[Explaining why the early Christians faced such fierce opposition]: [Their] religion…was exclusive. It denied…every article of heathen mythology, the existence of every object of their worship. It accepted no compromise….It must…overthrow every statue, altar, and temple in the world. It [cannot] be said that a design so bold as this could in any age…be carried [out] with impunity….
This was not setting forth…some new competitor for a place in the Pantheon, whose presence might be discussed…without questioning the reality of any others; it was pronouncing all other gods to be false, and all other worship vain…. This was not what it would be in popish countries, to add a saint to the calendar, [but] to abolish and tread under foot the calendar itself.
Wm. Paley (1743-1805),The Evidences of Christianity, pp. 12-13.
True it is that a great part of the most ancient records…treating of…the antiquity of those churches have been industriously sought after and committed to the flames by their bloody persecutors…so the truth…might lie…in perpetual silence. Nevertheless, God has been so gracious…in preserving…by miracle, many authentic pieces…compiled and written by the ancient inhabitants in their own proper language [and this history was drawn from such documents]….
These churches of the Valleys of Piemont remained united…with that of Rome so long as it retained the true religion which was planted throughout all Italy by the Apostles, their disciples and successors. But when the church of Rome began to corrupt itself, and would by no means be persuaded to retain the purity of Apostolic doctrine and divine worship, then those of the valleys began to separate themselves from them, and to come out from amongst them, that so they might not be partakers of their sins, nor receive of their plagues [Rev:18:4] and this is evident by divers very ancient manuscripts…which do directly strike at and oppose the errors of the church of Rome.
Samuel Morland, The History of The Evangelical [Waldensian] Churches of the Valley of Piemont (London, 1658), III, pp. 8-9.
[The Waldenses of northern Italy were in full fellowship with and had the same doctrines as the Albigenses in southern France, and other primitive churches that Rome maligned and destroyed.]