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how shall we glorify the Lord in the midit of Francis I. Sufferings and Tribulations, if we deny him ? 1544
Pope We must not, Brethren, look back, when once Paul III. „ we have put our hand to the Plough, neither „ must we give ear to the Dictates and Instiga„ tions of the Flesh, which moving and inticing j, us to Sin, though it endureth many things in
this World, yet it suffereth Shipwreck in the Haven (a).
These pious Instructions and Admonitions tended very much to the Strengthening and Confirmation of the most weak and infirm, and camein good Time for those, who were soon after harrasfed and oppressed with several Outrages and Cruelties; and even one of the Messengers, who brought the faid Letters, was put to the necessity of making use of them, namely, Peter Maffon, who was taken at Dijon, where he was condemned to die as a Lutheran, that is, to be burnt. George Morel made his escape with his Letters and Papers, and arrived safe in Provence, where he successfully laboured to re-establish the Waldensian Churches in their ancient Purity of Doc. trine (b).
Some Member or other of them was daily fummoned before the Parliament of Aix, and were condemned either to be hanged or burnt, or dismiss'd with marks of Infamy in their Foreheads; until in the year 1540, when five or fix of the principal Persons of Merindol being fummoned to appear, instead of the rest of the Inhabitants, at the instance and importunity of the King's Attorney, in the Parliament of Aix, and at the follicitation of the Archbishop of Arles, the Bishop of Aix and other Ecclesiastical Persons,
Sentence (a) All this is extracted out of Perrin's Hiftory, Book II. (b) Bex lib. i p. 36, 37, &c,
Francis !. Sentence was given against them; and that, the 1544. most exorbitant, cruel, and inhumane that was
Pope Paul'lll. ever pronounced by any Parliament, resembling
in all respects the Edict of King Affuerus, given out at the request of Haman against the People of God, as we read in the Book of Esther. For not only the Persons, fummoned to appear, were condemned by the said Sentence, for their contumacy, to be burnt alive, and their Wives and Children to be banished ; but it was moreover ordered, that the Country of Merindol should be laid waste, and rendered wholly uninhabitable ; the Woods cut down, and levelled to the Ground, for the compass of two hundred Paces round about it: And all this without permitting them to be heard, or to speak in their own Defence. The King being informed of the rigour and severity of that Sentence, fent his Orders to the Sieur DuLangeay,Governor of Piedmont, to inquire into the Manners and Religion of the Waldenses; and having understood by the said Lord, that those People had been charged with many things which they were not guilty of, he sent his Letters of Grace, not only for those who had offended by obftinacy and contumacy, but also for all the rest of the Inhabitants of Merindol, Cabrieres, &c. exprefly commanding and enjoining the Parliament not to proceed for the future so rigorously in such cases, as they had formerly done. These Letters were suppressed. Those that were cited to appear in Person, desired leave to answer by a Proctor.
Francis Chai and William Ormand, appeared in the behalf of the rest of the said People, defiring in their Names, that they might be informed wherein their Error lay, by the word of God; being ready to renounce and abjure all Heresy, if it could be made out and proved to them, that they were fallen into any. To that purpose they
delivered the Confession of their Faith in writing, Francis I. that if they found any thing therein worthy of 545 Reproof, when compared with the Holy Scrip- Paul III. tures, they might be instructed what it was they were to abjure ; or if the contrary, that they might not any more be disturbed and molested by so many Persecutions, for fear, left, supposing that they made War only against Men, they should be found to oppose God and his Truth, in the Perfons of those who maintained it.
All that they said, served only to fret and irritate them the more ; for the Judges being prepossess'd with the opinion, that they were Hereticks, without taking the pains to search into the Truth of it, concluded all in favour of the Priests, their Accusers. Nevertheless they remained unmolested during the Life of President Chassanée to the Year 1545, when d’Oppeda, who had succeeded him, and was also Governor of Provence, in the absence of the Count de Grignan, stirred up, says Mezeray, either by his Zeal, or by his resentment against one of his Farmers, who had filed into Cabrieres without paying his Rent (c), undertook to execute the abovesaid Sentence against the Merindolians and other adjacent Places.
Father Daniel says, that D'Oppeda gave the XXX. Court notice of the new Disorders caufed by the cuit
Daniel's Waldenses, and assured the King that he knew
Impoture from very good Hands that these Rebels had had cn their a mind to surprise Marseilles : That the King account, fearing left a War of Religion fould break out in his Dominions, as it had done in Germany, thought fit to put a stop to these Tumults, and at the Instigation of Cardinal de Tournon, fent Orders to the first President to execute the Sentence given in 1540.
But (c) Mezeray Abregé de l'Hist. de France. Vol. IV.p.632Tbuani Hilt. lib. vi. p. 189 Edit. Aurelianz 1626.
Francis I. But as Daniel pretends to have extracted his
1545. relation out of Mr. d'Auberry's Plea, and out of Paullin. Mr. de Thou's History, let us see if he hath
dealt with us, with that impartiality which we proved by have right to expect from an honest and candid
Historian. Quota- I have not read, it is true, d'Auberry's Plea, tions.
but as he pleaded for and not AGAINST the Merindolians, &c. it is not likely that he had charged them with Rebellion as Daniel doth, there is not a word of it in Mr, de Thou. He obferves first that Mr. Du Langeay Governor of Piedmont having inquired into the Waldenses Character and Morals, in consequence of the Orders he had receiv'd from the King, had found, that they were a very laborious People, averse to quarreling and disputing, charitable to the Poor ; paying exactly and faithfully the Tributes to the Prince, and the Rents to their Lords ; they worfhipped God by continual Prayers, and the Integrity of their Lives ; but they enter'd very seldom into the Chappels of Saints, except when they went for trading fake, or other Business into fome neighbouring Town, and even then, they did not turn towards the Images of God, nor of the Saints; they did offer them no Taper or any other Gift: They did never defire the Priest to fay Mass for them or for the Souls of the deceafed; they did not sign themselves with the Sign of the Cross, as other People did ; when it thunder'd, they did not sprinkle themselves with Holy Water, but lifting up their Eyes, they did implore God's Help and Mercy ; they never did go on Pilgrimage; nor did pull off their Cap or Hat before the Crosses upon the Highway; they did perform Divine Service after another manner, and in the vulgar Tongue ; finally, they did pay no respect to the Pope or to the Bishops,
but they did chuse some amongst themselves to Francis I be their Pastors and Doctors:
Pote Is this the Character of a Rebellious People ? Paul li. And why doth Daniel, who speaks of this Commission given to Mr. Du Langeay, deprive us of this genuine Confession? Why is he pleased to include it under this frigid Expression, but upon Mr. Du Langeay's Remonftrance, the Execution was superseded ?
As to d'Oppeda's Letter to the King, according to Monsieur de Thou, he sent notice to his Majesty, that the Waldenses having assembled fixteen thousand Men, intended to surprize Marseilles, and hatched some Innovation in Provence. Let us hear how Daniel hath rendered the Text: D’Oppedå gave the Court notice of the new Dirorders caused by the Waldenses, and certified to the King that he knew from good hands; that these Rebels had a mind to surprize Marseilles. Now let the Reader compare Monsieur de Thcu's Account with that of Daniel, and fee, if this last don't affirm as true, what the former speaks of only as a thing supposed by d'Oppeda, in order to engage the King to afford him an opportunity for gratifying his own revenge ; I say that Daniel affirms positively as true, what is a meer supposition in Monsieur de Thou. And to make every one sensible of the Truth of this my arsertion, here are his own words. D’Oppeda fait sçavoir à la Cour les nouveaux defordres que les Vaudois faisoient. Now Monsieur de Thou says, Oppeda Franciscum per litteras certiorem facit, Veldenfeis - res novas in Provincia moliri, &c. If Daniel had said, D’Oppeda fait sçavoir à la Cour que les Vaudois causoient de nouvecux desordres en Provence, he would have come nearer the meaning of Monsieur de Thou, which was, as it is evident by the sequel, to charge d'OpN°. I.