Page images

tichrift, few indeed in number, yet sufficient “ to establish the truth, who would openly vin“ dicate the truth, and clearly attest the corrup“ tions of the Church of Rome, and the anti“ christian supremacy of her head.” Accordingly, such witnesses have appeared in every age, from the eighth century, when the reign of Antichrist began, down to the present moment'. In the eighth century, the worship of images was vigorously opposed by the Emperors of the East, Leo Ifauricus and his son Conftantine Copronymus, by the council of Constantinople, held in the year 754, where the fathers declared, “ That only one image was constituted by “ Christ himself, namely, the bread and wine - in the Eucharist, which represent the body u and blood of Christ." The second council of Nice, indeed, established the worship of images in the year 787; but it was condemned in the council of Frankfort, held under Charlemagne in the year 794. The Caroline-books were likewife set forth under his authority, in which various errors of the Church of Rome are condemned, and those truths which a Protestant would subscribe, asserted.

In the ninth century, the supremacy of the Pope, together with the worship of inages, and

the (1) See a full deducion of thcfe wiincffes in Newton's Dil. vol. iii. page 148 to 196.

the invocation of saints, were opposed by the Emperors of the East, Nicephorus, Leo, Armenius, Michael, Balbus, and Theophilus, and by the Emperors of the West, Charles the Great, and Lewis the Pious. The council of Paris, held in the year 824, agreed with the council of Frankfort, in condemning that fecond council of Nice, and the worship of images. The doctrine of tranfubftantiation first advanced in the West, by Pafchafius Radbertus, Abbot of Corbie, in this century, was strenuously opposed by Rabanus Maurus, Archbishop of Mentz, by Bertramus, a Monk of Corbie, and Johannes Scotus. In this age too lived Claud, Bishop of Turin, who, in his numerous writings, exposed the errors of the church of Rome, and vindi. cated the truth. He may be said to have fown the feeds of reformation in his diocese; and his doctrines took deep root, especially in the vallies of Piedmont, where they continued to flourish for several centuries.

In the tenth century, severals in Germany, France and England, maintained the decrees of the council of Frankfort and Paris, against the worship of images. In the year 909, a council was held at Troly, a village near Soissons in France. They concluded with a profession of those things which Christians ought to believe and pra&tise; and in that profession are none of those things which constitute the sum of Popish doctrine. In this age too, Heringer, Abbot of Lobes, near Liege, wrote expressly against the doctrine of transubstantiation, as did also Alfric in England.


Early in the eleventh century, there appeared at Orleans some heretics, as they were call. ed, who maintained, that the consecration of the priest could not change the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ, and that it was unprofitable to pray to faints and angels. They were condemned by the council of Or. leans, in the year 1017. Not long after there, appeared other heretics in Flanders, who were also condemned by the synod of Arras, in the year 1025. They denied the reality of the body and blood of Christ in the eucharift. They gave no religious worship to the cross, to images, to temples, or altars. They denied purgatory, and the efficacy of penance to absolve the deceafed from their sins. Berengarius, a native of Tours, and Archdeacon of Angiers, wrote professedly against the doctrine of transubstantiation, and called the church of Rome “ a church of malignants, the council “ of vanity, and the seat of Satan.”

In the twelfth century, Fluentius, Bishop of Florence, taught publicly, that Antichrist was come into the world. St. Bernard inveighed


loudly against the corruptions of the clergy, and the tyranny of the Popes, saying, " that " they were the ministers of Christ, and served “ Antichrist.” Joachim of Calabria gave a discourse concerning Antichrist and the Apocalypse, to Richard I. of England, at Messina, on his way to Palestine, in which he said, “ that “ Antichrist was already born in the city of " Rome, and that he would be advanced to " the apostolical' chair, and exalted above all " that is called God, or is worshipped.” Peter de Bruis and Henry his disciple, taught in several parts of France, “ That the doctrine of - transubstantiation is false; that prayers and “ masses for the dead are unprofitable; that

priests and monks ought to marry; that ve. “ neration for crosses is superstition.” For these doctrines, the one was burnt, and the other imprisoned for life. Arnold of Brescia held opinions contrary to those of the church concerning the facrament, and preached mightily against the temporal power and jurisdiation of the Pope and the clergy, for which he was burnt at Rome, in the year 1155, and his ashes were thrown into the Tyber, to prevent the people from expresling any veneration for his relics. But the chief witnesses of this age were the Waldenses, so called, from Peter Waldo, a rich citizen of Lyons, and a


[ocr errors]

considerable leader of the fect, and the Albigenses, who received their name from Alby, a city of Languedoc.

In the thirteenth century, the Waldenses and Albigenses multiplied so fast, and inveighed against the corruptions of the church of Rome so loudly, that a croisade was proclaimed against them, by the reigning Pope, which ended in depriving the Count of Thoulouse of his dominions. William of St Amour, a Doctor of the Sorbonne, wrote a treatise of the perils of the last times, 2 Tim. iii. 1. in which he applies the prophecy to the mendicant orders of his own time. In this age too lived Robert Greathead, Bishop of Lincoln, who saw so clearly into the prophecy concerning Antichrist, that the Pope and Antichrist were his dying words.

The Waldenses and Albigenfes continued to multiply in the fourteenth century ; and being persecuted in their own country, ied for refuge to other nations. They were denominated Lol. lards in Germany, from one Walter Lollard, who preached about the year 1315, against the authority of the Pope, the intercession of saints, the mass, extreme unction, and other ceremonies of the church of Rome, and was burnt alive at Cologne, in the year 1322. The same doctrines were taught in England, and spread over



« PreviousContinue »