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AN ACCOUNT OF THE HOLY BAPTISM
IN THE TWELFTH CENTURY
SUMMARY OF BAPTISM IN THE TWELFTH CENTURY
[The last year of the preceding century, namely, A. D. 1100, is introduced here by way of introduction to the following century; in which it is shown, that in and shortly after that time there existed the Waldenses and Albigeois, of whom we shall speak more fully about the middle of this century.
For the year 1105, some persons are introduced, who opposed infant baptism, transubstantiation, and the Roman church; also some, for the year 1119, who condemned the mass.
Certain people, who held the same views as were afterwards held in the time of Peter Waldus. Their views against the pope, infant baptism, the mass, image worship, secular power of the church, persecution, etc.
Rupert Tuiciensis gives an excellent exposition of the baptism of the ancients; he teaches, that, in order to be baptized, one must first believe, and confess the faith; that many who are baptized with water, are not renewed inwardly, because their heart is not right, though they make confession with the mouth; that the truly baptized, from servants of sin, become children of God; that the Word of God was preached to the Christian youth throughout the whole year to prepare them for baptism. What a certain pedobaptist, D. J. V., has written on said words of Rupertus; what P. J. Twisck and H. Montanus have noted from the writings of Rupert; that even some learned men of the Roman church accorded with Rupert. Johannes Bohemius and Ludovicus Vives, and their belief against the Roman church.
Many Christians at Arles, Narbonne, Toulouse, in Gascony, and other parts of France, called Petrobrusians; they, according to Peter; abbot of Cluny, reproved the abuses of the Roman church.
Of Arnald of Brescia, and Peter Abelard, who also opposed infant baptism.
Henricus Petri Tholossanus opposes fifteen articles to the papists, which are all fully stated.
Some peasants in France, called Apostolics, also teach against infant baptism, purgatory, praying for the dead, invocation of the saints.
The Albigenses, from the province AN, and the Waldenses, the followers of Peter Waldus, now arise; the conversion of Peter Waldus, and how he, having separated from the Roman church, gathered unto himself much people, to whom he taught the doctrine of the holy Gospel, and who became his followers.
Of the dispersion and the different names of the Waldenses; that there were three divisions of them, one of which agreed in all articles of religion with the Anabaptists, that said people were called Anabaptists; that they rejected infant baptism; their views with regard to the office of secular authority, against war, the swearing of oaths, and against nearly all articles of the Roman church; full statement of the confession of faith of the Waldenses, in fourteen articles; another confession of theirs, in twelve articles, made to those of Merindol and Cabriere; some .precepts, which they left to their church; some testimonies by ancient writers, respecting the virtuous life of the Waldenses; how they have been unjustly accused by their inquisitors and accusers; the time in which the Waldenses lived and flourished, namely, more than three hundred years, in France, as well as in Italy; the places where they sojourned; that almost a thousand towns were filled with them.
As a fire of small coals, when water is poured over it, though emitting a spark occasionally, yet smoulders for the most part, stifled as it were, by the smoke, but finally breaks forth with great power, so that the flame, leaping above the smoke, can no longer be extinguished with water, or kept down; so it was, in the twelfth century with the fire of the Gospel, and particularly as regards the article of baptism upon faith. Over this, the pope of Rome, with his cardinals, bishops, priests, and monks, had thus poured, in the preceding century, the water of so many false doctrines, that scarcely a few sparks could rise before it was instantly sought to extinguish them, till finally through the contentions and dissensions of the Romish socalled clergy, each striving to rise above the other, the fire of the Gospel, as having been, it was supposed, sufficiently quenched, was left, in some measure unmolested; in consequence of which it began to rekindle and burn with such power that its flames, having surmounted the smoke of papal superstitions, could not be extinguished by the water of persecution, suffering, or death; yea, the severest persecutions and the greatest torments were, at that time, like oil in the fire.
This shall be shown in the proper place; but first we will speak of the persons who then opposed infant.baptism and other Roman superstitions, and, in order to do this systematically, we will begin thus
For A. D. 1100, the last year of the eleventh, or the beginning of the twelfth century P. J. Twisck gives this account: "It appears from writers, that at this time and shortly after, there existed the Waldenses and the Albigeois, who opposed the papal errors, and infant baptism, and had to suffer much misery and persecution from the tyrants." Chyon., page 423, Col. 1. However, in the proper place we shall speak more fully of it.
A. D. 1105. This is the year in which mention is made by writers of certain persons who were accused of having no good opinion of infant baptism as well as of the transubstantiation of the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ; and of reviling the Roman church. P. J. Twisck, page 428, Col. 2, from Meyul., fol. 726; also, H. Mont., Q. 83.
We briefly mention this here, simply to show the belief of those people; however, when we come to the account of the martyrs of this time, we shall show how many there were of these persons, what befell them on account of their faith, and where, and through whom this happened.
A. D. 1119. It is recorded that at this time there were certain people, who, under the name of religion, besides other things of the Roman church, also reviled infant baptism and the mass. J. Mehyn., B apt. Hist., page 685, from Joh. de Oppido, inquisit. Tholoss., in Chron. Also, A. Mell., fol. 422, Col. 1.
A. D. 1120. Jean Paul Perrin Lionnois makes mention, in his History of the Waldenses and Albigenses, 3d part, 3d book, cap. 1, pages 163, 164, of a certain manuscript dated A. D. 1120, containing certain sermons of such people as were afterwards, in the time of Peter Waldus, called Waldenses and Albigenses. Besides said sermons, there is also a tract against the pope of Rome, who is there called antichrist.
But above all it is worthy of note, that among the marks ascribed there to antichrist, infant baptism upon a dead faith is also enumerated, and is called the third work of antichrist. Then there are further denounced, the mass, image worship, and relics, or the bones of the saints.
"The sixth work of antichrist;" these people said, "consists in this, that he tolerates open sins, and does not excommunicate or separate the im7 penitent."
"The seventh work of antichrist consists in this, that he does not govern or protect his unity through the Holy Spirit, but by secular power, uniting the latter with spiritual things, for his aid."
"The eighth work of antichrist is, that he persecutes the members of the church of Christ, searches out, apprehends and kills them."
Thus it is quite evident, that in these early times, there were already very many who not only confessed the purity of the true faith; but even attacked, with spiritual weapons from God's holy Word, the Roman see, notwithstanding, as appears from the eighth work of antichrist, they were persecuted, searched out, apprehended and killed; )f which we shall speak more fully in the proper place.
A. D. 1124. At this time, appeared Rupert Tuiciensis with many writings. He did not hesitate to point out the decay, and the manifold superstitions of the Roman church, presenting at the same time, the practice of the first Christian and the apostolic church; by which course he gave the Romanists of his time sufficient cause to be ashamed and convinced, especially with regard to the abuse of baptism, which originally had been administered upon faith, but was now given by them to infants. All this we hope to show in proper order, from the writings he has left.
First of all he establishes, that in order to be truly baptized, faith and confession of the same are required.
Jac. Mehrning, Bapt. Hist., page 659. Rupert (lib. 13, on John 18) says: "Everyone that is to be baptized, must first believe and confess, and not until then be baptized, upon (or into) the death of Christ, and be buried with Him by baptism in order to arise."
Who does not see that Rupert here censures and refutes the practice of those who at his time, namely, among the Roman church, baptized infants, without regard to faith or confession of the same, as well as without dying unto, and burying of, former sins, much less, with arising unto a new life, since these things cannot exist in infants; for why should he have connected faith, confession of it, and baptism, if he had not considered them as belonging together? Why should he say, that everyone that is to be baptized, must first believe and confess? which is just what Christ taught, Mark 16:16, and Philip required of the Ethiopian, Acts 8:37.
Thus it is also with what he says of being baptized upon, or into, the death of Christ, and of being buried with Him by baptism, in order to arise, etc.; for this the apostle applies to those who, having been baptized upon their faith, had become members of the church at Rome, Rom. 6:3, 4, whose faith was spoken of throughout the whole world, Rom. 1:8.
Page 657, Rupert (lib., 11 on John 15) says: "They (the teachers) can visibly administer water baptism, but they cannot give the Holy Spirit, in whom, nevertheless, all the virtue of baptism consists."
These are words that overthrow the authority and power of the Romish priests, who, when baptizing infants, were wont to pretend that they did not only wet them with water, but that they also expelled Satan from them, and imparted the Holy Ghost, which they supposed to bring about by certain exorcisms and blessings; but this is opposed by Rupert, with the afore mentioned words.
Same page. Rupert (lib. 3, on John 2) says: "There are many who are indeed baptized with water, but are nevertheless not renewed in the spirit of their mind, because they do not put off the works of the old man, though they are baptized in the water, and confess that they put on the new man."
'Here the reason is shown, why many, though baptized with water, are not renewed in the spirit of their mind; however, the blame is charged upon the candidates themselves, and not upon the teachers, who had not blessed them; but it is because those who were baptized, did not themselves, though it was their duty, put off the works of the old man. For, God's wisdom (that is, the Spirit of God) does not enter into a malicious soul; nor does it dwell in the body that is subject unto sin. Sap. 1:4.
It must be noted, moreover, that when he speaks here of being baptized in the water, of confessing something, and of putting on the new man, and that all this is said of the candidates of his time, it is clearly evident, that then, in the church of which he speaks, adult and intelligent persons were baptized, who, confessing their former sins, could put on the new man, that is, a sinless and godly life.
Page 662, num. 17. Rupert (lib. 2, on John 1) says: "To be baptized with the Holy Ghost, is to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, who does not [only] point out sin, but helps against sin, making us, from servants of sin, children of God." Again
"He baptizes us with fire, when He, through the Holy Spirit, makes us strong in love, constant in faith, shining in knowledge, and burning with good zeal."
He has respect here to the promise which John gave to those who came to his ttaptism, saying
"He (Christ) shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire," Matt. 3:11; John 1:33; which as everyone knows, is a promise given not to infants, but to adult persons; hence Rupert also has such in view here.
This appears still more clearly, when he says of said candidates, that they, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, were made, from servants of sin, children of God; for no one can in truth be called a servant of sin, who has not first served sin; and no one can be made a child of God, who has not first been a child of the world; for what one becomes or will become, he has not been before.
With what he says further, of being "strong in love, constant in faith, shining in knowledge, and burning with good zeal," he certainly indicates that he is speaking of such persons as, having attained to the use of their reason, have knowledge and ability for true love, faith in God, the knowledge of Jesus Christ, and a good zeal for the observance of the commandments of the Lord; for by such, and none else, can these things be undertaken, and, with God's blessing, carried out.
In another place Rupert relates what customarily took place as regards the candidates, baptism itself, and some of the circumstances pertaining to it. He says: "All the youth of the church, whom they had sought to win to God, during the year, through the preaching of the word, gave in their names, on the fourth day of the week in lent, when Easter approached; and when each of them, in the subsequent days till Easter, heard the rule of faith, in which he had been begotten and had grown up, he finally died (that is, he put to death sin), and rose with Christ (that is, to a new life), confessing the faith with full confidence, at baptism." Bapt. Hist., page 706, D. hicecom., lib. 2, ca Q. 14, from Rupert, lib. 4, cap. 18.
Upon this, a certain pedobaptist, D. J. V. (same page), once said: "But the Christian fear of God pleases us better, since the baptism of the ancients, and with it the ancient custom (namely, of baptizing upon faith), are abolished, and the believers now give to their children their names, at baptism, before the eighth day after their birth; for this agrees best with the practice of the Jews, who gave to their children their names on the eighth day of circumcision, and with the custom of the heathen, who did the like to their children, on the eighth, ninth, or tenth day after their birth."
This is certainly plain language. He says that the baptism of the ancients (that is, the baptism according to the institution of Christ, Mark 16:16), and with it also the ancient custom (namely, of baptizing upon faith), are abolished (that is, by those who have introduced infant baptism), and lie praises this as a Christian fear of God, saying, that it pleases him better. How would any one dare speak with greater presumption and shamelessness of the commandments of Jesus Christ? It grieves me to say more about this and I will leave it, adding, however, the remarks of Jacob Mehrning in referring to these words: "A fine arrangement this I Christians are no longer to conform to the baptismal ordinance of Christ, but Christ is to accommodate Himself with His baptism, to the practice of the Jews and the custom of the heathen. Fie, Satan! how brazenly dost thou here disclose thy cloven footl"
P. J. Twisck and H. Montanus quote the following words from the writings of Rupert: "Formerly it was customary to renew the children, throughout the year, with the Word of God, in order to present to them, on the approach of Easter, the faith, which they had to confess at baptism; but, that Christianity might grow, and the net of the Gospel become full, it pleased the church (that is, the Roman church), because of the danger of temporal death, that the children of Christians should be baptized immediately." Chron., page 443, col. 2, Nietigh., page 83, from Rupert, lib. 4, de Dizrinis Oficies, cap. 18.
"With Rupert," writes Twisck, "several learned men of the Roman church in this last century agree, as is adduced from their books. John Bohemius says: `Formerly it was customary to administer baptism only to those who had previously been instructed in the faith, and who were examined seven times in the weeks preceding Easter and Whitsuntide; but when baptism was afterwards deemed essential to eternal life, it was ordained that new born infants should be baptized, and that sponsors should be provided, who, in their stead, confessed the faith, and renounced Satan."' Same page, from .I. Boh., lib. 2, de Gent. Morib., Loop der Werelt, page 41.
"This is confirmed by Ludovicus Vives, who says: `No one was brought to baptism among us, until he had reached his years, and when he knew what the mystic water signified, and himself desired to be washed with it."' Same page, from Lud. hiv., in Annat. C~vit. dei Augustini, lib. 1, cap. 27, also, H. Mont., page 88.
But, to return to Rupert, Twisck says, he wrote not only on baptism, but also composed many other books, against the papal views, of the holy Scriptures, of justification, of two sacraments, of the Supper under both forms, and of the spiritual presence of Christ. He also says of antichrist, that he will send his messengers and preachers throughout the whole world; he will first convert (that is, turn to himself) and overcome the kings and princes, and then, through their instrumentality, will raise persecution over all the nations who will sincerely confess Christ. Chron., page 444, col. 1, from RuQert, in Apoc., lib. 3, cap. 13, Johan. Fobri., fol. 158, Anth. Jac., fol. 113, John Munst., fol. 140.
A. D. 1126. At this time, there were many Christians at Arles, Narbonne, Toulouse, in Gascony, and at different other places in France, who were afterwards called Petrobrusians, after one Peter Bruis,* their most prominent teacher, and who also neither sanctioned nor practiced infant baptism. This is attested by Peter, abbot of Cluny, who says, in the beginning of his tract against the Petrobrusians: "They deny that infants who have not yet attained the years of understanding, can be saved by the baptism of Christ; and say that the faith of another cannot help those who cannot use their own faith; for, according to their view, not the faith of another, but each one's own faith saves with baptism, because the Lord says: `He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved; but he that believeth not, shall be damned.' " Bapt. Hist., page 598, H. Mont. Nietigh., page 83, from Biblioth. Patr. Torn. 12, part 2, fol. 206. Also, Baron., A. D. 1126.
The foregoing is so clearly opposed to infant baptism and in favor of baptism upon faith, that it is unnecessary to add a single word of explana
* This Peter de Bruis, with his disciple Henry, was known, A.D. 1130, throughout all France, on account of his learning and his boldness in reproving the abuses of the Roman church. Bapt. Hiat., page 686.
tion; hence, we will let the matter rest, and proceed to the others who maintained and confirmed the same belief, both in and after those times.
NOTE. A. D. 1128. Arnulph, Bishop of Lyons, an excellent preacher of the Christian doctrine, was secretly murdered at this time, through craftiness, by the clergy, because he reproved too severely their luxuriousness, lewdness and gross errors. He presented to them, for their imitation, Christ's poverty, and His most holy life and walk. P. 1. Twisck, page 446, col. 1, Chron. Platinx, fol. 273, Histor. Andr., fol. 57; Histor. Georg., lib. 5.
A. D. 1131. About this time, also Hildebert, Bishop of Mayence, wrote and preached vehemently against the power and authority of the pope, whom he did not hesitate to charge with tyranny; declaring also, that the city of Rome had been made by him the seat of all mischief and wickedness, because the fear of God and love were banished from it. For this he was imprisoned at Rome, and treated very cruelly. P. J. Twisck, Chron., page 448, col. 2, and page 499, col. 1, from Paul Merul. Tytthres., fol. 746.
A. D. 1139. A little before or after this time, as Baronius says, Arnald, a lector, at Brescia, in Italy, taught against infant baptism; as did also Peter Abelard, of whom Arnald had obtained his doctrine, in France. Concerning this much might be related here, but, as we afterwards, in the proper place, shall have to speak of the martyrdom of these persons, we will say no more of this here, deeming the statement that they opposed infant baptism sufficient for the present. As regards their doctrine, as well as what happened to them, see Bapt. Hist., page 598, H. Mont. Nietigh., page 84, from Baron., A. D.1139, Num. 3, also A. D. 1145, Num. 3, and A. D. 1147, Num. 6.
NOTE. "In the year 1139 or 1140," writes P. J. Twisck, "there was in Italy an honorable, godly, and learned man, simple in his life, called Arnold of Brescia, who dared teach and preach mightily against the power and authority of the pope and against the monks and priests; on account qf which he was excommunicated by Innocent, the pope of Rome, and greatly persecuted. Arnold, therefore, fled into Switzerland, and remained at Zurich, exposing all the abominations of the papists." Chron., page 466, col. 2, from Hist. Georg., lib. 5. Chron. Car., lib. 4. Leonh., lib. 5. Zegh., fol. 292. Hist. Eccl. Casp. Hedio., 3d part, cap. 11, D. Andr. Hond., lib. 2, cap. 26. Seb. Franck., fol. 26, 39. Merul. T ytt., fol. 750, 753, 757, 760, 761, 853. Jan. Cresp., fol. 281. Of his death we shall speak in the history of the martyrs, for the year 1145.
A. D. 1147. Henricus Petri Tholossanus, that is, Henry of Toulouse, at this time and afterwards, vigorously attacked infant baptism, with the spiritual weapons of divine truth; which he had commenced already in the time of Peter Bruis, as was mentioned for the year 1126; and he did not, cease to pursue it until, and after the death of said Peter Bruis; which matter is described by Jacob Mehrning, Bapt. Hist., page 664 as follows: "Now Peter de Bruis having been condemned and burnt, Henry strenuously maintained his doctrine; for he was a co worker with Peter, and had not a few followers of his doctrine." Peter Cluniacensis writes, that among other things, he taught
1. That children may not be baptized or saved through the faith of another; but they must be baptized and saved through their own faith; for baptism without individual faith, saves no one.
2. That individual faith without baptism is also useless.
3. That children that have not yet reached the years of understanding, cannot be saved by the baptism of Christ.
4. That those who have been baptized in infancy must, when they become older, be rebaptized, for this, he says, is not rebaptizing, but, much rather, baptizing aright.
5. That the body and blood of Christ are not offered up in the public mass; and that this sacrifice has no virtue to the salvation of souls. Again, that the altars ought to be cast down or broken in pieces.
6.. That the doctrine of the forms and of the transubstantiation of the sacrament is false.
7. That the Supper ought not to be administered any more (as their accusers charged them with maintaining), it having been given once by Christ to the apostles.
8. That., the sacrifice of the mass, prayer, alms, and such like, works of the living for the dead, are folly, wickedness, and of no avail.
9. That monks and priests should marry, rather than commit fornication, and live continually in lewdness.
10. That crucifixes, should not be honored or worshiped; and the many crosses, which tend to superstition, ought much rather to be abolished than retained.
11. That man ought not to build so many costly churches, which are frequently not used for hearing the Word of God; and those that are built should be demolished.
12. That by the bawling church singing of the priests and monks God is mocked, and not reconciled.
13. That flesh may be eaten on Sunday and other days.
14. That they do not receive all the books of the Old and the New Testaments, namely those which are called apocryphal; but the Gospel only.
15. That they believe only the holy Scriptures, but do not place the writings of the fathers on an equality with them.
This doctrine, and these articles, Peter Cluniacensus, who quoted them from the writings of Henry, undertook to refute; but the Centuriatores Magdeburgenses accept them for the most part, and refute Peter. See concerning this, Bapt. Hist., pp. 665, 666:
Said articles certainly show of what faith and persuasion Henry was, and that he did not continue to adhere to monachism, although he had first embraced it; for, to be a monk and to make such a profession, are incompatible with each other. On this account he had to suffer much ignominy and calumny from Bernhard, who was regarded as a saint among the Romanists. The latter not only called him an ignorant fellow and an apostate from the Roman church, but also charged him with many unbecoming, and ungodly things, though by other writers, of greater note and credibility, he has been exempted, and acquitted of them.
We will close our remarks concerning Henry, and give, if necessary, a fuller account of the matter, when we shall speak of his sufferings for the truth; however, in reference to this, we refer the reader briefly, to Bapt. Hist., pages 685, 686, from A. M., fol. 423, 424, ex Petr. Cluniac. Duae, epist. 141 and 142, ad Comit. Tholoss. and Tholossanos, idem, Serm., 65, 66, super. Cant. vitae Bernh., cap. 3. Cent. Magd. X11., cap. 5, and Illyr. Cat. Test. Verit., lib. 15, tit. Petri de Bruis, etc.
A. D. 1155. This is the time in which, according to Nicholas Sander (but according to Caesar Baronius. A. D. 1147), there were in the vicinity of Toulouse, in France, certain humble people, who, by other writers, are called peasants, but who properly were termed Apostolics, that is, followers of the apostles. It is stated of them, that they would hold only to the apostolic writings, and that they therefore condemned infant baptism, as well as purgatory, praying for the dead, the invocation of the saints, etc.
More might be related here, but as some of them have attained to the martyrs' crown, and we consequently shall afterwards have to speak more fully with regard to them, we will leave the matter until then, being satisfied, meanwhile, that they professed this good profession, and rejected the evil. See concerning this, P. J. Twisck,. Chron., page 469, col. 2, from Nicol. Sand., Hist. der Mart. Doops ges., A. 8, D. Anth. Jac., fol.118; also Bapt. Hist., page 599. H. Montan. Niehtigh., page 84, etc.
A. D. 1160. This is the year which, of old, was noted with joy by many pious and well meaning Christians, who detested popery; and in which, even to this day, not a few of the God fearing rejoice. For then, and especially, shortly after, popery and her superstitions received the severest blow of which we read in history; and the divine truth, which, almost to this very time, seemed, in many respects, to be trampled under foot most atrociously, now joyfully raised her head and triumphed. The doctrine against infant baptism, the swearing of oaths, war, in short, against nearly all the evil practices and perverted worship of the Roman church, of which one formerly dared speak only with fear and trembling, and that often only in private, was now ~ boldly, yea, frequently, publicly preached and defended, and, notwithstanding the threats of the pope of Rome, maintained. This was first commenced chiefly by Peter Waldo at Lyons, in France, and carried out by his successors; however, in order to treat the matter systematically, we will begin with the conversion of Peter Waldo, and then go on to his successors.
OF THE CONVERSION OF PETER WALDO, AND THE
RISE OF THE WALDENSES, ETC.
M. Matthias Flaccius Illyricus (in his Catalog. Testitum heritatis, between fol. 263, and fol. 277, according to Jac. Mehrning in Bapt. Hist., page 601), writes: "About A. D. 1160, several of the principal citizens of Lyons were together, conversing on various matters, as is customary in the summer season, in Italy and France. As they were thus standing together, one of them suddenly fell down to the ground and expired, before their eyes.
"This awful occurrence, an example of the mortality of man, and of the divine wrath, terrified one of their number, namely, Peter Waldo, a man who was very wealthy. He began to reflect and resolved (impelled, no doubt, by the Holy Spirit), to repent, amend his life, and be more diligent in the fear of God than he had hitherto been. He therefore began to distribute alms liberally, and at convenient seasons, to put his household and others who came to him, in mind of the good, and to admonish them to repentance and true godliness.
"When he had thus for some time, done muchgood to the poor, and was becoming the longer the more zealous to learn, as well as to teach others, the people also came to him more and more; he therefore began to present to them, not his own ideas, but the holy Scriptures, and to expound and explain the same in the common French language.
"But the bishop and the prelates, who, as Christ says, have the key of heaven, and yet do not go in themselves, nor will suffer bthers to enter, were greatly vexed that this (in their opinion) unlearned and common man, should bring the holy Scriptures into the vernacular langdage, and expound the same, and that already great numbers came into his house, whom he instructed and admonished.
"However, he was greatly in earnest, to promote both the honor of God and the salvation of men; and the people were so eager for the Word of God, which, in the churches, was not preached pure, nor publicly, that they could not be turned away by the command of these papistic Pharisees and high priests; hence, both the teacher and those taught said, that one ought to obey God rather than men.
"Waldo therefore resolved, notwithstanding the commands of the wicked, to sustain the hungry Christians not only with his temporal living, which, owing to the liberal distribution, decreased day by day, but also with the Word of God, and good instructions and admonitions; and since the prelates, by tyranny and unchristian decrees, sought to suppress and exterminate the simDle and true Dreaching of the Word of God, sufficient reason was thus given to Waldo and his adherents, to inquire the more diligently into the religion and intentions of the priests, and to speak the more boldly against them.
"The contest with the priests becoming the longer the more violent, more confusions and superstitions were discovered in the papistic religion, and attacked. At this time Waldo also read, in the vernacular, certain testimonies from the writings of the fathers, with which he defended his own not only with the holy Scriptures, but also with the testimonies of the ancients, against the enemies of the truth.
"When the bishop with his papistic Pharisees and scribes saw with what constancy Waldo and his adherents taught the Word of God, and were pained, that their own infamy, ignorance, and fickleness in doctrine, and other adsurdities, were attacked by Waldo and his followers, they excommunicated them one and all. Not long afterwards, perceiving that also by excommunication they could not be deterred from their purpose, they relegated them into misery, persecuted them with imprisonment, the sword, and fire, and treated them very atrociously, in order that they might be compelled, on account of the existing distress and danger, to remove from Lyons and disperse into various countries.
"It is presumable, that the congregations of Waldo, or some of them, whom he taught at Lyons, were there for four or five years, until they were utterly driven away from that city; for Waldo was a man of powerful abilities, and is said to have had many relatives, and, hence, could not be checked or suppressed in a trice; besides, he did not immediately, at the beginning, attack the priests of the pope.
"Finally, these godly people were proceeded against with great fury, throughout Christendom; they were sent hither and thither by the inquisitors; for which we have to thank those atrocious wolves that go about in sheep's clothing, and call themselves monks." Bapt. Hist., pages 601-4, front Matt. Flacc.
Claude de Rubis relates, that Waldo and his followers were completely expelled from Lyons; while Albert de Capitaneis says, that they could not be expelled entirely. We have not been able to ascertain anything further about this first persecution, save that the Waldenses, so called after Waldo, after escaping from Lyons, followed him, and then dispersed, in different bands, into various countries. Balthas. Lydius, History of the Waldenses, printed at Dortrecht, 1624, 1st book of the first part, cap. 1, page 3, col. 1, front Claud. de Rub. Hist., p. 269. Albert de Cap., book of the origin of the Waldenses, page 1.
NOTE. Peter Blesensus, a learned man, well known by his writings, taught, A. D. 1167, that Rome was the true Babylon of which John has prophesied; that the.officials of the Roman court were genuine harpies, and the priests, true calves of Bethel, priests of Baal, Egyptian idols, and that at Rome everything could be had for money. Chron. van den Onderg., page 479, col. 1, from Merula, fol. 767.
About A. D. 1170. For the year 1160, we gave an account of Peter Waldo and his conversion, as well as of his having brought many who sat in the darkness of popery, to the light of the holy Gospel. It is stated of these people, that in doctrine, faith, and life they were like the Apostolics, of whom we made mention for the year 1155, and stated, that they were opposed to infant baptism, purgatory, etc. The rise of these people, called Waldenses and Albigenses, is fixed about A. D. 1170, that is, ten years after Peter Waldo began to teach them; which matters shall hereafter be treated more fully and circumstantially. Compare Bapt. Hist., page 599, with Nietigh., page. 85; also, Introduction to the Martyrs" Mirror, fol. 50, col. 1, 2, (although the principal rising of said people is there fixed A. D. 1176) from Bar. in Chron., A. D. 1176, num. 1, 2, 3.
NOTE. It appears from several ancient writers, that the Waldenses, or, at least, people who held the same belief, existed long before the year 1170, yea, before 1160; seeing that already in the year 1160 they had increased to such an extent, that they were summoned to Rome before a synod, and were condemned there as obstinate heretics. Johan. de Oppido. The same occurred A. D. 1164, in the synod of Tours, Bapt. Hist., p. 676. Hence, when their beginning is fixed A. D. 1170, this must not be understood Of their origin, but of their rising, progress, and greatest prosperity.
OF THE DISPERSION AND THE VARIOUS NAMES OF
THE WALDENSES, OR FOLLOWERS OF PETER
When Peter Waldo with his adherents, through the cruel hatred of the papists, had to leave the city of Lyons, on account of his faith, they became distributed and scattered into different parts of the world, and, hence, received various appellations, with regard to the places where they resided, as well as with regard to their faith, and to the accusations brought against them, especially by the Romanists.
In the History of the Waldenses, by D. Balthasar Lydius, 1st book of the first part, cap. 3, page 4, col. 2, and page 5, col. 1, the following account is found of the various names of said people
"They, in the first place, called them Waldenses, after Waldo, who was a citizen of Lyons: and, after the district of Albi, they called them Albigenses.
' , And because those who adhered to the doctrine of Waldo, left Lyons, stripped of all human means, having had to leave behind the most of their goods, they were derisively called, The Poor Men of Lyons."
"In Dauphine they were by way of derision called Chaignards, that is, Dogs.
"Also because a part of them crossed the Alps, they were called Transnwntani.
"After Joseph, one of Waldo's disciples who preached in the bishopric of Dije, Lower Dauphine, they were called Josephists.
"In England they were called Lollards, after Lollardus, one of those who preached there.
"After two priests, Henry and Esperon, who taught the doctrine of Waldo in Languedoc, they were called Henricians and Esperonists.
"After Arnold, one of their pastors or teachers, who preached in Albigeois, they were called Arnoldists.
"In Province they were called, in an unknown tongue, Siccars.
"In Italy they were called Fratricellii, that is, Little Brothers, because they lived like brothers in true unity.
"Also, as they observed no other day of rest or holiday, than Sunday, they were styled Insabbathi or Insabbathas, that is, Sabbathless, or not observing Sabbaths.
"Because they were continually subject to, and underwent sufferings, they were called Patarins or Patariens, that is, Suferers, from the Latin word pati, to suffer.
"Because they, as poor wanderers, fled and traveled from country to country, they were termed Passagenes, that is, Travelers or Vagrants.
"In Germany they were called Gazares, which signifies, Accursed and Abominable; but thus the pope of Rome has always been accustomed to call those who oppose the Roman faith.
"In Flanders they were called TuriluÂ¢ini, that is, Dwellers with Wolves, because, on account of persecution, they were often compelled to hide and live in wildernesses and forests, in close proximity t0 Wolves.
"Sometimes they were named after the region or district where they lived, as Albigenses, from Albi; Toulousians, from Toulouse; Lombards, from Lombardy; Picards, from Picardy; Lyonists, from Lyons; Bohemians, from Bohemia."
Thereafter, the origin and cause of said names, according to Jean Paul Perrin Lyonnois, who has noted the same, is further explained by D. Balthasar Lydius, in his treatise on the Various names of the Waldenses, 3d chapter of Perrin, from page 48, col. 1, to page 82, col. 2; in which the true innocence and unrightness of said people, though they were sometimes called bad names, is demonstrated in all simplicity and clearness.
But that nothing may be wanting here, we will, for additional information, subjoin several other names of the Waldenses, passed over by B. Lydius (from J. P. Perrin), but mentioned by Abr. Mellinus, in his History of the Persecutions and Martyrs, for A. D. 1619, fol. 449, col. 3, 4, by misprint, but, properly, fol. 439, col. 3, 4, and some of them, further exnlained. For, among other thins, he writes there, that said people were also "called Catharists, that is, Heretics, because they were called heretics by their opponents.
"They were called Publicans, because they were compared by the Romanists to publicans or open sinners.
"From the Latin word lolium, signifying weed, they were called Lollards; though, as stated above, this name was also given them from Lollardus, a teacher; however, they were likened to lolium, a weed that grows among the corn, because they, (the papists said) ought to be rooted out like the tares from among the corn; this name they also retained in Germany, Sarmatia, Livonio," etc.
"They were called Runcari because they lived near Runcalia, not far from Piacenza.
"They were called Barrini, from Mount Barrio of Barian, a place in the district of Crema, in Italy. Also Cotterellos, because they lived on the mountains known as the Cottian Alps. They were also called Comists, because they lived in the city of Como, in Italy.
"In Germany they were called Grubenheimer, that is, Cave dwellers, because necessity compelled them to live underground, in pits and caves.
"In France they were termed Texerants, that is, Weavers, because there were many weavers among them."
These and similar names have been given the Waldenses in former times; which we have deemed necessary to notice briefly, in order that the readers, in the sequel of our history, whenever these or similar persons are spoken of, may know who and of what belief they were.
OF THE WALDENSES WHO IN ALL RESPECTS WERE
OF ONE BELIEF WITH THE BAPTISTS (ALSO
CALLED ANABAPTISTS); OF WHOM WE
SHALL SPEAK THROUGHOUT OUR
Although Peter Waldo, from whom the Waldenses derived their name, was enkindled with a true zeal for the divine and evangelical truth; yea, so that in the beginning very many, through his doctrine and life, burned as with a heavenly fire, and were zealous with him for God and the pure truth; yet not all remained steadfast in the truth; which appears to have been caused from their being dispersed into different countries and becoming separated from one another, by reason of the persecutions.
Some were also called Waldenses though they had no fellowship with them, and never were true brethren with these people.
Others, though they had once been members of that church, had joined themselves to others, thus forsaking, either from fear of death, or for some other reason, their former confession, especially in the article of the meekness and patience of Jesus.
Others, notwithstanding that they filled worldly offices. vea, even engaged in war, were sometimes. though perversely, as shall be shown in the proper place, called Waldenses or Albigenses; only (as can be inferred) for the reason, that some Waldenses or Albigenses lived under their protection, who were tolerated by connivance, or otherwise countenanced by them.
We shall therefore pass over all those concerning whom there is evidence that they only bore the name of Waldenses, but were not such in deed; and turn to those of whom ancient history testifies that they confirmed the name by the deed in faith as well as in doctrine.
Sebastian Franck, in Chron. van de Ord. en Sect. tier Rom., fol. 153, col. 3, writes, that the Waldenses were divided into two, or, as some maintain, three divisions, one of which, in all points, held the same tenets with the Anabaptists (Baptists), having all things in common. They baptize no infants, and do not believe at all in the presence of the Lord's body in the sacrament. A little before this, he says: "They invoke no saints or creatures, but only God. They do not swear at all, yea, they regard this as improper for a Christian. They also have no images, and do not bow before or worship them. They allege, that the sacrament ought not to be worshiped, but Christ, at the right hand of His Father, and God, in Spirit and in truth. They suffer no beggars among them, but help and assist each other as brethren." See concerning them, Seb. Franck, Chron. Rom. Ketter, fol. 121, col. 2. Introduction, page 50, col. 2. H. Mont. Nietigh., page 86, Jac. du Bois contra Montanum, page 158.
These are the true Waldenses, whom we have chosen, and who shall be the aim of our whole account.
HOW THE WALDENSES WERE CALLED ANABAPTIST
BY THE ROMANISTS THEMSELVES
This is stated by Jacob Mehrning in different places. after he has declared, upon the testimony of ancient writers, that they were called by the peculiar names of those who were previously already termed Anabaptists. "From Berengarius," says he, (BaÂ¢t. Hist., page 666), "they were called Berenearians; from Peter de Bruis, Petrobrusians; from Henry. Henricians; from the apostles, Apostolics; from Peter Waldo, Waldenses, and so forth. Among us Germans," he writes (pÂ¢. 695, 696), "the papist, Lutheran, and Calvinistic pedobaptists hill contemptuously call them Anabaptists; in the Netherlands they are called Mennists, from Menno Simons. one of their principal teachers."
Thus, according to this testimony, the ancient Waldenses agreed in faith not only with Berengarius, Peter Bruis, Henry Tholossanus, and the Apostolics, of whom we have given an account before; but also with the Mennonites or Baptists of the present day, who by nearly all the rest in socalled Christendom are stigmatized with the contemptuous appellation of Anabaitists, even as their former brethren, the above mentioned waldo were called by those from whom they were separated, namely, the papists.
On pages 677 and 678, these Waldenses are several times called Anabaptists, with the statement, that long before the time of John Huss, they lived in Poland and Bohemia, as well as in France, as is noted in that place. From Hagecus, Dubravius, Micchovius, Cromerus, Jacob Usserius, Jounetus, M. Glaneus, Keyser's Car. Edict.
It is true, that by some of said papistic authors these people are represented in a very bad light, with regard to their faith, as well as their life; however, the writer of the History of Baptism refutes said representation, saying (p. 679, from M. Flaccius and Cent. Magd.), that they were slandered by their accusers, and that in doctrine and life they were very pious, orthodox, and godly Christians.
Although we might stop here, as having sufficiently proved, that the ancient Waldenses were one people with the Baptists of the present day, yet, since this is a much assailed point, we will add, for further confirmation, a few more testimonies from papistic writers. Abbot Peter Cluniacensis, in the first article of Peter Bruis and Henry Tholossanus, makes mention of the belief of the Waldenses, and says, that "they (with said two men) denied that infants in the years of their irrationality can be saved by the baptism of Christ, and maintained, that the faith of another cannot help them, because they cannot use their own faith." Hence, they said: "Though the infants are baptized by the papists, yet, since they cannot believe, their infancy preventing them, they are by no means saved by baptism. But we choose a proper time of faith, and do not rebaptize men, as is alleged against us, since they know their God, and are prepared to believe on Him; but we then baptize them aright, lest it might be said, that they are rightly baptized, who, though baptized in infancy, are not baptized with the baptism by which sin is washed away." This the Waldenses are wont to say, says the writer. Bapt. Hist., page 687.
The writer of the History of Baptism makes the following comments on the twelfth of the Magdeburg Centuries, Â¢Q. 428, 429: "Concerning the origin of the Waldenses, who sprung from Peter Waldo, Mellinus relates all that has been given above from Flaccius. Hence it came, that all his disciples, followers and adherents were at that time called Anabaptists by the malicious papists; and also, Poor Men of Lyons, of which name they needed not to be ashamed for Christ's sake, who also, for our sakes, became poor, that through His poverty He might make us rich. But when they subsequently, through persecution, became dispersed from France into other countries, as England, Poland, Livonia, etc., other names were given them." B. H., Â¢. 695.
Here it is expressly stated that the Waldenses, from ancient times were designated by the papists by the name of ~nahantists â€¢ doubtless because they baptized those who had been baptized in their infancy again, or, at least, aright, afterwards, when they had attained to the faith; for these are words of the Waldenses themselves, as has been shown above. Moreover, that said people were scattered from France not only into England, Poland, and Livonia, but also into many other countries, yea, almost over the whole known world, has previously been proved in part, and shall hereafter, if necessary, be demonstrated still more fully.
BaÂ¢t. Hist., page 710. D. Vicecomes (lib. 2, cap. 2), gives evidence from, Bernhard, that the Waldenses were anabaptists, as the ungodly now call the Christian baptists (the Baptists), who did not believe in infant baptism.
It is certainly clearly and plainly said, that the Waldenses were anabaptists, or, at least, that they were called by that name; the reason why is also shown, namely, because they, like the Baptists of the present day, did not believe in infant baptism.
Jacob Mehrning, having noted that the Waldenses were called anabaptists, says (Â¢. 696)
"But their right, proper, and true name is, and should be, by rights, Christians and ChristianbaÂ¢tists; because they, according to the command and ordinance of Christ, baptized none but those who, according to Christ's baptismal ordinance, know Christ from His holy Gospel, believe on Him, and upon such faith, are rightly baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost."
VARIOUS TESTIMONIES THAT THE WALDENSES RE
JECTED INFANT BAPTISM
In Jacob Mehrning's History of Baptism there is introduced the testimony of Reinerius, in former times a priest of the order of Dominicans, who lived in and about the time of the rise of the Waldenses, and who gives the following with regard to their belief: "T~ey (the Waldenses) say, that the washing of baptism given to infants is of no use." See concerning this, Bibliotheca Patrum, Tom. 13, page 300. Also, H. Montan. Nietigh., page 86, which also agrees with the confession that jean Paul Perrin relates in his History of the Waldenses, art. 7.
On pages 618 and 619, several articles are quoted from a very ancient book, which, in papistic manner, are imputed to them as errors, though they spoke correctly and according to truth with regard to them.
1. They reject all the sacraments of the church (that is, as they were administered according to the Romish custom).
2. Of the sacrament of holy baptism they say, that the questions of the catechism .are put in vain [that is, to infants, who do not comprehend such questions, and do not have the ability to reply to them; whereby they sufficiently rejected infant baptism, which it was not customary to administer without putting said questions to the unintelligent infants.]
3. That the absolution which is pronounced over infants (at baptism) is useless.
4. That the sponsors (who were accustomed to recite the creed as out of the child's mouth) do not understand what they answer to the priests.
By the fourth as well as the third article, not only is infant baptism itself abolished, but also its appurtenances of absolution and sponsors are derided and declared a vain, useless, and ridiculous performance. But in the first article already, where it is said, that they rejected all the sacraments of the (Roman) church, among which sacraments infant baptism was not one of the least, but one of the chief ones; it is plainly taught, that they did not believe at all in infant baptism, but like other ancient papal institutions, trampled it under their feet and rejected it.
From said ancient book, which is ascribed to Reinerius, the Waldenses are charged with various other things respecting their faith; of which, in the ninth and tenth charge, the following is said with reference to baptism (page 629, art. 9): "As regards baptism, some (he means the Waldenses) err, saying: `Infants are not saved by baptism, Mark 16:16. But he that believes and is baptized, shall be saved; but the child does not believe, and, hence, is not saved (by baptism).' Thereupon the priest Reinerius replies: `The child is baptized upon the faith of the parents;' ergo."
Art. 10 confirms the preceding; only it treats also of something more, namely, of the imposition of hands, which was customarily done among the Waldenses, at baptism, to the adult candidates. They also reprove therein the practice which the priests had, of interrogating the sponsors who would come with children to baptism, in an unknown tongue, to which the sponsors then replied, without knowing, however, what they had been asked. This the Waldenses also take as a reason for rejecting infant baptism and the pedobaptistic superstitions. However, to this, said Reinerius replies: "Suffer little children to come unto me." Matt. 19.
On page 733, de Centuria XIII, cap. 5, fol. 216, 217, it is stated from Cesarius, that the Waldenses and Albigenses rejected baptism and said that baptism possessed no virtue and was of no use; which they understood of infant baptism, which is administered without doctrine and faith; for otherwise the Waldenses esteemed the baptism of Christ, which is administered according to his ordinance, very highly.
P. J. Twisck, beginning to write of the Waldenses for the year 1100, calls them by the name of Brethren, and says that they opposed infant baptism. His words are these: "It is evident from the writers, that in these times and shortly after, there existed the Waldensian or Albigensian Brethren, who opposed the papal errors and infant baptism." Chron.. baae 423, col. 1.
This is confirmed by the writers of the Introduction to the Martyrs' Mirror, page 50, eol. 1, who say, With, or from, Baronius, that among other things they held that infant baptism is not necessary to salvation.
We finally come to the testimony of jean Paul Perrin Lionnoys, who, according to the translation of B. Lydius, also confirms the foregoing, although the translator, Lydius, as well as J. M. V., after the manner of pedobaptists has endeavored to give said belief of the Waldenses a different appearance; however, it will appear sufficiently from the matter itself, who has been the more honest, the author or the translator. We will therefore enter upon our work and commit this to the judgment of the reader.
In the third chapter of the first book of the His;tory of the Waldenses, various things of which the papists accused the Waldenses are related, some of which were true, and some false. Among them, mention is made of their views against infant baptism, which is expressed in these words: "The fourth calumny was, that they rejected infant baptism." Lib. 1, part 1, Hist. Waldenses, cap. 3, page 6, col. 1, from St. Bernh., Horn. 66 on Cant.
These things, B. Lydius (page 10) endeavors to refute, as though the Waldenses deferred the baptism of their children, not in consequence of their belief, but from necessity through want of teachers; in which he agrees with his colleague, Abraham Mellinus, preacher of the Calvinists, in St. Anthony's Polder; who, remarking that various writers testify that the Waldenses left their children unbaptized, says (Hist. Mart. 435, col. 3)
"That the children of the Waldenses often got to be rather old, before they could receive baptism, was not a voluntary matter on their part, but was owing to the lack of teachers; for the harvest among them was great, but the laborers few, who could administer the sacraments, especially baptism, which they held in great esteem. Hence, as their ministers were frequently scattered far and wide, through the violence of persecution, or had gone into other countries to preach, they were often compelled to postpone the baptism of their children, .and thus it happened that their children not seldom got to be almost of age, before they could obtain baptism." Thus far, A. Mellinus.
But who does not see, that this is only a fabrication, yea, an artifice, by which not only Lydius, but also Mellinus, both strong Calvinists, seek to force it upon the Waldenses that they omitted infant baptism not as a matter of faith, but of necessity. For, that they needed not to omit it from necessity, or through want of teachers who administered baptism, if, otherwise they had held infant baptism to be right, appears from various authors; for they had their churches, which could not well be without teachers, not only in kingdoms, principalities, earldoms, and provinces, but even in nearly every city, as we shall show more, fullyin the proper place. Who, then, can believe, that they from necessity, through want of teachers, left their children unbaptized, yea, suffered them to grow up until they became of age, without baptism?
It is evident, therefore, that they did not leave their children unbaptized from necessity or through want of teachers, but because of their belief; as holding that baptism without faith could not conduce to salvation, as is manifest from the confessions which they professed in those times already. Thus both B. Lydius and A. Mellinus have committed no small blunder, in endeavoring to force infant baptism upon the Waldenses, of which they apparently never thought in such a light, and to deprive them of baptism upon faith, which they had confessed so many times.
But, as the compass, though its point be turned East, West, or South, ultimately returns to North; so it is also with the truth: though she be forced from her proper place, she will eventually return to it. This is the case here; for, said translator, who first intended to prove, that the Waldenses administered baptism not only upon faith, but also without faith, to infants, states in another place, that it was always administered with faith and repentance. For, what else is indicated by the words, that they received the sacraments (that is, not only the Supper, but also baptism) with.faith and repentance, and this invariably? as is stated in the first book of the third part of the History of the Waldenses, cap. 9, page 138, col. 1, art. 8.
If, then, not only the second, but also the first sacrament, as it is called, namely baptism, is received with faith and repentance, it cannot be said that it was administered to infants, seeing these have neither knowledge nor ability either to believe, or to manifest repentance, and, hence, lack the whole foundation upon which baptism was administered by the Waldenses.
In the tract of the Waldenses, as to which are the works of antichrist, several reproaches against the pope of Rome and the Roman church are treated of; among other things, it is said, after the second article has been treated: "The third work of antichrist consists in this, that he ascribes the renewing of the Holy Ghost to the external, dead faith (namely, to the creed which the sponsors used to recite at baptism, as from the mouth of the children), and that he baptizes the children in that faith, pretending that by it baptism and rezeneration must be obtained." History of the Waldenses, 3d book, 3d part. Tract aqainst Antichrist, Art. 3, page 162, eol. 1, page 163, col. 2.
In another place there is quoted, from Reinerius, this accusation against the Waldenses: "They also censure many things in the (papal) sacraments, and say that the baptism of infants is of no avail to them." B. Lydius, Tractaet van de Kerke, page 86, col. 1.
Having, then, sufficiently proved, that the true Waldenses were not only called Anabaptists, but that thev also actnallv reiected infant baptism. we will proceed to other articles of their doctrine, which they had in common with the present Baptists.*
THE BELIEF OF THE ANCIENT WALDENSES RE;
SPECTING THE OFFICE OF THE SECULAR
It is altogether manifest, that the true Waldenses, in their beginning as well as in their progress, did not accept of secular power and authority, but forsook, yea, fled from it. This appears, in the first place, from those who were the originators, or at least, no insignificant representatives of their religion, namely, Peter Waldo and John of Lyons, both of them influential and very wealthy men, who voluntarily abandoned their riches, and taught their followers to do likewise to resign not only authority, but also the means which furnished occasion thereto, and to be content with such things as might be needful to them for a modest and sober manner of life. For this reason they were called not only Waldenses, but also Poor Men of Lyons. See Bapt. Hist., page 599. H. Mont., page 85.
To this belongs also, that, though their number was great, they suffered themselves to be martyred like sheep for the slaughter, after their expulsion from Lyons, to which they had not offered the least resistance; concerning which, ancient history affords an abundant evidence, and which, God granting us time, we shall notice more fully in the proper place.
As regards what the Waldenses, long after they had left Lyons, believed and taught with reference to this point, it is expressed in one of their articles as follows: "But He (Christ) also exercised no temporal jurisdiction or authority, in the state of His humiliation." Abr. Mell., 2d book, fol. 446, cot. 2.
By these words the Waldenses indicate that even as Christ exercised no temporal authority in the state of Hns humiliation, so His followers also, here, ought not to exercise any such authority, but that they themselves should be subject to secular authorities, as the whole article shows, both in the preceding and in the following words.
In another article they say, that they are truly poor in spirit, and, for righteousness and faith's sake do not exercise authority, but suffer persecution. Bapt. Hist., page 617, in the fourth error of their first article, as the Romanists call it.
THE VIEWS OF THE ANCIENT WALDENSES AGAINST
Their departure from Lyons, their wandering about in foreign countries and cities, their innocent and patient suffering, their steadfastness unto death, and all this without any resistance, retaliation, or self defense, sufficiently indicated the faith they had, and by what spirit they were actuated.
* "Doopsgesinde", German, Taufsgesinde".
But in order to treat this subject in a proper manner, we will here add what they, as regards this matter, believed and, themselves or in the name of others, indicated.
In an old book of parchment, supposed to have been written three hundred years ago, by a certain priest called Reinerius, various matters are alleged as charges against the Waldenses, which he, in a certain place, comprises in three articles, each of which he then divides into sections. In the tenth section he says, "That the pope and all the bishops are murderers, because of the war that they carry on." Bapt. Hist., page 617. B. Lydius, 3. Tract of the Faith of the Waldenses, page 85, cot. 1, Art. 10.
This he gives as an article of the faith of the Waldenses, calling it, however, an error or heresy; but how can he, who has not learned otherwise, speak differently?
Jean Paul Perrin Lionnoys, or his translator, charges the Waldenses also with the following, which accords well with the preceding: "Seventhly, (he says) that they (the Waldenses) maintained, that the pope commits mortal sin, when he sends forth to make war upon the Turks; and that they likewise commit mortal sin,, who obey him in waging war against the heretics." History of the Waldenses, 1st part, 1st book, cap. 3, page 6, cot. 1.
Who cannot see, that this article of the Waldenses opposes war and everything that can be called warfare? yea, in such a manner, that it does not admit of it at all.
For, if one should look for a just cause to wage war, how could he find one more just, than against the Turks? howbeit, it is unjust against all men: but we speak by way of comparison. How could one find greater reason to wage war, than against those whom he considers heretics? for of such it was customary to say that they were worse than murderers, seeing murderers kill only the body, but they, it was said, souls. Nevertheless, the Waldenses reproved the pope for such action, yea, declared, that he committed mortal sin thereby; as well as those who allowed themselves to be used as instruments by the pope for this purpose.
What is added by the translator (lib. 1, part 1, Hist. Wald., cap. 4, page 11), for explanation, which however, serves much more to obscuration, we pass by, as unworthy of consideration and which will fall of its own accord.
Yea, it seems, that the Waldenses not only held that they themselves might not wage war or kill any one, but that they also denied the right of secular authorities who wished to be called Christians, to kill, even if the persons whom they should put to death were malefactors. Concerning this, we find in P. J. Turisck's Chronijk, that the "Poor Men," "Insabbathi," or "Waldenses," taught, that no judge who would be a ,Christian, might put to death any one, not even a malefactor. Chron., page 534, cot. 2, and page 535, cot. 1, from Chron. Seb. Fr., fol. 202, and Enca Sylvio.
Moreover, in the account of Gabriel Prateolus and Guilielmo Reginaldus, who have noted the accusations regarding the doctrine of the Waldenses, also this charge is found against them: Art. 17. "They (the Waldenses) teach that no judge may condemn anyone to any punishment; to which end they adduce that it is written: `Judge not, that ye be not judged."' A. Mell. 2d book, fol. 434, cot. 1, Eleneh. Haeres. Tit. Paup. de Lugd. Calvin Turcismi., lib. 2, cap. 5.
Touching what G. Prateolus and G. Reginaldus add by way of accusation, we let them answer for it. It suffices us that in this they came very near the truth; but they went too far in what the Waldenses understood with regard to capital punishment, namely, that authorities may punish no one with death; this they applied to every kind of punishment, as though the Waldenses had censured the authorities for punishing any one, even a great offender, in any wise; which we are not aware that the Waldenses ever opposed in any formal article, unless some particular one among them held such views.
In the meantime it appears, from the last as well as from the preceding testimonies, how exceedingly fearful these people were in the matter of punishing any one with death; so that they not only desired to be clear from it themselves, but also spoke against the same in the secular authorities. Still more did they reprove open warfare, in which not only a few, but very many are killed, and this for trifling reasons. This being true, we will proceed to other points of their faith, which they had in common with the Baptists.
NOTE. That the Albigenses also, who were one with the Waldenses, were defenseless, peaceable, and meek people, living in quiet under certain papistic authorities, who protected them. See, among others, Introduction, page 50, cot. 2, and page 51, cot. 1, from Baron. in Annal.
THE VIEWS OF THE ANCIENT WALDENSES AGAINST
THE SWEARING OF OATHS
In regard to this point the Waldenses were of the same opinion with us, teaching that the fathers of the Old Testament were permitted, when necessity required it, to swear an oath, in or by the name of the Lord; but that for Christians it is quite unlawful, according to the teaching of.our Saviour, who says: "Ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: but I say unto you, Swear not at all" (Matt. 5:33, 34).
In the first book of the first part of the History of the Waldenses, written by jean Paul Perrin Lionnoys, and translated by J. M. h., chap. 3, page 6, cot. 1, the following point, among others, is adduced as an accusation against the Waldenses "The sixth (tenet) which they (the Waldenses) maintained, was, that men should not swear on any account." From Albert de Capit. and Reiner. Also, P. 1. Twisck, Chron., page 534, cot. 2, page 535, cot. 1.
How the compiler of these things seeks to explain said matter, we here pass over, as this is not the proper place to speak of it. But when necessary, we shall consider it our duty to give an account of it.
Far more pertinent and important, however, is that which is recorded in Bapt. Hist., page 624, where it is stated that in regard to the swearing of oaths they believed thus: "Art. 9. That every oath is a mortal sin; saying: Swear not at all; but let your communication be, Yea, that is yea; Nay, that is nary." Extracted from an old book of parchment, ascribed to Reinerius. Also, A. Mell., Zd book, fol. 432, cot. 4:
In the articles ascribed by G. Prateolus and G. Reginaldus to the Waldenses, as having constituted their faith, mention is made of their views in regard to the swearing of oaths, concerning which, the eighteenth article contains the following: They (the Waldenses) say that all manner of swearing is unlawful for Christians, so that it is nowhere lawful to swear, not even before the judge, when he constrains one thereto, to testify to the truth." A. Mell., 2d book, fol. 434, cot. 1. Eleneh. Haeres. Calv. Turcism., lib. 2, cap. 5.
It is true, Mellinus, after the manner of the Calvinists,'of whom he was a leader, endeavors to explain, as it were, this article of the Waldenses, as though thereby they did not prohibit all swearing of oaths, but only frivolous swearing. His words are these: "The eighteenth article has reference only to unjust and perjurious swearing, as said author owns, (he means the author who charges them with those articles) saying: `The occasion which led them into this belief, was the fact that they so often and continually heard the people swear for trifling reasons, and because thereby one easily falls into perjury."'
But hear what he further says, as he adds a jeering comparison, saying: "That the heretics, who never swear, are like the devil, of whom we do not read that he ever swore." Page 434, cot. 3.
I pray thee, beloved reader, see now, by what author Mellinus seeks to establish his case. It is true, he first quotes this author when presenting the articles of the Waldenses, and this for the reason that the latter has presented them in such a manner that they in every part militate against the Roman church; but now, seeing that said author has presented the article respecting the swearing of oaths (in which the Waldenses deny all swearing) in such a way that it militates against the Calvinistic church, he begins, in order to make the matter doubtful, and to deprive the Waldenses of the article relative to nonswearing, to quote from said author again, and this, in mocking and impious language.
But becoming more discreet, he commences to extol that which is expressed in the eighteenth article_ relative to the swearinv of the Waldenses, above the manner of the papists, saying: "But they (the Waldenses) who have learned from Christ, `Let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay; for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil' (Matt. 5:37), will judge, that the papists, among whom the practice of daily swearing so frivolously is in vogue, are more like that Evil One, that is, the devil, than the Waldenses, who guarding against lying and swearing, and in their daily conversation, are wont to say only, Yea, yea; Nay, na;; as this same writer acknowledges in regard to them. They guard against backbiting, foul words, lying, and swearing, and, as another inquisitor has said
They are prudent in their words, avoid all lying and swearing; also, they teach to avoid all lying, backbiting, and swearing." A. Mell., Zd book, fol. 434, cot. 3, from Frehed. Hist. Bohem., page 232.
With these and like passages from the preceding authors, Mellinus has sought to embellish the Waldenses, to indicate, that they were pious, upright and moral people; but in the meantime he forgot himself, not once thinking that thereby he abundantly establishes that which in other places he endeavors to refute, namely, that the Waldenses rejected all swearing of oaths.
Here we see how excellent truth is, that it cannot remain hid, but is brought to light even by its opponents, either unintentionally or otherwise. I should here leave this subject, but as Mellinus has helped me on the way to show him his perverted zeal, I find it necessary to enter more deeply into the matter. This good, but perversely zealous man, having put all his arguments aside, plainly relates, from an old papistic work of three hundred years ago, that the Waldenses believed all oaths to be mortal sins; yea, that they considered him who would compel another to swear, worse than a murderer. A. Mell. 2d book, fol. 432, cot. 4, from Illyrie. Catal., lib. 15. Tit. Waldens. See also, Conferedit Freher. in Hist. Bohem. and Gretser. Sweluc. Tudens.
Of such and similar passages the writers who present the views of the Waldenses, are full to overflowing, so that it is as clear as the sun, that these people rejected the swearing of oaths and everything that resembled it, even to the saying of the word, Verily, or Certainly, etc.; of which the aforesaid writer also makes mention, saying: "They (the Waldenses) do not say to one another, Verily, Certainly, or the like."* Fol. 432, cot. 4.
All this was done from fear of swearing in any wise, because the Lord had so expressly said, "Swear not at all." Matt. 5:34; hence, they avoided all manners which bore any resemblance to the swearing of oaths.
But, lest any should think that the Albigenses, who were one people with the Waldenses (though others distinguished between them), differed from them in their views, belief, and practice as regards
* P. J. Twisck, in his Chronijk, shows expressly that the Waldenses would not swear, etc. Book 14, page 743, col. 2. from Henr. Roh fol 27 this point, let him read what is noted in the Martyrs' Mirror, edition of 1631, page 51, cot. 2; where it is stated, from Baronius, for A. D. 1178, nun. 3, 4: "That many of the Albigenses, from fear of severe punishment, feigned return to the Roman church; but when an oath was demanded of them they refused to swear; hence they were pronounced heretics and solemnly, with burning tapers, excommunicated, with an injunction to ail Catholics, to shun them; and to all (Romanistic ) princes, to expel them from their dominions.
OF THE VIEWS OF THE WALDENSES AGAINST
NEARLY ALL ARTICLES OF THE
Reinerius, who has written against the Waldenses, gives the following testimony respecting them, as the Jesuits confess in their own print.
Cap. 2, Ingolstadt edition, page 54. "Among all the sects that ever were and still are, there is none more pernicious for the church than the sect of the Lyonists (thus he calls the Waldenses), and this for three reasons.
"Firstly, because it is the most ancient; for. some say that it has existed from the time of Sylvester; others say, from the time of the apostles.
"Secondly, because it is more general (that is, more widely diffused) than other sects; for there is no country where this sect is not found.
"Thirdly, because, whereas all other sects, by their abominable blasphemies against God, cause those who hear them, to loathe their belief, this sect, on the other hand, has a great semblance of godliness, because they lead a godly life before men, have a true belief in all things concerning God, and hold correct views in regard to all the twelve articles of the faith; only they condemn the Roman church and the clergy, in which the unlearned too readily credit them."
In the fifth chapter he says that their doctrine can be brought under these three heads: 1. Invectives against the Roman church and her institutions. 2. Errors against the sacraments and the saints. 3. Rejection of all church usages.
He then specifies their doctrine in the following manner
1. That the Roman church is not the church of Christ, but the church of malediction; and that she decayed in the time of Sylvester, when the poison of temporal riches insinuated itself.
2. That all sins and defects are in the Roman church, and that they (the Waldenses) alone live holily.
3. That almost no one observes the doctrine of the holy Gospel, except they( the Waldenses).
4. That they, in truth, are poor in spirit, and suffer persecution for righteousness and faith's sake.
5. That they are the church of Jesus Christ.
6. That the Roman church is the whore described in John's Revelation.
7. That they condemn all the statutes of the (Roman) church, because of their multiplicity and laboriousness.
8. That the pope is the head of all errors.
9. That the prelates are scribes, and the religions, or members of orders, Pharisees.
10. That the popes and bishops, with respect to the wars they carry on, are murderers. (This article is treated of in another place.) .
11. That God alone is to be obeyed, and not the prelates.
12. That one is not greater than another (before the Lord), but that all are brethren. Matt. 23.
13. That no one may bow his knees before the priests; because the angel said to John , "See thou do it not: for I am thy fellow servant." Rev. 22:9.
14. That men should not give tithes (to the papistic clergy), because it was not customary formerly to give tithes to the church.
15. That the clergy ought not to have property of their own; because it is written, "The priests, the Levites, and all the tribe of Levi, shall have no part nor inheritance with Israel . . . the Lord is their inheritance, as he bath said unto them." Deut. 18.
16. That the inmates of monasteries ought not to have prebends.
17. That bishops are not entitled to the regalia; these being things which are the prerogative of kings and rulers.
18. That no churches and monasteries ought to be founded and endowed.
19. That wills ought not to be drawn up by ecclesiastical persons.
20. They reject the clergy, on account of their idleness, and because they do not labor with their hands, as the apostles did.
21. They reject the names, pope and bishop.
22. They will not admit any one should be compelled to the faith.
23. They reject all ecclesiastical (papistic) offices, and pay little regard to ecclesiastical privileges.
24. They do not admit, that churches and ecclesiastical persons should be exempt from the power and punishment of the secular authorities, for, under that cover of liberty the clergy used to do as they pleased.
25. They hold in contempt councils, synods, and all (papistic) ecclesiastical assemblies.
26. They say, that all human rules respecting persons in orders, are Pharisaical institutions:
These and various other articles respecting the belief of the Waldenses, all directed against the pope, the clergy, sand the whole Roman church, were found in an old parchment written three hundred years ago, and ascribed to Reinerius. It was afterwards followed by various authors. See Balth. Lyd. 3. Tract of the Wnldens:, page 84, cot, 1, and page! 85, cots. 1, 2. A. Mell., 2d book, fol. 430, cod. 4, fol. 431, cots. 1-4. Bapt. Hist., pages 616, 617, 618. P. 1. Tzeisck, Chron., page 451, cot. 2. At n Nicol Evmeric.. printed at Rome. A. D. 1585.
THE CONFESSIONS OF THE WALDENSES, OR THEIR
Since the Waldenses were very ancient, and were spread over very many parts of the world, it came that they, from time to time were compelled, by the demand of those with and among whom they lived, to give an account of their faith; hence it is, that different creeds of the Waldenses were made and are still extant. However, it is not our intention, to relate them all, but simply to present to you one or two, which have been celebrated from ancient times, and are judged to be of the best.
Jean Paul Perrin Lionnoys, in his History of the Waldenses, translated from the French into Dutch, by J. M. V., first part, first book, page 43, makes mention of a certain confession of the Waldenses, in which they speak of various matters of faith, particularly of the holy Scriptures. It reads thus
Article I. We believe and hold fast all that is contained in the twelve articles of the Apostolic Creed; and regard as error all that differs therefrom, and does not agree with said twelve articles.
Article II. We believe that there is one .God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
Article III. We confess and hold as holy canonical Scriptures, the books of the Holy Bible, namely these: The five books of Moses, called Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy. The books of Joshua, Judges, Ruth, The historical books, I Samuel, II Samuel, I Kings, II Kings, I Chronicles, II Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther. The didactic books, job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, The Song of Solomon. The greater prophecies of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel. The lesser prophets, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Hhhbakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi.
Then follow the books of the Apocrypha, which were not received by the Hebrews; hence we read them, as Jerome says, in the preface to the, Proverbs, for the edification of the people, but not for the purpose of confirming church doctrines. They are: I Esdras, II Esdras, Tobit, Judith, Wisdom; Ecclesiasticus, or Jesus Sirach; Baruch, with the letter of Jeremiah; the additions to the book of Esther, from the tenth chapter to the end; the Song of the Three Men in the Fiery Furnace; the History of Susanna; of the Dragon at Babel; the three books of the Maccabees.
Then follow the books of the New Testament. The Gospels, by Matthew, Mark, Luke, John. The Acts of the Apostles. The epistles of Paul, Romans, I Corinthians, II Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, I Thessalonians, II Thessalonians, I Timothy, II Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, I Peter, II Peter, I John, II John. (How it comes that III John is not mentioned, we do not know). The epistle of Jude, the Revelation of John.
Article IV. The afore mentioned books teach this: That there is one God, who is omnipotent, allwise, and alone good, who created all things according to His goodness; for He created Adam after His image and likeness; but that, through the envy of the devil and the disobedience of Adam, sin came into the world, and that we are sinners in and through Adam.
Article V. That Christ was promised to the fathers, who received the law, that by it they might know their sin, unrighteousness and unfitness, and long for the coming of Christ; to which end He atoned for sin and Himself fulfilled the law.
Article VI. That Christ was born at the time appointed by His Father; namely, when all manner of wickedness abounded; and this not for the good works' sake, for they were all sinners; but to show us grace and mercy, as being the true and faithful one.
Article VII. That Christ is our Way, Truth, Peace, Righteousness, Shepherd, Advocate, Sacrifice, and High Priest; who died for the salvation of them that believe, and was raised for our justification.
Article VIII. And, consequently, we maintain, that there is no other mediator and advocate with God the Father, than Jesus Christ. But as regards the virgin Mary, we hold, that she was holy, humble, and full of grace; likewise we believe of all the other saints, that they . . wait for the resurrection of their bodies in the day of judgment.
Article IX. We believe that after this life there are but two places; the one for the blessed, the other for the damned; and utterly deny purgatory, which is a dream and invention of antichrist against truth.
Article X. We have likewise always believed, that all human inventions are an unspeakable abomination before God; such as feast days, vigils of the saints, the so called holy water, abstaining from flesh on certain days, and like things, especially masses.
Article Xl. We abhor all human inventions, as proceeding from antichrist, and which carry with them destruction, and prevent the freedom of the spirit.
Article X11. We believe that the sacraments are signs of holy things, or visible representations of invisible grace; and deem it well, that believers should from time to time use these visible signs or representations, when it is possible for them to do so; nevertheless, we also believe and hold, that said believers can be saved, though they do not receive these signs; that is, when they have no place or opportunity where to receive or use them.
Article X111. We have never confessed that there is any other sacrament than baptism and the Supper.
Article XIV. We must honor the secular authorities with subjection, obedience, willingness, and taxes.
The above fourteen articles are extracted from the book called by the Waldenses, "The Spiritual Almanac," and from the "Memoirs of George Morel." Also, "Hut. of the Waldens.," 1st part, 1st book, cap. 12, pages 43-48.
As regards said articles, they are wholesome and good, if observed in simplicity; hence we will leave them and proceed to another confession, of said Waldenses and Albigenses, drawn up by those of Merindol and Cabriere, and sent to the king of France. The same was publicly read, as A. Mellinus informs us, in the King's Parliament at Paris, and its contents are, word for word, as follows.
CONFESSION OF THE WALDENSES AND ALBIGENSES,
DRAWN UP BY THOSE OF MERINDOL AND
CABRIERE, AND SENT TO THE KING
I. We believe that there is but one God, who is a Spirit, and the Creator of all things, the Father of all, over and through or in all, in us all; who is to be worshiped in spirit and in truth; to whom alone we look, as the Giver of life, raiment and food, as well as of health and sickness, prosperity and adversity; Him we love as the author of all good, and fear Him as the discerner of our hearts.
II. We believe, that Jesus Christ is the Son and the image of the Father, in whom dwells all the fullness of the Godhead; by whom we know the Father; who is our Mediator and Advocate; and there is no other name under heaven given unto men, whereby we may be saved. In His name alone we worship the Father, and pour out no prayers before God, save those contained in the holy Scriptures, or which fully agree with the sense of the same.
III. We believe, that we have the Comforter. the Holy Ghost, who proceeds from the Father and the Son; by whose inspiration we pray, and through whose effectual operation we are regenerated. This Holy Ghost operates in us all good works, and by Him we are led into all truth.
IV. We believe in a holy church, the congregation of all the elect (believers) of God, from the foundation (or beginning) of the world unto the end; the head of this church is our Lord Jesus Christ. This Church is governed by the Word of God, and led by the Holy Ghost. All true Christians are bound to live in her; for she prays without ceasing for all, being acceptable to God, who is her refuge, and out of which church there is no salvation.
V. It is an established rule with us, that the ministers of the church, namely, the bishops and the pastors, must be blameless in manner and doctrine; and if not, that they must be removed, and others put in their stead, who do better fill their place and office. No one takes unto himself this honor, unless he is called of God, like Aaron; feeding the flock of God, not greedy of filthy lucre, nor lording it over his church; but, with a willing mind, setting a good example to the godly, in word, intercourse, love, faith, and purity.
VI. We believe, that kings, princes, and magistrates are ordained by the Lord as His ministers, to whom obedience ought to be rendered; for they bear the sword, to protect the innocent, and punish the evil; hence we are in duty bound to show them all proper honor, and to pay tribute: and no one can evade this subjection, if he would be called a Christian, according to the example of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, for He paid tribute; but exercised no temporal jurisdiction or dominion, drawing the sword of the heavenly word in the state of His humiliation.
The last clause is translated by 1. M. V., in Hist. Wald., thus: Who Himself would pay tribute, but was not willing to accept of worldly dominion.
VII. We believe, that the water in the sacrament of baptism is an external, visible sign, representing to us that which the power of God works within us, namely, the renewing of the Spirit, and the mortifying of our flesh in Christ Jesus, by whom we also become members of the holy church; in which church we show forth the confession of our faith, and the reformation of our life.
VIII. We believe, that the holy sacrament of the communion, or of the Supper of our Lord Jesus Christ, is a holy memorial and, a thanksgiving for the benefits bestowed upon us through the death of Christ; which we all ought to observe and celebrate in the congregation of the godly, in faith, love, and self examination; and that in thus receiving the bread and the cup, we also become partakers of the body and blood of Christ, as we are taught in the holy Scriptures.
IX. We confess, that marriage is good, honorable and holy, yea, instituted by God Himself, and that therefore no one ought to be prohibited from marrying, unless the Word of God intervene.
X. We believe, that the godly and God fearing ought to conduct themselves praiseworthily before God, keeping themselves engaged in good works, which God has ordained that they should walk therein; these works are love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, piety, modesty, temperance, and other good works commanded in the Scriptures.
XI. On the other hand, we confess, that we must beware of false prophets, whose aim is, to draw the people away from the religious worship which we owe to the Lord our God alone, and to cause them to adhere to the creatures, and put one's confidence in them; to neglect the good works commanded us in the holy Scriptures, and to follow the fables of men.
XII. We hold the Old and the New Testament as the rule of our faith, and follow the Symbol or Creed of the Apostles. If any one be found who says that we confess another doctrine, we shall show, if permitted to do it legally before the regular judges, that he is greatly in error and deceives others.
The above Confession of the Waldenses and Albigenses is taken from. Carolus du Moulin's book of the Monarchy of the French, p. 65. A. Mell., 2d book, fol. 446, col. 1, 2, 3, from Joh. Crespin. Acta Mart., lib. 3. Lancelot du Voisin Poplin. Poplinerii Hist. Franc., lib. 1, edition 1585, fol. 26. Joach. Camer. Hist. Narrat., p. 565. To be found in Car. Molin's book, De Manarchia Francorum, in the third volume of his works, edition Paris, A. D. 1612, part 2, pp. 578, 579, 616, 617. Also, Jean Paul Perrin, Hist. of the Wald., 1st part 1st book, cap. 13, Â¢p. 49, 50.
Abraham Mellinus, having noted said confession, in his large work, says: "Thus far extends the confession of faith of the Waldenses and Albigenses, from whom those of Merindol and Cabriere have sprung; which confession we have placed at the close of the twelfth, and in the beginning of the thirteenth century, in order to anticipate and refute all the shameful doctrines which have been unjustly imputed, not only to the Waldenses, as has appeared above, but, particularly, also to the Albigenses, as though they had been Manicheans." Hut. Mart., 2d book, fol. 446, col. 4.
But who cannot see from the above confession of faith, that it does not differ in substance from the confession of the Baptists? notwithstanding A. Mellinus endeavors to draw them to the Calvinists or so called Reformed. For, to speak of but a few points, just look at their confession in the article concerning God; what do the Waldenses say there? "We believe," say they, "that there is but one God, who is a Spirit, the Creator of all things, the Father of all, over and through or in all things, in us all, who is to be worshiped in spirit and in truth." Here certainly no mention is made of three selfexistent, separate persons in the Divine Being. However, by the confession of the Waldenses in this point, the truth of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost constituting the one God, is not excluded; neither is this done in any way by the Baptists.
Besides the preceding, consider the article concerning the Son of God, or of the incarnation of Christ. What is the confession of the Waldenses is this respect? "We believe," say they, "that Jesus Christ is the Son and image of the Father, in whom dwells all the fullness of the Godhead, by whom we know the Father." Certainly, nothing is said here, that the eternal Son of God took His whole humanity, consisting of body and soul, from the substance of the virgin Mary, and that this assumed humanity died for us, but that the true, eternal Son of God remained alive, as the Calvinists say; but as the apostle says: "He (the man Christ) is the image of the invisible God," Col. 1:15; and again
"In him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily." Col. 2:9, as is also declared in the confession of the Anabaptists.
Further, observe the article of the Waldenses respecting the office of authority. "We confess," say they, "that kings, princes, and magistrates are ordained by the Lord as His ministers, unto whom obedience ought to be rendered." But what do they add by way of explanation, that a Christian may fill such an office, as the Calvinistic church says? Oh, no; but they say (that we must submit to it) according to the example of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; for He paid tribute, but exercised no temporal jurisdiction or dominion; drawing the sword of the heavenly word in the state of His humiliation; even as also the Anabaptists confess.
Continuing, notice their article respecting baptism. "We believe," say they, "that the water in the sacrament of baptism is an external, visible sign, representing to us that which the power of God works within us, namely, the renewing of the spirit and the mortifying of our flesh in Christ Jesus, by whom we also become members of the holy church, in which church we show forth the confession of our faith and the reformation of our life." Now, notice; is there a single word said in this whole article, about infant baptism, which latter is nevertheless so strenuously maintained at the present day, by the Calvinistic church? Oh. no; but the contrary is sufficiently expressed, when it is said: "That the water in the sacrament of baptism is an external, visible sign, representing to us that which the power of God works within us, namely, the renewing." For, who does not know, that infants have no knowledge of this external, visible sign? much less, that they should understand, that said sign represents to them that which the power of God should work within them, namely, the renewing? And, to be brief, how can infants, who have never walked in the old life, be sealed, by baptism, unto a new, life? In said article it is also said, "That baptism signifies the mortifying of the flesh." But how can children be reminded by baptism, that they must mortify the flesh, who, before baptism, never lived after the flesh? Hence it follows, that the Waldenses, in this article, did not once, it appears, think of infant baptism.
Then, A. Mellinus presents certain doctrinal points which, for the most part unjustly, he says, were imputed, by their adversaries, to the Albigenses, and consequently, also to the Waldenses, since they were one people; they consisted of twenty eight articles, the first half, or first fourteen of which, he promptly rejects, saying, after presenting them: "These are the chief articles with which the Albigenses are charged by the papists; the first fourteen have been willfully fabricated, and falsely imputed to them, by their adversaries (which we will not dispute); the other fourteen they have, for the most part, in common with the Waldenses, as well as with us."
But, beloved reader, what are the contents of these last fourteen articles which A. Mellinus seems to admit so unequivocally? First of all, the first article (the fifteenth if we count the preceding ones), attracts our attention. "They (the Waldenses) overthrow," says their accuser, "all the sacraments of the Roman Catholic church, and totally reject holy baptism (that is, the baptism of infants, for at that time nothing but infant baptism was known in the Roman church) as useless and unnecessary; and say that the external water of holy baptism differs in no respect from the water in the rivers."
Coming to the article concerning the swearing of oaths, which, reckoned with the preceding, is the twenty sixth, it is expressly stated there: "They teach that it is utterly unlawful to swear." A. Mell., same book, fol. 447, col. 1.
Here it is to be observed, that if these last articles, respecting baptism and the swearing of oaths are justly imputed to the Waldenses, which has previously been proved to be true, and is also admitted here by A. Mellinus; whether those who made this confession, can justly be reckoned with the Calvinistic church, which, as regards said articles, has quite a different confession; or whether they may be reckoned with the church of the Anabaptists, who, as far as these articles are concerned, agree with their confession; namely, that infant baptism is useless, and that we ought not to swear in any wise.
As regards the knowledge of God and Jesus Christ, the office of authority, and other points, it has been said above, that the Waldenses and Albigenses did not differ from, but much rather, agreed with, the Anabaptistic Christians.
SOME MORAL PRECEPTS LEFT BY THE WALDENSES
TO THE CHURCHES
We turn again to jean Paul Perrin, whose testimony regarding matters of the faith of the Waldenses has, from of old, been very highly esteemed. Among other things, he gives an account of the precepts which they left for the building up of a virtuous life; in regard to which, the following is designed to promote a virtuous and God fearing deportment towards those that are without. In the History of the Waldenses and Albigenses, 3d part, 1st book, 10th chapter, page 153, we read literally, in the Waldensian and in the English (Dutch, the original says) tongue, as follows:
En qual modo le poble se de aver a aquilli guar son de f ora?
"How shall our intercourse be with those that are without?"
1. Non amar to mond.
We must not love the world.
2. Fugir la mala consortia.
We must shun evil company.
3. Si es possible aver paz cum fuit.
We must, if possible, live in peace with all men.
4. Non contendre en judici.
We must not go to law.
5. Non veniar si meseine.
We must not avenge ourselves.
6. Amarr li ennemic.
We must love our enemies.
7. holer sustenir trabails, calomnias, menasas, reprovance, vergognas, eriurias, & totas generations de tormens per la verita,
We must willingly bear labor, calumny, threats, rejection, shame, injuries, and all kinds of torment, for the truth's sake.
8. Possessir las arnuas in patientia.
We must possess our souls in patience.
9. Non amenar joug cum li non fidel.
We must not be yoked together with unbelievers.
10. Non communicar a las rnalas obras, & totalment a las, sabent idolatria, & del servici sentent so meseine, & enaimi de las autes.
We must have no fellowship with evil works, especially with such as savor of idolatry, and all services which tend in that direction; and thus we are to judge of like matters.
In said tenth chapter some further rules of these people are found, which have reference to the believers themselves, how they must well govern their own lives and bodies. They read as follows
Encar en qual maniera li fidel debian regir li for
"Also, how believers are to govern their own
bodies, or themselves."
1. Non servir a li desirier mortal de la carn.
They shall not serve the deadly lusts of the flesh.
2. Gardar li for membres quilli non sign armas d'iniquritas.
They shall keep their members that they do not become instruments of wickedness.
3. Regir li for sentiment.
They shall govern well their thoughts.
4. Sot mettre la corps a l'espirit.
They shall keep the body in subjection to the spirit.
5. Morti Hear li membres.
They shall mortify their members.
6. Fugir la ocioseta.
They shall shun idleness.
7. Gardar sobrieta & mesura en maniar & beavre, & en parolas & en las curas del mond.
They shall observe temperance and sobriety in eating and drinking, as well as in their words, and in the cares of this world.
8. Far obras de miseridia.
They shall practice works of mercy.
9. More per fe, & per vita moral.
They shall live in faith and morality.
10. Combatre contra li desirier.
They shall fight against lusts.
11. Mortificar las obras de la carn.
They shall mortify the works of the flesh.
12. Istar en temp debit a la Religion.
They shall, at the proper time, attend divine worship.
13. Ensemp recordar la diving volunta.
They shall speak to one another of the will of God.
14. Examinar diligentament la conscientia.
They shall diligently examine their consciences.
15. Mundar & esmendar, & pacifecar l' espirit.
They shall purify, improve, and compose the spirit or mind.
These and like precepts the Waldenses presented to their fellow believers, that they might know how to lead a virtuous and pious life, with regard to God, as well as to their neighbor, and to themselves.
TESTIMONY OF ANCIENT WRITERS, REGARDING
THE VIRTUOUS LIFE OF THE WALDENSES
Above all things it is a matter of astonishment, that the most violent opponents of the Waldenses, who .accused them the most on account of their faith, could nevertheless find nothing to censure in their life, notwithstanding exceeding attention was given to this point. It is true, that some, from deadly hatred against these people, vented many lies in order to tarnish their reputation; but they were instantly contradicted by their copartners who had a somewhat higher regard for the truth.
Jacob de Riberia, who allowed himself to be used as a persecutor of the Waldenses, says: "That for a long time they resided in Narbonne, or Gaule Narbonnoise, in the bishoprics of Albi, Rhodes, Cahors, and Aix la Chapelle; and that at that time those who would be called ecclesiastics and bishops, were held in little esteem, because nearly all those priests were either unworthy or illiterate. Hence it was easy for the Waldenses, says he, to gain the ascendency among the people, by their eminent learning." Hist. of the Wald., 1st part, 1st book, cap. 5, p. 21, from Jac. Rib., in his account of the city of Toulouse. Chassagnon, in his History of the Albigenses, page 27.
Reinerius, a Dominican friar and cruel inquisitor against the Waldenses, assaying to defame them because they frequently read the holy Scriptures, said: That when the Waldenses wished to display their learning, they adduced many things relating to purity, humility, and other virtues, showing that sin must be shunned, and quoting thereto the words of ,Christ and His apostles.
He also adds, that they taught, from the Gospel and the writings of the apostles, how the followers or disciples of Christ must be, saying: "That those alone are followers of the apostles, who follow their lives." In conclusion he says: "That the pope, the bishops, and the clergy, who possess the riches of this world, and do not follow the holiness of the apostles, are no rulers of the church of Jesus Christ." Same page, from Reinerius' book, De forma Heret., fol. 98.
Their extraordinary virtue is also very evident from the tract of Reinerius concerning the manners of the Waldenses, yea, it is astonishing, how excellently this writer, who had no other intention than to say the worst of them, yea, to brand them as heretics, presented their virtue, so that the papists should justly feel ashamed over it; for, these are the words of him who was their inquisitor: "It can be seen also from their manners and words, that they are heretics; for their manners are modest and grave; they exercise no pride in their clothing, for they wear neither costly nor very mean clothing; they do not engage in any commerce; they avoid lying, swearing, and cheating, but maintain themselves by the labor of their hands, as mechanics. Their teachers ,are weavers and shoemakers, who do not heap up great riches, but are content with the necessaries of life. The Lyonists (the Waldenses) are also chaste, temperate in eating and drinking, and do not frequent taverns, etc." Bapt. Hist., pages 646, 647.
Concerning the manner in which the Waldenses prayed, the following is found in an ancient papistic book: "The Waldenses observe this manner in praying: they bow down with bended knees upon the ground, leaning against a bench or something suitable for this purpose. Thus, with bended knees, and body bowed down, they generally continue in prayer as long as it might take to repeat the Lord's prayer and the amen thirty or forty times. This they do every day with great reverence." Again: "They say, teach, or have, no other prayer than the Lord's prayer, or the paternoster. The angelic Salutation, or the Ave Maria they condemned." Bapt. Hist., page 647.
Among other things, the ancients make mention of some of the Waldenses, who are called apostles, teachers, angels, and brethren; but who nevertheless obtained their names not because of their nobility, high descent, or great worldly learning, but, to all appearance, on account of their virtue. For, as regards their descent, and standing in this world, they were very humble; their names were: Nicholas of Poland; John of Poland, a peasant's soil; Walrich of Hardeck, a shoemaker by trade; Conrad of Gmund, in Suabia, a peasant's son; Simon of Salig, in Hungary, a tailor by trade; Herman of Mistelgen, a peasant's son, and blacksmith by trade.
"But," says he writer who accuses them, "they lead this kind df life and walk; first, they fast three or four days in the week, living on bread and water unless they have to do very hard work; then the chief among them take care that their subjects appear before them. (If by the terms, chief and sub;jects, there are understood teachers and common people, or master tradesmen and servants, or the like, there is no ambiguity). They pray seven times a day; the oldest (among them) begins the prayer." Bapt. Hist., page 649.
These and like testimonies respecting the virtues of the Waldenses, even from their bitterest accusers, indicate that they were very merciful, virtuous, and God fearing people, and that they were thus greatly calumniated by those who sought to maintain the contrary in regard to them. But, how unjustly some have proceeded in accusing said people, with regard to their faith as well as to their life, of this we will presently give some account.
HOW THE WALDENSES WERE UNJUSTLY ACCUSED
BY THEIR INQUISITORS, AND ACCUSERS
In the second book of the first part of the History of the Waldenses, by Jean Paul Perrin, translated by J. M. V., 3d chapter, page 74, col. 2, there is an account of one Jan Veileti, a monk, and inquisitor over the Waldenses, and how very unfaithfully and deceitfully he or his clerk acted in the case of these people, from which it can be inferred, how it also was with others of their accusers. The words read as follows
But in the processes which were instituted by this monk Jan Veileti, we have observed an exquisite kind of villainy and low cunning; for, having gotten these proceedings into our hands, we found in them little billets, upon which this commissary (Jan Veileti) had noted the answers of the accused, simply, and just as they had come from their lips; but these simple answers, we afterwards, in the proceedings found extended, and frequently given in a form contrary to, and quite different from what the sumptum, that is, the aforementioned answer as noted in the proceedings, implied and contained; thereby perverting the meaning of the defendant, and causing him to say that of which he had never thought.
For example, when he was asked whether he did not believe, that as soon as the sacramental words were pronounced by the priest, in the mass, the body of Christ was in the host, just as He was on the tree of the cross, and the Waldenses answered, No, Veileti or his clerk set down as his answer
That he had confessed that he did not believe in God.
Again, when it was asked, whether the saints must not be invoked, the reply was, No, they wrote
That they had reviled, and spoken evil of, the saints.
When it was asked, whether the virgin Mary must not be saluted and invoked in our extremity, and the answer was, No, they wrote: That they had reviled the virgin Mary.
"Behold, such was the faithlessness of the monks and inquisitors in such important matters, and it is not without a certain evidence of God's providence," says the writer, "that these villainies have been preserved and have remained to the present time, as a means by which to show, what spirit actuated those men having, by manifold frauds, oppressed and ultimately killed and burnt the believing members of the church of Christ, yet have the audacity to ask us, where the church, and the believers, whom they themselves put to death, were before our coming."
"Now, if the reader is desirous to know," says our author, "how said proceedings fell into our hands, we reply, that this occurred likewise through the providence of God." He then relates, how the archbishops of Embrun, John Rostan, and others had these papers and proceedings under lock and key in their chests and chanceries, until the city where they resided, was taken, A. D. 1585. The house of the archbishop having taken fire on this occasion, many of these processes held in former times against the Waldenses, were thrown in bags into the street. One Calignon, chancellor of Na . varre and a certain councilor of Grenoble, who were present, ordered them to be picked up and delivered into their hands; and thus, it is stated, the . perfidious calumnies against the Waldenses came to light, which, otherwise, would have gone among the papists, as true accusations against them. But it is as the common adage says: Lies fly swiftly, but truth overtakes them. We will now close our account of the true faith and good practice of the Waldenses, and show, how long and in what times they existed.
CONCERNING THE TIME OF THE WALDENSES
Of this, H. Montanus gives this account: "The persuasion of the Waldenses or Lyonites obtained, in France as well as in some cities of Italy, secretly as well as openly, according to the condition of the times, for more than three hundred years, from the year 1170 or 1180 to 1545, as may be seen in Sleidanus, lib. 16, Comment." H. Mont. Nietigh., page 86.
Their beginning we have fixed, according to the common reckoning of ancient writers, A. D. 1170; but it appears that they existed long before; for even as early as the year 1120, people of the same profession declared, by open writings, their views against the pope, whom they called antichrist, censuring him in many things, as stated above.
Moreover, P. J. Twisck gives the following account for the year 1168: "The Waldenses, of whom mention is made for the year 1159, had at this time so many followers and such great success with their doctrine, in France, Spain, Italy, and Germany, that those of their profession, as Guil. Nebriss, writes, numbered as many as the sand of the sea; who, when they were summoned by the pope of Rome, to give an account of their doctrine, would not appear, saying that they were not obliged to obey the pope, who was the antichrist and had declared them schismatics." Chron. page 479, Col. 1.
A. D. 1199. It is stated that at this time the Albigenses, who were one church with the Waldenses, had so increased in the earldom of Toulouse, that, as the papists complained, "almost a thousand cities were polluted with them." Introduction M. M., page 52, Col. 1, from Baron. A. D. 1199, num. 13.
With this the lord of St. Aldegonde concurs, when he says (in't Tafereel der Geschil., cap. 12, fol. 142): "That, notwithstanding Peter de Bruis was burnt as a heretic, at St. Giles, near Nismes, their doctrine nevertheless was spread throughout the province of Gascony, into the earldom of Fois, Querci, Agenois, Bourdeloicx, and almost throughout all Languedoc, and the earldom of Jugrane, now called Venice. In Province also this doctrine was almost universally accepted, and the cities, Cahors, Narbonne, Carcassonne, Rhodes, Aix la Chapelle, Mesieres, Toulouse, Avignon, Mantauban, S, Antonin, Puflanrens, Castres, Minerve, Begiers, Beaucaire, Lombes, Pannes, and the country of Bigorre were filled with it, together with many other cities which were favorable to them, as Tarascon, Marseilles, Perces, Agenois, Marmande, and Bordeaux; whereby this doctrine spread still further, from the one side into Spain and England, from the other, into Germany, Bohemia, Hungary, Moravia, Dalmatia, and even into Italy.
"Indeed in such a manner did this doctrine spread that however sedulously the popes and all their minions exerted themselves, aided by the princes and the secular magistrates, to exterminate them, first by disputations, then by banishment and papal excommunication and anathemas, proclaiming of crusades, indulgences and pardons to all who would commit violence upon them, and finally, by all manner of tortures, fire, gallows, and cruel bloodshedding, yea, in such a manner that the whole world was in commotion on account of it; yet, they (the papists) could not prevent the ashes from flying abroad, and becoming scattered far and wide, almost even to all the ends of the earth." Introduction M. M., page 52, Col. 1, 2.
The above seems marvelous, but it is not marvelous with regard to the Lord God, with whom nothing is wonderful or impossible. In the meantime, we see how God permitted this grain of mustard seed of the Waldenses, or Poor Men of Lyons, to grow up a large tree, and this in the midst of their persecutions. Oh, the great power, wisdom and love of God, who never forsakes His people!
P. J. Twisck, having finished his account of the twelfth century, concludes as follows, with which we will also conclude our account: "As regards the state and condition of ecclesiastical affairs in the preceding hundred years, we find no special change, nor reformation, except that in this century we have many praiseworthy men who opposed popery with the holy Scriptures, rejecting images, pilgrimages, masses, and other papal superstitions, and also infant baptism; concerning which you may consult the years 1145, 1159, 1168, 1182, 1198. Thus the Baptists and many others (who had better views than the papists), and their followers or fellow believers lived for a long period, or even to this time, in various countries and places, under many severe persecutions." Chron., 12th book, page 511.
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