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orthodox. Now then that you, who over all Europe were the first of mortals, who, after deluges of barbarous tyrants from the north, heaven prospering your valor, recovered your liberty, and, being obtained, for so many years have preserved it untainted, with no less prudence and moderation; that you should have such noble sentiments of our liberty recovered; that you, such sincere worshippers of the Gospel, should be so constantly persuaded of our love and affection for the orthodox faith, is that which is most acceptable and welcome to us. But as to your exhorting us to peace, with a pious and affectionate intent, as we are fully assured, certainly such an admonition ought to be of great weight with us, as well in respect of the thing itself which you persuade, and which of all things is chiefly to be desired, as also for the great authority, which is to be allowed your lordships above others in this particular, who in the midst of loud tumultuous wars on every side enjoy the sweets of peace both at home and abroad, and have approved yourselves the best example to all others of embracing and improving peace; and lastly, for that you persuade us to the very thing which we ourselves of our own accords, and that more than once, consulting as well our own as the interest of the whole evangelical communion, have begged by ambassadors, and other public ministers, namely, friendship and a most strict league with the United Provinces. But how they treated our
ambassadors sent to them to negotiate, not a bare peace, but a brotherly amity and most strict league; what provocations to war they afterwards gave us; how they fell upon us in our own roads, in the midst of their ambassadors' negotiations for peace and allegiance, little dreaming any such violence; you will abundantly understand by our declaration set forth upon this subject, and sent you together with these our letters. But as for our parts, we are wholly intent upon this, by God's assistance, though prosperous hitherto, so to carry ourselves, that we may neither attribute anything to our own strength or forces, but all things to God alone, nor be insolently puffed up with our success; and we still retain the same ready inclinations to embrace all occasions of making a just and honest peace. In the mean time yourselves, illustrious and most excellent lords, in whom this noble and pious sedulity, out of mere evangelical affection, exerts itself to reconcile and pacify contending brethren, aş ye are worthy of all applause among men, so doubtless will ye obtain the celestial reward of peacemakers with God; to whose supreme benignity and favor we heartily recommend in our prayers both you and yours, no less ready to make returns of all good offices, both of friends and brethren, if in anything we may be serviceable to your lordships.
Sealed with the Parliament seal, and subscribed, Speaker, &c.
WESTMINSTER, October, 1653.
OLIVER, the Protector &c., to the most Serene Prince, IMMANUEL, Duke of Savoy, Prince of Piemont, Greeting:
OST SERENE PRINCE: Letters have been
Geneva, as also from the Dau
phinate, and many other places bordering upon your territories, wherein we are given to understand, that such of your royal highness's subjects as profess the reformed religion, are commanded by your edict, and by your authority, within three days after the promulgation of your edict, to depart their native seats and habitations, upon pain of capital punishment, and forfeiture of all their fortunes and estates, unless they will give security to relinquish their religion within twenty days, and embrace the Roman Catholic faith. And that when they applied themselves to your royal highness in a most suppliant manner, imploring a revocation of the said edict, and that, being received into pristine favor, they might be restored to the liberty granted them by your predecessors, a part of your army fell upon them, most cruelly slew several, put others in chains, and compelled the rest to fly into desert places, and to the mountains covered with snow, where some hundreds of families are reduced to such distress, that it is greatly to be feared they will in a short time all miserably perish through cold and hunger. These things, when they were related to us, we could not choose but be touched with extreme grief, and compassion for the sufferings and calamities of this afflicted people. Now
in regard we must acknowledge ourselves linked together, not only by the same tie of humanity, but by joint communion of the same religion, we thought it impossible for us to satisfy our duty to God, to brotherly charity, or our profession of the same religion, if we should only be affected with a bare sorrow for the misery and calamity of our brethren, and not contribute all our endeavors to relieve and succor them in their unexpected adversity, as much as in us lies. Therefore in a greater measure we most earnestly beseech and conjure your royal highness, that you would call back to your thoughts the moderation of your most serene predecessors, and the liberty by them granted and confirmed from time to time to their subjects the Vaudois. In granting and confirming which, as they did that which without all question was most grateful to God, who has been pleased to reserve the jurisdiction and power over the conscience to himself alone, so there is no doubt but that they had a due consideration of their subjects also, whom they found stout and most faithful in war, and always obedient in peace. And as your royal serenity in other things most laudably follows the footsteps of your immortal ancestors, so we again and again beseech your royal highness not to swerve from the path wherein they trod in this particular; but that you would vouchsafe to abrogate both this edict, and whatsoever else may be decreed to the disturbance of your subjects upon the
account of the reformed religion; that you would ratify to them their conceded privileges and pristine liberty, and command their losses to be repaired, and that an end be put to their oppressions. Which if your royal highness shall be pleased to see performed, you will do a thing most acceptable to God, revive and comfort the miserable in dire calamity, and most highly oblige all your neighbors that profess the reformed religion, but more especially ourselves, who shall be bound to look upon your clemency and benignity toward your subjects as the fruit of our earnest solicitation. Which will both engage us to a reciprocal return to all good offices, and lay the solid foundations not only of establishing, but increasing, alliance and friendship between this republic and your dominions. Nor do we less promise this to ourselves from your justice and moderation; to which we beseech Almighty God to incline your mind and thoughts. And so we cordially implore just Heaven to bestow upon your highness and your people the blessings of peace and truth, and prosperous success in all your affairs. WHITEHALL, May 1655.
OLIVER, PROTECTOR, &c., to the High and Mighty Lords, the States of the UNITED PROVINCES.
WE make no question but that you have
already been informed by the Duke of Savoy's edict, set forth against his subjects inhabit