Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Prince of Condé on Trusting in God for Military Victory

The Huguenot leader and general Louis I de Bourbon (1530-1569), or the Prince of Condé, exclaimed the following during the Battle of Jarnac:

My friends, true noblesse of France, here is the opportunity we have long wished for in vain! Our God is the God of Battles. He loves to be so called. He always declares Himself for the right, and never fails to succor those who serve Him. He will infallibly protect us, if, after having taken up arms for the liberty of our consciences, we put all our hope in Him. Come and let us complete what the first charges have begun; and remember in what a state Louis of Bourbon entered into the combat for Christ and for his native land![1]

Unfortunately, the Prince of Condé died in the battle, which the Hugeunots ultimately lost; God does not always grant His people victory in battle, but sometimes chastens them as a loving Father. Nevertheless, Condé's words have merit: God is indeed a God of Battles, and he can and often does grant victory to those who trust in Him. 


[1] Henry M. Baird, History of the Rise of the Huguenots of France: Volume II (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1896), 302.


Anonymous said...

I appreciate the article. It's the first I've heard of this godly believer! Please tell me though how this is evidence of trusting God for victory in military battle? I honestly don't get it. He apparently was trusting God for military victory but He wasn't granted military victory. Do you have some other testimonies from History in which God actually granted victory in military battle? Just askin'

Steve C. Halbrook said...

The last paragraph notes that God doesn't always grant victory, but sometimes chastens His people. God, of course, is sovereign over all, so whoever wins a battle is granted victory by God for one reason or another. As for God granting victory to His people, the Old Testament has many such examples. A good example for more recent times is Oliver Cromwell's undefeated New Model Army.

Scolaris Legisperitus said...

The Battle of Jarnac was more a moral victory for the catholic party than a decesive military «haut fait».

The order to attack was given to early to the huguenot cavalry who engulfed itself deep in the catholic ranks and was decimated.

Condé was injured and took off his gloves as a sign of surrender. In knightly culture (aka Rules of War in that epoch) this ment he was out of the fight, but he was assassinated by the men of Henri III.

Most of the huguenot infantry and cavalry did not even see combat and Amiral Coligny was able to perform a sound retreat with the bulk of the calvinist troops.

Condé's death in battle was not vain, for even if the huguenots lost more battles than they won, the very fact that they were able to gear up armies on the battlefield was enough to force the catholics to grant them a series of edicts recognizing their right to exist.

Scolaris Legisperitus said...

Erratum : most of the huguenot infantry and *artillery* did not see combat at Jarnac.

Steve C. Halbrook said...

Scolaris Legisperitus, good point - "the very fact that they were able to gear up armies on the battlefield was enough to force the catholics to grant them a series of edicts recognizing their right to exist."