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opinions prevailed in most of their communities; that the individual possession of worldly goods is unlawful; and that no person in office, either in church or state, can validly exercise his functions, if he be not in the state of grace. It is obvious that the practical results of these opinions are equally inconsistent with the tranquillity of the state, and the settlement of the church, and lead to the greatest excesses.
Soon after the Reformation, a curious correspondence took place between the Waldenses and Ecolampadius. It is to be. found in Scultet's Annales Evangelii renovati, (Hist. Lit. Reformationis ; Harmanni Von der Hart, p. 160.) The consequence was, that some time after Calvinism was established at Geneva, it was embraced by the Waldenses ; but they retained with it a considerable part of their tenets and discipline. In the year 1630, a plague having broke out, which destroyed a great proportion of their clergy, they applied for spiritual succour, to the reformed churches of France, and insensibly adopted their creed, rites and discipline.
The original and reformed creeds of the Waldenses may be seen in LEGER, Histoire Generale des Eglises Vaudoises, lib. I. c. 17. and in Boyer, Abrégé de l'Histoire des Vaudois, c. 2. p. 15. and in the valuable History of the Waldenses, recently published by Mr. Jones.
The Symbolic Books of the Bohemians.
Before the Reformation, Bohemia was a scene of great religious dispute. On the death of the celebrated John Huss, who had been burned on the charge of heresy, his followers retired to a mountain, in the district of Bohemia, and called it Tabor. Under Ziska, their first chief, and Rasa, his successor, they maintained a fierce war against their sovereign ; and justified it on the ground, that Huss was innocent of the heresies with which he was charged, and was therefore unjustly put to death; but they unaccountably admitted as an incontestible principle, that real heretics were worthy of punishment. From a mountain, on which they fixed their head quarters, they were called Taborites. Splitting into parties, one party retained this appellation, the other was called Calixtines : both required the cup for the laity ; but, while the latter would have been satisfied with the cup, and a gentle correction of abuse, the former insisted on a total alteration of church discipline, and an unqualified restoration of it to what they considered its pristine simplicity. The Calixtines were disposed to peace; the Taborites breathed nothing but war. “ They had imbibed,” says Mosheim, “ the most barbarous sentiments, with respect to the obligation of fixing vengeance on their enemies, against whom they breathed nothing but vengeance and fury, without any mixture of hulConf.
manity or compassion." In 1433, the council of Basil sent Æneas Sylvius and other legates, to confer with them. By allowing the cup to the laity, in the administration of the sacrament, they reconciled the Calixtines to the Roman Pontiff; but the Taborites remained inflexible: by degrees, however, they grew tired of the war, and insensibly retired to the peaceful occupations of trade and agriculture. A confession of the faith of the Calixtines, and a confession of faith of the Taborites were signed at the synod of Cuttenburgh, in 1441. They are inserted in l’Enfan's Histoire de la Guerre des Hussites et du Concile de Basle. T. 2. p. 119, 132. A confession of the Bohemians is inserted in the “ Harmony of the Confessions of the Faith of the Christian and Reformed Churches, published at Cambridge in 1580.”
The Taborites, however, after their retirement from the war, persisted, but with greater moderation, in their projects of reform: and in 1522, having heard of Luther's reformation, sent a considerable number of deputies to him, to solicit his friendship and good offices. On many subsequent occasions, they shewed an attachment to the Saxon churches.
Previously to their signing the Confession of faith which has been mentioned, they had signed one in 1532, in the Bohemian language. This is extremely rare : it was afterwards translated into Latin, with the title, Confessio Fidei ac Religionis Baronum ac Nobilium regni Bohemia, Serenissimo ac invictissimo Romanorum, Bohemia, &c. regi; Vienna, Austria, sub anno domini 1535, oblata. It is to be found in the Corpus et Syntagma Confessionum Fidei, Pars II. Luther prefixed to it a preface, not approving it entirely, but approving the greatest part of it; and considering that the rest might be tolerated. Two editions of it were published by them, one in German, in 1572, the other in Latin, in 1612.
After the death of Luther, most of the Bohemians veered to Calvinism. They then became dissatisfied with their former creed ; and, it is said, destroyed all the copies of their confession, which fell into their hands.
The disputes increasing, and Poland and Switzerland being
equally disturbed by them, a congress was held, of the Bohemian brethren, the Lutherans, and the Switzers, in 1570, at Sendomer.
There they agreed on a formulary; generally called the Consent of Faith at Sendomer. This document, and a curious account of the congress, at which it was framed, was published by Jablonski, at Berlin, in 1731, with the title, Historia Consensus Sendomerensis.
But the agreement was of short duration; and almost immediately after it was signed, the majority of the Bohemians entered into communion with the Helvetic churches. In the year 1620, a general union of all the Bohemian churches was effected at Astrog, under the name of the Church of the United Brethren. By the terms of this agreement, the external form of the church was nearly Lutheran, the articles of faith, nearly Calvinistic.
The Articuli Visitatorii of the Electorate of
The articles, which are the subject of this chapter might, with propriety, have immediately followed the account which has been given of the Symbolic books of the Lutheran churches ; but, as these articles were formed in consequence of the feuds between the Lutheran and reformed churches, and were designed to serve as a test for the discovery of concealed Calvinists, the writer thought the object and import of them would be better understood if they were preceded by an account of the Symbolic books of the Lutheran reformed churches.
The strong terms, in which Luther reprobated the Sacramentarians, have been mentioned. Several, however, of his most distinguished disciples were, even in his life-time, favourably disposed towards them. After his decease, they made no secret of those sentiments. Melancthon was at their head; and his intimacy with Calvin, the chief of the Sacramentarians, frequently led them to amicable discussions on the points in dispute. Melancthon died before any progress in the attempt at conciliation was made, but his spirit of moderation descended to his disciples.
The principal point in difference between the parties, turned on the doctrine of the Real Presence, in the Eucharistic sacri