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Daniel Brevint: A Great Huguenot Preacher


The main source for this section is Balleine's Biographical dictionary; also extant copies of Brevint's letters. 

(Note: prior to -this section, a congregation including Joshua de Carteret has taken its place in the choir stalls. )

Narrator 1

The 17th Century was a time of troubles. Civil war raged In England, and in Jersey, matters were not made better by the presence of Huguenots, fleeing from persecution in France; these foreigners settled In the Island, bringing with them the grim and severe religion of Calvin.

One of the Rectors of Grouville at this time was Daniel Brevint. Like all Calvinists, he was a firm upholder of true doctrine and, in my opinion, a stern and unforgiving man.

Narrator 2

I disagree! Daniel simply upheld the truth of the gospel, which must be lived as well as spoken.

Narrator 1

Enough of this! Be quiet! Look, Daniel is just finishing the Church service.

(cue music, as enters Daniel at far end. He does not look towards the altar, but comes forward simply to the start of the choir stalls, with a prayer book in his hand.)

Daniel

La Paix de Dieu, laquelle surpasse tout entendement, garde vos couers et vos sens en la connaissance et en l 'amour de Dieu, et de son Fils Jesus Christ notre Seigneur; et la benediction de Dieu tou puissant, le Pere, le Fils et le Saint Esprit, soil avec vous tous, et y demeure eternellement.

Congregation

Amen

(There is no music. Daniel walks quietly down to the central area, and after quietly praying, the congregation rise and come out. They are stopped, however, by Joshua De Carteret who confronts Brevint.

Joshua de Carteret

Rector, you still refuse me Holy Communion. If you persist, I shall take action, sir! I shall!

Daniel

Ah, Joshua de Carteret. I think I made my reasons plain. In Court, and to the whole public at large, you cursed your father-in-law, and swore that you would be revenged on him. Is that not true?

Joshua

My father-in-law is a traitor to the King, sir! He should therefore forfeit his lands, which should be mine by right! Iíll not let the scoundrel go free! Blood will flow!

Daniel

Sir, our Lord made this very plain: if you have anger in your heart against your brother, you must leave the Lord's Table and be reconciled with him.

I do not know the rights and wrongs of the matter. But I will not allow a heart that is full of anger and hatred into God's house.

Joshua (sneering)

Perhaps you are a traitor too?

Daniel

I am no traitor to my Lord. Look, I beg you to go away. Become calmer. Think on what I have said. Pray about it.

Joshua

I'll see you in hell first!

(storms out)

(a sharp rap on the Church door. Enter a lawyer)

Lawyer

Mr. Daniel Brevint. Rector of Grouville.

Daniel

I am he.

Lawyer

This is a summons, ordering you to appear before the Justices. My client, Joshua de Carteret, charges you with sedition against his Majesty, King Charles.

(hands over scroll and leaves)

Member of Congregation

Look, don't worry. We'll fight for you. Our first Rector, Pierre was in prison, and we rescued him. We'll rescue you too, if need be, and get you away from the Island.

Daniel

I am touched by your concern. But I shall stay, and I order that no violence take place on my behalf. Give me your prayers Instead, and I shall pray too. Trust in the Lord, and his righteousness.

(both leave, congregation follows)

Narrator 2

Brevint was judged, and there was found to be no truth in any of the accusations.

Narrator 1

Joshua de Carteret was declared to have behaved in a scandalous and offensive way. He withdrew to France for the benefit of his health.

Narrator 2

Brevint went on to become Dean of Lincoln In 1682. He died in 1695, a true servant of God, as excellent in life as in doctrine, who spared no man, great or small in his rebukes.