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    IN the first chapter of this book attention was called to the first three of the Seven Churches, and the first three of the Seven Seals. There was pointed out the apostasy from the first love, and the development of the papacy. Now, to the Church in her fourth phase the Head of the Church writes: “I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.” 1[Page 456] Revelation 2:20.ECE 456.1

    2. The original Jezebel was that heathen woman of Phenicia, the daughter of Ethbaal, king of Tyre, who was married to Ahab, king of Israel; and who brought with her into Israel her idolatrous worship—which was but a worship of the sun, under the forms of Baal and Ashtaroth, or Astarte. She brought with her also four hundred and fifty priests of Baal and four hundred of Ashtaroth,—eight hundred and fifty in all,—“who ate at Jezebel’s table.” This original Jezebel caused King Ahab to be worse than he otherwise would have been, as it is written: “There was none like unto Ahab, which did sell himself to work wickedness in the sight of the Lord, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up.” 2[Page 456] 1 Kings 21:23. And, when the wickedness which she would do was greater than even Ahab could bear to do, she herself did it, in his name, and was merry in it: legalizing her enormities by documents written in the king’s name, and sealed with his seal. 3[Page 456] 1 Kings 21:7-11.ECE 456.2

    3. Further, Jezebel set herself positively to establish her idolatrous worship as the sole worship of the dominion. She therefore exerted all the power of the kingdom absolutely to obliterate the worship of the Lord and to establish her heathen worship in its stead. With the zealous aid of her eight hundred and fifty celibate priests, she searched out, and cut off, all the worshipers of the Lord that could be found. This work was done so thoroughly that, in all Israel, there could be found but seven thousand who had not bowed the knee to Baal; and these were so scattered, in caves and solitary places, that they were not known to one another. Even Elijah, the prophet of the Lord, supposed that he alone was left of all who worshiped Jehovah; and, even he was so persistently hunted that, when he could not be found within the limits of Israel, messengers were sent into all the kingdoms, and amongst all the nations round about, to seek him; and, when he was not found, each nation and kingdom was required to take an oath that he was not there. 4[Page 457] 1 Kings 18:3-10.ECE 456.3

    4. And now this Jezebel is cited by the Lord as the illustration of the corrupt, deceiving, destroying power that worked against His Church in her fourth phase. It has been pointed out and made plain, that it was in the time of the third phase of the true Church that the papacy was formed. 5[Page 457] Chap. 1, para. 17, 18. It is therefore certain that this warning to the true Church in the fourth phase of her experience, against the seductions of “that woman Jezebel,” has direct reference to the workings of the papacy in the period following the formation and establishment of the papacy. And how thoroughly this expression, “that woman Jezebel,” fits the papacy, can be clearly seen by a glance at the history which so far has been traced.ECE 457.1

    5. The two things especially singled out by Christ in His letter to His Church, concerning which He warns against the seductions of this Jezebel, are fornication, and the honoring of idols. And we have seen how that the continuous war of the papacy upon marriage—directly, the marriage of the clergy; and thus indirectly the marriage of all—filled Europe with fornication. We have also seen how that by a war of more than a hundred years, the papacy established the use of images, and, therefore, of idolatry, as an essential part of Christian worship.ECE 457.2

    6. Another specification concerning “that woman Jezebel” is that she “calleth herself a prophetess.” A prophet or prophetess is a spokesman, or mouthpiece for God: 6[Page 457] Exodus 4:15, 16; 7:1; Deuteronomy 18:18. one especially commissioned to speak the words of God.” This is precisely the claim of the papacy: that she alone is the interpreter of the Scriptures, the infallible channel of the divine will to men.ECE 457.3

    7. Another word concerning this Jezebel refers to “them that commit adultery with her.” This is all spoken to the Church, of a Church. Of this Church, described in the word “Jezebel,” it is written in other places, that she is one “with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication.” 7[Page 458] Revelation 17:1, 2; 18:3-9. This characteristic has been made plain in both its principle and its practice. The word “Jezebel” means “not cohabited.” Any one at all acquainted with the religious system of which Jezebel of Tyre was a representative, knows how utterly incongruous with her name, was her character. And yet every evidence on the subject only goes farther to demonstrate how perfectly that incongruity fits the papacy. She claims to be “the spouse” of Christ the Lord; and yet all her history shows that she has ever lived in illicit connection with every other lord whom she could possibly allure or coerce into her toils.ECE 458.1

    8. That characteristic of the original Jezebel, manifested in her ruling the king and stirring him up to do more than the usual evil of kings, and more than he would otherwise have done, is seen displayed throughout the whole course of the papacy after her establishment as a world-power; and is specifically fastened upon her by the Scripture in describing her as “the woman ...which reigneth over the kings of the earth.” 8[Page 458] Revelation 17:18. And the unanimous voice of history for a thousand years witnesses to the truth of that word. The farther characteristic of Jezebel, manifested in herself doing, in the king’s name, and under his seal, enormities at the which even the king balked, will equally appear in the history now to be traced: as also that supreme characteristic of Jezebel, the persistent persecutor of the worshipers of the true God.ECE 458.2

    9. It is perfectly plain that in essence, Europe in the Middle Ages was but the papacy in the Middle Ages. It is equally plain that it would be difficult to conceive a worse condition of human society than was this papacy in the Middle Ages. All know that the papacy claims to have been, in the Middle Ages, not only Christianity, but the only Christianity. None can hide the fact that the condition of human society under the sole dominion of the papacy—and more than anything else the product of the papacy—was about as bad as it could be and survive. Because of this, many people justly repudiate the papacy. And, accepting the statement that the papacy was then Christianity, when they repudiate the papacy they think that they repudiate Christianity. Others, accepting the claim that the papacy was Christianity, and also desiring to hold fast to Christianity, are at an utter loss to find their bearings as to Christianity, in view of the indisputable character of the papacy in the Middle Ages. The difficulty in both these cases centers in their acceptance of the premise: that the papacy was Christianity. This is an utter error. The papacy was not Christianity, in the Middle Ages, nor at any other time. The papacy and Christianity are antagonistic systems. How far the papacy is from being Christianity is made plain by the words of Christ in His third letter to His own Church, in which He designates as His faithful martyrs, those believers in Him who were against the papacy—“Anti-pas was my faithful martyr.” 9[Page 459] Chap. 1, par. 17. The papacy in the Middle Ages was only “that woman Jezebel.”ECE 458.3

    10. Where, then, was Christianity in the Middle Ages?—It was where the worshipers of the true God were in the days of the original Jezebel—in dens and caves, in the solitary and obscure places of the earth, cast out, and persecuted. We have seen that the successive steps in the course of the apostasy, as noted in the Seven Seals, is synchronous with the successive phases of the experience of the true Church, as noted in the Seven Churches. The letter of Christ to His Church in the fourth phase, warns her against the seductions of “that woman Jezebel;” and in that phase of the apostasy noted in the Fourth Seal, there is described the open workings of “that woman Jezebel.” And, so it is written: “And when he had opened the Fourth Seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, Come and see. And I looked and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto him over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.” 10[Page 459] Revelation 6, 7, 8, R. V. And that these who were so slain were non other than the saints of God, is made certain by the very next verse, which says that they “were slain for the word of God, and the testimony which they held.”ECE 459.1

    11. We have seen how the papacy treated the Mohammedans and the Jews; we have seen how she treated the people of the Greek Church; how she treated her own people—emperors, kings, nobles, all those whom she acknowledged to be, and who were, completely her own. Now we shall see how she treated those who were the people of God. Already in the times of Constantine and Theodosius, we have had glimpses of the disposition of the papacy toward dissenters; 11[Page 460] “Great Empire of Prophecy, “chap. XXXiii, par. 4; chap. XXXV, pars. 51-55. for “it is impossible not to attribute to ecclesiastical influence the successive edicts by which from the time of Theodosius the Great, persistence in heresy was punished with death.”—Lea. 12[Page 460] “History of the Inquisition,” Vol. 1, p. 215. We have seen how Pope Pelagius I sought to persuade Narses to compel conformity to the will of the papacy by the assurance that “he alone persecutes who forces to evil. But to restrain men from doing evil, or to punish those who have done it, is not persecution, or cruelty, but love of mankind.” 13[Page 460] Chap. Xiii. par. 15. And when such was her disposition and her will while the imperial power was supreme, what might not be expected of her when her own power became supreme!ECE 459.2

    12. From the time when the union of Church and State was first formed: from the days of Constantine and Sylvester, when the papacy was made, and even before, in the time of the shaping of events that made the papacy, there were faithful Christians who protested against it. The chief ones of these in the West, where the papacy was formed, were the Vaudois des Alpes, or Waldenses, who dwelt in the valleys of Piedmont, in northern Italy, west of Turin, and not far from that city. At the time of the union of Church and State the diocese of Milan, “which included the plain of Lombardy, the Alps of Piedmont, and the southern provinces of France,” was not subject to the see of Rome. As late as 555, Pope Pelagius said: “The bishops of Milan do not come to Rome for ordination.” It was the clergy of this region who were the dissidents whom this same Pope Pelagius urged Narses to compel to conformity to Rome.ECE 460.1

    13. At the beginning of the ninth century Turin itself was the center of a diocese. In the year 820, by the Emperor Louis there was appointed to the see of Turin, Clemens Claudius. “This man beheld with dismay the stealthy approaches of a power which, putting out the eyes of men, bowed their necks to its yoke, and bent their knees to idols. He grasped the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, and the battle which he so courageously waged, delayed, though it could not prevent, the fall of his Church’s independence, and for two centuries longer the light continued to shine at the foot of the Alps. Claudius was an earnest and indefatigable student of Holy Scripture. That Book carried him back to the first age, and set him down at the feet of the apostles, at the feet of One greater than apostles; and, while darkness was descending on the earth, around Claudius still shone the day.ECE 460.2

    14. “The truth, drawn from its primeval fountains, he proclaimed throughout his diocese, which included the valleys of the Waldenses. Where his voice could not reach, he labored to convey instruction by his pen. He wrote commentaries on the Gospels; he published expositions of almost all the epistles of Paul, and several books of the Old Testament; and thus he furnished his contemporaries with the means of judging how far it became them to submit to a jurisdiction so manifestly usurped as that of Rome, or to embrace tenets so undeniably novel as those which she was now foisting upon the world. The sum of what Claudius maintained was that there is but one Sovereign in the Church, and He is not on earth; that Peter had no superiority over the other apostles, save in this, that he was the first who preached the gospel to both Jews and Gentiles; that human merit is of no avail for salvation, and that faith alone saves us. On this cardinal point he insists with a clearness and breadth which remind one of Luther. The authority of tradition he repudiates, prayers for the dead he condemns, as also the notion that the Church can not err. As regards relics, instead of holiness he can find in them nothing but rottenness, and advises that they be instantly returned to the grave, from which they ought never to have been taken ...ECE 461.1

    15. “The worship of images was then making rapid strides. The bishop of Rome was the greatest advocate of this ominous innovation; it was on this point that Claudius fought his great battle. He resisted it with all the logic of his pen and all the force of his eloquence; he condemned the practice as idolatrous, and he purged those churches in his diocese which had begun to admit representations of saints and divine persons within their walls, not even sparing the cross itself.”—Wylie. 14[Page 461] “History of Protestantism,” book 1, chap 5. pars. 8, 9, 11. In a letter to Theodemir, Bishop Claudius wrote: “Appointed bishop by Louis, I came to Turin. I found all the churches full of the filth of abominations and images.... If Christians venerate the images of saints, they have not abandoned idols, but only changed their names.” 15[Page 462] Id., note.ECE 461.2

    16. These facts show that there was at that time a practical separation from the papacy, of two great bishoprics of northern Italy. With this also there stands the important fact that while the Lombard kings remained, they had always excluded the clergy from their councils of State. 16[Page 462] Chap. xiii, par. 35, this book. This practical exclusion of the papacy, and papal principles, from northern Italy, for seven hundred years, gave free scope to the development of the true Christian worship in that region, and enabled it to take such firm root as to be able to withstand all the violence of the papal storms of later ages. For it was not till 1059 that the dioceses of Milan and Turin became one with Rome. Then the Vaudois (pronounced vodwah), “retired within the mountains; and, spurning alike the tyrannical yoke and the corrupt tenets of the Church of the Seven Hills, they preserved in its purity and its simplicity the faith their fathers had handed down to them. Rome manifestly was the schismatic: she it was that had abandoned what was once the common faith of Christendom, leaving by that step to all who remained on the old ground the indisputably valid title of the true Church. Behind this rampart of mountains, which Providence, foreseeing the approach of evil days, would almost seem to have reared on purpose, did the remnant of the early apostolic Church of Italy kindle her lamp, and here did that lamp continue to burn all through the long night which descended on Christendom.ECE 462.1

    17. “There is a singular concurrence of evidence in favor of their high antiquity. Their traditions invariably point to an unbroken descent from the earliest times, as regards their religious belief. The Nobla Leycon [Noble Lesson], which dates from the year 1100, goes to prove that the Waldenses of Piedmont did not owe their rise to Peter Waldo of Lyons, who did not appear till the latter half of that century (1160). The Nobla Leycon, though a poem, is in reality a confession of faith, and could have been composed only after some considerable study of the system of Christianity, in contradistinction to the errors of Rome. How could a Church have arisen with such a document in her hands? Or how could these herdsmen and vinedressers, shut up in their mountains, have detected the errors against which they bore testimony, and found their way to the truths of which they made open profession, in times of darkness like these? If we grant that their religious beliefs were the heritage of former ages, handed down from an evangelical ancestry, all is plain; but if we maintain that they were the discovery of the men of those days, we assert what approaches almost to a miracle. Their greatest enemies, Claude Seyssel of Turin (1517), and Reynerius the Inquisitor (1250), have admitted their antiquity, and stigmatized them as ‘the most dangerous of all heretics, because the most ancient.’”Wylie. 17[Page 463] “History of Protestantism,” book 1, chap 6, pars. 2, 3.ECE 462.2

    18. “We may accept, for we can not refute, the narrative of their early history given by the Vaudois themselves. The Vaudois writers concur in placing their own origin at a period before Constantine. The Scriptures became their only guide; the same belief, the same sacraments they maintain to-day they held in the age of Constantine and Sylvester. They relate that, as the Romish Church grew in power and pride, their ancestors repelled its assumptions and refused to submit to its authority; that when, in the ninth century, the use of images was enforced by superstitious popes, they, at least, never consented to become idolaters; that they never worshiped the Virgin, nor bowed at an idolatrous mass. When, in the eleventh century, Rome asserted its supremacy over kings and princes, the Vaudois were its bitterest foes. The three valleys formed the theological school of Europe. The Vaudois missionaries traveled into Hungary and Bohemia, France, England, even Scotland, and aroused the people to a sense of the fearful corruption of the Church. They pointed to Rome as the antichrist, the center of every abomination. They taught, in the place of Romish innovations the pure faith of the apostolic age.”—Lawrence. 18[Page 463] “Historical Studies,” pp. 200, 201.ECE 463.1

    19. In the Eastern Empire there was a Christian people called Paulicians, who occupied a position there which corresponds exactly to that of the Waldenses in the West. “Some obscurity rests upon their origin, and additional mystery has on purpose been cast upon it, but a fair and impartial examination of the matter leaves no doubt that the Paulicians are the remnant that escaped the apostasy of the Eastern Church, just as the Waldenses are the remnant saved from the apostasy of the Western Church. Doubt too, has been thrown upon their religious opinions; they have been painted as a confederacy of Manichaeans, just as the Waldenses were branded as a synagogue of heretics; but in the former case, as in the latter, an examination of the matter satisfies us that these imputations had no sufficient foundation, that the Paulicians repudiated the errors imputed to them, and that as a body their opinions were in substantial agreement with the doctrine of Holy Writ. Nearly all the information we have of them is that which Petrus Siculus, their bitter enemy, has communicated. He visited them when they were in their most flourishing condition, and the account he has given of their distinguished doctrines sufficiently proves that the Paulicians had rejected the leading errors of the Greek and Roman churches; but it fails to show that they had embraced the doctrines of Manes, or were justly liable to be styled Manichaeans.”—Wylie. 19[Page 464] “History of Protestantism,” book 1, chap 8, par. 2.ECE 463.2

    20. They were called Paulicians because, to observers, they seemed to use pre-eminently the epistles of Paul. To any one who at all understands the epistles of Paul, this is sufficient evidence of their being true Christians. They were not unwilling to accept the name given to them, and to recognize the name Paulicians as a proper designation. From the statements of their enemies it appears certain that they had a thorough and true understanding of the character and work of Satan; his relationship to this world, and opposition to God, as it stands from beginning to end in the Scriptures. Yet, to the pagan minds and conceptions of the papists, it appeared that the Paulicians held the doctrine of two principles as propagated by Zoroaster and Manes. Thus by their persecutors they were ever charged with being Manichaeans; and to the lips of the papists of those times, the charge of Manichaeism came as trippingly as did the term Samaritan to the lips of those who persecuted Jesus. 20[Page 464] John 8:48. But “the Paulicians sincerely condemned the memory and opinions of the Manichaean sect, and complained of the injustice which impressed that invidious name on the simple votaries of St. Paul and of Christ.”—Gibbon. 21[Page 464] “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire,” chap 54, par. 2.ECE 464.1

    21. A mighty impulse to the faith of the Paulicians was given in 653, through the conversion of an Armenian named Constantine, who lived near Samosata. A Paulician deacon in his journey homeward from captivity was entertained overnight by Constantine. In the morning, before his departure, the Paulician presented to Constantine a copy of the New Testament. “Constantine studied the sacred volume. A new light broke upon his mind: the errors of the Greek Church stood clearly revealed, and he instantly resolved to separate himself from so corrupt a communion. He drew others to the study of the Scriptures, and the same light shone into their minds which had irradiated his. Sharing his views, they shared with him his secession from the established Church of the empire.... These disciples multiplied. A congenial soil favored their increase, for in these same mountains, where are placed the sources of the Euphrates, the Nestorian remnant had found a refuge.ECE 465.1

    22. “The attention of the government at Constantinople was at length turned to them; persecution followed. Constantine, whose zeal, constancy, and piety had been amply tested by the labors of twenty-seven years, was stoned to death. From his ashes arose a leader still more powerful. Simeon, an officer of the palace, who had been sent with a body of troops to superintend his execution, was converted by his martyrdom, and like another Paul, after the stoning of Stephen, began to preach the Paulician faith which he had once persecuted. Simeon ended his career, as Constantine had done, by sealing his testimony with his blood, the stake being planted beside the heap of stones piled above the ashes of Constantine.ECE 465.2

    23. “Still the Paulicians multiplied; other leaders arose to fill the place of those who had fallen, and neither the anathemas of the hierarchy nor the sword of the State could check their growth. All through the eighth century they continued to flourish. The worship of images was now the fashionable superstition in the Eastern Church, and the Paulicians rendered themselves still more obnoxious to the Greek authorities, lay and clerical, by the strenuous opposition which they offered to that idolatry of which the Greeks were the great advocates and patrons. It was now, in the end of the eighth century, that the most remarkable perhaps of all their leaders, Sergius, rose to head them, a man of truly missionary spirit and of indomitable courage ...During thirty-four years, and in the course of innumerable journeys, he preached the gospel from East to West, and converted great numbers of his countrymen. The result was, more terrible persecution, which continued through successive reigns. Foremost in this work we find the emperor Leo, the patriarch Nicephorus, and notably the empress Theodora.”—Wylie. 22[Page 466] “History of Protestantism,” book 1, chap 8, para. 4-6.ECE 465.3

    24. “The feeble Michael the First, the rigid Leo the Armenian, were foremost in the race of persecution; but the prize must doubtless be adjudged to the sanguinary devotion of Theodora, who restored the images to the Oriental Church. Her inquisitors explored the cities and mountains of the Lesser Asia, and the flatterers of the empress have affirmed that, in a short reign, one hundred thousand Paulicians were extirpated by the sword, the gibbet, or the flames.”—Gibbon. 23[Page 466] “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire,” chap 54, par. 4. vol 3. to 323. The persecution continued. Some relief was found through friendly emperors, who, in the ninth and tenth centuries, removed many of the Paulicians into Europe, and planted them in colonies in Thrace. “The shadow of the Saracenic woe was already blackening over the Eastern Empire, and God removed His witnesses betimes from the destined scene of judgment.ECE 466.1

    25. “The arrival of the Paulicians in Europe was regarded with favor rather than disapproval. Rome was becoming by her tyranny the terror, and by her profligacy the scandal, of the West; and men were disposed to welcome whatever promised to throw an additional weight into the opposing scale. The Paulicians soon spread themselves over Europe, and though no chronicle records their dispersion, the fact is attested by the sudden and simultaneous outbreaks of their opinions in many of the Western countries. They mingled with the host of the crusaders returning from the Holy Land through Hungary and Germany; they joined themselves to the caravans of merchants who entered the harbor of Venice and the gates of Lombardy; or they followed the Byzantine standard into southern Italy, and by these various routes settled themselves in the West. They incorporated with the pre-existing bodies of oppositionists, and from this time a new life was seen to animate the efforts of the Waldenses of Piedmont, the Albigenses of southern France, and of others who, in other parts of Europe, revolted by the growing superstitions, had begun to retrace their steps toward the primeval fountains of truth.”—Wylie. 24[Page 467] Id., pars. 7, 8.ECE 466.2

    26. “In peace and in war they freely conversed with strangers and natives, and their opinions were silently propagated in Rome, Milan, and the kingdoms beyond the Alps. It was soon discovered that many thousand Catholics of every rank, and of either sex, had embraced the Manichaean heresy, and the flames which consumed twelve canons of Orleans was the first act and signal of persecution. The Bulgarians [another name for the Paulicians], a name so innocent in its origin, so odious in its application, spread their branches over the face of Europe.... A confession of simple worship and blameless manners is extorted from their enemies; and so high was their standard of perfection, that the increasing congregations were divided into two classes of disciples, of those who practiced, and of those who aspired. It was in the country of Albigeois, in the southern provinces of France, that the Paulicians were most deeply implanted; and the same vicissitudes of martyrdom and revenge which had been displayed in the neighborhood of the Euphrates, were repeated in the thirteenth century on the banks of the Rhone. The laws of the Eastern emperors were revived by Frederic the Second. The insurgents of Tephrice were represented by the barons and cities of Languedoc: Pope Innocent III surpassed the sanguinary fame of Theodora. It was in cruelty alone that her soldiers could equal the heroes of the Crusades; and the cruelty of her priests was far excelled by the founders of the Inquisition; an office more adapted to confirm, than to refute, the belief of an evil principle.”—Gibbon. 25[Page 467] “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire,” chap 54, par. 7.ECE 467.1

    27. In the middle of the eleventh century Berengar of Tours incurred the wrath of the papacy by preaching the gospel, especially exposing the absurdity of transubstantiation. In 1087 it was written against him “that Berengarius of Tours, being fallen into heresy, had already almost corrupted all the French, Italians, and English.” He was charged by the archbishop of Canterbury not only with having opposed transubstantiation, but as being “guilty of all the heresies of the Waldenses; and as maintaining with them that the Church remained with them alone, and that Rome was ‘the congregation of the wicked and the seat of Satan.’” Berengar published a commentary on the book of Revelation, which fact easily explains how that his persecutors could charge him with saying that Rome was “the congregation of the wicked and the seat of Satan.” 26[Page 468] Revelation 2:13. He died in 1088.ECE 467.2

    28. About the end of this century also Peter de Bruys preached the gospel in the provinces of Dauphine, Provence, and Languedoc. Many were thus brought to the light of salvation in the knowledge of the truth of Christ; and from the name of Peter de Bruys were called Petrobrussians. From the charges of their enemies, it is found that they held “that baptism avails not without faith; that Christ is only spiritually present in the sacrament; that prayers and alms profit not dead men; that purgatory is a mere invention; and that the Church is not made up of cemented stones, but of believing men.” 27[Page 468] Wylie’s “History of Protestantism,” book 1. chap 11, par 6.. Peter de Bruys was put to death by burning in 1126, after twenty years of faithful preaching of the gospel.ECE 468.1

    29. Peter was followed, however, in the good work, by an Italian of the name of Henri. He was a monk who had become a Christian. From his name his converts were called Henricians. His persecutors declared that “his orations were powerful but noxious, as if a whole legion of demons had been speaking through his mouth.” St. Bernard wrote concerning him, to the count of Toulouse: “How many disorders do we every day hear that Henri commits in the Church of God! That ravenous wolf is within your dominions, clothed with a sheep’s skin, but we know him by his works. The churches are like synagogues, the sanctuary despoiled of its holiness, the sacraments looked upon as profane institutions, the feast days have lost their solemnity, men grow up in sin, and every day souls are borne away before the terrible tribunal of Christ without first being reconciled to and fortified by the holy communion. In refusing Christians baptism they are denied the life of Jesus Christ.” 28[Page 468] Id. In 1148 Henri was seized, and prosecuted before Pope Eugenius III, at a council in Rheims, where he was condemned and imprisoned: and he is no more heard of.ECE 468.2

    30. Immediately following Henri came Arnold of Brescia. He also was a monk who had become a Christian. “Profoundly convinced that the evils of Christendom arose from the worldliness of the ecclesiastical body, he taught that the Church should hold neither temporal possessions nor jurisdiction, and should confine itself rigidly to its spiritual function. Of austere and commanding virtue, irreproachable in his self-denying life, trained in all the learning of the schools, and gifted with rare persuasive eloquence, he became the terror of the hierarchy.”—Lea. 29[Page 469] “History of the Inquisition,” p. 73. Since the papacy as it then was, consisted in the union of Church and State, it is easy to understand how such teaching as this would be the terror of the hierarchy; for wherever it prevailed, it would mean only the annihilation of the papacy.ECE 468.3

    31. Yet it was not only, nor especially, the separation of Church and State that Arnold preached. He preached the gospel, the truth as it is in Jesus: which, in itself, meant, and always means, the separation of Church and State in all who accept it. Thus the doctrine of separation of Church and State was but the consequence of the fundamental truth of Christ which he preached—that “the Church of Christ is not of this world.” Therefore, said he, “the ministers of the Church ought not to fill temporal offices and discharge temporal employment. Let these be left to the men whose duty it is to see to them, even kings and statesmen. Nor do the ministers of Christ need, in order to the discharge of their spiritual functions, the enormous revenues which are continually flowing into their coffers. Let all this wealth, those lands, palaces, and hoards, be surrendered to the rulers of the State; and let the ministers of religion henceforward be maintained by the frugal yet competent provision of the tithes, and the voluntary offerings of their flocks. Set free from occupations which consume their time, degrade their office, and corrupt their heart, the clergy will lead their flocks to the pastures of the gospel, and knowledge and piety will again revisit the earth.” 30[Page 469] Wylie’s “History of Protestantism,” book 1, chap 11, par. 11.ECE 469.1

    32. The bishop of Brescia complained of Arnold to Pope Innocent II. The pope called a council and summoned Arnold to appear there. Arnold went. The pope and his council condemned the preaching of Arnold, and passed upon him the sentence of silence. Arnold would not keep silence; and in 1140 a council held at Sens sentenced him to imprisonment, and decreed that his writings should be burned. This sentence Innocent II approved. But, before effect could be given to this decree of the council and the pope, Arnold had left Italy, crossing the Alps and stopping at Zurich, where he preached and planted seeds of the truth of the gospel amongst “a brave and simple people who imbibed, and long retained the color of his opinions; and his art, or merit, seduced the bishop of Constance, and even the pope’s legate, who forgot for his sake, the interest of their master and their order.”—Gibbon. 31[Page 470] “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire,” chap 69, par. 6.ECE 469.2

    33. When Innocent II died, Arnold adopted “the desperate measure of erecting his standard in Rome itself, in the face of the successor of St. Peter. Yet the courage of Arnold was not devoid of discretion: he was protected, and had perhaps been invited, by the nobles and people; and in the service of freedom, his eloquence thundered over the Seven Hills. Blending in the same discourse the texts of Livy and St. Paul; uniting the motives of gospel, and of classic, enthusiasm; he admonished the Romans how strangely their patience and the vices of the clergy had degenerated from the primitive times of the Church and the city.” 32[Page 470] Id. Beyond the spiritual enlightenment and conversion, in heart and life, of many of the people, one remarkable result of Arnold’s preaching in Rome was that universal rising of the people, which established the new Republic in Rome, and expelled the popes from the city, as already noticed. When Hadrian IV succeeded in recovering Rome to the papacy, the banishment of Arnold was the condition of his releasing the city from general condemnation. And when Frederick Barbarossa went to Italy, to be crowned emperor by Hadrian IV, one of the conditions made by the pope to Frederick’s receiving the imperial crown at his hands, was the capture and delivering up of Arnold. Therefore, Arnold was seized, and conveyed to the city of Rome, where he was put to death. “For the cruel ending the Church sought to shirk the responsibility, but there would seem to be no reasonable doubt that he was regularly condemned by a spiritual tribunal as a heretic; for he was in holy orders, and could be tried only by the Church, after which he was handed over to the secular arm for punishment. He was offered pardon if he would recant his erroneous doctrines; but he persistently refused, and passed his last moments in silent prayer. Whether or not he was mercifully hanged before being reduced to ashes, is perhaps doubtful; but those ashes were cast into the Tiber to prevent the people of Rome from preserving them as relics and honoring him as a martyr.”—Lea. 33[Page 471] “History of the Inquisition,” vol. 1, pp. 74, 75.ECE 470.1

    34. Arnold’s “teachings left a deep impress in the minds of the population, and his followers in secret cherished his memory and his principles for centuries. It was not without a full knowledge of the position, that the Roman curia scattered his ashes in the Tiber, dreading the effect of the veneration which the people felt for their martyr. Secret associations of Arnaldistas were formed, who called themselves ‘Poor Men,’ and adopted the tenet that the sacraments could be administered only by virtuous men.”—Lea. 34[Page 471] “History of the Inquisition,” p. 75.ECE 471.1

    35. The faith of the Waldenses received a great impetus in 1160 and onward, by the conversion of Peter Valdes, or Waldo, a rich merchant in Lyons, who, by his wealth, which he devoted wholly to the cause, was able to accomplish the publication of the complete New Testament in “the Lingua Romana, or Romaunt tongue, the common language of the south of Europe from the eighth to the fourteenth century. It was the language of the troubadours and of the men of letters of the Dark Ages. Into this tongue—the Romaunt—was the first translation of the whole of the New Testament made as early as the twelfth century. All of the books of the New Testament were translated from the Latin Vulgate into the Romaunt. This was the first literal version since the fall of the empire; and was the first translation available for popular use. There were numerous earlier translations, but only of parts of the Word of God; and many of these were rather paraphrases or digests of Scripture, than translations: and, moreover, they were so bulky, and by consequence so costly, as to be utterly beyond the reach of the common people. This Romaunt version was the first complete and literal translation of the New Testament of Holy Scripture; it was made ...not later than 1180, and so is older than any complete version in German, French, Italian, Spanish, or English. This version was widely spread in the south of France, and in the cities of Lombardy. It was in common use among the Waldenses of Piedmont; and it was no small part, doubtless, of the testimony borne to truth by these mountaineers to preserve and circulate it.”—Wylie. 35[Page 472] “History of Protestantism,” book i, chap 7, par. 3.ECE 471.2

    36. Peter Waldo was such a diligent student of the Scriptures that he learned the whole New Testament by heart. By this knowledge of the Word of God he “arrived at the conviction that nowhere was the apostolic life observed as commanded by Christ.... Devoting himself to preaching the gospel through the streets and by the wayside, admiring imitators of both sexes sprang up around him, whom he dispatched as missionaries to the neighboring towns. They entered houses, announcing the gospel to the inmates; they preached in the churches, they discoursed in the public places, and everywhere they found eager listeners; for, as we have seen, the negligence and indolence of the clergy had rendered the function of preaching almost a forgotten duty. According to the fashion of the time, they speedily adopted a peculiar form of dress, including, in imitation of the apostles, a sandal with a kind of plate upon it, whence they acquired the name of the ‘Shoed,’ Insabbatati, or Zaptati—though the appellation which they bestowed upon themselves was that of Li Poure de Lyod, or Poor Men of Lyons.”—Lea. 36[Page 472] “History of the Inquisition,” pp. 76, 77.ECE 472.1

    37. The text-book of the Waldensian youth was the Scriptures; and “they were required to commit to memory, and be able accurately to recite, whole Gospels and Epistles. This was a necessary accomplishment on the part of public instructors, in those ages when printing was unknown, and copies of the Word of God were rare. Part of their time was occupied in transcribing the Holy Scriptures, or portions of them, which they were to distribute when they went forth as missionaries.... After passing a certain time in the school of the barbes, it was not uncommon for the Waldensian youth to proceed to the seminaries in the great cities of Lombardy, or to the Sorbonne at Paris. There they saw other customs, were initiated into other studies, and had a wider horizon around them than in the seclusion of their native valleys. Many of them became expert dialecticians, and often made converts of the rich merchants with whom they traded, and the landlords in whose houses they lodged. The priests seldom cared to meet in argument the Waldensian missionary.ECE 472.2

    38. “To maintain the truth in their own mountains was not the only object of this people. They felt their relations to the rest of Christendom. They sought to drive back the darkness, and reconquer the kingdoms which Rome had overwhelmed. They were an evangelistic as well as an evangelical Church. It was an old law among them that all who took orders in their Church should, before being eligible to a home charge, serve three years in the mission field. The youth on whose head the assembled barbes laid their hands, saw in prospect not a rich benefice, but a possible martyrdom. The ocean they did not cross. Their mission field was the realms that lay outspread at the foot of their own mountains. They went forth two and two, concealing their real character under the guise of a secular profession, most commonly that of merchants or peddlers. They carried silks, jewelry, and other articles, at that time not easily purchasable save at distant marts, and they were welcomed as merchants where they would have been spurned as missionaries. The door of the cottage and the portal of the baron’s castle stood equally open to them. But their address was mainly shown in vending, without money and without price, rarer and more valuable merchandise than the gems and silks which had procured them entrance. They took care to carry with them, concealed among their wares or about their persons, portions of the Word of God, their own transcription commonly, and to this they would draw the attention of the inmates. When they saw a desire to possess it, they would freely make a gift of it where the means to purchase were absent.ECE 473.1

    39. “There was no kingdom of southern and central Europe to which these missionaries did not find their way, and where they did not leave traces of their visit in the disciples whom they made. On the west they penetrated into Spain. In southern France they found congenial fellow-laborers in the Albigenses, by whom the seeds of truth were plentifully scattered over Dauphine and Languedoc. On the east, descending the Rhine and the Danube, they leavened Germany, Bohemia, and Poland with their doctrines, their track being marked with the edifices for worship and the stakes of martyrdom that arose around their steps. Even the Seven-hilled City they feared not to enter, scattering the seed on ungenial soil, if perchance some of it might take root and grow. Their naked feet and coarse woolen garments made them somewhat marked figures, in the streets of a city that clothed itself in purple and fine linen; and when their real errand was discovered, as sometimes chanced, the rulers of Christendom took care to further, in their own way, the springing of the seed, by watering it with the blood of the men who had sowed it.”—Wylie. 37[Page 474] “History of Protestantism,” book i, chap 7, pars. 5-8.ECE 473.2

    40. The Paulicians in the West were called by several names; but the one by which they were most generally known is Cathari—the Pure Ones. In their knowledge of the Scriptures, their pure Christian lives and missionary zeal, these were not surpassed even by the Waldenses. “They were mostly simple folk, industrious peasants and mechanics, who felt the evils around them and welcomed any change. The theologians who combated them ridiculed them as ignorant churls, and in France they were popularly known as texerant (tisserands) [weavers], on account of the prevalence of the heresy among the weavers, whose monotonous occupation doubtless gave ample opportunity for thought. Rude and ignorant they might be for the most part, but they had skilled theologians for teachers, and an extensive popular literature which has utterly perished, saving a Catharan version of the New Testament in Romance, and a book of ritual. Their familiarity with Scripture is vouched for by the warning of Lucas, bishop of Tuy, that the Christian should dread their conversation as he would a tempest, unless he is deeply skilled in the law of God, so that he can overcome them in argument.”—Lea. 38[Page 474] “History of the Inquisition,” p. 102.ECE 474.1

    41. “Their proselyting zeal was especially dreaded. No labor was too severe, no risks too great, to deter them from spreading the faith which they deemed essential to salvation. Missionaries wandered over Europe through strange lands to carry the glad tidings to benighted populations, regardless of hardship, and undeterred by the fate of their brethren, whom they saw expiate at the stake the hardihood of their revolt.” 39[Page 474] “History of the Inquisition,” pp. 101, 102. Like the Waldenses, these traveled also as peddlers and artisans: at times changing their occupations and their manner of dress, the better to avoid detection. As they traveled, they would leave with the people, where they could safely do so, or scatter by the wayside, brief writings containing portions of Scripture, with expressions of their own of Christian thought. These were picked up by the shepherds, or the wayfarers, and, so, were the means by which salvation reached many souls. Those who could not read well would take the leaflets to the priests for an explanation; and, in the interpreting of these writings to the unlearned ones, the light of the truth reached many of the priests, who themselves gladly bore the guilt of heresy.ECE 474.2

    42. Thus, while the papacy was climbing her bloody way to the headship of all the kingdoms of the world, Christianity was silently and gradually permeating society throughout all of those very kingdoms. And, when the papacy had attained to that height of dominion at which she beheld at her feet all kingdoms, and was ready to congratulate herself that all opposition was entirely subdued, she was compelled to awake to the fact that here was a power which, more than any she had ever yet met, threatened her supremacy. It is true the Christians had not been wholly ignored by the papacy. Some of the popes had been obliged to notice an occasional archheretic; there had been, comparatively, a few local burnings of heretics. But, to the papacy, all these were but mere passing incidents, calling for hardly more than a mere glance as she pursued her ambitious way to the high goal which she had in view. But now, having attained that goal, she found that all the power of which she was by all means possessed, must be exercised not merely to maintain herself at the height of power which she had gained, but to maintain her very existence.ECE 475.1

    43. Northern Italy and southern France formed the general region in which were clustered the centers of all these Christians. The mountains and valleys of Piedmont were the center of the Waldenses: Albi, in southern France, was the center of the Cathari, Petrobrussians, Henricians—all of whom were included in the one name Albigeois, or Albigenses. And though in the papal decrees many names are sometimes used, yet generally speaking, all these are referred to by the papacy under the two designations of heretics and Waldenses, the word “heretics” invariably referring to the Cathari or Albigenses; and charges against all are summed up in the words “heresy and Waldensianism.”ECE 475.2

    44. In 1405 the bishop of Chalons applied to Bishop Wazo, of Liege, for advice as to what he had better do with the Cathari, who were multiplying in his diocese: “whether the secular arm should be called in to prevent the leaven from corrupting the whole people.” Bishop Wazo replied that “they should be left to God,” for the reason that “those whom the world now regards as tares may be garnered by Him as wheat when comes the harvest time. Those whom we deem the adversaries of God, He may make superior to us in heaven.” However, there were exceedingly few prelates like Bishop Wazo of Liege. Through this century there were not a few Christians put to death in different countries. But so far the persecution was not systematic, nor was it directed by specific acts, either of States or of the Church. Individual popes and individual kings ordered it in cases of archheretics; or it was accomplished through the fanatical wrath of the local populace. But, in the twelfth century all the power of both Church and State was brought to bear, to accomplish the death of heretics.ECE 476.1

    45. In 1139, by the second general Lateran Council, Pope Innocent II “issued a decisive decree which is interesting as the earliest example of the interpellation of the secular arm. Not only were the Cathari condemned and expelled from the Church, but the temporal authorities were ordered to coerce them and all those who favored or defended them. This policy was followed up in 1148 by the Council of Rheims, which forbade any one to receive or maintain on his lands the heretics dwelling in Gascony, Provence, and elsewhere, and not to afford them shelter in passing or give them a refuge, under pain of excommunication and interdict.”ECE 476.2

    46. “When Alexander III was exiled from Rome by Frederick Barbarossa and his antipope Victor, and came to France, he called, in 1163, a great council at Tours. It was an imposing assemblage, comprising seventeen cardinals, one hundred and twenty-four bishops (including Thomas Becket), and hundreds of abbots, besides hosts of other ecclesiastics, and a vast number of laymen. This august body, after performing its first duty of anathematizing the rival pope, proceeded to deplore the heresy, which, arising in the Toulousain, had spread like a cancer throughout Gascony, deeply infecting the faithful everywhere. The prelates of those regions were ordered to be vigilant in suppressing it by anathematizing all who should permit heretics to dwell on their lands or should hold intercourse with them, in buying or selling, so that, being cut off from human society, they might be compelled to abandon their errors. All secular princes, moreover, were commanded to imprison them and to confiscate their property.ECE 476.3

    47. “By this time, it is evident that heresy was no longer concealed, but displayed itself openly and defiantly; and the futility of the papal commands at Tours to cut heretics off from human intercourse was shown two years later at the council, or rather colloquy, of Lombers, near Albi. This was a public disputation between representatives of orthodoxy and the bos homes, bos Crestias, or ‘good men,’ as they styled themselves, before judges agreed upon by both sides, in the presence of Pons, archbishop of Narbonne, and sundry bishops, beside the most powerful nobles of the region—Constance, sister of King Louis VII and wife of Raymond of Toulouse, Trencavel of Beziers, Sicard of Lautree, and others. Nearly all of the population of Lombers and Albi assembled, and the proceedings were evidently regarded as of the greatest public interest and importance.ECE 477.1

    48. “A full report of the discussion, including the decision against the Cathari, has reached us from several orthodox sources, but the only interest which the affair has is its marked significance in showing that heresy had fairly outgrown all the means of repression at command of the local churches; that reason had to be appealed to in place of force; that heretics had no scruple in manifesting and declaring themselves; and that the Catholic disputants had to submit to their demands in citing only the New Testament as an authority. The powerlessness of the Church was still farther exhibited in the fact that the council, after its argumentative triumph, was obliged to content itself with simply ordering the nobles of Lombers no longer to protect the heretics. What satisfaction Pons of Narbonne found the next year in confirming the conclusions of the Council of Lombers, in a council held at Cabestaing, it would be difficult to define. So great was the prevailing demoralization that when some monks of the strict Cistercian Order left their monastery of Villemagne, near Agde, and publicly took wives, he was unable to punish this gross infraction of their vows, and the interposition of Alexander III was invoked—probably without result.ECE 477.2

    49. “Evidently the Church was powerless. When it could condemn the doctrines and not the persons of heretics it confessed to the world that it possessed no machinery capable of dealing with opposition on a scale of such magnitude. The nobles and the people were indisposed to do its bidding, and without their aid the fulmination of its anathema was an empty ceremony. The Cathari saw this plainly, and within two years of the Council of Lombers they dared, in 1167, to hold a council of their own at St. Felix de Caraman, near Toulouse. Their highest dignitary, Bishop Nicetas, came from Constantinople to preside, with deputies from Lombardy; the French Church was strengthened against the modified dualism of the Concorrezan school; bishops were elected for the vacant sees of Toulouse, Val d’ Aran, Carcassonne, Albi, and France north of the Loire, the latter being Robert de Sperone, subsequently a refugee in Lombardy, where he gave his name to the sect of the Speronistae; commissioners were named to settle a disputed boundary between the sees of Toulouse and Carcassonne; in short, the business was that of an established and independent Church, which looked upon itself as destined to supersede the Church of Rome. Based upon the affection and reverence of the people, which Rome had forfeited, it might well look forward to ultimate supremacy.ECE 478.1

    50. “In fact, its progress during the next ten years was such as to justify the most enthusiastic hopes. Raymond of Toulouse, whose power was virtually that of an independent sovereign, adhered to Frederick Barbarossa, acknowledged the antipope Victor and his successors, and cared nothing for Alexander III, who was received by the rest of France; and the Church, distracted by the schism, could offer little opposition to the development of heresy.” 40[Page 478] Id., pp. 117-119.ECE 478.2

    51. In England, in 1166, thirty Cathari who had fled from persecution in Flanders, were arrested. King Henry II “called a council of bishops at Oxford, and presided over it, to determine their faith. They openly avowed it, and were condemned to be scourged, branded in the face with a key, and driven forth. The importance which Henry attached to the matter is shown by his devoting, soon after, in the Assizes of Clarendon, an article to the subject, forbidding any one to receive them under penalty of having his house torn down; and requiring all sheriffs to swear to the observance of the law, and to make all stewards of the barons and all knights and franc-tenants swear likewise—the first secular law on the subject in any statute book since the fall of Rome.” 41[Page 479] Id., pp. 113, 114.ECE 478.3

    52. “In 1177, however, Alexander III triumphed, and received the submission of Frederic. Raymond necessarily followed his suzerain (a large portion of his territories was subject to the empire), and suddenly awoke to the necessity of arresting the progress of heresy. Powerful as he was he felt himself unequal to the task. The burgesses of his cities, independent and intractable, were for the most part Cathari. A large portion of his knights and gentlemen were secretly or avowedly protectors of heresy; the common people throughout his dominions despised the clergy and honored the heretics. When a heretic preached, they crowded to listen and applaud; when a Catholic assumed the rare function of religious instruction, they jeered at him, and asked him what he had to do with proclaiming the Word of God. In a state of chronic war with powerful vassals and more powerful neighbors, like the kings of Aragon and England, it was manifestly impossible for Raymond to undertake the extermination of a half or more than half of his subjects.” 42[Page 479] Id., p. 120.ECE 479.1

    53. In 1178 Pope Alexander III in publishing the call to the third council of the Lateran, mentioned as one of the subjects for the consideration of the council “the tares which choke the wheat, and must be pulled up by the roots.” And, by that council, in 1179, there was issued the following decree:—ECE 479.2

    “The Church, as the holy Leo saith, whilst it rejects bloody executions from its code of morals, does not omit them in practice, because the fear of corporal punishments sometimes causes sinners to recur to spiritual remedies. Thus the heretics who are called Catharins, Patarins, or Publicans, are so strongly fortified in Gascony, among the Albigenses, and in the territory of Toulouse, that they no longer conceal themselves, but openly teach their errors; it is on that account we anathematize them as well as those who grant them an asylum or protection, and if they die in their sin, we prohibit oblations being made for them, or sepulture being granted to them. As for the Brabancons, Arragoneses, Navarese, Basques, Cotterels, Triabechins, who respect neither churches nor monasteries, who spare neither widow nor orphan, nor age nor sex, and who pillage plains and cities, we also order those who shall receive, protect, or lodge them, to be denounced and excommunicated in all the churches at the solemn feasts; nor do we permit them to be absolved, until after they shall have taken up arms against these abominable Albigenses. We also declare, the faithful who are bound to them by any treaties, to be entirely free from their oaths; and we enjoin on them for the remission of their sins, to be wanting in faith to these execrable heretics, to confiscate their goods, reduce them to slavery, and put to death all who are unwilling to be converted. We grant to all Christians who shall take up arms against the Catharins, the same indulgences as to the faithful who take the cross for the holy sepulcher.” 43[Page 480] De Cormenin’s “History of the Popes,” Alexander III, par. 10 from end.ECE 479.3

    54. “Immediately on his return from the council, Pons, archbishop of Narbonne, made haste to publish this decree, with all its anathemas and interdicts...The cardinal of Albano ‘was forthwith sent as papal legate to preach and lead the crusade. His eloquence enabled him to raise a considerable force of horse and foot, with which, in 1181, he fell upon the territories of the viscount of Beziers, and laid siege to the stronghold of Lavaur, where the viscountess Adelaide, daughter of Raymond of Toulouse, and the leading Patarins had taken refuge. We are told that Lavaur was captured through a miracle, and that in various parts of France consecrated wafers dropping blood announced the success of the Christian arms...The short term for which the crusaders had enlisted expired; the army disbanded itself, and the next year the cardinal-legate went back to Rome, having accomplished, virtually, nothing except to increase the mutual exasperation by the devastation of the country through which his troops had passed. Raymond of Toulouse, involved in desperate war with the king of Aragon, seems to have preserved complete indifference as to this expedition, taking no part in it on either side.” 44[Page 480] Id., p. 124.ECE 480.1

    55. In 1184, by a council held at Verona, Pope Lucius III confirmed the foregoing decree of Alexander III, and sent forth a bull, as follows:—ECE 480.2

    “Ecclesiastical justice could not show too much rigor in annihilating the heresies which now multiply in a large number of the provinces. Already has Rome braved the thunders of the holy see; and her intractable people have dared, from hatred of one person, to lay a sacrilegious hand upon our priests. But the day of vengeance is preparing; and, until we can return to those Romans the evils they have inflicted on us, we excommunicate all heretics, whatever may be their appellation. Among others, the Catharins, the Patarins, those who falsely call themselves the Humiliated, or the Poor of Lyons, as well as the Passagins, the Josephins, the Arnaudists; and, finally, all those wretches who call themselves Vaudois, or enemies of the holy see. We strike these abominable sectarians with a perpetual anathema; we condemn those who shall give them shelter or protection to the same penalties, and who shall call themselves Consoled, Perfect Believers, or by any other superstitious name.ECE 480.3

    “And as the severity of ecclesiastical discipline is sometimes despised and powerless, we order that those who shall be convicted of favoring heretics, if they are clergy or monks, shall be despoiled of their sacerdotal functions, and of their benefices, and shall be abandoned to all the rigors of secular justice; if laymen, we order that they suffer the most horrid tortures, be proved by fire and sword, torn by stripes, and burned alive. We add, by advice of the bishops, and on the remonstrances of the emperor and the lords, that every prelate shall visit, several times during the year, either in person or by his archdeacon, all the cities of his diocese, and particularly the places in which he shall judge that the heretics hold their assemblies. They shall cause the inhabitants, and especially the old men, women, and children, to be seized. They shall interrogate them to know if there are any Vaudois in their country, or people who hold secret assemblies, and who lead a life differing from that of the faithful. Those who shall hesitate to make denunciations, shall be immediately put to the torture. When the bishop or archdeacon shall discover the guilty, he shall cause them to be arrested, and shall exact from them an abjuration; or, on their refusal, shall execute the sentence we have pronounced.ECE 481.1

    “We order, besides, the counts, barons, rectors, and consuls of cities, and other places, to engage by oath, in accordance with the warning of the bishops, to persecute heretics and their accomplices, when they shall be so required to do by the Church; and to execute, with all their power, all that the holy see and the empire have appointed in regard to the crimes of heresy: otherwise, we declare them deprived of their offices and dignities, without the power ever again to hold any employment; and, moreover, they shall be excommunicated forever, and their property placed under interdict.ECE 481.2

    “The cities which shall resist our orders, or which, having been warned by the bishops, shall neglect to pursue the heretics, shall be excluded from all commerce with other cities, and shall lose their rank and privileges. The citizens shall be excommunicated, noted with perpetual infamy, and as such declared unfit to fill any public or ecclesiastical function. All the faithful shall have the right to kill them, seize their goods, and reduce them to slavery.” 45[Page 481] De Cormenin’s “History of the Popes,” Lucius III, pars. 9-12.ECE 481.3

    56. This bull had so little practical effect that the condemnation had to be repeated by the same pope, at a council held at Narbonne in the same year. And even this was so little effective that the Poor Men of Lyons, of the Waldenses, “agreed, about 1190, to take the chances of a disputation held in the cathedral of Narbonne, with Raymond of Daventry, a religious and God-fearing Catholic, as judge. Of course the decision went against them, and of course they were as little inclined as before to submit, but the colloquy has an interest as showing what progress at that period they had made in dissidence from Rome. The six points on which the argument was held were, first, that they refused obedience to the authority of pope and prelate; second, that all, even laymen, can preach; third, that, according to the apostles, God is to be obeyed rather than man; fourth, that women may preach; fifth, that masses, prayers, and alms for the dead are of no avail, with the addition that some of them denied the existence of purgatory; and sixth that prayer in bed, or in a chamber, or in a stable, is as efficacious as in a church.”ECE 482.1

    57. “Good prelates, they held who led apostolic lives, were to be obeyed, and to them alone was granted the power to bind and loose—which was striking a mortal blow at the whole organization of the Church. Merit and not ordination, conferred the power to consecrate and bless, to bind and to loose; every one, therefore, who led an apostolic life had this power, and as they assumed that they all led such a life, it followed that they, although laymen, could execute all the functions of the priesthood. It likewise followed that the ministrations of sinful priests were invalid, though at first the French Waldeness were not willing to admit this, while the Italians boldly affirmed it. A further error was, that confession to a layman was as efficacious as to a priest, which was a serious attack upon the sacrament of penitence; though, as yet, the Fourth Council of Lateran had not made priestly confession indispensable, and Alain is willing to admit that in the absence of a priest, confession to layman is sufficient.ECE 482.2

    58. “The system of indulgences was another of the sacerdotal devices which they rejected; and added three specific rules of morality which became distinctive characteristics of the sect: Every lie is a mortal sin; every oath, even in a court of justice, is unlawful; and homicide is under no circumstances to be permitted, whether in war or in execution of judicial sentences. This necessarily of involved nonresistance, rendering the Waldenses dangerous only from such moral influence as they could acquire. Even as late as 1217, a well-informed contemporary assures us that the four chief errors of the Waldenses were, their wearing sandals after the fashion of the apostles, their prohibition of oaths and of homicide, and their assertion that any member of the sect, if he wore sandals, could in case of necessity consecrate the eucharist.ECE 482.3

    59. “All this was a simple-hearted endeavor to obey the commands of Christ and make the gospel an actual standard for the conduct of family life; but these principles, if universally adopted, would have reduced the Church to a condition of apostolic poverty, and would have swept away much of the distinction between priest and layman. Besides, the sectaries were inspired with the true missionary spirit; their proselyting zeal knew no bounds; they wandered from land to land promulgating their doctrines, and finding everywhere a cordial response, especially among the lower classes, who were ready enough to embrace a dogma that promised to release them from the vices and oppressions of the clergy. We are told that one of their chief apostles carried with him various disguises, appearing now as a cobbler, then as a barber, and again as a peasant, and though this may have been, as alleged, for the purpose of eluding capture, it shows the social stratum to which their missions were addressed. The Poor Men of Lyons multiplied with incredible rapidity throughout Europe; the Church became seriously alarmed, and not without reason, for an ancient document of the sectaries shows a tradition among them that under Waldo, or immediately afterward, their councils had an average attendance of about seven hundred members present.” 46[Page 483] Id., pp. 78-81.ECE 483.1

    60. “The admitted failure of the crusade of 1181 seems to have rendered the Church hopeless, for the time, of making headway against heresy. For a quarter of a century it was allowed to develop in comparative toleration throughout the territories of Gascony, Languedoc, and Provence. It is true that the decree of Lucius III, issued at Verona in 1184, is important as attempting the foundation of an organized inquisition, but it worked no immediate effect. It is true that in 1195 another papal legate, Michael, held a provincial council at Montpelier, where he commanded the enforcement of the Lateran canons on all heretics and Mainatae, or brigands, whose property was to be confiscated and whose persons reduced to slavery; but all this fell dead upon the indifference of the nobles, who, involved in perpetual war with each other, preferred to risk the anathemas of the Church rather than to complicate their troubles by attempting the extermination of a majority of their subjects at the behest of a hierarchy which no longer inspired respect or reverence. Perhaps, also, the fall of Jerusalem, in 1186, in arousing an unprecedented fervor of fanaticism, directed it toward Palestine, and left little for the vindication of the faith nearer home. Be this as it may, no effective persecution was undertaken until the vigorous ability of Innocent III, after vainly trying milder measures, organized overwhelming war against heresy.ECE 483.2

    61. “During this interval the Poor Men of Lyons arose, and were forced to make common cause with the Cathari; the proselyting zeal which had been so successful in secrecy and tribulation had free scope for its development, and had no effective antagonism to dread from a negligent and disheartened clergy. The heretics preached and made converts, while the priests were glad if they could save a fraction of their tithes and revenues from rapacious nobles and rebellious or indifferent parishioners. Heresy throve accordingly. Innocent III admitted the humiliating fact that the heretics were allowed to preach and teach and make converts in public, and that unless speedy measures were taken for their suppression, there was danger that the infection would spread to the whole Church.ECE 484.1

    62. William of Tudela says that the heretics possessed the Albigeois, the Carcasses, and the Lauragais, and that to describe them as numerous throughout the whole district from Beziers to Bordeaux is not saying enough. Walter Mapes asserts that there were none of them in Britanny, but that they abounded in Anjou, while in Aquitaine and Burgundy their number was infinite. William of Puy-Laurens assures us that Satan possessed in peace the greater part of southern France; the clergy were so despised that they were accustomed to conceal the tonsure through very shame, and the bishops were obliged to admit to holy orders whoever was willing to assume them; the whole land, under a curse, produced nothing but thorns and thistles, ravishers and bandits, robbers, murderers, adulterers, and usurers. Caesarius of Heisterbach declares that the Albigensian errors increased so rapidly that they soon infected a thousand cities, and he believes that if they had not been repressed by the sword of the faithful, the whole of Europe would have been corrupted.ECE 484.2

    63. “A German inquisitor informs us that in Lombardy, Provence, and other regions there were more schools of heresy than of orthodox theology, with more scholars; that they disputed publicly, and summoned the people to public debates; that they preached in the market-places, the fields, the houses; and that there were none who dared to interfere with them, owing to the multitude and power of their protectors. As we have seen, they were regularly organized in dioceses; they had their educational establishments for the training of women as well as men; and, at least in one instance, all the nuns of a convent embraced Catharism without quitting the house or the habit of their order. Such was the position to which corruption had reduced the Church. Intent upon the acquisition of temporal power, it had well-nigh abandoned its spiritual duties; and its empire, which rested on spiritual foundations, was crumbling with their decay, and threatening to pass away like an unsubstantial vision.” 47[Page 485] Id., pp. 126-128.ECE 485.1

    64. Then the archpope Innocent III entered the lists to save the papacy. “In his consecration sermon he announced that one of his principal duties would be the destruction of heresy; and of this he never lost sight to the end, amid his endless conflicts with emperors and princes.” 48[Page 485] Id., p. 128 He was consecrated Feb. 22, 1198; and, as early as April 1 he wrote to the archbishop of Ausch, “deploring the spread of heresy and the danger of its becoming universal. The prelate and his brethren are ordered to extirpate it by the utmost rigor of ecclesiastical censures, and if necessary by bringing the secular arm to bear through the assistance of princes and people. Not only are heretics themselves to be punished, but all who have any dealings with them, or who are suspected by reason of undue familiarity with them.ECE 485.2

    65. “In the existing posture of affairs, the prelates to whom these commands were addressed, can only have regarded them with mingled derision and despair; and we can readily imagine the replies in which they declared their zeal and lamented their powerlessness. Innocent probably was aware of this in advance, and did not await the response. By April 21 he had two commissioners ready to represent the holy see on the spot—Rainier and Gui—whom he sent armed with letters to all the prelates, princes, nobles, and people of southern France, empowering them to enforce whatever regulations they might see fit to employ to avert the imminent peril to the Church arising from the countless increase of Cathari and Waldenses, who corrupted the people by simulated works of justice and charity. These heretics who will not return to the true faith are to be banished, and their property confiscated; these provisions are to be enforced by the secular authorities under penalty of interdict for refusal or negligence, and with the reward for obedience of the same indulgences as those granted for a pilgrimage to Rome or Compostella; and all who consort or deal with heretics or show them favor or protection are to share their punishment.” 49[Page 486] Id., p. 186ECE 485.3

    66. In point of time Innocent III had been a little forestalled by fierce persecutions in Spain. “In 1194, the note of persecution was sounded by Alonso II of Aragon, in an edict which is worthy of note as the first secular legislation, with the exception of the assizes of Clarendon, in the modern world against heresy. The Waldenses and all other heretics anathematized by the Church are ordered, as public enemies, to quit his dominions by the day after All-Saints’. Any one who receives them to his hands, listens to their preaching, or gives them food shall incur the penalties of treason, with confiscation of all his goods and possessions. The decree is to be published by all pastors on Sundays, and all public officials are ordered to enforce it. Any heretic remaining after three days’ notice of the law can be despoiled by any one, and any injury inflicted on him, short of death or mutilation, so far from being an offense, shall be regarded as meriting the royal favor.ECE 486.1

    67. “The ferocious atrocity of these provisions, which rendered the heretic an outlaw, which condemned him in advance, and which exposed him without a trial to the cupidity or malice of every man, was exceeded three years later by Alonso’s son, Pedro II. In a national council of Girona, in 1197, he renewed his father’s legislation, adding the penalty of the stake for the heretic. If any noble failed to eject these enemies of the Church, the officials and people of the diocese were ordered to proceed to his castle, and seize them without responsibility for any damages committed, and any one failing to join in the foray was subjected to the heavy fine of twenty pieces of gold to the royal fisc. Moreover, all officials were commanded, within eight days after summons, to present themselves before their bishop, or his representative, and take an oath to enforce the law.” 50[Page 487] Id., p. 81ECE 486.2

    68. And what were the crimes, what was the wickedness, of the people who were thus to be hunted to death? By the testimony of Catholics themselves, the testimony of their persecutors, yea, the testimonies of the very inquisitors who tormented them to death, what were the crimes, what the wickedness, of these who had incurred this flood of the wrath of Rome? We have seen that all the names of the Christians were summed up by the papacy in the expression “heresy and Waldensianism,” and that the “heresy” was embraced under the general name of “Albigenses.”ECE 487.1

    69. Of the Albigenses, or Cathari, St. Bernard, who was the principal preacher of one of the chief crusades against them, says: “If you interrogate them, nothing can be more Christian. As to their conversation, nothing can be less reprehensible; and what they speak they prove by deeds. As for the morals of the heretic, he cheats no one, he oppresses no one, he strikes no one: his cheeks are pale with fasting, he eats not the bread of idleness, his hands labor for his livelihood.” 51[Page 488] Id., p. 101 As to rites and ceremonies, the Cathari “cast aside all the machinery of the Church. The Roman Church indeed was the synagogue of Satan, in which salvation was impossible. Consequently, the sacraments, the sacrifices of the altar, the suffrages and interposition of the Virgin and saints, purgatory, relics, images, crosses, holy water, indulgences, and the other devices by which the priest procured salvation for the faithful, were rejected, as well as the tithes and oblations which rendered the procuring of salvation so profitable. Yet the Catharan Church, as the Church of Christ, inherited the power to bind and to loose, bestowed by Christ on His disciples; the Consolamentum, or baptism of the Spirit, wiped out all sin, but no prayers were of use for the sinner who persisted in wrongdoing.” 52[Page 488] Id., p. 98ECE 487.2

    70. Of the other class, those guilty of “Waldensianism,” “an inquisitor who knew them well describes them: ‘Heretics are recognizable by their customs and speech, for they are modest and well regulated. They take no pride in their garments, which are neither costly nor vile. They do not engage in trade, to avoid lies and oaths and frauds, but live by their labor as mechanics—their teachers are cobblers. They do not accumulate wealth, but are content with necessaries. They are chaste and temperate in meat and drink. They do not frequent taverns or dances or other vanities. They restrain themselves from anger. They are always at work; they teach and learn and consequently pray but little. They are to be known by their modesty and precision of speech, avoiding scurrility and detraction and light words and lies and oaths.”ECE 488.1

    71. “But their crowing offense was their love and reverence for Scripture, and their burning zeal in making converts. The inquisitor of Passau informs us that they had translations of the whole Bible in the vulgar tongue, which the Church vainly sought to suppress, and which they studied with incredible assiduity. He knew a peasant who could recite the book of Job word for word; many of them had the whole of the New Testament by heart, and, simple as they were, were dangerous disputants. As for the missionary spirit, he tells of one who, on a winter night, swam the river Ips to gain a chance of converting a Catholic; and all, men and women, old and young, were ceaseless in learning and teaching. After a hard day’s labor they would devote the night to instruction; they sought the lazar houses to carry salvation to the leper; a disciple of ten day’s standing would seek out another whom he could instruct, and when the dull and untrained brain would fain abandon the task in despair they would speak words of encouragement: ‘Learn a single word a day, in a year you will know three hundred, and thus you will gain in the end.’”ECE 488.2

    72. “Such is the general testimony; and the tales which were told as to the sexual abominations customary among them may safely be set down as devices to excite popular detestation, grounded possibly on extravagances of asceticism, such as were common among the early Christians, for the Waldenses held that connubial intercourse was only lawful for the procurement of offspring. An inquisitor admits his disbelief as to these stories, for which he had never found a basis worthy of credence.” 53[Page 489] Id., pp. 85-87. That horrible tales were concocted “to excite popular detestation,” can be easily understood from the fact that the Brabancons, Arragoneses, Navarese, Basques, Cotterels, Triabechins, named in the decree of Alexander III against the heretics, were simply freebooters, composed of “fugitives from serfdom, outlaws, escaped criminals, worthless ecclesiastics, outcast monks,” who “preyed upon the community in bands of varying size.... The chronicles of the times are full of lamentations over their incessant devastations.” 54[Page 489] Id., p. 125 And yet, in that decree, the Catharins, Patarins, and the Albigenses are classed with them in the same decree of excommunication and condemnation. yet even in that same decree the freebooters are more favored than are the Christians; for while for the Christians there is no sort of favor announced, for the freebooters there is absolution “after they shall have taken up arms against these abominable Albigenses.”ECE 488.3

    73. “Surely if ever there was a God-fearing people it was these unfortunates under the ban of Church and State, whose secret passwords were, ‘Ce dit sainct Pol, Ne mentir’ [St. Paul says, Do not lie], ‘Ce dit, sainct Jacques Ne jurer’ [St. James says, Do not swear], ‘Ce dit sainct Pierre, Ne rendre mal pour mal, mais biens contraires’ [St. Peter says, Do not render evil for evil, but contrariwise, good]. The ‘Nobla Leyczon’ scarce says more than the inquisitors, when it bitterly declares that the sign of a Vaudois, deemed worthy of death, was that he followed Christ and sought to obey the commandments of God.” Indeed, so thoroughly did the papacy hate righteousness and love iniquity, that evil-doing was the merit that delivered from her condemnation. “About 1220 a clerk of Spire, whose austerity subsequently led him to join the Franciscans, was only saved by the interposition of Conrad, afterward bishop of Hildesheim, from being burned as a heretic, because his preaching led certain women to lay aside their vanities of apparel and behave with humility.” 55[Page 489] Id., p. 87 And, when a certain Catholic, Jean Teisseire, was by mistake cited before the tribunal of the Inquisition, amongst the proofs that he offered, that he was not a heretic, were: “I eat flesh, and lie, and swear, and am a faithful Christian.” 56[Page 489] Id., p. 98, note. Thus, the whole power of the papacy was devoted to compelling mankind to sin.ECE 489.1

    74. The actual work of crushing out all the good that was in the world, Innocent III was obliged to begin in Italy, and almost within the very borders of the papal territory. “All the northern half of the peninsula, from the Alps to the patrimony of St. Peter, was honeycombed with it, and even as far south as Calabria it was to be found. When Innocent III, in 1198, ascended the papal throne, he at once commenced active proceedings for its extermination, and the obstinacy of the heretics may be estimated by the struggle in Viterbo, a city subject to the temporal as well as spiritual jurisdiction of the papacy. In March, 1199, Innocent, stimulated by the increase of heresy and the audacity of its public display, wrote to the Viterbians, renewing and sharpening the penalties against all who received or favored heretics. Yet, in spite of this, in 1205, the heretics carried the municipal election, electing as chamberlain a heretic under excommunication. Innocent’s indignation was boundless. If the elements, he told the citizens, should conspire to destroy them, without sparing age or sex, leaving their memory an eternal shame, the punishment would be inadequate.ECE 490.1

    75. “He ordered obedience to be refused to the newly elected municipality, which was to be deposed; that the bishop, who had been ejected, should be received back, that the laws against heresy should be enforced, and that if all this was not done within fifteen days the people of the surrounding towns and castles were commanded to take up arms and make active war upon the rebellious city. Even this was insufficient. Two years later, in February, 1207, there were fresh troubles, and it was not until June of that year, when Innocent himself came to Viterbo, and all the Patarins fled at his approach, that he was able to purify the town by tearing down all the houses of the heretics and confiscating all their property. This he followed up in September with a decree addressed to all the faithful in the patrimony of St. Peter, ordering measures of increasing severity to be inscribed in the local laws of every community, and all podesta and other officials to be sworn to their enforcement under heavy penalties. Proceedings of more or less rigor, commanded in Milan, Ferrara, Verona, Rimini, Florence, Prato, Faenza, Piacenza, and Treviso, show the extent of the evil, the difficulty of restraining it, and the encouragement given to heresy by the scandals of the clergy.ECE 490.2

    76. “It was in southern France, however, that the struggle was deadliest and the battle was fought to its bitter end.” 57[Page 491] Id., pp. 116, 117. “The Church admitted that it had brought upon itself the dangers which threatened it—that the alarming progress of heresy was caused and fostered by clerical negligence and corruption. In his opening address to the great Lateran Council, Innocent III had no scruple in declaring to the assembled fathers: ‘The corruption of the people has its chief source in the clergy. From this arise the evils of Christendom: faith perishes, religion is defaced, liberty is restricted, justice is trodden underfoot, the heretics multiply the schismatics are emboldened, the faithless grow strong, the Saracens are victorious;” ‘and after the futile attempt of the council to strike at the root of the evil, Honorius III, in admitting its failure, repeated the assertion. In fact this was an axiom which none were so hardy as to deny, yet when, in 1204, the legates whom Innocent had sent to oppose the Albigenses, appealed to him for aid against prelates whom they had failed to coerce, and whose infamy of life gave scandal to the faithful and an irresistible argument to the heretic, Innocent curtly bade them attend to the object of their mission and not allow themselves to be diverted by less important matters. The reply fairly indicates the policy of the Church. Thoroughly to cleanse the Augean stable was a task from which even Innocent’s fearless spirit might well shrink. It seemed an easier and more hopeful plan to crush revolt with fire and sword.”ECE 491.1

    77. At the beginning of the reign of Innocent III, Raymond VI was count of Toulouse. “Though not a heretic, his indifference on religious questions led him to tolerate the heresy of his subjects. Most of his barons were either heretics or favorably inclined to faith which, by denying the pretensions of the Church, justified its spoliation or, at least, liberated them from its domination.” When the Council of Montpelier, in 1195, had anathematized “all princes who neglected to enforce the Lateran canons against heretics and mercenaries,” Raymond had paid no attention to the decree. “It would, in fact, have required the most ardent fanaticism to lead a prince so circumstanced to provoke his vassals, to lay waste his territories, to massacre his subjects, and to invite assault from watchful rivals, for the purpose of enforcing uniformity in religion, and subjugation to a Church known only by its rapacity and corruption. Toleration had endured for nearly a generation; the land was blessed with peace, after almost interminable war, and all the dictates of worldly prudence counseled him to follow in his father’s footsteps.... Enjoying the love of his subjects, nothing could have appeared to him more objectless than a persecution such as Rome held to be the most indispensable of his duties.”ECE 491.2

    78. But that pure Christianity which, to the papacy, was the greatest possible evil, “was constantly increasing; and unless checked, it seemed only a question of time when the Church would disappear throughout all the Mediterranean provinces of France. Yet it must be said for the credit of the heretics, that there was no manifestation of a persecuting spirit on their part. The rapacity of the barons, it is true, was rapidly depriving the ecclesiastics of their revenues and possessions; as they neglected their duties, and as the law of the strongest was all-prevailing, the invader of Church property had small scruple in despoiling lazy monks and worldly priests whose numbers were constantly diminishing; but the Cathari, however much they may have deemed themselves the Church of the future, seem never to have thought of extending their faith by force. They reasoned and argued and disputed when they found a Catholic zealous enough to contend with them, and they preached to the people, who had no other source of instruction; but, content with peaceable conversions and zealous missionary work, they dwelt in perfect amity with their orthodox neighbors.ECE 492.1

    79. “To the Church this state of affairs was unbearable. It has always held the toleration of others to be persecution of itself. By the very law of its being it can brook no rivalry in its domination over the human soul; and, in the present case, as toleration was slowly but surely leading to its destruction, it was bound by its sense of duty no less than of self-preservation, to put an end to a situation so abhorrent. Yet, before it could resort effectually to force, it was compelled to make what efforts it could at persuasion—not of heretics, indeed, but of their protectors.” 58[Page 492] Id., pp. 135, 136ECE 492.2

    80. We have seen that as early as April 21, 1198, less than a month after his installation, Innocent III had sent two commissioners into southern France. But they found both magistrates and clergy indifferent to their appeals for the crushing of heresy. The indifference, and indeed the opposition, on the part of the clergy, was caused by the fact that, in order for them with any success to engage in the destruction of the heretics, they must first inaugurate a reformation of themselves; for one of the greatest helps to the Christian in gaining converts, was the notoriously evil lives of the clergy. And the magistrates could not easily be induced to persecute to death the most honest and harmless of the people, while the clergy, even to archbishops, were leading notoriously violent and licentious lives. When Pons de Rodelle, “a knight renowned for wisdom, and a good Catholic,” was asked, “why he did not drive from his lands those who were so manifestly in error,” he replied: “How can we do it? We have been brought up with these people. We have kindred among them, and we see them live righteously.” “Dogmatic zeal fell powerless before such kindliness; and we can readily believe the monk of Vaux-Cernay, when he tells us that the barons of the land were nearly all protectors and receivers of heretics, loving them fervently and defending them against God and the Church;” 59[Page 493] Id., p. 141. From here to the end of this chapter, all quotations not otherwise directly credited are from “History of the Inquisition.” Vol. 1. pp. 138-230.ECE 492.3

    81. “Enough time had been lost in half-measures while the evil was daily increasing in magnitude, and Innocent proceeded to put forth the whole strength of the Church. To the monks of Fontfroide he adjoined as chief legate the ‘Abbot of abbot,’ Arnaud of Citeaux, head of the great Cistercian Order, a stern, resolute, and implacable man, full of zeal for the cause, and gifted with rare persistency. Since the time of St. Bernard the abbots of Citeaux had seemed to feel a personal responsibility for the suppression of heresy in Languedoc, and Arnaud was better fitted for the work before him than any of his predecessors. To the legation thus constituted, at the end of May, 1204, Innocent issued a fresh commission of extraordinary powers. The prelates of the infected provinces were bitterly reproached for the negligence and timidity which had permitted heresy to assume its alarming proportions. They were ordered to obey humbly whatever the legates might see fit to command, and the vengeance of the holy see was threatened for slackness or contumacy. Wherever heresy existed, the legates were armed with authority ‘to destroy, throw down, or pluck up whatever is to be destroyed, thrown down, or plucked up, and to plant and build whatever is to be built or planted.’ECE 493.1

    82. “With one blow the independence of the local churches was destroyed, and an absolute dictatorship was created. Recognizing, moreover, of how little worth were ecclesiastical censures, Innocent proceeded to appeal to force, which was evidently the only possible cure for the trouble. Not only were the legates directed to deliver all impenitent heretics to the secular arm for perpetual proscription and confiscation of property, but they were empowered to offer complete remission of sins, the same as for a crusade to the Holy Land, to Philip Augustus and his son Louis Coeur-de-Lion, and to all nobles who should aid in the suppression of heresy.ECE 494.1

    83. “The dangerous classes were also stimulated by the prospect of pardon and plunder, through a special clause authorizing the legates to absolve all under excommunication for crimes of violence, who would join in persecuting heretics—an offer which subsequent correspondence shows was not unfruitful. To Philip Augustus, also, Innocent wrote at the same time, earnestly exhorting him to draw the sword and slay the wolves who had thus far found no one to withstand their ravages in the fold of the Lord. If he could not proceed in person, let him send his son, or some experienced leader, and exercise the power conferred on him for the purpose by Heaven. Not only was remission of sins promised him, as for a voyage to Palestine, but he was empowered to seize and add to his dominions the territories of all nobles who might not join in persecution and expel the hated heretic.”ECE 494.2

    84. All these efforts, however, were in vain. Neither king nor nobles, nor adventurers would respond to Innocent’s call. One of the pope’s legates was so discouraged that he begged the pope to permit him to return to his abbey. “A second urgent appeal to Philip, in February, 1205, was equally fruitless; and a concession in the following June, to Pedro of Aragon, of all the lands that he could acquire from heretics, and a year later of all their goods, was similarly without result, except that Pedro seized the castle of Escure, Belonging to the papacy, which had been occupied by Cathari. If something appeared to be gained when at Toulouse, in 1205, some dead heretics were prosecuted and their bones exhumed, it was speedily lost; for the municipality promptly adopted a law forbidding trials of the dead who had not been accused during life, unless they had been hereticated on the deathbed.”ECE 494.3

    85. In the summer of 1206, the three legates of the pope held a conference together, and decided to give up as hopeless the task at which they had been set by the pope. But, just at that time, a bishop from Spain happened to pass through Languedoc, and stopped to visit them; and, learning that they had decided to give up the work and leave the country, he suggested that they dismiss “their splendid retinues and worldly pomp, and go among the people, barefooted and poor like the apostles, to preach the Word of God. The idea was so novel that the legates hesitated; but finally assented, if an example were set them by one in authority.” The bishop offered himself to set them the desired example. They agreed. The bishop dismissed all but one attendant. That attendant was Domingo, or Dominic, de Guzman, who became the founder of the Inquisition; the founder of the Order of Dominicans; and, at last, St. Dominic.ECE 495.1

    86. The bishop, the legates, Dominic, and such others as they could enlist, began their work by passing about amongst the people, and attempting to imitate the Christians in the ministrations of the gospel. Their efforts only helped the Christian cause: First, it was a confession that the claims of the Christians, with regard to the separation of the Church from Christianity, were correct, and that their methods were also correct; and, secondly, since they had adopted the profession of preachers of the Word, this brought on discussions everywhere they went, which from private, or wayside, discussions, presently rose to public discussions between the Christian preachers and these new-made Catholic preachers. In these discussions, which were attended by multitudes, the difference was easily detected between the true Christian preacher and the mere formalist, the imitator for effect. “For three months they thus labored diligently, like real evangelists, finding thousands of heretics and few orthodox; but the harvest was scanty, and conversions rarely rewarded their pains—in fact, the only practical result was to excite the heretics to renewed missionary zeal. It speaks well for the tolerant temper of the Cathari, that men who had been invoking the most powerful sovereigns of Christendom to exterminate them with fire and sword, should have incurred no real danger in a task apparently so full of risk.”ECE 495.2

    87. Plainly this scheme could not be depended upon for success. The legates therefore determined to appeal again to the sword. The nobles of the territory were so divided amongst themselves, and even at war, that there was no hope of enlisting even the sword with success, unless they could be united. One of the legates, therefore, left his preaching and visited the nobles, to labor with them to make peace amongst themselves. This he accomplished by diligent effort, and the use of excommunication; and Count Raymond of Toulouse was one who incurred excommunication. Indeed, not much was required on the part of Count Raymond, to incur this penalty; for “by this time, in fact, Raymond had acquired the special hatred of the papalists, through his obstinate neglect to persecute his heretical subjects, in spite of his readiness to take what oaths were required of him.”ECE 496.1

    88. Innocent III “promptly confirmed the sentence of his legate, May 29, 1207, in an epistle to Raymond which was an unreserved expression of the passions accumulated through long years of zealous effort frustrated in its results. In the harshest vituperation of ecclesiastical rhetoric, Raymond was threatened with the vengeance of God here and hereafter. The excommunication and interdict were to be strictly observed until due satisfaction and obedience were rendered; and he was warned that these must be speedy or he would be deprived of certain territories which he held of the Church: and if this did not suffice, the princes of Christendom would be summoned to seize and partition his dominions, so that the land might be forever freed from heresy. Yet in the recital of misdeeds which were held to justify this rigorous sentence there was nothing that had not been for two generations so universal in Languedoc that it might almost be regarded as a part of the public law of the land.”ECE 496.2

    89. “Innocent waited awhile to prove the effect of this threat and the results of the missionary effort so auspiciously started by Bishop Azevedo. Both were null. Raymond, indeed, made peace with the Provençal nobles, and was released from excommunication, but he showed no signs of awakening from his exasperating indifference on the religious question, while the Cistercian abbots, disheartened by the obstinacy of the heretics, dropped off one by one, and retired to their monasteries.... Everything thus had been tried and had failed, except the appeal to the sword, and to this Innocent again recurred with all the energy of despair. A milder tone toward Philip Augustus with regard to his matrimonial complications between Ingeburga of Denmark and Agnes of Meran, might predispose him to vindicate energetically the wrongs of the Church; but, while condescending to this, Innocent now addressed, not only the king, but all the faithful throughout France, and the leading magnates were honored with special missives.ECE 496.3

    90. “Nov. 16, 1207, the letters were sent out, pathetically representing the incessant and alarming growth of heresy and the failure of all endeavors to bring the heretics to reason, to frighten them with threats, or to allure them with blandishments. Nothing was left but an appeal to arms; and to all who would embark in this good work, the same indulgences were offered as for a crusade to Palestine. The lands of all engaged in it were taken under the special protection of the holy Church, and those of the heretics were abandoned to the spoiler. All creditors of crusaders were obliged to postpone their claims without interest, and clerks taking part were empowered to pledge their revenues in advance for two years.”ECE 497.1

    91. Yet even these persuasions were all in vain. But just at that time, one of the pope’s legates “became entangled in an angry religious dispute with one of the gentlemen of the court” of Raymond, and, in the quarrel, was killed. Count Raymond “was greatly concerned at an event so deplorable, and would have taken summary vengeance on the murderer but for his escape and hiding with friends at Beaucaire.” The accounts of this murder which were sent to the pope, by the pope’s agents, were intensely falsified, to the prejudice of Count Raymond. “The crime gave the Church an enormous advantage, of which Innocent hastened to make the most. On March 10 he issued letters to all the prelates in the infected provinces, commanding that, in all churches, on every Sunday and feast-day, the murderers and their abettors, including Raymond, be excommunicated with bell, book, and candle, and every place cursed with their presence was declared under interdict. As no faith was to be kept with him who kept not faith with God, all of Raymond’s vassals were released from their oaths of allegiance, and his lands were declared the prey of any Catholic who might assail them, while, if he applied for pardon, his first sign of repentance must be the extermination of heresy throughout his dominions.ECE 497.2

    92. “These letters were likewise sent to Philip Augustus and his chief barons, with eloquent adjurations to assume the cross and rescue the imperiled Church from the assaults of the emboldened heretics; commissioners were sent to negotiate and enforce a truce for two years, between France and England, that nothing might interfere with the projected crusade.” The head of the Order of Cistercian monks called together the chiefs of his Order, and by these it was unanimously resolved to devote all the energies of the Order “to preaching the crusade, and soon multitudes of fiery monks were inflaming the passions of the people, and offering redemption in every church and on every market-place in Europe.”ECE 498.1

    93. By this general appeal to the mercenary spirit, and the stirring up of the savage passions of all the kingdoms, Innocent III succeeded at last in starting a crusade against the Albigenses, which in character, was equal in every respect to that of the first crusade against the Turks. The chief inducement was that this crusade was for but forty days; and the distance was not very great to be traversed from any one of the countries of western Europe. “Paradise, surely, could not be gained on easier terms; and the preachers did not fail to point out that the labor was small and the reward illimitable. The flame which had been so long kindling burst forth at last.”ECE 498.2

    94. “Many great nobles assumed the cross—the duke of Burgundy and the counts of Nevers, St. Pol, Auxerre, Montfort, Geneva, Poitiers, Forez, and others, with numerous bishops. With time there came large contingents from Germany, under the dukes of Austria and Saxony, the counts of Bar, of Juliers, and of Berg. Recruits were drawn from distant Bremen on the one hand, and Lombardy on the other; and we even hear of Slavonian barons leaving the original home of Catharism to combat it in its seat of latest development. There was salvation to be had for the pious, knightly fame for the warrior, and spoil for the worldly; and the army of the cross, recruited from the chivalry and the scum of Europe, promised to be strong enough to settle decisively the question which had now for three generations defied all the efforts of the faithful.”ECE 498.3

    95. Count Raymond, seeing that utter destruction was coming, sought to make peace with Rome. “Innocent demanded that as security for his good faith he should place in the hands of the Church his seven most important strongholds, after which he should be heard, and, if he could prove his innocence, be absolved. Raymond gladly ratified the conditions, and earnestly welcomed Milo and Theodisius, the new representatives of the Church, who treated him with such apparent friendliness that, when Milo subsequently died at Arles, he mourned greatly, believing that he had lost a protector who would have saved him from his misfortunes. He did not know that the legates had secret instructions from Innocent to amuse him with fair promises, to detach him from the heretics, and when they should be disposed of by the crusaders, to deal with him as they should see fit. He was played with accordingly, skillfully, cruelly, and remorselessly. The seven castles were duly delivered to Master Theodisius, thus fatally crippling him’ for resistance; the consuls of Avignon, Nimes, and St. Gilles were sworn to renounce their allegiance to him if he did not obey implicitly the future commands of the pope, and he was reconciled to the Church by the most humiliating of ceremonies.ECE 499.1

    96. “The new legate, Milo, with some twenty archbishops and bishops, went to St. Gilles, the scene of his alleged crime, and there, June 18, 1209, arrayed themselves before the portal of the church of St. Gilles. Stripped to the waist, Raymond was brought before them as a penitent, and swore on the relics of St. Gilles to obey the Church in all matters whereof he was accused. Then the legate placed a stole around his neck, in the fashion of a halter, and led him into the church, while he was industriously scourged on his naked back and shoulders, up to the alter, where he was absolved. The curious crowd assembled to witness the degradation of their lord was so great that return through the entrance was impossible, and Raymond was carried down to the crypt where the martyred Pierre de Castelnau lay buried, whose spirit was granted the satisfaction of seeing his humbled enemy led past his tomb with shoulders dropping blood. From a churchman’s point of view the conditions of absolution laid upon him were not excessive, though well known to be impossible of fulfillment.”ECE 499.2

    97. “All that Raymond had gained by these sacrifices was the privilege of joining the crusade and assisting in the subjugation of his country. Four days after the absolution he solemnly assumed the cross at the hands of the legate Milo, and took the oath:—ECE 500.1

    “In the name of God, I, Raymond, duke of Narbonne, count of Toulouse, and marquis of Provence, swear with hand upon the Holy Gospels of God, that when the crusading princes shall reach my territories, I will obey their commands in all things, as well as regards security as whatever they may see fit to enjoin for their benefit and that of the whole army.”ECE 500.2

    98. “It is true that in July, Innocent, faithful to his prearranged duplicity, wrote to Raymond benignantly congratulating him on his purgation and submission, and promising him that it should redound to his worldly as well as spiritual benefit; but the same courier carried a letter to Milo, urging him to continue as he had begun; and Milo, on whom Raymond was basing his hopes, soon after, hearing a report that the count had gone to Rome, warned his master, with superabundant caution, not to spoil the game. ‘As for the count of Toulouse,’ writes the legate, ‘that enemy of truth and justice, if he has sought your presence to recover the castles in my hands, as he boasts that he can easily do, be not moved by his tongue, skillful only in his slanders, but let him, as he deserves, feel the hand of the Church heavier day by day.’”ECE 500.3

    99. This hand of the Church heavier day by day Count Raymond had already begun to feel. For “already the absolution which had cost so much, was withdrawn, and Raymond was again excommunicated, and his dominions laid under a fresh interdict, because he had not, within sixty days, during which he was with the crusaders, performed the impossible task of expelling all heretics; and the city of Toulouse lay under a special anathema, because it had not delivered to the crusaders all the heretics among its citizens. It is true that subsequently a delay until All-Saints’ (November 1) was mercifully granted to Raymond to perform all the duties imposed on him; but he was evidently prejudged and foredoomed, and nothing but his destruction would satisfy the implacable legates.ECE 500.4

    100. “Meanwhile the crusaders had assembled in numbers such as never before, according to the delighted abbot of Citeaux, had been gathered together in Christendom; and it is quite possible that there is but slight exaggeration in the enumeration of twenty thousand cavaliers, and more than two hundred thousand foot, including villeins and peasants, besides two subsidiary contingents which advanced from the West. The legates had been empowered to levy what sums they saw fit from all the ecclesiastics in the kingdom, and to enforce the payment by excommunication. As for the laity, their revenues were likewise subjected to be coerced into payment without the consent of their seigneurs. With all the wealth of the realm thus under contribution, backed by the exhaustless treasures of salvation, it was not difficult to provide for the motley host whose campaign opened under the spirit-stirring adjuration of the vicegerent of God:—ECE 500.5

    “Forward, then, most valiant soldiers of Christ! Go to meet the forerunners of antichrist, and strike down the ministers of the old serpent! Perhaps you have hitherto fought for transitory glory, fight now for everlasting glory! You have fought for the world; fight now for God! We do not exhort you to perform this great service to God for any earthly reward; but for the kingdom of Christ, which we most confidently promise you!”ECE 501.1

    101. “Under this inspiration the crusaders assembled at Lyons about St. John’s day (June 24, 1209), and Raymond hastened from the scene of his humiliation at St. Gilles, to complete his infamy by leading them against his countrymen, offering them his son as a hostage in pledge of his good faith. He was welcomed by them at Valence, and, under the supreme command of Legate Arnaud, guided them against his nephew of Beziers.” The Catholics of the devoted cities and provinces, seeing that they were to be overwhelmed, and their native country subjected, by strangers, and probably their native nobles removed, put themselves on the defensive, equally with the others. “The position taken by Raymond, and the rejected submission of the viscount of Beziers, in fact, deprived the Church of all colorable excuse for further action; but the men of the North were eager to complete the conquest commenced seven centuries before by Clovis, and the men of the South, Catholics as well as heretics, were virtually unanimous in resisting the invasion, notwithstanding the many pledges given by nobles and cities at the commencement. We hear nothing of religious dissensions among them, and comparatively little of assistance rendered to the invaders by the orthodox, who might be presumed to welcome the crusaders as liberators from the domination or the presence of a hated antagonistic faith. Toleration had become habitual, and race instinct was too strong for religious feeling, presenting almost the solitary example of the kind during the Middle Ages, when nationality had not yet been developed out of feudalism and religious interests were universally regarded as dominant. This explains the remarkable fact that the pusillanimous course of Raymond was distasteful to his own subjects, who were constantly urging him to resistance, and who clung to him and his son with a fidelity that no misfortune or selfishness could shake, until the extinction of the house of Toulouse left them without a leader.ECE 501.2

    102. “Raymond Roger of Beziers had fortified and garrisoned his capital, and then, to the great discouragement of his people, had withdrawn to the safer stronghold of Carcassonne. Reginald bishop of Beziers, was with the crusading forces, and when they arrived before the city, humanely desiring to save it from destruction, he obtained from the legate authority to offer it full exemption if the heretics, of whom he had a list, were delivered up or expelled. Nothing could be more moderate, from the crusading standpoint, but when he entered the town and called the chief inhabitants together, the offer was unanimously spurned. Catholic and Catharan were too firmly united in the bonds of common citizenship for one to betray the other. They would, as they magnanimously declared, although abandoned by their lord, rather defend themselves to such extremity that they should be reduced to eat their own children.ECE 502.1

    103. “This unexpected answer stirred the legate to such wrath that he swore to destroy the place with fire and sword—to spare neither age nor sex, and not to leave one stone upon another. While the chiefs of the army were debating as to the next step, suddenly the camp followers, a vile and unarmed folk, as the legates reported, inspired by God, made a rush for the walls and carried them, without orders from the leaders and without their knowledge. The army followed, and the legate’s oath was fulfilled by a massacre almost without parallel in European history. From infancy in arms, to tottering age, not one was spared—seven thousand, it is said, were slaughtered in the church of Mary Magdalene, to which they had fled for asylum—and the total number slain is set down by the legates at nearly twenty thousand, which is more probable than the sixty thousand, or one hundred thousand, reported by less trustworthy chroniclers. A fervent Cistercian contemporary informs us that when Arnaud was asked whether the Catholics should be spared, he feared the heretics would escape by feigning orthodoxy, and fiercely replied, ‘Kill them all, for God knows His own!’ In the mad carnage and pillage the town was set on fire, and the sun of that awful July day closed on a mass of smoldering ruins and blackened corpses.”ECE 502.2

    104. “The terrible fate which had overtaken Beziers—in one day converted into a mound of ruins dreary and silent as any on the plain of Chaldea—told the other towns and villages the destiny that awaited them. The inhabitants, terror-stricken, fled to the woods and caves. Even the strong castles were left tenantless, their defenders deeming it vain to think of opposing so furious and overwhelming a host. Pillaging, burning, and massacring as they had a mind, the crusaders advanced to Carcassonne, where they arrived on the first of August. The city stood on the right bank of the Aude; its fortifications were strong, its garrison numerous and brave, and the young count, Raymond Roger, was at their head. The assailants advanced to the walls, but met a stout resistance. The defenders poured upon them streams of boiling water and oil, and crushed them with great stones and projectiles. The attack was again and again renewed, but was as often repulsed. Meanwhile the forty-days’ service was drawing to an end, and bands of crusaders, having fulfilled their term, and earned heaven, were departing to their homes. The papal legate, seeing the host melting away, judged it perfectly right to call wiles to the aid of his arms. Holding out to Raymond Roger the hope of an honorable capitulation, and swearing to respect his liberty, Arnold induced the viscount, with three hundred of his knights, to present himself at his tent. ‘The latter,’ says Sismondi, ‘profoundly penetrated with the maxim Innocent III, that “to keep faith with those that have it not is an offense against the faith,” caused the young viscount to be arrested, with all the knights who had followed him.’ECE 503.1

    105. “When the garrison saw that their leader had been imprisoned, they resolved, along with the inhabitants, to make their escape overnight by a secret passage known only to themselves—a cavern three leagues in length, extending from Carcassonne to the towers of Cabardes. The crusaders were astonished on the morrow, when not a man could be seen upon the walls; and still more mortified was the papal legate to find that his prey had escaped him, for his purpose was to make a bonfire of the city, with every man, woman, and child within it. But if this greater revenge was now out of his reach, he did not disdain a smaller one still in his power. He collected a body of some four hundred and fifty persons, partly fugitives from Carcassonne whom he had captured, and partly the three hundred knights who had accompanied the viscount, and of these he burned four hundred alive, and the remaining fifty he hanged.”—Wylie. 60[Page 504] “History of Protestantism,” book 1, chap 9, last two paragraphs.ECE 504.1

    106. The wasted land was put under the governorship of Simon de Montfort, who was the commander-in-chief of the crusade. “All tithes and first fruits were to be rigorously paid to the churches; any one remaining under excommunication for forty days was to be heavily fined according to his station; Rome, in return for the treasures of salvation so lavishly expended, was to receive from a devastated land an annual tax of three deniers on every hearth, while a yearly tribute from the count himself was vaguely promised.” When all was thus settled, Innocent III expressed himself as “full of joy at the wonderful success which had wrested five hundred cities and castles from the grasp of heretics.” And then the curse of papal possession and domination rested upon the land. “The song of the troubadour was hushed forever, the gay people sunk into melancholy under the monkish rule, their very language was proscribed, and a terrible inquisition was established to crush more perfectly the lingering seeds of heresy. Every priest and every lord was appointed an inquisitor, and whoever harbored a heretic was made a slave. Even the house in which a heretic was found was to be razed to the ground; no layman was permitted to possess a Bible; a reward of a mark was set for the head of a heretic; and all caves and hiding-places where the Albigenses might take refuge were to be carefully closed up by the lord of the estate.”—Lawrence. 61[Page 504] “Historical Studies,” P. 49.ECE 504.2

    107. Count Raymond was robbed of all his dominion, and was set aside by the papacy; and by Honorius III, the successor of Innocent III, a new crusade was preached, which, in 1217, overran the territories that had fallen to his son, Raymond VII. “The pitiless cruelty and brutal licentiousness habitual among the crusaders, who spared no man in their wrath and no woman in their lust, aided no little in inflaming the resistance to foreign domination;” but neither young Raymond nor the land was allowed peace until 1229. Then, on Holy Thursday, April 12, “before the portal of Notre-Dame de Paris, Raymond humbly approached the legate, and begged for reconciliation to the Church; barefooted and in his shirt, he was conducted to the altar as a penitent, received absolution in the presence of the dignitaries of Church and State, and his followers were relieved from excommunication.... In the royal proclamation of the treaty, he is represented as acting at the command of the legate, and humbly praying Church and king for mercy and not for justice. He swore to persecute heresy with his whole strength, including heretics and believers, their protectors and receivers, and not sparing his nearest kindred, friends, and vassals. On all these speedy punishment was to be inflicted; and an inquisition for their detection was to be instituted in such form as the legate might dictate, while in its aid Raymond agreed to offer the large reward of two marks per head for every manifest (“perfected”) heretic captured during two years, and one mark forever thereafter. As for other heretics, believers, receivers, and defenders, he agreed to do whatever the legate or pope should command. His baillis, or local officers, moreover, were to be good Catholics, free of all suspicion. He was to defend the Church and all its members and privileges; to enforce its censures by seizing the property of all who should remain for a year under excommunication.... An oath was further to be administered to his people, renewable every five years, binding them to make active war upon all heretics, their believers, receivers, and fautors [patrons], and to help the Church and king in subduing heresy.”ECE 505.1

    108. And, in the face of all this, the Church had the brazen hypocrisy to profess that she had ever “kept her hands free from blood.” But “whatever scruples the Church had during the eleventh and twelfth centuries, as to its duty toward heresy, it had none as to that of the secular power, though it kept its own hands free from blood. A decent usage from early times forbade any ecclesiastic from being concerned in judgments involving death or mutilation, and even from being present in the torture-chamber where criminals were being placed on the rack. This sensitiveness continued, and even was exaggerated in the time of the bloodiest persecution. While thousands were being slaughtered in Languedoc, the Council of Lateran, in 1215, revived the ancient canons prohibiting clerks from uttering a judgment of blood, or being present at an execution. In 1255, the Council of Bordeaux added to this a prohibition of dictating or writing letters connected with such judgments; and that of Buda, in 1279, in repeating this canon, appended to it a clause forbidding clerks to practice any surgery requiring burning or cutting. The pollution of blood was so seriously felt, that a church or cemetery in which blood chanced to be shed, could not be used until it had been reconciled, and this was carried so far that priests were forbidden to allow judges to administer justice in churches, because cases involving corporal punishment might be tried before them.ECE 505.2

    109. “Had this shrinking from participation in the infliction of human suffering been genuine, it would have been worthy of all respect; but it was merely a device to avoid responsibility for its own acts In prosecutions for heresy, the ecclesiastical tribunal passed no judgments of blood. It merely found the defendant to be a heretic, and ‘relaxed’ him, or relinquished him to the secular authorities, with the hypocritical adjuration to be merciful to him, to spare his life, and not to spill his blood. What was the real import of this plea for mercy, is easily seen from the theory of the Church as to the duty of the temporal power, when inquisitors enforced as a legal rule, that the mere belief that persecution for conscience’ sake was sinful, was in itself a heresy, to be visited with the full penalties of that unpardonable crime.”ECE 506.1

    110. “The Church thus undertook to coerce the sovereign to persecution. It would not listen to mercy, it would not hear of expediency. The monarch held his crown by the tenure of extirpating heresy, of seeing that the laws were sharp and were pitilessly enforced. Any hesitation was visited with excommunication, and if this proved inefficacious, his dominions were thrown open to the first hardy adventurer whom the Church would supply with an army, for his overthrow. Whether this new feature in the public law of Europe could establish itself, was the question at issue in the Albigensian crusades. Raymond’s lands were forfeited simply because he would not punish heretics, and those which his son retained, were treated as a fresh gift from the crown. The triumph of the new principle was complete, and it never was subsequently questioned.ECE 506.2

    111. “It was applied from the highest to the lowest, and the Church made every dignitary feel that his station was an office in a universal theocracy, wherein all interests were subordinate to the great duty of maintaining the purity of the faith. The hegemony of Europe was vested in the holy Roman Empire, and its coronation was a strangely solemn religious ceremony, in which the emperor was admitted to the lower orders of the priesthood, and was made to anathematize all heresy raising itself against the holy Catholic Church. In handing him the ring, the pope told him that it was a symbol that he was to destroy heresy: and in girding him with the sword, that with it he was to strike down the enemies of the Church.... In fact, according to the high churchmen, the only reason of the transfer of the empire from the Greeks to the Germans, was that the Church might have an efficient agent. The principles applied to Raymond of Toulouse were embodied in the canon law, and every prince and noble was made to understand that his lands would be exposed to the spoiler, if, after due notice, he hesitated in trampling out heresy. Minor officials were subjected to the same discipline.... From the emperor to the meanest peasant, the duty of persecution was enforced with all the sanctions, spiritual and temporal, which the Church could command. Not only must the ruler enact rigorous laws to punish heretics, but he and his subjects must see them strenuously executed; for any slackness of persecution was, in the canon law, construed as fautorship of heresy, putting a man on his purgation.”ECE 507.1

    112. “It is altogether a modern perversion of history to assume, as apologists do, that the request for mercy was sincere, and that the secular magistrate, and not the Inquisition, was responsible for the death of the heretic. We can imagine the smile of amused surprise with which Gregory IX or Gregory XI would have listened to the dialectics with which the Comte Joseph de Maistre proves that it is an error to suppose, and much more to assert, that Catholic priests can in any manner be instrumental in compassing the death of a fellow-creature.ECE 507.2

    113. “Not only were all Christians thus made to feel that it was their highest duty to aid in the extermination of heretics, but they were taught that they must denounce them to the authorities regardless of all considerations, human or divine. No tie of kindred served as an excuse for concealing heresy. The son must denounce the father, and the husband was guilty if he did not deliver his wife to a frightful death. Every human bond was severed by the guilt of heresy; children were taught to desert their parents, and even the sacrament of matrimony could not unite an orthodox wife to a misbelieving husband. No pledge was to remain unbroken. It was an old rule that faith was not to be kept with heretics—as Innocent III emphatically phrased it, ‘According to the canons, faith is not to be kept with him who keeps not faith with God.’”ECE 508.1

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