• “Lord, I give up all my own plans and purposes, all my own desires and hopes, and accept Thy will for my life. I give myself, my life, my all utterly to Thee to be Thine forever. Fill me and seal me with Thy Holy Spirit. Use me as Thou wilt, work out Thy whole will in my life at any cost, now and forever.” – Betty Scott Stam, 20th Century Martyr

SOME PIOUS CHRISTIANS, CALLED MANICHEANS AND HERETICS BY THE PAPISTS, HANGED FOR THE CONFESSION OF THE EVANGELICAL TRUTH, AT GOSLAR, A. D. 1052

It grieves us to our very soul, that in regard to the testimonies of the holy martyrs, we have to resort to the writings of papists, their most inveterate enemies, as well as to other writers who did not hold the same faith with us, and who, consequently, made the faithful records of the pious witnesses of Jesus our Saviour incline to their opinion, and explained’ them according to their own views. This mischief has met us before, and now again falls to our lot; still, we hope that the intelligent and attentive reader will distinguish light from darkness, and judge impartially, and as a Christian.

Herman Contractus, Count of Veringen, writes at the close of his life, hardly one or two years before his death, of certain persons at Goslar, who were accused by their adversaries, the Romanists, of being Manicheans; for at that time no other or better name was known for the true Christians, who were opposed to the Roman church, notwithstanding they had nothing at all in common with the Manicheans; and thus this Herman Contractus, a strong maintainer of the papal religion, also called these persons, after Roman fashion, Manicheans, saying, “The Emperor Henry III (some say II), A. D. 1052, celebrated, at Goslar, the Lord’s birthday, and there caused some heretics (thus he calls the true Christians), who, among other perverse opinions according to the sect of the Manicheans, abhor the eating of all kinds of meat (which he unjustly imputes to these people, as shall be shown), and who were condemned, by common consent (of the bishops or lords of the realm), as heretics; to be hanged on the gallows, in order that the contagion should not spread further and contaminate many others. Heron.. Contr. Chron., A. D. 1052.

But they cared not so much (A. Mellinus writers), about the eating of flesh, as about many other points of doctrine, which Herman Contractus passes over silently; namely, such as Radulph Ardens makes mention of, relating that at the close of said century there were some (so-called) Manicheans at Aix la Chapelle in France. He there says (Homil. Dominical 8, post Trinit.), “Such are at the present day the Manichean heretics, who have polluted our country of Aix la Chapelle with their heresy; who pretend to lead a true apostolical life, saying that they do not lie; that they do not swear, and, under the cloak of abstemiousness, they reject the eating of flesh. They also maintain that the sacrament of the altar is nothing but mere bread; they deny baptism (namely, infant baptism, for this was the point in question) and say that none can be saved but those who are baptized by their hands.”

It is true that said papistic writer charges them with several other thins as belonging to their doc-trines, of which we deem it unnecessary to speak here, since Mellinus to whom we referred above, answers all these for us, saying (2d book, fol. 437), “All these errors, except that of baptism and of the mass or transubstantiation (that is, against the mass and transubstantiation), are unjustly imputed to them by these papistic authors, as Thuan, writing of the Waldenses, himself confesses(Hist. sui temp. A. D. 1550). He then quotes from Thua.n the confession of these people, in which no errors at all, much less Manichean heresies, are found; but which contains chiefly such things as are publicly taught by us, at the present day, and maintained with the power and authority of the holy and divine Scriptures, against the superstitions of popery.

Having quoted the confession of these people, from Thuan, Mellinus says, “This is certainly a square and unfeigned confession of Thuan, which alone is sufficient to refute all the preceding slanders (namely, which had been flung against the holy martyrs).”

Thus, even according to the testimony of the papist Thuan, and the statement of the Calvinistic Mellinus, the above-mentioned martyrs were not guilty of Manichean errors; they only spoke against the Roman church, principally in the matter of baptism (that is, infant baptism) and in regard to the mass or transubstantiation; hence, they may be reckoned among the true witnesses of Jesus Christ, who testified to their living faith, not only with the mouth, but also with their blood, yea, with their death; and whom the Lord will hereafter, in the resurrection of the just, reward and crown, according to His promise. Rev. 2:10.

NOTE.-We here place one papist against -another; Thuan against Radulph. In the meantime, we are induced to receive the best testimony concerning said martyrs from these two differing writers; since they both had no other purpose than to speak to the detriment of said people. Thuan says, “Their points of doctrine are said to be these: That the Roman church has forsaken the true Christian faith; that she is the Babylonian whore, and the dead tree which Christ cursed and commanded to be cut down; that therefore no obedience is to be rendered to the pope and the bishops who consent to his errors; that Monachism is a veritable sink of all the corruption of the church, and an infernal pool; that all monastic vows are vain and unavailing, and tend only to lasciviousness; that the orders of the priesthood are marks of the great beast, of which mention is made in the Apocalypse; that purgatory, the mass, church consecration, the worship of saints, masses for the dead, etc., are genuine inventions and institutions of Satan. These, says the writer, are the principal and certain articles of their doctrine. The others, concerning marriage (that they deemed it evil), the resurrection (that they denied it), the state of the soul after death (that they spoke improperly of it), and concerning meats (that they rejected all eating of flesh), are unjustly imputed to them. Thuan in. Hist. de Waldens. Temp., A. D. 1550, compared with A. Mell., 2d book, fol. 437, col. 3.

We have shown this the more circumstantially, to demonstrate the innocence of said martyrs, and that their doctrinal points were not Manichean heresies, but strictures upon the Roman church, which stirred up the animosity of the papists, so that, as it seems, they vented the spleen of their manifold accusations against said people.

(Martyrs Mirror)

 

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