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Guillaume de Félice - The Faculty (1839 Onwards)

As well as his normal teaching duties, being a talented writer and charismatic speaker, de Félice continued to write books and involve himself in ‘good causes’.

The first of these, in 1840, was continued in a radical spirit that resided within the de Félice genes. Entitled “Avertissement aux églises réformées de France contre l'universalisme” [Warning to the Reformed Churches of France against universalism], it was given in the Temple (protestant church) of Toulouse on June 25th. It warned against the dangerous complacency of the concept of Universal Reconciliation, which upholds the idea that there is no such thing as hell, and that all souls will travel to heaven regardless of their past lives. This was published by a Toulouse publisher, K. Cadaux, into two editions.

Another of his sermons was received to some acclaim, with a Protestant House for 80 Orphans created South of Toulouse, in the town of Saverdun. There, on the 11th of October he gave the inaugurating speech in the town’s Temple, entitled “Aux Pères et aux Mères sur l'éducation de leurs enfants” [To Fathers and Mothers on their children’s education]. Due to its profound theological nature, copies of it were distributed, and published again by Cadaux. A success, it was then translated 2 years later into Dutch.

In 1841, de Félice wrote “Appel d'un Chrétien aux gens de letters” [Call from a Christian to the men of letters]. Aimed at writers and journalists, that since they were in a position of power, that they ought to write with a sense of higher morality, and that they could draw this from the Protestant faith. This was also translated later into Dutch.

Many of de Félice’s smaller texts, magazine articles and sermons written at Montauban exist only as references in 19th century library catalogues, and can be seen in his bibliography.

De Félice was visited many contemporary Protestants who went to see the continent, in particular to visit the protestant strongholds of France. Luckily, the majority kept journals of their travels, which provide a fascinating insight into the countries at the time, and consistently show how undeveloped, remote and wild the south of France and Spain were.

His list of followers came to include the British minister John Yeardley, who described him and his colleague Adolphus Monod in his 1843 visit, as “men of first-rate talent, as well as decided piety”. In 1844, another, the Rev. Francis Chenevix Trench came with his wife and manservant in a pony-trap, and documented a stay in his published diaries.

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