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by Dr. John Thomas
They sent a revolutionary army over the departments with artillery and the guillotine to take vengeance on their enemies.
Priests, aristocrats, and their adherents, became bread for the avenger.
The dragonnades were retributed by wholesale drownings, and pitiless slaughters.
They slew 2,160 nobles and priests at Nantes; drowned and shot 2,000 infants, 7,641 women, and 5,300 artisans.
Thus the broad way of the great city became a field of blood from one end of the domain to the other.
In the hour of their vengeance, they did not omit an act of justice to the heirs of their brethren, the murdered Huguenots.
They restored to them all their confiscated estates which remained unsold; and declared all Frenchmen who were not Papists admissible to all offices, civil and military.
In 1794 the saints had nearly completed the national justice for the present upon the French horn of the beast for its cruelties upon their brethren, and its impiety and licentiousness down to this time.
It was truly "a great earthquake," and had produced terrible devastation.
The real character of the events of this epoch has never been appreciated so far as I am informed.
They have been viewed too much as the incidents merely of a sanguinary conflict between political factions.
Viewed in this light, indeed, the actors in the scenes can only be looked upon with horror and detestation.
They were exceedingly wicked and depraved men; and so were God's "sanctified ones" the unpitying Medes, whom He had prepared to execute vengeance upon Babylon.
"The wicked are the sword of the Lord"; hence, it is in this light His "saints" of the Median character must be regarded.
Viewed through a scripture medium, we see in the democracy of the eighteenth century, the sword of God "bathing itself in the heaven, and coming down upon the people of His curse to judgment".
If the saints to whom the judgment of the beast is committed were men disposed to mercy, they would be unqualified for their work in the absence of the captain of their salvation.
The saints of the holy city are not appointed to take vengeance at present.
This work is for the wicked, that the wicked may destroy the wicked.
But with all their depravity, the saints of the sword were no worse, nor, indeed, so detestable, as Charles IX, Louis XIV, the Popes, the Inquisition, and the savage mercenaries by whom their orders were executed.
There has been this redeeming quality in these saints, that they have "helped the woman"; and in their conflicts protected "the remnant of her seed" against the Beast; while kings, priests, and nobles, have soaked the soil of Europe with their blood; and celebrated their sufferings with illuminations, gifts, and merry-makings.
A most unexpected event marked the end of the second woe which has hitherto been under consideration.
It was revealed to John that the reign of terror would pass away by their giving "glory to the God of heaven".
The democracy, which had been trained to atheism and blasphemy by the Roman superstition and the "philosophers," had decreed that there was no God when they abolished the Papal worship.