The leaders of the French Huguenots, the Prince of Conde, and the famous Admiral Coligny, had been warned of a plot of the Catholics to seize them. Hastily preparing for flight, they set out from Paris with their families and a band of friends, making for La Rochelle, three hundred miles distant. Soon their enemies were pressing upon them, and there were dangers on every tide. Wylie says:

“An incident which befell them by the way touched their hearts deeply, as showing the hand of God. Be-fore them was the Loire, a broad and rapid river. The bridges were watched. How were they to cross? A friendly guide, to whom the bypaths and fords were known, conducted them to the river’s banks opposite Sancerre; and at that point the company, amounting to nearly two hundred persons, crossed without in-convenience or risk. They all went over singing the psalm, ‘When Israel went out of Egypt.’

“Two hours after, the heavens blackened, and the rain fell in torrents. The waters of the Loire, which a little before had risen only to their horses’ knees, were now swollen, and had become impassable. In a little while they saw their pursuers arrive on the farther side of the river; but their progress was stayed, by the deep and angry flood, to which they dared not commit themselves.

“ ‘Escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers,’ the company of Coligny exchanged looks of silent gratitude with one another. What remained of their way was gone; with lighter heart and nimbler foot, they felt, although they could not see, the Almighty escort that covered them. And so, journeying on, they came at last safely to La Rochelle.”—




History of Protestantism, book 17, chap. 11.