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accompany each other, Heresy and Sorcery, as hath been verified in our cities and provinces, which have admitted Heresy amongst
The Waldenses are cleared from obloquy by their own writings.
WHETHER the Waldenses of Bohemia were the relics of the people who followed Waldo there, as some affirm that he ended his life in Bohemia, after he had departed out of Germany, and escaped the hands of the Bishops of Mayence and Strasburg, or whether they were persons who afterwards were of the same faith with the Waldenses; they were griev. ously persecuted by Ladislaus, King of Hungary and Bohemia. We have extant an apology of the said Waldenses in their own tongue, which they sent to the King Lanceslaus, to justify themselves from several crimes with which their adversaries charged them. We have also their book with this inscription, “ Aiço es la causa del nostre despartiment de la Gleisa Romana;" This is the cause of our separation from the Romish Church. As they answer the calumny, that they met in obscure places, where the candles being put out, they committed abominable incests, we have transcribed the said apology in their own terms, for the greater certainty and edification.
APOLOGY OF THE WALDENSES.—“ Among other things, they publish, like angry and barking curs, that it is a law, and common amongst us to say: Prostitute thyself; whereby men obey the vilest part of their body more than God, who hath forbidden it. The foolish woman doth not only destroy the happiness of her husband, but her own too. He who addicts himself to this vice, doth not keep faith with any one. Whence it came to pass, that David caused his faithful servant to be slain, that he might enjoy his wife. Amnon defiled his sister Tamar. This vice consumes the estates of many, as it is said of the prodigal son, who wasted his substance in riotous living. Balaam made choice of this vice to provoke the children of Israel to sin, which was the occasion of the death of twenty-four thousand persons. This sin was the occasion of Sampson losing his sight. It perverted Solomon, and many have perished through the beauty of a wo:
The remedies for this sin are fasting, prayer, and keeping at a distance from it. For other vices may be subdued by fighting ; but in this we conquer by flight, and by not coming near it; of which we have an example in Joseph. We must then pray to the Lord daily, that he would remove far from us the sin of lasciviousness, and grant us the gifts of understanding and chastity."
In answer to the second scandal, that they maintained that a man might leave his wife when he pleased, they said, “ Matrimony is a bond which nothing but death can untie, unless it be for the cause of fornication, as our Lord Jesus Christ saith And Paul
the first epistle to the Corin
2 Reinerius de formâ Hereticandi Hereticos, Folio 21, 22, Article 32 ; 36; 37– Reinerius in Summa, Folio 12 —Claudius Rubis, History of Lyons, Book III, p. 269 - Bernard on the Canticles, Homily 66.-Albert de Capitaneis, Original of the Vaudois, Folio 2, 4.
thians, chapter vii., saith, ' Let not the wife depart from the husband, nor the husband put away his wife.?"
To the third calumny, touching the community of goods and wives :
They replied concerning marriage, that it was ordained by God of old in Paradise; that it is a good means against adultery, and that it was the saying of Paul, speaking thereof; Let every man have his own wife, and cvery woman her own husband. Also the husband ought to love his wife as Christ loves his Church ; and those who are married ought to live holily together, with their children, in the fear of God."
As for goods, every one hath possessed his own at all times, and in all places. In Dauphiny, when the Archbishops of Ambrun, John and Rostain, pillaged them of their substance; when the Lord of Argentiere and Montainar, as also Arroas de Bonne, dispossessed the Waldenses dwelling in the valley of Fraissiniere and Argentiere of their goods: the restitution of each estate was prosecuted by their particular proprietors, from whom they had been taken away. The Waldenses of Provence now demand of the pope a restoration of the lands and estates annexed to his domain by confiscation; and every particular person makes oath of their parcels of goods and lands, which descended upon them time out of mind, from their forefathers, the Waldenses. They never had any such community amongst them, which might any way derogate from that lawful propriety which every one hath by right to his own estate. 2
The fourth calumny was concerning baptism, which it is said they denied to infants. From this imputation they quit themselves as follows: “ Neither is the time or place appointed for those who must be baptized ; but charity, and the edification of the Church and Congregation, ought to be the rule in this matter ;-yet notwithstanding, we bring our children to be baptized; which they ought to do to whom they are nearest related ; as are their parents, or those whom God hath inspired with such a
True it is, that being for some hundreds of years constrained to suffer their children to be baptized by the Romish Priests, they deferred the doing of it as long as possible, because they detested the human inventions annexed to the institution of that holy sacrament, which they looked upon as pollutions of it. Their pastors, whom they called Barbs, being often in travels abroad for the service of their churches, they could not have baptism administered to their children by their own ministry. They there fore sometimes kept them long without baptism, upon which delay the priests charged them with that reproach. To which not only their adversaries have given credit, but many of those also who have approved of their lives and faith in all other points.
The fifth scandal was this, that they worshipped their Barbs or pastors, prostrating themselves before them. To clear the Waldenses from that imputation, the reader need only to peruse what they have said concerning the adoration of one Deity alone, in the exposition they made of their doctrine on the first commandment of the Law of God.
But they rendered honour to their pastors, as to those who brought to them the word of reconciliation, treating them kindly, thinking them
1 Remedy against the Sin of Luxury, chap. 21.-Waldensian book on the Virtues ; Chapter on Marriage.
2 Louis XII. condemned the usurpers of the goods of the Waldenses, to a restitutionTreatise of Monecbe.
3 Spiritual Almanac; Folio 45,
selves in conscience and duty thereto obliged. But that they ever intended to give that worship to the creature, which is due to the Creator, cannot be said but by way of calumny, although Albert de Capitaneis, their principal enemy in the diocess of Turin, violently tortured them to extort a confession, that they worshipped their pastors, which he could never force out of their mouths.4
The sixth calumny was this, that they maintained it was never lawful
They said, that there were some oaths lawful, tending to the honour of God, and the edification of their neighbour, alleging that place in Hebrews, vi: 16. That men swear by a greater than themselves, and an oath made for confirmation is an end of all strife. They allege also that it was enjoined the people of Israel, to swear by the name of the Lord, in Deuteronomy vi.; and the oath' made betwixt Abimelech and Isaac, Genesis xxvi., and that of Jacob, Genesis xxxi.'
The seventh scandal was this, to render them odious to the people, as if they had preferred the peace with the Turk to the enlargement of the Church and Kingdom of Christ; affirming, that they maintained the pope was guilty of mortal sin, when he sent Croisades against the Saracens.
“For their justification it is to be observed, they never complained of the enterprise of the war against the Turks, but that under pretence thereof, the popes robbed the Church of its goods and divine graces, deceiving the ignorant with their bulls and benedictions, who too easily received their lies and innovations, and bought them very dear. Moreover they looked upon it as a hard thing, that the pope had raised against them his croisades of pilgrims, to persecute them as heretics, without hearing or convicting them of being such.”6
But they are not the only persons who have blamed the avarice or vindictive spirits of popes in point of croisades. Languis, a German historian, charged Pope Leo X. with having levied vast sums of money under pretence of the war against the Turk, with which he afterwards gratified thirty Cardinals whom he had newly created.?
Guicciardin observes in his history, that this same pope caused great exactions to be made, of which he gave the fruits into the hands of his sister Magdalen; that all that levy of money was only to satisfy the covetousness of one woman ; and that the Bishop of Arembaldo was by him judged a commissary worthy of such an action, to execute it with all manner of extortion.'
Alexander IV. changed his vow of Jerusalem into one of La Pouille, a vow of revenge; for he gave power to his legate to absolve Henry III. King of England, dispensing him of his vow of entering upon the croisade for Jerusalem; provided that he would march into La Pouille to wage war with Manfred, son of Frederick the Emperor. Matthew Paris takes notice of the complaint that was made thereupon; that the tenths formerly set apart for the succour of the Holy Land, were then taken away, and converted to the assistance of La Pouille against Christians.8
4 This appeareth by the process formed by the said Albert against the Waldenses of the 5 Spiritual Almanac: Exposition of the third Commandment. 6 Causes of separation from the Church of Rome, p. 233.
Chronicle of France, 1513.—Examination of the Council of Trent, Lib. i., chap. 5.
8 La Pouille is part of Naples, whose inhabitants are held to be very dangerous. Matthew Paris, History of England. -Examination of the Council of Trent, Book i, chap. 5.
The eighth calumny was, that they showed no reverence to sacred places; and that he doth not sin more grievously who burns a church, than he who breaks open another house.
They said, "that neither the place nor the pulpit maketh a man holy; and they maintained, that they are greatly mistaken who think the better of themselves because of the dignity of the place. For what was greater than Paradise, and what more pure than Heaven ? and nevertheless man was driven out of Paradise because he sinned there. And the angels were expelled from Heaven, that they might be an example to those who should come after, to teach them, that it is not the place, nor the grandeur and dignity thereof, but innocency of life which makes a man holy:"9
In answer to the ninth accusation, that they maintained, that the magisị trate ought not to sentence any one to death, they said, “it is written
that a malefactor shall not be suffered to live, and that without correction and discipline, doctrine serves to no purpose ; neither would judgment be known, or sins be punished; and that therefore just anger is the mother of discipline, and patience without reason the seed of vices, which suffers the wicked to proceed in their excesses.” 10
They complained that the magistrates should deliver them up to death without any other knowledge of their cause than what they had from the bare report of the priests.and monks, who were both judges and parties. For those monks pretending to discover errors in them, and then exclaiming against them as abuses which they had introduced into the Church, condemned them as heretics, and delivered them up to the secular power, as they called the magistrates. Now they looked upon this to be cruel simplicity in the magistrates, to give credit to men so biased with passion, as were the priests; and that they should put to death so many innocent persons, without having heard or examined them."11
The tenth calumny tended to render them odious to kings and princes: that the layman in a state of grace hath more authority than a prince living in mortal sin.
In reply to that imputation, they said, that every one ought to be subject to those who are put in authority, to obey them, to love them, to be at peace with them, to honour them with subjection, allegiance, and promptitude, and paying what is due to them. 12
The eleventh charge was grounded upon this ; that the Waldenses affirmed that the pope had no authority over the kings and princes of the earth, who depended immediately upon God alone. Thence they took occasion to call them Manichees, as constituting two Supreme powers.
To which they replied, “We believe that the Holy Trinity created all things both visible and invisible, and that he is Lord of all things in heaven, earth, and hell: as it is said by John, All things were made by him, and without him was nothing made."13
The original of that calumny proceeded from the Extravagant of Pope Boniface VIII., who, making the authority of emperors subordinate to his, saith concerning it; Quicunque huic potestati resistit, Dei ordinationi resistit, nisi duo, sicut Manichæus, fing at esse principia. De majori
9 Causes of separation from the Church of Rome, p. 125.
tate et obedientia. Can. Unam Sanctam. L. 1, T. 8. 66 Whosoever resists this power, resists the ordinance of God, unless, like the Manichees, he pretends that these are two distinct principles."
The twelfth was, that they held, that all which is done with a good intention, is good, and that every one shall be saved by what he does with the said good intention. Which needs no other answer
, than this: the Monk Reinerius, the asperser of them, says, that they held, that no one was saved but by his faith, which he styles a sect. An accuser ought to have had a better memory, than to affirm things contradictory. 14
It is sufficient to show that they believed no such position ; for they said against Antichrist, that he hath introduced his errors into the church, under colour of a good intention, and a show of faith.
In their thirteenth calumny they affirmed, that the priests might lawfully be slain or damaged in their tithes, which one might retain without scruple of conscience.
It is certain, that if the Waldenses could have appropriated their tithes to some other use, besides the maintenance of those whom they cried down as “dumb dogs," “ drowsy watchmen," "slow bellies, deceivers, and being deceived,” they would have done it; but seeing they had not power to detain them, none made any disturbance about that matter.
It appears indeed, that in that which depended on their free will, they offered nothing to such persons, cared not for their masses and trentals after their decease; of which the priests complained, who thence took occasion to accuse them as heretics. 15
As to revenge, they say—“ The Lord knowing that we should be delivered up, said, 'beware of men ; but he never teaches nor counsels his elect to slay any one, but to love their enemies. When the disciples said unto him, shall we call for fire from Heaven and consume them? Christ answering, said unto them, you know not what spirit you are of. Also the Lord said to Peter, put up thy sword into its place. Moreover, temporal adversities ought to be contemned and endured with patience, for there happeneth nothing in them that is new. While we are here, we are the threshold of the Lord, to be beaten like corn when it is separated from the chaff. 16
The last calumny of the enemies of the Waldenses, is that wherewith Claude de Rubis blackens them, in his history of the city of Lyons ; That having retired into the Alps, after their departure from Lyons, “they became like the rest of the people of the country, besom-riders." Indeed there are two things which commonly accompany each other, that is, Heresy and Sorcery ; "as has been verified,” says he, “ in the cities and provinces which have admitted Heresy amongst them.”
We will justify the Waldenses, and then make answer to Rubis in behalf of the cities and provinces which he hath involved in his calumny.
They act against the first commandment, say the Waldenses in the exposition on the first commandment of the law, who believe the planets can force the free will of man. Such, as much as in them lies, esteem the planets to be Gods; for they attribute to the creature that which belongs to the Creator. Against whom the prophet Jeremiah saith, “ learn not to follow the ways of the nations, and be not
14 Reinerius, Liber de formâ Hæretic., Article 38. 15 Process against the Waldenses of Dauphiné, by Albert de Capitaneis, and other Monks Inquisitors.
16 Tribulations, p. 274.