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cheerful humour, which was well supported by the beauty and good disposition of his mind; always having a heart satisfied and contented with his condition.
Such was Marolles, previous to his grievous persecutions. His pastor, a man of great worth, and of strict probity, his intimate friend, and one in whom he placed an entire confidence, gives us much the same account of this good man. In one of his letters, he says, “ Mr. de Marolles was of a very happy constitution; his temper was free from vapours of melancholy, and did not carry him into any opposite or contrary passion; he was endued with a solid spirit, capable of vast applica, tion, with an exact judgment, and discerning quality. He never filled his mind with vain cares, and solicitude, but maintained a great steadiness and constancy, in all his misfortunes. This was not, in him, a bare natural disposition, for he had strengthened it by study, meditation and piety. He had, what the scripture calls, an honest and good heart, with a firm resolution never to be wanting in any of his duties; all this gave him a fund of peace and tranquillity; so that he was rarely disturbed, or seen to be in the least passion. He knew how to be seasonably serious, and cheerful,. in conversation, and made himself so pleasant and agreeable in society, as few were able to equal. He attained sufficient light and knowledge in church history, to confirm him in his dissent from the church of Rome. He was much assisted in
this, by diligently perusing the disputes between Mr. Claude and Arnaud, on the eucharist, and by other controversies which fell into his hands. After reading the holy scriptures, and other books, to nourish his devotion, he employed his time in the study of the mathematics, particularly in the study of algebra, and, by refreshing himself with music. One of his chief maxims in bringing up his family, was, to restrain children from trifles, and never to fill their minds with vain hopes, or fears. The cares that followed on his marriage, sometimes made him uneasy; but he contented himself with his station, on a principle of duty. When the affairs of religion began to be taken in hand, he often declared, he feared nothing so much as to see his wife and children suffer; and that, could he find means to send them out of the kingdom, he was in no fear for himself.”
“ In all our affairs," says his pastor, “ he maintained a free spirit; and I never saw him embarrassed but once, in a nice and critical conjuncture. He afforded me, in our troubles, more succour and consolation than I am able to express; and, I do believe, that I did often contribute somewhat, to strengthen and confirm him in his good resolutions; which gives me, at present, true joy and comfort. Almost as soon as the exercise of religion was taken from us, he came to me at Helm, where we had our last conversation together, which was very tender and affecting.”
Soon after the revocation of the edict of Nantes, Mr. Marolles, with Madam Mary Gomineret, his wife, and their four children, two sons and two daughters, attempted to remove from France. They were very young, when their father endeavoured to flee from his persecutors. In this situation, all of them were arrested, on Sunday, the second of December, 1685. The arrest was made near Strasbourg; and, in consequence of it, they were conveyed to one of the prisons of that city, and put into a square tower, which stands in the middle of the river.
In this prison, Mr. Marolles, says, “ the mar: : quis de Chamilly, governor, M. de la Grange, the intendant, together with the major, and aid major, Bourbon, came to interrogate and examine me. I told them the naked truth of things, without disguise, or dissimulation; after which they departed. The next morning, madam, the governess, gave herself the trouble to visit us. After having told us, that she sympathised in our disgrace, she said, there was a remedy to be had; that it lay in our power, and that we must obey the king's orders, and get ourselves instructed; adding, that she would send us some father jesuits for that purpose. I answered her, that as to my part, I found myself sufficiently instructed; but that I would not refuse to hear those whom she would do me the honour to send. The same day, in the afternoon, came P. Dez, rector, with another jesuit to visit us. There passed nothing but civility; the rector making me a
thousand offers of service, and desiring me freely to let him know if I wanted any thing out of their house, or any of their books, seeing I had no other book besides the psalms: and, because I proposed to set myself as fair as I possibly could in his esteem, I prayed him to send me Thomas a Kempis, on the Imitation of Christ; which he did, with some other books; particularly M. de Condon's exposition of the catholic faith. He came again to visit me, and asked me what scruples I might have concerning my religion. I answered, that I had none; but was very well persuaded, that it was the good and true one. He replied, that my discourse shewed me to be prejudiced. Upon this, we entered into debates; and the subject of this first conversation, ran upon our acknowledging the protestants of the Ausbourg confession for brethren, and upon the eucharist.”.
Some days after this visit from the rector, Mr. Marolles received another from father Robine, and their discourse was concerning the authority of the church, in explaining the meaning of the scripture. Mr. Marolles said, " that the scripture was explained by itself, and by the maxims of good sense." Upon which, the jesuit asked him, if he was infallible. Mr. Marolles replied, that he had not the presumption to believe himself infallible. The inference which the jesuit drew from this confession, was, that he must therefore doubt of all his decisions. To this, " Marolles answered, that though he might be under a mistake
in some things, it did not follow, that all 'his judgments were dubious; and added, that his inference was good for nothing, but to establish infidelity. They discoursed about councils; they examined what was meant by the word church; and disputed about the nature of schism. On the latter, Marolles observed, that when we are forced to worship what we believe is offensive to God, we can no longer have communion with them that would oblige us to perform such worship. Besides, said he, you have driven us out of your church, by excommunications, and by cruel torments and death. He also alledged the example of Elias, and of those seven thousand men, who had not bowed their knees to Baal; and asked the jesuit, whether he believed, that those seven thousand persons did separate themselves from the true church, by joining themselves to Elias: but to this question, the jesuit gave him no answer,
Other visits still more vexatious, and other disputes of less' importance, he was tried with at Strasbourg; but, on the seventeenth of January, 1686, he was removed from that city to Chalons, where he continued in prison just six weeks.
Here, he was immediately visited by the bishop of Chalons; and we must do him the justice to say, that his zeal for his religion, was as conformable to his character, as the persecuting spirit of several other bishops, was far from it. He wrote to Monsieur de Chamilly in favour of Mr. Marolles,