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were no more sermons, no more prayers, no more Christian communion, no more instruction ; even their children were not made acquainted with their strictest sentiments.”ı
This ruthless, war continued for several years, until “ hundreds of villages had seen all their inhabitants massacred, with a blind fury, and without the crusaders giving themselves the trouble to examine whether they contained a single heretic. We cannot tell what credit to give to the numbers assigned for the armies of the cross, nor whether we may believe that in the course of a single year five hundred thousand men were poured into Languedoc. But this we certainly know, that armies, much superior in number, much inferior in discipline, to those which were employed in other wars, had arrived, for seven or eight successive years, almost without interruption, upon this desolated country; that they entered it without pay, and without magazines; that they provided for all their necessities with the sword, that they considered it as their right to live at the expense of the country, and that all the harvests of the peasants, all the provisions and merchandize of the citizens, were, on every occasion, seized with a rapacious hand, and divided at discretion, amongst the crusaders. No calculation can ascertain, with any precision, the dissipation of wealth, or the destruction of human life, which were the consequences of the crusade against the Albigenses. There was scarcely a peasant who did not reckon in his family some unhappy one, whose life had been cut off by the sword of Montfort's soldiers; not one but had repeatedly witnessed the ravaging of his property by them. More than three-fourths of the knights and landed proprietors had been spoiled of their castles and fiefs, to gratify some of the French soldiers—some of Simon de Montfort's crea
Thus spoiled, they were named Faidits, and had the favour granted them of remaining in the country, provided they were neither heretics, nor excommunicated, nor suspected of having given an asylum to those who were so.
There only remained one more curse to be inflicted, and this was accordingly added :--the establishment of a permanent tribunal, in order to search after, and to put to death in detail, such stray Albigeois as might have hitherto succeeded in concealing themselves. Of this, the atrocious Inquisition, it is not necessary for us to speak. We shall merely give one or two of its acknowledged rules of action, as they are printed by Labbe; and no word of condemnation need be added.
“Take particular care, in conformity with the discerning will of
Sismondi, p. 115.
2 Sismondi, pp. 128, 129.
the apostolic see, not to publish by word or sign the names of the witnesses; and if the culprit pretends, that he has enemies and that they have conspired against him, ask the names of those enemies, and the cause of that conspiracy, for thus you will provide for the safety of the witnesses, and the conviction of the accused. On account of the enormity of this crime, you ought to admit, in proof of it, the testimony of criminals, of infamous persons, and of accomplices. He who persists in denying a fault, of which he may be convicted by witnesses, or by any other proof, must be considered, without hesitation, as an impenitent heretic."
A system of this kind, worked by agents wholly devoted to the object, and invested with despotic authority, could not prove otherwise than completely effective. The whole church of the Albigenses was entirely exterminated.
There exists not, in the whole annals of the human race, a blacker page. A flourishing province desolated; thousands of men, women, and children massacred, often in the most cruel manner ; and for no other offence than that of loving the pure truth of God, and refusing submission to the Man of Sin. We have already seen, by the admissions of both lay and ecclesiastical writers,—writers, too, themselves belonging to the Roman Church, —that it was for no moral, political, or religious offence, that these poor people were thus frightfully massacred. As with Daniel, so with the Albigenses, those who hated them for their real piety, were constrained to confess, “We shall not find any occasion against these men, except we find it concerning the law of their God.” In fact, the extreme fury with which Satan seems to have raged against the poor Albigois, warrants our estimating their purity of life and doctrine at a very high rate. But “the beast is that ascended out of the bottomless pit made war against them, “ and overcame them. But we may not regret their earthly lot; for “they were redeemed from among men, being the first-fruits unto God and the Lamb."
| Labbei Concil. tom. xi. p. 501.
A PRACTICAL EXPOSITION OF THE EPISTLE OF ST.
PAUL TO THE ROMANS AND THE FIRST EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS, intended to assist Domestic Instruction and Devotion. By John Bird SUMNER, D.D., Lord Bishop of Chester. 8vo. London: Hatchard. 1843.
We may be permitted, sometimes, to wonder how peculiar individuals are able to do so much. One of the most efficient of the bishops whom God in mercy has raised up to our country, and who has been eminently successful in every good work for which episcopacy was appointed, and that, from the extent of its overgrown population, in the most burdensome diocese in the kingdom, yet continues to furnish our families with valuable domestic expositions. This is the sixth octavo volume of Expositions, besides eight other volumes of divinity, furnished by his lordship. After all that has been published of the kind, this volume has also much freshness of thought and of practical application. Long may he be spared to bless his own diocese and the families of our land.
The following extract from the preface may show our readers the evangelical spirit of this work :
" It may seem a nice distinction, to allow that a man is not saved without good works, and yet to deny that his works contribute to his justification. But though a nice distinction, it is perfectly intelligible and reasonable. Above all, it is scriptural. It is that conclusion from the whole volume of antecedent revelation which St. Paul was empowered to indite for the instruction and guidance of that world for which Christ died. Whereas, to unite together two things so distinctly separated in the Christian scheme, as man's JustIFICATION and his SANCTIFICATION, is, in effect, to devise a scheme of salvation for ourselves. It confounds the new state in which we are placed, with the new nature which we are to receive. It removes the distinction between what is and what is not inherent in us: between what Christ has done, and what he enables us to do. Man's condition, without the satisfaction of Christ, may be illustrated by that of Peter, when, being cast into prison by Herod, he was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains; and the keepers before the door kept the prison. An angel came, raised him up, released him from his fetters, opened the prison doors, and set him free. In all this Peter had no more part than man has in his justification. It is the Lord our righteousness, who delivers us from the wrath to come.' But man being thus delivered, is 'sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,' and walks before God in righteousness and holiness; just 'as Peter gave proof of the liberty which he had attained by the angel's power, when in his own power he hastened to the house of Mary the mother of John, and joined the assembly of the disciples."
CONTRIBUTIONS TOWARDS THE EXPOSITION OF THE
BOOK OF GENESIS. By Robert S. CANDLISH, D.D., Rector of St. George's, Edinburgh. 12mo. London : Groombridge. 1843.
It is very gratifying to see ministers of all the British Churches again returning to the plan of scriptural exposition, the original and the most important way of bringing forth things, new and old, out of our treasure in the Word of God.
Dr. Candlish has a clear and powerful intellect, with enlightened and decided piety, and he has applied his talents with patient industry and success to the interpretation of those great subjects contained in the book of Genesis, which are worthy of unceasing research. We can heartily recommend this work, as well adapted to cultivated and reflecting minds, and full of original and valuable thought. To give a just view of the whole is far beyond our limits. The work only carries us to the 17th chapter of Genesis, and we trust that there may be a continuance of these contributions. He closes his preface with stating, “ It is hoped, by the blessing of God, the tendency of what follows is not to raise speculative questions, but to cherish a spiritual and practical frame of mind, in the devout study of the word of the living God." This hope has been abundantly realised in the work, which is eminently spiritual and practical.
We will give his account of the creation, explaining the difficulties of it connected with modern discoveries.
“ The essential facts in this divine record are—the recent date assigned to the existence of man on the earth, the previous preparation of the earth for his habitation, the gradual nature of the work, and the distinction and succession of days during its progress. These are not, and cannot be, impugned by any scientific discoveries. What history of ages previous to that era this globe may have engraved in its rocky om, revealed or to be revealed, by the explosive force of its central fires, Scripture does not say. What countless generations of living monsters teemed in the chaotic waters, or brooded over the dark abyss, it is not within the scope of the inspiring Spirit to tell. There is room and space for whole volumes of such matter, before the Holy Ghost takes up the record. Nor is it necessary to suppose that all continuity of animal life, which had sprung into being, in or out of the waters, was broken at the time when the earth was fashioned for man's abode. It is enough that then, first, the animals of sea and air and land, with which man was to be conversant, were created for his use; the fish, the fowls, the beasts, which were to minister to his enjoyment and to own his dominion. The sacred narrative of the creation is evidently, in its highest character, moral, spiritual, and prophetical. The original relation of man, as a moral being, to his Maker, is directly taught. His restoration from moral chaos to spiritual beauty is figuratively represented.
“ The creation of this world anew, after its final baptism of fire, will be
the best comment on the history of its creation at first, after the chaos of water; and the manner as well as the design of the earth's formation of old out of the water, will be understood at last, when it emerges once more from the wreck and ruin of the conflagration which yet awaits it— a new earth, with new heavens, wherein righteousness is to dwell' (2 Pet. iii. 13)."
“There is a plain distinction between the first verse and the subsequent part of this passage. The first verse speaks of creation, strictly so called, and of the creation of all things-the formation of the substance, or matter, of the heavens and the earth, out of nothing. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.' 'The rest of the passage speaks of creation in the less exact sense of the term ; describing the changes wrought on matter previously existing; and it confines itself, apparently, to one part of the universe -our solar system, and especially to this one planet-our earth, concerning which, chiefly, God sees fit to inform us."
TRACTS FOR THE PEOPLE. A Course of Lectures on the general coincidence of the peculiar doctrines of the Tractarians with those of the Church. By the Rev. M. W. Fore.
12mo. Ragg. 1842. ON THE TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. By the Rev. JAMES
BUCHANAN, one of the Ministers of the High Church, Edinburgh. 12mo. Johnstone. 1843.
Through the goodness of God we now see rising up on all sides really able and Christian advocates for the great truths of the Reformation, against that most dangerous perversion of the Gospel, and return to Romanism, which has more and more distinctly marked the course of the Tractarians.
Mr. Foye's book is remarkable for research, and full of information respecting the Tractarian and Papal doctrines, and the full harmony between them. It is also of a popular character, and well calculated for instructing the middle and lower classes in the true nature of these heretical perversions of the Gospel. In answer to the objection that it would be well to keep the subject from our ordinary congregations, Mr. Foye says,
"As to keeping the matter aloof from the ears of the multitude, this is idle talk, or worse ; it is a subtle disguise of the arch-enemy. Would to heaven the thing were possible; but, alas! it is not so. The poison, if poison it be, is already flowing through the veins of the Church; it is a deeplyworking leaven within, and it has its fountain in the Church's core, as it were, even in that time-honoured and venerable sanctuary, where of all other places we should most deprecate its existence, where the youth of the land are trained for the sacred office, and whence they are successively to issue for the instruction of the people. Nay more, the social atmosphere is already deeply impregnated with its moral infusion, whatever it be; a vast portion of the public mind has by this time yielded to its form and pressure; and while another vast portion is more or less tinged with its hue and colour, the rest are in danger of imbibing its spirit. Such indeed are their own boastings. MARCH, 1843.