The Centuriators of Magdeburgh, in their History of the Christian Church, under the twelfth century, recite from an old manuscript the following epitome of the opinions of the Waldenses of that age.
In articles of faith the authority of the Holy Scriptures is the highest; and for that reason it is the standard of judging; so that whatsoever doth not agree with the Word of God, is deservedly to be rejected and avoided.
The decrees of Fathers and Councils are [only] so far to be approved as they agree with the Word of God.
The reading and knowledge of the Holy Scriptures is open to, and is necessary for all men, the laity as well as the clergy; and moreover the writings of the prophets and apostles are to be read rather than the comments of men.
The sacraments of the church of Christ are two, baptism and the Lord's Supper; and in the latter, Christ has instituted the receiving in both kinds, both for priests and people.
Masses are impious; and it is madness to say masses for the dead. Purgatory is the invention of men; for they who believe go into eternal life; they who believe not, into eternal damnation.
The invoking and worshipping of dead saints is idolatry.
The church of Rome is the whore of Babylon.
We must not obey the pope and bishops, because they are the wolves of the church of Christ.
The pope hath not the primacy over all the churches of Christ; neither hath he the power of both swords.
That is the church of Christ, which hears the pure doctrine of Christ, and observes the ordinances instituted by Him, in whatsoever place it exists.
Vows of celibacy are the inventions of men, and productive of uncleanness.
So many orders [of the clergy], so many marks of the beast.
Monkery is a filthy carcass.
So many superstitious dedications of churches, commemorations of the dead, benedictions of creatures, pilgrimages, so many forced fastings, so many superfluous festivals, those perpetual bellowings, [alluding to the practice of chanting] and the observations of various other ceremonies, manifestly obstructing the teaching and learning of the Word, are diabolical inventions.
The marriage of priests is both lawful and necessary.