On August 24, 1572, the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre, began in Paris and spread throughout France, led to the slaughter of thousands (perhaps as many as 100,000) French Huguenots. Among the slain were some of the crème de la crème of France, including:
- Admiral Gaspard de Coligny, statesman, military leader, visionary, who organized the first Protestant colonies in the New World, and whose murder triggered the massacre;
- Claude Goudimel, composer who contributed to the widespread success of the Genevan Psalter; and
- Pierre de la Ramée (Petrus Ramus), French scholar and educational reformer, whose "Ramist" methodology of rhetoric, logic and pedagogy influenced Puritan preaching.
Must I be driven from my books?
From house, and goods, and dearest friends?
One of thy sweet and gracious looks,
For more than this will make amends.
The world's thy book: there I can read
Thy power, wisdom, and thy love;
And thence ascend by faith, and feed
Upon the better things above.
Philip Henry was among the ejected ministers and his journal records that he kept fast days on this sad anniversary in later years. Besides suffering persecution for righteousness' sake (Matt. 5.10-12), he did have another cause to rejoice soon after his ejection - on October 18, 1662, a son was born by the name of Matthew Henry, whose ministry to the world is still beloved today by many, particularly in the form of his commentary on the Bible.