Monday, June 17, 2013

The Prince of Condé's Treaty to Further Peace and Glorify God (Theonomy Applied)

Louis I de Bourbon,
Prince of Condé
Louis I de Bourbon (1530-1569), known as Prince of Condé, was a leader and general of the Huguenots (French Protestants) during the French Wars of Religion. He was also the first Prince of the Blood (by lineage, having the closest claim to the throne of France outside the king of France's immediate family). A brave soldier, he died at the Battle of Jarnac where he was shot in the back of the head after being taken prisoner. 

On January 17, 1562, the Catholic king Charles IX promulgated the Edict of January, which gave Huguenots freedom of conscience, allowing them to worship publicly in France's rural villages and suburbs, as well as privately in France's cities.[1] 

The Duke of Guise, a militant Catholic with much political and military power, did not respect the treaty, however, and continued persecuting French Protestants. To counter this, Condé backed Charles IX's treaty with a "Treaty of Association" on April 11, 1562.[2] Condé made this treaty 
with his immediate followers: ten 'chevaliers' besides himself, including Admiral Coligny and D' Andelot, and 62 lesser 'gentlemen', including the man responsible for Henry II's death, Montgomery. But this compact extended beyond this feudal elite and included, as the text proclaimed, members of 'all estates'.[3] 
The "Treaty of Association" 
denounced the audacity, temerity and ambition of some of the subjects of the King, who despise his youth and have dared to take arms against his edicts and put to death a good number of his poor subjects when they were assembled for divine worship with his permission. Against all laws, human and divine, these people have seized the person of the King and of the Queen, and the signers, wishing to save the King and the Crown and to restore the Queen to her authority, and also to save for the poor faithful Christians of this realm the liberty of conscience which it has pleased the King to grant them by edict, have joined themselves together under the leadership of the Prince of Condé (one of the protectors of the Crown) for this purpose.[4]
King Charles IX
Most significant in the treaty is its commitment to honoring God. It both repeatedly mentions God out of reverence, and promises to restrain particular violations of God's lawincluding offenses against the First Table of the Law, such as idolatry, superstition, and blasphemy. 

(Here we find a radical difference in the mindset of the Huguenot and the American evangelical: while many of the latter oppose civil enforcement of the First Table of the Law by rationalizing that such laws could be abused to persecute Christians if the wrong people attained power, the Huguenotswho lived under persecution and civil war, and lacked America's peace and comfortspreferred to glorify God by advocating His law, regardless of the outcome.)

It is likely that this treaty was actually written by the Protestant Reformer Theodore Beza.[5]

Below is most of the treaty; special thanks to the redactor of The Monarchomaque, for taking the time to write the translation.  

The Treaty of Association 
April 11, 1562
Treaty of Association made by Monseigneur the Prince of Condé, with the Princes, Knights of the Order, Lords, Captains, Gentlemen and others of all ranks, whom have entered or will enter later on in the said Association, to maintain the honor of God and the rest of the Kingdom. […]

“Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee?” (Psalm 139:21) 
We undersigned, having nothing in greater recommendation – after the honor of God – than the service of our King and the conservation of the Crown [… We engage ourselves to] employ bodies and goods, and everything that will be possible, up to the last drop of our blood; and the present Association and Alliance will last inviolable.
So that everybody understands that the aforesaid present Association be made with a pure intention and in fear of the Name of God, whom we take for Chief and Protector, we swear that in our Company we will not suffer things contrary to the Commandments of God and the King, such as idolatry, superstitions, blasphemy, lechery, violence, ravishment/rapture, [… and] other things forbidden by God, or by the Edict of January; things that we on the contrary track so that justice be made. And to be led under the obedience of the Word of God, we plan to have in our Companies some good and faithful Ministers of the glory of God, which will teach us His will, and to which we will hear as it is proper. 
We have included and associated in the present Treaty of Alliance all the persons of the Kings’ Council, except those who bear arms against their duty [… these ones] we rightly consider them guilty of treason against the King and disrupters of the public rest of the Kingdom.   
And to achieve to the end and fulfillment of this Association […] everybody amongst us, from the smaller to the greater, swear and promise before God and his Angels, to keep ourselves ready in everything in our power, such as money, weapons, horses, and all other requisite things, to rally the lord Prince – or somebody else having charge from him – at the first call, equipped to yield all duty of body and goods until the last breath. 
If, in any place in this Kingdom, we hear that anyone in the present Association receives outrage/contempt or violence by the aforesaid traitors or others, against the Kings’ Edict of the last month of January, we swear and promise that all relieve him promptly and employ ourselves that the injury be repaired as if the damage was particular to all of us. […] 
Further, if it happens that any of us forgets his duty and oath (God does not want that), has any intelligence with the enemy, or has committed any act of cowardice or treason […] we swear and promise – on the part we trust we have in Paradise – to reveal him to the said lord Prince, or any other [leader], and to take and treat him as an enemy, traitor and disloyal: because his consent [to the present Treaty] was frank and irrevocable. 
Made, concluded and published at Orléans, in the year of our Lord one thousand five hundred sixty-two, the eleventh day of April. 
Louis of Bourbon, with other Princes, Knights of the Order, Lords, Captains, Gentlemen and many others of all ranks and countries of this Kingdom, in great numbers, as it appears by the Registry placed before the aforesaid lord.[6]


[1] Scolaris Legisperitus, "Theonomy applied: the Treaty Association of Prince of Condé to protect the reformed," The Monarchomaque. Retrieved June 12, 2013, from
[2] Ibid.
[3] Donald R. Kelley, The Beginning of Ideology: Consciousness and Society in the French Reformation (Cambridge University Press, 1981), 256.
[4] Paul Van Dyke, Catherine de Médicis: Volume 1 (New York: Charles Scribner's sons, 1922), 248, 249.
[5] Legisperitus, "Theonomy applied: the Treaty Association of Prince of Condé to protect the reformed," The Monarchomaque.
[6] Memoirs of Condé, Volume III (Paris, Rollin, 1743), 258-262. Cited in Ibid.

Note about the Theonomy Applied Series: In quoting any particular law, we do not necessarily endorse every aspect of that law as biblical, whether it be the prohibition, sanction, court procedure, etc. Rather, we are merely showing the more or less attempt to apply biblical law in history, whether or not that application was fully biblical. Moreover, in quoting any particular law, we do not necessarily consider those who passed and/or enforced such a law as being fully orthodox in their Christian theology. Professing Christian rulers in history have ranged in their theology from being orthodox (that is, Reformed Protestants) to heretical (for example, Roman Catholics). 

No comments: