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himself a Romanist : and, as the first step toward the introduction of Popery into his dominions, sent an embassy of congratulation to the See of Rome upon the union of England to the Papacy in the person of its regal head.
In the same year 1685, the edict of Nantz was revoked by the French king : and the dogs of persecution were let slip upon his protestant subjects.
Lastly, after these several deeds had been performed as a sort of prologue to the excision of the two apocalyptic witnesses ; in the year 1686, the two ancient and then united Churches of the Vallenses and the Albigenses were dissolved or politically slain by the king of France and the Duke of Savoy.
Thus fearfully raged the wild-beast from the abyss during this period of unexampled danger to the cause of Protestantism.
But the present condition of the united Vallenses and Albigenses must be specially attended to, in order that we may observe the exact completion of the prophecy
It is foretold, that the two witnessing Churches should prophesy in sackcloth throughout the whole period of the latter 1260 years: but a marked difference is made, between the character of their prophesying anterior to their dissolution, and the character of their prophesying subsequent to their figurative resurrection. During the first of these two terms, they are described as bearing a bloody
testimony to the truth; and, when they have finished their testimony or martyrdom, they are politically slain : but, during the second of these two terms, after they have been politically raised from the dead, though they still continue to prophesy in sackcloth (inasmuch as both the two terms are alike included within the period of the latter 1260 years), yet their station has now become the allegorical heaven of a legal recognition or establishment. Hence we collect, that, for a due completion of the prophecy, as their sackcloth-prophesying, anterior to their dissolution, is to be marked by persecution extending even to blood-stained martyrdom: so their sackcloth-prophesying, subsequent to their revival, is to be no longer accompanied by an arbitrary liability to the penalty of death for the sake of the Gospel; but is henceforth to be simply a prophesying in sackcloth or a preaching of genuine Christianity in a state of mere bloodless depression and discouragement.
Such as the prediction is, so has been the event. Anterior to the year 1686 when the two united Churches were politically slain, they were exposed to almost perpetual persecution for conscience sake, and numerous were their members who obtained the bloody crown of martyrdom : but, subsequent to their ascent to heaven or (in plain language) their recognised legal establishment in the year 1690, their testimony being now finished, they have no longer been called to seal the truth by the blood of their members; they have only preached the
Gospel in a state of contemptuous and afflicting and oppressive and discouraging toleration '.
With respect to their present condition, when the short-lived power of imperial France ceased in Savoy, and when the King of Sardinia was restored to his continental dominions, the Vallenses and the Albigenses, who had been placed by Napoleon Buonapartè upon the same footing as their other fellow-subjects, were forthwith reduced to their former state of political degradation and were exposed to every species of vexatious and insulting tyranny .
Mr. Acland justly calls the suppression of the two Churches, in the year 1686, the last and most oppressive persecution of the Vaudois. Pref. to Arnaud's Glorious Recov. p. 6. He equally bears testimony to the fact, that, even after their return and their legal establishment, they still continued to prophesy in sackcloth. From this time, says he, to the usurpation of Piedmont by France, the only distinguishable features in Vaudois history are resignation to an oppressive government and adherence to their faith and to the practice inculcated by it. Sequel to the Hist. of the Vaud. p. 210.
• They are, at present, forbidden to riside, or to purchase land, beyond the limits of certain specified boundaries: nor can a clergyman visit a sick person who happens to be beyond those limits, unless he be accompanied by a Romish layman; and, even then, his stay must not exceed twenty-four hours.
All correspondence with foreign divines is prohibited : and, in order that no books should be introduced among them, immense duties are imposed, particularly on bibles and religious books.
Any physician, surgeon, apothecary, advocate, or notary, brought up to their religion, cannot exercise his profession beyond the limits of the valleys.
They are forbidden to inclose their burial grounds with walls.
Yet still there was no resisting ‘unto blood. A strict adherence to law was professed on the part of the Sardinian government: and, while the exact letter of the edict of the year 1690 was ingeniously employed, as an instrument of much annoyance and discouragement under existing circumstances; yet it was so far scrupulously respected, that the flames of direct persecution were not again kindled, nor was any individual put to death for the sake of his religion. The two Churches had already finished their testimony : henceforth they had only to prophesy in sackcloth to the close of the appointed 1260 years.
Thus accurately has the prediction in all its parts been accomplished'.
proselytism, or if he insult him in the public streets by calling him dog or heretic, the Vaudois has no redress.
They are compelled to abstain from work on all popish festivals, though they themselves are Protestants: and a refusal to uncover the head to a wooden saint, when carried in procession by their idolatrous neighbours, subjects them to a fine or imprisonment.
These facts abundantly demonstrate, that they are still prophesying in sackcloth agreeably to the declaration that such should be their state to the very end of the fated 1260 years.
"It may not be improper to mention, that Mr. Jones, in strange opposition to all evidence, asserts, that the proper expelled Vaudois never returned to their country, and consequently that the persons now denominated Vaudois have no connection with those who were driven out of their native seats in the
Any one, who peruses Arnaud's Glorious Recovery, will immediately, in every page, perceive the utter futility of such an assertion. Certain French Protestants did, indeed, return with
(2.) Synchronically with the short period, which comprehends the death and the revival and the ascension of the two witnesses, a great earthquake is said to occur; in which a tenth part of the city falls and seven thousand names of men are slain, while the remnant are awe-struck and give glory to the God of heaven.
Since the earthquake here predicted is declared to synchronise with the short period, which comprehends the death and the revival and the ascension of the two witnesses ; that is to say, since the earthquake is declared to synchronise with the short period, which commenced in the January of the year 1686 and which expired in the June of the year 1690 : if history should furnish us with no corresponding event, we may be sure that the prophecy, relative to the death and the revival and the ascension of the two witnesses, has been erroneously interpreted; but, on the contrary, if history should furnish us with a corresponding event, the propriety of the application of that prophecy to the extinction and the revival and the legal establishment of the Vallensic and Albigensic Churches will evidently receive a very strong confirmation.
In the language of symbolical prophecy, an
them: but, as Arnaud distinctly informs us, these were only six companies out of nineteen. The remaining thirteen were composed of those identical Vaudois, who had been expelled. But, on this point, it were superfluous to expatiate: the matter has been completely settled in Mr. Acland's Postscript.