Navilieres, Pierre

Navilieres, Pierre a French martyr to the cause of the Reformation doctrines, flourished near the middle of the 16th century. In 1552 Navilieres finished his theological studies at the seminary in Lausanne, under the eminent theologians Beza and Viret. Navilieres returned in this year to France, probably to his native place, Limoges. On the way he was seized and imprisoned for his Reformed opinions, and after due trial for heresy was, with four other students from Lausanne, condemned to death. An appeal to the king delayed the execution of the sentence for one year, and during this time they were kept in prison. Pierre Navilieres had become a Protestant against the protestations and entreaties of his parents, who now used every effort to save his life, and therefore urged him to renounce his principles. His uncle went to Lyons, and implored him with bitter tears to recant. But the young man continued steadfast. In a letter to his father's family he said: "Our Savior tells us that we must leave father and mother, and wife and children, and follow him. I am confident of eternal life, because I have been cleansed by the blood of Christ from all my sins. Now, my dear friends, whose condition is better, yours or mine? My time will not be long, although I have now been in chains a year and a day. My dark, damp prison is far more pleasant to me than your elaborately ornamented parlors. The jailer's kevs sound more sweetly to my ears than all the music of your splendid instruments. I am happy in the shades of death, for I am ready to lay aside this mortality and enter into God's rest. Now I ask you, Do you have such joys as these? Are your large revenues, your grand equipages, and the music of your singers able to give you the peace which I have 9" All efforts for his retraction of the unpopular doctrines having proved futile, and the intervention of the Swiss authorities even having failed to stay the judgment of the courts, Navilieres was finally executed, May 16,1553. Previous to his execution he had published a confession of his faith, which for some time was widely circulated and read among the people of France, and exerted a powerful influence for the Protestant cause. See Hurst, Martyrs of the Tract Cause, page 136 sq.

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