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“Oh, the unspeakable greatness of that exchange,—the Sinless One is condemned, and he who is guilty goes free; the Blessing bears the curse, and the cursed is brought into blessing; the Life dies, and the dead live; the Glory is whelmed in darkness, and he who knew nothing but confusion of face is clothed with glory.” Trailady

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Thursday, November 01, 2012

The Edict of Nantes (1598)


The Edict of Nantes (1598)
This royal edict from the King of France to an extent resolved a conflict that led to the most ignominious mass murder in French history—the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre of 1572. Double click on the picture above and see in graphic detail the fanatical butchery against the innocent. Estimates of those murdered in every brutal way range from 20 thousand to 70 thousand Protestant souls throughout France, mostly in Paris. While King Henry IV had been a very enlightened Protestant, this resolution limited only the Protestant faith, and gave a lop-sided victory to the anti-Protestants—that is, the papists.

In his edict King Henry spells out the cause of the massacre, “The realm was so torn by innumerable factions and sects that the most legitimate of all the parties [Catholic Apostolic and Roman religion] was fewest in numbers.” This was written 26 years after the massacre, when Henry had converted to Catholicism.

Although his tolerant reign brought peace to the realm, he was assassinated the day after marrying his second wife, Marie de Medici, of the infamous Italian family that had strong ties to the papal court.  She had overseen the deadly St. Bartholomew's Day massacre and, in the painting, stands by the moat, dressed in pentance black reviewing the growing pile of naked male and female corpses. Then, later when their Catholic-reared son was old enough to reign, he finished the eradication of Protestantism in France.

In all of this edict, there was not a word of apology or condolence to the surviving families of the murdered. Just dead silence on that front. Never mind the massacred; they were only Protestants—heretic, cultic, second-rate citizens.

The end result of the edict was to forget what happened, and evangelizing became illegal.

Does this sound familiar? What did the Vatican say after sending Ante Pavelic and his army of nuns marching the streets and priests dressed in army uniforms to find any farm implement, the hoes, axes,pick-axes, and scythes, using whips, fire, gas, starvation, suffocation, trampling, freezing, and hanging to cleanse Croatia of 1 million Orthodox Christians? And what did the Vatican say after blessing Hitler for destroying 6 million Jews? Why can’t we just forget the past and love one another?

And what do we hear coming from the Vatican today? No more evangelizing, no more proselytizing.

Here is the Edict for you to read. But, consider this thought—Could we be headed for another massacre in order to hear the United Nations produce and edict to just forget the past and give the Vatican its much envied temporal dominion?

But we have these promises from Daniel and Revelation, which foresaw all of these atrocities upon God’s people.

“I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them;
Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.
Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.
And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.
And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.
But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end.
And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey Him.” (Dan. 7:21-27).
“And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:
And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?
And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.” (Rev. 6:9-11).

“If any man have an ear, let him hear.
He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.” (Rev. 13:9,10).

And a word from Paul and Peter:

“Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.
If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.
Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.
Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Rom. 12:17-21).

“Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.” (1Pet. 2:17).






The Edict of Nantes (1598)

Henry, by the grace of God king of France and of Navarre, to all to whom these presents come, greeting:

Among the infinite benefits which it has pleased God to heap upon us, the most signal and precious is his granting us the strength and ability to withstand the fearful disorders and troubles which prevailed on our advent in this kingdom. The realm was so torn by innumerable factions and sects that the most legitimate of all the parties was fewest in numbers. God has given us strength to stand out against this storm; we have finally surmounted the waves and made our port of safety, -- peace for our state. For which his be the glory all in all, and ours a free recognition of his grace in making use of our instrumentality in the good work. . . . We implore and await from the Divine Goodness the same protection and favor which he has ever granted to this kingdom from the beginning. . . .

We have, by this perpetual and irrevocable edict, established and proclaimed and do establish and proclaim:

I. First, that the recollection of everything done by one party, or the other between March, 1585, and our accession to the crown, and during all the preceding period of troubles, remain obliterated and forgotten, as if no such things had ever happened.

III. We ordain that the Catholic Apostolic and Roman religion shall be restored and reestablished in all places and localities of this our kingdom and countries subject to our sway, where the exercise of the same has been interrupted, in order that it may be peaceably and freely exercised, without any trouble or hindrance: forbidding very expressly all persons, of whatsoever estate, quality, or condition, from troubling, molesting, or disturbing ecclesiastics in the celebration of divine service, in the enjoyment or collection of tithes, fruits, or revenues of their benefices, and all other rights and dues belonging to them: and that all those who during the troubles have taken possession of churches, houses, goods or revenues, belonging to the said ecclesiastics, shall surrender to them entire possession and peaceable enjoyment of such rights, liberties, and sureties as they had before they were deprived of them.

VI. And in order to leave no occasion for troubles or differences between our subjects, we have permitted, and herewith permit, those of the said religion called Reformed to live and abide in all the cities and places of this our kingdom and countries of our sway, without being annoyed, molested, or compelled to do anything in the matter of religion contrary to their consciences, . . . upon condition that they comport themselves in other respects according to that which is contained in this our present edict.

VII. It is permitted to all lords, gentlemen, and other persons making profession of the said religion called Reformed, holding the right of high justice [or a certain feudal tenure], to exercise the said religion in their houses.

IX. We also permit those of the said religion to make and continue the exercise of the same in all villages and places of our dominion where it was established by them and publicly enjoyed several and divers times in the year 1597, up to the end of the month of August, notwithstanding all decrees and judgments to the contrary.

XIII. We very expressly forbid to all those of the said religion its exercise, either in respect to ministry, regulation, discipline, or the public instruction of children, or otherwise, in this our kingdom and lands of our dominion, otherwise than in the places permitted and granted by the present edict.

XIV. It is forbidden as well to perform any function of the said religion in our court or retinue, or in our lands and territories beyond the mountains, or in our city of Paris. or within five leagues of the said city.

XVIII. We also forbid all our subjects, of whatever quality and condition, from carrying off by force or persuasion, against the will of their parents, the children of the said religion, in order to cause them to be baptized or confirmed in the Catholic Apostolic and Roman Church; and the same is forbidden to those of the said religion called Reformed, upon penalty of being punished with especial severity.

XXI. Books concerning the said religion called Reformed may not be printed and publicly sold, except in cities and places where the public exercise of the said religion is permitted.

XXII. We ordain that there shall be no difference or distinction made in respect to the said religion, in receiving pupils to be instructed in universities, colleges, and schools; nor in receiving the sick and poor into hospitals, retreats and public charities.

XXIII. Those of the said religion called Reformed shall be obliged to respect the laws of the Catholic Apostolic and Roman Church, recognized in this our kingdom, for the consummation of marriages contracted, or to be contracted, as regards the degrees of consanguinity and kinship.

[Source: James Harvey Robinson, ed., Readings in European History 2 vols. (Boston: Ginn, 1906), 2:183-185.]

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

what does this part mean :
"For which his be the glory all in all, and ours a free recognition of his grace in making use of our instrumentality in the good work..."

6/21/2013 5:32 PM  
Anonymous david said...

Hi Anonymous,
I suppose it means that God was glorified by the instrumentality of the St. Bartholemew's day massacre, although I can't imagine the mass murder being referred to as "the good work."
But, if that is the meaning, it shows the attempt to whitewash a sad event in French history. And it also shows the true freedom in God's grace that the Reformation declared, and natural ascendency it gives any group who receive it. The Huegonots who were killed had multiplied and become prosperous because they loved to read and follow the Bible. Righteousness always exalts a nation, and they were a nation with a nation, Protestants within Catholic France.
The only method the non-Protestant people could use to fix the imbalance was to kill the Protestants, not to ask them how God was blessing them, so that they could receive His blessing.
We need to make use of this relative peace time and get to know Jesus and study His amazing Bible. It is the most beautiful book ever. Righteousness is beautiful, humble, wise, self-sacrificing, health-giving, the best source for the persuit of happiness.

6/21/2013 6:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank You!

6/22/2013 4:01 PM  

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