• “He never gives you more than you can bear. Every burden prepares you for eternity.” – Basilea Schlink

ARNOLD, MARSILIUS, AND THEODORIC, WITH FIVE OTHER MEN, AND TWO WOMEN, BURNED ALIVE AT COLOGNE AND BONN, A. D. 1163

“In the year of our Lord 1163,” says the papistic writer Orithemius,”certain heretics of the sect called Cathari,” (by which are understood the Waldenses, whose confession of faith we have above shown not to be at variance with the Anabaptists of the present day),”came from Flanders to Cologne, and there secretly abode in a certain barn, near the city. But as they did not come to church, even on Sundays, they were detected by those living near them. Having been brought to an examination therefore, by our mother, the holy church (he means Roman church), they were found to be confirmed heretics.” Orith. Chron. Hirsaug. With this he closes. And hence in order to explain the matter more fully, we must of necessity have recourse to papistic writers, though they were the adversaries of these people.

ECBERT’S ACCOUNT OF THE VIEWS OF THESE PEO PLE, AS OPPOSED TO THE ROMAN CHURCH

Concerning them, Ecbert, a monk of Schonaugh, who himself disputed with them, writes thus, “Behold, certain perverted, and perverting men (thus he calls good Christians), who had concealed themselves for a long time in hiding places, and had corrupted the Christian faith in many plain and simple people, are at this time so greatly multiplied throughout all the lands, that the Christian church suffers great injury from the very pernicious poison (so he calls the truth of the Gospel) which they everywhere vent against her.” Serm. 8, contra Catharos, T. 2. Auctor. Bybl. S. S. Patrum, edition Paris, A. D. 1610, p. 831.

TRITHEMIUS’ ACCOUNT OF THEIR EXAMINATION, AND DISPUTATION WITH ECBERT; ALSO OF THEIR DEATH

Trithemius gives a brief description, of their examination and disputation with Ecbert, abbot of the monastery of St. Florian in Schonaugh, in the bishopric of Treves

The clergy and the chief men of the city of .Cologne, by messengers and letters, requested Ecbert to come to Cologne, as being a very learned man, in order to examine said heretics. Abbot Ecbert arrived at Cologne, August 2, A. D. 1163, and entered into a public disputation with three of these heretics, Arnold, Marsilius, and Theodoric, who seemed to possess better abilities than the rest.

However, he does not state precisely, what were the articles of the discussion, unless we are to glean them from his following words, “They contemned all the rulers of the church, prelates, priests, and clerks, calling them soul-deceivers and snares of the devil. They ridiculed the sacraments of the Roman church (among which was included infant bapti-mI and denied the hnlv hodv anti blood of the Lord (that is, transubstantiation in the sacrament of the altar). Now, when they could neither by arguments, nor by authority (namely, from the testimony of the fathers), nor by admonitions, be induced to renounce their errors (thus he calls their true faith), but obstinately persisted in their purpose, they were utterly cast out from the church, and delivered into the hands of the laity, that is, into the power of the secular authorities, who led them, eight men and two women, out of the city, and committed them to the flames, on the fifth day of August of the same year.” Frith., in Hist. Also, 2d book of the Persecutions, fol. 441, cot. 3, 4.

OF THE CONSTANCY OF THESE MARTYRS IN THE FIRE; AND HOW ECBERT MOCKED THEM

Caesarius of Heisterbach writes, that this took place in the Jewish cemetery, and that Arnold, as he stood with his disciples or fellow believers in the fire, said, “Remain steadfast in your faith, for this day you shall be with the holy martyr, Laurence.” Ccesar., lib. 5, cap. 19.

Ecbert made sport of the death of these pious people; for it appears, that, despising infant baptism, they had said, that in order to be saved it was necessary first to be baptized with the Holy Ghost and with fire, in consequence of which this wicked man inquiringly said, “And has not the city of Cologne thus baptized (namely, with fire) your arch-heretic Arnold with his accomplices, and the city of Bonn, Theodoric with his co-partners?” Serm. 8, advers. Catharos.

O awful blasphemy I But the Lord shall render to every man according to his righteousness and faithfulness. I Sam. 26:23.

NOTE.-P. J. Twisck relates of these people that, out of hatred, they were called Adamites, Catharists, Patarini, and Passaginians, and that the Emperor Frederick published some decrees against them.”But thus, those who seek to, live in the fear of God, are always exterminated. In this manner, certain persons, eight men, two women, and a girl, who had gone from Flanders to Cologne, were burned in a barn before the city, an the fifth of August.” Chron., page 4’76, cot. 1, 2, from Abbot Trithem. Mer., fol. 765. Neoburgens., lib. 11, carp. 15.

(Martyrs Mirror)

 

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