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the olive-trees and the candlesticks of the literal temple; the two Churches, which they represent, must be sought within the precincts of the mystic temple or among that collective body of sincere worshippers who are placed in opposition to the unmeasured gentilising Christians of the Apostasy.
3. Having thus determined in the abstract the particular idea which we ought to entertain of the two witnesses, namely, that they are two Churches ; we have next to inquire, in the concrete, what two Churches are specifically alluded to, as performing the actions, and as undergoing the troubles, of the two ecclesiastical witnesses.
(1.) From the prediction before us we learn, that, throughout the entire period of the latter 1260 years, while the outer court and the holy city were trodden down of the Gentiles, there should always be a considerable body of measured or faithful worshippers within the precincts of the allego rical temple, and that two whole Churches should be eminent and remarkable for synchronically prophesying in sackcloth and for bearing their testimony to the truth with a sound and enlightened conscience.
Now these two Churches are to be sought for within the precincts of the allegorical temple, no less than the collective body of the measured worshippers; for they are symbolised by the two olivetrees and the golden candlestick which were within the precincts of the literal temple. But the mea
sured worshippers are plainly the whole collective body of the faithful throughout the Western Roman Empire, during the allotted period of the latter 1260 years; being no other than the spiritual Israel of God, though with a geographical limitation to the Western Empire, the successors and continuators of those who are figuratively said to have been sealed out of all the twelve tribes during the period of the sixth seal and in the reign of Constantine. Hence the two Churches must be two distinct ecclesiastical communities, taken out of the great collective body of the measured worshippers, which should, eminently and in their corporate capacity as Churches, bear their testimony, though in a depressed and persecuted condition, throughout the entire period of the latter 1260 years.
What, then, are the two distinct Churches, which answer to this description ? Where are we to find two Churches or two ecclesiastical communities, which, standing upon the geographical platform of the Western Roman Empire, have testified against the demonolatrous Apostasy, not at this time or at that time merely, like many individuals before the Reformation and like various national Churches after it, but unintermittingly during the whole period of the latter 1260 years ?
To this question I reply, that exactly two Churches, and only two Churches, can be found, which correspond with such a description : the Church of the Vallenses and the Church of the Albigenses.
(2.) The origin of these two venerable Churches is buried in the most remote antiquity.
Misled, partly by an inversion of etymology, and partly by the circumstance of the Albigenses having taken refuge in the Alps after they had been dislodged from the south of France by the crusade, of Simon de Montfort, Thuanus and others have supposed, that the Church of the Vallenses or (as the word was sometimes expressed) Valdenses derived its name from its alleged founder Peter Valdo of Lyons, who flourished in the twelfth century'. But, in truth, as it is well remarked by Leger, Peter of Lyons, instead of communicating, himself borrowed his descriptive appellation of le Vaudois or the Valdo from the already existing and much more ancient Church of the Vallenses; while the Vallenses or Valdenses or Vaudois obviously received their name from the well known fact of their having immemorially inhabited the valleys of Piedmonte.
Thuan. Hist. lib. vi. 5 16. vol. i. p. 221.
Leger's Hist. des Vaud. p. 16, 41. This opinion is incidentally, though strongly, corrobated by the language of the Noble Lesson.
From that curious and venerable document we learn, that, in the twelfth century, or about the precise time when Peter of Lyons flourished, if any person were somewhat more strict than his neighbours in the profession and practice of religion, he was immediately called a Vaudés. La Nobla Leyçon, cited by Allix on the Church of Piedm. chap. xviii. p. 178.
The name, we see, was familiarly used as a term of reproach : just as, in the primitive times, the word Christian was similarly employed by the Pagans. Any person, remarkable for his
That neither the Vallensic nor the Albigensic Churches could have been founded by Peter of Lyons is fully established by the unanimous testimony to their high antiquity which is borne even by writers of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.
The first evidence, which I shall adduce, is the official testimony of an Inquisitor, now or lately
piety, was forthwith denominated a Vaudés or a Valdensis : and the annexation of the name marked him out as a fit subject for vulgar hatred and ecclesiastical persecution. If, then, the term was thus familiarly applied to any good man; we may be morally sure, that so eminent and conspicuous a character as Peter would not escape the dreaded opprobrium. Peter of Lyons, accordingly, has been handed down to posterity, under what was deemed the peculiarly reproachful appellation of Peter the Valdo.
In fact, so little did the old Vallenses dream of having received their name from this holy man, that, at least as early as the year 1212, they themselves derived it, in point of etymology, from the word Vallis. The appellation, indeed, they spiritualised, if I may use the expression; for, according to the testimony of Ebrard of Bethune who wrote in that year, they called themselves Vallenses, because they abode in the valley of tears; Vallenses se appellant, eo quod in valle lachrymarum maneant. Ebrard. Bath. Antihær. c. xxv: but still they derived their title, not from the name of Peter of Lyons who had then been dead only about twenty years, but from the word Vallis or Valley ; and, when we recollect the peculiar locality of their ancient settlement, however naturally this persecuted race might be disposed to spiritualise their name with a reference to their circumstances, we can scarcely doubt that they really borrowed it, according to the just remark of their own historian Leger, from the long occupied literal valleys of Piedmont.
preserved in the public library of the University of Cambridge.
This person states, that, when in the thirteenth century the Albigenses were driven by the crusaders from the south of France, they fled to the valleys of the Alps. Here they joined themselves to a community professing the same religious sentiments as their own: which community is described by the Inquisitor, as having then existed, in the Piedmontese valleys of the diocese of Turin, FROM A PERIOD FAR BEYOND THE MEMORY OF MAN'.
The community in question is clearly the Church of the Vallenses. But, if this community had been founded by Valdo in the twelfth century only about seventy or eighty years before the junction of the two Churches in the thirteenth century, certainly the Inquisitor could not have described it as reaching back to a period of deep and unknown antiquity. The testimony, therefore, of the Inquisitor, fully establishes the fact, that the Vallenses had immemorially existed as a Church even in the thirteenth century, and consequently that Peter Valdo could not have been their founder so recently as the latter part of the twelfth century: for Peter Valdo flourished from about the year 1160 to about the year 1180; and yet a Church, said to have been founded by him, is described by an ancient Inquisitor, as having already, in the earlier part of the
Script. Inquis. anon. de Valdens. ex M.S. cod. G. Cantab. cited by Allix on the Church, of Piedm. p.