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of the first Ages?)
. They gave thereby a very great Idea of their Science; and before any of the Catholick Doctors bad taken up the Cudgels to confute them, they prejudiced and brought aber to tbeir Party an infinite Num. ber of People, even of the greateft Note both for their Parts andb Dozrine.ib Well and good ! they are no longer those Beggars. Le Clerc and Pavanestii, uninco
Tår's Confession, my Lord, on the Caufe of the quick and wonderful Progress of the Reformation in France, is extremely finoere from a Jefuit,iwe mult be contented theres with, and not expect that a Man of that Profeffion thould both acknowledge and profefs what is just and true. But this is enough, as to the pretended Meanpefs of our Origine. Now a fewl Words on the Afperfions by which they attempt to caft an Odium on our Principles and Conduct. . THEY fay, and Father Danieka among others pretends, thabobar Religion infpires Men with a furious hatred against all lawi ful Powers. They could not fay
anything ivor fe, if some new Clements, Chastels or Ravaillags, were to be found among us: But I have repelled that Calumny, and suffici ently vindicated our Religion in speaking of the Affair of Amboifc. miss this)
Ti sytt lay the Civil Wars that have troubled France for fo many years together to our charged But pray, whose fault was this b Was itinats at least as much by the Order of the Queen Régent that the Prince
of Condé took up Arms in the first War, to defend that Princess against the Attempts of the Triumvirate, as from a desire of supporting the King's Edicts, especially that of January, against the Infringements, of which, both the Parliaments, and other inferior Tribunals, had made themselves guilty ; notwithstanding the King's repeated Orders ? Were not the next Wars down to thofe of the League, evidently occafioned by the violent Breach of the Treaties; the Roman Catholicks having never made any scruple to violate in time of Peace, the Ara ticles which they had granted to the Protestants in order to put an end to the War? Were not the Wars of the League carried on to hinder, if possible, the Kingdom from falling under a foreign Dominion, and to preserve in the House of Bourbon, the Rights whereof its Enemies intended to deprive it? If, in short, Lewis the Fifteenth were pleased, like Asuerus, to give a few Moments to the perusal of the Annals of his Ancestors Reigns from Francis the First, he would be convinced, that they never had any Subjects, on the Loyalty of whom they could better depend, than the Hugonots; and that it is to them he himself owes his Crown and Throne, as being descended from King Henry the Fourth, by his great Grandfather Lewis the Fourteenth. It was the Hugonots who set King Henry the Greaț on the Throne; and the Hugonots again who hindred Lewis the Fourteenth from being caft
down from it. Can then Father Daniel, with any Decency charge our Religion with inspiring Men with a furious hatred against all lawful Powers ? he, whose Society publickly teaches and maintains Maxims, that are diametrically opposite to the Prosperity and Safety of Princes and Monarchies, and has given fo many horrid instances of it.
THESE Calumnies against our Religion have moved me to write the present History of the Beginnings, Progress and Establish ment of our Reformed Religion in France, as well as of its Declining and Downfall, and of the entire Ruin of our Churches in that Kingdom. This first Volume, my Lord, which I take the liberty to dedicate to Your Lordship, will sufficiently inform all such as will read it without prejudice, that the Progress of the Reformation in France, is neither owing to the Credit or Power, and much less to the Violence of Protestants but only to the Piety, Uprightness and Purity of Manners, of those who embraced that good and sound Doctrine. (So that one might have faid of it, during forty years at least, what Lactantius faid of the Doctrine of the Gospel, viz. Produce me a Man given wer to Injustice, Debauchery, Intemperance, &c. and by the help of a little of this divine Word, I shall render bim just, chaste, sober, &c.) They will be convinced, that the Progress of it was owing to the stout Resolutión and heroic Conftancy of our generous Martyrs for forty years together, who with a Vol. I.
wonderful Courage have stood the hardeft Trials'; and lost their Lives in opposing Er
This is, even by our Adversaries confeffion, the Glory of our Reformation. This is the golden Age of our Churches. And as the Christian Church was never so pure and untainted, as during the times of its Persecution under the Tyranny of the Heathen Emperors, and when she was always exposed to foine new instances of the Cruelty of its Persecutors ; so the Piety of the Protestant Churches never shone more bright, than when they were obliged to hide themselves in the darkest Recesies, and assemble in the Night to pay God their Religious Worship. How great was the fervour of their Zeal, the fimplicity and purity of their Manners, the humility of their whole Conduct, and their Charity towards one another, and with all Mankind! Their very Enemies could not refuse them that glorious Testimony; but these happy Dispositions did not always last. When they were freed from that kind of Idolatry that consists in paying a ReligiOus Worship to Images and Statues, to Crosles, and small pieces of Dough, to Saints, the Virgin, and all the heavenly Hosts, they fell into another, no less dangerous and fatal, because more refined Idolatry. They have took up the Tabernacle of Moloch, into their very Hearts, Their Passions, and but too coften made them the Sacrifice of that Charity, wbich is both the Life and the essential Glory of Christianity. Called unto Liberty,
they but too often abused it for an occasion to the Flesh, and giving themselves over to all the Impulses of that dismal Pride, which breeds nothing but Trouble. Many Protestant Doctors, still covered with their own Blood, if I may say so,, have been seen teaching, maintaining and practising, the Maxims of the most uncharitable Intolerance : Many of them, and even whole Protestant Synods, not considering that they were no more than the Ministers of Christ, and Stewards of the Mysteries of God, have anathematized and cut off from the Communion of the Church, their Brethren for whom Christ died; and that for the fake of Opinions wherein the most sophistical Genius could never find anything contrary to the chief purpose of the Son of God's Mission, and of his coming into the World; which was to make Men virtuous, and persuade them to live in this present World soberly, righteously, and godly.
I Thall not be too particular, your Lordship being much better versed than me in this, as well as in all other matters. But I think it beyond all doubt, that such Dispositions in Protestants, have considerably stopped the Progress of Reformation. Its great Principle is the liberty of examining all things, of retaining what is good, and of making an advantage of it. Forcing Consciences, inflic ting Penalties to oblige People to believe, is professing Popery again, and renouncing the Reformation, and consequently the Spirit of