On the other hand, sanctity of life on the part of the minister is not necessary in order to the validity of the sacraments which he confers, although this was held to be the case by the Donatists in the 4th century, and following them by the Waldensians and Albigenses in the 12th, and by the followers of Hus and Wycliffe in the 14th.
The English Independents and the modern Baptists, as well as the Mennonites, may be regarded as the historical continuation of lines of development going back to the Waldensians and the Bohemian Brethren, and passing down through the German, Dutch and Swiss Anabaptists.
Pope Alexander III., who had approved of the poverty of the Waldensians, prohibited them from preaching without the permission of the bishops (1179).
The earliest known document proceeding from the Waldensians is an account of a conference held at Bergamo in 1218 between the Ultramontane and the Lombard divisions, in which the Lombards showed a greater opposition to the recognized priesthood than did their northern brethren.2 As these opinions became more pronounced persecution became more severe, and the breach between the Waldenses and the church widened.
There, in the recesses of Piedmont, where the streams of the Pelice, the Angrogne, the Clusone and others cleave the sides of the Alps into valleys which converge at Susa, a settlement of the Waldensians was made who gave their name to these valleys of the Vaudois.
It is also reckoned that in Uruguay and the Argentine Republic there are about 6000 Waldensians; of these 1253 were in 1900 full members, while the day scholars numbered 364 and the Sunday school children 670.
Amongst books dealing with the more modern history of the Vaudois specially are Leger, Histoire des eglises vaudoises; Arnaud, Histoire de la rentree des Vaudois; Perrin, Histoire des Vaudois; Monastier, Histoire de l'eglise vaudoise; Muston, L' Israel des Alpes; Gilly, Excursion to the Valleys of Piedmont, and Researches on the Waldensians; Todd, The Waldensian Manuscripts; Melia, Origin, Persecution and Doctrines of the Waldensians; Jules Chevalier, Memoires sur les heresies en Dauphine avant le X VP siecle, accompannes de documents inedits sur les sorciers et les Vaudois (Valence, 1890); J.
The earliest Anabaptists of Zurich allowed that the Picardi or Waldensians had, in contrast with Rome and the Reformers, truth on their side, yet did not claim to be in their succession; nor can it be shown that their adult baptism derived from any of the older Baptist sects, which undoubtedly lingered in parts of Europe.
Later on Hermann Schyn claimed descent for the peaceful Baptists from the Waldensians, who certainly, as the records of the Flemish inquisition, collected by P. Fredericq, prove, were wide-spread during the 15th century over north France and Flanders.