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Title: The Pilgrim Church
Author: E H Broadbent
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Title: The Pilgrim Church
Author: E H Broadbent






First Impression 1931



There is one history, which, though it contains the darkest tragedy, yet
by common consent is called "The Good News", "The Glad Tidings", or by a
name which it has captured and made its own: _"The Gospel"._

Its four historians are uniquely known as _"The Four
Evangelists",_ or tellers forth of the Good News. This history
tells how, by a miraculous birth, God entered into a relationship to man
which even creation had not established, and by a sacrificial death and
mighty resurrection vanquished death, put away sin its cause, and to His
glory as Creator added that of Redeemer.

The foundations of this history, the preparation for it, indeed the
actual foretelling of it and evidences of its truth precede it in the
Scriptures of the Old Testament. Interwoven with these, inseparable from
them, is the _History of Israel_, which is therefore itself one of
universal value.

The _History of the Church_ or company of those who by
faith have received Christ and become His followers, is still in the
making, not yet complete. On this account and because of its immense
extent, although it is of supreme importance, parts only of it can be
written and from time to time. First one, then another, must relate what
he has seen or has learned from trustworthy records, and this must be
taken up and added to as stage after stage of the long pilgrimage is

The following pages are a contribution to the unfolding story. Much that
others have searched out and related has been made use of, repeated,
woven in, so that this book is a _compilation,_ to which is added the
writer's individual share in the growing narrative. It is hoped and
expected that the frequent quotations from and references to the works
of several authors will lead the readers of this volume to turn to the
books from which so much has been derived, and thus come to share more
fully in the fruits of the patient labours and able expositions of their
authors. An attempt is made in this book to introduce those who have not
much time for reading or research, into some of the experiences of
certain churches of God which, at different times and in various places,
have endeavoured in their meetings, order, and testimony to make the
Scriptures their guide and to act upon them as the Word of God, counting
them as sufficient for all their needs in all their circumstances.

There have always been such churches; the records of most have
disappeared, but what remain are of such volume that only a selection
can be given.

General history is left out of account, except where the course of some
of these churches requires reference to current events. Neither is any
account given of what is usually understood by "ecclesiastical" history,
except in its relation to the churches or congregations of believers
carrying out the teachings of Scripture, which are the subject of this

Some spiritual movements are considered which only partially accepted
the principle of taking the Scriptures as sufficient guide, because in
their measure these too throw valuable light on the possibility of such
a course.

In addition to the works mentioned below, and others also, advantage has
been taken of the help so richly provided and placed within the reach of
most by such works as the "Encyclopaedia Britannica" and Hastings'
"Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics".

A beginner may look up the subject in one of these standard works of
reference, where he will be directed to some of the literature
considered as authoritative. In reading a selection of this he will be
referred to the original authorities and also (as these are not always
available) to their most trustworthy expositors. In the present volume
the books used and referred to are mostly well known and accessible;
sometimes a popular work has been chosen in preference to one more
erudite, so that anyone interested may get fuller information more
easily. Where books written in languages other than English are made use
of, translations are referred to if they are to be had, but sometimes
there are none, and then the original works are named for the benefit of
those who can read them.

In the beginning of the History, "The Ante-Nicene Christian Library"
provides a store of information from which much has been drawn. When the
time of Marcion is reached, "Marcion Das Evangelium vom Fremden Gott" by
Ad. v. Harnack is used, and for matters connected with the Roman Empire,
"East and West Through Fifteen Centuries" by Br.-Genl. G. F. Young C.
B. For Augustine "A Select Library of the Nicene and Post Nicene Fathers
of the Christian Church" translated and annotated by J. C. Pilkington,
M. A. edited by Philip Schaff, is a guide. "Latin Christianity" by Dean
Milman, helps in several periods. We are indebted to Georg Schepss for
the true history of Priscillian and his teaching. His book, "Priscillian
ein Neuaufgefundener Lat. Schriftsteller des 4 Jahrhunderts" describes
his discovery in the Würzburg University, in 1886, of the important MS.
of the Spanish Reformer. This MS. is examined and explained by Friedrich
Paret in his "Priscillianus Ein Reformator des Vierten Jahrhunderts Eine
Kirchengeschichtliche Studie zugleich ein Kommentar zu den Erhaltenen
Schriften Priscillians", and much has been drawn from this valuable
commentary. Important information as to those called Paulicians is given
in "Die Paulikianer im Byzantischen Kaiserreiche etc." by Karapet
Ter-Mkrttschian, Archdeacon of Edschmiatzin, the centre of the Armenian
Church. An invaluable book for the period is "The Key of Truth A Manual
of the Paulician Church of Armenia" translated and edited by F. C.
Conybeare. The document was discovered by the translator in 1891 in the
library of the Holy Synod at Edjmiatzin; his notes and comments are of
the utmost interest and value. The discovery of the "Key of Truth"
raises the hope that other documents illustrating the faith and teaching
of the brethren may yet be found. The history of the Bogomils in the
Balkan Peninsula is largely drawn from "An Official Tour Through Bosnia
and Herzegovina" by J. de Asboth, Member of the Hungarian Parliament,
and from "Through Bosnia and the Herzegovina on Foot etc." by A. J.
Evans, the distinguished traveller and antiquarian, later Sir Arthur
Evans. "Essays on the Latin Orient" by William Miller, has also been
made use of. The chapter on the Eastern Churches, especially the
Nestorian, owes very much to "Le Christianisme dans l'Empire Perse sous
la Dynastie Sassanide" by J. Labourt; to "The Syrian Churches" by J. W.
Etheridge; and to "Early Christianity Outside the Roman Empire" by F. C.
Burkitt M. A. The account of the Synod of Seleucia is taken chiefly from
"Das Buch des Synhados" by Oscar Braun, while "Nestorius and his
Teachings" by J. Bethune-Baker, has supplied most of what is given about
Nestorius, and "The Bazaar of Heraclides of Damascus" by the same
author, has especially been quoted; these give a vivid picture of
Nestorius and should be read in full if possible. For the description of
the spread of the Nestorians into China, "Cathay and the Way Thither" by
Col. Sir Henry Yule, published by the Hakluyt Society, is of great
interest and has been freely drawn upon.

Coming to the times of the Waldenses and Albigenses, "The Ancient
Vallenses and Albigenses" by G. S. Faber, and "Facts and Documents
illustrative of the History Doctrine and Rites of the Ancient Albigenses
and Waldenses" by S. R. Maitland, have been referred to very fully.
Perhaps the largest use has been made of the works of Dr. Ludwig Keller,
especially for the history and teaching of the Waldenses. His position
as Keeper of State Archives, giving access as it does to most important
documents, has been used by him to investigate the histories of those
known as "heretics", and his publications are an invaluable contribution
to the understanding of these much misunderstood people. Dr. Keller's
book, "Die Reformation und die älteren Reformparteien" is a mine of
information and all who can do so should read it. Use has also been made
of his book "Ein Apostel der Wiedertäufer" and of a number of others
written or issued by him. Of the time of the Reformation, the "Life and
Letters of Erasmus" by J. A. Froude, gives a vivid picture, and "A Short
History of the English People" by John Richard Green, is a constant help
by giving in an interesting and reliable way the historical setting of
the particular events related. "England in the Age of Wycliffe" by
George Macaulay Trevelyan has been used, and much has been taken from
"John Wycliffe and his English Precursors" by Lechher (translated). "The
Dawn of the Reformation the Age of Hus" by H. B. Workman, has been used;
his references to authorities are valuable. Considerable quotations have
been made from Cheltschizki's "Das Netz des Glaubens" translated from
Old Czech into German by Karl Vogel. The description of the Moravian
Church is based to a large extent on the "History of the Moravian
Church" by J. E. Hutton, issued by the Moravian Publication Office,
while for Comenius "Das Testament der Sterbenden Mutter" and "Stimme der
Trauer", both translations into German from Bohemian, the former by Dora
Peřina, the latter by Franz Slamĕnik, are quoted. One of the books most
used is the very valuable one, "A History of the Reformation" by Thos.
M. Lindsay. "Die Taufe. Gedanken über die urchristliche Taufe, ihre
Geschichte und ihre Bedeutung für die Gegenwart" by J. Warns, is of
great value, especially for the history of the Anabaptists, and its many
references to authorities are useful. The important and deeply
interesting records of the Anabaptists in Austria are taken from "Fontes
Rerum Austriacarum" and other publications by Dr. J. Beck and Joh.
Loserth, which are referred to in more detail in the footnotes to the
pages where this part of the history is related. The history of the
Mennonites in Russia is chiefly found in "Geschichte der
Alt-Evangelischen Mennoniten Brüderschaft in Russland" by P. M. Friesen,
who was appointed by the "Mennoniten-Brüdergemeinde" as their historian,
and supplied by them with the documentary evidence they possessed; use
is also made of "Fundamente der Christlichen Lehre u.s.w." by Joh.
Deknatel. Of the book by Pilgram Marbeck, "Vermanung etc.", summarized,
only two copies are known to exist, one of which is in the British
Museum. Very considerable use has been made of the valuable book by Karl
Ecke, "Schwenckfeld, Luther und der Gedanke einer Apostolischen
Reformation". The chapter on events in France is indebted to the
"History of the Reformation of the Sixteenth Century" by J. H. Merle D'
Aubigné, translated by H. White and for Farel, to the "Life of William
Farel" by Frances Bevan, one of several interesting works of similar
character by the same authoress. Another work by Merle D' Aubigné here
made much use of is "The Reformation in Europe in the Time of Calvin",
"The Huguenots, their Settlements Churches and Industries in England and
Ireland" by Samuel Smiles, gives much of value about the Huguenots. "Un
Martyr du Désert Jacques Roger" by Daniel Benoit, tells of the "Churches
of the Desert" after the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes.

Returning to England, the "Memoir of William Tyndale" by George Offor,
is quoted and otherwise referred to. The book most used in the account
of the Nonconformists in England is "A History of the Free Churches of
England" by Herbert S. Skeats, which would well repay reading; and "A
Popular History of the Free Churches" by C. Silvester Horne, gives an
interesting account of these churches. The "Laws of Ecclesiastical
Polity" of Richard Hooker, is referred to. The "Journal of George Fox"
supplies the best information as to his life. Three books which give
excellent histories of the spiritual movements in Germany and
surrounding countries after the Reformation have been largely made use
of: "Geschichte des Christlichen Lebens in der rheinisch-westphälischen
Kirche" by Max Goebel; "Geschichte des Pietismus und der Mystik in der
Reformirten Kirche u.s.w." by Heinr. Heppe; and "Geschichte des
Pietismus in der reformirten Kirche" by Albrecht Ritschl. "John Wesley's
Journal" is the best source for an account of his life. "The Life of
William Carey Shoemaker and Missionary" by George Smith, supplies most
of what is told here of him. The account of the brother Haldane is taken
chiefly from the "Lives of Robert and James Haldane" by Alexander
Haldane. For Russia and the Stundists, in addition to the "Geschichte
etc.," of P. M. Friesen, a useful book is "Russland und das Evangelium"
by J. Warns. In the history of the rise of the German Baptists use is
made of "Johann Gerhard Oncken, His Life and Work" by John Hunt Cook.
For later movements in England etc., some MSS. have been available, and
"A History of the Plymouth Brethren" by W. Blair Neatby, has been
consulted. Extensive extracts have been made from the "Memoir of the
late Anthony Norris Groves, containing Extracts from his Letters and
Journals" compiled by his widow, illustrating the important part the
teaching and example of Groves played in the history of churches of the
New Testament type. "A Narrative of some of the Lord's Dealings with
George Müller" has been used as the best account of Müller's influential
testimony; and details of the life of R. C. Chapman have been taken from
"Robert Cleaver Chapman of Barnstaple" by W. H. Bennet, his personal
friend. "Collected Writings of J. N. Darby" edited by William Kelly, is
used to show Darby's teaching. "Nazarenes in Jugoslavia" published in
the United States by the "Nazarenes", and various pamphlets, give
information as to the movement connected with the people bearing this

The tragedy and glory of _"The Pilgrim Church"_ can
only be faintly indicated as yet, nor can they be fully known until the
time comes when the Word of the Lord is fulfilled: "there is nothing
covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known"
(Matt. 10. 26). At present, albeit through mists of our ignorance and
misunderstanding, we see her warring against the powers of darkness,
witnessing for her Lord in the world, suffering as she follows in His
footsteps. Her people are ever _pilgrims,_ establishing
no earthly institution, because having in view the heavenly city. In
their likeness to their Master they might be called _Stones
which the Builders Rejected_ (Luke 20. 17), and they are
sustained in the confident hope that, when His kingdom is revealed, they
will be sharers in it with Him.

List of Some of the Books

"The Ante-Nicene Christian Library"
"Marcion. Das Evangelium vom Fremden Gott" Ad. v. Harnack.
"East and West Through Fifteen Centuries" Br.-Genl. G. F. Young C. B.
"A Select Library of the Nicene and Post Nicene Fathers of the Christian
  Church" translated and annotated by J. C. Pilkington, M. A. edited by
  Philip Schaff.
"Latin Christianity" Dean Milman.
"Priscillian ein Neuaufgefundener Lat. Schriftsteller des 4
  Jahrhunderts" Georg Schepss, who discovered the MS. in Würzburg
  University, 1886.
"Priscillianus Ein Reformator des Vierten Jahrhunderts" Friedrich Paret.
"Die Paulikianer im Byzantischen Kaiserreiche etc." Karapet
  Ter-Mkrttschian, Archdeacon of Edschmiatzin.
"The Key of Truth A Manual of the Paulician Church of Armenia"
  translated and edited by F. C. Conybeare. Document found by the
  translator in 1891 in the library of the Holy Synod at Edjmiatzin.
"An Official Tour Through Bosnia and Herzegovina" J. de Asboth, Member
  of the Hungarian Parliament.
"Through Bosnia and the Herzegovina on Foot etc." A. J. Evans.
"Essays on the Latin Orient" William Miller.
"Le Christianisme dans l'Empire Perse sous la Dynastie Sassanide"
  (224-632). J. Labourt.
"The Syrian Churches" J. W. Etheridge.
"Early Christianity Outside the Roman Empire" F. C. Burkitt M. A
"Das Buch des Synhados" Oscar Braun.
"Nestorius and his Teachings" J. Bethune-Baker.
"The Bazaar of Heraclides of Damascus" J. Bethune-Baker.
"Cathay and the Way Thither" Col. Sir Henry Yule, Hakluyt Society.
"Nestorian Missionary
Enterprise. The Story of a Church on Fire" Rev John Stewart M. A., Ph.D.
T. & T. Clark Edinburgh.
"The Ancient Vallenses and Albigenses" G. S. Faber.
"Facts and Documents illustrative of the History Doctrine and Rites of
  the Ancient Albigenses and Waldenses" S. R. Maitland
"Die Reformation und die älteren Reformparteien" Dr. Ludwig Keller
  K. Staatsarchivar.
"Life and Letters of Erasmus" J. A. Froude.
"A Short History of the English People" John Richard Green.
"England in the Age of Wycliffe" George Macaulay Trevelyan.
"John Wycliffe and his English Precursors" Lechher. translated by
"The Dawn of the Reformation the Age of Hus" H. B. Workman M. A.
"Das Netz des Glaubens" Peter Cheltschizki. translated from Old Czech to
  German by Dr. Karl Vogel.
"History of the Moravian Church" J. E. Hutton.
"Das Testament der Sterbenden Mutter" J. A. Comenius. trans. into German
  by Dora Peřina.
"Stimme der Trauer" J. A. Comenius. trans. into German by Franz Slamĕnik
"Unum Necessarium" J. A. Comenius.
"A History of the Reformation" Thos. M. Lindsay.
"Die Taufe. Gedanken über die urchristliche Taufe, ihre Geschichte und
  ihre Bedeutung für die Gegenwart" J. Warns.
"Ein Apostel der Wiedertäufer" Dr. Ludwig Keller. Vorträge und Aufsätze
  aus der Comenius Gesellschaft 7ter Jahrgang 1 u. 2 Stück.
"Georg Blaurock und die Anfänge des Anabaptismus in Graubündten und
  Tirol" Aus dem Nachlasse des Hofrates Dr. Joseph R. von Beck.
  Herausgegeben von Joh. Loserth.
"Fontes Rerum Austriacarum" Oesterreichische Geschichts-Quellen. Abth. 2
  Bd. 43.
"Die Geschichts-Bücher der Wiedertäufer in Oesterreich-Ungarn u.s.w. in
  der Zeit von 1526 bis 1785" Gesammelt, Erlăutert und Ergänzt durch
  Dr. Josef Beck. Archiv für Oesterreichische Geschichte. 78 Band.
"Der Anabaptismus in Tirol u.s.w." Aus dem Nachlasse des Hofrates Joseph
  R. von Beck. Herausgegben von Joh. Loserth.
"Geschichte der Wiedertäufer und ihres Reichs zu Münster" Dr. Ludwig
"Geschichte der Alt-Evangelischen Mennoniten Brüderschaft in Russland"
  P. M. Friesen.
"Fundamente der Christlichen Lehre u.s.w." Joh. Deknatel.
"Vermanung u.s.w." Pilgram Marbeck.
"Schwenckfeld, Luther und der Gedanke einer Apostolischen Reformation"
  Karl Ecke.
"History of the Reformation of the Sixteenth Century" by J. H. Merle
  D' Aubigné D.D. translated by H. White B.A.
"Life of William Farel" Frances Bevan.
"The Reformation in Europe in the Time of Calvin" J. H. Merle
  D' Aubigné D.D.
"The Huguenots, their Settlements Churches and Industries in England and
  Ireland" Samuel Smiles.
"Un Martyr du Désert Jacques Roger" Daniel Benoit
"Memoir of William Tyndale" George Offor.
"A History of the Free Churches of England" Herbert S. Skeats.
"A Popular History of the Free Churches" C. Silvester Horne.
"Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity" Richard Hooker.
"Journal of George Fox"
"Geschichte des Christlichen Lebens in der rheinisch-westphälischen
  Kirche" Max Goebel
"Geschichte des Pietismus und der Mystik in der Reformirten Kirche
  u.s.w." Heinr. Heppe.
"Geschichte des Pietismus in der reformirten Kirche" Albrecht Ritschl.
"John Wesley's Journal"
"The Life of William Carey Shoemaker and Missionary" George Smith
"Lives of Robert and James Haldane" Alexander Haldane.
"Russland und das Evangelium" J. Warns.
"Johann Gerhard Oncken, His Life and Work" John Hunt Cook.
"Memoirs of Alexander Campbell" Richardson. The Standard Press,
  Cincinnati, Ohio.
"Autobiography of B. W. Stone" The Standard Press, Cincinnati, Ohio.
  MSS. Ed. Cronin, J. G. Bellett, etc.
"A History of the Plymouth Brethren" W. Blair Neatby.
"Memoir of the late Anthony Norris Groves, containing Extracts from his
  Letters and Journals" Compiled by his Widow.
"A Narrative of some of the Lord's Dealings with George Müller"
"Robert Cleaver Chapman of Barnstaple" W. H. Bennet.
"Collected Writings of J. N. Darby" Edited by William Kelly.
  Ecclesiastical Vol. 1.
"Nazarenes in Jugoslavia" Apostolic Christian Publishing Co. Syracuse
  N.Y., U.S.A.
"Einzeine Briefe und Betrachtungen aus dem Nachlasse von S. H. Fröhlich"


Chapter I



The New Testament suited to present conditions--The Old Testament and
the New--The Church of Christ and the churches of God--The Book of the
Acts provides a pattern for present use--Plan of this account of later
events--Pentecost and the formation of churches--Synagogues--Synagogues
and churches--Jewish Diaspora spreads the knowledge of God--The earliest
churches formed of Jews--Jews reject Christ--Jewish religion, Greek
philosophy and Roman power oppose the churches--Close of the Holy
Scriptures--Later writings--Clement to the Corinthians--Ignatius--Last
links with New Testament times--Baptism and the Lord's Supper--Growth of
a clerical caste--Origen--Cyprian--Novatian--Different kinds of
churches--Montanists--Marcionites--Persistence of Primitive
Churches--Cathars--Novatians--Donatists--Manichaeans--Epistle to
Diognetus--The Roman Empire persecutes the Church--Constantine gives
religious liberty--The Church overcomes the world.

Chapter II


=313-476 * * 300-850 * * 350-385=

Church and State associated--Churches refusing union with the
State--Donatists condemned--Council of Nicaea--Arianism
restored--Athanasius--Creeds--Canon of Scripture--The Roman world and
the Church--Break up of the Western Roman
Empire--Augustine--Pelaginus--Change in the position of the
Church--False doctrines; Manichaeism, Arianism, Pelagianism,
Sacerdotalism--Monasticism--The Scriptures remain for
guidance--Missions--Departure from New Testament Missionary
principle--Irish and Scottish Missions on the Continent--Conflict
between British and Roman Missions--Priscillian.

Chapter III



Growth of clerical domination--Persistence of Primitive churches--Their
histories distorted by their enemies--Early churches in Asia
Minor--Armenia--Primitive churches in Asia Minor from Apostolic
times--Unjustly described by their opponents as Manichaeans--The names
Paulician and Thonrak--Continuity of New Testament churches--Constantine
Silvarius--Simeon Titus--Veneration of relics, and image
worship--Iconoclastic Emperors--John of Damascus--Restoration of images
in Greek Church--Council of Frankfurt--Claudius Bishop of
Turin--Mohammedanism--Sembat--Sergius--Leaders of the churches in Asia
Minor--Persecution under Theodora--The Key of Truth--Carbeas and
Chrysocheir--The Scriptures and the Koran--Character of the churches in
Asia Minor--Removal of believers from Asia to Europe--Later history in
Bulgaria--Bogomils--Basil--Opinions regarding Paulicians and
Bogomils--Spread of Bogomils into Bosnia--Kulin Ban and
Rome--Intercourse of Bogomils with Christians abroad--Bosnia
invaded--Advance of Mohammedans--Persecution of Bogomils--Bosnia taken
by the Turks--Friends of God in Bosnia a link between the Taurus and the
Alps--Bogomil tombs.

Chapter IV


=B.C. 4-A.D. 1400=

The Gospel in the East--Syria and Persia--Churches in Persian Empire
separated from those in Roman Empire--Eastern churches retained
Scriptural character longer than those in the west--Papa ben Aggai
federates churches--Zoroaster--Persecution under Sapor II--Homilies of
Afrahat--Synod of Seleucia--Persecution renewed--Nestorius--The Bazaar
of Heraclides--Toleration--Influx of western bishops--Increase of
centralization--Wide spread of Syrian churches in Asia--Mohammedan
invasion--Catholikos moved from Seleucia to Bagdad--Genghis
Khan--Struggle between Nestorianism and Islam in Central
Asia--Tamerlane--Franciscans and Jesuits find Nestorians in
Cathay--Sixteenth century translation of part of Bible into
Chinese--Disappearance of Nestorians from most of Asia--Causes of

Chapter V


=1100-1230 * * 70-1700 * * 1160-1318 * * 1100-1500=

Pierre de Brueys--Henri the Deacon--Sectarian names refused--The name
Albigenses--Visits of brethren from the Balkans--The Perfect--Provence
invaded--Inquisition established--Waldenses--Leonists--Names--Tradition
in the valleys--Peter Waldo--Poor Men of Lyons--Increase of missionary
activity--Francis of Assisi--Orders of Friars--Spread of the
churches--Doctrine and practices of the Brethren--Waldensian valleys
attacked--Beghards and Beghines.

Chapter VI



Influence of the brethren in other circles--Marsiglio of Padua--The
Guilds--Cathedral builders--Protest of the cities and guilds--Waltlier
in Cologne--Thomas Aquinas and Alvarus Pelagius--Literature of the
brethren destroyed--Master Eckart--Tauler--The "Nine Rocks"--The Friend
of God from the Oberland--Renewal of persecution--Strassburg document on
persistence of the churches--Book in Tepl--Old Translation of German New
Testament--Fanaticism--Capture of Constantinople--Invention of
Printing--Discoveries--Printing Bibles--Colet, Reuchlin--Erasmus and the
Greek New Testament--Hope of peaceful Reformation--Resistance of
Rome--Staupitz discovers Luther.

Chaper VII



Wycliff--Peasant Revolt--Persecution in England--Sawtre, Badley,
Cobham--Reading the Bible forbidden--Congregations--Huss--Žižka--
Tabor--Hussite wars--Utraquists--Jakoubek--Nikolaus--Cheltschizki--
The Net of Faith--Rokycana, Gregor, Kunwald--Reichenau, Lhota--United
Brethren--Lukas of Prague--News of German Reformation reaches
Bohemia--John Augusta--Smalkald war--Persecution and emigration--George
Israel and Poland--Return of brethren to Bohemia--Bohemian
Charter--Battle of the White Mountain--Comenius.

Chapter VIII



A Catechism--Brethren of the Common Life--Luther--Tetzel--The
ninety-five theses at Wittenberg--The Papal Bull burnt--Diet of
Worms--The Wartburg--Translation of the Bible--Efforts of Erasmus for
compromise--Development of the Lutheran Church--Its reform and
limitations--Staupitz remonstrates--Luther's choice between New
Testament churches and National Church system--Loyola and the Counter

Chapter IX



The name Anabaptist--Not a new sect--Rapid increase--Legislation against
them--Balthazer Hubmeyer--Circle of brethren in Basle--Activities and
martyrdom of Hubmeyer and his wife--Hans Denck--Balance of
truth--Parties--M. Sattler--Persecution increases--Landgraf Philip of
Hessen--Protest of Odenbach--Zwingli--Persecution in
Switzerland--Grebel, Manz, Blaurock--Kirschner--Persecution in
Austria--Chronicles of the Anabaptists in Austria Hungary--Ferocity of
Ferdinand--Huter--Mändl and his companions--Communities--Münster--The
Kingdom of the New Zion--Distorted use of events in Münster to
calumniate the brethren--Disciples of Christ treated as He was--Menno
Simon--Pilgram Marbeck and his book--Sectarianism--Persecution in West
Germany--Hermann Archbishop of Cologne attempts reform--Schwenckfeld.

Chapter X



Le Fèvre--Group of believers in Paris--Meaux--Farel's
preaching--Metz--Images destroyed--Executions--Increased persecution in
France--Farel in French Switzerland--In Neuchâtel--The Vaudois and the
Reformers meet--Visit of Farel and Saunier to the valleys--Progress in
Neuchâtel--Breaking of bread in the South of France--Jean
Calvin--Breaking of bread in Poitiers--Evangelists sent out--Froment in
Geneva--Breaking of bread outside Geneva--Calvin in
Geneva--Socinianism--Servetus--Influence of Calvinism--The
Placards--Sturm to Melanchthon--Organization of churches in France--The
Huguenots--Massacre of St. Bartholomew--Edict of Nantes--The
Dragonnades--Revocation of the Edict of Nantes--Flight from
France--Prophets of the Cevennes--War of the Camisards--Churches of the
Desert reorganized--Jacques Roger--Antoine Court.

Chapter XI



Tyndale--Reading of Scripture forbidden--Church of England
established--Persecution in the reign of Mary--Baptist and Independent
churches--Robert Browne--Barrowe, Greenwood, Penry--Dissenters
persecuted in Elizabeth's reign--Privye church in London--Hooker's
Ecclesiastical Polity--Church of English Exiles in
Amsterdam--Arminius--Emigration of brethren from England to
Holland--John Robinson--The Pilgrim Fathers sail to America--Different
kinds of churches in England and Scotland--Authorized Version of the
Bible published--Civil war--Cromwell's New Model army--Religious
liberty--Missions--George Fox--Character of Friends movement--Acts
against Nonconformists--Literature--John Bunyan.

Chapter XII



Labadie--Forms a fellowship in the Roman Catholic Church--Joins the
Reformed Church--Goes to Orange--To Geneva--Willem Teelinck--Gisbert
Voet--van Lodensteyn--Labadie goes to Holland--Difference between
Presbyterian and Independent ideals--Reforms forms in the Middelburg
church--Conflict with Synods of the Reformed Church--Conflict on
Rationalism--Labadie condemns Synods--He is excluded from the Reformed
Church--A separate church formed in Middelburg--The new church expelled
from Middelburg--It removes to Veere--Then to Amsterdam--Household
church formed--Anna Maria van Schürman--Difference with Voet--Household
troubles--Removal to Herford--Labadie dies in Altona--Removal of
household in Wieuwerd--Household broken up--Effects of
David--Zinzendorf--Herrnhut--Dissensions--Zinzendorf's Statutes
accepted--Revival--Discovery of document in Zittau--Determination to
restore the Bohemian Church--Question of relations with the Lutheran
Church--The negro Anthony--Moravian Missions--The Mission in
England--Cennick--Central control unsuited to expanding
work--Philadelphia Societies--Miguel de Molines--Madame Guyon--Gottfried
Arnold--Wittgenstein--The Marburg Bible--The Berleburg
Bible--Philadelphian Invitation--Hochmann von Hochenau--Tersteegen--Jung
Stilling--Primitive and Reformed and other churches--Various ways of
return to Scripture.

Chapter XIII



Condition of England in the 18th century--Revivals in Wales--Temporary
schools--Societies formed--The holy club at Oxford--Mrs. Wesley--John
and Charles Wesley sail to Georgia--John Wesley returns and meets Peter
Boehler--Accepts Christ by faith--Visits Herrnhut--George
Whitefield--Preaches to the colliers at Kingswood--John Wesley also
begins preaching in the open air--Lay preachers--Strange
manifestations--Great revivals--Charles Wesley's hymns--Separation
between Moravian and Methodist Societies--Divergence in doctrine of
Wesley and Whitefield--Conference--Separation of Methodist Societies
from the Church of England--Divisions--General benefit from the
movement--Need of missionary work--William Carey--Andrew
Fuller--Formation of Missionary Societies--Difference between Mission
Stations and churches--The brothers Haldane--James Haldane preaches in
Scotland--Opposition of Synods--Large numbers hear the Gospel--A church
formed in Edinburgh--Liberty of ministry--Question of baptism--Robert
Haldane visits Geneva--Bible Readings on Romans--The Lord's Supper in
Geneva--A church formed.

Chapter XIV



Thomas Campbell--A "Declaration and Address"--Alexander Campbell--Church
at Brush Run--Baptism--Sermon on the Law--Republican Methodists take the
name "Christians"--Baptists take the name "Christians"--Barton Warren
Stone--Strange revival scenes--The Springfield Presbytery formed and
dissolved--Church at Cane Ridge--The Christian Connection--Separation of
Reformers from Baptists--Union of Christian Connection and
Reformers--Nature of Conversion--Walter Scott--Baptism for the remission
of sins--Testimony of Isaac Errett.

Chapter XV


=1788-1914 * * 850-1650 * * 1812-1930 * * 1823-1930 * * 1828-1930=

Mennonite and Lutheran emigration to Russia--Privileges change the
character of the Mennonite churches--Wüst--Revival--Mennonite Brethren
separate from Mennonite Church--Revival of Mennonite Church--Meetings
among Russians forbidden--Circulation of Russian Scriptures
allowed--Bible translation--Cyril Lucas--Stundists--Various avenues by
which the Gospel came into Russia--Great increase of the
churches--Political events in Russia lead to increased
persecution--Exiles--Instances of exile and of the influence the New
Testament--Decree of the Holy Synod against Stundists--Evangelical
Christians and Baptists--General disorder in Russia--Edict of
Toleration--Increase of churches--Toleration
withdrawn--Revolution--Anarchy--Rise of Bolshevik Government--Efforts to
abolish religion--Suffering and increase--Communists persecute
believers--J. G. Oncken--A Baptist church formed in
Hamburg--Persecution--Tolerance--Bible School--German Baptists in
Russia--Gifts from America--Nazarenes--Fröhlich--Revival through his
preaching--Excluded from the Church--The Hungarian journeymen meet
Fröhlich--Meetings in Budapest--Spread of the Nazarenes--Sufferings
through refusal of military service--Fröhlich's at teaching.

Chapter XVI



Churches formed in Dublin--A. N. Groves--Leaves with party for
Bagdad--Work begun--Plague and flood--Death of Mrs. Groves--Arrival of
helpers from England--Colonel Cotton--Removal of Groves to
India--Objects to his stay there--To bring missionary work back to the
New Testament pattern--To reunite the people of God--George
Müller--Henry Craik--Church formed at Bethesda Chapel, Bristol, to carry
out New Testament principles--Müller's visit to Germany--Institutions
and Orphanage carried on for the encouragement of faith in God--Robert
Chapman--J. H. Evans--Chapman's conversion--His ministry in Barnstaple
and travels--Circles accepting the Scriptures as their guide.

Chapter XVII



Meeting in Plymouth--Conditions in French Switzerland--Darby's
visits--Development of his system--"The church in ruins"--August
Rochat--Difference between Darby's teaching and that of brethren who
took the New Testament as the pattern for the churches--Change from
Congregational to Catholic principle--Spread of meetings--Letter from
Groves to Darby--Suggestion of a central authority--Darby and
Newton--Darby and the church at Bethesda, Bristol--Darby excludes all
who would not join him in excluding the church at Bethesda--World-wide
application of system of excluding churches--Churches which did not
accept the exclusive system--Their influence in other circles--Churches
on the New Testament pattern formed in many
countries--Rationalism--Biblical Criticism--Increased circulation of the

Chapter XVIII


Can churches still follow New Testament teaching and example?--Various
answers--Ritualistic churches--Rationalism--Reformers--Mystics and
others--Evangelical Revival--Brethren who throughout all the centuries
have made the New Testament their guide--Spread of the Gospel--Foreign
Missions--Revival through return to the teachings of Scripture--Every
Christian a missionary, each church a missionary society--Difference
between a church and a mission station--Difference between an
institution and a church--Unity of the churches and spread of the
Gospel--New Testament churches among all people on the same


=Page 1=

Chapter I



The New Testament suited to present conditions--The Old Testament and
the New--The Church of Christ and the churches of God--The Book of the
Acts provides a pattern for present use--Plan of this account of later
events--Pentecost and the formation of churches--Synagogues--Synagogues
and churches--Jewish Diaspora spreads the knowledge of God--The earliest
churches formed of Jews--Jews reject Christ--Jewish religion, Greek
philosophy and Roman power oppose the churches--Close of the Holy
Scriptures--Later writings--Clement to the Corinthians--Ignatius--Last
links with New Testament times--Baptism and the Lord's Supper--Growth of
a clerical caste--Origen--Cyprian--Novatian--Different kinds of
churches--Montanists--Marcionites--Persistence of Primitive
Churches--Cathars--Novatians--Donatists--Manichaeans--Epistle to
Diognetus--The Roman Empire persecutes the Church--Constantine gives
religious liberty--The Church overcomes the world.

The New Testament is the worthy completion of the Old. It is the only
proper end to which the Law and the Prophets could have led. It does not
do away with them but enriches, in fulfilling and replacing them. It has
in itself the character of completeness, presenting, not the rudimentary
beginning of a new era which requires constant modification and addition
to meet the needs of changing times, but a revelation suited to all men
in all times. Jesus Christ cannot be made known to us better than He is
in the four Gospels, nor can the consequences or doctrines, which flow
from the facts of His death and resurrection be more truly taught than
they are in the Epistles.

The Old Testament records the formation and history of Israel, the
people through whom God revealed Himself in the world until Christ
should come. The New Testament reveals the Church of Christ, consisting
of all who are born again through faith in the Son of God and so made
partakers of the Divine and Eternal Life (John 3. 16).

As this body, the whole Church of Christ, cannot be seen and cannot act
in any one place, since many of its members

=Page 2: Aim of the Book=

are already with Christ and others scattered throughout the world, it is
appointed to be actually known and to bear its testimony in the form of
churches of God in various places and at different times. Each of these
consists of those disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ who, in the place
where they live, gather together in His Name. To such the presence of
the Lord in their midst is promised and the manifestation of the Holy
Spirit is given in different ways through all the members (Matt. 18. 20;
1 Cor. 12.7).

Each of these churches stands in direct relationship to the Lord, draws
its authority from Him and is responsible to Him (Rev. 2 and 3). There
is no suggestion that one church should control another or that any
organised union of churches should exist, but an intimate personal
fellowship unites them (Acts 15.36).

The chief business of the churches is to make known throughout the world
the Gospel or Glad Tidings of Salvation. This the Lord commanded before
His ascension, promising to give the Holy Spirit as the power in which
it should be accomplished (Acts 1. 8).

Events in the history of the churches in the time of the Apostles have
been selected and recorded in the Book of the Acts in such a way as to
provide a permanent pattern for the churches. Departure from this
pattern has had disastrous consequences, and all revival and restoration
have been due to some return to the pattern and principles contained in
the Scriptures.

The following account of some later events, compiled from various
writers, shows that there has been a continuous succession of churches
composed of believers who have made it their aim to act upon the
teaching of the New Testament. This succession is not necessarily to be
found in any one place, often such churches have been dispersed or have
degenerated, but similar ones have appeared in other places. The pattern
is so clearly delineated in the Scriptures as to have made it possible
for churches of this character to spring up in fresh places and among
believers who did not know that disciples before them had taken the same
path, or that there were some in their own time in other parts of the
world. Points of contact with more general history are noted where the
connection helps to an understanding of the churches described.

=Page 3: Synagogue System=

Some spiritual movements are referred to which, though they did not lead
to the formation of churches on the New Testament pattern, nevertheless
throw light on those which did result in the founding of such churches.

       *       *       *       *       *

From Pentecost there was a rapid spread of the Gospel. The many Jews who
heard it at the feast at Jerusalem when it was first preached, carried
the news to the various countries of their dispersion. Although it is
only of the missionary journeys of the Apostle Paul that the New
Testament gives any detailed record, the other Apostles also travelled
extensively, preaching and founding churches over wide areas. All who
believed were witnesses for Christ, "they that were scattered abroad
went everywhere preaching the word" (Acts 8. 4). The practice of
founding churches where any, however few, believed, gave permanence to
the work, and as each church was taught from the first its direct
dependence on the Holy Spirit and responsibility to Christ, it became a
centre for propagating the Word of Life. To the newly-founded church of
the Thessalonians it was said, "from you sounded out the word of the
Lord" (1 Thess. 1. 8). Although each church was independent of any
organization or association of churches, yet intimate connection with
other churches was maintained, a connection continually refreshed by
frequent visits of brethren ministering the Word (Acts 15. 36). The
meetings being held in private houses, or in any rooms that could be
obtained, or in the open air, no special buildings were required.[1]
This drawing of all the members into the service, this mobility and
unorganised unity, permitting variety which only emphasised the bond of
a common life in Christ and indwelling of the same Holy Spirit, fitted
the churches to survive persecution and to carry out their commission of
bringing to the whole world the message of salvation.

The first preaching of the Gospel was by Jews and to Jews, and in it
frequent use was made of the synagogues. The synagogue system is the
simple and effectual means by which the national sense and religious
unity of the Jewish people have been preserved throughout the centuries
of their dispersion among the nations. The centre of the

=Page 4: Synagogues and Churches=

synagogue is the Scriptures of the Old Testament, and the power of
Scripture and synagogue is shown in the fact that the Jewish Diaspora
has neither been crushed by the nations nor absorbed into them. The
chief objects of the synagogue were the reading of Scripture, the
teaching of its precepts, and prayer; and its beginnings go back to
ancient times. In the seventy-fourth Psalm is the complaint: "Thine
enemies roar in the midst of Thy congregations ...hey have burned up
all the synagogues of God in the land" (Psa. 74. 4, 8). On the return
from the captivity it is said that Ezra further organised the
synagogues, and the later dispersion of the Jews added to their
importance. When the Temple, the Jewish centre, was destroyed by the
Romans, the synagogues, widely distributed as they were, proved to be an
indestructible bond, surviving all the persecutions that followed. In
the centre of each synagogue is the ark in which the Scriptures are
kept, and beside it is the desk from which they are read. An attempt
under Barcochebas (A.D. 135), which was one of many efforts made to
deliver Judaea from the Roman yoke and seemed for a short time to
promise some success, failed as did all others, and only brought
terrible retribution on the Jews. But though force failed to free them,
the gathering of the people round the Scriptures as their centre
preserved them from extinction.

The likeness and connection between the synagogues and the churches is
apparent. Jesus made Himself the centre of each of the churches
dispersed throughout the world, saying, "where two or three are gathered
together in My name, there am I in the midst of them" (Matt. 18. 20),
and He gave the Scriptures for their unchanging guidance. For this
reason it has proved impossible to extinguish the churches; when in one
place they have been destroyed they have appeared again in others.

The Jews of the Diaspora[2] developed great zeal in making the true God
known among the heathen, and large numbers were converted to God through
their testimony. In the third century B.C. the translation of the Hebrew
Scriptures into Greek was accomplished in the Septuagint Version, and as
Greek was, both at that time and long afterwards,

=Page 5: Influence of the Jewish Diaspora=

the chief medium of intercommunication among the peoples of various
languages, an invaluable means was supplied by which the Gentile nations
could be made acquainted with the Old Testament Scripture. Equipped with
this, the Jews used both synagogue and business opportunities in the
good work. James, the Lord's brother, said: "Moses of old time hath in
every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every
sabbath day" (Acts 15. 21). Thither Greeks and others were brought in,
burdened with the sins and oppressions of heathendom, confused and
unsatisfied by its philosophies, and, listening to the Law and the
Prophets, came to know the one true God. Business brought the Jews among
all classes of people and they used this diligently to spread the
knowledge of God. One Gentile seeker after truth writes that he had
decided not to join any one of the leading philosophical systems since
through a happy fortune a Jewish linen merchant who came to Rome had, in
the simplest way, made known to him the one God.

There was liberty of ministry in the synagogues. Jesus habitually taught
in them--"as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the sabbath
day, and stood up for to read" (Luke 4. 16). When Barnabas and Paul,
travelling, came to Antioch in Pisidia, they went to the synagogue and
sat down. "After the reading of the law and the prophets the rulers of
the synagogue sent unto them, saying, Ye men and brethren, if ye have
any word of exhortation for the people, say on" (Acts 13. 15).

When Christ the Messiah came, the fulfilment of all Israel's hope and
testimony, large numbers of Jews and religious proselytes believed in
Him, and the first churches were founded among them; but the rulers of
the people, envious of Him who is the promised seed of Abraham, the
greatest of David's sons, and jealous of a gathering in and blessing of
the Gentiles such as the Gospel proclaimed, rejected their King and
Redeemer persecuted His disciples, and went on their way of sorrow
without the Saviour who was, to them first, the very expression of the
love and saving power of God toward man.

As the Church was first formed in Jewish circles the Jews were its first
opponents, but it soon spread into wider surroundings and when Gentiles
were converted to Christ

=Page 6: Churches and Greek Philosophy=

it came into conflict with Greek ideas and with Roman power. Over the
cross of Christ His accusation was written in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin
(John 19.20), and it was in the sphere of the spiritual and political
power represented by these languages that the Church was to begin to
suffer, and there also to gain her earliest trophies.

Jewish religion affected the Church, not only in the form of physical
attack, but also, and more permanently, by bringing Christians under the
Law, and we hear Paul in the Epistle to the Galatians crying out against
such retrogression: "a man is not justified by the works of the law, but
by the faith of Jesus Christ" (Gal. 2. 16). From the book of the Acts
and the Epistle to the Galatians it is seen that the first serious
danger that threatened the Christian Church was that of being confined
within the limits of a Jewish sect and so losing its power and liberty
to bring the knowledge of God's salvation in Christ to the whole world.

Greek philosophy, seeking some theory of God, some explanation of nature
and guide to conduct, laid hold of all religions and speculations,
whether of Greece or Rome, of Africa or Asia, and one
_gnosis_ or "knowledge", one system of philosophy after
another arose, and became a subject of ardent discussion. Most of the
Gnostic systems borrowed from a variety of sources, combining Pagan and
Jewish, and later Christian teachings and practices. They explored the
"mysteries" which lay for the initiated behind the outward forms of
heathen religions. Frequently they taught the existence of two gods or
principles, the one Light, the other Darkness, the one Good, the other
Evil. Matter and material things seemed to them to be products of the
Power of Darkness and under his control; what was spiritual they
attributed to the higher god. These speculations and philosophies formed
the basis of many heresies which from the earliest times invaded the
Church, and are already combated in the later New Testament writings,
especially in those of Paul and John. The means adopted to counter these
attacks and to preserve unity of doctrine affected the Church even more
than the heresies themselves, for it was largely due to them that the
episcopal power and control grew up along with the clerical system which
began so soon and so seriously to modify the character of the churches.

=Page 7: Clement to the Corinthians=

The Roman Empire was gradually drawn into an attack on the churches; an
attack in which eventually its whole power and resources were put forth
to crush and destroy them.

About the year 65 the Apostle Peter was put to death, and, some years
later, the Apostle Paul.[3] The destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans
(A.D. 70) emphasised the fact that to the churches no visible head or
centre on earth is given. Later, the Apostle John brought the Scriptures
of the Old and New Testaments to their close, a close worthy of all that
had gone before, by writing his Gospel, his Epistles, and the

There is a noticeable difference between the New Testament and the
writings of the same period and later which are not included in the list
or _canon_ of the inspired Scriptures. The inferiority
of the latter is unmistakable even when the good in them is readily
appreciated. While expounding the Scriptures, defending the truth,
refuting errors, exhorting the disciples, they also manifest the
increasing departure from the divine principles of the New Testament
which had already begun in apostolic days and was rapidly accentuated

Written in the lifetime of the Apostle John, the first Epistle of
Clement to the Corinthians gives a view of the churches at the close of
the Apostolic period.[4] Clement was an elder in the church at Rome. He
had seen the Apostles Peter and Paul, to whose martyrdom he refers in
this letter. It begins: "The church of God which sojourns at Rome to the
church of God sojourning at Corinth". The persecutions they passed
through are spoken of with a calm sense of victory: "women ..." he
writes, "being persecuted, after they had suffered unspeakable torments
finished the course of their faith with steadfastness, and though weak
in body received a noble reward." The tone is one of humility; the
writer says: "we write unto you not merely to admonish you of your duty,
but also to remind ourselves." Frequent allusions are made to the Old
Testament and its typical value and many quotations

=Page 8: Ignatius=

are given from the New Testament. The hope of the Lord's return is kept
before his readers; he reminds them too of the way of salvation, that it
is not of wisdom or works of ours, but by faith; adding that
justification by faith should never make us slothful in good works. Yet
even here the beginning of a distinction between clergy and laity is
already evident, drawn from Old Testament ordinances.

In his last words to the elders of the church at Ephesus the Apostle
Paul is described as sending for them and addressing them as those whom
the Holy Spirit had made overseers (Acts 20). The word "elders" is the
same as _presbyters_ and the word "overseers" the same
as _bishops_, and the whole passage shows that the two
titles referred to the same men, and that there were several such in the
one church. Ignatius,[5] however, writing some years after Clement,
though he also had known several of the Apostles, gives to the bishop a
prominence and authority, not only unknown in the New Testament, but
also beyond what was claimed by Clement. Commenting on Acts 20,[6] he
says that Paul sent from Miletus to Ephesus and called the bishops and
presbyters, thus making two titles out of one description, and says that
they were from Ephesus and neighbouring cities, thus obscuring the fact
that one church, Ephesus, had several overseers or bishops.

One of the last of those who had personally known any of the Apostles
was Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna, who was put to death in that city in the
year 156. He had long been instructed by the Apostle John, and had been
intimate with others who had seen the Lord. Irenaeus is another link in
the chain of personal connection with the times of Christ. He was taught
by Polycarp and was made bishop of Lyons in 177.

The practice of baptising believers[7] on their confession of faith in
the Lord Jesus Christ, as taught and exemplified in the New Testament,
was continued in later times. The first clear reference to the baptism
of infants is in a writing

=Page 9: Growth of a Clerical System=

of Tertullian in 197, in which he condemns the practice beginning to be
introduced of baptising the dead and of baptising infants. The way for
this change, however, had been prepared by teaching concerning baptism,
which was divergent from that in the New Testament; for early in the
second century baptismal regeneration was already being taught. This,
together with the equally striking change by which the remembrance of
the Lord and His death (in the breaking of bread and drinking of wine
among His disciples) was changed into an act miraculously performed, it
was claimed, by a priest, intensified the growing distinction between
clergy and laity. The growth of a clerical system under the domination
of the bishops, who in turn were ruled by "Metropolitans" controlling
extensive territories, substituted a human organisation and religious
forms for the power and working of the Holy Spirit and the guidance of
the Scriptures in the separate churches.

This development was gradual,[8] and many were not carried away by it.
At first there was no pretension that one church should control another,
though a very small church might ask a larger one to send "chosen men"
to help it in matters of importance. Local conferences of overseers were
held at times, but until the end of the second century they appear to
have been called only when some special occasion made it convenient that
those interested should confer together. Tertullian wrote: "It is no
part of religion to compel religion, which should be adopted freely, not
by force."

Origen, one of the greatest teachers,[9] as well as one of the most
spiritually-minded of the fathers, bore a clear testimony to the
spiritual character of the Church. Born (185) in Alexandria, of
Christian parents, he was one of those who, in early childhood,
experience the workings of the Holy Spirit. His happy relations with his
wise and godly father, Leonidas, his first teacher in the Scriptures,
were strikingly shown when, on the imprisonment of his father because of
the faith, Origen, then seventeen years old, tried to join him in
prison, and was only hindered from doing so by a stratagem of his
mother, who hid his clothes.

=Page 10: Origen and Cyprian=

He wrote to his father in prison, encouraging him to constancy. When
Leonidas was put to death and his property confiscated, the young Origen
was left the chief support of his mother and six younger brothers. His
unusual ability as a teacher quickly brought him into prominence, and
while he treated himself with extreme severity, he showed such kindness
to the persecuted brethren as involved him in their sufferings. He took
refuge for a time in Palestine, where his learning and his writings led
bishops to listen as scholars to his expositions of the Scripture. The
bishop of Alexandria, Demetrius, indignant that Origen, a layman, should
presume to instruct bishops, censured him and recalled him to
Alexandria, and though Origen submitted, eventually excommunicated him
(231). The peculiar charm of his character and the depth and insight of
his teaching devotedly attached to him men who continued his teaching
after his death. This took place in 254, as a result of the torture to
which he had been subjected five years before in Tyre during the Decian
persecution. Origen saw the Church as consisting of all those who have
experienced in their lives the power of the eternal Gospel. These form
the true spiritual Church, which does not always coincide with that
which is called the Church by men. His eager, speculative mind carried
him beyond what most apprehended, so that many hooked upon him as
heretical in his teaching, but he distinguished between those things
that must be stated clearly and dogmatically and those that must be put
forward with caution, for consideration. Of the latter he says: "how
things will be, however, is known with certainty to God alone, and to
those who are His friends through Christ and the Holy Spirit." His
laborious life was devoted to the elucidation of the Scriptures. A great
work of his, the Hexapla, made possible a ready comparison of different

Very different from Origen was Cyprian,[10] bishop of Carthage, born
about 200. He freely uses the term "the Catholic Church" and sees no
salvation outside of it, so that in his time the "Old Catholic Church"
was already formed, that is, the Church which, before the time of
Constantine, claimed the name "Catholic" and excluded all who did not
conform to it. Writing of Novatian and

=Page 11: Resistance to Organization=

those who sympathised with him in their efforts to bring about greater
purity in the churches, Cyprian denounces "the wickedness of an unlawful
ordination made in opposition to the Catholic Church"; says that those
who approved Novatian could not have communion with that Church because
they endeavoured "to cut and tear the one body of the Catholic Church",
having committed the impiety of forsaking their Mother, and must return
to the Church, seeing that they have acted "contrary to Catholic unity".
There are, he said, "tares in the wheat, yet we should not withdraw from
the Church, but labour to be wheat in it, vessels of gold or silver in
the great house." He commended the reading of his pamphlets as likely to
help any in doubt, and referring to Novatian asserts, "He who is not in
the Church of Christ is not a Christian ... there is one Church ...
and also one episcopate."

       *       *       *       *       *

As the churches increased, the first zeal flagged and conformity to the
world and its ways increased also. This did not progress without
protest. As the organisation of the Catholic group of churches developed
there were formed within it circles which aimed at reform. Also, some
churches separated from it; and others, holding to the original New
Testament doctrines and practices in a greater or less degree, gradually
found themselves separated from the churches which had largely abandoned
them. The fact that the Catholic Church system later became the dominant
one puts us in possession of a great body of its literature, while the
literature of those who differed from it has been suppressed, and they
are chiefly known to us by what may be gleaned from the writings
directed against them. It is thus easy to gain the erroneous impression
that in the first three centuries there was one united Catholic Church
and a variety of comparatively unimportant heretical bodies. On the
contrary, however, there were then, as now, a number of divergent lines
of testimony each marked by some special characteristic, and different
groups of mutually-excluding churches.

The numerous circles that worked for reform in the Catholic churches
while remaining in their communion, are often called Montanists. The use
of the name of some prominent man to describe an extensive spiritual

=Page 12: Montanists=

is misleading, and although it must sometimes be accepted for the sake
of convenience, it should always be with the reservation that, however
important a man may be as a leader and exponent, a spiritual movement
affecting multitudes of people is something larger and more significant.

In view of the increasing worldliness in the Church, and the way in
which among the leaders learning was taking the place of spiritual
power, many believers were deeply impressed with the desire for a fuller
experience of the indwelling and power of the Holy Spirit, and were
looking for spiritual revival and return to apostolic teaching and
practice. In Phrygia, Montanus[11] began to teach (156), he and those
with him protesting against the prevailing laxity in the relations of
the Church to the world. Some among them claimed to have special
manifestations of the Spirit, in particular two women, Prisca and
Maxmillia. The persecution ordered by the Emperor Marcus Aurelius (177)
quickened the expectation of the Lord's coming and the spiritual
aspirations of the believers. The Montanists hoped to raise up
congregations that should return to primitive piety, live as those
waiting for the Lord's return and, especially, give to the Holy Spirit
His rightful place in the Church. Though there were exaggerations among
them in the pretensions of some to spiritual revelations, yet they
taught and practised needed reform. They accepted in a general way the
organisation that had developed in the Catholic churches and tried to
remain in their communion; but while the Catholic bishops wished to
include in the Church as many adherents as possible, the Montanists
constantly pressed for definite evidences of Christianity in the lives
of applicants for fellowship. The Catholic system obliged the bishops to
take increasing control of the churches, while the Montanists resisted
this, maintaining that the guidance of the churches was the prerogative
of the Holy Spirit, and that room should be left for His workings. These
differences soon led to the formation of separate churches in the East,
but in the West the Montanists long remained as societies within the
Catholic churches, and it was only after many years that they were
excluded from, or left, them. In Carthage,

=Page 13: Marcion=

Perpetua and Felicitas, the touching record of whose martyrdom has
preserved their memory, were still, though Montanists, members of the
Catholic church at the time of their martyrdom (207), but early in the
third century the great leader in the African churches, the eminent
writer Tertullian, attaching himself to the Montanists, separated from
the Catholic body. He wrote: "where but three are, and they of the laity
also, yet there is a church."

       *       *       *       *       *

A very different movement, which spread so widely as seriously to rival
the Catholic system, was that of the Marcionites,[12] of which
Tertullian, an opponent of it, wrote: "Marcion's heretical tradition has
filled the whole world." Born (85) at Sinope on the Black Sea, and
brought up among the churches in the Province of Pontus, where the
Apostle Peter had laboured (1 Peter 1. 1), and of which Aquila (Acts 18.
2) was a native, Marcion gradually developed his teaching, but it was
not until he was nearly sixty years of age that it was published and
fully discussed in Rome.

His soul was exercised as he faced the great problems of evil in the
world, of the difference between the revelation of God in the Old
Testament and that contained in the New, of the opposition of wrath and
judgement on the one hand to love and mercy on the other, and of Law to
Gospel. Unable to reconcile these divergences on the basis of Scripture
as generally understood in the churches, he adopted a form of dualistic
theory such as was prevalent at the time; asserting that the world was
not created by the Highest God, but by a lower being, the god of the
Jews, that the Redeemer God is revealed in Christ, who, having no
previous connection with the world, yet out of love, and in order to
save a world that had failed and to deliver man from his misery, came
into the world. He came as a stranger and unknown, and consequently was
assailed by the (supposed) creator and ruler of the world as well as by
the Jews and all servants of the god of this world. Marcion taught that
the duty of the true Christian was to oppose Judaism and the usual form
of Christianity, which he considered as only an offshoot of Judaism. He

=Page 14: Marcionites=

was not in agreement with the Gnostic sects for he did not preach
salvation through the "mysteries", or attainment of knowledge, but
through faith in Christ, and he aimed at first at the reformation of the
Christian churches, though later they and his followers excluded each

As his views could not be maintained from Scripture, Marcion became a
Bible critic of the most drastic kind. He applied his theory to the
Scriptures and rejected all in them that was in manifest opposition to
it, retaining only what seemed to him to support it, and interpreting
that in accordance with his own views rather than with the general tenor
of Scripture, even adding to it where that appeared to him desirable.
Thus, although he had formerly accepted, he later rejected the whole of
the Old Testament, as being a revelation of the god of the Jews and not
of the Highest and Redeemer-God, as prophesying of a Jewish Messiah and
not of Christ. He thought the disciples mistook Christ for the Jewish
Messiah. Holding that the true Gospel had been revealed to Paul only, he
refused also the New Testament, with the exception of certain of Paul's
Epistles and the Gospel of Luke, which latter, however, he freely edited
to get rid of what ran contrary to his theory. He taught that the
remainder of the New Testament was the work of Judaizers bent on
destroying the true Gospel and that they also had interpolated, for the
same purpose, the passages to which he objected in the books which he
received. To this abridged New Testament Marcion added his own book,
"Antitheses", which took the place of the Book of the Acts.

He was an enthusiast for his Gospel, which he declared was a wonder
above all wonders; a rapture, power and astonishment such as nothing
that could be said or thought could equal. When his doctrines were
pronounced heretical he began to form separate churches, which rapidly
spread. Baptism and the Lord's Supper were practised, there was a
greater simplicity of worship than in the Catholic churches, and the
development of clericalism and worldliness was checked. In accordance
with their view of the material world they were severely ascetic,
forbade marriage and only baptised those who took a vow of chastity.
They considered the body of Jesus to have been not material, but a
phantom, yet capable of feeling, as our bodies are.

=Page 15: Novatian=

Any error may be founded on parts of Scripture; the truth alone is based
on the whole. Marcion's errors were the inevitable result of his
accepting only what pleased him and rejecting the rest.

       *       *       *       *       *

Departure from the original pattern given in the New Testament for the
churches met very early with strenuous resistance, leading in some cases
to the formation within the decadent churches of circles which kept
themselves free from the evil and hoped to be a means of restoration to
the whole. Some of them were cast out and met as separate congregations.
Some, finding conformity to the prevailing conditions impossible, left
and formed fresh companies. These would often reinforce those others
which, from the beginning, had maintained primitive practice. There is
frequent reference in later centuries to those churches that had adhered
to Apostolic doctrine, and which claimed unbroken succession of
testimony from the time of the Apostles. They often received, both
before and after the time of Constantine, the name of Cathars, or
Puritans, though it does not appear that they took this name themselves.

The name Novatians was also given to them, though Novatian was not their
founder, but one who, in his day, was a leader among them. On the
question which so much agitated the churches during times of
persecution, as to whether or not persons should be received who had
"lapsed", that is, had offered to idols since their baptism, Novatian
took the stricter view. A martyred bishop in Rome named Fabian, who in
his lifetime had ordained Novatian, was followed by one Cornelius, who
was willing to receive the lapsed. A minority, objecting to this, chose
Novatian as bishop and he accepted their choice, but he and his friends
were excommunicated (251) by a synod at Rome. Novatian himself was
martyred later, but his sympathisers, whether called Cathars, Novatians,
or by other names, continued to spread widely. They ceased to recognise
the Catholic churches or to acknowledge any value in their ordinances.

The Donatists[13] in North Africa were influenced by the teaching of
Novatian. They separated from the Catholic Church on points of
discipline, laying stress on the character

=Page 16: Mani=

of those who administered the sacraments, while Catholics considered the
sacraments themselves as more important. In their earlier years the
Donatists, who were given this name after two leading men among them,
both of the name of Donatus, were distinguished from the Catholics
generally by their superior character and conduct. In parts of North
Africa they became the most numerous of the different branches of the

While Christian churches were developing in various forms there was also
a new Gnostic religion, Manichaeism which arose and spread widely and
became a formidable opponent of Christianity. Its founder, Mani, was
born in Babylonia (c. 216). His dualistic system drew from Persian,
Christian, and Buddhist sources, and he announced his call to be the
continuer and completer of the work begun and carried on by Noah,
Abraham, Zoroaster, Buddha and Jesus. He travelled and taught
extensively, reaching even to China and India, and exercised a great
influenced on some of the Persian rulers, but at last was crucified. His
writings continued to be revered and his followers numerous in Babylon
and in Samarcand, spread in the West also, and that in spite of violent

       *       *       *       *       *

Amidst the confusion of conflicting parties there were true teachers,
able and eloquent in directing souls in the way of salvation. One, whose
name is unknown, writing in the second century to an inquirer named
Diognetus,[14] sets himself to answer the questions asked as to the mode
of worshipping God among the Christians, the reason of their faith and
devotion towards God and love to one another, why they neither
worshipped the gods of the Greeks nor followed the Jewish religion, and
why this new practice of piety had only so late entered into the world.

He writes "Christians are distinguished from other men neither by
country, nor language", living in such places "as the lot of each of
them has determined, and following the customs of the natives in respect
to clothing, food, and the rest of their ordinary conduct, they display
to us their wonderful and confessedly striking method of life. They

=Page 17: Epistle to Diognetus=

dwell in their own countries, but simply as sojourners. As citizens,
they share in all things with others, and yet endure all things as if
foreigners. Every foreign land is to them as their native country, and
every land of their birth as a land of strangers.... They pass their
days on earth, but they are citizens of heaven. They obey the prescribed
laws, and at the same time surpass the laws by their lives ... they are
reviled and bless". Then, speaking of God, he says, He, "who is
almighty, the Creator of all things, ... has sent from heaven, and
placed among men, Him who is the truth, and the holy and
incomprehensible Word, and has firmly established Him in their hearts.
He did not, as one might have imagined, send to men any ... angel, or
ruler, ... but the very Creator and Fashioner of all things--by whom He
made the heavens--by whom He enclosed the sea within its proper
bounds"--whom the stars obey. "This messenger He sent to them.... As a
king sends his son, who is also a king, so sent He Him; as God He sent
Him; as to men He sent Him; as a Saviour He sent Him." Not as judging us
He sent Him, though "He will yet send Him to judge us, and who shall
endure His appearing?" As to the delay in sending the Saviour, God has
always been the same, but waited in His long-suffering. He had "formed
in His mind a great and unspeakable conception, which He communicated to
His Son alone." As long as He concealed His own wise counsel He appeared
to neglect us, but this was to make it manifest that of ourselves we
cannot enter into the kingdom of God. But when the appointed time had
come, "He Himself took on Him the burden of our iniquities, He gave His
own Son as a ransom for us, the Holy One for transgressors, the
blameless One for the wicked, the righteous One for the unrighteous, the
incorruptible One for the corruptible, the immortal One for them that
are mortal. For what other thing was capable of covering our sins than
His righteousness? By what other one was it possible that we, the wicked
and ungodly, could be justified, than by the only Son of God? O sweet
exchange! O unsearchable operation! O benefits surpassing all
expectation! that the wickedness of many should be hid in a single
righteous One, and that the righteousness of One should justify many

=Page 18: The Church and the Roman Empire=

When the Church came into contact with the Roman Empire,[15] a conflict
ensued in which all the resources of that mighty power were exhausted in
a vain endeavour to vanquish those who never resisted or retaliated, but
bore all for love of the Lord in whose footsteps they were following.
However much the churches were divided in view and practice, they were
united in suffering and victory. Although the Christians were admittedly
good subjects, their faith forbade their offering incense or giving
divine honours to the Emperor or to the idols. Thus they were looked
upon as being disloyal to the Empire, and, as idol worship entered into
the daily life of the people, into it's religion and business and
amusements, the Christians were hated for their separation from the
world around them. Severe measures were directed against them, at first
spasmodic and local, but by the end of the first century it had been
made illegal to be a Christian; persecution became systematic, and
extended over the whole Empire. There were considerable intervals of
respite, but with each recurrence the attack became more violent; all
the possessions of the confessors of Christ were confiscated, they were
imprisoned, and not only were they put to death in countless numbers,
but every imaginable torture was added to their punishment. Informers
were rewarded; those who sheltered the believers shared their fate; and
every portion of the Scriptures that could be found was destroyed. By
the beginning of the fourth century this extraordinary warfare, between
the mighty world-empire of Rome and these unresisting churches that were
yet invincible because "they loved not their lives unto the death",
seemed as though it could only end in the complete extinction of the

Then an event happened which brought this long and dreadful conflict to
an unexpected close. In the struggles that were going on in the Roman
Empire, Constantine was victorious and, in 312, gained his decisive
victory, entered Rome and immediately issued an edict bringing the
persecution of Christians to an end. This was followed, a year later, by
the Edict of Milan, by which all men were given freedom to follow
whatever religion they chose.

Thus the Roman Empire was overcome by the devotion

=Page 19: Christianity Favoured=

to the Lord Jesus of those who knew Him. Their patient, unresisting
endurance had changed the bitter hostility and hatred of the Roman
world, first into pity, and then into admiration.

Pagan religions were not at first persecuted, but, being deprived of
State support, steadily declined. The profession of Christianity was
favoured. Laws abolishing abuses and protecting the weak brought in a
measure of prosperity not known before. The churches, freed from
oppression from without, entered upon a new experience. Many had
preserved their primitive simplicity, but many had been affected by the
profound inward changes in their constitution which have been noted, and
were very different from the New Testament churches of Apostolic days.
Their entry on a larger sphere will exhibit the effects of these


[1] "Mission and Ausbreitung des Christentums" A. v. Harnack.

[2] "Das Judenthum in der vorchristlichen griechisehen Welt" M.

[3] "The church in Rome in the First Century" George Edmundson M.A.

[4] "The Writings of the Apostolic Fathers" Vol.1 of the Ante Nicene
Christian Library.

[5] "The writings of the Apostolic Fathers" Vol. 1 of the Ante-Nicene
Christian Library.

[6] The Greek Testament, etc. Henry Alford D.D., Dean of Canterbury.
Note on Acts 20. 17.

[7] "Die Taufe. Gedanken über die Urchristliche Taufe ihre Geschichte
und ihre Bedeutung für die Gegenwart" Joh. Warns.

[8] "Early church History" J. venn Bartlett, M.A., D.D., Lecturer oil
Church History at Mansfield College, H.T.S., 1925.

[9] Ante-Nicene Christian Library. Writings of Origen

[10] Ante-Nicene Christian Library. Writings of Cyprian

[11] "Encyclopedia Britannica" Article, Montanus

[12] "Marcion das Evangelium vom Fremden Gott" Ad. v. Harnack.

[13] "The Later Roman Empire" Professor J. B. Bury. Vol. I, c. 9.

[14] The Ante-Nicene Christian Library, vol. I, "Epistle to Diognetus".
The Writings of the Apostolic Fathers.

[15] "East and West Through Fifteen centuries" Br-Genl. G. F. Young C.B.
Vol. I.

=Page 20: Church and State Associated=

Chapter II

Christianity in Christendom

=313-476 * * 300-850 * * 350-385=

Church and State associated--Churches refusing union with the
State--Donatists condemned--Council of Nicaea--Arianism
restored--Athanasius--Creeds--Canon of Scripture--The Roman world and
the Church--Break up of the Western Roman
Empire--Augustine--Pelaginus--Change in the position of the
Church--False doctrines; Manichaeism, Arianism, Pelagianism,
Sacerdotalism--Monasticism--The Scriptures remain for
guidance--Missions--Departure from New Testament Missionary
principle--Irish and Scottish Missions on the Continent--Conflict
between British and Roman Missions--Priscillian.

[Sidenote: =313-476=]

The prominence of the Bishops and especially of the Metropolitans in the
Catholic churches made for ease in communication between the Church and
the civil authorities. Constantine himself, while retaining the old
imperial dignity of chief priest of Pagan religion, assumed that of
arbitrator of the Christian churches. The Church and the State quickly
became closely associated, and it was not long before the power of the
State was at the disposal of those who had the lead in the Church, to
enforce their decisions. Thus the persecuted soon became persecutors.

In later times those churches which, faithful to the Word of God, were
persecuted by the dominant Church as heretics and sects, frequently
refer in their writings to their entire dissent from the union of Church
and State in the time of Constantine and of Sylvester, then bishop in
Rome. They trace their continuance from primitive Scriptural churches in
unbroken succession from Apostolic times, passing unscathed through the
period when so many churches associated themselves with the worldly
power, right down to their own day. For all such, persecution was soon
renewed, but instead of coming from the Pagan Roman Empire it came from
what claimed to be the Church wielding the power of the Christianised

The Donatists being very numerous in North Africa and

=Page 21: Council of Nicaea=

having retained, or restored, much of the Catholic type of organisation
among themselves, were in a position to appeal to the Emperor in their
strife with the Catholic party, and this they soon did. Constantine
called together many bishops of both parties and gave his decision
against the Donatists, who were then persecuted and punished; but this
did not allay the strife, which continued until all together were
blotted out by the Mohammedan invasion in the seventh century.

The first general council of the Catholic churches was summoned by
Constantine and met at Nicaea in Bithynia (325). The principal question
before it was that of the doctrine taught by Arius, a presbyter of
Alexandria, who maintained that the Son of God was a created Being, the
first and greatest, but yet, consequently, not on an equality with the
Father. Over 300 bishops were present, with their numerous attendants,
from all parts of the Empire, to examine this matter, and the Council
was opened in great state by Constantine. A number of the bishops
present bore in their bodies marks of the tortures which they had
endured in the time of persecution. With two dissentients, the Council
decided that the teaching of Arius was false, that it had not been the
teaching of the Church from the beginning, and the Nicene Creed was
framed to express the truth of the real Divine Nature of the Son and His
equality with the Father.

Although the decision reached was right, the way of reaching it, by the
combined efforts of the Emperor and the bishops, and of enforcing it, by
the power of the State, manifested the departure of the Catholic church
from the Scripture. Two years after the Council of Nicaea Constantine,
altering his view, received Arius back from exile, and in the reign of
his son Constantius all the bishoprics were filled by Arian bishops; the
Government, now become Arian, persecuted the Catholics as formerly it
had done the Arians.

One of those in high places, moved neither by popular clamour nor by the
threats or flatteries of the authorities was Athanasius. As a young man
he had taken part in the Council of Nicaea and afterwards became Bishop
of Alexandria. For nearly fifty years, though repeatedly exiled, he
maintained a valiant witness to the true divinity

=Page 22: Canon of Scripture=

of the Saviour. Slandered, brought up before tribunals, taking refuge in
the desert, returning to the city, nothing shook his advocacy of the
truth he believed. Arianism lasted nearly three centuries as the state
religion in a number of countries, especially in the later established
Northern kingdoms. The Lombards in Italy were the last to abandon it as
the national religion.

Not only the first, but the first six General Councils, of which the
last was held in 680, were occupied to a large extent with questions as
to the Divine Nature, the relations of the Father, the Son, and the Holy
Spirit. In the course of endless discussions, creeds were hammered out
and dogmas enunciated in the hope that the truth would by them be fixed
and could then be handed down to succeeding generations. It is
noticeable that in the Scriptures this method is not used. From them we
see that the mere letter cannot convey the truth, which is spiritually
apprehended, neither can it be handed from one to another, but each one
must receive and appropriate it for himself in his inward dealings with
God, and be established in it by confessing and maintaining it in the
conflict of daily life.

It is sometimes supposed that Scripture is not sufficient for the
guidance of the churches without the addition of, at least, early
tradition, on the ground that it was by the early Church councils that
the canon of Scripture was fixed. This of course could only refer to the
New Testament. The peculiar characteristics and unique history of the
people of Israel fitted them to receive the Divine revelation, to
recognise the inspired writings, and to preserve them with an invincible
pertinacity and accuracy. And with regard to the New Testament, the
canon of inspired books was not fixed by the Church councils, it was
acknowledged by the councils because it had already been clearly
indicated by the Holy Spirit, and accepted by the churches generally,
and this indication and acceptance has ever since been confirmed by
every comparison of the canonical with the apocryphal and non-canonical
books, the difference in value and power being evident.

       *       *       *       *       *

This second period of the history of some of the churches, beginning
with Constantine's edict of toleration in 313, is

=Page 23: Union of Church and State=

of lasting importance because it exhibits the experiment on a large
scale, of the union of Church and State. Could the Church, by union with
the world, save it?

The Roman world[16] had reached its greatest power and glory.
Civilization had attained to the utmost of which it was capable apart
from the knowledge of God. Yet the misery of the world was extreme. The
luxury and vice of the rich were boundless; a vast proportion of the
people were slaves. The public exhibitions, where the sight of every
kind of wickedness and cruelty amused the populace, deepened the
degradation. There was still vigour at the extremities of the Empire, in
conflict with surrounding enemies, but disease at the heart threatened
the life of the whole body, and Rome was helplessly corrupt and vicious.

As long as the Church had remained separate it had been a powerful
witness for Christ in the world, and was constantly drawing converts
into its holy fellowship. When, however, already weakened by the
adoption of human rule in place of the guidance of the Spirit, it was
suddenly brought into partnership with the State, it became itself
defiled and debased. Very soon the clergy were competing for lucrative
positions and for power as shamelessly as the court officials, while, in
congregations where a godless element predominated, the material
advantages of a profession of Christianity changed the purity of the
persecuted churches into worldliness. The Church was thus powerless to
stem the downward course of the civilised world into corruption.

Ominous clouds, threatening judgment, were gathering. In distant China
movements of the population, setting westward, led to a great migration
of the Huns, who crossed the Volga, and, pressing upon the Goths in what
is now Russia, forced them on to the frontiers of the Empire, which was
by this time divided; the Eastern part, or Byzantine Empire, having
Constantinople as its capital, and the Western, Rome. The Germanic or
Teutonic nations came out of their forests. Pressed by the Mongol hordes
from the East, and attracted by the wealth and weakness of the Empire,
Goths (divided into Eastern and Western under the names of Ostrogoths
and Visigoths) and

=Page 24: Fall of Rome=

Germanic peoples such as the Franks, Vandals, Burgundians, Suevi,
Heruli, and others, broke like the waves of some resistless flood over
the doomed civilization of Rome. In one year great provinces such as
Spain and Gaul were destroyed. The inhabitants, long accustomed to
peace, congregated mostly in the cities for the sake of the ease and
pleasure afforded there, saw the armies which had so long guarded their
frontiers disappear; the cities were wiped out, and a cultivated and
luxurious population, which had avoided the discipline of military
training, was massacred or enslaved by Pagan barbarians. Rome itself was
captured by the Goths under Alaric (410), and that great city was
plundered and desolated by barbarian hosts. In 476 the Western Roman
Empire came to an end, and in the vast regions where it had so long
reigned, new kingdoms began to grow up. The Eastern part of the Empire
continued, until, in 1453, nearly a thousand years later, Constantinople
was captured by the Mohammedan.

       *       *       *       *       *

One of the great figures of history meets us at this period, Augustine
(354-430),[17] whose teachings have left an indelible mark on all
succeeding ages. In his voluminous writings and especially in his
"Confessions", Augustine reveals himself in so intimate a way as to give
the impression of being an acquaintance and a friend. A native of
Numidia, he describes his early surroundings, thoughts, and impressions.
His saintly mother, Monica, lives again in his pages as we read of her
prayers for him, of her early hopes, and of her later sorrow as he grew
up in a sinful manner of life, of her faith in his eventual salvation,
strengthened by a vision and by the wise counsel of Ambrose, Bishop of
Milan. His father was more concerned for his material, worldly

Though seeking light he found himself hopelessly bound by a sinful,
self-indulgent life. For a time he thought he had found deliverance in
Manichaeism, but soon perceived its inconsistency and weakness. He was
affected by the preaching of Ambrose, but yet found no peace. When he
was 32 years of age and was employed as a teacher of

=Page 25: Conversions of Augustine=

rhetoric in Milan, he had reached a desperate state of distress, and
then, to use his own words: "I flung myself down, how I know not, under
a certain fig-tree, giving free course to my tears.... I sent up
these sorrowful cries, 'How long, how long? To-morrow and to-morrow? Why
not now? Why is there not this hour an end to my uncleanness?' I was
saying these things and weeping in the most bitter contrition of my
heart, when lo, I heard the voice as of a boy or girl, I know not which,
coming from a neighbouring house and oft repeating, 'Take up and read,
take up and read.' Immediately my countenance was changed, and I began
most earnestly to consider whether it was usual for children in any kind
of game to sing such words, nor could I remember ever to have heard the
like. So, restraining the torrent of my tears, I rose up, interpreting
it no other way than as a command to me from Heaven to open the book,
and to read the first chapter I should light upon.... I grasped,
opened, and in silence read that paragraph on which my eyes first
fell--'Not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness,
not in strife and envying, but put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ and make
not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.' No further
would I read, nor did I need, for instantly, as the sentence ended--by a
light, as it were, of security infused into my heart--all gloom of doubt
vanished away."

This, his conversion, caused the greatest joy, but no surprise, to his
praying mother Monica, who, as they were returning to Africa a year
later, died in peace. Augustine was baptised by Ambrose in Milan (387)
and became later Bishop of Hippo (now Bona) in North Africa (395). His
busy life was one of constant controversy. He lived at the time when the
Western Roman Empire was breaking up; indeed a barbarian army was
besieging his city of Hippo when he passed away. It was the fall of the
Western Empire that led him to write his famous book the "City of God".
Its full title explains its aim: "Though the greatest city of the world
has fallen, the City of God abideth for ever". His view, however, of
what the City of God is led him into teachings that have given rise to
unspeakable misery, the very greatness of his name accentuating the
harmful effects of the error he taught. He, beyond others, formulated
the doctrine of salvation

=Page 26: Augustine and the Compulsory Unity=

by the Church only, by means of her sacraments. To take salvation out of
the hands of the Saviour and put it into the hands of men; to interpose
a system of man's devising between the Saviour and the sinner, is the
very opposite of the Gospel revelation. Christ says: "Come unto Me" and
no priest or church has authority to intervene.

Augustine in his zeal for the unity of the Church and his genuine
abhorrence of all divergence in doctrine and difference in form, lost
sight of the spiritual, living, and indestructible unity of the Church
and Body of Christ, uniting all who are sharers, by the new birth, in
the life of God. Consequently he did not see the practical possibility
of the existence of churches of God in various places and in all times,
each retaining its immediate relation with the Lord and with the Spirit,
yet having fellowship with the others, and that in spite of human
weakness, of varying degrees of knowledge, of divergent apprehensions of
Scripture and of practice.

His outward view of the Church as an earthly organisation, naturally led
him to seek outward, material means for preserving, and even compelling,
visible unity. In controversy with the Donatists he wrote: "It is indeed
better ... that men should be led to worship God by teaching, than
that they should be driven to it by fear of punishment or pain; but it
does not follow that because the former course produces the better men,
therefore those who do not yield to it should be neglected. For many
have found advantage (as we have proved and are daily proving by actual
experiment) in being first compelled by fear or pain, so that they might
afterwards be influenced by teaching, or might follow out in act what
they had already learned in word ...whilst those are better who are
guided aright by love, those are certainly more numerous who are
corrected by fear. For who can possibly love us more than Christ, who
laid down His life for the sheep? And yet, after calling Peter and the
other Apostles by His words alone, when He came to summon Paul  ... He
not only constrained him with His voice, but even dashed him to the
earth with His power; and that He might forcibly bring one who was
raging amid the darkness of infidelity, to desire the light of the
heart, He first struck him with physical blindness of the eyes. Why

=Page 27: Pelagius=

should not the Church use force in compelling her lost sons to return? ...
The Lord Himself said 'Go out into the highways and hedges and
compel them to come in' ... Wherefore if the power which the Church
has received by divine appointment in its due season, through the
religious character and faith of kings, be the instrument by which those
who are found in the highways and hedges--that is, in heresies and
schisms--are compelled to come in, then let them not find fault with
being compelled."

Such teaching, from such an authority, incited and justified those
methods of persecution by which Papal Rome equalled the cruelties of
Pagan Rome. So a man of strong affections and quick and tender
sympathies, departing from the principles of Scripture, though with good
intentions, became implicated in a vast and ruthless system of

One with whom Augustine had much controversy was Pelagius.[18] He was a
native of the British Isles, came to Rome at the very beginning of the
fifth century, when about thirty years of age, and, although a layman,
soon came to be recognised as a writer of ability on the Scriptures and
as a man of excellent uprightness of life. Augustine, though later his
great doctrinal antagonist, bears witness to this. Derogatory reports
published afterwards by Jerome appear to have had their origin less in
matters of fact than in the heat of controversy. In Rome Pelagius met
Celestinus, who became the most active exponent of his teachings.
Pelagius was a reformer; the laxity and self-indulgence of the lives of
most professing Christians deeply grieved him and he became a strenuous
preacher of practical righteousness and sanctification.

Too exclusive occupation with this aspect of truth led him to
over-emphasise the freedom of the human will and to minimise the
operations of Divine grace. He taught that men are not affected by
Adam's transgression, unless it be by his example; that Adam must have
died even if he had not sinned; that there is no original sin, and that
the actions of every man are in accordance with his own choice.
Therefore perfect righteousness is possible to every man. Infants, he
said, are born without sin. Here he came into direct conflict with
Catholic teaching. He taught infant

=Page 28: Augustine and Pelagius=

baptism but denied that it was the means of regeneration, affirming
rather that it introduces the child into a state of grace, into the
Kingdom of God, into a condition where it is capable of obtaining
salvation and life, sanctification and union with Christ. Augustine in
opposing this teaching read to his congregation an extract from a work
of Cyprian written a hundred and fifty years before, in which it is
stated that infants are baptised for the remission of sin, and he then
entreated Pelagius to abstain from a teaching which was divergent from
so fundamental a doctrine and practice of the Church. Pelagians would
not use the prayer, "forgive us our sins," regarding it as unsuitable
for Christians, seeing that we need not sin; if we do, it is of our own
will and choice, and such a prayer could only be the expression of an
unreal humility.

The conflict as to the doctrines of Pelagius and Celestinus became
widespread and it occupied much of the time and energies of Augustine,
who wrote voluminously on the subject. Councils were held; those in the
east acquitted Pelagius; those in the west condemned him, a result due
to the influence of Augustine in the Latin churches, which had led to
their accepting more definite, dogmatic statements concerning the
relation between the will of God and the will of man than those in the
east. The Pope in Rome, Innocent, was appealed to, and welcomed the
opportunity of emphasizing his authority. He excommunicated Pelagius and
all his followers, but his successor, Zozimus, reinstated them. The
western bishops, meeting in Carthage, were able to win the support of
the civil power, and Pelagius and his supporters were banished and their
goods confiscated. Pope Zozimus seeing this, changed his view and also
condemned Pelagius. Eighteen Italian bishops refused submission to the
Imperial decree, one of whom, Julian, Bishop of Eclanum, contended with
Augustine with ability and unusual moderation, pointing out that the use
of force and the change of mind of a Pope are not the right weapons with
which to deal with matters of doctrine. Pelagius taught much that was
true and salutary, but the characteristic doctrine of Pelagianism is not
only contrary to Scripture, but also to the facts of human nature. Men
are aware of their corrupt and fallen nature

=Page 29: Assaults of False Doctrines=

and of their bondage under sin, and the facts of life manifest it. Our
real partaking of the life and nature of one man, the first Adam,
sharing his sin, subjected as he to death, makes it possible for our
whole race to be brought into a real relationship with the one Man, the
second Adam, Jesus Christ, opening the way for any man, by his own
choice and faith, to become a partaker of His eternal life and Divine

       *       *       *       *       *

The first three centuries of the Church's history prove that no earthly
power can crush it. It is invincible to attacks from without. The
witnesses of its sufferings, and even its persecutors, become its
converts and it grows more rapidly than it can be destroyed. The
following period of nearly two hundred years shows that the union of the
Church and the State, even when the powers of the mightiest Empire are
put into the Church's hands, do not enable her to save the State from
destruction, for, in abandoning the position which her very name
implies, of being "called out" of the world, and of separation to
Christ, she loses the power that comes from subjection to her Lord,
exchanging it for an earthly authority that is fatal to herself.

The Church of Christ has been subjected not only to the violence of
outward persecution and the seductions of earthly power, but also to the
assaults of false doctrines. From the third century to the fifth, four
such forms of doctrine were developed, of so fundamental a character
that their workings have never ceased to affect the Church and the

1. _Manichaeism_ assails alike the teaching of Scripture
and the testimony of Nature that God is the Creator of all things. The
opening words of the Bible are: "In the beginning God created the heaven
and the earth" (Gen. 1. 1); and it reveals man as the crown of Creation,
in the words, "So God created man in His own image" (Gen. 1. 27).
Reviewing everything that He had made, God saw that it was "very good"
(Gen. 1. 31). Manichaeism, by attributing the visible and corporeal to
the work of a dark and evil power and only that which is spiritual to
the true God, struck at the roots of the Divine revelation, of which
Creation, the Fall, and Redemption are essential

=Page 30: Forms of Error=

and indivisible parts. From the erroneous view of the body spring, on
the one side, the excesses of asceticism, regarding the body as only
evil; on the other side many degrading practices and doctrines
encouraged by failure to see in the body anything but that which is
animal, losing sight of its Divine origin and consequent capacity for
redemption and restoration to the likeness of the Son of God.

2. The most glorious revelation, that in which all Scripture culminates,
is that Jesus Christ is God manifest in the flesh, made known to us by
becoming man, and by His sacrificial death making propitiation for the
sin of the world. _Arianism_, by denying the divinity
of Christ, declaring Him to be, though the first and highest, yet a
created Being, keeps man immeasurably distant from God, prevents us from
knowing Him as God our Saviour, and would leave us to the vague hope of
attaining to something higher than we now experience, by improvement of
our own character.

3. _Pelagianism_ denies the teaching of Scripture as to
the implication of all mankind in Adam's transgression. Affirming that
Adam's sin only affected himself and his own relations with God, and
that each human being born into the world is originally without sin, it
weakens man's sense of his need of a Saviour, prevents his coming to a
true knowledge of himself, and leads him to seek salvation, partly at
least, in himself. The recognition of our share in the Fall is
intimately connected in Scripture with our share in the atoning work of
Christ, the second Adam; and, while individual responsibility and free
will are insisted upon, this is not to the exclusion of, but in
conjunction with, the teaching as to the will of God and the racial
connection of mankind. This, while involving all in the same
condemnation, includes all in the same salvation.

4. _Sacerdotalism_ would make salvation to be found
only in the Church and by means of its sacraments administered by its
priests. At this time, of course, the Church meant the Roman Church, but
the doctrine has been applied to themselves, and still is, by many other
systems, larger and smaller. Nothing is taught more clearly and
insistently by the Lord and the Apostles than that the sinner's
salvation is by faith in the Son of God, in His atoning

=Page 31: Hermits=

death and resurrection. A church or circle which claims that in it alone
salvation is to be found; men who arrogate to themselves the power of
admission to or exclusion from the Kingdom of God; sacraments or forms
that are made into necessary means of salvation, give rise to tyrannies
that bring untold miseries on mankind and obscure the true way of
salvation that Christ has opened to all men through faith in Him.

       *       *       *       *       *

The decline of the churches in spirituality, their departure from the
New Testament pattern, and their consequent growing worldliness,
subjection to human systems, and toleration of sin, not only provoked
efforts to reform them, or to establish reformed churches, as seen in
the Montanist and Donatist movements, but also led some seekers after
holiness and communion with God to withdraw themselves from all
intercourse with men.[19] Circumstances in the world, devastated by
barbarians, and in the Church, deflected from its proper testimony in
the world, made them hopeless either of intercourse with God in daily
life or of fellowship with the saints in the churches. So they retired
into desert places and lived as hermits, in order that, freed from the
distractions and temptations of ordinary life, they might by
contemplation attain to that vision and knowledge of God for which their
souls craved. Influenced by the prevalent teaching as to the evil of
matter, they counted on an extreme simplicity of living and ascetic
practices to overcome the hindrances which they judged the body to
present to spiritual life.

In the fourth century the hermit Anthony in Egypt became celebrated for
his solitary life, and many, stirred to emulate his piety, established
themselves near to him, imitating his manner of living, and he was
persuaded to lay down a rule of life for them. Hermits increased in
number, and some practised great severities on themselves; Simeon
Stylites was one who gained renown by living for years on the top of a
pillar. Soon a further development took place, and Pachomius, in
Southern Egypt, early in the fourth century founded a monastery where
those who retired from the world lived no longer alone, but as a
community. Spreading both into the Eastern and Western

=Page 32: Monasticism=

churches, such communities came to be an important part of the life of
the peoples. About the beginning of the sixth century, Benedict of
Nursia, in Italy, gave a great impetus to this movement, and his rule of
life for the monastic bodies prevailed beyond all others. He occupied
the monks less exclusively with personal austerities and turned their
activities into the performance of religious ceremonies and into the
service of men, giving especial attention to agriculture. The
monasteries of the Benedictine order were one of the principal means by
which Christianity was spread among the Teutonic nations during the
seventh and eighth centuries. From Ireland also, by way of the Isle of
Iona and through Scotland, the Columban monasteries and settlements
prepared and sent out devoted missionaries into Northern and Central

As the Popes of Rome gradually came to dominate the Church and to occupy
themselves in intriguing and fighting for temporal power, the monastic
system drew to itself many of those who were spiritual and who had
desires after God and after holiness. A monastery, however, differed
widely from a church, in the New Testament sense of the word, so that
those souls that felt themselves impelled to flee from the worldly Roman
Church did not find in the monastery what a true church would have
provided. They were bound under the rules of an institution instead of
experiencing the free workings of the Holy Spirit.

The various monastic orders that arose followed one course of
development.[20] Beginning with poverty and severest self-denial, they
became rich and powerful, relaxed their discipline and grew into
self-indulgence and worldliness. Then a reaction would induce some to
begin a new order, of absolute self-humiliation, which in its turn
traced the same cycle. Of such reformers were Bernard of Cluny, early in
the tenth century, and Stephen Harding of Citeaux in the eleventh. It
was in the Cistercian monastery at Citeaux that Bernard, afterwards
Abbot of Clairvaux, spent some of his earlier years; he came to exercise
an influence above that of kings and Popes, but a more lasting and
happier memorial of him remains in some of the hymns which he wrote.
Many women also sought refuge from the world in the

=Page 33: Value of Scriptures=

nunneries which grew up. These religious houses, both for men and women,
were, during dark and turbulent times, sanctuaries for the weak and
centres where learning was preserved amid the prevailing barbarism, and
where the Scriptures were copied, translated, and read. Yet they were a
fruitful soil for idleness and oppression, and the religious orders came
to be active instruments in Papal hands for the persecution of all who
endeavoured to restore the churches of God on their original foundation.

The gradual transformation of the New Testament churches from their
original pattern into organizations so different from it that its
relation to them came to be scarcely recognizable, seemed as though it
might continue until all was lost. The effort to save the churches from
disunion and heresy by means of the episcopal and clerical system not
only failed, but brought great evils in its train. The expectation that
the persecuted churches would gain by union with the State was
disappointed. Monasticism proved unable to provide a substitute for the
churches as a refuge from the world, becoming itself worldly. There
remained, however, through all these times one thing capable of bringing
about restoration. The presence of the Scriptures in the world supplied
the means which the Holy Spirit could use in the hearts of men with a
power able to overcome error and bring them back to Divine truth, and
there never ceased to be congregations, true churches, which adhered to
the Scriptures as the guide of faith and doctrine, and the pattern both
for individual conduct and for the order of the Church. These, though
hidden and despised, yet exercised an influence that did not fail to
bear fruit.

       *       *       *       *       *

During these troubled times, missionary activity did not cease, but was
carried on with zeal and devotion. Indeed, until in the eleventh century
the Crusades absorbed the enthusiasm of the Catholic nations, there was
a constant testimony, which gradually subdued the barbarian conquerors
and carried the knowledge of Christ to the distant lands from which they
came. Nestorian missionaries travelled as far as China and Siberia and
established churches from Samarcand to Ceylon. Greeks from
Constantinople passed through Bulgaria and penetrated the

=Page 34: Missions=

depths of Russia, while the heathen nations of Central and Northern
Europe were reached by missionaries both from the British and Roman
Churches In North Africa and in Western Asia there were more who
professed Christianity than there are today.

The errors, however, which prevailed in the professing churches were
reflected in their missionary work. There was no longer the simple
preaching of Christ and founding of churches as in the early days, but,
with a measure of the truth there was also insistence on ritual and on
legal observances; and when kings came to confess Christianity, the
principle of Church and State led to the forcible outward conversion of
multitudes of their subjects to the new State religion. Instead of
churches being founded in the different towns and countries, independent
of any central organisation and having direct relations with the Lord,
as in Apostolic days, all were drawn into one of the great organizations
which had its centre in Rome or Constantinople or elsewhere. What is
true on a large scale applies also on a small, and the harmful workings
of this system are seen wherever, instead of sinners being led to Christ
and given the Scriptures as their guide, they are pressed into
membership of some foreign denomination or taught to look to some
Mission for guidance and supplies, the development of the gifts of the
Holy Spirit among them being hindered, and the spread of the Gospel
among their countrymen retarded.

[Sidenote: =300-850=]

A purer form of missionary work, however, than that which went out from
Rome, spread from Ireland, through Scotland to Northern and Central
Europe. Ireland[21] first received the Gospel in the third or fourth
century, through merchants and soldiers, and by the sixth century it was
a Christianised country and had developed such missionary activity that
its missions were working from the shores of the North Sea and the
Baltic to those of the Lake of Constance.

Monks from Ireland seeking places of retirement from the world,
established themselves on some of the islands between Ireland and
Scotland. Iona (Hy), called the "Isle of Saints", where Columba settled,
was one point from which missions went into Scotland, and the Irish and

=Page 35: British Missions=

Scottish monks preached in England and among the heathen on the

Their method was to visit a country and, where it seemed suitable, found
a missionary village. In the centre they built a simple wooden church,
around which were clustered schoolrooms and huts for the monks, who were
the builders, preachers, and teachers. Outside this circle, as required,
dwellings were built for the students and their families, who gradually
gathered around them. The whole was enclosed by a wall, but the colony
often spread beyond the original enclosure. Groups of twelve monks would
go out, each under the leadership of an abbot, to open up fresh fields
for the Gospel. Those who remained taught in the school, and, as soon as
they had sufficiently learned the language of the people among whom they
were, translated and wrote out portions of Scripture, and also hymns,
which they taught to their scholars. They were free to marry or to
remain single; many remained single so that they might have greater
liberty for the work. When some converts were made, the missionaries
chose from among them small groups of young men who had ability, trained
them specially in some handicraft and in languages, and taught them the
Bible and how to explain it to others, so that they might be able to
work among their own people. They delayed baptism until those professing
faith had received a certain amount of instruction and had given some
proof of steadfastness. They avoided attacking the religions of the
people, counting it more profitable to preach the truth to them than to
expose their errors. They accepted the Holy Scriptures as the source of
faith and life and preached justification by faith. They did not take
part in politics or appeal to the State for aid. All this work, in its
origin and progress, though it had developed some features alien to New
Testament teaching and Apostolic example, was independent of Rome and
different in important respects from the Roman Catholic system.

In 596, Augustine, with 40 Benedictine monks, sent by Pope Gregory I,
landed in Kent and began the missionary work among the heathen in
England which was to bear such abundant fruit. The two forms of
missionary activity in the country, the older, British, and the newer,
Roman, soon came into conflict. The Pope appointed

=Page 36: British and Roman Missions=

Augustine Archbishop of Canterbury, giving him supremacy over all
British bishops already in the land. A national element accentuated the
struggle between the two missions, the British, Celts, and Welsh being
opposed to the Anglo-Saxons. The Church of Rome insisted that its form
of Church government should be the only one permitted in the country,
but the British order continued its resistance, until in the 13th
century its remaining elements were absorbed into the Lollard movement.

On the Continent the widespread and established mission work of the
Irish and Scottish missionaries was attacked by the Roman system under
the active leadership of the English Benedictine Boniface, whose policy
was to compel the British missionaries to submit, at least outwardly, to
Rome, or be destroyed. He obtained State aid, under the direction of
Rome, for the enforcement of his design. Boniface was killed by the
Friesians in 755. The system he inaugurated gradually extinguished the
earlier missions, but their influence strengthened many of the movements
of reform which followed.

A Harmony of the four Gospels called "_Heliand_"
(_i.e._, "the Saviour"), written about 830 or earlier,
an alliterative epic in the old Saxon language, was doubtless written in
the circles of the British mission on the Continent. It contains the
Gospel narrative in a form calculated to appeal to the people for whom
it was written, and is remarkable for being free from any adoration of
the Virgin or the saints, and from most of the characteristic features
of the Roman Church at that period.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Sidenote: =350-385=]

In the fourth century a Reformer appeared, and a work of Reformation was
wrought which affected wide circles in Spain, spread into Lusitania
(Portugal) and to Aquitania in France, making itself felt in Rome also.

_Priscillian_ was a Spaniard of wealth and position, a
learned and eloquent man of unusual attainments. In common with many of
his class he was unable to believe the old heathen religions, yet was
not attracted by Christianity, and preferred classic literature to the
Scriptures, so he had sought refuge for his soul in the prevalent
philosophies, such as Neo-Platonism and Manichaeism. He was converted to
Christ, was baptised, and began a new

=Page 37: Priscillian=

life of devotion to God and separation from the world. He became an
enthusiastic student and lover of the Scriptures, lived an ascetic life
as a help towards fuller union with Christ by making his body more fit
to be a dwelling place of the Holy Spirit, and though a layman, preached
and taught diligently. Soon conventicles were organised and meetings
held with a view to making religion a reality which should affect the
character, and large numbers of persons, especially of the educated
class, were drawn into the movement. Priscillian was made Bishop of
Avila, but it was not long before he encountered the hostility of a part
of the Spanish clergy. Bishop Hydatius, Metropolitan of Lusitania, led
the opposition, and at a Synod held in 380 at Caesaraugusta (Saragossa)
accused him of Manichaean and Gnostic heresy. The proceedings were not
successful until political necessities led the Emperor Maximus, who had
murdered Gratian and usurped his place, to desire the aid of the Spanish
clergy; but then, at a Synod in Burdigala (Bordeaux) in 384, Bishop
Ithacus, a man of evil repute, joined the attack, accusing Priscillian
and those to whom they attached the title "Priscillianists", of
witchcraft and immorality, and the accused were brought to Treves
(Trier), condemned by the Church, and handed over to the civil power for
execution (385). The eminent bishops, Martin of Tours and Ambrose of
Milan, protested in vain against this; Priscillian and six others were
beheaded, among them a distinguished lady, Euchrotia, widow of a well
known poet and orator. This was the first instance of the execution of
Christians by the Church, an example to be followed afterwards with such
terrible frequency. After this Martin and Ambrose refused to have any
fellowship whatever with Hydatius and the other bishops who were
responsible, and when the Emperor Maximus fell, the cruel torture and
murder of these saintly persons was recorded with abhorrence and Ithacus
was deprived of his bishopric. The bodies of Priscillian and his
companions were brought to Spain and they were honoured as martyrs.
Nevertheless a Synod in Treves approved what had been done, thus giving
the official sanction of the Roman Church to the execution, and this was
confirmed by the Synod of Braga held 176 years later, so that the

=Page 38: Lost Writings Discovered=

ruling Church not only persecuted those whom it called Priscillianists,
but handed down as history that Priscillian and those who believed as he
did were punished for holding Manichaean and Gnostic doctrine and
because of the wickedness of their lives and this continued for
centuries to be the generally received opinion of them.

Although Priscillian had written voluminously, it was thought that all
his writings had disappeared, so diligently had they been destroyed. In
1886 Georg Schepss discovered in the library of the University of
Würzburg eleven of Priscillian's works, which he describes as being
"contained in a precious Uncial M.S. ... which until now had remained
unknown."[22] It is written in very old Latin and is one of the oldest
Latin MSS. known to exist. It consists of eleven tracts (some parts are
missing) of which the first four contain details of the trial, and the
remaining seven his teaching. The reading of these, Priscillian's own
writings, shows that the account handed down of him was wholly untrue,
that he was a man of saintly character, sound in doctrine, and an
energetic reformer, and that those associated with him were companies of
men and women who were true and devoted followers of Christ. Not content
with murdering these people, exiling them, confiscating their goods, the
Church authorities have persistently calumniated their memory.

The style of Priscillian's writing is vivid and telling, he constantly
quotes Scripture[23] in support of what he advances and shows an intimate
acquaintance with the whole of the Old and New Testaments. He
maintained, however, the right of the Christian to read other
literature, and this was made the occasion of accusing him of wishing to
include the Apocrypha in the Canon of Scripture, which he did not do. He
defends himself and his friends for their habit of holding Bible
readings in which laymen were active and women took part, also for their

=Page 39: Priscillian's Teaching=

to taking the Lord's Supper with frivolous and worldly minded persons.
For Priscillian the theological disputatious in the Church had little
value, for he knew the gift of God, and had accepted it by a living
faith. He would not dispute as to the Trinity, being content to know
that in Christ the true One God is laid hold of by the help of the
Divine Spirit.[24] He taught that the object of redemption is that we
should be turned to God and therefore an energetic turning from the
world is needed, lest anything might hinder fellowship with God. This
salvation is not a magical event brought about by some sacrament, but a
spiritual act. The Church indeed publishes the confession, and baptises,
and conveys the commands or Word of God, to men, but each one must
decide for himself and believe for himself. If communion with Christ
should be broken it is for each one to restore it by personal
repentance. There is no special official grace, laymen have the Spirit
as much as clergy. He exposes at length the evil and falsity of
Manichaeism, and his teaching, from the Scriptures, is entirely opposed
to it. Asceticism he regarded not as a chief thing in itself, but as a
help towards that entire union of the whole person with God or Christ,
from which the body cannot be excepted, because of its being the
habitation of the Spirit. This is rest in Christ, experience of Divine
love and leading, incorruptible blessing. Faith in God, who has revealed
Himself, is a personal act which involves the whole being in
acknowledgment of dependence on God for life and for all things. It
brings with it the desire and the decision to be wholly consecrated to
Him. Moral works follow of themselves because in receiving the new life
the believer has received into himself that which contains the very
essence of morality. Scripture is not only historical truth, but is at
the same time a means of grace. The spirit feeds upon it and finds that
every portion of it contains revelation, instruction, and guidance for
daily life. To see the allegorical meaning of Scripture requires no
technical training, but faith. The Messianic-typical meaning of the Old
Testament and the

=Page 40: Divergent Views of the Church=

historical progress of the New are pointed out, and this not only for
the sake of knowledge, but as showing that not some only, but all the
saints are called to complete sanctification.

Such teachings soon brought these circles into conflict with those of
the Roman Church, especially as represented by such a scheming,
political bishop as Hydatius. The clergy saw in the holy life of the
ordinary believer that which assailed their peculiar position. The power
of "apostolic succession" and of the priestly office was shaken by
teaching which insisted on holiness and constant renewal of life by the
Holy Spirit and communion with God. The distinction between clergy and
laity was broken down by this, especially when the magical working of
the sacraments was exchanged for a living possession of salvation
through faith. The breach was irreparable because due to two distinct
views of the Church. It was not only a question of suppressing
conventicles or of opposing what threatened to become an order of monks
apart from the Church, but of a complete difference of principle. The
policy of Hydatius was to strengthen the power of the Metropolitan as
representing the See of Rome, with a view to carrying out the
_Roman centralizing organization_ which was as yet
unpopular in Spain and incomplete and was opposed by the lesser bishops.
The circles with which Priscillian was associated were in principle
diametrically opposed to this; their occupation with Scripture and
acceptance of it as their guide in all things led them to desire the
_independence of each congregation_, and this they were
already putting into practice.

After the death of Priscillian and his companions the circles of those
who shared their faith increased rapidly, but, although Martin of Tours
succeeded in modifying the first burst of persecution which followed
that tragic event, persecution was continued and severe; nevertheless it
was not until some two centuries later that the meetings were finally


[16] "East and West Through Fifteen Centuries" Br. General G. F. Young

[17] "A Select Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the
Christian Church" translated and annotated by J. C. Pilkington M.A.
Edited by Philip Schaff.

[18] "Dictionary of Christian Biography" Smith & Wace.

[19] "Monasticism" Ad. v. Harnack.

[20] "Latin Christianity" Dean Milman. Vol. 4.

[21] "Irland in der Kirchengeschichte" Kattenbusch.

[22] Priscillian ein Neuaufgefundener Lat. Schriftsteller des 4
Jahrhunderts. Vortrag gehalten am 18 Mai, 1886, in der
Philologisch-Historischen Gesellschaft zu Würzburg von Dr. Georg Schepss
K. Studienlehrer am Humanist. Gymnasium Mit einem Blatt in
Originalgrosse Faksimiledruck des Manuscriptes, Würzburg. A. Stuber's
Verlagbuchhandlung, 1886.

[23] The quotations are from a translation earlier than that of Jerome
(the Vulgate).

[24] "Priscillianus Ein Reformator des Vierten Jahrhunderts. Eine
Kirchengeschichtliche Studie zugleich ein Kommentar zu den Erhaltenen
Schriften Priscillians" von Friedrich Paret Dr. Phil. Repetent am
Evang.-Theol. Seminar in Tübingen. Würzburg A. Stuber's
Verlagsbuchhandlung. 1891

=Page 41: Efforts to Suppress Dissent=

Chapter III

Paulicians and Bogomils


Growth of clerical domination--Persistence of Primitive churches--Their
histories distorted by their enemies--Early churches in Asia
Minor--Armenia--Primitive churches in Asia Minor from Apostolic
times--Unjustly described by their opponents as Manichaeans--The names
Paulician and Thonrak--Continuity of New Testament churches--Constantine
Silvarius--Simeon Titus--Veneration of relics, and image
worship--Iconoclastic Emperors--John of Damascus--Restoration of images
in Greek Church--Council of Frankfurt--Claudius Bishop of
Turin--Mohammedanism--Sembat--Sergius--Leaders of the churches in Asia
Minor--Persecution under Theodora--The Key of Truth--Carbeas and
Chrysocheir--The Scriptures and the Koran--Character of the churches in
Asia Minor--Removal of believers from Asia to Europe--Later history in
Bulgaria--Bogomils--Basil--Opinions regarding Paulicians and
Bogomils--Spread of Bogomils into Bosnia--Kulin Ban and
Rome--Intercourse of Bogomils with Christians abroad--Bosnia
invaded--Advance of Mohammedans--Persecution of Bogomils--Bosnia taken
by the Turks--Friends of God in Bosnia a link between the Taurus and the
Alps--Bogomil tombs.

The union of Church and State was in all times looked upon by many of
the Lord's disciples as contrary to His teaching; but whenever the
Church had the power of the State at its command, it used it for the
forcible suppression of any who dissented from its system or in any way
refused compliance with its demands, and great numbers through
indifference or interest or fear yielded at least an outward obedience.
There were, however, always some who could not be induced to do this,
but who still endeavoured to follow Christ and keep the teachings of His
Word and the doctrine of the Apostles. These were continually objects of

The history of the centuries which followed Constantine unfolds the
growth in worldliness and ambition of the clergy, both of the Eastern
and Western Catholic churches, until they claimed entire dominion over
the possessions and consciences of mankind, enforcing these claims with

=Page 42: Misuse of History=

a violence and guile that knew no limits. It also reveals vistas here
and there of the path of tribulation trodden by countless saints who, at
all times, and in various places, have suffered all things at the hands
of the dominant World-Church, rather than deny Christ or be turned back
from following Him.

The true histories of these have been obliterated as far as possible;
their writings, sharing the fate of the writers, have been destroyed to
the full extent of the power allowed to their persecutors. Not only so,
but histories of them have been promulgated by those to whose interest
it was to disseminate the worst inventions against them in order to
justify their own cruelties. In such accounts they are depicted as
heretics, and evil doctrines are ascribed to them which they repudiated.
They are called "sects", and labels are attached to them which they
themselves would not acknowledge. They usually called themselves
Christian or Brethren, but numerous names were given to them by others
in order to create the impression that they represented many new,
strange, and unconnected sects, opprobrious epithets being applied to
them to bring them into disrepute. It is therefore difficult to trace
their history; what their adversaries have written of them must be
suspected; words from their own lips wrung out by torture are valueless.
There is, however, in spite of these hindrances, a large body of
trustworthy evidence, continually being added to by further
investigation, which shows what they were and did, what they believed
and taught; and these their own records afford a safe guide to their
faith and practice.

Even in the first three centuries there were numerous bodies of
Christians who protested against the growing laxity and worldliness in
the Church, and against its departure from the teachings of Scripture.
Movements of revival have never ceased to be repeated, and even when no
connection between one and another is visible, the underlying cause is
the same--a desire to return to the practice of some New Testament
truth. In the early centuries Asia Minor and Armenia were frequently the
scene of such revivings, as well as being the refuge of churches that
had from the first, in varying degree, maintained purity of doctrine and
godliness of life.

=Page 43: Apostolic Churches in Asia Minor=

The Gospel had spread northward from Antioch in its earliest days. The
Apostles Barnabas and Paul, and many others, had preached and founded
churches throughout Asia Minor. The Epistles to the Galatians,
Ephesians, and Colossians give a vivid picture of the powerful,
enlightening, and sanctifying effects of the Apostles' doctrine on the
Christians of those early congregations, as well as of the strength of
the opposing teachings which had to be combated. The Catholic system (so
called because of its claim to be the entire and exclusive Church) with
its clerical rule, developed rapidly there, but there never ceased to be
those who resisted it. In the third century the kingdom of Armenia
anticipated the union of Church and State under Constantine the Great,
by making Christianity the state religion of Armenia. Yet the continuity
of churches maintaining New Testament principles remained unbroken.

From the time of Mani the churches of believers who called themselves
Christians, thus distinguishing themselves from others whom they called
"Romans", had always been accused of being Manichaeans, though they
declared that they were not and complained of the injustice of
attributing to them doctrines they did not hold. The frequency with
which anything is repeated is no proof that it is true, and since such
writings as remain of these Christians contain no trace of Manichaeism,
it is only reasonable to believe that they did not hold it. So far from
accepting the sectarian names so lavishly given to them, these people
not only spoke of themselves individually as "christian" or "brother",
but also claimed to be collectively the "holy, universal, and Apostolic
Church of our Lord Jesus Christ", and as the departure from the
Scriptures of the worldly churches, Greek, Latin, or Armenian, became
increasingly flagrant, they denied to them the title of churches,
declaring they had forfeited it by their union with the State, by the
introduction of unbelievers into their circles through the system of
infant baptism, by their giving the Lord's Supper to unbelievers, and by
various other evils they had introduced. The name Paulician was
frequently given to these churches. The reason is not clear. They were
also called Thonraks, after a place where they were at one time
numerous. The persecutions to which they were subjected

=Page 44: Gaps in the History of the Churches=

and the systematic destruction of their literature, hide from us all but
occasional glimpses of their history, though what remains is sufficient
to show that there were in those wide regions of Asia Minor and Armenia,
around Mount Ararat and beyond the Euphrates, churches of baptised
believers, disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, who kept the teaching of
the Apostles received from Christ and contained in the Scriptures, in an
unbroken testimony from the first.

The claim of these numerous congregations to be the true descendants of
the Apostolic churches (not necessarily in a natural sense from father
to son, though that might often be the case, but as having maintained in
unbroken succession their spiritual characteristics) is not invalidated
by the large gaps in their history of which at present we possess no
account. These are the natural consequence of the determined efforts
that were unceasingly made, first by the Pagan Roman Empire and then by
the State Churches, to destroy the people and their histories. These
efforts had, to a large extent, their intended effect. There can be no
doubt that in many districts, and at different times, such efforts were
entirely successful, and that priceless testimonies of saints and
churches have been utterly wiped out, never to be known again until the
Day of Judgment comes. Rather is it a matter for surprise that so much
has been preserved, and the existence of these numerous bodies of
Christians of primitive doctrine and practice can be accounted for only
in the way they themselves explain it, namely, by their adherence to the
New Testament teaching. The absence of organization among them and of
any earthly controlling centre, with the fact that they recognised the
independence of each congregation, would lead to variety in the
different churches. Then the characteristics of prominent leaders among
them would also cause one generation to differ to some extent from
another in spirituality or in the particular line of teaching
emphasised. But they all claimed to draw their doctrine from the
Scripture and to continue the Apostolic tradition, and this claim must
be allowed, since nothing sufficient can be urged against it, nor can
the contrary be proved.

       *       *       *       *       *

Some accounts have been preserved of men who
devoted their lives to visiting and strengthening such churches and

=Page 45: Constantine Silvanus=

to preaching the Gospel,[25] men of Apostolic spirit, strong, patient,
humble-minded and of an undaunted courage. One who attached himself to
these companies was Constantine, later called Silvanus. About the year
653 an Armenian, who had been held captive by the Saracens, was
released, and on his homeward journey was received and kindly
entertained by Constantine in his house. The conversation between them
showed the observant Armenian that he had been led to a man of unusual
capacity, and seeing how deeply interested his host had become in the
Scriptures which they had read together, the grateful and farseeing
traveller left with his new friend a very precious gift--a MS. which
contained the four Gospels and the Epistles of Paul. This book became
the absorbing study of Constantine, and was the means of bringing about
a radical change of life in him. He soon began to bear witness to what
he had received, changed his name to that of Silvanus, the companion of
the Apostle Paul, and, by attaching himself to the believers who
rejected the image worship and other superstitions of the Byzantine
Church, drew upon himself the anger of those in authority. He made
Kibossa in Armenia his dwelling place, and from there as a centre he
worked among the various peoples round about for some thirty years, many
being converted, both from among the Catholics and the heathen. His
journeys brought him along the Euphrates valley, across the Taurus
Mountains, and into the western parts of Asia Minor, where his
successful activities attracted the attention of the Byzantine Emperor,
Constantine Pogonatus.

This Emperor issued a decree (684) against the congregations of
believers and against Constantine in particular, sending one of his
officers, named Simeon, to put it into effect. In order to give special
significance to the execution of Constantine, Simeon supplied a number
of his personal friends with stones and ordered them to stone the
teacher whom they had so long revered and loved.

=Page 46: Simeon Titus=

Risking their own lives by their refusal, they dropped the stones, but
there was a young man present named Justus, who had been brought up by
Constantine as his adopted son and treated with especial kindness; he
flung a stone at his benefactor and killed him, thus earning high praise
and reward from the authorities, who compared him to David slaying
Goliath. Simeon was profoundly moved by all that he saw and heard at
Kibossa, and, conversing with the Christians there, was convinced of the
truth of their doctrines and the rightness of their practice. Returning
to Constantinople, he could find no peace of soul at the court, and
after three years of inward conflict, abandoned everything, escaped to
Kibossa, and there, adopting the name of Titus, took up and continued
the work of the man whom he had caused to be put to death. It was not
long before he, too, joined the great company of martyrs, for, two years
later, Justus, making use of his knowledge of the ways of the brethren,
gave to the bishop--and he to the Emperor Justinian II--information
which led to the capture of a large number of them. Expecting to
terrorise the rest of the "heretics" into submission, the Emperor had
these, including Simeon, all burnt together at one time. The fortitude
of the sufferers, however, defeated his plan, fanning the faith and
courage of many into a flame of devotion and testimony, so that more
preachers and teachers were raised up and the congregations increased.
They endured affliction with courage, unresisting, until a time of
respite came to them through circumstances which took place in the
Catholic world.

       *       *       *       *       *

Veneration of relics began at an early stage of the Church's history.
Helena, the mother of Constantine the Great, brought from Jerusalem wood
supposed to be part of the cross, and nails which she believed had been
used at the crucifixion. Pictures, images, and ikons began to be valued.
Churches were built to receive relics or to commemorate the death of
martyrs. Insensibly the meetings of the disciples of the Lord, in simple
houses and rooms, changed to the gathering of all, willing or unwilling,
believers or not, in consecrated buildings dedicated to the Virgin or
one of the saints, filled with images, pictures, and relics, which
became objects of worship. Prayer was

=Page 47: Leo the Isaurian=

diverted from God to the Virgin and the saints, and the idolatry of
Paganism was reproduced in the gross superstitions that grew up around
the images, the priests, and the forms of religion. It is a mark of the
power of the revelation of Christ contained in the Scriptures, that even
when Pagan idolatry and superstition had succeeded in gaining possession
of the Catholic churches, there were to be found in them, then as now,
great numbers of believers, whose hope of salvation was in Christ and
whose lives were pious and godly. They, however, were a remnant, hidden
in the mass of those who had been misled into the system of idolatry
with its accompanying sin and ignorance, and their protests were raised
in vain.

Such companies as those called Paulicians and other names, denounced the
prevailing idolatry, and this was one of the chief reasons for the
bitter persecution they suffered. In the regions where they were
numerous, in the Taurus Mountains, Leo was born, who became Emperor of
the Eastern, or Byzantine Empire, and is known as Leo the Isaurian. He
was one of the best and most successful of the Byzantine Emperors,
defending Constantinople from the Saracens and strengthening the Empire
internally by his vigorous and wise reforms. Perceiving that the
prevalent idolatry and superstition were among the chief causes of the
miseries that were so evident in both East and West, he set himself to
root out the evil. In 726 he issued his first edict against the worship
of images, and followed it by a campaign of forcible destruction of
images, and persecution of those who held to them. This initiated a
struggle which lasted for more than a century. Leo found that he had
stirred up a host of adversaries, of whom the most eloquent was the
learned John of Damascus.

He taught,[26] "... since some find fault with us for worshipping and
honouring the image of our Saviour and that of our Lady and those too of
the rest of the saints and servants of Christ, let them remember that in
the beginning God created man after His own image, ... in the Old
Testament the use of images was not common. But after

=Page 48: John of Damascus=

God in His bowels of pity became in truth man for our salvation ...
lived upon the earth, worked miracles, suffered, was crucified, rose
again and was taken hack to heaven, since all these things actually took
place and were seen by men, they were written for the remembrance and
instruction of us who were not alive at that time in order that though
we saw not we may still, hearing and believing, obtain the blessing of
the Lord. But seeing that not every one has a knowledge of letters nor
time for reading, the Fathers gave their sanction to depicting these
events on images as being acts of great heroism in order that they
should form a concise memorial of them. Often doubtless, when we have
not the Lord's passion in mind and see the image of Christ's crucifixion
His saving passion is brought back to remembrance, and we fall down and
worship, not the material, but that which is imaged.... But this is
an unwritten tradition, just as is also the worshipping towards the East
and the worship of the Cross and very many other similar things."

Almost all the priests and monks were against Leo; the aged Pope of
Constantinople refused submission to his order and was replaced by
another; the Pope of Rome, Gregory II, and his successor, Gregory III
were implacable opponents. In Greece a rival Emperor was chosen and
attacked Constantinople, but was defeated. In Italy the orders were
condemned and disobeyed. Leo called "_the Iconoclast_"
because of his destruction of images, was succeeded by his son
Constantine and by his grandson Leo IV, who followed out his policy with
even greater rigour than he. On the death of the last, his widow, Irene,
reversed his policy, but for several reigns the conflict was continued
with varying result, until (842) the death of the Emperor Theophilus, an
opponent of image worship, left his widow, Theodora, regent during the
minority of her son Michael III. Under the influence of the priests a
secret supporter of image worship, Theodora, as soon as she was able,
re-established the images. In the church of St. Sophia in Constantinople
a great celebration of their restoration was solemnised. Images and
pictures that had been kept in concealment were brought out and the
dignitaries of the Church and of the State did reverence before them.

=Page 49: Claudius of Turin=

The question of images had an important place in the Council called and
presided over by Charlemagne at Frankfurt (794).[27] Both civil and
ecclesiastical rulers were present, so that it legislated on all
matters. The Pope sent his representatives. The decisions of the Second
Council of Nicaea, which had established the service and adoration of
the images, were set aside, though they had been confirmed by the Pope
and accepted in the East. In their zeal for images, those who favoured
their use went so far as to call their opponents, not only iconoclasts,
but also Mohammedans. Nevertheless it was laid down in Frankfurt that
all worship of images was to be rejected; there was to be no adoration,
worship, reverence, veneration of them; no kneeling, burning of lights
or offering of incense before them, nor any kissing of lifeless images,
even though representing the Virgin and the Child; but images might be
allowed in churches as ornaments and as memorials of pious men and pious
deeds. Also the teaching that God can only be worshipped in the three
languages, Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, was controverted, and it was
affirmed that "there is no tongue in which prayer may not be offered."
The representatives of the Pope were not then in a position to protest.
The general feeling of the Franks, in their wars against, and missions
to, the heathen Saxons, was not favourable to idolatry.

Louis, the third son of Charlemagne, who was at that time King of
Aquitaine, succeeded his father as Emperor (813). He was an admirer of a
Spaniard named Claudius, a diligent student of the Scriptures, who had
become renowned for his Commentaries on the Bible. As soon as he became
Emperor, Louis appointed Claudius Bishop of Turin. The new bishop, with
his knowledge and love of Scripture, took immediate advantage of the
favourable circumstances created by the Council of Frankfurt, going even
beyond its decrees in removing from the churches of Turin all images,
which he called idols, not excepting the crosses. So many approved that
no effective resistance could be made in Turin. Claudius also taught
publicly that the Apostolic office of St. Peter ceased with his life,
that "the power of the keys" passed to the whole Episcopal Order, and
that the Bishop of Rome had Apostolic power

=Page 50: Mohammed=

only so far as he led an Apostolic life. There were naturally many who
opposed this. Prominent among them was the abbot of a monastery near
Nîmes, yet even he admitted that most of the Transalpine prelates
thought with the Bishop of Turin.

       *       *       *       *       *

Greater events, but also connected with the question of images, arose
from small beginnings in Arabia. In 571 Mohammed was born in Mecca, and
at his death in 632 the religion of Islam, of which he was the founder
and prophet, had spread over the greater part of Arabia. Islam, or
"submission to the will of God", had as its creed: "There is no God but
God and Mohammed is His Prophet". It utterly repudiated images or
pictures of any kind. Its book, the Koran, contains many confused
references to persons and events spoken of in the Bible. Abraham as the
Friend of God, Moses the Law of God, Jesus the Spirit of God, are all
venerated, but are excelled by Mohammed the Prophet of God. This
religion was mercilessly spread by the sword, and such was the
resistless energy of the new enthusiasm that in less than a hundred
years from the death of Mohammed, the dominion and religion of his
followers stretched from India to Spain. The choice of conversion to
Mohammedanism or death constantly reinforced the armies of Islam, but
untold numbers died rather than deny Christ. In North Africa especially,
where the churches were so numerous and had such traditions and records
of the faith unto death of those who had suffered there during the
persecution by the Pagan Roman Empire, a great proportion of the
population was blotted out. Mohammedanism was a judgement on idolatry,
whether Pagan or Christian.

       *       *       *       *       *

The iconoclastic movement[28] had brought respite to the persecuted
brethren in Asia Minor, but when (842), under the Empress Theodora, the
supporters of images had triumphed, it was determined to exterminate the
"heretics" who had so consistently and powerfully proclaimed that
images, pictures and relics were valueless, and had maintained a
spiritual worship and the priesthood of all believers.

=Page 51: Sergius=

For the testing time that was to come they were prepared by the devoted
labours of able men, such as Sembat, born at the end of the eighth
century, who was of a noble Armenian family and so prominent in ministry
that long after his death Catholics spoke of him as the founder of the

Another leader was Sergius (Armenian, _Sarkis_). "For
thirty-four years" (800-834), he says, "I have run from east to west and
from north to south, preaching the Gospel of Christ, until my knees were
weary". He had a strong conviction of his call to the ministry, and with
great authority healed divisions, and united and instructed the saints;
yet he could appeal to those who knew him and ask, with a clear
conscience, whether he had despoiled any one, or had ever acted in an
overbearing manner. Though he worked as a carpenter, yet he visited
almost every part of the central Highlands of Asia Minor. His conversion
came about through his being persuaded to read the Scriptures. A
believing woman asked him why he did not read the Divine Gospels. He
explained that only priests might do this and not the laity. She replied
that God is no respecter of persons, but desires that all be saved and
come to a knowledge of the truth, and that it is a trick of the priests
to deprive the people of their share in the Gospels. He read and
believed, and long testified most effectually for Christ. His epistles
were widely circulated and greatly valued, his activities being ended
only by his death, when he was cut in two with an axe by his pursuers.

He was one of the most distinguished of a series of men whose godly
character and devoted service enshrined their names in the memory of an
heroic people. Constantine, Simeon, Genesios, Joseph, Zacharias, Baanes,
Sembat, Sergius, are names that survive the wreckage of the persecutions
that followed. So imbued were these brethren with the spirit of the Acts
and the Epistles, so desirous of continuing unaltered the traditions of
the New Testament, and especially of preserving in their own countries
the remembrance that there apostles had laboured and founded the first
churches, that they habitually took the names of men and of churches
from the inspired records. Thus Constantine was called Silvanus; Simeon,
Titus; Genesios,

=Page 52: Persecution by Theodora=

Timotheus; Joseph, Epaphroditus. Very different were the names given
them by their adversaries, who called Zacharias the "hireling shepherd",
and Baanes the "filthy one". Similarly the "true Christians", as they
called themselves by way of distinction from the "Romans", gave memorial
names to churches that were centres of their activities. So Kibossa,
where Constantine and Simeon laboured, was their Macedonia; the village
of Mananalis, around which Genesios worked, was their Achaia; while
other churches were named after Philippi, Laodicea, Colosse, and so on.

These men laboured during 200 years, from the middle of the seventh to
the middle of the ninth century. It was in their time, and possibly by
one of them, that a book, "The Key of Truth", was written, which gives a
vivid picture of them. The persecutions under the Empress Theodora at
the close of this period, and the wars which followed, scattered the
churches, and many of the believers crossed over to the Balkans. The
churches were not without periods of internal trouble as well as attacks
from without. In the time of Genesios divisions caused such disturbance
that he was summoned to Constantinople to give account. The
well-disposed Emperor, Leo the Isaurian, found no fault with his
doctrines, nor did the Patriarch Germanus, and Genesios was sent back
with letters ordering protection for the "Paulicians". But the
Government did not permanently help the churches; its forcible
suppression of the worship of images failed to loosen their hold, and it
was liable to be actuated by motives of political expediency; thus Leo
the Armenian, though an iconoclast Emperor, in order to please the Greek
Church allowed an attack to be made on the "Paulicians", so weakening
and alienating those who were his real strength.

Systematic slaughter, beheading, burning, drowning, began afresh under
the Empress Theodora's orders, and continued for many years; but it
failed to shake the steadfastness of the believers. It was claimed that
between the years 842 and 867 the zeal of Theodora and her inquisitors
had brought about the death of 100,000 persons. This time is described
by Gregory Magistros, who, 200 years later, was in charge of the
persecution of similar people

=Page 53: "The Key of Truth"=

in the same district. He writes: "Prior to us many generals and
magistrates have given them over to the sword and, without pity, have
spared neither old men nor children, and quite rightly. What is more,
our patriarchs have branded their foreheads and burned into them the
image of a fox ... others again have put their eyes out, saying, 'you
are blind to spiritual things therefore you shall not look on sensible

The Armenian book entitled "The Key of Truth"[29], mentioned above as
having been written between the seventh and ninth centuries, describes
the beliefs and practices of those called Paulicians, of Thonrak, at
that time; and although there were doubtless many differences in the
numerous scattered churches, yet this authentic account given by one of
themselves, is applicable to most of them. The author is unknown, but
writes with power and eloquence as well as with deep feeling and
earnestness. He writes to give to the new born children of the Universal
and Apostolic Church of our Lord Jesus Christ the holy milk whereby they
may be nourished in the faith. Our Lord, he says, asks first for
repentance and faith and then gives baptism, so we must follow Him and
not do after the deceitful arguments of others, who baptise the
unbelieving, the reasonless, and the unrepentant. When a child is born
the elders of the church should give counsel to the parents that they
may train the child in godliness and faith. This should be accompanied
by prayer, the reading of the Scriptures, and giving the child a name.
When anyone is baptised it should be at his or her earnest request.
Baptism should be in rivers, or other water in the open air. The one to
be baptised should, on his knees in the midst of the water, confess his
faith before the congregation present, with great love and tears. The
one who baptises should be of blameless character. Prayer and the
reading of Scripture should accompany the act. Again, the ordaining of
an elder requires great care lest anyone unworthy be chosen. It must be
ascertained whether he has perfect wisdom, love, which is chief of all,
prudence, gentleness, humility justice, courage, sobriety,

=Page 54: Paulician Teaching=

eloquence. In laying hands on him, which is to be done with prayer and
the reading of suitable Scriptures, he is to be asked, "Art thou then
able to drink the cup which I am about to drink, or to be baptised with
the baptism with which I am about to be baptised?" The answer required
of him shows the dangers and responsibilities that such men accepted,
which none would take on themselves unless there were an earnest love
and a will to suffer to the uttermost in the following of Christ and
caring for His flock. The reply is; "... I take on myself scourgings,
imprisonment, tortures, reproaches, crosses, blows, tribulation and all
temptations of the world, which our Lord and Intercessor and the
Universal and Apostolic Holy Church took upon themselves, and lovingly
accepted them. So even do I, an unworthy servant of Jesus Christ, with
great love and ready will, take upon myself all these until the hour of
my death". Then, with the reading of many Scriptures, he was solemnly
and earnestly commended to the Lord, the elders saying: "We humbly
supplicate, entreat and beseech Thee, ... bestow Thy holy grace on
this one, who now is come and asks of Thee the grace of Thy holy
authority ... make him resplendently pure from all evil thoughts ...
open his mind to understand the Scriptures". Writing of images and
relics the author says: "... Concerning the mediation of our Lord Jesus
Christ, and not of any other holy ones, either of the dead, or of stones
or of crosses and images. In this matter some have denied the precious
mediation and intercession of the beloved Son of God, and have followed
after dead things, and in especial after images, stones, crosses,
waters, trees, fountains, and all other vain things; as they admit and
worship them, so they offer incense and candles, and present victims,
all of which are contrary to the Godhead".

The conflict which these churches of God in the Taurus Mountains and
adjacent countries maintained with their persecutors in Constantinople
led to their laying more emphasis on some portions of Scripture than on
others. The great professing Church had incorporated Paganism with its
system by the gradual introduction of the worship of the Virgin Mary,
and had brought the world into its ranks by its practice of infant
baptism. This caused the primitive churches to lay great stress on the
Lord's perfect humanity

=Page 55: Carbeas Makes War=

at His birth, showing that Mary, though the Lord's mother, cannot
properly be called the mother of God, and to emphasise the importance of
the baptism of Jesus, when the Holy Spirit descended upon Him and the
voice from heaven declared: "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well
pleased". In the many controversies as to the Divine and human nature of
Christ, which after all efforts at explanation still remains a mystery,
they used expressions which their adversaries construed as implying
their disbelief in the Divinity of Christ before His baptism. They seem,
rather, to have held that His Divine attributes were not in exercise
from His birth to His baptism. They taught that it was at His baptism,
when 30 years old, that our Lord Jesus Christ received authority, the
high-priesthood, the kingdom; then He was chosen and won lordship; it
was then that He became the Saviour of sinners, was filled with the
Godhead, ordained king of beings in heaven and on earth and under the
earth, even as He Himself said in Matthew 28. 18, "All authority is
given unto Me in heaven and on earth".

These churches, carrying out the New Testament principles in a large
measure, though no doubt in varying degree in different places, called
by their adversaries Manichaeans, Paulicians, and other names, suffered
for centuries with patience and without retaliation the dreadful wrongs
inflicted on them. During the reigns of the iconoclastic Byzantine
Emperors they had a respite, but the extraordinary persecutions carried
on by the Empress Theodora goaded some of them to desperation, so that
they took up arms against their oppressors.

In pursuance of her cruel orders the Imperial executioners had impaled a
man whose son, Carbeas, held high rank in the Imperial service. On
hearing this, Carbeas, in flaming indignation, renounced all allegiance
to Byzantium; five thousand others joined him, and they established
themselves at Tephrice, near Trebizond, which they fortified, and, in
alliance with the Saracen Caliph, made it the centre of attacks on the
Greek countries of Asia Minor. With this Mohammedan help they defeated
the Emperor Michael, son of Theodora, captured the cities as far as
Ephesus and destroyed the images they found there.

Carbeas was succeeded by Chrysocheir, whose raids

=Page 56: Scripture and Koran=

reached the western coast of Asia Minor and even threatened
Constantinople. Ancyra, Ephesus, Nicaea, and Nicomedia were captured. In
Ephesus horses were stabled in the cathedral, and the utmost contempt
was shown for the pictures and relics, the building being considered as
an idol temple. The Emperor, Basil I, was obliged to sue for peace, but
Chrysocheir refused any terms short of the abandonment of Asia by the
Greeks. Basil, compelled to fight, surprised his enemy; Chrysocheir was
killed and his army defeated. The Byzantine army took Tephrice and
scattered its inhabitants, who maintained themselves thereafter in the

As these revolted Paulicians saw on the one side the worshippers of
images inflicting on them the most wicked oppression, and on the other
the Mohammedans, free from any taint of idolatry, offering them liberty
and help, it must have been difficult for them to judge which of the two
systems was nearer to, or rather which was further from, the Divine
revelation given in Christ. The Mohammedans, however, were incapable of
progress, for they entirely rejected the Scriptures, and, by placing
themselves under bondage to the _Koran_, a book of
human origin, were necessarily prevented from advancing beyond that to
which its originator had himself attained. The Greek and Roman Churches,
though they had departed from the truth, yet retained the Scriptures,
and thus there remained among them that which, by the Holy Spirit's
power, was capable of bringing about revival.

In extracting some details of the history of these churches from the
writings of their enemies, it cannot but be observed that these writings
are so violent in abuse as to become manifest folly. To found
accusations upon them, therefore, is to put trust in untrustworthy
evidence, whereas any good that they may admit is likely to be an
unwilling acceptance of what could not be denied, especially as we find
that this good is usually explained to have been based on some evil
motive. The constant accusation of Manichaeism is not credible in the
face of its equally constant denial by the accused, and by their
consistent teaching of, and suffering for, the contrary doctrines of
Scripture. The admitted fact that they had the Scriptures, or a large
portion of them, in pure, unaltered form, and

=Page 57: Paulicians Removed from Europe=

diligently studied them, is not compatible with their being Manichaeans,
as the doctrines of Mani could only be held by such as rejected the
Scriptures or altered them. Accounts of unnaturally wicked behaviour do
not agree with the admission that they were pious and of excellent
conduct, superior to those among whom they lived, and it is unreasonable
to explain that all their good behaviour was nothing but hypocrisy. The
character of the somewhat voluminous witness of their enemies, combined
with the few records of their own which have survived, gives confidence
in rejecting the legend of Manichaeism and wickedness and in recognizing
in these persecuted churches a people of the Lord who in their day
maintained the testimony of Jesus Christ with faith and indomitable

By scattering and alienating these brave and pious mountaineers, and
driving them into alliance with the Mohammedans, the Byzantine
Government destroyed its own natural defence against the threatening
Mohammedan power and prepared the way for the fall of Constantinople.

In the middle of the eighth century the Emperor Constantine, son of Leo
the Isaurian, who sympathised with the refusal of the brethren to attach
any value to images, transferred a number of them to Constantinople and
to Thrace, and later, about the middle of the tenth century, another
Emperor, John Zimisces, an Armenian, who delivered Bulgaria from the
Russians but afterwards added it to his own empire, moved a larger
number to the West. These came among the Bulgarians, who in the ninth
century had accepted Christianity through the Byzantine missionaries
Cyril and Methodius and belonged to the Greek Orthodox Church.

There the immigrants from Asia Minor made converts and founded churches
which spread rapidly. They came, over wide areas to be called,
_Bogomili_[30], a Slav name meaning

=Page 58: Basil=

"Friends of God", derived from the phrase, "_Bogu
mili_", those dear or acceptable to God.

Out of a multitude whose very names have been forgotten the memory of a
few has been preserved. One of them is Basil, who, though continuing to
practise as a physician in order, by earning his living, to set a good
example and so rebuke the lazy lives of those who made religion an
excuse for begging, was, for some forty years of his life (1070-1111)
indefatigable in preaching and teaching.

After this long period of uninterrupted ministry, he at last received a
message from the Emperor Alexius himself, telling him that he admired
his character, was deeply interested in his teaching, and had become
desirous of conversion. With it there came an invitation to a private
interview in the palace in Constantinople. Basil was entertained at
table by the Emperor and a full discussion of doctrine took place, in
which Basil spoke with the freedom of one addressing an anxious
inquirer. Suddenly the Emperor, drawing aside a curtain, revealed a
shorthand writer who had taken down the conversation (afterwards used as
evidence), and ordered servants to put his guest in chains and cast him
into prison. There he remained for years, until (1119), having refused
to recant any of the doctrines he had taught, he was publicly burnt in
the Hippodrome in Constantinople. The Emperor's daughter, the
accomplished Princess Anna Comnena, describes these events with
satisfaction; the preparation for the great day in the Hippodrome, the
appearance of Basil, "a lanky man, with a sparse beard, tall and thin";
notes the crackling of the fire, how Basil turned his eyes from the
sight of the flame and how his limbs quivered as he approached it. At
this time many "Friends of God" were "ferreted out" and burnt, or
imprisoned for life. The Princess laughed at their low origin, uncouth
appearance, and habit of bowing their heads and muttering something
between their lips. (They surely had need of prayer

=Page 59: Opinions about the Brethren=

at such times!) She was horrified at their doctrines and at their
disdain of the churches and church ceremonies. The document drawn up as
the result of the entrapping of Basil by the Emperor has not much value
owing to the fact that there was no check on what those who published it
liked to put in it.

The opinions expressed by outsiders about these Christian congregations,
both in Asia Minor and in Bulgaria, vary greatly, for while it was usual
to speak of them and their doctrine as being indescribably wicked, there
were those who judged differently. The earliest writers appear to have
written more as partisans than as historians. They accuse the "heretics"
of practising vile and unnatural fleshly sins, repeat from hearsay what
was current about them and include much from Mani and from what was
written against him. The writer Euthymius (died after 1118), says: "They
bid those who listen to their doctrines to keep the commandments of the
Gospel, and to be meek and merciful and of brotherly love. Thus they
entice men on by teaching all good things and useful doctrines, but they
poison by degrees and draw to perdition." Cosmas, a Bulgarian Presbyter,
writing at the end of the tenth century, describes Bogomils as "worse
and more horrible than demons", denies their belief in the Old Testament
or the Gospels, says they pay no honour to the Mother of God nor to the
cross, they revile the ceremonies of the Church and all Church
dignitaries, call orthodox priests "blind Pharisees", say that the
Lord's Supper is not kept according to God's commandment, and that the
bread is not the body of God, but ordinary bread. He attributes their
asceticism to their belief that the Devil created all material things
and says: "You will see heretics quiet and peaceful as lambs ... wan
with hypocritical fasting, who do not speak much nor laugh loud", and
again, "when men see their lowly behaviour, they think that they are of
true belief; they approach them therefore and consult them about their
soul's health. But they, like wolves that will swallow up a lamb, bow
their head, sigh, and answer full of humility, and set themselves up as
if they knew how it is ordered in heaven." The Church Father, Gregory of
Narek, said of the Thonraks that they were not accused of wickedness of
life, but of free thought and of not acknowledging

=Page 60: Persistence of Bogomil Teaching=

authority. "From a negative position as regards the Church this sect has
taken up a positive line of things and has begun to search out the
foundation itself, the Holy Scriptures, seeking there pure teaching,
sound guidance for the moral life." A learned writer of the tenth
century, Muschag, was greatly impressed by the teaching of the Thonraks,
regarding it as unchristian and unworthy merely to condemn such people.
He thought he found true Apostolic Christianity among them. Hearing of a
case of persecution which they suffered, he said the lot of these
persecuted ones was to be envied.

There is no evidence to support the charge that these Christians,
whether called Paulicians, Thonraks, Bulgarians, Bogomils or otherwise,
were guilty of wicked practices, and the accounts of their doctrines
given by their enemies are unreliable. It was generally admitted even by
these that their standard of life, their morals, their industry, were
superior to those which prevailed round about them; and it was largely
this which attracted to them many who failed to find in the State Church
that which satisfied them.

Byzantine persecution drove many of the believers westward into Serbia,
and the strength of the Orthodox Church in Serbia pushed them further,
into Bosnia. They continued active on the eastern side of the Peninsula
and in Asia Minor. In 1140 supposed Bogomil error was found in the
writings of Constantine Chrysomalus and condemned at a synod held in
Constantinople. The teaching objected to was, that Church baptism is not
efficacious, that nothing done by unconverted persons, though baptised,
is of any value, that God's grace is received by the laying on of hands,
but only in accordance with the measure of faith. In 1143 a synod at
Constantinople deposed two Cappadocian bishops on the charge of being
Bogomils, and in the following century the Patriarch Gemadius complained
of their spread in Constantinople itself, where, it was said, they got
into private houses and made converts. Their churches continued in

As late as the 17th century congregations known as "Pavlicani"
(Paulicians)[31] remained in Philippopolis and

=Page 61: Bogomils in Bosnia=

other parts of Bulgaria reaching even North of the Danube, who were
described by the Orthodox Church as "convinced heretics" and who
condemned the Orthodox Church as idolatrous. Then came Franciscan
missionaries from Bosnia and laboured with much zeal among them, in
spite of many dangers from the wrath of the Orthodox clergy. Taking
advantage of the persecution suffered by the Paulicians at the hands of
the Orthodox Church, the missionaries gradually persuaded them to put
themselves under the protection of the Roman Catholic Church and so won
them for Rome. Long after this, however, they continued some of their
former practices, especially their custom of meeting together for a meal
in common, but they were little by little assimilated to the Roman
practice, received images into their churches, and are now known as
Bulgarian Catholics in contradistinction to the Bulgarians generally,
who are either Orthodox, or Pomaks, that is, descended from ancestors
forcibly converted to Mohammedanism.

It was, however, in Bosnia that their greatest development took place.
In the twelfth century they were already very numerous there, and spread
to Spalato and Dalmatia. Here they came into conflict with the Roman
Catholic Church. The title of the rulers of Bosnia was Ban, the most
eminent of these being Kulin Ban. In 1180 this ruler was addressed by
the Pope as a faithful adherent of the Church, but by 1199 it was
acknowledged that he and his wife and family and ten thousand Bosnians
had joined the Bogomil or Patarene heresy, otherwise churches of
believers, in Bosnia. Minoslav, Prince of the Herzegovina, took the same
stand, as did also the Roman Catholic Bishop of Bosnia. The country
ceased to be Catholic and experienced a time of prosperity that has
remained proverbial ever since. There were no priests, or rather the
priesthood of all believers was acknowledged. The churches were guided
by elders who were chosen by lot, several in each church, an overseer
(called grandfather), and ministering brethren called leaders and
elders. Meetings could be held in any house and the regular
meeting-places were quite plain, no bells, no altar, only a table, on
which might be a white cloth and a copy of the Gospels. A part of the
earnings of the brethren was set

=Page 62: Kulin Ban and the Pope=

aside for the relief of sick believers and of the poor and for the
support of those who travelled to preach the Gospel among the

Pope Innocent III, with the help of the King of Hungary, brought such
pressure to bear on Kulin Ban that, at a meeting (1203) between the
Pope's envoys and the Ban, accompanied by the magnates of Bosnia, at
Bjelopolje, "the White Plain", where Kulin held his court, the Bosnian
leaders agreed to submit to the Roman Church, promised never again to
relapse into heresy, but to erect an altar and a cross in each of their
places of worship, and to have priests who should read the Mass and
listen to Confession, and administer the Sacrament twice a year. They
agreed to observe fasts and holy days, that the laity should cease to
undertake spiritual functions, and that those who ministered in
spiritual matters should be the clergy only, who would be distinguished
from the laity by wearing cowls and being called brothers, and that when
these elected a Prior, they would apply to the Pope for confirmation.
Heretics were never again to be tolerated in Bosnia. Though, under
pressure of the threat of war, the Ban and rulers of the country made
such an agreement, the people entirely refused to accept it or to be
bound by it in any way.

Brethren in Bosnia had intercourse with their fellow-believers in Italy,
in the South of France, in Bohemia, on the Rhine, and in other parts,
reaching even to Flanders and England. When the Pope declared a crusade
against the Albigenses, and Provence was being wasted, fugitives found
refuge in Bosnia. Bosnian and Provencal elders consulted together on
matters of doctrine. Rumours were current that the spiritual movements
in Italy, France, and Bohemia, were all connected with a "heretical
Pope" in Bosnia. This was only imaginary, as no such person existed, but
it showed that a strong influence went out from Bosnia. An Italian
Inquisitor, Reniero Sacconi, living in the reign of Kulin, who, having
been himself a "heretic", knew more about them than most, calls them the
Church of the _Cathari_, or pure-living, a name used
from before the time of the Emperor Constantine, and says they extended
from the Black Sea to the Atlantic.

The peace which Kulin Ban purchased by yielding to

=Page 63: Bosnia Invaded=

Rome was not of long duration, for he could not compel his people to
observe its terms. On his death (1216) the Pope appointed a Roman
Catholic Ban, and sent a mission to convert the Bosnians. The churches
of the country, however, increased the more, and spread into Croatia,
Dalmatia, Istria, Carniola and Slavonia. Some six years later the Pope,
despairing of converting the Bosnians by other than forcible methods,
and encouraged by the success of his crusade in Provence, ordered the
King of Hungary to invade Bosnia. The Bosnians deposed their Roman
Catholic Ban and elected a Bogomil, Ninoslav. For years the war went on,
with varying fortune. Ninoslav yielded to circumstances and became a
Roman Catholic, but no change in their rulers affected the faith and
confession of the great bulk of the people. The country was devastated,
but whenever the invading armies withdrew, the churches were found still
existing, and the industry of the people quickly restored prosperity.
Fortresses were erected throughout the country "for the protection of
the Roman Catholic Church and religion"; the Pope gave the land to
Hungary, which long ruled it, but its people still holding to their
faith, he at length called a crusade of "all the Christian world"
against it; the Inquisition was established (1291), and Dominican and
Franciscan brothers competed in applying its terrors to the devoted

Meanwhile, the constant pressure of Islam was becoming an increasing
danger for Europe, and Hungary was in the forefront of the fight; yet
this did not awaken the Catholic countries to see the folly of
destroying a barrier between them and their most dangerous foe, and the
Pope wrote (1325) to the Ban of Bosnia: "Knowing that thou art a
faithful son of the Church, we therefore charge thee to exterminate the
heretics in thy dominions, and to render aid and assistance unto Fabian,
our Inquisitor, forasmuch as a large multitude of heretics from many and
divers parts collected, have flowed together into the Principality of
Bosnia, trusting there to sow their obscene errors and to dwell there in
safety. These men, imbued with the cunning of the Old Fiend, and armed
with the venom of their falseness, corrupt the minds of Catholics by
outward show of simplicity and lying assumption of the name of
Christians; their speech crawleth like a crab, and they creep in with

=Page 64: Bosnians Accept Turkish Help=

humility, but in secret they kill, and are wolves in sheep's clothing,
covering their bestial fury as a means whereby they may deceive the
simple sheep of Christ."

Bosnia experienced a period of political revival during the reign of
Tvrtko, the first Ban to take the title of King. He and Kulin are the
two most prominent of Bosnian rulers. Tvrtko tolerated the Bogomils,
large numbers of whom served in his armies, and he greatly extended his
kingdom. Towards the close of his reign the battle of Kossovo (1389)
extended the Turkish rule over Serbia and made the Mohammedan menace to
Europe more serious than ever. Even this did not suffice to stop
persecution, and the Pope again encouraged the King of Hungary,
promising him aid against the Turks and the "Bosnian Manichaeans and
Arians." King Sigismund of Hungary was successful in destroying the
Bosnian army under the successors of Tvrtko, and caused 126 Bosnian
magnates, whom he had captured, to be beheaded and thrown from the rocks
of Doboj into the river Bosna (1408).

Then the Bosnians, driven to desperation, turned to the Turks for
protection. Their chief magnate, Hrvoja, warned the King of Hungary--"so
far I have sought no other protection, as my sole refuge has been the
king; but if matters remain as they are I shall seek protection in that
quarter where I shall find it, whether I thereby stand or fall. The
Bosnians wish to hold out their hand to the Turks, and have already
taken steps towards this." Soon afterwards the Turks and Bogomil
Bosnians, for the first time united, inflicted a heavy defeat on Hungary
at the battle of Usora, a few miles from Doboj (1415).

The struggle between Christendom and Islam swayed to and fro on its long
battle-front. But whenever the Papal party prevailed, persecution in
Bosnia began afresh, so that (1450) some 40,000 Bogomils, with their
leaders, crossed the frontier into Herzegovina, where the Prince Stefan
Vuktchitch protected them. The capture of Constantinople in 1453 by
Mohammed II, which led to the speedy subjection of Greece, Albania and
Serbia under the hands of the Turks, did not cause the negotiations and
intrigues for the conversion of the Bosnian Bogomils to cease. Sometimes
their rulers were won over to Rome, but the people never. Therefore, as
the end drew near, we find

=Page 65: Friends of God in Bosnia=

Bosnian kings appealing to the Pope for help against the Turks, which
was only given on condition of fresh persecution of the Bogomils, till
at last (1463) when the Turks, who had been driven back for a time,
advanced again on Bosnia, the people refused their king any aid, and
preferring the Turk to the Inquisition, made no resistance to the
invader, with the result that within a week the Sultan took possession
of seventy towns and fortresses, in a country naturally strong for
defence, and Bosnia passed permanently into Moslem hands, to stagnate
for four centuries under a deadening system destructive of life and

These _"Friends of God"_ in Bosnia have left but little
literature behind them, so that there remains much to be discovered of
their doctrines and practices, which must have varied in different
circles and at different periods. But it is evident that they made a
vigorous protest against the prevailing evils in Christendom, and
endeavoured with the utmost energy to hold fast to the teachings and
example of the primitive churches, as portrayed in the Scriptures. Their
relations with the older churches in Armenia and Asia Minor, with the
Albigenses in France, Waldenses and others in Italy, and Hussites in
Bohemia, show that there was a common ground of faith and practice which
united them all. Their heroic stand for four centuries against
overwhelming adversity, though unrecorded, must have yielded examples of
faith and courage, of love unto death, second to none in the world's
histories. They formed a link, connecting the Primitive churches in the
Taurus Mountains of Asia Minor with similar ones in the Alps of Italy
and France. Their land and nation were lost to Christendom because of
the inveterate persecution to which they were subjected.

Scattered over the country, within the confines of the old Kingdom of
Bosnia,[32] but nowhere else, are numerous stone monuments, often of
great size--Bogomil tombstones. Sometimes one stone stands alone,
sometimes they are in groups, which in places may number hundreds. It is
estimated that there might be some 150,000 such monuments. The people
call them _"Mramor"_, _i.e._, marble, or

=Page 66: Bogomil Tombs=

"_Stetshak_", that which stands, or
"_Bilek_" a sign or landmark, or
"_Gomile_", an ancient tomb or mound. The very few
inscriptions on them are in the Glagolitic character. They are
remarkable for the absence of crosses or any symbols associated either
with Christianity or Mohammedanism. Where, as occasionally, such symbols
are found, it is evident that they have been added at a later date. The
great majority of the stones are entirely without inscription of any
kind, the few inscriptions there are give the names of the persons
buried there. A few are elaborately carved with figures illustrating the
life of the people at that time, warriors, hunters, animals, and varied
ornamental designs. They are most numerous in the neighbourhood of
Sarajevo, an immense group being found above the fortress, on the road
to Rogatitza. One of the largest tombs stands alone on the Paslovatz
Hill, near the ruins of Kotorsko, a giant sarcophagus of white
limestone, hewn out of one solid block, together with the yet larger
flag upon which it rests; at a distance if looks like a complete

Though they had so long resisted both the Greek and Latin churches, many
of the Bosnians yielded to the Turks (who were at once their deliverers
and their conquerors) and submitted to Mohammedanism. Some rose to the
highest positions in the Turkish service. The family names of the
present Mohammedan population of Bosnia preserve the record of their
origin, while testifying also to the steady process of subjugation to
Islam. Over the window of many a shop in Bosnia the traveller will find
the Bosnian or "Southern Slav" name united with a purely Arabic or
Turkish name which is generally placed before it. There are two distinct
words in daily use throughout Bosnia to signify _Turk_
or _Moslem_, the one meaning a Moslem of real Turkish
or Anatolian origin, and the other a person of Slav race who has adopted
the religion of Islam.


[25] "Die Paulikianer im Byzantischen Kaiserreiche etc." Karapet
Ter-Mkrttschian Archidiakonus von Edschmiatzin "The Key of Truth A
Manual of the Paulician Church of Armenia" F. C. Conybeare. "The History
of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" Edward Gibbon. "The Later
Roman Empire" Prof. J. B. Bury, Vol. II, c. 14.

[26] A Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian
Church Edited by the Rev. N. Sanday, D.D., LL.D., Oxford. "John of
Damascus, Exposition of the Orthodox Faith" translated by the Rev.
S.D.F. Salmond D.D., F.E.I.S., Aberdeen.

[27] "Latin Christianity" Dean Milman Vol. III.

[28] "Die Paulikianer im Byzantischen Kaiserreiche etc." Karapet
Ter-Mkrttschian. Archidiakonus von Edschmiatzin

[29] "The Key of Truth" translated and edited by F. C. Conybeare. This
document was found by the translator in 1891 in the library of the Holy
Synod at Edjmiatzin, and he has added valuable annotations.

[30] some derive the name Bogomil from the name of a man prominent in
the reign of the Bulgarian Czar Peter (927-968); sometimes they are
called Bulgarians. _Bogomili_ is a Slav plural form, hence the usual
form in the West, Bogomils. Analagous names are still to be found in
daily use in Slav countries; in Yugoslavia, for instance, the
Bogomolici, i.e., those who pray to God (from _Bogu_, "to God" and
_moliti_, "to pray"). There is little doubt that the Bogolmili were so
called because they did strike their contemporaries as men and women who
enjoyed a certain peace and communion with God. "An official tour
through Bosnia and Herzegovina" J. de Asboth. Member of Hungarian
Parliament. "Through Bosnia and the Herzegovina on Foot" etc. A. J.
Evans. "Essays on the Latin Orient" William Miller. "Encyclopaedia of
Religion and Ethics" Hastings. Article, Bogomils.

[31] "Das Fürstenthum Bulgarien" Dr. Constantin Jirecek Wien. 1891. F

[32] "An Official Tour Through Bosnia and Herzegovina" J. de Asboth,
Member of Hungarian Parliament.

=Page 67: The Gospel Reaches the East=

Chapter IV

The East

=B.C. 4-A.D. 1400=

The Gospel in the East--Syria and Persia--Churches in Persian Empire
separated from those in Roman Empire--Eastern churches retained
Scriptural character longer than those in the west--Papa ben Aggai
federates churches--Zoroaster--Persecution under Sapor II--Homilies of
Afrahat--Synod of Seleucia--Persecution renewed--Nestorius--The Bazaar
of Heraclides--Toleration--Influx of western bishops--Increase of
centralization--Wide spread of Syrian churches in Asia--Mohammedan
invasion--Catholikos moved from Seleucia to Bagdad--Genghis
Khan--Struggle between Nestorianism and Islam in Central
Asia--Tamerlane--Franciscans and Jesuits find Nestorians in
Cathay--Sixteenth century translation of part of Bible into
Chinese--Disappearance of Nestorians from most of Asia--Causes of

The "wise men from the east" led by the star to Bethlehem, worshipped
the Child newly "born King of the Jews"; presented to Him "gifts, gold
and frankincense and myrrh", and "departed into their own country"
(Matt. 2), where they doubtless related what they had seen and heard.
Among the multitude assembled at Jerusalem at Pentecost were "Parthians
and Medes and Elamites and the dwellers in Mesopotamia", who were
witnesses of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and of the signs and
wonders that accompanied it, and heard Peter preach that "God hath made
that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ" (Acts 2).
By them the Gospel was carried in its earliest days to the synagogues of
the East.

Eusebius, writing of events which took place in the second century,[33]
relates that many of the disciples at that time "whose souls were
inflamed by the Divine Word and with a more ardent desire of wisdom,
first fulfilled our Saviour's commandment by distributing their
substance to those that were necessitous; then after that, travelling
abroad, they performed the work of evangelists to those who had not yet
at all heard the word of faith, being very ambitious to preach Christ
and to deliver the books of the

=Page 68: Wide Spread of the Faith=

Divine Gospels. And these persons, having only laid the foundations of
faith in remote and barbarous places and constituted other pastors,
committed to them the culture of those they had perfectly introduced to
the faith, and departed again to other regions." Thus churches were
founded and the evangelists pressed further afield, and that, not only
within the wide bounds of the Roman Empire, but within the borders of
its greatest neighbour, the Persian Empire, and beyond. A writer in the
third century says: "That new power which has arisen from the works
wrought by the Lord and His Apostles has subdued the flame of human
passions and brought into the hearty acceptance of one faith a vast
variety of races and nations the most different in their manners. For we
can count up in our reckoning things achieved in India, among the Seres,
Persians and Medes; in Arabia, Egypt, Asia and Syria; among the
Galatians, the Parthians and the Phrygians; in Achaia, Macedonia and
Epirus; in all the islands and provinces which time rising or the
setting sun looks down upon."

The churches which spread so rapidly in Syria and the Persian Empire
were shut off from many of the influences which affected the Western
churches by difference of language and by political circumstances,
Aramaic being spoken in Palestine and Palmyra and used as the commercial
language down the Euphrates valley, and the mutual jealousy and mistrust
of the Roman and Persian Empires acting as a further bar to intercourse.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Eastern churches kept their simple and Scriptural character longer
than those of the West.[34] Even in the third century there was no
definite organization of the separate churches into one system, the
country was not divided into dioceses (there might be several bishops in
one church at the same time), and the churches were active and
successful in spreading the testimony continually into new regions.

Early in the fourth century Papa ben Aggai propounded a scheme for the
federation of all the churches in Persia, including those in Syria and
Mesopotamia, under the rule

=Page 69: Persecution of Persian Christians=

of the bishop of the capital city, Seleucia-Ctesiphon, a position which
he himself then occupied. This proposition was strenuously opposed, but
continued to be pressed, and the bishop came to be called the
_Catholikos_, and in time (498) the title Patriarch of
the East was adopted.

The prevalent religion in Persia was derived from that introduced some
eight centuries B.C. by Zoroaster. He, in his day, protested against the
prevailing idolatry and wickedness, teaching that there is only one God,
the Creator; that He is good, and alone to be worshipped. Zoroaster
would use no compulsion in matters of religion, but trusted to the truth
of what he taught to spread it. He made use of fire and light to
represent the works of God, and employed darkness and charred wood to
illustrate the powers of evil. He believed that God would bring about
that which is good, and gave an epitome of conduct in the words,
"Perform good actions, and refrain from evil ones." From the sixth to
the third century B.C. Zoroastrianism prevailed generally among the
Persians, but then its profession declined until it was revived by the
Sassanid dynasty, which was the reigning dynasty at the time here

When Constantine made Christianity the state religion in the Roman
Empire the Kings of Persia began to suspect those in their own country,
whom they called Nazarenes, of having sympathies with, and leanings
towards, the rival Empire, which they hated and feared. In the long
reign of the Persian King, Sapor II, this suspicion broke out into
violent persecution, which was fanned by the magi, the Zoroastrian
priests, unmindful both of their founder's precepts and of the testimony
of those magi, their predecessors, who had been led by the star to
Bethlehem. This persecution lasted for forty years, during which period
the Christians suffered every imaginable torment. Some 16,000 are
supposed to have lost their lives, and indescribable loss and misery was
inflicted on countless confessors of Christ. By their patience and faith
the churches in Persia came through this long and terrible trial
victorious, and after a generation of suffering (339-379) considerable
liberty of worship was restored to them.

Among the writings which remain

=Page 70: Homilies of Afrahat=

from that time are the Homilies of Afrahat, called "The Persian
Sage."[35] The sharp dividing line between the Roman Empire and the
countries outside of it is illustrated by the fact that these
"Homilies", which contain an exposition of doctrine and practice, do not
even mention the Council of Nicaea nor Arius nor Athanasius, though
written at the very time when there was such violent agitation about
them among the churches of the West. The first homily is on Faith, and
teaches: "For this is Faith: When a man shall believe in God the Lord of
all, that made the heaven and the earth and the seas and all that in
them is, Who made Adam in His image. Who gave the Law to Moses. Who sent
of His Spirit in the Prophets. Who sent moreover His Messiah into the
world. And that a man should believe in the coming to life of the dead.
And believe also in the mystery of baptism. This is the Faith of the
Church of God. And that a man should separate himself from observing
hours and sabbaths and months and seasons and enchantments and
divinations and chaldaism and magic and from fornication and from
revelling and from vain doctrines, the weapons of the Evil One, and from
the blandishment of honeyed words, and from blasphemy and from adultery.
And that no man should bear false witness and that none should speak
with double tongue. These are the works of the Faith that is laid on the
true Rock, which is the Messiah, upon whom all the building doth rise."
Afrahat condemns the teachings of Marcion and of Mani; he points out
that there are many things which we are not able to understand,
acknowledges the mystery of the Trinity but deprecates curious
questions, saying: "Above the heavens, what is there--who doth suffice
to tell? Beneath the earth, what is laid? There is none to say! The
firmament--upon what is it stretched out, or the heavens--upon what are
they hung? The earth--on what is it pillowed, or the deep--in what is it
fixed? We are of Adam, and here, with our senses, we perceive little.
Only this we know: that God is One, and His Messiah One, and One the
Spirit, and one the Faith and one Baptism. More than this far it doth
not help us to speak; and if we say more we fall short, and if we
investigate we are helpless." Afrahat's

=Page 71: Synod of Seleucia=

study of prophecy led him to the conclusion that the attacks of Persia
on the Roman Empire must of necessity fail.

The persecution of Christians in Persia, when Christianity was the state
religion of the Roman Empire, strained to the utmost the relations
between the two Empires, and when (399) Yezdegerd I succeeded to the
Persian throne the Roman Emperor sent to him the Bishop Maruta to
negotiate for relief for the believers. He proved to be a skilful
diplomat and, in conjunction with Isaak who had been ordained Grand
Metropolitan of Seleucia-Ctesiphon obtained permission from the Persian
king to call a Synod at Seleucia (410), to reorganise the Persian Church
so largely destroyed by persecution. At this Synod two royal officials
presented Isaak as "Head of the Christians".[36]

Maruta had brought a letter from the bishops of the West; which, having
been translated from Greek into Persian and shown to the king was
approved by him and ordered to be read before the assembled bishops. Its
requirements were accepted by all. Coming as they did out of great
tribulation, the Persian Christians were willing to concede much to
those who promised them peace. In the account of the Synod it is said
that it was held in the eleventh year of Yezdegerd the victorious Great
King, after the churches of the Lord had found peace and quiet, after he
had given to assemblies of Christ liberation and help to glorify Christ
boldly in their bodies in life and death after he had removed the cloud
of persecution from all the churches of God and the night of oppression
from all the flocks of Christ. For he had given commandment that in all
his empire the temples destroyed by his ancestors should be beautifully
restored, that the altars thrown down should be carefully served, and
that those who had been tested and tried by blows and bonds for God's
sake should be set at liberty. This took place on the occasion of the
election of our honourable great Father before God, Mar Isaak, Bishop of
Seleucia, and head of the bishops of all the East, who before God was
worthy of the grace of the rule of all the East, whose presence and
government opened the door of mercy to rest and peace of the people and
of the Church of God, whose humility and

=Page 72: Eastern Churches Organized=

great honourableness was brighter than all bishops of the East before
him ... and through the messenger of peace sent to the East in the
mercy of God the wise Father and honourable Head, Mar Maruta, the
bishop, who brought about peace and unity between East and West. He took
pains to build up the churches of Christ so that the godly laws and
right true canons which were established by our honourable fathers the
bishops in the West should be set up in the East for the edifying of the
truth and of the whole people of God. And through the care of various
bishops of the Roman lands all our churches and assemblies in the East
received, though they be far from us in body, compassionate love and

There was genuine rejoicing in deliverance from oppression, and
thanksgiving to God for His great work on their behalf; prayer also for
the king that God might add days to his days, that he might live for
ever. They said that in this glorious moment of the Synod their souls
were as though they had stood before the throne of Christ's glory; "We
forty bishops", they said, "gathered from various parts, listened with
great desire, to hear what was written in the letter from the bishops of
the West." The letter laid down that there should not be, unnecessarily,
two or three bishops in one town, but one bishop in each town and its
district. Bishops were not to be appointed by less than three bishops
acting with the authority of the Metropolitan. The dates of feasts were
settled. All the canons of the Council of Nicaea in the time of
Constantine were read and were signed by all present. Mar Isaak said:
"Anyone who does not agree with these praiseworthy laws and excellent
canons and does not accept them, may he be accursed from all the people
of God and may he have no power in the Church of Christ." It is recorded
further: "All we bishops together confirmed it after him with Amen, and
we all spake as he." Then Mar Maruta said: "All these explanations,
laws, and canons shall be written, and at the close we will all sign
them and confirm it in an everlasting covenant." Mar Isaak said: "I
subscribe at the head of all." Then all the bishops from different
places promised after him: "We also all accept it with joy and confirm
what has been written above by our signature at the foot." Having
brought all this before the king,

=Page 73: Uniformity in East and West=

Isaak and Maruta addressed the bishops again, saying: "Formerly you were
in great trouble and went about in secret. But now the Great King has
procured you great peace. And as Isaak went in and out before the Great
King, he, according to his good pleasure, has made him Head of all
Christians in the East. Especially since the day when Bishop Maruta came
has the favour of the Great King brought much peace and quietness to
you." The regulations were then given for the appointment of future
Heads by Isaak and Maruta or their successors, with the approval of the
reigning king. Further, of the Head they said: "And no one shall form a
party against him. If anyone shall rise against him and contradict his
will it must be told to us. We will then tell the Great King and the
evil that he has done, whoever it may be, shall be judged by him." Then
we left, Isaak and Maruta saying to us that all these things should be
written, all that is useful for the service of the Catholic Church. This
was gladly accepted, and it was agreed that anyone who set his own will
against these ordinances should be utterly excluded from the Church of
Christ, and his wound should never be healed, also the king should bring
bitter punishment upon him.

There were many other ordinances, as, that the clergy should be celibate
and not married as before; that bishops unable to be present on account
of distance should be bound by what had been agreed upon; while some
bishops, who from the beginning had opposed Isaak, were condemned as
rebels. Meetings in private houses were forbidden the boundaries of
parishes were fixed, and only one church was to be permitted in each.

Thus were East and West united, bishops being sent to various parts to
regulate all differences. Parties and divisions were to exist no more.

The death of Isaak revealed the uncertainty of such arrangements,
depending, as they did upon the will of the king. Numbers of the
nobility having joined the churches, the jealousy of the magi was
stirred and the king, remaining attached to his old religion was
influenced by his priests. Isaak was no longer there to mediate, and
when some of the Christian priests, puffed up with the importance of
their new official positions, defied the king to his face,

=Page 74: Nestorius=

he, impatient of contradiction, executed several of them on the spot. On
the death of the king general and severe persecution ensued under his
successors, Yezdegerd II and Bahram V.

       *       *       *       *       *

A change of far-reaching consequence was meanwhile being prepared for
the Syrian and Persian churches by events that were happening in the

Nestorius,[37] a preacher in Antioch, born at the foot of Mount Taurus in
Syria, was appointed (428) by the Byzantine Emperor Theodosius II to the
bishopric of Constantinople, where his lively eloquence and energy added
to the importance of his high position. He had been influenced by the
teaching of Theodore of Mopsuestia, who, opposing the growing tendency
to make the Virgin Mary an object of worship, had insisted on the
impropriety of giving her the title "Mother of God". Theodore's teaching
had not been generally condemned but when Nestorius taught the same,
likewise running counter to the popular desire to exalt Mary, he was
accused of denying the real Divinity of the Lord. The rivalry between
the bishoprics of Alexandria and Constantinople, and between the schools
of Alexandria and Antioch, made Cyril, bishop of Alexandria, more than
willing to take advantage of the opportunity to attack Nestorius. A
council was called at Ephesus. This was entirely dominated by Cyril who,
without waiting for the bishops favourable to Nestorius to arrive,
condemned him. Bitter quarrelling ensued, and the Emperor, for the sake
of peace, though he had at first refused to confirm the decision of the
Council, eventually deposed and then banished Nestorius, who passed the
remainder of his life in circumstances of privation and danger,
exchanging his activity and popularity in Constantinople for poverty and
isolation in an oasis of the Egyptian desert.

He did not hold or teach the doctrine attributed to him, and his
exclusion, though nominally on a point of doctrine, was really due to
personal jealousy on the part of his episcopal colleague Cyril. A
considerable number of the bishops, refusing assent to the judgement
pronounced on Nestorius, were finally expelled and took refuge in

=Page 75: The Name Nestorian=

where they were well received, the influx of so many capable and
experienced men being the means of reviving the churches and giving
fresh impetus to the spreading of them into still more distant regions.
The name Nestorian was then applied to all the Eastern churches (though
they did not themselves accept it, but protested against it) and they
were supposed to hold the doctrine improperly attributed to Nestorius
and equally unacceptable to them. They were distinct from, and opposed
to, both the Byzantine and the Roman churches, and one of themselves
wrote of them: "They are unjustly and injuriously called Nestorians;
whereas Nestorius was never their patriarch, nor did they even
understand the language in which he wrote; but when they heard how he
defended the orthodox truth of two natures and two persons in one Son of
God and one Christ, they gave their confirmation to his testimony
because they themselves had entertained the same doctrine. So that it
may rather be said, that Nestorians followed them, than that they were
led by him."

While in exile Nestorius wrote his own account of his belief,[38] and the
following is from "The Bazaar of Heraclides" a title concealing his name
in order that the book might escape destruction.

Writing on the obedience of Christ, he says: "And therefore He took the
form of a servant, a lowly form, a form that had lost the likeness of
God. He took not honour and glory, nor worship, nor yet authority,
though He was Son, but the form of a servant was acting with obedience
in the person of the Son, according to the mind of God; having His mind
and not its own. Nor did it do anything that it wished, but only what
God the Word wished. For this is the meaning of the 'form of God,' that
the form of the servant should not have a mind or will of its own, but
of Him whose the person is and the form. Wherefore the form of God took
the form of a servant and it did not avoid aught of the lowliness of the
form of a servant, but received all, that the (Divine) form might be in
all; that without stint it might make it to be its own form. For because
He took this form, that He might take away the guilt of the first man
and give to his nature that original image which he had lost

=Page 76: The "Bazaar of Heraclides"=

by his guilt, it was right that He should take that which had incurred
the guilt and was held under subjection and servitude, together with all
its bonds of dishonour and disgrace; since, apart from His person it had
nothing divine or honourable or independent.... Now when a man is
saved from all the causes from which disobedience arises, then truly and
without doubt is he seen to be without sins. And therefore He took of
the nature that had sinned, lest by taking of a nature which is
incapable of sins, it should be thought that it was by nature that He
could not sin, and not through His obedience. But though He had all
those things that belong to our nature--anger and desire and
thought--and these things also were developing as He grew gradually in
age; yet they were made firm in the purpose of obedience.... Nor did He
undertake obedience in the matter of those things in which there is a
certain incentive of honour, of power, of renown, but rather in those
that are poor and beggarly and contemptible and weak, and might well
baulk the purpose of obedience: things which have absolutely no
incentive to obedience, but rather to slackness and remissness. And He
received no sort of encouragement; but from Himself alone came His
desire of obedience to God and of loving what God wills. And therefore
He was needy in all things. But though He was forcibly drawn by contrary
things, in nothing did He decline from the mind of God; although Satan
employed all these means to withdraw Him from the mind of God. And Satan
sought to do this the more because he saw that He was in no wise
anxious, for He was not seen at first to work any miracles, nor did He
appear to have a charge to teach, but only to be in subjection and keep
all the commandments. While He was consorting with all men, and
surrounded on all sides by all the commandments, which showed that He
had the power to disobey, in the midst of them all He behaved manfully,
using nothing peculiar or different from others for His sustenance, but
availing Himself of such things as were usual, like other men; that it
might not be supposed that he was preserved from sin by aids of this
sort, and that He could not be preserved without these things. And
therefore in eating and drinking He observed all the commandments. And
through fatigue and sweat He

=Page 77: Teaching of Nestorius= remained firm in His
purpose, having His will fixed to the will of God. And there was nothing
that could withdraw or separate Him therefrom; for He lived not for
Himself but for Him whose own the person was; and He kept the person
without stain and without scar; and by its means He gave victory to the
human nature." After speaking then of Christ's baptism and temptation
and telling how He was sent to preach salvation, Nestorius continues:
"For God did not by means of death compass man's destruction, but
brought him to a better mind and gave him helps ..." After showing
then that it was the purpose of Satan to bring man a second time, and
this time utterly, to destruction by inducing him to put Christ to
death, he continues: "And He died for us erring ones; and He brought
Death into the midst because it was necessary that he should be
destroyed. And He did not hold back even from this that He Himself
should submit to Death; for by this He won the hope of Death's undoing
... and it was with this same hope that He undertook obedience with
immense love--not that He Himself should be cleared of guilt, but that
He might pay the penalty for us and not that He should gain the victory
for Himself, but for all men. For as the guilt of Adam established all
under guilt, so did His victory acquit all."

       *       *       *       *       *

When the Eastern Churches, outside the Roman Empire, came under the
stigma of "Nestorianism" and were branded as heretics, the Persian
rulers saw that there was no longer any danger of their becoming allies
of Constantinople or Rome, so there was given to them a liberty greater
than they had ever before enjoyed. This, with the impetus given by the
exiles from the West who had found a refuge among them, led to a further
development of energy and zeal in preaching the Gospel among the heathen
round about and beyond them. At the same time the influence was
strengthened which aimed at organizing the churches under one head, so
that not only were churches founded further and further afield, but
bishoprics also were formed and bishops appointed to take charge of the
new churches and keep them in touch with the central organization. Thus
love to the Lord and compassion for the heathen

=Page 78: Churches Throughout Asia=

carried these messengers of the Gospel to the most remote parts,
accomplishing extraordinary journeys, and their word was accompanied by
the saving power of the Holy Spirit, but at the same time the
centralization that had developed caused the increasing departure of the
centre from the teachings of Scripture to be reproduced in the new
churches, introducing from the beginning an element of weakness which
bore its fruit later.

So many were turned to the Lord that bishoprics were established in
Merv, Herat, and Samarcand, in China, and elsewhere. Near Madras and at
Kattayam in Travancore tablets have been found on which are inscriptions
of the seventh or eighth century, one of which reads: "In punishment by
the cross (was) the suffering of this One; He who is the true Christ,
and God alone, and Guide ever pure". Churches were numerous in various
parts of India; in the eighth century a certain David was appointed
metropolitan of the bishoprics in China. In a list of metropolitans in
the ninth century, those of India, Persia, Merv, Syria, Arabia, Herat,
Samarcand, are named, and others are mentioned who, on account of being
so far away from the centre, are excused from attending the quadrennial
synods and instructed to send in reports every six years and not to
neglect the collection for the support of the Patriarchate. These ardent
missionaries reached all parts of the Continent of Asia; their
bishoprics were established in Kambaluk (Pekin), Kashgar and Ceylon;
they penetrated also into Tartary and Arabia. Their churches came to
include the greater part of the population in Syria, Irak, and Khorasan,
in some districts adjoining the Caspian, and among some of the Mongol
tribes. They translated the Scriptures into several languages. There is
a record from the ninth or tenth century of their having translated the
New Testament into Sogdianese, an Indo-Iranian language. Near
Singan-fu[1] a slab was found containing a long inscription in Syriac
and Chinese, dating from the reign of Te Tsung (780-3). At the top is a
cross and the heading "Monument commemorating the introduction and
propagation of the noble law of Ta Ts'in in the Middle Kingdom". Among
other things it records the coming of a missionary, Olopun,

=Page 79: Moslem and Mongol Invasion=

from the Empire of Ta Ts'in in 635 bringing sacred books and images,
tells how the books were translated, the doctrine approved by the
imperial authority and permission given to teach it publicly. It
describes the spread of the doctrine, and how, later, Buddhism made more
progress, but under Hiuan Tsung (713-755) a new missionary, Kiho, came
and the Church was revived. The mention of the images shows what
declension there had been from the original purity of the Gospel and
this departure prepared the way for the triumphs of Mohammedanism that
were to come. Moreover, as numbers increased so greatly the moral
character and testimony of the Nestorians, or Chaldeans, degenerated.
About 845 the Chinese Emperor Wu Tsung dissolved many religious houses,
both Christian and Buddhist, and compelled their numerous inmates to
return to normal, secular life, special stress being laid on their
rejoining the ranks of those who paid ground rent, and taking their
places again in the family circles to which they belonged. Foreigners
among them were to be sent back to their native country.

As the great Mohammedan invasion swept over Persia large numbers of the
Chaldean, or Nestorian, Christians were either scattered or absorbed
into Islam, especially in Arabia and southern Persia. When order was
restored, however, and the Abbaside Caliphs were reigning in Bagdad,
Syrian Christians became prominent at the court as doctors and as
teachers of philosophy, science and literature. In 762 the Catholikos
removed from Seleucia, which was ruined, to the new capital of the
conquerors, at Bagdad. The rise of Genghis Khan and his immense
conquests, heading (1258) to the capture of Bagdad by the Mongols, did
not greatly affect the Syrian Church. The heathen Mongol rulers were
tolerant, and they employed Nestorians in important political
negotiations with the western powers, with the object of combining with
them for the destruction of Islam. Active in these negotiations was a
Chinese Nestorian, Yabh-alaha III, who rose from lowly rank to be
Catholikos of the Syrian Church (1281-1317).

From the seventh century to the thirteenth the Syrian Church was as
important in the East as the Roman and Greek Churches were in the West.
It covered immense territories and included very large populations. From

=Page 80: Nestorian Graves=

Persia and Syria it had spread until it had numerous and long
established missions in India and China. The majority of the peoples of
Turkestan, with their rulers, had accepted Christianity, and in the
chief centres of Asia the Christian church was to be found along with
the heathen temple and the Mohammedan mosque.

In the neighbourhood of the hot salt-lake Issyk-kul, high among the
mountains of Russian Turkestan, two cemeteries have been found.[39] On
hundreds of the tombstones are crosses and inscriptions which show that
they mark Nestorian graves. They cover the period from the middle of the
thirteenth to the middle of the fourteenth century. The names of most of
the Christians buried there show them to have been of Tartar race, then
as now, the prevailing nationality of that country. The inscriptions are
in Syriac and in Turkish. Among the many natives of the country there
are also some Christians from other lands--a Chinese woman, a Mongol, an
Indian, a Uigur--showing that the believers in the different countries
of Central Asia had communications with each other. There are references
to the learning and gifts of some and to their devoted service among the
churches, often the word "believer" is added to the name, and there are
expressions of affection and of hope. Among the inscriptions are the
following: "This is the grave of Pasak. The aim of life is Jesus our
Redeemer"--"This is the grave of the charming maiden Julia"--"This is
the grave of the priest and general, Zuma. A blessed old man, a famous
Emir, the son of General Giwargis. May our Lord unite his spirit with
the spirits of the fathers and saints in eternity"--"This is the grave
of the church visitor Pag-Mangku, the humble believer"--"This is the
grave of Shliha the celebrated commentator and teacher, who illuminated
all the monasteries with light; son of Peter the august commentator of
wisdom. His voice rang as high as the sound of a trumpet. May our Lord
mix his pure soul with the just men and the fathers. May he participate
in all heavenly joys"--"This is the grave of the priest Take who was
very zealous for the church".

=Page 81: Missions in China=

There was great rivalry between the Nestorian missionaries and those of
Islam for the favour of the Mongol khans. In this struggle Islam was
victorious and Syrian Christianity began to wane. In the beginning of
the fifteenth century, Timur, or Tamerlane had already established his
Empire, making Samarcand its centre. Although a Mohammedan, he sacked
Bagdad and generally wrought such unparalleled devastation that great
parts of Asia never recovered from it, and Christianity rapidly
diminished in western Asia.

       *       *       *       *       *

When the Franciscan and Jesuit missionaries[40] of the thirteenth and
following centuries, in the course of their arduous travels, discovered
the lost country of Cathay to be the same as newly-discovered China,
they found numerous Syrian Christians there. The Franciscan, John of
Monte Corvino, a missionary who died in China about 1328, wrote: "I
departed from Tauris, a city of the Persians, in the year of the Lord
1291 and proceeded to India ... for thirteen months, and in that
region baptised in different places about one hundred persons.... I
proceeded on my journey and made my way to Cathay, the realm of the
Emperor of the Tartars, who is called the Grand Cham. To him I presented
a letter of our Lord the Pope, and invited him to adopt the Catholic
Faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, but he had grown too old in idolatry.
However, he bestows many kindnesses upon the Christians, and these two
years past I am abiding with him. The Nestorians, a certain body who
profess to bear the Christian name, but who deviate sadly from the
Christian religion, have grown so powerful in these parts that they will
not allow a Christian of another ritual to have ever so small a chapel,
or to publish any doctrine different from their own." The Archbishop of
Soltania, writing about 1330, refers to John of Monte Corvino: "He was a
man of very upright life, pleasing to God and men ... he would have
converted that whole country to the Christian Catholic faith, if the
Nestorians, those false Christians and real miscreants, had not hindered
him ... (he) was at great pains with those Nestorians to bring them
under the obedience of our mother

=Page 82: Chinese Scriptures=

the holy church of Rome; for without this obedience, he told them, they
could not be saved. And for this cause those Nestorian schismatics held
him in great hate." The Nestorians were said to number more than 30,000
in Cathay and to be very rich, having handsome and devoutly ordered
churches, with crosses and images in honour of God and the saints. "It
is believed that if they would agree and be at one with the Minor
Friars, and with other good Christians who dwell in that country, they
would convert the whole country and the emperor likewise to the true
faith." John of Monte Corvino himself, describing his methods of work,
complains that his brethren do not write to him and is much concerned at
the news that comes through from Europe--tells of a travelling doctor
"who", he says, "spread abroad in these parts the most incredible
blasphemies about the Court of Rome and our Order and the state of
things in the West, and on this account I exceedingly desire to obtain
true intelligence...." He begs for suitable helpers and says that he
has already translated the New Testament and Psalter into the language
of the country, "and have caused them", he adds, "to be written out in
the finest penmanship they have; and so, by writing, reading, and
preaching, I bear open and public testimony to the law of Christ."

When Robert Morrison was learning Chinese in London before going out for
the London Missionary Society to his great work of translating the Bible
into Chinese, he was shown and studied a Chinese manuscript that had
been found in the British Museum, which contained a Harmony of the
Gospels, the Book of the Acts, and the Pauline Epistles and also a
Latin-Chinese Dictionary, supposed to be the work of an unknown Roman
Catholic missionary of the 16th century. In the Chinese annals, after a
description of the close of the Mongol and the rise of the Ming Dynasty
(1368), this comment is made: "... a native from the Great Western
Ocean came to the capital, who said that the Lord of Heaven, Ye-su, was
born in Ju-tê-a which is identical with the old country of Ta Ts' in
(Rome); that this country is known in the historical books to have
existed since the creation of the world for the last 6000 years; that it
is beyond dispute the sacred ground of history and the origin of all
worldly affairs; that it should be considered

=Page 83: Decline of the Syrian Churches=

as the country where the Lord of Heaven created the human race. This
account looks somewhat exaggerated and should not be trusted...."

With the exception of a numerous and interesting body of Syrian
Christians on the Malabar coast of South India, and some remnants around
Urumiah, near their original home, these Persian and Syrian churches
have disappeared from Asia where they were once so widely spread.

Until the end of the third century they retained a large measure of
Scriptural simplicity in the ordering of their churches. Separated to
some extent from the theological discussions that occupied the West, the
apostolic messengers who went out from these churches threw their
energies into incessant travelling, and were successful in spreading the
Gospel and founding churches as far as the most remote parts of Asia. In
the fourth century, when the churches in the Roman world had respite
from the persecution they had suffered, those in Persia and the East
entered into a time of fiery testing such as they had not hitherto
experienced. This they endured, and their faith and patience prevailed.
They were weakened more at this time by the federating scheme of Papa
ben Aggai than by the losses they had suffered through persecution, and
this prepared the way for the introduction of the Roman church system at
the Synod of Seleucia at the beginning of the fifth century. The system
here was necessarily modified by the fact that in the Persian Empire and
in further Asia the rulers remained Pagan, and those who had seen in the
union of Church and State in the time of Constantine one chief reason of
the corruption of the churches in the West, might have expected better
things in the East, where such a union could not take place. But the
Roman organization of parishes, clergy, bishops, and metropolitans
prevailed, and, abandoning the simple Scriptural order of the churches
and their elders, the Syrian churches diverted their energies into the
strifes and intrigues and divisions which continually took place among
them, owing to the efforts of various men to obtain the influential post
of bishop or catholikos. Even the important revivals which occurred at
times were unable to stem their downward course seeing that they were
the work of dominating persons aiming at strengthening episcopal
authority rather than

=Page 84: Causes of Decline=

movements of the Spirit among the people, drawing them back through the
Word to obedience to the commandments of the Lord.

The Nestorian division, by separating the Eastern Church from the
Western, might have been an occasion of reviving, had it led to a return
to the pattern of Scripture, but though it stimulated missionary zeal
for a time, it did not shake the dominance of the clergy nor faith in
the efficacy for salvation of the sacraments they administered. The
churches lost much of the benefit of separation from the State when they
had a Catholikos or Patriarch who could obtain the help of the secular
arm in enforcing his decrees, and through whom the State could exercise
an influence on them. They were taught to look to Seleucia or to Bagdad
rather than to Christ as their centre; to send their reports to them
rather than bring their matters direct to Him "who walketh in the midst
of the seven golden candlesticks", to receive from them bishops for
their guidance rather than count on the Holy Spirit to distribute among
them the gifts needed for their edifying and for the further preaching
of the Gospel. By this channel, too, the use of images was introduced
and extended, weakening the testimony of the Gospel among the heathen
idol-worshippers, and destroying its power to resist the incoming tide
of Mohammedanism, which overwhelmed and still holds vast territories
where once there were the brightest hopes that the knowledge of Christ
would prevail.


[33] "The Syrian Churches" J. W. Etheridge.

[34] "Le Christianisme dans l'Empire Perse sous ma Dynastie Sassanide"
(224-632). J. Labourt.

[35] "Early Christianity outside the Roman Empire" F. C. Burkitt M.A.

[36] "Das Buch des Synhados" Oscar Braun.

[37] "Nestorius and his Teachings" J. Bethune-Baker.

[38] "The Bazaar of Heraclides of Damascus" J. Bethune-Baker

[39] "Nestorian Missionary Enterprise" by the Rev. John Stewart, M.A.,
Ph.D (T. & T. Clark, Edinburgh, 1928). A valuable work in itself, and
also for the references to authorities given, including Chwolson, the
translator of the inscriptions quoted.

[40] "Cathay and the Way Thither" Col. Sir Henry Yule. Hakluyt Society.

=Page 85: Pierre de Brueys=

Chapter V

Waldenses and Albigenses

=1100-1230 * * 70-1700 * * 1160-1318 * * 1100-1500=

Pierre de Brueys--Henri the Deacon--Sectarian names refused--The name
Albigenses--Visits of brethren from the Balkans--The Perfect--Provence
invaded--Inquisition established--Waldenses--Leonists--Names--Tradition
in the valleys--Peter Waldo--Poor Men of Lyons--Increase of missionary
activity--Francis of Assisi--Orders of Friars--Spread of the
churches--Doctrine and practices of the Brethren--Waldensian valleys
attacked--Beghards and Beghines.

[Sidenote: =1100-1230=]

Brethren from Bosnia and other Balkan countries,
making their way through Italy, came into the South of France, finding
everywhere those who shared their faith. The teaching they brought with
them found ready acceptance. The Roman clergy called them Bulgarians,
Cathars, Patarenes, and other names, and, following the habit of
centuries in Asia Minor and in time Balkan countries, affirmed that they
were Manichaeans.

In addition to the circles to which these belonged, others were formed
within the Church of Rome,[41] the result of spiritual movements which
developed in such a way as to bring multitudes of persons, who belonged
nominally to that communion, to leave the religious services to which
they had been accustomed, and to gather around those who read and
expounded to them the Word of God. Prominent among such teachers was
Pierre de Brueys, an able and diligent preacher who for twenty years,
braving all dangers, travelled throughout Dauphiny, Provence, Languedoc,
and Gascony, drawing multitudes from the superstitions in which they had
been brought up, back to the teachings of Scripture, until he was burned
at St. Gilles (1126). He showed from Scripture that none should be
baptised until they had attained to time full use of their reason; that
it is useless to build churches, as God accepts sincere worship wherever
offered; that crucifixes should not be venerated, but rather looked upon
with horror, as representing the instrument on which our Lord suffered;
that the bread and wine are not changed into the body and blood of
Christ, but are symbols

=Page 86: Names=

commemorative of His death; and that the prayers and good works of the
living cannot benefit the dead.

He was joined by Henri, a monk of Cluny in deacon's orders, whose
striking appearance, powerful voice, and great gift of oratory compelled
attention, while his denunciation of the crying evils that abounded, his
convincing expositions of Scripture, and his zeal and devotion, turned
very many to repentance and faith, among them notorious sinners, who
were converted and became changed in life. Priests who tried to oppose
were terrified by the power of his preaching and at the sight of the
multitudes that followed him. Undeterred by the violent death of his
elder and admired brother and fellow-worker, he continued his testimony
until Bernard of Clairvaux, at that time the most powerful man in
Europe, was called to oppose him as being the only one who could hope to
do so successfully. Bernard found the churches deserted and the people
wholly turned from the clergy, and although Henri was obliged to flee
from his powerful opponent, all Bernard's oratory and authority could
only put a temporary check on the movement, which was not dependent on
any individual but was a spiritual one affecting the whole population.
Henri was able to elude capture for a long time and continue his
fearless work, but falling at last into the hands of the clergy he was
imprisoned and either died in prison or was put to death there (1147).

In accordance with the inveterate habit of attaching some sectarian name
to any who endeavoured to return to the teaching of Scripture, many were
called at this time Petrobrussians, or Henricians, names which they
themselves never acknowledged. Bernard of Clairvaux complained bitterly
of their objection to taking the name of anyone as their founder. He
said: "Inquire of them the author of their sect and they will assign
none. What heresy is there, which, from among men, has not had its own
heresiarch? The Manichaeans had Manes for their prince and preceptor,
the Sabellians Sabellius, the Arians Arius, the Eunomians Eunomius the
Nestorians Nestorius. Thus all other pests of this stamp are known to
have had each a man, as their several founders, whence they have at once
derived both their origin and their name. But by what appellation or by
what little will you enrol these

=Page 87: The Name Albigenses=

heretics? Truly by none. For their heresy is not derived from man,
neither through man have they received it...." He then comes to the
conclusion that they had received it from demons. The name Albigenses[42]
does not appear until after the Council held at Lombers near Albi about
the middle of the twelfth century. The people brought for trial then
made a confession of faith which did not differ much from what a Roman
Catholic might have made; but as they had a conscientious objection to
taking an oath in confirmation of what they had said they were
condemned. This confession, including as it did a declaration of belief
in infant baptism, shows that those affected by the religious movements
of the time differed among themselves in their degree of divergence from
the teachings of the dominant Church. In a time of such spiritual
unrest, all kinds of strange and fanciful ideas took root, and both
truth and error found fruitful ground. Some persons who were examined
and punished appear to have been Mystics, and although many who were
accused of being Manichaeans had no sort of connection with them, yet
instances were found of those who held Manichean doctrine, and these
were readily confounded with others innocent of such teaching.

Among the people the brethren were most frequently called "Good Men",
and there is general testimony to the fact that their manner of life was
a pattern to all, and especially that their simplicity and piety were a
contrast to the self-indulgence of the clergy.

At St. Félix de Caraman, near Toulouse, in 1167, a conference of
teachers of these churches was held at which an elder from
Constantinople took a leading part; he brought good news of the progress
of the churches in his own district and also in Romania, Bulgaria, and
Dalmatia. In 1201 the visit of another leader, from Albania, was the
occasion of widespread revival in the South of France.

Some among the brethren devoted themselves entirely to travelling and
ministering the Word, and were called "the Perfect," and, in accordance
with the Lord's words

=Page 88: Provence Devastated=

in Matthew 19. 21, "If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast,
and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come
and follow Me", they possessed nothing, had no home, and literally acted
upon this command. It was recognised that all are not called to such a
path, and that the majority of believers, while acknowledging that they
and all they have belong to Christ, should serve Him while remaining in
their families and continuing in their usual occupations.

       *       *       *       *       *

In Languedoc and Provence in the South of France, there was a
civilization in advance of that in other countries. The pretensions of
the Roman Church to rule had been generally opposed and set aside there.
The congregations of believers who met apart from the Catholic Church
were numerous and increasing. They are often called Albigenses, a name
taken from Albi, a district where there were many of them, but this name
was never used by them, nor of them until a later period. They had
intimate connections with the brethren--whether called Waldenses, Poor
Men of Lyons, Bogomils, or otherwise--in the surrounding countries,
where churches spread among the various peoples. Pope Innocent III
required of the Count of Toulouse, Raymond VI, who ruled in Provence,
and of the other rulers and prelates in the South of France, that the
heretics should be banished. This would have meant the ruin of the
country. Raymond temporised, but was soon involved in a hopeless quarrel
with the Pope, who in 1209 proclaimed a crusade against him and his
people. Indulgences, such as had been given to the Crusaders who went at
great risk to themselves to rescue the Holy Places in Palestine from the
Mohammedan Saracens, were now offered to all who would take part in the
easier work of destroying the most fruitful provinces of France. This,
and the prospect of booty and licence of every kind attracted hundreds
of thousands of men. Under the presidence of high clerical dignitaries
and led by Simon de Montfort, a military leader of great ability and a
man of boundless ambition and ruthless cruelty, the most beautiful and
cultivated part of Europe at that time was ravaged, became for twenty
years the scene of unspeakable wickedness and cruelty and was reduced to
desolation. When the town of

=Page 89: Inquisition Established=

Beziers was summoned to surrender, the Catholic inhabitants joined with
the Dissenters in refusing, though warned that if the place were taken
no soul should be left alive. The town was captured, and of the tens of
thousands who had taken refuge there none were spared. After the capture
of another place, La Minerve, about 140 believers were found, women in
one house, men in another, engaged in prayer as they awaited their doom.
De Montfort had a great pile of wood prepared, and told them to be
converted to the Catholic faith or mount that pile. They answered that
they owned no papal or priestly authority, only that of Christ and His
Word. The fire was lighted and the confessors, without hesitation,
entered the flames.

It was near this spot, in the neighbourhood of Narbonne, that the
Inquisition was established (1210), under the superintendence of
Dominic, the founder of the Dominican order. When, at the Council of
Toulouse (1229) it was made a permanent institution, the Bible,
excepting only the Latin Psalter, was forbidden to the laity, and it was
decreed that they might have no part of it translated into their own
languages. The Inquisition finished what the crusade had left undone.
Many of the brethren fled to the Balkan countries, others were scattered
throughout the neighbouring lands, the civilization of Provence
disappeared and the independent provinces of the south were incorporated
into the kingdom of France.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Sidenote: =70-1700=]

In the Alpine valleys of Piedmont there had been
for centuries congregations of believers calling themselves brethren,
who came later to be widely known as Waldenses, or Vaudois, though they
did not themselves accept the name. They traced their origin in those
parts back to Apostolic times. Like many of the so-called Cathar,
Paulician, and other churches, these were not 'reformed', never having
degenerated from the New Testament pattern as had the Roman, Greek, and
some others, but having always maintained, in varying degree, the
Apostolic tradition. From the time of Constantine there had continued to
be a succession of those who preached the Gospel and founded churches,
uninfluenced by the relations between Church and State existing at the
time. This accounts for the large bodies of Christians, well established
in the

=Page 90: Churches in Alpine Valleys=

Scriptures and free from idolatry and the other evils prevailing in the
dominant, professing Church, to be found in the Taurus Mountains and the
Alpine valleys.

These latter, in the quiet seclusion of their mountains, had remained
unaffected by the development of the Roman Church. They considered the
Scriptures, both for doctrine and church order, to be binding for their
time, and not rendered obsolete by change of circumstances. It was said
of them that their whole manner of thought and action was an endeavour
to hold fast the character of original Christianity. One mark of their
not being "reformers" is to be observed in their comparative tolerance
of the Roman Catholic Church, a reformer almost inevitably emphasizing
the evil of that from which he has separated, in order to justify his
action. In their dealings with contemporaries who seceded from the
Church of Rome, as well as later in their negotiations with the
reformers of the Reformation, this acknowledgment of what was good in
the Church that persecuted them is repeatedly seen.

The inquisitor Reinerius, who died in 1259, has left it on record:
"Concerning the sects of ancient heretics, observe, that there have been
more than seventy: all of which, except the sects of the Manichaeans and
the Arians and the Runcarians and the Leonists which have infected
Germany, have through the favour of God, been destroyed. Among all these
sects, which either still exist or which have formerly existed, there is
not one more pernicious to the Church than that of the Leonists: and
this for three reasons. The first reason is; because it has been of
longer continuance, for some say that it has lasted from the time of
Sylvester, others, from the time of the Apostles. The second reason is:
because it is more general, for there is scarcely any land, in which
this sect does not exist. The third reason is; because, while all other
sects, through the enormity of their blasphemies against God, strike
horror into the hearers, this of the Leonists has a great semblance of
piety, inasmuch as they live justly before men, and believe every point
well respecting God together with all the articles contained in the
creed: only they blaspheme the Roman Church and clergy, to which the
multitude of the laity are ready enough to give credence." A later
writer, Pilichdorf, also a bitter opponent, says that the

=Page 91: Antiquity of Waldenses=

persons who claimed to have thus existed from the time of Pope Sylvester
were the Waldenses.

Some have suggested that Claudius, Bishop of Turin, was the founder of
the Waldenses in the mountains of Piedmont. He and they had much in
common, and must have strengthened and encouraged one another, but the
brethren called Waldenses were of much older origin. A Prior of St. Roch
at Turin, Marco Aurelio Rorenco, was ordered in 1630 to write an account
of the history and opinions of the Waldenses. He wrote that the
Waldenses are so ancient as to afford no absolute certainty in regard to
the precise time of their origin, but that, at all events, in the ninth
and tenth centuries they were even then not a new sect. And he adds that
in the ninth century so far from being a new sect, they were rather to
be deemed a race of fomenters and encouragers of opinions which had
preceded them. Further, he wrote that Claudius of Turin was to be
reckoned among these fomenters and encouragers, inasmuch as he was a
person who denied the reverence due to the holy cross, who rejected the
veneration and invocation of saints, and who was a principal destroyer
of images. In his commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians, Claudius
plainly teaches justification by faith, and points out the error of the
Church in departing from that truth.

The brethren in the valleys never lost the knowledge and consciousness
of their origin and unbroken history there. When from the fourteenth
century onward the valleys were invaded and the people had to negotiate
with surrounding rulers, they always emphasised this. To the Princes of
Savoy, who had had the longest dealings with them, they could always
assert without fear of contradiction the uniformity of their faith, from
father to son, through time immemorial, even from the very age of the
Apostles. To Francis I of France they said, in 1544: "This Confession is
that which we have received from our ancestors, even from hand to hand,
according as their predecessors in all time and in every age have taught
and delivered." A few years later, to the Prince of Savoy they said:
"Let your Highness consider, that this religion in which we live is not
merely our religion of the present day, or a religion discovered for the
first time only a few years ago, as our enemies falsely pretend, but it
is the religion

=Page 92: Peter Waldo=

of our fathers and of our grandfathers, yea, of our forefathers and of
our predecessors still more remote. It is the religion of the Saints and
of the Martyrs, of the Confessors and of the Apostles." When they came
into contact with the Reformers in the sixteenth century they said: "Our
ancestors have often recounted to us that we have existed from the time
of the Apostles. In all matters nevertheless we agree with you, and
thinking as you think, from the very days of the Apostles themselves, we
have ever been consistent respecting the faith." On the return of the
Vaudois to their valleys, their leader, Henri Arnold, in 1689 said:
"That their religion is as primitive as their name is venerable is
attested even by their adversaries," and then quotes Reinarius the
Inquisitor who, in a report made by him to the Pope on the subject of
their faith, admits, "they have existed from time immemorial." "It would
not," Arnold continues, "be difficult to prove that this poor band of
the faithful were in the valleys of Piedmont more than four centuries
before the appearance of those extraordinary personages, Luther and
Calvin and the subsequent lights of the Reformation. Neither has their
Church ever been reformed, whence arises its title of Evangelic. The
Vaudois are in fact descended from those refugees from Italy, who, after
St. Paul had there preached the Gospel, abandoned their beautiful
country and fled, like the woman mentioned in the Apocalypse, to these
wild mountains, where they have to this day handed down the Gospel, from
father to son, in the same purity and simplicity as it was preached by
St. Paul."

[Sidenote: =1160-1318=]

Peter Waldo of Lyons, a successful merchant and
banker, was aroused to see his need of salvation by the sudden death of
one of the guests at a feast he had given. He became so much interested
in the Scriptures that (1160) he employed clerks to translate parts into
the Romance dialect. He had been touched by the story of St. Alexius, of
whom it was related that he sold all that he had and went on a
pilgrimage to the Holy Land. A theologian directed Waldo to the Lord's
words in Matthew 19. 21: "If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou
hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and
come and follow Me." He therefore (1173) made over his landed property
to his wife, sold the remainder and distributed it among the poor.

=Page 93: Poor Men of Lyons=

For a time he devoted himself to the study of the Scriptures and then
(1180) gave himself to travelling and preaching, taking as a guide the
Lord's words: "He sent His disciples two and two before His face into
every city and place whither He Himself would come. Therefore said He
unto them, The harvest truly is great but the labourers are few: pray ye
therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He would send forth labourers
into His harvest. Go your ways: behold I send you forth as lambs among
wolves. Carry neither purse nor scrip nor shoes: and salute no man by
the way." Companions joined him, and, travelling and preaching in this
way, came to be known as the "Poor Men of Lyons". Their appeal for
recognition (1179) to the third Lateran Council, under Pope Alexander
III, had already been scornfully refused. They were driven out of Lyons
by Imperial edict and (1184) excommunicated. Scattered over the
surrounding countries, their preaching proved very effectual, and "Poor
Men of Lyons" became one of the many names attached to those who
followed Christ and His teaching.

An inquisitor, David of Augsburg, says: "The sect of the Poor Men of
Lyons and similar ones are the more dangerous the more they adorn
themselves with the appearance of piety ... their manner of life is,
to outward appearance, humble and modest, but pride is in their hearts";
they say they have pious men among them, but do not see, he continues,
"that we have infinitely more and better than they, and such as do not
clothe themselves in mere appearance, whereas among the heretics all is
wickedness covered by hypocrisy." An old chronicle tells how as early as
the year 1177 "disciples of Peter Waldo came from Lyons to Germany and
began to preach in Frankfurt and in Nüremberg, but because the Council
in Nüremberg was warned that they should seize and burn them, they
disappeared into Bohemia."

The relations of Peter Waldo with the Waldenses were so intimate that
many called him the founder of a sect of that name, though others derive
the name from the Alpine valleys, Vallenses, in which so many of those
believers lived. It is true that Waldo was highly esteemed among them,
but not possible that he should have been their founder, since they
founded their faith and practice on the Scriptures

=Page 94: Francis of Assisi=

and were followers of those who from the earliest times had done the
same. For outsiders to give them the name of a man prominent among them
was only to follow the usual habit of their opponents, who did not like
to admit their right to call themselves, as they did, "Christians" or
"brethren". Peter Waldo continued his travels and eventually reached
Bohemia, where he died (1217), having laboured there for years and sown
much seed, the fruit of which was seen in the spiritual harvest in that
country at the time of Huss and later. The accession of Peter Waldo and
his band of preachers gave an extraordinary impetus to the missionary
activities of the Waldenses, who until this time had been somewhat
isolated in their remote valleys, but now went everywhere preaching the

       *       *       *       *       *

Within the Roman Catholic Church there were many souls suffering under
the prevailing worldliness, who desired a revival of spiritual life yet
did not come out of that system and join themselves to these churches of
believers which, outside of it, were endeavouring to act on the
principles of Scripture. In the same year (1209) in which Pope Innocent
III inaugurated the crusade against the South of France, Francis of
Assisi, then 25 years old, hearing at mass one winter morning the words
of Jesus from the tenth chapter of Matthew, in which He gave commands to
the twelve apostles as He sent them out to preach, saw in this the way
of the reformation he had desired and felt himself called to preach in
utmost poverty and humility. From this sprang the order of Franciscan
Friars which so quickly spread over the world. Francis was a wonderful
preacher, and his sincerity and devotion and joyous nature drew
multitudes to hear him. In 1210 he went to Rome with the little company
of his earliest followers, and obtained from the Pope a somewhat
reluctant verbal approval of their 'Rule', with permission to preach.
The numbers wishing to join were soon so great that to meet the needs of
those who desired to keep the Rule, and yet continue in their usual
vocations the "Third Order" was formed, the Tertiaries, who continued
their secular occupations while submitting themselves to a prescribed
rule of life, the pattern of which is chiefly found in the instructions
of the Lord Jesus to the Apostles.

=Page 95: The Friars=

They vowed to restore ill-gotten gains, be reconciled to enemies, live
in peace with all, live a life of prayer and works of charity, keep
fasts and vigils, pay tithes to the church, take no oaths, nor bear
arms, use no bad language, practise piety to the dead. The spirit of
Francis burned for the conversion of heathen and Mohammedans, as well as
for that of his own Italians, and twice he suffered almost to death in
endeavouring to reach and preach to the infidels in Palestine and
Morocco. In 1219 the second Chapter General of the Order was held and
numerous friars were sent out to all countries, from Germany to North
Africa, and later to England also. Five who went to Morocco suffered
martyrdom. The Order soon grew beyond the power of Francis to control
it, came under the organizing authority of men of different ideals, and,
to his great grief, the Rule of Poverty was modified. After his death
(1226) the division, which had begun earlier, between the strict and the
lax friars, became more acute; the stricter ones, or
_Spirituali,_ were persecuted, four of them being burnt
in Marseilles (1318), and in the same year the Pope formally declared to
be heresy the teaching that Christ and His Apostles possessed nothing.

These new orders of Friars, the Dominicans and Franciscans, like the
older orders of monks, arose from a sincere desire for deliverance from
intolerable evils prevailing in the Church and the world, and from the
soul's quest after God. While the older monastic orders were chiefly
occupied with personal salvation and sanctification, the later orders of
friars devoted themselves more to helping in their needs and miseries
the men and women around them. Both institutions, the Monastic and the
Preaching Orders, for a time exercised a widespread influence for good,
yet both, being founded on the ideas of men, quickly degenerated, and
became instruments of evil--active agents in opposing those who sought
revival by carrying out and making known the Scriptures.

The histories of the monks and of the friars show that if a spiritual
movement can be kept within the confines of the Roman Catholic Church or
any similar system it is doomed, and must inevitably be dragged down to
the level of that which it sought originally to reform. It purchases
exemption from persecution at the cost of its life.

=Page 96: Churches Numerous=

Francis of Assisi and Peter Waldo were both laid hold of by the same
teaching of the lord, and yielded themselves to Him with uttermost
devotion. In each case the example set and the teaching given gained the
hearts of large numbers and affected their whole manner of life. The
likeness turned to contrast when the one was accepted and the other
rejected by the organised religion of Rome. The inward relation to the
Lord may have remained the same, but the working out of the two lives
differed widely. The Franciscans being absorbed into the Roman system,
helped to bind men to it, while Waldo and his band of preachers directed
multitudes of souls to the Scriptures, where they learned to draw for
themselves fresh and inexhaustible supplies from the "wells of

       *       *       *       *       *

[Sidenote: =1100-1500=]

In 1163 a Council of the Romish Church at
Tours,[43] called together by Pope Alexander III, forbade any intercourse
with Waldenses because they taught "a damnable heresy, long since sprung
up in the territory of Toulouse." Before the close of the 12th century
there was a numerous Waldensian church in Metz, which had translations
of the Bible in use. The church in Cologne had long been in existence in
1150 when a number of its members were executed, of whom their judge
said "They went to their death not only with patience but with
enthusiasm." In Spain in 1192 King Alfonso of Aragon issued an edict
against them and stated that in doing so he was acting according to the
example of his predecessors. They were numerous in France, Italy,
Austria, and many other countries. In the Diocese of Passau, in 1260,
they were to be found in forty-two parishes, and a priest of Passau
wrote at that time: "In Lombardy, Provence, and elsewhere the heretics
had more schools than the theologians, and far more hearers. They
disputed openly, and called the people to solemn meetings in the Market
places or in the open fields. No one dared to hinder them, on account of
the power and number of their admirers." In Strassburg in 1212 the
Dominicans had already arrested 500 persons who belonged to churches of
the Waldenses. They were of all classes, nobles, priests, rich and poor,

=Page 97: Primitive Churches Widespread=

men and women. The prisoners said that there were many like them in
Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Bohemia, etc. Eighty of them, including 12
priests and 23 women were given over to the flames. Their leader and
elder, named John, declared as he was about to die, "We are all sinners,
but it is not our faith that makes us so, nor are we guilty of the
blasphemy of which we are accused without reason; but we expect the
forgiveness of our sins, and that without the help of men, and not
through the merit of our own works." The goods of those executed were
divided between the Church and the civil authority, which placed its
power at the disposition of the Church. A decretal of Pope Gregory IX,
in 1263, declared--"We excommunicate and anathematise all heretics,
Cathars, Patarenes, Poor Men of Lyons, Passagini, Josepini, Arnaldistae,
Speronistae, and others, by whatever names they may be known, having
indeed different faces, but being united by their tails, and meeting in
the same point through their vanity." The inquisitor, David of Augsburg,
admitted that formerly "the sects were one sect" and that now they hold
together in the presence of their enemies. These scattered notices,
taken from among many, are sufficient to show that primitive churches
were widespread in Europe in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, that
in some parts they were so numerous and influential as to have a large
measure of liberty, though elsewhere they were subjected to the most
cruel persecution, and that, although many names were given to them, and
there must have been variety of view among so many, yet they were
essentially one, and had constant communication and fellowship with one

The doctrines and practices of these brethren, known as Waldenses, and
also by other names, were of such a character that it is evident they
were not the fruits of an effort to reform the Roman and Greek churches
and bring them back to more Scriptural ways. Bearing no traces of the
influence of those churches, they indicate, on the contrary, the
continuance of an old tradition, handed down from quite another
source--the teaching of Scripture and the practice of the primitive
Church. Their existence proves that there had always been men of faith,
men of spiritual power and understanding, who had maintained

=Page 98: Teaching of the Waldenses=

in the churches a tradition close to that of apostolic days, and far
removed from that which the dominant Churches had developed.

Apart from the Holy Scriptures they had no special confession of faith
or religion, nor any rules, and no authority of any man, however
eminent, was allowed to set aside the authority of Scripture. Yet,
throughout the centuries, and in all countries, they confessed the same
truths and had the same practices. They valued Christ's own words, in
the Gospels, as being the highest revelation, and if ever they were
unable to reconcile any of His words with other portions of Scripture,
while they accepted all, they acted on what seemed to them the plain
meaning of the Gospels. Following Christ was their chief theme and aim,
keeping His words, imitating His example. "The Spirit of Christ", they
said, "is effective in any man in the measure in which he obeys the
words of Christ and is His true follower. It is only Christ who can give
the ability to understand His words. If anyone love Him he will keep His
words." A few great truths were looked upon as essential to fellowship,
but otherwise, in matters open to doubt or to difference of view, large
liberty was allowed. They maintained that the inner testimony of the
indwelling Spirit of Christ is of great importance, since the highest
truths come from the heart to the mind; not that new revelation is
given, but a clearer understanding of the Word. The portion of Scripture
most dwelt upon was the Sermon on the Mount, this being looked upon as
the rule of life for the children of God. The brethren were opposed to
the shedding of blood, even to capital punishment, to any use of force
in matters of faith and to taking any proceedings against such as harmed
them. Yet most of them allowed self-defence, even with weapons; so the
inhabitants of the valleys defended themselves and their families when
attacked. They would take no oaths nor use the Name of God or of Divine
things lightly, though on certain occasions they might allow themselves
to be put on oath. They did not admit the claim of the great professing
Church to open or close the way of salvation, nor did they believe that
salvation was through any sacraments or by anything but faith in Christ,
which showed itself in the activities of love. They held the doctrine of
the sovereignty of God in

=Page 99: Church Order=

election, together with that of man's free will. They considered that in
all times and in all forms of churches there were enlightened men of
God. They therefore made use of the writings of Ambrose, Augustine,
Chrysostom, Bernard of Clairvaux and others, not accepting, however, all
they wrote, but only that which corresponded with the older, purer
teaching of Scripture. The love of theological disputation and pamphlet
war was not developed among them, as among so many others; yet they were
ready to die for the truth, laid great stress on the value of practical
piety and desired in quietness to serve God and to do good.

In matters of church order they practised simplicity, and there was
nothing among them corresponding to that which had grown up in the
Church of Rome. Yet the Churches and elders accepted their
responsibilities with the utmost seriousness. In matters of discipline,
appointment of elders, and other acts, the whole church took part, in
conjunction with its elders. The Lord's Supper was in both kinds and for
all believers, and was looked upon as a remembrance of the Lord's body
given for them and at the same time as a strong exhortation to yield
themselves to be broken and poured out for His sake. "As to baptism,"
writes an opponent, Pseudo-Reimer (1260), "some err, claiming that
little children are not saved by baptism, for, they declare, the Lord
says 'he that believeth and is baptised shall be saved', but a child
does not yet believe."

They believed in Apostolic succession through the laying on of the hands
of such as had it on those really called to receive this grace. They
taught that the Church of Rome had lost this when Pope Sylvester
accepted the union of Church and State, but that it remained among
themselves. When, however, through circumstances, it was not possible of
application, God could convey the needed grace without it.

Those whom they called "Apostles" played an important part in their
testimony. While the elders and overseers remained in their homes and
churches, the "Apostles" travelled continually, visiting the churches. A
distinction was made between those called to be "Perfect," and others of
the followers of Christ, based on the fact that in the Gospels some were
called to sell all that they had and follow Christ, while others of His
disciples were equally

=Page 100: Apostles=

called to serve Him in the surroundings in which He found them. The
Waldensian Apostles had no property or goods or home or family; if they
had had these they left them. Their life was one of self-denial,
hardship and danger. They travelled in utmost simplicity, without money,
without a second suit, their needs being supplied by the believers among
whom they ministered the Word. They always went two and two, an elder
and a younger man, of whom the latter waited on his older companion.
Their visits were highly esteemed, and they were treated with every
token of respect and affection. Owing to the dangers of the times they
usually travelled as business men and often the younger men carried
light wares, as knives, needles, etc., for sale. They never asked for
anything; indeed, many undertook serious medical studies that they might
be able to care for the bodies of those they met with. The name "Friends
of God" was often given to them. Great care was used in commending men
to such service, since it was felt that one devoted man was worth more
than a hundred whose call to this ministry was less evident.

The Apostles chose poverty, but otherwise it was considered a principal
duty of each church to provide for its poor. Often, when private houses
were insufficient and simple meeting rooms were built, there would be
houses attached to these where their poor or aged could live and be
cared for.

Regular individual reading of the Scriptures, regular daily family
worship, and frequent Conferences were among the most highly-prised
means of maintaining spiritual life.

These saints would take no part in government; they said the Apostles
were often brought before tribunals, but it is not ever said that they
sat as judges.

They valued education as well as spirituality; many who ministered the
Word among them had taken a degree at one of the Universities. Pope
Innocent III (1198-1216) bore a double testimony to them when he said
that among the Waldenses educated laymen undertook the functions of
preachers, and again, that the Waldenses would only listen to a man who
had God in him.

The comparative peace of the Waldensian valleys was broken when, in
1380, Pope Clement VII sent a monk as inquisitor to deal with heretics
in certain parts. In the

=Page 101: Waldensian Valleys Invaded=

next thirteen years about 230 persons were burnt, the goods of the
sufferers being divided between the inquisitors and the rulers of the
country. In the winter of 1400 the scope of the persecution was
enlarged, and many families took refuge in the higher mountains, where
most of the children and women and many men died of cold and hunger. In
1486 a Bull of Innocent VIII gave authority to the Archdeacon of Cremona
to extirpate the heretics, and eighteen thousand men invaded the
valleys. Then the peasants began to defend themselves, and, taking
advantage of the mountainous nature of the country, and their knowledge
of it, drove back the attacking force, but for more than a hundred years
the conflict continued.

       *       *       *       *       *

From the twelfth century there begin to be records of houses where poor
and old and infirm people lived together, doing such work as they could,
and helped by the gifts of wealthy benefactors. Though the members of
such households took no vows, and never begged, and so the houses
differed from convents, yet they were of a religious character. They
were called "workhouses" and those in them called themselves "Christ's
Paupers". Frequently an "Infirmary" was attached to the house, and many
of the sisters devoted themselves to nursing the sick, while the
brethren often held schools and taught in them. They liked to call such
an institution "God's House". Later the names of Beghard and Beghine
were used to describe them, the former name being given to the men's and
the latter to the women's houses. From the beginning they were suspected
of "heretical" tendencies, and, indeed, there is no doubt that they were
constantly a refuge for brethren who, in times of persecution, lived
quietly under their shelter. In course of time they came to be looked
upon as always heretical institutions, and numbers of their members were
put to death. In the latter part of the 14th century they were taken
possession of by the Papal authorities and transferred, for the most
part, to the Franciscan Tertiaries.


[41] "Latin Christianity" Dean Milman.

[42] "The Ancient Vallenses and Albigenses" G. S. Faber. "Facts and
Documents illustrative of the History, Doctrine and Rites of the Ancient
Albigenses and Waldenses" S. R. Maitland.

[43] "Die Reformation und die älteren Refomparteien" Dr. Ludwig Keller.

=Page 102: Papal Claims=

Chapter VI

Churches at the Close of the Middle Ages


Influence of the brethren in other circles--Marsiglio of Padua--The
Guilds--Cathedral builders--Protest of the cities and guilds--Waltlier
in Cologne--Thomas Aquinas and Alvarus Pelagius--Literature of the
brethren destroyed--Master Eckart--Tauler--The "Nine Rocks"--The Friend
of God from the Oberland--Renewal of persecution--Strassburg document on
persistence of the churches--Book in Tepl--Old Translation of German New
Testament--Fanaticism--Capture of Constantinople--Invention of
Printing--Discoveries--Printing Bibles--Colet, Reuchlin--Erasmus and the
Greek New Testament--Hope of peaceful Reformation--Resistance of
Rome--Staupitz discovers Luther.

The influence of the Waldensian Apostles and the testimony of the
"brethren" affected circles far wider than those with which they were
definitely associated, and in the first half of the fourteenth century
their teachings prevailed to an extent never known before.

In 1302 Pope Boniface VIII issued a Bull declaring that submission to
the Roman Pope was, for every human being, necessary to his soul's
salvation. From this the consequence was decreed that there is no
God-given authority in the world apart from that which is derived from
the Pope. The Emperor, Ludwig of Bavaria, headed the protests that such
claims aroused, and the Pope placed the greater part of the empire under
an interdict.

An important factor in the conflict was the writings of Marsiglio of
Padua,[44] whom the Emperor protected and trusted, in spite of the Pope's
declaring him to be the worst heretic he had ever read. Born in Padua
(1270), Marsiglio studied at the University in Paris, where he greatly
distinguished himself. In 1324 he published his "Defensor Pacis", in
which he shows very clearly, according to Scripture, the relations
between the State and the Church. He says it has become usual to apply
the word Church to the ministers of the Church, bishops, priests and
deacons. This is opposed to the Apostolic use of the word, according

=Page 103: Marsiglio of Padua=

to which the Church is the assembly, or the total of those who believe
in Christ. In this sense Paul writes to the Corinthians, "Unto the
church of God which is at Corinth" (1 Cor. 1. 2). It is not by an
oversight, he points out, that an improper use of the word has been
adopted, but on well considered grounds, which have great value for the
priesthood but destructive consequences for Christianity. It is with the
help of this false assumption, and the special passages of Scripture
which are misused to support it, that that hierarchical system has been
built up, which now, contrary to the Holy Scriptures and the commands of
Christ, takes to itself the highest judicial power, not only in
spiritual but also in earthly matters, whereas the highest authority,
from which bishops and priests must receive theirs, is the Christian
church, and no teacher or shepherd has the right to compel obedience by
force or by punishment in this world. Who then has the right to appoint
bishops, pastors and ministers generally? For the Apostles, Christ was
the source of authority; for their successors, the Apostles; after the
death of the Apostles the right of choice went over to the congregations
of the believers. The Book of the Acts gives an example in the choice of
Stephen and Philip. If in the presence of the Apostles it was the church
that chose, how much more must this way be observed after their death?

       *       *       *       *       *

The Christian churches and their teachings spread most rapidly among the
people of the great cities, and especially among the members of the
different workmen's and trade guilds. In Italy and France the brethren
were often called "Weavers", it being said as a reproach that they were
mostly hand-workers and even their teachers were weavers and shoemakers.
These guilds were very powerful, and had their ramifications in all
countries, from Portugal to Bohemia and from England to Sicily. Each had
its own elaborate organization and they were also interrelated. They had
a religious as well as a technical character, and the reading of
Scripture and prayer had an important place in their functions. One of
the most powerful was that of the Masons, which included the many kinds
of workers connected with building. We have evidence of the power and
importance of this guild in the wonderful

=Page 104: The Guilds=

beauty, grace, and strength of the numerous cathedrals and churches,
town halls and houses, which were built in the 12th, 13th, and 14th
centuries, and still give to Europe an inimitable interest and charm. In
the builders' huts around the cathedrals that were growing up, the
Master would read the Scriptures, even in times when elsewhere the mere
possession of a Bible was punishable with death. Large numbers of people
who had nothing to do with building--ladies, shopkeepers, and
others--became members of the guild on payment of a nominal
contribution, it might be but a pot of honey or a bottle of wine. Such
members were sometimes more numerous than the actual workpeople, finding
in the guild a refuge from persecution, and opportunity for hearing the
Word of God. The artistic value and varied beauty of most handiwork at
that time was largely inspired by the spiritual passion which lay behind
the patient technical skill of the worker.

The cities of the Empire and the guilds supported the Emperor Ludwig in
his conflict with the Pope, and they suffered severely under the
Interdict. In 1332 a number of cities addressed a letter to the
Archbishop of Treves. They declared that the Emperor Ludwig of all the
princes of the world lived most according to the teaching of Christ, and
that in faith, as well as in modest resignation, he shone as an example
to others. "We shall at all times", they said, "unto death', hold to him
in firm and unchangeable fidelity, springing from faith, attachment and
sincere obedience to him as our true Emperor and natural lord. No
sufferings, no changes, no circumstances of any kind will ever separate
us from him." They go on to illustrate the right relations between
Church and State by the sun and moon, express the most painful regret
that ambition of earthly honour had disturbed these relations, deny the
Papal claim to be the only source of authority, and as "poor Christians"
beg and pray that no further harm may be done to the Christian faith.

       *       *       *       *       *

Strassburg and Cologne were, for centuries, chief centres of the
brethren; the churches of God there were large, and influenced many
beyond their own circles. A chronicle relates that in 1322 a certain
Walther came to Cologne from Mainz. He was "a leader of the Brethren and
a dangerous heresiarch, who for many years had remained hidden and

=Page 105: Walther of Cologne=

had involved many in his dangerous errors, he was seized near Cologne
and by court of justice given over to the fire and burnt. He was a man
full of the Devil, more able than any other, constant in his error,
clever in his answers, corrupt in faith, and no promises, no threats,
not even the most terrible tortures could bring him to betray his fellow
culprits, of whom there were many. This Lollard, Walther, of Netherland
origin, had little knowledge of the Latin language, and wrote the
numerous works of his false faith in the German tongue, as he could not
do it in the Roman speech, and distributed them very secretly to those
whom he had deceived and led astray. As he refused all repentance and
recantation, and defended his error most steadfastly, not to say
obstinately, he was thrown into the fire and left nothing but his ashes

The writings of Thomas Aquinas had proved effective in establishing the
doctrine that since all power in heaven and on earth was given to
Christ, His representative, the Pope, had the same authority. Alvarus
Pelagius, a Spanish Franciscan, supported the same view in writings
which gained him great consideration. "The Pope", he wrote, "seems to
those who view him with the spiritual eye, to be, not a man but a God.
There are no bounds to his authority. He can declare to be right what he
will and can take away from any their rights as he sees fit. To doubt
this universal power leads to being shut out from salvation. The great
enemies of the Church are the heretics, who will not wear the yoke of
true obedience. These are extremely numerous in Italy and Germany, and
in Provence, where they are called Beghards and Beghines. Some call them
'Brethren', others 'the Poor in Life', others 'Apostles'". "The Apostles
and Beghards", he continues, "have no fixed dwelling, take nothing with
them on their journeys, never beg, and do no work. This is the worse in
their case because they were formerly builders, smiths, etc." Another
writer (1317) says that heresy had spread so much among the priests and
monks that all Alsace was full of it.

Special efforts were made to destroy heretical literature. In 1374 an
edict was published in Strassburg condemning all such works as well as
their authors, and ordering that all who possessed any should give them
up within 14 days, that they might be burnt. Later, the Emperor

=Page 106: Master Eckart=

Charles IV (1369) instructed inquisitors to examine the books both of
laymen and clergy because the laity are not allowed to use books about
the Holy Scripture in the German language, lest they should fall into
the heresies in which the Beghards and Boghines live. This led to much
destruction of such literature.

In 1307 the Vice-General of the Dominican Order in Saxony was the
celebrated Master Eckart who, when at the University of Paris, had
gained the reputation of being the most learned man of his day. His
enlightened preaching and teaching led to the loss of his dignities, but
after a period of seclusion he was found again in Strassburg, where his
powers as a preacher soon gathered a large following around him.
Eckart's writings were made so much use of by the Beghards in Strassburg
that he himself came under suspicion and moved to Cologne, where, after
he had preached for some years, he was cited to appears before the
Archbishop upon a charge of heresy. The matter was brought before the
Pope and Eckarts' writings were condemned and forbidden, but in spite of
this his teaching continued to prevail because of his holiness of life
and high character. Suso was one who found peace through him, and in
Cologne he met and influenced Tauler when he was still a young man.

In the struggle between the Emperor Ludwig of Bavaria and the Pope, the
well known Dominican, Dr. Johannes Tauler, boldly took the side of the
Emperor. Not only was he greatly esteemed and loved in Strassbursg,
where his sermons drew large numbers, but his fame as a preacher and
teacher spread into other countries. When (1338), on account of the
Interdict, most of the clergy left Strassburg, Tauler remained, finding
in the greater need of the city greater opportunity of service. He also
visited other places which were suffering in the same way as Strassburg,
spending some time in Basle and in Cologne. Ten years later the plague
devastated Strassburg and again Tauler stood to his post and with two
friars, one an Augustinian and the other a Carthusian monk served the
suffering and terrified people. These three published letters, in which
they justified their ministries to those who lay under the ban, arguing
that, since Christ died for all, the Pope could not close the way of
salvation to any because

=Page 107: Tauler=

they denied his authority and were loyal to their rightful King. For
this the three friends were driven from Strassburg and retiring to the
neighbouring convent of which the Carthusian was Prior, from there
continued to send out their writings. Afterwards Tauler lived in
Cologne, preaching in the church of St. Gertrude, but was able later to
return to Strassburg, where he died (1361), at seventy years of age,
after a painful illness, during which he was cared for by his sister in
the convent of which she was a nun.

In his own lifetime Tauler was accused of belonging to the "sects" and
defended himself, taking the place of belonging to the "Friends of God."
He said: "The Prince of this world has nowadays been sowing weeds among
the roses, insomuch that the roses are often choked, or sorely torn by
the brambles. Children, there must needs be a flight or a distinction;
some sort of a separation, whether within the cloisters or without, and
it does not make them into a sect, that the 'Friends of God' profess to
be unlike the world's friends." When his teaching was called Beghard
teaching, he replied by warning the "cold and sleepy people" whose trust
was their having done all "that the Holy Church had commanded," that
"when they had done all this, they would have no peace in their hearts
for ever unless the uncreated, eternal Word of the Heavenly Father
should inwardly renew them and really make a new creature of them.
Instead of this they rock themselves in a false security and say, 'We
belong to a holy order and have the holy fellowship and pray and read'.
These blind people think that the precious sufferings of our Lord Jesus
Christ and His costly blood may thus be played with and remain without
fruit. No, children, no, it cannot be so ... and if someone comes and
warns them as to the dreadful danger in which they live and that they
will die in fear, they mock him and say 'That is the way the Beghards
talk'. This they do to those who cannot bear to see the miseries of
their neighbours, and so point out to them the right way." He said it is
the clergy, who think everything of themselves and consider their own
ways as being necessarily perfection, who are the "Pharisees", and it is
they who destroy the "Friends of God". The General of the Jesuits
ordered (1576) that the books of Tauler should not be read, and

=Page 108: "Nine Rocks"=

(1590) Pope Sixtus V placed his sermons on the Index of prohibited
books. Those writings of Tauler that were considered to be especially
heretical were destroyed, and what remain have been altered. On the
other hand writings have been attributed both to Eckart and to Tauler
which evidently were not written by them. Owing to the circumstances of
persecution that prevailed, the true authorship of many books was
concealed. What we possess of Tauler's teaching shows his intimate
sympathy with the brethren and the Christian churches.

The book which, under the title of "History of Tauler's Conversion" has
always been attached to his sermons, has been shown not to have been
written by him nor of him, but it is one which well deserves the wide
circulation it has had. It recounts the conversion of a priest and
eminent preacher through the counsels of a godly layman. It has
connections with another book of unknown authorship called the "Nine
Rocks" which had a great influence. This latter was long supposed to
have been written by Suso, but his edition was taken from a copy made by
the wealthy Strassburg citizen Rulman Merswin, one of Tauler's most
intimate friends. Suso omits a passage which would have offended Roman
Catholic susceptibilities, but was characteristic of the teaching of the
brethren. It runs as follows: "I tell thee thou art right when thou
prayest God to have mercy upon poor Christendom; for know that for many
hundred years Christendom has never been so poor or so wicked as in
these times; but I tell thee, whereas thou sayest that the wicked Jews
and heathen are all lost, that is not true. I tell thee, in these days,
there is a portion of the heathen and the Jews whom God preferreth
greatly to many who bear the Christian name and yet live contrary to all
Christian order ... where a Jew or heathen, in any part of the world,
hath a good, God-fearing mind in him, in simplicity and honesty, and in
his reason and judgement knoweth no better faith than that in which he
was born, but were minded and willing to cast that off if he were given
to know any other faith that were more acceptable to God, and would obey
God, if he ventured body and goods therefor; I tell thee, where there is
a Jew or heathen thus earnest in this life, say, ought he not to be much
dearer to God than the evil, false Christian men who have received

=Page 109: Friend of God from the Oberland=

and act contrary to God, knowing that they do so?" Suso also alters a
passage where the persecution of the Jews is attributed to the
covetousness of the Christians, and makes it the covetousness of the
Jews, a change agreeable to his general readers.

Among the most interesting of the many godly people with whom Tauler was
in touch was one whose name is not known, but who is called the Friend
of God from the Oberland.[45] He is first heard of in 1340, when he was
already one of those 'Apostles' hidden from the world on account of
persecution, yet exercising an extraordinary influence and authority. He
spoke Italian and German, visited the brethren in Italy and Hungary,
and, about 1350, came to Strassburg, and two years later repeated the
visit. Here he met Rulman Merswin and gave him the "Book of the Nine
Rocks" to copy. In 1356, after an earthquake in Basle, he wrote a Letter
to Christendom, commending the following of Christ as the only remedy
for all evils. After this he and some companions established themselves
in a remote place in the mountains, and from there corresponded with the
brethren in various parts. The Friend of God from the Oberland had been
a man in a good position, but when he decided to forsake the world he
gave up all his possessions. He did not at once distribute all his
money, but for a time used it as borrowed from God, and gradually
applied it all to godly purposes. He remained unmarried. Writing to a
"House of God" founded by Rulman Merswin near Strassburg, he describes
the little settlement in the mountains as one of "simple, good, modest
Christian brethren", and says they were all persuaded that God was about
to do something that was as yet hidden, and that until it was revealed
they were to remain where they were, but then they would have to
separate to the ends of Christendom. He asks their prayers, for, he
says, "the Friends of God are somewhat in distress". Writing of being
dead to the world, he explains: "Our meaning is, not that a man should
go out of the world and become a monk, our meaning is that he should
stay in the world, but that he should not consume his heart and feelings
on friends and earthly honours. Acknowledging

=Page 110: Increase in Persecution=

that when he was in that way of life he sought his own things and his
own honour more than God's, let him give up this worldly honour and seek
God's honour in all his doings, as God Himself has so often counselled
him; then I am sure, God in His Divine wisdom will enlighten him, and
with this wisdom he will know better in an hour how to give good counsel
than formerly in a year." Consulted by Merswin as to the use of his
money, he said: "Would it not be better to help the poor than to build a
convent?" In 1380 thirteen of the Friends of God met in the hidden place
in the mountains. Among them was a brother from Milan and one from
Genoa, a merchant who had given up all his wealth for Christ's sake,
also two from Hungary. After long-continued prayer they took the Lord's
Supper together. Then they began to consult as to what was best to be
done in the circumstances of renewed persecution that had come upon the
believers, and afterwards they sent out their recommendations to the
secret Friends in different lands; such as Merswin in Strassburg, and
others. Eventually they dispersed, going their different ways, and, as
far as they can be traced, suffered death for their testimony.

       *       *       *       *       *

The death of the Emperor Ludwig[46] and the election of Charles IV (1348)
brought about a disastrous change in the circumstances of the Christian
congregations. The new Emperor was entirely under the influence of the
Pope and his party, and advantage of this was taken to make a more
determined effort than before to crush all dissent. During the former
half of the 14th century the churches of believers had increased
abundantly and the influence of their teaching had profoundly affected
many people who did not formally attach themselves to them; but from the
middle of that century fiery trial tested them. Inquisitors were sent in
increasing numbers into the Empire, and the Emperor gave them all the
power the Popes desired. The greater part of Europe became the scene of
the cruel execution of many of its best citizens. Records of burnings
abound. In 1391, 400 persons were brought before the courts in Pomerania
and Brandenburg accused of heresy; in 1393, 280 were imprisoned in
Augsburg; in 1395, about 1000 persons were

=Page 111: Persistence of the Testimony=

"converted" to the Catholic faith in Thuringia, Bohemia, and Moravia;
the same year 36 were burnt in Mainz; in 1397, in Steier, about 100 men
and women were burnt; two years later 6 women and one man were burnt in
Nüremberg. The Swiss cities suffered similar atrocities. During this
time Pope Boniface IX issued an edict ordering that all suitable means
should be used to destroy the plan of heretical wickedness. He quotes
from a report in which those whom he calls his "beloved sons the
inquisitors" in Germany, describe the Beghards, Lollards and
Schwestrionen, who call themselves "the Poor" and "Brethren" and say
that for more than 100 years this heresy has been forbidden under the
same forms, and that in different towns several of this obstinate sect
have been burnt almost every year. In 1395 an inquisitor, Peter
Pilichdorf, boasted that it had been possible to master these heretics.
Bohemia and England were places of refuge for many who fled to them, the
teaching of Wycliff in England and of Jerome and Huss in Bohemia having
powerfully influenced those countries.

A document of the year 1404, preserved in Strassburg, though written by
an adversary, contains a quotation from one of the brethren, who says:
"for 200 years our fellowship has enjoyed good times and the brethren
became so numerous that in their councils 700 and more persons were
present. God did great things for the fellowship. Then severe
persecution broke over the servants of Christ, they were driven from
land to land, and to the present time this cruelty continues. But, since
the Church of Christ was founded, the true Christians have never been so
far reduced that in the world, or at least in some countries, some of
the saints have not been found. Also our brethren, on account of
persecution, have at times crossed the sea, and in a certain district
have found brethren, but because they did not understand the language of
the country, intercourse with them was difficult and they have returned.
The face of the Church changes like the phases of the moon. Often the
Church blossoms on account of the number of the saints and is strong on
this earth, and again she seems to fall and to pass away entirely. But
if she disappears in one place we know that she is to be seen in other
lands, even if the saints are only few who lead a good life and remain
in the holy fellowship. And we believe that the Church will be

=Page 112: Seven Points of the Faith=

raised up again in greater numbers and strength. The founder of our
covenant is Christ and the Head of our Church is Jesus the Son of God."
The same document accuses the brethren of destroying the unity of the
Church by teaching that a man who lives virtuously will yet only obtain
salvation by his faith; blames them that they condemn such men as
Augustine and Jerome; also that they have no written prayers, but that
an elder among them will begin to pray and continue for a longer or
shorter time as it may seem suitable to him; also that they have the
Holy Scriptures in their mother tongue in their memories and repeat it
in this language in their meetings. It is further stated in this
document that the brethren confessed seven points of the Holy Christian
faith: (1) the Triune God; (2) that this God is the Creator of all
things, visible and invisible; (3) that He gave the Law of Moses; (4)
that He let His Son become man; (5) that He has chosen for Himself a
spotless Church; (6) that there is a resurrection; (7) that He will come
to judge the living and the dead.

These seven points reappear, but in German instead of Latin (they are in
Latin in the Strassburg document) in a well-worn 14th century book found
in the abbey at Tepl, near the mountainous district of the Bŏhmerwald,
so long a refuge of persecuted brethren. This is a production of the
brethren themselves, and was evidently used by one or more of them.
Passages of Scripture for reading on Sundays and some other days are
arranged, from which it is evident that the Roman Catholic feasts, with
few exceptions, were not observed. The importance of regular reading of
the Scriptures is pointed out, and also that each father of a family
should be a priest in his own household. The chief part of the book,
however, consists of a German translation of the New Testament. This
translation differs considerably from the Vulgate, used by the Roman
Church, and resembles the German translations in use from the
introduction of printing to the making of Luther's translation, which
latter shows many signs of its influence, as does still more a later
translation again, used for about a century by those then called
Anabaptists and Mennonites.

The troubles of the times in which these people lived, and the
persecutions suffered, led to no little fanaticism. Some, calling
themselves brethren and sisters of the Free

=Page 113: The Renaissance=

Spirit, acted on the assumption that their own feelings were the
leadings of the Holy Spirit and gave themselves over to outrageous folly
and sin. Some good people carried ascetic practices to extremes and some
driven into isolation by persecution, became narrow in outlook and
developed views on equality which made them suspicious of learning and
disposed to consider ignorance as a virtue.

       *       *       *       *       *

About the middle of the 15th century a series of events began which
transformed Europe.

The capture of Constantinople by the Turks (1453) caused the flight of
learned Greeks to the West. These carried with them priceless
manuscripts containing the old Greek literature long forgotten in the
darkened West. Soon Greek Professors were teaching in the Universities
of Italy the language which gave the key to these treasures of
knowledge, and from there to Oxford the study of Greek spread rapidly.
From this arose such a reviving of literature as deserved the name given
to it of these _Renaissance,_ New Birth, or New
Learning, but the restoration amid publication of the text of the Greek
New Testament had more powerful results than were produced by the
recovery of any other of the restored literature.

At the same time the invention of printing provided the means by which
the new knowledge could be disseminated, and it was in printing the
Bible that the first printing presses were chiefly occupied.

The discovery of America by Columbus, and the discovery of the Solar
System by Copernicus also gave great enlargement to men's minds and

The study of the New Testament in countless circles showed the absolute
contrast between Christ and His teaching on the one hand and an utterly
corrupt Christendom on the other. By the end of the 15th century 98
complete editions of the Latin Bible had been printed and much larger
numbers of Portions. The Archbishop of Mainz renewed the edicts
forbidding the use of German Bibles, but in about 12 years 14 editions
of the German Bible had been printed and 4 editions of the Dutch Bible
and large numbers of Portions. These were all taken from the same text
as the Testament found in the abbey at Tepl.

Among the students of Greek in Florence was John

=Page 114: Erasmus=

Colet, who afterwards lectured on the New Testament in Oxford; he seemed
to his hearers like one inspired, as, discarding accepted religion, he
revealed Christ to the students, and expounded the Epistles of Paul.
Reuchlin, a Jew, did equally valuable work in reviving the study of the
Hebrew language in Germany.

In all the groups of distinguished scholars and printers forming over
Europe, Erasmus[47] became the best known scholar. He was born in
Rotterdam and his early life, as an orphan, was a constant struggle
against poverty, but his exceptional abilities could not be hidden and
he came to be admired, not only in learned circles, but also in all the
Courts, from London to Rome. His greatest work was the publication of
the Greek Testament, with a new Latin translation, accompanied by many
notes and paraphrases. Edition after edition was called for. In France
alone 100,000 copies were sold in a short time. People were able to read
the very words that had brought salvation into the world; Christ and the
Apostles became known to them, and they saw that the religious tyranny
and wickedness that had so long oppressed them had no resemblance to the
revelation of God given in Christ. As in his notes Erasmus contrasted
the teaching of the Scriptures with the practices of the Roman Church,
indignation against the clergy became vocal. Sarcasms were freely
published which expressed in unmeasured terms the contempt in which they
were held. Erasmus, writing of the mendicant friars, says: "Those
wretches in the disguise of poverty are the tyrants of the Christian
world;" of bishops, they "destroy the Gospel ... make laws at their
will, tyrannize over the laity, and measure right and wrong with rules
constructed by themselves ... who sit, not in the seat of the Gospel,
but in the seat of Caiaphas and Simon Magus, prelates of evil"; of
priests, he wrote: "There are priests now in vast numbers, enormous
herds of them, seculars and regulars, and it is notorious that very few
of them are chaste"; of the Pope: "I saw with my own eyes Pope Julius II
... marching at the head of a triumphal procession as if he were
Pompey or Caesar. St. Peter subdued the world with faith, not with arms
or soldiers or military engines; St. Peter's successors would win as
many victories as St. Peter won

=Page 115: Greek New Testament=

if they had Peter's spirit"; of the singing of choristers in the
churches: "Modern Church music is so constructed that the congregation
cannot hear one distinct word.... A set of creatures who ought to be
lamenting their sins, fancy they can please God by gurgling in their

In introducing his Greek New Testament Erasmus writes of Christ and the
Scriptures: "Were we to have seen Him with our eyes, we should not have
so intimate a knowledge as they give us of Christ speaking, healing,
dying, rising again, as it were, in our very presence." "If the
footprints of Christ are shown us in any place, we kneel down and adore
them. Why do we not rather venerate the living and breathing picture of
Him in these books?" "I wish that even the weakest woman might read the
Gospels and the Epistles of St. Paul. I wish that they were translated
into all languages, so as to be read and understood, not only by Scots
and Irishmen, but even by Saracens and Turks. But the first step to
their being read is to make them intelligible to the reader. I long for
the day when the husbandman shall sing portions of them to himself as he
follows the plough, when the weaver shall hum them to the time of his
shuttles, when the traveller shall while away with their stories the
weariness of his journey."

Erasmus was one of many who hoped for a peaceful reformation of
Christendom. Conditions seemed favourable. The sanguinary Pope Julius
had been succeeded by Leo X of the famous Medici family, irreligious,
but devoted to art and literature, who gave his approbation to the Greek
New Testament of Erasmus. Francis I, King of France, had resisted all
Europe rather than yield the liberties of France to Pope Julius. Henry
VIII of England was enthusiastically in favour of reforms, and had
surrounded himself with the best and most able men of the same mind,
Colets, Sir Thomas More, Archbishop Warham, Dr. Fisher. The other rulers
of Europe, in the Empire and in Spain, were favourable. But great
institutions are not easily changed. They resent criticism and resist
reform. There was never any real prospect that the Roman Court would be
brought into line with the teaching and example of Christ. Some new and
powerful agency was needed to bring about reform, and this was being
quietly prepared in the very

=Page 116: Staupitz and Luther=

midst of the monkish circles. The discovery was made by one considered
as a leader of the movement of reform, Johann von Staupitz. He was Vicar
General of the Augustinians, and (1505) on a journey of inspection of
the houses of this Order, found in Erfurt a young monk, Martin Luther,
deeply exercised as to his soul's salvation. Staupitz won his
confidence, being genuinely concerned to help him, and advised him to
study the Holy Scriptures and also to read Augustine and the writings of
Tauler and the Mystics. As he followed this counsel the Light broke in
upon him and the doctrine of justification by faith became the
experience of his soul.


[44] "Die Reformation und die älteren Reformparteien" Dr. Ludwig Keller.

[45] "Nicolaus von Basel Leben und Ausgewählte Schriften" Dr. Karl
Schmidt. (Wien 1866)

[46] "Die Reformation und die älteren Reformparteien" Dr. Ludwig Keller.

[47] "Life and Letters of Erasmus" J. A. Froude.

=Page 117: Lollards=

Chapter VII

Lollards, Hussites, The United Brethren


Wycliff--Peasant Revolt--Persecution in England--Sawtre, Badley,
Cobham--Reading the Bible
wars--Utraquists--Jakoubek--Nikolaus--Cheltschizki--The Net of
Faith--Rokycana, Gregor, Kunwald--Reichenau, Lhota--United
Brethren--Lukas of Prague--News of German Reformation reaches
Bohemia--John Augusta--Smalkald war--Persecution and emigration--George
Israel and Poland--Return of brethren to Bohemia--Bohemian
Charter--Battle of the White Mountain--Comenius.

Similar conditions to those which on the Continent led many to see the
wrong of the practices of the prevailing Church, and, further, to
question the doctrines which gave rise to them, operated also in
England, where the derisive name of _Lollard_[48]
(babbler) was given to many earnest people who spoke of a better way.
Political and economic wrongs were mixed with religious questions,
specially in the earlier days of the movement, and it was the wealth and
corruption of the clergy which were first attacked, but as time went on
it was seen that doctrine was at the root of practice, and the former
came to be the centre of conflict. It had not been the habit in England
to persecute what was deemed heresy so violently as on the Continent,
but early in the reign of Henry IV, at the beginning of the 15th
century, the progress of Lollardry was such that the sovereign, in order
to please the clerical party, introduced death by burning as its

John Wycliff, the most eminent scholar in Oxford, became prominent in
this conflict. His attacks on the corrupt practices of the Church drew
him at first into the political struggle then so fiercely raging; but
those who thought to use him as an important ally for their own
purposes, fell from him as they came to see the consequences of the
principles he taught, and he became the leader of those who sought
deliverance in a return to

=Page 118: Wycliff's English Bible=

Scripture and in the following of Christ. In his treatise, "The Kingdom
of God" and in other writings, he shows that "the Gospel of Jesus Christ
is the only source of true religion," and that "the Scripture alone is
truth". The doctrine he called "Dominion" established the fact of the
personal relation and direct responsibility of each man to God. All
authority, he taught, is from God, and all who exercise authority are
responsible to God for the use of what He has committed to them. Such
doctrine, directly denying the prevailing ideas as to the irresponsible
authority of Popes and Kings, and the necessity for the mediatory powers
of the priesthood, aroused violent opposition, which was intensified
when in 1381 Wycliff published his denial of the doctrine of
Transubstantiation, thus striking at the root of that supposed
miraculous power of the priests which had so long enabled them to
dominate Christendom. Here his political supporters, and even his own
University, forsook him. But his most important work was that which gave
the people of England access to the source of true doctrine. His
translation of the Bible wrought a revolution in English thought and the
English Bible has proved one of the most effectual powers for
righteousness that the world has known. Writing and circulating popular
tracts and organizing bands of travelling preachers, Wycliff found to be
the most effective means of spreading the teachings of Scripture. So
great was his influence that all the power of his bitter enemies could
not accomplish more than to drive him from Oxford to his retreat in
Lutterworth, which became a centre from which instruction and
encouragement went out over the country.

Among the scholastics in Wycliff's[49] day the teachings of the Fathers,
decisions of Councils and decrees of Popes, were considered, together
with the Scriptures, as constituting authority in matters of religion,
the last not holding a higher position than the others. Gradually, as he
grew intimately acquainted with the Scriptures, Wycliff came to
acknowledge their exclusive authority and to value the others only in so
far as they were in agreement with the Scriptures. He saw a double
source of Christian knowledge, reason and revelation, and found that
these are

=Page 119: Authority of Scripture=

not opposed to each other, but that reason, or natural light, has been
weakened by the Fall, and therefore labours under a degree of
imperfection, which God in His grace heals by imparting revealed
knowledge through the Scriptures, and these, therefore, come to be
apprehended as the exclusive authority. The unconditional, binding
authority of the Holy Scripture was the great truth to which Wycliff
bore witness and which was attacked by his opponents, both sides
recognizing how far reaching were the consequences involved. This he
expounded in his book, "Of the Truth of Holy Scripture" (1378), in which
he taught that the Bible is the Word of God or Will and Testament of the
Father; God and His Word are one. Christ is the Author of Holy
Scripture, which is His law, He Himself is in the Scriptures, to be
ignorant of them is to be ignorant of Him. More detail would have made
the Scriptures inapplicable to some circumstances, but being what they
are, the Scriptures are applicable to all, and nothing impossible of
observance is enjoined in them. The effects of Scripture show its Divine
source and authority; the experience of the Church at large speaks for
the sufficiency and efficacy of the Bible. By the observance of the pure
law of Christ, without mixture of human tradition, the Church very
rapidly grew, but since the admission of tradition into it the Church
has steadily declined. Other forms of wisdom vanish away; the wisdom
imparted by the Holy Spirit to the Apostles at Pentecost remains.
Scripture is infallible; other teachers, even one so great as Augustine,
are liable to lead into error. To place above Scripture and prefer to
it, human traditions, doctrines, and ordinances, is nothing but an act
of blind presumption. It is no justification of a doctrine that it
contains, in a collateral way, much that is good and reasonable, for so
is it even now with the behests and the whole life of the Devil himself,
otherwise God would not suffer him to exercise such power. The history
of the Church shows that departure from evangelical law and mixture of
later tradition was at first slight and almost imperceptible, but as
time went on the corruption grew ever ranker. As to the interpretation
of Scripture, the theological doctors cannot have the power of
interpretation for us, but the Holy Spirit teaches us the meaning of
Scripture, as Christ opened the Scriptures to the Apostles. It would be

=Page 120: Wycliff's Teaching=

dangerous for anyone to assume that he had the right meaning of
Scripture by illumination of the Holy Spirit, but it is only by His
enlightening that anyone can understand the Scriptures. No one can
understand who is not enlightened by Christ. A devout, virtuous, and
humble spirit is necessary. Scripture is to be interpreted by Scripture,
so that the general tenor may be ascertained; tearing the Scriptures in
pieces, as heretics do, is to be avoided. First its primary and literal
sense is to be taken, and then its further and figurative meanings. It
is important to use right words; Paul was careful in the use of
prepositions and adverbs. Christ is true man and true God, existing from
all eternity, at His incarnation He united both natures in His one
Person. His grandeur is incomparable as the only Mediator between God
and men, the Centre of humanity, our one, only Head. The personal
application of the salvation wrought by Christ is by conversion and
sanctification; conversion is a turning away from sin and a believing
appropriation of the saving grace of Christ, that is, repentance and
faith. Repentance is necessary and must be fruitful. Wycliff puts faith
and sanctification together, and does not see faith apart from works. He
viewed the Church not as the visible Catholic Church, or organized
community of the hierarchy, but as Christ's Body and Bride, consisting
of the whole number of the elect, having, in the visible world, only its
temporary manifestation and pilgrimage; its home, origin, and end being
in the invisible world, in Eternity. Salvation, he said, is not
dependent on connection with the official Church or the mediation of the
clergy. There is free, immediate access of all believers to the grace of
God in Christ, and every believer is a priest. The ground of the Church,
Wycliff taught, was the Divine election, and a man cannot have assurance
of his own standing in grace, only an opinion, but a godly life is the

Summoned to appear before the Pope, he refused and said, "Christ during
His life upon earth was of all men the poorest, casting from Him all
worldly authority. I deduce from these premises, as a simple counsel of
my own, that the Pope should surrender all temporal authority to the
civil power and advise his clergy to do the same."

=Page 121: Peasant Revolt=

He died quietly in Lutterworth on the last day of the year 1384.

The Peasant Revolt (1377--1381), which took place in the last years of
Wycliff's life, hindered the religious revival at the time by uniting
against it the nobility and clergy, who laid on those they called
Wycliffites the blame for the excesses and losses of the insurrection.
Although this was unjust, yet there is an undeniable and intimate
connection between true Christianity and the deliverance of the
oppressed. Christ declared at the outset of His ministry that He was
sent "to preach the gospel to the poor ... to heal the broken-hearted,
to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the
blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised" (Luke 4.18). This fitly
described the workers on the land at this time, and the coming among
them of the Scriptures helped to awaken in them the sense that "God is
no respecter of persons" (Acts 10. 34), and that their enslavement under
their luxurious rulers was irreligious because it was unjust. Wycliff's
scholarly sermons, coming from the stately surroundings of Oxford,
appealed to them less than the rough rhymes and open-air preaching of
John Ball, one of themselves, crying out from amidst the misery in which
they lived--"By what right are they whom we call lords greater folk than
we? On what grounds have they deserved it? Why do they hold us in
serfage? If we all came of the same father and mother, of Adam and Eve,
how can they say or prove that they are better than we, if it be not
that they make us gain for them by our toil what they spend in their
pride?" His rhyme went everywhere--"When Adam delved and Eve span, Who
was then the gentleman?" The revolt was crushed and iniquitous laws
enacted to keep down the labourers on the land, but by slow and painful
stages their liberties were gained, and the most potent influence in
bringing this about was the effect of the Scriptures on the consciences
of men.

The translation of the Bible had its due effect, and great numbers of
the people came to acknowledge it as the only guide for faith and
conduct. Various views prevailed as to different points, but there was
general agreement as to the authority of Scripture, and the ruling
Church was denounced as apostate and idolatrous. It

=Page 122: First "Heretics" Burnt in England=

was said that two men could not be found together and one not be a
Lollard or a Wycliffite, and that Scripture had "become a vulgar thing,
and more open to lay folk and women that know how to read than it is
wont to be to clerks themselves."

The first to suffer at the stake after the law was enacted for burning
heretics was William Sawtre (1401), a Norfolk rector. The House of
Commons presented petitions to Henry IV praying for the diversion of the
surplus revenues of the Church to useful purposes, and the modification
of the laws against Lollards. His answer was to sign a warrant for
burning Thomas Badly, a tailor of Evesham. This man, accused of denying
transubstantiation, after giving a courageous defence of his belief
before the Bishop of Worcester, was tried in St. Paul's Church before
the Archbishops of Canterbury and York and many of the clergy and
nobility, and was burnt at Smithfield.

A leader among the Lollards was Sir John Oldcastle, Lord Cobham, a
distinguished soldier. His castle of Cowling was a refuge for the
travelling preachers, and meetings were held there, in spite of their
being forbidden under severe penalties. Henry IV did not venture to
interfere with him, but as soon as Henry V came to the throne he
besieged and captured the castle and took its owner prisoner. He escaped
from the Tower, however, and was able for some years to elude pursuit,
though many others were taken and executed, including thirty-nine of the
Lollard leaders. When Sir John was finally captured in Wales he was
burnt, the first English nobleman to die for the faith.

After his death a law was passed that whoever read the Scriptures in
English should forfeit land, chattels, goods and life, and be condemned
as a heretic to God, an enemy to the crown, and a traitor to the
kingdom; that he should not have any benefit of sanctuary; and that, if
he continued obstinate, or relapsed after being pardoned, he should
first be hanged for treason against the king, and then burned for heresy
against God.

Yet the brethren, though driven into obscurity or exile, were not
extinguished, and some congregations, even, continued to exist. They
were most numerous in East Anglia and in London. Large churches were to
be found in the

=Page 123: Huss=

neighbourhood of Beccles at the time of the accession of Henry VI
(1422). Though the congregations were often broken up and re-formed, yet
some were in continuous existence over considerable periods; some, for
instance, in Buckinghamshire, for 60 or 70 years, which maintained
fellowship with those in Norfolk and Suffolk and with others in other
parts of the country. The Bishop of London, writing to Erasmus in 1523,
said: "It is no question of some pernicious novelty, it is only that new
arms are being added to the great band of Wycliffite heretics."

       *       *       *       *       *

One of the foreign students who listened to Wycliff in Oxford was Jerome
of Prague.[50] He returned to his own city full of zeal for the truths he
had learned in England, and taught boldly that the Roman Church had
fallen away from the doctrine of Christ and that every one who sought
salvation must come back to the teachings of the Gospel. Among many on
whose hearts such words fell with power was Jan Hus (John Huss)[51],
theological doctor and preacher in Prague, and confessor to the Queen of
Bohemia. His sincere faith and striking abilities, with his eloquence
and charm of manner, wrought mightily among people already prepared by
the labours of the Waldenses who had been before him. He wrote and spoke
in the Czech language, and the long rivalry between Teuton and Slav,
represented in Bohemia by the Germans and the Czechs respectively, soon
gave a political aspect to the movement, the German element supporting
the Romish power, and the Czech the teachings of Wycliff. The Pope,
through the Archbishop of Prague, excommunicated Huss and had Wycliff's
writings publicly burned, but the king of Bohemia, the nobility, the
University, and the majority of the people supported Huss and his
teaching. At Constance, on the beautiful lake of that name, a Council
was opened (1414),[52] which lasted for

=Page 124: Council of Constance=

three and a half years and drew together an extraordinary assemblage of
ecclesiastical dignitaries and of the princes and rulers of the various
states, besides a vast throng of people of all kinds. During this time
the city was the scene of elaborate entertainments and of unabashed
wickedness. There were then three rival Popes, and one object of the
Council was to remedy the confusion and schisms which such a state of
things implied. The three reigning Popes were dethroned and another
chosen in their place, Martin V.

Another object of the Council was to combat the teachings associated
with the names of Wycliff and Huss. Huss was invited to be present and
the Emperor Sigismund gave him a safe conduct, assuring him of security
from molestation if he would come. Relying on the Emperor's word, he
came to Constance in time for the opening of the General Council,
willing to use the opportunity of expounding the doctrines of Scripture
before such a company. But, in spite of the Imperial promise, he was
seized and cast into a foul dungeon on an island in the lake. To justify
this action the Council promulgated a solemn decree (1415), claimed as a
decision given by the Holy Spirit and infallible, for ever binding, that
the Church is not bound to keep faith with a heretic. Huss was subjected
to every kind of persuasion and ill-treatment to induce him to retract
what he had taught, namely that salvation is by grace, through faith,
and apart from the works of the law, and that no title or position,
however exalted, can make a man acceptable to God without godliness of
life. With humility and a rare courage and ability, he steadfastly
maintained that he was ready to retract anything he had taught provided
it could be shown from Holy Scripture that he was wrong, but that he
would withdraw nothing that he saw to be taught in the Word of God. Also
he refused to retract opinions which he had never held, but which had
been falsely attributed to him. The accusation of being "infected with
the leprosy of the Waldenses" and of having preached Wycliffite
doctrines shows that the unity of the truth held in these various
circles was recognized by their enemies. After a solemn service of
degradation Huss was burned. A fortnight before, he had written: "I am
greatly consoled by that saying of Christ, 'Blessed

=Page 125: Huss and Jerome Burnt=

are ye when men shall hate you' ... a good, nay the best of greetings,
but difficult, I do not say to understand, but to live up to, for it
bids us rejoice in these tribulations.... It is easy to read it aloud
and expound it, but difficult to live out. Even that bravest Soldier,
though He knew that He should rise again on the third day, after supper
was depressed in spirit.... On this account the soldiers of Christ,
looking to their leader, the King of Glory, have had a great fight. They
have passed through fire and water, yet have not perished, but have
received the crown of life, that glorious crown which the Lord, I firmly
believe, will grant to me--to you also, earnest defenders of the truth,
and to all who steadfastly love the Lord Jesus.... O most Holy
Christ, draw me, weak as I am, after Thyself, for if Thou dost not draw
us we cannot follow Thee. Strengthen my spirit, that it may be willing.
If the flesh is weak, let Thy grace prevent us; come between and follow,
for without Thee we cannot go for Thy sake to a cruel death. Give me a
fearless heart, a right faith, a firm hope, a perfect love, that for Thy
sake I may lay down my life with patience and joy. Amen. Written in
prison, in chains, on the eve of St. John the Baptist."

       *       *       *       *       *

Jerome of Prague soon followed the same fiery way, and the course of
Hussite Bohemia was divided into three principal streams; those who
fought; those who endeavoured to compromise, called Utraquists or
Calixtines; and those who elected to suffer.

The first, under the leadership of Jan Žižka carried on a vigorous and
successful warfare. The little town of Tabor, on a steep hill in the
heart of Bohemia, was a military and spiritual centre. In its market
place may still be seen remains of the stone tables where tens of
thousands of people met to celebrate the Lord's Supper, taking both the
bread and the wine, which latter had been reserved by the Church of Rome
for the use of her clergy only, and refused to the laity. The cup became
the symbol of the Taborites. At the foot of Tabor hill is a pool, still
called Jordan, where great numbers were baptized on the confession of
their faith. Žižka led not only the nobility but the nation. The free
peasantry were affected by the common spirit of irresistible enthusiasm.
Their agricultural implements

=Page 126: Hussite Wars=

were turned into formidable weapons, and Žižka taught them to use their
farm wagons both for transport and as movable entrenchments. The Pope
raised crusades against them, but the invading armies were utterly
routed and the Hussites penetrated and devastated all the surrounding
countries, great excesses being committed on both sides. The Church was
forced to make terms with the Hussites, and at the Council of Basle
(1433) acknowledged their right to free preaching of the Word of God, to
taking the Lord's Supper in both kinds, to abolishing the worldly
possessions of the clergy, and to the rescinding of many oppressive
laws. Yet wars continued, the country was exhausted and demoralized by
its efforts, laws which enslaved the peasantry weakened the power of the
nation, and (1434) at the battle of Lipan the Taborites were defeated.
An agreement, the "Compacts of Basle", was made which divided the
Bohemians. The Utraquists being the most favourable to the Roman
Catholic Church, were acknowledged by the Pope as the National Church of
Bohemia, the privilege of the use of the Cup was granted them, their
leader, Rokycana, was made archbishop, and everything passed back again
into the hands of Rome.

While these conflicts were going on, and while the Hussite successes
were at their height, there were always some who, in matters of faith
and testimony, did not rely on material force, but as they had learned
from the Waldensian preachers earlier, continued to seek and find
guidance in the Scriptures as to their church order and Gospel witness,
to follow Christ in their willingness to suffer wrong and in putting
their trust in God.

Prominent among these was Jakoubek,[53] a colleague of Huss at the Prague
University, who, as early as 1410, lecturing there, had contrasted the
false, antichristian Church of Rome, with the true Church or communion
of the saints, and exhorted all Christians to return to the primitive
Church. Also Nikolaus, a German, who had been expelled from Dresden for
heresy, and who was well acquainted with the Scriptures and with Church
history, influenced the Taborites as he showed them what had been the
teaching of the Apostles and the order of the early

=Page 127: "The Net of Faith"=

Church and how errors had gradually crept in. The question of the right
of Christians to use the sword was much discussed in Prague. The
Taborites considered that even though its use must do harm, yet the
unavoidable necessity of defence obliged it. Under the force of
circumstances it might also be right to attack and despoil the enemy.
Before long Jakoubek found himself in direct opposition to the Taborites
on this point. The most influential and able opponent of the use of war,
even for defence, was Peter Cheltschizki, who, though in many ways in
sympathy with the Taborites, was untiring in opposing them and Žižka in
their appeal to arms. Although the writings of the brethren were
frequently burned with their authors, some escaped, among them a book by
Peter Cheltschizki, entitled _"The Net of Faith"_[54]
written in 1440, which preserves much of their teaching and exercised a
great influence. He writes: "Nothing else is sought in this book but
that we, who come last, desire to see the first things and wish to
return to them in so far as God enables us. We are like people who have
come to a house that has been burnt down and try to find the original
foundations. This is the more difficult in that the ruins are grown over
with all sorts of growths, and many think that these growths are the
foundation, and say, 'This is the foundation' and 'This is the way in
which all must go,' and others repeat it after them. So that in the
novelties that have grown up they think to have found the foundation,
whereas they have found something quite different from, and contrary to,
the true foundation. This makes the search more difficult, for if all
said, 'the old foundation has been lost among the ruins', then many
would begin to dig and search for it and really to begin a true work of
building upon it, as Nehemiah and Zerubbabel did after the destruction
of the temple. It is much more difficult now to restore the spiritual
ruins, so long fallen down, and get back to the former state, for which
no other foundation can be laid than Jesus Christ, from whom the many
have wandered away and turned to other gods and made foundations of
them." And again: "I do not say that everywhere

=Page 128: Cheltschizki's Teaching=

where the Apostles preached all believed, but some, whom God had chosen;
here more, there fewer. In the Apostles' times the churches of believers
were named according to the towns, villages and districts, they were
churches and assemblies of believers, of one faith. These churches were
separated by the Apostles from the unbelievers. I do not pretend that
the believers could, in a material, local sense, all be separated into a
particular street of the town, rather, they were united in an
association of faith and came together in local gatherings where they
had fellowship with each other in spiritual things and in the Word of
God. And in accordance with such association in faith and in spiritual
things they were called churches of believers." He relates how "in Basle
in 1433 the Papal representative said that though there was much to
praise in the early Church, yet it was very simple and poor, and as the
temple followed the tabernacle, so the present beauty and glory of the
Church has followed its first simplicity. Also many things unknown in
the early Church are now made known." Cheltschizki's comment on this is:
"The song would be good if it were not a lie."

He taught that the "great priest" (_i.e._, the Pope)
dishonours the Saviour by taking to himself the Divine power to forgive
sins, which God has reserved for Himself alone. "God has borne witness
that he Himself remits sins and blots out men's iniquities through
Christ who died for the sins of men. As to this, the testimony of faith
is that He is the Lamb of God who took away sins and forgives the world,
possessing in Himself the unique right of forgiving sins, because He is
Himself at once God and man. And on this account He died as a man for
sins and gave Himself to God on the cross as an offering for sins. Thus
God obtained by Him and His pains the forgiveness of the sins of the
world. So He alone has the power and right to forgive men their sins.
Therefore, the great priest, in utmost pomp with which he raises himself
above all that is called God, as a robber has laid hands on these rights
of Christ. He has instituted the pilgrimage to Rome through which sins
are to be cleansed away. Therefore, drunken crowds run together from all
lands, and he, the father of all evil, distributes his blessing from a
high place to the crowds that they may have the forgiveness of all sins
and deliverance

=Page 129: Kunwald=

from all judgement. He saves from hell and purgatory, and there is no
reason why anyone should go there. Also he sends into all lands tickets,
for money, which ensure deliverance from all sins and pains; they do not
even need to take the trouble to come to him, they have only to send the
money and all is forgiven them. What belongs to the Lord alone, this
official has taken to himself, and he draws the praise which belongs to
his Lord, and becomes rich through the sale of these things. What is
left for Christ to do for us when His official frees us from all sins
and judgement and can make us just and holy? It is only our sins that
stand in the way of our salvation. If the great priest remits all these
what shall the poor Lord Jesus do? Why does the world neglect Him so and
does not seek salvation from Him? Simply on this account that the great
priest overshadows Him with his majesty and makes Him darkness in the
world, while he, the great priest, has a great name in the world and
unexampled renown. So that the Lord Jesus, already crucified, is held up
to the world's laughter, and the great priest only is in everyone's
mouth, and the world seeks and finds salvation in him."

       *       *       *       *       *

The Utraquist archbishop, Rokycana,[55] preaching in the famous Tyn
Church in Prague, eloquently commended Cheltschizki's teachings and
denounced the evils in the Church of Rome. He did not, however, act upon
what he preached. But many of his hearers determined to carry out the
principles they had learned, and, gathering around a man of good report,
named Gregory, known as the Patriarch, withdrew from Rokycana and
founded (1457) a community in North East Bohemia, in the village of
Kunwald, where was the castle of Lititz. Many joined them there, some,
followers of Cheltschizki and some from Waldensian churches, also
students from Prague, and others. Though maintaining a connection with
the Utraquist Church they returned in many things to the teaching of
Scripture and to the practice of the early churches. They had a
Utraquist priest as pastor, but elected elders; there were also those
among them who, after the old Waldensian custom, were called "the
Perfect" and gave up the whole of their property. They were not long
left in peace. In a few years the settlement

=Page 130: "United Brethren"=

at Kunwald was broken up, the Utraquist Church persecuting them as
bitterly as the Roman Catholic had done; Gregory was imprisoned and
tortured, one Jakob Hulava was burnt, and the brethren hid themselves in
the mountains and forests. Yet their numbers increased, and gradually
the persecution died down.

In 1463, in the mountains of Reichenau,[56] and again in 1467 at Lhota,
there were general gatherings of brethren, at which many persons of rank
and influence were present, where they considered afresh the principles
of the Church. One of the first things they did was to baptize those
present, for the baptism of believers by immersion was common to the
Waldenses and to most of the brethren in different parts, though it had
been interrupted by pressure of persecution. They also formally declared
their separation from the Church of Rome. They called themselves Jednota
Bratrskâ (Church of the Brotherhood), or Unitas Fratrum, the United
Brethren. They did not wish by this to found a new party or to separate
in any way from the other numerous churches of brethren in many lands;
but they hoped that their example might encourage them to make known
more definitely their separation from the Roman Church system. Before
the close of their meetings, nine men were chosen from among those
present, of whom there were about sixty, and from these nine three were
chosen by lot, and from these, one, Matthias of Kunwald, whom they sent
to be ordained by the Waldensian bishop Stephen in Austria, thus marking
their continued connection with the Waldensian brethren. They did not
consider this ordination as essential, but desirable; they thought that
the Roman Church at the time of Sylvester had lost any Apostolic
succession there might ever have been, but that if any still existed it
must have been among Cathars, Paulicians and Waldenses that it had been

They communicated their decisions to the Archbishop Rokycana; and when
he, from the pulpit, denounced them, they wrote further, showing that
their action was not the formation of something new, but a return to the
true Church of the first Christians which had always been maintained
among the Waldenses. Reproached that by their

=Page 131: Lukas of Prague=

separation they condemned all outside their circle, and denied the
possibility of salvation to them, they replied that they never held that
true Christianity was bound to particular views and forms; that they
recognized true Christians among those who did not belong to their
assemblies, and counted it a sin on the part of the Church of Rome that
it denied salvation to those who did not submit to the Pope. A nephew of
the Archbishop, who was among the brethren, wrote: "No one can say that
we condemn and exclude all who remain obedient to the Romish Church....
That is by no means our persuasion.... As we do not exclude the elect
in the Indian and Greek Churches, even so we do not condemn the elect
among the Romans...."

They laid stress on holiness of life as taught by the Lord and the
Apostles, helped by church discipline as shown in the Scriptures, but
combined with the fullest liberty of conscience. Simplicity in living
was commended; there should be no suffering through poverty among the
brethren, the rich being ready in helping the poor.

As numbers increased changes took place, persons of education and
position and of wealth became members, and the leadership passed out of
the hands of the simpler brethren into those of men of wider education.
Lukas of Prague was for forty years, until his death (1525), the most
prominent and active man among them. He was a voluminous and effective
writer, indeed, the works produced by the brethren at this time and
their use of the printing press far exceeded what was done by the much
more numerous Roman Catholic party. Hymn-writing and music flourished
among them. It was no longer thought wrong to occupy positions of
authority in the State, or to make honest profits in business beyond the
supply of actual needs, and the objection to taking oaths ceased.
Education was cultivated and the Brethren's schools came to be generally
sought after. The doctrine of justification by faith was more clearly
taught than before. Lukas also developed organization for the government
of the Church, and introduced no little ritual into its formerly simple
worship. Not all followed, a few held aloof, clinging to their old ways.

After a time the Pope, Alexander VI, succeeded in persuading the King of
Bohemia that the growing power of the Brethren endangered his throne,
and in 1507 the Edict

=Page 132: Bohemian Brethren and Luther=

of St. James was issued requiring all to be attached to the Roman
Catholic or to the Utraquist Church, or to leave the country. The
Brethren were once more the objects of persecution, their meetings were
closed, their books burned, and they themselves imprisoned, exiled, or
put to cruel deaths. This lasted some years, during which time Lukas was
indefatigable in comforting and encouraging his people, until he himself
was captured and imprisoned. Gradually the good report of the Brethren
wore down the persecution, some of their bitterest enemies died strange
and sudden deaths, which made others fear to continue their work. The
King of Bohemia himself died, and quarrels between the Roman Catholics
and the Utraquists diverted their attention from the Brethren, who again
began to enjoy quiet.

At the same time news came from Germany of Luther's great doings at
Wittenberg, and as soon as possible the Brethren sent representatives
and put themselves in touch with the Reformers. Lukas, now liberated,
had some doubts as he heard of what seemed to him the boisterous ways of
Luther and the Wittenberg students, so different from the precise life
he had introduced in the Brethren's Communities, where some rule ordered
every act, but the Brethren generally hailed with enthusiasm such
unexpected allies. Luther, for his part, was doubtful about the
Brethren, but in 1520 he wrote to Spalatin: "Thus far I have, although
unconsciously, proclaimed all that Huss preached and maintained; Johann
Staupitz did unconsciously maintain the same--in a word, we are all
Hussites, without having known it; Paul and Augustine themselves are
Hussites--in the full sense of the word! Behold the horrible misery
which came over us because we did not accept the Bohemian doctor for our

The next great leader of the United Brethren, John Augusta, who at
thirty-two was made a bishop, and was recognised as their most capable
guide, favoured the fullest co-operation with the Protestants in
Germany. In 1526 the old Bohemian royal house came to an end, and the
kingdom fell to the Roman Catholic family of Hapsburg, Ferdinand I
adding it to his many other territories. Many of the Bohemian nobility
had befriended, and some belonged to, the Brethren. Their help in giving
them places of refuge on their estates in times of trouble had been

=Page 133: War and Exile=

invaluable. John Augusta made use of one of them, Konrad Krajek (who had
built one of the principal centres of the Brethren at Jungbunzlau), in
his negotiations with the new and very ill-disposed king. These
negotiations were successful, and there followed a further time of

In 1546 war broke out between the Smalcald League, or League of the
Protestant Princes of Germany, under the leadership of the Elector of
Saxony, and the Emperor Charles V, brother of the King of Bohemia; the
Protestant against the Roman Catholic powers. Ferdinand summoned the
nobles and people of Bohemia to support him, as his subjects; the
Elector of Saxony called on the United Brethren to aid in the struggle
for the Protestant faith. Some of the most powerful of the Bohemian
nobility belonged to the Brethren, who were very numerous and
influential throughout the land. A meeting was held in the house of one
of the nobles, and it was decided to fight on the Protestant side. At
the battle of Mühlberg (1547) the Protestants were defeated, Ferdinand
returned to Prague victorious, and began the intended extirpation of the
Brethren. Four of the nobles were publicly executed in Prague, the
possessions of others were confiscated, meetings were closed, and an
order was issued that any who refused to join the Roman Catholic or
Utraquist Church must leave the country within six weeks.

Then began a great emigration. From all sides the exiles, with their
long trails of wagons, followed the roads leading towards Poland. The
people on the way sympathized with the wanderers, let them pass
toll-free, fed and entertained them. They were refused permission to
settle in Poland or Polish Prussia, and only after six months'
travelling were they given a resting place in the city of Königsberg, in
East Prussia, which was Lutheran. A young blacksmith among them, George
Israel, a man of extraordinary vigour both of faith and of physical
strength, overcame all obstacles and obtained for the Brethren a place
in Poland, in the town of Ostrorog. Settling in Ostrorog, they made it a
centre from which their work spread over the country. They not only
preached the Gospel there, but did much to draw together the different
sections of Protestants in the country.

In 1556, Ferdinand becoming Emperor, the throne of

=Page 134: Effort to Gain Liberty=

Bohemia passed to his son, Maximilian, and under his rule the Brethren
were allowed to return, to rebuild their meeting-places, and resume
their meetings. They had by no means all been rooted out of Bohemia, and
soon their churches were re-established in Bohemia and Moravia, with
Poland now added. John Augusta, long imprisoned, frequently tortured,
eventually joined the Utraquist Church, believing that he could in this
way bring about its union with the Brethren. Indeed, many of the
Utraquists had become Protestants, and Bohemia and Moravia were for the
most part Protestant countries.

The chief leaders among the Brethren were two noblemen, Wenzel of
Budowa, and Charles of Žerotín. These had large estates, keeping almost
regal state, and were godly men in whose households the reading of the
Word and prayer had their important place. The country prospered,
education became general. A Polish noble coming in 1571 to one of the
settlements of the Brethren, said: "O immortal God, what joy was then
kindled in my heart! Verily it seemed to me, when I observed and
inquired about everything, that I was in the church of Ephesus or
Thessalonica, or some other apostolic church; here I saw with my own
eyes and heard with my own ears such things as we read in apostolic
letters...." From 1579 to 1593 the great work was accomplished of
translating the Bible from the original tongues into the Czech language,
and this "Kralitz Bible" is the basis of the translation still in use;
it became the foundation of Czech literature.

It was the ambition of the nobles that the Church of the United Brethren
should cease to be merely tolerated and liable at any time to renewed
persecution; they aspired to making it the National Church of Bohemia.
When (1603) the Emperor Rudolph II asked the Bohemian Diet, or
Parliament, for money for his projected campaign against the Turks,
Wenzel of Budowa demanded the repeal of the Edict of St. James, and that
complete religious liberty should be given to the people. Only then
would money be voted. The Protestant nobles of all shades supported him,
and the people were enthusiastically on his side. The Emperor, between
the Protestants and the Jesuits, promised and retracted repeatedly, and
no progress was made. Then Wenzel called the nobles together, they

=Page 135: Battle of the White Mountain=

men and supplies and swore to resort to force if their demands should
not be granted. The Emperor yielded, signed the Bohemian Charter giving
full religious liberty, and there was general rejoicing among the
people. A Board of twenty-four "Defenders" was formed to attend to the
proper carrying out of the terms of the Charter. All the Protestant
parties and the United Brethren signed the general Bohemian National
Protestant Confession. In 1616 Ferdinand II became King of Bohemia. He
was entirely under the influence of the Jesuits and though at his
coronation he took an oath to observe the Charter, he began immediately
to break it. His two principal ministers Martinitz and Slawata took
forcible measures against the liberties of Protestants, and the attitude
of the two religious parties towards each other became most threatening.
The inevitable crisis was reached in connection with a quarrel about
Church property. A church in possession of the Protestants was, by order
of the King, seized and destroyed, whereupon the Defenders forced their
way into the Royal Castle in Prague, where the King's Council was
assembled. An angry altercation ended in Martinitz and Slawata being
thrown out of the window, only a dung-heap which broke their sixty-foot
fall saving them from serious harm. The Defenders raised an army,
deposed King Ferdinand, and made Frederick, the Elector Palatine,
son-in-law of James I of England, king. The Jesuits were expelled and
the Roman Catholics mass was held up to derision.

The decisive battle between the two parties, the battle of the White
Mountain, was fought (1620) on a hill outside Prague, and resulted in
the complete defeat of the Defenders. On the 21st of June, 1621, in the
Great Square in Prague on one side of which stands the Tyn Church, and
on the other the Council House, 27 Protestant noblemen, including Wenzel
of Budowa, were publicly beheaded. Each was offered his life on
condition of accepting the Roman Catholic faith, and each refused it.
Murder and violence of every kind were let loose on the land. Thirty-six
thousand families left Bohemia and Moravia, the population of Bohemia
being reduced from three millions to one. Thus, the Hussite religion and
Bohemian independence disappeared together.

=Page 136: Comenius=

Over large parts of Europe the Thirty Years War had begun its
devastating course.

Jan Amos Comenius (b. 1592), known later the world over for his reform
of education, is a heroic figure in this time of distress. He did not
approve of the way in which the Brethren had engaged in politics and
war. At the time of the great disaster he had only been three years
settled as minister of the congregation of brethren at Fulneck in
Moravia, and this place was sacked and destroyed by Spanish soldiers,
compelling him to fly. He took refuge in the castle of Charles of
Žerotín, where he became leader of the band of refugees that gathered
there. While there he wrote a book, _"The Labyrinth of the World
and the Paradise of the Heart"_ in which, in allegorical form,
he taught that peace is not to be found in the world, but in the
indwelling of Christ in the heart. Driven from Žerotín, Comenius led the
last band of fugitives from Moravia. He had lost everything. His wife
and child died of the privations of the way. As they said farewell to
their native land, he encouraged their faith to believe that God would
preserve there a "hidden seed" which would afterwards grow and bear

At last a resting place was found at Lissa (Lesno) in Poland (1628),
where Comenius became Director of the School, and from whence he visited
England (1641), being invited to re-organize education there. The Civil
War in England drove him to further journeys, in Sweden and elsewhere.
In 1656 a defeat of the Swedes by the Poles resulted in the burning of
the "heretics' nest" in Lissa by the Poles, and Comenius again lost
everything, including MSS. he had prepared for publication, the fruit of
years of labour. The Peace of Westphalia in 1648 had already destroyed
the last hope of a re-establishment of the Bohemian Brethren, the
Catholic and Protestant Powers alike refusing them any toleration. Under
these circumstances of utter loss Comenius wrote, giving such counsel to
the Brethren and to the world as exhibits the experience of the soul
which continues to trust God when all earthly help has failed.

In Lissa in 1650 he wrote "The Testament of the Dying Mother"[57] in
which he counsels preachers of the Moravian

=Page 137: Comenius Gives Counsel=

Church left without any circle of fellowship, to accept invitations to
minister the Word in Evangelical churches; not to flatter their hearers
nor strengthen divisions, but to aim at kindling love and oneness of
mind. He advised those of the "orphans" who were not preachers, if they
found congregations where they were not forced to follow men but rather
instructed to follow Christ, where they saw the truth of the Gospel of
Jesus, to join them, to pray for their peace and to seek their growth
and progress in that which is good, giving them a shining example,
leading them in warmth and prayer, so that, from them at least the wrath
of Almighty God which must come over Christendom might be averted.

Adding more general exhortation, he says: "Even you I cannot forget,
dear sisters, evangelical churches; nor thee our mother from whom we
sprang, Roman Church. Thou wast a mother to us but art become a ...
vampire who sucks the children's blood. Therefore, I wish that in thy
misery thou mightest be converted to repentance and forsake the Babylon
of thy blasphemy.... To all Christian assemblies together I bequeath
my longing for unity and reconciliation, for union in faith and in love,
for the Unity of the Spirit. O may this spirit which the Father of
spirits gave me from the beginning come over you so that you may long as
utterly as I have done for the uniting and fellowship in the truth of
Christianity of all those who call on the Name of Jesus in truth. May
God bring you to the ground of what is essential and useful, as He
taught me, that you may all come to see what you ought to be zealous for
and what not, and how you should avoid all zeal that is without
knowledge and does not further the progress of the Church, but rather
tends to its destruction; and then, further, that you may see where
flaming zeal is needful so that you may be happily zealous for the
praise of God, even to the yielding of your lives. O that you might all
be carried away by longing for the mercy of our God, the worthiness of
Jesus and the delightful sweet inward gifts of the Holy Spirit, which
are communicated through true faith, true love, and true hope in God. In
this the nature of true Christianity is contained."

=Page 138: Comenius Comforts the Exiles=

The _"Voice of Mourning"_ was written in 1660 in
Amsterdam, Comenius' last dwelling place, where he died ten years
later.[58] In it he says: "We hear that the Lord heals only the wounded,
gives life only to the dead, and redeems from hell only those cast down
into it (1 Sam. 2), then let us be willing for Him to do as He will with
us, and if His will is first to wound us and slay us and cast us down
into hell, let His will be done; meantime, we expect that without fail,
here or in eternity, we shall be healed, made alive again, and brought
to heaven! Even our Lord who had to endure a measureless painful,
shameful, and sorrowful death, comforted Himself with this that the corn
of wheat, if it does not die, remains alone, but if it dies brings forth
a rich harvest. If, therefore, out of His wounds healing has sprung up,
out of His death life, out of His hell heaven and salvation, why should
not we, the little grains of corn, die according to the will of God? If
the blood of the martyrs and also our blood shall be the seed of the
Church for the increase later of those who fear God, ah, let us,
weeping, scatter the precious seed that we may bring in the sheaves with
rejoicing. God will not destroy without building again. He makes all
things new. God knows what He is doing, we must trust Him to pull down
and to build up as He will. He does not do these things for no purpose,
something great lies hidden under it all. The whole Creation is subject
to the will of God and we also, whether we understand what He does or
not. He does not need our advice as to what He does."

When he was 77 years of age and his fame was established throughout
Europe as having revolutionized in the best sense the spirit and methods
of teaching, Comenius wrote the _"One Thing
Needful"_.[59] He compares the world to a labyrinth, and shows
that the way out is by leaving what is needless, and choosing the
_one thing needful_--Christ. "The great number of
teachers" he says "is the reason of the multitude of sects, for which we
shall soon have no names left. Each church reckons itself as the true
one, or at least as the purest, truest part of it, while among
themselves they

=Page 139: "One Thing Needful=

persecute each other with the bitterest hatred. No reconciliation is to
be hoped for between them; they meet enmity with irreconcilable enmity.
Out of the Bible they forge their different creeds; these are their
fortresses and bulwarks behind which they entrench themselves and resist
all attacks. I will not say that these confessions of faith--for that
they are so we can admit in most cases--are bad in themselves. They
become so, however, in that they feed the fire of enmity; only by
putting them away altogether would it be possible to set to work on
healing the wounds of the Church". "... To this _labyrinth of
sects_ and various confessions another belongs; the love of
disputation.... What is attained by it? Has a single learned strife
ever been settled? Never. Their number has only been increased. Satan is
the greatest sophist; he has never been overcome in a strife of words"
... "In Divine service the words of men are usually heard more than the
Word of God. Each one chatters as he pleases, or kills time by learned
disquisitions and disproving the views of others. Of the new birth and
how a man must be changed into the likeness of Christ to become partaker
of the Divine Nature (2 Peter 1. 4), scarcely anything is said. Of the
power of the keys the Church has almost lost the power of binding, only
the power of loosing remains.... The sacraments, given as symbols of
unity, of love, and of our life in Christ, have been made the occasion
of bitterest conflict, a cause of mutual hatred, a centre of
sectarianism.... In short, Christendom has become a labyrinth. The
faith has been split into a thousand little parts and you are made a
heretic if there is one of them you do not accept." ... "What can
help? Only the _one thing needful,_ return to Christ,
looking to Christ as the only Leader, and walking in His footsteps,
setting aside all other ways until we all reach the goal, and have come
to the unity of the faith (Eph. 4.13). As the Heavenly Master built
everything on the ground of the Scriptures so should we leave all
particularities of our special confessions and be satisfied with the
revealed Word of God which belongs to us all. With the Bible in our hand
we should cry: I believe what God has revealed in this Book; I will
obediently keep His commands; I hope for that which He has promised.
Christians, give ear! There is only one Life, but Death comes to us in a
thousand forms.

=Page 140: Comenius and the Lord's Coming=

There is only one Truth, but Error has a thousand forms. There is only
one Christ, but a thousand Antichrists.... So thou knowest, O
Christendom, what is the one thing needful. Either thou turnest back to
Christ or thou goest to destruction like the Antichrist. If thou art
wise and wilt live, follow the Leader of Life."

"But you, Christians, rejoice in your being caught up, ... hear the
words of your Heavenly Leader, 'Come unto Me.' ... Answer with one
voice, 'Even so, we come'".


[48] "Foxe's Book of Martyrs" "A Short History of the English People"
John Richard Green. "England in the Age of Wycliffe" George Macaulay

[49] "John Wycliff and his English Precursors" Lechler translated by

[50] "The Dawn of the Reformation the Age of Hus" H. B. Workman M.A.

[51] "John Huss and his Followers" Jan Herben (1926).

[52] Ulrich von Richental. "Chronik des Konzils zu Konstanz" 1414-1418.
Herausgegeben von Dr. Otto H. Brandt. R. Voigtlănders Verlag in Leipzig
mit 18 Nachbildungen nach der Aulendorfer Handschrift. (Voigitănders
Quellenbücher Bd. 48).

[53] "Jahrbücher für Kultur und Geschichte der Slaven" N. F. Band v.
Heft 1, 1929. E. Perfeckïj.

[54] "Das Netz des Glaubens" by Peter Cheltschizki. translated from Old
Czech into German by Dr. Karl Vogel. (Einhorn Verlag in Dachau bei

[55] "History of the Moravian Church" J. E. Hutton.

[56] "Die Reformation und die ălteren Reformparteien" Dr. Ludwig Keller.

[57] "Das Testament der Sterbenden Mutter" von J. A. Comenius. written
in Bohemian, 1650 at Lissa. translated into German by Dora Petina in
Leitmeritz. Monatsschriften der C. G. XVI Band, Heft 1. Herausgegeben
von Ludwig Keller, Berlin. Weidmannsche Buchhandlung.

[58] "Stimme der Trauer" von J. A. Comenius. Translated from Bohemian
into German by Franz Slaměnik. Monatschriften der Comenius-Gesellschaft
XVII Band, Heft 3. Herausgegeben von Ludwig Keller. Verlag von Eugen
Diederichs, Jena, 1903.

[59] "Unum Necessarium" J. A. Comenius.

=Page 141: Brethren of the Common Life=

Chapter VIII

The Reformation


A Catechism--Brethren of the Common Life--Luther--Tetzel--The
ninety-five theses at Wittenberg--The Papal Bull burnt--Diet of
Worms--The Wartburg--Translation of the Bible--Efforts of Erasmus for
compromise--Development of the Lutheran Church--Its reform and
limitations--Staupitz remonstrates--Luther's choice between New
Testament churches and National Church system--Loyola and the Counter

The connection between the brethren in different countries is
illustrated by the fact that the same catechism for the instruction of
their children was used by the Waldenses in the valleys, in France, and
in Italy, also by the various brethren in the German lands, and in
Bohemia by the United Brethren.[60] It was a small book and was published
in Italian, French, German and Bohemian. Different editions are known,
printed at intervals from 1498 to 1530.

Closely connected with these brethren were the "Brethren of the Common
Life" who in the 15th and early 16th centuries established a network of
schools throughout the Netherlands and North-West Germany. Their founder
was Gerhard Groote of Deventer, in Holland, who, in consultation with
Jan van Rysbroeck, formed the brotherhood and established the first
school, at Deventer. Groote expressed his principle of teaching when he
said: "the root of study and the mirror of life must be in the first
instance the Gospel of Christ." He thought that learning without piety
was likely to be more of a curse than a blessing. The teaching was
excellent, the school at Deventer under the famous schoolmaster
Alexander Hegius had 2000 pupils. Thomas a Kempis, who afterwards wrote
the _"Imitation of Christ"_ went to school there; and
Erasmus also was a pupil. The schools spread widely, Latin and some
Greek were taught and the children learned to sing

=Page 142: Luther's Theses=

evangelical Latin hymns. Adult classes were carried on in which the
Gospels were read in the language of the country. Money was earned by
copying MSS. of the New Testament, and, later, by printing it. Tracts of
the Brethren and of the Friends of God were multiplied. In this way a
sound education was provided, based on the Holy Scriptures.

A hymn book, published in Ulm in 1538, shows the provision made for
praise and worship in the congregations of the brethren. The end of its
long title states that it was for "the Christian Brotherhood, the
Picards, until now considered as Unchristian and Heretics, used and sung
daily to the honour of God."

       *       *       *       *       *

It was the Bible which had the first place in enlightening and
developing Luther; he was helped by Staupitz also, and found in the
writings of Tauler and some of the brethren, more Divine doctrine,[61] he
said, than in all the Universities and teachings of the schoolmen;
nothing was sounder and corresponded more with the Gospel. He soon
became active as a writer and his early pamphlets (1517-20)[62] were
written in the spirit of the brethren, showing how salvation is not
through the intervention of the Church, but that every man has direct
access to God and finds salvation through faith in Christ and obedience
to His Word. He was laid hold of by the teaching of Scripture that
salvation is of the grace of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, and not
obtained by our own works. The ability and zeal with which Luther
preached these truths not only awakened hope and expectation in the
circles where they were already known, but also powerfully affected
others who had hitherto been ignorant of them.

In 1517 a prominent salesman of Papal indulgences, Tetzel, showed a
shamelessness and buffoonery in his business which, more perhaps than
anything else, impressed on people its inherent charlatanry. When he
came to Wittenberg, Luther, failing to arouse the Elector of Saxony to
action, and encouraged by Stanpitz, himself nailed on the church door
the Ninety-five Theses which set Europe

=Page 143: Luther Translates the Bible=

in a blaze, as men realized that a voice had at last been raised to
utter what most felt--that the whole system of indulgences was a fraud
and had no place in the Gospel. A poor monk now faced and fought the
whole vast Papal power; his "Address to the Nobility of the German
Nation on the Liberty of the Christian Man" and his "Babylonian
Captivity of the Church" appealed to all Europe. The Pope issued a Bull
excommunicating him; he burnt it publicly at Wittenberg (1520). Summoned
to Worms before the Papal authorities, he braved all dangers and went,
and none was able to harm him. When he left, his life being threatened,
his friends carried him off secretly to a castle, the Wartburg, and let
it be supposed that he was dead. There he translated the New Testament
into German, following it later by the Old Testament. The effect of
increased reading of the Scriptures, and that in a time when questions
of religion were violently agitating masses of the population, was to
change the whole aspect of Christendom. The dull hopelessness with which
men had seen the ever-increasing corruption and rapacity of the Church,
was exchanged for a vivid hope that now, at last, the time of revival
had come, the time of a return to Apostolic, primitive Christianity;
Christ Himself was seen afresh, revealed in the Scriptures as the
Redeemer and immediate Saviour of sinners and the Way to God for
suffering humanity.

With such radical divergence of view and interest, however, conflict was
inevitable. Luther's following and band of sympathizers grew enormously,
but the old system of the Roman Church was not to be changed without a
struggle. There were some who, with Erasmus, hoped for compromise and
peace, but the monks, who saw their position and privileges vanishing,
were violent beyond measure, and the Papal authorities decided to use
the old weapons of cursing and killing to crush the new movement, while
Luther, leaving his early humility, grew to be as dogmatic as the Pope.

Political rivalries made the situation more dangerous. Oppression of the
land workers led to the Peasants' War (1524-5), for which Luther and his
party were blamed by the other side. A general conflagration threatened
the nations. Erasmus wrote (1520): "I wish Luther ... would be quiet
for a while ... what he says may be true, but

=Page 144: Erasmus Counsels Compromise=

there are times and seasons." Again, to Duke George of Saxony (1524):
"When Luther first spoke the whole world applauded, and your Highness
among the rest. Divines who are now his bitterest opponents were then on
his side. Cardinals, even monks, encouraged him. He had taken up an
excellent cause. He was attacking practices which every honest man
condemned, and contending with a set of harpies, under whose tyranny
Christendom was groaning. Who could then dream how far the movement
would go? ... Luther himself never expected to produce such an effect.
After his Theses had come out I persuaded him to go no further.... I
was afraid of riots.... I cautioned him to be moderate.... The
Pope put out a Bull, the Emperor put out an Edict, and there were
prisons, faggots and burnings. Yet all was in vain. The mischief only
grew.... I did see, however, that the world was besotted with ritual.
Scandalous monks were ensnaring and strangling consciences. Theology had
become sophistry. Dogmatism had grown to madness, and, besides there
were the unspeakable priests and Bishops and Roman officials.... I
considered that it was a case for compromise and agreement....
Luther's patrons were stubborn and would not yield a step. The Catholic
divines breathed only fire and fury.... I trust, I hope, that Luther
will make a few concessions and that the Pope and princes may still
consent to peace. May Christ's Dove come among us, or else Minerva's
owl. Luther has administered an acrid dose to a diseased body. God grant
it may prove salutary!" Again (1525) he wrote "I regard Luther as a good
man, raised up by Providence to correct the depravity of the age. Whence
have all these troubles arisen? From the audacious and open immorality
of the priesthood, from the arrogance of the theologians and the tyranny
of the monks." He advised abolishing what was manifestly wrong but
retaining all that could be kept without harm, exercising tolerance,
allowing liberty of conscience, and he wrote, "Indulgences, with which
the monks so long fooled the world, with the connivance of the
theologians, are now exploded. Well, then, let those who have no faith
in saints' merits, pray to Father, Son and Holy Ghost, imitate Christ in
their lives, and leave those alone who do believe in saints.... Let
men think as they please of purgatory, without quarrelling with others

=Page 145: Lutheran Church=

who do not think as they do.... Whether works justify or faith
justifies matters little, since all allow that faith will not save
without works."

The conflict was too bitter for such moderate counsels to prevail. They
were few who saw any possibility of tolerance. The development of Luther
himself under the influence of such extraordinary circumstances, in its
turn influenced them. From having been a devoted Roman Catholic in his
earlier years, he had by his meeting with Staupitz and occupation with
the Scriptures been brought into sympathy with the Brethren and with the
Mystics, but his conflict with the Romish clergy now drew him into close
relations with a number of the German Princes; and this association,
together with the returning influence of his old training, led him
gradually to the formation of the Lutheran Church. The stages of this
development were marked by a drawing away from the old congregations of
brethren and, side by side with the revival of much Scripture truth, an
incorporation in the new Lutheran Church of much also that was taken
over from the Romish system. Luther emphasized the teachings of the
Apostle Paul more, those of the Gospels less, than the old churches of
believers; he pressed the doctrine of justification by faith, without a
sufficiency of the balancing truth of the following of Christ which was
so prominent in their preaching. His teaching as to the absence of any
freedom of will or choice in man, and of salvation as being solely by
the grace of God, went so far as to lead to the neglect of right conduct
as a part of the Gospel. Among the doctrines carried over from the
Church of Rome was that of baptismal regeneration, and, with this, the
general practice of baptising infants. While reviving the teaching of
Scripture as to individual salvation by faith in Christ Jesus and His
perfect work, Luther did not go on to accept the New Testament teaching
as to the churches, separate from the world, yet maintained in it as
witnesses to it of the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ; he adopted the
Roman Catholic system of parishes, with their clerical administration of
a world considered as Christianized. Having a number of rulers on his
side, he maintained the principle of the union of Church and State, and
accepted the sword of the State as the proper means of converting or
punishing those who dissented from the new

=Page 146: Protest of Staupitz=

ecclesiastical authority. It was at the Diet, or Council, of Speyer
(1529) that the Reform party presented the protest to the Roman Catholic
representatives, from which the name Protestant came to be applied to
the Reformers. The League of Smalcald in 1531, bound together nine
Princes and eleven free cities as Protestant Powers.

In view of Luther's development, Staupitz warned him: "Christ help us
that we may come at last to live according to the Gospel which now
sounds in our ears and which many have on their lips, for I see that
multitudes misuse the Gospel to give liberty to the flesh. Let my
entreaty affect you, for I was once the pioneer of holy evangelical
teaching." In finally declaring the divergence of his way from that
which Luther was taking, he contrasts nominal Christians with real
Christians, and writes: "It is the fashion now to separate faith from
evangelical life, as though it were possible to have real faith in
Christ and yet remain unlike Him in life. Oh, cunning of the foe! Oh,
misleading of the people! Hear the speech of fools: Whoever believes in
Christ requires no works. Listen to the saying of truth: Let him who
serves Me follow Me. The evil spirit tells his fleshly Christians that a
man is justified without works and that Paul preached this. This is
false. He did indeed speak against those legal works and outward
observances in which, through fear, men put their trust for salvation,
and he strove against them as useless and leading to condemnation, but
he never thought evil or did anything but praise those works which are
the fruits of faith and love and obedience to the heavenly commandments,
and he proclaimed and preached their necessity in all his epistles."

Luther taught: "Learn from St. Paul that the Gospel teaches of Christ
that He came, not to give a new law by which we should walk, but that He
might give Himself an offering for the sins of the whole world." The old
churches had always taught that a true Christian was one who, having
received the life of Christ by faith, constantly desired and
endeavoured, by the help of His indwelling life, to walk according to
His example and word.

Luther by his mighty strokes hewed a way through long consecrated
privileges and abuses, so that reform became possible. He revealed
Christ to countless sinners as the

=Page 147: National Church System=

Saviour to whom each one was invited to come, without intervention of
priest or saint or church or sacrament, not on account of any goodness
in himself, but as a sinner in all his needs, to find in Christ, through
faith in Him, perfect salvation, founded in the perfect work of the Son
of God. Instead, however, of continuing in the way of the Word, Luther
then built up a church, in which some abuses were reformed, but which in
many respects was a reproduction of the old system. Multitudes who
looked to him for guidance accepted that form in which he moulded the
Lutheran Church; many, seeing that he did not continue in the way of
return to the Scriptures which they had hoped for, remained where they
were, in the Roman Catholic Church, and the hopes awakened among the
brethren gradually faded away as they saw themselves placed between two
ecclesiastical systems, each of which was ready to enforce conformity in
matters of conscience, by the sword.

Luther had seen the Divine pattern for the churches, and it was not
without an inward struggle that he abandoned the New Testament teaching
of independent assemblies of real believers, in favour of the National
or State Church system which outward circumstances pressed upon him. The
irreconcilable difference between these two ideals was the essential
ground of conflict. Baptism and the Lord's Supper took on such
importance in the fight only because in the true Church they mark the
gulf dividing the Church from the world, whereas in a National Church
they are used to bridge it, infant baptism and the general
administration of the Lord's Supper doing away with the necessity for
personal faith in the recipients. Moreover, the powers arrogated to a
priesthood alone competent to perform these rites bring the nation under
a domination in matters of faith and conscience, which, when working in
unison with the State, or civil Government, make free churches
impossible, and religion a matter of nationality. Such a National Church
is very comprehensive. It can include a great variety of views. It can
take in unbelievers, and condone much wickedness, and can allow even its
clergy to express disbelief in the Scriptures; but, if it has power to
prevent it, it will not tolerate those who baptize believers, or who
take the Lord's Supper among

=Page 148: Luther and Scriptural Churches=

themselves as disciples of Christ; because these things strike at the
foundations of its character as a national church, though it is not the
rites themselves which are the fundamental cause of difference, but the
Church question.

With unprecedented power and courage Luther had brought to light the
Scripture truths as to the individual salvation of the sinner by faith,
but failed when he might have shown the way to a return to Scripture in
all things, including its teaching as to the Church. He had taught: "I
say it a hundred thousand times, God will have no forced service." "No
one can or ought to be forced to believe." In 1526 he had written: "The
right kind of evangelical order cannot be exhibited among all sorts of
people, but those who are seriously determined to be Christians and
confess the Gospel with hand and mouth, must enrol themselves by name
and meet apart, in one house, for prayer, for reading, to baptize, to
take the Sacrament, and exercise other Christian works. With such order
it would be possible for those who did not behave in a Christian manner
to be known, reproved, restored, or excluded, according to the rule of
Christ (Matt. 18. 15). Here also they could, in common, subscribe alms,
which would be willingly given and distributed among the poor, according
to the example of Paul (2 Cor. 9. 1-12). Here it would not be necessary
to have much or fine singing. Here a short and simple way of baptism and
the Sacrament could be practised, and all would be according to the Word
and in love. But I cannot yet order and establish such an assembly, for
I have not yet the right people for it. If, however, it should come
about that I must do it, and am driven to it, I will willingly do my
part. In the meantime I will call, excite, preach, help, forward it,
until the Christians take the Word so in earnest that they will
themselves find how to do it and continue in it." Yet Luther knew that
the "right people" were there; people whom he described as "true, pious,
holy children of God." After much hesitation he came at last to oppose
any attempt to put into practice what he had so excellently portrayed.
He did not, however, as did many of his followers, look upon the
Lutheran Church as being the best possible form of religion that could
be devised; he described it as "provisional", as the "outer court," and
not the "Sanctuary" and he did not cease to exhort and warn the people.

=Page 149: His Warning=

He said: "If we look aright at what people now do who reckon themselves
as Evangelical and know how to talk much about Christ, there is nothing
behind it. Most of them deceive themselves. The number of those who
began with us and had pleasure in our teaching was ten times greater,
now not a tenth part of them remains steadfast. They learn indeed to
speak words, as a parrot repeats what people say, but their hearts do
not experience them; they remain just as they are, they neither taste
nor feel how true and faithful God is. They boast much of the Gospel and
at first seek it earnestly, yet afterwards nothing remains; for they do
what they like, follow their lusts, become worse than they were before
and are much more undisciplined and presumptuous ... than other
people, for peasants, citizens, nobles, all are more covetous and
undisciplined than they were under the Papacy." "Ah, Lord God, if we
only practised this doctrine aright, Thou shouldest see, that where now
a thousand go to the Sacrament scarcely a hundred of them would go. Then
the horrible sins would be less with which the Pope with his hellish law
has flooded the world: then at last we should come to be a Christian
assembly, where now we are almost utter heathen with the name of
Christian; then we could separate from ourselves those of whom we know
by their works that they never believed and never had life, a thing that
now is impossible to us."

Once the new Church was put under the power of the State it could not be
altered, but Luther never pretended that the churches which he had
established were ordered after the pattern of the Scriptures. While
Melanchthon spoke of the Protestant Princes as "chief members of the
Church", Luther called them "makeshift Bishops" and frequently expressed
his regret for the lost liberty of the Christian man and independence of
the Christian congregations that had once been his aim.

       *       *       *       *       *

At the time when Luther burnt the Pope's Bull[63] and the Reformation
began its course, another man was preparing himself for the work which
was to be the chief means of

=Page 150: Loyola=

checking the progress of Protestantism, and of organizing the
counter-Reformation which won back to the Church of Rome large districts
where the movement of Reform had already prevailed.

Ignatius Loyola,[64] of noble Spanish ancestry, was born in 1491, became
a page at the court of Ferdinand and Isabella, and then a soldier,
distinguished from the first by his intrepid courage, but a wound which
he received when he was thirty years of age, and which made him
permanently lame, changed the whole course of his life. During the long
illness following his wound he read some of the books of the Mystics and
became passionately desirous of being delivered from the lusts of his
former life and of doing great things, not now for military glory in the
service of an earthly king, but for God and as a soldier of Jesus
Christ. "Show me O Lord" he prayed, "where I can find Thee: I will
follow like a dog, if I can only learn the way of salvation." After long
conflict he yielded himself to God, found peace in the assurance that
his sins were forgiven, and was delivered from the power of carnal
desire. At the famous monastery of Montserrat, among the mountain peaks
which look as though leaping flames had suddenly been turned to stone,
after a night's watch and confession, Loyola hung up his weapons before
the ancient wooden image of the Virgin and dedicated himself to her
service and that of Christ, gave away his very clothes, and, taking the
rough garb of a pilgrim, limped to the neighbouring Dominican monastery
of Manresa. There he not only followed the methods of self-examination
common to the Mystics, but set himself to note with minute exactness all
that he observed in himself, meditations, visions, and also outward
postures and positions, to find out which were most favourable to the
development of spiritual ecstasies. There he wrote a great part of his
book, "Spiritual Exercises" which was afterwards to have so powerful an

The quest of the Mystics for immediate communion with God, without
priestly or other intervention, constantly brought them into conflict
with the priests. Suspected of being of this mind, Loyola was more than
once imprisoned

=Page 151: The "Society of Jesus"=

by the Inquisition and by the Dominicans, but was always able to show
them that he was not what they thought and to obtain release. Indeed,
although at first so strongly affected by the writings of the Mystics,
Loyola evolved a system which was the very contrary of their teaching.
Instead of seeking experiences of direct communion with Christ, he
placed each member of his Society under the guidance of a man, his
confessor, to whom he was pledged to make known the most intimate
secrets of his life and to yield implicit obedience. The plan was that
of a soldier, each one was subject to the will of one above him, and
even the highest was controlled by those appointed to observe every act
and judge every motive. In the course of years of study and travel, of
teaching and charitable activities, during which there were unavailing
efforts to get to Jerusalem, and also interviews with the Pope, that
company gradually gathered round Loyola, which was organized by him as
the "Company of Jesus" in Paris in 1534. He and six others, including
Francis Xavier, took vows of poverty and chastity and of missionary
activity, and in 1540 the Pope recognized the "Society of Jesus", to
which the name of "Jesuit" was first given by Calvin and others, its
opponents. The careful choice and the long and special training of its
members, during which they were taught entire submission of their own
will to that of their superiors, made of them a weapon by which not only
was the Reformation checked, but a "Counter Reformation" was organized
which regained for Rome much that she had lost.

The Society worked consistently and skilfully for reaction. Its rapid
growth in power and its unscrupulous methods raised many enemies against
it even in the Church of Rome, as well as in various countries where its
interference not only in religious, but also in civil matters, was
resented. Its history was a stormy one. At times it rose to the point of
entirely dominating the policy of a nation; then it would be driven out
and forbidden altogether--only to return when circumstances once more
became favourable. The attempt of Hermaun von Wied, Archbishop Elector
of Cologne, to bring about a Catholic Reformation and a reconciliation
with the Reformers, was frustrated by Canisius, the able representative

=Page 152: The Counter-Reformation=

the Society had won in Germany, while in countless instances movements
of reform were repressed or rendered nugatory and the dominion of Rome
strengthened, by its activities. Diligent and devoted members went out
as missionaries and brought the form of religion which they represented,
to the heathen peoples of India, China, and America.


[60] "A History of the Reformation" Thos. M. Lindsay. (T. & T. Clark
Edinburgh. 1906-7. 2 Vols.)

[61] "Die Reformation und die älteren Reform Parteien" Dr. Ludwig

[62] "Life and Letters of Erasmus" J. A. Froude.

[63] "A History of the Reformation" Thomas M. Lindsay M. A., D. D.

[64] "Encyclopaedia Britannica" Article, Loyola.

=Page 153: The Name "Anabaptist"=

Chapter IX

The Anabaptists


The name Anabaptist--Not a new sect--Rapid increase--Legislation against
them--Balthazer Hubmeyer--Circle of brethren in Basle--Activities and
martyrdom of Hubmeyer and his wife--Hans Denck--Balance of
truth--Parties--M. Sattler--Persecution increases--Landgraf Philip of
Hessen--Protest of Odenbach--Zwingli--Persecution in
Switzerland--Grebel, Manz, Blaurock--Kirschner--Persecution in
Austria--Chronicles of the Anabaptists in Austria Hungary--Ferocity of
Ferdinand--Huter--Mändl and his companions--Communities--Münster--The
Kingdom of the New Zion--Distorted use of events in Münster to
calumniate the brethren--Disciples of Christ treated as He was--Menno
Simon--Pilgram Marbeck and his book--Sectarianism--Persecution in West
Germany--Hermann Archbishop of Cologne attempts reform--Schwenckfeld.

About 1524, in Germany, many of the churches of brethren, such as had
existed from the earliest times, and in many lands, repeated what had
been done at Lhota in 1467; they declared their independence as
congregations of believers and their determination to observe and to
carry out as churches the teachings of Scripture. As formerly at Lhota,
so now on these occasions those present who had not yet as believers
received baptism by immersion were baptized.[65] This gave rise to a new
name, a name which they themselves repudiated, for it was attached to
them as an offensive epithet in order to convey the impression that they
had founded a new sect; the new name was _Anabaptist_
(baptized again). As time went on this name was applied also to certain
violent people of Communistic practices and principles subversive of
order and morality. With these the brethren had no sort of connection;
but by branding them with the same name, those who persecuted the
brethren obtained an appearance of justification, as though they were
suppressing dangerous disorder. As in earlier times the literature of
the Christians had been destroyed, and their histories written by

=Page 154: Increase of the Churches=

their enemies, so in the 16th century the same thing was done again, and
in view of the unbridled violence of language common at that time in
religious controversy, it is more than ever necessary to search out
whatever remains of their own writings and records.

In the report of the Council of the Archbishop of Cologne[66] about the
"Anabaptist movement", to the Emperor Charles V, it is said that the
Anabaptists call themselves "true Christians", that they desire
community of goods, "which has been the way of Anabaptists for more than
a thousand years, as the old histories and imperial laws testify." At
the dissolution of the Parliament at Speyer it was stated that the "new
sect of the Anabaptists" had already been condemned many hundred years
ago and "by common law forbidden." It is a fact that for more than
twelve centuries baptism in the way taught and described in the New
Testament had been made an offence against the law, punishable by death.

The general reviving stirred by the Renaissance brought many of the
assemblies of believers who had been driven into hiding by persecution
to show themselves again. An ecclesiastical edict issued in Lyons
against one of the brethren said, "Out of the ashes of Waldo many new
shoots arise and it is necessary to impose a severe and heavy punishment
as an example." Many believers emerged, too, from the Swiss valleys;
they called each other brethren and sisters, and were well aware that
they were not founding anything new, but were continuing the testimony
of those who for centuries had been persecuted as "heretics", as the
records of their martyrs showed.

In Switzerland the refuge of persecuted believers was mostly in the
mountains, while in Germany it was frequently in the powerful shelter
afforded by the Trade Guilds. The time of the Reformation brought out
here also many hidden brethren, who, joining themselves to the existing
churches, and forming fresh ones, quickly grew to such numbers and
developed such activity as alarmed the State Churches, Roman Catholic
and Lutheran. A sympathetic observer, not one of themselves, wrote of
them that in

=Page 155: Hubmeyer=

1526 a new party arose, which spread so quickly that their doctrine soon
permeated the whole country and they obtained a great following; many
who were sincere of heart and zealous toward God, joined them. They
seemed to teach nothing but love, faith, and the Cross, showed
themselves patient and humble in many sufferings, broke bread with each
other as a sign of unity and love, and faithfully helped one another.
They held together and increased so rapidly that the world was afraid
they might cause revolution, but they were always found to be guiltless
of such thoughts, though in many places they were tyrannically treated.

Although the brethren were careful to take the Word as their guide and
would not willingly come under the domination of man, they thankfully
recognized as elders and overseers in the different churches the men
among them who had those gifts of the Spirit which fitted them to be
guides. Among them at this time Dr. Balthazar Hubmeyer was
pre-eminent.[67] After a brilliant career as a student at the Freiburg
University and as Professor of Theology at Ingoldstadt, he was appointed
(1516) preacher at the cathedral at Regensburg, where his preaching
attracted crowds of hearers. Three years later he moved to Waldshut, and
while there experienced a spiritual change, accepting Luther's teaching,
and came also to be looked upon as being influenced by "Bohemian
heresy", that is, the teaching of the assemblies of brethren in Bohemia.
His Invitation to Brethren, of 11th Jan., 1524, requests those
interested to meet at his house, with their Bibles. He explains that the
object of the meeting is that they might be helped together by
acquaintance with the Word of God to continue to feed Christ's lambs,
and reminds them that it was a custom from the times of the Apostles
that those who were called to minister the Divine Word should meet
together and collect Christian counsel for dealing with matters of
difficulty concerning the Faith. A number of questions were suggested
which they were

=Page 156: Bible Study=

earnestly and affectionately exhorted to consider in the light of the
Scriptures, and he promised that according to his ability, he would
provide them with a brotherly meal at his own expense. He expressed his
own thoughts and teachings thus: "the holy universal Christian Church is
a fellowship of the saints and a brotherhood of many pious and believing
men who with one accord honour one Lord, one God, one faith and one
baptism." It is, he said, "the assembly of all Christian men on earth
wherever they may be in the whole circle of the world"; or again, "a
separated communion of a number of men that believe in Christ", and
explained,--"there are two churches, which in fact cover each other, the
general and the local church, ... the local church is a part of the
general Church which includes all men who show that they are
Christians." As to community of goods, he said it consists in our always
helping those brethren who are in need, for what we have is not our own
but is entrusted to us as stewards for God. He considered that on
account of sin the power of the sword had been committed to earthly
Governments, and that therefore it was to be submitted to in the fear of
God. Such gatherings were frequently held in Basle, where Hubmeyer and
his friends zealously searched the Holy Scriptures and considered the
questions brought before them.

Basle was a great centre of spiritual activity. The printers were not
afraid to issue books branded as heretical, and from their presses such
works as those of Marsiglio of Padua and of John Wycliff went out into
the world. Brethren of striking gift and ability were among those who
met with Hubmeyer for the consideration of Scripture. Of one, Wilhelm
Reublin, it is recorded that he expounded the Holy Scriptures in so
Christian and excellent a way that nothing like it had ever been heard
before, so that he gained great numbers. He had been a priest in Basle
and, during that time, at the celebration of the feast of Corpus
Christi, had carried a Bible in procession instead of the monstrance. He
was baptized, and later, when living near Zürich, was expelled from the
country, so continued his preaching in Germany and Moravia. There were
often brethren present from abroad, through whose visits connections
with churches in other lands were maintained.

=Page 157: Hubmeyer and Zwingli=

Among these was Richard Crocus from England, a learned man who exercised
great influence among students, and many came also from France and from

In 1527 another Conference of brethren was called, in Moravia, at which
Hubmeyer was present. It was held under the protection of Count Leonhard
and Hans von Lichtenstein; the former was baptized on this occasion by
Hubmeyer, who himself had been baptized two years earlier by Reublin. At
that time 110 others had been baptized, and another 300 were baptized
afterwards by Hubmeyer, among them his own wife, the daughter of a
citizen of Waldshut. The same year Hubmeyer and his wife escaped, with
the loss of everything, from an advancing Austrian army and reached
Zürich, but there he was soon discovered by Zwingli's party and thrown
into prison.

The city and Canton of Zürich were at this time completely under the
influence of Ulrich Zwingli, who had begun the work of Reformation in
Switzerland even earlier than Luther in Germany. The doctrine of the
Swiss Reformers, differing in some respects from those taught by Luther,
had spread over many of the Cantons and far into the German States.

The Zürich Council arranged a disputation between Hubmeyer and Zwingli
in which the former, broken by imprisonment, was overwhelmed by his
robust opponent. Afraid of being delivered into the hands of the
Emperor, he went so far as to retract some of his teaching, but
immediately repented bitterly of this fear of man and besought God to
forgive and restore him. From there he went to Constance, then to
Augsburg, where he baptized Hans Denck. In Nikolsburg, in Moravia,
Hubmeyer was very active as a writer, printing some sixteen books.
During his short stay in the district about 6000 persons were baptized
and the numbers in the churches rose to 15,000 members. The brethren
were by no means of one mind on all points, and when the enthusiastic
preacher Hans Hut came to Nikolsburg and taught that it was not
Scriptural for a believer to bear arms in the service of his country or
for self-defence, or to pay taxes for carrying on war, Hubmeyer opposed
him. In 1527 King Ferdinand forced the authorities to give Hubmeyer up
to him, and brought him to Vienna, where he insisted on his being
tortured and

=Page 158: Hubmeyer and his Wife Martyred=

executed. Hubmeyer's wife encouraged him to remain firm, and a few
months after his arrival in Vienna he was brought to the scaffold set up
in the Market Place. He prayed with a loud voice: "Oh, my gracious God,
give me patience in my martyrdom! Oh, my Father, I thank Thee that Thou
wilt take me to-day out of this vale of sorrow. Oh Lamb, Lamb, who
takest away the sin of the world! Oh my God, into Thy hands I commit my
spirit!" From the flames he was heard to cry out, "Jesus, Jesus!" Three
days later his heroic wife was drowned in the Danube, thrown from the
bridge with a stone around her neck.

One of the most influential of the brethren who helped to guide the
churches in the agitated times of the Reformation, was Hans Denck.[68] A
native of Bavaria, he had studied in Basle, where he took his degree,
and must have come into contact with Erasmus and the brilliant circle of
scholars and printers gathered there. Being appointed to the charge of
one of the most important schools in Nüremberg he moved to that city
(1523), where the Lutheran movement had already prevailed for a year,
led by the young and gifted Osiander. Denck also a young man, of about
25, hoped and expected to find that the new religion had brought
morality and uprightness and godliness of life among the people. He was
disappointed to find that this was not so, and inquiring into the cause,
was forced to the conclusion that it was due to a defect in the Lutheran
teaching, which, while insisting on the doctrine of justification by
faith, apart from works and on the abolition of many abuses that had
prevailed in the Catholic Church, neglected to press the necessity of
obedience, self-denial, and the following of Christ, as being an
essential part of true faith. Perceiving these things by degrees,
Osiander showed (1551) how experience only proved that the Wittenberg
teaching made men "safe and careless." "Most men" he said, "dislike a
teaching which lays upon them strict moral requirements that check their
natural desires. Yet they like to be considered as Christians, and
listen willingly to the hypocrites who preach that our righteousness is
only that God holds us to be righteous, even if we are bad people, and
that our righteousness is without us and not in us, for according to
such teaching,

=Page 159: Denck=

they can be counted as holy people. Woe to those who preach that men of
sinful walk cannot be considered pious; most are furious when they hear
this, as we see and experience, and would like all such preachers to be
driven away or even killed, but where that cannot be done, they
strengthen their hypocrite preachers with praise, comfort, presents and
protection, so that they may go on happily and give no place to the
truth, however clear it may be, and thus the false saints and
hypocritical preachers are one the same as the other; as the people so
their priest." Denck had perceived all this while Osiander was far from
doing so, and was still calling Denck's teaching "horrible error."
Osiander, in fact, denounced Denck to the city magistrates, who invited
him to appear before them and his Lutheran opponents. In the disputation
which followed, Denck, according to one of the other side, "showed
himself so able that it was seen to be useless to contend with him by
word of mouth." So it was decided that he should be required to give a
written confession of his beliefs on seven important points that were
indicated, Osiander declaring himself willing to reply to this in
writing. When Denck's answers were presented, however, the Nüremberg
preachers said it would not be wise that Osiander's promise should be
fulfilled, nor did they deem themselves capable of convincing Denck, and
accordingly preferred to give their reply to the City Council. The
result was that (1525) Denck was required to quit Nüremberg before that
night and get ten miles away from the city, with the threat that if he
did not pledge himself on oath to do this he would be imprisoned. The
reason given was that he had introduced unchristian errors and ventured
to defend them, that he would not accept any instruction, and that his
answers were so crooked and cunning that it was evidently useless to
attempt to teach him. By the next morning Denck had said farewell to his
family, left his situation, and set out on a wanderer's path, which
lasted for the rest of his life.

In his "confession" Denck acknowledged the wretchedness of his natural
state, but said that he was aware of something within him which was
against sin and awakened desire after life and blessedness. He was told
that these were to be obtained by faith, but saw that faith must mean

=Page 160: Denck's "Confession"=

something more than a mere acceptance of what he had heard or read. A
natural resistance to reading the Scriptures was overcome by that voice
of conscience within him which impelled him to do so, and he found that
Christ revealed in the Scriptures corresponded to that which had been
revealed of Him in his own heart. He found that he could not understand
the Scriptures by a mere outward reading of them, but only as the Holy
Spirit revealed them to his heart and conscience.

The document of the Lutheran ministers which led to Denck's exile stated
that he "meant well", that "his words were written in such a way and
with such Christian understanding that his thoughts and meaning might
well be allowed", yet consideration for the unity of the Lutheran Church
required them to act otherwise. In spite of this, wherever he came,
Denck found that calumnies had preceded him, and that all kinds of evil
doctrines were attributed to him which caused him to be avoided as a
dangerous man. He never allowed himself to requite his adversaries as
they had treated him; and although, according to the fashion of that
time, the most violent denunciations of him were written, his own
writings are free from any such spirit. He said, on an occasion of
especial provocation: "Some have misrepresented and accused me to such
an extent, that even a meek and humble heart is with difficulty held in
check", and again: "it grieves me to my heart that I should be in
disunion with many a one whom I cannot otherwise regard than as my
brother, for he worships the God whom I worship and honours the Father
whom I honour." "Therefore I will, if God will, as far as is possible,
not make an adversary of my brother, nor of my Father a Judge, but, on
the way, be reconciled with all my adversaries."

After a time spent in the hospitable home of one of the brethren in St.
Gallen, Denck had to leave, as his host came into conflict with the
authorities, and he found a place in Augsburg, through the influence of
friends. In Augsburg there was at that time not only strife between the
Lutherans and Zwinglians and between each of these and the Catholics,
but a general depravity of morals, seriously affecting the people.
Having compassion on the many distracted souls, Denck began to gather
together such of

=Page 161: He is Baptized in Augsburg=

the citizens as were willing to meet as a church of believers, who would
combine faith in the atoning work of Christ with following in His
footsteps in the conduct of their daily life. He had not yet joined
himself to the companies of believers called by those outside, Baptists
or Anabaptists, but he found himself doing in Augsburg what they were
doing elsewhere, and what he had seen intimately at St. Gallen. A visit
of Dr. Hubmeyer brought him to the decision to throw in his lot with the
brethren and to be baptized. There were before Denck's arrival many
baptized believers in Augsburg, and the church grew rapidly. Most were
poor people, but there were also some of wealth and position. The
writings and zeal of Eitelhans Langenmantel drew many. He was a son of
one of the most eminent of Augsburg's citizens, a man who had been
fourteen times Mayor, and had also occupied higher positions in the
State. In 1527 the members of the church had increased to about eleven
hundred, and their activities in the surrounding country helped in the
founding and strengthening of churches in all the chief centres.

A writer well acquainted with the sources of information says:[69] "it
may be believed that many, from a real need of the heart, sickened by
the recriminations and the mutual accusations of heresy from the
different pulpits, sought refuge in being edified, quietly, and apart
from all sectarianism.... It was a beautiful ideal which floated
before the eyes of the purer spirits among the Anabaptists. They looked
back with longing gaze to that glorious time when the pilgrim Apostles,
going from town to town, founded the first Christian churches, where all
came together in a spirit of love as members of one body."

Many hymns were written at this time in which the disciples expressed
their worship and their experience.

As persecution began to be directed particularly against Denck he left
Augsburg and took refuge in Strassburg, where there was a large assembly
of baptized believers. The leaders of the Protestant party were two men
of ability's Capito and Bucer, who had not attached themselves
definitely either to Wittenberg or Zürich, though their relations with
Zwingli and the Swiss Reformers were the

=Page 162: Denck in Strassburg=

more intimate. Capito hoped it might be possible to remain connected
with both parties and so be a means of happier relations between them.
He was also undecided on the question of baptism, and had friendly
connections with many of the brethren. The presence among the brethren
of some extreme men, of whom they failed to rid themselves, injured
their influence and kept some from coming among them who would otherwise
have done so. Zwingli's introduction of capital punishment for those who
differed from him on points of doctrine weakened his influence with
Capito. When Denck arrived, conditions were such and the brethren so
numerous and influential that it seemed as though they might come to be
the dominant factor in the religious life of the city. He soon became
intimate with Capito, and his godliness, ability and personal charm drew
to him, as to a trustworthy leader, not only the brethren who were
looked upon as Baptists, but many others who were undecided as to the
course they should take in such confusing conditions. Bucer regarded
these circumstances with alarm, and, judging that there was no future
for any party that could not fall back on the civil power to support it,
he, in conjunction with Zwingli, worked so successfully on the fears of
the City Council that within a few weeks of his arrival Denck received
an order of expulsion. His sympathizers were so many that they could
probably have resisted it and prevented his being exiled, but he, on the
principle he always upheld, of submission to the authorities, left the
city (1526).

In many dangers Denck wandered from place to place. In Worms, where
there was a large congregation, he stayed for a time and had the
translation of the Prophets printed which he and Ludwig Hetzer had made
(1527). In three years thirteen editions of this translation were
published. The first edition had to be printed five times, and in the
following year six times more. The Augsburg edition was reprinted five
times in nine months. Soon after this, Denck took a leading part in a
Conference of brethren from many districts, in Augsburg, where he
opposed some who were inclined to use force against the growing
persecutions. This was called "the martyrs' conference", because so many
who took part in it were later put to death. Reaching Basle, broken down
in health through his many wanderings

=Page 163: Disputes as to Doctrine=

and privations, he came into touch with his friend of early days, the
Reformer Hausschein, called Œcolampadius, who, finding him in a dying
condition, provided for him a safe and quiet retreat, where he passed
away in peace. Shortly before his death he wrote: "Hard and painful is
for me my homelessness, but what presses upon me more is that my zeal
has brought so little result and fruit. God knows I value no other fruit
than that very many, with one heart and mind, should glorify the Father
of our Lord Jesus Christ, whether they be circumcised or baptised or
neither. For I think quite otherwise than those who bind the Kingdom of
God too much to ceremonies and the elements of this world, whatever they
may be." In days when tolerance was little practised he said: "in
matters of faith all should be free, willing, and from conviction."

       *       *       *       *       *

Disputes as to doctrine have not always been founded on the defence of
truth by one party and of error by the other. Frequently dissension has
arisen because one side has emphasized one aspect of the truth, while
the other side has laid stress on a different aspect of the same truth.
Each side has then made much of those portions of Scripture which
support the view it favoured, and minimized or explained away those
parts which the other side has considered important. Thus the reproach
has arisen that anything can be proved from Scripture, which on this
account has been looked upon as an unsafe guide. This characteristic of
Scripture, on the contrary, exhibits its completeness. It is not
one-sided, but presents in its turn every phase of truth. Thus the
doctrine of justification by faith alone, without works, is plainly
taught, but so, in its own place, is the balancing doctrine of the
necessity of good works, and that they are the consequence and proof of
faith. It is plainly taught that fallen man is incapable of any good, of
any motion or will towards God, that salvation originates in the love
and grace of God towards men; but, also, that there is in man a capacity
for salvation, a conscience which responds to the Divine Light and Word,
condemning sin and approving righteousness. Indeed, every great doctrine
revealed in Scripture has a balancing truth and both are necessary to a
knowledge of the whole truth.

=Page 164: Independent Christian Churches=

In this the Word of God resembles the work of God in Creation, in which
opposing forces work together to bring about the intended end.

       *       *       *       *       *

It is often thought that when the Reformation was established, Europe
was divided into Protestants (whether Lutheran or Swiss) on the one
hand, and Roman Catholics on the other. The large numbers of Christians
are overlooked who did not belong to either party, but who, most of
them, met as independent churches, not relying, as the others did, on
the support of the civil power, but endeavouring to carry out the
principles of Scripture as in New Testament times. They were so numerous
that both the State Church parties feared they might come to threaten
their own power and even existence. The reason that so important a
movement occupies so small a place in the history of those times is,
that by the relentless use of the power of the State, the great
Churches, Catholic and Protestant, were able almost to destroy it, the
few adherents who were left being driven abroad or remaining only as
weakened and comparatively unimportant companies. The victorious party
was also able to destroy much of the literature of the brethren, and,
writing their history, to represent them as holding doctrines which they
repudiated, and to give them names to which an odious significance was

In 1527, under the guidance of Michael Sattler and others, a Conference
was held in Baden, where it was agreed (1) that only believers should be
baptized, (2) that discipline should be exercised in the churches, (3)
that the Lord's Supper should be kept in remembrance of His death, (4)
that members of the church should not have fellowship with the world,
(5) that it is the duty of the shepherds of the church to teach and
exhort, etc., (6) that a Christian should not use the sword or go to
law, (7) that a Christian must not take an oath. Sattler was active in
preaching the Word in many districts, and came, in the Spring of 1527,
from Strassburg to Württemberg. In Rottenburg he was arrested and
condemned to death for his doctrines. In accordance with the sentence of
the Court, he was shamefully mutilated in different parts of the town,
then brought to the gate, and what remained of him thrown on the fire.

=Page 165: Landgraf Philip of Hessen=

His wife and some other Christian women were drowned, and a number of
brethren who were with him in prison were beheaded. These were the first
of a terrible series of such executions in Rottenburg. The large meeting
in Augsburg was scattered by similar means. The first to die was Hans
Leupold, an elder of the church, who was arrested in a meeting, with 87
others, and beheaded (1528). He composed a hymn in prison which was
included in the collection of the brethren. Many of the hymns of these
Baptists were written in prison, and exhibit the deep experiences of
suffering and of love to the Lord's through which they passed. They
spread rapidly among the suffering saints, to whom they brought strong
consolation and encouragement. Two weeks later the gifted Eitelhans
Langenmantel, in spite of his connections with the most influential
families, was executed, along with four others. Large numbers were
beaten out of the town, often branded with a cross on the forehead. In
Worms the congregation of believers was so large that all efforts to
disperse it failed; it continued to exist in secret.

Landgraf Philip of Hessen was a noble exception to the rulers of the
time. He alone braved all the consequences of refusing to sign or obey
the mandate of the Emperor Charles V, issued from Speyer, which solemnly
commanded all rulers and officers in the Empire "... that all and
every one baptized again or baptizing again, man or woman, of an age to
understand, shall be judged and brought from natural life to death with
fire and sword or the like according to individual circumstance, without
previous inquisition of the spiritual judge", also that any failing to
bring their children to be baptized should come under the same law, also
that none should receive or conceal or fail to give up any who might
endeavour to escape from these regulations. The Elector of Saxony,
counselled by the Wittenberg theologians, forced Landgraf Philip to
banish or imprison some of the Baptists, but he could not be compelled
to go beyond this and was able to boast that he had never had one put to
death. He stood to it, that in times where one had one opinion and
another another, those in error should be converted by instruction and
not by force. He said he saw better lives among those called "fanatics"
than among the Lutherans, and he could not

=Page 166: Johann Odenbach=

bring his conscience to allow him to punish or put to death anyone for
his faith, when there was not otherwise sufficient cause for doing so.

In the Palatinate there were many brethren in the districts of
Heidelberg, Alzey, and Kreuznach. In the year 1529 alone, 350 were
executed. Some especially cruel persecutions at Alzey drew from a brave
Evangelical pastor, Johann Odenbach, a protest which does him honour. It
is addressed to the "appointed judges of the poor prisoners in Alzey
whom people call Anabaptists" and reads as follows--"You, as poor
ignorant and unlearned people, ought to cry diligently and earnestly to
the true Judge and pray for His Divine help and for wisdom and grace.
Then you would not lightly stain your hands with innocent blood, even
though Imperial Majesty and all the Princes in the world had commanded
you thus to judge. These poor prisoners, with their baptism, have not so
deeply sinned against God that He will damn their souls on that account,
nor have they acted so criminally against the Government and against
mankind as to forfeit their lives. For right baptism or second baptism
is not such a power as that it can either save a man or condemn him. We
must allow baptism to be just a sign by which we acknowledge that we are
Christians, dead to the world, enemies of the Devil, wretched, crucified
people, who seek not temporal but eternal blessings; striving
unceasingly against flesh, sin and Devil, and living a Christian life.
Not many of you judges would know what to say about right or wrong
baptism if it came to being bound and questioned under torture. Ought
you on that account to be put to the sword? No! I do not say this to
support second baptism, which should be done away with by Holy Scripture
and not by the hangman's hands. Therefore, dear friends, do not usurp
that which belongs to the Divine Majesty, lest the wrath of God should
overwhelm you worse than the Sodomites and all evil-doers on earth. You
have had many thieves, murderers and scoundrels more mercifully treated
in prison than these poor creatures who have neither stolen nor
murdered, are not incendiaries or traitors, nor have committed any
shameful sin, but who are against all such things and with sincere and
simple intention, through a small error, have been baptized again to the
honour of God, and not to

=Page 167: His Protest=

injure anyone. How can you possibly find it in your heart or conscience
to say or acknowledge that for this they should be beheaded or that they
will be damned for it? If you would deal with them as Christian judges
ought to do, and if you knew how to instruct them out of the Gospel,
there would be no need of a hangman; in this way the truth would
doubtless prevail and imprisonment would be sufficient punishment. In
the same way your priests ought to act, carrying them on their shoulders
as erring sheep to the fold of Christ and proving to them henceforth
that their office is to show them favour and brotherly love, to comfort,
sustain, and restore them with sweet evangelical doctrine. Do not let
yourselves be deceived into condemning these poor people to death. You
ought to be terrified in this matter, such you ought to sweat blood for
agony, for you do not know wherein the error lies. You should not just
pay no heed when these poor creatures say: 'We desire better instruction
out of the Holy Scripture and are willing to obey if a better way can be
shown us out of the Gospel.' Think of your eternal shame through such an
error! Think of the contempt and fury of the ordinary man when these
poor people are slaughtered! It will come to be said of them: 'See with
what great patience, love and worship these pious people have died, how
knightly have they striven against the world!' Oh, that we might be as
guiltless before God as they, indeed, they have not been overcome, they
have suffered outrage: they are God's holy martyrs. Everyone will say
that it was not to do away with the error of the poor Anabaptists that
you gave such a bloody judgment, but that you might destroy by force the
holy Gospel and the pure truth of God...." The effect of this was that
those judges refused to pronounce judgement in matters of faith.

       *       *       *       *       *

Zwingli wrought his great Reformation work chiefly in German
Switzerland. In the city and Canton of Zürich he came to exercise a
predominant authority. In 1523 he introduced the State Church system
into Zürich, and the Great Council received the responsibility of giving
decisions in cases affecting the Church and doctrine. This power was at
once directed against the brethren. A believer named Müller, brought
before the Council

=Page 168: Zwingli and the Brethren=

said: "Do not oppress my conscience, for faith is a free gift of God's
mercy and is not to be interfered with by anyone. The mystery of God
lies hidden, and is like a treasure in the field which no one can find
unless the Spirit of the Lord show it to him. So I beg of you, you
servants of God, leave me my faith free." This was not allowed. The new
State Church accepted the principle of the old Church, that it is right
to act against "heretics" by imprisonment and even death.

In his earlier years Zwingli had had close relations with the brethren.
He had seriously considered the question of baptism and had stated that
there was no Scripture for infant baptism. As he developed the movement
of reform, however, on the lines of a State Church, depending on the
civil power to enforce its decisions, he necessarily drew away from the

They were numerous and active in Zürich,[70] three of their number being
especially prominent, and one of these formerly an intimate friend of
Zwingli. This was Konrad Grebel, son of a member of the Zürich Council.
He had distinguished himself in the Universities both of Paris and
Vienna, and when he returned to Zürich attached himself to the
congregation of believers there. Another was Felix Manz, an eminent
Hebrew scholar, whose mother was also an ardent Christian and opened her
house for meetings. The third had been a monk, who, being affected by
the Reformation, came out of the Church of Rome. He was given the name
of "Blaurock" or "Bluecoat" and was often called "Strong George" on
account of his size and vigour.

These three were untiring, travelling, visiting from house to house,
preaching, exhorting, and great numbers accepted the Gospel and were
baptized and gathered as churches. In Zürich there were frequent public
baptisms, and the believers met regularly for the Lord's Supper, which
they called the Breaking of Bread. They spoke of themselves as the
assembly of the true children of God, and kept themselves separate from
the world, in

=Page 169: Grebel, Manz, Blaurock=

which they included both the Reformed and the Roman Catholic Churches.
The Council forbade all these things, and a public disputation was
ordered, but as the Council had power to decide the result, it only
ended in an order that all who had not done so should have their
children baptized within eight days, and the baptisms by the brethren
were forbidden under heavy penalties. Grebel, Manz and Blaurock,
however, only increased their activities, and people came by hundreds to
hear the Word and to be baptized. While Grebel and Manz were moderate
and persuasive in their ways, Blaurock was of an uncontrollable zeal and
would at times go into the churches and interrupt the service, preaching
there himself. The people were devoted to him, but the conflict with the
authorities became rapidly more bitter, and many of the brethren were
severely punished. Blaurock did not hesitate to say to Zwingli himself:
"Thou hast, my Zwingli, constantly met the Papists with the statement
that what is not founded in God's Word is of no value, and now thou
sayest there is much that is not in God's Word and yet it is done in
communion with God. Where is now the powerful word with which thou hast
contradicted Bishop Faber and all the monks?" At last the three
preachers and fifteen others, including six women, were condemned to
imprisonment, with water, bread and straw, there to die and rot, and any
persons baptizing or being baptized were ordered to be punished by
drowning (1526). The prisoners escaped in various ways, they had many
sympathizers, but persecution became relentless, and the Cantons of Bern
and St. Gallen among others joined Zürich in endeavouring to exterminate
the churches. In the Canton of Bern 34 persons were executed, and some
who fled to Biel, where there was a large assembly of brethren, were
followed there. The meetings, which were held secretly at night in a
forest, were discovered and scattered, and fresh places of gathering had
to be found. At this time Grebel died of the plague (1526), Blaurock was
captured and condemned to be stripped and beaten with rods through the
town "so that the blood should flow", and banished. Manz also was
secured and was drowned.

All this did not check the spread of the churches,

=Page 170: Persecution in Tyrol=

which continued to increase, but it had the effect of driving into the
neighbouring Austrian province of the Tyrol those whose preaching and
testimony quickly established churches there. Among these was "Strong
George" who travelled all over the Tyrol braving all dangers, and great
numbers were won through his preaching, especially in and around
Klausen, where the believers became very numerous and active in
spreading the Word further. After many escapes Blaurock and a companion,
Hansen Langegger, were caught and burnt in Klausen (1529).

In the same year Michael Kirschner, who had borne a good testimony for
the Lord in Innsbruck, was publicly burnt in that town. Blaurock's
dangerous service was taken up by Jakob Huter, among others. In the year
Blaurock was burnt Huter was in a meeting for breaking bread, when it
was surprised by soldiers; 14 brethren and sisters were arrested, but
the rest escaped and Huter among them. In constant danger he went about,
reconciling differences, encouraging the suffering, preaching the Word.
Persecution was so severe that many fled into Moravia, where, for a
time, they had liberty, but the frontiers were closely watched to
prevent any from getting away, and arrangements were made with the
Venetian Government, on the other side, to prevent the hunted men and
women from escaping in that direction. All over Austria there was a
great spread of the Gospel and numerous churches were founded, which,
after long and heroic suffering, were scattered and crushed by
persecution. In Tyrol and Görz a thousand persons were burnt, beheaded,
or drowned. In Salzburg a meeting was surprised in the house of a pastor
and a large number put to death. One girl of sixteen stirred such pity
by her youth and beauty that all begged for her life, but as she would
not recant, the executioner carried her in his arms to a horse-trough,
held her under water until she was dead, and then laid the lifeless body
on the flames. Ambrosius Spittelmeyer of Linz, after an active and
fruitful testimony, was martyred at Nüremberg. The Church in Linz had a
faithful overseer in Wolfgang Brandhuber, who, together with seventy
members of the assembly, was put to death (1528). So, in place after

=Page 171: Principles of the Churches=

place, the Lord's witnesses were raised up by the preaching of Jesus
Christ and Him crucified, and in the most literal way followed in His
footsteps. Troops of soldiers were sent through these countries to
search out and kill those called "heretics", without trial.

Though they were called _Anabaptists,_[71] it was not
the form of baptism that gave them courage to suffer as they did. They
were aware of immediate communion with their Redeemer; no man and no
religious form came between their souls and Him. With those called
Mystics, they found that abiding in Christ and He in them, they shared
His victory over the world. This fellowship with Him enabled them to
understand their communion with those who shared it with them, and in
their churches to realize the fellowship of saints. These churches had
various beginnings, various histories, they differed according to the
character of the persons in them; but all were alike in their desire to
adhere to the pattern of primitive Christianity found in the New
Testament; therefore they refused infant baptism, which the Reformers
could not do, and they refused all worldly aid, without which it seemed
to the great professing Churches impossible to maintain themselves.
These things were only parts of a whole, which consisted in accepting
the Scriptures as the sufficient, revealed will of God for their
guidance and in putting their trust in Him to enable them to act upon
them. Taking this path they were subject to special temptations, and
wherever they yielded to fleshly desires, political aims or
covetousness, their fall was great, but by far the greater part were
enabled to bear a good testimony to the faithfulness of God. Their own
description of the Christian Church is: "the assembly of all believers,
who are gathered by the Holy Spirit, separated from the world by the
pure teaching of Christ, united by Divine love, bringing to the Lord,
from the heart, spiritual offerings. Whoever will be introduced into
this Church", they said, "and become a member of the Household of God,
must live and walk in God; whoever is outside this Church is outside

=Page 172: Churches Founded in Austria=

Christ." Their rejection of infant baptism often raised the question as
to children who die early, and of them they said, they are made
partakers of eternal life for Christ's sake.

In the Chronicles of the Anabaptists in Austria-Hungary, one of them
writes: "The foundations of the Christian faith were laid by the
Apostles here and there in different countries, but through tyranny and
false teaching, suffered many a blow and hindrance, the Church being
often so diminished that it could scarcely be seen whether a Church
existed at all. As Elias said, the altars were broken down, the prophets
slain, and he remained alone; but God did not let His Church disappear
altogether. Otherwise this article of the Christian faith would have
been proved false: 'I believe there is one Christian Church, one
fellowship of the saints.' If she could not be pointed out with the
finger, if at times scarcely two or three could be found, yet the Lord,
according to His promise, has been with them, and because they remained
true to His Word, has never forsaken them, but has increased and added
to them, but when they became careless, forgetful of Christ's goodness,
God withdrew from them the gifts with which He had endowed them and
awakened true men in other places, giving gifts to them, with which they
again built up a church to the Lord. So the kingdom of Christ, from the
Apostles' time until now, has wandered from one nation to another, until
it has come to us."

"In other lands", he continues, "a good beginning was made and sometimes
a good end, when the witnesses laid down their lives, but the tyranny of
the Romish Church blotted out almost everything. Only the Pickards and
Waldenses kept something of the truth. In the beginning of the reign of
Charles V the Lord sent His light again. Luther and Zwingli destroyed as
with thunder-bolts the Babylonian evil, but they set up nothing better,
for when they came to power they trusted more in man than in God. And
therefore, though they had made a good beginning, the light of truth was
darkened. It was as though one had patched a hole in the old boiler and
it was only made worse. So they have brought up a people bold to sin.
Many joined these two, Luther and

=Page 173: Testimony of the Martyrs=

Zwingli, holding their teaching to be true, and some gave their lives
for the truth, and without any doubt are saved, for they fought a good
fight." Then he describes the conflicts with Zwingli in Zürich on the
subject of baptism, and how Zwingli, though he had formerly testified
that infant baptism cannot be proved by any clear word of God from the
Holy Scriptures, yet afterwards taught from the pulpit that the baptism
of adults and believers is wrong and should not be endured; and how it
was enacted that whoever in Zürich and the district should be baptized
should be drowned in water. He shows how this persecution led to the
scattering of many of Christ's servants and how some came to Austria,
preaching the Word.

The spread of the churches in Austria and the surrounding States was
marvellous; the accounts of the numbers put to death and of their
sufferings are terrible, yet there never failed to be men willing to
take up the dangerous work of evangelists and elders. Of some it is
recorded, "they went full of joy to their death. While some were being
drowned and put to death, the others who were waiting their turn, sang
and waited with joy the death which was theirs when the executioner took
them in hand. They were firm in the truth which they knew and fortified
in the faith which they had from God." Such steadfastness constantly
aroused astonishment, and inquiry as to the source of their strength.
Many were won by it to the faith, but by the religious leaders, both of
the Roman Catholic and Reformed Churches, it was generally attributed to
Satan. The believers themselves said: "They have drunk of the water that
flows from the Sanctuary of God, from the well of Life, and from this
have obtained a heart that cannot be comprehended by human mind or
understanding. They have found that God helped them to bear the cross
and they have overcome the bitterness of death. The fire of God burned
in them. Their tabernacle was not here on the earth but was pitched in
Eternity, and they had foundation and certainty for their faith. Their
faith blossomed as a lily, their faithfulness as a rose, their piety and
uprightness as flowers of God's planting. The Angel of the Lord had
swung his spear before them, so that the

=Page 174: Excuses of Tyrolese Magistrates=

helmet of Salvation, the golden shield of David, could not be wrested
from them. They have heard the horn blown in Sion and have understood
it--and on that account they have cast down all pain and martyrdom and
not feared. Their holy temper counted the things valued in the world as
a shadow, knowing greater things. They were trained by God, so that they
knew nothing, sought nothing, willed nothing, loved nothing, but the
eternal, heavenly Good only. Therefore they had more patience in their
sufferings than their enemies in inflicting them."

The King, Ferdinand I, brother of Charles V of Spain, was a fanatical
persecutor of the brethren.[72] Many of the authorities were unwilling
instruments of his cruelty and would have spared the harmless,
God-fearing people, but Ferdinand sent out an incessant stream of edicts
and instructions exhorting them to greater ferocity and threatening them
on account of their laxity. So we find magistrates in the Tyrol excusing
the mildness of which their savage lord accused them, and writing to
him--"for two years there has seldom been a day that Anabaptist matters
have not come before our court, and more than 700 men and women in the
Duchy of Tyrol, in different places, have been condemned to death,
others have been banished from the country, and still more have fled, in
misery, leaving their goods behind them and sometimes even forsaking
their children.... We cannot conceal from your Majesty the folly
generally found in these people, for they are not only not terrified by
the punishment of others, but they go to the prisoners and acknowledge
them as their brothers and sisters, and when on this account the
magistrates accuse them, they acknowledge it willingly, without having
to be put to the torture. They will listen to no instruction and it is
seldom that one allows himself to be converted from his unbelief, for
the most part they only wish that they may soon die.... we trust that
your Royal Majesty will graciously understand from this our faithful
report that we have not in any way been lacking in industry."

=Page 175: Jakob Huter=

After Ferdinand became King of Bohemia also, the refuge which that
country and Moravia had provided for so many of the brethren was cut off
and there was now no way of escape for them. Increasing rewards were
offered to those who would betray an "Anabaptist" into the hands of the
Government. The goods of those executed were taken and used in part to
cover the expense of persecution. Women about to give birth to children
were ordered back to prison until after the birth of the child and then
executed. A magistrate in Sillian, one Jörg Scharlinger, was so much
troubled at being obliged to have sentence of death executed on two
boys, of 16 and 17 years, that he ventured to delay while he made
further inquiries, and it was agreed that in such cases the accused were
to be educated by Roman Catholics, the expense to be paid out of the
confiscated goods of "Anabaptists", until the age of 18, when if they
did not abjure they were then to be executed. Imagine a youth who loved
the Lord awaiting his eighteenth birthday under such conditions!

Things grew worse and worse but Jakob Huter never ceased to hold
meetings, in woods or in isolated houses, and the brethren and sisters
as constantly risked their lives by receiving him. On one occasion he
and a company of forty who had met for the breaking of bread in a house
in St. Georgen were surprised by a party of soldiers and seven of them
made prisoners. The rest escaped for that time and Huter among them, but
at last he was taken, betrayed for reward. The house in which he was
concealed was surrounded by soldiers in the night, and he and his wife
and a girl and their elderly hostess were secured. With a gag in his
mouth "so that he might not speak the truth" he was carried to
Innsbruck, where there was rejoicing at his capture, for the king had
been giving the authorities no rest, insisting that Huter must be found.
As soon as he received the news he sent word that the prisoner must die,
whether he recanted or not. Huter was not the man to recant; indeed he
used the most violent language in denouncing King, Pope, and priests and
all their ways. A request of the authorities that he might be privately
beheaded in order to avoid the risk of a tumult among the sympathizing
people was refused

=Page 176: Hans Mändl=

by Ferdinand, who insisted that he must be publicly burnt. He was
therefore burnt in Innsbruck (1536).

His dangerous place as an acknowledged leader among the assemblies of
the brethren was filled by Hans Mändl, a man of gentler spirit but equal
courage, who had won the confidence and affection of all by his grace
and gifts and unselfish devotion. In the Tyrol he baptized over 400
persons. He was repeatedly imprisoned, but the clergy sent to convert
him complained of the kindness with which the magistrates treated him,
and his frequent escapes from prison seem to indicate friendliness on
the part of those in charge of him. Shortly after one of these escapes
he addressed a meeting of a thousand brethren and sisters in a wood, but
was captured again the same year (1560). This time he was cast into a
deep dungeon in a tower in Innsbruck, where also two other brethren were
confined. From his dungeon he wrote: "I have been put in the tower,
where my dear brother Jörg Liebich has long lain.... he lies deep,
but there is a little window high up, so that he gets some light when
the sun shines.... I went as fearlessly to the torture as though it
had been none. After they had questioned me three days they put me back
in the tower. I hear the worms at times in the walls, the bats fly about
me at night, and the mice rustle round, but God makes it all easy to me.
He is most truly with me, even the ghosts which He sends at nights to
frighten people He makes to be friendly and useful to me." When his
companion, Jörg Meyer, was examined, he was asked what had induced him
to be baptized. He answered that before coming to this faith he had
heard how one named Jakob Huter had been burnt in Innsbruck. It was said
that a gag had been put in his mouth when he was taken to Innsbruck so
that he might not make known the truth. Besides that, he had heard how
at Klausen Ulrich Müllner had been put to death, a man acceptable to the
people and whom they counted faithful, who had this same faith--a third
time, he had seen with his own eyes how in Steinach they had burnt a man
who had this faith. All this he took to heart most seriously, and
considered that it must be a mighty grace of God that could make them so
firm in their faith that they could endure to the

=Page 177: Trial in Innsbruck=

end, and this was the reason why he began to enquire about these people.
The three prisoners answered all the questions put to them quietly and
from Scripture; they said that though now they had no certain dwelling
place, but were persecuted everywhere, yet a time would come when they
would be rewarded a hundredfold. They affirmed that their faith was no
"cursed sect" as was said of them, and that they had no "ringleaders".
Mändl explained that he had been chosen by the brethren and the assembly
to which he belonged as a teacher and guide.

Twelve men were taken from Innsbruck and the district as jurors. After
having taken the usual oath that they would give a verdict according to
their judgement, they were required to take another, namely that they
would approve the Emperor's decree as regards the prisoners, which meant
of course condemning them to death. This they refused to do. The
prosecution was exceedingly angry, but Ferdinand (now become Emperor)
did not like to act too harshly against them for fear of arousing
general opposition. The men were therefore argued with and threatened
until nine of them yielded, but three, remaining firm in their refusal,
were imprisoned. After a few days' imprisonment these also yielded and
all the jurymen took the required oath, which settled the verdict before
the trial began. Mändl was condemned to be burnt, the two others to be
beheaded. They had written to the brethren just before, from prison: "We
send you word that after Corpus Christi they will condemn us and we
shall pay our vow to God. We do it with joy and are not sad, for the day
is holy unto the Lord." Among the crowds that came to witness their
death was Leonhard Dax, formerly a priest, but now one of the brethren,
whose fearless greeting of the prisoners as they passed, cheered them
much. They addressed the crowd, exhorting them to repentance and bearing
testimony to the truth. When their sentence was read out they reproached
the magistrates and the jury for shedding innocent blood, and these
excused themselves by saying that they acted under compulsion of the
Emperor.... "O blind world" exclaimed Mändl "each man should act
according to his own heart and

=Page 178: Moravian Communities=

conscience, but you condemn us according to the Emperor's order!" They
preached further to the people, Mändl continuing until he was hoarse.
"Do stop, my Hans!" cried the magistrate, but Mändl continued, and said:
"What I have taught and testified is the Divine truth." They spoke up to
the moment of their death, for no one would hinder them. One of them was
so ill that it was feared he might die before he could be executed, so
he was beheaded first. Then the other turned to the executioner and
cried with triumphant courage: "Here I forsake wife and child, house and
farm, body and life for the sake of the faith and the truth", then
kneeled down and offered his head to the fatal blow. Hans Mändl was
bound to a ladder and cast alive into the flames where the bodies of his
fellow-martyrs had already been thrown. There was one witness, Paul
Lenz, who so took all this to heart that he shortly after joined the
despised disciples, to share with them in the sufferings of Christ.

       *       *       *       *       *

In some parts, and especially in Moravia, communities were formed where
many believers lived together as one large household, under the same
guidance and having all things common. This was done, partly to provide
places of refuge, in favoured districts, where those driven out of other
parts by persecution might find a home; partly also in imitation of the
practice of the church at Jerusalem at the beginning. Though such
community of goods was a mark of special grace in Jerusalem, when all
the believers lived in one place and could all meet in the temple, yet
it was not a command laid upon the Church, was impossible when the
churches were scattered everywhere, and was not practiced in New
Testament times outside of Jerusalem. These communities in Moravia and
elsewhere did provide places of refuge for many; much spiritual blessing
was experienced in them in their best days, and the excellent work done,
in farming and in the practice of various handicrafts, made them
wealthy. But serious disadvantages showed themselves in time. The
training of children in such a community suffered as compared with
training in a Christian family. A certain gloomy moroseness of temper

=Page 179: Münster=

noticeable. Many of the divisions which weakened the churches had their
origin in the communities. When war spread over the districts where they
were, their comparative wealth and the concentration in them of
considerable accommodation and supplies, attracted the soldiery, and
this was one of the causes which led to their abandonment.

       *       *       *       *       *

In this period events took place in Münster which, though not connected
with the Christian congregations, yet did their cause more harm in
Germany than anything that had happened before. In such times of
excitement it could not but be that unbalanced minds would be liable to
rush into extremes. The cruelty with which innocent people were treated
on account of their faith aroused wild indignation in many who yet did
not share that faith, and the systematic slaughter of the wisest and
best, those who were elders and leaders of the churches, removed the
very men most capable of checking extravagance and fanaticism and left
large opportunity to inferior men to exercise their influence. The sight
of cruel persecution and murder caused many to think that the end had
come and the Day of Redemption was near, a day too, of vengeance on the
oppressors. Men arose pretending to be prophets and to foretell the near
approach of the setting up of the Kingdom of Christ.

Münster[73] was the capital of a Principality governed by a bishop, who
was its civil as well as its ecclesiastical ruler. He levied taxes and
filled all important positions with members of the clergy. This kept the
citizens in a constant state of discontent. Bernard Rothmann, a young
and inquiring theologian, travelled, visited Luther, but was more
influenced by Capito and Schwenckfeld, whom he met in Strassburg. He was
a good preacher, a man of strong sympathy for all that were oppressed,
and personally of ascetic habits. When he came to Münster his preaching
drew crowds of hearers,

=Page 180: Fugitives Flock to Münster=

and caused such excitement that many of the citizens took part in an
attack on the images in the church of St. Maurice, which they destroyed.
To quell the rising disorder the bishop made use of his military force,
but Philip, Landgraf of Hessen, intervened, and as a result Münster was
declared an evangelical city and was enrolled in the Smalcald League of
Protestant Principalities. This change attracted crowds of persecuted
people from the surrounding Catholic countries to Münster, which they
could now look upon as a place of refuge. They were of all kinds, some
of them saints, persecuted for Christ's sake, whom it was an honour to
receive, others disorderly or fanatical persons whose presence
endangered the peace of the city. Most arrived in a destitute state and
were received, under Rothmann's teaching and example, with the utmost
kindness and liberality. One of the immigrants convinced Rothmann that
infant baptism was contrary to Scripture, so that, as a matter of
conscience, he had to refuse to practise it. On this account the
magistrates of the city removed him from the office of preacher, but his
popularity with the citizens was such that they refused to accept his
dismissal, and a public disputation on the subject of baptism was held
in which it was judged that Rothmann had proved his case. An Anabaptist
preacher, one of the strangers who had come in, by the violence of his
talk, excited riots, so that the magistrates had him arrested, but the
guilds rescued him and the conflict reached such a pitch that the
magistrates were deposed from office and an Anabaptist Council was
elected in their place.

Meanwhile the bishop had been collecting troops, and now invested the
city and cut off supplies, which was the more serious on account of the
large number of destitute strangers who were being fed. Among the
immigrants were two Dutchmen, who in turn came to exercise paramount
influence in Münster, Jan Matthys and Jan Bockelson, the latter a
tailor, usually known as John of Leyden. Matthys, a tall, powerful man
of commanding appearance, able to sway the crowd by his eloquence, gave
himself out as a prophet, and was believed in. He was one of those
fanatics who are capable of going to any extreme, and are the more

=Page 181: Jan Matthys=

dangerous because of their sincerity. He obtained absolute control of
the Council, and his view as to separation from the world led to an
ordinance that no unbaptized person might be tolerated in the city;
within a few days all such must be baptized, or leave Münster, or die.
Many were baptized, but many left rather than yield. It was wicked and
fanatical, but not so wicked nor so fanatical as the action of those
Churches and States which for centuries, throughout the greater part of
Europe had condemned to cruel deaths those who did not believe in infant
baptism. The city being now purged of "unbelievers", changes took place
rapidly, community of goods was introduced, hastened by the necessities
of the siege; the keeping of Sunday was abolished, as being a legal
institution, all days being considered alike; the Lord's Supper was
publicly celebrated at times, with preaching. Matthys had control of the
distribution of food and other necessaries, with seven deacons whom he
had appointed to help him, and this gave rise to another conflict. A
shoemaker named Hubert Rüscher put himself at the head of a body of the
original citizens to protest against the foreigners' having taken to
themselves the administration of the city, to express their indignation
on this account and their fears of what it might lead to if not checked.
A popular gathering was held in the Cathedral square where Matthys at
once condemned Rüscher to death, and Bockelson, claiming a revelation
that he should execute the sentence, wounded the shoemaker severely with
his halberd. Three men had the temerity to protest against this
injustice, but were themselves imprisoned and hardly escaped with their
lives. A few days later the wounded man was brought up again and his
execution completed by Matthys, and so the ascendancy of the Council was
maintained. All this time fighting was going on with the bishop's
troops, and provisions in the city were becoming scarcer. One evening
Jan Matthys was sitting at supper, with others, in a friend's house,
when it was noticed that he had fallen into deep thought. After a time
he rose and said: "Loved Father, not my will but Thine be done," then he
kissed his friends and left, with his wife. The next day he left the
city, with twenty companions, marched to the outposts of the besieging
force and attacked them.

=Page 182: Jan Bockelson=

Numbers of the enemy came up and there was furious fighting. One by one
the little force fell, overwhelmed, among the last being Jan Matthys,
fighting desperately to the end.

There was consternation in Münster, but Jan Bockelson soon took the
authority into his own hands, and, pretending to a revelation that the
Council should be abolished, as being a mere human institution, did away
with it and ruled supreme, appointing twelve "elders" to be associated
with him. He combined the power of an orator with practical gifts for
organization. New laws were introduced to suit the "New Israel" and the
people readily believed that they were the special objects of the love
and grace of God and were the true Apostolic Church, and that what they
were doing in Münster was the pattern which would in due time be
reproduced in the whole world, over which they would rule. The number of
men in Münster was small, the number of women was many times more, and
there were a great many children. In July 1534, Bockelson called
Rothmann and the other preachers and the twelve elders to the Town Hall,
and astonished them all by proposing the introduction of polygamy. This
was an unheard of suggestion in such a place, for the people were for
the most part religious and accustomed to a life of self-denial, and the
moral conditions of the city were unusually good. Only a few weeks
earlier a tract had been published in the town which treated of marriage
among other subjects, and shewed it to be the sacred and indissoluble
union of one man with one woman. Bockelson's proposal was resented and
refused by the preachers and elders, but he was not to be deflected from
his purpose, and for eight days he argued and insisted with all his
eloquence and influence. He made use of the failures of some good men in
Old Testament days to pretend that Scripture sanctions polygamy. On the
same reasoning he might have argued in favour of any sin. His chief
argument was that of necessity, because of the great preponderance of
women over men in Münster, and at last he gained his point, and for five
days the preachers preached Polygamy, in the Cathedral square, to all
the people. At the end of this time Bernard Rothmann

=Page 183: Kingdom of the New Zion=

promulgated a law that all younger women were to be married, and the
older ones attached to the household of some man for protection.
Bockelson (which may possibly help to explain his eagerness for the new
law) immediately married Divara, the widow of Jan Matthys, a woman
distinguished for her beauty and attainments. The opposition, however,
was so strong as to lead to civil war within the besieged city. A
master-smith, Heinrich Möllenbecker, led the revolting party; they
captured the Town Hall and made prisoners of some of the preachers and
threatened to open the gates of the city to the besiegers unless the
former government of Münster were restored. It seemed not unlikely that
Bockelson's government would fall, but the preachers stood by him, and
most of the women supporting him, the opposition was outnumbered, the
Town Hall stormed, and all resistance quenched. The effects of the new
law were altogether harmful, and before the end of the year it was

In spite of all these internal disorders the defence of the city was
carried on with energy and important successes were obtained in
engagements with the enemy. There was still hope that help might come
from outside. A further stage was reached when Bockelson was proclaimed
king. He had his prophet, formerly a goldsmith, who, in the market place
proclaimed John of Leyden as king of the whole earth, and made known the
kingdom of the New Zion. The coronation took place in great state in the
market place; gold, taken from the people, was used for crowns and other
royal emblems. From among his many wives Divara was chosen as queen. The
provision for the king and his bodyguard and Court and for the
attendants of the queen was sumptuous and complete in every detail, but
the people, suffering the extremities of the siege, could hardly be
comforted by promises of the triumph of the kingdom, immediately to take
place. Yet they continued steadfast, and the city could not be taken
until at last by treachery it was opened to the bishop's troops. Then
began the slaughter of its inhabitants, of whom none were spared. A band
of 300 defending themselves desperately in the market place were
promised a safe conduct to leave the city if

=Page 184: Innocent and Guilty Confounded=

they would lay down their arms. They accepted these terms, the promise
was not kept, and they perished with the rest. A court was established
for the trial of such Anabaptists as had not been killed. Divara was
offered her life if she would recant, but she chose rather to die. Jan
of Leyden and other leaders were publicly tortured and executed in the
place where he had been crowned, and their bodies were exposed in iron
cages on a tower of St. Lambert's church (1535).

Advantage was taken of these events to apply the hated name of
Anabaptist to all who dissented from the three great Church systems and,
by pretending that the congregations of pious, quiet and long-suffering
Christians were of the same mind as those who set up the kingdom and
practiced polygamy in Münster, to justify their being treated as
dangerous and subversive sects. The control of literature for a long
period enabled the victorious party to confound entirely different sets
of people and so to mislead succeeding generations. Although Luther and
Melanchathon condoned polygamy in some cases, no one tries to prove by
this that Lutheranism as a whole is a system which enjoins it, yet the
one would not be more unreasonable than the other.

Many churches and Christians have been so unremittingly and violently
accused of enormities of wickedness and error that the calumny has come
to be generally believed and is usually accepted without question. This
should not be a matter for surprise, for the Lord Himself when He
announced His coming shame, suffering, death and resurrection,
immediately added that His disciples must follow Him. He was
misrepresented and falsely accused; a robber was preferred to Him;
rulers and mob cried wildly for His crucifixion. His death was in the
company of malefactors and His resurrection was not believed in by the
world, hardly by His own disciples. What wonder, then, that those who
followed Him endured the same. Caiaphas and Pilate, the religious and
the civil powers, joined to condemn them to spitting, scourging and
cruel death; the multitude, learned and ignorant, cried out against
them; they were crucified between two malefactors, False Doctrine and
Evil Life, with whom they had

=Page 185: Menno Simon=

no connection but that of being nailed in their midst. Their own books
were burnt, and doctrines were invented for them, suited to secure their
condemnation. Though they were of godly and kindly life they were
described as guilty of conduct which existed only in the vile
imagination of their accusers, that the cruelty of their murderers might
be condoned. Called Paulicians, Albigenses, Waldenses, Lollards,
Anabaptists, and many other names the very mention of which carried to
the mind the meaning heretic, schismatic, turner of the world upside
down, they went before the same Judge who stood to receive Stephen
stoned by the doctors of his day; and their teachings of tolerance,
love, and compassion for the oppressed have become the heritage of
multitudes to whom their very names are unknown.

       *       *       *       *       *

Menno Simon, who lived through these times (1492-1559) and was well
qualified to speak, being one of the principal teachers among those who
practiced the baptism of believers, wrote: "No one can truly charge me
with agreeing with the Münster teaching; on the contrary, for seventeen
years, until the present day, I have opposed and striven against it,
privately and publicly, by voice and pen. Those who, like the Münster
people, refuse the cross of Christ, despise the Lord's Word, and
practice earthly lusts under the pretence of right doing, we never will
acknowledge as our brethren and sisters." "Do our accusers mean to say
that because we are outwardly baptized with the same kind of baptism as
they, that therefore we must be reckoned as being of the same body and
fellowship; then we answer: If outward baptism can do so much, then they
themselves may consider what sort of fellowship theirs is, since it is
clear and evident that adulterers and murderers and such like have
received the same baptism as they!"

After the events at Münster, the congregations of believers, falsely
accused of complicity in those fanatical excesses, were persecuted with
greater violence than ever, and all expectation that they might gain
liberty of conscience and of worship, and become a power for the general
good of the German peoples, was extinguished. The scattered and
harrassed remnants were visited and

=Page 186: Menno Reads the Scriptures=

sustained, in the face of the greatest dangers, by Menno Simon, after
whom some of the reorganized companies, though not of their own choice,
came to be called Mennonites.

In his autobiography,[74] written after he had been for eighteen years
engaged in this work, he relates how at the age of 24 he became a priest
(Roman Catholic) in the village of Pingjum (in Friesland, North
Holland). "As to the Scriptures", he says, "I had never in my life
touched them, for I feared that if I read them I might be misled....
A year later the thought came to me whenever I had to do with bread and
wine in the Mass, that perhaps it was not the Lord's flesh and blood....
at first I supposed such thoughts came from the Devil who would lead
me astray from my faith. I often confessed this and prayed; however I
could not get rid of such thoughts." He passed his time, with other
priests, in drinking and various useless pastimes, and whenever the
Scriptures were referred to he could do nothing but make fun of them.
"At last" he writes, "I decided to read the New Testament once through
diligently. I had not gone far with it before I became aware that we had
been deceived.... Through the Lord's grace I advanced from day to day
in the knowledge of the Scriptures, and some called me an Evangelical
Preacher, although wrongly. Everyone sought after and praised me, for
the world loved me and I the world. Yet it was said generally that I
preached God's Word and was a fine man.

"Afterwards, though I had never in my life heard of brethren, it
happened that a god-fearing, pious hero, Sicke Snyder by name, was
beheaded in Leeuwarden, because he had renewed his baptism. That sounded
extraordinary in my ears that another baptism should be spoken of. I
examined the Scripture diligently and thought the matter over earnestly,
but I could find no news there of infant baptism. When I recognized this
I spoke of it with my pastor, and after much conversation, brought him
so far that he had to acknowledge that infant baptism had no foundation
in the Scripture." Menno then consulted books and asked counsel of

=Page 187: Opposes Münster Sect=

and from Bucer and others. Each gave him a different reason for
baptizing infants, but none of these corresponded with the Scripture.

At this time he was transferred to his native village, Witmarsum (also
in Friesland), where he continued reading the Bible and was successful
and admired, but continued to live a careless, self-indulgent life. "See
my reader" he continues, "I obtained my knowledge both of baptism and
the Supper, by God's great grace, through enlightening of the Holy
Spirit by means of much reading of Scripture and meditation on it, and
not through the instrumentality of misleading sects, as I am blamed for
doing. Yet if any men have in any way been at all helpful to my progress
I will for ever thank the Lord for it. When I had been about a year in
the new place it happened that some brought baptism forward. I do not
know whence those came who began it, where they belonged to, or what
they were, and I do not now know, I did not even see them. Then the
Münster sect broke out, through which many pious hearts, also from among
us, were deceived. My soul was in great distress, for I noticed that
they were zealous and yet in doctrine were in error. With my little
gift, through preaching and exhortation I opposed the error, as well as
I could.... All my exhortations effected nothing, because I myself was
doing what I knew was not right. Yet the report was spread abroad that I
was great at stopping the mouths of these people and all thought highly
of me. So I saw that I was the champion of the unrepentant who all
referred to me. This caused me no little anguish of heart, and I sighed
on this account to the Lord and prayed: Lord help me that I may not load
myself with other people's sins! My soul was troubled and I thought of
the end how that if I gained the whole world and should live a thousand
years, and then at last must bear God's heavy hand and wrath, what
should I then have gained?

"After this these poor misled sheep, having no true shepherds, after
many cruel edicts, after much slaughter and murder, gathered together in
a place called Oude Kloster, and, alas! following the godless Münster
teaching, against the Spirit, Word, and example of Christ, drew the
sword in their own defence which the Lord had

=Page 188: Menno's Inward Conflicts=

commanded Peter to put into the sheath. When this took place the blood
of these people, although they were misled, fell so heavy on my heart
that I could not bear it nor find any rest in my soul. I considered my
unclean, fleshly life, my hypocritical teaching and idolatry, which I
exhibited daily, though without any liking for it, and striving against
my own soul. I had seen with my own eyes how these zealots, though not
in the leading of wholesome doctrine, willingly yielded children, goods
and blood for their conviction and faith, and I was one of those who had
helped to show some of their number the evils of Popery; nevertheless I
had continued in my gross living and known evil and that for no other
reason than that I liked the comforts of the flesh and wished to avoid
the cross of Christ. These thoughts gnawed at my heart to such an extent
that I could bear it no longer. I thought to myself: Wretched man that I
am, what shall I do? If I continue in this way, and, with the knowledge
that has been given me, do not yield myself wholly to my Lord's Word, do
not condemn with the Word of the Lord the unrepentant fleshly life and
hypocrisy of the theologians, as well as their corrupted baptism,
Supper, and false Divine Services, as far as my small gift enables me;
if, because of fear of my flesh, I do not open up the real basis of
truth, do not, as far as I can, direct the innocent wandering lambs, who
would so willingly do right if they only knew how, to the true pasture
of Christ, how will not this blood shed, although it is that of erring
ones, speak against me in the judgement of the almighty and great God,
and pronounce judgement upon my poor soul! My heart trembled in my body.
I prayed to my God, with sighs and tears that He would grant the gift of
His grace to me a troubled sinner, create in me a clean heart, through
the efficacy of the blood of Christ forgive my unclean walk and vain
gross life, and give to me wisdom, spirit, courage, and manly heroism so
that I might preach genuinely His worshipful high Name and His holy Word
and bring to light His truth unto His praise.

"Now I began, in the Name of the Lord to teach publicly from the pulpit
the true word of repentance, to direct the people to the narrow way, to
condemn all sins

=Page 189: Yields to the Call=

and godless ways, as well as all idolatry and false Divine worship, and
to testify openly what baptism and the Lord's Supper are according to
the mind and principle of Christ, as far as I had, up to that time,
received grace from my God. I also warned everyone against the Münster
wickedness, its king, polygamy, kingdom and sword; this I did earnestly
and faithfully, until, after nine months, the Lord reached out to me His
Fatherly Spirit, His help and mighty hand, so that, all at once, without
compulsion, I was able to let go my honour, my good name and reputation,
which I had among men, as well as all my antichristian wickedness and my
coarse presumptuous life. Now I placed myself willingly in utter poverty
and misery, under the heavy cross of my Lord Christ, feared God in my
weakness, sought God-fearing people, of whom I found some, though not
many, in real zeal and doctrine; I disputed with those that were turned
aside, won some of them through the help and power of God and led them,
by God's Word, to the Lord Christ. Those that were hard and obstinate I
committed to the Lord. See, my reader, thus the merciful Lord through
the free gift of His great grace to me a wretched sinner, first stirred
in my heart, gave me a new mind, humbled me in His fear, brought me to
some measure of knowledge of myself, led me from the ways of death to
the narrow way of life and called me in pure mercy into the fellowship
of the saints. To Him be praise for ever! Amen.

"About a year later, as I was quietly reading and writing, searching in
the Word of the Lord, it came to pass that six, seven or eight persons
came to me, who were of one heart and of one soul; in their faith and
life, as far as one could judge, blameless; separated from the world
according to the testimony of the Scripture, under the cross, holding in
horror not only the Münster, but also all the evils and sects worthy of
condemnation in all the world. These besought me with many entreaties,
in the name of those who feared God, who walked in one spirit and mind
with me and with them, that I might take to heart the heavy sorrow and
crying need of the distressed souls, for the hunger is great, the
faithful householders very few, and that I might put to usury the

=Page 190: Menno Accepts a Different Service=

pound that I had undeservedly received from the Lord.... When I heard
this, my heart was deeply troubled, anguish and fear encircled me; on
the one side I saw the littleness of my gift, my lack of learning, my
weak nature, the fearfulness of my flesh, the measureless wickedness,
contrariety and tyranny of this world, the great, mighty sects, the
craftiness of many spirits, and the heavy cross which were I to begin,
would press no little upon me; on the other side, however, I saw the
pitiable hunger, the lack and the need of the God-fearing pious
children, for I saw clearly enough, they were as simple, forsaken sheep
that have no shepherd. At last, after much entreaty, I placed myself at
the disposal of the Lord and His church, on condition that they would
for a time, with me, fervently call on the Lord, that if it should be
His gracious will that I could and should serve to His praise, that His
Fatherly goodness might give me such a heart and temper that I could
testify, with Paul: Woe is me if I preach not the Gospel; if otherwise,
that He would so order it that the matter should be prevented....
See, dear reader, that I have not been called to this service by the
Münster people nor by any other seditious sect, as is calumniously said
of me, but, unworthy as I am, by such a people ... who were willing to
follow Christ and His Word, who, in the fear of their God lived a
contrite life, in love served their neighbours, patiently carried the
cross, sought the salvation and good of all men, loved righteousness and
truth, and loathed unrighteousness and wickedness. These are certainly
living and powerful witnesses that they were not such a perverse sect as
they are accused of being, but true Christians, although unknown to the
world, if it is at all to be believed that the Word of Christ is true
and His spotless, holy example is infallible and right.

"Thus I, a miserable, great sinner have been enlightened by the Lord,
converted, have fled from Babylon and entered Jerusalem and finally have
come to this difficult and high service. As the persons named above did
not cease their request, and also my own conscience impelled me ...
because I saw the great hunger and need ... I surrendered myself to
the Lord with body and soul, committed myself into His gracious hand,
and began at

=Page 191: Good Testimony of Believers=

that time (1537) to teach and to baptize according to His holy Word,
with my little gift to work in the Lord's field, to build His holy city
and temple, to bring the fallen stones back to their place. And the
great and mighty God has so acknowledged, in many cities and countries,
the word of true repentance, the word of His grace and power, together
with the wholesome use of His holy sacraments, through our small
service, our teaching and unlearned writings, in fellowship with the
true service, the work and help of our faithful brethren; He has made
the appearance of His Church to be so glorious, and gifted her with such
invincible power, that not only have many proud, haughty hearts become
humble, not only unclean ones pure, drunkards sober, the covetous
generous, the cruel kindly, the godless God-fearing; but, for the
glorious testimony that they bear they have faithfully given goods and
blood, body and life, as one may daily see to the present day. These
surely could not be the fruits and signs of a false doctrine, with which
God does not work; it could not exist so long under such heavy cross and
misery, if it were not the Word and power of the Almighty. Further, they
are armed with such great grace and wisdom, as Christ promised to all
His own, they are so gifted of God in their temptations that all the
learned of this world and the most celebrated theologians, as well as
all the blood-guilty tyrants, who (may God have mercy on them!) boast
that they also are Christians, must stand there ashamed and overcome by
these invincible heroes and pious witnesses of Christ; so that they have
no other weapon, can find no other means but exile, seizing, torture,
burning and murder, as has been the habit and custom of the Old Serpent
from the beginning, as in many places in our Netherlands, is, alas!
daily to be seen.

"See, this is our call and doctrine, these are the fruits of our
service, on account of which we are so terribly blasphemed and
persecuted with such enmity. Whether all prophets, apostles and faithful
servants of God have not produced the same fruits through their service
we will willingly leave to the judgement of all good people ... if the
evil world would listen to our

=Page 192: Menno's Sincerity=

teaching, which is not ours but that of our Lord Jesus Christ, and
follow it in the fear of God, there is no doubt that a better and more
Christian world would appear than now, alas! it is. I thank my God, who
has given me the grace, that, even if it should be with my own blood, I
desire that the whole world might be snatched out of its godless evil
ways and won for Christ.

"... I hope also, through the Lord's help, that no one in the whole
world may be able truthfully to accuse me of covetousness or of
luxurious living. Gold and riches have I none, do not even desire them,
although there are some who, out of a dishonest heart, say that I eat
more roast than they do mince, and drink more wine than they do beer....
He who ... has bought me ... and called me to His service, knows
me and knows that I seek neither money nor goods, neither pleasure nor
comfort on earth, but only my Lord's praise, my own salvation, and that
of many. On which account I have had to suffer, with my delicate wife
and little child, such excessive fear, pressure, sorrow, misery, and
persecution, now these eighteen years, that I have to live in poverty
and in constant fear and danger of our lives. Yes, when the preachers
lie on soft beds and pillows, we must generally creep secretly into
hidden corners. When they openly enjoy themselves at weddings, etc.,
with pipes, drums, and flutes, we must look round every time a dog barks
for fear those should be there who would seize us. Whereas they are
greeted by everyone as Doctor or Master, we must let ourselves be called
Anabaptists, Corner-Preachers, Deceivers, and Heretics, and are greeted
in the Devil's name. Finally, instead of being rewarded, as they are,
for their service, with high salaries and good days, our reward and
share from them is fire, sword, and death.

"See, my true reader, in such anxiety and poverty, sorrow and danger of
death, I, wretched man, have carried out unceasingly my Lord's service
to this hour, and hope to continue it further through His grace, to His
praise, as long as I wander in this world. What now I and my true
fellow-workers have sought in this difficult and dangerous service may
easily be measured by all well-wishers, by the work itself and its
fruits, but I will once

=Page 193: His Journeys=

more beg the sincere reader, for Jesus' sake, to receive in love this
confession, wrung from me, of my enlightening conversion and call, and
apply it for the best. I have done it out of great need in order that
the God-fearing reader may know how things took place, for I have been
everywhere slandered by the preachers and blamed contrary to the truth,
as though it were by a revolutionary sect that I was called and ordained
to this office. He who fears God, let him read and judge!"

Menno Simon[75] devoted himself to visiting, gathering together again and
building up the churches of believers scattered by persecution. This he
did in the Netherlands, until (1543) he was declared an outlaw, a price
set on his head, any who should shelter him condemned to death, and
pardon promised to criminals who should deliver him into the bands of
the executioner. Obliged thus to leave the Low Countries, after many
wanderings and dangers, he found a refuge in Fresenburg, Holstein, where
Count Alefeld was able to protect him, and not him only, but large
numbers of the persecuted brethren. This nobleman, affected by the
crying injustice from which these innocent people suffered, received
them with the utmost kindness, and with him they found not only a
dwelling place and occupation, but also liberty of worship, so that a
numerous church gathered in the village of Wüstenfelde, and others in
the surrounding district. In Fresenburg Menno was supplied with means
for printing, and was able freely to publish his writings, which were
widely circulated, and, coming into the hands of those in authority in
different States, enlightened them as to the true character of the
teachings which they, without understanding them, were so ruthlessly
endeavouring to suppress. This had its effect in lessening the
persecution and bringing about a measure of liberty of worship. Menno
died peacefully in Fresenburg (1559).

New industries were established in Holstein by the immigrants, which
flourished and brought prosperity to the country until they were swept
away by the Thirty Years' War.

=Page 194: A Book on the Gospel=

A small book published by Pilgram Marbeck in 1542 throws valuable light
on the teaching and practices of the brethren.[76] They doubtless
differed among themselves on some points, but such a book as this shows
the honest, genuine endeavour there was on their part to understand and
carry out the Scriptures in a simple, straightforward way. Although this
writer expresses an extreme view of the importance attaching to outward
observances, yet there is an entire absence in the book of any of the
evil teachings so commonly attributed to them. In his long title the
writer says that the book is intended to bring help and comfort to all
true, believing, pious, and good-hearted men, by showing them what the
Holy Scriptures teach as to Baptism, the Lord's Supper, etc.

Referring his readers to many passages of Scripture in support of what
he says, the author concludes: "Therefore as we have before made known
our thought, understanding, opinion and faith with regard to both
baptism and the supper, we will now close with a further general account
of the use of both, and especially as to why and for what purpose they
have been outwardly appointed. As Christ Jesus desires to be
acknowledged, not only in His assembly, but also through it, so he will
have His holy name acknowledged and praised by His own before the world.
Therefore Christ, alongside of the outward preaching of His Gospel, has
also commanded and instituted these two, namely, outward baptism and the
supper to carry on and preserve the outward, pure, holy assembly. And if
the matter be seen in its true light, we must say that three things are
necessary to the economy of a Christian assembly, namely, true preaching
of the Gospel, true baptism, and a true keeping of the Lord's Supper.
Where these are not carried on, or where one of them is lacking, it is
not possible for a genuine, pure Christian assembly to stand and
maintain an outward testimony.

=Page 195: Baptism and the Lord's Supper=

"... in order that the outward assembly of God may be gathered, begun
and upheld there must be the preaching of the true and wholesome Gospel.
That is the living fishing-net which must be cast out among all men, for
all men swim in the morass of this world, are like wild beasts and by
nature children of wrath. Those that are caught in this net or by this
line, that is, with the Word of the Gospel, when they hear it and with
firm faith cling to it, are brought out of darkness into light and have
power to be changed from condemned children of wrath into children of
God. Of these, as Peter says, the temple of God and assembly of Christ
is being built up, as with living stones. For the Christian church is an
assembly of those who are true believers and children of God, who praise
and publish the Name of God. None have a place in it except believers,
for we see that by nature all men are without understanding in Divine
things, and it is only by the Word that they are brought to a right
faith in, and understanding of, Christ; and the Scripture shows us no
other way. Therefore this is the first beginning, by which all men must
be gathered and through which they must be brought to the knowledge of
God and to His Holy Church (as far as we are able to judge) by the
preaching and hearing of the Word of God, which is the cause from which
faith comes, and then they are counted as children of God, and then they
may be reckoned as members of the Holy Church....

"The next thing for the building of the Church is holy baptism, which is
the entrance and door into the holy church, so that it is in accordance
with the ordinance of God that no one should be allowed to enter the
church except through baptism. Therefore any one who is received into
the holy church, that is, into the assembly of those who believe in
Christ, must have died to the Devil, the world, with its following,
grandeur and pomp, also to the pride of all fleshly desires, and must
have refused and denied them. Then he must confess with his month that
wholesome faith which he has believed in his heart. When this has been
done he must be baptized in the Name of God, or into Jesus Christ, that
is baptized on the ground that through true repentance and faith he is
cleansed from sins in order

=Page 196: Pilgram Marbeck=

that he may walk in unstained, obedient conduct in God and in Christ....
This is therefore the use of baptism, that by it believers might be
outwardly joined to and accepted by a holy church....

The general use of the Supper is twofold. First, that the holy Christian
assembly shall be held together by it, and preserved in unity of faith
and Christian love. Secondly, that all sinful wickedness, and all that
does not belong to the holy, pure church of Christ, but causes offences,
may be cut off and excluded."

The writer of this book, Pilgram Marbeck, was an eminent engineer. A
native of Tyrol, he executed important works in the lower Inn valley,
and marks of distinction given him by the Government showed its
appreciation of his services. It is not known exactly when he became
attached to the brethren, but in 1528 his confession of faith caused the
loss of his dignities. At this time he wrote of himself: "Brought up by
godly parents in Popery, I left this and became a preacher of the
Wittenberg Gospel. Finding that in the places where God's Word was
preached in the Lutheran way there was also a fleshly liberty, I was
brought into doubt and could find no rest among the Lutherans. Then I
accepted baptism as a sign of the obedience of faith, looking only to
the Word and command of God." He had to leave all he had and go abroad
with his wife and child, and his property was then confiscated, but his
ability enabled him to support his family wherever he was. In Strassburg
he enriched the city by constructing the waterway by which the timber of
the Black Forest was brought to it. His spotless character and spiritual
zeal won him great favour, for the brethren were numerous and the
Reformers, Bucer and Capito, were attracted by Pilgram Marbeck's
sincerity and his spiritual and mental gifts. His fearless preaching of
the baptism of believers, however, soon stirred up adversaries, Bucer
turned against him, and he was imprisoned. Capito was not afraid to
visit him in prison, but long discussions ended in the City Council's
declaring that it did not hold the baptism of infants to be unchristian,
and Pilgram Marbeck was given three or four weeks to realize his
property, and left the city in 1532.

=Page 197: Sectarianism=

Sectarianism is limitation. Some truth taught in Scripture, some part of
the Divine revelation, is apprehended, and the heart responds to it and
accepts it. As it is dwelt upon, expounded, defended, its power and
beauty increasingly influence those affected by it. Another side of
truth, another view of revelation, also contained in Scripture, seems to
weaken, even to contradict the truth that has been found to be so
effectual, and in jealous fear for the doctrine accepted and taught the
balancing truth is minimized, explained away, even denied. So on a
portion of revelation, on a part of the Word, a sect is founded, good
and useful because it preaches and practises Divine truth, but limited
and unbalanced because it does not see all truth, nor frankly accept the
whole of Scripture. Its members are not only deprived of the full use of
all Scripture, but are cut off from the fellowship of many saints, who
are less limited than they, or limited in another direction. There is
reason to regret the divisions of the Lord's people, for their
underlying, essential unity is obscured by these outward and apparent
divisions; yet liberty in the churches to emphasize what they have
learned and experienced is of the greatest value, and even the sectarian
conflicts between churches zealous for different aspects of truth, have
led to much searching of Scripture and discovery of its treasures. When
this goes on in such a way as to endanger love, the loss is great;
nevertheless, worse than sectarian strife is uniformity maintained at
the cost of liberty, or reunion made possible by indifference.

       *       *       *       *       *

An edict of Duke Johann of Cleve, Jülich, Berg, and Mark, runs as
follows:[77] "Although it is known what is to be done with the
Anabaptists ... yet we will, in conjunction with the Archbishop of
Cologne, announce it by this edict, so that no one may be excused
through lack of knowledge. Hereafter all who baptize again and are
baptized again, as well as all who hold or teach that infant baptism is
without value, shall be brought from life to death, and punished....
In the same way

=Page 198: Persecution in Cologne=

all who hold or teach that in the most highly esteemed sacrament of the
altar the true body and the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ are not
actually present, but only figuratively ... shall not be endured, but
shall be banished from our Principalities, so that if after three days
they are there they shall be punished in body and life ... and so
treated as is announced with respect to the Anabaptists." Records are
preserved of the burning, drowning, and beheading that followed.

In Cologne the assembly held its secret meetings in a house on the wall,
which had two entrances, so as better to escape discovery and arrest. In
1556 Thomas Drucker von Imbroek, a very pious and gifted teacher, though
only twenty-five years of age, was taken from one tower to another,
repeatedly tortured, but in vain, and finally beheaded. Some of his
beautiful letters and hymns, written in prison, and his confession of
faith, came among the believers, were printed and circulated, and did
much to spread the truth. His wife wrote to him in prison (in verse):
"Dear Friend, keep to the pure truth, do not let yourself be terrified
away from it, you know what you have vowed, let the cross be acceptable
to you, Christ Himself went this way, and all the Apostles." The church
in Cologne was not discouraged by the death of Drucker. In 1561 three
more brethren were drowned, and the following year two taken prisoner,
one of whom was drowned, and the other at the moment of death reprieved
and banished. The meetings continued until 1566, when, one of the
members betraying them, the house was surrounded and all were taken.
Their names were noted and they were distributed to different prisons.
Matthias Zerfass, of his own accord, acknowledged that he was a teacher
among them, and remained firm and patient under torture, and was then
beheaded. He wrote from prison: "The chief object of our torture has
been that we should say how many of us were teachers, and reveal their
names and addresses.... I was to acknowledge the authorities as
Christian and that infant baptism is right; I pressed my lips together,
yielded myself to God, suffered patiently, and thought of the Lord's
word when He said, 'Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay
down his life for

=Page 199: Archbishop Attempts Reform=

his friends. Ye are My friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.' It
looks as though I have still much to suffer, but the Lord alone has it
in His hand, and I can pray for nothing except that His will be done."

An instruction was issued as follows: "In order to arrest the leaders,
teachers, bush-preachers, and corner-preachers of the sectaries ...
officials shall send spies into the hedges, fens, and moors, especially
at the approach of the more important festivals, and when there is full
and continued moonlight, in order to discover their secret

Yet in 1534 the Bishop of Münster, in writing to the Pope, bore
testimony to the excellent lives of the Anabaptists.

       *       *       *       *       *

Hermann V, Archbishop of Cologne (1472-1552) saw the need of reform in
the Roman Catholic Church and made a serious attempt to bring it about.
He was Count of Wied and Runkel, and an Elector of the Empire, was made
Dean of Cologne at the age of fifteen, and later Archbishop. He was a
good and liberal man, beloved by his tenantry, though more interested in
hunting than in church matters, and no student of theology or Latin. He
opposed Luther and had his works burnt, and his spiritual court
condemned two of the Cologne martyrs. Yet he saw the ignorance and
superstition of the people, the neglect of discipline, the churches
confided to ignorant clergy, and the income absorbed by absentees. He
saw also the desecration of the Lord's Supper, and the vanity of all
efforts to bring the corrupt members of the clergy back to the canonical
rules. In consultation with the best men in the highest offices of the
Church he tried to bring about a Catholic Reform after the ideas of
Erasmus. When this failed he attempted an evangelical reform of the
Church with the help of Bucer and Melanchthon, but the opposition of the
clergy, the University and the city of Cologne, organized by the Jesuit
Canisius, frustrated his efforts. Finding no support, he resigned his
office as archbishop and retired to his estate.

One who remained apart from the Roman Catholic Church, as well as from
the Lutheran and the Reformed,

=Page 200: Schwenckfeld=

and yet did not attach himself to those called Anabaptists, was the
Silesian nobleman, Kaspar von Schwenckfeld (1489-1561), who exercised an
important influence in his own country and beyond.[78] Occupied in
matters of business in connection with one or another of the smaller
German courts, he did not trouble himself much about the Scriptures,
until, when he was thirty years of age, he was awakened out of his
indifference by Martin Luther's "wonderful trumpet of God", yielded
himself to the "clear light of God's gracious visitation", and became
"the soul" of the reformation in Silesia. It was not long before he
found himself obliged to criticize some points in Luther's teaching, in
the first instance that regarding the Lord's Supper. On this account he
was attacked with virulence by Luther, who used his authority to get him
treated as an outsider and a heretic. Schwenckfeld, however, never
ceased to acknowledge his great debt to Luther in spiritual things, and
after suffering for many years from the attacks of Luther and the
Lutheran preachers, he gave this counsel to those who sympathized with
him, "Let us faithfully pray to God for them, for the time must come at
last when they, with all of us, must together acknowledge our ignorance
in the presence of the one Master, Christ."

The study of the Scriptures became his great delight. He reckoned that
if he read four chapters a day he would read the Bible through once a
year, and at first made this a rule, though afterwards he left it to the
Holy Spirit to direct his reading and did not bind himself to a certain
number of chapters daily. "Christ", he said, is the "summary of the
whole Bible" and "the principal object of the whole of Holy Scripture is
that we may fully know the Lord Christ." Faith in the accuracy and
inspiration of the whole Bible was to him not a holding on to an old and
doubtful dogma but a new discovery of illimitable possibilities; not
ancient superstition but modern progress. He described his reading of
Scripture as "a brooding over, seeking, boring into; indeed a reading
and re-reading of all, chewing, meditating, turning over and thoroughly
thinking out everything." "For there, undiluted treasure is revealed

=Page 201: Finds Guidance in Scripture=

to the believer, pure pearls, gold and precious stones." As a "safe
rule" for the expositor, he says, "where disputed passages occur, the
whole context must be taken into account, Scripture brought to bear on
Scripture, single passages brought to the whole, compared with one
another and the application found, not only by the outward appearance of
a single passage, but according to the sense of the whole of Scripture."
He studied Hebrew and Greek and in his work made use not only of
Luther's translation but also of "the old Bible" (used by the
Anabaptists) and the Vulgate. He found the key to much that is contained
in the Old Testament in the typical use made of it in the New. He
determined to yield himself to the guidance of the Scriptures in
doctrine and in practice, and, "if we do not understand everything" he
said, "do not let us blame the Scriptures for it, but rather our own

Eight years after his first "visitation" he had a further experience
which seemed to him to affect his life even more. Up to this time he had
been zealous in proclaiming the Scriptures and Lutheranism; but now what
he had intellectually believed turned to an entire persuasion of the
heart. He was made aware of his heavenly calling, received an
overwhelming assurance of salvation, yielded himself to God as a "living
sacrifice." A deep sense of sin and appreciation of the sufficiency of
the redemption wrought for us in Christ, by His death and resurrection,
captured his will, transformed his mind and brought him to that
obedience in which he found liberty to do the will of God.

He also made the discovery that the Scriptures not only give sure
guidance as to personal justification and sanctification, but that they
also contain definite instruction with regard to the Church. "If we
would reform the Church", he said, "we must make use of the Holy
Scriptures and especially of the Acts, where it is clearly to be found
how things were in the beginning, what is right and what is wrong, what
is praiseworthy and acceptable to God and to the Lord Christ." He saw
that the Church in the time of the Apostles and their immediate
successors, was a glorious gathering, not only in one place but in many.
He asks where such assemblies are to be found to-day, for, he says, "the
Scripture knows no others than those which

=Page 202: Schwenckfeld on Ministry=

acknowledge Christ as their Head and willingly yield themselves to be
ruled by the Holy Spirit, who adorns them with spiritual gifts and
knowledge." Jesus Himself directs through the spiritual gifts which He
dispenses, not only to the whole Church, but also to the separate
assemblies. In these assemblies spiritual gifts are manifested for the
common good; the same Spirit divides the gifts, but they are manifested
in each one of the members. The Spirit has untrammelled liberty. If one,
led by the Spirit, rises, the one already speaking must cease. The
churches are not perfect, it is always possible that hypocrites may
creep in unobserved, but when detected they must be excluded.
Schwenckfeld could not therefore recognize the Reformed religion as a
Church, because the great mass of the baptized Christians were without
the Spirit of Christ and took the Sacrament without the grace of God. He
was willing to receive the help of missionary organizations, if they did
not pretend to take the place of churches of Jesus Christ. A National
Church is one, he said, that has gone back to the stage reached in the
Old Testament.

"It is clear and evident" he says further, "that all Christians are
called and sent to praise their Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, to
publish His virtues who has called them from darkness to His wonderful
light, and to confess His Name before men." Any restriction of the
universal priesthood of all believers is a limitation of the Holy
Spirit. "If in the time of Paul they had acted thus, and only those
appointed by the magistrate had been allowed to preach, how far would
the Christian faith have reached? How would the Gospel have reached to
our times?" Some are chosen from among the believers to special service,
and are fitted for and separated to their office, not by study,
election, or ordination, but by the thrust, revelation and manifestation
of the Spirit, "that Christ is with them being shown in grace, power,
life and blessing." Since their "calling and sending is solely from God,
in the grace of Christ, they act with power and with great assurance in
the Holy Spirit, souls are born again, hearts are renewed, the kingdom
of Christ is built up." "The believers can never be tired of such
apostolic, spiritual preachers, nor hear them enough, for they find with
them the power of God and food for their souls; it is of such that the

=Page 203: And on Baptism=

Christ said, 'Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that receiveth
whomsoever I send receiveth Me' (John 13. 20). No unconverted person or
one of unholy conduct can be a right minister for the increase of the
church, even though he might be Doctor and Professor, know the Bible off
by heart, and be a great orator." When "some say that the person and the
office are separate, so that even if a bishop, priest or preacher should
be an evil man, yet he can occupy a good office, the office of a teacher
of the New Testament, and can be a servant of the Holy Spirit, this is
against all Scripture and against the ordinance of Christ." "What sort
of ministry is that, where the teacher is himself untaught in his heart ...
and does not believe what he teaches, that is, does not himself do
or act what he says, whereas, in the right ministry of the New Covenant,
according to the instruction of all Apostolic Scriptures and the example
of the Lord Christ Himself, these two must always go together."

As to baptism, Schwenckfeld taught that it does not save, and that
salvation can be had without it; but at the same time he saw its
importance and that only those who confess themselves as believers
should be baptized, and that as children in the cradle are not capable
of faith they are not suitable subjects for baptism.

Yet he did not attach himself to those called Anabaptists. Though he
describes them as a God-fearing people, separate from the great mass of
those who were indifferent to religion, distinguished by their upright
conduct and deep religious earnestness, yet he accuses them of legalism
and ignorance, and, in common with so many others, confounds together,
as though they were one, the godly, long-suffering brethren, with all
the fanatical elements concerned in the Peasants' War, the Münster
extravagances and other outbreaks. He claims to have known "the first
Baptists" and then describes Müntzer, executed for sedition in the
Peasants' War; speaks of men of the type of Balthazer Hubmeyer as being
disciples of Hans Hut, although the former was a strenuous opponent of
the extreme and unbalanced teachings of Hut; relates a rumour that Hut
had committed suicide in prison, though he adds that some say this was
unintentional, and he attaches the name "Hutist Baptists" generally to
those called by most people

=Page 204: Schwenckfeld and Anabaptists=

"Anabaptists". He recounts various detrimental anecdotes that had been
communicated to him by letter, and one that he himself heard from a
person who had left one of the "Hutist" assemblies, but of whose
Christianity he expresses a poor opinion. He says they had little
well-grounded knowledge as to sin, salvation through the grace of God
and assurance of salvation, and especially that they had not grasped the
ideal of the true Apostolic Church. "They persuade themselves", he said,
"that ... as soon as they are received outwardly ... into their own
self-gathered assemblies, they are the holy people of God, a people that
He has chosen out from among all others, a pure, unblemished church,
... although the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the ornament and beauty of
Christian assemblies and churches, as described in the Holy Scriptures,
are very little in evidence among them." An outward orthodoxy is to them
the mark of the true Church of Christ. Therefore an unbiblical spirit of
judging, and spiritual pride, are characteristic of them. "They are so
well pleased with themselves in all that they do, that all others, who
are not of their way of thinking, that is, who have not accepted their
baptism and will not join their assemblies, are condemned by them,
separated from the fellowship of the saints of God, as they regard it,
and considered as under Satan's power. Even if they were as full of
faith as Stephen, filled with the Spirit and godly wisdom, that counts
for nothing among the Baptists, so fast are they fixed, especially the
leaders, in frivolous judgements, in self-love and in spiritual pride."
They are always breaking bread in their assemblies, and this, and water
baptism, take the place of that which is inward and more important. "If
you were to see one of their companies you would take them for the
people of God, for there is no doubt as to the piety of their outward
conduct." He points out, however, that the Pharisee in the parable had a
more pious outward appearance than the Publican. "Not," he adds, "that
we wish to blame outward piety, either in Baptists or monks," but "more
is required than just, 'Come here and be baptized.'" He complains also
that tyranny was exercised over the consciences of the members, that
there was legality as regards habits, dress and other outward things,
and he opposed their views as to oaths, war and participation in

=Page 205: He Discontinues the Lord's Supper=

civil government. From all which it may safely be gathered that among
these people, as among any considerable body of men, even of Christians,
there were failures, weaknesses and errors to be found, and that the
narrowness and legality complained of were limitations to which some of
those called "Anabaptists" were always liable, and against which the
better men among them were constantly protesting. Schwenckfeld
disapproved of the cruel persecutions to which they were subjected. "I
would gladly spare the God-fearing, simple people that are among them"
he says, and reminds his hearers that there were true Christians among
them, who, in spite of lack of knowledge, had life from God; he points
to their joy under suffering, advises that if, as was so often said,
they were seditious, the civil government should be left to deal with
them, adding that he found them to be peaceful people, without seditious

Through Schwenckfeld's diligent activities, circles of believers were
gathered throughout Silesia, beginning in and around Liegnitz. They were
a pattern of godliness to those about them. In view of the great misuse
of the Lord's Supper, Schwenckfeld discontinued it for the time being,
and the influence of his teaching as to the worthy and unworthy taking
of it had such an effect that the Lutheran clergy in Liegnitz began
(1526) to follow his example. This led many to accuse Schwenckfeld of
disparaging the Lord's Supper, though it was the opposite feeling that
had influenced him. His great desire was to realize the unity of the
Church. "Oh would to God" he wrote, "we were truly the body of Christ,
united in the bonds of love ... but alas there is as yet no sign of
anything that could be compared with the first church, where the
believers were of one heart and of one mind." "We will, however, stand
fast in the liberty with which Christ has made us free, and not enter
into any human sect, nor turn away from the universal Christian Church;
we will not be bound by any yoke of bondage but only cling to the one
Divine sect of Jesus Christ" ... "My desire and the wish of my heart
is that I might help everyone to the truth and unity of Christ and His
Holy Spirit and not that I should be a cause of sectarianism, division
or falling away from Christ.... As there are now four that are called
churches, the Papal, Lutheran,

=Page 206: Schwenckfeld's Liberty=

Zwinglian, and Baptist or Pickard, and each condemns the other, as is to
be seen, that Luther condemns the Zwinglian Church and the fanatics, one
cannot help asking whether all of them are, or which of them is, the
true assembly of the Church of Christ, where one ought to be found and
where one may be blessed.... We will answer the question in the words
of Peter ... 'Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of
persons: but in every nation he that feareth Him, and worketh
righteousness, is accepted with Him' (Acts 10. 34, 35).... So the
more these churches condemn one another, so much the more will those who
fear God and live uprightly and christianly, be, in the sight of God,
unexcluded and uncondemned.... Although I have so far fully joined
myself to no church ... yet I have not despised any church, persons,
leaders or teachers, I desire to serve every one in God, to be the
friend and brother of each who has a zeal for God and loves Christ from
the heart.... Therefore I pray God to lead me aright in all things,
to enable me, according to the Apostolic rule, rightly to recognize all
spirits, especially the Spirit of Jesus Christ; to teach me to prove all
things and to distinguish, and to accept and hold what is good, so that
in this present state of divisions and separations, I may attain, with a
clear, sure conscience in Christ, to truth and unity" ... "My liberty
does not suit all, ... some call me an eccentric ... and many look
upon me with suspicion, ... but God knows my heart.... I am ... no
sectarian, and with God's help, will not be a disturber of peace." ...
"Rather than destroy anything good, I would die. And therefore I have
not fully attached myself to any party, sect, or church, so that I
might, in the will of God, through His grace, apart from party serve all

The teachings of Schwenckfeld and the growth of the circles he
established drew upon him the attention of King Ferdinand, who regarded
him as a despiser of the Lord's Supper, and he was obliged (1529) to
leave his native land, where he had always enjoyed a high position and
great consideration. For the remaining thirty years of his life he was a
wanderer, persecuted by the Lutheran Church, which formally declared him
a heretic, but his exile led to a further spread of the groups which
received his teaching, especially in South Germany, where some of

=Page 207: Abstains from Forming Churches=

the rulers protected him. Under Schwenckfeld's teaching these groups did
not consider themselves as churches, such a position would, they
thought, imply separation from believers in the existing parties, all of
whom they wished to serve. They left baptism and the breaking of bread
in abeyance until better times should come, and, in the meantime, they
prayed and looked for a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit before the
Lord's coming, which would unite His Church. Their part was, by Bible
readings, visiting, and every means of testimony accorded to them, to
prepare saints for that time, as well as, by preaching the Gospel, to
gather in from among the unconverted as many as possible to be sharers
in the blessings to be revealed.

Their abstention from any church testimony, merely because of the
difficulties connected with it, made them a source of weakness rather
than of strength to those brethren who were continuing in faith to carry
out, as had been done by some from Apostolic times, the teaching of
Scripture as regards the churches. Those principles, when rightly
carried out, did not establish a sect or divide them from Christians who
did not meet with them, but afforded the one ground on which it was
possible for all believers to enjoy fellowship with each other, the
ground of their common fellowship with Christ.

Pilgram Marbeck, in conjunction with others, wrote a reply to
Schwenckfeld's strictures on the believers who gathered as churches and
practised baptism and the breaking of bread. Schwenckfeld had expressed
his disapproval in a work entitled, "Of the New Pamphlet of the Baptist
Brethren published in the year 1542." Marbeck's reply had a long title
(eighty-three words) and took the form of quoting Schwenckfeld and
giving 100 answers. In it he and the brethren with him say: "It is not
true that we refuse to count as Christians those who disagree with our
baptism and reckon them as misguided spirits and deniers of Christ. It
is not ours either to judge or condemn him who is not baptized according
to the command of Christ."


[65] "Die Reformation und die älteren Reformparteien" Dr. Ludwig Keller,
who gives authorities.

[66] "Die Taufe. Gedanken über die urchristliehe Taufe, ihre Gesehichte
und ihre Bedeutung für die Gegenwart" J. Warns, who also gives
authorities and sources.

[67] "Neue Studien zur Geschichte der Theologie und der Kirche"
Herausgegeben von N. Bonwetsch, Göttingen und R. Seeberg, Berlin.
Zwanzigstes Stück. "D. Baithasar Hubmeier als Theologe" (Berlin,
Trowitzch & Sohn, 1914) von Carl Sachsse.

[68] "Ein Apostel der Wiedertäufer" Dr. Ludwig Keller.

[69] "Reformations-Geschichte Augsburg " Friedrich Roth. (München 1881).

[70] Vorträge und Aufsätze aus der Comenius Gesellschaft. 7ter Jahrgang,
1 u 2 Stück. "Georg Blaurock und die Anfänge des Anabaptismus in
Graubündten und Tirol" Aus dern Nachlasse des Hofrates Dr. Joseph R. von
Beck. Herausgegeben von Joh. Loserth.

[71] Fontes Rerum Austriacarum. Oesterreichische Geschichts-Quellen.
Abth. 2 Bd. 43. "Die Geschichts-Bücher der Wiedertäufer in
Oesterreich-Ungarn, u.s.w. in der Zeit von 1526 bis 1785" Gesammelt,
Erläutert und Ergänzt durch Dr. Josef Beck.

[72] Archiv für Oestcrreichische Geschichte. 78 Bd. "Der Anabaptismus in
Tirol u.s.w." Aus dem Nachlasse des Hofrates Joseph R. von Beck.
Herausgegeben von Joh. Loserth.

[73] "History of the Reformation" T. M. Lindsay, M.A., D.D., Edinburgh,
1907. "Geschichte der Wiedertäufer und ihres Reichs zu Münster" Dr.
Ludwig Keller, 1880.

[74] "Geschichte der Alt-Evangelischen Mennoniten Brüderschaft in
Russland" P. M. Friesen.

[75] "Fundamente der Christlichen Lehre u.s.w." Joh. Deknatel.

[76] Vermanung-auch gantz klarer, gründtlicher uñ unwidersprechlicher
bericht, zů warer Christlicher, ewigbestendiger pundtssuerynigung allen
waren glaubigen frummen, und gůtthertzigen menschen zů hilff und trost,
mit grund heyliger schrifft, durch bewerung warer Tauff und Abentmals
Christi sampt mitlauffung und erklårung jrer gegensachen und Argumenten,
wider alle vermeynte Christliche Pündtnus, so sich bissher uñ noch,
onder dem nammen Christi zůtragend.

[77] "Geschichte des Christlichen Lebens in der rheinisch-westphälischen
evangelischen Kirche" Max Goebel.

[78] "Schwenckfeld, Luther und der Gedanke einer Apostolischen
Reformation" Karl Ecke.

=Page 208: Le Fèvre=

Chapter X

France and Switzerland


Le Fèvre--Group of believers in Paris--Meaux--Farel's
preaching--Metz--Images destroyed--Executions--Increased persecution in
France--Farel in French Switzerland--In Neuchâtel--The Vaudois and the
Reformers meet--Visit of Farel and Saunier to the valleys--Progress in
Neuchâtel--Breaking of bread in the South of France--Jean
Calvin--Breaking of bread in Poitiers--Evangelists sent out--Froment in
Geneva--Breaking of bread outside Geneva--Calvin in
Geneva--Socinianism--Servetus--Influence of Calvinism--The
Placards--Sturm to Melanchthon--Organization of churches in France--The
Huguenots--Massacre of St. Bartholomew--Edict of Nantes--The
Dragonnades--Revocation of the Edict of Nantes--Flight from
France--Prophets of the Cevennes--War of the Camisards--Churches of the
Desert reorganized--Jacques Roger--Antoine Court.

At the end of the fifteenth and beginning of the sixteenth century there
was in Paris a little, middle-aged man of quick and lively manner, who
very devoutly observed all the requirements of the Roman Catholic
Church.[79] This was Jacques Le Fèvre, the most learned and popular
Doctor of Divinity at the University. Born about 1455 at the small town
of Étaples in Picardy, he studied later in Paris and in Italy, and his
ability and industry were such that when, in the year 1492, he became
Professor in the Paris University he quickly took a foremost place among
his colleagues. The Revival of Learning had drawn to Paris eager
students from all countries. Le Fèvre encouraged the study of languages,
and finding that neither the classics nor the scholasticism that had so
long dominated theology satisfied the soul, he took his students to the
Bible, which he expounded with such understanding and fervour that large
numbers were attracted both to him and to it, while his kind and
attractive ways made him to be not only the teacher but also the trusted
friend of his scholars.

When Le Fèvre had been lecturing seventeen years at the Sorbonne and had
become widely known through his writings,

=Page 209: Early Reformation in France=

a much younger man, Guillaume Farel, then twenty years of age, came to
Paris from his mountain home in Dauphiny, between Gap and Grenoble. In
the pleasant manor house where the Farel family had long been
established, he had left his parents, three brothers and one sister, all
like himself brought up in the Church of Rome and its observances. Farel
was distressed when he saw the wild and sinful lives of so many in
Paris, but as he worshipped in the churches he was struck by the unusual
devotion of Le Fèvre. The two became acquainted, the young student was
charmed by the kindness and interest of the renowned professor, and the
foundations of a lifelong friendship between them were laid. They read
the Bible together. Le Fèvre had put much labour into a book he was
writing, "Lives of the Saints", arranged in the order in which they
occur in the calendar. He had already published an instalment covering
the first two months, but the contrast between the absurdities contained
in many of these "Lives" and the power and truth of the Scriptures so
impressed him that he abandoned the "Lives" for the study of Scripture,
taking up especially the Epistles of Paul, upon which he wrote and
published commentaries.

He taught plainly: "It is God alone, who by His grace, through faith,
justifies unto everlasting life." Such doctrine, preached in Paris
before Zwingli proclaimed it in Zürich or Luther in Germany, aroused the
most lively discussion. Though it was the old, the original Gospel,
preached by the Lord and by His Apostles, yet it had been so long
replaced by the teaching that salvation is by the sacraments of the
Church of Rome that it appeared new to the hearers. Farel, who had
passed through deep exercise of soul, was one of many who at that time
laid hold of salvation by faith in the Son of God and the sufficiency of
His atoning work. He said: "Le Fèvre extricated me from the false
opinion of human merits, and taught me that everything comes from grace;
which I believed as soon as it was spoken."

Even at the Court of King Francis I there were those who received the
Gospel, among them Briçonnet the Bishop of Meaux, and Margaret of
Valois, Duchess of Alençon, the king's sister, to whom he was greatly
attached; who, already celebrated for her wit and beauty, became

=Page 210: Meaux=

equally famous for her fervent faith and good works. Another adherent
was Louis de Berquin, of Artois, known as the most learned among the
nobility, careful for the poor, devout in the observances of the Church.
His attention was drawn to the Bible by the very violence of the attacks
upon it. Reading it for himself, he was converted and joined the little
group of believers, which included Arnaud and Gérard Roussel, natives,
like Le Fèvre, of Picardy. Berquin at once began to spread literature
over France, writing and translating both books and tracts drawing
attention to the teachings of Scripture. Such activities aroused
opposition, which, under the leadership of the chancellor Duprat, and
Noël Beda, an official of the University, became so violent that the
more prominent witnesses for the Gospel had to leave Paris, and in 1521
several of them, including Le Fèvre and Farel, took refuge in Meaux, at
the invitation of the bishop, who vigorously undertook the reformation
of his diocese.

In Meaux, Le Fèvre published his translation into French of the New
Testament and the Psalms. The Scriptures became the great theme of
conversation, in the town of Meaux among its busy wool-workers and wool
merchants, and also in the surrounding villages among the farmers and
labourers on the hand. Farel preached everywhere, both in the churches
and the open air.[80] "What" said he, "are those treasures of the
goodness of God which are given to us in the death of Jesus Christ?
Firstly, if we diligently consider what the death of Jesus was, we there
shall see in truth how all the treasures of the goodness and the grace
of God our Father are magnified and glorified and exalted in that act of
mercy and love. Is not that sight an invitation to wretched sinners to
come to Him who has so loved them that He did not spare His only Son,
but delivered Him up for us all? Does it not assure us that sinners are
welcome to the Son of God, who so loved them that He gave His life, His
body, and His blood, to be a perfect sacrifice, a complete ransom for
all who believe in Him! ... He who is the Son of God, the power and
the wisdom of God, He who is God Himself, so humbled Himself as to die
for us, He the holy and the righteous One, for the ungodly and for
sinners, offering Himself up that we might be made pure

=Page 211: Farel's Preaching=

and clean. And it is the will of the Father, that those whom He thus
saves by the precious gift of His Son, should be certain of their
salvation and life, and should know that they are completely washed and
cleansed from all their sins.... He gives the precious gift of His
Son to the wretched prisoner of the Devil, of sin, of hell and of
damnation.... The gracious God, the Father of mercy, takes such an
one as this to make him His child.... He makes him a new creature; He
gives him the earnest of the Spirit, by whom he lives, who unites him to
Christ, making him a member of His body.... Let us not, therefore,
shrink from laying down this mortal life, for the honour of our Father,
for a witness to the holy Gospel.... And oh! how bright, how blessed,
how triumphant, how joyous and how happy is the day that is coming. Then
the Lord and Saviour, in His own body--that body in which He suffered so
much for us, in which He was spat upon, beaten, scourged and tortured,
so that His face was marred more than any man--in that body He shall
come; calling to all His own who have been partakers of His Spirit, in
whom by the Spirit He has dwelt; calling them up to the glory, showing
Himself to them in the body of His glory; raising them up in their
bodies alive with immortal life, made like to Jesus, to reign for ever
with Him in joy. For that blessed day the whole creation groans; that
day of the triumphant coming of our Saviour and Redeemer, when all
enemies shall be put under His feet, and His elect people shall ascend
to meet Him in the air."

Meaux was at this time a centre of spiritual life and Bishop Briçonnet
provided for the distribution of copies of the Scriptures in all the
diocese. Among many who were converted were two wool-carders, Pierre and
Jean Leclerc, with their mother; also Jacques Pavanne, a student on a
visit to the bishop, and a man called the Hermit of Livry, a seeker
after God, who lived in a hut in what was then the forest of Livry near
Paris, supporting himself by begging. He met someone from Meaux who
brought him the Bible. Reading this, he found salvation, and his hut
soon became the meeting place of such as desired instruction in the

The Franciscans in Meaux quickly complained to the Church and the
University in Paris about what was going

=Page 212: Persecution of Meaux=

on in their town, and Beda and his colleagues took prompt measures to
crush out the growing testimony of the Gospel. Berquin was seized in his
country château, bravely confessed his faith, and was on the point of
being executed, when the king intervened and saved him, as he did also
Le Fèvre, who was allowed to remain in Meaux, with restricted liberty.
Threatened with the loss of everything and with a cruel death, the
bishop had yielded and consented to the reintroduction of the Roman
system in his diocese. Farel, troubled that his friends in Meaux did not
go far enough in following out the Scriptures, had already left,
seeking, after a brief visit to Paris, his country home near Gap.

The believers in Meaux and in the district had, from the first,
understood that the gifts of the Spirit were not confined to a
particular class but were given through all the members of the body of
Christ, so, when sudden, severe persecution removed or silenced their
more prominent leaders they were not crushed but held frequent secret
meetings as they found opportunity, in which brethren ministered the
Word according to their ability. Able and zealous in this service was
the wool-carder, Jean Leclerc, who also, not content with this and with
visiting from house to house, wrote and posted on the cathedral doors
some placards condemning the Church of Rome, thus drawing punishment on
himself. For three successive days he was whipped through the streets
and then branded on the forehead with a red-hot iron as a heretic.
"Glory to Jesus Christ and to His witnesses!" cried a voice from the
crowd. It was that of his mother. The bishop had to see these things and

Leclerc, with the seared face, removed to Metz, where he earned his
living as a wool-carder and diligently explained the Scriptures to all
he came in contact with. A learned man, Agrippa of Nettesheim, who had
come to live in Metz, was now one of its most prominent citizens.
Reading the works of Luther he was attracted to the Scriptures, and,
enlightened by these, began to testify to others of the truth he had
received. Thus both among the workpeople and those in high positions
great interest was awakened in the Gospel. Jean Chaistellain, an
Augustinian friar who had come to the knowledge of Christ in the

=Page 213: Reformation in Metz=

Netherlands, came at this time to Metz, and his eloquent and sympathetic
preaching affected many. Another helper who joined this growing church
was François Lambert. Brought up by the Franciscans in Avignon, he had
been repelled even as a child by the evil he saw around him. He felt an
inward power urging him to read the Scriptures, and, finding Christ
revealed there, he believed and preached Him. His preaching journeys
from the monastery, effective among his country hearers, aroused the
derisive hostility of his fellow-monks. Luther's writings helped him
much, and, using an opportunity to get away from his convent, he
travelled to Wittenberg where he greatly pleased the famous reformer.
There he met with printers from Hamburg, arranged for the printing of
French tracts and Scriptures and organized their conveyance into various
parts of France. Then he married, two years before Luther--the first of
the French priests or monks to take this step. Willing to share with him
the dangers of returning to France, his wife accompanied him to Metz
(1524). They were soon driven out again, but others were continually
added--a well-known knight, D'Esch; a young man, Pierre Toussaint, who
had been expected to take a high place in the Roman Catholic Church, and
many others.

A great festival was at hand, on the occasion of which the people of
Metz were in the habit of making a pilgrimage some miles out from the
city to a chapel celebrated for its images of the Virgin and the saints.
His mind filled with Old Testament denunciations of idolatry, Leclerc,
informing nobody of his intention, crept out of Metz the night before
the pilgrimage and destroyed the images in the chapel. When, the next
day, the worshippers arrived and found the shattered fragments of their
images strewn over the chapel floor, they were filled with fury. Leclerc
made no secret of what he had done. He exhorted the people to worship
God only and declared that Jesus Christ, who is God manifest in the
flesh, is alone to be adored. Condemned to the flames, he was first
subjected to abominable tortures. As member after member of his body was
destroyed, he continued, as long as he could speak, solemnly to recite
in a loud voice the words of the hundred and fifteenth Psalm: "Their
idols are silver and gold, the work of men's hands. They have mouths,
but they speak not: eyes have they,

=Page 214: Efforts to Crush Reform=

but they see not: they have ears, but they hear not: noses have they,
but they smell not: they have hands, but they handle not: feet have
they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat. They
that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in
them. O Israel trust thou in the Lord: He is their help and their
shield." The first to die in this persecution, he was quickly followed
by Friar Chaistellain, who was degraded and burnt. D'Esch, Toussaint,
and others had to fly for their lives, yet the believers continued to
increase in Metz, as also throughout Lorraine. At Nancy a preacher of
the Gospel named Schuch was burnt by order of the Duke, Anthony the
Good. When he heard his sentence, Schuch simply said: "I was glad when
they said unto me, 'Let us go into the house of the Lord.'"

In 1525 the King of France, Francis I, was defeated and made prisoner by
the Emperor Charles V, at the battle of Pavia. Advantage was taken of
this to press for the extirpation of dissent in France. The restraining
influence of Margaret, the king's sister, was neutralized, the regent
was easily induced to help, and Church, Parliament, and Sorbonne united
in the attack. Parliament presented to the regent an address, in which
it was asserted that the neglect of the king to bring heretics to the
scaffold was the real cause of the disaster that had overtaken the
throne and the nation. With the approval of the Pope, a commission was
appointed, consisting of four men, determined enemies of Reform, before
whom the ecclesiastical authorities were to bring all persons affected
with the taint of Lutheran doctrine, that they might be handed over to
the secular power and burnt. A beginning was made with Briçonnet, Bishop
of Meaux, as the most exalted offender, and one whose fall would make
the deepest impression. True, on a former occasion he had submitted to
all that had been required of him, but he had since given abundant
evidence that he had acted only under compulsion, and that his inward
adherence to the Gospel was unchanged. Seeing that it would better serve
their cause to bring him to recant than to put him to death, every
imaginable effort was made by the commission to effect this; until at
last the bishop, of whose inward faith there is no doubt, yielded an
outward submission to Rome and went through all the

=Page 215: The Hermit of Livry=

ceremonies of repentance and reconciliation prescribed. The next to be
attacked was Le Fèvre, but he, receiving timely warning, escaped to
Strassburg, where Capito received him into his home and, with Bucer,
gave him a hearty welcome, where also he found Farel and Gérard Roussel
and enjoyed a wider fellowship of the Lord's people than he had ever
known before. Among those who suffered imprisonment and death at this
time in France was the Hermit of Livry. From the time of his finding
peace himself, through believing, he had devoted himself to visiting in
all the district, receiving such as came to his hut, and explaining to
all from the Scriptures the way of salvation. He was brought with great
pomp to the open space before the cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, an
immense multitude was gathered together by the tolling of the great
bell, and there he was burnt before all, enduring his martyrdom with
quiet fortitude of faith. Louis de Berquin had already been seized,
imprisoned and condemned to death, but on the return of the king (1525),
he was liberated, and (largely through the influence of the Duchess
Margaret) the exiled preachers in Germany and Switzerland were invited
to come back to France--excepting Farel, whose teaching, going beyond
that of the others, was less acceptable to those who still hoped for
some compromise with Rome.

       *       *       *       *       *

During Farel's stay in his own country, Dauphiny, his three brothers
became decided followers of Christ, also a young knight, Anemond de
Coct, and many others. Farel preached constantly in the open air and in
any buildings available. Many were surprised, even offended, that he, a
layman and unordained, should preach. He was, however, an ideal
preacher, learned, bold, eloquent, intensely convinced of the truth and
importance of what he preached, intimately acquainted with the
Scriptures and filled with a sense of his responsibility toward God and
with compassionate love toward men. His appearance was striking and
impressive; he was of medium height and thin, with a long red beard and
flashing eyes and a deep, powerful voice, and his manner, at once
serious and vivacious, instantly commanded attention, which his popular
and convincing speech maintained. Driven out of Gap and pursued in

=Page 216: Farel in Neuchâtel=

his hiding-places in the country he knew so well, he at last made his
way by remote paths across the frontier and reached Basle. There he was
received into the house of Œcolampadius, the two men becoming warmly
attached to each other, but he would not even visit Erasmus, whom he
considered to be unfaithful and half-hearted in his testimony, and
Erasmus therefore became his opponent. An opportunity was given to
Farel, with Œcolampadius, to hold a public discussion in Basle, in which
they maintained with success the Sufficiency of the Word of God. Farel's
fervour and ability charmed most of his hearers, but when after a short
visit to Zwingli in Zürich he returned to Basle, he found that hostile
influences had procured his expulsion from the city. It was then that he
went to Strassburg, was received into Capito's hospitable home and met
Le Fèvre and the other exiles from France.

It was in French Switzerland that Farel's greatest work was done.
Through his long-continued and ardent labours that beautiful country so
long in spiritual darkness was transformed; and the greater part of it
became, and has continued to be, a centre of enlightened, evangelical
Christianity. Among many instances of the effect of Farel's preaching
the story of Neuchâtel is one of the most striking. There seemed to be
no opening there, but the curate of the neighbouring village of
Serrières allowed him to preach in his churchyard. Accounts of this soon
reached Neuchâtel and before long he was preaching in the market-place
there. The effect was extraordinary. Large numbers received the message,
others were stirred to violent opposition; the whole city and
surrounding country were in a ferment. After a few months' enforced
absence the preacher was back again, with some companions, and the work
not only laid hold increasingly of the town but spread to Valangin,
throughout the Val de Ruz, through the villages along the shore of the
Lake, to Granson and up to Orbe. At Valangin he and Antoine Froment
narrowly escaped being drowned by the angry people in the River Seyon,
were beaten in the chapel of the castle so that their blood stained its
walls, and were eventually thrust into the prison, from which, however,
they were rescued by the men of Neuchâtel. In October, 1530, less than a
year after the first preaching in the churchyard of

=Page 217: Reformers Meet the Vaudois=

Serrières, Neuchâtel took a general vote of its inhabitants, and by the
narrow majority of 18 abolished Roman Catholicism and adopted the
reformed religion, but gave liberty of conscience to all.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Waldenses, or Vaudois,[81] in their remote Alpine valleys, as well as
in other places where they were settled, in Calabria and Apulia, in
Provence, Dauphiny and Lorraine, received reports of the Reformation;
while, on the other hand, the neighbouring countries where the
Reformation was spreading also heard that in distant parts of the Alps
and elsewhere people had been found who had always held those truths
which they themselves were now contending for. The name of
_Barbe_ was given by the Vaudois to their elders, and
one of these, Martin Gonin, of Angrogne, was so much moved by the
reports that he had heard that he determined to undertake the journey to
Switzerland and Germany to see some of the Reformers. This he did
(1526), returning with such news as he had gathered, as well as some of
the Reformers' books. The information he brought excited the greatest
interest in the valleys, and at a meeting held (1530) at Merandol the
brethren decided to send two of their _Barbes,_ Georges
Morel and Pierre Masson, to try to establish connections.

These came to Basle and, finding the house of Œcolampadius, introduced
themselves to him. Others were called in and these simple, godly
mountaineers explained their faith and their origin in Apostolic times.
"I thank God," said Œcolampadius, "that He has called you to so great
light." In conversation points of difference were discovered and
discussed. In answer to questions the Barbes said: "All our ministers
live in celibacy, and work at some honest trade." "Marriage, however",
said Œcolampadius, "is a state very becoming to all believers, and
particularly to those who ought to be in all things examples to the
flock. We also think that pastors ought not to devote to manual labour,
as yours do, the time they could better employ in the study of
Scripture. The minister has many things to learn; God does not teach us
miraculously and without labour; we must take pains in order to

=Page 218: Vaudois and the Reformers' Doctrine=

know." When the Barbes admitted that under stress of persecution they
had sometimes had their children baptized by Romish priests, and even
attended mass, the Reformers were surprised, and Œcolampadius said:
"What! has not Christ, the holy victim, fully satisfied the everlasting
justice for us? Is there any need to offer other sacrifices after that
of Golgotha? By saying 'Amen' to the priests' mass you deny the grace of
Jesus Christ." Speaking of man's condition since the Fall, the Barbes
said: "We believe that all men have some natural virtue, just as herbs,
plants, and stones have." "We believe", said the Reformers, "that those
who obey the commandments of God do so, not because they have more
strength than others, but because of the great power of the Spirit of
God which renews their will." "Ah", said the Babes, "nothing troubles us
weak people so much as what we have heard of Luther's teaching relative
to free will and predestination.... Our ignorance is the cause of our
doubts: pray instruct us." These divergences did not estrange them;
Œcolampadius said: "We must enlighten these Christians, but above all
things we must love them." "Christ", said the Reformers to the Vaudois,
"is in you as he is in us, and we love you as brethren."

Morel and Masson then continued their journey to Strassburg. On their
homeward way they visited Dijon where their conversation attracted the
attention of someone who reported them as being dangerous persons, and
they were imprisoned. Morel succeeded in escaping with the documents
they had in their charge, but Masson was executed. The report which
Morel brought of their conversations with the Reformers excited much
discussion, and it was decided to call a general conference of the
churches and invite representatives of the Reformers to be present so
that they might examine these questions together. Martin Gonin and a
Barbe from Calabria, named Georges, were chosen to go to Switzerland
with the invitation. In Granson, in the summer of 1532, they found Farel
and other preachers conferring as to the further spread of the Gospel in
French Switzerland. Here they related the differences which had arisen
among them with regard to some points in the teaching and practice of
the Reformers and brought the request that some might return with them,

=Page 219: Conference in Waldensian Valleys=

so that unity of judgment might be reached and they might take steps for
unitedly preaching the Gospel in the world. Farel responded readily to
the invitation, and Saunier and another joined him.

After a dangerous journey they reached Angrogne, the home of Martin
Gonin, and saw and visited some of the Waldensian hamlets scattered on
the mountain slopes. The hamlet of Chanforans was chosen as
meeting-place, and, as there was no building that would hold the people,
the Conference was held in the open air, rough benches being arranged as
seats. The Reformation was a movement outside the sphere of the
Waldenses and unconnected with them, but they had retained their old and
widespread connections with the numerous brethren and churches that had
existed before the Reformation. These churches, though sympathetically
interested in the Reformation, had by no means been absorbed into it. So
there were present at this gathering elders of churches in Italy,
reaching even to the extreme south; from many parts of France, from the
German lands and especially from Bohemia. Among the numerous peasants
and labourers were also some Italian noblemen, as the lords of Rive
Noble, Mirandola and Solaro. Under the shade of chestnut trees and
surrounded by the mountain wall of the Alps the meetings were opened "in
the Name of God" on the 12th of September, 1532. The thoughts of the
Reformers were ably expressed by Farel and Saunier, while two Barbes,
Daniel of Valence and Jean of Molines, were the chief spokesmen in
favour of retaining the practices current among the Vaudois in the
valleys. On the points where these brethren of the mountains had yielded
to pressure of persecution from the Romish Church and consented to
observe certain feasts, fasts and other rites, to attend the Catholic
services occasionally, and even submit outwardly to some of the
ministrations of the priests, Farel was able to show that they had
departed from their own more ancient custom, and he strongly urged
entire separation from Rome. The Reformers maintained that everything in
the Church of Rome which was not commanded in Scripture was to be
rejected; the Waldenses were content to say that they rejected all
connected with Rome which was forbidden in the Scriptures. Many matters
of practice were considered, but the question which excited the greatest

=Page 220: Farel in the Alpine Valleys=

discussion was one of doctrine. Farel taught that "God has elected
before the foundation of the world all those who have been or will be
saved. It is impossible for those who have been ordained to salvation
not to be saved. Whosoever upholds free-will, absolutly denies the grace
of God." Jean of Molines and Daniel of Valence laid stress both on the
capacity of man and also his responsibility to receive the grace of God.
In this they were supported by the nobles present and by many others,
who urged that the changes advocated were not necessary and also that
they would imply a condemnation of those who had so long and so
faithfully guided these churches. Farel's eloquence and sympathetic
earnestness strongly commended his arguments to his hearers and the
majority accepted his teaching. A confession of faith was drawn up in
accordance with this, which was signed by most present, though declined
by some.

The Reformers were shown the manuscript Bibles in use among the churches
and the old documents they possessed; the "Noble Lesson", the
"Catechism", the "Antichrist", and others, and saw not only the interest
and value of these books but also the need there was of printed French
Bibles such as could be freely circulated among the people. This led to
the translation of the Bible into French by Olivetan, a faithful worker
among the Reformers from the old days in Paris. The brethren of the
valleys subscribed to the utmost of their ability to the cost of the
undertaking and the Bible was published in 1535. Farel and Saunier
mounted their horses and rode back from their eventful visit to continue
the work in French Switzerland, having Geneva especially in view. Jean
of Molines and Daniel of Valence went to Bohemia, and after conference
among the churches there, the brethren in Bohemia wrote to those in the
valleys begging them not to adopt any of the important changes of
doctrine and practice recommended by the foreign brethren without the
most careful consideration.

       *       *       *       *       *

When, in the Autumn of 1530, the inhabitants of Neuchâtel destroyed the
images in the great church and, by a popular vote established the
Reformed religion, it was not clearly seen that though an oppressive
tyranny had been broken by the bringing in of liberating truth, and a
civil reform of the utmost value had been obtained, yet the

=Page 221: The Lord's Supper in France=

churches of God do not properly receive their guidance or authority from
a Democratic vote any more than they do from Papal power. This they have
from the Lord Himself. Christ is the centre and gathering power of His
people. Their fellowship with each other springs from their common
fellowship with Him and while this gives them authority to exercise
discipline among themselves, they are neither to seek to rule in the
world nor are they to be ruled by it. In order to emphasize the
distinction between the Church and the world Farel set up tables (in
place of the altar that had been cast down in the church at Neuchâtel)
where believers might keep the Lord's Supper. Here, taught Farel,
believers could worship Christ in Spirit and in truth, purged from
everything which He has not ordained; here Jesus only could be seen
among them and what He had commanded. The following year, after Farel
had preached to a large congregation in the church at Orbe, eight
believers there remembered the Lord in the breaking of bread.

       *       *       *       *       *

In 1533 some believers in the south of France were strongly impressed
with the need of coming often together for the reading of Scripture. At
that time Margaret, Queen of Navarre, came from Paris to her husband's
territories. With her were Le Fèvre and Roussel. They used to attend the
Catholic church in Pau and afterwards hold meetings in the castle, where
an address was given on the Scriptures, to which many of the country
people came. Some of these expressed the desire to partake of the Lord's
Supper, in spite of fears as to the danger of doing this. A large hall
was found, however, under the terrace of the castle--a meeting place
which could be reached without too much risk of attracting attention.
Here, at the appointed time, a table was brought, with bread and wine,
and all took part in the Supper, without any formality, the Queen and
those of the humblest station apprehending their equality in the
presence of the Lord. The Word was read and applied, a collection was
made for the poor, and the people dispersed. About the same time Jean
Calvin, a young man who had been obliged to leave Paris on account of
his teaching, was in Poitiers, where he came in contact with many
believers and inquirers, all deeply interested in the Scriptures. Luther
and Zwingli and their doctrines were

=Page 222: Evangelists in France=

discussed and there was the freest criticism of the Roman Catholic
Church. As it began to be dangerous to attend these meetings, the
Christians took to coming together in a wild district outside the town
where there were caves, known as the caves of St. Benedict. There, in a
large cavern, they were able to consider the Scriptures without
interruption and a frequent topic was the unscripturalness of the Mass.
This led to a desire to remember the Lord's death in the way He had
appointed, so they met together there and with prayer and the reading of
the Word, took the bread and wine among themselves, while any who felt
that the Holy Spirit had given a word of exhortation or exposition spoke
with liberty.

Next they became concerned about the people living in the district round
them and their need of the Gospel, and in one of their meetings three of
the brethren offered to travel as evangelists. They were known to have
the necessary gifts of the Spirit for such a work, so they were
commended to the Lord, a collection was made for the expenses of their
journey and they were sent forth. Their labours were very fruitful. One,
Babinot, a learned and gentle-spirited man, went first to Toulouse. He
had a special power of attracting students and teachers, of whom he won
not a few for Christ, and their influence with young people was most
valuable in spreading the Gospel. They gave Babinot the name "Good-man"
because of his excellent character. He was diligent in finding out and
visiting little companies of the Lord's people who met for prayer and to
break bread together. Another of the evangelists, Véron, a man of great
activity, spent twenty years travelling on foot through whole provinces
of France. He so diligently sought the lost sheep and so exalted the
Good Shepherd that he was called the "Gatherer". When he came into a
place he used to ask who were the most worthy persons there and try to
win them to the faith. He also took a special interest in the young
people, many of whom became through him steadfast disciples of Christ
and proved their ability to suffer for Him. The third of the
evangelists, Jean Vernou, worked first in Poitiers and became well known
throughout all that part of France for his influence in the colleges. He
was eventually taken in Savoie and burnt at Chambéry for his confession
of Christ.

=Page 223: The Gospel in Geneva=

The saving power of the Gospel began to be abundantly manifested in
Geneva from the time when Antoine Froment, with much trepidation, opened
a school there (1532). His Bible stories to the children and his useful
knowledge of medicine soon drew large numbers to him. Some distinguished
women, belonging to the first families in the city, were converted, then
tradesmen and people of all classes. The believers soon began to meet in
different houses for the study of the Scriptures and for prayer. These
assemblies increased rapidly as more were converted. There was liberty
of ministry in their meetings; one or another would read the Word, and
such as were able would expound it, or lead the company in prayer.
Collections were made, too, for the relief of the poor. If a gifted
stranger passed through he would speak in one of the larger houses and
all who could get in would crowd to hear his ministry. These assemblies
soon had the desire to break bread in remembrance of the Lord; in order
to avoid disturbance the believers gathered in a walled garden belonging
to one of them, at Pré l'Evêque, just outside the city walls. All these
things took place in the face of constant opposition, which became more
violent when the believers, as churches, met around the Lord's table.
There was dangerous rioting, Froment and others being driven out of the
city; yet the meetings continued. On a later occasion about eighty men
and a number of women met at Pré l'Evêque. This time one of the brethren
washed the feet of the others before they took the Lord's Supper, which
increased the popular anger against them. It was amid such disturbed
conditions that Olivetan worked at his translation of the Bible. In
order to give the sense better he translated into French such words as
had formerly been left in a Greek form. Thus for "apostle" he put
"messenger"; for "bishop", "overseer"; for "priests", "elder", these
renderings being actual translations of the meaning of the Greek words
and not mere transliterations. He said that as he did not find in the
Bible such words as pope, cardinal, archbishop, archdeacon, abbot,
prior, monk, he had no occasion to change them.

Although, through a series of stirring events, Geneva like Neuchâtel had
been delivered from the domination of Rome, it was not long before forms
of Government were introduced

=Page 224: Calvin in Geneva=

considerably affecting the churches--though likewise not to be found in
the Scriptures. Olivetan had been one of the first to lead his relative
Calvin to the study of the Bible. The extraordinary ability of Calvin
gave him from his early youth great influence wherever he went. The
publication (1536) of his book, _"The Institutes of the
Christian Religion_" in Basle, whither he had been obliged to
fly on being driven out of France, caused him to be recognized as the
foremost theologian of his day. The same year while on his way to
Strassburg, Calvin was compelled on account of war to make his way
through Geneva, where he stayed at an inn with the intention of
continuing his journey the next morning. Farel heard of his arrival,
called on him, and showed him what a marvellous work had been done and
was still going on in Geneva and the country round; what conflicts there
were, what need of helpers, he and those with him being overwhelmed by
calls on every side, and commanded Calvin to remain and take up the work
with them. To this he demurred, pleading his inability, his need of
quiet for study, his character--unsuited to such activities as would be
required of him. Farel adjured him not to allow his love of study, or
any other form of self-pleasing to stand in the way of obedience to the
call of God. Overcome by Farel's vehemence and convinced by his appeal,
Calvin consented to stay and with the exception of a period of three
years' banishment he spent the remainder of his life in Geneva, with
which city his name will be for ever connected. Through much conflict he
imposed on the city his ideal of a State and Church organized largely on
the Old Testament pattern. The City Council had absolute power in
matters religious as well as civil, and it became the instrument of
Calvin's will. The citizens were required to sign a confession of faith
or to leave the city. Strict rules were enforced regulating the morals
and habits of the people. The churches that had begun to grow up in
obedience to New Testament teaching almost disappeared in the general
organization, for Papal rule was replaced by that of the Reformer and
liberty of conscience was still witheld.

One form of prevalent error which Calvin hoped to suppress by his strict
rule was Unitarian in character. It was of ancient origin, resembling
Arianism in some respects, but at this time began to be described as
Socinianism on

=Page 225: His Rule There=

account of the association with it of Lilio (1525-62) and Faustus
(1539-1604) Sozini, uncle and nephew, natives of Siena in Italy. The
latter lived much in Poland, since there as in Transylvania, Unitarian
teaching was permitted and was widespread. He united the divided
sections of Unitarians in Poland; they were called "Polish Brethren" and
the "Racovian" Catechism expressed their views. Socinianism spread from
them as a centre. It early affected some in the Protestant churches, and
later gained a commanding influence, especially over the Protestant
clergy. Consisting to a large extent of criticism of existing theology,
upon this criticism it based its appeal, which was more to the intellect
than to the heart or understanding.

A Spanish physician, Servetus, holding and teaching doctrines allied to
these, reached Geneva on a journey, and, as he travelled through, came
into conflict with Calvin and the Council, and refusing to renounce his
error, was burnt (1553). This was but a logical outcome of the system
that had been established.

Geneva under Calvin's rule became famous, and afforded a refuge for
numbers of persecuted dissenters from different lands, many coming from
England and Scotland. These were strongly influenced by Calvin's genius
and carried his teachings far afield, so that Calvinism became a potent
influence in the world, and its severe training has certainly moulded
some of the finest characters. Farel submitted to Calvin's dominance but
refused all entreaties to settle in Geneva or to accept any position to
which honour and emolument were attached. He made Neuchâtel his centre,
and married, but continued his hard life as a travelling preacher until
he passed peacefully away at about seventy-six years of age.

       *       *       *       *       *

Meanwhile in France, the growth of Christian churches and the preaching
of the Gospel, which had continued in spite of great pressure of
persecution, in 1534 received a serious check. Some of the believers in
Paris, impatient at the slow progress made in France as compared with
the large measure of liberty that had been gained in Switzerland, sent
one of their number named Feret, to consult with brethren there as to
whether they should take some

=Page 226: The Placards=

bolder course to obtain Liberty for the Word. As a result of this a
violent attack on the mass was composed among the Reformers in
Switzerland, printed in the form of placards and tracts, and sent to
Paris. There was a difference of opinion among the believers there as to
whether the placards should be posted and the tracts distributed or not.
Couralt, who spoke for the "men of judgement", said: "Let us beware of
posting up these placards; we shall only inflame the rage of our
adversaries thereby, and increase the dispersion of believers." Others
said: "If we look timidly from one side to the other to see how far we
can go without exposing our lives, we shall forsake Jesus Christ." The
counsels of the more aggressive prevailed, the matter was carefully
organized, and in one October night the placards were posted all over
France, one even being fastened on to the door of the room in which the
king was sleeping in his castle at Blois. It was a long statement,
headed: "Truthful Articles Concerning the horrible, great, and
unbearable abuses of the Popish Mass, Invented directly Against the holy
Supper of our Lord, The only Mediator and only Saviour, Jesus Christ."
When, the next morning, the placards were read, the effect was
tremendous. The King was won from his indecision to adopt the policy of
exterminating the Reform party. On the first day Parliament proclaimed a
reward for all who should make known those who had posted the placards
and ordered that those who concealed them should be burnt. Arrests began
at once to be made among those who were suspected of having attended the
meetings, or however moderately, of favouring reform, including those
who had opposed the posting of the placards. General terror prevailed.
Many left everything and fled abroad. All over France the fires received
their living victims, especially in Paris. There was a procession (1535)
through the streets of Paris of all the most holy relics that could be
brought together. The King and his family and court, great numbers of
ecclesiastics and of the nobility and an immense concourse of people
were gathered. The host was carried through the streets, and Mass was
celebrated at Notre Dame. Then the King and a great multitude witnessed,
first in the Rue St. Honoré and then at the Halles, the burning, with
apparatus designed to prolong their

=Page 227: Their Effect in France=

sufferings, of some of the best citizens of Paris, who, without
exception, testified to the end their faith in Jesus Christ, with a
courage that compelled the admiration of their tormentors.

The learned and moderate Sturm, Professor at the Royal College in Paris,
wrote to Melanchthon: "We were in the best, the finest position, thanks
to wise men; and now behold us, through the advice of unskilful men,
fallen into the greatest calamity and supreme misery. I wrote you last
year that everything was going on well, and what hopes we entertained
from the king's equity. We congratulated one another; but, alas!
extravagant men have deprived us of those propitious times. One night in
the month of October, in a few moments, all over France, and in every
corner, they posted with their own hands a placard concerning the
ecclesiastical orders, the mass, and the eucharist ... they carried
their audacity so far as to fasten one even on the door of the king's
apartments, wishing by this means, as it would seem, to cause certain
and atrocious dangers. Since that rash act, everything has been changed;
the people are troubled, the thoughts of many are filled with alarm, the
magistrates are irritated, the king is excited, and frightful trials are
going on. It must be acknowledged that these imprudent men, if they were
not the cause, were at least the occasion of this. Only, if it were
possible for the judges to preserve a just mean! Some, having been
seized, have already undergone their punishment; others promptly
providing for their safety, have fled; innocent people have suffered the
chastisement of the guilty. Informers show themselves publicly; any one
may be both accuser and witness. These are not idle rumours that I write
to you, Melanchthon; be assured that I do not tell you all, and that in
what I write I do not employ the strong terms that the terrible state of
our affairs would require. Already eighteen disciples of the Gospel have
been burnt, and the same danger still threatens a still greater number.
Every day the danger spreads wider and wider. There is not a good man
who does not fear the calumnies of informers, and is not consumed with
grief at the sight of these horrible doings. Our adversaries reign, and
with all the more authority, that they appear to be fighting in a just
cause, and to quell sedition. In the

=Page 228: Presbyterian System Introduced=

midst of these great and numerous evils there is only one hope
left--that the people are beginning to be disgusted with such cruel
persecutions, and that the king blushes at last for having thirsted for
the blood of these unfortunate men. The persecutors are instigated by
violent hatred and not by justice. If the king could but know what kind
of spirit animates these bloodthirsty men, he would no doubt take better
advice. And yet we do not despair. God reigns, He will scatter all these
tempests, He will show us the port where we can take refuge, He will
give good men an asylum where they will dare speak their thought

       *       *       *       *       *

Companies of believers met in many parts of France for reading the
Scriptures and for worship, without any special organization.[82] In one
of these, however, in Paris, the birth of a child, causing its father
much concern as to how it should be baptized, eventually led to the
evolution of a complete system. His conscience did not allow him to take
it to the Roman Catholic church, and it was not possible for him to take
it abroad for baptism. The congregation met and prayed about the matter
and decided to form a church themselves. They chose Jean de Maçon to be
their minister, and appointed also elders and deacons and took the
ground of an organized church, of which the ministers were authorized to
baptize and to undertake such functions as they considered pertained to
ordained persons. From the time when this was done (1555) many of the
assemblies of believers throughout France acted in the same way, and the
numbers of churches that adopted this Presbyterian order increased
rapidly. A large proportion of them were supplied with pastors from
Geneva. The Reformed churches in Holland and in Scotland were affected
by the example of this movement in France even more than they were by
the example of Geneva. Calvin favoured the guidance of each congregation
by its minister, or ministers, and elders, but the French churches soon
introduced the plan of holding Synods of ministers and elders
representing, and having authority over, a group of churches. These
local gatherings took later to sending delegates who formed a larger,
Provincial Synod, and in 1559 the first National Synod

=Page 229: The Huguenots=

of French churches was held in Paris. On this occasion a Confession of
Faith was agreed upon which every minister was required to sign, and a
Book of Discipline was drawn up regulating the order and discipline of
the churches, each minister undertaking to submit himself to it.

The adherents of these churches were often called "Gospellers" or "Those
of the Religion" but eventually the name "Huguenot"[83] was more generally
applied to them. It is not known with any certainty from what source the
name is derived. The South-East of France, which for centuries had been
so ready to receive the Gospel, and where the truth had only been
suppressed by repeated and relentless massacre, now again showed the old
invincible desire for the Word, and in parts became predominantly
Huguenot. In other parts of the country the Huguenots were usually a
small minority of the people. A state of tension existed between the two
religious parties, although liberty of worship was guaranteed to the
Huguenot minority by royal decree, and there was hope that reform and
tolerance might bring peace. The States-General, or Parliament, was
favourable, so was the Queen-Mother Catherine de Medici, who wrote to
the Pope: "The number of those who have separated themselves from the
Roman Church is so great that they can no longer be restrained by
severity of law or force of arms. They have become so powerful by reason
of the nobles and magistrates who have joined the party, they are so
firmly united, and daily acquire such strength that they are becoming
more and more formidable in all parts of the kingdom. In the meantime,
by the grace of God, there are amongst them neither Anabaptists nor
libertines, nor any partizans of odious opinions." She goes on to argue
the possibility of communion with them, and suggests matters that might
with advantage be reformed in the Roman communion. The Pope, however,
was opposed, and both parties armed in preparation for what might come.
Admiral Coligny, as leader of the Huguenot party, could say: "We have
two thousand and fifty churches, and four hundred thousand men able to
bear arms, without taking into account our secret adherents."

=Page 230: Saint Bartholomew=

The Duke of Guise, leader of the Catholic party, shattered all hopes of
compromise by attacking a large congregation of unarmed worshippers in a
barn, where he and his soldiers surrounded them, slaughtering the
helpless victims at their will. Civil war followed and devastated the
country, but after years of exhausting struggle a truce was made and a
marriage was arranged between Henry of Barn, King of Navarre, now leader
of the Huguenot cause, and Marguerite, daughter of Catherine de Medici
and sister of the King of France. The marriage was celebrated in Paris
(1572) with great festivities, and as it was looked upon by the
Huguenots as bringing peace to the contending parties, great numbers of
them, including their chief leaders, crowded into the city to see or
take part in the celebrations.

Less than a week after the wedding in Notre Dame, at a given signal and
according to a prearranged plan, the Catholic leaders with their troops
fell upon the unsuspecting Huguenots, and the massacre of Saint
Bartholomew took place. There was no escape. Huguenot houses had been
marked beforehand; men, women, and children were slain without mercy,
Admiral Coligny being among the first to be killed; by the end of four
days Paris and the Seine were filled with mutilated corpses, in place of
the vigorous men and women and groups of happy children who had thronged
the streets a week before. Throughout France similar deeds were done.
After the first surprise the remaining Huguenots, under Henry of Navarre
and the Prince of Conde, organized resistance, and there began the wars
of the League, which kept France in misery for more than twenty years

In 1594 Henry of Navarre succeeded to the throne of France as Henry IV.
He was a brave and capable ruler, but not a religious man, and he led
the Huguenots more as a political than a religious party. His position
was difficult as Protestant ruler of a country chiefly Roman Catholic,
whose kings had always belonged to that Church. He met the problem by
becoming a Roman Catholic himself, in order to secure his throne, then
using his position to legislate in favour of the Huguenots. In this way
a Roman Catholic dynasty was again fastened upon France, but (1598) the
king issued the Edict of Nantes by which liberty of conscience and of
worship was given to the Huguenots.

=Page 231: Revocation of the Edict of Nantes=

The Catholic League did not submit to him, but he defeated and
suppressed it, and he expelled the Jesuits. The Huguenots were a State
within the State, had their own cities and districts in some parts, and
their rights everywhere. Twelve years after the Edict of Nantes the king
was assassinated, and trouble soon began again for the Huguenots; there
were massacres which stirred them to armed resistance but Cardinal
Richelieu directed the war against them with such vigour that they were
repeatedly defeated. Their great fortress, la Rochelle, was captured,
and as an armed body and a political power they ceased to exist.
Richelieu, however, gave them a measure of liberty so that they were
reconciled to the Government, and devoting themselves with their
characteristic energy to agriculture, industry and trade, they became
wealthy and influential and a source of much prosperity to France.

When Louis XIV, on the death of Mazarin, himself assumed the government
of France, he immediately began to take repressive measures against the
Huguenots. Under Jesuit influence every means was used to compel them to
join the Church of Rome. Those who resisted were subjected to increasing
persecution. They bore it with patience, but their affliction only
became more acute. Their children were taken from them to be brought up
in convents as Catholics; there were massacres; their meetings were
prohibited. Rough soldiers were quartered in their homes, and left to
behave as they pleased--the infamous system of the "Dragonnades". When
the people fled they were hunted in the woods and other places of
refuge, brought back to their homes, and forced to entertain the brutal
dragoons who, by every kind of torture and outrage, compelled their
"conversion" or hounded them to death.

In 1685 the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes was published and the last
hope of the Huguenots was taken away. All their pastors were ordered to
leave the country within a fortnight. In a few weeks eight hundred
Huguenot meeting-places were destroyed. It was ordered that children
were to be baptized and brought up in the Church of Rome; employment was
made impossible to those who would not be converted; and any who
attempted to leave

=Page 232: Emigration of Huguenots=

the country were to be sent to the galleys for life, if men, or
imprisoned for life if women. In spite of all difficulties of uprooting
themselves, leaving their property, travelling secretly by hidden ways
with little children and the aged and the sick, and in spite of the
desperate dangers of crossing the closely guarded frontiers, there took
place such an exodus of the very best of the French nation as
permanently impoverished it, while those countries which received the
exiles, Switzerland, Holland, Brandenburg, Britain and others were
enriched by the coming among them of these multitudes of capable people,
of strong Calvinistic character, who brought with them their ability in
manufacture and trade, and took a leading place in political and
military and naval life, as well as in the arts and sciences.

       *       *       *       *       *

Although such large numbers left France on the Revocation of the Edict
of Nantes, yet still greater numbers could not or would not go, and
these still continued to suffer the iniquities of the Dragonnades. They
were most numerous in Dauphiny and in Languedoc, so that there the
persecution was the more intense. In these times of extremity a strange
spiritual excitement and exaltation spread among them. Pierre Jurieu
(1686) wrote an exposition of the Apocalypse in which he taught that the
prediction of the fall of Babylon referred to the Roman Church and would
be fulfilled in the year 1689. One of his disciples, Du Serre, taught
his master's prophetic views to children in Dauphiny, and these, brought
up among the horrors of the Dragonnades, now went about in bands as
"little prophets", from village to village, quoting terrible judgements
from the book of the Revelation and announcing their speedy fulfilment.
The most famous of these was a girl known as "la belle Isabeau".
Thousands of those who had been forced into the Roman Church were in
this way brought back and refused to go to Mass. In Languedoc more than
three hundred such child prophets were imprisoned in one place.

In the Cevennes mountains men and women fell into ecstasies, during
which they spoke in the pure French of the Bible, whereas otherwise they
could only speak their own dialect, and they inspired their hearers with

=Page 233: "Churches of the Desert"=

courage. In spite of their sufferings these people remained loyal to the
king. In 1683 a representative body of the pastors and nobles and chief
men among them met together and sent to Louis XIV a declaration of their
loyalty. Yet at that very time the Pope was insisting on their
extermination, calling them the "execrable race of the ancient

The Abbé du Chayla, however, who introduced a special instrument of
torture, practiced such cruelties on the Dissenters in the Cevennes that
at last they rose, killed him, and organized military resistance to the
Dragonnades. Among their leaders was Jean Cavalierm a baker's boy, who,
at the age of seventeen, led the Camisards, so called from the white
shirts which were their uniform, with such astonishing ability that for
three year (1703--5) he fought and defeated the ablest marshals of
France, though his little force never exceeded 3,000 men and his
adversaries brought as many as 60,000 against him. He was able to
conclude an honourable peace, but some of his followers, continuing the
war, were exterminated.

The Camisard War was exceptional; in other parts the Huguenots suffered
without resistance the dreadful miseries laid upon them. Many were
hanged or burnt; many women were imprisoned, especially in Grenoble and
in Valence. One woman, Louise Moulin of Beaufort, was condemned (1687)
to be hanged at the door of her house for the crime of having attended
meetings. She begged and obtained the favour of being allowed at the
last to nourish her infant once more, after which she died with quiet
courage. Under such conditions the "Churches of the Desert" as they were
called, or "Churches under the Cross" continued their testimony. One of
the exiles from Dauphiny at the time of the Revocation of the Edict of
Nantes, Jacques Roger[84] (1675--1745), stirred by the sufferings of his
brethren in his native land, and contrasting the sorrows of their
condition with the safety and ease in which he lived abroad, determined
to return to France share in the tribulation there and give such help as
he could. Arriving in France, he found the faithful remnant persisting
in spite of all the power and rage of the adversaries. He saw, too, that
the work of the "Prophets" both men and woman, had degenerated

=Page 234: Roger and Court=

in some districts into fanaticism and disorder. He thought it necessary
to replace the pastors who had fled, and re-establish the system of
Synods that had broken down. He was joined by others and, as he
travelled, soon met Antoine Court, then a young man of twenty, already
highly spoken of, who was to develop into the most prominent of all who
laboured for the "Churches of the Desert". Court proved to be a man of
sound judgement and quick intelligence, and as a preacher and courageous
traveller and indefatigable worker and organizer he led the way in the
re-establishment of the Church organization with its Provincial and even
National Synods. A training school for pastors and preachers was carried
on in Lausanne under his superintendence. It was a martyrs' school, for
a large proportion of the men who went from it to the work in France
were hanged, some of them quite young; Jacques Roger himself was hanged
at Grenoble when seventy years of age. The lives of these men were made
up of a constant succession of hairbreadth escapes as they traversed the
mountains and forests, visited the village churches and ministered the
Word. The "Churches of the Desert" instead of being exterminated, grew
steadily until (1787) an Act of Toleration, of Louis XVI, brought
relief, and in 1793 the Revolution burst over France, and gave them
liberty of conscience.


[79] "History of the Reformation of the Sixteenth Century" J. H. Merle
D'Aubigné D.D. trans. H. White, B. A.

[80] "Life of William Farel" Frances Bevan.

[81] "The Reformation in Europe in the Time of Calvin" J. H. Merle
D'Aubigné D.D.

[82] "A History of the Reformation" Thomas M. Lindsay M.A., D.D.

[83] "The Huguenots their Settlements Churches and Industries in England
and Ireland" Samuel Smiles.

[84] "Un Martyr du Désert Jacques Roger" Daniel Benoit.

=Page 235: Tyndale=

Chapter XI

English Nonconformists


Tyndale--Reading of Scripture forbidden--Church of England
established--Persecution in the reign of Mary--Baptist and Independent
churches--Robert Browne--Barrowe, Greenwood, Penry--Dissenters
persecuted in Elizabeth's reign--Privye church in London--Hooker's
Ecclesiastical Polity--Church of English Exiles in
Amsterdam--Arminius--Emigration of brethren from England to
Holland--John Robinson--The Pilgrim Fathers sail to America--Different
kinds of churches in England and Scotland--Authorized Version of the
Bible published--Civil war--Cromwell's New Model army--Religious
liberty--Missions--George Fox--Character of Friends movement--Acts
against Nonconformists--Literature--John Bunyan.

The Lollard movement was outwardly suppressed, but there were always
remains of it, and from time to time persons were punished for meeting
together to read the Scriptures. The New Learning and the Reformation
quickened interest in the Word, and it was a fresh translation of the
Bible which was the most powerful means of bringing widespread revival
among the people. William Tyndale,[85] who had studied at Oxford and
Cambridge, and had been greatly affected by the teachings of Luther, was
in the habit of discussing with the clergy who came to the house where
he was a tutor, and showing them how widely they erred from the
teachings of Scripture. This raised persecution which obliged him to
leave the country, but he had seen that the great need of the people was
to become acquainted with the Bible, and he promised that "if God spared
his life, ere many years he would cause the boys that drove the plough
to know more of the Scriptures" than the divines who kept it from them!
Living as an exile on the Continent, and "being inflamed with a tender
care and zeal of his country, he studied how by all means possible to
bring his countrymen to the same taste and understanding of God's holy
word and verity, which the Lord had endued him withal." The first
edition of his translation of the New Testament was published in 1525,
and was followed by a second, printed the next year in Cologne.

=Page 236: Tyndale's New Testament=

came the Pentateuch and other parts of the Old Testament, translated in
Antwerp and Hamburg, as well as frequent editions of the New. The
difficulties and dangers involved in getting such volumes into England
were almost as great as those which lay in the way of their
distribution. The clergy opposed the new translation with all their
might. Sir Thomas More was one who wrote violently against it. Although
more than any other translation it influenced the Authorized Version,
which is indeed to a great extent founded upon it, it was at first
declared to be full of errors. Great exception was taken to its using
the word "congregation" for "church"; and More said it was so full of
errors that "to tell all would be to rehearse the whole book", "to
search for one fault would be like studying where to find water in the

The Testaments were smuggled into England, and an association calling
themselves "Christian Brethren" carried them through the country.
Everywhere bought and read with avidity, they soon came into the
Universities, where societies were formed for meeting to read them. The
Bishop of London very early issued an injunction prohibiting them,
saying: "Wherefore we, understanding by the report of divers credible
persons, and also by the evident appearance of the matter, that many
children of iniquity ... blinded through extreme wickedness, wandering
from the way of truth and the Catholic faith, craftily have translated
the New Testament into our English tongue.... Of the which
translation there are many books imprinted, some with glosses and some
without, containing in the English tongue that pestiferous and most
pernicious poison dispersed throughout all our diocese of London in
great number, which ... without doubt will contaminate and infect the
flock committed unto us, with most deadly poison and heresy ... we ...
command that within thirty days ... under pain of excommunication
and incurring the suspicion of heresy, they do bring in and really
deliver to our Vicar-General all and singular such books as contain the
translation of the New Testament in the English tongue." He affirmed
that there were more than two thousand heresies in this translation.
Knowing a merchant named Packington who was connected with the
distribution, he hoped to destroy the books through him, and it is

=Page 237: Church of England Established=

related: "The bishop, thinking that he had God by the toe, when indeed
he had (as after he thought) the Devil by the fist, said, 'Gentle
maister Packington, do your diligence to get them, and with all my heart
I will pay for them, whatever they cost you, for the books are erroneous
and naughty, and I intend surely to destroy them all, and to burn them
at St. Paul's Cross.'" This bargain was carried out and money thus
provided for the printing of a much larger number of Testaments. A
prisoner accused of heresy, when asked how Tyndale and his friends were
supported, said: "It is the Bishop of London that hath holpen us, for he
hath bestowed among us a great deal of money in New Testaments to burn
them, and that hath been, and yet is, our only succour and comfort."
Diligent inquisition was made for the prohibited books, and large
numbers of people were fined or imprisoned or put to death for
possessing them. It is recorded that "Divers persons that were detected
to use reading of the New Testament, set forth by Tyndale, were punished
... but still the number of them daily increased."

By the help of a spy sent from England Tyndale was eventually taken, and
at Vilvoord in Belgium, condemned, strangled, and his body burnt (1536).
But his work was done, he had taken his valiant part with all those who
by translating and distributing the Bible, by practising and teaching
the truths it reveals, have helped to bring to men the knowledge of God
and show them the Way of Life.

       *       *       *       *       *

Great changes were going on in England at this time. In 1531 King Henry
VIII was acknowledged as the Supreme Head of the Church of England, the
Church of England thus taking the place of the Church of Rome, and the
King that of the Pope. The conflict between the Pope and the King was
that between Church and State on the one hand and State and Church on
the other, between the Papist and the Erastian views. The plan of
bringing about Reform by making the civil power superior to the
ecclesiastical (Erastianism) had already been introduced in the churches
of Brandenburg and of Saxony. Cranmer held that this was the best
course, and Henry VIII adopted it as his policy in England.

In the year of Tyndale's death, his translation of the

=Page 238: Bible Reading Restrained=

Bible, revised and edited at the King's command by Miles Coverdale, was
taken under the Royal patronage, ordered to be accepted as the
foundation of national faith and placed in the churches throughout the
country. This favour was, however, soon withdrawn. In 1543 a measure
entitled, "An act for the advancement of true religion, and for the
abolishment of the contrary" enacted that "All manner of books of the
Old and New Testament in English, being of the crafty, false, and untrue
translation of Tyndale, shall be clearly and utterly abolished,
extinguished, and forbidden to be kept or used." The punishments for
disobedience were very severe, amounting in some cases to imprisonment
for life. Other books might be read, but the reading of the Scriptures
was confined to judges, noblemen, captains and justices, who might read
the Bible to their families. "Merchants may read it in private to
themselves; but no women, or artificers, prentyses, journeyman, serving
man of the degree of yeoman or under, no husbandman, nor labourers,
shall read within this realm the Bible or New Testament in English to
himself, or to any other, privately or openly." Noble women or
gentlewomen might read it to themselves. The King declared that by laws
dreadful and penal he would purge and cleanse his realm of all such
books. But whether permitted or forbidden, the people could not now be
prevented from reading the Scriptures. When they were read aloud in the
churches crowds came to hear; when they were forbidden all risks were
run to obtain them. A labourer wrote in his Testament: "On the invention
of things, at Oxforde the yere 1546 browt down to Seynbury by John
Darbye, price 14d. When I kepe Mr. Letymers shype I bout thys boke, when
the Testament was abergatyn, that shepherdys might not red hit: I pray
God amende that blyndnes. Wryt by Robert Wyllyams, keppynge shepe vppon
Seynbury Hill." As the people were taught by Moses and the Prophets, by
the Histories and the Psalms, especially as, in the Gospels, they
learned to know Jesus Christ, and from the Epistles traced the
consequences of His atoning work, the whole character of the nation was
changed, for, in any nation, the extent to which righteousness and
compassion prevail is a measure of the extent to which this Book has
affected the hearts and minds of the people.

=Page 239: "Brownists"=

During the six years of the reign of Edward VI those in power developed
the Church of England on more definitely Protestant lines than formerly,
but in the following six years of the reign of Queen Mary this policy
was reversed, and England returned to her allegiance to the Pope,
receiving absolution for her heresy and schism. Where, however, the
Government was pliant, the people were adamant. No efforts could induce
them to submit to practices which were clearly contrary to the Word of
God. Hundreds of people, not only those in high positions, but also from
among the humblest, both men and women, were publicly burned to death in
the towns and villages of England. The sufferings of these martyrs were
more effective in breaking the power of Rome than the policies of rulers
or the arguments of divines. Those fires still burn in the memory of the
people of England, beacon lights, warning them against any return to a
system that could bear such fruits.

       *       *       *       *       *

There was a church in London, founded on the ground of Scripture, in the
reign of Edward VI, composed of French, Dutch, and Italian Christians.
There were also English churches of this character considerably earlier,
stretching back indeed to Lollard times, for the Bishop of London in
1523 wrote that the great band of Wycliffite heretics were nothing new.
There are records of "Congregations" in England in 1555 and Baptist
churches are known to have existed in the reign of Queen Elizabeth,
before 1589. Both those called Independents or Congregationalists and
those called Baptists were independent churches of believers, differing
in this that the Baptists practised the baptism of believers only, while
the Independents baptized infants one[86] of whose parents (or whose
guardian) was a believer.

Robert Browne was so active in proclaiming the independence of each
believing congregation that, following the old habit of giving some
sectarian name to those outside of the State Church, such companies were
often called "Brownists". Sir Walter Raleigh stated in Parliament that
there were thousands of Brownists at that time. Browne's writings, as
for instance his book entitled, "A Booke which sheweth the Life and
Manners of all true

=Page 240: Barrowe, Greenwood, Penry=

Christians, and howe unlike they are unto Turkes and Papistes and
Heathen folke", and another, "A Treatise of Reformation without Tarrying
for Anie", exercised a great influence.[87] For circulating them, two men
were hanged in Bury St. Edmunds, in 1583, and as many of the books as
could be found were burned. Browne himself, hunted, imprisoned,
persecuted, at last broke down in mind and body, and allowed himself to
be forced back into the Established Church.

All forms of Dissent were relentlessly persecuted, Puritans,
Presbyterians, and especially Baptists and Independents. The gaols were
crowded with them, and as these were foul beyond description, unknown
members died of the diseases, misery, and ill-treatment which then
accompanied imprisonment.

The most distinguished men among the Independents were Barrowe,
Greenwood and Penry. The two former had shown unanswerably that the only
upright and straightforward course for those who did not believe in the
Scripturalness of the Established Church was to separate from it, that
it was dishonourable for a man to give assent to what he did not
believe, or believed only in part, and especially for him to accept
position and payment to disseminate it. After years in prison they were
both hanged. Penry was so much moved by the miserable condition of the
people in Wales that he not only preached and laboured among them
indefatigably himself, but tried to incite others to do the same, thus
disturbing the neglectful, notoriously evil-living clergy of that
country and arousing their envious hatred. He was a man who possessed in
an unusual degree the gifts and graces of a minister of Christ; he was
of godly life, full of love and compassion for souls, learned,
sympathetic, of strong family affections, and devoted in the service of
the Gospel. His work was effectual in the conversion of sinners and
building up of those who believed, chiefly in Wales, but also largely in
Scotland and England. He too, was taken, in London, and hanged, soon
after his two fellow-workers in the Gospel.

These men were connected with a church known as the "Privye Churche in
London". Its foundation principle was the saying of the Lord: "where two
or three are gathered

=Page 241: Hooker's "Ecclesiastical Polity"=

together in My name, there am I in the midst of them" (Matt. 18.20). It
had no fixed place of meeting, gatherings being held in private houses
or in the open fields. One of its meetings was broken up in 1567, and
fourteen or fifteen of its leading members imprisoned. In 1592 fifty-six
of them were seized in a meeting where they were worshipping God. Large
numbers of them from many parts lay year after year in utmost misery, in
dungeons and in chains. In six years seventeen died in gaol, and, later,
twenty-four in one year.

       *       *       *       *       *

During this period a defence of the Church of England was written, the
_"Ecclesiastical Polity"_ of Richard Hooker[88] a work
which was, and still is, greatly admired. In it Hooker controverted
those who maintained that the Church of England required further
reformation, and laboured to prove that Scripture alone was not
sufficient for the guidance of the Church; that there were many rites
and customs practised by the Apostles which were not written but are
known to be apostolical; that many of God's laws are changeable; that
there are many actions performed in daily life about which Scripture
gives no instruction and that Scripture is not needed to guide in every
action, but action is to be framed by the law of reason; that faith may
be founded on other things beside Scripture, for man's authority has
great weight; and that what is narrated in Scripture is not necessarily
to be regarded as commanded. The authority of Scripture having thus been
carefully limited and minimized, some practices and doctrines contrary
to it are taken for granted as right, as, for instance, infant baptism
and the necessity of the sacraments for salvation. He says, we are
blamed "that in many things we have departed from the ancient simplicity
of Christ and His Apostles; we have embraced more outward stateliness,
we have those orders in the exercise of religion which they who best
pleased God and served Him most devoutly never had. For it is out of
doubt that the first state of things was best, that in the prime of
Christian religion faith was soundest, the Scriptures of God were then
best understood by all men, all parts of godliness did then most abound,
and therefore it must

=Page 242: The Church of England Defended=

needs follow, that customs, laws, and ordinances devised since are not
so good for the Church of Christ; but the best way is, to cut off later
inventions, and to reduce things unto the ancient state wherein at the
first they were." To this he replies that those who take such a position
"must needs confess it a very uncertain thing, what the orders of the
Church were in the Apostles' times, seeing the Scriptures do not mention
them all, and other records thereof besides they utterly reject. So in
tying the Church to the orders of the Apostles' time, they tie it to a
marvellous uncertain rule; unless they require the observation of no
orders but only those that are known to be apostolical by the Apostles'
own writings...." "It is not, I am right sure" he writes "their
meaning, that we should now assemble our people to serve God in close
and secret meetings; or that common brooks or rivers should be used for
places of baptism; or that the eucharist should be ministered after
meat; or that the custom of church-feasting should be renewed; or that
all kind of standing provision for the ministry should be utterly taken
away, and their estate made again dependent upon the voluntary devotion
of men. In these things they easily perceive how unfit that were for the
present, which was for the first age convenient enough. The faith, zeal,
and godliness of former times is worthily had in honour; but doth this
prove that the orders of the Church of Christ must be still the
self-same with theirs, that nothing may be which was not then, or that
nothing which then was may lawfully since have ceased? They who recall
the Church unto that which was at the first, must necessarily set bounds
and limits unto their speeches." Thus, diminishing the authority of
Scripture and pointing out that if his opponents were consistent they
would go further than they had done in their professed return to the
Scriptures, he laid a foundation on which he built up the conclusion
that the Church of England did not need further reformation, being more
consonant with Scripture and good sense than any other, working his way
through its various beliefs and practices and reaching the summit of the
structure when he argued that the acknowledgment of King Henry VIII and
of each of his successors in turn as Supreme Head of the Church is in
true accord with the teachings of Scripture. As to this

=Page 243: Arminius=

Church, he says: "We hold that ... there is not any man of the Church
of England but the same man is also a member of the commonwealth, nor
any member of the commonwealth which is not also of the Church of
England. " Though so positive in his teachings and deductions it is
noticeable and commendable that there is in the language of Hooker a
restraint and dignity in striking contrast to the violence and
abusiveness of speech which all parties allowed themselves in his day.

       *       *       *       *       *

Before the close of her reign, Elizabeth ceased to imprison those who
refused conformity to the Church of England and banished them instead.
This drove many called Brownists and Anabaptists to seek refuge in
Holland. They formed a church in Amsterdam, which under the guidance of
Francis Johnson and Henry Ainsworth published in 1596 "A Confession of
Faith of certain English people living in the Low Countries, exiled."

Holland was a centre of spiritual activities of the greatest importance.
Among the many eminent teachers there, none exercised a more
far-reaching influence than Jacobus Arminius (1560-1609).[89] Although
his name is associated with much religious strife, Arminianism being
contrasted with Calvinism, he was not himself a party man or extreme in
his views. Since the days when Augustine and Pelagius had striven, the
former to maintain the elective sovereignty of God and the latter to
expound man's free will and responsibility these vital questions of the
relations between God and man had not ceased to exercise minds and
hearts. Calvin, and still more some of his followers, while showing
powerfully what is taught in Scripture regarding the sovereignty and
election of God, minimized those balancing truths which are also
contained in the Scriptures. Thus their logic, setting out from part of
revealed truth rather than the whole, led them to conclusions according
to which man is the subject of absolute decrees which he has no power to
affect. The manifest extravagance of such teaching naturally led to
reaction, which, in its turn, tended to become extreme. Brought up under
the influence of Calvin's teaching, Arminius acknowledged

=Page 244: Believers Emigrate to Holland=

by all as a man of spotless character, in ability and learning
unexcelled--was chosen to write in defence of Calvinism of the less
extreme kind, which was felt to be endangered by the attacks made upon
it. Studying the subject, however, he came to see that much that he had
held was indefensible, that it made God the author of sin, set limits to
His saving grace, left the majority of mankind without hope or
possibility of salvation. He saw from the Scriptures that the atoning
work of Christ was for all, and that man's freedom of choice is a part
of the Divine decree. Coming back to the original teaching of Scripture
and faith of the Church, he avoided the extremes into which both parties
to the long controversy had fallen. His statement of what he had come to
believe involved him personally in conflicts which so affected his
spirit as to shorten his life. His teaching took a vivid and evangelical
form later, in the Methodist revival.

       *       *       *       *       *

When James I came to the throne, efforts to compel uniformity of
religion, which had slackened at the end of Elizabeth's reign, were
renewed, and emigration, though checked by the authorities, continued.
At this time a congregation of believers met in Gainsborough, of which
John Smyth was a leader. From this another church was formed, of members
who had been in the habit of coming some ten or twelve miles on Sundays
to the meetings in Gainsborough. This fresh meeting-place was in Scrooby
Manor House, and the believers there were joined by John Robinson,
driven by persecution from his congregation in Norwich. They were not
long left in peace, their houses were watched and their means of earning
a living were taken from them, or they were imprisoned. Some having
vainly tried to escape to Holland, they eventually decided, as a church,
to emigrate together (1607). Their journey was interrupted by repeated
arrests, imprisonments, and painful separations, so that at last they
arrived in little groups, destitute but undaunted, and, rejoining each
other, were received by the churches in Amsterdam and elsewhere.

The church in Amsterdam soon began to suffer from differences of view.
The Dutch Mennonites were in favour of the baptism of believers and so
were John Smyth and

=Page 245: Exiles in Holland=

Thomas Helwys. Most of the members, however, disagreed with this; there
was much dissension; Smyth and Helwys with about forty others were
excluded from fellowship and formed themselves into a separate church.
The Baptists also held that the civil power had no right to interfere in
matters of religion or to compel any form of doctrine, and affirmed that
it should confine itself to political matters and to the maintenance of
order; the others believed that it was the duty of the State to exercise
a certain control in matters of doctrine and of church order, and, while
they protested against the measures of compulsion used against
themselves, would not have been willing to allow full liberty to others
who differed from them. Those who were with Smyth did not think it in
accordance with the Lord's teaching for a Christian to bear arms, nor to
serve as a magistrate or ruler. Johnson and Ainsworth inclined
increasingly to a Presbyterian form of church Government, with which
John Robinson did not agree. In order to avoid further disputing,
Robinson and others removed from Amsterdam to Leyden and founded a
church there. This church continued in unity and peace, the ministry of
John Robinson being distinguished by its power and breadth. These
churches not only provided a home for persecuted saints and maintained a
testimony to the truth, but came to exercise a far-reaching influence.
When it became possible for some of their members to return to England,
they greatly strengthened the believers there. Helwys with others formed
a Baptist Church in London about 1612. A few years later Henry Jacob, an
associate of Robinson, came and took part in the founding of an
Independent church in London, from which a church of "Particular", or
Calvinistic, Baptists, went out afterwards. But there were others whose
course was shaped to wider issues. The thought of establishing churches
in the New World, where there would be liberty of conscience, of
worship, and of testimony, came to affect these exiles increasingly,
and, after much prayer and much negotiation, the "Speedwell" set out on
this great adventure. The parting was hard both for those going and
those remaining. John Robinson in his memorable charge to the departing
company at Delft Haven, said: "I charge you before God and His blessed
angels, that you follow me no

=Page 246: New England=

further than you have seen me follow the Lord Jesus Christ. If God
reveals anything to you by any other instrument of His, be as ready to
receive it as you were to receive any truth by my ministry, for I am
verily persuaded the Lord hath more truth yet to break forth out of His
holy word. For my part, I cannot sufficiently bewail the condition of
those reformed Churches which are come to a period in religion, and will
go, at present, no further than the instruments of their reformation.
The Lutherans cannot be drawn to go beyond what Luther saw; whatever
part of His will our God has revealed to Calvin, they will rather die
than embrace it; and the Calvinists, you see, stick fast where they were
left by that great man of God, who yet saw not all things. This is a
misery much to be lamented, for though they were burning and shining
lights in their times, yet they penetrated not into the whole counsel of
God; but were they now living, would be as willing to embrace further
light as that which they first received, for it is not possible the
Christian world should come so lately out of such thick anti-christian
darkness and that perfection of knowledge should break forth at once.
The "Speedwell" was joined by the "Mayflower" with a party from England
that were to go with them, and the two ships set out together from
England, but the "Speedwell" springing a leak, they had to return. All
were crowded into the "Mayflower", and the little vessel set sail from
Plymouth (1620). A tremendous storm almost turned them back, but, being
determined to continue, they struggled on, and after nine weeks' sailing
they landed, 102 of them, at Plymouth Bay in New England, and laid the
foundations of a State which, become populous and prosperous beyond
others, has never ceased to bear the impress of the character of the men
and women who founded it in the fear of God and the love of liberty.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Church of England, having its origin in the Church of Rome, but
separated from it, and modified by the influences of the Lutheran and
Swiss Reformers, combined characteristics of all these systems. It made
the King its Head and so kept a political character, and, in common with
the Reformers, it took over part of the clerical system of the Church of
Rome, with its necessary bulwarks

=Page 247: Various Forms of Religion=

of infant baptism and the administration of the Lord's Supper by the
clergy. Not at first Episcopalian, by the latter part of Elizabeth's
reign it had begun to move Romewards in this respect and in a short time
had fully adopted that system of government. The Puritans were that
element in the Church of England which consistently strove against what
was Romish in it, endeavouring to made it more definitely Protestant,
and they suffered much for their efforts to maintain the authority of
Scripture as against the decrees of those who ruled. The Presbyterians
were more in sympathy with the Continental Reformers than the Church of
England was. Presbyterianism became the established religion of
Scotland, but in England such divergence from uniformity was not
allowed; a Presbyterian Church formed at Wandsworth (1572) was dispersed
by the authorities. The Independents maintained the scriptural doctrine
of the independence of each congregation of believers and its direct
dependence on the Lord. They differed so entirely from the established
religion, setting aside the king and the bishops from the places they
had taken in the Church, indeed denying their right, unless converted,
to be members of the Church at all, that no mercy could be shown them.
They were crowded into the prisons, fined, mutilated and executed with
unrelenting cruelty. The Baptists were looked upon as even worse, for
they not only shared to the full time view of the Independents as to the
church, but they denied that the state had any authority at all to
interfere in matters of religion, and they also repudiated infant
baptism altogether and went back to the primitive practice of baptizing
believers only, thus cutting at the root of clerical power. Their
spiritual relationships were with the Anabaptists, Waldenses, and others
like them, and they naturally shared with them and with the independents
the utmost wrath of those who were determined at all costs to force on
the whole nation that form of religion which for the time being was
ordained by the State.

There were individual true members of the Church of Christ in all these
circles, whether Roman, Anglican or Free Church, and there were also
companies of believers corresponding to the churches of God of the New
Testament among the despised and persecuted congregations, but

=Page 248: Authorized Version Published=

their witness was maintained, as often before and since, in the midst of
circumstances so confusing as to test faith and love to the utmost.

A great impetus was given to the spread of the Gospel by the publication
of the beautiful and powerful translation of the Bible known as the
Authorized Version, in 1611. Its language and imagery have become an
essential part of English speech, and no book has been so widely read or
has exercised such an influence for good.

In spite of persecution the congregations of believers increased; it was
stated in the House of Lords (1641) that there were eighty companies of
different "sectaries" in and around London, those who ministered in them
being spoken of contemptuously as cobblers, tailors, "and such like

       *       *       *       *       *

A great change in conditions was brought about by the Civil War. During
the course of the struggle proposals were considered for the formation
of a new National Church. As the bishops were irreconcilably on the side
of the king, and it was desirable to have the full support of Scotland;
the divines appointed by Parliament to draw up a new form of religion
adopted the Scottish Covenant and the Presbyterian form of Church
government, which was accepted by Parliament. The Presbyterians insisted
that this should be imposed on all the people of England, attaching
severe penalties to the refusal to conform. The sects were to be
extinguished. The few Independents who took part in these discussions at
Westminster protested in vain that liberty should be secured to them;
the Baptists, who advocated complete religious toleration, were not even
consulted. During the war, however, Cromwell's "New Model" army had
grown up and become the indispensable means of victory. It was composed
of religious men, a large proportion of them "sectaries". Men of various
creeds had fought side by side for the same cause; Episcopalians,
Puritans, Presbyterians, Independents, Baptists had joined in worship
and in war and had learned respect for each other in the stern struggle
they had shared. They were not disposed to see the liberty of conscience
for which they had fought and suffered cast away by narrow-minded
legislators, and by a rapid, striking turn of events,

=Page 249: Liberty Under the Commonwealth=

both the Assembly that had drawn up the Westminster Confession and the
Houses of Parliament were dissolved; the Commonwealth was established,
and with it came such liberty of conscience and of worship, such freedom
to speak and publish what was believed as had never before been known.

The Council of State declared (1653) that none should be compelled to
conform to the public religion, by penalties or otherwise, that "such as
profess Faith in God by Jesus Christ, though differing in judgment from
the doctrine, worship or discipline publicly held forth, shall not be
restrained from, but shall be protected in, the profession of their
faith and exercise of their religion, so as they abuse not this liberty
to the civil injury of others, and to the actual disturbance of the
public peace." Popery and Prelacy were not included in this liberty.
"Triers" were appointed to examine the occupants of the Church livings.
Those who were found to be of wicked life or ignorant, and they were
numerous, were dismissed, and the pulpits were filled by men who were
judged capable of instructing the people. These were mostly
Presbyterians and Independents; a few were Baptists. The removal of
restraints allowed suppressed gifts to appear, and a host of able
preachers and writers was both a response and a stimulus to quickened
spiritual life. There was a great increase of Gospel preaching, and not
a few of the churches formed as a result of it were of an unsectarian
character. A conscience was awakened as to the needs of the heathen, and
Parliament constituted a corporation for the Propagation of the Gospel
in New England, declaring "that the Commons of England assembled in
Parliament, having received intelligence that the heathens of New
England were beginning to call on the name of the Lord, felt bound to
assist in such a work." The interest which led to this had been awakened
by John Eliot, who, driven from England by persecution, crossed to
Boston, and, coming among Indians, learned their language, into which he
translated the Bible and other books, and preached the Gospel among
them, bringing about their spiritual and social uplifting.

       *       *       *       *       *

At Drayton-in-the Clay in Leicestershire, Christopher Fox and Mary his
wife, godly people, had a son (born 1624)

=Page 250: George Fox=

named George,[90] who, as a child, "had a gravity and stayedness of mind
and spirit not usual in children," so that, he says, "when I saw old men
behave lightly and wantonly towards each other, I had a dislike thereof
raised in my heart, and said within myself, 'If ever I come to be a man,
surely I shall not do so.'" When only eleven years old he saw that his
words should be few and that his "Yea" and "Nay" should be sufficient
asseveration; also that he should eat and drink, not wantonly, but for
health, "using the creatures in their service, as servants in their
places, to the glory of Him that created them." After a time in a
business situation, at the age of nineteen he felt a command of God to
leave home, and for the next four years travelled, returning home
occasionally. During this time he was in great spiritual conflict and
distress, prayed and fasted and spent much time in long solitary walks.
He also spoke with many, but was troubled as he found that professors of
religion did not possess what they professed. At festivals, such as
Christmas, instead of joining in festivities, he would go from house to
house visiting poor widows and giving them money, of which he had enough
for himself and for the help of others. On his walks he had what he
called "openings" from the Lord. One day, approaching Coventry, he was
thinking of how it is said that all Christians are believers, whether
Protestants or Papists. "But," he considered, "a believer is one that is
born again, has passed from death unto life, otherwise he is no
believer"; so he saw that many who call themselves Christians or
believers are not so. Another time, one first-day morning, crossing a
field, the Lord opened to him "that being bred at Oxford or Cambridge
was not enough to fit and qualify men to be ministers of Christ". He was
impressed by the Scripture: "ye need not that any man teach you: but ...
the ... anointing teacheth you of all things" (1 John 2. 27), and
used this to justify his not going to church, but rather taking his
Bible into the orchards and fields. Again it was opened to him: "God,
who made the world, did not dwell in temples made with hands." This
surprised him, because it was usual to speak of the churches as "temples
of God ", "dreadful places", "holy ground", but now he saw that God's
people are His temple and that He dwells in

=Page 251: His Enlightenment=

them. At the end of this time, finally leaving his home and relations,
he led a wandering life, taking a room in some town, staying a few
weeks, and then going on. He had given up seeking help from the clergy
and turned to the Dissenters, but neither could these speak to his
condition. Then he says: "When all my hopes in them and in all men, were
gone, so that I had nothing outwardly to help me nor could I tell what
to do; then, Oh! then I heard a voice which said, 'There is one, even
Christ Jesus, that can speak to thy condition'; and when I heard it, my
heart did leap for joy." Then he entered into peace, enjoyed fellowship
with Christ, saw that he had all things in Him who had done all, and in
whom he believed. He could not sufficiently praise God for His mercy. He
was aware of the Lord's command to go abroad into the world, to turn
people from darkness to the light, and, he says, "I saw that Christ died
for all men, and was a propitiation for all; and enlightened all men and
women with His divine and saving life; and that none could be a true
believer but who believed in it...." and adds: "These things I did
not see by the help of man nor by the letter, though they are written in
the letter, but I saw them in the light of the Lord Jesus Christ, and by
His immediate Spirit and power, as did the holy men of God, by whom the
Holy Scriptures were written. Yet I had no slight esteem of the Holy
Scriptures, but they were very precious to me, for I was in that Spirit
by which they were given forth: and what the Lord opened in me, I
afterwards found was agreeable to them." Many began to come together to
hear him and some were convinced, meetings of "the Friends" being begun
in place after place.

Refusal to bear arms or take part in war was a principle with Fox; he
set aside all use of force and taught that all things were to be borne
and all forgiven, that no oath might be taken, and that all payment of
tithes was to be refused. The manner of carrying out these principles
and this mission was entirely fearless, and reckless of all
consequences. An example of this is given in his Journal--"I went", he
writes, "to another steeple-house about three miles off, where preached
a great high-priest, called a doctor.... I went into the
steeple-house and stayed till the priest had done. The words which he
took for his

=Page 252: Fox and the Friends=

text were these, 'Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters;
and he that hath no money, come ye, buy and eat, yea come, buy wine and
milk without money and without price.' Then was I moved of the Lord God
to say unto him, 'Come down, thou deceiver; dost thou bid people come
and take of the water of life freely, and yet thou takest three hundred
pounds a-year of them, for preaching the Scriptures to them. Mayest thou
not blush for shame? Did the prophet Isaiah and Christ do so, who spoke
the words, and gave them forth freely? Did not Christ say to His
ministers, whom He sent to preach, "Freely ye have received, freely
give?"' The priest, like a man amazed, hastened away. After he had left
his flock, I had as much time as I could desire to speak to the people;
and I directed them from the darkness to the light, and to the grace of
God, that would teach them, and bring them salvation; to the Spirit of
God in their inward parts, which would be a free teacher unto them." A
conflict was joined which spread all over the country and far abroad.
The methods of the Friends broke down all the Government's purpose of
toleration, and local excitement and anger showed itself in utmost
violence. The Friends, now derisively called Quakers were beaten, fined,
shut up in loathsome and disgusting prisons and subjected to every
possible indignity. Fox himself was repeatedly imprisoned, beaten and
ill-treated, and, as their numbers increased, there were seldom less
than a thousand Friends in prison at a time. Yet they never quailed, did
not attempt to avoid persecution, seemed rather to court it, and, in
spite of all, the Society increased, its meetings spread all over the
country, and from them preachers went out, both men and women, whom no
dangers could hold back; they soon reached out abroad also, westward to
the West Indies and the New England settlements, eastward into Holland
and Germany.

In the reign of James II circumstances brought liberty for the Friends,
among others, and the Society became free to develop those labours for
the alleviation of suffering and the removal of injustice which have
always so greatly distinguished it.

The power of its testimony lay in the revival of forgotten truth as to
the reality of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

=Page 253: Act of Uniformity=

It did not establish churches in the New Testament sense of the word,
since membership of the Society was not based on conversion or the new
birth, and the outward ordinances of baptism and the Lord's Supper were
not observed. The meetings, however, were occasions when there was
liberty for the Spirit to minister through whom He might choose,
untrammelled by any human regulations.

       *       *       *       *       *

At the Restoration there was a return to the old policy of endeavouring
to force all into conformity to the Church of England. The Act of
Uniformity was passed (1662), which required that every minister in the
Church should declare before his congregation his unfeigned assent and
consent to everything contained in the Book of Common Prayer and that
every minister should obtain episcopal ordination. The result was that
two thousand ministers, including naturally the best, refused submission
and were ejected from their livings. This greatly strengthened
Nonconformity in the country and Act after Act was passed to crush it
out. No Nonconformist might hold office in any municipal body, nor might
he hold any meeting at which more than five persons were present in
addition to the members of his own family, nor might any Government
employment be given to him; the ejected ministers were forbidden to go
within five miles of any corporate borough or any place where they had
formerly ministered. The penalties attached to any contravention of
these laws were most severe, yet Baptists and Independents held secret
meetings, Quakers continued theirs without concealment, and soon the
prisons were again crowded, and fines, pillory, the stocks and noisome
gaols were doing their old work. A desperate and unremitting conflict
between the Church party and the Dissenters had now been entered upon,
or reached a new phase, lasting from this the middle of the 17th far
into the 19th century, in the course of which, little by little, in the
face of unrelenting hostility, Dissenters obtained the rights of
citizens of their native country.

       *       *       *       *       *

Throughout all these conflicts an extraordinary volume of spiritual and
intellectual grace and power was developed, and that in all the
different circles. Among a multitude of distinguished men, Baxter, the
Presbyterian, is remembered

=Page 254: John Bunyan=

by his "Saints' Everlasting Rest"; John Owens, as being the powerful
exponent of the doctrines of the Congregational churches; Isaac Watts,
also an independent, by his hymns, which gave a new expression to
worship and praise; and John Bunyan, whose "Pilgrim's Progress" has
probably been more read than any book ever written, except the Bible,
and who, by his sufferings and labours also, takes rank among the

The church in Bedford, of which he was a member and became an elder and
then pastor, has left in its minutes an account of the care
exercised,[91] with frequent prayer and fasting, in the reception of
members and the exercise of discipline and also in the visiting and
instruction of the believers. Even when it was under stress of
persecution and imprisonment, impoverished by fines and driven from one
place of meeting to another, the diligence of the elders in fulfilling
the testimony and ministry committed to them was unabated. Though a
Baptist church they were emphatic in refusing to make baptism the ground
of fellowship, or differences of judgement on the matter a bar to
communion. Bunyan desired fellowship with all Christians and wrote: "I
will not let Water Baptism be the rule, the door, the bolt, the bar the
wall of division between the righteous and the righteous," and again:
"The Lord deliver me from superstitious and idolatrous thoughts about
any of the ordinances of Christ and of God"; further: "Since you would
know by what name I would be distinguished from others, I tell you I
would be, and hope I am, _a Christian_, and choose, if
God should count me worthy, to be called a Christian, a believer, or
other such name which is approved by the Holy Ghost."


[85] "Memoir of William Tyndale" George Offor.

[86] "A History of the Free Churches of England" Herbert S. Skeats.

[87] "A Popular History of the Free Churches" C. Silvester Horne.

[88] "Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity" Richard Hooker.

[89] "Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics" Edited by James Hastings.
Article, Arminianism.

[90] "Journal of George Fox"

[91] "John Bunyan His Life Times and Work" John Brown B.A., D.D.

=Page 255: Labadie=

Chapter XII

Labadie, the Pietists, Zinzendorf, Philadelphia


Labadie--Forms a fellowship in the Roman Catholic Church--Joins the
Reformed Church--Goes to Orange--To Geneva--Willem Teelinck--Gisbert
Voet--van Lodensteyn--Labadie goes to Holland--Difference between
Presbyterian and Independent ideals--Reforms forms in the Middelburg
church--Conflict with Synods of the Reformed Church--Conflict on
Rationalism--Labadie condemns Synods--He is excluded from the Reformed
Church--A separate church formed in Middelburg--The new church expelled
from Middelburg--It removes to Veere--Then to Amsterdam--Household
church formed--Anna Maria van Schürman--Difference with Voet--Household
troubles--Removal to Herford--Labadie dies in Altona--Removal of
household in Wieuwerd--Household broken up--Effects of
David--Zinzendorf--Herrnhut--Dissensions--Zinzendorf's Statutes
accepted--Revival--Discovery of document in Zittau--Determination to
restore the Bohemian Church--Question of relations with the Lutheran
Church--The negro Anthony--Moravian Missions--The Mission in
England--Cennick--Central control unsuited to expanding
work--Philadelphia Societies--Miguel de Molines--Madame Guyon--Gottfried
Arnold--Wittgenstein--The Marburg Bible--The Berleburg
Bible--Philadelphian Invitation--Hochmann von Hochenau--Tersteegen--Jung
Stilling--Primitive and Reformed and other churches--Various ways of
return to Scripture.

The line of thought of the mystics in the Roman Catholic Church affected
a young man, Jean de Labadie,[92] born in Bordeaux in 1610, and educated
by the Jesuits with a view to his becoming a member of their Society.
Dissatisfied with his theological studies he turned to the New Testament
and became deeply impressed by the greatness of the Gospel; saw, too,
how corrupt Christendom had become and that the way of restoration could
only be in a return to the pattern of the first assembly in Jerusalem.
Ordained a priest (1635) he felt that his ordination was not from the
bishop but the Lord Himself, who had called him from his mother's womb
to reform the Christian Church.

=Page 256: Labadie Forms a Brotherhood=

He saw that he must leave the Jesuits--with whom he was not yet
completely associated. There seemed, however, no possibility of
disentangling himself even from the position in which he already was; he
had gone too far to turn back; so he committed himself into the hands of
God and waited for Him to open the way. Serious and prolonged sickness
led to the Jesuits' giving up the idea of his finally becoming one of
their number, and he was able to leave Bordeaux and all his old
surroundings. His activities in Bordeaux had been so successful that
with the consent of the archbishop he accepted a call and began to
teach, first in Paris, then in Amiens.

Large numbers were attracted to his lectures. His method was to read a
considerable portion of Scripture, several chapters even, and then
expound them. People began to give up their rosaries and to occupy
themselves with the New Testaments which Labadie circulated widely. He
taught that the Gospel is the only rule of faith and piety, and that the
manner of life of the primitive Christians is the pattern for all times.
With the permission of the bishop a "congregation" or "brotherhood" was
formed, consisting of those only who were awakened; they met twice
weekly for meditation, and in their own houses they read the Bible. In
this circle he made known his earnest desire that, in the will of God,
the time might come when the Church would be restored to its original
condition, so that it might be possible to read the Word of God there,
to preach according to the custom of the original church (1 Cor. 14),
and to take the Lord's Supper in both kinds. Persistently persecuted by
the Jesuits, Labadie left Picardy and went to Guyenne, his birthplace,
accompanied by several members of the brotherhood as a travelling
assembly. There he was brought into contact with the teaching of Calvin,
which he studied, thinking he might find among the reformed a people who
lived for God and acted according to the principles, of the Gospel in
doctrine, worship, and manner of life. He found that all the most
important and decisive convictions he had received had been obtained by
him through the study of Scripture, while still in the Roman Catholic
Church, and not through the Study of Calvin's works. Here he heard of
the efforts made in the 16th century by Le Fèvre, Briçonnet, Roussel and
others to

=Page 257: Enters the Reformed Church=

reform the Church. Continued persecution obliged him to hide among the
Carmelites and in the castles of his admirers, where he came among
families belonging to the Reformed Church, families by whose life and
teaching he was affected and impressed. He had tried to serve and heal
the Church of Rome, but came to see that he was in irreconcilable
opposition to its clergy. He hoped that if he joined the Reformed Church
he might have liberty to confess openly the truths which God had so laid
on his heart. Being in general agreement with the teaching of the
Reformed Church he entered it in 1650 at Montauban, but did so under the
conviction that its discipline was lax and its practice unworthy, and
that as his efforts to reform the Roman Catholic Church had been
resisted he was called now to bring about reform in the Reformed Church.

In his writings and preaching Labadie showed that the power for outward
reform and godly living lies in an inward life of communion with God,
and wrote detailed instructions as to prayer and meditation. The
constant aim of the Christian, he said, must be conformity of the will
to the will of God, union with God. His love to God should be unselfish
and unconditional; he would love and glorify God even if God had
reckoned him to the lost.

Obliged to leave Montauban, Labadie was passing through Orange, but the
presbytery of the church there persuaded him to remain. With the help of
the members he set about a thorough reform, so that it might be really a
"Reformed" Church, and this was, to a large extent effected. After less
than two years the threatenings of Louis XIV making his stay even in the
territories of the Prince of Orange dangerous, he accepted an invitation
from the French church in London to become its minister. Fearing to pass
through France he travelled by way of Switzerland. In Geneva, however,
he was restrained from going further, remaining as a preacher in the
church there (1659). His preaching was so powerful that the laxity that
had followed Calvin's strict rule was immediately checked and there was
a return to righteousness which affected the moral condition of the city
generally. More special blessing attended the Bible readings which were
held in his own house, where a group of young people gathered around him
to whom he taught "sound doctrine and holy

=Page 258: Teelinck=

life" as the "two hands" of the Christian. One of the young men who was
helped through these Bible readings was Philip Jakob Spener.

In 1661 Labadie received an invitation to Holland from some who were
well known for their earnest Christian testimony. Among them were Voet,
van Lodensteyn and Anna Maria van Schürman, who requested him to accept
the place of preacher in the church at Middelburg where Teelinck had
exercised a ministry of remarkable power and blessing.

Since the freeing of the Netherlands from the yoke of Spain, through the
heroic fight led by William of Orange, the Low Countries had been in
advance of all their neighbours both in religious liberty and material
prosperity, and had become the scene and centre of intense spiritual
activities. The University at Franecke was celebrated for the learning
and piety of its professors. An originator of much of this life and
interest in matters of religion was Willem Teelinck, born in 1579, whose
father occupied a prominent position in the administration of the
country. Teelinck travelled and studied for seven years in France,
Scotland, and England. In London he came into contact with Puritan
families, where what he heard and read led him to a change of life. He
spent time in prayer, had days of fasting, and determined to give up his
legal studies in order to devote himself exclusively to the ministry of
the Word. He lived for some time in a family in Bamburgh, where he found
such a life of prayer and of good works as he had never before seen or
imagined possible. The regular prayer and reading of the Scriptures with
exposition in the household; the thanksgiving at meals, conversation at
table, singing, attendance at meetings, in all of which the servants and
the children were as much interested as the heads of the household, the
unfailing kindness, the care of the sick and needy--all this had an
influence upon him which affected his whole after life. Returning to
Holland, he laboured with great effect in preaching, visiting, and
writing. This, with his godly example in personal life and in his
household, was the occasion of widespread revival. The last sixteen
years of his life were spent in Middelburg, where he died in 1629. He
had felt deeply the merely nominal character of reformed Christianity.
It seemed to

=Page 259: Labadie Removes to Holland=

him that in his own country it was to a great extent as a body without
life, light or warmth, and he devoted himself entirely to its real
reformation. While he trusted chiefly in spiritual means for this, he
still thought that where fundamental errors could not be suppressed by
such means, the help of the State should be called in.

Gisbert Voet, who continued Teelinck's line of teaching, took an active
part in the theological controversies of his day, ably defending the
Reformed Church against all who differed from it, and came to be
recognized as its most distinguished member. He introduced the practice
of holding conventicles or meetings outside of the regular services of
the church, in which laymen also took part. These conventicles were
developed by Jodocus van Lodensteyn, a disciple of Voet, who had studied
also at Franecke. Under his warm, hearty encouragement the conventicles
became an important part of the religious life of the country.

But to return to Labadie: an invitation from such people and into such
apparently favourable conditions appealed to him so strongly that, in
spite of many efforts to keep him in Geneva, he removed to Holland. The
journey was dangerous; but a company of eighty Waldenses was in Geneva,
provided with passports, on their way to the Palatinate
_(Pfalz);_ three of them were detained in Geneva
through illness, and Labadie and his friends, Yvon and Dulignon,
travelled undetected with the party, in their place. In Heidelberg they
were joined by Menuret, and there the four vowed themselves to entire
sanctification, to deny the world with its desires, goods, pleasures and
friends; so to follow Jesus Christ, poor, despised and persecuted, as to
grow into His likeness and carry His cross and shame; to give themselves
to God and to His Gospel, first practicing it themselves that they might
then help others to do so.

Reaching Holland they went first to Utrecht, where they were invited to
the house of Anna Maria van Schürman, were warmly welcomed by her and
Voet and others, and stayed ten days. During this time Labadie preached
with power and marked effect. Their hostess was captivated by his
teaching, but Voet and van Lodensteyn saw that Labadie's spirit was very
different from what Teelinek's had been; they wondered whether he and
they would be

=Page 260: Presbyterians and Independents=

able to work together, and doubted whether the world could be altogether
driven out of the church as Labadie thought it certainly could.

Even at this early stage the difference between the Presbyterian and
Independent systems[93] began to show itself; the former was practised by
the Reformed Church, the latter was more prevalent in England, and was
the one which Labadie with increasing clearness was coming to approve.
The Independents denied the authority of Synods, looking upon each
congregation as directly under Christ and responsible to Him, whereas
the Dutch and French Reformed Churches had organized a system of
half-yearly Synods, to which each church sent two representatives, who
then conveyed the decisions of the Synod to the church. The Reformed
Church attached great importance also to the office and rights of its
preachers and to their training for that office, and failures which they
observed in the ministry among other bodies, such as the Mennonites,
confirmed them in their view. The Independents did not acknowledge any
church office as absolutely necessary and appointed by God, they
considered, and so did Labadie, that a church is a congregation of
believing people, and this condition of belief the necessary foundation
of teaching and testimony. Teelinck and Voet on the other hand viewed
the church as the field in which the power of the Gospel is to become
effective and the aim of their work was the conversion of its members,
and then the leading of them on in worthy living. Van Lodensteyn would
have liked to call the Church not "Reformed"
_(Reformata)_ but "to be Reformed"
_(Reformanda)._ He and Voet long hoped to steer a
middle way between the two ideals. There was a section which thought the
Church had fallen so utterly that it was no longer to be found in the
world and all that remained was to wait for the coming of Christ.

Soon after reaching Middelburg Labadie found himself deeply disappointed
at the low spiritual level to which both the Dutch and French assemblies
had sunk. Church discipline had been neglected and the church was far

=Page 261: Labadie Attempts Reform=

Labadie's ideal. He set about reform by means of preaching, catechizing,
discipline, and meetings of small groups, but his personal piety and
self-denial were more effectual still in influencing the people. He
urged upon the members of the Consistorium that with fasting and prayer
and absolute separation from all evil they should effectually use the
keys of "loosing and binding" that Christ had committed to them, denying
self and giving time to meditation and prayer, for only thus would the
assembly be changed.

No such preaching as his had been heard in Holland. His habit of
extempore prayer, in which he encouraged others also, was new to the
church, and he taught the union of the soul with God in an unaccustomed
way. Under his guidance the assembly endeavoured to carry out New
Testament principles. "Prophecy" was understood among them to be a gift
to be exercised by any brother, who, led by the Spirit, might stand up
in the meeting, expound the Word and apply it in a way suited to the
needs of the church. Labadie wrote a book entitled _"The
discernment of a true church according to the Holy Scripture containing
thirty remarkable signs by which it may be well known"._ He
shows that it is only a company of those who are really born again that
can be considered a true church; one where all, through the Holy Spirit,
are united in one body and where all members of the assembly are led by
the Spirit of Christ.

His teaching won the hearts of great numbers not only in Middelburg but
also throughout the Netherlands. At the same time it became increasingly
evident that if it were followed it would altogether change the
character of the Reformed churches, emphasizing in a way to which those
congregations were not accustomed the inner life of communion with God.
Such an emphasis, they feared, would endanger the soul's rest in the
work of Christ, making more of Christ in it than of Christ for it,
exalting works at the expense of faith, dwelling more on sanctification
than on justification. They also saw that the liberty of ministry
allowed must affect the guiding power and influence of the ordained
ministers of the Church. Opposition to that which Labadie considered as
needful reformation, but which was regarded by most leaders of the
Church as a bringing in of strange and disturbing changes,

=Page 262: Conflict on Rationalism=

grew to be definite, organized, and bitter. At a French Synod held in
Amsterdam in 1667 he was required to sign the Belgian Confession. This
he refused to do on the ground that he now found many unscriptural
expressions in it, though he had formerly signed the identical French
Confession at Montauban, Orange and Geneva. This so strengthened the
opposition to him that, at a following Synod at Leyden, it was decided
that if he would not sign the Belgian Confession at the next Synod, to
be held at Vlissingen, and undertake to conform to the usages of the
Reformed Church, he should be suspended from office. The people of
Middelburg were so indignant at this that the magistrate was compelled
to take action, with the result that when the Synod met at Vlissingen it
was obliged to have the complaints against Labadie removed from the
minutes of the Leyden Synod.

About this time a book was published by an Amsterdam doctor, Ludwig
Meijer, arguing that natural understanding should be the ground of all
Scripture exegesis. This rationalistic teaching aroused such opposition
among all in the Netherlands who believed in the inspiration of the
Scriptures that the civil authorities appointed the learned and
well-known Professor Coccejus to write a refutation. Others also wrote,
and among them Ludwig Wolzogen, preacher of the French Reformed Church
at Utrecht. Wolzogen's book, however, while written ostensibly to oppose
rationalism, diverged so widely from the accepted teaching of the Church
that believers in the inspiration of the Bible looked upon this book as
being rather an apology for the teaching objected to. Labadie also
wrote, and the church council of the French church at Middelburg found
his book to be so convincing a refutation of the rationalistic teaching
that it decided to bring forward a motion at the next Synod at
Vlissingen for a formal condemnation of Meijer's book. In consequence of
this the Synod appointed the church councils of three cities, one of
which was Middelburg to prepare a report on the book for the next Synod,
to be held at Naarden (1668). The reports of the three councils differed
considerably, but it was a surprise when a large majority of the Synod
declared Meijer's book to be orthodox and justified Wolzogen. Labadie
left the Synod to consult

=Page 263: Labadie and the Synods=

with his church council at Middelburg, but in the meantime the Synod
proceeded to suspend him from his office provisionally as one who had
introduced strange teachings and practices into the church. Further
charges were brought against him, namely, that he had taught that the
present time is the reign of grace, and that the millennial reign of
Christ will not begin until He shall have overcome all enemies and
accomplished the object of creation, in spite of the Fall of man, and
brought about the restitution of all things to that state in which God
created them. If Labadie would not submit he was to be finally removed
from office. A commission of the Synod was sent to Middelburg with power
to suspend any members of the church council who might resist its
decree, but the Middelburg church council refused to accept the decree
of the Synod, saying that Labadie was not convicted of falling away from
the teaching and order of the church. The council was suspended. It was
decided that at the next Synod Labadie should be forbidden to preach.

He was thought the more dangerous because of his extraordinary gifts. He
himself never thought of yielding, but continued to preach, and wrote
declaring that he could have no fellowship with the Synod, which had
fallen altogether into error and evil. He not only found error in the
Belgian Confession, but asserted that the Synod rejected the teaching of
I Corinthians 14. He also condemned the whole system of Synods and
Consistoriums, the stereotyped liturgical forms, the reading of
Scripture without explanation, the misuse of the Sacraments by accepting
those who were not born again as witnesses at baptisms and to partake of
the Lord's Supper. He pointed out too that at marriages notoriously
ungodly people were made to take Christian vows and promised God's
blessing, that the church authorities took Papal powers to themselves,
and bound people's consciences with their ordinances. He said that there
is no authority in the church but that of the Spirit and the Word of
God, _i.e,_ what is contained in the Holy Scriptures,
and the inward witness of the Word which corresponds with this. As
therefore the Christian conscience is only guided by the authority of
the Word of God, it is not rebellion to refuse the ordinances of Synods
and other human institutions when they

=Page 264: Labadie Excluded by Synod=

are contrary to this; it is, on the other hand, rather the duty of a
Christian assembly to do this in the interests of Christian liberty and
to oppose the setting up of a new Popery which would act as though it
were above the Word of God.

The much looked for Synod was held at Dordrecht in the year 1669.
Labadie and the Middelburg church council with some members of the
church waited a week in Dordrecht that they might appeal against the
treatment they had received. They were not given a hearing. The Synod
confirmed the expulsion of Labadie and all his supporters, "because they
had shown themselves disobedient to the laws of the Church and intended
to bring about division".

Labadie was assured that he had been called by God to re-establish
Apostolic churches. Until he was forty years of age he had laboured for
the reform of the Church of Rome, and then for twenty years for that of
the Reformed Church. He had thrown his excellent gifts and his whole
life into both these attempts with enthusiasm and delight--now both had
failed! This brought him to the conclusion that "a reform of the
existing church bodies is impossible, and that restoration of the
Apostolic church can only be accomplished through separation from them".
He at once introduced this principle into the Middelburg church, and
some three hundred separated from it and formed a new gathering. Several
elders and three pastors took the oversight of this; meetings were held
twice daily, and on Sundays three times. The meeting room had nothing in
it but benches, not even a pulpit. One bench was a little higher than
the others, and on this sat the elders and preachers, all of whom were
in the habit of speaking in the meetings. They would not use the name
"Reformed", but preferred to be known as "Evangelical". Only those might
be members of whom there was reason to believe that they were born

Differences between the Reformed Church and this newly formed
congregation induced the town authorities to ask the members of the
latter to leave Middelburg. No sooner was this known than the town of
Ter Veere, an hour distant, invited the exiled church to remove there.
The invitation was thankfully accepted, but the

=Page 265: Removes to Amsterdam=

chief magistrate of Middelburg soon saw that he had made a mistake, for
crowds flocked to Ter Veere to hear Labadie preach, while Middelburg was
deserted. Annoyed at the material loss this involved, the Middelburg
magistrate persuaded the higher district authorities to order the Veere
magistrate to expel Labadie and Yvon on the ground that they had caused
division in the church and unrest among the people. The Middelburg
magistrate armed his men to enforce the decree, but the people of Veere
rose as one man to resist forcibly. Civil war was imminent. Then Labadie
came forward and said that no blood should flow on his account, he saw
the hand of God leading them from Veere, and would go to Amsterdam, with
those who wished to accompany him. There was dismay in Veere, but
Labadie remained firm, and the citizens had to yield, the magistrate
said he only let him go "most unwillingly and on the ground of utmost

Labadie and his three friends, with some other sympathizers, moved to
Amsterdam, where they were well received and promised protection and
religious liberty. The influence of Labadie's work had been such that in
Amsterdam there were many thousands who were attached to the new church
and abstained from taking the Lord's Supper in the Reformed Church, and
it was the same in all the larger churches in the country, while many
who did not actually join these companies were greatly influenced by
them. This serious danger to their system induced the leaders of the
Reformed Church to ask the help of the Government, but under the eminent
statesman, Jan de Witt, religious freedom was assured, and no steps
could be taken.

Unhappily, however, events in his own mind and in his immediate circle
did more to injure Labadie's testimony than any outward attack could
have done. He had learned by experience and from the Word, that it is
not possible so to reform a town or a church system as to bring it to
the condition he aimed at; but he was not content with the formation of
churches of the Apostolic pattern--gatherings of persons saved, indeed,
and separated from the surrounding world, but many of them weak and
failing and needing constant patient care--so he decided to form a
Household Church, where the household and the church would be the

=Page 266: Anna Maria Van Schürman=

same and it would be possible, as he supposed, to know each member and
lead each into the true following of Christ and union with God. A house
was rented in Amsterdam where there was accommodation for about forty
and the new household was gathered. Regular meetings were held, and once
a week a meal was taken in common. The meetings were attended by many
from outside, and when French was spoken it was translated into Dutch.
Yvon, Dulignon and Menuret went out on preaching expeditions throughout
the Netherlands and surrounding countries.

Anna Maria van Schürman moved to Amsterdam, rented an apartment in the
house, and threw in her lot with the new household. She was considered
the most accomplished woman of her time. She corresponded in various
languages with the most famous literary men in Europe, and her opinion
and counsel were sought and valued by those who were themselves experts
in the arts and sciences. She had been a devoted Christian from her
childhood. In her book, "Eukleria", written in Latin, she relates, "as a
child of scarcely four years old I sat with my nurse on the banks of a
stream. She repeated to me the words, 'I am not my own but belong to my
truest Saviour, Jesus Christ.' I was filled with such an inward sense of
love to Christ that in all my following years nothing has ever been able
to erase the vivid remembrance of that moment". In justifying her
adhesion to the new company she wrote: "As I have now seen for a number
of years, with pain, the departure of Christendom from its origins, and
its almost entire unlikeness to the same ... and had lost any hope of
its restoration in the usual course of things which is followed by our
clergy (most of whom are themselves greatly in need of reformation), who
can rightly object that I have, with a happy heart, chosen for my own
those teachers fitted by God to bring about a reform of degenerate
Christianity?" Her renown caused this step to be everywhere spoken of
and she was overwhelmed with letters calling her back to the Reformed
Church, but she rejoiced that she had now put aside the old man and
chosen that good part that would not be taken away from her. She had
formerly sought God's honour, but her own also, now she sought none for
herself but only for God. She sold what she had and gave it to Labadie
and never seems to have regretted

=Page 267: A Household Church=

this. In all the many vicissitudes of the family she was an invaluable
helper, and in her old age its most trusted counsellor.

Voet saw dangers in this new development and, though he had hitherto
been one of Labadie's most important supporters, now became his
opponent. He wrote to show that no one should leave the Reformed Church
because evil, lukewarmness and weakness were to be found in it, or in
order to join a separated, cloister-like union taking the place of the
church, and said that a household such as that proposed would give rise
to evil surmisings. The publication of this book had an extraordinary
effect. An anonymous reply appeared in which Voet was attacked in a
violent and unworthy way. It was found that Labadie was the author, and
his reputation was seriously injured by it. Many wrote against him, but
the increase of these attacks only drew the members of the household
more closely together, and they were joined by others, including the
Burgomaster of Amsterdam.

Troubles arose in the household however. A member of it, a widow, died,
and a false report was circulated that she had been killed, and that her
body was to be buried in the garden. A mob surrounded the house, which
had to be protected for three days by a military force. Menuret, whom
Labadie loved as a son, became mentally afflicted and died in a frenzy
of madness. Members of the household questioned whether such a thing
could happen in a church that was really of God. It was found that in
spite of all their care, one of the household held Socinian views, and
that another had Quaker ideas. When they were reproved for these, they
published a pamphlet full of calumnies, in revenge. The matter came
before the courts and the statements in the pamphlets were proved to be
false, but the report gained currency nevertheless that there were
members of the family who were dangerous sectaries. So much prejudice
was excited against them, that in the interests of peace, the
magistrates forbade anyone to attend meetings in Labadie's house except
the members of the household. This checked their growing numbers and cut
off the hope of development.

To escape these difficulties Anna Maria van Schürman appealed to her old
friend Princess Elizabeth, Abbess of

=Page 268: Labadists in Herford=

Herford, who invited all who would come to take refuge on her free
estate, so Labadie and a party of about fifty sailed from Amsterdam to
Bremen, and travelled from there by waggon to Herford (1670). The
Lutheran inhabitants of Herford violently resented the coming of the
"Quakers", as they called them, and it was only the authority of the
Princess that made it possible for them to remain. The hatred and enmity
by which they were surrounded isolated the household still more from the
world, and they became increasingly occupied with their own religious
exercises. The preaching of Labadie at this time so affected his hearers
that they felt they had only now attained to an entire yielding of
themselves to God, and this led to their introducing community of goods
as a means of expressing their giving up of all worldly things and their
denial of self and entire union with the members of the body of Christ.
At the introduction of this change they were engaged in the breaking of
bread in memory of the Lord's death when a strange spiritual ecstasy
came over, first some, then all of them; they began to speak with
tongues and then stood up and danced and this lasted for about an hour.
At somewhat rare intervals similar manifestations were repeated. To most
of them these things seemed to show that they were now really of one
heart and one soul in the Lord. Others disapproved and withdrew from
their fellowship. The hatred of those outside was embittered as such
doings were related. Until this time the community had, on the whole,
discouraged marriage, but now took another view of this and Labadie,
Yvon and Dulignon all married, finding wives who were a help to them in
their testimony.

The growing animosity of the people obliged them at last to leave
Herford in spite of the protection of the Princess, who never ceased to
defend them, and they found a quiet dwellingplace in Altona, where they
rented two houses. Here Labadie died peacefully (1674), and here Anna
Maria van Schürman wrote her book "Eukleria". War obliged them to leave
this retreat and they moved to Castle Waltha, in the little village of
Wieuwerd in West Friesland, which had been placed at their disposal.
This was their last home. The country people received them gladly and a
commission appointed by the Reformed

=Page 269: And At Wieuwerd=

Church to inquire into their views and ways reported them to be
harmless, which led to their being allowed to remain in peace. Here Anna
Maria van Schürman died, aged 71; also Dulignon and his wife.

The community increased and large numbers attended the services from the
country round. Considerable parties were sent out, one to Surinam and
one to New York. They were financed and controlled by the Wieuwerd
community, but both parties returned unsuccessful, chiefly because,
instead of trying to win the heathen to Christ, they had occupied
themselves with endeavouring to gain the Christians there to their
party. These expeditions impoverished those left at home, and the
practical difficulties of having community of goods compelled them to
abandon the system after carrying it on for twenty years.

This change caused great distress, since most of the members were poor,
many had not been in the habit of earning a living, and many were unfit
to do so, and had depended on those who had means. Yvon explained that
when the first church at Jerusalem was scattered, community of goods
ceased, and that they themselves also were now called to spread in the
world and work as a leaven there. If this had been seen earlier it would
have saved them from giving up the Scriptural church order which they
practised at first and exchanging it for a community life which narrowed
their testimony and hindered it from the wider development of which it
had given promise. The household was broken up and scattered. Yvon
remained at Castle Waltha, where he died, and twenty-five years later,
the castle passing into other hands, the last of the Labadists left.

The life of Labadie was one of valiant effort, the source of which lay
in inward communion with God, nourished by systematic prayer and
instructed by diligent study of the Scriptures. He learned that his
great idea of a reformation of the Roman Catholic Church was impossible
of attainment. Then he found by large experiment that a city or state
cannot, as such, be converted and become a church. He found later that
the Reformed Protestant Church was incapable of reformation and of being
restored to the New Testament pattern. Then through long conflicts he
came to see the true churches of God as they were

=Page 270: Labadie's Experiences=

at the first and always have been. Afterwards, discouraged by much
opposition and many disappointments, he sought refuge in a household
church, thinking that in its limited circle purity could be maintained,
but he missed the track here, for the true churches are not the resting
places of perfect people but the nurseries and schools where all are
received who confess Christ and where all their weakness and ignorance
and imperfection must be borne with and instructed in the patience of
unfailing love. In Labadie we see a man whose life held elements of
heroic failure and yet of abiding success. First he tried to include too
much in the Church; great worldly systems from which the true churches
must be separate. Then he included too little, thinking that the
churches must contain only those who are perfect. There was a period
when he founded true churches of God and the influence of what he then
taught and accomplished continued beyond his lifetime. Taking a limited
view of the church involved him in the mistakes to which such a course
leads--the narrowed communion favoured the extravagances and lack of
balance which accompany undue restriction. His experiences remain
strikingly valuable, illustrating the excellence of the way of the Word
and the danger of turning to the right hand or to the left--of including
the world in the churches or of excluding the saints from them.

       *       *       *       *       *

At the close of the Thirty Years' War in 1648, the Protestant countries,
exhausted economically and suffering from the moral degradation of a
generation brought up in conditions of violence and disorder, were also
in a low and careless spiritual state. The Lutheran, and to a less
degree the Reformed, churches were more occupied with a rigid orthodoxy
than with a godly manner of life.

Spener,[94] born in Alsace in 1635, became at the age of 35 chief pastor
of the Lutheran Church in Frankfurt. Deeply impressed with the crying
need for reform in the Church, he held meetings, first in his own house
and afterwards in the church, the aim of which was to bring into
practice "the old apostolic way of church meetings ... as Paul in I
Corinthians 14 describes it, when those who have gifts

=Page 271: Spener=

and knowledge should also speak and, without disorder and strife,
express their pious thoughts on the matters in hand, and that the others
might judge". The believers came together regularly, and an appointed
subject was considered and a conversation on it took place. The men and
women sat apart and only the men took part. It was understood that other
people were not to be judged and that all gossip was excluded. At first
edifying books were read and discussed, but hater they confined
themselves to the reading and general consideration of the New
Testament. In many of the private meetings after this there followed
questions, confessions or experiences, designed to bring out what was
learned. Spener himself did not encourage this but kept to the
exposition of the Word. He objected to names, as Pietist, Spenerite and
others, as he did not want to found a sect, or that they should become a
monkish community, but only that they should come back to the old and
universal Christianity. Spener could allow and even support in other
churches what he would not do himself. He felt that he had not himself
the energy and force of a Reformer, but rather an ability to tolerate
differences. He allowed the self-examination and confession that
prevailed in some meetings but did not introduce them into his own, and
valued the mysticism of some believers while confessing that he had had
no experiences of the ecstasies they enjoyed in the revelation of the
Bridegroom, nor of the Quietist self-abandonment that they practised.
His desire was expressed in his words: "Oh that I knew a single assembly
upright in all things, in doctrine, order, and practice, all that would
make it what an apostolic Christian assembly should be in doctrine and
life!" He did not expect an assembly "without weeds", but one where the
preachers carried out their work in the leading of the Holy Spirit and
the greater part of the hearers were such as had died to the world and
led not only an honest but also a godly life. He said the greater part
of professing Christians were not born again and many of the ministers
of the Word did not understand as they should the true doctrines on
which the steadfastness of the church depends. After a time the members
of Spener's church in Frankfurt abstained from the Lord's Supper so that
they might not take it with those who took it unworthily.

=Page 272: The Pietists--Franke=

From Frankfurt Spener was removed to Dresden as Court chaplain, and then
to Berlin, where he was diligent in service until his death (1705). The
societies, called _Pietist_, which he did so much to
found and encourage became a vivifying force; though attacked and
ridiculed by official Christianity, they did not separate from the
Lutheran Church but formed centres within it which attracted seekers
after godliness and bore fruit in many and far-reaching spiritual

One to whom Spener was a help was August Hermann Franke,[95] who became
his chief successor in the Pietist movement. He was born at Lübeck
(1663), and studied theology, which, though it had a certain value for
him, did not bring peace to his soul. His studies, however, awakened in
him an earnest desire to understand in his life and conduct what he had
merely apprehended in the mind and memory, and, after some years of
anxious seeking he experienced a sudden conversion by which all his
unbelief was dissipated and he received an entire assurance of
salvation. His insistence on conversion and godliness brought blessing
to many, but also made him enemies; he was branded as a Pietist and
expelled from Erfurt, where he was minister, at forty-eight hours'
notice. The same day an invitation from the Court of Brandenburg led to
his being appointed Professor of Greek and Oriental Languages at the
University which was being founded at Halle. There he was much affected
by the distress of the poor and set up a box into which contributions
might be put, which he then distributed. One day a larger sum than
before was put in, about 15/. "On taking this sum into my hand", he
wrote, "I exclaimed with great liberty of faith: This is a considerable
sum, with which something really good must be accomplished; I will begin
a school for the poor with it." This was the beginning of the extensive
institutions at Halle, which were built up and carried on without
appealing for money and without any visible supply, "but solely and
simply, " he said, "in reliance on the living God in heaven". At
Franke's death 134 orphans were being supported in the Home, cared for
by 10 women and men; 2200 children and young men were being taught in

=Page 273: Christian David and Zinzendorf=

the different schools, mostly without charge, by 175 teachers; hundreds
of poor students were fed daily, and there were in operation printing
and bookselling, a library, a dispensary, a hospital, and other
institutions. As a boy in this school, and, later, sitting at Franke's
table and listening to the stories of missionaries, who were often
there, Zinzendorf received impressions which were fruitful in his after

       *       *       *       *       *

In 1690, seventy years after the battle of the White Mountain,[96] and
sixty-two years after Comenius had led the last band of exiles from
Moravia, Christian David was born, not far from Fulneck. The "hidden
seed" which Comenius had prayed might be preserved was still hidden;
Christian's parents were Roman Catholics, like their neighbours, and he
as a shepherd boy and then a carpenter was very devout, while inwardly
concerned as to how he could be assured that God had forgiven his sins.
Reading and inquiring he got such contradictory answers to his questions
that he was altogether perplexed, left home and wandered away into
Germany, seeking truth. After many adventures and constant
disappointments he met with Pastor Schäfer in Görlitz, a Pietist, from
whom he learned the way of salvation. Full of joy and zeal he returned
to Moravia and went about preaching everywhere. The forgotten truths of
former times were revived in the hearts of many of his hearers as they
listened to his homely discourse. Those, however, who obeyed the Gospel
were met at once by crushing persecution. David went back to Schäfer in
Görlitz to see whether a place of refuge could be found in Saxony, and
through him met with Count Zinzendorf.

From his earliest childhood Zinzendorf had been a lover of Jesus Christ,
and his training in Pietist circles had strengthened his devotion. At
the time when Christian David met him he was living in his castle of
Berthelsdorf, near the Bohemian frontier, where he and his friend,
Pastor Johann Andreae Rothe were engaged in serving the Lord among the
surrounding people. The two young men, Zinzendorf 22, David ten years
older, discussed the need in Moravia, and Zinzendorf invited the

=Page 274: Herrnhut=

believers there to come and settle on his estates in Saxony. David was
quickly back in his own country, where he gathered a few families of
believers, who were able to steal away from their homes and whom he led
over the mountains into Saxony and to Berthelsdorf. There they were
cordially received, but there was no place where they could live. About
a mile away, on Zinzendorf's estate, was a low, wooded hill called
Hutberg, or the Watch Hill. This they re-named
_Herrnhut_, the Lord's Watch, and decided to build a
home for themselves there. Christian David, taking an axe, felled the
first tree, and, an indefatigable workman and preacher, he guided and
encouraged the builders so that in a short time (1722) a house was
finished, the beginning of the extensive buildings now forming Herrnhut,
and the pattern for many that were to follow in different parts of the

One day David, nailing a plank in the castle in Berthelsdorf, his
thoughts in Moravia, suddenly left his tools and even his hat, set off,
without preparation, and walked the two hundred miles to Kunewald, where
there were a number of believers, descendants of families that had
belonged to the old Church of the Bohemian Brethren. He brought away a
party of these, among them the families Nitschmann, Zeisberger and
Toeltschig, afterwards to become well-known in connection with the
missionary enterprises of the new Moravian Church. They reached Herrnhut
just as Zinzendorf and his friend de Watteville were laying the
foundation stone of the first meeting-house to be built there, and they
threw in their lot with the company that had preceded them.

After this many came from Bohemia and Moravia, some escaping from prison
or leaving hiding places in the forests. As this place of refuge for the
oppressed came to be more widely known, others came there, of divers
views, some followers of Schwenckfeld, some Pietists, and some who could
agree with no one. Bitter disputing took the place of brotherly accord,
and the settlement was threatened with disruption. In the meantime
Zinzendorf had been converting Berthelsdorf into a model village, where
everything was done in accordance with his wishes, and those of his
friend Pastor Rothe. The Count believed in organizing an appeal to the
imagination. As a boy at Halle his missionary enthusiasm expressed
itself in the formation of

=Page 275: Zinzendorf Finds Bohemian Document=

the "Order of the Mustard Seed", with promises and emblems and motto and
ring, which, beginning with five boys of whom he was the Grand Master,
grew to be a powerful incentive to devotion in missionary work. In
Berthelsdorf he had founded the "League of the Four Brethren", himself,
de Watteville, Rothe, and Schäfer, to make known to the world the
"Universal Religion of the Saviour and His Family of Disciples, the
Heart-Religion, in which the Person of the Saviour is the central
point"; in later days his "Warrior Band" became an effectual missionary
instrument. Now he intervened in Herrnhut. He recognized the honest
intent in these quarrelling partisans, was able to say of one of the
most impetuous of them: "Although our dear Christian David was calling
me the Beast and Mr. Rothe the False Prophet, we could see his honest
heart nevertheless, and knew we could lead him right. It is not a bad
maxim, when honest men are going wrong, to put them into office, and
they will learn from experience what they will never learn from
speculation". He gathered them together, and in a three hours' address,
expounded to them the _"Statutes, Injunctions and
Prohibitions_" which he had made out to regulate every
particular of their lives. A spiritual revival was given them at this
time, power to forgive and be reconciled, and they settled down
peaceably to the new order.

About the same time Zinzendorf found in the library of the neighbouring
town of Zittau, a copy of the _"Order of Discipline"_
drawn up by the last meeting of the _Bohemian Brethren_
just before the battle of the White Mountain edited by Comenius. From
this Zinzendorf saw that the settlers he had received represented the
ancient church that had existed so long in Bohemia. He was profoundly
touched by the lament of Comenius as he recorded the destruction of its
testimony, and he resolved that he and all that he had should be devoted
to the preservation of the Little Company of the Lord's disciples that
had taken refuge with him. When this document was communicated to the
refugees they were stirred to restore the old church, from members of
which many of them were descended.

The question of the relations of the communal society at Herrnhut to the
Lutheran Church naturally arose. Zinzendorf, himself a Lutheran, wanted
the community

=Page 276: Moravian Missions=

to attach itself altogether to the Lutheran Church. This they were
determined not to do. Eventually the matter was decided by lot, a method
much in use among them, and the lot decided against joining the Lutheran
Church. Then Zinzendorf, to avoid friction with that, the established
Church, had himself ordained as a minister in it, while one of the
refugees was consecrated bishop by Daniel Ernst Jablonsky, Court
preacher at Berlin, and the only surviving bishop of the old Church of
the Bohemian Brethren. In this way they were acknowledged as a community
within the Lutheran Church and so able to administer the sacraments. In
spite of this the forces opposed to them were such that Zinzendorf was
banished from the kingdom of Saxony (1736).

Visiting the King of Denmark, Christian VI, he met a negro, Anthony,
whom he invited to Herrnhut, and Anthony's description of the condition
of the slaves in the West Indies so affected his hearers, that one,
Leonard Dober, offered to go and carry the Gospel to them. The project
was confirmed by casting lots and the young man, with another, David
Nitschmann, set out. They were practical men, a carpenter and a potter,
had been well educated in the Herrnhut schools, and were able speakers.
They set forth on their journey on foot, with no more baggage than they
could carry on their backs and with 18/ between them. This was the
beginning of the Moravian Missions, which turned the whole Body into a
Missionary Society (1732). Devotion to Christ led many of the
missionaries to choose by preference the most difficult and dangerous
regions to work in. Herrnhut became a centre associated with all parts
of the world. In many countries settlements modelled upon it were
established. In its large cemetery are the graves of natives of the most
diverse countries, who came from their distant lands to visit the parent

The work of the Moravians in England began in 1738, when Peter Boehler,
on his way as a missionary to South Carolina, spoke in London in a
Society founded by James Hutton, a London bookseller. Hutton and his
friends were seekers after salvation, but had not found assurance, and
as Boehler, in broken English, but with much ability, expounded the
Scriptures to them, "it was", said Hutton, "with indescribable
astonishment and joy that we

=Page 277: Their Work in England=

embraced the doctrine of the Saviour, of His merits and sufferings, of
justification through faith in Him, and of freedom by it from the
dominion of guilt and sin." This company accepted the Herrnhut rules
given them by Boehler, and a preacher from Germany was sent to them,
though they still remained members of the Church of England. Four years
later Spangenberg came from Germany, and admitted them as a congregation
of the Brethren's Church, introducing the rules and officers of the
German congregations. At first there was much intercourse between them
and Wesley, who was largely influenced by their example in his
organization of Societies within the Established Church, class meetings
and love feasts. Benjamin Ingham, a clergyman at Ossett, in Yorkshire,
was one of those who in these days of revival was active and greatly
blessed in his work. Not confining himself to his parish, he travelled
over the country from Halifax to Leeds, and founded some fifty little
societies for reading and prayer. Seeing a need of more helpers, he
invited the Moravians, who, responding immediately, sent twenty-six
workers, men and women, into Yorkshire. They set to work methodically.
Spangenberg directed operations from Wyke as a centre; Toeltschig, who
had come with Christian David from Moravia, was at Holbeck; altogether
there were five directing centres arranged, controlling in a short time
nearly fifty preaching places, which were carried on with the help of
_"National Assistants"_ or native helpers. The
preachers had all the tumultuous experiences usual at that time, and it
was decided to establish a more solid base by building a Herrnhut in
England. Count Zinzendorf came over and helped them in securing land at
Pudsey between Leeds and Bradford, money was sent from Germany and
Fulneck was built, its name chosen to commemorate its connection with
Fulneck in Moravia. Here a settlement was established on the Herrnhut
model, and others on a smaller scale at Wyke, Mirfield, and Gomersal,
where Zinzendorf's rules and regulations were reproduced.

Similar work was done in some other parts of the country; the most
successful evangelist being John Cennick, born in England but descended
from a Bohemian family that had taken refuge in England at the break-up
of the Old Bohemian Brethren's Church. Cennick was at first an active

=Page 278: Philadelphia Societies=

helper of the Wesleys but his leanings to Whitefield's doctrines led
them to repudiate him, and eventually he became fully associated with
the Moravians. He was an open-air preacher of extraordinary power and a
man of a gentle and winning disposition. His short life was wholly
devoted to the Lord's service, and in the West of England and Northern
Ireland the fruit of his labours was very abundant.

The endeavour to control from Germany this widespread organization
proved an increasing hindrance to the work, and even when modified as it
was later in England and America, the unsuitability of the settlement
system to meet the varied needs of different national characteristics,
and of changing circumstances, emphasizes the fact that the wisest plans
of even the best of men are not fitted for permanent or universal
application, whereas the teaching and example of the New Testament as to
the founding and conduct of the churches of God prove suitable to every
variety of need.

       *       *       *       *       *

In the eighteenth century the Philadelphia societies or churches were
formed as the result of the meeting of two streams of spiritual

The first owed its origin to the desire of the soul for immediate
communion with God, and union with Him.

The second sprang from a sense of the essential unity of all the
children of God, and a desire to express this communion of the true

The Roman Catholic Church early introduced its clergy and sacraments
between the soul and the Saviour, but while this system kept many at a
distance from Him, there were those whose longing for communion with
God, as He is revealed in Christ Jesus, and desire for the Heavenly
Bridegroom was so strong that they devoted themselves to the attainment
of the full knowledge of Him and the experience of union with Him. This
they sought in the way of following Jesus, of the imitation of Christ.
They thought to attain this by meditation on Him, so that His beauty and
blessedness might be increasingly revealed to them, and by an asceticism
which should subdue the body and the natural will.

Protestantism accentuated the divisions among the

=Page 279: The Mystics=

professing people of God and induced the bitterest strife and enmity
between the numerous parties. There were, however, those who lamented
this and tried to emphasize the underlying unity in life and love of
those who are separated from the world but joined to Christ and His
members by faith.

Those in the Roman Catholic Church, often called
_Mystics_ or _Quietists,_ were long
looked upon as patterns of the Christian life, some of the best known
among them being canonized, but later the influence of the Jesuits and
of Louis XIV of France caused them to be persecuted. The Spanish priest,
Miguel de Molinos (1640-1697), coming to Rome about 1670, became the
greatest spiritual power there. His book the _"Spiritual
Guide"_ was used as a rule of life by large numbers, especially
of the aristocracy and the priesthood. He was the confessor and most
trusted adviser of the Pope Innocent XI, a Pope who was personally
opposed to persecution, yet Molinos was eventually condemned to lifelong
imprisonment, and died in the hands of the Inquisition, though in what
manner remains unknown. Madame Guyon (1648-1717) by her life and
writings led wide circles to strive after a life of perfect love and
entire acquiescence in the will of God. The gifted and saintly
Archbishop Fénélon accepted and defended her teaching at the cost of all
his popularity and prospects at court. Louis XIV imprisoned her
repeatedly, at last in the dreaded Bastille, but those stone walls,
twelve feet thick, could not check the influence and spread of her

In Protestant circles the writings of Gottfried Arnold (1666-1714) had a
great effect. He studied at Wittenberg and became Professor of History
at Giessen, but withdrew from the position as he found that the social
and ceremonial duties it involved hindered his inner life of communion
with the Lord. Spener disagreed with this, maintaining that we must hold
on to what we do not approve even if it endangers our own souls, as long
as there is any hope of helping others. Arnold, however, regarded the
Lutheran Church as Babel and incapable of reformation, and felt that the
way he took of lonely separation was more in accord with the example of
the Apostles. His first book, _"First Love, that is a True
Picture of the First Christians_

=Page 280: Books by Arnold and Madame Guyon=

_according to their Living Faith and holy Life"_ was a
history of the Church in Apostolic times and until the time of
Constantine, in which he showed the evils brought in by the union of
Church and State. Being increasingly impressed by the fact that Church
history has been written by representatives of the dominant churches and
from a party point of view, he thought it necessary to present that
important history in an impartial way, and so wrote the history by which
he became so widely known in his own and succeeding generations,
entitled _"Impartial History of the Churches and Heretics from
the Beginning of the New Testament to the Year of Christ,
1688"_. Abandoning the idea that the Church is bound up with
some particular society or organization, he sought the universal
Church's hidden and scattered throughout the whole world and among all
peoples and churches. Naturally opinions of the book differed. One
theologian wrote that it was the most harmful book that had been written
since the birth of Christ and another called it the best and most useful
book of its kind after the Holy Scriptures.

Madame Guyon's writings opened to many the view of the possibility of a
life in perfect communion with God.

Arnold's book awakened the hope of separation from the world and
communion with all saints.

About 1700 there was a drawing together of these various scattered
elements into societies or churches, to which the name of
_Philadelphia_ (Brotherly love) was given.

The little country of Wittgenstein,[97] at the southern end of
Westphalia, had a series of good and tolerant rulers, and this attracted
a large population of very varied character. Fugitives from the Cevennes
in France were kindly received, the more so as the two brothers who
ruled respectively the northern and southern parts of the country had
married (1657) two sisters, daughters of a French nobleman who had
escaped to the Netherlands from the massacre of St. Bartholomew. Both
these families were devoted Christians. In 1712 the northern part of the
country, called Berleburg, was ruled by a descendant of one of these
families, Count Casimir, who, with his wife and widowed mother, was the
consistent protector of all who were oppressed.

=Page 281: Philadelphian Revival=

They were connected with the Philadelphia churches which spread widely
at this time. Jane Leade of Norwich and others taught that the messages
to the churches in the 2nd and 3rd chapters of the Revelation had a
progressive historic meaning. Sardis represented Protestantism, having a
name to live and yet being dead. The indifference and apostasy of
Laodicea were coming. All awakened souls were called to realize and be
joined to faithful Philadelphia. A Philadelphia church was founded in
London in 1695, not, they said, to form a new sect, but to preserve in
their meetings the spirit of love and the form of the first holy and
Catholic Apostolic Church. The members did not necessarily separate from
the churches to which they had belonged and did not persuade others to
do so, yet they held their regular meetings at the same time as the
churches had their services, so that attendance at the latter was made
impossible for those who attended the former. At present, they said, the
Philadelphia church is weak, and until it is manifested in power it is
not to be expected that those things will take place which are looked
for, the conversion of the Jews, the bringing in of the Turks and other
unbelievers, the recovery of the apostasy, the restitution of all things
and the personal appearing of Christ on the earth. Similar meetings were
begun in many parts of Germany, Holland, and elsewhere, and Berleburg
became the centre of an important revival spreading over all west
Germany from the Alps to the sea.

In these circles, in 1712, the Marburg Bible was published with the
title, "Mystic and Prophetic Bible, that is the whole of the Holy
Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, newly translated from the
original, with explanations of the Principal Types and Prophecies,
especially of the Song of Songs of Solomon and the Revelation of Jesus
Christ, with their principal Doctrines, etc." Later (1726-1742) a larger
work was produced, the Berleburg Bible, in eight volumes, beautifully
printed in large type and containing extensive notes, among which some
of the teachings of Madame Guyon were included.

The Philadelphia society or church was the outcome of a great variety of
different movements and it aimed at setting aside the differences in the
churches and uniting all in love and thought the purifying and
perfecting of the

=Page 282: Philadelphian Invitation=

soul more important than the observance of the outward forms of the

In order to help one another they set aside a time each morning when, in
all the different places where they were, they would join in spirit in
waiting on God.

An active member of the society in Berleburg was Dr. Carl, medical
attendant to Count Casimir. In 1730 he issued the _"Philadelphia
Invitation",_ an appeal to undying souls to turn from the
circumference of opinions and passions to the centre, to worship in
Spirit and in truth. Those whose ears are opened do not differ (it says)
in their sentiments, they have one language, taste and affection. But
such central unity is only found in those who leave the fleshly letter
and self-made articles and turn continually into themselves in spirit
and in truth and taste the theology of the heart as the sweet Word of
God. They may be called Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Reformed, etc.--there
Tauler, Kempis, Arndt, Neander are all one. The real, abiding part of
Christianity is the putting to death of the old man and making alive of
the spirit.

This appeal awakened a response in countless hearts, especially in
Württemberg and Switzerland. Many who did not join the outward circle of
Philadelphia belonged to it in heart. All these sought the Kingdom of
God and practised piety, they looked upon Philadelphia as the society to
which they belonged inwardly because they believed they saw in it that
which is essential to the Kingdom of God, whereas in the churches of the
different confessions they saw only outward shells and forms, among
which the spirit of the Antichrist was hidden. Zinzendorf tried to
organize these societies and attach them to the Moravian Brethren's
Unity, but without success.

The preaching of Hochmann von Hochenau at this time was one great means
of revival, in the conversion of sinners and founding of Philadelphia
churches. His constant journeys, when he was attacked by mobs,
imprisoned by the authorities, and yet listened to everywhere by
enormous crowds, filled a life of enthusiastic service for the Lord with
blessing to countless numbers of his hearers. His only periods of rest
were when he retired from time to time to a little hermitage he had in
the forests of Wittgenstein, otherwise his love to all men, especially
the Jews,

=Page 283: Primitive Churches and Reformers=

kept him travelling and preaching all over western and northern Germany.
The preaching of Hochmann was the means of the conversion of a young
student of theology, Hoffman, whose meetings, outside the Established
Church, helped towards the conversion of Gerhard Tersteegen, who became
later a powerful witness for Christ and has ministered to succeeding
generations also by his beautiful hymns. Jung Stilling (1740-1817),
whose life and writings exercised a great influence, wrote of these
days: "In the whole history of the Church is no time in which the
expectation of the Lord's coming was so instant and so universal as in
the first half of the century just ended, the revivals at Halle led the
way, the restoration of the Brethren's Church through Zinzendorf
followed immediately, then the mystic Philadelphia society at Berleburg,
the fruit of which is the Berleburg Bible. At the same time two heralds
appeared, Friedrich Roch and Hochmann von Hochenau, then Gerhard
Tersteegen and many other men."

       *       *       *       *       *

Those called Waldenses, or Anabaptists, and others of like character,
were not reformers of the Roman Catholic Church, nor, afterwards, of the
Lutheran and Reformed Churches. Their origin was earlier and they
carried on their primitive Bible teachings and practices from before,
and then through the times of the rise and progress of those
later-developed communions.

In the same way those called Paulicians, and others spiritually related
to them, were not reformers of the Greek Orthodox Church, but preceded
it and were later contemporary with it, but always separate from it.

There were, however, other movements which were movements of reform, in
connection with both the Catholic and the Protestant churches. Some of
these made efforts to influence the existing communion from within,
while others formed groups which left, or were expelled from it. Of
these latter "the Reformation" came out of the Roman Catholic Church and
formed Protestant denominations, which represented varying degrees of
reform of Roman Catholicism. There were also attempts at reform within
the Roman Catholic Church, such as those of Francis of Assisi, and of
several of the Popes, who made genuine efforts to remove

=Page 284: Different Ways of Return to Unity=

abuses, but found long established custom and entanglement of financial
obligations too strong for them.

Similarly, in the Lutheran and Reformed Churches there were some who
attempted reform from within, as the Pietists. There were also others
who separated from them, such as those called Labadists.

The Bohemian Brethren were originally of primitive, Waldensian belief,
but when Zinzendorf reorganized them it was on those Pietist lines which
tended to keep them within the established churches.

The Mystics represent those who, not seeing any possibility of returning
to the order of the primitive church, took refuge in personal
sanctification and communion with God and remained in the ecclesiastical
associations in which they were, and which they valued more or less
according to their individual character. They had spiritual affinities
with what was best in monasticism, and were found in both the Catholic
and Protestant communions. They endeavoured to form actual churches at
the time of the "Philadelphian Invitation".

Departure from the commands of Christ and from Apostolic doctrine had
been very great, and had extended to every particular of the teachings
of Scripture, therefore the long way back was not found all at once;
first one truth was recovered, then another. As these spiritual revivals
occurred in various surroundings and at different times they produced a
number of churches, differing from each other in their history, in the
measure of their apprehension of original revelation, and of their
return to primitive practice. On this account they incur the reproach of
multiplying sects, but in reality they are many paths back to the first
unity--that first unity which will be their final one, for the
travellers will reach the goal at last, according to the Lord's prayer
for them: "I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in
One; and that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me, and hast loved
them, as Thou hast loved Me" (John 17.23).


[92] "Geschichte des Christlichen Lebens in der rheinisch-westphălischen
Kirche Max Goebel. "Geschichte des Pietismus und der Mystik in der
reformirten Kirche u.s.w." Heinr. Heppe. "Geschichte des Pietismus in
der reformirten Kirche" Albrecht Ritschl.

[93] "Die Vorbereitung des Pietismus in der Reformierten Kirche der
Niederlande bis zur Labadistischen Krisis, 1670." von Wilhelm Goeters,
Leipzig. J. C. Hinrichssehe Buchhandlung Utrecht. A. Oosthock, 1911.

[94] "Geschichte des Pietismus in der reformirten Kirche" Albrecht

[95] "The Life of Aug. Herm. Franke" H. E. F. Guerike. trans. S.

[96] "History of the Moravian church" J. E. Hutton M.A.

[97] "Geschichte des Christlichen Lebens in der rheinisch-westphälichen
evangelischen Kirche" Max Goebel.

=Page 285: England in the Eighteenth Century=

Chapter XIII

Methodist and Missionary Movements


Condition of England in the 18th century--Revivals in Wales--Temporary
schools--Societies formed--The holy club at Oxford--Mrs. Wesley--John
and Charles Wesley sail to Georgia--John Wesley returns and meets Peter
Boehler--Accepts Christ by faith--Visits Herrnhut--George
Whitefield--Preaches to the colliers at Kingswood--John Wesley also
begins preaching in the open air--Lay preachers--Strange
manifestations--Great revivals--Charles Wesley's hymns--Separation
between Moravian and Methodist Societies--Divergence in doctrine of
Wesley and Whitefield--Conference--Separation of Methodist Societies
from the Church of England--Divisions--General benefit from the
movement--Need of missionary work--William Carey--Andrew
Fuller--Formation of Missionary Societies--Difference between Mission
Stations and churches--The brothers Haldane--James Haldane preaches in
Scotland--Opposition of Synods--Large numbers hear the Gospel--A church
formed in Edinburgh--Liberty of ministry--Question of baptism--Robert
Haldane visits Geneva--Bible Readings on Romans--The Lord's Supper in
Geneva--A church formed.

Infidelity and indifference to matters of religion and morals prevailed
in England in the 18th century, to an extent, and with consequences,
that arrested the attention of all careful observers. With the upper
classes it was fashionable to be irreligious and immoral, while the
lower classes were plunged in the grossest ignorance and sin. The clergy
were, with few exceptions, no better than the people, literature was
atheistic and impure, drunkenness was considered no disgrace, violence
and crime were rampant. The effort to restrain crime and preserve
property by savage punishments increased recklessness, the condition of
prisons was abominable, the oppression of the poor and helpless was
without mercy. There remained a strong undercurrent of religion and
faith, but it was hidden by the popular indulgence in sin and mockery of
all that was good. The companies of believers were few in number
compared with the bulk of the population and a certain langour had crept
over many of them which showed that they were in need of reviving.

=Page 286: Revivals in Wales=

It was in these circumstances that a spiritual revival was given of
extraordinary extent and fruitfulness.[98] Wales was as dark as England,
and suffered the additional disadvantage that many of its clergy were
English and out of touch with the people in sentiment and language.
There were, however, some Welsh clergymen of the Established Church who
were notable exceptions. William Wroth, rector of Llanvaches, suddenly
converted, had a message of life which the hungry people crowded to
hear, so that his church would not contain them; he preached in the open
air and even outside his own parish, and when punished for such doings
by the loss of his benefice, he founded an independent church of
believers in Llanvachery, in 1638. His influence led Walter Cradock,
expelled from his curacy in Cardiff, to travel about and preach the
Gospel to the crowds who were eager to hear, and to attach himself to
the Congregational churches. Rees Pritchard was another who had the
message of salvation, which such numbers gathered to hear that he also
preached in the open air. He was summoned before the Ecclesiastical
Court for this, but influence was used which enabled him to continue his
preaching and still remain in the Church of England. Another clergyman,
Griffith Jones, also a Welshman, early in the eighteenth century
prepared his country for the greater work that was to come. As he
preached and taught in his parish he saw how great was the disadvantage
from which the people suffered in being unable to read the Bible for
themselves, so, with the help of friends, he employed teachers to travel
from place to place and hold temporary schools. Later, the lack of
suitable teachers led him to open a training-school where only persons
of religious principles were accepted, most of them being
Nonconformists. People of all ages attended his schools, in spite of the
opposition of the clergy, glad of an opportunity they had never had
before, and a great reformation was wrought in the character and conduct
of the nation. At the death of Griffith Jones, twenty years after he
began his schools, there had been about three thousand five hundred of
them at work and a third of the population of Wales had passed through

About the same time a young man, Howel Harris, was

=Page 287: The "Methodists"=

refused ordination on the ground that he had begun to preach before
receiving it. Undeterred, however, and remaining still a member of the
Established Church, he continued his preaching apart from it, in the
open air, in houses, and any other available buildings. The Gospel was
effectual; large numbers were converted, many lives were changed, and in
homes formerly godless family worship was established. Other workers
joined Harris, both clergy and laymen, and in order to encourage those
affected by the Word societies of religious people were formed. As was
to be expected, opposition was excited; riotous mobs, led by the civil
authorities and the clergy, subjected the preachers to every kind of
indignity and abuse. One of the most gifted of them was Daniel Rowlands,
also a clergyman, dismissed from his curacy for preaching outside the
bounds of his own parish. To Llangeitho, where he preached, thousands
used to come, travelling from all parts of the Principality to hear him,
there being a power in his ministry which those who heard him found it
impossible to describe. This movement in Wales soon came into touch with
a similar movement in England. The whole character of the Welsh people
was changed. Nor was this change transitory, for Wales at the present
day, instead of being, as formerly, irreligious and spiritually dead, is
renowned for the widespread working and depth of its spiritual life.

       *       *       *       *       *

A little group of students in Oxford began to meet in 1729 for the
purpose of helping one another in the common object that was before
them, that of saving their souls and living to the glory of God.[99]
Their ways soon brought upon them the ridicule of their fellow students
and of some of the officers of the colleges, for they differed
completely in their manner of life from most of the students; they lived
according to a careful and ascetic rule, visited prisoners and sick
people, and helped the poor. They were styled "the Holy Club" or "the
Godly Club", the "Enthusiasts", or "Methodists". Among their founders
were John and Charles Wesley, and they were soon joined by George
Whitefield. The mother of the Wesleys was a woman of such unusual
character and ability that it is evident that the extra

=Page 288: Susanna Wesley=

ordinary career and influence of her sons owed much to her and to her
early training of them. Her husband was a clergyman, they had a large
family and a considerable household. She was not only most careful in
the bringing-up of each one of her children, but, during the frequent
absences of her husband on duty she felt it right to gather her whole
household together at stated times and to read the Scriptures and speak
and pray with them. Through the servants present these gatherings were
spoken about and others begged to be allowed to come, so that, at times,
as many as two hundred crowded in and some had to go away for lack of
room. Complaints were made to her husband that she took a part
unbecoming in a woman. Replying to him, when he wrote to her on the
subject, she said: "As I am a woman, so I am also mistress of a large
family; and ... in your absence, I cannot but look upon every soul you
leave under my care, as a talent committed to me under a trust, by the
great Lord of all the families both of heaven and earth.... I cannot
conceive why any should reflect upon you, because your wife endeavours
to draw people to church, and to restrain them from profaning the Lord's
Day, by reading to them, and other persuasions. For my part, I value no
censure on this account. I have long since shook hands with the world;
and I heartily wish I had never given them more reason to speak against
me. As to its looking particular, I grant it does. And so does almost
anything that is serious, or that may any way advance the glory of God,
or the salvation of souls.... But there is one thing about which I am
much dissatisfied; that is, their being present at family prayers. I do
not speak of any concern I am under, barely because so many are present.
For those who have the honour of speaking to the great and holy God,
need not be ashamed to speak before the whole world; but because of my
sex. I doubt if it is proper for me to present the prayers of the people
of God. Last Sunday I would fain have dismissed them before prayers; but
they begged so earnestly to stay, I durst not deny them."

After their ordination, and still seeking their souls' salvation, John
Wesley, his brother Charles, and two others, sailed for Georgia. On
board they met a party of Moravians and John Wesley describes the deep

=Page 289: John and Charles Wesley=

made on his mind by the meekness and peace and courage they showed under
all circumstances. His is stay in Georgia, in spite of the practice of
severe self-denial and conscientious work, was a failure, and he soon
returned to England, in a state of spiritual wretchedness. "I went to
America" he cried, "to convert the Indians; but oh! who shall convert
me!" On reaching London (1738) he again came into contact with
Moravians, and on "A day much to be remembered" met Peter Boehler, just
landed from Germany. With him he had much conversation and by him, he
says, "in the hand of the great God I was ... clearly convinced of
unbelief; of the want of that faith whereby alone we are saved." Should
he then leave off preaching, he asked Boehler: "No", he replied, "preach
faith till you have it; and then, because you have it, you will preach
faith." So Wesley offered salvation by faith only to all whom he met,
but still he could not apprehend that salvation could be immediate.
Searching through the Acts of the Apostles to find whether there were
any such cases recorded there, he found, to his astonishment, that
nearly all were converted in this way. Then he took refuge in the
thought that such things might happen in the early days of Christianity,
but that times are changed now. He was, however, driven from this refuge
by the testimony of many about him to their own experience of immediate
salvation on believing. So at last he accepted Christ by faith as his

His brother Charles and others were angry with him for saying that he,
who had done so much, had never been saved until now, but soon
afterwards he records: "My brother had a long and particular
conversation with Peter Boehler. And it now pleased God to open his
eyes; so that he saw clearly what was the nature of that one true living
faith, whereby alone 'through grace we are saved.'"

A society was formed, to consist of little bands of members who should
meet weekly to confess their faults to one another and for intercession.
As John Wesley preached diligently in many of the London churches "free
salvation by faith in the blood of Christ" he was officially informed in
one after another that this was the last time he would be allowed to
preach there.

He now visited the Moravian settlement at Herrnhut and also Count
Zinzendorf, and was much helped in intercourse

=Page 290: George Whitefield=

with those he met. Then he returned to England and began once more to
preach and to visit, and going to Bristol he met again his old friend
George Whitefield.[100]

Whitefield was born at the Bell Inn, Gloucester (1714). Some time after
his mother became a widow and was much reduced in circumstances, so that
her youngest son's ambition to become a clergyman was only fulfilled
with difficulty by the help of friends, who enabled him to get a post as
servitor at Pembroke College and so to study. There he passed through an
experience of great spiritual anguish as a seeker after salvation. He
joined the "holy club" and by fasting and other mortifying of the flesh
reduced himself to serious weakness. He then became a student of the
Scriptures and records: "I got more true knowledge from reading the Book
of God in one month than I could ever have acquired from all the
writings of men". Having thus learned and experienced justification by
faith, he was anxious to preach, and as soon as he was ordained began to
do so; with such startling effect that it was commonly reported that his
first sermon drove fifteen persons mad. His gift as a preacher was, from
the beginning, so remarkable that crowds pressed to hear him. A sermon
he preached in Bristol, _"On the Nature and Necessity of our
Regeneration or New Birth in Christ Jesus"_ was the beginning
of the great awakening that followed in Gloucester, Bristol and London.
For a short time he was away in Georgia, where he founded an orphanage.
Returning to England, he found that his habit of going from house to
house where he was invited and expounding the Scriptures, so incensed
the clergy against him that almost all the pulpits were closed to him.
Some of his friends had suggested to him that as he had been out to
America to preach to Indians he might as well preach to the rough,
neglected colliers at Kingswood, near Bristol, and he says: "Finding
that the pulpits are denied me, and the poor colliers are ready to
perish for lack of knowledge, I went to them, and preached on a mount to
upwards of two hundred. Blessed be God, that the ice is now broken, and
I have now taken the field.... I thought it might be doing the
service of my Creator, who had a mountain for His pulpit, and the
heavens for His sounding-board: and who, when the Gospel was refused by
the Jews,

=Page 291: Open-Air Preaching=

sent His servants into the highways and hedges." The next time he
preached ten thousand people came together; his marvellous voice reached
them all as he spoke to them for an hour. He tells how "the first
discovery of their being affected was to see the white gutters made by
their tears, which plentifully fell down their black cheeks as they came
out of their coal-pits. Hundreds and hundreds of them were soon brought
under deep conviction, which, as the event proved, happily ended in a
sound and thorough conversion."

It was here that Whitefield sent for John Wesley to come and help in the
work. Wesley, who was a devoted churchman, says: "In the evening I
reached Bristol, and met Mr. Whitefield there. I could scarce reconcile
myself at first to this strange way of preaching in the fields, of which
he set me an example on Sunday; having been all my life (till very
lately) so tenacious of every point relating to decency and order, that
I should have thought the saving of souls almost a sin, if it had not
been done in a church. In the evening (Mr. Whitefield being gone) I
began expounding our Lord's Sermon on the Mount (one pretty remarkable
precedent of field preaching, though I suppose there were churches at
that time also) to a little Society which was accustomed to meet once or
twice a week in Nicholas St. At four in the afternoon, I submitted to be
more vile, and proclaimed in the highways the glad tidings of salvation,
speaking from a little eminence in a ground adjoining to the city to
about three thousand people."

In this way the barriers were broken down and unrestricted preaching of
the Gospel spread over the country. It was accompanied by a power of the
Spirit that nothing could resist. The crowds that came together to hear
numbered sometimes tens of thousands. Not only were the lowest of the
people converted to God in vile gaols and filthy slums, but when the
Countess of Huntingdon threw herself and her influence into the work the
aristocracy was reached and many of its members became disciples of
Christ. The lack of clergy for the work overcame the strong scruples of
John Wesley so that he was obliged to acknowledge that the Holy Spirit
had sent numerous laymen to preach the Gospel, some of them, as John
Nelson, unlettered, but having that spiritual experience and power which

=Page 292: Revival=

them to be powerful and effectual witnesses for Christ. In the early
days there were strange manifestations in the meetings. Hearers would be
smitten to the ground in convulsions, cry out in an agony of repentance
or fear, sometimes in wild blasphemies, before they obtained deliverance
of body and soul. Most violent opposition assailed the preachers from
all sides. Riotous mobs attacked them and those who with them had
confessed Christ, doing grievous injury to persons and property, but all
this was met by a courage and meekness which the adversaries were not
able to withstand.

The journeys of Wesley and Whitefield and others were incessant. Mostly
on horseback, in all kinds of weather, they constantly traversed all
England and Wales; one of the greatest revivals was through Whitefield's
preaching in Scotland; in Ireland, North and South, the results were the
same; Whitefield repeatedly visited New England, and the same power was
manifested there. It was while preaching there that he died, in 1770.
John Wesley, however, continued his indefatigable labours until his 88th
year in 1790, feeling, almost to the end's "none of the infirmities of
old age". Dying he gathered his remaining strength, and, lifting up his
arms and voice among those who surrounded him, cried out twice: "The
best of all is, God is with us".

Charles Wesley,[101] though not equal to his brother in ability as a
preacher, fully shared his labours. His greatest and lasting service to
the Church is in the hymns he wrote; they exceed six thousand in number,
and many of them are of a poetic beauty and a spiritual value which
place them among the best that have ever been written. They contain, in
beautiful and arresting form, sound expositions of many of the principal
doctrines taught in Scripture, and they express worship and the inward
experiences of the spirit in a way which make them continually suited to
give utterance to the longings and praises of hearts touched by the
Spirit of God. The Wesleys, finding that most people take their theology
more from hymns than from Scripture, wrote hymns with the definite
purpose of teaching doctrine by them.

=Page 293: Doctrinal Differences=

Among the many workers for the Kingdom of God at this time it is not to
be wondered at that differences of view developed on various points.
Laying hold afresh of neglected truth revealed in the Word of God, some
apprehended more fully one aspect of it, some another; while each was
inclined to emphasize what he had seen and to suspect danger in the
vision of the other. Though the Holy Spirit is given to lead into all
truth, yet not all receive this fulness; indeed, the very magnitude and
variety of the Divine revelation often leads to partial and differing
apprehension of it.

Although so greatly helped by the Moravians at the beginning, Wesley
gradually came to differ from them on various points. Their historical
connection with the Bohemian Brethren gave them tendencies which he
regarded as mystical and quietist, unattractive to his practical,
aggressive nature. The gathering in Fetter Lane where both Moravians and
Methodists had met together divided in 1702, the Moravians remaining
there and the Methodists moving to a place called the "Foundry".

Wesley and Whitefield diverged early in doctrine, Whitefield holding
Calvinistic views with regard to election, which Wesley strongly
repudiated, and when Whitefield returned from America in 1741 he
preached openly against "General Redemption", not refraining from doing
this even when preaching at the Foundry and in the presence of Charles
Wesley. The sympathies of the Countess of Huntingdon were with
Whitefield rather than with Wesley, and the Methodist Societies which
spread over England were Wesleyan and Arminian, while those in Wales
were Calvinistic as were also those of the "Countess of Huntingdon's

These differences did not personally alienate Wesley and Whitefield, and
it is noticeable that the preaching of justification by faith whether by
the one or the other was equally effectual in the conversion of sinners.
The styles of preaching, too, of Wesley and Whitefield were entirely
different, but the same truths preached produced the same results.
Whitefield's preaching was eloquent, impassioned, so dramatic that
people seemed to see the scenes he depicted; he would sometimes break
into weeping as he saw the need of the souls before him. Wesley was
clear and

=Page 294: "Conference"=

logical, his preaching largely expository, yet he captured the attention
of the roughest audiences.

Wesley's determined adherence to the Established Church prevented him
from seeing those principles which are taught in Scripture regarding the
churches of God, and he never attempted to follow up his Gospel
preaching by forming churches, on the New Testament pattern, of those
who believed. Yet in 1746 he wrote, "On the road I read over Lord King's
account of the Primitive Church. In spite of the vehement prejudice of
my education, I was ready to believe that this was a fair and impartial
draught; but if so, it would follow that Bishops and Presbyters are
(essentially) of one order; and that originally every Christian
congregation was a church independent on all others!" He organized what
seemed to him practical methods of giving permanence to the work; his
"Bands" and "Societies" did not profess to be companies of believers,
but rather of seekers. Their basis of fellowship was experimental more
than doctrinal, the condition of admittance was a desire to flee from
the wrath to come and to be saved. Members were free to attend such
places of worship as they preferred and to hold their own opinions on
different points, but they were not allowed to make of them subjects of
discussion or contention. In 1740 a member was excluded because he
insisted on arguing about election and reprobation.

From time to time Wesley purged the societies of unworthy members, as he
saw fit. As long as he lived he controlled the organization, and the
"Conference" which he established to take control after him was an
entirely clerical body. His efforts to keep the movement within the
Church of England failed, partly because the Established Church disowned
and systematically opposed it, partly because it was not possible for
the new life and energy to be confined in such bonds; the time
inevitably came when formal separation had to take place.

Conference was not able to hold the Wesleyan Methodist Societies
together. Being a clerical body it was, like all such bodies, jealous of
privilege, and its resistance to an effort to bring in lay
representation led to the formation of the Methodist New Connexion.
Later, its attempt to control open-air preaching and its expulsion of
some who held "camp meetings" without its permission, gave rise

=Page 295: Effects of Evangelical Revival=

to that very active and devoted body, the Primitive Methodists. In the
course of further conflicts and divisions Conference gradually came to
accept some of the innovations it had at first resisted.

The formation and remarkable growth of these vigorous denominations was
not, however, the only, nor even the principal result of the spiritual
awakening of the 15th century. That is found in the powerful influence
it exercised on the English-speaking peoples, on the character of the
British Empire and of the United States, stirring large numbers of
people to devote themselves to removing abuses, to working
righteousness, and to delivering the oppressed. It gave an impetus to
better legislation, to liberty of conscience, to the abolition of
slavery, to prison reform, and to missionary activity. The Established
Church also gained greatly by it, becoming the scene of evangelical and
other revivals in which the gross evils that had so long prevailed
disappeared. The churches, whether Baptist or Congregational, also
derived benefit from the general reviving, and their activities were

       *       *       *       *       *

The fact that, after so many centuries, the Lord's command "Go ye into
all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature" remained
unfulfilled, and that many millions of men had never had the opportunity
of hearing the Gospel, had weighed on the consciences of Christian
people at various times, and there had been some who had devoted
themselves to reaching out to needy parts of the world. A great revival
of this sense of responsibility and of love to Christ and to mankind was
brought about through William Carey,[102] a village shoemaker, who was
also pastor of the Particular Baptist church at Moulton, where he with
difficulty maintained his family, studied languages and collected
information as to the state of the heathen world. In his work-room might
be seen a large map, made of sheets of paper pasted together, on which
every country in the world was shown and on which he entered all he
could ascertain as to the condition of each. This map was his
prayer-book and subject of conversation and preaching.

At a meeting of ministers at Northampton, an opportunity

=Page 296: Carey's Missionary Appeal=

being given for younger brethren to suggest some subject for discussion,
Carey proposed: _"whether the command given to the Apostles to
teach all nations was not obligatory on all succeeding ministers to the
end of the world, seeing that the accompanying promise was of equal
extent."_ This was set aside as a wholly unsuitable subject,
the extreme Calvinism of most in that circle preventing their seeing the
necessity of active obedience to this command of Christ.

The sermons of Andrew Fuller helped to overcome this hindrance. Carey
published _"An Enquiry into the Obligations of Christians to use
Means for the Conversion of the Heathens, in which the Religious State
of the Different Nations of the World, the Success of Former
Undertakings, and the Practicability of Farther Undertakings, are
considered by_ William Carey". After stating the principles
involved and referring to the work already accomplished by some, he
deals with a number of difficulties that might be raised against such
action. Among these is the "uncivilized and barbarous way of living" of
some of the heathen; "this", he argues, "can be no objection to any,
except those whose love of ease renders them unwilling to expose
themselves to inconvenience for the good of others. It was no objection
to the apostles and their successors, who went among the barbarous
Germans and Gauls, and still more barbarous Britons! They did not wait
for the ancient inhabitants of these countries to be civilized before
they could be christianized, but went simply with the doctrine of the
cross"; they "found that a cordial reception of the gospel produced
those happy effects which the longest intercourse with Europeans without
it could never accomplish." He suggests that two at least should go
together, preferably married men, and that they might be accompanied by
some who would soon be able, by agriculture or in such other ways as
experience might indicate, to earn sufficient for the needs of all. The
necessary qualifications, spiritual and otherwise, are dwelt upon, and
he adds: "It might likewise be of importance, if God should bless their
labours, for them to encourage any appearance of gifts amongst the
people of their charge; if such should be raised up many advantages
would be derived from their knowledge of the language and customs of
their countrymen; and their change of conduct would give great weight to
their ministrations."

=Page 297: Missionary Societies Formed=

The ministers' meeting of 1792 was held in the house of a widow, Mrs.
Wallis, in Kettering, and there a Society was formed to forward the
spread of the Gospel in other lands. A brief account of its aims was
drawn up and signed by twelve persons and a few months later Carey was
on his way to India, while Fuller, to the utmost of his ability and
zeal, was arousing the Christians of Great Britain to an understanding
of the responsibility laid upon them for the spread of the Gospel in the
whole world.

Difficulties which appeared to be insuperable were patiently overcome
and eventually the success of the enterprise was assured in the
blessings it brought both to India and to Britain. It was not until
after seven years of work and prayer that the firstfruits among the
Indians began to be seen; Krishna Pal, with his family, confessed
Christ, and he became an effective preacher of the Gospel as well as a

The interest thus aroused led to the formation, in 1795, of the London
Missionary Society, at first undenominational, but becoming later
Congregationalist, while in 1799 the Church Missionary Society was
organized. The Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society enlarged the scope
of its activities and others followed.

The devotion and ability directed by these organizations have borne
abundant fruit in many parts of the world. Their records contain some of
the most inspiring histories in the annals of mankind. Of necessity,
however, this manner of carrying Christianity to those outside has
brought the divisions and the religious historical developments of
Europe among heathen and Mohammedan peoples, so weakening the testimony
of the Gospel, and has tended to establish Mission Stations representing
and depending on the various Missionary Societies, rather than
independent churches, spreading by their own testimony among their own
people as was the case with the churches founded in apostolic days.

       *       *       *       *       *

Two brothers, Robert and James Alexander Haldane,[103] belonging to a
wealthy and well-connected Scottish family, who, as young men, served
with distinction in the navy, were converted and became diligent
students of the Scriptures.

=Page 298: James Haldane=

The younger, James, relates how, after his marriage: "When I first lived
in my own house, I began family worship on Sabbath evenings. I was
unwilling to have it more frequently, lest I should meet with ridicule
from my acquaintance. A conviction of duty at length determined me to
begin to have it every morning, but I assembled the family in a back
room for some time, lest anyone should come in. I gradually got over
this fear of man, and being desirous to instruct those who lived in my
family, I began to expound the Scriptures. I found this pleasant and
edifying to myself, and it has been one chief means by which the Lord
prepared me for speaking in public.... I began secretly to desire to
be allowed to preach the Gospel, which I considered as the most
important as well as honourable employment. I began to ask of God to
send me into this vineyard, and to qualify me for the work. This desire
continued to increase, although I had not the most distant prospect of
its being gratified, and sometimes in prayer my unbelieving heart
suggested that it could not be. I had no idea of going to the highways
and hedges, and telling sinners of the Saviour. However, I entertained
some distant hope that the Lord would direct."

Soon after this he and some others became interested in meetings for
preaching the Gospel in a neglected colliery village and, as it was not
always possible to get an ordained minister, sometimes laymen would
speak. One evening the preacher expected did not come, so James Haldane
took his place and preached his first Gospel sermon. This was in 1797,
and led on to his undertaking, with others, itinerary Gospel preaching,
which in the following years took him all over Scotland, and beyond.

The preachers travelled in a carriage and were well supplied with tracts
which they themselves wrote, printed, and distributed. They spoke in
churches, when these were lent to them; in schools and other buildings,
but chiefly in the open air. Hundreds--sometimes thousands--gathered to
hear them; there was much power with their testimony and large numbers
were converted. The spiritual needs of the country at that time were
great but the idea of laymen's helping was resented by many; though, on
the other hand, the strangeness of it often attracted hearers, who were
then affected by the earnestness and sincerity of the speakers.

=Page 299: Preaches in Scotland=

The Synod of the Established Church of Scotland, meeting in Aberdeen,
passed acts against "vagrant teachers and Sunday Schools, irreligion and
anarchy"; unlicensed preachers and unauthorized Sunday School teachers
were forbidden. The General Synod of the Anti-burgers condemned
Missionary Societies and warned their members against "attending upon,
or giving countenance to, public preaching, by any who are not of our
communion" and excommunicated those who disregarded this decree,
including one of their most gifted ministers. The Cameronians acted in
the same way, and the Relief Synod agreed "that no minister shall give,
or allow his pulpit to be given, to any person who has not attended a
regular course of philosophy and divinity in some of the Universities of
the nation, and who has not been regularly licensed to preach the
Gospel". These injunctions were disregarded by many and indeed often
served to increase the interest of hearing the Scriptures preached and
expounded by men who really believed them.

In justifying himself and his fellow workers James Haldane said: "We
would not ... be understood to mean that every follower of Jesus
should leave the occupation by which he provides for his family to
become a public preacher. It is an indispensable Christian duty for
every man to provide for his family; but we consider every Christian is
bound, wherever he has opportunity, to warn sinners to flee from the
wrath to come, and to point out Jesus as the way, the truth, and the
life. Whether a man declare these important truths to two, or two
hundred, he is, in our opinion, a preacher of the Gospel, or one who
declares the glad tidings of salvation, which is the precise meaning of
the word preach" ... "We deemed the low state of religion a
sufficient call for us to go to the highways and hedges, and endeavour
to compel our fellow sinners to lay hold on the hope set before them in
the Gospel". The preachers laid great stress on justification by faith
in the death and resurrection of Christ, without works. Visiting many
places, they found religion at a low ebb everywhere but also a desire to
hear the Word. As far north as Orkney, where they preached at the fair
at Kirkwall, three to four thousand listened daily, and on Lord's Day
some 6000 gathered together to hear.

A hearer, invited to attend a meeting and going out of

=Page 300: A Church in Edinburgh=

curiosity because of the pressing invitation he received, thus describes
his impressions: "Captain Haldane arrived on horseback at the place
where the people were assembled to hear him. He dismounted, and gave his
horse to the charge of another gentleman who stood by. He was then a
young man, under thirty years of age, and had on a blue great-coat,
braided in front, after the fashion of the times. He also wore powder,
and his hair tied behind, as was then usual for gentlemen. I can never
forget the impressions which fell on my heart as he, in a distinct,
clear, and manly tone, began to address the thoughtless multitude that
had been attracted to hear him. His powerful appeals to the conscience,
couched in such simple phrase, were so terrifying that I never closed an
eye, nor even retired to rest that night. The impression produced by
what I heard was never effaced from my mind, for though I did not fully
embrace the Gospel for years after, yet I never relapsed again into my
former state of carelessness and indifference to eternal things".

This work of conversion, and the reviving of many who were already
Christians, awakened questions as to what was the further course they
should take in following out the teachings of Scripture. The brothers
Haldane as well as a number of those with whom they worked came to be
oppressed by the union with manifestly unconverted people in which they
found themselves in the Established Church, so they separated from it,
and began to meet with those only who gave evidence of being children of
God. They formed a church in Edinburgh, which began with some 300
members and grew very rapidly. One of their first acts was to ordain
James Haldane as pastor. Robert Haldane provided large meeting places,
or "Tabernacles" not only in Edinburgh but also in other centres where
churches were gathered. Following the principle that the New Testament
contains the teaching and example which it is the duty of the Lord's
disciples to observe to-day, these churches began to take the Lord's
Supper each first day of the week; they also ceased to make collections
of money from the general congregations, but the members of the church
contributed what they were able. This came about gradually. Robert
Haldane wrote:[104] "I began with

=Page 301: Question of Baptism=

practising the Lord's Supper monthly. Afterwards I became convinced that
on the principles I held, I ought to observe it weekly.... I began
with a few individuals ... who erected themselves into a church; and I
am now convinced that any set or number of Christians, where there is no
church of Christ, may act as we did.... I began with being persuaded
that churches should not hold fellowship with the world, except in the
contribution of their money. I now blush when I think of such an

Little by little they came to understand that the Holy Spirit, if not
hindered by human arrangements, will give variety of ministers and
ministry, and as they gradually became accustomed to His working freely
through whom He would, they found much joy and power in the experience.

For some years James Haldane was troubled by doubts as to infant
baptism, but put the question aside, partly because he felt that
occupation with it might lead to a diminution of his usefulness. There
came a time, however, when conscience obliged him to refuse to baptize
infants, and, later, to submit himself to baptism, as did also his
brother and others whose study of the Scriptures had led them to the
same conclusion. They did not see any ground for separation from their
brethren when they decided on this step. They believed and taught that
believers should practise forbearance towards one another in the matters
in which they differ and earnestly desired that their action should not
lead to division in their happy circle. In spite of their efforts to
maintain unity, however, division took place. The greater number
remained together, some of them baptized, others not, but all united as
to the principle of forbearance with one another in such matters; some
formed a congregation on the same lines as before but rejecting baptism
by immersion and practising the baptism of infants; some went back into
the Established Church and others joined other denominations.

This division was a cause of sorrow, and difficulties that arose were
accentuated by the fact that so many of the meeting places were the
property of Robert Haldane; while efforts to train young men in Bible
Schools as evangelists and pastors proved to be a source of much

=Page 302: Robert Haldane=

and disappointment. The church which remained after so many had left,
though grieving on account of its diminished numbers, continued its
testimony, in which it continued to be blessed.

       *       *       *       *       *

Robert Haldane, in the midst of his various activities, had long had a
desire to make known the Word of God further afield, and in 1816 he and
his wife crossed to the Continent. They knew no one there and could form
no plan; did not even know whether their visit would only be for a few
weeks or be much prolonged. In Paris they made a few acquaintances which
led to their going to Bern and Geneva. They were about to leave the
latter city again, finding no opening there, when what appeared to be a
chance meeting with a young student of divinity led to their remaining
two years. This student was so deeply impressed by the conversation they
had together that he came again next day bringing another with him. They
both proved to be in utter darkness, without hope of salvation or
knowledge of the Scriptures, which they had never studied, as their
studies had been directed rather to the writings of heathen
philosophers. Being awakened to see their ignorance of Scripture and of
the way of salvation they greatly desired instruction and this decided
Robert Haldane to stay.

The burning of Servetus had not prevented the persistence of some of the
doctrines he taught and the theological professors and ministers of the
Church of Geneva had fallen under the influence of Socinian and Arian
doctrines, with deadening consequences to spiritual life.

Taking lodgings in the Place Maurice, where two large rooms could be
thrown into one, Robert Haldane held regular Bible Readings to which, in
spite of being forbidden by their professors, twenty to thirty students
came, who sat round a long table, with Bibles in different languages,
while Haldane, speaking by interpretation, expounded the Scriptures and
answered questions.

He went through the Epistle to the Romans, explaining its teaching in
detail and comparing it with other Scriptures. It was new to his hearers
and they were attracted by his knowledge of Scripture and entire belief
in it. These readings were the means of abiding spiritual blessing to

=Page 303: Visits Geneva=

students; many of them proved to be gifted and devoted men and became
distinguished and influential in wide circles, so that the fruit of
those studies and of that intercourse was far-reaching and of
incalculable value. From among them Malan the hymn writer, Merle
D'Aubigné the historian, and, later, Adolph Monod, Félix Neff and others
carried what they had learned there to the French-speaking world and
even further. All this was not allowed to pass without opposition, and
though it proved impossible to silence Robert Haldane, those ministers
and students who accepted and acted upon what they had learned from the
Scriptures through him, were made to suffer for it. Some were deprived
of their positions, some driven out of the Church, and some even obliged
to leave the country.

Robert Haldane left Geneva without having progressed beyond the
doctrines of the Gospel or taught those which concern the Church. Though
some knew that he had been baptized, he did not speak of it. Possibly
his experience in Scotland had discouraged him. He went into France, to
do at Montauban, where pastors were trained for the Protestant Church, a
similar work to that which he had done in Geneva, the continuance and
carrying forward of which latter was left to others. One of the young
ministers in Geneva who had to suffer for following the truth was César

Malan was one of the company of ten believers who, at this period, took
the Lord's Supper together for the first time outside the Established
Church. Another of these, Gaussen, describes the meeting, mentioning the
names of Pyt, Mejanel, Gonthier and Guers, as being also present. "It
reminded us", he says, "of another Supper, that which, in 1536, another
disciple of Jesus, M. Jean Guerin, distributed to some pious souls,
assembled in the garden of Étienne Dadaz, at Pré l'Evêeque, and which
was the first communion of the Protestants of Geneva."

The church now formed met later, among other places, in a street near
the Cathedral, La Pélisserie, and the Gospel testimony which went out
from it was the means of the conversion and gathering in of many. Guers,
Pyt, Gonthier and others had meetings also in the same building where
Froment had formerly held the school which was the

=Page 304: A Church in Geneva=

beginning of the Reformation in Geneva. Another student, Du Vivier,
preaching in the oratory of Carouge, proclaimed the Divinity of the
Lord, the corruption of human nature, and the Atonement. This was
pronounced scandalous, and to guard against any further such disorder it
was enacted that no student should preach unless his sermon had first
been passed by three professors of Divinity.


[98] "A History of the Free Churches of England" Herbert S. Skeats.

[99] "John Wesley's Journal"

[100] "George Whitefield A Light Rising in Obscurity" J. R. Andrews.

[101] "The Poetical Works of John and Charles Wesley. Reprinted from the
Originals, with the last corrections of the authors; together with the
Poems of Charles Wesley Not before published Collected and arranged by
G. Osborne D.D."

[102] "The Life of William Carey Shoe-maker and Missionary" George Smith
C.I.E., LL.D.

[103] "Lives of Robert and James Haldane" by Alexander Haldane.

[104] "Letters to Mr. Ewing respecting The Tabernacle at Glasgow etc."
By Robert Haldane. Edinburgh, 1809.

=Page 305: Thomas Campbell=

Chapter XIV

The West


Thomas Campbell--A "Declaration and Address"--Alexander Campbell--Church
at Brush Run--Baptism--Sermon on the Law--Republican Methodists take the
name "Christians"--Baptists take the name "Christians"--Barton Warren
Stone--Strange revival scenes--The Springfield Presbytery formed and
dissolved--Church at Cane Ridge--The Christian Connection--Separation of
Reformers from Baptists--Union of Christian Connection and
Reformers--Nature of Conversion--Walter Scott--Baptism for the remission
of sins--Testimony of Isaac Errett.

A minister of one of the Seceder branches of the Presbyterian Church,
Thomas Campbell, left his home in the North of Ireland, on account of
his health, and came to America (1807).[105] He was well received by the
Synod then sitting in Philadelphia and sent to Western Pennsylvania,
where his unusual gifts and spiritual character made him acceptable.
Some, however, doubted his loyalty to the "Secession Testimony" as he
taught that the Scriptures alone provide the true basis of faith and
conduct, and deprecated the prevailing party spirit in the churches.

Being sent to visit in a sparsely populated district in the Alleghany
Mountains he received at the Lord's Supper believers who, though
Presbyterians, did not belong to this particular circle. For this he was
censured, and, defending his action as being in accordance with the
teachings of Scripture, he was treated in so hostile a spirit as to
induce him to withdraw from the Seceder body.

Many Christian people of different denominations continued to attend his
ministry, being dissatisfied with the divided state of religion and
sympathizing with his teaching that union could only be obtained by a
return to the Bible, and that a better understanding of the difference
between faith and opinion would lead to a forbearance likely to do much
towards checking divisions. In a house between Mount Pleasant and

=Page 306: Christian Association of Washington=

a meeting was held (1509) where those present conferred as to the best
means of putting these principles into practice. Thomas Campbell spoke
of the evil of divisions, showing that they are not inevitable, since
God has provided in His Word a standard and guide sufficient for the
needs of the churches in all times. It is by building up religious
theories and systems outside of the Scriptures that strife and
dissension have come in, therefore it is only by a return to the
teachings of the Word that true unity can be regained. As a rule for
their guidance he proposed that "where the Scriptures speak, we speak;
and where the Scriptures are silent, we are silent." A Presbyterian
present said, "If we adopt that as a basis, then there is an end of
infant baptism," to which Thomas Campbell replied, "If infant baptism be
not found in Scripture, we can have nothing to do with it." Another rose
and under strong emotion, moved even to tears, exclaimed, "I hope I may
never see the day when my heart will renounce that blessed saying of the
Scripture, 'Suffer little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not,
for of such is the kingdom of heaven.'" A prominent Independent said,
"In the portion of Scripture you have quoted there is no reference
whatever to infant baptism."

In spite of this immediate evidence of their divergence of view, most of
those present joined in forming "The Christian Association of
Washington" and appointed Thomas Campbell to prepare a statement of
their aims. This, to which they all agreed, took the form of a
"Declaration and Address," in which they expressed their persuasion that
since no man can be judged for his brother so no man can judge for his
brother, each must judge for himself and must give account of himself to
God. Each one is bound by the Word of God but not by any human
interpretation of it. Tired of party strife they desired to take and
recommend such measures as would give rest to the churches. They
despaired of finding this in a continuance of party contention or
discussion of human opinions; it can only be found in Christ and His
unchanging Word. Let us therefore return (they wrote) to the original
pattern and take the Word of God alone as our rule. They had no
intention of forming a church, but only a society for the promotion of
Christian unity and of "a pure evangelical reformation,

=Page 307: Alexander Campbell=

by the simple preaching of the gospel, and the administration of its
ordinances in exact conformity to its Divine standard."

When Thomas Campbell came to America he left his family behind to follow
somewhat later. His wife was of Huguenot descent, and their son
Alexander was preparing for ordination as a minister in the Seceder
Presbyterian Church. While staying in Glasgow Alexander Campbell came
into contact with the teaching and work of the brothers Haldane. These
raised doubts in his mind as to the scripturalness of the control of
churches by Synods and led him to accept the Congregational system as
being in accordance with apostolic teaching and practice. His
attachment, however, to the Seceder Church and his respect for his
father's wishes kept him from any outward expression of his thoughts,
but inwardly he separated from the Presbyterian system and when the time
came for the half-yearly communion of the Seceders, although he passed
the required examination and received the token authorizing him to
partake of the Lord's Supper with the large number of communicants, he
abstained from doing so, feeling that this would indicate approval of a
system he could no longer accept.

When the time came for Thomas Campbell's family to cross to America,
Alexander took charge of his mother and her younger children; they
reached New York and travelled inland by waggon, staying at the large,
commodious inns on the way. Thomas Campbell, hearing of their approach
rode out from Washington to meet them. They met on the road and,
travelling then together, related to each other all that had happened to
them during their separation.

Neither Thomas Campbell nor his son knew that the other had left the
Seceder body and each was concerned to know how the other would receive
the news. When they learned that each separately and by different ways
had come to the same conclusion they were strengthened, and filled with
thanksgiving for the Lord's manifest leadings. When Alexander saw the
"Declaration" which his father had written and heard the principles on
which he was acting he found that they expressed the very convictions to
which he himself had come and he determined to devote himself

=Page 308: Church at Brush Run=

to the great cause of bringing about the unity of the Church by a return
to the Scriptures.

Fearing that the "Christian Association" might develop into a new party,
or become a church, Thomas Campbell decided to try whether the members
of the Association would be allowed the privileges of Christian and
ministerial communion among the Presbyterians. The Synod of Pittsburg
was due to meet in October 1810 and Thomas Campbell brought before it an
application, at the same time explaining the principles of the
Association, and asked whether the Synod would agree to "Christian union
upon Christian principles." The suggestion was refused and the
activities of the Association were severely condemned. Alexander
Campbell made this the occasion of a much fuller explanation and a
defence of the objects of the Association. It had become clear to him
that to join any party would be contrary to the principle of return to
the teachings of Scripture.

In 1811 Alexander Campbell married and joined his father-in-law in
farming, in which he was active and successful. Thomas Campbell also
left Washington and took a farm near the village of Mount Pleasant. His
farm was chiefly managed by his friendly neighbours as his own time was
occupied in visiting and preaching, but his son's energies and abilities
were so unusual that he could earn sufficient by farming without ceasing
his spiritual labours.

The hostility of all the religious bodies to the "Christian Association"
gradually convinced its members that they could not have the advantages
nor perform the duties of a church unless they themselves took the
position of a congregation of believers, a New Testament church. As they
were not able to transform the existing churches they hoped that the
example of a church outside of all parties and exhibiting the principles
of the New Testament would give further effect to the truth of unity by
a return to the Scriptures in which they believed.

This church was solemnly formed (1811) at Brush Run. An elder, an
evangelist and deacons were chosen. The Lord's Supper was taken on the
first day of the week, and this was done each week. There were about
thirty members. Rejecting all claims to apostolic succession, they found
that in each of the New Testament churches there were

=Page 309: Baptism at Buffalo Creek=

several elders (or bishops, or overseers) and deacons (or servants) for
the building up of the church, and there were evangelists sent out to
preach the truth in the world. The form of ordination was not regarded
as conferring authority but as a testimony that those ordained had
authority. There was no distinction of clergy and laity. The question of
baptism had been shelved. Both Thomas and Alexander Campbell thought
that infant baptism had obtained such a position that it might be left.
Why should those already in the church go out of it "merely for the
purpose of coming in again by the regular and appointed way?" They
baptized by immersion those believers who desired it. But the birth of
Alexander Campbell's first child brought the question to a practical
issue, and now he examined the Scriptures carefully as to this matter.
He came to the conclusion that nothing else is taught in the New
Testament than the baptism of believers by immersion and that this is a
command of the Lord and was the apostolic practice and of such
importance that it should not be set aside.

In a deep pool in Buffalo Creek, where already several members of the
Brush Run church had been baptized, Alexander Campbell and his wife, his
father and mother and sister, and two others were baptized (1812).

This course, while increasing the enmity of most of the religious
denominations, gave pleasure to the Baptists, who proposed that the
church at Brush Run should be associated with them. The Baptists in the
district had formed themselves into an Association of Churches, called
"Redstone," and in spite of their principle of independent
congregations, their pastors, who controlled the action of the
associations, exercised so great an influence that the church at Brush
Run feared that its independence might be jeopardized by closer union.
Also, the Baptist Association had adopted a Confession of Faith issued
in 1747 by a Baptist Association in Philadelphia, which contained
theories unacceptable to the Brush Run church. The Baptists themselves,
however, were godly people, lovers of the Word and insistent that
Alexander Campbell should come among them and minister. The Brush Run
church, after consideration, put before the Redstone Association a full
account of their position, their "remonstrance against all human creeds
as bonds of communion or union

=Page 310: The Name "Christians"=

among Christian Churches" and expressed willingness to co-operate with
them if they were left free to teach and preach whatever they learned
from the Holy Scriptures. This proposition was accepted by a majority of
the Association. Those, however, who dissented formed a distinct

This opposition became more manifest when at a meeting of the
Association at Cross Creek (1816) Alexander Campbell preached a "Sermon
on the Law" in which he showed clearly the differences of the
dispensations and that we are no longer under the Law but under Christ,
Who is the "end of the law for righteousness to every one that
believeth." He showed how many practices in Christendom are derived from
the Old Testament, which led up to and is superseded by the New, in
which latter we have the Gospel and teaching for our present age. This
was so contrary to much of the teaching current among the Baptists that
some of their pulpits were closed to Alexander Campbell.

At the beginning of the nineteenth century there were a number of
spiritual movements actuated by a desire for deliverance from the
theological systems and traditional practices which had so long
prevailed, and by the belief that a return to the Scriptures would prove
them to contain all that is needed for faith and conduct, both for the
individual and for the churches.

One of these movements developed among Methodists. American independence
had released them from control from abroad and as they considered the
question of church government most of them agreed in establishing an
episcopal system. Others argued in favour of the congregational system
and desired that their churches should be according to the pattern of
the New Testament. These were a minority and unable to carry through
what they believed, so separated from the larger number (1793). James O'
Kelly and other preachers in North Carolina and Virginia were leaders in
the formation of these churches, which at first took the name of
"Republican Methodists" but soon abandoned this and decided to take no
name but that of "Christians". They acknowledged no head of the Church
but Christ, formulated no creed or rules, but accepted the Scriptures
alone for their guidance.

Soon after this a similar movement originated among

=Page 311: Barton Warren Stone=

Baptists. A doctor, Abner Jones and a Baptist preacher, Elias Smith,
founded churches in the Eastern States, where faith and godliness were
made the Basis of reception and not membership of any particular sect
(from 1800). Other preachers from among the Baptists joined them and
gifted men were raised up in the new churches who carried the Gospel far
afield. All these took the name of "Christians" only and accepted the
Scriptures alone as their sufficient guide.

At Cane Ridge, Kentucky, in the last decade of the eighteenth century,
the early Presbyterian settlers put up a log building as their Meeting
House. In 1801 their minister was Barton Warren Stone[106] (1772-1844).

Relating his own experience he wrote, "About this time my mind was
continually tossed on the waves of speculative divinity, the
all-engrossing theme of the religious community at that period ... I
at that time believed, and taught, that mankind were so totally depraved
that they could do nothing acceptable to God, till his Spirit, by some
physical, almighty and mysterious power, had quickened, enlightened and
regenerated the heart, and thus prepared the sinner to believe in Jesus
for salvation. I began plainly to see that if God did not perform this
regenerating work in all, it must be because he chose to do it for some
and not for others, and that thus depended on his own sovereign will and
pleasure ... this doctrine is inseparably linked with unconditional
election and reprobation.... They are virtually one; and this was the
reason why I admitted the decrees of election and reprobation, having
admitted the doctrine of total depravity. They are inseparable....
Often when I was ... persuading the helpless to repent and believe the
gospel, my zeal in a moment would be chilled at the contradiction. How
can they believe? How can they repent? How can they do impossibilities?
How can they be guilty in not doing them? ... On a certain evening,
when engaged in secret prayer and reading my Bible my mind came
unusually filled with comfort and peace. I never recollect of having
before experienced such an ardent love and tenderness for all mankind,
and such a longing desire for their salvation ... for some days and

=Page 312: Stone's Inward Conflict=

nights I was almost continually praying for the ruined world ... I
expressed my feelings to a pious person, and rashly remarked, 'So great
is my love for sinners that, had I power, I would save them all.' The
person appeared to be horror-stricken, and remarked, 'Do you love them
more than God does? Why, then, does he not save them? Surely he has
almighty power.' I blushed, was confounded and silent, and quickly
retired to the silent woods for meditation and prayer. I asked myself,
Does God love the world--the whole world? And has he not almighty power
to save? If so, all must be saved, for who can resist his power? ... I
was firmly convinced that according to Scripture all were not saved; the
conclusion, then, was irresistible that God did not love all, and
therefore it followed, of course, that the spirit in me, which loved all
the world so vehemently, could not be the Spirit of God, but the spirit
of delusion.... I prostrated myself before God in prayer, but it was
immediately suggested, you are praying in unbelief, and 'whatsoever is
not of faith is sin.' You must believe or expect no good from the hand
of God. But I can not believe; as soon could I make a world. Then you
must be damned, for 'he that believeth not shall be damned.' But will
the Lord condemn me to eternal punishment for not doing an
impossibility? So I thought ... blasphemy rose in my heart against
such a God, and my tongue was tempted to utter it. Sweat profusely
poured from the pores of my body, and the fires of hell gat hold on me
... in this uncommon state I remained for two or three days. From this
state of perplexity I was relieved by the precious word of God. From
reading and meditating upon it, I became convinced that God did love the
whole world, and that the reason why he did not save all was because of
their unbelief; and that the reason why they believed not was not
because God did not exert his physical, almighty power in them to make
them believe but because they neglected and received not his testimony
given in the Word concerning his Son. 'These are written, that ye might
believe that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God, and that believing ye
might have life through his name.' I saw that the requirement to believe
in the Son of God was reasonable, because the testimony given was
sufficient to produce faith in the sinner, and the invitations and

=Page 313: Revivals=

encouragement of the gospel were sufficient, if believed, to lead him to
the Saviour, for the promised Spirit, salvation and eternal life. This
glimpse of faith, of truth, was the first divine ray of light that ever
led my distressed, perplexed mind from the labyrinth of Calvinism and
error, in which I had so long been bewildered. It was that which led me
into rich pastures of gospel liberty".

At this time Stone went to see for himself something of the revival
which he heard was going on in Kentucky and Tennessee. People were
struck down and came into great spiritual anguish or joy; all classes
were affected. After abundant and careful examination of the
circumstances he was convinced that it was an awakening given by God.
When he returned home to Cane Ridge and preached, the same things
happened. At one meeting some 20,000 people were assembled and the
meeting lasted for days. Presbyterian, Methodist and Baptist preachers
preached at the same time in different parts of the camp. Party spirit
disappeared. About 1000 persons of all kinds experienced these strange
manifestations. Good results remained after the great excitement had
passed. Slaves were liberated, churches increased in numbers and in

Several Presbyterian ministers, with Stone, at this time preached the
sufficiency of the Gospel to save men, and that the testimony of God was
designed and able to produce faith. Stone records, "the people appeared
as just awakened from the sleep of ages--they seemed to see for the
first time that they were responsible beings, and that the refusal to
use the means appointed was a damning sin."

Party zeal began to revive after a time and the Presbytery of
Springfield, Ohio, brought one of these preachers before the Synod at
Lexington. This led to the secession of five ministers, who formed the
Springfield Presbytery and declared their abandonment of all confessions
and creeds and their acceptance of the Scriptures alone as the guide to
faith and practice. Stone gathered his congregation together and told
them that he could no longer support any religious system but would work
henceforth for the advancement of Christ's kingdom and not for any
party. He gave up his salary and worked hard at his little farm, while
continuing to preach.

=Page 314: The "Christian Connection"=

After a year, during which he acted in unison with the Springfield
Presbytery, they all came to see that such an organisation was
unscriptural, so gave it up. Their reasons are recorded in a document
entitled "The last Will and Testament of Springfield Presbytery." They
took the name of "Christian", which they believed to have been given by
Divine appointment to the disciples at Antioch.

This company, meeting thus at Cane Ridge in 1804, thought that it was
the first church that had met on the original Apostolic principles since
the great departure from them in the time of Constantine.

Similar churches soon multiplied and each congregation was considered as
an independent church. Believers' baptism began to be taught among them
and was accepted and became their practice.

The movement spread rapidly through the Western States and coming into
touch with the two others in the East and South, combined with them to
form the "Christian Connection," all being of one mind to leave the
bondage of human creeds, take the Scripture only as their guide and walk
in the simplicity of the primitive churches.

These movements, arising independently of each other and only later
discovering one another, had much in common with those churches where
the Campbells were prominent. The churches of the "Christian Connection"
were more active in preaching the Gospel and so increased more rapidly;
the others were more occupied with teaching, so made more progress in

The unusual ability and tireless activity of Alexander Campbell as
editor, author, teacher, preacher, in public disputations, in
educational work, in New Testament revision, and in other directions,
led to a wide acceptance of his teaching.

The Baptist communities were greatly influenced by it, but those who
were not prepared to accept the reform, gradually organized opposition
which began to show itself in different places by a separation between
the Baptists and the Reformers, and eventually the action of one of the
Baptist Associations in excluding several prominent Reform preachers who
worked among them, and further, in advising churches to exclude all
Reformers from their

=Page 315: Walter Scott=

communion, brought about a general separation (1832).

At the same time congregations and individuals connected with Alexander
Campbell, and others associated with the older movement in which Stone
was active, becoming acquainted with each other, found that their aims
and principles were in most essentials alike. Where they differed they
were rather complementary to each other than opposed, so that they began
to coalesce. Both thought that a formal union, as between two bodies of
believers, would be harmful, but in 1832 the fellowship of all these
churches was acknowledged.

There had long been in these circles discussion as to the nature of
conversion. It bad been generally held that man is incapable of doing
anything toward his own salvation, cannot even believe except by an
operation of the Holy Spirit. Therefore there was much waiting for some
inward spiritual experience which would be evidence of the work of the
Holy Spirit in the heart. Then some began to point out that man's will
must be exercised, that when he bears the Gospel he is responsible to
accept it by faith, and that the responsibility for refusing or
neglecting it, with consequent abiding loss, also lies upon him.

Walter Scott, one of the most devoted and successful evangelists working
in connection with Thomas and Alexander Campbell, and who, before them,
came into close intimacy of service in the Gospel with friends of Barton
Warren Stone, was strongly affected by this question. He felt that much
preaching is apparently ineffectual because it is not sufficiently
impressed on the hearers that they are responsible to accept Christ by
faith as their Saviour on the testimony of Scripture and apart from any
feelings in themselves which they might consider were evidence of the
working of the Holy Spirit. He noticed in the New Testament that those
who believed were baptized, they were not afraid to take that definite
action. Also he considered Peter's words recorded in Acts 2. 38, "Repent
and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the
remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost"; and
began to appeal to his hearers to come forward and be baptized "for the
remission of sins", adding these words, when he baptized, to those
commanded by the Lord in Matt. 28. 19. This came to

=Page 316: Isaac Errett=

be a usual practice. Scott described conversion as: (1) faith, (2)
repentance, (3) baptism, (4) remission of sins, (5) receiving the Holy

This effort to make the Gospel clear by tabulating its processes as
described in Acts 2. 38, when Peter first preached to Jews and
Proselytes in Jerusalem at Pentecost, certainly helped many to faith and
obedience. Still, had Peter's first preaching to Gentiles at Caesarea
been chosen as the example, the order might have been (Acts 10.43-48):
(1) faith, (2) remission of sins, (3) receiving the Holy Spirit, (4)
baptism. The mutual reactions of the Holy Spirit and of the human will,
bringing about conversion, are difficult to reduce to a formula.

The fellowship of so many churches and their occupation with the
Scriptures quickened the preaching of the Gospel. Many men of all
classes were raised up and fitted for service. They preached Jesus
Christ and Him crucified, and their word was effectual. Thousands were
converted and added to the churches, which grew and increased with great
rapidity. Their opponents liked to call them "Stonettes" or
"Campbellites," but they rejected these and all sectarian names. They
spoke of themselves as "Christians", "Disciples", "Churches of Christ".

One of their leaders in the second generation, Isaac Errett (1820-1888)
describes them thus:--"With us the divinity and Christhood of Jesus is
more than a mere item of doctrine--it is the central truth of the
Christian system, and in an important sense the creed of Christianity.
It is the one fundamental truth which we are jealously careful to guard
against all compromise. If men are right about Christ, Christ will bring
them right about everything else. We therefore preach Jesus Christ and
him crucified. We demand no other faith, in order to baptism and church
membership, than the faith of the heart that Jesus is the Christ, the
Son of the living God; nor have we any term or bond of fellowship but
faith in the divine Redeemer and obedience to him. All who trust in the
Son of God and obey Him are our brethren, however wrong they may be
about anything else; and those who do not trust in the divine Saviour
for salvation, and obey his commandments are not our brethren, however
intelligent and excellent they may be in all beside.... In judgments
merely inferential we reach conclusions as nearly unanimous as we can;
and where we fail, exercise forbearance, in the confidence that God will
lead us into final agreement. In matters of opinion that is, in matters
touching which the Bible is either silent, or so obscure as not to admit
of definite conclusions--we allow the largest liberty, so long as none
judges his brother, or insists on forcing his opinions on others, or
making them an occasion of strife."

These churches spread widely in Australia, were established in the
United Kingdom, and reached many other

=Page 317: The "Restoration Testimony"=

countries. Tendencies towards the development of a denominational system
naturally showed themselves in time. Some came to advocate drawing
"missionary" work into dependence on a central organisation. The
influence of the popular rationalism of the day was felt in some
quarters. At times discussions as to the interpretation or application
of Scripture issued in divergencies of practice. All these experiences
continue to illustrate the importance of the original "restoration
testimony" as to the fact that a return to the Scripture is the one way
to true unity of the churches and to their power to spread in the world,
by giving to it the whole Word of God.


[105] "Memoirs of Alexander Campbell" Richardson. The Standard Press,
Cincinnati, Ohio.

[106] "Autobiography Of B. W. Stone" (The Cane Ridge Meeting House,
James R. Rogers). The Standard Publishing Co., Cincinnati, Ohio.

=Page 318: Mennonites Emigrate to Russia=

Chapter XV


=1788-1914 * * 850-1650 * * 1812-1930 * * 1823-1930 * *

Mennonite and Lutheran emigration to Russia--Privileges change the
character of the Mennonite churches--Wüst--Revival--Mennonite Brethren
separate from Mennonite Church--Revival of Mennonite Church--Meetings
among Russians forbidden--Circulation of Russian Scriptures
allowed--Bible translation--Cyril Lucas--Stundists--Various avenues by
which the Gospel came into Russia--Great increase of the
churches--Political events in Russia lead to increased
persecution--Exiles--Instances of exile and of the influence the New
Testament--Decree of the Holy Synod against Stundists--Evangelical
Christians and Baptists--General disorder in Russia--Edict of
Toleration--Increase of churches--Toleration
withdrawn--Revolution--Anarchy--Rise of Bolshevik Government--Efforts to
abolish religion--Suffering and increase--Communists persecute
believers--J. G. Oncken--A Baptist church formed in
Hamburg--Persecution--Tolerance--Bible School--German Baptists in
Russia--Gifts from America--Nazarenes--Fröhlich--Revival through his
preaching--Excluded from the Church--The Hungarian journeymen meet
Fröhlich--Meetings in Budapest--Spread of the Nazarenes--Sufferings
through refusal of military service--Fröhlich's at teaching.

[Sidenote: =1788-1914=]

The descendants in Holland of those churches that had been revived by
the labours of Menno in the 16th century prospered much when the power
of Spain there had been broken under the leadership of the Prince of
Orange and its tyranny replaced by an unprecedented liberty of
conscience and freedom of worship. By the 18th century they had become a
wealthy body. In Prussia, however, partly because of their refusal to do
military service, they were subject to such disabilities that they
became poor and dejected, so that, when an offer came from the Empress
Catherine II of Russia, of land in the newly-occupied regions of South
Russia, with liberty of worship and freedom from military service, it
was welcomed as a God-given deliverance.[107] The poorest were the most
ready to go, and in 1788 there took place the first exodus of 228
families or some 1500 souls, who were established by the following year
in the

=Page 319: Mennonite and Pietist Colonies=

Province of Ekaterinoslav, in the Chortitza District, on the river of
the same name, which flows into the Dnieper. At first they had a
struggle for mere existence, but other parties followed them, including
some who were better supplied with means, and diligence soon brought
prosperity. The expectation of the Russian Government that these farmers
would raise the standard of agriculture and of living generally, was
soon fulfilled. As the rich black soil yielded its abundant harvests of
grain, orderly villages grew up, their wide straight streets lined with
well-built homesteads; and the surrounding Russians and Tartars saw
possibilities of wealth from the land of which they had never previously
dreamed. Nor were these the only immigrants. Large numbers of Lutherans,
chiefly from persecuted Pietist circles in Württemberg, also came to
till the land and build villages over the country.

These were the beginnings of a colonization which increased greatly. In
course of time the settlements spread over the south of Russia, into the
Crimea, especially along the lower reaches of the Volga, to the
Caucasus, and then away into Siberia and even to Turkestan and as far as
the borders of China. Unabsorbed by the surrounding populations, the
colonists kept their own language, religion and customs--compact bodies
scattered like islands in the sea of Orthodox Slavs and other peoples of
the vast Empire.

The privileges given by the Government quickly changed the character of
the Mennonite churches, for in order to share these privileges the
children had to become Mennonites, and so they were received into the
church, not, as before, on the ground of their confession of faith in
Christ and of giving evidence of the new birth, but were baptized and
became members when they reached a certain age, or married. Thus the
church became a National Church, having both converted and unconverted
members. Speedily the moral tone degenerated. Families which, when they
came, had been distinguished by their sobriety and piety, sank into open
sin of all kinds, so that drunkenness, immorality and covetousness soon
prevailed. There was always a godly remnant which protested against
these evils and for themselves and their people deeply repented the
failure of their testimony.

Their prayers were heard and it was from an unlooked-

=Page 320: Revival in South Russia=

for quarter that help came. The keeper of an inn in Murrhard,
Württemberg, had a son, Eduard Hugo Otto Wüst, whom he sent to study
theology. In spite of a sinful life at the University of Tübingen the
young man passed the requisite examinations, and, in 1841, entered on
his clerical functions in the Württemberg National Church at Neunkirchen
and Riedenau. He threw himself into his work with all his natural
energy, became intimate with Pietists, Moravians and Methodists, and
some three years after ordination experienced a change of heart and was
enabled to put away the sinful habits which still clung to him. He
received the full joy of the knowledge of the forgiveness of sins and
the assurance of being a child of God, while awaiting the dawn of the
year 1845. His preaching and Bible readings, both attractive and
effectual, not only drew many around him but also aroused the envy and
hatred of his fellow clergy. He was being subjected to vexatious and
humiliating hindrances in his work, when through Pietist influence he
received a call to a "Separatist" church at Neuhoffnung in South Russia.
At the age of 28 he preached his first sermon in the church there. He
was a big, strong man, with a powerful and pleasant voice and his warm
sympathies attracted those with whom he came into contact. In his
preaching he showed from the Scriptures what he had in his own heart
experienced, the sufficiency of the atoning work of Christ and the
assurance of salvation those may have who put their trust in Him. To an
already overcrowded church came additional hearers from all the various
circles, among them Mennonites. Wüst allowed no difference of
denomination to limit his activities, so was soon holding Bible readings
in Mennonite houses and preaching in their meeting rooms. A great
awakening resulted. Sinners were brought to repentance and numbers of
souls found peace through believing; there was a mighty turning from sin
to godliness. Opposition soon showed itself. Wüst was forbidden the use
of the Mennonite meeting rooms, but this did not check the progress of
the revival. Difficulties arose through some who yielded themselves to
excited and extravagant expressions of joy, mistaking their feelings for
the leadings of the Spirit, but this feature of the movement, which
could lead only to folly and sin, was eventually overcome and the good

=Page 321: Mennonite Brethren=

work persisted in spite of both inward and outward attacks. In 1859 Wüst
died, being only in his 42nd year. In his lifetime some of the converted
Mennonites took the Lord's Supper in his church with members of his own

After his death, in the same year, a number of Mennonite believers,
feeling it to be no longer possible to take the Lord's Supper in their
church together with the unbelievers, began to take it from time to time
in private houses, with those only who confessed faith in Christ. This
aroused great resentment, and although they had wished to avoid
divisions, several were obliged to separate from the Mennonite church.
Others soon followed and in 1860 a separate congregation of Mennonite
brethren was formed.

The old Mennonite Church now acted towards the newly-formed churches of
Mennonite Brethren in the same way as the state churches had acted in
former times towards their own ancestors; they condemned them and handed
them over to the civil authority for punishment, asking that they might
be deprived of all their rights as Mennonites, and even threatening some
with banishment to Siberia. For years this question was a subject of
constant negotiation with the Government, during all which time the
"Brethren" suffered severely; at last the Government granted to all
Mennonites their original privileges, apart from any question as to
their belonging to a particular church.

The meetings of Mennonite Brethren steadily increased, and, with their
growth, the gifts of the Holy Spirit were abundantly manifested among
them. In their endeavour to follow the New Testament teaching and
pattern in their churches they saw that the method of baptizing in the
Mennonite Church, by sprinkling, was not that of the Apostles, so they
introduced the baptism of believers by immersion. Later some understood
that fellowship should be with all saints and not only with Mennonites,
and, though they were not all of the same mind in this matter, some of
the churches had liberty to receive all whom they believed to belong to
Christ. Visits from ministering brethren from abroad, from different
bodies, helped in this.

One result of these events was a great change in the Mennonite Church.
Although it continued to include believers and unbelievers in its
membership, yet the

=Page 322: Russians Hear the Gospel=

reviving which had brought so many out from it proved effectual among
many who remained in its fellowship. The Gospel was preached by its
ministers with saving power, the godly life of those who were converted
was a constant testimony to those around, so that sin was rebuked and
the general tone of society, even among the unconverted, was raised. The
bitterness, too, between the "Church" and the "Brethren" gradually
softened and the believers in both branches were able to enjoy
fellowship in Christ in spite of their divergences of view.

The vast need of the heathen world and the responsibility of taking the
Gospel among those who had not heard it began to weigh upon many hearts,
with the result that missionaries were sent out to India and other
parts. The rapidly increasing wealth of these colonists became a
temptation to many of them to be too much occupied with material things,
but there were also those who used their wealth in the fear of God and
for the advancement of His kingdom. Large numbers of them had emigrated
to America, so that, in various ways, their interests stretched out far
beyond their first limited circle into distant parts of the world.

Along with the privileges which the Mennonites received from the Russian
Government there were also obligations and limitations. In place of
military service, their young men were employed a certain number of
years in forestry. It was altogether forbidden to them to hold meetings
among the Russians or in any way "make propaganda" among members of the
Greek Orthodox Church, and this condition, on which their own liberty of
meeting was granted, they accepted and observed. There was remarkable
spiritual activity and blessing in their villages scattered over the
wide Russian steppes. Many Russian workpeople were employed by the
Mennonites; some of these were present at the family worship daily held
in the homes of the believers and there heard the Word of God. In the
daily intercourse of men meeting each other on the farm or at market,
and of women coming together in the house or on the fields, the Gospel
became the subject of conversation.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Sidenote: =850-1650=]

The Russians did not know the Scriptures, read in their churches in the
ancient Slav tongue no longer understood; as there was no preaching,
only the ritual regularly gone

=Page 323: Old Slavonic Bible Translations=

through, and the beautiful singing, they remained, with their priests,
in comparative ignorance of the Divine revelation. The Orthodox Church,
however, did not oppose the circulation of the Scriptures, but taught
the people to regard the Bible as a holy book, the book of God. There
was therefore an eager interest on the part of these Russians--a
naturally religious people--to hear the unknown contents of the book
they revered, and as the wonderful Gospel story reached them it was
gladly received in many hearts.

As with many other nations, so among the Slav peoples also, the Bible
was the beginning of literature. It was in order to bring the Bible to
them that Cyril, in the 9th century, devised the Cyrillic alphabet,
combining some Greek with the old Glagolitic characters in order to
express the sounds of the Slavonic languages, and translating a great
part of the New Testament. His companion, Methodius, laboured to
preserve the right to use it when it was threatened by the advocates of
Latin. From Moravia, where it originated, this old Slavonic Bible
language spread, and became, rather than Greek, the church language of
most of the countries of the Greek Orthodox Church. As the various
branches of the Slav languages developed, the old language was no longer
understood by the people, but in the 11th century the Russian ruler of
Kiev, Yaroslav, translated parts of the Bible into the language spoken
by his people.

It was the study of the Scriptures which led a shepherd and a deacon in
the 14th century to preach at Pskov and afterwards in Novgorod, where
crowds gathered to the fair. They showed that the priests of the
Orthodox Church did not receive the Holy Spirit at their ordination and
that there was no value in the sacraments they administered; that a
church is an assembly of true Christians which can choose its own
elders; that the members may take the Lord's Supper among themselves and
baptize, and that every Christian may preach the Gospel. As usual in
Russia, the Scriptures might be read but not acted upon, so their
followers were suppressed and scattered.

In 1499 the Archbishop of Novgorod collected various Slavonic
translations and published the whole Bible, which was printed in a
complete form in Ostrog in 1581.

=Page 324: Cyril Lucas=

The Greek Orthodox Church differed from the Roman Catholic Church in
that it had not gone through any experience comparable to the
Reformation, but an attempt to introduce the principles of the
Reformation into it was made, and that in the highest quarters. Cyril
Lucas (1572-1638), a native of Crete, was known as the most learned man
of his day. He was made successively Patriarch of Alexandria (1602) and
Patriarch of Constantinople (1621). It was he who discovered on Mount
Athos a fifth century M.S. which was then the oldest Greek Bible known.
He sent it from Alexandria to Charles I, King of England, and it is in
the British Museum, known as the Codex Alexandrinus. While still
Patriarch of Alexandria Cyril began a careful comparison of the
doctrines of the Greek, Roman and Reformed churches with the Scriptures
and decided to leave the Fathers, and accept the Scriptures as his
guide. Finding the teaching of the Reformers more in accordance with the
Scriptures than those of the Greek or Roman churches he published a
"Confession" in which he declared himself in many respects one with the
Reformers. "I can no longer endure", he said, "to hear a man say that
the comments of human tradition are of equal weight with Holy
Scripture". He vigorously denounced the doctrine of transubstantiation
and the worship of images. He taught that the one true Catholic Church
must include all the faithful in Christ, but, he said, there are visible
churches in different places and at different times; these are capable
of error and the Holy Scriptures are given as an infallible guide and
authority to which we must always return; so he commended the constant
study of Scripture, which the Holy Spirit will enable those who are born
again to understand as they compare one part of it with another. Such
teachings coming from such a source excited great discussion, and Cyril
Lucas was involved in strenuous conflict. Five times he was banished and
as often recalled. The Sultan's Grand Vizier trusted and supported him,
but this, while enabling him to keep his position, injured his
testimony, as it was felt to be incongruous that a Christian teacher
should depend for support on a Mohammedan politician. At a Synod of the
Greek Church held in Bethlehem a general confirmation of the old order
in the Orthodox Church was reached, deprecating

=Page 325: Stundists=

reform. But the most effective opposition to this Greek Reformer came
from the Latin Church, which through Jesuit intrigues repeatedly
hindered his work, and at last by misrepresenting him in his absence to
the Sultan Amurath, as this latter was marching on Bagdad, obtained a
hasty order for his death and he was strangled with a bowstring in
Constantinople and his body cast into the sea. After his death Synod
after Synod condemned his doctrines.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Sidenote: =1812-1930=]

In 1812 the Czar Alexander I encouraged the
establishment of the British and Foreign Bible Society in Russia, giving
it special privileges, and a large number of branches were opened
extending to the remotest parts of the Empire. There was an eager desire
to obtain the Scriptures in the various languages spoken in the Empire,
especially among those who spoke Russian, and the sales continually
increased. The effect of this reading was wonderful, great numbers being
turned from ignorance and sin to become diligent and whole-hearted
followers of the Lord Jesus Christ. This naturally aroused opposition
and the Holy Synod became active in hindering as far as possible the
spread of the Scriptures, but until the establishment of the Bolshevik
Government there remained many facilities for supplying a longing people
with the Word of God.

The meetings of the German colonists were called in their own language
_"Stunden",_ and as the Russians began to meet together
for reading the Scriptures and prayer, they were called by way of
reproach _"Stundists"_ that is, those who forsook their
church for the "meeting". They did not themselves use this name but
called each other brethren.

Reading the Scriptures was for these Russians an extraordinary
revelation and power. They saw that the religious system in which they
had been brought up had held them in ignorance of God and of His
salvation in Christ. Repentance for their sins, which were many, was
complete and unreserved. Their acceptance of Christ as their Saviour and
Lord was in fulness of faith and love. Seeing the entire disagreement
between the Russian Church and the teachings of Scripture, they left the
former and attached themselves to the latter to the full extent of their
knowledge. Baptism was practised in different ways by the German
colonists, but at the first none of them baptized by immersion;

=Page 326: Churches of Russian Believers=

in the Greek Church baptism was indeed by immersion but was administered
to infants. The Russian believers went to the Word and, uninfluenced by
the practices that prevailed around them, came straightway to the
conviction that the New Testament teaching and pattern was the baptism
of believers by immersion, and in their thorough consistency immediately
put this into practice, so that it became universal among those who
believed. They apprehended, too, that the breaking of bread was the
Lord's command and was for believers only, and on this apprehension they
also acted. The clerical system of the Orthodox Church disappeared as
they understood from the Scriptures the constitution of the Church and
the churches, the priesthood of all believers, the indwelling of the
Holy Spirit, the gifts and the liberty of ministry He gives for rule in
the churches, for edifying the saints, and for spreading the Gospel
among all men.

This movement, called _Stundist_ by those outside,
rapidly became so extensive, each group of converts becoming at once a
church and centre from which the testimony radiated further, that it was
evident the work of the Spirit wrought among the foreign colonists had
been but the introduction and beginning of a far greater work having
hold of the masses of the Russian people. But the liberty of worship
granted to the colonists was not accorded to the native citizens of the
country, and the Russian churches had from the very beginning to endure
persecution, which yet could not check their patient enthusiasm.

       *       *       *       *       *

Although the Mennonites were so important a means of introducing the
Gospel which was to prevail throughout wide areas of Europe and Asia,
yet they were not the only agency employed. Bohnekämper,[108] sent by the
Basic Mission to the Caucasus and expelled from that country, took a
position as pastor in a German colony near Odessa, where he held Bible
readings in Russian for the workpeople who came from many parts to work
in the harvest and then carried back to their homes the Word they had

Members of the Society of Friends, as Étienue de Grellet, William Allen
and others, visited St. Petersburg and had

=Page 327: Spread of Scriptures=

intercourse there with the Czar Alexander I, influencing him in favour
of the completion of the translation of the Bible into Russian. The Czar
related to these Friends how he had never seen a Bible until he was
forty years of age, but when at that time he was directed to it he
devoured it, discovering there the expression of all his troubles as
though he had described them himself; that from it he had received the
inward light he possessed and had found it to be the unique source of
the knowledge which saves. This experience made him willing to support
the suggestions made by the Friends and to give facilities for the
introduction and sale of the Scriptures in Russia, which were of
incalculable value.

A Scotchman, Melville, known in Russia as Vassilij Ivanovitch, an agent
of the British and Foreign Bible Society, devoted sixty years of his
life to the circulation of the Scriptures in the Caucasus and South
Russia, and not only to the distribution of the books, but also to the
application of their contents to the consciences of those who bought
them. He remained unmarried and made the spread of the Word of God in
those countries his one object, in which he was a leader and example to
many devoted colporteurs who followed in his footsteps.

The coming of a New Testament into a district has often been the means
of the conversion of souls, the formation of a church and the further
spread of the Gospel, before the existence of other brethren carrying
out the Scriptures has been discovered. Examples of this have been met
with in many places from Northern Siberia to the Southern shores of the

From another side came Kascha Jagub, a Nestorian from Persia, who, by
the help of the American Mission, came into Russia, developed a great
gift for evangelization, especially among the poor, and, under the
Russian name of Jakov Deljakovitch, travelled and preached throughout
Russia and Siberia for nearly thirty years in the latter part of the
19th century.

Another class was reached by Lord Radstock, who, setting out from
England in 1866, visited many lands, making known the Gospel, and came
to St. Petersburg. There he held Bible readings in the houses of some of
the aristocracy and a mighty work of the Spirit was manifested.

=Page 328: Their Effects=

Numbers belonging to the highest circles were converted as they listened
to his simple, straightforward expositions of Scripture, enforced by
illuminating illustrations. Souls were affected even in the Imperial
family and household. These believers carried out the teachings of the
Word as consistently as the farmers and workpeople in the South, with
whom they were soon in brotherly communion; they were baptized and
observed the breaking of bread, and in their palaces the poorest and
most ignorant Christians sat side by side with the highest in the land,
united by the bond of a common life in Christ.

Among those converted was a wealthy landowner, Colonel Vassilij
Alexandrovitch Paschkov. He gave the ballroom of his palace for meetings
and himself preached the Gospel everywhere, in prisons and hospitals as
well as in meeting-places and houses. He used his great wealth in
distributing the Scriptures, publishing tracts and books, helping the
poor and in every way furthering the kingdom of God. Paschkov was
forbidden to hold meetings in his house (1880). As he continued to do so
he was banished, by the influence of the Holy Synod, first from St.
Petersburg and later from Russia, and much of his property confiscated.

The German Baptists had spread into Russia from Germany and become
numerous in Poland and many other parts, but had liberty only on
condition that they confined their ministry to Germans or others not of
the Orthodox Church. Their influence, however, led in time to the
establishing of congregations of Russian Baptists which also spread with
great rapidity. The chief difference between these and the other
churches was that the Baptist churches belonged to a definite federation
or organization of churches, while the others looked upon each church as
an independent congregation in direct dependence on the Lord, the
communion between the different churches being maintained by personal
intercourse and the visits of ministering brethren. Also, among the
Baptists each church had, as far as possible an appointed pastor, while
among the others there was liberty of ministry and the elders were
chosen among themselves.

So through various avenues the Gospel came into those immense
territories, but, once received, it was taken up

=Page 329: Numerous Churches=

by the Russians themselves, and was never a "foreign mission" or a
foreign institution among them. They apprehended from the first that the
Word of God was for them, immediately, without the intervention of any
Society or Mission, and that the responsibility of the ministry of
reconciliation was committed to them. This responsibility with all its
cost and all its suffering they undertook with a whole-hearted zeal that
nothing could quench. On this account the Gospel spread, and continues
to spread, over those continents in a way altogether different from what
is possible where the work is maintained and controlled by a foreign
Missionary Society. The churches in Russia are now to be counted by
thousands and their members by millions.

       *       *       *       *       *

From their early beginnings these churches had been subject to irregular
persecution but this became more general and more severe owing to
developments in the political situation. The autocratic form of
government, with its harsh suppression of individual liberty, led to the
formation of secret societies, the aim of which was to break the
existing tyranny by any means, however ruthless, and the murders and
outrages of these Nihilists terrified the ruling class into still more
drastic measures of repression. The Czar, Alexander II, was personally
desirous of reform though he did not realize the gravity of the
gathering storm of resentment and indignation caused by centuries of
unrestrained oppression. Yet he was seriously occupied in bringing in
important changes in this direction when, in 1881, he was blown to
pieces by a Nihilist bomb in the streets of St. Petersburg, and a
violent reaction to the most complete absolutism resulted. His
successors, with their advisers, set themselves to crush, not only the
desperate revolutionaries, but also every kind of divergence from their
ideal of a Holy Russia with absolute autocratic government in State and
Church. Political dissenters, the non-Russian elements in the population
of the Empire, especially the Jews, the Universities, too, and many
others came under the rod, and it was evident that the churches of
believers outside the Orthodox Church would not be spared.

In Pobiedonostsef, the head of the Holy Synod, they

=Page 330: Persecution=

found a bitter and consistent adversary. Imprisonment, fines and exile
were their lot, while the priests incited the people to attack and
maltreat them and to destroy their homes and their goods. Their meetings
were forbidden, and when they were found coming together secretly for
prayer and reading the Scriptures their gatherings were forcibly broken
up and arrest and punishment followed. Increasing numbers, especially of
the elders and leaders of the churches, were banished to Siberia or the
Caucasus. This proved to be a means of spreading the testimony, for
wherever these exiles went they were witnesses for Christ. Sometimes the
disciples were brought before courts and formally condemned and
sentenced, often they were exiled by administrative order, and then no
accusation or trial was required. Banishment was an especially cruel
punishment. Heavy chains were fastened on the hands and feet of those
condemned, those on the feet being so long that the prisoner had to lift
and carry them in his hands in order to walk. The hundreds of miles to
the places of banishment were, in the earlier years, covered on foot;
later, many were sent by rail in waggons into which air and light
entered only through a small, closely barred opening. If means were
available, the wives and children of the exiles might accompany them
into exile. All were at the mercy of the rough and brutal soldiery which
drove the wretched train of criminals, mingled with political and
religious dissenters, adding to their misery with the cruel knout and
anything else caprice suggested. The prisons on the way were the halting
places. There different bands were collected until the order for the
further march was given, waiting sometimes hours and sometimes months.
These prisons were terribly overcrowded; often at night there was not
room for all to lie upon the floor so that they had to lie one on top of
another. There was no sanitary accommodation nor any means of washing,
while the lice and other vermin swarming over the prisoners, who were
often covered with sores, added to their wretchedness. The food was of
the worst, nor was there refuge for any man, woman, or child, from any
injustice or outrage those in charge of them might like to inflict.
There were some humane men among the officials, but they could do little
against the crushing system of which they formed a

=Page 331: Efforts to Crush the Churches=

part. In the distant places of their banishment the exiles had to
maintain themselves as best they could. They were not allowed to leave
the town or village allotted to them, where sometimes they did not
understand the language spoken. Large numbers died of the privations and
cruel treatment they received on the way and never reached their
destination. When banishment was not for life a term of years was set,
but frequently, when this had expired and the captive looked for
liberty, a further term was added. In countless Russian villages and in
all the towns, year after year, the conflict was carried on. On the one
side, an ever-increasing number of people, of all classes, who through
the Scriptures had found in Christ their Saviour and their Lord and were
set on following Him and on making the Word of God their guide in all
things; on the other side, all the resources and power of the vast
Russian Empire used to make this impossible, to compel these Christians
to deny the faith and to return to the dead forms and idolatries from
which Christ had set them free. All these powers, Imperial and Orthodox,
failed before the indomitable patience and burning zeal of the saints.

At the very time that these persecutions were going on the sale of the
New Testament was favoured and there were instances where, through
personal influence in the highest quarters, permission was obtained to
visit the prisons and distribute the Book, Dr. Baedeker being one who
was devoted and untiring in this service; but those who acted on its
precepts were treated as criminals and suffered accordingly.

Among countless incidents on record a few may give some faint impression
of the whole.[109] In Poland a young man attended meetings where he heard
the Gospel preached and was converted to Christ from his careless,
sinful life. He could not help telling others of the salvation he had
found and a number of sinners turned to God. He became one of a group of
fourteen young men who were exiled to a place beyond Irkutsk in Siberia.
Of these, seven died on the way, the remainder were kept three and a
half years in prison and then liberated. Six of them died very soon of
consumption contracted in prison. The one who was left,

=Page 332: Exiles Spread the Gospel=

having lost all touch with his people in Poland (though he had been
married there and had left his wife and baby son behind) and being
without means for accomplishing the long journey back, got work as a
blacksmith and remained in Siberia. He did not cease to witness for
Christ and a church was founded and grew and prospered in the place
where he was.

A young woman living with her parents, well-to-do farmers, was converted
and was diligent in speaking to her friends and neighbours of the
Saviour. She was sentenced to life-long banishment to Siberia. It was
made possible for her to take the journey by rail. When the prisoners'
wagon in which Maria was known to be, came to the station nearest to her
home, a large crowd of relations and sympathizers gathered round. Only a
glimpse of her face could be seen as she pressed it to the thick bars of
the small opening, but she could better see them. "I love you", she
said, "Father, Mother, brothers, sisters, friends, I shall never see you
again, but do not think that I regret what I have done; I am glad to
suffer for my Saviour's sake, who suffered all things for me". The train
moved on, she was not heard of again, but a boy in the crowd went home
weeping and soon decided to follow Christ himself. He grew up to be an
effectual preacher of the Gospel through whom many were brought to the
obedience of faith.

A peasant living in a village some distance north of Omsk where the
openings in the great forests of larch and silver-birch give room for
cultivation, was called up for military service and took part in the
Japanese war. From a comrade he obtained a New Testament, in reading
which he became a new man. His former drunken and wicked habits were
changed into the sobriety and honesty and peace becoming a Christian.
When he returned to his native village the change was noticed, but his
friends were less struck by his altered conduct than by what seemed to
them to be his loss of religion, since he took no part in the ceremonies
of the Orthodox Church nor did he keep the usual ikons or holy pictures
in his house. He took to reading his Testament with a neighbour, who
also accepted Christ by faith and showed it in his changed life. This
alarmed the priest, upon whose advice the second farmer was caught and
beaten by his father and brothers until they supposed that he was dead.

=Page 333: A New Testament in a Village=

His wife, however, dragged him into their hut and nursed him back to
life. In the meantime others, hearing the contents of this Testament,
followed Christ, and those that believed met on every possible occasion
for the reading of the book. They found as they read that it was the
practice of the early disciples to baptize those that believed, so they
went to the river Irtish which flowed past their village of disorderly
scattered huts, and there the ex-soldier began to baptize, and he and
others continued this as occasion required. They understood as they
read, from the beginning, that they were a church, such as is described
in the Scriptures, gifts of the Holy Spirit were evident among them,
there were elders, fitted to guide, teachers, evangelists indeed each
was in some way helpful to the whole. Each first day of the week they
met and remembered the Lord's death in the breaking of bread, having
found this also as they read. The priest and his sympathizers took such
measures as seemed to them suitable to check the movement. Windows and
doors of the believers' houses were broken, they themselves were beaten,
their cattle were driven away, all kinds of injuries were inflicted and
were borne with patience and courage and made a constant occasion of
prayer. When about half the inhabitants of the village had been added to
the church such violence could not be continued. Then the priest had
recourse to asserting that the new religion was only the idea of an
ignorant Russian _moujik_, or peasant, that no
intelligent people believed such things. One day four strangers drove
into this remote village and were surprised when their carriage was
surrounded by the people, who drew them out and into their houses,
plying them with questions more quickly than they could answer them.
Soon the whole village was gathered together and each of these
strangers, one after the other, declared that he had been saved by the
grace of God through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and that his aim
now was to act in all things in obedience to the Word of God. This gave
great joy to the brethren in the village, they would not have been
turned aside had these visitors spoken otherwise, but it was a
confirmation of faith to find that they were brethren, and many who had
still hesitated confessed Christ. A further supply of Scriptures was
brought in and as long as

=Page 334: Families Broken Up=

these brethren stayed Bible study was the eager occupation of the church
almost continually, day and night.

A working man in South Russia was a diligent and faithful helper in the
congregation of believers in the place where he lived. On this account
he had much to suffer, and one night his hut was surrounded by armed
police who broke into it and brutally ill-treated him and his wife and
children. He was arrested and taken away. The wife gave birth to a child
and died, the child also. There were four children left, the eldest a
girl of about 13. They had now only one object in life, and that was to
find and rejoin their father. They learned that he had been banished to
Vladikavkas in the Caucasus, and determined to follow him there. Slowly
they crossed the wide steppes, sometimes helped by the brethren and
sometimes begging as they went. On reaching Vladikavkas they found that
their father had been forwarded to Tiflis. The believers kept them and
refreshed them, and then set them out on the fine mountain road up the
valley of the Terek; they saw the great massif of Kasbek and descended
the sunny southern slopes of the Caucasus range to Tiflis. Here they
were kindly received by the brethren, Russian, Armenian and German, but
were told that their father had just been sent further to a remote part,
among the Tartars, near the Persian frontier. They could go no further,
but, seeing their distress, two brethren undertook to follow the father,
carry supplies to him, and assure him that his children would be cared
for. They reached the town just after his arrival, only to learn that
having at last come to his place of exile, broken in health and heart,
he had lain down and died.

In 1893 a decree was published giving regulations arrived at some time
before by the Holy Synod, meeting under the presidency of
Pobiedonostsef, according to which the children of Stundists were to be
taken away from their parents and given over to relatives in the
Orthodox Church, failing whom, they were to be put under the charge of
the local clergy. The names of the members of this sect were to be made
known to the Minister of Communications who was to post up the lists of
names in the offices and workshops of the railways, so that they might
find no employment there. Any employer having a Stundist in his service
would be liable to a heavy fine. Stundists were forbidden

=Page 335: Political Unrest=

either to rent or purchase land. It was forbidden to all "sectaries" to
remove from one place to another. They were declared legally incapable
of carrying on banking or commerce. Leaving the Orthodox Church was to
be punished by the loss of civil rights and with exile, at the least
with a year and a half in a Reformatory. Preachers and authors of
religious works were to be punished with 8 to 16 months' imprisonment;
in case of a repetition of the offence, with 32 to 48 months in a
fortress; the third time with exile. Anyone spreading heretical
doctrines, or assisting those who did so, was to be punished with
banishment to Siberia, Transcaucasia or some other distant part of the

The Baptists, being an organized body, received at times a measure of
toleration not granted to those often called "Evangelical Christians",
among whom each congregation was an independent church. These latter,
having no earthly head or centre, could not be brought under Government
influence or control even to the limited extent possible in the case of
the Baptist federation. Increasing pressure was put upon them to
organize and to appoint some representative with whom the Government
could treat; some yielded in order to obtain relief; but others refused
on the ground that such a course would draw them away from direct
dependence on the Lord Jesus Christ and responsibility to Him.

Repressive measures in Russia generally grew, and were answered by
further outrages. The Japanese war did not arouse enthusiasm and its
failure awakened hopes of successful revolution. Strikes and rioting
broke out in many places, and a general strike of railway workers
paralyzed communications. Small, insufficient reforms only increased the
irritation, and attacks of Tartars on Armenians fomented in the
Caucasus, or of Russian mobs on Jews, or of the Baltic peoples on the
German-Russians there, led to dreadful massacres while in no way
checking revolutionary activities, and soon Russia was in disorder from
end to end.

Compelled by events, the unwilling Government yielded large measures of
reform and among these an edict of the Czar in 1905 granted liberty of
faith and conscience and also freedom of meeting. Pobiedonostsef retired
and the

=Page 336: Liberty Given and Withdrawn=

Metropolitan of the Russian Church declared: "True faith is obtained by
the grace of God, through instruction, humility and good examples; on
this account the use of force is denied to the Church, which does not
count it needful to hold erring children fast against their will.
Therefore the Orthodox Church has nothing against the rescinding of the
law forbidding to separate from the Orthodox Church."

Large and immediate use was made of the new liberty. Meetings were held
everywhere--crowded with hearers who seemed as though they never could
hear enough of the Word. Great numbers confessed Christ. The preaching
was often punctuated by the responses of the hearers; many would fall on
their knees or on their faces; when there was prayer they could not wait
for each other, but many would be praying aloud at the same time, and
this was intermingled with responses, confession of sins, thanksgiving
for salvation. Many hidden companies of believers came to light and it
became evident that the number of the Lord's disciples was far larger
than had been supposed. Hindrances to the study of the Word being
removed, Bible readings and expositions of Scripture increased on all
hands. There was the same desire as before to carry out the Word of God
in every way, and gifts of the Spirit for the ministry were manifested
among the believers, and that from all classes and positions.

This liberty did not last long. As the Government and the Orthodox
Church regained power the concessions wrung from them were withdrawn,
persecution began again in the accustomed way, and in a short time the
believers and the churches were suffering as before. When, in 1914, the
war broke out which was to involve so great a part of the world, a
number of elder brethren among the "Evangelical Christians" and of
Baptist pastors were banished to Siberia and to the shores of the White
Sea. In 1917 the Revolution began, before which, in so short a time, the
Czar and his Ministers, the Orthodox Church and all the old Russia fell,
and a new era made its stormy entrance.

       *       *       *       *       *

At the beginning of the Russian Revolution religious liberty was
proclaimed, but the country, after such long oppression and suffering,
added to now by the losses

=Page 337: Anarchy=

of war, was thrown into further disorder by the struggles of conflicting
parties striving for rule. In large districts there was absolute
anarchy, armed bands of ruffians subjecting the helpless people to
frightful outrage. As the Bolshevik party gained control, the
introduction of its principles was accompanied by wholesale murder,
robbery and destruction. Famine soon appeared and this vast country,
once so rich in food supplies, became a veritable sepulchre. The
Bolshevik Government set itself to destroy utterly all religion of every
kind, so that the Orthodox Church, once the persecutor, became now the
persecuted. The Roman Catholics, too, and the Lutherans, had to suffer
in their turn, and the congregations of believers with the rest.

In South Russia bands of brigands sometimes grew to the size of armies;
they were attracted by the wealth of the Mennonites, who suffered so
terribly from them that many of the men, in spite of their traditions,
followed the example of others and joined the companies formed for the
protection of the women and children. The experiences of the brethren
were as in the early days. As, then, James was killed "with the sword"
while Peter was delivered from prison, so, now, some had miraculous
deliverances while others were allowed to suffer all that the wickedness
of men could inflict upon them. Many thought they were living in the
days of the "great tribulation". There was great power with the Gospel;
large numbers were converted, including the most desperate sinners,
soldiers of the Red Army, so degraded that they had ceased to take
pleasure in anything but shedding blood. Suffering saints were greatly
sustained; it was often said by those who had passed through every
extremity of misery and outrage: "Do not pity us, we have rather reason
to pity you, for we have learned things about God that you cannot know".

When the first rage of murder was over, and people began to accommodate
themselves as best they could to the new form of tyranny which had
replaced the old, the churches of those that believed found themselves
face to face with new forms of trial. Greatly increased in numbers, they
had at times, and in some places, considerable liberty, and they
increased more rapidly than ever before, though always liable to a
return of ruthless repression. The anti-Christian

=Page 338: New Conditions=

propaganda of the Government called for special gifts and
ability on the part of the evangelists and others who had to meet it,
and these were abundantly given to them. The unorganized congregations
were pressed by promises and threats to join in a "Soviet" or Federation
with which the Government could deal in a way that it could not with a
multitude of independent churches; many yielded, but many chose to
continue in the way they saw to be according to the teaching of the Word
and Apostolic example, accepting the deprivations and losses that
accompanied it.

Atheism was imposed upon the people by force; violence and cruelty were
used to compel them to profess the belief that there is no God. Then the
devastating German invasion (1941) and the resistance to it brought
about rapid and fundamental changes and developments which had an
important part in moderating religious persecution, and an increasing
measure of toleration and liberty of conscience was obtained. The vast
extent of Russia and the character of many of its inhabitants give
special importance to these developments. Multitudes who were illiterate
now read; an agricultural people has seen a feverishly rapid
introduction of industry; and to give spiritual liberty to such is
likely to unleash energies of immense and salutary importance.

[Sidenote: =1823-1930.=]

What has passed current for history has been so
successful in confounding those godly men who practised the baptism of
believers only with the authors of the sinful extravagances of Münster
in the 16th century, that when in 1834 some ten men and women living in
Hamburg were baptized as believers, by immersion, in accordance with
what they believed to be the teaching of Scripture, the prejudice
against it was so strong that the baptism had to take place secretly, at
night, in order to avoid menacing interruption. One of those baptized
was Johann Gerhard Oncken,[110] and his inclusion in the company was of
unforeseen importance, for he originated Baptist churches, which, after
early struggles against bitter prejudices, spread rapidly through
Germany and adjacent lands, into South--Eastern Europe and into vast
Russia, so that their members came to be counted by hundreds of

=Page 339: Oncken=

Oncken's life covered most of the 19th century; he was born in 1800 and
lived until 1884. He was a native of the little Duchy of Varel, ruled by
the Bentinck family, a branch of which crossed to England with William
of Orange and became famous here. Oncken's father was concerned in one
of the patriotic risings against Napoleon and had to escape to England,
where he died, never having seen his son Johann Gerhard, who was born
just after his father's flight.

The Lutheran church in Varel had come at this time under the influence
of Rationalism and the young man grew up without the knowledge of the
way of salvation. When he was 14 a Scotsman doing business in Varel
liked the lad and asked him whether he had a Bible. "No", said he, "but
I have been confirmed". The Scotsman gave him a Bible, and also took him
with him to Scotland. There, in a Presbyterian church, he first clearly
heard the Gospel, and was impressed. Later, in London, living in a godly
family, he was further affected, especially by their family worship and
by the preaching in the Congregational church to which they belonged;
and at last, listening to a sermon in Great Queen Street Methodist
chapel, he found assurance of salvation and a joy in the Lord which led
him from the first day to be a witness for Christ and to try to bring
others to the Saviour.

In 1823 he returned to Hamburg, appointed as their missionary to Germany
by "The Continental Society" founded shortly before in London for
evangelical work on the Continent of Europe. He soon showed gifts as a
preacher which attracted increasing numbers, and conversions took place
as he announced the Gospel in rooms and various places up and down the
city. Opposition to what people called "the English religion" involved
him in fines and imprisonments, but his activities continued.[111] He
opened a Sunday School; and, having always been active in distributing
the Scriptures, in 1828 he also became agent for the Edinburgh Bible
Society, a position he occupied for fifty years, printing and
distributing in that time two million Bibles.

=Page 340: Baptists in Hamburg=

Studying the Scriptures himself, Oncken gradually came to the conviction
that the New Testament teaches the baptism by immersion of believers,
and as he considered the numbers of converts and of friends with whom he
was associated the thought shaped itself in his mind that these should
be gathered into churches on the New Testament pattern, by which he
understood that none but believers baptized by immersion should be
admitted as members. Although several, after studying the Scriptures
together, had decided to be baptized they were hindered in carrying out
their project by the difficulty of finding anyone to baptize them. Some
of their number suggested that they should organize churches in the
meantime without baptism and take the Lord's Supper together. Oncken,
however, thought this would be a bad beginning and likely to spoil the
whole movement from the first. After waiting five years they came into
touch with an American Baptist, Professor Sears, who baptized them, and
on the following day those baptized formed themselves into a church and
chose Oncken as their pastor, whom Sears then ordained.

The civil authorities in Hamburg soon announced their intention not to
tolerate this new "sect" in their city, and Oncken and others had to
undergo fines and imprisonment. One place where they were imprisoned was
the Winserbaum, a prison building washed on two sides by the water, an
unhealthy and evil-smelling place.

Capable fellow-workers joined Oncken, among them Julius Köbner, the son
of a Jewish Rabbi in Denmark, a hymn writer and preacher, also Gottfried
Wilhelm Lehmann, baptized in Berlin with five others, by Oncken, who
then organized them as the first Baptist church in that city. The work
spread rapidly, accompanied by persecutions, chiefly fines and
imprisonment imposed by the authorities, but also at times violence of
the people. Gradually the confidence of the authorities was gained and
persecution lessened. In 1856 the Hamburg church was given full
toleration, and in 1866 all religious denominations were declared to be
on an equality in that city.

Oncken and Köbner began to give short courses in Bible study to young
men in order to prepare them to become pastors of the churches that were
springing up. From this beginning the Hamburg Baptist College developed,

=Page 341: German Baptists in Russia=

a four years' course of training to those about to become pastors. The
growing movement was organized in the different countries to which it
spread, annual conferences of delegates were held and committees of
"managing brethren" appointed to attend to various business. Large
financial help was given from America. Oncken was made a missionary of
the American Baptist Missionary Society, and so enabled to travel
extensively, support being given to the College and other organizations
and to the work generally. At the same time the converts of different
nationalities took their share in the burdens.

As churches of German Baptists grew up among the large German population
of Russia they came into touch with older companies of Russian believers
who also practised believers' baptism, and in many instances the German
Baptists succeeded in absorbing these into their organization, so that
the numerous Russian churches came to be divided into two great streams.
The original Russian churches maintained the independence of each
congregation, whereas the Baptists formed a federation affiliated with
Churches in Germany and America. The Baptists aimed at having a pastor
over each church, and the administration of baptism and the Lord's
Supper lay chiefly in his hands; the older Russian churches had elders
in every church and emphasized the priesthood of all believers and
liberty of ministry. The experiences of the different congregations were
affected by these points. The Government favoured the Baptist system,
because it was easier to deal with pastors locally, and with an
organization generally which had a visible centre and head, than with
the brethren who maintained their independent, congregational principle,
for they were less easily influenced by pressure from without. On this
account the authorities, who often imposed on the latter the name
"Evangelical Christians", tried in various ways to oblige them to
organize and appoint a central Committee and President.

The question, too, of the acceptance of large gifts from American
Baptists was diversely judged. It was evident that the Russian Baptists
were greatly helped in their work by these gifts, and a proposal was
made that they might be extended to those congregations of Brethren who
did not take the name Baptist. The liberal and kindly offer

=Page 342: Question of Gifts from Abroad=

was made that, should such gifts be accepted, no name would be imposed
upon them nor any change required in their church government or in any
other way, only they would be counted in the World Union of Baptist
Churches. A section of the brethren and of the meetings they belonged to
was in favour of accepting this important help, but the greater number
declined it, because, while they recognized and appreciated the love and
generosity that prompted the gift, they felt that the acceptance of it
would place them under an obligation, would alter their circumstances in
a way that could not fail eventually to exercise an influence on their
course, would tend to draw them away from their entire, manifest
dependence on God, and would _give colour to the accusation that
they represented a foreign religion and a foreign power:_
whereas they believed that the principles of Scripture are applicable to
all countries alike and to all circumstances, as much to the poverty of
Russia as to the wealth of America.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Sidenote: =1828-1930=]

The traveller through Central and Southern Europe cannot but be struck
by the number of villages he passes, and may sometimes wonder what is
going on in these groups of human dwellings, often so uncouth in
appearance, differing so completely from the better known surroundings
of the town dwellers. They are often the scene of vivid spiritual
experiences, and here also are many who are seriously affected by the
importance of personal and corporate obedience to the Word of God.

In Hungary, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Roumania are numerous congregations of
people who call themselves _"Nazarenes"_.[112] They live
so quietly, so much to themselves, that they would hardly ever be heard
of except for their constant conflict with the various Governments, due
to their absolute refusal to bear arms.

Of themselves they write: "The Apostles preached repentance and faith;
such as believed were added unto the people of the Lord.... Their
brothers in the faith were to be found throughout all the
centuries--here and there.... To-day there still exists a
people--God's own--whose members are dispersed all over the world,
living quietly

=Page 343: Fröhlich=

and in seclusion, far away from politics, far away from the pleasures of
the world.... Although they are not bound together by race, by
origin, or by speech, nor by economic, political, or any other kind of
bond, they are firmly united among themselves by a mighty spiritual
bond, by divine love.... They too became members of this people,
God's own, by a spiritual re-birth.... They are wedded to their
Redeemer and Saviour, Jesus Christ, and they serve Him with soul and
body, because He has bought them with His own blood from the world....
His divine teaching is their guidance for life".

Continuing their account of themselves, they say: "The bright glory of
Christ's teaching dimmed.... Then it was that God awakened in
Switzerland, in the year 1828, a true and faithful witness in the person
of the preacher S. H. Fröhlich, who entered into the 'new life in
Christ' by his re-birth.... It was he who re-lit the candles with the
bright light of the Gospel. On that account he was dismissed from his
office or parsonage, in 1830. He began to preach the pure Gospel and
brought together many believers in congregations. He evangelized from
Switzerland up to the city of Strasburg, where he died in the year 1857,
a true and faithful servant of the Lord.... The Jews called the
Apostle Paul 'a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes' ... the
'believers in Christ' are called 'Nazarenes' in Austria, in Hungary and
in the Balkans, to this very day".

Born in Brugg, Aarau, in the year 1803, Samuel Heinrich Fröhlich studied
theology in Zürich and Basle and became a Rationalist.[113] Unbelief led
to sin and made him an opponent of the Moravian Brethren and of such as
held Bible readings for the study of the Greek New Testament; indeed of
all who aimed at spiritual reviving. But when about 22 years of age he
was awakened; he now realized his unfitness for his calling as a
preacher. He vowed faithfulness to God and endeavoured to overcome sin,
yet only found himself involved the more in failure and misery. In the
woods and on the mountains he prayed and cried to God for help, but
found none, until he was able to look to Jesus and found peace in Him.
In his father's house he prepared himself diligently for his
examination. His

=Page 344: Nazarenes in Hungary=

evangelical leanings displeased his examiners, and delayed his
ordination, which, however, took place in 1827. During short periods in
different parishes his study of the Scriptures led him into greater
spiritual liberty. He was sent to a godless congregation in Leutweil and
there his preaching of Christ crucified caused a revival to break out.
This aroused the opposition of the clergy. He was now compelled, before
delivering his sermons, to submit them to his church elders as well as
to the surrounding clergy. These struck out all such passages as
referred to man as being "dead in trespasses and sins", or justified
only in Jesus Christ through faith. These teachings were bringing life
and deliverance to burdened souls, but they were folly and stumbling to
the wise. In teaching his catechists he received light as to baptism
according to the New Testament. In spite of constant persecution he
continued his labours for two years, till in 1830, with the support of
the Government, the ecclesiastical authorities removed all the old
religious books, replacing them by others of a rationalistic character.
Refusing to accept these books, he was brought up before the authorities
both for this offence and for other behaviour in which he had been
displeasing to them. This resulted in his condemnation and deposition on
the ground that he had acted contrary to law.

Two Hungarian journeymen locksmiths, Johann Denkel and another, in the
course of their travels came from Budapest to Zürich, where they met
Fröhlich and were converted and baptized. Returning to Budapest, Denkel
was diligent in speaking to his fellow-workmen of the Gospel. Among
those who believed was Ludwig Hencsey, who became a most active and
successful worker, founding many congregations of the "Nazarenes". One
whom he was early able to lead to Christ was a nobleman, Josef Kovacs,
who corresponded with Fröhlich in Latin (1840). A widow, Anna Nipp, gave
a room in her house in Budapest as the first meeting place. Hencsey
wrote books explaining the principles of the faith, which, being copied
out and distributed by the converts, were the means of adding many to
their number (1840-1). A band went out from Budapest in different
directions to carry the faith, the congregations spreading as far as the
frontiers of Turkey; while in America also many were founded.

=Page 345: Nazarenes and Military Service=

Wherever the Nazarenes are found they have acknowledged the constituted
authorities and have served them loyally, but in respect of bearing arms
and of taking oaths they have been inflexible in their refusal. Despite
their willingness to serve in any non-combatant capacity, no
consideration has been shown them by the military authorities. Moreover,
their very numerical strength has but intensified the efforts to break
down their opposition. They have been treated with great severity;
always large numbers of them have been in prison, where many have spent
the best part of their lives under wretched conditions, separated from
their families and friends. Their patient submission as they have been
brought into Court in batch after batch and condemned to long terms of
imprisonment--seldom less than ten years--has won the admiration of many
who do not share their convictions. Yet their martyrdom continues, many
have been savagely ill-treated in addition to their imprisonment, and
there are cases where, having almost served their term of punishment,
they have been granted (without asking for it) a pardon, with
restoration of their civil and military status, then immediately
required to bear arms, and, upon their renewed refusal, been condemned
to the full term of imprisonment over again, no account being taken of
what they had already suffered.

Owing to his own experiences, Fröhlich wrote with unmeasured
condemnation of the formal religion prevailing in the great Churches,
Catholic and Protestant, and the Nazarenes generally are unsparing in
their denunciation of what they believe to be contrary to the teaching
of the New Testament. Among them a Lutheran church may be described as a
"den of thieves", while many of them seem hardly to believe in the
possibility of salvation outside their own circles. This exaggeration
shows itself in Fröhlich's teaching.

Writing[114] on "The Mystery of Godliness and the Mystery of Iniquity" (1
Tim. 3. 16; 2 Thess. 2. 7), he says that what mankind now suffers under
is not the result of Adam's transgression, which was put away by the
death of Christ; but that on account of man's unbelief

=Page 346: Fröhlich's Teaching=

towards Christ, Satan has been allowed to bring into the world a second
deception and second fall, through which the members of the so-called
Christian Church have come to count their Christianity as something they
are born into, which they ground on their infant baptism and other
forms, without being truly converted from sins and idols and the power
of Satan. The imitated forms of Divine service and of piety, without
power, are the second and worse deceit of Satan, which brings after it
the second death. Only those called of God, who have made their calling
and election sure through entire sanctification, are delivered from it.

These brethren scattered over the wide valley and plains of the middle
Danube and stretching far into the Balkans, are distinguished among
their neighbours by their gravity and quiet diligence. Persecution has
hammered them into a hardness of resistance not to be overcome, yet, in
spite of a strain of hard legality, they exercise patient forbearance
under harsh and unrighteous treatment, not resisting evil; and by the
simplicity and Scriptural character of their worship and of their church
life are a testimony to those around them.


[107] "Geschichte Alt-Evangelischen Mennoniten Brüderschaft in Russland"
P. M. Friesen

[108] "Russland und das Evangelium" Joh. Warns.

[109] The following four incidents are taken from the author's personal

[110] "Johann Gerhard Oncken. His life and Work" John Hunt Cook.

[111] "To the Members of the Sixth Assembly of the German Evangelical
Churches held in Berlin 1853. Subject, 'How the church should act in
Reference to Separatists and Sectarians Viz. Baptists and Methodists'"
G. W. Lehmann.

[112] "Nazarenes in Jugosiavia" Apostolic Christian Publishing Co.
Syracuse N.Y., U.S.A.

[113] "Einzelne Briefe und Betrachtungon aus dem Nachlasse von S. H.

[114] "Das Geheimniss der Gottseligkeit und das Geheimniss der
Gottlosigkeit" S. H. Friölich,, St. Gallen 1838.

=Page 347: Believers' Liberty to Break Bread=

Chapter XVI

Groves, Müller, Chapman


Churches formed in Dublin--A. N. Groves--Leaves with party for
Bagdad--Work begun--Plague and flood--Death of Mrs. Groves--Arrival of
helpers from England--Colonel Cotton--Removal of Groves to
India--Objects to his stay there--To bring missionary work back to the
New Testament pattern--To reunite the people of God--George
Müller--Henry Craik--Church formed at Bethesda Chapel, Bristol, to carry
out New Testament principles--Müller's visit to Germany--Institutions
and Orphanage carried on for the encouragement of faith in God--Robert
Chapman--J. H. Evans--Chapman's conversion--His ministry in Barnstaple
and travels--Circles accepting the Scriptures as their guide.

In the early part of the 19th century a number of people were impressed
by the importance as well as by the possibility of a return to the
teachings of Scripture, not only in respect of questions of personal
salvation and conduct, but also as regards the order and testimony of
the churches. A serious attempt was made to put such convictions into

Anthony Norris Groves, a dentist living in Plymouth, was visiting Dublin
in 1827 in connection with studies at Trinity College. In conversation
with John Gifford Bellett, a barrister and native of Dublin, with whom
he was associated in Bible study, Groves remarked that it appeared to
him from Scripture that believers meeting together as disciples of
Christ were free to break bread together as their Lord had admonished
them; and that, if they were guided by the practice of the apostles they
would set apart every Lord's Day for thus remembering the Lord's death
and obeying his parting command. Not long afterwards they found a group
of believers in Dublin who were already meeting in this way.

One of the earliest members of this group was Edward Cronin. Originally
a Roman Catholic, he had become attached to the Independents. Realizing
the essential

=Page 348: Meetings in Dublin=

unity of the people of God, he was in the habit of taking the Lord's
Supper from time to time with different bodies of Nonconformists.
Settling in Dublin, he found it was required of him that he should
become definitely a member of one of them, otherwise he would not be
allowed to break bread with any. Seeing that this was a contradiction of
the very unity he sought to recognize, Cronin refused compliance,
whereupon he was publicly denounced from one of their pulpits. Against
this a protest was raised by one of the workers of the Bible Society and
eventually he and Cronin began to meet in one of his rooms for prayer
and the breaking of bread. Others were added and they moved the meetings
to Cronin's house, but soon afterwards (1829), their numbers increasing,
Francis Hutchinson, who was one of them, lent them a large room in his
house in Fitzwilliam Square.

Another such group was formed about the same time, also in Dublin. About
1825 John Vesey Parnell (afterwards Lord Congleton) and two friends,
being troubled by the fact that their fellowship with one another during
the week was obscured by their separating on Sundays to their different
denominations, tried to find some circle in which their differences of
view on ecclesiastical points would no longer prevent the expression of
their unity as children of God. Failing to find any company such as they
sought, and being clear that they needed no consecrated building nor
ordained minister, they began to meet and break bread in one of their
own rooms. Shortly afterwards one of their number going out on a Sunday
met a member of that circle where Bellett was, whom he knew as a
Christian. In a brief conversation they were struck by the fact that,
though one in Christ, they were going different ways, and this led
eventually to the bringing together of these two groups. Groves had left
for England, but Bellett and those with him had been joined by a young
clergyman, John Nelson Darby. These soon began to meet with the company
in Francis Hutchinson's house, holding their meetings at such hours as
did not interfere with any who might wish to attend the usual services
at the churches or the dissenting chapels.

As their numbers increased it became inconvenient to have the meetings
in a private house, so a large auction room in Aungier Street was taken,
where the meetings were

=Page 349: Anthony Norris Groves=

held and there was great joy in a sense of the Lord's presence and
blessing. Cronin[116] writes of this time: "Oh the blessed seasons with my
soul, which John Parnell, William Stokes and others knew, while moving
the furniture aside and laying the simple table with its bread and wine
on Saturday evenings, seasons of joy, never to be forgotten, for surely
we had the Master's smile and sanction in the beginning of such a
movement as this was!"

From time to time they found that companies of believers were meeting
together in other parts of the British Isles and elsewhere, unknown to
each other, believers on whose hearts and consciences it had been
impressed that the Lord's people should return to a literal obedience to
His Word, making that alone their guide, in so far as they understood
it. There were also many individuals, who, as soon as they found that
others were carrying out what they had, as yet, only desired, willingly
associated themselves with them.

       *       *       *       *       *

Anthony Norris Groves,[117] whose words in Dublin had proved so fruitful,
though still quite a young man had prospered greatly in his profession.
He was happily married, had three little children, a pleasant home in
Exeter and a congenial circle of friends and relatives. Before his
conversion, as a boy in his teens, he had felt that to be a missionary
was the ideal way for a Christian, and when he was converted he devoted
himself to the Lord with this in view. His young wife, however, who was
converted about the same time and to whom he was devotedly attached, was
opposed to any thought of their becoming missionaries, though she was of
one mind with him in the desire to serve the Lord and they agreed
together to give a tenth of their income and distribute it among the
poor. This was soon increased to a quarter, and after a time they saw
that they and all they had belonged to the Lord so gave up all idea of
saving money or putting aside for their children, and, reducing expenses
by simplifying their own manner of life in every way possible, they gave
away all the rest.

=Page 350: Liberty of Ministry=

Groves refrained from saying anything further to his wife of his
unquenched desire for missionary work, seeing her set against it, but
she had her own experiences, quickened by coming in contact with the
poor and suffering in her distributions, and after some years she came
independently to the conclusion which her husband had reached already.

Now it seemed to them that the right thing would be for him to be
ordained and that they should go abroad in connection with the Church
Missionary Society. It was with this in view that he went from time to
time to Trinity College, Dublin, and on one of these occasions had the
conversation with his friend Bellett which led to their meeting, with
others, for the breaking of bread. On a later visit, his reading of the
Scripture having shown him the liberty the Spirit gives for the ministry
of the Word of God, he saw that there was no need for him to be ordained
by the Church of England, and, speaking with Bellett on this he said:
"This I doubt not is the mind of God concerning us--we should come
together in all simplicity as disciples, not waiting on any pulpit or
ministry, but trusting that the Lord would edify us together by
ministering as He pleased and saw good from the midst of ourselves".
Bellett relates: "At the moment he spoke these words, I was assured my
soul had got the right idea, and that moment I remember as if it were
but yesterday, and could point you out the place. It was the birthday of
my mind...."

Still desiring to go abroad under the Church Missionary Society, Groves
went to London to arrange for going as a layman, but finding that he
would not be allowed to celebrate the Lord's Supper, even should no
ordained minister be available, he withdrew his application. He had been
baptized in Exeter, but when it was said to him: "Of course you must be
a Baptist now you are baptized", he replied: "No, I desire to follow in
all those things in which they follow Christ, but I would not, by
joining one party, cut myself off from others".

In 1829 Groves and his wife, with their two boys of nine and ten, and
Kitto, the boys' tutor (afterwards renowned as a Biblical scholar), as
well as several others, set out and travelled by way of St. Petersburg
and Tiflis to Bagdad. As their waggons traversed South Russia they

=Page 351: Journey to Bagdad=

met some of the Mennonite believers. Travelling through the mountainous
country of Transcaucasia they saw in the distance, on the commanding
summit of one of the countless hills, the well-built city of Shusha.
They climbed the steep ascent and a large house, one of the first they
came to, on the confines of the city, opened its doors to them and they
were received by the missionaries of the Basle Missionary Society,
Pfander and Count Zaremba, who did an important work in those parts
until they were expelled from the country. Pfander accompanied the party
to Bagdad and stayed with them there for a time, his experience and
knowledge of languages enabling them to begin work there earlier than
would otherwise have been possible. The needs of the journey were
supplied in various ways and Groves writes: "I feel I am happy in having
no system to support, in moving among either professing Christians or
Mohammedans; to the one, a person so situated can truly say, I do not
desire to bring you over to any church, but to the simple truth of God's
Word, and to the others, we wish you to read the New Testament that you
may learn to judge of God's truth, not by what you see in the churches
around you, but by the Word of God itself".

The little household was established in Bagdad and the study of language
begun, while the treatment of sick people gave access to many and a
school was opened which prospered from the first. The Armenians were
found accessible, and there were openings among some of the Jews and
Syrians; Mohammedans were often hostile, but intercourse with some was

"The two great objects of the Church in the latter days", Groves wrote,
"seem to me to be the publication of the testimony of Jesus in all
lands, and the calling out the sheep of Christ who may be imprisoned in
all the Babylonish systems that are in the world".

The second year of their stay was entered upon with much to encourage,
but rumours of war and plague were increasingly threatening, and when
plague actually entered the city the question of leaving or remaining
became urgent. Many were leaving, but considering the promising work
begun, and the school, seeing also that a party of helpers on the way
out from England had already reached Aleppo, they decided to stay. The
plague began to spread, crowds

=Page 352: Plague and Flood=

who could get away fled, but the advance of a besieging army cut off the
retreat of many. Water became scarce and robbers took advantage of
slackened authority to pillage. Rapidly the plague increased, and
although half the population had fled, among the 40,000 remaining the
mortality soon reached 2000 daily. Then the river rose and after days of
anxious hope that it might yet be stayed, the water began to trickle
into the city. Walls were undermined and fell, and then a great
inundation swept away thousands of houses. The plague-stricken people
were crowded into narrowed areas; food failed; in a month 30,000 souls
had perished in the utmost misery. The harvest, ready to be reaped, was
destroyed for 30 miles round. As to the little missionary household,
their hearts were rent at the sight of the indescribable horrors going
on around them, yet Groves was able to write at this time: "the Lord has
allowed us great peace, and assured confidence in His loving care, and
in the truth of His promise, that our bread and our water shall be sure;
but certainly nothing but the service of such a Lord as he is would keep
me in the scenes which these countries do exhibit, and I feel assured
will, till the Lord has finished His judgements on them for the contempt
of the name, nature and offices of the Son of God; yet I linger in the
hope that He has a remnant even among them, for whose return these
convulsions are preparing the way.... The Lord has stopped the water
just at the top of our street by a little ledge of high ground, so that
as yet we are dry; and all free from the sword of the destroying angel".
Considering the ruin of the hopeful work begun, he wrote, "it requires
great confidence in God's love, and much experience of it, for the soul
to remain in peace, stayed on Him, in a land of such changes, without
even one of our own nation near us, without means of escape in any
direction; surrounded with the most desolating plague and destructive
flood, with scenes of misery forced upon the attention which harrow up
the feelings, and to which you can administer no relief. Even in this
scene, however, the Lord has kept us of His infinite mercy in personal
quiet and peace, trusting under the shadow of His Almighty wing, and has
enabled us daily to assemble in undiminished numbers, when tens of
thousands have been falling around

=Page 353: Bereavement=

us. Neither is this all, for He has made us know why we stayed in this
place, and why we were never allowed to feel it to be our path of duty
to leave the post we were in".

The waters diminished; the virulence of the plague was spent. Then Mary,
the wife and mother, the guide of the household, whose love and grace
and unfailing faith had been a support on which all had leaned,
sickened--as the anxious watchers soon realized--of the plague. Her
husband and a faithful nurse cared for her. She had been entirely
confident that they should stay in Bagdad, and now, faced with the
prospect of leaving her husband and sons and the little baby born there,
in such a place, she said: "I marvel at the Lord's dealings, but not
more than at my own peace in such circumstances." She died. Her husband
cried in mingled grief and worship: "How hard for the soul to see the
object of its longest and best grounded earthly affections suffering
without the power of affording relief, knowing too that a heavenly
Father who has sent it can relieve it and yet seems to turn a deaf ear
to one's cries; at the same time, I felt, in the depth of my soul's
affections, that, notwithstanding all, He is a God of infinite love.
Satan has sorely tried me, but the Lord has shown me, in the 22nd Psalm,
a more wonderful cry _apparently_ unheeded, and the
Holy Ghost has given me the victory, and enabled me to acquiesce in my
Father's will, though I now see not the end of His holy and blessed

Then the baby was stricken and, in spite of her father's utmost
devotion, was taken from them. He himself was the next to be attacked,
and had the prospect of leaving his children desolate, but he recovered.

As plague and flood abated the enemy without advanced, the city was
besieged and mob rule prevailed within. Groves' house was repeatedly
attacked and robbed, but though unarmed and helpless, those in it
suffered no bodily harm. Shells passed over the roof on which they slept
and the building was struck by cannon balls. Violence prevailed in the
streets, the children of the Christian population especially suffering
abominable treatment. At last the city was taken; its captors behaved
with unexpected moderation, so that quietness and order were restored.

In the summer of 1832 the long looked-for helpers from

=Page 354: Groves's Household in Bagdad=

England arrived. They were Dr. Cronin, now a widower, with his infant
daughter and his mother, John Parnell and Francis W. Newman (whose
brother, later, became the well-known Cardinal). Groves and all with him
were greatly cheered by this arrival, and the whole of the increased
company entered on a period, not only of activity in study and work, but
of happy, helpful union and fellowship among themselves, and advanced
into fuller knowledge of God and of holiness. They had all things
common; on Fridays they fasted and prayed together. There was much study
of the Word; conversions took place. These were times some of them could
never forget and from which several, of different nationalities, dated
the beginning of a new life in God.

Cronin's sister had been married to Parnell on the way out, at Aleppo,
but had been quickly taken from him by death, and now her mother died
also. In this same year Newman and Kitto went to England to seek further
helpers, and the following year those in Bagdad were visited by Colonel
Cotton,[118] whose engineering skill, and Christian care for the people of
India, abolished the dreadful periodic famines of the Godaveri Delta and
brought prosperity to its vast population. Groves went on with him to
India, leaving the others for a time in Bagdad.

One object in going to India, Groves wrote, was "to become united more
truly in heart with all the missionary band there, and show that,
notwithstanding all differences, we are one in Christ; sympathizing in
their sorrows, and rejoicing in their prosperity". The deep experiences
through which he had passed made him peculiarly capable of this, also
his remarkable and unaffected humility, which rendered him quick to see
whatever was good in others, slow to condemn. Also his knowledge of
Scripture and practical acquaintance with the work fitted him to give
wise counsel, so that he did not merely travel praising all he saw, but
could well point out possibilities of improvement. He saw so vividly the
need of the vast multitudes that remain without the Gospel that he
preferred almost any effort to reach them, however faulty, to none at
all. Moreover he was hopeful that, if anywhere, it would be in a country
outside of Christendom, such as India, that it

=Page 355: Groves in India=

would first become possible for true believers to cast aside their
denominational differences and exhibit the essential unity of the
churches of God in obedience to the Scriptures and in the forbearance of
love. This would remove the chief hindrance to the spread of the Gospel.
It was a great undertaking and worth attempting at any cost. Whether in
extensive travels all over the country, visiting many missionaries of
various confessions, or when he settled in some particular district, the
grace and power of Groves's ministry, and his unselfish love, won many
hearts and bore abundant fruit in the lives and service of many. When,
however, it came to applying the principles of the Word to persons and
organizations that had in some ways departed from them, opposition was
aroused, and he suffered keenly as his loving desire to serve was
misunderstood by missionaries and societies and construed as criticism
and affectation of superiority and as threatening the stability of
existing organizations.

His own words are: "How _slow_ we are to learn really
to suffer, and to be _abased_ with our dear Lord (Phil.
2. 3-10). However, I think we are generally much more able to take up
cheerfully any measure of bodily or mental trial than that which
degrades us before the world. To see that _our abasement is our
glory, and our weakness our strength,_ requires extraordinary
faith: wherever I go, I perceive the evil influence of contrary
principles. I am persuaded that not following our Lord, and going down
among the people we wish to serve, destroys all our real power; by
remaining above them, we have power, but it is earthly. O that the Lord
would raise up some to show us the way! When the truth is impressed upon
a person's mind in India, it seems to seize it with a more powerful and
tenacious grasp than generally in England, people are often left with
God's word alone, the professedly religious circle being very small, and
thus the views they entertain are much more scriptural. Never was there
a time when it was more important than now, to make every effort that
they do not rivet on this land the evils of ecclesiastical dominion,
viz., the pride and earthliness under which the established churches in
Europe have groaned". Again he writes: "Never was there a more important
moment than the present for India; up to this time everything in the

=Page 356: Objects of his Visit=

has been as free as our hearts could wish. Persons have been converted,
either by reading God's Word, or through one another, and have drank the
living waters wherever they could find them full and clear; but now the
Church of England is seeking to extend its power, and the Independents
and Methodists are seeking to enclose their little flocks.

My object in India is two-fold, to try to check the operation of these
exclusive systems, by showing in the Christian Church they are not
necessary for all that is holy and _moral;_ and to try
and impress upon every member of Christ's body that he has some ministry
given him for the body's edification, and instead of depressing,
encouraging each one to come forward and serve the Lord. I have it much
at heart, should the Lord spare me, to form a Church on these
principles; and my earnest desire is to re-model the whole plan of
missionary operations, so as to bring them to the simple standard of
God's Word. The encouragement the Lord has given me is great, beyond all
I could have hoped; I cannot tell you how lovingly I have been received,
not by one party only, but by all". On another occasion he writes: "The
farther I go, the more I am convinced that the missionary labour of
India, as carried on by Europeans, is altogether
_above_ the _natives_ nor do I see how
any abiding impression can possibly be made, till they mix with them in
a way that is not now attempted. When I think of this subject of caste,
in connection with the humiliation of the Son of God, I see in it
something most unseemly, most peculiarly unlike Christ. If He who is one
with the Father in glory emptied Himself, and was sent in the likeness
of sinful flesh, and became the friend of publicans and sinners, that He
might raise them, it is truly hateful that one worm should refuse to eat
with, or touch another worm, lest he become polluted. How strikingly the
Lord's revelation to Peter reproves it all, 'what God hath cleansed that
call thou not common'".

In making plans for living in India he says: "We purpose that our
domestic arrangements should all be very simple and _very
inexpensive,_ and our plan strictly evangelical. Our great
object will be to break down the odious barriers that pride has raised
between natives and Europeans; to this end, it would be desirable for
every evangelist

=Page 357: Hope of Churches in India=

to take with him wherever he went from two to six native catechists,
with whom he might eat, drink, and sleep on his journeys, and to whom he
might speak of the things of the kingdom, as he sat down and as he rose
up, that they might in short be prepared for ministry in the way that
our dear Master prepared His disciples, by line upon line, precept upon
precept, here a little and there a little, as they could bear it,
feeling from beginning to end, that our place is not to set others to do
what we do not do ourselves, or to act on principles on which we do not,
but that we are rather to be examples of everything we wish to see in
our dear brethren. And I do not yet despair of seeing in India a church
arise that shall be a little sanctuary in the cloudy and dark day that
is coming on Christendom".

After visiting England, where he married again, Groves returned to
India, bringing with him a missionary party, which included the brethren
Bowden and Beer and their wives from Barnstaple, who began work in the
populous Godaveri Delta. He himself settled in Madras where he was
rejoined by the party he had left behind in Bagdad. Having long depended
for his supplies on such gifts as the Lord sent through His servants, he
felt that now, in Madras, the circumstances were such that it would be
better for the testimony that he should follow the example of Paul, who
was ready, according to circumstances, either to live from the gifts of
the churches, or from his own labour and earn his own living. He
therefore took up practice again as a dentist and was successful in

His efforts to help the different Missionary Societies led in time to
his being opposed by some, excluded from their circles and spoken
against as an enemy and a danger to the work. This he felt keenly and it
was one reason for his leaving Madras and moving to Chittoor, which soon
became a centre of activity and of blessing.

In order to encourage those engaged in the Lord's work to earn their
living also, when possible, and those engaged in business to be active
likewise in spiritual work, he took land, and carried on, first silk
cultivation, afterwards sugar growing, thus giving occupation to many.
At times this prospered, but there were also losses, and the acceptance
of a loan offered on one occasion for extending the business involved
him in much work and anxiety before it

=Page 358: Method of Spreading the Gospel=

could be repaid. A letter written to England at this period explains his

"That which renders your bounty doubly precious is, that it proves the
continuance of your love to us individually, but above all, to the work
of the Lord in these desolate and neglected lands. I think we all feel
an increasing interest in that plan of missions which we are now
pursuing; either labouring ourselves, or being associated with those who
profess some 'honest trade' ... and also set an example to others
that, by so doing they may support the weak. We have lately heard from
several missionaries, who express the deepest interest in the prospect
of our success. That dear young native, by name Aroolappen, who went
from us some months since, has, amid many discouragements, and many
allurements, remained faithful to his purpose. He has determined to
commence his labours in a populous neighbourhood, near the Pilney Hills,
in the Madura district, a little south of Trichinopoly; and he has the
prospect of being joined by a native brother, who is prepared to go
forth to build, with the spade in the one hand and the sword in the
other--the way in which the wall will, I believe, be built in these
troublous times. Dear Aroolappen has declined any
_form_ of salary, because the people, he says, would
not cease to tell him that he preached because he was hired. When he
left me, I wished to settle something upon him monthly, as a
remuneration for his labour in translating for us; but, unlike a native,
he refused any stipulated sum. The two others of whom I wrote, are an
Englishman ... and a native bookbinder, who are determined to pursue
the same course". Of the Englishman he writes further, "he is inured to
the climate and can walk forty miles a day without fatigue. He reads and
writes Tamil and Telegoo freely, and gives up thirty-five rupees a
month, a horse and a house, that he may do the work of God. He goes
through the Tamil and Telegoo country, in a little cart filled with
books, tracts, and things for sale, preaching the gospel to the natives
in their own tongues, as he passes on, and in English to all the
soldiers in the military stations. He has already been blessed to the
conversion of two natives; one is ... the bookbinder, the other, a
servant of ours. I assure you we all feel that, had we seen no other
fruit of our labour than these two or

=Page 359: No National Difference before the Lord=

three brethren, acting on these principles of service, we should have
said, truly our labour has not been in vain in the Lord. I think,
therefore, we may consider that, under God, our residence in India has
been the means of setting up this mode of ministry among the native
Christians and the heathen, and our continuance will be, I trust, by the
grace of God, the means of establishing and extending it. Those who know
the natives will, I am sure, feel with me, that this plan of missions,
whereby the native himself is thrown _on God,_ is
calculated to develop that _individuality of
character,_ the absence of which has been so deeply deplored,
and the remedy for which has so seldom been sought. The native naturally
loves a provision and ease, and thereby he is kept in dependence on the
creature: the European, on the other hand, loves to keep the native in
subjection and himself in the place of rule. But, it must be obvious to
all, if the native Churches be not strengthened by learning to lean on
the Lord instead of man, the political changes of an hour may sweep away
the present form of things, so far as it depends on Europeans, and leave
not a trace behind. The late visit of Aroolappen to his family in
Tinnevelly has led to the discussion of these principles among the
immense body of labourers there; and though he has not taken up his
residence among them, he is sufficiently near for them to observe both
himself and the principles on which he is acting. Indeed we would
commend these early buddings of the Spirit's power--for we trust they
are such--to your very fervent prayers, that our brethren may be carried
on in the spirit of real humility and dependence upon God. The fact that
our position here puts pastoral work and fellowship on a simple
Christian footing among the natives, is by no means the least important
feature of our work. Until we came, no one but an ordained native was
allowed to celebrate the Lord's Supper or to baptize; and when our
Christian brethren Aroolappen and Andrew, partook of the Lord's Supper
with the native Christians, it caused more stir and enquiry than you can
imagine. The constant reference to _God's Word_ has
brought, and is bringing, the questions connected with ministry and
Church government into a perfectly new position in the minds of many".

All this, however, did not prevent Groves from seeing

=Page 360: George Müller=

that there are those who at times are called to give their whole time to
the ministry of the Word, and he writes: "I have no question but that
those whom God has called to minister should wait on their ministry and
give themselves _wholly to it_ ... recognised pastors
and teachers are essential to the good order of all assemblies; and as
such required and commanded of God; and though I should not object to
unite with those who had them not, if it were the result of the Lord's
providence in not _giving_ them any, I should feel
quite unable to join _personally_ those who reject them
as unnecessary or unscriptural". For himself, he said at this time: "It
is much my desire, if the Lord clears away difficulties, to give the
rest of my short space to an uninterrupted ministry". Writing of two
members of the Church of England who greatly helped the brethren Bowden
and Beer in their work in the Godaveri Delta, he says: "Their system may
be sectarian, but they are not so; and it is ten times better to have to
do with those who are catholic in a sectarian system, than those who are
sectarian with no system".

Visiting England in 1853 he was taken ill and passed away, suffering,
but in peace, in the house of George Müller in Bristol, at the age of

       *       *       *       *       *

Another who came to be impressed by the importance of a literal
obedience to the Scriptures was George Müller.[119] He was a native of
Prussia, born near Halberstadt, in 1805. Although he studied for the
ministry yet he grew up living a sinful, profligate life and was even
imprisoned on one occasion for swindling. In a very unhappy state he was
taken by a friend, when he was twenty years old, to a meeting in a
private house in Halle where he heard the Bible read. Though he had
studied much this was new to him; he was immediately and powerfully
affected by it, and it was not long before the love of Jesus to his soul
and the sufficiency of His atoning blood, won the response of the love
and faith of his heart. From the time of this crisis he had much
spiritual conflict, but his daily, regular habit of reading the
Scriptures and of prayer brought him into a growing knowledge of the
will of God.

He was very desirous of becoming a missionary to Jews

=Page 361: Müller and the Missionary Societies=

and was brought to England to study for such a position in the London
Jews Society. Soon after reaching England he heard with delight of what
A. N. Groves was doing in giving up a good income and going as a
missionary to Persia, trusting in the Lord for the supply of his needs.
Being sent to Teignmouth for his health he there met Henry Craik, who
had been a member of the Groveses' household; this was the beginning of
a lifelong friendship. Here he received further spiritual blessing,
especially in seeing more clearly that the Word of God is the believer's
only standard and the Holy Spirit his only teacher. Further light raised
difficulties in his mind as to his connection with the Missionary
Society and eventually by friendly agreement with the Committee this
connection was severed. His reasons for leaving the Society were: he saw
it was not according to Scripture that he should be ordained either in
the Lutheran or Anglican Church; also that any such established
Churches, being a mixture of the world and the true church, contain
principles which must lead to departure from the Word of God, and the
fact that they are establishments, prevents their altering their ways
whatever fresh light they may receive from the Holy Scriptures. Also he
had a conscientious objection to being directed by men in his missionary
labours; as a servant of Christ he felt he ought to be guided by the
Spirit as to time and place and though he loved the Jews he could not
bind himself to work almost exclusively among them. A difficulty was
that he had been some expense to the Society and was therefore under an
obligation to it, but this matter he was able to arrange satisfactorily,
the Society treating him with much consideration.

A further question was as to how his temporal needs could be supplied,
but this did not trouble him, for he was able to rest on the Lord's
promises, as in Matthew 7. 7, 8; 6. 25-34; John 14. 13, 14, and to see
that if he really sought first the kingdom of God and His righteousness,
these, his temporal supplies, would be added to him. At this time the
minister of Ebenezer Chapel in Teignmouth having left, Müller was
invited by the whole church of eighteen members to become their
minister, at a salary of £55 a year, he accepted and ministered
regularly among them, but also visited and preached in many places

=Page 362: Dependence on God=

in the neighbourhood. He found his ministry was most effective when it
took the form of expounding the Scriptures.

Listening one day to a conversation among three sisters in the Lord on
the subject of baptism, he saw that, though he had always been a strong
supporter of infant baptism, he had never seriously and prayerfully
examined the Scriptures on the subject, so set himself to do so, and
became convinced that the baptism of believers only, and that by
immersion, is the teaching of Scripture. Many objections to his now
carrying out this command presented themselves to his mind, but being
assured that it was the Lord's will that he should act literally upon
His commandments, he was baptized. Shortly after this he saw that,
though it is not a command, yet the Apostles have given us the example
of breaking bread every Lord's Day, also that it is according to
Scripture that there should be liberty for the Holy Spirit to work
through any of the brethren whom He pleases to use, so that all may
benefit by the gifts which the Lord has bestowed among them. As these
things were seen and considered by the church they were introduced into
its practice.

The same year (1830) Müller married the sister of A. N. Groves, in whom
he found a wife entirely of one mind and heart with himself in seeking
to learn and carry out the will of God as revealed in the Scriptures.
She was particularly concerned in the next steps which they took, for
they saw now that it was not the right way for them that he should
receive a fixed salary derived from pew rents and the regular
contributions of members of the church, so this was given up. What
actually cost them more than giving up the salary was the determination
to act on a conclusion they had come to before God, that they should
never ask for help, nor make known their needs to any man, but really go
to the Lord and trust Him for the supply of all their needs. About the
same time they received grace to act literally on the Lord's
commandment: "Sell that ye have, and give alms." Writing more than fifty
years later he said: "we do not in the least regret the step we then
took. Our God also has, in His tender mercy, given us grace to abide in
the same mind concerning the above

=Page 363: Müller and Craik in Bristol=

points, both as it regards principle and practice; and this has been the
means of letting us see the tender love and care of our God over His
children, even in the most minute things, in a way in which we never
experimentally knew them before; and it has, in particular, made the
Lord known to us more fully than we knew Him before, as a
_prayer-hearing God_".

In 1832 the Müllers and Henry Craik removed to Bristol, where the two
brethren acted for a time as pastors of Gideon Chapel, but they also
rented Bethesda Chapel, at first for a year only. There one brother and
four sisters united with them in church fellowship "without any rules,
desiring" they said, "only to act as the Lord shall be pleased to give
us light through His word". This church grew steadily and was from the
beginning very active in good works. After some five years a question
arose which caused them much searching of Scripture that they might find
a solution of it. When the church was founded all its members were
baptized believers. Then three sisters applied for fellowship, as to
whose faith and godliness there could be no doubt, but they had not been
baptized as believers, nor, when the Scriptures were explained to them
did they see that this was the right course for them to take. Most in
the church, including Müller and Craik, thought they should be received,
but several could not conscientiously receive unbaptized believers.
After much discussion of the Scriptures the number advocating refusal
was reduced to a few. Some received help through the counsel of Robert
Chapman of Barnstaple, a man of such saintly character, knowledge of the
Word, and sound sense, that he gained the respect of all who came in
contact with him. He put the matter in this way: either unbaptized
believers come under the class of persons who walk disorderly, and in
that case we ought to withdraw from them (2 Thess. 3. 6); or they do not
walk disorderly. If a believer be walking disorderly we are not merely
to withdraw from him at the Lord's table, but our behaviour towards him
ought to be decidedly different from what it would be were he not
walking disorderly, _on all occasions_ when we may have
intercourse with him or come in any way in contact with him. Now this is
evidently not the case in the conduct of baptized believers towards
their unbaptized

=Page 364: Baptism, Elders, Reception=

fellow-believers. The Spirit does not suffer it to be so, but He
witnesses that their not having been baptized does not necessarily imply
that they are walking disorderly and hence there may be the most
precious communion between baptized and unbaptized believers. The Spirit
does not suffer us to refuse fellowship with them in prayer, in reading
and searching the Scriptures, in social and intimate intercourse and in
the Lord's work; and yet this ought to be the case where they walking
disorderly. The conclusion was reached that "we ought to receive all
whom Christ has received (Rom. 15.7), irrespective of the measure of
grace or knowledge which they have attained unto". A few left the church
in connection with this, but most of them returned and there was never
afterwards any difference on this subject.

Questions as to elders and as to church order and discipline came later
to exercise the minds of the brethren, and there was long and careful
examination of the Scriptures on these subjects. They came to see that
the Lord Himself sets elders in every church in the office of rulers and
teachers, and that this should continue now, in spite of the fallen
state of the Church, as in Apostolic days. This does not imply that
believers associated in church fellowship should elect elders according
to their own will, but they should wait on God to raise up those who may
be qualified for teaching and ruling in His church. These come into
office by the appointment of the Holy Ghost, which is made known to
those thus called and to those among whom they are to serve, by the
secret call of the Spirit, by their possession of the requisite
qualifications, and by the Lord's blessing on their labours. The saints
are to acknowledge them and to submit to them in the Lord. Matters of
discipline are to be finally settled in the presence of the church,
being the act of the whole body. "As to the reception of brethren into
fellowship, this is an act of simple obedience to the Lord both on the
part of the elders and the whole church. We are bound and privileged to
receive all those who make a credible profession of faith in Christ,
according to that Scripture, 'Receive ye one another, as Christ also
received us, to the glory of God'". These and other conclusions were not
_rules_ of the church, but expressed what the members
had seen and purposed to

=Page 365: Müller visits Germany=

act upon until they might receive further light from the Scripture. With
regard to the Lord's Supper it was seen that "although we have no
express command respecting the frequency of its observance, yet the
example of the Apostles and of the first disciples would lead us to
observe this ordinance every Lord's Day". "As in this ordinance we show
forth our common participation in all the benefits of our Lord's death,
and our union to Him and to each other, opportunity ought to be given
for the exercise of the gifts of teaching or exhortation, and communion
in prayer and praise. The manifestation of our common participation in
each other's gifts cannot be fully given at such meetings, if the whole
meeting is, necessarily, conducted by one individual. This mode of
meeting does not however take off from those who have the gifts of
teaching or exhortation, the _responsibility_ of
edifying the church, as opportunity may be offered".

Visiting Germany in 1843, George Müller spent some months, by their
invitation, among a company who were glad to have his ministry, but
would not allow him to break bread with them, when the time came,
because he was willing to do so with Christians in the State Church, or
who had not been baptized as believers. They even tried to get him to
give an undertaking that he would never break bread with believers who,
though baptized themselves, yet did not refuse fellowship with those who
were not.

Commenting on these events, George Müller says: "These children of God
had been right in considering believers' baptism to be Scriptural, and
in separating from the state church.... But upon these two points
they had laid undue stress. Though believers' baptism is the truth of
God; though separation from state churches on the part of children of
God who know that a church is 'a congregation of believers' is right,
because they see in state churches nothing but the world mixed up with
some true believers; yet, if these points are made too much of, if they
are put out of their proper place, as if they were everything, then
there must be spiritual loss suffered by those who do so. Nay, whatever
parts of truth are made too much of, though they were even the most
precious truths connected with our being risen in Christ or our heavenly
calling, or prophecy,

=Page 366: Scriptural Knowledge Institution=

sooner or later those, who lay an _undue_ stress upon
_these parts_ of truth, and thus make them too
prominent, will be losers in their own souls, and, if they be teachers,
they will injure those whom they teach. That was the case at Stuttgart.
Baptism and separation from the state church had at last become almost
everything to these dear brethren. 'We are the church. Truth is only to
be found among us. All others are in error, and in Babylon'. These were
the phrases used again and again by our brother ...". "May God in
mercy give and preserve to them and to me a lowly heart"!

The two brethren Craik and Müller felt strongly that every believer is
bound, in one way or another, to help the cause of Christ, but that any
means required for this should be asked for, not from men, especially
not from those who are unconverted, but from the Lord Himself in
believing prayer. In pursuance of this conviction they established in
1834 "The Scriptural Knowledge Institution for Home and Abroad", the
object of which was to assist Day Schools, Sunday Schools and Adult
Schools in which instruction is given on Scriptural lines; to circulate
the Holy Scriptures, and to assist those missionaries whose proceedings
appear to be most according to the Scriptures. Their reason for forming
a new Institution when so many religious societies already existed was
that, while they acknowledged the good done by these, there were some
points where they could not with a good conscience unite with them. The
end, they said, which these religious societies propose to themselves is
the gradual improvement of the world until at last it will all be
converted; whereas the teaching of Scripture is that the conversion of
the world will not take place until the Lord's return, that in this
present dispensation the world will rather get worse spiritually, but
that the Lord is gathering out a people from among the nations. Further,
these Societies have many connections with the world, so that by payment
of a subscription an unconverted person may become a member; also the
unconverted are often asked for money, and chairmen, patrons, and
presidents are obtained by preference from among those who are wealthy
and influential. These Societies also contract debts; all of which
things are contrary both to the spirit and the letter of the New

=Page 367: Müller's Orphanage=

They purposed, therefore, never to ask for money, though they would be
free to accept it from any who gave it of their own accord; not to
accept any unbeliever as a helper in managing or carrying on the affairs
of the Institution; not to enlarge their sphere of work by going into
debt, but in secret prayer to "carry the wants of the Institution to the
Lord, and act according to the means that God shall give." From this
small beginning, without any initial means, without advertisement, there
flowed a constant stream of blessing, growing continually in volume. The
poor were relieved, schools were established and carried on in various
countries, large numbers of Scriptures were sold or given, help was sent
to missionaries in many countries, and that in such a way as not to
control them at all or to limit their liberty, but only to minister to
their needs and those of the work they were doing. All these extensive
and increasing activities were carried on in simple dependence on God.
Again and again they were without funds either for the various needs
they were ministering to or for their own personal necessities, but
always in answer to prayer supplies were sent at the right time, so that
their own faith in God and communion with Him were exercised and
strengthened, while others, too, were encouraged in the path of faith.

In 1836 George Müller opened his first Orphan House, renting a house for
a year in Wilson Street, Bristol, where he received 26 children. He
states as his chief reasons for entering on this work: "(1) That God may
be glorified, should He be pleased to furnish me with the means, in its
being seen that it is not a vain thing to trust in Him; and that thus
the faith of His children may be strengthened. (2) The spiritual welfare
of fatherless and motherless children. (3) Their temporal welfare".
Seeing that so many of the Lord's people are oppressed by cares and
anxieties he desired to give visible, tangible proof that, in our day,
God hears and answers prayer exactly as He ever did, and that if we
trust Him and seek His glory He will supply our needs. He had himself
been greatly helped by the example of Franke de Halle in Germany, who,
in dependence on the living God alone, had built and carried on so large
an Orphanage; and he felt sure that such a work in Bristol would be the
best way of witnessing to the faithfulness

=Page 368: Robert Chapman=

of God in this country. All his expectations were more than realized.
Though he was often reduced to the utmost extremity of need, yet the
increasing number of orphans never lacked. The work was continued to his
death in his 93rd year and since then his successors have carried it on
in the same spirit. The great number of orphans received, of whom very
many have been converted, the immense buildings erected, the vast sums
of money received and employed--all provide a striking example of the
prevailing power of the prayer of faith.

In 1837 George Müller published the first part of his book, "A Narrative
of some of the Lord's Dealings with George Müller", a book which has
exercised an extraordinary influence on the lives of a very great number
of people, encouraging them in faith in God.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Devonshire town of Barnstaple is connected with the name of Robert
Cleaver Chapman,[120] who ministered the Word there for some seventy years
and died there in 1902, close upon a hundred years old. He was born in
Denmark (1803) of English parents and his mother, to whom he was deeply
attached, exercised a great influence on him. While still living in
Denmark he was taught by a French abbé, and afterwards went to school in
Yorkshire. He developed pronounced literary interests and abilities,
becoming also an excellent linguist. Attracted to the Bible at the age
of sixteen, he made a careful study of the whole book, being greatly
impressed by it. Devoting himself to law he became a solicitor, and did
well in his profession.

At this time James Harrington Evans was preaching in London, in John
Street Chapel, Bedford Row, which had been built for him by a friend. He
had been a curate, but becoming converted by reading some sermons which
his rector had lent him, he began, with earnest conviction, to preach
justification by faith. This was the means both of the conversion of
sinners and the reviving of believers, but was resented by his rector,
who gave him notice to leave. He now came to have difficulties as to the
baptism of infants, and perceived that the connection of Church and
State prevented holy discipline in the Church. Accordingly he left the
Church. Soon afterwards he and his wife were

=Page 369: Chapman's Conversion=

baptized. Evans would not, however, become the pastor of a Baptist
church, because that would have involved the refusal of church
fellowship to many believers, among whom he thought there might well be
better persons than himself. In John Street Chapel the Lord's Supper was
celebrated every Sunday evening and those who proved themselves gifted
in any way for the help and edification of the church were encouraged to
make use of their gift.

It was into this church that, at about twenty years of age, Robert
Chapman was brought. As he was walking one evening, in evening dress,
near the chapel, one of the elders saw him and invited him to come in.
This he did, and a few days afterwards he experienced the change of
conversion. Describing this later he said: "Lord, I remember Thy
dealings with me! When Thy hand at first arrested me, and Thy Spirit
convinced me of sin, my cup was bitter with my guilt and the fruit of my
doings ... all was dreary winter within. Sick was I of the world,
hating it as vexation of spirit, while yet I was unable and unwilling to
cast it out.... In the good and set time Thou spakest to me, saying,
'This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest, and this is
the refreshing'. And how sweet Thy words, 'Son be of good cheer, thy
sins be forgiven thee!' How precious the sight of the Lamb of God! and
how glorious the robe of righteousness, hiding from the holy eye of my
Judge all my sin and pollution! Then did the lame man leap as an hart,
and the tongue of the dumb did sing. In Jesus crucified--in Thee my
Lord, my soul found rest, and in the bosom of Thy love". He was baptized
and associated with the congregation of believers in John Street.

These steps cost him many friends and brought on him the disapproval of
relatives, but from the beginning of his new life he gave himself
entirely to the following of Christ. The Scriptures became his
increasing delight, he entered on a life of believing prayer, and was
careful to occupy himself with the needs of the poor and such as were in
trouble. He felt himself called of God to devote himself to the ministry
of the Word; some said he would never make a preacher, but he replied:
"my great aim will be to live Christ." He never married, and in 1832 he
settled in Barnstaple, ministering the Word in Ebenezer Baptist Chapel.

=Page 370: Ministry in Barnstaple=

Harrington Evans followed his course there with constant interest;
saying of him: "He is one of my stars. I hold him to be one of the first
men of the age. He has no ebbs or flows".

He disposed of all he possessed and lived in constant, immediate
dependence on the Lord for the supply of his daily needs, giving away
all he received beyond what was necessary for his own modest
requirements. Of his early ministry in Barnstaple he wrote: "When I was
invited to leave London and go to minister the Word of God in Ebenezer
Chapel, then occupied by a community of Strict Baptists, I consented to
do so, naming one condition only that I should be quite free to teach
all I found written in the Scriptures. This I continued to do for some
time with blessing from the Lord. A brother who visited me in those days
urged me to set aside the strict rule that none but baptized believers
should be allowed to break bread. I replied that I could not force the
consciences of my brethren and sisters; and I continued my ministry,
patiently instructing them from the Word. I well knew at that time that
I could have carried the point with a large majority, but I judged it to
be more pleasing to God to toil on to bring all to one mind. A little
time after that some Christians resident in Barnstaple, who held the
strict views which we had by then abandoned, demanded that we should
give up the use of the chapel. I carefully examined the Trust Deed, and
found that in not one particular did we set aside its provisions.
_Yet_ we gave them the chapel, just as I should give my
coat to a man who demanded it. You will not be surprised when I tell you
that ere long the Lord gave us a much better chapel".

It was about this time that Robert Chapman made the acquaintance of
George Müller and Henry Craik and also of some of those believers who in
Dublin and elsewhere were endeavouring to carry out the Scriptures.

The two simple houses, 6 and 9 New Buildings, Barnstaple, where Robert
Chapman and his friend William Hake lived in unbroken fellowship for
fifty-nine years until the death of the latter in 1890, became a place
of pilgrimage for people from all over the world, who came there for
counsel and help in spiritual things.

Robert Chapman travelled in a number of countries. His

=Page 371: Chapman's Influence=

visits to Spain led several servants of the Lord to devote themselves to
the work of the Gospel in that country, with fruitful result. The
influence of his saintly life seems to have affected all who came into
contact with him. When, years after his visits to Spain, others worked
in that country, they found one instance after another of persons who
had been converted and were maintaining a good testimony for Christ, the
result of conversation with him. A traveller met an Englishman settled
in business in one of the Black Sea ports in Roumania. They conversed of
spiritual things, and the Englishman related how he had been religious
before coming to Roumania, but now he had given it all up and was
convinced that all who professed to be Christians were hypocrites,
"but", he added, correcting himself, "I have met with one genuine
Christian, he used often to walk through the place where I lived in
Devonshire, his name was Robert Chapman".

       *       *       *       *       *

The traditions and instructions of the Church's early days before the
Scriptures were completed, have in the New Testament received a
permanent form intended for the literal and continuous guidance, both of
the individual saint and of the churches of God, and the endeavour to
act in accordance with them has never ceased, even though at times only
few have continued it. Some examples of this, in modern times, are the
congregation in Edinburgh where the brothers Haldane worked, those
assembles in Dublin in which Groves, Cronin, Bellett, and others were
concerned, the church in Bristol founded by Müller, Craik and those with
them; the Mennonite Brethren in South Russia, and the Stundist
gatherings in various parts of Russia. But these are only a few of many
such movements in various countries, some limited to small groups,
others extending to wide circles. In the most important principles they
had strong spiritual affinity with those of the Baptist and Independent
churches which resisted and remained unaffected by the popular
Rationalism of the day.


[115] MSS. of J. G. Bellett and Ed. Cronin."A History of the Plymouth
Brethren" W. Blair Neatby.

[116] MS. Ed. Cronin.

[117] "Memoir of the late Anthony Norris Groves containing Extracts from
his Letters and Journals" Compiled by his widow 1856

[118] "Gen. Sir Arthur T. Cotton His Life and Work" Lady Hope.

[119] "A Narrative of some of the Lord's Dealings with George Müller"

[120] "Robert Cleaver Chapman of Barnstaple" W. H. Bennet.

=Page 372: Meeting in Plymouth=

Chapter XVII

Questions of Fellowship and of Inspiration


Meeting in Plymouth--Conditions in French Switzerland--Darby's
visits--Development of his system--"The church in ruins"--August
Rochat--Difference between Darby's teaching and that of brethren who
took the New Testament as the pattern for the churches--Change from
Congregational to Catholic principle--Spread of meetings--Letter from
Groves to Darby--Suggestion of a central authority--Darby and
Newton--Darby and the church at Bethesda, Bristol--Darby excludes all
who would not join him in excluding the church at Bethesda--World-wide
application of system of excluding churches--Churches which did not
accept the exclusive system--Their influence in other circles--Churches
on the New Testament pattern formed in many
countries--Rationalism--Biblical Criticism--Increased circulation of the

A meeting in Plymouth which had personal contacts with Dublin and with
Bristol, early became influential, both by its numbers and by the
striking gifts of some of its leaders and teachers. It was the
importance of this meeting at that time which originated the name
"Plymouth Brethren". Among its teachers the most eminent were Benjamin
Wills Newton and J. N. Darby. The latter was connected with an assembly
in London, but, devoting himself entirely to the ministry of the Word,
travelled constantly and frequently ministered in Plymouth. Darby,
unlike most of his associates, still taught infant baptism, though he
had left the Church of England. His doctrine of it differed, however,
from that of the Anglican Church, resembling rather that of Pelagius,
who considered it as introducing the one baptized into a circle where he
was capable of receiving the grace of God.

While F. W. Newman, once associated with A. N. Groves in Bagdad, became
a powerful exponent of Rationalism, and his brother, John Henry Newman,
became a chief leader of the Tractarian or Oxford movement through which
the Anglo-Catholic revival in the Church of England was begun, John
Nelson Darby passed through phases of development no less remarkable.

=Page 373: Conditions in French Switzerland=

In 1538 he accepted an invitation to French Switzerland. Spiritual
conditions there seemed favourable to revival. The ministers of the
National Church had mostly been captured by the Rationalism of the day.
This had led to the Free Church movement, which nevertheless had not
wholly satisfied the desires of its adherents. A hundred years earlier
Zinzendorf and his band of helpers had formed a considerable company of
serious seekers and witnesses, and some traces of their work still
persisted. In the neighbouring Jura mountains there still existed
Scripturally founded assemblies of believers, persecuted formerly as
Anabaptists. In Geneva, the fruits of Robert Haldane's Bible readings
remained. The principal leaders of the Free Church movement there had
been influenced by them and one result was visible in the assembly
called "The New Church", which met from 1818 in Bourg de Four and later
in the chapel of la Pélisserie. Other movements had taken or were taking
place, both within and outside the National Church. That connected with
S. H. Fröhlich had, from 1828, given rise to revival; Gaussen and Merle
D'Aubigné had tried to bring back the National Church from Rationalism
to the teachings of Calvin; others were combating the doctrine of Church
and State and building up the Free Church, as Vinet, who with eight
other theologians left the State Church in 1840, followed five years
later by a large number of pastors.

In the midst of such excitement and change Darby with his great gifts
found a ready ear. For some time he was associated with the church of
Bourg de Four. His ministry was most acceptable as he spoke of the
Lord's return, of the position of the Church, and of the believer as
considered "in Christ", and as he expounded the prophetic Scriptures.
His willingness to have fellowship with all believers irrespective of
their church connections, attracted many. His meetings in Lausanne,
which were largely attended and highly prized, gradually formed about
him a special group--"the meeting"--where he further developed and
formulated his particular views on the Church.

With regard to the various dispensations or different periods of God's
dealings with men, Darby taught[121] that

=Page 374: Darby on the Dispensations=

each had failed from its beginning "... in every instance", he says,
"there was total and immediate I failure as regards man, however the
patience of God might tolerate and carry on by grace the dispensation in
which man had thus failed in the outset; and further ... there is no
instance of the restoration of a dispensation afforded us, though there
might be partial revivals of it through faith". Examples given of these
failures at the beginning of dispensations are, Noah's drunkenness,
Abram's going down into Egypt and denying Sara, the making of the golden
calf by the people of Israel.

The same is asserted of the Church. "There was", Darby taught, "a moral
departure from God in the bosom of Christianity." Even in the lifetime
of Apostles the "apostasy", "perilous times", "the last hour",
"departure from the faith", the working of the "mystery of iniquity",
were already present. The Apostles failed to carry out the Lord's
commission to go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every
creature; and they remained in Jerusalem when they should have fled from
it. A new Apostle, of the Gentiles, was raised up to supplement their
lack. "Thus", writes Darby, "... this dispensation as well as any
other failed and broke off in the very outset ... it broke down in the
commencement--no sooner fully established than it proved a failure."

He then asks whether believers are competent "in our days, to form
organized churches after the model, as they suppose, of the primitive
churches" and "whether the forming of such bodies is agreeable to the
will of God?" His answer is "No", for "the church is in a state of ruin"
... "the first departure is fatal and the ground of judgement" ...
"the Scripture never recognizes a recovery from such a state" ... "It
alters", he points out, "the whole position of the soul to recognize
that we live in an apostasy hastening to its final consummation, instead
of a Church or dispensation which God is sustaining by His faithfulness
of grace". In Scripture we see: "(1) The union of all the children of
God; (2) The union of all the children of God in each locality; ...
this state of things, appearing in God's word, has ceased to exist, and
the question to be solved is no other than this: How ought the Christian
to judge and act when a condition of things set before us in the word no

=Page 375: Darby's Teaching=

longer exists? You will say, 'he is to restore it'. Your answer is
itself one proof of the evil. It supposes that there is power in
ourselves. I would say, listen to the word and obey it, as it applies to
such a state of declension. Your answer takes for granted two things:
1st, that it is according to the will of God to re-establish the economy
or dispensation on its original footing after it has failed; and, 2ndly,
that _you_ are both able and authorized to restore it".

"... Before I can accede to your pretensions I must see, not only
that the Church was such in the beginning, but, moreover, that it is
according to God's will that it be restored to its primitive glory; and,
furthermore, that a voluntary union of 'two or three' or two or three
and twenty, or several such bodies, are each of them entitled, in any
locality, to take the name of the Church of God, when that Church
originally was an assemblage of _all_ believers in any
given locality. You must moreover, make it clear to me, if you assume
such a place, that you have so succeeded by the gift and power of God in
gathering together believers that you can rightfully treat those who
refuse to answer to your call as schismatics, self-condemned, and
strangers to God's Church. And let me here dwell on a most important
consideration, which they who are bent on making churches have
overlooked. They have had their thoughts so fully engaged in their
churches that they have almost lost sight of the Church."

"According to scripture the whole sum of the churches here on earth
compose the Church, at least the Church on earth; and the Church in any
given place was no other than the regular association together of
whatever formed part of the entire body of the Church, that is to say,
of _the complete body of Christ here on earth;_ and he
who was not a member of the Church in the place in which he dwelt, was
no member of Christ's Church at all...." "The Church is in a state of
ruin ... If the professing body is not in this state of ruin, then I
ask our dissenting brethren, Why have you left it? If it be, then
confess this ruin--this apostasy--this departure from its primitive

"How, then, will the Spirit work? What will be the acting of such an
one's faith? To acknowledge the ruin; to have it present to his
conscience, and to be humbled in consequence. And shall we, who are
guilty of this state

=Page 376: The Church in a "State of Ruin"=

of things, pretend we have only to set about and remedy it? No; the
attempt would but prove that we are not humbled thereby. Let us rather
search in all humility what God says to us in His word of such a
condition of things; and let us not, like foolish children who have
broken a precious vase, attempt to join together its broken fragments,
and to set it up in hopes to hide the damage from the notice of others."

"I press this argument on those who are endeavouring to organize
churches. If real churches exist, such persons are not called on to make
them. If, as they say, they did exist at the beginning but have ceased
to exist, in that case the dispensation is in ruins, and in a condition
of entire departure from its original standing. They are undertaking in
consequence thereof to set it up again. This attempt is what they have
to justify; otherwise the attempt is without anything to warrant it....
To go about remaking the Church and the churches on the footing on
which they stood at first is to acknowledge the fact of existing failure
without submitting ourselves to the witness of God, as to His purposes
with reference to such a state of ruin.... The question before us is
not whether such churches existed at the period when the word of God was
written; but whether, after they have, by reason of man's sin, ceased to
exist, and believers have been scattered, those who have undertaken the
apostolic office of re-establishing them on their original footing, and
in so doing, to set up again the entire dispensation, have really
apprehended the Divine will, and are endued with power to accomplish the
task they have taken upon themselves.... I am enquiring what the word
and the Spirit say of the state of the fallen Church, instead of
arrogating to myself a competency to realize that which the Spirit has
spoken of the first condition of the Church."

"What I complain of is, that the thoughts of men have been followed, and
that which the Spirit has recorded as having existed in the primitive
Church has been imitated, instead of searching for what the word and the
Spirit have declared concerning our present condition.... Obedience,
and not imitation of the Apostles, is our duty in such circumstances....
When we are told that all the directions for the churches are for
all times and places, I venture to

=Page 377: Meeting "in the Unity of the Body"=

ask if they are for times and places in which churches do not exist? and
we are brought back to the enquiry--If the dispensation is in ruins who
is to make churches?..."

"If I am asked what the children of God have to do in the present
circumstances of the Church, my answer is very simple. They ought to
meet in the unity of the body of Christ outside the world.... As
regards details, take heed to the promise of the Lord 'Where two or
three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them'
(Matt. 18. 20). That is what the heart needs that loves God and is tired
of the world. Reckon upon that promise of the Lord, you, children of
God, disciples of Jesus. If two or three of you meet together in His
Name He will be there. It is there that God has put His Name, as of old
in His temple at Jerusalem. You need nothing else but to meet together
thus in faith. God is in your midst; you will see His glory....
Remember also, that when the disciples came together, it was to break
bread.... If God sends us or raises up among us some one who can feed
our souls, let us receive him with joy and thankfulness from God,
according to the gift that has been vouchsafed to him.... Never make
any regulations; the Holy Spirit will guide you.... As to discipline,
remember that cutting off is the extreme resource.... To preserve the
holiness of the Lord's table is a positive duty.... We owe it to
Christ Himself. Cases may present themselves, where we repel with fear
the manifestation of sin (Jude 23); but, on the other hand, beware of a
judicial spirit, as of fire in your house ...! 'Where two or three
are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them'. If the whole
corporate system has come to naught, I get back to certain unchangeable
blessed principles from which all is derived. The very thing from which
all springs, to which Christ has attached, not only His name, but His
discipline--the power of binding and loosing--is the gathering together
of the 'two' or 'three'".

As to leaving an assembly, or setting up, as it is called, another
table, Darby writes: "I am not so _afraid_ of it as
some other brethren, but I must explain my reasons. If such or such a
meeting were the Church here, leaving it would be severing oneself from
the assembly of God. But though wherever two or three are gathered
together in

=Page 378: Auguste Rochat=

Christ's name He is in the midst, and the blessing and responsibility of
the Church is, in a certain sense also, if any Christians now set up to
be the Church, or did any formal act which pretended to it, I should
leave them, as being a false pretension, and denying the very testimony
to the state or ruin which God has called us to render. It would have
ceased to be the table of the people and testimony Of God at least
intelligently.... But, then, on the other hand united testimony to
the truth is the greatest possible blessing from on high. And I think
that if anyone, through the flesh separated from two or three walking
godlily before God in the unity of the whole body of Christ, it would
not merely be an act of schism, but he would necessarily deprive himself
of the blessing of God's presence."

Among many in Switzerland who controverted Darby's views one of the most
distinguished both in character and ability was Auguste Rochat. He,
referring to the expression "the Church in ruins", showed that the
Church as a united body cannot be in ruins though individuals may fall
away. He pointed out that, while the Holy Scripture speaks of assemblies
it does not call the groups of believers living on the earth separated
from each other in different places, the Assembly or Church. Church, as
general assembly, includes the believers of all times and places, those
who are no longer living on the earth and those who are not yet born:
the local assemblies are only bound together by love and brotherly
fellowship. Darby taught that the Apostles alone, or their
representatives, had had the right to choose or appoint elders in the
church, but that in these days of apostasy those persons who are gifted
by God for special service may be acknowledged, but not by any official
designation. Rochat replied that there is no passage of Scripture that
supports this but that on the contrary the assemblies had this right for
they chose the men for certain offices in the church and placed them
before the Apostles that they might acknowledge them and lay their hands
on them. Rochat refused to accept Darby's expressions, "ruin",
"apostasy", as applicable to the Church. An order of things cannot
apostatize, only an individual can do this. The true Assembly never
apostatizes. The Word of God never speaks of the apostasy of the Church.

=Page 379: Character of Darby's Teaching=

Darby's theory of the immediate failure of each of the dispensations,
and especially of "the ruin of the Church", and the deductions he drew
from it, placed him, in principle, in opposition to all those who,
throughout the Church's history, have either kept to the teachings and
pattern of the New Testament, or have returned to those Scriptures as to
a sure and abiding guide.

His view that the churches ceased to exist almost as soon as the
Epistles written for their guidance had been competed, would render a
great part of the New Testament inapplicable to present conditions.

His teaching abolishes the independence of congregations of believers
and their immediate relations with the Lord, bringing in a body,
introduction into which, or exclusion from which, by any part, is
binding upon the whole; the Congregational principle exchanged for the

Although he condemned the formation of churches, yet the gatherings of
two or three or more which he commended exercised disciplinary powers,
not only in their own local circle, but extending to the whole system of
which they formed a part.

In spite of these limitations a great measure of spiritual power and
blessing resulted from that part of Darby's teaching which revived
truths contained in Scripture. He not only indicated the weakness of
existing denominations, but his ministry stimulated faith in God and
occupation with His Word, quickened the expectation of the Lord's
return, with its sanctifying influences, and emphasized the liberty of
the Spirit, who gives gifts according to His will through the various
members of the body of Christ. Much spiritual blessing was experienced
in the meetings. They spread rapidly, not only in Switzerland, but also
in France and Belgium, Germany and Holland, Italy, and beyond.

They formed a close circle of communion among themselves, and this soon
led to separation from many with whom Darby had formerly associated.
About 60 members of the assembly of Bourg de Four separated from it
(1842) and attached themselves to Darby's meetings, and in the Canton de
Vaud many left the Free Church and took the same step.

Darby's development was looked upon as having

=Page 380: Letter of Groves to Darby=

dangerous tendencies, by some who still regarded him personally with
undiminished love and respect, as is seen from a letter written to him
in 1836 by Groves, on leaving again for India after a visit to
England.[122] He wrote: "... I wish you to feel assured that nothing
has estranged my heart from you, or lowered my confidence in your being
still animated by the same enlarged and generous purposes that once so
won and riveted me; and though I feel you have departed from those
principles by which you once hoped to have effected them, and are in
principle returning to the city from whence you departed, still my soul
so reposes in the truth of your heart to God that I feel it needs but a
step or two to advance and you will see all the evils of the systems
from which you profess to be separated, to spring up among yourselves.
You will not discover this so much from the workings of your own soul as
by the spirit of those who have been nurtured up from the beginning, in
the system they are taught to feel the only tolerable one; that not
having been led like you, and some of those earliest connected with you,
through deep experimental suffering and sorrow, they are little
acquainted with the real truth that may exist amidst inconceivable
darkness; there will be little pity and little sympathy with such, and
your union daily becoming one of doctrine and opinion more than light
and love, your government will become--unseen perhaps, and unexpressed,
yet--one wherein, overwhelmingly, is felt the authority of
_men;_ you will be known more by what you witness
against than what you witness for, and practically this will prove that
you witness against all but yourselves.... It has been asserted ...
that I have changed my principles; all I can say is, that as far as I
know what those principles were, in which I gloried on first discovering
them in the word of God, I now glory in them ten times more since I have
experienced their applicability to all the various and perplexing
circumstances of the present state of the church; allowing you to give
every individual, and collection of individuals, the standing God gives
them, without identifying yourselves with any of their evils. I ever
understood our principles of communion to be the possession of the
common life ... of the

=Page 381: Groves to Darby on Fellowship=

family of God ... these were our early thoughts and are my most
matured ones. The transition your little bodies have undergone, in no
longer standing forth the witnesses for the glorious and simple
_truth,_ so much as standing forth witnesses against
all that they judge error, have lowered them in my apprehension from
heaven to earth.... What I mean is, that then, all our thoughts were
conversant about how we might _ourselves_ most
effectually manifest forth that life we have received by Jesus (knowing
that that alone could be as the Shepherd's voice to the living children)
and where we might find that life in others; and when we were persuaded
we had found it, bidding them, on the Divine claim of this common life
(whether their thoughts on other matters were narrow or enlarged) to
come and share with us, in the fellowship of the common Spirit, in the
worship of our common Head; and as Christ had received them, so would we
to the glory of God the Father; and farther, that we were free, within
the limits of truth, to share with them in _part_,
though we could not in _all_, their services.... I
would _infinitely rather bear with all their evils,_
than _separate_ from _their good_ ... feeling assured in my
own heart, that your enlarged and generous
spirit, so richly taught of the Lord, will one day burst again those
bands, which narrower minds than yours have encircled you with, and come
forth again, rather anxious to advance all the living members of the
living Head into the stature of men, than to be encircled by any little
bodies, however numerous, that own you for their founder...."

That the idea of a central authority for the meetings was considered, is
indicated in a letter from Wigram, one of Darby's closest adherents, in
which he asks the question, regarding meetings in London:[123] "How are
meetings for communion of saints in these parts to be regulated? Would
it be for the glory of the Lord and the increase of testimony to have
one central meeting, the common responsibility of all within reach, and
as many meetings subordinate to it as grace might vouchsafe? or to hold
it to be better to allow the meetings to grow up as they may without
connexion and dependent upon the energy of individuals only?"

Returning in 1845 from a visit to the Continent, Darby went to Plymouth
to deal with conditions there which he

=Page 382: Darby and Newton=

judged to be unsatisfactory because of the influence and teaching of
Newton. There had long been divergence between these two able men. They
differed in their views on dispensational truth and on prophecy and on
points of church order. There had been no little controversy both by
word and pen and a party spirit had grown up. Darby's visit brought
matters to a crisis. At the close of the meeting one Sunday morning he
announced his intention to "quit the assembly" and some weeks later he
began to break bread in Plymouth with his supporters apart from the
original assembly. About two years after this some MS. notes--taken by a
hearer--of an address given some time before by Newton, came into the
hands of one of Darby's sympathizers. It contained comments on the
Psalms, and Darby and his friends maintained that in these comments,
Newton, explaining their typical application to Christ, had taught
unorthodox doctrine with regard to the nature of the sufferings of
Christ during His life on earth, and on the cross. The notes were
published without reference to Newton in regard to their accuracy; their
unorthodox character was pointed out, deductions were drawn and a charge
of heresy fastened upon him. Newton, while repudiating the doctrine
deduced from these notes, and affirming his firm, unquestioning belief
in Christ as truly God and truly man, untouched by sin, admitted having
used expressions from which wrong conclusions could legitimately be
drawn. He therefore published _A Statement and Acknowledgment
respecting Certain Doctrinal Errors,_ in which he confessed his
error, acknowledging it as sin, and withdrew all statements, in print or
otherwise, in which it could be found, expressed his grief at having
injured any and prayed that the Lord would not only pardon him but also
counteract any evil effects. This acknowledgment made no impression on
Newton's accusers, who continued with unabated zeal to connect him with
the heresy he denied.

When the division took place in Plymouth, the church at Bethesda Chapel,
Bristol, where Müller and Craik were, took no side in the controversy,
but acknowledged as fellow-believers those in both meetings.

In 1848 two brethren from the meeting in Plymouth which Darby had
excommunicated, visited Bristol, where

=Page 383: Church at Bethesda in Bristol=

they were in the habit on such occasions of breaking bread at Bethesda.
They were carefully examined as to their soundness in doctrine and
freedom from the error attributed to Newton. All being satisfied as to
this, they were received as they formerly had been. Darby now required
that the church at Bethesda should judge the question of Plymouth, which
they declined to do, on the ground that it was not a question that
affected them, that they were not competent to judge a church, and that
it would be harmful to introduce discussions on such a topic.
Eventually, owing to pressure also from within, the question was
considered, and a letter written stating "that no one defending,
maintaining or upholding Mr. Newton's views or tracts should be received
into communion", but, they continued: "Supposing the author of the
tracts were fundamentally heretical, this would not warrant us in
rejecting those who came from under his teaching, until we were
satisfied that they had understood and imbibed views essentially
subversive of foundation-truth ..." Darby then wrote: "I feel bound
to present to you the case of Bethesda. It involves to my mind the whole
question of association with brethren, and for this very simple reason,
that if there is incapacity to keep out that which has been recognized
as the work and power of Satan, and to guard the beloved sheep of Christ
against it--if brethren are incapable of this service to Christ, then
they ought not to be in any way owned as a body to whom such service is
confided: their gatherings would be really a trap laid to ensnare the
sheep.... I do not ... desire in the smallest degree to diminish
the respect and value which any may feel personally for the brethren
Craik and Müller, on the grounds of that in which they have honoured God
by faith ... but I do call upon brethren by their faithfulness to
Christ, and love to the sons of those dear to Him, in faithfulness to
set up a barrier against this evil. Woe be to them if they love the
brethren Müller and Craik or their own ease more than the souls of
saints dear to Christ! And I plainly urge upon them that to receive
anyone from Bethesda (unless in any exceptional case of ignorance of
what has passed) is opening the door now to the infection of the
abominable evil from which at so much painful cost we have been
delivered. _It has been formally and deliberately

=Page 384: Excommunicated by Darby=

_at Bethesda under the plea of not investigating it (itself a
principle which refuses to watch against roots of bitterness), and
really palliated. And if this be admitted by receiving persons from
Bethesda, those doing so are morally identified with the evil, for the
body so acting is corporately responsible for the evil they admit. If
brethren think they can admit those who subvert the person and glory of
Christ, and principles which have led to so much untruth and dishonesty,
it is well they should say so, that those who cannot may know what to
do...._ For my own part, I should neither go to Bethesda in
its present state, nor while in that state go where persons from it were
knowingly admitted"

Thus the church at Bethesda was excommunicated and all who might have
fellowship with it. The ostensible ground was that of false doctrine,
but this doctrine was never held by any at Bethesda. The real reason was
that, while the church at Bethesda continued to do what Darby himself
had done at the first, that is, to maintain the independence of each
congregation and its right to receive any individual whom it had reason
to believe was born again and sound in faith and conduct, Darby had
shifted from that ground and adopted the "catholic" position of an
organized body of churches, excluding all outside their own circle, and
subject to one central authority, in this case himself and the meeting
in London with which he was associated. Fellowship ceased to be based on
life, rejection of Bethesda was also obligatory. No faith or godliness
could atone for refusal to condemn Bethesda.

Even Darby's marvellous influence could not impose this great change on
all, but, by untiring propaganda, a large number of churches were
induced to accept as a necessary test of fellowship the condemnation of
the church at Bethesda on account of a doctrine never held by it. By
dint of constant repetition this circle of churches came to believe, in
all sincerity, that Bethesda had been cut off for holding Newton's
error, an error which he himself had repudiated, and which the church at
Bethesda had never entertained. So consistently was this system carried
out that Negro brethren in the West Indies had to judge the Bethesda
question, and Swiss peasants in their Alpine villages were obliged to
examine the errors attributed to Newton and condemn them.

=Page 385: Churches Following N.T. Teaching=

Such a system could not fail to lead to further divisions. Even in
Darby's lifetime, several such took place, the parties taking different
sides excluding each other as rigorously as they had unitedly excluded
Groves and Müller.

       *       *       *       *       *

Those churches which did not follow Darby continued their endeavour to
carry out the principles of Scripture. They varied in many ways, but as
they did not believe in the right of one church to cut off another their
differences did not necessitate division. Some of them, standing in fear
of the criticisms of the followers of Darby (often called "Exclusives")
became, in varying degrees, exclusive themselves, but others maintained
fellowship with all saints. Though persistently calumniated and rejected
by those who had separated from them, they did not cease to include
these in the number of those whom they were willing to receive,
recognizing them as brethren. Robert Chapman expressed their attitude
toward them when, refusing to use the odious name "Exclusive", he called
them "Brethren dearly beloved and longed for", and described them as
"Those brethren whose consciences lead them to refuse my fellowship and
to deprive me of theirs".

The churches which, with Chapman, maintained the original ground of
fellowship were often called "Open Brethren", but while there must
always have been some individuals and some churches among them which
were sectarian at heart and so deserved a sectarian name, for there is
an ever-present danger in any spiritual movement that it may crystallize
into a sect, yet there remained many who might rightly claim every name
that unites, while disclaiming every name that divides the Lord's
people. They maintained an active Gospel testimony, reaching out also
into most parts of the world.

The influence of this movement has been important beyond the limits of
the meetings more particularly associated with it. In face of the great
prevalence of Rationalism, and its having captured to so large an extent
the Theological Colleges, the pulpits of the principal Nonconformist
bodies, and of a considerable section of the Church of England, these
meetings have maintained absolute loyalty to the Scriptures as inspired
by God and have defended this conviction

=Page 386: Continued and Expanded=

with an ability and zeal that makes them valuable allies of the numerous
believers who, in their different circles, suffer under those of their
ministers and clergy who have no such faith.

Movements of a similar character, that is, of believers meeting in
accordance with the New Testament teaching and example, are to be found
in many parts of the world. They are free from the historic developments
of ritual or organization that have drawn so many away from the pattern,
and their simplicity makes them adaptable to all varieties of men and
conditions. They do not publish, nor even compile, statistics, nor do
they depend on publicity or appeals for help for carrying on their
testimony, so that they are little known in the world, even in the
religious world, and this gives their work a quiet effectiveness, the
value of which is especially seen when they come into circumstances of
persecution. Such circles are continually being formed in our day among
every kind of people, they contain in themselves the power for carrying
the Word of Life farther afield, and go on increasing. Their histories
are constantly reminiscent of the Book of the Acts, those who go among
some of them--and none can know them all--see that their works are like
those of their Lord, "if they should be written every one ... even the
world itself could not contain the books that should be written".

       *       *       *       *       *

Attention has been drawn to persons and to churches that have accepted
the Scriptures as a Divine Revelation, suited and sufficient to show the
way of personal salvation and conduct as well as to guide the churches
of those who believe in regard to their order and their testimony.

It has been seen how a clerical body arose which gradually assumed
dominion and developed a system of Ritualism which became the relentless
enemy of those who continued to act upon the teaching of the Scriptures.

A different form of attack upon the Scriptures, which may be described
as Rationalism, was developed in the 19th century. Rationalism set aside
Revelation, assuming the sufficiency of the mind, or Reason, to enable
man to find out truth and to attain to the highest good.

The unprecedented progress made in scientific knowledge not only gave
valuable insight into the works of God in

=Page 387: Rationalism=

Creation, but also stirred in some minds a desire to explain creation
apart from God. This made it necessary to prove that the account of the
Creation given in the book of Genesis did not spring from Divine
inspiration, but from the ignorance of men, who, living before us, were
presumed to have known less than we do. As fresh discoveries were made
in the illimitable field of Nature, theories were founded upon them
which were said to be incompatible with the Genesis history and
therefore to prove it incorrect. As further facts came to light new
theories had to be formed, each displacing its predecessor, yet each in
turn accepted on the authority of the learning of the men of science who
promulgated it. The "Origin of Species" published by Charles Darwin in
1859 is an important landmark in this development of thought.

Those who accepted the view that there had been no creation, of
necessity lost the knowledge of the Creator. This involved the loss of
all revealed knowledge, for the revelation of God through the Scriptures
begins with Creation as the work of God, without which there could have
been no Fall of His creature, Man; and neither need nor possibility of
man's Redemption. Consequently, the new theories evolved from the minds
of men discarded the Scripture teaching of the Fall, replacing it by
constantly changing theories of the development of man from a lower form
of life. The experience of Salvation and the hope of Redemption became
incredible on the basis of these teachings, and whatever vague promises
might be held out to the race, the individual was left without hope.

Although in the minds of the multitude evolution has replaced God the
Creator, so that many trace their ancestry from beasts rather than from
God, and are ignorant of God as their Redeemer, yet not all, even among
those recognized as the most eminent men of science, have followed this
teaching. It would not be correct to say that increase of knowledge of
the facts of Nature necessarily leads to disbelief in God or in the
Scriptures. Many have found that the more they have learned of the works
of God in Creation the more they have appreciated the consonance of this
revelation with that contained in the Scriptures. Indeed, the assertion
so often and so eagerly made that no modern, intelligent, educated man
can believe the Scriptures, is

=Page 388: Biblical Criticism=

without foundation. It is not a fact that the more people know the less
they believe, nor yet that the more ignorant they are the more faith
they possess.

Rationalism is largely due to the failure to recognize that man is not
only mind, but mind and heart, and that the mind always serves the
heart. The heart, which is the character, will and affections, and is
the seat of experience, uses in its service the mind, with its
intelligence and reasoning powers. The heart of the natural man uses his
mind in order to justify his unbelief in God and in Scripture by finding
countless reasons for complaint against God, and contradictions and
errors in the Scriptures; but if this same man has an experience which
brings him to see his sinful state, his need of salvation, and Christ is
revealed to him, then his heart--that is his will and affections--are
captured; they go out to Christ in faith as Saviour and Lord, and the
Divine and Eternal Life is communicated to him, as it is written: "that
whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life"
(John 3.16). With that his mind, though neither more nor less capable,
intelligent and instructed than before, enters into the service of a
changed heart, finding truth and beauty and revelation in the very
Scriptures which it formerly despised, and discovering in the ways of
God constant reason for thanksgiving and worship. Saul the persecutor,
changed to Paul the apostle is a striking illustration of this.

       *       *       *       *       *

Another line of attack upon the Scriptures, also developed chiefly in
the 19th century, took the form of Biblical Criticism. This, like the
investigations of Science, is in itself good, but Rationalism pushed it
into erroneous theories. The critical examination of the text of
Scripture, including the study of the ancient manuscripts, has been of
the utmost value, correcting errors and exhibiting more fully the
content, force, and meaning of the written Word.

The "Higher Criticism", taking into account the historical, geographical
and other outward circumstances under which the different books were
written, examining also their internal literary character, and deducing
from all these what may be learned as to their date and authorship, has
brought much of interest to light. Here again,

=Page 389: The "Higher Criticism"=

however, the rationalistic method, the examination of the Scriptures
apart from God, leaving out of account the inspiration of the Holy
Spirit working through the human authors and in conjunction with them,
has led to strange and varying theories.

The Scriptures were given to the world through a chosen instrument, the
people of Israel. Moses and the Prophets spoke by the Word of the Lord,
and the different books containing their utterances, whether Law,
Histories, Psalms, or Prophecies, were preserved by the Jewish people
with a care and tenacity of which no other race would have been capable.
Christ and the Apostles accepted and used the Old Testament to the full
as the Word of God, completing it by the addition of the New Testament.
In all times this Book, or Bible, has been accepted as divinely
inspired, and by its working in the hearts and lives of men has proved
its Divine power. There have always been those who denied its claims,
but it was reserved for the 19th century to see so far-reaching a
development of this denial.

       *       *       *       *       *

Ritualism had long taught a development which added to Scripture and
involved departure from it, but Rationalism, taking from it, has the
effect of undermining it and destroying its credibility.

One of the earlier of the more striking developments of the Higher
Criticism was founded on the use of different names for God in the book
of Genesis. From these differences it was argued that the book must be
the work of different authors. Much ingenuity was then displayed in
dividing this, and subsequently other books, into the different
authorships, various critics having their varying schemes. Under this
process the personality of Moses was obscured, and it soon became the
fashion to deny the existence of Abraham and of other characters
described in the earlier Scriptures, representing them as mythical
personages, the product of legends concerning several heroes attached to
one imaginary man. Further and more rapid progress was made on these
lines when Eduard Reuss (1834) put forward a theory that the books of
the Law were written after those of the Prophets, and the Psalms later
still. This supposition gave rise to much speculation and fitting of the
various parts of the Old Testament into the newly devised scheme. At the
same time the New Testament

=Page 390: Influence of Rationalism on Theology=

miracles were rejected as impossible, and it was laboriously explained
how the narration of them grew up out of misunderstandings and legendary
accretions. The Gospel history was reconstructed; Renan's "Vie de Jesus"
and the "Leben Jesu" of Strauss had a considerable vogue for a time.
Criticism ran riot. The mere fact that anything was affirmed in the
Bible was almost considered as a reason for doubting its truth. Such
extremes led to a certain amount of reaction; much that had been
rejected was readmitted. Archaeological research revealed the historical
exactitude of much that had been pronounced fabulous.

The increasing occupation of many with the Scriptures, which these
conflicts aroused, brought out more than ever their treasures of truth
and wisdom. All the time they continued to be the means of bringing
salvation to sinners of every sort.

As Ritualism owed it to the clergy that it became effectual as a means
of keeping sinners from the Saviour, so Rationalism is indebted for its
wide prevalence to-day, and its power to hold multitudes in unbelief, to
the fact that it laid hold of the ministerial and theological mind, and
seemed to make those who adopted it the intellectual leaders of the
people. Its conquest of the theological colleges and training
institutions for the ministry has been little short of complete, so that
the spiritual guides of the people lead their often unwilling flocks
where there is no pasture, showing them that they can no longer be
considered intellectual, nor even intelligent, unless they accept the
supposed proofs that there is no divinely inspired revelation, and
consequently no Creator; no Son of God who for the sake of sinners
became Man and, for us men, vanquished sin and death and opened the way
of return to God. The Rationalist teaching has reduced him to a good
man, often mistaken, though a pattern for our imitation. Promises that
these doctrines would bring about universal peace, prosperity and
brotherhood, have been woefully belied by war and preparation for war,
by strike and bankruptcy. The hope and expectation of the Lord's coming
to reign are lost to those who do not know Who it was who came to

=Page 391: C. H. Spurgeon=

Among many in all these bodies who resisted this teaching and continued
to use the Scriptures with a power and effect which demonstrated the
truth of their claim to be the inspired Word of God, none was more
eminent than Charles Haddon Spurgeon. When nineteen years of age (1851)
he was converted and received among the Baptists. Immediately he began
to witness for Christ and a year later, setting aside any conventional
theological preparation, became pastor of a Baptist church. His
preaching even then was with such spiritual power that increasing
numbers were attracted to hear him. No available building was sufficient
for such a preacher, so the Metropolitan Tabernacle was built to seat
6000 people, and there he not only preached the Gospel regularly
throughout his lifetime, but expounded the Scriptures and took his part,
with his great gifts and with unspoiled humility, in the building up of
a church on New Testament principles, from which streams of life flowed
to innumerable souls. In preaching, Spurgeon adhered closely to the
Scriptures, which he applied with genuine sympathy and emotion to his
hearers, pointing his message with endless apt illustration and with a
pungent humour that never failed. His sermons were as effectual when
read as when heard; they were published as soon as preached and their
circulation was immense, continuing after his death. Feeling strongly
the hindrance to the Gospel caused by the doctrine of Baptismal
Regeneration, he took the bold course of preaching and publishing a
sermon on the subject, which exposed him to attack from the large number
of Protestant and Evangelical bodies which hold it. The conflict aroused
led him a year later to withdraw from the "Evangelical Alliance." As
Biblical criticism developed along the line of undermining faith in the
inspiration of the Scriptures and came increasingly to influence the
"Baptist Union", Spurgeon withdrew from that association also (1887).
This step cost him friends and involved him in controversy, but put
heart into many who were in danger of doubting the foundations of their
faith, and, in difficult days, encouraged that justification of the
truth of Scripture which was soon to be so strongly reinforced by the
further discoveries of both ancient historical and modern scientific

At the same time, the Scriptures were never so widely

=Page 392: Attacks on, Yet Spread of, the Bible=

circulated, nor so much read as now, and their call to repentance and
faith is as effectual as ever it was. The British and Foreign Bible
Society, with others, not only continues, but continues to increase its
translations and sales. Its colporteurs press in growing numbers into
ever-widening spheres. New translations open up the treasures of the
Word to the most remote peoples. If among some favoured peoples the gift
of the free reading of the Scriptures, so dearly bought by the blood of
their ancestors, is neglected, there are those, later called, who are
pressing into the places of the first.

It has been reserved for the twentieth century to experience an
unexampled acceleration in the course of events. As an avalanche begins
its slow movement, which, from being almost imperceptible, gains in
speed until it comes down with overwhelming power, so the slow
development of earlier years has become the rushing torrent of our time.
The powers hidden in the air are being uncovered--"And God said Let
there be a firmament" (Gen 1. 6), and for long men were content to
breathe it, but now it is found to be the carrier of light and heat and
electricity, and of sound, so that the voice speaking may be heard round
the world--and by millions of listeners. Its mass carries mighty
machines and that at incredible speeds, so that distance diminishes and
all the world is bound together. The structure and qualities of material
things are examined and found to contain complexities of form and action
of unimaginable variety. In the midst of such wonders human intelligence
has been quickened and knowledge has been put to uses good and bad, all
of which tend to speed the pace at which our age presses on to its
consummation. In this great stream of history the Scriptures remain
unchanged and are found to be equally applicable to all the changing
conditions of life. Those who walk in obedience of faith, whether
gathered in churches or scattered through the world, find that this
compass always points to Christ, of Whom God sent into the world "that
the world should be saved through Him."

       *       *       *       *       *

Those churches which still make the Scriptures their guide and pattern,
and endeavour to act according to this

=Page 393: Clergy as Spiritual Leaders=

rule, are entirely free from Rationalism, as they have always been from
Ritualism. They therefore form a bulwark against unbelief and provide a
refuge for souls seeking where they may act in obedience to the Word of
God in fellowship with those like-minded. Their increase and their
spread into many countries, as well as the fact that fresh churches keep
arising spontaneously in parts where the Bible penetrates, is of the
greatest importance. It is also to be anticipated that, as many of the
different denominations depart farther from the faith, there will be
Christians among them who will find themselves obliged to do as so many
have done before them, that is, form churches of those that believe, to
carry out the teachings of the Word themselves and preach the saving
Gospel to others. Members of the clergy have often been leaders in
revivals following on some return to the principles of the Word of God,
and this may be so again. Huss the chaplain, Luther the monk, Spener and
Franke, both Lutheran pastors, and the Church of England clergymen, John
and Charles Wesley, with George Whitefield, are but a few examples. The
training and experience of such men become especially valuable when once
they are freed from the fetters which hinder the obedience of faith.


[121] "Collected Writings of J. N. Darby" Edited by William Kelly.
Ecclesiastical Vol. I.

[122] "Memoir of the late Anthony Norris Groves containing Extracts from
his Letters and Journals" Compiled by his Widow, 1856.

[123] "A History of the Plymouth Brethren" W. Blair Neatby.

=Page 394: The Church Question=

Chapter XVIII


Can churches still follow New Testament teaching and example?--Various
answers--Ritualistic churches--Rationalism--Reformers--Mystics and
others--Evangelical Revival--Brethren who throughout all the centuries
have made the New Testament their guide--Spread of the Gospel--Foreign
Missions--Revival through return to the teachings of Scripture--Every
Christian a missionary, each church a missionary society--Difference
between a church and a mission station--Difference between an
institution and a church--Unity of the churches and spread of the
Gospel--New Testament churches among all people on the same

The Church Question, that is to say, the question whether we can, and
should, continue to carry out the New Testament teaching and example as
to the ordering of churches, has been answered in various ways:--

1. The theory of "development" would make it undesirable to do so,
because, as is claimed by the ritualistic churches, such as the Church
of Rome, the Greek Orthodox Church, and others like them, something
better than that which was practised in the beginning has been attained,
and the Scriptures have been modified, or even supplanted, by tradition.

2. Rationalism gives the same answer, looking upon it as retrogression
to go back to the original pattern, since it denies that the Scriptures
provide an abiding authority.

3. Reformers of existing churches have tried to effect a compromise,
returning in part, but not altogether, to the acknowledged pattern, as
Luther, Spener, and others.

4. Some have abandoned the attempt, as the Mystics, who devoted
themselves instead to the attainment of personal holiness and communion
with God, examples of whom are Molinos, Madame Guyon, and Tersteegen;
and the Friends, who set aside the outward ordinances of baptism and the
Lord's Supper, and occupied themselves rather with the testimony of the
inner Light than with the outward Scriptures; others, as Darby and his
followers, repudiated the obligation and replaced it by a witness to
"the ruin of the Church".

=Page 395: Different Answers=

5. Evangelical Revival set it aside as unimportant, concentrating on the
conversion of sinners and organizing what seemed suitable to meet
practical needs, as Wesley's Methodist Societies, or the Salvation Army.

6. But there have in all times been brethren who have answered "yes" to
the Question; though they have been called by many names, Cathars,
Novatians, Paulicians, Bogomils, Albigenses, Waldenses, Lollards,
Anabaptists, Mennonites, Stundists and others innumerable, many
congregations also of Baptists and Independents, and assemblies of
Brethren; they have been one in their faithful endeavour to act upon the
New Testament and to follow the example of the New Testament churches.

       *       *       *       *       *

Closely connected with the former question is another--Is it possible
to-day to preach the Gospel as at the beginning and might not a much
more rapid spread of the Gospel result from so doing? Indeed, the
question enlarges and presses itself upon us--Is it not
_only_ by a return to the Scriptures that the unity of
the children of God can be manifested and the evangelization of the
world be accomplished?

In the beginning of the Gospel there was no distinction between "home"
and "foreign" work. Gradually the spontaneous spread of the churches,
irrespective of country and nationality, was modified by the change from
primitive, Apostolic churches to the organization that developed from
these, and "missions" began to be sent out representing the central
authority that sent them. As organized Christian denominations
multiplied, missions to other lands increased, each preaching Christ,
but representing also its own particular scheme and development of
Christianity, thus introducing among the heathen that confusion of
conflicting sects from which Christendom suffers. The original way was
not dependent upon material wealth but on the power of the Holy Spirit,
and was always connected with poverty. The methods that have developed
are expensive, because the gifts of the Holy Spirit, who dwells in the
newest believer and supplies the needs for testimony of the least
company of disciples, are not recognized, a "Mission Station" being
established to supply all needs. This has to be supported, and it
becomes necessary to appeal for money at the

=Page 396: All the Scriptures for All=

"home base" or, where this is thought unworthy of faith, some reliance
is placed for the awakening of interest in the work on the publication
of moving incidents or distressing needs. In this way, too, the
direction and support of the work "abroad" being largely in the hands of
those "at home", or their representatives, it remains an alien
institution in the land where it is carried on and the spread of the
Gospel is impeded to an incalculable degree.

Following Christ and denying self may well include readiness to sever
the most cherished ties that bind us to our different denominational
organizations, and to find means of practising genuine fellowship with
all the Lord's people, exercising that forbearance with one another
which our present weakness would necessitate. If we ourselves kept the
teachings of Scripture we might then put it into the hands of men of all
nations and by precept and example show them that it is given for them
as much as for us, in the sure belief that God would keep and guide
them, and give them their place as independent churches and their
inheritance among the saints.

We do not know what gifts the Holy Spirit may awaken in places outside
the scope of modern missionary activities and in circumstances
manifestly beyond our power to control. The persecuted Russian churches
have experiences beyond ours and a zeal and devotion is quickened among
them to which most professing Christians in easier circumstances are
strangers; it may well be that in their midst miracles of unity and
testimony will be wrought such as we have failed to accomplish. Out of
the heathen world leaders may be raised up, so filled with the Spirit
that they will be able to leave behind both the divisions and the wealth
of European and American Missions and will see conversions and the
growth of churches of God among their own people, churches which may
indeed have to learn from mistakes of their own, but will be free from
ours. With God nothing is impossible, He might call, even out of Islam,
submissive, devoted disciples of Christ whom He could use in His service
among that people. All this does not leave out of account the value,
beyond price, of the devotion and service that have so long flowed, and
still flow, through Missionary Societies and Institutions, to the world,

=Page 397: All Believers Witness for Christ=

but it envisages the multitudes that are unreached (and will remain
unreached at the present rate of progress), pointing out the one way of
revival, which is a return to the way of the Word.

God is manifested in Christ by the Holy Spirit as the Lover, Seeker,
Saviour and Keeper of lost mankind. There is no revelation more
affecting than this, that God is of such a nature that the misery of
fallen man has constrained Him to lay aside His heavenly glory, to
become Man, to bear all our sin and more than all our sorrow, and by
death vanquish death and give to dying sinners Eternal and Divine Life.
Every one who by faith receives this Life is under the same necessity as
He from whom he derives it, so that, on this account, every Christian is
naturally a missionary. He hears in his soul as an impelling command,
the words: "Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every
creature". In the New Testament there is no distinction between clergy
and laity, all the saints are priests; so also there is no distinction
between missionaries and non-missionaries, every believer is "sent", or
has a "mission", to be a witness for Christ in the world. The formation
of a separate missionary class, grouped in missionary societies,
supported by special mission funds, working through mission stations,
though it has accomplished so much, is dearly bought while it contents
the vast bulk of Christians to be non-missionaries and dims the vision
of every saint as, in every circumstance, wholly the Lord's, and devoted
first and last to His service. The aim of the Gospel is the conversion
of sinners into saints, and the gathering of these as churches. Since
each member of a church is called to be a missionary, or witness for
Christ, each church is a "missionary society", a society of persons who
are collectively engaged in the testimony of the Gospel.

The difference between a mission station and a church is that a mission
station, with the missionary society of which it is a branch, is the
centre to which the natives of the country in which it is look for
guidance and supplies. A church, on the other hand, in the New Testament
sense of the word, is, from the moment of its beginning, when two or
three are gathered in the Name of the Lord Jesus, on the same foundation
as the oldest established church, having

=Page 398: Unique Character of Churches=

the same Centre, the same principles. Different it is true in gift and
experience, it is yet partaker of the same Grace, and draws its supplies
from the same Source. Moreover, it is the most suitable instrument for
the furtherance of the Gospel among the people from which it has been
called, and with whose thoughts, language, customs and needs, its
members have perfect acquaintance. A mission station may be of great
value, but should never be made the centre around which a church
gathers: that centre is Jesus Christ.

There is also a difference between a church and an Institution, such as
a hospital or school. These may be of the utmost value, commending the
Gospel, gaining the confidence of the people; but if a hospital or
school, of foreign origin, comes to be regarded as the centre around
which the church is gathered, and upon which it depends, such a church
cannot develop according to the New Testament pattern. It remains a
foreign religion dependent on supplies from abroad. It may even develop
a system of salaried "native evangelists", destructive of dependence
upon God, hindering growth in learning to know Him.

Scripture does not lead us to expect that the Gospel will prevail so as
to bring about the conversion of the world; on the contrary we are
taught to look for increasing departure from God, bringing terrible
judgements upon all the earth. The return of the Lord Jesus Christ in
glory is the hope set before the Church. Awaiting that great event we
remember the Lord's last prayer for His disciples:

"That they all may be one.... That the world may believe that Thou
hast sent Me."

These two things, the unity of the people of God, and the making known
of the Saviour in the world, are the desire of all who are in communion
with the Lord. The history of the Church shows that revival comes
through return to obedience to the Word of God. This prayer of the Lord
is certainly promise also; it will be accomplished as He prayed.
Doubtless the full accomplishment of it will be when He comes, but it
may be that the last great revival will be a foreshadowing, even here on
earth, of that which is shortly to come to pass both in heaven and on

=Page 399: The Gospel the Same for All=

When the disciples of the Lord repent and forsake ways that are ways of
departure from His Word, and gather as churches in immediate dependence
upon Him, free from the bondage of human federations and organizations,
and free to receive all who belong to Him, they will experience His
sufficiency, as those did who went before them in this path; being
delivered, on the one hand, from fellowship with unbelievers, and, on
the other, from separation from fellow-saints.

Moreover, in taking the Gospel to people of all nations and races, they
will apprehend that the whole Word of God is for others as well as for
themselves; that all who believe are brought into the same relationship
to Him, and that no difference of nationality can affect the standing of
a church in the sight of God. The work of the Spirit in all will
manifest the truth that Peter had learned when he said:

"God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness,
giving them the Holy Ghost, even as He did unto us;
  And put no difference between us and them,
  purifying their hearts by faith....
  we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ
  we shall be saved even as they."

       *       *       *       *       *

As we review the long path already traversed by the Pilgrim Church,
certain salient points appear. Rising above the mass of detail, so
poignant at the time to those whose lives made it up, they rightly claim
attention, for they turn the experience of the way that lies behind into
guidance for the track that stretches before.

One is that the Pilgrim Church has possessed in the Scriptures a safe
and sufficient guide for all the way from Pentecost to the present time,
and has the assurance that it will suffice until that lamp shining in a
dark place shall pale before the glory of the appearing of Him Who is
the Living Word (2 Peter 1. 19).

A second is that the Pilgrim Church is separate from the World; though
in it is not of it. It never becomes an earthly institution. Though a
witness to the world and a blessing in it, yet, since the world which
crucified Christ does not change, and the disciple is content to be as
his Master, the pilgrims still exhort one another with the

=Page 400: Unity of the Church=

words: "Let us go forth therefore unto Him _without the camp,_ bearing
His reproach. For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to
come" (Heb. 13. 13, 14).

A third is that the Church is One. In so far as we know ourselves to be
members of the Pilgrim Church we acknowledge as our fellow-pilgrims all
who tread the Way of Life. Passing differences, however keen at the
time, grow dim as we view the whole pilgrimage spread out before us. In
deepest humility as we think of the littleness of our own part, and with
heartfelt delight in our fellows, we claim them as such. Their
sufferings are ours, their testimony ours, because their Saviour,
Leader, Lord and Hope is ours. By enlightening of the Holy Spirit we
have learned, with them, to rejoice with the Father when He says: "This
is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased" (Matt. 3. 17). With them,
too, we rejoice in the prospect of that day when the Son will present to
Himself "a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such
thing" (Eph. 5.27).


Aarau, 343.
Aberdeen, 299.
Achaia, 68; name given to Mananalis, 52.
Afrahat, Persian, author of "Homilies", 70-71.
Agrippa of Nettesheim, 212.
Ainsworth, Henry, 243, 245.
Albi, 87, 88.
ALBIGENSES, connections with Bogomils, 62, 65, 87; country devastated,
  88, 89, 185, 233, 395.
Alefeld, Count, 193.
Aleppo, 351, 354,
Alexander I, Czar of Russia, 325, 327.
Alexander II, Czar of Russia, 329.
Alexander III, Pope, 93, 96.
Alexander VI, Pope, 131.
Alexandria, 9, 10, 21, 74, 324.
Alexius, Byzantine Emperor, 58-59.
Alexius, St., 92.
Alfonso, King of Aragon, 96.
Alleghany Mountains, 305.
Allen William, 326.
Alsace, 105, 270.
Altona, 268.
Alzey, 166.
Ambrose Bishop of Milan, 24, 37, 99.
Amiens, 256.
Amsterdam, 138; church of exiles in, 243-244, 245, 262; Labadie in,
Amurath Sultan, 325.
ANABAPTISTS, 112, 153 _et seq;_ 197-199, 200-201, 203-207, 229,
  243, 247, 283, 373, 395.
Ancyra, 56.
Andrew, Indian believer, 359.
Angrogne, 217, 219.
Anthony, a negro, 276.
Anthony, hemit in Egypt, 31.
Anthony the Good, Duke, 214.
Antichrist, 140, 282; Vaudois MS., 220.
Antioch, 43, 74, 314.
Antioch in Pisidia, 5.
Antwerp, 236.
APOCRYPHA, 22, 38.
APOSTLES, WALDENSIAN, 99-100, 102, 109.
APOSTOLIC SUCCESSION, teaching of Priscillian, 40; among Waldenses, 99;
  Marsiglio of Padua, 103; United Brethren, 130; Brush Run, 308.
Apulia, 217.
Aquinas, Thomas, 105.
Aquitaine, Louis son of Charlemagne king of, 49; Aquitania,
fourth century reformation in, 36.
Aragon, 96.
Ararat, Mount, 44.
ARIAN, bishops appointed, 21; Government persecutes Catholics, 21;
ARIANS, 86, 90.
ARIANISM, long remained state religion in northern kingdoms, 22; denies
  Divinity of Jesus Christ, 30; and Unitarianism, 224.
Arius, 21, 70, 86.
Armenia, primitive churches in, 42, 44; first country to make
  Christianity state religion, 43; 45, 65.
ARMINIANISM, 243, 244, 293.
Arminius, Jacobus, 243-244.
Arndt, 282.
Arnold, Gottfried, life and writings, 279-280.
Arnold, Henri, 92.
Aroolappen, 358, 359.
ASCETICISM, of Marcionites, 14; of hermits, 31; use of a by
  Priscillian, 37, 39; of Bogomils misrepresented, 59; excessive, 113.
Athanasius, 21-22, 70.
Athos, Mount, 324.
Aubigné, Merle d', 303, 373.
Augsburg, 110, 157; Denck in, 160-161; "martyrs' conference" held in,
  162, 165.
Augusta, John, 132-134.
Augustine, conversion and teaching, 24-28, 99, 112, 116, 119, 132, 243.
Augustine, missionary to England, 35-36.
Australia, 317.
Avignon, 213.
Avila, 37.

Baanes, 51, 52.
Babinot, 222.
Babylon, 16; spiritual 137, 190, 232.
Baden, 164.
Badly, Thomas, 122.
Baedeker, Dr., 331.
Bagdad, 79, 81, 84, 325; Groves in, 350-354, 357, 372.
Bahram V, king of Persia, 74.
Ball, John 121.
Bamburgh, 258.
BAN, title of Bosnian rulers, 61, 62, 63, 64.
BAPTISM, of believers, 8; of infants, 8-9, 43, 145; change of
  teaching concerning, 9; regeneration by _b,_ 9, 145; delayed by
  British monks until evidence of faith given, 35; of Priscillian, 36;
  description of _b_ in "Key of Truth", 53; of infants, brought
  the world into the church, 54; of Jesus. 55; 87; among Waldenses, 99;
  108; of believers at Reichenau and Lhota, 130; in relation to the
  church question. 147-148; Luther on, 148; believers baptized. 153; of
  believers, punished by death, 154, 165; 156; by Hubmeyer, 157, 161;
  164, 166; of children made compulsory. 169; of believers punished by
  drowning, 169; source of endurance of Anabaptists, 171; question as to
  salvation of children, 172; of infants cannot be proved from
  Scripture, 173; believers baptized, to be drowned, 173; in Tyrol, 176;
  180; of adults made obligatory in Münster, 181; similarity of outward
  _b_, does not establish fellowship, 185; Snyder beheaded for
  renewing his, 186; Menno and infant, 186-187; teaching of Scripture
  on, 187; corrupted _b_, 188; true _b,_ 189; Menno begins to
  baptize, 191; Pilgram Marbeck on, 194-196; edict against, 197; 198;
  Schwenckfeld on, 203, 204, 207; of a child in Paris and results, 228;
  difference between Independents and Baptists, 239; of infants in the
  Church of England, 246-247; not practised by the Friends, 253; not the
  ground of fellowship, 254; 263; James Haldane on, 301; Robert Haldane
  and, 303; Campbell and, 306, 309; Mennonite, 319; among Mennonite
  Brethren, 321; liberty of, 323; among Stundists, 325-326, 328, 338;
  Oncken on, 340; Fröhlich and, 344, 346; Müller on, 362, 363, 365, 366;
  Evans on, 368, 369; Chapman on, 370; Darby and, 372; Spurgeon on,
  391-392; the Friends and, 394.
BAPTISTS, called Anabaptists, 161; in Strassburg, 162; hymns, 165;
  imprisoned and put to death, 165; Schwenckfeld and the, 203, 204, 206;
  churches in London, 239; persecuted, 240; views on civil power, 245,
  247, 248; 249; conflict renewed, 253; in Russia, 335-336; connections
  with other bodies, 371; 395; AMERICAN, 309-311, 313, 314-315, 341;
  GERMAN, spread to Russia, 328; churches formed, 338; in Russia, 341.
BARBE, title of Vaudois elders, 217; visit Reformers, 218; 219.
Barcochebas, 4.
Barnabas, 5, 43.
Barnstaple, 357, 363, 368, 369, 370.
Barrowe, 240.
Bartholomew, St., massacre of, 230, 280.
Basil, Bogomil elder, 58-59.
Basil I, Byzantine Emperor, 56.
Basle, 106, 109; Council of, 126, 128; Bible-study and printing in,
  156; 158, 162-163, 216; Vaudois Barbes come to, 217; Mission, 326,
  351; 224, 343.
Bastille, 279.
BATTLES, Kossovo, 64; Lipan, 126; Mühlberg, 133; White Mountain, 135;
Baxter, Richard, 253.
Beaufort, 233.
Beccles, 123.
Beda, Noël, 210, 212.
Bedford, Church in, 254.
Beer, George, 357, 360.
BEGHARD, 101, 105, 106, 107, 111.
BEGHINE, 101, 105, 106.
Bellett, John Gifford, 347, 348, 350, 371.
Benedict of Nursia, 32.
Benedict, caves of St., 222.
Bentinck family, 339.
Bernard of Clairvaux, 32, 86, 99.
Bernard of Cluny, 32.
Berleburg, 280, 281; BIBLE, 281, 283; 282.
Berlin, 272, 276, 340.
Bern, 169, 302.
Berquin, Louis de, 210, 212, 215.
Berthelsdorf, 273, 274, 275.
Bethesda Chapel, Bristol, 363 365, 382-384.
Bethlehem, 67, 69, 324.
Beziers, 89.
Biel (Bienne), 169.
Bjelopolje, 62.
Blaurock, 168, 169, 170.
Blois, 226.
Bockelson, Jan (John of Leyden), 180-184.
Boehler, Peter, 276, 277, 289.
BOGOMILI (BOGOMILS), meaning of name, 57-58 and n-57-58; early opinions
  of, 59-60; misrepresented by enemies, 60; many churches of _b_
  in Bosnia, 61; intercourse with believers in other countries, 62;
  attacked by Pope and king of Hungary, 63-64; inquisition established
  in Bosnia, 63; accept Turkish help, 64; Turks capture Bosnia, 65;
  tombstones, 65-66.
BOHEMIAN BRETHREN (see Unitas Fratrum, Moravian Church), 136, 276, 284,
Böhmerwald, 112.
Bohnekämper. 326.
BOLSHEVIK, 325, 337, 338, 392.
Bona, 25.
Boniface, led Roman missionary system against British, 36.
Boniface VIII, Pope, 102.
Boniface IX, Pope, 111.
BOOKS, First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians, 7; Hexapla (Origen),
  10; Antitheses (Marcion), 14; Confessions, 24-25, City of God 25,
  (Augustine); Heliand 36; Priscillian's works, 38-40 Koran 50, 56; Key
  of Truth (tr. Conybeare), 52, 53-55; Homilies of Afrahat, 70; The
  Bazaar of Heraclides of Damascus (Nestorius, tr. Bethune Baker),
  75-77; Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians (Claudius), 91;
  Defensor Pacis (Marsiglio), 102-103; History of Tauler's Conversion,
  108; Nine Rocks, 108-109; Greek New Testament (Erasmus), 114; The
  Kingdom of God, 118, Of the Truth of Holy Scripture, 119 (Wycliff);
  The Net of Faith (Cheltschizki), 127-129; The Labyrinth of the World
  and the Paradise of the Heart, 136, The Testament of the Dying Mother,
  136-137, The Voice of Mourning, 138, One Thing Needful, 138-140
  (Comenius); Imitation of Christ (à Kempis), 141; Address to the
  Nobility of the German Nation on the Liberty of the Christian Man's,
  143, Babylonian Captivity of the Church, 143 (Luther); Spiritual
  Exercises (Loyola), 150; translation of the Prophets (Denck and
  Hetzer), 162; Vermanung, etc. (Marbeck), 194 and _n_-196; Of the
  New Pamphlet of the Baptist Brethren, etc. (Schwenckfeld), 207; reply
  to above (Marbeck), 207; Lives of the Saints (Le Fèvre), 209; Noble
  Lesson Catechism, Antichrist (Vaudois MSS.), 220; The Institutes of
  the Christian Religion (Calvin), 224; A Booke which sheweth the Life
  and Manners of all true Christians etc., 239, 240; A Treatise of
  Reformation without Tarrying for Anie (Browne), 240; Ecclesiastical
  Polity (Hooker), 241-243; Book of Common Prayer, 253; Saints'
  Everlasting Rest (Baxter), 253-254; Pilgrim's Progress (Bunyan), 254;
  The discernment of a true church etc. (Labadie), 261; Eukleria (van
  Schürman), 266, 268; Spiritual Guide (Molinos), 279; First Love, that
  is a True Picture of the First Christians etc., 279-280, Impartial
  History of the Churches and Heretics etc., 280 (Gottfried Arnold);
  Marburg Bible, 281; Berleburg Bible, 281; The Mystery of Godliness and
  the Mystery of Iniquity (Fröhlich), 345-346; Narrative of some of the
  Lord's dealings with George Müller, 368; Origin of Species (Darwin),
  387; Vie de Jésus (Renan), 390; Leben Jesu (Strauss), 390.
Bordeaux, 37, 255, 256.
Bosna river, 64.
Boston, 249.
Bowden, William, 357, 360.
Bradford, 277.
Braga, 37.
Brandenburg, 110, 232, 237, 272.
Brandhuber, Wolfgang, 170.
BREAKING OF BREAD (see LORD'S SUPPER), 9, 168, Schwenckfeld on, 204,
  207; in caves of St. Benedict, 222; in Herford, 268; Stundists, 326,
  328, 333; liberty for, 347, 349, 350; Müller, 362; Darby, 377, 382,
Bremen, 268.
BRETHREN, 111, 395.
Briçonnet, Bishop of Meaux, 209, 211, 214, 256.
Bristol, 290; open-air preaching, Whitefield and Wesley, 291; 360, 363;
  Müller's Orphanage opened, 367, 371, 372, 382.
BRITISH MUSEUM, ix, 82, 324.
Browne, Robert, 239-240.
BROWNISTS, 239, 243.
Brueys, Pierre de, 85.
Brugg, 343.
Brush Run, 308, 309.
Bucer, 161, 162, 187, 196, 199, 215.
Buckinghamshire, 123.
Budapest, 344.
Buddha, 16; BUDDHISM, 16, 79.
Buffalo Creek, 309.
BUILDINGS, no special _b,_ required for meetings, 3; missionary
  villages, 35; simple houses and rooms, 46; to receive relics and in
  honour of martyrs, consecrated to Virgin or saints, 46; Bogomil
  meetings held in any house or in plain meeting rooms, 61; meetings in
  private houses forbidden by Synod of Seleucia, 73; de Brueys taught
  useless to build churches, 85; Waldensian meeting rooms, 100;
  cathedrals, 104.
BULGARIANS, name given to believers, 57n, 60, 85.
Bunyan, John, 254.
Burdigala, former name of Bordeaux, 37.
Bury St. Edmunds, 240.

Caesaraugusta, former name of Saragossa, 37.
Caesarea, 316.
Calabria, 217, 218.
CALVINISM, CALVINISTS, 225, 243-244, 246, 293, 313.
Calvin, Jean, 92, 151; in Poitiers, 221; in Geneva, 224-225; on elders,
  228; 243, 246, 256, 257, 373.
Cambridge, 235, 250.
Campbell, Alexander, 307-310, 314, 315.
Campbell, Thomas, 305-309, 314, 315.
Cane Ridge. 311, 313, 314.
Canisius, 151, 199.
Canterbury. 36, 122.
Capito, 161, 162, 179, 196, 215, 216.
Carbeas, 55.
Cardiff, 286.
Carey, William, 295-297.
Carl, Dr., 282.
Carniola, 63.
Carolina, North, 310.
Carthage, 10, 12-13, 28.
Casimir, Count, 280, 282.
CATECHISM, in various languages, 141; 220; RACOVIAN, 225.
CATHARS, name given to Christians who adhered to Scripture, 15, 62, 85,
  89, 97, 395.
Cathay, former name for China, 81.
Catherine de Medici, 229, 230.
Catherine II, Empress of Russia, 318.
CATHOLIKOS, title of bishop of Seleucia, 69; moved to Bagdad, 79; 83,
Caucasus, 319, 326, 327, 330, 334, 335.
Cavalier, Jean, 233.
Celestinus, 27, 28.
Cennick, 277-278.
Cevennes mountains, 232, 233, 280.
Chaistellain, Jean, 212, 214.
Chambéry, 222.
Chanforans, conference between Vaudois and Reformers, 219.
Chapman, Robert Cleaver, 363, 368-371, 385.
Charlemagne, Emperor, 49.
Charles IV, Emperor, 110.
Charles V, Emperor, 133, 154, 165, 172, 174, 214.
Charles I, king of England, 324.
Charles of Žerotín, 134, 136.
Chayla, Abbé du, 233.
Cheltschizki, Peter, "The Net of Faith," 127-129; 129.
Chittoor, 357.
CHRISTIANS, 310, 311, 314.
Christian VI, king of Denmark, 276.
Chortitza, district and river, 319.
Chrysocheir, 55-56.
Chrysostom, 99.
CHURCH AND STATE, associated under Constantine, 20; union repudiated by
  Christians faithful to Scripture, 20; church fails to save the state
  by union with it, 23, 29; forcible conversions, 34; many disciples
  consider union contrary to the Lord's teaching, 41; unite in Armenia,
  43; unite in restoring image worship, 48; churches uninfluenced by
  union of, 89; 99; Marsiglio of Padua on, 102-103; relations defined by
  cities, 104; Luther adopts principle of, 145; Calvin introduces into
  Geneva, 224; Church of England, 237; Gottfried Arnold on, 280; Evans,
CHURCH OF ENGLAND, established, 237; development of, 239; defended by
  Hooker, 241-243; nonconformity punished, 243; character of, 246-247;
  Act of Uniformity, 253; Societies within the, 277; Groves on
  ordination, 350; in India, 356; Unsectarian members of, 360; Darby
  and the, 372; Anglican, Anglo-Catholic, 372; influenced by
  Rationalism, 385, 391; influence of clergy, 393.
Citeaux, 32.
Claudius, Bishop of Turin, 49-50, 91.
Clement, elder of church in Rome, 7-8.
Clement VII, Pope, 100-101.
Cluny, 32, 86.
Cobham, Lord (Sir John Oldcastle), 122.
Coccejus, 262.
Coct, Anemond de, 215.
Colet, John, 113-114, 115.
Coligny, Admiral, 229, 230.
Cologne, church and martyrs in, 96; Walther burnt, 104-105; Eckart and
  Tauler in, 106, 107; meetings and persecutions, 197-199; Hermann v.
  Wied, 151, 199; 235.
Columba, 34.
Comenius, Jan Amos, life and writings, 136-140, 273, 275.
COMMUNITIES, in Egypt, 31; in Italy, 32; Columban settlements, 32; of
  Bohemian Brethren, 132, 134; in Moravia. 178-179; Labadists, 265-269;
  Groves, 354.
COMMUNITY OF GOODS, Hubmeyer on, 156; in Münster, 181; see COMMUNITIES.
Comnena, Anna, 58-59.
Conde, Prince of, 230.
CONFERENCE, of overseers, 9; at St. Félix de Caraman, 87; Waldensian,
  100; in Moravia, 157; martyrs'. 162; of brethren in Baden, 164;
  Wesleyan Methodist, 294.
Constance, Council of, 123-125; 157.
Constantine, Byzantine Emperor, son of Leo the Isaurian, 48, 57.
Constantine Chrysomalus, writer, condemned for Bogomil doctrine, 60.
Constantine, Emperor (the Great), 15; edict of Milan, 18; church and
  state associated, 20-21; 22, 41, 43, 46, 62, 69, 72, 83, 89, 280, 314.
Constantine Pogonatus, Byzantine Emperor, 45.
Constantine Silvanus, Paulican elder, 45-46, 51, 52.
Constantinople, 23, 24, 33, 34, 46, 47, 48, 52, 54, 56, 57; Basil burnt,
  58; 60; capture of, 64; 74, 77, 87, 113, 324, 325.
Constantius, Byzantine Emperor, 21.
CONVERSIONS, Augustine, 25; Priscillian, 36; Constantine Silvanus, 45;
  Simeon Titus, 46; Sergius, 51; Peter Waldo, 92; Francis of Assisi, 94;
  Suso, 106; Luther, 116; Loyola. 150; Hubmeyer, 155; Menno Simon, 189;
  Farel, 209; Louis de Berquin, 210; Anna Maria van Schürman, 266;
  Franke, 272; Hutton, 276-277; William Wroth, 286; John Wesley, 289;
  Charles Wesley, 289; Wüst, 320; Oncken, 339; Fröhlich, 343;
  George Müller, 360; Robert Chapman, 369.
Corinth, 7, 103.
Cornelius, Bishop of Rome, 15.
Cosmas, 59.
Cotton, Colonel (Gen. Sir Arthur), 354.
COUNCILS, Nicaea, Nicene creed framed, 21, 70, 72; first six general,
  22; on Pelagianism, 28; Frankfurt, on images, 49; Second of Nicaea,
  49; at Ephesus, Nestorius condemned, 74; Lombers, trial of heretics,
  87; Toulouse, inquisition made permanent institution, 89; third
  Lateran, refused application to preach of "Poor Men of Lyons" 93;
  Tours, Waldenses condemned, 96; Constance, Huss and Jerome burnt,
  123-125; Basle, treaty with Hussites, 126; Speyer, protest of
  Reformers, 146; about "Anabaptist" movement, 154.
Court, Antoine, 234.
Coverdale, Miles, 238.
Cowling Castle, 122.
Cradock, Walter, 286.
Craik, Henry, 361, 363, 370, 371, 382, 383.
Cranmer, Archbishop, 237.
CREEDS, 21, 22.
Cremona, Archbishop received Papal authority to extirpate Vaudois in the
  valleys, 101.
Crete, 324.
Crimea, 319.
Croatia, 63.
Crocus, Richard, 157.
Cromwell, Oliver, 248.
Cronin, Edward, 347, 349, 354.
Cross Creek, 310.
CRUSADES, 33, 88.
Cyril, Bishop of Alexandria, 74.
Cyril, Byzantine missionary, 57, 323.

Dadaz, Étienne, 303.
Dalmatia, 61, 63, 87.
Daniel of Valence, 219, 220.
Darby, John Nelson, 348; life and teaching, 372-385; 394.
Darby, John, 238.
Darwin, Charles, 387.
Dauphiny, 85, 209, 215, 217, 232, 233.
David, Christian, 273, 274, 275, 277.
David, Metropolitan of Nestorian bishoprics in China, 78.
David of Augsburg, inquisitor, 93, 97.
Dax, Leonhard, 177.
DEFENDERS, name of Board for carrying out terms of Bohemian Charter,
Delft Haven, 245.
Demetrius, Bishop of Alexandria, 10.
Denck Hans, 157, and life teaching, 158-163.
Denkel, Johann, 344.
D'Esch, 213, 214.
Deventer, school at, 141.
Devonshire, 368, 371.
DIET, of Worms, 143 ; of Speyer, 146.
Dijon, 218.
DIOCESES, (see PARISHES), 68, 96.
Diognetus, EPISTLE TO, 16-17.
DISSENTERS, 233, 253.
Divara, 183, 184.
Dnieper, river, 319.
Dober, Leonard, 276.
Doboj, rocks of, 64.
Dominic, 89.
DOMINICANS, 63; inquisition established, 89; 95, 96-97, 106, 150, 151.
DONATISTS, 15-16, 20-21, 26, 31.
Donatus, 16.
Dordrecht, Labadie expelled from Reformed Church, 264.
DRAGONNADES, 231, 232, 233.
Drayton-in-the-Clay, 249.
Dresden, 126, 272.
Drucker, Thomas von Imbroek, 198.
DUALISM, 13,16.
Dublin, 347, 348, 349, 350, 370, 371, 372.
Dulignon, 259, 266, 268, 269.
Duprat, 210.

East Anglia, 122.
Eckart, Master, 106, 108.
EDICT, of Milan, 18, 22; St. James, 131-132,134; Speyer, 154, 165;
  Lyons, 154; Duke Johann of Cleve, 197; Nantes, 230, 231; revocation
  of, 231, 232, 233; of Toleration (in Russia), 335-336.
Edinburgh, 300, 371.
EDUCATION, in monasteries, 33; by British monks, 35; Waldenses, 100;
  Beghards, 101; Bohemian Brethren, 131; Comenius, 136, 138; Brethren
  of the Common Life, 141-142; 286.
Edward VI, king of England, 239.
Ekaterinoslav, 319.
ELDERS, of church at Ephesus, 8; the same as presbyters, 8;
  description of ordination in "Key of Truth", 53-54; guides of churches
  in Bosnia, 61; from Bosnia and Provence consult together, 62; church
  at Kunwald elects, 129; recognized in churches of brethren, 155;
  dangerous service, 173; many put to death, 179; appointed in church in
  Paris, 228; attend Synods, 228; in church in Middelburg, 264; at Brush
  Run, 308; of churches in Russia banished, 336; in Bristol, 364.
Eliot, John, 249.
Elizabeth, Princess, Abbess of Herford, 267-268.
Elizabeth, Queen of England, 239, 243, 244, 247.
Epaphroditus, name adopted by Paulician elder Joseph, 52.
Ephesus, 8, 55, 56.
Epirus, 68.
Erasmus, 114-115, 141, 143-145, 158, 199, 216.
Erfurt, 116, 272.
Errett, Isaac, 316-317.
Étaples, 208.
Euchrotia, 37.
Eunomius, EUNOMIANS, 86.
Euphrates, river and valley, 44, 45, 68.
Eusebius, 67.
Euthymius, 59.
EVANGELIC, title given to Vaudois, 92; EVANGELICAL, title of church in
  Middelburg, 264.
Evans, James Harrington, 368-370.
Evesham, 122.
Exeter, 349, 350.
Ezra, 4.

Faber, Bishop, 169.
Fabian, Papal inquisitor in Bosnia, 63.
Ferel, Guillaume, 209-211, 212, 215; in Neuchâtel, 216-217; visits the
  valleys, 219-220; 221, 224-225.
Felicitas, 13.
Félix de Caraman, St., 87.
Fénélon, Archbishop, 279.
Ferdinand and Isabella, 150.
Ferdinand I (house of Hapsburg), king of Bohemia, Emperor, 132; exiles
  the brethren, 133; burns Hubmeyer, 157-158; compels magistrates to
  persecute, 174; burns Huter, 175-176; burns Mändl, 176-178; 206.
Ferdinand II, king of Bohemia, battle of the White mountain, execution
  of Hussite noblemen, 135.
Feret, 225.
Fetter Lane, 293.
Fèvre, Le, Jacques, 208-210, 212, 215, 216, 221, 256.
Fisher, Dr. , 115.
Florence, 113-114.
Fox, Christopher and Mary, 249.
Fox, George, 249-253.
Francis of Assisi, 94-95, 96,283.
Francis I. king of France, 91,115, 209, 214, 226-228.
FRANCISCANS, 63, 81,94-96, 101, 105, 211,213.
Franecke, University, 258, 259.
Franke, August Hermann, 272-273, 367, 393.
Frankfurt, 49, 93, Spener in, 270-271; 272.
Frederick, king of Bohemia, 135.
FREE CHURCH (EGLISE LIBRE, Switzerland). 373, 379.
Freiburg, 155.
Fresenburg, 193.
FRIARS, 82, 95, 114.
Friend of God from the Oberland, 109-110.
FRIENDS OF GOD, meaning of name 'Bogomil', 58, 65; name of Waldensian
  Apostles, 100; Tauler takes the name, 107; in distress, 109; meeting
  in mountains, 110.
FRIENDS, SOCIETY OF, 251-253, 326-327, 391, 394.
Fröhlich, Samuel Heinrich, 343-346,373.
Froment, Antoine, 216, 223, 303.
Fuller, Andrew, 296, 297.
Fulneck, in Moravia, 136, 273; in Yorkshire, 277.

Gainsborough, 244.
Gallen, St., 160, 161, 169.
Gap, 209, 212, 215.
Gascony, 85.
Gaussen, 303, 373.
Gemadius, Patriarch, 60.
Genesios, 51, 52.
Geneva, 220; Froment in, 223; Calvin in, 224-225; 228; Labadie in, 257,
  259, 262; Haldane in, 302-303; 304, 373.
Genghis Khan, 79.
Genoa, 110.
George, Duke of Saxony, 144.
Georgen, St., 175.
Georges, Barbe from Calabria, 218.
Georgia, 288, 289, 290.
Gilles, St., 85.
Giwargis, 80.
Glasgow, 307.
Gloucester, 290.
GNOSTIC, GNOSTICISM, 6, 14, 16, 37, 38.
Godaveri Delta, 354, 357, 360.
Gomersal, 277.
Gonin, Martin, 217, 218, 219.
Gonthier, 303.
GOOD MEN, title given to believers, 87.
Görlitz, 273.
Görz, 170.
Grand Charm, Emperor of the Tartars, 81.
Granson, 216, 218.
Gratian, Roman Emperor, 37.
Grebel, Konrad, 168, 169.
Gregory, Magistros, 52, 53.
Gregory of Narek, 59.
Gregory the Patriarch, 129, 130.
Gregory I, Pope, 35.
Gregory IX, Pope, 97.
Grellet, Étienne de, 326.
Grenoble, 209, 233, 234.
Groote, Gerhard, 141-142.
Groves, Anthony Norris, 347-348; journey to and stay in Bagdad, 349-354;
  in India, missionary principles, 354-360; 361, 371, 372; letter to
  Darby, 380-381; 385.
Groves, Mary, 349-353.
Guerin, Jean, 303.
Guers, 303.
GUILDS, 103-104, 154.
Guise, Duke of, 230.
Guyenne, 256.
Guyon, Madame de la Mothe, 279, 280, 281, 394.

Hake William, 370.
Halberstadt, 360.
Haldane, James Alexander, 297-302, 307, 371, 373.
Haldane, Robert, 297-301; in Geneva, 302-304; 307, 371, 373.
Halifax, 277.
Halle, Franke in, 272-273; 274, 283, 360, 367.
Hamburg, 213, 236; Oncken in, 338, 339; 340.
Hapsburg, House of, 132.
Harding, Stephen, of Citeaux, 32.
Harris, Howel, 286-287.
Hausschein (Œcolampadius), 163.
Hegius, Alexander, 141.
Heidelberg, 166, 259.
Helena, 46.
HELIAND, alliterative Saxon Epic, 36.
Helwys, Thomas, 245.
Hencsey, Ludwig, 344.
Henri the Deacon, 86.
Henry IV, king of England, 117, 122.
Henry V. king of England, 122.
Henry VI, king of England, 123.
Henry VIII, king of England, 115, 237.
Henry IV, of Navarre, king of France, 230.
Herat, 78.
HERESY, measures taken against gnostic, 6; Marcion, 14-15; Augustine
  advocates use of force against, 26-27; Gnostic, 37; Bernard of
  Clairvaux on, 86; Alsace full of, 105; Eckart cited for, 106;
  sufferings for, 111; legislation in England against, 122; England
  absolved by Pope, 239.
HERETICS, bodies called, 11; Christians faithful to Scripture called,
  20, 42; burnt by Byzantine Emperor Justinian II, 46; protest against
  image worship, 50; in Asia Minor and Bulgaria accused of sin and
  hypocrisy, 59; Pavlicani described as, 61; Paulicians described as,
  61; not to he tolerated in Bosnia, 62; imaginary heretical Pope, 62;
  one of them becomes inquisitor, 62; Pope incites Ban of Bosnia to
  exterminate, 63; ordered by Pope to be banished from south of France,
  88; testimony of Reinerius, 90; numerous and active, 96; executions
  of, 97; enumerated, 97; persecuted in Waldensian valleys, 100-101; in
  Beghard houses, 101; accused of disobedience to the Church, 105;
  thought to be subdued, 111; 120; first to be burnt in England, 122; no
  obligation to keep faith with, 124; "nest" burnt, 136; hymn book of,
  142; persecuted for centuries, 154; publish books in Basle, 156; to be
  punished, 168; killed by soldiers without trial, 171; 192;
  Schwenckfeld, 206; Wycliffite, 239.
Herford, 268.
Hermann V, Archbishop of Cologne, 151, 199.
HERMITS, 31; Hermit of Livry, 211, 215.
Herrnhut, 274; in England, 277; 289.
Hippo, see Bona, 25.
Hiuan Tsung, Chinese Emperor, 79.
Hochenau, Hochmann von, 282, 283.
Hoffman, 283.
Holbeck, 277.
Holstein, 193.
HOLY SYNOD, 325, 328, 329; regulations for exterminating Stundists, 334.
Hooker Richard, 241-243.
Hubmeyer, Dr. Balthazar, 155-158, 161, 203.
HUGUENOTS, 229-232.
Hulava, Jakob, 130.
Huntingdon, Countess of, 291, 293; CONNEXION, 293.
Huss, John (Jan Hus), 123-125, 126, 132, 393.
HUSSITES, 65, 132, 135.
HUSSITE WAR, 125-126.
Hut, Hans, 157, 203.
Hutchinson, Francis, 348.
Huter Jakob, 170, 175-176.
Hutton, James. 276-277.
Hy, see lona, 34.
Hydatius, 37, 40.
HYMNS, Bernard of Clairvaux, 32; taught by British monks, 35; written
  among Bohemian brethren, 131; in Latin, taught at Brethren's schools,
  141-142; hymn book published in Ulm, 142; 161; written in times of
  persecution, 165; Isaac Watts, 254; Charles Wesley, 292; Malan, 303.

Ignatius, 8.
IMAGES, Christians refuse divine honours to, 18; believers in Asia Minor
  refuse worship of, 45; relics and pictures become objects of
  veneration and of worship, 46, 47; campaign of Leo the Isaurian
  against, 47; John of Damascus defends worship of, 47-48; Theodora
  persecutes those opposed to the use of, 50; unsuccessful attempts at
  forcible suppression of worship of, 52; condemned in "Key of Truth,"
  54; not found among Mohammedans, 56; brought by Nestorian
  missionaries to China, 79; of Tartars, 81; in Nestorian churches in
  China, 82.
INDEPENDENTS, 239, 240, 247, 248, 249, 253, 356, 371, 395.
INFANTS, 27-28, 172, 372.
Ingham, Benjamin, 277.
Ingoldstadt, 155.
Innocent I, Pope, 28.
Innocent III, Pope, 62, 88-89, 94, 100.
Innocent VIII, Pope, 101.
Innocent XI, Pope, 279.
Innsbruck, Kirschner burnt, 170; Huter burnt, 175-176; Mändl burnt,
INQUISITION, established in Bosnia, 63; in south of France, 89; made
  permanent institution, 89; Loyola and the, 150-151; Molinos, 279;
  392; red, 338.
INQUISITORS, Reniero Sacconi, 62, 92; Fabian in Bosnia, 63; sent to
  Waldensian valleys, 100-101; to examine books, 106; sent by Pope and
  Charles V into the Empire, 110; sent by Boniface IX. 111; Peter
  Pilichdorf, 111.
INSCRIPTIONS, Madras and Kattayam in Travancore, 78; Chinese and Syriac,
  Si-ngan-fu, 78; Turkish and Syriac, Issyk-kul, 80.
INSPIRATION, 200, 387-390.
Iona, Isle of, (Hy), 32, 34.
Irak, 78.
Irenaeus, 8.
Irene, 48.
Irkutsk, 331.
Isaak, Bishop, 71-73.
Isabeau, la belle, 232.
ISLAM, religion founded by Mohammed, 50; threatens Europe, 63;
  continued conflict, 64; Bosnians subjugated to, 66; Nestorians
  scattered or absorbed by, 79; Christendom and heathen powers to
  combine against, 79; efforts to gain Mongol khans, 81.
Israel, George, 133.
Issyk-kul, 80.
Istria, 63.

Jacob, Henry, 245.
Jakoubek. 126, 127.
James I, king of England, 135, 244.
James II, king of England, 252.
Jean of Molines, 219, 220.
Jerome, 27, 38_n_.
Jerome of Prague, 111, 123, 125.
Jerusalem, Gospel first preached at, 3; destruction of, 7; relics from
  46; Gospel spread from, 67; 151, 178; spiritual, 190; 255, 269, 316,
  374, 377.
JESUITS, 81, 107, 134, 135, 151, 199, 231, 255, 256, 279, 325.
Johann, Duke of Cleve, etc., 197.
John, Martyr in Strassburg, 97.
John of Damascus, 47-48.
Johnson, Francis, 243, 245.
Jones, Abner, 311.
Jones, Griffith, 286.
Jordan, pool near Tabor (Bohemia), 125.
Joseph (Epaphroditus), 51, 52.
Judaea, 4.
JUDAISM, 6,13, 14.
Julia (Nestorian), 80.
Julian, Bishop of Eclanum, 28.
Julius II, Pope, 114, 115.
Jungbunzlau, 133.
Jura mountains, 373.
Jurieu Pierre, 232.
JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH, taught by Clement, 8; preached by British monks,
  35; experience of Luther, 116; revived among Bohemian brethren, 131;
  taught by Luther, 145; Denck on, 158; balancing doctrine, 163.
Justinian II, Byzantine Emperor, 46.
Justus, adopted son of Constantine Silvanus, 46.
Ju-tê-a (Judaea), 82.

Kambaluk (Pekin), 78.
Kascha, Jagub (Jakov Deljakovitch), 327.
Kashgar, 78.
Kempis, Thomas à, 141, 282.
Kent, 35.
Kentucky, 311, 313.
Kettering, 296.
Khorasan, 78.
Kibossa, 45, 46; called Macedonia, 52.
Kiev, 323.
Kingswood, 290.
Kirkwall, 299.
Kirschner, Michael, 170.
Kitto, 350, 354.
Klausen, 170, 176.
Köbner, Julius, 340.
Königsberg, 133.
KORAN, 50, 56.
Kossovo, battle of, 64.
Kotorsko, 66.
Kovacs, Josef, 344.
Krajek, Konrad, 133.
Kreuznach, 166.
Krishna Pal, 297.
Kulin, Ban of Bosnia, 61-64.
Kunwald, 129, 130.

Labadie, Jean de, 255-270.
LABADISTS, 269, 284.
Lambert, François, 213.
La Minerve, 89.
Langegger, Hansen, 170.
Langenmantel, Eitelbans, 161, 165.
Languedoc, 85, 88, 232.
Laodicea, 52, 281.
Lausanne, 234, 373.
Leade, Jane, 281.
Leclerc, Pierre and Jean, 211; Jean, 212, 213-214.
Leeds, 277.
Leeuwarden, 186.
Lehmann, Gottfried Wilhelm, 340.
Lenz, Paul, 178.
Leo III, the Isaurian, Byzantine Emperor, 47, 48, 52.
Leo IV, Byzantine Emperor, grandson of Leo the Isaurian, 48.
Leo the Armenian, Byzantine Emperor, 52.
Leo X, Pope, 115.
Leonhard, Count, 157.
Leonidas, 10.
Leupold, Hans, 165.
Leutweil, 344.
Leyden (Holland), 245, 262; John of (see Bockelson), 180, 183, 184.
Lhota, 130, 153.
Lichtenstein, Hans von, 157.
Liebich, Jörg, 176.
Liegnitz, 205.
Linz, 170.
Lipan, battle of, 126.
Lissa (Lesno), 136.
LITERATURE, Catholic preserved, that of Dissidents destroyed, 11;
  attraction of classic, 36; of believers in Asia Minor destroyed, 44;
  of Bogomils destroyed, 65; called "heretical," destroyed, 105-016,
  123; renaissance, 113; Kralitz Bible basis of Czech, 134; of those
  called "Anabaptists", destroyed, 153-154, 164; used to confound
  different lines of teaching, 184.
Lititz, 129.
"Little Prophets", 232.
Livry, forest of, 211.
Llangeitho, 287.
Llanvachery, 286.
Llanvaches, 286.
Lodensteyn, Jodocus van, 258, 259, 260.
LOLLARDS, 36, 105, 111; name, 117; 122, 185, 235, 239, 395.
Lombardy ,96.
London, 82, 114; congregations of believers in, 122; 123, 236-237;
  church in, 239; 257; Teelinck, in, 258 Peter Boehler in, 276, John
  Wesley in 289; revival in, 290; J H Evans preaches in, 368; J N Darby
  in, 372; meetings in, 381.
LORD'S SUPPER, THE (See BREAKING OF BREAD), change of meaning attached
  to, 9; Priscillian objects to taking _L.S._ with worldly persons,
  38-39; given to unbelievers, 43; view attributed to Bogomils, 59;
  among Waldenses, 99; taken by "Friends of God" in the mountains, 110;
  taken at Tabor by Hussites, 125; liberty to take, admitted at Council
  of Basle, 126; in relation to the church question, 147; 164; in
  Zürich, 168; in Münster, 181; understood by Menno from Scripture, 187;
  corrupted, 188; true, 189; Pilgrim Marbeck on, 194, 196; desecrated,
  199; Schwenckfeld on, 200; discontinued by Schwenckfeld and by
  Lutheran clergy in Liegnitz, 205, 206; in Pau, 221; at Pré l'Evequê,
  223; and the Mass, 226; in Church of England, 247; not observed by the
  Friends, 253; Labadie and, 256, 263, 265; Spener abstains from, 271;
  in Edinburgh, 300, 301; in Geneva, 303; 307; at Brush Run, 308;
  Mennonites and, 321; liberty to take, 323; Oncken and, 340; Cronin
  and, 348; A. N. Groves and, 350; natives of India and, 359; in
  Bristol, 365; J. H. Evans and, 369; set aside by the Friends, 394.
Lorraine, 214, 217.
LOT, THE, 276.
Louis, king of Aquitaine, later Emperor, 49.
Louis XIV, king of France, 231, 233, 257, 279.
Louis XVI, king of France, 234.
Loyola, Ignatius, 150-151.
Lübeck, 272.
Lucas, Cyril, 324-325.
Ludwig of Bavaria, Emperor, 102, 104, 106, 110.
Lukas of Prague, 131, 132.
Lusitania (Portugal), fourth century reformation in, 36, 37.
Luther, Dr. Martin, 92, 112; found by Staupitz in Erfurt, 116; and the
  Bohemian brethren, 132; 149; 157, 172, 179, 184, 186, 199; and
  Schwenckfeld, 200, 201; 209, 212, 213, 218, 221, 235, 246, 393, 394.
LUTHERAN CHURCH, formation of, 145, 147; Luther's opinion of, 148-149;
  alarmed at spread of the brethren, 154; requirements for unity of,
  160; 196, 199, 205; persecutes Schwenckfeld, 206; 246, 270; Pietist
  Societies within the, 272; and Moravians, 275-276; 283, 284, 391, 393.
Lutterworth, 118, 121.
Lyons, Irenaeus bishop of, 8; Peter Waldo of, 92; expulsion of Poor Men
  of, 93; edict against brethren, 154.

Macedonia, name given to Kibossa, 52; early preaching of Gospel in, 68.
Maçon, Jean de, 228.
Madras, 78, 357.
Madura District, 358.
MAGI, 69, 73.
Mainz, 104, 111, 113.
Malan César, 303.
Mananalis, 52; called Achaia, 52.
Mändl, Hans, 176-178.
Mani, 16, 43, 57, 59, 70, 86.
MANICHAEISM, Gnostic religion 16; attracts Augustine. 24; denies God as
  Creator, 29; attracts Priscillian, 36; Priscillian accused of, 37, 38;
  opposed by Pricsillian, 39; primitive churches accused of, 43; no
  trace of _m_ among them, 43; attributed to believers, 55; but
  incredible, 56, 57; 85, 86, 87, 90.
Manresa, 150.
Manz, Felix, 168, 169.
Marbeck, Pilgram, 194-196; life, 196; 207.
Marcion, 13-15, 70.
Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor. 12.
Margaret of Valois, 209, 214, 215; Queen of Navarre, 221.
Marguerite, daughter of Catherine de Medici, 230.
Maria, believer, in Russia, 332.
Marseilles, 95.
Marsiglio of Padua, 102-103.
Martin, Bishop of Tours, 37, 40.
Martin V Pope, 124.
Martinitz, 135.
MARTYRS Peter, 7; Paul, 7; Polycarp 8; Leonidas, 10; Origen, 10
  Perpetua. 13; Felicitas, 13; Fabian 15 Novatian, 15; Boniface 36
  Priscillian, 37; Euchrotia 37 Constantine Silvanus 46 Simeon Titus,
  46; Basil, 58; Pierre de Brueys, 85; Henri the Deacon, 86; John, in
  Strassburg, 97; Walther in Cologne, 105; William Sawtre, 122; Thomas
  Badly, 122; Lord Cobham, 122; Huss, 124-125; Jerome of Prague, 125;
  Jakob Hulava, 130; Hubmeyer, 158; his wife, 158; Sattler, 164; his
  wife, 165; Leupold, 165; Langenmantel, 165; Blaurock, 170; Langegger,
  170; Kirschner, 170; girl of sixteen, 170; Spittelmeyer, 170;
  Brandhuber, 170; Huter, 176; Ulrich Müllner, 176; Hans Mändl, 178;
  Snyder, 186; Thomas Drucker von Imbroek, 198; Matthias Zerfass,
  198-199; Jean Leclerc, 213-214; Chastellain, 214; Schuch, 214; the
  Hermit of Livry, 215; Pierre Masson, 218; Vernou, 222; Servetus, 225;
  Louise Moulin, 233; Jacques Roger, 234; Tyndale, 237; Barrowe, 240;
  Greenwood, 240; Penry, 240.
Maruta, Bishop, 71-73.
Mary, Queen of England, 239.
Mary, the Lord's mother, buildings dedicated to, 46; worshipped as "our
  Lady", 47; worship of the Virgin, 54; the Lord's mother, 55; teaching
  of Theodore of Mompsuestia, and of Nestorius, 74; dedication of Loyola
  to, 150.
MASS, re-introducted into Bosnia, 62; Menno's doubts, 186; 222;
 Placards, 226; refused, 232.
Masson, Pierre, 217, 218.
Matthias of Kunwald, 130.
Matthys, Jan, 180-182.
Maxmillia, 12.
Maxmillian, king of Bohemia, 134.
Maximus, Emperor, 37.
Mayflower, the 246.
Mazarin, 231.
Meaux, 209, 210, 211, 212, 214.
Mecca, 50.
Medici, 115, 229, 230.
Meijer, Ludwig, 262.
Mejanel, 303.
Melanchthon, 149, 184, 199, 227.
Melville (Vassilij Ivanovitch), 327.
Menno, Simon, 185-193, 318.
MENNONITES, 112; name, 186; 244, 260; in Russia, 318-322, 326, 337, 351,
Menuret, 259, 266, 267.
Merandol, 217.
Merswin, Rulman, 108, 109, 110.
Merv, 78.
Mesopotamia, 67, 68.
METHODISTS, 287, _et seq.,_ 310, 313, 320, 356, 391.
Methodius, 57, 310.
Metropolitan Tabernacle, 391.
Metz, 96, 212, 213, 214.
Meyer, Jörg, 176.
Michael III, Byzantine Emperor, 48, 55.
Middelburg, 258; Labadie in, 260-265.
Middle Kingdom, 78.
Milan, Edict of, 18; Ambrose bishop of, 24; Augustine Converted in, 25;
  protest of Ambrose, 37; 110.
Miletus, 8.
Ming Dynasty, 82.
MINISTRY, 264, 270-271, 301, 350, 362.
Minoslav, Prince of the Herzegovina, 61.
Mirandola, 219.
Mirfield, 277.
Mohammed, 50.
Mohammed II, Captures Constantinople, 64.
MOHAMMEDANISM, 21, 24, 50, 55, 56, 57, 61, 64, 66, 79.
Molines, Jean of, 219, 220.
Molinos, Miguel de, 279, 394.
Möllenbecker, Heinrich, 183.
MONASTICISM, Pachomius in Egypt, 31; Benedictine monasteries, 32;
  development of monastic orders, 32-33; Irish and Scottish monks in
  England, 35; Benedictine monks land in Kent, 35; 40, 50, 284.
Mongols, 78, 79, 81, 82.
Monica, 24, 25.
Monod, Adolph, 303.
MONTANISTS, 11, 12, 13, 31.
Montanus, 12.
Montauban, 257, 262, 303.
Monte Corvino, John of, 81-82.
Montserrat, 150.
MORAVIAN CHURCH, 136-137, 274; in England, 276, 277, 278; 282, 293, 320,
More, Sir Thomas, 115, 236.
Morel, Georges, 217, 218.
Morrison, Robert, 82.
Moulin, Louise, 233.
Moulton, 295.
Mount Pleasant, 305, 308.
Mühlberg, battle of, 133.
Müller, tried in Zürich, 167-168.
Müller, George, 360-368, 370, 371, 372, 383, 385.
Müllner, Ulrich, 176.
Münster, events in, 179-184, 185, 189, 190, 203, 338.
Müntzer, 203.
Murrhard, 307.
Muschag, 60.
MYSTERIES, of heathen religions, 6; of Gnostic sects, 14.
MYSTICS, 87, 116, 145, 150-151, 171, 255, 271, 279; aims of the, 284,

Naarden, 262.
NAMES, see Cathars, Puritans, Novatians, Priscillianists, Paulicians,
  Thonraks, Bogomils, Bulgarians, Patarenes, Albigenses, Nazarenes,
  Nestorians, Petrobrussians, Henricians, Good Men, Poor Men of Lyons,
  Waldenses, Vaudois, Evangelic, Spirituali, Passagini, Josepini,
  Arnaldistae, Speronistae, Weavers, Beghards, Beghines, Brethren, The
  Poor in Life, Apostles, Schwestrionen, The Poor, Hussites, Taborites,
  Utraquists, Calixtines, Bohemian Brethren, Jednota Bratrskâ, Unitas
  Fratrum, Anabaptists, Mennonites,
Mennonite Brethren, Lollards, Wycliffites, Picards, Corner-Preachers
  (192), Deceivers (192), Heretics, Bush Preachers (199), Sectaries
  (199), Hutists, Gospellers, Those of the Religion (229), Huguenots,
  Independents, Congregationalists, Baptists, Brownists, Presbyterians,
  Particular Baptists, Quakers, Friends, Evangelical (264), Pietists,
  Spenerites, Quietists, Moravians, Methodists, Stonettes, Campbellites,
  Disciples, Churches of Christ, Stundists, Evangelical Christians,
  Plymouth Brethren, Exclusives, Open Brethren.
Nancy, 214.
Nantes, Edict of, 230, 231; Revocation of, 231, 233.
Narbonne, Inquisition established, 89.
NATIONAL (or) STATE CHURCH, 147, 148, 202, 248; Mennonites become, 319;
  Württemberg, 320; Swiss, 373.
Navarre, 221; Henry, king of, 230
NAZARENE, name given to Christians in Persian Empire, 69; name taken by
  Christians in Central Europe, 342-346.
Neander, 282.
Neff, Félix, 303.
Nelson, John, 291.
NESTORIANS, 75-84, 86.
Nestorius, 74-77, 86.
Neuchâtel, Farel in, 216-217, 220-221, 225; contrasted with Geneva, 223.
Neuhoffnung, 320.
Neunkirchen, 320.
Newman, Francis W., 354, 372.
Newman, John Henry (Cardinal), 354, 372.
Newton, Benjamin Wills, 372, 382, 383, 384.
New York, 269, 307.
Nicaea, First General Council of, 21; Second, 49; 56, 70, 72.
Nicomedia, 56.
Nikolaus, 126.
Nikolsburg, 157.
Nîmes, 50.
Ninoslav, 63.
Nipp, Anna, 344.
Nitschmann, 274; David, 276.
Norfolk, 122, 123.
Northampton, 295.
Norwich, 244.
Novatian, 10, 11,15.
NOVATIANS, 15, 395.
Novgorod, 323.
Numidia, 24.
Nüremberg, Poor Men of Lyons driven from, 93; burnings in, 111; Denck
  expelled from, 158-159; Spittelmeyer martyred, 170.
Nursia, 32.

Odenbach, Johann, 166-167.
Odessa, 326.
Œcolampadius (Hausschein), 163, 216; visit from Vaudois, 217-218.
Oldcastle, Sir John (Lord Cobham) 122.
Olivetan, 220, 223, 224.
Olopun, 78-79.
Ohio, 313.
Omsk, 332.
Oncken, Johann Gerhard, 338-341.
Orange (also Prince of, William of), 257, 258, 262, 318, 339.
Orbe, 216, 221.
Origen, 9-10.
Orkney Islands, 299.
Osiander, 158-159.
Ossett, 277.
Ostrog, 323.
Ostrorog, 133.
Oude Kloster, 187.
OVERSEERS, 8, 9, 309.
Owens, John, 254.
Oxford, Colet in, 113-114; Wycliff, 117, 118, 121; Jerome of Prague.
  123; Tyndale, 235; 238, 250; Holy Club, 287, 372.

Pachomius, 31.
Packington, 236-237.
Padua, 102.
Pag-Mangku. 80.
Palatinate (Pfalz), 259.
Palmyra. 68.
Papa ben Aggai, 68-69, 83.
Paris, 102, 106,168; Le Fèvre in, 208-209; 212; Hermit of Livry burnt,
  215; 220, 221; the Placards in, 225-228; church formed in, 228; 229;
  massacre of St Bartholomew, 230; 302. Parnell, John Vesey (Lord
  Congleton). 348, 349,354.
Pasak, 80.
Paschkov, Vassilij Alexandrovitch (Colonel), 328.
Paslovatz Hill, 66.
Passau, 96.
PATARENES, name given to believers, 61, 85, 97.
Pau, 221.
PAULICIANS, name given to primitive churches in Asia Minor, 43;
  descended from Apostolic churches, 44; Constantine and Simeon, 45-46;
  denounce idolatry, 47; Sembat and Sergius. 51; persecution, 52-53;
  doctrines found in "Key of Truth", 53-55; Carbeas and Chrysocheir,
  55-56; many removed to Europe, 57; innocent of wicked practices
  attributed to them, 60; 89, 185, 283, 395.
Pavanne, Jacques, 211.
Pavia, battle of, 214.
PEASANTS' WAR, 143, 203.
Pekin (Kambaluc), 78.
PELAGIANISM, 28-29,30.
Pelagius, 27-28, 243,359.
Pelagius Alvarus, 105.
Pélisserie, La, 303, 373.
Pennsylvania, 305.
Penry, 240.
"PERFECT", THE, 87-88,99-100,129.
Perpetua, 13.
Peter, Bulgarian Czar, 57_n._
Peter, Nestorian Commentator, 80.
Petersburg, St., 326, 327, 328, 329, 350.
Pfander, 351.
Philadelphia, 305, 309.
Philip, chosen by the church, 103.
Philippi, name given to church in Asia Minor, 52.
Phrygia, 12.
Picardy, 208,210, 256.
PICARDS, name given to believers, 172, 206.
Piedmont, 89, 91, 92.
PIETIST, 271; societies within the Lutheran Church, 272; 273, 274, 284;
  in Russia, 319, 320, 338.
Pilichdorf, Peter, 90-91, 111.
Pilney Hills, 358.
Pingjum, 186.
PLACARDS, in Meaux, 212; in
Paris and France, 226-228.
Plymouth, Pilgrim Fathers sail from, 246; 347, 372, 381.
Pobiedonostsef, 329, 334, 335.
Poitiers, 221, 222.
Polycarp, 8.
Pomerania, 110.
Pontus, 13.
POOR, churches set apart money for relief of the, 61-62, 100, 131, 221,
  223; individual Care for the, 92, 101, 110, 121, 272, 349, 367, 369.
POOR, THE, name of Dissenters, 111.
Prague, Jerome and Huss, 123; 126, 127, 129; exiles from, 133; end of
  Hussites, 135.
Pré l' Evêque, 223, 303.
PRESBYTERIANISM, introduced into France, 228; 240, 245, 247; established
  religion of Scotland, 247; 248; efforts to establish in England, 248;
  249; Baxter, 253; differs from Congregationalism, 260; in America,
  305, 306, 308, 311, 313; 314, 391.
Prisca, 12.
Priscillian life of, 36-37; martyrdom, 37; writings discovered, 38;
  teaching, 38-40.
Pritchard, Rees, 286.
PROTESTANT, name given to Reformers at Diet of Speyer, 146; 225, 239,
Province, 62, 63, 85; devastated by Papal Crusade, 88, 89; 96 105, 217.
Pseudo-Reimer, 99.
Pskov, 323.
Pudsey, 277.
PURITAN (CATHAR), 15, 247, 248.
Pyt, 303.

QUAKERS, 252, 253, 268.
QUIETISTS, 271, 279.

Radstock, Lord, 327.
Raleigh, Sir Walter, 239.
RATIONALISM, in Holland, 262; a persecuting power, 338; 339, 343, 372,
  373, 385; development of, 386-388; 389, 390, 391, 394.
Raymond VI, Count of Toulouse, 88.
REFORMED CHURCH, 199, 202, 228 et _seq.,_ 256 _et seq._
REFORMERS, 314-315.
Regensburg, 155.
Reichenau, 130.
RENAISSANCE, 113, 154.
Reniero Sacconi (Reinerius), 62, 90, 92.
Reublin, Wilhelm, 156, 157.
Reuchlin, 114.
Reuss, Eduard, 389.
Richelieu, Cardinal, 231.
Riedenau, 320.
RITUALISM, 386, 389, 390, 392, 394.
Rive Noble, 219.
Robinson, John, 244-246.
Roch, Friedrich, 283.
Rochat Auguste, 378.
Rochelle, Ia, 231.
Rogatitza, 66.
Roger, Jacques, 233-234.
Rome, 5-7, 15; Constantine, 18; Sylvester, 20, 23; taken by Alaric, 24;
  27, 28, 32, 34, 35, 40, 48, 61, 64, 77, 82, 94.114.
Rorenco, Marco Aurelio, 91.
Roth, Friedrich, 161n.
Rothe, Johann Andreae, 273-275.
Rothman, Bernard, 179-183.
Rottenburg, 164-165.
Rotterdam, 114.
Roussel, Arnaud and Gérard, 210; Gérard, 215, 221, 256.
Rowlands, Daniel, 287.
Rudolph II, Emperor, 134.
Rüscher, Hubert, 181.
Rysbroeck, Jan van, 141-142.

Sabellius, SABELLIANS, 86.
SACRAMENT, SACRAMENTS, salvation by means of, 26; tyrannical use of, 31;
  Priscillian on the, 39, 40; of the Mass re-introduced into Bosnia, 62;
  Nestorian belief in salvation through the, 84; Luther on the, 148-149;
  Menno's use of, 191; of the altar, 198; Schwenckfeld on, 202; Labadie
  on, 263; Moravians and, 276.
Salzburg, 170.
Samarcand, 16, 33, 78, 81.
Sapor II, Persian king, 69.
Saragossa, 37.
Sarajevo, 66.
Sardis, 281.
Sarkis (Sergius), 51.
Sattler, Michael, 164-165.
Saunier, 219-220.
Savoy, Savoie, 91, 222.
Sawtre, William, 122.
Saxony, 237, 273, 274, 276.
Schäfer, 273, 275.
Scharlinger, Jörg, 175.
Schepss, Georg, 38.
SCHOOLS, British missionary, 35; Bohemian Brethren's, 131; of Brethren
  of the Common Life, 141.
Schuch, 214.
Schürman, Anna Maria van, 258, 259, 266-269.
Schwenckfeld, Kaspar von, 179; teaching, 200-207; 274.
Scott, Walter, 315-316.
Scrooby Manor House, 244.
Sears, Professor, 340.
SECEDERS, 305, 307.
Selucia-Ctesiphon, 69, 71, 83, 84.
Sembat, 51.
Sergius (Sarkis), 51.
Serre, Du, 232.
Serrières, 216, 217.
Servetus, 225, 302.
Seyon, river, 216.
Shliha, 80.
Shusha, 351.
Siberia, 33, 319, 321, 327; believers exiled to, 330-332, 335, 336.
Sicily, 103.
Siena, 225.
Sigismund, king of Hungary, 64.
Silesia, 200,205.
Sillian, 175.
Silvanus, 45, 51.
Simeon Titus, 45-46.
Simon de Montfort, 88-89.
Sinope, 13.
Sixtus V, Pope, 108.
SLAV, old Church language, 322, 323.
Slavonia, 63.
Slawata, 135.
SMALCALD LEAGUE, 133, 146, 180.
Smith Elias, 311.
Smithfield, 122.
Smyrna, 8.
Smyth, John, 244, 245.
Snyder Sicke, 186.
SOCINIANISM, 224, 225.
Solaro, 219.
Soltania, Archbishop of, 81.
Sophia, St., church in Constantinople, 48.
Sorbonne, Paris University, 214
South Carolina, 276.
Sozini, Leilo and Faustus, 225.
Spalatin, 132.
Spalato, 61.
Spangenberg, 277.
Speedwell, ship, 245, 246.
Spener, Philip Jakob, 258; life and work, 270-272, 279, 394.
Spittelmeyer, Ambrosius, 170.
Spurgeon, Charles Haddon, 391-392.
Staupitz, Johann Von, discovers Luther, 116; 132, 142; warns Luther,
Steier, 111
Steinach, 176.
Stephen, chosen by the church, 103; 204.
Stilling, Jnug, 283.
Stokes, William, 349.
Stone, Barton Warren, 311-314, 315.
Stonettes, 316.
Strassburg, Waldenses burnt, 96-97; a centre of the brethren, 104,
  heretical literature destroyed, 105; Master Eckart, 106; Tauler,
  106-107; Rulman Merswin, 108; 109, 110; document describing the
  brethren, 111-112; Denck, 161-162; 164, 179; Pilgram Marbeck, 196;
  refuge of fugitives from France, 215, 216; visit of Vaudois Barbes,
  218; 224; Fröhlich, 343.
STUNDISTS, name, 325; 326; decree for suppressing, 334; 371, 395.
Sturm, to Melanchthon, 227.
Stylites, Simeon, 31.
Suffolk, congregations of believers, 123.
SUNDAY SCHOOL, 299, 339.
Surinam, 269.
Suso, 106, 108, 109.
Sylvester, Bishop in Rome in time of Constantine, 20, 90, 91, 99, 130.
SYNAGOGUE, 3-5, 67.
SYNOD, at Rome excommunicates Novatian, 15; Caesaraugusta, 37; at
  Burdigala condemns Priscillianists, 37; at Treves approves sentence
  on Priscillian, 37; at Braga confirms execution of Priscillianists,
  37; at Constantinople condemns Bogomil teaching, 60; deposes bishops
  as Bogomils, 60; at Seleucia organizes Eastern churches 71-73;
  Nestorian quadrennial _s_ 78; Seleucia, 83; Amsterdam Leyden,
  Vlissingen, 262 Naarden, 262-263; Dordrecht Labadie expelled from
  Reformed Church, 264; of Established Church of Scotland of
  Anti-burgers, Relief, condemns unlicensed preaching, 298, 299
  Philadelphia, 305; Pittsburg, 308; Lexington, 313 at Bethlehem,
  opposes reform 324-325; Holy _s._ opposes spread of Scriptures,
  325; persecutes believers, 328, 329, 330; issues decree for
  suppression of Stundists, 334-335.
SYNODS, introduced into French churches, 228, Provincial and National,
  228; restored by Jacques Roger, 234; refused by Independents, 260;
  adopted by Reformed Church in Holland, 260; condemned by Labadie, 263;
  Alexander Campbell and, 307.

Tabor, 125.
TABORITES, 125, 126.
Take, 80.
Tamerlane, 81.
Tartary 78.
Ta Ts'in, 78, 79, 82.
Tauler, Dr. Johannes, 106, 107, 108, 109, 116, 142, 282.
Tauris Talbriz, 81.
Taurus Mountains, 45, 47, 54, 65, 74, 90.
Teelinck Willem, 258-260.
Teignmouth 361.
Temple destroyed, 4.
Tennessee, 313.
Tephrice, 55, 56.
Tepl,112, 113.
Tersteegen, Gerhard, 283, 394.
Tertullian, condemns infant baptism, enjoins liberty in religion, 9;
  becoming Montanist separates from Catholic body, 13; two or three form
  a church. 13; opposes Marcion, 13. Te Tsung Chinese Emperor, 78.
Tetzel, 142.
Theodora re-establishes images, 48; persecutes the brethren, 50; 52, 55.
Theodore of Mopsuestia, 74.
Theodosius 11, Byzantine Emperor, 74.
Theophilus Byzantine Emperor, 48.
THIRTY YEARS' WAR, 136, 193, 270.
THONRAK, name given to primitive churches in Asia Minor, 43; doctrine
  found in "Key of Truth", 53-55; opinions about, 59-60.
Thrace, 57
Thuringia, 111.
Tiflis, 334, 350.
Timotheus name adopted by Genesios, 51-52.
Timur see Tamerlane, 81.
Tinnevelly, 359.
Titus name adopted by Simeon, Paulican elder, 46, 51.
Toeltschig, 274, 277.
Tolouse, 87; Raymond VI, Count of, 88; Council of, 89, 96, 222.
Tours, Martin, bishop of, 37; council at, 96.
Toussaint, Pierre, 213, 214.
TRADITION, not necessary for guidance of churches, 22.
Transcaucasia, 335, 351.
TRANSLATIONS OF THE BIBLE, Septuagint, Hebrew into Greek, 4; in
  monasteries, 33; by British monks, 35; Nestorian , into Sogdianese,
  78; 79; Franciscan into language of Cathay, 82; Robert Morrison, Bible
  into Chinese, 82; Roman Catholic missionary, Latin into Chinese, 82;
  in use in Metz in German, 96; New Testament into early German, 112;
  Erasmus Greek New Testament with Latin, 114; Wycliff, into English,
  118; effect of English _t_, 121; into Czech, Kralitz Bible, 134;
  Luther into German, 143; Denck and Hetzer the Prophets into German,
  162; Le Fèvre, New Testament and Psalms into French, 210; Olivetan,
  Bible into French, 220, 223; Tyndale into English, 235-237; Authorised
  Version influenced by Tyndale's, 236; Coverdale, into English, 238;
  Tyndale's forbidden 238 Authorized Version into English, 248; Eliot,
  into an Indian language, 249; into German Marburg Bible, 281; into
  German, Berleburg Bible, 281; Cyril, part of New Testament into old
  Russian, 323; Yaroslav parts of Bible into Little Russian, 323;
  Archbishop of Novgorod, Bible into Russian, 323; into Russian, 327;
TRANSUBSTANTIATION, denied by Wycliff, 118; Thomas Badly burnt for
  denying, 122.
Transylvania, 225.
Trebizond, 55.
Treves (Trier), 37, 104.
Trichinopoly, 358.
Trier, see Treves, 37.
Tübingen, University, 320.
Turin, Claudius, bishop of, 49, 50, 91.
Turkestan, 80, 319.
Tvrtko, Bosnian Ban, becomes king, 64.
Tyn church, Prague, 129,135.
Tyndale, William, 235-238.
Tyre, 10.
Tyrol, entrance of Gospel into, 170; magistrate defend themselves
  against charge of laxity in persecution, 174; many baptized by Mändl,
  176; Marbeck a native of, 196.

UNITARIANISM, opposed by Calvin, 224; permitted in Poland and
  Transylvania, 225.
UNITAS FRATRUM, UNITED BRETHREN, name of brethren in Bohemia, 130; John
  Augusta, 132; effort to make the U.F. into National Church of Bohemia,
  134; signed Bohemian National Protestant Confession, 135; catechism,
Urumia, 83.
UTRAQUISTS (CALIXTINES), religious party in Bohemia, 125; acknowledged
  by Pope as National Church of Bohemia, 126; archbishop preaches in
  Prague, 129; pastor at Kunwald, 129, take part in persecution of
  brethren, 132; membership made obligatory, 132, 133; joined by John
  Augusta, 134.
Utrecht, 259, 262.

Valnagin, 216.
Val de Ruz, 216.
Valence, Daniel of, 219, 220; 233.
Vallenses, Alpine valleys, 93.
Varel, Duchy of, 339
Vaud, Canton de, 379
VAUDOIS (see WALDENSES), name given to believers in Alpine
valleys, 89; return to their valleys, 92; successors of fugitives in
  time of Paul, 92; meet Reformers, 217-219.
Veere or Ter Veere, 264, 265.
Vernou Jean, evangelist in France, 222
Véron evangelist in France, 222
Vienna, 158, 168.
Vilvoord, 237.
Vinet, 373.
Virginia, 310.
Vivier, du, 304.
Vlissingen (Flushing), 262.
Voet, Gisbert, 258-260, 267.
Volga, river, 23, 319.
Vuktchitch, Stefan, Prince of Herzegovina, protects Bogomils, 64.
VULGATE, Latin translation of Bible by Jerome, 38n, 112.

WALDENSES, see VAUDOIS, connection with Bogomils, 65; with Albigenses,
  88; name given to believers in Alpine valleys, 89; same as Leonists,
  91; not founded by Claudius of Turin, 91, spread of, 96-97; doctrines
  and practices of, 97-101; prepared the way for Hussite movement, 123;
  connected with Wycliff and Huss, 124; teaching in Bohemia, 126; some
  come to Kunwald, 129; baptism of believers by immersion common among,
  130; connections in Bohemia and in Austria, 130; always maintained
  first Christian principles, 130; catechism in various languages, 141;
  172, 185; meet Reformers, 217, 219, 247, 259, 283, 381.
Waldo, Peter, of Lyons life, 92-94; organises preachers the "Poor Men of
  Lyons", 93; connection with Waldenses, 93-94, compared with Francis of
  Assisi, 96; later results of work, 154;
Waldshut, 155.
Wallis, Mrs., 296.
Waltha Castle, 268, 269.
Walther, martyred in Cologne, 105;
Wandsworth, 247;
Warham, Archbishop, 115;
Wartburg, castle where Luther translated the New Testament, 143,
Washington, 305, 303, 307, 308.
Watteville, de, 274, 275.
Watts, Isaac, 254.
WEAVERS, name given to believers, 103.
Wenzel of Budowa, 134-135.
Wesley, Charles, 287-292, 393.
Wesley, John, 277, 278; life and
work, 287-295; 393, 395.
Wesley, Susanna, 287-288.
West Indies, 276, 384.
Westminster, 248; CONFESSION, 249.
Westphalia, Peace of, 136; 280.
Whitefield, George, 278, 287; life and work, 290-293; 393.
White Mountain, Battle of the, 135, 273, 275.
White Sea, 336.
Wied, Hermann von, Archbishop Elector of Cologne, 131, 199.
Wieuwerd, 268, 269.
Wigram, 381.
Winserbaum, prison if Hamburg, 340.
Witmarsum 187.
Witt, Jan de, 265.
Wittenberg, Bohemian brethren receive news from, 132: Luther nails
  theses on church door, 142; burns Papal Bull, 143; 158,161;
  theologians press persecution of Anabaptists 165; 196, 213.
Wittgenstein, 280, 282.
Wolzogen, Ludwig, 262.
Women, martyrs in Rome, 7; mother of Origen 9-10; Prisca, Maximillia,
  12; Perpetua, Felicitas, 13; Monica, 24, 25; Euchrotia, 37; Helena,
  46; Irene, 48; Theodora, 48, 50, 52; Mary the Lord's mother, 46, 47,
  54, 55, 74, 150; wife of Hubmeyer, 158; wife of Sattler, 165; Divara,
  183, 184; wife of Thomas Drucker von Imbroek, 198; Margaret of Valois,
  209, 210; mother of Pierre and Jean Leclerc, 211, 212; wife of
  François Lambert, 213, Catherine de Medici, 229: Marguerite, Wife of
  Henry of Navarre, 230; Louise Moulin, 233; Queen Mary, 239 Queen
  Elizabeth, 239, 243, etc.; Anna Maria van Schürman, 266; Princess
  Elizabeth. Abbess of Herford, 267-268; Jane Leade, 281; Susanna
  Wesley, 287-288 Mrs Wallis, 296; Catherine II, Empress of Russia, 318;
  Maria, Russian believer, 332; Anna Nipp, 344; Mary Groves, 349-353;
  wife of George Müller, 362; wife of J. H. Evans, 368-369; mother of
  R. Chapman, 368.
Workhouses, 101.
Worms, Luther before Papal authorities 143; Denck in, 162; large
  congregation of believers, 165.
Wroth William, 286.
Würtemberg, 282, 319, 320, 338.
Wüst Eduard Hugo Otto, 320-321.
Wüstenfelde, 193.
Wu Tsung, Chinese Emperor, 79.
Wycliff, John, life and teaching, 117-121; influence on Jerome of
  Prague, 123; writings burnt in Prague, 123; doctrine discussed at
  Constance, 124; books published in Basle, 156.
WYCLIFFITES, name given to followers of Wycliff's teaching, 121;
  numerous in England, 122.
Wyke, 277.
Wyllyams, Robert, shepherd, 238.

Xavier, Francis, 151.

Yabh-alaha III, Chinese Catholikos of Syrian Church, 79.
Yaroslav, 323.
Yezdegerd I, Persian king, 71-74.
Yezdegerd II, Persian king, 74.
Yorkshire, 277, 368.
Yvon, 259, 265, 266, 268, 269.

Zacharius, Paulician, elder, 51, 52.
Zaremba, Count, 351.
Zeisberger, 274.
Zerfass, Matthias, 198, 199.
Žerotín, 134, 136.
Zimisces, John, Byzantine Emperor, 57.
Zinzendorf, Count, life and work, 273, 277; 282, 283, 284, 289, 373.
Zittau, Zinzendorf, finds document in, 275.
Žižka, Jan, 125-127.
Zoroaster, 16, 69.
Zoroastrianism, 69.
Zozimus, Pope, reinstates and then excommunicates Pelagius, 28.
Zuma, 80.
Zürich, Reublin expelled from, 156: Hubmeyer imprisoned in, 157;
  influence of Zwingli in, 157, 167; 161; brethren in, 168; public
  baptisms in, 168; persecution in, 169; conflict on subject of baptism,
  173; 209, 216, 343-344.
Zwingli, Ulrich, disputation with Hubmeyer, 157; 161, 162; introduces
  State Church system, 167; relations with the brethren, 168; baptism,
  168; criticised by Blaurock, 169; conflict on baptism, 173; 216, 221.
ZWINGLIAN Church, 205-206.


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