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are two, Baptism and the Supper of the Lord. The receiving in both kinds for priests and people was instituted by Christ. Masses are impious: and it is madness to say masses for the dead. Purgatory is an invention of men: for they, who believe, go into eternal life; and they, who believe not, go into eternal damnation. The invocating and worshipping of dead saints is idolatry. The Church of Rome is the whore of Babylon. We must not obey the Pope and his Bishops, because they are the wolves of the Church'. 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 heareth the sincere word of Christ and useth the sacraments instituted by him, in what place soever it exist. Vows of celibacy are inventions of men. Monkery is a stinking carSo many superstitious dedications of churches, commemorations of the dead, benedictions of creatures, pilgrimages; so many forced fastings, so many superfluous festivals; those perpetual bellowings of unlearned men, and the observations of the other ceremonies manifestly hindering the teaching and learning of the word: are diabolical inventions. The marriage of priests is lawful and necessary2.
But the most full and systematic account of the
An allusion to Acts xx. 29.
Hist. Eccles. Magdeburg. vol. iii. cent. XII. cap. 8. p. 548,
doctrines, taught and maintained by the ancient Vallenses, will be found in their Confession of faith, preserved among the Cambridge manuscripts, and bearing the date of the year 1120.
We believe and firmly hold all that is contained in the twelve articles of the Symbol which is called The Apostles' Creed, accounting for heresy whatsoever is disagreeing and not consonant to the said twelve articles. We do believe, that there is one God; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We acknowledge, for the holy canonical Scriptures, the books of the Holy Bible: and we read the books called Apocryphal for the instruction of the people, but not to confirm the authority of the doctrine of the Church'. The canonical books of Scripture teach this: that there is one God, almighty, all-wise, and allgood, who made all things by his goodness, for he formed Adam in his own image and likeness ; but that, by envy of the devil and the disobedience of the said Adam, sin has entered into the world, and that we are all sinners in Adam and by Adam: that Christ was promised to our fathers who received the Law; that so, knowing by the Law their sin and unrighteousness and insufficiency, they might desire the coming of Christ, to satisfy for their sins, and to accomplish the Law by himself: that Christ was born, in the time appointed by God the Father; that is to say, in
1 Here is inserted a list of the canonical books, exactly corresponding with our common English Bibles.
the time when all iniquity abounded; and not for the cause of our good works, for all were sinners; but that he might shew us grace and mercy as being faithful: that Christ is our life, truth, peace, and righteousness; also our pastor, advocate, sacrifice, and priest; who died for the salvation of all those that believe, and who is risen again for our justification. In like manner, we firmly hold, that there is no other mediator and advocate with God the Father, save only Jesus Christ; and, as for the Virgin Mary, that she was holy, humble, and full of grace: and, in like manner, we do believe concerning all the other saints; namely, that, being in heaven, they wait for the resurrection of their bodies at the day of judgment. Also we believe, that, after this life, there are only two places; the one for the saved, and the other for the damned: the which two places we call Paradise and Hell, absolutely denying that Purgatory, invented by Antichrist, and forged contrary to the truth. Also we have always accounted, as an unspeakable abomination before God, all those inventions of men, namely the feasts and vigils of saints, and the water which they call holy; as likewise to abstain from flesh upon certain days, and the like; but especially their masses. We esteem, for an abomination and as antichristian, all those human inventions, which are a trouble or prejudice to the liberty of the Spirit. We do believe, that the sacraments are signs of the holy thing or visible
forms of the invisible grace; accounting it good, that the faithful sometimes use the said signs or visible forms, if it may be done. However, we believe and hold, that the above-said faithful may be saved without receiving the signs aforesaid, in case they have no place nor any means to use them. We acknowledge no other sacraments but Baptism and the Lord's Supper. We ought to honour the secular powers, by submission, ready obedience, and paying of tributes1.
(2.) Such was the ancient Confession of the Vallenses let us next hear the doctrines of the Albigenses, prior to their emigration from southern France and their final union with their Vallensic brethren of Piedmont.
In the year 1176, certain of the Albigenses were examined before the Bishop of Albi and other neigh
1 M. S. Cantab. Another Confession of faith was published by the suffering Church of the Vallenses, shortly after the massacres in the year 1655. The doctrine, which it sets forth, is precisely the same as that of their more ancient Confession of the year 1120. Their object in publishing it is thus stated by themselves.
Having learned that our adversaries, not content with persecuting us and robbing us of our possessions, endeavour, by most infamous calumnies, to render us odious, as well as our holy religion; we feel ourselves bound, again shortly to declare our faith, to prove to all men the falsehood of these calumnies and the injustice of hating and persecuting us for so innocent, a doctrine. Confess. of faith in Acland's Compend, of the Hist. of the Vaud. p. cviii, cix.
Their enemies, no doubt, had been sedulously occupied in their ancient craft of calumniating them as Manichèans.
These zealous ecclesiastics laboured hard to educe a semblance of Manichèism in the pretended heretics: with what emolument, will abundantly appear from the confession of faith, which they openly made before their judges, and which (together with the particulars of the whole conference) is recorded by Roger Hoveden.
We believe, that there is one only God, in three persons; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost: that the Son of God hath taken our flesh upon him that he was baptised in Jordan: that he fasted in the wilderness: that he hath preached our salvation: that he suffered, died, and was buried: that he descended into hell; that he rose again on the third day; that he ascended into heaven; that he sent the Holy Ghost on the day of Pentecost; that he shall come again at the day of judgment to judge both the quick and the dead; and that all shall rise again. We know also, that, what we believe with our heart, we ought to confess with our mouth. We believe, that he is not saved who doth not eat the body of Jesus Christ; and that the body of Jesus Christ is not consecrated but in the Church and by the priest, be he good or bad; and that it is no better consecrated by a good than by a bad one. We believe also, that none can be saved but those who are baptised, and that little children are saved by baptism. We believe also, that man and wife are saved, though they be carnally joined; and