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    BOOK 3


    The Precious Remains Of The Doctrines And Discipline Of The Old Waldenses And Albigenses; And Their Noble Testimony Against The Roman Antichrist.

    CHAPTER - 1

    Ancient Confession of the Faith of the Waldenses, copied out of manuscripts, bearing date, 1120, four hundred years before the time of Luther, and Zwingle, and Calvin, and seventy years before Peter Waldo.

    I. Nos cresen et fermament tenen tot quant se conten en li doze articles del symbolo, etc. We believe and firmly hold all that which is contained in the twelve articles of the Symbol, which is called the Apostles’ Creed, accounting for heresy whatsoever is disagreeing, and not consonant to the said twelve articles.

    II. We believe that there is one God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

    III. We acknowledge for the holy canonical Scriptures, the books of the Holy Bible. The books of Moses called Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1st Samuel, 2nd of Samuel, 1st of Kings, 2nd Kings, 1st Chronicles, 2nd Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job, Psalms. The Proverbs of Solomon, Ecclesiastes or The Preacher, the Song of Solomon, the Prophecies of Isaiah, and Jeremiah. The Lamentations of Jeremiah. Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Zachariah, Malachi.

    Here follow the books apochryphal, which are not received of the Hebrews: but we read them, as saith Hierom in his prologue to the proverbs, for the instruction of the people, not to confirm the authority of the doctrine of the church: — 2nd Esdras, 3d Esdras, Tobit, Judith, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, Baruch, with the epistle of Jeremiah, Esther from the tenth chapter to the end, the Song of the Three Children in the Furnace, the History of Susanna, the History of the Dragon,1 Maccabees, 2 Maccabees, 3 Maccabees.

    Here follow the books of the New Testament: the Gospels according to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, the Acts of the Apostles, the Epistle of Paul to the Romans, 1 Corinthians, Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, the Epistle to the Hebrews, the Epistle of James, the first Epistle of Peter, the second Epistle of Peter, the first Epistle of John, the second Epistle of John, the third Epistle of John, the Epistle of Jude, the Revelations of John.

    IV. The books above-said, teach: That there is one God Almighty, allwise, and all-good, who has made all things by his goodness; for he formed Adam in his own image and likeness; but that by the envy of the devil, and the disobedience of the said Adam, sin has entered into the world, and that we are sinners in Adam, and by Adam.

    V. That Christ was promised to our fathers, who received the law; that so knowing by the law their sin, unrighteousness and insufficiency, they might desire the coining of Christ, to satisfy for their sins, and accomplish the law by; himself.

    VI. That Christ was born in the time appointed by God the Father; that is to say, in the time when all iniquity abounded, and not for the cause of good works, for all were sinners, but that he might show us grace and mercy, as being faithful.

    VII. That Christ is our life, truth, peace, and righteousness, as also our pastor, advocate and priest, who died for the salvation of all those that believe, and is risen for our justification.

    VIII. In the like manner we firmly hold, that there is no other mediator and advocate with God the Father, save Jesus Christ. And as for the Virgin Mary, that she was holy, humble, and full of grace: and in like manner do we believe concerning all the other saints, — that being in heaven, they wait for the resurrection of their bodies at the day of judgment.

    IX. We believe, that after this life, there are only two places, the one for the saved, and the other for the damned, the which two places we call paradise, and hell, absolutely denying the purgatory invented by Antichrist, and forged contrary to the truth.

    X. We have always accounted, as unspeakable abominations before God, all those inventions of men, namely, the feasts, and the vigils of saints, and the water which they call holy. As likewise to abstain from flesh upon certain days, and the like, but especially their masses. XI. We esteem for an abomination, and as antichristian, all those human inventions, which are a trouble or prejudice to the liberty of the spirit.

    XII. We believe, that the sacraments are signs of the holy thing, visible forms of the invisible grace, accounting it good, that the faithful sometimes use the said signs or visible forms. However, we believe and hold, that the above-said faithful may be saved without receiving the signs aforesaid.

    XIII. We acknowledge no other sacrament, than baptism and the Lord’s supper.

    XIV. We ought to honor the secular powers, by subjection, ready obedience, and paying of tribute.

    CHAPTER - 2

    Catechism of the ancient Waldenses, for the instruction of their youth. — In eight parts PART MINISTER . Si tu fosses demanda que si es tu, etc. If one should demand of you, who are you? What would you answer? CHILD . A creature of God, reasonable, and mortal. MIN. Why has God created you? ANSW. To the end that I might know him, and serve him, and be saved by his grace. MIN. Wherein consists your salvation? ANSW. In three substantial virtues, which do necessarily belong to salvation. MIN. Which are they? ANSW. Faith, hope, and charity. MIN. How can you prove that? ANSW. The apostle writes, 1 Corinthians 13:13. Now abideth faith, hope, and charity, these three. MIN. What is faith? ANSW. According to the apostle, Hebrews 11:1. It is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen. MIN. How many sorts of faith are there? ANSW. There are two sorts, a living and a dead faith. MIN. What is a living faith? ANSW. It is that which works by charity. MIN. What is a dead faith? ANSW. According to St. James, that faith which is without works is dead.

    Again, faith is nothing without works. Or a dead faith, is to believe that there is a God, and to believe those things concerning God, and not to believe in him.

    PART MIN. What is your faith? ANSW. The true catholic and apostolic faith. MIN. What is that? ANSW. It is that which in the result or symbol of the apostles, is divided into twelve articles. MIN. What is that? ANSW. I believe in God the Father, Almighty, etc. MIN. By what means can you know that you believe in God? ANSW. By this, that I know and observe the commandments of God. MIN. How many commandments of God are there? ANSW. Ten, as is manifest in Exodus and Deuteronomy. MIN. Which be they? ANSW. Hear, O Israel, I am the Lord thy God. Thou shalt have none other Gods before me. Thou shalt not make any graven image, nor the likeness of any thing that is in heaven, etc. MIN. What is the sum, or drift, of these commandments? ANSW. It consists in these two great commandments, Thou shalt love God above all things, and thy neighbor as thyself.

    PART MIN. What is the foundation of these commandments, by which every one may enter into life, and without the which foundation, none can do any thing worthily, or fulfill the commandments? ANSW. The Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the apostle speaks, Corinthians 3 Other foundation can no man lay, than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. MIN. By what means may a man come to this foundation? ANSW. By faith, as saith Peter, 1 Peter 2:6. Behold I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious, and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. And the Lord saith, he that believeth hath eternal life. MIN. Whereby canst thou know that thou believest? ANSW. By this, that I know him to be true God, and true man, who was born, and who hath suffered, etc. for my redemption, justification; and that I love him, and desire to fulfill his commandments. MIN. By what means may one attain to those essential virtues, faith, hope and charity? ANSW. By the gifts of the Holy Ghost. MIN. Dost thou believe in the Holy Ghost? ANSW. Yes, I do believe. For the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son, and is one person of the Trinity; and according to the divinity, is equal to the Father and the Son. MIN. Thou believest God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost, thou hast therefore three Gods. ANSW. I have not three. MIN. Yea, but thou hast named three. ANSW. That is by reason of the difference of the persons, not by reason of the essence of the divinity. For although there are three persons, yet, notwithstanding, there is but one essence.

    PART MIN. In what manner dost thou adore and worship that God on whom thou believest? ANSW. I adore him with the adoration of an inward and outward worship.

    Outwardly, by the bending of the knee, and lifting up the hands, and bowing the body, by hymns and spiritual songs, by fasting and prayer.

    But inwardly, by a holy affection, by a will conformable unto all things that are well pleasing unto him. And I serve him by faith, hope, and charity, according to his commandments. MIN. Dost thou adore and worship any other thing as God? ANSW. No. MIN. Why? ANSW. Because of his commandment, whereby it is strictly commanded, saying, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. And again, I will not give my glory to another. Again, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow before me. And Jesus Christ saith, There shall come the true worshippers, which shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth. And the Angel would not be worshipped by St. John, nor St. Peter by Cornelius. MIN. After what manner prayest thou? ANSW. I pray rehearsing the prayer given me by the Son of God, saying Our Father which art in heaven, etc. MIN. What is the other substantial virtue? ANSW. It is charity. MIN. What is charity? ANSW. It is the gift of the Holy Spirit, by which the soul is reformed in the will, being enlightened by faith, whereby I believe all that ought to be believed, and hope all that ought to be hoped.

    PART MIN. Dost thou believe in the holy church? ANSW. No; for it is a creature; but I believe there is one. MIN. What is that which thou believest concerning the holy church? ANSW. I say that the church is considered two manner of ways, the one substantially, and the other ministerially. As it is considered substantially, by the holy catholic church is meant all the elect of God, from the beginning of the world to the end, by the grace of God through the merit of Christ, gathered together by the Holy Spirit, and foreordained to eternal life; the number and names of whom are known to him who has ejected them: and in this church remain none who are reprobate. But the church as it is considered according to the truth of the ministry, is the company of the ministers of Christ, together with the people committed to their Charge, using the ministry by faith hope and charity MIN. Whereby dost thou know the church of Christ? ANSW. By the ministers, lawfully called, and by the people participating in truth of the ministry. MIN. By what marks knowest thou the ministers? ANSW. By the true sense of faith, by sound doctrine, by a life of good example, by the preaching of the gospel, and due administration of the sacraments. MIN. By what mark knowest thou the false ministers? ANSW. By their fruits, by their blindness, by their evil works, by their perverse doctrine, and by their undue administration of the sacraments. MIN. Whereby knowest thou their blindness? ANSW. When not knowing the truth, which necessarily appertains to salvation, they observe human inventions as ordinances of God; of whom is verified what Isaiah saith, and which is alleged by our Lord Jesus Christ, Matthew 15: This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. MIN. By what mark knowest thou their evil works? ANSW. By those manifest sins of which the apostle speaks, Galatians 5: 21, saying, That they which do such things, shall not inherit the kingdom of God. MIN. By what marks knowest thou perverse doctrines? ANSW. When it teacheth contrary to faith and hope; such is idolatry of several sorts, viz. towards a reasonable, sensible, visible, and invisible creature; for, it is the Father alone, with the Son and the Holy Spirit, who ought to be worshipped, and not any creature whatsoever. But on the contrary, they attribute to man, and to the work of his hands, to his word, or to his authority, in such a manner, that men ignorantly believe that God is a debtor to man by their false religion, and satisfying the simony of the priests.

    PART MIN. By what marks is an undue administration Of the sacraments known? ANSW. When the priests not knowing the intention of Christ in the sacrament, say that the grace and truth is included in the external ceremonies, and persuade men to the participation of the sacrament without the truth, and without faith. But the Lord chargeth them that are his, to take heed of such false prophets, saying, Beware of the Pharisees, that is to say, the leaven of their doctrine. Again, Believe them not, neither go after them. And David hates the church or congregation of such persons, saying, I hate the congregation of evil men. And the Lord commands to come out from the midst of such people; Numbers 6: 16.

    Depart from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing of theirs, lest ye be consumed in their sins. And the apostle, 2 Corinthians 6: 14, Be not unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness, and what communion hath light with darkness, and what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing, and I will receive you.

    Again, 2 Thessalonians 3: 12. Now we command you brethren, that you withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly. Again, Revelation 18: 4. Come out of her my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. MIN. By what marks are those people known, who are not in truth within the church? ANSW. By public sins and an erroneous faith; for we ought to fly from such persons, lest we be defiled by them. MIN. By what way oughtest thou to communicate with the holy church? ANSW. I ought to communicate with the church in regard of its substance, by faith and charity, as also by observing the commandments, and by a final perseverance in well doing. MIN. How many things are there which are ministerial? ANSW. Two, the word and the sacraments. MIN. How many sacraments are there? ANSW. Two: namely, Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

    PART MIN. What is the third virtue necessary to salvation? ANSW. Hope. MIN. What is hope? ANSW. It is a certain expectation of the grace and glory to come. MIN. By what means do we hope for grace? ANSW. By the mediator Jesus Christ, of whom John saith, 1: 17. Grace comes Jesus Christ. Again, we hope for his glory, who is full of grace and truth. And we all have received of his fullness. MIN. What is that grace? ANSW. It is redemption, remission of sins, justification, adoption, and sanctification. MIN. By what means do we hope for grace in Christ? ANSW. By a living faith, and true repentance, saying, Repent ye and believe the Gospel. MIN. Whence proceedeth this hope? ANSW. From the gift of God, and the promises of which the apostle mentioneth, He is able to perform whatsoever he promiseth. For he hath promised himself, that whosoever shall know him and repent, and shall hope in him, he will have mercy upon, pardon, and justify, etc. MIN. What are the things that divert a man from this hope? ANSW. A dead faith, the seduction of antichrist, to believe in other things beside Christ; in saints, in the power of antichrist; in his authority, words, and benedictions, in sacraments, relics of the dead, purgatory, which are but things forged and contrived; in teaching that faith is obtained by those ways, which are opposite to the truth, and are against the commandments of God, as is idolatry in divers respects; as also by wickedness and simony, etc., forsaking the fountain of living water given by grace, and running to broken cisterns, worshiping, honoring, and serving the creature, by prayers, by fastings, by sacrifices, by donations, by offerings, by pilgrimages, by invocations, etc., relying upon themselves for the acquiring of grace, which none can give, save only God in Christ. In vain do they labor, and lose their money, and their lives. And the truth is, they do not only lose their present life, but also that which is to come; wherefore it is said that the hope of fools shall perish.

    PART MIN. And what dost thou say of the virgin Mary? For she is full of grace, as the angel testifies, I salute thee full of grace. ANSW. The blessed virgin was and is full of grace, as much as is necessary for her own particular, but not to communicate to others; for her Son alone is full of grace to bestow on others, as it is said of him, and we have all received of his fullness, grace for grace. MIN. Believest thou not the communion of saints? ANSW. I believe that there are two sorts of things wherein the saints communicate; the first substantial, the other ministerial: as to the substantials, they communicate by the Holy Spirit in God through the merit of Jesus Christ; as to the ministerials, or things ecclesiastical, they communicate by the ministry duly performed; namely, by the word, by the sacraments, and by prayer. I believe both the one and the other of these communion of saints. The first only in God, and in Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost, by the Holy Spirit, the other in the church of Christ. MIN. Wherein consists eternal life? ANSW. In a living and operating faith, and in perseverance in the same.

    Our Savior says, John 17: 3; This is life eternal, to know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent. And he that endures to the end shall be saved. 1

    CHAPTER - 3

    Brief Exposition of the Waldenses and Albigenses upon the Apostles’ Creed, the Ten Commandments, the Lord’s Prayer, and the Sacraments.


    WE must believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth, which God is one Trinity, as it is written in the law, Deuteronomy 6: 4:

    Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord. And the prophet Esay, I am Lord, and there is none other, neither is there any other God than I. And Paul in Ephesians 4: There is one Lord, one God, one faith, one baptism of us all. And John, 1 Epistles 5: 7: There are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and these three are one.

    And in the gospel by John it is said, 17: 11: That the Son and the Holy Ghost are one; when our Savior saith, that they may be one, as we are one.

    Again, we must believe, that this holy Trinity hath created all things visible, and that he is Lord of all things, celestial, terrestrial, and infernal, as it is said in John 1: 3: All things were made by him, and without him was not any thing made, that was made. And in the Revelations 4: 11:

    Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory; for thou hast created all things, the heaven, the earth, the sea, and the fountains of water. And the prophet David saith, And thou, O Lord, hast founded the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the works of thy hands. And again, the heavens are framed by the word of the Lord, and all the powers thereof, by the breath of his mouth. All these, and divers other testimonies and reasons drawn from the Scriptures, do affirm, that God created all things out of nothing, whatsoever they be.

    Again, we must believe that God the Father hath sent his Son from heaven unto earth; and that for our sakes he hath taken upon him our flesh, for our salvation, as the prophet Esay speaketh, chap. 7: 14. Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and his name shall be Emanuel, which is, God with us. And the Lord saith in the gospel, that this hath been accomplished, saying, I am come from my Father into the world; and again, I have left the world, and go to my Father. And again, John saith, chap. 1: 14: The Word was made flesh, and dwelt amongst us. And in the 1st epistle of John 5: 20: We know that the Son of God is come, and that he hath taken our flesh upon him for us, and is raised again from death for us, and hath given us understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life. Galatians 4: 4: When the fullness of time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law: who by the commandment of God the Father, and his own free will, was lifted up upon the altar of the cross, and crucified, and hath redeemed mankind with his own blood; which having accomplished, he arose from the dead the third day, having dispersed in the world a light everlasting, like a new sun; that is, the glory of the resurrection, and heavenly inheritance, which the said Son of God hath promised to give to all those who in faith serve him.

    For ascending up into heaven, the fortieth day after his resurrection, and the tenth day after his ascension, he sent the Holy Ghost from heaven to comfort his apostles, and to replenish the church with the same spirit. We must believe that the same God hath chosen to himself a glorious church, without spot or wrinkle, or such like thing, as Paul speaketh, to the end, it should be holy and undefiled, according to the commandments of the Almighty: Be ye holy, for I am holy. And in the fifth of Matthew, Be ye perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. For nothing that doth commit abomination, shall enter into the kingdom of God, but only they that are written in the book of life, as it is said in the Revelations.

    We must believe the general resurrection, of which our Savior speaketh in the gospel of John, the hour shall come, when all they that are in their graves shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they that have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment. And Paul saith in the first epistle to the Corinthians, that all shall arise, and all shall be changed. And Job saith, 19: 25, I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth; and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another, though my reins be consumed within me.

    We must believe the general judgment upon all the children of Adam, as the Scriptures both of the Old and New Testament do affirm, as our Savior promiseth in Matth. 25: 31: When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory, and before him shall be gathered all nations, and.he shall separate them from one another, as a shepherd divideth the sheep from the goats; and he shall set the sheep on his right hand, and the goats on his left. And Jude in his epistle,15: Behold the Lord cometh with ten thousand of his saints, to execute judgment upon all. And the prophet Esay saith, the Lord cometh in judgment with the ancients of his people, and with his young men also. These things are set down in the Old and New Testament; and especially the four evangelists and the prophets witness it in many places.

    II. EXPOSITION OF THE WALDENSES AND ALBIGENSES, UPON THE TEN COMMANDMENTS OF THE LAW OF GOD. 1. Lo premier Commandement de la ley de Dio esaquest. Non aures Dio straing devant mi, Exodus 20.

    Thou Shalt Have No Other Gods But Me All they that love the creature more than the Creator, observe not this commandment: That which every man honoureth and serveth more than God, that unto him is God. And therefore saith Chrysostom upon Matthew: The evil to which a man is a servant, to him it is a God. So that if any man shall say, I cannot tell whether I love more or less, God, or the thing which God forbids me to love; let him know, that what a man loves least in a case of necessity, is that which he is most willing to lose; and that which he loves, that he keepeth and preserveth. As it is the manner of merchants to do, if when they are in danger of drowning, they willingly cast their merchandise into the sea, to save their lives, they love their lives better than their merchandise. So think thou with thyself, that if upon any occasion, thou hadst rather lose thy temporal things, or receive any loss or hindrance in them, as in thy money, thy houses, thy cattle, thy wife, thy children, yea, thine own body, than commit any sin, by which thou must lose God, then doubtless thou lovest God note than all the things above mentioned. But on the contrary, if thou hadst rather sin, than lose these temporal things, then certainly thou dost adore and serve these things more than God, and thou art an idolator. And this doth our Savior affirm in the Gospel; saying, If any man come unto me and hateth not his father and his mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. All such offend against this commandment. 2. Tu ne to feras image taillec, etc.

    Thou Shalt Not Make To Thyself Any Graven Image, Etc.

    Thou shalt make thee no image, cut out of stone or wood, or any other thing, which may be cut into any figure or picture, or in any other manner whatsoever, that is in heaven above, as the angels, the sun, the moon, the stars; nor in the earth beneath, as men and other creatures, as the Egyptians do: nor in the waters, as the fish; for the Philistines served Dagon, which was an idol, which had a head like a fish: nor under the earth, as the devils, as they of Acheron, who worshipped Beelzebub.

    Thou shalt not worship them, by doing them outward reverence, nor serve them with inward devotion; neither shalt thou do any work that may tend to the honor and reverence of them. So he manifestly forbiddeth to make any graven image of any thing to the end to serve and adore it. And therefore it is wonderful, that there are some who frame to themselves figures and images, and attribute unto them by their ignorance, and against the commandment of God, the honor and reverence which belongeth to one only God. OBJEC. But there are some that say, images are laymen’s books, who not being able to read in books, may see upon a wall, which they cannot read. ANS. To whom we may answer; that which the Lord saith to his disciple, Matthew 5: Ye are the salt of the earth, the light of the world. For the life and conversation of the pastors ought to be the book of their flocks. And if a man should grant they are books, yet they are false and ill written. For if lay-people shall take example by those images and figures of the lives of saints, it is most certain it is impossible. For the virgin Mary was an example of humility, poverty, and chastity, and they adorn her, image with vestments of pride rather than of humility; so that the lay-people do not read in their habits humility, but pride and avarice, if they conform themselves to the said corrupted books, and ill written. For the priests and the people in these days are covetous, proud, and luxurious; and therefore they cause their images to be pictured like themselves. And therefore saith David, Thou thinkest foolishly, that I am like unto thee. Objec. But there are others who say, we worship the visible Images in honor of the invisible God. Ans. This is false. For if we will truly honor the image of God by doing good unto men, we serve and honor the image of God: for the image of God is in every man: but the resemblance or likeness of God is not in all, but only in those where the mind is pure, and the soul humble. But if we will truly honor God, we shall give place unto the truth; that is to say, we shall do good unto men that are made after the image of God: we do honor to God, when we give meat to those that hunger, drink to those that thirst, and clothes to those that are naked.

    And therefore, what honor do we give to God, when we serve him in a stock, or a stone? When we adore vain and empty figures, without souls, as if there were some divinity in them, and contemn man, who is tire true image of God. Chrysostom upon Matthew saith, that the image of God cannot be painted in gold, but figured in man. The money of Caesar is gold, but the money of God is man. And therefore if the Jews were commanded under the law, that they should destroy all the figures and images, and addict themselves to one only God; as it is writen in the first book of the Kings, but Samuel said to all the house of Israel, If you return to the Lord with all your hearts, and remove from you all your strange gods, and keep you heart unto the Lord, and serve him only, he will deliver you from the hands of the Philistines; much less then ought Christians to depend upon such signs and images, which the Jews did not; but they ought rather to lift up their affections unto Christ, who sitteth at the right hand of God. 3. Tu ne prendras point le nom du Signeur ton Dieu en vain, etc.

    Thou Shalt Not Take The Name Of The Lord Thy God In Vain, Etc.

    In this commandment we are forbidden to swear falsely, vainly, and by custom, as it is written, Leviticus 19. The man that is accustomed to swear shall be filled with iniquity, and the plague shall not depart from his house An oath confesseth God to know the truth, and it is to confirm a thing doubtful; for an oath is an act of God’s service, and therefore they who swear by the elements do sin. This is the reason why Christ Jesus forbiddeth us to swear by any thing, neither by the heaven, nor by the earth, or any thing else: but that our speech be yea, yea; and nay, nay; and whatsoever is otherwise, is sin. And James in the first chapter of his epistle saith; above all things my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath, lest ye fall into condemnation. 4. Souvienne toi du jour du repos.

    Remember To Keep Holy The Sabbath Day.

    They that will keep and observe the Sabbath of Christians, that is to say, sanctify the day of the Lord, must be careful of four things: the first is, to cease from all earthly and worldly labors: the second, not to sin: the third, not to be idle in regard of good works: the fourth, to do those things that are for the good and benefit of the soul. Of the first it is said; Six days shalt thou labor, and do all that thou hast to do but the seventh is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt do no manner of work. And in Exodus it is said, Keep my Sabbath, for it is holy; and he that polluteth it, shall die the death: and in the book of Numbers we read, that one of the children of Israel being seen to gather sticks upon the Sabbath day, he was brought unto Moses, who not knowing what course to take therein, the Lord said unto Moses; This man shall die the death, all the people shall stone him with stones, and he shall die. God would that his Sabbath should be kept with such reverence, that the children of Israel durst not gather manna thereon, when it was given them from heaven.

    The second thing which we are to observe is, to preserve ourselves from sin, as it is said in Exodus, Remember to sanctify the day of rest; that is, to observe it by keeping thyself carefully from sin. And therefore saith Augustin, It is better to labor and dig the earth upon the Lord’s day, than to be drunk or commit any other sins; for sin is a servile work, by which a man serves the devil. Again he saith, That it is better to labor with profit than to range and roam abroad idly. For the day of the Lord was not ordained to the end that a man should cease from worldly good works, and give himself unto sin; but to the end that he should addict himself to spiritual labors, which are better than the worldly, and that he repent himself of those sins he hath committed, the whole Sabbath throughout; for idleness is the schoolmaster of all evil. Seneca saith, It is a sepulcher of a living man.

    The fourth thing is, to do that which may be good and profitable to the soul, as to think on God, devoutly pray unto him, diligently to hear his word and commandments, to give thanks unto God, for all his benefits, to instruct the ignorant, to correct the erroneous, and to preserve ourselves from all sin, to the end, that the saying of Esay might be accomplished; Cease to do evil, learn to do well; for rest is not good, if it be not accompanied with good works.

    These commandments tell us, how we are to carry ourselves towards our neighbors. 5. Non sentent tant solament de la reverentia de fora, etc.

    Honor Thy Father And Thy Mother, Etc.

    We are not to understand these words, as if the question were only touching outward reverence, but also concerning matter of complement, and things necessary for them. And therefore we are to do what is enjoined in this commandment, from a sense of that honor which is due unto fathers and mothers: for we receive from them three excellent gifts; that is to say, our being, our nourishment, and instruction, which we are never able fully to recompense. The wise man saith, Honor thy father and forget not the sorrows of thy mother: remember that by them thou hast had thy being, render them a recompense answerable to the benefit they have bestowed upon you: and therefore having regard to that natural being, which we have received from our father and mother, we are to serve them in all humility and reverence, after a threefold manner. First, with all the power of our bodies; we are to support their bodies and yield them the service of our hands, as the wise man speaketh, He that fears God, will honor his father and his mother, and will serve them as his lords, that have begotten him.

    Again, we must serve our fathers and mothers with all our power, never debating or questioning with them, with hard and bitter speeches, but we must answer them humbly, and hearken lovingly to their reproofs, Proverbs 1: 8 My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother. He that shall curse his father or his mother, his lamp shall be put out in the midst of darkness. We must likewise honor them, by administering to them things necessary to this life. For fathers and mothers have nourished their children with their own flesh, their proper substance, and children nourish their parents with that which is without their flesh, it being impossible they should restore unto them those benefits they have received of them.

    Touching the instruction we have received of our parents, we must obey them in whatsoever shall tend to our salvation, and to a good end.

    Ephesians 6: l. Children obey your parents in the Lord for this is right. Of which obedience Christ hath given us an example, as it is in Luke 2: And he went down with them, and was obedient to his father and mother. And therefore honor first thy Father that hath created thee, then thy father that hath begotten thee, and then thy mother that hath borne thee, to the end, that thy days may be prolonged on the earth, and that persevering in that which is good, thou mayst pass out of this world to an everlasting inheritance. 6. En aquest commandement es desfen du specialment rhomicidi, etc.

    Thou Shalt Not Kill.

    Murder is especially forbidden in this commandment, but more generally to hurt our neighbor in any manner whatsoever, as with words, detractions, injuries or deeds, as to strike our neighbor. Of the first sort it is said, Matthew 5: 22, Whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause, shall be in danger of judgment. And James saith, 1: 20, The wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. Paul saith, Ephesians 4: Let not the sun go down upon thine anger. He that. is angry with his brother without a cause, is worthy of judgment, but not he that is angry upon just occasion. For if a man should not be angry sometimes, the doctrine were not profitable, neither would the judgment be discerned, nor sin punished.

    And therefore just anger is the mother of discipline, and they that in such a case are not angry sin. For that patience that is without reason, is the seed of vices; it nourisheth negligence, it suffereth not only the bad to swerve, but the good too; for when evil is corrected, it vanisheth. So that it is plain that anger is sometimes good when it is for the love of righteousness, or when a man is angry with his own sins or the sins of another man. Thus was Christ angry with the Pharisees. The other sort of auger is wicked, which proceedeth out of a desire of revenge, which is forbidden. Vengeance belongs unto me, saith the Lord, and I will revenge. 7. Lequal commandement defend tota non lieita cubititia, etc.

    Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery.

    This commandment forbids all unlawful lust and pollution of the flesh, as it is said in Matthew 5: He that looketh on a woman and lusteth after her, hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. And in Ephesians 5: it is said, This you know, that no whoremonger or unclean person nor covetous man, shall inherit the kingdom of God. Corinthians 6: 9, Be not deceived, neither fornicators nor unclean persons, shall inherit the kingdom of Heaven. Chapter 5: If any man that is called a brother be a fornicator or covetous, etc. eat not with such a one. Now as there is a corporal whoredom, so there is a spiritual, that is to say, when a man separateth himself from God. 8. En aquest commandement es deffendu total ment furt et fraud de cosas stragnas, etc.

    Thou Shalt Not Steal.

    In this commandment we are forbid all manner of theft, and all unlawful means to get unto ourselves the goods of another by fraud or avarice, injury or violence; for they are not only thieves that take the goods of another, but they that command them, that receive thieves into their houses, and that buy stolen goods, and make profit of them wittingly. All they that do such things, and shall consent thereunto, shall suffer equal punishment. Or if thou find anything, and restorest it not, thou hast robbed thy neighbor; for thou art bound to make restitution of that thou hast found. They that deprive their subjects of their goods and commodities, as lords used to do, imposing unjust charges and taxations, overburthening the poor by their wicked inventions, and if they refuse to do it, they imprison them and many times torment them even unto death, and so take from them their goods unjustly, they are thieves. Of these the prophet Isaiah speaketh, 1: 23; Thy princes are rebellious, and companions of thieves, and follow after reward. They are also thieves who detain the wages of the laborer by fraud. Of such it is said in Leviticus 19, The wages of him that is hired, shall not abide with thee all night until the morning. And as James speaketh, chapter 5, Ye that have heaped treasure together for the last days behold the hire of the laborers which have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth, and the cries of them which have reaped, have entered into the ears of the Lord of Hosts. They play the thieves who injure the commonwealth, as coiners; as also those who do it in their weights, number, value, and generally all such as falsify their weights and measures, and divers merchandise. These are all called robbers of the common good, and such, according to the law, are to be put to death in boiling oil. They are thieves that labor to get by fraud, that deceive men in their wares and merchandises, selling bad for good.

    Also gamesters, who invite others to gaming, who play out of avarice, the root of all evil, rapine, lying, vain and idle speeches, oaths, blasphemies against God, ill example, the loss of time. Thus, by playing, a man winds himself unjustly into the goods of another man. 9. En aquest commandement non es solament deffendu la mesogna, ma tota offensa, etc.

    Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness Against Thy Neighbor, Etc.

    In this commandment we are not only forbidden to lie, but all offenses that may be done unto our neighbors, by false or feigned words or works. For all such as love lying are the children of the devil; as also they that impeach the honor of their neighbor by lying, or bear false witness for the wicked. He that beareth false witness, saith Augustin, wrongs these three; first, God, whose presence is contemned; secondly, the judge, who is deceived by him that lieth; and thirdly, he wrongs the innocent party, who is oppressed by his false witness. All detractors sin against this commandment. A detractor or slanderer is compared to an open sepulcher, as David speaketh, Their mouth, it is an open sepulcher. There is no grave so loathsome unto God, as the mouth of a slanderer. And this was that, that made St. Ambrose to say that a thief is more to be borne with, than a detractor; for the one robbeth a man of his corporal substance only, the other, of his good name. The slanderer deserveth to be hated of God and man. The stroke of the whip maketh marks in the flesh, but the stroke of the tongue breaketh the bones. 10. En quest commandement es defendua la cubititia de tui li ben, etc.

    Thou Shalt Not Covet.

    In this commandment is forbidden the covetous desire of all goods, that is, of wife, servants, fields, vineyards, houses, etc. As also, the concupiscence of the eyes, and of the flesh. The lust of the flesh is like a running water, but the lust of the eyes is like earth, by reason of our earthly affections.

    And as of water and earth there is made a material dirt, so of concupiscence is made the spiritual dirt of the soul, which maketh a man odious unto God; hence ariseth the pride of life, which like a violent wind disquieteth the soul, and turneth this earthly lamp into dust. Aquesti son li dies commandement de la Ley, etc.

    These are the ten commandments of the law, whereof the first concern our duty towards God, the latter towards our neighbor. And whosoever will be saved must keep those commandments. Many excellent blessings are promised to those that keep those commandments, and to those that transgress them, many grievous and horrible maledictions; as Deuteronomy 28: If we truly acknowledge our sins, we know that we are far from God. For salvation is far from sinners, and the knowledge of sin bringeth us to repentance; for no man can repent, that knoweth not his sin.

    The first degree to salvation is the knowledge of sin; and therefore acknowledging our fault, we approach with confidence to the throne of the grace of God and confess our sins; for he is faithful and just to pardon our sins, and to cleanse us from all iniquity, and to bring us to the life of grace.



    Augustin being requested by a spiritual daughter of his, to teach her to pray, said; multitudes of words are not necessary in prayer. But to pray much is to be fervent in prayer. And therefore to be long in prayer is to present things necessary in superfluous words. To pray much is to solicit that we pray for with a seemingly decency, and affection of heart, which is better by tears than by words, because God, who seeth the secrets of our hearts, is more moved by a deep groan or sigh, with plaints and tears that come from the heart, than by a thousand words. But many there are in these days that resemble the pagans, to whom Christ would not have his disciples to be like; for they think and believe that they shall be the rather heard for their many words in their prayers; whereby it comes to pass that they lose much time under the pretense of prayer. Job saith, and besides experience makes it good, that a man is never in the same estate in this life, but he is now disposed to do one thing, and presently to do another. And therefore there is no man that can keep his mind, his spirit, bent attentive to prayer, a whole day or a whole night together, except God give the special assistance of his grace. And if a man hath not his heart settled upon that which he speaketh, he loseth his time, because he prays in vain, and his soul is troubled, and his mind wandering another way. And therefore God hath appointed to his servants other exercises, virtuous, spiritual and corporal, wherein a man may ordinarily exercise himself, sometimes in one, sometimes in another, either for themselves, or for their neighbors, having their hearts lifted up unto God, with all their power, in such sort, that they may not be idle; and therefore that man that lives well, according to the will of God, and the doctrine of his saints, prayeth always, for every good work is a prayer unto God. And as for this thou readest, know that all the prayers of the Old and New Testament do agree with this, and that no prayer can be pleasing unto God that hath not a reference some way or other unto this. And therefore a Christian ought to apply himself to understand and to learn this prayer, which Christ himself hath taught with his own mouth.

    Now it is necessary that he that is heard of God, be agreeable unto him, and know those benefits he hath received from him. For ingratitude is a wind that drieth up the fountain of the mercy and compassion of our God.

    And therefore if thou wilt pray, and ask anything at God’s hands, think with thyself before thou ask, what and how great benefits thou hast received from him. And if thou canst not call them all to mind, yet at the least beg that grace, that thou mayest be bold to call him Father. And think and know in how divers a manner he is thy Father; for he is the Father of all creatures in general; for he hath created them all. He is a Father by distribution; for he hath ordained them all, and disposed them all in his due place, as being very good. By preservation; for he hath preserved all creatures, that they fail not in their kind, among which his creatures, thou art one. And besides, he is the Father of mankind by redemption; for he hath bought him with the precious blood of his Son, the Lamb without spot. By instruction; for he hath taught him by his prophets, his Son, and by his apostles and doctors, and that in divers manners, the way to return into paradise, from whence we were driven by the sin of our first father, Adam. By chastisement; for he chastiseth and correcteth us in this life divers ways, to the end, we may return to him, and not be condemned eternally in another life. 1. Lo teo Nom fia sanctifca.

    Hallowed Be Thy Name.

    Thy name, amiable to Christians and formidable to the Jews. to pagans and to the wicked. Of this name saith the prophet, O Lord, thy name is admirable and wonderful. Our Father which art in heaven, we humbly beseech thee that thy name which is holy, be sanctified in us, by purity of heart, by the contempt of the flesh and the world; and that by an assured perseverance of thy love, we may be holy, as thy name is holy, which we bear, and by which we are called Christians; for which cause, let it be, and always dwell in us, that we may addict ourselves to holiness and righteousness. 2. Lo teo Regne vegne, Thy Kingdom Come.

    You must understand that God the Father hath two kingdoms, the one of glory, life eternal, the other of grace, the life Christian. And these two kingdoms are joined together in such manner, that betwixt them there is no middle, but the point of death. But according to the order of divine justice, the kingdom of grace is before the kingdom of glory. And therefore they that live in the kingdom of grace, by which we are to pass, if we will enter the kingdom of glory, without doubt, they shall reign in the kingdom of glory, and no man can. reign there by any other means. And therefore Christ our Lord saith unto his disciples, Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and the righteousness thereof; that is, the kingdom of grace and virtue; that is, of faith, hope and charity. But forasmuch as you cannot perform this of yourselves without the heavenly grace, beg it at God’s hands, saying, 0 our Father which art in heaven, Thy kingdom come; that is to say, the love of virtue and the hatred of the world. 3. La toa volunta sia faita, enaimi es faita en eel sia faitae en terra.

    Thy Will Be Done On Earth As It Is In Heaven.

    A man cannot effect, desire or do any better thing in this life, than to endeavor with all his wit and understanding, and with all his heart to do the will of God, as the angels do it in heaven. Now to do the will of God, is to renounce himself; that is to say, his own proper will, and to dispose and employ that which is in his own soul and heart, or that is without him in things temporal, according to the law of God, and the doctrine of the gospel of Christ Jesus, and to be well content with whatsoever it shall please God to do and permit, both in adversity and prosperity. Many there are who think they are to be excused because they know not the will of God; but these men deceive themselves: for the will of God is written, and plainly manifested and proved by the word of God, which they will not read or understand. And therefore saith the apostle, Romans 12: 2, Be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable and perfect will of God. And again, This is the will of God, even your sanctification. There is no work which is little, if it be done with a willing and fervent affection. And our Savior teaches his disciples, both by words and examples, that the will of God must be done, not theirs; saying, I am come into the world, not to do my will, but to do the will of my Father who hath sent me. Again, being near his passion, and seeing the torments of death which he was to endure, as he was man, he cried out, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; but yet not my will, but thy will be clone. To be brief, we must thus pray in all our affairs; O our Father which art in heaven, Thy will be done in us, of us, and by us in earth, as it is done by the angels in heaven, without idleness continually, without fault uprightly, without human desire, doing that which is good, leading a virtuous and pure life, obeying our superiors, and contemning the world. 4. Dona nos lo nostre pan quotidian enchoi.

    Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread.

    We may here understand two kinds of bread, corporal and spiritual. By corporal bread we are to understand our meats, and drinks, and clothings, and all things necessary for the body, without which we cannot live naturally. The spiritual bread is the word of God, the body of Christ, without which the soul cannot live. And of this bread Christ spake unto his disciples; Whosoever shall eat of this bread shall live eternally. And therefore it is the duty of every man to ask in all humility this bread at God’s hands, who can give it him, saying, O our Father, do us the grace and favor that we may obtain, by our just labor, the bread that is necessary for our bodies, and to use it with sobriety and measure, yielding Thee always thanks and praises, and that we may charitably bestow some part of what we gain to the poor. Moreover, we beseech Thee, that thou wilt be pleased so to deal with us, that we may use this bread with sobriety, to thy glory, and the good both of body and soul. For the prophet Ezekiel saith, chap. 16: 49, That fullness of bread, and abundance of bread, was the cause of the iniquities and abominations of Sodom, which were so great in the sight of God, that he sent down fire and brimstone to consume them. Whereupon, a certain learned father saith, that costly apparel, superfluity in diet, play, idleness, or sleep, fatten the body, nourish luxury, weaken the spirit, and lead the soul unto death; but a spare diet, labor, short sleep, poor garments, purify the soul, tame and subdue the body, mortify the lusts of the flesh, and comfort the spirit.

    The spiritual bread is the word of God. Of this bread the prophet speaketh, Thy bread quickeneth me; and Christ saith in the gospel, Verily, I say unto you, that the hour cometh when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and they that hear him shall live. And this is found true by this experience, that is, that many being dead in their sins, hearing the preaching of the word of God, have been quickened and raised by the said word of God, and betaken themselves to true repentance which giveth life.

    This bread of the word illuminateth the soul, according to that of David, Psalms. 69, 130, The entrance of thy word giveth light, it giveth understanding to the simple; that is to say, to the humble, to the end they may know what to believe and to do, what to fear, to fly, to love, to hope.

    This bread delighteth the soul more than honey or the honey-comb. And therefore saith the spouse, Cant. 2: 11, Let me hear thy voice, for sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance is comely. There is another spiritual bread; and that is the body and blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In the sacrament, they that receive it worthily, receive not only grace, but Christ the Son of God spiritually, in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom. 5. Pardonna a nos li nostre debit a pecca coma nos pardonnen ali nostra debitor o offenda dors.

    Forgive Us Our Trespasses As We Forgive Them That Trespass Against Us.

    It should not seem or be grievous to any man, to forgive his neighbor those offenses he hath committed against him. For, if all the offenses which have been or can be committed against any man in the world, were put into a balance, they would not weigh so much, being put all together, as the least offense committed against God; but the pride of man will not suffer men to think hereof, neither to pardon their neighbors, nor receive their pardon from God. But a good Christian suffereth, and gently pardoneth, beseeching God that he may not make requital according to the evil, his debtors, or such as have offended against him, deserve; and that he would give them grace to know their fault, and also true repentance, to the end they may not de damned. And the wrongs done unto him, he accounteth as dreams, in such manner, that he thinks not of repaying them according to their merits, nor desires to revenge himself, but to do them service, and to converse with them as before; yea, and with greater love than if they were brethren. And therefore he that out of the cruelty of his heart, will by no means forgive his enemy or debtor, cannot hope for pardon at God’s hand, but rather eternal damnation; for the spirit of God has spoken it, and it is true; He shall have judgment without mercy, that is not merciful to others.

    The affection and the will that thou hast towards thy debtor, is the same which God hath in his place and rank, and thou canst hope for no other. 6. Non nos amenar en tentation.

    And Lead Us Not Into Temptation.

    We are not to pray unto God, not to suffer us to be tempted: for the apostle Paul saith, None shall be crowned, but he that fighteth against the world, the flesh and the devil. And James saith, That he is blessed, that endureth temptation. For when he has passed his trial he shall receive a crown of life. And no man can resist the power of the devil, without the grace of God. We must therefore pray with all humility and devotion, and continual requests unto our heavenly Father, that we fall not into temptations, but so as that combating with them, we may get the victory, and the crown, by, and through his grace, which he hath prepared to give unto us. We are not to believe, that he doth sooner hear, or more willingly, the devil than the Christian; and according to that which the apostle Paul saith, God is faithful, who suffereth us not to be tempted above our power. 7. Mas desliora nos del mal, etc.

    But Deliver Us From Evil, Etc.

    That is to say, deliver us from a wicked will to sin; from the temporal and eternal pains of the devil, that we may be delivered from his infinite toils and trumperies. AMEN. This last word noteth unto us the fervent desire of him that prayeth, that that thing may be granted unto him that he asketh. And this word Amen, is as much as if he should say so be it, and it may be put after all our petitions. 4. THE DOCTRINE OF THE WALDENSES AND ALBIGENSES CONCERNING THE SACRAMENTS. Sacrament second lo dire de Saner Augustin, etc.

    A sacrament, according to the saying of Augustin, in his Book of the city of God, is an invisible grace, represented by a visible thing. Or a sacrament is the sign of a holy thing. There is a great difference betwixt the sacrament, and the cause of the sacrament, even as much as between the sign and the thing signified. For the cause of the sacrament is the divine grace, and the merit of Jesus Christ crucified, who is the raising of those that are filling. This cause of the sacrament, is powerfully, essentially, and authoritatively in God, and is in Jesus Christ meritoriously. For by the cruel passion and effusion of his blood, he hath obtained grace and righteousness unto all the faithful. But the thing itself of the sacrament, is in the soul of the faithful, by participation, as Paul speaketh; We have been made partakers with Christ. It is in the word of the gospel, by annunciation, or manifestation. In the sacraments, sacramentally. For the Lord Jesus hath lent, or given these helps of the outward sacraments, to the end, the ministers, instructing in the faith, should so accommodate themselves to human weakness, as that they might better edify the people, by the word of the gospel.

    There are two sacraments, the one of water, the other of nourishment; that is to say, bread and wine.

    The first is called Baptism; in our language, the washing with water, either with the river, or the fountain; and it must be administered, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, to the end, that first by means of the grace of God the Father, beholding his Son, and by the participation of Jesus Christ, who hath bought us, and by the renewing of the Holy Ghost, which imprinteth a lively faith in our hearts, the sins of those that are baptized, are pardoned, and they received into grace, and afterwards having persevered therein, are saved in Jesus Christ.

    The baptism wherewith we are baptized, is the same wherewith it pleased our Savior himself to he baptized, to fulfill all righteousness, as it was his will to be circumcised, and wherewith he commanded his apostles to be baptized.

    The things that are not necessary in baptism, are the exorcisms, the breathings, the signs of the cross upon the infant, either on the breast, or the forehead, the salt put into the mouth, the spittle into the ears and nostrils, the unction of the breast, the monk’s cowl, the anointing of the chrism upon the head, and divers the like things, consecrated by the prelate; as also the putting the taper in his hands, clothing it with a white vestment, the blessing of the water, the dipping of it thrice in the water.

    All these things used in the administration of the sacrament, are not necessary, they neither being of the substance, nor requisite in the sacrament of baptism; from which things, many take an occasion of error and superstition, rather than edification to salvation.

    Now this baptism is visible and material, which maketh the party neither good nor evil, as it appeareth in the Scripture, by Simon Magus, and Paul.

    And whereas baptism is administered in a full congregation of the faithful, it is to the end, that he that is received into the church, should be reputed and held of all, for a Christian brother, and that all the congregation might pray for him that he may be a Christian in heart, as he is outwardly esteemed to be a Christian. And for this cause it is, that we present our children in baptism; which they ought to do, to whom the children are nearest, as their parents, arid they to whom God hath given this charity.

    The Supper Of The Lord Jesus Christ.

    As baptism, which is taken visibly, is an enrollment into the number of faithful Christians, which carrieth in itself a protestation and promise to follow Christ Jesus, and to keep his holy ordinances, and to live according to his holy gospel: so the holy supper and communion of our blessed Savior the breaking of bread, and the giving of thanks, is a visible communion made with the members of Jesus Christ. For they that take, and break one and the same bread, are one and the same body, that is to say, the body of Jesus Christ; and they are members one of another, ingrafted and planted in him, to whom they protest and promise, to persevere in his service to their lives’ end, never departing from the faith of the gospel, and the union which they have all promised by Jesus Christ.

    And therefore as all the members are nourished with one and the same viands, and all the faithful take one and the same spiritual bread, of the word of life; of the gospel of salvation; so they all live by one and the same spirit, and one and the same faith.

    This sacrament of the communion of the body and blood of Christ, is called in Greek, Eucharistia; that is to say, good grace: of this Matthew testifieth in chapter 26, saying; Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to his disciples, and said, take, eat, this is my body. And Luke, chapter 22, This is my body which is given for you, this do in remembrance of me. Likewise he took the cup, and blessed it, saying, This cup is the New Testament in my blood which is shed for you.

    This sacrament was instituted by divine ordinance, perfectly to signify unto us, the spiritual nourishment of man in God; by means whereof the spiritual life is preserved, and without which it decayeth. The truth itself saying, If you eat not the flesh of the Son of man, nor drink his blood, there shall be no life in you. Concerning which sacrament, we must hold that which followeth, by the testimony of Scripture; that is, we must confess simply and in purity of heart, that the bread which Christ took at his last supper, which he blessed, broke, and gave his disciples to eat, that in the taking thereof, by the ministry of his faithful pastors, he hath left a remembrance of his passion, which in its own nature is true bread, and that by this pronoun, this, is demonstrated, this sacramental proposition; This is my body; not understanding these words identically, of a numeral identity, but sacramentally, really, and truly, but not measurably. The same body of Christ sitting in heaven at the right hand of his Father, unto whom every faithful receiver must lift up the eyes of his understanding, having his heart elevated on high, and so feed on him spiritually and sacramentally, by an assured faith. The same we are to understand of the sacrament of the cup.

    Augustin saith, That the eating and drinking of this sacrament, must be understood spiritually. For Christ saith, The words that I speak, are spirit and life. Jerom saith; The flesh of Christ is to be understood after a twofold manner, either spiritually, of which Christ saith, John 6: 55, My flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. Or it is to be understood of that flesh which was crucified and buried. Of the spiritual eating, Christ saith; He that shall eat my flesh, and drink my blood, is in me, and I in him. There is also a twofold manner of eating, one sacramental, and so both good and bad do eat; the other spiritual, and so the good only do eat. Therefore saith Augustin, what is it to eat Christ? It is not only to receive his body in the sacrament, for many do eat him unworthily, who will not dwell in him, nor have him to dwell in them; but he eats him spiritually, that continueth in the truth of Christ. To eat the sacramental bread, is to eat the body of Christ in a figure, Jesus Christ himself saying, nevertheless, as oft as you do this, you shall do it in remembrance of me. For if this eating were not figure, Christ should be always bound to such a thing, for it is necessary the spiritual eating should be continual: as Augustin speaketh; He that eateth Christ in truth, is he that believeth in him: for Christ. saith, that to bat him, is to dwell in him: in the celebration of this sacrament prayer is profitable, and the preaching of the word in the vulgar tongue, such as may edify, and is agreeable to the evangelical law, to the end, that peace and charity might increase amongst the people; but other things that are in use in these days in the church of Rome, and with those that are members thereof, belong not at all to the sacrament.

    CHAPTER - 4

    Ancient confession of sins, commonly used among the Albigenses and Waldenses. Translated out of their own language.

    O Dio de li Rey et segnor de li Segnor, yo me confesso alucar yo soy a quel peccador que lay mot offendu, etc.

    O God, King of kings, and Lord of lords, I make my confession unto thee, for I am a sinner which have grievously offended thee by my ingratitude.

    Excuse myself I cannot, for thou hast showed me both what is good and evil I have understood thy power, I have not been ignorant of thy wisdom, I have known thy justice, and tasted of thy goodness. And yet notwithstanding all the evil that I do, proceeds from my own naughtiness; Lord, pardon me, and give me repentance; for I have slighted thee by my great presumption, and have not believed thy wisdom, nor thy commandments, but have transgressed the same, for which I am heartily sorry. I have not feared thy justice nor thy judgments, but have committed many evils from the very beginning of my life; neither have I had that love to thy goodness, which I ought to have had, and as I was commanded; but I have too much complied with the devil, through mine own perverseness.

    I have delighted in pride rather than in humility. If thou dost not pardon me, I am utterly undone, so much is covetousness rooted in my heart, so much do I love avarice, and seek after applause, and bear so little love to those who have obliged me by their kindness. I say, if thou dost not pardon me, my soul must needs go down to perdition. Anger likewise reigns in my heart, and envy gnaws upon me, for I have no charity at all; Lord, pardon me for thy goodness’ sake. I am rash, slow to do good, but bold and industrious to do evil. Lord, grant of thy grace, that I may not be numbered among the wicked. I have not returned thee thanks as I ought, and as thou hast commanded, for the good which thou hast out of love given and bestowed upon me; yea, I have been disobedient through my haughtiness. Lord, pardon me, for I have not served thee, but on the contrary, I have offended thee. I have too much served mine own body, and mine own will, in many vain thoughts and wicked desires, wherein I have taken pleasure. I have blinded myself, and I have had many evil thoughts against thee, and have hunted after many things contrary to thy will. Have pity on me, and give me humility. I have cast mine eyes upon vain delights, and have seldom lifted them towards thy face. I have lent an ear to empty sounds, yea, and to many evil speakings; but to hear and to understand thy laws and statutes have been grievous and irksome to me. I have committed great faults as to my understanding, having taken more pleasure in the noisome sink of sin and evil, than in divine sweetness, and heavenly honor; having worshipped sin and taken more contentment therein, whereby I have committed many evils, and left undone much good: I have endeavored to conceal my own guilt, and lay it upon another.

    I have not been moderate as I ought to have been in my eating and drinking.! have often recompensed violence for violence, and therein taken immoderate pleasure; both my body and my mind are wounded. I have stretched forth my hands to take hold on vanity, and most perversely labored to gain another’s goods, and to smite my neighbor and do him an unkindness; yea, my heart hath been delighted in these things that I have mentioned, and much more in very many foolish and unprofitable objects:

    Lord, pardon me, and give me chastity. I have evilly employed the time, which thou hast given me, in vanity, and the days of my youth in pleasures. I have turned aside into by-paths, and by my lightness given an ill example to others. I find in myself no good, but much evil. I have displeased thee by my naughtiness, and have condemned mine own soul, and have slandered my neighbor. Lord, preserve me from condemnation. I have loved my neighbor, only because of my temporal interest and advantage. I have not behaved myself faithfully in matters of giving and receiving, but have have had respect to persons, according to my affection.

    I have too much loved the one and hated the other. I have rejoiced at the prosperity of the good, and been too much delighted with the adversity of the wicked. And over and above all the evils which I have committed from the time past, to this present moment, I have not had a repentance or a remorse proportionable to the offense. I have oftentimes by my transgression returned to the same sin, which I had confessed, for which I am exceedingly grieved. Lord God, thou knowest that I have not confessed, and that there are yet many evils in me, which I have not reckoned, but thou knowest the evil thoughts and all the evil words, and all the perverse actions which I have been guilty of: Lord, pardon me, and give me space to repent in this present life, and grant me of thy grace, that for the future I may hate those evil things, and commit them no more; as likewise that I may love that which is good and preserve it in my heart.

    That I may love thee above all things, and that I may fear thee in such a manner that at the day of my death, I may have done that which is acceptable unto thee. And give me such a firm hope concerning the day of judgment, that I may not fear the devil, nor any other thing that may affright me; but that I may be received at thy right hand without spot or blemish. Lord, accomplish all this according to thine own good pleasure, for Christ’s sake.AMEN.

    CHAPTER - 5

    Opinion of the Waldenses and Albigenses concerning Marriage.

    MARRIAGE is holy, being instituted of God in the beginning of the world.

    And therefore it is an honorable thing when it is kept as it ought, in all purity, and when the husband, who is the head of the wife, loves her, and keeps her, and carrieth himself honestly towards her, being faithful and true to her: and that the woman for her part, who is made to be a help to man, be subject to her husband, obey him in whatsoever is good, and honoring him as God hath commanded her, taking care of his houshold affairs, keeping herself not only from ill-doing, but from all appearance of evil, continuing faithful unto him, and both of them persevering in doing that which is good, according to the will of God, taking pains together, to get their living by honest and lawful means, wronging no man, and instructing those children which God hath given them, in the fear and doctrine of the Lord, and to live as our Lord hath commanded them.

    Prayer and fasting is profitable, when there is question of the celebration of matrimony, and the reasons, and instruction, and advertisements touching the same. But the imposition of hands, and the ligatures made with the priest’s stole, and other things commonly observed therein, by custom, without the express word, are not of the substance, nor necessarily required in marriage.

    As touching the degrees prohibited, and other things that are to be observed in matter of matrimony, we shall speak when we come to the discipline.

    CHAPTER - 6

    Instructions of the Waldenses and Albigenses respecting the visitation of the sick . E1 besogna que aquel que porte la Parola de Dio lo nostre Segnor en tota deligenza, etc.

    IT is necessary that he that is the messenger of the word of God, should invite and draw every one to our Lord and Savior, with all labor and diligence, both by the good example of his life, and the truth of his doctrine. And it is not sufficient that he teach in the congregation, but also in their houses, and all other places, as Christ and his apostles have done before him, comforting the afflicted, and especially those that are sick. He must admonish them, touching the great bounty and mercy of God, showing that there can proceed nothing but what is good from him that is the fountain of all goodness; and that he who is Almighty is our merciful father, more careful of us than ever father or mother are of their children; telling them that though a mother may forget her child, and the nurse him to whom she hath given suck, and which she hath borne in her womb; yet notwithstanding our Heavenly Father will not forget us, doing all things for our benefit, and sending all things for our greater good; so that if it were more expedient for us to enjoy our health, we should have it. And therefore we are to submit our wills to his will, and our lives to his conduct and direction, and assuredly believe that he loveth us, and out of his love chastiseth us. Neither must we respect the grief and poverty we endure, nor think that God hateth us, and casts us off; but rather we must think that we are the more in his grace and favor, nothing regarding those that flourish in the world, and have here their consolation, but looking upon Christ Jesus, more beloved of his Father than any other; who is the true Son of God, and yet hath been more afflicted than we all, and more tormented than any other. For not only that bitter passion which he suffered, was very hard and grievous to him, but much more in regard, that in the midst of his torment, every one cried out against him like angry dogs, belching out many villainous speeches, doing against him the worst they could, in such sort, that he was constrained to cry out in his torments, My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me? and finding the hour of his passion to draw near, he found himself heavy unto the death and prayed unto his Father that that cup might pass from him; insomuch that he did sweat water and blood, because of that great heaviness and anguish of heart which he should endure in this cruel death.

    And therefore the sick man must consider with himself, that he is not so ill-handled, nor so grievously tormented as his Savior was, when he suffered for us; for which he is to yield thanks unto God, that it hath pleased him to deliver us, and to give this good Savior unto the death for us, begging mercy and favor at his hands, in the name of Jesus. And it is necessary that we have withal this perfect confidence and assurance, that our Father will forgive us for his goodness sake. For he is full of mercy, slow to anger, ready to forgive.

    And therefore the sick party must recommend and commit himself wholly unto the mercy of his Lord, to do with him as shall seem good in his eyes, and to dispose of him, body and soul, according to his good will and pleasure. Also it will be necessary to admonish the sick person to do unto his neighbor, as he would have his neighbor do unto him; not wronging any man, and to take such order with all that are his, that he may leave them in peace, that there may not be any suits or contentions amongst them after his death.

    He must be exhorted to hope for salvation in Jesus Christ, and not in any other, or by any other thing, acknowledging himself a miserable sinner, to the end he may ask pardon of God, finding himself to be in such a manner culpable, that he deserveth of himself eternal death. And if the sick party should be stricken with a fear of the judgment of God, and his anger against sin and sinners, he must put him in mind of those comfortable promises which our Savior hath made to all those that come unto him, and from the bottom of their heart call upon him; and how God the Father hath promised pardon, whensoever we shah ask it in the name of his Son, and our Savior Jesus Christ. These are the things wherein the true preacher of the word ought faithfully to employ himself to conduct the party visited to his Savior.

    And when he is departing this life, he must give heart and courage to the survivors, by godly exhortations, to the end they may be comforted to praise God, and to conform themselves to his holy will. And whereas in former times it hath been the custom and manner to cause the poor and disconsolate widow to spend much money, having lost her husband, upon singers and ringers, eaters and drinkers, whilst she sits weeping and fasting, wronging thereby her fatherless children; to the end, that one loss be not added to another, it is our duty, taking pity on them, to aid them with our counsel, and with our goods, according to that ability that God hath bestowed on us, taking care that the children be well instructed, to the end, that living like Christians, according to the will of God, they may labor to get their living, as God hath ordained and commanded.

    CONCLUSION OF THE DOCTRINAL PART By that which is contained in this book, and what hath been faithfully gathered out of the books of the Waldenses left unto us, it appeareth that the doctrine which they maintain in these days, who make profession of reformation, hath been maintained by them, many ages before they that are enemies thereto would take notice of it, there being nothing in all that is delivered, that doth either repugn the word of God, or is not altogether conformable to that which is taught in the reformed churches. For the Waldenses and Albigenses have known the necessity of instructing their children, by making use of such familiar catechisms as have been practiced in the primitive church. They have confessed their sins to one only God, with terms of true humility, proofs of zeal, and a holy confidence in the mercy of God, by his Son and our Savior, Jesus Christ. They have acknowledged the law of God for the only rule of their obedience, and confessing themselves to fall far short of that perfection, which ought to be in us, to appear unblameable before the face of God, from their imperfection they have taken occasion to have recourse to the only true righteousness of the Son of God, our Redeemer, the law being as a lookingglass to make them know their status and blemishes, and to send them to Christ Jesus, the true laver or washing-pool. They have called upon God in their necessities, by and through one only Jesus Christ our savior. They have received the sacraments with faith and repentance, and without alteration. They have entered the state of matrimony as ordained by God, holy and honorable: and finally, they have not been ignorant with what charity they were to comfort, and to visit, and to exhort their sick, and such as are in any adversity. And what hath there been in all these, that for these things they should be condemned to death as heretics? especially seeing that with the goodness and purity of their doctrine they have lived religiously under a holy discipline. — “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” Luke 21: 23.

    CHAPTER - 7

    The discipline under which the Waldenses and Albigenses lived.

    Extracted out of divers authentic manuscripts: written in their own language several hundreds of years before Luther and Calvin.


    DISCIPLINE contains in itself all moral doctrine, according to the institution of Christ and his apostles, showing after what manner every one ought to live in his vocation by faith, and to walk worthily in true holiness and righteousness. There are many instructions in the book of God touching this discipline, showing not only how every man ought to live in his own particular estate, of what age or condition soever he be; but also what must be that union, content, and bond of love, in the communion of the faithful.

    And therefore if any man desire the knowledge of these things, let him read what the apostle hath said in his Epistles, and he shall find it there at large set down; and especially in what manner every one is bound to keep himself in unity, and to walk in such sort, that he be not a scandal, and an occasion of falling to his neighbor, by wicked words and actions; and in what manner he is bound, not only to fly from what is evil, but also the occasions of evil; and whensoever any man hath failed therein, how he may be reformed, and come to amendment of life.

    By many such general instructions, the reclaimed people, newly brought unto the faith, must be taught, to the end, that they may walk worthily in the house of the Lord, and that they make not his house a den of thieves, by their profane, wicked conversation and toleration of evil. 2. — PASTORS.

    All they that are to be received as pastors among us, while they are yet with their own people, they are to entreat ours, that they would be pleased to receive them to the ministry, and to pray unto God, that they may be made worthy of so great an office: and this they are to do, thereby to give a proof and evidence of their humility.

    We also appoint them their lectures, and set them their task, causing them to learn by heart all the chapters of St. Matthew and St. John, and all the Epistles that are canonical, a good part of the writings of Solomon, David, and the prophets.

    And afterwards having produced good testimonials, and being well approved for their sufficiency, they are received with imposition of hands into the office of teachers.

    He that is admitted in the last place, shall not do any thing without the leave and allowance of him that was admitted before him: and also, he that is first, shall do nothing without the leave of his associate, to the end, that all things with us may be done in order.

    Diet and apparel is given unto us freely, and by way of alms, and that with good sufficiency, by those good people whom we teach.

    Among other powers and abilities which God hath given to his servants, he hath given authority to choose leaders to rule the people, and to ordain elders in their charges, according to the diversity of the work, in the unity of Christ, which is proved by the saying of the apostle, in the first chapter of his Epistle to Titus: “For this cause have I left thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I have appointed thee.” When any one of us, the aforesaid pastors, falls into any gross sins, he is both excommunicated, and prohibited to preach. 3. — INSTRUCTION OF YOUTH.

    Children born of carnal parents, must be made spiritual towards God, by discipline and instruction, as it is said in Ecclus. 30: “He that loveth his son, causeth him to feel the rod, that he may have joy of him in the end, and that he knock not at the door of his neighbor. He that chastiseth his son, shall have joy in him, and shall rejoice of him among his acquaintance.

    He that teacheth his son, grieveth his enemy, and before his enemy he shall rejoice of him. Though his father die, yet he is as if he were not dead; for he hath left one behind him that is like unto himself: Whilst he lived, he saw and rejoiced in him; and when he died, he was not sorrowful; for he left behind him one that will uphold his house against his enemies, and one that shall requite kindness to his friends.” Instruct thy son in the fear of the Lord, and in the ways of God’s laws, and in the faith. Despair not of thy child when he is unwilling to receive correction, or if he prove not speedily good; for the laborer gathereth not the fruits of the earth as soon as it is sown; but he attends a fitting time.

    A man must also have a careful eye over his daughters. Hast thou daughters? Keep them within, and see they wander not. For Dinah, the daughter of Jacob, was corrupted by being seen of strangers. 4. — CONCERNING THE ELDERS, THE DISTRIBUTION OF ALMS, AND ECCLESIASTICAL ASSEMBLIES.

    We choose amongst the people rulers, and elders, according to the diversity of their employment, in the unity of Christ. According to that of the apostle in his first Epistle to Titus; “I have left thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I have appointed thee.” The money that is given for the relief of the people, is by us carried to the aforesaid assembly, and is there delivered for the common use, in the presence of all, and afterwards taken by those that are in authority; and part of that money is given to those that are to travel any long journeys, to employ as they shall think fit, and part unto the poor.

    Our pastors do call assemblies once every year, to determine of all affairs in a general synod. 5. — ECCLESIASTICAL CORRECTION.

    Corrections are to be used, to retain men in awe, to the end, that they that are not faithful, may be punished and separated either for their wicked life, or erroneous belief, or their want of charity, or any of those evils, which may be possibly all found together in one particular person. Now that it is necessary to use such corrections, the Lord Jesus Christ teacheth us, saying; “If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him betwixt thee arid himself; and if he repent, forgive him,” Luke 17: The apostle confirmeth the same, saying to the Galatians, “If a man be taken in any sin, you that are spiritual, instruct such an one in the spirit of meekness.”

    But forasmuch as all receive not those corrections in love, our Lord teacheth our spiritual guides what course they should take in this case, saying, “But if he hearken not unto thee, take with thee one or two; for in the mouth of two or three, shall every word be established.” Our Lord’s meaning is, if the fault be not public, and known to many. But not so if the sin be manifest and made known to every one: for in such a case, the chastisement must be made manifest too. The apostle telleth us as much in the first of Tim. 5: 20. “Them that sin, rebuke before all, that others may fear.” 6 — EXCOMMUNICATION But when such will not amend their lives by any of those admonitions, nor leave their wicked ways, Christ teacheth us what we are to do against such: “If they will not hearken thereunto, tell the church,” that is to say, the guides, whereby the church is ruled and preserved, that he may be punished, especially for contumacy; this the apostle confirmeth, Corinthians 5: 3, 11. “I verily as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of the Lord Jesus Christ. If any man that is called a brother, be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner, I say, eat not with any that is such a one, but put away that wicked person from amongst you. If there be any one that will not obey our word, mark that man by an epistle, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed; yet count him not an enemy, but admonish him as a brother;” as our Savior saith, “let him be unto thee as a pagan, or a publican;” that is to say, let him be deprived of all aid of the church, and of the ministry, and the fellowship and union of the church. 7. — MARRIAGE.

    Marriages are to be made according to the decrees permitted by God, but not according to those he hath forbidden; but we are to make no scruple of conscience of those of the pope, though a man hath paid him no money for a dispensation. For that which God hath not forbidden, may be done without the pope. The band of holy matrimony must not be made without the consent of the parents of both parties; for children belong to their parents. 8. — EXCESS AND DISORDERS WHICH ARE COMMONLY COMMITTED IN TAVERNS.

    A tavern is the fountain of sin, the school of the devil; it works wonders fitting the place. It is the manner of God, to show his power in the church, and to work miracles, that is to say, to give sight to the blind, to make the lame go, the dumb to speak, the deaf to hear; but the devil doth quite the contrary to all this in a tavern: for when a drunkard goeth to a tavern, he goeth uprightly; but when he cometh forth, he cannot go at all, and he hath lost his sight, his hearing, and speech. The lectures that are read in this school of the devil are, gluttonies, oaths, perjuries, lyings, and blasphemies, and divers other villanies. For in a tavern are quarrels, slanders, contentions, murders; and tavern-keepers that suffer them, are partakers of their sins, and that wickedness they commit. For certainly if any should offer to speak as reproachfully of their parents, as they suffer men to speak of God, and the glorious virgin, and the saints in paradise, and all for a little gain, by the sale of their wine, they would never suffer them so quietly to abide in their houses. And therefore it is said in Ecclesiasticus, “that the tavern-keeper shall not be freed from sin.” 9. — DANCING.

    A dance is the devil’s procession, and he that entereth into a dance, entereth into his possession. The devil is the guide, the middle, and the end of the dance. As many paces as a man maketh in dancing, so many paces doth he make towards hell. A man sinneth in dancing divers ways, as in his pace, for all his steps are numbered; in his touch, his ornaments; in his hearing, sight, speech, and other vanities. And therefore we will prove first by the Scripture, and afterwards by divers other reasons, how wicked a thing it is to dance. The first testimony that we will produce, is that which we read in the gospel, Mark 6: It pleased Herod so well, that it cost John the Baptist his life. The second is in Exodus 32: When Moses coming near to the congregation, saw the calf and the dancing, “He cast the tables from him, and brake them at the foot of the mountain,” and afterwards it cost three and twenty thousand their lives. Besides, the ornaments which women wear in their dances, are as so many crowns, signifying their several victories, which the devil hath gotten against the children of God.

    For the devil hath not only one sword in the dance, but as many as there are beautiful and well adorned persons in the dance. For the words of a woman are a glittering sword. And therefore that place is much to be feared, where the enemy hath so many swords, since that one only sword of his may be feared. Again, the devil in this place, strikes with a sharpened sword; for the women come not willingly to the dance, except they are painted and adorned; the which painting and ornament is a grindstone, upon which the devil sharpeneth his sword. They that deck and adorn their daughters, are like those that put dry wood to the fire, to the end, that it may burn the better: for such women kindle the fire of luxury in the hearts of men; as Sampson’s foxes fired the Philistines’ corn, so these women have fire in their faces, and in their gestures and actions, their glances and wanton words, by which they consume the goods of men. The devil in the dance useth the strongest armor that he hath, for his most powerful arms are women, which is made plain to us, in that the devil made choice of the woman to deceive the first man; so did Balsam, that the children of Israel might be rejected. By a woman he made Sampson, David, and Absalom to sin. The devil tempteth men by women, three manner of ways; by the touch, by the eye, and by the ear: by these three means he tempteth foolish men to dancings, by touching their hands, beholding their beauty, and hearing their songs and music. Agaia, they that dance, break that promise and agreement which they have made with God in baptism, when their godfathers promised for them, that they shall renounce the devil and all his works; for dancing is the pomp of the devil, and he that danceth, maintaineth his pomp, and singeth his mass. For the woman that singeth in the dance, is the prioress of the devil; arid those that answer, are the clerks; and the beholders, are the parishoners; and the music, are the bells; arid the fiddlers, the ministers of the devil. For, as when hogs are strayed, if the hog-herd calls, all assemble themselves together: so the devil causeth one woman to sing in the dance, or to play upon some instrument, and immediately all the dancers gather together.

    Again, in a dance, a man breaks the Ten Commandments of God. As first, “Thou shalt have no other gods but me,” etc. For in dancing, a man serves that person whom he most desires to serve. Arid therefore saith Jerom, “every man’s god is that he serves and loves best.” He sins against the second commandment, when he makes an idol of that he loves. Against the third, in that oaths are frequent amongst dancers. Against the fourth, for by dancing the Sabbath day is profaned. Against the fifth, for in the dance, the parents are many times dishonored, when many bargains and compacts are made, without their counsel and advice. Against the sixth, a man kills in dancing; for every one that standeth to please another, he killeth the soul, as often as he persuadeth to lust. Against the seventh, for the party that danceth, be it male or female, committeth adultery with the party they lust after; “For he that looketh on a woman, and lusteth after her, hath already committed adultery in his heart.” Against the eighth commandment, a man sinneth in dancing, when he withdraweth the heart of another from God.

    Against the ninth, when in dancing he speaks falsely against the truth.

    Against the tenth, when women affect the ornaments of others, and men covet the wives, daughters, and servants of their neighbors.

    A man may prove how great an evil dancing is, by the multitude of sins that accompany those that dance; for they dance without measure or number. And therefore saith Augustin, the miserable dancer knows not, that as many paces as he makes in dancing, so many leaps he makes to hell. They sin in their ornaments after a five-fold manner. First, by being proud thereof. Secondly, by inflaming the hearts of those that behold them. Thirdly, when they make those ashamed that have not the like ornaments, giving them occasion to covet the like. Fourthly, by making women importunate, in demanding the like ornaments of their husbands.

    Fifthly, when they cannot obtain them of their husbands, they seek to get them elsewhere by sin. They sin by singing and playing on instruments; for their songs bewitch the hearts of those that hear them, with temporal delight, forgetting God, uttering nothing in their songs but lies and vanities: and the very motion of the body which is used in dancing, gives testimony enough of evil.

    Thus you see, that dancing is the devil’s procession, and he that entereth into a dance, enters into the devil’s possession. Of dancing, the devil is the guide, the middle, and the end; and he that entereth a good and a wise. man into the dance, cometh forth a corrupt and wicked man. Sarah, that holy woman, was none of those. 10. — AFTER WHAT MANNER A MAN MUST CONVERSE WITH THOSE THAT ARE WITHOUT.

    Not to love the world. To fly evil company. If it be possible, to have peace with all. Not to contend in judgment. Not to revenge. To love our enemies. To be willing to suffer labors, slanders, threats, contempts, injuries, and all manner of torments, for the truth. To possess our weapons in peace. Not to be coupled in one yoke with infidels. Not to communicate with the wicked in their evil ways, and especially with those that smell of idolatry, referring all service thereunto, and so of other things. 11. — IN WHAT MANNER THE FAITHFUL OUGHT TO RULE THEIR BODIES.

    Not to serve the mortal desires of the flesh. To keep their members, that they be not members of iniquity. To rule their outward senses. To subject the body to the soul. To mortify their members. To fly idleness. To observe a sobriety and measure in their eating and drinking, in their words, and the cares of this life. To do the works of mercy. To live a moral life by faith. To fight against the desires. To mortify the works of the flesh. To give themselves in due time to the exercise of religion. To examine diligently the conscience. To purge, and amend, and pacify the spirit.

    CHAPTER - 8

    Treatise on the Old Waldenses and Albigenses, concerning Antichrist, Purgatory, Invocation of Saints, and the Sacraments. 1. — ANTICHRIST.

    This book of Antichrist is an old manuscript, wherein there are many sermons of the pastors, dated 1220, and therefore written before Waldo, and about the time of Peter Bruis, who taught in Languedoc, where he was burnt at St. Giles, before Waldo departed from Lyons. This treatise was afterwards preserved by the Waldenses of the Alps. 1. Antichrist is a falsehood, worthy of eternal damnation, covered with an outward appearance of the truth, and the righteousness of Christ and his spouse, opposite to the way of truth, righteousness, faith, hope, and charity, as likewise to the moral life; and also the ministerial verity of the church, administered by the false apostles, and obstinately defended by both powers, ecclesiastical and secular: or antichrist is a delusion, which hides the truths necessary to salvation, both in things substantial and ministerial: or it is a fraudulent contradiction to Christ and his spouse, and every faithful member thereof. It is not any special person ordained in any degree, or office, or ministry; but it is that falshood itself, which opposeth itself against the truth, which covereth and adorneth itself with a pretense of beauty and piety, not suitable to the church of Christ, as by the names, and offices, and scriptures and sacraments, and divers other things, may appear. That iniquity that is after this manner, with all the ministers thereof, great and small, with all those that follow them with a wicked heart, and hoodwinked eyes; this congregation I say, thus taken all together, is called antichrist, or Babylon, or the fourth beast, or thee whore, or the man of sin, or the son of perdition.

    His ministers are called false prophets, lying teachers, the ministers of darkness, the spirit of error, the apocalyptical whore, the mother of fornication, clouds without water, trees without leaves, dead, and twice rooted up, waves of a troublesome sea, wandering stars, Balaamites and Egyptians.

    He is called antichrist, because being covered and adorned under the color of Christ, and of the church, and the faithful members thereof, he oppugneth the salvation purchased by Christ, and truly administered in the church of Christ, whereof the faithful are partakers by faith, hope, and charity. Thus he contradicteth the truth by the wisdom of the world, by false religion, by counterfeited holiness, by ecclesiastical power, secular tyranny, riches, honors, dignities and the delights and delicacies of the world.

    And therefore let every one take notice thereof, that antichrist could not come in any wise, but all these things above mentioned must needs meet together, to make a complete hypocrisy and falsehood; that is to say, the worldly wise, the religious orders, pharisees, ministers, doctors, the secular power, with the people of the world joined together. And thus all of them together make up the man of sin and error complete; for notwithstanding antichrist was long since conceived in the apostles’ times, yet he was then in his infancy, and wanted members both inward and outward. And therefore he was the more easily known and destroyed, and excommunicated, as being but rude and raw, and as yet wanting utterance.

    For he was then destitute of rational, definitive, decretive, or determinative wisdom; he wanted as yet those hypocritical ministers, and human ordinances, and the outward show of those religious orders. And therefore, though he were fallen away into that error and sin, yet he had then wherewith to cover his villany, or the shame of his errors, or of that sin, having yet none of those riches nor endowments, whereby to allure to himself any minister for his service, or to be enabled to multiply, preserve, or defend his adherents; for he wanted the secular strength and power, and could not force, nor compel any from the truth unto falsehood. And because he wanted many things yet, therefore he could not defile nor scandalize any by his deceits; and thus being so weak and tender, he could obtain no place in the church. But growing up in his members, that is to say, in his blind and dissembling ministers, and in worldly subjects, he at length became a complete man, grew up to his full age, to wit, then when the lovers of the world, both in church and state, blind in faith, did multiply in the church, and get all the power into their hands. And so it came to that pass, that as evil as they were, they would be sought unto, and honored in spiritual matters, covering their authority, malice, and sins; for which end they made use of the worldly wise, and of their pharisees, in manner aforesaid. For it is a great wickedness to cover and color iniquity, worthy of excommunication, and go about to establish one’s self by such means, as cannot be attributed to men, but belongs to God alone, and to Jesus Christ as mediator. And for men to deprive God of such and such things, by fraud and usurpation, and to arrogate the same unto themselves, and their works, appears to be the greatest felony; as when one doth attribute to himself the power of regeneration, of pardoning sins, of dispensing the gifts of the Holy Ghost, and to represent Christ, and such like matters: and in all these things, to cover themselves with the cloak of authority and the word, thereby deceiving silly people, who follow the world in such things that are of the world, separating themselves from God and the true faith, and from the reformation of the Holy Spirit, withdrawing themselves from true repentance, pious practice, and perseverance in goodness, and turning their backs upon charity, patience, poverty, and humility; and that which is worst of all, they forsake the true hope, and rely on all evil, and on the vain hope of the world, serving all those ceremonies instrumental hereunto, and deceitfully causing the people to commit idolatry, with all the idols of the world, under the name of saints and relics, and their worship; inasmuch that the people perniciously erring from the way of truth, and being persuaded they serve God, and do well, are stirred up to hate, and to be enraged against those that love the truth, even to murder so many of them; so that according to the apostle, we may truly say, this is that man of sin complete, that lifts up himself against all that is called God, or worshipped, and that setteth himself in opposition against all truth, sitting down in the temple of God; that is in his church, and showing forth himself as if he were God, being come with all manner of deceivableness for those that perish. And since he is truly come, he must no longer be looked for, for he is grown old already by God’s permission; nay, he begins even to decay, and his power and authority is abated; for the Lord doth already kill the wicked one, by the spirit of his mouth; by divers persons of good dispositions, sending abroad a power contrary to his, and those that love him, and which disturbeth his place and his possessions, and puts division into that city of Babylon, wherein the whole generation of iniquity doth prevail and reign. 2. What Are The Works Of Antichrist ? — The first work of antichrist is, to take away the truth, and to change it into falsehood, error, and heresy. The second work of antichrist is, to cover falsehood over with a semblance of truth, and to assert and maintain lies by the name of faith and graces, and to dispense falsehood intermingled with spiritual things unto the people under his subjection, either by the means of his ministers, or by the ministry, or any other ways relating to the church. Now it is certain, these two ways of proceeding do contain so perfect and complete a wickedness, the like no tyrant, and no power in the world, were ever able to compass since the creation, until the time of antichrist. And Christ had never any enemy yet like this, so able to pervert the way of truth into falsehood, and falsehood into truth, and who in like manner did pervert the professors of the one or the other, viz. of truth, and of falsehood; insomuch that the holy mother the church, with her true children, is altogether trodden under foot, especially in the truth, and in what concerneth the true worship, in the truth, and in the ministry, and the exercise thereof, and the children partaking thereof, which causeth her to weep bitterly, in the language and complaint of Jeremiah, saying, “Ah! how desolate art thou, O city of the heathen people, and uncircumcised? she is become a widow;” namely, being destitute of the truth of her bridegroom; lady of people, by reason of the subjection to errors, and to sin; princess of provinces, by partaking with the world, and the things that are in the world. Weep, and look but abroad a little, and thou shalt find those things now accomplished at this time; for the holy church is accounted a synagogue of miscreants, and the congregation of the wicked is esteemed the mother of them that rightly believe in the word. Falsehood is preached up for truth, iniquity for righteousness; injustice pusseth for justice, error for faith, sin for virtue, and lies for verity. 3. What Are The Works That Proceed From These First Works?. — These: the first is, that it perverts the service of Latreia; that is, the worship properly due to God alone, by giving it to antichrist himself, and his works, to the poor creature, reasonable, or unreasonable, sensible, or senseless; to the reasonable, as to man, male or female, saints deceased; and unto images, carcasses, and relics. His works are the sacraments, especially the sacrament of the eucharist, which he adoreth as God, and as Jesus Christ, together with the things blessed and consecrated by him, and prohibits the worshipping of God alone.

    The second work of antichrist is, that he robs and bereaves Christ of his merits, together with all the sufficiency of grace, of justification, of regeneration, remission of sins, sanctification, confirmation, and spiritual nourishment; and imputes and attributes the same to his own authority, to a form of words, to his own works; unto saints, and their intercession, and unto the fire of purgatory; and separates the people from Christ, and leads them away to the things aforesaid, that they may not seek those of Christ, nor by Christ, but only in the works of their own hands, and not by a lively faith in God, nor in Jesus Christ, nor in the Holy Spirit, but by the will and pleasure, and by the works of antichrist, according as he preacheth, that all salvation consists in his works.

    The third work of antichrist consists in this, that the attributes of regeneration of the Holy Spirit unto the dead outward work, baptizing children in that faith, and teaching, that thereby baptism and regeneration must be had, and therein he confers and bestows orders and other sacraments, and groundeth therein all his Christianity, which is against the Holy Spirit.

    The fourth work of antichrist is, that he hath constituted and placed all religion and holiness in going to the mass, and hath patched together all manner of ceremonies, some Jewish, some heathenish, and some Christian; and leading the congregations thereunto, and the people to hear the same, doth thereby deprive them of the sacramental and spiritual manducation, and seduceth them from the true religion, and from the commandments of God, and withdraws them from the works of compassion, by his offerings; and by such a mass, hath he settled the people in vain hopes.

    The fifth work of antichrist is, that he doth all his works so as to be seen, that he may glut himself with his insatiable avarice, that he may set all things to sale, and do nothing without simony.

    The sixth work of antichrist is, that he allows of manifest sins, without any ecclesiastical censure, and doth not excommunicate the impenitent.

    The seventh work of antichrist is, that he doth not govern nor maintain his unity by the Holy Spirit, but by secular power, and maketh use thereof to effect spiritual matters.

    The eighth work of antichrist is, that he hates, and persecutes, and searches after, and despoils and destroys the members of Christ.

    These things are in a manner, the principal works which he commits against the truth, they being otherwise numberless, and past writing down.

    It sufficeth for the present to have observed the most general, and those whereby this iniquity lies most covered and concealed.

    First and chiefly , he makes use of an outward confession of the faith; and it is that whereof the apostle speaketh, “For they confess in words that they have known God, but by their deeds, they deny hint.”

    Secondly , he covers his iniquity by the length or succession of time, and allegeth, that he is maintained by certain wise and learned men, and by religious orders of certain votaries of single life, men and women, virgins and widows; and besides, by numberless people, of whom it is said in the Revelations, “That power is given him over every tribe, language, and nation, and all that dwell on earth shall worship him.”

    In the third place , he covers his iniquity by the spiritual authority of the apostles; against which the apostle speaketh expressly, “We are able to do nothing against the truth, and there is no power given us for destruction.”

    Fourthly , by many miracles here and there, according to that of the apostle, “Whose coming is according to the working of Satan, by all manner of miracles, and signs, and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness.”

    Fifthly , by an outward holiness, by prayers, fastings, watchings, and alms-deeds, against which the apostle testifies, saying, “Having a show of godliness, but having denied the power thereof.”

    Sixthly , he covers his iniquity by certain sayings of Christ, and by the writings of the ancients, and by councils, which they observe so far forth only as they do not destroy (and overthrow) their wicked life and pleasures.

    Seventhly , by the administration of the sacraments, in which they lay open the universality of their errors.

    Eighthly , by correction (or discipline) and mere verbal preachings against vices; for they say, and do not.

    Ninthly , by the virtuous lives of some, who seemingly live so, but especially of such as really live so among them. For the elect of God, which desire and do that which is good, are detained there, as in Babylon; and are like unto gold, wherewith the wicked antichrist doth cover his vanity, not suffering them to serve God alone, nor to put all their hope in Christ alone, nor to embrace the true religion.

    These things, and many others, are, as it were, a cloak and garment wherewith antichrist doth cover his lying wickedness, that he may not be rejected as a pagan, or infidel, and under which he can go on to act his villanies boldly, and like the whore; “the whore of Babylon.” Now it is evident, as well in the Old, as in the New Testament, that a Christian stands bound, by express command given hint, to separate himself from antichrist. For the Lord saith, Isaiah 52: 11, 12. “Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing, go ye out of the midst of her, be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the Lord. For ye shall not go out with haste, nor go by flight,” etc.

    And Jeremiah 1: 8. “Remove out of the midst of Babylon, and go forth out of the land of the Chaldeans, and be as the he-goats before the flocks. For lo, I will raise and cause to come up against Babylon, an assembly of great nations from the north country, and they shall set themselves in array against her, from thence she shall be taken.”

    In the 16th chapter of Numbers, verse 21. “Separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment.”

    And again, verse 6. “Depart, I pray you, from the tabernacle of the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing of theirs, lest ye be consumed in all their sins.”

    In Leviticus 20: 24, 25, 27. “I am the Lord your God, which have separated you from other people. Ye shall therefore put difference between clean beasts and unclean, and between unclean fowls and clean: and ye shall not make yourselves abominable by beast, or by fowl, or by any manner of living thing that creepeth on the ground, which I have separated from you as unclean.”

    Again, in Exodus chap. 34: 12. “Take heed to thyself, lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land whither thou goest, lest it be for a snare in the midst of thee.”

    And a little further, verse 15. “Make no covenant with the inhabitants of the land, lest they go a whoring after their gods, and do sacrifice unto their gods, and one call thee, and thou eat of his sacrifice. Nor shalt thou take thee a wife from among their daughters, lest they having played the harlot;” that is to say, committed idolatry, “they cause thy children to go a whoring likewise after their gods.” Leviticus 15: 31. And therefore “ye shall teach your children, and bid them beware of their uncleanness, and that they may not die in them, having polluted my sanctuary.”

    Ezekiel 2: “But the heart that walks on offending, and in its offenses, I will render their way upon their head, saith the Lord.”

    Deuteronomy 20: “When thou shalt enter into the land, which the Lord thy God shall give thee, take heed thou do not according to the abominations of those people; for the Lord abhorreth all those things: and by reason of such sins, he will blot them out. When thou shalt enter their land, thou shalt be clean, and without spot with thy God. Those people whose land thou goest to possess, hearken to the soothsayers and diviners; but thy God hath disposed otherwise in thy behalf.”

    Now it is manifest in the New Testament, John 12: That the Lord is come, and hath suffered death, that he might gather together the children of God; and by reason of this truth of unity, and separation from others, it is that he saith in St. Matthew, chap. 10: “For I am come to separate a man from his father, and set the daughter against the mother, and the daughter-in-law against the mother-in-law; and they of a man’s household, shall be his enemies.”

    And he hath commanded this separation, saying, “Whosoever doth not forsake his father and his mother,” etc. And again, “Beware of false prophets, which come unto you in sheep’s clothing: “ Again, “Beware of the leaven of the pharisees; and take heed lest any seduce you; for many shall come in my name, and seduce many. And then if any tell you, behold, Christ is here or there, believe them not, and walk not after them.”

    And in the Revelations, he warneth by his own voice, and chargeth his to go out of Babylon, saying, “And I heard a voice from heaven, saying, O my people, come forth out of her, and be not partakers of her sins, that ye receive none of the plagues: for her sins are come up into heaven, and the Lord remembereth her iniquity.” The apostle saith the same, “Join not yourselves under one yoke with the unbelievers; for what participation hath righteousness with iniquity, or what fellowship is there between light and darkness, or what communion hath Christ with the devil, or what part hath the faithful with the infidel, or what agreement is there of the temple of God with idols? And therefore go forth from the midst of them, and separate yourselves, saith the Lord, and touch no unclean thing, and I will rescue you, and be instead of a father to you, and you shall be as sons and daughters to me, saith the Lord, the Almighty.” Again, Ephesians 5: “Do not partake with them, for ye were in the way of darkness, but now ye are in the light of the Lord:” Again, 1 Corinthians 10: “I would not have you become the companions of the devil. Ye cannot participate of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils.”

    So 2 Thessalonians 3: “O brethren, we declare unto you, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you beware of every brother walking dishonestly, and not according to the customs which you received from us. For ye know after what manner ye ought to be followers of us.”

    And again, a little after he saith; “If there be any that obey not our word, (set down in this Epistle,) have ye nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed.”

    Again, Ephesians “Have no communion with the works of darkness, which are unfruitful.”

    And 2 Timothy 3: “Be it known unto you, that in the latter day, there will be troublesome times.”

    And afterwards, “Having a show of piety, but denying the power thereof, turn thyself away from such.” By what hath been said hitherto, it appears clearly, what is the wickedness of antichrist, and his perverseness. Also the Lord commands our separating from him, and joining ourselves with the holy city Jerusalem. Therefore knowing such things, the Lord having revealed them to us by his servants, and believing this revelation, according to the holy Scriptures, and being admonished by the commandments of the Lord, we do both inwardly and outwardly depart from antichrist; because we know him to be the same: and we keep company and unity one with another, freely and uprightly, having no other intent and purpose, but purely and singly to please the Lord, and be saved. Arid by the Lord’s help, we join ourselves to the truth of Christ, and his spouse, how small soever she appear, as far forth as our understanding is able to comprehend.

    And therefore we thought good to set down here for what causes we departed, and what kind of congregation we have, to the end, that if the Lord be pleased to impart the knowledge of the same truth unto others, those that receive it, may love it altogether with us. And if peradventure, they be not sufficiently enlightened, they may receive help by the ministry, and be sprinkled by the Lord. If some one have more abundantly received, and in a higher measure, we desire the more humbly to be taught, and to learn better of him, and to amend our defects. Now then the causes of our separation are these ensuing.

    Be it known to every one in general, and in particular, that the cause of our separation is this; namely, for the real truth’s sake of our faith, and by reason of our inward knowledge of the only true God, and the unity of the divine essence in three persons; which knowledge flesh and blood doth not afford; and for the befitting service due to that only God; for the love of him above all things; for sanctification, and for his honor above all things, and above every name; for the living hope through Christ in God; for regeneration, and the inward renewing by faith, hope, and charity; for the merit of Jesus Christ, with all the sufficiency of his grace and righteousness; for the communion of saints; for the remission of sins; for a holy conversation; and for a faithful accomplishment of all the commandments in the faith of Christ; for true repentance; for final perseverance, and life everlasting.

    The ministerial truths are these: the outward congregating of the pastors, with the people, in convenient place, and time, to instruct them in the truth by the ministry, leading, establishing, and maintaining the church in the truth aforesaid. The said good ministers press faith and a good life, and are exemplary for manners and obedience, and watchfully follow the example and work of the Lord towards the flock.

    The things which the ministers are obliged to do for the service of the people are these; the preaching of the word of the gospel; the sacraments joined to the word, which do certify what the intent and meaning thereof is, and confirm the hope in Christ, unto the faithful; the ministerial communion hath all things by the essential truth. And all other ministerial things may be reduced to the aforesaid. But as to the particular truths, some of them are essentially necessary to man’s salvation, other some conditionally. They are contained in the twelve articles of the Christian faith, and in divers passages of the apostles. As for antichrist, he hath reigned a good while already in the church by God’s permission.

    The errors and impurities of antichrist, forbidden by the Lord, are these, viz. a various and endless idolatry, against the express command of God and Christ. Divine worship offered not to the Creator, but to the creature, visible and invisible, corporal and spiritual, rational and sensible, natural and artificial, under the name of Christ, or saints, male and female, and of relics and authorities. Unto which creatures they offer the service or worship of faith, and hope, works, prayers, pilgrimages, and alms, oblations, and sacrifices of great price. And those creatures, they serve, honor, and adore several ways, by songs and hymns, speeches, and solemnities, and celebrations of masses, vespers fitted unto the same, by certain hours, vigils, feast-days, thereby to obtain grace, which is essentially in God alone, and meritoriously in Christ, and is to be obtained by faith alone through the Holy Spirit.

    And indeed there is nothing else that causeth idolatry, but the false opinions of grace, truth, authority, invocation, intercession, which this antichrist hath deprived God of, to attribute the same to these ceremonies, authorities, the works of a man’s own hands, to saints, and to purgatory.

    And this iniquity of antichrist is directly against the first article of faith, and against the first commandment of the law.

    So also the excessive love of the world, that is in antichrist, is that whence springs such a world of sin and mischief in the church, as well in them that govern, as in them that officiate in the same; who sin without control.

    They are against the truth of faith, and against the knowledge of God the Father. Witness St. John, saying, “He that sinneth, knoweth not, nor seeth God: for if any love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” The second iniquity of antichrist lies in the hope which he giveth of pardon, grace, justification, truth, and life everlasting, as things not to be sought and had in Christ, nor in God by Christ, but in men, either living, or already deceased; in human authorities, in ecclesiastical ceremonies, in benedictions, sacrifices, prayers, and such other things as were before mentioned; not by a true and lively faith, which worketh repentance by love, and causeth one to depart flora evil, and give himself up to God.

    Again, antichrist teacheth not to settle a firm hope in those things, viz. regeneration, spiritual confirmation, or communion, remission of sins, sanctification of eternal life; but to hope through the sacraments, or by means of his wretched simony, wherewith the people are greatly abused; insomuch, that putting all things to sale, he invented a number of ordinances, old and new, to get moneys; giving way that if any do but such and such a thing, he shall get grace and life. And this two’fold iniquity is properly called in the Scriptures, adultery and fornication; and therefore such ministers as lead the simple people into those errors, are called the whore of the Revelation. And this iniquity is against the second article, and again, against the second and third commandment of the law.

    The third iniquity of antichrist consists in this: that he hath invented, besides the matters aforesaid, certain false religious orders and rules of monasteries, putting men in hope of acquiring grace, by building certain churches; as also, because they do therein often and devoutly hear mass, receive the sacraments, make confession to the priest, (though seldom with contrition,) observe his fasts, and empty their purse for him, and be a professed member of the church of Rome; or if he hath dedicated or vowed himself to be of such an order, cap or frock; all which he doth press as duties contrary to all truth. And this iniquity of antichrist is directly against the eighth article of the creed, “I believe in the Holy Ghost.”

    The fourth iniquity of antichrist is, notwithstanding his being the fourth beast described by Daniel, and the whore of the Revelation, he nevertheless adorns himself with the authority, power, dignity, ministry, offices, and the Scripture, and makes himself equal with the true and holy mother the church, wherein salvation is to be had ministerially, and no where else; wherein is found the truth of life, and doctrine, and of the sacraments, and subjects. For if he should not cover himself in this manner, his ministers being such notorious sinners, he would soon be abandoned by all: for kings and princes supposing him to be like, or equal to the true and holy mother’ the church, they loved him, and endued him against the commandment of God. And this iniquity of the ministers, subjects, and ordained persons, given up to error and sin, is against the ninth article, “I believe a holy church.”

    In the second place, those that being partakers of the outward ceremonies, instituted only by human inventions, do believe and hope to partake of the reality of pastoral cures and offices, if they be but shaved or shorn like lambs, and anointed or daubed like walls, and made holy by touching the mass book; and by taking the chalice into their hands, they proclaim and publish, that they are ordained lawful priests to all intents. In like manner, (as is said before)the people subject to them, communicating with them by words, signs, and other outward exercises, they conceive that they partake of the truth thereon depending. And this is against the other part of the ninth article, “I believe the communion of saints.” But it behoves us to depart from the wicked communion of the monks, by whom carnal men were easily drawn away, they, through covetousness, making them to trust in things of naught, be they never so riotous and wretched, provided only they give liberally unto them, and then say, such men are made partakers of their poverty and chastity.

    The fifth iniquity of antichrist consists in this: that he doth feign and promise remission of sins unto sinners, not unto the truly contrite, but such as are wilfully persevering in their evil practices: in the first place, he doth promise them forgiveness of their sins, for their auricular confessions’ sake, and human absolution, and for their pilgrimages; and this he doth out of covetousness. And this iniquity is against the eleventh article of the faith, “I believe the remission of sins.” For the same is in God authoritatively, and in Christ ministerially, through faith, repentance, charity, and obedience to the word, and in man by participation.

    The sixth iniquity lies herein, that to the very end of their lives they go on, hoping and trusting thus in the forementioned iniquities and coverings, especially till they come to the extreme unction, and their invented purgatory; insomuch, that the ignorant and rude multitude do persevere in their error, they being taught and made to believe, that they are absolved of their sins, though they never freely depart from them, so as to hope for forgiveness of sins, and life everlasting. And this iniquity is directly against the eleventh and twelfth articles of the faith. 2. — THE PURGATORY DREAM.

    The purgatory dream, which many priests and monks hold forth and teach as an article of faith, with many lies asserting, is this; that after this life, since the ascension of Christ into heaven, the souls, especially of such as are to be saved, not having satisfied in this life for their sins, departing their, bodies, must endure very sensible pains, and be thoroughly purged after this life in purgatory; and that being purged they come forth thence, some sooner, some later, and other some not till doomsday, and others readily and long before it; in commiseration of which souls, every faithful man may and ought to help them, even after this life, by the bond of charity, through prayers, fasts, alms, masses. And in this purgatory’s behalf many have, to glut their avarice, invented abundance of uncertain things which they have taught and preached, saying, that those souls are tormented in the said purgatory, some up to the very neck, some to their middle, and some by their finger; and that sometimes they sit and eat together at table, and make good cheer, especially on the day of All Souls, when the people do offer largely to the priests upon their sepulchres; and sometimes, say they, they are picking crumbs under the rich men’s tables.

    By means of which, and many other lies, their avarice and simony is increased and multiplied to a great height. There are cloisters raised, temples costly built and endowed, altars reared up and multiplied without measure, and a world of monks and canons, who have invented many things more, whereby to relieve and release those poor souls, making a mere mockery of the word of God. And the people are grievously cheated and abused about the matter of their souls, and their substance, they being made to put their trust in such uncertain things, whilst the faithful must heal themselves; for if once they refuse to teach the said purgatory as an article of faith, they are forthwith most cruelly condemned to death, and martyred.

    And therefore we stand engaged to speak of this purgatory, and to hold forth what we conceive of it.

    First then we say, that the souls of those which are to be saved, must finally be purged of all their uncleanness, according to God’s ordinance, declared Revelation 21: No unclean thing, giving itself up to abomination and lying, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven. Now we do hold that faith, and the Scriptures, do promise us many and sundry ways of purging and cleansing those that are in this present life of all their sins. But St. Peter shows, Acts 15: that the heart is purged by faith, and that faith is sufficient to cleanse evil, without any other outward means. As it is made plain by the thief’s case on the right hand of Christ, who believing and sincerely acknowledging his sins, became worthy of paradise: the other way of purging the spouse of Christ, is by repentance, spoken of, Isaiah 1:

    The Lord commanding there, “Wash yourselves, cleanse yourselves, remove the evil out of your thoughts from before mine eyes, desist from doing perverse things.” And afterwards, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be made as white as snow; though they were as crimson, they shall be as white as wool.” In which place the Lord presents himself to the truly penitent in manner aforesaid, and those that were guilty of sin, shall be made as white as snow. There yet is another way of purging sin, mentioned by St. Matthew chap. 3 where it is said, “He hath his fan in his hand, and will purge his threshing floor clean, and gather his grain into his barn.” Which passage Chrysostom applies to the church present in this life, and the tribulations thereof. And not only by tribulations, but by himself also doth the Lord here in this life cleanse his spouse and threshing floor; as St. Paul saith, Christ loved the church, and gave up himself for it, to hallow it, cleansing it by the washing of water, by the word of life, to make it unto himself a glorious church, having neither spot nor wrinkle, nor any such thing, but to be holy and unblamable. Where the apostle shows, that Christ so loved his church, that he would not cleanse it by any other washing, but only by his own blood; and that doubtless not so, as that it should be any ways insufficient, but effectually, in such sort, that there remains no uncleanness at all; he having so glorified her, that she hath no spot nor wrinkle, nor any such thing remaining upon her, but is made holy and undefiled. And this testimony of the washing of the spouse of Christ in his blood, is not only rendered here on earth, but testimony is also given in heaven by those which obtained this effectual washing, it being said of them in the Revelation, these are they that came out of great tribulation, and washed their garments, and whitened them in the blood of the Lamb; and therefore they are before the seat of the Lamb, and serve him. And thus you see how many ways may be taken forth by faith out of the Scriptures, to Show that those that sojourn in this life, are purged of their sins here before they leave it.

    We hold in the third place, that it would be far safer for every one so to live in this present life, that he should not need any purging afterwards.

    For it is much better to do well in this life, than to hope for uncertain help after it. And it is the far surer way, instead of what good others will do us after our death, to do the same ourselves whilst we are yet alive, it being a happier thing for a man to depart hence in a free condition, than to seek for liberty after he shall be fettered.

    Besides what hath been said, we maintain, that it cannot be made out by any express passage of the holy Scriptures, without wresting them, that it hath been held by common consent, that the faithful ought to believe of necessity, and publicly to profess, as an article of faith, that there should be such a place as purgatory, after this life, to be entered into for sins, after the ascension of Christ, by such souls especially as, being otherwise to be saved, shall not have made satisfaction in this life for their sins committed; where they should endure most sensible pains, being once departed their bodies, and to be cleansed, and that thence some should come forth again sooner, some later, some at doomsday, and others before.

    And as to the first part, viz. scripture proofs, there is none at all to be found throughout the Bible for it; let us peruse the whole law of God, we shall not meet with any one passage obliging or binding a Christian necessarily to believe, as an article of faith, that after this life, there should be such a place as purgatory, as some aver. There is not one place in all the holy Scriptures to show it, neither can there be any evidence produced, that there ever entered any one soul in such a purgatory, and came out again from thence. And therefore it is a thing not to be credited or believed: for proof whereof St. Augustine, in the book which he entitled, “Mille Verba,” writes thus: we believe by faithful, universal, and by Divine authorhority, that the kingdom of heaven is the first place whereinto baptism is received. The second is that, where the excommunicated and stranger from Christ shall suffer everlasting torments. As for a third, we know none such at all, and find nothing certified of it in the holy Scriptures.

    Again, in the same book, upon this passage, [shall not enter into the kingdom of God,] he writes thus: “O brethren, let none deceive himself, for there are but two places, the third is not at all; for he that is not found worthy to reign with Christ, doubtless must perish with Satan.” To this purpose St. Chrysostom on the twentieth chapter of St. Matthew, where it is said, “That the kingdom of heaven is like unto a house-keeper,” speaks in this manner: “This house-keeper is Christ, to whom heaven and earth is a house, as it were, and the families are the terrestrial and celestial creatures: in this house he hath built three chambers, hell, heaven, and earth. The militant or combating party, are those which inhabit the earth; those that are overcome, go down to hell; but they that have overcome, enter heaven.” Let us take heed, saith he, we that are in the middle region, that we descend not after them which are in hell, but rather that we may mount up to them that are above in heaven.

    It is plain by these authorities, that there are but two certain places, after Christ’s ascension into heaven, whither the souls do go, departing from their bodies, and that there is no third place at all, and none to be found any where in the holy Scriptures.

    And therefore no express mention at all being made throughout the law of God, of any such place as purgatory; and the apostles having not left us any instructions at all about the same, and the primitive church also governed according to the gospel, and by the apostles themselves, having not left any ordinance or commandment behind them about it: and seeing Pope Pelagius was the first who, five hundred and eight years after Christ, began to make this institution, that remembrance should be made of the dead in the mass; it follows, there being no one express proof for it in the law of God, that it is needless to believe the said purgatory as an article of faith, and that there should be such a thing after this life.

    But whence is it then (one might wonder) that people now-a-days are so much taken with this opinion of assisting the dead, seeing that in all the Scriptures there is nothing taught concerning it, except it be in the Book of Maccabees, which doth not belong to the Old Testament, nor is canonical; and that neither Christ nor any of the apostles, nor any of the saints next succeeding or living after them, taught any to pray for the dead; but were all of them very careful to teach, that the people that lived unblamably should be holy. Therefore, in answer to his query, we say, that the first and principal cause thereof, is the deceit and craft of the priests, proceeding from their greedy avarice, who did not teach nor instruct the people as the prophets and apostles of Christ did, to live well, but only to offer roundly, and to put their trust and hope of deliverance and salvation upon purgatory. 3. — THE INVOCATION OF SAINTS.

    Now we shall speak also something of the invocation of saints, concerning which, some of our masters and their adherents preach and keep a stir, to publish it as an article of faith, saying, that the saints departed, and being possessed of the heavenly country, ought to be prayed unto by us, in such a manner as the priests used to do, and other people by their instruction, enjoining them many other things to further and facilitate their invocation; by which invocation, authorizing and magnifying it, the people believe carnally, and err greatly; conceiving, that as it is practiced in the courts of earthly kings, that being provoked or wroth, some about them, not being in the like passion, do intercede for others, and mitigate their displeasure; so it must needs be also with God himself; that is to say, that the saints deceased must pacify God’s anger, when it is kindled against a sinner.

    But we ought to believe no such matter; for if that were true, there would be no true conformity between the will of the saints, and that of God. For it would have an appearance, as if the saints were not moved with indignation against him, that provokes God to indignation.

    And secondly, by this magnifying of, and praying to the saints, the people fall away into idolatry, putting more trust in the saints, than in God himself, and serving them with more affection than the only God; which they do effectually make appear by the adorning their altars most preciously, by their loudest peals of ringing and singing, their multiplicity of lights and candles, and other solemnities about them; by all which, the simple people conceive no otherwise of them, than that the saints are more merciful than God himself, as being able to deliver from damnation, by their intercession to God, those whom God had already condemned.

    Besides, to maintain this the better, the silly people are taught, that the said saints love to have gifts and presents offered them, and that they are delighted to hear their praises, and that they intercede most for those that offer praise, and honor them most: all which are things to be carefully shunned, and had in abomination.

    This sort of invocation it is that we are now to treat of, and to make known our opinion concerning this invocation of saints. And first, we will declare what invocation is. Now invocation is an earnest desire of all the mind and soul, addressed to the only God, by voice in prayer. Secondly, we hold that Christ-man, is mediator between God and man, and our advocate towards God the Father, having made satisfaction for our sins, Timothy 2: 4. Approaching unto God of himself, ever living to intercede for us. “No man comes to the Father, but by him. And whatsoever (saith he himself) ye shall ask of the Father in my name, I will do it. Who giveth abundantly to all that ask him, and upbraideth no man.” He is our advocate towards God our Father, and he forgives our sins. The truth is, he presents himself in some sort to us, before we stir ourselves. He standeth at the gate, and knocketh, that we should open unto him; and to obstruct all means and occasions of idolatry, he sitteth at the right hand of the Father in heaven, and wills, that every faithful soul shall mind him only, and have an eye and recourse to him alone; for all the care and thought of the faithful should be bent to Christ, with all the heart and affections, imitating him that is above. In which regard alone it is said; “If ye be risen with Christ, then seek those things that are above, where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God. He is the gate, whosoever entereth by him, shall be saved.

    No man cometh to the Father, (saith he) but by me.” In the third place, we hold that the saints are not set before us, to adore them, but to imitate their examples, as St. Paul saith, “Be ye followers of me, as I am of Christ; and take heed to them that walk, as ye have us for an example.” St. Peter would not suffer himself to be worshipped by Cornelius, nor the angel by St. John the Evangelist. And therefore doth St. Augustine write thus in his Book of True Religion: “Do not, (saith he there) O religious people, give yourselves to worship the dead; for, if they lived holily, they were not such as used to seek or desire those honors, to be worshipped by us. By him that illuminates them, they rejoice that we are made partakers with them. And therefore we should honor them by imitation, not worship them by religion.” All this being set down for our foundation, we say, that no man whatsoever, born of a woman, but Christ, ought to be adored, and none other is the certain and true advocate between God and man, nor intercessor for our sins towards God the Father, but he alone. And there is no need at all, that such religious addresses should be made to the saints deceased, by the living. He, viz. Christ alone hath that prerogative, to obtain whatsoever he requests in behalf of mankind, whom he hath reconciled by his death. He is the only and sole mediator between God and man, the advocate and intercessor towards God the Father for sinners, and so sufficient, that God the Father denies nothing to any one, which he prays and sues for in his name. For being near unto God, and living of himself, he prayeth continually for us. “For it became us to have such an high priest, that was holy, guiltless, blameless, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens.” The first-born, who being above all men, should have power and authority to sanctify others, and to pray and intercede for them. St. Augustine writes concerning Christ on Psalms 54. saying; “Thou art the sacrificer, thou art the sacrifice, thou art he that offers, and the offering itself. Jesus entered not into places made with hands, which were figures Of the true ones, but he is entered into heaven, to appear there in our behalf before the face of God.”

    And it is of him that St. John saith, “We have an advocate with the Father, viz. Jesus Christ the righteous.” And St. Paul saith, “That Jesus, who died for us, did also rise for us, and sitteth on the right hand of God, praying for us.”

    Therefore it were but a foolish part to seek for any other intercessor; for Christ is always living, and maketh continual intercession for us, to God the Father, and is ever ready to succor them that love him. And therefore keeping close to what he said, and is said of him, to what purpose should we address ourselves to any other saint, as mediator? Seeing he is himself far more loving, and far more ready to succor us, than any of them; considering withal, that the spirit of him that prayeth, must needs be distracted and strayed; through the multitude of saints to be prayed unto, so that the affection must needs abate, and grow remiss towards Christ, it being divided among so many. If there are many that think the addressing of one’s prayer to one alone, making him the sole intercessor, proves more beneficial in spiritual matters; yet doubtless, the church would advance and improve much more, if she acknowledged no such multitude of intercessors, newly invented. — It were great folly indeed, to abandon the fountain of living waters, and go to the rivulets, that are nothing nigh so clear and ready at hand. Thus then it is evident, that there is nothing attainable at God’s hand, but by Christ the mediator. That it were far more expedient to adore Christ alone, he being absolutely the best and kindest mediator and intercessor, in all kind of extremities. 3. That keeping to his word, we need not make our addresses to any other saints for intercessors, forasmuch as he is much more ready to help us than arty other saint, as being ordained by God for that very purpose, viz. That our addresses and intercession should be made by him, that is more merciful than any of the rest; for he knows, for whom it is fittest to intercede, he having shed his blood for them, which he can never forget; they are written on his hands, and on his breast. 4. That it would be folly to seek for another intercessor. 5. That in the primitive church, men addressed their prayers to this single person, as mediator, for spiritual help. 6. That the church did then profit and increase more than now she doth, since they found so many intercessors, which are but as so many clouds without water, obscuring Christ, the Sun of Righteousness; who is the true intercessor; for many waiting for spiritual aid, found themselves mistaken, through their vain hope. For as God is just, and we are unjust, and insufficient for ourselves, he it is that pardoneth our sins, both past and present; for he hath given himself for our redemption; that is to say, he was the oblation, whereby our pardon was procured. God sent his Son to be the forgiver of our sins; he is the remedy against sin, to keep us from falling into despair. We must have recourse to Christ our advocate, who perpetually pleads our cause, interceding the Father in our behalf, being not only our advocate, but our judge also; for the Father hath given up all judgment to the Son; and therefore the penitent have great hope, being sure to have him for their judge; that is, their advocate. This faith is grounded in Christ, as upon a corner stone, whereon the saints always safely reposed, and which was held sufficient, until the man of sin had power to introduce this new intercession of saints, which faith all the saints had, whilst they were here, and they confess to this day, that they are not saved by the oblation and intercession of any other God, and that they arrived to the heavenly kingdom, according to that of the Revelations, chap. 5: 9. “O Lord, thou art worthy to receive the book, and to undo the seal thereof, and to open the same. Thou that hast been slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thine own blood, out of all tribes and languages, and hast made us kings and princes unto our God.” Lo, how their humility and their acknowledgment resounds on earth still, they leaving such record behind them, that they entered now where they are, by no other means, but by his blood, and confess to have received by him all their bliss and happiness there, and whatsoever they enjoyed during their abode here. In a word, that they received no kind of good at any time, but by our good mediator and intercessor Jesus Christ. 4. — ROMISH SACRAMENTS. 1. Baptism . — That which is of no necessity in the administration of baptism, is the exorcism, the breathing on, the sign of the cross upon the infant’s breast and forehead, the salt which they put into his mouth, the spittle put to his ears and nose, the anointing of his breast, the capouch, the unction of the crown of his head, and all the rest of those things consecrated by the bishop, putting wax in their hands, arraying them in white, blessing the water, plunging the infant three times, seeking for godfathers: all these things, commonly practiced about the administration of the sacraments, are needless, as being not at all of the substance of, nor requisite in the sacrament of baptism: these things giving occasion unto many, that they rather fall into error and superstition, than they should be edified by them to salvation; which made some doctors profess, that there was no virtue nor benefit to be had in them. 2. The Lord’s Supper — The manducation (or eating) of the spiritual bread, is the eating of Christ’s body figuratively, Christ having said, “Whensoever ye do this, do it in remembrance of me: “ for, if it had not been a figurative eating, Christ had hereby obliged himself to be eaten continually; for we stand in a manner always in need of feeding on him spiritually, according as St. Augustine saith; “He truly eateth Christ, that believeth on him.” And Christ saith, that to eat him, is to abide in him. In the administration of the sacrament, these things are profitable; prayer, charity, the preaching of the holy Scriptures in a known tongue, for edification, and whatsoever else is instituted as tending thereto, according to the law of the gospel, for the increase of peace and charity among the people: but as for other things, besides the consecration of the eucharist, such as are those which the priests act in the mass, or the clergy chant in the choir, from the beginning to the end, and the ornaments of the priests, such as the Romish church and her adherents now make use of, they are not of necessity to this holy supper. 3. Marriages And Orders. — Concerning marriage, it is necessary to make use of prayer, of fasting, and due admonitions, instructions, and warnings about it; but the coupling of the hands, and tying of the robe, and such other ceremonies, as are in common use at the celebration of it, and of human custom, besides the express Scripture, are not of the sub. stance, nor at all requisite to marriage.

    As touching orders, we ought to hold, that order is called the power which God gives to man, duly to administer and dispense unto the church, the word and sacraments. But we find nothing in the Scriptures, touching such orders as they pretend, but only the custom of the church. And all these testimonial letters, the anointing of the hands, the giving of the girdle, and putting the lamp into their hand, and the rest usually observed in this case, besides the express Scripture, is not of the substance, nor any requisite necessary unto order. 4. Chrism Or Confirmation . — Now to speak of the chrism, which they also call a sacrament, having no ground at all in Scripture to this purpose; that first, it must be consecrated by a bishop, and compounded of oil-olive and of balm, to be applied to the person baptized, upon the forehead, with the sign of the cross, and with these words, [I sign thee with the sign of the cross,] and confirm thee by the sign, of salvation, in the name of the Father, of the Son, and the Holy Ghost; which is performed by imposing of hands, and with a white attire fastened to the head; this is that which they call the sacrament of confirmation, which we find not instituted either by Christ or his apostles. For Christ, the pattern of all his church, was not confirmed in his person, and he doth not require that there should be any such unction in baptism, but only pure water.

    Therefore such sacrament is not found needful to salvation, whereby God is blasphemed, and which was introduced by the devil’s instigation, to seduce the people, and to deprive them of the faith of the church, and that by such means they might be induced the more to believe the ceremonies, and the necessity of the bishops. 5. Extreme Unction. — The seventh sacrament of the church of Rome, is the extreme unction of the sick, which, they go about to prove, by the saying of the apostle St. James. There is no ground to show, that Christ, or his apostles, did institute any such thing. For, if this bodily unction were a sacrament, as they would make us believe, Christ or his apostles would not have passed over in silence the evidence of the putting the same in use: upon the deliberate consideration whereof, we dare not presume to hold, or profess it as an article of faith, that this sacrament was instituted by Christ, or any of his apostles. 6. Fasting. — It follows now to say something of fasting, which is twofold, bodily and spiritual. The spiritual is, to abstain from sin; the bodily is, to abstain from meat. Rut the Christian is at liberty to eat at all times, as also to fast at any time, provided he doth not observe the fast superstitiously, and does it in virtue of abstinence.

    Some fasts ought not to be kept, nor commended by the faithful, but rather to be abhorred and eschewed: such are the fasts of the scribes and of the pharisees, and those instituted by antichrist, favoring of idolatry; the fasts of heretics and superstitious people, observed by enchanters, sorcerers; and the fasts dedicated unto creatures, and not to the Creator, which have no ground in the law of God. Those fasts are inordinate, which are kept by feeding only on rarer, costlier, and choicer meats; such as all manner of sea-fish, figs, raisins, and almonds, of which the poor are deprived, and with which the rich abound, whilst alms are withdrawn from the poor; whereas, if they fasted so as to eat afterwards, more common and less chargeable meat, they would be able to provide the better, both for their own families and for the poor: so then it being plain, that fasting consists not in the abstaining. from any bodily meat as unclean; because “all things are dean to them that are clean; and nothing is to be refused, being taken with thanksgiving, thoroughly sanctified by the word of God, and by prayer;” it followeth, that all these Romish fasts are to be detested, and rejected by the faithful; and of such things they ought to be guiltless, and to remain unspotted.

    CHAPTER - 9

    A Treatise of Tribulations . “MANY are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord will deliver them out of all;” and St. Paul saith, that “through many tribulations we must enter into the kingdom of God;” and whosoever has not his share of persecutions, shall not be partaker of the consolations. Our blessed Savior saith in the gospel, “Love your enemies, and do good to them that hate you;” arid St. Augustine saith, “The more thine enemy hurts thee, the more thou oughtest to love him, for, in so doing thou shalt inherit eternal life.” For, the wicked, even when he seeks to do thee harm, his conscience accuses him before the action, so that all the evil and mischief he deviseth against thee, returns upon his own head. And if a thief robs thee, and takes away thy estate from.thee, he hath the greater loss of the two; for alas, he loseth his own soul. Those which see with the eyes of the heart, they both know and fear the damnation of their souls. There are many men who are quick-sighted enough to discern gold and silver, but have no eyes to discern the damnation of their own souls. The Lord comforts the righteous when he bids them, “not to fear those who can kill the body only, but cannot hurt the soul.” Our adversaries are doubtless bereaved of sense, who neither see nor know themselves, but do just like a madman, who having a naked sword in his hand, first cuts off the lap of his neighbor’s garment, and then sheaths it in his own bowels. For as the coat is the vesture of the body, so is the body properly the vesture of the soul. And if a just man endureth persecution in this world for the love of God, his reward shall be eternal life in that which is to come. Consider what the Lord suffered for thee, and how loth thou wouldst be to suffer (wert thou able) for his sake, what he has sustained for thee. Thou wouldst be loth to hang on such a cross, as that on which the Lord was hung, and. crucified for thy sins. Think not that thine enemy has any, power over thee, but what God gives him; do not therefore so much mind what power God gives wicked men, as what reward he has promised to give thee. “O beloved, we now see that we are the children of God, although it doth not yet appear what we shall be hereafter: we know that when he shall appear, we shall be like unto him, for we shall behold him as he is.” Christ is our life, strive then to imitate Christ. Christ came into the world to suffer martyrdom, and was afterwards exalted. Christ suffered death for us, and rose again, as thou expectest to do; and if the work frighten thee, look upon the recompense which God promises to give thee: How dost thou think to obtain the joys of heaven without labor and travail, seeing thou canst not have any earthly joy with, out some pain? All that will live godly in Jesus Christ must suffer per. secution, and shall be both despised and vilified, as if they were mad, men or fools: That man or woman hath no desire to be a member of Christ’s body, that is not willing to suffer that which God himself hath endured. He that will not bear the yoke in, this world, shall never come where God is. Pray not then only for thine enemy, who persecutes thee, but even for all those which love the world; for therefore are they wicked, because they love the world, and think to find life and prosperity, whereas on the contrary death and destruction waits for them. Therefore are the works of the righteous reprehended; to the end they may be approved of, for if thou sufferest for thy good works, thy reward is not at all thereby lessened, but rather augmented. But if when thou art rebuked for doing good, thou dost thereupon desist, thou thereby makest it appear that thy doing good was merely to have praise of the world. He that begins to do well, that so he may get praise of the world, quickly gives it over when once persecution comes. How canst thou keep God’s commandments, if thou hast no enemies? For the Lord saith in the gospel, “Love your enemies.” By this it may be understood, that it is necessary there should be some wicked persons among the righteous; for as fire is a means to try and refine gold from the dross, so likewise wicked men serve to try and prove the righteous. Good men are compared to pure gold, and the wicked to stubble: therefore if thou art wicked, thou shalt surely be burnt like the stubble, and shalt become as smoke; as the prophet speaks; “The fire shall devour the bands of wicked men.” St. Paul tells us, that “he accounts not all the sufferings of this present world worthy to be compared with the glory which is to come, and which shall be revealed in us.” And St. Augustine, speaking of this glory which shall be revealed, says, that “the righteous are the children of God, and shall be like unto the angels in glory.” Therefore let now the world be never so mad, and never so enraged against us, and defame us with their tongues; let the ungodly now pursue us with naked swords in their hands, let them now breathe out all the evil they can against us; since that ‘all the hart they can do us, is but little in comparison of the reward which God has laid up for us. He that kills thy body, is not able to kill thy soul, but rather serves as an instrument to increase thy reward; pray therefore for him, that so thy reward be not the less. We ought, for the love of God, to despise whatsoever seems to delight us most, yea not only that which affords us delight, but likewise that which may terrify and affright, as prison, bonds, poverty, hunger, cold, sword, and even death itself: thou must, I say, despise and lightly esteem all these; and if thou art able to overcome all, then thou hast God to be thy reward. Think how great would be thy fear, wert thou shut up close in prison. Why then livest thou wickedly, knowing that for so doing thou must be one day a close prisoner in hell?

    He that can kill thy body, cannot kill thy soul; but thou mayest soon kill thine own soul with thy tongue, for the tongue that speaks lies is said to kill the soul. Let us consider then what things we ought, and what things we ought not to fear. He is worthy to be counted a madman that fears a prison in this world, which soon hath an end, and in the mean time dreads not to go to hell, where he must suffer perpetual imprisonment. That man is void of reason, that fears the kings, princes, and prelates of this world, and yet dreads not to fall into the clutches of the devils in hell. I say, he’s a very madman who fears the death of this world, which is but transitory, and does not tremble at the very thoughts of death infernal, which lasteth for ever. Who would ever purchase so long a death, for so short a life? So long a mourning, for so short a mirth? So long and so great a darkness, for so small and short a light? For so short a laughter, such bitter weepings and wailings as the wicked shall suffer in the world to come? (of which our Savior speaks, when, he saith, “Wo unto you that laugh, for ye shall weep and lament,”) such ugly filthiness, for so poor and mean beauty? Such great weakness and infirmities for so small a strength? Such terrors and dreadful affrightments, for so little security as the world affords? St. Austin says, “It is but a vain fear to be afraid to lose temporal things, and not to fear to lose the heavenly; to be afraid to lose the company of father and mother, and not to fear losing the blessed presence of God the Father, and of Jesus Christ; to be fearful to lose the company of brothers and sisters, and not to fear losing the blessed fraternity of angels;” of which brotherhood, St. John speaks in the Revelations, when he would have worshipped the angel, who forbad him, saying, “Take heed thou do it not, for I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren also which have the testimony of Jesus Christ; worship God.” Therefore thou that fearest death, love thy life, the Holy Spirit is thy life. If thou sinnest, thou canst not please God. None but the righteous alone can be said to do so, not the wicked., A child, when he is born into the world, weeps before he laughs, the tears that come from him, bearing witness that he enters into misery as soon as he begins to breathe; so that the child may well be said to be a prophet of his own misery. While a good man lives, he must suffer persecution, for the wicked do always persecute the just, if not always with the sword, stones, or other weapons, yet they do it with their bad lives and wicked works. Wherefore St. Peter praiseth Lot’s conversation, because he “suffered tribulation among wicked men: “ or, as St. Paul calls it, “Perils among false brethren.” All other afflictions and persecutions in this world may possibly cease, but that wherewith the ungodly do persecute the righteous will never cease; and if thou dost not believe this to be a truth, do but once begin to do well, and thou shalt quickly see how the wicked will persecute thee. The wise man tells us, that the friends of God ought to have three sorts of patience; the first whereof consists in suffering patiently all the evils that are both done, and said against them.

    The second, in the patient bearing their own infirmities, and whatever tribulations it pleases God to inflict on them in this world. And the third, in resisting the devil, who always strives to turn them aside from doing good works. Now no man must expect to receive a crown, that hath not fought faithfully for it; and where the greatest combat is, there is the greatest reward, and the most noble crown (as the wise man speaks.) I speak to you according to the patience of God. For he that is most patient in adversities, and under the persecutions of wicked men, shall have the greater recompense; as those grapes yield the most wine, which are the most pressed and bruised; or as the olive, when it is most squeezed, the skins all slip aside, and the oil remains pure and clear; or as the wheat when it is well threshed and beaten, is thereby separated from the chaff.

    Therefore if thou wouldst be good, whilst thou livest in this world, patiently suffer the wicked to converse with thee. And Solomon says, “The true patient man hopes to converse with the angels.” The true patient man is never in wrath. It is most certain, that God loves them that hate the world for his sake; therefore ought the righteous man to rejoice in his pains, labors, poverty, and sufferings, of what kind soever they be, knowing that God has promised to give him eternal life. But on the contrary, the wicked ought to weep and mourn even in the midst of all his jollity, delights, and riches, as knowing that for all the joys, pleasures, and wealth, which he enjoys here below, God hath reserved for him the wrath to come. That man or woman appeaseth God’s anger, who bears with patience all the wrongs that are done unto them. St. Sixtus says, “Thou oughtest not to lay hands upon thine own life, but if another seeks to kill thee be not displeased at it; and if the wicked annoy thee, remember that God is with thee.” And golden mouthed St. John saith, “If Christ be with me, who shall be against me? Although all the waves of the sea should rise, and all the princes of the world were bent against me, they are but as the sand, and weaker than the dust. I do not say this, as having confidence in mine own strength; but I trust in our Lord Jesus Christ, and in his commandments, which I bear in my heart, and in my hands, that is to say, in my works, the which make me strong. Sup. pose all the waves of the sea should rise up against me, and all the princes of the world were bent to ruin me, they were not all of them able to hurt or subdue me. Whatsoever is found on the earth, or in the sea, cannot hurt a good man, if he himself become not his own executioner. God’s friends have sometimes been beaten and oppressed in several kinds; some of them have died by the sword, as St. John the Baptist, who was beheaded in a prison by king Herod, because he reprehended him for the sin of luxury. St. Laurence was roasted alive. St. James the son of Zebedee was beheaded in Joppa. St. James the son of Alpheus, as he was preaching in Jerusalem, the son of a bishop knocked him down dead with a pole. St. Bartholomew was beaten with rods, and was afterwards flayed alive. St. Peter was crucified, his head downwards, and his feet upwards. St. Andrew was crucified on a cross. St. Matthew was shot to death with arrows. St. Paul was taken and cruelly beaten, and afterwards lost his head. Our blessed Savior humbled himself so far for man’s sake, as to come down from heaven, and enter into the virgin’s womb; he who was God blessed for ever, and king over the angels, became a mortal mall for our sakes, was put into a manger, and wrapt in swaddling clothes; he was carried away into Egypt for fear of Herod, that sought to kill him; he was wearied and tired with traveling, tempted of the devil, suffered hunger and thirst for our sakes: he was called a madman, and one possessed with the devil, by the Jews, and the son of a carpenter: he suffered for our sakes all that a man could possibly, sin only excepted; and finally, he was betrayed by one of his disciples, as a murderer and an excommunicated person; he was by them sold for our sakes: he was condemned, buffeted, and despised: he was crowned with thorns, and thrust through with a spear in his side: and this he did to redeem us from death by the effusion of his own blood. Even he himself, who was holy, pure, and without sin, was delivered, not by force, but of his own will and consent. St. Stephen was stoned to death, Isaiah the prophet was sawn asunder, Jeremiah was stoned to death, Daniel was cast into the lion’s den, the three children, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, were thrown into the burning fiery furnace; several other men and women lost their limbs, and obtained the victory, receiving the reward of their travails, and are crowned in heaven. And as the wise man says, let us look upon the life of those holy martyrs, both men and women, which yielded themselves to be put to death, giving up their bodies to be martyred: and let us not think they would thus have suffered their bodies to be put to death, and torments, if they had not been truly persuaded, that from this momentary life, they were to pass to a life which is eternal. St. Austin says, that “in celebrating the joyful remembrance of the saints, we ought not to pray to God for them, but rather for ourselves, to the end he would grant unto us, that we may follow the same paths which they traced out to us, and that we may sit in the kingdom of heaven as they do.” Therefore are the lives of the saints written, to the end that we may take example by them, and imitate the same.

    CHAPTER - 10

    The Noble Lesson.

    Translated from an authentic manuscript in the original Waldensian language, dated in the year 1100, which was in the public Library of the University of Cambridge. 1 Fragments of La “Nobla Leycon,” in the old Waldensian and the French languages, are found in the Histoire des Vaudois, by Brez. “O Frayre entende una nobla Leycon!” 1. O BRETHREN, ATTEND TO THIS EXCELLENT LESSON:

    We should often watch and pray, for we see this world is near to a close.

    We should be very careful to do good works, seeing that the end of this world is at hand.

    One thousand and one hundred years are now completed, since it was written, “It is the last time.”

    We should desire little, for we are now at the remnant.

    Daily we see the signs in the increase of evil, and decrease of good.

    These are the perils, which the Scriptures mention: and the same recorded in the gospels, and confirmed in St. Paul’s writings. No man living can know the hour of his death: therefore we ought to fear the more, because we are not sure, whether we shall die today or tomorrow. But when the day of judgment comes, every one will receive his full payment: both those that have done evil, arid those that have done good. For the Scriptures say, and we should believe them, that all men must pass by two roads: the good will go to glory, and the wicked to torments. But he that does not believe these parting ways, should examine the Scriptures from the beginning; and there he will find, if he have understanding, that from the time when Adam was formed, few are the saved, in proportion to the others.

    But whoever wishes to do well must begin by the love of God.

    He should likewise call on his glorious Son, the dear child of the blessed virgin Mary; And on the Holy Spirit, who shows us the right way.

    These three are the Holy Trinity, and the one God, to whom prayer is due; and he is all-powerful — all-wise — and all-good.

    We should often beg, and pray that he would strengthen us to fight against our enemies (the world, the devil, and the flesh,) so that we may overcome them before we die:

    And that he would, in his goodness, give us wisdom to know the way of life, and to keep pure the soul, that he gave us; yea, both soul and body in all charity, so as to love the Holy Trinity, and our neighbor, as God has commanded.

    Not only those, who do us good, but those who injure us.

    And we should ask for a steadfast hope in the King of heaven, that at the end he may receive us into his glorious mansion.

    This is hard to he received by the wicked, who love gold and silver; despise the promises of God; keep none of his laws and commandments; nor suffer the good to keep them, but hinder them according to their power. 2. HOW CAME EVIL TO ENTER INTO MANKIND?

    Because Adam sinned at the beginning, by eating of the forbidden apple, and, the grain of the evil seed taking root in others, he thus brought death on himself, and all his posterity.

    Well may we say this was a bitter morsel.

    But Christ has redeemed the good by his sufferings.

    Alas! we find in this lesson, that Adam believed not in God his creator; and now we see men grown worse, forsaking God, the almighty Father, and trusting in idols to their own destruction:

    Which were forbidden by the law from the beginning; viz. the law of nature, (common to all men) written in the heart of the man first formed; God giving him a free power to do either good or evil; though he forbad the evil, and commanded the good.

    And you may clearly see, that this was ill observed, for we have all left the good, and done the evil; as Cain the eldest child of Adam, did; who killed his brother Abel without any cause; except that he was good, and put his trust in the Lord, and not in any creature.

    Here we may take an example from the law of nature, which we have broken, and transgressed, by sinning against the Creator, and injuring the creature.

    This was a noble law, that God gave us, and wrote in the heart of every man, that he might read and keep it, and learn righteousness; love God in his heart above all creatures, and fear and serve him without reserve.

    This law is therefore, not found in the holy Scriptures.

    Also, that he should be true to his marriage bond; that excellent compact, and be at peace with his brethren, and love all other people.

    Moreover, that he should hate pride, and love humility; and do unto others, as he would be done by; and, if he did the contrary, that he should be punished.

    Few there were, who observed this law; and the greater part broke it, forsaking the Lord, and dishonoring him.

    They believed the devil, and his temptation:

    Loving this world too much, and heaven too little; And served the body, more than the soul.


    But let each take heed, that it happens not to him, as it did to them: for the deluge came, and destroyed the wicked:

    Nevertheless God caused an ark to be made, in which he saved the good.

    So many were the wicked, and so few the good, that of all the world only eight persons were saved. 4. LET US ALL BE HEREBY ADMONISHED TO AVOID EVIL, AND TO REPENT: FOR JESUS CHRIST HAS SAID, AND ST. LUKE HAS WRITTEN, THAT ALL, WHO DO NOT, SHALL PERISH.

    To those, who escaped, God promised, that the world should never more perish by water; and they believed him, and multiplied.

    But the favors which God bestowed on them, they soon forgot, having little faith, and great fear; so that they did not fully believe the word of the Lord, and dreaded the waters again troubling the world.

    They therefore talked of building a tower, where they might take refuge: and they began it (as it is recorded):

    And they said they would make it large and high, rose lofty, that the top should reach heaven:

    But this they could not accomplish; for it displeased God, and he made his displeasure known to them.

    That great city was called Babel, but now Confusion, on account of its sad condition.

    There was then but one language among men.

    And that they might not understand one another, God parted and confounded them, that they might not finish what they had begun: and languages were thus spread through the world.

    After this they sinned grievously, forsaking the law of nature; for the Scriptures affirm, and it may be easily proved, that five cities, which committed wickedness, were destroyed by a judgment of fire and brimstone from God.

    He destroyed the sinners, but delivered the righteous, viz. Lot and his family, which the angel brought out, four in number; but one was punished, and that was his wife, because she disobeyed the command:

    A notable example this, for the whole world to take heed to what God forbids. 5. IN THOSE DAYS LIVED ABRAM, A MAN WHO PLEASED GOD, AND BEGAT A PATRIARCH, OF WHOM CAME THE JEWS, A NOBLE RACE, FEARING THE LORD.

    They dwelt in Egypt among wicked people, who oppressed and afflicted them a long time.

    But when they cried unto the Lord, he sent them Moses, who set his people free, and destroyed the other nations.

    They passed through the Red Sea, as through a dry and pleasant place; but their enemies, who pursued them, all perished in the waters.

    Many other wonders did God show to his people; feeding them forty years in the wilderness, and giving them the law graven and excellently arranged on two tables of stone, which he sent by Moses.

    This taught them, that there is a Lord over all, whom they were bound to believe, and love with all their heart; and also to fear, and serve to the end of their lives.

    Likewise, that every one should love his neighbor as himself; That they should give counsel to widows, and maintain the fatherless; shelter the poor, and clothe the naked; feed the hungry, and guide the traveler; and, in short, carefully observe his law; God promising to those who kept it, the kingdom of heaven.

    He forbad the worship of idols, manslaughter, adultery, and all kinds of uncleanness; lying, perjury, and false witness; usury, rapine, and evil coveting; as also avarice, and all manner of wickedness.

    To the good he promised life, but threatened death to the wicked.

    Then were they clothed with pride; but those that sinned, and did wickedly, died, and were destroyed without mercy.

    For the Scripture says (and it is plain enough) that thirty thousand were left in the wilderness; and thirty thousand, and more, (as the law saith) were destroyed by the sword, fire, and serpents.

    And many others perished in another way, the earth opening, and hell receiving them.

    And here we have matter for reproving ourselves very seasonably.

    But those which pleased the Lord inherited the land of promise.

    Now there were in those days many worthies: as David and Solomon, the kings, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and many others, who fought for the faith, and defended it.

    But there was only one people chosen by God out of all the world:

    And many were their enemies round about, who persecuted them. 6. THIS LESSON AFFORDS US MUCH INSTRUCTION:

    When they kept the law, and the commandments, God fought for them against the other nations.

    But when they sinned, and committed wickedness, they died; were destroyed, and made prisoners by other nations.

    This people prospered so much, and became so rich, that they kicked against the Lord.

    Wherefore we find in this lesson, that the king of Babylon put them in prison; where they were distressed, and afflicted a long time.

    Then they cried to the Lord with a repentant heart, and he restored them to Jerusalem.

    But there were few that were obedient, and kept his law, and feared to offend the king.

    Indeed, there were some of them full of deceit and falsehood, and these were the pharisees, and others acquainted with the Scriptures:

    Who kept the law (as plainly appears) only to be seen by men, and to be held in greater respect.

    But that honor, soon comes to nothing, is of little value.

    Then were the saints, — the just and the good, — persecuted.

    And they prayed to the Lord with cries and tears, that he would come down upon earth, and save the world:

    For all mankind were in the road to destruction.

    Then God sent the angel to the noble virgin of the royal family.

    And he sweetly saluted her, (for he came by command) and then said unto her, Fear not, Mary, for the Holy Ghost shall overshadow thee, and thou shalt. bear a Son, whom thou shalt call Jesus: he shall save his people from their sins.

    Nine months did the glorious virgin bear him: but that she might not be made a public example, Joseph married her.

    The virgin was pure, and so was Joseph:

    And this we must believe, because the Gospel declares it.

    When the infant was born, he was laid in a manger, wrapped in clothes, and meanly lodged.

    This is a reproof to the covetous, and misers, who never cease to heap up riches.

    Now there were many wonderful things done, when the Lord was born:

    God sent the angel to make it known to the shepherds:

    A star appeared to the three wise men in the east:

    Glory was given to God in heaven, and peace on earth to the good.

    Afterwards the child suffered persecution:

    Nevertheless he grew in favor, and in stature; and likewise in Divine, wisdom, in which he was taught.

    And he chose the twelve apostles, who were rightly so named; And he was pleased to change the law, which he before gave:

    He did not so change it, as to do it away altogether, but renewed it, that it might be better kept.

    He himself was baptized, that he might give salvation to us.

    And he commanded the apostles to baptize the nations.


    The old law allowed of breaking the marriage ties, and permitted divorces by a writing; but the new says, thou shalt not marry her that is put away; and what God hath joined together, let no man put asunder.

    The old law cursed the barren womb; but the new recommends us to keep ourselves chaste.

    The old law only forbad perjury; but the new says, swear not at all, — and let your conversation be only yes and no.

    The old law commanded fighting against enemies, and returning evil for evil: but the new says, avenge not yourselves, but leave your revenge to the King of heaven, and let those, who injure you, live peaceably, and you shall find pardon from the heavenly King.

    The old law said you shall love your friends, and hate your enemy; the new says, you shall no more do so, but you shall love your enemies, and do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that persecute you, and seek occasion against you, that you may be the children of your Father which is in heaven.

    The old law said, punish those who do you evil; but the new says, forgive all sorts of persons, and you will have forgiveness of your Almighty Father; but if you will not forgive, you shall not be saved.

    No one should kill, or hate one another; much less should we mock the simple, or the poor.

    Neither should we despise the foreigner, or stranger; for in this world we are all pilgrims.

    And we are all brethren, and ought to serve God.


    To preach to Jews and Greeks, and every human being.

    He gave them power over serpents; also to cast out devils, heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, and to do to others, as he had done to them:

    He bid them not to possess gold or silver, but to be content with food and clothing:

    To love one another, and be at peace.

    He promised the kingdom of heaven to them, and to those, who are poor in spirit:

    And he, who knew the spiritually poor, said, he would soon number them.

    Then he told them what should come to pass:

    How he must die, and afterwards rise again:

    And he foretold the signs, and wonders, which must happen before the end.

    He spoke many excellent parables to them, and to the people, which were written afterwards in the New Testament.

    But if we will love Christ, and know his doctrine, we must watch, and read the Scriptures:

    Where we shall find, when we read, that Christ was persecuted only for doing good.

    He raised the dead by divine power; He made the blind to see, who never had before seen; He cleansed the lepers, and made the deaf to hear; He cast out devils, and worked many more miracles.

    And the more good he did, the more he was persecuted.

    His persecutors were the pharisees; — the followers of Herod, the king, and those of the priesthood; For they all envied him, because the people went after him, and believed in him, and his commandments.

    They formed a design to put him to a most cruel death, And spoke to Judas, and made an agreement with him, to deliver him up for thirty pieces of silver.

    Now Judas, being a covetous man, betrayed him, and gave up his Master to those wicked people.

    The Jews were the occasion of his being crucified, and having his feet, and his hands pierced with nails.

    A crown of thorns was set on his head, and they reproached him much, and blasphemed him.

    And when he said he was thirsty, they gave him gall and vinegar to drink.

    The torture was so sharp and painful, that his soul separated from his body, to procure salvation for sinners.

    The body remained hanging upon the cross between two thieves.

    Four wounds were inflicted on him; besides other blows.

    They then gave him the fifth, to finish him.

    For one of the soldiers came, and pierced his side; And immediately there flowed out blood and water together.

    Then all the apostles fled, but one returned, And stood there with two women near the cross.

    All were in great grief, particularly the mother, When she saw her Son dead, and naked, fastened to the cross.

    He was buried by the good, and guarded by the wicked.

    He rose from the grave on the third day; and raised to life many of his saints.

    And he appeared to his disciples, as he had foretold them.

    Then they rejoiced greatly, when they saw the Lord.

    And they were comforted, for before they were in great fear.

    And he conversed with them till the day of the ascension.

    When our Savior went up into glory, saying to his apostles, and all his other followers, that he would be with them to the end of the world. 9. — HE REMEMBERED THEM AT THE FEAST OF PENTECOST; And sent them the Holy Ghost, who is the Comforter:

    Who taught the apostles heavenly doctrine; And made them understand languages, and the holy Scriptures; Then they remembered what he had said.

    And they proclaimed without fear the doctrine of Christ, preaching to Jews and Greeks, and working many miracles.

    And they baptized the believers in the name of Jesus Christ.

    Then there became a people of new converts, And they were called Christiana, because they trusted in Christ.

    But we find in the Scriptures, that the Jews and Saracens persecuted them grievously.

    Yet the Apostles were so strong in the fear of the Lord, and likewise the men, and women, who were with them, That they did not leave off speaking, and doing for all that, Whatever might come of it, so that they might win Jesus Christ.

    Great were their torments, according to what is written; And only, because they taught the doctrine of Jesus Christ.

    But as for their persecutors, we need not so much wonder; For they had not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ; Like those, who now-a-days seek occasion to persecute so much; These ought indeed to be Christians, but have a poor claim to the name.

    But in this respect they are to be blamed, that they persecute and imprison the good:

    Yet it is no where found, that the saints ever persecuted, or put any in prison.

    Now after the apostles, there were certain teachers, who showed the way of Jesus Christ our Savior; And some of these are found even at this present time, but they are known to very few.

    They have a great desire to point out the way of Jesus Christ:

    But are so persecuted, that they can do but little.

    So blinded by error are the false Christians: and especially the pastors; For they persecute, and kill those, who are better than themselves, And let those live quietly, who are false, and deceivers.

    But by this we may know, that they are not good shepherds:

    For they love not the sheep, except for their fleeces.

    Nevertheless the Scripture says, and we may read it, That if any one love the good, he must needs love and fear God, and Jesus Christ.

    Such a one will never curse, swear, or lie.

    He will not commit adultery, kill, or cheat his neighbor:

    Neither will he take revenge of his enemies.

    Now such a one is called a Waldense, and said to be deserving of punishment.

    And they find occasion, by lies and deceit, to take from him what he has earned by fair dealing.

    However, he who is thus persecuted for the fear of the Lord comforts himself greatly by this, — that the kingdom of heaven shall be given to him at the end of the world.

    Then he will have great glory for all his dishonor.

    But in this their malice is very evident:

    For he who curses, lies, swears, often lays out his money at usury, kills, fornicates, and takes revenge of those who injure him; He, they say, is to be considered a good, and honest man.

    But let them take heed, that they be not deceived at last. 10 — WHEN THE MORTAL DISEASE COMES, AND DEATH SEIZES ON ONE OF THEM, AND MAKES HIM ALMOST SPEECHLESS; Then he calls for a priest to confess to him.

    But according to the Bible, he has delayed this too long:

    For that commands, and teaches us to repent in good time, and not to put it off to the last:

    The priest asks him, if he has any sin upon him.

    He answers in two or three words, and soon makes an end:

    The priest replies, that he cannot be forgiven, except he make restitution, and amends for his frauds.

    When he hears this, he is very much troubled, and thinks within himself, if he restores all, What shall he have to leave to his children; and what will the world say?

    Then he commands the children to examine their faults, And he buys a full absolution from the priest; Though he possess a hundred, or two hundred shillings of another, yet the priest acquits him for a hundred pence, and sometimes for less, when he can get no more.

    Telling him a long story, and promising him pardon; And that he will say masses for his soul, and for his relations.

    And in this way he pardons the righteous, and the wicked, by laying his hand on their head.

    But when he takes his leave, he assures the sick person that he is fully pardoned:

    Then the priest makes good cheer.

    But he is sadly amended thus, who has committed sin:

    And will find himself deceived by such an absolution.

    And he that occasions him to believe it, is guilty of a deadly sin.

    For I dare say it, because it is true, That all the popes, from Silvester to the present one, And all the cardinals, bishops, and abbots — all together, have no power to forgive sin.

    They cannot forgive any creature a single mortal sin.

    It is God alone who pardons, and no other being can. 11. — BUT THOSE WHO ARE PASTORS SHOULD DO THIS: — They should preach to the people, and pray with them; Feed them often with divine doctrine, And punish sinners with discipline, and admonish them to repent.

    And chiefly, that they should confess their sins to God without reserve; And repent in this life; fast, give alms, and pray with a fervent heart; — For by these things the soul finds salvation.

    Wherefore we Christians who have sinned, and forsaken the commands of Jesus Christ, because we have no fear, faith, or love, We should acknowledge our sins without delay:

    We should weep tears of penitence for the offenses we have committed, Particularly for these three mortal sins, the lust of the flesh, — the lust of the eye, — and the pride of life; by which we have done evil.

    We must keep in this way, if we will Jove and follow Jesus Christ:

    We must be poor in spirit and heart:

    Love chastity, and serve God humbly.

    Then we follow the way of Jesus Christ, and thus overcome our enemies. 12. — THERE IS A SHORT ACCOUNT IN THIS LESSON OF THREE LAWS, WHICH GOD GAVE TO MANKIND; The first law shows sensible and reasonable creatures, How to know God and honor their Maker.

    For whoever has understanding, may easily think within himself, that he neither made himself, nor any other.

    Therefore, he may know by his own judgment and. reason, That there is One Lord God, who created all the world.

    And knowing him, he ought to honor him greatly, For those who would not do this, were damned.

    The second law which God gave to Moses, teaches us to fear God, and to serve him with all our strength.

    For he condemns and punishes every offender.

    But the third law, which exists in this present time, teaches us to love God, and to serve him purely; For he waits for the sinner, and gives him time to repent in this life.

    As for any other law to come, we shall have none, but this: viz. to imitate Jesus Christ, and to do his will.

    To keep steadfastly what he commands us, And to be well aware of the coming of antichrist.

    And not to believe either his words or his works.

    Now, according to Scripture, there are many antichrists:

    For all those are antichrists, who are against Christ.

    There will be many signs and great wonders from this time until the day of judgment.

    Heaven and earth shall be burnt up; all the living shall die, and every building shall be thrown down.

    After which all shall rise again to never-ending life.

    Then shall come the last judgment, when God shall separate his people according as it is written:

    To the wicked he will say, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire: There to be tormented with the heaviest punishments; a multitude of pains, and sharp tortures; For you shall be damned without fail.

    From which may God, in his good will, preserve us!

    And give us to hear what he shall then say to his own people: Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you flora the foundation of the world.

    There you will have pleasures, and riches, and honor.

    May it please that Lord, who formed the world, that we may be of the number of his elect, to dwell with him in his court for ever!

    Thanks be unto God! Amen.

    The authenticity and antiquity of this “Noble Lesson,” are determined beyond all cavil by Mr. Raynonard in his “Choix des Poesies Originales des Troubadours;” which decision is affirmed by Hallam, Literature of Europe in the Middle Ages, chap. 1: sec. 33. That judgment was pronounced by the character of the dialect, as well as by the fact, that the date of it is emphatically embodied in the treatise.

    Mr. Faber also, in his Inquiry into the History and Theology of the Waldenses, Book III. chap. 9: p. 385-414, entered upon an elaborate investigation of the topic — in reference to the manuscript, the date of it, and the internal evidence; of which he specifies the then general impression of the nominal christians respecting the apocalyptic thousand years, the peculiar characteristics of the Jews and Saracens at that period, the extreme simplicity of the whole poem, and the nature of the theology which it proclaims, which demonstrates the “unbroken doctrinal descent of the secluded Valleuses from the primitive church, who received it catechumenically from generation to generation.”

    From the passage in the “Noble Lesson” that refers particularly to the persecutions and trials which the old Waldenses were called to endure, Mr. Faber has derived a luminous illustration of their earlier condition and history. It is too valuable to be omitted. Respecting the persecutions undergone by the Piedmontese Vaudois anterior to the time of their countryman Peter, we know little or nothing. Their long seclusion in the fastnesses of the Alps, where like the beleaguered woman in the apocalypse, to whom their descendants were fond of comparing them, they had a place in the wilderness prepared of God for their nourishment both spiritual and temporal, precluded much knowledge of them, save among their immediate Italian neighbors. But from the language of Claude, and of Atto, and of Damian, and of Rodolph of Tindon, it is evident that they were held in abhorrence as inveterate heretics; and the concurring statement of the Noble Lesson shows, that although at the end of the eleventh century, they might not have been called upon to seal their faith with their blood; yet were they exposed to those minor persecutions of rapine, and pillage, and fraudulent calumny, which impoverished and harassed them, and deprived them of their lawful and hard-earned substance. “The very sort of persecution here mentioned forms another part of the internal evidence, that the Noble Lesson was written in the year 1100. Had the poem been written after the time when Peter began his ministration, persecution of a worse kind than that of plunder and imprisonment would assuredly have been mentioned; for so violently were the French Vaudois and their founder harried by the archbishop and the priests of Lyons, that those who could escape, were fain to disperse themselves. through all parts of France and Italy. But any persecution of this sort is not specified in the Noble Lesson. On the contrary, imprisonment and loss of goods alone, not torture and loss of life, are specified as the trial to which the Vaudois were exposed. Hence, I have no hesitation in subscribing to the opinion of Raynonard, respecting the age of the Noble Lesson — ”La date de l’an 1100, qu’ on lit dans ce poeme, merite toute confiance — The date of the year 1100, which we read in the poem, deserves entire confidence.”


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