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Baume, who, six years before, had carried off a young girl to his castle, and raised a tempest that bore him away into banishment. There were all his revenges upon the innocent, some of them being thrust into prison, and some put to flight. Chautemps escaped; but his wife, the delicate, accomplished, devoted and heroic Jaquema, must pay for it by suffering rough treatment in a narrow cell. Claudine saw her house again despoiled, and her husband fleeing for the mountains; and if he had not been overtaken, seized, and cast into a deep dungeon, she would have suffered in his stead. These are mere specimens of the persecution. There was almost everything to please the sister Jeanne de Jussie in making up her journal, and telling how the women met to "make war and kill the heretic wives, in order that the breed might be extirpated," and how, with their little hatchets and swords and caps full of stones, "there were full seven hundred children, from twelve to fifteen years old, firmly resolved to do good service along with their mothers." But what will she note down when Farel himself will be preaching to the nuns of St. Clair?
Yet, amid all this storm and uproar, there was a voice from my lords of Berne. Messengers went and told them all about this madness for popery, and this violence against their ministers. They were aroused, like a "bear robbed of her young." Papal Friburg should not drive out of the re-allied city the men whom protestant Berne sent there to preach the gospel. They "did not mince matters." They gave the Genevan council something to think about, and to put its members in a fearful dilemma. The council was called: there was something new; the looks-of all were anxious; the premier, with an air of consternation, offered a letter from the Bernese senators. "We are surprised that in your city the faith in Jesus Christ, and those who seek it, are so greatly molested. . . . You will not suffer the word of God to be freely proclaimed, and you banish those who preach it."
What should be done? "If we yield to what Berne demands, the priests will get up fresh disturbances.'' It will not do to put down the priests, for Friburg insisted on their presence and power. This course, then, seemed full of danger. But was the other any safer? "If we refuse," said they, very solemnly, "Berne will break off the alliance, and the reformed will revolt." This course was dangerous. And they knew not what to do. But they murmured and set the whole city in commotion, and caused a war in their very streets. The priests had their way, one of them blustering and boasting,—"Here I am ready to enter the lists with these preachers. Let my lords, of Berne send as many as they like. I will undertake to confound them all.''
He should have the chance. "My lords" would send one who would be glad to meet all such debaters. They sent a deputation, and Farel along with it; but the noisy monk was gone. The stories about Farel and Viret were not of the sort to attract the superstitious. The priests said that they fed devils at their table in the shape of huge black cats, and that one hung from every beard on Farel's face, and that he had no white circle in his eyes. They declared that the preachers had brought war, pestilence, famine and discord into the city. It seems that Farel did not preach during this brief visit.
The priest-party sent for a doctor of the Sorbonne to preach the Christmas sermons. This was Guy Furbity, a man of great pomp and little discretion. He, being a Dominican, was expected to preach in the convent de Bive; but, in order to make the victory the more effective, he was led by an armed escort to the cathedral of St. Peter, some time before the Christmas-week. There he declaimed about the soldiers dividing our Lord's garments, and the heretics dividing the church, calling the latter by all the worst of names. One writer states that Froment and Du Moulin were present, and, after hearing the sermon, they offered to prove its fallacy by the Holy Scriptures. This caused an outcry,—"Away with them to the fire." Du Moulin was banished, and Froment was hidden in the house of a friend until he could escape.
Just before Christmas a deputation came from Berne, bringing Farel, Viret and Froment, and insisting that they should be heard, and that the friar Furbity, should be arrested for abusing their honours, their ministers and good Christians generally. The friar went so far that the senate of Geneva put him under close guard. The grand-vicar ordered French Bibles to be destroyed, and forbade any one to preach without his license. But the preachers taught in private houses, and waited for Berne to open the public doors.
u You must'arrest Furbity and bring him to trial for insulting us," said the Bernese, "and he must prove from Scripture what he has declared, or recant." The Genevese hesitated. "It would offend Friburg. "If you prefer Friburg to us," replied Berne, "then choose her. But what about those large sums of money which you owe us for defending your city? What about the articles of alliance? Refuse our request, and we must have a settlement. We will remove the seal from the articles, and you will look no more to us for help." The senate of Geneva could afford to give up the alliance with papal Friburg, rather than that with protestant Berne. They therefore let the Bernese summon Furbity to a discussion with Farel.
It was, no doubt, one of the gladdest days of Farel's life, when he met this friar in an open debate. It was a delight not often afforded to the reformers. Furbity agreed to prove his points by Scripture. Many subjects were discussed through several days. The friar broke down in his undertaking, especially on the eating of no meat in Lent. '' I cannot prove it from Scripture," said he, with fading pomp.
"This is keeping your promise admirably," said Farel, "that you would maintain from Scripture, before all the world, and to your latest breath, what you have been preaching.''
The friar found himself mastered. He apologized to the Bernese commissioners, and hoped for the liberty of trying his eloquence in quarters where he might have less to do with the Bible. But Berne was in earnest, and too severe, no doubt. He must recant, and that in the cathedral. Then he might leave the city. Pale and trembling he went into the pulpit, and instead of recanting his errors before the people, who were already convinced of them, he began to complain of injustice and persecution! The Bernese insisted on his recantation. He refused, and thus was false to his own promises. The people became indignant. They wrongly set upon him, and almost killed him. The Bernese interfered, and put him into prison. There he was visited by Farel, Viret and Caroli. On seeing this last one, he almost fainted away, for Caroli had been his divinity tutor, and had left the Romish faith. For two hours" they laboured with him, but he persisted in his errors. He was kept for two years in prison, and finally released at the intercession of Francis I. We do not justify his punishment. By Farel's triumph over him in the debates a strong turn was given to the reformation.
During the next Lent a milder monk was preaching in one of the churches. He was enjoined by the senate to publish the pure gospel,. and not allude to the adoration of the Virgin Mary, prayers to the saints, purgatory, and such like subjects. He promised to obey, but did not keep his word. The Bernese deputies heard his sermons, and then asked that one of their ministers might preach, promising that he should not attack the mass, nor image worship, nor any peculiar tenet of popery. They said it was reported that their preachers kept in dark corners, met at an inn for worship, and dared not appear in the churches. But the Genevese senate feared to offend Friburg and the bishop, and the request was not granted. The people tried another plan that very clay.
In a few hours the bell of the Franciscan church was ringing, and the people flocking thither almost carrying Farel. They set him up in the pulpit, and he preached without interruption. It was the first protestant sermon in a Genevan church. Every one was astonished, and the grave question was, who of the citizens had rung the bell. "It was not by our consent," said the senate. "We had no hand in it," said the Bernese envoys; ■ "it looks like a wonderful providence." The Friburgers declared that it must not be permitted again, or they would break off their alliance. The senators asked the Bernese to send away the preachers. "Not at all," said the Bernese, who begged Farel to bear in mind the critical state of the city, and be moderate in his attacks upon the errors of the priests. In April, 1534, the Friburgers carried out their threat, tore the seal from their treaty, and left Geneva in the hands of Berne and the reformers.
It was a great victory for the protestant cause, whose weapons were those of peace and good will to men. At Whitsuntide Farel administered the Lord's supper to a large number of communicants. For a moment there was fear of a disturbance, for