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catholics and Protestants, by which the essential articles in dispute were reduced to a small number, was adopted by the Court, to serve as the basis of discussion. It was resolved, that different synods of Protestant Ministers should be convened; that these should be composed of Ministers of known moderation and pacific views, and the articles, drawn up by M. le Blanc de Beaulieu, presented to them. Three years were . employed in negotiations for effecting this project : several ministers in the lower Languedoc, and the Isle of France, expressed themselves in terms favourable to the measure, but the Synod of Charenton took the alarm, and the project was abandoned.
The Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, a measure equally unwise and unjust, too soon followed. It is more to be attributed to his ministers and advisers, than to Lewis the Fourteenth himself. From the Eclaircissemens Historiques of M. de Rullhiêres, and the Life of Bossuet, by M. Baussét, (1. 2. p. 38–148.), it seems evident, that Lewis the Fourteenth had been induced to believe, that the number of Protestants was much smaller; that the conversions of them would be much more mapid, general, and sincere ; and that the measures for hastening their conversion would be much less violent than they really were. It is also due to the monarch to add, that from the authors, whom we have cited, it is evident, that when he began to perceive the true state of the transaction, though from false principles of honour and policy, he would not revoke the edict, he wished it not to be put into great activity, and checked the forwardness of the intendents in its execution.
It is whimsical, (if on so serious a subject such a word may be used), that the dragonâde, or employment of the dragoon
troops in forcing the conversion of the Hugonots, was owing to · the wish of Louvois, the minister of Lewis the Fourteenth, to become himself a missionary. Observing how much the apparent success of the missionaries recommended them to Lewis the Fourteenth, he began to consider them as dangerous. rivals for the favour of his royal master, and determined, there
fore, to become himself a principal performer. With this view, he instituted the dragoon missions, and thus brought a material part of the work of conversion into the war departe ment. · II. 4. The death of Lewis, and the known disposition of the Regent, appeared to the Protestant party in France to afford a proper opportunity of recovering their rights. Duclos, in his Mémoires secrets sur les regnes de Louis XIV. et' de Louis XV., says, that the Regent himself wished to restore the Protestants to their civil rights, but was dissuaded by his council. Still, he seldom permitted the edicts against them to be executed; and speaking generally, the Protestants seem to have suffered no active persecution in any part of the reign of Lewis the XVth. One intolerable grievance, however, they unquestionably suffered in every part of it. Their religious principles did not permit them to be married by a Roman-catholic priest, in the manner prescribed by the law of the state, and that law did not recognize the legal validity of a marriage, celebrated in any other form. The consequence was, that in the eye of the law, the marriage of Protestants was a mere concubinage, and the offspring of it illegitimate. To bis immortal honour, Lewis the XV Ith., by his edict of the 17th of November, 1787, accorded to all his non-catholic subjects the full and complete enjoyment of all the rights of his Roman-catholic subjects. On a division in the Parliament, this edict was registered by a majority of 96 votes against 16.
The persecution of the Hugonots in consequence of the 'revocation of the edict of Nantes, was condemned by the greatest men in France. M. d’Aguesseau, the father of the celebrated chancellor, resigned his office of Intendant of Languedoc rather than remain a witness of it: his son repeatedly mentions it with abhorrence. Fénélon, Flechier, and Bossuet, confessedly the omaments of the Gallican church, lamented it. To the utmost of their power, they prevented the execution of the edict, and lessened its severities, when they could not prevent them. Most sincerely lamenting and condemning the outrages committed by the Roman-catholics against the Protestants at Nismes,
as violations of the law of God and man, but doubting of the nature and extent, which some have attributed to them, the writer of these pages begs leave to refer to the sermon preached on them by the Reverend James Archer, a Roman-catholic priest, and printed for Booker, in Bond-street, by the desire of two Roman-catholic congregations, as expressing the doctrine
of the Roman-catholic church, and of all real Christians on - heretics and the persecution of heretics.
The Correspondence of Bossuet and Leibniz, under
the auspices of Lewis the XIVth., for the Reunion of the Lutheran Protestants to the Roman-Catholic Church.
This correspondence forms one of the most interesting events in the life of Bossuet; and the letters, of which it consists, and the other written documents, which relate to it, are highly interesting. The writer will attempt to present the reader with a short account—1st. Of the circumstances which led to this correspondence; 2ndly. Of the Project of Reunion, delivered by Molanus, a Lutheran Divine, and Bossuet's sentiments on that Project; 3dly. Of the Intervention of Leibniz in the negotiation; and 4thly. Of the Project suggested by Bossuet, and the principăl reasons, by which he contended for its reception.
III. 1. It appears that, towards the 17th century, the Emperor Leopold, and several sovereign princes in Germany, conceived a project of reuniting the Roman-catholics and Lutheran churches. The Duke of Brunswick, who had recently embraced the Roman-catholic religion, and published his Fifty Reasons for his conversion, (once a popular work of controversy), and the Duke of Hanover, the father of the first prince of the illustrious house, which now, fills the throne of England, were the origiual promoters of the attempt. It was generally approved; and the mention of it at the Diet of the Empire was favourably received. Some communications upon it took place
between the emperor and the ducal princes : and with all their knowledge, several conferences were held upon the subject, between certain distinguished Roman-catholic and Protestant Divines. In these, the Bishop of Neustadt and Molanus, the Abbot of Lokkum, took the lead. The first had been consecrated Bishop of Tina in Bosnia, then under the dominion of the Turks, with Ordinary jurisdiction over some parts of the Turkish Territories. His conduct had recommended him to Innocent the XIth, and that pope had directed him to visit the Protestant states in Germany, and inform him of their actual dispositions in respect to the Church of Rome. In consequence of this mission, he became known to the Emperor, who appointed him to the See of Neustadt, in the neighbourhood of Vienna. Molanus was Director of the Protestant Churches and Consistories of Hanover. Both of them were admirably calculated for the office intended them on this occasion, Each possessed the confidence of his own party, and was esteemed by the other : each was profoundly versed in the matters in dispute : each possessed good sense, moderation, and conciliating manners; and each had the success of the business at heart, and a fixed purpose, that nothing, but a real difference on some essential article of doctrine, should frustrate the project.
The effect of the first conferences was so promising, that the Emperor and the two Princes resolved, that they should be conducted in a manner more regular, and more likely to bring the object of them to a conclusion. With this view, the business was formally entrusted by both the princes to Molanus alone, and the emperor published a rescript, dated the 20th March, 1691, by which he gave the Bishop of Neustadt full authority to treat, on all matters of religion, with the states, communities, and individuals of the empire, reserving to the ecclesiastical and imperial powers, their right to confirm the acts of the Bishop, as they should judge adviseable. Under these auspicious circumstances, the conference between the Bishop of Neustadt and Molanus began.
But, before the events which we have mentioned took place, a correspondence on the subject of a general reunion between Catholics and Protestants had been carried on for some time, between Pelisson and Leibniz. The former held a considerable rank among the French writers, who adorned the reign of Lewis the Fourteenth; the latter was eminently distinguished in the literary world. In the exact sciences, he was inferior to Newton alone; in metaphysics, he had no superior; in general learning, he had scarcely a rival. He had recommended him, self to the Brunswick family, by three volumes, which he had recently published, on the antiquities of that illustrious house and was then engaged in the investigation of its Italian descent, and early German shoots. The result of it, under the title of Origines Guelphicæ, was published, after his decease, by Scheidius, and is considered to be a perfect model of genealogical history. He was also thoroughly conversant in the theological disputes of the times; and in all the questions of dogma or history which enter into them.
His correspondence with Pelisson came to the kpowledge of Louisa, Princess Palatine and Abbess of Maubrusson. She was a daughter of Frederick, the Elector and Count Palatine of the Rhine, and a sister of the Duchess of Hanover. In early life, she had been converted to the Roman-catholic religion, and had the conversion of her sister very much at heart. With this view, she sent to her the correspondence between Leibniz and Pelisson, and received from her an account of what was passing between the Bishop of Neustadt and Molanus. Both the ladies were anxious to promote the measure, and that Bossuet should take in it the leading part; on the side of the Catholics. This was mentioned to Lewis the Fourteenth, and had his approbation. The Emperor and both the Princes, by all of whom Bossuet was personally esteemed, equally approved of it, and it was finally settled that Bossuet and Leibniz should be joined to the Bishops of Neustadt and Molanus, and that the correspondence with Bossuet should pass through the hands of Madame de Brinon, who acted as secretary to the Abbess of