Sayfadaki görseller
PDF
ePub

the barbes, “ that they had always amongst them some chief pastor, endowed with the authority of a bishop, with two coadjutors, one of whom he called his eldest son, the other bis younger; and that besides these he had a third

a who assisted him in the quality of deacon." He adds that “this bishop ordained other pastors by imposition of hands.” Leger states farther* respecting these barbes, that as many as one hundred and forty met formerly in the valley of Pragela. Unprovided like the modern Waldenses with commodious temples, they were accustomed to preach in summer on the higher Alps, in winter in their own houses, when the snow prevented the approach of enemies.t These barbes cultivated the sciences, and excelled in medicine and surgery; yet, either from choice or necessity, learned, like St. Paul, a trade.

The discipline of the ancient Waldenses is farther explained by Leger, as follows:-“ On the last Friday of every month the conference, (le Colloque,) of the Valley of Lucerne is held; and every first Friday of the month that of Perouse and St. Martin. It consists

* Hist. p. 202.

+ Their condition, in fact, resembled that of the primitive christians, who for a long period were not permitted to build places of worship.

of all the pastors, and one or two elders of every church. Each church receives the conference in its turn; each pastor preaches also in his turn. In those conferences they deliberate on all those disputes that the consistories had not settled; so that nothing was to be brought before the general synod, except in the way of appeal from the conferences.”

The ancient discipline of the Vaudois (as contained in old authentic documents, in their ancient language,) states, that “ those who were to be received as pastors were required to learn by heart all the chapters of St. Matthew and St. John, and all the canonical epistles, and a good part of Solomon, David, and the prophets ...... Amongst other powers which God hath given to his servants, is this, that they may choose rulers of the people, (Regidors del poble,) and presbyters in their offices, (preires en li lors officis,) according to the diversity of the work in the unity of Christ.” Titus i. 5. is referred to as authority for doing this.

Leger, when describing the ordination of the candidates (or proposans) states, that “if found worthy by the pastors and elders deputed, the moderator has them placed on their knees before him, and by imposition of hands on the

head, implores the abundant gifts of the Holy Spirit.”

The Barbes propagated their religious tenets in France and other countries. Matthew Paris, whom M. Peyran cites,* observes that “ the Waldenses had obtained such footing in Bulgaria, Croatia, and Dalmatia, that they had induced several bishops to join them; that Bartholomew of Carcassonne even ordained new bishops there, and formed churches, A. D. 1220; whilst bishops were also ordained in Spain to preach their doctrine.”

The plague having carried off all the Waldensian pastors of Piedmont except two (Gillio, and Grossi), A. D. 1630, recourse was had to the French protestant church, and that of Geneva, to supply their churches. Till that time the pastors preached in Italian, which was supplanted by French.

“ The new pastors,” (observes Leger,) “accustomed to less severe discipline, were unwilling to allow the moderator of the Vaudois churches to visit the churches annually as heretofore. This annual visitation was made in company with the assistant-moderator and an elder, (ancien); the moderator (or his assistant-moderator), preaching in each

* P. 98.

church, remonstrating upon discovering any faults, and informing himself accurately respecting the doctrine and conduct of each pastor, listening for that purpose to the representations of both the consistory and the people. The result of this visitation he afterwards reported to the synod, usually held in the month of September."*

2. The Waldensian pastors of Piedmont were on terms of communion with the Albigenses of France, who, like the Patarines of Milan and Waldenses of Piedmont, had a succession of christian pastors, who preserved regular ecclesiastical polity, and christian doctrines quite opposite to those of the modern church of Rome. This shall be now proved.

Irenæus, a disciple of Polycarp bishop of Snyrna, was sent to France, and became a priest and afterwards a bishop of Lyons. Heblamed the Gnostics for imitating the beathen, because they bad images of Christ. Hilary, bishop of Poic

Since the moderator ordained pastors and visited the churches, exercising an episcopal superintendence, it is evident that his office was regarded by the Waldenses as that of a bishop. The term moderator is not one of inferior but of high import; and the bishop of Pinerolo in his charge of 1818, styles the pope, “ Souverain modérateur de la discipline générale dans toutes les églises particulières," as well as “ Evêque de Rome.”

tiers, who lived in the fourth century, believed that Peter's confession that Christ was the Son of God, was the foundation-rock of the church; --not that St. Peter himself was ;-Unum igitur hoc est immobile fundamentum, una hæc est felix fidei Petra, Petri ore confessa, Tu es filius Dei vivi. These, as well as other bishops of the French church, (referred to by Dr. Allix,) entertained very different opinions from those now taught by the church of Rome.

In the sixth century, image-worship beginning to prevail, Serenus, bishop of Marseilles, broke the images to pieces. In the year 633, a Council was held at Toledo, at which Silva bishop of Narbonne attended in the name of the bishops of Gallia Narbonensis. In the Confession of Faith at this Synod, “there was not so much as one word......of all those articles, which the church of Rome imposeth upon those of her communion, as an addition to the primitive faith."

The Gothic Liturgy then in use in some parts of France, has been shewn to be essentially different from the modern Roman Liturgy;* Gregory VII. on this account tried to suppress it. In the eighth century the bishops of Aquitaine and Provence attended with others at the council of Frankfort, and condemned the de

* Allix, p. 60—72.

« ÖncekiDevam »