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French Protestants.

3 the lives of the poor, -- several thousand families are withont work and without bread,-trade and manufacture, almost wbolly in the hands of Protestants, in the city of Nismes, are annihilated, - all the rich who have fled, dare not return; and for the most part establish themselves elsewhere. Push, push on the busivess, --if you cease to make exertions they are undone !

“ Above 600 persons have been victims to murderous bigotry, — some of the principal houses in Nisines have been burnt to the ground, - above 50 pillaged, and others nearly demolished !

« Olivier, sinking under the weighit of years, and Juillerat remain ; but the other pastors have not hazarded to return. Not a public priot in France dares stand forth the champion of the oppressed, and not one legislator darés raise his voice in their defence. I have every reason to believe, that a Protestant, a Frenchman, especially if a sutierer, would be denied a passport for England!

“ The Post-Office is nnder a strict inquisition, and every liberal-minded individual under the inspection of the Police. From this you may judge of the state of tranquillity here for your afflicted brethren, and at the same time you may account for the want of information on the subject in England. I learn that a certain Society has abandoned all interference in the business. They bave done us more harm than good, La rue croix rouge is a terrible name here, and the champions of religious liberty will be finally rewarded. Adieu.”

A pious Minister has expressed his feelings in a letter, for wbich there is only room for the following extract:

January, 1816. The sentiment of gratitude is the only one which I shall, and perbaps which I ought, to express to you. Yes, honorable and beloved brethren, I thank you with all my soul for your charity, and the fruits which it has produced for the support of religious liberty, and the temporal consolation of marry thousands of Christians. Enlightened by the word and Spirit of the Lord, you do not regard as strangers these Christians in their trials; but you consider them and treat them as the servants of God, and brethren in Jesus Christ. Your conduct in this is that of citizens of Heaven,-you are angels of mercy, who come to arrest and to repair the ravages of mortals, who have shewn themselves by their works to be true demons."

Collections and Donations received since the last Publication.

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10 18 The Conmittee have published, during the present Month, a pamphlet, entitled Notes, intended as Materials for a Memoir on the Affairs of the Protestants of the Department Du Gard,” containing most important iuformatton ; aud which may be had of all the booksellers.

17 Many Contributions have been receired too late for insertion,

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VILLLIMs and B:RTLES, Printers, Clerkecwell.

FRENCH PROTESTANTS.

While the Committee of DissĖNTİNG MINISTERS have been exposed to the slander of men who were determined to reject evidence, as insuficient, because it was too powerful for their prejudices and their perverseness; and while they have had to contend with a prevailing disposition to abandon the Protestants to those who persecute, because they liave had the audacity also to calumniate them; they have neglected no means, which could justify the coufidence of their wise and benevolent friends, develope the truth, and bring before Europe the proofs of those crimes which have been comınitted, in the name of Loyalty and Virtue.

The Rev. Clement Perrot, Pastor of the French Congregational Churches in the island of Guernsey, was accordingly requested by them to repair to France, in order to examine in the capital, and also on the spot, the real situatiou of the Protestants,--arrange plans for the application of the money obtained for their relief, and colleet the history of transactions' which bad been so long stoutly denied, or ingeniously palliated:

For this important Mission their friend was specially qualified, not only by his perfect knowledge of the French language and the great respectability of his character, but also by possessing, in a high degree, the confidence and esteem of the most respectable Protestants and Protestant ministers, and an intimate acquaintance with them, formed on his visit to the South of France, during the first restoration of the Bourbon family, and confirmed by frequent correspondence since that period.

It will be seen, by the Resolations wbieh follow, that this gentleman kindly undertook the task-ihat he has succeeded in the great objects which the Committee were anxious to accomplish -- and that the General Body of Ministers had the satisfaction of bis personal attendance at their Annual Meeting, just returned from a journey of nearly 3000 miles, effected amiest many dangers and difficulties, in the course of eleven weeks.

In a country, which may be denominated a vast prison, where private confidence and personal liberty are nearly andibilated, - where spies mingle ja every society, and arbitrary power seals up the channels of information, it required great exertion and prudence to collect precise and authentic intelligence, and at the same time not endanger the safety of individuals. Directed however, and favoured by Providence, which seems to have prepared its agent by a former visit for this great service to the general interests of truth and religion ; Mr. Perrot bas been able to procure and to bring to England, besides bis personal testimony (after having travelled to Nismes and the sur. rounding country) a mass of evidence which will at once set the whole ques. tion in its true light, and form materials for the history of Protestantism in the 19th century. » It is impossible, in this paper, to give even an outline of these very important communications; but it would be improper not to refer to the objections which the ducuments, preparing for publication, must for ever silence.

Mr. Perrot demonstrates, that polities have only been the pretext for the persecutions which have ravaged several of the Departments,--that the Catho. ļics had no ancient wrongs to avenge on the Protestants,-that it is impossible to throw the blame on an unmanageable populace,-that it is equally impossió ble to exculpate the local authorities from a sbare, at least by connivance, in the outrages committed,--and that to this day, not onc individual concerned in the

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horrors wbich bave afllicted the city of Nismes, and the Department of which it is the capital, bas been punished. To illustrate the spirit which bas actuated the persecuting royalists,

we insert the following account of the State of Affairs in the months of April and July, 1814:

“The Catholic domestics no longer served their masters with the same zeal aud affection as tbey had bitherto done. Husbands were separated from their wives, and wives from their husbands, - though the only motive was a difference in religion.

We were told that Catholic woman actually received, in the confessional, the horrible advice to poison their Protestant busbands. The following is a fact less revolting, and which we can with certainty guarantee:

A man named Mariana du Hameau de Maza, in the Commune of Cardel, Department of Gard, lived for three years upon the best terms with his wife, who was a Protestant. He went one day to confess to the Core of his parish, Jean de Serre. This Priest put the express condition to a refusal to give absolution to his penitent; that he must endeavour to convert his wife to the Catbolic religion, and the following was the advice which he gave him for that purpose:– You must present yourself before ber with an avgry countenance, and when she demands the reason of this change, you must answer her, I am not my own master, I am possessed with a demon from which you can deliver me, by turning Catholic, and you may thus save me, by saving yourself.' Marianna was a good Catbolic, but he had the religion of good sense ; be was above all a good husband, and he rejected the baneful advice, which tended to place him on ill terms with a wife whom he had always found worthy of his affection.

A man of the name of Julian, a perruquier, at Nismes, had not the same strength of mind. During several months he rendered his wife the most unbappy of women, without ever attempting to assign a motive for the opaccustomed harshness with which be behaved to her, or the ill treatment which he made her undergo. It turned out, that it arose from his having been told by a priest that there must be no longer any Protestants in France. Having reflected, however, that there was more of passion than of religion, in the advice which had been given to him, he suddenly changed bis conduct, and confessed all to bis wife.

We might present many other similar instanccs; but these are sufficient to shew the spirit which actnated the principal directors of the people, and which leave little room for astonishment at the disorders of which we are about to present a deplorable, but true picture."

In July, 1814, M. Baron, Counsellor of the Cour Royale of Nismes, conceived the projeot of voting to God a child of silver, in the event of the Duchess d'Angouleme giving a prince to France. He communicated it to the Marguillerie; it assembled-deliberated, and this project of M. Baron was soon changed into a religious vow, unanimously formed, which was so Hemoly proclaimed the 19th of July, in the parish-church of St. Castor, and in a.church dedicated to St. Francis de Salles. The whole city of Nismes was informed of it-it was talked of in the societies-- it was talked of tete a tetem it excited the people to repeat without end their paters and aves, who, after they had infamed ibeir passions by crying Vive le Roi !-Vire les Bourbons !--came to kpeel at the altar, where their imagipations were agaiy filled with tbe same

French Protestants.

3 objects. This unbappy effect produced no alarm in the minds of those who maintained an influence over the populace. However this might be, a deputation of the Marguilliers of the parishes of the city of Nismes, consisting of M. M. Viscount de Bernis, the Abbe d'Esgrigny, the Viscount de Suffren, the Marquis d'Assas, the Marquis de Rochemaure, the Marquis de Montcalm, the Marquis de Calviere* Vesenobre, Trinquilagues, first Advocate General of the court of Nismes, and Froment Secretary of the King's Cabinet, having had the honor of being admitted to an audience of Madame the Duchess d'Angouleme, to communicate to her the vow of which she was the object, M. Trinquilagues spoke as follows:

.

“Madame,

“In the pame of the administrators of the parishes of the city of Nismes; we come to present to you the homage of a religious act with which they bave been inspired by their ardent love for the blood of their King, and their profound veneration for your Royal Highness. Like all Frenchmer, they have felt that there is wanting to onr bappiness a son of yours; and they ask it of bim from whom emanates every good. They have deposited at the foot of the altar their vow to consecrate to him a monument of their graa titude. They would have left this vow of their hearts under the veil of the sanctuary, and have waited in respectful silence for the benefit which their prayers solicited; but your Royal Highness has often said that the love of the French could only convey consolation to your beart; and they rejoiced at the thought that, in communicating their sentiments, they might perhaps soften a moment of melancholy recollection," &c.

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We subjoin'a fact which took place on the 3d of July, 1815. The Sieor Bigne,' a Commission factor at Nismes, after having passed some months at Lyons, was on his return home. On the 1st of July, 1815, he arrived at St. Esprit. There he learned that the environs of Nismes were infested by banditti, who committed the grcatest excesses against the Protestants. lle was undecided, in consequence, what course to take; but as he had done no ill to any one, why should they do harm to him? Important business and the desire of seeing his family urged him besides to return home. He set out from St. Esprit, the 2d of July, in the evening, with two travelling companions, Protestants, likė bimself. On the 3d, as the day began to break, they arrived at Besome, a Catholic village, two leagues from Nismes. They heard a tumult, and perceived gendarmes. Their carriage was soon surrounded. They shewed themselves, and some one recognized them. “There are the Black Throats(Gorges Noires) cried they; and the cry spread from mouth to mouth. The whole village assembled in an instant. They made the travellers descend from the carriage, and conducted thence to a field of olive-trees, where they were to be shot. The signal for execution was given, when, by providential interposition, the Mayor, who was a well-meaning man, but durst not say any thing, made the Sieur Bigne comprebenci, by a gesture, which he understood, that a sign of Catholịcity might save him. The gesture was seized with as much rapidity as it had been made. It was to the sign of the cross, and to some words of pater that they had learned in their cbildhood, that the three unfortunate meo owed their safety. Now," cried the populace, “ we were about to kill our brethren.”

Mr. Perrot brings a dreadful account of the situation of the Protestants as late as the last Month,

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