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temptible people indeed, and looked upon as the filth and scum of the world, but by whom notwithstanding the Lord has wrought many admirable and miraculous things, making them the instruments of re-establishing his church first in France, and afterwards causing the streams of his law and pure doctrine to issue as it were out of the new Zion, and to overflow the rest of the world, gathering together his elect by the preaching of his Holy Gospel. That which is most to be admired in this work is, that the doctrines which they have believed and taught, have been so miraculously preserved amongst them, in the midst of the grievous and continual persecutions which they have suffered for righteousness' sake. It is also à thing worthy of our admiration, that their enemies should have kept a register of those evils and miseries which they did most unjustly make them suffer. They gloried in having shed that blood which cries to heaven for vengeance, and in having banished the church into the wilderness for a certain appointed time; and have made known by their histories, that the dragon hath done nothing more than what he was suffered to do, to make war against the Saints.* But being rescued and delivered from their great tribulations and afflictions, and their garments washed in the blood of the Lamb, they were conducted to living fountains of waters, and God hath wiped away all tears from their eyes."He who overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.” Revelation, xxi. 7.
* The conclusion of Faber's “ Inquiry into the History and Theology of the ancient Val lenses and Albigenses" is so apposite and convincing, and is so admirable a counterpart to the last paragraph of Perrin's narrative concerning the Old Waldenses, that it must be iniroduced, especially as the volume whence it is extracted is unknown to almost every American student.
I. “Agreeably to the promises of our Saviour Christ, there never has been want. ing, from the very first promulgation of the Gospel, a spiritual visible Church of faithful worshippers. Through all the worst and darkest periods, even through that century which Baronius himself calls the iron, and leaden, and obscure age,' such a Church incessantly has existed; though often, to all appearance, on the very brink of destruction. In novem inchoatur seculum, quod, sua asperitate ac boni sterilitate ferreum, malique exundantis deformitate plumbeum, atque inopia scripto. rum, appellari consuevit, obscurum.”-Baronius Annal. in A. D. 900.
There was a time when, in the boasted immutable communion of the Latins, religious knowledge was at so low an ebb, that the Cardinal, during the evolution of his leaden age, is fain to pronounce that Christ himself was asleep! while the mystic ship of the Church was overwhelmed by waves; and what he thinks even yet worse than the alleged somnolency of the omniscient Redeemer, the ecclesiastical mari. ners of the Popedom,” snored so soundly, that the disciples who might rouse their sleeping Lord, could no where be found.--Dormiebat tunc plané alto, ut apparet, sopore Christus, cum navis Auctibus operiretur: et quod deterius videbutur, deerunt, qui Dominum sic dormientum clamoribus excitarent discipuli, stertentibus omni. bus.-Baronius Annal. in A. D. 912.
However, he who keepeth Israel neither slumbered nor slept. Profound as might be the drowsiness of the whole Latin “ Apostates” respecting which Baro. nius so justly and so honestly complains; widely extended as might be the great apostacy from the faith, which Paul so characteristically foretold; nevertheless, Christ was not without mariners, both fully awake, and zealously active at their post. What the Cardinal was unable to find throughout the Vast obscure of the pa. pal dominions, and the want of which might seem to have frustrated the promise of the Saviour himself, continued to exist in the secluded and despised valleys of Dauphiny and Piedmont-Though incessantly harassed and persecuted by the tools of the papacy, yet through all those middle ages which preceded the Re.
Conniallium Antiquissima Insignia
formation of the sixteenth century, the Vallenses were never either exterminated by the sword of violence, or enslaved to the unhallowed superstitions of the Latin Hierarchy." According to the remarkable confession of an archbishop of Turin in the earlier part of the sixteenth age, though perpetually attacked by an enemy of surpassing power, still in mockery of all expectation, the Vallensic Christian of the Alps came off victorious, or at least showed himself unconquered and invincible.-Quippe quia, a longe potentissimo hoste inversus, præter opinionem victor, aut omnino invictus, evasit; multo, quam prius, fit insolentior atque auda. cior; et quem prius valde formidabat, repulsum facile deinceps contemnit. Idque tunc magis contigit, quum hostis conatus sæpius inanes fuere.-Claud. Seyssel. Taurin. adversus Valdenses, Fol. 1.
II. With the Reformed Churches of the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries, the visible and united churches of the Vallenses and the Albigenses, now actually existing in the valleys of the Cottian Alps, agree; both in all essential parts of Scriptural doctrine, and in a steady opposition to the unscriptural corruptions of the court of Rome.
Through the medium of the Vallensic churches, which at the very beginning of the fifth century, not to speak of even a yet earlier period, subsisted where they sull exist, in the region, geographically defined by Jerom, lying between the waters of the Adriatic sea and the Alps of King Cottius, we stand connected with the purity of the primitive churches. In despite of the lawless innovations of the papacy, innovations which are condemned by the testimony of the earliest ecclesiastical writers, the promises of Christ have been faithfully accomplished.
III. In the valleys of the Alps, by pure visible churches, the ancient faith of Christianity has been preserved, through all the middle ages of innovating superstition, sound and uncontaminated.
Behold! the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. The angel of the Lord was in it; and the arm of the mighty God of Jacob was its protection. Therefore the son of wickedness and perdition" could not destroy it: and the enemy was unable to wear it out by violence.
ΔΟΕΑ ΕΝ ΥΨΙΣΤΟΙΣ ΘΕΩ. .
ANTERIOR TO THE REFORMATION.
By Jean Paul Perrin.
WITH ILLUSTRATIVE NOTES,
HISTORIANS AND THEOLOGIANS.
PHILADELPHIA: GRIFFITH & SIMON, 114 NORTH THIRD STREET.