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THE TOWN OF BEZIERS, IN FRANCE, In the month of November of that year, he wrote to PERSECUTIONS OF THE ALBIGENSES.
Philip Augustus, King of France, and to all the BEZIERS, or Bésiers, is a town in the south of France, “counts, barons, knights, and faithful, of that kingbuilt upon a hill which rises in the midst of a well
dom," exhorting them to make war upon the Albi. wooded and well-cultivated valley, and at the foot of genses, and promising as their reward, in this life the which runs the river Orbe. It is a place of great
confiscation of the goods of that people, and in the antiquity : it existed during the dominion of the other, the same indulgences as were granted to those Romans, and was one of their early colonies. Its
who fought the infidels in the Holy Land. Before original name was Boeterræ ; but it acquired after.
these letters could produce any effect, an event ocwards the additional designation of Septimanorum,
curred which “redoubled the rage of the pope, and because the soldiers of the seventh legion (who were
the bigots, and kindled the sacred war," as it was called Septimani) were settled here. After suffering
impiously called. from the Visigoths in the fifth century, and the
Peter de Castelnau, the pope's legate, judging that Saracens in the eighth, it began to flourish under the
Count Raymond did not proceed in the work of exkings of the Carlovingian dynasty; and in the tenth
termination with adequate zeal, went to him with his century had viscounts of its own, who shared with brother legate, reproached the Count to his face with the bishops the temporal jurisdiction of the city, and
his baseness, as he termed it, treated him as a perbecame vassals of the kings of Aragon.
jured favourer of heretics, and a tyrant, and again The situation of Béziers is remarkably fine; "it
excommunicated him. rises,” says Malte Brun, “on a hill that commands This lord, (says Sismondi,) exceedingly provoked, threata view of a rich valley, where the sad foliage of the ened to make Castelnau pay for his insolence with his life. olive is united with the verdant leaves of the mul The two legates, disregarding this threat, quitted the court berry, where gardens, orchards, vineyards, and
of Raymond without a reconciliation, and came to sleep,
on the night of the 14th of January, 1208, in a little inn by country houses, extend on both banks of the Orbe."
the side of the Rhone, which river they intended to pass The town is enclosed within an old wall flanked with
the next day. One of the Count's gentlemen happened towers, and is surrounded by rows of trees. “We to meet them there, or perhaps had followed them. On the entered," says an English writer, “at the gate of the morning of the 15th, after mass, this gentleman entered citadel, into a large square, open on one side, with a into a dispute with Peter de Castelnau, respecting heresy view over the country to the Mediterranean. The and its punishment. The legate had never spared the
most insulting epithets to the advocates of tolerance; the streets which lead from this spacious square are
gentleman, already irritated by the quarrel with his lord, narrow beyond all precedent. We entered one just
and now feeling himself personally offended, drew his wide enough to admit our carriage, and drove down
poignard, struck the legate in the side, and killed him. a very steep descent.” On the highest point of the The intelligence of this murder excited Innocent the Third town stands the stately cathedral of Béziers, which to the greatest excess of wrath. Raymond the Sixth had is joined to the Bishop's palace on the pinnacle of by no means so direct a part in the death of Castelnau, the hill, and frowns over the town more like a fortified
like a fortified | whom the church regarded as a martyr, as had Henry the
Second, in the death of Thomas à Becket. But Innocent castle than a church.” The interior is not handsome ;
the Third was more haughty and implacable than Alexander it has an organ supported by some singular bearded
the Third had been. He immediately published a bull,
the Third h figures, which some take to be satyrs, and others to
addressed to all the counts, barons, and knights, of the four be doctors of law. The terrace, which extends in provinces of the Southern Gaul, in which he declared that front of the cathedral, is remarkable for the beauty
it was the devil who had instigated his principal minister,
Raymond, Count of Toulouse, against the legate of the of its prospect; the view from this elevated spot
holy see. He laid under an interdict all the places which extending over a richly-varied country, through
should afford a refuge to the murderers of Castelnau: he which the river Orbe winds to the Mediterranean.
demanded that Raymond of Toulouse should be publicly Close to the town passes the celebrated Canal du
anathematized in all the churches; “and as," added he, Midi, or Canal of the South, otherwise called the “ following the canonical sanctions of the holy fathers, we Canal of Languedoc; the Orbe is joined by this
must not observe faith towards those who keep not faith canal, and thus Béziers enjoys the advantages of an
towards God, or who are separated from the communion
of the faithful, we discharge, by apostolic authority, all extensive inland navigation.
ihose who believe themselves bound towards this Count, by The quays (says Mr. Carey) were covered with barrels, any oath either of alliance or of fidelity, we permit every and the basin of the canal was crowded with boats, and
Catholic man, saving the right of his principal lord, to numerous hands were actively employed in loading and pursue his person, to occupy and retain his territories, espeunloading them. Everywhere the signs of business and
cially for the purpose of exterminating heresy. commerce were visible. The canal is brought to the level of the river by eight (others say nine) locks; the wood-work
This bull was speedily followed by letters equally of them, as well as the machinery near, and also the ware fulminating, to the King of France, to the bishops, house shutters and doors, are painted of a bright green, barons, &c., inciting them to begin the crusade. which has an incongruous, whimsical effect. The ab ind
We exhort you (said the Pope) that you would endeavour ance of verdigris at hand, it being one of the staple com
to destroy the wicked heresy of the Albigenses, and do modities of the country, accounts for the circumstance.
this with more rigour than you would use towards the Historically speaking, Béziers possesses a bigh | Saracens themselves : persecute them with a strong hand; degree of interest from its sufferings in the crusade de prive them of their lands and possessions; banish them, against the Albigenses ; many of the inhabitants bad and put Roman Catholics in their room. embraced the opinions of that sect, and when the The monks of Citeaux, at whose head was their crusade began, their town was the first upon which abbot, Arnold Amabric, having received powers from the persecution fell. In a former article* we traced | Rome to preach the crusade among the people, gave the origin of this persecution, and its progress, urxtil themselves to the work with an ardour which had not the year 1207, when Pope Innocent the Third haviag been equalled by the celebrated hermit Peter, or his imposed upon the princes of the country the task of
successor, Fulk of Neuilly. Innocent the Third, exterminating the “ heretics," and judging that they impelled by hatred, had offered to all who should proceeded too slowly in the work, thought first of take the cross against the Provençals, the utmost preaching a crusade against that unfortunate people, extent of indulgence which his predecessors had ever and calling in strangers to aid in its accomplishment. granted to those who laboured for the delivery of * See Saturday Magazine, Vol. X., p. 210
Palestine and the Holy Sepulchre,
As soon as these new Crusaders had assumed the that the other heretics may be the more easily defeated, sign of the cross (which, to distinguish themselves and that afterwards we may crush him when he shall be from those of the East, they wore on the breast instead of the shoulder), they were instantly placed It is impossible to avoid remarking, in the lanunder the protection of the holy see, freed from the | guage of Sismondi, that payment of the interest of their debts, and exempted Whenever ambitious and perfidious priests had any disfrom the jurisdiction of all the tribunals; whilst the graceful orders to communicate, they never failed to pervert, war which they were invited to carry on, at their
for this purpose, some passage of the holy Seriptures; one
would say, that they had only studied the Bible to make doors, almost without danger and expense, was to expiate all the vices and crimes of a whole life.
sacrilegious applications of it. The belief (says Sismondi) in the power of these indul
The smallest estimate of the number of the Crugences, which we can scarcely comprehend, was not yet saders is fifty thousand, exclusive of the ignorant abated; the barons of France never doubted that whilst and fanatical multitude which followed each preacher, fighting in the Holy Land, they had the assurance of armed with scythes and clubs, and promised to themParadise. But those distant expeditions had been attended
selves, that “if they were not in a condition to with so many disasters; so many hundreds of thousands
combat the knights of Languedoc, they might at had perished in Asia, or by the way, from hunger, or misery, or sickness, that others wanted courage to follow
| least be able to murder the women and children of them. It was then with transports of joy that the faithful | the heretics.” When Count Raymond heard, that received the new pardons which were offered them, and so in spite of his reconciliation with the Pope, these much the more, that, far from regarding the return they fanatics were directed towards his states, he hastened were called upon to make, as painful or dangerous, they
| to represent to the Pope, that the legate Arnold, who would willingly have undertaken it for the pleasure alone
conducted them, was his personal enemy, and “it of doing it. War was their passion, and pity for the ranquished had never troubled their pleasure.
would be unjust,” said he,“ to profit by my submisNever, therefore, had the cross been taken up with
sion, to deliver me to the mercy of a man who would
listen only to his resentment against me." a more unanimous consent. The first to engage in
from the Count of Toulouse, in appearance, this this war, were Eudes the Third, Duke of Burgundy,
motive for complaint, Innocent the Third named a Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester, the Counts
new legate, who was his notary or secretary; but far of Nevers, of St. Paul, of Auxerre, of Genève, and
from endeavouring by this means to restrain the of Forez. While the abbot of Citeaux, and all the
hatred of the Abbot of Citeaux, his only aim was to convents of the Bernardin order, were distinguishing
deceive Raymond ; “ for the lord Pope expressly themselves in preaching the war of extermination, and promising to those who should perish therein,
said to this new legate, Let the Abbot of Citeaux do
everything, and be thou only his organ; for, in fact, plenary absolution of all the sins which they had
the Count of Toulouse has suspicions concerning committed from the hour of their birth, to the hour
him, whilst he does not suspect thee.” of their death, Innocent charged a new congre.
Such was the
artifice of Innocent, as recorded by a contemporary gation, at the head of which he placed the Spaniard,
writer, who dedicated his history of the Albigenses St. Dominic, to go on foot, two by two, through the
to that Pope himself. villages, to preach the Romish faith among them, to
Raymond Roger, the Viscount of Béziers, after enlighten them by controversial discussions, to display to them all the zeal of Christian charity, and to
another attempt to make his peace with the Pope,
and after being told by the legate, that“ what he had obtain from their confidence exact information of the
to do was to defend himself the best that he could, number and the dwelling-places of those who had
for he should show him no mercy," made preparations wandered from the church,“ in order to burn them
for a vigorous defence, resting his hopes chiefly upon when the opportunity should arrive." It was thus
his two great cities, Béziers and Carcassonne, and that the order of the preaching brethren of St.
dividing between them his most valiant knights. He Dominic, or of the Inquisitors, began.
himself, took up his position in the latter, after The Crusaders were not ready to march in 1208,
having visited Béziers, and ascertained that it was but their "immense preparations resounded through
well provided with the necessary articles. out Europe, and filled Languedoc with terror.” The
It was in
the month of July that the Crusaders, after pluncountries destined more especially to vengeance, as
dering and burning several castles, were united under being particularly the seats of “heresy," were the
the walls of Béziers. They had been preceded by states of Count Raymond of Toulouse, and those of
Reginald of Montpeyroux, Bishop of Béziers, who, his nephew, Raymond Roger, Viscount of Alby,
after having visited the legate, and delivered to him Béziers, Carcassonne, and Limoux, in Rasez. The first was mild, feeble, and timid, desirous, indeed, of
a list of those, amongst his flock, whom he suspected
of heresy, and whom he wished to see consigned to saving his subjects from confiscations and punish
the flames, returned to his parishioners, to represent ments, but still more desirous of saving himself from
the dangers to which they were exposed, and to persecution. The latter, on the contrary, in the full
exhort them to surrender their fellow-citizens to the vigour of youth, was generous, lofty, and impetuous ;
“avengers of the faith,” rather than to draw upon his states had been governed during a minority of
themselves, and upon their wives and children, the ten years, by guardians inclined to the new doctrines.
wrath of heaven and the church. “Tell the legate," Count Raymond hastened to make his submission
replied the citizens, whom he had assembled in the upon terms the most degrading, and the Pope then
cathedral of St. Nicaise," that our city is good and gave him hope of absolution, and promised him,
strong, that our Lord will not fail to succour us in moreover, his entire favour. But Innocent was far
our great necessities, and that, rather than commit from having pardoned Raymond in the bottom of
the baseness demanded of us, we would eat our own his heart. For, at this same period, he wrote thus
children.” Nevertheless, it is said, that there was no to the Abbot of Citeaux :
heart so bold as not to tremble, when the Crusaders We counsel you, with the Apostle Paul, to employ guile
were encamped under their walls; "and so great was with regard to this count, for in this case it ought to be called prudence. We must attack, separately, those who
the assemblage, both of tents and pavilions, that it are separated from unity; leave for a time the Count of appeared as if all the world was collected there ; at Toulouse, employing towards him a wide dissimulation, which those of the city began to be greatly asto
nished, for they thought they were only fables, what | EASY LESSONS ON CHRISTIAN EVIDENCES. their bishop had come to tell them, and advise them."
No. II. But though astonished, the citizens of Béziers were
FAITH AND CREDULITY. not discouraged ; and while the enemies were yet tracing a camp, they sallied and attacked them una Our forefathers, and the other Pagans who em. wares. “But the Crusaders were still more terrible braced the Gospel, must have had some strong compared with the inhabitants of the South, by their reasons (as was remarked before,) to bring them to fanaticism and boldness, than by their numbers." shake off their habits of life, and their early preThe infantry alone repulsed the citizens; and at the judices, and their veneration for the gods they had same time, the whole army of the besiegers, precipi- been brought up to worship, for the sake of Christ tating themselves upon them as they retreated, pur- | and his religion, which were new to them. But persued them so eagerly and so closely as to enter the haps you may suppose that their ancient religions gates with them, and thus found themselves masters also must have been embraced by their forefathers of the city before they had ever formed their plan of in the same manner; i. e., that the worship of the attack. The knights, learning that they had tri- Sun, and Moon, and Jupiter, and the rest of their umphed without fighting, inquired of the legate gods, must have been first brought in by strong Arnold, the Abbot of Citeaux, how they should dis proofs, -at least by what were thought to be strong tinguish the Catholics from the heretics,-whereupon proofs. But this does not appear to have been the he made them this “much celebrated reply,"-Kill case. We have no accounts of the first origin of the them all—the Lord will know well those who are his! Pagan religions; and it is likely that no one of them
The fixed population of Béziers, at this period, did was ever brought in all at once, but that these not exceed, probably, 15,000 persons; but it had
various superstitions crept in by little and little, and been largely increased by the influx of the inhabit- religion became gradually corrupted, as men lost ants of the open country, and the places incapable of more and more that knowledge of the one true God, defence.
which we suppose to have been originally revealed. This whole multitude, at the moment when the Crusa This, at least, is certain, that it was not even preders became masters of the gates, took refuge in the tended that these religions rested on any evidence churches; the great cathedral of St. Nicaise contained the
worth listening to. A Pagan's reason for holding his largest number; the canons, clothed with their choral
religion, is and always was, that it had been handed habits, surrounded the altar, and sounded the bells, as if to express their prayers to the furious assailants; but these
down from his ancestors. They did, indeed, relate supplications of brass were as little heard as those of the many miracles, said to have been wrought through human voice. The bells ceased not to sound, till, of that their gods; but almost all of these they spoke of as immense multitude, which had taken refuge in the church, having been wrought among people who were already the last had been massacred. Neither were those spared
worshippers of those gods; not as having been the who had sought an asylum in the other churches; seven
means of originally bringing in the religion. And all thousand dead bodies were counted in that of the Magdalen alone. When the Crusaders had massacred the last living
the Pagan miracles they believed, merely because creature in Béziers, and had pillaged the houses of all that they were a part of the religion which they had learned they thought worth carrying off, they set fire to the city in from their fathers. They never even pretended to every part at once, and reduced it to a vast funeral pile. give any proof that these miracles had ever been Not a house remained standing, not one human being alive.
performed. Historians differ as to the number of victims. The Abbot
The Christian religion was distinguished from of Citeaux, feeling some shame for the butchery which he had ordered, reduces it, in his letter to Innocent the Third,
these (as has been said,) by its resting on evidence; to fifteen thousand; others make it amount to sixty thou- |
by its offering a reason, and requiring Christians to sand.
be able to give a reason, for believing it.
Some persons, however, have a notion that it is
presumptuous for a Christian, at least for an unMONTGOLFIER AND THE BALLOON.
learned Christian, to seek any proof of the truth The celebrated Montgolfier, inventor of the Balloon, had of his religion. They suppose that this would show fréquent intercourse with the printers of Avignon for pub a want of faith. They know that faith is often and lishing his papers. The widow Guichard, one of these highly commended in Scripture, as the Christian's printers, with whom he often lodged during his stay at
first duty; and they fancy that this faith consists in Avignon, having one day observed a thick smoke issuing from his room, had the curiosity to go in, and was much
a person's readily and firmly believing what is told surprised to see Montgolfier gravely employed in filling al
him, and trusting in every promise that is made to shapeless paper bag, by means of the smoke from a chafing him; and that the less reason he has for believing dish. The physician seemed thwarted by the balloon, when and for trusting, and the less he doubts, and inquires, filled with smoke, rising one moment, and then awkwardly and seeks for grounds for his belief and his confi. falling on one side the next; thus he was obliged, with one
dence, the more faith he shows. hand, to hold the balloon in the position which he thought most facilitated the entrance of the smoke, while with the
But this is quite a mistake. The faith which the other he threw wet straw on the chafing-dish; for it is
Christian Scriptures speak of and commend, is the known, that at first the raising the balloon was ascribed to very contrary of that blind sort of belief and trust the smoke and not to the hot air with which it was filled. which does not rest on any good reason. This last The widow Guichard, smiling at bis distress, said with
is more properly called credulity than faith. When a simplicity: “Eh! why don't you fasten the balloon to the chafing-dish?" This exclamation was like a ray of light to
man believes without evidence, or against evidence, Montgolfier; in fact, the secret lay there,-it was only ne
he is what we rightly call credulous; but he is never cessary to fasten the chafing dish to the balloon.-Fros
commended for this ; on the contrary, we often find SARD's Tableaux de Nismes.
in Scripture mention made of persons who are re
proached for their unbelief or want of faith, preThe time which passes over our heads so imperceptibly cisely on account of their showing this kind of makes the same gradual change in habits, manners, and
credulity; that is, not judging fairly according to the character, as in personal appearance. At the revolution of every five years, we find ourselves another, and yet the
evidence, but resolving to believe only what was same ;-there is a change of views, and no less of the light
agreeable to their prejudices, and to trust any one in which we regard them; a change of motives as well as who dattered taose prejudices. of actions.-SIR WALTER Scott,
This was the case with those of the ancient heathen, who refused to forsake the worship of the sperate resistance to the Romans; till at length the Sun and Moon, and of Jupiter and Diana, and their city was taken, and the nation utterly overthrown. other gods. Many of the Ephesians, as you read in Now the Jews who believed any one of these imthe Book of Acts, raised a tumult against Paul in postors, were led to do so by their prejudices, and their zeal for their “ goddess Diana, and the image expectations, and wishes ; not by any proof that was which fell down from Jupiter*.” Now if a man's offered. They showed, therefore, more credulity than faith is to be reckoned the greater, the less evidence he the Christians did. And these unbelieving Jews, as has for believing, these men must have had greater faith they are called, are the very persons who were rethan any one who received the Gospel, because they proached for their want of faith. You may plainly believed in their religion without any evidence at all. see from this, that the faith which the Christian writers
But what our sacred writers mean by faith is quite speak of, is not blind credulity, but fairness in listdifferent from this. When they commend a man'
s ening to evidence, and judging accordingly, without faith, it is because he listens fairly to evidence, being led away by prejudices and inclinations. and judges according to the reasons laid before him. Moreover, we find in the book of Acts that the The difficulty and the virtue of faith consists Jews of Berea were commended as being “ more in a man's believing and trusting not against evi- noble,” (that is, more candid,) than those of Thessadence, but against his expectations and prejudices, lonica, “because they searched the Scriptures," (the against his inclinations, and passions, and interests. books of the Old Testament,) to see whether those We read accordingly, that Jesus offered sufficient things were so, “which the Apostle taught.” proof of his coming from God ;-he said, the It is plain, therefore, that Jesus and his Apostles works (i. e., the miracles,) that I do in my Father's did not mean by Christian faith a blind assent withname, (i. e., by my Father's authority,) they bear out any reason. And if we would be taught by them, witness of me. If you believe not me, believe we must be “ prepared to answer every one that the works : that is, if you have not the heart to asketh us a reason of the hope that is in us." feel the purity and holiness of what I teach, at least you should allow, that " no man can do such miracles except God be with him." But we are told,
THE SEPS*. that “ for all he had done so many miracles among THE links which we remark in the scale of living them, yet did they not believe on Him." They acknow creatures, and which make the observer pass, unconledged that He wrought miracles, as the unbelieving sciously, from one class of beings to another, from man Jews acknowledge at the present day. But they had with his lofty brow, to the lichen clinging to the rock, of expected, that the Christ (or Messiah] whom they which it seems to form a part, are facts calculated to looked for, should come in great worldly power and penetrate us with admiration for the Creator's works, splendour, as a conquering prince, who should deliver and which quite set aside all our artificial classificathem from the dominion of the Romans, and should tions. We here present an account, accompanied by make Jerusalem the capital of a magnificent empire. a figure, of a singular reptile, which forms the link They were disappointed and disgusted, (“ offended" that unites the family of the crocodiles to that of the is the word used in our translations,) at finding Jesus boa-serpent, the lizard of the plains with the snake of coming from Nazareth, a despised town in Galilee, the marshes. The Seps is no longer considered to be and having no worldly pomp or pretensions about a lizard, neither is it quite a serpent. Its lengthened Him, and having only poor fishermen and peasants body gives, at first sight, a striking resemblance to as his attendants. Accordingly they rejected Him, the Blind-worm, but on closer examination, we dissaying, “ shall [the] Christ come out of Nazareth.” | cover with astonishment, two pair of such very short “As for this man we know not whence he is.” “Out | paws, that they cannot possibly reach the ground. of Galilee arises no prophet.” And they persuaded themselves, (as their descendants do to this day,) that Jesus was a skilful magician, and performed miracles, not by Divine power, but by the help of some evil spirits, or demons, with whom he had allied Himself. Though he went about doing good, healing the sick and afflicted, and teaching the purest morality, they reckoned him a “deceiver," who “cast | out demons, through Beelzebub, the prince of the demons."
But if he had come among them offering to fulfil their expectations, and undertaking to deliver their country from the Romans, then, even though he had shown no miraculous power, many of them would have received him readily. And, indeed, it is recorded of Him, that He declared this Himself, and foretold to his disciples, “many will come in my name," (that is, taking on them my character,) “saying I am [the] Christ, and will deceive many." And, again, “ I am
This animal belongs to the family of the Scincoides, come in my Father's name," (that is, with my Father's
which are all distinguished by the extreme smallness authority and power,) " and you receive me not; if
| of their members, and of which some species present another shall come in his own name,” (that is, re
very remarkable peculiarities. We remark that some quiring to be believed on his bare word, without any
Seps are only provided with one toe on each foot; the miraculous signs,) “him ye will receive."
bipeds possess only one pair of paws, situated at the And so it came to pass : for in the last siege of hinder part of their body; the foremost paws only Jerusalem many impostors came forward, each one are
one are observable in the bimanus. claiming to be the Christ, and drawing multitudes to
The species represented above is the only one which follow him, and leading them to make the most de- * This word, which comes from a Greek word, signifying to corrupt,
was used by the ancients to designate an animal, which some con• Acts xix. 35.
sidered a lizard and others a serpent.