ORIGIN OF THE WALDENSES, AND THE TESTIMONY GIVEN OF THEIR FAITH AND PROBITY
God at all times hath raised up laborers for the Assemblies of his Saints.
The Period when Waldo began to teach, and his success. Who Waldo was; and those Christians who were called Waldenses.
GOD hath never left himself without witness; but from time to time he raises up instruments to publish his grace, enriching them with gifts necessary for the edification of his Church, giving them his Spirit for their guide, and his truth for their rule; whereby they may distinguish the Church begun in Abel, from that which commenced in Cain. He also teaches them to define the Church by faith, and faith by the Holy Scripture. In the midst of the most grievous persecution, he strengthens them, making them to know that the Cross is profitable, even when the faithful by means thereof exchange earth for heaven; for the children of God are not left, when massacred or burned by an unrighteous judgment, since “in the blood of the Martyrs we find the seed of the Church.”
That which may be observed in all ages hath been more particularly remarkable among the Christians called Waldenses, who were raised up at a time when Satan kept men in ignorance; for he had involved the greatest part of those who called themselves Christians in the grand sin of the earth,IDOLATRY; for kings and princes employed their authority for its establishment, Revelations 17:12, 13, 17; and put to death all those who would not become Idolaters.
About the year of our Lord 1160, it was made a capital crime for any person not to acknowledge, after the words of consecration were pronounced by the priest that the body of our Lord Jesus Christ was actually present in the “Host,” or Mass-wafer, under the accident of bread, with its roundness and whiteness — even that very same body, as large as it was when it hung upon the cross; the bread vanishing, and being transubstantinted into the actual flesh of Christ. Moreover, the worship of the “Host” was enjoined; and in honor to it, they adorned the streets through which it was carried in procession with flowers and hangings of tapestry and they fell on their knees before it adoring and calling it their God. The superstitious devotees smote their breast at the sight of it, and kept it in a Pix in order to worship it as is the uniform and universal practice among the Papists even at this day. That doctrine was unknown to the Apostles, who never made mention of such a mystery; and was also unheard of by the primitive Churches, who never taught that an expiatory sacrifice was now to be made for the living and the dead. Hence, many Christians abhorred it, and chose rather to suffer temporal death, by resisting such idolatry, than by complying therewith, to live and die in danger of hell.
Peter Waldo, a citizen of Lyons, appeared most courageous in opposition to that unholy invention. He also attacked several other corruptions which had been adopted by the Roman priesthood, for he asserted that — The papists had forsaken the faith of Jesus Christ — The Church of Rome is the “Babylonish harlot” and like the barren fig-tree which the Lord formerly cursed — The Pope is not to be obeyed, forasmuch as he is not head of the Church — Monkery is an abominable thing — Vows are the character and mark of the great beast — Purgatory, masses, dedications of temples, worship of Saints, and commemoration of the dead, are only the inventions of devils, and engines of avarice. 2 Waldo was heard with more attention, because he was greatly esteemed for his learning and piety, and great bounty towards the poor; not only nourishing their bodies with his material food, but their souls with the Spiritual bread: and exhorting them principally to seek Jesus Christ, the true bread of their souls. Historians record, that Waldo took up the resolution to lead a blameless life resembling as near as possible that of the Apostles, in consequence of a sudden and dreadful accident. Being one day in company with some of his friends after supper, while they were in conversation, one of the party instantaneously fell down dead, which frightened all who were present.
Waldo was most sensibly affected; and by that example of divine justice he was excited to an extraordinary amendment. Spending his time in reading the holy Scriptures, therein seeking his salvation; and at the same time he continually instructed the poor who flocked to him to partake of his Alms. The Archbishop of Lyons, John de Belseo. Mayons, having been informed that Waldo made profession of teaching, the people and that he boldly condemned the vices, luxury, and arrogance, of the popes and their clergy, inhibited him from teaching any more. The prelate declared, that Waldo was only a layman, and exceeded the bounds of his condition; and therefore that he should restrict himself within his prohibition, under pain of excommunication and of being proceeded against as a heretic. Waldo replied, that he could not be silent in a matter of so great importance as was the salvation of men; and that he would rather obey God who enjoined to speak, than man who commanded him to be silent.
Upon that reply, the Archbishop endeavored to have him apprehended; but Waldo lived concealed at Lyons, under the protection of his friends, for the space of three years.
Pope Alexander III. having heard that in Lyons several persons openly called in question his sovereign authority over the whole Church, and fearing lest that beginning of rebellion should farther strike at his supreme dignity, anathematized Waldo and all his adherents, and commanded the Archbishop to proceed against them by ecclesiastical censure, even to utter extirpation.
Claudius Rubis saith that Waldo and his disciples were entirely driven from Lyons; and Albert de Capitaneis asserts, that they could not be extirpated. We learn nothing more of this first persecution, except only that those who escaped from Lyons followed him, and afterwards dispersed themselves in divers companies and places. 6
The dispersion of Waldo and his disciples was the means which God made use of to spread the doctrine of Waldo almost throughout all Europe.
ALBERT DE CAPITANEIS saith, that Waldo retired into Dauphiny, after his departure from Lyons, and Claudius Rubis asserts that he dwelt in the mountains of that province; where he could meet with illiterate persons capable of receiving the impressions of his faith. It is certain, that the churches of the Waldenses, which have stood longest, and of which there is still a greater number than in any other part of Europe, are those in Dauphiny, and the neighboring churches of Piedmont and Provence, which are descended from them. Vignier saith that Waldo retired into Picardy, where in a little time he made such progress, that many persons adhered to his doctrine, for which speedily after they suffered great persecutions. Dubravius says, “Philip Augustas, King of France, pushed on by the Romish ecclesiastics, took up arms against the Waldenses of Piedmont, razed three hundred houses of the gentlemen who followed their party, and destroyed some walled towns. He also pursued them into Flanders whither they had fled, and caused a great number of them to be burned.” That persecution was followed by several in Germany, where quickly after they were grievously afflicted, especially in Alsace, and along the Rhine, by the prelates of Mayence and Strasburg. They caused thirty-five citizens of Mayence to be burned at one fire in the city of Bergen; and at Mayence eighteen, who suffered their torturing death with constancy; and at Strasburg, eighty were burned at the instigation of the Bishop of that place. Those persecutions so increased the number of the Waldensian disciples, by the edification which they received who saw them die praising God, with the most confident assurance of his mercy; that notwithstanding the continued persecutions, there were found in the country of Passau, and in Bohemia, in the year 1315, eighty thousand persons who made profession of the scriptural faith. Those Waldenses had five churches of believers in Bulgaria, Croatia, Dalmatia, and Hungary, superintended by Bartholomew of Carcassone.
The Albigenses, who were professors of the same faith, also filled several countries, until at last they were almost utterly exterminated. 4
The names which their adversaries applied to the Waldenses, and the crimes with which their enemies maliciously accused them.
THE monkish Inquisitors, those deadly enemies of the Waldenses, not contented with delivering them up daily to the secular powers, moreover loaded them with reproaches, as the authors of all the heresies in the world; and often imputed all the prodigious absurdities which they had forged to the Waldenses, as if their churches were nothing else than the receptacle of every error.
They called them from Waldo, a citizen of Lyons, Waldenses — from the country of Albi, Albigenses — and because those who adhered to the doctrine of Waldo departed from Lyons, after having been despoiled of all human possessions, the most part having been obliged to leave their goods behind them, in derision they named them “the Beggars of Lyons.” In Dauphiny, they were called in mockery, Chaignards or Dogs; and because some of them passed the Alps, they were called Tramontanes.
From one of the disciples of Waldo, named Joseph, who preached in Dauphiny, in the diocess of Dye, they were styled Josephists.
In England they were denominated Lollards.
From two priests who taught the doctrine of Waldo in Languedoc, and who were called Henry and Esperon, they were known as Henricians, and Esperonists.
One of their pastors, Arnold Hot, preached among the Albigenses, and from him they were entitled Arnoldists.
In Provence, they were called “Siccars,” from a word in the common ‘pedlars:’ French, which signifies cut-purses.
In Italy, because they lived like brethren in true concord, they were styled “Fratricelli,” persons of the same brotherhood. The Waldenses rejected the Romish festivals, and observed no other day of rest than Sunday; whence they were named “Insabbathas,” regarders not of the Sabbaths.
As they were exposed to continual sufferings, from the Latin word, pati, to suffer, they were termed “Patarins.”
Seeing that they fled from place to place like poor pilgrims, they were named “Passagenes.”
In Germany, they were calumniated by the epithet “Gazares,” which signifies execrable, and flagitiously wicked. In Flanders, they were denominated “Turlupins,” or inhabitants with wolves; because through persecution, they were often constrained to dwell in woods and deserts.
Sometimes they were distinguished after the names of the countries and regions where they dwelt; as from Albi, Albigenses; from Thoulouse, Thoulousians; from Lombardy, Lombards; from Picardy, Picards; from Lyons, Lyonists; from Bulgaria, Bulgarians, which was transformed into “Bougres;” and from Bohemia, Bohemians.
To render them more odious, they were reviled as accomplices with the ancient heretics — because they made profession of purity in their faith and life, they were ridiculed by the titles of “Cathari” and “Puritans.”
Inasmuch as they denied that the “Host” which the priests elevate at the mass is God, they were denounced as “Arians,” who disbelieved the divinity of Jesus Christ, the eternal “Son of God.” When they maintained that the authority of emperors and kings doth not depend upon that of the pope, they were vilified as “Manichees,” who acknowledged two supreme opposing principles. To which may be added the other epithets which were applied to the Waldenses, “Gnostics, Adamites, Cataphrigians, and Apostolicals.”
Sometimes they were most violently abused. Matthew Paris characterized them as ribalds and dissolute. The compiler of the Treasury of Histories gave them the appellative of Sodomites. Claudius Rubis records, that when they spoke of a sorcerer, they generally called him a Waldensian. 1. Their adversaries and persecutors applied to the Waldenses that ancient calumny, with which the Heathens blackened the primitive Christians; that they met in the night in secret places, and that the “Barb,” their pastor, ordered the candles to be extinguished, saying, “Qui potest capere capiat; catch whom you can catch.” In consequence of which every man seized upon the woman who first came to his hands, without any respect of parentage or relationship — and that during the extinction of the light, they committed the most abominable incest — to which their enemies added, that the children of that ungodliness were very proper persons to make Barbs or pastors for the Waldensians. 2. They laid, as a charge against the Waldenses, that those Christians maintained, that a man might abandon his wife at his pleasure, and also a woman might forsake her husband, to follow their church. 3. The Waldenses, were reproached as having among them a commanity of all things and even of wives. 4. That they rejected the Baptism of Infants. 5. That they worshipped their pastors with prostration. 6. That they maintained the unlawfulness of swearing on any account. 7. That they affirmed that the pope sinned mortally when he declared war against the Saracens; and that all persons sin mortally, who obey the pope when he proclaims a croisade or a war against the Christians, whom he curses as heretics. 8. That the Waldensos showed no reverence to sacred places; and that the sin is not more heinous to burn a church-edifice, than to break open any other house. 9. That they maintained, the magistrate ought not to condemn any one to death, and they who do so, sin mortally; and that the Waldenses forged and propagated that error, that they might escape the hands of the judges, and remain unpunished. 10. That a layman being in a state of grace, hath more authority than the prince who lives in mortal sin. 11. That with the Manichees, the Waldenses believed in two principles, one the Good God, the Creator of Good; and one Evil, which is the Devil, the Creator of Evil. 12. That whatsoever is done with a good intention is good, and that every one shall be saved through what he doth with the said good intention. 13. That it is a meritorious work, to destroy and persecute Romish priests, prelates, and their subjects; and that they may without sin endamage them in their persons and goods, and retain the tithes without scruple of conscience. 14. The last calumny is taken out of the book of Rubis; that Waldo and his pastors retired into Dauphiny, in the valley of Pute and Angrogne, where they found persons more like savage beasts than men, fit to be imposed upon by them; and there became sorcerers. He adds, to reproach the cities and states, wherein the Gospel hath been received in our time; “there are two things which commonly accompany each other, Heresy and Sorcery, as hath been verified in our cities and provinces, which have admitted Heresy amongst them.” 2
The Waldenses are cleared from obloquy by their own writings.
WHETHER the Waldenses of Bohemia were the relics of the people who followed Waldo there, as some affirm that he ended his life in Bohemia, after he had departed out of Germany: and escaped the hands of the Bishops of Mayence and Strasburg, or whether they were persons who afterwards were of the same faith with the Waldenses; they were grievously persecuted by Ladislaus, King of Hungary and Bohemia We have extant an apology of the said Waldenses in their own tongue, which they sent to the King Lanceslaus, to justify themselves from several crime, with which their adversaries charged them. We have also their book with this inscription, “Aico es la causa del nostre despartiment de la Gleisa Romana;” This is the cause of our separation from the Romish Church.
As they answer the calumny, that they met in obscure places, where the candles being put out, they committed abominable incests, we have transcribed the said apology in their own terms, for the greater certainty and edification.
Apology Of The Waldenses . — “Among other things, they publish, like angry and barking curs, that it is a law, and common amongst us to say: Prostitute thyself; whereby men obey the vilest part of their body moro than God, who hath forbidden it. The foolish woman doth not only destroy the happiness of her husband, but her own too. He who addicts himself to this vice, doth not keep faith with any one. Whence it came to pass, that David caused his faithful servant to be slain, that he might enjoy his wife. Amnon defiled his sister Tamar. This vice consumes the estates of many, as it is said of the prodigal son, who wasted his substance in riotous living. Balaam made choice of this vice to provoke the children of Israel to sin, which was the occasion of the death of twenty-four thousand persons. This sin was the occasion of Sampson losing his sight. It perverted Solomon, and many have perished through the beauty of a woman. The remedies for this sin are fasting, prayer, and keeping at a distance from it. For other vices may be subdued by fighting; but in this we conquer by flight, and by not coming near:it; of which we have an example in Joseph. We must then pray to the Lord daily, that he would remove far from us the sin of lasciviousness, and grant us the gifts of understanding and chastity.”
In answer to the second scandal , that they maintained, that a man might leave his wife when he pleased, they said, “Matrimony is a bond which nothing but death can untie, unless it be for the cause of fornication, as our Lord Jesus Christ saith. And Paul in the first epistle to the Corinthians, chapter 7, saith, ‘Let not the wife depart from the husband, nor the husband put away his wife.’” To the third calumny , touching the community of goods and wives: “They replied concerning marriage, that it Was ordained by God of old in Paradise; that it is a good means against adultery, and that it was the saying of Paul, speaking thereof; Let every man have his own wife, and every woman her own husband. Also the husband ought to love his wife as Christ loves his Church; and those who are married ought to live holily together, with their children, in the fear of God.” As for goods, every one hath possessed his own at all times, and in all places. In Dauphiny, when the Archbishops of Ambrun, John and Rostain, pillaged them of their substance; when the Lord of Argenticrc and Montainar, as also Arroas de Bonne, dispossessed the Waldenses dwelling in the valley of Fraissiniere and Argentiere of their goods: the restitution of each estate was prosecuted by their particular proprietors, from whom they had been taken away. The Waldenses of Provence now demand of the pope a restoration of the lands and estates annexed to his domain by confiscation; and every particular person makes oath of their parcels of goods and lands, which descended upon them time out of mind, from their forefathers, the Waldenses. They never had any such community amongst them, which might any way derogate from that lawful propriety which, every one hath by right to his own. estate. The fourth calumny was concerning baptism, which it is said they denied to infants. From this imputation they quit themselves as follows: “Neither is the time or place appointed for those who must be baptized; but charity, and the edification of the Church and Congregation, ought to be the rule in this matter; — yet notwithstanding, we bring our children to be baptized; which they ought to do to whom they are nearest related; as are their parents, or those whom God hath inspired with such a charity.” 3 True it is, that being for some hundreds of years constrained to suffer their children to be baptized by the Romish Priests they deferred the doing of it as long as possible, because they detested the human inventions annexed to the institution of that holy sacrament, which they looked upon as pollutions of it. Their pastors, whom they called Barbs, being often in travels abroad for the service of their churches, they could not have baptism administered to their children by their own ministry. They therefore sometimes kept them long without baptism, upon which delay the priests charged them with that reproach. To which not only their adversaries have given credit, but many of those also who have approved of their lives and faith in all other points.
The fifth scandal was this, that they worshipped their Barbs or pastors, prostrating themselves before them. To clear the Waldenses from that reputation, the reader need only to peruse what they have said concerning the adoration of one Deity alone, in the exposition they made of their doctrine on the first commandment Of the Law of God.
But they rendered honor to their pastors, as to those who brought to them the word of reconciliation, treating them kindly, thinking themselves in conscience and duty thereto obliged. But that they ever intended to give, that worship to the creature, which is due to the Creator, cannot be said but by way of calumny, although Albert de Capitaneis, their principal enemy in the diocess of Turin, violently tortured them to extort a confession, that they worshipped their pastors, which he could never force out of their mouths. The sixth calumny was this, that they maintained it was never lawful to swear. “They said, that there were some oaths lawful, tending to the honor of God, and the edification of their neighbor, alleging that place in Hebrews, 6:16. That men swear by a greater than themselves, and an oath made for confirmation is an end of all strife. They allege also that it was enjoined the people of Israel, to swear by the name of the Lord,:in Deuteronomy 6; and the oath made betwixt Abimelech and Isaac, Genesis 26, and that of Jacob, Genesis 31.” 5 The seventh scandal was this, to render them odious to the people, as if they had preferred the peace with the Turk to the enlargement of the Church and Kingdom of Christ; affirming, that they maintained the pope was guilty of mortal sin, when he sent Croisades against the Saracens. “For their justification it is to be observed, they never complained of the enterprise of the war against the Turks, but that under pretense thereof; the popes robbed the Church of its goods and divine graces, deceiving the ignorant with their bulls and benedictions, who too easily received their lies and innovations, and bought them very dear. Moreover they looked upon it as a hard thing, that the pope had raised against them his croisades of pilgrims, to persecute them as heretics, without hearing or convicting them of being such. But they are not the only persons who have blamed the avarice or vindictive spirits of popes in point of croisades. Languis, a German historian, charged Pope Leo X. with having levied vast sums of money under pretense of the war against the Turk, with which he afterwards gratified thirty Cardinals whom he had newly created. Guicciardin observes in his history, that “this same pope caused great exactions to be made, of which he gave the fruits into the hands of his sister Magdalen; that all that levy of money was only to satisfy the covetousness of one woman; and that the Bishop of Arembaldo was by him judged a commissary worthy of such an action, to execute it with all manner of extortion.”
Alexander IV. changed his vow of Jerusalem into one of La Pouille, a vow of revenge; for he gave power to his legate to absolve Henry III. King of England, dispensing him of his vow of entering upon the croisade for Jerusalem; provided that he would march into La Pouille to wage war with Manfred, son of Frederick the Emperor. Matthew Paris takes notice of the complaint that was made thereupon; that the tenths formerly set apart for the succor of the Holy Land, were then taken away, and converted to the assistance of La Pouille against Christians. The eighth calumny was, that they showed no reverence to sacred places; and that he doth not sin more grievously who burns a church, than he who breaks open another house.
They said, “that neither the place nor the pulpit maketh a man holy; and they maintained, that they are greatly mistaken who think the better of themselves because of the dignity of the place. For what was greater than Paradise, and what more pure than Heaven? and nevertheless man was driven out of Paradise because he sinned there. And the angels were expelled from Heaven, that they might be an example to those who should come after, to teach them, that it is not the place, nor the grandeur and dignity thereof, but innocency of life which makes a man holy.” In answer to the ninth accusation , that they maintained, that the magistrate ought not to sentence any one to death, they said, “it is written that a malefactor shall not be suffered to live, and that without correction and discipline, doctrine serves to no purpose; neither would judgment be known, or sins be punished; and that therefore just anger is the mother of discipline, and patience without reason the seed of vices, which suffers the wicked to proceed in their excesses.” They complained that the magistrates should deliver them up to death without any other knowledge of their cause than what they had from the bare report of the priests and monks, who were both judges and parties.
For those monks pretending to discover errors in them, and then exclaiming against them as abuses which they had introduced into the Church, condemned them as heretics, and delivered them up to the secular power, as they called the magistrates. Now they looked upon this to be cruel simplicity in the magistrates, to give credit to men so biased with passion, as were the priests; and that they should put to death so many innocent persons, without having heard or examined them. The tenth calumny tended to render them odious to kings and princes: that the layman in a state of grace hath more authority than a prince living in mortal sin.
In reply to that imputation, they said, that every one ought to be subject to those who are put in authority, to obey them, to love them, to be at peace with them, to honor them with subjection, allegiance, and promptitude, and paying what is due to them. The eleventh charge was grounded upon this; that the Waldenses affirmed that the pope had no authority over the kings and princes of the earth, who depended immediately upon God alone. Thence they took occasion to call them Manichees, as constituting two Supreme powers.
To which they replied, “We believe that the Holy Trinity created all things both visible and invisible, and that he is Lord of all things in heaven, earth, and hell: as it is said by John, All things were made by him, and without him was nothing made.” The original of that calumny proceeded from the Extravagant of Pope Boniface VIII., who, making the authority of emperors subordinate to his, saith concerning it; Quicunque huic potestati resistit, Dei ordinationi resistit, nisi duo, sieur Manichaeus, fingat esse principia. De majoritate et obedientia. Can. Unam Sanctam. L. 1, T. 8. “Whosoever resists this power, resists the ordinance of God, unless, like the Manichees, he pretends that these are two distinct principles.”
The twelfth was , that they held, that all which is done with a good intention, is good, and that every one shall be saved by what he does with the said good intention. Which needs no other answer, than this: the Monk Reinerius, the asperser of them, says, that they held, that no one was saved but by his faith, which he styles a sect. An accuser ought to have had a better memory, than to affirm things contradictory. It is sufficient to show that they believed no such position; for they said against Antichrist, that he hath introduced his errors into the church, under color of a good intention, and a show of faith.
In their thirteenth calumny they affirmed, that the priests might lawfully be slain or damaged in their tithes, which one might retain without scruple of conscience.
It is certain, that if the Waldenses could have appropriated their tithes to some other use, besides the maintenance of those whom they cried down as “dumb dogs,” “drowsy watchmen,” “slow bellies, deceivers, and being deceived,” they would have done it; but seeing they had not power to detain them, none made any disturbance about that matter.
It appears indeed, that in that which depended on their free will, they offered nothing to such persons cared not for their masses and trentals after their decease; of which the priests compained, who thence took occasion to accuse them as heretics. As to revenge, they say — “The Lord knowing that we should be delivered upon said, beware of men; but he never teaches nor counsels his elect to slay any one but to love their enemies. When the disciples said unto him, shall we call for fire from Heaven and consume them? Christ answering, said unto them, you know not what spirit you are of. Also the Lord said to Peter, put up thy sword into its place. Moreover, temporal adversities ought to be contemned and endured with patience, for there happeneth nothing in them that is new. While we are here, we are the threshold of the Lord, to be beaten like corn when it is separated from the chaff. The last calumny of the enemies of the Waldenses, is that wherewith Claude de Rubis blackens them, in his history of the city of Lyons; That having retired into the Alps, after their departure from Lyons, “they became like the rest of the people of the country, besom-riders.” Indeed there are two things which commonly accompany each other, that is, Heresy and Sorcery; “as has been verified,” says he, “in the cities and provinces which have admitted Heresy amongst them.”
We will justify the Waldenses, and then make answer to Rubis in behalf of the cities and provinces which he hath involved in his calumny.
They act against the first commandment, say the Waldenses in the exposition on the first commandment of the law, who believe the planets can force the free will of man. Such, as much as in them lies, esteem the planets to be Gods; for they attribute to the creature that which belongs to the Creator. Against whom the prophet Jeremiah saith, “learn not to follow the ways of the nations, and be not afraid of those things at which the people are astonished.”
And Paul, Galatians 4, “Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years: I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labor in vain.”
They act against this commandment who believe in sorcerers and diviners, for such believe the demons to be Gods. The reason is, because they ask that of the demons, which God alone can grant; to discover things secret, and to declare the truth of things to come; which is forbidden by God, Leviticus 19: — “Thou shalt not regard them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards. Moreover thou shalt not divine, nor give any heed to dreams. Thou shalt not be an enchanter, neither take counsel with familiar spirits, or wizards, nor inquire after the truth among the dead; for all these things are an abomination unto the Lord. And because of this sin he will destroy you all at your entrance.”
As to the punishment and vengeance which God inflicts upon such transgressors, we read in the second book of Kings, chapter 1, that Elijah demanded of Ahaziah saying: Is there no God in Israel that ye to inquire of Beelzebub the god of Ekron? Now, therefore, thus saith the Lord; thou shalt not come down from that bed on which thou art gone up, but shalt surely die. Saul died because he prevaricated with the commandment which God had commanded him. He kept it not, neither put his trust in the Lord; but asked counsel of a witch, wherefore the Lord slew him, and translated his kingdom to David, the son of Jesse. In the book of Leviticus it is said, “Whosoever shall turn aside to enchanters and wizards, I will lay my hands upon him, and cut him off from the midst of his people.” “Every one ought to know that all enchantments, or conjurations, or charms, or spells, carried for a remedy to persons or beasts, are nothing worth; but are a snare and ambush of the old adversary the Devil, by which he endeavors to deceive mankind.” Thus the Waldenses pronounced concerning sorcerers by the word of God.
It remains to make answer to the slander of Claudius Rubis, who says, “It has been verified in our time that heresy and sorcery accompany each other in the cities and provinces which have given place to heretics among them. But in the places where the Reformation hath been introduced, the people have no communication or dealings with sorcerers. “Nevertheless there are some places where heresy and sorcery still accompany each other; where they who profess themselves to be priests and teachers of the people are often found to be ‘deceivers and being deceived’ — of which many persons have complained, who have written with regret what they knew to be too much practiced among the Popish priests and monks; and even by certain popes themselves.” Bodin observes that there are countless indictments extant in which it appeared that oftentimes the Roman priests are not only sorcerers themselves, but that they sing masses for other sorcerers; accommodating them with sacrifices, the Agnus Dei, consecrating their parchments and other paper charms, putting rings, and medals, and plates with characters on them, and other similar things, upon or under their altars when they say mass, to give them the virtue necessary for the object designed. John Uvier, who was physician to the Duke of Cleves, although a Romanist, thus wrote: — ”If the pastors of churches would stop up the windows of false doctrines and other impieties, they would certainly have a salutary preservative for all those under their care against the delusions, impostures and practices of the devil; by which means, the less prudent would not be so often entangled as we frequently see they arc, to the great loss and detriment of souls, which happens not only through the negligence of the priests, but also by their own practice, perverse doctrine and ceitful works, whereby they entice the simple populace to have recourse to unlawful remedies whenever they are afflicted with sudden and long diseases, and known or unknown maladies. But perhaps those ‘magiclans,’ who profess themselves to be ecclesiastical persons, and who are commonly priests or monks, may think that that art belongs to them as a prerogative, and that they have a right thereto by hereditary succession, because the priests of Egypt were ‘necromancers.’” Now, adds Uvier, “I did not think that those who would justify those priests and the use of enchantments, would be so bold as to object to me several popes of Rome who were so skillful in the ‘black art,’ that they practiced it to their great satisfaction and profit. We are informed by Nauclerus and Platina, that Pope Sylvester II. procured the popedom by his pretended or real sorceries. Pope Benedict IX., they affirm, attained the station of pope by similar means. Prior to his elevation he had been called Theophilact; but after he became pope, for his atrocious wickedness, he was denominated ‘Maledictus.’ Cardinal Bruno testifies that Pope John XX. and Pope John XXI. also participated in those ‘curious arts.’ All the popes, from Sylvester II. to Gregory VII., who was one of their greatest and most eminent ‘magicians,’ addicted themselves to use abominable rites, even in the forests and on the tops of the mountains. Of Hildebrand himself, John le Maire attests, that he attained his command over the people in his earlier course by his simulated sorceries; for as evidence of miraculous powers, and as a token of his sanctity, he would shake the sleeves of his gown, and sparks of fire would apparently fly out of them; so that the eyes of the simple and unwary distant beholders were altogether deceived.
The ‘magicians,’ therefore, of our own times must not think to cover themselves with that cloak, and under such a pretense. This, nevertheless, ought to be deplored, that we shall scarcely find any persons more wicked, and yet less punished on earth than those priests who never admonish the ignorant, that the sorrows which happen to them are sent with the permission of God.”
Uvier also complained that such conjuring priests presumed to make use of an endless variety of “blasphemies,” embellished with crosses, which they delineated with their own unhappy and sacrilegious hands. They also contrived holy water, salt for exorcisms, consecrated wax-tapers, incense, pictures, candles and tapers against the devil at Candle-mas, fumigations of holy boughs on Palm Sunday, herbs hung before the door for John the Baptist, and flowers sprinkled with holy water on the carnival of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. Moreover, those priests abuse the Eucharist itself, as a means to commit their wickedness, Theology and even Medical Science have been polluted by painted exorcisms, by mumbling of barbarous jargon in unknown tongues, by the abuse which is made of the holy Scripture, by bands, necklaces, and bosom-charms, all of which conspire and procure the utter perdition and damnation of men.
The Roman priests also have counterfeited apparitions of Satan, who pretended to be the soul of some deceased person, then suffering in the fire of purgatory; thereby in the name, of the departed spirit to induce the living to make their donations and offerings, and to bequeath their endowments, that the avarice of the priests might be satiated. 19 Lavater also relates at large the history of the pretended spirit of Orleans, and the proceedings of the Jacobins at Berne, which was one of the most famous impostures of the monkish sorcerers. Nevertheless, it is reasonable to except those priests whom God hath not so far abandoned, as to suffer them to adhere to the sorceries of Satan.
Thus the Waldenses are justified and cleared from the greatest calumnies which have been laid upon them, by the testimony of their own writings; but additional evidence of their innocency, which is free from all suspicion can be adduced, while it has been necessary to retort upon the wicked priests who have belied and reviled the Waldenses, the reproaches which they have cast upon those who sincerely received the gospel.
Testimony given to the piety, probity, and learning of the Waldenses, by their adversaries.
JACOBUS DE RIBERIA, who helped to persecute the Waldenses, said, that they. for a long time have obtained the greatest esteem in Gallia Narbonensis, in the diocese of Albi, Rodes, Cahors, and Agen; and that they who would be styled priests and bishops were then but little accounted of. As almost all the said priests were either unworthy or ignorant, it was an easy matter for the Waldenses to obtain the preference amongst the people, for the excellency of their doctrine. Reinerius, a Jacobin monk, and cruel persecutor of the Waldenses, endeavoring to blacken them, because they frequently read the holy scriptures, said, that when the Waldenses would make known their doctrine, they alleged many things concerning chastity, humility, and other virtues, showing, that we must avoid vice, citing the words of Christ and. his Apostles; so that they who heard them were ravished to that degree, that they thought they heard rather angels than men.
Moreover, they taught what manner of men the disciples of Christ ought to be, by the words of the Gospel and Apostles, saying, that they only are the successors of the Apostles who follow their life; concluding thereby that the pope, the bishops and clerks, who enjoy the riches of this world, and do not imitate the sanctity of the Apostles, are not the governors of the church of Christ, Christ not being willing to commit his church to such persons, lest they should have prostituted it by evil examples, and wicked actions, rather than exhibit to him from thence a virgin-like chastity, in the same purity as they received it from him; and therefore that they must not be obeyed. He adds that they led very religious lives in all things, that their manners were seasoned with grace, and their words prudent and well polished, speaking voluntarily of God, of his saints, of attaining virtues, and of avoiding vices, and of doing several other good things, that they might be esteemed the better men. Claude de Seissel, Archbishop of Turin, renders this testimony touching the Waldenses: “As to their life and manners they are perfect, and irreprehensible, without reproach among men, addicting themselves with all their might to observe the commandments of God.” Cardinal Baronius styles the Waldenses of Thoulouse good men, and peaceable persons, although elsewhere he falsely lays very many crimes to their charge. As to their learning, Reinerius said, that they taught their children and their families the epistles and gospels. Jacobus de Riberia saith, that they were so well instructed in the holy scriptures, that he had seen peasants who could recite the book of Job, verbatim; and several others who could perfectly repeat all the New Testament. The Bishop of Cavaillon, Vesembecius, at the time of the great persecution of the Waldenses of Merindol and Provence, made a certain preaching monk enter into conference with them, to convince them of their errors, before he proceeded to violence. But the priest withdrew in confusion, saying, he had. never in the whole course of his life made such progress in the holy scriptures, as he had done in those few days that he had conferred with the Waldenses, in examining the articles of their confession by the passages of holy scripture by them quoted. But that Bishop, not contented, sent to them a whole troop of young doctors, lately come from the Sorbonne, by the subtilty of their questions. But one of them upon his retreat openly acknowledged, he had learned more of the doctrine necessary to salvation by hearing the answers of the little children of the Waldenses in their catechism, than by all the theological disputes which he had ever heard in Paris. Bernard de Girard, lord of Haillan, saith, that the Waldenses have been charged with more wicked opinions than they are really guilty of; because they have stirred up the hatred of the popes and great men of the world against them, by the freedom which they take to reprove the vices and dissolute practices of princes and ecclesiastics. King Louis XII. of France, having received information from the enemies of the Waldenses dwelling in Provence, of several heinous crimes which they fathered upon them, sent to the place Adam Fumee, master of requests, and a Sorbonist doctor, called Parui, who was his confessor, to make inquiry into the matter. They visited all their parishes and temples, and neither found there any images, or sign of the ornaments belonging to the mass, or ceremonies of the Romish Church; much less could they discover any of those crimes with which they were charged. But rather that they kept the Sabbath duly, caused their children to be baptized according to the primitive Church, taught them the articles of the Christian faith, and the commandments of God. The king having heard the report of the said commissioners said, with an oath, that they were better men than himself or his people. That same king, understanding that in Dauphiny, in the valley of Fraissiniere, in the diocess of Arabrun, there were certain people who lived like beasts without religion, having an ill opinion of the Romish worship, he sent thither one of his confessors, and the official of Orleans, to bring him a true information thereof. That confessor, with his colleague, repaired to the place, where he examined the Waldenses dwelling in the said valley touching their faith and conversation. The Archbishop of Arabrun, who made account, that the goods of the said Waldenses would be annexed to the domains of his archbishopric, as being liable to confiscation for the cause of heresy, very much pressed the said commissioners to condemn them immediately as heretics. But the said commissaries would not fulfill his desire. They rather justified them as much as in them lay, insomuch that, before their departure, the said king’s confessor, being at his lodgings at the tavern in Ambrun, said, in the presence of several of his assistants, that he wished he were as good a Christian as the worst of the said valley of Fraissiniere. King Francis I., successor to Louis XII., understanding that the Parliament of Provence laid heavy impositions upon the Waldenses at Merindol, Cabriers, and other neighboring places, had a desire to inform himself about the faith, life, and manners of the said Waldenses. For that purpose he commanded William de Bellay, Lord of Langeai, his lieutenant in Piedmont, to make diligent inquiry into that affair. Whereupon the said Lord sent into Provence two honest persons to inquire into the life and religion of the said Waldenses, and the proceedings of the Parliament against them. Those two deputies brought word back to the Lord of Langeai, that the greatest part of the inhabitants of Provence affirmed, that the said Waldenses were a laborious people, and that about two hundred, years ago they came from Piedmont to dwell in Provence; and that betaking themselves to husbandry and feeding of cattle, they made many villages, destroyed by the wars, and other desert and uncultivated places, very fertile by their industry; and that by the informations given them in the said country of Provence, they had learned that the said inhabitants of Merindol, were a very peaceable people, loved by their neighbors, and men of good behavior and of a godly conversation, careful in keeping their promises, punctual in paying their debts, without suffering themselves to be sued, a charitable people, not permitting any amongst them to fall into want; and that they were liberal to strangers and poor passengers, according to their ability. That the inhabitants.of Provence affirmed that those of Merindol were distinguished from those of the country, in that they could not endure to blaspheme, or name the devil, or swear at all, unless in the making some solemn contracts, or in judgment. They were also known by this, that when they came into any company where they talked lasciviously or blasphemously, to the dishonor of God, they straightway withdrew from such company.
Thus many enemies of the Waldenses have spoken honorably of them, enforced thereunto by the power of the truth. 11
Testimony concerning the Waldenses by distinguished professors of the Reformed Churches.
THEODORE BEZA called the Waldenses, the offspring of the purest part of the Ancient Christian Church, because they have been miraculously preserved from the errors and ignorance which Satan hath hatched in these latter times. Constans upon the Apocalypse, shows that the reformation of the. western Church began in France by the means of Waldo, and that from this source it spread itself through the rest of Europe. Bullinger speaks thus of the Waldenses: For four hundred years and more, in France, Italy, Germany, Poland, Bohemia, and other countries throughout the world, the Waldenses have made profession of the Gospel of Jesus, Christ, and have in several writings, and continual preachings, accused the pope as the true Antichrist, of whom the Apostle John foretold, and that therefore we ought to flee from him. These people, having undergone divers and cruel torments, have constantly and openly given testimony to their faith by glorious martyrdoms, and still do the same to this day. They could never be extirpated, although it had been often attempted by the most potent kings and princes, instigated by the pope God frustrated those endeavors. Luther confessed, that he hated the Waldenses, as persons consigned over to perdition, until having understood the piety of their faith by their confessions and writings, he perceived that those good men had been greatly wronged whom the pope had condemned as heretics, being rather worthy of the praise due to holy martyrs. Among the said Waldensos, he had found one thing worthy of admiration, and to be taken notice of as miraculous and unheard of in the popish Church; that the said Waldenses, having forsaken all human doctrines, did meditate with all their power in the law of the Lord day and night; that they were very expert in the Scriptures and well versed in them On the contrary, those who are called our masters in the papacy, did so despine the holy writings, in the title of which notwithstanding they gloried, that there were amongst them they who had not so much as seen the Bible.
Moreover, having read the confession of the Waldenses, he said that he gave thanks to God for the great light which he had bestowed upon them, rejoicing with them, that all cause of suspicion being removed from among them, and the reformed, which made them be suspected by each other of heresy, they were however so nearly united as to have been brought together into one sheepfold under the only pastor and bishop of our souls, who is blessed for ever. Oecolampadius wrote to the Waldenses of Provence the following letter, in the year 1530. “We have learnt with great satisfaction, by your faithful pastor George Morel, the nature of your faith and religion, and in what terms you declare it. Therefore we thank our most merciful Father, who hath called you to so great a light in this age, even amidst the obscure clouds of ignorance which have spread themselves throughout the world, and notwithstanding the extravagant power of Antichrist. And therefore we acknowledge that Christ is in you; for which cause we love you like brethren, and would to God we were able to make you sensible in effect, of that which we shall be ready to do for you, although it were to be done with the utmost difficulty. Finally, we desire that what we write may not be looked upon as if through pride. We assumed any superiority to ourselves, but out of that brotherly love and charity we bear towards you. The Father of our Lord Jesus Christ hath imparted to you an excellent know ledge. of his truth, more than to many other people, and hath blessed you with a spiritual benediction. So that if you persist in his grace, he hath much greater treasures with Which he will enrich you, and make you perfect, according to your advancement in the measure of the inheritance of Christ.”
This letter is thus subscribed; “Oecolampadius prays to the Holy Ghost, for the grace of God the Father, through his Son Jesus Christ, to the wellbeloved brethren in Christ, called Waldenses.” 5 Martin Bucer wrote to them, at the same time, the following epistle. “Blessed be the Lord God the Father, who hath preserved you to this present time in so great a knowledge of his truth; and hath now excited you to search after it, and made you capable thereof. Now the nature of true faith is this: That as soon as it discovers in part, some glimpse of the divine light, it diligently keeps that which God hath already given. We have Paul for an example, who, throughout all his epistles, manifests his care to promote the glory of God. And surely if we pray heartily that the name of God may be glorified, and that his kingdom may come, we shall never endeavor anything with so much diligence, as the establishment of the truth where it is not, and the advancement thereof where it is already planted. This one thing chiefly troubles us, that we cannot answer you so fully as we could have desires. Monsieur de Vignaux, Who was pastor of the Waldenses in the valleys of Piedmont, hath written a treatise of their life, manners, and religion, to whom he gives this testimony: That they were men of a holy life and conversation, excellent conduct, and great enemies to vice; but especially their barbs, for so they called their pastors. Speaking of those of his time, he saith, “We live in peace and concord with one another in those valleys of Piedmont, have commerce and contract among ourselves, having never mixed ourselves with those of the Church of Rome, by marrying our sons to their daughters, nor our daughters to their sons. Yet they are so pleased with our manners and customs, that the papist lords and others had rather take men and maid servants from amongst us, than from among those of their own religion; and come from afar to seek nurses amongst us for their little children, finding, as they say, more fidelity in ours than in their own.”
As to the doctrine for which the Waldenses have been persecuted, they affirmed, that we must believe the Holy Scriptures only in that which concerns our salvation, without any dependence upon men. The Scriptures contain all things necessary to our salvation; and nothing else ought to be received, except that which God hath commanded us.
There is but one only Mediator, and that, therefore, we must not invocate the saints.
That there is no purgatory, but that all who are justified by Christ go to life eternal.
They receive and approve of two sacraments, baptism, and the communion of the Holy Supper.
They affirm that all masses are damnable, especially those that are said for the dead; and that, therefore, they ought to be abolished.
That all human traditions ought to be rejected, and not held necessary to salvation.
The singing and recital of the office, and fasts confined to certain days, superfluous holy days, the difference of meats, degrees and orders of priests, monks, and nuns, benedictions, and consecrations of creatures, vows, pilgrimages, and the whole confused and vast heap of ceremonies formerly invented, ought to be abolished.
They deny the supremacy of the pope, especially the power which he hath usurped over the civil government; and admit of no other degrees, besides bishops, priests, and deacons.
The see of Rome is the true Babylon, and the pope is the original of all the evils in these days.
The marriage of priests is good and necessary.
Those who hear the word of God, and have a right knowledge of it, are the true Church, to whom Jesus Christ hath committed the keys to let in his sheep, and drive out the wolves.
This, says Vignaux, is the doctrine of the Waldenses, which the enemies of truth have impugned, and for which they have in those days persecuted them, as. the said enemies themselves testify. Viret speaks of the Waldenses as follows: — The papists have very unjustly fathered great crimes on the ancient faithful, called the Waldenses, or poor people of Lyons; whereby they began to make known that the pope was Antichrist, and that his doctrine was only the traditions of men, contrary to the doctrine of Jesus Christ. Upon which they proceeded against them, as did the heathen of old against the ancient Christians, accusing them of killing their own children in their assemblies. 8 The author of the history of the Reformed Churches in France speaks of them thus: — The Waldenses, says he, time out of mind have opposed the abuses of the Roman Church, and have been persecuted after such a manner, not by the sword of the word of God, but by all kind of cruelty, together with a million of calumnies and false accusations, that they have been forced to disperse themselves wherever they could, wandering through the deserts like poor wild beasts: the Lord, nevertheless, having so preserved the residue of them, that notwithstanding the rage of all the world, they still inhabit in three countries at a great distance one from another; in Calabria, Bohemia, Piedmont, and the neighboring countries, where they dispersed themselves from the quarters of Provence, about two hundred and seventy years ago. And as to their religion, they never adhered to papal superstitions; for which reason they have been continually harassed by the bishops and inquisitors, abusing the arm of secular justice; so that it is an evident miracle that they have been able to continue. John Chassagnon writes as follows: — It hath been written of the Waldenses, saith he, that they have rejected all the traditions and ordinances of the Roman Church, as unprofitable and superstitious; and that they did not much esteem the whole body of the clergy and prelates.
For which reasons having been excommunicated and expelled the country, they dispersed themselves in divers places; as into Dauphiny, Provence, Languedoc, Piedmont, Calabria, Bohemia, England, and elsewhere. Some have writ, that a part of the Waldenses retired into Lombardy, where they multiplied, so that their doctrine spread itself through Italy, and came even into Sicily. Nevertheless in that great dispersion, they always maintained among them some union and fraternity, for the space of four hundred years, living in great simplicity, and the fear of God. The author of the History of the State of the Church, page 336, writes thus concerning them: After Waldo and his followers were banished from Lyons, a part of them retired into Lombardy, where they so increased, that their doctrine began to be displayed throughout Italy, and even entered Sicily: as appears by the patents of Frederic II. granted against them in his reign. 11 Vesembecius says, that when the popes and their satellites saw that the Roman hierarchy was much damaged by means of the Waldenses, in that several princes had already undertaken their defense, among which were the King of Arragon, and the Count de Thoulouse, formerly powerful princes among the Gauls, they began to oppress them through very unjust occasions, and endeavored to expose them to the hatred of the people, and especially of kings, that they might by that means entirely exterminate them. Vignier says, that the Waldenses have suffered long and grievous persecutions, and notwithstanding, nothing could hinder them from retaining always the doctrine which they had received from the Waldenses, handing it down to their posterity. Holagaray affirms that the opinion of the Waldenses and Albigenses was contrary to all the maxims of the Bishop of Rome, which had been publicly preached, and commanded by his authority. He means those which were invented by him, and were contrary to the word of God. And testifies, that they had amongst them very understanding and learned men to support their faith against the monks. Matthias Illyricus saith, that he found by the writings of Waldo, which he left behind him in certain old parchments, and which he had in his custody, that he was a learned man, and that he did not only cause the books of the Bible to be translated into the vulgar tongue but took pains himself therein. It is most certain that the enemies of Waldo and the Waldenses will have no regard to the above-mentioned testimonies, because they will make the like account both of the witnesses, and of those to whom they bear witness, and will reckon all of them as heretics. This history is not calculated for the enemies of the truth; but that the lovers thereof might see that many great persons, whose memory we honor, have spoken of the Waldenses as of true servants of God, who have maintained the truth at the expense of. their lives, and have earnestly desired to see in their days the Reformation which we enjoy in ours.
Aldegonde saith, the cause wherefore they condemned them as heretics, was only because they maintained that the mass is a wicked corruption of the Holy Supper of the Lord: The Host is an idol forged by men:
The Church of Rome is wholly degenerated, and full of infidelity and idolatry:
The traditions of the Church are only superstitions and human in mentions:
The pope is not the head of the Church: and for other like points.
Aldegonde also observes, it is the work of God; since whatever diligence the popes and their clergy have used, employing the assistances of princes and secular magistrates, they have not been able to exterminate them, nor by proscriptions, banishments, excommunications, publications. of croisades, and pardons to all those who would wage war upon them; nor by all sorts of torments, fires, flames, gibbets, and cruel blood-shedding, have been able to hinder their doctrine from spreading itself almost through all the ends of the earth.
Peter Waldo and the Waldenses left books behind them, which manifest their faith and character.
FORASMUCH as it may be called in question, whether there be this day in the world any proofs of their faith, we must produce an inventory of books which the Waldenses have left us, that when their doctrine shall be in dispute, every one may understand which are the writings whence we have extracted that which they have taught.
The author of the History of the State of the Church gives the subsequent testimony, Waldo, saith he at that same time made a collection in the vulgar tongue of the passages of the Ancient Fathers, that he might fortify his disciples, not only by the authority of the Holy Scripture, but also by the testimony of the doctors, against the adversaries. About the year 1580, Sieur de Vignaux, pastor of the churches of the Waldenses in Piedmont, wrote as follows, in Memoirs concerning the Original, Antiquity, Doctrine, Religion, Manners, Discipline, Persecutions, Confessions, and Progress of the people styled Waldenses. I who am the author, saith he, can testify, that having been sent among those people to preach to them the gospel of Christ our Lord, which I did for near forty years; I had no occasion to labor to divert them from the ceremonies and customs of the Church of Rome, nor to wean them from the pope, the mass, and purgatory, and such things, in which they were already teachers before me although the greatest part of them knew not their alphabet.
To that good servant of God we are much indebted for the collection of the ancient books of the Waldenses. For he collected, and carefully preserved as many as he could find of them; and he did this with the greater advantage, by reason that he lived among them. Towards the conclusion of his life, he delivered to certain particular persons his memoirs, which he wrote concerning the Waldenses, and all the old books which he had procured in their valleys; of which he expresses himself as follows: — We have, saith he, extant among us some old writings of the Waldenses, containing catechisms and sermons, which are manuscripts written in the vulgar tongue, wherein there is nothing which makes for the pope and papacy. And it is a wonderful thing, saith he, that they have seen so clearly in a time of darkness more gross than that of Egypt. Le Sieur de St. Ferriol, minister of the church of Orange, inspired with a holy curiosity, made a collection of several of the said books, which he showed to Aldegonde, who makes mention of it in his first table; in which place, he says, that there are some other books extant of a very ancient letter in the library of Joseph de la Scale. Now the above-mentioned books, having been remitted to me, to furnish materials for this history, I will set down a catalogue of them.
In the first place we have amongst us a New Testament in parchment in the Vaudois tongue, very well written, though of a very ancient letter.
A book entitled Antichrist, which begins after this manner; Qual cosa sia l’Antechrist en datte de l’an mille cent et vingt; in which volume are contained several sermons of the barbs of the Waldenses.
A treatise concerning Sins, and their remedies.
A treatise, entitled, a Book of Virtues.
A treatise inscribed De l’enseignament de li filli: the instruction of children.
A treatise Del Matrimoni; of matrimony.
Another entitled, La Parlar de li Philosophes et Doctors: that is, the sentences of the philosophers and doctors.
A commentary or paraphrase upon the Apostles’ creed.
A treatise of Sacraments.
A paraphrase or commentary upon the Commandments of the law of God.
A paraphrase upon the Lord’s Prayer.
A treatise of Fasting. One of Tribulations.
A little catechism, entitled Interrogations of Minors.
A treatise against Dancing and Taverns.
Another of the four last things: Death to all: Life eternal to the good: Hell to the wicked: and the Last Judgment.
A book entitled Del Purgatori soima, fictitious purgatory; or the dream of purgatory.
A treatise against the Invocation of Saints.
We have moreover a very ancient book entitled, A Eico es la causa del nostre Despartiment de la Gleisa Romans: The cause of our separation from Rome.
In that volume, there is an epistle or apology of the Waldenses inscribed; La Epistola el serenissimo Rest Lancelau, ali Dues, Barons, et a li plus veil del Regne. Lo petit tropel de li Christians appalls per fals nom falsament.
P.O.V. The poor, or Waldenses.
Also a book, wherein there are several Sermons of the Barbes, and an epistle to friends, containing several excellent doctrines, to instruct all sorts of persons how to behave themselves in this life, and in all ages.
To which volume is annexed, a treatise entitled Sacerdotium; in which the charge of good pastors is described, and the punishment of wicked ones.
We have likewise extant among us a Book of Poetry, in the Vaudois tongue, in which are the following treatises: A prayer inscribed New Comfort. A poem concerning the four kinds of seed mentioned in the Gospel. Another, entitled the Bark. A fourth, called the Noble Lesson.
Which book is mentioned by Aldegonde. We have also an excellent treatise, entitled, Vergier of Consolation; containing several excellent instructions confirmed by Holy Scripture, and by the authority of several of the ancients.
Likewise an old one in parchment, entitled, the Church.
Also another called the Treasure and Light of Faith. Also a book inscribed, the Spiritual Almanac.
Another in parchment, concerning the method of separating precious from vile and contemptible things; virtues from vices.
A tract of George Morel, wherein are contained all the inquiries of himself, and Peter Mascon, from Oecolampadius and Bucer, concerning religion, and their answers.
All which books are written in the Vaudois tongue, which is partly Provencal, partly Piedmontane. All of them sufficient thoroughly to instruct their people in a good life and faith, and whose doctrine is consonant with that at present taught and believed in the Reformed Churches.
Thence we conclude, that the doctrine maintained in our days against the inventions of men, is novel to those alone who have smothered it; or that their ancestors abhorred it, for want of the knowledge of its goodness since we find a considerable number of writings which manifest that the doctrine for these several hundred years past constantly maintained, down to the Reformation, is the same wire that which for several ages hath been stifled by ignorance and ingratitude. Which the adversaries themselves have in some measure confessed, when they said, that that doctrine which is called novel, is nothing else but the essence of the errors of the ancient aldenses.
The enemies of the ancient Waldenses acknowledge that their doctrine was agreeable to the religious creed and principles of the Reformation . LINDANUS calls Galvin the inheritor of the doctrine of the Waldenses. Cardinal Hosius saith, that the leprosy of the Waldenses spread its infection throughout all Bohemia, when following the doctrine of Waldo, the greatest part of the kingdom of Bohemia separated from the Church of Rome. Gualtier, a Jesuitical monk, in his chrohographical table, or to express it accurately, in hisFORMULARY orLIES, makes the faith of the Waldenses and those whom he calls the injured poor, and the ministers of Calvin, the same in twenty-seven articles. Claudius Rubis saith, that the heresies which have been current in our time, were founded upon those of the Waldenses, and calls them the relics of Waldo. Aeneas Sylvius, afterwards Pope Pius II., and John Dubravius, Bishop of Olmutz, make the doctrine taught by Calvin akin to that of the Waldenses. Thomas Walden, who wrote against Wickliff, saith, that the doctrine of Waldo was conveyed from France into England. To which agrees Sieur de la Popeliniere, who adds, that the doctrine of the modern Protestants is but little different from that of the Waldenses, which having, saith he been received into the quarters of Albi, and communicated by the Albigenses to the English their neighbors, when the English held Guienne in their possession, was infused into the understandings of some persons, who carried it into England, and was, as it were, handed down to Wickliff, a very eminent divine in the University of Oxford, and curate of Lutterworth, in the diocess of Lincoln, who by his eloquence and extraordinary doctrine, so won upon the hearts and understandings of several Englishmen, even of the greatest quality, that a scholar brought to Prague a book of Wickliff, entitled, the Universals , which being diligently read by John Huss, increased and explained the doctrine sowed a long time before in Bohemia by the Waldenses, who fled thither ever since Waldo’s time: So that several of the people, scholars, nobility, and ecclesiastics, did embrace it. Cardinal Bellarmin saith, that Wickliff could add nothing to the heresy of the Waldenses. Eccius reproaches Luther, that he did but renew the heresies of the Waldenses and Albigenses, of Wickliff and John Huss, formerly condemned. Alphonsus de Castro saith, that Wickliff did only bring to light again the errors of the Waldenses. Arnald Sorbin, Priest of Monteig, easts this reproach upon the cities of Antonin, Montauban, Millan, Castres, Puylorens, Gaillac, and others of the Albigeois, that they only renewed the erroneous doctrines of the Albigenses. John de Cardonne, in his rhymes in the title-page of the history of the Monk of the Valleys of Sernay, speaks after this manner: “What the sect of Geneva doth admit, The heretics Albigeois do commit.” Anthony d’Ardene, of Thoulouse, saith, that the Albigenses held the same heresies: “With which the Huguenots, our brethren, were Seasoned; the same design, the self-same care.” We are not then to dispute the antiquity of the doctrine, but the purity thereof. Since, not only according to the words even of the enemies of the Waldenses, and of those of the last reformation, there hath been, for the space of whole ages a series of persons, who, crying out against the abuses which had crept into the Church, were oppressed by persecutions.
Enumeration of the pastors of the churches who instructed the Waldenses during several hundred years, as far as they have come to our knowledge.
FORASMUCH as it is denied that there hath been a succession of those instruments, who from time to time have opposed the corruptions and errors which have been in vogue, we will produce a list of those whom the adversaries have mentioned and put to death, as of the pastors of the Waldenses, for these four hundred and fifty years past.
Waldo began to teach the people in the year of our Lord 1160.
Le Sieur de St. Aldegonde observes, that at the same time that Waldo was inspired at Lyons, God raised up others in Provence and Languedoc, of whom the chief were Arnold, Esperon, and Joseph; from whom they were called Arnoldists, Josephists, and Esperonists. As their doctrine was first received in Alby, in the country of the Albigenses, they were commonly styled Albigenses; so that the Waldenses on one hand and the Albigcrises on the other, were like the two olive trees, or the two lamps of which John speaks, the fatness and light of which were diffused throughout all the ends of the earth.
Next followed Peter Bruis, from whom many gave them the name of Petrobrusians.
Whose successors in the doctrine were two evangelists, named Henri, one of whom had been a priest, and the other a monk, who taught in the bishoprics of Aries, Arabrun, Die, and Gaps whence being expelled, they were received at Thoulouse. There was, also, a certain man called Bartholomew, born at Carcassone, who founded and governed the Churches in Bulgaria. Croatia, Dalmatia, Hungary. and ordained ministers, as Matthew Paris relates it, styling him their pope and bishop; and alleged to that purpose the letter of the bishop of Porto, legate of the pope in those parts, who wrote to the Archbishop of Rouen, and his suffragans, to desire assistance against them, until at length they were constrained to flee into the deserts, according to the prophecy of the Revelation; which says, That the woman she brought forth the male-child, and is the true Church of God, should be persecuted by the Dragon, who would cast water out of his mouth after her like a flood, to swallow her up; so that she should be compelled to flee into the wilderness, according to the prophecy in the Revelations, saying, that the woman girded with scarlet, who brought forth the male-child, and is the true Church of God, “should be persecuted by the Dragon, who would east water like a flood after her to swallow her up, so that she should be constrained to flee into the wilderness, where she should be fed for the space of a thousand two hundred and threescore days.” — Rev, 12:12-17.
Reinerius tells us of two eminent bishops of the Waldenses, Belazinanza, of Verona, and John do Luggio, who taught amongst them after the abovementioned persons, about the year 1250.
Arnold Hot was a pastor among the Waldenses, who held the famous dispute at Mont Real.
Lollard, also, was in great esteem amongst them, not only on account of the commentary that he wrote upon the Revelations, but, also, because he conveyed and made known their doctrine in England, from whom the British Waldenses were called Lollards.
The Waldenses of the valleys of Angrogne, Dauphiny, Provence, and Calabria, had Barbs, whose memory they have preserved for more than three hundred yeats past. 1. Piedmont . — Paul Gignons de Bobi. — Peter the Less. — Anthony of Suza. 2. St. Martin . — John Martin. — Matthew de Bobi. — Philip of Lucerne. — George of Piedmont. — Stephen Laurence. — John of Lucerne. — John Girard de Meane. — Bartholomew Tertian de Meane, surnamed De la Grosse Main. 3. Angrogne . — Thomasin Bastie, who died in. the service of the churches of la Pouille. — Sebastian Bastie, who died in Calabria. — John Bellonat, of the same valley, the first of the barbs who entered upon the conjugal state. 4. Perouse — James Germain. — Benedict Gorran. — Paul Gignons de Bobi. — John Romagnol of Sesene. 5. Dauphiny . — Francis of Fraissiniere. — Michael Porte of Loyse in Brianconnois. — Peter Flot of Pragela. 6. Provence — Angelin de la Coste — Daniel de Valentia, and John de Molines; which two were sent into Bohemia for the service of the Churches of the Waldenses set up in that kingdom; but they betrayed the Churches, and did them a great deal of mischief, for they discovered all that they knew of their flocks to the enemies of the said Waldenses, which was the occasion of a great persecution. That made the Bohemian Churches write to those of the Waldenses in the Alps, to nominate none to such vocations, but those whose faith, probity and zeal, had been known by long experience. 7. — The last barbs that they had, were George Morel and Peter Mascon, who in the year 1530, were sent into Germany to confer concerning their religion: with Oecolampadius, Bucer, and others. Peter Mascon was taken prisoner at Dijon. Stephen Negrin and Lewis Paschal were sent into Calabria in the year 1560, to the churches of the Waldenses at Montald, St. Xist, and other neighboring places. Stephen Negrin was taken prisoner: and carried to Consence, where he was starved in prison.
Lewis Paschal was sent to Rome, where he was burnt alive, in the presence of Pope Pius IV. and his cardinals, whom he summoned to appear before the throne of the Lamb: to give an account of their cruelties.
There were very many others, as appears by the processes commenced against the Waldenses of Dauphiny, which have come to our hands, wherein mention is made of several barbs or pastors, who were imprisoned and put to death by the monks of the Inquisition: who caused them to be watched: even upon the high Alps, when they were going from one flock to the other, But this small number is sufficient to show that, notwithstanding their enemies did all they could utterly to destroy and root them out, yet the Lord hath not ceased to provide laborers for his harvest, when there was need of them, and to preserve even to this day, in Dauphiny and Provence thousands of persons: who glory in being descended from the ancient Waldenses; and who were rather inheritors of their zeal and piety, than of their earthly substance, which the persecutors possessed, as the pope doth to this day, who hath added to his pretended Apostolic Chamber, all the inheritance of the Waldenses, who had any substance in his country of Vinicin. Under the color of heresy, if he could, he would take away their very lives, so far is he from thinking to restore that which he hath in vain been importuned to do, and which his officers have promised to restore with more vanity and falsehood than true meaning.
The Pastors of the Waldenses; their vocation, and the zeal and fidelity with which they fulfilled their charge.
THAT the character of the Waldensian Barbs or Pastors may accurately be known, we insert the following testimony concerning them:
The monk Reinerius reported many things concerning the vocation of the pastors of the Waldenses, which are mere fictions; as that they had a greater bishop and two followers, whom he called the Elder Son and the younger, and a deacon; that he laid his hands upon others with a sovereign authority, and sent them where he thought good, like a pope. Against these impostures, here follows what is found in their writings, concerning the vocation of their pastors. All those, say they, who are to be received as pastors among us, while they are yet with their parents, entreat us to receive them into the ministry; and that we would be pleased to pray to God, that they may be rendered capable of so great a charge. Which the said supplicants do only to show their humility.
They are to learn by heart, all the chapters of Matthew and John, and all the epistles called canonical, a good part of the writings of Solomon, David and the Prophets.
Afterwards, having good testimonies of their learning and conversation, they are received with the imposition of hands into the function of preaching.
The last that are received, must do nothing without the license of their seniors; as also those that are first are to undertake nothing without the approbation of their companions, that everything may be done among us with order.
The pastors meet together once every year, to determine of our affairs in a general council.
Our food and apparel are willingly administered unto us, and as it were by way of alms, sufficient... enough, by those whom we teach.
The money which is given us by the people, is carried to the aforesaid general council, and is delivered in the presence of all. It is there received by the ancients, and part thereof is given to travelers or wayfaring men, according to their necessities, and part unto the poor.
When any of the pastors, fall into sin, he is cast out of our community, and forbidden the function of preaching.
Thus you see how the Barbs or Pastors of the Waldenses were chosen and maintained in their functions.
Epistle of Pastor Bartholomew Tertian, to the Waldensian Churches of Pragela.
THAT the holy zeal and affection may be known, with which the Barbs or Pastors of the Waldenses endeavored to call the people to repentance, and to instruct them in the faith, we insert a pastoral letter of one of their ministers. Jesus be with you. To all our faithful and well-beloved Brethren, health and salvation be with you all. Amen. “These are to advertise your brotherhood, and hereby acquit myself of the duty which I owe to you On God’s part, principally touching the care of the salvation of your souls, according to that light of truth which the Most High hath bestowed upon you, that it would please every one of you, to maintain, increase, and cherish, to the utmost of your power, without diminution: those good beginnings and customs left unto us by our ancestors, of which we were not worthy. For it would be of little profit to us to be renewed by the fatherly kindness, and the light which God hath given us, if we addict ourselves to mundane, diabolical, and carnal conversation, abandoning the principal which is God, and the salvation of our souls, for this short temporal life. The Lord saith in the Gospel, What doth it profit a man to gain the whole world, and to lose his own soul? For it would have been better never to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to act contrary thereto. We shall be inexcusable, and our condemnation the greater, for there are greater torments prepared for those who have had the greatest knowledge. “Wherefore let me beseech you, by the love of God, not to diminish, but to increase the love, fear and obedience due to God, and to yourselves among yourselves; and to keep all the good customs which you have heard and understood from God by our means; and that you would remove from among you all defects and wants troubling your peace, love and concord; and everything which deprives you of the service of God, your salvation, and the administration of the truth; if you desire God to be propitious to you in your temporal and spiritual good things. For you can do nothing without him; and if you desire to be heirs of his glory, do that which he commandeth you. If you will enter into life, keep my commandments. Likewise be careful that there be not nourished among you any sports, gluttony, whoredom, dancing, or other debaucheries, nor questions, nor deceits, nor usury, nor discords. Neither support nor entertain among you any persons of a wicked life nor those who give a scandal or ill example amongst you; but let charity and fidelity reign amongst you, and every, good example; doing to one another as everyone would have done to himself. For otherwise it is not possible for any one to be saved, or have the favor either of God or men in this World, nor glory in the other. And it is necessary that the guides chiefly have a hand in this, and such who rule and govern: for when the head is sick, all the members are disordered thereby. Therefore if you hope and desire to enjoy eternal life, to live in esteem: and good repute, and to prosper in this world in your temporal and spiritual good things, cleanse yourselves from all disorderly ways, that God may be always with you, who never forsakes those that, put their trust in him. But know this for certain, that he doth neither hear nor dwell with sinners, nor in the soul that is addicted to wickedness, nor with the man who is subject to sin. Therefore let every one purify the ways of his heart, and fly from danger, if he will not perish therein. Put in practice these things; and the God of ‘peace be with you. Accompany us in our true, devout and humble prayers, that he would be pleased to save all those his faithful, who put their trust in Christ Jesus.
Amen. BARTHOLOMEW TERTIAN, Ready to serve yea; in all things possible, according to the will of God .”
This epistle of the pastor Tertian gives us a proof of the holy zeal that they had to lead the people to God.
Confessions of the Faith of the Waldenses.
THE confessions of faith of the Waldenses show clearly how pure their doctrines have been, and how far they have kept themselves from the errors and heresies which were imputed to them; and therefore that they were unjustly persecuted. 1. We believe and do firmly hold all that which is contained in the twelve articles of the Symbol, called the Apostles’ Creed; and account for heresies all that which is disagreeable to the said twelve articles. 2. We believe that there is one God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. 3. We acknowledge for Holy Canonical Scripture, the books of the Bible — Genesis. — Exodus. — Leviticus. — Numbers. — Deuteronomy. — Joshua — Judges. — Ruth. — I. Samuel. — II. Samuel. — I. of Kings. — II. of Kings. ¾I. of Chronicles. — II. of Chronicles. — Ezra. — Nehemiah. — Esther. — Job. — Book of Psalms. — Proverbs of Solomon. — Ecclesiastes. — Song of Solomon. — Prophecy of Isaiah. — Jeremiah. — Lamentations of Jeremiah. — Ezekiel. — Daniel. — Hosea. — Joel. — Amos. — Obadiah. — Jonas. — Micah — Nahum. — Zephaniah. — Habakkuk. — Haggai. — Zechariah. — Malachi.
After which follow the Apocryphal books, which are not received by the Hebrews; but we read them as Jerom saith in his prologue to the Proverbs, for the instruction of the people, not to confirm the authority of ecclesiastical doctrines — Third Book of Esdras. — Fourth of Esdras. — Tobit. — Judith. — Wisdom. — Ecclesiasticus. — Baruch, with the epistle of Jeremiah. — Esther, from chapter X. to the end. — Song of the three children. — History of Susanna. — History of the Dragon. — First of Machabees. — Second of Machabees — Third of Machabees.
After these follow the books of the New Testament — The Gospels of Matthew, — Mark, — Luke, — and John. — -Acts of the Apostles. — Epistle of Paul to the Romans. — First epistle to the Corinthians. — Second epistle to the Corinthians. — Epistle to the Galatians. — Epistle to the Ephesians. — Epistle to the Philippians. — Epistle to the Colossians. — First epistle to the Thessalonians. — Second epistle to the Thessalonians. — First epistle to Timothy. — Second epistle to Timothy. — Epistle to Titus. — Epistle to Philemon. — Epistle to the Hebrews. — Epistle of James. — First epistle of Peter. — Second epistle of Peter. — First epistle of John. — Second epistle of John. — Third epistle of John. — Epistle of Jude. — Revelation of John. 4. The books above-mentioned teach us — That there is one God Almighty, wise and good, who in his goodness made all things. For he created Adam after his own image and likeness. But through the malice of the devil, and the disobedience of Adam, sin entered into the world: and we became sinners in Adam, and by Adam. 5. That Christ was promised to the fathers, who received the law, to the end, that knowing their sin by the law, and their unrighteousness and insufficiency, they might desire the coming of Christ, that he might make satisfaction for their sins, and accomplish the law by himself. 6. That Christ was born at the time appointed by God his Father; at the time when all iniquity did abound, and not for the sake of our good works. For all were sinners: But that he might show us grace and mercy, as he was true. 7. That Christ is our life, and truth, and peace, and righteousness: our shepherd and advocate; our sacrifice and priest, who died for the salvation of all those who should believe, and rose again for our justification. 8. In like manner we firmly believe, that there is no other mediator and advocate with God the Father, besides Jesus Christ; as to the Virgin Mary, she was holy, humble, and full of grace. Thus do we believe concerning all the other saints; that they wait in heaven, for the resurrection of their bodies at the day of judgment. 9. We do likewise believe, that after this life, there are but two places, the one for those. that are saved, the other for the damned, which we call paradise and hell; altogether denying that imaginary purgatory of antichrist, invented against the truth. 10. Moreover we have always looked upon all human inventions as an unspeakable abomination before God: as the feasts and vigils of saints; and the water called holy water; and the abstaining upon certain days from flesh, and such like things, and chiefly the masses. 11. We have in abomination all human inventions, as proceeding from antichrist; which stir up trouble, and are prejudicial to the liberty of the spirit. 12. We believe that the sacraments are signs of a holy thing; or visible forms of an invisible grace; holding it good and necessary, that the faithful do sometimes make use of the said signs or visible forms, when it can be done. Notwithstanding, we do believe and hold that the said faithful may be saved, though they do not receive the aforesaid signs, when they have neither place nor opportunity of so doing. 13. We do acknowledge no other sacraments, besides Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. 14. We honor the secular powers, with subjection, obedience, promptitude, and payment. 2. WALDENSIAN CONFESSION OF FAITH 1. We believe that there is but one God, who is a spirit, creator of all things, Father of all, who is above all, by all, and in us all, whom we must worship in spirit and truth; upon whom alone we wait, and to whom we give the glory of our life, food, raiment, health,2. We believe that Jesus Christ is the Son and Image of the Father; that in him doth all fullness of the Godhead dwell, by whom we know the Father; who is our mediator and advocate, and there is no other name under heaven given unto men, whereby they may be saved: in whose name alone we invocate the Father, and use no other prayers than those contained in the holy scripture, or agreeable thereto in substance. 3. We believe that the Holy Ghost is our comforter, proceeding from the Father, and from the Son: by whose inspiration we make prayers, being renewed by him, who formeth all good works within us, and by him we have knowledge of all truth. 4. We believe that there is one Holy Church, which is the congregation of all the elect and faithful, which were from the beginning of the world, and shall be to the end thereof — of which our Lord Jesus Christ is the head, which is governed by his word, and guided by the Holy Ghost: In which all good Christians ought to remain, for it prays for all incessantly, and the word thereof is agreeable to God, without which no one can be saved. 5. We hold that the ministers of the church ought to be unblameable, as well in life as doctrine. Else that they ought to be deposed from their function, and others substituted in their room; and that no person ought to presume to take that honor, but he who is called of God, as Aaron; feeding the flock of God, not for filthy lucre’s sake, or as having superiority over the clergy; but as being an example to the flock, in word, in conversation, in charity, in faith, and in chastity. 6. We confess that kings, princes, and governors, are ordained and established ministers of God, whom we must obey. For they bear the sword for the defense of the innocent, and the punishment of evildoers; for that reason we are bound to honor and pay them tribute.
From which power and authority no man can exempt himself, as may appear from the example of our Lord Jesus Christ, who refused not to pay tribute, not taking upon him any jurisdiction of temporal power. 7. We believe that in the sacrament of baptism, the water is the visible and external sign, which represents to us that which, by virtue of the invisible God so working, is within us: that is to say, the renovation of the spirit, and the mortification of our members in Jesus Christ; by which also we are received into the holy congregation of God’s people, protesting and declaring before it our faith and change of life. 8. We hold that the sacrament of the table, or supper of the Lord Jesus Christ, is a holy commemoration and thanksgiving, for the benefits which we have received by his death and passion, which is to be received in faith and charity; examining ourselves, that so we may eat of that bread, and drink of that cup, as it is written in the holy scripture. 9 . We confess that marriage is good and honorable, holy, and instituted of God, which ought to be forbidden to none, if there be no impediment by the word of God. 10. We acknowledge that those who fear God, seek to please him, and to do the good works which he hath prepared, that we may walk therein; which are charity, joy, peace, patience, benignity, goodness, mildness, sobriety, and other works contained in the holy scripture. 11. We confess we must beware of false teachers, whose end is to divert the people from the true worship of God, that they may rely upon creatures, putting their confidence in them; and also that they may desist from the good works which are contained in the holy scripture, to do those that are invented by men. 12. We hold the Old and New Testament for the rule of our life; and we agree to the general confession of faith, with the articles contained in the symbol of the Apostles.
Athanasian Creed in the Ancient Vernacular Waldensian Language.
FORASMUCH as the pastors of the Waldenses taught their people the Athanasian creed in the Waldensian language, we give it from their books verbatim. “Qualquequal vol easer fait salf devant totas cosas es de necessita tenir la fe Catholics, laqual sialcun non tenre entierament sensa dubi perire eternalment. Ma aquesta es la fe Catholics, que nos honran un Dio en Trinita et la Trinita en Unita, non confondent personnas, ni departent la, substantia. Car autra es la personna del paire, et del filli, et del sanet esperit. Lo Paire non crea, lo filli non crea, lo sanct esperit non crea. Lo paire non mesuriuol, lo filli non mesuriuol, lo sanct esperit non mesuriuol. Lo paire eternal, lo filli eternal, et lo saner esperit eternal. Emperco non tres eternals, ma un Eternal; enaimi non tres mesuriols, et non crea. Semeillament lo paire tot poissant, lo filli tot poissant, et lo sanct esperit tot poissant, emperco non tres tot poissants, ma un tot poissant. Enaimi lo paire es Dio, lo filli Dio, lo sanct esperit Dio; emperco non tres Dios, ma un Dio. Enaimi lo paire es seignor, lo filli es seignor, lo sanct esperit seignor; emperco non tres Seignors, ma un Seignor. Ca enaimi nos sen coatreit confessar par Christiana verita, una chascuna persona Dio o Seignor, enaimi par Catholica Religion, nos sen defendu dire easer tres Dios nitres Signors. Lo filli es sol del paire, non faict, ni cosa, ma engenera; lo sanct esprit es del paire, et del filli, non faict, nicrea, ni engenera, ma procedent. Done lo es un paire, non tres paires, un filli, non tres filli, un sanet esperit, non tres sanct esperits. En aquesta Trinita alcuna cosa non es premiera ni derniera, alcuna cosa major o menor, ma totas tres personas entre lor son ensem eternals, et eygals. Enaimi que per totas cosas coma esdict le sobre, lasia d’honorar la Trinita en Units, et l’Unita en Trinita. Done aquel que vol esser fait salf Senta enaima de la Trinita. Ma a la salut eternal es neeessari creyre fidelment l’encarnation del nostre Seignor Jesus Christ. Done late dreita es que nos crean, et confessan que lo nostra Seignor Jesus Christ filli de Dio, es Dio et home. Et es Dio engendra avant li segle, de la substantia del paire, et es home na al segle de la substantia de la maire, essent perfect Dio et perfect home; d’anima rational, et d’ humana cam, aigal del paire, second la divinita, et menor second l’humanita. Loqual iaciaqo quel sia Dio et home, emperco lo es un Christ, et non dui, ma un, non per conversion de la divinita en carn ma propiament de la humanita en Dio, un totalment, non per confusion de la divinita en carn, ma propiament de la humanita en Dio: un totalment, non per confusion de substantia, ma per unita de personnas. Car enaima larma rational, et la carn, es un homme, enaima Dio et home es un Christ, loqual est passionna per la nostra salut, descende en li enfern, lo ters iorn: risuscite de li mort, et monti en li cel, et se sec a la dextra de Dio lo paire omnipotent.
Dequi es avenir jugear li vio, et li mort. A l’advenament delqual tuit an a resuscitar, c um li 1or corps, et son a rendre racon de li lor propi faict. Et aquilli que aurant faict ben, anaren en vita eterna, et aquilli que aurant faict real anaran al fuoc eternal.”
The faith of the Waldenses is sufficiently known by that which is contained in the pure and holy doctrines of their confessions abovementioned: nevertheless, it is for the same: that they have been persecuted for the space of four hundred and fifty years; and still would be if they lived near those places where human inventions are preferred before the Word of God. For though Satan be confounded, and his kingdom dissipated by the brightness of the gospel, yet he ceaseth not to hold under the yoke of idolatry, those whose understandings he has darkened, and to keep them by violence under the tyranny of his laws; hiding that ignorance and error that men do naturally love, in those darknesses wherein they do take pleasure. But as it has not pleased the eternal God, that the faith of his servants and martyrs should be buried, so likewise it pleases him, that their constancy should be made manifest for our edification and example And this is the reason why having showed in the first book, that the Waldenses believed what was necessary to salvation; have thought good to publish in the second book, that which is come to my knowledge of their sufferings for righteousness’ sake.