One of the spiritual laws which govern this natural world is found in St. Paul's epistle to the saints at Galatia. "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap" (Gal. 6:7). This immutable law of God not only applies to individuals, but also to nations. Succeeding generations of posterity can either reap the blessings or suffer the consequences of the actions of their forefathers. This is clearly seen in the history of France because of their dastardly deeds committed against the Huguenots of the 16th century. Even though it was over two hundred years later, the nation of France suffered one of the worst bloodbaths of the Western World during the 'Reign of Terror' of the French Revolution.
The "little book" in the hand of the angel as recorded by John the Revelator on the Isle of Patmos was prophetic of the opening up of the Word of God during the Protestant Reformation. Led by such spiritual stalwarts of the faith as John Wycliffe, John Huss, Martin Luther and John Calvin, thousands were set free from the bondage of the Papal church. In their resistance against the paganism of the 'Mother of Harlots" and finding the liberty of the grace of God through Jesus Christ, they became known as Protestants. A translation of the New Testament from Latin into French appeared in 1523. Only two years later in 1525, Huguenots were being burned at the stake for their resistance to the dogmas of Rome. The French theologian John Calvin, 1509-1564, studied law and theology in Paris, then experienced a protestant conversion and became a guiding light among his followers and exposed the wrongs within the Roman Church.
In 1535, being forced to flee France, Calvin made his home in Geneva, Switzerland. There he produced a book about his reformed beliefs which he hoped would stand as a defense for the Protestants in his native France who were enduring severe persecution. The Huguenot wars were a series of civil conflicts between the Protestants and the Catholics which took place between the years 1562-1598. The first three wars between 1562 and 1570 ended favorably for the Protestant Huguenots. Two years later there would follow one of the darkest days in the history of the Christian Church.
Even during the period of 25 years of Huguenot persecution, a strong political association developed between the House of Valois, which was Catholic and the Protestant Bourbon dynasty. Margaret, the sister of the Catholic King Charles IX was engaged to be married to the Huguenot leader Prince Henry of Navarre. The Queen Mother, Catherine de Medici, had publicly given her consent for the marriage, but secretly devised a sinister plot to reap revenge upon the Huguenots while attending the royal festivities. The celebration festivities were scheduled to last several days after the wedding.
Among the thousands of Huguenots that attended the wedding was their leader, Admiral Gaspard de Coligny. The Queen Mother had convinced the King that Coligny was a threat to his throne and soon there was a failed attempt on Coligny's life. Being convinced by his mother, the King signed a death warrant for Coligny and all his Protestant supporters. King Charles is reported to have said: "I consent, but with the Admiral every Huguenot in France must perish, that no one may remain to reproach me with his death."
"During the summer of 1572, tens of thousands of Huguenots were lured to the city of Paris to witness the wedding on August 18th, of Henry of Navarre, leader of the Huguenots to Margaret, the sister of the French King. This royal marriage alliance was supposed to end the wars of religion that had plagued France. Between two and three in the morning of 24th August the Popish Feast Day of St. Bartholomew, the Papists rose up in a predetermined plan to slay the defenseless Protestants. Wearing white arm-bands, and with white crosses in their hats for identity they began their work of slaughter as the bell began to toll on the Roman Catholic Church of St. Auxerrois. The most prominent victim was the Huguenot leader Admiral Coligny whose body was mutilated by the assassins. For three days, the Protestants were hunted down and slain in the streets of Paris until the River Seine ran red with blood, corpses blocked doorways and mutilated bodies lay in every street and lane. By the fourth day the fury of the assassins was satiated, almost every Protestant had been murdered, a dead silence fell over Paris. Then the massacres began in other major towns, Lyons, Rouen, Dieppe, etc. It is estimated that one hundred thousand Huguenots perished and when the news of this butchery reached Rome, there were scenes of wild jubilation, a Te Deum was sung and the Pope Gregory XIII issued a medal to commemorate the Massacre." The French Revolution in Prophecy by Alan Campbell
To satisfy her sadistic revenge upon the "heretics", the Queen Mother insisted that celebrations continue with papal processions through the streets of Paris. To celebrate the Catholic victory over the Protestant "heretics", three new frescoes were added to the Vatican to commemorate the Bartholomew Day Massacre. In time, the soil of France was soaked with the blood of the Huguenots who were faithful to their convictions in spite of the vicious threats of the Roman Church.
EDICT OF NANTES
Renouncing his Protestant faith, Prince Henry became King of France in 1589. On April 13, 1598, in the city of Nantes he signed the royal decree known as the Edict of Nantes. By this decree the French Huguenots were allowed complete freedom of worship and equal rights with Catholics as citizens in about 75 towns. By the time of the reign of King Louis XIV, relations between the two factions had worsened resulting again in persecution of the Huguenots. King Louis, whose motto was "The state, I am the State" revoked the edict of Nantes with the edict of Fontainebleau in October 1685.
This new edict forced the Huguenots to give up their Psalm books and their Bibles were burned. Official pressure was aimed at the Huguenots to recant their faith, but to no avail. When all else failed, the despicable method of military occupation of private homes was implemented. The Dragonnade Invasion of troops marched into towns and quartered with Huguenot families. These homes were ordered to 'entertain' possibly ten or more soldiers at the homeowner's expense.
"On October 17, 1685, King Louis XIV of France revoked the Edict of Nantes which had given civil and religious liberty to his Huguenot subjects. New laws authorized the wholesale conversion to the Roman Church of Protestant children who were virtually kidnapped from their parents. Protestant property was confiscated, churches demolished and Protestant ministers banished. The King's soldiers were billeted in the homes of the God-fearing Huguenots. They stabled their horses in the houses, broke up the furniture; tied the sons, brothers, husbands and fathers and violated mothers, wives, sisters and daughters in their presence. Thousands of Huguenot men were sent as slaves to the galleys, hundreds of women were imprisoned in the living hell of Rome's convents. At least one million Huguenots fled from France taking their skills with them.
"All of this was again celebrated with special medals. Te Deums were sung, processions held. The Roman Church praised Louis: --"You have strengthened the faith, you have exterminated the heretics, King of Heaven preserve the King of Earth." The French Revolution in Prophecy by Alan Campbell
In desperation, many Huguenots recanted their Protestant faith in order to spare bodily harm and economic disaster. Thousands attempted to escape from France but many who unsuccessfully tried were killed. During the years 1681 to 1688 over 250,000 Huguenots escaped and went to England and the newly formed Carolina Province of America. They brought with them their skilled craftsmanship and Christian work ethic. In their new homes they developed their skills in all types of manufacturing such as glass, textiles, furniture and excelled in their professions. With the freedom to exercise their Protestant faith, they established churches, with 35 in the city of London alone, which some still exist to this day. Both Britain and America were blessed in various ways by the presence of the Protestant faith and productivity of these once persecuted saints. In America, the colony of South Carolina received the largest number of Huguenots, mainly in 1764 and 1768 that came with the blessings of the English king, George III.
Approximately 220 years after the Saint Bartholomew Day Massacre, the Roman Catholic Church, French nobility and the common people endured the worst political and social upheaval ever experienced in the history of France. The French Revolution of 1789-1799 resulted in the brutal deaths of thousands of citizens and determined the spiritual, philosophical and moral direction of France to this very day. "It has been estimated that during the French Revolution some 1,240,000 people perished of whom 900,000 were men, 250,000 women and 90,000 children. Amongst the victims were some 24,000 Roman Catholic clergy." The French Revolution in Prophecy by Alan Campbell
The Psalmist David proclaimed God's immutable law of retribution to nations when he said, "The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God" (Psa. 9:17).
France as a nation and the Roman Catholic Church have yet to repent!!
St. Bartholomew's Massacre Medal
A medal of Pope Gregory XIII to celebrate the St. Bartholomew Massacre of French Protestants in August 1572. The medal depicts an angel offering the Huguenots the choice of death by the sword or worship the Roman crucifix.