From Here to Forever


Rome Determines to Destroy the Waldenses

Now began the most terrible crusades against God's people in their mountain homes. Inquisitors were put upon their track. Again and again were their fertile lands laid waste, their dwellings and chapels swept away. No charge could be brought against the moral character of this proscribed class. Their grand offense was that they would not worship God according to the will of the pope. For this “crime” every insult and torture that men or devils could invent was heaped upon them. HF 49.3

When Rome determined to exterminate the hated sect, a bull [edict] was issued by the pope condemning them as heretics and delivering them to slaughter. (See Appendix) They were not accused as idlers, or dishonest, or disorderly; but it was declared that they had an appearance of piety and sanctity that seduced “the sheep of the true fold.” This bull called upon all members of the church to join the crusade against the heretics. As an incentive it “released all who joined the crusade from any oaths they might have taken; it legitimatized their title to any property they might have illegally acquired, and promised remission of all their sins to such as should kill any heretic. It annulled all contracts made in favor of Vaudois, forbade all persons to give them any aid whatever, and empowered all persons to take possession of their property.”1 This document clearly reveals the roar of the dragon, and not the voice of Christ. The same spirit that crucified Christ and slew the apostles, that moved the blood-thirsty Nero against the faithful in his day, was at work to rid the earth of those who were beloved of God. HF 49.4

Notwithstanding the crusades against them and the inhuman butchery to which they were subjected, this God-fearing people continued to send out missionaries to scatter the precious truth. They were hunted to the death, yet their blood watered the seed sown and yielded fruit. HF 50.1

Thus the Waldenses witnessed for God centuries before Luther. They planted the seeds of the Reformation that began in the time of Wycliffe, grew broad and deep in the days of Luther, and is to be carried forward to the close of time. HF 50.2