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determined never to omit the services of the Sabbath as long as health and strength should allow me to go. My ability to pray increased daily, and oh! how happy have I felt when with tears I have prayed for my poor husband and children! I never forgot you, but prayed that you might be faithful and tell me more and more about my state; I often thought you must have been told how careless and thoughtless I had been, for what you said came home and often pierced me to the heart. But, my dear sir, this is not all; God has heard my poor prayers, and my dear husband has come with me for nearly twelve months, has left all his bad company, and he can pray too; it would do your heart good, sir, indeed it would, if you were to hear him pray; and since I have been so ill he has been the kindest creature; he never goes to bed at night, or to work in the morning, without kneeling down and praying for me and my poor children who will soon be motherless; but God will take care of themyes, sir, I am sure he will, and I can resign them all to him-and die happy now. Christ has died for poor sinners-I am a poor sinner, and all my hope is in that blessed Saviour. I often think, as I pant for breath, and am burned up with fever, what is all this to what my dear Redeemer suffered, and I can then suffer without murmuring; it won't be long, and if I am safe, oh how happy shall I be when I see Him as he is and live with him in yonder world. I am quite ready to go, but hope patiently to wait his own time; and now I have had the desire of my heart to see you and tell you all. You little thought what good you were sent to do for such a poor worthless creature, and I thought you would like to know, and would not think it a liberty for me to send to you now. May God Almighty for ever bless you!" she exclaimed, her eyes streaming with tears, "and make you as useful to others as you have been to me;"-then grasping more firmly the hand she held in hers, she sunk back on her pillow exhausted with the mental and bodily effort she had made, and which had been interrupted by many paroxysms of difficult and laborious respiration.
My friend was so overpowered by this affecting and unexpected narrative, that he sat for some minutes in speechless admiration, while the tears of delight and gratitude flowed down his manly cheeks. "This is the Lord's doing," he at length ejaculated, "and it is glorious in our eyes; which of us can doubt the reality of divine influence, or the transforming power of saving grace? I came as I thought to instruct and comfort you, my good friend, but what can 1 add to your knowledge or enjoyment? I am a learner here, and all that remains is to join with you in grateful acknowledgment for such distinguishing mercy, and in imploring that support which you may yet need in 'passing through the valley of the shadow of death.'" We knelt beside the bed, and my friend offered up a suitable prayer, in which the poor sufferer fervently united; and having taken our leave of her whose face we were never again permitted to see on earth, we proceeded on our walk homewards. The scene we had witnessed furnished an ample field of devout and serious reflection. In the course of the ensuing week we
were informed of her dissolution; her hopes brightened as the solemn time advanced, and the messenger of wo to thousands was to her the minister of peace; she fell asleep in Jesus, and is now among the spirits of the just before the throne of God.
When we were all assembled together, after the close of the evening service, I related to the members of my family the particulars of the impressive scene to which I had been an eye witness. What a day of instruction and delight has this been! I could wish the emotions which were excited should never subside; we have beheld nature in her gayest attire, ornamented and perfumed by the exquisite workmanship of the Deity for the abode of man; surrounded by all that can delight the eye and gratify the senses, he lives in a terrestrial paradise which is filled with abundant proofs of bounty and goodness. And yet how many thoughtless, inattentive observers of these lower works are found amongst us, in whom no one sentiment of adoration or reverence is excited towards Him who made and governs the world
"Who sees with equal eye, as God of all, The hero perish, and the sparrow fall."
The moral world, however, is a scene to which the attention is especially directed on this sacred day, which reminds us at once of our dignity and depravity. We know what mankind are by nature, and we have this day witnessed the triumphs of religion; how it can subordinate in the bosom of youth all the attractions and delights of the present, to the imperative claims of the future, and carry the "lambs in its arms" safely and victoriously through the chilly stream of death; how it can heal the wounds of sorrow, and teach parental love to weep no more; how it can disperse the mist of ignorance, and quicken into new and spiritual existence all the sensibilities of our nature; how it can dissipate the awful gloom in which poverty and wretchedness envelope many of our species; the contrast of capabilities, our feelings, and habits, which it creates, may well excite our astonishment, while it administers to our joy. Nothing similar is effected in the halls of literature, or the schools of philosophy; water may rise to its level-it can reach no higher elevation but through the agency of superadded power. In the evils of this life, the moralist and the philosopher may propose useful and practical remedies, but for the terrors of death and the solemnities of the future, they have no specific; for the world by wisdom in its best estate, and when science had reached its zenith, knew not God, until "life and immortality were brought to light by the Gospel." The glory of the Christian faith consists in its universal adaptation; by its influence coronets, diadems, and sceptres are consecrated and shine with preternatural lustre, while the "short but simple annals of the poor" proclaim its value and record its power. Deprived of all external advantages, it shines here especially in its native lustre, and proves beyond all cavil that the Gospel is "the power of God to salvation." Whence had this poor woman this knowledge and these high consolations? not from education, for she could not
read a word; not by imitation of excellence in others, for no such examples were presented; not through the performance of external ceremonies, for these had for years been useless and ineffectual. No; her religion came from above, and it was amply sufficient, under the most unfavourable circumstances, to form her character, and prepare her for death and immortality. Remembering that it is to the in
stitution of the Sabbath we owe the means which are capable of producing such changes as these, and that this is a day made especially for the benefit of man, we owe a large proportion of our blessings to the due observance of it; not in mere cessation from the common business and amusements of life, but in availing ourselves of those advantages which it presents of learning the things "which belong to our peace," and looking forward with cheerful hope to that eternal Sabbath of holy rest, which awaits every good and faithful servant in that high world, where "mortality shall be swallowed up of life."
In these, and similar reflections, we indulged till the accustomed period of family devotion; a day thus profitably spent was closed in earnest entreaty for that measure of divine grace, which can alone ensure the accomplishment of our heart's desire, "Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his." W.
From the Spirit and Manners of the Age.
"IN visions which are not of night, a shadowy
The path of pilgrim tribes who are, who have been, or shall be;
At either end are lowering clouds impervious to the sight,
And frequent shadows veil, throughout, each gleam of passing light;
A path it is of joys and griefs, of many hopes and fears;
Gladden'd at times by sunny smiles, but oftener dimm'd by tears.
Green leaves are there, they quickly
And some that roll on to the last with undi-
Have lost that limpid purity which graced
Pleasant that valley's opening scenes appear to childhood's view,
The flowers are bright, the turf is green, the
Fancy still paints the future bright, and hope the present cheers,
sky above is blue;
A blast may blight, a beam may scorch, a
Nor can we deem the path we tread leads through a vale of tears.
But soon, too soon, the flowers that decked our
early path-way side
Have drooped and withered on their stalks,
and one by one have died;
There's thunder in the torrent's tone, and
And more and more our hearts confess this
Darker and darker seems the path! how sad to journey on,
When hands and hearts which gladden'd ours
Some cold in death, and some, alas! we fan-
Living to self,
With mournful retrospective glance we look to brighter years,
And tread with solitary steps the thorny vale
From the Amulet.
BY THE REV. W. S. GILLY.
ALBI, an inconsiderable town in Languedoc, has had the honour of giving the name of Albifade-geois, or Albigenses, to the Protestants of France, who were distinguished in the thirteenth century, by their determined opposition to the usurpations of the Pope; but whose entire history occupies little more than half a century. The term Protestant is here used, in a general sense, to designate those, who professing the faith which became better known at the Reformation, have at any time refused to acknowledge the supremacy of a universal pontiff. The pretended right of the bishops of Rome, to be lords over God's heritage, and to give spiritual laws to Christendom, has been uniformly resisted by one Christian community or another; and at all periods of history, there have been some few at least enlightened enough, and bold enough, to dispute the authority of any, who should presume to call himself the supreme head, or infallible guide of the church. As St. Paul withstood St. Peter to the face, so have the successors to the alleged
primacy of St. Peter, been withstood from age
versaries to join in communion with themselves, tried to compel them, and began by ascribing false sentiments to the advocates of the cause, against which they could not prevail in fair argument. They branded them with the name of Arians and Manichees; they preached against them in the cities and villages, and charged them with atrocities of which they never were guilty.
But as the innocent victims of the calumny were not to be silenced by such means as these, and as they still persevered in spreading their doctrines, the arm of power was invited to crush them, and thousands perished in the flames, or in indiscriminate massacre. Raymond, Count of Thoulouse, (and sovereign of the provinces, where the doctrines propounded at Albi, and from thenceforward styled Albigensian, had long taken deep root,) was solemnly invoked by the Pope, to exterminate the heretics by an armed force. But Raymond was too well convinced of the value, which his state derived from the enterprising and industrious spirit of his nonconforming subjects, to comply with this demand. His refusal drew down fresh denunciations from the Pope, and renewed charges of scandalous proceedings against the Protestants. To refute these slanders, the Protestants consented to hold another conference with the Romanists, at Montreal, in the year 1206. The same opinions were freely professed, as before, at Albi, and soon afterwards a general crusade was preached, not only against the impugners of the Papal authority, but against all who should protect, or refuse to destroy them. Count Raymond himself was involved in the edict of excommunication; and the term Albigenses was indiscriminately applied to all such of the natives of the South of France, as had incurred the resentment of the Roman pontiff, either by questioning his infallibility, or refusing to persecute those who questioned it.
But before I proceed to relate some of the enormities committed by the Romanists during the crusades against the Albigenses, and to vindicate the sufferers against the aspersions of their enemies, I must recur to the statement with which I set out, and repeat, that the tenets which Protestants then held, and now hold in opposition to the Church of Rome, had been maintained in the South of France from the earliest period of the establishment of the Christian Church in that country, to the epoch of the Albigensian contest.
Allix has distinctly explained this in the ten first chapters of his "Remarks upon the Ecclesiastical History of the Ancient Churches of the Albigenses." I cannot, however, agree with Allix in his opinion, that Papal ascendancy 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 ism. 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 sees. The provincial prelacy and clergy, who had hitherto been independent of a foreign pontiff, found themselves obliged to go with the stream, and with their independence they lost their self-respect and integrity. Abuses, which at former periods would have been checked in the beginning by a timely application to the metropolitan, or to the provincial or national synod, now became inveterate, owing to the long interval which occurred before the matter could be decided by a hearing at the seat of the Papacy. A distant tribunal, or a court of appeal, remote from the scene of dispute, cannot but be the means of extending mischief; prejudice, favour, corruption, imperfect evidence, delay, and misunderstandings are but few of the impediments in the way of justice and amelioration, when a question of right or wrong has to be determined by a foreign judge. The evil was thoroughly felt at the period to which I have made allusion. The bishops of France, assembled at Rheims in 991, did certainly protest strongly against the encroachments of the Popes, and their pretended primacy; but the principal resistance was thenceforward made by individuals, rather than by assemblies of protesting divines; and it was found to be much easier to brand the opinions of individuals with the name of heresy, than the declarations of synods or councils.
About the year 1010, there appeared symp. toms of the Manichean heresy in the South of France. This was a great advantage to the Popish party. All who opposed themselves to the corruptions of Rome, were thenceforth exposed to the charge of Manicheism; and though nothing could be more conflicting than the opinions of Protestants and of these real heretics, yet the Romanists succeeded in deluding the unwary, and confounding the preservers of pure Christianity with the propagators of an abominable error. Mezeray, author of the Chronological Abridgment of the History of France, was no friend to the Albigenses; but he candidly admits, that not all whom the church stigmatized as heretics, were Manichces: "There were," said he, "two sorts of heretics; the one ignorant and loose, who were a cast of Manichees; the other more learned, and free from the charge of impurity, who held nearly the same opinions as the modern Calvinists, and were called Henricians, or Waldenses, though the people ignorantly confounded them with the Cathari," &c. &c.
Berengarius, and those who were not ashamed of being called after his name, were the greatest upholders of truth of whom France could boast in the eleventh century, and especially in their able confutation of the doctrine of the Real Presence.
In the twelfth century, before the term Albigenses came into use, first the appellation of Petrobusians, and afterwards that of Henricians, was substituted for Berengarians, to designate the impugners of Popery. The former were so called after Peter de Bruis, who was brought to the stake at St. Gilles, in 1126, upon the charge of burning a cross to boil his meat on a Good Friday; and the latter after Henri, a celebrated preacher of Languedoc, who was burnt at Thoulouse, in 1147. It is evident, even upon Popish testimony, that a great pro
portion of the inhabitants of the southern provinces had continued to adhere to the opinions of their ancestors and to profess those purer forms and principles of Christianity, which Berengarius, Peter de Bruis, and Henri had been instrumental in transmitting to their countrymen. The Council of Tours, held in the year 1163, speaks thus to the fact" In the country about Thoulouse, there sprung up, long ago, a damnable heresy, which, by little and little, spread like a cancer as far as the neighbouring province of Gascogny, and hath already infected many other provinces." The Abbot of Clairvaux, quoted by Hoveden, in his annals of the year 1178, calls it, "A plague that had made great head in that country." The Monk of Vaux Cernay, the historian and eulogist of Simon de Montford, the grand persecutor of the Protestants of Thoulouse, made an acknowledgment to the same effect, namely, that the principles of the Albigenses were of immemorial standing in the provinces of the South of France. "This treacherous city of Thoulouse, from its first foundation," said he, " hath seldom or never been clear of this detestable plague. How difficult it is to pluck up a deep-rooted evil! This poison of heretical depravity and superstitious infidelity has been necessarily diffused here from father to son."
Here, then, we have the very concession required. I have proved elsewhere that the Romanists of the thirteenth century admit the high antiquity, in Piedmont, of the principles avowed by the Waldenses, and now evidence is produced out of their own mouths, that the tenets of the Albigenses were of high antiquity in the South of France, and may be traced up to the primitive churches of Gaul.
I shall proceed to show that the enormities committed during that period of history, when the Albigenses occupied the attention of Europe, were committed against them and not by them.
The Popish writers of every age have allowed, that there was a period when the profligacy of the Roman Church, from the popes down to the lowest clergy, was such as to call forth universal reprobation. At this period, those who rejected or renounced her communion were desirous of exhibiting a striking contrast in morals and conversation, between themselves and the members of that corrupt church, against whose debauchery and superstitions they protested. This, in all probability, led to the adoption of some extravagant, but harmless customs among the opponents of Popery; and the over-acted and literal obedience to scriptural precept professed by a few of them, was converted into an exaggerated charge against the whole body, when the Roman see succeeded in persuading or compelling the French bishops to surrender their independence, and found itself strong enough to make head against the Reformers. Thus, because some of the Protestants of the South of France put a forced construction upon the command, "Thou shalt not kill," and questioned the right of magistrates to inflict the penalty of death; and because others, wishing to abide by the very letter of Christ's precept, "I say unto you, swear not at all," refused to be sworn before the tribunals of the civil authorities,-it was
maliciously urged against all such as were called Albigenses, that they disowned the jurisdic-is tion of magistrates and princes altogether, and that they propagated "disorganizing tenets," hostile to society.
One false report was as easily spread as another. The Protestants maintained that no persons, whether clergy or laity, ought to be bound by vows of celibacy, and for this they were accused of decrying the virtue of continence, and of preaching and practising all manner of impurity. It was thus that the Romanists blackened the characters of those who were more rational in their forms of worship, and more pure in morals, than themselves; but we do not find any thing specific in their allegations. We have nothing but railing accusations, unsubstantiated by proof. There are no well verified facts adduced in Popish annals, in evidence of the vices which they attribute to the Albigenses. The Albigenses have been branded as sanguinary, ferocious and cruel miscreants, who delighted in bloodshed. But where have we any examples of their cruelty? If they had been such as to justify the representations of those Popish writers who speak of "the ferocity of their proceedings," and "the enormities to which their principles led," we should possess detailed accounts of the rapine, slaughter and devastation, which are laid to their charge. We should have the time and the place, where such things were perpetrated, the names and the number of their victims. The Romanists record, as meritorious deeds, instances of carnage and spoliation committed by their own people, and do not disguise that the forces opposed to the Albigenses, massacred the inhabitants of whole towns and villages; that they twice put "sixty thousand" to the sword; that they burnt "three hundred" in one castle, "and eighty in another."
At the siege of Marmande, Prince Louis induced the inhabitants to deliver up the town, upon his sacred promise that their lives should be spared. But all the men, women, and children, five thousand in number, were massacred, in order that this human holycaust might bring God's blessing upon the arms of the crusaders. The slaughter was in direct opposition to the will of Louis; but the counsel of the Bishop of Saintes prevailed. "My advice," said that prelate," is, that you immediately kill and burn all these people, as heretics and apostates, and that none of them be left alive." Romish authors record this fact.
The Albigenses are accused of being "equally hostile to church and state." Of their hostility to the Church of Rome there is no question; but where are the proofs of their being obnoxious to the state? There is nothing in history which can establish such a charge; on the contrary, it is manifest upon the face of every document that is come down to us, that the Albigenses were virtuous, peaceable and industrious subjects; that they conciliated the good-will of their sovereign rulers, and feudatory lords, by their fidelity and obedience; and that the counts, viscounts, and barons, to whom they owed service or fealty, lost their lands and territories, because they refused to abandon these faithful vassals to the will of their oppres
Rel. Mag. No. I
Almost all that we know of the Albigenses, collected from their enemies. Monks and churchmen were the historians of the day, and that is the reason why we have so few anecdotes of individual heroism, and are so sparingly supplied with those traits of devoted affection and generosity which are required to throw a charm over the history of communities. Whatever would have raised our admiration is withheld or distorted, and we are left to infer, from the numberless public sacrifices, which this unhappy people made in the cause of civil and religious freedom, that instances of private and domestic worth were as common among them. Raymond the Sixth, and Raymond the Seventh, Counts of Thoulouse, the powerful Counts of Foix and Carcassone, and the Viscount of Beziers, (omitting all mention of inferior lords,) suffered themselves to be deprived of their principalities and territories, for the Albigenses' sake. If the Albigenses had really rendered themselves formidable or suspicious to the existing temporal authorities, by "their tenets on civil power and property," is it likely that these princes and seigneurs, and all the influential classes of society, would have espoused their cause and avowed the same sentiments?
The only enemy they had was the Roman Church, and when their legitimate prince, the Count of Thoulouse, after being reproached for indulging pity for the heretics, and saving them from punishment, was solicited by the Popish clergy to carry the sentence of the church into effect against them, he pleaded that "he could not and dare not undertake any thing against them." And why? Because," said he, "the majority of the lords, and the greatest part of the common people, have drunk the poison of their infidelity." The Count of Thoulouse was writing to the Abbot of Cisteaux, and therefore he spoke in language which that churchman would understand. It was heresy, and not crime-it was an ecclesiastical, and not a moral or political offence, which occasioned the animosity of the church.
William of Puylaurens is one of the chroni clers of the thirteenth century, who relates the history of the extermination of the Albigenses, and Innocent the Third was the Pope who ful minated the bull which armed 500,000 needy adventurers against the rich plains of Languedoc. Now, the chronicler has left upon his pages, that "their outward show of godliness acquired for them the veneration of the people;" and the persecuting pontiff himself recorded, in an epistle which is still extant, that "they were free from many of the vices imputed to them."
In the celebrated conference at Albi, which gave name to the Albigenses, where the leaders of the Protestants were met face to face by their accusers, the burden of the lay, which was echoed and re-echoed in full chorus against them, was "heresy" and "infidelity." No insurrection, no act of iniquity, was so much as Hentioned in the impeachment.
The imputation even of Manicheism, and much more that of moral turpitude, disappears at once before the solemn declaration which the Albigenses made of their religious opinions, B