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Both loved liberty--the latter paid for it by taxes, the fruits of their industry, and the former fought for it, and, by defending one, preserved both parties. The church of Rome having adopted clerical dominion as an article of orthodox belief, it followed of course, that resistance to that, was heresy both political and religious. Too many historians take up the affair in the gross, lay it down as they took it up, and gravely say, the Lord, by a course of miracles, assisted his dear servants the Catholics to drown, stab, and burn, forty thousand heretics--because they (the catholics) were afraid of their lives, in a society of people who had such an aversion to the taking away (even] of animal life, that they never killed a bird, from a sparrow to an eagle; or a quadruped, from a weasel to an elephant;* and who perpetually exclaimed against penal laws, and thought it wrong to take away the life of a man."
A proper attention to this matter, may probably help us to solve many things in the writings of the catholics themselves, which must otherwise prove extremely perplexing. Thus, for instance, several of their own writers describe the battle which proved so fatal to the cause of the Albigenses. “ In the year 1213, the christian army of eight hundred horse and one thousand foot, near Toulouse, being divided into three corps, in honour of the Holy Trinity, the first, under the command of Simon, Count of Montfort, the second commanded by the Lord Bishop of Toulouse, and the third by the Lord Bishop of Cominge, at
• Mr. Robinson has here given the very words of the Inquisitor Rei. nerius, who, describing the Waldenses, says, “ Ita, est communis opinio Catharorum, quod graviter peccaret, quicumque occiderit avem aliquam a minima usque ad maximam ; et quadrupedia, a mostela usque ad elephantem.” That is, “ It is also a common opinion among the Puritans (Cathari) that that man sins grievously who kills any bird, from the least to the greatest-or a quadruped, from a weasel to an elephant.” Contra Waldenses, cap. vi.
tacked the army of the heretics, consisting of an hundred thousand fighting men, and defeated them. The Catholics lost about a hundred men, but of the Albigenses, two and thirty thousand were either killed or drowned in the river Garonne.”* This they call the battle of Muret,t and they add, that after this victory many of the surviving heretics fed into the vallies of Piedmont, where their descendants resided, till two hundred years after, when Huss revived the same heresy in Bohemia, and Luther in Germany, about a hundred years after him. The explanation of all this miracle is, that the cities and towns that were attacked by the crusaders were peopled with mechanics, manufacturers, and husbandmen of the kind described by the inquisitors—an industrious and virtuous people, who took no oaths, objected to wars of every kind, and refused to shed the blood of a fellow-creature, even in defence of their own lives. Such appears plainly to have been the case with the Albigenses. The Count of Toulouse, and the barons and vassals that constituted his army, no doubt acted upon different maxims ; for, had they followed out the principles of these Albigenses, they would have dissolved the whole feudal system; but they approved of the conduct of these people in dissenting from the communion of the church of Rome, admired the simplicity of their doctrine and worship, and, to the utmost of their power, protected them from the rage of their bigotted and sanguinary persecutors.
Voltaire's remark upon this curious piece of Catholic history, may be thought by some not altogether impertinent. “ Is it at all likely,” he asks, " that only eighteen hundred men would attack an army of an hundred thousand in the open field, and divide themselves into three bodies ? • It is a miracle,' some writers will say, but military people, upon reading such a story, will tell them it is nonsense and absurdity." General His. tory, Vol. I. ch. I.
+ A singular disclosure was made after this battle, and as the circumstance tends to throw a ray of light upon the secret history of these times, it deserves to be recorded. When the battle of Muret was over, there was found among the slain belonging to the Albigenses a knight in black
On examining, behold it was discovered to be Peter, king of Arragon--that very monarch, who had fornierly been engaged in negotiating between the pope's legate and the Earl of Beziers. (See p. 124.) There also lay one of his sons, and many of the Aragonian gentlemen and vassals, who, while ostensibly supporting the Roman church, had, in disguise, been fighting in defence of the Albigeoses !!
Some account of the state of the Waldenses, from the period
of the suppression of their churches in France to the middle of the fourteenth century. A. D. 1230—1550.
While the dæmon of persecution was raging with resistless fury against the Albigenses in the southern provinces of France, the inhabitants of the vallies of Piedmont appear to have enjoyed a large portion of external peace; their churches had rest, and walking in the fear of the Lord and the comforts of the Holy Spirit, were edified and multiplied. The kind providence of God appeared in blessing them with a succession of mild and tolerant princes, in the Dukes of Savoy,* who continually receiving the most favourable reports of them, as a people simple in their manners, free from deceit and malice, upright in their dealings, loyal to their governors, and ever ready to yield them a cheerful obedience in every thing but the concerns of religion, turned a deaf ear to the repeated solicitations of priests and monks, and, from the beginning of the thirteenth century until the year 1487, a period of nearly three hundred years, peremptorily refused to disturb or molest them.
* Mr. Robinson, referring to this subject, has the following pertinent remark. “ It is a curious phenomenon in politics, that the family which allowed its subjects religious liberty, when all other princes oppressed conscience, should, in a country enthusiastically fond of liberty, become in the end, the most absolute monarchs in the christian world. Such is the king of Sardinia, who is also duke of Savoy, and to whose eldest son, the heir apparent, the title of the Prince of Piedmont is hereditary." Eccles. Researches, p. 459.
An effort was made to introduce the inquisition into Piedmont, but the proceedings in France had sufficiently opened the eyes of the inhabitants to the spirit and principles of that infernal court, and they wisely resisted its establishment among them. An inquisitor of the name of Peter of Verona, had been deputed by the Pope to carry the project into effect; but we are told by Ludovicus a Paramo, a Spanish writer of those times, that “the people made a martyr of him, either at Turin or Susa."* At Milan, also, the united power of pope Pius IV. and Philip II. of Spain, was found insufficient to introduce the inquisition; the mob rose at the bare proposal of it, and flew to arms, exclaiming that it was a system of tyranny, and not. of religion. Even the senate protested against it as inimical to trade, repugnant to the free constitution of the cities of Italy, and incompatible with the Milanese forms of law, on which grounds they opposed its introduction. Naples and Venice also successfully resisted the inquisitorial scheme; and, as the populace in almost every part of Italy formed insurrections against the inquisitors, evincing the most determined spirit of hostility against them, the states prudently availed themselves of this temper of mind, and pretended they were afraid of exasperating the people
Limborch, on the authority of Pegna in Eymeric, says, “ as he was going from Como to Milan, A. D. 1252, to extirpate heresy, a certain believer of heretics attacked him in his journey, and dispatched him with many wounds. He was canonized and worshipped as a martyr.”
should they introduce the independent power of the holy office.
The scenes of slaughter and devastation which had been carried on against the Albigenses, in the southern provinces of France, for more than twenty years during the former part of the thirteenth century, in which time it has been computed that a million of persons bearing that name were put to death, * had occasioned many of them to cross the Pyrenees and seek a shelter from the storm in the Spanish provinces of Arragon and Catalonia. Matthew Paris, in his History of the reign of Henry III. takes notice of this circumstance, and informs us that in the year 1214, during the pontificate of Alexander IV. there were great numbers of Waldenses in these provinces, of which the Pope bitterly complained in one of his bulls, saying that they had permitted them to gain such a footing, and given them such time to increase and multiply, that the evil loudly called for a remedy. He further adds, that they had several churches duly set in order with their bishops and deacons, in which they publicly and boldly preached their doctriue. Hither the vigilance of the inquisitors traced their steps, and accordingly, in the year 1232, the inquisition was brought into Arragon. A fur. ther inducement, indeed, to this was, that the bishop of Huesca, a considerable city of Arragon, was reported to err in matters of faith, and in all probability had so much humanity in his composition, as led him to connive at the residence of heretics in his diocese. The office of making inquisition against them, was committed, by Pope Gregory IX. to a friar of the order of predicants, named Peter Caderite; and James, the king of Arragon was magisterially enjoined not to permit him, or any of his assistants,
• Mede on the Apocalypse, p. 503. and Newton on the Prophecies, Vol. II. p. 257. 8th ed. 1789. Clarke his Martyrology doubles the number!