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SECTION XVII.

THE AUTHORITIES FROM WHOSE TESTIMONY THIS NARRATIVE IS DRAWN.—ITS THOROUGH
CORROBORATION BY A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.

THESE are not hasty generalizations, confounding sects essentially distinct with each other, and giving them a common origin of which they were ignorant, as some of the ecclesiastical historians have pretended, but well-authenticated facts, every link in the chain of evidence being attested by reputable witnesses.

The German ecclesiastical writers Gieseler, Neander, Mosheim, and Schmidt had collected many facts on this subject, as had also Gibbon in his Decline and Fall of Rome, and Hallam in his State of Europe during the Middle Ages, but Mr. A. J. Evans, in his recent monograph on the history of Bosnia, has with great labor and research made an exhaustive study of the whole subject, and has brought the most conclusive proofs of the derivation of all these early Protestants from a common source, and that source the Bogomils of Bosnia and Bulgaria. Jirecek, a recent Bohemian writer on Bosnia and Bulgaria and Hilferding, a Russian historian of Serbia and Bulgaria, under which he includes Bosnia, both adduce official evidence of the affiliation of the Bogomils with the Waldenses, the Bohemians, and the Moravians, as well as of their identity with the "Poor Men of Lyons," the Vaudois, the Henricians and the so-called heretics of Toulouse, the Patarenes of Dalmatia and Italy, the Petrobrussians, the Bulgares or Bougres, and the Catharists of Spain. Matthew Paris, Roger of Hoveden, and Ralph of Coggeshale, three of the most renowned of the early British chroniclers,[28] 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 Publicani or Poplicani,, a corruption of Pauliciani. All these writers trace them directly or indirectly to their origin in Bosnia; and Matthew Paris and Ralph of Coggeshale, trusting probably to the misrepresentations of some of the Romish inquisitors, relate that the Albigenses, Waldenses, and other heretics of France, Spain, and Italy had a pope of their own, who resided in Bosnia, that he created a vicar (apostolic?) in Toulouse whose name was Bartholomew, and that these heretics went annually to consult their Bosnian pope on difficult questions of faith and doctrine. The Bosnian djed, or chief elder, may have enjoyed some sort of actual primacy in consequence of his age, experience, and more profound acquaintance with doctrine, and had probably sent some of the Bosnian elders as missionaries to Toulouse; but in so doing he could not have claimed any ecclesiastical authority, as a hierarchy of any sort was utterly abhorrent to the spirit and temper of both the Bogomils and their affiliated sects in the West. 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 beginning of the thirteenth centuries, we have the testimony of the popes themselves that very many of the Waldenses, Patarenes, Publicans, etc., took refuge with their brethren in Bosnia, which at that time was protected by the good Ban Culin.[29]*

*Ralph of Coggeshale goes into considerable detail of the doctrines of the Publicani in Flanders and England, and thereby establishes their complete identity with the Bogomils. They held, he says, to two principles—of good and evil; they rejected purgatory, prayers for the dead, the invocation of saints, infant baptism, and the use of pictures, images, and crucifixes in the churches; they accepted, of the New Testament, only the Gospels and the canonical Epistles (here he was certainly misinformed); they insisted, in their prayers and all their worship, on the use of the vulgar tongue; their elders and perfect ones, both men and women, observed a vegetable diet and condemned marriage. In this connection he relates a most shameless and cruel story told him by gervase of Tilbury, then clerk of the Archbishop of Rheims, subsequently an historical writer. This profligate clerk relates to him how, having failed to seduce a beautiful countrygirl, he perceived her heresy, accused her successfully before the Inquisition of being one of the Publicani, and feasted his eyes with her dying agonies at the stake. Even the hardened monk Ralph cannot refrain from adding that, " girl though she was, she died without a groan; as illustrious a martyr of Christ (though for a different cause) as any of those who were ages before slain by the pagans for their Christian faith." It must have been an heroic courage and faith indeed which could draw forth such an encomium from a monkish narrator.

 
 
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