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the Lateran fathers, as the council of Nice condemned the errors of Arius, and Fox acknowledges him and his followers to be heretics. After defining the faith, the council next proceeded to make regulations for the reformation of manners, and in passing these rules of public discipline, the council had the sanction of the civil power, so that there was the unanimous consent of the two powers, and of the Christian people against these pretended reformers of religion. From this brief statement, and a reference to the dates we have given, but which Fox has studiously avoided, some estimate may be formed of the confused manner in which the martyrologist gives his relations.
It is now time to give the reader some idea of these auxiliaries of John Fox and his modern editors. The Albigenses were a desperate sect sprung from the Waldenses, and embracing all the worst part of the Manichean heresy. Among other immoralities, they declared marriage to be unlawful, professed to abhor the sex, and practised that most horrible of crimes, which shall be nameless, the perpetration of which now-a-days excites so just a horror in the mind of the people. -Bousset, in his Variations, notices the sermons of St. Bernard, who was very instrumental in bringing a number of these deluded souls to the path of truth and unity and the bosom of the Catholic church. "But what he (St. Bernard) most insists on," writes Bousset, "is the hypocrisy, not only in the deceitful appearance of their austere and penitential life, but also in the custom they constantly observed of receiving the sacraments with us (Catholics) and professing our doc"trine publicly, which they inveighed against in secret. St. Bernard shews, their piety was all dissimulation. In appearance they blamed commerce with women, and nevertheless were all seen to pass days "and nights apart with them. The profession they made of abhorring "the sex, seemed to warrant their not abusing it. They believed all "oaths forbidden, yet, examined concerning their faith, did not stick "at perjury: such oddness and inconstancy is there in extravagant "minds! . . . . St. Austin (writes the same author) informs us that "these people [the Manicheans, from whom the Albigenses sprung], "who debarred themselves of marriage, allowed liberty for every thing "else. What, according to their principles, they properly had in abhorrence, (I am ashamed to be forced to repeat it), was conception, whereby it appears, what an inlet was opened to the abominations "whereof the old and new Manicheans stand convicted." This learned prelate enters into the history of the rise and errors of these heretics in a very elaborate manner, and produces a host of writers, who en rountered their false doctrines, and exposed their wild and impious no tions.-Alanus, a Cistercian monk, surnamed the universal doctor, wrote two books against the Albigenses and Waldenses about the year 1212. Peter of Vaux-Sernay wrote a history of the Albigenses, and describes their errors. Luke, bishop of Tuy, in Spain, we are informed by the Rev. Alban Butler, wrote three books against the Albigenses, about the year 1270. In the first he establishes the intercession of saints, purgatory, and prayers for the dead; in the second, the sacraments, sacrifice, and benedictions of the church, and the veneration of crosses and images; and in the third, he detects their fallacies, lies, dissembling of their sentiments, setting up false miracles, and corrupt
ing the writings of Catholic doctors. Rainerius Sacho, who from a chief of the Waldenses became a Catholic and a friar, in 1250, and consequently was a perfect master of the mysteries of the sect, wrote a book soon after his conversion, which he entitled, De Hæreticis, that is, of Heresies, wherein he lays open the abominable vices of this most pernicious heresy. Having quoted these and many authors in support of his exposure of the enormities of thèse "people of the reformed religion," as John Fox calls them, [How much nigher to the truth would he have been had he said deformed?] Bousset observes, "Such were "the Albigenses by the testimony of all their cotemporary authors, "not one excepted. The Protestants blush for them, and all they can "answer is, that these excesses, these errors, and all these disorders of "the Albigenses, are the calumnies of their enemies. But have they "so much as one proof for what they advance, or even one author of "those times, and for more than four hundred years after, to back "them in it? For our parts, we produce as many witnesses as have "been authors in the whole universe who have treated of this sect. "Those that were educated in their principles have revealed to us their "abominable secrets after their conversion. We trace up the damn"able sect even to its source: we shew whence it came, which way it "steered its course, all its characteristics, and its whole pedigree branching from the Manichean root."
But, it may be observed, you have given us authorities only on one side; you have not stated any writer but who was a Catholic, and therefore must be considered with some degree of suspicion. Well, then, to remove this objection, we will quote the testimony of a Protestant historian, whose evidence we imagine will not be suspected. Mosheim, in his Ecclesiastical History, speaking of the Albigenses, and other heretics of the 13th century, says, "Certain writers, who have accustomed "themselves to entertain a high idea of the sanctity of all those who, " in the middle ages, separated themselves from the church of Rome, "suspect the inquisitors of having attributed falsely impious doctrines "to the Brethren of the Free Spirit. [By which name some of the Al"bigenses designated themselves.] But this suspicion is entirely groundless.... Their shocking violation of decency was a consequencé "of their pernicious system. They looked upon decency and modesty as "marks of inward corruption.. Certain enthusiasts amongst them "maintained that the believer could not sin, let his conduct be ever so "horrible or atrocious." Vol. iii. p. 284, Maclaine's Translation.-After this description of John Fox's "people of the reformed religion," may we not justly say with Bousset, "How comes it then to pass that the "Protestants undertake the defence of these villains? The reason (he answers) is but too evident. It is the earnest desire they have of finding out predecessors. They meet with none but such as these that "stood out against venerating the cross, praying to saints, making ob"lations for the dead. They are concerned to find no where the footsteps of their reformation but amongst the Manicheans. Because they inveigh against the pope and church, the reformation is inclined to "favour them." See here what worthy associates the "few plain Christians" have chosen as models of example to "diffuse among their "fellow-believers a knowledge and love of the genuine principles of
"Christianity;" and to excite "a hatred and abhorrence of the (pre"tended) corruptions and crimes of Popery and its professors."
Having now given a correct sketch of the opinions of the Albigenses, it follows that we furnish some account of their actions-the fruits of their opinions. But first of all we must give John Fox's account of the "PERSECUTION OF THE EARL OF TOULOUSE," which he details in these words, to which we beg the particular attention of the reader." A "friar, named Peter, having been murdered in the dominions of the earl "of Toulouse, the pope made the murder a pretence to persecute that "nobleman and his subjects. He sent persons throughout all Europe, "in order to raise forces to act coercively against the Albigenses, and " promised Paradise to all who would assist in this war, (which he "termed holy), and bear arms for forty days. The same indulgences were held out to all who entered for this purpose, as to such as engaged in crusades to the holy land. The pope likewise sent orders "to all archbishops, bishops, &c. to excommunicate the earl of Toulouse 66 every Sabbath and festival; at the same time absolving all his subjects "from their oaths of allegiance to him, and commanding them to pursue his person, possess his lands, destroy his property, and murder such "of his subjects as continued faithful to him. The earl of Toulouse, "hearing of these mighty preparations against him, wrote to the pope "in a very candid manner, desiring not to be condemned unheard, and assuring him that he had not the least hand in Peter's death: for that "friar was killed by a gentleman, who, immediately after the murder, "fled out of his territories. But the pope, being determined on his de“struction, was resolved not to hear his defence: and a formidable army, "with several noblemen and prelates at the head of it, began its march against the Albigenses. The earl had only the alternative to oppose "force by force, or submit: and as he despaired of success in attempting the former, he determined on the latter. The pope's legate being "at Valence, the earl repaired thither, and said, 'He was surprised “that such a number of armed men should be sent against him, before "the least proof of his guilt had been deduced. He therefore came voluntarily to surrender himself, armed only with the testimony of a good "conscience, and hoped that the troops would be prevented from plun"dering his innocent subjects, as he thought himself a sufficient pledge "for any vengeance they chose to take on account of the death of the "friar.' The legate replied, that he was very glad the earl had voluntarily surrendered; but, with respect to the proposal, he could not "pretend to countermand the orders to the troops, unless he would "consent to deliver up seven of his best fortified castles as securities for "his future behaviour. At this demand the earl perceived his error "in submitting, but it was too late; he knew himself to be a pri soner, and therefore sent an order for the delivery of the castles. The pope's legate had no sooner garrisoned these places, than he ordered "the respective governors to appear before him. When they came, he said, 'That the earl of Toulouse having delivered up his castles to the pope, they must consider that they were now the pope's subjects, and "not the earl's; and that they must therefore act conformably to their new allegiance.' The governors were greatly astonished to see their "lord thus in chains, and themselves compelled to act in a manner so
contrary to their inclinations and consciences. But the subsequent "treatment of the earl afflicted them still more; for he was stripped nearly naked, led nine times round the grave of friar Peter, and severely scourged before all the people. Not contented with this, the legate obliged him to swear that he would be obedient to the pope during the "remainder of his life, conform to the church of Rome, and make irrecon❝cilable war against the Albigenses; and even ordered him, by the " oaths he had newly taken, to join the troops, and inspect the siege of "Bezieres. But thinking this too hard an injunction, he took an op"portunity privately to quit the army, and determined to go to the pope "and relate the ill usage he had received."
Before we make any comment on this relation, we will here ask the reader if he ever read a more delectable piece of improbabilities and contradictions? What are we to think of the rationality of those people who can take such a tale for fact, when there is not a date nor an authority for one single circumstance detailed? Here is injustice, murder, cruelty, robbery, nay every crime in the black catalogue of human depravity imputed to the pope and his legate, while the poor earl is represented as a precious jewel of the first water, and his subjects as pure as the martyred innocents under Herod. Out upon such barefaced misrepresentations and falsehoods! Shame on such credulity as this book has met with. By this account the archbishops and bishops are converted into lieutenants and major generals, and the pope's legate is made commander in chief, while the pope himself is one of the best recruiting sergeants we recollect to have met with in our course of reading, seeing he could raise a formidable army at his beck, headed by noblemen and prelates. The pope first orders all the archbishops, bishops, &c. to excommunicate the poor luckless earl every sabbath and festival; then the bishops, or the earl's subjects, or both, for we cannot say which is named by the pronoun " them," are commanded to pursue this persecuted earl, to possess his lands, to destroy his property, to murder his faithful subjects, and yet he not only escapes from all these terrible evils, but he writes a candid, very candid letter, to the pope, desiring not to be condemned unheard, and assuring the holy father that it was a GENTLEMAN, yes, reader, a GENTLEMAN who killed the friar Peter, and then ran away!!! Believe this, ye readers of Fox, if you will, but pray do not charge the Catholics in future with credulity. Take it in for gospel if you like, good "plain Christians," but let us hear no more of the absurdities of Popery. Well, finding all the fulminations of the bishops and archbishops ineffectually, though so frequently repeated, for how long a time Fox does not say; finding the pursuit of his person, the possession of his lands, the destruction of his property-for all this we are told was commanded before the earl complained-it does not appear that a hair of his head was touched, and the pope, who is bent upon his destruction, orders a formidable army, with noblemen and prelates at the head of it, to march forthwith, but not against the earl; no, the papál wrath is all at once directed against the Albigenses. Then again we have the earl upon the boards. The Albigenses are nothing and the earl is every thing. He finds it necessary to submit because he cannot overcome by force, and submit he does with a good conscience, to save his innocent subjects. What a para
gon of a ruler? What an immaculate patriarch of the " reformed people!" But do you really believe this tale, reader?" Do you really think the one party so grossly unjust, and the other so conscientiously innocent? But to the narrative. One would suppose that this submission would have been sufficient to have gratified the most obdurate heart; but no, John Fox knew the capability of his reader's mind, and his modern editors seems to have as high an opinion of the capacity of their reader's credulity, or they would not have ventured to impose these absurdities upon them. The legate, however, who is here commander in chief and civil governor too, is not satisfied; he must have seven of the strongest castles as securities for the earl's good behaviour, though he had been long before dispossessed of his property, unless indeed the bishops' excommunications and commands were disregarded by the people, and then what becomes of the power of the pope? The eyes of the earl, we are told, were now opened, and he saw his error, but it was too late, and away went his castles. Well, the legate, like a cautious general, and he seems to have understood military tactics better than ecclesiastical discipline, by a happy stroke of legerdemain, instantly transforms the earl's subjects into subjects of the pope, and the governors of the castles are astonished, yes “greatly astonished," to find "themselves compelled to act in a manner so contrary "to their inclinations and consciences." Bless us! what pretty consciences the "reformed people” had in those days. The primitive martyrs could not be compelled to violate their consciences. Dungeons, tortures, and death, had no effect on them; they suffered all with invincible constancy, in which example they were followed by the Catholics when persecuted by "Protestant-ascendency;" but here, it is said, the pope's legate could make these lords and governors of the "reformed people" act against their consciences, without any resistance on their part. Those who will believe this account will believe any thing. In conclusion, the poor earl is whipped round the grave of the friar, made to swear obedience to the pope, to conform to the church of Rome, to make interminable war against his innocent subjects, the Albigenses, and moreover, installed by compulsion inspector general of the siege of a fortified town in which the Albigenses had taken refuge!!!! Now, reader, what is your opinion of John Fox? Do you not think him a complete master of the art of falsification? But what must we think of the mental faculties of those who have so long looked upon his Book of Martyrs as a specimen of historical veracity? What but prejudice the most clouded, and bigotry the most bloated, could induce any one to credit such a mass of palpable absurdity and improbability as we have here dissected?
But it is time we should lay before the reader a more faithful and authenticated account of the origin of these unhappy transactions. The Rev. Alban Butler writes thus:-" Charles the bald, king of France, in "855, made Raymund, son of the governor of Toulouse, hereditary governor and count, reserving only a homage to be paid to himself and successors. Raymund V. the tenth sovereign count of Toulouse, duke "of Narbonne, and marquis of Provence, died a zealous Catholic, in 1194, "His son Raymund VI. openly protected these impious heretics, who " in armed troops expelled the bishops, priests, and monks, demolished