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In the sketch which Reinerius has furnished of the principles of the Waldenses, it is to be remarked, that there is not the slightest allusion to any erroneous opinions maintained by them, regarding the faith and doctrines of the gospel, and this is a noble testimony to the soundness of their creed. For having himself been connected with them, a man of learning and talents, he doubtless was. intimately acquainted with their doctrinal sentiments; and, having apostatized from their profession and become their determined adversary, he did not want inclination to bring forward any accusation against them which could be done with the smallest regard to decency on his own part. The errors of which he accuses them (a few instances excepted, and on which they repelled his slanderous charges) are such as no protestant dissenter of the present day would shrink from the odium which is connected with holding, since they will all be found in one way or other to resolve themselves into the unfounded claims of the clergy, or the introduction of human traditions and the basest superstition into the worship of God.

It will be recollected that, towards the close of the former section, it was stated that Peter Waldo, after disseminating his doctrines in France and Germany, was at last driven into BOHEMIA, where he spent the last years of his life in preaching the gospel, which he did with the most astonishing success. That kingdom comprehended what is now included in the duchy of Silesia, and the marquisate of Moravia. The country is about three hundred miles long and two hundred and fifty broad, almost wholly surrounded with impenetrable forests and lofty mountains. The soil, where it is cultivated, is fruitful, and yields corn enough for the use of its inhabitants, which are computed at three millions in number, leaving a considerable surplus, frequently, for exportation. Its pasture-lands produce abundance of cattle, particularly horses fit for war.. They have

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inexhaustible mines of gold, silver, copper, tin, iron, lead, sulphur and nitre; and their carbuncles, emeralds, and other precious stones are vended all over Europe. Crantz, who wrote the history of the Bohemian brethren, mentions a colony of Waldenses as obtaining permission to settle at Saltz and Laun, on the river Eger, so early as the twelfth century, which, the coincidence of time renders it highly probable, refers to the persecuted Waldo and his brethren. Certain it is, that his labours were crowned with great success in that country; and we have two noted authors who have left us a particular account of the faith and practices of the Waldenses in Bohemia, during the fourteenth century, at which time their numbers had increased very considerably, and they had to sustain the fire of papal persecution. The first is an inquisitor of the church of Rome, who says, "he had exact knowledge of the Waldenses," at whose trials he had often assisted, in several countries. The other is ÆNEAS SYLVIUS, who wrote the history of Bohemia, and afterwards ascended the pontifical chair with the title of Pope Pius II. Thus, writes the inquisitor concerning the Waldenses of Bohemia.

The first error of the Waldenses, says he, is, that they affirm the church of Rome is not the church of Jesus Christ, but an assembly of ungodly men, and that she has ceased from being the true church, from the time of Pope Sylvester, at which time the poison of temporal advantages was cast into the church-That all vices and sins reign in that church, and that they alone live righteously-That they are the true church of Christ, and that the church of Rome is the whore mentioned in the Revelation. They despise and reject all the ordinances and statutes of the church as being too many and very burdensome. They insist that the pope is the head and leader of all error-That the prelates are the scribes and seemingly religious pharisees-That the popes and their bishops, on account of the wars they foment, are murderers

-That our obedience is due to God alone, and not to prelates, which they found on Acts iv. 9.--That none in the church ought to be greater than their brethren, according to Matth. xx. 25, &c.-That no man ought to kneel to a priest, because the angel said to John (Rev. xix. 10.) “ See thou do it not"-That tythes ought not to be given to priests, because there was no use of them in the primitive church— That the clergy ought not to enjoy any temporal possessions, because it was said in the law, "The tribe of Levi shall have no inheritance with the children of Israel, the sacrifices being their portion" (Deut. xviii.)-That it is wrong to endow and found churches and monasteries, and that nothing ought to be bequeathed to churches by way of legacy. They condemn the clergy for their idleness, saying they ought to work with their hands as the apostles did. They reject all the titles of prelates, as pope, bishop, &c. They affirm that no man ought to be forcibly compelled in matters of faith. They condemn all ecclesiastical offices, and the privileges and immunities of the church, and all persons and things belonging to it, such as councils and synods, parochial rights, &c. declaring that the observances of the religious are nothing else than pharisaical traditions.

As to the second class of their errors-They condemn all the sacraments of the church. Concerning the sacrament of baptism they say, that the catechism signifies nothing, that the absolution pronounced over infants avails them nothing-that the godfathers and godmothers do not understand what they answer the priest. That the oblation which is called Al wogen is nothing but a mere human invention. They reject all exorcisms and blessings. Concerning the eucharist they say,that a wicked priest cannot celebrate that sacrament—that transubstantiation is not performed by the hands of him who celebrates unworthily, and that it (the eucharist) may be celebrated on our common tables, alleging for this the words of Malachi i. 11. "In every

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place shall a pure offering be offered to my name." They condemn the custom of believers communicating no more than once a year, whereas they communicate daily.* That the mass signifies nothing; that the apostles knew nothing of it; and that it is only done for gain. They reject the canon of the mass, and only make use of the words of Christ in the vulgar tongue-affirming that the offering made by the priest in the mass is of no value. They reject the kiss of peace, that of the altar, of the priest's hands, and the pope's feet. They condemn marriage as a sacrament, saying that those that enter into the state of marriage without hope of children, are guilty of sin. They have no regard to the degrees of carnal or spiritual affinity in marriage, which the church observes, nor the impediments of order and public decency, or to the prohibition of the church in that matter. They contend that a woman after child-birth doth not stand in need of any blessing or churching. That it was an error of the church to forbid the clergy to marry. They disallow the sacrament of extreme unction-they hold the sacrament of different orders of the clergy to be of no use, every good layman being a priest, and the apostles themselves being all laymen. That the preaching of a wicked priest cannot profit any body, and that which is uttered in the latin tongue can be of no use to those laymen who do not understand it. They deride the tonsure of priests; and reproach the church that she raiseth bastards, boys, and notorious sinners to high ecclesiastical dignities.-Whatsoever is preached without scripture proof, they account no better than fables. They hold that the Holy Scripture is of the same efficacy in the vulgar tongue as in latin, and accordingly they communicate and administer the sacraments in the vulgar tongue. They can say a great part of the old

I suspect this should have been " every Lord's day, or first day of the week," for it is certain they did not come together for worship every day; nor indeed was the thing practicable.

and new Testament by heart. They despise the decretals, and the sayings and expositions of holy men, and cleave only to the text of scripture. They contemn excommunication, neither do they value absolution, which they expect alone from God. They reject the indulgences of the church, and deride its dispensations. They admit none for saints except the apostles, and they pray to no saint. They contemn the canonization, translation, and vigils of the saints. They laugh at those laymen who choose themselves saints at the altar. They never read the liturgy. They give no credit to the legends of the saints, make a mock of the saints' miracles, and despise their relics. They abhor the wood of the cross, because of Christ's suffering on it; neither do they sign themselves with it. They contend that the doctrine of Christ and his apostles is sufficient to salvation without any church statutes and ordinances, and affirm that the traditions of the church were no better than the traditions of the Pharisees-insisting, moreover, that greater stress is laid on the observation of human tradition, than on the keeping of the law of God. They refute the mystical sense of scripture, especially as delivered in sayings and actions, and published by the church, such as that the cock upon steeples signifies the pastor!

Their third class of errors is as follows. They contemn all approved ecclesiastical customs which they do not read of in the gospel, such as the observation of Candlemas, PalmSunday, the reconciliation of penitents, the adoration of the cross on Good-Friday. They despise the feast of Easter, and all other festivals of Christ and the saints, and say that one day is as good as another, working upon holy-days, where they can do it without being taken notice of. They disregard the church fasts, alleging Isa. lviii. "Is this the fast that I have chosen?" They deride and mock at all dedications, consecrations, and benedictions of candles, ashes, palm-branches, oil, fire, wax-candles, Agnus Dei's, churchVOL. II.



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