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Reformed Cnurch of France, particularly Mr D. Scott's important work, still in progress, “ On the Suppression of the Reformation in France;” but they either comprehend only a limited portion of the history, or they present it in its merely external and secular aspects. It is the aim of the following pages to give a view of the entire history of the Protestant Church of France through three centuries, and that chiefly in its spiritual character as a Church of Christ. The absence of the latter is, I apprehend, a great defect in most works on ecclesiastical history. Along with these, I have combined interesting facts in the contemporaneous history of the Church of Scotland, some of them unknown to any, save to those who have had access to the same documents. The reader, therefore, will know what he has to expect—not an elaborate historical work—but brief sketches, designed to draw forth the spiritual character of Churches towards which God has exercised not a few remarkable dispensations. The comparison of the history of the two Churches will serve to show the diversity of God's Providential dealings with his own people.

It appears from the Life of Dr M‘Crie," just published, that that eminent man, 27 years ago, strongly recommended his not less eminent friend, Dr Andrew Thomson, to write the History of the Protestant Church of France,--among other reasons, because there was no readable book on the subject, and because of the remarkable correspondence, in many points, between the constitution and history of the Church of France and the Church of Scotland. I have not the presumption to imagine, that the following pages have supplied what such an historical writer as Dr M'Crie pronounced to be want



ing. But the Public have thus the best, and that an unlooked-for testimony, to the fact that there is a desideratum in Church History to be met; and however defective the present Sketch may be in itself, and even in the views and wishes of the writer, it is matter of no small satisfaction, that having been drawn accidentally to the study of the Ecclesiastical History of the Reformed Church of France, I should have pursued it in a form which so far accords with the views of the immortal biographer of Knox.

I have an additional motive for the publication, and it is to be found in the present prospects of Popery, both at home and abroad, and the liberalised feeling with which it is regarded by many professed Protestants. Nothing is better fitted, with the Divine blessing, to correct erroneous views of Popery, than to survey its operation in France, and towards the Protestant Church of that country, during the last 300 years. In the course of this survey, we behold it in all states of society—in peace and in war—under despotism, and in comparative freedom—in ignorance, and in days of civilization and refinement; and we find what experience testifies as to its ability to change for the better in any circumstances.

I make no apology for the frequency with which I give quotations, particularly from the official documents of the Protestant Church. These not only add authority and weight to the facts which they record, but the fine spirit and tone in which they are usually conceived, not unfrequently afford a far more correct impression of the talent of the writers, and religious temper of the Church, than any descriptions of a modern author. I have not always been careful to mark the page or the chapter of the quotation. The most important are given, and I can assure the reader of the accuracy of those which have not been recorded.

My earnest prayer is, that the Great Head of the Church may bless the present humble undertaking for the glory of His own name, and that this work


not only prove interesting to Christians at home, but to Christians in France, and urge on the blessed revival which has so happily begun.


GLASGOW, 27th Noo. 1840.


Importance of the subject, Page I-Chief Authorities, 2—Early Reforma-

tion indebted to Nobles, ib.- Translation of the Scriptures, ib.—Great

Advantage of the Metrical Psalms, 3--Early Success, 4-Severe Suffer-

ings of the Martyrs, 5-9_Confession of Faith in Forty Articles, 9-23_Wise

Discipline of the Church in regard to Pastors, Teachers, Church Mem-

bers, The Poor, &c., 24-8-- Rapid Progress of the Church, 29—Illus-

trated by Modern Missions in the South Seas, 30.

Persecution, Page 32-Fearful Massacre of St Bartholomew, 33-5--Disastrous

Effects of the Persecution, 35, 36—Efforts after an increased number of
Pastors, and a well-educated Ministry, 37-9–Recommendations regard-
ing Catechising, a new Translation of the Scriptures, Sanctification of
the Sabbath, the Hallowing of God's Name, 39-42–Testimony of the
Church against various Errors, and the Proposal to Unite the Romish
and Reformed Churches, 42, 43—Unity of Sentiment and Affection among
the Churches of the Reformation, 44, 45-Christian Spirit of the Church
of France, 46–Enfeebled and Declining State of many of her Congre-
gations, 47, 48-- Apostasy of Henry IV., 49.

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