SUMMARY OF BAPTISM IN THE FOURTEENTH CENTURY
The beginning is of the congregations or churches of the Waldenses; concerning whom it is shown that they existed not only in this century, but long before and after, teaching that the baptism of infants is of no avail.
The seventh article of the confession of the faith of the Waldenses, touching baptism, is presented; which treats of their confessing the ~ faith, and change of life.
The belief of Dulcinus and his wife Margaret adduced, of whom the papists say, that they were exactly like the Waldenses.
For the year 1315, persons are introduced, whom the papists regarded as heretics, because they held a belief different from that of the Roman church; of which two articles are presented: 1. of baptism; 2. of the swearing of oaths; which is further explained by us. For the year 1218 there is also
shown, by way of censure, the confession of the papists.
Certain pious people, called apostate Minorite friars present themselves, who are accused, by Pope John XXII, of five articles, one of which is against the swearing of oaths, and the other four against the papal church and her clergy.
Mention is made, for the years 1319, 1330, and 1365, of the Waldenses, whose confession of faith has, in preceding centuries, been shown not to militate against that of the Anabaptists; a representation of the severity with which the papists then proceeded against them.
John Wickliffe, A. D. 1370 adduces among other things, a certain article, declared to militate against infant baptism; also an article against the swearing of oaths, etc.
For the years 1372 and 1373, mention is made of certain people, who, by John Tilius, are called Turilupins, but by others are declared to have been true Waldenses.
Judicial proceedings (A. D. 1390) instituted against the Waldenses, in the countries on the Baltic Sea; with the statement that people of this profession existed in the Saxon countries full two hundred years before the time of John Huss.
Walter Brute confesses, A. D. 1392, that it is not lawful in any case, to swear, neither by the Creator, nor by the creatures. He also makes a good confession regarding baptism. This is also called the doctrine of W. Swinderby.
J. Mehrning cites a very ancient confession of faith of the Waldenses, which he has had in his own hands; in which it is declared that in the beginning of Christianity no infants were baptized.
Cursory notice of the Thessalian brethren, who agree with the so-called Mennists in all articles of religion; also, of the custom in Thessalia, of baptizing on Whitsuntide; and how Charles, Bishop of Milan, exhorted the teachers, diligently to expound the mystery of baptism to the hearers in order that the confession of the Christian name might become them.
St. Barnabas preaching the holy Gospel at Milan, baptizes in running water. Thereupon mention is made, in a note, for A. D. 1394, of certain people in Bohemia, who sided with the Anabaptists. This is the conclusion.], "That the church of the Waldenses," says Jacob Mehrning,"after her origin in France and her violent persecution in that country, spread far and wide into Bohemia, Poland, Lombardy, Germany, the Netherlands, and elsewhere, and remained there from the twelfth century until the year 1545 (as is recorded in Bibliotheca Patrum, Tom. 15, p. 300), teaching the invalidity of infant baptism, is testified to by the histories adduced in the preceding centuries, and may be seen in Sleidanus Comment. 16,Jac. Mehrn, Bapt. Hist., page 737, and H. Mont. Nietigh., page 86."
Continuing, J. Mehrning in said place, gives an account of the article of baptism from the confession of faith of the Waldenses, saying, "J. Paul Perrin of Lyons, in his history of the Waldenses, relates their confession, the seventh article of which is as follows: 'We believe that in the sacrament of baptism the water is the external and visible sign of the invisible power of God, working in us the renewing of the spirit and the mortifying of our members in Christ Jesus; by which also we are received into the holy congregation of the people of God, testifying and declaring, before the same, our faith and a change of life."' Concerning this, see also H. Mont. Nietigh., page 86, extracted from Charles du Meulin's book of theMonarchy of the French, page 65.
Who does not see that in this place the Waldenses expressly say that in baptism they testify and declare before God, their faith and change of life? which was well observed afterwards by Jacob du Bois, preacher of the Calvinists at Leyden, though he endeavored to obscure it by his expositions, Contra Montanum, printed A. D. 1648, pages 162, 163; but the truth of the command of Christ, "He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved" (Mark 16:16), is stronger and prevails.
A. D. 1305.-The learned Leonard Krentzheim, in his Chronicle writes the following concerning Dulcinus, "Dulcinus and Margaret founded a new sect or heresy (thus the papists speak) in every respect like the Anabaptists; which continued until A. D. etc." P. .1. Twisck, .Chron., page 646, col. 1.
A. D. 1315.-D. A. Mellinus gives an account, for this year, of many orthodox Christians, as he calls them, who by the papists were nevertheless styled heretics. He notices several of their articles, which the papists charged as heresy against them, but which we, in order to avoid prolixity, shall not adduce here, save what is brought against them with regard to baptism and oaths.
THEIR VIEWS ON HOLY BAPTISM
Concerning baptism he writes, that it was reported of them, that they had ridiculed the sacrament of baptism.
But who does not know, that if they ridiculed the sacrament of baptism, they meant it only as far as infant baptism is concerned; for this was the mooted question at that time. However, Mellinus gives his opinion, which does not conflict with ours, as to what was their belief in this matter. His words are these, "As regards the article of the sacrament of baptism (namely, that they should have entirely rejected it), it must not be understood with reference to the true institution of Christ, but to the belief of the papists, who bind the grace of Christ and the power of the Holy Ghost to the external water of baptism."
THEIR VIEWS IN REGARD TO THE OATH
As regards the oath, the papists charged them with holding that perjury is no sin."But" says A. Mellinus,"let us examine these false articles a little more closely." Coming to the article of the oath he speaks as follows, in order to demonstrate the falsity of this accusation, "How should they have considered perjury no sin, when the papists themselves (in the History of the Waldenses) declare of them, that they were so loath to swear an oath, desiring that they should be believed on their yea and nay, in order to avoid all lying, slandering, perjury, and frivolous swearing?" Thus far. Mellinus, in the 2d book of the Hist., fol. 479, col. 1, 2.
Hence, these people sought to avoid not only false oaths, but all manner of swearing, desiring on this account, to be believed on their yea and nay, in accordance with the teaching of Christ"Let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil" (Matt. 5:37).
The same year as above, A. D. 1315.-At this time, Pope John XXII, issued a papal decree against some apostate (?) Minorites, in which he accuses them of the following points, "Firstly, that they asserted, that there were two churches; the one, carnal, abounding in the riches, luxuries and lusts of this world, polluted with all manner of sin and shame, and governed by the pope of Rome and the prelates. The other, spiritual, temperate, pure, virtuous, honorable, and poor; to which latter they and their adherents alone belong., "Secondly, that they declared the priests of the church, and all her ministers, divested of the jurisdiction and authority of their order, so that they could give neither sentence nor advice, nor administer the sacraments, nor teach the church under them thus depriving them of all their ecclesiastical power, and that, on the other hand, they boasted that all ecclesiastical authority rested with them alone, since they ascribed the holiness of the spiritual life only to themselves., "Their third error," as the pope says,"agrees with the error of the Waldenses; since they both maintain that men ought in no case to swear, teaching that it is a sin unto death to swear an oath."
The fourth supposed error, the pope acknowledges, likewise to proceed from the Waldenses, "That the priests who are confirmed or ordained legally, according to the form or order of the church (as he calls it), if they are laden with any crimes or sins unto death, cannot prepare, nor administer, the sacraments of the church."
The fifth error, as the pope says, was, that they said that the Gospel of Christ, which hitherto had been covered, nay, almost entirely extinguished, was, at this time, fulfilled in them alone. In explanation of this article, the pope adds that they said that they ascribed the promise of our Lord, concerning the sending the Holy Ghost, to themselves in such a manner as to exclude the general (the Roman) church from the general apprehension and observance of the holy Gospel., "But see," says A. Mellinus, who has recorded this,"how the pope perverts the meaning of these people; for they never denied that the Holy Ghost, according to Christ's promise, was poured out richly upon the apostles; but they denied that the popes of Rome, who called themselves apostolic, and successors of the apostles, had part or lot in the sending of the Holy Ghost." Second book of the Hist., fol. 480, col. 1, 2.
Besides these five articles, the pope imputed additional errors to these pious people, though he did not mention them all. Hence, it appears that they concurred for the most part with the belief of the Waldenses; and that their belief was opposed, not only to the swearing of oaths, but also to infant baptism, revenge, the sacrament of the altar, the mass, and other superstitions of popery, has already been more than sufficiently shown.
A. D. 1319.-At this time, Pope John XXII, through his inquisitors, raged mightily against the Waldenses, who made the above-cited confession, which corresponds with that of the Anabaptists. Of their sufferings and end we shall speak afterwards, in the proper place. Concerning this, see Bzov. Annal., A. D. 1319, art. 10, ex M. S. Bibl. Vaticane. Also A. Mell., fol. 480, col. 3.
A. D. 1330.-At this day said Waldenses were greatly oppressed by the inquisitors, in the kingdoms of Bohemia and Poland (see the large Book of Christian Martyrs, fol. 483, col. 1); which is a proof that the defenders of the above confession existed then not only in France, but also in Bohemia and Poland. Yea, Matthias Flaccius Illyricus professes to have the inquisitorial books of the proceedings held at that time by the inquisitors, in Bohemia and Poland, under King John, against the Waldenses. Catalog. Test. herit., 1. 16, art.: TheWaldenses.
NOTE.-In Jacob Mehrning's History of Baptism we read, p. 609, "I have in my possession the inquisition which, A. D. 1330, in the time of King John, was held, in Bohemia and Poland, against the Waldenses."
A. D. 1365.-The author of the books of the Persecutions and Martyrs, records the following for the year 1365, "As there were everywhere throughout France innumerable Beghards and Beguines (in the second book, page 479, at the foot of the fourth column, he calls them Waldenses), who scattered their heresy, as the papists called it, far and wide, Pope Urban VI, A. D. 1365, charged all the prelates of France, and the inquisitors of the faith in that country, by an express bull, that they should not suffer the heretics to live with impunity, but should exterminate the erring spirits (thus the pope calls the true believers), together with their errors, with the sickle of ecclesiastical discipline." Second book of the History of the Persecutions, fol. 488, col. 1, from Bzov., A. D. 1365, Art. 8.
A. D. 1370.--"At this time," writes Jacob Mehrning and others,"John Wickliffe, a teacher in England, and pastor at Lutterworth in the bishopric of Lincoln, taught, among other things, that baptism is not necessary to the forgiveness of original sin; thereby sufficiently opposing, or, as H. Montanus says, rejecting, infant baptism, which is founded upon the forgiveness of original sin. On this account, forty-one years after his death, his bones, by order of the pope, were exhumed, burnt, and the ashes thrown into the water." J. Mehrn., B. Hist., pp. 737, 738, H. Mont. Nietigh., p. 87. Also Thom. Waldens., Tone. 2, c. 96. Bellarm., Torn. 3, lib. 1, de Sacr. Bapt., cap. 4, hicecom. de Observat. Eccles., lib. 2, cap. 1.
NOTE. Further explanation.-That the above words of John Wickliffe are to be understood in no other way than as having reference to the rejection of infant baptism, and not of baptism upon faith, is confirmed by the fourth article, extracted from Wickliffe's Trialogue, by William Widefort, a Minorite, and quoted by A. Mellinus. It reads as follows, "Those who say," says John Wickliffe,"that the children of believers, which die without baptism, are not saved, are much too presumptuous and bold." A. Mell., 2d book, fol. 494, cot. 3.
Moreover, that John Wickliffe opposed not only infant baptism, but also oaths sworn to men, is testified to in the forty-second article of his confession, delivered in the council of Constance, and condemned there. It reads thus, "Oaths sworn in civil contracts and commercial transactions are unlawful." Colon. aped Orthun. Grat. A. Mell., 2d book, fol. 496, cot. 1.
This article relative to the swearing of oaths, from the confession of John Wickliffe, is stated by some as follows, "An oath sworn for the purpose of confirming human contracts and proper transactions, is not appropriate." Seb. Franck, Chron., der Roan. Kett., fol. 105, cot. 1, letter J., John. Also P. J. Tzvisck, Chron., p. 720, cot. 1, 2. Tract. Kort herhael van den Loop der Werelt, by F. H. H., p. 99.
P. J. Twlsek and others write that John Wickliffe, having fled from England to Bohemia, propagated his doctrine there jointly with the Waldenses, w1l~o, for the most part, agreed with it.
Wickliffe also taught that the substance and essence of the bread and wine remain in the sacrament of the altar after the consecration.
That Christ is not bodily in the sacrament. That the mass is not instituted by Christ, but is the devil's obedience and word. That confirmation, fasts, consecrations of priests, the baptizing of temples, and bells, are retained by the pope and the bishops only from the desire for gain.
That universities, studies, doctorates, colleges, grades, and masterships, are things which we have
* Hence, when Wickliffe rejects the swearing of oaths in civil or human contracts, he rejects all swearing of all oaths that have ever been in question; for not the promises which are made to God but the oaths that are sworn to men, have been from ancient times, and are still, the matter in question. inherited from the heathen, and are altogether of as much use to the church as the devil. An improper oath is, etc.
Merula and others state that Wickliffe wrote full two hundred books, and diligently instructed, and turned from popery, John Huss (see A. D. 1415 and 1416), when the latter was still young, together with many others. P. J. Tutisck, Chron., p. 720, cot. 1, 2, from Leonh., lib. 6. Hist. Andr. Junii, f of 45. Jan. Cresrin., fol. 354. Guil. Merula, fol. 886. Toneel. Niclaes, fol.119. Zegh., fol. 119.
NOTE.-That John Huss (though the Calvinists would like to claim him, as well as John Wickliffe), was opposed to the swearing of oaths, and had other articles in common with the Waldensian Anabaptist brethren, and that he learned this from John Wickliffe, and Wickliffe from said Waldensian brethren, we hope to make clear in its proper place.
As to the article which Wickliffe was said to have taught, namely, that everything happens by an absolute or unavoidable necessity, on this D. A. Mellinus, a Calvinistic preacher, remarks, "We suspect that this has been unjustly put on Wickliffe, by the malicious enemies of the truth" (2;d book, fol. 495, cot. 4). Afterwards, explaining it still further, he says that"This is a wanton slander and devilish lie, fabricated from nothing, and cast into the face of innocent John Wickliffe." Fol. 496, cot. 1.
Thus it is evident, that John Wickliffe, even according to the testimony of the Calvinists, did not maintain the article of precise predestination, as some before him, though wrongly, have believed.
NOTE.-If John Wickliffe did not hold the article of predestination or unavoidable necessity, as one of the Calvinistic teachers here asserts and holds as truth, what, then, did he retain, in the matter of his belief, that accords only with the Calvinistic church? Certainly nothing.
A. D. 1372.-John Tylius, in his Chronicle of the Kings of France, writes, for the year 1372, concerning certain people whom he terms Turilupins, and, in papistic manner, very contemptuously calls a superstition, as follows, "The superstition of the Turilupins (a kind of Waldenses), who took their surname from the poverty common to them all, were this year condemned as heretics, together with their writings, books and clothes." J. Tyl., Chron., Reg. Gall. A. Mell., fol. 497, cot. 3. Of their faith we shall presently speak.
A. D. 1373.-Vignierus writes concerning these people called Turilupins, and their doctrine, that they were pronounced heretics at Paris, by the inquisitors, and their books publicly burnt, together with one of their women. Hut. Eccles., A. D. 1373. ex Guil. de Nangis. A. Mell., same place. More anon.
NOTE.-A fuller account of the death of this woman will be given in its proper place, in the history of the martyrs.
OF THE UPRIGHTNESS OF THESE PEOPLE
The author of the second book of the Persecutions, relating how these people, called Turilupins, were accused by some papistic writers, of not living honestly, replies in their stead, saying, "But these poor people are lamentably slandered; for they were upright Waldenses, to whom the papists imputed whatever they would." Fol. 497, cot. 3.
OF THE NAME OF THESE PEOPLE
As regards their name, Joachine Caudarius states that they obtained the name of Turilupins, in Flanders, Artois, and Hainault, because they lived in wildernesses, among the wolves. In lugibri Narrat. de excidio Wald. Alb., A. M., same place.
OF THE BELIEF OF THESE PEOPLE
It may be observed here, that if these Turilupins were true Waldenses, as has been declared, they rejected infant baptism, the swearing of oaths, revenge towards enemies, the mass, and all other Roman inventions, as appears from their own confession shown above.
NOTE.-Henry de Haffra, at Vienna, A. D.1376, wrote on Genesis, and greatly reproved the lies of the Romish legends, and about the merits of the saints. In a letter he also censured the clergy and their head, the pope, for many errors. loh. Munst., fol. 174, compared with the Chronicle of the. Destruction of the Tyrants, p. 724, cot. 1.
Also: A. D. 1380, Michael Cesenas, formerly a Minorite friar, or monk, wrote against the pope, calling him (from II Thess. 2) antichrist, and the Roman church, Babylon, and the congregation of those drunk with the blood of the saints. The pope deposed him from his dignity; but he adhered steadfastly to his opinion. Joh. Munst., fol. 171. Catal. Test., fol. 691, compared with P. J. Twisck, Chron., p. 731.
Also: In the same year Nicholas Clemongis opposed the superstitious feast days, excessive eating and drinking, (evil) speaking, and other improper things. See the last-mentioned chronicle, r. 732, from Joh. Munst., fol. 170.
Also: About A. D. 1382, M. Matthaeus Parisiensis, a Bohemian, appeared, and wrote a large book concerning antichrist, (the pope), saying that he had already come, and could be found in Rome. Thus did also Lupoldbs de Bedenborgh. Compare P. J. Tzvisck, Chron., Q. 734, cot. 1, with Catal. Test., fol. 794, 796. Merula, fol. 890.
Also: A. D. 1384, John Muntziger, Rector of the school at 01m, read in his oration, that the supposed body of Christ should not be made God, and, hence, should not be worshiped as God. See the last-mentioned author, fol. 736, cot. 1, compared with Hist. Joh. Munst., fol. 171.
A. D. 1390.-Or about that time, mention is made of the Waldenses in the countries lying on the Baltic Sea; concerning whom Matthias Flac cius Illyricus states that he has an entire inquisitorial book, full of the proceedings held against the godly Waldenses who lived in those countries.
Said Illyricus also had among his writings, another brief inquisition or investigation against the Waldenses; such as formerly was practiced against them in the bishopric of Mayence. He moreover says that he has still another, large book, full of proceedings held by the inquisitors against the Waldenses; in which 443 Waldenses are mentioned by name, who about A. D. 1391, in Pomerania, the Mark, and the adjacent places, were put on the rack and examined on the articles once confessed by the Waldenses. Many of these martyrs or confessors freely testified and confessed that they had been, one twenty, another thirty years, among this sect. Also, that their forefathers held the same doctrine. Matth. Flacc. Ill. Catal. Test. herit., lib. 18. Lib. 15,Title, De Waldensibus.
NOTE. From this it appears, writes a certain author, that the Saxon countries were full of Waldenses, that is, orthodox Christians, already two hundred years, and more, before the time of Huss. For it can easily be computed, that when the 443 Waldenses were examined at once, there must have been an incomparably greater number who were not examined in regard to their faith, but concealed themselves, or took to flight, in order to escape the danger. And, truly, those who are noticed in the book, as having been examined, frequently mentioned very many others of their belief, who were not present.
Among other points relating to their trials, recorded in this inquisitional book, were these, "That they were sober and frugal people, discreet in their speech, careful to avoid lying, swearing, etc.'; A. Mell., 2d book, fol. 505, cot. 3, 4. Also, P. J. Tzadsck, Chron., p. 743, cot. 2, from Henr. Boxhorn, fol. 27. In the margin of the same page, Twisck says, "The Wandenses (or Waldenses) will not swear."
NOTE.-A. D. 1390, the Lord raised up Richard Withe, who wrote many glorious things against the pope, or the blasphemy of the so-called antichrist. Bal. Cent., lib. 7, cap. 10, compared with Chron. van den Ondergang, page 734, cot. 1, 2.
A. D. 1392.-On the 13th of January of this year, Walter Brute, a layman, but nevertheless a learned man, from the bishopric of Hereford, appearing personally before Lord John, Bishop of Hereford, maintained, among several other articles militating against the Roman church, this point, "That Christians are not permitted, for any reason, in any case, to swear, either by the Creator or by His creatures." A. Mell., 2d book, fol. 506, cot. 3.
NOTICE-THE BELIEF OF WILLIAM SWINDERBY COMPARED WITH THAT OF WALTER BRUTE
Since Walter Brute is called (Fol. 505, cot. 4,) a defender of the articles of William Swinderby,
who was afterwards burnt for the faith, in Smithfield, London, it is quite evident, that William Swinderby must have held the same belief, which, as well as many other articles, they both had in common with the Waldenses. Besides, this article of nonswearing, together with the other two related in this connection, is unmistakably called William Swinderby's article (Fol. 506, col. 3,), so that both of them, speaking as with one tongue, are also together charged here, with having prohibited all manner of oaths.
THAT, BESIDES THE ARTICLE RESPECTING THE OATH, HE ALSO MADE A GOOD CONFESSION IN REGARD TO HOLY BAPTISM
It appears, moreover, from the confession of faith of Walter Brute, that also infant baptism was not recognized by him; for he speaks in the following manner concerning the burial of Christ
He (Christ) was buried, that we all by baptism, might be buried together with Him into His death; in order that having died unto sin (notice, this is no work for infants), we should live unto righteousness * A. M., from Fox Angl., p. 440.
OF A CERTAIN ANCIENT CONFESSION OF FAITH OF THE WALDENSIAN BRETHREN
Jacob Mehrning, writing on the fourteenth century, touching baptism, says, "I have had in my hands a very old confession of some Waldensian brethren in Bohemia, printed in the German language, in which they expressly confess that in the beginning of Christianity no infants were baptized; and that also their forefathers did not do it," as John Bohemius writes.Lib. 2, Gentium Moribus, "In former times baptism was wont to be administered only to those who were previously instructed in the faith, and examined seven times in the week before Easter and Whitsuntide; these were then baptized upon the confession of their faith; but when baptism was afterwards deemed necessary to salvation, it was also ordained, by the papists, that new-born infants should be baptized, and that sponsors should be assigned them, who confessed the faith, and renounced the devil, in their stead." Bapt. Hist., p.738.
About A. D. 1400.-D. J. Vicecomes cites from this century (from Nicephorus Callistus), lib. 1, cap. 23, that in Thessalia, baptism was administered only on Whitsuntide;** on which account many died without baptism., "Thus," remarks Jacob Mehrning on this,"we are informed, that even at this day there are brethren and Christians in Thessalonica, who agree with the Mennists in all articles of religion." These are J. Mehrning's own words (page 739), of which we shall speak more fully hereafter.
* This article has direct reference to the words which Paul wrote to the believing Romans, "Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?" (Rom. 6:3).
* Others say, on Easter,
OF CHARLES, BISHOP OF MILAN
Bapt. Hist., p. 740, D. Vicecomes, lib. 5, cap. 45, writes, "Charles, bishop of Milan, admonished the teachers, diligently to expound to their hearers the mystery of holy baptism, and to earnestly exhort them to a Christian walk, in order that the confession of the Christian name (upon which baptism was wont to be administered), might well become them."
What else does this indicate, than that the teachers should exhort their hearers to the baptism, which ought to be administered upon confession of faith, and, consequently, not in infancy?
Galvaneus, in the History of Milan, (B. H., page 741, D. Vicecomes, lib. 1, cap. 4), writes, "St. Barnabas, when he first preached the Gospel at Milan, baptized in running water."
This manner and these circumstances plainly indicate, as stated elsewhere, that infant baptism was then not practiced at that place.
NOTE.-For the year 1394, mention is made of a number of people in Bohemia, who sided with the Anabaptists. Seb. Fr. Chron. der Rom. Kett., p. 121, col. 2, letter P., Picardy.
A. D. 1400.-It appears that when the last year of this century had come, various persons opposed popery, not only with regard to baptism, but also to many other articles; of which, among other things, mention is made in the fourteenth book of the Ondergang der Tyrannen, p. 749, col. 1, 2, 3; where we have this declaration, "The pope has no absolute power or judgment, so that he cannot err; so all, even the papists, have taught for about fourteen hundred years. The ancient fathers, the Greek as well as the Latin, regarded Pope Honorius I as a Monothelitic* heretic. Likewise, the sixth synod, in which he was condemned as a heretic, and his letters burned. From Perkins, fol. 421.
NoTE.-If this condemning of the pope as a heretic, as also the burning of his letters, was done from envy, or bitterness, we would by no means defend, much less praise, but far rather condemn it. But since, as the matter appears to us, it was done from a good intention and godly zeal, we find nothing censurable in it. For the word condemn does not always signify eternal damnation, as the Holy Scripture uses it,** but it is also understood as meaning, to sentence or pronounce guilty. Thus, also, the name heretic, when rightly considered, signifies only a schismatic, headstrong person, who follows his own opinion, instead of the Holy Scripture. Now, that the Pope of Rome was such a person, will not soon be contradicted by those who give due honor to God, and allow themselves to be governed by reason. The burning of
* Others say, a Monocholite.
* To an English reader this explanation will seem not only superfluous, but, perhaps, even obscure and contradictory. Let him be reminded that the work originally was written in the Dutch language, which such explanation of the word in question ("verdoemen") is entirely in place. -Transl.
his letters we regard as having been done from carefulness, lest any might be seduced or brought into error by them. This will satisfy the well-disposed, who, imitating the bee, will extract honey, instead of gall, from it.
SAME YEAR AS ABOVE, A. D. 1400
The universities of Prague in Bohemia, Oxford in England, and Paris in France, wrote against the apostasy of the Roman church, and demanded a reformation, saying that the scandalous life of the pope and the cardinals could not be tolerated; that the popes and cardinals were liable to err, and had frequently erred; and that the blessed Son of God, though having suffered much from the synagogue of the Jews, had to suffer much more from the princes of the papal synagogue. Concerning similar censures, read the books of Ulric of Hutten, the Frankish knight, printed A. D. 1520.
SAME YEAR AS ABOVE, A. D. 1400
John Tauler, a German divine, said, at this time, in his book of sermons, "Our prelates (he means the rulers of the Roman church), are blind, and leaders of the blind; and it is to be feared that they both together will be condemned."
He also spoke much of the persecution, tribulation, hardship, and suffering, a Christian must expect here; but did not say that one should inflict sufferings one upon another.
Read all his sermons, but particularly the 11th, 15th and 31st chapters in his book, where he treats of suffering; also the first-mentioned author, in the place indicated.
NoTE.-That John Tauler was a very pious and highly educated man, appears
from very many testimonies given concerning him. Truly, he was as a
flaming torch in his time, to lighten up, by his doctrine as well as his
life, the dark night of perversely religious popery. But if he still
erred in anything, which may easily have been the case, it is all
overbalanced by his virtue and learning. Nevertheless, we could not
defend errors, neither in him nor in others. Our love must never be so
blind as to hinder us from seeing a blemish (if there is any) in what we
love. But he who has not lived so that his errors are apparent, should,
herein, if he is otherwise well disposed, be borne with; and this the
more, when he has to live among so disorderly a people, as popery was
then composed of, and can obtain no other liberty. Such was John Tauler,
and as such we will recognize him. Our love will and shall bear his
weakness. Hence, dismissing this, we will turn to the pious witnesses of
the Lord, who laid down their dear lives for the truth which they