« Prev Eleventh Century Next »




[In the beginning of the eleventh century, the celebrated Anselm is introduced, who declares that baptism is the "fulfilling of all righteousness;" that the baptis~ of Christ is a "washing of water in the word;" that everyone, in his day, was baptized in the name and the faith of God; that believers were then baptized upon, or in the name of Christ; that the adults had first to be instructed in the Christian doctrine; that after baptism one must not again lay the foundation of repentance from dead works, Heb. 6:1-3; that believers are brought into the church of Christ (understand, through baptism); that the twelve Ephesian men (Acts 19) were rebaptized by Paul.

Algerus speaks of the power and operation of God in baptism; also, that the lasciviousness of the flesh is quenched or washed off in or through baptism.

Buchard of Worms gives an excellent explanation touching baptism, saying that the examinations in the faith were for the purpose of ascertaining whether the holy words of the faith confessed, were rooted deeply in the heart of the candidate, and whether he intended to continue steadfastly in the faith.

Lanfrancus opposed infant baptism.

The testimony of Bruno and Berengarius against infant baptism as well as against transubstantiation is presented and amply commented on; the time when they began their doctrine, and when they finished the same; also their death.

A certain book of ceremonies by the ancient Beroldus is introduced; what we read in it concerning baptism; namely, of the first address made to the novices at baptism, the way of wisdom and faith, being presented to them.

An account of Ado Trevirensis, and to what he admonished the candidates of his time; also, how he baptized the believing woman Syranna and her son, after previous instruction.

The last witness adduced about baptism is Juo of Carnuto, who, besides various other matters, makes this salutary and true declaration with regard to baptism: "That the novices would confess the creed before baptism; that they were then, while answering, washed from the old wickedness; that their baptism took place on the holy Easter Sabbath, and that they were first instructed; that those who desired baptism had to throw off, by prayers, the yoke of the devil; that they were asked: Do you believe on God," etc. Thereupon it is noted what said passages of Juo indicate. Finally it is shown that he also opposed monachism, discrimination as regards food. Conclusion.]

The thousandth year is finished; we have come to the years that follow it; which time is called the eleventh century. We will wander through it in our thoughts, and investigate how it then stood with the true church of God, whether the ordinances of Christ, especially in the matter of baptism; and its requirements, were rightly observed. In order to begin and finish this aright, we will turn to some of the ancient authors who wrote about the condition of said matters, at that time, or, at least, who subsequently made mention of what then occurred with regard to religion.

About A. D. 1010, or, as Jacob Mehrning puts it, "In the beginning of the eleventh century," there manifested himself, by various writings, the celebrated and almost universally known Anselm, who, having at one time, it seems, advocated infant baptism, with divers forcible, yet human arguments, now and also subsequently showed, that the opposite belief had taken root in him; concerning which, it is stated, that there have remained even to the present day, several excellent things, which cannot well be reconciled with infant baptism, yea, which, when viewed with spiritual eyes, militate against it. Of these we will present a few as examples, confident that, if you judge impartially, you will concur with us, or, at least, assent to it.*

In Bapt. Hist., page 582, from Cent. Magd. XL, cap. 4, of baptism, Anselm teaches on Matt. 3, that baptism is necessary, and says: "Baptism is a fulfilling of all righteousness; a man may be never so righteous, pious, benevolent, abstemious, and chaste, yet, it avails him nothing, if he lacks the grace of holy baptism."

It is evident that Anselm has regard here to what Jesus Christ our Saviour said to John, when the latter refused to baptize him with water. "Suffer it to be so now," the Lord said, "for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness." Matt. 3:15; which took place, according to Luke 3:23, when Jesus began to be about thirty years of age, and the people, who came from Jerusalem, were baptized by John in Jordan.

It having been observed then that Anselm has regard to the baptism of Christ, and that Christ calls it the fulfilling of all righteousness, it is manifest, that he does not speak of infant baptism here, since in the same no righteousness at all, much less, all righteousness, can be fulfilled; which is the more obvious, when he says, in the same place, that however righteous, pious, benevolent, abstemious and chaste one might be, it would avail him nothing, if he lacked the grace of holy baptism: for, righteousness, piety, etc., are not exercises or works of infants, but only of intelligent, yea, of devout persons.

Oil the same page, Anselm, on Ephes. 5, says: "The baptism of Christ is a washing of water 'in the word; if you take away the water, it is no baptism; if you take away the word, it is likewise no baptism."

What else is indicated thereby, than that the Word of God cannot be separated from baptism? which Word of God, in baptism, does not consist simply in this, that a few words, of holy Scripture are pronounced in or over baptism, or over those who are baptized; but that the word of faith is preached to the candidates, before and at baptism. Xlark 16:15, 16; Rom. 10:8.

On page 583, nunl.. 6. Anselm (Enarrat. in Evang.) says: "That the Father was heard in a voice; that the Holy Ghost descended in the form of a dove; and that the Son, in His humanity, was baptized; this clearly indicates the Holy Trinity, in whose name and in the belief of which, everyone of us is baptized."

Here he again has reference to the baptism of Christ, concerning which the holy evangelists state, that, when He, being about thirty years of age, was baptized, the heavens were opened above Him;

* With regard to what is attributed to Anselm, concerning the suspicion in reference to infant baptism, namely, that he (on Eph. 4 and Heb. 10.) agreed with Meginhard (de Fide at Gunth.), we let those say, who can show more evidence of it, than we have yet met with. In the mean time, we have weighty reasons, which induce us to show the contrary concerning him. The same is true also with regard to what he is said to have written, touching said doctrine, on Matt. 15; I Cor. 7, and in "Concordia Gratia, and lib. Arbitrii," _tc.; which things as well as the above, we leave without comment, reserving our explanation of them to ourselves.



that the Holy Ghost descended like a dove upon Him; and that a voice came from heaven (or, from God, His heavenly Father) saying: "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." Matt. 3:16, 17; Mark 1:10,11; Luke 3:22.

All this, as has been stated above, can serve only as a type of the baptism of the adult, intelligent, and believing followers of Christ; which Anselm plainly indicates, when he says: "In whose name and in the belief of which, everyone of us is baptized." Notice, when he says, "Everyone of us," etc., he indicates. each severally and all in general, namely, all who belonged as members to the church of Christ; so that, according to the language employed by him, each and all among them were baptized, not only in the name of the Holy Trinity, but also in or upon the belief of the same.

On page 585, Anselm, on Rom. 6, says: "We are baptized into the death of Christ, that we, believing in His death, and following it, may live as those who are dead; but since we, through baptism, are dead to sin, we must not again live unto sin, so that it is necessary again to die unto it; for, we are baptized into the death, that is, in the likeness of the death, of Christ; that, as He once died, and ever lives, even so we, having once died to evil, should ever live to the good; and, as a dead person can sin no more; thus also we, if we have died with Christ, shall not let ourselves be entangled again in mortal sins.

The sense of the words of Anselm is this: that we must be careful, not to live in sin again after baptism, since the former sins, in which we lived, have died through baptism, and have been laid in the grave as it were, through the death of Christ. Hence, said words can only be applied to the baptism of the believing and penitent, but in no wise to the baptism of infants; because it is certain that the things indicated as requisite for baptism cannot exist in infants. For, how can baptism be, in infants, a dying of their former sins, when they have never lived in sin? How can .they have their sins buried, through baptism, into the death of Christ, who never could nor need die unto sin?

Thus, Anselm, in the afore mentioned passage, speaks only of the baptism of the adult, intelligent, and penitent Christians, who, having died unto their former sins, had them buried through baptism into the death of Christ, to rise to a new life.

Page 588, num. 6, Anselm writes on Matt. 3: "The adults had first to be instructed in the Christian doctrine." S. Clement and others imposed upon those who had lived in wickedness, and, becoming converted, desired to be baptized, a fast of seven days, and sometimes more, as a preparation; moreover, a considerable time, before baptism was also prescribed to the catechumens who were to be baptized."

N. B. "Thus," says the writer who has noted this, "the light of the testimony of the truth shines forth brightly in the midst of the darkness of popery."

We will not enlarge on what the writer has added here, but turn to words of Anselm, which we cannot view without plainly seeing that he treats of the baptism of, the believing and penitent;, for, when he speaks of the adults; of those who were first instructed in the Christian doctrine; of those who, having lived in wickedness, becoming converted; of those who desired to be baptized; of the seven days' fast imposed upon them; of the considerable time prescribed the catechumens who were to be baptized, etc., it is clearly expressed thereby, that the baptism of which he here speaks, is far different from the baptism of infants, since these things can in no wise be said of them.

On page 593, num. 5, D. Vicecomes quotes, lib. 2, cap. 4, the following language of Anselm on the words of Paul, Heb. 6:1-3:  "We will not lay again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, of baptism, of doctrine, etc., that is, the doctrine which was delivered to you in the beginning."

He explains the words of the apostle (Heb. 6:1-3), which, as every one knows, were written to the believing Hebrew brethren, who, having accepted Christ at the beginning of their faith, had had the same sealed through baptism. They are here exhorted to constancy in the faith accepted, and that they should not return to the principles of the Christian religion, upon which they had been baptized, but must go on to the perfection of the same. This is what Anselm, from said words, sought to impress, in his time, upon his fellowbelievers in the faith, to the end, that they might observe their baptism and the confession of the same, to the honor of God, the edification of their neighbor, and the salvation of their own souls.

On same page, Vicecomes, lib. 5, cap. 35, Anselm, on Luke 2, says: "Even as Jesus, after the purification, was brought into the Temple, so those who become believers, are brought into the church of Christ."

When he speaks of those who, becoming believers, are brought into the church of Christ, he has respect to such as, having been baptized upon faith, are through this means, recognized and received as members in the Christian church; for this is the purpose for which this passage of Anselm is adduced in Bapt. Hist.

As to the twelve Ephesian men, of whom we read, Acts 19:1-5, who had been baptized with the baptism of John, he asserts in his explanation on Matt. 3, that they were rebaptized by Paul, assigning as a reason of this, that the baptism of John could not properly give remission of sins, because the blood of Christ which blots out sin, had not then been shed; again, because John, who was a forerunner of Christ's preaching, was also (according to his explanation) a forerunner of baptism.

About A. D. 1024, close to, or a little after, the time of Anselm, a place is given to one Algerus, who, though writing somewhat obscurely on baptism, gives so much light on the subject, that an impartial Christian heart can readily decide from it, that, in said matter, he followed the evangelical truth, according to the doctrine of Christ and the practice of His apostles; in proof of which we will present a few examples.

In Bapt. Hist. page 583. Algerus says (lib. 3, de Euchar, cap. 3): "Who can regenerate a child of the devil to a child of God, except God the Father? Who can justify sinners, except He who died for our sins? And, since everything which is done in baptism, is spiritual, who can perform it, except the Holy Ghost?"

He tells in the above place, whence baptism has its power, and whence its operations chiefly proceed; and certainly, he does not seek, find, or show it in the water, as is done by many who, at the present day, baptize infants, especially by the Romanists; but he seeks, finds, and shows it in the operation of God the Lord, whom he calls by the name of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. To God the Father he ascribes, that He regenerates the candidate from a child of the devil to a child of God. Of the Son he states, that He, having died for our sins, justifies sinners when they are baptized. Of the Holy Ghost he says, that, since all that is done in baptism, is spiritual, so all that is effected in baptism, is spiritually performed by the Holy Ghost. Now, let everyone judge, without prejudice, whether such operations can have place in infants, or in adults (when they are baptized); and we are confident that the instant reply will be, that not the former, but the latter, is conformable to the truth.

Page 585, num. 9. Of the power and benefit of baptism, Algerus says (lib. 3, de Euchar., cap. 4,)

"In order that the grace of God may abound over us, it has reference, in the sacramental form (namely, of baptism) not so much to worthiness and respectability, as to their equal fitness'; for, as water quenches, cleanses and purifies, better than all other liquids, even so baptism quenches the lasciviousness of the flesh, and washes off the impurity of sin, of actual sins as well as," etc.

Here, again, several things are mentioned, which are not applicable to infant baptism, but speak sufficiently against it. For, in the first place, when it is here said of the grace of God, that it has reference, in the sacramental form (namely, of baptism) not so much to the worthiness or respectability, namely, of the persons to whom the sacramental form, or baptism, may be administered, as to their equal fitness; there is certainly indicated, in the candidates, some fitness to which the grace of God has regard; but what fitness can there be in the candidates, to which the grace of God may have regard, if it is not faith in Jesus Christ, true repentance, obedience to God's commandments, and such like things as are requisite to baptism?

In the second place, when it is averred in said passage "that baptism quenches the lasciviousness of the flesh, and washes off the umpurity of sin, of actual sin as well as," etc., it is evident, again, that he treats of such a baptism and of such candidates, wherein lasciviousness of the flesh, impurity of sin, yea, actual sins, etc., can be washed offfor, otherwise he would contradict himself. But what kind of persons these are, in whom such sins can have place, and who need to be washed from them, whether infants or adult persons are meant thereby, the intelligent may judge.

About A. D. 1042. Or almost in the middle of the eleventh century, Buchard of Worms (in Germany) flourished, who makes mention, among other things, of the examinations in the faith, to which it was customary, either in his time or before, to subject the candidates, at baptism. Concerning this, D. Vicecomes (lib. 2, cap. 28), in his allegations respecting baptism in the eleventh century, gives the following account, which is also found in Bapt. Hist., page 592, mum. 1: "Buehard of Worms (lib. 6, de Sacram. Eccles.) says: `The examinations are for the purpose of ascertaining whether he (the candidate), after renouncing Satan, has the holy words of the faith confessed, deeply rooted in his heart, and intends to continue steadfastly in the faith."'

This is certainly plain language concerning baptism upon faith and the confession of the same, according to the institution of Christ, and the example of the apostles and the first apostolical church; hence we need add not a word of explanation, and will therefore proceed to others who, in or about that time, taught the same doctrine, and, as much as lay in their ability, confirmed it in their deeds.

A. D. 1051. This is the year in which the learned Lanfrancus, who also showed himself opposed to infant baptism, and dissuaded from it, is introduced by the writers. See P. 1. Twisck, Chron., page 383, col. 1, from Guitmundus, and Sebastian Franck, fol. 58.

A. D. 1060. Two eminent, learned, and wellmeaning persons, who were greatly celebrated on. account of their great learning and boldness, at this time displayed their greatest strength in rejecting infant baptism and other articles of the Roman church. One of these was Bruno, Bishop of Angiers in France; the other, Berengarius, his deacon. They had begun to teach said doctrine as early as the year 1035, and continued therein for many years, yea, Berengarius, besides the article against transubstantiation, maintained it, as the chronicles show, until .the year 1079.

But, in order to sum up all this briefly, we will present what is recorded, concerning this matter, in the Introduction to the Martyrs' Mirror, page 48, col. 2, we read: "In A. D. 1035, Berengarius, arch deacon of Amgiers, in France, together with Bruno, the Bishop of said city, began to teach against transubstantiation and infant baptism. Their doctrine immediately spread throughout all France and Germany. Against it, Pope Leo IX held, A. D. 1050, two synods, one at Rome, the other at Versailles (Baron., A. D. 1050, mum. 1), in which the doctrine of these two men was condemned.

Afterwards, when Berengarius did not cease to promulgate his doctrine, another synod was held, A. D. 1055,  at Tours in France (Baron., A. D. 1055, mum. 4), in which Berengarius feigned repentance; but as soon as Hildebrand, who afterwards became pope, had gone away, he again maintained his doctrine.

"Afterwards, Pope Nicholas II held a synod (Baron., A. D. 1059, mum. 3, 4), and summoned Berengarius before it, who, for the second time, either from fear or human weakness, pretended to recant, burning the writings of Johannes Scotus, from which he had derived his views respecting transubstantiation; but seeing immediately opportunity again, he returned to his old belief; and composed different writings concerning it, against which some others have written.

"Subsequently, Hildebrand, who had now become pope, and was called Gregory VII, held a synod in Rome, A. D. 1079, where, as Baronius, who judges as a Romanist and papist says, Berengarius, again renounced his doctrine. But how true this is, we leave to God.

"It is evident," says the author to the Introduction, "that he maintained this doctrine for fortyfour years, and filled Germany and France with it; from which it can be inferred, that the same, even as it had itself proceeded from previously existing writings, in its turn left many disciples." Imtrod., page 48, col. 2, and 49, col. 1.

But though the doctrine of Bruno and Berengarius commenced in the year 1035 and ended about A. D. 1079, as far as these two persons are concerned (for, otherwise it is a doctrine that began with Christ and will end only at the end of the world), yet, said doctrine displayed its greatest power, through these two persons, and encountered the most opposition, about the year 1060, as appears from the account of Jac. Mehrning and H. Montanus, who unanimously state the following:

"A. D. 1060, Bruno, Bishop of Angiers, and Berengarius, his deacon, rejected infant baptism." See Guitmundus, Bishop of Avers, and Duramdus, Bishop of Luyck. These are their words: "Bruno, Bishop of Angiers, and Berengarius of Tours, annul the baptism of infants as much as is in their power; so that they, discarding infant baptism, counsel men to plunge themselves without fear into the deep abyss of all manner of wickedness; saying that they are not to be baptized, until they attain to years of understanding." Jac. Mehrn., Bapt. Hist., pp. 591, 592. H. Montan. Nietighd., pages 82, 83, from Guitm. in Principio Dialogi de Veritate Eucharistiae. Durand, in Epist. contra Brumom and Berengarium; also, Baron., A. D. 1035, mum. 1; also, Alan., lib. 1, contra Hceretic, sui Temporis, pages 103, 104, 105.

It seems that the matter of the accusation of these two men, Bruno and Berenearius, rose to such a pitch, that they were subjected to an examination, in order to ascertain the grounds of their faith, and to judge them accordingly.

The author of an anonymous manuscript found in the library of Baron Caraw. de Clepton., writes of the examination of said Bruno, saying, that he himself was present when Bruno, the defender of Berengarius, was interrogated in regard to his faith; and that they both, Bruno and Berengarius, said that infant baptism was not necessary to salvation. See also 1. Mehrn., Bapt. Hist., page 685.

About A. D. 1068. D. Vicecomes quotes from a manuscript book of ceremonies, by Beroldus, which, treating of certain religious ceremonies of that time, makes mention also of baptism, and how it was administered then among those of whom he writes. But, to come to the matter; when, noting from this book, the first address made to novices (whom he terms children, according to the manner of Christ, who also called His disciples children, John 21:5), he says, that, the door having been opened, they were thus addressed: "Enter, ye children, into the house of God; hear your father (the teacher) teach you the way of wisdom." Bapt. Hist., page 592, mum. 3, hicecom., lib. 2, cap. 43.

He then relates what occurred when the doors were closed, and the novices were in the assembly; how the bishop or teacher then delivered to them the symbol, that is, the creed; and how he presented or repeated to them the faith, according to the language of the gospels, and then said: "Hear the faith: I believe on God the Father." Above page, hicecom., lib. 3, cap. 14.

The other circumstances related there we pass by; it sufces us to have seen that then the novices (before they were baptized), were taught the way of wisdom; that the faith was presented to them, and that they were instructed in it, which are things that cannot be done with infants, and, hence, prove, that in the church where this practice was observed, infant baptism was unknown, or, at least, was not practiced there.

About A. D. 1076, or right after Beroldus, one Ado, surnamed Trevirensis, a teacher of that time, is introduced; of whom it is stated that, in administering baptism, he admonished the candidates not only in the knowledge of the faith, but also to the practice of it, that is, to fast, to humble themselves. Of these matters an instance is given, which is related as follows in Bapt. Hist., page 593, mum. 4: "When a certain woman, called Syranna, became a believer, he (Ado) thanked God for her, imposed a fast upon her, and fold her how she should humble herself, and having taus instructed her, together with her son, he baptized them." Vicecom., lib. 3, cap. 12.

A. D. 1090. At this time lived and wrote, it is stated, the teacher and historian Juo, surnamed Oarnotensis, from the place Carnuto, where he resided. According to the testimony of ancient writers, he opposed common popery in various points of doctrine, teaching in such a manner concerning the only Mediator, Christ Jesus, church service, against monachism; against the difference of meats, and of the Supper, that the papists took offense thereat, and considered him a seditious and schismatical person.

NOTE. Juo Carnotensis makes some mention also of the origin of infant baptism, how the same arose in the Roman church. "The church," he says, "having now been sufficiently spread and gathered among the Gentiles; in order that her children, who departed this life before they had attained to the years of understanding, might not remain strangers to the communion of Christ, it was desired to provide them with this medicine of salvation (with baptism); and thus they were baptized with the sacrament of faith." Bapt. Hist., pp. 587, 588, from Cent. Magd. XI., cap. 6.

However, it is not our purpose to write here of all these things; partly, because this, through default of the authors, cannot be done circumstantially; and partly, because we only intended to write something of baptism, with regard to which we will also adduce the testimony of Juo. What he may have written concerning this subject, in other respects, while he was yet unenlightened, we pass by, and will only speak of that which he, when he had become enlightened and had attained to knowledge, wrote salutarily and correctly on this article.

Bapt. Hist., page 588, mum. 6, Juo writes: "To the hearers of the new life, the apostolic creed is delivered, which they publicly confess before baptism." Ex Meginh. de Fide.

Page 590, mum. 14, the following is quoted from Juo: "During the answers to the threefold question, the catechumen (that is, the novice who has learned the faith) is washed from the filth of the old wickedness (namely, through baptism), and puts on the new man."

Page 594, mum. 7. D. Vicecomes (lib. 1, cap. 25) quotes the following account from Juo: "Then those who were to be baptized on the holy Easter Sabbath, were led, in the fourth week of the forty days' fast, and on the fourth day of said week, to the church (or, to the assembly), to be taught and examined in the catechism (that is, in the instruction of the faith), and further instructed, how they should fight against spiritual wickedness; yet, their baptism was deferred till holy Easter Sabbath." Serm. de Saeram. Initiat.

Same page as above. "On that day, those who desire baptism, come to the church (or, to the assembly), that they may be received into the order (or number) of the catechumens, and may throw off, by holy prayers, the yoke of the devil." D. Vicecom,., lib. 2, cap. 30.

Page 595. Juo (from August.) adduces these words: "At the water of baptism, before we baptized you, we asked: Do you believe on God the Almighty?" D. hicecom., lib. 4, cap. 7.

From these five passages of Juo it is evident, virtually as well as from the circumstances, that he treats of no other baptism than that which is accompanied with instruction, faith, confession of the faith, and observance of the same; in short, that he speaks of a baptism which, as appears from his own words, cannot well, yea, not at all, be reconciled with infant baptism. For, in the first passage he makes mention of a creed, which the candidates had to confess publicly before baptism. In the second passage he speaks of the answers which the catechumens gave to the threefold question put to them before baptism; and that they were then washed from the filth of the old wickedness, and did put on the new man. In the third passage he relates how those who were to be baptized on the holy Easter Sabbath, were first examined in the faith, and further instructed, in the fourth week of the forty days' fast. In the fourth passage he says that on that day those who desired baptism, came to the church or assembly, to be received into the order or number of the catechumens, and to pray. In the fifth passage he mentions what the candidates were asked at the water of baptism, namely, whether they believed on God, the Almighty.

All these are things that pertain only to the adult and intelligent, and cannot be comprehended, much less practiced by infants.

We will conclude this with the account of P. J. Twisck, who, besides what he has mentioned concerning baptism, briefly notices several other articles which Juo taught contrary to the common belief of the Roman church. He writes: "Juo, Bishop of Carnuto, zealously taught of Christ, the only Mediator, of church service, against monachism, against the difference of meats, and of the Supper." Chron., page 416, col. 2, from Catal. Test., Tom. 2, fol. 346.

It is very probable, since we have never heard of his having recanted, that this Juo, who began his doctrine, or, at least, maintained it the most vigorously, in the year 1090, continued therein to the end, and thus concluded the eleventh century with it. Hence, we will close here, and see which pious witnesses of Jesus Christ suffered at this time.





[A simile of the moonlight and the stars, which shine most in the darkest nights, forms the beginning of our account, representing the condition of this time:

Fourteen persons, the chiefest of whom was called Stephen, are burned as heretics, for the testimony of the truth, by the papists, A. D. 1022, at Orleans in France.

Then follows a note concerning the accusations brought against the afore mentioned persons; and also, further observations touching said fourteen martyrs, .according to the accounts of various papistic and other writers, noted in the Second Book of the Persecutions, fol. 437, col. 3, 4.

The great craftiness of the papist, Gretserus, in altering the titles of the books of the ancients, to the detriment of the belief of the Waldenses; some of their martyrs called firstlings, which is circumstantially noticed in the margin.

Some pious Christians at Goslar, called Manicheans by the papists, hanged for the confession of the evangelical truth, A. D. 1052. It is shown, 1. that they claimed to lead a true apostolical life: 2. that they would neither lie nor swear; 3. that they maintained that the sacrament of the altar was nothing but bread; 4. that they denied baptism, that is, infant baptism. One papist, as Thuan against Radulph, etc., opposed to each other in their testimony against these people.

Henry and Alfuard, two good Christians, the former beheaded in the uttermost parts of Sweden, the latter slain among the Normans, for defending the evangelical doctrine, A. D. 1067.

Marginal notice explanatory of their belief.

Bruno, Bishop of Angiers, and Berengarius, his deacon, are condemned in different councils, through the Roman pope, on account of their views against infant baptism, transubstantiation, the mass, etc.; the first time, A. D. 1050, both together; the second time, A. D. 1079, Berengarius alone. The inconstancy of Berengarius in some matters is shown, but also his sorrow for it, and his perseverance to the end, on account of which he is accounted among the martyrs.

Many of the followers of Berengarius, called Berengarians, are anathematized by order of the pope, at Piacenza, in Italy, A. D. 1095, and afterwards persecuted unto death, about A. D. 1100. Conclusion.]

Even as the shining moon and the glittering stars give the most light, and adorn the blue expanse of heaven the most gloriously, in the darkest nights, so it was also after A. D. 1000, as regards spiritual matters, which concern the honor of God and the salvation of the souls of men. For, about the year 1000, as well as many years before and after but particularly then, the world lay sunken, as it were, in an arctic, six month's night, through the thick, and palpable darkness, which had arisen, with heavy vapors of superstitions, from the Roman pit. Yet, notwithstanding the state of the times, some undefiled persons, as bright heavenly signs, and stars, began to shine forth the more, and to let their light of evangelical truth illumine the dark nights of papal error. Yea, some, like the polar star, served as a sign to sail by; I mean, to accomplish safely and in a godly manner, through the turbulent waves of perverted worship and human inventions, the journey to the heavenly fatherland. Others, like the morningstar, or the lovely, blushing Aurora, announced the approaching day; we mean, they pointed to the true day of the Christian and evangelical worship of God, and revealed it, as much as they were able, to those who sat in the darkness of error.

We will no longer speak by simile; what we mean is this: That there were men in those dark times, who maintained God's truth, in various points, according to the needs of that time, and bore witness to and sealed it not only with the mouth, but with the deed, yea, with their blood and death.






A. D. 1022, near the close of the year, it seems, or, at the latest, A. D. 1023, there were apprehended and publicly burned, in France, in the presence of King Robert, on account of heresy (socalled by the papists), certain fourteen persons, some of whom were common people, while the others were of noble descent,* and of whom the chiefest was called Stephen. They were accused of having spoken evil of God, and the holy sacraments, that is, of holy baptism (namely, infant baptism, for this was what the papists generally practiced, and concerning which disputes were of frequent occurrence), and of the body and blood of the Lord (that is, the sacrament of the altar, which the Romanists were wont to call the body and blood of the Lord); also of marriage, etc.

"This appears," says the writer, "to have been the first execution (that is, by burning), of persons accused of heresy in the Roman church." Continuing he says: "In an old book we find an account, that this heresy was brought into this country from across the sea, namely, from Bulgaria, and that thence it was spread into other provinces, where it subsequently was much in vogue, principally in Languedoc, around Toulouse, and in Gascony."

He also states there, that the people who maintained this doctrine, were called Albigeois, and also Bulgarians, because they came from Bulgaria. hig;nierzi Hist. Eccl., A. D. 1022, ex Glabro and Massonio in Annalibus, and alio Autiquo Authore, compared with Abr. Mell., fol. 381, col. 2, and fol. 436, col. 1.

Touching the accusations which were brought against the afore mentioned fourteen persons, they were, as is related: That they had spoken against the article concerning God; .against the holy sacraments, both baptism and the sacrament of the altar; against marriage, etc.; on account of which there was inflicted upon them the very cruel, dreadful, and miserable death by fire.

But what they believed and maintained with regard to said points, according to the account of impartial writers, shall be amply explained after 

* Laymen and nobles. etc. the papist writer nays.



wards, in the Confession of the Albigenses and Waldenses, who held the same belief; since said persons are held to have been the firstlings of those who maintained the doctrine of the Albigenses (though long before their general rising). See the authors cited above, especially the last one.

Then it will be seen, that they believed and spoke nothing but what we .at the present day believe and speak; also, as regards baptism, that they baptized believers, and opposed infant baptism; and, touching the Supper, that they observed it according to the institution of Christ, but rejected the mass and transubstantiation; again, that they denied revenge, the swearing of oaths, auricular confession, the invocation of departed saints, purgatory, etc.






COL. 3, 4

"Robert Altisidorensis states of said martyrs of Orleans, that they were of the best or chiefest laymen of Orleans, and that for this reason a council was convened there against them, in which they were unanimously condemned and sentenced, as heretics, to the fire; and that they were thus burned alive."

This testimony is confirmed by Johannes, a monk of Floriax, who gives a somewhat fuller account of the matter, in his letter to Oliva or Olivarius, abbot of the church of Ansona, saying: "Meanwhile I will inform thee of this heresy (thus he calls the true faith of these people), which was on Innocent's day, in the city of Orleans; for it is the truth if thou hast heard ought of it. King Robert caused fourteen of the best or most nobly born laymen of said city to be burned alive; who, (Oh, what a great falsehood!) abominable before God, and hated by heaven and earth, utterly denied the grace of holy baptism (he means infant baptism, for thereupon the grace of salvation was promised to children, which these men denied) as well as the consecration of the body and blood of the Lord, and denied that one could thereby obtain remission of sins, after he had committed a crime." Masson Annal. Franc., lib. 3, in Hugo and Robert.

Glaber Radulphus (in Hist. Gall., lib. 3, cap. 8), gives a much more circumstantial account of these martyrs, relating not only how this (so called) heresy was discovered, but also how it was brought to Orleans and propagated; which we, in order to be brief, pass by.

He mentions, among others, two of these people by name, namely, Heribert and Lisoius, who were greatly esteemed and beloved by the king and the lords of the realm, as long as their case was not known. Glaber further relates how they were discovered. They sought, at Rouen, to bring a certain Driest over to their belief , through some whom

they probably had expressly sent to this priest, to expound to him the mystery of their doctrine, and who endeavored to persuade him by saying that very soon all the people would fall over to them.

When the priest understood this, he immediately went to Richard, the Count of that city, and told him the whole matter. The latter instantly sent letters by express messengers to the king, informing him of this secret pestilence (as he calls the true faith). King Robert, much grieved at this, without delay convened a council of many bishops, abbots, and other religious persons (thus he calls this blood thirsty council), and, through them, caused very strict investigations to be made, both as to the authors and adherents of said heresy. When inquiry was made among the laymen, as to what the belief and faith of each several one was, the aforesaid Heribert and Lisoius immediately discovered themselves, that they differed in their belief from the Roman church, and afterwards others also declared that they adhered to Heribert and Lisoius, and that they could in no wise be drawn away from their faith. Being interrogated more closely, whence and by whom this presumption had originated, they gave this answer: "This is what you have long called a sect, which you now, though late, recognize. But we have waited for a long time, that you as well as all others, of whatever law or order, might come over and unite with this sect; which, we also believe, will yet take place."

They then immediately presented their belief, undoubtedly after the manner of the Albigenses and Waldenses, as shall be shown hereafter.

When the king and all those present saw that they could not be moved from their belief, he commanded that a very large fire of wood should be kindled not far from the city, in order that perhaps, terrified thereby, they might desist from their belief. But when they were about to be led out to the fire, they cried aloud, saying, that they greatly longed for it, and gave themselves into the hands of those who were to draw them to the fire. They, thirteen in number, were committed to the flames, and all who afterwards were found to be their adherents, were put to death by the same means.

Again, in the records of the parish church of

Orleans, called St. Maximus' church, the time is specified, when this took place. It occurred, it is there stated, publicly at Orleans, A. D. 1022, in the twenty eighth year of King Robert, on the fifth induction, when the arch heretic Stephen and his companions were condemned at Orleans, and burnt.

The above citations are taken from the writings of papists; hence, the reader is admonished, to judge charitably with regard to the accusations which these inveterate adversaries have so bitterly cast up against these pious witnesses of Jesus Christ.

NOTE. We have related above, that said fourteen martyrs have been considered, by the ancients, as the firstlings of the Waldenses; but the papists called them heretics. However, this is not to be wondered at; since, in the course of time, they adopted the practice of calling heretics and the Waldenses by the same name. Of this we will present a few examples. The priest Reinerius wrote a book, which he called, Summa contra Hareticos, that is, "A Summary against the Heretics." To this book the Jesuits subsequently gave the title Contra Waldenses, or, "Against the Waldenses;" as if all the errors opposed in said book, were peculiar to the Waldenses, which is as untrue as falsehood itself. Compare Reinerius' book with A. M., 2d book, fol. 437, col. 4.

Everhard Berthuniensis gave to his book the title, Antiheretism, which is equivalent to saying Against Heretics, etc.; but the Jesuit Gretserus, when he published said book, called it, Everhardus contra Waldensen; as if Everhard had written only against the Waldenses, notwithstanding only the smallest part militates against them. Nevertheless, it was sought, by this title, to accuse the poor Waldenses of all the heresies mentioned in that book.

Afterwards, one Ermegard wrote a book against the grossly erring spirits who maintained in their confession, that the world and all visible things were not created by God, but (Oh, what an awful falsehood!) by Satan; which belief is imputed, by most of the ancient writers, to the Manicheans; yet, the last mentioned falsifier, namely, Gretserus, has not hesitated to head such a page of said book, Ermegard against the Waldenses; though the author specially refuted the Manicheans, with whom the Waldenses had nothing in common. See the above mentioned authors and books, and also the comments of Balthasar Lydius on the disputations of said persons. Hence it follows from the foregoing, that it need not seem strange to the reader, that the papists called the orthodox Waldenses, or, at least, such as opposed the Roman doctrine, as well as the priests and monks, by the odious name of Manicheans or heretics, as was frequently the case, and shall presently be shown, with regard to the good martyrs, who, through the malice of the nanists. were hanved at Goslar.







It grieves us to our very soul, that in regard to the testimonies of the holy martyrs, we have to resort to the writings of papists, their most inveterate enemies, as well as to other writers who did not hold the same faith with us, and who, consequently, made the faithful records of the pious witnesses of Jesus our Saviour incline to their opinion, and explained' them according to their own views. This mischief has met us before, and now again falls to our lot; still, we hope that the intelligent and attentive reader will distinguish light from darkness, and judge impartially, and as a Christian.

Herman Contractus, Count of Veringen, writes at the close of his life, hardly one or two years before his death, of certain persons at Goslar, who were accused by their adversaries, the Romanists, of being Manicheans; for at that time no other or better name was known for the true Christians, who were opposed to the Roman church, notwithstanding they had nothing at all in common with the Manicheans; and thus this Herman Contractus, a strong maintainer of the papal religion, also called these persons, after Roman fashion, Manicheans, saying: "The Emperor Henry III (some say II), A. D. 1052, celebrated, at Goslar, the Lord's birthday, and there caused some heretics (thus he calls the true Christians), who, among other perverse opinions according to the sect of the Manicheans, abhor the eating of all kinds of meat (which he unjustly imputes to these people, as shall be shown), and who were condemned, by common consent (of the bishops or lords of the realm), as heretics; to be hanged on the gallows, in order that the contagion should not spread further and contaminate many others. Heron.. Contr. Chron., A. D. 1052.

But they cared not so much (A. Mellinus writers), about the eating of flesh, as about many other points of doctrine, which Herman Contractus passes over silently; namely, such as Radulph Ardens makes mention of, relating that at the close of said century there were some (so called) Manicheans at Aix la Chapelle in France. He there says (Homil. Dominical 8, post Trinit.): "Such are at the present day the Manichean heretics, who have polluted our country of Aix la Chapelle with their heresy; who pretend to lead a true apostolical life, saying that they do not lie; that they do not swear, and, under the cloak of abstemiousness, they reject the eating of flesh. They also maintain that the sacrament of the altar is nothing but mere bread; they deny baptism (namely, infant baptism, for this was the point in question) and say that none can be saved but those who are baptized by their hands."

It is true that said papistic writer charges them with several other thins as belonging to their doctrines, of which we deem it unnecessary to speak here, since Mellinus to whom we referred above, answers all these for us, saying (2d book, fol. 437): "All these errors, except that of baptism and of the mass or transubstantiation (that is, against the mass and transubstantiation), are unjustly imputed to them by these papistic authors, as Thuan, writing of the Waldenses, himself confesses (Hist. sui temp. A. D. 1550). He then quotes from Thua.n the confession of these people, in which no errors at all, much less Manichean heresies, are found; but which contains chiefly such things as are publicly taught by us, at the present day, and maintained with the power and authority of the holy and divine Scriptures, against the superstitions of popery.

Having quoted the confession of these people, from Thuan, Mellinus says: "This is certainly a square and unfeigned confession of Thuan, which alone is sufficient to refute all the preceding slanders (namely, which had been flung against the holy martyrs)."

Thus, even according to the testimony of the papist Thuan, and the statement of the Calvinistic Mellinus, the above mentioned martyrs were not guilty of Manichean errors; they only spoke against the Roman church, principally in the matter of baptism (that is, infant baptism) and in regard to the mass or transubstantiation; hence, they may be reckoned among the true witnesses of Jesus Christ, who testified to their living faith, not only with the mouth, but also with their blood, yea, with their death; and whom the Lord will hereafter, in the resurrection of the just, reward and crown, according to His promise. Rev. 2:10.

NOTE. We here place one papist against  another; Thuan against Radulph. In the meantime, we are induced to receive the best testimony concerning said martyrs from these two differing writers; since they both had no other purpose than to speak to the detriment of said people. Thuan says: "Their points of doctrine are said to be these: That the Roman church has forsaken the true Christian faith; that she is the Babylonian whore, and the dead tree which Christ cursed and commanded to be cut down; that therefore no obedience is to be rendered to the pope and the bishops who consent to his errors; that Monachism is a veritable sink of all the corruption of the church, and an infernal pool; that all monastic vows are vain and unavailing, and tend only to lasciviousness; that the orders of the priesthood are marks of the great beast, of which mention is made in the Apocalypse; that purgatory, the mass, church consecration, the worship of saints, masses for the dead, etc., are genuine inventions and institutions of Satan. These, says the writer, are the principal and certain articles of their doctrine. The others, concerning marriage (that they deemed it evil), the resurrection (that they denied it), the state of the soul after death (that they spoke improperly of it), and concerning meats (that they rejected all eating of flesh), are unjustly imputed to them. Thuan in. Hist. de Waldens. Temp., A. D. 1550, compared with A. Mell., 2d book, fol. 437, col. 3.

We have shown this the more circumstantially, to demonstrate the innocence of said martyrs, and that their doctrinal points were not Manichean heresies, but strictures upon the Roman church, which stirred up the animosity of the papists, so that, as it seems, they vented the spleen of their manifold accusations against said people.






TRINE, A. D. 1067

A. D. 1067, there was a God fearing man, whose name was Henry, and whom the Romish historian calls a stranger, perhaps because he was obliged to live secretly or as a stranger among the Romanists. It is stated of him, that he preached the Gospel of Christ in the uttermost parts of Sweden, and that he was apprehended for this cause and beheaded for the name of Christ.

Another pious Christian, named Alfuard, after living for a long time secretly, yet leading a pure and holy life among the Normans, could not thus even in secret remain Christ's own. Because he sought to protect, or to do good to, his enemy, he was slain by his friends, or those at least who ought to have been his friends. Adam., in Histor. Sued., 1067, compared with Abr. Mell., fol. 384, col. 3.

The records of these two martyrs, Henry and Alfuard, are very brief, because, the writer, as he states, would neither add to, nor take from, the truth of the matter, but wished to record it just as it was stated to him, which is an evidence of the verity of said matter. Therefore we also did not feel at liberty to extend the relation of the same, or to add, for amplification, the opinions of other authors. However, this is not necessary, since, in said account, all that is needful for the cognizance of said martyrs, is briefly, yet sufficiently, shown. For, of Henry it is stated that he preached the Gospel of Christ (not papal traditions), and that he was apprehended on this account. Of Alfuard the author writes, that he lived for a long time secretly, though leading a pure and holy life, among the Normans; also, that he could no longer secretly remain Christ's own; understand, not the pope's, or the so called mother, the Roman church's own, but Christ's own. More might be added, but for the well disposed we deem this sufficient.







1059, THE LAST TIME, A. D. 1079

In our account of holy baptism for the year 1060, we made mention of Bruno, Bishop of Angiers, and Berengarius, his deacon, and showed, according to the accounts of different writers, that they, in opposition to the common belief of popery, denied infant baptism and transubstantiation, with all that pertains to it, as has been shown in said place.

Of Bruno we find no further account, only that when he was examined he answered as has been related; and that his doctrine, together with that of Berengarius, was condemned by Pope Leo IX, in two different synods, the one of which was held at Rome, and the other at Versailles. But what further happened to him after said papal condemnation, is not mentioned by the ancients, or, at least, has not come to our knowledge.

But of Berengarius it is stated, that besides the afore mentioned two condemnations by Pope Leo the Ninth, which he suffered together with Bruno, he was subjected to three examinations and as many condemnations, in three successive synods, once at Tours, and twice at Rome. But to our sincere regret we cannot omit mentioning that in the last three examinations, either from fear of death or for some other reason, he did not acquit himself altogether manfully or in a Christianlike manner; inasmuch as in each examination, if what the ancients have written concerning it is correct, he denied his belief before men; though after each denial, upon regaining his freedom, constrained in his conscience, he reavowed the same.

His denial from whatever cause it may have proceeded, was a fault of such magnitude that it could not be tolerated even in an ordinary Christian, much less in a martyr, unless it be that the name of a good Christian or martyr be withheld from him. Howeverl' when, against this, there is taken into consideration, the heartfelt sorrow and grief which he manifested every time, and that he again taught the people as before, and this, as is stated by many, to the end of his life; the name of a Christian, yea, even of a martyr (though in weakness), on account of the manifold troubles he met with because of his belief, may still be accorded him.

The holy apostle Peter, after his threefold denial of Christ, though this was a dreadful sin, was not rejected by Christ, when he manifested sincere repentance; seeing the Lord afterwards commanded him to feed His lambs and sheep, yea, foretold him that he should be bound, for His name's sake, and glorify God by his death, that is, that he should have to die as a martyr, which also happened to him in the reign of Nero, as is shown in the first century, A. D. 69.



Berengarius lived to the age of about ninety years, according to the papist Baronius, who says that he remained separated from the Roman church,* as a schismatic, to the end of his life, though Bellarmine thinks differently, which we leave to him, till better proof than the opinion of a monk of Malmsbury, from whom, it seems, Bellarmine has derived his opinion, can be furnished. Compare Bellarm., in Chron., A. D. 1058, with Hist. Angl., lib. 3, touching the opinion of the monk of Malmsbury.

As regards the time of his death, it is fixed A. D. 1088, on the day of Epiphany. The last words which he is said to have uttered, are adduced by a certain bishop of Cenomana, called Hildebert, in the third book of the English History, where he says that Berengarius, sighing deeply, said: "Today, on this day of Epiphany, my Lord Jesus Christ will appear to me, as I hope unto glory, because of my repentance, or, as I fear, on account of other things unto punishment." A. Mell., fol. 395, col. 1.

These words, it seems, are misinterpreted by the monk of Malmsbury, as though Berengarius, in speaking of his penitence and good hope, had intended to imply that, in the aforesaid articles, he had returned to the Roman church; and that, in mentioning his fear of punishment, he had reference to the punishment of which he might have stood in fear, because of the views which he had maintained against the pope and the Roman church. But, besides that we see no clear proof in the opinion of said monk, this utterance of Berengarius can very fitly be taken in another and better sense, namely, thus: That Berengarius, When he spoke of his repentance and good hope in the appearance of Jesus Christ, was confident, that the merciful Jesus, his beloved Saviour, because he had now repented, and was sorry for his denial, to which the papists had compelled him, would graciously forgive his sins; since the Lord, when His disciple Peter had fallen into a like, or still greater sin of denial, forgave him when he repented of it. Yet, on the other hand, that he was not entirely without fear, because he had committed said denial against his conscience, and because the Lord is as just as He is merciful, especially in punishing sins that are committed against the conscience, or with premeditation.

Nevertheless, from his words (if they have been quoted correctly), it is evident, that his hope was greater than his fear, since he speaks first of the former, as well as of his sorrow or repentance, yea, of the: glory of the blessed; for what else could he mean to indicate, when he said: "Today, on this day . . . my Lord Jesus Christ will appear to me, as I hope, unto glory, because of my repentance"? As to the words that follow, they seem to have been added from Christian carefulness and humility, since no living man could stand before

* A. Mell., fol. 395, ex Baron., in Chron. Eccl., 1088. Art. 15, 20, 21.

the justice of God, if He were not merciful; much less one who had notably sinned against His most divine and holy Majesty; which agrees with job 9:2; Ps. 130:3; and 143:2.

In the meantime, men had very different views respecting the decease of Berengarius; for some, namely those who were rigid Romanists, and papists, had, it seems, an evil opinion of him; hence they knew nothing:good to say of him, as appears from the account of Papirius Massonius, who, in his history of France, for the year 1088, says: "In this year, on the day of Epiphany . . . that corrupt arch heretic, Berengarius, who so often deceived the (Roman) church by feigning to repent of his views, departed this life." Annal. Franc., lib. 3.

But others, who were his good friends, had a better opinion of him. Among these, the abovementioned Hildebert was not the least; he, as some have observed, composed a very beautiful epitaph upon his death, the last words of which were as follows: "He (Berengarius) was truly a wise man, and, in every respect, perfectly blessed; who enriched heaven with his soul, and the earth with his body. God grant, that after my death I may live and rest with him, and that my lot or inheritance may be no better than his." See the above cited book, compared with Abr. Mell., fol. 395, col. 1, 2.

We will close here, and commit his cause to God. Meanwhile, the church of God, or, at least, the little flock of believers, sustained a great loss in his death. Hence, we may say, as was lamentingly said by one of old: "The day when Bererngarius died was an evil day." Sam. heltius., Geslacht register, page 128.






A. D. 1100

It is stated that after the death of Berengarius, his doctrine (spoken of above) in reference to baptism and the Supper, against the belief of the Roman church, gained much favor among his followers, who were called Berengarians; so that England, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, and even part of the Netherlands, became filled with it. A certain writer says: "They did not adhere to Berengarius as to a reed which is swayed by the wind; and their faith did not rest on men, however pious or godly these might have been, but upon the pure Word of God, which abides forever."

Hence, Pope Urban II, A. D. 1095, by constraint as it were, convened a great council against them, in the city of Piacenza, in Italy; to which there came many bishops from Italy, Burgundy, France, Germany, Bavaria, and other countries, so that there was no church large enough to hold all the people, but they had to meet without the city, in an open field.

Bertoleus Constantiensis says, that in this council a canon or rule was established, by which the views of Berengarius, which were called a heresy, were again, as had repeatedly been done previously, anathematized or cursed, but the views of the Roman church, confirmed as a precious matter. Compare Bertho. Constant., in Chron., A. D. 1095. Baron. Annal., T. 11, with A. Mell., fol. 395, col. 2, 3.

Hence it came, that a great persecution and dire distress arose, particularly about A. D. 1100, over said Berengarians, so that, at first, some were exiled here and there, f rom the Roman dominion, some expelled, and some were punished with death, yea, with death by fire, as shall appear more fully in the account of the martyrs in the following century. In the meantime, see A. M. fol. 395. col. 3, from Thuan., Pref. Also, in Hist. Henr. 4.

« Prev Eleventh Century Next »
VIEWNAME is workSection