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little boys used to visit were placed in spots of ground so beautiful, that they would have reminded you of the garden of Eden; some in deep and shady valleys, where the brooks of clear water ran murmuring among groves of trees and over mossy banks; some on high lawns on the sides of the mountains, where the eagles and mountain birds found shelter in the lofty forest trees : some of these cottages stood on the brows of rugged rocks, which jutted out from the side of the hills, on spots so steep and high that Claude's own little stout boys could scarcely climb them: and Claude was often obliged to carry little Henrie up these steeps in his arms. In these different situatious were flowers of various colours, and of various kinds, and many beautiful trees, besides birds innumerable, and wild animals of various sorts. Claude knew the names and natures of all these : and he often passed the time, as he walked, in teaching these things to his children. Neither did he neglect, as they got older, to give them such instructions as they could get from books. He taught his little boys first to read French ; and afterwards he made them well acquainted with Latin and the history of ancient times, particularly the history of such holy people as have lived and died in the service of God; of such of them as through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens : women received their dead raised to life again, and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection: and others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings: yea, moreover, of bonds and imprisonment; they were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword; they wandered about in sheep-skins and goat-skins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented (of whom the world was not worthy); they wandered in deserts and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise : God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.' (Heb. xi. 33—40.) Claude also taught his little boys to write : and they could sing sweetly many of the old Hymns and Psalms which from time immemorial had been practised among the Waldenses.
“Claude's own little sons were obliged to do many little homely household jobs, to help their mother : they used to fetch the goats to the cottage-door, along the hill-side path, and milk them, and feed them; they used to weed the garden ; and often to sweep the house, and make up the fire. In all these things little Henrie was as forward as the rest, though the son of one of the greatest men in France. And here is one of the sweet influences of the Christian religion: by it the mountains are levelled, and the valleys exalted. But though this family were obliged to labour at the lowest
work, yet they practised towards each other the most courteous and gentle manners, always in honour preferring each other, as it behoveth all Christians to do. In this manner Henrie was brought up amongst the Waldenses till he was more than twelve years of age, at which time the servant came from his father, the Marquis, to bring him to Paris.
“When the Marquis's letter arrived, all the little family in the Pastor Claude's house were full of grief. • You must go, my dear child,' said the Pastor ; 'you must go, my beloved Henrie : for the Marquis is your father, and you must obey him: but, oh! my
heart aches when I think of the hard trials and temptations to which you will be exposed in the wicked world. With all the weakness of our depraved nature within, and all the snares and flatteries of the world without, how can we hope that such a child will be able to stand ?'. - Yet I have confidence,' said Maria, wiping away her tears : 'I have prayed for this boy, this my dear boy; I have prayed for him a thousand and a thousand times; and I know that he is given to us; this our child will not be lost; I know he will not: he will be able to do all things well, Christ strengthening him.'—' Oh, Maria ! said the Pastor Claude, your faith puts me to shame : why should I doubt the goodness of God any more than
do ?' “ In the mean time, Henrie's grief was so great, that for some hours after the servant came he could not speak : he looked on his dear father and mother, as he always called Claude and Maria, and on their two boys, who were like brothers to him ; he looked on the cottage where he had spent so many happy days; and the woods, and valleys, and mountains ; saying, beyond this he knew nothing; and he wished that he had been born Claude and Maria's child, and that he might be allowed to spend all his life, as Claude had done, in serving God in that delightful valley.
“ Whilst Maria, with many tears, was preparing things for Henrie's journey, the Pastor took the opportunity of talking privately to him, and giving him some advice, which he hoped, with God's blessing, might be useful to him. He took the child by the hand; and leading him into a solitary path above the cottage, where they could walk unseen and unheard, be there entered into discourse with him. At first he explained to him the dangerous situation into which he was about to enter: he told him, with as much tenderness as possible, what his father's and his mother's characters were ; that they never knew the fear of God, and that they acted as most persons do who are rich and powerful, and who are not influenced by Divine grace: and he pointed out to him how he ought to behave to his parents, telling him that by perseverance in well-doing, and setting before them a holy example, he might, perhaps, be a means, under God, of turning them from their sinful courses to the way of everlasting life. The Pastor then reminded Henrie of the chief doctrines of his holy religion ; those which, from his earliest infancy, he had endeavoured to fix upon his mind : first, the exceeding depravity and vileness of man's heart by nature, and that no man can do well, in the smallest degree, without the assistance of the Holy Spirit; and secondly, that no man is saved by any of his own works or deservings, but through faith in the merits of his dying Saviour. These, with many other things of like nature, the pious Claude besought Henrie always to have in remembrance, as he hoped to see his Redeemer in the land which is
and he finished his discourse by giving Henrie a little Bible, in a small velvet bag, which he had received from his own father, and which he had been accustomed to carry in his pocket in all his visits to his poor people. In these days, through the mercy of God, Bibles are so common that
have one ;
but this was not the case in former days : Bibles were very scarce, and very difficult to get; and this Henrie knew, and therefore he knew how to value this present: he put it in his pocket, and prayed to God to give him grace to keep the words contained therein.
“ It would only trouble you were I to describe the sorrow of Claude's family when, the next morning, Henrie, according to his father's orders, was dressed in a rich suit of clothes, and set upon a horse, which was to carry him from among the mountains to the Castle of Bellemont, where the Marquis's carriage waited for him. Henrie could not speak as the horses went down the valley, but the tears fell fast down his cheeks : every tree and every cottage which he passed, every pathway winding from the high road among the
hills, reminded him of some sweet walk taken with Claude and his sons, or with his beloved nurse. As the road passed under one of the cottages which stood on the brow of a hill, Henrie heard the notes of one of those sweet hymns which his nurse had been accustomed to sing to him when he was a very little boy, and which she had afterwards taught him to sing himself. Henrie's heart at that moment was ready to burst with grief ; and though the servants were close to him, yet he broke out in these words :
Farewell, farewell, sweet and happy home! Farewell, lovely, lovely hills ! Farewell, beloved friends! I shall never, never see you again! never, never more hear the sweet hymns of the Waldenses; or take pleasant walks with the beloved companions of my happy early days ! Farewell, farewell, sweet, sweet home!
- Do not give way to grief, sir,' said the servant, you are going to be a great man ; you will see all the fine things in Paris, and be brought before the king. The servant then gave him a long account of the grandeur and pleasures of Paris; but Henrie did not hear one word he said ; for he was listening to the last faint sounds of the hymn, as they became more and more distant.
“Nothing particular happened to Henrie on his journey; and at the end of several days he arrived at the gates of his father's grand house at Paris. The Marchioness that evening (as was common with her) gave a ball and supper to a number of friends; and on this occasion the house was lighted up, and set off with all manner of ornaments. The company was just come, and the music beginning to play, when Henrie was brought into the hall. As soon as it was known who was come, the servants ran to tell the Marquis and Marchioness, and they ran into the hall to receive their son.
The beauty of Henrie and his lovely mild look could not but please and delight his parents, and they said to each other, as they kissed him and em