear not, little flock ;" and on the other side, either a shepherd 
calling his sheep, or a communion cup and a cross, suggestive of 
persecution. The custom of using these medals gradually ceased 
in the nineteenth century. In a small number of churches they 
were retained so late as 1821 and evtn 1826. It was a mark of 
the discipline formerly maintained in the Eeformed Churches of 
France, a discipline which has now quite fallen into disuse. 


himself in deductions. Such is the distinct and 
deliberate impression which has been left by many 
of his discourses. As regards the form, they are 
all very methodical ; they are remarkable for their 
logical perspicuity of arrangement. The same 
quality is observable in some other discourses of 
this period which we have examined, and which 
are distinguished either for their energy or for the 
perfect clearness of their views." 

For the sake of illustration we will cite a frag- 
ment of a sermon in the Desert, which was preached 
about this time (on the 5th of October 1752) at 
the ordination of two young candidates for the 
ministry, one of whom had seen his own elder 
brother executed on the scaffold a little before by 
order of the Parliament of Grenoble. 

This discourse, delivered in a retired cavern of 
Yivarais by the Pastor Peyrot, recounted to the 
young ministers the perils which awaited them in 
the Desert. Peyrot had chosen for his text the 
words in Matthew x. 16, only too appropriate to 
the deplorable circumstances of the churches and 
their pastors : " I send you forth as sheep in the 
midst of wolves." 

"Nothing more certain, we can declare it in 
the face of heaven and earth, we are ' as sheep in 
the midst of wolves/ Let the nation in the midst 
of which we live boast its politeness and humanity, 
it is not the less cruel to us and athirst for our 
blood. Let its priests call themselves successors 



of the blessed apostles who were of a character so 
pacific, let them affect an external gentleness and 
a horror of blood and slaughter, we cannot trust 

ourselves to them 

" What mean those fears amidst which we cele- 
brate this ceremony, those precautions we have 
been obliged to take; even the place in which 
we are assembled on this solemn occasion ? What ! 
without a temple, exposed to the annoyances of 
the open air, obliged to flee human habitations to 
hide ourselves in woods, in frightful deserts ! . . . 

Do not these wild haunts cry to us that 

\ve must regard ourselves among men as sheep in 
the midst of wolves, since we are obliged to shun 
them with so much care ? What mean those san- 
guinary plots which are continually being formed 
for our discovery and seizure ? What mean, not 
the thirty pieces of silver, but the large sums of 
money promised to the Judases who may betray 
and deliver us up ? Are not these so many yoices 
crying to us, You are as sheep in the midst of 
wolves ? What mean those troops of soldiers by 
whom we are surrounded on all sides, always 
armed, always ready to march against us ? What 
mean those edicts which proscribe our religion 
and condemn all who teach it to the punishment 
of criminals ? What mean those corpses pierced 
with bullets, those gibbets stained with blood ? 
What mean, oh lamentable atrocity ! those dear 
sheep torn in pieces, those venerable pastors mas- 


sacred ? I pause. It is only too certain we are 
as sheep in the midst of wolves . , . . What then 
is required of us ? You feel it ! a sacred trust is 
committed to you; you must maintain it. A 
crown is placed over your head, you must let no 

man take it from you " * 

"Doubtless," adds M. Ch. Coquerel, "it would 
be difficult to find literary merit in this passage, 
at once severe and touching, to which the cir- 
cumstances of the times, and the situation, must 
have given so powerful an effect. In appreciating 
it, we must not forget how few favourable oppor- 
tunities for acquiring the beautiful language of 
France were possessed by these men of the Desert, 
who received all their education during two or 
three years 7 residence in a Swiss academy, and on 
leaving it entered immediately upon a course of 
most perilous duties " 


Six months later, another meeting was held on 
the banks of the Gfardon, for the ordination of 
three new candidates for the ministry from the 
Academy at Lausanne. By eight o'clock in the 
morning, between eight and ten thousand people 

* For a specimen of Paul Eabaut's preaching, see Appendix. 


had assembled and were singing a psalm, when a 
small force of fifteen soldiers unexpectedly ap- 
peared. On pointing their muskets at the immense 
congregation it immediately dispersed, but the 
soldiers, not satisfied with this result, fired and 
killed several persons. If we reflect on the assur- 
ance with which fifteen soldiers fired thus at close 
quarters on some thousands of people, more than 
half of whom were doubtless men, we see how far 
the authorities counted on the non-resistance of 
the persecuted Protestants. The synods had in- 
deed expressly enjoined this course, and Habaut 
had on more than one occasion refused to officiate 
in assemblies to which some young men had come 
armed, for the purpose, as they alleged, of de- 
fending the old men, women and children, in case 
of surprise. His conduct in this respect having 
been called in question, Rabaut had appealed to 
Antoine Court, his former master and his friend, 
who wrote from Lausanne to sustain and encourage 
him in his decision. " Continue," said he, " to 
act thus ; carefully avoid those places where the 
same thing might happen again, but omit no 
means of gently bringing back those who have 
been led into ideas so contrary to the Gospel. 5 ' 
On this point they were both in accordance with 
the advice given by Calvin himself to the churches 
of France two centuries before. " I have heard," 
he wrote to them in 1556, " that many are re- 
solved, if they are attacked, rather to resist such 


violence than to let themselves be plundered. I 
entreat you, dear brethren, turn away from such 
counsels which Gfod will never prosper because He 

does not approve them " In this, as in 

many other things, the French Protestants fol- 
lowed the example of the primitive Christians, one 
of whose most illustrious teachers could say to the 
pagans : " When you would compel us to disobey 
God, you find us lions ; but when you would 
punish us, you find us only lambs." 

In the present instance, several persons had 
been killed and a greater number wounded, either 
by the firing of the soldiers or the precipitation of 
a tumultuous flight. The soldiers reloaded and 
were preparing again to fire, when a number of 
young men faced about and protected the retreat 
of the congregation, menacing the soldiers, and 
some of them even throwing stones. The occur- 
rence made a great noise on account of this shadow 
of resistance, and Rabaut consequently addressed 
a memorial to the Governor of the province, in 
which, without justifying those who had been 
wanting in patience and submission, he endea- 
voured at least to apologize for them. He set 
forth the grievances of the Protestants and shewed 
the danger of a new emigration. " They love the 
King," said he, " they are attached to their coun- 
try, they contribute to the utmost of their power 

to the prosperity of the state But if 

they continue to be treated as wild beasts, can any 


one blame them for seeking other climes where 

they will be treated as human beings ? " 

This memorial produced extreme irritation 
against its author, and from that time the search 
after him was prosecuted with redoubled vigour. 
He baffled every pursuit, taking refuge sometimes 
in almost inaccessible hiding-places, in which, 
however, he could not remain long. He frequently 
changed his costume and name, and rarely slept 
many nights following in the same habitation, as 
the houses that received him were often discovered, 
in which case they were surrounded and ransacked 
with the most minute vigilance. It was at this 
period of his life that he passed some time in a 
sort of ut partly hollowed out of the ground and 
covered with stones and bushes : this sepulchral 
dwelling, situated in the midst of an uncultivated 
district, served him as a retreat at night and even 
as a study, till a shepherd, leading his flock over 
the heath, lighted one day upon the little cave 
and denounced it to the police. Rabaut regretted 
this wild abode as if he had enjoyed in it all the 
comforts of life. He was never apprehended, 
though often in extreme danger ; sometimes he 
escaped from his persecutors by the speed of a 
horse which he used to facilitate his extensive cir- 
cuits. Frequently also, in the journeys which the 
habitual exercise of his ministry required, he was 
preceded, followed and surrounded by devoted 
young men, who warned him by their signals and 


accompanied him in those parts where he was 
likely to encounter the greatest perils. Thus 
lived and laboured, during a large portion of his 
life, a man of whom it may be said that for nearly 
forty years he was night and day in presence of 
the gallows ; the firm and persevering, meek and 
patient servant of the Master to whom he had 
consecrated his being ; the courageous Christian 
who knew how to unite the most indomitable 
energy with the greatest moderation ; never ceas- 
ing to expose himself for the benefit of the church, 
and continually preaching entire submission to 
the government in all things except matters of 
conscience. How noble is the union of heroism 
and simplicity in this remarkable man ! the at- 
tachment of this servant of Grod to his mission and 
his duty ! Our admiration increases when we see 
the extreme modesty with which he himself ap- 
preciates his labours. In October, 1755, he wrote 
thus to one of his friends in Switzerland (he was 
then thirty- seven years old) : " Forgive, my dear 
Sir and honoured friend, a silence which it has 
not been in my power to avoid. Pressed by a 
multitude of occupations, the day is not long 
enough for my work, and a good part of the night 
is often employed in it ; but I seize with pleasure 
a moment of relaxation to reply to the obliging 
letter with which you have favoured me. 

" You are aware, Sir, that fame magnifies ob- 
jects; it has done so with respect to me. The 


less I think myself deserving of the character in 
which I have been represented to you, the more 
strenuously I shall endeavour to realise it. If 
divine grace has given me some * little love and 
zeal for religion, some desire to be useful to my 
brethren, it is indeed necessary that these motives 
should be as lively and effective as possible. When 
I fix my attention on the divine fire for the salva- 
tion of souls which burned, I will not say in Jesus 
Christ and his Apostles, but in our Reformers and 
their immediate successors, it seems to me that we 
are but as ice in comparison with them. Their 
vast labours astonish me and cover me with con- 
fusion. How I should like to resemble them in 
all for which they are to be commended ! The 
praises which you give me, by showing me what 
I ought to do, stimulate me powerfully to spare 
no effort to accomplish it. Be so good as to add 
to this encouragement the help of your counsels, 
your exhortations and your prayers." 

To complete the picture of Paul Habaut, and to 
give a just estimate of his Christian zeal, it must 
be added that at the very time when he was carry- 
ing on his ministry amid so much danger, and 
when a price was set upon his head, he sent his 
two elder sons to the Academy at Lausanne to be 
prepared for that daily martyrdom which he was 
himself enduring for the service of Jesus Christ. 



In 1762, we behold a new scaffold erected at 
Toulouse ; new martyrs are to pay for their at- 
tachment to the Grospel with their blood, and Paul 
Rabaut will take an active part on behalf of the 
victims by seeking to move the great and powerful 
in their favour. 

The young Pastor Roche tte, after having carried 
on his ministry a year and eight months in the 
province of Quercy, of which Montauban was 
the capital, and taken the spiritual oversight of 
twenty-five churches of the Desert, was exhausted 
I* with fatigue and obliged to take some repose. 
With this view, he repaired to the mineral waters 
near St. Antonin. On his journey he was re- 
quested to turn a little out of his way to adminis- 
ter the rite of baptism in a secluded habitation. 
The guide who was conducting him by circuitous 
paths from Montauban to his destination, had gone 
to fetch another guide to lead him to the place- 
where the service was to be performed. About 
midnight, as these two men were on their way to 
join the Pastor, they were met on the high-road 
by a cake- woman who was going to the neigh- 
bouring little town of Caussade. The two guides, 
seeing some one approach and fearing lest they 
should be discovered, turned out of the road and 


made a small circuit in the fields ; this was suffi- 
cient to suggest to the woman that she had met 
some suspicious persons, and on arriving at Caus- 
sade she gave notice to the police. The authorities 
of the town consequently sent out a patrol of the 
civic militia, who soon overtook the two guides 
having now with them a horseman who was no 
other than Rochette. Their replies appearing 
embarrassed, they were taken to Caussade and 
examined by the municipal authorities. Roehette 
having stated that he was a protestant minister, 
the magistrates, influenced by motives of hu- 
manity, invited him to retract the declaration 
which might prove fatal to him. But Rochette 
replied that, having spoken the truth, he could not 
alter his first statement. Subsequently his aca- 
demic diploma was found upon him and was made 
use of at his trial. It was signed Antoine Court, 
Polier de Bottens. Lausanne. October, 1759. 

On the day following, a fair was held at Caus- 
sade. The news of the arrest of Rochette caused 
some tumult among the inhabitants of the town 
and neighbourhood, very many of whom were 
Protestants. The authorities, being alarmed, 
sounded the tocsin, assembled the militia, and 
committed to prison a number of Protestants, in 
particular three brothers, young men .of rank 
named de Grenier : they belonged to one of those 
families which had been ennobled by a predecessor 
of Louis XIV. for having introduced into France 


the manufacture of glass, and they were called on 
that account nobles of the glass trade, (gentils- 
hommes verriers). These three young men were 
accused, but without proof, of having intended to 
deliver the captive minister by arms. Some weeks 
after the Parliament of Toulouse took cognizance 
of the affair ; it was the death of Rochette and 
the glass manufacturers. 

The churches were in consternation ; and Ra- 
baut, forgetting the dangers of his wandering life 
and ordinary ministry, made the most strenuous 
efforts on behalf of the prisoners. He drew up a 
petition on their account to Madame Adelaide, 
the eldest daughter of Louis XY. who 5 amidst the 
dissipation of a selfish and voluptuous court, had 
distinguished herself by her benevolence, purity 
of manners and elevation of character. " One of 
the greatest advantages of your illustrious birth 
and of your high rank," said he to this princess, 
" is the power of assisting the unfortunate. It is 
well-known, Madame, that you take pleasure in 
making this noble use of your influence, and that 
many sufferers have experienced the effects of 
your powerful intercession. This emboldens me 
to write to Your Royal Highness. What I pro- 
pose to you, Madame, the favour which I ask, is to 
rescue from the scaffold, not a malefactor, but a 
worthy man, a protestant minister named Ro- 
chette, who will soon be condemned to death 
unless Your Royal Highness obtain his pardon. 


It is just, it is necessary that the disturbers of 
society should be punished, not those who con- 
tribute to promote piety, peace and subordination. 
It is a well-known fact that these ministers have 
extinguished fanaticism by their sound instruc- 
tions. By exercising their functions in the king- 
dom, they have preserved to His Majesty a great 
number of subjects, who would otherwise have 
left the country to secure elsewhere the worship 
with which they cannot dispense." 

Unfortunately no trace of the effect of this 
letter can be discovered ; perhaps it never even 
reached the person who ought to have received it. 
The noble princess to whom it was addressed emi- 
grated in 1791, and retired to Home, which she 
was obliged to leave on the approach of the 
French army, in 1799. She died soon after, still 
in exile. 

Rabaut also addressed himself, but in vain, to 
the Marechal Due de Bichelieu and to the Due de 
Fitz- James, both then in great credit at court. 
He wrote to Jean- Jacques Rousseau, who was afc 
that time living in the Hermitage in the Yalley 
of Montmorency. Two years previously, Rousseau 
had published " La Nouvelle Heloise," and he 
was then occupied with the " Emile." We give 
his answer to the entreaties with which Rabaut 
urged him to use his influence in favour of Rochette 
and the three young nobles. 


" Montmorency, October 24th, 1761. 

" I learn from, your letter, with mingled grief 
and indignation, the outrages which our unhappy 
brethren are suffering in your part of the country, 
at which I am the more surprised as it would be, 
in my opinion, the interest of the government to 
leave them now at least in peace. I am well 
aware that the fanatics who oppress them consult 
their own sanguinary temper far more than the 
interests of government ; yet I find it difficult to 
believe that they would proceed to this pitch of 
cruelty if the conduct of our brethren had not 
given some pretext for it. I feel how hard it is 
to be continually at the mercy of a cruel popula- 
tion, without help, without resource, and without 
even the consolation of hearing the Word of Grod 
in peace. Yet, Sir, that same Word of God is 
express on the fluty of obeying the laws of princes. 
The power of prohibiting public assemblies is 
incontestable among their rights ; and, after all, 
these assemblies not being essential to Christian- 
ity, a man may abstain from them without re- 
nouncing his faith. He who would be a Christian 
must learn in the first place to suffer, and every 
one ought to maintain a course of conduct consis- 
tent with his principles. 

" These objections may be bad, still, if they 
were made to me I do not see clearly what I 

should have to reply Besides, Sir, by an 

indiscreet zeal I should only injure the cause I 


attempted to aid. The friends of truth are not 
welcome in courts, and ought not to expect to be 
so. Every one to his vocation in the world ; mine 
is to tell the public unpleasant but useful truths ; 
I endeavour to accomplish it without troubling 
myself about the mischief bad men wish me, 
and which they do me when they can. I have 
preached humanity, gentleness, tolerance, as much 
as lay in my power ; it is not my fault if I have 
not been listened to ; for the rest I make it a rule 
always to confine myself to general truths : I 
write neither libels nor satires ; I attack not a 
man, but men ; not an act, but a vice. I cannot, 
Sir, go farther. 

" I see by your letter that you have, like me, 
learnt to suffer in the school of poverty. Alas ! 
it makes us compassionate the misfortunes of others, 
but puts it out of our power to' relieve them. 
Farewell, Sir. I am yours very truly." 


After having knocked in vain at every door, 
nothing remained but for the prisoners to submit 
to the justice of the Parliament of Toulouse. B,o- 
chette was condemned to the gibbet ; the brothers 
de Grenier, as nobles, to decapitation; Viguier, 
one of the guides, to ten years of the galleys, and 


Viala, the other, to six years. Whatever appre- 
hensions the fanatic rigour of the Parliament 
might have justly inspired, the churches were far 
from expecting this thunderbolt. It seemed in- 
credible, especially barbarous in regard to the 
glass manufacturers, of whose guilt no legal proof 
had been produced. They were condemned on a 
mere suspicion. 

"Well," exclaimed the martyrs, when on the 
following morning their sentence was read to them 
in prison, " we must then die ! Let us ask Grod 
to accept the sacrifice we present to Him ! " The 
minister offered a prayer, " very touching," say 
the accounts ; they then embraced their compa- 
nions who were sentenced to the galleys, and 
congratulated those who were to be restored to 
liberty. The four leading priests of the town 
came in and offered them life if they would change 
their religion; Hochette thanked them for their 
solicitude, and entreated them not to trouble their 
last moments. One of the priests threatened them 
with perdition. "We are going," replied the 
Pastor, "to appear before a Judge more just than 
you, even before Him who shed his blood to save 
us." The priests interrupted him, and when they 
spoke of heresy and of the power of the Church of 
Rome to absolve from sin, the minister in his turn 
interrupted them, and told them that the protes- 
tant religion was founded on Scripture, and that 
sins were only forgiven by faith in the death of 
the Redeemer. 


At noon the priests retired, leaving the mart} r rs 
to take their last meal ; but, as they had now no 
farther need to sustain this mortal life, they only 
thought of giving to their souls the mystic feast 
of exhortations, prayers and hymns, the aliments 
of immortality. Their calm and pious rapture 
touched the jailers and the soldiers ; but when the 
captives thanked them for their good offices, and 
begged them to forgive any involuntary wrongs, 
the guards melted into tears. One of them parti- 
cularly appeared much moved. "My friend," 
said Rochette to him, " are not you ready to die 
for your King ? Why then do you grieve at our 
dying for God ? " 

An hour after, the priests returned. The mar- 
tyrs entreated them to retire. " But it is for your 
salvation that we are here ! " said one of the 
priests. Lourmade replied : " If you were at 
Geneva, about to die in your bed, for there no one 
is put to death on account of religion, would you 
like four ministers, on pretence of zeal, to come 
and persecute you till your last breath ? Do not 
then to others that which you would not wish to 
have done to you." And as the priests pursued 
them with the crucifix : " Speak to us," cried 
Ooumel, "of Him. who died for our offences and 
rose again for our justification, and we are ready 
to listen to you, but do not mingle your supersti- 
tions with it." 

At two o'clock the martyrs left the cells of the 


Provincial Prison. The priests took their seats 
with them in the fatal car. A Captain in a red 
robe at the head of the city horse guards, a Com- 
missioner of the Parliament in a black robe, both 
appointed to be present at the infliction of the 
sentence, formed, with the executioner, the funeral 
procession. By the terms of the writ, the minister 
was barefoot, stripped of his outer garments, and 
with a rope round his neck, having according to 
the sentence a label on the breast and the back, 
inscribed with these words : " Minister of the Pre- 
tended Reformed Religion." But the de Greniers 
were clothed with severe elegance for this festival 
of death. Before the front of the cathedral the 
car stopped. The minister, fearing that it was 
intended to force him to abjure before the altar, 
refused to descend. The Commissioner told him 
that it was to make the " amende honorable," to 
ask pardon of God, of the King and of justice, for 
having violated the laws. "You see then," re- 
plied he, " that I was not quite mistaken ; that 
would be to abjure my faith." "It is only a form," 
returned the Commissioner. " I know nothing of 


forms against my conscience," replied the minis- 
ter. He was however forced to descend from the 
car. He knelt down and said : " I implore pardon 
of Grod for all my sins, and I firmly believe that 
I am cleansed from them by the blood of Jesus 
Christ who has ransomed us at so great a price. 
I have no pardon to ask of the King. I have 



always honoured him as the anointed of the 
Lord ; I have always loved him as the father of 
my country. I have always been a good and 
faithful subject, and of this my judges appeared 
to me to be convinced. I have always preached 
to my flock patience, obedience and submission, 
and my sermons, which are in the hands of the 
public, are summed up in these words : ' Fear 
Grod, honour the King/ If I have transgressed 
the laws respecting religious assemblies, it is 
because Grod has commanded me to transgress 
them ; as to justice, I have not offended against 
it, and I pray Grod to pardon my judges." After 
vehement remonstrances, the clerk and the exe- 
cutioner were obliged to be satisfied with this 

The funeral car proceeded towards the scaffold. 
An immense multitude thronged the path of the 
procession, invading the fatal spot, the neighbour- 
ing windows, the balconies, the roofs; nothing 
could be seen but masses of heads. The fanatical 
populace, whose clamour but lately had called for 
the blood of Galas, forgot their ferocity at the 
sight of these confessors, who doubtless seemed to 
them very young to die. Rochette was twenty- 
six years old, Coumel thirty-four, Sarradon thirty- 
two, Lourmade only twenty-two. The de Greniers 
were tall and handsome ; gentleness and dignity 
mingled in their aspect. On the face of the minis- 
ter, full of grace and serenity, shone a rapture as 


if welcoming death. They conversed aloud re- 
specting the things of heaven, and that better 
life to which they were about to ascend. Their 
discourse drew tears and sobs from the crowd. 
Rochette, exhorting his companions, fulfilled to 
the end his duties as pastor. He blessed them 
for the last time, and then mounted the ladder, 
singing the following hymn : 

11 La voici 1'heureuse journee 
Q,ui repond a notre desir ! 
Louons Dieu, qui nous 1'a donnee, 
Faisons-en tout notre plaisir. 
Grand Dieu ! c'est a toi que je crie : 
Garde ton Oint et le soutiens. 
Grand Dieu ! c'est toi seul que je prie : 
Benis ton peuple et le maintiens . . . . " 

Ps. cxviii. 24, 25. 

Thus imitated in English : 

" At length the glad day has arisen 
So longed for and dear to our sight ; 
Let us praise God by whom it is given, 
And let us rejoice in its light. 
Mighty God, unto Thee do I cry, 
Thine Anointed to guard and sustain ; 
Thee alone I invoke, Most High, 
Thy people to bless and maintain." 

The executioner conjured him to die a Catholic. 
The minister replied, " Judge which is the better 
religion, that which persecutes or that which is 


persecuted." He also said that one of his uncles 
and his grandfather had died for the Gospel, and 
that he should be the third martyr in his family. 

Of the three de Greniers, the two elder wit- 
nessed the execution of the minister without the 
least emotion, but the youngest hid his face in his 
hands, sobbing. They then embraced each other 
and commended their souls to God. 

Coumel was beheaded first ; Sarradon next ; 
when it came to the turn of the young Lourmade, 
the executioner said to him compassionately : 
" See the fate of your brothers ! . . do not die ! . . 
abjure ! " The martyr, bending over the bloody 
block, answered him, " Do your duty ! " 

Thus perished these young and heroic confessors. 
Their death spread universal grief through the 
churches, and their funeral orations resounded 
amidst the lamentations of the people, from all 
the pulpits of the Desert. 

It was the 26th of February, 1762, and Eochette 
was the last martyred minister of the Desert. 








" I beheld, and lo ! a great multitude which no man could 
number, of all nations and kindreds and people and 
tongues, stood before the throne and before the Lamb, 
clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands ; 
and cried with a loud voice, saying : Salvation to our 
God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. 

And one of the elders answered saying unto 

me : What are these which are arrayed in white robes, 
and whence came they ? And I said unto him : Sir, 
thou knowest. And he said to me: These are they 
which came out of great tribulation, and have washed 
their robes and made them white in the blood of the 
Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of (rod, 
and serve Him day and night in his temple ; and he 
that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. 
They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more, 
neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. 
For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall 
feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains 
of waters ; and God shall wipe away all tears from 
their eyes." REV. vii. 9, 10, 1317. 

JOBLE and sacred army of martyrs how 
have your ranks been recruited from the 
Reformed Churches of France ! O may 
these thousands and thousands of victims immo- 
lated for the faith, but now singing the immortal 
song of praise to the Lord, live for ever in our 


recollection ! Let us piously cherish their memo- 
ry, and let the example of their self-renunciation, 
of their courageous fidelity, revive the fervour 
of our hearts and renew the vigour of our 


The execution of Roehette and the three noble 
glass manufacturers made a great sensation among 
the Eeformed Churches of that period. Numerous 
letters were addressed to Rabaut on the subject. 
" We see," wrote a pastor of Dauphiny to him, 
" that in spite of the corruption of the age and 
the decay of zeal, there are still Christians of 
piety as stedfast as can be found even in the first 
ages of the church. The edifying death of that 
illustrious confessor has more in it to strengthen 
believers than all the sermons he could have 
preached during a long ministry." The churches 
hastened to adopt the family of Eochette, which 
was in great straits ; and considerable sums were 
devoted to the payment of this sacred debt. 

Of the correspondence of the Pastors of the 
Desert with Rabaut, a touching incident must be 
preserved. The execution of Rochette and the 
three de Grreniers had cooled the charity of many 
wealthy Protestants in Beam towards the poor of 


the Catholic faith. They insisted on this amongst 
other reasons for their conduct, that the renewal 
of persecution should induce them to concentrate 
their pecuniary aid on the needy of their own 
Church. The worthy and evangelical Pastor Fosse 
declared that he would refute with all possible 
gentleness this evil spirit of recrimination, so 
opposed to the love of Jesus Christ towards all 
men. "I gladly have recourse," he writes to 
Paul Rabaut, " to the authority of your counsels 
and the line of conduct you maintain towards the 
necessitous Catholics of your district, to dissipate 
these unhappy doubts." 

But public attention was soon diverted from 
this event to one if possible still more tragical, 
and with which Habaut was more intimately con- 
nected ; I mean the Galas affair, the report of 
which spread far and wide. I cannot here enter 
into derails ; that interesting and affecting story 
ought to be fully treated by itself. I shall only 
speak of it in its connexion with the history of 

Jean Galas, a respectable merchant at Toulouse, 
had among other children a son named Marc- 
Antoine. This young man who was of a melan- 

* All the important details of this affair may he found in a 
recent very interesting and complete work : " Jean Galas et sa 
Faniille," a History compiled from Original Documents, by 
Athanase Coquerel, Junior, Pastor. Paris. One vol., 12mo. of 
540 pages. Cherbuliez. 


choly disposition, untoward temper, and without 
strength of character, had committed suicide one 
evening by hanging himself at a door of his 
father's warehouse. The family were Protestants, 
and rumour, in the fanatical city of Toulouse, 
speedily accused them of the murder of this son 
and brother, who it was said, but without any 
proof being adduced, was on the point of abjuring 
heresy. To give greater weight to this popular 
rumour, Marc-Antoine Galas was buried with all 
the pomp of the Romish Church, as if he had been 
a martyr for the Catholic faith. Some days after 
the funeral, the monks of the Order of White 
Penitents performed a splendid service for the 
soul of the martyr in their chapel. The whole 
church was hung with white, and, in order to 
produce the greatest impression possible, a struc- 
ture representing a tomb was erected in the centre 
of the building, on the top of which was^nade to 
stand a skeleton, hired from a surgeon for the 
purpose. The name of the deceased was inscribed 
at the foot of the hideous figure, which held in 
its right hand a palm, the emblem of martyrdom, 
and in the other the inscription in large letters : 
"Abjuration of Heresy." 

After a trial unprecedented in its general tenor 
and in all it's details, Jean Calas was condemned, 
on the 9th of March, 1762, to be subjected to the 
question ordinary and extraordinary, and to be 
broken alive on the wheel and then thrown into 


the flames. He was executed three weeks after 
Kochette and the de Gfreniers ; his goods were 
confiscated, and his children banished or shut up 
in a convent by lettres de cachet. But three years 
afterwards, in consequence of the generous and 
persevering efforts of Yoltaire and other distin- 
guished men, the process was revised by the 
Council of State. The Judges who decided this 
important cause were forty in number. Among 
them were fourteen Grovernors of Provinces. They 
examined the affair with the greatest minuteness 
in six long sittings, and the former judgment was 
reversed by a unanimous vote. The memory of 
Galas was cleared, and his property restored to 
his children. 

The monitoire, a kind of indictment of the 
Attorney -General, designed to be read in all the 
churches, had affirmed that protestant parents 
were obliged by their religion to put their children 
to death when the latter manifested an intention 
to pass over to Roman Catholicism. This accu- 
sation, received by the multitude as authentic 
truth, had exasperated the people of Toulouse and 
even influenced some of the judges. In many 
cases it was doubtless only a pretext, but in others 
it really formed a ground of violent indignation : 
hence the terrible importance of this hateful 
calumny, in its bearing on the Protestants 
throughout France, may be easily imagined. 

Much pains was taken to dissipate the false 


ideas circulated on this subject by the indefa- 
tigable enemies of the Protestants. The Advocate 
of Galas even procured an official declaration from 
the body of Pastors and Professors of the Church 
and College of Greneva, stating that " no assembly 
or synod had ever countenanced the abominable 
doctrine that a father might take away the life of 
his children, to prevent their changing their reli- 
gion, or to punish them for it ; .... that neither 
Calvin nor any other theologian of the Reformed 
Religion had ever taught such a doctrine, and 
that, far from its being a principle held by the 
protestant churches, it was unanimously detested 

and abhorred by them " 

But it was not sufficient for foreign Protestants 
to contradict this falsehood ; it was necessary for 
those of France to confute it themselves. Paul 
Kabaut published "La Calomnie Confondue," a 
memorial designed to enlighten the Courts of Jus- 
tice and public opinion as to the odious charge 
made against his brethren. After having stated 
that the early Christians, and afterwards the Re- ' 
formers of the sixteenth century, were objects of 
atrocious calumnies, he continues in these words : 
" We will not deny that to impute to us such 
horrors is to attack us in the most sensitive part. 
Let our enemies confiscate our property, let them 
send us to the galleys, let them suspend our minis- 
ters to the gibbet, but at least let them respect a 
system of morals which has no other author than 


Jesus Christ himself. Let them punish us as bad 
reasoners, or as transgressors of those penal laws 
which we cannot obey without violating more 
august commands, but let them not accuse us of 
being unnatural fathers, and of being so in virtue 
of the maxims of a most holy religion 

" The fundamental principle of Protestants con- 
sists in recognising the Holy Scriptures as the 
only rule of faith and conduct ; those Holy Scrip- 
tures in which assuredly no one learns to commit 
parricide. What Church is it which maintains 
most firmly that faith, is the gift of God alone, 
that conscience is amenable solely to Him, that 
one man cannot believe at the will of another, 
that a blind faith is a dead faith, that every act 
of piety must be voluntary ? It is ours. What 
Church is it which has most forbearance towards 
heretics, which carries civil toleration the farthest, 
and asserts that errors are to be combated only 
by the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of 
Gfod ? This again is ours. 

" Is it not the Protestants who have pleaded 
with most earnestness for liberty of faith and opi- 
nion ? To accuse us then of a persecuting spirit 
is to attack us in our stronghold. It is generally 
considered among us that those who err from the 
truth, are to be tolerated, that we are to honour 
the Deity and never avenge Him. We leave the 
punishment of heresies to Gfod, to whom alone it 


" The calumny circulated against us is also 
confuted by long experience. After the Revoca- 
tion of the Edict of Nantes, conversions to the 
Romish Church were only too numerous among 
us ; did any one ever hear that one of these con- 
verts was punished, that his conscience was forced, 
that his abjuration proved fatal to him ? . . . . 

" Six months hence, when the passions of men 
are calmed, when their minds are no longer ex- 
cited by popular rumours, when the Parliament, 
on which all Europe has its eyes fixed, has pro- 
nounced its sentence, men will blush at having 
opposed a real to an imaginary fanaticism." 

Eabaut's pamphlet roused the displeasure of the 
enemies of Protestantism : it was referred to the 
Parliament, who condemned it to be torn up and 
burned by the hangman on the Place du Palais, 
which was carried into execution. And as the* 
court had decreed that proceedings should be in- 
stituted against those who had composed, written, 
printed and distributed the said libel, and every 
body knew who was the author, lively apprehen- 
sions for Paul K,abaut were felt both in France 
and in foreign countries ; and offers of an asylum, 
with means of subsistence, were made to him from 
various quarters. He received the most honour- 
able and affectionate solicitations from Copen- 
hagen, from Holland, from Greneva, and Lausanne, 
where he had numerous and faithful friends. But 
he was still in the prime of life, being scarcely 


forty-five years of age, and he did not hesitate to 
refuse them all. He only found it necessary to 
use additional precautions for concealment. 


We should by no means give a complete idea of 
the age, and of the ministry of Rabaut, if we said 
nothing of the intercourse between the Pastor of 
the Desert and the Protestants consigned to the 
galleys and to prison for the sake of their religion. 
By great personal exertions, to which his lively 
sympathy for the sufferings of his brethren 
prompted him, Rabaut sought, in the midst of his 
own personal dangers and privations, to arouse 
the charity of the Protestants in France and 
Europe in favour of the poor galley-slaves, whose 
fate was truly terrible. 

A short time after the Revocation, the galleys 
and the convict prison of Marseilles contained 
more than six hundred Protestants ; there were 
nearly as many at Toulon. Dunkirk and other 
ports also contained a great number. Most of 
these were fugitives surprised and arrested in their 
attempted emigration. The high- ways were fur- 
rowed with long trains of these unfortunate people, 
who, from different provinces, were being dragged 
to this frightful captivity. On all the public roads 


in the kingdom, says an historian, these unhappy 
convicts might be seen walking in large compa- 
nies, with heavy chains round their necks, the 
most inconvenient that could be found being given 
them; many of these weighed more than fifty 
pounds. They were forced to travel by long 
stages, and when they fell down from weariness 
they were roused by blows of a stick. The bread 
given them to eat was coarse and unwholesome, 
and the avarice of their keepers did not allow 
them enough of that to support life. At the end of 
the day's march, they were lodged in the filthiest 
prisons, or in barns, where they lay on the ground 
without any covering or being relieved from the 
weight of their chains. 

Some years ago, Admiral Baudin gave a de- 
scription of the condition of the protestant galley- 
slaves in the eighteenth century, drawn from the 
best sources of information, while he was making 
a military inspection of the ports of Marseilles 
and Toulon. One circumstance which lends 
additional interest to the researches and commu- 
nications of M. Baudin, is the fact that this 
superior officer of the French navy, who died a 
few years ago at Paris, a good Protestant and 
Christian, was born and educated in the Romish 

" The regulations of the galleys," he says, 
" were then excessively severe. This fact explains 
the vast amount of mortality in proportion to the 


numbers condemned. The convicts were chained 
in couples to the benches of the galleys, and they 
were employed in moving long and heavy oars, 
an exceedingly painful service. In the centre of 
each galley, between the benches of rowers, ex- 
tended a kind of gallery on which the overseers 
constantly walked, having each as a whip the 
nerve of an ox, with which they struck the 
shoulders of the unfortunate men who did not 
row with sufficient energy to please them. The 
galley-slaves passed their lives on their benches ; 
they ate and slept there, without being able to 
move farther than the length of their chain per- 
mitted, and having no other shelter from the rain 
and the heat of the sun, or the cold of the night, 
than a cloth which was stretched as an awning 
over them when the galley was not in motion and 
the wind was not too violent." 

Add to this the hideous livery of the convicts, 
the red cloak, the shaving of the hair and eye- 
brows, the cork gag suspended round the neck ; 
for in certain manoeuvres all the convicts were 
gagged. And to such sufferings, to this horrible 
coupling with the vilest criminals, thousands of 
men were condemned whose only crime was their 
religious belief, their fidelity to a proscribed wor- 
ship. Extreme youth and gray-headed age were 
mingled there, for on the benches of these hateful 
floating prisons were seen young lads of fifteen 
and octogenarians. 



Among the latter, in 1753, was Isaac de Grenier 
de Lasterme, an ennobled glass manufacturer of 
Gabre, in Languedoc, sentenced to the galleys 
for life for attending religious meetings. Isaac 
de Lasterme was not the first nobleman clothed 
by his persecutors in the infamous garb of the 
galley-slave, witness the Baron de Saigas, the 
respected chief of one of the most ancient families 
of the Cevennes, condemned, in 1703, on a false 
accusation of holding communication with the 
Camisards. As for M. de Lasterme, his only crime 
was that he had been seen peaceably attending 
the meetings for worship, a common and trifling 
offence. In the condemnation of this septuagena- 
rian, in 1746, virtue, rank, and gray hairs were 
all smitten at once. Like his predecessor at the 
galleys, the Baron de Saigas, he accepted his fate 
in the spirit of a Christian martyr. 

" We see by your letter," wrote M. de Lasterme 
to the Pastor of the Desert, who had been com- 
missioned to convey to the sufferers at Toulon 
consolation and assistance from their brethren, 
" we see the concern you feel for the poor pro- 
testant captives. . . . . v Our circumstances depend 
on those who are placed over us, and vary accord- 
ing to the caprice of their whimsical and ferocious 
tempers. You have had, Sir, a statement of the 
clothes which are given us, with which we have 
to endure the rigour of the cold and the heat of 
summer. Occupied in the labours of which you 


have been informed, having no food but bread 
and water, we can only obtain any amelioration 
by paying a half-penny every morning to the 
keepers ; without this we are liable to remain 
fastened to a beam by a heavy chain. If the 
honoured Society at Marseilles did not give two 
half-pence to each, the greater number of us would 
be subjected to this cruel punishment ; there are 
many whose more pressing necessities oblige them 

to submit to it I pray that the great God 

may crown the grace He has communicated to 
you with more grace ; that He may sustain you 
in your labours and prosper the talents He has 
given you for the glory of His name. I have the 
honour to be, Sir, with all the respect which I 
owe to your character, your very humble and 
obedient servant, LASTERME. I beg you to pardon, 
at my age, the interlineations and other defects of 

Alms for the captives were collected not only 
in France but also in foreign countries, Holland, 
Germany, and Switzerland. The refugees who 
had found on a friendly soil peace, security, and 
religious liberty, did not forget their less fortunate 
brethren. The pulpits sent forth fervent prayers 
and eloquent appeals on behalf of the confessors 
suffering for the faith, and the lapse of time did 
not exhaust the charitable solicitude of their 
Christian brethren. 

It was not till 1775, at the beginning of Louis 


XYI.'s reign, that the galleys released their two 
last protestant prisoners, Antoine Bialle, a tailor, 
condemned for the offence of attending a religious 
meeting, and Paul Achard, for having concealed a 
minister from pursuit. These victims owed their 
deliverance to the active efforts of Court de Grebe- 
lin, the son of the illustrious Bastor Antoine Court. 
The learned author of " Le Monde Primitif " com- 
bined with his literary labours the functions of 
agent in Paris for the churches, and was thus able 
to render numerous and signal services to his 
fellow Protestants. 


But it was not men only who suffered for the 
persecuted Protestant Church. How many daugh- 
ters were torn from their mothers ! How many 
mothers torn from their children ! Corresponding 
to the convict prisons of Marseilles and Toulon, 
stands the dismal Tower of Constance, with its 

unfortunate prisoners There we shall find 

the same barbarity and the same courage. 

Near Aigues-Mortes, and at a little distance 
from the Mediterranean, rises the massy fort 
called the Tower of Constance ; it is 100 feet high 
and 200 feet in circumference. The interior forms 
two circular rooms, situated one above the other. 


An opening in the centre of the floor forms a 
communication between the upper and lower 
apartment. The former has also an aperture in 
the ceiling issuing upon the platform of the tower. 
Besides these two openings for air, the two rooms 
are only lighted by narrow loop-holes, pierced 
through the vast thickness of the walls. It is 
just possible to read there when the eye has been 
accustomed to this funereal twilight. Here lan- 
guished year after year unfortunate women who 
were nearly all apprehended, like the prisoners at 
the galleys, for the sole fact of being present at 
religious meetings. 

We possess a list of twenty-five protestant 
women who were prisoners there in 1754. This 
list, written by one of the unfortunate inmates, 
who had herself been detained there twenty-four 
years, is in a handwriting trembling and ill- 
formed but still legible ; we will give some of the 
particulars contained in it. 

Anne Saliege, daughter of the late Antoine 
Saliege, a labouring man, of the diocese of Mende, 
seized in her house by order of the King, on 
account of religion ; aged sixty-five years ; in 
prison since 1719. (Her captivity had lasted 
thirty-five years.) 

Marie Beraud, of the diocese of Yiviers, blind 
from four years of age, seized in her house by 
order of the King, on account of religion ; aged 
eighty years ; a captive since 1727. (This poor 


blind woman had been in prison twenty-seven 
years, haying been confined there when fifty-three 
years of age.) 

Madeleine Ninard, widow of Antoine Savanier, 
a master mason of the city of Nismes, seized for 
having attended a prayer meeting ; sixty-five 
years old; a captive since 1739. She has four 
daughters. (Here then is a widpw snatched away 
from her four daughters. Who took charge of 
these children thus doubly bereaved ? Doubtless 
they were committed to some convent, in order to 
be taught to curse the religion of their mother.) 

Anne Soleyrol, of the town of Alais, seized on a 
charge of having attended a prayer meeting. 
Removed to the convent of Mende; three years 
afterwards transferred to this Tower. (Young 
girls or women were sometimes first shut up in 
convents where they had to endure the solicitations 
of the Sisters. After they had resisted promises 
and threatenings, mildness and severity, which 
in certain cases went to the length of corporal 
punishment, when, in a word, they were judged 
obstinately incorrigible, they were put in prison 
for the remainder of their lives.) 

Marie Durand, to whom we owe this list of 
prisoners, was the daughter of the deceased 
Etienne Durand, consular notary, and had been 
arrested in her house in connexion with the minis- 
try of her brother, the Pastor Pierre Durand, 
executed at Montpellier the 22nd of April, 1732. 


The youthful Marie had been imprisoned at the 
age of fifteen ; she left the Tower of Constance 
after thirty- eight years of captivity. This dismal 
habitation had received her while yet a child, and 
did not release her till her declining days, less 
aged indeed by years than by detention in that 
gloomy abode where nearly all her life had been 

The celebrated Boissy d'Anglas, who when 
quite young had seen the interior of this dismal 
prison, described it to his children thus : "I have 
seen that Tower of Constance which may well in- 
spire you with lively interest : your mother's 
great-grandmother was shut up there when in a 
state of pregnancy, on the charge of having been 
to hear a sermon, and there gave birth to a daugh- 
ter from whom you are descended. Truly I have 
seen nothing calculated to make so deep an im- 
pression on the memory. It was about 1763. 
I was hardly seven years old ; my mother wished 
to visit those unfortunate sufferers for our religion, 
and took me with her : more than twenty-five 
prisoners were still there. The prison was com- 
posed of two circular apartments, one above the 
other ; the lower one received light from the 
upper by a round opening about six feet in dia- 
meter. The second room was lighted by a similar 
opening in the terrace which formed the roof. 
Around each apartment numerous beds were 
ranged for the prisoners. The fire was made in 


the centre, and the smoke could only escape by 
the same openings which served to admit air, and 
unfortunately wind and rain also. I saw that 
prisoner who was detained there thirty-eight years 
before the time of her release arrived. (Marie 
Durand.) The Butch Government and the Swiss 
Cantons were in the habit of sending assistance 
every year to her and the other prisoners. She 
was a very pious woman, full of intelligence and 
good sense, on account of which the other pri- 
soners held her in great respect, though many of 
them were older than herself, and the difference of 
age was the only circumstance to break the equa- 
lity of that terrible place" 

As Boissy d'Anglas remarked, Marie Durand, 
the daughter of a consular notary and sister of a 
minister, had enjoyed greater advantages of edu- 
cation than most of her companions in misfortune. 
She became, as it were, the agent, interpreter and 
secretary of the melancholy sisterhood. There 
exists a tolerably long correspondence which she 
carried on with Paul Rabaut, and in it may be 
found the reflection and echo as it were of her 
gloomy prison. By a singular contrast between 
the pitiless laws which still continued and the 
progress of opinion, it was permitted that Marie 
Durand should thus maintain communication with 
her Pastor, though he too was under a sentence of 
proscription still in force. We transcribe some 
passages from these letters : 


" Sir and very dear Pastor in Jesus Christ/' she 
wrote to Paul Rabaut in February, 1760, " I am 
much gratified that you received my letter with 
pleasure. It is a great delight to me that my 
Pastor, whom I respect and love very cordially, 
should deign to attend to what his captive sheep 
says to him. This kindness consoles me and helps 

me to bear my sufferings with patience I 

am greatly obliged to you, Sir and very dear 
Pastor, for the pious exhortation you have had 
the goodness to send me ; I will do my best to 
make use of it ; continue to me, if you please, your 
protection and your dear pastoral friendship, which 
I value far more than all the treasures of the 

" I have the honour to inform you," she wrote 
to B-abaut in 1762, "that many of my fellow- 
prisoners were obliged to run in debt in their ill- 
nesses last year, and that I was in the same con- 
dition. I must tell you in truth that then I owed 
twenty-five crowns. Now I do not owe so much, 
having paid fifty livres. But Grod knows what I 
have gone through for it ! All the summer I 
have done without a gown, apron, shoes, and other 
necessary things ; provided only 1 can get out of 
debt before leaving this cruel prison I shall be 
satisfied." Two years later: " Sir, very dear and 
much honoured Pastor, it is to you we have re- 
course ; it- is to your pastoral kindness I apply for 
a remedy to prevent an infection which is likely 


to spread among us In the name of the 

divine mercy, use every possible effort to rescue us 
from our frightful sepulchre. We are in urgent 

need of all the help you can give May Gfod 

bless you, worthy Sir, and your amiable family ; 
may He protect you all and accomplish by your 
beloved hands the great work of His most desired 
peace, and grant me the blessing of the sweetest 
satisfaction I desire in this world, next to the 
peace of the church, the great pleasure of 
seeing you. My most respectful salutations to 
all who are dear to you ; may you and the 
talent you have received from Heaven live again 
in them for ever. Burn my letter if you please. 
Have the goodness to pray for us, particularly 
for our sick ; the health of nearly all of us is 
much affected." 

At length, after so many years, the prisoner of 
the Tower of Constance was able to re- visit her 
early home, the house, which she found in ruins, 
the chestnut trees which shaded it, the scenes no 
detail of which had passed from her recollection. 
It is affecting to read the last letters of Marie 
Durand, in a feeble hand, but dated from her 
native village, whence she continued to write in 
the most touching manner to Paul Habaut, her 
" much honoured Pastor and generous benefactor." 
She complained that his letters did not come more 
frequently ; " they are very necessary to me, but 
they are very rare ; be liberal of them I entreat 


you." * She feelingly thanked her foreign bene- 
factors ; she sent forty livres to poor Chambon, 
"her companion in persecution/' whose octoge- 
narian arms had just been relieved from the chain 
of the galley-slave ; he had left Toulon, after 
thirty years of captivity, about the same time that 
she had quitted the Tower of Aigues-Mortes. It 
is consolatory to know that these two aged persons 
were permitted at length to die in peace, in the 
profession of that faith for which they had so long 


At this period ideas of tolerance were making 
rapid progress in the opinions and manners of 

* It would be interesting to have some specimen of Eabaut's 
part in this correspondence, or that with M. de Lasterme referred 
to above, exhibiting a different side of his character from that of 
the courageous preacher and champion of the truth. Our Author 
has not had it in his power to present us with such extracts : we 
are enabled, however, to give a letter written on another occasion, 
which, though in a fragmentary state, bears testimony to a heart 
capable of deep feeling and strong sympathy. It is written to a 
Pastor in Geneva, but without date, on occasion of the death jof 
two devoted friends of French Protestantism. The document gives 
also touching proof of the perpetual restraint and caution under 
which Eabaut's correspondence was carried on, lest, if intercepted, 
the mention of facts or names in connexion with himself or the 
churches might direct the researches of their persecutors. See 
Appendix, No. III. 


society, preparing the way for the proclamation of 
religious liberty. 

Paul Babaut pursued his evangelical labours in 
the midst of fewer exterior obstacles, and he was 
seconded in them by his eldest son, Babaut St. 
Etienne, who arrived from Lausanne in 1765, and 
was nominated Pastor at Nismes in the same year, 
at the age of twenty-two. His second son, Babaut- 
Pommier, was Pastor first at Montpellier, and 
afterwards at Paris. The third, Babaut-Dupuis 
or Babaut-Jeune, was a merchant in his native 

The condition of the Protestants now improved 
day by day. It was not, however, till 1780 that 
they obtained from the municipal authorities the 
use of a cemetery. They had long been obliged 
to bury their dead privately, either in the country, 
whither they transported by night the remains of 
those dear to them, or in their gardens, but always 
in secret. The greater part, in the towns at least, 
dug the graves of their family in their own cellars, 
and thus shielded the sacred relics of their children 
or their parents from the barbarous laws which 
still pursued them under the denomination of 

In 1785, Paul Babaut, at the age of sixty-seven, 
requested and obtained from the Consistory of 
Msmes an unlimited recess from his pastoral 
labours, a relief which was become necessary, less 
on account of his years than his advancing in- 


firmities. In fact, his life of agitation, privation, 
excessive fatigue, and incessant anxieties, had pre- 
maturely worn him out. In the sitting of the 6th 
of October, the Consistory of Nismes adopted the 
following statement and resolution, which do as 
much honour to the Church as to the Pastor of 
the Desert himself: 

" Considering that, during the course of his long 
ministry, M. Paul Rabaut has not ceased to mani- 
fest the united wisdom, virtues and zeal of a 
faithful minister of Jesus Christ, as he is depicted 
by the Apostle St. Paul: 'blameless, vigilant, 
sober, of good behaviour, apt to teach, not violent, 
not greedy of filthy lucre, but patient, not a 
brawler, not covetous, having a good report of 
them that are without ;' 

" That in the stormy times through which the 
church of Nismes Las passed, he has strengthened 
believers in the faith by his doctrine, maintained 
in patience and submission those whom the mis- 
fortunes of the times might have embittered, and 
inculcated on all the duties which the Gospel pre- 
scribes towards the sovereign and government 
established in the country ; 

" ^hat he has, in trying circumstances, shewn 
a firmness and immovable constancy truly Chris- 
tian, generously exposing his life to the most 
imminent perils for the welfare of his flock, so 
that he may be justly regarded as the apostle and 
restorer of the church of Nismes ; 


" That to Ms pastoral virtues lie has joined the 
qualities of a patriot and a citizen, healing divi- 
sions, reconciling diverse interests, promoting 
peace among all, and becoming the arbiter of 
differences even among our brethren the Roman 
Catholics ; 

" That the knowledge of his moderate, wise and 
prudent character acquired by the representatives 
of the royal authority in this province, has earned 
for him their esteem and confidence, and not a 
little contributed to the toleration we now enjoy ; 

" From all these considerations, the Consistory, 
wishing to testify to M. Paul Rabaut its just gra- 
titude, veneration and love, and to place him in a 
position to take care of his health, which his 
labours have impaired, has unanimously resolved 
to grant him full and entire liberty in regard to 
the exercise of his ministerial functions, con- 
tinuing to him notwithstanding during his life 
the same title, rights and income, he has hitherto 
enjoyed as Pastor of the church at JSTismes." 

At this period Rabaut, with the funds produced 
by the sale of some property which had belonged 
to Madame Graydan, his wife's mother, built a 
house for the shelter of- his old age. Numbers of 
his grateful people contributed to the erection of 
this dwelling, and the street in which it stands is 
still called by all the inhabitants of the town, La 
Rue de M. Paul, notwithstanding the official name 
of Rue Gretry imposed upon it by the municipal 


authorities. After the death of Rabaut, this house 
was purchased by a generous Protestant (who 
concealed his name) and given to the Society for 
Protestant Orphan Girls of the Department of 


In 1786, Rabaut St. Etienne received a visit 
from a young General already celebrated, the Mar- 
quis de Lafayette, lately returned from America. 
It appears beyond a doubt, from the correspond- 
ence of Lafayette with Washington, that the great 
man who founded the Republic of the United 
States, had solicited the French General, on his 
return to his country, to exert himself in favor 
of the unhappy Protestants. Lafayette heard St. 
Etienne preach in the Desert, and strongly urged 
him to go to Paris to plead the cause of his 
co-religionists. The Pastor yielded to these en- 
treaties, and laboured for a year to obtain the 
Edict of 1787, which had been previously desired 
and even prepared by Malesherbes and some other 
liberal statesmen. This edict, which the Protest- 
ants received with lively gratitude, granted them 
nothing more than a civil status, or the regular 
registration of their marriages, births, and deaths. 
There was no mention made in it of their meet- 


ings, nor of any thing which resembled liberty 
for their worship, or for the ministry of their 

And yet this edict could not be published with- 
out raising numerous and importunate complaints 
from the Catholic clergy. This might have been 
expected. The clergy had caused Louis XVI. at 
his coronation to take the ancient oath to exter- 
minate the heretics denounced by the Church, and 
Lomenie de Brienne, Archbishop of Toulouse, had 
said to the monarch : " Sire, you will reprobate 
the counsels of false peace, the principle of guilty 
tolerance. We entreat you, Sire, do not delay to 
deprive Error of the hope of having among us its 

temples and altars It is reserved for 

you to strike the last blow at Calvinism in your 
dominions. Order the dispersion of the schismatic 
assemblies of the Protestants ; exclude the secta- 
rians without distinction from all offices of public 
administration, and you will secure among your 
subjects the unity of true Christian worship." 
Six years later, in 1780, the general assembly of 
the clergy presented to the King a long memorial 
on the attempts of the Protestants. It complained 
that Heresy was rending the heart of the Church, 
" that tender and afflicted mother;" and asked for 
a return to the salutary and repressive measures 
adopted in the good times of Louis XIY. " For- 
merly," said the priests, "the religionists were 
rigorously excluded from offices, public employ- 


merits, and municipal posts ; now infringements 
of this rule are increasing. Formerly they held 
no religious meetings, now the holding of such 
meetings is notorious. Formerly they did not 
venture to dogmatize in public ; now every day 
is marked by some new insults cast upon our 
sacred rites and mysteries. It is our duty to con- 
fide our apprehensions to the religious and paternal 
heart of your Majesty. The source of the evil 
cannot be efficiently reached without the per- 
manent expulsion of foreign preachers, and the 
adoption of measures to prevent natives of the 
country from ever in future thrusting themselves 
into the functions of pretended pastors." 

Thus the exclusion of Protestants from all public 
offices, banishment of their pastors, dispersion of 
their assemblies, in a word, the execution of the 
most odious laws of Louis XIV. alone could satisfv 


the clergy. It is true that after. having presented 
these requests, the prelates added : " Nevertheless 
the stray sheep are our fellow-men, our fellow- 
citizens, our brethren, and, in a religious sense, 
even our children. We will still love and cherish 
them. Far from us be a single thought of violence 
or bloodshed." 

It is difficult to understand how the con- 
clusion of this memorial could accord with the 
premises, since it was an impossibility, as shown 
by the experience of more than a century, to pre- 
vent a million and a half of Frenchmen from 


exercising their worship, by any means short of 
extermination. " But/' we add with M. de Felice, 
"we will not let a word of bitterness escape us 
here. We will, on the contrary, express our com- 
miseration and our sympathy for these bishops 
and these priests. Alas ! how many of them were 
destined to perish in the storms of the Revolution. 
Their misfortunes excite our pity !" 

"We cannot, however, be much surprised at the 
intolerant language of the Catholic clergy. The 
Church of Rome could not promote true religious 
liberty without contradicting herself, and disown- 
ing a past history intimately connected with the 
infallibility to which she lays claim. Gregory XIII. 
manifested the unchangeable spirit of the papacy 
by ordering a Te Deum to be chanted in thanks- 
giving for the news of the St. Bartholomew 
Massacre, by testifying in various ways the ex- 
treme joy which he felt at that abominable 
butchery, and by issuing the famous medal which 
bears on one side the head and name of the Pope, 
and on the other an angel holding in his left hand 
the cross, and in his right a drawn sword with 
which he has smitten and killed the men and 
women whose bodies strew the ground around 
him ; and, lest the signification should not be 
understood, on the margin are inscribed the 
words : " Ugonotorum sir ages" Massacre of the 
Huguenots, 1572. 

A century later, another Pope also sang a Te 


Deum to celebrate the Revocation of the Edict of 
Nantes, and Bossuet, eloquently apologizing for 
the same Act of Revocation, exclaimed in his 
celebrated funeral oration for the Chancellor 
Letellier : " Let us not fail to publish this miracle 
of our days ; let us hand down the history of it to 
future ages. Take your consecrated pens, you who 
write the annals of the church ; hasten to put 
Louis-le- Grand side by side with Constanfcine and 

Theodosius Our fathers never saw, as we 

now see, an inveterate heresy suddenly destroyed ; 
the erring flocks returning in crowds, and our 
churches too small to receive them ; their false 
pastors abandoning them without even waiting for 
the command, and happy to be able to allege 
their banishment as an excuse (!). All has been 
calm in this great movement ; the world has been 
astonished to see in an event so new a certain 

proof of the noblest use of power Touched 

by so many marvels, let us pour out our hearts, 
.... let us raise our shouts to heaven, and let 
us say to this new Constantine, to this new 
Theodosius, to this new Marcian, to this new 
Charlemagne: 'You have established the faith; 
you have exterminated the heretics; it is the 
greatest work of your reign ; it is its true charac- 
teristic ! By your exertions heresy is no more. God 

alone could have wrought this miracle/ " 

On his return from Paris in 1788, St. Etienne 
preached at the promulgation of the Edict of 


Toleration, a discourse from these words : " Render 
unto Cassar the things which are Caesar's,, and unto 
God the things which are God's/' This sermon, 
aided doubtless by the circumstances of its delivery, 
produced an astonishing effect on the ten or fifteen 
thousand hearers who crowded round the son of 
Paul Rabaut to receive the authentic assurance of 
the happy change in their situation, and to return 
thanks to God for this first step in the path of 
religious liberty. After a period of seventy years, 
comprising two or three generations, this festival 
dav, and the sermon of Rabaut St. Etienne. are 

*> * * 

still talked of at Msmes. 


"We have now arrived at 1789, the year of the 
French Revolution. The city of Nisines, being 
called upon to elect eight deputies of the third 
estate, to represent it in that body which was 
soon to become the Constituent Assembly, nomi- 
nated in the first rank, Rabaut St. Etienne; a 
remarkable event, if we look back a few years, 
and if we remember that the great majority of the 
population of ISTismes were Romanists. There is 
reason to believe it was not without regret and 
apprehension that Paul Rabaut saw his son ex- . 
change even for a short time the functions of a 


pastor for those of a legislator, and his desert 
pulpit for the tribune and the impassioned agita- 
tion of political assemblies. However this may be, 
it was not long before Habaut St. Etienne dis- 
tinguished himself on this new theatre of action 
by the elevation and justice of his views, and by 
his simple but powerful eloquence. Many of the 
speeches delivered by him in * the Constituent 
Assembly are remarkable in thought and expres- 
sion. We will merely cite some fragments of his 
speech on the 23rd of August, 1789, in which he 
urged the Assembly to proclaim liberty of worship : 
" The non- Catholics,," said he, " received in the 
Edict of November, 1787, that which could not 
be refused them. Yes^ I repeat^ not without shame, 
that which could not be refused them ; and this is 
not a gratuitous inculpation, for these are the very 
words of the Edict. That law, more celebrated 
than just, fixes the forms of registration for 
their births, marriages, and deaths; it therefore 
acknowledges them as subjects, and permits them 
to exercise their professions, but that is all. It is 
thus, gentlemen, that France in the eighteenth 
century has preserved the practice of barbarous 
times, by dividing the nation into a favoured and a 
disgraced caste. The Protestants are still excluded 
from many advantages of society ; . . . proscribed 
for their thoughts, culpable for their opinions, 
they are deprived of the liberty of professing their 
religion ; ... in many provinces they are obliged 


to celebrate their worship in tlie desert, to conceal 
themselves, like criminals, from the tyranny of 
the law, or rather to render the law ridiculous in 
its injustice, by continually eluding and violating 
it. But at length there exists a Prench nation, 
and it is to her I appeal on behalf of two millions 
of useful citizens who now demand their rights as 
Frenchmen. I will not do her the injustice of 
thinking that she can pronounce the word Intoler- 
ance ; it is banished from our language, or it will 
only remain as one of those barbarous and obsolete 
words which are no longer used, because the idea 
they represent has passed into oblivion. But, 
gentlemen, it is not Toleration which I demand ; 
it is Liberty. Toleration ! Sufferance ! Pardon ! 
Clemency ! Ideas supremely unjust in regard to 
the dissidents so long as it shall be true that 
difference in religion, difference of opinion, is not 
a crime. Toleration \ I ask that it shall be in 
turn proscribed, and it will be so that unjust 
word which represents us only as citizens worthy 
of pity, or as culprits requiring pardon. Error 
is not crime : he who professes it takes it for 
truth ; it is truth to him ; he is under obligation 
to profess it, and no man, no society, has a right 
to forbid him. Ah ! gentlemen, in that partition 
of errors and truths which men deal out or appro- 
priate, where is he who would dare to assert that 
he is never deceived, that truth is always on his 
side and error always with others? I demand, 


then, for French Protestants, for all the non- 
Catholics of the kingdom, that which you demand 
for yourselves, liberty, equality of rights." The 
victory was not doubtful. The instructions of 
the electors to the greater part of the deputies 
required the abrogation of the exceptional laws 
which affected the dissidents. On the 23rd 
of August, 1789, the Revolution was consum- 
mated, the work of Louis XIV. was shattered, 
and all Frenchmen were equally recognised as 

The principles then advocated by Rabaut, as 
almost new, rapidly made their way ; and fifteen 
years later the presidents of the protestant con- 
sistories, when assembled before the Emperor 
Napoleon I. on the day of his coronation at Paris, 
December the 12th, 1804, heard from the lips of 
that monarch the following words, which placed 
on a firm basis the new ideas and the rights which 
flowed from them : "I wish it to be known that 
it is my intention and firm determination to main- 
tain liberty of worship : the empire of the law 
ends where the indefinite empire of conscience 
begins. Neither the law nor the prince has any 
power against that liberty. Such are my prin- 
ciples and those of the nation ; and if any one 
of my family who may succeed me should forget 
the oath which I have taken and, misled by the 
suggestions of an ill-informed conscience, should 
violate it, I devote him to public animadversion, 


and I authorize you to give him the name of 

On the 15th of March, 1790, the Constituent 
Assembly gave Rabaut St. Etienne a mark of 
their respect, and of the confidence they had in 
his talents and impartiality, by nominating him 
to the honourable post of President. The same 
day, writing to his father, he concluded his letter 
with these words : " The President of the National 
Assembly is at your feet." What must have been 
Paul Habaut's feelings on reading these words ! 
how forcibly his long remembrance of proscrip- 
tion must have risen before his mind, inciting to 
gratitude and thanksgiving ! 

The year 1792 was a happy one to the aged 
patriarch of the Desert. Religious liberty having 
been proclaimed, the consistory hired the church 
of the former Dominicans, or Preaching Friars, 
in the parish of Nismes, for the celebration of 
regular public worship. Paul Eabaut offered 
the dedication prayer, and closed the service by 
reading the song of Simeon, which, on account 
of his advanced age and infirmities, he applied 
to himself : 

" Laisse-moi desormais, 
Seigneur, aller en paix ; 
Car, selon ta promesse, 
Tu fais voir a mes yeux 
Le salut glorieux 
Q,ue j'attendais sans cesse." 


Thus translated in " A Chapter on Liturgies," 
by the Eev. 0. W. Baird. 

" Now let thy servant, Lord, 

At length, depart in peace ; 
According to thy word, 

My waiting soul release : 
For Thou my longing eyes hast spared 
To see thy saving grace declared." 

Babaut was then seventy-four years old; he 
had been Pastor at Msmes for forty-four years, 
and this was the first time he had seen his church 
assembled in a large and public edifice. No one, 
therefore, was surprised to see him shed tears of 
gratitude and joy on this solemn occasion. But 
he had yet more to suffer before entering into 
his rest. 


The years 1793 and 1794 were disastrous to 
Paul Babaut as well as to all France. His two 
elder sons, members of the National Convention, 
had made themselves conspicuous by their oppo- 
sition to Bobespierre and the tyranny of the 
Sections. On the trial of the King, particularly, 
Babaut St. Etienne declared with vehemence 
against the competence of the assembly. His 


conduct on this occasion was full of energy and 
courage. "Yet one week," said he to his col- 
leagues, " one week only, and the judgment of 
ages will begin to be pronounced upon you, when 
neither tardy reflection, nor vain regret, nor use- 
less endeavours to retrace the past will be able to 
shield you from that weight of public opinion, the 
nature of which is to increase, to grow, and at 
length to overwhelm those who have accumulated 
it on their heads." Then, with a gesture of 
righteous indignation, he cried, " For myself, I 
acknowledge I am tired of my share of despotism ; 
I am wearied, harassed, tormented by the tyranny 
in which I bear a part, and I long for the time 
when you shall have formed a national tribunal 
which shall rid me of the manners and counte- 
nance of a tyrant." All his efforts were useless. 

When the competence of the assembly had 
been admitted, and the King declared guilty, he 
disputed, step by step, with his adversaries every 
slighter chance of safety ; he voted for the appeal 
to the people, and after the rejection of that pro- 
position he joined those who, to the number of 
two hundred and eighty, demanded the King's 
detention in custody and banishment on the con- 
clusion of peace. The majority of the Convention 
rendered homage to his conduct by calling him, 
on the 23rd of January, 1793, to the presidential 
chair, as successor to Yergniand. 

It was not long, however, before the two 


Eabauts were proscribed for their political opi- 
nions. St. Etienne was condemned to death, with 
the great party of the Girondins, with which his 
principles had identified him : a writ was also 
issued for the arrest of Rabaut Pommier ; both 
however were enabled by flight to elude the exe- 
cution of the decrees against them, and found an 
asylum in a house of the Faubourg Poissonniere, 
belonging to one of their fellow-citizens of Nismes, 
a generous Roman Catholic, to whom their father 
had formerly had an opportunity of rendering 
some service. But the carpenter who constructed 
the hiding place where they were secreted had the 
imprudence, or the baseness, to speak of this mys- 
terious closet before Fabre d'Eglantine, the too 
celebrated secretary of Danton, who hastened to 
denounce the fact to the police. A domiciliary 
visit was made, at first without result ; the officers 
were about to leave the very room where the pre- 
sence of the two captives was so skilfully concealed, 
when the sound of a repeating watch, made to 
strike the hours without being touched by the 
hand, betrayed the place of their retreat. They 
were immediately arrested. Rabaut Pommier was 
committed to the Conciergerie, where he was for- 
gotten till the death of Robespierre, an event 
which opened the doors of his prison. But St. 
Etienne, who had been outlawed, died the next 
day upon the scaffold. Such was the early and 
tragical fate of a man whose whole life had been 


animated by the desire of helping the unfor- 
tunate and pleading the cause of all that were 

And now churches and temples were involved 
in one common hatred to give place to the worship 
of Reason, and were all closed, that of the Pro- 
testants of Msmes like the rest. By the same 
decree of a representative of the Terrorist party, 
all Priests and Protestant Ministers were com- 
manded to remove within a week to a distance of 
twenty leagues from their churches, on pain of 
being considered suspected persons. Paul E-abaut, 
not having removed from his church, was dragged 
to prison. As his infirmities did not allow of his 
walking he was taken on an ass to the citadel, 
amidst the insults of the mob. During his youth 
and his mature age, he had been persecuted, 
tracked from place to place, menaced with death a 
thousand times by the despotism of an absolute 
monarchy ; and now, in his enfeebled old age, we 
see him the butt of the persecutions and outrages 
of another despotism quite as hateful as the 
former, that of the lawless multitude. He had 
known before the violence of superstition, he 
now experienced that of impiety. After some 
months, however, in consequence of a sudden 
change of parties in the capital, he was restored 
to liberty. 

He had suffered much while in prison. The 
death of his eldest son had been a sore affliction ; 


lie had been for some time a widower and infirm ; 
his second son was in the Oonciergerie ; the third 
was in exile, having emigrated during the reign 
of Terror. After returning to his desolated home 
and putting his affairs in order, he Collected his 
soul before his God and entered into rest, by a 
death simple as his life had been ; that is to say 
firm and assured, though without any remarkable 
or striking utterances ; by one of those peaceful 
but silent deaths which have terminated the career 
of many eminent servants of God. He had passed 
seventy-seven years on earth, the greater part of 
which were years of agitation, of forced conceal- 
ment from the tyranny of persecution. 

On viewing the close of such a life, to which 
no funeral oration can do justice, we will only 
cite the words of the sacred writer: "Blessed 
are the dead which die in the Lord, for they 
rest from their labours and their works do follow 

After the fatigue and hardship so long endured 
in the service of Jesus Christ, with what joy 
would he hear those words : " Well done, good 
and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of 
thy Lord ! " 

We can add no reflections to this narrative. 
It speaks sufficiently by itself of faith, of charity, 
of patience, of courage, of obedience to duty, of 
devotedness to God. 

In this career of self-renunciation, what an 


amount of good did one man accomplish during 
the fifty years of his active ministry ! 

May we all learn from the example now set 
before us afresh, to be ever faithful to the truth, 
courageous and persevering in well-doing, strong 
in that calm energy which alone is durable, and 
which only can accomplish things truly great. 



No. I. 

THE following account is derived from a periodical 
published at Lausanne.* It is probably a sample of many 
affecting family histories, which the events following 
the Revocation of the Edict of JNantes might furnish, 
could their details be fully known. The interest of the 
narrative will form an apology for its insertion. 


One of the most considerable families in Languedoc 
during the seventeenth century was that of the Marquis 
de Eochegude, connected with the noble house of Barjac. 
At the time of the persecution, the eldest son of the old 
Marquis was arrested by order of the King, Louis XIY., 
in the Chateau of Eochegude, and exiled to Yiviers 
(Ardeche), where he had to contend with the mis- 
sionaries who vainly endeavoured to convert him to 
Popery. Irritated by his firm resistance to all their 
arguments, his adversaries sought other means of con- 
version. He was thrown into prison at Aigues-Mortes, 
in the Tower of Constance, afterwards noted as the 
place of custody for so many Protestant women. His 
health soon failing from his residence in that melancholy 
abode, he was transferred to the citadel of Montpellier, 
and subsequently to the prison of Pierre- Cise, where it 

* " Le Chretien Evangelique an. XlXme Sitiele," edited by the Author of 
the " Trois Stances," in conjunction with another minister of the Free 
Church of the Canton de Vaud. 



seemed likely he would remain for life, as that pro- 
vincial bastille was then appropriated to prisoners of 

This rigorous captivity, which he bore with noble 
fortitude and Christian fidelity, was further embittered 
by anxiety respecting his family, of whose fate he was 
ignorant. His two sons were in the hands of the Jesuits 
at Eeaucaire, his two young daughters had been taken 
away from their mother and placed in a convent at 
Bagnols (Gard), and his wife had been obliged to flee 
to the mountains and conceal herself in the garb of a 
shepherdess. His brother, Jacques de Hochegude, to 
whom we are indebted for this narrative, was with the 
army in Alsace, serving under General Monclar, who 
endeavoured, by the allurement of promotion, to induce 
him to change his religion. Having failed in this 
attempt, the General received an order to arrest him in 
the following terms : " The King gives to such and such 
persons a pension of 1000 livres and the assurance of 
the first vacant regiment. But as to de liochegude, 
who persists in his obstinacy, the King commands you 
to send him to prison at Landscroon till further orders." 

" I am ready to obey ;" replied the brave officer, with 
the chivalrous loyalty of his order ; "to prison and to 
death if the King so wills : the King is master !" 

Being conducted to Landscroon by a strong escort, 
the prisoner was the next day confronted with some 
monks whom he dismissed, he tells us, with very few 
words : " ' Gentlemen,' said I, ' I know your religion and 
mine : I am here to suffer and not to dispute : retire, 
you. have nothing to do with me.' I have always found 
it well to be frank with people of that sort, and to 
deprive them at once of all hope." 

Three months after, Jacques de Eochegude was re- 
moved to Fort St. Andre, near Salins, and consigned 
by the Commander La Barthe to a dark prison, where 
he was ill lodged and poorly fed. Among other hard- 


ships, he states that he was not allowed to be shaved 
for fourteen months, at the end of which time a pair of 
scissors was given him for the purpose, and taken away 
a few days after. But God had prepared a precious 
solace for the worst period of his captivity. Three 
gentlemen of Poitou, like himself, steadfast confessors of 
the truth, having been transferred from the prisons of 
Pierre- Cise to Fort St. Andre, were placed in an apart- 
ment adjoining that of de Bochegude, and divided from 
it only by a plaster partition. Hardly had they entered 
their cell when these faithful disciples of Jesus began to 
sing joyfully the 34th Psalm. 

" Jamais ne cesserai 
De magnifier le Seigneur." 

" I will never cease to magnify the Lord." 

" This song," says the narrator, "was to me a sweet 
melody, a balm that rejoiced and strengthened my heart. 
My joy was still greater when, on tapping the wall, 
these brave soldiers of the cross approached. 

" * Gentlemen,' said I, ' you are of the Eeligion ; you 
may be known by your language.' 

" ' Yes,' said they, ' by the grace of God.' 

" ' And I also, by the same grace,' I replied. They 
asked my name. 

" ' What,' said they, ' are you the brother of the 
Marquis de Eochegude whom we have left in Pierre- 
Cise ? ' 

" ' He is my brother.' My heart was overwhelmed 
with the tidings. 

" ' He gave us, at hazard, a letter for you, not know- 
ing where you were.' 

" They pushed it through the plaster. I knew the 
writing at once. ineffable goodness ! God, how 
many are thy marvellous kindnesses to me ! This letter 
was a great comfort to me, and the manner in which it 


was brought made me admire how Providence finds 
means of uniting, even through prison walls, those who 
seemed to be for ever separated." 

This was not the only benefit that de Rochegude 
received from his neighbours. As they were permitted 
to prepare their own porridge, they managed to convey 
through the wall by a tube what the poor prisoner, so 
ill fed by his jailer, called an excellent soup. " They 
were," he gratefully says, his "nursing fathers" till 
his release from prison. This took place in consequence 
of a royal order, which was rather remarkable. " The 
King commands that the prisoners who have not changed 
(their religion) shall be set free, and those detained 
in custody who, after having changed, have been taken 
in the act of leaving the kingdom." On which de 
Rochegude makes this very just reflection : " Their 
design in changing was to avoid a prison, and by that 
very change they have brought upon themselves impri- 
sonment and many other troubles. There is nothing 
in such cases but to do one's duty and leave the event 
to God." 

As the liberated captive was on the point of departure, 
the Commander, La Barthe, with some confusion, en- 
deavoured to make excuses for the manner in which 
he had treated him. " I have forgotten every thing, 
Sir," replied de Rochegude, " both names and things. 
Believe that if I had an opportunity of doing you a 
service, I should do it as heartily as I say so. His 
counterfeit humility, after his haughty airs, called to 
my mind that beautiful expression of Scripture, (for 
the Scripture must needs be fulfilled,) ' Through the 
greatness of thy power shall thine enemies be found 
liars unto thee.' " (Ps. Ixvi. 3. Martin's Yersion.) 

Leaving St. Andre, in consequence of this order of 
the King, " or rather of the King of Kings," observes 
the pious narrator, " for it was the work of God," 
de Rochegude and his three fellow-prisoners were con- 


ducted to Yerrieres, on the frontier of Switzerland, 
where the police officer left them. Prom thence our 
traveller proceeded to the Pays de Yaud. On arriving 
at Morges he observed in the street a man on horseback, 
on whom his eyes were instantly fixed : it was his 
own brother, released like himself by the royal mandate 
from his prison at Pierre-Cise. " He recognised me," 
says the happy de Eochegude, " stopped, and instantly 
dismounted. We embraced one another tenderly, each 
saying, ' By the grace of God I am come out, giving 
glory to Him.' What was our joy at that meeting ! 
It cannot be described. To what St. Paul said of the 
sufferings of the present time, that they ' are not worthy 
to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed,' 
may be added, with the joys which they give in the 
present time, even in the midst of the greatest suffer- 
ings for Christ. These joys are so great that they must 
have been felt to be understood ; those who feel them 
not understand nothing that is said of them, and those 
who feel them know more than can be told. They are 

Another happy meeting awaited the elder brother, 
His wife, who had been discovered under her rustic 
disguise soon after the arrest of her husband, had been 
consigned to a convent at Kismes. There too her 
fidelity to the Gospel had led to her deliverance. As 
the Bishop came one day to visit the nuns, the Abbess 
said to him, " Take away that lady, or she will make all 
the convent huguenot." The remark had a happier 
effect for Madame de Eochegude than the Abbess 
doubtless intended. An order soon after came to set 
her at liberty, and she was transported in a litter to 
Geneva. Prom thence she proceeded to Yevey, where 
she had the great delight of meeting her husband, and 
they rejoiced and thanked God together that they had 
each come out by the right door, that is, without having 
quailed before persecution. Madame de Eochegude, 


like tier husband and brother, had been released in one 
of those rare intervals when the severity of Louis XIY. 
somewhat abated, and he allowed the penalty of impri- 
sonment to be changed into exile in the case of those 
whom it was impossible to constrain or allure to a 
recantation of their faith. 

But the re-united husband and wife were not without 
causes of bitter sorrow and anxiety. Their four children 
were left behind, in that furnace of affliction and tempta- 
tion the horrors of which they so well knew, and their 
faith had long to wait for complete deliverance. 

"When the two sons had completed their studies under 
the tuition of the Jesuits, they returned to the family 
seat at Hochegude, and their parents found means of 
communicating with them through the medium of 
friends. It was some time however before their letters 
produced the effect desired. The young men felt 
strongly the attractions of the world on first leaving 
college. At length, without venturing to inform, his 
brother of the important step he was taking, the 
younger son left for Switzerland and joined his parents.- 
But they were soon after called to mourn over his early 
death, though they were enabled to rejoice that this 
son, " whom they had a second time begotten," had 
exchanged the earthly asylum of the protestant exile v 
for the eternal refuge in the bosom of his Saviour. 
Charles, the elder son, though touched by this event, 
still remained in France, hesitating between heaven 
and earth. Young, handsome, affluent, flattered by 
those in power, who sought to retain him by the pro- 
spect of military rank and an advantageous matrimonial 
connection, he was surrounded by very dangerous seduc- 
tions. Grace however conquered : the prayers of his 
father and mother were heard and answered. Breaking 
loose from all the bonds which detained him, young de 
Eochegude one day set out, without a passport, to join 
his parents and, leaving all his wealth and worldly 


prospects behind him, cast in his lot with the people of 
God in poverty and exile. We may imagine the sacred 
joy and thankfulness with which the parental arms 
embraced this son also, receiving him as a brand plucked 
out of the fire. 

But the family circle was not yet complete. Two 
daughters were still detained in the convent at Bagnols, 
where they continued fourteen years before their, de- 
liverance could be accomplished. Snatched from a 
mother's care at a very early age, the poor children 
could only have communication with their parents by 
means of a devoted friend, who managed this secret 
intercourse for them without exciting suspicion. We 
again borrow from their uncle's narrative. 

" The Abbess permitted them now and then to go 
and see a near relative in the town, but not without 
putting them under the care of an attendant, whom she 
ordered by no means to leave them, and to bring them 
back speedily. One day, when the Abbess was in the 
parlour much occupied, they came to ask permission to 
go and see their relative. The Abbess happily forgot 
at the moment to send for a person to take charge of 
them. 'Go,' said she, 'and. ta]ie your attendant.' 
They lost not a moment in equipping themselves, and 
fled to their faithful friend, who immediately set out 
with them in a return carnage to Nismes. On arriving 
there they went, without letting the muleteer know, to 
the house of a lady who had a great affection for their 
family, and who received them with joy. They re- 
mained concealed at her house all the next day. The 
Abbess, however, alarmed at their continued absence, 
made enquiry for them in the town, and, finding that 
they had taken the road to JSTismes, sent a messenger 
that very night to the Bishop to inform him of what 
had happened. The prelate caused a domiciliary search 
to be made, and the house in which they were staying 
was visited. The lady, without being disconcerted, had 


all the doors set open, at the same time giving a secret 
order that the young ladies should go down into a well 
near the house, which was dry and shallow. They 
entered, and the well was closed up with four planks. 
The elder, seeing a toad at the bottom of the well, said, 
1 Ah, Sister, there is a had omen.' The other, treading 
on the creature, replied, ( "Well, Sister, there is the 
omen averted.' This is mentioned as showing the 
courage of the two girls. After the official visitors had 
left, they were brought out of the well, and the next 
morning were sent off on horseback under the care of 
a trusty guide, dressed as peasants, in company with 
the young lady who had so well directed them. They 
proceeded safely to Geneva ; from thence to Yevey, to 
their father's house, without making themselves known. 
The mother was the first to recognise her younger 
daughter. 'There is our dear child!' said she to her 
husband, in a transport of joy. 'Here is the other!' 
added the elder, throwing herself on her mother's neck. 
They .embraced each other without speaking: great 
joys like great sorrows admit of few words. All the 
town flocked to the house to testify their share in our 
joy. It was great, and still greater when the father 
and mother perceived that neither the mind nor heart 
of their daughters had been injured. ' He who is 
born of God,' says St. John, ' the wicked one toucheth 
him not.' " 

"We can hardly read this account without being struck 
by the proof it affords of the earnestness with which 
family religious training was pursued by the French 
Protestants of that period. That parental Christian 
influence should have produced at so early an age an 
impression which the following years of education by 
Jesuit teachers were unable to efface, is a fact from 
which instruction might be drawn for our own times. 

The aged grandfather, the Marquis de Eochegude, 
had formed part of the refugee household, and probably 


entered into his rest before the arrival of the two girls, 
as the archives of Yevey make mention of the decease 
of Messire de Barjac Seigneur de Kochegude, with an 
order for funeral honours to be paid to him, in 1695. 
Dates are omitted in the uncle's narrative, probably to 
avoid compromising any persons who might have aided 
the escape of the captives. The Marquis and his son 
were enrolled as citizens of their adopted country, and 
the family seem to have been held in high esteem. At 
their house met, every month, the assembly which 
deliberated on the affairs of the refugees at Yevey, and 
provided for the relief of the poor among them. The 
resources however which remained to the Marquis out 
of the wreck of his fortune appear to have been very 
inconsiderable. The family estate, after being con- 
fiscated by the King, was conferred upon an aunt of 
the exiles, who obtained the unworthy reward by 
abjuring the Reformed Eeligion. 

The narrative from which the above facts are chiefly 
taken was published in London, in 1715, at the request 
of an English gentleman, and dedicated to the Earl of 
Galway, a friend and benefactor of the refugees. Prom 
this circumstance it appears that the author was at the 
time under the protection of the King of England. He 
seems previously to this period to have been employed 
in negotiations with some of the Protestant courts of 
Germany, for the establishment of the refugees in that 
country, as they had become too numerous in Switzer- 
land. De Kochegude mentions with great simplicity 
these semi-diplomatic missions, and declares that he had 
pleaded for religion at the Protestant Courts, but had 
in no way meddled with affairs of state or war, and had 
never spoken against the King of France, whom he had 
always served with fidelity. " It is my consolation," 
he says, "to think that His Majesty has nothing to 
reproach me for, except in connection with my attach- 
ment to the Eeligion." 


The two sisters, the last surviving memhers of 
the family at Yevey, both died in the course of the 
year 1739. 

No. II. 

THE reader who desires to know with what degree of 
vividness and power the truths of the Gospel were 
preached among these suffering Christians, will pro- 
bably have been disappointed by the scantiness in these 
respects of the extract given in the text, and will long 
for one of Paul Habaut's own warm and full discourses. 
The Translator is very happy in being able, through 
the kind courtesy of M. Athanase Coquerel, Junior, to 
supply this deficiency, and introduce here an original 
sermon by the Pastor of the Desert, prepared or com- 
pleted, August 31st (Friday), 1753, for a communion 
service, probably on the ensuing Sabbath. 

We may imagine the interest with which hearers such 
as Eabre or de Lasterme would, with their families, 
press around the preacher and listen to the words of 
life ; we may see the table spread in the wilderness 
with the sacramental bread and wine, bearing witness 
to the peace and security of the Gospel feast ; but also 
the scouts posted on the neighbouring eminences, to 
whose vigilance is entrusted the safety of the vast 
assembly, that the holy festival be not changed into a 
massacre. After the song of praise and the reading of 
the Scriptures, the Minister comes forward, the well- 
known and much-enduring man in his preaching gown, 
for there shall be no hurry or disorder in his appearance 
before God and his people and ascends the rude pulpit 
prepared for him. He is about thirty-five years of age, 
short in stature, his complexion dark, his demeanour 
grave and calm; but how many in that congregation 


have had experience of his kindly manner, his large 
sympathy, his patient instruction, as well as witnessed 
his unflinching courage ! After a prayer, the " fervour 
and unction" of which have "penetrated every hosom 
and disposed hearts the least prepared to listen to the 
sermon," * he opens the sacred volume and gives out 
his text : 

"If any man thirst, let him come unto Me and drink." 
JOHN vii. 37. 

" "Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out 
her seven pillars ; she hath killed her beasts, she hath 
mingled her wine, she hath also furnished her table. 
She hath sent forth her maidens, she crieth upon the 
highest places of the city, Whoso is simple, let him turn 
in hither : as for him that wanteth understanding, she 
saith. to Mm, Come, eat of my bread, and drink of the 
wine which I have mingled ; forsake the foolish and live, 
and go in the way of understanding." PEOV. ix. 1 6. 
It is thus, my brethren, that Solomon represents Divine 
Wisdom as speaking. Under the image of a splendid 
feast prepared in a magnificent house, she invites sin- 
ners who are running after the vanities of the world, 
and seeking happiness in them, to leave those foolish 
paths which lead them away from their object, and to 
seek in religion that solid good which it alone can 
secure. Here is found the house of the Living God 
built on the rock, the foundations of which tempests 
and storms cannot shake. Here God prepares his table, 
offers the richest provisions, not the meat which pe- 
risheth, but that which endures to everlasting life. The 
hunger and thirst of the soul are here satisfied ; there 
are sublime truths for the intellect, ineffable consola- 
tions for the heart, infallible directions for the conduct, 
and complete felicity for the ages of eternity. Who 

* See " History of the Protestants of France," by M. de Felice, page 421. 
English Translation. 


would not then, lend an ear to the tender and loving 
invitations of eternal wisdom ? 

These invitations relate to us, my brethren ; they are 
addressed to us still more directly than to the Jews. 
Jesus Christ, the Author and Finisher of our faith, the 
High Priest of the new covenant, is Himself the Eternal 
Wisdom of the Father. In Him are " all the treasures 
of wisdom and knowledge " which were formerly hidden. 
It is He who has been made of God unto us "wisdom, 
righteousness, sanctification, and redemption." It was 
by the Spirit of Christ that Solomon and the other pro- 
phets spoke ; but it was revealed to them that it Was 
not for themselves but for us that they ministered the 
things which have been preached to us. Brought up in 
his school, enlightened by his doctrine, called by his 
name, invited to his table, destined to possess his glory, 
it is to us that Divine Wisdom addresses itself. The 
Lord invites us to eat abundantly of the rich provisions 
of his house, and to drink of the river of bliss. Having 
come into the world to save sinners, He addresses him- 
self first to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. What 
did that Good Shepherd leave undone to lead them to 
his fold, that they might feed in the green pastures ? 
With what earnestness did He seize opportunities of 
proclaiming to .them the truths of salvation ! The feast 
of Pentecost having arrived, He wished to take advantage 
of that solemnity, which would draw many Jews to 
Jerusalem, to exhort them anew to believe in Him. It 
was the last and most solemn day of the feast when 
Jesus, standing up, said to them with a loud voice, 
" If any man thirst, let him come unto Me and drink." 
The same voice addresses us to-day, my brethren. 
Jesus speaks to you in the Gospel, He speaks to you by 
our ministry, by the sacred symbols of his body and 
blood placed on that table, and which are not only 
signs, but also seals, pledges, of those inestimable bless- 
ings with which He desires to enrich your souls ; and 


by all these different voices He cries to you, "If any 
man thirst, let him come unto Me and drink." Let us 
endeavour to understand better what our Saviour here 
says, and to penetrate more deeply into his meaning; 
and for this purpose let us see in the first place who 
are the persons He invites those who thirst ; and in 
the second place what He prescribes for them to come 
unto Him and drink. Lord Jesus, who art to-day 
knocMng at our doors, grant that, attentive to Thy 
voice, we may open our hearts to Thee that we may 
sup with Thee and Thou with us. Amen ! 

I. One can never have read the Holy Scriptures to 
be ignorant that the sacred writers frequently employ 
figurative modes of speech, and in particular that they 
represent the spiritual graces destined to secure the 
happiness of the soul, under the emblem of the aliments 
which serve for the nourishment of the body. And by 
a consequence of the same figure, the search after spi- 
ritual blessings is represented as hunger and thirst. 
"Ho, every one that thirsteth," saith the Lord by 
Isaiah, " come ye to the waters, and he that hath no 
money, come ye buy and eat, &c." Isaiah Iv. 1, 2, 3, &c. 
We find the same figures in many places in the pro- 
phets ; Jesus Christ himself often used them, and espe- 
cially in his conversation with the woman of Samaria. 
There he represents his grace as living water, as an 
inexhaustible fountain which springs up into everlasting 
life ; and in our text, " If any man thirst, let him come 
unto Me and drink." 

All this, my brethren, is not difficult to understand. 
Every one knows what are the properties of water. It 
serves to quench the thirst or to cleanse the body; now 
here is a sensible image of the virtue, the divine efficacy 
of the doctrine of the Lord, which calms the anxieties 
of the soul, which puts it at its ease, if I may so express 
myself, which consoles it, purifies it from pollutions 


and sins, and washes it white in the blood of the Lamb ; 
which, in a word, supplies all its necessities and fulfils 
all its obligations. But to experience the virtue of the 
health-giving waters of grace there must be a soul 
athirst. Jesus Christ only offers them to those who are 
thirsty. What means this thirst? In what does it 
consist? As a man parched with drought desires to 
quench his thirst, and has no rest till he has allayed 
the fever which is consuming him, so a sinner, who 
feels his misery and corruption, who knows the danger 
of this condition, earnestly desires to escape from it, to 
be reconciled to God, and is not satisfied until he has 
attained his end. It is this which Jesus Christ calls 
hungering and thirsting after righteousness. These are 
the weary and heavy laden sinners whom He invites to 
come to Him, and to whom He promises rest. But it is 
of too much consequence to us to know what this state 
is, for us to rest in these generalities ; in order to define 
in detail all that this spiritual thirst imports, we will 
mention three things : First, a deep conviction of 
wretchedness; Secondly, an ardent desire for deliver- 
ance ; Thirdly, the seeking and employing the means 
which may lead to this end. 

I say, Eirst, a deep conviction of wretchedness. It is 
a lamentable situation in which sinners are, who walk 
in the ways of their heart and in the sight of their eyes, 
who, the slaves of sin, obey their passions rather than 
the voice of the Sovereign Ruler, and neglect to enlighten 
their minds, to sanctify their hearts, to regulate their 
lives by the laws of religion, and thus labour after per- 
fection and happiness. What shall be said of such 
sinners ? They are ingrates who insult their benefactor, 
who, far from being sensible of his kindness, and mak- 
ing a good use of it, treat it with indifference, trample 
it under foot, use it only to offend Him, and turn his 
grace into lasciviousness. They are rebels who shake 
off the yoke of the most rightful of sovereigns, the 


tenderest of fathers, who declare themselves enemies 
of God in their thoughts, and by their wicked works. 
They are traitors who violate the most sacred engage- 
ments, the most binding promises, the most solemn oaths. 
They are hardened sinners on whom the strongest mo- 
tives of religion make no impression, who are insensible 
to the beauty of its precepts, to the sweetness of its pro- 
mises, to the terror of its threatenings, and to the judg- 
ments which the Lord is preparing for them. They are 
madmen who listen not to reason, who follow no rule, 
who run headlong to perdition. As certainly as there 
is a God, holy, just, and good, who detests and punishes 
crime, who loves and recompenses virtue, so incon- 
testable is it that the sinners we have just described 
are the objects of his indignation and wrath, that it 
is to them his threatenings refer, that it is to them 
He has said, After your hardness and impenitent heart 
you. treasure up unto yourselves " wrath against the 
day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judg- 
ment of God, who will render to every man according 
to his deeds ;" that it is for them, finally, that the fires 
of hell are kindled. It is very deplorable to be in such 
a state, but it is still more deplorable to be in it and not 
to feel it ; to be ignorant of the peril which it incurs. 
This was the terrible situation of the angel, that is the 
pastor, of the church of Laodicea. He said, " I am rich 
and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; " 
he knew not that he was " wretched, and miserable, 
and poor, and blind, and naked." How many sinners 
are there who resemble him, who think themselves in a 
state of grace while they are in a state of sin, who 
regard themselves as friends of God though they are 
his enemies, who say to themselves, " Peace, while there 
is no peace." Of all the situations in which a sinner 
can be found, there is none more dangerous than this. 
A sick man, however dangerous may be his disease, 
will not have recourse to the remedy if he imagines 


himself to be in health. In the same way, a sinner 
who believes himself to be in a good state will not desire 
a change ; not knowing his spiritual diseases, he will 
not seek for a remedy. In vain will the threatenings 
of Almighty God be sounded in his ears, he will not be 
afraid of them, because he does not believe himself to 
be of the number of those to whom they are addressed, 
In vain may a deluge of calamities burst over his head, 
he will remain in his obduracy, because he will not 
understand that God is desirous to correct him, and to 
lead him to repentance. 

He, then, who does not feel his misery will not thirst 
for the health-giving waters of grace ; for the first step 
he must take to experience this spiritual thirst is to 
know his sins, to understand how hateful they are to 
God, how dangerous to the soul, and most bitterly to 
repent of them. You who have experienced the bitter- 
ness of repentance, describe to us your remorse, your 
agitation, your alarm. "What confusion at the sight of 
so much insult offered to the Divine Majesty by your 
thoughts, by your words, by your actions ! "What/^r 
in considering that you have often exposed your soul to 
become the prey of the flames of hell, to be separated 
from the Blessed God, for ever the victim of his venge- 
ance, for ever given up to its own despair! "What 
regret to have shown yourselves so ungrateful towards 
your Heavenly Father, to have so little esteemed his 
benefits, to have resisted his invitations, abused the 
riches of his patience and long-suffering, to have for- 
saken Him, the fountain of living waters, and hewed 
out for yourselves broken cisterns that can hold no 
water. Such are the reflections which strike down a 
sinner, which bear consternation and terror into his 
soul. Thus he will be made to know his wretchedness, 
his unworthiness, to see how far he is separated from 
God, and how justly he deserves condemnation and 
eternal death. What can result from this, my brethren, 


if not an ardent desire to remedy these evils, to escape 
from this condition ? Who would be so much his own 
enemy as to be satisfied with a situation so painful, and 
risking such terrible consequences ? "What ! a man 
know that he is at war with God and not labour to be 
reconciled to Him ! Be subject to condemnation and 
eternal death, and not eagerly seek the revocation of 
that sentence ! On the edge of a precipice, and not wish 
that a charitable hand should withdraw him and pre- 
vent his fall ! Ah ! when one knows with what goodness 
God receives sinners who return to Him, what are the 
joys found in communion with Him, what are the pre- 
cious blessings with which He loads his children, both 
in this life and in the next, one cannot but desire to 
be introduced into his holy habitation, to be fed with 
the provisions of his table. See in the prodigal son a 
picture of those sinners who are escaping from their 
wretchedness, who are seeking to be delivered from it. 
" How many," said he, " of the hired servants of my 
father have bread enough and to spare, and I perish 
with hunger ! I will arise and go unto my father and 
will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against Heaven 
and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called 
thy son : make me as one of thy hired servants." 

[Finally, it is not sufficient to feel our misery, to 
wish to be delivered from it ; we must use the means 
which may lead to this end. It is this especially which 
distinguishes true from false repentance; the apparent 
penitent may feel some regret for having sinned, and 
some wish to obtain pardon and change his conduct ; 
but the desire for reformation is weak, it is merely a 

good inclination; he says, "I am willing, but : " 

he does not seriously put his hand to the work ; he has 
more love for evil than for good. The true penitent sees 
nothing so hateful as the sins for which conscience 
reproaches him, nothing more dangerous than the con- 
ditori in which he finds himself: he has nothing so much 


at heart as to be reconciled to God, and therefore he 
neglects no means to accomplish it. Fervent prayers, 
reading, pious meditation, flight from places and persons 
that have caused him to stumble, diligent study of his 
own heart in order to fortify weak points, every thing 
is made use of to effect a change, that he may become a 
new man created after God in righteousness and true 
holiness. The prodigal son was not satisfied with form- 
ing good resolutions, he executed them ; he went to his 
father, confessed his wanderings, implored his forgive- 
ness, and was thenceforth submissive and obedient. 

Such, my brethren, is the nature of the spiritual 
thirst mentioned in the text ; such is the conduct of a 
sinner thirsting for grace. He feels deeply his need of 
it, he earnestly desires it, he neglects nothing to obtain it. 
Such are the sinners whom Jesus Christ invites. Let us 
see what He prescribes to them to come unto Him and 
drink which will form the subject of our second head. 

II. To come to Jesus Christ is to believe in Him, to 
look to Him as the Messiah, the Son of God, the Saviour 
of the world ; to profess his doctrine, to practise his 
precepts. This appears from various places in the 
Gospel where this mode of speaking is employed ; thus 
in the 6th chapter of St. John we see that to come to 
Jesus Christ and to believe in Him signify one and the 
same thing; witness those words in verse 35. "He 
that cometh to Me shall never hunger; and he that 
believeth on Me shall never thirst." In the same sense 
He says, " Come unto Me all ye that labour and are 
heavy laden, and I will give you rest." He then ex- 
plains what He means by coming to Him ; "Take my 
yoke upon you," says He, " and learn of Me." When 
'Jesus Christ invites you to believe in Him it is not a 
dead faith that He requires. How many proofs did He 
give the Jews that He was the Messiah foretold by the 
prophets ; not only did He come into the world at the 


time prescribed by the sacred oracles, not only did He 
descend from the tribe of Judah and the family of David, 
but in addition to this He wrought before them a great 
number of miracles, which proved that He spoke and 
acted in the name and by the authority of God. The 
works, said He, that my Father hath given Me to do 
bear witness of Me that it is He who hath sent Me. 
Though we live in a time very remote from that when 
our Saviour confirmed by miracles the divinity of his 
mission, our faith ceases not to have the most solid 
foundations. We have not seen the miracles of the 
Son of God, nor those of his disciples, except as these 
facts are reported to us by unimpeachable and ocular 
witnesses, whose sincerity goes to the extent of unveil- 
ing their own faults ; by witnesses whom all kinds of 
motives, and especially their own temporal and eternal 
interests, would have bound to silence if these miracles 
had not taken place. "We have yet further guarantees 
in the greatest enemies of this religion, the Jews and 
Pagans, who have not ventured to call in question the 
miracles of our Saviour. "We have for guarantees the 
success of these miracles, the great number of proselytes 
who embraced the Christian faith in the most perilous 
circumstances, in the midst of the most violent persecu- 
tions. They would have carefully avoided exposing 
themselves to so many calamities if they had not been 
convinced, by the demonstration of the Spirit and the 
power of God, that Christianity was the only way of sal- 
vation. Again, if we believe in Jesus Christ, it is because 
his doctrine is the most excellent, the most worthy of 
God which has ever appeared, the best adapted to en- 
lighten the mind, to sanctify the heart, to inspire the 
most solid hopes, it is, finally, because we see with our 
own eyes the accomplishment of a great number of the 
predictions of our Saviour, of the prophets, and of the 
apostles, such as the dispersion of the Jews, and the 
conversion of the Pagans. The faith of Christ has then 


solid foundations, and consequently Jesus Christ requires 
nothing but what is reasonable when He calls men to 
believe in Him. 

Let us not measure this faith, my brethren, by the 
idea which the conduct of the majority of Christians 
would give. They have only a dead faith, and Jesus 
Christ requires a living faith which purifies the heart, 
and which makes its possessors to become new men. 
"We only come to Him, we only believe in Him, in so 
far as we submit to his yoke and become his disciples, 
as He himself said. $Tow what is that, I pray you? Is 
it not to be devoted to Him in spirit and in heart? 
Is it not to regard as certain the truths that He teaches 
us, and to make profession of them whatever it may 
cost to flesh and blood ? Is it not to regard his precepts 
as right, indispensable, and by them to regulate the 
conduct ? Is it not to trust his promises, to regard the 
blessings which are the subjects of them as preferable 
to those which men of the world idolize? You see 
that the faith which Jesus Christ demands is a sancti- 
fying faith, which changes the heart, which regenerates 
it, which manifests itself by love and by all kinds of 
good works. One of the principal acts of faith is to 
apply to ourselves the consoling promises of the Gospel. 
Those who live in sin cannot make this application, but 
a Christian united to his Saviour, who prefers Him to all 
else, who studies to please Him, being joined to Him by 
faith, has thus a right to all the blessings of the cove- 
nant of grace. He can say, For me Jesus came into 
the world, for me He shed his blood, his merit is mine, 
I am clothed with his righteousness as with a rich robe, 
by means of which I shall be admitted into the presence 
of the King of Glory. It was thus that St. Paul applied 
to himself the merits of his Saviour. He " loved me" 
said he, " He gave himself for me" I was the chief of 
sinners, but I obtained mercy. It is thus, my brethren, 
that those who are athirst in the sense in which Jesus 


Christ speaks, drink of the health-giving waters of 
grace ; and the divine Saviour makes us clearly under- 
stand what is the means of quenching this thirst ; that 
is to say the repenting sinner who embraces by a 
living faith Jesus Christ dying for his sins, rising again 
for his justification, finds in Him the remedy for every 
evil and the source of every blessing. What causes thy 
anxieties and alarms ? Is it the sentence of condemna- 
tion and of death which Divine justice has pronounced 
against thee ? But Jesus has undergone that sentence. 
He has put Himself in thy place ; He has borne thy sins 
in his own body on the tree, He has been made a curse 
for thee, that thou mightest be justified before God 
through Him ; thou canst then strike up the song of 
victory Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's 
elect ? It is God Himself who justifies them who shall 
condemn them ? Jesus Christ has died, yea, rather He 
has risen again," is seated at the right hand of God where 
He maketh intercession for us. What fearest thou 
then ? thy corruption ? It is that doubtless which 
thou hast most to fear, but if thou believe in Jesus 
Christ, thy faith shall overcome the world, and the 
Divine Saviour shall strengthen thee with his might, 
He shall communicate to thee the efficacy of his Spirit, 
according to the promise which follows my text: "Prom 
him that believeth in Me," says He, " there shall flow 
rivers of living water ;" and elsewhere, I will give you 
the Holy Spirit. It is in being united to Jesus Christ 
by a true faith that man finds real satisfaction, solid 
happiness. The subdued passions no longer make war 
in his soul, but permit him to enjoy that peace which 
passeth all understanding. Having his mind enlightened 
on the true value of things, and his heart rightly dis- 
posed, far from being seduced by objects which men of 
the world idolize, he sees them with pity running after 
deceitful vanities. And engaging only in things worthy 
of him, suitable to the holy calling with which he has 


been honoured, his enjoyment increases by the solid 
blessings he realizes, he tastes ineffable delights in com- 
munion with the Lord, which to him are the pledges of 
the supreme and eternal felicity of the life to come. 
"Whosoever," says Jesus Christ, " drinketh of the 
water that I shall give him shall never thirst ; it shall 
be in him a well of water, springing up into everlasting 

See, my brethren, on what grounds Jesus Christ says 
to penitent sinners, " If any man thirst, let him come 
unto Me and drink." He does not send them to natural 
religion ; its light is too feeble, it points out no way of 
reconciling the sinner with God. He does not send 
them to the Jewish religion ; its victims cannot atone 
for sin, and its threatenings are more calculated to cast 
into despair than to give rise to confidence. Jesus Christ 
alone can be the refuge of the penitent ; He alone can 
calm the agitation of his conscience and procure him 
peace. He is " the Way, the Truth, the Life ;" no one 
comes to the Father but by Him. There is no other 
name given under heaven among men by which we may 
be saved but the name of Jesus. It is then with reason 
that He cries, " If any man thirst, let him come unto 
Me and drink." But enough on the words of our text ; 
it is time to come to the conclusion of this discourse. 


CONCLUSION. Let us admire, my brethren, with what 
goodness Jesus invites sinners who are overwhelmed 
with the weight of their guilt to come and draw from 
the inexhaustible spring of his grace the consolation 
and rest which they need. How admirably He sustains 
the attractive title of Saviour ! Jesus Christ is athirst 
for the salvation of souls. He goes to seek the lost sheep 
to bring them into his fold. Though his first efforts 
may have little success, He is not discouraged; He returns 
to the charge, He insists in season and out of season, He 
cries with energy, " If any man thirst, let him come 


unto Me and drink." This Saviour rejects no one ; He 
calls equally Jews and Pagans ; He does not repel even 
the greatest sinners. " They that be whole," says He, 
" need not a physician, but they that are sick." What 
goodness ! What mercy ! What encouragement to go 
with confidence to the Throne of Grace, that we may find 
help in time of need ! Who will not love a Saviour so 
compassionate ? 

A doctrine so consolatory ought to produce fruits 
of gratitude and sanctification, and yet a contrary 
use is made of it. We ought to say with St. Paul, 
Jesus Christ " died for all, that they which live should 
not henceforth live unto themselves but unto Him who 
died for them and rose again." He bore " our sins in 
his own body on the tree, that we being dead to sins 
should live unto righteousness." Instead of uttering 
such language, that of the saints, there are those who 
say, as the profane, Let us sin that grace may abound. 
Let the impious men who think and speak thus learn, 
since they seem ignorant of it, that Jesus Christ is no 
minister of sin, that He has not come to countenance 
iniquity, but to destroy it. Let them learn that He 
only offers his grace to sinners who feel their wretched- 
ness, who groan under their corruption, who desire to 
be delivered, not only from the penalty of sin but also 
from sin itself; who make every effort to escape from 
the slavery of vice and to come into the glorious liberty 
of the children of God. It is so true that this is the 
constant doctrine of the Gospel, that the opposite senti- 
ment is the grossest and the most condemnable of errors. 
The grossest, because there is no truth more incontest- 
able than this : God wills that men should be virtuous 
and good ; the most condemnable, because it is opposed 
to the object of religion, which is to form men to holi- 
ness. It is for us, my brethren, to examine if we feel 
our wretchedness, if we desire to be delivered from it. 
Have we taken account of our ways ? Have we exa- 


mined ourselves to know if we are in the faith. ? Have 
we passed in review the many sinful speeches which 
our lips have uttered, the many evil thoughts which our 
minds have conceived, the many detestable actions 
which have polluted our lives? Have we seriously 
reflected on the little care we have taken to be pious 
towards God, just and charitable towards our neigh- 
bours, chaste and temperate in regard to ourselves ? 
Has the consideration of the great number of our sins, 
of their heinousness, of the aggravating circumstances 
which accompanied them, produced a holy confusion, a 
salutary repentance ? Have we presented to the Lord 
the sacrifice of a broken and contrite heart ? Have we 
felt the blackness of our ingratitude, the enormity of 
our rebellions ? Have our souls been agonized, cast 
down, dismayed, at the sight of our deplorable situa- 
tion ? Have we had recourse to the heavenly Physician 
to expose to Him our maladies and to obtain their cure ? 
Have we made use of the means which He points out 
to us to draw near to Him and to become recipients of 
his grace ? There are without doubt some honest seekers 
after God who have done what we have just described, 
who endeavour to maintain themselves in this state 
and even to make progress in it. But we have great 
reason to fear that the number of these is very small. 
How many are there who are very far from possessing 
that "holiness without which no man shall see the 
Lord," and who consequently have the greatest reason 
to be alarmed, yet are as tranquil as if they had abso- 
lutely nothing to fear. One man is the slave of this 
vice, another of that ; one of avarice, another of im- 
purity ; this man of pride, that of the spirit of revenge. 
Such have neither love to God nor charity for their 
neighbour, nor compassion for their own souls, whose 
salvation they are neglecting. They tremble not, they 
are in the most perfect security. 

How surprising soever this conduct may appear, the 


causes of it may be easily discovered. It is certain that 
very loose ideas are formed of the holiness which the 
Gospel prescribes. Though Jesus Christ has said that 
the gate of life is strait, that the igay to heaven is nar- 
row, and that there are few who walk in it; that, on 
the contrary, the road to perdition is wide, and that 
there are many who follow it, in spite of this, I say, 
men think it an easy thing to be saved, that it may be 
accomplished without painstaking, without effort. This 
is the reason why men are as tranquil while walking in 
the way to perdition, as if they were walking in the 
path to heaven. Add to this that there are so many 
who do not know what there is sad or dangerous in 
their condition, because they scarcely reflect at all upon 
it. There is perhaps no duty more generally neglected 
than the examination of one's self. Men live, so to 
speak, from day to day without reflecting either on 
what they do, or on what they ought to do ; they take 
little account of their conduct ; they do not weigh the 
consequences of their actions. Can we be surprised 
after this if they know not themselves, if they feel 
neither their misery nor their wants. My brethren, 
since we know the source of the evil, it is for us to bring 
to it the suitable remedies. Let us not judge of what 
must be done to be saved by the corrupt maxims of the 
world, but by those of the Gospel. Whatever is not 
conformed to this standard will lead us astray. It is 
then by the light of the "Word of God that we may know 
our state ; it is by using this divine torch that we shall 
discover the depth of corruption in our hearts, those 
perverse inclinations, that fearful accumulation of sins of 
which we have been guilty. But for this purpose we 
must apply the plumb-line to conscience, impose silence 
on self-love and, in one word, examine with a serious 
intention really to know ourselves, 

Oh that I could, my brethren, unveil yourselves to 
yourselves ! that I could make you comprehend all the 



wretchedness of a soul estranged from God, who has 
no communion with Him, who is consequently subject 
to condemnation ! If you really knew this condition, if 
you felt all its danger, you would have no rest till the 
Lord had spoken peace to 'you. 

But, doubtless, the holy word which I have preached 
to you shall not return to God without effect ; doubtless, 
among those who hear me there are sinners weary and 
heavy laden, souls hungering and thirsting after the 
righteousness of Jesus Christ. ! go with confidence 
to this divine Saviour ; it is you whom He calls, it is 
you whom He desires to refresh and satisfy ; it is for 
you He has shed his blood, it is to you that He offers all 
the treasures of his grace. Go, then, to Him with a 
firm assurance that you will find in his blood the remis- 
sion of your sins, and the principle of a new life. Go 
to Him, ashamed and grieved for having offended 
Him, resolved never to abandon Him, to have no 
other will than his. Go to Him, meditating on his 
death, penetrated with his love, glowing with affec- 
tion for Him, and gratitude for his benefits. He is, 
so to speak, crucified before your eyes by the symbols 
of his body and blood which are here presented to you. 
Do not satisfy yourselves with contemplating them ; eat 
the sacred bread, drink of the cup of blessing ; may you 
receive with the signs the thing signified. May we 
return justified to our homes, may we be henceforth his 
faithful disciples, that we may for ever drink from the 
river of his pleasures ! May He deign to confer upon 
us this grace ! To that Divine Saviour, to the Eather, 
to the Holy Spirit, be honour and glory for ever. 


No. III. 

Translation of a Letter from Paul Rabaut to a Friend 
in Geneva. . 

The original of this Letter is in an imperfect state, 
the pages being worn out at the bottom. The following 
is all that remains of it : 


"What overwhelming tidings you have communicated ! 
Stroke upon stroke ! My soul is transfixed with grief. 
Hardly has one man of God been taken away from us 
when we lose another ; our tears are not yet dried for 
the loss of the first, before that of the second opens a 
new source of sorrow. I venture to say no one has felt 
more keenly than myself the blows of the rod which is 
smiting us so severely. No, the death of my nearest 
relatives would not have cast me down so much as that 
of these two great men. I could heartily have said, 
like Elisha, when he saw his dear master borne away : 
" My father, my father, the chariots of Israel and the 
horsemen thereof!" I am well aware, my dear friend, 
that you and I are not the only mourners. I seem to 
be a witness of the lamentations and sighs of all ranks 
in the church. Your Academy has lost two of its finest 
ornaments, theologians truly worthy of the name. So 
firm in the faith, teaching only that which they had 
received. ................................ 

..... I am not surprised at the affliction of the church 
at Geneva. Could it see with a dry eye two of its most 
brilliant lights extinguished ; vigilant pastors, preachers 
full of unction and power, examples to the flock by the 
holiness of their lives ? How much help lost to the 
church which had the happiness of possessing them ! 
Dear Refugees, brands plucked out of the fire, sad frag- 


ments of our churches, you have lost protectors, fathers ; 
and you whose distresses were so often abundantly con- 
soled, your tears will form the eulogium of this new 
Corneilie better than the most eloquent discourses. 

But what am I doing, my dear friend ? I forget that 
I am writing a letter and not a funeral oration. My 
grief is soothed in mingling with the sorrow of all those 
to whom this is a common affliction. Prudence here 
imposes upon me silence, which I maintain with regret ; 

my heart longs to utter itself. Our churches but. I 

forbear. Let us say nothing of those excellent works 
which the wickedness of men does not allow to be 
manifested, but which the just Bemunerator will unveil 
and recompense at the great day of retributions. Must 
I be equally silent, my dear friend, on the loss which I 
and my children have sustained ? You know better 
than any one with what goodness we were protected . . . 
I know that there still remain some zealous friends ; 
I venture to commend myself as well as my children to 
their kindness. I assure them of my gratitude ; I also 

I should not dare to undertake the duties of the office. 
It becomes me better to address myself, with all the 
earnestness of which I am capable, to Him who alone 
can fill us with joy and peace by the virtue of His 
Spirit, to ask Him to console their dejected hearts. I 
ask the same also for you, for I know that you greatly 
need it. Pray reciprocate this for me. "With the 
greatest possible esteem and affection, I am 



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