THIRTEEN HUNDRED TO FOURTEEN
The Lollards and Other
"A bold and intrepid teacher was raised
up among the Boghards, or Picards, in 1315, in the person of Walter Lollard, who
became an eminent barb or pastor among them, and from whom the Waldenses were
called Lollards . . . Moreland asserts he was in great reputation with the
Waldenses, for having conveyed their doctrines into England, where they
prevailed over the kingdom . . . . Walter was in unity of views in doctrine and
practice with the Waldenses . . . . In 1320, Walter Lollard was apprehended and
burnt . . . . His death was highly detrimental to their affairs, but did not,
however, ruin their cause; for it appears they were supported by men of rank and
great learning, and continued their societies in many provinces of
Germany." -- Orchard, Bap. Hist., pp. 332, 333.
From Germany came the Sabbath-keeping brethren who
founded the Ephreta, Pa., colony, and to our time the truth of the commandments
of God has been kept before the world by the descendants of these worthy
children of God.
"About 1330 the people of God in Germany were
grievously harassed and oppressed by an inquisitor named Eachard, a Jacobin
monk. After inflicting cruelties for some time upon these people, he was induced
to investigate the causes and reasons of the separation from the church of
Rome." "The force of truth ultimately prevailed over all his
prejudices. His own conscience attested that many of the errors and corruptions
which they charged on that apostate church really existed; and finding himself
unable to disprove the articles of their faith by the Word of God, he confessed
that truth had overcome him, gave glory to God, entered into the communion of
the Waldensian churches, which he had been engaged in persecuting even to death.
The news of his conversion aroused the ire of the inquisitors. Emissaries were
dispatched in pursuit of him; he was at length apprehended and conveyed to
Heidelberg, where he was committed to the flames." -- Idem, pp. 333, 334.
In spite of the fact that Rome was ruthlessly on the
trail of every leader among the churches during this century, the truth
continued to prevail regardless of sword, fire, or dungeon. True children of the
Lamb were found throughout Europe, and especially numerous in France, Italy,
Germany and Bohemia.
According to the work of Benedict, there were 80,000
heretics in Bohemia, who were called Waldenses, in the year 1315.
In the New Schaff Herzog Religious Encyclopaedia,
article Waldenses, page 243, it says they were determined to celebrate the
Lord's Supper yearly, and that in France it had been the custom of these people
to celebrate it yearly from an early time. This work says further, "In
Germany as well as in France, the Waldenses celebrated the Lord's Supper yearly,
between the years of thirteen and fourteen hundred. In the Cottain Alps, on the
other hand, as well as in Provence, Apulia, Calabria, and middle Italy, this
independent celebration of the Lord's Supper continued much longer than in
We have already noted that Benedict (History of
Baptists, p. 308) speaks of separate and distinct societies of Sabbath-keeping
Lollards as early as A.D. 1389.
"The Waldenses taught that the Roman church
departed from its former sanctity and purity in the time of Constantine the
Great: they therefore refused to submit to the usurped authority of its pontiff.
They said that the prelates and doctors ought to imitate the poverty of the
apostles, and earn their bread by the labor of their hands. They contended that
the office of teaching, confirming, and admonishing the brethren, belonged in
some measure to all Christians. Their discipline was extremely strict and
austere, for they interpreted Christ's discourse on the mount according to the
literal sense of the words, and they condemned war, lawsuits, the acquisition of
riches, capital punishments, oaths, and (even) self-defense." -- Jones'
Church History, page 266.
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