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Gaspard De Coligni

      There was a time, when the doctrines of the Reformation seemed destined to achieve far ampler conquests over the dominion of Papal Rome than they have ultimately realized. France, in particular, at the commencement of the second half of the sixteenth century, appeared to be almost won over to Protestantism. The Huguenots (as the followers of the Reformed Faith in that country were termed) formed the most influential, if not the largest part of the population of many of the principal provinces, and of nearly all the provincial capitals; they were numerous in Paris; nor was there a single district or town in France in which they had not obtained converts and power, before the war of 1562.

      The history of the Reformation in France is a mournful one; but it presents names to our notice which every good heart must delight to honor; and foremost of these is the name of Gaspard de Coligni, the statesman, the soldier, and the saint; who long was the stoutest champion of the Protestant cause, and finally became the most glorious of its many martyrs. Unlike his comrade Conde, he was proof against the vicious blandishments of the enemy's court, as well as against the terrors of their camps. Familiar with defeat, he never learned despair. Hallam has well compared his indomitable energy to the "Atrocem animam Catonis;" but the Huguenot chief, while fully equal to the ancient Roman in probity, in self-reliance, and in unflinching fortitude, was far superior to him in comprehens... more of the Biography of Gaspard De Coligni

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