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do so, not only at this moment, but as many times as you please to hear me peaceably. As for the disturbances in the land, I will answer as Elijah did to King Ahab: 'I have not troubled Israel, but thou and thy father's house.' Yes, it is you and yours who trouble the world by your traditions, your inventions, and your dissolute lives.'
'He blasphemes; what further need have we of witnesses?' cried out one of the raging, gnashing priests. 'He is guilty of death.'
'To the Rhone, to the Rhone!' shouted others. 'Kill him! It is better for this rascally Lutheran to die than to let him trouble all the people.'
'Speak the word of God,' said Farel at these perversions of Scripture, 'and not those of Caiaphas.'
'Strike ! strike 1' cried a Savoyard, as the furious priests shouted whatever was uppermost in their minds. They divided the three reformers among them, and each was abused, spit upon,, and beaten; yet each was calm and patient, remembering, doubtless, the meekness of the Great Master under similar treatment. Certain of the better priests and the two magistrates were ashamed of such a scene, and tried to end it.
'It is not well done,' said an abbot; 'have we not pledged our word and honour to them?'
'You are wicked men,' cried out William Hugues, a just, quick, and energetic magistrate, who was more than disgusted with the violent party. 'We brought you these men on your promise that no harm should be done to them, and you want to beat them to death before our faces! I will go and ring the great bell, and convoke the general council.'
The thought of a general assembly of the citizens alarmed the priests, for they might expel the authors of this disturbance and give every security for the reformers to remain. In few cities would the people side with the priests, and Neufchatel was a fearful example of the popular power. The abbot took advantage of this new lull, and asked Farel and his two friends to withdraw, so that the council might deliberate. Farel left the room, shamefully insulted, and bruised.
And what does the reverend Sister Jeanne de Jussie say came next? About eighty of the lower order of priests had collected about the house, 'all well armed with clubs to defend the Holy Catholic faith, and prepared to die for it.' Strange mode of defending the faith! Not much danger of dying for it when there were eighty in arms against three defenceless strangers!' They wished to put that wretch and his accomplices to a better death.' Sister Jeanne knew all about the scheme.
As Farel entered a long gallery he saw a gun levelled at him, and in an instant the priming flashed, but the load was not expelled. Some say it burst in the hands of the vicar's servant who aimed it at Farel. 'I am not to be shaken by a popgun,' said he coldly. 'Your toy does not alarm me.' His friends said, 'Verily, the God of mercy turned aside the blow, that He might preserve Farel for more formidable struggles.'
Again were the strangers summoned to the councilroom. The grand vicar said, ' William Farel, leave my presence and this house, and within six hours get you gone from the city with your two companions, under pain of the stake. And know that, if this sentence is not more severe, you must ascribe it to our kindness and to our respect for the lords of Berne.'
'You condemn me unheard,' said Farel. 'I demand a certificate to show at Berne that I have done my duty.'
'You shall not have one,' was the reply. 'Leave the room, all of you, without one word more.' They got out of the council of the clergy; but how were they to get away from the city? The mob must be met. They went forth into a hurricane of enmity. On a sudden there was a stir in the crowd, a falling back and parting. An armed body of men rescued them from violence, to the great grief of Sister Jeanne, who wrote of the most of the mob, that' the worthy men were not satisfied ' to see the heretics depart alive, and one rushed forward at Farel with a sword 'to run him through.' The magistrates seized the 'worthy man,' and many were chagrined because the blow failed. Amid hootings, and hisses, and groans, and threats, the reformers reached the Tour Perce under guard. It grieved Farel that he must leave the generous men who had listened to him at the inn. But he intended to preach yet in Geneva.
Early the next morning a little boat lay waiting, and a few friendly citizens went to the Tour Perce to bring away the missionaries. The priest-party were there to turn their matins into murder. Some staunch Huguenots came up, brought out the two strangers, and hurried to the lake. In the boat they were carried over to an unfrequented place near to Lausanne, and after a tender parting with their friends, who had thus far attended them, they made their way to Orbe. It required faith in God to hope that Geneva would ever become a stronghold of Protestantism.
FROMENTS LITTLE SERMONS.
)N the village of Yvonand, on the southern shore of Lake Neufchatel, dwelt a young Dauphinese named Anthony Froment. He had been more disgusted with the excesses of Rome, probably, than charmed by the riches of the Bible, and had sought peace of soul in the Reformation. He had been with Farel, helping him through some of the most perilous scenes, and was now preaching to a little flock in Yvonand.
To this village came Farel, in October, with new plans in his mind for taking Geneva. He invited several ministers to meet him in council, among whom were Olivetan, Saunier, Froment, and Martin1 (probably) the Waldensian, by whose parishioners he had been entertained in the 'holy valley.' Farel gave an account of his mission to Piedmont, and of the stormy reception he had received at Geneva. They all looked on him
1 Martin Gonin seems to have spent several years in Switzerland; but in 1536, on his return from Geneva, he was seized at Grenoble, hurried through a mock trial, taken from his prison at night, and drowned in the Isere.
with wonder and gratitude to the Author of miracles. Froment could not keep his eyes off the fugitive missionary, and he pitied the Genevan patriots, who seemed about to lose all they had ever gained.
'Go and try if you can find an entrance into Geneva to preach there,' said Farel, fixing his keen eye on Froment. For a little the young Dauphinese was speechless with astonishment.
* Alas! father,' said he, recovering himself, 'how can I face the enemies from whom you are compelled to flee?'
'Begin as I began at Aigle,' replied Farel; 'where I was a schoolmaster at first, and taught little children, so that even the priests gave me liberty to preach. True, they soon repented, and even now I seem to hear the curate exclaiming, "I would sooner have lost my right hand than introduced this man, for he will ruin all our business." But it was too late; the word of God had begun its work, and the mass and images fell.'
A new schoolmaster in Geneva—an Ursinus! The plan began to appear wise, and to win upon Froment. It would be an achievement to gain a position in the city that had driven out the prophets.
• You fear the men of Geneva,' said Farel, who noticed that Froment was entertaining his plan. 'But were you not with me when I planted the gospel at Bienne, and at Tavannes, and near that mountain (Pierre Pertuis) which Julius Caesar tunnelled? Were you not with me when I went to Neufchatel and preached in the streets? Do you not remember that we very often received our rent, that is blows and abuse; once especially, at Valangin, where my blood remained for more than four years on the pavement of a little chapel, near which the women