THE BAPTIST CHURCH PERPETUITY LINE, OR LINES,
THROUGH THE PAULICIANS TO THE ANABAPTISTS.
Of the thirteenth century, Wadington says: “The heresy of the Paulicians and Cathari, another religious faction, had at that time considerable prevalence, which under the various names of Cathari, for Catharists, Puritans, Gazari, Patereni, Paulicians or Publicans, Bulgari or Bugari was more particularly charged with Manichaean opinions. The origin of these heretics has been the subject of much controversy, for while some suppose these errors to have been indigenous in Europe, there are others who derive them in a direct line from the very heart of Asia.”1 Hase says:. “The Paulicians under the name of Euchites …had before” 1115 “become numerous among the Bulgarians …among which they were commonly called Bogomiles. …Small communities of Bogomiles were found among the Bulgarians through the whole period of the middle ages, and Paulicians have continued to exist under many changes in and around Philopopolis and in the valleys of the Haemus until the present day.”2 Says Fisher: “Certain sects arose in the south of France which with a zeal for purity of life and in opposition to the claims of the priesthood, as well as to ecclesiastical abuses in general, combined peculiar doctrinal beliefs which were somewhat akin to the dualistic ideas prevalent in the East. They…
1 Wadington's Ch. Hist., p. 286.
2 Hase's Hist. Chr. Ch. p. 262.
…were called Catharists, and because they were numerous in and near the city of Albi were named Albigenses. Their tenets threatened the very foundation of the hierarchical system.”1 C. Schmidt: “A sect which from the beginning of the eleventh century spread rapidly and widely in Southern France and maintained itself until in the middle of the thirteenth century, received its name from the city of Albi, Latin, Albiga, the present capitol of the department Tarn, which was one of their seats. The name does not occur, however, until the time of the Albigensian crusade. Before that time the sect was spoken of as the Publicants or Publicani, probably a corruption of the name Paulicians, which the crusaders had brought back to Western Europe. …Of the Cathari, the Bogomiles, Patoreni, Albigenses, etc., were only individual developments. In general they all held the same doctrines …the same organization. …The severe moral demands made impression because the example of the preachers corresponded to their words.”2
Again, says Schmidt: “They spread during the middle ages over all Europe, more especially in the Southern part. …Even as late as the fourteenth century the inquisition in Italy was busy persecuting the Cathari. …Their name in Italy was not Cathari, however, but Patereni, from Patari, an obscure street in Milan, the headquarters of the rag-pickers, where they held their secret assemblies. Their principle seat in Western Europe the Cathari had in Southern France, where they were known as Albigenses. Thence they penetrated into the northern provinces of Spain where they numbered many adherents in the thirteenth century. To Germany they came partly from …
1 Prof. Geo. P. Fisher's Hist. Car. p. 194.
2 Schaff-Herzog Ency., vol. 1, p. 47.
…the East, from the Slav countries, partly from Flanders and Campagne. …The sect lived in the regions along the Rhine, especially in Cologne and Bonn. In England the Cathari found very little sympathy. They came over in 1159 from Holland, and in 1210 some are said to have been discovered in London. This system was based upon the New Testament of which they possessed a translation, probably derived from the Orient and deviating considerably from the Vulgate.”1
Kurtz: “The principal centers of the Cathari were in Lombardy and in the South of France, but numerous communities also existed in Belgium, Germany and Spain. …The liturgy lately discovered by Kunitz dates from the thirteenth century, and gives a more favorable opinion of them than had formerly been entertained.”2
“The great stronghold of the numberless sects which were designated as Cathari, Bulgarians, Manichaeans, etc., was in the South of France, where they had secured the protection of Raymond the VI, Count of Toulouse, and of other powerful vassals. …The little town of Albi, in the district of Albigeois, was regarded as the great center of the party; whence the name Albigenses, by which these sects were designated.”3 Says Hase: “Paterini, the name Catharists, by which this sect was generally designated, shows what were their ordinary pretentious. A similar opposition prepared the way for the influences exerted by the Paulicians who had been transferred into the western countries of Europe thence called Publicani Bugari). The accounts we have of them are almost exclusively from their enemies. All agree,…
1 Idem, p. 420
2 Kurtz's Ch. Hist., vol. 1, p. 455.
3 Idem, pp. 46I, 462.
…however, in describing them as universally and absolutely opposed to the Catholic church and all its pomp, in consequence of which they professed to be in immediate communication of the Holy Ghost, exalting them † above all conscious necessity of ecclesiastical or civil laws.”1
That the reader may better understand how the Baptists of past ages have been known by so many names I will here give but few of the many examples of how liberal the Romish church was in naming its opponents: “Haeriticus est omnis non orthodoxus. Manichaei ad imam usque scelerum necquitiam pervenerunt…Manichseos seu, vel Donatistas meritissama severitate persequimur. Huic itaque homnium generi nihil ex moribus, nihil ex legibus commune sit cum caeteris. Ariani, Macedoniani, Pneumatomachi, Apolinariani, Novatiani, Eunomiani, Tetraditiae, Valentiani, Pauliani, Papiansitae, Montanistae, sen Pricillianistse, vel Phryges, vel Pepuzitse, Marcionistae, Borboritae, Messiliani, Euchitae, sive Enthousiastae, Donatistae, Audiani, Hydroparastatae, Tascodrogitae, Batrachitae, Hermogeniani, Photaniani, Marcelliani, Ophitae, Encratistae, Carpocratitae, Saccophori, Manichae, Haeretici, Acephali, Sabelliani, Eutychiani.”
These names, with the above denunciation of all to whom they were applied as immoral, as without any merit and as deserving persecution to death, Robinson has copied from an ancient law concerning heretics — ''Cod. …De haereticus.”2
Wadington copies from Limborchs' History of the Inquisition, another Romish list of names for the…
† The “laws” which they ignored were evidently the laws of Romish ecclesiastical government. Nowhere did this people ever repudiate legitimate rule of any government.
1 Hase's Hist. Chr. Ch., p. 252.
2 Robinson's Eccl. Resh. p. 166.
…”heretics,” of the thirteenth century. Here they are, with the curses: “Catharos, Paterenos, Speromistas, Leonistas, Arnoldistas, Circumcisos, Passaginos, Josephinos, Garatenses, Albaneses, Franciscos, Beghardos, Commissos, Valdenses, Romanolos, Communellos, † Varinos, Ortulenos, cum illis de aqua nigra, et omnes hereticos …damnamus.”1
Gieseler says: “The number of names of the heretics in this period is far greater than that of new
In this great avalanche of names, and probably, at most, not more than three or four kinds of dissenters from the Romish church, we see the folly of attempting to identify any of the “sects” or trace Baptists, in history, by any name or names. Yet, strange to say, church historians are greatly influenced — yea, led by the names of these dissenters!
Kurtz says that after the beginning of the twelfth century those who continued to entertain the Paulician “views probably joined the Euchites and the Bogomils.”3 But who were the Euchites and the Bogomils? Evidently, a people of the same belief and practice as the Paulicians with which they were consolidated; or, more correctly expressed, the Paulicians themselves under these names. In either case the Baptist line is unbroken. The very fact of “consolidation” is prima facie evidence of identity of faith and practice.
Mosheim says of Henry, the Henrician leader: “Several writers affirm that he was one of the disciples…
† Would not the Campbellites who propose to find the true church by its name have a sweet time with these names.
1 Wadington's Ch. Hist. p. 288.
2 Gleseler's Ch. Hist., vol. 2, p. 574.
3 Kurtz's Ch. Hist., vol. 1, p. 2T3.
…of Peter de Bruys.”1 On page 287 of his church history, Wadington shows the groundlessness of Mosheim's theoretical objection to Henry having been a disciple of Peter de Bruys.
Wadington says: “It is certain that a very powerful sect named Paulicians …spread very widely throughout the Greek provinces of Asia during the eighth century. It is equally true that after a merciless persecution of about one hundred and fifty years, their remnant, still numerous, was permitted to settle in Bulgari and Thrace. Thence, it is believed by Muratori, Mosheim and Gibbon, they gradually immigrated towards the West; at first as occasions of fear or commerce or mendacity (another name for the pilgrimage) might be presented; and latterly in the returning ranks of the crusaders. It is asserted that their first migration was into Italy; that so early as the middle of the eleventh century many of their colonies were established in Sicily, in Lombardy, Insubria and principally at Milan; that others led a wandering life in France, Germany and in other countries; and that they everywhere attracted by their pious books and austere demeanor, excited the admiration, and. the respect of the multitude.”2
Kurtz: “At the commencement of the eleventh century the Euchites (Messelians, Enthusiasts,) attracted the attention of the government, their opinions having widely spread in Thracia. …The “Emperor Tzimisces transported the Paulicians to that province.” † Kurtz further says of the Catharists: “Probably, however, the movement issued again from the East, in all likelihood from Bulgaria, where since the time the Paulicians…
† Kurtz's Ch. Hist., vol. 1, p. 240.
l Mosheim's Eccl. Hist., cent. 12, part. 2, chap. 5, sec. 8.
2 Wadington's Ch. Hist., p. 289.
…had settled in that district Gnostic and Manichaean views had been zealously propagated. …The most general designation was that of Cathari but they were also called Bulgari. …Several of the charges preferred against them may have arisen from misunderstanding' or calumny. The Paulician or Bogomile opinions which they had embraced'' were “of a practical rather than of a speculative character, and variously modified or kept in check.''1
Brockett, one of the best authorities on this subject, says: “The Perfect! and Credentes are mentioned by all writers on the Bogomils and the sects with which they were affiliated; and it was one of the many evidences of the substantial identity with the Albigenses, Paterenes, Vaudois, Catharists, Ketzers, Publicans, Waldenses, etc., etc., that the same classes under equivalent names existed in all these sects of alleged heretics.”2
Armitage: “The Bogomiles were a branch of the Cathari. Herzog thinks …they were an offshoot from the Paulicians.”3 Of the Paulicians, Armitage says: “The empress Theodora issued fresh edicts against them and between A. D. 832 and 846 one hundred thousand of them were put to death in the most barbarous manner. Infuriated with their persecutors, they took up arms in self defense, and the contest continued in one shape and another until in 973 large numbers of them were transported to Phillippopolis, south of the Balkan mountains, in what is now called Bulgaria. For more than a century the Paulicians stood with unbroken fortitude, which the sword was unable to suppress. Like men they defended their rights to home,…
1 Kurtz's Ch. Hist., vol. 1, p. 453.
2 The Bogomllleg, p. 121.
3 Armitage's Hist. Bap., p. 278.
…religion and liberty under the holy sanctions of rebellion against intolerable tyranny. And now they were accorded full religious liberty in their transportation, on condition that they would guard the borders against the pagans. But the conflict between them and the Greeks continued till the twelfth century. Alexius Comnenus put forth some kind efforts to reclaim them but failed, and they finally took refuge in Europe, where we shall meet them again amongst the Albigenses.”l
The Encyclopedia Britannica says: “The Paulicians continued to exist in Thrace until at least in the beginning of the thirteenth century, as did also the Euchites, afterwards Bogomilles, who had been attracted to that locality by the toleration of Tzimisces. Meanwhile branch societies of the Paulicians established themselves in Italy, France, and appear under different names, such as Bulgaria Patereni, Cathari and Albigenses.”2
Hallam says, the Albigenses came from one of the seats of Paulician power: “The derivation of these
sects from Bulgaria is sufficiently proved.”3
Well, therefore, says the Revised Edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica: “The sect of the Albigenses may be traced with tolerable distinctness from the Paulicians.”4
In the foregoing is demonstrated that the Cathari under its various names, are the Paulicians. Of course, there may have been, under the various names, some who were not Baptists. But the facts demonstrate that in the main, they were essentially Baptists.
Gieseler says: “The Cathari, or as they were now commonly called, the Albigenses or Bulgarians…
1 Armitage's Hist. Bap., p. 240.
2 Vol. 18, p. 434—9th Ed.
3 Hallam's Middle Ages p. 505
4 Vol. 1, p. 164.
…maintained in all lands a very close connection with each other.”1 Again: “With. few exceptions all Cathari stood in close connection, with each other, as also in their practical principles and customs they quite agreed.”2
Prof. William Whitsitt, D.D., says: “The Catharists were as thick as hops and they — the Waldenses — joined them. …Not much difference between Waldenses and Catharists.” *
Therefore, when, as Kurtz says, the Roman Catholic “church made no distinction between different sectaries, and one and the same sentence was pronounced on Cathari and Waldenses, on Petrobrussians, Arnoldists,” its judgment as to their identity was mainly correct; and, with all his prejudice, Kurtz concedes: “Indeed, so far as their opposition to the papacy and hierarchy was concerned, they were all at one.”3
Says Prof. A. H. Newman, D.D., LL.D.: “Keller has been accused of utterly confounding the mediaeval parties, with treating Waldenses, Cathari, evangelical Beghards, Brethren of the Common Life, Friends of God, Taborites, Bohemian Brethren, etc., as essentially one party. What are the facts? It must be borne in mind that Keller is far more intent on proving the prevalence of a type of life and doctrine than on establishing the organic connection of the various parties among themselves. He lays little stress upon the special sect names, maintaining that they were not, as a rule, used by the evangelical Christians with reference to themselves, but that they were commonly applied to them by their opponents.”4 Remember that the very nature of Baptist…
* Lect. to his classes.
1 Gieseler's Ch. Hist., vol. 2, pp. 576, 578.
2 Idem, pp. 582, 583.
3 Kurtz's Ch. Hist., vol. 1, p. 461.
4 Recent Resh. Concerning Medlaeval Sects, p. 173.
…church polity renders “organic connection” of Baptist churches an impossibility.
Again, says Prof. A. H. Newman, D.D., LL.D.: “It would not be difficult to suppose that evangelical dissent persisted, even though we had no record of the fact, during the thirty-two years that intervened between the death of Henry and the appearance of Peter Waldo. It is in itself highly probable that Peter Waldo himself was influenced to a greater or less extent by antecedent evangelical life. It is highly probable that the followers of Peter de Bruys and Henry of Lausanne were driven beyond the regions in which these teachers labored. Northern Italy was at that time in close relation with Southern France, and the Cathari of the two regions sustained a lively intercourse. It is probable that evangelical heresy was likewise freely interchanged. The Waldenses who began their work at Lyons soon crossed the mountains to Lombardy and established relations, as we shall see hereafter, with evangelical Christians of a more pronounced type than themselves.
“These were, no doubt, in part, the result of the labors of Arnold of Brescia; but it is not by any means unlikely that Arnold himself was influenced by the teachings of Peter de Bruys, and it is highly probable that these great teachers were subject to substantially the same evangelizing influences and reached substantially the same views as to the evils of the time and the remedy therefore. In Cologne we find, about 1446, before the death of Henry, evangelical Christians of the Petrobrussian type, side by side with Cathari and vigorously opposing them.”1
Dollinger, the great Romish historian, argues the identity of these “sects.” First, because “the Cathari…
1 Idem, p. 188.
…are known to have existed in considerable numbers in the territory in which Peter and Henry labored;” second, “these regions were soon overrun with Manichaean or Catharistic heretics;” third, “there is no evidence that the followers of Peter and Henry persisted as a party distinct from the Cathari during the succeeding century,” fourth, “that to suppose Peter and Henry to have been other than Catharistic would be to admit the existence of a party and a set of views, for the origin and the subsequent disappearance a/which we cannot account.”1
Says Brocket, one of the highest authorities; “The substantial identity of these sects, which under so many different names were spread over all Western Europe and their origin from the Protestants of Bulgaria and Bosnia was strongly suspected by others than Regnier even in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Perhaps the earliest writer who gives positive testimony on this point is William Little, of Newbury, A. D. 1136-1220.”2
Again: “Evans in his recent monograph on the history of Bosnia, has with great labor and research made an exhaustive study of the subject, and brought the most conclusive proofs of all those early Protestants from a common source and that source the Bogomiles of Bosnia and Bulgaria. Jirecek, a recent Bohemian writer on Bosnia and Bulgaria, and Hilferding, a Russian historian of Servia and Bulgaria, under which he includes Bosnia, both adduce official evidence of the affiliation of the Bogomiles with the Waldenses, the Bohemians, and the Moravians, as well as their identity with the 'Poor men of Lyons,' the Vaudois, the Henricians and the so-called heretics of Toulouse, the Patarines of Dalmatia and Italy, the Petrobrussians, the Bulgares or Bourgres and the…
1 Idem, p. 186.
2 The Bogomiles, by Brockett, p. 127.
Catharists of Spain. Matthew Paris, Roger of Hoveden and Ralph, of Coggeshale, three of the most renowned of the early British chroniclers, testify to their presence in large numbers at this period in Toulouse, in Provence, in Flanders, and in England, and that they were called in the latter two countries Publican! or Poplicani, a corruption of Paulicians. All these writers trace them directly or indirectly to their origin in Bosnia.”1
Again, says Brockett: “A careful and critical examination of the civil and ecclesiastical histories of this period in England, France and Germany affords abundant corroborative evidence of the origin of all these sects from the Bosnian churches, and of the complete identity of the doctrines professed by them all. Under the fierce persecutions instituted against the Waldenses, Catharists, etc., of Western Europe by the popes in the twelfth and the beginning of the thirteenth centuries, we have the testimony of the popes themselves that very many of the Waldenses, Paterines, Publicans, etc., took refuge with their brethren in Bosnia, which at that time was protected by the good Ban Culin.”2
Of the Bogomiles, Gieseler says: “In their peculiar doctrines and customs, they agree so marvelously with the Cathari of the Western world, that the connection of the two parties, for which there is historical testimony, cannot fail to be recognized.”3
Cramp says: “The fact is, that the numerous names and descriptions found in imperial edicts and decrees of councils refer to parties who held substantially the same views.”4
1 The Bogomiles, by Brockett, pp. 69-70.
2 Idem, p. 71.
3 Gieseler's Ch. Hist., vol. 2, pp. 614-615.
4 Cramp's Hist. Bap., p. 99.
The foregoing statements show, first, that the best part of the mentioned sects were essentially identical in doctrine and practice; second, that they were of Paulician origin: in other words, that they were Paulicians under other names. That they were Baptists was demonstrated in preceding chapters.
Of the abundant and uncontradictory evidence of their perpetuity in the sixteenth century — to the times of the Anabaptists — the following is but an illustration. We have seen the Paulicians were the Novatians perpetuated under another name. Robinson says of the Novatians: “They were distinguished by a variety of names and a succession of them continued until the Reformation.”1
Hase says: “Small communities of Bogomiles were found among the Bulgarians through the whole of the middle ages and Paulicians have continued to exist, under many changes. …until the present time.”2
Wadington says: “It is equally certain that, from the time of Peter de Bruis to that of Luther, there have subsisted from some quarter or other of the Western community various bodies of sectaries, who were at open or secret variance with the church of Rome.”3 For more proof of the continuance of these '' sects '' to the Reformation, see Chapter III.
1 Robinson's Eccl. Resh., pp 126-127.
2 Hase's Hist. Chr. Ch., p. 262.
3 Wadington's Ch. Hist., p. 553.