Eleventh Century

AN ACCOUNT OF THOSE WHO SUFFERED IN THE ELEVENTH CENTURY: SUMMARY OF THE MARTYRS IN THE ELEVENTH CENTURY

[A simile of the moonlight and the stars, which shine most in the darkest nights, forms the beginning of our account, representing the condition of this time:

Fourteen persons, the chiefest of whom was called Stephen, are burned as heretics, for the testimony of the truth, by the papists, A. D. 1022, at Orleans in France.

Then follows a note concerning the accusations brought against the afore-mentioned persons; and also, further observations touching said fourteen martyrs, .according to the accounts of various papistic and other writers, noted in the Second Book of the Persecutions, fol. 437, col. 3, 4.

The great craftiness of the papist, Gretserus, in altering the titles of the books of the ancients, to the detriment of the belief of the Waldenses; some of their martyrs called firstlings, which is circumstantially noticed in the margin.

Some pious Christians at Goslar, called Manicheans by the papists, hanged for the confession of the evangelical truth, A. D. 1052. It is shown, 1. that they claimed to lead a true apostolical life: 2.that they would neither lie nor swear; 3. that they maintained that the sacrament of the altar was nothing but bread; 4. that they denied baptism, that is, infant baptism. One papist, as Thuan against Radulph, etc., opposed to each other in their testimony against these people.

Henry and Alfuard, two good Christians, the former beheaded in the uttermost parts of Sweden, the latter slain among the Normans, for defending the evangelical doctrine, A. D. 1067.

Marginal notice explanatory of their belief.

Bruno, Bishop of Angiers, and Berengarius, his deacon, are condemned in different councils, through the Roman pope, on account of their views against infant baptism, transubstantiation, the mass, etc.; the first time, A. D. 1050, both together; the second time, A. D. 1079, Berengarius alone. The inconstancy of Berengarius in some matters is shown, but also his sorrow for it, and his perseverance to the end, on account of which he is accounted among the martyrs.

Many of the followers of Berengarius, called Berengarians, are anathematized by order of the pope, at Piacenza, in Italy, A. D. 1095, and afterwards persecuted unto death, about A. D. 1100. Conclusion.]

Even as the shining moon and the glittering stars give the most light, and adorn the blue expanse of heaven the most gloriously, in the darkest nights, so it was also after A. D. 1000, as regards spiritual matters, which concern the honor of God and the salvation of the souls of men. For, about the year 1000, as well as many years before and after but particularly then, the world lay sunken, as it were, in an arctic, six-month’s night, through the thick, and palpable darkness, which had arisen, with heavy vapors of superstitions, from the Roman pit. Yet, notwithstanding the state of the times, some undefiled persons, as bright heavenly signs, and stars, began to shine forth the more, and to let their light of evangelical truth illumine the dark nights of papal error. Yea, some, like the polar star, served as a sign to sail by; I mean, to accomplish safely and in a godly manner, through the turbulent waves of perverted worship and human inventions, the journey to the heavenly fatherland. Others, like the morningstar, or the lovely, blushing Aurora, announced the approaching day; we mean, they pointed to the true day of the Christian and evangelical worship of God, and revealed it, as much as they were able, to those who sat in the darkness of error.

We will no longer speak by simile; what we mean is this: That there were men in those dark times, who maintained God’s truth, in various points, according to the needs of that time, and bore witness to and sealed it not only with the mouth, but with the deed, yea, with their blood and death.

(Martyrs Mirror)

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