[In the beginning mention is made of this salutary, but bloody century, in which the pious witnesses of the Lord come in multitudes to receive the crown of martyrdom on the battlefield of Christ.
Four persons, having no good opinion of infant baptism and transubstantiation banished from the bishopric of Treves, A. D. 1105.
Some of the followers of Berengarius, in the same bishopric, follow their fellow companions, and are not only banished, but also expelled, one year after, namely A. D. 1106.
The persecutions increase in violence; some who maintained the doctrine of Berengarius, burnt alive at Treves and Utrecht, in the year 1135.
Arnald, a lector at Brescia, opposes infant baptism and the mass; on account of which he is persecuted, and, finally, having come to Rome, deprived of his life by fire, A. D. 1145.
The teacher of said Arnald, namely, Peter Abelard, follows, in the persecution, in the footsteps of his disciple, and is, by order of the pope, imprisoned in the dungeon of a monastery, where he ends his life, same year as above.
Peter Bruis, burnt at St. Giles; Henry of Toulouse, apprehended and put out of the way by the pope's legate; also many other persons put to death at Paris, for the true evangelical doctrine, about the year 1145, 1147.
Certain peasants, called Apostolics, put to death for maintaining the doctrine of the apostles, near Toulouse in France, A. D. 1155.
Gerard, with about thirty persons, men as well as women, come to Oxford, in England, where they, for maintaining the evangelical doctrine, are branded on the forehead, and scourged out of the city, where they perish from cold, A. D. 1161.
Arnold, Marsilius, and Theodoric, together with five other men and two women, burned alive, at Cologne and Bonn, A. D. 1163.
Many pious Christians, throughout all France and England, for maintaining their true belief, cast into the fire alive, where they expire under great pain, A. D. 1182.
Many Christians in Flanders, put to death by fire for the same reason; many others miserably perish in other places, in the year 1183.
One year after the death of the last-mentioned martyrs, namely, A. D. 1184 or 1185, a decree of Pope Lucius III is published against the Waldenses, who are called by various names.
The bloody decree of Ilphons, King of Arragon, published against said Waldenses, A. D. 1194, circumstantially presented.
Origin of the inquisition, instituted by Pope In nocent III against the Waldenses and Albigenses, about the year 1198; to which end, mention is made of three letters which he wrote with regard to this matter; whereupon it followed that, A. D. 1200, five men and three women were burnt at Troyes, in Campania, and some expelled from Metz.]
Hereafter we shall not have to confine ourselves to such scanty material, in the account of the martyrs, as we have necessarily had to do in some of the preceding centuries, when we, through the absence of ancient histories and records, were frequently compelled to break off our account of the sainted confessors of Jesus Christ prematurely; which often grieved us to the heart.
Now, however, comes the salutary, though bloody century, in which abundant matter is furnished us, from which to accomplish our object; the pious witnesses of the Lord now come in multitudes, who willingly suffer themselves to be put to death for the proclamation of the only saving truth; crowns of martyrdom are now proffered to all Christian champions, who have well acquitted themselves on the field of martyrdom, under the bloody banner of Jesus Christ.
Excommunication is the beginning of their conflict; then follow fire, sword, and much other dreadful violence; in and under which, they, calling upon God, end their lives,.quit the earth, and take their rest under the wings of their Saviour, or under the altar of God, until the number of their slain brethren shall be fulfilled. We then turn, first, to the portal or entrance of the arena of the Christian martyrs, where we perceive that some persons must leave their country, and are banished -as heretics.
Here, that which is noted for the year 1105, concerning those who opposed infant baptism, in the twelfth century, claims our attention, namely, that then, under the archbishop of Treves, four persons were banished as heretics, because they had no good opinion of infant baptism, and denied, that in the Supper the bread and wine were changed into the real body and blood of Christ, Merul., fol. 726. P. 7. Twisck, Chron. H. Montan., Nietigh., page 83. Jac. Mehrn., B. H., page 592.
We related, for the year 1035, of Berengarius, deacon of Angiers, that he, with Bruno, the bishop of said city, bean to teach against transubstantia-
tion and infant baptism, and this, the most strenuously, about A. D. 1060; which the Roman popes, at different times, endeavored by councils and otherwise to put a stop to, as was shown in its place. And though Berengarius at times, from fear of death, showed himself wavering and very weak in his maintenance of said matter, he still effected so much, that many who were friendly to his doctrine, concurred with him therein, so that some of them, who came into the bishopric of Treves, and maintained their (above-mentioned) views, were, like the four persons mentioned previously, banished or expelled by the archbishop of that place, A. D. 1106. Dispersed thence, they departed into the Netherlands, into the country of Liege, and to Antwerp, and thereabouts, scattering, whithersoever they came, the good seed of their true belief. In the meantime, though these had been expelled from the bishopric of Treves, some nevertheless remained, who held their meetings in secret, and taught. In the 2d book of the History of the Persecutions, page 395, col. 3, from Thuan. Prefat., in Hist. sui temp. ad Reg. Honr. 4, where for A. D. 1060, read A. D. 1106.
NOTE.-The authors state of the aforementioned people only that they were expelled, etc., but as no formal expulsion can take place, without a previous condemnation, we are quite inclined to think, that they were first banished, and then expelled.
We read in the ancient chronicles, that in the year 1135, several persons were burnt alive by the Emperor Lotharius, at Treves and Utrecht; concerning which the Chron. Sax., in particular, expressly mentions, that they were burnt as heretics. However, in what their alleged heresy consisted, is not clearly expressed. This, however, is certain
that they separated from the Roman church, and opposed her errors.
Abraham Mellinus concludes, from the circumstances mentioned with regard to them, that they were Berengarians, or followers of Berengarius."For," says he,"the reader must know, that after Berengarius' death very many were condemned as heretics, simply because they had the same belief with Berengarius, respecting the Lord's Supper, and opposed the bread-god of the mass." Second book, fol. 395, col. 3, from Chron. Sax.
In our account of those who opposed infant baptism, in the twelfth century, we made mention, for he year 1139, of one Arnald, a lector at Brescia, in Italy, and stated, that, having been instructed by Peter Abelard, he, besides the doctrine he maintained against the mass and transubstantiation, also taught against infant baptism; on account of which Pope Innocent II commanded him to be silent. Thereupon he fled into Germany or Switzerland, where for a time he continued to teach. Thence, after the death of the aforesaid pope, he came to Rome. But obtaining there an incredible number of followers, and being severely persecuted by the Popes Eugenius and Adrian, he fled to the Emperor Frederick Barbarossa, who delivered him into the hands of the pope; and thus he was finally, at Rome, placed to the stake, burnt to ashes, and the ashes thrown into the Tiber, lest the people should show him honor. It is recorded that this occurred A. D. 1145, after he had, as is reckoned, strenuously maintained the above doctrine for about six years. Bapt. Hist., page 598, from Baron., A. D. 1139, num. 3, and A. D. 1145, num. 3; also, H. Montan., Nietigh., page 84.
Abraham Mellinus, writing of the belief of A:nald, says, "He also taught quite differently concerning the sacramentof the altar, and (notice), of infant baptism, from that which was taught in the Roman church at that time. He doubtless, in this respect, held the views of Peter de Bruis and Henry of Toulouse (of whom we shall speak afterwards), rejecting transubstantiation, and denying that the mass is a sacrifice for the living and the dead, and that (notice again) either baptism or the faith of others saves infants." Thus far, A. Mell., 2d book, page 425, col. 3.
NOTE.-Abraham Mellinus, who states this concerning the belief of Arnald, was a preacher of the Calvinistic church, in 'St. Anthony's Polder, and, consequently, himself an advocate of infant baptism. Nevertheless, he distinctly says of Arnald, whom he recognized as a pious martyr, that he taught quite differently concerning infant baptism, and also that this baptism and the faith of others do not save children, etc., the opposite of which the Romanists maintained.
Further Observation.-As regards the manner in which he maintained, promulgated, and inculcated said doctrine, and himself kept it to the end, as well as what happened to him on this account; that is, all the circumstances, and also a summary of the matter, see Otto, Friesing, lib. 1, cap. 27, 28, and lib. 2, cap. 20, de Gest. Frid. L: Imp. Gunth. Ligur., lib. 3, de Gest. Frid. 1. Bernhard. EQist., 196, 189, 195. Sigon. de Regno Ital., lib. 11, from A. D. 1139 until 1146. Abent., lib. 6. Annal. Boio Gerhohus ReichersQ., lib. 1, de Invest. Antichrist. aped Gretser in Proleg. Script. contra Walden., cap. 4, Tom. 4, Concil. .edition 1612, p. 23, compared with Bapt. His., p. 686.
H. Montanus states, from Caesar Baronius, that this Peter Abelard was the one from whom the afore-mentioned Arnald had obtained the doctrine against infant baptism, drawn, however, chiefly from the holy Scriptures; which is not contradicted, but sufficiently confirmed, by Mellinus, when he says, "That said Arnald was a disciple of Peter Abelard, from France, where he had pursued his studies." Second book, page 425, col. 3.
He then adds this account, "That Pope Innocent, after the great synod which he had held, at Rome, against the abettors of this doctrine, wrote letters to Samson, Archbishop of Rheims, Henry, Archbishop of Sens, and Bernhard, abbot of Clairvaux, against Arnald of Brescia, and his teacher Peter Abelard; charging the former, that wherever they should find these two, they should confine them each separately, in a monastery, as originators of a perverted doctrine, and antagonists of the Catholic faith, and burn their books or writings wherever they should discover them.", "As to what was the belief of Peter Abelard," says Mellinus,"and in what points he assailed popery, can be seen and read in all his works, which have just been published in print in France; where it will also be found, in his letters, how much he had to suffer for his belief."
Touching his belief and death. - Concerning Peter Abelard and his belief, especially how he opposed infant baptism, and instructed his disciple, Arnald, in this point, see Jacob Mehrn., Bapt. Hist., page 598. Baron., A. D. 1139, num. 3, and A. D. 1145. H. Montan. Nietigh., page 84. Also, Introduction, fol. 49.
Mell inus finally states, from ancient writers, that Peter Abelard, after much suffering, died in the monastery in which he had been confined, by order of the pope, on account of his faith. This happened, according to our reckoning, about the year 1146, after the death of his disciple Arnald.
P. J. Twisck gives the following account in his Chronijck, for the year 1145: "About this time there were famous in France, Peter Bruis, formerly a priest, and his disciple, Henry of Toulouse; both had been monks, were learned men, and greatly censured the papal errors, sparing neither great nor smal. They called the Pope the prince of Sod om, and the city of Rome the mother of all unrighteousness, abomination, and execration. They spoke against the mass, images, pilgrimages, and other institutions of the Roman church. They renounced infant baptism, saying that none but the believing were entitled to baptism.
When Peter had preached about twenty years, namely, from before the year 1126 until 1145, the people flocking to him in great numbers, he was finally publicly burnt in the city of St. Giles, also called St. Aegidius.
His disciple Henry, who followed him in the doctrine, was intercepted and apprehended some time after by the legate of the pope, and put out of the way, so .that his fate is not known. This is held to have occurred two years after the death of Peter Bruis, namely A. D. 1147.
After their .death a cruel persecution arose against all those who had followed their doctrine, many of whom went joyfully to meet death. In short, however assiduously the popes with all their shaven heads aided by princes and secular magistrates, exerted themselves to exterminate them, first, by disputations, then by banishment and papal excommunications and anathemas, proclamation of crusades, indulgences, and pardons to all those who should do violence* to said people, and, finally, by all manner of torment, fire, gallows, and cruel bloodshedding, yea, so that the whole world was in commotion on account of it; yet, could they not prevent this persuasion from spreading everywhere, and going forth into every country and kingdom, holding their worship secretly as well as openly, with great or small numbers, according to the tyranny, cruelty or persuasion of the times, and continuing until the year 1304; of whom over a hundred persons were put to death, or burnt, at Paris; and thus their descendants, as history states, continued, though under much tribulation, until this time. P. 1. Twisck, Chron., page 450, from Philip Marnix Tafer, 3d part, cap. 12, fol. 141, 142. Merula, fol. 748, 853. Hist. Mart. Doopsg., fol. 15. Also, Introduction, page 49.
It is stated, that about A. D. 1155 there were in the above part of France, certain simple but truthloving peasants, who, pointing to no other author of their doctrine or belief, than to the apostles, called themselves Apostolics, as though they would say, that their doctrine and belief were derived from the apostles. Bemard,** abbot of Clairvaux, greatly inveighed against them in divers sermons, calling them a sort of despised, boorish rabble, ig-
norant and altogether weak."They," he says,"are boorish people, idiots, and completely sold; but they must not be dealt with imprudently.""From this it appears," writes Abraham Mellinus,"that they must not have been so very dull and ignorant after all."
In the meantime, Bernard continues to rail against them, after papistic fashion."Inquire," says he,"for their author; of what sect they are? They will not be able to name any one. But what heresy is there, that has not its author from among men? The Manicheans had Manes as their head and master; the Sabellians had Sabellicus; the Arians, Arium;the Eunomians, Eunomium;the Nestorians, Nestorius; likewise every other similar pest had its separate master among men, from which it derived both its origin and name; but what name or title shall be given or accorded to these? None at all," he says,"because they received their heresy neither from nor by men; nevertheless, far be it from us to say that they received it through the revelation of Christ."
Continuing, he shows in what their so-called heresy consisted, saying, "They ridicule us, that we baptize infants; that we implore the intercession of the saints, and the like. It has been found, that they would rather die, than be converted (namely, to the Roman church). Many a time the believers (he means the papists) laid hands on some of them, drew them forth; and being asked concerning their faith, they would not confess their wickedness, but openly protested, that they taught the true godliness, and were ready to die for it. In the meantime, the people that stood by, were not less ready to put them to death: and falling upon them, they made these new heretics martyrs of their own faith.", "Some wonder at this, that, when led forth to death, they were not only joyful, but also patient; but it is to be deplored, that not only secular princes, but also, it is said, some ecclesiastics, yea bishops, who ought much rather to have persecuted them, upheld them for lucre's sake, saying: 'Why should we condemn them as heretics, who have not been convinced of heresy, nor have confessed the same?'"
Thus far, Bernard, who was called, The Mellifluent, but who nevertheless poured forth nothing but bitter gall against these people. In Serm. 16 and 66, on Cant. Also, EQist. 240, oldest edition.
From this it is sufciently apparent, writes Mellinus, that they persecuted these poor people unto death, not on account of Manichean doctrines, which Bernard unjustly and covertly imputes to them, but because they opposed the Roman church and her errors. Second book, fol. 438, col. 1, 2.
NOTE.-These were the same people of whom we made mention, in our account of those who, in the twelfth century, opposed infant baptism, from Nicholas Sander, who states concerning them, "That they were called Apostolics, because they professed to walk in the footsteps of the apostles, and declared to hold themselves only to the apos olical writings; that they contemned infant baptism, purgatory, praying for the dead, invocation of the saints, swearing of oaths, etc.; that they accepted no evidence save from the New .Testament; and went joyfully unto death." Nic. Sand., lib. and Histor. Doopsg., A. 8. D. Anth. Jac., fol. 118. H. Montan. Nietigh., page 84. Introduction, page 50, Jacob Mehrning, Ba¢t. Hist., page 599. P. I. Tzeusck, Chron., page 469. B.
It is recorded* that A. D. 1161, in the eighth year of Henry II., King of England, about thirty persons, men as well as women, natives of Germany, sailed over to England. The papists called them erring spirits and publicans, saying that they had sprung from an unknown author;** but others have called them Petro-brusians, Berengarians, Poor Men of Lyons, etc., because they, it appears, had ..their views against infant baptism, transubstantiation, and other errors of the Roman church, in common with Peter Bruis, Berengarius, and the Poor Men of Lyons., "There were upwards of thirty of them," says the papistic writer,"who, concealing their errors, had peaceably come into the land, in order to propagate their belief. Their principal leader was one Gerard, upon whom they looked as their lord and master; for he alone had a little learning, while all the rest were illiterate idiots, a very low and boorish class of people, and of the German nation and language. But they could not long remain concealed, since some made very diligent inquiries regarding them; and when it was found that they belonged to a strange sect, they were apprehended."
The king, not willing to release or to punish them unheard, convened, on this account, a council at Oxford; where the most learned of the prisoners, namely, Gerard, being solemnly interrogated concerning their religion, answered in the name of all, saying, "That they were Christians, and regarded the doctrine of the apostles." And when they were properly questioned respecting all the articles of the faith, they answered well with regard to the nature of the supreme Physician; but as regards the means with which he has been pleased to heal our weakness, that is, respecting the divine sacraments,"they," says the papistic writer,"judged
perversely. For they aspersed baptism (he means infant baptism, for this was the baptism then held in esteem by the Roman church) and also the thankoffering (the mass)."
The doctrines with which they were charged, consisted of the following points (from Abr. Mellinus,* 2d book, fol. 440), "That their belief concerning the sacraments, of baptism and the Supper, as well as respecting marriage, was different from what had been decreed by the Roman church, whom they called the whore of Babylon, because she had forsaken the true faith in Christ; they said that she was like the barren fig-tree which our Lord Jesus Christ cursed. . They also said that the pope and the bishops must not be obeyed when they command anything that is contrary to the Word of God; also, that monachism was a stinking carrion, also, that all monastic vows are vain and useless, yea, that they foster lasciviousness; also, that all the orders .and degrees of the priestly dignity are marks of the great beast; also, that purgatory, masses, church consecrations, worship of the saints, anniversaries for the dead, etc., are genuine inventions of the devil.", "These," says Mellinus,"were about the principal articles which the fathers of the Oxford council could not brook, and on account of which they scourged and banished them out of their country, yea, let them freeze to death."
We return to the papistic author, to hear from his own lips, how they dealt with these upright and simple people."When the fathers of the council," he writes;"admonished them to do penitence and manifest sorrow for their belief, that they might be united with the (Roman) church, they despised this advice, as well as the threats with which they were menaced in order that they, through fear, if by no other means, might be driven to conversion; yea, they scoffed at them, saying: 'Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."', "In order, then," he writes,"that the poison of their heresy might not spread further, the bishops publicly pronounced them heretics, and delivered them over to the Catholic prince, for corporal punishment. The latter commanded that they. should be branded on their foreheads, as an infamous mark of their heresy, and publicly, in the sight of all the
people, scourged out of the city, strictly prohibiting any one from taking them into his house, or affording them the least comfort or assistance." From William Neubrig. Hist. Engl., lib. 2, cap. 13.
This sentence having been pronounced, they were led out to punishment. They went with gladness and in great haste, their leader, namely, Gerard, going before them, singing, "Blessed are ye," says the Lord,"when men shall hate you, for my sake."
They were then, according to the rigor of the sentence, branded on their- foreheads, their leader receiving a double brand, one on his forehead, the other on his chin, as a sign that he was their leader. Thereupon their upper garments, to the waist, were cut from their bodies, and they were publicly scourged, and cast out of the city. But it being a bitter cold winter, and no one showing them the least mercy, they miserably perished by the intense cold, which they were unable to bear on their naked bodies. William Neubrig. Hist. Engl., lib. 2, cap. 13, 8th year of Henry II, King of England.
"For further explanation of this history," writes Mellinus,"which has been written by a bitter papist, the reader must be reminded to imitate the bee-which extracts honey from the same flower out of which the toad draws poison-and, contemning the bitterness of the words of our adversaries, to pay regard only to the matter itself.
That he (the papistic writer) says, that these Christians, whom he calls Publicans, had their origin from an unknown author,* leads Vignierius to suppose, that they may have sprung from Peter Bruis, or from his companion, Henry of Toulouse, Guido of Perpigna, however, thinks they belonged to the Poor Men of Lyons, that is the Waldenses. In lib. de Haeresib. Bal. Centur. 2, in Append. ad Gervasium Giestrensum. See also Abr. Mell., 2d book, fol. 440, col. 1.
NOTE.-In regard to what was the belief of Peter Bruis and his companion, Henry of Toulouse, as well as of the Poor Men of Lyons, that is, the Waldenses, we have already shown, that it is not at variance with the belief of the Anabaptists, but much rather accords with it; and hence it is evident that these thirty persons, who made said confession, were true martyrs, since they suffered for the true faith, and the truth of Jesus Christ. Concerning these martyrs, see also five years later, Mart. Paris, lib. 5.
"In the year of our Lord 1163," says the papistic writer Orithemius,"certain heretics of the sect called Cathari," (by which are understood the Waldenses, whose confession of faith we have above shown not to be at variance with the Anabaptists of the present day),"came from Flanders to Cologne, and there secretly abode in a certain barn, near the city. But as they did not come to church, even on Sundays, they were detected by those living near them. Having been brought to an examination therefore, by our mother, the holy church (he means Roman church), they were found to be confirmed heretics." Orith. Chron. Hirsaug. With this he closes. And hence in order to explain the matter more fully, we must of necessity have recourse to papistic writers, though they were the adversaries of these people.
Concerning them, Ecbert, a monk of Schonaugh, who himself disputed with them, writes thus, "Behold, certain perverted, and perverting men (thus he calls good Christians), who had concealed themselves for a long time in hiding places, and had corrupted the Christian faith in many plain and simple people, are at this time so greatly multiplied throughout all the lands, that the Christian church suffers great injury from the very pernicious poison (so he calls the truth of the Gospel) which they everywhere vent against her." Serm. 8, contra Catharos, T. 2. Auctor. Bybl. S. S. Patrum, edition Paris, A. D. 1610, p. 831.
Trithemius gives a brief description, of their examination and disputation with Ecbert, abbot of the monastery of St. Florian in Schonaugh, in the bishopric of Treves
The clergy and the chief men of the city of .Cologne, by messengers and letters, requested Ecbert to come to Cologne, as being a very learned man, in order to examine said heretics. Abbot Ecbert arrived at Cologne, August 2, A. D. 1163, and entered into a public disputation with three of these heretics, Arnold, Marsilius, and Theodoric, who seemed to possess better abilities than the rest.
However, he does not state precisely, what were the articles of the discussion, unless we are to glean them from his following words, "They contemned all the rulers of the church, prelates, priests, and clerks, calling them soul-deceivers and snares of the devil. They ridiculed the sacraments of the Roman church (among which was included infant bapti-mI and denied the hnlv hodv anti blood of the Lord (that is, transubstantiation in the sacrament of the altar). Now, when they could neither by arguments, nor by authority (namely, from the testimony of the fathers), nor by admonitions, be induced to renounce their errors (thus he calls their true faith), but obstinately persisted in their purpose, they were utterly cast out from the church, and delivered into the hands of the laity, that is, into the power of the secular authorities, who led them, eight men and two women, out of the city, and committed them to the flames, on the fifth day of August of the same year." Frith., in Hist. Also, 2d book of the Persecutions, fol. 441, cot. 3, 4.
Caesarius of Heisterbach writes, that this took place in the Jewish cemetery, and that Arnold, as he stood with his disciples or fellow believers in the fire, said, "Remain steadfast in your faith, for this day you shall be with the holy martyr, Laurence." Ccesar., lib. 5, cap. 19.
Ecbert made sport of the death of these pious people; for it appears, that, despising infant baptism, they had said, that in order to be saved it was necessary first to be baptized with the Holy Ghost and with fire, in consequence of which this wicked man inquiringly said, "And has not the city of Cologne thus baptized (namely, with fire) your arch-heretic Arnold with his accomplices, and the city of Bonn, Theodoric with his co-partners?" Serm. 8, advers. Catharos.
O awful blasphemy I But the Lord shall render to every man according to his righteousness and faithfulness. I Sam. 26:23.
NOTE.-P. J. Twisck relates of these people that, out of hatred, they were called Adamites, Catharists, Patarini, and Passaginians, and that the Emperor Frederick published some decrees against them."But thus, those who seek to, live in the fear of God, are always exterminated. In this manner, certain persons, eight men, two women, and a girl, who had gone from Flanders to Cologne, were burned in a barn before the city, an the fifth of August." Chron., page 4'76, cot. 1, 2, from Abbot Trithem. Mer., fol. 765. Neoburgens., lib. 11, carp. 15.
William of Armorica and Roger of Hovedon state that at this time, namely, about the year 1182, in various places throughout the entire kingdom of France, very many Waldenses or Albigenses were burnt under the name of Publicans.
Concerning this, the aforesaid William writes in his history of Philip, King of France as follows, "All the opposers of our faith, commonly called
Publicans, having been compelled to come forth from their hiding places, were brought before the court, and, upon the law being applied to them, convicted of heresy, and, hence, were cast into the fire and burnt alive." Philippidos, lib. 1.
Roger of Hovedon adds, for the end of the year 1182, that the King of England, Henry II, notwithstanding there were very many of these Publicans, that is, Waldenses or orthodox Christians, in his land, he would in no wise tolerate them, but commanded that they should likewise everywhere be burnt, as in France.* Annal. part 2, at the close of the year 1182.
As to the belief of the Waldenses and Albigenses, who were also called publicans by their enemies, it has already, in their own confession, been shown not to militate against the confession of the Anabaptists; as we have said once for all, and to which we here again call attention.
Magister** John Andriess, P. J. Twisck, H. Montanus, and various other authentic writers, unanimously state, that A. D. 1182, there were put to death, by Count Philip of Alsace, many Christians, who were called heretics because they contemned infant baptism, the sacrament of the altar, and the sacrifice of the mass, etc. See 1. Andr., in his History of the Antiquity of the Faith, letter E. P. .I. Twisek, Chron., page 489. H. Montanus, Nietigh., p. 86. Also, Hist. Mart. der Doopsg., A. 8. Also, Martyrs Mirror, printed A. D. 1631, Introduction, p. 52.
For the year 1183 we read of many more such people, who were called publicans (of which name we have already spoken) and whom Philip, Count of Flanders, and William, Archbishop of Rheims, caused, most unmercifully, to be burnt.
Concerning this, Rigordus, an ancient historian of those times, writes as follows for said year, "At this time, very many heretics (thus this papistic writer calls the true Christians), were burnt in Flanders, by the reverend bishop of Rheims, cardinal priest of the title of Sancta Sabina, Legate of the Pope, and by Philip, the illustrious count of Flanders, Rig., p. 168, edit. Weehelian., "The same year," says the above author,"over seven thousand Cottarelli (thus he calls the pious witnesses of Jesus, also called Waldenses and Albigenses), were slain in the province of Bourges, by
Notice here, that they must all have been defenseless people, since so great a number suffered themselves to be put to death by so few people as there were at that time in the small province of Bourges; however, we leave this to God.
The same writer adds also this, "In the same year, Pope Lucius condemned as heretics those who in Italy were called Humilitani, and in France, Poor Men of Lyons (the Albigenses and Waldenses), whereupon, as may well be supposed, no small persecution took place in those hot times.
This decree, it seems, was first published, or else renewed, A. D. 1184, or, as others state, A. D.1185, according to the account of Mellinus, 2d book, fol. 443, col. 2.
In the year 1184, or, as others write, 1185, Pope Lucius made a decree in the city of Verona, in the presence of the Emperor Frederick, which reads as follows, "In order to eradicate the wickedness of various heresies that have begun to manifest themselves in many countries throughout the whole world, the power of ecclesiastical discipline must be called into requisition., "Therefore, relying on the presence and power of our most beloved son, the Roman Emperor Frederick, we, with the common advice of our brethren, as well as of other patriarchs, archbishops, and many princes, who have assembled here from different parts of the realm, have, by this general resolution of our present decree, set ourselves against the heretics, who from various errors have received various names, and by apostolical authority, through this our constitution, have condemned all heresies by whatever name they may be called. First, the Catharists, and the Patarini, and those who falsely and fictitiously call themselves Humiliati (humiliated ones) or Poor Men of Lyons; as well as the Passaginians, Josephists, Arnoldists; all these we lay under an everlasting curse., "And since some, having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof, as the apostle says, have assumed the authority to preach, though the same apostle says, How shall they preach,. except they be sent? all those to whom this is forbidden, or who, not being sent, presumptuously dare preach, secretly or publicly, without authority from the apostolic see, or consent from the bishop of the place; and all who believe otherwise or do not fear to teach otherwise than the Roman church preaches and maintains, in regard to the sacrament of the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, or to baptism (namely, infant baptism), or to the confession of sins, that is, auricular confession, or to
marriage, and other sacraments of the church; and, in general, all those who will not condemn those as heretics whom the Roman church, or any bishop in his bishopric, with the advice of his clergy, or, in case of the decease of their own bishop, the clergy themselves, with the advice of the neighboring bishops, have declared as such, all these, I say, we bind with the bond of an everlasting ban. Likewise those who take them into their houses, and defend them, and all who uphold said heretics, fostering in them the heretical wickedness, whether they be called Consolati, Credentes, Perfecti, or by whatever other similar name, we include them all in this sentence of condemnation."
Thus far, the decree of Pope Lucius. We will now give some explanation of a few strange names that occur in the same. As regards the common names of the Waldenses, of which mention is made in the decree of Lucius, namely, that they were called Catharists, Patarini, Humiliati, Poor Men of Lyons, Passaginians, Josephists, Arnoldists, etc., these we have already sufficiently explained. There remain therefore to be explained only their special distinctive names, as Consolati, Credentes, and Perfecti. Consolati, that is, comforted; by this name were called those who had recently come into the church, and were not yet firmly established in the faith.
Credentes, that is, believing; by this name were called those who were confirmed in the faith, and had increased in it to a considerable extent.
Perfecti, that is, perfect; by this name were called those who applied themselves to faith and godliness to the full extent of their ability, so that they seemed to be perfect therein. These were also called Boni Hoinines, that is, good men.
The most of this can be gleaned from Alanus, who wrote at the close of the twelfth century, namely, A. D. 1194. In edit. Paris, A. D. 1612, p. 110. Also, Abr. Mell., 2d book, p. 443, col. 3. Thus, the diversity of names does not indicate a diversity of people or faith, but simply the lesser or greater perfection in the faith in those who together were but one people.
"Ilphonsus, by the grace of God, King of Aragon, to all archbishops, bishops, and other prelates of the church of our kingdom; to all earls, viscounts, soldiers, and to all the people in our realm and under our dominion, greeting, and good wishes that the Christian religion may be maintained entire., "Whereas, it has pleased God, to place us over His people, it is right and just that we should constantly, and according to our ability, care for the safety, happiness and protection of said people; therefore, as faithful successors of our ancestors, and as being justly obedient to the ordinances of the church, who have deemed it well, that the heretics should everywhere be rejected, condemned and persecuted, from the face of God and of all Catholics; namely, the Waldenses or Insabbathi (that is, those who do not observe the Sabbaths or holydays of the Roman church), who call themselves Poor Men of Lyons, and all other heretics, of whom there are so many that they cannot all be enumerated, who have been excommunicated by the holy church, from our whole realm and dominion, as enemies of the cross of Christ, dishonorers of the Christian religion and our person, and open enemies of our realm, we command them to depart and flee from our kingdom., "If from this day on, any one shall receive said Waldenses and Insabbathi, or other heretics of whatever confession, into his house, or hear their pernicious preaching in any place, or give them food, or dare show them any other favor, be it known to the same, that he has incurred the disfavor of God and of us, that he is punishable for the crime of leze-majesty, and that his goods shall be confiscated without appeal., "And we command that this our decree and perpetual ordinance, in every city, castle, and village of our kingdom and jurisdiction, and throughout all the lands of our dominion, shall be read and presented every Sunday to the people for observance, by the bishops and other rulers of the church, and by our governors, bailiffs, justiciaries, and other magistrates, and that upon all offenders the aforesaid punishment shall be inflicted., "Be it further known: If any person, noble or ignoble, shall find any of the afore-mentioned heretics anywhere in our lands, who, after three days' proclamation, knowing this our decree, do not speedily depart, but obstinately remain; and shall inflict upon them every evil, ignominy, and disgrace, death and maiming alone excepted, he shall have to fear no punishment for it, but shall know, that he has much rather merited our favor thereby, and that his deed is pleasing and acceptable to us., "We, however, give these infamous heretics, though above their deserts and against reason, a respite till tomorrow, which is All Saints Day, to leave, or to begin leaving, our land. If thereafter any do still remain, we give to each and all of our subjects full authority, to rob and plunder them, to beat them with sticks, and to maltreat them shamefully."
This decree was signed with the seal of Ilphonsus, King of Aragon, as well as with the seal of Bishop Regimund of Terragona, of the Bishop of Tiracisca, and of other bishops. .The decree itself was made by William de Bassa, the king's notary A. D. 1194. Abr. Mell., 2d book, fol. 444. A. from Fr. Pegna Direct. Inqaisit., part 2, Comment 39. Also, Joan. Maviana Prefdt., in Lucani Tudens.
But what sort of execution followed upon this decree of Ilphonsus against the poor Waldenses in the kingdom of Aragon, it is not easy to know, since it seems that the historians of this century
have purposely passed by the cruelty exercised against them, doubtless because they felt ashamed of the matter.
A. D. 1198, Innocent III became pope in the place of Celestine. At his consecration he applied to himself the words which John the Baptist spoke of Christ, "He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice."
Upon these words Innocent addressed his bridesmen, the cardinals, archbishops and bishops as follows, "And am I not the bridegroom, and every one of you a friend of the bridegroom? Yea, I am the bridegroom; for I have the noble, rich, and highly exalted, yea, the honorable, pure, gracious, and holy Roman church for my bride, who, by the ordinance of God, is the mother of all the faithful, and the supreme mistress over all the churches. She is wiser than Sarah, more prudent than Rebecca, more fruitful than Leah, more agreeable than Rachel, more devout than Anna, purer than Susanna, more valiant than Judith, more beautiful than Edessaea. Many daughters have gathered great riches; but she has excelled them all. I have espoused her sacramentally. This bride has not been wedded to me portionless, but has given me her rich dowry, namely, the fullness of spiritual and of temporal power." Innocent. 3, in Consecra. Ponti f ., Serm. 3, page 19.
Pope Innocent III was the first who instituted the office of the inquisition, with ordained inquisitors; to which end he also wrote a letter, in the first year of his popedom, on the first day of April, to the archbishop of Auxitana; in which he greatly complains of the enemies of St. Peter's Shiplet, as he calls it, and then speaks as follows, "We desire that you and your fellow bishops, by your prude4ce, shall guard the more vigorously against this malady (meaning the doctrine of the Waldenses and Albigenses), and oppose it the more strenuously, as you see the more reason to fear that the sound part of the body may become infected by the disease; lest by such contagions, which spread gradually like a cancer, the minds of the faithful become infected by a general corruption., "Therefore we send you brotherly love, and charge you most earnestly by this apostolic letter, that you do your utmost, to exterminate (all) heresy, and to banish from your province all those that are contaminated therewith; and that against them and all those who are contaminated therewith, or have any fellowship with them, or who are openly suspected of having familiar intercourse with them, you do not only exercise all the rigor of church discinline_ without intervention of anneal. but also. if necessary, subdue or punish them by the power of the material sword, by princes or by the people."
On these words the papistic commentator remarks, in the margin, "Up to this time, no inquisitors had yet been sent or appointed by the pope."
In the same month, namely on the 21st of April, 1198, twenty days after the writing of the first letter, Pope Innocent III wrote another letter, not only to the above-mentioned Bishop of Auxitana, but also to the archbishops of Aix, Narbonne, Vienne, Arles, Ebredun, Tarragon, Lyons, etc., and at the same time appointed one Reinerius and one Guido as his commissaries or inquisitors, to apprehend those who sought to escape the dominion of the Roman church. The contents of the letter were directed against the Waldenses, and commanded that they should be caught, as little foxes that spoil the vineyards. Finally he commands them to be driven out of the country. E¢ist. de Cretal., lib. 1, pages 56, 57, edit. Colon.
In the following month, namely on the 13th of May, Innocent wrote still another letter for the same purpose; in which he again commanded that the little foxes should be caught, and promises to send the inquisitors, adding, "We pray, admonish, and entreat you all together, in the name of the Lord, and charge you, unto remission of sins, that you receive them (the inquisitors, Reinerius and Guido), kindly, aid them manfully and vigorously, and lend them a helping hand by good counsel and with the deed., "But, as brother Reinerius, for urgent and important matter of the church, has first, by order of the apostolical see, gone to Spain, we will and command nevertheless, that you archbishops and bishops, draw the spiritual sword, when requested so to do by said brother Guido, against the heretics whom he shall name to you; but let the lay power confiscate their goods, and banish them from the country, and thus separate the chaff from the wheat., "Furthermore, to all who in this great difficulty which now threatens the church, shall faithfully and devotedly assist her in maintaining the Christian faith, we grant the same indulgence, pardon, or remission of sins, which we have granted to all those who go on a pilgrimage to St. Peter's or St. Jacob's church. Given at Rome, on the above day, A. D. 1198." Page 98.
About two years after Pope Innocent III had issued those three bloody letters, for the persecution and suppression of the true, defenseless Christians, who were commonly called Waldenses, but by their enemies or persecutors, publicans and sinners, it came to pass, in the last year of the twelfth century namely A. D. 1200, that in the citv of
Troyes, in Champagne, there were apprehended, by order of the pope and the reigning authorities, eight persons, five men and three women, who made the same confession as was stated above with regard to the Waldenses, contradicting the authority of the pope, infant baptism, the swearing of oaths, the office of criminal authority, and whom the papistie author of the large Chronicle of the Netherlands calls Popelitatnos.
However, these persons were not accused by the papists of any evil works, but simply on account of their faith; in which faith they desired to remain steadfast unto death, without, in any wise departing from it. Hence they were all sentenced to the fire, in said year, and offered up their bodies unto God as a burnt sacrifice, having commended their souls into His hands.
At the same time, many Christians at Metz, who professed the same faith and were called Waldenses, were shamefully expelled from Metz, and their books burnt, because they had translated the Holy Scriptures into their mother tongue.
The papistic author of the large Belgic Chronicle, upon the authority of the ancient historian Albericus, calls them a Waldensian sect, and says, "That certain abbots were sent to preach against them; who burnt some books translated from the Latin into their mother tongue, and thus extirpated said sect. Mon. Nuciensis Magn. Chron. Belgicum, edit. Frankfort, A. D. 1607, page 189.
This serves to confirm the preceding narrative. We will now conclude our account of the persecutions which occurred in the twelfth century, and proceed to the thirteenth century.