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“Robert Altisidorensis states of said martyrs of Orleans, that they were of the best or chiefest laymen of Orleans, and that for this reason a council was convened there against them, in which they were unanimously condemned and sentenced, as heretics, to the fire; and that they were thus burned alive.”

This testimony is confirmed by Johannes, a monk of Floriax, who gives a somewhat fuller account of the matter, in his letter to Oliva or Olivarius, abbot of the church of Ansona, saying, “Meanwhile I will inform thee of this heresy (thus he calls the true faith of these people), which was on Innocent’s day, in the city of Orleans; for it is the truth if thou hast heard ought of it. King Robert caused fourteen of the best or most nobly born laymen of said city to be burned alive; who, (Oh, what a great falsehood!) abominable before God, and hated by heaven and earth, utterly denied the grace of holy baptism (he means infant baptism, for thereupon the grace of salvation was promised to children, which these men denied) as well as the consecration of the body and blood of the Lord, and denied that one could thereby obtain remission of sins, after he had committed a crime.” Masson Annal. Franc., lib. 3, in Hugo and Robert.

Glaber Radulphus (in Hist. Gall., lib. 3, cap. 8), gives a much more circumstantial account of these martyrs, relating not only how this (so-called) heresy was discovered, but also how it was brought to Orleans and propagated; which we, in order to be brief, pass by.

He mentions, among others, two of these people by name, namely, Heribert and Lisoius, who were greatly esteemed and beloved by the king and the lords of the realm, as long as their case was not known. Glaber further relates how they were discovered. They sought, at Rouen, to bring a certain Driest over to their belief , through some whom they probably had expressly sent to this priest, to expound to him the mystery of their doctrine, and who endeavored to persuade him by saying that very soon all the people would fall over to them.

When the priest understood this, he immediately went to Richard, the Count of that city, and told him the whole matter. The latter instantly sent letters by express messengers to the king, informing him of this secret pestilence (as he calls the true faith). King Robert, much grieved at this, without delay convened a council of many bishops, abbots, and other religious persons (thus he calls this blood-thirsty council), and, through them, caused very strict investigations to be made, both as to the authors and adherents of said heresy. When inquiry was made among the laymen, as to what the belief and faith of each several one was, the aforesaid Heribert and Lisoius immediately discovered themselves, that they differed in their belief from the Roman church, and afterwards others also declared that they adhered to Heribert and Lisoius, and that they could in no wise be drawn away from their faith. Being interrogated more closely, whence and by whom this presumption had originated, they gave this answer, “This is what you have long called a sect, which you now, though late, recognize. But we have waited for a long time, that you as well as all others, of whatever law or order, might come over and unite with this sect; which, we also believe, will yet take place.”

They then immediately presented their belief, undoubtedly after the manner of the Albigenses and Waldenses, as shall be shown hereafter.

When the king and all those present saw that they could not be moved from their belief, he commanded that a very large fire of wood should be kindled not far from the city, in order that perhaps, terrified thereby, they might desist from their belief. But when they were about to be led out to the fire, they cried aloud, saying, that they greatly longed for it, and gave themselves into the hands of those who were to draw them to the fire. They, thirteen in number, were committed to the flames, and all who afterwards were found to be their adherents, were put to death by the same means.

Again, the records of the parish church of Orleans, called St. Maximus’ church, the time is specified, when this took place. It occurred, it is there stated, publicly at Orleans, A. D. 1022, in the twenty-eighth year of King Robert, on the fifth induction, when the arch-heretic Stephen and his companions were condemned at Orleans, and burnt.

The above citations are taken from the writings of papists; hence, the reader is admonished, to judge charitably with regard to the accusations which these inveterate adversaries have so bitterly cast up against these pious witnesses of Jesus Christ.

NOTE.-We have related above, that said fourteen martyrs have been considered, by the ancients, as the firstlings of the Waldenses; but the papists called them heretics. However, this is not to be wondered at; since, in the course of time, they adopted the practice of calling heretics and the Waldenses by the same name. Of this we will present a few examples. The priest Reinerius wrote a book, which he called, Summa contra Hareticos, that is,”A Summary against the Heretics.” To this book the Jesuits subsequently gave the title Contra Waldenses, or,”Against the Waldenses;” as if all the errors opposed in said book, were peculiar to the Waldenses, which is as untrue as falsehood itself. Compare Reinerius’ book with A. M., 2d book, fol. 437, col. 4.

Everhard Berthuniensis gave to his book the title, Antiheretism, which is equivalent to saying Against Heretics, etc.; but the Jesuit Gretserus, when he published said book, called it, Everhardus contra Waldensen; as if Everhard had written only against the Waldenses, notwithstanding only the smallest part militates against them. Nevertheless, it was sought, by this title, to accuse the poor Waldenses of all the heresies mentioned in that book.

Afterwards, one Ermegard wrote a book against the grossly erring spirits who maintained in their confession, that the world and all visible things were not created by God, but (Oh, what an awful falsehood!) by Satan; which belief is imputed, by most of the ancient writers, to the Manicheans; yet, the last mentioned falsifier, namely, Gretserus, has not hesitated to head such a page of said book, Ermegard against the Waldenses; though the author specially refuted the Manicheans, with whom the Waldenses had nothing in common. See the above-mentioned authors and books, and also the comments of Balthasar Lydius on the disputations of said persons. Hence it follows from the foregoing, that it need not seem strange to the reader, that the papists called the orthodox Waldenses, or, at least, such as opposed the Roman doctrine, as well as the priests and monks, by the odious name of Manicheans or heretics, as was frequently the case, and shall presently be shown, with regard to the good martyrs, who, through the malice of the nanists. were hanved at Goslar.

(Martyrs Mirror)


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