« AnteriorContinuar »
determined never to omit the services of the were informed of her dissolution; her hopes Sabbath as long as health and strength should brightened as the solcmn time advanced, and allow me to go. My ability to pray increased the messenger of wo to thousands was to her daily, and oh! how happy have I felt when the minister of peace; she fell asleep in Jesus, with tears I have prayed for my poor husband and is now among the spirits of the just before and children! I never forgot you, but prayed the throne of God. that you might be faithful and tell me more When we were all assembled together, after and more about my state; I often thought you the close of the evening service, I related to must have been told how careless and thought the members of my family the particulars of less I had been, for what you said came homo the impressive scene to which I had been an and often pierced me to the heart. But, my eye witness. What a day of instruction and dear sir, this is not all; God has heard my poor delight has this boon! I could wish the emotions prayers, and my dear husband has come with which were excited should never subside; wo me for nearly twelve months, has left all his have beheld nature in her gayest attire, ornabad company, and he can pray too; it would mented and perfumed by the exquisite workdo your heart good, sir, indeed it would, if you manship of the Deity for the abode of man; were to hear him pray; and since I have been surrounded by all that can delight the eye and so ill he has been the kindest creature; he ne- gratify the senses, he lives in a terrestrial paver goes to bed at night, or to work in the radise which is filled with abundant proofs of morning, without kneeling down and praying bounty and goodness. And yet how many for me and my poor children who will soon be thoughtless, inattentive observers of these lowmotherless; but God will take care of them- er works are found amongst us, in whom no yes, sir, I am sure he will, and I can resign one sentiment of adoration or reverence is exthem all to him-and die happy now. Christ cited towards Him who made and governs the has died for poor sinners-I am a poor sinner, worldand all my hope is in that blessed Saviour. I
" Who sees with equal eye, as God of all, often think, as I pant for breath, and am burned
The hero perish, and tho sparrow fall." up with fever, what is all this to what my dear Redeemer suffered, and I can then suffer The moral world, however, is a scene to without murmuring; it won't be long, and if I which the attention is especially directed on am safe, oh! how happy shall I be when I see this sacred day, which reminds us at once of Him as he is and live with him in yonder world. our dignity and depravity. We know what I am quite ready to go, but hope patiently to mankind are by nature, and we have this day wait his own time; and now I have had the witnessed the triumphs of religion; how it can desire of my heart to see you and tell you all. subordinate in the bosom of youth all the atYou little thought what good you were sent to tractions and delights of the present, to the imdo for such a poor worthless creature, and Iperative claims of the future, and carry the thought you would like to know, and would not * lambs in its arms” safely and victoriously think it a liberty for me to send to you now. through the chilly stream of death; how it can May God Almighty for ever bless you!" she heal the wounds of sorrow, and teach parental exclaimed, her eyes streaming with tears, " and love to weep no more; how it can disperse the make you as useful to others as you have been mist of ignorance, and quicken into new and to me;"—then grasping more firmly the hand spiritual existence all the sensibilities of our she held in hers, she sunk back on her pillow nature; how it can dissipate the awful gloom exhausted with the mental and bodily effort in which poverty and wretchedness envelope she had made, and which had been interrupted many of our species; the contrast of capabiliby many paroxysms of difficult and laborious ties, our feelings, and habits, which it creatos, respiration
may well excite our astonishment, while it adMy friend was so overpowered by this affect ministers to our joy. Nothing similar is effecting and unexpected narrative, that he sat for ed in the halls of literature, or the schools of some minutes in speechless admiration, while philosophy; water may rise to its level-it can the tears of delight and gratitude flowed down reach no higher elevation but through the his manly cheeks. “This is the Lord's doing," agency of superadded power. In the evils of he at length ejaculated, “and it is glorious in this life, the moralist and the philosopher may our eyes; which of us can doubt the reality of propose useful and practical remedies, but for divine influence, or the transforming power of the terrors of death and the solemnities of the saving grace? I came as I thought to instruct | future, they have no specific; for the world by and comfort you, my good friend, but what can wisdom in its best estate, and when science 1 add to your knowledge or enjoyment? I am had reached its zenith, knew not God, until a learner here, and all that remains is to join life and immortality were brought to light by with you in grateful acknowledgment for such the Gospel.” The glory of the Christian faith distinguishing mercy, and in imploring that consists in its universal adaptation; by its insupport which you may yet need in passing Auence coronets, diadems, and sceptres arc through the valley of the shadow of death.' consecrated and shine with preternatural lusWe knelt beside the bed, and my friend offered tre, while the “short but simple annals of the up a suitable prayer, in which the poor sufferer poor” proclaim its value and record its power. fervently united; and having taken our leave Deprived of all external advantages, it shines of her whose face we were never again permit- here especially in its native lustre, and proves ted to see on earth, we proceeded on our walk beyond all cavil that the Gospel is “the power homewards. The scene we had witnessed fur- of God to salvation.” Whence had this poor nished an ample field of devout and serious re- woman this knowledge and these high consolafection. In the course of the ensuing week we tions? not from education, for slic could not rend a word; not by imitation of excellence in | Fancy still paints the future bright, and hope others, for no such examples were presented; the present cheers, not through the performance of external cere- Nor can we deem the path we tread leads monies, for these had for years been useless through a vale of tears. and ineffectual. No; her religion came from But soon, too soon, the flowers that decked our above, and it was amply sufficient, under the most unfavourable circumstances, to form her Have drooped and withered on their stalks,
early path-way side character, and prepare her for death and im.
and one by one have died; mortality. Remembering that it is to the in- The turf by noon's fierce heat is sear'd, the stitution of the Sabbath we owe the means
sky is overcast, which are capable of producing such changes There's thunder in the torrent's tone, and as these, and that this is a day made especially
tempest in the blast; for the benefit of man, we owe a large propor: Fancy is but a phantom found, and hope a tion of our blessings to the due observance of
dream appears, it; not in mere cessation from the common
And more and more our hearts confess this business and amusements of life, but in availing
life a valo of tears. ourselves of those advantages which it presents of learning the things “which belong to our
Darker and darker seems the path! how sad peace," and looking forward with cheerful hope
to journey on, io that eternal Sabbath of holy rest, which When hands and hearts which gladden'd ours awaits every good and faithful servant in that appear for ever gono, high world, where “mortality shall be swal
Some cold in death, and some, alas! we fanlowed up of life.”
cied could not chill, In these, and similar reflections, we indulged Living to self, and to the world, to us seem till the accustomed period of family devotion; With mournful retrospective glance we look a day thus profitably spent was closed in earnest entreaty for that measure of divine grace,
to brighter years, which can alone ensure the accomplishment of And tread with solitary steps the thorny vale
of tears. our heart's desire, “Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his.” Then wasting pain and slow disease trace fur
W. rows on the brow,
The grasshopper, alighting down, is felt a bur
then now, The silver cord is loosening fast its feeble,
slender hold, From the Spirit and Manners of the Age.
The fountain's pitcher soon must break, and
bowl of purer gold ;THE VALE OF TEARS.
Oh! were it not for that blest hope which "In visions which are not of night, a shadowy
even death endears,
How weary were our pilgrimage through this The path of pilgrim tribes who are, who have
dark vale of tears." been, or shall be ; At either end are lowering clouds impervious
to the sight, And frequent shadows veil, throughout, each
From the Amulet. gleam of passing light; A path it is of joys and griefs, of many hopes
THE ALBIGENSES. and fears; Gladdend at times by sunny smiles, but oftener
Albi, an inconsiderable town in Languedoc, dimm'd by tears.
has had the honour of giving the name of AlbiGreen leaves are there, they quickly fade- geois, or Albigenses, to the Protestants of bright flowers, but soon they die;
France, who were distinguished in the thirIts banks are lav'd by pleasant streams, but teenth century, by their determined opposition soon their bed is dry;
to the usurpations of the Pope ; but whose enAnd some that roll on to the last with undi- tire history occupies little more than half a minished force,
century. The term Protestant is here used, in Have lost that limpid purity which graced a general sense, to designate those, who protheir early source ;
fessing the faith which became better known at They seem to borrow in their flow the tinge of the Reformation, have at any time refused to dark’ning years,
acknowledge the supremacy of a universal And e'en their mournful murm'ring sound be. pontift. The pretended right of the bishops of fits the vale of tears.
Rome, to be lords over God's heritage, and to
give spiritual laws to Christendom, has been Pleasant that valley's opening scenes appear uniformly resisted by one Christian community to childhood's view,
or another; and at all periods of history, there The flowers are bright, the turf is green, the have been some few at least enlightened sky above is blue;
enough, and bold enough, to dispute the auA blast may blight, a beam may scorch, a thority of any, who should presume to call himcloud may intervene,
self the supreme head, or intallible guide of the But lightly marked, and soon forgot, they mar church. As St. Paul withstood St. Peter to not such a scene;
the face, so have the successors to the alleged
vale I see,
BY THE REV. W. S. GILLY.
primacy of St. Peter, been withstood from age , versaries to join in communion with themselves, to age by some holy champions of the truth, tried to compel them, and began by ascribing when they would have substituted error_for false sentiments to the advocates of the cause, truth. It is difficult therefore to prove, that Pro- against which they could not prevail in fair testantism had its origin either here or there, argument. They branded them with the name or to assign the reputation of being the founder of Arians and Manichees; they preached against of the Protestant churches either to this man them in the cities and villages, and charged or to that.* The light has indeed been pre- them with atrocities of which they never were served in greater purity, and Apostolic Christi- guilty. anity has been defended with greater perseve- But as the innocent victims of the calumny rance in some provinces of Christendom, than were not to be silenced by such means as these, in others. For example, the valleys of Pied- and as they still persevered in spreading their mont have never wanted defenders of the true doctrines, the arm of power was invited to faith, and the inhabitants of the South of France crush them, and thousands perished in the have witnessed more terrible scenes of religious flames, or in indiscriminate massacre. Raybloodshed for the truth's sake, than any else- mond, Count of Thoulouse, (and sovereign of where. But the Waldenses were the depositories, the provinces, where the doctrines propounded rather than the founders of the doctrine of the
at Albi, and from thenceforward styled AlbiReformed Churches; and the Albigenses were gensian, had long taken deep root,) was sothe witnesses and the martyrs, not the first lemnly invoked by the Pope, to exterminate preachers of a Protestant Confession. In fact the heretics by an armed force. But Raymond there never was wanting, either in the dioceses
was too well convinced of the value, which his of the North of Italy, or of the South of France, state derived from the enterprising and indusa succession of devout men, who offered them- trious spirit of his nonconforming subjects, to selves willingly among the people," and " jeo comply with this demand. His refusal drew parded their lives unto the death in the high down fresh denunciations from the Pope, and places of the field,” or at the stake, rather than renewed charges of scandalous proceedings follow the corrupt example, or submit to the against the Protestants. To refute these slantyrannical exactions of the Church of Rome. ders, the Protestants consented to hold another But though the true light continued to shine conference with the Romanists, at Montreal, in in those regions through the dark ages, yet the the year 1206. The same opinions were freely distinction of Vaudois, or Waldenses, and Albi- professed, as before, at Albi, and soon afterwards geois, or Albigenses, as Christian communities
a general crusade was preached, not only against protesting against Papal corruptions, is not re- the impugners of the Papal authority, but cognizable in any annals, previously to those of against all who should protect, or refuse to dethe twelfth century. The former were so called stroy them. Count Raymond himself was infrom their impregnable valleys, (raux, French volved in the edict of excommunication; and -ralli, Italian) and the appellation first occurs the term Albigenses was indiscriminately apin a manuscript still extant, of the date 1100, plied to all such of the natives of the South of A. D. The latter derived their name, as I France, as had incurred the resentment of the began by observing, from a town in Languedoc. Roman pontiff, either by questioning his infalNot that the principles of Protestantism were libility, or refusing to persecute those who espoused more steadily in Albi, or at an earlier questioned it. period than in any other part of the South of But before I proceed to relate some of the France; or that men first suffered under the enormnities committed by the Romanists during hands of Romanists for their religious faith at the crusades against the Albigenses, and to Albi; but that here a celebrated public confer- vindicate the sufferers against the aspersions of ence was held between the opponents and the their enemies, I must recur to the statement adherents of the Church of Rome. It was with which I set out, and repeat, that the tenets this conference at Albi, in the year 1176, which which Protestants then held, and now hold in gave the name of Albigenses to all such as opposition to the Church of Rome, had been avowed the principles then and there publicly maintained in the South of France from the advanced against the superstition and abuses of earliest period of the establishment of the the Romanists. The conference at Albi, in Christian Church in that country, to the epoch 1176 was the prelude to the bloody drama, of the Albigensian contest. which commenced at the beginning of the thir
Allix has distinctly explained this in the ten teenth century. The popish bishops, priests, first chapters of his Remarks upon the Eccleand monks, who took part in that conference, siastical History of the Ancient Churches of finding that they could not persuade their ad- the Albigenses.” I cannot, however, agree
with Allix in his opinion, that Papal asc
escendancy What our heavenly Master said of the
was not felt by the prelates of the Gallic kingdom of God, is strictly true of Protestant- churches before the 12th century. In the tenth isin. " It cometh not with observation: nei- century the Popes began to carry their point, ther shall they say, Lo, here! or Lo, there!” and to exercise that undue influence over civil Equally applicable to the presumptuous claims and ecclesiastical authorities, for which they of the Vicar of Christ,” is another declaration had to thank the weakness of some princes, and of our Lord. “ Then if any man shall say unto
the superstitious ignorance of others. At first you, Lo, here is Christ, or there, believe it not. they interposed only between contending parThe kingdom of God is within you.” In like ties when they were appealed to, but by degrees manner the church of Christ exists wherever they claimed the right of arbitration, and of en" the truth in Christ" is cherished according to forcing their sentence, whenever sovereigns the faith and discipline of the apostolic age. were at variance with each other, or with the
heads of secs. The provincial prelacy and portion of the inhabitants of the sonthern proclergy, who had hitherto been independent of vinces had continued to adhere to the opinions a foreign pontiff, found themselves obliged to
of their ancestors and to profess those purer go with the stream, and with their indepen- forms and principles of Christianity, which dence they lost their self-respect and integrity. Berengarius, Peter de Bruis, and Henri had Abuses, which at former periods would have been instrumental in transmitting to their counbeen checked in the beginning by a timely ap- trymen. The Council of Tours, held in the plication to the metropolitan, or to the provin- year 1163, speaks thus to the fact :-* In the cial or national synod, now became inveterate, country about Thoulouse, there sprung up, long owing to the long interval which occurred be- ago, a damnable heresy, which, by little and fore the matter could be decided by a hearing little, spread like a cancer as far as the neighat the seat of the Papacy. A distant tribunal, bouring province
of Gascogny, and hath already or a court of appeal, remote from the scene of infected many other provinces.” The Abbot of dispute, cannot but be the means of extending Clairvaux, quoted by Hoveden, in his annals of mischief; prejudice, favour, corruption, imper. the year 1178, calls it," A plague that had made fect evidence, delay, and misunderstandings great head in that country." The Monk of are but few of the impediments in the way of Vaux Cernay, the historian and eulogist of justice and amelioration, when a question of Simon de Montford, the grand persecutor of the right or wrong has to be determined by a Protestants of Thoulouse, made an acknowforeign judge. The evil was thoroughly felt at ledgment to the same effect, namely, that the the period to which I have made allusion. The principles of the Albigenses were of immemobishops of France, assembled at Rheims in 991, rial standing in the provinces of the South of did certainly protest strongly against the en:
France. “This treacherous city of Thoulouse, croachments of the Popes, and their pretended from its first foundation," said he , " hath seldom primacy; but the principal resistance was
or never been clear of this detestable plague. thenceforward made by individuals, rather than How difficult it is to pluck up a deep-rooted by assemblies of protesting divines, and it was evil! This poison of heretical depravity and found to be much easier to brand the opinions superstitious infidelity has been necessarily difof individuals with the name of heresy, than the fused here from father to son.” declarations of synods or councils.
Here, then, we have the very concession reAbout the year 1010, there appeared symp. quired. **I have proved elsewhere that the Rotoms of the Manichean heresy in the South of manists of the thirteenth century admit the France. This was a great advantage to the high antiquity, in Piedmont, of the principles Popish party. All who opposed themselves to avowed by the Waldenses, and now evidence the corruptions of Rome, were thenceforth ex- is produced out of their own mouths, that the posed to the charge of Manicheism; and though tenets of the Albigenses were of high antiquity nothing could be more conflicting than the in the South of France, and may be traced up opinions of Protestants and of these real here- to the primitive churches of Gaul. tics, yet the Romanists succeeded in deluding I shall proceed to show that the enormities the unwary, and confounding the preservers of committed during that period of history, when pure Christianity with the propagators of an the Albigenses occupied the attention of Euabominable error. Mezeray, author of the rope, were committed against them and not by Chronological Abridgment of the History of them. France, was no friend to the Albigenses; but The Popish writers of every age have allowhe candidly admits, that not all whom the ed, that there was a period when the profligacy church stigmatized as heretics, were Mani. of the Roman Church, from the popes down to chces: “There were,” said he,“ two sorts of the lowest clergy, was such as to call forth heretics; the one ignorant and loose, who were universal reprobation. At this period, those a cast of Manichees; the other more learned, who rejected or renounced her communion and free from the charge of impurity, who held were desirous of exhibiting a striking contrast nearly the same opinions as the modern Calvi- in morals and conversation, between themnists, and were called Henricians, or Walden selves and the members of that corrupt church, ses, though the people ignorantly confounded against whose debauchery and superstitions them with the Cathari,” &c. &c.
they protested. This, in all probability, led to Berengarius, and those who were not ashamed the adoption of some extravagant, but harmless of being called after his name, were the great- customs among the opponents of Popery; and est upholders of truth of whom France could the over-acted and literal obedience to scriptuboast in the eleventh century, and especially ral precept professed by a few of them, was in their able confutation of the doctrine of tho converted into an exaggerated charge against Real Presence.
the whole body, when the Roman sce succeedIn the twelfth century, before the term Albied in persuading or compelling the French genscs came into use, first the appellation of bishops to surrender their independence, and Petrobusians, and afterwards that of Henricians, found itself strong enough to make head against was substituted for Berengarians, to designate the Reformers. Thus, because some of the the impugners of Popery. The former were so Protestants of the South of France put a called after Peter de Bruis, who was brought forced construction upon the command, “Thou to the stake at St. Gilles, in 1126, upon the shalt not kill," and questioned the right of charge of burning a cross to boil his meat on a magistrates to inflict the penalty of death ; and Good Friday; and the latter after Ilenri, a because others, wishing to abide by the very celebrated preacher of Languedoc, who was letter of Christ's precept, “I say unto you, burnt at Thoulouse, in 1147. It is evident, swear not at all,” refused to be sworn before coon upon Popish testimony, that a great pro. | the tribunals of the civil authorities,-it was
maliciously urged against all sueh as were call- Almost all that we know of the Albigenses, ed Albigenses, that they disowned the jurisdic. is collected from their enemies. Monks and tion of magistrates and princes altogether, and churchmen were the historians of the day, and that they propagated “disorganizing tenets,” that is the reason why we have so few anec. hostile to society.
dotes of individual heroism, and are so sparingOne false report was as easily spread as ly supplied with those traits of devoted affec. another. The Protestants maintained that no tion and generosity which are required to throw persons, whether clergy or laity, ought to be a charm over the history of communities, bound by vows of celibacy, and for this they Whatever would have raised our admiration is were accused of decrying the virtue of conti- withheld or distorted, and we are left to infer, nence, and of preaching and practising all man- from the numberless public sacrifices, which ner of impurity. It was thus that the Romanists this unhappy people made in the cause of civil blackened the characters of those who were and religious freedom, that instances of private more rational in their forms of worship, and and domestic worth were as common among more pure in morals, than themselves; but we them. Raymond the Sixth, and Raymond the do not find any thing specifie in their allega. Seventh, Counts of Thoulouse, the powerful tions. We have nothing but railing accusa- Counts of Foix and Carcassone, and the Vistions, unsubstantiated by proof. There are no count of Beziers, (omitting all mention of inwell verified facts adduced in Popish annals, inferior lords,) suffered themselves to be deprived evidence of the vices which they attribute to of their principalities and territories, for the Althe Albigenses. The Albigenses have been bigenses' sake. If the Albigenses had really branded as sanguinary, ferocious and cruel mis- rendered themselves formidable or suspicious creants, who delighted in bloodshed. But where to the existing temporal authorities, by " their have we any examples of their cruelty? If they tenets on civil power and property," is it likely had been such as to justify the representations that these princes and seigneurs, and all the of those Popish writers who speak of “the fe. | influential classes of society, would have esrocity of their proceedings," and “the enormi-poused their cause and avowed the same sentities to which their principles led," we should ments ? possess detailed accounts of the rapine, slaugh- The only enemy they had was the Roman ter and devastation, which are laid to their Church, and when their legitimate prince, the charge. We should have the time and the Count of Thoulouse, after being reproached for place, where such things were perpetrated, the indulging pity for the heretics, and saving them names and the number of their victims. The from punishment, was solicited by the Popish Romanists record, as meritorious deeds, in clergy to carry the sentence of the church into stanees of carnage and spoliation committed effect against them, he pleaded that “ he could by their own people, and do not disguise that not and dare not undertake any thing against the forces opposed to the Albigenses, massacred them.” And why? " Because," said he," the the inhabitants of whole towns and villages ; majority of the lords, and the greatest part of that they twice put “sixty thousand" to the the common people, have drunk the poison of sword; that they burnt "three hundred" in their infidelity.” The Count of Thoulouse was one castle," and eighty in another.”
writing to the Abbot of Cisteaux, and therefore At the siege of Marmande, Prince Louis in- he spoke in language which that churchman duced the inhabitants to deliver up the town, would understand. It was heresy, and not upon his sacred promise that their lives should crime it was an ecclesiastical, and not a moral be spared. But all the men, women, and chil. or political offence, which occasioned the anidren, tive thousand in number, were massacred, mosity of the church. in order that this human holycaust might bring William of Puylaurens is one of the chroniGod's blessing upon the arms of the crusaders. clers of the thirteenth century, who relates the The slaughter was in direct opposition to the history of the extermination of the Albigenses, will of Louis; but the counsel of the Bishop of and Innocent the Third was the Pope who ful Saintes prevailed. " My advice," said that minated the bull which armed 500,000 needy prelate, “ is, that you immediately kill and burn adventurers against the rich plains of Langueall these people, as heretics and apostates, and doc. Now, the chronicler has left upon his that none of them be left alive." "Romishi au. thors record this fact.
pages, that their outward show of godliness acThe Albigenses are accused of being "equals and the persecuting pontillhimself recorded, in
quired for them the veneration of the people ;" ly hostile, to church and state.” Of their hos
an epistle which is still extant, that “they tility to the Church of Rome there is no question; but where are the proofs of their being them."
were free from many of the vices imputed to obnoxious to the state? There is nothing in history which can establish such a charge; on
In the celebrated conference at Albi, which the contrary, it is manifest upon the face of gave name to the Albigenses, where the leaders every document that is come down to us, that of the Protestants were met face to face by the Albigenses were virtuous, peaceable and their accusers, the burden of the lay, which industrious subjects; that they conciliated the
was echoed and re-echoed in full chorus against good-will of their sovereign rulers, and feuda- them, was “ heresy" and " infidelity.” No intory lords, by their fidelity and obedience; and surrection, no act of iniquity, was so much as that the counts, viscounts, and barons, to whom mentioned in the impeachment. they owed service or fealty, lost their lands and The imputation even of Manicheism, and territories, because they refused to abandon much more that of moral turpitude, disappears these faithful vassals to the will of their oppres- at once before the solemn declaration which
the Albigenses made of their religious opinions, Rel. Moe No. 1