SECTION 9: CHURCHES IN FRANCE CONTINUED
"Here is the patience and the faith of the saints."--Rev. 13:10, 14:12.
1. The thirteenth and fourteenth chapters of Revelation should be read in connection with the history of these churches; and though we cannot give a full detail of their sufferings, we will essay to epitomize the statements given by different historians, while we acknowledge our obligations principally to Mr. Jones, and at the same time say, with John, "Here is the patience of the saints:" here are they that kept the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
2. The severity of the popes measures forced Waldo from Lyons. In the same year, a synod was convened at Tours, at which all the bishops and priests in the country of Toulouse were strictly enjoined "to take care, and to forbid, under pain of excommunication, every person from presuming to give reception, or the least assistance to the followers of this heresy; to have no dealings with them in buying and selling, that thus, being deprived of the common necessaries of life, they might be compelled to repent of the evil of their way." The measures caused many of the Albigenses to seek asylums in other kingdoms: the influence of these measures of the pope on sovereigns, was such as to occasion their first succumbing, and then uniting to support the constuprated sanctuary of Rome. The power embodying at this period to support the beast, is enough to make all stand amazed. Louis VII, of France, and Henry II, of England, became equerries to the pope, holding the bridle of his horse, and afterwards walking, one on the one side of him, the other on the other, as royal grooms to his holiness. Here the submissive state of things to the man of sin may be viewed, and the prevalency of his voice, who was obeyed and feared more than God. Lucius III issued a decree, confirmatory of previous measures, in which was stated, "We declare all Catharists, Paterines, Poor of Lyons, Passignes, Josephists, Arnoldists, to lie under a perpetual anathema." These intolerant proceedings drove many of those people, against whom they were directed, to leave France, cross the Pyrenean mountains, and take up a residence in Spain.
3. INNOCENT III ascended the pontifical throne in 1192. Many popes did badly, but this man exceeded all in cruel turpitude. The man of sin had been progressive in his character, actions, and inventions; but now, if his Satanic majesty was ever incarnate, or had one agent on earth that more resembled him in spirit, design, and executive mischief, there can be no doubt of Innocent being the man. He appears matured in the mystery of iniquity; he exhibits in full view the man fully grown in sin; and in his public character, handed round to the kings of the earth the cup of abomination, from which they drank into the same spirit and designs, participated in the fellowship of crimes, and became intoxicated or glutted with his iniquitous measures and sanguinary proceedings. He judged that the church ought to keep no measures with sectaries, or heretics; and that if it did not crush them, if it did not extirpate their race, and strike Christendom with terror, their example would soon be followed; and that the fermentation of mind which was every where manifest, would shortly produce a conflagration throughout the whole of Europe. As incapable of temporising as he was of pity, the pope formed his plans without delay; and this lovely and delightful region of France, inhabited by the followers of the Lamb, was given up to destruction.
4. In 1193, the pope sent Guy and Reiner, two legates, into France, with instructions of the most sanguinary description. Instead of making converts of the heretics, their orders were to burn their leaders, confiscate their goods, and disperse their flocks. They were not equally successful in every province; the pope, therefore, instigated the inert inhabitants of those provinces where the legates were least successful, to persecute the Albigenses; consequently, many of the leading persons among them perished in the flames, for a succession of years. The measures now used against these people, were found partly paralyzed by many lords and barons, who had adopted their opinions, and consequently, instead of consenting to persecute, protected this inoffensive people. From different causes, a protection was cast round those persons whom his holiness had doomed to destruction. Innocent, not gaining his end, laid under an anathema such lords and barons as should refuse to seize the heretics. Finding his influence not sufficient in the locality of those poor disciples, he addressed letters to the king of France, reminding him that it was his duty to take up arms against heretics. As an additional stimulus, the pope offered the whole territory the heretics possessed, and exhorted others of his own community to take possession of all the Albigenses held. The legates labored, both by exhortations and actions, in the extirpation of heresy. These champions, in traversing the country to preach down error, had one favorite text upon which they could delightfully descant--Who will rise up for me against the evil doers? or who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity?" Psalm 44:16. Though their preaching did not bring all to see as they wished, it is said to have occasioned vast multitudes repairing to the Catholic churches. [Colliers Gr. Hist. Diet., art. Albig.] Public disputations were held with the Albigenses, but the Catholics could always carry by clamor those points they were incapable of demonstrating by argument, so that the victory was always claimed by one party. To what extent these missionaries succeeded, as these means were continued for some years, we do not know; but it is certain a remnant was not defiled by the womans doctrines, for they remained virgins, and kept the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
5. The temporary lodgment those harassed people sought in Spain was disturbed. Ildefonsus, king of Arragon, published an edict, 1194, commanding all "Waldenses, Poor of Lyons, and other heretics, who cannot be numbered, being excommunicated from the holy church, adversaries to the cross of Christ, violators and corruptors of the Christian religion, to depart out of our kingdom, and all our dominions." And "whosoever, from that day forward, should presume to receive or harbor them, or to afford them meat or favor, were to be punished for high treason." This cruel edict was to be published in all churches, in every city and town in the Spanish dominions. Such was the general state of things towards this people at the end of this century, which may serve to prepare us for the appalling scenes of slaughter which followed.
6. Yet, notwithstanding these inhuman proceedings, both in France and Spain, in the year 1200, the city of Toulouse, and eighteen other principal towns in Languedoc, Provence, and Dauphine, were filled with Waldenses and Albigenses. This was owing, under a kind Providence, to the lords, barons, viscounts, and others of the French nobility. Their numbers and importance had awakened the jealousy of the pope, who now felt additionally angry at the protection given to those people. To those bulls and anathemas mentioned, the influence of the legates in exciting the clergy to duty, and the inhabitants to revenge the popes cause, much importance was attached; but the desired effects of the commission were not so extensively realized: Rainer the Monk and Pierre de Castelnau, archdeacon of Maguelone, were charged with the ghostly commission. In 1206, the missionaries were strengthened by the Spaniard Dominic uniting with them; and soon after, the order of preaching friars was established, whose business it was to go through all towns and villages, to preach the Faith; but secretly to obtain information as to the dwellings of those who were obnoxious to the popes vengeance. When these heresy-hunters had purged different provinces of the enemies of the Roman faith, the pontiff became sensible of the value of their services; and in a few years he placed in those towns, whose inhabitants had the misfortune to be suspected of heresy, missionaries of a like nature, though the people showed the greatest reluctance to such institutions. [Mosh. Ecc. Hist., Cent. 13, p. 2, ch. 5, ~ 3, 4]
7. By the adoption of such measures against the Albigenses, the populace had been excited; many of them compromised their principles on the terms of life, while for years many had suffered martyrdom in many towns of France, from 1198 and onwards; but Innocent III perceived that the labors of the inquisitors were not attended with the success he at first anticipated: he consequently solicited Philip, king of France, in 1207, with the leading men of that nation, by the most alluring promises of indulgence, to extirpate heresy by fire and sword. This appeal does not appear to have had the desired effect, as new exhortations were repeated, with fresh promises of favor. Raymond VI, the reigning count of Toulouse, was, in the spring of this year, on the borders of the Rhone, engaged in a war against the barons of Raux, and other lords of those countries, where the popes legate, Peter of Castlenau, above named, undertook to make peace between them. He first made application to the barons, and obtained their promise that if Raymond would acquiesce in their pretensions, they would employ all their forces to exterminate heresy. After settling matters with them in the form of a treaty, for the extirpation of heretics, the legate repaired to the count of Toulouse, and required him to sign it. The latter was no way inclined to purchase, by the renunciation of his rights, the entrance of an army, already hostile, into his estates, who were to pillage or put to death all those of his vassals whom the Roman clergy should fix upon as the victims of their cruelty. He therefore refused his consent; and Peter, the legate, in his wrath, excommunicated him, laid his country under an interdict, and wrote to the pope to ratify what he had done.
8. The pope was gratified at the circumstance, being aware that his agents were insufficient to destroy the heresy encouraged in Raymonds dominions. He wrote an insolent letter to the count, dated May 29, 1207, confirming the sentence of excommunication. Raymond, terrified, signed the terms of peace, engaging to exterminate all heretics from his territories. The count not keeping peace with the legates zeal against heresy, was reproached by him in no moderate language; and was again, by him, excommunicated. Raymond was excessively provoked, and threatened Castlenau for his insulting conduct. Through these agitating periods, it appears, the Albigenses had discussed the merits of the points between the hierarchy and themselves. One of the principal debaters on the Albigensian side was Arnold Hot, with whom the Catholic bishops felt themselves entangled. A circumstance, mysterious in its consequences, now occurred. Raymond, as observed, on parting with Castlenau, had threatened to make him pay for his insolence with his life. They parted without reconciliation, January 14, 1208. On the fifteenth, after mass, one of Count Raymonds friends, who appears to have known of the legates insolence, entered into a dispute with him respecting heresy and its punishment. The legate never spared the most insulting epithets to the advocates of toleration; and the gentleman, irritated by his language, not less than by his quarrel with Raymond, his lord, drew his poignard, struck Castlenau in his side, and killed him. The intelligence of this murder roused the pope to the highest pitch of fury. He instantly published a bull, addressed to all counts, barons, and knights, of the four southern provinces of France. He laid under an interdict all places which should afford a refuge to the murderers of the legate: he demanded that Raymond of Toulouse should be publicly anathematized in all churches, and "that we must not observe faith towards those who keep not faith towards God, or who are separated from the communion of the faithful." All persons were relieved from their oaths of allegiance, they were to pursue his person, and take possession of his territories.
9. The first bull, as if taking little effect, was followed by another: the pope at the same time solicited the king of France to carry on the sacred war in person, and to destroy all the wicked heresy of the Albigenses. The legates and monks, at the same time, received powers from Rome to publish a crusade among the people, offering to those who should engage in this holy war of plunder and extirpation against the Albigenses, the utmost extent of indulgence which his predecessors had ever granted to those who labored for the deliverance of the Holy Land.* The ignorance of the times permitted these different means to be but too successful. The people from all parts of Europe hastened to France to enrol themselves in this new array, actuated by superstition and their passions for wars and adventures. They were, on their arrival, immediately placed under the protection of the holy see, freed from debts, and exempted from the jurisdiction of all tribunals; and so were lawless, yet their services were to expiate all the vices and crimes of a whole life:--awful delusion!
[* The oppressions felt by the Asiatic churches from the Mahometans, and a desire among the clergy to enlarge the territories of the church in that quarter, had occasioned the popes suggesting a variety of means for the attainment of that object. Peter the Hermit, on visiting Palestine, in 1093, was grieved to see holy places and persons in the power of infidels. His zeal led him to travel through Europe, sounding an alarm of war, and calling on princes and nations to rescue the holy spot. After difficulties and delays were overcome, he got together an innumerable multitude of all ranks who volunteered for this sacred expedition. These were named Croisade, from wearing a cross. One argument used was, "We read that God said unto Abraham, Unto thy seed will I give this land: we Christians are heirs of the promise, and the Holy Land is given to us by covenant, as our lawful possession." Against these federal claims the Albigenses and Waldenses wrote, declaring such crusades unlawful. Such crusades were now invited against these people. Mosh. v. ii. p. 128, and C. 11, pt,. 2, c. 1, ~ 9, note.]
This lovely and delightful region, in a state of growing prosperity, was delivered to the fury of countless hordes of fanatics. The conference on the different points between Arnold Hot and the bishops was broken up by the bishop of Villeneuse, declaring that nothing could be determined, because "the army of the Crusaders was at hand."
10. In the year 1209, a formidable army of cross-bearers, of forty days service, was put into motion, destined to destroy all heretics. This army consisted of, some say, 3, others 500,000 men. At their head, as chief commander, was,--let every Englishman blush--Simon de Montford, Earl of Leicester. The cruelties of these Crusaders appear to have had no parallel; in a few months there were sacrificed about two hundred thousand lives, and barbarities practised before unheard of, all which met the approbation of Innocent the 3rd. [Lon. Ency. v.x.p. 461] Two large cities, Beziers and Carcassone, were reduced to ashes, and thousands of victims perished by the sword; while thousands of others, driven from their burning houses, were wandering in the woods and mountains, sinking daily under the pressure of want. [Simondis History of the Crusades, &c., p. 6, &c.]
11. In the fall of the same year, the monks preached up another crusade against the more northerly provinces of France. To stir the nation, they opened to all volunteers the gates of paradise, with all its glories, without any reformation of life or manners. The army raised from these efforts was directed in the ensuing spring, 1210, by ALICE, Simon de Montfords wife. With this army, a renewal of last years cruelties commenced. All the inhabitants found were hung on gibbets. A hundred of the inhabitants of BROM had their eyes plucked out, and their noses cut off, and then were sent, under the guidance of a man with one eye spared, to inform the garrisons of other towns what fate awaited them. The destruction of property and life must have been very great, from the sanguinary character of those who managed these cruel measures. The most perfidious conduct was conspicuous in the leaders of the Catholic cause, pope, bishops, legates, and officers of the army; whatever terms were submitted to availed the persecuted nothing, when in the hands of their enemies. On the 22nd of July, the Crusaders took possession of the castle of Minerva. The Albigensian Christians were in the meantime assembled--the men in one house, the women in another; and there, on their knees, resigned to the awaiting circumstances. A learned abbot preached to them, but they unanimously cried, "We have renounced the church of Rome--we will have none of your faith; your labor is in vain; for neither death nor life will make us renounce the opinions that we have embraced." An enormous pile of dry wood was prepared, and the abbot thus addressed the Albigenses, "Be converted to the Catholic faith, or ascend this pile;" but none of them were shaken. They set fire to the wood, and brought them to the fire, but it required no violence to precipitate them into the flames. Thus, more than one hundred and forty willing victims perished, after commending their souls to God. The sacrifice of human life under this crusade cannot be computed.
12. In 1211, another army was mustered, and measures were adopted for reducing all places suspected of heresy; but it appeared now the desire of Montford to be fully rewarded with the territories subdued, and it was found no easy matter to set bounds to his ambition. Cruelties of different degrees of atrocity were committed by this army; but they met with a salutary check, and an ultimate dispersion, by the vigorous measures of Count Raymond. We are not prepared to say why Raymond did not act with vigor before, whether from timidity, or rather, perhaps, from the well-known principles of the Albigenses, who allowed of no retaliation. It is certain that oppression may goad men until they lose sight of their principles, and become wildered into forced measures.* Simon de Montford now began to experience a decline of fortune, Count Raymond regained all the strong places of Albigeois, and in more than fifty castles, the inhabitants either expelled or massacred the French garrisons, to surrender themselves to their ancient lord. The demon of discord at this period began to influence the leaders of the crusading army. The legate grasped at the most conspicuous and profitable places. This conduct gave many to view the massacres of the Albigenses by the monks and their incited armies, only to allow them to take possession of confiscated property; the leaders became jealous of each other, and that union among the chiefs, which had occasioned such awful devastation, was dissolved; true it is, they had held together sufficiently long; its cities were ruined; its population consumed by the sword; its commerce destroyed, and the lamp of heavenly light, which had shone so resplendent throughout the whole region, was totally extinguished.
[* "The most furious and desperate rebels," says Gibbon, "are the sectaries of religion long persecuted, and at length provoked. In a holy cause they are no longer susceptible of fear or remorse; the justice of their arms (cause) hardens them against the feelings of humanity; and they revenge their fathers wrongs on the children of their tyrants." This view is illustrated in the history of the Nonconformists in England, the Anabaptists in Germany, the Hussites in Bohemia, the Calvinists in France, the Albigenses under Raymond, the Paulicians in Armenia and in Bulgaria, and the Donatists in Africa. See Rom. Hist. ch. 54.
13. The monks recommenced, in 1212, their preaching throughout Christendom, with more ardor than before. The army was renewed four times this year, each army professedly serving forty days. The country was now found almost destitute of victims; Montford resolved therefore, to take advantage of his army, and conducting them against Agenois, whose entire population was Catholics, he made the surviving inhabitants pay a sum of money as a ransom for their lives. The crusaders contenting themselves with this service, as fulfilling the conditions of enlisting; the pope began to suspect the designs of the leaders, and in 1213, quite changed his tone towards his tools of mischief, charging them with murder, usurpation, cupidity, &c. It is supposed, the King of Arragon, brother-in-law to Raymond, had by negotiation turned the tide of affairs. But Montford, and all those monks who had reaped the advantage of his cruel enterprise, now set aside the popes authority, and refused to listen to an infallible voice, declaring, it was necessary to destroy Toulouse, and extirpate its inhabitants, which they compared to Sodom. The pope at first wavered, and then veered round to Simons measure against Raymond; war was again preached by the officers of religion, but the popes party was now opposed by the King of Arragon, in union with the Counts of Toulouse, Foix, and Cominges. In the first encounter, the king lost his life, and his army was routed. This battle of MURET was the death-blow to the Albigensian party in Languedoc.
In 1215, the prince Louis, son of the King of France, performed a pilgrimage against heretics. He appeared before Lyons* with a considerable force, and performed a duty of forty days against the remaining Albigenses. In 1216, Innocent paid his debt to nature and justice. Honorius, his successor, pursued his cruel policy.
[* Perhaps in no city have Christians suffered so repeatedly and severely, as in Lyons. In A.D., 177, they realized every indignity. In 202, they experienced barbarities too indecent to record, and in almost every persecution, the inhabitants suffered death in every form; and now, the Albigenses were called to share in a like treatment. It is said, the blood of twenty thousand martyrs has been shed in this city! What an awful vengeance and repayment did this city realize in 1793, under the direction of the national convention, when 70,000 persons perished by every cruel means which could be devised by an enraged military force, and when France drank generally from the retaliating cup of blood. See Seymours Hist. of the Fr. Revol. v. i. 210.]
The war was renewed in 1217 and 1218, but in this last year, Montford was killed at Toulouse, by the fall of a stone. The death of Simon produced a momentary truce, and afforded these harassed people a period to breathe. Louis of France became Simons successor in sanguinary proceedings, and proved himself to be behind no servant of the pope, in zeal against heresy. The most sanguinary conduct, in cold blood, was displayed by the bishops and soldiers under him. Misfortunes had now fully awakened Raymond to his situation; he, the nobility, and magistrates, united in one cause their persons and their property, and for a time, gave a check to brutal encroachment. The king, Louis, retired from the siege of Toulouse, quite dispirited. The clergy became disgusted with the crusaders, the bishops could no longer succeed in exciting fanaticism. Much blood had been spilt, yet all things had returned to their ancient masters. However drunk, or glutted, or weary the kings of the earth were with these measures, the pope and his emissaries were still athirst and unsatisfied. The pope endeavored to arouse the king of France, but he could not be moved. Bishops and others were called upon to commit heretics to the flames, but all parties were inert, and nearly tired of the conflict. The murdering appeals of the pope awakened some enemies in the northern provinces, from which the Albigensian refugees were forced to move, and these directed their steps into Languedoc, where they experienced some respite. This mortifying state of affairs, to the papal party, was felt by Cardinal Bertrand, who, to remedy this almost hopeless state of affairs, set himself as the popes legate, to establish a body of men more completely devoted to the destruction of heretics and the lukewarm. Sanctioned by the pope, he, in 1221, instituted "the order of the holy faith of Jesus Christ," for the defence of the church, and the destruction of heretics. The crusading armies were again put in motion in this and the ensuing year, 1222, but they generally realized adverse fortune.
14. The Albigensian church was now drowned in blood; their race for the present disappeared; their opinions ceased to influence society. 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! It is impossible to ascertain the number, who, from frenzied zeal, engaged in this war of extirpation. But we know armies arrived for seven or eight successive years, more numerous than were employed in other wars. These considered it as their right to live at the expense of the country, and therefore, with a rapacious hand, seized all the harvests of the peasants, and merchandize of the citizens. No calculations can ascertain the quantity of wealth dissipated, or the destruction of human life, which resulted from these crusades. "I have," says Mr. Jones, "traced the total extermination of the Albigenses, and with it, the extinction of the cause of reformation, so happily introduced in the 12th century. The slaughter had been so prodigious--the massacres so universal--the terror so profound, and of so long duration, that the church of Rome appeared completely to have attained her object. The churches were drowned in the blood of their members, or everywhere broken up and scattered--the public worship of the Albigenses had everywhere ceased. All teaching was become impossible. Almost every pastor or elder had perished in a frightful manner; and the very small number of those who had succeeded in escaping the edge of the sword, now sought an asylum in distant countries, and were enabled to avoid new persecutions, only by preserving the most studied silence respecting their opinions. The private members who had not perished by either fire or sword, or who had not withdrawn by flight from the scrutiny of the inquisition, knew that they could only preserve their lives by burying their creed in their bosoms. For them there were no more sermons--no more public prayers--no more ordinances of the Lords house--even their children were not to be made acquainted, for a time at least, with their sentiments." [Lect. on Ec. Hist., Lect. 41 to 44; Mosh. Ec. Hist., v. ii., p. 432] "The visible assemblies of the Paulicians or Albigeois," says Gibbon, "were extirpated by fire and sword; and the bleeding remnant escaped by flight, concealment, or catholic conformity. But the invincible spirit which they had kindled, still lived and breathed in the western world. In the state, in the church, and even in the cloister, a latent succession was preserved of the disciples of Paul (Paulicians), who protested against the tyranny of Rome, embraced the Bible as a rule of faith, and purified their creed from all the visions of a false theology." [Ros. Hist. c. 54, v. x., 170] The timid who remained in the land, were subject to the severities of the inquisitions; these escaped only by frequently denying their belief. Terror became extreme, suspicion universal, all teaching of the proscribed doctrines had ceased, the very sight of a book made the people tremble, and ignorance was for the greater number, a salutary guarantee. So complete was the triumph of the Catholic party, that the persecutors, in confidence of victory, became divided, made war reciprocally on each other, and were thereby weakened and ruined. Aug. 6, 1221, Dominic died.
15. The Albigenses, who had been compelled to return into Languedoc, found themselves, with successive accessions, sufficiently numerous in 1222, in the places wherein their fathers had suffered, to animate them with a hope of renewing their instructions and reorganizing their churches. The monks and inquisitors, from some cause, being at this period destitute of aid from the secular arm, were reduced to the necessity of only noting the following: "About one hundred of the principal Albigenses held a meeting at a place called Pieussau Rasez, at which Guillabert de Cashes presided." He was one of the oldest of their preachers, and had escaped the researches of the fanatics. This assembly provided pastors or teachers for the destitute churches, whose former officebearers had perished in the flames, by the sword, or gibbet. Not only was there a languishing in the conduct of bishops, clergy, and the army; but even young Montford, who possessed from his father the confiscated estates, saw himself without money or men, and those few castles he held only waited a favorable opportunity to welcome their old landlords. So desperate were Montfords affairs, that he offered all his blood-bought patrimony as a gift to the king of France, and the pope sanctioned the donative, provided the king would still prosecute the war against the Albigenses, and extirpate the newly-arisen heresy, but which the king declined.
16. On Louis VIII ascending the throne, he entered into the spirit of extirpation, and the aspect of affairs became exceedingly dark; but some circumstances in the affairs of Frederick the emperor interrupted the enemys designs. The Albigenses were too insignificant now to give the pope any disquietude, but yet there was Raymonds vineyard, which the French king had a desire to possess. Animated by Honorius, the French king took the field with an army of fifty thousand horse, to annihilate Raymond and heresy. The terror which this formidable army inspired is not to be described. All those persons who made conscience of religion sought an asylum in the neighboring countries, bordering on the Pyrenean mountains; in the valleys of Piedmont; and probably in some of the German States; which former places became early filled with Dissenters from the Roman church; those who travelled farther, carried with them the germ of reformation through nearly all the provinces of Christendom. This army was very formidable; fear became extreme; the bonds of society, of relations, and of affection, were now dissolved. A nobleman who had married a daughter of Raymond VII sent her back to him, declaring that, after the summons of the king and church, he broke off all connection with him. Thus the popes voice opposed and exalted itself, and prevailed against a divine ordinance, supported by the strongest and most tender ties.
17. Submissions were made by part of those States the king came to conquer; but some he found with Raymond disposed to hold out. Raymond knew he could not encounter the enemy in the field, therefore hoped that the elongation of the war would perhaps give his embarrassed affairs a favorable turn. On the 10th of June the siege of Avignon was commenced, which proved more difficult than was first anticipated. Famine, disease, a fever, and other causes, removed vast numbers of horses and men in the crusading army; the stench of the dead infected the army; unhappily, the besiegers consented to a capitulation on the 12th September, which terms were shamefully violated. Fifteen days after the capitulation, a terrible inundation of the river Durance covered all the space which had been occupied by the French camp. Had not the soldiers previously taken up their quarters within the walls, they would certainly have been swept away by the water, with their tents and baggage. The next enterprise of the crusading army was against Toulouse, but their utmost efforts only produced one heretic, an old man and infirm preacher, named PETER ISARN: he was committed to the flames, with the parade of a great triumph. This one life, this one heretic, had cost the king the amazing amount of 20,000 men, besides horses and money. The king, under considerable disappointment in not attaining his object, returned to his court, and, from grief or infection, died Nov. 8th, 1226. These severities and harassings in Languedoc led a section to seek an asylum in the province of Gascony, which district at that time depended on the kings of England, but where the authority of the government was nearly disregarded.
In 1227 a new army was raised against Jews and heretics, personally enumerating as heretics Raymond, the Count of Foix, and the Viscount of Beziers. They first attacked the castle of Becede, in Lauraquais. The Archbishop of Narbonne, with the Bishop of Toulouse, hastened to aid in the siege. Part of the besieged made their escape, the rest were either knocked on the head or put to the sword. It is said the Bishop of Toulouse saved several from the violence of the soldiers, that he might be gratified in seeing them perish in the flames. Similar instances of cruelty were exhibited during all the period of this crusade, though the spirit of fanaticism was considerably abated. During the minority of Louis IX, the management of affairs devolved on his mother Blanche, who was by birth a Spaniard, and in the estimation of her church very religious. She was what the age made her, which, according to historians, exempts her, with Calvin and Luther, and all persecutors, from condign reproach; the fault of the times has relieved the criminal, on the grounds of custom! The queen-mother had the talent to terminate the conquest of the Albigenses, and to gather the fruits of this long-cultivated aceldama. Against the queens army, Raymond now took the field, 1228, flattering himself that the civil wars, risings and revolts of the barons, which threatened the queens affairs, and the enthusiastic among the crusaders being engaged against the Holy Land, allowed him some grounds to hope he should recover his possessions. His trials had now driven him to fury, and the cruelties of his soldiers and party disgrace the page of history. Those who fell into his hands were mutilated with odious cruelty. From the moment of his adopting this cruel policy, the tide of affairs changed, his success and prospects ended with his clemency.
19. Fouquet, Bishop of Toulouse, had never quitted the crusaders; he surpassed all his compeers in sanguinary zeal, by which zeal he obtained the cognomen of "Bishop of Devils." To meet Raymonds opposition, many bishops preached up a crusade, and by the middle of June a numerous and fanatical army was brought before Toulouse. The citizens, affrighted, shut themselves up within the walls, abandoning the surrounding country, and flattering themselves with the hope of wearying the besiegers. The crusading army, under Fouquet and a lieutenant, drew the troops up near to the city every morning, and then retiring by different routes each day to the mountains, they destroyed, through all the space they passed over, every vestige of fruit, corn, and vegetables, with vines, trees, and houses; so that there remained no traces of the industry or the riches of man. For three months the army without interruption continued thus methodically to ravage all the adjacent country. At the end of the campaign, the city was only surrounded by a frightful desert; all its richest inhabitants, whether catholic or otherwise, were ruined; and their courage no longer enabled them to brave such a merciless warfare. Several lords, hitherto friends, now abandoned them, submitting their castles to the king of France; and nearly at the same time, Raymond listened to proposals of peace. Raymond appears to have been so overwhelmed with terror, as well as his subjects, that he no longer preserved any hope of defending himself.
Independent of those that fell by the sword, or were committed to the flames by the soldiers and magistrates, the inquisition was constantly at work from 1206 to 1228, and produced the most dreadful havoc among the disciples of Christ. In this last year, the Archbishops of Aix, Arles, and Narbonne found it necessary to intercede with the monks of the inquisition, to defer a little their work of imprisonment, until the pope could be apprised of the immense numbers apprehended,--numbers so great that it was impossible to defray the charge of their subsistence, or even to provide stone and mortar to build prisons for them.
On Dec. 10, 1228, Raymond gave full powers to the Abbot of Grandselve to negotiate with the courts of France and Rome. He demanded neither liberty of conscience for his subjects, nor the preservation of his sovereignty. He abandoned all thoughts of maintaining any longer his independence. On the 12th of April, 1229, Raymond abandoned to the king all his French possessions, and to the popes legate all that he possessed in the kingdom of Arles. He was now required, in order to prove the sincerity of his submission to the Roman see, to make war on his friend, the Count of Foix: Raymond preferred being a prisoner, or serving five years in a crusade to the Holy Land. He submitted to the most humiliating penance. He repaired with his feet naked, and with only his shirt and trowsers, to the church of Notre Dame, at Paris, where a cardinal, after administering the discipline upon his naked back, conducted him to the foot of the grand altar, and on account of his humility and devotion, he pronounced absolution, on condition of fulfilling his treaty at Paris. Raymond remained six weeks a prisoner, his daughter was taken under the queens care, and his territories were passed into other hands. The inhabitants, his late subjects, appeared to be resigned to all impending ill; they only asked for liberty of conscience, but this was denied them; and in the ensuing November the council of Toulouse established the inquisition to complete the work of heresy; and in the year 1229, first forbade the use of the Scriptures in the vulgar tongue. [At Toulouse it is said the first society in France was formed for circulating the Bible in the vernacular tongue.]
20. Driven from their homes, the Albigenses had migrated into Germany, Switzerland; some crossed the Alps, and found an asylum in the valleys of Piedmont, which were under the clement sceptre of the dukes of Savoy; while the Pyrenean mountains afforded a convenient retreat to thousands of these exiles. In Gascony some sojourned, while others visited the churches in Italy, where Gregory IX called for aid, in order to their extirpation. This call had been supported by Frederick, who denounced all Catharines, Paterines, poor of Lyons, and other heretics. By this edict the emperor commanded all magistrates and judges immediately to deliver to the flames every man who should be convicted of heresy by the bishops, and to pull out the tongues of those to whom the bishops should show favor, that they might not corrupt others by justifying themselves. Even Raymond no longer refused to persecute his unhappy subjects, being led to expect, on this condition, the restoration of part of his property.
In 1232 Raymond united with the bishop of Toulouse, and surprised by night a house, in which they discovered nineteen men and women, probably assembled for worship, whom they committed to the flames. The infamous conduct of the inquisitors, under Gregorys directions, disgusted many who were friendly to the Church of Rome; and the opposition to that tribunal was so great in Languedoc, that the inquisition was at last, Nov. 5, 1235, expelled from the city. The inquisition, by an order from the court of Rome, remained in a state of total inactivity from 1237 to 1241, which was supposed to arise from the combination of various cities formed for its destruction.
The unhappy Raymond now cultivated the friendship of the emperor of Germany, and, hoping to gain his lost property, managed to assemble an army for the recovery of Provence. The people revered the names of their ancient lords, and rose in arms; he recovered a few small places; but the prompt measures of Louis, and the forces he brought into the field, filled Raymond with apprehensions of seeing the crusades against the Albigenses renewed in all their horrors; he therefore humbled himself to all the terms of the Roman court; but in the following year he made another effort to free himself and his country from the chains of slavery. A war between France and England gave some grounds to anticipate success, and a great many barons promised their aid; and the country, hoping the hour of deliverance had arrived, flocked to his standard. Several ecclesiastics and monks were surprised and cut in pieces, which so effectually awakened the ire of the pope, that his thundering measures occasioned a defection among Raymonds allies, his courage drooped, and he unconditionally submitted to Louis; and the whole territory of the Albigensian churches was delivered over to the will of the pope and king, which latter, in January, 1243, received a personal acknowledgment of Raymonds homage, and the land became quiet. [See Joness Christian Church, vol. ii. ch. 5, ~ 6, p. 119, &c.; also his Ecc. Hist., lect. 46; Dr. Brays Usurpation and Tyranny of Popery, with Perrins History, translated; Chandlers translation of Limborchs Hist. of the Inquisition; Bishop Newton on Prophecies.] Thus terminated all hope with the extinction of one million of inoffensive lives. Yet after all this waste of life, it is asserted on good authority that the Gospellets, or Berengarians, amounted to 800,000 persons in 1260.
21. Having brought the outlines of the Albigensian history to the period of their churchs destruction, and the transfer of the territory to the see of Rome, we shall now submit a few observations and testimonies on their denominational aspect. The purity of their lives, and inoffensiveness in character and conduct of these witnesses of the truth, with the soundness of their religious creed, through the domination of the man of sin, has occasioned almost every class of modern Christians to claim them as their predecessors, but proofs are required to support such claims, and these only will satisfy the impartial inquirer. [Topladys Hist. Proofs, vol. i., p. 151, &c. Dr. Caves Prim. Christianity, and Colliers Hist. Dict., art. Albigenses]
First, It has been fully admitted by all creditable historians, that the Albigenses were originally called Puritans, from the Novatian, Paulician, and Paterine dissenters, whose sentiments have passed under review. [Mosh. Ecc. Hist., Cent. 12, p. 2, ch. 5, ~ 4, with notes and references, and C. 13, p. 2, c. 5, ~ 7, note; Gibbons Rom. Hist., vol. x, p. 170, c. 54; Miln. Church Hist., Cent. 3, ch. 13; Joness Ecc. Lect., vol. ii, p. 276]
Secondly, The constitution of all those dissenting churches left on record, viz., Novatianists, Donatists, Paulicians, with the Albigenses, was strictly on the terms of "believers baptism indispensable to church fellowship."
Thirdly, After Novatian, Novatus, and Constantine appeared as reformers, Gundulphus, Arnold of Brescia, Berenger, Peter de Bruys, Henry of Toulouse, and Peter Waldo, who all equally renounced infant baptism, with those who were called after their names, which subject we shall refer to in a future section. [Dr. Allixs Rem. on Anc. Ch. Pied., c. 2, p. 6; Ency. Brit., art. Alb. The controversy in the eleventh century about single and trine immersion, decides the early mode; see Mosh. Eccl. Hist., C. 11, p. 2, c. 3, ~ 11. Dr. Wall says, the Latins never made three immersions essential to baptism, Hist. Inf. Bap., pt. 2, p. 384.
Fourthly, The productions of their pens, their creed, or confession of Faith, the Noble Lesson, and What is Antichrist, are in accordance with Baptist views, as already exhibited.
Fifthly, When severe measures were used by the dominant party, those examined denied the utility of infant baptism.
Sixthly, The decrees of popes, the canons of councils, with the testimony of enemies, are plain proofs that the Baptists views did widely prevail for centuries; and we believe it would be difficult to find a community existing at this period deserving the name of Christian, whose views are not in accordance with the anti-paedobaptists. The submission of a creed, containing a belief of the infant rite, and an injunction to practise it, shows the jealousy of the dominant party toward the Albigenses on this subject.
22. The testimonies of avowed enemies and friends we take leave to record.
Dr. Ecbertus says, the principal reason the Arnoldists bring against infant baptism is Matt. 28:19, and Mark 16:16. The Albigenses say, concerning the baptizing of children, that through their incapacity it nothing profiteth them to salvation; and that baptism ought to be deferred till they come to years of discretion, and when they can with their own mouth make a profession of faith. [Danvers Bap. p. 292-7]
Erbardus, a great doctor of that time, says, The Puritans do deny baptism to children, because they want understanding. [Idem.]
The citizens of Orleans, the first Albigenses, denied baptismal grace. [Milners Ch. Hist., Cent. 11, ch. 2, from Usher] Dr. Wall records that the Lionists, or followers of Waldo, say that the washing given to children does no good. [Hist. Inf. Bap. p. 2, 233] They condemn all the sacraments of the Catholic church. [Joness Ecc. Lect., vol. ii., p. 486]
"Baptism added nothing to justification, and afforded no benefit to children." [Dr. Allixs Rem. Pied. ch. 11, p. 95]
Alanus affirms that some of the Puritans believed that baptism was no use to infants, but only to those of riper age, and that others saw no use in baptism at all. [Id., ch. 17, p. 155, and Dr. Wall, pt. 2, p. 240. The anti-baptismists and the Anti-paedobaptists are allowed by Wall and others, but these writers cannot, at this period, establish paedobaptism out of the church of Rome and Greece.]
Favin the historian says, "the Albigeois do esteem the baptizing of infants superstitious. [Danver on Bap., p. 301]
Izam the troubadour, a Dominican persecutor, says, "they admitted another baptism" to what the church did, that is, believers baptism. [Rob. Ecc. Res., p. 463]
Chassanion says, "I cannot deny that the Albigeois for the greater part were opposed to infant baptism; the truth is, they did not reject the sacrament as useless, but only as unnecessary to infants." [Facts opposed to Fiction, p. 48]
Other testimonies will be given under the Waldensian section.