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one of the earliest reformers of the church from Popery, but erroneously

, one of the earliest reformers of the church from Popery, but erroneously said to be the founder of that body of reformed Christians called the Waldenses, was an opulent merchant of Lyons in the twelfth century. The first time when he appears to have opposed the errors of the religion in which he was educated, was about 1160, when the doctrine of transubstantiation was confirmed by pope Innocent III. with the addition that men should fall down before the consecrated wafer and worship it as God. The absurdity of this forcibly struck the mind of Waldo, who opposed it in a very courageous manner. It does not appear, however, that he had any intention of withdrawing himself from the communion of the Romish church, or that in other respects he had any very serious notions of religion. The latter appears to have been produced first by the sudden death of a person with whom he was in company. This^lett very serious impressions on his mind, and he betook himself to reading the scriptures. At that time the Latin vulgate Bible was the only edition of the Scriptures in Europe; but that language was accessible to few. Waldo, however, from his situation in life, had had a good education, and could read this volume. “Being somewhat learned,” says Reinerius, “he taught the people the text of the New Testament.” He was also now disposed to abandon his mercantile pursuits, and distributed his wealth to the poor as occasion required, and while the latter flocked to him to partake of his alms, he also attended to their spiritual instruction, and either translated, or procured to be translated the four gospels into French; and thus the inhabitants of Europe were indebted to him for the first translation of the Bible into a modern tongue, since the time that the Latin had ceased to be a living language.