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BENJAMIN DU PLAN. 



BENJAMIN DU PLAN 

GENTLEMAN OF ALAIS 

DEPUTY-GENERAL OF THE REFORMED CHURCHES 
OF FRANCE 

FROM I725 TO I763. 



By 



D. BONNEFON, 



PASTOR OF THE REFORMED CHURCH OF ALAIS, 
DEPARTMENT OF GARD. 



(Translated from the original with the Author's permission.) 



LONDON: 

HODDER AND STOUGHTON, 

27, Paternoster Row. 

MDCCCLXZTIII. 



Geneva: 

'CONTINENT AND SWISS TIMES " PRESS. 



TO MR. EDWARD LLOYD. 



Dear Sir, 

It is only fitting that this work should be 
dedicated to you, since its conception is due to your 
suggestion and its execution to your help. It is 
associated with one of the pleasantest memories of 
my life ; it recalls our first interview and the 
interesting excursion we made together in the 
Cevenne mountains in search of the ancient seat of 
the Du Plans. How deeply you were moved 
when you first looked on the time-honoured walls 
which had witnessed the birth of your revered 
ancestor, the hero of this history ! To me his 
remarkable career was then unknown, but the docu- 
ments which you placed in my hands so attracted 
my attention, and appeared so important, that 
1 desired to know more. I consulted our religious 
histories. One work alone threw a little light on 



II Dedication. 

the devout and heroic subject of this biography, 1 
but it was enough to stimulate me to further research. 

With this object I made a journey to Geneva, 
and consulted there the correspondence of Antoine 
Court, the friend and fellow-worker of Benjamin 
Du Plan — well-known for the part he took in the 
revival of French Protestantism in the last century. 
Amongst the documents preserved in the public 
library of Geneva, I had the pleasure of finding 
many original letters written by your ancestor to 
Antoine Court ; you may easily imagine with what 
interest I read them ! I went expecting at most to 
learn a few particulars relating to his life ; I found 
his biography almost ready to my hand. 

The plan was laid out, the work itself more than 
half accomplished. I had only to select from the 
literary treasures before me the letters in which was 
unfolded the life-story of one of the chief actors in a 
little known but most important episode of our 
religious history. You on your part were good 
enough to entrust me with your family papers, 
which — especially the letters of Du Plan to his 
family and friends — helped to fill up a great gap in 
the correspondence that I had found at Greneva. The 
letters of Du Plan and Court go no further than the 
time of the unfortunate misunderstanding which 

1. Histoire de la Restauration du Protestantisme en France, by 
Edmond Hugues. 



Dedication. HI 

embittered their relations and interrupted their inter- 
course, while the papers that you placed at my 
disposal have enabled me to trace your progenitor 
to the close of his career. They show him in the 
character of a true Christian, and as the indefatigable 
and self-sacrificing representative of the Huguenot 
Churches of France, and their perusal fully 
confirmed me in the admiration with which I had 
already begun to regard him. 

I have arranged these materials in a consecutive 
form, and the running commentary by which thej r 
are connected will serve to elucidate and explain 
them. This is all my plan, but it is the portrait not 
the frame to which I desire to direct attention — a 
portrait whose original, as well by his high lineage 
as his magnanimous character, is worthy to rank 
with our most illustrious Protestants. 

May the piety of Benjamin Du Plan rouse the 
emulation of more than one reader of his life ! Then 
shall we have no reason to despair of the future of 
our Churches. I can well believe that you are proud 
to be the descendant of such a man, and that you 
will hesitate at no sacrifice to honor his memory 
and make known his work. If I have been able to 
assist in this noble object my feeble efforts will 
have been amply rewarded. 

D. Bonnrfon, Pastor. 
Alais, September, 1876, 



BENJAMIN DU PLAN 



GENTLEMAN* OF ALA1S. 



CHAPTER I. 

YOUTH AND CONVERSION OF BENJAMIN DU PLAN. 

1688—1710. 

Benjamin de Ribot, Seigneur du Caila and Du 
Plan, belonged to an ancient and noble family the 
origin of which dates back to the sixteenth century. 
His father, Jacques de Ribot, was a rich feudal 
lord having a castle and vassals, besides being 
proprietor of the lands of Caila, Du Plan, la Favède, 
and Rouveret. 

Benjamin was born on the loth of March, 1688, 
in the Castle of La Favède, a village situated not 
far from Alais, at the foot of those Cevenne Moun- 
tains which yet resound with the heroic deeds of 
the Camisards. Very little is known of his family 



( # ) The French title Gentilhomme served formerly to designate 
man of nob.le family. 



2 First religious emotions of Bu Plan. 

or his infancy. The little we do know has been 
gathered from family papers and the correspondence 
of Benjamin du Plan with Antoine Court. In 1710, 
when this history commences, Benjamin had living 
both father and mother, and a young sister who later : 
went to reside with her aunt at Geneva, where she 
died. 

What was the attitude of the family of Du Plan 
in the terrible conjuncture of this epoch ? Did they 
belong to the class of the new converts, that is to 
say to those who joined the Catholics and followed, 
outwardly at least, the forms of the Romish Church, 
as was the case with the greater number of the rich 
and powerful ? It is probable. Of one thing how- 
ever we are certain, that Benjamin was ver3 r early 
among the number of those pious men who, despising 
all threats, refused to conform, and who guarded in 
the depth of their hearts, pure and untouched, the 
old faith of their fathers. After having served in 
the Royal Army, then a custom obligatory upon all 
young Nobles, we find him at the age of twenty- 
two laying down his sword in order that he might 
devote himself entirely to the service of the Church 
and encourage, by his example, his persecuted 
brethren. 

The young man had a tender heart and an ardent 
imagination ; the stories told by his father and mother 
had deeply moved him ; in his youth he had been 
interested by the stirring histories of Cavalier and 
of Roland, and his native home recalled at every 
step some exciting association. He had himself 



He is instructed by the Old Camisard*. 3 

witnessed the acts of violence practised against his 
co-religionists. Sometimes he had seen from the 
tower of the castle soldiers marching towards Bre- 
noux, a village situated close to La Favède and a 
stronghold of Protestantism. At other times he had 
heard the firing of musketry and had seen his fellow 
Protestants, chained together as criminals, pass 
under the windows on their way to the dungeons 
of the fort of Alais, from thence to be sent either to 
the galleys at Marseilles or to the Tower of Cons- 
tance. In 1705, being then seventeen years of age, 
he heard that the neighbouring villages of Brenoux, 
St-Paul- Lacoste and Soustelle, having been suspec- 
ted of giving refuge to a Camisard band, had been 
pillaged and burned and that all the inhabitants had 
been put to death. The result of these scenes which 
were so common and harrassing to his feelings, will 
be shown in his future history. 

"In 1710," he tell us, "having made the acquaintance of 
the preachers of the Cross, I abandoned my position in the 
army to devote myself entirely to the support and diffusion 
of the Protestant religion. " 

Who were the preachers that so moved the heart 
of this young soldier and induced him to leave the 
army of Louis XIV. that he might join the holy 
militia of Jesus-Christ ? Most probably they were 
some of the elder Camisard prophets, survivors of 
the last war, who sought b) r their fervid discourses 
to revive the dying zeal and rouse the slumbering 
energies of the Protestants, and to organise if pos- 
sible a new crusade. But the time was passed ; the 



4 He attends the réunions of the Inspired. 

defeat of Ravanel and of Catinat had discouraged 
every heart. Moreover revolt was impossible. The 
country was encircled and guarded in all directions. 
To fight under such circumstances would have been 
useless. Of this they were convinced. Then, too, the 
discourses of these elder Camisards, which for many 
preceding years had been so eloquent, had lost their 
power and could not reawaken any echo in the 
breasts of their hearers. Wearied and discouraged, 
the old preachers returned to their mountain home 
to mourn the past. 

But from 1701 the old Cévenol prophets had been 
succeeded by other preachers of a new kind — men, 
but more often women, and sometimes even children, 
who spoke in secret meetings. The chief Camisards 
Avere dead, the shepherds exiled, and the flock scat- 
tered and forsaken; then these heroic women, consul- 
ting only their faith, their duty, and their self denial, 
filled up the void and supplied the place of the 
absent. In the midst of the raging storm they held 
courageously in hand the helm of the Church, and 
braving the edicts and scorning death saved expiring 
Protestantism at the peril of their lives. They jour- 
neyed from country to country, from Vivarais into 
the Cevennes and from the Cevennes into Lower 
Languedoc, stopping in the towns and villages and 
preaching and praying where they were desired or 
where they were moved by the Spirit. 

They prophesied, believing themselves to be 
inspired ; but instead of the shrieks, the frenzy, and 
the excited cries which characterized the ancient 



His vocation becomes apparent. 5 

Cévenol prophets, they employed soft words, affec- 
tionate language and tears. In eccentric discourses 
composed of biblical quotations and the strange 
recital of their visions, they preached repentance and 
cherished the hope in the midst of their present 
suffering of a better future. They rarely encouraged 
rebellion, but rather waited patiently with joy 
and firm hope for deliverance from Clod ; they 
frequented especially those places which had been 
the scenes of the Camisard war, Brenoux, Alais, 
Congénies, Kimes, Granges, Loriol, and Lunel. They 
were there the recipients of a blind corifidence. No 
one undertook anything without first consulting 
them. Had anyone a doubt as to the prudence 
of making a journey to attend a meeting, the inspired 
of the district were immediately consulted. They 
even proclaimed their ability to exorcise and to heal. 
It often happened that their prophecies were not ful- 
filled and that the sick did not recover ; in spite of 
this nothing could shake the confidence or dissipate 
the illusions of the Protestants. This credulity con- 
stituted the power of the inspired and led in some 
cases to grave abuses. 

Thus it happened that old Camisards and pro- 
phetesses were the first preachers who shaped the 
religious education of Benjamin Du Plan. His artless 
soul and his youthful imagination were profoundly 
impressed by their discourses. His conscience was 
touched; he learned to lament and weep over his sins, 
and after the bitter torments of repentance found at 
last joy and peace. He was often seen at night 



6 An Inspired predicts his future. 

climbing over the walls of the castle, notwithstanding 
the remonstrances of his father and the tender re- 
proaches of his mother, and setting out by little known 
paths and goat tracks to ascend the hill and to walk • 
the short distance which separated the castle from 
the village of Brenoux. There would he listen with 
delight to the burning, affectionate, and edifying- 
words of the Inspired. He soon became one of the 
most frequent and regular attendants at these secret 
meetings. Once he ventured to overcome his natural 
timidity. He felt himself inwardly moved to speak ç 
he did speak, and Avith so much unction and ease that 
from that day forth the peasants considered him as 
their shepherd and gathered around him. Du Plan 
did not wish to forfeit their confidence ; he accepted 
this perilous honor, though it exposed him to almost 
innumerable dangers. 

Would the cruel laws which filled the galleys,, 
the prisons, and the convents with Protestants be 
less severe against a young Noble who abused his 
influence to pervert the new converts ? His name, 
his rank, his titles and his social position, all made 
him a mark for the anger of the government. Never- 
theless he braved all perils. One day in an assembly 
an Inspired rose, and under the influence of the 
Spirit said to him : " I tell thee my child not to fear,, 
the enemy shall not put his hand upon thee ; thou 
shalt pass through the fire and the water and they 
shall not harm thee." 

If he had hesitated before, this incident led him 
at once to a decision ! Henceforth he belonged no 



Condition of French Protestantism. 7 

more to himself, he belonged to God and to the 
Church. Thus, in spite of the opposition of his 
parents, of his friends and of all the wise and prudent 
of his time, he embraced with enthusiasm his voca- 
tion as evangelist, though this vocation might lead 
him to a martyr's end. 



CHAPTER II. 

CONDITION OF FRENCH PROTESTANTISM. 
1710—1715. 

The better to understand the services that 
Benjamin Du Plan was called to render to his co- 
religionists and to appreciate his courage until the 
moment he made the acquaintance of Antoine Court, 
it is necessary to know the state of French Protes- 
tantism between 1710 and 1715. The war of the 
Camisards was ended. Coste, and Abraham Mazel, 
the last of the prophets, had been hanged in 1710 ; 
Claris had been broken on the wheel ; the last few 
preachers had hidden themselves in the mountains, 
and the faithful, tried by the cruelty of the edicts 
and by the dread of bodily suffering, no longer 
ventured out of the towns to worship GTod secretly 
in the Desert. The last assemblies were completely 
dispersed in 1711 by the soldiers, and it was thought 
that all trace of Protestantism had disappeared. A 
new Edict of the 8th of March 1712, starting from 



8 Penalties against the relaps. 

the principle that there were no more Huguenots in 
France, declared that all those who henceforth 
should die without the sacraments were to be con- 
sidered as relaps, that is to say their memory should 
be ignored, their goods confiscated, and their bodies 
dragged on the hurdle, and deprived of sepulture. 
In* virtue of this cruel Edict, when a Protestant fell 
sick the priests carrying the viaticum entered his 
house, followed by the ushers and the registrar, and 
in the midst of the afflicted relatives they wearied 
with their demands and their menaces the old men, 
the women and the young girls. If the sick man 
repelled the priest his family was ruined and his 
name publicly dishonored. In the South where the 
most revolting scenes were enacted it was a common 
thing for mobs to gather round the house of a dead 
heretic and clamorously demand his body. Amidst 
the plaudits of the crowd, a hurdle would be brought, 
the naked corpse, scarcely cold, would be placed 
upon it and dragged by the jeering rabble in the 
gutters, and through the streets and public places of 
the town 5 finally the corpse after being hanged by 
the feet to a gibbet for twenty-four hours would be 
cast into the sewer. 

Another result of this Edict was to render ille- 
gitimate any marriages solemnized elsewhere than 
at the Church. As civil marriage did not exist at 
this period it was necessary that all marriages should 
take place before a priest, else the law did not 
recognize them, and husbands could, if they wished, 
demand their nullity and contract new unions. To 



Protestant Marriages considered illegitimate. 9 

avoid the grave consequences resulting from this 
state of things, some compromised with their con- 
sciences, and were married at the Church as well as 
by the pastor. Let me add, however, that the 
greater part, the law notwithstanding, were united 
only according to their own faith, but they were 
considered to live in disorder and their children were 
regarded as illegitimate. 

The ancient and cruel decrees published after the 
Revocation of the Edict of Nantes were put in force 
with greater vigour than ever. The unhappy 
Huguenots were harried from the cradle to the 
grave. Their children were torn from them, 
baptized, and conducted by force to the Catholic- 
Schools. Their men could not occupy any public 
office however humble, commercial and industrial 
careers were alone open to them, and the simple title 
of Protestant exposed them to the most cruel 
injustice on the part of a biassed and hostile legisla- 
tion. They were subjected to a constant surveillance 
not only by the clergy and the King's officers but 
even by their own neighbours, a single charge being 
sufficient to ruin them. They were compelled to 
observe the fasts and ceremonies of the Catholic 
Church, to be present on Sundays at the services and to 
confess and communicate once every year. If they 
failed, they were threatened and accused of disobey- 
ing the King. Not beiDg in a condition to resist, the 
Protestants submitted for the most part to these 
requirements, but they were Huguenots in then- 
hearts. 



10 The Tower of Constance. 

» 
As to those who remained obdurate their lot was 
pitiable. At first numerous fines were imposed, 
and if they still refused to abjure they were 
punished according to the fullest rigour of the law* 
The men had their goods confiscated and were sent 
to the galleys for life, the women were confined in 
convents and prisons. The young girls were incarce- 
rated in the old Castle of Carcassonne, and the 
women in the Tower of Constance. This Tower is 
situated in the salt marshes which surround Aigues- 
Mortes. It is a round and massive building ninety 
feet high and sixty feet broad, divided into two stories 
forming two vast vaulted chambers of considerable 
height. The Protestants were confined in the upper- 
most. They lived huddled together in this dungeon, 
which was lighted by a large opening in the roof six 
feet wide, exposing them to the sun, the rain, 
and the unwholesome exalations of the neighbouring 
marshes. Hope of escape there was none. Sentinels 
watched the roof. A narrow and winding staircase, 
shut by a double door of iron, and guarded, formed 
the only means of egress. The walls were eighteen 
feet in thickness. 

Protestants condemned to the galleys were sent 
to Dunkirk or Rochefort, to Toulon or to Marseilles. 
They were conducted to the bagnio *, coupled b} 7- 
the neck, the hands, and the feet to thieves and 
assassins. The heaviest chains were reserved for the 



1. The place where the Convicts were detained when not at work 
on the galleys. 



The penalty of the galleys. 11 

Protestants ; if they fell with fatigue, strokes from a 
stick compelled them to rise. On their arrival at the 
bagnio, after being attired in the casaque and the 
bonnet rouge they were led to the galleys. There 
with the other galley slaves they were attached two 
by two to the benches of the ship, so that they were 
unable to move further than the length of their 
chain and had to eat, drink and sleep at their posts. 
They were made to swing the long and heavy oars 
which propelled the galley. A gallery was raised 
the whole length of the benches where the inspec- 
tors, holding the lash in their hand, walked to and 
fro. At the time of service and at the elevation 
of the host, they forced the Huguenot galley slave 
to doff his bonnet ; if he refused they laid bare his 
back, four men held his hands and feet, while the 
executioner armed with a tarred rope stiffened by 
the sea water struck him with all his force. The 
victim recoiled under the rope, the skin was torn, 
his back became one quivering and bloody wound 
which was afterwards washed with salt and vinegar. 
Some unfortunates would get as many as one hun- 
dred and fifty lashes ; if they fainted they were 
carried to the hospital and received, when cured the 
remainder of their punishment. Numbers were con- 
demned to the galleys in 1712 and 1713. 

These galley slaves were not of the lower orders,, 
they belonged in general to the best and most hon- 
orable families in France; merchants, sons of pas- 
tors, magistrates, and noblemen. Can the intensity 
of their sufferings be imagined ! Their only conso- 



12 Resignation of the Protestants. 

lation was in prayer. Now and then they might 
receive a secret visit from a brave friend who would 
slip into their hands a letter bathed with the tears 
of their wives, their parents, and their persecuted 
and proscribed brethren. Collections were made for 
them in France, in the Assemblies of the Desert, 
and in foreign countries; these gifts touched their 
hearts, and in the records of the Trench Church in 
London are still preserved many affecting letters 
written by these unfortunates, who despite their 
hard lot forgot not to thank those who had remem- 
bered the poor captives. 

To escape these persecutions, some of the richer 
Protestants fled to foreign lands with their families 
and their fortunes, but in 1713 an Edict forbade all 
new converts to quit the kingdom under pain of 
being sent to the galleys for life, while those who 
aided them to escape became liable to the penalty 
of death. 

Notwithstanding these decrees, the Protestants 
remained calm, waiting with resignation for better 
days. A small number fled, a still smaller number 
abjured, and the remainder conformed in appearance 
to the practices of the Romish Church. In place of 
public service they celebrated each day in their own 
houses family worship; there they read the Bible 
and strengthened themselves by prayer. We possess 
one of these touching prayers which was read on 
Sundays around the hearth at the same hour that in 
peaceful days they were wont to repair to the house 
of (rod : 



Worship in the Home. 13 

" Great God, Whom the heaven of heavens cannot contain, 
but Who hast promised to be found where two or three are 
gathered together in Thy name, Thou seest us assembled in 
this house to praise Thee, to adore Thy greatness, and to 
implore Thy compassion. We mourn in secret that we are 
deprived of our public ordinances and also that Thou dost 
not hear in our temples the voice of Thy servants. But far 
from murmuring against Thy providence, we acknowledge 
that Thou couldst with justice overwhelm us with Thy most 
severe judgments ; thus we admire Thy goodness in the 
midst of Thy chastisements. But we implore Thee to have 
pity upon us. We are without temples, but do Thou fill this 
house with Thy glorious presence ! We are without pastors; 
but be Thou Thyself our pastor. Instruct us in the truths 
of Thy Gospel. We are about to read and meditate upon 
Thy word. Imprint it on our hearts ! From what we may 
there learn make us to know Thee better, what Thou art and 
what we are ; what Thou bast done for our salvation and 
what we ought to do tor Thy service ; make us to know 
the virtues that are pleasing in Thy sight and the vices 
that Thou abhorrest ; the penalties with which Thou threa- 
tenest the impenitent, the lukewarm, the timid, the cowardly, 
and the profane, and the glorious recompense that Thou 
hast promised to those who shall be faithful to Thee. May 
we. when we retire from this short worship, be more holy, 
more zealous for Thy glory and for Thy truth, more drawn 
from the world and more strictly observant of Thy command- 
ments ! Hear us for Thy Son's sake ! " 

Occasionnally, and at long intervals, a pastor, 
disguised in a borrowed costume and decorated 
with chaplets and relics, the better to ward off sus- 
picion, would visit them. These courageous mis- 
sionaries stole, at the peril of their lives, from 
house to house, baptizing the new born, marrying 



14 Worship in the Desert. 

the betrothed, exhorting the sick and comforting the 
dying. When one of them arrived in a village — where 
the faithful would often contend amongst themselves 
for the perilous honor of receiving him, a secret 
assembly was immediately convoked ; the hour and 
the place of rendez-vous, a lonely wood, a deep cave, 
or a secluded valley, were whispered one to another, 
and at the hour appointed, mostly at night, each 
started alone for the appointed place. There the 
pastor read the gospel, addressed an exhortation, 
and administered the sacrament. The service was 
opened and closed by the singing of psalms. As 
soon as the congregation was assembled sentinels 
were stationed in the neighbourhood, or mounted 
on the trees and the rocks where they kept watch 
and signalled the approach of the soldiers. In 1712 
and 171 3, the Intendants and the military governors 
followed up these assemblies with the utmost rigour. 
The women who were there captured were condem- 
ned to prison, the men to the galleys, and the pastor 
to the gibbet. The following is a description of 
one of these meetings in the Desert as given by an 
eye witness ; it dates from the latter part of the 
seventeenth century, but all these assemblies were 
of similar character. 

" About a year before our brethren of the Cevennes had 
raised the Standard of the Holy War, we received a three 
days notice that the venerable Brousson would hold an 
assembly at the Baume-des-Hors, near Mus; the place which 
bore this name was nothing more than an ancient and 
disused quarry. The place was well chosen. Picture to 



An Assembly in the Desert. 15 

yourself a rugged bill furrowed in every direction, with 
deep hollows and precipitous sides and quarried to the very 
summit. It might be likened to an immense whale in the 
carcase of which a thousand voracious fishes had made 
innumerable openings. Strangers visit these places with 
caution, where on all hands open black abysses which cannot 
be looked into without giddiness, and among which it is 
impossible to venture without losing one'3 way. But these 
disruptions and upheavals, this labyrinth of passes, and 
these numerous pathways among the precipices, wonderfully 
favored us in putting us beyond reach of the pursuing 
cavalry. The Baume -des-Hors was concealed behind bushes 
and a large rock ; the opening was so narrow and tortuous 
that it was impossible to enter it without climbing. On the 
morning of the appointed day, the suspicions of the Catho- 
lics were averted by some pretending to be ill, and by others 
going to mass. The Psalms and the books for worship as 
well as the arms which had escaped discovery were disin- 
terred. " (Later Antoine Court would not allow arms to be 
brought to the assemblies.) u The women trembled, but 
nevertheless they did not advise us to absent ourselves from 
the assembly, because though they feared the danger, on 
the other hand they heartily desired us to unite ourselves 
with the brethren. The day appeared long while waiting 
for this joyous event, and though we were under fear of a 
great danger, we alternated between the hope of seeing the 
spiritual family and the dread of never again beholding our 
families after the flesh! At length the night arrived and 
with it a cold and penetrating rain. The weather was 
fearful. God had evidently favoured us ; we stole away 
stealthily, leaving our old men sorrowful and our mothers 
praying for us. I had not yet reached my eighteenth year 
— my sister, my brother, and my father accompanied me. 
On the road we met the sentinels at their posts already, who 
promised us to keep good watch. The assembly was already 
numerous when we arrived ; for the whole Vaunage had 
flocked thither. What a sad spectacle ! the clothes of the 



16 An Assembly in the Desert. 

women, the girls, and the children dripped with water ; the 
wind imprisoned in the deep hollows made a plaintive howl- 
ing ; and to light up the cavernous depths there were a few 
small lanterns, whose feeble gleam only rendered the dark- 
ness of the place more horrible. 

" In the midst of the Assembly was seated the venerable 
Brousson, wearing the coarse dress of a peasant, rendered 
still more mean by the dirt which had soiled it. The women 
had encircled with their black aprons the chair which served 
for a pnlpit. The chalices and the bread for the sacrament 
were placed on a stone. The service commenced by the 
reading of the Bible and the singing ot psalms. They were 
doubtless well chosen for the occasion. While listening to 
the unfortunate Fulcran Key of Nimes, who led this part of 
the worship and who began thus his apprenticeship to 
martyrdom, we forgot the cold, we heard no more of the 
storm and we thought no more of the dragonnades. The 
preacher chose for his text the memorable words of Jesus 
Christ, found in St. Matthew Chap. X, v. 22, ' but he that 
endureth to the end shall be saved. ' Wishing to con- 
vince us that salvation was not assured except to those 
who fought without ceasing the good fight of faith, he 
cited to us the example ot all the confessors of ancient 
and apostolic times ; then he described the courage of 
the martyrs of our own days, confounding their judges 
when before the Tribunal, moving their executioners when 
on the wheel, and receiving in Heaven the crown of life ; 
afterwards he recounted the torments of cowardly apos- 
tates, reserved for eternal fires and consumed by the ago- 
nies of remorse. What tears of repentance fell and what 
solemn vows to be faithful were made at this moment ! It 
was in the midst of our sobbing that the pastor blessed the 
bread and the wine ; then we prostrated ourselves before 
God and besought Him to pardon and strengthen us. All at 
once a voice cried : ' The dragoons ' ! ! ! ' Fly ' ! ! ! and at 
the same moment a discharge of musketry showed us that 
our last hour had come. I cannot describe to you what 



Zeal and devotion of Du Plan. 17 

passed in the cave. The thickest darkness enveloped us, 
the curses of the soldiers, and the groans of the dying were 
confounded together in this frightful tumult. I do not know- 
how I made my escape. I arrived in the presence of my mother 
terror stricken and despondent. My relations had not yet re- 
turned ; in vain we waited for them, they returned no more.. . 
My father was found lying in a hollow where he had broken 
his skull in falling. My brother had received a bullet in the 
breast, and my sister had been taken to the Tower of 
Constance with the women who had been captured. . . . 
Fifteen days afterwards I accompanied my mother to 
another assembly in the Desert." ' 

Such were the dangers that the Nobleman of 
Alai.s embraced voluntarily in 1710. The strength 
of his faith and the fervour of his zeal may thus be 
appreciated. From that time his one aim in life 
day and night was to supply the place of the absent 
pastors ; he went continually with consolations to 
the bedside of the sick and dying, and distributed a 
part of his goods to the poor and indigent. His com- 
passionate heart urged him towards Marseilles ; he 
wished to address a word of Christian sympathy to 
the confessors. Far from abating his zeal the 
sight of these sufferers stirred up his piety and 
devotion. He returned to Alais happy to have 
done some good to his brethren and desirous of 
rendering them still further assistance. Imbued 
with a holy zeal he went to the surrounding towns 
of Anduze, Nimes, Lunel, and Montpellier, or where 
ever he could reunite the brethren ; he performed 
the functions of preacher, consoled the afflicted, 

i. LTEvangéliste, 1837, page 176. 



18 The family of Antoine Court. 

strengthened the weak, preached patience and resig- 
nation and made clear to all the hope of a better 
future. 



CHAPTER III. 

FIRST JOURNEYS OF ANTOINE COURT. 
1696—1715. 

It is impossible to relate the life of Du Plan 
without speaking of Antoine Court. These two 
distinguished men, though of different conditions, 
were called very early to the same destiny. The 
nobleman and the peasant knew each other from 
their youth and lived side by side in closest intimacy 
during the fourteen most laborious and perilous 
years of their lives. 

Antoine Court was born in 1696 at Villeneuve- 
de-Berg a small town of the Vivarais. Educated by 
a pious mother he received very early those religious 
impressions which are rarely effaced. As he belonged 
to a poor family he had not received a classical 
education ; but this want was supplied by his natural 
abilities, his reflections and a thorough knowledge of 
the Scriptures. He even acquired in his later years 
an unusual acquaintance with religious questions, and 
the history of Protestantism. His piety was 
strengthened by his frequent attendance at the assem- 
blies of the Desert, where he loved to accompany his 
mother in spite of the perils of the undertaking. He 
became an assiduous hearer, and at the age of seven- 



His call to the Holy Ministry. 19 

teen he fulfilled the duties of reader. Frequently these 
assemblies were presided over by preachers — women 
and young girls — who called themselves Prophetesses 
and Inspired. Antoine Court was regarded as one of 
the young persons who after the popular belief were 
animated " by the Spirit of Grod."' He felt within 
himself an early call to the Holy Ministry, and a 
Prophetess encountering him strengthened this idea in 
his mind by predicting for him an early and blessed 
career. Falling into ecstacies she cried " The sword 
which thou seest on the side of My servant is My 
Word which shall be in his mouth as a two edged 
sword : this abundant dew which thou hast seen fall 
on his head is the same Word which shall abide in 
him plenteously." One day when he was in " one of 
these mysterious assemblies, in a moment of sudden 
exhaltation he began to preach. The audience, few 
in number and composed exclusively of women were 
deeply impressed. From this day his ministry really 
commenced." ' Antoine Court immediately set him- 
self to work and convoked assemblies. The greatness 
of the danger did not stop him, for he felt 
instinctively that if the people continued to be 
deprived of worship it would not be long before 
they abandoned the faith. It was not without tears 
that his mother, now a widow, saw leaving her that 
only son who was her joy and her support ; she found 
however in religion the power to make this sacrifice 
to God. 

l. Ed. Hugues. Histoire de la Restauration du Protestautismc eu 
France. 



20 He parts from his Mother. 

The following is his own touching account of 
this separation : 

" My mother loved me tenderly. I was the only son left 
to her, and since the death of my father, she had set all her 
hopes upon me. But she knew religion ; and what was 
better still both loved and practised it. Still she could 
not learn my resolution without being moved. She perceived 
all the dangers to which I should be exposed and she 
saw herself for ever deprived of a son whom she loved 
better than herselt ; but she reflected on the happiness 
it would afford me to be an instrument in the Hand ot God 
for the instruction and consolation of His afflicted Church, 
in which she was so deeply interested, and on the advantages 
which that Church would one day receive from my ministry. 
Thus her love for me and her attachment to religion, made 
her experience in turn all that can be felt in the heart of 
a tender mother and a truly zealous Christian. What 
touching things did she not say to me ! What tears did she 
not shed ! But to strengthen her resolution and my 
confidence in myself, as well as to gain her approval, 
I preached before her, taking for my text the words of the 
Gospel 'Whosoever loveth father and mother more than Me is 
not worthy of Me.' All that I said on this beautiful text, so 
qualified to teach us how our love for God ought to exceed 
that for His creatures, sensibly affected my dear mother. She 
henceforth regarded me as a victim whom she had conse- 
crated, like another Abraham, to the Divine Will." 

The young missionary first went into the Viva- 
rais which had now become atrueDesert. His appeals 
drew forth little response. Such Avas the terror among 
the brethren, that it was almost impossible to assemble 
ten, twenty or thirty persons in some cavern or 
hole in a rock. He was however less grieved by the 
indifference of his co-religionists, than by the 
ridiculous eccentricities into which the Inspired had 



His first rounds in the Vivarais. 21 

fallen. u My first operations," he tells us himself 
"were in the neighbourhood ofVivarais. The scaffolds 
and the gibbets were yet red with the blood of 
many Protestants whom the spirit of fanaticism had 
led into the madness of rebellion. Here were 
found a few men, and about fifteen women and 
girls who with the title of preachers combined the 
function of Prophets and Prophetesses. I fear 
I should not be believed if I were to relate all 
that these false or bewitched persons said both 
imworth)' of and dishonoring to religion. I set 
myself at once to convince the men of imposture and 
to win the women and children from error. It was not 
unusual to see in the assemblies, few in number as 
they were, two or three women and sometimes men 
fall down in ecstacies and speak all at once, like 
those Corinthians to whom St. Paul addressed his 
censures. I soon became known as another Elijah, the 
scourge of the prophets. My discourse was accompanied 
by the happiest success, and my progress was very 
rapid. Shortly fanaticism disappeared altogether ; 
those who still retained some tincture of it conversed 
among themselves in secret." ' 

In 1715 Antoine Court went to Nimes where he 
had been called by the Church. After having 
travelled as a missionary, in Provence and Lower 
Languedoc, he was grieved to see the deep dejection 
into which the majority of his brethren had fallen. 
For some time he had been meditating on the best 

1. Mémoire of A. Court, written in 1752 and preserved in the manu- 
scripts of Paul Rabaut. 



22 The Synod of 1715. 

means of restoring Protestantism from its abasement. 
It was in 1715, at the age of nineteen, that he com- 
menced this great work. 

Four ways presented themselves to him. " The 
first, " he tells us in his Memoirs, " was to convoke 
religious assemblies and instruct the people there : — 
the second, to battle with fanaticism, which was 
spreading like a conflagration in all quarters, and to 
bring back to more sane ideas those who had had 
the weakness or the misfortune to become infected 
by it : — the third, to re-establish discipline, the use of 
consistories, of elders, of colloquies, and of synods : — 
the fourth, to train, as far as possible, young 
preachers and to call ministers from foreign countries, 
and if they feared to expose themselves to martyr- 
dom, and were not disposed to respond to my press- 
ing stimulations, then to solicit help in money from the 
Protestant Powers, in order to aid the studies and 
maintenance of young men in whom I found sufficient 
courage and good will to devote themselves to the 
service and salvation of their brethren." 

Antoine Court had already put into execution 
the first of these methods, by convoking assemblies 
in all parts. In 1715 he endeavoured to re-establish 
the proscribed religion. He convoked a Synod at 
Nimes at which some laymen and preachers who had 
responded to his invitation elaborated certain rules. 
In this Synod it was agreed that each Church should 
appoint Elders who should be responsible for 
the convoking of assemblies in favorable places and 
with all possible prudence. They afterwards decided 



Court'* Companions in work. 23 

that according to the command of St. Paul, women 
should henceforth be forbidden to preach : that the 
Holy Scriptures should become the sole rule of faith, 
and that as a consequence they should reject all the 
pretended revelations, which had been in vogue until 
that time, the same having caused great abuse. 

History has handed down to us the names of the 
preachers who aided Court in his work of restoration. 
They were Jean Hue and Jean Vesson, who were 
afterwards deposed from office ; Pierre Durand and 
Etienne Arnaud, two future martyrs, and Jean 
Bouvière alias Crotte ; but the most remarkable of 
all was Pierre Carrière alias Cortiez. This pastor 
of the Desert had not had the education of Court but 
he surpassed him in activity and fearlessness. When 
the Synod met, Cortiez was at Geneva. Worn out 
with his long and laborious work of evangelization, 
and free from the incessant pursuits of the 
dragoons, he had gone to seek repose in that city, and 
had established himself there since -1712. He there 
married a dressmaker of the name of Isabeau. 
Unable with resignation to live far from his 
persecuted brethren, he left his wife, returned to 
France and the Cevennes, and did not delay to enter 
into communication with Antoine Court. None of 
these preachers had received pastoral consecration. 
In 1717 Court urged Cortiez to go to Zurich to 
receive the imposition ot hands. On his return he 
consecrated Court in a Synod, " and thus he secured 
the thread of ordination, according to the apostolic 
rule of the French Reformed Church." 



24 First interview of Du Plan with Antoine Court. 

Among the lait}', he who became the most eminent 
fellow labourer, and the most devoted friend 
of Antoine Court was without doubt Benjamin 
Du Plan. 



CHAPTER IV. 

FIRST INTERVIEW OF BENJAMIN DU PLAN 

WITH ANTOINE COURT. 

1715. 

It was on his return from the Synod of 1715, 
during a tour of evangelization, that Antoine Court, 
on his way through Alais, saw Benjamin Du Plan for 
the first time. After this interview, the two young 
men experienced the liveliest sympathy for each other. 
Du Plan was older than Court by some years ; he 
was superior in knowledge and experience in addi- 
tion to which his high social position, and above 
all his piety, rendered him worthy of respect. " The 
young preacher," says the historian of Antoine 
Court, " submitted himself without anxiety to the 
authority of this man of talent, fortune, and piety. 
He listened to his recommendations, and confided in 
his experience, and as their projects were the same 
he arrived at no decision without first consulting 
him. Du Plan, on his part, encouraged him, praised 
his ardour, and used all his efforts to remove the 
difficulties that lay in his path. Indeed, in this 
great work of religious revival undertaken by 
Antoine Court with so much courage and firmness, 



Du Plan approves of Court's projects. 25 

the warm exhortations of such men, and their sup- 
port and counsel, were absolutely necessary to for- 
tify his mind ; any other man would have failed 
before the almost insurmountable difficulties he had 
to encounter." * 

Antoine Court who already knew Benjamin Du 
Plan by reputation, hastened to explain to his new 
friend his projects of reform and the last decisions 
of the Synod ; Du Plan at once appreciated their 
importance and urgent necessity. He had himself 
been struck with the absence of union of the 
Churches among themselves, and had more than 
once lamented the disorders produced by the 
unruliness of certain members. He thoroughly ap- 
proved of all that had been decided upon at Nimes, 
and admired not onl}*- the courage and the energy, 
l)ut above all the organising genius of his young 
friend, and promised him his most devoted co-ope- 
ration. 

The heart of Antoine Court bounded at this 
promise, for he knew how great and legitimate was 
the influence of Du Plan on the Churches of Lower 
Languedoc ; he was not unacquainted with his 
sympathies for the Inspired, and he had feared that 
the last decisions of the Synod relative to fanati- 
cism would have alienated the young gentleman. It 
was not so. Without doubt the conciliatory spirit 
of Du Plan might have preferred more mo- 
deration in language and above all more charity : 

1. Eil. Hugues, already quoted. 



26 His justification of inspiration. 

but he knew, on the other hand, the urgent neces- 
sity of uniting in one common organisation all the 
vital energies of the Church, the scattering of which 
would in a short time have consummated its ruin. 
Benjamin Du Plan, being a warm partisan of order 
and discipline, had already advised the formation of 
the official bodies agreed to by the Synod and had 
required from all the faithful, under pain of excom- 
munication, respect for the constitution and discipline 
of the Church. In these troublous times this was its 
salvation. 

The judgment pronounced by Court and the 
Synod upon the Inspired in general appeared to him 
excessive. He was the first to acknowledge the 
whims and the extravagances of some ; but was it 
not going too far to comprehend in one category 
all as imposters and fools ? .Was it not necessary 
to recognise that a great number were sincere and, 
in consequence, worthy of great respect ? During 
the four years he had associated with these per- 
sons and habitually attended their assemblies, he 
had seen and heard things which to him appeared 
extraordinary and inexplicable ; ignorant women, 
and even children, expressed themselves in a choice 
language to which they were not accustomed, pro- 
claiming the wonderful truths of Grod ; many had 
predicted things to him which had afterwards come 
to pass ; and finally he could not forget that at these 
meetings his soul had received the light of the 
Gospel ; and that his heart had there found repose 
and peace. 



Antoine Court and Du Plan make a friendly league. 27 

Over and above these astonishing facts was it 
not true that the belief in inspiration and prophecy 
was also according to the analogy of faith? Did not 
the Bible justify this belief? Did not the Old 
Testament contain positive declarations on this 
subject ? Was not that of the prophet Joel 
sufficient: — "And it shall come to pass afterward, 
that I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh ; and 
your sons and your daughters shall prophecy, your 
old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall 
see visions : and also upon the servants and upon 
the handmaids in those days will I pour out My 
Spirit." (Joel II, 28-29.)? 

Lastly had not the Spirit been revealed in all 
ages ? Were not miracles performed in the first 
days of Christianity ? Why should the cycle of re- 
velation be for ever closed ? 

Such reasons as these justified the pious Noble- 
man of Alais in his particular ideas. He had dis- 
closed them during his first interview with Antoine 
Court, who had not hesitated frankly to give his ad- 
vice. Court was happy to see that Du Plan was no 
sectarian and that his particular ideas had not des- 
troyed his ecclesiastical principles. When separating, 
they agreed to work frankly together for the re- 
establishment of order and discipline, and as to 
the question of inspiration they agreed to consider 
it later. Alas that question was destined to 
be the torment of the life of Du Plan ; it created 
for him incessant annoyance, owing to the in- 
tolerance of a few pastors and laymen, and it 



28 Death of Louis XIV. 

at last put a stop to his missionary activity. 
Perhaps he did not always take sufficient account of 
the susceptibilities and weaknesses of his brethren ; 
and did not always exercise sufficient wisdom and 
prudence in his relations with the Inspired. 

Be this as it may, in the midst of these struggles 
he found, in Antoine Court, a constant defender and 
a devoted friend. Antoine Court knew him well 
and rendered justice to the rectitude of his character 
and the sincerity of his sentiments, never forgetting 
the efficient aid that Du Plan had rendered him in 
the commencement of a career sown with perils of 
all kinds. 

Thus he rendered his acknowledgement. 



CHAPTER V. 

THE END OF ONE REIGN AND THE COMMENCEMENT 
OF ANOTHER. 

1715-1716. 

Some days after the Synod, Louis XIV., the 
great persecutor, he whom our fathers dreaded as "the 
flail of Grod," died on the 1st of September 1715. The 
Churches breathed again, and under a new reign 
hoped to see their long and cruel sufferings amelio- 
rated. They had unknowingly just escaped a 
greater misfortune. Before departing from this 
world to appear in the presence of the Sovereign 
Judge, the Despot wished to crown his work of 



His last Declaration. 29 

persecution by a Declaration, which his Confessor 
helped him to sign. This Declaration was thus 
worded : " All those who declare their intention 
to persist and to die in the pretended Reformed 
Religion shall be considered as ' relaps ■ l whether 
or not they may have made abjuration. Whereas 
there are still sojourning in our Kingdom many who 
have professed the pretended Reformed Religion, 
or who have been born of Protestant parents since 
our prohibition of the practice of the said Religion, 
the same is more than sufficient proof that they have 
embraced the Roman Catholic and Apostolic 
Religion without which they would not have been 
tolerated. " 2 

The Parliament of Paris, so ready heretofore to 
register every intolerant law, withheld, for a whole 
month their assent to this declaration. "Do the 
annals of the world offer another example of a 
code founded on such a fiotion?" 3 On the 
publication of the Edict a cry of grief was uttered 
by every Protestant, a fervent prayer ascended to 
Clod, the Refuge of the desolate, and the death of 
the King was regarded by the persecuted as a 
providential deliverance. 

What would be the conduct of the Regent 2 
Would he ratify this odious Declaration, or would 
he abrogate- all these cruel Edicts, that had shed 

1. The canons of the Popes thus called those who had anew fallen 
into heresy after having abjured and been absolved by the Bishop. 

2. Declaration 8th March 1715. 

3. Lemontey, Etablissement Monarchique de Louis XIV. 



30 Influence of Charlotte on the Regent. 

innocent blood and impoverished France, by driving 
from her bosom the best of her children ? Every 
thing seemed hopeful. The new ruler, being 
the son of Graston of Orleans (the brother of 
Louis XIV.), and of the Princess Palatine, Elizabeth 
Charlotte of Bavaria, was thus allied by blood 
to a Protestant King. Though Catholic by pro- 
fession, Charlotte was never so in fact ; she 
was even at heart attached to Protestantism, and 
often shed tears in secret over the unfortunate 
condition of her former co-religionists. Now that 
her son held in his hands the reins of power, 
she implored him, with truly Christian zeal, 
to break the chains of the Protestant slaves. 
The Regent liberated sixty-eight of these unfor- 
tunates ; free exit from the kingdom was permitted ; 
and the Intendants of Dauphiny, Guienne, and 
Languedoc received instructions to be more lenient. 
He appeared indeed well disposed. He deplored 
the fatal consequences of the Revocation of the Edict 
of Nantes which he wished to repair by throwing 
open the frontiers to the French fugitives. Unfor- 
tunately he had neither the power nor the time to 
execute these good designs. The necessity of hu- 
mouring the Episcopate, his incredulity, his natural 
indolence and his immoderate love of pleasure, ren- 
dered him insensible to the cries of anguish from the 
Huguenots, for whom his mother continued vainly 
to intercede. The Duke of Orleans responded 
vaguely to the numerous petitions of the Protes- 
tants, by saying that he hoped to find in their good 



Persecution in Languedoc. 31 

conduct cause for granting such indulgences as 
might be found compatible with prudence. 

All at once in 1716, their hopes were dissipated, 
and their suspense was ended : the Regent in his 
turn became a persecutor. In the month of June there 
appeared and was posted up in all the boroughs and 
villages of Languedoc a Royal Decree, which revived 
all the restrictive laws of the preceding reign against 
the assemblies, the ministers and the preachers. 
Great was the dismay of the Huguenots. Antoine 
Court became the interpreter of his brethren in an 
apology which he wrote to Roquelaure ; he therein 
protested their loyalty to the Throne ; he said they 
were not seditious, that they only solicited permission 
to have full liberty to worship the Grod of their fathers 
in the Desert. " Moreover," continued he, "whatever 
reception might be given to their petition, they were 
resolved neither to abandon their assemblies, nor to 
renounce that faith for which they had so long 
sacrificed their lives ; what sufferings soever should 
be reserved for them, they would die without 
murmuring, and nothing should root out from their 
hearts the sentiment of love which they cherished 
for the King and the Monarchy." 

The answer to this courageous appeal was an 
increase of persecution. The frontier was again 
barred to the refugees who, under the illusory hope 
of happier days, had hastened to return to their 
country. The dragonnades recommenced. In 1717, 
an assembly was surprised near Anduze and 
seventy-four persons were seized and conducted to 



32 Arrest of Etienne Arnaud. 

Montpellier. Of this number twenty-two men 
were condemned to the galleys and the women to 
prison. The executioner received orders to erect 
in the Place of Anduze a post upon which was to 
be inscribed the names of the prisoners. 

These severe measures narrowly missed pro- 
ducing a revolt. Such an irreparable misfortune 
was prevented by Antoine Court. By his preaching, 
by the numerous Synods, and by the influence of his 
friends, he succeeded in calming the minds of the 
people. He endeavoured to obtain liberty, not so 
much by violence, like the Camisards, as by resig- 
nation like the early Christians. He himself set 
the example on a memorable occasion, which we 
recall, because it affords us the opportunity of 
introducing the hero of our history. 

In 1718 the young preacher Etienne Arnaud, on 
his return from an Assembly which he had convoked 
in the environs of Alais, was arrested by soldiers. He 
was a young man of great promise. Originally of 
St. Hippolyte de la Planquette, he had sought refuge 
in Switzerland after the defeat of the Camisards, had 
since returned to France in . company with Cortiez 
and had devoted himself to the evangelization of 
his co-religionists. Court soon became attached to 
him, and we have seen him sitting with a small 
number of preachers at the Synod of 1715. He had 
also become the friend of Du Plan who was in the 
habit of receiving him at his house, and also of 
helping him. 



Efforts to obtain hit release. .">."> 

The news of the seizure of A maud produced a pain- 
ful impression among the Huguenots, who had appre- 
ciated his character and his precocious talents. A 
detachment of not more thy u forty soldiers was to con- 
duct him from Alais to Montpellier. A few resolute 
men resolved upon lying in ambush on the road in order 
to rescue the young preacher. Hut; before putting 
this plan into execution they consulted Court. Court 
loved Arnaud as a brother and would have given his 
life to save him. He did not. however, believe it 
right to encourage the conspirators in their project, 
which he forbad them t«- put into execution, "pre- 
ferring to see a brother seal w it h his blood the truths 
he had preached, rather than risk plunging the coun- 
try into agitation by giving him his liberty to edify 
the people once more." 

Du Plan endeavoured in another way to save his 
young friend from death. H-- r rote to the Court 
imploring its favour. The < '..urt responded favour- 
ably to this appeal, an< gave orders accordingly to 
the judges of Montpellier ; but the <-ruel Intendant 
Baville, 1 determined not to Le1 his prey escape him, 
had transported Arnaud from th> prison of Mont- 
pellier to that of Nism&s, a* he counted much on 
the unscrupulous subservience of the judges at that 
place. Time pressed ; Du Plan wrote to the sister 
of Arnaud who was ai Paris, ;o,d advised her of 
the steps to be taken to obtain the liberty of her 
brother. These were com] letely successful, but 



1. Arnaud was the last victi i" ihi* ■■'■■•■ i laU ndant wli<> had «lone 

SO much mischief tt» our Church» k. 



34 Du Plana letter to the mother of Arnaud. 

unfortunately too late. Baville used his influence 
to constrain the judges, who were devoted to him, to 
try, and to condemn Arnaud, and caused him to 
be hung on the Place de la Maréchale at Alais. 
The young martyr submitted to his cruel fate with 
a heroic firmness which drew tears from the Governor, 
the Jesuit who assisted him, and even from the 
executioner himself. 

The following is the touching letter written by 
Du Plan to the mother of Arnaud, then a refugee at 
Geneva, eight days after the execution of the young 
preacher : — 

" My dear Sister in Jesua Christ, 
u After having debated in my mind several days wheth er 
to write to you, or not, I have thought it my duty to 
disregard all opposing considerations, and to do so. As 
you interest yourself so much in all that relates to the Church, 
and particularly in everything connected with our well 
beloved younger brother, and as I love you so well, it is a 
pleasure to me to inform you of all that transpires of 
any importance in this country. You will learn then, my 
dear sister, that this faithful confessor of the truth, after 
having been kept prisoner about a month, during which time 
all those who loved religion and who knew him offered up 
their prayers to God for his deliverance, has been condemned 
to a death the least cruel of all those which justice can inflict. 
The sentence was pronounced at Nimes and executed at Alais. 
Never was seen victim more tranquil and more resigned to 
death than this poor lamb. His most cruel enemies were 
painfully affected ; nearly everyone shed tears. The 
Jesuit, though his importunate exhortations were repeatedly 
repulsed was obliged to confess that if he had been 
in the Romish Church he would have been regarded as a 
martyr; the officer who had charge of him, and even a police 



He consoles her in her affliction. 35 

officer, and many others, told me that he spoke and died 
like a saint; the executioner in tears acknowledged that he 
had put to death an angel. I cannot indeed tell you 
all the good which has been said of this dear young brother ; 
his gentleness, his patience, and his charity, have so gained 
and so softened the heart of all, that no person dare speak any 
evil concerning him, without exposing himself to the scorn 
and hatred of the public. I have no doubt, my dear sister, 
that you will submit with joy to the Will of heaven which 
had predestinated your dear son to be among the number of 
the martyrs. Men have only executed the Decrees of God ; 
we must adore with pious submission that invisible Hand 
which rules with an unerring wisdom all the events which 
transpire in this world. We might in truth be sad while the 
dear lamb was among the wolves ; our tears seemed reason- 
able ; but now that he is among the glorified saints, where he 
contemplates the face of his Saviour, and where he is ravished 
with joy, we should be indeed blind, ungrateful and unjust* 
to regret his happiness ; God forbid ! It would be necessary 
to disown the faith which teaches us that they are blessed 
who have suffered for truth, and are dead in the Lord ; yea 
certainly, for they rest from their labours, and their works do 
follow them. I know, I have seen, and I am with others 
witness to the fact that this dear young brother conquered 
and died as a faithful servant of God. I believe, and am 
assured that the Lord according to the truth of His promises 
has admitted him into His Kingdom of Glory, to receive part 
of His inheritance. It is tniswhich consoles me in the affliction 
I have felt in being deprived of his presence. I rejoice 
indeed with him, in the hope that I shall soon rejoin him 
there, where he is for ever praising, blessing, and glorifying 
my Saviour and my God. You no doubt agree, my dear 
sister, in these sentiments : You dwell in a place where you 
have favorable opportunities tor confirming yourself in them ; 
I beseech you never to neglect them ; every day with the 
help of that grace which never fails those who ask for it as 
they should, increase in holiness, and be assured 



36 Scipion Soulan. 

that you will soon see the accomplishment of the promises 
which God has made to His Church and especially to him 
who calls himself always with much esteem, sincerity, and 
affection, my very dear sister in Jesus Christ, 
u Your very humble brother and servant, 

" Benj D 

" If the martyr had wished to redeem his life at the 
expense of his conscience he could have done so. 
"Nimes, 1st of February, 1718." 



CHAPTER VI. 

CARDINAL ALBÉRONI AND SCIPION SOULAN. 
1719. 

A grave event proved to the Regent in a 
striking manner the peaceable character of the Hu- 
guenots of his kingdom. 

At this period, war having broken out between 
France and Spain, the ambitious and intriguing Car- 
dinal Albéroni, minister of Philip V., conceived the 
idea of stirring up the Protestants of Languedoc to 
create troubles in France during the progress of 
which she might be attacked on the frontier. To this 
end he made use of a certain Scipion Soulan, born at 
St.Hilaire,near Alais. He was a young man, twenty- 
five years of age, a gambler and a libertine who had 
roamed about the world and tried every profes- 
sion. After having fought in his youth with the 
Camisards he had enrolled himself in the same re- 
giment as Du Plan. It was there that Du Plan had 
known him. Being expelled for theft he left for 
Venice ; from thence he went into Spain where he 



Action of the Regent. 37 

offered his services to Albéroni. The Duke of Or- 
leans was alarmed and feared a general insurrection. 
He immediately negociated with Ba.snage, formerly 
a pastor of Rouen, who had retired into Holland 
since the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, and 
with Professor l'ietet of (Jeneva. in order to induce 
them to use their influence with their co-religionists of 
Languedoc, to prevent an insurrection. Pietet and 
Basnage wrote immediately; they bade their brethren 
entertain respect for and loyalty to the Sovereign 
and counselled them to suspend the assemblies. 
Their letters appeared in profusion in Poitou and 
Languedoc, and caused the greatest surprise. Antoine 
Court, who knew nothing of the affair of Soulan and 
the conspiracy of Albéroni, hastened to respond by 
a long and beautiful letter to the Pastor of La Haye. 
He therein declared the loyalty of his brethren 
towards the King, but at the same time their firm 
resolution to continue to serve (iod in the Desert. 

"We will," he said, "to our last hour, while rendering 
to Caesar that which is Caesar's, render to God that which 
is Cod's. Our assemblies are not riotous, and we do not 
carry arms ; we have carefully forbidden them under pain of 
high treason not only human but divine ! " (1719.) 

The Regent did not limit his efforts to the nego- 
tiations with Basnage and Pietet. He conferred with 
the Marquis de Duquesne who was then at Paris. The 
Marquis selected aProtestantNobleman of Dauphiny, 
M. (ienac de Beaulieu, to go among the Protestants 
in order to sound them and prevent insurrection. 
This gentleman came to Nismes, and conferred with 



38 Du Plan's mission to Nismes. 

the leading men amongst the Huguenots, Nobles and 
merchants, who were all astonished at the fears of the 
Court and assured him of their loyalty. M. de Beau- 
lieu, according to his instructions, demanded for 
a time the cessation of their religious assemblies. 
They replied that this did not depend upon them, 
and that it was necessary to speak to the ministers 
who convoked the assemblies. M. de Beaulieu 
then addressed himself to Antoine Court, who at 
that time was taking the mineral waters at Euzet, 
appointing a meeting at Durfort. Court wrote im- 
mediately to Du Plan, whom he always consulted on 
grave affairs, and M. de Beaulieu, having failed to 
attend the rendez-vous at Durfort under pretext that 
he feared to exceed his orders, Du Plan went to 
confer with him at Nismes. Before leaving, the 
pious emissary, feeling the need of the help of the 
Church, wrote to his friend and the Elders recom- 
mending himself and his mission to their prayers. 
He wrote the following letter to the Elders : — 

To Messieurs my good friends, wheresoever they are. 
Messieurs and dear brethren, 

a I await your news with impatience. I have received 
the letter of our brother Court which has given me much 
pleasure, displaying as it does his resolution to sustain the 
interests and the glory of God in reference to the assemblies. 
I believe, Messieurs, that you all hold the same sentiments ; 
the chief thing is to observe carefully the rules, the mode- 
ration, and the maxims ot Jesus Christ, Who was full of 
gentleness, humility, charity, holiness and zeal for the ad- 
vancement of His Father's glory. Persevere, my very dear 



IL there vindicates the Assemblies. 39 

brethren, in the good work which the Lord has put in your 
hands. Be faithful unto Ilim and you will undoubtedly see 
in our days the Church flourish in this kingdom in spite of 
Satan, the world and the flesh. God permits His enemies to 
walk the face ot the earth in order to prove the righteous, 
but the wicked shall be consumed to give place to a nation of 
righteousness who shall glorify God in spirit and in truth. 

u I received yesterday evening, my dear brethren, a 
letter from M. Plantier, by an express, which informed me 
that M. . . . wished to have an interview with me before 
leaving, in order to render an account of his commission, but 
the affair presses and I have not a day to spare. Le Sieur 
Plantier judged it apropos that M. Court and others should 
be at the rendez-vous, but as he left the thing to my direction, 
I have not thought it right to expose you to danger ; 1 know 
well enough your sentiments on all our affairs. I shall act 
as your representative and afterwards render to you an 
exact account of our conference. I pray you, my very dear 
brethren, as the business is delicate and of great importance, 
not to forget in all your prayers to ask Him Who is your 
Interpreter to give me His Spirit, that I may speak with 
wisdom and with power, in behalf ot the interests of the 
Church which He has redeemed by His blood. 

" Remember the fast of the 7th of September. I pray that 
God may sustain and animate you by His spirit, and that by 
His grace He may soon make us to unite, without fear of our 
enemies, in sounding glorious Alleluias to the Eternal, our 
God. I am always, very sincerely, your very humble and 
obedient servant." 

May 1719. "Benjamin." 

On arriving at Nismes, Du Plan first held a few 
conferences with the chief citizens, merchants, and 
noblemen of the neighbourhood who, though not 
openly, were at heart Protestants. They advised 
suspending the assemblies. Du Plan rejected this 



40 ReimH of his Mission, 

with indignation, and at the close of the conference 
he wrote to the Marquis de Duquesne, in the name 
of the Churches, to assure the Court of their fidelity, 
but to affirm also, that they would at any price 
render to Grod that which belonged to Grod in 
glorifying Him in the assemblies. As to Soulan, 
if he came into Languedoc to excite the people, Du 
Plan promised to arrest and deliver him over to 
justice, on condition thaï he should not be put to 
death. 

The Marquis de Duquesne communicated this 
letter to the Regent or to the chief Minister ; it 
was declared to be satisfactory and M. de Beaulieu 
assured the Nobleman of Alais that the cessation of 
the assemblies would n<> longer be insisted upon. 

This news was not long in being disseminated 
among the faithful. The heart of Court expanded 
with joy. The past was forgotten, the future was full 
of hope. The Court convinced at last that the Pro- 
testants were not rebels, would surely relax its 
rigourous measures and out a stop to cruel and 
causeless persecution. A Synod was immediately 
convoked for the 21st of March 1719, and it was 
thereat resolved to write two letters to M. de 
Beaulieu; the one relating to the assemblies and the 
other to the devotion of the Protestants to the King. 

Du Plan, not having been able to be present at 
this reunion, considered it his duty to write to his 
colleagues, to recommend continued patience, resig- 
nation and fidelity. 



Du Plan's letter to the Synod. 41 

" To the Pastors, Elders and Brethren, assembled tor the 
glory of God and the edification of the Church, 

u Messieurs my very dear and honored brethren in our 
Lord Jesus Christ, the peace, grace and love of our Saviour 
God be with you. 

u Being unable, for reasons which I cannot put in writing, 
to take part in the Assembly of which two of you have done me 
the honor to inform me, I shall increase my prayers to God, 
to the end that His spirit may preside over it in an especial 
manner for the glory of His Great and Holy name, for the 
edification ot His church, for the confusion of Satan, and for 
the destruction of Anti-Christ and his agents. I hope through 
the mercy of God that my prayers will have more effect than 
my presence, and that your charity and discretion will 
convince you that my absence is based on sound reasons. 
For I regard it as an honor and a glory to be united with the 
faithful servants of Jesus Christ, though the world scorns, 
calumniates, and persecutes them. I am ready even, if it be 
necessary, with the help and grace of my God, to sacrifice 
worldly goods, temporal honors, and life tor the service 
of His church. 

" Before giving you my advice on the business which 
you will discuss, it is well that I should inform you that the 
authorities are not ignorant of your names ; they know all 
that happens in the country. For this reason it is more 
necessary than ever to redouble our prayers to God, to the 
end that He may change the heart of our enemies in our 
favor. Our brother Court knows that we have informed the 
Court of our innocence and loyalty to the King, but that is 
not enough. It is necessary that we be loyal to God and 
that we have in view in all our actions only the glory ot God 
and the salvation of our neighbours ; it is necessary that His 
law and commandments should bo written in our hearts, 
before we presume to publish them to His people. Woe to 
him who, after having shown to others the way of salva- 
tion, falls himself into the abyss of perdition. 

u The Commandant and the Intendant of the Province 



42 He recommends moderation. 

are travelling through the towns and villages of the country ; 
it is well that I should remain where I am, to learn if possible 
from their speech and conversation, whether we have yet 
to suffer, or whether we may hope for some alleviationof our 
sufferings. I will inform you ot all on the first opportunity.. 

" I have learned, my dear brethren, that you assemble, 
not alone to take necessary measures for the edification of the- 
Church but to anticipate the cunning of the Devil who is 
always seeking to raise divisions among you. It is of the 
utmost importance that you should be united among your- 
selves, for you know that a kingdom divided against itself 
cannot stand. In the name of God, think of your latter end ; 
let each one guard his secret thoughts ; God knows your 
intentions ; if you work for His glory and not for your own 
interests, God will prepare for you an eternal glory and great 
happiness ; but if unhappily anyone allows himself to be 
blindly seduced by his self-love, in seeking the esteem and 
approbation of men and the ease and pleasures of the flesh, 
God will confound him, and permit him tjo fall into the hands 
of men or of demons, who will cause him to perish. In the 
name of God, my dear brethren, let each one examine hinir 
self! If anyone is reputed to possess any thing or any talent 
which does not glorify God, he is unworthy to bear the name 
of Christian ; he who is the most endowed with grace and 
virtue, let him be the most humble and charitable ; let him 
not raise his voice in the assembly with bitterness against 
his brother, when he has erred in ecclesiastical discipline, 
but endeavour with gentleness to bring him back into the 
right path ! It is thus that Jesus Christ, the good Shepherd, 
Whom we should imitate, acts towards us when we wander. 

" The unhappy state of our affairs does not permit us to 
use rigourous excommunication. Declare however in the 
midst of the assembly of Pastors and Elders that you will 
leave to the justice of God the first who shall infringe by 
pride, or by a schismatic, heretical or calumniating spirit, 
against the rules you have established, in the name of God 
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, for the advancement 



He exhorts to prayer. 43 

of His reign and the good of His Church! After this the 
faithful pastors may rest in the assurance that Providence 
will avenge in a terrible manner any outrages against its 
glory. 

u Although I believe that in these Synodal Assemblies you 
are careful to implore the assistance of the Holy Spirit, bear 
with me if I exhort you to be more frequent in prayer than 
you have hitherto been. This is necessary for several reasons : 
first, because you know that except the Lord build the house 
they labour in vain that build it, and that it is useless to 
make wise laws if the Lord does not bless your efforts by 
diffusing His love in your hearts to observe them : 
secondly, because we are under the cross and always 
in danger of falling into the hands of our enemies who 
would delight in sacrificing us to their hatred: and 
lastly, because I believe it to be true that God is ready to 
manifest His power and His compassion on behalt of His 
Church, if we are careful frequently to humble ourselves in 
His presence, to pray for His help, and to render thanks for 
all the good that we have received from His bountiful Hand. 

M I pray you to be so good as to send me before separat- 
ing an abstract of the resolutions you may adopt. I commend 
myself to your earnest prayers ; do not forget me in your 
assemblies or in private ; since I never forget you when 
I offer my supplications to God. God bless and sanctify you, 
and God render you faithful in the ministry which He has 
committed to you; God render you more and more capable 
of edifying and consoling His afflicted Church ! God at length 
grant that you may obtain an entire victory, over the world, 
the flesh and the devil and that you may inherit the Crown 
of righteousness which I wish for you with all my soul, as 
being, Messieurs and my dear and well beloved brethren in 
Jesus Christ, your humble and affectionate servant. 

May 1719. "Benjamin." 



44 The pestilence of Alms. 



CHAPTER VII. 

THE PESTILENCE OF ALAI8. 
1720—1721. 

What was the result of all these courageous 
protestations of fidelity towards the Prince ? The 
Court was so much perplexed with Spain that the 
persecution appeared to abate. The assemblies 
could be attended without being seriously dis- 
turbed by the troops. Nevertheless neither the 
edicts nor the ordinances had been abrogated ; they 
were always suspended, like the sword of Damocles, 
over the heads of the pastors and the faithful, as 
these did not fail soon to discover. When Spain 
had been subdued, and though there was no dread of 
a new crusade from the Camisards, the Court renewed 
against Protestantism the work of destruction under- 
taken by Louis XIV. In Brittany, Dauphiny, 
Poitou, and Languedoc, and wherever Huguenots 
were found, their assemblies were dispersed and the 
preachers rigorously hunted. 

Bornage had succeeded Baville as Intendant of 
Languedoc, a change that for the Protestants of the 
South was only a change of executioners. The new 
Intendant sought to surpass in zeal, that is to say 
in cruelty, his predecessor of sinister memory. 
Accompanied by the Duke de Roquelaure, he visited 
the province, summoned before him the chief 
Protestants of each town and forbade them to hold 
their assemblies under pain of incurring the anger 



Relii/ious geai ie reawakened. 45 

of the Regent. One year had scareely elapsed since 
the brilliant promises — made by the DukedeBeaulieu 
— in the name of the Prince ! 

The troubles of the Church were now increased by 
the appearance of a new scourge. The pestilence 
which had desolated and depopulated Marseilles 
spread with an incredible rapidity to Provence and 
Languedoc. In 1721 it broke out at Alais, and there 
made great ravages. The wise measures adopted by 
the magistrates checked its progress. " A cordon of 
troops was formed to prevent communication with 
the other towns. No one was allowed either to go 
in or out ; infirmaries were established outside the 
town, where persons who were attacked by the 
sickness were carried and quarantine was instituted 
in the country houses of the environs : all those who 
had communicated with the infected, and all the 
contents of the houses where the pestilence had 
resulted in death were fumigated. The persons 
to whom this work was intrusted as well 
as those who interred the bodies, had no commu- 
nication with the other inhabitants, all of whom were 
shut up, each family in its own house, and not 
allowed to go out without incurring the severest 
penalties. The Catholics were also forbidden to 
assemble more than twelve persons at one time in 
their churches.'' l 

The ravages of the scourge revived the zeal 
of the religious; the Protestants saw in it a 
judgment of Grod to punish the infidelity of His 

1. Bonnal Olive. Notice sur Adit*. 



46 Activity and devotion of Du Plan. 

people. The Pastors, entirely occupied in visiting 
and caring for their sick, entertained for a moment the 
idea of suspending the assemblies, but the faithful 
protested, and in spite of the general interdict hasten- 
ed into the desert to edify and humble themselves. 
The rich, more alarmed than the poor, displayed 
an extreme zeal ; the preaching bore happy results, 
and the young people openly manifested sentiments 
of repentance. " At the sight of this spiritual re- 
surrection,*' wrote Court in 1721, "it appears that 
new blood circulates in the veins of the Protestants, 
and that a new spirit animates their body. Satan 
falls like lightning from heaven." The Churches of 
Lozère, the Pont-de-Montvert, Saint Julien d'Arpaon, 
and Cassagnas made great progress ; it was neces- 
sary to increase the number of the Elders of the 
Churches of Lasalle, Saumane and Alais ; and the 
town of Ganges, which had been very remiss, returned 
again to the faith. 

During all the time of the scourge, the zeal and 
devotion of Benjamin Du Plan were redoubled and 
his health in consequence became impaired, and for 
years after he suffered from the excessive fatigues 
which he endured during this terrible calamity. 
He continued his religious réunions with the 
tacit permission of Mgr. d'Avéjan, Bishop of Alais ; 
but the Governor of the town and the Commandant 
of the troops were greatly irritated at it. " They 
knew all that I did," Du Plan tells us himself; " the 
officers and soldiers seeing me pass along the streets 
pointed to me with their finger saying to their 



He is tolerated by the Bishop. 47 

comrades, ' there is the minister of the Huguenots.' 
Although these things were told me, I went from 
time to time as usual to the surprise of everybody, 
to visit the Bishop, the (iovernor, and even 
the Jesuits; but that which above all surprized 
one day the Ecclesiastics, who were instigating the 
Bishop against me with great zeal, were the Pre- 
lates own words, afterwards reported to me by a 
gentleman who was present : 'Let him alone, he 
is my principal curate.' " 

Such tolerance at that time and from individuals 
so exalted can only be explained by the intimate 
and friendly relations which united the family of Du 
Plan with the great personages of the town, and in 
particular with the Marquis de la Fare, a relation 
of the Bishop d'Avejan. 

Yet the public misfortunes scarcely abated the 
persecution ; the assemblies were hunted down, the 
galleys were crowded with new slaves and the 
Tower of Constance with new prisoners. It is 
especially mentioned that one assembly was sur- 
prised in a place called the Torrent du Caderemi, a 
locality situated near Nismes, fifty persons were 
arrested and shut up in the fort of Nismes, three 
were condemned to the galleys and nineteen were 
transported to the Mississippi. 



48 Departure of Court for Geneva. 



CHAPTER VIII. 

BENJAMIN DU PLAN AND THE VE8S0NNIENS. 

1721—1724. 

The year 1721 was for Du Plan a particularly 
unfortunate one. To the two scourges, the pestilence 
and the persecution, was added a quarrel in the 
Church on the subject of the Inspired. This quarrel 
broke out during the absence of Antoine Court, who 
had set out for Geneva in 1720. The object of his 
journey was to dissipate the prejudices ©f the pastors 
and the faithful of that Church against their co-reli- 
gionists of Prance. The former had falsely accused the 
preachers of exposing the Protestants without neces- 
sity, by obstinately holding illicit assemblies in the 
Desert ; they reproached them also with fomenting 
revolt against the King and with permitting them- 
selves to be carried away by the ridiculous eccentri- 
cities of visionaries and the Inspired. Court con- 
quered all these prejudices., and revived the interest 
and zeal with which the faithful of Greneva had never 
ceased to regard their brethren of France, notwith- 
standing the menaces and the restrictive measures of 
the King. He was away two years. During this 
time his flock, their sufferings and misfortunes were 
the constant objects of his sympathy and solicitude. He 
had confided them to faithful hands. Cortiez replaced 
him, and Benjamin Du Plan used redoubled activity 
and zeal. But his absence appeared too long. Cortiez, 
overworked, and no longer equal to the task, wrote 



His letter to Du Plan. 49 

letter after letter to his colleague to hasten his 
return ; Du Plan was no less pressing ; Antoine 
Court replied to the Gentleman of Alais : 

" Monsieur, 
" I have the honor to acknowledge your valuable letter 
in which I have seen with renewed pleasure that you show 
the same piety and the same zeal which God has so long 
scattered abundantly in your soul : you have always 
followed the salutary movements that inspired these virtues 
in a heart which gloried in their possession. By the one you 
have defended the interest and the truth of religion, and 
by the other you have taught its followers in your own 
person that nothing is contained in its precepts which it is 
not easy to practice. By one of these virtues I see you 
sacrificing ease, goods, honor and, if requisite, life itself, to 
the salvation of your brethren, in communicating to them the 
light and the knowledge with which Heaven inspires you ; 
by the other you show me that there is nothing, however 
difficult in appearance, which is not easy of accomplishment 
to a true soul, and a noble and generous heart ; and by 
both you encourage me to hasten the resumption of my duties 
in our afflicted Churches ; you represent the necessity in a 
manner so touching and pathetic, so elevated and sublime, 
that it is difficult to reply. You further accompany the 
whole by your own example, so that I seem to hear your 
voice (which would no doubt be the case were it not for 
your great modesty and low estimation of all that you do 
however great or praiseworthy it may be) saying : 'What, my 
brother, will you see me abandon the ease and the repose 
which I enjoyed in my home, will you see me sacrifice 
the delights and advantages which surrounded my life iu my 
native town, will you see me, who am so tender and 
delicate, exposed henceforth to the burning heat of summer 
and the sharp frosts ot winter, sleeping sometimes in a wood, 
sometimes in a cavern, sometimes among straw, and some- 
times in another place still worse ; and will you who ought 



50 His letter to Du Plan. 

to be already accustomed to these hardships, remain where 
you are, preferring the ease and advantages of life in a city? 
I admit these advantages are great, and have no doubt they 
possess charms and attractions which render their abandon- 
ment difficult. But even if the charms and attractions were 
greater ought you not, after my example, (though mine might 
have had no parallel to yours), to renounce them as 
promptly as I have done, since we work together for the 
same object, since the very reasons that have decided me to 
make the sacrifice I have made ought to decide you to make 
that of which I speak, and since, in a word, we ought both 
to adopt the same career. If my example should not have 
force enough, have you not your beloved flock who 
eagerly ask for you ? Do you not hear their feeble voice, 
growing weaker by calling you ? does not your conscience 
tell you what to do, and conjure you in the tenderest manner 
to come and use the talents with which Providence 
has endowed you for their instruction and consolation ' ? 

" To this imaginary voice I would reply by asking why 
am I urged by so many powerful reasons and interested 
motives to hasten my return ; have I no desire for it, and 
this desire is it not a fire whose flame burns and consumes 
my soul ? Do I not long for the wings of the eagle to fly to 
my poor sheep, not to tear them with my claws, but to 
gather them under the wings of the Gospel, and to preach to 
them the consolations, promises, and hopes that it gives us ? 
Have I not often prayed with the Church that the heavens 
might open, but on this occassion do 1 not pray that they 
may open in a different sense in order to shew me a way 
by which I may have free access to our mountains ; do I not 
watch for this way? Is not my departure the constant 
subject of my meditation ? I think of it night and day, and 
wish for nothing so much as to follow our dear colleagues 
with the crook in my hand, leading and pasturing our flocks 
in the grassy folds of the Truth and on the verdant banks of 
the inexhaustible springs of water leading to life eternal. 
"Whilst I prepare myself for this journey, pray to God that He 



Cortiez accuses Du Plan of countenancing the Inspired. 51 

may shew me the way by which I should pass ; that He may 
inspire me with the courage I need : that He may preserve 
me from all grievous accidents, and that He may disperse all 
the obstacles which oppose themselves in my path ; join to 
all this your wise counsels. 

I fear being recognised on the way. It is necessary to 
render an account everywhere one goes, even in the smallest 
village — who you are, whence you come, and whither you go. 
Let me know what precautions I ought to take, and by what 
road it will be easiest for me to enter the province. I shall 
wait with impatience the honor of your reply to the above. 
Meanwhile I embrace you with Christian affection, and 
I beseech you to believe me with all the tenderness and zeal 
possible, 

" Monsieur, your very humble and very obedient servant, 

« A. C." 



Benjamin Du Plan had personal reasons for 
desiring the prompt return of Antoine Court. His 
relations with the Inspired had provoked against him 
the party of Ecclesiastical Order, at whose head was 
Cortiez. Cortiez had no great affection for Benjamin 
DuPlan, not that he tailed to recognise his numerous 
merits 7 but he mistrusted his ideas on inspiration 
and accused him of fomenting division in the 
Church. Had this accusation any foundation ? Had 
not Du Plan, from the first, encouraged Antoine 
Court in his work of revival? Had he not aided 
him^ not alone by bis counsel, but also by his in- 
fluence ? Had he not taken part regularly in all the 
Synods and Conferences, supervised the deliberations, 
and written in the common name either to the Regent 



52 History of Vesson. 

or to foreign Princes? Was it possible to find a better 
Huguenot, and at the same time a Christian more 
able and more devoted? What then was his crime? 
Why, duringtheabsence of Antoine Court, did Cortiez 
incite the faithful against the pious nobleman? We 
have already said it was because the latter associated 
with the Inspired: his social position and his personal 
qualities gave to this obscure party, composed in 
general of ignorant persons, a lustre and relief it 
did not merit. Let us add that the extravagances 
of some members of this party and, above all, the 
revolt of two of its principal chiefs, Vesson and 
Hue, against the established order, appeared to 
justify all the rigours of Cortiez. 

The influence of Vesson and Hue at this time 
was so considerable, and Du Plan suffered so much 
from the troubles they occasioned, that a brief sketch 
of their lives may not be deemed superfluous. 

Vesson was a native of De Cros, near Saint 
Hippolyte. He set himself up as a preacher and said 
he was inspired. He preached in the desert and fell 
into ecstacies, and held his assemblies so imprudently 
that they were often surprised by the soldiers. 
Scarcely had he signed the rules of the Synod of 
1715, when he refused to submit to them. His 
independent spirit could not bend to any human 
judge. He re-appeared no more at the Synodal 
reunions and, though he was not ordained, he 
took the liberty of administering the Sacrament and 
of convoking assemblies. A Synod held in February 
1718 summoned him to its bar, and as he refused to» 



The Schism of Vesson mid Hue. 53 

appear he was deprived of his functions, and 
denounced as a schismatic. It decided nevertheless 
that he should be re-instated in his office of preacher 
if he would express regret for his conduct. The 
month following*, Vesson at a conference made a 
public apology through Cortiez , Rouvière and 
Antoine Court. But his natural impetuosity and 
impatience of all restraint carried him away anew, 
and he fell again into the same faults; he violated 
the established rules, and sought partisans among 
the Inspired, who were enemies of all discipline. A 
Synod, convoked in 1720, tried him and suspended 
him from his functions. This was considered a bold 
act by some who feared that the consequences might 
prove fatal to the Church, as Vesson, making use of 
his popularity, might create a schism and increase 
the difficulties of the situation. The Protestants 
were decimated by persecution and b} r the pestilence -, 
■was it well that they should be divided among them- 
selves and present to their mortal enemies the 
spectacle of discord ? Du Plan raised his voice, not 
to defend Vesson, on the contrary he blamed him 
severely and sanctioned his excommunication, but 
endeavoured to appease angry spirits, and to arouse 
in irritated hearts sentiments of charity, peace and 
moderation. His intentions were misunderstood, he 
was confounded with those whose cause he appeared 
to support, laymen and preachers included him in 
the same condemnation with which they had con- 
demned Vesson and his partisans. Unfortunately 



54 History of Hue. 

Court was absent and he alone was able to clear his 
friend from these unjust accusations. 

The fears entertained by some were realised- 
The Synodal decision brought the irritation of the 
Inspired to a climax ; they separated themselves 
from the Church and gathered round Vesson and Hue 
whom they henceforth considered as their chiefs. 
Vesson went into Lower Languedoc and Hue into 
the Cevennes. 

Hue Mazel, otherwise Mazelet, was well advanced 
in years. A native ofGénolhac,hehad been one of the 
first of the Camisards to raise the standard of revolt, 
and though he could neither read nor write he had 
preached with great success before the soldiers of 
Roland. The war having terminated, he fled into 
Switzerland, but his desire for adventure induced 
him to return to France, where he held some inter- 
course with the Catholics of Montpellier. It was there,, 
probably, that he imbibed the doctrines respecting 
the resurrection, and the peculiar ideas on other 
subjects which afterwards caused anxiety to his 
colleagues. Placed in communication with Antoine 
Court he became, with Vesson, one of his first fellow 
labourers and signed the Synodal rules of 1715. But 
this act was soon forgotten, and in 1719 he 
propounded strange ideas on the question of 
Protestant marriages, affirming that it was permis- 
sible, without sinning, to be married at the Church 
and to sign the abjurations, of which the clergy had 
established the form, under the fallacious pretext 
that it was possible to abjure the heresies of Calvin. 



Irritation of Court against the Female Fanatics. 55 

without abjuring the religion of Jesus Christ. A 
Synod convoked in 1719 suspended and deposed him 
for having violated the rules. But this ignorant and 
self-opiniated old man, instead of submitting went 
into the Upper Cevennes, where he endeavoured to 
propagate his dangerous doctrines. 

Such were the two chiefs who put themselves at 
the head of the Inspired. Under these circumstances 
Cortiez, who did not spare Benjamin Du Plan, 
wrongfully held him responsible for all these dis- 
orders. He called a Synod in 1721, at which 
Vesson was again put under the ban of the Church; 
Du Plan had been summoned and was compelled to 
render an account of his conduct and of his rela- 
tions with the adversaries of ecclesiastical discipline. 
The Gentleman of Alais bowed respectfully before 
the remonstrances of his colleagues, but he did not 
adhere less firmly to his convictions, or make any 
perceptible change in his conduct. 

Antoine Court suffered greatly on hearing of 
the severe act of discipline which had been directed 
against his pious friend. He was more irritated than 
ever against the extravagancies and fanaticisms of 
the sect. " Whenever," he wrote, " I think of these 
people ascribing to the Spirit of the Lord their 
foolish imaginings, and the extravagancies that 
they have committed, and of which I have often been 
a witness, a shivering takes possession of my whole 
person, my flesh creeps, my hair stands on end, my 
heart trembles, and I fear that a thunderbolt may 
descend from heaven to destroy the miserable 



56 He remonstrates with them. 

i 

creatures who have dared to call the Holy Spirit 
the author of all these things." 1 From Geneva, he 
wrote a letter in which, following the commandment 
of St. Paul, 2 he rebuked the women who interfered 
with preaching. This is not saying that he condemned 
them to be absolutely dumb. " When there shall 
be no pastors in a district," he said, " let the women 
win over by persuasion and restore the backsliders; 
let them console the afflicted, visit the sick, instruct 
the young, and strengthen the weak ; let them do all 
this," he added, " by private conversation, but let 
them never take the liberty of preaching like doctors 
in a duly convoked assembly." 

In order to give greater weight to his remon- 
strances he besought Professor Pictet to write on the 
same subject. The Professor thereupon published his 
famous letter " On those who believe themselves 
inspired." Pictet enjoyed great authority, and his 
letter, recognised and supported by the Venerable 
Company of Pastors of Geneva, produced immense 
sensation. Vesson was shunned, and his most 
devoted partisans abandoned him. Having no further 
means of existence, crippled by debt, followed by 
his creditors, and prosecuted by the Synods, he had 
recourse to expedients in order to live and to main- 
tain his numerous family. We meet with him again 
at Montpellier, chief of a ridiculous sect which 
caused his ruin and indirectly brought about the 
flight and exile of Benjamin Du Plan. 

1. M.S.S. de Court, Letter of 6th June 1721 to Mdlle. Simart. 

2. I Cor. XIV, 34. 



The Widow Verchand of Montpellier. 57 



CHAPTER IX. 

THE MULTIPLIANTS. 
1723. 

In 1721 there lived at Montpellier a widow- 
named Verchand, originally of Soramières. This lady 
had had during a journey in the Cevennes a strange 
vision in which she pretended to have seen Grod 
Himself. On returning to Montpellier she began a 
correspondence with Benjamin Du Plan whose 
reputation for piety had spread far. Believing that 
she desired his counsel and advice, he wrote several 
letters to her in which he spoke " of the great 
matter of the reign of Grod and the deliverance of 
the Church, and asked the Almighty to accord to 
her more and more the light and virtue of His spirit 
and to reveal to her the great mysteries of His 
love/' 

At this time the pestilence was raging in Mont- 
pellier, and the faithful everywhere felt the need of 
uniting to strengthen themselves in the faith. 
Mme. Verchand opened her house to them, and it was 
soon filled with the preachers and the prophets of 
the neighbourhood ; she became a focus of resistance 
to the disciplinary decisions of the Synod of 1721 
against Vesson, and in general against the Inspired. 
The brethren Comte of Lunel, and Bonicel of Pont- 
de-Montvert transformed this society into a sect, the 
leaders of which denied all spiritual authority and 



58 She endeavours to win over Du Plan. 

recognised no other guide than their own inspiration. 
It was to this odd sect that Vesson affiliated himself. 

On the day of his reception, the 25th of 
December, 1722, he received the imposition of hands 
from the three chief priests, Bonicel, Bourely (a 
young lad of sixteen years), and Antoine Comte, and 
bound himself "to serve them as minister and 
preacher, to do nothing without their advice, to be 
entirely and always at their command, and finally, 
to uphold the Ark of Truth." 

Through his mediation, the little community 
entered immediately into correspondence with the 
towns where the rebel preacher counted his warmest 
partisans. Mme. Verchand wrote again to Du Plan ; 
she tried to induce him to come, and offered him 
the presidency of the Church. But Du Plan had too 
much good sense to allow himself to be seduced. 
The presence of the schismatic Vesson was alone 
sufficient to show him his duty. He replied to 
Mme. Verchand, advising her to abandon these 
fanciful projects, and to separate herself from the 
imposters who surrounded her, as they could but 
compromise her and lead her to ruin. His foresight 
was soon justified. 

On the 6th of March, 1723, the house of 
Mme. Verchand was invaded by a detachment of 
soldiers. At the moment they entered the apartment 
in which the sectarians celebrated their strange rites, 
there were in the house thirteen persons, — six 
men, six women and a young lad. One of the 
six men wore, like a priest, an aube, on which 



The Sect of (he Multipliants. 59 

was placed a sort of shoulder belt; he had also a 
cap resembling a helmet and the whole was 
decorated with aigrettes and surrounded with golden 
paper ; he held in his hand a reed which served as 
staff' to a silken banner. Another individual was 
habited in a dress of greyish brown ; he was 
furnished with a baton at the end of which was a 
circular disk of pasteboard surrounded by laurels 
and containing on each face an inscription in large 
characters. As to the women, they wore black caps 
bordered with silvery white taffetas, each cap orna- 
mented with an aigrette attached by a green ribbon. 
The interior of the house was as fanciful as its 
inmates. The first room was decorated with laurels, 
to which were attached apples, oranges, lemons, and 
bottles of wine and brandy. On the door was this 
inscription ; " It is ordained by (rod that the door 
shall be shut against all who come here and refuse 
to be searched, and woe to them who suffer it not ! " 
The first room led to a second which was the 
sanctuary, called by the sectarians the " New Zion."' 
All round was suspended a cordon of fleurs de lis in 
golden paper. In the middle stood a chair raised by 
four steps decorated with laurels, ribbons, and 
inscriptions in Hebrew. The ceiling was hung in 
white and in the centre was a representation of the 
sun with this inscription in Latin : " This is the 
true way." There was further discovered in this 
room a dish surrounded by a napkin, the four 
ends of which Avere fastened with ribbons of 
different colours, and near the window was a 



60 Their condemnation. 

square table, furnished with a bell, an inkstand, and 
a Bible. The top of this table was covered with 
emblematical designs, such as scales, heart, and 
compass. Each object had its signification. The. 
laurels represented the triumph of the Church; the 
oranges figured the plenty which should abound 
during the reign of Jesus Christ ; the white taffetas 
suspended from the ceiling and the looped ribbons 
of four colours were the wedding garments of the Holy 
Spirit, and the chair represented the mountain of 
Horeb. Behold into what speculations and to what 
a mad end the successors of the first Inspired had 
been gradually led by their disordered brains! 

These wretched men speedily brought about their 
own ruin. Convicted of having violated the Royal 
Edicts which prohibited the assemblies, they were 
condemned. Vesson, in the hope of escaping death, 
offered to betray his co-religionists to the govern- 
ment, and for this service he demanded secrecy and 
five hundred crowns; the work might be most 
conveniently done at Easter, when the Huguenots 
assembled themselves in Synod; he would then pre- 
sent himself before them and announce his miraculous 
escape. Bernage scorned the propositions of the 
traitor and condemned him to death with Bonicel, 
Antoine Comte and a prophetess of the sect. On 
the 22nd of April, they were taken from the citadel 
clad in their shirts only, a wax taper in their hands 
and a rope round their necks. Conducted to the 
front of the Chapel of the Citadel, and then before 
the Cross of the Esplanade, they suffered the extreme 



TV Execution of Veston and Hue. 61 

penalty of the law, and were hung on gibbets erected 
on the Place. The other prisoners were sent to the 
King's galleys for life. Mme. Verchand, Jeanne 
Mazaurigue and Suzanne Loubière, were compelled 
to witness the execution of their accomplices and 
were afterwards confined in the Tower of Constance. 
Anne Gaussent, whose only crime was that of having 
attended the assemblies without having shared in the 
ceremonies, was also confined in the Tower. The 
house was rased and there remained nothing of the 
sect of the Multipliants but the name, which had 
been given to the street in which the house was 
situated. 

Some weeks after the execution of Vesson, the 
aged Hue, his old friend, was put to death in the 
same manner, and at the same place. Arrested in a 
house near St. Paul-la-Coste, in the Cevennes, he 
was conducted to the Citadel of Montpellier where 
Vesson had already been confined. The old man was 
accused of having presided at assemblies, and of 
preaching : convicted of the double crime, he was 
condemned to be hung. We are acquainted with 
his adventures, and the versatility of his opinions; 
his ideas concerning marriage, and his catholic ten- 
dencies, had more than once been the object of 
synodal and disciplinary decisions; the obstinate old 
man had resisted and seceded and had at length 
become with Vesson a chief of the new sect. At 
the last moment, under the pressure of urgent solici- 
tations, he disowned his past life and abjured his 
religion. He hoped this tardy abjuration would save 



62 Du Plan's letter to Court on the subject. 

him. In every respect he was mistaken; on the 5th 
of May, in the midst of an extraordinary excitement 
he was hanged, and died with great resignation. His 
funeral was pompous. Proud of their conquest of a 
preacher, a thing they were not accustomed to, the 
Catholics pressed in crowds to his interment. Two 
hundred penitents marched at the head of the pro- 
cession, and six Franciscan friars carried the hier. 
On each side of the cortege numerous ecclesiastics 
collected alms from the faithful, and lastly, to crown 
this successful work, the body of the old apostate 
was placed in a vault of Notre-Dame-des-Tables. 

The execution of Vesson and of Hue Mazelet was 
a death blow to the Inspired - , after having caused 
great fear and mistrust they fell into ridicule and 
contempt. Benjamin Du Plan, who ought not to be 
confounded with these fanatics, — as he had always 
openly repudiated their opinions, — nevertheless suf- 
fered much from the sympathy with which he had 
regarded the best of the Inspired. It was only the 
prestige of his name and the éclat of his services 
that arrested the attacks of Pierre Cortiez and other 
fierce adversaries. He was compelled to defend him- 
self with his pen against the accusation of being an 
accomplice in the intrigues of the men whom justice 
had seized, and he wrote to Antoine Court beseech- 
ing him to convoke a Synod with the view of 
pacifying the minds of the brethren. 

u Monsieur, ray dear brother in our Lord Jesus Christ : 
" The wisdom, love and peace of God be with you ! 
Since Providence and the mercy ot God have sent us into 



Du Plan defends his conduct. 63 

this country, to instruct, console, and fortify the faithful, we 
should neglect nothing which can contribute to the glory of 
God and the edification of the Church. It is in the time of 
tempest that a good pilot displays his abilities. It is in the 
battle that a wise and valiant general makes known his 
prudence and his valour. We are beaten by the storm, we 
are encircled by the enemy, but we must not lose courage : 
on the contrary, we must strengthen the weak, raise up the 
fallen, and bring back to the combat those who have deserted 
or wandered. 

" I am persuaded, my dear brother, that you have good 
intentions. If you knew my heart, you would be persuaded 
that my intentions are also good. This common conviction 
should lead us to hope, through the mercy of God, for a 
happy issue to all our enterprises. 

u As I ask of God with all my heart for grace to seek only 
His glory and the edification of the Church, I shall make no 
difficulty in revealing to you my thoughts, my sentiments and 
my -projects. In the first place, I have not quitted thekingdom 
because God has endowed me with talents suitable to edify 
and to reunite the Church. I should be a coward if I aban- 
doned the battle field, while I see there is more need of help 
than ever. Secondly, I was concealed and scarcely showed 
myself for a time because my presence made too much 
éclat and because I did not wish unnecessarily to irritate 
the minds of our adversaries, who are thirsting for our 
"blood. Moreover, I am desirous of somewhat calming the 
storm, with the view of arranging a day on which to hold 
the Synod I believe to be so necessary, in order to bring all, 
if it please God, to one mind. 

"Remember, my dear brother, that no divided house 
or kingdom can stand. The love of God is only found 
with those who live in, or who desire, peace. Our newly 
born Churches are troubled and divided ; for this reason 
the anger of the Almighty is kindled against us, and the 
«word of the enemy has entered into our camp. 

" I have admired, and probably you have also, the 



64 He repudiates all connection with the Schismatics. 

workings of Providence, which has delivered into the 
hands of our enemies precisely those who had separated 
themselves from the body of our Churches ; but though we 
have been spared, let us not flatter ourselves we are innocent 
before God. It is even very possible that many among us 
are guilty of greater crimes than any committed by those 
who have suffered, or are suffering, in this last persecution. 

u I have never upheld the rebellious and arrogant, or the 
heretics and schismatics. I have protested equally against 
Vesson and Mazelet. I have opposed, as much as my 
authority and my information have permitted me, both fools 
and fanatics. I detest impostures and superstitions, but 
I approve none the more the rash judgments, or bitter 
voices which under the appearance ofpiety and zeal cry, 
without knowledge of facts and without intelligence : Away, 
Away; Crucify, Crucify ! They confound without examination 
the innocent with the guilty, they crucify Jesus Christ in His 
members among thieves and imposters. Provided the false 
zealots can say: 'Our religion is pure and holy,' they believe 
that will suffice to justify their harsh decisions, and their 
bad conduct. They do not bear in mind that if the Christian 
religion is pure and holy, it should inspire in those who 
profess it, wisdom, gentleness, charity and moderation ; 
without these virtues, however zealous they may appear, 
they are scarcely more reasonable than the Ephesians, who 
cried with all their might and without reflection ; ' Great is 
Diana of the Ephesians ! ' 

" I exhort you then, my dear brother, in the name of out- 
Lord Jesus Christ, to write, speak, and act, to the extent 
of your ability for the purpose of assembling a Synod of 
honest, virtuous and learned persons, who will endeavour 
to promote unity, establish a discipline which may be ob- 
served by all, take efficacious means not alone to strengthen 
the weak, raise up the fallen, and bringback the wanderers, 
but above all, by the help of God, and after the example of 
the Apostles and the Reformers to spread the truth among 
our neighbours who are as sheep without a shepherd. I have 



Il, extols union and harmony. 65 

faith in God to believe that if we pray to Him earnestly 
and are firmly united, He will make us triumph over all 
our enemies, and give great success to His Gospel through 
our ministry 

u But if ambition, or vain glory, if jealousy, envy or any 
other wicked passion creeps in and reigns among us, discord 
will enter also, we shall be divided, and God, jealous of His 
glory, with deliver us all, one after the other, into the hands 
of our enemies. 

u God will not, however, abandon His Church ; He will 
choose other pastors after His own heart who will be more 
humble, more faithful, more charitable, and more generous 
than we are. These pastors will not be imbued with 
suspicion, mistrust, and jealousy; they will love God with 
all their heart, and their neighbour as themselves. 

u In the name of God, my dear brother, let us beware of 
that warning which God gives to us as he did to the Jews, 
against letting His vineyard to other husbandmen. In the 
name of God hearken to the voice of one of your brethren 
who loves you with a sincere and affectionate heart. I desire 
neither wealth nor honors of men ; I ask of God only His 
grace and His love. I have abandoned all, and I am ready 
to sacrifice all for the glory of God and the edification of the 
Church. Notwithstanding what certain ignorant or malicious 
persons may say, I do not wish to form another sect ; on the 
contrary I would, if the thing were possible, quench with my 
blood all the schisms and heresies in the world ; I love 
infinitely more to serve Jesus Christ and His Church than to 
rule over a hundred peasants, a whole kingdom, or even 
the whole world, because I know that all the kingdoms of 
the world are as nothing compared with the Kingdom of 
Heaven which is to be gained by faithfully serving our Lord. 
u Reflect well, my dear brother, on all these truths. Lose 
no time in making several copies ol this letter, if you think 
proper, for distribution among your colleagues and Elders. 
Confer with them if you can, concerning the Synod that 
I propose to you ; I speak to all the Elders and Pastors of 



66 He demands the convocation of a Synod. 

this country in speaking to you. After having prayed to 
God, select well the time, the place, and the persons for this 
business, a matter which appears to me very important. 
I will present in the meantime my prayers to God on your 
behalf, as being always, my dear brother, with a tender 
affection, 

" Your very humble and obedient servant, 
" Benjamin." 

" I commend myself to the prayers of all the faithful who 
shall see my letter." 

This letter of Du Plan betrayed the anxieties 
and troubles which racked his spirit and his heart. 
He had found that his individual ideas on inspiration 
and his close relations with the Inspired had 
dissatisfied a few pastors and a certain number of 
the faithful; they accused him in the Synods and 
in the Assemblies; and reproached him with violating 
discipline and encouraging schism. These accusa- 
tions, which had certainly an appearance of truth, 
moved the heart of Antoine Court, who took up 
his pen, and finally decided to discuss thoroughly 
this question which was on the point of impairing 
the influence of his friend: 

" Monsieur, 
" I have just received one of your letters which is 
without doubt addressed to all the pastors. It has no date. 
I received another some days ago on the same subject, though 
you say three months have passed since you wrote it. I did 
not reply because in the first place it had to be communicated 
to everyone, and this has not been possible in so short a time, 
and secondly, because I hoped to see and converse with you 
on the subject in question ; but this was not possible. I was 



Reply of Antoine Court. G7 

-in Nisraes, and addressed myself there to the loaders of the 
Church : the) 7 told me they knew nothing concerning yon, 
that yon were very mysterious with them, that you tried 
to hide yourself from them, and that it was necessary 
to address themselves to certain prophetesses in order to find 
out where you were. This I did, but the younger sister 
whom I addressed very mysteriously concealed from me 
your abode, and in a grave and serious tone, becoming in a 
person ot her character, said to me : 'I do not know his 
abode, but if you have anything to convey to him we will 
convey it.' This reserve appeared to me doubtful, and ?.t 
the same time I was distressed to see that our brave Barak 
had sought counsel from masked Deborahs while despi- 
sing the advice of the Elders of the people. The Synods are 
not so easily assembled as you appear to imagine ; this sort 
of assembly, and under circumstances so delicate as those 
in which we are to meet together, may give rise to 
cares, and perplexities, and many dangers and fears: these 
public bodies cannot be convoked every day, and cannot 
even be aroused without trouble ; difficult however as it may 
be to convoke them and to put the machine in motion, we 
would have resolved to overcome all if we could have per- 
suaded ourselves that the measures we might there adopt 
would be efficacious ; but alas ! we have the misfortune of 
knowing by a fatal experience that we are exposing our- 
selves for nothing, that all the care and all the trouble we 
give ourselves are useless, while they who appear the firmest 
defenders of the rules we establish are the first to violate 
them. Your conduct, Monsieur and dear brother, is but too 
just a commentary on this mortifying truth ; and what is more 
grievous still, your example is of no small influence with the 
naturally capricious and independei.t persons who have so 
long troubled the Church and who wish nothing better than to 
see at their head a person of your rank and genius. Gracious 
God ! *what mischief will you not do to those whom you have 
caused to be born to Jesus Christ, if you do not rectify cer- 
tain of your sentiments ; true religion, which is an enemy of 



68 He accuses Dit Plan of breaking the rules. 

fictions and fanaticism, will suffer harm if you continue to 
shake by your example the solid foundations of order, in the 
marvellous building which has been raised amongst 
the storms and tempests of persecution ! I am not surprised 
that the Vessons, the Mazelets and the Boyers and all of a 
similar character, should rebel against order, shake off the 
yoke of discipline, and evade the wise rules which you your- 
self have helped to establish : they were mercenary, ignorant, 
and proud, full of themselves, and acting only from 
shameful motives of self interest or vain glory ; but what 
surprises and afflicts me is that a pious, wise, enlightened, 
charitable, humble and disinterested man should forget him- 
self and thus err : perhaps I exaggerate your faults, and my 
microscope magnifies too much the object of my view. I. 
wish and would to God the thing were so ! But alas ! I greatly 
fear it will be difficult to prove this to me. My silence, you 
say, joined to the opposition that certain Elders raised, when 
against order you wished to establish yourself as preacher 
in a public assembly, has induced several people to say that 
a spirit of ambition and jealousy has possessed some of our 
body, and that in place of desiring the glory of God and the 
love of the Church they desire their own glory under a fine 
appearance of piety and zeal which leads astray the ignorant. 
This appears to me the result of insufficient reflection ! In 
the first place, I do not see how it can be concluded from my 
silence that I am ambitious or jealous; it would be more 
reasonable to say that I was neither one nor the other, or 
rather that I was indolent and unfeeling ; but it would .be 
better still to adopt the plan which you desired for yourself, 
of suspending ajudgment until the arguments withheld from 
me had been put in evidence ; to act thus is discreet ; other- 
wise we risk making mistakes and being considered 
rash. Secondly, I do not see what other conclusion can be 
drawn from the conduct of the Elders, who oppose 
those who violate our rule of faith, especially one of its 
articles and the eternal law of good order and wisdom. In a 
happier age and quieter times it would have been otherwise, 



//- answers 1>>i P/an's appeal to the Scriptures. 6i> 

And those men would have heen characterised as prudent and 
wise who wished to prevent disorder and the sad results 
which such irregularities would necessarily produce. If I am 
not mistaken it is more to the point to say that when a man 
of superior genius, and distinguished rank sets himself up as 
a chief and against our rules convokes assemblies and 
preaches, the result can only be disastrous. If such is the 
line of conduct M. Du Plan wishes to pursue, he has all the 
requisite qualifications and his example will consequently be 
very pernicious. It is only when we oppese the evasions of 
wise laws that we act according to order and wisdom. 

" You say you do not yield because you are not persuaded 
by good reasons and by passages drawn from the Holy 
Scriptures. You recognise in matters of faith and contro- 
versy only God and His word, and you do not allow your- 
self to be dazzled by learning and the eloquence of pastors, 
nor shaken by the multitude of persons who condemn things 
in which you have recognised the divine character; these 
sentiments are noble, generous, and worthy of an ath'etic 
Christian , but take care you do not allow yourself to be led 
away by your own judgment; examine anew, with an 
unprejudiced spirit, the reasons which have been alleged 
to you for combating your sentiment concerning the pro- 
phets of our day ; perhaps what you thought were phantoms 
will appear to you in this light, real and effective. Do not 
be too much attached to your own sentiments, it is danger- 
ous, and the danger is greater because one naturally 
loves the production of one's own mind, whether with or 
Avithout foundation, in the same manner as a mother loves 
her children whether they are pretty or ugly. It is not wise 
to be led by the multitude, but there is imprudence and folly 
in being unwilling to defer to its advice when that advice is 
wise and well grounded. We ought not to give way in 
things we recognise as divine, though they may be con- 
demned : this would be to applaud those who call good» 
evil : but we ought not to fall into the other extreme and 
call evil, good. This is what you do in assuming that 



70 He answers Du Plan's appeal to the Scriptures. 

they Avho call themselves inspired of the Holy Spirit are 
so in truth. You support the system on solid and scriptural 
grounds and you are not willing to surrender ; you appeal 
against the condemnation of your sentiments. Appeals are 
legitimate and necessary : the Donatists appealed formerly to- 
the Emperor, and thereupon a Council was assembled at 
Aries ; it was held in the year 314. St. Athanasius, after 
having been condemned at the council ot Tyr, brought his 
case before Pope Julius who discharged and absolved him, 
as also the Westefti bishops. Those who at present appeal 
under the Constitution Ugenitus, from the Pope to the 
Council, act wisely. Your case has been tried in a town 
which is at least to the Protestants what Rome was to the 
Papists; the judgmeuts there pronounced in matters of faith 
appear to possess more of orthodoxy and infallibility than 
those which emanate from the Sovereign Pontiff and the 
capital of the Papal Empire ; yet the authors of the 
judgments do not consider themselves to be infallible, any 
more than do you, though their decisions may be of weight 
and deserve careful consideration. If Councils and Synods, 
or the learned Academy of Geneva , to which you 
desire to appeal, do not judge your cause more favo- 
rably, where will you go next? Will you have recourse 
to new Synods and to new theologians? Will you hold 
to your sentiments? Will you persevere in your system? 
You will have a right to do so under the suppo- 
sition that it is most in conformity with the analogy of the 
faith ; and like another Athanasius you alone may be 
orthodox, while all other Protestants may err. If that 
should be the case you will be very fortunate, but before 
congratulating you on a good fortune which we do not 
yet believe to be proved, permit us to ask you for undoubted 
and authentic evidence of the the truth of your principles. 
As to ourselves, we continue to say that so long as we 
do not discover the character of a true prophet in those 
who wish to pass in the world as such, we shall remain firm 
in our belief. Among the characteristics which should. 



The attributes of <t true prophet. 71 

distinguish a prophet are holiness of life, generous 
courage, and veritable prophecies. A prophet should 
be holy, able to foretell the future and know the secret 
thoughts of men. His conduct should be very pure and 
he should possess a generous and magnanimous courage that 
he may overcome the greatest and most formidable obstacles, 
while attacking error and vice wheresoever they may be 
found ; such was the courage of the ancient prophets. He 
should always speak the truth, this being his chief and 
distinctive character ; if he swerves in the least, he is an 
imposter, a knave, and a man worthy of public execration : 
he is ungodly and profane, abusing the most holy things. 
It by this rule we examine the prophets of to-day ; how 
many liars and imposters shall we not find ? 

" Happy will it be if among the great number of prophets 
is found some Micah ; but alas ! a false spirit is dispersed 
among them ; when the false prophets say the Almighty 
has spoken by them it is a lie, for the Almighty has not done 
so, but they trust that their words may be fulfilled. Your own 
personal experience should have undeceived you ; the 
prophecies of the Valadières, as you think, had formerly 
the semblance of divinity ; this was at a time when fortune 
favored them ; to-day when things have changed and they 
have fallen into disgrace, it is no longer the same; their 
prophecies have now no divine semblance. Can anything be 
more pitiable ! Poor prophetesses ! How unhappy is your 
condition, since the divinity of your prophecies and your pros- 
perity depend on the caprice ot men ! I always (this I say in 
passing) treated with much scorn a Valadière prophetess, 
formerly famous among the party but who is now driven 
out, rejected, and railed at : in truth it were better to be 
your meanest servant than your prophet, as under Herod the 
Great it was better to be his pig than his son. 

u The comparison which you draw between prophets and 
doctors is not just : the first speak under the operation of the 
Holy Spirit, the second teach a science they have acquired ; 
the first should be infallible in their doctrine, the second 



72 The Inspired do not possess these attributes. 

may err; the first if they mislead the people, lose their 
good name of prophets and become imposters ; of doctors 
it cannot be said that they willingly mislead the people. 
You admit however that there are abnses among the pre- 
tended prophets of the day : that alone is sufficient to make 
us reject them. I admire the word pretended which you make 
use of ; if they are only pretended prophets, they ought not 
give themselves out as true, and we ought not to receive 
them as true. 

" You say you are not alone in your belief ; we know, 
however, that the greater number is not on your side ; but 
what does that signify? You are the little flock, alone 
favored ot heaven; Ha! may we not lose sight of this 
Noah's ark, the only safe house in the 3torm ; you under- 
stand me without further explanation. 

" We do not fo-get that Vesson had several elders, but 
it is a new doctrine ot theology that those who hold the 
sentiments of schismatic fanatics are fit to be Elders and can 
be useful to the Church. It is true that He who formerly 
opened the eyes of the blind with clay could make profitable 
use of those who have too long troubled the Church ; but as 
an event of this nature is doubtful and without any 
probability, ils consideration must not enter into our minds. 

"It is right for a good pastor sometimes to leave the 
ninety-nine sheep to seek the hundredth which has wandered ; 
we have done this more than once ; but up to the present we 
have not been able to bring it back to the fold ; there are 
sheep who only assume the skin of that innocent animal, 
while still retaining the attributes of its enemy; we do not 
however grow weary in caring for them, happy if by the help 
we render we may restore them to the fold." 
31 August 1723. 

Du Plan replied to him immediately : — 

" Monsieur, my very dear and honored brother, 
" I received your letter dated the 31st of August, on the 
2nd ot September, about four or five o'clock in the afternoon 



1)k Plan justifies Ms pt'udeni conduct. 73 

by an agent who quitted his business expressly to execute his 
duty iu regard to the interests of the Church. Though at 
the time I was with a sick person who had need of my help 
and consolation, though I was late and had four leagues to 
go, and was in danger of having to sleep outside the tow n ; 
though I had sent my clothes to a place where I was expected 
and whither had been sent two horses, one for me and the 
other for my invalid ; and lastly though a pain in my knee, 
forbade me to fatigue myself, and to trot my horse as I have 
done, I set out on learning from your letter, that you had 
important business to communicate to me, and have arrived 
very tired — with my knee much inflamed— at the place 
where I hoped to have seen you. While waiting the 
pleasure of embracing you, I have thought that in order to 
fulfil my duty and your expectation, it would be convenient 
to reply to you on some points in your letter. 

u In the first place, I do not pretend to date or sign my 
letters, to put the address of persons, or to signify the places 
whence they come and whither they go, tor reasons which 
appear to me sound. I know what doing this has cost me 
and others. 

" Secondly, I know it is more than three months since 
you received my first letter touching the Synod I believe to 
be necessary in order to bring together the faithful, and this 
time appears to me to be longer than is necessary tor giving 
notice to our bethren of what I wrote to them : it would 
not have required more than half the time to inform the 
whole of Europe. Is this negligence on your part in accord- 
ance with good faith ? and even if you were unable to com- 
municate with our brethren — a thing difficult to understand 
— have you done well in attributing the delay to me 
and in giving me your own, while waiting for the general 
opinion ? Your excuse and that of the Elders does not appear 
to me to be legitimate, when you affirm that knowledge ot 
my whereabouts was mysteriously withheld. It is true 
I have had at certain times to take great precautions, but 
I have been careful that my relations, and above all the 



74: He replies to the sarcasm of Court. 

Elders, should have the means ot comniunicatingjWith me by 
letter or otherwise if they wished ; let them then tind other 
pretexts to excuse themselves ! my prisons and my gaolers 
were well known and quite acccessible. 

"If the subject in question were not so serious and of 
such great consequence, I could answer your sarcasm ; it is 
better simply to reply that if God had chosen me to be a valiant- 
Barak I should not have left myselt to the direction ot false 
Deborahs ; if, however, God had selected a true person as His 
messenger, I should not have despised her; on the contrary, 
I should have adored, with profound reverence, that 
invisible and all powerful Hand which sometimes makes use 
of instruments that to mortal eyes seem vile and feeble, in 
order to contound the strongest, and those which to the 
world appear the most brilliant. I say further, if I knew 
that among the people there was some masked Deborah, as 
you term it, that is to say, according to the natural meaning 
of your words, some one inspired of God, who, by a 
criminal tear like that ot Jonah, hid herself, I would find her 
out and force her to discover and unmask herself in order to 
ascertain the will of the Almighty, though she might have 
wished to remain concealed after the example ot Jonah or 
Jeremiah. 

" You tell me the Synods are not so easy to convoke as I 
imagine. I think I ought to know the time required to 
form a small assembly of Pastors and Elders most capable of 
speaking on the matter in question and of using efforts to 
reunite the faithful. Call this assembly, Synod, Council, or 
Conference as you will, they are synonymous terms, as were 
Priest, Bishop, and Pastor in the Primitive Church. The busi- 
ness in hand to day appears to me of sufficient importance 
either to hasten the Synod, or to form a Colloquy, or small 
Synod, similar to that which was held on the occasion ot 
your marriage, when love had made such lively impressions 
on your heart, and so blinded your eyes that it concealed 
the dangers to which you exposed yourself. You are too 
reasonable not to be convinced that the business before us 



He urges the Convocation of a Synod. 75 

concerns the Church more than did your marriage, and that 
it thus better merits consideration from the Pastors and Elders, 
in order that a remedy may be provided. I have not the 
time at present, nor perhaps the capacity, to reply with elo- 
quence to all the flowers of rhetoric that you pompously 
display in order to express your sorrow, great or small, 
at the false ideas of yourself and some others touching my 
supposed wish to form a sect and my infringement of the 
rules of the Church. Permit me to say to all those who think 
such things that they are mistaken. I praise your zeal for 
the glory of God, and for the maintenance of discipline, but 
on this occasion you have gone a little astray, and in attack- 
ing and condemning me you have mistaken ihe sable for the 
fox, you have fired at the dog and not at the wolf. Can 
you conscientiously ignore my services to the Church and 
the functions I have exercised ? Save administering the 
Sacraments, is there any duty of Pastor or Elder I have not 
performed with the approbation and consent of all those who 
have heard me ? I have cared for the poor ; I have consoled 
the sick and the afflicted ; I have visited the prisoners ; I 
have assisted at the Synods ; I have made apologies for our 
religion ; I have presented petitions to the Powers ; and 
further while having been fully recognised by all the 
Pastors and Students of the Desert for eight or nine years 
past, I have endeavoured to preach the pure Gospel and to 
maintain (though not always with success) unity among the 
brethren whether they be hearers or preachers of the Word. 
I know not after this what can be the temper of those 
who set themselves in opposition to the continued exercise of 
my ministry and the duties of my calling. In truth I know 
not ! If it be asserted that I have not had the usual call to 
do that which I have done, then I ought to have been oppo- 
sed during the last fourteen or fifteen years. I can prove 
to my adversaries that when anyone has an extraordinary 
vocation, that is to say talents and zeal necessary to edify 
the Church in troublous times, a formal call is not needed ; 
but that which should completely shut the mouth of every 



76 He furnishes proofs of his vocation. 

objector is the verbal and written approbation of the pastors, 
the applause of the people who hear me, and the fruits reap- 
ed by many of the faithful. I ask whether further proof 
of my legitimate calling was still needed, and whether 
there was any necessity to employ useless forms and cere- 
monies for the conferring upon me of that authority which 
I possessed already, and which I had exercised so long and 
manifestly before both friends and enemies. I ask whether 
it has not been openly said that I was the minister of the 
Protestants ; whether I have not sacrificed or placed at ha- 
zard everything I hold most precious in this world in order 
that I might merit the title ; and whether I am not ready, 
through the grace of God, to sacrifice all that remains, if it 
be necessary for His glory and the edification of the Church? 
Do not then needlessly distress yourself, or be afraid that I 
am following in the steps of Vesson, of Mazelet or of Boyer. 
I have always desired order, peace, and discipline in the 
Church. You know in part what I have done to put down 
strife ; how when pride or some other wicked passion had 
cut off Vesson and Mazelet from the Church, I separated 
myself from them ; how, so far from having had relations 
with these schismatics, 1 did my utmost to draw away their 
adherents ; and how I spoke and wrote against them in 
order to destroy the false reputation which they had acqui- 
red in the opinion of many honest people who knew them 
not, while 1 never intermitted my intercourse with you, or 
failed to eulogise you to the world in order that our common 
interests might be maintained. Can anything therefore be 
more unjust than to suspect me of being schismatic or 
sectarian. 

" It is still possible that some malicious or ignorant per- 
sons may accuse me of having had a partiality for the su- 
perstitious sect of Montpellier, but God knows that so far 
from this having been true, I did not fail to censure and repri- 
mand them when I was present about three and a half years 
since. I never had any sympathy with this residuum or 
wished to be classed among them ; as a proof I may state 



'il disowns <ill relationship with the Multipliants. 77 

that though they besought me earnestly with magnificent 
promises and terrible threats, and sent expressly to ask me- 
to come among them and establish myselt as their chief, 
they never succeeded in influencing my mind. I had com- 
munication with them by letter in which I tried to sap the 
foundations of their edifice, but God has not seen fit to bless 
my efforts. It has pleased Him to employ other means than 
remonstrances to do away with these things. I have sub- 
mitted to His judgments, and though I sincerely pity those 
who were involved in this affliction, I can truly say that I 
was rejoiced when I heard they had been arrested. Thus 
there is as little reason for you to blame me for the affair 
of Montpellier, as there is for me to blame you in the matter 
of Vesson or Mazelet. You have done what you could to 
bring back these two Schismatics, and have not succeeded; 
neither have I, but God has delivered His Church from the 
one as well as the other. He Avilis that their fall and their 
example should keep us in humility and charity in order that 
we should never seek our own glory or self interests, but 
the glory of God and the edification of the Church. 

u I receive with pleasure your exhortation to be not unduly 
attached to my own sentiments and will endeavour to profit 
by it; do so yourself for this exhortation concerns every one. 
You are justified in condemning those who call good, evil, 
and evil, good ; for this reason we should examine all things 
aud retain only that which is good. You cite to me examples 
which prove that the truth has sometimes been upheld, and 
sometimes condemned, by Emperors and Popes ; for this 
reason it is necessary to examine the sentiments of Emperors, 
Popes and Councils, to see how tar they agree with the pas- 
sages of Scripture which establish the dogmas of our faith, 
after having implored with fervour and humility the light of 
the Holy Spirit to enable us to understand the true meaning 
of these passages; it is needful, at the risk of our goods, our 
calling, our reputation, and our life itself, to unite with those 
who appear the most genuine and the most firm, without 
allowing ourselves to be beguiled or intimidated by the mul- 



78 He asserts his belief in inspiration. 

titucle, by learned reputations, by the eloquence and dignity 
of the age, by the pompous and magnificent name of the 
Vicar of Jesus Christ, or by such attractive appellations as 
the Church of God, or the Spouse of Jesus Christ, which all 
heretics have usurped. I do not boast of being an Athanasius; 
if God had chosen me alone to sustain His cause on the 
subject in question, I could say with truth that God, who 
does not need the help of man to accomplish His work, had 
chosen one of the vilest and most unworthy sojourners upon 
earth, in order that He might set forih the infinite riches of 
His mercy and the power of His almighty Arm. But thank 
God, I am not alone in my sentiments. I do not pretend to 
found a sect : on the contrary, I will do my utmost to be at 
unity and peace with my brethren ; trusting that God will 
give me grace to succeed in spite of Satan, who constantly 
endeavours to sow discord in the field ot the Lord. 

" 1 have always admitted that there have been impostures 
and abuses among the pretended Inspired ; but I have never- 
theless maintained in public, in private, and even in full 
Synod, that I believe there have been and still are those who 
have received extraordinary gifts of the Holy Spirit. Thus 
you are wrong in saying that my own personal expe- 
rience should have opened my eyes on the matter, and 
forced me to condemn without distinction all those who 
pretend to be inspired. There are some who approve, and 
others who condemn, without either knowledge or exami. 
nation. As to myself, after having examined the subject as 
far as possible, I have contenanced that party which appea- 
red to me in unison with reason and Scripture, and renoun- 
ced the other 

" It is right that I should state my reasons for believing 
that there yet live those who are truly Inspired. I could 
name to you certain persons who have the qualities which 
you say in your letter are essential to a true prophet. I have 
known some who without forethought have described the 
wondertul ways ot God in a style more impressive and in a 
discourse more flowing than those who have studied much ; 



Decree of the Synod against the Inspired. 7K 

their doctrine was orthodox, their lives pure, their courage 
generous, and their predictions true. These persons have 
probed my heart, and censured my vices, they have exhorted 
me to virtue, and have foretold to me many things which 
I have seen accomplished. God made use of them to with- 
draw me trom my immersion in Popery ; they incited me to 
read the Scriptures and to unite myself with my brethren of 
the desert : and when I saw that my peril was imminent, 
because I was marked, they fortified me, and promised on 
the part of God that my enemies should not put their hands 
upon me, and that I should be able to pass through fire and 
water without harm. I have believed, and experienced, 
thanks to the Lord, the truth of the promises of my Divine 
Saviour, whose help I have always implored before consult- 
ing these persons. If my views be correct, it would be 
wrong to wish that my faith might be shaken by persuading 
me that so much good can come from a bad principle. By 
acquiescing I should render myself guilty of the crime of the 
Pharisees who attributed to Beelzebub the effects of the 
Holy Spirit. I assert that no man is justified in wishing to 
regulate my conduct, as I live by faith and attack neither 
the Doctrines nor the Divinity of the Holy Scriptures; on the 
contrary I have always exerted and will continue to exert, 
if it please God, every effort to publish the Truths of the 
Gospel both by my words and actions. " 

At the close of this correspondence and at the 
instance of Benjamin Du Plan, a Synod was assem- 
bled ; the party of order not wishing to lose every- 
thing as a result of Du Plan's triumph, decreed that 
all those who had supported Vesson should be obli- 
ged in order to re-enter the Church, to make before 
the Pastors, Elders, and Faithful the following de- 
claration : 

" We confess and declare, in the presence of God and of 
the Church, that we supported Vesson, only at the time 



80 Bu Plan is followed by the police. 

when he preached the word of God, and that we are altoge- 
ther ignorant of the merits of the schism he raised in the 
Church. We ask pardon ot God for not having given suffi- 
cient attention to the subject and prayed to know our duty T 
and we promise henceforth to remain united with the body 
of Pastors and Elders who compose the Church, and to 
oppose with all our strength those who preach without a 
call, or who retuse to observe the order and ecclesiastical 
discipline which our fathers have wisely established for the 
edification of the Church." (September 1723.) 

The affair of the Multipliants incited not alone 
the busy-bodies and the enemies of Benjamin Du 
Plan, it drew upon him the most violent persecution 
from the government. The police, having found 
some of his letters among the papers seized at the 
house of the widow Yerchand, he was dangerously 
compromised and exposed to the prosecution of the 
Intendant. For a long time he had been marked, 
and it was without doubt solely attributable to the 
high consideration enjoyed by his family, and espe- 
cially to the intimate friendly relations which sub- 
sisted between them and the chief houses of Alais, 
that he owed his escape from a thousand arrests and 
from the most rigourous treatment. 

But this patience and long-suffering had an end. 
The position of Benjamin Du Plan was aggravated 
by the denunciation of the old man, Hue Mazel, who 
had been arrested at St-Paul-la-Coste and conducted 
to Montpellier the day after the affair of the Multi- 
pliants. In Montpellier the old apostate Camisard 
confirmed the suspicions of the police, and declared 
that he knew the Grentleman of Alais personally. He 



His flight from France. 81 

revealed the important part Du Plan had played 
among his co-religionists and the influence he had 
enjoyed in the Synods and Assemblies; he tailed 
not, above all, to rank him with the Inspired, who 
excited at this time the anger of the authorities. 
Immediate orders were issued for the arrest of the 
young nobleman ; the Bishop d'Avejan and the 
Commandant of Alais were obliged to second the 
designs of the Intendant, and if Du Plan evaded 
these pursuits it was by a sort of miracle. Several 
Catholics, ecclesiastics even, Avarned his relations of 
the imminent dangers which menaced him. Benja- 
min Du Plan was at this moment assisting at a 
Synod near Nismes. He immediately took to flight, 
and wandered, like the preachers, in the country in 
disguise and under an assumed name. A price was 
put upon his head and to facilitate his capture the 
following description of him was given to numerous 
agents of the authorities : — 

" Benjamin Du Plan, height about five feet five inches, 
hair fair and long, (which he often arranges en queue), eyes 
blue, features fair and handsome." 

For two years he evaded the pursuits of the 
police, and at last when he believed it was no longer 
possible to conceal himself he decided to cross the 
frontier. He wished to bid a last farewell to his 
family when, alas ! he had intelligence of a cruel 
affliction by which his heart was nearly broken. His 
mother, on learning the perils which threatened her 
son, had died of grief, and he feared if he ventured 
to visit his home that he might have the additional 



82 The extent of his sacrifices. 

grief of being reproached b) r his aged father for her 
death and of being blamed for his conduct. Never- 
theless the nobleman who had sacrificed for Grod his 
goods, his repose, and his livelihood, made with 
Christian submission the sacrifice of his dearest 
affections. He has told us himself of the extent of 
these sacrifices, which up to the period of his quitting 
the kingdom at the age of thirty-seven, he had not 
hesitated to make for his faith : — 

" With my titles and a considerable fortune, if God had 
not destined me for the service of His Church I should have 
been able to ally myself with the illustrious house of La Fare, 
"which abounds with Barons, Marquises, Counts, Captains, 
Majors, Colonels, Brigadiers, Generals, Marshals of France, 
Commandants of Provinces and Bishops ; my friend, the 
brother-in-law of the Baron of Alais, having offered me his 
eldest daughter in marriage. A powerful protection and a 
fair start in the world would thereby have been assured to 
me ; but like Moses, God has given me grace to prefer the 
.reproaches of Jesus Christ to the riches and honors of this 
world. I have abandoned for the cause my employment in 
the army, and have refused the illustrious alliance of which 
I have just spoken ; I have separated from my father who 
feared being involved in my almost certain ruin ; and 
having thus in a manner abandoned him I have renounced 
my heritage : I have given up intercourse with the noble and 
great with whom I was on terms ot friendship, to unite with 
a people persecuted for the gospel, with peasants, artisans, 
the poor, the despised, the hated, and the persecuted ; with 
prisoners, galley-slaves, and ministers, proscribed and con- 
demned to death : yes, I have preferred to associate with all 
these persons, though vile and wretched In appearance, 
rather than with the great, the rich, and the powerful of the 
earth, because I am persuaded of the truth of the Christian 
religion, because I know that the world like a dream 



His letter of farewell to Antoine Court. 83 

disappears, and its glory like a brilliant mirage dissolves 
into blighted hopes ; and because I am convinced that it is 
they alone who are minded to serve God, to keep His com- 
mandments and to imitate Jesus Christ, who shall live tor 
ever." 

The departure of Benjamin Du I 'Ian was so 
precipitate as not to leave him time to bid adieu to 
Antoine Court, but he sent him the following letter 
which revealed the great projects he had formed in 
his mind in favor of the Church : — 

" I much wished to have the pleasure of seeing you before 
my departure as I had many things of importance to tell 
you, but since I cannot speak them by word of mouth, I will 
put down here the most important. 

" You cannot be ignorant of the power and malignity of 
our enemies, and if we outlive them it will be by miracle and 
by the mercy of God. But now God Himself appears to have 
turned against us, and not without reason, since the greater 
number of those who frequent the Assemblies, and who 
participate in the most sacred rites of our religion, live and 
pray like heathens ! I will name no one, because I should 
have to name too many ; neither do I condemn any because, 
though all are great sinners, I am the chief and the most 
guilty, having received more light than the greater number 
of those around me. For this reason I humble myself not 
only before God, but before men. I acknowledge my 
unworthiness and corruption. I will not despise or hate any- 
one ; on the contrary I will give, on every occasion which 
presents itself, proofs of friendship and esteem to persons, 
who, though opposed to my views, work for the glory of God 
and the edification of the Church. This is my duty and also 
my inclination 

u It is necessary, however, to work together, and as the 
principal wheel ot a machine imparts its motion to the others 
and the whole is set agoing, so the pastors must stir up the 



84 He gives some practical advice. 

students, the students the elders, and the elders the people^ 
It is necessary we should vie with each other in holiness* 
The struggle is commencing and we are surrounded by our 
enemies ; if we are not alive to our security, and if we do 
not take the whole armour of faith, we are lost. It is neces : 
sary to fast, to pray, to mourn and to be converted ; this is 
the only way to obtain the victory over Satan, the world and 
our passions. I exhort and entreat you, my dear brother, in 
the name of Jesus Christ our common Master and Saviour, 
to adopt with our brethren, pastors and elders, the most 
proper and efficacious means to appease the anger of God and 
to draw forth His justification and love." 

This letter ended with some practical advice : — 

" Our brother who will deliver my letter, and who you 
know has long been attached to the service of the Church, 
will inform you verbally ot several things I have been unable 
and unwilling to put on paper. You know the worth, the 
piety and the ability of this good servant ; admit him there- 
fore when you discuss your plans. You have Maître 
Baldy and some others who can compose the secret council. 
Consult together more frequently than you have been accus- 
tomed to do, and vigilantly reunite the chiefs in order to 
encourage them in the discharge of their duty. You will 
acquire a glory, much more true and lasting than that of the 
heroes so famous in history. Your name will be celebrated 
in the annals of the Church, and you will one day be seated 
on a throne of glory ! Adieu, my dear brother, I embrace 
you in spirit, and am with all my heart to you, and to all 
who love Jesus Christ, the very humble and obedient 
servant." 

(July 1724).. 



Statement of the liislioji of Altiis. bf> 

CHAPTER X. 

THE DECLARATION OF 1724. 
1723-1725. 

The flight of Du Plan coincided with a renewed 
persecution of the Protestants. Up to this time, 
under the government of the Regent, they had en- 
joyed comparative repose, and the wearied execu- 
tioners had time to take breath. The Protestants 
had profited by the calm to combine afresh ; they 
had ceased to send their children to the Catholic 
Schools ; baptisms and marriages in the Desert had 
become daily more numerous, and Protestantism like 
the bird in the fable had sprung again from its ashes. 

The Bishop of Alais, Monseignor D'Avejan, in a 
long statement to the Court, described with sorrow 
the progress of the heresy and the failure of measures 
taken to exterminate it: the assemblies, formerly few 
and secret, had now become numerous and public; the 
churches were deserted and parents ceased to send 
their children to the Catholic Schools, while others 
dispensed with the baptism of their children by the 
priests. " So many disorders," added he, " after 
more than forty years of work and pains on the 
part of the cleverest men of the last reign and in the 
midst of a solid peace, justly engender fear of great 
evils in the future and prove the necessity for adopt- 
ing decided measures. " ' 

1. Reflections on the present state of religion in the Cevennes 
(l't August 1783). 



86 The Edict of 1724. 

Meanwhile, in 1723 the Regent died and the 
government of the State passed into the hands of 
Louis XV. who was yet a minor. The Bishop de 
Frejus, his tutor, afterwards created Cardinal 
Fleuiy, prevailed on the young king to nominate 
as his first Minister the Duke de Bourbon, a prince 
of limited intellect and timid disposition. De 
Frejus, who was a willing tool in the hands of the 
Jesuits hoped in this way to rule the Kingdom. 

The cry of alarm aroused in Alais on the re- 
commencement of the troubles, resounded in Paris 
and attracted the greater attention in the Council of 
the King inasmuch as the ambitious projects of the 
Councillors were subserved by the persecution of 
the Protestants. By sacrificing them to the Papacy, 
Fleury hoped to gain his cardinal's hat. He con- 
spired with another man ambitious like himself, 
Lavergne de Tressant, formerly almoner of the 
Regent and afterwards Bishop of Nantes and 
Secretary of the Council of Conscience. 1 

These two men won over the Duke de Bourbon, 
and in concert with the old Intendant Baville, then 
in retirement at Paris, induced him to sign the too 
celebrated edict of 1724. This edict, which consisted 
of eighteen articles, imposed the following pains and 
penalties : — 

Men who took part in any worship other than 
that of the Catholic Church were to be sent to the 

l. A private council, composed of the King, his Confessor and a few 
others, where divers matters concerning the Clergy or the Ecclesiastical 
State were decided. 



The Edict of 1724. 87 

galleys for life and have their goods confiscated ; 
women were to be condemned to perpetual impri- 
sonment. 

Preachers were to be punished by death. 

All who granted them aid or asylum, or failed to 
denounce them, were to be sent to the galleys for 
life and their goods to be confiscated. 

Parents were ordered to have their children bap- 
tised by the parish priest within twenty-four hours 
of their birth, to send them to school and have them 
taught the Catholic Catechism up to the age of 
fourteen, and to divine service on Sundays and 
holidays up to the age of twenty. 

Midwives, physicians, surgeons and apotheca- 
ries were ordered to announce all births and cases 
of serious illness amongst the "new converts'' to 
the priests, and the latter were authorised to visit 
and exhort the sick without the presence of wit- 
nesses. Should any refuse the Catholic sacraments 
or cause others to refuse them they were to incur 
the penalties declared against "the relapsed.'' 

No marriages were to be legitimate except those 
which were celebrated according to the Canons of 
the Church. 

Parents were not to be permitted to educate their 
children or allow them to marry out of the kingdom. 
Minors, on the contrary, whose parents were outside 
the kingdom, could marry without their consent. 

Certificates of Catholicism were declared com- 
pulsory for all offices, and academical grades, and 
all admissions into trades or professions. 



#8 The Protestants are terror-stricken. 

Lastly, fines and goods confiscated were to be 
devoted to the support of the reunited subjects who 
had need of them. 

The faithful were cast down on reading this De- 
claration, which resumed and aggravated the most 
cruel edicts of Louis XIV. Some Protestants felt 
the old Camisard blood boiling in their veins, and 
thought of taking up arms, but Antoine Court suc- 
ceeded, though not without trouble, in calming their 
anger. What was to be done under such circum- 
stances ? Address petitions and apologies to the 
Duke de Bourbon, to Fleury and to Louis XV. ? 
Useless trouble ! It was decided to write to the 
Foreign Powers, not to demand the aid of their 
arms, but to ask them to interest themselves in the 
misfortunes of the Protestants and to implore 
their good offices with the King of France. A 
Synod was immediately convoked, in October 1724, 
to decide on the course it was best to pursue in pre- 
sence of such a Declaration. The Synod examined 
the grave question whether the Protestants ought 
to emigrate or remain in France in spite of the 
persecution. Basnage, Saurin, and all the refugees 
advised emigration, but Antoine Court withstood 
them ; they deliberated long Avithout arriving at a 
decision, leaving each one at liberty to fly or to 
stay, as he pleased. The preachers nevertheless 
encouraged the faithful to bear patiently the evils 
that threatened them, and the Synod separated 
after having ordained a general fast for the purpose 



Rigorous measures against tl" 1 preachers. 89 

of appeasing- the anger of God and re-animating the 

zeal and piety <>t' the Church. 

This Declaration of 1 724 was chiefly directed 
against the preachers. The Intendant published 
their names and gave their description, and a 
thousand livres were offered for the apprehension 
of each. 

The head of Cortiez, "the most dangerous of all," 
was valued at two thousand livres, that of Court for 
some time previously had been raised in value: for- 
merly not more than one thousand francs had been 
offered, but the sum appeared so small that it had 
been raised to a thousand crowns. ' 

In spite of all these rigours and persecutions, 
calm was maintained among the Protestants, and 
some months after the Declaration of 1 724 Cortiez 
wrote : — "All the places I pass through are quiet ; 
the zeal is considerable and the assemblies are 
numerous." 

These new troubles made a profound impression 
abroad. Certain pastors of Berlin advised the 
suspension of the Assemblies so as not to irritate 
the authorities, while Switzerland displayed marks 
of sympathy by praying for, and weeping with, the 
persecuted. 

But he who was most moved and most afflicted 
by this sad news was Benjamin Du Plan. He 
immediately took his pen and addressed pressing 
requests to the principal Protestant Courts of Europe, 

i. Edward Hughes, already quoted, Vol. I, pas*' 245. 



90 Letter of Du Plan to the King of England. 

to the King of England, to the King of Prussia and 
to the Archbishop of Canterbury. 

The following is the letter to the King of 
England : — 

u Sire, 

" Your Majesty is without doubt aware that recently 
there has been published in France a Declaration which 
renews and aggravates all the evils that Louis XIV. formerly 
inflicted on the Protestants of his kingdom. 

" Though for certain reasons it has not yet been put 
rigorously into execution, we cannot flatter ourselves that 
we shall long be preserved from the furious storms which 
threaten us. This is why, Sire, we have recourse to your 
Majesty very humbly to supplicate the employment of your 
good offices on behalf of a great number of the faithful 
whose only crime on this occasion consists in wishing to 
serve God according to His word. If the throne of our King 
had not become inaccessible to us by the misrepresentations 
of our enemies as to our religion and loyalty : if France and 
England had not been allied ; if the glorious title of De- 
fender of the Faith could have weakened the friendship 
entertained for each other by the august personages who 
bear it, we should not have taken the liberty of supplicating 
your Majesty to intercede tor us, fearing your refusal and 
the displeasure of the King, our ruler. 

" But since, thank Heaven, everything concurs to render 
your Majesty's favour probable and your Majesty's inter- 
cession salutory, we flatter ourselves, Sire, that you will be 
touched by our sad state and that you will employ all the 
means which your charity and wisdom may suggest to you 
on behalf of a great number of Christian Huguenots whom 
the blind and cruel zeal of Popery is ready to immolate as 
its victims. 

u We hope. Sire, that the Lord will bless your righteous 
designs, and that he will render efficacious your charitable 
solicitude ; while on our side, penetrated with a lively 



Letter of Du Plan to the King of Prussia. 91 

knowledge ot your goodness, we will never ceaso to offer 
our prayers on behalf of your Majesty and all the Royal 
family. 

■* All the Protestants of Europe have good reason to 
praise God that He has raised up on behalf of His Church 
a wise and powerful protector in the person of George, a 
ruler who may be classed with David, Solomon, Constantine, 
William, and other great princes who have made themselves 
illustrious by their wisdom, piety, and valour. God grant, 
Sire, that the unjust projects of your enemies may be turned 
to their confusion and shame. God grant that the throne of 
Great Britain may be established in your august family by 
justice and mercy until the end of time. 

" These wishes, Sire, which I echo, are those of all the Pro- 
testants of the world, and are especially those of the churches 
of Languedoc, which I have the happiness to serve and in 
whose name I take the liberty of presenting, by the hands 
of the illustrious Archbishop of Canterbury, this very humble 
petition. These are, above all, the very ardent desires of 
him who is with a very profound respect, Sire, your Ma- 
jesty's &c. " (,1724). 

The following is the request which Du Plan 

addressed t<» the King of Prussia : — 

u Sire, 

" Your Majesty is without doubt aware that recently 
there has been published in France a Declaration which 
renews and aggravates all the evils that Louis XIV. formerly 
inflicted on the Protestants of his kingdom. 

''The important position which your Majesty occupies, the 
heroic virtues which display themselves in your person, the 
profession which you make of true Christianity, the strong 
proofs of sympathy that you have evinced, and still evince, 
in the Huguenot cause, and the example of your ancestors of 
glorious memory afford bright hopes, Sire, that you will 
listen favourably to the complaints and groans ot a great 
number of good men, who have not only been deprived for 



92 Letter of Du Plan to the King of Prussia. 

a long time of public worship, and of the true religion, but 
have been compelled by the most unlawful and severe 
measures to practise an idolatrous and superstitious 
worship. 

u Though we have not sufficient influence to elicit the 
compassion of our King, His Majesty cannot complain of our 
loyalty. We know that his youth, his piety, and his justice 
have been imposed upon, but we no longer complain against 
nobles, magistrates and officers of the army ; on the con- 
trary we trust to their justice and compassion ; it is only 
against the Papacy and certain persons sold to the Court 
of Rome that we implore, Sire, your royal and powerful 
protection. 

" You know, Great King, what you owe to God and what 
you are able to do on behalf ot the Churches which are under 
the Cross. We therefore content ourselves with showing 
you our miseries. All the Protestant Powers will consider 
it a duty and a pleasure to co-operate with Your Majesty in 
this good work. 

* God is not pleased that so many powerful and illustrious 
Christian princes should display so little zeal to sustain the 
truth, while a small number of ambitious, avaricious and 
passionate prelates, priests and monks, shew so much ardour 
for the triumph of superstition. 

u We are persuaded, Sire, that Your Majesty, penetrated 
with love for God and charity for the Church, and aspiring 
to an immortal glory on earth and an infinite happiness in 
heaven ; we are persuaded, I say, that you will cast your 
eyes on our sad state, and that you will employ the most 
efficacious and at the same time the most just and peaceable 
means possible to arrest the fatal effects of the persecution. 
Meanwhile, Sire, we will not cease to offer up the most 
ardent prayers on behalf of your Majesty and the Royal 
family. May God bless all your righteous designs, Great 
Prince, and spread the terror of your arras among all your 
enemies ; may God preserve you to be long the joy of your 
people and the protector of the Church, and, finally may He 



Letter of Saurin to Du Plan. 93 

after you have completed your days of glory upon earth, 
crown you with an immortal happiness in heaven ! " 

At the same time that Benjamin Du Plan sent 
his letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury, he also 
wrote to Saurin, a pastor in London, asking him to 
refresh the worthy Prelate's memory, and for this 
purpose to obtain an interview with him. 

Saurin replied : — 

- Monsieur, — It is full time that I should reply to the 
letter you have done me the honour to write, and that 
I should render you an account of the commission you have 
given me. Nothing is more worthy of you than the 
sympathy you have displayed for the sufferings of the 
Church, and it is not possible sufficiently to praise your 
zeal. I only ask you to believe that our refugees in Holland 
and England have equally at heart all the interests of their 
persecuted brethren. As they are on the spot, they have 
contrived on every occasion which presented itself to solicit 
in favour of the Churches the interest of the Powers under 
whose control they live, and they will not cease to work 
with activity and zeal so long as they see the least hope of 
success. Unfortunately the present state of affairs does not 
seem very favourable, and to judge from incidental circum- 
stances we have little reason to hope that God has yet heard 
their petitions. 

tt Your letter, Monsieur, as you wished, has been com- 
municated to my Lord Archbishop, and he has himself 
desired that you should be informed of what he has done. 
As soon as he received the petition you sent to him for 
presentation to the King, he had the goodness to deliver 
it into the hands of my Lord Townsend, one of our 
Secretaries of State, and to solicit his good offices. This is 
all he could do at the time, but since the commencement of 
the year he has taken a more decided course. Supported by 
several Bishops, he has represented to the King the state of 



9i The anxiety of Du Plan. 

the Protestant Churches beyond the sea, and fervently 
implored the King's protection. The King listened with much 
attention and replied to him with his usual benevolence. In 
regard to the affairs of France, he said he could not assume, 
to act openly, but he would do all in his power for the 
Protestants as opportunity might serve. May God grant that 
opportunities soon present themselves ; meanwhile may 
He inspire our brethren under the Cross with courage to quit 
the places where their taith is so much tried, and instill into 
the minds of all, the piety and fervour that are necessary to 
avert His anger and to hasten the return ot His compassion 
— thus may everyone follow your example. 

U I have the honor to be with every possible consideration, 
Monsieur, &c, &c." 

It would be impossible to describe the anxiety of 
Benjamin Du Plan after the publication of this 
Declaration. He was without news from his 
friends, intercourse having become much more diffi- 
cult and correspondence all but impossible. In 
writing, it was necessary to practise a ruse to 
deceive the enemy always vigilantly on the watch. 
A merchant who traded between Switzerland and 
France consented at his risk and peril to conceal 
a few books amongst his merchandize or to deliver 
a letter secretly. In order to avoid seizure the 
letters had to be written with excessive prudence, 
without date and without signature, or at most 
with the initials of the writer. As nothing in the 
letter must betray him who received it, the names 
of places and persons were either suppressed or 
abridged. As to the address of the letter or packet 
it was generally so contrived as not to arouse suspi- 
cions. Antoine Court was often designated by the 



Providential deliverance of Antoine Court. 95 

name of his mother, or by an assumed name with 
the quantitation of merchant. Somtimes months 
elapsed before the letters were delivered ; it was 
thus that Du Plan learned for the first time in the 
month of April the imminent danger which had 
befallen his friend in the first days of the year 
1725. Antoine Court had assembled twenty per- 
sons in the house of a man named Jalabert of Alais, 
when the mounted police invested the house and 
made his hearers prisoners ; by a special Provi- 
dence the preacher alone escaped, he being more 
active and more accustomed to surprises and 
concealment than the others. Four of the captives, 
Carrière, Dussein, (iervais and Ponge, were con- 
demned to the galleys. 1 

At the news of this marvellous deliverance, 
Benjamin Du Plan wrote to his friend to congratulate 
him : — 

u Praised be the Eternal our God ! Praised be His Holy 
Name from age tu age ; His mercy extends from generation 
to generation. He watches over His Church, He cares for 
His children. He permits the wicked to execute their evil 
designs to a certain point only, in order to try His servants. 

tt My dear brother, and friend, 

"We ought never to forget the providential miracle which 
has been wrought on your behalf. I have blessed and will 
bless the Lord with all my soul, during the remainder of my 
life. The more I reflect upon this event, the more 1 
recognise in it the Hand of God which has preserved you in 
the midst ot the tempest, sword, fire, and wild beasts. I 

1. They afterwards appealed to the parliament of Toulouse and 
were acquitted. 



î»6 Letter of congratulation from Du Plan. 

realise, my dear friend, all your troubles and conflicts. I see 
you surprised by your enemies in a house, not knowing the 
country, and escaping in the darkness of the night upon 
roofs slippery with snow and rain ; I see you repulsed from 
the first refuge which yon seek in your extremity ; I see you 
all alone, narrowly escaping from two soldiers, who are 
well pleased at driving you back into your hiding-place 
as into a cage of which they have only to shut the door : 
I see you, with failing strength, climbing high walls ; I see 
you hemmed in by enemies on all sides, and betrayed by the 
glare of the flambeaux which surround the island. 1 I see you, 
finally, collecting the wood for your coffin, digging your 
tomb in a dunghill, and God Himself concealing you in order 
that the wicked may not touch His anointed. Who will not 
admire, after all this, the Providence of God who despises 
His adversaries, who exposes their evil designs, and who 
turns to naught their night watchings, their works, their 
cunning and their strength ? Let us complete, my dear 
friend, the history of this marvellous deliverance. I see you 
fasting and lying in an uneasy position in your tomb, 
covered with planks, dung and snow, and attacked by 
insects; then I hear you, like Jonah, crying from the 
profound depths to the high heavens during twenty or 
twenty-one hours. God hears you. God answers you. He 
pours into your soul the patience and confidence necessary 
for your support under these rude trials, and when the- 
time fixed lor your stay in the tomb has expired, I hear a 
still, small voice which says to you : Lazarus, come forth ! 
Peter, arise ! Throw off thy grave clothes , strengthen 
thyself, march and fear nothing ! I will close the eyes of 
thine enemies and conduct thee safely among thy brethren ! 
Can I doubt that God has spoken to you, my dear friend, 
though he has not pronounced the words audibly ? No ; 
your supplications and inward cries reached Him through 
the planks, the dung, the snow, the air, and the heavens, 

1. Island here signifies an isolated block of buildings. 



Letter of congratulation from Du Plan. 97 

where, penetrating in to His presence, they moved the 
bowels of His mercy in your favour ; in favour of your 
Rachel ami her child ; in favour of all those who love you ; 
in favour of the Church which rejoices and will yet rejoice 
until the end of time at your marvellous deliverance. God 
then, my dear friend, answers you secret cries, by giving 
you strength, courage, and prudence to pass without danger 
through the midst of your enemies, and by sending you 
afterwards a guide to conduct you in safety to the house of 
your friends, there quietly to recruit your strength exhausted 
by long fastings, by night Avatchings, by fatigues, and by 
terrible struggles under which nature must infallibly have 
succumbed, had it not been for the special favour of God. 
Who will not admire the wonders of Providence as displayed 
in this extraordinary event? I cannot cease to praise the 
Lord for your deliverance. I am penetrated with lively 
gratitude tor His great mercy : my soul blesses the Eternal 
and forgets not His benefits. It is not by human nature 
alone, by some slight friendship, by some worldly interest, 
or by some human relationship, that I find myself united 
with you, my dear friend ; it is by the grace and by the 
love of God, an indissoluble tie, much closer and more 
intimate than those I have enumerated. God. in preserving 
you, preserves to me, not a brother or a friend simply, but 
a tender brother and a faithful friend who has devoted his 
life to the glory of God and the edification of the Church. 
What cause for thankfulness and praise to my God ! Yea, 
God, I will bless Thee throughout my whole life, for 
Thou hast had compassion on my friend, on his wife, on his 
child, on me and on all Thy Church. God, never permit 
us to render ourselves unworthy of Thy favour and protec- 
tion, come to our help and give us grace that we may be 
diligent in the discharge of all our duties. By fulfilling our 
duties, my dear friend, as far as human infirmity will 
permit, we may reasonably hope to have God for our 
protector, and if God is our protector we ought to be assured 
that we shall sooner or later obtain the victory over all our 
enemies, visible and invisible. 

7 



98 Letter of congratulation from Du Plan. 

" I am desired by several ministers and persons of dis- 
tinction and merit to congratulate you on your deliverance, 
and to assure our Churches ot the interest they take in all 
that concerns our welfare. 

"I am delighted that IsabeauMn her death has borne 
witness as a good Christian. God will strengthen the other 
prisoners ; do not forget them. God will sit in judgment 
with the Council that shall try our brethren, and give them 
wisdom and firmness meet for the occasion. My special 
remembrances to the brave Baldy. M lle Cortiez 2 and her 
daughter thank you for your kind regards. They are at 
present well, thank God, and salute you; they praise God 
for your preservation. M. Ginoux à Genè. ; M ms de Sal.; 
M ms de G ... ; M. T ... ; M. L ... ; M. Vi ... ; M. Lavalette 
were all much rejoiced when they heard of your escape, and 
specially salute you. M. de Marley and his family are 
delighted. Finally, all the worthy people who know you by 
sight and reputation send good wishes. God will fulfill 
all these desires if we set ourselves to please Him. God 
render us worthy of Thy love and that will suffice us! Read 
my letter again in order that you may better attend to what 
I have said. I often read your letters. It is necessary to 
reflect on everything and to take wise measures in order 
to arrive at wise results. Your last letter is in good style. 
Embrace my brethren on my behalf and assure them of my 
affection. Your prose is very good, but your poetry is worth 
nothing. Therefore abandon poetry, although you may 
have a lively imagination and a fertile mind. The verdict of 
all connoisseurs is, that there is more pleasure derived from 
the perusal of a subject if its sense and spirit be good." 
(April 1725.) 



1. A prisoner for the cause of religion. 

2. This was Madame Cortiez. The title of Mademoiselle was given 
to married women who were not noble, or being noble were not titled. 



The Synod of 1726. 99 



CHAPTER XI. 

BENJAMIN DU PLAN is NOMINATED AS DEPUTY 

GENERAL OF THE SYNODS TO THE 

PEOTESTANT POWERS. 

The 1st of May 1725. 

Notwithstanding the violence of the perse- 
cution, Antoine Court did not forget the important 
statement sent to him by his friend before taking-flight 
for Geneva. No moment could be more opportune 
for pleading the cause of the Churches under the 
Cross. He convoked, on the 1st of Ma}- 1725, a 
Synod at which he expounded Du Plan's proposition. 
This proposition was greeted with the applause of 
the Assembly. Some scruples were raised, it is 
true, as to Du Plan himself. His merits and 
capacity could not be misunderstood, but it was 
regretted that he had compromised his authority by 
his relations with the Inspired. Antoine Court 
having re-assured the doubting, and answered for 
his friend, the Gentleman of Alais was elected 
unanimously. The following letter from Antoine 
Court to Du Plan gives us a description of this 
important sitting ; — 

u Monsieur, and %'ery dear friend, 

u I am glad my last letter has given you so much pleasure; 
you say that M. Cortiez and I ought to confer together as 
to the appointment of the Synods and the subjects which 
should be there discussed ; this is what we did a few days 
After I sent you my letter.; a Synod was held on the first of 



100 Letter of Antoine Court to Du Plan. 

the present month. Three deputies from Churches of the 
Cevennes and two from each Church of Lower Languedoc 
were present. After having observed the usual formalities, 
and invoked the name of God, I opened the meeting by 
describing the sad state of our Churches, what God had 
already accomplished in their favour, and the means He 
would adopt to preserve them and render their condition 
more endurable. I then gave a syllabus of the subjects on 
which the Assembly should deliberate. 

" One of these subjects was the proposed deputation of 
certain of our number to the Protestant Powers, as much 
to implore their powerful protection as to solicit them to use 
their influence and authority, on behalf ot our Churches, 
with the Monarch in whose Empire and under whose sway 
we live; and not only to represent to him that his own judg- 
ment as well as that ot his great-grandfather had been 
imposed upon in all the edicts, declarations and decree» 
which have been promulgated against our beloved Churches, 
and our Holy Reformation, but to obtain from his goodness 
the revocation of these same edicts, decrees, and declarations, 
all of which are opposed to our ancient privileges, and to 
the sweet and precious liberty of serving God in his Majesty's 
realm, according to the dictates of our consciences. I pressed 
the necessity of the deputation, and it was acknowledged 
and accorded. The only question to be considered was 
whether one person or several should be selected for this 
important commission, and on whom the choice should fall. 
The deputies from the Cevennes advised sending three, or 
at least two, according to the instructions given to them at 
certain colloquies held to discuss the subject. I represented 
that one ought to suffice, especially as the present state of 
the Churches would not permit of the absence of two pastors ; 
and when it was agreed to send one only, I proposed to the 
Assembly that it could not do better than address itself to 
M. Du Plan who had already discharged many important 
commissions and evinced on all occasions an ardent and 
sincere zeal for the welfare of our Churches. As evidence, 



He informs him of his nomination as Deputy. 101 

I referred to the petitions he had been good enough to write 
in the name ot the Churches, since his sojourn at Geneva, to 
the King of Great Britain, the King of Prussia, and my Lord 
Archbishop ot Canterbury, and in case they were ignorant 
of these facts I stated, that I had the permission of M. Du Plan 
himself to read aloud the petitions and a letter he had written 
to the Assembly to prove to them his affection and zeal. 
During the reading, there reigned a profound silence. It was 
a certain augury of approval and was only at last broken 
by one common exclamation, 'We give him our suffrage.' 
The act of attestation with full powers and recommendations 
was then prepared. This important document which I enclose 
herewith is not sent without fervent wishes for the happy 
issue of your mission and for the preservation of your beloved 
self. " (May 1725.) 

After having selected a deputy, the Synod 
occupied itself with his duties. Court declared that 
these should be to supplicate the protection of the 
Powers on behalf of the Churches, and to solicit 
them to intercede with Louis XV. in order to obtain 
a revocation of the Edicts. 

The Synod finally fixed the remuneration of the 
deputy at fifty pistoles. 1 This sum had to suffice 
for his correspondence, his journeys and all the 
expenses he would have to incur. By any other 
man this pittance had been scorned, but Du Plan, 
being rich and his relations providing for his 
ordinary expenditure, he demanded no remune- 
ration, or if he accepted any it was that he might 
not be reduced to extremity and thereby hampered 
in his duties. 

1. Twenty pounds sterling. 



102 Official attestation of the Synod. 

Cortiez,who was secretary of the Synod, hastened 
to send to Du Plan his officially attested credentials 
to the foreign courts as Deputy General of the 
Synods of the Reformed Churches of France. This 
document was thus worded : — 

" We Pastors, Students and Elders of the Reformed 
Churches of Lower Languedoc, of the Cevennes, and of 
Vivarais, assembled in Synod in the Desert, after having 
implored the Divine compassion in our sufferings, have 
judged it fitting to depute one of our number to the Pro- 
testant States to recommend our cause to their powerful and 
gracious intercession, as we consider that we should neglect 
no legitimate means to secure ourselves from the fury of our 
enemies and the persecution under which we have so long 
groaned. 

"We have had less difficulty in deciding on this measure 
in that we know that God often makes use of the great of 
the earth to accomplish great things on behalf of His Church, 
and because we learn with singular satisfaction that the 
august princes of our communion, while taking deeply to 
heart the cause of God, interest themselves keenly in the 
misfortunes of those who suffer for the truth ; we are thus 
led to hope that, they will accord a favorable audience to 
him whom we have nominated and whom we charge with 
our interests. 

u Stimulated by the aforesaid considerations, we have,, 
by unanimous consent, chosen and admitted, and do choose, 
and admit, for our Deputy to the Protestant Powers, le 
Sieur Benjamin Du Plan, a man who, to his own honor and 
our edification, has given evidences of his zeal for God, and 
his love for our Churches, on several very important and 
delicate occasions. 

" We supplicate very humbly all Kings, Princes, Magis- 
trates, Consistories, Pastors and Churches of our religion, to 
recognise as our Deputy the said Sieur Benjamin Du Plan, 
bearer of these presents, and to place reliance on all that he 



Disinterested conduct of Du Plan. 103 

may testify on our behalf and by our orders, he being well 
informed and well advised ot our condition and our neces- 
sities. 

"We recommend both him and ourselves to their gracious 
benevolence and compassionate sympathy, while we will 
never cease to present to heaven our earnest prayers on 
their behalf, asking God with all our heart to animate them 
with His good spirit, crown with success their just projects, 
and shower on their august, venerable, and pious persons 
His most excellent and abundant blessings. 

u Given in the Desert, in France, in Lower Languedoc, 
and at our Synodal Assembly, the 1st of May. 1725. In 
confirmation of which some of us, as representing all our 
body have hereunto set our names. 

u Signed : A. Court, Pastor Moderator ; 

Cortiez, Pastor ; 

J. Chapel, Student ; 

Bonbonnoux, Pastor; 

Betrine, Student; 

Boyer, Student ; 

Combes, Student ; 

Jaubert, Student. ' ,T 

Benjamin Du Plan cordially thanked Antoine 
Court and the Synod for this proof of confidence. 
Not, however, without sorrow did he learn that 
his name had provoked some opposition. As to the 
question of the expenses of the Delegation, he 
repeated to his friend what he had written to him 
several times. 

u To meet the expenses, so much dreaded, a small fund 
might be raised. I would sacrifice all that I possess in the 
world, sooner than be chargeable to the Church. It is from 
God alone and not from men that I look tor my reward." 
(7th of February 1725.) 



1. Extract from .171 original document. 



104 His letter to the Synod. 

A month later he wrote : — 

"lam determined not to accept anything of the Churches 
except in the last extremity, and in the event of Providence 
failing to furnish me with other means wherewith to 
prosecute my journey. I know the poverty of the faithful as 
well as the avarice of those who could, if they wished, 
benefit us without inconvenience to themselves." 

(2nd of March 1725.) 

The following is the letter which the new 
Deputy wrote to the Synod : — 

" Messieurs, my very dear and honoured brethren in our 
Lord Jesus Christ. 

" The grace and peace of God be with you. 

" I have learned with much joy that God continues to 
give you evidences of His protection and love, and you must 
have learned with like joy how He has blessed the means 
I have employed on your behalf ; but as we should not rest 
on the peaceful road, and as we are surrounded by numerous 
enemies, both within and without, it is prudent that we 
should adopt new measures to evade the snares of our 
enemies and to glorify God in a manner more perfect than 
we have hitherto done. I am as conscious as anyone of our 
weaknesses and that our ruin would be consummated if God 
were only to abandon us to ourselves or give the bridle to 
our enemies. But I am also conscious that if God is for us 
and if He takes our cause in hand, we shall be victorious 
over flesh and hell. All then that we have to do is to renew 
our alliance with God ; this is easy of accomplishment if we 
humble ourselves before Him with reverence, redouble the ar- 
dour of oui prayers for His succour, obey what He commands, 
and avoid what He forbids. These things we must do if we 
be true to our calling and wish to be happy. We have 
experienced the divine protection during several years, and it 
is in the power of God to give us still stronger proofs of His 
love. He can change the hearts ot our adversaries and turn 



flw letter to the Synod. 105 

towards us the favor of our King as He turned the favor 
of King Cyrus toward the people of Israel when captive in 
Babylon. 

u If we are true to ourselves we shall not fail to perceive 
that our unfaithfulness, thoughtlessness and love of the 
world are so great, that it is alone through the infinite 
mercy of God we have our being. It is ot the utmost 
importance we should overcome the jealousy and divisions 
that too much abound amongst us. I shall neglect nothing 
which can contribute to the removal of all pretexts for com- 
plaint against me personally. I am well aware that the 
spirit of the Gospel is a spirit of charity, mutual help and 
humility. St. Paul^ to gain disciples for his Divine Master, 
became all things to all men ; Jesus Christ Himselt associated 
with the Publicans and Pharisees, desiring to do good unto all 
men, and not wishing that any should perish. It appertains 
only to Anti-Christ and his agents to US3 violence, but we, 
my very xlear and well beloved brethren, ought to be 
animated with the same Spirit as our Divine Saviour. It is 
by these means that we shall overcome all our enemies, 
visible and invisible. Let us distrust the bitterness which 
hides itself under a pretext of zeal for the glory of God. It 
costs nothing to a corrupt nature to denounce or blacken the 
reputation of a neighbour or persecutor ; but it costs much 
to mortify one's passions and correct one's vices. For this 
reason we ought to work together, for it is certain that our 
good examples will produce more fruit both among our friends 
and foes, than the most beautiful and touching preachings 
in the world. 

u I have said enough at present both for you and for 
myself, and I will refer you once more to God and to His 
Holy Word which should be the constant rule of our faith 
and our morals ; it should also be our daily bread and the 
delight ot our souls ; the more we meditate upon it and 
practise it, the more will God give us the witness ot His 
love; we shall feel that God is truly our Father, Jesus Christ 
our Saviour and Elder Brother, and heaven our heritage. 



106 Geneva, the resort of Refugees. 

These blessings I wish for you all with my whole heart, while 
recommending myselt to your friendship and your prayers 
I renew my assurance of love, and devotion to your 
service." 



CHAPTER XII. 

ONE YEAR'S RESIDENCE OP DU PLAN AT GENEVA. 

1724—1725. 

Since the Revocation of the »Edict of Nantes, 
Greneva had become the refuge of fugitive Pro- 
testants, and especially of the Protestants of the 
South \ its proximity to Prance, the remembrance 
of Calvin, and a community of religion, had all 
tended to promote brotherly love between the 
Protestants of the two countries, before even the 
Revocation of the Edict of Nantes. It was France 
that had given to Greneva her great political and 
religious Reformer, and in the day of trouble 
(!eneva did not forget to acknowledge the gift ; she 
opened her doors to the exiles and fugitives with 
the most generous hospital^. 

She did so nevertheless with prudence. Louis 
XIV., and subsequently the Duke of Orleans, saw 
with displeasure crowds of refugees hurrying abroad, 
and experience having proved that the Revocation 
of the Edict of Nantes had driven from France 
her most industrious subjects and carried away the 
fruitful germs of a material and moral prosperity, 
not alone did the Court forbid the passage of the 
frontiers, it imposed upon its neighbours a greater 



Personal preferences of Du Plan for Geneva. 107 

caution in the reception of the runaways. Louis XIV. 
had uttered special menaces against the Swiss, and in 
1723 they were repeated by the Regent, who also 
directed the French Chargé d'Affaires to remonstrate 
with the Protestant Church of Geneva. Professor 
Pictet was accused of corresponding with the 
Huguenots, of giving them instruction and counsel, 
and, among other things, of leading them to believe 
that they were free to choose their own pastors, 
to preach, and to administer the sacraments ; these 
things being contrary to the orders of the King, Pictet 
was called before the Syndic where he succeeded in 
justifying his conduct. 

Prudence therefore was necessary, but this 
prudence did not stifle the generous sentiments of 
the heart. From Geneva had been sent the packets 
of Bibles and religious books to replace those which 
had been torn and burnt by the persecutors, and 
from Geneva above all had proceeded the money 
which was mysteriously distributed to the prisoners 
and galley slaves for the alleviation of their tortures. 

Benjamin Du Plan had personal motives for 
preferring Geneva to any other place of exile. 
Antoine Court had frequently told him about the 
eminent men who composed the pastoral body of 
that Church, such as Pictet, Vial and ICaurice 
Turretin; and it was with no little pleasure that 
Du Plan now made their acquaintance. He was 
not an entire stranger to them, Court, during his 
stay in Geneva in 1720, having often referred to 
the Gentleman of Alais, his friend and indefatigable 



108 His favorable reception at Geneva. 

companion, and it was this gentleman who now 
came to partake of their hospitalit}* and to seek 
among them a little calm and repose after fourteen 
years of incessant struggles. Du Plan's reception 
was warm and hearty ; he happily found himself in 
the midst of a polished, learned, and distinguished 
society, in keeping with his rank, family and 
education. He had been long severed from such 
society, preferring, to social enjoyment, an agitated 
and troubled life in woods and caverns, with 
peasants and rude mountaineers for his companions ; 
but God had reserved sweet solace at Geneva for 
the Nobleman who had so readity sacrificed his 
ease for the love of Christ and the good of the 
Church. 

He had scarcely arrived in the city when he 
was surrounded and interrogated as to the state of 
his persecuted bethren. Particulars were demanded 
of him respecting the Assemblies in the Desert, 
Assemblies which were considered rash and 
imprudent in view of tjie severity of the Edicts. 
Du Plan pleaded their necessity as Antoine Court 
had done before. The excellent and learned Pictet 
questioned the Nobleman concerning the Inspired 
who had so greatly endangered the unity of the 
Church and whose late chiefs had been hanged at 
Montpellier ; perhaps he was not ignorant that the 
young fugitive was suspected of sympathising with 
them. But when he heard Benjamin Du Plan 
vehementl} r denounce the conduct of Vesson, Hue 
and Yerschand, and pronounce as an absolute duty 



Letter of Antoine Court to Du Flan. 10î> 

obedience and respect to the constituted body of the 
Church, his prejudices gave way, his heart expanded, 
and he offered Du Plan the hand of brotherly love 
and friendship. 

A few days after his arrival in Geneva,- Du Flan 
received from Antoine Court an affectionate letter, 
in which his old friend expressed his sorrow at 
their disagreement ; he gave him at the same time 
certain practical counsels concerning the Inspired 
refugees at Geneva, hoping thereby to save him 
from annoyance and distress such as he had endured 
in France. The Gentleman of Alais did not fail to 
ponder over the wise counsels of his friend. 

"Monsieur and dear friend, 
"It was with true joy I learned (hat you had arrived safely 
at your destination, but I was really sorry not to have seen 
you before you took to flight. I missed you only by two 
days, and if I had received the letter which was a reply to 
the one I had the honour to write to you after my return from 
the Vivarais, I should have been in time. It was, however, 
otherwise ordered ; thus then we are far removed from each 
other; we no longer make journeys together and battle 
shoulder to shoulder under the standard of our common 
Master. This afflicts me ! Still if we are separated in body 
let us be more intimately united than ever in the spirit to 
fight, and let us work with renewed zeal in the vineyard 
of our Lord. If you can no longer do so by exhortation 
address those who have the power of doing good by your 
pen, your fervent prayers and your petitions ; having received 
talents of a superior order, you must not let them rust ; it is 
more essential than ever to write well and forcibly : you are 
able to do both— fail not in the task, your own glory will be 
great. Endeavour to observe as far as possible a certain 
order in the arrangement of your sentiments and ideas. I 



110 The state of the Church in France. 

approved of the petitions you addressed to the Powers. 
There are some good points in them, but it cannot be denied 
that there is a certain confusion. I hope they may be 
efficacious. 

" Allow me to exhort you to conceal the sentiments you 
hold on revelation as far as your conscience will permit ; a 
too open intercourse with persons who hold your views can 
but produce bad effects. Have the goodness to watch and 
be careful. 

"Rome is quietly and cautiously operating against those 
-whom she regards as heretics, but as this attitude is an un- 
natural and constrained one, she will soon abandon it and 
persecute with fire and blood. After the registration in the 
Supreme Courts of the Province, of the Declaration which so 
much roused your resentment on the one hand, and your pity 
on the other, she appeared to be quieted ; but on the first of 
this month, when we were least expecting it, a crier pro- 
claimed the Declaration with the sound of a trumpet in the 
public places of the town of Nismes. 

"I am leaving to assist at an assembly of our companions 
of the mountains and will acquaint you with the result as 
far as it may merit your attention. 

" I long to hear your good news; do not delay sending 
them. Describe to me exactly your present state as a good 
iriend can and should ; the manner in which you have been 
received, and those with whom you are in relationship ; 
whether you intend to make a long stay at your first stopping- 
place, and what is said of our affairs. It is asking a great 
deal of you, but not too much, since I entertain sincere and 
ardent wishes for your prosperity, and since I have the 
honour to be, with the most tender and affectionate senti- 
ments, &c." 

We have already said that on quitting Nisines 
Benjamin Du Plan had placed in the hands of 
Antoine Court a statement regarding a grave 
question which occupied his mind. In that state- 



Activity of Du Plan prior to Ms nomination. Ill 

ment he had besought his friend to convoke an early 
Synod and to demand from it the appointment of a 
deputy to the great Protestant Powers to plead the 
cause of the Churches, a duty which he himself 
offered to fulfil. The idea was excellent. The Powers 
had effectually intervened on several occasions and 
what would they not do when a man delegated by 
the Churches should come to solicit them ? Was 
any man apparently better qualified than the 
Nobleman of Alais to undertake this mission? His 
name, his rank, his education and his general in- 
formation were all of a character to facilitate his 
access to great personages and to Courts. In 
spontaneously offering his services to his brethren, 
Benjamin Du Plan did himself no more than justice. 

"It requires a certain boldness, he wrote later, not 
possessed by everyone, to speak and to write to Nobles, 
Princes and Kings. Temperament, education, a little inter- 
course with the nobility, some years service in the army, a 
degree of faith in certain persons whom I believed to be 
inspired and who assured me of the protection ot God, but 
above all the grace of our Lord, which I implored before 
undertaking anything, have produced in me an extraordinary 
boldness almost resembling rashness." 

While waiting for the decision of the Synod, 
which he took for granted would not be unfavour- 
able, Du Plan set himself to work. He wrote to the 
King of Prussia through the mediation of a pious 
and distinguished lady, and addressed to M. Lenfant, 
a celebrated minister and chaplain to the King, a 
statement of the condition of the Reformed Church 
of France ; he wrote to M. Saurin in Holland and 



112 Letter of Du Plan to Antoine Court. 

presented through a confidential agent a petition to 
their Exalted Majesties of the Hague ; he had 
already written to the King of England and the 
Archbishop of Canterbury and had found them easy 
of access through persons of distinction and piety 
who volunteered to support his solicitations; finally 
he proposed to establish relations with Switzerland 
for the benefit of the Churches or of the faithful, 
obliged like himself to seek refuge there. These 
journeys and this correspondence necessarily in- 
volved great outlay, but that was no hindrance to 
the zeal of the pious gentleman; he defrayed all his 
own expenses and decided to sacrifice his whole 
fortune if it were necessary. In the event of his 
means becoming exhausted, he hoped that the 
Churches out of gratitude would supplement them 
by a just recompense. 

The letter in Avhich he communicated all these 
projects to Antoine Court concluded with the 
following beautiful words : — 

" I offer many prayers on behalf of your companions in 
service. May God by His grace preserve and bless them 
in all their labours. Can you suppose, my dear friend, that 
my prayers are less fervent and sincere for you than for 
your companions? On the contrary you ought to feel 
persuaded that, since Providence has drawn us together like 
it did David and Jonathan, I interest myself specially in all 
that concerns you. I will be straightforward then; I will tell 
you what I think of your conduct, and will ask you to do the 
same by me. I believe that Providence has endowed us in 
a greater measure than others with those talents which attract 
men's attention ; never let us turn them to our own glory, but 



Imparting earnest advice. 113 

only to the glory of God and the edification of the Church! 
If we surpass our companions in eloquence, brilliancy, 
intelligence or any other capacity, let us aim at surpassing 
them also in humility, modesty, integrity, moderation 
gentleness, temperance, patience, zeal and charity. If the 
part we play is inexpressibly glorious, it is not less dangerous 
and delicate. Not only are the Churches of Languedoc eye- 
witnesses of our conduct, but the Academy of Geneva also, 
as well as numerous pious and distinguished persons in 
many towns and provinces. We may perhaps be on the point 
of having the eyes of all Europe upon us. But even if the 
eye of God alone was watching us, that in itself should be 
sufficient to make us both godly and true. Therefore, my dear 
brother and friend, let us do our utmost to please God; always 
walking as if under His eye and in His presence, and we 
shall thus assuredly overcome all our earthly adversaries 
and one day triumph in heaven. God, abandon us not to 
our frailty ! Arm of the Eternal, sustain and finish in us by 
Thy grace the work Thou hast commenced for Thy glory and 
the edification of Thy Church ! 

" I pray you to salute affectionately your dear Rachel. 
May God preserve her as well as her dear husband from the 
hand of every Esau. I have received in this town infinitely 
more respect than I deserve. Most of the pastors, besides a 
a great number of persons of merit of all classes, take a deep 
interest in all that concerns us. I am, with sincere esteem, 
Monsieur and dear friend, your very humble and obedient 
servant." 

(22nd of October, 1724 . 

Benjamin Du Plan had scarcely been a year in 
Geneva when he received his nomination as deputy. 
He had profitably employed this time in resting 
from his severe fatigues and repairing his shattered 
health. Nevertheless the repose was not without 
benefit to the Church whose vicissitudes he followed 



114 Du Plan criticises Court's style of writing. 

with interest from afar. A regular and detailed 
corres pondence with Antoine Court kept him 
informed of the principal events and enabled him in 
imagination to live in the sphere of his former 
labours. He took every opportunity of communicating 
the letters of his friend to the learned brethren of 
Geneva in order to gather their impressions, which 
with a fraternal liberty he imparted to his ancient 
colleague. 

" I have shown your letter to several persons of piety, 
merit and capacity, who have found it very good. They 
consider that you describe things well. Endeavour, my dear 
friend, to perfect yourself more and more in your style, as 
well as in your sentiments. With regard to your figurative 
and high-flown language, you will do well to abstain from it 
altogether, because it is not customary in this country and 
still less in the North where the people are phlegmatic. We 
must content ourselves by expressing our thoughts solidly, 
clearly, and in order." 

(October 1724). 

" When you write do not use grand words or figures 
without an absolute necessity, but write as simply and as 
naturally as possible ; make a diary of your journeys and 
progress, as M. Cortiez does ; this affords great pleasure." 

(March 1726). 

" I have communicated your letter to several persons of 
distinction, piety and merit, who have found in it much 
thought and good sense. It is certain that if you be on your 
guard against bombast, that is to say against a pompous 
and magnificent phraseology which is not at all customary, 
you will acquire the art of pleasing and convincing, and that 
is all we ought to aim at in speaking or writing. An orator 
ought to arrange his words and ideas as a painter arranges 
his colours. It is not the brightest colours only that are 
always most suitable. It is necessary to know how to 



Du Plain deplores the scarcity of Pastors. 116 

temper, soften, aud manage even the shades, to represent 
naturally the things which we paint. Betorc speaking or 
writing, a plan must be formed of what we wish to represent, 
We must acquire a just idea of each thing, and place each 
thing in" position. We must know the whole force and 
precise signification of each term and each figure. A man in 
speaking and writing paints the character of his mind and 
heart unconsciously, therefore we should make every effort 
to render our mind true and our heart right. We shall never 
succeed in so doing if we do not frequently examine 
ourselves, and implore without ceasing the help of God to 
dissipate the darkness ot our ignorance and destruy the 
corruptness of our heart." 

(June 1726). 

These remarks, which were dictated by the most 
unreserved friendship, gave no offence to Antoine 
Court. He knew the high esteem Du Plan enter- 
tained for his character ; and therefore accepted his 
criticisms with thankfulness and profit to himself. 

The letters of Du Plan at this period are more 
numerous, longer and more instructive than at any- 
other ; it is evident he had the time for and took 
pleasure in writing them. It is in this rich corres- 
pondence that he reveals to us his fine soul animated 
by a single passion, the glory of God, and a single 
desire, the good of the Church. He continued, 
though absent, his work of counselling and directing 
his friend, and of interesting himself in the sufferings 
of his brethren. Often did he deplore having been 
obliged to leave them, for he was not ignorant of 
the immensity of the work and the scarcity of 
workers, but by bringing to bear all the living forces 



116 The disadvantages of appealing to foreign Pastors. 

of the Church he endeavoured to rectify the mis- 
fortune. 

" It is necessary to increase the number of elders to make 
up for the deficiency of pastors and to exhort parents to 
supply the place of ministers to their children." 

(April 1725). 

This scarcity of pastors was troubling Court 
also ; he was virtually alone with Cortiez and a few 
preachers bearing the burden of the Churches. He 
frequently implored his friend to appeal to the zeal 
and devotion of foreign ministers, but though 
Du Plan exerted himself to the utmost he could, not 
prevail on the refugee pastors or foreigners to go 
into France. 

" It is to heaven," he wrote to his friend, "you must look, 
for preachers ; they will not listen to that voice, which 
while it calls them to the instruction and consolation of 
those who groan under the Cross, also calls them to martyr- 
dom. Flesh and blood is too weak to obey ; it needs 
nothing less than the efficacy of prevailing grace displayed 
by God to those only whom He pleases, and who are 
generally very weak instruments, to the end that unto the 
Lord may be all the glory." 

(April 1725). 

Du Plan, at the same time, had good reasons for 
thinking that the idea of calling pastors from abroad 
was not altogether a happy one. Would not their 
presence in France, in consequence of the peculiar 
situation of the Protestants, be more inconvenient 
than advantageous ? 

" If foreign ministers came to our succour, the fact would 
at once be discovered, and as the ministers themselves 



Du l'Util sends religious books into France. 117 

would be much more readily recognised than the pastors of 
the country, they would stand in greater danger of being 
arrested ; the Court would suspect a revolt, and this above 
all things it is necessary to avoid." 
(November 1725). 

In order to compensate for the absence of 
pastors, Antoine Court urgently asked for religious 
bu,,ks. The Bible and the books of Psalms had been 
burnt, and it was one of the greatest hardships 
inflicted on the Huguenots by their persecutors that 
they were deprived of the Divine book. Was not 
the Bible the inseparable companion of their lives, 
the friend whom they consulted every day, the end- 
less source of their consolations and hopes, and the 
sole foundation of their faith? This loss carried 
with it other grave inconveniences. " Deprived of 
the book which they believed to be divinely inspired 
and to which they appealed as to an infallible 
guide, the Protestants were liable, in abandoning 
themselves to the flights of their imagination, to fall 
into a dangerous mysticism. No longer holding 
converse with the Bible, there was reason to fear 
they would soon cease to hold converse with Clod 
Himself, a fear not altogether groundless, as already 
some whimsical theories on Inspiration had been 
expounded." 1 

The country being too poor to purchase books, 
Du Plan set himself to work among his friends at 
Geneva to collect mono)', which he often supple- 
mented from his own private resources when the sum 

i. Edmond Hugnes, already quotedj VoL, L, p. 50. 



118 Dangers encountered by the Colporteurs. 

was insufficient. The books bought were Testaments 
and the Psalms — but mostly Testaments — also works 
on morality, treatises on the Communion, the 
Catechisms of Drelincourt, Osterwald,Saperville and 
Saurin ; The Preservative against corruption, or 
Treatise on the sources of corruption, by Osterwald ; 
Indifference to religion, by Pictet ; as well as 
The Mystical Manna of the Desert, by the same 
author ; Morality, by Pictet, and his Theology ; the 
Sermons of Claude, the Exposition of the Forty 
Articles of the Confession of Faith, &c. 

The great difficulty was to import the works 
into France, the frontier being rigorously watched 
for suspected books ; but the zeal and discretion of 
Du Plan surmounted all difficulties. Through his 
management brave colporteurs undertook, at a 
thousand perils, to introduce the works. With their 
packs they crossed the border, and having hastily 
deposited their precious burdens in a safe place,, 
passed on. The books, once received, were 
distributed after the sermons, when everyone eagerly 
ran to obtain them. Some were sold to those who 
could afford to pay, while others were given to the 
poor or placed at the disposal of the preachers. The 
following letter of Du Plan shows the interest he 
took in this work, and above all in the brave 
colporteurs who risked their liberty on behalf of the 
Church. 

" You have asked me, my dear friend, in some of your 
letters to send you some books, and you tell me that zealous 
persons here ought to defray the expense. I reply, in the 



l)a Plu n interests himself in their mission. 119 

first place, that the inhabitants of this country very 
honourably support their ministers as well as their poor ; 
the latter increase daily, either owing- to want of employment 
or to the vanity and avarice which prevails in the dwellings 
of the rich. After having sought tor more than eight months 
in vain, I have found a favourable opportunity of sending 
you some packets of books, though the difficulties at one 
time seemed almost insurmountable. Charity having furnished 
only some old books and about twenty crowns, I have 
made myself responsible at the bookseller's for goods to the 
amount of one hundred crowns, as I would rather spend all 
I possess than allow a favourable opportunity to slip of 
affording to my country the means of instruction and salva- 
tion for pastors and people. May God by His grace safely 
conduct the escort, and bestow His blessing on all the 
preachers of Lower Languedoc, the Cevennes, and Vivarais. 
M. Cortiez and you will select what you wish and distribute 
the remainder according to your discretion. I hope everyone 
will be satisfied, and that you will with pleasure lend to one 
another what each may specially receive. 

u Should the man who risks his goods, his liberty and 
even his life, to procure means for the salvation of his 
conntry get into difficulty, I hope the Churches will not 
abandon him. I beseech you all, for the love of Christ, to 
interest yourselves on his behalf. The man is poor and has 
suffered many misfortunes, and he would not have been 
able to undertake the enterprise at all had I not encouraged 
him and supplied him with means. If I have done anything 
for the good of my country, to God be all the glory ! 
I commend myself to the prayers of the faithful, that I may 
still be useful to the Church. My Saviour has loved it and 
shed His blood for it, and I would, through the help of the 
Lord, make, or wish to make, the same sacrifice. If I forget 
thee, Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning." 

(10th of September 1725.) 

The smallest detail furnished to Du Plan an 
occasion for the display of his fine spirit, the noblest 



120 His noble minded sentiments. 

sentiments even at these times would flow from his 
Christian pen. 

" I belong no more to myself," continued he, "but to 
God who has redeemed me with His blood, and who 
animates me by His spirit in order that I may be wholly 
devoted to the service of His dear and well-beloved Spouse. 
Courage, my dear brother ! never let us lose courage , 
whatever we see, or whatever we hear ; let not the most 
fearful tempests and storms have power to move us ; we have 
a Pilot who commands the winds and the waves, let us not 
permit Him to slumber through our negligence or indifference ! 
Let us cry to Him without ceasing in the words of the 
superscription on the seal which I send to you by our 
brother Deleuze ; '■Save, Lord; we perish !' If we pray to our 
kind and omnipotent Saviour with all the humility, ardour 
and confidence of which we are capable, we shall undoubtedly 
soon witness an end of the storm everywhere and a 
succession of mild and genial weather by which the earth 
will be made to bring forth fruit and barrenest trees to 
bloom. Toil without ceasing to sow, weed and cultivate the 
soil which Providence has committed to your care, and may 
the blessing of God, my dear friend, be upon you and upon 
your work ; may it also descend upon your fellow labourers 
and upon all who invoke the name of our Lord. Never fear 
your foes, however numerous they may be ; you fight for 
the Lord of Hosts, and if you are faithful to Him the victory 
will surely be yours: yet a little while, our enemies shall be 
confounded and the truth shall appear with such brilliancy 
that the shadows of superstition shall everywhere be 
dispersed ; the idols of the nations shall be destroyed, and 
all shall adore the one and only God, from the rising of the 
sun to the going down of the same ; all shall cry, Hosannah ! 
Blessed be He who cometh in the name of the Lord ! 
Alleluia, Alleluia ! Praise the Lord ! To Him alone be all the 
glory, majesty, dominion and power ! 

" All that I say is true ; it is no chimera or effect of an 



Hw solicitude on behalf of the Churches. 121 

excited imagination. I have for my authority the Holy 
Scriptures, and the marvels which God has done, and is still 
doing, by His grace in my dear country. I have for my 
authority the love of.God which is shed abroad in my heart ; 
this love never deceives us if we pray for it and consult it 
with humility and faith ; it is an infallible oracle which 
gives us glimpses and foretastes of the triumph of the 
Church on earth and in heaven. Love is God Himself, 
according to the explanation of the beloved disciple. All 
who are really animated by love are inspired of God. God 
makes Himself known unto them and reveals unto them His 
secret thoughts. Let us not deceive ourselves as to the 
nature of this love. Saint Paul has given us an admirable 
description of the virtue in his Epistle to the Corinthians. 
It is for us to examine whether we practice it in like manner. 
"I will at present urge my arguments no further, because 
I wish, if it please God. to write to you again soon. I there- 
fore conclude, my dear friend, by assuring you of im- 
perfect goodwill, and by expressing sincere and ardent 
wishes for your welfare, for the welfare of your beloved 
colleagues and of all our Churches. Assure our dear 
brethren, by whom I have the honour to be known and 
loved, that I am, and shall be all my life, their good friend 
and faithful servant. I specially salute your wife. I trust 
you will write to me soon. Your two illustrious friends and 
a great number of noble and pious persons of both sexes 
and all ages, salute you, and offer many supplications on 
behalf of yourself and your companions. The Eternal, who 
has preserved you and delivered you from the hands of your 
enemies by a striking miracle, will keep you until the day 
of lull fruition. May the cloud of divine protection encircle 
you in all places and at all times ; may the angels of heaven 
attend you like Jacob, and may no cruel Esau ever have 
power over you or your brethren. God soften the heart of 
your enemies ! God enlighten their understandings and 
give them grace to serve Him — the Judge of the Universe — 
as He wills, and as He is worthy to be served. Adieu, 



122 His solicitude for the galley slaves. 

my very dear friend, Adieu. I embrace you and am, much 
more than I can express it, your very humble and affec- 
tionate brother and servant. 

Benjamin." 
10th of September 1725. 

There was no physical or moral suffering to 
which Du Plan was a stranger ; he was as solicitous 
for the pastors as for all the members of the flock, 
and especially for those of them who were victims 
to the rigour of the times. His thoughts constantly 
recurred to the most unfortunate of his co-religionists 
aud went forth to the dungeons and the galleys ; he 
felt himself constrained to stir up sympathy on 
their behalf. He willingly forgot himself in caring 
for others, and his charity extended to every one 
who suffered for righteousness' sake. 

"I learn with regret, " he wrote, "that those who serve 
the Churche are scarcely ever fully paid, though they are 
so few in number and their wages so very moderate. 
Moreover sufficient attention has not been given to the galley 
slaves and prisoners. Is not this, however, an inalienable 
duty of the Churches, and is it not rather from want of love 
and intelligence, of care and management, than of money, 
that sufferers for the Gospel and servants of the Churches 
are deprived of necessary support ? As tor myself, I ask 
for nothing. God will be my support and my recompense. 
I will, through His grace, sacrifice not only my goods and 
my worldly prospects, but my life, if this sacrifice be required 
by my country and the Church. Let your colleagues and 
elders rest assured of my true sentiments on this subject, 
for I express them as they occur to me. I will spare no efforts 
for the consolation and deliverance of my brethren, and 
will with my whole heart solicit heaven and earth in their 
favour. 



The motives for his chct/rity. 123 

"It is necessary to give all possible help toDauphiny, for 
the more widely we extend our charity and good works the 
more will God be glorified, and the more shall we be glorified 
in Him ; the less foreign help we receive towards the 
triumph of the truth in our country the more credit we shall 
receive from our fellow countrymen and from strangers. 
Nevertheless we ought not to act from this motive alone ; 
it would be vanity and we should risk paying dearly for a 
little show ; let us cleave unto God wholly and with a single 
heart, without regard to the opinions of men. Alexander 
and Csesar were in some measure justified in seeking the 
world's praises, for they did not know, as we know, the 
things of God ; but we should be very blind and very guilty 
to abandon the Creator for the creature, to prefer time to 
eternity, and to chase the shadow while we lose the substance. 
Let us occupy our minds about God, heaven and a blessed 
eternity, we shall not then be disappointed in our hopes; we 
shall possess here the peace of God which passeth all under- 
standing, and in Paradise we shall behold His face which is 
a fullness of joy for ever. God grant it, by His grace ! " 

(April 1725.) 

Du Plan heard with joy of the revival of the 
Church notwithstanding the fire of persecution, and 
was deeply affected on reading such details as the 
following, given by Antoine Court on the occasion 
of his marvellous deliverance : — 

" I have had abundant and touching proof of the attach- 
ment and tender affection entertained by our people for their 
pastor. Their tear of having lost me for ever after my sad 
adventure at Alais and their pleasure at my reappearance 
impressed them so vividly, that words fail them in which to 
testify their attachment, their grief, and their joy. I know 
not how to prove to you the respect in which I am held. 

, u I can recall but few occasions when our largest 
assemblies reached two or three hundred persons, and 



124 Court describes the progress of his work. 

when one of them surpassed that number it was con- 
sidered little short of a miracle. Now the Assemblies are 
considered but indifferent if they do not exceed two or three 
hundred. In the course of my rounds I have held several 
meetings at which the numbers approached a thousand 
persons, and at one there were more than twice as many ; 
the communicants were so numerous that during the admi- 
nistration of the Lord's Supper, nine or ten chapters of 
Holy Scripture were read and the Commandments chanted, 
besides the whole of the XI. Canticle and two or three 
selections from the Psalms. A remarkable circumstance 
was that this Assembly was convoked at the break of day, 
lasted till noon and separated as quietly as if it had been 
held in St. Peter's. 1 Divine and adorable Providence thou 
art profound and matchless in all thy doings ! God render 
us sensible of such striking and distinguished proofs of Thy 
love ! Though the event terminated happily, my dear 
friend, the step did not appear to every one here altogether 
wise and prudent. Should you find it the same I leave it to 
your judgment to make an apology for us; the scarcity of 
preachers, the great number of the faithful, the famine which 
pinches them, the pressing need they have of consolation, 
and their zeal, added to the precautions which are the 
inseparable companions of our doings, will furnish y ou with 
abundant means for our defence. " 
(9th of July 1725). 

In this same letter Antoine Court conferred 
with Du Plan on a very important and interesting 
question — the confederation of the Churches of 
Dauphiny and Vivarais with those of Languedoc. 
It was considered essential to combine their scattered 
forces in order to make a better stand against 
persecution. To this end, Roger, who had accom- 

1. The Cathedral at Geneva where Protestant worship is celebrated. 



The Confederation of the Churches. 125 

plished in Dauphiny the same work of restoration 
that Antoine Court had accomplished in Languedoc, 
had assembled a Synod in June, 1725. It was 
there decided, as a proof of complete and lasting 
anion, that all the Churches should adopt the same 
rules as the Churches of Languedoc. Nevertheless 
it was thoroughly understood that this deference 
did not imply any avowal of inferiority, and that 
Languedoc, in taking the initiative in this measure, 
did not in any manner aspire to any sort of 
domination whatsoever. It was in this sense that 
the arrangement was understood by the brethren at 
Geneva. 

u It is essential, " continued Court, u to explain to the 
Churches of the Vivarais and Dauphiny those terms either 
in our rules or in the Synodal letter which, though they may 
in appearance be stern and even despotic, are not so in 
reality. We are not friendly enough with the proud and 
blind Vatican to adopt its maxims or to imitate its conduct. 
Thanks to Thy mercies, my God, we are taught in a school 
where we have learned that he who is esteemed the greatest 
ought to be the servant of him who is the least. God is not 
well pleased that we should attempt to establish in our 
midst an authority which Jesus Christ, our Divine Master,. 
took so much pains to banish from among his beloved 
disciples. We would disapprove and denounce all that has 
the slightest appearance of it, and agree with pleasure to 
correct the smallest expression which might seem to favour 
a principle so worthy of condemnation.'' 

(9th of July 1725.) 

Antoine Court was sufficiently interested in the 
financial position of his friend to speak his mind 
freely on this subject. 



126 Financial situation of Du Plan. 

"Ifear," he wrote to him, "that you conceal from me 
things which you ought frankly to disclose. If I hold in 
your mind and heart the place apparently assigned to me 
by your letters, why hide anything? Have the goodness to 
speak on all subjects with an open heart, and as a bosom friend 
ought to speak. I need not explain myself more fully, but 
if further comment is necessary, you have only to remember 
that since you went to sojourn at Geneva, I have known as 
little of the state of your affairs as of the inhabitants of the 
Southern Hemisphere. It you do me the favour to refer at 
all to the subject, I know you will not do it by halves.'' 
(9th of July 1725.) 

Benjamin Du Plan replied to him immediately : — 

" You wish me to acquaint you with my affairs, If con- 
cerning the temporal I will inform you that they are in such 
a condition that God alone can help me. The person who 
is willing to aid me 1 has his bands tied, he can sell nothing 
at present, and what with losses and expenses his income is 
greatly reduced. Fifty louis were sent me, but they were 
not nearly sufficient, and I have borrowed considerably. 
If Providence does not intervene, it will be necessary to 
reduce my expenditure. Though I desire to maintain a 
certain position, I do not wish to be chargeable to any one, 
and it is with regret that I consent to the Churches 
co-operating in the collection of a small sum to defray 
my unavoidable expenses for future journeys. I will not 
however accept even this help, until after all the pastors 
of the country have received their salaries ; and Providence 
has failed to furnish me with other means. I wish to receive 
nothing from the Churches, being sufficiently rewarded by 
the glory and happiness of serving them." 

(27th of July 1725). 



1. This was a Monsieur Treillis of Alais,a great friend of the family 
of Du Plan and who had taken in hand the pecuniary interests of the 
young refugee. 



His want of money. 127 

Benjamin Du Plan tried sometimes by curious 
methods to Improve his position ; he subscribed to a 
lottery. Unfortunately this plan did not succeed, 
and though the attempts were repeated he was never 
successful. 



CHAPTER XIII. 

FIRST JOURNEY OF DU PLAN IN SWITZERLAND. 

October and November, 1725. 

As soon as Du Plan had received his credentials 
he occupied himself in the fulfilment of his delicate 
mission. But he was soon impeded by want of 
money. He had not yet received the fifty pistoles 
which the Synod had voted him, and the help from 
his father was insufficient to meet the cost of his 
journey. 

He wrote in the month of September to his 
friend : — 

" I have not yet been able to set thoroughly to work, 
owing to want of money. The outlay already incurred has 
greatly exceeded the help I have received from my relations. 
I almost lose hope, the obstacles which interfere with this, 
as with all good designs, being so numerous. 

" Affairs in the North and in Germany are in a critical 
state. It is not yet known whether war will break out or 
whether an arrangement will be possible. Reasonable and 
pious men counsel me not to engage in my undertaking 
without the means necessary for success; I therefore patiently 
await the manna, and by whatever way it may come I shall 
look upon it as from heaven. Meanwhile perhaps my pre- 



128 He urges Court to procure it for him. 

sence in this country may be of some service to our Churches. 
Please inform me what effect your letters have produced 
touching the collections for the support of the ministry, and 
for the expenses of the Deputation to the Powers. As you 
have not referred to this subject for some time, I haye 
reason to fear that your exhortations have been like seed 
cast into sterile and badly cultivated ground. There is 
always a great difference between promise and performance. 
It is much easier to draw out a good plan than to put it into 
execution. May God grant me grace to serve our Churches 
in much humility and without reward. Those who would 
give, cannot ; and those who could give, will not. It is 
grievous, but we must nevertheless have patience. A time 
will come, it it please the Lord, when the husks will burst 
and the chestnuts will fall in abundance. God will implant 
His charity in the hearts of the covetous, and the poor shall 
suffer no more. happy age, when wilt thou arrive ? Let 
us hasten it, my dear friend, by our zeal for God, by our 
love towards our brethren, and by our diligence to fulfil all 
the duties of modesty, virtue and temperance. It the effectual 
fervent prayer of the righteous man availeth much, let us 
be righteous and God will hear our prayers." 
(September 1725). 

Antoine Court replied to him immediately : — 

" The Synod has been held. The preparations for it 
were successful, and the resolutions good, but the means of 
executing them failed. We need preachers, and need money 
for their support. Those who serve are not paid. Thirty 
per cent, has been deducted from their salaries and for the 
remainder they have received only paper. Instead of eleven 
hundred livres, 1 which we require, but two hundred and 
eighty and some odd livres have been raised. Do therefore 
what you can for the Churches that suffer under the Cross 
and whose advocate you are. The word Cross may inspire 

1. " Livre " is occasionally used by French writers as a convertible 
term for u franc ". 



«. Poverty of the Churches. 129 

you at such a moment, and perhaps I am not wrong in 
bringing it to your remembrance. 

u It was proposed that you should go into Germany, and 
to the North, but the great difficulty, want of means, marred 
our intentions. Fitty pistoles have been voted to maintain 
you for the present, while waiting for further help ; it will 
supply your most pressing needs. I have not yet received 
the sum, but will work incessantly to obtain it. God, 
will there never arise another Christopher Columbus, the 
discoverer of America, who without being under the neces- 
sity of going from Potentate to Potentate or appealing to 
any Philip of Spain, shall appeal direct to Philip the Evan- 
gelist?; or shall there never again be seen any Cyrus, 
Artaxerses or Nehemiah, who touched by our misery shall 
bring us more speedy and effectual relief than money can 
supply ? Then not alone Ethiopia but countries more distant 
shall resound with our praises! Patience! God who is in 
Heaven is good, He is omnipotent, He will provide all things, 
and while hoping and waiting for His help, I will not allow 
any difficulties or oppositions to weaken my courage or relax 
my zeal. Our preachers have asked for their discharge, less 
perhaps with a view to obtain it than to arouse from their 
lethargy our elders, the majority of whom are discouraged 
with the first bad collection or with the meanness and 
unworthiness of the offerings. But I appealed to them, 
exhorting patience, and they have submitted, each one 
having again with renewed zeal taken possession of his own 
department in the vineyard of the Lord. " 

(September 1725). 

Du Plan, however, did not wait to receive the 
money that had been promised him and which there 
was so much difficulty in collecting : in company 
with a preacher named Chapel, he commenced a 
short journey of two months duration. They visited 
the principal towns of Switzerland, including Berne, 



130 Success of Du Plan in Switzerland. 

Zurich, Neuchâtel, and Lausanne. For the sake of 
economy they travelled on foot. "They were 
received everywhere with a respectful sympathy, 
and great astonishment was evinced when Du Plan 
related in the towns still attached to the old 
Calvinistic traditions the sufferings, incessant 
persecutions and martyrdoms which had been 
endured during a ten years straggle and the success 
with which that struggle had heen attended. The 
man who had been delegated to the Churches of 
Switzerland by his brethren of France and who 
had himself been a witness of so many extra- 
ordinary events, became a man of eminence — little 
short of a hero." l 

At Zurich, Du Plan obtained from their 
Excellencies the Magistrates sixty louis d'or ; while 
the German clergy and the French Church promised 
to contribute their share to the relief of their 
persecuted brethren. 

At Neuchâtel, the deputy collected thirty crowns, 
and the excellent M. Osterwald, pastor of the 
Church, personally furnished a large case of books, 
the greater number consisting of his own works. 

It was at Lausanne, however, that Du Plan 
left the most salutory traces of his progress. He 
was received there with the warmest affection by 
the chief families of the country, and with their 
co-operation he realised one of the great ideas of 
Antoine Court, in founding a Protestant seminary. 

1. Edmond Hugues, already quoted Vol. I. p. 281. 



\bli$hment of the College at Lausanne. 131 

As foreign pastors could not be prevailed upon to 
court martyrdom in France, it became necessary, 
as soon as possible, to supply their place by 
procuring for some young students the means for 
prosecuting their regular studies. Du Plan assembled 
in secret certain pastors and friends of Lausanne, 
such as Polier and De Montrond, &c., in order to 
deliberate on this grave question. The delicate 
point was to know to what College it would be 
most expedient to send the young students. Geneva, 
constantly threatened by France, was out of the 
question ; Berne was not much less so and for the 
same reason, while Zurich was German and too far 
out of the way. Lausanne, then a dependency of 
Berne, was finally selected. Their Excellencies the 
Magistrates of Berne, at the request, probably, of 
certain eminent and influential friends, such as 
Dachs, D'Hacbrett and others, courteously consented 
to the opening of a private college, but on the 
express condition that it should remain in obscurity 
and make no stir. This condition was accepted. 

The Churches were able to provide for the 
expenses of a single student only ; but later on, 
thanks to the exertions of Du Plan, the number 
gradually inceased in a few years to six. The 
fu'st student was Bétrine, a pious and zealous 
young man whom Court had formerly encountered 
on his rounds, and had consecrated to the holy 
ministry. Bétrine set out for Lausanne in 1725. 
He was intelligent, though like all the preachers 
vary ignorant, and having no notion of Greek or 



132 Bétrine, the first student at the College. 

Latin was unable to follow an academical course- 
Time pressed, the number of preachers diminished, 
daily under the fire of persecution, and it was 
necessary to replace them. A few willing and 
talented men thereupon undertook to give the 
young student private lessons, the more rapidly to 
complete his education, and in the space of a few 
months he acquired all his theological instruction. 
On his return to Geneva, Du Plan found awaiting 
him the letter from his friend describing the want 
of generosity among the faithful. He hastened to 
reply, and to acquaint him with the results of his 
first journey. 

" Monsieur, ray dear friend, 

"I have just returned from my journey into Switzerland 
in company with M. Chapel. I have been absent more than 
two months, which will account for my not having replied 
to the several letters that awaited me at Geneva. Scarcely 
had I received yours, when I resolved to give you evidences 
of my sincere and tender friendship. I commence then by 
praising the Lord, who in spite of the misery and peril to 
which the preachers are exposed in our unfortunate country, 
raises up persons to overcome these troubles. I praise God 
further for the good will of many worthy Elders who 
warmly interest themselves for the good of our Churches, 
though I am a little disappointed that they cannot carry 
out their good designs. God permits many obstacles to try 
the faith, patience and charity of His servants. If from the 
discharge of our duties we derived honour, pleasure and 
worldly prosperity, our diligence might be ascribed to 
ambition, avarice or voluptuousness. We must be poor, we 
must be despised, we must suffer, in order that God may be 
glorified, the Church edified, and our enemies forced to 



Bu Plan's letter respecting tht collections in Femur, 133 

Acknowledge our single heartedness as well as the genuine- 
ness of our faith. 

u I am much obliged, my dear friend, for the particulars 
you have given me of what has transpired in your locality. 
I beg you to thank, in proper time and place, all those 
persons who have chosen me for their deputy. I feel myself 
more honoured by this office than if I were the ambassador 
of the greatest King on earth, because an ambassador 
generally occupies himself with temporal and political affairs 
alone, while I shall entirely occupy myselt, if it please God, 
with those things which concern eternity and the welfare of 
our beloved Churches. You will oblige me further, my dear 
friend, by thanking the Synod on my behalf for the fifty 
pistoles it has voted me ; when the money shall have been 
collected, you will have the kindness to inform me, though 
I do not wish to touch it, except in the last extremity, and 
until the preachers have been paid. I placed more than 
twenty pistoles in the lottery of Geneva to try if Providence 
by that means would permit me to serve the Churches 
gratuitously and even to send them money ; but the event 
has shown that God wished to prove me, since I have had 
the worst possible luck. I received the news with great 
tranquillity, and seemed to hear a voice within me saying : 
— 'My grace is sufficient for thee; seek first the kingdom of 
heaven, and all things requisite tor thy present state shall 
be given thee from above/ There might have been more or 
less of vanity had I been able to say that I laboured gratu- 
itously and gave without receiving. If my intentions are 
good, they will be as acceptable to God who knows the heart 
as the acts themselves, and I shall not be in danger of 
becoming vain or arrogant. 

u It is now time I should give you a short account of my 
journey in Switzerland ; I need hardly assure you that my 
aim has been to gain for my brethren under the Cross all the 
help they can fairly hope for. I was favourably received in 
all the towns through which I passed, and recognised and 
honoured as the deputy of our Churches. Everywhere has 



134 Particulars of his journey i 

the Lord been praised for the blessings His mercy has accorded 
to us in the midst of our greatest troubles. Much surprise 
was created and interest felt at my description of our state 
and our doings ; a thousand good wishes were expressed 
on our behalf, and some presents which will afford you 

pleasure were added To supply the place of pastors 

you will receive a number of books, not alone for the 
preachers, but for many among the flock who have not the 
means wherewith to buy. 

" I can at present give you but a short account of my 
journey. I have many things to tellyou,but I will reserve them 
for my next letter. If M. Chapel could see you at Nismes or at 
any other place, he would tell you many things which cannot 
be committed to paper. 

" We must perfect, as soon as possible, the state of our 
Churches, in order that I may be able to challenge enquirers. 
We have more need than ever to pray earnestly to God to 
make us upright, prudent and active; things are at a crisis. 

" M. Bétrine has received your letter, and will send a 
reply; he salutes you, and prays you to send his little 
allowance in advance, if possible. His sister also salutes 
you, as well as all the persons who are dear to you. We 
pray that God may bless and preserve you all by His wise 
Providence. Le Sieur Chapel will be at Nismes about the 
7th or 8th ot next month; endeavour to see him." 

(November 1725.) 



CHAPTER XIV. 

THE SYNOD OF 1726 AND BENJAMIN DU PLAN. 

While the deputy of the Synods was travelling 
through Switzerland awakening evidences of sym- 
pathy, and sparing neither care nor trouble to acquit 
himself faithfully of his mission, his enemies were 



Demon infiaix against Du Plan. 135 

endeavouring to injure his influence with the 
Churches and even to withdraw from him his 
certificate of deputy. Great was his grief when on 
the return from one of these fatiguing journeys he 
received from his friend the following letter : — 

u Monsieur, and dear friend, 

u It is possible that the subject of ray letter may surprise 
you, but I cannot be silent on this occasion without betraying 
your interests, the interests of the Church, and my pledged 
friendship for yourself. Some persons whom I believe to be 
concerned in your welfare are not altogether satisfied with 
your conduct on the subject of the so-called Inspired, and 
public rumour, which is often neither trustworthy nor 
discreet, having already aroused commotion in our provinces, 
many are complaining. I have made ineffectual efforts to 
stem the torrent, and if you do not second me you will not 
easily re-establish yourself in the minds of some persons 
who deserve consideration, whatever estimate we may form 
of them or what position soever they themselves may hold, 
either in the world or in the Church. 

u My object is not to ascertain whether there are or are 
not veritable Inspired : this has always been a subject of 
discussion between us. Though otherwise very much alike, 
on this matter we have always been the antipodes of each 
other, your experience persuading you that there are 
Inspired and mine that there are not. Incredulous as I am 
on this point, I will agree with you for a moment that there 
are true Inspired ; what then is the inference ? Is it a 
fundamental article in our religion without which we cannot 
be saved, that we should believe in the doctrine of Inspira- 
tion and associate with those who pretend to be Inspired ; o r 
is the subject one of indifference ? You are too sensible to 
persist in the one, and I do not see how you can reasonably 
deny the other. All you can say is that, Inspiration being 
a gift from heaven, it demands the praises of those who have 



136 His relations with the Inspired of Geneva. 

either received it themselves or who have discovered it in 
others. Is it not however possible, I would ask, to fulfil the 
obligations involved by a belief in Inspiration, without 
failing in the great precept of charity which forbids us to 
offend the weakest of our brethren? Do we risk being 
lost by not making an open profession of a doctrine which 
we affirm to be of no absolute necessity either in religion or 
for salvation ? and in matters of religion is it not wise to 
act on the principle of having regard to appearances in 
small things ? We hear St. Paul saying to us : 'Abstain 
from all appearance of evil,' and should we not do more 
than follow the apostolic injunction and abstain from things 
which, though innocent in themselves, might occasion evil 
to others ? It is well not to do anything by which thy 

brother stumbles or is offended 

u You have motives of another kind which merit no less 
your attention than your own interests. It is only rendering 
you justice to avow that you have a strong ambition to 
serve the Church, and that you are willing to sacrifice your 
goods, your repose, and even your life on its behalf ; the 
experience we have had of your exertions and professions 
unmistakeably assure us of the fact. But if you are not 
careful to keep a stricter watch over your conduct on the 
subject in question, or neglect to act on the principles I have 
just set forth, you will incapacitate yourself for the fulfilment 
of your engagements and promises, and even your zeal will 
become unfruitful and useless. What a result ! It is as 
natural as it is certain that the Church will lose its confidence 
in you, that you will in a manner force it to withdraw the 
august mission it has conferred upon you, and that you will 
lose the credit you have acquired abroad, a credit so 
necessary and so important in the execution of the under- 
taking with which you are charged. Pray take care, my 
dear friend, to refuse nothing to a Church for which you 
surrender so much, and take care also to abstain from a too 
frequent and open communication with those persons whose 
sentiments she does not absolutely approve. This sacrifice 



Court urges him to abêtwn from their company. 137 

ought not to be very great, but if it were a sacritice much 
more considerable, a man in your position ought at once to 
make it. It is true I do not demand this in the name of the 
Church, for as yet I am but the echo of the rumours and 
complaints which are circulating amongst us, and I have no 
special instruction to write to you on the subject, but I have 
thought that my ministerial duty, added to the friendship 
which exists between us, rendered the act indispensable. 
All I ask for in reply to my straightforward statement is a 
prompt change if you are in fault, and for my sound advice, 
a careful study to render yourself approved in all things by 
the persons who interest themselves in our affairs, and by 
the Churches you have the honour of serving. If you do this, 
as I trust you will, you cannot doubt that it will give me 
great satisfaction, and that it will not tend to diminish the 
esteem and the perfect devotion I entertain for you and with 
which I am, your faithful servant, 

Court." 
3rd of November 17i?5. 

Du Plan hastened to reply : — 

u Monsieur, my very dear friend, 

"I take up the pen with the intention of satisfying all you 
can desire of me, if I am happy enough to succeed in my 
project. 

"I do not exactly know what has been written from this 
plaça to the Province to occasion complaints concerning my 
views , provided no untruth has been uttered it matters 
little to me what may have been said as to my belief and my 
conduct in regard to religion. I have not shaken off the 
yoke of Popery, that ferocious and formidable beast, for 
the purpose of becoming a slave to certain private opinions. 
I consider as such all opinions which cannot be tested by 
evidence from Holy Scripture. In fact I recognise in religion 
no other authority than that of God. If my faith or my 
morals are contrary to the dogmas, I am ready to yield as 



138 Du Plan asserts his independence. 

soon as I am convinced of my errors, but let no one flatter 
himself that either promises or menaces, rewards or chastise- 
ments, shall be able to make me renounce that which 
I believe to be true and right. I believe that God has in 
these latter days poured out on several persons the gifts' of 
His Spirit ; there are but lew who have been faithful ; for 
this reason God has withdrawn his favour and delivered 
them over to a spirit of error and iniquity. Such judgments 
as these should make all the instruments God employs for His 
glory to tremble, but not to despise His gifts which are 
always excellent in themselves and very clear to those who 
have received them. God grants and withholds his favours 
as He pleases. In ascribing to Him the glory it is for each 
one to make a good use of the gifts by devoting them to 
the edification of the Church and to his own sanctification. 
Though I despise with my whole heart all false doctors, 
pastors and prophets, I do not believe that any doctor or 
pastor has the right to ask me to despise anyone in whom 
I discover the gifts of the Holy Spirit, or any prophet the 
right to call upon me to despise a doctor or a pastor in 
whom I discover a language consistent with the Holy 
Scriptures. It is by the Scriptures that I examine the 
pastor, the doctor, and the prophet. When certain pretended 
Inspired have cried against the ministry in general, under 
the pretext that some ministers preached error or lived 
inconsistently, I have vigorously battled with such 
pretended Inspired; and even when certain ministers, whose 
character and merit I respect, have unreservedly and without 
distinction rejected and condemned all those who in these 
latter days call themselves Inspired, I have not yielded to 
them without a shock to the integrity and sensitiveness of 
my conscience. I do not blame those who have no belief in 
sudden inspiration : for this evidences are required which 
God does not accord to everyone ; but if I had, or believed 
I had, these evidences, why should that faith which is neither 
contrary to the truths of the Gospel, to strict morals, or to 
ecclesiastical and social discipline, be despotically denied to 



//( has always withstood the false Inspired. 139 

me ? Let us rather cherish the desire to do more and more 
good, and not pretend to rule the faith of other people by 
our own, in regard to things which affect neither State nor 
Church. 

u Though I believe that God has accorded in these last 
days the gifts of His Spirit, I am persuaded that among those 
who battle with sudden inspiration I have done more than 
anyone to eradicate fanaticism, — the shadow or corruption 
of inspiration — as Popery is the shadow or corruption of 
Christianity. It is very certain that the priests or ministers 
of Roman Catholicism are much more numerous than the 
Protestant ministers (would to God the good Protestant 
ministers were in greater number amongst us than the bad !) ; 
but be that as it may, this great number of false priests and 
bad ministers, who all call themselves servants of Jesus 
Christ, ought not to hinder us from recognising as true and 
faithful ministers of God the small number who acquit them- 
selves of their duty, as the great number of imposters, 
visionaries, fanatics, and profligates, who call themselves 
Inspired ought not to hinder me from recognising that God 
has honoured with His gifts a few persons whom I have 
heard, but whom I seldom hear now. I am careful not to 
offend anyone, but if any who keep a stricter eye on my 
conduct than their own advise me to discard that which has 
been very useful to me, and which has brought me into close 
contact with the preachers of the Desert, I shall regard them 
as very indiscreet, and if there be any offence at all, it will 
be an offence received and not given. Jesus Christ has been 
a stumbling-block to many; so much the worse for the 
stumblers. The magistrates and clergy ot this town not 
only tolerate but protect certain persons who believe them- 
selves to be inspired, provided they do not disturb the 
established civil and ecclesiastical order. It is only a few of 
the inconsiderate who raise the hue and cry without knowing 
what is in question. As for myself, I love everyone, and 
I am happy to live with all pious persons, whatever may 
be their views, provided they are not contrary to the articles 



140 He demands toleration for his sentiments. 

of our Synod or of our faith. I have friends of all sorts and 
conditions who honour me with their esteem, which is in no 
way diminished, though they know my sentiments. I never 
concealed them; I have confessed them in public and in 
private ; they neither hindered me from serving the Churches 
usefully nor from being chosen as deputy. I have, thank 
God, successfully fulfilled my duty as deputy, wherever 
I have gone ; the magistrates and the clergy have received 
me with respect and kindness, and I have awakened, above 
all, love for our Churches. I regard the result of my efforts 
for the Churches only as the first fruits of my mission and 
as an earnest of the abundant harvest which will follow, 
when Providence shall have opened up to me the whole 
Protestant country. 

"I am preparing myself for my travels ; endeavour to 
collect the fifty pistoles which have been assigned to me, 
I trust that my Swiss journey will produce for our Church 
more than two hundred pistoles. Thus I shall not be a 
burden, and a part of the money can be employed in paying 
the arrears due to the preachers, or in binding books. I will 
do my utmost to forward you some other packets ot books, 

" I have received two letters from M. Eoger which inform 
me that Dauphiny has also chosen me as deputy ; he 
acquaints me with the state of the Churches which he serves ; 
he is a man who is spoken very highly of at Lausanne and 
who appears by his letters to be prudent as well as pious. 

" M. Cortiez has also written to me. He is evidently very 
much annoyed that you have treated him as an inferior. 
I think there must be some misunderstanding, or else the 
Devil is trying to sow discord among you. There is 
no occasion to enfeeble ourselves by envies and strifes; 
we are too weak already ; let us prefer one another in honour, 
and strengthen ourselves in the Lord to fight vigorously 
against the multitude of enemies who surround us. As to 
myself, though I have received great provocation, I am 
willing to make to the Lord a sacrifice of my just resent- 
ments. It there are any in the Province who murmur at my 



Second letter to Court on the same subject. 141 

sentiments on the subject of inspiration, tell them that the 
Magistrates and Clergy here (who are much more powerful 
and enlightened than they), tolerate and uphold them, tell 
them also that their duty and their interest should induce 
them to keep silence and strive to be good Christians in 
order to obtain the blessing of God. If I could identify my 
calumniator in this place I would compel him to change his 
language by the most ample proof of my orthodoxy and 
good faith and thereby bring my enemies to shame and 
confusion ! Tell me everything and do not fear that 
I shall make a bad use of the information ; I fear God, and 
love my neighbour, though he may be mean or malignant 
enough to injure me. Do not speak of these things to many." 

(14th of December 1725.) 

This letter had scarcely been despatched when 
Benjamin Du Plan discovered the necessity of again 
writing to plead for union. 

" Monsieur, my very dear friend. 

" My mind has been so impressed by the reproofs and 
threats contained in your last letter that I wish to reply to 
it a second time, and thus endeavour to make amends for 
having so long delayed writing. Some of our friends, to 
whom I have shown your letter, seem to think it very 
fruitful in ideas and expressions. You study your words 
carefully and express your feelings well. The chief thing is 
to fix your thoughts and affections as much as possible 
upon objects worthy of your mind and heart ; your soul is 
more or less noble, according as it concentrates its love and 
care on things more or less excellent. I speak with all the 
sincerity and frankness of a true friend, when I say that 
though your genius is admired it would be more worthy of 
esteem if you would simplify your style and not present such 
a variety of ideas in the same discourse. Your first letter 



142 Solemnity of the times. 

is good and full of spirit, 1 though I object to the associa- 
tion of sacred things with things or expressions which 
savour of jest ; when it is remembered that you are 
under the Cross and are treating on the most interesting 
subjects, it is to be feared that this mingling of the sacred 
and the profane will offend God and expose you to His 
anger. What a calamity for yourself, for your Rachel, 
for me, and for our beloved Churches ! There is a time for 
everything — a time to laugh and a time to be serious, a time 
for joy and a time for sorrow. But what times are these 

God ! Are not our temples destroyed, our pulpits broken 
down, and our flocks dispersed, deprived of pastors, and 
surrounded by ravenous wolves ; are we not so to speak 
perpetually on the eve of extermination ! Can we not and 
ought we not to cry with the disciples who were in the 
little boat on the point of shipwreck, ' Save Lord, we 
perish ' ? I confess that I have failed in my duty to our 
afflicted churches from tne very first, a failure for which my 
conscience sharply rebukes me. The world and the flesh 
have occupied a great part of the precious time which ought 
to have been devoted to the service of God and of His 
Church. Do not fall into the same error, my dear friend, 
but make better use than I have done of days which might 
at any moment be cut short by a thousand unforeseen 
accidents. I have always loved pleasure and merriment and 
all that delights both body and mind, but when I think of 
my end and of the exact account I must render to God, 

1 am dismayed and dread the fate of the unfaithful servant 
who buried his talent, of the foolish virgins who had not 
taken care to trim their lamps, or of the prodigal son who 
squandered his inheritance; then I cry to my Divine Saviour 
from the depths of my soul, for deliverance from the fatal 
allurements which surround us, Alas, miserable man that 
I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death ! 



l. Du Plan probably refers to Court's letter of September 1725, see 
page ia9. The praises of the pious delegate appear to us undeserved. 



Du Plan eulogises charity. 143 

But after I have implored help from my God, I feel conscious 
of a new enlightenment of my understanding and a new- 
fervour in my heart to form resolutions afresh in accordance 
with His will. A thousand times blessed shall I be if I am 
firm and faithful in these resolutions. We are easily beguiled 
by the fascinations of this world; our flesh, like the traitress 
Delilah, often lulling us to sleep only to deliver us into the 
hands of our enemies. how excellent, how useful, how 
necessary for the salvation ot our souls, is the precept of our 
Lord, 'Watch and pray' ! Let us, my dear friend, watch all 
the emotions of the heart; it is deceitful and desperately 
wicked ; if we do not resist its solicitations, we shall 
undoubtedly be led astray ; let us not be satisfied with 
simply examining and trying ourselves, but let us implore 
the help of God in our examinations and researches ; let us 
never undertake anything without ascertaining our views, 
our objects, and our ends, and let us make sure that we are 
not seeking to gratify our own ambition, avarice, voluptu- 
ousness or other vain and criminal passion. Let us not 
think that it is a sufficient justification to do good deeds or 
to say good words before men; the Pharisees and Hypocrites 
attracted the people by their doings, but the things which 
are great before men are often an abomination in the eyes 
of the Lord. You are aware, my dear friend, what St. Paul 
3ay8 in his epistle to the Corinthians : Though I speak 
with the tongues of angels, though I have taith to remove 
mountains, though I bestow all my goods on the poor, 
though I give my body to be burned, if I have not charity 
I am nothing and am become as a tinkling cymbal. 
St. Paul after this gives us a beautiful description of Charity. 
lovely charity incarnate in Jesus Christ ! will not Jesus 
Christ implant it in our hearts if we pray to Him with 
humility, faith, earnestness and perseverance ? My only 
resource, my dear friend, is in prayer. Though incapable of 
redeeming time lost, and unworthy of appearing before my 
Creator, I never lose hope, for the blood of the Man-God has 
been shed to cleanse me from my sins, and the Spirit that 



144 His appreciation of Court's observations. 

gives life can quicken my barren soul to bring forth fruits 
of righteousness and holiness to the glory of His Holy Name. 
Like Abraham and Sarah I have faith, though there seems 
little hope of my serving the Church usefully or of seeing 
its deliverance accomplished. Hitherto my conduct has been 
a mixture of good and evil, of light and darkness, but the 
Sun of righteousness will at length arise to dispel error and 
vice, not from my mind and heart alone, but from the mind 
and heart of all the elect upon earth. This, dear friend, is the 
object of mj' prayers and desires, treated though I may be 
as visionary or fanatic. I am well aware that there are 
abuses, false visions, false revelations and false prophecies, 
nevertheless I believe that some of them have been, and yet 
are, good and true, and that God will permit me to see their 
accomplishment. I have no objection to your imitating 
St. Thomas, so far as to believe only that which you can see 
and touch ; but take care not to despise, still less to condemn 
things that you have neither seen nor heard and which are 
beyond human ken. Aspire only to preach the pure Gospel 
as well by precept as example. I will endeavour on my 
part to become more worthy of the love of God, the esteem 
of good men and the tender and sincere affection of my dear 
and faithful friend Court, whom I embrace in spirit. 

" Your letter to me concerning my conduct is well written 
clear, precise, spirited, natural, and fluent. For one who 
denies inspiration altogether I consider your arguments as 
sound and able ; to them and to you I will accord all the 
respect and consideration my conscience will allow — a friend 
can scarcely demand more. I am certain that the persons 
who write to our country spreading evil reports concerning 
me would refrain it they could know the love, esteem, and 
respect entertained for me (unworthy as I am) by numerous 
persons, illustrious for their piety, character and birth, and 
with whom I am on terms of intimacy. If you will name the 
author of the reports I will ask him to repair the mischief he 
has done, and if he be unable or unwilling to do this, I will 



Accusations against Du Plan. 145 

employ such other means as will satisfy all reasonable 
people ; but if nothing more is said let the matter drop." 
(19th of December 1725.) 

The opposition against Du Plan broke out on 
the occasion of a collection being made in the 
Churches — at the instance of Court — to defray the 
Deputy's expenses. Everybody refused to contribute 
towards the remuneration of a man who upheld the 
Inspired and who was said to have profited by his 
tour in Switzerland to propagate his peculiar ideas. 
Court formally denied these accusations, whereupon 
his opponents produced certain letters written from 
Geneva by the refugees Jourdan, Rey and Delor. 

a All my representations were in vain," wrote Court to 
his friend, " I could obtain nothing, the event has thrown 
me into despair. I have more than once been on the point 
of adopting violent means, and I am so heart-broken and 
overcome with grief that my tardy resolution to write is 
scarcely surprising. In the name of God furnish me with the 
means of rebuking this Jourdan and obliging him solemnly 
both by word of mouth and by writing to withdraw his 
accusations ! I know of no means so likely to rebut objec- 
tions and restore tranquillity as an attestation, signed by 
those most qualified to judge of the matter, that your 
conduct is perfectly satisfactory. The attestation should be 
accompanied by a letter addressed in the form of an apology 
to the next Synod. Perhaps this remedy may be successful, 
but no doubt the evil is very serious. Your knowledge of 
the dispositions of those with whom I have to deal should 
be sufficient to make you realize my position. I should not 
mind it the discontent of the preachers did not make them the 
first to declare that as your sentiments are unworthy of the 
Churches' deputy they dishonor the Churches themselves, 
and that the withdrawal of your credentials becomes, 

10 



146 The suffering he endured in his mind. 

consequently, imperative. This is the way in which even 
the most moderate speak. Consider then my position and 
judge of my ability to oppose prejudices so passionate and 
determined ! Once more, I beseech you, furnish me with 
arms for your defence and spare no pains to ascertain the 
most effective means of remedying the evil ; we are acting 
for God, for the honor of religion and for the welfare of the 
Churches. Let nothing divide us in this noble cause ; let 
not opposition, malignity and ignorance divert us from the 
object of our zealous aspiration, and, at the same time, let us 
endeavour to adapt ourselves to the capacity of those with 
whom we have to deal. God commands and charity dictates ! " 
(12th of February 1725.) 

This letter, doubtless, overwhelmed the heart of 
the zealous deputy with sadness. Calumny, ingra- 
titude, and repudiation of honorable engagements, 
such was the recompense of his incessant toil on 
behalf of the Churches ! What must the noble 
hearted gentleman have suffered in his dignity and 
self respect ! He knew, however, how to repress 
every feeling of bitterness, and while condescending 
to justify himself prepared all the attestations 
demanded by his friend. In the meantime he felt 
himself constrained to address that friend in the 
following truly Christian letter. 

" Monsieur, my dear friend, 
u I have received your letter of the 18th of February and 
though I appreciate your great exertions on my behalf, I am 
not at all satisfied with your excuses for so great delay in 
writing. Your letters, though moneyless, would have been 
welcome and would have elicited for you my deepest 
sympathy ; therefore, my dear friend, if you wish our friend- 
ship to endure in undiminished strength, endeavour to 
cultivate it more carefully. 



He writes to Court -to justify himself. 117 

"I have seriously reflected as to the rumours that have 
been spread abroad concerning me, and as to the measures 
proposed for punishing me for my presumed bad conduct. I 
think it would have been wiser if the persons who have 
written or spoken against me had either used different 
language or kept silence altogether ; at least they should have 
acquainted themselves with the facts. I think also that there 
has been a little too much readiness to credit the accusations 
against me, and even had these been true there was no reason 
for not collecting the money which had been voted me by 
the Synod after prudent and just deliberation. It is not the 
business of a few individuals to set aside the statutes of a 
corporate body, which should be regarded with veneration it 
its deliberations have been guided by considerations of 
prudence and charity. The scarcity of money is no legitimate 
pretext for a neglect of duty ; the country served by the 
preachers is so extensive and populous that if each person 
gave only one sol — a sum so small that it would not occasion 
inconvenience — a large amount might be raised. There is 
consequently either negligence or incapacity among the elders, 
or ingratitude among the people. I pray God from my 
heart that every one may know and fulfil his duty, but if 
we do not discharge it better than we have hitherto done I 
fear we shall be more severely tried and chastened than in 
the past. Our daily renewed life and means of support are 
wonders of the infinite mercy and Providence of God, and if 
by reason of pride, idleness, ingratitude or other wicked 
passions we are rendered unworthy of His protection and 
favour, we are lost. What are we that we can live in the 
midst of powerful and enraged enemies almost innumerable ! 
I only tremble when I reflect thus, and it is but reasonable 
that I should thus reflect. We should if we were wise not 
only endeavour to please God by keeping His Divine Com- 
mandments, but frequently humble ourselves before Him, 
praying with earnestness that He will complete the work 
of rekindling the Lamp of His Word in our country, which 
by His infinite mercy He has commenced since our downfall 



148 Du Plan as contrasted with his accusers.- 

and ruin. Oh how happy should we be if there could be seen 
conspicuous amongst us, the piety, zeal, wisdom, virtue and 
charity of the first Christians and of our fathers in the time 
of the Reformation ! God would then in His grace, and by 
our good example, appease the fury of our enemies, convert 
them and deliver us from their yoke, and we should see the 
reign of our Lord Jesus Christ established throughout the 
earth. 

"I have somewhat enlarged, my dear friend, on a theme 
which is precious to my heart. Would to God our thoughts, 
desires, words and actions might dwell more frequently on 
the subject ot the reign of our Lord Jesus Christ and that 
they might not be so readily dissipated by the things of this 
world. Let us endeavour to work together with real 
earnestness for our own and for others' salvation. It is thus 
alone that we can please God, and receive His blessing. 

" To return to myself, you counsel me to rebuke maître 
Jourdan for his indiscreet zeal. He well deserves it, but I 
have rather preferred asking the Pastor of his district to 
whom I communicated your letter and who was displeased 
with him, to treat him with all the gentleness possible. I 
should like to have been present when he was sent for that I 
might have urged forbearance towards him. He acknow- 
ledged his fault in having failed to communicate a scheme 
of such importance to his Pastor, and there is reason to hope 
he will, as soon as possible, repair the mischief he has done 
in giving utterance to the falsehood. I will write to Sieur 
Rey himself to ascertain what he has said against me, and 
will also endeavour to find out whether Delor merits atten- 
tion. Few people were aware of the true motives for my 
journey to Switzerland, it was desirable for important reasons 
not even to refer to the subject. It is not surprising therefore 
that each one has argued according to his own ideas, though 
it is unfair to form a judgment without a knowledge ot facts. 
God will not allow such rash judgments to remain unpunished 
at the last day. 

" Although my best vindication is to lead a holy life, to- 



ll> consents to write an apology to the Synod. 149 

act prudently, and to procure further help for our Churches, 
I will not fail according to your advice to send you an 
apology for presentation at the ensuing Synod. Meanwhile 
you may communicate the contents of this letter to those 
whom you may judge proper, and may say to them that it is 
but just and fair to send the money that has been voted to 
me as soon as the Synod shall have deliberated as to the best 
means for its collection. As evidence that my tour in Switzer- 
land was not made with the intention attributed to me, you may 
refer to my favourable reception from persons eminently 
distinguished for their rank and piety, to the help I have 
received from them, and to the fact that I could if I wished pay 
my own stipend, but that I prefer to owe my recompense to the 
Churches' equity rather than to the power with which I am 
endowed; and further, that I would earnestly desire to serve 
the Churches gratuitously were it not that my relatives 
furnish means for my necessities only and not for maintaining 
a correspondence with several places in Europe, still less for 
travelling. 

I mention, between ourselves, that 1 have put my name 
to a bill for five hundred livres in order to provide for 
unavoidable expenses, and if God does not endorse the bill, 
I have great fear of becoming bankrupt. I repeat, however, 
what I have already written both to M. Cortiez and to you, 
that I do not wish to receive my allowance while the 
preachers remain unpaid 

u Salute all our brethren and ask them to be less credulous ; 
>fl have some envious enemies, I have a greater number 
of influential friends than is imagined. I may state that in 
spite of the slackened charity that exists here consequent on 
the derangement of commerce and through which numerous 
families are in great distress, I have obtained unaided the 
means wherewith to replace a horse and some clothes which 
had been lost by Sieur Chapel. I have also obtained for M. 
Bétrine sufficient means for the completion of his studies 
without having recourse either to the Churches or his rela- 
tions; I have received several special favors, and if the 



150 Practical advice. 

poverty of the Churches is too great to prevent their 
providing my allowance, I have friends enough here to 
supply funds for the discharge of my mission ; but unless 
the distress be extreme it were no honor to our numerous 
Churches to withhold an allowance so solemnly voted me. 
I would rather be paid by the Churches, in order that I might 
the more effectually plead their cause. In France I received 
nothing, and was thus in a better position to seek aid for the 
Pastors, but now I must be enabled authoritatively to 
demand succour for the Churches. 

" Think over all I have written to you, my dear friend- 
You are, with M. Cortiez, at the head of our Churches of the 
Cevennes and Lower Languedoc, and it is expedient that 
you should be firmly united in your efforts to awaken them. 
It is of the first necessity to infuse into the minds of the 
students a spirit of wisdom, charity and union, in order 
that you may have in the Synod and elsewhere but one voice 
and one motive. For this purpose it is advisable to hold 
special conferences for discussion and prayer, to the end 
that God may be among you and bless your plans. When 
the subject under consideration is of importance it will be 
well to summon the Elders of the neighbourhood and discreet 
men from other localities to your deliberations. Proper 
measures must be taken to enlighten the ignorant or 
insufficiently informed Elders as to the subjects selected for 
discussion at the Synods. Those who are led away by their 
temper must be brought back to a knowledge of their duty. 
The busybodies must be reproved in a forcible and dignified 
manner, and threatened with Divine judgment and the 
Churches' excommunication. It is desirable when the Synods 
meet, and in view of the short time during which they can 
remain in Session, that everything should be well understood, 
prepared, and almost resolved upon among the chiefs 
beforehand. 

" I say again that I have many influential friends, thanks 
to the Lord, and if I have enemies the greater part are of no 
consequence. They make great outcry behind my back but 



Letter of Du Fkm to the Synod. 151 

in my presence they change their tone and language ; the 
most conspicuous pretend to be my friends, but their protesta- 
tions are worth nothing, for they throw the stone with a 
concealed arm. 

u Please reply as early as possible to this letter and at 
the same time tell me the probable date of the next Synod. 
I hope soon to send you a letter for the Pastors, and another 
afterwards for the Synod 

u Adieu, my dear friend, I embrace you in spirit, and if 
after I have sent you all the attestations in my power I 
should yet be forced to relinquish my office through blind 
injustice and ingratitude, I will always remember the good 
men and still remain your faithful friend and very humble 
servant. " 

(8th of March 1726). 

Benjamin Dit Plan followed the advice of his 
friend. He sent the required attestation from the 
Venerable Company of Pastors of Geneva and 
addressed a long letter to the Synod explaining 
his conduct, and justifying himself against the 
absurd accusations which were laid to his charge. 

u The evil reports that have been circulated in several 
parts of the Province have occasioned me much distress. 
Some persons have said that I was driven out of Geneva; 
others, that I went to Switzerland to visit the fanatics and to 
spread their ideas; others, that I abandoned the meeting- 
house, in order to shut myself up with visionaries ; while 
others again have said that if I attended the meeting at all it 

was simply as a matter of policy It is indiscreet on 

the part of private individuals to disparage me in my public 

capacity I have long been known to the Churches, 

and have been allied from the commencement with the chief 
Pastors and Elders. I have taken part in several Synods, 
helped to make rules, addressed petitions to the Powers and 



152 Cortiez accuses Du Plan in the Synod of 1726. 

written pastoral letters to the faithful. I have offered prayer 
and given exhortations both in general and private Assemblies 
in town and country. I have consoled the afflicted, assisted 
the poor, visited the sick, the prisoners and the galley slaves. 
As by a miracle, God preserved me for several years in the 
midst of my enemies. At length I became so well known to 
the Roman Catholics, and was so closely watched that I was 
obliged to leave my home; and, subsequently, by the advice 
of my relations and friends I quitted the kingdom. It was 
with regret that I abandoned my country and the Churches, 
and I should have been inconsolable at my separation from 
relations, friends and brethren in Christ had no opportunity 
been granted me of employing on their behalf the talents 
which I have received from God. On my arrival at Geneva 
I was worn out with the care I had bestowed on the Church 
ot Alais during the pestilence, by missionary rounds in the 
Vaunage and the Cevennes, by over study, and by the 
journey to Marseilles and Geneva during the hot weather. 
These things combined have thrown me into a low state of 
health which has not permitted me either to study or travel. 
But now that God by His grace has restored me, though 
I have a very delicate constitution, I am desirous, with His 
help, of traversing both land and water on behalf of my 
brethren, and it is for you to cooperate with me in this object. " 

(15th of April 1726). 

Du Plan's explanations did not disarm his 
enemies. They meditated a conspiracy against him, 
and for this purpose attended the general Synod 
which assembled in the Desert on the 26th of April, 
1726. The conspirators were led by Cortiez who had 
already seized opportunities at various Conferences 
of raising discussions hostile to the Deputy, the 
avowed object of these intrigues being to obtain 
from the Synod the revocation of his appointment. 



Defence of Du Plan by Antoine Court. 153 

Antoine Court courageously faced the storm. 
He read an attestation from the Venerable Com- 
pany of Geneva exculpating his friend, and a letter 
from Du Plan himself to the Synod in explanation 
of his conduct. Cortiez, unable to withstand Court, 
endeavoured to gain his point by main force ; he 
demanded that the question of the maintenance or 
deposition of the Deputy should be at once put to 
the meeting without discussion, and charged a young 
student to collect the votes. As the majority of the 
Synod was against Du Plan, the result would have 
been his certain recall. Court however anticipated 
the manœuvre by reminding the student that he had 
no authority to collect the suffrages. In a passion 
Cortiez snatched the pen and paper from the hands 
of the student and prepared to undertake the office 
of teller. Court restraining him, demanded a 
hearing, and in an eloquent discourse pleaded 
warmly the cause of his friend. We cannot refrain 
from publishing this defence — so creditable alike 
to him who delivered it, and to him on whose 
behalf it was uttered : — 

"Is it necessary, my very dear and honored brethren, on 
so important a day and in the midst of an Assembly so 
venerable and religious as that before me — is it necessary 
that I should be constrained to undertake the defence of a 
man whose life has always been irreproachable, a man of 
piety so exemplary , zeal so fervent, and who has 
served the Churches so long and so usefully ? What demon 
can have issued from the infernal regions to put us to this 
necessity ? What enemy to our peace has, under the guise 
of friendship, entered into our midst, in order to prejudice 



154 Defence of Du Plan by Antoine Court. 

our minds against a member so worthy of our esteem and 
love and so essential to the good of our Churches. 

" Let us endeavour to ascertain the crime of which he is 
accused. Is it that he has taken money belonging to the 
Churches ? No ! Is it that during his youth he was so weak as 
to embrace the Roman Catholic religion ? In reply I ask 
whether it is not well known that he had the resolution 
to throw off its yoke, and that Providence in a manner 
simply permitted the star to obscure itself for a time in 
order that it might shine with greater brilliancy in the 
firmament of our Churches ? Is it that in his youth 
he loved the military profession ? Now everyone knows 
that not only is this inclination natural and general among 
all young men, especially among the nobility, but that reli- 
gion never condemned it ; and that when the soldiers came 
to John the Baptist, that man who was more than Prophet 
did not tell them to abandon their calling, but only to do vio- 
lence to no man and to content themselves with their wages ; 
moreover every one knows that this young warrior only 
practised himself, so to speak, as a soldier in order to be- 
come more intrepid, firm and courageous among the soldiers 
of the Lord, and more assiduous in the work of the Church. 
Is it that he loved pleasure? Alas who amongst us is- 
innocent enough to throw the first stone, and who does not 
know that the love of God, the love of our neighbour, respect 
for religion, and efforts to propagate the Gospel have not 
always afforded the sweetest pleasure ? Is it that he has 
wasted the money he collected ? It is a well known fact 
that not only were we indolent enough to allow six months 
to elapse after the appointment of a Deputy without 
assigning him any remuneration, but unjust, ungrateful, and 
wicked enough subsequently to withhold that which had 
been solemnly adjudged to him, and further that he never 
spared his superfluous, and sometimes even his necessary, 
means to maintain the preachers at a time when they were 
abandoned by all. Tell me then, Du Plan, what is thy 
crime ! Is it not that thou hast always appeared too eager 



Defence of Da Plan by Antoine Conrt. 155 

in the service of the Church, too zealous iu thy efforts to 
procure the peace for which she sighs, to console her 
mourners, and to help her poor and needy? If it be 
considered a crime to lavish a noble enthusiasm on objects 
like these, I know of no terms that will characterise thy 
crime ; and if thou art found guilty, I know not how thou 
canst adopt a better course. 

u You, who are his accusers show yourselves and make 
your complaints without further delay. You tell us that 
our Deputy is infected with fanaticism, that he believes in 
the Inspired, that he made a journey into Switzerland to 
propagate his ideas, and to strengthen his party, that he 
dishonors our Churches by his sentiments, that he despises 
the advice of his best friends and that in a word he is incor- 
rigible. Mark these accusations carefully, are they true? 
You who make them, tell me by what authority you do so. 
These are questions worthy of this Assembly. Are you that 
august Senate which sits in the city where our Deputy is 
sojourning — a senate even more venerable than that 
illustrious Senate of ancient Rome ; or are you that far 
famed Company of Pastors who assemble in the same city 
once a week to regulate ecclesiastical affairs? Are you 
acting under the direction of these bodies or ot some of the 
members who compose them, for you must of necessity be 
acting under one or the other to merit the attention of this 
assembly ? Or are you but a few private individuals who 
frame your complaints and accusations without authority 
or common consent, — acting under a delusion, real or 
assumed, or an imprudent and excessive zeal ? If such you 
are, if motives such as these have guided your pen and 
shaped your language, let not this assembly take any heed 
of your complaints. Need I tell you, dear and illustrious 
brethren, that they who have been so hard on our Deputy 
belong to this latter class and that they are not of sufficient 
importance to deserve consideration ? What, on the simple 
testimony of a bungler and an idle tatler, dismiss our 
Deputy, and deprive him of the credentials with which he 



156 Defence of Du Plan by Antoine Court. 

has been solemnly invested ! What folly ! What incon- 
sistency ! 

" He is said to be infected with fanaticism ; but are you 
sure that it is fanaticism ? A fanatic is a man possessed 
by an evil spirit, influenced by mania or hypochondria, 
speaking only of visions, ecstacies, transports, and persuading 
himself that he is a prophet, able to work miracles. Is this 
the character of our Deputy ! Has he not always displayed 
strength of mind, a wise understanding and a sound 
judgment? Has he ever been heard to speak of ecstacies, 
visions and transports? Has he ever boasted prophetic 
gifts or ability to work miracles? Public and private 
discourses which have so often fallen from his pious lips, 
learned and judicious letters, — matchless fruits of his pen, 
offsprings of his toil and productions ot his genius- — wise 
and renowned personages who are now the joy of his life 
and eye witnesses of his conduct, disputes and combats 
waged against fanaticism, and you my brethren who have 
known and associated with him, you, even his enemies, 
come all and bear witness to the truth ! Come and put us 
to confusion if we speak not the truth ! 

" It is said that he believes in the Inspired. This is a 
subject which calls for some discussion. Firmly convinced 
of the fruitfulness of the Holy Spirit and the Divine grace of 
our Lord, he believes that God in these last days has directly 
bestowed His Spirit on certain persons, some of whom 
he personally knows ; but does this imply a beliet in all 
who are extolled as prophets ? Has he not on the contrary 
frequently contended against them ? Alter God, is it not to 
him that we owe the downfall of one who had enticed 
away some of our people ? Is it not he who detached from 
the cabal of Vesson its principal supporters ? Is it not he 
who wrote forcibly against the senseless troop of Montpellier? 
And is it not in consequence of his letters which were found 
in possession of this eccentric band when it was seized that 
we owe his flight and exile from the town of his birth ? 



Defence of Bu Plan by Antoine Court. 157 

u It is said that he associates with the Inspired. In my 
humble opinion it would have been better if he had not done 
so, seeing that the weak minded were thereby offended 
and the censorious and the ignorant so much scandalized. 
But, after all, how does he even in this respect contravene 
Scripture ? He tries the spirits, and are we not commended 
by St. John for so doing ? He proves all things, and does 
not St. Paul exhort us to do likewise? He despises nothing 
which he takes for prophecy, and would you wish that he 
should do so, after the prohibition of St. Paul ? But perhaps 
you may say that when the Apostle enjoins us not to despise 
prophesyings he refers to prophecies which are so in fact, 
and not to those which have merely a semblance of reality. It 
may be that our Deputy is mistaken, but he does not think 
so ; his error is that of his judgment only, and to induce him 
to abandon this error it is necessary rather to enlighten his 
judgment than to constrain his will — a man's opinions are 
not to be rooted out by despotic and arbitrary proceedings ; 
he must be convinced of his error before a change of ideas 
and sentiments can be demanded, and though this may be 
difficult to accomplish there is no reason why we should not 
persevere in our efforts ; a man who is shaken in his belief 
without being convinced is weak minded, and deserving 
only of contempt or pity, while on the other hand a man 
who is firm and resolute in opinions which appear to him to 
be founded on the Holy Scriptures, in spite of all that may 
be said or done against him, is strong minded and worthy 
of our admiratio» and praise. 

u But sentiments such as these in question, it may be 
said, are not to be tolerated in our Deputy. I grant that if 
they are contrary to the principles of the Reformed Religion, 
if it be a grave error in our Deputy to believe that there are 
still true prophets, if this belief causes him to act contrary 
to the maxims of our religion, if for the sake of what he 
calls prophecies he ceases to frequent the holy Assemblies, to 
preach and to receive the sacraments, if he break off commu- 
nion with the faithful and forms a separate sect, then our 



158 Defence of Bu Plan by Antoine Court. 

laxity would be not only a crime but the greatest of follies. 
I should be the first to denounce such folly, and to take 
from him those credentials which rightly belong to and are 
destined alone for one of the strict and faithful observers of 
the tenets of our holy religion. But who will dare to 
maintain that the error of our Deputy (supposing it be an 
error) has ever led to such consequences. Has not his zeal 
for the assemblies, for preaching and for participation in the 
sacraments always been of a special, if not of an eminent, 
order ? Have we not seen him indefatigably exerting 
himself far and near, day and night, to restore peace to the 
Church when it had been broken by busybodies, or to bring 
back to her bosom that unfortunate offspring whose 
dissensions had lacerated her tender heart ; and further still 
is be not always the first to attend religious exercises in the 
country where he at present resides ? 

" But I hear you return to the charge and say that you 
wish our Deputy absolutely to discontinue associating with 
those who call themselves Inspired. I have already said, 
and say again, that 1 wish it still more. Would to God our 
wishes might be fulfilled ! Yet his conduct is apparently 
authorized by the Holy Scriptures. He proves all things to 
keep that which is good, he tries the spirits to find out 
those which are of God. If by so doing he wounds our too 
sensitive feelings let us seek a remedy for the evil in being 
less sensitively refined, and without violating his conscience 
or desiring despotically to overrule his sentiments let us 
prescribe for him such rules as will satisfy all reasonable 
minds. We are not bound to satisfy unreason, for duty does 
not require it and the burden is too heavy. 

" But what consideration, it may be said, ought to be 
shown to a man who not only believes in the Inspired, who 
is not only content to associate with them, but who undertakes 
journeys expressly to stir up fanaticism and to strengthen the 
fanatics. What proof is there for this statement? Calumny ! 
What is its origin ? The devil and the infernal regions ! Our 
Deputy too long inactive forms the design of making a 



Defence of Du PJmt by Antoine Court. 159 

journey into Switzerland. Thereupon certain envious, or at 
least indiscreet, persons wishing to penetrate his thoughts 
and ascertain his intentions, and not being able to do so, 
conjure up chimeras and shadows and upon this foundation 
build up an edifice of dreams. They take appearauces for 
realities, and being fanatics themselves they believe that 
our Deputy visited Switzerland simply to foster fanaticism, 
and subsequently endeavour to persuade us into the same 
belief. Shall we be credulous enough to accept these dreams? 
God torbid! Where would be our discretion, where our 
understanding? If, my brethren, you desire to know the 
true motives of our Deputy's journey, ask the political and 
ecclesiastical bodies of certain renowned Cantons, witness 
the favorable reception accorded to him by those bodies, and 
the rich gifts by which his reception was followed, and you 
will learn by undoubted proofs that his great idea — his 
principal motive — was to interest powerful friends and to 
procure important succour for our Churches. If such a 
motive as this merits our disapproval and justifies our 
depriving him of the character of Deputy with which we have 
solemnly invested him, it must be admitted that we are 
strange folks, and who, I ask, would henceforth care to exert 
himself in our service? It has been frequently said that it 
would have been more desirable to be Herod's pig than his 
son. because the tyrant following the teaching of the Jews 
spared his pigs while immolating his son to his vengeance. 
In a like manner, if the good deeds of our Deputy should 
lose him our favour it would be better to feed and tame 
monkeys and lions than serve as our Deputy. 

u It is said that he is incorrigible in his sentiments. Yes, 
as to sentiments which he believes to be founded on the 
Word of God! He despises the advice of his best friends. 
Calumny! Who is not convinced to the contrary? Who is 
not satisfied that he has drawn up a strong case? If he 
does not defer to certain creeds, is it not because he is unable 
to do so conscientiously? 

" It is said that he dishonors ue by his opinions. They 



160 Defence of Du Plan by Antoine Court. 

who hold this view must be very sensitive as to honor! 
Have the sentiments of our Deputy, we repeat, ever led him 
astray or made him do anything contrary to the precepts of 
our holy religion ? I appeal to the consciences of the most 
obstinate. He believes there are true Inspired ; does religion 
teach us that there are not? St. Paul says that prophecies 
should cease, and in this the Apostle seems to be right, for in 
his time they had already approached or were approaching 
their end. I do not conceal from you that I have long held 
this idea; but after all, this single passage is not sufficiently 
explicit to convince us that since the publication of the 
Gospel until the end of time there shall be no more prophets, 
and I am not aware that any theologians of our communion 
have ever contested the belief of certain persons, that it it 
pleased God He could yet send prophets unless such a 
mission should be opposed to revelation ; so that the only 
difference between our Deputy and those persons is that 
while they believe there might be true prophets if it pleased 
God to send them, our Deputy believes that God has so 
pleased. As for ourselves we are so prejudiced that it an 
angel were to descend from heaven in the guise of a prophet 
to announce to us things of the utmost importance we should 
refuse to hear him. Should we by so doing act wisely ? 
Would it not rather be better to find out whether his message 
was the true Gospel or a table? We are a formidable people; 
we would annihilate all who in the least degree oppose us, 
and after the example of certain of the disciples of our Lord 
demand that fire might descend from heaven and consume 
those who will not conform to our ideas and sentiments. Is 
this the spirit ot the Gospel? Is not that spirit one of 
forbearance, gentleness, and love? 

" When I come to examine the Inspired I find them to be 
of two kinds — wilful imposters and weak minded fools who, 
led away by a desire to become prophets, and encouraged 
by the pretended predictions of other false prophets 
persuade themselves at last that they really possess prophetic 
gitts and seek to impress others with the same belief. The 



Defence of Du Plan by Antoine Court. 161 

former deserve stern remonstrance and exposure, the latter 
are worthy of my compassion, my counsels and my prayers. 
Does it follow because our Deputy is of opinion that there 
is a third kind who are good and true that he casts a slur 
on our good name, or dishonors our Churches ? If they whom 
he so much esteems wish to introduce into our religion a 
new worship like that introduced by certain monks of Liège 
into the Romish Church some centuries since, let them 
be anathematized. If they suggest to people the abolition of 
certain customs they regard as hurtful, though the customs in 
question may have existed for ages, let them be accursed — 
let us drive them out as imposters and deceivers ! and if our 
Deputy should adopt their opinions and practices, if he be 
not himself the first to denounce them, let us deprive him of 
his office and let us hurl our censures at his head ; but if his 
views be orthodox — if, to his apprehension they are in 
harmony with the Gospel, or at least not opposed thereto, 
and if he reckons as Inspired only those whose inspiration is 
in accordance with Scripture, let us cease to speak of 
dishonor. That which dishonors us, my brethren, is the 
toleration of crime, being sparing in our censure of 
transgressors, and a general laxity of discipline ; neglecting 
to succour our poor, to provide for the wants of our 
confessors, suffering in the assemblies certain contentious 
characters whose presence tends only to perplex our affairs, 
and who like the mountain in the fable make great groanings 
in the bringing forth of a mouse ; failing to keep our 
engagements by refusing, as we hitherto have done, to pay 
our Deputy the just recompense solemnly promised to him ; 
and lastly venturing to discuss at the mere instance of a 
bungler or of persons without authority the withdrawal from 
our representative of an office with which he had been 
invested in an Assembly similar to this, and confirmed by 
one yet more illustrious. These are the things which are 
dishonorable to us my brethren ! 

" Let us venture to hope that what has been now said 
has sufficiently justified our Deputy in the eyes of this 



162 Defence of Bu Plan by Antoine Court. 

assembly; to suppose the contrary were to suggest an insult 
to your understanding. Bear with us, however, dear and 
honored brethren, if to our apology we add reasons which 
should imperatively constrain us to maintain him in office. 

" First reason : The necessity of having a representative 
in foreign countries. The necessity is obvious; abroad our 
condition is very imperfectly understood — we need to be 
represented there by a person of ability in whom we can 
implicitly confide, a person who will depict facts as they are, 
solicit for our Churches the protection of the Protestant Powers 
and endeavour to persuade them to intercede with our 
august Monarch for the toleration of our faith. 

" Second reason : The character of Sieur Du Plan, than 
whom we could have addressed ourselves to none better. 
He has all the intellectual and physical qualities which the 
position demands. He has birth and education, a lively 
imagination, a strong mind and a sound judgment; he speaks 
well and writes better. All these gifts are happily combined 
with a natural docility, a rare scholarship and a zeal beyond 
compare. This is an urgent reason. 

" Third reason : Good faith and fidelity to our engage- 
ments. How could we deprive our brother ot his quality as 
our Deputy without breaking our word and doing an injustice? 

" Fourth reason : Our personal honor. To deprive our 
Deputy of his office were to confess our ignorance and 
fickleness ; our ignorance, because this act alone would prove 
us incapable of making a suitable choice, and that our 
heedlessness is so great that we accept or reject a man on 
the impulse of the moment; while, on the other hand, our 
infirmity of purpose would be apparent (supposing our 
selection to have been a right one) in our vacillation, and we 
should acquire a reputation for weakness, and for inability 
to remain constant to our choice; so that in whatever light 
our proceedings might be viewed, we should become objects 
of ridicule and expose ourselves to charges of ignorance and 
fickleness. 

" I could adduce a fifth reason — our own interest ; for if 



Bu Plan gwes pledges of obeêience to the Synod. 163 

we were capable of acting as proposed towards our Deputy, 
who would henceforth care to devote himself to our service? 

" I could also add a sixth— in the good our Deputy has 
already effected, a happy prelude and a sure guarantee of 
that which is to follow— but I come now to my last reason, 
— our incompetence to withdraw his credentials and ignore 
the grounds on which they were granted, even though 
we should be sufficiently unjust to harbour a design so 
unworthy. Without the unanimous consent of all the 
confederated Churches in National Synod we are powerless, 
and it cannot be permitted to us, who are but a section of 
the Confederated Churches, to act alone and revoke a 
measure of which all have approved. 

u But why dwell so long on the subject ?DoI not already 
hear you assent to the withdrawal of the indictment? Do 
I not already see you eager to tender again the right hand 
of fellowship to our Deputy? Let us then conclude his 
defence ! Let us cease to urge reasons for maintaining him 
in his office, and while he prepares himself for his work let 
us do all we can to further his efforts ; let us pray to God 
that He may accompany him on all his journeys and that 
He may turn our deliberations to His glory and to the well 
being of our beloved Churches. Amen and Amen." 

26th of April 1726. 

At the close of this eloquent and fervent dis- 
course, the Assembly declared itself convinced and 
satisfied ; a few friends warmly defended the absent 
Deputy, but his fierce opponents though silenced 
were not subdued. 

On hearing of the happy issue to this grave 
affair, Du Plan heartily thanked the Synod and with 
due submission pledged himself to terminate his 
relations with the Inspired. 

u Since certain zealous but misinformed persons," he 
wrote to Court, " have written in condemnation of my con- 



164 Letter of Du Plan to the Synod 

duct and as it has become in consequence a source of scandal 
in the Church, notwithstanding that I have forwarded testi- 
monials bearing the signatures ot the venerable Consistory of 
this city, I unconditionally engage for the love of peace and 
the edification of our Churches to take no further part in the 
assemblies of the Inspired, and to shun their society — so far 
as charity will allow — while acting as Deputy. 

u And as the Churches are poor and unable to pay me the 
salary they have promised, I ask nothing of them either for 
the past or the future, hoping that with the help of God, and 
that of my relations and friends, to be enabled to render 
them better service than has hitherto been possible owing to 
the prevailing troubles." 

(28th of May 1727.) 

He addressed the following pastoral letter to the 
Synod : — 

" Messieurs, my very dear and honored brethren in our 
Lord Jesus Christ ; the grace and peace of God the Father 
and Jesus Christ His Son be with you. 

" Although I have been careful to inform our dear and 
well-beloved brother M. Court, with whom I am in corres- 
pondence, of all that concerns the interests of our Churches, 
and although I have no doubt he has made you acquainted 
with everything proper for you to know, I have considered 
it my duty to add this letter in order to assure your pious 
and honored assembly of my warmest affection and most 
sincere respect as well in spirit as in truth. It is neither flesh 
nor blood nor any temporal interest which has bound me to 
your service, but God alone by His infinite mercy; and 
nothing shall make me abandon it save death itself, or your 
unanimous resolution to withdraw from me the credentials of 
Deputy which yourselves, by a formal vote, have done me 
the honor to confer. Everyone has his enemies ; neither 
Kings with all their power, nor Saints with all their wisdom, 
are protected from the slanders of the malevolent ; how,. 



Ili s disinterestedness. 1G5 

therefore, can I, a poor aud helpless sinner, called by my 
vocation to attack the Empire of Satan and Anti-Christ, hope 
to screen myself from envy, hatred, and false reports ? But 
thanks be to the Lord, though I am not free from errors and 
failings, my intentions are upright, and though I am not so 
blind or insensible as to believe I have no enemies, my 
friends are even more numerous and more powerful than my 
foes. Ot this, my dear and well-beloved brethren, you have 
■convincing proof in the honorable testimonials given me by 
the venerable Consistory of this town, aud which our dear 
brother, M. Court, has presented in full Synod. I could, if 
necessary, send you other vouchers of my good conduct and 
of the manner in which I have sustained the glorious office 
it has pleased you to confer upon me, notwithstanding my 
incompetency aud the malignity of my enemies. 

u Perhaps if the Churches had taken heed to supply me 
with a colleague, as I have more than once demanded, and 
furnished me with the means of travelling, at least on foot, 
I should have procured them more assistance than I have 
been able to do; but what has already been, or is about to 
be procured is not to be despised, although the accident 
M'hich has happened to poor Genoulhac has occasioned con- 
siderable loss to the Churches, besides the cost to me 
individually tor the temporary maintenance of his poor wife 
and three young children, who are in a manner the victims 
of their father's zeal in the service of the Church. In truth it 
had been on my part ungrateful, and even cruel, had I not 
done all I could either alone or with the assistance of friends 
to mitigate the sufferings ot this poor and desolate family 
who at present are partially supported out of the French 
purse. You can scarcely, my dear and well beloved brethren, 
reproach me while you withhold the five hundred livres per 
annum you have promised, and of which I have hitherto 
received only two hundred and fifty livres for two years 
service. I have been under the necessity of borrowing a 
sum ot money to enable me to discharge the duties of my 
office, but God who haa hitherto provided will, if it please 



166 He exposes De Fleury's schemes of persecution. 

Him, yet provide. If a colleague is given me who does not 
possess the credit I enjoy, his wants must be supplied in 
order that my enemies may not reproach me with uselessly 
squandering the money belonging to the Churches. I shall 
not be a burden on the Churches, but hope rather to do them 
good service. I would pour out my blood to the last drop, 
rather than needlessly use the substance of the followers of 
Jesus Christ my Saviour. I have several times written to 
M. Cortiez and M. Court that I have no desire to receive my 
allowance until after the preachers have been paid; I would 
that I were in a position to maintain them all, it would then 
be evident with what devotion I am drawn towards my 
beloved country and my dear friends and colleagues in the 
work of our Lord. All I ask of you, my dear brethren, is 
that you do not lend too ready an ear to calumnies, that you 
give heed to the credentials I have received from one of the 
most venerable Consistories in the world, that you bear in 
mind that we all have our errors and shortcomings, that no 
one is without his enemies, that I ask of you neither gold 
nor silver, but only your sympathy and prayers ; for these 
are due to me in return for the sincere and heartfelt love 
which I have borne you ever since I first engaged myself in 
your service, risking and abandoning all for your sake, and 
being always ready to sacrifice all my remaining possessions 
for the edification of the Church. 

u Though in a worldly point of view your condition is 
sad, though you are, as it were, but a little flock of sheep 
in the midst of many wolves ready to devour you, I am 
convinced that God will work miracles on your behalf and 
effect your deliverance, if you be mindful to humble your- 
selves before Him, to repair your shortcomings and to make 
daily progress in the Divine life. I am desirous you should 
know that the Cardinal who at present rules France is 
guided by the Pope and the Jesuits, and that he only awaits 
the return of peace in Europe to banish Protestantism from 
France; humanly speaking it will, on the conclusion of peace, 
be an easy task tor this Cardinal to suppress our religion.,. 



He exhort* hi* brethren to prayer and repentance. 167 

seeing that he possesses all the authority he needs and 
controls an immense armed force with which to overrun the 
Province. Do not be misled therefore by the calm you at 
present enjoy. Do not be like Jonah who slept in the vessel 
while it was on the point of being wrecked. Haste, haste 
my brethren to make your peace with God before your ruin 
is decreed ! Your condition is much clearer to me than to 
yourselves, owing to the information I obtain here of all 
that transpires in Europe. It is absolutely impossible to 
avert your ruin, unless God takes your cause in hand. 
Your position is as hopeless as that of the Israelites 
when they were pursued by the Egyptians and the sea 
barred their way. I feel the truth of what I say much more 
forcibly than I can express it ; and I repeat that if you have 
not God on your side you are utterly lost. Open your eyes 
then, my brethren, and rouse yourselves ; plead incessantly 
with the Eternal to take pity on you ! Why do you wait, 
when your enemies are so eager to sacrifice you to their 
blind and cruel zeal ; has neither past nor present experience 
taught you that you are prisoners and slaves, sheep 
destined tor slaughter, victims who on the conclusion of 
peace will assuredly be sacrificed to superstition ? It is no 
pleasure to me, my dear brethren, to be a prophet of evil. 
I warn you of coming troubles in order that you may escape 
betimes. Up to this present has God restrained the billows 
that threatened to overwhelm you ; He has calmed the 
roaring winds and assuaged the storms that raged over 
your heads. The terrible decree of extermination issued 
against you has not been executed, but this great mercy you 
owe to God alone and to the prayers of a few honest souls. 
Let not your preservation, however, be regarded except as 
a respite accorded you by God, in His loving kindness, for 
prayer and repentance. Let each one by the help of the 
Eternal look into the innermost recesses of his heart and 
remove all impediments to Divine love. While exhorting 
you, my brethren, to repentance and sanctification, I am 
sincerely and firmly resolved, with the help of God, to cast 



168 He exhorts his brethren to prayer and repentance. 

off all the rags of the old man, and to be clothed again in the 
Lord Jesus- God has not hitherto blessed all my undertakings 
and labours because I have failed in my duty, nevertheless 
I trust with His aid and through your prayers to be of more 
service to you in the future than I have been in the past ; 
only let your prayers be offered in faith and love, and be 
zealous and sincere, otherwise they will be of no efficacy and 
you will assuredly be lost. If it is the prayer of the 
righteous alone which availeth, I beseech you to be righteous 
in all your doings and you will undoubtedly receive from 
the Eternal more than you can ask or conceive. God only 
awaits your repentance to work miracles in your favor. The 
arms of justice and of mercy are already extended to execute 
vengeance and to bestow blessings. Depart out of Babylon, 
my brethren. Come unto the new Jerusalem ! 'Cease to do 
evil, learn to do well,' if you desire to avoid perdition and to 
become partakers of the peace and salvation which God 
has prepared for His children. 

" I renew my prayers to heaven on your behalf. May 
God, by His infinite grace, give power to my words. May 
<Srod give you aspirations worthy of His love. May God 
deliver you from the hands of our enemies, visible and 
invisible, and render me an effectual instrument for your 
happiness. With these sentiments, my dearly beloved 
brethren, I conclude, and am your very humble and obedient 
servant in our Lord Jesus Christ, 

Benjamin Du Plan. " 

10th of May 1727. 



Fresh attacks on Du Plan. 1G9 

CHAPTER XV. 

THF. SYNOD OF 1727 CONFIRMS DU PLAN IN HIS OFFICE. 

1727. 

The enemies of Benjamin Du Plan, though 
vanquished by Antoine Court in the Synod of 1726, 
■were not discouraged ; they again demanded the 
deposition of the Deputy at a Synod held the 
following year in the Vivarais, hoping possibly to 
gain their ends through the absence of Antoine Court; 
they failed, however, to take account of Jacques Roger 
who was Moderator of the Synod and a great admirer 
of Benjamin Du Plan, though they ought not to have 
forgotten the esteem and affection that had been 
evinced for the Deputy of the Churches by the 
intrepid and indefatigable pastor of Dauphiny at the 
Synod of 1726, and of which he had given proofs 
while courageously defending the accused. The 
following in the beautiful pastoral letter he wrote 
on that occasion to the Pastors, Students, and Elders 
of the Synods and Churches of Languedoc and the 
Cevennes. 

" I do not know how to express to you the satisfaction 
felt by the Consistories of our ten little Churches on hearing 
that you had graciously summoned us to enter with you into 
a solemn treaty of union. But this feeling ot satisfaction, 
which increased daily on receiving the letters of M. Du Plan 
and other distinguished persons, was almost turned into one 
of distress on hearing from M. Du Plan himself, as well as 
from another eminent and pious nobleman, that there had 
been circulated base calumnies about M. Du Plan to the effect 



170 Pastoral letter of Roger in favor of Du Plan. 

that he favoured fanaticism, and that in consequence thereof 
it was proposed to withdraw his credentials as Deputy and 
withhold the five hundred livres promised him at the recent 
Synod in the Cevennes. The intelligence has so taken me 
by surprise that I have thought right to communicate it to 
our Consistories. 

" Now as there is nothing more certain than that M. Du 
Plan, by his enlightened understanding and his labours, has 
proclaimed our rights and procured for us many good 
friends as well as very important aid, we can but entertain 
a strong hope that the consolation and even the entire 
deliverance of our Churches will be accomplished, if God 
continues as heretofore to bestow His blessing on the Deputa- 
tion. How sad is it to witness an enemy to the peace of the 
Church marring an enterprise of such vast importance — one 
too which apparently tends to advance the glory ot God 
and the salvation of lost man! What, because God elects to 
make use of certain weak instruments to maintain true 
Christianity in the kingdom, and because M. Du Plan 
recognises the fact with other discerning men, is he to be 
regarded as a fanatic? Because he maintains with all wise 
men that the wanderers should, after the examples and 
doctrines of Jesus Christ and the Apostles, be brought back 
with gentleness, and that all things should be proved in 
order that the good may be retained, is he to be accused of 
favoring fanaticism? If so, it is necessary to overthrow the 
truth and turn a deaf ear to conscience, as it is undoubtedly 
the fact that these maxims are not only graven on the hearts 
of all good men but are distinctly taught by Jesus Christ and 
the Apostles. 

" As M. Du Plan was well known to you prior to his 
appointment, and as we felt persuaded that you had not 
acted without due consideration, we followed in your foot- 
steps. How grievous and mortifying will it be to us if we 
have the misfortune to see you revoke the nomination on 
such unjust pretexts, and above all after Protestants every- 
where are convinced of the marvellous success of his labours! 



Pastoral Jitter of Roger m favor of l)u Plan. 171 

How can the idea be entertained for a moment? Surely 
there will be found among you a sufficient number of 
enlightened Pastors, Students and Elders to maintain the 
right and unanimously complete what you have so nobly 
begun. Will you expose yourselves or the Synodal body to 
a disgrace which can but be fatal to the Church? " 

After having reminded them that such conduct 
would alone irritate Grod and make him abandon 
them to their unhappy fate, Roger added : — 

a I know not from whence come these base calumnies, 
nor who they are that conceive the design of frustrating the 
bright hopes we have justly formed of this deputation, from 
the truits it has already brought forth ; but we conjure you 
for the sake of the Lord Jesus, as well by the interest you 
ought to feel in the advancement of the kingdom of God and 
the reawakening of our beloved Churches, without speaking 
of the regard you ought to have for the honor of our Synodal 
body, to confirm M. Du Plan in his mission, and to fulfil the 
engagements you have made to him; and, while recognising 
that he is a man truly pious and sincere, imbued with earnest 
love, and having a wise and understanding heart, we beseech 
you to make his calumniators and the opponents of his 
deputation aware of the magnitude of their crime, and how 
greatly their proceedings prejudice the much needed repose 
of our afflicted Churches." 

The Pastor then spoke of the pecuniary diffi- 
culties of the Churches of Dauphiny. The government 
had called up the arrears of taxes for twenty-three 
years, and threatened to confiscate the possessions 
of those who had married in the Desert or fled to 
other lands. Nevertheless the Churches had not 
refused to contribute to the expenses of the Deputy. 



172 The Synod maintains Du Plan in his office. 

" Notwithstanding this great drawback, " added Roger, 
* I venture tô affirm that we shall give to the extent of our 
humble resources; and further, that if God by His grace 
permits us to witness an increase in the number ot our 
brethren, we shall augment our contributions in a like degree 
and so afford encouragement to Sieur Du Plan ; for we must 
not forget that he can spend only according to his means." 

He then concluded with these elevated thoughts : 

" He simply asks us to judge his conduct to the best of 
our ability. Why then should we continue to disregard our 
own honor and our own interests ? No, my dear brethren, 
my faith in the Lord is such, that I am confident the pious 
example you give daily in your efforts to revive religion in 
our Churches will produce a spirit of emulation in this good 
work; and that, regardless of the suggestions of certain evil 
disposed persons, you will remain firm in your sentiments 
and matured convictions, to tbe end that God in His mercy 
aiding our united feeble endeavours may grant us the 
satisfaction of meriting the spontaneous approval of all 
who love the Lord Jesus. l " 

Benjamin Du Plan, then, had found in Roger a 
worthy successor to Antoine Court, and an eloquent 
defender of his cause. Cortiez and his followers 
again failed in their efforts to depose the Deputy, 
and he was maintained in his office. 

The following were the new instructions given 
to the Deputy-Greneral of the Churches of Languedoc, 
the Cevennes, Vivarais, and Dauphiny. 

u 1st. That the said Deputy-General shall carefully and 
religiously refrain from doing, saying, writing or 
countenancing anything in opposition to the Sovereign 

l. Jacques Roger, by Daniel Benoit, p. 101. 



Instructions from the Synod to the Deputy. 173" 

Powers, and specially in opposition to our King or legitimate 
government ; that he shall abstain from acts likely to 
canse trouble in the Church, and in or between the States ; 
contenting himself with simply representing, or causing to 
be represented — always in a humble and submissive manner 
— the justice and equity of our requirements ; and obtaining, 
or causing to be obtained for us, the full and free exercise 
of our religion, according to the Word of God and the 
dictates of our consciences. To these ends the said Deputy 
must alone address himself to our Sovereign, or to friendly 
and allied Powers ; and if he shall do, speak, write or 
countenance anything to the contrary he shall thereupon be 
censured, denounced, and degraded from his office for doing, 
speaking, writing, and countenancing that which is opposed 
to the intention and aim of the Deputation ; for he thereby 
incurs the wrath of God, and the penalties threatened by 
our Churches and Synods the same being empowered to take 
ecclesiastical proceedings against him. 

u 2nd. Amongst the representations he will make to the 
Protestant Powers, friendly to, and allied with the State, as 
to our condition, he shall not fail to apprize them of our 
urgent need of gifts and free will offerings for the main- 
tenance of the ministry either by the formation of a fund for 
the instruction of those who are willing to devote themselves 
to the ministry, or at least for the support of the Pastors 
already in charge, until it shall please God to bring about 
for us a happier state of affairs. 

u 3rd. He shall sustain the interests of the Churches whose 
Deputy he is, with all the zeal of which he is capable, both 
by speaking and writing. 

Mth. He shall take every opportunity of vigorously 
defending the sacred assemblies which meet under the Cross 
for Divine service against the unjust attacks of those who 
question their utility, necessity and importance. 

u 5th. He shall scrupulously abstain trom all intercourse, 
public or private, with those who in these last times call 
themselves the Inspired and Prophets, not alone because the 



174 Instructions from the Synod to the Deputy. 

glory of God and the edification of the Church demand it, 
but because of the promise he himself has given us by letter, 
which letter is preserved among the archives of our Churches. 
" 6th. He shall undertake nothing, how unimportant 
soever, either in his négociations, his journeys, or his distri- 
bution of the offerings he may receive on behalf, especially 
of the preachers, or generally of the Churches or even for his 
own benefit, without first consulting and obtaining the 
advice and consent of certain persons selected for the 
purpose by the Synodal Assemblies. 

u 7th. Our Churches being unable at present to furnish 
him with means for his support, he shall maintain himself 
from hie own private resources, until such times as there 
shall be found other resources from which to pay him a salary 
befitting his office, which salary shall be regulated by 
persons appointed for the purpose or by a Synodal Assembly. 
" 8th. That bis life and conduct shall be in conformity 
with the rules established in this behalf by our Churches, 
that he shall submit to our censure, and promise never to 
deviate from our creed and doctrines. 

"Lastly, that he shall render an exact account of all 
money bestowed and all work performed for the benefit of 
our Churches. 

"Given at our National Synod, held in Dauphiny this 
eleventh day of October, One thousand seven hundred and 
twenty seven 

"Roger, Pastor and Moderator; 
Durand, Pastor, Deputy for Vivarais, joint 

Moderator; 
Boyer, Preacher, Deputy General of the 
Churches of Upper and Lower Languedoc, 
the Cevennes and Guienne, Secretary; 
Fauriel, Preacher, Deputy of the Churches 
of Vivarais, joint Secretary." l 



1. Copied word for word from the original document in the 
possession of our Churches, by me, Vouland, Pastor of Dauphiny. 



letter of Du Plan to the Synod of 1727. 175 

On receipt of these resolutions, Benjamin Du 
Plan proceeded to address the Synod with obser- 
vations on certain points regarded by him as personal 
to himself, and at the same time offered his brethren 
some salutory advice. 

u To the Pastors, Preachers, and Elders, of the Reformed 
Churches of France, who groan beneath the Cross. 

" Messieurs, my very dear and honored brethren in our 
Lord Jesus Christ. 

" The grace, peace, and love of God be with you. 

tt It is some time since I have had an opportunity of 
addressing the Assembly of our Churches, to render them an 
account of my doings, and afford them evidences of my 
affection. I waited for this object until I had returned from 
a journey made in their interest, and now that I am undis- 
turbed, it is expedient that I should justify myself, as far as 
I am able, to them who have honored me with the office of 
their Deputy. I know not by what sort of fatality, a spirit 
of jealousy, distrust and division, has crept in among us. In 
vain have I sent proofs of the purity of my taith and good 
conduct in matters relating to religion — the subject on 
which I am attacked. The testimony of a few private 
individuals of little religious knowledge has prevailed over 
that of a great number of wise, pious and disinterested 
pastors, under whose observation I live and with whom I am 
in constant intercourse. True, I hold certain views peculiar 
to myself, but even they who do not share in them have 
agreed that they are not dangerous, for I submit everything 
to the test of reason and the Word of God. All my attempts 
to justify myself have, however, counted for nothing. I am 
continually opposed ; some, even, have gone so far as to 
attempt to deprive me of my office, under divers pretexts, 
the principal being that there is danger of my personal 
opinions being attributed to the whole body, thereby bringing 
it into contempt and causing it to be suspected of fanaticism ; 



176 Letter of Du Plan to the Synod of 1727. 

others affirm that the Churches are not in a position to sup- 
port a Deputy, while others again say that a Deputy is of no 
use. I have endeavoured to remove all these hindrances to 
the success of my mission and to the services I desire to 
render to my country : — 

" Firstly, by sending proofs of my faith and good 
conduct, which I could not have done had my sentiments 
been dangerous. 

" Secondly, by writing a letter, which has been placed 
amongst the records of our Churches, wherein I promise, for 
the sake of peace, no more to be seen in any assembly of the 
Inspired and even to avoid all intercourse with them, as far 
as charity will permit, during my period of office. 

" Further, I promise not to ask for any help from the 
Churches, for services past or future, leaving experience to 
decide whether or not a Deputy is ot use to them. 

" If hitherto there has been less result from my labours 
than I could have wished, this is attributable to the mis- 
chances by which the greater part of the help intended for us 
has fallen into the hands of our enemies. I may also add 
that the want of money has prevented me from visiting 
countries where riches abound. I might have been successful, 
or I might not — God knows ! but it is nevertheless probable 
that for every pistole I have collected in Switzerland, 
I might have collected ten, twenty or thirty in Germany, 
Holland, and England. 

"Having now completed the justification of my past con- 
duct, I will reply to the instructions forwarded to me by the 
Synod of Dauphiny, at which the deputies trom Languedoc 
have assisted. I find some of these instructions unintel- 
ligible and others impracticable, and I have consequently 
referred them to certain wise and pious persons who 
charitably interest themselves in the well being and edifica- 
tion ot our Churches, for explanation and emendation, and I 
conscientiously promise both them and you on the faith of a 
Christian, to follow the instructions truly and faithfully, so soon 
as they shall have been put into a fair and reasonable shape. In 



Letter of Du Plan to the Synod of 1121. 177 

order to avoid all imputations of a desire to profit personally 
by the duty to which I have been appointed, I have been 
very careful hitherto, and will be still more careful in the 
future, not to touch a penny of the money contributed,; I 
shall simply content myself with soliciting charity for others, 
and naming persons of well known honesty and respectability 
to receive and put all contributions to their proper use. I 
will render an account of all my plans and actions touching 
the deputation to these persons, and either they or I will 
tell you everything it is right you should know. If this does 
not satisfy you, I shall think you are uncharitable and 
your demands unreasonable. 

u I desire to point out that as you are under the Cross, 
and living in the midst ot your enemies, as by a miracle, you 
ought to display in all things a spirit of humility, gentleness 
and charity which alone will secure you the divine protec- 
tion. If you assume a haughty, domineering and obstinate 
spirit you will speedily be ruined. God will withdraw His 
protection from you, and you will probably be overwhelmed 
in less than a year by violent persecutions, the outbreak of 
which has hitherto been prevented by the preoccupation of 
the Court of France with matters of grave moment and the 
threatened European war. Peace is on the eve of being con- 
cluded, and M. le Cardinal De Fleury, a devotee of Rome, 
and an intimate friend of the Jesuits, is probably preparing 
plans for the extinction of the Protestant religion in France, 
after having completely crushed the turbulent Jansenists who' 
have more influence in the Kingdom and are more tolerated 
than the Protestants. It is not necessary to be a prophet or 
to be inspired in order to foresee these things ; past and 
present experience of the action of the government makes all, 
those who have eyes, to tremble. If you do not believe me 
ask intelligent persons who understand matters and see 
what they will say. It is no pleasure to be a bearer of evil 
tidings. But if both you and I do not improve and give 
better attention to obey the commandments of God— if 
charity does not animate us more, we are deceiving ourselves 



178 Letter of Bu Plan to the Synod of 1727. 

It appears to me as if God's judgments were being 
poured out upon us on all sides. In the name of God, ray- 
dear and honored brethren, let us together humble our- 
selves ; united in Spirit though separated in body let us 
endeavour to appease His anger, let us not seek our own 
conversion alone, but that of our enemies also, that all may 
possess the liberty of serving Him according to His Word. 
God is waiting to display His justice or His mercy according 
to the good or bad use we make of His protection and His 
blessings ; let us no longer abuse His goodness, but turn to 
Him with all our heart, then instead of withholding His 
contenance, He will renew His grace and will open the eyes 
of our enemies to their error and wickedness. Instead of 
persecuting us, they will stir us up to serve God in spirit 
and in truth ; no more shall be heard the cry 'Away, Away 
Crucify !' but Hosannahs shall everywhere resound. 'Blessed 
be He who cometh in the name of the Lord ! Glory to God 
in the highest and on earth peace and good will to men !' 

" This new year, on which we have just entered, affords 
me an opportunity, Messieurs and dear brethren, of renewing 
my earnest and sincere prayers on your behalf. May God 
by His grace give you the clearest and most striking 
evidences of His protection. May God grant to you the 
inestimable happiness of serving Him in holiness and 
righteousness, without fear of your enemies; and may He, 
after you have completed a long and prosperous spiritual 
and temporal career in this world, vouchsafe to you 
everlasting joy in heaven. 

"I commend myself to your friendship and prayers, and 
beg leave to assure you that no one is, with more esteem 
and affection, Messieurs, my dearly beloved brethren in our 
Lord Jesus Christ, Your very humble and obedient servant. 

"Caila Du Plan." 

" Geneva, the 2nd of January, 1728. 

"I would ask Messieurs the Pastors to read this letter in 
the Synod and to inform the Chiefs of its contents. " 



Attestation of the Synod of 1727. 179 

Agreeably with Du Plan's request, this beautiful 
letter was read to the Provincial S)mod held on the 
30th of April 1728, and the following official 
document was sent to him in reply. 

u We, Pastors and friends, Delegates of the Reformed 
Churches of Dauphiny assembled in Provincial Synod, 
affirm by these presents that M. Benjamin Du Plan, 
Nobleman, of the town and district of Alais in Languedoc, 
has, after being nominated by the Provincial Synods of 
Languedoc and Vivarais, in like manner been nominated by 
the Pastors and Eiders, Delegates of our Churches, assembled 
with the Delegates of the Synods of Languedoc, the Cevennes, 
and Vivarais, in National Synod, on the 19th of August 
1725, and that the nomination has been confirmed by the 
National Synods held in Vivarais on the 29th of August and 
in the Cevennes on the 13th of September of the same year, 
the said three Synods being the National Synods of the 
year 1725, whereat all the Churches of this kingdom have 
agreed to submit to a common rule and to act together 
by a common treaty. Inasmuch as M. Du Plau has, by article 
21, been nominated, and his nomination since confirmed by 
all our National and Provincial Synods, the said M. Du Plan 
being thereby appointed to the office of Deputy General of 
the Reformed Churches of Languedoc, the Cevennes, 
Vivarais and Dauphiny, to pray and beseech the Protestant 
Powers, in friendly alliance with our Sovereign Monarch, to 
be pleased to represent to our good and gracious King the 
expediency of granting us the free exercise of our Holy 
Religion in order that we may serve God according to the 
teachings cf the Gospel and the dictates of our consciences, 
and to implore the aid of their liberality and benevolence in 
order that the Holy Ministry may be maintained in our 
midst, that the Pastors who at present serve us may have 
the means of subsistence, and that those young men who 
have the courage to devote themselves to the service of our 



180 Attestation of the Synod of 1727. 

persecuted Churches may have the means wherewith to 
prosecute their studies in conformity with the instructions 
that our last National Synod of the Uth of October 1727, 
Art. 7, has sent to M. Du Plan, and in which form he has 
accepted and signed them, Now we declare that we have 
perceived with joy and thankfulness that since the first 
accession to office of M. Du Plan, God has blessed our new- 
born Churches in a marvellous manner, and that humanly 
speaking, this blessing from heaven must be regarded as a 
result of the important succour, the books, the pious and 
honored friends, and the prayers, that M. Du Plan has 
secured for us, by his own unceasing toil. With senti- 
ments of the most profound respect we take the liberty 
of very humbly beseeching and supplicating the Sovereign 
Courts and their Ecclesiastical Councils to which M. Du Plan, 
shall address himself in our name and on behalf of our 
Churches, to be graciously pleased to receive him in 
his quality of Deputy General of our Churches as well as 
to place reliance on all that he shall testify on our behalt, 
we being fully satisfied from the most conclusive indications 
and proofs that he fulfils the duties of his office with 
a truly Christian devotion; and we believe that if 
M. Du Plan can continue to discharge the functions of 
Deputy, with the same blessing of God and the same good 
will of men devoted like himself to the well being of our 
Churches, we shall have the great consolation of witnessing 
a revival in the Protestant Churches of the kingdom similar 
to that which took place prior to the persecution, and which 
was regarded as a miracle of Providence. While continuing 
our prayers to God for the maintenance and preservation of 
the Protestant Powers in happiness and prosperity and for 
the tranquillity of their subjects, while praying also for our 
King and his whole realm, as well as for the repose and 
extension of the Churches, which by the mercy of God at 
present enjoy their liberty, for the deliverance ot those 
which are under oppression, for the preservation in health 
and strength of our worthy and zealous Deputy, and for the 



Success of Du Plan m Switzerland. 181 

blessing of God on all his labours, we have unanimously 
judged it proper at this our Synod to send these present 
attestations, signed by our Pastors and sealed with the seal 
of our Churches, to M. Du Plan for the purpose of giving 
authority to his deputation and serving as his credentials 
wheresoever they may be required. 

^ Given at our Synodal Assembly this thirtieth day of 
April, One thousand seven hundred and twenty eight. 

" Jacques Roger, Pastor and Moderator. 
Jean Villevaire, Pastor. 
Paul Faure, Pastor. 
Jacques Badon, Pastor and Secretary." » 

Whilst these spirited discussions about Du flan 
were going on in France, the Deputy of the Synods 
himself was continuing his work of devotion to the 
Churches. Accompanied by the young student 
Bétrine he visited the principal towns in Switzerland, 
and in one year, 1728, he collected 1,900 livres at 
Berne, 776 at Schaffhausen, 880 at Zurich, and 
500 at Bale. In the following year he sent* to 
France 200 livres, a sum which was devoted to the 
payment of the Pastors. 

At Berne he obtained from their Excellencies 
the Magistrates a life annuity for a victim of the 
persecution, a refugee named Martel. A few friends 
in the Church at Berne offered to maintain at their 
own expense two additional students in the College 
at Lausanne, on the strict condition that the 
proceeding should be kept secret. Their Excellencies 



l. Copied from the original document. 



182 His influence in the College at Lausanne. 

would never have permitted support to have been 
publicly given (and in a way that might have 
attracted the notice of France) to a seminary for 
the education of young men to whom access ' to 
allied countries had been forbidden, and who 
could not even recross the frontier without exposing 
themselves to the rigours of the Edicts. 

The number of the students was thus raised to 
three and progressively increased year by year until 
in 1730 it had risen to seven. The students whose 
names were Roux, Jacques Boyer, Foriel, Jean 
Combes, Paul Faure, Barthélémy Claris, and 
Maroger, came from Dauphiny, Languedoc, and the 
Cevennes. 

Benjamin Du Plan felt the liveliest interest in 
this rising college. He took delight in visiting 
the young men at Lausanne, in stimulating their 
faith and in speaking with them about their native 
country ; he specially interested himself in their 
studies and regretted that these could not be 
prolonged beyond the space of one year. 

"Bétrine, "he wrote to Court", makes such progress 
with his studies, that everyone considers an act of injustice- 
will be done to the Churches as well as to himself if his stay 
be not prolonged for several months. " 

(15th of August 1726.) 

"It is necessary," Du Plan again wrote, "that Bétrine 
should study longer if he be considered worthy to receive 
the imposition of hands. Several of our most prudent 
friends advise that he should receive his ordination in this 



Formation of the Committee at Genera. 183 

country in order to shut the mouths of our calumniators, 
and to satisfy the scruples of certain weak-minded and 
ignorant persons to whom we are bound to defer. Our 
preachers, as you are aware, have the reputation of being 
idle, illiterate tatlers without profession or vocation, and 
for this reason it is expedient to have amongst us some who 
have received their ordination in a foreign Church." 
1726. 

Now that the college was becoming of im- 
portance and the sum accumulated by the Deputy 
of the Churches considerable, a committee was 
formed at Geneva, composed of benefactors to the 
work. Its duties consisted not alone in receiving 
and distributing the money collected, but also in 
superintending the education of the young men at 
Lausanne. Antoine Court and Cortiez would have 
wished the Deputy to render them an exact account 
of his mission and to have made them acquainted 
with the origin, extent and destination of the 
amount received." This Du Plan resolutely refused 
to do. He tells us himself of the formation of the 
Committee, in a letter dated the 19th of May, 1729. 

u Our benefactors have selected certain persons beyond 
all suspicion of imprudence or dishonesty, who out of charity 
have been induced to accept the task of receiving and 
distributing the gifts. To me is reserved the simple duty of 
asking and not that of receiving, distributing or renderiug 
an account. All I am able to tell you on this point is that 
our receipts are not very large, and that as we receive so 
we give either for the maintenance of the students, for the 
comfort of the galley slaves, prisoners, and afHicted, or for 
the purchase of the books you receive from time to time. 



184: Ordination of two Students in a foreign country. 

As to the origin of our resources, it is neither right, possible 
nor judicious to name our benefactox*s or render an account 
to you of their gifts. The work being one of charity it is 
sufficient if they from whom the money is received are 
satisfied as to its amount and disposal. If I collected or 
held the money I should be obliged to render an account to 
those who have appointed me, or if they wished it, to our 
benefactors; but thank God I am relieved from this 
embarrassment ; nevertheless as a friend I will give you all 
the information in my power. " 

Roux and Boyer, two students of the college 
at Lausanne, having expressed a wish to be ordained 
at Zurich, before returning to France, Antoine Court 
and Cortiez opposed the idea on the score of 
discipline. They were more than ever annoyed on 
hearing that Benjamin Du Plan had not discouraged 
the young men in their project, and they thereupon 
commenced a spirited correspondence into which 
Cortiez infused all his characteristic passion and 
spite. They nevertheless submitted to the judicious 
observations of the Deputy, who in justification of 
the young men had only to remind Cortiez that he 
had himself adopted the same course. 1 

" I now come," Du Plan wrote to them, " to the second 
point, which refers to the installation of M. Rous and 
M. Boyer, and upon which both of you specially display your 
eloquence in attacking and blaming me for my conduct. 
Were you not my friends, I should resent your smart and 
stinging style; but knowing the kindness of your hearts and 
jour good will towards me, I will content myself by giving 



1 See Edmond Hugues, on this subject, Vol. II, p. 49. 



A dispute on the subject. 185 

my explanations without «sing language which might give 
offence. In the first place I have never seen amongst our 
laws any rule opposed to ordination in a foreign country. 
I have received no notice from any Synod on the subject, 
and all I know is that the majority of the Churches of Lower 
Languedoc and the Cevennes have demanded the instant 
return of M. Roux, to which demand I have added my own 
solicitations both by writing and by word of mouth, notwith- 
standing that the directors of his studies consider it desirable 
that his stay should be prolonged in order that his journey 
may not have been made altogether in vain. With regard 
to his installation, I am not unmindful that several of our 
friends wish that it should take place in the country they 
serve, while others have thought that it should take place 
here. No one contests your right to impose hands on our 
Pastors ; the act has been both performed and sanctioned, 
besides which it is no doubt very advantageous ; but there 
is likewise no question that the reception of some of our 
students by our brethren abroad is of considerable use. It 
evinces the union and intercourse which exist between our 
Churches and Pastors, and the Churches and Pastors of our 
■communion ; it edifies, consoles, and rejoices many good 
people, whether they are acquainted with our condition or 
not. It in a manner shuts the mouths of gainsayers who 
profess to follow our religion, and who, to justify their 
cowardly and wicked conduct, treat our assemblies and 
them who preach in the desert with the greatest contempt, 
saying that the preachers are ignorant, that they have received 
no call to the ministry, and tuat they are not recognised by 
persons of any intelligence or position. 

u I have no wish unduly to praise either the Academies 
where our students are taught or the Pastors who instruct 
them, yet these Pastors are at least as capable of ascertain- 
ing the ability and worth of our students as our brethren : 
besides that it is customary to ordain them in the place 
where they have studied. Neither do I wish to speak at any 
length of the warm affection entertained by the Academies 



186 Conduct of Du Plan. 

and the Pastors for the persons received and instructed, or 
of the good which is likely to result in the end, not alone to 
the members themselves, but also to the body of which they 
are members. I proceed to justify my conduct touching the 
reception of M. Roux and M. Boyer. You accuse mé of 
having sanctioned their doings. I believe I could have done 
so without prejudice to my office, as I am ignorant of any 
article in our creed on the subject, and as I had no order 
from any Synod to the contrary. Being, however, aware 
that I had many personal and good friends who earnestly 
wished that the reception of M. Roux and M. Boyer should 
take place in our Churches, I have done all in my power to 
prevent the reception taking place here. I even believed 
that 1 had succeeded, when suddenly they declared their 
determination of leaving for Zurich. I had no further right 
or ability to oppose them, and perceiving that the measure 
might occasion disputes and troubles, I was anxious to 
remain neutral, in order to be enabled to act as mediator in 
case of need. I accompanied them as far as Berne, having 
business there on behalf of our Churches, but I purposely 
avoided going to Zurich, that I might be free to act afterwards 
as prudence and charity might suggest. It should be borne 
in mind that when Messieurs Roux and Boyer had decided 
to be ordained in this country, -and the brethren at Zurich 
had thought proper to receive them, I openly declared, by 
way of precaution, that they were not acting by my advice 
or counsel. At the same time I judged it prudent to join 
them on their return in the neighbourhood of Berne, to con- 
gratulate them, and to offer my views touching their conduct 
towards you, as well as to implore upon them the blessing 
of the Lord. Could I do less for men whom I have known 
so long, who confided in me, and who were about to devote 
themselves to the service of those Churches which I myself 
serve, and on whose behalf I am willing, through the grace 
of God, to sacrifice everything I hold most precious in the 
world? Take heed, my dear friends, that under the pretext 
of maintaining a discipline hitherto unknown amongst us, 



His advice on the question. -187 

and which, to be useful and acceptable to all, ought to have 
just and reasonable foundations; take heed you do not trouble 
the peace and endanger the union absolutely essential to 
our existence. To cry out, to become excited and angry 
about trifles, and to treat them as grave and essential, is to 
display want of judgment and narrowness of mind. The 
dogmas and the morals of our religion ought never to vary; 
not so with discipline. As this is altogether human it may 
be faulty and require amendment ; it may be good under 
certain circumstances and bad under others, and require to 
be adapted to times, places, and persons. We are under the 
Cross and have, properly speaking, only the law as given in 
the Gospel to guide us in our dealings with oue another ; all 
else is arbitrary; we can submit to it or reject it at pleasure 
without incurring judgments either human or divine (I speak 
of the Church). Should Messieurs Roux and Boyer not 
recognise or accept the rule forbidding their reception in 
this country, they may disregard all commands and censures 
and carry on their ministry elsewhere. I fear if they are 
pushed to it they may even torni parties, and occasion more 
trouble than Vesson or Mazelot have ever done. If such 
should be the case, would they alone be to blame? would not 
those who constrained them to this course have much to 
reproach themselves with ? I wish with all my heart (fore- 
seeing the fatal effects of discord) that these young men would 
submit to any censure they have merited and which it may 
be judged expedient to administer. But beware of employing 
a remedy worse than the disease. It is well to ascertain first 
whether any disease exists ; secondly, whether the disease 
requires strong médecine; and lastly, whether the disposition 
of the patient is not such that he would take offence and 
throw the offered médecine in the face of him who should 
administer it. If you profess to be gentler, wiser, and more 
charitable than our brethren, you should display these 
qualities in your conduct. People here think that of the two 
parties you are most interested in this affair, because, the 
students having already been ordained in this country, it 



188 He appeases the conflict. 

might be said by ignorant or evil-minded persons that the 
vocation of the pastors who ordained them was more valid 
than yours But you can, and should without difficulty, put 
yourselves beyond such a suspicion. The best vocation of 
all is the Divine unction, the approbation of your flock, and 
the fruit of your ministry ; without these things all else is 
nearly, if not altogether worthless. 

" It is well you should know that people here think that 
a contemptible spirit of pride and domination is creeping in 
amongst those who direct the affairs ot our Churches. The 
heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, 
let us beware of its flattery ; the strongest and. worst passions 
generally hide themselves under a plausible exterior, and it 
frequently happens that they who have the most brilliant 
talents and perform the noblest acts most easily fall victims 
to pride. The apostles were not free trom vain glory, and 
God judged it right to give to St. Paul a thorn in the flesh 
to preserve him against pride. You will not fail to discover 
your thorn if you look for it ; are you not, so to speak, but 
as victims ready at any moment to be sacrificed by the 
devotees of superstition to the Lord of Glory? — victims who 
must be sprinkled with the blood of the Lamb without 
blemish, and animated by His spirit to be made acceptable 
to the God of Love. I speak in the spirit of confidence and 
sincerity, as to brethren and friends, when 1 say that if you 
are desirous of maintaining peace you will succeed, for I 
know scarcely a person who could or would bring trouble 
upon Messieurs Roux and Boyer. If you take their part as 
much as reason and a desire for peace requires of you, God 
will applaud your conduct, and your friends here, on hearing 
of your harmony, will not be scandalized or alienated, but 
on the contrary will renew their esteem, their affection and 
their good will." 

(Berne, 19th of May 1729.) 

The observations of Du Plan, supported by 
those of Professors Turretin and Maurice of Greneva, 



Cardinal De Fleury in poiver. 189 

and Vial de Beaumont formerly Pastor of Grenoble, 
appeased the conflict. Court and Cortiez consented 
to give the right hand of fellowship to their young 
brethren as soon as they had obtained the approval 
of their colleagues of Dauphiny and Vivarais — Roger 
and Durand. Roger who had been one of the 
firmest opponents no longer resisted, and a Conference 
granted the approbation demanded. 



CHAPTER XVI. 

CARDINAL DE FLEURY's PERSECUTIONS. — COURT QUITS 
FRANCE AGAINST THE WISHES OF DU PLAN. 

1726-1729 

The Declaration of 1724, cruel as it was, did not 
appreciably aggravate the situation of the Reformed 
Church. It seemed as if the attention of the Court, 
occupied by political cares and the marriage of 
Louis XV, hadbeen diverted from religious questions. 

But in 1726 all was changed. The Bishop 
De Fréjus, now Cardinal De Fleury, had already 
designated the Duke De Bourbon to succeed to 
office on the first favorable opportunity, and that 
opportunity now presenting itself the Duke was 
installed and the persecution recommenced. 

Du Plan, who through his friends in Switzerland 
was well informed as to all that passed in Paris, had 
frequently forewarned Antoine Court. His repre- 
sentations were however disregarded, but though 



190 De Fleury's schemes for persecution. 

treated as a visionary, he was unhappily under no 
misapprehension. Scarcely had De Fleury acceded to 
power when he was overwhelmed with demands, 
memorials, and petitions from ths Clergy against 
Protestantism, and soon afterwards there appeared 
a fresh decree from Louis XV ordering rigorous 
measures to be taken against all who attended, or 
were suspected of attending, the assemblies. The 
men so convicted were condemned to the galleys in 
perpetuity, and the women to life-long imprisonment. 
De Fleury's first victim was a young Pastor of the 
Desert of the name of Alexandre Roussel. He was 
born about the year 1701, atUzes, and belonged to 
a respectable family. Rocked in his cradle to the 
rude music of battle, he had grown up amid the 
perils of the terrible Camisard wars ; his pious 
mother had trained him in the fear of Grod, and the 
young man felt within himself an early call to the 
ministry, which the sight of Baville's numerous 
gibbets had no power to dispel from his breast. He 
was twenty-five years of age when Antoine Court, 
struck by his piety, imposed hands upon him. For 
two years the young minister wandered about 
preaching in the Cevennes. On the 10th of 
October, 1728, a traitor having betrayed his place 
of concealment, he was arrested in the neighbourhood 
of Aulas and imprisoned in the Citadel of Montpellier. 
His mother on hearing of her son's arrest threw 
herself at the feet of the Duke d'Uzes whom she had 
nursed in infancy. The Duke endeavoured to save 
the young man and counselled him to feign madness, 



Execution of Alexandre Botissel. 191 

"Monseigneur", replied Roussel, "I am very much 
obliged to you for your good intentions towards me, 
but permit me to say to your Grace that I have never 
possessed greater strength of mind than at the 
present moment, and that my conscience does not 
allow me to counterfeit insanity." He was condemned 
to be hung, and the execution speedily followed the 
sentence. As the sad moment approached, the 
young martyr walked to his doom with calmness 
and serenity. He appeared on the Place du Pérou, 
singing the fifty-first psalm with head uncovered, 
feet bare and a rope round his neck. On arriving at 
the gibbet he knelt down and prayed, after which 
he ascended the ladder with much courage and 
firmness, and died like Stephen in a transport, 
seeing the heavens opened above him. 

Antoine Court visited the martyr's mother to 
console her ; weeping bitterly she replied to him, 
"If my son had displayed any weakness I should 
have been inconsolable ; but since he has died stead- 
fast and firm in the faith, all my grief is turned into 
unceasing thankfulness and praise to my Grod for 
His almighty consolation." 

Benjamin Du Plan was deeply affected by this 
incident, and felt himself called upon to write to 
his brethren, urging steadfastness in presence of the 
serious evils by which they were threatened. 

" I hope, my dear friend, u he wro'e to Court, " that the 
saintly death of our dear brother M. Roussel, instead of 
disquieting our brethren who preach under the Cross, will 
only cause them to implore God's help with greater fervency 



192 JDu Plan's letter to Court on the subject. 

and exhort their hearers to discharge their duty with niorezeal^ 
since it is by the help of God and by a Christian deportment 
alone that we can outlive and triumph over the fury of our 
enemies. We know by sad experience that the great 
Babylon is not yet surfeited with our blood, and can we 
doubt that the Court, ruled by a Cardinal devoted to the 
Jesuits and to Rome, is meditating projects for the utter 
extinction ot Protestantism in France ? Therefore, my dear 
brother, it is for you, as one of the chiefs whom God in His 
infinite compassion has raised up for the establishment of 
the true Gospel in France, to animate the others, seek out 
the flock with diligence, and encourage your colleagues, the 
elders, and the Churches to sustain with courage the assaults 
that Satan, the world and the agents of Anti-Christ are 
ready to make. You must be deeply conscious that it is 
due alone to the providence of God and His miraculous help 
that the lamp of the Holy Word has been rekindled in our 
Provinces, and that you have so often been rescued from 
the toils of your enemies. Our preservation for the future 
depends on the continuance of this help, for without it we 
could not even exist, conscious as we are of our weakness, 
and the power and wrath ot our foes, who spare no 
effort to compass our ruin. I have written in this strain 
more than once both to you and to the Churches, but my 
letters have not received the attention they deserved, because 
many believe that my statements are founded on the so 
called inspirations of some prophetess. No extraordinary 
inspirations are necessary in order to perceive the imminent 
danger that threatens us ; we have only to use our eyes to 
see that we do but resemble a flock of lambs surrounded by 
packs ot ravening wolves, and that unless the Shepherd who- 
has laid down His life for His sheep restrains their rage we 
shall be quickly torn in pieces and devoured. The deceitful 
calm we have tor some time enjoyed ought not to make us 
unmindful of what happened to our fathers. They flattered 
themselves that the trial would never overtake them and 
under this illusion they had lulled themselves to sleep when 



Du Flan's letter to Court on the sulyect. 193 

the storm burst forth with such fury that the greater number 
succumbed to persecution, abjuring our Holy Religion in a 
cowardly and shameful manner. I know not what would 
happen in our times if the enemy employed the same means 
to compel us to abandon our profession of the truth. Nothing 
less than righteousness ot life, purity of morals, ardent zeal 
for the glory of God, and earnest love for our neighbour, can 
prevent the occurrence of multitudes of apostacies. In the 
name of God, my dear friend, brother, and companion in 
labour, wait not till the Philistines be upon you ! Let not 
flesh and sense, like another Delilah the traitress, deprive 
us of the Divine unction which alone can cause us to triumph 
over our enemies. Awake, awake, put on the whole armour 
of God, and fight manfully in the battle which seems to be 
approaching ! When the destruction of our forefathers was 
contemplated by their enemies, peace in Europe was the 
fatal way which led to that dire catastrophe. The seizure of 
some papers in the possession of M. Roussel, and of others 
in Dauphiny, have, according to M. Roger, been the means 
of revealing our affairs ; the minister of a Cardinal who has 
published so very startling a decree could have brought 
about our ruin, if Providence had not temporarily suspended 
the operation ot the decree, to the end that we might have 
time to repent and make our peace with God, by whom alone 
we and our Churches have existence in the midst of dangers 
that threaten on all sides. 

u You will hear with regret and sorrow that some small 
private help from truly pious sources has been intercepted ; 
it shows us that we ought hot to rely on the Protestant Powers, 
unless God inspires them with new zeal; they are broken 
reeds which will only pierce the hand that leans on them. 
The Protestant Princes are mostly cold-hearted, given over 
to their own pursuits and occupied by their temporal interests. 
Thus there is more need for us to ask God to help them than 
to ask them to help us ; let us turn our aspirations heaven- 
ward, and endeavour to appease God's anger by repenting 
and humbling ourselves before Him. If we take example 

is 



194 Du Plan's letter to Court on the subject. 

by Moses on the hill when Joshua fought on the plain, if we 
wrestle with the Lord, like Jacob with the Angel, and refuse 
to let Him go except He bless us, it is certain that He will 
come to our help: God will give us great fortitude to with- 
stand persecution even should it increase, and we may 
consider ourselves happy in being permitted to suffer tor the 
sake of Jesus Christ our Divine Master. Perhaps God may 
convert, our enemies and glorify the truth in upholding it 
without employing instruments ; or perhaps if our enemies 
harden their hearts like Pharaoh, God may visit with His 
most fearful plagues that Egypt which holds captive the 
new Israel : be it our's only to do our duty, trusting implicitly 
to the over-ruling care of Providence! 

" As this year will soon give place to another, I would 
desire to anticipate the good wishes it is customary to offer 
on the first day of a new year. May God commemorate this 
new epoch by the most striking proofs of His love for the 
Church ; may He sustain and bless all whom He has appointed 
for its instruction, consolation, help and protection; may He 
support and animate by His Holy Spirit all who suffer for 
His name's sake ; may He, my dear friend, give you grace 
to carry out your work successfully, and after you have, 
like St. Paul, fought the good fight and kept the faith, may 
you inherit the crown of righteousness that Jesus Christ has 
purchased for you with His precious blood. I present my 
most earnest prayers on behalf of your beloved Rachel 
and your dear family : embrace and kiss them for me. You 
may rest assured that it is always a pleasure to me, as 
well as a duty, to testify the esteem and cordial affection 
with which I am, Monsieur my dear friend, Your very 
humble and obedient servant. 

" C. B. Du Plan. " 

(25th of December 1728.) 

Since the execution of Roussel, the preachers, 
and especially Court, had been closel} r watched. 
Court had been betrayed by spies, and search was 



Measures proposed for banishing the preachers. 19î> 

made for him, though unsuccessfully, on the night 
of the 1st of March, 1729, in the house where he was 
concealed. The price of ten thousand livres was put 
upon his head, and it was only by stratagem and 
constant vigilance that he succeeded in evading his 
pursuers. The Protestants appreciated the value 
and importance of the man who had raised 
Protestantism from its abasement. They all became 
anxious, some even counselled him to leave France 
and wait in a foreign country till the storm had 
passed. His wish was to remain with his flock, but 
his enemies discovered his vulnerable point ; and on 
that day, in spite of the remonstrances of his best 
friends and the firm and unmistakeable wish of the 
Church, the man who had braved death a thousand 
times quietly abandoned his sphere of labour, 
crossed the frontier and quitted France for ever. 

The foul measures conceived for obtaining the 
mastery over this exalted mind have been since 
revealed to us by one of the persecutors. "If you 
wish/' he wrote to the Intendant, " to exterminate 
Protestantism forthwith, chase the ministers and 
students of the sect from the kingdom" — "How ?" 
was the reply. " Shut up in a convent the wives 
of those who are married and in a citadel the 
fathers of those who are not, and publish abroad 
that you will set them at liberty only when husband 
and sun have crossed the border. Experience proves 
the success of this plan. The minister Court would 
be still in France if his wife had not been threatened 
with the convent, and the minister Maroger also if 



196 Gourt's thoughts are occupied about his wife. 

his wife had not been confined in the convent of 
Lodève. Courageously adopt this measure and 
success will be certain. No more Pastors, no more 
baptisms or marriages in the Desert. 1 " 

Antoine Court had married in 1722, on his 
return from Geneva; his wife was a young girl of 
Uzès whom he had probably met in the course of 
his missionary rounds — he loved her tenderly. Her 
name was Etiennette Pages,, but Court and his 
friends styled her simply Rachel. She had some 
money, but what was of more value she was 
possessed of a deep piety. By this marriage Court 
had two girls,, and Du Plan was god-father to the 
younger, whom he called his bénonisse. As far back 
as 1725, Court had occupied his thoughts in 
preparing a place of refuge abroad for his wife in 
case of need. 

" I am surprised, " he wrote to Du Plan, " that you have 
not spoken about my Rachel. There is however nothing 
new respecting her, and I thank God she enjoys perfect 
tranquillity. Let me know your ideas frequently concerning 
the dear child; it is necessary to think of the future. Look 
out at once and read with attention the little note enclosed 
in my last (moments are precious) ; it should be preserved, 
for it inquires as to the way in which a sum of money 
might be provided abroad — Geneva, for instance — where the 
child may one day go ; meanwhile, however, some money 
might be sent thither. " 

(3rd of November 1725.) 



1. See The Bulletin, Vol. VII., p. 39. A traitor's letter to the Intendant,, 
furnishing information as to the ministers of the Desert and their 
families. 



Du Plan prepares him for am impending separation. l'.'T 

Du Plan at once replied, and being aware of 
Antoine Court's love for his wife, lie took the 
opportunity of preparing him for an early separation, 
by pointing out the dangers she ran in his company. 
Du Plan knew the place she occupied in his heart 
and feared she would soon become to him an idol. 

" Assure your Rachel of my respect and friendship, and 
thank her for her kind remembrance. I beseech her or you 
to tell me about my god-daughter, not at the same time tor- 
getting her dear little sister. Think over how I can be useful 
to you in this country : you may rely, if it please God, upon 
always finding in me, to the extent of my ability, a zealous 
and faithful friead, and so far as depends upon me our 
friendship shall be as the friendship of David and Jonathan. 

u There is no brotherhood between Christ and the world ; 
the world must have no place in our souls it we desire Christ 
to fill them with His Spirit. Let us commune with our own 
souls, let us dive into the innermost recesses of our hearts to 
discover if any idol be concealed there ! Let us distrust our 
own acts, our own thoughts, our own sentiments. Our self 
love — our Rachel — often hides its divinities under pretexts 
so plausible that the Labans are deceived ; let us often 
exclaim with David : Search me and try me, God, and 
incline my heart unto Thy testimonies ! It we persevere in 
examining our hearts, and in praying fervently to God for 
His Holy Spirit, if we make a good use of the talents we have 
received from Him, He will without doubt more frequently 
fiud a place in our souls ; The Lord will change us into His 
image by the virtue and efficacy of His Holy Spirit. He will 
altogether dispel darkness from our understandings, era- 
dicate vice from our hearts, and kindle in us the fire of His 
love. God will reveal Himself to us as distinctly and clearly 
as He can, and will reveal Himself to the world; and this 
revelation added to His love, a love so profound and pure, 
will form a sure pledge to us of a blessed future. eternity, 



198 J. sacrifice that the Gospel enjoins. 

blessed eternity, thou hast charms for earnest, faithful and 
true souls. No suffering, no sorrow, no cross shall have 
power to deprive us of the peace and joy to be found in the 
heart of a true Christian. Who is he that cannot exclaim 
with St. Paul, 'Who shall separate me from the love of 
Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or 
famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword'? on the contrary, 

' in all these things I am more than conqueror, through Him 
that loved me ; for I am persuaded that neither death nor 
life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things 
present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any 
other creature shall be able to separate me from the love of 
God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.' Let us then strive 
with all our power to stir up an increased love for God in our 
souls, abstain from and shun everything that abates or 
extinguishes it, and fly from the places, or separate ourselves 
from the persons who hinder our growth in grace ! God is 
jealous of His glory ; He asks for our entire heart; if it be 
His will to permit us to love any other being than Himself, 
it is also His will that we should love that being infinitely 
less than Himself, as well for His sake as in obedience to the 
precepts of His Holy Word. When any creature becomes a 
stumbling block we must remove it, even if in doing so we 
are compelled to deprive ourselves of the reasonable and 
legitimate happiness which, under other and happier circum- 
stances, we might rightly enjoy. 

" Though my discourse, my dear friend, concerns all 
Christians, it is doubtless now addressed to you specially. 

1 confess that I fear greatly for your Kachel and her children. 
I should for your own sake, as well as for that of the objects 
of your affection, advise you to take timely measures for 
putting them in a place of safety. We must not be misled 
into thinking the present calm will endure ; it may be broken 
by a thousand unforeseen accidents ; forewarned of the 
storm, we shall be the better able to avoid rocks and sand- 
banks. I admit that the surest means of avoiding shipwreck 
is to Dlace ourselves under the guidance of the Sovereign. 



Departure of "Rachel. 199 

Pilot of the Church ; but as that Pilot has endowed us with 
reason, we must make as good use of it as we can, and leave 
the rest to Providence, always praying that God may blese 
our efforts, over-rule our deliberations, and confirm us in 
all the aspirations that grace may inspire." 
5th of June 1726.) 

After a lapse of two or three years Antoine 
Court acted on the advice of his friend, and in the 
month of March, 1729, wrote to him as follows : — 

•' My Rachel has finally taken flight ; she left yesterday 
for your city and will arrive, if it please God, at the end of 
the month. I need hardly ask you to do what you can to 
procure for her a favorable reception, being firmly persuaded 
you will refuse her nothing. I simply ask you to bear in 
mind that she is my Rachel — my Rachel from whom I could 
not separate myself without sacrificing a tender affection to 
a stern sense of duty and regard for her safety. Adieu, my 
dear friend, I commend my Rachel to you." 

Du Plan lost no time in announcing to Court 
Rachel's safe arrival. He soon discovered that his 
friend had a secret longing to join her, and it was 
with the view of urging him to remain in France 
with his flock, decimated by persecution, that he thus 
wmte to him two months after her arrival in 
(ieneva : — 

u I speak with special frankness to my friend M. Court. 
I do not blame your affection and anxiety for your Rachel, I 
only fear that you are a little too ardent. You may rest 
easy on her account, tor she is much beloved here, she has 
everything she needs — more perhaps than you imagine. You 
may now devote yourself to the glorious career that Provi- 



200 Court joins her at Lmisanne. 

dence has marked out for you, and which, after having begun, 
you will not for love of the creature abandon to another. 
I neither advise you to come here nor to remain in France ; 
the question is one too delicate for me to decide. I exhort 
you only to have regard to the promptings of conscience, 
the rules of the Gospel, the requirements of our Churches 
and the necessities of the situation. We should always 
avoid rashness on the one hand and timidity on the other, 
and ascertain whether it is the love of God or the love of 
His creatures which is the ruling motive of our lives and 
conduct. The love of Mark Antony for Cleopatra lost him 
the battle of Actiuin and the Empire of the world. You have 
enemies to fight, and an Empire to gain, infinitely more 
glorious and lasting than the Roman Empire in all its 
splendour — a prize which, if you prefer the creature to the 
Creator, you may lose for ever. Forget not the sacrifice of 
Abraham ; forget not, above all, the sacrifice of our Lord 
Jesus Christ and the words that He spoke to His disciples. 
'He that loveth tather or mother more than Me is not 
worthy of Me.' By a singular Providence, which ought to 
be a cause of continual praise to the Lord, you have been 
happy in the company of your Rachel for several years. God 
has blessed your marriage with some children, and your 
Rachel is in safety among kind friends of both sexes. What 
more can you wish as things are? Fight manfully with the 
enemies of the Lord, and remember, moreover, that the most 
formidable enemies are as nought if we have overcome those 
from within." 
(May 1729.) 

Antoine Court was already suffering keenly from 
his enforced separation from his wife, and on learning, 
a few months later — in October — that she was 
unwell, he hesitated no longer, and, notwithstanding 
the dangers that threatened the Church, he left for 
Lausanne where his Rachel was living. The two 



The Churches murmur at his absence. 201 

friends had thus frequent opportunities of meeting. 
What long- conversations on the subject of religious 
persecution in their country did they have — how 
sweet was their intercourse — what blessed memories 
were awakened between them ! 

Rachel had presented her husband with another 
child, and Du Plan thought that after she was 
restored to health, Court would resume his work 
among his persecuted brethren ; but from certain 
incidents that transpired Du Plan soon perceived 
his mistake. On the 7th of Februaiy, 1 730, he 
learnt that his friend had received his black gown 
from France. 

u Surprise has been expressed ", he wrote to the latter, 
u that you have sent for your black gown, for it is not 
becoming in you to appear in ministerial attire unless you 
wish to abandon the service of the French Church. You are 
master of your own acts and can do as you think best, but 
the warm and sincere friendship which exists between us 
obliges me to tell you that your conduct is not alone likely 
to give rise to rumours and attract attention, but may be 
considered dangerous." 

(7th of February 2730.) 

Days and months slipped away — the Churches 
surprised at the prolonged absence of their Pastor 
complained loudly. Du Plan wrote to him again on 
the occasion of an illness which had occurred to 
Rachel. 

"I pray, Monsieur and dear triend, that God may restore 
your Rachel to health, but above all that He may dispose 
«vents as seems best in his sight. 1 cannot doubt that this 



202 Severe letter from Du Plan to Court. 

sickness has been sent to weaken your too great love for 
each other and to draw you nearer to God. The Creator 
who knows our hearts employs the most fit and efficacious 
means to bring us back to Himself, when our affections 
interfere with the right discharge of our duty. 

"I have received a letter from M . Cortiez, in whioh he 
urges me not to keep you here. God knows the truth — it 
will not be difficult to justify myself. I have heretofore 
besought you to consult God and your own conscience, and I 
now repeat my entreaties. On the one hand your co-worker3 
are calling you back, and the Churches are asking for you ; 
and on the other a wife and children are detaining you: 
which cause have you most at heart? I have great fear that 
if you prefer your wife and children to the Church, God will 
bereaveyou of that wife and perhaps those children, in order 
that you may know that if any earthly object be preferred 
before Himself it wiil be taken away, while if the object is 
ready to be sacrificed it will be preserved. I have heard it 
said more than once thatM. Cortiez wished to quit the service 
of the Churches of France, but he thought it not right to do 
so. I leave you to your own reflections on the matter, and 
ever implore you to consult neither flesh nor blood, or you 
will do very unwisely." 

(1st of June 1730.) 

At length, in the month of August, 1730, the 
Churches, disquieted at the long absence of their 
old Pastor, an absence that was neither authorized 
nor explained, demanded his return in a long letter 
signed by the Pastors and Students of the Province, 
wherein they reminded him of his responsibility and 
the need they had of his ministry. Court disregarded 
everything, his resolution was fixed, he refused to 
leave Rachel. His conduct irritated the Churches, 
which, in spite of his earnest entreaties, refused to 



< letter from Du Plan to Court. 203 

remit him the money he had left in France. 
Du Plan now no longer hesitated frankly to speak 
his mind: — 

u I feel persuaded, Monsieur and dear friend, of your 
integrity of purpose and your charity, but with many others 
I avow that I fear the quenching of your zeal and the cooling 
of your love, and that, unmindful of the duties of your 
calling, God will take His Spirit from you and give your 
crown to another. 

u M. S. writes to me from Zurich expressing fears that 
your repose in Switzerland is having the same effect upon 
you as the allurement of Capua had on Hannibal. Significant 
as is this example, I would rather prefer directing your 
attention to the examples of Samson, David and Solomon, 
and how the strength of the first, the piety of the second, 
and the wisdom of the third, yielded to the influence 
of women. In vain you may allege that the object of your 
love is legitimate ; nothing is legitimate that leads us to 
neglect our duty and to prefer the works of the Creator to 
the Creator Himself. Abraham's love for his son Isaac was 
as legitimate as is yours for your Rachel, yet if Abraham 
had refused to sacrifice his son in obedience to God's 
command, he would have rendered himself unworthy of 
God's love. The point then is to ascertain whether or not 
God is calling you to return into France for the solace and 
edification of your brethren in affliction and who are in 
danger of being overcome. You have never seemed to 
believe in extraordinary revelations ; you scorn those of the 
present day, doubtless under the idea that they are not 
required ; it is sufficient if you regard as a call from 
Providence the talents with which God has endowed you, 
and the opportunities He has afforded for their exercise. 
Before your marriage, on receipt of a simple letter from 
M. Cortiez, you left Marseilles and went to preach in 
Languedoc. Now, probably, neither the invitation of 



204 The Synods withhold Court's salary. 

Churches nor the solicitations of Synods would have a like 
effect. I do not pretend to say that you ought to return to 
France, nor do I even counsel this course. God knows what 
is right ; I repeat my first advice in this matter, that 
you should consult God and your conscience. I admit that 
I have a fervent desire for the edification of the Churches, and 
it appears to me, as well as to many others, that your 
presence amongst them would be of great service ; but I feel 
persuaded that as God loves His Church, He will never 
abandon it, and that if you should desert it, He will raise 
up many more faithful. In such an event you would be the 
only one to be pitied, and were 1 to shed tears, they would 
be for the misfortunes of a friend whom I sincerely love. 
While you ponder these things seriously in your mind, 
I will pray that God may give you grace to know and do 
His will without regard either to flesh or blood or any 
earthly object, be that object the most charming in the 
world, for the loveliest Rachels are in the sight of God but 
worms, bags of filthiness, sinks of iniquity, and wretched- 
ness. What blindness ! How disgraceful, how criminal, to 
abandon the cause of God out of regard for a creature of 
earth ! Understand me, my dear friend, I judge you not; 
I only advise you. You may be deaf to my counsels, you may 
sleep and perish — it remains none the less our duty to 
exhort and rouse each other; for I have as great, or even 
greater need than you have to be exhorted, advised, and 
awakened, being conscious that the fleshly tabernacle of the 
Spirit, like Delilah the traitress, flatters and soothes us if we 
do not continually watch and pray. 
(30th of June 1730.) 

Notwithstanding these solicitations, Court 
refused to leave Switzerland and return to France. 
The Synods, irritated at his conduct, first of all 
declined to send his property and then withheld 
his salary. Thereupon Court, who had hitherto 



Court complains of the action of the Synods. 205 

observed an unaccountable silence, complained that 
violence was being done to his free will and liberty.. 
Du Plan never wearied in recalling him sternly 
to duty. 

u If the Synods were under my control, " he wrote to him : 
u I well know what I should do with your property and 
the 9alary you receive in France. I would send you the 
former and pay you regularly the latter, until your love for 
the Churches should either revive or altogether perish. All, 
however, do not think alike. The gentlemen who assist at 
the Synod are very glad that you are constrained to acknow- 
ledge your pecuniary needs, while your salary goes to 
maintain those who really serve in the vineyard of the Lord; 
and seeing that the country is impoverished by fines, and 
that the number of the Pastors is multiplied, they are all the 
better pleased that you are in receipt of a salary elsewhere, 
more especially as you do not deign to reply to the letters 
that have been written to you and to the solicitations ot 
which I have been the medium. It is useless to say that 
you have not had time, since you have had more than a year 
to think over the matter, during which period have been 
held a National Synod and conferences, at either of which 
you could have made known your wishes ; without taking 
into consideration that M. Cortiez, the deacon appointed to 
receive official communications to the Assemblies, is always 
ready to receive your letters. 

u You say that while liberty is extolled and compulsion 
denounced you are placed under restraint. You remind me 
of a lady who had promised to confer some benefit on our 
Churches, and who told me, when I put her in mind of her 
promises, that I worried her, and she died without executing 
her good intentions. You have similar good intentions; you 
avow an ardent love for the Churches which desire your 
presence amongst them and whose well being appears to be 
dependent on you, and yet you deign neither to notice their 



206 Another letter from Du Plan. 

appeals nor to afford the means of consolation. Already fifteen 
months have elapsed since you left the country. You apparently 
take a terribly long time to examine into certain subjects; 
probably ere long we shall have to decide for you. God 
forbid that I should constrain you to return to France! 
I have uiged you to consult God and your own conscience 
as to the following of your high calling, at the same time 
I am in duty bound to obey the orders of the Synods whose 
Deputy, I am and to inform you as to matters which personally 
concern you. 

" Although you may not need an example to encourage, 
or to shame you, according as you are true or false to your 
vocation , Providence may remind you of the two 
pastors * who so assiduously devote themselves to the 
service of our Churches. You have received greater 
talents than they, and are of maturer age and more vigorous 
constitution ; the difference between you arises from the 
fact that the one is less devotedly attached to his Rachel 
than you are to yours, and that the other is not embarrassed 
by a wife at all. Your conduct makes us think and say 
that possibly your Rachel was really the Providence that 
called you to France when the late M. Pictet wished to 
detain you. At all events your present long sojourn with 
her, in spite of the solicitations of the Churches, lends to this 
suspicion an air of probability. 

"I well know that God has called you to the service of 
our Churches, enabled you to overcome obstacles which 
opposed themselves to your success, and permitted you to 
receive the reward of your labours in this world. Many 
other persons have served longer and suffered more than 
you have done, and for objects far less important. In 
saying this I in no way wish to detract from your merit, or 
from the reward you may receive from God. On the 
contrary, I wish from my heart that you might be more 
worthy of the glory which God prepares for those who serve 

1. Cortioz and Roux. 



Court refuses to leave Switzerland. 207 

Him faithfully. God calls you, and if you turn a deaf ear to 
the appeal, all your righteousness and your former services 
count for nothing, as it is they alone who are faithful to the 
end who shall he saved. Remember always to consult God 
and your conscience. 

"Whatever may happen, or whatever course you may 
think fit to adopt, I disclaim all responsibility. I can only 
place the facts before you, this my position obliges me to 
do. Consider me, if you will, importunate, indiscreet, look 
upon me as a cavalier, as a dragon — I shall none the less 
acquit myself of my duty towards you as I conceive it. I 
am glad to be able to add that, although I think your 
presence would be of inestimable value to the Churches, 
God has an infinity of means by which to instruct and 
console them, should you refuse to return; and if you go 
unwillingly or from unworthy motives, you will perish 
without fruit, unless it please God in an especial manner 
out of His infinite compassion to take pity on you. " 

(December 1730.) 

All was in vain, however. Court was lost as a 
Pastor to the Churches of France. Nevertheless a 
disposition so active could not long remain idle. 
Notwithstanding the reproaches of his friends and the 
Churches, he devoted the remainder of his life and 
his ample leisure to the service of his brethren. 
" Overwhelmed by work, often in journeyings, often 
multiplying counsel and gathering together the 
refugees, nearly always pen in hand writing 
apologies or the history of the Churches and seeking 
protectors for the same, he passed fifteen years in 
retirement at Lausanne, having no other thought 
than for his brethren under the Cross, no other aim 
than the relief of their sufferings." ' 

i. Ed. Hugues, already quoted. Vol. II, p. 11. 



208 Forced inactivity of Du Plan. 

CHAPTER XVII. 

THE TRAVELS OF BENJAMIN DU PLAN. 
1731-1745.. 

During a period of four years Du Plan diligently 
traversed Switzerland as Deputy General of the 
Churches of Prance. Although Geneva, Lausanne, 
Neuchâtel, Berne and Zurich had received him with 
a generous good will, his ambition extended further; 
he desired to carry out the plan of the Synod of 
1727, and visit Germany, Holland and England; 
but want of money impeded his movements. The 
Synods, it is true, had voted five hundred livres for 
his travelling expenses, but the vote was all, the 
money had never been forthcoming, and the sacrifices 
he had made for his brethren had so reduced his 
resources that they scarcely sufficed for his personal 
expenses, much less for travelling, notwithstanding 
the aid he received from his father and sometimes 
from one of his uncles named Lèches. 

A National Synod which assembled on the 27th 
of September, 1730, sympathizing with him in his 
forced inaction, renewed his powers and authorized 
him to deduct all his travelling expenses from the 
money he collected, so far as the resources would 
permit, hoping thereby to give to their Deputy a 
salary proportionate to his services. 

The following is the attestation by which the 
Synod confirmed further the mandate of the Deputy. 



Attestation of the Synod of 1780. 209 

u We, Pastors and Preachers of the Churches of Franco 
which are under the Cross, to all Protestant Princes and 
Powers, greeting; 

u Being assembled in National Synod in the Vivarais, 
and after having discussed the measures which should be 
adopted by our Churches for maintaining the truth and con- 
soling the faithful under their affliction, have taken into our 
consideration the overwhelming misfortunes of our flock, the 
incessant persecution of our enemies against those who 
refuse to conform to their religion, and the ruin and desolation 
brought upon entire families by the heavy fines exacted from 
all who fail to send their children to the Roman Catholic 
schools ; finding ourselves devoid of means and deprived of 
help, we have had recourse to M. Benjamin Du Plan, our 
Deputy, requesting him to address himself to your Majesties, 
High Mightinesses, Excellencies, and all others who are 
aware of the misfortunes of the Church, and who are touched 
by our sad condition, in order to represent the pitiable and 
lamentable state of our Churches groaning under the Cross, 
and humbly implore them to bestow help as well for the 
solace and encouragement of the pastors as of their desolated 
flocks. 

a Our flocks being ruined by the frequent imposition of 
exorbitant fines, our books being carried away and burnt — 
as everyone in the neighbourhood of Nismes and Alais can 
testify : 

u Our pastors having insufficient means wherewith to 
support themselves, owing to the straightened circumstances 
of our faithful whose property is seized by the government, 
we ourselves outlawed, and our ministerial duties in 
consequence not maintained : 

u We very humbly beseech you to grant to us in this 
time of our sore trial the consolation of your compassion and 
protection. 

u We beseech you also to intercede with our King on 
our behalf for the withdrawal of the scourge which afflicts ub. 

' But especially do we entreat the compassionate to 

14 



210 Letter of advice from the Synod to Du Plan. 

implore a gracious God, the Father of mercies, that He may 
have pity upon us, that He may set at liberty our prisoners, 
console our afflicted, re-establish our churches, and turn our 
present evil plight to good account by inclining to us the 
hearts of our brethren who are free. 

" It is unnecessary here to enumerate the multitude of 
sufferers now in the kingdom, as you have already been 
informed thereof, and Monsieur our Deputy can, if required, 
himself supply this information. 

" We may, however, set forth the facts that latterly 
many who were luke-warm have been aroused, and that even 
Catholic families have united themselves to our Churches. 

u We humbly pray that the Lord may continually 
preserve among you the light of His Gospel, and always 
afford you the means of helping the unfortunate. 

" In the Desert, in our Synodal Assembly, the twenty- 
seventh day of September, one thousand seven hundred and 
thirty. 

" Signed : P. Durand, Pastor and Moderator ; 

Cortiez, Pastor and joint Moderator ; 
Joui, Deputy of the Churches of Languedoc ; 
Roger, Pastor and Deputy of Dauphiny ; 
Betrine, Preacher and Deputy ; 
Fauriel, alias Lassagne, Pastor and Secretary ; 
Maroger, Preacher and joint Secretary." 

The following is the letter of advice written at 
the same time to Da Plan by the Synod : — 

" We, Pastors and Preachers assembled in National 
Synod in the Vivarais, to our much honored and well- 
beloved brother, Monsieur Du Plan, our Deputy General. 

u Accompanying the considerations indicated in the 
instructions herewith sent, we renew, Monsieur, the request 
we have more than once presented touching the carrying out 
of your mission to the august and gracious Protestant 
Powers. 



Letter 6f advice from the Synod to Du Plan. 211 

u We further add the expression of our hope that you 
will not any longer delay the prosecution of this business, 
equally urgent and interesting, inasmuch as it appears to ns, 
Monsieur, that its further postponement would be an act of 
culpable neglect, in view ot the many necessities of our 
afflicted Churches. 

u We have reason to hope that the journey we now ask 
you to make will obtain for us much needed and timely help ; 
having a sure guarantee of the same in the fruits of previous 
solicitations to certain of our kind and illustrious friends. 

u What satisfaction would it not be, Monsieur, if through 
the grace of God, the success of your mission were to put a 
stop to the evils by which we are oppressed, and, which if 
God does not interfere, will speedily consummate our ruin? 
W r hat happiness would it not be for our dear brethren under 
the Cross, if, in addition to the amelioration of their 
sufferings, you were to obtain through your ever watchful 
care and faithful interposition the blessed deliverance for 
which we have so long sighed ? 

■ Our object, Monsieur, in this letter is to solicit you to 
raise a fund which may serve to relieve our wants, chiefly 
those of the Churches in connection with the maintenance 
of their Pastors ; and further, that you may endeavour to 
obtain the intercession of the Protestant Powers with our King 
on behalf of that liberty which is our sacred and rightful due. 

u Finally, Monsieur, permit us through you to beseech 
our dear and valued friends to examine the instructions we 
have sent you on this subject, and we shall be under a deep 
obligation to our friends, should these instructions be found 
defective, if they will prepare others more suitable to your 
purpose; to which, should they deem proper, we will append 
our signatures, if you will have the goodness to forward us 
the document. 

u W« fail not to offer our prayers to heaven on behalf of 
all who interest themselves in us, beseeching the Lord to 
bestow His richest blessing on your labours and your 
pious self. 



212 Certificate of the Venerable Company of Pastors. 

u In our Synodal Assembly, this twenty seventh day of 
September, One thousand seven hundred and thirty. 
" Signed : Cortiez, Pastor and Moderator ; 
A. Joui, Deputy ; 

Roger, Pastor and Deputy of Dauphiny ; ' 
Betrine, Preacher and Deputy ; 
Fauriel, alias Lassagne, Pastor and Secretary ;■ 
Maroger, Preacher and joint Secretary." 

Before leaving Geneva, the Deputy received the 
following certificate from the Venerable Company 
of Pastors of that Church : 

" We, Pastors of the Church of Geneva, affirm that 
M. Benjamin Du Plan, Nobleman, of Alais in Languedoc, 
of a stature somewhat above middle height, hair long, aged 
about forty years, of the same religion as ourselves, has quitted 
the Kingdom of France, in order to make an open profession 
of his faith, and that he has lived nearly seven years amongst 
us, during which time we have been greatly edified by his 
pure morality and his zeal for the advancement of the reign 
of Jesus Christ ; he has carefully attended our religious 
assemblies, and has celebrated the Lord's supper with us 
on every occasion that presented itself. For these reasons, 
and understanding that he is about- to travel in Holland, 
we recommend him to the grace of God and the good will 
of our brethren. 

u Given at Geneva, this 12th of April 1731. 

" Signed : Vial de Beaumont, Pastor; 

Turretin, Pastor ; 

Maurice, Pastor ; 

L. Tronchin, Pastor ; 

J. Bessonnet, Pastor ; 

De Roche, Pastor ; 

De la Rive, Pastor ; 

J. Sarrasin, Pastor ; 

Léger, Pastor ; 

Dentand, Pastor." 



Du Plan's last journey in Switzerland. 213 

Last journey in Switzerland, 1731. 

Furnished with these attestations, the Deputy 
made a last round in Switzerland as a prelude to 
his longer journey, which, though expected to extend 
only over a year, was not finished until fourteen 
had elapsed. It was not without encountering 
strong opposition from his friends that Du Plan set 
out. " You take great pains "', they said to him, 
" and spend much money, but secure very little 
result." They were, however, mistaken, for it may 
be said that Du Plan by means of the help he 
obtained either for the College at Lausanne, or for the 
Churches, prevented the extinction of Protestantism 
in France. Guided only by his zeal and devotion, 
he started, travelling sometimes on foot, sometimes 
on horseback, but always in the most economical 
manner. He proposed to Antoine Court that he 
should accompany him : 

" If you have any desire for a pilgrimage in Switzerland," 
he wrote to him, u I offer to share with you what I possess ; 
you know the extent of my purse and the object I have in 
view in going, if it please God, to Holland and England. If 
you have the courage to encounter perils, travel frequently 
on foot, and put up with meagre fare, you are my man, we 
will share our troubles and our pleasures." 

At Zurich, Du Plan made the acquaintance of 
M. De Wateville, a wealthy German baron who 
was deeply affected by all that the Deputy told him 
of the persecuted Protestants of France. This noble- 



214 He encounters M. de Wateville.. 

man desiring an interview with Antoine Court,Dir 
Plan furnished him with a letter of introduction : — 

"Monsieur de Wateville," he wrote to him, "lives in 
Germany ; his residence is near that of a nobleman — the 
Count de Zinzendorf— greatly distinguished for his piety. 
He is favorably disposed towards those who abandon their 
country for the truth and has made certain proposals, as to 
which you can confer with M. De Wateville in order to 
ascertain how they can be adapted to the wants of our 
refugees." 

(July 1731.) 

These proposals had for their object an extension, 
of hospitality to those whom persecution had driven 
from France. 

Du Plan simply passed through Zurich, though, 
he was assured that a longer sojourn in the city 
might have borne good fruit. He had been apprized 
of the arrival of the King of Sweden at Cassel, and 
he hastened to commence the duties of his foreign 
mission by an interview with that monarch. From 
Saint-Gall he wrote to Court asking him to obtain 
from M. le Professeur Polier a letter of recom- 
mendation to his Swedish Majesty. Step by step 
he arrived at Frankfort, and before setting out for 
Cassel communicated to his friend some impressions 
of his journey : — 

"I thank God that lam able to report myself in good 
health, though I have suffered at one time from heat and at 
another from rain, as well as from the fatigues inseparable 
from travelling. On my way I. have encountered persons of 
different character; some have entertained me with good 



Impressions gathered on kin journey. 215 

cheer, afterwards offering me money, while others have first 
entertained me badly and fleeced me afterwards. These things 
are dispensations of Providence to teach us to use the good 
with moderation and thankfulness and to suffer the evil 
with patience and resignation. 

u I visited all our friends in SAvitzerland, and have received 
promises of a continuance of their charity towards our 
brethren under the Cross; there is good reason to hope that 
they will carry out their promises in proper time and place, 
but let us pray that God may ever inspire them with virtuous 
sentiments and that He may bless them. 

U I intend leaving to-morrow forCassel, where I am led 
to hope I shall obtain some help. I shall still be in the 
keeping of God, though in a foreign land and amongst 
strangers. If I had followed the Rhine, I should soon have 
reached Holland, by a route sufficiently agreeable, and with 
persons whose company would have afforded me pleasure; 
I have not, however, undertaken this journey for pleasure 
but to procure help for my brethren. 

"To speak frankly, I have not much reason to hope that I 
shall be very successful in Germany, money being scarce and 
the people by no means favorably disposed. I am told that 
Holland is a wealthy country, but the large sum recently 
collected there for the Vaudois scarcely leads me to hope 
for much aid at present. For this reason I should prefer 
spending the winter in England even at the risk of my lungs. 
Should I meet with success in that country many persons will 
be greatly surprised, for the description I have received of 
the inhabitants both from English and French sources does 
not afford me any encouragement; they are depicted as a 
people excessively hard and miserly, devoted e ; .ther to their 
pleasures or to business, and consequently it is neither 
through my ability nor their charity that I hope to obtain 
succour for our fellow countrymen, but solely through the 
grace of God who can dissolve the rocks in water and the 
flints in oil when it is His pleasure to do so." 

(29th of September 1731.) 



216 His first residence in London. 

At length Du Plan arrived at Cassel, where he 
was presented to the King of Sweden, by whom he 
was received in a cordial manner and who gave him 
about eight hundred livres on behalf of the Churches. 
For the reasons assigned to Court he did not prolong 
his stay in Germany or pass through Holland, but 
directed his steps at once towards England, arriving 
in London towards the end of 1731. 

First residence in London 1731 — 1733. 

The trials and fatigues of the journey, and the 
cold and foggy climate of the North soon affected 
the health of the zealous Deputy, which was already 
very delicate. Nevertheless he spared no pains, but 
went about as well as he could, appealing either to 
his refugee co-religionists or to the Court. Alas! he 
had not been deceived as to the reception which had 
been predicted for him, it was everywhere cold and 
unkind. He wrote as follows to Court about a year 
after his arrival : — 

"I have no good news yet to tell you, but am waiting, 
always trusting entirely in God lest my hopes should be put 
to confusion. Faith is at such a low ebb in this country, 
charity so chilled and the poor so numerous, that unless God 
operates in a miraculous manner there is every appearance 
that my efforts will meet with but a poor result." 

(27th of November 1732.) 

Some declined to help on the ground that the 
sufferings of French Protestants were caused by 
their own mistaken policy, by their persistence in 



His discouraging reception there. 217 

holding illicit assemblies and in obstinately pre- 
ferring- persecution to exile, while others not rarely 
ilismissed roughly the troublesome applicant with- 
out wasting too many words on him. Let us hear 
Du Plan's own account of his first essay at raising- 
money in England. 

"I have visited persons here who are reported to be very 
wealthy and inspired with zeal for God. I thought they would 
joyfully embrace the opportunity of helping to publish the 
glad tidings of the Gospel in our country upon which God has 
commenced to look with a compassionate eye. After having 
explained the condition of our Churches and their needs in 
the most pathetic manner possible, I have been told distinctly 
and flatly that missionaries were in the habit of consuming 
nearly all the money they collected. I certainly did not 
expect so harsh a reception. I know not if I changed 
countenance, but I felt somewhat irritated and replied 
firmly that I advocated the interests of the Church from 
love and not from necessity, that I already had sufficient, 
thank God, not alone for myself, but to help a neighbour, 
and that it was perfectly indifferent to me whether I ate my 
bread in England or in Geneva, where I had long remained 
without causing inconvenience to anyone. These words 
completely changed the tone and bearing of my discourteous, 
unrefined millionaires, and there is one who in order to 
atone for his fault has given evidences of his charity when- 
ever I have afforded him the opportunity, while I on my side, 
with a view to justify my professions of generosity and 
devotion, and to prove my independence, have disbursed a 
considerable portion of the money sent to me by my relations ; 
there is no present I have received which I have not in one 
way or another returned two fold, and this has produced a 
very good result for the cause which I advocate, while at 
the same time it has gained me a respect which wUl render 
me more capable of serving our churches and my frien ds 



218 His perseverance is crowned with success. 

also, both in time and place. I say "time and place" 
because it is necessary to use discretion, otherwise my 
efforts may be defeated like the husbandman's, who, after 
he has sown and laboured with diligence, endeavours to 
reap the harvest before the grain is ripe. " 
(January 1734.) 

Let us, however, add that Du Plan received some 
encouragement towards the end of his sojourn in 
London. He himself acquaints us with the fact. 

u I do not intend at present to make a long stay in this 
city. I have canvassed it for fifteen or sixteen months 
with little result, but God has at length touched the hearts 
of a few people of importance who have assured me that 
my journey shall not be without its fruits , I have reason to 
believe what they say, and have accordingly indicated to 
them the persons to whom they should transmit their 
contributions and from whom they will not fail to receive 
hearty thanks for their good will, while I content myself 
with praying that God may continue to sustain them in these 
good intentions. I have however encountered gainsayers 
who denounce the asssemblies and moralize on misfortune,, 
but I hope soon to overcome their objections." 

(April 1733.) 

At last after twenty months of urgent solicita- 
tions and petitions to the Court, Grod touched the 
heart of the King of England, in answer to the prayers 
of Du Plan. Already had the Deputy gained over to 
his side the Queen and the Chevalier Schaub, the 
latter even became one of his most devoted friends. 
The King granted Du Plan an audience, listened 
graciously to his recital of the misfortunes of the 
French Protestants, and most generously presented 






His generosity towards the refugees. 219 

him with a gift of one thousand pounds, promising,.. 
even, to make the subscription a yearly one. The 
Queen referred him to the Bishop of London for 
receipt of the Royal bounty. 

Although occupied with the general concerns of 
the Church, Du Plan did not neglect the interests of 
his friends. He laboured assiduously, though not 
always with success, to gather literary materials for 
Antoine Court who at that time was engaged in 
writing the history of the Protestant Church. 

He also sought help for the refugees who had fled 
from their country and found themselves in London 
wretched and destitute. One day there arrived a 
M. Gras, a church elder. Du Plan had known him 
in the South, where his house had always afforded a 
welcome to the preachers. His wife had made her 
escape to 'Geneva, and he in traversing Savoy had 
had the misfortune to lose his two horses. He arrived 
in London "without a coat or shirt to his back, and 
moneyless.'" Du Plan received him at his house, and 
wrote to Geneva begging of his friends there to 
interest themselves on behalf of the wife of his guest. 

u She writes to me from Geneva, where she is a refugee, 
that she has sold her clothes to buy bread, of which she is 
often in need, and that her eldest daughter who is with her 
is sick. They receive three florins a week from M. Vial, but 
this is not enough to sustain life. Could you receive them 
at Lausanne for a time until we can arrange to place them 
at Berne or Zurich? or here, if the husband can get into 
business ? I shall be specially obliged if you will render 
them all the aid in your power." 

(November 1732.) 



220 The death of his father. 

We draw particular attention to this fact as a 
proof of the benevolence and generosity with which 
the Nobleman welcomed the most obscure of the 
unfortunates. 

It was in the midst of this active and useful life 
that Du Plan suddenly heard of the death of his 
father, as well as that of his uncle Lèches, neither 
of whom had ever failed to evince their affection 
for him, and their interest in his occupation during 
the entire period of his absence from France. 

The death of his father completely frustrated Du 
Plan's hopes for the future. The fact that he was 
exiled deprived him of all rights of inheritance. 
Having foreseen this misfortune he had several times 
endeavoured to provide against it, and in 1731 had 
caused his father's marriage to be legalised; the same, 
owing to the troubles of the times, not having been 
regularly solemnised. He had hoped that his father 
Avould have bequeathed his propert)^ to their intimate 
friend, the Baron of Alais, by whom it could have 
been transferred later to the rightful heir. But death 
overtook Seigneur Bibot Du Plan before he had 
time to carry into execution his good intentions on 
behalf of his son. 

It is touching to witness with what calm Christian 
resignation the disinherited son bore this heavy 
trial : — 

" God has ordained all these things," he wrote to Court, 
" in order to detach my affections from this world, and I only 
ask grace to bow with submission to His will. I ara a 
stranger and sojourner in the land, and desire only what is 



He leaves London. 221 

necessary, seeing that ' we brought nothing into this world 
and it is certain we can carry nothing out.' My principal 
and almost only object should be to please my Father who 
lives for ever, and who will apportion to me an inheritance 
which neither the power nor cunning of my enemies can ever 
take away from me, trusting that God will not permit me 
to be so unfortunate as willingly to suffer deprivation of this 
inheritance through infidelity to His service." 
(May 1732.) 

Thanks to the kindness of a few of his relatives 
and friends, specially to M. Fabre and M. Trélis, of 
Alais, Du Plan saved something from the wreck of 
his fortune. M. de Lencizole, his cousin who 
inherited the property, cordially tendered bis 
services which at a later date Du Plan was 
compelled to accept. Deprived of further aid 
from his father, the disinherited nobleman gathered 
together a little capital, four thousand francs,, 
which he deposited with a banker, his excellent 
friend, M. Graussen, of Geneva. 

He left London after a sojourn in the capital 
of England of about two years, terminating his 
residence there more satisfactorily than he had 
commenced it. 

" After having endured many hardships in England and 
taken great pains without witnessing any result of my 
labours, God be praised my journey has at length been 
successful; I am unable to tell you by writing what I hope 
to tell you by word of mouth." 

(November 1733.) 



222 Journey in Holland. 



Journey in Holland, 1733-1735. 

Du Plan had a perilous passage to the Hague, 
where he arrived towards the end of October 1733. 
He was compelled to keep his room for the first 
three months after he landed, in order to recover 
from his fatigue as well as to restore his shattered 
health, the climate of the North having caused him 
to suffer considerably in his throat and lungs. 

As soon as his health permitted him to move 
about, the Deputy of the Churches put himself into 
communication with several refugee families, and 
especially with the Mesdemoiselles De Dangeau, 
daughters of the Marquis De Dangeau, he to whom 
Boileau dedicated his famous satire on the Nobility. 
His efforts in the Confederated Provinces were more 
successful than in England. He secured from the 
Government a donation of two thousand florins, 
payable yearly for five years, besides obtaining 
help for the prisoners in the Tower of Constance 
and the galley-slaves at Marseilles. Thanks to his 
intervention the States entered into negotiation 
with Louis XV., and procured the freedom of twenty 
of these unfortunates, who went to settle in Holland, 
where they received an annuity. 

Du Plan obtained access to the Prince of 
Prussia and the Princess of Orange, during a journey 
they were making through the Hague, and was 
munificently presented with one thousand florins. 

The following is Du Plan's résumé of his collec- 



Zïïs success there. 223 

tiens in Holland during the two years he resided 
there : — 

1st. An annuity of two thousand florins extend- 
ing over a period of five years. 

2nd. Another of five hundred florins. 

3rd. Another of three hundred florins. 

4th. The release of twenty galley slaves with an 
annuity of three hundred florins for ten of their 
number, and two hundred and fifty florins for the 
remaining ten. 1 

He unhesitatingly refused every present that was 
offered to him personally, as he had hitherto done in 
Switzerland, England and elsewhere ; not that his 
pecuniary circumstances were by any means 
brilliant, far from it, but from delicacy of conscience. 
Since the loss of his inheritance the Deputy had 
lived with the strictest economy. 

" I am like a vessel grounded on a sand bank ; it there 
come not soon a high tide and a fair wind I run the risk of 
remaining here long enough to starve my two companions - 
who, although they have for some time existed on meagre 
fare, are faithful to me, not knowing indeed which way to 
turn. As for myself, I have long given up wine and been 
reduced to beer. Everything is dear ; my room costs me 
about equal to ten francs per month of Geneva money and 
the rest in proportion." 

(July 1734.) 



1. Statement submitted to the Arbiters. 

2. Gas and the preacher Chapel. 



224 Journey in Germany. 

Occasionally he tried his lack by putting into 
the lottery, but with no more success in Holland 
than in Geneva. 

" Fortune does not favour me by chance. It is necessary 
for me to seek a fortune which has its foundation laid on 
wisdom and virtue, and it is God alone who can and will by 
His grace impart the wisdom and virtue requisite to render 
us happy, independently of worldly riches or glory." 

(July 1734.) 

Journey in Germany, 1735 — 1737. 

Du Plan quitted Holland, in October 1735, for 
Prussia but he failed to discover there the same 
generosity. 

"I have been here two months," he wrote to his friend, 
" and notwithstanding my efforts I see as yet no result. As 
I do not place my reliance on human means, except as God 
blesses them, I can afford to wait. " 

(6th of December 1735.) 

After a time he began to weary of his journeys: 

"I am desirous of returning into Switzerland as soon as 
I can. I am tired of travelling about the world and have an 
ardent wish to see my old friends again." 

He endeavoured to obtain an interview with 
Frederick William, King of Prussia, but his Majesty 
having his whole thoughts engrossed with the army 
paid but little attention to the sad tale of the Deputy; 
another reason was that William being in alliance 
with Louis XV. could not render aid to men whom 
the court looked upon as rebels. 



Du Plan's aunt and sister arrive at Geneva. 225 

Du Plan, in no way discouraged, returned to the 
charge and wrote again to the King. This time his 
Majesty promised to intercede with France on behalf 
of the galley slaves and offered to receive into his 
kingdom those who wished to take refuge there. He 
replied to the petition of the Deputy of the Synods 
in the following terms: 

u Monsieur Du Plan, 
"Your letter of the 31st of May has been duly received. 
In reply I beg to state tnat if you are in a position to indicate 
to me a certain number of French families who desire to 
establish themselves here, I will give them a hearty welcome 
and vouchsafe to them everything that can be demanded in 
reason, but as to the propositions you meditate submitting 
to me you must rest assured that I have good reasons for 
refusing to consider them. 

" Yours very affectionately 

"F. Guillaume." 
"Potsdam, the 8th of June 1736." 

Despairing of success at Court, Du Plan ad- 
dressed himself to private individuals. This delicate 
and troublesome operation was facilitated by friends 
and countrymen whom he found living in Berlin. 

It was about this time that he heard of the 
arrival of his aunt Lèches and his sister at Geneva. 
He wrote to them at once. 

"Berlin, the 1st of May 1736. 
"Mesdemoiselles, my much honoied dear mother and sister, 
" Praised be the Lord ! I learn from a letter, that our 
good friend M. le pasteur Vial has had the kindness to write 

15 



226 He addresses them a letter of welcome. 

to me, that you have safely arrived at Geneva. The only 
thing that has somewhat lessened my joy is that my dear 
mother is indisposed ; I trust, however, if it please God, 
that she will soon recover. It will be a satisfaction to me to 
have news from you as soon as possible, as I shall be uneasy 
till I hear. 

" Did my duty and even my temporal interests (as our 
good friend will better explain to you) not impel me to 
remain longer in these parts, I should hasten to join you at 
Geneva ; but it is essential that I postpone this gratification 
in order that my conscience may not reproach me, and that 
my own personal affairs do not suffer complication. The 
latter I hope, with the help of God, so to arrangeas to enable 
us to live on our dividends without trenching on our little 
capital. I have asked M. Vial, to whom I am under a 
thousand obligations, the recollection of which will be ever 
present with me, to restore to you the notes I confided to his 
care during your absence, and you will do well to seek his 
counsel, as it is the best you can follow. As you are now 
in a free country, I will write to you as often as you wish, 
only give me your address, for it is unfair to put our friends 
to expense or trouble when we can avoid doing so. I have 
received many tokens of kindness from our dear country- 
woman Madame Dumas ', whom I look upon as a mother ; 
I am delighted to hear you are staying at her house and that 
you have no intention of leaving. As she makes me her heir, 
I, in return, place all my possessions at her service. Live 
together and spare nothing which can contribute to your 
health and comfort without consideration for me, otherwise 
I shall be disappointed. I thank God that I am at present 
in very good health, being almost entirely free from an 
affection of the throat which has troubled me for nearly 
three years : the air of Berlin has been conducive to my 



1. This was Du Plan's first nurse, for whom he entertained the 
affection of a son; she was a refugee at Geneva, before he arrived 
there. 



//< pi t if io>t* the Court on behalf of the galley slaves, 227 

recovery. The family of M. Meynadier> whom I frequently 
see, are persons of eminence ; they have shown me much 
kindness and they greet you. I am also charged to convey 
the salutations of M. de la Motte, M. de Lamelouse, Mlle de 
Bandas and the venerable M. de Lancizole, uncle to the 
inheritor of my father's property, but who has many merits. 
It is a pleasure to me to meet here persons from our country, 
as it is for you to meet at Geneva the Mesdames de Lavabre 
and Baudan, the Messieurs Meynadier and their wives, 
Messieurs Gasc, Icarde and Felinesse, all of whom I beseech 
you to salute when you see them. With respect and 
gratitude I unceasingly commend myself to the good will 
and the prayers of the three whom I esteem and love 
so tenderly and whose very humble and affectionate brother 
and servant I am. 

"Du Plax." 

Before leaving Berlin, Du Plan prepared for 
the Minister of State a list of the galley-slaves and 
prisoners in order that he might make still another 
attempt to procure their liberation. That he might 
do this the more effectually, he endeavoured to 
induce some other Power to join its efforts to those 
of Prussia. 

u After having used all the means in our power, we must 
leave the rest to a kind Providence which overrules alike 
events and the hearts of men to its own wise purposes. 
I feel assured that I shall be able to procure some little help 
to comfort them in their distress ; I should have been very 
successful here, were it not that business is so bad, that poverty 
so much abounds, and that so many have been ruined by the 
serious inundations of which you have perhaps heard ; 
entire villages have been swept away and the king of Prussia 
himself has lost several millions '." 

1. Du Plan's Letter to his aunt dated from Magdeburg, 12th of 
Aug. 1736. 



228 Journey in Denmark. 

Du Plan after leaving Berlin visited Magde- 
burg, where he encountered some fellow country- 
men from Nismes ; he then went to Frankfort, 
Leipsic and Hamburg, and during these pilgrimages 
he obtained help for the galley-slaves and prisoners,, 
the Protestant Church of Hamburg alone giving 
him about one hundred and fifty crowns. 

Journey in Denmark, 1737. 

Pursuing our journey northward we find Du 
Plan, in May, 1737, at Copenhagen. Grreat success 
awaited him at the Church in that city, where certain 
of the faithful, uniting with the Court, contributed 
about fifteen hundred crowns. It was in Copen- 
hagen that he learned the success of his efforts on 
behalf of the galley slaves, twelve of whom, owing 
to the joint intervention of Prussia and England, had 
been happily set free. These successes, however,, 
were not obtained without great exertion. 

"I wend my way through the Protestant Christian world; 
I visit all the Churches of our Communion ; I make the 
acquaintance of our brethren scattered throughout the 
nations. I address myself specially to those who have been 
received into neighbouring States, in a spirit ot charity,, 
offering them the opportunity of exercising charity in their 
turn towards those who yet groan beneath the Cross, and 
who are waging a glorious warfare on behalf ot our great 
King, Jesus Christ. Some listen and &how sympathy for the 
sufferings of their brethren, while others turn a deaf ear, and 
by actual importunity alone can I extract anything from them; 
whether owing to want of ability or willingness on their part r 



Du Plan sympathies ivith Court m his affliction. 229 

I cannot tell ; but though I have not reaped a large harvest, 
I have, at least, the consolation of having everywhere 
secured gleanings not to be despised. It is due to the 
Churches and to those who control them to say that if they 
have not always responded to ray appeals it is because they 
have amongst them many poor whom it is their obvious 
•duty to relieve betore they assist strangers." 
(Copenhagen, 15th of December 1736.) 

On learning that Court had been tried by 
•domestic affliction as well as by confiscation of his 
property in France, Du Plan evinced great sympathy 
lor him, and after having compared his friend's posi- 
tion with his own he added: 

"As regards myself, never having had children, I know 
not what it is to lose them, nor how far the joy oi having 
had them tor a time can compensate for the sorrow their 
loss may occasion ; but with respect to worldly goods, I 
abandoned all when I came away from France, not knowing 
■whether I should ever recover anything. God has, however, 
by His grace enabled me to gather together sufficient to 
prevent my becoming burdensome to any, and to prosecute 
jny travels without too much difficulty. I am perfectly 
willing to employ not only the interest of my little capital 
but what remains of the principal itself, and even to sacrifice 
my life, if it be God's will to require it, on behalf of Hi» 
«Church." 

(Copenhagen, 21st of April 1737.) 

The only hope left to Du Plan after having 
sacrificed his all for the Churches, was that he might 
receive proper compensation for his labours. The 
committee at Geneva took this view and even gave 
expression to the same through the medium of 



230 Journey in Sweden. 

Turrettin, one of its most distinguished members, 
who in addressing Du Plan in acknowledgement of 
the receipt of three thousand livres,, said : 

"My colleagues and I praise God for the happy issue of 
your diplomacy, prayiug that our gracious Father may be 
pleased to protect you and by His infinite mercy to bless 
your labours in the future as effectually as in the past . . . 
I refer you to M. Vial for further details, contenting myself 
by assuring you of the interest we all take in everything that 
concerns you, and of our firm conviction that the expenses- 
you incur ought to be made good to you. l " 



Journey in Siveden, 1737 , 

In 1737 Du Plan passed on into Sweden and 
came to Stockholm. The King received him very 
favorably and generously granted him an annuity of 
two hundred crowns. Even the Senate of this 
kingdom voted him fifty ducats. 

The Deputy of the Synods having now to all 
appearance arrived at the end of his long pilgrimage, 
many reasons induced him to return to Geneva; both 
his aunt and his sister were desirous of seeing him 
again; his health was injured by over fatigue; and, 
finally, he desired to embrace his dear relatives and 
friends as well as to enjoy a little repose. GTod 
refused him the consolation; at one time the incle- 
mency of the weather and at another the interests 
of the Churches interfered with his return. 



l. Letter from Turrettin, dated Geneva, 3rd of December, 1736. 



I in I'ln >t revisits Copenhagen and Hamburg. 231 

u Much as I wish to come and see you," he wrote from 
Stockholm to his aunt and sister, u I fear I shall be unable 
to do so this year, as the season is advanced and I am a 
long way from Geneva. It is also necessary for me to 
revisit Holland if I wish to sustain that which I have so 
happily begun there. I may also be detained on my journey 
in certain towns of Germany, where I have formed acquaint- 
ances calculated to be of service to our brethren. I beseech 
you not to consider me unkind, because I feel it an urgent 
duty to fulfil my commission ; rest afterwards ! " 

(Stockholm, 24th of August, 1737.) 

" I wish still more than you," he wrote again to his 
aunt and sister, " to arrive at the end of my pilgrimage, for 
I am weary of wandering about and of going to and fro in 
the world. It is only a strong sense of duty and a feeling 
of compulsion that enables me to overcome the fatigues 
I encounter on the way." 

(Hamburg, November, 1737.) 



Return to London, 1738. 

Towards the end of 1737, Du Plan left Sweden 
on hi.s return to Holland, and visited for the second 
time Copenhagen and Hamburg, in which places he 
strengthened in their charitable sentiments the bene- 
factors he had already procured for the Churches. 
On his journey he addressed a statement to the 
King of Prussia, His Majesty having placed at 
Du Plan's disposal two hundred crowns " for the 
relief of the oppressed poor." l 

In January, 1738, Du Plan was at the Hague, 
whence he addressed a letter to his friend : 

1. Letter signed Gram, Frieden berg, 4th of Oct., 1737. 



232 He returns to London. 

"I reached the Hague some days ago, after having 
visited the countries of the Goths and Vandals. You have 
tokens that God has given me grace to glean something 
everywhere, even though I have not been able to reap 
a harvest. The commencement is always difficult, but in 
time we shall make progress. I have had negotiations 
with men whom I have had to press with importunity 
before I could obtain anything from them, while others have 
given cheerfully. Cost what it may, I hope before the end 
of this year, if it please God, notwithstanding lukewarm 
charity, to put the whole thing on such a footing as to 
sustain itself and produce a certain annual income, small 
though it may be." 



CHAPTER XVIII. 

ACTIVITY OF DU PLAN IN LONDON. 

1738—1744. 

Du Plan was preparing to set out for Geneva 
when an unforeseen occurrence all at once changed 
his plans. On his arrival at the Hague he heard 
that the Queen of England, his benefactress, was 
dead, that the society she had been instrumental in 
founding was dissolved, and that the King, in spite 
of His Majesty's promises, had not renewed the 
annual gift. But this was not all ; he heard that 
the English Court had discontinued altogether, for 
a year past, the annual payment of eight thousand 
pounds, which since the Revocation had been 
granted for the use of necessitous refugees. After 
having written on the subject with urgent solicitude, 
but without result, Du Plan unhesitatingly resolved 



He apprizes his aunt and sister thereof. 233 

to sacrifice his cherished project of returning to 
Switzerland and to start instead for London with a 
view to put new life into his almost defunct work. 
It was from London that he wrote to his aunt 
and sister to apprize them of the sad news. 

" Mesdemoiselles, iny much honored Aunt and my dear 
Sister, 

a You have no doubt already heard of the death of the 
Queen of England ; it was through the instrumentality of this 
pious and illustrious Princess that I secured from His 
Majesty the King a kind of annual pension. It appeared to 
be so assured that I never anticipated the necessity would 
so soon arise for me to cross the sea, and I consequently 
deferred doing so until the latest moment ; but finding that 
my reiterated appeals drew forth no response, and that I had 
lost my estimable protectress and mediator with the King, 
I came here about two months since in order to set matters 
straight, a work of great difficulty and, according to some 
persons, of absolute impossibility. 

" I admit tbat I am somewhat perplexed, inasmuch as 
I recollect well that I have promised to rejoin you as soon 
as possible, and I am constantly encountering unexpected 
difficulties and delays. If the sum in question were trifling 
I would have sacrificed it for the pleasure of seeing you, but 
the business is too important to permit me to treat it with 
neglect. Difficult as it may be, I shall leave no stone 
unturned to accomplish my work in time to enable me to 
visit Geneva this year. I am so weary and fatigued with 
my travels and the incidental worry and excitement, that if 
the important interests at stake, and for which I began this 
campaign, had not sustained me, I should long ago have 
abandoned my task." 

(June 1738) « 

1. Extracted from the family papers. 



234: He discovers that his work in London is rained. 

When Du Plan arrived at London he was not 
long in discovering that his work was, so to speak, 
ruined, and that it would be necessary to go again 
over the old ground ; nevertheless he did not lose 
courage, but renewed his efforts with the King and 
with other personages of wealth and distinction. 
The difficulties he encountered on his first essay 
have been already recounted; they were none the 
less on his second attempt, and after eight months 
of unfruitful labour he wrote to his friend as 
follows : — 

" For more than eight months have I been labouring here 
without result, except incessant toil and the expenditure of 
much money. If I did not regard human agency as of 
secondary importance I should lose all hope. ' 

(January 1739). 

Ultimately, after great perseverance and endless 
importunity, Du Plan obtained an audience of the 
King of England, and secured from this Majesty a 
fresh grant of one thousand pounds with promise of 
similar payment every year. 

Although so actively occupied abroad he con- 
cerned himself none the less Avith the vicissitudes of 
the Protestant Church of France. 

His correspondence with the preachers kept him 
well informed of the misfortunes of the Huguenots,. 
a faithful description of whose sufferings he com- 
mitted to paper and in this way obtained subscrip- 
tions on their behalf. In one of these appeals he 
writes as follows : — 

" Notwithstanding that God, in order to try His Churchy 



He publishes an appeal on I» half of the Protestants. 235 

as well as to punish His servants for their forgetfulness of 
His spiritual and temporal gifts, has permitted the Edict of 
Nantes to be revoked, our Pastors to be exiled, our flocks to 
be scattered, our temples to be razed, and persecution to 
become rampant in a thousand different forms, yet the Lord 
has not allowed the Light of His Gospel to be utterly extin- 
guished in France ; He h?.s always raised up persons, zealous É 
for His glory, who have proclaimed His Word in spite of 
unjust decrees and violent persecutions. 

u These servants of God have formed Churches in various 
Provinces, specially Lower Languedoc, the Cevennes, Viva- 
rais, and Dauphiny; the Churches have their Pastors and 
their Elders and meet in yearly Synod, but are under a 
tyrannical yoke, similar to that of the Churches of the first 
three centuries in the reigns of heathen Emperors, or to that 
of the early Christians who, destitute of temples, were 
constrained to hold their meetings for religious worship in 
caves, deserts and woods, in secret, and often at night time 

"The greater number of the Preachers, after having 
instructed, consoled, and edified the people for a time, have 
sealed with their blood the truths they have proclaimed and 
have submitted to martyrdom not only with fortitude but 
joy, while many of their hearers have suffered, and are yet 
suffering with admirable constancy, for their profession of 
the faith, either on galleys or in prisons. 

" It is on behalf of these willing confessors sinking beneath 
their load of suffering, bound in fetters with all sorts ot male- 
factors, or shut up in horrible dungeons, that a subscription 
has been set on foot by charitably disposed persons who 
concern themselves in the froissure de Joseph, 1 and who 
sympathize with those who are prisoners for the Gospel's 
sake as if they themselves were in bonds, for they look upon 
these fellow sufferers as members of the mystical body of 
Jesus Christ, our recognised Master, King, Saviour and God, 
to whom we look tor our highest happiness. 

1. The hurting of Joseph. See Psalm CV., v. 17, 18. 



236 He describes the Tower of Constance. 

"At the present moment the number of galley slaves is 
eighteen; of prisoners confined in the fort of Brescou, which 
is surrounded by the sea, ten ; twenty-two are confined in 
the Tower of Constance, without reckoning seventeen women 
who were recently arrested near Nismes on their return from 
attending a religious assembly, and are now under sentence 
ot perpetual imprisonment in the said tower. 

"It has also been recently announced that two ministers 
in Vivarais, named Veruey and Lassagne, were shot while 
flying before a detachment of soldiers; and further, that in 
the same locality seven women have been arrested, one of 
them being the wife of M. de Lassagne, a lady who expects 
shortly to be confined. The fate of all these victims of per- 
secution will be imprisonment according to the decrees. 

B The Tower of Constance, situated at Aigues-Mortes, a 
town of Lower Languedoc, is a dreadful prison to which 
those alone are sent who are doomed to die a slow and 
lingering death. Aigues-Mortes was once a port, but the sea 
has left it, and commerce and manufacture have deserted it, 
Bound its ancient walls stretch dismal swamps and barren 
fields, the air is filled with a deadly malaria, there is no 
wholesome water within a distance of two leagues; 
funerals are frequent in the city, and its few surviving inha- 
bitants, appear to be in perpetual mourning for departed 
friends. But wretched as is Aigues-Mortes the Tower of 
Constance is still more miserable. Into that abode ot woe 
the outward air penetrates only by a few holes pierced 
through its massive walls, the poor prisoners, shut out from 
the light ol the sun, are immured as in a living tomb whose 
terrible monotony of gloom and cold neither the brightness 
of spring nor the warmth of summer ever varies. When 
seized by illness there is none to minister to them, and in the 
case of most a life of severe suffering is speedily terminated 
by an eagerly welcomed death. 

" There are some, however, who in spite of their suffer- 
ings, survive in this horrible den for ten, fifteen or twenty 
years, owing either to their strength of constitution, or to 



He portrays the severity of the persecution. 237 

the will of God in preserving them in order that they may 
be for others living examples of constancy, piety, and virtue. 
Among the galley slaves are found both men and women of 
all ages, from twenty to eighty-four years, that being the age 
of the father of M. Durand, the faithful minister who suffered 
martyrdom about nine years ago. 

"It is an undoubted fact that except in certain towns 
where trade is brisk, the people of France are very poor ; 
but besides poverty and physical sufferings the Protestants 
have long been sorely tried through the entrapping of their 
children, through arbitrary impositions, and through 
confiscations and fines, which have so impoverished our 
people that they are utterly unable to succour their captive 
co-religionists. 

u Twenty-five young lads have been placed in a Catholic 
school at Alais and forty young yirls have been shut up in 
a convent at Anduze, a town in the Cevennes, without 
counting other children or adults who have been carried off 
and incarcerated in neighbouring provinces where the zeal 
for persecution is from time to time revived. 

u All these statements may be verified by letters and 
attestations from persons worthy of implicit confidence. 
They will, without doubt, move the hearts of the pious and 
charitable to contribute to the relief of their brethren and 
sisters in Christ a portion of the worldly goods with which 
God has blessed them, while the faithful confessors them- 
selves, imbued with a true and lively sense of gratitude, will 
offer their earneot prayers to God on behalf of their generous 
benefactors. 

" The prayers ot the faithful when offered in earnestness 
are potent tor the securing of Heaven's blessings and for 
averting the threatened judgments of the Almighty. 

u Convinced by the many letters we receive, and lrom the 
testimony of trustworthy persons who are willing to con- 
tribute to this laudable object, of the truth of our statements 
it is with pleasure that we append our signatures. 

« London, . . . 1739." 



238 He interests himself on behalf of the Confessors. 

This appeal met with a favorable hearing and 
Du Plan had the pleasure of receiving many gifts 
which he transmitted to his brethren on the King's 
galleys, and to his sisters in the Tower of Constance. 
Chapel, on his return to England, was entrusted with 
letters of thanks from some of the faithful confessors. 
In reading the original of these letters disco- 
loured by age, written within the massive walls of 
the Tower of Constance by two women who had 
grown old in their imprisonment, or on the galley 
" Heroine " by two heroic convicts, we have felt 
the tears rise to our eyes. Though the writing, as 
to style and the orthography, is that of persons not 
highly educated, the sentiments are elevated and 
dignified. The first letter is signed by two pri- 
soners named Yigne and Soleyrol, natives of Alais. 
Jacquette Yigne was forty-five years old when, on 
the 22nd of September, 1726, she was arrested on 
account of her religion and shut up in the Tower; 
Anne Soleyrol, the daughter of a baker, was aged 
twenty three years when, on the 2nd of January, 
1738, she was imprisoned for having attended an 
assembly. In the register recording the conduct of 
the prisoners we read under date of the year 1745. 
" Jacquette Vigne. Belief unchanged." 
" Anne Soleyrol. Belief unchanged." 
Women of this stamp alone were capable of en- 
graving on a paving stone in the Tower of Constance 
the touching, soul-inspiring, and courage-giving 
word, which yet remains : Résistez ! 

Jacquette Vigne and Anne Soleyrol, grateful to 



Letter from tiro prisoners in the Totrer of Constance. 239 

Pu Plan for the interest which, while in a distant 
country, lie had manifested in the poor captives, wrote 
to him on the 27th of March, 1740, as follows : 

"Monsieur, 
" We have been honored by the receipt of your kind and 
sympathetic letter and deeply affected by the pious exhor- 
tations you have been good enough to offer us ; we regard 
them as a favor from Heaven, as it is thereby evident that 
God will never abandon us, since he raises up persons so 
respected as yourself for our help, notwithstanding the 
cruelty of our enemies who look upon us as the offscourings of 
the earth : and not our enemies only, but many who ought to 
give us the right hand of fellowship, and it is this which 
adds to the hardship of our captivity : but we hope, Monsieur, 
through your charitable and zealous exertions and your 
terveut prayers, that under God's blessing we shall receive 
some mitigation of our sufferings, and that many pious 
persons will follow your example. While very humbly 
grateful, Monsieur, for your charitable solicitude, we pray 
that you may have grace to continue the same, so long as it 
shall please the Lord to prolong our imprisonment. The 
Messieurs of Alais have kindly written to say that you have 
forwarded some help for us, but we have not yet received it. 
We are in all thirty-one prisoners, mostly widows and 
orphans, and you are not, Monsieur, unacquainted with our 
wants. In commending ourselves to your devout prayers, 
and beseeching you to ask tor us those of the Church also, 
we on our side will ever supplicate the Divine Bemg to 
bestow upon you every prosperity and His most precious 
blessings, both spiritual and temporal. These are the wishes, 
Monsieur, of those who have the honor to subscribe them- 
selves, with much respect and regard, your very humble and 
obedient servants, the prisoners, " Vigne. 

"SOLEYROL." 

In the Tower of Constance, Aigues-Mortes, the 27th of 
March, 1740. 



240 Letter from two galley slaves at Marseilles. 

The following is the letter of the two galley- 
slaves at Marseilles. Villevaire had during twenty 
five years been one of Roger's most devoted com- 
panions in work. For a long time he had fulfilled, 
the office of reader in the assemblies, as well as 
catechist and preacher, and he had been appointed 
by several of the Provincial Synods to the post of 
Secretary. He was arrested on the 15th of June, 
1736, and condemned to a life on the galleys. l 

"For Messieurs La Plaine and Du Plan. 

"Messieurs and much honored brethren in our Lord 
Jesus Christ, 

"I have received the letter of the 25th of October, 1739,. 
with which you have been pleased to honor me, and I learn 
from it with especial pleasure that you are both in the enjoy- 
ment of good health. God grant that the present letter may 
find you in the same condition. All the confessors are well. 
Praised be the Lord for all your charitable exertions on our 
behalf, and for which we return you our thanks. God will 
help you in your work and reward you for your labours; He 
can do both, for He commands and it is done. Darkness 
flies before the light of His word. We feel confident that 
your efforts will not be fruitless for, while you on your side 
are describing our captivity and the causes of our sufferings 
to persons who are ignorant of these things and whose 
compassion may thereby be moved in our favour, we on 
our side are so humbled by God as to be incapable even if we 
wished of rejecting their kind offices; we find ourselves 
comforted under our afflictions by their beneficence and may, 
perhaps, — what we should like still better — be delivered by 
their efforts from our bonds. 



l. See the interesting details of his life and capture as given in- 
Jacques Roger, by D. Benoit, p. 149, 152. 



Letter from two galley slaves at Marseilles. 241 

"Having, by the grace of God, made a Christian pro- 
fession and become enrolled in the spiritual militia, we are 
bound to be faithful soldiers and to submit to the Lord's 
will: our chains are where lie has placed them, and it is our 
duty to bear patiently all the sufferings by which we are 
tried for the sake of the Gospel, until it shall please Him to 
release U3. How do we know whether God, in permitting 
this long persecution, and in permitting new captives to take 
the places of the old ones as fast as these are called away, 
does not intend continually to reprove the lukewarm, the 
worldly, the cowardly and the timid who have turned away 
from the battle and abandoned the truth. The fancied 
wisdom of men is confounded by the unerring wisdom of 
God. Our persecutors think to dishonor and disgrace us by 
putting us with malefactors and inflicting on us the same 
hardships, but in this we are honored of God who gives us 
cause for rejoicing in that He counts us worthy to bear shame 
for the name of Jesus. 

"God has predestinated us to be conformed to the image 
of His Son, that suffering with Him we may be also glorified 
together, knowing that Christ, who went through tribulations, 
as was spoken by the prophets, and who has entered into 
His glory, has told us that we shall be reviled and perse- 
cuted tor His name's sake. We are not to look for happiness 
in this life, it is reserved for the future. Our life is hid with 
Christ in God, but when Christ who is our lite shall appear 
then shall we also appear with him in glory. Let us remain 
satisfied for the present with the promise God gives us of an 
everlasting felicity, while we witness in our own time and in 
our own persons the accomplishment of the persecutions 
with which faithful Christians must expect to be tried. And 
let us also strengthen ourselves in our confession of the true 
faith, trusting, and praying that God in His mercy may give 
us strength to persevere unto the end. 

a Please present our humble respects to M. de Vernon and 
his sons who, in passing through Marseilles, gave us proofs 
of their charity. God will reward them for their good deeds 



242 Death of the King of Prussia. 

„ We desire our affectionate respects to Madame D'Es- 
tampes and her family, also to Monsieur Ofrère, and to all 
who are endeavouring to strike off our chains or to help ua 
in our sad condition, and be assured, Messieurs and brethren 
in Christ, that I am with heartfelt affection, your very humble 
and obedient servant 

" Ville vaire." 

Another confessor adds the following lines to 
this letter : 

" Monsieur, 
" I take advantage ot the remainder of the paper in order 
to wish you many happy years and much prosperity in this 
world, and a glorious entrance into Paradise when your 
earthly course is finished. May God in His Fatherly good- 
ness bestow upon you His most precious gifts and further 
your righteous enterprise. I trust you will not be unmindful 
in your prayers of my sad condition, and I am, Monsieur, 
with a profound respect, your very humble and submissive 
servant 

u Gleize, on the galley Heroine.' 1 '' 

u If I seem to have been dilatory in writing to you, it is 
because our brother Villevaire kept the letter of our brother 
Chapel for six weeks without shewing it to me. My respects 
to our brother Chapel. Our brother Martin makes his pro- 
found respects to you both and recommends himself to your 
•compassionate consideration." 

Du Plan had almost completed his work, and 
was making final arrangements to respond to the 
appeals of his aunt and his sister by setting out for 
Geneva, when a new and important event — the death 
of the King of Prussia — caused another alteration 
in his plans. His Majesty had rendered some service 



Du Plan limitâtes whether to go to Berlin or Geneva. 243 

to the Churches by obtaining from Louis XV. at 
the instance of Du Plan, the release of several 
persons recently arrested ; but owing to his friendly 
relations with France he was prevented from inter- 
fering to any further extent in religious matters. 
It was this monarch who had personally addressed 
a letter to Du Plan. x His son and successor to the 
throne, it was said, was not bound to exercise such 
precaution. 

Du Plan hesitated whether to go and plead his 
cause at Berlin or to return to (xeneva. He sub- 
mitted the question to his aunt for her decision. 

"Were I a young man and at liberty to pimue my own 
course, I should not have hesitated to go as soon as I heard 
of the death of the King; but being in ray fifty-third year, 
of a delicate constitution and utterly weary of long journeys 
in countries whose language I am unable to speak, I have' 
determined to write by the first post to Berlin to ascertain 
whether it is necessary for me to go thither. I also write 
to you, my dear aunt and mother, to ask whether in case I am 
wanted at Berlin you would wish me to call first at Geneva in 
fulfilment of my promise, or whether you will consent that 
3 should visit Berlin before returning to Geneva, if it please 
God, for the rest of ray days. I have such a sincere and 
ardent desire to see you, and ara so mortified at the prospect 
of being obliged to postpone ray return, that supposing I bave 
to visit Berlin I would attempt with God's help to surmount 
the fatigues which the long journey thither by way of 
Geneva would involve. Instead of being offended with me 
I beseech you to have compassion, in that I am forced to 
restrain my inclination in order to fulfil my duty. I await 

.1. See his letter on pase 225. 



244 The generosity of Du Plan. 

your definite reply as to which course you wish me 
to adopt." 

(London, the 18th of June 1840.) 

The worthy aunt consented once more to the 
postponement of Du Plan's return; nevertheless in 
her affectionate reply she could not refrain from 
charging her nephew, in spite of his defence of 
himself, with a somewhat pronounced taste for 
travelling. Du Plan's persevering efforts were at 
least not always fruitless. He had the satisfaction 
of learning that he had gained his case in England 
on behalf of the refugees, although it had cost him ? 
it is true, much labour as well as money. 

U I have obtained a verdict with costs, and even sup- 
posing I have sacrified my personal interests on behalf of 
my brethren, I trust now that a commencement has been made 
the day will arrive when my brethren will testify their 
acknowledgements 1 . 

Du Plan departed for Berlin, hoping to meet 
there with the same success as in England, when to 
his great disappointment he heard that Prussia had 
declared war against Silesia; and although this event 
was a fresh discouragement and prevented him, 
apart from his own wishes, from returning to his 
aunt and sister, he did not fail to interest himself 
in their welfare or neglect to minister to their wants 
according to his ability. 

"I hear," he wrote to them, "that you exercise the 
strictest economy. This is not desirable when one has 

1. Du Plan's letter to his aunt, dated September, 1740. It is the 
Author who underlines the latter portion. 



Death of his aunt Lèches. 245 

•reached a certain age and has need of additional comforts ; 
I therefore pray you to take more care of yourself than you 
have hitherto done, and I say the same to my sister to whom 
I renew my assurance of warmest affection. When you no 
longer have means either from France or at Geneva, every- 
thing I possess in this world is at your disposal. Can I fail 
to offer you my services after the many tokens of friendship 
received at your hands, and which I can never forget?'' 
(26th of February, 1741.) 

This letter was one of the last that Madame 
Lèches received from her nephew; she died, in the 
the course of the year 1741 without having had the 
jo)' and consolation of embracing for a last time him 
whom she loved as a son, and who, as we discover 
from Du Plan's correspondence, fully reciprocated 
her affection. After the death of his aunt, Du Plan 
concentrated all his thoughts on his sister, isolated 
at Geneva, and , far away as he was, he anticipated 
all her wants to the extent of imposing such sacri- 
fices on himself as to awaken the friendly solicitude 
of his aged friend the Pastor Vial de Beaumont. 
Vial, knowing the precarious position of Du Plan, 
and his slender income, considered it his duty to 
write him the following letter advising him to be 
more careful of his resources and to provide for the 
future. 

u Monsieur and very dear friend, 

"You are too sensible of the trifling services I have 

rendered to the late Madame Lèches, your aunt; I would 

assure you, 1 wish that they had been many times multiplied 

as it was only for her to command them. I had the greatest 



246 Letter of Pastor Vial de Beaumont. 

regard for her, a regard due as much to her own personal 
qualities as to the warm affection and high esteem which 
I entertain for you. I wish Mlle Suzon De Ribot were less 
reserved and more willing to believe in my desire to serve 
her; on many occasions when I could have been useful to 
her she has failed to inform me. Be that as it may, however, 
she is tolerably well provided for ; she still receives some- 
thing from France, which, added to the income from the 
little remaining capital, is sufficient to enable her to live 
comfortably for the rest of her days. Do not, therefore, be 
anxious about her, or consider that you are under any 
obligation to send her money. Think rather of yourself, 
my dear friend ! I know not what property is still left to 
you in France, nor if it be practicable for you to obtain 
anything from that country; I only know that very little 
remains in Geneva, and that with the exception of your 
furniture, the debt due to you by M. Joly, the lame man, 
and some other trifle of the same kind, you have scarcely 
more than two thousand francs ready money. Seeing to 
what straits you are reduced, I beseech you, my dear friend,, 
to take some thought for yourself and labour under God's 
blessiDg to provide for the future. Fages has received the 
louis d'or and the fourteen livres you directed to be paid to 
him ; do not, however, trouble yourself any more about this 
man, several people have assured me that he is in comfor- 
table circumstances. Refrain for the future from giving 
so freely as you have done hitherto ; too great liberality is 
a fault on the right side, but it is nevertheless a fault, and 
I beseech you to rectify it. It is true that under God's 
blessing the fund belonging to our Churches has increased, 
but it is by no means certain that this prosperity will con- 
tinue, that expenses will not augment in the same proportion, 
or that the managers of the fund will always acknoivledge your 
services as they deserve. l I trust I shall always be devoted 



1. These words are underlined by the author. 



Letter of Pastor Vial de Beaumont. 247 

to your well being, and that I shall render you every service 
in my power, but I am old and infirm, the time of my 
departure is at hand, and even it" death do not soon put an 
end to all my labours, I shall feel myself constrained to 
surrender as many engagements as I can, be they what they 
may. My colleagues and I beseech you to suffer no privation ; 
there is still money in the hands of our friend M. Gaussen 
which we place at your disposal in a spirit of Christian 
love. 

''Mademoiselle Suzon De Ribot has just left my study ; 
she has shown me the letter you wrote to her, enclosed in 
one addressed to M. Paul Gaussen under date the 19th of this 
month. She acknowledges with thanks the marks of your 
friendship, and begs you to be assured of her unchanging 
attachment. She declines to accept the ten guineas you 
placed at her disposal some weeks since through M. Gaussen, 
as she thinks you have more need of them than she has,, 
and she desires your happiness more than her own. Both 
she and I beseech you in the name of God to lay by some- 
thing for your declining years, so that you will not be- 
dependent on others. Mademoiselle Jalabert of Alais, who 
lives in the same house as Mile Suzon, has a niece who sleeps 
there, and should the daughter of M. Trelis also come she- 
will receive a hearty welcome. The poor woman Icard 
still survives ; she is in fair health and is preparing to pass 
the winter in Switzerland — at Yverdon, with a married lady 
of Geneva who wishes her to live with her. Mile Suzon 
asks if you will be good enough to tell her whether she may 
hope to see you once more during her lifetime or whether it 
will be with her as with your aunt. Endeavour to satisfy 
her desire, and believe me always, Monsieur and dear friend, 
your very humble and obedient servant 

" Vial de Beaumont." 

"Geneva, the 30th of October 1741." 

Du Plan profited from his detention in London, 
during the winter of 1741, to collect a considerable 



248 Pastor Serces. 

sum of money for the captives in France, which he 
duly transmitted to M. Vial de Beaumont. This 
was his answer to those who were beginning to 
reproach him for his long sojourn in England, on the' 
ground that his presence there was useless and 
burdensome to the Churches. The individual who 
showed the most ill will was M. Serces, Pastor of 
the French Chapel at St. James". 

" My friend, M. Serces," wrote Du Plan to M. Vial, "in 
the belief that I am laboring in vain and spending money 
uselessly, has several times heartily desired to banish me 
from the country. God be praised, however, both he and 
some others who think with him are greatly mistaken. 
Happy are they who put their trust in God, they will never 
be disappointed. I will avail myself of another opportunity 
to tell you more on this subject, especially as our friend M. 
Serces is in correspondence with you." 

(18th of December, 1741.) 

After this date the letters of Du Plan became 
less frequent, but his Statement to the Arbitrators, 
with the preparation of which he was now occupied, 
sufficiently explains their rarity and accounts for his 
prolonged stay in England. We have already 
mentioned that since his return to London, the De- 
puty of the Churches had procured the continuation 
of the annual grant from the King of England which 
had been temporarily suspended. Du Plan waited 
till the year had expired before renewing his appli- 
cation. His Majesty being in Grermany, his ministers 
very much occupied, and the Treasury empty, 



Du Plan and Lord Wilmington. 249 

the Deputy's numerous and pressing demands for 
the thousand pounds were of no avail. Wearied 
with his incessant appeals and continued refusals, 
he at length proposed to Lord Wilmington, who had 
succeeded Sir Robert Walpole as First Lord of the 
Treasury, that the Royal gift to the Churches should 
be reduced to five hundred pounds, on condition that 
the amount should be regularly paid and even made 
a charge on the Consolidated Fund, but notwith- 
standing that this proposition was accepted, the five 
hundred pounds were no more forthcoming than the 
thousand pounds had been. On this Du Plan resolved 
to address himself directly to the King and claim 
the sum as originally promised. His Majesty was 
surprized and in all probability blamed the Minister, 
for Lord Wilmington was annoyed and accused the 
Deputy of complaining to the King. Du Plan in 
justification of his conduct produced a copy of his 
letter; this appeared to have the effect of pacifying 
Lord Wilmington, for he paid the five hundred 
pounds and promised for the future to befriend the 
Churches. But the }'ear following, when the Deputy 
again made his claim at the Treasury, Lord 
Wilmington angrily reproached him, much to the 
astonishment of Du Plan, fur the outburst had no 
other cause than the importunity of his demands. 
M.Serces, who happened to be present, took advantage 
of this occurrence by attempting to injure the 
Deputy's character with the Committee at Geneva. 
While Du Plan's thoughts were occupied by this 
matter (in 1743) he received the affecting news of 



250 Death of the sister of Du Plan. 

the death of his sister. 1 For seven years she had 
been a refugee at Geneva, living with her aunt and 
valued friend Madame Jeanne Dumas. The latter 
died in 1740 and Madame Lèches, as we have already' 
stated, in the following year. Suzanne De Bibot, 
whose sorrow at the event was extreme, found 
devoted protectors in the friends of her brother; the 
hope of soon again seeing him had supported her 
under her misfortunes and her isolation; a hope, alas, 
that was doomed to be disappointed! 

In evidence of her affection for her brother she 
bequeathed him her modest dowry and by this means 
Du Plan's circumstances were improved. Never- 
theless the expenses incident to his prolonged sojourn 
in England, and above all his liberality, so 
awakened the solicitude of Vial de Beaumont as to 
draw from that old friend a second letter. 

u Geneva, the 19th of April 1743. 
" Monsieur and very dear friend, 
" My age, nay infirmities, and the goodness of my friends, 
having forced me to relinquish active interference with the 
affairs of our brethren, it is scarcely to be expected that I should 
keep up my correspondence with you. Indeed I should have 
remained silent if my cordial affection, and sincere esteem 
for you did not compel me once more to refer to the little 
sum of money belonging to you, which yet remains in the hands 
ot M. Gaussen. Reflect, I beseech you, that, in the first place, 
this sum is very small, not more than five or six thousand 



1. Suzanne de Ribot who was nine years older than her brother 
was born on the 6th of November, 1679, at the Château de la Favède, and_ 
baptised in the parish of Soustelle by a Pastor of the Desert. 



Last advice of Pastor Vial de Beaumont. "251 

Korea; secondly that it constitutes the greater part of your 
property; and, thirdly, that it behoves you to husband it 
very carefully, because your friends, conscious of your 
merits, are desirous that nothing should induce you to 
deprive yourself of the comfort it will afford you; times may 
change, you may one day find yourself in actual want and 
become dependent on the cheap charity that dispenses only 
fine words. And even should this not come to pass you 
will always find plenty of people ready to accept your 
liberality ; you may bequeath the money to whomsoever it 
may please you : in a word there is a species of rashness in 
incurring the risk of want in our old age, it this risk can be 
avoided. As these sentiments are not mine alone, but are 
shared by all our friends, I speak in the common name when 
I ask you to turn a deaf ear to the importunate and to that 
class of people so plentiful in the world, swindlers and 
spongers. Do not moreover make such frequent demands on 
your little fund with M. Gaussen ; it is nearly all invested 
and brings you in an interest not to be despised. We, one 
and all, beseech you to reflect seriously on what we are 
suggesting, and to let us know your ultimate decision in 
order that we may act accordingly. We are not unmindful 
that you are at liberty to dispose of your own as you wish, 
and we have no desire to control you — we simply advise. 
And as they who serve the Church ought to live by the 
Church, we further advise you to accept the pension which 
our friends at present can and are willing to grant you, and 
leave untouched the money in the hands of M. Gaussen either 
to be invested or to be sunk in an annuity. I have heard it 
said more than once that M. Maurice received last vintage 
from Messieurs Picot and Closière the hundred crowns you 
intended for him. All your friends salute you. Salute in 
turn our friends in London, especially Messieurs Gaussen 
and Serces, and believe me, Monsieur, that I shall be, for the 
remainder of my days, your very dear friend and humble 
and obedient servant, 

"Vial de Beaumont." 



252 Formation of the Committee in London. 

All the fears of Vial de Beaumont were, unfor- 
tunately, justified by the event, and Du Plan was 
destined to experience the ingratitude and malice of 
his fellow men. 



CHAPTER XIX. 

IN THE MATTER OF DU PLAN. 

In 1744 a committee in connection with the one 
at Greneva was organised in London for the purpose, 
amongst other things, of transmitting to Grenev r a the 
funds collected by the Deputy. This Committee 
was composed of the Pastor Serces (nominated by 
the Archbishop of Canterbur} r ) and Messieurs Sehaub 
and Vernon. Scarcely had it been constituted when 
the personal hostility which Serces had more than 
once manifested towards the Deputy of the Synods 
burst forth in all its învy. We have already shown, 
by a letter from Vial de Beaumont to his friend 
Du Plan, that this animosity had commenced as far 
back as the year 1741. Serces conceiving that he 
was now set in authority over Du Plan, and having 
vainly endeavoured to drive him from London, 
commenced a correspondenca with Greneva, which 
was nothing but one incessant defamation of his 
character, the object of Serces being to induce the 
committee in that city to recall the Deputy, perhaps 
with the secret hope that he himself might after- 
wards obtain the appointment. Be that as it may, 



The accusations of Screes against Du Plan. 253 

Serces scrupled at nothing to accomplish his 
object. 

His first proceeding was to accuse Du Plan 
of associating with the Inspired, a party who 
received but little either of sympathy or respect 
from English Protestants, and who Avere openly 
denounced by the Consistory of one of the 
French Churches as blasphemers and cheats. So 
numerous were the libellous pamphlets published on 
the subject, that at last the Bishop of London was 
compelled to interfere and put a stop to their further 
issue. But in spite of this vehement persecution the 
Inspired were not without partisans, and obtained 
some notoriety, not a little of which was due to the 
countenance afforded them by Du Plan. The Deputy 
of the Churches had omitted to observe his formal 
engagement not to associate with them during his 
term of office, and it was this more than anything 
else that lent support to the calumnies of his 
enemies, and helped to discredit him with his friends 
at London and Geneva and in France. 

The opposition which the Inspired had provoked 
recoiled upon the Deputy, and was made by Serces 
a cause of complaint in his letters to Geneva; he 
said that Du Plan, by his intercourse with the 
Inspired, had ruined his own influence and com- 
promised the interests of the Church, that his pre- 
sence in London had not been required for a con- 
siderable time, that his work was finished, and by 
remaining there he was only incurring unnecessary 
expense. Serces said further that under pretence 



254 A Synod appoints Court as Deputy of the Churches. 

of having to attend at Court and associate with 
distinguished personages, the Deputy lived in a 
large house and made a display which was not by 
any means in character with the object of his mission. • 
Serces went so far as to insinuate that this outlay 
came from the proceeds of the Deputy's collections, 
to the great loss of the Churches. 

Still further to injure Du Plan, Serces gave a 
one-sided account of the scene which he had wit- 
nessed in the office of the Minister, while with much 
emphasis he repeated the absurd prediction of the 
Inspired that Du Plan would one day become King, 
and the ridiculous rumour that he aspired to the 
hand of one of the King's daughters. 

The Committee at Greneva, though sorely per- 
plexed by these charges, knew enough of Du Plan to 
feel sure that they had no foundation in fact. They 
were aware also that he took so deep personal 
interest in the Churches that he would not, either 
rightly or wrongly, compromise himself in the 
manner and to the extent imputed to him. Not- 
withstanding these considerations, however, they 
allowed themselves to be overborne by the impor- 
tunities of Court, who was the monthpiece of a 
party, and recalled the Deputy. 

While these things were going on at Greneva a 
Synod held in FraDce, being informed of what was 
transpiring in London, resolved upon replacing Du 
Plan by Antoine Court in the office of Deputy. 
Court, meantime having been summoned into France 
in order to settle an ecclesiastical dispute, happened 



Letter of Court to Du Plan. 255 

to be present at the Synod which decided on this 
important measure. He perceived that this time it 
would be useless to attempt to stem the torrent of 
opposition directed against the Deputy; he con- 
sented therefore, sacrificed his friend, and yielding 
to the wishes of the assembly accepted the honor 
they sought to confer upon him. On his return to 
Geneva he wrote to Du Plan announcing this 
important news: — 

" Monsieur and dear friend, 

"You will doubtless be surprised to hear from this letter 
that I have within the last few days returned, by the grace 
of God, from Languedoc after a stay there of four months. 

" I was induced to make this journey by the repeated 
and pressing solicitations ot the principal Churches in Lower 
Languedoc and the Cevennes, with a view to terminating 
certain dissensions, which had grown to such a height as to 
threaten the very existence of the Churches. 

" The Lord in His great goodness has blessed my labours 
beyond my most sanguine hopes, and I am glad to inform 
you that the sad differences which have so long distracted 
the Churches have been brought to an end, and that through 
the labours of the arbitrators appointed by the contending 
parties peace has been happily restored. 

u The excesses into which the disagreement had led the 
Churches, the misfortunes which were hanging over them, 
the fearful abysses into which they were on the point of 
falling — all these things and many others, Monsieur and 
dear friend, are too numerous to be condensed into this 
brief letter. 

" Amongst various other objects I proposed to myself 
was the highly necessary one of concerting effectual mea- 
sure» for confirming our co-religionists in their loyalty to 



256 Letter of Court to Du Plan. 

the King and his Government, under the critical circumstances 
of the present time, and to establish a common policy among 
the Churches scattered throughout the various Provinces of 
the kingdom, for the general good and for the advancement 
of religion. I reserve a description of all that I have to tell' 
jn this regard until I have the pleasure of seeing you. 
Meanwhile I may mention that religious zeal is greatly 
revived in the hearts of the Protestants, and nothing can be 
more worthy of admiration than the enthusiasm of the 
thousands of the faithful when gathered in their assemblies, 
which are very frequently held in full daylight, notwith- 
standing the efforts I made during my stay to avoid 
such risks. 

" I was present at a National Synod, which lasted from 
the 18th to the '24th of August inclusive, and which was 
composed of Pastors and Deputies from the Churches of 
Normandy, Upper and Lower Poitou, the district of Aiinis*. 
Saintonge, Comté de Foix, Agenois, Périgord, Upper and 
Lower Guienne, Upper and Lower Languedoc, the Çevennes, 
Vivarais and Dauphiny. This honored assembly has drawn 
up a code of rules comprising twenty six articles, the object 
ot which is to maintain order and to strengthen the Churches. 
One of the rules forbids the Pastors, Elders, and Faithful from 
entering into any controversy with the Catholics, either by 
word of mouth or by writing, exhorting them rather to bear 
with patience the unavoidable evils of their lot. They are 
further enjoined not to give offence to their neighbours by 
working on Catholic holydays. Another rule obliges the 
Churches which have the most Pastors to help less fortunate 
Churches, until it shall please God to supply the wants ot 
all. But you can understand, Monsieur, that it is impossible 
in this letter to give a description of all the rules adopted 
and all that transpired at this Synod, a more numerously 
attended and more influential Synod than any that has been 
held since the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, I limit 
myself for the present to informing you that the proceedings 
were conducted throughout with conspicuous ability and 



Letter of Court to Du Plan. Î57 

prudence to the end that the Court on hearing (as doubtless 
it will hear) of what took place, may have no reasonable 
pretext for dissatisfaction, and that we may obtain the 
approval of the foreigners who take an interest in the welfare 
of our Churches. 

"But, Monsieur aud dear friend, I must not omit to tell 
you that the Pastors and Deputies at this National Synod 
have expressed a wish that you should be more within reach 
ot their instructions, in order that they may be enabled to 
act according to the exigencies of the situation and as 
circumstances may dictate. In other words it would appear 
that all who have the control in matter's of religion, either in 
this country or in France, are of opinion that for many 
reasons you should return to Geneva, the chief of these 
reasons having reference to the present crisis arising from 
the war now existing between France and England, and 
the obligation under which French Protestants are placed of 
so conducting themselves as to give no pretexts for 
imputations on their loyalty and patriotism, which might be 
the case were they to continue to maintain a Deputy in 
England. 

"It is probably for these and other reasons that the 
Synod, without any solicitation on my part, has judged it 
prudent to request me, while in no way mixing myself up in 
other matters, simply to represent the interests of the 
Churches abroad ; and I may add that, since my return here, 
the most influential of our bdoved friends have assured me 
that it is more than ever necessary, in consequence ot the 
war, that the loyalty of the Protestants should be above 
suspicion, and that it is for their best interests that you 
should return to this country and confer with our brethren, 
tor the general good, in reference to existing and possible 
circumstances, as the same may arise. 

•' These views appear to me to be altogether in harmony 
with the sentiments and the well being of our beloved 
Churches, and having no doubt that they will equally 
commend themselves to your approval, I venture to hope 

17 



258 Rupture between the tiro friends. 

that you will not delay your return to Geneva, where on 
your arrival you will receive more ample information than 
I can now give you, and where it will be my duty and my 
pleasure to act in concert with you, and to renew the 
assurance of that devoted affection with which I have the 
honor to remain, Monsieur and dear friend, your very humble 
and obedient servant, "A. Court." 

" Geneva, the 12th of December 1744." 

This cleverly written letter was destined to rouse 
the susceptibilities of the Deputy, who, correctly- 
surmising the reason for his recall, suspected Antoine 
Court of desiring to supplant him; and believing his 
old friend to have been guilty of unfair dealing, his 
resentment was kindled and he refused to leave 
London. 

The irritation increasing, the two former friends 
exchanged letters that are painful to read, and in 
mournful contrast with those with which we are 
already acquainted. Antoine Court having, in point 
of fact, been elected Deputy, became the direct 
representative of the Churches, while Serces upheld 
in London the interests of the Geneva Committee. 
As for Du Plan, he took this occasion to unmask 
his antagonist and succeeded in convicting him of 
calumny and falsehood. 

But the thing that most deeply touched his 
feelings as a gentleman and Christian were the 
imputations cast on his honor and integrity, to defend 
himself from which he appealed to ministers of 
several denominations and to others who had long 
known him, and drew from them the following state- 
ments. These he then placed before his accusers 



(, 



The calumnies of s, 259 

and by this means he thoroughly cleared himself from 
the charges with which it had been sought to ruin 
his reputation. The first is a certificate in which 
the accusations of Serces are briefly recounted by 
one who could testily to their character. 

" London, the .iOth of July, 1751. 

"I, the undersigned, certify that M. Du Plan, desiring to 
Te-establish if possible a good understanding between himself 
and M. Serces, Pastor, in the hope that they may be able 
to act together for the common good of the Churches of 
France for whom M. Du Plau acts as Deputy at the Courts 
of foreign Protestant Powers, requested me to accompany 
him to the house of the said M. Serces in order that I might 
be an eye-witness of what might transpire. After the 
customary salutations, M. Du Plan explained to M. Serces 
the object of his visit, and asked him if there vvas no way 
of arriving at an agreement. To this Sieur Serces indignantly 
replied, 'No. I neither can nor will have any intercourse 
with you ; you have wasted the Churches' money ; a fanatic 
yourself, your dealings are almost exclusively with 
visionaries: you have dared to aspire to the hand of the 
Princess Amelia, and are therefore virtually guilty of high 
treason : and finally, inasmuch as your constituents have 
revoked your commission, you have nothing whatever to do 
with the Churches of France.' 

" I further certify that M. Serces, not satisfied with 
fabricating these stories which have no other foundation than 
his own imagination, has bruited them abroad, not as 
conjectures merely but as positive facts, and that owing 
thereto I have had considerable difficulty in disabusing the 
minds of certain individuals who had formed false estimates 
of M. Du Plan's character. "Laval." 

Du Plan did not let the matter rest here. He 
appealed to a subsequent .Synod and explanations 



260 A new Synod maintains Du Plan in his office. 

were made which confounded his enemies. On the' 
11th of September, 1748, at a Synod assembled in 
the Cevennes, the following question was discussed 
at his instance: — The transfer of the office of Deputy 
from Du Plan to Antoine Court — was the purpose 
of this measure to cast a slur on the character of 
the former, and if so what motives could be assigned 
for such a proceeding ? Du Plan, not unmindful that 
he was almost unknown to the majority of the 
Pastors composing this assembly — all his old friends 
being dead or in exile — nevertheless did not hesitate 
to appeal to the Synod, and calmly and with a clear 
conscience, awaited the result. His expectations 
were not disappointed, as will be seen from the 
following communication which he received through 
a member of the Synod specially delegated for that 
purpose: — 

"Lower Languedoc, May 5, 1749. 
" Monsieur and honored brother in Jesus Christ, 

"The delegates of the Churches of this kingdom at a 
National Synod held in the Cevennes, from the 11th to the 
18th of September last, after having mentioned you and your 
work on behalf of our beloved Churches in eulogistic terms, 
have adopted certain resolutions in regard thereto and have 
conferred upon me the honor of communicating them to you ; 
but not knowing your address, I have been compelled to 
defer the execution of this pleasing duty until the present 
moment. The following, then, is what I have to com- 
municate to you from the said Synod. 

"1. A sincere and humble acknowledgement of the 
important services you havesoand long generously rendered' 
and still render to the Churches-. 



Certificate from Ministers mi London. 261 

■ :'. That yon are maintained in the office of Deputy 
General of the Protestant Churches of the kingdom. 

u 3. That by the appointment of M. Court to a like office 
in 1744, the said appointment being: hereby confirmed, it was 
neither then, nor is it now intended to give you a successor, 
but simply a colleague with whom you may act in concert 
and on terms of perfect equality for the one sole object — the 
good of the Churches. 

"4. That all points in dispute regarding yourself be 
remitted for the decision of friends at Geneva who are 
interested in the affairs of our Churches. 

"Such, Monsieur and honored brother, is the duty which 
has been entrusted to me as touching yourself. I wish I had 
been able to discharge it earlier ; the delay, however, enables 
me to add a fifth article which, though not committed to 
paper, was none the less adopted by the Synod ; viz, that 
you should be exhorted to write from time to time to the 
Churches in order to keep them well informed of the state of 
their affairs, both past and present, in the country you at 
present occupy. Your silence has been complained of by all 
the delegates." 

The folloAving statements are refutations of the 
calumnies of which Du Plan was the object: — 

" Monsieur Du Plan, being apprised that certain evil dis- 
posed persons have circulated rumours disparaging to his 
character, and our attention having been drawn thereto, we 
assert that, whatever the semblance of truth in which they 
may have been disguised, they cannot impose upon the 
unbiassed judgment of those who have known him, since 
they are altogether at variance with his former conduct 
extending over a great many years — conduct uniformly wise, 
upright, and disinterested — and confirmed by the testimony 
of many distinguished persons most qualified to judge and 
furthest removed from prejudice. 

u We further certify that for fourteen years we have been 
on terms of close intimacy with M. Du Plan, and that so far 



262 Certificate from Ministers in London. 

from his conduct amongst us having been such as in any- 
way to form a pretext for the sinister rumours by which it is 
now in a manner sought to tarnish his reputation, it has been 
altogether such, both according to our own knowledge and 
the authenticated testimony of the Churches, as to demon- 
strate the baseless character of the calumnies in question. 

"Finally, the majority of we, the undersigned, having had 
occasion to co-operate with Monsieur Du Plan in his mission, 
and having thereby been brought into frequent contact with 
him, are convinced ot his honesty, as well as of his care 
and zeal for the interests committed to his charge, and we 
conceive that these qualities are incompatible with the 
damaging reflections which have been cast upon his good 
name, with a view to diminish the value of his services, and 
to render them useless by making him an object of contempt. 

"In belief of which we append our signatures to this 
certificate. 

"London, August 1749. 

" Pierre Stehelin, Minister of the united 

Churches of Leicester Fields, the Artillery 

and the Patent. 
"Paul Covenent, Minister of the French 

Church in London. 
" J. J. Majendie, Minister of the Savoy. 
"Jean des Champs, Minister of the Savoy. 
" Etienne Abel, Laval, Minister of the united 

Chapels of Berwick Street and Castle 

Street. 
" Samuel Codero, one of the Ministers of the 

Chapels of Berwick Street and Castle 

Street. 
" Cesar De Missy, Minister of the Savoy. 
" G. Cantier, one of the Ministers of the 

Chapels of Berwick Street and Castle 

Street." 



a second certificate from Ministers in London. 863 

" We, the undersigned, taking a lively interest in all that 
concerns the Churches of France, and having had much to 
do with two of the best and most distinguished friends 1 of 
those-Churches, hereby Certify that these friends remain on 
good terms with the Deputy, of whom they appear to think 
very highly, and they believe that, so far from having 
misappropriated or spent upon himself funds belonging to 
the Churches, he has ruined himself by his efforts on their 
behalf. They are further of opinion that the only doubt 
entertained by the arbitrators who are now occupied with 
his case refers to the amount of compensation which ought 
to be awarded to him, while the Deputy himself, although 
he has endeavoured to render a just estimate of his claims, has, 
in remitting his statement tor decision, announced that, 
whatever amount he may receive, he will still be ready, as 
he always has been, to sacrifice for the welfare of the Churches 
anything that can reasonably be demanded of him. 

" We further certify that to the best of our belief our 
Royal benefactor- has never requested the Deputy to quit 
the kingdom, but has simply intimated to him that his 
presence is no longer required at Court, inasmuch as his 
arduous labours have had the result he desired — that of 
putting the whole object of his mission on a solid basis since 
the year 1748. And we are firmly persuaded from our 
thorough knowledge of the facts of the case that his sojourn 
in England since that period has in no way been prejudicial 
to the interests of his constituents, seeing that he has 
discontinued exercising his former duties, and that while his 
presence here has been absolutely requisite for the purpose 
of preparing his case, it has not been altogether unserviceable 
in various ways to the common cause. In proof of which, 
under a sense of great esteem for the Deputy, and deeply 
impressed with the recollection of the important services he 
has rendered to the public at the expense of nis own personal 



i. Messieurs Schaab and Vernon. 
•i. Tin' King of England. 



264 A second certificate from Ministers in London. 

interests, we consider it both a duty and a pleasure to give 
him this certificate, in the hope that it may be of use to him 
in his dealings with his constituents and serve as a shield 
to protect him trom the attacks of his enemies. 

" Done at London, this 10th of August, 1750. 

"J. J. Majendie, Minister of the Savoy and 

Chaplain to the Comte de Grantham. 
"Samuel Coderc, Minister of Castle Street 

and Berwick Street. 
"Et. Abel Laval, Minister of Castle Street 
and Berwick Street. 
"I consider myself in duty bound personally to add, after 
having accompanied the Deputy in the year 1748 into the 
presence of the First Lord of the Treasury, that we were 
very cordially received and that, after having pleaded for a 
renewal ot the Royal bounty, we were told that it was 
unnecessary to solicit a continuance of that which was 
already assured and placed on a solid footing. And I further 
affirm that neither at that time nor subsequently has the 
conduct of the Deputy, or the Deputy himself, been brought 
into discredit either with the King on any of His Majesty's 
Ministers. 

"J. J. Majendie." 

The dispute came to a climax when Du Plan, 
after having recounted the sacrifices he had imposed 
upon himself for the good of his brethren, demanded 
to he compensated for his labours, and to have 
guaranteed to him a sum sufficient for his wants 
during the remainder of his days. What demand 
could be fairer? Had he not willingly given up his 
inheritance and sacrificed the best part of his life 
out of love for the Churches? Had he not defrayed 
the cost of his numerous journe} r s out of the scanty 



Du Plan claims compensation. 265 

sum saved from the wreck of his fortune and the 
residue of one or two small legacies bequeathed to 
him by his relatives? And now, when he had been 
instrumental in enriching the fund at Geneva, was 
it right that a servant so old and faithful should be 
allowed to sink into poverty? 

Du Plan claimed what he considered to be a 
fair provision, but the Committee considering his 
demand excessive, declined to pay it, basing their 
refusal on his reiterated written statements that 
he asked nothing of the Churches. To this Du Plan 
properly replied that although he had never sought 
remuneration from the Churches which with diffi- 
culty maintained themselves, yet it did not follow 
therefrom that he should not make a claim upon the 
French Fund at Geneva, a fund which, through his 
own personal exertions, had been increased to the 
extent of ten thousand pounds sterling. He declared 
that he was justified in the request he had made and 
appealed for support to the testimony of Vial de 
Beaumont and Polier. 

Although at Du Plan's instance it had been 
agreed in the year 1745 to submit the matter for 
arbitration, judgment was not finally rendered until 
1751. Meanwhile each side prepared its case. 
Serces drew up an exhaustive indictment in which 
he displayed all his accustomed spleen against the 
Deputy, while Antoine Court mixed himself up in 
the affair b) 7 publishing his famous Statement to the 
Arbitrators. Du Plan on his side submitted two 
separate statements — certified and supported by 



266 He appeals for arbitration, 

accounts and vouchers — after which he confidently 
awaited the decision of the Arbitrators. This 
tribunal not alone completely cleared the con- 
scientious Deputy from the slanders of his enemies, 
and the vindictive calumnies of Serces, but awarded 
him a salary of one hundred pounds per annum 
from the year 1 7 '-3 1 to 1751, an immediate payment 
of three hundred pounds, a deferred payment of four 
hundred, and for the future a yearly pension of fifty 
pounds. This rendering, which entirety exonerates 
Du Plan and places him beyond the shadow of 
suspicion, is too important to be passed over in 
silence. 



Judgment of the Arbitrators. 

u We, the undersigned Arbitrators, chosen and constituted 
by the Managers of the French Fund on the one part and by 
Monsieur Du Plan on the other part, as a tribunal for the 
investigation of certain differences existing between them as 
to the claims of M. Du Plan on the French Fund, having 
thoroughly examined the whole affair down to the minutest 
detail which might affect the subject, having also duly con- 
sidered all the various allegations brought forward by the one 
side and the other, and desiring to terminate the controversy 
to the mutual satisfaction of the parties concerned, the same 
having pressingly requested as wdl as fully authorized us 
so to do, declare our judgment. 

" 1. That M. Du Plan not only has not appropriated, 
but that it was out of his power to appropriate the sums 
collected for the Fund, seeing that after he bad solicited 
contributions and obtained promises he did not himself 
receive the monies, but deputed that duty to persons spe- 



Judgment of the Arbitrators. 267 

dally appointed for the purpose by the Managers, and that 
consequently these persons appear to us alone responsible, 
as M. Du Plan had power to deal with the monies only 
after they had passed through the hands of the Managers 
or with the previously obtained consent or subsequent ap- 
proval of the latter, the whole of the said sums being duly 
accounted for. 

" 2. That the accounts in our opinion are sufficiently 
complete to enable us to arrive at a decision as to the claim 
set up by M. Du Plan, the nature of his mission being such 
that we could not insist upon an exact statement of every item 
of his expenditure, and we have the greater reason to be 
satisfied with his accounts, seeing that the Managers of the 
Fund cannot produce theirs, and that apparently their 
accounts, could they be produced, would show an amount in 
excess of that claimed by M. Du Plan. 

" 3. That owing to unforeseen misfortunes, M. Du Plan 
finds himself under the necessity of demanding that re- 
muneration to which he was entitled, but which when he left 
Switzerland he had no intention of demanding, having 
resolved to bring his outgoings within the limits of his private 
income, and only to make a claim, if, contrary to the expecta- 
tion of the Managers, he should be successful in his mission. 

" 4. That, owing to the inevitable expenses and inci- 
dental contingencies of his long journeys, the dearness of 
everything in the countries where he sojurned, the extra 
outlay unavoidable in places of whose language he was 
ignorant, the heavy disbursements tor his correspondence and 
for the relief of necessitous refugees whom the Managers of 
the French Fund had commended to his care, the serious 
illnesses from which he has frequently suffered while 
travelling and some of which were the results of hardships 
arising from the narrowness of his resources — in view of 
all these and other circumstances of like character, M. Du 
Plan shows great moderation in estimating his expenses, 
taking one year with another, at one hundred and fifty 
pounds. 



268 Judgment of the Arbitrators. 

" 5. That as regards the number of years for which 
M. Du Plan is authorized to seek compensation, we consi- 
dered him, in July 1750, to have no further claim beyond 
the time at which he was officially notified that his duties 
had terminated, that is to say after March 1748, inasmuch 
as we were under the impression that he remained here out of 
perversci.ess ; but being since convinced that he had 
legitimate objects in view and that he even took an active 
interest on behalf of the Fund, we consider that he has a 
right to count on compensation from 1731 to the present 
moment if the finances will admit of it, abating of course 
the sums already paid to him by the Managers. 

" On this basis the amount due to M. Du Plan for a 
period of twenty years and a half is .£3075 which with 
£222.3, the balance of account for advances made in Copen- 
hagen as drawn up by M. Henri Guinand, makes £3297.3; 
from this sum has to be deducted £1364.16.4 already re- 
ceived by M. Du Plan from the Managers, leaving £1932.6.8 
as balance in his favour. 

" But considering that the Fund is not in a condition 
to bear so heavy a claim, and that M. Du Plan, were he to 
insist on payment, would destroy the. work of his own 
hands, and as he is fully aware that owing to his zeal and 
to his having hitherto refrained from making any claim on 
the Fund, the Managers have been led to incur a greater 
outlay than they otherwise would have done, devolving upon 
them as upon himself the necessity of seeking indemnification, 
we have placed ourselves in his hands, appealing to his 
disinterested charity and zeal to reduce his claim, so far as 
he can, to the measure of his actual wants, to which appeal 
he has favorably responded by making the following solemn 
declaration. 

" That, satisfied with the full recognition of his integrity 
of purpose, satisfied also with our acknowledgement of the 
success with which his disinterested zeal has been blessed, 
and with our desire to meet all his demands so far as the 
Fund will admit — his honor being thus vindicated and him- 



Judgment of the Arbitrators* '^69 

self enabled to serve the cause usefully — satisfied also that 
we admit his right to a payment at the rate of one hundred 
and fifty pounds per annum, from the year 1731 to the present 
time, in compensation for the capital he has sacrified and the 
interest he would have drawn and would be now receiving 
were it not for this sacrifice, he is willing to yield every- 
thing in his power and has consequently consented not 
merely to be content with one hundred pounds per annum, 
but to relinquish the sum of two hundred and seven pounds 
allowed to him from the proceeds ot his collections. He 
would have been heartily willing also to have given up the 
balance of seven hundred pounds due to him on like grounds, 
had he not become responsible for the same to others trom 
whom he had borrowed it for the express purpose of prose- 
cuting his work on behalt of the French Fund ; under these 
circumstances he is reluctantly compelled to ask urgently 
for a sum of three hundred pounds now actually due by 
him to third parties, while as to the remaining four hundred 
pounds he hopes his creditors will give him time and accept 
instalments of fifty pounds per annum for the ensuing eight 
years, the agreement to be completed by his executors in 
case of death, and the whole to be secured on an assignment 
through M. Pierre Gaussen ; but these modifications being 
effected, and the amount remaining for M. Du Plan being 
so far diminished as simply to save him from insolvency 
without affording him means of support, he appeals to 
our sense of justice and humanity to grant him a pension 
of fifty pounds per annum to commence from the present 
moment, trusting that his claim will not appear exorbitant, 
and that the Managers of the Fund will not be injured or 
inconvenienced, at all events as long as the Royal grant he 
has obtained shall be regularly forthcoming. 

Impressed with the liberal spirit shown by M. Du Plan 
in these proposals — written and signed with his own hand — 
we consider that the same generous impulse which animates 
him should constrain us to grant his just and moderate 
demands. In faith of which we have appended our signatures 



270 Du Plan and Court become reconciled to each other. 

to this deed of arbitration, with the special approval of His 
Grace the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, in London, this 
20th of October, 1751." 

"L. SCHAUB." 

"S. Vernon." 
Approved ." Cantuar." 

It was not until 1752 that Antoine Court and 
Benjamin Du Plan became once more reconciled 
after an estrangement of eight years duration. 
Antoine Court made the first advances, by means of 
a statement which he addressed to the Arbitrators 
and wherein he protested the sincerity of his 
affection for the Deputy. Du Plan at once replied 
in a long letter, acknowledging that he had been 
mistaken as to the sentiments of his old friend and 
asking him to forgive and forget his hastiness and 
warmth. Peace was thus re-established in the Church 
and Du Plan continued to fill the office of Deput) r 
in London. 



CHAPTER XX. 

DU PLAN AND THE GREAT PERSECUTION. 
1745—1752. 

Notwithstanding the trouble and annoyance 
created for him by his adversaries, Benjamin Du 
Plan's interest in the affairs of the Church remained 
as warm as ever, and although the Synod adversely 
influenced from both London and (ieneva decided 



Du Plan and the great persecution. 271 

in 1751 to remove him from the office of Deputy, he 
nevertheless continued his relations with the perse- 
cuted Pastors in his native country, while the)' on 
their part testified in long and frequent communi- 
cations full of sympathy their sincere respect for his 
person and their implicit confidence in his integrity. 
The times were becoming alarming; thick clouds of 
darkness were gathering over the heads of the sorely 
tried Protestants of his Fatherland, persecution was 
breaking out with redoubled violence and the Pastors 
knew well enough that if they were compelled to 
seek refuge in a foreign land they would find in 
Benjamin Du Plan not a protector merely but a 
devoted brother and friend, for had not his courage 
and fidelity emerged with triumph from a fierce and 
fiery ordeal? But apart from ulterior considerations 
the letters of Du Plan were a source of precious 
consolation to Ministers of the gospel who, having 
scarcely completed their studies at Lausamie, were 
called upon to undergo severe tribulation; these 
young recruits in the Church militant were well 
wortln r of the sympathy of the veterans whom age, 
infirmities or the progress of events had removed 
from the strife, and who watched from a distance 
with justifiable pride the courage and tenacity of 
their devoted successors. 

The Intendant Le Nain, who had replaced 
Bernage, in 1745, in Languedoc, was a hard and cruel 
man, and the style of his administration recalled 
that of Baville of sinister memory. The Province 
was covered with detachments of dragoons who 



272 Persecutions under the Intenclancy of Le Nain in 1745. 

were instructed to show no mercy to refractory- 
Protestants. Soldiers were encouraged by their 
officers to pillage the houses of the suspected, to 
despoil them of their goods, break open their- 
cupboards, tear up their linen, burst into their 
cellars, start their wine casks, kill their beasts and 
fowls, and destroy everything on which they could 
lay their hands. 

Other Provinces were treated in like manneiv 
Gibbets were set up in the Huguenot strongholds of 
Dauphiny and Vivarais. The young pastor, Louis 
Ranc, was taken and hanged at Die ; the illustrious 
and respected Jacques Roger — the apostle of 
Dauphiny and the friend of Du Plan — despite his 
four score years, was put to the same cruel death at 
Grenoble, and his aged body, after being suspended 
for twenty-four hours from the gibbet was dragged 
naked through the streets and thrown into the river 
Isère. The young minister Desubas was arrested 
at Vernoux and taken to Montpellier. During his 
short ministry he had so won the love and sympathy 
of his flock, that certain of the faithful, hearing of 
his imprisonment, would fain have rescued him on 
the journey, but Paul Rabaut, pastor of Nismes, 
implored them to abandon an attempt that could 
only provoke cruel reprisals. Désubas died with 
Christian fortitude at the age of twenty-six. 

About the year 1746, the persecution suddenly 
abated. France, which had long been at war with 
England had begun to threaten with her armies the 
frontiers of Austria and Piedmont. At the same 



//, ia succeeded by Saint-Priest in 1750. 273 

time the Government became greatly alarmed by a 
rumour that English emissaries were traversing 
Languedoc with the intention to instigate a revolt 
amongst the Protestant population, for an insur- 
rection in the interior would have gravely compli- 
cated a situation already sufficiently serious. 

The alarm attained its height when the reverses 
that had befallen our arms in Italy and the invasion 
of Languedoc by forty thousand Austrian troops 
were made known. Le Nain received official 
instructions to assure himself of the loyalty of the 
Huguenots and to relax the se verity of the persecution 
he had directed against them. For a short time this 
tolerant policy was continued, but the danger once 
past, the persecution recommenced with greater 
virulence than ever. 

In 1 750 Le Nain ceded his office of Intendant of 
Languedoc to Saint-Priest, who having been 
expressly charged rigorously to carry out the 
Declaration of 172*1, quickly proved himself worthy 
of his instructions and as pitiless as the crudest of 
his predecessors. Since the month of November 
detachments of military had traversed the country, 
dispersing the numerous assemblies which were 
wont to meet on week days as well as on Sundays. 
The gatherings, as a natural consequence, became 
frequent and were held in greater secrecy, 
nevertheless the Tower of Feriïères, the Fort of 
Brescou, the galleys at Marseilles, and the Château 
D'lf were soon crowded with prisoners. This, 
however, was but the beginning. In 1751 the new 

18 



"274 He enforces the re-baptism of Protestant children. 

Intendant of the Province issued an edict forbidding- 
Protestants either to marry or to baptise their 
children in the Desert. The decree was retrospective 
as well as prospective, a delay of fifteen days only- 
being granted to parents, in order that they might 
have their children re-baptised in the parish Churches 
according to the Catholic ritual. At the expiration 
of the period the priests were instructed to send to 
the Intendant a list of the refractory who were 
forthwith mulcted in heavy fines. Every town and 
village were occupied by detachments of dragoons or 
cavalry troopers, who Avere billeted exclusively upon 
the householders that refused to submit; the latter 
were further ordered to pay four livres per diem to 
each soldier; in case of refusal the soldiers were 
increased in number and remained in possession 
until all the children had been re-baptised either by 
fair means or foul. Many of the older children 
absolutely refused to be taken to the Church and 
had to be dragged thither by main force; others, 
patiently accepting their fate, showed by their 
passionate grief the feelings with which they re- 
garded the outrages inflicted upon them, while 
others again opposed violence to violence, and made 
a vigorous resistance, tearing with hands and finger- 
nails the clothes and skin of their captors. x 

In order to strike terror into the hearts of the 
Protestants, Saint-Priest made examples, in January 
1752, of two preachers named François Bénézet, and 

1. See Memoir t Historique, page 6 J, 



The attempted assassination of Cures. 275 

Molines, alias Fléchier, whom he had caused to be 
arrested. The former submitted to death with ad- 
mirable fortitude at Montpellier, but the latter, 
unmanned at the sight of the scaffold, made feigned 
recantation, and was taken to the College at Viviers; 
after a time he was set at liberty, and ultimately 
emigrating to Amsterdam, he was received into the 
Church and allowed a pension by the Consistory, 
but suffered for the remainder of his life poignant 
anguish and remorse. A Protestant of the name of 
Roques of Beauvoisin, falsely accused of having 
attempted the life of a military officer, was also 
executed. 

These executions spread consternation throughout 
the Provinces of the South; the villages became de- 
populated, men, women and children flying before 
the approach of the dragoons, until at last harried 
and persecuted beyond endurance, some of the 
more fiery spirits among the Huguenots made 
reprisals by attempting the lives of the priests, 
whom they regarded, not without reason, as the 
chief cause of their troubles. The Prior of Ners, 
riding towards Vézénobres, encountered two armed 
preachers. He had hardly passed them when he was 
struck by a musket-ball and fell, grievously wounded, 
from his horse. On the night of the same day the 
Curé of Quillan was suddenly roused from his sleep 
by repeated knocking at his door. He rose, opened 
the window, and looked out, when he was hit by a 
bullet and mortally wounded. The next day the 
-Curé of Logrian returning from Quissac was stopped, 



276 The Minister Coste and Du Flan. 

maltreated and left for dead, his assailants being 
three men, who had been lying in wait for him in 
ambush. There can be no doubt that the authors 
of these crimes were Protestants, but the only one 
of them who was identified was Coste, the man who 
had fired at the Prior of Ners. 

When these occurrences became known the 
Curés of the Province showed great alarm; some 
left their homes and took refuge with the bishop,, 
while priests of every rank magnified these isolated 
cases for the purpose of creating terror and inciting 
the Catholic populace to revenge. 

" The rebels, six hundred in number, are at our gates ; " 
wrote the Prior of Gajan to the Indendant, " they are secreted 
in the wood of Saint-Bénézet, and their leaders are Defferre 
and Coste. We have urgent need of a strong force, as several 
Curés have been either killed or wounded. Unless you send 
troops to Saint-Marnert, Fons, Gajan, Bouvière and Mon- 
taignac, and augment the number of those already stationed 
at Saint Génies and La Calmette, all the priests and 
Catholics of the locality will share the same fate." 1 

Saint-Priest employed Lédignan to hunt the 
minister Coste, and it was publicly announced 
that whosoever gave him shelter should be hung; 
but in vain ! Coste concealed himself for some 
time, and finally succseded by the aid of his 
friends in escaping to England where he was re- 
ceived and supported by Du Plan. The Tribunal 
of Nismes tried him in his absence and condemned 



1. Archives of Hérault, C. 231. 



Paul Rabaut and the Marquis De Paulmy. 277 

him by default to be broken alive od the wheel 
and burnt at the stake 

These alarming attempts, and the still more 
alarming rumours of an approaching general assas- 
sination of priests, greatly affected the Govern- 
ment and the Intendant, the latter of whom feared 
that the Huguenots in their desperation would stop 
at nothing. Saint-Priest besought the intervention of 
Paul Rabaut with a view to calm the minds of the 
Protestants, and bring them back to their obedience, 
while at the same time the military relaxed their 
rigorous measures, and general quiet was again 
restored. 

It was about this time that the Duc de 
Richelieu arrived in Languedoc to take command of 
the troops. To the Surprise of the Protestants he 
began his official career by a displa}- of great 
toleration, which was attributed to the influence of 
the Marquis De Paulmy, then on a tour in Languedoc, 
in order, it was supposed, to ascertain the condition 
of that important province. The Protestants, 
however, were mistaken, for the object of Paulmy 
was only to make a military inspection of the 
defensive works of the south, specially those situated 
on the Rhone and the Var. A dramatic incident 
which marked the tour of the Marquis made a great 
sensation. He arrived 'at Nismes just as the per- 
secution was becoming less severe, but when the 
country was still deeply agitated. In astonishment 
at this condition of affairs, he expressed a desire to 
have a statement of the same submitted to him by 



278 Respite of the Persecution. 

the Protestants themselves. Happening shortly after 
to be going one night from Nismes to Montpellier, 
his travelling carriage was stopped by some men on 
horse-back, one of whom approached the door with 
a respectful demeanour and said "I am Paul 
Rabaut." He then handed the Marquis a long 
document of which he requested his perusal. The 
old soldier, evidently touched by the display of so 
much courage and confidence on the part of the 
pastor, accepted the statement and promised to 
forward it to the King. Shortly afterwards the 
persecution entirely ceased, a result which the Pro- 
testants naturally attributed to the influence of the 
Marquis De Paulmy with the Court. Alas, it was 
nothing of the kind ! — the true reason was owing 
neither to pity nor to mercy, but "to paucity of 
troops to enforce the laws and to punish those who 
broke them." 1 

This persecution, which lasted for seven years, was 
the longest and most terrible that the Huguenots 
had yet undergone. The respite was of short 
duration — only a year — but they profited by it to 
combine and organise themselves anew. 

Let us now listen to the plaintive description of 
the sorrows of the victims, as portrayed in the 
following correspondence. - 



1. Histoire de l'Eglise de Montpellier, by M Corbière. Documentary 
evidence, No. 41, November, 1751. 



Letter of Cortiet on the persecutions of 17 50. 279 



Letter fvom Cortieg, 1750. 

" Upper Languedoc, the 18th of May, 1750. 
" Monsieur and dear brother, 

u I received with true pleasure your pious letter dated 

the 9th of April last Since your departure our 

Churches have considerably increased in number as well as 
in influence; they have been organised into eight separate 
Provinces, namely Dauphiny, Vivarais, Upper and Lower 
Cevennes, Upper and Lower Languedoc, Upper Guienne and 
Comté de Foix, Upper and Lower Poitou, Saintonge, and 
Normandy. Each Province embraces about the same extent 
of country as it did before the Revocation of the Edict of 
Nantes; it has its Pastors, Consistories, Conferences and 
Synods, and follows out, as far as the circumstances of the 
times will permit, the rules and regulations established by 
our forefathers. 

"In Dauphiny during the last few years, the persecution 
has been very severe and has made great ravages, but, 
blessed be God, I learn that latterly it has somewhat 
abated 

"As to Vivarais, you have doubtless heard of the 
disastrous events that took place on the occasion of the 
capture of the lateM. Desubas, who suffered martyrdom with 
a faith and constancy worthy of the martyrs of the primitive 
church, and with a patience and fortitude extremely edifying 
to the faithful. But, everlasting praise be to God, these 
tribulations were not of long duration; the assemblies, 
baptisms, and marriages were soon resumed as formerly and 
are even daily increasing in number 

M lu Upper and Lower Cevennes and in Lower Languedoc, 
things are in a much healthier condition. There, nearly all 
the Protestants profess their religion openly without fear of 
molestation ; they attend with great regularity the frequent 
assemblies, held in broad daylight, in close vicinity to cities, 



280 Letter of Cortiez on the persecutions of 1750. 

towns, and villages, and at which baptisms are performed 
and marriages solemnized. 

"In Upper Languedoc numerous assemblies are held, 
while baptisms and marriages are frequent, but unfortunately 
everything has to be done at night time, heavy fines being 
imposed in case of discovery. Some Protestants, in conse- 
quence, cannot be prevailed upon to make open profession 
of their faith 

"In Upper Guienne, towards the end of 1744 and the 
commencement of 1745, the assemblies became much more 
frequent, but renewed and severe persecution soon compelled 
their discontinuance, and during several subsequent years 
the faithful were cruelly oppressed by the agents of the 
Government 

" Owing, however, to the loviug kindness of God and His 
ever watchful care of His children, the bitterness of the 
persecution is now over-past and the much tried Huguenots are 
beginning to enjoy some repose. The Pastor tells me in the 
last letter I received from him that he has recently baptized 
four children and performed several marriages without 
interruption from our adversaries, and he hopes that if God 
favors them with a few weeks cessation of anxiety he may 
have many more similar duties to perform. 

" In the Comté de Foix the people of God have suffered 
much by reason of many fines imposed upon them, by 
imprisonment, by condemnation to servitude on the galleys, 
by the carrying away of young girls into convents, and by 
the compulsory baptism of children previously baptised in 
the Desert. 

" These measures caused at the time of their inception a 
momentary panic, but I have since learned with indescribable 
satisfaction that their stringency has abated and that 
baptisms and marriages in the Desert would be resumed 
when a Pastor is appointed, which will soon be done. 

"In Upper and Lower Poitou. Saintonge and Perigord 
the persecution of last year created some trouble and 
confusion, but it was not of long duration, and tranquillity is 



T.i I try of (forties on thé persecutions of t750. 281 

iiiiw restored. An unfortunate schism which began with the 
chiefs and spread amongst the flocks has been repaired. M. 
Du Plan has informed you that one result of the fourteen or 
fifteen marriages in the Desert in Perigord has been the 
condemnation of the men to the galleys and the imprisonment 
of the women for life, but I have since heard that these 
sentences have been commuted into exile for a term of 
years. 

u Touching Normandy, I am but imperfectly informed as 
to what happens there. I only know that the assemblies 
are very large, that Monsieur Prëneuf, who was the Pastor, 
has left for Jersey where he has been made sub-deacon 
according to the rites of the Anglican Church, and that, 
previous to his departure, at a conference, he laid hands on 
a certain M. Gautier, formerly a monk, and who is well 
spoken of. 

"You have without doubt heard that the king of France 
has thought proper to impose the tax known as the vingtième 
upon his subjects. This proceeding has produced considerable 
opposition in certain Provinces, but especially in Languedoc, 
and it has gone to such lengths that the King, surprised and 
indignant, has ordered the suppression of the Provincial 
Assemblies (états provinciaux) and the functions formerly 
performed by these bodies are now assumed by the agents 
of the crown. 

"The payment of the impost in question has been 
demanded of us Protestants by the Intendant, and we have 
neither the right nor the power to demur to the request, 
though we know perfectly well that compliance therewith 
will brinff us into conflict with the clergy and draw upon 
us the ill-will of many of our neighbours opposed to the 
constitution of the Provincial Councils, and the sentiments of 
the Clergy will only draw down upon us the hatred of both. 
We have yielded, for obvious reasons, as quietly as possible, 
and our acknowledgment of submission has been well 
received, as we learn from the deputation of Elders who 
were appointed to convey it to Monsieur the Intendant : we 



282 Letter of Le Maréchal to Lu Plan. 

understood, besides, that as a result of the interview fines 
and imprisonments will cease to be imposed upon persons 
attending the assemblies ; at all events, since its occurrence, 
fines have not been levied, while many of the faithful have 
been let out of prison. We have also forwarded an act of 
submission on the subject of (illegible) to M. de ' Saint 
Florentin, whom we have requested to make the King 
acquainted with our real sentiments. God grant that this 
proceeding may have the hoped-for result, and that the cruel 
edicts issued against us may be revoked ; that we may soon 
see the exiles return to their homes, the galley slaves (who 
notwithstanding the liberation of a tew are still numerous) 
set free, and the children wrongfully detained in convents 
restored to their parents. We have, however, to apprehend 
trouble in the future, seeing that we are in such a minority, 
and that the Clergy are constantly working against us and 
endeavouring to bring about our ruin ; because our love 
for God and zeal for His service are at such a low ebb, and 
because, in a word, our sins and back-slidings are so many 
and so great. Considering that we stand in pressing need 
of the prayers of our brethren to God, and their intervention 
with the Protestant Powers, we humbly ask them both for 
the one and for the other and beseech them to obtain the 
assistance of all who are able to render us service. I am 
very sincerely, Monsieur and dear brother in our Lord Jesus 
Christ, your very humble servant 

"Cortiez." 



Letter from Le Maréchal to Benjamin Du Plan (1752). 

" Monsieur and dear Cousin, 

"Since our friend Dubon and I last wrote to you, some 
disastrous events have transpired. The Government farmer- 
generals have confiscated all the property belonging to 
Protestant refugees now abroad, among which is that 



Letter of Bedonnel on the persecutions of 1751. 283 

belonging to you and to your late aunt, as well as the house 
and appurtenances sold by you to our friend Dubon. 

"A month since, persecution recommenced ; the men 
arrested at the religious assemblies have been condemned to 
the galleys, the women to the Tower of Constance and their 
goods have been placed under confiscation. In certain 
localities the troops have been ordered to compel the 
re-baptism of children, while marriages have been forcibly 
re-solemnized by the priests. 

"M. Bënézet, a student lately taken by the dragoons at 
Vigan, was put to death on the 26th of March last, at Mont- 
pellier, glorifying God by the courage and firmness with 
which he yielded up his life. About the same time Le sieur 
Molines, surnamed Fléchier, who had been several years in 
the ministry, was seized at Marsillargues : he had married a 
Catholic lady, the widow of an officer, and, in his passionate 
love for this woman, had shown by yielding to her evil 
influence, that it is given to none to serve both God and the 
tlesh, for though he attended mass he was long kept a pri- 
soner in the Citadel of Montpellier. God grant us grace and 
strength to be faithful to Him unto the end. I present to 
your dear wife my sincerest respects, and of her as well as 
of yourself I have the honor to be, Monsieur and dear cousin, 
your very humble servant 

"Le Maréchal." 

"14th of May, 1752. " 



Letter of Bedonnel, Pastor of Montpellier, 
to Benjamin Da Plan (1751). 

"Monsieur and honored brother, 
"Although several months have elapsed since I wrote to 
you very fully, during which time I have received no reply 
to my letter, I address you again in order to assure you that 
in addition to the constant and earnest prayers I offer to 
God on your behalf, I have not failed to renew them at the 



284 Letter of Bedonnel on the persecutions of 1751. 

commencement of this new year, to the end that if it please 
God He may bestow upon you everything that is desirable, 
both for this life and for that which is to come; and not 
alone as an evidence of the high estimation which I entertain 
for you, but also with a^view to inform you of everything 
that has transpired here respecting us in the meantime. 

" Towards the end of the month of October last, two 
Protestants of Faugères were apprehended for having refused 
to allow the priest to bury their children, they having 
meanwhile buried the children in their own grounds. A few 
months' imprisonment and payment of twenty five or thirty 
pistoles was the penalty imposed for this affair. Some time 
afterwards, Monsieur the sub-delegate of Béziers, appointed 
for the purpose by the Intendant, went at the head of a 
brigade of mounted police to the aforesaid Faugères, also to 
Bédarieux and Graissessac, for the purpose of ascertaining 
the names of those who had been married or had had their 
children baptized in the Desert, and of taking away from 
them the certificates of such marriages and baptisms. This 
measure, following the publication of the decree of which 
I spoke in my last letter, so alarmed the faithful as to make 
them fear that they would at once be condemned to the 
prisons and the galleys, but most of all they feared that the 
marriages performed by their own legitimate pastors would 
be held void, and re-solemnization as well as re-baptism at the 
hands of the priests be enforced by the authorities. I had 
just returned from a visit to the Churches when I heard this 
news, and appreciating their anxiety I wrote them two letters 
(being unable either to go back myself or to send any one 
else) in order to encourage them, as well as to exhort them 
to persevere in the faith and to lose and suffer all things 
rather than to commit any act incompatible with their duty 
or to the prejudice of their salvation. I have since heard 
from one who has visited them that our adversaries have 
made no further demonstration, and that tranquillity is now 
restored. 

" While these things were going on in the outskirts of the 



Letter <>/' Redonne! on the persecutions of 1751. 



285 



Province where no troops are stationed, assemblies in the 
interior were constantly assailed by the many armed 
detachments appointed for that purpose. All our gatherings 
on one day were attacked and dispersed by the united 
forces from all the garrisons of the Province. Not a single 
prisoner, however, was taken at any place with the 
exception of Uzes, where the number was so great that it 
seemed large enough for all the others put together. 

"The following are the particulars. The Assembly 
connected with the Church met together at the usual trysting 
place, which is barely a league from the town. The 
Commandant of the garrison and the sub-delegate, bribed 
and led on by the bishop, who is extremely bigoted and 
cruel, had laid a plan for surprising the worshippers and 
taking as many of them prisoners as possible, and, above 
all M. Pradel, alias Vernezobre the Pastor. The sub-delegate 
having ordered a brigade of mounted police stationed at 
Remoulin to muster in the neighbourhood of Uzes, but not 
until the Sunday morning, in order to avoid attracting atten- 
tion, put himself at their head, and in company with the foot 
police drew near to the meeting, after having first provided 
the men with cords and manacles wherewith to bind the 
minister whom he hoped to capture. 

"The Commandant on the other hand, in order the better 
to put the assembly off its guard, ordered the garrison out 
on to the Esplanade as if for ordinary drill, having mean- 
while adopted the treacherous device of sending his valet- 
de-chambre to the meeting to watch the Pastor, and ascertain 
what became of him on the approach of the detachment, 
in order to insure his capture. The admission of the valet- 
de-chambre to the assembly ought not to surprise you, 
neither ought it to be regarded as an imprudent act on the 
part of the Church. For the last ten years our gatherings 
have taken place in the day-time without concealment, and 
not only have many Catholics, but soldiers and police officers 
also, attended them out of curiosity or other motives, and 
notwithstanding the opposition of the bishops, priests and 



286 Letter of Redonne! on the persecutions of 1751. 

commandants these procedings have not been entirely dis- 
continued. Moreover the Spaniards, so many of whom have 
been spending the winter in the Province, have attended the 
assemblies in crowds, and though for the most part they 
understand very little French they have so greatly admired 
the reading of the Holy Scriptures, the sermons, the singing 
of the Psalms, and above all our liturgies, our adminstration 
of the ordinances of baptism, and the Lord's Supper, that at 
Uzes several officers who attended an assembly one Sunday 
occupied seats in the enclosure with the Consistory, in order 
the better to see the baptisms and hear the minister. They 
were so impressed that they afterwards exclaimed with 
delight that we baptised in the name of the Father, the Son, 
and the Holy Ghost and that we were Christians like them- 
selves. Their attention to, and respect for the worship were 
redoubled, and they knelt and covered their heads like the 
faithful, while I am able to assure you that the few who 
have returned into Spain are very different from what they 
were when they came away, preferring generally communion 
with our body to communion with the Catholics and our 
preachings to their masses. Some have gone so far as to 
denounce the priests, and especially the monks, charging them 
with improper conduct, and this without producing any 
disturbance in our assemblies. I have gone somewhat at 
length into these matters in the belief that the incident of the 
valet-de-chambre and the particulars about the Spaniards, 
—the two subjects being somewhat connected, — may not 
improbably afford you as much pleasure as they have 
afforded us. 

u To return to the traitor valet and the assembly. So far 
from any one objecting to his presence the worshippers 
seemed to derive pleasure in procuring him a good place, the 
better to see and hear what should happen. The project of 
the Bishop had not been arranged with such secrecy that 
the Church did not suspect what was going on, the artifice 
of exercising the men being well understood. On coming 
together two precautions were taken; one was that the 



Letter of Reêonnel 0)i the persecutions of 1751. 287 

Pastor dispensed with his robes in order that he might be 
the better able to escape from the troops — simply wearing 
the ecclesiastical bands, as he had to baptise three infants — 
the other was to place certain of the faithful in the town as 
scouts to warn the assembly of the approach of the soldiers. 
This, however, was a useless proceeding, for while the troops 
were apparently engaged in their manœuvres, the Comman- 
dant by a pre-arranged plan caused them to proceed rapidly 
or to run in companies of fourteen (eight or nine in number) 
towards the assembled worshippers. The faithful, who were 
on the look-out observing what was going on, ran also, and 
with the greatest speed possible, but the soldiers — and the 
mounted police who joined them on the way — made such 
progress that all arrived nearly at the same time ; and before 
it was possible to give the signal of danger, the assembly 
was in this way invested by a cordon of troops, which 
contracted its area until there was left only one small 
opening, and this a few grenadiers tried to close up. To 
the honor of the Church let it be said that the startled flock, 
disregarding the impending peril, made the safety of its 
Pastor and a young preacher who had just recovered from 
a severe illness, and was still only convalescent, its sole 
concern. The latter fainted away and was with difficulty 
mounted on horseback behind the Pastor, who endeavoured 
to make his escape through the small opening in question. 
One of the most striking instances afforded us in ecclesiastical 
history of the attachment of people for their Pastor is shown 
in the fact that when these persecuted ones saw that the 
grenadiers were about to attain their object they threw them- 
selves into the hands of the soldiers in order to distract 
their attention and give the Pastor a chance to get away. 
The plan was completely successful, and for once we see the 
sheep not only giving their property and their liberty, but 
also their lives for the shepherd who thus, through the special 
intervention of Providence for which we ever desire to 
return thanks, made his escape. It was not so with the 
faithful, for, although the greater part saved themselves, 



288 Letter of Bedonnel on the persecutions of 1751. 

a large number were exposed for three hours to the ill- 
usage and insolence ot the soldiers and police, as well as to 
that of the Commandant, who by his example and exhortation 
encouraged his subordinates to inflict upon their unhappy 
victims the most outrageous insults and the roughest treat 1 
ment. Amongst the victims was an old man of seventy, of 
the name of Audiger, and another, called Espérandieu, both 
of Montaren who, when felled to the ground by heavy blows 
from the fists of their oppressors, contented themselves with 
protesting against this brutality by the simple exclamation, 
"Be merciful to us for the sake of God, for we have done 
you no injury ! " At this moment, a soldier who had injured 
his gun, probably by letting it fall on a rock of which there 
are many in the locality, drew the attention of the Comman- 
dant (who happened to be passing) to the circumstance and 
accused one of the poor old men of having done the mischief. 
The Commandant who saw his helpless and aged victim lying 
prostrate on the ground covered with bruises and half dead, 
could scarcely have believed such a story : nevertheless he 
replied with an oath that the old man ought to be killed, and 
having kicked him on the chest with his heavy boot ordered 
him to be confined with the other prisoners. 

u You will no doubt wonder what became of the valet-de- 
chambre. On the approach of his master he attempted, but 
without success, to point out the Pastor in order that he 
might claim the thousand crowns reward offered for his 
capture. God meanwhile had ordained the seizure of a man 
who resembled the former; and the Commandant, under the 
belief that he had his man safe in his custody, took no further 
steps. The Pastor thus made his escape in company with 
the others, who were followed for about a mile by the troops. 

"As it was winter time and the days were short, the 
troops were soon recalled from the chase. In their eagerness 
to pursue, capture and ill-treat the Huguenots, many of them 
had dispersed through the woods and among the mountains, 
and they now returned with the unfortunates whom they had 
succeeded in taking prisoners. The number of the unhappy 



Letter of Bedonnel on the persecutions of 1751. 

captives now was so great that, not only was there a diffi- 
culty in guarding them, but it was feared that, an attempt at 
resistance would be made, and that those of their brethren 
who had made their escape might come to their rescue. 
God had caused our adversaries to believe that we should 
be more resentful than we really were, and to this ap- 
prehension, which was rather servicable to us than otherwise, 
is to be attributed two incidents that greatly surprised the 
assembly at the time of their occurrence and which I have 
omitted previously to notice. One was the beating of the 
drum, and the other the firing of a few blank cartridges in 
the air, apparently with the object of so frightening us as to 
induce the strong and vigorous to effect their escape, while 
the Pastor, the women and the old people were made an 
easy prey. The stratagem, however, did not succeed, and the 
troops were encumbered with such a multitude of prisoners 
that many of them easily got away, whilst others bribed the 
soldiers with money and jewellery to allow them to escape. 
On approaching the town, the Commandant, either simply 
from fear and a desire to irritate the Catholics against us 
by inducing them to believe that we were likely to give 
trouble, or else with a view to secure the prisoners, of whom 
many were constantly escaping, and to render his success 
the more striking, ordered out the remainder of the garrison 
under arms. Be this as it may, he entered the town at the 
head of the reinforcement, escorting by the light of torches 
about two hundred Huguenots whom he conducted to the 
prison. You may judge from this fact the enormous number 
that might have been secured. Two ladies of quality were 
especially distinguished by their gentle and resolute bearing. 
I am acquainted with the name of one only, the pious 
Mada"- d'Aubessargues. It is with little pleasure that 
I recount to you the impression which this sad spectacle 
made on the minds and hearts of nearly all the inhabitants, 
whether Protestants or Catholics. There were but few 
respectable people who could not reckon among the pri- 
soners some relative, acquaintance, neighbour or friend, 

19 



290 Letter of Medonnel on the persecutions of 1751. 

and the lamentations were not limited to a section of the 
community as, possibly, the Commandant had anticipated, 
but were reinforced by the maledictions of the Catholics 
who in this made common cause with their oppressed 
neighbours. 

" As the prisons of Uzès were not sufficient to contain so 
many persons at one time, and as no preparations had been 
previously made or could now be made at so short notice, 
the wretched accomodation received by these poor, hungry, 
cold, tired and maltreated people added not a little to their 
already sufficiently severe sufferings. Amongst them were 
five women with infants at the breast, who were not allowed, 
even under guard, to go to their homes, and only permitted 
by special favor to receive their infants in the prison. 
Madame D'Aubessargues begged (under the guarantee of a 
Catholic, who had tendered his help) that she might be 
allowed to be kept prisoner in a private house — watched by 
as many soldiers as should be deemed necessary, and whom 
she herself offered to pay. This was granted, and soon 
afterwards she was permitted to occupy her own Château, 
on condition that she provided sureties and paid the guard. 
The most notable of the other prisoners also obtained their 
freedom, under recognisances, for reasons which you will 
be pleased to hear and for which we cannot fail to admire 
the workings of Providence. I will confine myself to two 
of the principal cases. 

"God, who never abandons those whom He loves, so 
over-ruled events that M. de la Fareille, Commandant of 
Uzès, happened to be absent at the time when this affair 
occurred, and vexed to find that the troops had been ordered 
out without his authority, shewed his displeasure in a very 
marked manner to the sub-Delegate and the officer in 
command, as well, perhaps, as to some others. This alone 
was very much in our favor, and coupled with it was the 
fact that M. the Duke d'Uzès, so far from regarding the 
imprisonment favorably, seriously regretted it. It is 
asserted that, on the day following, when the sub-Delegate 



Letter of Redonnel on the persecutions of 1151. '_ ; '.»1 

called upon him — possibly for the purpose of justifying his 
conduct — the Seigneur angrily demanded whether he wished 
him to be deprived of his vassals. He also ordered the sub- 
Delegate to quit the Duchy at once and never to re-enter it 
under pain of the lash, and concluded by expressing surprise 
t hut he had not already lost his life. Thus, no doubt, it is 
in great measure owing to the favor of this nobleman that 
our brethren at Uzès are indebted for the amelioration of 
their misfortunes, if it be permitted to speak thus of sufferings 
endured for righteousness sake. 

"The above named considerations have not operated so 
favorably as regards the poorer prisoners, and especially 
those who have to maintain themselves and their families 
by their own industry. The hope of inducing them to violate 
their consciences through the weariness and misery incidental 
to a sojourn in prison and the wants of their families, has 
encouraged our enemies to keep them in close confinement; 
and the Church of Uzès, fearing the consequences of a design 
so nefarious and cruel, has done everything in its power to 
avert the evil by ministering to the wants both of the 
prisoners and their families. With so many mouths to feed, 
however, and especially after the late disastrous affair, it has 
been compelled to appeal for assistance to other Churches, 
and the appeal has been met by Nismes sending two hundred 
livres, Montpellier one hundred and fifty, with a promise of 
more if required, and I know not what the other Churches 
have done. 

"Bad as this is, however, it is not the worst. Many who 
had been released under bail have been recalled, and handed 
over to the tender mercies of their enemies, greatly to the 
disgrace of several persons in high places who had pledged 
their word for their safety. Monsieur the Intendant, who died 
on the 28th of last month, signalised his departure from the 
world by condemning five of these unfortunates to the galleys, 
two to the Tower of Constance, and thirty-five to the prisons 
of Nismes for six months. As to the fate of the others we 
are ignorant, but we do know that the chief of police 



292 Letter of Redonne! on the persecutions of 1752. 

pronounced these sentences on parting with his confessor 
and before receiving the communion. Can any greater 
service be rendered to humanity than to convert them from 
a religion dishonoring alike Christianity and mankind? 
What an inducement is offered to those who love the Lord 
to engage in efforts for the utter extinction of Popery! 

"Many other facts could I communicate, but observing 
from one of your letters that M. Viala will probably call 
upon me and, knowing that you desire lull details of all that 
happens here, I will ask you to excuse me saying more at 
present, especially as I have filled my sheet of paper. I will 
continue to send you all the news. I forward to the Upper 
and Lower Cevennes, to Vivarais and Daliphiny in accordance 
with the request of M. Viala, the announcement of his pro- 
posed visit. While thanking you for your letter I conclude 
by commending our flocks, my colleagues and myself to 
your devout prayers, and to the prayers of all who interest 
themselves on our behalf, assuring you that I am with all 
my heart, Monsieur and honored brother, your very humble, 
obedient, and devoted servant 

"Kedonnel." 

"P. S. My colleagues, with whom I have been in com- 
pany recently, humbly salute you and thank you for the 
marks of good-will displayed towards them in the letter 
brought to me by Michel. If Monsieur Gaussen would oblige 
us by sending your letters through the hands of his nephew 
at Montpellier, the transit would be a very safe one. I 
beseech you to present to him my respects." 



Another letter from Bedonnel to Du Plan. 

" 29th of June, 1752. 
"Monsieur and honored brother in Jesus Christ, 
u A few days have elapsed since I received from Monsieur 
pastor Polier a letter containing the same intelligence that 



Letter of Bedonnel on the persecutions of it:<l'. 293 

you communicated to me Borne months ago, and although 
the daily increasing misfortunes wliicli afflict us so 
engross my attention that 1 can scarcely think of anything 
else, yet I must not omit to thank you for jour exhortations 
to us to be at peace with one another. Monsieur, the pastor 
follows in your steps and goes still further, endeavouring to 
remove all the obstacles hitherto encountered in our efforts 
for the attainment of so desirable a consummation, by declaring 
that he no longer holds to his former views, but that he 
acquiesces in the favorable judgment which has been 
rendered in your case. 1 How much troublesome litigation 
and discord might have been avoided if matters could have 
been arranged amicably! Buc such is human nature, it is 
only to be convinced after long and diligent enquiry. The 
termination of the dispute fills me with joy and consolation, 
and gratitude to (rod, for I can assure you, Monsieur, that 
neither you nor our other friends are aware of the sorrow 
with which it has been regarded by my colleagues and 
myself, nor can you realize the earnestness of our efforts to 
restore peace and, unity. To this good end we would try to 
forget all that has happened, all uncharitable thoughts and 
unkind words, and we entreat you to do the same: and 
knowing as you do our anxiety on this score (as to which 
your last letter affords convincing testimony), we say no 
more, feeling assured that all impartial people who know us 
well will render on this occasion the justice due to our 
integrity of purpose. 

" I will now inform you of what is taking place here. 
Our faithful are still urged to have their children re-baptized, 
unfortunately with only too much success, and although 
imprisonment is not threatened — as this would frighten the 
people out of the country — yet if, after the lapse of three 
days, the ceremony has not been performed, troopers are 
billetted on the recusants; and the latter, besides having to 
maintain both soldiers and horses, are mulcted in the sum ot 

1. Allusion ia here made to the Arbitration ca 



294 Letter of Redorinel on the persecutions of 1752. 

four litres each per diem. Those who endeavour to evade 
the law by not presenting themselves, or their wives and 
children, have their goods confiscated, and, arbitrary as this- 
proceeding is, it is not the worst that they have to undergo, 
for they are constantly exposed to the whiles and seductions 
of the cowardly as well as to the stratagems of Papists and 
satellites of the priests. The latter, under cover of the- 
authority of their chiefs, are the most insolent and 
unscrupulous creatures it is possible to imagine, and, united 
with the rest, they constitute a force with which it is almost 
impossible for our terrified faithful successfully to contend 
for the protection of their children. One of my colleagues, 
who is an eye witness, tells me, in order to afford an idea 
of the pressure exercised, that the devil himself would have 
to submit to re-baptism if such was their wish. In three 
districts Desert-married couples have had to suffer re- 
marriage at the hands of the priests, and to undergo the 
tests ordained by the bishops, who, profiting by the restraint 
thus imposed have neglected nothing to enforce full obser- 
vance of all the obligations ot their rejigion. Nismes, 
although hitherto free from these troubles, is daily expecting 
to suffer, but Sommières, Calvisson, and the neighbourhood, 
have been attacked, and the inhabitants, with the exception 
of a few who have elected to surrender their property, were 
forced to succumb. Our flocks, save a few worldlings, have 
seriously contemplated expatriating themselves, but alas» 
even this resource is not now open to them! seven persons 
were arrested about two or three weeks since, a day'? 
journey from Nismes, and conducted to the dungeons of the 
fort, while twenty-one were, at the same time, imprisoned in 
the Fort of Grenoble, and their fate remains unknown. We 
are assured that all the frontiers of the kingdom are 
rigorously guarded and that it is useless to attempt to 
escape. If this be true what is to become of us? Who is- 
to save us from the imminent peril which menaces us and 
our beloved flocks from all quarters ? Can anything be 



Letter of Redonne! on the persecutions of 1752. 295 

more fearful? They will neither allow us to remain 
unmolested nor let us depart. 

u Another circumstance still more striking and grievous 
was the execution, last Friday at Niâmes, of a man named 
Roque from Beau voisin, a place situated about two leagues 
from that town. This unfortunate man was accused of 
having attacked singlehanded a detachment of forty or 
fifty soldiers as they were escorting seven prisoners who had 
been captured at an assembly, and he was charged further 
with attempting the life of the Commandant. False and 
destitute of all semblance of reality as was this accusation, 
Roque was thrown into prison, and after a detention at 
Nismes or Montpellier of four months, was brought up for 
trial last Thursday at Nismes, manacled with thirty pounds' 
weight of iron fetters on his neck and wrists. He asserted 
his innocence, reproached his judges with injustice and 
threatened them with the vengeance of the Almighty, but 
deaf alike to remonstrance and menace they sentenced him 
to be hanged on the following day. No fewer than eighteen 
priests went in a body to endeavour to prevail on the con- 
demned man to recant. He sternly refused to hear them. 
The abbot Bouira, more ardent in the cause than his 
companions, seized the prisoner by the collar and besought 
him to reflect that in two hours he would have to appear 
before God, assuring him at the same time that if he quitted 
the world a heretic he could expect no other fate than to be 
cast into hell. 'Ah Monsieur!' replied Roque in patois, 
'if you believed there to be a hell in the next world, you 
would not persecute me as you are doing in this!' These 
words, which coming from a poor peasant were regarded as 
something monstrous and portentous, struck terror into th« 
whole assemblage, and they shortly afterwards retired, but 
only to give place to two Jesuits, one of whom (Father Gout) 
had come specially from Montpellier. The victim put these 
new tormentors also to confusion by exclaiming : ' Oh, how 
can I believe your religion to be true while I daily see you 
steeping your hands in Christian blood?' A dozen priests 



296 Letter of Redonne} on the prosecutions of 1752. 

then came up to the charge, but he refused their services, 
dismissing them with these words. 'Leave me alone to 
prepare for death, I have no need of consolation from you; 
unfortunately those who could give me comfort are not per- 
mitted to come here.' The fatal moment having arrived, 
two Jesuits volunteered to accompany the prisoner, and from 
time to time on his way to the scaffold they endeavonred to 
address him, but their efforts were useless ; Roque heeded 
them not, and, turning his back, refused in strong terms to 
give ear to their exhortations. During the short intervals in 
which he was left to himself he never ceased to cry to God, 
exclaiming, 'Be merciful to me, be merciful to me!' When 
the cortege had passed out of the little gate of Saint-Gilles, 
and came in sight of the gallows, Roque increased his pace, 
and on arriving implored the executioner to do his work 
quickly. While mounting the ladder he sang the fifty-first 
Psalm, and after he had refused to kiss the crucifix offered 
to him by a Jesuit, the drums were sounded and the drop fell. 
" Let us adore the hand of Providence as shewn in this 
instance of self sacrifice for the truth by Roque, which seems 
all the greater beside the unworthy conduct of his pastor 
(Molines) who, as I have already explained to you, saved 
his life at the expense of his conscience. What a humiliating 
example ot wisdom without piety ! Roque was about thirty 
years of age, and leaves behind him a widow and a little 
child three or four years old, besides an aged mother, all of 
whom were at Nismes on that sad but glorious day. In 
the absence of the pastors, who were obliged to conceal 
themselves, the family received the ministrations of the 
deacons and deaconesses who ably supplied their places. 
The incident has seriously increased the alarm of the resi- 
dents in Nismes and the neighbourhood, an alarm which 
was already only too great; and meanwhile the animosity 
manifested towards us by the priests and those in authority 
over them shows no signs of abatement. They who are 
apparently the most forbearing do not scruple to act as spies 
and to inform against us, and how many are there who fail 



Letter of Pomaret on the prosecutions of t752. 297 

to take pleasure in joining the hue and cry? Such is the 
disastrous result of this Catholic Jubilee! 

U I forgot to mention that when Roque was being led 
from the Fort to the Court of Justice an enthusiastic Huguenot 
addressing him, cried out, 'Courage, my dear brother, you 
will shortly be in the presence of the Lord. ' No sooner was 
the body of the martyr hung in chains than it was carried 
off. Proceedings have been instituted against those who 
were concerned in its removal. Two sick Protestants 
— one at (anion, a small village near Bédarieux, and the 
other at Pézénaa — after having been vainly entreated b}* the 
priests to abjure their religion, died, when their bodies were 
dragged through the streets and thrown into the common 
sewer. You may judge from these circumstances what is 
our present condition and the nature of the people with 
whom we have to deal. 

"Excuse all imperfections in my letter: I have written it 
hastily, and time fails me to add more. I beseech you to 
remember me in your prayers, and likewise to solicit tor me 
theprayers of your friends. Believe me, Monsieur, and honored 
brother, with tender and respectful affection, your very 
humble and obedient servant. 

"•Redonnel." 



Lettrr from "Pomaret, J'astny of (innçiex to 
Benjamin Du Plan (1752). 

" Monsieur and honored brother, 
" Had I not been already convinced of your zeal for the 
welfare of our oppressed Churches and of your sympathy 
for us in our misfortunes, the letter you have done me the 
honor to write would have hilly reassured me. I received it 
with all the greater pleasure, as, since receiving my appoint- 
ment to the holy ministry, I have earnestly desired to 
maintain a correspondence with you. being persuaded that 



298 Letter of Pomaret on the persecutions of 1752. 

for a man like myself, fulfilling a career beset with so many 
difficulties, nothing 1 could be more encouraging. Favour me, 
I beg of you, with the benefit of your frequent counsel ; it 
affords me inexpressible satisfaction, and the consolation 
I derive therefrom inspires me with a lively sense of 
gratitude. 

" The prophecies of which you speak, and whose teachings 
your pen so faithfully and so forcibly renders, have been the 
frequent subject of my meditations and have given me the 
hope of one day witnessing the deliverance of our Jerusalem, 
a deliverance that may be accomplished perhaps sooner than 
many have anticipated. But whether these, our hopes, be 
realized or not, I am confident that the cause for which we 
contend will not be less dear to our hearts, and that the 
greater our sufferings tor righteousness' sake in this kingdom 
where so great efforts are made for its utter destruction 
the more glorious will it be for us in that day when God 
shall reward the labours of his' beloved servants. 

" These thoughts have so impressed my mind, and so- 
influenced my whole course of action, that, notwithstanding 
the late violent persecutions — so severe in my own district 
— I should if possible have been only more mindful of my 
flock, if the devices adopted for my protection from the 
incessant pursuit of the soldiers had not suddenly and 
unexpectedly failed, and even then I only withdrew from 
my labours in the Church until the violence of our enemies 
seemed somewhat to have abated. I say ' seemed to have 
abated,' for, in spite of the tranquillity enjoyed by our 
brethren and countrymen elsewhere, my district, comprizing 
the village and neighbourhood of Ganges, is constantly 
exposed to attack. On the fifth of la&t month, an assembly 
presided over by one of m)' assistants was surprised by a 
detachment of thirty soldiers, and several of the worshippers 
Avere captured, although they were shortly afterwards re- 
leased. On the twenty-seventh, another detachment, num- 
bering about eighty men, set out for the purpose of attacking 
one of my assemblies, but fortunately they did not succeed 



Letter of Pomaret o>< the persecutions of 1752. 299 

in discovering our place of meeting, thanks to the measures 
I had taken to provide against snares and betrayals. 

u The reasons, my dear Sir, why my Hock does not enjoy 
such tranquillity as is nearly everywhere else enjoyed, are, 
in the first place, that my parish is in the diocese of the 
Bishop ot Montpellier, a prelate who is described as extremely 
bigoted and badly disposed towards the Protestants : se- 
condly, that the troops at Ganges are commanded by a man 
who appears to take a malicious delight in annoying us ; 
and thirdly, that the Protestants of Ganges were so weak as 
to yield at once to the demand of the priests to have their 
children re-baptized, thus placing themselves under a yoke 
from which I had been instrumental in freeing them. I had 
emphatically warned them of the evil consequences which 
their falling away would entail, but the menaces of our 
enemies prevailed over my censures and entreaties. The 
misfortunes which I had foreseen would happen if they did 
not remain firm in their faith have come to pass, and I am 
constrained to apply to them the words of the Prophet 
Hosea Ch. V, v. 11, '■Ephraini is oppressed and broken in 
judgment because he willingly walked after the commandment ' 
of Jeroboam, Omri, and Ahab. This they believe, and 
believing they lament. 

" If you should honour me with further letters, I pray you 
to enlarge somewhat on the sin committed by the Pro- 
testants amongst us who permit their children to be baptised 
and their marriages to be solemnised by priests of the 
Roman Communion, and upon the obligation under which 
they lay to have those rites celebrated by ministers of their 
own religion. You will confer an additional favor if you will- 
mention that on this point you are in full accord with the 
pastors of London. I have very little doubt that such is the 
case at least as regards the majority of them, more 
especially since we received the eloquent letter that 
M. Bourdillon was good enough to send us, and which, 
when I read it in the presence of ray assemblies, produced 
an excédent effect. This which I ask of you, and whose 



300 Letter of Pomaret on the 'persecutions of 1752. 

purport I shall make known to my flock, will help me 
to strengthen the wavering faith of some and rekindle the 
lukewarmnes8 of others, for counsel that comes to us from 
foreign lands is received by our people with marked respect. 
" I have been for some time acquainted with the high 
qualities of M. Buscarlet, to whom kindly offer my respectful 
compliments. My recollections of the faithful Arnaud are of 
the pleasantest, and I am delighted to know that he is in a 
free country. Give him, I pray, my kind regards, etc. 

" Pomaret." 
" December 1st, 1752. " 

" The address of M. Fontane, citizen of Anduze, is 
to be relied upon, and you maj^ sately use it. 

u I have this moment been informed that soldiers were 
yesterday in ambush near a place at which I preached at nine 
o'clock the same evening. A few minutes later and I should 
have been arrested. " 



Another letter from Pomaret to Benjamin du Plan (1572). 

" Monsieur, 

u M. Buscarlet's letter has reached me here in the 
Cevennes, where I have been staying for about a month. 
The sentiments therein expressed are very flattering to me 
and do me too much honour. I am deeply sensible of your 
kindness in sending your address. I have desired it too 
earnestly to neglect seizing the first opportunity after receiving 
it to write to you. 

"It is rare, Monsieur, to find such patriotism as that which 
is displayed by you. Your anxious labours for the main- 
tenance and advancement of our oppressed Churches are of 
a sort never to be effaced from our memories. It is unneces- 
sary to reiterate my assurance of the profound respect which 
I entertain for you personally, or to insist upon the happiness 
it would «afford me to have an opportunity of serving you. 



Letter of Pomaret on the persecutions of 1752. 301 

" The attacks which, during the last few years, have beeu 
made on us have increased in violence, and the evils inflicted 
on us have become more intolerable. Besides the grave 
risks that we have run and still run, we have seen our flocks 
overwhelmed with fines, exactions and penalties. You must 
have heard of our misfortunes, and I have no doubt that you, 
and ell compassionate souls who live in happier lands than 
ours, extend to us their warmest sympathy. Latterly, 
however, our brethren have not been harassed by legal 
proceedings or exposed to ill usage. Humanly speaking 
this immunity is due to the fear felt by the curés of these 
parts, owing to the action of certain Protestants who (in 
the mouth of August last) being driven to desperation, laid 
violent hands on some of the priests who had been most 
hostile to us. It is also considered to be partly the result 
of the influence exercised on the Government by Monsieur the 
Count De Paulmy, who on his journey through thi3 district 
was much affected by the way in which we were treated ; 
and, furthermore, this forbearance is probably in a measure 
owing to a memorial — which has been addressed to the 
Court by the Protestants, moved thereto by a Catholic 
nobleman — in which is detailed the various oppressive 
proceedings to which we have been subjected since the 
year 1740. As we are assured that this memorial has 
received the attention it deserves, and that our evil plight 
has excited compassion, it has occurred to me that you might 
like to know something of its character and purport. 
I therefore give you the particulars which I myself furnished 
respecting my own Church at Ganges. Ganges is a small 
village of the Cevennes principally inhabited by Protestants, 
who are devotedly loyal to the throne and remarkable for 
their industry and thrift. These good qualities, however, do 
not prevent them from suffering many annoyances, as the 
following authentic facts sufficiently prove. 

• In the year 1746, the Protestants were mulcted in a 
fine of 2,313 livres by the late M. Le Nain, Intendant of 
Languedoc, on the ground that they had met together for 



302 Letter of Pomctret on the persecutions of 1152. 

the worship of God. The money was paid to Sicur Olivier, 
collector of taxes in Ganges. 

"In 1747 they were further fined in the sum of 2,272 livres 
by the same M. Le Nain. This time the amount was collected 
by Sieur Boudon, receiver of taxes. 

"In 174y, Françoise Granger, a Protestant midwife of 
Ganges, was arrested and kept in prison at Montpellier four 
years, simply for having followed her calling contrary to 
the commands of M. Martin, Curé of Ganges, notwithstanding 
that she had no other way of earning her living. 

"In 1751, Jean Kouland, and Pierre Puech were accused 
of having baptised their children according to the rites of 
their own communion. The former was condemned to pay 
100 livres fine and the latter 200, and both were imprisoned 
at Montpellier, besides being compelled to have their children 
re-baptised by the Cure of Ganges. 

"In 1752 the inhabitants of the same village were made 
to pay 1500 livres at the instance of M. Saint-Priest, 
Intendant ot Languedoc, for having met in an Assembly. 
Sieur Coularou ot Ganges was on this occasion the collector 
of the impost. 

"Besides fines and imprisonments, the Protestants of 
Ganges have frequently troops quartered upon them, who 
under pretext of dispersing the assemblies, overrun fields 
and vineyards, the owners of which do not dare to make 
remonstrances against these proceedings. 

'' The Protestants of the town of Ganges, equally with 
those of the Province of Languedoc, are too firmly convinced 
ot the benevolence of his gracious Majesty to believe that 
the evils from which they suffer are inflicted by his command. 
Their misfortunes are solely attributable to the influence of 
thebisnops and curés with the Intendants, who prevail on the 
latter to tyrannize over the consciences of, and to overwhelm 
with fines and penalties, those who are obnoxious to the 
Church. But be the origin of the trouble what it may, it is 
none the less ruinous to the Hugenots, numbers of whom 
have been compelled to leave France for neighbouring and 



r of Pâmaret on the persecutions of n~>2. 303 

more friendly countries. Those who still remain, and who 
constitute the majority of the population, trust that his 
Majesty will ere long make himself acquainted with their 
miseries, and that he will take steps to ameliorate their sad 
condition, by placing them beyond the reach ot a tyrannical 
and ambitions clergy who are ever bent upon increasing their 
sufferings. In the hope of this happy consummation they 
offer their earnest and fervent prayers on behalf of his 
Majesty's august person and his whole realm. 

"From the particulars I now send, you may judge, 
Monsieur, of the character of the petitions prepared in the 
neighbouring towns where the inhabitants endured consi- 
derably more annoyance than the people of Ganges, but 
whatever hopes we may indulge in, as the result of these 
memorials, we have reason to apprehend fresh onslaughts, 
as the clergy only wait a favorable opportunity for this 
purpose. 

" We shall be agreeably disappointed to find that our 
troubles are at an end, or that they are even mitigated in 
their severity ; nevertheless such a happy issue is greatly 
to be desired, as it is feared that if our brethren are exposed 
to further troubles they will resort to retaliatory measures, 
especially against the cruel and bloodthirsty priests who are 
regarded as the primary cause of their misfortunes. Though 
it is difficult to restrain those feelings of resentment which 
find a place in the minds of the greater part of our flock, 
we do our best to point out to them their duty and enforce 
patience, even though they are neither permitted to live in 
peace at home nor to emigrate to lands of liberty abroad. 

"As day succeeds day we pine away in our sadness, yet 
not without alternating hopes and fears. Placed as you are 
in happier circumstances, may you enjoy that long life and 
freedom from misfortune so essential to the well-beiûg 
of our Churches and so much desired for you by your 
warmest friends. 

"If the persecution should become so severe as to compel 
Aie to seek an asylum abroad, may I hope for the honor of 



304 Abatement of the persecution in 1753. 

your protection? Without, I trust, being deemed pre- 
sumptious I may consider myself worthy of it, in virtue of 
the esteem that I entertain for you and with which I have 
the honor to remain, Monsieur, very sincerely your humble 
and obedient servant. 

"Pomaret, Pastor of the Lower Cevennes." 

"My address is, to the care of M. Jonvals, either at his 
private house, or to the address on the envelope ; also to the 
care of M. Louis Fontanes, citizen of Anduze, in the Cevennes. " 

The year 1753 was one of blessing to the Pro- 
testants, who Avent about and held assemblies in the 
Desert without let or hindrance. This was especially 
the case in Languedoc, where the assemblies were 
held in the day time. The discipline of the Church 
was enforced with greater regularity and more 
strictly so against those apostates who through 
interested motives or through fear, had renounced 
the faith and made open profession of Catholicism, 
and who now returned repentant and ashamed and 
full of good resolutions for the future. The pastors 
took fresh courage and occupied themselves in 
gathering together their dispersed flocks. The 
following correspondence describes their anxiety 
and zeal on this score. 

Letter from Franc to Benjamin Du Plan (1753). 

17th December 1753. 

" Monsieur and honored brother in Jesus Christ our Lord, 

u Many engagements quickly following one another have 

hitherto prevented me from replying to the last letter with 

which you have honored me. I beseech you to rest assured 



Letter <>f Franc on the condition of (he Church in nr,3. 305 

that this is the sole reason for iuy long silence. The 
remarkable tranquillity we have enjoyed during the past 
year has multiplied our labours without increasing our 
resources. New converts seeking tor instruction, back-sliders 
desiring to return into the right path and asking for our 
assistance in their laudable design, the dead in trespasses 
and sins awakening to the light of life in Jesus Christ our 
Lord, all demand our unceasing solicitude. To these cares 
has been superadded the grief ot witnessing the defection 
of my flock and the weight of another charge, part of 
that formerly belonging to Sieur Fléchier, in my immediate 
neighbourhood, and for whom no substitute could be tound. 
Thus my work, already sufficiently heavy, far from 
diminishing becomes every day heavier, blessed be God. 
I nevertheless put aside everything in order that I may 
gratify my ardent wish to resume our correspondence, for my 
neglect of which I have a score of times reproached myself. 

u And, first of all, let me hasten to acknowledge your 
warm expressions of esteem and friendship and to say how 
deeply sensible I am of your goodness as well as how 
desirous I am of reciprocating your sentiments. Others may 
be more worthy of your eulogiums, but none can more value 
your counsel, or more earnestly desire your good opinion 
and friendship than myself. 

- But to speak of other things. It seems as if God had 
ordained that our afflictions should never be stayed. The 
affair of M. Coste, as you are aware, has occasioned us con- 
siderable disquiet and has gone far to mar the tranquillity 
which the forbearance of our enemies had placed within our 
reach. He was supported by the majority of the faithful as 
well as by several of our principal men, who refused to lend 
themselves to any arrangement at all compatible with the 
honour of the Church or the pastorate, and we had therefore 
reason to fear another schism. In order to avoid such an 
eventuality we postponed the assembling of the Synod, but 
in spite of all our precautions the rupture would have 
occurred, had not the Almighty afflicted M. Coste with a 

20 



306 Letter of Franc on tlie condition of the Church in 1753. 

species of melancholy, owing to which he lost hope, was 
prevented from discharging the functions of his ministry 
and failed to receive further countenance from his friends. 

"Thus again have our Churches by God's mercy 
been preserved from impending division, and grievous as 
are the means bj' which this blessing has been brought 
about, yet if we acknowledge in them the workings ot 
Providence we may be enabled to bear the cross with 
patience and resignation. 

"After this occurrence the Synod was immediately con- 
voked tor the twenty-seventh of last month, with the view of 
adopting measures meet for this occasion, and to make such 
others as the state of the Province rendered necessary. All the 
pastors, with the exception of M. Coste, took part in the 
discussions, which were remarkable for their harmony and 
for the manitestions of mutual confidence and esteem by 
which they were characterised. Twenty resolutions were 
passed, several of which related to the ordination to the holy 
ministry of nine students who had been nominated tor 
examination by five pastors, selected for the purpose. The 
remainder of the business had regard either to personal mat- 
ters or to measures which were considered necessary for the 
future conduct of affairs with greater order and propriety. 

"The resolution in the case of M. Coste created the 
greatest interest and was couched in the following terms : 
•' That, having taken into consideration the reports 
circulated respecting Sieur Coste and the sentence pro- 
nounced against him by the tribunal of Nisnies; having also 
demanded of the Deputy from Ners why his Church had 
made no communications on the subject, and the Deputy 
having explained that this was due to the troubles then 
prevalent in the country and to the sudden and unexpected 
arrival of troops — this assembly, while lamenting the mis- 
fortunes of the times, urges him to produce the required 
information with all possible despatch. ' 

" One word more concerning ourselves. The whole 
province is over-run with soldiers. We are authoritatively 



Lrth >■ of Màbaui on the condition of the Church in t753. 307 

informed that there are several more squadrons this year 
than last, but it is less their numbers than the character of 
their proceedings that causes us so much uneasiness. There is 
scarcely a village, be it Protestant or Catholic, however poor, 
insignificant or remote, in which troops are not quartered. 
Many persons are apprehensive that the object of these 
measures is the enforcement of Catholic marriage and baptism, 
and, above all, the removal of pastors in order that the 
flocks may be the more easily controlled. We continue, 
however, to receive emphatic assurances to the contrary. 
God grant that our misgivings may not be realized ! But we 
cannot conceal from ourselves that we have much to fear, 
especially as at this season of the year it is not possible, as 
in summer, to sleep out of doors, and because we so often 
find, according to the proverb, ' l'occasion a fait le larron.' 
The priests have won over the officers, and though this has 
come to pass without any orders from head quarters, it is 
none the less unfortunate for us. But what can men do 
against those who are protected of God? In Him we put our 
trust, we believe that in His infinite compassion He will not 
suffer our hopes to be disappointed, and that, in sending us 
trials and troubles, He will give us also strength to bear 
them, and that by His gracious help we shall come victorious 
out of the fight which is before us . . . 

"Franc." 



Letter from Paul Unbuilt to Benjamin Du Plan 
(1753). 

"Monsieur and much honored brother in Jesus Christ, 

" I have received with real pleasure and many thanks the 
letter you have done me the honor to address to me, and 
I accept heartily your proposal that we should maintain 
a regular correspondence. I am aware with what deep 
interest you have followed the sad vicissitudes of our 



308 Letter of Rabaut on the condition of the Church inl753~. 

defenceless Churchçs, and how you have laboured to- 
strengthen them in the faith. Your disinterested efforts 
have not been resultless and I feel sure that you have 
experienced a lively satisfaction in knowing how effectually 
you have contributed to rekindle that lamp that had begun' 
to burn with so feeble light, yet which we trust will now 
become a radiant flame, illuminating not alone those who 
are of the household but those even who have the mis- 
fortune to be aliens. May our united efforts be crowned 
with the fullest success, and to this end, Monsieur and honored 
brother, let us strenuously labour, remembering that 'in due 
season we shall reap if we faint not.' 

" It appears, Monsieur, from the contents of your letter 
that you have been informed that I have been studying the 
Prophets of the old Testament. This study has afforded 
me great pleasure and I have derived from it both 
encouragement and consolation. I know well enough that 
it is no easy matter to understand the figurative language so 
frequently made use of by the Prophets, especially if we are 
not familiar with their style ; but when we have overcome 
this difficulty and have given due attention to the ex- 
planations they themselves afford of their symbols and 
metaphors, the shadows partially vanish and light 
appears. Theologians have too much neglected this study, 
the great utility of which could be easily demonstrated if it 
was our object to do so. They have spiritualized beyond 
measure those promises that undoubtedly refer to temporal 
matters, a mistake which constitutes one of the obstacles to 
the conversion of the Jews ; what more forcible instance can 
be adduced than the explanation commonly given of the 
prediction in the sixty-fifth chapter of Isaiah concerning the 
new heavens and the new earth? It is sufficient to read 
the passage to discover that it refers neither to the Jews 
after their return from captivity, nor to the victorious 
Christians of to-day, for neither the one nor the other have 
ever enjoyed that perfect peace which the Lord there pro- 
mises to His people. On the other hand it cannot be said 



Letter of Rabaut on the condition of the Church in it:>;>\ 309 

to refer to the bliss of heaven, because it is expressly stated 
that the promised rejoicing shall take place upon the earth 
indeed it can scarcely be elsewhere than on the earth that 
houses are to be built and children begotten, etc. But if 
we apply the prophecy to the Millennium, when the Messiah 
shall descend and commence His reign upon the earth, when 
the Ancient of Days shall bestow upon Him dominion and 
honour and power, so that all people, nations and languages 
shall serve Him, this magnificent promise is altogether on a 
different basis, and without doing it any violence the whole 
context explains itself. For confirmation of these views, 
read Micah Ch. IV, v. 1-4 ; Isaiah Ch. II, v. 2-4 ; Ch. XXXII, 
v. 1 and 17 : Ch. LIV, v. 1, 3, 7, 8, 9, 14; Ch. LX, v. 1, 2, 3, 
4, 5, 10, 11, 12, 15, 21, 22; Ch. LXII, especially verses 8 and 
9 ; Ch. LXVI, v. 12; Jeremiah, Ch. Ill, v. 17. 

"In accordance with the glorious promises of God I 
trust He will in the end have compassion on His Church 
and makeit renowned throughout the earth. Although I maj- 
scarcely venture to specify the time of its deliverance, yet if 
the saying be true, as I presume it is, that the captivity of 
the Jews in Babylon is a type of our own, the end of our 
troubles cannot be far off, seeing that we are now in the 
sixty-eighth year. Be that as it may, the Lord iu His anger 
does not forget to be merciful or to grant us from time to 
time some l'espite from our sufferings. 

u For several months past we have enjoyed a great calm 
throughout the province of Languedoc. We are baptising 
and marrying without the slightest interference, and our 
assemblies, which are very numerous, are not molested. 
The one over which I preside is held about half a league 
from the town, and on Sunday last, a fast day, I had, without 
any exaggeration, at least ten thousand auditors, all of them 
inhabitants of Nismes. About the commencement of the 
month of December last the Protestants of Gardonnenque 
were accused of coming together under arms, but this charge 
was proved to be a vile and baseless calumny and therefore, 
thank God, it «fc^s produced no evil consequences. Not- 



310 Letter of Rabaut on the condition of the Church in 1753. 

withstanding the persistent cruelty and evil insinuations of 
the clergy, the Government, as we are credibly informed, 
appears to be favorably disposed towards us ; yet there are 
many of our brethren and sisters still suffering either in the 
prisons or un the galleys. May it please God soon to break' 
their chains and set them at liberty, and while awaiting this 
issue, may He support them by the power of His Holy 
Spirit ! 

" You will very much oblige me, Monsieur and honored 
brother, if you will furnish me with your views respecting 
the doctrines of the Moravians. I have held conversations 
with some members of this society, besides having read 
several of their books, and the result is to convince me 
that their teachings are both good and bad. I entirely 
agree with them in thinking that Christ crucified ought to 
be the common theme of our speech, discourses and medi- 
tations, inasmuch as this blessed sacrifice is the basis of 
our salvation, the foundation of our hope, and the source 
of our consolation ; but to preach Christ and Him crucified 
is not alone to show forth His death, but to proclaim the 
truths of the Gospel and the obligations of morality. I 
read in the New Testament that Jesus Christ and His 
apostles laid great stress on the vices we should shun and 
the virtues we should practise. I also meet with numerous 
precepts and examples which unmistakably prove that, as a. 
rule, our prayers ought to be addressed to God through the 
intercession of Jesus Christ. Our brethren, however, 
follow a totally different course, they almost always 
address their petitions to the Son and rarely to the Father,, 
though it is to be feared that by ignoring the mysterious 
doctrine ot the Trinity, we may peradventure lose sight ot 
the teachings of the Gospel, which are my only rule and 
compass, to guide me on my way and give me hope of an 
answer when my petitions are offered to the Father through 
the Son. 

" I take the liberty, Monsieur, of referring you to the 
enclosed. After having read it and well considered the 



Persecution recommences in 17:>I. 311 

subject to which it relates, please supply the address, seal 
up the letter and forward it to its destination. If, at the 
same time, you can add anything to further the object in 
view you will be doing a good work. I hear that the elder 
Roquet used to live in the district of Peterstields ; I have 
no doubt you can easily discover in what University the 
son pursues his studies. Please offer my humble salutations 
to Messieurs Viala, Dunière and Cler. I trust you will 
excuse all mistakes in my letter, as I have been compelled 
to write it in great haste. I have communicated your 
message to Monsieur Redonnel ; he is well and is at present 
at Montpellier. 1 have the honor to remain, Monsieur and 
much honored brother, your very humble and obedient 
servant 

"Paul Rabaut." 
9th of March, 175:3. 



Unfortunately the respite from persecution was 
of short duration. The Duke De Richelieu had 
ordered the persecution to cease, less from any idea 
of toleration than from inability to carry it out 
effectually, and now that his forces were augmented 
he proceeded to the best of his ability to carry out 
the behests of the bishops, and in particular of the 
Bishop of Alais. Before returning to Paris he 
issued his commands to the Protestants, for which 
purpose he visited Nismes, Alais, and Uzès, where, 
having summoned before him the leaders of the 
Huguenots, he forbade their assemblies in the Desert 
under pain of the expulsion of the pastors. So soon 
as he left the Province, he ordered thirty battalions 
to occupy the towns and villages, and detachments 
of them to patrol the country night and day; in order 



312 Proposed imprisonment of the wives of preachers. 

that all attempts to hold meetings might be rendered 
impossible. 

"It is first of all necessary to drive away the 
preachers," said the Abbot De Caveirac, "for it is 
they who encourage our fellow citizens to disobey 
the laws, hy inviting them to attend the assemblies, 
by solemnizing baptisms and marriages in the 
Desert and by the doctrines which they teach. So 
long as they remain in France all our efforts are 
useless." A thousand crowns reward was offered 
for the capture of any one of them, and although 
the promised remuneration naturally called into 
existence a host of spies and traitors, the preachers 
with only one exception succeeded in evading their 
wiles as well as escaping the pursuit of the soldiers. 
The younger Tessier, known as Lafage, was 
surprised in the dead of night in the Mas de Novis 
situated in the diocese of Alais. On attempting to 
escape by the roof, his arm was broken by a bullet 
from the gun of a soldier and, a few days afterwards, 
he was captured. He died with great heroism on 
the gibbet at Montpellier. 

At length it was discovered that the surest and 
most expeditious way of getting rid of these " public- 
pests " was that so successfully adopted in the case 
of Antoine Court, and again suggested by some 
miscreant in a memoir submitted to the Government 
in 1750. The plan proposed was to imprison the 
wives and children of the preachers and to permit 
their liberation only when the preachers themselves 
should have quitted the country. Upon its being 



Letter of Franc to Benjamin JJtt Plan I7.',i. 313 

put into execution, the wife of Rabaut, who expected 
to become an early victim, left her home and 
wandered into the Desert, whilst others, less 
fortunate, were summarily arrested. 

Amongst Du Plan's correspondence we find 
several letters from his preacher-friends descriptive 
of the condition of Protestantism in 1754. These 
we proceed to quote. 



• Letter from Franc to Benjamin Du Plan. 

"Lower Languedoc, the 26th of July, 1754. 

u Our affairs remain much in the same state as in February 
last, when M. le Maréchal issued his ban against us. 
Although the troops are ordered out less frequently on week 
days, there is no relaxation in this respect on Sundays and 
fête days. On the slightest provocation, a detachment of 
three hundred infantry and a troop of cavalry are quickly 
on foot, while at other times smaller bodies are stationed in 
ambush along the roads where we are expected to pass. So 
great vigilance, however, has only been displayed in the 
four episcopal seats of Alais, Uzès, Nismes and Montpellier. 
In the villages and country districts — except in places where 
the commandant is inclined for persecution — a less strenuous 
vigilance is observed. 

"Of this circumstance advantage is from time to time 
taken to hold assemblies. One was summoned to meet on 
the fifth of this month about a league and a half from the 
the town, on the occasion of the mustering in the town, of 
the garrisons of several neighbouring villages. We availed 
ourselves of what we rightly conceived to be this favorable 
opportunity to celebrate the Lord's supper and were not 
molested, although the purpose for which we were meeting 
was well known. 



314 Letter of Franc to Benjamin Du Plan 1754. 

" The brethren in the neighbourhood of Saint-Hippolyte- 
de-Caton who held a meeting last Whitsuntide were not so 
fortunate. At the very moment they were dispersing, the 
garrison of Saint-Jean-de-Ceyrargues sallied forth, pursued 
and put them to flight, capturing three men and five women 
with three infants who had been brought to be baptised. 
The five women were reconducted by the soldiers to the 
town of Saint-Maurice to which they belonged and taken to 
the Church where the prior forthwith baptised the three 
infants. The women were then permitted to go to their own 
houses, on a written statement from the prior to the sergeant 
that they had only been visiting their relations and not 
attending the assembly. 

"However, two days afterwards Sieur Chambon, sub- 
delegate of the Intendant of Uzès, on visiting the town with 
a troop of horse soldiers, had them arrested, put two of 
them into prison at Uzès and allowed the other three to stay 
in their houses on condition that their husbands should be 
produced whenever they were required. The three men, of 
whom two belonged to Saint-Césaire and the other to Ners, 
were imprisoned at Saint-Jean but were removed to the Fort 
of Alais on the following day. Two were liberated some 
days ago but the third still remains in confinement. 

" A letter received from M. Gibert, a Pastor in the Lower 
Périgord, apprises me that on the night of the 18th and 19th 
of last month, just as he had dismissed an assembly held in 
the neighbourhood of Sainte-Foy, sixty dragoons suddenly 
appeared and fired thirty musket shots at the worshippers, 
wounded one man with the bayonet and took forty-four 
prisoners. A relative of the Pastor, an aspirant to the holy 
ministry, who happened to be present and who was captured 
and cast into prison, fortunately made his escape or he 
would have fallen a victim to the Jesuits. M. Gibert also 
informs me that thirty troopers have been ravaging the 
Churches of the Saintonge, compelling by threats the 
baptism of children who had already been baptised by our 
ministers and making prisoners of men who had not alone 



Letter of Franc to Benjamin l>a Plan I7~,i. 315 

iiover attended the assemblies but who had never even 
countenanced them. A friend living in the same neigh- 
bourhood states that four of his kinsfolk having been 
exiled one of them tried to prevail on the judges to reconsider 
the sentence, but in vain. These proscriptions are supposed 
to be the result of some other raid, as in Saintonge there 
were only three captures effected — if we except the faint- 
hearted who surrendered at discretion — whilst the prisoners 
taken at Saint-Foy could not have been so soon brought to 
judgment. In tact, it is said, that shortly before the 
meeting of the assembly that terminated so disastrously, 
there had been several well-known persons arrested in this 
locality. The same friend, in confirming the account of the 
attack ot the dragoons, tells me that there were five or six 
killed, fourteen or fifteen wounded, and forty-five prisoners 
taken. I hardly know whether I ought to consider him 
better informed than the pastor as to the number of killed 
and wounded, but as touching the prisoners there is virtually 
no difference in the two statements, it being evident that the 
pastor at the time he wrote no longer took any account of 
the kinsman who had made his escape. 

" Towards the end of the same month a small assembly 
convoked at Saint-Ambroix in the Cevennes, to take part in 
a baptismal service, was dispersed by the soldiers, and two 
of the worshippers — according to some statements three — 
were captured, as well as one of the infant candidates tor 
baptism. They are still in prison. 

u A correspondent at Montpellier tells me that on the 
17th inst. an officer was arrested near Castres in Albigeois 
and that five other persons rrom the same locality were 
seized and searched. It is not known for what reason ; some 
say for having summoned an assembly, others, that they 
had taken part in a wedding ceremony in the Desert. 
The officer had gone to Montpellier to speak to the Inten- 
dant, but the latter refusing to listen to him, ordered him at 
once to quit the building, if he did not wish to be arrested. 
After he had left, the Intendant ordered his yeomanry guard 



316 Letter of Pomaret to Benjamin Du Plan 1754. 

to follow him and seize him, and conduct him to the citadel, 
where he still remains. I hear that some of the inhabitants 
of Cournonsec, near Montpellier, for refusing to decorate the 
fronts of their houses in honor of the holy day stylod Fête- 
Dieu, have been mulcted in heavy fines, and that the Inten- 
dant has ordered them to be confined in the dungeons of the 
palace of M. André, until the money is forthcoming which 
condition is not yet complied with. 

u These facts, Monsieur and honored brother, are eloquent 
as to the external condition of our Churches both in this and 
neighbouring provinces, but, so far from being made better 
by these chastenings, it would appear that iniquity and 
unbelief the more abound, a misfortune that gives me 
greater sorrow than all our other troubles and makes me 
apprehensive of severe visitations of Providence. Oh, that 
our Churches, strong in a living faith and filled with the 
Holy Spirit, could look forward with patience to the advent 
of their celestial spouse ! I should then hope for a happier 
future ; otherwise my anticipations are of the gloomiest. . . . 

"Franc." 



Letter from Pomaret to Benjamin Du Plan (1754). 

" I fully appreciate the earnestness of your exhortations 
and shall not fail to apply them personally. Although I am 
aware of the importance of remaining with our flocks and 
doing our best to protect them from the attacks of the cruel 
vultures who seek to devour them, yet circumstances have 
suddenly assumed so alarming a form that we can scarcely 
avoid retreating until the excitment shall have abated. I am 
throughly acquainted with the past history of our Churches, 
and the various expedients that have been devised for their 
extinction, yet never have I seen them more adroitly 
attacked than at this present time. They are molested 
on all sides, and unless providentially sustained they will 



Letter of Pomarei to Benjamin Du Plan i~.~<i. 31Ï 

bave much to do to withstand the storm. Possibly God 
may come to their assistance sooner than wi: anticipate, 
at all events let us hope and pray without ceasing that it 
may be so. 

u Every province of the Kingdom in which the Pro- 
testants have sought to conceal their principles has been 
occupied by troops ; and as barracks are being built in the 
most refractory villages and great expenses are being 
incurred for furnishing the garrisons with beds, etc. — which 
would not be done if it were intended to make but a tem- 
porary stay — we have reason to fear that it is in contem- 
plation to attempt the utter extinction ot our belief. A 
night sortie took place on the fourth inst. when a great many 
houses both in town and country were ransacked by the 
soldiers. One ot my comrades, known by the name of 
Lafage, who has been connected with the holy ministry for 
two years, and who was surprised in his house and had the 
bad luck to be hit by a musket ball in the arm, was after- 
wards made prisoner, together with all his family. He was 
taken to Montpellier where he will have to submit to the 
fate of his predecessors in his sad but glorious calling. May 
God strengthen him to endure the trial ! 

" Had it not been for a Catholic friend I should also have 
been captured, for I had scarcely quitted my hiding place 
when it was surrounded by a numerous detachment and 
preparations were made for a thorough search. Since that 
disastrous time, I have adopted the expedient of turning 
night into day, and my people, seeing to what danger I am 
exposed through the fury of our enemies who are constantly 
on the look-out for me, have earnestly besought me to yield 
to circumstances and retire into Switzerland for a few months, 
as the consternation is so widespread that they can no 
longer offer me an asylum. I shall therefore be under the 
necessity of going away until the return ot happier days ; 
but as our flocks are paralized with the heavy imposts and the 
annoyances to which they are subjected, and as it is impossible 
for me unassisted to maintain myself in my place of refuge, 



318 Letter of Pomaret to Benjamin Du Plan 1754. 

I shall be particularly obliged if you will interest yourselt 
on my behalt, especially as I know that any pains you may 
take to procure me assistance will certainly be successful. 

" Should I be forced to go away I need hardly describe 
to you the sorrow I shall experience ; my flock, however, 
will only become still more dear to me, and I shall leave 
with the firm resolution to rejoin them so soon as circum- 
stances will permit. I consider that the interests of his flock 
should be the object most dear to the heart of every true 
pastor; and for this we have the example of the Apostles 
and the Fathers ot the Primitive Church. One thing I 
especially ask of God is that Desert baptisms and marriages 
shall not be interfered with, for I fear that if the hands of 
our cruel enemies are not arrested, this is a calamity to 
which we shall ere long be exposed. We have good reason 
to apprehend danger as you will perceive from the letter 
written by the Bishop of Alais to the curés of his diocese, 
and my rejoinder thereto, which I will enclose if it does not 
make my packet too heavy. If our illustrious friends of your 
city, whom I take the liberty respectfully to salute, could in 
any manner help to ameliorate the sad condition of our 
faithful, what a work of charity would it be! I wish you 
all prosperity and beseech you to believe me with the 
sincerest respect, 

" POMAKET." 

In 1755 the Duke De Richelieu surrendered the 
office of governor of the Province of Languedoc to 
the Duke De Mirepoix, who at first continued to 
carry ont the policy of his predecessor; but on 
becoming better acquainted with the Protestants he 
gradually relaxed the severity of his measures, and 
at length entered into personal relations with the 
preachers themselves. The dragonnades were dis- 
continued, the assemblies were no longer molested, 



Toleration of the Intendant Mirepoix. 319 

and the conferences were permitted to meet and 
deliberate. In certain towns, for instance Saint - 
G-eniès, SommièreSj Yauvert, Montaren, and Saint - 
Ambroix, the Churches were so emboldened as to 
contemplate the rebuilding of their demolished 
temples. This, however, Avas more than Mirepoix 
Avoiild suffer, and he ordered the soldiers to destroy 
the already partially constructed walls. None the 
less did this bo wide-spread toleration excite the anger 
of the clergy, and at an extraordinary general 
assembly which met in Paris in 1758 the}' manifested 
great indignation. Monsieur the Count De Saint- 
Florentin, to whom their remonstrances were 
addressed, assured them, in the name of the King, of 
his firm resolve to enforce compliance with the 
edicts. But the Government was embarrassed; all 
its forces were engaged in the war, and it feared that 
a continuance of persecution might only create fresh 
internal danger by inciting the Protestants to 
rebellion. 

The death of Mirepoix, which occurred towards 
the end of 1757, simplified the situation. AYith a 
view to appease the clergy the Marshal De Thomond, 
who had distinguished himself by his ardent opposi- 
tion to the Huguenots in Gfuienne, was appointed to 
succeed Mirepoix. As a counterpoise, and to 
propitiate the Protestants, the King desired the 
.Marshal Lo display consideration and tact in his 
dealings with them. " You must/" said his Majesty, 
"hold them in check rather than provoke them to 
rebellion, affect some degree of ignorance, use. 



320 Marshall De Thomond succeeds Mirepoix in 1757. 

without compromising your authorit}^ threaten 
rather than punish, and in a word recur to the 
measures adopted during the late war, and the 
wisdom of which was fully confirmed hy the event." 
By this astute policy the Court hoped to maintain 
friendly terms as well Avith the Protestants as the 
clergy. 

Marshal De Thomond complied with these 
instructions, and Languedoc enjoyed, until 1760, 
an unwonted tranquillity. 

There were of course some isolated cases of fine 
and imprisonment, but the object of these proceedings 
was rather to check the over zealous, and make a 
show of enforcing the law, than to rekindle persecu- 
tion. This policy had further the effect of satisfying 
the clergy without embarrassing the Government. 



CHAPTER XXI. 

THE CLOSING YEAES OF BENJAMIN DU PLAN. 
1751—1763. 

The long and troublesome litigation forced upon 
Du Plan by the Committee at Geneva darkened the 
latter years of his life. He remembered now, though 
too late, the warning and advice given to him by his 
true friends, M. Turrettin and M. Vial de Beaumont. 1 
His services on behalf of the Churches in travelling 
and in various other ways had entailed the sacrifice 

l. See page 230. 



Du Plan's integrity of character is questioned. 321 

of his entire fortune which consisted of the residue 
of his paternal inheritance, and the legacies left to 
him hy his aunt, his sister and his foster-mother. 1 
At the end of his long career, and after all the 
sacrifices he had made, which, however, were as 
nothing compared with the time and the labour he 
had lavished on the cause, he found himself under 
the painful necessity of attempting to force from 
those whom his exertions had enriched the means of 
making his declining years comfortable. The pro- 
vision which he claimed had to be torn piece-meal 
from the hands of men who showed greater anxiety 
to preserve the Churches' pence than to recompense 
the services of her devoted ministers. His modest 
request was stigmatized as unjust, exaggerated and 
exorbitant, and the aged Deputy was forced to the 
humiliation of calling in experts and arbitrators to 
weigh and value and estimate and cheapen his toil, 
his zeal and his sacrifices. In this ignoble struggle 
one of his opponents, moved by jealousy and spite, 
dared even to cast doubts on the purity of Du Plan's 
motives and question the integrity of his character, 
while the accuser himself, a spendthrift and a 
prodigal, was living at the expense of his neigh- 
bours and throwing away in lavish profusion the 
Churches' funds. The French noble was deeply 
indignant at these imputations on his good faith, 
while the Christian — the story of whose life 

1. The foster-mother of Du Plan was Jeanne Dumas; she died at 
Geneva in 1740 and bequeathed to him her little property, 



322 His health in consequence suffers. 

alone ought to have been a sufficient safe- 
guard against the shafts of calumny — was com- 
pelled to defend himself, to produce his accounts, 
to justify his pretensions, and, for the first time 
in his life, to tell his left hand that which had been 
done by his right. For a moment even he believed 
himself abandoned and betrayed by his most faithful 
friend, and sacrificed by those who for thirty years 
he had unstintingly served. It is not to be wondered 
at that, under these circumstances, his letters should 
show considerable warmth and that, alike in attack 
and defence, he was occasionally led to use 
expressions somewhat too passionate. Yet, though 
for these indiscretions he could plead many excuses 
and almost unendurable provocations, he was the 
first to acknowledge and deplore the intemperate 
expressions in which his lacerated feelings and 
momentary anger had caused him to indulge. 

The trouble, annoyance and weariness he under- 
went in the defence of his honor and his rights (it is 
from himself that we learn these details) so affected 
his sight that he nearly lost the use of his right eye, 
besides almost consummating the ruin of his already 
too delicate health. It was at this time of bitter 
trial and while afflicted with a dangerous illness, 
that Providence took pity on him and sent to his 
relief a guardian angel — a widow, Madame Denman l 
— who solaced his broken spirit and reconciled him 
to life; and who, touched with compassion at his sad 

1. She was the daughter of Monsieur Du Passage De Voutrou, 
a French Refugee noble, of La Rochelle. 



HXs marriage. 323 

and lonely condition, offered him a refuge in her 
own house in the neighbourhood of London. The 
careful nursing of this kind-hearted and devottd 
woman, under the blessing of God, preserved his 
life and restored him to health. Du Plan, as a proof 
of his attachment, and moved with gratitude, offered 
Ber his hand, which she accepted, and they were 
married on the fourth of November, 1751, by the 
Rev. J. J. Majendie in the French Church, Spring 
Gardens, London. 1 Du Plan's witnesses on the 
occasion were his old and faithful friends Pierre 
Gaussen, De Polier, De Bottens and André Bousquet. 

Two children, a daughterandason, soon appeared 
on the scene to brighten the home of this faithful 
servant of the Church and to efface from his memory 
the ingratitude and depravity from which he had so 
cruelly suffered. In this happy home, sanctified by 
the love of a pious wife and gladdened by the 
presence of his little ones, his heart expanded with 
happiness and his life was sufficiently prolonged 
to see the children of his old age grow up and 
develop under his paternal care. 

It was from this blessed haven of rest, reserved 
for him by Providence, that Du Plan watched 
the progress of the storm which still raged in 
his fatherland. From time to time some of his 
fellow countrymen — saved from the wreck, but 
destitute of all — arrived in London. They never 
failed to find their way to his house, for was he not 

1, Du Plan was ased 63 years, Madame Deninan about 40 years. 



324 His generosity towards his fellow refugees. 

the Churches' Deputy and the faithful friend of 
unhappy refugees? His home, which was open to 
all, soon become a centre for information and a 
place of call, for even when sick and infirm he 
helped, in one way or another, everyone who 
appealed to him, and never hesitated to use his 
influence with his many friends on behalf of all who* 
solicited his services. 

Among the first to receive tokens of his sym- 
pathy and protection were his former companions 
in the service of the Churches, those who with him 
had grasped the helm during the storm, and like 
shipwrecked waifs past work, were now cast 
helpless on a foreign strand — Cortiez, Chapel, Roux 
— though all, whether pastors, laymen or widows of 
the confessors, were alike welcomed. 

The following is a note found amongst the papers 
of the aged Deputy. It is in the form of a minute 
and was no doubt addressed to some eminent per- 
sonage. The document bears date, November, 1756. 

"Amongst the persons who call forth our esteem and 
admiration, and demand our aid, it appears to me that we 
should place first those who are actually suffering on the 
galleys for the sake of the Gospel. 

" In the second rank should be placed those who have 
endured hardship for the truth, but who at present enjoy 
liberty of conscience, partially deprived though they may be 
of the means of subsistence. 

" While, lastly, should come they who have abandoned 
both possessions and country in order that they may enjoy 
liberty of conscience, who are poor or whom age and 
infirmity have rendered incapable of earning their living. 

"The Apostle Paul exhorts us to do good unto all men, 



His generosity towards his fellow re/ty 325 

especially unto them who are ot the household of faith, and 
in obedience to this exhortation it is our duty to weigh the 
claims of every one and the special circumstances in which 
each is placed. 

U I would range in three classes those who are at present 
free to exercise liberty ot conscience, naming amongst the 
first Monsieur Pierre Cortiez, Minister of the Gospel, a 
refugee at Zurich, and Monsieur Jean Chapel, a refugee at 
the Hague. The former has served the Churches of France 
during a period of thirty years and has been largely 
instrumental in their re-establishment, though he has 
endured much tribulation. It is true that he is now the 
recipient of an annuity from their Excellencies the Magistrates 
of Zurich, but besides being old and infirm he has dependent 
upon him the little children of a daughter who has recently 
died, besides two invalid sisters-in-law, sufferers for 
religion, one of whom is a recent refugee. Monsieur 
Chapel for twenty years has faithfully ministered to the 
Churches and, by his earnest exhortations, has materially 
contributed to their prosperity. For seven years he was 
a prisoner on the galleys. Although receiving a pension of 
two hundred and fifty florins from Holland, he is in debt 
through expenses incurred in the maintenance of an extensive 
correspondence with his brethren in France and through 
having been frequently deceived by men on whose behalf 
he had solicited charity. 

"In the second class I instance Monsieur Roux, a refugee 
at Lausanne, and a servant of the Churches under the Cross 
for twenty-five years. The small pension he receives is far 
from sufficient, as he has to share it with a sister who attends 
upon him and they both, owing to their age and infirmity, 
require additional comforts. 

U I put in the third class Monsieur Bel and Sieur 
Beaumes, 1 former prisoners on the galleys for the faith; 
Sieur David David, now an invalid and in declining years, 

1. Siear Beaumes was a native of Alais; Du Plan prior to liis 
marriage bad lodged at the house • > f his fellow citizen. 



326 Especially towards Cortiez. 

but in his younger days a prisoner for the cause or 
Protestantism; Madame Viala, the widow of a Minister who 
did much to strengthen the Reformed Churches of France in 
the faith, and Madame Serre, the aged widow of a Confessor, 
deserving much compassionate sympathy. The same ought 
also to be extended to Monsieur De Faure, who abandoned 
a good position for righteousness' sake and who is now 
without property, pension or employment. I could name 
many other similar cases, but God will provide for them in 
His own good time." 

The most striking circumstance disclosed in the 
foregoing recital is the generosity of the Deputy 
towards Cortiez. The difficulties and annoyance» 
which the latter had occasioned him are well 
known, but Du Plan had long since forgiven and 
forgotten all. He treated his implacable adversary, 
Serces, with equal magnanimity, was the first to 
make advances to him and to propose reconciliation 
and a resumption of friendly relations. 

Those who were still fighting the good fight in 
France had the warmest sympathy of the aged 
Deputy. The young recruits in the cause showed 
themselves worthy of their veteran predecessors, 
and though few of the pastors of this time were 
acquainted personally with Du Plan, yet they all 
admired his character and submitted to his influence. 
Of this, the correspondence we have already cited 
affords convincing proof. When he heard of tin 3 re- 
commencement of that severe persecution which lasted 
from 1744 to 1752 and which wehavebeenrecounting r 
he took up his pen and from his land of exile ad- 
dressed the following eloquent petition to Louis XV. 



Da Plan addresses a petition to Loais XV. 327 

a Sire, 

u The King of Kings allows the weak and unhappy to 
confide in Him their griefs, and promises to soothe their 
sorrows and lighten their burdens. May we not then hope 
that your Majesty, who is the earthly type of the Lord ot the 
Universe, will deign to lend an attentive ear to the voice of 
our supplications ? 

u We, Sire, who throw ourselves at your Majesty's feet, 
with reverence and deep humility, beseeching your Majesty 
to look with compassion on our deplorable state, are your 
Majesty's Protestant subjects of Lower Languedoc, who 
are emboldened to think that we shall receive that consi- 
deration which is due to our earnest determination to uphold 
the throne of your Majesty at the sacrifice of everything we 
hold most precious in this world. 

" Our adversaries, Sire, spare no pains to disparage us 
in the estimation of your Majesty, under pretext that it is 
out of perverse opposition to your Majesty's interests we 
assemble ourselves together for the worship of God, and for 
the celebration by our pastors of the ordinances of mar- 
riage and baptism ; and this object is the more easily gained, 
inasmuch as it is forbidden to us to defend ourselves, 
although we trust that in approaching the throne as we 
now do to make known our grievances, we shall receive a 
hearing from your Majesty and shall be justly and generously 
dealt with. 

a In the first place, Sire, we protest before God, who 
knows the hearts of all men, that it is in no spirit of revolt 
or independence that we hold our religious assemblies, but 
simply because we consider it to be absolutely essential to 
render public worship to that Supreme Being who has it 
in His power to confer upon His creatures eternal happiness 
or everlasting misery. We do not consider it necessary 
to set forth the reasons which prove the necessity of this 
worship, because it is evident that not only are all Christian 
communities — whatever be their differences in creed — at one 



328 Du Plan addresses a petition to Louis XV. 

on this point, but that the early Christians chose rather to 
submit to all kinds of suffering than to neglect so important 
a duty. 

"Furthermore, Sire, we take the liberty of asserting that 
it is to the direct advantage of your Majesty and of the 
State that Protestants should enjoy the free exercise of their 
religion, for it is by the teaching of their ministers that they 
learn their duty to God, to your Majesty, and to their 
country; by this means, too, ignorance is conquered, infi- 
delity opposed, and superstition and fanaticism — the primary 
causes of all the most serious disturbances — rooted out. 
With regard to our marriages, what, we ask, would your 
Majesty think of us if we were capable of solemnizing them 
according to the requirements of the priests? Can we hypo- 
critically renounce a religion that we believe to be true 
without proving ourselves to be dishonest, profane, and 
devoid of conscience? Who knows how much the solid 
foundations of your Majesty's throne are dependent on 
truth and honesty, for if a man believe not in God can he 
be loyal to his King? , 

" And lastly, Sire, we cannot conscientiously allow our 
children to be baptised by the priests, inasmuch as baptism 
implies an acceptance of the communion into which the 
children are received, apart from the engagements made by 
their father and sponsors to bring them up in the Roman 
Catholic faith, and this is an abjuration of our own religion. 

" This, in a few words, Sire, is our case. Were we less 
scrupulous, were we resolved to disregard the voice of 
conscience, were we without religion, and had we not the 
fear of God before our eyes, we should be under the pro- 
tection of the law ; but because we honor our Creator and 
fear to offend Him, we are treated as if we were enemies of 
the State, we are hunted down in the Desert like wild 
beasts, our goods are seized, our children are taken from us, 
we are shut up in prisons, we are sent to the galleys; and, 
though our ministers daily exhort us to fulfil our duties as 
good citizens and faithful subjects, a price is put upon their 



T)u Plan addresses << petition to Louis XV. 32t> 

heads, and when they are captured it is only that they may 
suffer execution. 

" Great King, whose predominant characteristic is that of 
beneficence, shall we alone be deprived of your clemency? 
Father of your other subjects will you not extend your soli- 
citude also to us ? Will you, Sire, suffer to be thus maltreated 
a community who are devotedly loyal to the Throne, and 
whose only reproach is that they are too firmly attached to 
their religion ? Oh, Sire, let those who take pleasure in 
calumniating, say what they may, be assured that yon have 
no truer or more obedient subjects than the Protestants. Is 
it a question of paying the poll tax or other dues required 
by the State — who more ready than we to meet the demand? 
If exorbitant and ruinous fineB are imposed upon us are they 
not promptly met? And when your Majesty found it 
necessary to establish the vingtième* did not the Protestants 
at once assent to it, though they clearly perceived that the 
clergy would view the act with displeasure and spare no pains 
to consummate the ruin of the Protestants. Had the suppliants 
of your Majesty been animated by that rebellious spirit which 
has been talsely imputed to them by their enemies, they 
would not have acted as they did when the Province was 
invaded by the Austrians, for neither the approach ot the 
army, through whose intervention the Huguenots might have 
obtained relief from their sufferings, nor the flattering hope 
of being able to serve God freely, was able to shake their 
loyalty. As to the latter point, our ministers did themselves 
the honor of writing to Monsieur the Intendant, who testified 
his satisfaction with the sentiments and conduct of the 
flocks. 

"Imagine, Sire, our grief when we learned that your 
Majesty was ill at Metz. How fervent were our prayers for 
your Majesty's recovery, and on the happy restoration to 
health how great was our joy ! Nothing can exceed our 
devoted affection for your Majesty's person, or our grief at 

l. See page 281. 



330 Du Plan's interest in the Confessors. 

being denied all opportunity for the manifestation of our 
loyalty to the throne ! 

"Deign then, Sire, to have pity on a people who have 
been so severely tried and whose highest happiness it would 
be to convince your Majesty of cheir obedience and fidelity. 
Do not compel us to exhibit our mistortunes and misery in 
foreign countries, where their disclosure could only tend to 
the discredit of your Majesty's realm. We throw ourselves, 
illustrious Prince, on your clemency, and we venture to hope 
that the punishment of death will no longer be inflicted on 
our pastors, that the bonds which bind our brethren may 
be loosened and their prison doors unbarred, that our 
children may no more be torn from our arms, that the 
necessity of acting contrary to our convictions may cease to 
be imposed on us, and that we be not for the future forbidden 
the public profession of that religion in the absence of which 
life itself were but a prolonged death. 

"It is because, Sire, we are so firmly convinced of your 
Majesty's goodness, as well as desire to ameliorate our hard 
lot, that we make bold to lay before your Majesty this humble 
petition, in the full confidence that we shall receive a 
favorable hearing; at the same time we will address to the 
King of Kings the most earnest prayers for the preservation 
of your Majesty's sacred person, the prosperity of your 
Majesty's reign and the happiness of your Majesty ]s subjects. 

While awaiting the blessing of Providence on 
the measures taken in the hope of turning away the 
wrath of the persecutors, Du Plan continued his 
efforts on behalf of their victims. His thoughts were 
constantly directed to the noble confessors, chained 
with criminals on the King's galleys, and to the 
women immured as in a living tomb in the Tower 
of Constance. Rendered incapable by his infirmities 
of pleading in person, as he had been wont to do, 



He writes an appeal on (heir behalf 331 

with the great and powerful, the cause of those so 
dear to his heart, he sought to reconstitute a society 
he had founded in London for the purpose of pro- 
curing them succour, and with this view he published 
amongst the French refugees and his co-religionists 
in England the following touching appeal: — 

"Twenty-five years since a few pious persons, most 
of whom had come out of great tribulation and who were 
consequently deeply concerned in the froissure de Joseph, 1 
constituted themselves into a Society with the object of 
relieving those who, in prisons and on the galleys, were 
suffering in the cause of religion. This society was supported 
for several years by the voluntary efforts of several pastors 
and elders, who, not confining their good deeds to their own 
flocks, helped generously and frequently other members of 
the mystical body of Jesus Christ who were suffering in 
places where persecution prevailed. 

u But beside the fact that, with the lapse of time, death has 
removed the greater number of the members of this bene- 
volent society, a variety of circumstances has for several 
years hindered the gathering of contributions for the 
illustrious unfortunates, whose numbers renewed perse- 
cutions have so greatly increased. Sensible as we ought to 
be of the evils with which our brethren are afflicted, and of 
the obligation laid upon us to plead for them with those of 
other lands upon whom God has bestowed the priceless» 
blessing of liberty of conscience, we address ourselves with 
confidence to all that do not regard the noble name of 
Christian as a meaningless title, and to all that are animated 
by the spirit of Jesus Christ our merciful Saviour, who 
voluntarily left the glory of His Father's throne, took upon 
Himself our nature with all its infirmities, and suffered and 
died for our salvation. It is to earnest and faithful Christians 

1 . See page 235. 



332 He writes an appeal on their behalf. 

who like their Master suffer in sympathy with their brethren, 
who languish with them in prison, and labour with them on 
the galleys, that we confidently appeal for that assistance 
they will regard it as a privilege to afford as the Lord has 
blessed them. 

" Useless were it to appeal to men of the world and 
members ot the Church, whose charity is less than the charity 
of the Samaritan of the Gospel or ot heathens who have not 
renounced their humanity. 

" Neither do we expect sympathy or help from those 
whose only solicitude is for themselves, or at the most for 
those of their own circle, from whom they hope to receive 
similar if not largely augmented services in return. 

" That, however, which gives us the greatest concern is 
to hear the grave and authoritative condemnation passed by 
misinformed persons, whom we nevertheless esteem, not 
alone on the Protestant Churches of France, on the assemblies 
which meet for public worship in the country where per- 
secution is rife, and on the faithful who are suffering on 
galleys and in prisons for having served God according to 
the promptings of their consciences, but also on those heroic 
pastors, who after the example of Jesus Christ, the apostles, 
the prophets and many of our reformers, have nobly sealed 
with their blood the truths proclaimed by them, amid dangers 
the most formidable and fatigues the most severe. 

" The passage from the Bible which is quoted as an 
authority for the disparagement of the confessors and 
martyrs of our day, is this, ' When they persecute you in this 
city flee ye into another,' and it is asserted that this 
injunction is sufficient authority to justify the faithful in 
running from their country to avoid persecution. But are 
we warranted in making so sweeping an induction? Would 
not desertion from the standard of the faith by the early 
Christians — so renowned and so worthy of all praise for 
their piety and zeal — have been considered base and 
cowardly? Do we not read that the Apostles returned 
into countries where they had been ill-treated, and are 



//< writes an appeal on their behalf. 333 

we not aware that in so doing they only followed the 
example of their Master, who though He sometimes passed 
through the midst ot the people unobserved and at other 
times hid Himself, yet never abandoned the battle-field until 
by His sufferings and death he had fulfilled His ministry and 
consummated our salvation ? 

" Furthermore, it is satisfactory to know that God, 
though permitting certain kingdoms of the world to remain 
in the darkness of ignorance, superstition and idolatry, yet 
wills that, in spite of its enemies, the Light of the Gospel 
shall shine out in greater splendour, until, according to the 
predictions both of the Old Testament and the New, it shall 
convert all nations to a knowledge ot Himself. 

" Never was the Church more pure than during the first 
three centuries of the Christian era, a time when believers 
were exposed to constant persecution. Never were Pro- 
testants more steadfast than in the early days of the Refor- 
mation, when scaffolds were erected and fires kindled for 
those who made a profession of the true Gospel. Why 
then denounce the Protestant Churches of to-day, which 
have come into existence through a furnace of tribulation 
and which the Almighty in His mercy, by a miracle, has 
caused to flourish in the midst of their enemies ? 

" Can we withhold our respect from those who have 
abandoned property and country for the free worship of 
God in foreign lands ? And are they in any whit behind 
those who, following the example of Jesus Christ and the 
apostles and martyrs whose memory we revere, have 
sacrificed not alone goods, but liberty, aye even life itself, 
for the glory of God and the edification of the Church ? 

u We ask of the children of God who are blessed with 
liberty of conscience and worldly prosperity, neither the 
sacrifice of their lives, their liberty, nor even ot the whole 
of their property for the deliverance or relief of their suffering 
brethren who are in captivity ; we only ask of their charity 
so much of their substance as their circumstances will afford, 
though we do expect that whatsoever they give, it shall be 



334 He ivrites an appeal on their behalf. 

given willingly, for charity ought to be free and to come 
unconstrained from the heart. That which is bestowed 
reluctantly or from motives of vanity or self-interest can 
never be acceptable in God's sight. 

" But how ungrudgingly soever charity may be dispensed, 
it by no means follows that a Christian ought to regard 
himself as the absolute owner of his wordly possessions ; he 
is simply a steward, he is not, it is true, obliged to give an 
account of his stewardship to his fellow men, but to God he 
must account, for to Him we all belong more completely than 
the slave belongs to the master who has purchased him and 
who keeps him ; it is God who has created us-, and redeemed 
us through the precious blood of His dear Son, and without 
the protection of Providence we could not exist for a single 
moment. 

" A Christian who does not look upon himself as pro- 
prietor, but only as trustee of the goods that he enjoys, 
studies how to please by his able management the master 
who has confided them to his care, in order that he may 
render himself worthy of an eternal inheritance. 

" God, who has bestowed upon all men for their own 
salvation and for the good of their neighbours different 
degrees of talent, has not told them when he will call upon 
them to give an account of their stewardship. They are 
but depositaries of the talents, the property, and even the 
life that God has entrusted to them, and of which it may 
please Him at any moment to deprive them. 

" Although these truths meet with general acceptance, 
and our daily experience brings them forcibly before us, 
they have far too little influence over our conduct. The 
majority of men, instead of preparing themselves to meet 
their God to render to Him with confidence an account of 
their deeds done in the flesh, are given over to the cares 
and pleasures of this life or to worldly occupations by 
which their thoughts are exclusively engrossed. 

"It were useless for us (unless a miracle of Providence 
should be performed in our favour) to appeal to persons of 



He addresses a distinguished personage in Denmark. 335 

this sort on behalf ot our brethren who, for having served 
God according to their consciences, are supporting a miser- 
able existence in prisons or under bonds on the galleys. 
But we address ourselves with confidence to those who know 
and trul)' love the Lord, who are conscious of the evils to 
which the Church is exposed, who suffer with the mystical 
body of Christ's Church, and who love their neighbour as 
themselves. We appeal to them with confidence, for we feel 
persuaded that they only need to be informed that certain 
respectable and trustworthy persons have undertaken to 
collect money for the relief of the persecuted and to apply it 
faithfully according to the wishes of the donors; we are, 
I say, persuaded that our brethren will gladly contribute 
according to their means to so righteous a cause, the doing 
which will bring them earthly and heavenly blessings in 
ever increasing abundance, for we know that to him who 
makes good use of that which he has more shall be given, 
whilst from him who is wanting in charity shall be taken the 
possessions that he deems his own. 

u We offer to God our sincere and earnest prayers on 
behalf of those who have hitherto contributed or who may 
yet contribute to the advancement of the reign of Jesus 
Christ or the relief of the sufferers for righteousness' sake. 
May God in His mercy convert those who are given over to 
the vanities ot the world and to the things that perish, and 
give them grace that they neglect not until their last days 
the work of preparing for Eternity ! 



We have found amongst the papers of Du Plan 
a letter written by him to a great personage at the 
Royal Court of Denmark, in which he pleads for the 
same cause, endeavouring, at the same time, to 
combat certain notorious prejudices which existed 
in that quarter against the Huguenots : — 



336 He addresses a distinguished personage in Denmark. 

u Monsieur, 

" After having kept a long silence, I have believed it my 
duty, before my departure from this world, which cannot be 
far distant, to address a petition to his Majesty the King of 
Denmark on behalf of the Protestant Churches of France. 

" There are twelve hours during which God calls the 
labourers — some earlier and some later, according to His good 
pleasure — into His vineyard, to edify His Church and to 
succour those who are suffering for religion ; be it ours to 
adore the ways ot Providence and to do our duty to the 
utmost towards God and man. 

" In comparison with eternity the longest life is but as 
an atom when compared with the universe. Yet upon the 
right use or the wrong of this existence, so brief and so 
uncertain, depends our fate in eternity. For this reason 
a wise man does his utmost to please God, and to 
redeem neglected opportunités, and he omits nothing that can 
conduce to the fulfilment of his duty and the assurance 
of his salvation. Our everlasting happiness is of such 
inestimable value that, compared with it, all the glory, the 
riches, and the magnificence of this world are small and 
poor — dreams, dissolving views, and quickly vanishing 
phantasmagoria. ' Vanity of vanities, all is vanity, ' says 
the most magnificent monarch of antiquity, 'Fear God 
and keep His commandments,' this is the whole duty of 
man. ' The world passeth away and the lust thereof, but he 
that doeth the will of God abideth for ever ' ? 

"Believing these truths, I doubt not, Monsieur, that you 
will do your duty in this matter by taking a favorable 
opportunity for presenting my letter to the King, your 
master. The Prince comes of a pious stock. His father, 
who lived in a less advanced age than ours, leaving behind 
him glorious memories, has gone to receive in heaven the 
reward of his godliness and good deeds. God has taken 
away the first spouse of the reigning king in the flower of 
her age, in order to detach his affections from the dangerous 



He addresses a distinguished personage in Denmark. 337 

attractions of the world, while the calamity shows us that 
neither age, sex, nor rank are beyond the reach of death. 

"Yet a few brief years and we too shall have departed 
hence to receive the reward of our piety and good works. 
As we have sown so shall we reap ; he who has sown 
diligently shall reap abundantly, but he who has sown 
sparingly shall reap sparingly. These plain truths, 
Monsieur, are well known to you, yet we cannot be too 
often reminded of them to the end that our conduct may be 
in conformity with our knowledge. 

"There is an unfair and prejudiced belief that orthodox 
Lutherans do not encourage their Sovereigns to interest 
themselves on behalf of the Huguenots, although they 
themselves have thrown off the yoke of Rome and 
accept, for the most part, the same articles of faith. A 
similar ill-founded prejudice and probably unintentional 
narrow-mindedness prevents many Lutherans from regarding 
us as their brethren, though they acknowledge the same God 
as their Father, the same Christ as their Saviour, the same 
Holy Spirit as enlightening, sanctifying, and comforting all 
believers, and the same heaven as their inheritance. Ill- 
founded prejudices and unworthy motives frequently, in like 
manner, hinder us from helping the afflicted, because we 
regard them as strangers, notwithstanding that Christ has 
taught us, in the parable of the good Samaritan, that we 
should have compassion upon all men, and should regard 
all men as neighbours. For, as neither the office of 
priest nor Lévite, nor outward profession of Christianity, 
nor the calling of curé or minister of the Gospel can justify 
a failure in charity, so the greater our own light, and the 
richer our temporal and spiritual blessings, the greater will 
be our condemnation if we make not good use of the 
talents entrusted to us. 

u Christians whose conduct is consistent with their pro- 
fessions will derive satisfaction from the foregoing 
re-statement of vital truths, whilst those who are less 
mindful of their duties ought, as they value their eternal 



368 He addresses a distinguished personage in Denmark. 

welfare, and before they are surprised by death, to reconcile 
themselves with their Maker. 

u The Lord has no need of us or of our belongings ; our 
goodness is no*t to be measured by His. From everlasting 
He has been supremely happy and will continue so through- 
out eternity, altogether independent of us. Yet is it His 
pleasure that we should love one another, that we should 
help the poor, succour the outcast and visit the prisoner, for 
without charity we cannot hope to be the children of God or 
heirs of His Kingdom. Jesus Christ, Himself the Truth, has 
declared that men shall know by the love we bear one 
another that we are His disciples. 

"As a believer, and as representing in the office of 
Deputy of the Churches a considerable body of Christians 
who groan under the Cross, I never fail in taking an 
opportunity of soliciting our brethren who enjoy liberty, 
peace, and plenty, to bestow their charity upon our brethren 
in Christ, who are fighting and suffering tor the faith. 
Should my humble but earnest appeals be rejected or 
despised, I shall, though deeply grieved, be free from 
blame, for I shall have done my duty, and God will sooner or 
later accomplish His work. He will comfort and deliver His 
afflicted Church without human aid, and will cause His 
new Jerusalem, His well-beloved spouse, to come out 
victorious over every foe. Babylon, her rival, her persecutor, 
shall be utterly destroyed, together with all who have 
accepted her creeds and followed her counsels — which are 
these ; pride, avarice, lust, love of the world and the things 
of the world, torgettulness of God, contempt of His Holy 
Gospel, oppression of the poor, and insensibility to suffering. 

" May God by His grace restore to life those who are 
dead to their true interests, awaken charity and love for 
their neighbour in those who do not possess these virtues, 
and increase the faith of all men. 

" With sincere affection and esteem, I am Monsieur, 
Your Excellency's very obedient, humble servant, 

" London, the November 1755. "Du Pun." 



Letter from Antoine Court's son to Du Plan. 339 

" P.S. — The letter I have now had the honor of addressing 
to you, Monsieur, is not intended for your Excellency alone, 
but for any that make an open profession of religion with 
whom you are in relationship. If any should be moved to 
contribute on behalf of the Protestant Churches of France, 
he can remit his offering to the ministers of the French 
Church in Copenhagen, to be held by them at the disposal ol 
any minister at Geneva whom they may name, in order that 
its faithful application may be assured." 

The aged Deputy one day received a letter from 
Court de (lébelin (the son of his old friend) who 
wrote to ask a favour of Du Plan and profited by 
the opportunity to give him some news about 
Antoine Court and the state of the Church in France. 

"Lausanne, the 19th of September 1759. 
" Monsieur, 

"Allow me to take advantage of this opportunity to 
assure you of the sentiments of esteem and admiration that 
I entertain for you— impressions which are due to the teachings 
of my parents from earliest infancy. 

"It has always been my ambition to merit your good 
opinion, and especially to share in the friendship which exists 
between you and my father. Although this friendship was 
for a time clouded by misunderstanding it is so no longer, 
and I trust it may continue without interruption and become 
warmer with the lapse of time. I shall consider myself 
happy if I can in any way contribute to this end. 

"Our Sister, the bearer of this letter, is a good Christian 
of the old school, and is worthy of all the interest you may 
take in her. She proposes, in company with her son, to 
rejoin her other children, eight in number, who are now in 
London. Her name is Cazali, and she comes from the neigh- 
bourhood of Ribaute in Languedoc. 

" The country has greatly altered since the early days of 
your own pilgrimages. Light has spread throughout every 



340 Scheme for a Protestant Bank. 

Province, none is without its ministers and its public worship, 
while one even has its temples. Everywhere are to be seen 
large and flourishing communities of the faithful, full of 
enlightenment and zeal. Nevertheless the storm of perse- 
cution continues its ravages; it bursts out from time to time 
in different places, like an impetuous whirlwind carrying 
everything betore it. The Provinces most exposed to its 
fury are Dauphiny, Périgord and Normandy. 

"In Dauphiny eighteen persons have recently been prose- 
cuted, twelve others have been lodged in the prisons of 
Valence and Grenoble, and several children have been carried 
off to convents. 

" The Protestants of Périgord have been condemned to pay 
a fine ot twenty-eight thousand livres, besides being compelled 
to provide accommodation for several brigades of cavalry, 
fourteen of which are stationed in the Province. These make 
incessant raids on the assemblies, carry off the children to 
be re-baptised, and generally cause great disturbance and 
alarm amongst the people. 

"The kidnapping of children has been worst in Normandy ; 
in the course of two months no fewer than seven have been 
shut up in convents. 

" Other provinces, though less severely treated, have 
nevertheless been given, in a variety of ways, to understand 
that they are by no means free to worship God in their own 
way. Our co-religionists, moreover, are much mortified at 
the failure of their scheme for a Protestant Bank 1 and at 
the credit with which certain foul and baseless slanders 
against them had been received. The promoters of the 
banking scheme, two of whom are ruined, have been severely 

1. In 1759 a number of Protestants coneeiveil the idea of purchasing 
toleration with gold. The finances of the kingdom at the time in question 
being at a very low ebb, and the government being desirous of raising 
money in every possible way, this society of Protestants proposed to 
establish in Paris a house whose special business it should be to raise 
money on shares by the help of their co-religionists. The funds so 
procured it was intended to offer on loan to the King under certain 
stipulated conditions. The plan, however, was a failure. 



Letter of Court Junior on the death of his father. 341 

censured. A3 touching the book written by the Abbot De 
Caveirac, it is freely circulated in all quarters by the com- 
mandants, and by the Royal house itself. 

"My father, Monsieur, desires me to convey to you his 
best wishes. He often dwells with pleasure on the missionary 
journeys you took together in former days, and the kindly 
interchange of friendly converse by which they were 
enlivened. He takes a warm interest in your welfare and 
in that of your wife and dear children. 

"I have the honor to remain, with sincere respect, 
Monsieur, your very humble and obedient servant. 

"Court, Junior." 

Less than a year after the receipt of this letter 
Du Plan heard with great sorrow of the death of 
Antoine Court. We possess the letter in which the 
son of the refugee Pastor announced the sad intel- 
ligence to the old friend of his father. 

" 2nd of August 1760. 
"Monsieur, 
"I have been too long silent, but alas I have not been 
silent willingly ! Overwhelmed with grief and worn out 
with fatigue I have had my hand constantly on the plough 
with scarcely a moment's breathing time. Both my father 
and myself warmly appreciated the cordiality and affection 
of your letter of the twenty-third of March, and he was over- 
joyed at the revival of that intercourse which was always 
one of his happiest memories, while it was for me an inex- 
pressible pleasure to be a bond of union between you, the 
common friend of both. I should have replied at once but, 
being compelled to watch by the bedside of my dear father, 
who died a short time since of a lingering malady with 
which he had been afflicted for a twelvemonth, I was unequal 
to the effort. Alas! in spite of all our care, this tender 
father, this zealous friend, is no more ! He fell asleep on 
the twelfth of June at a quarter past 12 o'clock, and his 



342 Letter of Court Junior on the death of his father. 

redeemed spirit winged its flight to its Maker, in whose 
service he had spent his life. He leaves my sister and myself 
plunged in the deepest sorrow, and deprived of all the 
resources that his labours had procured for us. 

"Having had charge of his correspondence during his 
life-time, I have continued it up to the present moment. 
I have tendered my services to the various Churches and 
friends with whom he was connected, and the offer has been 
accepted by all so far as it was in their power. For eighteen 
years I have acted as private secretary to my father, and 
have imbibed most of his views and sentiments. Would 
that I had his ability — at all events I have his willing spirit 
My grief would indeed be increased were I unable to make 
myself useful to the beloved Churches in whose service you 
and he have spent your lives and encountered so many perils, 
and my most ardent desire is to serve the cause more effec- 
tually every day. 

"I venture to hope, Monsieur, that the friendly feelings 
which you entertained tor the father will be extended to the 
son, and in this expectation I am encouraged by the tone of 
your last letter. I trust you will be of opinion that my 
sentiments towards you and the desire I have to cultivate 
your friendship are sufficient justification for my making 
this request. 

"It is with a sense of pleasure and thankfulness that I 
hear you still occupy yourself on behalf of the Churches. I 
trust you will keep me well acquainted with all your doings, 
and I shall make it a point to inform our friends of them, 
for I shall be delighted if I can, in this or in any other way, 
aid in the accomplishment of our common object. 

"You are aware, Monsieur, with what assiduity and zeal 
my father toiled at his History of the Churches of France, 
He broke the work up into several distinct parts ; amongst 
others, the History of the Camisards. Grieved to think so 
much valuable labour should be lost by his writings 
remaining buried in the obscurity of his study, I spared 
no pains to induce my father to publish them. His means 



Letter of Court Junior on the death of his father. 343 

being too limited to accomplish this, 1 undertook to raise a 
subscription and shall thus be enabled to print the History of 
the Camisards. Two presses have been at work at it since 
March, and the book, which will consist of three volumes 
duodecimo, each containing at least five hundred pages, 
will, I hope, shortly be published. Unfortunately ray father 
left the work incomplete, involving on ray part the necessity 
of labouring hard to finish it under unfavorable circum- 
stances and amidst overwhelming cares- It will be illustrated 
by a map of the Cevennes that I drew up last winter and in 
which are prominently indicated places of special interest. 
I have already received the first proof of the map from Lyons, 
and all who have seen it, and who take any interest in 
geography, have expressed their approval 

"Do you think, Monsieur, the book would sell in London? 
For the present the subscription price for the three volumes, 
including map, is four livres, but after publication the price 
will be six licres. Possibly Monsieur Vaillant might be 
disposed to subscribe for a number of copies, but as I am a 
stranger to him may I venture, Monsieur, to ask you kindly 
to bring the matter to his attention ? 

"Since I last had the pleasure of writing to you, death 
has made great ravages amongst our friends and the leading 
men connected with the Churches. It removed from us, in 
October, at Geneva, the excellent and much esteemed Professor 
Polier, and shortly afterwards Monsieur Sarrasin, senior. 
In France, in the month of February, we lost Monsieur 
Redonnel, formerly pastor at Montpellier and afterwards of 
Bordeaux, and in April the celebrated Boyer. 

"We have here a well attended college containing at 
present about twenty -four students from Normandy, 
Saintonge, Angoumois, Périgord, Béarn, Upper Languedoc, 
the Upper Cevennes, Vivarais and Dauphiny. They nobly 
vied with each other during ray father's illness in watching 
at his bedside night and day until the end, doing their utmost 
to relieve my anxieties. I have been appointed Professor of 



344 Letter of Court Junior on the death of his father. 

Moral Philosophy, and besides myself there is a Professor of 
Theology and another of Latin. 

"Last year the Abbot De Caveirac published an enor- 
mous octavo volume entitled 'An Apology for the Revo- 
cation of the Edict of Nantes under Louis XIV,' which 
consisted of nothing but accusations against the Protestants ; 
these my father and I were asked to rebut. The matter has 
been taken in hand by the Library of Arts and Sciences in 
Holland, which has issued a memoir on the subject, and this 
having come to the knowledge of the Court has resulted in 
the disgrace of the Abbot. 

"Monsieur De Richelieu, Governor of Guienne, is endea- 
vouring to put an end to public worship, and even to prevent 
meetings in private houses throughout the province ; he is 
also taking measures to enforce the re-baptism of children. 
What may be the issue of this attempt in the recently 
re-organised Churches, whose members are still timid and 
fearful, none can tell, but we trust that they will glorify God 
and His Son Jesus Christ by their constancy. 

" The Assembly of Catholic Clergy is dissolved. Before 
separating, the members presented to the King, through the 
Bishop of Puy, a remonstrance against Protestant preachers 
especially on the subject of marriage. The King, however, 
regarding their complaints as conceived in a spirit of 
animosity and grossly exaggerated, and also because no 
remedy was suggested for the evil, declined to listen to them. 

" Accept my thanks for your kindness in the matter of the 
widow Cazali. Though I have not the honor of being known 
to Monsieur the Chevalier D'Oliveira, I beseech you to 
present to him my respectful salutations. His excellent 
speech on the terrible calamity at Lisbon, of which city he 
is a native, gives me a very high opinion of him ; his elevated 
sentiments show that he is a man of noble and tender heart. 

" A letter which I have received from Monsieur Serces 
causes me great grief; it would appear that he is on the 
brink of the grave. I know of your estrangement, Monsieur, 
and I cannot deny that the knowledge has cut me to the heart. 



Letter of Court Junior on the death of his father. 545 

Ought such serious differences to exist between persons of 
earnest piety who are engaged in the same cause? I should 
like to think, that letting bygones be bygones, you are 
ready to extend to each other the hand of friendship. It 
would have been a source of much consolation to my father 
if this reconciliation could have been accomplished during 
his lifetime, and it will make me truly happy if I can now 
aid in bringing it about. Monsieur Serces appears disposed 
to make advances, and I know, Monsieur, that you are a 
friend of peace; what then hinders a reconciliation? My 
heart bleeds when I think that I am in close relationship 
with two persons who honor me with their friendship and 
are united in my heart, but who are at variance the one 
with the other. 

" It is well nigh time that I allowed you to take breath, 
for I have written a long letter. Your kindness, however, 
gives me confidence, and I have, as you perceive, spoken 
my mind freely. It is because I wished to write to you at 
length that I waited a favorable opportunity for inditing the 
present letter. Continue to honor me with your friendship, 
and rest assured that no one is more devoted to you or 
holds you in greater esteem and consideration than, 
Monsieur, your very humble and obedient servant 

"Court." 

Du Plan lost no time in replying. 

Kentish Town, August, 1760. 
u Monsieur, my dear friend and brother in Christ, 
u I have received your letter of the second of August, 
which, touching as it does on a variety of subjects, has 
produced varied effects on my mind. I should be hard- 
hearted and unnatural were I unmindful of the loss we have 
sustained — you of a kind and tender father, I of a long tried 
and zealous friend, and the Churches of France of a faithful 
and laborious servant: but how brilliant soever may have 
been his talents, or however useful his work, God can raise 
np other labourers to supply his place, and the year passed 



346 Letter from Du Plan m reply. 

by his bed of sickness ought to have fitted you to become 
his successor. 

" You have had the satisfaction of comforting him and 
ministering to his wants during his time of trial, of witness- 
ing his patience, his faith and his resignation to the will of 
God. You have been assisted in your good work by men 
destined for the ministry, and now that God has ended our 
friend's conflicts and sorrows, he rests from his labours and 
his works do follow him. What a consolation for those who 
loved him is the assurance that the servant of God who has 
fought the good fight, who has been faithful unto death, has 
now obtained that crown of life which Jesus Christ purchased 
for us with his blood. The believer does not die when his 
soul is separated from the body, on the contrary he lives 
more than ever; his body which is subject to an infinity of 
cares and infirmities clogs the aspirations of his soul, and 
his soul, freed from its mortal tenement and the things of 
time, beholds an unclouded God, sees Jesus Christ face to 
face and is changed into His image. We ought not to 
lament the loss of your father, but rather to rejoice that the 
friend whom we loved and whose memory we cherish is 
now happy in heaven. But can we truly say that he is lost' 
to us when his memory is so dear, and while the fruit of his 
labours is visible in our Churches ? I would add for our 
further consolation that your father not alone lives in 
Heaven and in his works, but lives again in you ; you are 
animated by his spirit, and endowed with his talents ; you 
have equal zeal for God, equal love for our brethren in France 
and equal affection for his friends, amongst whom I glory 
to count myself. For these reasons it is at once my duty and 
my pleasure to bear witness to the mutual esteem and 
friendship which marked the intercourse of your father and 
myself when we were fellow-labourers in France and 
Switzerland, for the glory of God and the edification of His 
Church. 

" Thanks be to God, the Churches of France, in spite of 
frequently recurring persecutions, are in a happier and more 



Letter from Du Plan in reply. 347 

nourishing condition than when your father and I began to 
interest ourselves on their behalf. Not only are there many 
more pastors but the Churches are much more numerous, 
and if it please God to hear our prayers and to bless our 
colleagues' and our own labours, the truth will ere long make 
more progress in France than at any time since the Revo- 
cation of the Edict ot Nantes. My hopes are not grounded 
alone on the goodness, the power and the faithfulness of 
God, manifested from the first towards His Church universal, 
but also on facts of which I am personally cognisant, on the 
letters of my correspondents, and on the exertions of the 
band of young evangelists of whom you have made mention 
in your letter, for Providence will never allow them to remain 
idle while labourers are so much wanted in His vineyards. 

"Besides these just and weighty considerations, we may 
draw much encouragement from the prophecies of the Old 
and New Testaments which point to the destruction of 
Babylon and the triumph of Jerusalem — the triumph of 
truth, justice and holiness over the error, superstition, 
idolatry, and vice which abound in the world. This con- 
summation will be due to the grace of the Holy Spirit, 
for it is God alone through His Holy Spirit who is able to 
convert the unbelieving. It is God alone who can create new 
heavens and a new earth wherein shall dwell righteousness. 
Then, according to His promises, the earth shall be full of 
the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea; then 
there shall be but one fold and one shepherd ; then shall all 
men be taught of the Lord and animated by the same spirit, 
being of one heart and of one soul, like as were the believers 
in the time of the Apostles, after receiving the gift of the 
Holy Ghost. While looking for these blessed days let us, as 
did the Apostles while awaiting the descent of the Holy 
Ghost in Jerusalem after their Master had been taken up into 
heaven, prepare for them by gathering ourselves together 
for prayer and supplication and good works. Especially 
should we, who by the grace of God enjoy that peace and 
liberty of conscience which are denied to our brethren, take 



348 Letter from Du Plan in reply. 

example from Moses, who from the hill lifted his hands 
towards heaven while the battle was raging between Joshua 
and Amalek on the plain. 

"I thank you, Monsieur and dear brother, for the news 
you give me respecting our fellow labourers in France and 
elsewhere, and beg of you to continue them. I, on my part, 
will keep you informed of everything on the subject likely 
to afford you pleasure, although I am old and infirm and 
have retired into the country owing to an asthma which 
often hinders me from walking and sometimes even from 
writing. I take advantage of every respite from my suffer- 
ings to work for the advancement of the Kingdom of Jesus 
Christ and the edification of His Church, I exert myself 
especially to recruit the number of His followers which has 
latterly greatly diminished. 

u As to the death of Monsieur Boyer, whom you describe 
as 'celebrated', I do not think we have much cause for regret 
when we consider the disorder and trouble he occasioned in 
his lifetime. Every sort of instrument is used by Providence 
either for edification or for trial ; 'The Lord gave and the Lord 
hath taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord'. The 
Almighty will raise up for His Church pastors endowed with 
grace and virtue, whose sole aim will be the glory of 
God and the salvation of the souls whom He has redeemed 
by the blood of His only Son. 

" The loss of Monsieur professor Polier, Monsieur Redonnel 
and others, appears to me much more serious, but blessed be 
God, their career has been honourable and He is able to pro- 
vide successors who may even be more useful to the Church 
than they were. We should never despair of Providence, 
whose resources for the good of the Church are infinite. 

" As to your reference to Monsieur Serces, we exchanged 
letters of reconciliation some time since, but as both of us 
are now old, feeble and often laid up with sickness, besides 
being far removed from one another, we rarely meet, but 
content ourselves with an occasional interchange of greet- 
ings. There is no longer any subject of difference between 



Letter from Du Plan in reply. 349 

us, and I should be only too glad to have an opportunity of 
rendering him a service. 

U I could have wished that your father had been able to 
complete his History of the Churches of F ranee since the 
Revocation, but we must remain satisfied with what he has 
done, trusting it may be of service to some who will carry 
out his design when time favors. Though the History of the 
Ganvisards has been several times written by authors both 
Roman Catholic and Protestant, it is nevertheless so full of 
interest that it will be welcomed in France under a new 
guise. I have spoken to two ministers of my acquaintance 
on your behalf, with a view to the introduction of the book 
into England. As the Refuge is now very much diminished 
in numbers, as nearly everybody speaks English, and as 
the country is inundated with books in that language, 
French works meet with little demand and are only purchased 
by way of curiosity. Monsieur Vaillant will not undertake 
on his own account to subscribe for copies of the History of 
the Camisards, and I know of no one else likely to take the 
risk : we are thus limited to the agency of a few friends, who 
may take some copies, paying cash for a part, and consigning 
the remainder to the booksellers', who would sell the same 
on your account, charging a small profit for their trouble." 

As he became conscious of his failing strength 
and his approaching end, Benjamin Du Plan grew 
anxious about the future of his family. Being on 
the point, as he thought, of leaving a widow and two 
young children totally unprovided for, he bethought 
him of all his resources and wrote to his friend 
Le Maréchal of Alais, and his cousin Fabre, to send 
him anything that might be left from the wreck of 
his father's property. 

The following — also addressed to his cousin 
Fabre — is the last letter that we have been able to 



350 Letter of Du Plan to his cousin Fabre. 

find amongst the papers of Du Plan. The letter 
foreshadows his approaching end and affords further 
proof of the unshaken piety, deep faith and truly 
Christian resignation of this devoted servant of God. 

u My dear Cousin, 

" Although for some time past I have scarcely had a 
day's freedom from suffering, I regard it as a mercy that 
my life is still spared, feeling persuaded that all things 
work together for good to them that love God. If we 
believe His word, we ought not to doubt that He has loved 
us with an infinite love, in that He has given His only Son 
to die for us; and if we are persuaded of His love for us we 
ought not to doubt His infinite wisdom, which knows what 
is best for us and deals with us in the manner most conducive 
to His own glory and our salvation. 

" We have reason to believe that our souls are immortal, 
that our bodies will be raised, and that there will be a final 
judgment, when God will deal with all men according to 
their works — the impious and the wicked will be punished 
with everlasting torment in company with devils, the faithful 
who have endeavoured to please God will be happy in 
heaven to all eternity, dwelling in His presence and with 
the holy angels. If all this be true we ought to regard the 
sufferings of this world as nothing compared with the 
bliss of eternity, while we ought to bear our afflictions 
with patience and submission to the will of God, knowing 
that they work out for us a far more exceeding and eternal 
weight of glory. We remember too that God has not only 
pre-ordained that we shall resemble His Son in His eternal 
glory and felicity in heaven, but that we shall also resemble 
Him in the sufferings He endured on this earth, which in 
their duration are but as a moment compared with eternity. 
We ought at the same time not to forget that God has 
promised the gift of His Holy Spirit to sustain and comfort 
us under our trials, and that we be not overcome by them. 
Jesus Christ, who has experienced every sorrow and knows 



Death of Benjamin Du Plan. 351 

all our burdens, is faithful and all powerful to help us and 
even to give us, if He think fit, a foretaste of the happiness 
to come. 

u Herein, my dear cousin, is my chief consolation under 
the infirmities I bear. Through the infinite mercy of God, 
the boundless merits of Jesus Christ, and the blessing of the 
Holy Spirit, 1 trust I shall be enabled to persevere in the 
faith, and ere long to commit my soul in peace and joy into 
the hands of my Creator and adorable Saviour. I feel no 
certainty that my life will be prolonged even for a quarter 
of an hour, and at best it cannot be of long duration except 
by a miracle. Whatever may happen, God be praised! 
Only may I have grace from the Lord to be found numbered 
with the wise virgins who are waiting tor the bridegroom's 
coming with their lamps trimmed, so that whether I live or 
whether I die soon I may be ready. 

Early in the month of July, 1763, Du Plan 
passed away, and by his death the Protestant 
Church lost one of the most devoted of its off- 
spring. In the course of his long career, which 
we have, so to speak, been following da} 1 " by day, 
his faith never wavered. The sacred flame that 
was kindled in the soul of the young soldier burnt 
with unquenchable ardour in that of the aged 
veteran. Often towards the close of his life his 
thoughts reverted to his earlier years and he would 
thrill with joy on comparing the present with the 
past. It was not without emotion that he called to 
mind those days of enthusiasm, when renouncing 
his military career, he bade a final adieu to the 
world and its vanities and devoted himself wholly 
to the service of his Divine Master. The times 
were then grave. The chill blast of persecution had 



352 A glance retrospective. 

bowed down the proudest heads, dispersed the pas- 
tors and devastated the flocks. Yet encouraged by 
the example of some aged preacher or some poor 
prophetess who still bade defiance to rigorous edicts 
and maintained at the risk of their lives the drooping 
cause of Protestantism, we have seen this man of 
noble birth, brought up in ease and refinement, 
attending the assemblies in the Desert, encountering 
every danger, living like the peasants themselves, 
— his companions, rude mountainers, and he their 
friend and pastor. He bethought him of that happy 
day when, in the midst of his absorbing occupations, 
he first met Antoine Court and " grappled him to his 
heart." Drawn together by a love like that of David 
and Jonathan , they struggled to rekindle by the 
fervour of their zeal, and their ardent labours and self 
sacrifice, the expiring fires of French Protestantism; 
it was they who, regardless of the edicts assembled 
the scattered sheep, while by word and deed they 
sought to strengthen the constant, rouse the lukewarm 
and encourage the weak. When persecution fell 
upon him also, we find our hero flying from the 
Château of his fathers and becoming a wanderer on 
the face of the earth, an exile and a stranger. 
Happy time! exile opened to him a new field of 
activity in the service of the Church. By his mis- 
sionary journeys in Switzerland, England, Germany, 
Sweden, Denmark and Holland and his pressing 
appeals to small and great, he was enabled to raise 
funds sufficient not alone for founding a College at 
Lausanne for the training of pastors for his native 



A glance prospective. 353 

country, but for the purchase of religious books for 
his persecuted brethren. He was also instrumental 
in eliciting the sympathies of the Protestant Powers 
on behalf of the most unfortunate amongst the suf- 
ferers. Thanks to his exertions, galley-slaves were 
liberated and the lot of other prisoners made more 
tolerable. Yet, alas ! with what sad thoughts were 
these happy reminiscences often mingled! Where 
were his early companions, his old friends ? Arnaud, 
Hue, Vesson, Durand, Roger and many others had 
perished on the scaffold; Antoine Court had died at 
Lausanne; Bonbonnoux and Cortiez, the sole sur- 
vivors, broken down with fatigue and crushed with 
the infirmities of age, had abandoned the struggle 
and retired into exile, where they awaited their end. 
His own closing years were darkened by calumny 
and bitter mortification. 

But in compensation for these sorrows, sufferings 
and martyrdoms, his heart glowed in the anti- 
cipation of the dawn of better days. Providence had 
accomplished its work. As hitherto in the history 
of the Church, the blood of martyrs had proved to 
be the seed of the harvest. The mustard seed had 
become a great tree; the winds and the storms had 
shaken it and buffeted its branches, but its roots 
had only struck the more deeply into the earth, until 
now beneath its grateful shade a numerous and 
god-fearing generation could take shelter. Baville, 
Bernage, Le Nain, Saint-Priest and the other per- 
secutors had wielded the scourge in vain, their 
violence and wrath had been defied. 

23 



354 The fathers and the sons. 

Yet a little while and a new whirlwind would 
sweep away the still heavy, but already drifting 
clouds. The Revolution was advancing with rapid 
strides, bringing in its train that most precious of 
all liberties, liberty of conscience. Yet a little 
while and the chains of captives would be broken 
and all would breathe freely and proudly under the 
glorious canopy of heaven. Yet a little while 
and Protestantism victorious would replace the 
despairing cry of evil days, " Save Lord we perish," 
with the watchword of victory, " Through the cross 
triumphant." 

It was not permitted to Du Plan to witness the 
dawn of this blissful day. Nevertheless he cherished 
in his noble heart, with unshaken faith, the hope of 
a happy future. Like Moses he saw from afar 
the promised land, though Grod had not allowed 
him to enter it. 

While contemplating with gratitude our hero's 
life we are tempted to compare the present with 
the past, the indifference of to-day with the zeal of 
former times, and to apply to ourselves the reproof 
of the Prophet: "Your fathers, where are they"? 

Be that as it may, we are without fear for the 
future of a Church that Grod has so loved; and 
notwithstanding the evils of the present and the 
uncertainties of the future, we exclaim with Jesus 
Christ " The gates of hell shall not prevail against it." 



APPENDIX. 



GENEALOGY OF BENJAMIN DU PLAN. 

At the beginning of the sixteenth century, the Ribot- 
faraily who occupied the manor Du Plan de la Favède in the 
parish of Laval in the diocese of Uzès, was represented by 
two near relatives, possibly brothers, named respectively 
Anthoine and Jacques. 

Anthoixè Ribot died prior to 1577, leaving issue a son 
named Jean, who was Captain and Governor of the Château 
de Sommières in 1577, a period at which he gave toBringuier 
Ribot, son of the late Jacques, a receipt for the sum of fitty 
livres for all his paternal inheritance "to which he may now 
be or henceforth become entitled, to pertain by right to the 
said Bringuier." 

Jacques Ribot was the founder of the family of the 
Seigneurs Du Plan, of which the filiation is established as 
follows: — 

I. — Jacques Ribot died before 1577 and was the 
father of 

II. — Noble Bringuier, or Berenger Ribot, Seigneur Du 



1. This genealogy has been drawn up with the aid of the family 
papers and copies of wills. For the latter (which were accidentally dis- 
covered in the garret of the Château de la Favède where they had 
remained buried for more than a century) we are indebted to the 
present proprietor, Monsieur Arbousset. 

2. There formerly existed in the Parish of Saint-Florent, a locality 
of the name ot Des Ribots, and near to it, among the out-buildings 
of the Château des Silhols, was a spring known as the Fontaine des 
Eibots. 

On the 84th of November 14H3, Pierre Ribot living on the estate Des 
Silhols in the Parish of Saint-Florent, in a communication addressed to 
Seigneur De Saint-Florent mentioned certain possessions as formerly 
belonging to Jacques Ribot, also of the aforesaid Des Silhols. Bernard 
Ribot. in 1548 sold the manor of Dos Silhols to one Claude Pomier. This 
incident may possibly furnish a clue to the origin of the family of 
De Ribot. 



356 Genealogy of Benjamin Du Flan. 

Plan de la Favede. He made his will on the 15th of 
January, 1585. 1 On the 13th of February 1577 he received 
of Jean Ribot, Captain and Governor of the Château de 
Soramières, and son of the late Anthoine, the reversion 
of his (Jean's) paternal inheritance. 2 He died previous 
to the year 1586, and was the father of 

III. — Noble Andre Ribot, Seigneur Du Plan, who 
married on the 13th of November, 1586, 3 Mademoiselle Marie 
De Montméjean, and made his will on the 8th of August, 1621. * 
He had issue from this marriage: — 

1. Jean, first-born and heir, 

2. Garcine or Gavernie? ] Mentioned in the will of 

(perhaps Gamier)? ( their father, and succes- 

3. François; I si vely substituted as heirs 

4. Marc- Antoine. ] to their elder brother. 

IV. — Noble Jean Ribot, Seigneur Du Plan, married on 
the 20th of January, 1649, 5 Mademoiselle Suzanne DePlantier 
De Graverol, and made his will on the 25th of November 
1657. 6 He had issue from this marriage : — 

1. Louis, first-born ; 

2. Estienne, De Ribot, Seigneur Du Plan de la Favède, 
married on the 19th of February, 1680 7 Mademoiselle Louisse 



1. Before Maître Privât, Solicitor, of Saint-German-de-Valfrancesque, 

2. Maître Guilliot, Solicitor, of Sommières. 

3. Contract attested by Vareilles, Solicitor, of Saint-Germain. 

4. Before the same Solicitor, 

5. Contract attested by Maître Privât, Solicitor, of Saint-Germain. 

6. Before Jacques Favede, Solicitor, of Brenoux. 

7. By compact made before Maîtres Jacques Guiraudet, and Pierre 
Bastide, Solicitors of Alais. There were present at this contract, Jean 
De Plautier, Seigneur De Ruffières ; Pierre De Plantier, Seigneur de la 
Baume ; Nobles Guillaume and Daniel De Baudan, Seigneurs Des 
Montaud; Maître Louis De Saunier, Chief of the Accountant General's 
Office for the district of Alais; Claude and Estienne D'Audibert,. 
Seigneurs des Tamaris, father and son ; Maître Pierre Paulet, Solicitor 
of Anduze; Noble Jacques De Vergèzes, Seigneur D'Aubussargues. 



Genealogy of Benjamin Du Plan. 357 

De Baudau, daughter of Noble Charles De Baudan, Seigneur 
De Montaud, and of Madeleine De Paillier, of the town 
of Alais ; 

3. Jacques, described as follows : — 

V. Noble JACQUES Ribot, Seigneur de Bouveret and 
Du Plan de la Favède, was appointed Lieutenant in the 
Polastre company of the Regiment of Piedmont, in which 
a vacancy had occurred through the retirement of De Maison- 
ville his brother, 1 by letters patent granted by the King at 
Saint-Germain-en-Laye, on the 20th of December, 1679. 
He married Mademoiselle Marie De Fabre, of the town of 
Alais. He was upheld, in his claim to nobility by the 
sovereign judgment of Monsieur De Lamoiguon, Intendant 
of Languedoc, pronounced on the 15th of August, 1698. 
According to his, will opened and displayed in presence of 
the crown officers, and witnessed by Maître Louis Durand, 
Solicitor, it appears that Noble François Deleuze, Seigneur 
De Lencizole, became heir to a part of his property, and 
was living about the middle of the eighteenth century at 
the Château Du Plan, where he assumed the title of Seigneur 
De Lencizole and Du Plan. 2 The remainder of his estate 
was seized in 1752 by the Crown, as being property belonging 
to a refugee, and his only son was thus deprived of his 
inheritance. 

VI. — Benjamin de Ribot, Seigneur Du Caila and Du 
Plan, known by the name of Du Caila during his father's 
life time and afterwards by that of Du Plan, was born on the 
13th of March 1688. In his early years he served in the 



1. The brother who bore this title of Seigneur De Maisonville, and 
who had preceded Jacques Ribot in the rank of Lieutenant in the 
Regiment of Piedmont, was no doubt Louis, the eldest of the family. 

2. In 1751, Noble François Deleuze, Seigneur De Lencizole and 
Du Plan, living at his Château Du l'lan.son of the above, on inheriting 
and succeeding to his Cither's estate, assumed to himself in a deed 
having reference to properly bequeathed to him by the family of 
De Plantier, the title of Noble Jacques De Ribotj Seigneur Du Plan. 



358 Genealogy of Benjamin Du Plan. 

armies of Louis XlV^butin 1710 he abandoned the military 
career in order to devote himselt entirely to the cause of 
religion. A price having been put upon his head, he was 
compelled in 1724 to leave France. In 1725 he was 
nominated by the National Synod as Deputy of the Reformed 
Churches of France to the Courts of the Protestant Powers.. 
In this capacity, between 1725 and 1751, he more than once 
travelled through Germany, Holland, Switzerland, England r 
Denmark and Sweden, and obtained means sufficient to 
found a College for the training of ministers, who went 
secretly to preach in France, as well as to administer relief 
to those who were suffering for religion. In 1731, he went 
for the first time to England, where at the termination of his 
mission he definitively established himself. Having fixed his 
residence in London, he made the acquaintance of Madame 
Denman, a widow, whom he shortly after married. She was 
a daughter of Monsieur Du Passage De Voutron, a refugee 
family from La Rochelle, and of Mademoiselle Nouai his 
wife 1 . He died in 1763, and his widow died on the 30th of 
September 1790. From this marriage there was issue 

1. Marie Marguerite Françoise, born on the 14th of 
May 1753, married in 1793, Mr. John Lloyd. 

2. André Bousquet Jacques Benjamin Pellet, born the- 
2nd of May 1756, died at the age of 25 years, unmarried. 



1. Mademoiselle Nouai was the daughter of Monsieur Nouai, a 
chaplain to the Bishop of Ely, and Mademoiselle Du Tang, his wife. 
This lady who afterwards made a second marriage with a French 
nobleman, of the name of De Pellet, an attaché at the Court of the Kings 
of England in the time of the Georges, was the daughter of Monsieur 
Du Tang, Pastor of the Church of Rouen, who left France at the time of 
the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes. 



ABSTRACT OF THE FOREGOING GENEALOGY. 



Anthoine Ribot, probably a 
brother of Jacques Ribot, 
who died prior to 1577, 
was the father of 
Jean Ribot, who was go- 
vernor of the Château De 
Bommières, in iôtt, in 
which year he sold the 
reversion of his Inherit- 
ance to Bringuier Ribot, 
son of the late Jacques. 



I. Jacques Ribot, probably a brother 
Of Anthoine Ribot, who died prior to 
1577, was the Gather of 
II. Noble Bringuier Ribot, Siigm-ur Die 
Plan de l" Favëde , who in 1577, 
paid to Jean Ribot, son of the, late 
Anthoine, fifty livres for the reversion 
ni' his (.lean's) inheritance, and died 
prior to î.îsi;. Hi' was the father of 
III. Noble André Ribot, M"« Marie 
Seigneur Du Plan, Du 

who married on the Montméjean 
13th November, 1586 
and left issue 

1. Jean, 

2. Garcine, 

3. François, 

4. Marc-Antoine 

VI. Noble Jean Ribot, M lls Suzanne 
Seigneur Du Plan, De Plantier 
married on the 20th De Graverol. 
January, 1649 

and left issue 

1. Louis. 

2. Estienne De Ribot, Seigneur 
Du Plan de la Favède, 
who married on the 19th 
February 1680 M" e Louisse 
De Baudan. 

:;. Jacques, 
V. Noble Jacques Ribot j^ne Marie 
Seigneur de Rouveret rj e Fabre. 
■ Lad Du Plan de la 
Favëde, married on — 
and left issue 



VI. Benjamin de Ribot, 
Si iffiu ur Da ( uila 

• nu! Du I'luit, born on 
tin- 13th of March 
1688, married on the 

4th Nov. 1751 



Mme Denmau, 

née 
De Voutron, 
daughter of 

Monsieur De 
Voutron and 
M'" Nouai. 



and left issue 

1. Marie, Marguerite, Françoise. 

2. André Bousquet Jacques Benjamin 

Pellet, died In 17-u, unmarried. 
Mr. John Lloyd married in 1798 M"- Marie 
Marguerite Françoise Du Plan. 



360 The writings of Benjamin Du Plan. 



II. 



Monsieur Du Plan, in addition to his copious 
and edifying correspondence, and his petitions to 
the various Powers, wrote several controversial 
treatises, and sermons. They all display the same 
enlightened understanding and deep piety which 
characterise the other productions of his pen. 



FINIS. 



CONTENTS 



CHAPTER I. 

YOUTH AND CONVERSION OF BENJAMIN DU PLAN. 
1688—1710. 

His birth. First religious impressions of Du Plan. He 
is instructed by the Old Cauiisards. He attends the 
reunions of the Inspired. His vocation becomes 
apparent. An Inspired predicts his future 1 

CHAPTER II. 

CONDITION OF FRENCH PROTESTANTISM. 
1710—1715. 

Penalties against the apostates. Protestant marriages 
considered illegitimate. The Tower of Constance. 
The penalty of the galleys. Resignation of the 
Protestants. Worship in the Home. Worship in 
the Desert. An Assembly in the Desert. Zeal 
and devotion of Du Plan 7 

CHAPTER III. 

FIRST JOURNEYS OF ANTOINE COURT. 

1696—1715. 

The family of Antoine Court. His call to the Holy 
Ministry. He parts from his Mother. His first 
rounds in the Vivarais. The Synod of 1715. 
Court's companions in work 18 



362 Contents. 

CHAPTER IV. 

FIRST INTERVIEW OF BENJAMIN DU PLAN WITH 
ANTOINE COURT. 

1715. 
First interview of Du Plan with Antoine Court. Du 
Plan approves of Court's projects. His justification 
of inspiration. Antoine Court and Du Plan make 
a friendly league ... ... 24 

CHAPTER V. 

THE END OF ONE REIGN AND THE COMMENCEMENT 

OF ANOTHER. 

1715—1716. 

Death of Louis XIV. Influence of Henrietta on the 
Regent. Declaration of 1716. Persecution in 
Languedoc. Arrest of Etienne Arnaud. His 
execution. Du Plan's letter to the mother of 
Arnaud. He consoles her in her affliction 28 

CHAPTER VI. 

CARDINAL ALBERONI AND SCIPION SOULAN. 
1719. 

Scipion Soulan. Action of the Regent. Du Plan's 
mission to Nismes. He there vindicates the 
Assemblies. Result of his Mission. Du Plan's 
letter to the Synod. He recommends moderation. 
The persecution is slackened 3ft 

CHAPTER VII. 

THE PESTILENCE OF ALAIS. 

1720—1721. 

The pestilence of Alais. Religious zeal is reawakened. 

Activity and devotion of Du Plan 44 



Contents. 363 

CHAPTER VIII. 

BENJAMIN DU PLAN AND THE VESSONNIENS. 
1721—1724. 

Departure of Court for Geneva. The result of this 
journey. Court's letter to Du Plan. Cortiez 
accuses Du Plan of countenancing the Inspired. 
History of Vesson, The schism of Vcsson and 
Hue. History of Hue. Irritation of Court against 

. the Female Fanatics 48 

CHAPTER IX. 

THE MULTIPLIANTS. 
1723. 

The widow Verchand of Montpellier. She endeavours 
to win over Du Plan. The Sect of the Multipliants. 
Their condemnation. The execution of Vesson 
and Hue. Du Plan's letter to Court on the subject. 
Du Plan defends his conduct. He repudiates all 
connection with the Schismatics. He extols union 
and harmony. He demands the convocation of a 
Synod. Reply of Antoine Court. He accuses Du 
Plan of breaking the rules. He answers Du Plan's 
appeal to the Scriptures. The attributes of a true 
prophet. The Inspired do not possess these 
attributes. Du Plan justifies his prudent conduct. 
He replies to the sarcasm of Court. He urges the 
Convocation of a Synod. He furnishes proofs of 
his vocation. He disowns all relationship with 
the Multipliants. He asserts his belief in inspiration. 
Decree of the Synod against the Inspired. Du Plan 
is followed by the police. His flight from France. 
The extent of his sacrifices. His letter of farewell 
to Antoine Court. He gives some practical 
advice 57 



364 Contents. 

CHAPTER X. 

THE DECLARATION OP 1724. 

1723—1725. 

Statement^ the Bishop of Alais. The Edict of 1724. 
£, The Protestants are terror-stricken. Rigorous 
^ measures against the preachers. Letter of Du Plan 
to the King of England, Letter of Du Plan to the 
King of Prussia. Letter of Saurin to Du Plan. 
The anxiety ol Du Plan. Providential deliverance 
of Antoine Court. Letter of congratulation from 
Du Plan 85 

CHAPTER XL 

BENJAMIN DU PLAN IS NOMINATED AS DEPUTY 

GENERAL OF THE SYNODS TO THE 

PROTESTANT POWERS. 

The 1st of May, 1725. 

The Synod of 1725. Letter of Antoine Court to Du 
Plan. He informs him of his nomination as 
Deputy. Official attestation of the Synod. Dis- 
interested conduct of Du Plan. His letter to the 
Synod 99 

CHAPTER XII. 

ONE YEAR'S RESIDENCE OF DU PLAN AT GENEVA. 

1724—1725. 

<*eneva the resort of Refugees. Personal preferences 
of Du Plan for Geneva. His favourable reception 
at Geneva. Letter of Antoine Court to Du Plan. 
The state of the Church in France. Activity of 
Du Plan prior to his nomination. Letter of Du 
Plan to Antoine Court, imparting earnest advice. 
Du Plan criticises Court's style of writing. Du 
Plan deplores the scarcity of Pastors. The dis- 



Contents. 365 

advantages of appealing to foreign Pastors. Du 
Plan sends religious books into France. Dangers 
encountered by the Colporteurs. Du Plan interests 
himself in their mission. His noble-minded 
sentiments. His solicitude on behalf of the 
Churches. His solicitude for the galley-slaves. 
The motives for his chanty. Court describes the 
progress of his work. The Confederation of the 
Churches. Financial situation of Du Plan 106 

CHAPTER XIII. 

FIRST JOURNEY OF DU PLAN IN SWITZERLAND. 

October and November, 1725. 

Du Plan's want of money. He urges Court to procure 
it for him. Poverty of the Churches. Success of 
Du Plan in Switzerland. Establishment of the 
College at Lausanne. Bétrine, the first student at 
the College. Du Plan's letter respecting the 
collections in France. Particulars of his journey . 127 

CHAPTER XIV. 

THE SYNOD OF 1726 AND BENJAMIN DU PLAN. 

Denunciations against Du Plan. His relations with 
the Inspired of Geneva. Court urges him to 
abstain from their company. Du Plan asserts his 
independence. He has always withstood the false 
Inspired. He demands toleration for his sentiments. 
Second letter to Court on the same subject. 
Solemnity of the times. Du Plan eulogises charity. 
His appreciation of Court's observations. Accusa- 
tions against Du Plan. The suffering he endured 
in his mind. He writes to Court to justify himself. 
Du Plan as contrasted with his accusers. He 
consents to write an apology to the Synod. 



366 Contents. 

Practical advice. Letter of Du Plan to the Synod. 
Cortiez accuses Du Plan in the Synod of 1726. 
Defence of Du Plan by Antoine Court. Du Plan 
gives pledges of obedience to the Synod. Letter 
of Du Plan to the Synod. His disinterestedness. 
He exposes De Fleury's schemes of persecution. 
He exhorts his brethren to prayer and repentance. 131 

CHAPTER XV. 

THE SYNOD OF 1727 CONFIRMS DU PLAN 

IN HIS OFFICE. 

1727. 

fresh attacks on Du Plan. Pastoral letter of Roger in 
favour of Du Plan. The Synod maintains Du Plan 
in his office. Instructions from the Synod to the 
Deputy. Letter of Du Plan to the Synod ot 1727. 
Attestation of the Synod of 1727. Success of 
Du Plan in Switzerland. His influence in the 
College of Lausanne. Formation of the Committee 
at Geneva. Ordination of two Students in a 
foreign country. A dispute on the subject. Conduct 
of Du Plan. His advice on the question. He 
appeases the conflict 169 

CHAPTER XVI. 

CARDINAL DE FLEURY'S PERSECUTIONS. 

COURT QUITS FRANCE 

AGAINST THE WISHES OF DU PLAN. 

1726—1729. 

•Cardinal de Fleury in power. De Fleury's schemes 
for persecution. Execution of Alexandre Roussel. 
Du Plan's letter to Court on the subject. Measures 
proposed for banishing the preachers. Court's 
thoughts are occupied about his wife. Du Plan 



Contents. 367 

prepares hiin for an impending separation. A 
sacrifice that the Gospel enjoins. Departure of 
Rachel. Court joins her at Lausanne. The 
Churches murmur at his absence. Severe letter 
from Du Plan to Court. The Synods withhold 
Court's salary. Court complaius of the action of 
the Synods. Another letter from Du Plan. Court 
refuses to leave Switzerland 189 

CHAPTER XVH. 

THE TRAVELS OP BENJAMIN DU PLAN. 
1731—1745. 

Forced inactivity of Du Plan. Attestation of the 
Synod of 1730. Letter of advice from the Synod 
to Du Plan. Certificate ot the Venerable Company 
of Pastors. Du Plan's last journey to Switzerland. 
He encounters M. de Wateville. Impressions 
gathered on his journey. His first residence in 
London. His discouraging reception there. His 
perseverance is crowned with success. His gene- 
rosity towards the refugees. The death ot his 
father. He leaves London. Journey in Holland. 
His success there. Journey in Germany. Du Plan's 
aunt and sister arrive at Geneva. He addresses 
them a letter of welcome. He petitions the Court 
on behalf on the galley slaves. Journey in Denmark. 
Du Plan sympathizes with Court in his affliction. 
Journey in Siveden. Du Plan revisits Copenhagen 
and Hamburg. He returns to London 208 

CHAPTER XVIII. 

ACTIVITY OF DU PLAN IN LONDON. 

1738—1744. 

Du Plan apprises his aunt and sister of his return to 
London. He discovers that his work in Loudon 



368 Contents. 

is ruined. He publishes an appeal on behalf of 
the Protestants. He describes the Tower of 
Constance. He portrays the severity of the perse- 
cution. He interests himself on behalf of the 
Confessors. Letter from two prisoners in the 
Tower of Constance. Letter from two galley-slaves 
at Marseilles. Death of the King of Prussia. 
Du Plan hesitates whether to go to Berlin or 
Geneva. The generosity of Du Plan. Death of 
his aunt Lèches. Letter of Pastor Vial de Beau- 
mont. Pastor Serces. Du Plan and Lord 
Wilmington. Death of the sister ot Du Plan. 
Last advice of Pastor Vial de Beaumont 232' 

CHAPTER XIX. 

IN THE MATTER OF DU PLAN. 

Formation of the Committee in London. The accu- 
sations of Serces against Du Plan. A Synod 
appoints Court as Deputy of the Churches. Letter 
of Court to Du Plan. Rupture between the two 
friends. The calumnies of Serces. A new Synod 
maintains Du Plan in his office. Certificate from 
Ministers in London. A second certificate from 
Ministers in London. Du Plan claims compensation. 
He appeals for arbitration. Judgment of the 

• Arbitrators. Du Plan and Court become reconciled 

to each other 252 

CHAPTER XX. 

DU PLAN AND THE GREAT PERSECUTION. 

1745—1752. 

Persecutions under the Intendancy of Le Nain in 1745. 
He is succeeded in 1750 by Saint-Priest, who 
enforces the re-baptism of Protestant children. 



('out' tits. 369 

The attempted assassination of curés. The Minister 
Coste and Du Plan. Paul Rabaut and the Marquis 
De Paulmy. Respite of the Persecution. Letter 
of Cortiez on the persecutions of 1750. Letter of 
Le Maréchal to Du Plan. Letter of Redonnel on 
the persecutions of 1751. Letter of Redonnel on 
the persecutions of 1752. Letters of Poiuaret on 
the persecutions of 1752. Abatement of the perse- 
cution in 1753. Letter of Franc on the condition 
of the Church in 1753. Letter of Rabaut on the 
condition of the Church in 1753. Persecution 
recommences in 1754. Proposed imprisonment of 
the wives of preachers. Letter of Franc to Benjamin 
Du Plan (1754). Letter of Pomaret to Benjamin 
Du Plan (1754). Toleration of the Intendant Mire- 
poix. Marshall De Thomond succeeds Mirepoix 
in 1757 270 

CHAPTER XXI. 

THE CLOSING YEARS OF BENJAMIN DU PLAN. 
1751—1763. 

Du Plan's integrity of character is questioned. His 
health in consequence suffers. His marriage. His 
generosity towards his fellow refugees, especially 
towards Cortiéz. Du Plan addresses a petition to 
Louis XV. Du Plan's interest in the Confessors. 
He writes an appeal on their behalf. He addresses 
a distinguished personage in Denmark. Letter 
from Antoine Court's son to Du Plan. Scheme tor 
a Protestant Bank. Letter of Court, Junior, on the 
death of his father. Letter from Du Plan in reply. 
Letter from Du Plan to his cousin Fabre. Death 
of Benjamin Du Plan. A glance retrospective. 
A glance prospective. The fathers and the sons . 320 



370 Appendix. 



APPENDIX. 



Genealogy of Benjamin Du Plan 355 

Abstract of the Genealogy 359 

Works of Benjamin Du Plan 360 



ERRATA. 



On page 71, the tenth line, 

for character read characteristic. 

On page 89, the foot note, 

for Edward Hughes, read Edmond Hugues. 

On page 220, the tenth line from the bottom of the page, 
for Bibot, read De Ribot. 

On page 232, the fifth line from the bottom of the page, 
for eight, read one. 



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