Εικόνες σελίδας
PDF
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

XII.

PART

qualified and entitled to prescribe to the penitentc e NT. the kind and degree of satisfaction or expiation that their transgressions required; that confession made to priests was by no means necessary, since the humble offender might acknowledge his sins and testify his repentance to any true believer, and might expect from such the counsels and admonitions that his case and circumstances demanded. They maintained, that the power of delivering sinners from the guilt and punishment of their offences belonged to God alone ; and that indulgences, of consequence, were thecriminal inventions of sordid avarice. They looked upon the prayers, and other ceremonies that were instituted in behalf of the dead, as vain, useless, and absurd, and denied the existence of departed souls in an intermediate state of purification, af-'. firming, that they were immediately, upon the separation from the body, received into heaven, or thrust down to hell. These and other tenets of a like nature composed the system of doctrine propagated by the Waldenses. Their rules of practice were extremely austere; for they adopt- . ed, as the model of their moral discipline, the Sermon of Christ, on the mount, which they interpreted and explained in the most rigorous and literal manner, and, of consequence, prohibited and condemned in their society all wars, and suits of law, all attempts towards the acquisition of wealth, the inflicting of capital punishments, self-defence against unjust violence, and oaths of all kinds [2].

. XIII. [i] See the Codex Inquisitionis Tolosonæ, published by LIMBORCH, as also the summa MONETÆ contra Waldenses, and the other writers of the Waldensian history. Though these writers are not all equally accurate, nor perfectly agreed about the number of doctrines that entered into the system of this sect, yet they are almost all unanimous in acknowledging the sincere piety and exemplary conduct of the Waldenses, and shew plainly

enough

XII. PAR

hetor

ment a

CENT. XIII. The government of the church was com:

u mitted, by the Waldenses, to bishops [k], presbyters

and deacons ; for they acknowledged that these of church- 1

three ecclesiastical orders were instituted by govern- Christ himself. But they looked upon it as abmong the

solutely necessary, that all these orders should reWaldenses. semble exactly the apostles of the divine Saviour,

and be, like them, illiterate, poor, destitute of all worldly possessions, and furnished with some laborious trade or vocation, in order to gain by constant industry their daily subsistence [1]. The laity were divided into two classes; one of which contained the perfect, and the other the imperfect Christians. The former spontaneously divested themselves of all worldly possessions, manifested, in the wretchedness of their apparel, their excessive poverty, and emaciated their bodies by frequent fasting. The latter were less austere, and approached nearer to the method of living generally received, though they abstained, like the graver sort of anabaptists in later times, from all appearance of pomp and luxury. It is, however, to be observed, that the Waldenses were not without their intestine divisions. Such of them as lived in Italy differed considerably in their opinions from those who dwelt in France and the other European nations. The former considered the church of Rome as the church of Christ, though much corrupted and sadly disfigured ; they acknowledged moreover the validity of its seven sacraments, and solemnly declared that they would

continue

enough that their intention was not to oppose the doctrines that were universally received among Christians, but only to revive the piety and manners of the primitive times, and to combat the vices of the clergy, and the abuses that had been introduced into the worship and discipline of the church.

[&] The bishops were also called, majorales, or elders.

[?] The greatest part of the Waldenses gained their livelihood by weaving ; hence the whole sect in certain places were called the sect of weavers.

[ocr errors]

continue always in communion with it, provided c E N T. they might be allowed to live as they thought, proper, without molestation or restraint. The latter affirmed, on the contrary, that the church of Rome had apostatised from CHRIST, was deprived of the Holy Spirit, and was, in reality, that whore of Babylon mentioned in the Revelations of St John [m].

XIV. Besides these famous sects, which made Sects of a a great noise in the world, and drew after them less emi

nent kind. multitudes from the bosom of a corrupt and The Pasama superstitious church, there were other religious gini. factions of lesser importance, which arose in Italy, and more especially in France, though they seem to have expired soon after their birth n). In Lombardy, which was the principal residence of the Italian heretics, there sprung up a very singular sect, known by the denomination of Pasaginians [0], and also by that of the circumcised. Like the other sects already mentioned, they had the utmost aversion to the dominion and discipline of the church of Rome ; but they were, at the same time, distinguished by two religious tenets that were peculiar to themselves. The first was a notion, that the observation of the law of Moses in every thing except the offering of sa

crifices, [m] MONETÆ Summa Calbaros et Valdenses, p. 406.416, &c. They seem to have been also divided in their sentiments concerning the possession of worldly goods, as appears from the accounts of STEPHANUS DE BORBONE, in ECHARDI Scriptoribus, Dominicanis, tom. i. p. 191. This writer divides the Waldenses into two classes; The poor men of Lions, and the poor men of Lombardy. The former rejected and prohibited all sorts of possessions; the latter looked upon worldly possessions as lawful. This distinction may be also confirmed by several passages of other ancient authors. .

[n] For an account of these obscurer sects, see STEPHANUS DE BORBONE, in ECHARDI Scriptoribus Dominicanis, tom. i. p. 191.

[o] The origin of the name Pasagini, or Pasagii, is not known.

CENT.crifices, was obligatory upon Christians, in conXIl. "; sequence of which they circumcised their follow

ers, abstained from those meats, the use of which was prohibited under the Mosaic economy, and celebrated the Jewish Sabbath. The second tenet that distinguished this sect was advanced in opposition to the doctrine of three persons in the divine nature; for the Pasaginians maintained that CHRIST was no more than the first and purest creature of God; nor will their adopting this opinioni seem so surprising, if we consider the prodigious number of Arians that were scattered throughout

Italy long before this period of time [p]. The Capu- XV. A set of fanatics, called Caputiati; from a tiati.

singular kind of cap that was the badge of their faction, infested the province of Burgundy, the diocese of Auxerre, and several other parts of France, in all which places they excited much disturbance among the people. They wore upon their caps a leaden image of the Virgin Mary, and they declared publicly, that their purpose was to level all distinctions, to abrogate magistracy, to remove all subordination among mankind, and to restore that primitive liberty, that natural equality that were the inestimable privileges of the first mortals. Hugo, bishop of Auxerre, attacked these disturbers of human society in the proper manner, employing against them the force ofarms, instead of arguments [9].

The sect of the apostolics, whom St BERNARD opposed with such bitterness and fury, and who were so called, as that zealous abbot himself acknowledged, because they professed to exhibit in

their [p] See F. Bonacursi Manifestatio beresis Catharorum, in Luc. DACHERII SPICILEGIO Veter. Scriptor. tom. i. p. 211. edit. nov.-GERHARD. BERGAMENSIS contra Carbaros et Pasagios, in LUD. ANTON. MURATORII Antiqq. lial. medii ævi, tom. V. p. 151.

[9] Jac. LE BOEUF, Memoires sur l'Histoire d'Auxerre, tom. i. p. 317.

their lives and manners, the piety and virtues of C E N T. the holy apostles, were very different from the

"PART II. audacious heretics now mentioned. They were a clownish set of men, of the lowest birth, who gained their subsistence by bodily labour; and yet no sooner did they form themselves into à sect, than they drew after them a multitude of adherents of all ranks and orders. Their religious doctrine, as St BERNARD confesses, was free from error, and their lives and manners were irreproachable and exemplary. Yet they were reprehensible, on account of the following peculiarities : 1. They held it unlawful to take an oath. 2. They suffered their hair and their beards to grow to an enormous length, so that their aspect was inexpressibly extravagant and savage. 3. They preferred celibacy before wedlock, and called themselves the chaste brethren and sisters. Notwith: standing which, 4. Each man had a spiritual sister with him, after the manner of the apostles, with whom he lived in a domestic relation, lying in the same chamber with her, thouglı not in the same bed [r].

XVI. In the council, which was assembled at Eon, a Rheims in the year 1148, and at which Pope EUGENIUS III. presided, a certain gentleman of the fanatica province of Bretagne, whose name was Eon; and whose brain was, undoubtedly, disordered, was condemned for pretending to be the Son of God. Having heard, in the form that was used for exorcising malignant spirits, these words pronounced : per Eum, qui venturus est judicare vivos et mortuus, he concluded, from the resemblance that there was between the word Eum and his name, that he was the person who was to come and judge both quick and dead. This poor man should Vol. III.

K

rather

[rj St BERNARDUS, Sermo Lxv, in Canticum, tom. iv. Oppo p. 1495. edit. Mabillon,

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »