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ments on the watch; in vain did the spies of the Sorbonne and of the monks creep into churches, colleges, and even private families, to catch up any word that might fall unwarily; in vain did the soldiers arrest on the highways everything that bore the stamp of the Reformation;'' for some would escape, and others confound their inquisitors with shame and defeat. These Frenchmen had faith in better days to come. But not from man had the refugees any hope. "Those who have begun the dance," said Toussaint, "will not stop on the road.7' They could only trust that G-od would end their "Babylonish captivity."
The Chevalier Esch escaped from his prison and met his friend at Strasburg. This fact soon was known to Toussaint, who immediately wrote to Farel, saying, "For the honour of G-od, endeavour to prevail on the knight, our worthy master (if it becomes us to have any master on earth,) to return to Metz as speedily as possible, for our brethren have great need of such a leader." Esch therefore went back, to expose himself to the wiles of his enemies.
It was not Toussaint's disposition to send others to the battle
and not join it himself. He was eager to engage in the cause,
although (Ecolampadius said, "I wish my dear lords of France
would not be so hasty in returning to their own country, for the
devil is spreading his snares on every side.'' But the young
exile felt that a prison could not be much worse than the house
of the ignorant and contentious priest with whom he lodged.
He turned his eye toward Paris. There the youthful James
Pavanne of Meaux and the aged hermit of Livry had been
burned, and the fires were still smoking. There no one could
name the reformation without risking his life. But was not this
a reason why he should go? Thither, it appears from his letters, he went, and he entered the university. Instead of the rioting which held sway in the college while Farel was a student, he found an intense fanaticism for popery. He sought to form an acquaintance with some of the brethren who were secretly imitating Farel's example, especially in the college of Lemoine where he and Lefevre had taught. But this only exposed him to danger.
One day certain officers arrested him. A duke and an abbot, who are unknown now, had pointed him out to the agents of Beda as a heretic. He was cast into prison. While in chains' he prayed to God, and dwelt on the names of his friends, Roussel, and Lefevre, and Farel, and (Ecolampadius, that gentle father, said he, "whose work I am in the Lord." Death seemed hanging over him, and his mother, his uncle, the dean of Metz, and the cardinal of Lorraine, made him the most lavish offers if he would recant. But he could not thus be moved. "I despise them," said he; "I know they are a temptation of the devil. I would rather suffer hunger. I would rather be a slave in the house of the Lord than dwell with riches in the palaces of the wicked." Then boldly confessing his faith he exclaimed, "It is my glory to be called a heretic by those whose lives and doctrines are opposed to Jesus Christ.'' He signed his letters to Farel, "Peter Toussaint, unworthy to be called a Christian.''
The date of his release we cannot find. It seems that he soon after resolved to go to Metz, not to yield to his uncle and mother, but to assist the Chevalier Esch. On reaching Louvain he was betrayed, and arrested by his former friend, Theodore Chamond, the Abbot of St. Anthony. This abbot was well known as a cruel, violent, merciless man. He was not touched by the youth, the candour, nor the weak health of his victim. He threw him into a horrible dungeon, full of abominations, where the young evangelist could hardly stand. With his shoulders pressing against the wall, and his feet planted on the only spot which the water did not reach, and almost stifled by poisonous vapours, he called to mind the cheerful house of his uncle, the dean of Metz, and the gorgeous palace of the cardinal of Lorraine, where he had once been so kindly received while he believed in the pope. What a contrast now! And how cheaply might he buy it all back, and flourish again in the homes of the great! Only renounce his religion and all would be happy. But no! If he did not suspect that such a course would gain him only penances and humiliations at the hands of those who wanted to make a terrifying example of him, he knew that he would bring his soul into the deepest wretchedness. But where were the days, when, as a child, he learned from his mother to say, "Anti-christ will soon come and destroy all who are not converted?" He thought that time had arrived. His imagination was excited. He saw himself dragged to punishment. He screamed aloud, and was near dying of fright All who saw him were interested in one so young, so feeble, and scarcely able to bear his weight on his feet. He was so mild, so child-like, so harmless, that even the cruel abbot knew not how to justify his death.
This persecutor thought that if he could search Toussaint's books and papers, he might find some excuse for burning him. One day the monks came to his vile pit, and led him out to see the abbot "Write to your host at Basle," said the crafty Komanist, "and tell him that you want your books to amuse your leisure, and beg him to send them to you." It flashed upon the mind of the young man, that the books were ordered for a far different purpose. He hesitated, and the abbot gave utterance to most terrible threats. The almost helpless hand penned the letter, Nand he was sent back to his pestilential den. There he must wait, without knowing that the duchess Margaret would appear as his deliverer.
TVTO exiles met on foreign shores with greater joy than did -L-* the aged Lefevre and Farel, his disciple at Paris, his co-worker at Meaux, his dear son in the faith. The wrinkled hand of the one had first guided the steps of the other, and after a separation, in which months were as years, they both poured out their hearts together. But the disciple was now really in advance of his master, for Lefevre had not entirely separated himself from the Romish church. He and his patron, the bishop of Meaux, had hoped to aid a reform in that church, and see it brought back to apostolic purity. The bishop had been subdued, the doctor expelled.
"Do you remember," said Farel, "what you once told me when we were both sunk in darkness, saying,—'William, Grod will renew the world, and you will see it?' Here is the beginning of what you foresaw."
"Yes," answered the pious old man. "God is renewing the world. My dear son, continue to preach boldly the gospel of Jesus Christ.''
It delighted this man, who had first lifted his voice in Paris and found it would not be heard, to listen to the preaching at Strasburg. It was just what he had intended to teach! "He