We turn again to jean Paul Perrin, whose testimony regarding matters of the faith of the Waldenses has, from of old, been very highly esteemed. Among other things, he gives an account of the precepts which they left for the building up of a virtuous life; in regard to which, the following is designed to promote a virtuous and God-fearing deportment towards those that are without. In the History of the Waldenses and Albigenses, 3d part, 1st book, 10th chapter, page 153, we read literally, in the Waldensian and in the English (Dutch, the original says) tongue, as follows:
En qual modo le poble se de aver a aquilli guar son de f ora?
"How shall our intercourse be with those that are without?"
1. Non amar to mond.
We must not love the world.
2. Fugir la mala consortia.
We must shun evil company.
3. Si es possible aver paz cum fuit.
We must, if possible, live in peace with all men.
4. Non contendre en judici.
We must not go to law.
5. Non veniar si meseine.
We must not avenge ourselves.
6. Amarr li ennemic.
We must love our enemies.
7. holer sustenir trabails, calomnias, menasas, reprovance, vergognas, eriurias, & totas generations de tormens per la verita,
We must willingly bear labor, calumny, threats, rejection, shame, injuries, and all kinds of torment, for the truth's sake.
8. Possessir las arnuas in patientia.
We must possess our souls in patience.
9. Non amenar joug cum li non fidel.
We must not be yoked together with unbelievers.
10. Non communicar a las rnalas obras, & totalment a las, sabent idolatria, & del servici sentent so meseine, & enaimi de las autes.
We must have no fellowship with evil works, especially with such as savor of idolatry, and all services which tend in that direction; and thus we are to judge of like matters.
In said tenth chapter some further rules of these people are found, which have reference to the believers themselves, how they must well govern their own lives and bodies. They read as follows
Encar en qual maniera li fidel debian regir li for corps
"Also, how believers are to govern their own bodies, or themselves."
1. Non servir a li desirier mortal de la carn.
They shall not serve the deadly lusts of the flesh.
2. Gardar li for membres quilli non sign armas d'iniquritas.
They shall keep their members that they do not become instruments of wickedness.
3. Regir li for sentiment.
They shall govern well their thoughts.
4. Sot mettre la corps a l'espirit.
They shall keep the body in subjection to the spirit.
5. Morti Hear li membres.
They shall mortify their members.
6. Fugir la ocioseta.
They shall shun idleness.
7. Gardar sobrieta & mesura en maniar & beavre, & en parolas & en las curas del mond.
They shall observe temperance and sobriety in eating and drinking, as well as in their words, and in the cares of this world.
8. Far obras de miseridia.
They shall practice works of mercy.
9. More per fe, & per vita moral.
They shall live in faith and morality.
10. Combatre contra li desirier.
They shall fight against lusts.
11. Mortificar las obras de la carn.
They shall mortify the works of the flesh.
12. Istar en temp debit a la Religion.
They shall, at the proper time, attend divine worship.
13. Ensemp recordar la diving volunta.
They shall speak to one another of the will of God.
14. Examinar diligentament la conscientia.
They shall diligently examine their consciences.
15. Mundar & esmendar, & pacifecar l' espirit.
They shall purify, improve, and compose the spirit or mind.
These and like precepts the Waldenses presented to their fellow believers, that they might know how to lead a virtuous and pious life, with regard to God, as well as to their neighbor, and to themselves.
Above all things it is a matter of astonishment, that the most violent opponents of the Waldenses, who .accused them the most on account of their faith, could nevertheless find nothing to censure in their life, notwithstanding exceeding attention was given to this point. It is true, that some, from deadly hatred against these people, vented many lies in order to tarnish their reputation; but they were instantly contradicted by their copartners who had a somewhat higher regard for the truth.
Jacob de Riberia, who allowed himself to be used as a persecutor of the Waldenses, says, "That for a long time they resided in Narbonne, or Gaule Narbonnoise, in the bishoprics of Albi, Rhodes, Cahors, and Aix la Chapelle; and that at that time those who would be called ecclesiastics and bishops, were held in little esteem, because nearly all those priests were either unworthy or illiterate. Hence it was easy for the Waldenses, says he, to gain the ascendency among the people, by their eminent learning." Hist. of the Wald., 1st part, 1st book, cap. 5, p. 21, from Jac. Rib., in his account of the city of Toulouse. Chassagnon, in his History of the Albigenses, page 27.
Reinerius, a Dominican friar and cruel inquisitor against the Waldenses, assaying to defame them because they frequently read the holy Scriptures, said: That when the Waldenses wished to display their learning, they adduced many things relating to purity, humility, and other virtues, showing that sin must be shunned, and quoting thereto the words of ,Christ and His apostles.
He also adds, that they taught, from the Gospel and the writings of the apostles, how the followers or disciples of Christ must be, saying, "That those alone are followers of the apostles, who follow their lives." In conclusion he says, "That the pope, the bishops, and the clergy, who possess the riches of this world, and do not follow the holiness of the apostles, are no rulers of the church of Jesus Christ." Same page, from Reinerius' book, De forma Heret., fol. 98.
Their extraordinary virtue is also very evident from the tract of Reinerius concerning the manners of the Waldenses, yea, it is astonishing, how excel-
lently this writer, who had no other intention than to say the worst of them, yea, to brand them as heretics, presented their virtue, so that the papists should justly feel ashamed over it; for, these are the words of him who was their inquisitor, "It can be seen also from their manners and words, that they are heretics; for their manners are modest and grave; they exercise no pride in their clothing, for they wear neither costly nor very mean clothing; they do not engage in any commerce; they avoid lying, swearing, and cheating, but maintain themselves by the labor of their hands, as mechanics. Their teachers ,are weavers and shoemakers, who do not heap up great riches, but are content with the necessaries of life. The Lyonists (the Waldenses) are also chaste, temperate in eating and drinking, and do not frequent taverns, etc." Bapt. Hist., pages 646, 647.
Concerning the manner in which the Waldenses prayed, the following is found in an ancient papistic book, "The Waldenses observe this manner in praying: they bow down with bended knees upon the ground, leaning against a bench or something suitable for this purpose. Thus, with bended knees, and body bowed down, they generally continue in prayer as long as it might take to repeat the Lord's prayer and the amen thirty or forty times. This they do every day with great reverence." Again, "They say, teach, or have, no other prayer than the Lord's prayer, or the paternoster. The angelic Salutation, or the Ave Maria they condemned." Bapt. Hist., page 647.
Among other things, the ancients make mention of some of the Waldenses, who are called apostles, teachers, angels, and brethren; but who nevertheless obtained their names not because of their nobility, high descent, or great worldly learning, but, to all appearance, on account of their virtue. For, as regards their descent, and standing in this world, they were very humble; their names were: Nicholas of Poland; John of Poland, a peasant's soil; Walrich of Hardeck, a shoemaker by trade; Conrad of Gmund, in Suabia, a peasant's son; Simon of Salig, in Hungary, a tailor by trade; Herman of Mistelgen, a peasant's son, and blacksmith by trade., "But," says he writer who accuses them,"they lead this kind df life and walk; first, they fast three or four days in the week, living on bread and water unless they have to do very hard work; then the chief among them take care that their subjects appear before them. (If by the terms, chief and subjects, there are understood teachers and common people, or master tradesmen and servants, or the like, there is no ambiguity). They pray seven times a day; the oldest (among them) begins the prayer." Bapt. Hist., page 649.
These and like testimonies respecting the virtues of the Waldenses, even from their bitterest accusers, indicate that they were very merciful, virtuous, and God-fearing people, and that they were thus greatly calumniated by those who sought to maintain the contrary in regard to them. But, how unjustly some have proceeded in accusing said people, with regard to their faith as well as to their life, of this we will presently give some account.
In the second book of the first part of the History of the Waldenses, by Jean Paul Perrin, translated by J. M. V., 3d chapter, page 74, col. 2, there is an account of one Jan Veileti, a monk, and inquisitor over the Waldenses, and how very unfaithfully and deceitfully he or his clerk acted in the case of these people, from which it can be inferred, how it also was with others of their accusers. The words read as follows
But in the processes which were instituted by this monk Jan Veileti, we have observed an exquisite kind of villainy and low cunning; for, having gotten these proceedings into our hands, we found in them little billets, upon which this commissary (Jan Veileti) had noted the answers of the accused, simply, and just as they had come from their lips; but these simple answers, we afterwards, in the proceedings found extended, and frequently given in a form contrary to, and quite different from what the sumptum, that is, the aforementioned answer as noted in the proceedings, implied and contained; thereby perverting the meaning of the defendant, and causing him to say that of which he had never thought.
For example, when he was asked whether he did not believe, that as soon as the sacramental words were pronounced by the priest, in the mass, the body of Christ was in the host, just as He was on the tree of the cross, and the Waldenses answered, No, Veileti or his clerk set down as his answer
That he had confessed that he did not believe in God.
Again, when it was asked, whether the saints must not be invoked, the reply was, No, they wrote
That they had reviled, and spoken evil of, the saints.
When it was asked, whether the virgin Mary must not be saluted and invoked in our extremity, and the answer was, No, they wrote: That they had reviled the virgin Mary., "Behold, such was the faithlessness of the monks and inquisitors in such important matters, and it is not without a certain evidence of God's providence," says the writer,"that these villainies have been preserved and have remained to the present time, as a means by which to show, what spirit actuated those men having, by manifold frauds, oppressed and ultimately killed and burnt the believing members of the church of Christ, yet have the audacity to ask us, where the church, and the believers, whom they themselves put to death, were before our coming.", "Now, if the reader is desirous to know," says our author,"how said proceedings fell into our hands, we reply, that this occurred likewise through
the providence of God." He then relates, how the archbishops of Embrun, John Rostan, and others had these papers and proceedings under lock and key in their chests and chanceries, until the city where they resided, was taken, A. D. 1585. The house of the archbishop having taken fire on this occasion, many of these processes held in former times against the Waldenses, were thrown in bags into the street. One Calignon, chancellor of Na- . varre and a certain councilor of Grenoble, who were present, ordered them to be picked up and delivered into their hands; and thus, it is stated, the . perfidious calumnies against the Waldenses came to light, which, otherwise, would have gone among the papists, as true accusations against them. But it is as the common adage says: Lies fly swiftly, but truth overtakes them. We will now close our account of the true faith and good practice of the Waldenses, and show, how long and in what times they existed.
Of this, H. Montanus gives this account, "The persuasion of the Waldenses or Lyonites obtained, in France as well as in some cities of Italy, secretly as well as openly, according to the condition of the times, for more than three hundred years, from the year 1170 or 1180 to 1545, as may be seen in Sleidanus, lib. 16, Comment." H. Mont. Nietigh., page 86.
Their beginning we have fixed, according to the common reckoning of ancient writers, A. D. 1170; but it appears that they existed long before; for even as early as the year 1120, people of the same profession declared, by open writings, their views against the pope, whom they called antichrist, censuring him in many things, as stated above.
Moreover, P. J. Twisck gives the following account for the year 1168, "The Waldenses, of whom mention is made for the year 1159, had at this time so many followers and such great success with their doctrine, in France, Spain, Italy, and Germany, that those of their profession, as Guil. Nebriss, writes, numbered as many as the sand of the sea; who, when they were summoned by the pope of Rome, to give an account of their doctrine, would not appear, saying that they were not obliged to obey the pope, who was the antichrist and had declared them schismatics." Chron. page 479, Col. 1.
A. D. 1199.-It is stated that at this time the Albigenses, who were one church with the Waldenses, had so increased in the earldom of Toulouse, that, as the papists complained,"almost a thousand cities were polluted with them." Introduction M. M., page 52, Col. 1, from Baron. A. D. 1199, num. 13.
With this the lord of St. Aldegonde concurs, when he says (in't Tafereel der Geschil., cap. 12, fol. 142), "That, notwithstanding Peter de Bruis was burnt as a heretic, at St. Giles, near Nismes, their doctrine nevertheless was spread throughout the province of Gascony, into the earldom of Fois, Querci, Agenois, Bourdeloicx, and almost throughout all Languedoc, and the earldom of Jugrane, now called Venice. In Province also this doctrine was almost universally accepted, and the cities, Cahors, Narbonne, Carcassonne, Rhodes, Aix la Chapelle, Mesieres, Toulouse, Avignon, Mantauban, S, Antonin, Puflanrens, Castres, Minerve, Begiers, Beaucaire, Lombes, Pannes, and the country of Bigorre were filled with it, together with many other cities which were favorable to them, as Tarascon, Marseilles, Perces, Agenois, Marmande, and Bordeaux; whereby this doctrine spread still further, from the one side into Spain and England, from the other, into Germany, Bohemia, Hungary, Moravia, Dalmatia, and even into Italy., "Indeed in such a manner did this doctrine spread that however sedulously the popes and all their minions exerted themselves, aided by the princes and the secular magistrates, to exterminate them, first by disputations, then by banishment and papal excommunication and anathemas, proclaiming of crusades, indulgences and pardons to all who would commit violence upon them, and finally, by all manner of tortures, fire, gallows, and cruel bloodshedding, yea, in such a manner that the whole world was in commotion on account of it; yet, they (the papists) could not prevent the ashes from flying abroad, and becoming scattered far and wide, almost even to all the ends of the earth." Introduction M. M., page 52, Col. 1, 2.
The above seems marvelous, but it is not marvelous with regard to the Lord God, with whom nothing is wonderful or impossible. In the meantime, we see how God permitted this grain of mustard seed of the Waldenses, or Poor Men of Lyons, to grow up a large tree, and this in the midst of their persecutions. Oh, the great power, wisdom and love of God, who never forsakes His people!
P. J. Twisck, having finished his account of the twelfth century, concludes as follows, with which we will also conclude our account, "As regards the state and condition of ecclesiastical affairs in the preceding hundred years, we find no special change, nor reformation, except that in this century we have many praiseworthy men who opposed popery with the holy Scriptures, rejecting images, pilgrimages, masses, and other papal superstitions, and also infant baptism; concerning which you may consult the years 1145, 1159, 1168, 1182, 1198. Thus the Baptists and many others (who had better views than the papists), and their followers or fellow believers lived for a long period, or even to this time, in various countries and places, under many severe persecutions." Chron., 12th book, page 511.