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CHARACTERISTICS OF THE REFORMATION.-IX.

PETER WALDUS.

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PETER WALDUS, or Waldensis, was a native of Lyons. The year of his birth, like all that concerns his early life, is uncertain; tradition, however, points to the year 1130. All that is certain is that his birth took place before the middle of the twelfth century. As one of the city magnates-or, as men would then man of worship -we meet with him for the first time when attending an assembly of the chief citizens of Lyons, met for the transaction of business connected with the municipality. The occasion was rendered remarkable by the routine of business being interrupted by the sudden death of one of the assembled town council. Human nature is at all times and everywhere the same; and we, looking back through seven hundred years at this incident, and although so large an interval of time separates us from the men assembled there, can easily imagine the feelings of those“ grave " and reverend seigniors" when the death angel thus suddenly appeared in their midst. We know the hush, the thrill, the shudder which would pass through any meeting in the present day if such an event befel, and have, therefore, no difficulty in saying that this assembly, of which Peter Waldus formed one, would be similarly affected.

To see lying before us the lifeless form, but now instinct with thought and motion, to behold the ashen cheek, the bloodless lips, the fixed, unseeing eyes, is at any time an impressive sight; but when he who but now was in our midst, walking on our path, talking to us, filled with the same ideas, and working to a common object with ourselves, is suddenly away called to that « bourne whence no traveller returns," what strange thoughts inevitably come over us! Moved in the very depths of our souls, we ask ourselves, if we never asked before, What is this life of ours ? what this death which, at some time or other, we all have to meet ? Bring the most thoughtless face to face with Death, and solemn thoughts of Life's mysteries, of Time and Eternity, of God and Immortality, will take possession of their souls. So it is, so was,

, and ever will be while man is man, and mortal. Shall we wonder, then, when we learn that this incident in that Lyons Town Council left on the mind of Peter Waldus " so powerful an impression that he resolved to abandon all “ other concerns, and to occupy himself solely with the concerns of religion"to settle for himself, if haply he might, those great problems which, at some tiine in their lives, most men have to settle for themselves, in some sort and fashion ?

And where should he turn for instruction ? To the priests ? Alas! they would be but blind leaders of the blind. The priests? They who were lapped in vice and sensuality, and as ignorant as they were vicious—they who were a proverb and a by-word of reproach in the mouths of his countrymen ? Nay, had he not heard in the disputes of the market-places of Lyons, and theother cities which, as a merchant, he had been in the habit of visiting, Paulicians and others ?--had he not heard it there asserted that a man who wanted the truth must go to the fountain-head, and read the Scriptures and the writings of the early Fathers ? Now, Peter is rich; and, guided by a desire to arrive at the truth he seeks, he will lay out a portion of his wealth in translating this Bible and the writings of these Fathers--or, at least, some portions of them--into the Romance language. So we learn from the historian," he

gave to two ecclesiastics--one, Stephen de Ansa, a man of some learning ;

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“ the other, Bernard Ydros, who was a practised writer--a certain sum of

money, on condition they would prepare for him a translation of the Gospels " and other portions of the Bible into the Romance language, which one was “ to dictate, the other write down. He procured to be drawn up,” continues the narrator, “ also, by the same persons, a collection of sayings of the Church “ Fathers, on matters of faith and practice--so called Sententiæ.'

And now Peter sets to work to study these translated treasures. The first result of his studies is that he becomes“ seized with an earnest desire to “ follow the Apostles in evangelical poverty," and also, like them, to spread abroad his newly-discovered truth among his fellow-men. As a consequence of this, he distributed all his property, rich and wealthy burgher as he was, amongst the poor, and founded a spiritual society of “ Apostolicals." He had numerous copies of his translated Gospels made, and gradually extended the translation to the entire Bible. These he, and others whom he had persuaded to join him in his work, lent for reading and carried about with them from place to place, and were very zealous in this work. Ere long, Peter began to preach to people of the truth he had got, and of “ the way of salvation open to them.

It was about the year 1160 that Peter took upon himself the office of preacher ; Priestcraft looked on with no pleasant feelings at a man of truth and earnestness thus, without leave or license, invading its domain, and teaching the people truths of which it would fain have kept them ignorantbut the people heard him gladly. The people ever hear such men gladly ; honest words spoken earnestly always find an audience anxious to listen. So Peter's preaching was not without its effect. The Archbishop of Lyons undertook to proscribe the unauthorised teacher ; Peter, however, declared that he was bound to obey God rather than man, and persevered in the work he had begun. Societies sprang up throughout Languedoc, in the Alps, and afterwards in Lombardy-the work grew, and others soon associated themselves with Peter in this preaching business. Of Peter and his fellow-labourers we have this record from Walter Mapes, a Franciscan monk : " They have no “ settled place of abode. They go about barefoot, two by two, in woollen

garments, possessing nothing, but like the Apostles, having all things in common; following, naked, him who had not where to lay his head.”

Peter Waldus was no polemic; he did not go forth to discuss old doctrines, or to inculcate new ones, but to teach duties ; practical religion was the thing he sought to establish in the hearts and actions of men. He aimed not so much at changing the existing system of religion, as at restoring the morals of the clergy and the lives of Christians to that primitive and apos- . tolic simplicity which he believed characterised the early times of the Church, and which he thought was involved in the teachings of Christ. He taught that, in the time of Constantine, the Church had degenerated from its original purity and sanctity. He denied the supremacy of the Pope. He inveighed against the rich, luxurious, and vicious priesthood, and enforced the duty of the rulers and ministers of the Church to imitate the poverty of the Apostles, and procure a frugal and slender sustenance by manual labour. He asserted that authority to teach and admonish their brethren was given to all Christians. He said it was not necessary for people to confess their sins to the priests, but only to lay open their transgressions to their brethren, and look to them for advice. He wished to restore the ancient penitential system, which had now become almost entirely subverted by grants of indulgences,

* Neander viii. 351.

which he denounced as an invention of avarice. The power of forgiving sins, and remitting their punishment, he held to belong only to God.* Such way be looked upon as a correct summary of the views of Waldus and his associates ; their preaching was, therefore, thoroughly practical and moral in its tendency, and calculated to deal a heavy blow at the system of priestoraft set up by the Church. Afterwards, on the part of the followers of Peter, the doctrinal differences involved in his teaching became much more prominent, and the heresy more observable.

Our readers will easily understand, from what we laid before them last week, how these men, standing in opposition to the hierarchy of the Church, protesting against priestcraft both in word and action, would be hailed by the free-spirited people of Languedoc. In the Alps there had been, as we have previously mentioned, from the earliest times of the State-Church, communities of heretics who had fled from persecution in the East, and these, of course, would be ready listeners to the preaching of Peter. The effect of his labourg in the Alpine valleys continued down into far later times, in connection with the Waldensian heresy, which gave so sad a glory to the after history of Piedmont. The followers of Peter multiplied with amazing rapidity, and there was scarcely a country in Europe where they did not gain some footing. No amount of persecution ever entirely extirpated them, and we may justly look on Peter Waldus as one of the most important of the early forerunners of the Reformation. He, in fact, spoke to the spirit of the time, and the sect .

; he established had all the strength which earnestness and virtue ever give. “ There is no sect so dangerous," said Saccho the Dominican, "for, while * others are profane and blasphemous, this retains the show of piety; they live “ "justly before men, and believe nothing respecting God which is not good;

only they blaspheme against the Roman Church and the clergy, and thus " gain many followers."

Seeing, then, what Waldus and his followers were, and what they taught, considering, too, how great and rapid a success they achieved, we cannot wonder that Priestcraft hated them. Nay, rather, would not the wonder have been if those whose vices they exposed, whose lives they condemned both in speech and action, whose power they sought to destroy, and whose teachings they denied, had done aught else but hate them ? It was by departing from that "primitive and apostolic simplicity" which these new teachers sought to restore, that the Church and priesthood had grown rich and powerful. Here were men, too, who actually had the audacity to say that those who had grown fat in idleness-- who, under the garb of piety, were lapped in sensuality and luxury, should earn their own frugal sustenance by the labour of their hands. Not only did they say this, but gave in their own lives a proof of its practicability-thus adding to their arguments the mighty logic of action, Besides which they denied the special sanctity of the priesthood, teaching that every man is a priest to himself—so striking at the very existence of the hierarchy. In all this, we see good reason why priestcraft should hate these men, and also good reason why we should hold their memory in honour. In the very things which induce respect for them on the part of all good men, we recognise the cause of the merciless severity evinced by the Church towards them.

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JAS. L. GOODING,

* Mosheim, Cent, xii. p. ii. e. V. See also Neander's acconnt, Vol. viii, + It is a matter exceedingly doubtful whether Peter gave or received his name of Waldus, or Waldensis, by his connection with the Alpine heretice. It is probable that Waldenses, or Vaudois, siguified the men of the valleys," and that Peter of Lyons became known as " Peter of the “Valleys" from his work among them.

LIFE AND DOCTRINES OF KHOUNG-HOU-TSZE

(CONFUCIUS). § 9.--DISCOURSE WITH A PRINCE ON GOVERNING. WHILE Confucius was the Chief Minister, he fell frequently into conversation with the king, and many of their debates have been preserved. Rather, porhaps, it would be nearer the truth to say, the part the sage took in them; for the monarch merely asks questions which open the way for the philosopher to deliver his ideas upon the subject thus named. And it is astonishing to all, who do not perceive that the under currents of earnest thought upon a inatter of importance must run in the same direction, to find that in such an early age this man, so far removed from the other nations of antiquity, still held by the truths and principles of government which are so earnestly asserted by the advanced reformers of England. He never doubted about the worth of honour, or of the power and strength which justice, and those alone, can confer upon a nation.

Upon one occasion he was questioned about the constituent principles of & good government, and without discussing the relative advantages of a monarchy, a despotism, or a republic, he immediately proceeded to the very heart and soul of the question. Let the reader try to reach his meaning in the following passage.

“ The laws of the kings Wen and Wou were consigned to ““ bamboo tablets ; if their ministers were living now their laws would be in “ vigour: their ministers have ceased to be, and their principles of good govern"ment are no longer followed. The combined virtues and qualities of the “ministers of a prince make the administration of a state good, as the virtue " of the earth, uniting the moist and the dry, gives forth and causes to grow " the plants which cover its surface. This good administration resembles the * reeds which are on the borders of rivers : it springs up naturally on a soil " that is suitable to it."

Could the dullards of modern days but manage to see into this, what a blessing it would be for all! But Confucius had his dullards to deal with, and felt the oppression of men who looked upon public offices as cows which were bound to give them the due supply of milk. They had no other notion, and as to proving the means through which a country was to grow great, they neither knew nor cared how to do it. Time soon shewed what Confucius could do in this matter, although, with a wise prudence, he always kept within the due limits; never undertaking to do for the citizen that which he should do for himself.

But according to his theory the prince also had his duties, and there were modes of study through which he was to reach the height of perfection. In the conversation above quoted, he said, " A prince who wishes to imitate the old " administration of the kings must choose his ministers according to his own “sentiments, which must be always inspired by the public good. That his s sentiments may always have the public good for their moving principle, he “must conform himself to the great law of duty, and this great law of duty "must be searched for in humanity, which is the principle of love for all men. “This humanity is man himself: regard for relations is the first duty of it."

Evidently the Chinese sage had no design of flattering kings or rendering casy the lives of princes. There is the summary of what they should do to liecome worthy of their position and to win renown. The deepest and noblest principle of action is there set forth; and the most pious Biblicist may be chal

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lenged to produce a purer or nobler piece of advice for kings. The great law of duty must be searched for in humanity, which is the principle of love

for all men,” is a line which may be written over our doors and upon our hearts, as one of the noblest ever penned. What other is there to surpass

it? They who write of this man as a Pagan, as the Cummings and Cantwells do, are evidently ready to blaspheme God at any moment, in order to promote the interests of their Little Zion, and its blatant pieties. If Jesus is to be so highly honoured for saying that men should love one another, then let the same measure be meted out to Confucius ; for his saying was equally beautiful and precise. Is there not, too, in the following, a clear recognition of principles to which the nations of the West are only just beginning to open their eyes, but which must be universally accepted ?

“ All virtuous actions, all duties which have been resolved beforehand, are thereby accomplished; if they are not resolved upon, they are thereby in a os state of infraction. If we have determined beforehand the words which

we must speak, we shall not hesitate. If we have determined beforehand “our affairs and occupations in the world, they will thereby be easily accomplished.

“ The perfect, the true, disengaged from all mixture, is the law of heaven. * The process of perfection, which consists in using all one's efforts to “ discover the celestial law, the true principle of the mandate of heaven56 this is the law of man. The perfect man attains this law without help “ from without; he has no need of meditation, or long reflection to obtain

it ; he arrives at it with calmness and tranquillity. This is the holy man. “ He who is continually tending towards perfection, who attaches himself strongly to the good, and fears to lose it, is the sage.”

There has never yet been given to the world a better definition of the truly holy man; and, as will be shown in another paper, Confucius was not to be deluded upon the great theme of religion. He knew that all growth is " from within,” not from without; and knew for a certainty that all the power we can have must rest upon our inward strength of thought and independent life.

The prince, however, was not yet dismissed. He must listen to advice about how he is to correct himself and gain the highest stage of fitness as a ruler. “ The prince can never cease to correct himself and bring himself to

perfection. Having the purpose of correcting and perfecting himself, he “cannot dispense with the rendering to his relations that which is due to " them. Having the purpose of rendering to his relations that which is due " to them, he cannot dispense with the acquaintance of wise men, that he

may honour them, and that they may instruct him in his duties. Having " the purpose of obtaining the acquaintance of wise men, he cannot dispense “ with the knowledge of heaven, nor with the law which directs in the prac“ tice of prescribed duties.

" The most universal duties for the human race are five, and the man possesses three natural faculties for practising them. The five duties are : “ the relations which subsist between the prince and his ministers, the father " and his children, the husband and his wife, the elder and younger brother, " and those of friends among themselves. Conscience, which is the light of intelligence to distinguish good and evil; humanity, which is the equity of the

heart; moral courage, which is the force of the soul,—these are the three grand and universal moral faculties of the man.

Modern ethical teachers will raise objections to this theory about the

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