Page images
[merged small][ocr errors]

MASSACRE OF THE WALDENSES, About the year 1656 the Waldenses in the rallies of Pieitmont. refusing to embrace the Catholic Faith suffered the vengeance of the Papal power


BURNING OF THE BONES OFWICKLIFFE Wickliffe the English Reformer died in 1385 His enemies forty years after his death, burnt his bones, and threw the ashes into the river:

end; & noon schal rauysche hem fro myn hond. That thing that my Fadir gaf to me, is more than alle thingis: & no man may rauysche from my Fadirs

hond. I & the Fadir ben onn. *. Rom. ix. 12. It was seid to hem, that the more

schulde serve the lesse : as it is written, louyde Jacob, but I hạtide Esau. What therfore schulen we scie? wher wickidnesse be enentis God? God forbede. For he seith to Moises, I schal have mercy on whom I have mercy. Therefore, it is not neither of man willynge, neither rennynge ; but of God hauynge mercy. And the Scripture seith to Farao, For to this thinge have I styrrid thee, that I schewe in the my vertu, and that my name be teeld in all erthe. Therefore of whom God wole, he hath mercy; & whom he wole he erdurith. Thanne seith thou to me, what is sought ghit, for who withstondith his will ? Oo man what art thou that answerist to God? Wher a maad thing seith to him that maad it, What hast thou made me so ? Wher a pottere of cley hath not power to make, of the same gobet, 00 vessel unto onour, a nothir into dispyt!"

The following is (according to Dr. Clarke), the first translation of the 13th chapter of 1st Corinthians, which is known to exist in the English language. culiar orthography and points are preserved as in the manuscript. The words printed in italics may be considered the translator's marginal readings ; for though incorporated with the text, they are distinguished from it by having lines drawn underneath. "Gyf I speke with tungis of men an aungels sotheli I

have not charite: I am maad as brasse sounynge or a symbale tynking. And gif I schal have prophecie and have knowen alle mysteries and alle kunnynge or science, and gif I schal have al feith so that I over bere hillis fro oo place to an other. forsothe gif I schal not have charite: I am nougt. And gif I schal deperte al my goodis into metis of pore men. I schal bitake my body so that I brenne forsothe gif I schal not have charite it profitith to me no thing.

The pe

And gif

Charite is pacient or suffringe. It is denynge or of good wille. Charite envyeth not. It doth not gyle it is not inblowen with pride it is not ambyciouse or covetouse of wirschippis. It seekyth not the thingis that ben her owne. It is not stirrid to wrath, it thinkith not yvel, it joyeth not on wickidnesse ; forsythe it joyeth to gydre to treuthe. It suffreth alle thingis, it bileeveth alle thingis. It hopith alle thingis ; it susteeneth alle thingis. Charite fallith not doun. Whether prophecies schuln be voide eyther langagis schuln ceese : eyther science shal be destruyed. Forsothe of party we han knowen: and of partye propecien. Forsothe whenne that schal cum to that is perfit: that thing that is of partye schal be avoydid. When I was a litil chiilde: I spake as a litil chiilde. I understode as a litil chiilde: I thougte as a littil chiilde. Forsothe when I was maad a man : I avoydid the thingis that weren of a litil childe. Forsothe we seen now bi a mirror in derenesse : thanne forsothe face to face. Nowe I know of partye: thanne forsothe I schal know as I am known. Nowe forsothe dwellen feith, hoope, charite. These three: forsothe the more of hem is charite."

49. LOLLARDS. The term Lollards is given to a religious sect differing in many points from the church of Rome, which arose in Germany about the beginning of the fourteenth century ; and some writers have imagined that this term is so applied from Walter Lollard, who began to dogmatize in 1315, and was burnt at Cologne ; though others think Lollard was no surname, but merely a term of reproach applied to all heretics who concealed the poison of error under the appearance of piety.

The monk of Canterbury derives the origin of the word lollard among us from lolium, a tare, Lollards were the tares sown in Christ's vineyard. Abelly says that the word signifies « praising God,"

as if the

from the German loben, “ to praise,” and heu, “ lord," because the Lollards employed themselves in travelling about from place to place, singing psalms and hymns. Others, much to the same purpose, derive lollhard, lullhard, or lollert, lullert, as it was written by the ancient Germans, from the old German word, lullen, loilen, or lallen, and the termination hard, with which many of the high Dutch words end. Lollen signifies “ to sing with a low voice,” and therefore lollard is a singer, or one who frequently sings; and in the vulgar tongue of the Germans it denotes a person who is continually praising God with a song, or singing hymns to his honour.

The Alexians or Cellites were called Lollards because they were public singers, who made it their business to inter the bodies of those who died of the plague, and sang a dirge over them, in a mournful and indistinct tone, as they carried thern to the grave. The name was afterwards assumed by persons that dishonoured it; for we find among those Lollards who made extraordinary pretences to religion, and spent the greatest part of their time in meditation, prayer, and such acts of piety, there were many abominable hypocrites, who entertained the most ridiculous opinions, and concealed the most enormous vices under the specious mark of this extraordinary profession. Many injurious aspersions were therefore propagated by the priests and monks, against those who assumed this name ; so that, by degrees, any person who covered heresies or crimes under the appearance of piety, was called a Lollard. Thus the name was not used to denote any one particular sect, but was formerly common to all persons or sects who were supposed to be guilty of impiety towards God, or the church, under an external profession of great piety. However, many societies, consisting both of men and women, under the name of Lollards, were formed in most parts of Germany and Flanders, and were supported partly by their labours, and partly by the charitable donations of pious persons. The magistrates and inhabitants of the towns where these

« PreviousContinue »