Page:A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages-Volume I .pdf/162

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all the simple folk, but that the lord of the castle would not allow the two disputants to be expelled.[1]

Further colloquies of similar character are recorded, occupying the autumn and winter, and, with the opening of spring, in 1207, Arnaud had held his chapter and obtained numerous volunteers for the pious work, among them no less than twelve abbots. Taking boats, they descended the Saone to the Rhone, without horses or retinue, and proceeded to their field of labor, where they separated into twos and threes, wandering barefoot among the towns and villages and seeking to gather in the lost sheep of Israel. For three months they thus labored diligently, like real evangelists, finding thousands of heretics and few orthodox, but the harvest was scanty and conversions rarely rewarded their pains — in fact, the only practical result was to excite the heretics to renewed missionary zeal. It speaks well for the tolerant temper of the Cathari that men who had been invoking the most powerful sovereigns of Christendom to exterminate them with fire and sword, should have incurred no real danger in a task apparently so full of risk. The missionaries had to complain of occasional insult, but never were even threatened with injury, except perhaps, at Beziers, Pierre de Castelnau, who seems to have attracted to himself the special dislike of the sectaries. It shows, moreover, the zealous care with which the Church restricted the office of preaching that the legates, in spite of the extraordinary powers with which they were clothed, felt obliged to apply to Innocent for special authority to confer the license to teach in public on those whom they deemed worthy. The favorable answer of the pope was in reality one of the important events of the century, for it gave the impulsion out of which eventually grew the great Dominican Order.[2]

Pierre de Castelnau left his colleagues and visited Provence to make peace among the nobles, in the hope of uniting them for the expulsion of heretics. Raymond of Toulouse refused to lay down his arms until the intrepid monk excommunicated him and laid his dominions under interdict, finally reproaching him bitterly to his

  1. Pet. Sarnens. c. 3.
  2. Pet. Sarnens. c. 3, 5. — Rob. Autissiodor. ann. 1207.— Guillel. Nangiac. ann. 1207.— Guillel. de Pod. Laurent, c. 8.— Concil. Narbonn. ann. 1208.— Regest. ix. 185.