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were not arrested. The threat was, that if they dared to speak the word in public, their lot should be the stake.
Thus stood affairs when Papillon and Du Blet went to Grenoble. They may not have done much in Dauphiny, but they put Sebville upon a new mission. 'If you cannot preach at Grenoble, you can at Lyons. Lent is coming on, and there will be crowds in the city.' He went, and met with a kind reception from Margaret. It was proposed that Michael, Maigret, and Sebville should lead on the gospel army. There was to be a gospel Lent in Lyons. The rumour of it went abroad far and near. Anemond wrote in joy to Farel, 'Sebville is free, and will preach the Lent sermons.' Maigret was already preaching 'God manifest in the flesh.' The priests raged, but the duchess protected him. At last, however, they seized the bold preacher, dragged him through the streets, and cast him into prison. Vaugris left for Basle, spreading the news on the way. One thought still cheered the reformers: 'Maigret is taken, but Madame DAlengon is there: praised be God.'
The work of the spiritual army was greatly disturbed by the defeat of the royal army at Pavia in February 1525. The king was taken prisoner, and was on the way to Madrid. The Duke of Alencon had proved a coward, and he came to Lyons to die of shame and grief. All France was full of mourning, and the Romanists began to declare that this great disaster was provoked by Heaven, because the new doctrines had been tolerated in the kingdom. The 'heretics' must be expelled. 'People and Parliament, church and throne, joined hand in hand to banish the gospel.' The preachers at Lyons were dispersed. Soon after this, Du Blet sank under persecution. Papillon died in such a way that it was reported, even among his enemies, that he had been poisoned. Sebville, probably, did not preach his Lent sermons. Michael D'Arande was threatened with death. Margaret thus saw her plans for the spread of the gospel at Lyons end in sad disappointment. The camp was broken up, the forces scattered, and the cause seemed to be lost.
Nor was this all. Another strong force was leaving the field where there had been such great success. Farel was pulling up his stakes at Montbeliard. The defeats at Pavia and Lyons could hardly have influenced him, for he removed before these sad tidings could have put him in fear. It has been hinted that Erasmus, whose anger still burned against him, may have done much to excite a persecution too bitter for him to endure. But another reason has been given by those who lament that Farel's warlike zeal sometimes carried him too far, and brought unnecessary opposition against him.
One day, about the time of the king's defeat at Pavia, Farel was walking on the banks of a little river that runs through Montbeliard, beneath a lofty rock on which the citadel is built. It was the day of the feast of Saint Anthony; and when he came to the bridge he met a procession which was crossing it, reciting prayers, and headed by two priests bearing the pretended image of the saint. Farel suddenly found himself face to face with these superstitions, without seeking it. A violent struggle took place in his soul. His blood boiled at the sight of such a delusion practised upon the people. Should he give way? Should he hide himself? Should he gaze and be silent? He could not be a coward, and would not let his silence give consent to the imposture. He knew that he was exposing himself to the fate of Leclerc; yet he boldly advanced, grasped the image of the holy hermit from the arms of the priest, and tossed it over the bridge into the river; as bold a deed as that of the Chevalier Bayard when he stayed an army at the bridge of the Garigliano. Then, turning to the awestricken crowd, he exclaimed, 'Poor idolaters, will ye never cease from your idolatry!'
The priests stood confused and motionless. With the loss of their saint, they lost their presence of mind. Their superstitious fear seemed to rivet them to the spot. But some one cried out, 'The image is drowning!' The priests recovered from their stupor. The multitudes shouted in rage, and gazed at the image floating away. Farel let them gaze and rave; and taking advantage of their devout attention to the saint, he escaped their violence. For a time he hid himself among his friends.
The duke and his court soon left the city; and having no strong arm to defend him, Farel had an additional reason for leaving Montbeliard. In the spring he took a secret refuge at Basle. He always took an interest in the church he had left, as a minister will ever do in the flock where were gathered the first-fruits of his labours. We will meet Peter Toussaint in this field.
MOURNING AND MADNESS.
) AD tidings came to Farel at Basle. His friend, the Chevalier Anemond, was sick at Schauffhausen, where the Rhine presents one of the finest waterfalls in Europe. The chevalier had wandered from place to place to recruit his failing health. He had hoped to preach the gospel, and still cherished plans, almost romantic, for urging forward the Reformation. Farel sent him four gold crowns. A messenger came to tell him that his warmhearted compatriot was dying. Before he could set out to visit him, a letter was received from Myconius, announcing the death of the young knight, 'who was in himself an host,' and who had made many sacrifices for the truth.
Farel applied to the senate of Basle once more to sanction his return, but without success. He went to Strasburg, and for about fifteen months was engaged in preaching to a small church of French exiles. If we cast an eye upon France, we can see a reason why this brave man kept beyond her borders.
There was a loud wail throughout France over the disasters of Pavia. The king was carried away to Spain; the national power was humbled; the bravest of many a house had been slain, and ruin seemed at hand. The Romanists saw that it was their hour. They made the most of their time. They declared that heresy was in the land; it was the cause of all the troubles, and it must be crushed. The blame was thus laid upon those who were most innocent. There was a loud cry for blood.
Louisa was now the regent, the ruler, the Jezebel of the kingdom. She wrote to the Pope, and he gave orders for the introduction of the inquisition into France. This delighted the cruel Duprat, who was made a cardinal, and who was given an archbishopric, and into the bargain, a rich abbey. The Parliament thought that the king had erred in tolerating the new doctrines; and the members said to Louisa, 'Heresy has raised its head among us; and the king, by neglecting to bring the heretics to the scaffold, has drawn down the wrath of Heaven upon the nation.'
She wished to enlist the Sorbonne. They ordered Beda to return her an answer. He advised that all 'writings of heretics be prohibited by a royal proclamation; and if this means does not suffice, we must employ force against the persons of these false doctrines; for those who resist the light must be subdued by torture and by terror!
Everything was arranged for a vigorous campaign against the 'heretics.' Meaux was chosen as the first point of attack. The bishop, Bricpnnet, had not yet fallen so far as to return fully to Popery. But how should they manage him? It might not be wise to burn him; those in sympathy with him would only cling the more stoutly to his doctrines. But if he could be