Henry IV came to the throne of France during a period of terrible religious and political strife. The kingdom was in the throes of civil war between Huguenots and Catholics, but the religious aspects of the conflict masked even greater political divisions. Henry IV fought on the Protestant side, but reconverted to Catholicism when he became king and spent much of his reign helping to heal old wounds and mend relations. Through the life of Henry IV, the story of the Protestant Reformation in France is told with great insight.
ENTRY OF HENRY IV INTO PARIS.
History is our Heaven-appointed instructor. It is the guide for the future. The calamities of yesterday are the protectors of to-day.
The sea of time we navigate is full of perils. But it is not an unknown sea. It has been traversed for ages, and there is not a sunken rock or a treacherous sand-bar which is not marked by the wreck of those who have preceded us.
There is no portion of history fraught with more valuable instruction than the period of those terrible religious wars which desolated the sixteenth century. There is no romance so wild as the veritable history of those times. The majestic outgoings of the Almighty, as developed in the onward progress of our race, infinitely transcend, in all the elements of profoundness, mystery, and grandeur, all that man's fancy can create.
The cartoons of Raphael are beautiful, but what are they when compared with the heaving ocean, the clouds of sunset, and the pinnacles of the Alps? The dome of St. Peter's is man's noblest architecture, but what is it when compared with the magnificent rotunda of the skies?
Brunswick, Maine, 1856.