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PostSubject: France-Reuben   France-Reuben I_icon_minitimeSun Aug 02, 2009 2:40 pm



Margaret K. Kilner

THE Huguenots were a people of steadfast faith, unshakeable in their stand for Protestantism and very resilient. The movement was established in France and active from around 1559. They have a rich and varied history closely interwoven with that of the Reformers, and as such they were much maligned and persecuted as they made their stand against the malpractices of the Roman Catholic Church.

Their determination and deep conviction is a hallrnark of this group of Protestant people, particularly in their early days with Jacques Lefevre d'Etaples. Like the other reformers of that tirne, they were obliged to hold their meetings in secret, disguising their Protestant stalwart activities. Calvin was one of the most wellknown of the early Huguenots and his teaching strongly influenced them. They came from all walks of life, labourers, nobility, students, academics and craftsmen.

They suffered the ruthless persecutions being experienced in the mid 1500's by any who protested against the Catholic Faith. Any study of the Reformers will show that many tried to reason with the Roman priests and when the revelation of Bible Truth was made to them this served only to widen the gap between the two persuasions.

In 1547 the Charles Ardente Committee which was formed, condemned the 'heretics' to death. This was the beginning of martyrdom.

Huguenots were certainly numbered with the rnartyrs. They were cruelly tortured and burnt at the stake.

During that period, Huguenots attending a religious meeting at Vassy were cruelly attacked and there followed eight religious wars between the Protestants and the Roman Catholics.

There was a strong political association here as a result of the struggle between the rnerging House of Valois, which was Catholic and the Protestant Bourbon Dynasty.

Much cruelty ensued. Like many wars today peace negotiations were taking place and during one such cessation of war, the Huguenots were enabled to insist on certain privileges but these did not compensate for the great loss of lives already suffered The peace did not last and many more suffered.

It was disclosed some time after the event, that Catherine de Medici, the Queen Mother, had secretly, planned the terrible St. Bartholomew's Night Massacre which is featured in many historic writings on the Reformation. She was a Catholic but supported the marriage of her daughter to the young Prince Henry of Navarre who was descended from a Huguenot family and was one of their leaders. A strange move we might say but also a very cunning one and her strategy was soon put into motion.

The wedding ceremony was to be held in Paris and the festivities would last several days. Huguenots and Catholics gathered for the celebration. It was an ideal opportunity for the Roman Catholics to revenge themselves on the unsuspecting Huguenots. Four days later there was an attempt on the life of the Huguenot leader, Admiral Coligny. The unassuming Protestants thought at the time that this was an isolated incident.

The intrigue of this marriage continued and the cunning Queen Mother continued with papal processions through the streets of Paris; three new frescoes were added to the Vatican to commemorate the Bartholomew Night Massacre.

Let us take a look now at Henry of Navarre. He was crowned and known as 'le bon Henri'(the good Henry). He had been a prominent Huguenot leader. His devout mother was Jeanne d'Albert. His greatest desire was to unite France under one king. To do this he had to renounce his Protestant Faith and become a Roman Catholic. To him political considerations were, regrettably, more important than religious ones. On the 25 July 1593 his army took possession of Paris.

The Huguenots were forced to co-operate with him if they were to remain in France. Strange as it may seem, his Prime Minister remained a dedicated Huguenot.

During the reign of Henry IV the Edict of Nantes was promulgated ensuring religious freedom for all his subjects. The king endeavoured to accommodate the various groups within his country.

The Huguenots continued to play an important role in a growing and healthy economy, and France could not really afford to lose them; but the situation soon changed.

After the assassination of Henry IV in 1610 their position deteriorated greatly. Louis XIV succeeded his father and his mother acted as regent. It was Prime Minister Richelieu who wielded power and as he took the view that the Huguenots had formed a state within a state, conflict was inevitable. The fortunes of Huguenot history dipped as the Prime Minister took arms against them, but there was a brief respite as his successor was more tolerant.

Slowly but surely however the situation subsequently deteriorated again. Increasing measures were taken against the Huguenots and by the time Louis XIV had proclaimed his motto, which in English reads: 'I am the State', the Huguenots were again the victims of persecution. Those who declined conversion to the Catholic faith were guarded by Roman soldiers for whom they had to both provide food and shelter, and pay their wages. If they refused the men were banished to galleys or put on floating racks.

One of the most moving stories of Huguenot persecution was that of Marie Durand. She was imprisoned in 'The Tower of Steadfastness' in 1730, where she remained for 38 years, all because her brother was a Reformist Minister. He was hanged AFTER 20 YEARS IN PRISON. Scratched on the stone floor of the prison were the words 'Her faith has not changed' next to Marie's name.

The Edict of Nantes was replaced by the Edict of Fontainbleau in October 1685 and this emphasised hatred of the Huguenots. They were forcibly obliged to give up their Psalm books and their Bibles were burnt. In case some were planning another emigration, the authorities declared that all emigration was illegal.

The Huguenots however were not so easily discouraged and this strong steadfast people decided to flee. Forget about the new laws, their minds were made up!

A few of them temporarily swore allegiance to Rome for their own safety; until they too made their escape from France. Some of the people who departed did so in disguise, often at night, usually on foot. They were a great loss to France for many of them were looked upon as the cream of the nation at that tirne.

To where did the Huguenots flee? Many went to the Netherlands and joined several former French refugees. Others came to Britain. The numbers in the Netherlands increased so much that although they were generally well-educated, trained workers and had been given special privileges, and found sympathy for their cause in that country, it was decided that large numbers would have to go elsewhere. Henry XVII made a plan to ease the population explosion. The Huguenots would go to the Cape of Good Hope.

You will recall if you are aware of South African history, that the Dutch East India shipping company were already using the South African Cape as a stopping place between Holland and the East, and several Dutch people had begun to settle there.

I must admit that until I recently visited South Africa, I knew very little about the Huguenots but one day my sister and brother-in-law announced that they were taking me to a place called Franschhoek. I knew the name but that was all. We had visited several places of interest, historically, during my visit so I asked my sister what I could expect to see there or learn from a visit. Nonchalantly she said: 'The Huguenot Memorial, and History Museum', and also we would drive through the 'wine country'.

We set off on another beautiful. day, driving inland where we saw plenty of wheat fields and then the softer vegetation of the wine-lands. Leaving behind the rugged coast line of the Cape, we soon reached the mountainous regions of the Drakenstein. We paused for a few minutes at the summit to view a delightful valley which was to prove of great historic interest and most picturesque. The drive up to that point had been spectacular as we negotiated the bends in the road climbing higher as we progressed. Now lying before us in the valley was FRANSCHHOEK. We wound our way down and quickly approached this sparklingly clean and beautiful village. Art galleries, antique shops, a few curio shops selling local art and crafts and good restaurants. The main attraction was as we entered the village, a layout of well-kept pretty gardens, paved walkways and well planned buildings housing the museums. Then this most fascinating monument.

Returning to the flight of the Huguenots. They landed at Suldanha Bay in 1688 - a date to be remembered - and during the next two years several ships arrived in the bay. The total was eventually around 200 immigrants, a comparatively small number against today's figures.

Simon van der Stel welcomed the newcomers and allocated farms to them along the Berg River as far north as Paarl. Some of the farms still bear the names of the early Huguenot settlers and this is noticeable by their French connection, some of which was adopted into the then new language of Afrikaans.

It was not an easy time for the Huguenots but they were used to persecution. They embarked on several types of farming including the planting of olive trees and they endeavoured to start a silk industry but both of these failed. They did however make a major contribution to the farming of wheat and wine in the country. Being a small closely knit group and very French, they struggled to maintain their identity, threatened by the Dutchification Policy. Simon van der Stel came to fear French domination in the areas he had allocated.

The use of the French language became restricted, especially after the departure of their leader, Pierre Simond in 1702 and the death of their first teacher, Paul Roux. Future generations of Huguenots managed to retain their language but despite their resistance to the Dutch Authority they were merged into a larger community

One thing which they held on to was their unshakeable Protestant Faith, and this had a great influence on the Afrikaner. This race can claim to be about 20% Huguenot descent. The name has never been lost. Many Afrikaans names today are derivations of the early French names.

A tangible symbol of the Huguenots is their special cross. A model of this can be seen in the front of the pulpit at a church at Simondium. This symbol is still a Protestant sign among Huguenot families in France and is given to new born babies or to young people confirming their Protestant faith, also as Christmas or New Year gifts.

It bears no resemblance to the Roman Cross, but tells its own story, depicting many aspects of the life of the Huguenots. The cross comprises four petals, or cross arms, representing the four Gospels. The eight petal tips depict the beatitudes and together with the four tips of the Fleur de Lis, represent the twelve Apostles. The dove at the foot symbolises the Church - it was added by the goldsmith Maystre of Nimes in 1688. The dove has outstretched wings, its face downward and is of special significance of the Huguenots in flight, and they approved the design - a reminder of their cause and reason for leaving their homeland.

The Book of Psalms had been translated into French by Clement Marot and a new edition appeared in Geneva 30 years later. The Huguenots brought this translation with them and Psalm 68 boosted their morale in times of war.

Their strong Calvinist sense of religious freedom and independence, had actually strengthened the Dutch settlers and was intensified by the Huguenots.

Plans to erect a monument to the Huguenots in Fransh-hoek was contemplated in 1938. Because of the outbreak of war the following year and its economic recession, and the regulations enforced, it required an act of faith to continue with the plan. Designs were called for and J.C. Jongens, a Dutch immigrant created a simple but striking concept and this was accepted.

The centre figure is a young woman in front of an arched construction, which was the creation of Coert Steynberg. There could be no better place to erect the monument than Fransh-hoek. It was completed in 1945. The inauguration was delayed until 1948. The address was given by the Moderator of the Dutch Reformed Church in the Cape, the Dr. A.J. van der Merwe.
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PostSubject: Re: France-Reuben   France-Reuben I_icon_minitimeSun Aug 02, 2009 2:40 pm

Again as we look closely at the monument there are symbolic meanings to its many elements.

The three arches are for the Holy Trinity, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the sun shines as a sign of righteousness. The top cross symbolises their Christian Faith, the female figure is casting off her cloak of oppression. Her position on top of a globe signifies her spiritual freedom. The Bible in her right hand and the broken chain in her left hand also depict religious freedom. On the globe the Southern tip of Africa is marked, together with scenes from the Bible representing Christianity. There is a harp for art and culture, a sheaf of corn for agriculture and a vine for viticulture, a spinning wheel for industry.

If you think back a few years to 1988, you may remember that many of our Reformers were remembered on the 300th Anniversary of their death. An organisation under the name of the Spirit of '88 was formed in this country and is still in being today, printing articles and producing literature promoting the cause of Protestantism. It was a good year, rallies were organised by all the main Protestant Organisations and we in the Covenant People's Fellowship had a series of lectures on Reformation teaching in our London Meetings.

Quite apart, but relative to it, 1988 was also the year to commemorate the arrival of the Huguenots in South Africa three hundred years before. On the initiative of the Huguenot Society of South Africa, the National Committee Huguenot 300 was set up to co-ordinate the festivities.

In London there is a Huguenot Church in Soho and the well known Orange Street Church in Leicester Square has long been associated with the Huguenots. This powerful steadfast, loyal and faithful people who have upheld Protestant Truth throughout their history has left its mark. They may not receive as much attention as other Reformers because not so much is written about them. Some people are put off by the point in their history when some for political reasons as we have seen in this study, defected to the Roman Catholic Church. That was a minority, the remainder have given us much to remember.

The Huguenots that came to England had the same characteristics as those who settled in South Africa. Wherever the Huguenots went, they enriched their host country. There were spinners in Bideford, tapestry weavers in Exeter, woodcarvers in Taunton, hat makers in Wandsworth (London) glass-workers in Sussex and calico workers in Bromley (Kent.)

As we saw in their early history, they were not only an industrious people, but they were also to be found in Society Circles. Garrick the English actor was descended from the Huguenots. It is also interesting to note that Queen Victoria had Huguenot blood in her veins which should be an interesting point to British Identity believers as well as to the Protestant Associations today.

The Huguenots settled in many places and no doubt history students will know of mernorials and monuments erected in other places to their memory.

Our interest lies in the group of Huguenots and particularly in the silk-weavers who had settled in the neighbourhood of Leicester Square, London where they worked, prayed and worshipped. They had offered their skills to the reigning king and assured hirn of their loyalty.

Like some of the Israelites who were murmuring in the wilderness and longing for the dainties of Egypt, these Huguenots missed the vineyards of France with their luscious vegetation and delicious fruit; as well as wine. They missed their language and what they called the pretty accents of their kinsmen. The one thing which they gained, and which was extremely important to them, was religious liberty. That was far better than anything France could offer at that time of oppression, and so they stayed in England.

First of all there was a Huguenot Church in Glasshouse Street, London W1 near Regents Park. But soon that church could not hold them all and it was necessary to purchase a site near Leicester Fields where they built the Leicester Fields Chapel now known as the Orange Street Church referred to above.

It was a much larger church than at present and the actual sanctuary occupied the site from the alley-way at the side of the present church, with frontage along Orange Street which was not so named at that time, down to the corner where the library now stands and to the same depth as at present. The now retired Minister, our friend Pastor Harold Stough told me this a few years ago when I was visiting Orange Street. All the building was used for the activities of the then Huguenot's Church and its congregation. But now, all but the area of the present church, the crypt and one or two small rooms, are let out to other people, some for office premises and the library which I mentioned, the Newton Institute occupies rooms at the back on two floors.

The Church was French Non-Conformist not to be identified with the English Non-Conforrnists.

Sir Isaac Newton's House and The Congregational Church (Founded 1693)

Some of the old church registers show that Huguenots who had recanted at the heart of the French persecutions now came to the chapel confessing their sins and seeking church membership. Before they were accepted they were rigorously questioned about their belief, their new determination to stand for Protestant Truth and character was taken into account.

Their singing of Psalms in their native language and the presence of a French Minister attracted other Huguenots who were on their way to worship in St. Martins in the Fields, and they too joined the Leicester Fields congregation at the 'small chapel' as they referred to it. A number of French pastors were in turn called to pastor the chapel and an interesting thing happened during the pastorate of Pierre Barbould (1711-1737) who was also a refugee. His granddaughter describes the common practice of noseblowing! during the sermon, how that the minister after making a vigorous effort in doing this is followed by each of the congregation doing the same, either because of their brotherly sympathy or because climate conditions were particularly unfavourable - not surprising when the church was in a field. The granddaughter described the practise as 'a glorious concert'. She implies that the minister takes advantage of such situations to refresh his memory from the manuscript before him.

The Prince of Orange had an interest in the chapel after whom it was renamed and the street has taken the same name. Other patrons expressed their interest too.

Adjoining the chapel was the house of Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727) generally acknowledged to be the world's greatest scientist of his time. He achieved immediate fame for his work on the nature of white light, the calculus and gravitation. He was an M.P. for Cambridge in 1688 and Master of the Mint in 1699, President of the Royal Society from 1703 until he died.

It appears that his close proximity to the chapel enabled him to offer the ground floor of his house for further French refugees from France as a place of worship. Many Huguenots came to worship there. They had many associations with the Leicester Square area of London and would not be well-pleased to see what goes on in that area now.

The Revd Samuel Luke, in 1847 wrote of the Orange Street Chapel:

'A Chapel long endeared to the religious circle by its interesting association'.

It has lived up to its name and is the venue today of various denominations, Christian and particularly Protestant rallies and conferences.

We are saddened to find members, some of note in the National Established Church of England, have recently joined the Roman Catholic Church. We are equally saddened by the Ecumenical Movement gaining support when its domination will be Roman Catholic. Surely a look at history, even the history of the Huguenot as well as our Great Reformers of other note, should make the defectors of today have a change of mind. The Roman Church still says ' Semper Eadem' - we do not change'.

We can, I believe, be much encouraged by the steadfastness of the Huguenots. We may not suffer the persecution which they endured. We may not be aware of the many Roman Catholics in parliament and other high places. We may not all be aware that the Royal Family with their advisors and sometimes their confidantes, are surrounded by Roman Catholics at the present time. It came as something of a shock to find a defector amongst the less Royals in recent times. We do need to be aware that this iniquitous system with their blasphemous mass are out to convert the whole world before the year 2,000 A.D. [Readers should be aware that the edition this article was taken from was published in 1995! - Ed]

It is time for Protestants to pray for the strength to defend the faith once delivered to the saints and to renew in their minds what it cost the reformers in their day to witness to the Truth. It is due to their faithfulness that we have the freedom to witness to that same Truth today. May we be as faithful to the faith.
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PostSubject: A Remnant of Israel in France   France-Reuben I_icon_minitimeSat Aug 08, 2009 1:04 pm



Valerie Martlew

MOST people know enough history to realise that a Celtic people called the Gauls inhabited what is now France, in Roman times. If you have ever read any of the "Asterix" books, about a plucky little Gaulish opponent of the Romans, and the "magic potion" which made him and his colleagues so strong, you will, at least, be aware of this! Seriously, though, the authors of "Asterix" were remarkably clever and they knew a lot about Gaulish and Roman history, so their books should not be dismissed as mere "comic" stories. Have you ever wondered where the Gauls came from? They were not the original inhabitants of France, for the cave paintings discovered in the Dordogne at Lascaux were made by the Stone Age inhabitants. The Gauls were of the late Bronze and Iron Ages, and were immigrants.

The Encyclopaedia Britannica states that the Gauls came south from the Rhine River valley in the 5th century BC and established themselves as far as the Mediterranean coasts. It does not venture to trace them further back than the Rhine. However, there must be some people (like myself!) who need to know how they reached as far as the Rhine, for they surely did not spontaneously generate there.

The Gauls were a branch of the great Celtic race, which settled all over Europe and the British Isles. Their characteristics were great courage, a fierce love of freedom and individuality, and they produced some magnificent heroes, such as the Gaul, Vercingetorix, and in Britain, Caradoc (Caractacus) and Boudicca (Boadicea). Their individualism was far from an asset sometimes, because their fragmentation into small groups meant that they did not have the central organisation and cohesion to rival that of the centrally disciplined Romans. What they lacked in central organisation, they made up for by their heroism, tenacity, and courage in battle, even when overwhelmingly outnumbered. They were formidable foes for the Romans, and won many a battle. Sadly, eventually they lost the war, and came under Roman domination all over Europe. They began to adopt Roman customs, and to enjoy their luxuries, being gradually displaced by further waves of Germanic tribes, such as the Franks, who settled in modern day France.

The Gauls were among the first people to receive the Gospel after the Ascension of Christ. Very early, from about A.D.35, disciples of "The Way" were landing in southern Gaul in Massilia, which is present-day Marseilles. They travelled around Provence, preaching the Word, and then further afield, following the Rhone Valley and thence to Brittany and other parts of Gaul. From Brittany they went into western Britain.

The Gauls established an eastern colony in Asia Minor, in what is now Turkey, which they called Galatia. In Jesus' time, and that of the Apostles, it was a thriving community and Paul addressed one of his epistles to the Galatians. It has been postulated that he visited Gaul briefly, and may also have intended his epistle for the Gauls of Gallia, or modern day France. Certainly, he visited many Celtic lands.

Few historians trace the Celts and Gauls further back than their supposed "spontaneous generation" in Europe. It is possible, however to trace them to Asia Minor, via the Danube Valley, the Crimea and the Caucasus, and other areas around the Black Sea. The link which historians generally seem to be unable to make is that the Celts and their variously named tribes and sub-races, are first found in the very area into which the captive Ten Tribes of the Northern House of Israel disappeared.

Most people believe that they just evaporated, or became absorbed in the surrounding nations, never to reappear as a people. The last mention of them in the Bible is in II Kings 17:6;

In the ninth year of Hoshea the king of Assyria took Samaria, and carried Israel away into Assyria, and placed them in Halah and in Habor by the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.

We have to turn to secular history to learn of their fate. Tracing their steps is like the solving of a puzzle, and requires careful comparison of different sources. To follow the trail is hard work, but it is well worth the effort because it proves that what God has revealed in the Bible is true. He has not changed His mind, or gone back on His promises, as many a theologian and even well versed Bible students would have us believe. This serves to deepen and reinforce our faith. One of the historic clues in the Apocrypha which we shall consider is the testimony of Esdras (Ezra). This book, although not in our present Canon, is valuable historically and is a continuation of the Book of Ezra, which is in our Bibles. In II Esdras 13, verses 40 to 46, we read:

Those are the ten tribes, which were carried away prisoners out of their own land in the time of Osea (Hoshea) the king, whom Salmanaser the king of Assyria, led away captive, and he carried them over the waters, and so came they into another land But they took counsel among themselves, that they would leave the multitude of the heathen, and go forth into a further country, where never mankind dwelt. That they might there keep their statutes, which they never kept in their own land. And they entered into Euphrates by the narrow passages of the river. For the Most High then shewed signs for them, and held still the flood, till they were passed over. For through that country there was a great way to go, namely, of a year and a half; and the same region is called Arsareth. Then they dwelt there until the latter time.

The Apocrypha consists of fourteen books, which were added to the Septuagint, a Greek translation of the Old Testament. The Jews did not recognise them as part of their Scriptures, considering that they were not inspired as the canonical books are, but this does not detract from their historical importance.

Esdras gives us an insight into the movements of the captive Israelites. Dissatisfied with their lot, they determined to escape from their captivity and they had the opportunity to do so about fifty years after their deportation, for the Assyrian Empire came under attack by the Babylonians, and they obviously needed all their forces to defend themselves against this new threat. The captives would have been the least of their worries!

Esdras tells us that they "entered into Euphrates by the narrow passages of the river..." This means the headwaters of the Euphrates. Herodotus, (the Greek historian of c. 484-425 B.C.), then takes up the story and tells us that some members of the Ten Tribes left exile and moved westwards and northwards into what we know as Armenia, then to a place called Ar-Sareth. There is a river called Sareth to the north-west of the Black Sea. They were later said to have overthrown King Midas of Phrygia. They were known by then as Gimira or Cimmerians, called Kimmeroi by the Greeks. This name is cognate with the Assyrian Khumri, which is the Assyrian name for the captives, meaning "people of Omri". (Omri was a king of the Northern House).

According to the Behistun Rock, discovered by Sir Henry Rawlinson in 1846, the Gimiri were the same people as the Sacae. The inscriptions on the Rock were cut in 516 BC, and it records them in three different languages, Babylonian, Susian and Persian, and thus we get the two different names for the same people. In the Persian and Susian versions the Gimiri are called Sacae, and amongst the twenty-three provinces listed on the Rock is one called Sak. The root Sak is the same as the root of the name of the Scythians, leading us to conclude that they are the same people, living in the same area as the Scythians. Herodotus tells us that the Sacae were known as Scythians by the Persians. Now, the root of Sak is the same name by which Israel was known in the book of Amos:

Now therefore hear thou the word of the Lord: Thou sayest, Prophesy not against Israel, and drop not thy word against the house of Isaac. (Amos 7:16)
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PostSubject: Re: France-Reuben   France-Reuben I_icon_minitimeSat Aug 08, 2009 1:05 pm

The House of Isaac is Beth-Saak in Hebrew. The consonants SK are the real root of all the variations, for there were no vowels in ancient written Hebrew.

Herodotus also tells of the Scythians emerging quite suddenly in that same area from which the Ten Tribes had disappeared, only half a century after their deportation.

"Celts" seems to have become a generic term covering all these variously named peoples, such as "Sacae", "Scythians", "Cimmerians", and Gauls.

The origin of the word "Gaul" is most interesting and informative. The Gallic language was a branch of the Celtic languages, usually classed as Continental Celtic. It was an Indo-European language, as may be inferred from just one example, their word rix ,meaning "king" (cf. Vercingetorix), which may be compared to the Latin rex and the Irish ri or righ. This is traced back to a hypothetical Indo-European word re or rege, which is also echoed in the Hindu rajah.

The syllable GL occurs often in Hebrew, with various vowel sounds. As previously mentioned, vowels were not written in ancient Hebrew, therefore words vary a great deal, but the two basic consonants remain the same. We may compare Gilead and Galilee, both of the same origin. The Hebrews who were transported into captivity by the Assyrians and Babylonians referred to themselves as gola or galut, both meaning exiles. The word Celt obviously comes from the same source, for a hard "g" easily becomes a "c". Consider the other Celts of the British Isles, who speak Gaelic even to this day, and who are known as Gaels. The name "Portugal" means Port of the Gaul. Strong's Concordance states that "captivity" can be rendered by gola, galah, and galuwth, the latter being close to "Galatians".

Justin, the Roman historian of the 3rd century AD, stated that the Gauls claimed an origin from Greece. He said that they took possession of those parts where New Carthage stands (Cartagena, Spain) and passed from thence into Gallaecia (Galicia, NW Spain). It is well known that Celtic peoples inhabited these parts, and before this colonies were established by Phoenician and Hebrew mariners who traded extensively in the Mediterranean. There was a large Israelitish element in the Phoenicians, notably of the tribe of Dan. Deborah the prophetess complained that Dan did not take part in the wars between the tribes in the time of the Judges, because they had taken to their ships and were absent from their Palestinian territory.

Gilead abode beyond Jordan: and why did Dan remain in ships? (Judges 5:17)

Dan's territory bordered that of the Phoenicians, so it is not inconceivable that they would have joined with them in sea-faring enterprises. The Phoenicians were credited with establishing Massilia (Marseilles) as one of the oldest ports in the south of France, so there is probably an element of Dan in that area.

Several Apostles addressed these scattered people, including James,

James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting. (James 1:1)

and Paul, in Romans 11:1-2, says

I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew.

The later immigrants, the Franks, from whom France takes its name, were called "Fraggoi" by the Greeks. They entered France from the Lower Rhine area, which has preserved the name of Franconia. It has been said that they originated in Phrygia, which was territory near Troy in present day Turkey. They began to settle in France from about the third century A.D. They were a Germanic-speaking people. Although they were probably a mixture of races, it is likely that there was an Israelitish element.

It would also appear that there are descendants of the Trojans in France, for the tribe that founded Paris were the Parisi (the Trojan War was caused by the abduction of Helen by Paris). There is also Troyes, which must have been named for the old homeland of the Parisi. Trojans came to Britain, and founded London, which they called "New Troy", so it is conceivable that others settled in Gaul.

It is well known that the Normans, who settled in northern France, were Vikings from Norway, and they were largely of the tribe of Benjamin, which may be inferred from their heraldry. In Genesis 49:27 we read:

Benjamin shall ravin as a wolf: in the morning he shall devour his prey, and at night he shall divide the spoil.

This must have meant that the people of Benjamin would be courageous and warlike. What is so significant is that the Normans had the wolf as a symbol and were known as sea-wolves.

Many Kingdom Message writers think that there are members of the tribe of Reuben in France. Reuben's territory was in Gilead, east of the Jordan River. Here we find the two consonants GL again.

The fourth "brigade" leader of the encampment of Israel in the wilderness was Reuben. This tribe of the sons of Jacob-Israel camped on the southern side of the hollow square, and was joined by the tribes of Simeon and Gad, descendants of Reuben's brother and

Reuben was the first-born son of Jacob-Israel, and, as such, should have inherited the Birthright. His story is similar to that of Esau, Jacob's brother, who so little cared for his inheritance that he sold it to Jacob for a meal. Reuben did not despise his birthright enough to sell it, but his sin caused him to lose the privilege. Throughout the history of Israel, God has allowed the Birthright to go from the natural heir to the man who would most value it and do His will. Sometimes it is necessary to the fulfilment of God's Plan that a transfer should take place.

Reuben was not completely bad, for he showed concern for his younger brother, Joseph, when the other brothers, jealous that Jacob favoured him, conspired to kill him. He pleaded that the boy should not be killed, but left in a pit in the wilderness, where there was some hope that he might be rescued. (Genesis 38:12 - 22).

In spite of his disinheritance, Reuben has played his part in the migrations, and has left his mark on the heraldry of the Israelitish nations, in the same way as those of his brothers' tribes. In Moses' blessing of the tribes (Deuteronomy 33:6) he gave an inkling of God's grace towards the sinner when he said "Let Reuben live and not die". Reuben is mentioned as being among the Israel of God in Revelation 7:5, and the story of the patriarch gives hope of redemption and salvation to sinners, especially those in the present dispensation who have the blessing of the promises and the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ.

It is possible that the name of the city of Rouen in northern France reflects the settlement of some descendants of Reuben.

We should not be surprised to find all these instances if we are aware of the routes taken by the Ten Tribes in their migrations towards the west, to fuse into the Servant Nation.

They became the western fringe nations of Europe and the British Isles.
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PostSubject: Tribute to French Israelites   France-Reuben I_icon_minitimeSat Aug 08, 2009 1:21 pm



Christine Grierson

AFTER so many centuries of persecution, scattering, loss of identity, near genocide, and latterly of being ignored and discredited, the wonderful French Israelites should indeed be praised, admired and acknowledged. Aside from the known Israel areas like Normandy and Brittany, it is essential to distinguish the characteristics by which to identify those whose ancestors made the long and arduous trek through the Caucasus mountains and, by sea or other land routes, arrived at the Divinely appointed places in the isles and coasts of Western Europe.

Let us define the criteria set down in Holy Scripture for "the sheep who know their shepherd's voice":

In Jeremiah 24:5-7, we read of God's promise to the good figs of Judah who returned to the Holy land after the Babylonian captivity:

"... like these good figs, so will I acknowledge them that are carried away captive of Judah, whom I have sent out of this place into the land of the Chaldeans for their good. For I will set mine eyes upon them for good, and I will bring them again to this land: and I will build them, and not pull them down; and I will plant them and not pluck them up. And I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the Lord: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God, for they shall return unto me with their whole heart."

We recognize this to be fulfilled in the followers of Ezra and Nehemiah returning to rebuild the temple and the wall of Jerusalem, and the Benjamites who settled in Galilee and later produced Jesus' disciples, except for Judas Iscariot, of the tribe of Judah. We understand how thousands of these "good figs" turned to their Messiah with their whole hearts in life-changing, and life-threatening devotion. We cannot begin to count the martyrs who died in Palestine and later in Europe, India, and Africa for their blessed faith in Jesus Christ.

In Malachi 3:16, 17 we see the beautiful promise to them that

"feared the Lord (and) spake often to one another: and the Lord hearkened and heard it, and a book ofremembrance was written before him, for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name. And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them as a man spareth his own son that serveth him."

The warning given in 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12, reveals those who

"... received not the love of the truth that they might be saved, and for this cause God shall send them a strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness."

We understand that thousands in Palestine and elsewhere in the world have pleasure in sin, reject the truth, and are suffering under terrible delusions, even insanity, madness and demon-possession. Many other such scripture quotes help us to recognize those who are Israelites by race and by adoption. As well we must remember that many in Israel by race have forfeited their promised blessings by unrighteousness and unbelief and will have to repent as did the prodigal son to be restored to the great Family. That descriptive phrase so common to our language is "black sheep".

Why did I choose to espouse the French nation? In the dictionary definitions of Roman, Romanist, Romanism and Romish it is mentioned that the terms are "usually used disparagingly, often taken to be offensive," which surely indicates the widespread awareness of the errors abounding in that cult from its inception. The massacre of St. Bartholomew's Day in Paris in 1572, and similar violence spread to other areas resulting in the Wars of Religion, tortures, persecution and "genocidal" elimination of the faithful Protestants called Huguenots. Admiral Coligny was the first victim of the scheming of the infamous Catherine de Medici and others.

Thousands of those Bible-believing Christians, standing out against the majority of their race by reason of their testimony to the pure gospel of Christ, perished by terrorizing, torturous methods. The same fate was suffered by the Waldenses, AIbigenses; and later the Grande Ligne Mission in Quebec and Mission La Bonne Nouvelle in New Brunswick, subsequently either knowingly or ignorantly dismissed by historians, with the result that their truly Biblical witness in France and Canada almost disappeared from the record, and because of ridicule and persecution the brave and noble Huguenots have not banded together to form an ethnic or identifiable group such as the St.George's Society, the Scottish Cultural groups, the Ukrainian cultural groups, etc.

Because of the dreadful slaughter of the faithful Protestant Christians, their numbers were drastically reduced and they were scattered and separated. The French translation of the scriptures by Guiars des Moulins in 1224 was revised, corrected and printed in Paris by order of Charles VIII and began to be widely studied by 1480.Clement Marot the valet de chambre to the reigning king a patron of learning, was instructed to versify the Psalms of David so they could be sung. They became much loved and often sung by suffering Huguenots in adversity, affliction and agony. From the martyrology of Crespin and other writers might be cited innumerable instances ofthe Psalms sustaining the courage of French Protestants in the midst of mortal agony.

Some of the names we should honour for their dedication to Truth, are Jean Rousseau, the Huguenot painter (1630-1693); the Duchess of Orleans; John Leclerc, woolcomber at Meaux, bumed alive at Metz, after horrible tortures; Wolfgang Schuch, Lutheran preacher at Lorraine,burned alive at Nancy; Jean Rabec in 1556, raised and lowered into flames while singing Psalm79; Henry of Navarre: Henri de Rohan, threatened wit hassassination in 1628, quoted Psalm 91 in a letter to his mother; and lastly, but not the last, Mme. Jeanne Guyon, imprisoned at Vincennes,writing spiritual songs, buoyed by the promises of Psalm 127. She is now best known for her little book, Experiencing God through Prayer, introduced as a treasure chest of spiritual wisdom... revealed to her by the Spirit of God. She has been highly esteemed by such Christian leaders as Andrew Murray, Watchman Nee, Hudson Taylor, and Jesse Penn-Lewis. Mme. Guyon found the way to God through prayer in the midst of a darkened civilization. Her words echo a timeless message as she paves the road for us to also find Him through her anointed instruction.

From the Protestant Challenge we quote that the earliest honours of the reformation of the church, generally overlooked, belong to believers in France ...In 1124, three evangelicals, Peter of Bruys, Henry and Arnold of Brecia, after sitting at the feet of Piedmontese, bore the gospel message into Provence, there to wear the praise and glory of martyrdom forever... there were in France many devout and devoted evangelical Christian believers.

In 1519 Martin Bucer and Philip Melancthon visited France and found multitudes clamouring to be taught from the Bible! ...Among the doctors of theology, adoming the French capital (Paris) was Lefevre, born 1455, who was engaged in gathering legends of saints, scholars and martyrs, and experienced a ray of light flashing into his mind, in pursuit of which he cast away "foolish fables" and embraced the sacred Scriptures ... Lefevre soon consistently communicated the Bible's revealed truths to his classes in the university ... preached Christ and declared. "Our religion has only one foundation, one object, one head, Jesus Christ, blessed for ever! ...The cross of Christ alone opens heaven. and shuts the gates of hell." Theodore Beza credits Dr.Lefevre with sending forth many of the best men of the age and of the church. Lefevre said to William Farel, his pupil who was later to "lay hands" on John Calvin, "William, God will change the face of the world and you will see it." and to his students he thundered, "It is God alone, by His grace, who justifies!"

Between 1522 and 1528, this same Jacques Lefevre translated the entire Bible into French, and it was printed in Antwerp by the thousands. About 1521, Lefevre and his favourite pupil, Guillaume Farel... made Meaux their headquarters, where Farel read the Word of God for himself exclaiming in joy. "Such is the sweetness of that heavenly manna! It never cloys. The more we taste of it the more we long for it!"...In 1546 the Huguenot community at Meaux adopted the form of church organization, govemment and discipline planned by John Calvin. . . that of government by elders, and appointed Pierre Leclerc the chief pastor... Septeml?er, 1555, saw John Macon (La Riviere) set apart as the first reformed minister in Paris with a consistory of elders and deacons appointed to administer church affairs for the Huguenots in Paris.

Martin Luther reached an impasse in theological growth, despairing until his confessor, a wise man, set him a vital task, to study,then teach his students the Book of Psalms and the Epistle to the Romans. The means God used to show the light of salvation to Luther's unhappy soul, was a Frenchman! It was the philosopher, theologian, Sorbonne professor, Lefevre, who wrote in the preface to his book, "The hour is come in which our Lord Jesus Christ - the only Son, He Who is Truth itself, desires that His gospel be preached clearly to the world. Salvation is not achieved by your merit or any work that you can do. It is all of Christ! You cannot save yourself. Christ must save you. The cross is not yours, it is His! "...It must be insisted that with the words of Lefevre, here is the beginning of the Reformation! Lefevre was right and Luther accepted it as the truth of God. His life and hosts of others have thus been transformed into "the kingdom of His dear Son!"

What a wonderful heritage from these faithful, courageous Huguenots for which we give humble and hearty thanks. May their descendants long cherish that spiritual legacy,and may we all pass on the torch of truth they lighted in those treacherous times. God bless us, every one!
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PostSubject: Story of the Huguenots   France-Reuben I_icon_minitimeSun Aug 09, 2009 2:44 pm



Pastor N. Court, U.K.

OF all the minority groups that have entered our country to join the Anglo-Celto-Saxon main stream, the Huguenots of France have been the most noteworthy. They have to this very day had a profound and lasting influence, and their religious zeal and example are still an inspiration. Determined to serve God according to their convictions and the dictates of conscience, they were willing to forfeit all material benefits, to surrender their possessions, become exiles from their native land for Christ's sake and the gospel's, and even to sacrifice life itself.

From time to time since the Anglo-Saxon, Danish-Norse and Norman conquests and settlements, various groups of kindred stock entered these islands - Flemings, whose planting in the Gower peninsula of Pembrokeshire, so well known as Little England beyond Wales, is an outstanding example; the Walloons, descendants of the ancient Belgae, traces of whose presence are still tobe found in Canterbury and Norwich; Dutch and North German influences brought over through our contact and political union with Holland during the reign of William III, and the Hanoverian connection from 1714 to 1837. The Vansittart and Bentinck families are amongst those that entered this country with William of Orange.

It is not generally realised that although the worst period of religious persecution was just after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685, the actual restraint of Huguenot expression in France lasted for just over 100 years, all restrictions being removed in 1789 on the eve of the dreadful Revolutions. During the whole of this period, and after, refugees poured into this country, Holland and Germany, the major portion, however, coming over just prior to the turn of the century (circa 1687-1689).

The Huguenots were the Orangemen of France and were proud of it.They were staunch Protestants prepared to adhere to the truth though it cost them life itself, and
many of them indeed sealed their testimony with their blood, dying a martyr's death. It was mainly in Dauphiny, Normandy and Brittany that this movement had its chief support, and a large number of its adherents were members and cadets of the old aristocratic families of Nordic race, and of the Bourgeoise, a good, solid and
stolid stock. The Alpine peasantry of the middle belt of France and the swarthy groups in the South were but little influenced by this noble, religious revolution. Like
the title "Orangemen" already referred to, the term "Huguenots," at first applied to these brave Christians as a label of derision, became eventually the badge of their adherence to truth and righteousness. It proclaimed not only their staunch Protestantism but the fact that they were Frenchmen. In spite of persecution and oppression as well as suppression they held on and were faithful unto death, determined at all hazards to sacrifice everything ifnecessary, in the cause of Christ and Truth. They obtained their name from the word Huguon, a designation employed inTouraine to describe Protestants who walked at night in the streets, and mustered near the gate of King Hugo. A monk in the course of an address derisively stated that because the heretic would only go by night as did King Hugo, they should be called Huguenots. The name, or nickname, stuck and became an emblem of pride and honour to the Church in the French Wilderness.

As early as 1550 some refugees who had escaped the massacre of Vaudois (1545) and the Gestapo-like "Chambre ardente" which was set up in 1549 for the
purpose of rooting out the Protestant heresy, entered these islands. Again just after the dreadful Massacre of St. Bartholomew on the night of August 24, 1572, for
which a "Te Deum" was sung in Rome and a commemorative medal struck, many more escaped to England and freedom. But the main body followed almost a century later and from the middle of the seventeenth century, there was a constant exodus of the very best elements in France - the very flower of the nation, principally from Brittany and Normandy and other parts where the Celto-Nordic and Norse (Norman) elements predominated. Another remnant of God's Israel was finding its way to the Appointed Place (II Samuel 7:10). The emigres were men of leaming and character and many were expert craftsmen who brought new industries to this land of ours and helped to make Britain great. There were ministers and pastors noblemen, solid merchants and industrious artisans and landed gentry well as husbandmen, gardeners and skilled agricultural workers. In a few months followed the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes. In 1685, fifty thousand families left the shores of France to make their homes in England, the Netherlands and Protestant Germany. Many settled in the East End of London where they set up silk manufactories and hat-making concerns. A goodly number found their way to our American colonies and a body numbering approximately 200, was settled at the Cape of Good Hope by the States-General of the Netherlands, where it still forms an element in the population.

It should be pointed out that the departure of the emigres from their native land was no orderly, well-planned affair. It was a wild panic of anxious and harassed people eager to escape a fearful and inhuman . terror worse than death. They fled, many of them, without possessions or belongings of any description. The 400,000 who left France during the two decades prior to the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, and the 600,000 who escaped thereafter, a million in all,drained France and enriched the lands to which they fled. Holland and Prussia (Brandenburg), Denmark and England gladly received these elements and were spiritually, intellectually and materially blessed for doing so. They were truly a God-granted acquisition to the countries of their adoption.

As pointed out, the greater part of the Huguenot refugees who entered Great Britain and Holland were from Picardy, Normandy and Brittany, and although,
comparatively speaking, they were not a numerous addition to the race, their influence on its national character has been far reaching indeed, as genealogists and historians have pointed out. They were akin to the racial type of these islands and were thus of Israel stock.

One of the marks of Israelite identity is found in heraldry, I have no need here to discuss our British Coat-of-Arms and its remarkable Israelite and prophetic
significance, nor to comment on the Great Seal of the United States of America which definitely establishes the Great Republic to be Manasseh. The Lionof the Tribe of Judah appears in the Royal arms of Holland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium and Finland, which fact speaks for itself, as those countries are in the main of Israel stock and our brethren. What identifying heraldic mark did the brave Huguenots possess? The emblem of the French Church was truly an Israelite one - the Burning Bush! How symbolic of Israel and their later descendants! Israel was never consumed and never can be, for, right in the centre of the bush is found the name of Jehovah, the name which is above every name, even Jesus. The Lord God, who was the Centre and Circumference of the old Israel economy, the Sustainer
of our fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and their posterity, was with the Huguenots, and is still the same God today - Jesus Christ is "the same yesterday, and
today, and forever" - (Hebrews 13:Cool.


1) John Finnemore in his "Social Life in England" (A. and C. Black, Ltd, 1924), tells us that "Between 1670 and 1690 no less a number than 80,000 French Protestants came toEngland.They were well received, and they were worthy of a welcome. For one and all belonged to the thrifty, hard-working, deft-handed class which has always been the salt of France."

2) These skilled workmen brought in new methods of work, and in many cases new trades. Take the silk trade as an example. Before these French refugees came into the country, the silk trade in England was a very small affair.But among the newcomers was a large body of silk-weavers from Lyons, the headquarters of the French silk industry.They settled chiefly in Spitalfields, and with their aid the English trade advanced by leaps and bounds.

Among other trades introduced by these refugees were the making of sailcloth, of paper, of hats, of velvets and damasks, while other trades much benefited were those of watchmaking, clock-making, lock-making, cutlery, glass and pottery.

One industry, that of hat-making, seemed to come over bodily to England. The art of dealing with the beaverskin was brought to such perfection among the Huguenot refugees that from the factory in London even the Cardinals of Rome used to obtain their hats. ยง
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PostSubject: The French Reformation   France-Reuben I_icon_minitimeSun Aug 09, 2009 3:30 pm



S. Scott-Pearson, U.K.

France In Feudal Times
I know no words that can depict the wretched state of the French people at this time" wrote an eminent literary authority of the period when the doctrines of the Reformation began to permeate France.The morals of the people were perverted, they were impoverished, embittered and being very litigious being devoured by lawyers before corrupt judges. The Church was a machine for burning "heretics" and raising tithes. "Pastors" laboured only at shearing their flocks; idle bishops, in their luxurious abodes received large portions of the wool. In feudal times the people were never anything but miserable. Their existence was that of sheep born to be shorn or slaughtered. The peasant had to pay a tax for the use of the rainwater in the ditches, for the dust their cattle made on the highway, the honey their bees gathered from the lord's flowers. There were dues for baptisms, communion, confession, penance, masses, betrothal, marriage, extreme unction, burial. There were blessings to be paid for on the fields, gardens, ponds, wells, fountains, newly built houses, grapes, beans, lambs, cheese, milk, honey, cattle, swords, flags. There were offerings to the firstborn of domestic animals, to the mass, to the first-fruits etc., etc. In addition to all of this ecclesiastical fleecing the royal taxes under Francis I became a truly frightful burden. The people during the 15th Century were in such abject poverty that a famine produced results like those which have occurred in India and parts of Africa. In 1488 there were 80,000 victims in Paris alone. In 1419 there was no harvest. Heaps of starving boys and girls lay dying of cold and hunger. All of this went on in the presence of a Church universal and supreme which was responsible largely for the people's plight.

The deep discontent everywhere in France ensured a welcome for the Reformers. Their Gospel promised more than a better order of society, more liberty, equality, fraternity. It spoke of a person being made, by the grace of God, to feel that God knew and called them personally, granting him pardon and justification through the one atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and adopting them into His redeemed family.


Born in Picardy, in the middle of the 15th Century, of very humble parentage a man named Lefevre was preaching the doctrine of justification by faith which was
just dawning upon Martin Luther. Lefevre caught only a glimpse of the Promised Land but Farel was raised up as a great man of war and won many a battle while setting up the flag of the Reformation both in France and Switzerland.

"If we look to dates we must admit that the glory of beginning the Reformation belongs neither to Switzerland nor to Germany but to France." (D' Aubigne)

Farel was supported by other missionaries and together they preached among a people who were slaves, bound in the fetters of gross superstition while Bishops could be seen pressing people to drink with them, rattling the dice-box and much, much worse.

The preaching of the Gospel was much blessed, but then came persecution. Between 13th November 1534 and 13th March 1535 twenty so-called Lutherans were put to death in Paris.

The Execution of "Heretics"

The first of these was Barthelmy Milon on 13th November. Small, spiteful, paralysed and malicious Barthelmy sat at his father's door mocking passers-by. A servant of God, thus reproached, tumed back, spoke gently to the poor boy and gave him a copy of the Gospels. Barthelmy read the volume, was converted and
became an exemplary youth labouring for his living as a teacher of writing and armorial engraving. Being found in possession of a placard against the mass he was bumt alive in the cemetery of St.Jean.

A movement commenced in Paris in 1555 which led to the setting up of a protestant church organisation and the issuing of a confession of faith in 1559.

The Edict of Nantes

Many battles were fought down through the years and many of the true saints and servants of God suffered. In 1597 the Reformed Churches complained that
throughout entire provinces such as Burgundy and Picardy there was no free exercise of religion; that in Brittany they had but one place ofworship, in Provence
only two; that their members were maltreated, stoned, thrown into the river; that assemblies were fired up with cannon; that Bibles were bumt; that children were
carried off or baptised forcibly by priests accompanied by the police; that their poor were neglected even when Protestants gave most to the common purse; etc., etc., etc.

Finally in April 1598 they obtained the Edict of Nantes. Full liberty of the individual conscience was guaranteed, public worship was permitted in all places, all the public offices were opened to Protestants, the schools to their children, the hospitals to their sick, the right to print books was accorded.

Thus after three-quarters of a century, during which they had maintained a series of great wars in which they had lost five hundred thousand of their co-religionists,
the Protestants only obtained permission to exist and share the privileges of their countryfolk.

After the Edict of Nantes their legal position was well assured and in such circumstances it was natural that they should prosper. Their industry, thrift and intelligence, energised by religious faith and sharpened by a long-continued struggle for existence, led to the acquisition of wealth. However thereafter the Huguenots were prosperous but their political power and influence was declining.

The Counter Reformation In France

Henry IV had permitted the Society of Jesuits to re-enter France. Roman Catholic doctrine was asserted in the typical Jesuitical smarmy way, then the grip slowly
tightened. Many among the younger aristocratic Huguenots thought it easier to swim with the tide than to fly against the wind. The people at large, ignorant and superstitious and suffering terrible privations, were very unfavourably disposed to the Huguenots because of the civil wars which had impoverished them and for which they blamed the Huguenots.

The Huguenots, however, were still a great political power. About the year 1600 there were 760 parishes in their possession, 4,000 of the nobility were Calvinists,
they held 200 fortified places and it was believed that they could put 25,000 men in the field for battle.

Persecution Recommences

After the assassination of Henry IV in 1610 a persecution began often very small but perpetual. In 1626 a law forbidding Huguenots to sing Psalms in the street or in their shops was passed.

Revocation Of The Edict Of Nantes

As the years went by awful persecutions and dreadful massacres took place. Then at last on 17th October 1685 Louis XIV signed the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes. Under the dreadful sanguinary persecutions, during which Huguenot temples were demolished at great speed (29 in the first two weeks of September 1685), the Protestants were flying in all directions seeking seaports like Nantes or if towards the east they strove to get into Switzerland.

The revocatory edict suppressed the legal exercise of the Reformed worship in France. All pastors were to quit the Kingdom within two weeks under penalty of
being sent to the galleys. If they abjured they were to have a salary one-third larger than they already enjoyed, with a half invertible to their widows; the expense of
academic studies was to be defrayed if they wished to enter at the bar. Parents were forbidden to instruct their children in the reformed religion and were enjoined to have them baptised and send them to Roman Catholic churches, under a penalty of 500 francs. All refugees were to return to France within four months under
penalty of the confiscation of their property. No religionists were to attempt to emigrate under penalty of being sent to the galleys if men, and seclusion for life if women.

Courtesy: The Reformer & Look Up
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