The first class hold (1) that oaths are forbidden by the gospel, (2) that capital punishment is not allowed to the civil power, (3) that any layman may consecrate the sacrament of the altar, and (4) that the Roman Church is not the Church of Christ.
Consequently corporal and even capital punishment occupy a far less prominent position, and tend everywhere to disappear.
This account sufficiently shows the difference of the Waldenses from the Cathari: they were opposed to asceticism, and had no official priesthood; at the same time their objection to oaths and to capital punishment are closely related to the principles of the Cathari.
The laws uniformly discountenanced revenge, retaliation, the punishment of one crime by another, and permitted capital punishment only in the last resort and in ultimate default of every other form of redress.
The abuse naturally reappeared under a man like Domitian; the delators, with whom Vespasian had not interfered, although he had abolished trials for majestas, were again banished by Trajan, and threatened with capital punishment in an edict of Constantine; but, as has been said, the evil, which was an almost necessary accompaniment of autocracy, lasted till the end of the 4th century.
One of his first acts, after preventing the application of capital punishment to the ringleaders of the revolt, was to veto the project of protecting the khedive and his government by means of a Praetorian guard recruited from Asia Minor, Epirus, Austria and Switzerland, and to insist on the principle that Egypt must be governed in a truly liberal spirit.
The Swiss churches, while agreeing to condemn Servetus, say nothing of capital punishment in their letters of advice.
He remained in power during five years of unbroken peace (1851-1856), and carried many useful reforms. The most important of these was the so-called Additional Act of the 5th of July 1852, which amended the charter of 1826 by providing for the direct election of deputies, the decentralization of the executive, the creation of representative municipal councils, and the abolition of capital punishment for political offences.