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AN ACCOUNT OF THE HOLY BAPTISM
IN THE FOURTEENTH CENTURY
SUMMARY OF BAPTISM IN THE FOURTEENTH CEN;
[The beginning is of the congregations or churches of the Waldenses; concerning whom it is shown that they existed not only in this century, but long before and after, teaching that the baptism of infants is of no avail.
The seventh article of the confession of the faith of the Waldenses, touching baptism, is presented; which treats of their confessing the ~ faith, and change of life.
The belief of Dulcinus and his wife Margaret adduced, of whom the papists say, that they were exactly like the Waldenses.
For the year 1315, persons are introduced, whom the papists regarded as heretics, because they held a belief different from that of the Roman church; of which two articles are presented: 1. of baptism; 2. of the swearing of oaths; which is further explained by us. For the year 1218 there is also shown, by way of censure, the confession of the papists.
Certain pious people, called apostate Minorite friars present themselves, who are accused, by Pope John XXII, of five articles, one of which is against the swearing of oaths, and the other four against the papal church and her clergy.
Mention is made, for the years 1319, 1330, and 1365, of the Waldenses, whose confession of faith has, in preceding centuries, been shown not to militate against that of the Anabaptists; a representation of the severity with which the papists then proceeded against them.
John Wickliffe, A. D. 1370 adduces among other things, a certain article, declared to militate against infant baptism; also an article against the swearing of oaths, etc.
For the years 1372 and 1373, mention is made of certain people, who, by John Tilius, are called Turilupins, but by others are declared to have been true Waldenses.
Judicial proceedings (A. D. 1390) instituted against the Waldenses, in the countries on the Baltic Sea; with the statement that people of this profession existed in the Saxon countries full two hundred years before the time of John Huss.
Walter Brute confesses, A. D. 1392, that it is not lawful in any case, to swear, neither by the Creator, nor by the creatures. He also makes a good confession regarding baptism. This is also called the doctrine of W. Swinderby.
J. Mehrning cites a very ancient confession of faith of the Waldenses, which he has had in his own hands; in which it is declared that in the beginning of Christianity no infants were baptized.
Cursory notice of the Thessalian brethren, who agree with the so called Mennists in all articles of religion; also, of the custom in Thessalia, of baptizing on Whitsuntide; and how Charles, Bishop of Milan, exhorted the teachers, diligently to expound the mystery of baptism to the hearers in order that the confession of the Christian name might become them.
St. Barnabas preaching the holy Gospel at Milan, baptizes in running water. Thereupon mention is made, in a note, for A. D. 1394, of certain people in Bohemia, who sided with the Anabaptists. This is the conclusion.]
"That the church of the Waldenses," says Jacob Mehrning, "after her origin in France and her violent persecution in that country, spread far and wide into Bohemia, Poland, Lombardy, Germany, the Netherlands, and elsewhere, and remained there from the twelfth century until the year 1545 (as is recorded in Bibliotheca Patrum, Tom. 15, p. 300), teaching the invalidity of infant baptism, is testified to by the histories adduced in the preceding centuries, and may be seen in Sleidanus Comment.
16, Jac. Mehrn, Bapt. Hist., page 737, and H. Mont. Nietigh., page 86."
Continuing, J. Mehrning in said place, gives an account of the article of baptism from the confession of faith of the Waldenses, saying: "J. Paul Perrin of Lyons, in his history of the Waldenses, relates their confession, the seventh article of which is as follows: `We believe that in the sacrament of baptism the water is the external and visible sign of the invisible power of God, working in us the renewing of the spirit and the mortifying of our members in Christ Jesus; by which also we are received into the holy congregation of the people of God, testifying and declaring, before the same, our faith and a change of life."' Concerning this, see also H. Mont. Nietigh., page 86, extracted from Charles du Meulin's book of the Monarchy of the French, page 65.
Who does not see that in this place the Waldenses expressly say that in baptism they testify and declare before God, their faith and change of life? which was well observed afterwards by Jacob du Bois, preacher of the Calvinists at Leyden, though he endeavored to obscure it by his expositions, Contra Montanum, printed A. D. 1648, pages 162, 163; but the truth of the command of Christ: "He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved" (Mark 16:16), is stronger and prevails.
A. D. 1305. The learned Leonard Krentzheim, in his Chronicle writes the following concerning Dulcinus: "Dulcinus and Margaret founded a new sect or heresy (thus the papists speak) in every respect like the Anabaptists; which continued until A. D. etc." P. .1. Twisck, .Chron., page 646, col. 1.
A. D. 1315. D. A. Mellinus gives an account, for this year, of many orthodox Christians, as he calls them, who by the papists were nevertheless styled heretics. He notices several of their articles, which the papists charged as heresy against them, but which we, in order to avoid prolixity, shall not adduce here, save what is brought against them with regard to baptism and oaths.
THEIR VIEWS ON HOLY BAPTISM
Concerning baptism he writes, that it was reported of them, that they had ridiculed the sacrament of baptism.
But who does not know, that if they ridiculed the sacrament of baptism, they meant it only as far as infant baptism is concerned; for this was the mooted question at that time. However, Mellinus gives his opinion, which does not conflict with ours, as to what was their belief in this matter. His words are these: "As regards the article of the sacrament of baptism (namely, that they should have entirely rejected it), it must not be understood with reference to the true institution of Christ, but to the belief of the papists, who bind the grace of Christ and the power of the Holy Ghost to the external water of baptism."
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THEIR VIEWS IN REGARD TO THE OATH
As regards the oath, the papists charged them with holding that perjury is no sin. "But" says A. Mellinus, "let us examine these false articles a little more closely." Coming to the article of the oath he speaks as follows, in order to demonstrate the falsity of this accusation: "How should they have considered perjury no sin, when the papists themselves (in the History of the Waldenses) declare of them, that they were so loath to swear an oath, desiring that they should be believed on their yea and nay, in order to avoid all lying, slandering, perjury, and frivolous swearing?" Thus far. Mellinus, in the 2d book of the Hist., fol. 479, col. 1, 2.
Hence, these people sought to avoid not only false oaths, but all manner of swearing, desiring on this account, to be believed on their yea and nay, in accordance with the teaching of Christ "Let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil" (Matt. 5:37).
The same year as above, A. D. 1315. At this time, Pope John XXII, issued a papal decree against some apostate (?) Minorites, in which he accuses them of the following points
"Firstly, that they asserted, that there were two churches; the one, carnal, abounding in the riches, luxuries and lusts of this world, polluted with all manner of sin and shame, and governed by the pope of Rome and the prelates. The other, spiritual, temperate, pure, virtuous, honorable, and poor; to which latter they and their adherents alone belong.
"Secondly, that they declared the priests of the church, and all her ministers, divested of the jurisdiction and authority of their order, so that they could give neither sentence nor advice, nor administer the sacraments, nor teach the church under them thus depriving them of all their ecclesiastical power, and that, on the other hand, they boasted that all ecclesiastical authority rested with them alone, since they ascribed the holiness of the spiritual life only to themselves.
"Their third error," as the pope says, "agrees with the error of the Waldenses; since they both maintain that men ought in no case to swear, teaching that it is a sin unto death to swear an oath."
The fourth supposed error, the pope acknowledges, likewise to proceed from the Waldenses: "That the priests who are confirmed or ordained legally, according to the form or order of the church (as he calls it), if they are laden with any crimes or sins unto death, cannot prepare, nor administer, the sacraments of the church."
The fifth error, as the pope says, was, that they said that the Gospel of Christ, which hitherto had been covered, nay, almost entirely extinguished, was, at this time, fulfilled in them alone. In explanation of this article, the pope adds that they said that they ascribed the promise of our Lord, concerning the sending the Holy Ghost, to themselves in such a manner as to exclude the general (the Roman) church from the general apprehension and observance of the holy Gospel.
"But see," says A. Mellinus, who has recorded this, "how the pope perverts the meaning of these people; for they never denied that the Holy Ghost, according to Christ's promise, was poured out richly upon the apostles; but they denied that the popes of Rome, who called themselves apostolic, and successors of the apostles, had part or lot in the sending of the Holy Ghost." Second book of the Hist., fol. 480, col. 1, 2.
Besides these five articles, the pope imputed additional errors to these pious people, though he did not mention them all. Hence, it appears that they concurred for the most part with the belief of the Waldenses; and that their belief was opposed, not only to the swearing of oaths, but also to infant baptism, revenge, the sacrament of the altar, the mass, and other superstitions of popery, has already been more than sufficiently shown.
A. D. 1319. At this time, Pope John XXII, through his inquisitors, raged mightily against the Waldenses, who made the above cited confession, which corresponds with that of the Anabaptists. Of their sufferings and end we shall speak afterwards, in the proper place. Concerning this, see Bzov. Annal., A. D. 1319, art. 10, ex M. S. Bibl. Vaticane. Also A. Mell., fol. 480, col. 3.
A. D. 1330. At this day said Waldenses were greatly oppressed by the inquisitors, in the kingdoms of Bohemia and Poland (see the large Book of Christian Martyrs, fol. 483, col. 1); which is a proof that the defenders of the above confession existed then not only in France, but also in Bohemia and Poland. Yea, Matthias Flaccius Illyricus professes to have the inquisitorial books of the proceedings held at that time by the inquisitors, in Bohemia and Poland, under King John, against the Waldenses. Catalog. Test. herit., 1. 16, art.: The Waldenses.
NOTE. In Jacob Mehrning's History of Bap;tism we read, p. 609: "I have in my possession the inquisition which, A. D. 1330, in the time of King John, was held, in Bohemia and Poland, against the Waldenses."
A. D. 1365. The author of the books of the Persecutions and Martyrs, records the following for the year 1365: "As there were everywhere throughout France innumerable Beghards and Beguines (in the second book, page 479, at the foot of the fourth column, he calls them Waldenses), who scattered their heresy, as the papists called it, far and wide, Pope Urban VI, A. D. 1365, charged all the prelates of France, and the inquisitors of the faith in that country, by an express bull, that they should not suffer the heretics to live with impunity, but should exterminate the erring spirits (thus the pope calls the true believers), together with their errors, with the sickle of ecclesiastical discipline." Second book of the History of the Persecutions, fol. 488, col. 1, from Bzov., A. D. 1365, Art. 8.
A. D. 1370. "At this time," writes Jacob Mehrning and others, "John Wickliffe, a teacher in England, and pastor at Lutterworth in the bishopric of Lincoln, taught, among other things, that baptism is not necessary to the forgiveness of original sin; thereby sufficiently opposing, or, as H. Montanus says, rejecting, infant baptism, which is founded upon the forgiveness of original sin. On this account, forty one years after his death, his bones, by order of the pope, were exhumed, burnt, and the ashes thrown into the water." J. Mehrn., B. Hist., pp. 737, 738, H. Mont. Nietigh., p. 87. Also Thom. Waldens., Tone. 2, c. 96. Bellarm., Torn. 3, lib. 1, de Sacr. Bapt., cap. 4, hicecom. de Observat. Eccles., lib. 2, cap. 1.
NOTE. Further explanation. That the above words of John Wickliffe are to be understood in no other way than as having reference to the rejection of infant baptism, and not of baptism upon faith, is confirmed by the fourth article, extracted from Wickliffe's Trialogue, by William Widefort, a Minorite, and quoted by A. Mellinus. It reads as follows: "Those who say," says John Wickliffe, "that the children of believers, which die without baptism, are not saved, are much too presumptuous and bold." A. Mell., 2d book, fol. 494, cot. 3.
Moreover, that John Wickliffe opposed not only infant baptism, but also oaths sworn to men, is testified to in the forty second article of his confession, delivered in the council of Constance, and condemned there. It reads thus: "Oaths sworn in civil contracts and commercial transactions are unlawful." Colon. aped Orthun. Grat. A. Mell., 2d book, fol. 496, cot. 1.
This article relative to the swearing of oaths, from the confession of John Wickliffe, is stated by some as follows: "An oath sworn for the purpose of confirming human contracts and proper transactions, is not appropriate." Seb. Franck, Chron., der Roan. Kett., fol. 105, cot. 1, letter J., John. Also P. J. Tzvisck, Chron., p. 720, cot. 1, 2. Tract. Kort herhael van den Loop der Werelt, by F. H. H., p. 99.
P. J. Twlsek and others write that John Wickliffe, having fled from England to Bohemia, propagated his doctrine there jointly with the Waldenses, w1l~o, for the most part, agreed with it.
Wickliffe also taught that the substance and essence of the bread and wine remain in the sacrament of the altar after the consecration.
That Christ is not bodily in the sacrament. That the mass is not instituted by Christ, but is the devil's obedience and word. That confirmation, fasts, consecrations of priests, the baptizing of temples, and bells, are retained by the pope and the bishops only from the desire for gain.
That universities, studies, doctorates, colleges, grades, and masterships, are things which we have
* Hence, when Wickliffe rejects the swearing of oaths in civil or human contracts, he rejects all swearing of all oaths that have ever been in question; for not the promises which are made to God but the oaths that are sworn to men, have been from ancient times, and are still, the matter in question.
inherited from the heathen, and are altogether of as much use to the church as the devil. An improper oath is, etc.
Merula and others state that Wickliffe wrote full two hundred books, and diligently instructed, and turned from popery, John Huss (see A. D. 1415 and 1416), when the latter was still young, together with many others. P. J. Tutisck, Chron., p. 720, cot. 1, 2, from Leonh., lib. 6. Hist. Andr. Junii, f of 45. Jan. Cresrin., fol. 354. Guil. Mer;ula, fol. 886. Toneel. Niclaes, fol. 119. Zegh., fol. 119.
NOTE. That John Huss (though the Calvinists would like to claim him, as well as John Wickliffe), was opposed to the swearing of oaths, and had other articles in common with the Waldensian Anabaptist brethren, and that he learned this from John Wickliffe, and Wickliffe from said Waldensian brethren, we hope to make clear in its proper place.
As to the article which Wickliffe was said to have taught, namely, that everything happens by an absolute or unavoidable necessity, on this D. A. Mellinus, a Calvinistic preacher, remarks: "We suspect that this has been unjustly put on Wickliffe, by the malicious enemies of the truth" (2;d book, fol. 495, cot. 4). Afterwards, explaining it still further, he says that "This is a wanton slander and devilish lie, fabricated from nothing, and cast into the face of innocent John Wickliffe." Fol. 496, cot. 1.
Thus it is evident, that John Wickliffe, even according to the testimony of the Calvinists, did not maintain the article of precise predestination, as some before him, though wrongly, have believed.
NOTE. If John Wickliffe did not hold the article of predestination or unavoidable necessity, as one of the Calvinistic teachers here asserts and holds as truth, what, then, did he retain, in the matter of his belief, that accords only with the Calvinistic church? Certainly nothing.
A. D. 1372. John Tylius, in his Chronicle of the Kings of France, writes, for the year 1372, concerning certain people whom he terms Turilupins, and, in papistic manner, very contemptuously calls a superstition, as follows: "The superstition of the Turilupins (a kind of Waldenses), who took their surname from the poverty common to them all, were this year condemned as heretics, together with their writings, books and clothes." J. Tyl., Chron., Reg. Gall. A. Mell., fol. 497, cot. 3. Of their faith we shall presently speak.
A. D. 1373. Vignierus writes concerning these people called Turilupins, and their doctrine, that they were pronounced heretics at Paris, by the inquisitors, and their books publicly burnt, together with one of their women. Hut. Eccles., A. D. 1373. ex Guil. de Nangis. A. Mell., same place. More anon.
NOTE. A fuller account of the death of this woman will be given in its proper place, in the history of the martyrs.
OF THE UPRIGHTNESS OF THESE PEOPLE
The author of the second book of the Perse;cutions, relating how these people, called Turilupins, were accused by some papistic writers, of not living honestly, replies in their stead, saying: "But these poor people are lamentably slandered; for they were upright Waldenses, to whom the papists imputed whatever they would." Fol. 497, cot. 3.
OF THE NAME OF THESE PEOPLE
As regards their name, Joachine Caudarius states that they obtained the name of Turilupins, in Flanders, Artois, and Hainault, because they lived in wildernesses, among the wolves. In lugibri Narrat. de excidio Wald. Alb., A. M., same place.
OF THE BELIEF OF THESE PEOPLE
It may be observed here, that if these Turilupins were true Waldenses, as has been declared, they rejected infant baptism, the swearing of oaths, revenge towards enemies, the mass, and all other Roman inventions, as appears from their own confession shown above.
NOTE. Henry de Haffra, at Vienna, A. D.1376, wrote on Genesis, and greatly reproved the lies of the Romish legends, and about the merits of the saints. In a letter he also censured the clergy and their head, the pope, for many errors. loh. Munst., fol. 174, compared with the Chronicle of the. Destruction of the Tyrants, p. 724, cot. 1.
Also: A. D. 1380, Michael Cesenas, formerly a Minorite friar, or monk, wrote against the pope, calling him (from II Thess. 2) antichrist, and the Roman church, Babylon, and the congregation of those drunk with the blood of the saints. The pope deposed him from his dignity; but he adhered steadfastly to his opinion. Joh. Munst., fol. 171. Catal. Test., fol. 691, compared with P. J. Twisck, Chron., p. 731.
Also: In the same year Nicholas Clemongis opposed the superstitious feast days, excessive eating and drinking, (evil) speaking, and other improper things. See the last mentioned chronicle, r. 732, from Joh. Munst., fol. 170.
Also: About A. D. 1382, M. Matthaeus Parisiensis, a Bohemian, appeared, and wrote a large book concerning antichrist, (the pope), saying that he had already come, and could be found in Rome. Thus did also Lupoldbs de Bedenborgh. Compare P. J. Tzvisck, Chron., Q. 734, cot. 1, with Catal. Test., fol. 794, 796. Merula, fol. 890.
Also: A. D. 1384, John Muntziger, Rector of the school at 01m, read in his oration, that the supposed body of Christ should not be made God, and, hence, should not be worshiped as God. See the last mentioned author, fol. 736, cot. 1, compared with Hist. Joh. Munst., fol. 171.
A. D. 1390. Or about that time, mention is made of the Waldenses in the countries lying on the Baltic Sea; concerning whom Matthias Flaccius Illyricus states that he has an entire inquisitorial book, full of the proceedings held against the godly Waldenses who lived in those countries.
Said Illyricus also had among his writings, another brief inquisition or investigation against the Waldenses; such as formerly was practiced against them in the bishopric of Mayence. He moreover says that he has still another, large book, full of proceedings held by the inquisitors against the Waldenses; in which 443 Waldenses are mentioned by name, who about A. D. 1391, in Pomerania, the Mark, and the adjacent places, were put on the rack and examined on the articles once confessed by the Waldenses. Many of these martyrs or confessors freely testified and confessed that they had been, one twenty, another thirty years, among this sect. Also, that their forefathers held the same doctrine. Matth. Flacc. Ill. Catal. Test. herit., lib. 18. Lib. 15,Title, De Waldensibus.
NOTE. From this it appears, writes a certain author, that the Saxon countries were full of Waldenses, that is, orthodox Christians, already two hundred years, and more, before the time of Huss. For it can easily be computed, that when the 443 Waldenses were examined at once, there must have been an incomparably greater number who were not examined in regard to their faith, but concealed themselves, or took to flight, in order to escape the danger. And, truly, those who are noticed in the book, as having been examined, frequently mentioned very many others of their belief, who were not present.
Among other points relating to their trials, recorded in this inquisitional book, were these: "That they were sober and frugal people, discreet in their speech, careful to avoid lying, swearing, etc.'; A. Mell., 2d book, fol. 505, cot. 3, 4. Also, P. J. Tzadsck, Chron., p. 743, cot. 2, from Henr. Boxhorn, fol. 27. In the margin of the same page, Twisck says: "The Wandenses (or Waldenses) will not swear."
NOTE. A. D. 1390, the Lord raised up Richard Withe, who wrote many glorious things against the pope, or the blasphemy of the so called antichrist. Bal. Cent., lib. 7, cap. 10, compared with Chron. van den Ondergang, page 734, cot. 1, 2.
A. D. 1392. On the 13th of January of this year, Walter Brute, a layman, but nevertheless a learned man, from the bishopric of Hereford, appearing personally before Lord John, Bishop of Hereford, maintained, among several other articles militating against the Roman church, this point
"That Christians are not permitted, for any reason, in any case, to swear, either by the Creator or by His creatures." A. Mell., 2d book, fol. 506, cot. 3.
NOTICE THE BELIEF OF WILLIAM SWINDERBY
COMPARED WITH THAT OF WALTER BRUTE
Since Walter Brute is called (Fol. 505, cot. 4,) a defender of the articles of William Swinderby, who was afterwards burnt for the faith, in Smithfield, London, it is quite evident, that William Swinderby must have held the same belief, which, as well as many other articles, they both had in common with the Waldenses. Besides, this article of nonswearing, together with the other two related in this connection, is unmistakably called William Swinderby's article (Fol. 506, col. 3,), so that both of them, speaking as with one tongue, are also together charged here, with having prohibited all manner of oaths.
THAT, BESIDES THE ARTICLE RESPECTING THE
OATH, HE ALSO MADE A GOOD CONFESSION
IN REGARD TO HOLY BAPTISM
It appears, moreover, from the confession of faith of Walter Brute, that also infant baptism was not recognized by him; for he speaks in the following manner concerning the burial of Christ
He (Christ) was buried, that we all by baptism, might be buried together with Him into His death; in order that having died unto sin (notice, this is no work for infants), we should live unto righteousness * A. M., from Fox Angl., p. 440.
OF A CERTAIN ANCIENT CONFESSION OF FAITH OF
THE WALDENSIAN BRETHREN
Jacob Mehrning, writing on the fourteenth century, touching baptism, says: "I have had in my hands a very old confession of some Waldensian brethren in Bohemia, printed in the German language, in which they expressly confess that in the beginning of Christianity no infants were baptized; and that also their forefathers did not do it," as John Bohemius writes. Lib. 2, Gentium Moribus
"In former times baptism was wont to be administered only to those who were previously instructed in the faith, and examined seven times in the week before Easter and Whitsuntide; these were then baptized upon the confession of their faith; but when baptism was afterwards deemed necessary to salvation, it was also ordained, by the papists, that new born infants should be baptized, and that sponsors should be assigned them, who confessed the faith, and renounced the devil, in their stead." Bapt. Hist., p. 738.
About A. D. 1400. D. J. Vicecomes cites from this century (from Nicephorus Callistus), lib. 1, cap. 23, that in Thessalia, baptism was administered only on Whitsuntide;** on which account many died without baptism.
"Thus," remarks Jacob Mehrning on this, "we are informed, that even at this day there are brethren and Christians in Thessalonica, who agree with the Mennists in all articles of religion." These are J. Mehrning's own words (page 739), of which we shall speak more fully hereafter.
* This article has direct reference to the words which Paul wrote to the believing Romans: "Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?" (Rom. 6:3).
** Others say, on Easter,
OF CHARLES, BISHOP OF MILAN
Bapt. Hist., p. 740, D. Vicecomes, lib. 5, cap. 45, writes: "Charles, bishop of Milan, admonished the teachers, diligently to expound to their hearers the mystery of holy baptism, and to earnestly exhort them to a Christian walk, in order that the confession of the Christian name (upon which baptism was wont to be administered), might well become them."
What else does this indicate, than that the teachers should exhort their hearers to the baptism, which ought to be administered upon confession of faith, and, consequently, not in infancy?
Galvaneus, in the History of Milan, (B. H., page 741, D. Vicecomes, lib. 1, cap. 4), writes: "St. Barnabas, when he first preached the Gospel at Milan, baptized in running water."
This manner and these circumstances plainly indicate, as stated elsewhere, that infant baptism was then not practiced at that place.
NOTE. For the year 1394, mention is made of a number of people in Bohemia, who sided with the Anabaptists. Seb. Fr. Chron. der Rom. Kett., p. 121, col. 2, letter P., Picardy.
A. D. 1400. It appears that when the last year of this century had come, various persons opposed popery, not only with regard to baptism, but also to many other articles; of which, among other things, mention is made in the fourteenth book of the Ondergang der Tyrannen, p. 749, col. 1, 2, 3; where we have this declaration: "The pope has no absolute power or judgment, so that he cannot err; so all, even the papists, have taught for about fourteen hundred years. The ancient fathers, the Greek as well as the Latin, regarded Pope Honorius I as a Monothelitic* heretic. Likewise, the sixth synod, in which he was condemned as a heretic, and his letters burned. From Perkins, fol. 421.
NoTE. If this condemning of the pope as a heretic, as also the burning of his letters, was done from envy, or bitterness, we would by no means defend, much less praise, but far rather condemn it. But since, as the matter appears to us, it was done from a good intention and godly zeal, we find nothing censurable in it. For the word con;demn does not always signify eternal damnation, as the Holy Scripture uses it,** but it is also understood as meaning, to sentence or pronounce guilty. Thus, also, the name heretic, when rightly considered, signifies only a schismatic, headstrong person, who follows his own opinion, instead of the Holy Scripture. Now, that the Pope of Rome was such a person, will not soon be contradicted by those who give due honor to God, and allow themselves to be governed by reason. The burning of
* Others say, a Monocholite.
** To an English reader this explanation will seem not only superfluous, but, perhaps, even obscure and contradictory. Let him be reminded that the work originally was written in the Dutch language, which such explanation of the word in question (`verdoemen") is entirely in place. Transl.
his letters we regard as having been done from carefulness, lest any might be seduced or brought into error by them. This will satisfy the well disposed, who, imitating the bee, will extract honey, instead of gall, from it.
SAME YEAR AS ABOVE, A. D. 1400
The universities of Prague in Bohemia, Oxford in England, and Paris in France, wrote against the apostasy of the Roman church, and demanded a reformation, saying that the scandalous life of the pope and the cardinals could not be tolerated; that the popes and cardinals were liable to err, and had frequently erred; and that the blessed Son of God, though having suffered much from the synagogue of the Jews, had to suffer much more from the princes of the papal synagogue. Concerning similar censures, read the books of Ulric of Hutten, the Frankish knight, printed A. D. 1520.
SAME YEAR AS ABOVE, A. D. 1400
John Tauler, a German divine, said, at this time, in his book of sermons: "Our prelates (he means the rulers of the Roman church), are blind, and leaders of the blind; and it is to be feared that they both together will be condemned."
He also spoke much of the persecution, tribulation, hardship, and suffering, a Christian must expect here; but did not say that one should inflict sufferings one upon another.
Read all his sermons, but particularly the 11th, 15th and 31st chapters in his book, where he treats of suffering; also the first mentioned author, in the place indicated.
NoTE. That John Tauler was a very pious and highly educated man, appears from very many testimonies given concerning him. Truly, he was as a flaming torch in his time, to lighten up, by his doctrine as well as his life, the dark night of perversely religious popery. But if he still erred in anything, which may easily have been the case, it is all overbalanced by his virtue and learning. Nevertheless, we could not defend errors, neither in him nor in others. Our love must never be so blind as to hinder us from seeing a blemish (if there is any) in what we love. But he who has not lived so that his errors are apparent, should, herein, if he is otherwise well disposed, be borne with; and this the more, when he has to live among so disorderly a people, as popery was then composed of, and can obtain no other liberty. Such was John Tauler, and as such we will recognize him. Our love will and shall bear his weakness. Hence, dismissing this, we will turn to the pious witnesses of the Lord, who laid down their dear lives for the truth which they confessed.
AN ACCOUNT OF THOSE WHO SUFFERED IN THE FOURTEENTH CENTURY
SUMMARY OF THE MARTYRS OF THE FOURTEENTH
[The exordium to the entrance of this century is taken from the places where most of the martyrs suffered at this time, as also from the circumstances of their suffering and death.
The manner of inquisition over the believers in these times, shown in divers articles, for the year 1301, according to the account of jean Paul Perrin Lyonnois.
Dulcinus and his wife Margaret, who, as L. Kreutzheim says, founded a sect alike in every respect to the Anabaptists, are torn limb from limb; and with them one hundred and forty others, burnt for the same faith, at Novaria, in Lombardy, A. D. 1308.
Very many persons at Crema (probably Krems), in Austria, burnt for the religion of the orthodox Waldenses; also at Steyer, in the same Austrian territories, and at Zuidenitz, in Poland, all of whom are put to death by being burned, A. D. 1315.
Two years after, namely, A. D. 1317, four persons, called Brethren of the Poor Life, or Waldenses, miserably perish, on red hot coals, at Marseilles, in France.
A persecution of the believing Waldenses, instituted by Pope John XXII, set forth for the year 1319, from the accounts of the ancients. This persecution extended A. D. 1330, into Bohemia and Poland; one Eckhard burned for the before mentioned faith.
NOTE. For the years 1336, 1340, 1350 and 1360, of the frankness of John de Pistoia, Conrad Hager, John de Landuno, John de Rupe Scissa, who did not hesitate to point out to the pope his errors. Also what happened to them on this account.
Another persecution of the Waldensian brethren in France, originated A. D. 1365, by Pope Urban VI, adduced from his own bull.
Eight years after, namely, A. D. 1373, still another persecution is shown, which arose in Flanders, Artois and Hainault, in which Peronne, of Aubeton, a pious woman of the Waldensian religion, offered up her life to God, by fire.
Thirty six persons called Waldenses are burnt for the faith, at Bingen, A. D. 1390.
A severe persecution of ancient Waldenses arises again on the Baltic Sea, four hundred and fortythree of whom are severely tortured, and put to death, in the Mark and in Pomerania, A. D. 1391.
The sufferings of the Christian believers, caused by those of the Roman church, in which one William Santrus, who censured the pope, loses his life, circumstantially shown, for the last year of this century, A. D. 1400,
In a note, the testimony of Franciscus Petrarcha against the pope is brought to recollection; on account of which opposition he had to suffer expulsion and persecution from the Roman dominions. Conclusion of the tragedy of the fourteenth century. ]
With few steps we shall make a long journey, and our course will be not less wonderful than sad. The places through which we will first travel are the mountains of Lombardy, near Novaria. In the midst of our journey, we will come to the cities Crema and Steyer, in Austria, Zuidenitz, in Poland, and Marseilles, in France. Thence we propose to proceed into Bohemia; and at last to finish our journey in the countries on the Baltic Sea.
What will we meet on our way, dear friends? Certainly nothing that is pleasing to the flesh; for fire and flames shall threaten us on our right hand, and deep waters on our left. Between them there is nothing but bloody scaffolds, gallows, wheels, stakes and countless horrible instruments of death and torture, which cause men to die slowly, as by a thousand deaths. The company is composed altogether of bodies burned, drowned, beheaded or otherwise murdered; so that our footsteps must tread through the midst of skulls and dead men's bones; to say nothing of the crimson blood, which seems to flow in rivulets, yea, sometimes in large streams, along the ways which we must travel.
Nevertheless, our heart is full of joy, and we are delighted with this journey, and draw life in the valleys of death; for here is the portal of heaven, the door of the blissful palace, which is indeed strait, yea, on the posts of which flesh and blood remain; but through which is the entrance into the spaciousness of the heavenly halls, and into the infinite and ever blooming garden of the blessed paradise. Here are heard, with the ears of faith, as near by the glad voices of the holy angels,* to which no singing of nightingales in earthly groves can be compared; nay, the most lovely instruments of music, when compared with these sound harshly and unpleasantly to the ear. There are also beheld, as with unclouded eyes, the majesty of God, Jesus, the Saviour of the world, and the heavenly societies. We dare not further speak of it,** for human ear hath not heard nor eye seen; neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him. I Cor. 2:9.
All this is there perceived in the soul, though the bodies suffer great distress; but this is soon over. Have we no reason, then, to long for this journey? Certainly. Hence, let us go on. The Lord guide us and show us the right way, that we may not only begin well, but also finish well.
O ye slain and martyred multitudes, who have testified with your blood to the name of your and
* "Glory to God in the highest" (Luke 2:14).
** And (he) heard unspeakable (unrevealed) words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. II Cor. 12:4.
our God, we have come to behold your martyrdom, and to make it known, by writings, to our fellow brethren; not that we intend to make a pilgrimage to the places of your death, to salute you in the manner of worship, or to bring you an oblation, after the manner of the priests, by no means; for this would profit neither you nor us; but we seek to bring to remembrance your good examples. With this we will begin.
NOTE. Before we approach the sad mountains and fields of the miserable, but nevertheless well comforted martyrs, it will be necessary to give an account respecting the mode of the inquisition which, having commenced in the preceding century already, had continued even to this time, and was the cause of all the harm and distress which now came upon the believers, and through which they had to suffer, first in their consciences, and then in their bodies, yea, were subjected to the most bitter and cruel death.
In the preceding century, for the years 1214 and 1215, we showed the beginnings of the inquisition; we now come to its progress and extension.
OF THE MODE OF INQUISITION OVER THE BE;
LIEVERS, IN THESE TIMES, ACCORDING TO THE
ACCOUNT OF JEAN PAUL PERRIN LION;
NOYS, AND THE TRANSLATION OF
J. M. V., AND B. LYDIUS
"As regards the deceitful course," says the translator, "which the afore mentioned inquisitors were wont to take in the execution of their office, we would have no knowledge, save what some believers who escaped the Spanish Inquisition, could have told us concerning it. But it was not the will of God that these, their wiles, should remain hid, and that we should obtain no copies thereof, written by themselves. Behold, then, the cunning artifices of the inquisitors, which served them for rules and instructions, in conducting the processes against the Waldenses.
RULES OF THE INQUISITORS
1. It is not permitted or advisable to dispute concerning the faith in the presence of the laity.
2. No one is to be regarded as converted, if he will not accuse all those whom he knows to be such as he is.
3. He who does not accuse those who are such as he is, must be severed from the church as a diseased member; that the sound members may not become corrupted by it.
4. After any one is delivered to the secular judge, great care must be exercised, that he be not allowed to prove his innocence, or show his harmlessness before the people; for if he is put to death, the people will take offense; and if he is discharged, the (Catholic) faith will be endangered.
5. Care must be taken not to promise his life; before the people, to him who is condemned to death (namely, if he indicates his willingness to become converted); seeing that no heretic would allow himself to be burned, if he could escape by such a promise; and if he should promise conversion before the people, and his life would not be granted him thereupon, the people would take offense at it, and think that he were put to death unjustly.
6. Observe: The inquisitor must always take the deed for granted, without any consideration, and ask the questions only in regard to the circumstances of the matter, not saying: Have you made confession to the heretics? but, How often have _you made your confession to the heretics? Again, do not ask: Have they slept in your house? but, In what room of your house did they sleep? and the like.
7. The inquisitor may look into a book, as though he had noted down in it, the life and conduct of the accused, together with everything in regard to which he is interrogating him.
8. The accused must be threatened with death, if he will not confess, and be told that his doom is sealed; that he must regard his soul, and, first of all, forsake his heresy; "For," it shall be said, "you must die; accept with patience whatever shall befall you." If he then answer: "Since I must die, I would rather die in this my faith, than in the faith of the Roman church," rest assured, that previously he only pretended to be desirous of becoming converted; and therefore he must then be brought to justice.
9. The thought is not to be entertained of overcoming the heretics by skill of learning, or knowledge of the Scriptures, since the learned men are much sooner confounded by them; the result of which is, that the heretics are then still more confirmed and encouraged, seeing they thus outwit even those who are educated.
10. It is to be well observed, that the heretics never speak right out, and that, when compelled by much questioning, they generally allege that they are simple and unlearned men, and, hence, know not how to answer; and that, seeing that the bystanders are moved to compassion for them, as though they were wronged, regarding them as simple and harmless people, they take courage from this and pretend to weep, as poor, miserable men, and, imploring their judges, make strenuous efforts to free themselves from the inquisition, saying; "My Lords, if I have erred in any matter, I will gladly accept the penance for it; but assist me to free myself from this reproach, in which I have fallen throu0 hatred and envy, without having transgressed. '
But the courageous inquisitor must then in no wise be moved by such entreaties, nor give credit to such dissimulations.
11. Moreover, the inquisitor shall announce to them beforehand, that they will gain nothing by swearing falsely (from necessity); since they (the lords) have matter enough to convict them by witnesses; and that therefore they need not think that by means of swearing they will escape sentence of death; but it must be promised them, that as far as they voluntarily confess their error, they shall obtain mercy; for in such perplexity many are found, who confess their errors, in order to escape.
"Behold," says the writer of this inquisition, "these are the cunning artifices formerly employed by the inquisitors throughout Europe against the Waldenses," etc. In the second book of the first part of the History of the Waldenses, by J. P. P. L., pages 62, 63, 64.
NOTE: About this time (A. D. 1303) Peter Johannis taught that the pope was the antichrist, and the Roman synagogue the great Babylon. About his martyrdom, however, we have not been able to learn anything. See P. J: Twisck, Chron., Q. 643, col. 2, from Georg. Pac., cap. 11.
DULCINUS AND HIS WIFE MARGARET, TORN LIMB
FROM LIMB; AND, WITH THEM, AN HUNDRED
AND FORTY OTHERS BURNT FOR THE FAITH,
AT NOVARIA, IN LOMBARDY, A. D. 1308
About the year 1305, the light of the evangelical doctrine began to arise with power also on the mountains of Lombardy, called the Alps, through a pious man, called Dulcinus of Novaria, and his wife, who, having accepted the orthodox faith of the Waldensian brethren, excelled most gloriously in doctrine and life, so that Dulcinus by his doctrine, and his wife by her good example, and both by their living and effective faith, opened the eyes of several others, and caused them to separate from popery, and follow Jesus Christ, in true penitence and uprightness of life, which they did in full earnestness for the love of Jesus Christ and the salvation of their souls.
But even as it was in the time of John the Baptist, that many unregenerated Pharisees and Sadducees came to his baptism, so it seems also to have been here; for it appears that some who seemed to adhere to his doctrine, lived at the same time in anger, revenge, and after the flesh; which, as may be presumed, grieved this good man and his wife, as also the church which he had founded, and which desired piously to adhere to the doctrine of Christ, very greatly.
In the meantime, about the year 1307, Pope Clement V, receiving information thereof, condemned said pious man Dulcinus and his wife Margaret as arch heretics, and commanded them, as well as their adherents, to be exterminated. To accomplish this, many Romanists, who had marked themselves with the sign of the cross, lent their services; who charged the misdeeds of the hypocrites also upon the pious, and thus endeavored to extirpate them both together; the pious, however, with far more severe and intolerable torments, than the hypocrites.
Thus it happened that this pious man Dulcinus and his wife, refusing to depart from the faith, were torn limb from limb by them, burnt to ashes, and the ashes scattered to the winds. The principal members of the church, one hundred and forty in number, loving Jesus Christ, whom they had confessed, more than this temporal life, were all, as they steadfastly adhered to the accepted truth burnt alive, and thus, having commended their souls to God, offered up a living sacrifice acceptable unto God, about the year 1308.
NOTE. These were the people of whom Leonhard Krentzheim has written in his Chronicle, as already noted, saying: "Dulcinus and Margaret founded a new sect or heresy (thus speak the papists) alike in every respect to the Anabaptists, which continued until, etc."
Touching their martyrdom, A. Mellinus writes, from some ancient books of history, that they were first torn limb from limb, and then, as we stated above, burnt to ashes. This martyrdom, the papistic historians themselves confess, not only the men, but also the women, endured very steadfastly unto death, in the city of Novaria, in Lombardy. In the second book of the Persecutions, fol. 477, col. 4, fol. 478, col. 1, from Prat. de Haeres. Tit. Dulcin. ex Bernhardo Lutzenburgh.
FURTHER OBSERVATION WHAT P. J. TWISCK HAS WRITTEN CONCERNING IT
"This year," he writes, "many pious people were cruelly destroyed for their religion, by order of Pope Clement V. Over four hundred persons were killed by hunger, cold, and the sword (of these, however, we do not speak here), and one hundred and forty were burned (these are the ones of whom we speak), the principal teacher of whom, together with his wife, very steadfastly endured death." Chron., page 649. A. from Henr. Boxh., fol. 26.
NOTE. The reader should observe here, that said hundred and forty martyrs, who at Novaria were put to death by fire, are called special followers of the doctrine of Dulcinus, are to be clearly distinguished from a certain other number of about four hundred persons who, having been surrounded on the mountain, by the pope's crusade, lost their lives by hunger, cold, and the sword; for not the latter, but the former, are the ones whom we would notice here.
TOUCHING THEIR FAITH, ACCORDING TO THE ACCOUNT OF A. MELLINUS
Concerning their faith, A. Mellinus says: "From this it can be clearly inferred, that Dulcinus and his wife, and many other martyrs with them, died for the true confession of the doctrine of the Waldenses; because they opposed the Pope of Rome, and the Roman church, maintaining him to be the antichrist, and her the Babylonian whore prophesied of in John's Revelation." Second book, fol. 478, A.
VERY MANY PERSONS BURNT FOR THE FAITH, AT
CREMA, IN AUSTRIA, A. D. 1315
A. D. 1315, very many orthodox Christians were sought, found, and burnt as heretics, by the Dominicans, or inquisitors, in the city of Crema, (probably Krems), under the bishopric of Passau, in the archduchy of Austria. In the second book of the Persecutions, fol. 479, col. 1, ex Trithem. Chron. Hirsaug., A. D. 1315, p. 211, edit. Freheri.
CONCERNING THESE MARTYRS, ACCORDING TO TAE
ACCOUNT OF TRITHEMIUS
The papist Trithemius says: "There were further, in Austria, in different places, very many burnt alive at this time (namely, A. D. 1315), all of whom unanimously, yet obstinately (we say steadfastly), continued with great joy, unto death. Trith. in Chron. Hirsaug., and Chron. SÂ¢onh., same dear.
WHAT P. J. TWISCK HAS WRITTEN CONCERNING
In Austria, near Passau, a great number of the Waldenses or believers were apprehended for their religion, and publicly burned alive in the city of Crema, adhering steadfastly to their faith, and evincing in the midst of the flames, that the death and pain which they suffered for the honor of God, and the truth, were sweet to them. Chron., p. 657, col. 1, from Henr. Boxh., fol. 27. Phil. Marnix Tafer., fol 141.
NOTE. Immediately after the account of the martyrs, noticed for the year 1315, the same author speaks of their teacher, their great number, and comfortful martyrdom; for, after saying, that to many of them death and pain were sweet, he adds these words: "Which, among others, appeared also in the case of their teacher, called Lolhard, who confessed in his trial, that in the countries of Austria and Bohemia alone he could find eighty thousand persons who were one with him in religion." Chron., page 657, col. 2, taken from the writers cited.
NoTE. These are the same people whose confession relative to baptism, the swearing of oaths, and other articles, we have shown to accord well with that of the Anabaptists. Concerning this, see our account of the orthodox faith for the fourteenth century, year 1315, and the testimonies adduced there.
MANY PERSONS CALLED WALDENSES MARTYRED
AT STEYER, IN AUSTRIA, AND GREAT NUMBERS
OF THEM BURNT FOR THE FAITH, AT ZUI;
DENITZ, IN POLAND, A. D. 1315
Matthias Flaccius Illysicus (Catal. Test. herit., lib. 19, Tit. Stier.) declares to have heard from the lips of Michael Stifelius, that in a certain monastery, in the city of Steyer, situated between Austria and Bavaria, three large books containing the confessions and examinations of very many persons who had departed in belief from the Roman church, were found.
I presume, says Illyricus, they were Waldenses, a great number of whom were formerly scattered not only in Austria and all Germany, but also throughout all the countries of Europe.
"And truly," says a certain author, "Illyricus is not mistaken in his conjecture." In the meantime he calls them martyrs, but does not state in what their martyrdom consisted, or with. what death they confirmed the power of their faith. See the large Book of Christian Martyrs, fol. 479, cot. 3, 4.
OF THE ACCOUNT OF ALBERT KRANTZ, CONCERN;
ING THE DEATH OF THESE MARTYRS
Albert Krantz also writes, in his History of the Vandals, of very many such (so called) heretics, namely, Waldenses, in Poland, in the city of Zuidenitz, concerning whom, he says, according to the manner of the papists, that they disturbed the church there, in consequence of which, having been convicted of heresy against the Roman church, great numbers of them ended their lives in the flames. Hist. Vand., lib. 8, near the end. Also, A. Mell., 2d book, fol. 479.
Their confession, which agrees with that of the Anabaptists has already been explained, which explanation it is not necessary to repeat; hence it is not to be doubted, but is an established fact, that these people were all pious witnesses of Jesus Christ, who for His name's sake did not spare their lives even unto death.
FOUR PERSONS, CALLED BRETHREN OF THE POOR
LIFE, OR WALDENSES, BURNT FOR THE FAITH,
AT MARSEILLES, IN FRANCE, A. D. 1317
Now when the light of the Gospel began to break forth greatly from the doctrine of the Waldenses, which militated against the papal inventions, this also manifested itself in a monastery, among the Franciscan monks; so that particularly four of the order of the Minorites, their eyes being opened, separated from monachism, and at the same time from the superstitions of popery, desiring thenceforth to follow and serve Jesus Christ, their Savious, not in a simulated, but in true poverty, with, in, or among the cross bearing church of God, called the Poor Men of Lyons, Brethren of the Poor Life, or Waldenses; who also opposed infant baptism, the swearing of oaths, revenge against enemies, and other articles of the Roman church.
Against this, Pope John XXII issued a papal decree, directed against the Fratricelli (Little Brethren) or the Brethren of the Poor Life, prohibiting them from holding secret or public assemblies, from electing pastors or teachers over them, and from practicing their worship; becouse they despised the sacraments of the (Roman) church, and had departed from the Roman Catholic faith; hence they were excommunicated by him together with all those who in any measure defended or followed them, and therefore delivered to the inquisitors, to be examined concerning their faith. See Bzov., A. D. 1317, art. 18.
In the meantime, it appears, the above four persons, refusing to depart from the truth which they had confessed and accepted, were condemned to death as heretics, and, having commended their souls to God, were burnt alive.
In regard to this, the papistic writer Vignier says: "In the same year (A. D. 1317) four Minorite friars were burnt alive on St. Michael's eve, at Marseilles, in France, because they maintained against the pope the heresy of poverty." Also, A. Mell., 2d book, fol. 480.
NOTE. AS regards their faith, said Pope John XXII, who had first excommunicated them, made, the following year, A. D. 1318, in a certain decree, among other things, this statement: "Their third error coincides with the error of the Waldenses; because they maintained that men ought not to swear on any account, teaching that it is a sin unto death." Bzov. Annal., Tom. 14, A. D. 1318, art. 1.
At the close of the fourth article are these words "So that it appears from this, that these Franciscan monks had apostatized from popery to the doctrine of the Waldenses." A. Mell., 2d book, fol. 480.
PERSECUTION OF THE BELIEVERS CALLED WAL;
DENSES, BY POPE JOHN XXII, A. D. 1319
A. D. 1319, Pope John XX:II again began to persecute the Waldenses in France, through his inquisitors, the Jacobine, or Dominican, monks; who, having convicted many of them, as papistic writers say, of their belief (namely, that they were Waldenses), delivered them to the princes and secular authorities for punishment. Bzov. Annal. A. D. 1319, Art. 10, from a manuscript in the Vatican library. Also, in the second book of the Hist. of the Persecutions, fol. 480, cot. 3.
Touching the names of these people, as also the manner of their martyrdom, suffering and death, I have not been able to ascertain anything, except that, professing the belief of the Waldenses (as we have already stated), they were therefore subjected to persecution and suffering.
NOTE. A. D. 1328. At this time Marsilius de Padua enjoyed distinction; he wrote against the pope, and also various things against the Roman church, but his work was condemned as heresy, and the reading of it strictly prohibited. Merul., fol. 870, Georg. Pac. cap. 11, compared with P. J. Twisck, Chron., page 685, cot. 1.
PERSECUTION UNTO DEATH AGAINST THE BELIEV;
ING WALDENSES, IN BOHEMIA AND POLAND;
IN WHICH ALSO ONE ECKHARD WAS BURNT
FOR THE SAME FAITH, A. D. 1330
A. D. 1330, the afore mentioned persecution against the Waldensian brethren rose to its highest point in Bohemia and Poland; concerning which the following account is found in ancient histories: "In that year, A. D. 1330, very many of those who adhered to the doctrine of the Waldenses, were persecuted unto death and executed, by the inquisitors, in the kingdoms of Bohemia and Poland." In the large Book of Christian Martyrs, 2d part, fol. 483.
TOUCHING SAID PERSECUTION; ALSO ABOUT ECK;
HARD, ACCORDING TO THE ACCOUNT
OF P. J. TWISCK
Richard, also called Eckhard, formerly a Dominican monk, was condemned as a heretic, because he fearlessly preached the Gospel, and reproved the abuses of the papists. And in the kingdom of Bohemia and Poland many were put to death for their religion or faith. Chron., page 685, col. 2, extracted from Hist. Adri., fol. 64, Herm. Mod. fol. 271, Henr. Boxh. fol. 27.
NOTE. John Aston, a well learned man of Oxford, for teaching that the bread of the holy Supper remained unchanged, was apprehended as a heretic, A. D. 1330, by the archbishop of Canterbury, and died in prison. See the authors referred to above in connection with Eckhard.
Others add here, says Nicholas Vignier, that in said year (A. D. 1330) a certain jacobine monk, Eckhard by name, whom others, though erroneously, call Richard, was publicly burnt, because he steadfastly maintained said opinions of the Waldenses. Nich. hign., Hist. Eccl., A. D. 1330. Also in the second book of the Hist. of the Persecutions, fol. 483.
"I am of the opinion," writes A. Mellinus, "that this Eckhard is the same German (apostatized) Dominican, of whom Trithemius makes mention in his Register of Ecclesiastical Writers, stating that he was a very learned man, and wonderfully experienced in the Word of God." A. Mell., from Trithem. De Script. Eccles., fol. 483.
NOTE. A. D. 1336, on the 23d of June, John de Pistoia was publicly burnt at Venice, because he maintained the supposed heresy of the evangelical poverty. Chron. van den Ondergang, page 689, col. 2, compared with Merula, fol. 873.
Also A. D. 1340, Conrad Hager, having about this time, taught for twenty four years, that the mass was by no means a sacrifice either for the living or the dead, and, that the taking of money by the priests, for dying men, was nothing but theft and sacrilege in consequence of which many departed from obedience to the Roman church was apprehended and secretly murdered. See in the last mentioned chronicle, page 691, col. 2, from John Munst., fol. 169, Hist. Andr., fol. 64, Pac. cap. 11.
Also A. D. 1350, John de Landuno, of Ghent, a highly learned man, vigorously attacked and censured the high power, supremacy, and false doctrine of the pope; but what happened to him on this account, our author has omitted to say. Page 703, col. 1, compared with Joh. Munst., fol. 168.
Also A. D. 1360, John de Rupe Scissa publicly spoke against the pope, saying: "Who is there among you, most holy father, and most gracious cardinals (for these were the titles by which they were called) that dare say that Peter or Sylvester (namely, the upright) ever rode with a train of two or three hundred horses, as is now common for you . . . to do? but they were reserved and quiet, and like other pastors and preachers, made no parade or display, and were also well content with simple food and clothing." He also said that the popes employed the goods given, or received by them, in pride, wantonness, and tyranny. Who would think that the pope received this candid censure in good part? Compare Joh. Munst. Tract., fol. 53, with the account in the Chron. van den Ondergang, page 711, col. 2.
In the meantime, we learn that said John de Rupe Scissa, three years afterwards, was burnt at Avignon, because he defended the truth. See the last mentioned chronicle, for the year 1363, ex Georg. Pae., cap. 11.
PERSECUTION OF THE WALDENSIAN BRETHREN, IN
FRANCE, BY POPE URBAN VI, A. D. 1365
A. D. 1365, it is recorded that Pope Urban VI charged all the prelates in France, and the inquisitors of the faith there, by an express bull, that they should not suffer the heretics (the Waldenses, who were then called Beghards and Beguines) to live with impunity, but should exterminate these erring spirits (thus he calls these pious people) together with their errors, with the sickle of ecclesiastical discipline. See the papistic writer Bzovius, for the year 1365, art. 8; also, the Calvinist Mellinus, 2d book, fol. 488, col. 1.
As to how the Waldenses in those times were called Beghards, and were persecuted, see A. M., same book, fol. 479, below in the fourth column.
The confession of faith of these people we have shown in its proper place, and repetition is not necessary.
SEVERE PERSECUTION IN FLANDERS, ARTOIS, AND
HAINAULT; IN WHICH PERONNE OF AUBETON,
A PIOUS WOMAN, IS PUBLICLY BURNT FOR
THE FAITH, ABOUT A. D. 1373
In the midst of these persecutions, which, in the years 1372 and 1373 were carried on against the Waldenses, who were called Turilupins, because in Flanders, Artois, and Hainault they had to live in forests inhabited by wolves (as we have already stated), it occurred, that among a great number of these people, who were burnt as heretics, with their writings, books, and clothes, also a certain woman, called Peronne of Aubeton, who had accepted that doctrine and faith, and refused to depart from it, was condemned as a heretic to be publicly burned; which, as is stated, took place with her, at Paris, A. D. 1373; and thus, continuing steadfast, she testified that the "Trial of her faith was more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire." (I Pet. 1:7)..
NOTE. Respecting the offering of this woman, as also, the accusations, cast by the papists against the Waldenses, called Turilupins, and how A. Mellinus, preacher of the Calvinists, replies in their stead, saying that these poor people were lamentably slandered, and that they were upright Waldenses; also, that the papists imputed to them whatever they would. See large Book of Christian Martyrs, 2d part, fol. 497.
THIRTY SIX PERSONS CALLED WALDENSES, BURNT
FOR THE FAITH, AT BINGEN, A. D. 1390
The holy apostle Paul very aptly wrote (II Tim. 3:12), "And all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution;" for this appeared, A. D. 1390, in the case of certain pious Christians, who, being citizens of the city of Mentz, in Germany, had not less their citizenship in the new and heavenly Jerusalem; having accepted the faith and doctrine of the Son of God, whereupon they, as obedient followers of Christ (as may be inferred) had been baptized according to the confession of the Waldensian brethren, in order thus to work out, in the footsteps of faith, their salvation with fear and trembling, according to the rule, Phil. 2:12.
But since the rulers of darkness could not bear this light of truth, it came to pass, in the city of Bingen, that thirty six (not of the least) of said children of light, were apprehended, and, refusing to depart from the truth once confessed, were condemned to death, namely to be executed with fire; that is, to be burnt alive; which was also done with them, and thus they, through fire, offered up a living, holy sacrifice acceptable unto God.
Concerning the offering of these people, mention is made in the 2d book of the Hist. of the Persecutions, fol. 505, cot. 3, ex Matth. Flacc. Illyr. Catal. Test. Tier. Said Illyricus also confesses that at that time (A. D. 1390) thirty six citizens of Mentz were burnt alive at Bingen, for the faith of the Waldenses.
NOTE. Someone may ask himself, whether these martyred persons, who were called citizens of Mentz, and were put to death at Bingen, were not the same martyrs spoken of in a certain place in the preceding century; since it is also stated of them, that they were inhabitants of Mentz, and lost their lives at Bingen; however, this cannot well be reconciled, since there is a great discrepancy, in regard to the time, as well as the number of the persons. For as regards the time, the former lived one hundred and eighty seven years earlier than the latter, as they were dead already in the year 1212 (according to the account of Bruschius, in his History of the German Monasteries; also A. Melt., fol. 457, cot. 3); but these last mentioned ones were put to death A. D. 1390, as has been shown. Regarding the number of persons, that of the former is given as thirty nine, but that of the latter as thirty six a discrepancy of three. As to their citizenship or residence at Mentz, which is stated of both, as well as that they were both put to death at Bingen, are facts that need not cause any one to think, that because there is an agreement in these respects, that the same people have been noticed twice by the writers; for it may be, that at that time those of Mentz had no court of their own, or power to pronounce sentence of death, and that, hence, they had to deliver those of their prisoners who were confined for capital crimes, to those of Bingen, or at least had to bring them to trial there, as is customary, even at the present day, in many other cities.
GREAT PERSECUTION OF THE BELIEVING WAL;
DENSES ON THE BALTIC SEA; FOUR HUNDRED
AND FORTY THREE OF THEM SEVERELY
TORTURED AND PUT TO DEATH, IN
THE MARK AND POMERANIA,
ABOUT A. D. 1390
About the year 1390 there began, in the countries on the Baltic Sea, the very severe persecution of the Waldenses, of which we made mention of our account of the true faith in the fourteenth century; which, continuing until into the year 1391, was the cause that, among very many others, four hundred and forty three of these people, whose names. are mentioned, in Pomerania, the Mark, and the adjacent places, were brought to torture or the rack; who, refusing to apostatize, freely confessed their faith, and how many long years they had believed and confessed the truth of their faith, which was called a heresy. They are stated to have been sober and frugal people, discreet in their speech, careful to avoid lying, swearing, etc. Second book of the History of the Persecutions, fol. 505, cot. 3, 4, ex Catal. Test. Verit., lib. 18. Matt. Flacc. 1llyr., lib. 15. Tit. de Wdldensibus. hignier recutil de histoire de t' Eglise, A. D. 1391.
NOTE. It seems that these people were not only persecuted and tortured for the faith, but also put to death; according to the account of P. J. Twisck, who says: "Of the believers or Waldenses more than four hundred and forty were apprehended and put to death for their religion, in the countries of Saxony and Pomerania, whose confession showed that they had received that doctrine from their parents, and that their teachers came to Bohemia; and the proceedings in their trial shows among other things that they were sober, and discreet in their speech, carefully avoiding lying, swearing, and all dishonorable practices."* P. J. Twisck, Chron., page 743, B., from Henr. Boxh., fol. 27.
* These virtues have previously already been ascribed to them, and are distinctly asserted of them by various other writers.
OF THE PERSECUTION AND SUFFERING OF THE
CHRISTIAN BELIEVERS, BY THOSE OF THE
ROMAN CHURCH, A. D. 1400
That the intelligent and God fearing J. Tauler called the prelates of the Roman church blind and leaders of the blind, and taught his fellow believers much concerning the persecution and suffering of the true Christians, we set forth in our account of Holy Baptism, for the year 1400.
In the meantime some of the sheep of the flock of Christ were devoured by the Roman wolf; their names, however, are not known to us, except one, and even respecting him we have not been able to obtain sufficient information with regard to his whole faith, save this much, that in his belief he was opposed to antichrist, that is, the Pope of Rome; on which account the cruel death by fire was inflicted upon him, because he would not apostatize.
Concerning this, the following words, among others, are found in the Chronijck van den Onder;gang: "William Santraus also opposed the (Roman) antichrist at this time; he fell into the power and custody of the archbishop of Canterbury, where he, after a whole year's confinement, ultimately, though with great steadfastness, ended his life in the flames." Chron., page 750, col. 1.
NOTE. A. D. 1400, Franciscus Petrarcha wrote mightily against the Pope, saying, 1. That the pope was antichrist; 2. That his court was Babylon and the whore that sitteth upon many waters (of which we read in John's Revelation), yea, the mother of all idolatry and whoredom; 3. That Rome was a school of errors, a temple of heresy, and a nest of treachery. But speaking thus the truth, the writers say, he could find no shelter, but was persecuted and driven away by the pope. P. J. Twisck, Chron., page 750, col. 1, compared with the twentieth letter of F. Petrarcha, and the poem composed on it; also, Phil. Marn. Tract, fol. 213.
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