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Samuel and Martha, in proper subjection to you, and I command them, by the authority that God hath given me, that they honour and obey you, and in so doing they will be blessed of God. As to the rest, be neither troubled nor concerned about me; for if divine providence hath decreed to put a period to my life, and if it please him to demand à restitution of that soul which he hath a long time lent me, my confidence is in him, that out of his immense mercy and divine goodness, he will receive it into heaven, for the sake of his Son Christ Jesus, who, I believe, hath made expiation for our sins by his sufferings and death. Be constant in prayer to God, and serve him fully-for thus you will be happy. You need not send me any thing for three weeks to come; but at the expiration of that time, you may, if you please, send me some money, to pay the goaler and my own support, if I live so long. Recollect what I have often told you, that God added fifteen years to the life of king Hezekiah, but that he had prolonged my term much more, for you have seen me, as it were, dead a long time ago, and yet I still survive; and I hope and trust that he will preserve my life until my death be more for his glory and my own happiness, through his goodness and mercy towards me."

From the prison of Ast, Sept. 10th, 1601.

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Poor Copin was soon afterwards found dead in his cell, not without symptoms of having been strangled ! After his death he was condemned to be burnt; and the body having been brought out of prison, sentence was read over it, and it was cast into the fire. *

Perrin's History, b. ii. ch. iv,

SECTION V.

The history of the Waldenses during the former part of the

seventeenth century A.D. 1600—1665.

On the southern side of the vallies of Piedmont, lies a considerable tract of extremely fertile country, including extensive vallies and plain lands, with several large cities, all passing under the general term of THE MARQUISATE OF Saluces.* Its most northern valley is that of Po, so named from the river Po taking its rise there; and it is separated only by a single mountain on the north side from the valley of Lucerne, in Piedmont.

Previous to the year 1588, the marquisate of Saluces was subject to the jurisdiction of the kings of France; but at that period an exchange of territory was made between the French monarch and the Duke of Savoy-in consequence of which the latter gave up la Bresse to France, and the marquisate of Saluces was annexed to the dominions of the Duke of Savoy.

The contiguity of Saluces to the vallies of Piedmont, together with its great similarity in regard to territorial surface, had entitled it, for several centuries, to participate of the light of divine truth, which shone in the neighbouring vallies; and in the beginning of the seventeenth century there were eight flourishing churches in the marquisate, of which Pravillelm, Biolets, Bietoné, and Dronier were the chief; but they had all maintained the purity of the Christian profession for ages, living in great harmony, and holding fellowship with the neighbouring churches of the same

This name is, in our old historians, frequently spelt “ Saluzzes,”

faith and order. Their external peace had, indeed, been frequently invaded by the kings of France, and their constancy and patience under sufferings put severely to the test-but if the French monarchs had chastised them with whips, it was reserved for their new sovereign, Charles Emanuel, to do it with scorpions. *

In the year 1597, the Duke of Savoy made his pleasure known to his new subjects, by a letter issued from Turin, dated 27th of March of that year, of which the following

is a copy.

Well-beloved Friends, 8c. It being our desire that all our subjects in the marquisate of Saluces should live under obedience to our mother, the Catholic A postolic Roman Church—and knowing how much our exhortations have prevailed upon others, hoping also that they will have the same effect upon you, and that you are willing to adhere to the truth : we have thought it proper, upon these grounds, to address you in this letter, to the end that, laying aside that heretical obstinacy, you may embrace the true religion, both out of respect to God's glory and love to your own selves. In which religion we, for our parts, are resolved to live and die; which conduct of yours, on account of so good an example, will undoubtedly lead you to eternal life. Only dispose yourselves to do this, and we shall preserve the remembrance of it for your benefit, as the Lord de la Monte will more particularly certify you on our part, to whom we refer ourselves in this regard, praying the Lord to assist you by his holy grace.t

Sir Samuel Morland's History of the Churches of Piedmont, p. 258. Perrin's Hist. des Vaudois, b. ii. ch. 5. Boyer's History of the Wal penses, ch. ix.

Morland, p. 263.

The publication of this letter occasioned a general consultation among the churches of the marquisate, and they returned an answer to it, in the form of a petition to the Duke of Savoy, in which they first of all tender their thanks to his highness for having permitted them so long to enjoy their religious privileges free from molestation, in the same manner as he had found them when he took possession of the marquisate, in 1588. They then proceed humbly to entreat him that he will be pleased to indulge them with a continuance of the same privilege, inasmuch as they were persuaded that their religious profession was founded on the Holy Scriptures, by which standard they laboured so to regulate their lives and conversations, as to give no just cause of offence to any one. And when they reflected that even the Jews and other enemies of Christ were there allowed to live in peace, and the enjoyment of their religious worship, they confidently hoped that those who were found to be Christians, and faithful to God and their prince, would not be debarred the same privilege.

This answer was not wholly without effect. They remained undisturbed until the year 1601, when, in the month of July, an edict was issued, commanding all the inhabitants of the marquisate of Saluces, who dissented from the church of Rome, to appear individually before the magistrates, within the space of fifteen days, and there declare whether or not they would renounce their religious profession and go to mass. In the former case, it was promised them that they should remain peaceably in their houses, and be entitled to peculiar advantages; while in the latter, they were peremptorily ordered to depart out of his highness's dominions, within the space of two months, and never to return without permission, under pain of death and the confiscation of their property.

The Waldenses appear to have had considerable difficulty in persuading themselves that this was any thing more than a threat; in which unfounded supposition they were encouraged by some persons of note among them. They, therefore, made no preparation for a departure, by the settlement of their affairs; but appointed deputies to wait on the duke, to obtain a revocation; or if that could not be effected, at any rate, a modification of this rigorous edict. But Clement VIII. who was then pope, had got complete possession of the duke's ear, and rendered him deaf to every entreaty. To carry the edict into full effect, a great number of inquisitorial monks were dispatched into the marquisate, who, on their arrival, went from house to house, examining the inhabitants concerning their religious profession-and just at the expiration of the term allowed by the edict, their deputies returned, but, to their surprise and amazement, informed them that every hope of redress had vanished. The consequence was, that more than five hundred families were driven into exile !

“ The world was all before them, where to choose
“ Their place of rest, and Providence their guide."

Some crossed the Alps, and retired into Dauphiny, in France; others to Geneva, and its neighbourhood; while many sought refuge among their friends in the vallies of Piedmont; where, for a while, they remained undisturbed, notwithstanding the edict had expressly mentioned that they should depart out of the dominions of the Duke of Savoy. *

Whether their Catholic persecutors, not content with this too gentle mode of punishment, endeavoured, by loading them with reproaches and false accusations, to steel the hearts of the inhabitants of other countries against them, and thereby prevent their finding an asylum; or whatever was their particular inducement thereto, it is certain that

* Perrin, b, ii. ch. v. Morland, p. 265.

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