En el juicio final,

los hombres no serán condenados porque creyeron concienzudamente una mentira, sino porque no creyeron la verdad, porque descuidaron la oportunidad de aprender la verdad. No obstante los sofismas con que Satanás trata de establecer lo contrario, siempre es desastroso desobedecer a Dios. Debemos aplicar nuestros corazones a buscar la verdad. Todas las lecciones que Dios mandó registrar en su Palabra son para nuestra advertencia e instrucción. Fueron escritas para salvarnos del engaño. El descuidarlas nos traerá la ruina. Podemos estar seguros de que todo lo que contradiga la Palabra de Dios procede de Satanás.

34.04. The Waldenses - III

The Waldenses were among the first of the peoples of Europe to obtain a translation of the Holy Scriptures. ¹ Hundreds of years before the Reformation they possessed the Bible in manuscript in their native tongue. They had the truth unadulterated, and this rendered them the special objects of hatred and persecution.

They declared the Church of Rome to be the apostate Babylon of the Apocalypse, and at the peril of their lives they stood up to resist her corruptions. While, under the pressure of long-continued persecution, some compromised their faith, little by little yielding its distinctive principles, others held fast the truth.

Through ages of darkness and apostasy there were Waldenses who denied the supremacy of Rome, who rejected image worship as idolatry, and who kept the true Sabbath. Under the fiercest tempests of opposition they maintained their faith. Though gashed by the Savoyard spear, and scorched by the Romish fagot, they stood unflinchingly for God's word and His honor.

Behind the lofty bulwarks of the mountains--in all ages the refuge of the persecuted and oppressed--the Waldenses found a hiding place. Here the light of truth was kept burning amid the darkness of the Middle Ages. Here, for a thousand years, witnesses for the truth maintained the ancient faith.

God had provided for His people a sanctuary of awful grandeur, befitting the mighty truths committed to their trust. To those faithful exiles the mountains were an emblem of the immutable righteousness of Jehovah. They pointed their children to the heights towering above them in unchanging majesty, and spoke to them of Him with whom there is no variableness nor shadow of turning, whose word is as enduring as the everlasting hills.

God had set fast the mountains and girded them with strength; no arm but that of Infinite Power could move them out of their place. In like manner He had established His law, the foundation of His government in heaven and upon earth. The arm of man might reach his fellow men and destroy their lives; but that arm could as readily uproot the mountains from their foundations, and hurl them into the sea, as it could change one precept of the law of Jehovah, or blot out one of His promises to those who do His will. In their fidelity to His law, God's servants should be as firm as the unchanging hills.

The mountains that girded their lowly valleys were a constant witness to God's creative power, and a never-failing assurance of His protecting care. Those pilgrims learned to love the silent symbols of Jehovah's presence. They indulged no repining because of the hardships of their lot; they were never lonely amid the mountain solitudes.

They thanked God that He had provided for them an asylum from the wrath and cruelty of men. They rejoiced in their freedom to worship before Him. Often when pursued by their enemies, the strength of the hills proved a sure defense. From many a lofty cliff they chanted the praise of God, and the armies of Rome could not silence their songs of thanksgiving.
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¹ On discoveries of Waldensian manuscripts see M. Esposito, "Sur quelques manuscrits de l'ancienne litterature des Vaudois du Piemont," in Revue d'Historique Ecclesiastique (Louvain, 1951), p. 130 ff.; F. Jostes, "Die Waldenserbibeln," in Historisches Jahrbuch, 1894; D. Lortsch, Histoire de la Bible en France (Paris, 1910), ch. 10.

A classic written by one of the Waldensian "barbs" is Jean Leger, Histoire Generale des Eglises Evangeliques des Vallees de Piemont (Leyden, 1669), which was written at the time of the great persecutions and contains firsthand information with drawings.

For the literature of Waldensian texts see A. Destefano, Civilta Medioevale (1944); and Riformatori ed eretici nel medioeve (Palermo, 1938); J. D. Bounous, The Waldensian Patois of Pramol (Nashville, 1936); and A. Dondaine, Archivum Fratrum Praedicatorum (1946).

For the history of the Waldenses, reliable works are: E. Comba, History of the Waldenses in Italy (see later Italian edition published in Torre Pellice, 1934); E. Gebhart, Mystics and Heretics (Boston, 1927); G. Gonnet, Il Valdismo Medioevale, Prolegomeni (Torre Pellice, 1935); and Jalla, Histoire des Vaudois et leurs colonies (Torre Pellice, 1935).