« EelmineJätka »
eloquence. The arminian cause prospering under him, the opposite party took the alarm, and, in 1618, a synod was called at Dort, by the direction, and under the influence, of prince Maurice. It was attended by deputies from the United Provinces; and from the churches of England, Hesse, Bremen, Switzerland, and the Palatinate.
The synod adopted the Belgic confession, decided in favour of absolute decrees, and excommunieated the arminians. Its canons were published
under the title of Judicium Synodi nationalis reformatarum ecclesiarum habiti Dordrechii anno 1618 et 1619, de quinque doctrinæ capitibus, in ecclesiis Belgicis, controversis: Promulgatum VI. Maii MDCXIX. 4to. It concludes the Sylloge Confessionum, printed at the Clarendon press.
THE SYMBOLIC BOOKS OF THE WALDENSES.
Ew works are more wanted, or, if executed by a religious, learned, and philosophic pen, would be more interesting or instructive, than a history of the second appearance of the Manichæans in the west, and the important consequences, both in church and state, with which it was attended.
It is known to every learned reader, that, some
time after the death of Manes, the European manichæans retreated, and carried their doctrines with them into the east. They returned into Europe about the beginning of the ninth century; and, during that and the following centuries, they and their disciples, under various appellations, as Paulicians, Albigenses, Bogards, and Brethren of the Free Spirit, spread themselves over Europe, in several sects, equally hostile to the church and state.
The Waldenses are of a different extraction, and the horrid principles, with which the sects of manichæan extraction have been charged, cannot with justice be imputed to the disciples of Waldo. The same exception may be made in favour of some other denominations of christians, who, during the period we have mentioned, separated from the church of Rome. But, in the course of time, some portions of these adopted, in a greater or less degree, several of the obnoxious principles of the manichæans; so that, speaking generally, the two following opinions prevailed in most of their communities; that the individual possession of worldly goods is unlawful; and that no person in office, either in church or state, can validly exercise his functions, if he be not in the state of grace. It is obvious that the practical results of these opinions are equally inconsistent with the tranquillity of the state, and the settlement of the church, and lead to the greatest excesses.
Soon after the Reformation, a curious correspondence took place between the waldenses and Ecolampadius. It is to be found in Scultet's Annales Evangelii renovati, (Hist. Lit. Reformationis; Harmanni Von der Hart, p. 160.) The consequence was, that some time after calvinism was established at Geneva, it was embraced by the waldenses; but they retained with it a considerable part of their tenets and discipline. In the year 1630, a plague having broke out, which destroyed a great proportion of their clergy, they applied for spiritual succour, to the reformed churches of France, and insensibly adopted their creed, rites and discipline.
The original and reformed creeds of the waldenses may be seen in LEGER, Histoire Generale des Eglises Vaudoises, lib. 1. c. 17, and in BOYER, Abrégé de l'Histoire des Vaudois, c. 2. p. 15, and in the valuable History of the Waldenses, recently published by Mr. JONES. Lamenting that he has not had time to give the last of these works, the full consideration, to which it is entitled, the writer of these pages acknowledges with pleasure, that he finds in it, great reason for doubting, whether any principles, hostile to society or government, are justly chargeable on the waldenses or John Huss. The massacre of the waldenses at Merindole and Cabrieres was atrocious, and nothing can be urged to justify, or rather to extenuate the burning of John Huss, except the
existing laws and prejudices of the times, and the long continuance of them, after the Reformation; but it appears clear to the writer, that the safe conduct granted to John Huss was not violated. The subject is ably and fully discussed by Dr. Hay, a roman-catholic prelate in Scotland, in his publication entitled, An Answer to W. A. D.'s Letter to G. H. in which the conduct of government, in mitigating the penal laws against papists, is justified, &c. Edinburgh, 1778, 8vo. It exhausts the subject, and should be read by every person, who argues against the tenets of the roman-catholic religion, from any proceeding at the council of Constance.
THE SYMBOLIC BOOKS OF THE BOHEMIANS.
BEFORE the reformation, Bohemia was a scene of great religious dispute. On the death of the celebrated John Huss, his followers retired to a mountain, in the district of Bohemia, and called it Tabor. Under Ziska, their first chief, and Rasa, his successor, they maintained a fierce war against their sovereign; and justified it on the ground, that Huss was innocent of the heresies with which he was charged, and was therefore unjustly put to
death; but they unaccountably admitted, as an incontestible principle, that real heretics were worthy of punishment. From a mountain, on which they fixed their head quarters, they were called Taborites. Splitting into parties, one party retained this appellation, the other was called Calixtines both required the cup for the laity; but, while the latter would have been satisfied with the cup, and a gentle correction of abuse, the former insisted on a total alteration of church discipline, and an unqualified restoration of it to what they considered its pristine simplicity. The calixtines were disposed to peace; the taborites breathed nothing but war. They had imbibed," says Mosheim, "the most barbarous sentiments, with respect to the obligation of fixing vengeance on their enemies, against whom they breathed nothing but vengeance and fury, without any mixture of humanity or compassion." In 1433, the council of Basil sent Æneas Sylvius and other legates, to confer with them. By allowing the cup to the laity, in the administration of the sacrament, the legates reconciled the calixtines to the roman pontiff; but the taborites remained inflexible by degrees, however, they grew tired of the war, and insensibly retired to the peaceful occupations of trade and agriculture. A confession of the faith of the calixtines, and a confession of faith of the taborites were signed at the synod of Cuttenburgh, in 1441. They are inserted in