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now permitting them to make their own apology. Their historian, John Paul Perrin, in his "Histoire des Vaudois," published at Geneva in 1619, has furnished us with two of their "Confessions of faith," of which the following are faithful translations. Sir Samuel Morland has fixed the date of the first of them in the

year 1120.*


1. We believe and firmly maintain all that is contained in the twelve articles of the symbol, commonly called the apostles' creed, and we regard as heretical whatever is inconsistent with the said twelve articles.

2. We believe that there is one God,-Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

3. We acknowledge for sacred canonical scriptures the books of the Holy Bible. (Here follows the title of each, exactly conformable to our received canon, but which it is deemed, on that account, quite unnecessary to particularize.)

4. The books above-mentioned teach us-That there is ONE GOD, almighty, unbounded in wisdom, and infinite in goodness, and who, in his goodness, has made all things. For he created Adam after his own image and likeness. But through the enmity of the devil and his own disobedience, Adam fell, sin entered into the world, and we became transgressors in and by Adam.

5. That Christ had been promised to the fathers who received the law, to the end that, knowing their sin by the law, and their unrighteousness, and insufficiency, they might desire the coming of Christ to make satisfaction for their sins, and to accomplish the law by himself.

6. That at the time appointed of the Father, Christ was born-a time when iniquity every where abounded, to make it manifest that it was not for the sake of any good in our

* Morland's History of the Churches of Piedmont, p. 30.

selves, for all were sinners, but that He, who is true, might display his grace and mercy toward us.

7. That Christ is our life, and truth, and peace, and righteousness-our shepherd and advocate, our sacrifice and priest, who died for the salvation of all who should believe, and rose again for our justification.

8. And we also firmly believe, that there is no other me diator, or advocate with God the Father, but Jesus Christ. And as to the virgin Mary, she was holy, humble, and full · of grace; and this we also believe concerning all other saints, namely, that they are waiting in heaven for the resurrection of their bodies at the day of judgment.

9. We also believe, that, after this life, there are but two places-one for those that are saved, the other for the damned, which [two] we call paradise and hell, wholly denying that imaginary purgatory of Antichrist, invented in opposition to the truth.

10. Moreover, we have ever regarded all the inventions of men (in the affairs of religion) as an unspeakable abomination before God; such as the festival days and vigils of saints, and what is called holy-water, the abstaining from flesh on certain days, and such like things, but above all, the masses.

11. We hold in abhorrence all human inventions as proceeding from Antichrist, which produce distress, * and are prejudicial to the liberty of the mind.

12. We consider the Sacraments as signs of holy things, or as the visible emblems of invisible blessings. We regard it as proper and even necessary that believers use these symbols or visible forms when it can be done. Notwithstanding which, we maintain that believers may be saved without these signs, when they have neither place nor opportunity of observing them.

Alluding probably to the voluntary penances and mortification imposed by the catholics on themselves.

13. We acknowledge no sacraments (as of divine appointment) but baptism and the Lord's supper.

14. We honour the secular powers, with subjection, obedience, promptitude, and payment. *


The Centuriators of Magdeburg in their History of the Christian church, under the twelfth century, recite from an old manuscript the following epitome of the opinions of the Waldenses of that age.

In articles of faith the authority of the Holy Scripture is the highest; and for that reason it is the standard of judging; so that whatsoever doth not agree with the word of God, is deservedly to be rejected and avoided.

The deerees of Fathers and Councils are [only] so far to be approved as they agree with the word of God.

The reading and knowledge of the Holy Scriptures is open to, and is necessary for all men, the laity as well as the clergy; and moreover the writings of the prophets and apostles are to be read rather than the comments of men.

The sacraments of the church of Christ are two, baptism and the Lord's supper and in the latter, Christ has instituted the receiving in both kinds both for priests and


Masses are impious; and it is madness to say masses for the dead.

Purgatory is the invention of men; for they who believe go into eternal life; they who believe not into eternal damnation.

The invoking and worshipping of dead saints is idolatry. The church of Rome is the whore of Babylon

Perrin's Hist. des Vaudois, ch. xii.

We must not obey the Pope and bishops, because they are the wolves of the church of Christ.

The Pope hath not the primacy over all the churches of Christ; neither hath he the power of both swords.

That is the church of Christ, which hears the pure doctrine of Christ, and observes the ordinances instituted by him, in whatsoever place it exist.

Vows of celibacy are the inventions of men, and productive of uncleanness.

So many orders [of the clergy] so many marks of the beast.

Monkery is a filthy carcase.

So many superstitious dedications of churches, commemorations of the dead, benedictions of creatures, pilgrimages, so many forced fastings, so many superfluous festivals, those perpetual bellowings, [alluding to the practice of chanting] and the observations of various other ceremonies, manifestly obstructing the teaching and learning of the word, are DIABOLICAL INVENTIONS,

The marriage of priests is both lawful and necessary.

About the time of the Reformation, the Waldenses who resided in the south of France, and who of course were subjects of the French king, were persecuted with the most sanguinary severity, particularly those resident in the country of Provence. In the year 1540, the parliament of Aix, the chief judicature of the province, passed a law that "they should all of them promiscuously be destroyed, that their houses should be pulled down, the town of Merindole be levelled with the ground, all the trees cut down, and the country adjacent converted into a desart. Voltaire, speaking of this cruel decree, says, "The Waldenses, terrified at this sentence, sent a deputation to cardinal Sadoletus, bishop of Carpentras, who at that time

was in his diocese. This illustrious scholar, this true philosopher, this humane and compassionate prelate, received them with great goodness, and interceded in their behalf, and the execution of the sentence was for a time suspended." "The sentence, nevertheless, was executed in all its rigour five years afterwards, as will be related in a future section. In the preceding year, however, (1544) as we are informed by Sleiden, in his history of the Reformation, p. 347, the Waldenses, to remove the prejudices that were entertained against them, and to manifest their innocence, transmitted to the King, in writing, the following Confession of their Faith.


1. We believe that there is but one God, who is a Spirit-the Creator of all things-the Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in us all; who is to be worshipped in spirit and in truth-upon whom we are continually dependant, and to whom we ascribe praise for our life, food, raiment, health, sickness, prosperity and adversity. We love him as the source of all goodness; and reverence him as that sublime being, who searches the reins and trieth the hearts of the children of men.

2. We believe that Jesus Christ is the Son and image of the Father-that IN HIM all the fulness of the Godhead dwells, and that BY HIм alone we know the Father. He is our Mediator and Advocate; nor is there any other name given under heaven by which we can be saved. In His name alone we call upon the Father, using no other prayers than those contained in the Holy Scriptures, or such as are in substance agreeable thereunto.

Voltaire's Univ. Hist. ch. cxvi.

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