« ZurückWeiter »
education of great men in modern times, and the little attention paid by thein to books.
“ Head II. - Merveille la seconde : A courtier reads the Bible. Here he deplored the melancholy want of religious sentiments and feelings in the great, and the impoverished state of a mind so destitute.
“ Head III.-- Merveille la troisième: A courtier owns himself ignorant of his subject. Here he ex. posed the conceit and presumption of petulant ignorance in high places.
“ Head IV.- Merveille la quatrième : A courtier applies to a minister of Christ for information, and follows his counsel.
“ I need not add, that this blade never set his snout over the Stadtholder's pulpit again, and that his serene sleepy highness did not nod during the whole sermon.
“ Oct. 5. Visited the Luxembourg, St. Sul. pice, the Panthéon, and other public places. The only two great men admitted yet into the Panthéon are Voltaire and Rousseau. Viewed the church of the Holy Virgin, with a view to purchase it: it is in the vicinity of the Abbey Prison, where the horrid massacres of the 2d and 3d September were perpetrated. Conversed with friends on the object of our mission during the rest of the day, the prospect opening at every new conversation. The Lord seems to have great grace in store for this people; the rubbish is removed, the foundation cleared, nothing wanting but zealous, wise, and prudent ministers.
“ Oct. 6. Spent the morning with M. Marron
and our friends, on the business of printing the Essay and New Testament. Visited the Gallery of paintings and statues in the Louvre. It is impossible to convey any idea of the perfection in which these arts appear in those galleries. All that is noble, beautiful, and impressive, from the pencil and chisel during ages past, brought from Belgium and Italy, is there exhibited, and will draw all men of taste, as the pole the 'needle, to Paris. The same may be said of the national library, which, for extent and value of manuscripts, brought from the Vatican, &c. exceeds any moderate conception : above a hundred gens de lettres, sitting at tables, copying or extracting, attended by librarians, -- all gratis. The mind is swallowed up in the magnitude and interest of the scene!
“ Oct. 7. Attended the review in the Place de Carrousel. Much princely pomp in Buonaparte's entrance in a chariot and six, preceded by trumpets, and followed by the consular guards : dressed very plainly, - no gold but his epaulets : Moreau, Berthier, and his other generals, had an astonishing profusion of gold on their clothes. Troops strong, clean-made, bold- looking men; horses slender, and approaching to the make of the Arabian. Buonaparte a grave and rather melancholy-looking man, about five feet six inches; thin, and very sallow in the complexion.
“ Spent the rest of the day with Marron, Rabaud, Denon, and other friends to our cause. The father of Rabaud was Protestant minister at Montauban ; had three sons, viz. Rabaud St.
Etienne, a member of the Convention, - eminent for piety and gentleness, who fell under the guillotine in the reign of terror: Rabaud-Pommée, a sub-prefect in the south, but who now means to resume his ministerial office: Rabaud le jeune, our friend, member of the legislative body from Du Gard,-a melancholy, deeply-thinking, devout man, about fifty.. He told us that his father, of whose piety and sufferings he spoke with most affectionate veneration, had been for forty-four years obliged to confine himself to his own house, and went out under cloud of night only (and then under the escort of a chosen band of young men armed with clubs) to the woods, where he preached and baptised the children of the persecuted Protestants. In 1774, when liberty was granted him to officiate publicly, he was welcomed by the whole neighbourhood : ‘for my father,' said the good Rabaud to us, ' my father was loved equally by Catholics as Protestants : cases of civil dissensions were generally brought to him, though confined to his house; and seldom was the matter carried from his judgment to a tribunal.' The summer after his release, his son told us, the communion was administered in a neighbouring valley. Nature had formed a sort of amphitheatre, in which the audience sat; the solemnity continued several days. The Spirit of God came down from heaven, and made glad the solitary place. There were about fifteen thousand persons present. Their horses and asses covered for a mile the peighbouring fields. “C'étoit un beau spectacle!' exclaimed the good man, as his heart warmed at
the recollection. 'Twas Stitchell Brae! echoed my soul, or Kelso Park, on a grander scale ! ; “ Denon is member for Du Lot; is a good Greek scholar, and has just published Arrian's History. He understands English, and voluntarily offered to translate Mr. Bogue's Essay, the first proof-sheet of which we received the Wednesday after our arrival in London. He is a man of deep piety, but more lively than Rabaud. He has some thoughts of coming forward himself to the Christian ministry.
“ Afterwards (for I am tired of writing, and must throw together into a mass what follows) we spent a considerable portion of our time with Mons. Forges d'Avanzati, who had formerly been the Neapolitan bishop of Canoza, and with Chercher d'Engiouy, a nobleman of Sardinia, and who had the command of the island in the king's absence. These gentlemen, though Catholics, are well disposed to the introduction of the Bible; they pointed out the route by Geneva, Piedmont, Turin, and onward to Naples, where we are perfectly safe in preaching the Gospel. Every assistance in their power they offer in the way of translating or recommending. Dr. Troissard is to clothe Mr. Robert Walker's sermons in as elegant French as he formerly clothed Dr. Blair's; and you will not doubt that the lovers of the Gospel in France will give a decided preference to the former.
“ Settled with our printer for the Bibles, &c. Had many interviews with friends to the Redeemer in Paris, who all embraced us and our object with
cordiality. Proposed to Mons. Marron that one of us should preach in English in the pulpit, on Sabbath 10th. The proposal received with pleasure: but as Mons. M. is a salaried minister, and has a government church, he thought it but right to mention it to Portallis, the minister of state for religion, lest it should seem an infraction of the first article of the Concordat (the whole of which, by the by, respects only the salaried ministers who have churches given them by government), viz.
Nul ne pourra exercer les fonctions du culte s'il n'est Français. Portallis very frankly gave us leave, and proffered to send us a guard of honour, as a mark of respect to the English nation, and of his veneration for the piety of our mission. This was positively declined. Had Louis XIV. come in, and seen a huge Scots Seceder in his pulpit, and heard him praying for le Premier Consul, once a poor contemned Corsican, but now on the throne of the Bourbons, what would the Grand Monarque have thought ? Mr. Bogue gave us an admirable sermon, after prayer, on · God is love.' The English did not exceed sixty; the French two hundred, or thereabouts. We have learned since, that next Sabbath the house was full of English; but we were at Amiens that day. The Lord, however, will send them the rain in due season. Marron understands English so as to read our books, and recited to me the particulars of Mr. B.'s sermon afterwards in the vestry. Poor in ourselves in every sense, I thought that if Calvin, Claude of Charenton, Abadie, Superville, and other godly ministers of France, were per