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MEMOIR

OF

JEAN ANTOINE CADIOT,

OF GURAT AND VAUX.

The Protestant Church of France has, of late years,

excited peculiar interest among the Christians of other countries. It has evidently awakened to a greater zeal in behalf of the doctrines of the Reformation; and, both among its pastors and people, there has been a revival of vital religion, which, in many districts, has brought over numbers from the corruptions of the Romish Church. Among these converts to the Protestant faith, we have selected one as the subject of our present sketch.

Jean Antoine Cadiot was born in 1797, in the commune of Bors, in the department of Charente. His parents destined him, at an early age, for the pastoral office, in connexion with the Romish Church, to which they themselves belonged; and, as the young man early exhibited proofs of decided talent, he passed through his course of study at the ecclesiastical seminaries of Sarlat and Angoulême with the marked approbation of his instructors. Having received ordination from the bishop of the diocese, he was soon intrusted with the pastoral cure of the parish of Gurat and Vaux. While engaged in preparation for the ministerial office, the mind of Cadiot had become acquainted with the peculiar doctrines of the Gospel; and, as he still continued to study the Word of God, with a simple desire to know the truth, that, with all fidelity, he might declare it to his people, the Lord was pleased gradually to enlarge and

rectify his views of Divine truth. He now preached the Gospel with all conscientiousness and earnestness, and his parishioners crowded to hear his public sermons, and even to wait upon

his private instructions. The result was most encouraging. Many eagerly enquired the way to Zion with their faces thitherward. Perceiving the unscriptural nature of many of the ceremonies of the Romish Church, both pastor and people were eager to rid themselves of all such unhallowed observances. But in this they proceeded with as much caution as was consistent with a firm adherence to principle. Their caution, however, was of no avail. A persecution arose against this devoted minister of the cross, and he was cruelly driven from his parish—an alien and an outcast for the cause of the Redeemer.

Young Cadiot was not thus to be deterred from prosecuting the sacred work of preaching the Gospel. He felt the power of the truth in sanctifying and saving his own soul, and he burned with a holy zeal to proclaim the glad tidings of salvation. And, since he had been banished from the Church of Rome, he thought of passing over to Jersey and Guernsey, where he might prepare himself for returning to France as a Protestant minister;

; or, if his enemies should prevent this, he intended to proceed as a missionary to the heathen. But God in his providence, had otherwise determined. The health of Cadiot began to decline, and he removed to Anduse, where he connected himself with the Protestant congregation of that town. This step was fatal to his worldly interests, but he had counted the cost, and it was his firm determination to quit for ever that church which had so cruelly and iniquitously persecuted him for his fidelity in his Master's work.

Though destitute, however, in a temporal point of view, he was not forsaken.

His Heavenly Father raised up to him a kind friend in the Protestant pastor of Anduse, M. Soulier, who received him into his family as tutor to his children.

Before this period, Cadiot had addressed a letter to his late parishioners, giving a full exposition of the principles which he had maintained, and his reasons for leaving the Church of Rome. This letter, which was productive of much advantage to the poor bereaved people for whom it was intended, contains a plain impressive statement of his case :- -“ No,” says he, “no, my dear parishioners, I have not abandoned the religion of the Lord Jesus; I have only rejected those ordinances of men, which they have vainly attempted to make a means of salvation. I have attached myself more strongly than ever to Jesus, seeking salvation in him alone; neither trusting to the absolutions of men, nor resting on any merits of my own.” In the shelter and quiet which M. Soulier's house afforded, the young convert now employed himself in preparing two other pastoral letters, and a controversial treatise in opposition to the errors of the Papacy. For several months his health continued to improve. On the Ist of July, 1824, however, very unfavourable symptoms began to develope themselves. It was but too evident to M. Soulier and his family, that their interesting young friend had nearly run his course. He now became an object of peculiar solicitude to all the Protestants of Anduse. A number of these flocked to his bedside, to listen to his parting instructions. When informed that he was dying, he was quite calm and unmoved. He lost no time in writing to his parents; and he once more addressed a letter to his beloved parishioners, headed by these affecting words, “From my death-bed,” and it runs thus :

“DEARLY BELOVED PARISHIONERS,—It is at a moment such as the present, that I feel myself more strongly impressed than ever to make a solemn appeal to your consciences, and to ask you, whether

you have proved to yourselves that the state you are in is precisely what you would wish it to be at that moment when death shall burst the bonds which retain your soul in the mortal body? I have often experienced, that while in perfect health, we are not always sufficiently serious on matters of truly serious import, and that we pay no regard to the one thing needful,' in comparison of which all other things are as nothing; I mean the need—the urgent need of having recourse to the Divine mercy, by faith in, and through the grace which is in Christ Jesus; but now that this day I find myself stretched on the bed of death, I feel great uneasiness on your account, and tremble when I think on the state of your souls, and the situation in

which

many of you are placed. I have summoned up my little remaining strength to endeavour to avert a great evil, your everlasting condemnation, in warning you, it may be for the last time, that there is salvation in none other but the Lord Jesus Christ -to seek it elsewhere is a delusion, which will most assuredly not fail to precipitate into the gulf of eternal misery those who suffer themselves to be misled by its deceitful light—there is yet time for you, my dear friends, to awake from that deathsleep in which you have been so long pining. Look around you, and

you will see that it is the merciful goodness of God which has spared you hitherto. Had not his kindness sustained you, you would have been long ago cast into the place where mercy enters not. Oh, then, since you perceive the danger from which he has delivered

you, let not the time of your gracious visitation be lost-it is a time of

grace,

of
mercy,

and of peace !" Thus far had he dictated, when he was unable to proceed. He gradually became weaker and weaker ; M. Soulier waited upon him with all the tenderness and affection of a father, and the interviews which passed between them he has faithfully recorded. The following extracts may be interesting :

“ The next day being the Sabbath, before daybreak he said to Madame Nougier, the mistress of the house, “ To-day is the day of rest; if the Lord would vouchsafe to make it that of my rest, it would be a happy event for my soul.' He repeated the same to M. Soulier, and added, “ All days are days of grace; every hour-every moment—is an hour and a moment of mercy; while we are unconverted we are infidels.' He said, a little after, “This body of dust must be destroyed, that it may rise again a glorious incorruptible body.'

“ The evening of the day before his death, M. Soulier found him surrounded by many pious Christians, who, anxious to take a last farewell of this devoted servant of the Saviour, and to profit by his instructions, were on their knees around his bed, when he thus expressed himself: “I cannot speak,' said he to them, but my desire, my great desire, would be to transfuse into the soul of every one who hears me a sense of the need I have experienced, and do still experience, to be more closely

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