Page:A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages-Volume I .pdf/98

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78
HERESY.

It was not possible that ignorant zeal could thus undertake the office of religious instruction without committing errors which acute theologians could detect. It is not likely, moreover, that it would spare the vices and crimes of the clergy in summoning the faithful to repentance and salvation. Complaint speedily arose of the scandals which the new evangelists disseminated, and the Arch-bishop of Lyons, Jean aux Bellesmains, summoned them before him, and prohibited them from further preaching. They disobeyed and were excommunicated. Peter Waldo then appealed to the pope (probably Alexander III.), who approved his vow of poverty and authorized him to preach when permitted by the priests — a restriction which was observed for a time and then disregarded. The obstinate Poor Men gradually put forward one dangerous tenet after another, while their attacks upon the clergy became sharper and sharper ; yet as late as the year 1179 they came before the Council of Lateran, submitted their version of the Scriptures, and asked for license to preach. Walter Mapes, who was present, ridicules their ignorant simplicity, and chuckles over his own shrewdness in confusing them when he was delegated to examine their theological acquirements, yet he bears emphatic testimony to their holy poverty and zeal in imitating the apostles and following Christ. Again they applied to Rome for authority to found an order of preachers, but Lucius III. objected to their sandals, to their monkish copes, and to the companionship of men and women in their wandering life. Finding them obstinate, he finally anathematized them at the Council of Verona in 1184, but they still refused to abandon their mission, or even to consider themselves as separated from the Church. Though again condemned in a council held at Narbonne, they agreed, about 1190, to take the chances of a disputation held in the Cathedral of Narbonne, with Raymond of Daventer, a religious and God-fearing Catholic, as judge. Of


    foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vines" (Cant. ii. 15) in mediæval exegesis was traditionally explained by the ravages of heretics in the Church. In the papal bulls urging the Inquisition to redoubled activity the heretics are habitually alluded to as the foxes which ravage the vineyard of the Lord. If any originality could be looked for in Waldensian exposition, we might expect it in this passage, and yet Angelomus, Bruno, and Bernard are duly quoted by the Waldensian teacher to show that the foxes are heretics and the vines are the Church.