Page:A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages-Volume I .pdf/262

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rights which they had inherited, against audacious assailants whose doctrines threatened the overthrow of what they regarded as the basis of social order. Sympathize as we must with the Waldenses and the Cathari in their hideous martyrdom, we cannot but feel that the treatment which they endured was inevitable, and we should pity the blindness of the persecutor as well as the sufferings of the persecuted.

Man is seldom wholly consistent in the practical application of his principles, and the persecutors of the thirteenth century made one concession to humanity and common-sense which was fatal to the completeness of the theory on which they acted. To carry it out fully, they should have proselyted with the sword among all non-Christians whom fate threw in their power; but from this they abstained. Infidels who had never received the faith, such as Jews and Saracens, were not to be compelled to Christianity. Even their children were not to be baptized without parental consent, as this would be contrary to natural justice, as well we dangerous to the purity of the faith. It was necessary that the misbeliever should have been united with the Church by baptism in order to give her jurisdiction over him.[1]

  1. S. Thomge Aquinat. Summ. Sec. Sec. Q. x. art. 8, 12.-Zanchini de Hare. c. ii