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PETER WALDO.

A. B. C, etc. To those divisions bis concordance refers. The first English concordance was much later, and was made by Marbecke, organist at Windsor, and dedicated to the pious king Edward vi., in 1550; but it referred only to chapters and sections, not to verses. It would not be easy to say how much we owe in our times to the care and pains bestowed by the authors of Scripture concordances. [They began with a native of the country of the Albigenses.] The first English concordance cost the compiler his liberty, and would have cost him bis life, but for the consideration of Henry vir., who pardoned him "for his ingenuity and diligence."

The conversion and labours of Peter Waldo carry us into other countries. He was himself a wealthy merchant of Lyons, and living in a careless way like most of his neighbours. A sudden attack of illness brought him to the borders of the grave, and produced a deep impression upon his mind of his mortality and sinfulness. Being a man of education, he read, on his recorery, the Latin Vulgate ; there he found the peace he sought, and became a decidedly Christian man. He then began to make efforts on behalf of his countrymen. Ile abandoned his mercantile pursuits, and consecrated his property to the poor as their necessities required. Finding the people generally ignorant of Scripture, he translated the four Gospels, and afterwards the Epistles of

* See Townley's Illustrations, vol. iii. p. 118.

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78 THE FIRST FRENCH TESTAMENT.
Panl, into French, "and being somewhat
learned," says the Roman inquisitor, when
speaking of him," he taught the people the
text of the New Testament in their own tongue.”
« His kindness to the poor," says one of the
authors of the “Centuries of Magdeburgh,"
" being diffused, his love of teaching and their
love of learning grew stronger and stronger,
so that great crowds came to him, and he ex-
plained the Scriptures to them all.” To Peter
Waldo, therefore, Europe owes the first trans-
lation of a part of Scripture into a modern
vernacular language.

We obtain a brief but instructive insight into the mode of teaching adopted by Waldo and his followers from the reports of the inquisitor Pieronetta. A widow is examined, and confesses, “That there came to the house of Peter Formerius, her husband, two strangers, in grey clothes, who, as it seemed to her, spake Italian, or the dialect of Lombardy, whom her husband took into his house for the love of God. That whilst they were there, at night, after supper, one of them began to read a godly book, which he carried about with him, saying, that therein were contained the gospel and other precepts of the law, and that he would explain and speak the same in the presence of all who were present: God having sent him to go up and down the world like the apostles, to reform the Catholic faith, and to preach to the good and simple, showing them how to worship God and keep his commandments."*

* Allix's Remarks, pp. 277, 322.

WALDO'S LABOURS.

79 It does not appear that Waldo had at first any intention of leaving the Romish communion. As he grew in the knowledge of the Scriptures, however, he discovered many doctrines and usages of that church which seemed at variance with the word of God. He first rejected transubstantiation, and then lifted up his voice against the arrogance of the pope and the vices of the clergy. These efforts aroused the hostility of the archbishop of Lyons: their tendency could not be mistaken: he resolved, therefore, to apprehend and imprison the offender. For some time, however, his attempts to take him failed, and during three years Waldo* lived concealed from his foes in his native city ; a result which must be attributed in part to the number of his friends and converts, and in part to the universal esteem in which his character was held.

At length, however, the attention of pope Alexander 11. was called to his proceedings, and he at once anathematized both Waldo and his adherents, and commanded the archbishop to take measures against them with the utmost rigour. Waldo was, therefore, compelled to leave Lyons; his flock also were scattered, but "they went everywhere preaching the word." Numbers of them found an asylum in Piedmont, where they took with them their new

* It seems certain that Waldo rather took his name from the Waldenses, than gave his name to them; the party at all events existed centuries before. The name is taken either from a Latin word, meaning one who lives in a dense valley, that is, a dalesman; or from a German word, meaning one

who lives in a wood.

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translation of the Bible. There they united with others of the same faith, and are known in history as the Waldenses, or Vaudois. Waldo himself retired into Dauphiné, and thence into Picardy, where he laboured with much activity. Driven thence, he proceeded into Germany, carrying with him in all his wanderings the glad tidings of salvation. At length he settled in Bohemia, where the fruit of his labours was seen, " after many days,” in the rapid extension throughout that country of the principles of the Reformation. In Alsace, and along the Rhine, his doctrines also spread extensively, and stirred up, as usual, the hostility of the Romish authorities. At Bingen, eighteen persons were consumed in one fire; at Mentz, thirty-five, and at Strasburg, eighty; their only offence being that they read and believed the Bible. As many

eighty thousand are said to have been put to death in Bohemia in the fourteenth century. In each case, the “ blood of the martyrs " became, as we shall see, secd of the church."

What has become of Waldo's version is not certainly known. A copy of it was presented to the pope at the Lateran council, in 1179 ; and at the council of Toulouse (1229) the work was condemned and prohibited, on account of its being written in the vernacular tongue. It is not known that any copy has reached our times, but Dr. Gilly has shown that the text of his version is most probably preserved in the six Romance manuscripts of Scripture which still

16 the

THE EVANGELICAL FAITH IN ITALY.

81

exist in the libraries of Dublin, Grenoble, Munich, Lyons, and Paris.*

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The history of the revival of religion in southern France is not materially different from its history in other places. In Italy, Claude of Turin, and Arnold of Brescia, had already preached the gospel, and explained the Scriptures. A large body of people had attached themselves to these faithful men, and the name of Paterines, by which they are known, (from pati, to suffer,) indicates the treatment they. received at the hands of the ruling powers. In the Lower Danube, and in Germany, a purer faith than that taught by the church of Rome had long prevailed, preparing the way for the Scriptural teaching of Waldo. Somewhat later, Wycliffe commenced and carried on a precisely similar work in England. The Bible was

* The canon of the council of Toulouse is the first on record against the reading of the Bible. It ordains that no “layman should have the books of the Old and New Testament; only they who out of devotion desire it, may have a Psalter, á Breviary, and the Hours of the Virgin' But even these are not on any account to be translated into the vulgar tongue.See “ Joriin's Remarks," vol. iii. p. 311.

A hundred and forty years before (1080) Gregory had told the king of Bohemia, who wished to have the offices of the church translated into the Sclavonic, that he knew not what he asked, and that the word of God, to Le revered, must be concealed.-Basnage, “ Histoire de l'Eglise,” vol. ií. p. 1575, quoted in Townley's '“ Anecdotes," p. 124.

Pope John vuur. was of another mind. “We approve," said he, in 880, of the Sclavonian letters, invented by Constantine, and we order that the praises of Christ may be published in that language. It is not contrary to the faith to employ it in the public prayers of the church, and in rending the Holy Scriptures. He who made the three principal tongues, Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, made the rest also for his own glory.”Fleury, quoted by Jortin, vol. iii. page 104.

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