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with four children, bad liberally distributed her stores while she had anything remaining among her less fortunate neighbours ; and whenever she was reproached with profusion and want of foresight by a rich sister-in-law of less benevolent temper, she was in the habit of replying, • The Lord will provide for us.' At length her stock of food was exhausted, and she was spurned from the door of her wealthy relative to whom she applied for help. She returned home, destitute, broken-hearted, and prepared to die, together with her children. But it seemed as though the mercies once displayed at Zarephath were again to be manifested ; and that there was still a barrel and a cruse in reserve for the widow, who, humbly confident in the bounty of Providence, had shared her last morsel with the supplicant in affliction. Her little ones met her with cries of joy. During her short absence, a stranger visiting the house had deposited in it a bag of flour, and the single bushel it contained was so husbanded as to preserve their lives till the end of the siege. Their unknown benefactor was never revealed ; but the pious mother was able to reply to her unbelieving kinsman, " The Lord hath provided.'"
The dragonnades which preceded and followed the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, involved the Protestants in frightful peril, and witnessed many signal deliverances. Without pronouncing an opinion upon the course pursued by some of the Huguenots, we cannot be blind to the fact, that those who took the sword perished by the sword; whilst very many of those who, when they suffered threatened not, but committed themselves to Him that judgeth righteously, escaped. The history of Paul Rabaut, one of the most earnest, devoted, and daring of the “pastors of the desert," affords a striking illustration of this.
He was born 9th January, 1718, and as he attained manhood, he entered upon the pastoral office, though it was an almost certain path to the gibbet or the wheel. Where he resided during the half century of his ministry it would be difficult to say, for during almost the whole. of that time he was in hiding, while during a large part of it a price was set upon his head. So far from coinciding with his brethren in their armed resistance to the troops sent against them, he ever maintained that readiness to suffer martyrdom was the surest means of promoting the cause of Christ. On one occasion
he met a party of armed men proceeding to liberate one of the Protestant pastors. His own arrest at that time seemed inevitable. He stopped them, and with tears earnestly besought them, that if he should fall into the hands of the persecutors, they would not imbitter his last moments by attempting his rescue by force of arms; and he extracted from them a promise to this effect, as the only condition on which he would continue to hold the pastoral office. Though a proscribed outlaw, he preached constantly and boldly, and in the proclamation of the gospel encountered perils from which almost all save himself would have shrunk with terror. Yet he saw nearly all his associates cut off by violent and bloody deaths, whilst he died in his bed at the age of seventy
Among the vicissitudes of danger and escape which marked his adventurous life were the following. On one occasion his hiding-place was discovered, and he was traced to the house of a baker; the place was forthwith invested, and every avenue of escape
blocked tily putting on the dress of a working baker, and dusting himself over with flour, he took an empty wine-flask in his hand, and, as though
going out to procure wine, boldly passed the sentinels, who failed to recognise him in his disguise, which was rendered more coinplete by his holding a rose in his mouth, thus hiding the lower part of his face.
On another occasion, when closely pursued, he took refuge in the humble dwelling of a poor woman, who had given birth to a child only a few days previously. Regardless of her own condition, she rose from her bed, sent away the nurse, took the infant on her knees, disguised Rabaut in her own nightcap, and put him into bed. The soldiers arrived, and mistaking the mother (with whom they were unacquainted) for the nurse, and Rabaut for the mother, left the house, supposing that they had been mistaken in their suspicions.
Although Rabaut made every possible exertion for escaping the perils which beset him, and though he never had recourse to violence, yet he did not hesitate to face danger if the cause of Christ or of his brethren required it. When the prisons and galleys were crowded with Protestants, and the scaffolds were drenched with their blood, he alone ventured to present a petition to the marquis de Paulmy, governor of the province. He met him on the high road,
surrounded by his guard of honour, fearlessly but respectfully accosted him, and made known his wishes. The marquis, charmed by his free, dauntless bearing, and the spirit of self-devotion he evinced, conversed with him some time, and then generously let him go free. At that time his arrest would have been followed by his certain and immediate execution.
As intimidation was found ineffectual, and as the providence of God bore him harmless amidst all the attempts which were made upon his life, the government, in despair of silencing him by other means, offered him a large bribe if he would quit France.
This he, of course, indignantly rejected, and he continued to preach, till at length his constancy was rewarded by his living to hear liberty of conscience and freedom of worship proclaimed by law. But his perils were not yet over.
In his old age the French revolution broke out, and notwithstanding his sufferings in the cause of liberty, he was arrested by order of the convention, and sentenced to the guillotine. His advanced years and infirmities failed to soften the hard hearts of the wretches who were sent by the Jacobin government to superintend the judicial murders at Nîsmes. Too feeble to