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fuper of Lewis, shews the character of the man who has been fo idolatrously fattered by painters, poets, and courtiers, dazzled with the splendour of the monarch. " I take care (says he, in “ this letter) that the Protestants enjoy all the privileges that “ have been granted to them, and that they be permited to " live upon an equal footing with the rest of my subjects. “ For this I have engaged my royal word, and I have done it " from a grateful sense of the fidelity they have shewn in taking
up arms, and opposing, with vigour and success, the ill de“ signs, which a party of my rebel subjects had formed against “ my government." This letter was written the 13th of October 1666, when the most odious persecution was actually carried on against the unhappy Proteftanıs, so that we must either accuse the monarch of egregious perfidy, or of a shameful ignorance of what passed in his own dominions, and was known to all Europe.
Notwithstanding these fair promises, the state of the Protestants became still worfe from day to day. In the face of the laws and solemn conventions, that seemed well adapted to sea cure their privileges, they were trampled under foot; and thus even before the æra of the grand emigration, we find numbers of Protestants leaving their country, and settling in England, Holland, &c. Our Authors mention the particular circumstances that were adapted to draw many of them into the electorate of Brandenburg, which had always been remarkable for the Spirit of toleration, whose sovereign was so distinguished by his great and eminent virtues, and whose people profefied the same religious doctrines for which the French Protestants were perfecuted.
So early as the year 1661, several French families were eltablished at Berlin. ' A French church was erected for them there in the year 1672, and after the revocation of the edict of Nantes in 1684, their numbers became confiderable. The intrigues of Madame de Maintenon, Le Tellier, and Louvois for setting on foot the persecution, the infamous use which Bossuet made of his eloquence and influence for this purpose, and the horrours of the dragoonade or mision of fixty thousand soldiers, mostly dragoons, by his moft Chriftian Majesty, to convert the Protestants, are related by our Authors in an interesting manner. It is impoffible to read this period of the French history without the warmest indignation against the ministers, miftriffes, and priests, who availed themselves of the vanity and superstition of an ignorant and ambitious monarch, to deprive of all the rights of men and Christians several millions of the best subjects of the kingdom of France. When the Chancellor Le Tellier signed the act, which ordered the demolition of the churches of the Protestants, supprefled the schools for the instruction of their
children, prohibited the public or domestic exercise of their religion under pain of the galleys and confiscation of their goods, enacted that their children should be baptized in the Romih churches, and brought up Papists, with many more abominations of that kind, he called out with rapture, Lord lettest now thy servant depart in peace, for mine eyes bave seen thy salvation. Were we willing to suppose, for the honour of humanity, that the old man was in a physical state of imbecility and disorder when he uttered this exclamation, yet what mult we think of that great luminary of the Gallican church, Bossuet, who, in his funeral eulogy of this same Tellier, extols this furious instance of his piety; and then turning the bellows of his adulation towards the monarch, puffs forch the following memorable blast of eloquence. “ Moved by the view of these marvels, (i. e. the “ dragoonade and the revocation) let us pour forth our hearts “ before the piety of Lewis. Let us send up our acclamations
to Heaven, (i. e. we suppose, by what follows, to Versailles) and “ say to this new Constantine, chis new Theodosius, this new “ Marcian, this new Charlemagne, what the six-and-thirty “ fathers formerly said in the council of Chalcedon, You bave “ confirmed the faith, you have exterminated the heretics; this is " the worthy work of your reign; its distinctive charafier. I brough
you, heresy is no more: God, alone, could have done this wonder
ful work : King of Heaven preserve the King of the Earth: This “ is the prayer of the churches: this is the prayer of the Bishops." -He meant it no doubt for a climax.
Among the calamities which overwhelmed the Protestants, the merciless treatment of their ministers was not the leaft. These learned and virtuous men were, by the revocation of the edict of Nantes, banished the kingdom, and were obliged to leave behind them not only their fortunes, friends, and relations, but even such of their children, as were seven years old and upwards. It was a moving spectacle to see a venerable tribe of conscientious men, with their wives and infants, torn from all that was dear to them in life, exiled from their native land, encountering the distresses of poverty, and seeking an asylum in foreign countries. Those that remained in France, notwithstanding the barbarous act of exile, became the obje&s of new and fill more sanguinary edicts. They were condemned to death; a price was set on their heads, as if they had been monsters of profligacy; and a premium of two hundred and fifty pounds (5500 livres) was offered to those who should be aiding and allilling in the seizure of a minifter. It is easy to conceive, wbat infamous acts of perfidy must have been encouraged and occafioned by this inhuman edict.
It is well known what multitudes of unhappy families followed the calls of conscience and liberty, and left a kingdom,
where they were reduced to the alrernative of living-hypocrites, or dying martyrs. All posible obitacles were, however, opposed to their emigration. The frontiers were lined with troops; the peasants were armed and excited to hunt them in their para sage like beasts of prey. A barbarous carnage was the consequence of these fanguinary orders. Multitudes were robbed and allafünated; the prisons and the galleys were filled with these innocent victims; and many of them were sent to the American colonies, where they were employed in the labours, and reduced to the servile condition of the negroes.
It was at this odious period of infernal perfecution, that the Grand Eleclor published the declaration, which will render his name ever illustrious in the annals of religion and humanity. This declaration opened his dominions and his treasure to these unforiunate exiles; it contained orders to his envoys and refidents in the different parts of Germany, Flanders, and Hol. Jand, to facilitate their paffage, to supply them with all the necessaries of life, with money, carriages, and every kind of fuccour: it exempted any remains of their shattered fortunes, which they could carry along with them, from all taxes, duties, and impofitions; it gave them the choice of the places where they should reside for the purposes of carrying on commerce or erecting manufactures; it gave them all the rights and privileges of happy subjects. In a word, it was the voice of paternal tenderness, adopting as his children an offspring, against which their natural parent had, without reason, fut all the bowels of affection and compassion. We could not read this declaration in the work before us without the tenderest emotion. It breathes such a spirit of humane benevolence as muft touch every feeling heart, and render the GENEROUS Hero, from whom it proceeded, an object of delicious and respectful contemplation, Though the emigration of the French Protestants was, in a political view, advantageous to his dominions by the great increase of population, commerce, and manufactures which was its natural consequence, yet we lee palpably, in the conduct of this great and excellent prince, a spirit that would have excited him to a declaration of this kind even without the prospect of these advantages. For (as the Authors observe) he had long pleaded the cause of the Protestants at the court of Lewis XIV.; he had endeavoured to disarm that intolerance which alone could engage them to leave their country; and had his counsels and remonttrances been attended to, the edict of Nantes would never have been revoked, and in this case France would not have lost near a million of subjects, nor the population of brandenburg been augmented by their emigration. If the Elector had only consulted bis interests, he would not have remonstrated, during a long course of years, against the cruel and despotic
measures of the French monarch, but would have stood a filent spectator of his folly, and turned it to his own profit.
Nor did this great Elector only offer the Protestants an asylum in his own dominions, but also, by his recommendations and influence, procured for them settlements in other countries. It was in consequence of this, that the Grand Duke of Muscovy published, in favour of these unfortunate exiles, a humane and temarkable edict, which is given at full length among the records subjoined, as proofs to this history. Here we have 2 curious contrast, which our Authors do not pass unobserved. France, a country enlightened by the sciences, and polithed by the arts, exhibits a sanguinary spirit of bigotry and persecution, which seems only suited to a state of the grofleft ignorance and barbarism; while Muscovy, a country hitherto almost unknown, and not yet emerged from its primitive darkness, displays a mild spirit of toleration and benignity. Barbarians heal the wounds which humanity and religion received from a civilized and elegant nation !
If the Elector's declaration in favour of the French Protestants was generous and humane, his answer to the sharp and haughty complaints made on that occafion by the court of Versailles was resolute and magnanimous. Lewis, who was in the zenith of his glory and vanity, remonstrated haughtily against the conduct of ine Elector. He complained of the term persecution that was given to his fanguinary measures against the Protestants (which puts us in mind of the Fable of the Boys and the Frogs); he represented the Elector as alienating the minds of his subjects from their sovereign; he asked him haughtily, what right he had to intermiddle in the affairs of the French Protestants ? and concluded by threatening a cessation of the subfidies, wbich France paid by treaty to the House of Brandenburg. The answer of the Elector was like himself (for there is a noble tenour of dignity and consistency in all his transactions), he expresied his surprize that Lewis should be offended at the term perfecution, for if tearing children from the arms of their parents, and creating both on account of their innocent opinions with a degree of barbarity which was fcarcely, if at all, inferior to that which the Pagans exercised against the primitive Christians, if this was not persecution, what could be so ? He observed, that the term Herelics, with which the French court thought proper to stigmatize all the Reformed churches, was as offenfive as the term persecution, - and that it was singularly shocking to see it maintained, in writings pubJished with the approbation of government, that conventions with heretics were not binding, by which maxims Proteftants were placed below the rank of Turks and Pagans. The Elecfor further observed, that since the Catholic monarch was so Zealous for his religion, he ought not to be surprised that a
Protestant prince should be also zealous for his; and above all, that he should be touched with compassion for such a multitude of unfortunate victims of eruel persecution, to whom nothing could be imputed but their respecting the dictates of conscience.
This fpirited answer was followed by measures that became it. The court of Versailles had published an order, prohibiting the French Protestants to attend divine worship in the chapel of the Minister of Brandenburg at Paris, and posted soldiers at the door of that minister, with a view to render the prohibition effectual. The Elector observed the same conduct with respect to the Roman Catholics of Berlin, and placed guards at the doors of Rebenac the French Minifter, and the Austrian Envoy.
Brandenburg, which had been so cruelly ravaged during the war of thirty years carried on by Gustavus Adolphus, and was now beginning to resume its former luftre, and rank among the German States under the auspicious reign of FREDERICKWILLIAM, received, no doubt, fignal advantages from the emigration of the French Protestants. Our authors describe the state of that country from its erection into a marquisate in the 12th century under Albert the Bear, (who was very far from deserving that denomination to the period in which the Grand Elector availed himself of this emigration, they also enter into interesting details concerning the genius and character of the French nation, and the state of literature and useful arts in that country, which conclude the 4th book of this ist volume.
The sth contains an account of the measures employed by the French court to prevent the emigrations,—of the retreat of the clergy,-of the permillion granted to certain families to quit the kingdom, and of the progress of the emigrations, Among the pastors, the famous Claude was treated with particular rigour, because he had disconcerted an infamous plan, that was formed for the re-union of the Reformed church at Paris with the church of Rome. This plan deserves to be kept from oblivion: it was as follows: The Reformed church, which was a considerable edifice, was to be surrounded with troops : the Archbishop of Paris, and the Bishop of Meaux (Boluet), accompanied with a train of priests and the licutenant of the police, were to march thither in proceflion, during divine fervice; one of these prelates was to mount the pulpit and fummon the congregation to submit to Mother church and reinite: a number of Roman Catholics, pofted for the purpose in different parts of the church, as if they belonged to it, were to answer the prelate's summons, by bawling out re-union; afrer which the other prelate was to give the congregation a public abfolution from the charge of heresy, and to receive the new pretended converts into the boiom of the church : an indecent APP, Rev. Vol. LXVIII. Qa