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Tranſlated into Engliſh, for the uſe of his Countrey-men, by J. S.

Written long ſince in French by Guy du Brez.

ECCLES. 1.10.

Is there any thing whereof it may be ſaid, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.

LONDON, Printed for, and are to be ſold by John Allen, at the Riſing-Sun in Pauls Church-yard.


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THe Soveraign diſpoſer of beings, the times there­of, and the changes therein appointed to A­dams ſons; having al­lotted ours to be in theſe last and pe­rilous daies, ſignally parallel unto thoſe which this Narrative relateth: there being then, as now, Deceivers ſent forth, and judicially commiſſionated to execute the writ of vindictive juſtice, upon the non-receivers of truth in love: God ſending energy of errour, that they may believe a lye, the more effectual vi­gilance is required of us all, that in this our now we may carry it, as thoſe which have found the favour to be preſerved and accounted faithful therein; and that the preſent muſt be of hereſies, may be ſubſerviently tending to the manifeſting of us approved.

Now ſee the prodigious practiſes, and blaſphemous belchings of theſe then Sa­tans Emiſſaries, comply with theſe his late Agents in itching and bewitching times. I leave to judicious conſidera­tion, when at the Frogs crept out of the mouth of the Dragon, Beaſt and falſe Prophet, content not themſelves to ſprawl in ponds and freſh waters, but have o­minouſly crawled over the vaſt bryniſh Ocean, attempting our Nova-Albion ſhores, whoſe daring deſigns by the Lords good hand have hitherto been fruſtrated; that the frantick opinions of ſuch fanaticks, may not unto the vul­gar ſliely paſs under the mask of new unknown light, but barely may appear (as indeed they are) Satanical illuſions by the old wily Serpent, under ſuch ſpe­cious ſhews now again uſher'd in: he being again let looſe to try our Goſpel-ſtedfastneſs, and to puniſh the wanton ingratitude of this our preſent age.

Let it be conſidered, whether in this ſmall History, which though printed neer a hundred years ſince, the ſpirit, countenance, language, garb, geſtures and practiſes of thoſe which paſs under the name of Quakers, do not lively ap­pear; declaring themſelves to be the genuine off-ſpring of ſuch a father, the firſt and ſecond brood ſo reſembling the deceiver; his master-piece in both being to break in ſunder all natural, civil, and ſacred bonds and policies: not with Ama­lek contenting themſelves to fall upon the rere of Gods Iſrael; in their march out of ſpiritual Egypt; but in the day of this our Jeruſalem crying, Raſe it, raſe it, even to the foundations: and alſo whether the adverſary of mankind hath not in our native ſoil, already acted the comical part of the German enterlude repreſented in the ſequel; and whether he watcheth not his ſeaſon to bring in the Tragical part alſo.

As for the Author of the Original of this book, he is unknown to us, but by his works which now follow him. I have only tranſlated the Hiſtorical part of the firſt Book of his larger Treatiſe; it be­ing about the tenth part thereof, the reſt not unworthy of the ſame labour, being ſpent in the ſolid eviction of the great truths of the humanity of our Lord Je­ſus: of the neceſſity of Baptiſm to belie­vers Infant ſeed: of Magiſtratical power under the Goſpel: of the lawful­neſs of an oath, and of the immortality of the ſoul; all which were both queſtio­ned and oppoſed by thoſe which in this book he ſtyleth Anabaptiſts: between whom, and meer diſſenters in the point of Pedobaptiſm, being otherwiſe Orthodox and peaceable, the Reader ought alwaies conſcientiouſly to diſtinguiſh.

He titleth his book, Le ſource raeine & fondement des Anabaptiſtes ou re­baptiſes de noſtre temps. I find him quoted by Mr. Rob. Baily, in the ſe­cond part his Diſſwaſive from the errors of the times. The ſecond Book he dedica­ted to Chriſts ſcattered Flocks in Flan­ders, Brabant, Artois, &c. thereby manifeſting how there lay upon him the care of the Churches. Affectionately he provoketh the faithful therein to a more awful enquiry, ſerious ſtudy, and cordi­al receiving of the truth. By the ſight of theſe pillars of ſalt, if any wandring miſled ſouls ſhould be reduced from the errour of their way; or if any others who through grace have hitherto been kept, ſhould be encouraged to hold faſt the truth, and order of the Goſpel, he ſhall rejoyce, who deſireth to approve himſelf,

Thine in Chriſtian duty, Joſhua Scotton.


IN the year 1521. and the year enſuing, there aroſe a certain number of mu­tinous and ſeditious per­ſons, who ſecretly made Factions: thy chiefly dwelt in the quarters of Saxony, which border up­on the River Salah; among whom their chief was Nicholas Stork. They dreamed dreams,Nicholas Storks and his accompli­ces, they preached dreams, and ſaid, That they ſpake familiarly with God by Viſions, they preached their dreams for truths and Divine Oracles; and becauſe that there ſhould come a new world, wherein ſhould dwell righteouſneſs: therefore they ought to exterminate all the wicked, with all the Princes and unbelieving Magiſtrates from off the earthoppoſe Ma­giſtrates (they called all thoſe unbelievers which were not of their Sect and Faction.) From out of this School came Thomas Munt­zer, Dr. Balthazar Hubmore, Melchior Rink, John Hutt, John Deuter, Lodovike Hetzer, &c. All theſe boaſted that they familiarly confer­red with the Lord. In their teachings, they2 with heat of affection did defame and detract from the Miniſters of the Goſpel:and Mini­ſters. afterward with the like violence fell upon the Magi­ſtrate, thinking that if they could make void theſe two Orders unto the Church, the wolves might ſafely fall upon and diſmember the Flock; wherefore theſe wolves, (i. ) theſe falſe Teachers, have alwaies principally ſet themſelves againſt the Miniſters of the Church, and the Magiſtrates, to ſee if they could drive them out from the Flock, or at leaſt diſguſt ſome of the ſheep againſt their Paſtors; that ſo eſtranging them from them, they might undo them.

Their Do­ctrine ſpreadsTheir Doctrine ſuddainly ſpread through­out all the Country, and in a little ſpace they gathered much people after them, and Rebaptized many thouſands;Rebaptize thouſands. inſomuch as many ſimple people were led by a zeal with­out knowledge, being by their fair appea­rance inſnared. They tyed themſelves unto the only ſimple and naked Letter of the Scri­pture,They varniſh over their foul intenti­ons with fair pretences. without regard to the ſence thereof; they carried it very fairly before all men: for they had alwaies in their mouths, the love, faith, and the fear of God, the mortification of the fleſh, and the croſs; which were the gar­niſh wherewith (that they might be of value to the ſimple) they painted and adorned themſelves: but inaſmuch as ſuch colours were falſe, they laſted not long, but they ſoon began to fade, and without fraud to appear what they were.

Muntzers Doctrine.Thomas Muntzer (of whom we formerly3 ſpake) ſaid; That whoſoever would be ſaved muſt firſtly flye all manifeſt vices, Murders, Blaſphemies againſt the Name of God: that be muſt chaſtiſe and macerate his body by faſtings and mean apparel; that he muſt hold forth an auſtere viſage, ſpeak little, &c. he called theſe things the Croſs, the Mortification of the Fleſh, and diſcipline: after that he had ſo faſhioned his people, he ſaid, That they muſt withdraw from the multitude, and converſation of men; and often to think upon God, who he is, and whe­ther he hath care of us; whether Chriſt ſuffered death for us, and whether our Religion were to be preferred before that of the Turks: moreover, that we ought to ask a ſign from God, to be aſ­ſured whether he hath care of us, and whether we owned the true Religion: if inſtantly he gave not a ſign, that we ought to perſiſt and purſue in prayers, yea, lively to complain of him, as of one that doth us wrong; for ſeeing the Scripture pro­miſes that God will grant what he is asked for, he doth not well in not giving a ſign to the man who deſireth his knowledge. He ſaid, that this anger and reproach was very pleaſing unto God, becauſe that he thereby ſaw the inclination and heat of our ſpirit, and that without doubt being thus urged, he would declare himſelf by ſome e­vident ſign, quenching the thirſt of the ſpirit, and doing unto us as formerly unto the Fathers. He ſaid moreover, that Gods will was declared by dreams, and there laid the foundations of his doctrine; inſomuch that if the dream of any might be interpreted, he praiſed him greatly in his Sermons.


After that by this means he had by little and little gained ſome, he diſcovered what he had long before plotted in the City of Al­ſted, which is in the Marches of Turing; he began to enroll the names of thoſe that were entred into league with him,Enrouled the names of his diſciples, and ſwears them to aſſiſt him, to cut off the unbelieving Magiſtrates. and by ſolemn Oath they promiſed aſſiſtance, to diſpatch the wicked Princes and Magistrates (for they generally accounted all Superiours wicked) and to ſubſtitute new ones: he ſaid, That he had given him in charge from God ſo to do: ſo did he ſpeak of his dreams and ſuch like things.

Luther in­tercedes for him, with the Elector of Saxony.Frederick Prince of Saxony did at firſt bear with him, and that at the requeſt of Luther. But when in the year 1523. he ſet himſelf ſe­ditiouſly to preach and publiquely to faſten not only upon Miniſters of the word, but alſo upon the Magiſtrates; and furiouſly declared that their liberty was violated,But publick­ly oppoſing Miniſters and Magi­ſtrates, is driven out of Alſted. and that the poor and miſerable were tyrannized over, and oppreſſed by inſupportable charges, and that their goods and labours were devoured by the Princes: He ſaid then, That it was time to bethink him; and then he was driven out of the City of Alſted; who after that he had been ſome moneths hidden, he came to Norim­berg,Comes to No­rimberg, and Mulhuze, where he be­comes a Prea­cher. and to a City of Turing called Mulhuze. Now inaſmuch as when he was at Alſted, he had gained to his Girdle ſome of the Citi­zens of Mulhuze, by means whereof he recei­ved the charge of preaching. And now being but in ſmall favour with the Senate, he ſo wrought upon the communalty by Mutinies,Drives out the old Se­nate, chuſes a new. that they choſe a new Senate; which was the5 beginning of the future ſtirs: afterwards the Citizens drave out the Friers, & ſeized upon their Monaſteries: with one of the principal-leſt and moſt rich of them, Muntzer furniſhed himſelf;Furniſhes himſelf with the ſpoil of Monaſteries. and for the future carried it not on­ly as a Preacher, but alſo as a Senatour and Counſellor; for he ſaid, that he muſt by his Divine revelation judge of the Bible;Judges of the Bible. and gave ſentence upon all according to his will and fanſie; and all this was received as an Oracle and Divine anſwer: ſo were they befooled by him. Sows ſeed of, ſedition.In the mean while, he wrote here and there to the Subjects to take up arms againſt their Princes, to the recovery both of their ſpiritual and temporal liberties; this ſpeech was ſo acceptable unto the people, that in the mouths of many he was the true Prophet.

Having then changed the Magiſtrates of Mul­huze, and having put in Anabaptiſts, there aroſe many troubles as we have formerly de­clared; for he taught the Community of goods,Taugh com­munity, equa­lity of digni­ty. & that the equality of dignity did very well reſent humanity; and that all the world ſhould abide in the liberty wherein it was at firſt created; and that there ſhould be an indifferent uſage of goods: he ſaid, That this was divinely revealed unto him, and that Princes and great ones muſt be re­jected; and that the ſword of Gedeon was gi­ven unto him, againſt all Tyrants, to reſtore the li­berty, and new Raign of Chriſt upon earth:By this, people deſiſt from their labour. all theſe pretences made the people deſiſt from their ordinary labour; and when they had need of any thing, they took it from thoſe that had, whether they would or not.

Divers Moneths he thus led on the train, ſo6 as in the year 1525.They take up Arms, the Husbandmen and Labourers, took up arms in Swabe and Franco­ny to the number of fourty thouſand, who ſlew the greateſt part of the Nobility,kill the Nobi­lity. ſackt and burnt their Caſtles and Fortreſſes; he went on to proſecute his Game, thinking the time now to be come, to bring into action what he had formerly deliberated: he after cauſed them to found ſome Artillery in the Cordiliers Church; he called much people from the fields out of hopes of pillage, and to make themſelves rich.

He in all his affairs conſulted with a bold fooliſh fellow called Phifer,Phifers Dream. who had dreams and viſions in high eſteem; and among other diſcourſe he ſaid, That in a dream he had ſeen multitudes of mice in a ſtable, which he had made to flye: which he interpreted ſo as he had com­mand from God, to take up arms, and to ſet him­ſelf in array to diſcomfit the Nobility.

Muntzer was ſomewhat more cool; though he preached with great violence, yet he would not run any hazzard until that the Neigh­bourhood had taken up arms: and the more eaſily to bring about his enterpriſe, he wrote unto the Labourers in the Mines of the Ter­ritories of Mansfield, admoniſhing them to fall upon the Princes without any reſpect or conſideration; for theſe that were ready in Francony drew neer unto Turing. Thereupon Phifer, who could not forbear, took the field with his, and ſack'd the Country about Isfield, pillaged the Fortreſſes and Temples (or Churchs) and ſlew divers Gentlemen, ta­king others priſoners: which having done, he7 returned laden with plunder; and having ſo well ſped, the popularity were encouraged: in the mean time they skirmiſhed and ravined in the Country of Mansfield; wherefore Munt­zer thinking that there was a revolt in all parts, came forth from Mulhuze with three hundred ſeditious men. Upon theſe ſtirs Al­bert Count of Mansfield at an inſtant aſſem­bled ſome; Troopes of Horſe, and fought Muntzer, ſo as two hundred were left upon the place; the reſt being aſtoniſhed, with drew, and fled toward Fraucuſe, and ſojourning there, waited for the recruit of their Army; which was the cauſe of retarding their ſtirs.

In the mean time the Princes gathered to­gether, to the number of 1500 horſe, with ſome foot: the Peaſants being encamped in a mount neer Fraucuſe, they could not eaſily be aſſailed, by reaſon of the Carts they had fur­niſhed themſelves withal. The poor people being unprovided either of Arms or Artillery, and for the moſt part not acquainted with Souldiery; the Princes bring moved with compaſſion admoniſhed them by meſſages, that they would deliver up the Authors of this ſedition; and that laying down their arms, every one might with aſſurance and without fear of puniſhment return unto their houſes. Muntzer then fearing his skin, advanced into the midſt of the Troops, and with a ſtern coun­tenance made his Oration.

Muntzers Oration.You ſee, fellow Souldiers and Brethren, how theſe Tyrants neer unto you have conjured to put8 you all to death, and yet they are ſo ſaint-hearted, as that they dare not fight us; they make fooliſh and unworthy tenders to make you day down your Arms: you know that I am the Author and mover of this enter prize, but not upon mine own authority or particular fanſie (for it is not of mine own head) but by the command of God: theſe things being thus led on, you and I muſt obey, and not abandon the place and rank where God hath ſet us: heretofore he commanded: Abraham to ſa­crifice his ſon; who not knowing the iſſue, with­out difficulty obeyed the Divine command:Gen. 22.2 where­fore God preſerved his ſon, and adorned his faith with great benefits: we then who are in the ſame eſtate, ought to perſevere, leaving the event of things unto God: howſoever there is no doubt, but all will fall out according to our wiſh, and ye ſhall with your eyes behold the Lords relief: for we ſhall deſtroy as many as there be enemies. In many places of Scripture,Pſal. 72.4, 13. God hath promi­ſed to help the poor and needy, which doth truly belong unto us: for we are poor and miſerable; and inaſmuch as we deſire to return and increaſe in the knowledge of God, none ſhould doubt of the Victory, or of an happy iſſue. Behold on the contrary the condition of our Enemies, they call themſelves Princes; but indeed they are very Ty­rants, for they take no care of any one of you; but they ſqueeze out all your eſtates, and ſwallow them down with all greedineſſe. Among the people whom God particularly choſe, it was ordained that their Kings ſhould not be unprofitable ſpend-thrifts; and they were commanded diligently to read in the book of the Laws which he had con­ſtituted: but what do theſe Tyrans now? and9 how do they ſpend their time? they think that they are not concerned in the Commonwealth, nor do they informe themſelves, how it fareth with the poor and miſerable: They ſee not to juſtice, but ſuffer Robbers upon the highwaies they pu­niſh not thieves, nor do they take order againſt evil doing: they in no wiſe comfort, the fatherleſs, nor the widow; nor do they take care for the inſtruction of youth: they not only do not advance Gods honour, but they hinder the ſame; nor have they any thought, but how get other mens eſtates unto themſelves: wherefore they daily finde out new inventions to raiſe money; nor do they care to procure or maintain, peace (with many the like ſpeeches) & afterwards he exhorted them ſay­ing. Be then couragious, and rid this great unpro­fitable troop out of the way; knowing that in ſo doing you ſhall fulfil the good pleaſure of God. I perceive no means either of ſure or ſafe compoſi­tion; for they will never be otherwiſe minded; they neither will grant us our liberties, nor the true ſervice of God. Wherefore we ought rather to die, then to approve of their wickedneſs, or to let them ſnatch the Doctrine of the Goſpel from us. In ſum, I do aſſure you that God will help us, and that the day ſhall be ours, for be himſelf hath promiſed me it openly; he himſelf, I ſay, who can neither lye nor deceive, hath commanded me, thus to proceed to puniſh the Magiſtrate. Be­hold, how Gods power appeareth! when as a ſmall handful of people overcometh a great num­ber; as for example, you know what Gideon did with his ſmall company, and Jonathan with his armour-bearer; what David did alone againſt that monſter Goliath: I put it out of doubt that10 this day ſhall be noted by the like Victory, and that poſterity will alwaies have it in remem­brance; for though we be in bad equipage, not well furniſhed with arms, and things needful, we ſhall not fail to worſt them; and this frame of heaven and earth will ſooner fail, then we ſhall be forſaken of God. Take heed left Reaſons judgement make you ſhake, or the appearance of danger, that preſents, make you fraid; but lively fall on the enemies: be not daunted with their Guns or Artillery, for I will receive all their bullets into my Gown. Behold, ſee how our God is for us! contemplate, I pray you, the witneſs and ſign of his good will toward us; lift up your eyes, and be­hold the heavenly how: I could wiſh that in our Enſign the ſame Rainbow were pourtraied. God evidently ſhoweth by this ſign which appeareth on high, that he will in the Battel aſſiſt us, denoun­cing ruine and perdition unto the Tyrants our ene­mies: be couragious then; and being aſſured of his fvaour, fall on, for God will not that you ſhould make an agreement with your enemies.

His Oration being finiſhed, the greateſt part of his company, by reaſon of their preſent peril, ceaſed not to be much afraid, all being in diſorder, and without any conduct. Yet there were in the band ſome bold and deſpe­rate ones bent to do miſchief: they being o­ver-forward and ready to do evil, were in­flamed the more by reaſon of his ſpeeach, e­ſpecially the Rainbow before ſpoken of did en­courage them; and they judged it as a moſt ſure ſign of Victory: there was this further to their advantage, that their Army was great11 (it being about 8000 men) and the place ad­vantagious for their defence: theſe Varlets cryed out, that all ſhould take up their arms, and with courage they came to cloſe with the enemy, ſinging an hymne, whereby they did implore the aid of the Holy Ghoſt. There was ſent unto them to parly a young man of a Noble Family, whom Muntzer againſt the Law of Arms had ſlain; herewith the Princes being provoked, cauſed the Alarm to be ſoun­ded, and ordered their Battle in array.

The Lant­graves Ora­tion.Philip Prince of Heſſia, exhorted the Souldi­ery to carry themſelves couragiouſly, and to per­form their duty; ſhewing them that although the accuſation charged on them by the enemy ſhould be true, yet it was unlawful for the Communalty to take up arms againſt the Magiſtrate; which might be proved by Teſtimony of the Scripture;1 Pet. 2.13. and that yet be would neither excuſe himſelf nor the other Princes from their faults. They cover themſelves with the Name of the Goſpel, but in truth they forge nothing but thefts, robberies and the like miſchiefs; their endeavour is to take from others, to aboliſh Magiſtracy, to offer violence to other mens wives and children; and to commit all crimes without puniſhment: and ſeeing under the fair and holy Name of God, they cloak ſuch villa­nies, and execrable miſdeeds, there was no doubt but God would avenge thoſe injuries: wherefore every one ought to fight againſt them, as againſt robbers, and ſo to maintain the publique peace, and to defend every ones eſtate with their wives and children. The cauſ of the war is moſt juſt; and had be not been aſſured, that the work had been12 acceptable unto God,Rom. 13.2, 3, 4, 5. who hath put the Sward into the hand of the Magiſtrate, he would not have been, there.

This Oration being finiſhed, they came to cloſe; and no ſooner were the Artillery and small ſhot diſcharged, but theſe poor people, as men amazed, and deprived of underſtan­ding, neither defend, themſelves, nor ſet themſelves to flight for ſafety; but ſang their vulgar ſong, to invoke the aid of the Holy Ghoſt: ſome truſting in the promiſes of Muntzer, waited for ſuccour from heaven. The Harquebuſſes being diſcharged, they began to re-inforce the battle, and to ſlay them right down; then they betook themſelves to flight all in a rout toward Francuſe: ſome of them drew off to the other part of the Mountain, and ſome the while bare the brunt of the Battle in the Valley againſt the horſe; of whom there fell one or two: but ſo hotly were they purſued,5000 Slain. that there were 5000 left in the place: ſoon after this ſlaughter, the City of Francuſe was taken,300 Priſo­ners. and neer 300 priſoners, which were beheaded. Muntzer having gai­ned the City by flight, hid himſelf in an houſe neer unto the Gate; whither by accident there came a Gentleman, whoſe waiting-man going up to ſee the rooms, he found a man laid upon the bed; who asked him who he was, and whether he was not fled from the Battle, and whether he was not one of the ſe­ditious? By accident there lay a purſe neer unto the bed; the other taketh up the booty, and having opened it, he found therein Let­ters,13 whereby Albert of Mansfield did admo­niſh Muntzer to deſiſt from his enterprize, and not to cauſe the poor people to mutiny: theſe Letters when he had read, he asked him, if the Letters were not directed to him; which he denyed very ſtiffly, until being ſharply threatned, craving pardon, he confeſſed;Munzter taken. that he was Munzter: being taken, he was brought before George Prince of Saxony, and the Lant­grave; being asked of them, what moved him ſo to abuſe the poor people, he replyed, that he had done but his duty; and that thoſe Magiſtrates that would not receive the Goſpel, were ſo to be dealt withal. The Lant­grave puzzled him, proving by Teſtimony of Scripture, that the Magiſtrates ought to be had in reverence; and that all ſeditions were forbidden by God, and that it was not lawful for a Chriſtian to avenge his private quarrel: whereunto Muntzer had not to anſwer:Tortured. after­wards he was put unto grievous torture; and as by greatneſs of the pain he cried out, George Duke of Saxony ſaid unto him, Truly Muntzer you endure at preſent, but think alſo upon the ruine of ſo many people, which this day by occaſion of thy ſedition are ſlain; he anſwered, much laughing, that they would ſo have it: he was afterwards brought to Welde­rung a City of the Signory of Mansfield, where he was ſharply drawn & put to torture, and confeſſed what was his deliberated pur­poſe, and who were the complices of his Con­juration.

The Princes being come to Welderung and Mulhuze, they cauſed many of theſe ſediti­ous14 perſons to be beheaded; and among the reſt, that bold fool Phifer, of whom there hath mention formerly been made: then after­ward Muntzer was brought into the field, who found himſelf very much diſcouraged, and overwhelmed in this extremity; ſo as with­out help he could not give account of his faith, as it commonly falls out with ſuch in the like caſe: Henry of Brunſwick, to help him, cauſed him to ſay after him: when he was ready to die, he confeſſed clearly and loudly his fault and errour; and being ſur­rounded with Souldiers, he exhorted the Princes to uſe greater pity towards the poor people, and that by this means they ſhould not need to fear; he admoniſhed them alſo to read diligently the book of Kings, which are in the holy Scripture: his diſcourſe being ended,Executed they cut off his head. From this mar­velous defeat & diſcomfiture ſeveral eſcaped, who ſeeing their ſedition profited them not, and that the Prophets were ſlain with their brethren and companions, inſtead of repent­ing, and acknowledging the peſtilential ve­nome that lay hid in their Sect; they aſſem­ble at Munſter the chief City of Weſtphalia,Thoſe that eſcape get into Mun­ſter. Pretend hu­mility, cary out againſt the Magi­ſtrates pow­er. and firſt made ſemblance of humility, hol­ding forth nothing in them, that was ſplen­dent or magnificent; yea, they reproved and cryed out againſt all excellency, greatneſs and magnificency: they held forth outſide-holi­neſs, and cried out againſt the ſword and power of the Magiſtrate: riches and honour were rejected by them as loathſome vomit (at leaſt, as they made ſhew of) they ſpake of no­thing,15 but of the mortification of the old man; and of the renewing of the ſpirit, and of a life wholly dedicated unto God: above all, they deſpiſed the world and the things that are therein, but it was becauſe they could not yet play their pranks, nor them­ſelves have dominion, nor make a new world according to their model, as they afterwards ſhewed unto all.

Bernard Rotman preaches the Goſpel. with ſucceſs. He and other Miniſters preſent Ar­ticles againſt Popiſh er­rourr.In the year 1532 Bernard Rotman began to preach the Goſpel, without the City of Mun­ſter, in the Temple of St. Maurice, and that not without great effect; inſomuch as that there being certain Miniſters, they preſented thirty Articles unto the Magiſtrates, wherein all the errours of the Papacy were contained; ſubmitting themſelves unto all puniſhment, if they did not prove all theſe Articles to be falſe, and repugnant to the word of God: the Senate ſent for the Papiſts, and propoſed unto them thoſe Errours: and becauſe they had al­way given them to underſtand their Doctrine was pure, and founded upon the word of God,Papiſts are convinced, (which theſe Preachers denied, and upon their lives would evince the contrary) the Magi­ſtrates asked them, if they would by holy writ confute what was ſaid unto them;and by the Senates com­mand reſign their places to the Mini­ſters. being thus queſtioned, and ſeeing the Senate laid the matter much to heart: in brief they anſwered, that they had not wherewith to defend their doctrine; and as for what they had ſaid of their Ordinances, and manner of doing to be good, it was but upon opinion and ignorance; whereupon the Senate forbade them from that time forward, not to meddle with prea­ching,16 ſeeing they were convinced of Er­rours and falſe Doctrines, and commanded them to reſign their places unto thoſe tea­chers, which had diſcovered their errours and abuſes: ſoon after there was aſſigned to each his Temple to preach in, by the conſent of the Senate: and all the City was in peace and tranquillity.

Satan ſtirs up Anabap­tiſts, who di­ſturb their peace,But Satan the enemy of peace and truth, could not long endure the peace and publica­tion of the Goſpel; wherefore as he had already done in other places, with might and main he laboured to hinder and overthrow the Goſpel; and in its place to ſet up theſe ſeditious Ana­baptiſts: ſo he did the ſame at Munſter, to the great damage of the faithful, the deſtruction and infamy of the Goſpel.

By John Be­cold a Tay­lor of Ley­den, whoFor in the year 1533. there came to Mun­ster an Hollander named John Becold of Ley­den, by trade a Taylor or Sower of Garments; but rather a Raveller or rearer in pieces: he was a witty fellow, eloquent, cautelous, and very audacious, having a little read the Scri­pture, he could fully diſſemble matters: in ſum, he was a true and perfect Anabaptiſt; in the beginning of which familiarity,Inſinuates himſelf into the company of the Mini­ſters. he in­ſinuated himſelf into the company or the Mi­niſters of the Goſpel, and asked them whe­ther they thought it was well done to baptize little children? they anſwered him, Yes, and then he began to deride and jeer with diſdain: he thus carried matters neer nine moneths; often diſputing againſt, and debating with the Miniſters concerning Baptiſm; notwith­ſtanding in the mean while, whereſoever he17 could, he ſecretly ſowed the Doctrine of the Anabaptiſts. Rotman op­poſes them,Then Bernard Rotman of whom we ſpake before, ſeeing the drift of the Ana­baptiſts; in his Sermon exhorted the people to pray unto God, for his grace, that they might keep his Doctrine pure: and to pre­ſerve it from the corruptions of enraged men, eſpecially from the Anabaptiſts, who ſecret­ly crept in among them; and ſlid into their companies: for if their Opinion prevailed, the ſtate of the Commonwealth, and Religi­on would be poor and miſerable. but is ſoon ſeduced by his Coadju­tor, Herman Staxrede.At that very time there came to Munſter one Herman Staxrede, who was Rotmans Coadjutor; who ſeduced him, and cauſed him to turn Anaba­ptiſt, againſt whom he had ſo much combated and cried down. This Herman had been the diſciple of Henry de Rolles,Henry Rolles an Anabaptiſt executed. whom they of Ʋ­trecht had lately executed, becauſe he was an Anabaptiſt; he publickly reproved Childrens Baptiſm, ſaying, That it was an abomination before God. Becauſe of this, there aroſe great ſtirs among the people; and thoſe who for­merly were ſecretly ſeduced by John Becold of Leyden, now vented their Opinions,Becold's diſciples vent their o­pinions, hold nightly meet­ings. and almoſt throughout the whole City oftentimes held Conventicles, and ſecretly aſſembled in private houſes: and their Miniſters taught only by night, when as others took their reſt, which was the fitteſt time for the working of their myſteries:By the Se­nate prohibi­ted, com­manded to depart; which they refuſe. theſe things much provo­ked the Senate; & becauſe the nightly meet­ings and Sermons of the Anabaptiſts were ill reſented, they were prohibited and forbid­den, and command iſſued forth to all the lo­vers18 of that Sect, to avoid the City: but they cared not for this command, and were no ſooner gone out at one Gate, but they came in at another, and hid themſelves in the City with their Sectaries: and boaſted that they had command from God not to ſtir, but fully and gravely to proſecute their Commiſſion. This troubled the Senate, and they were ſomewhat aſtoniſhed at it. Wherefore to prevent further trouble, it was commanded, that both Anabaptiſts and Preachers of the Goſpel, ſhould repair to the Town-Houſe with the learned men. A Diſputa­tion, wherein Rotman de­clares him­ſelf: Herman Buſch con­futes him.In this Diſputation Rotman, who had for ſome time covered mat­ters, openly declared himſelf an Anabaptiſt; and condemned Childrens Baptiſm, as wick­ed and deteſtable: but Herman Buſch ſo con­tradicted him, as by the word of God he con­futed him; which may yet be proved, by the Acts drawn up by the publique Notary. This being done, the Senate commanded the Ana­baptiſts to depart the City; yea, and that forthwith: but again they hid themſelves ac­cording to their cuſtom, until fair opportu­nity preſented, that they might come in ſight; and then upon a deliberated rage, they fell upon a Miniſter named Peter wirtem,They fall up­on a Miniſter Peter Wir­teme. Run about the City, cry­ing, Repent and be Re­baptized. as he preached in a Temple or a Church by the authority of the Senate, and they turned him out. Then many of them ran about the City, as if they had been divinely tranſported in their ſpirit, crying, with a loud voice, Repent and be re-baptiſed, otherwiſe the wrath of God will fall upon you. Many good people fearing the wrath of God (whereof they ſo much talk­ed)19 and in their ſimplicity being deceived, and ſome for fear of looſing their eſtates, obeyed them: for after the Anabaptiſts had got the upper hand of their adverſaries,Take away their eſtates. they turned them out and deprived them of their eſtates Theſe things were done in the year 1533. and in the beginning of 34. and when they had been hidden, they came forth out of their dens and caves, and they went all together unto the Market place with great cries and howlings,Command all unrebaptized to be put to death, ſeize on their Arms and Ammuniti­on. and commanded that all that were not re-baptized ſhould be put to death, as Pagans and wicked: and forthwith they ſeized upon the Artillery, Arms, Ammuniti­on and Town-Houſe: the reſt, namely, the Proteſtants and Papiſts, began to run, and to betake themſelves unto a place of the City, which was naturally ſtrong, for defence both of themſelves and the people; and they took ſundry Anabaptiſts priſoners:Oppoſed, come to Compoſiti­on. this haſted un­til they came unto Compoſition, and Ho­ſtages on both ſides were given; and it was agreed that every one ſhould hold his own Religion, and return unto his own houſe, and live in peace.

The principal Anabaptiſts then were Rot­man, John Becold of Leyden, Bernard Knipper­doling, Gerard Cipperbrok, Bernard Crechting.

But ſent for aid to the neighbouring Towns.In the mean time Rotman and Knipper­doling (the ſuperlatives of this faction) though they had approved of this Com­poſition, yet they ſent unto the neigh­bouring Towns; whereby they gave notice unto thoſe of their Sect,Promiſe ten times more then they loſt. to leave all their goods and repair unto them, and that they20 ſhould not fail to receive ten times more then they left behind them. Mutitudes of the poorer ſort, on hopes of preferment repair to them.Great multitudes both of men and women hearkning unto theſe magnificent promiſes, came in unto them, and upon hopes of preferment repaired un­to Munſter;The Citizens leave the Ci­ty: Anabap­tiſts are Ma­ſters, and Rules all. chiefly the poorer ſort, who knew not how to ſubſiſt: the Citizens and more wealthy among them, ſeeing the City to ſwarm with ſtrangers, withdrew as fairly as they could, abandoning their place unto the Anabaptiſts: this was about Lent, in the Moneth of February 1534. By this means the Anabaptiſts became Maſters, and choſe a new Senate of their own party, with Conſuls; a­mong whom were Knipperdoling and Cipper­brock: ſoon after they fell upon the Temple of St. Maurice,Burne the Church of St. Maurice. which was neer unto the City, and burnt it with the neighbouring Edifices; and Pillaged all the Temples, and ſpoyled the chief Temple: within a few daies after they flocking together ran about the ſtreets,Cry, Repent, repent, de­part if ye will not die. and in a dreadful manner, cried out, Repent, repent, and ſuddainly changed their tune, ſaying, Quickly depart ye wicked, if ye will not die;Drive out all the Citi­zens, that were not of their Sect. and at that inſtant in arms ran to and again, and drave out of the City all that were not of their Sect, without having regard either to Age or Sexe; ſo as many woman miſcarried in theſe troubles and confuſed flight;In this flight many woman with child miſcarry. theſe being driven out, they fall up­on Pillaging their eſtates: by this every one may know by what ſpirit theſe Anabaptiſtical hypocrites were led:They Pillage. there is no act ſo felloni­ous, horrible, cruel and wicked, thaever was done, which they did not commit. In the21 beginning they talked of nothing, but the Spirit and holineſs; they ſaid, it was not law­ful for a Chriſtian to be a Magiſtrate, and that it was not lawful to bear Arms: but af­ter they had brought all under their paw, and in their power; then it was law­ful to take the Publique Armes with the Town-houſe, and to chuſe a Magiſtrate to their minde, yea, with rejection of him that was ordained of God; and thruſt themſelves into his place, and to make themſelves Con­ſuls and Senatours as they have done: there is not need of much ſpeaking, for the world knoweth it. Where now are the fair ſpeeches of thoſe Anabaptiſts? Do not reſiſt evil: He that will take away thy coat, give him thy cloak alſo. Theſe have not only pillaged and ſtript honeſt men of their cloathes, but of all that they had, & have driven them miſerable out of their houſes, with their wives and lit­tle ones, and have expoſed them to death by the Beſiegers of the City.

At that time there aroſe in the City of Munster a great number of Prophets (for they uſurped that name) the principal of whom were John Matthews of Harling,Their Pro­phet John Matthews, commands all their Goods to be com­mon. and one Piſtor, who were both audacious, and pra­ting fellows; they boaſted of Viſions, and of the Spirit of Prophecie. By Prophetical authority, this holy Prophet commanded all the City to bring in all their Gold, Silver, and other movable Goods to be common, and that none upon pain of death, ſhould reſerve any thing for his own private uſe: and to this end, there was a Publick houſe appointed. 22The people were very much aſtoniſhed at the rigour of this Edict, yet notwithſtanding obeyed it: it was not poſſible to retain or con­ceal any portion;Divinereſſes reveal ſuch as retained the goods, and all books beſides the Bible, to be burnt. for there were two Maides Divinereſſes, who did reveal it, if there were any that did retain any thing. Afterwards theſe Prophets commanded that none ſhould keep any Books except the Holy Bible; and that all others ſhould publickly be brought forth and aboliſhed: he ſaid, that he received this command from God; wherefore great numbers of books were brought together and conſumed by fire.

Hubert Tru­telin calls them Pro­phets of a Turd, and ſlain.It came to paſs that an Artificer named Hubert Trutelin, who being diſpleaſed with the acting of theſe Prophets reproached them, calling them Prophets de Merde: he was ac­cuſed, and all the people were cauſed to come together in their Arms: they ſentenced the poor man to death; whereat the people were marvelouſly frighted. John Matthews the chief Prophet laid hands upon the poor man, and when as he was thrown down, gave him a ſtab with a Pike, without wounding him mor­tally, whatſoever his endeavours were; then he commandeth him to be taken from thence, and that he ſhould be carried to ano­ther place; and taking the Musket of ano­ther young man that was neer him, he ſhot him through with a bullet: when he was fal­ling to the ground, the Prophet ſaid, That it was revealed unto him from heaven, that the time of his death was not yet come; and that God had accepted him to favour, though he died a few daies after: whereof when the23 Prophet had notice, he took a long Pike, and violently ran through the City, crying out, that God the Father had given him in com­mand to repulſe the Enemie from the City. As he drew neer unto the Camp,John Mat­thews ſlain. a Souldier called Mſaicus faced him, and ſhot him quite through the belly: This was the wo­ful end of this mad Prophet: and although the fraud of theſe Prophets was well known, yet the people were ſo bewitched by them, and ſo deprived of their reaſon, that they much bewailed this their goodly Prophet, ſaying, That there would ſome miſchief befal them, becauſe ſuch a Prophet was taken from them.

John Becold of Leyden commanded the ſe­cond Prophet after him, to be of a good cou­rage; becauſe that of a long time before, it had been revealed unto him, that he ſhould come to ſuch an end, and that he ſhould marry his widow. Two daies after Eaſter, they ran to the Churches,Knipperdo­ling prophe­cieth. and rang all the Bells together: ſome daies after, Knipperdoling pro­phecied, that all lofty things muſt be laid low, and the poor, and the mean, and the low things muſt be exalted; and forthwith com­manded, that all the Churches ſhould be de­moliſhed; with a very great gravity aſſu­ring them, that this command came from God: wherefore he was without delay obeyed, and the heavenly command (as he called it) put in execution. At the ſame time John Becold gave the ſword unto Knipperdoling,Becold makes Knip­perdoling Hangman, and ap­pointed him to be executioner, becauſe it ſo fell out that he was the Conſul, and had ad­miniſtred the chief Magiſtrates place. Being24 now made Hangman, he is put in a lower rank. Knipperdoling made no ſcruple of it, and received this place very acceptably;which he ac­cepts. and whereas the Camp had now been ſome moneths before the City,They ſally forth, and make a great ſlaughter, to the number of 4000. they ſtormed it; and of the chief Nobility, and beſt Captains and Souldiers there were ſlain before the Ci­ty about four thouſand: then all hopes of ta­king them by force failed. A few daies after Whitſontide, John Becold of Leyden, after that aſſaults had been given without effect,Becold for three daies dreams, and feigns himſelf dumb as Za­chary, and writes the names of twelve chief Commanders. he went to ſleep, and laid and dreamed three en­tire daies together; and when he awaked, he ſpake to no man; but as Zacharias, John the Baptiſts father, ſo he made ſigns that they ſhould bring him paper; wherein he wrote the names of twelve men, and among them of ſome of the beſt rank, who were to have the Supreme charge, and to have the whole Go­vernment as it was in Iſrael; for he ſaid, it was the will of the heavenly Father, that Mun­ſter ſhould be governed as the heavenly Jeru­ſalem. By this means this wicked one made way that he might be King: afterwards he propoſed direct articles unto their Preachers, and required them to confirm them,Propounds divers Arti­cles. by te­ſtimony of Scripture; otherwiſe he would bring them unto the people, that they might ratifie and approve them.

The ſum of theſe Articles was, that a man was not bound to have but one wife,The chief concerning plurality of wives. and that it was lawful to eſpouſe as many as he plea­ſed: but as their Preachers did confute this ſentence, he aſſembled them at the Councel-houſe with the twelve; where in the preſence25 of them all he pull'd off his cloak, and caſt it upon the ground with the New Teſtament, and ſware by theſe marks and ſigns,Swears it was ſo revea­led to him from God. that theſe Articles by him propoſed were revealed to him from heaven: wherefore he threatned them, that if they conſented not unto them, God would never be merciful unto them. Finally, they agreed, and were of his Opinion, and the Preachers for three daies ſpace ſpake of nothing but of the point of Marriage. Without delay, John Becold married three wives, one of whom was the widow of the great Prophet John Matthews:He marries three wives. others like lewd men followed his example, ſo as it was a praiſe-worthy thing to have many wives. The Citizens are diſplea­ſed, take the Prophets.Some of the honeſt Citizens were ſorely diſ­pleaſed to ſee Marriage thus prophaned, and they gave a ſign to gather all thoſe together into the Market place, who loved the Do­ctrine of the Goſpel; and then they ran into the Market place, and laid hands upon the Prophets, and took Knipperdoling, and all the reſt of the Prophets:The Common people reſcue them, and cruelly tor­ture and kill fifty. But the common peo­ple having notice hereof, took arms; and ha­ving reſcued the Captives, kill'd about fifty with great torments, tying them to trees and poſts, diſcharged Muskets at them: in the mean while the great Prophet cried out, that he that would do God ſervice, ſhould fire firſt. They killed others With another ſort of death.

Becold hath fifteen wives at once.This great Prophet John Becold of Leyden, having by his viſion gained this point, that it was lawful for a man to take together as many wives as he pleaſed, played his pranks;26 for he married but fifteen, and had them all at once; and it was lawful for any one to have ſix or ſeven: for they muſt thus renew their Marriage, as they had done their Baptiſm. And that none might take ill what they did, they merrily coloured over their villan­ny with teſtimonies out of Gods word; they brought the examples of the Patriarches, A­braham, Jacob, David and Solomon, and divers others, and ſaid that the word of God com­manded it,Gen. 1.28. ſaying, Increaſe, multiply, and fill the earth. When that ſentence was brought, 1 Tim. 3. That a Biſhop muſt be unblamable, the husband of one wife, they anſwered, That it was clear from the text, That the Apoſtle re­quired that of none but the Biſhops, and that for ſeveral reaſons; That he might not bur­then the Church, and that he might the bet­ter attend upon his Office; but this was not forbidden to any other.

Upon the 24. of June 15.34. there aroſe a new Prophet, by Trade a Gold-ſmith named John Twiſcoſcar;A new Pro­phet John Twiſcoſcar, declares that God appoin­ted John Be­cold Empe­rour of all the earth. he having aſſembled the people into the Market place, made known that the will and command of the heavenly Father was, that John Becold of Leyden ſhould be made Emperour of all the earth; and that ſhould march into the Field with a migh­ty Army, and that he ſhould without making any difference deſtroy all Kings and Princes, pardoning only the people; that is to ſay, thoſe which loved righteouſneſs; that he might hold the throne of his father David, until that the Father did deliver up the Kingdom unto him; for the Saints ſhould raign in this27 world, after that they had deſtroyed all the wicked. Theſe things were ſoon brought to John Becold of Leyden,Who accepts it, who falling down upon both his knees, and lifting up his hands to heaven, ſaid, It is ſeveral daies ſince I knew this, Brethren, yet I would not divulge it; but now the Father hath made uſe of another Miniſter to perſwade it. He made ſemblance as if he received the Kingdom againſt his will; yet he laid hold on it with both hands, and had long before bribed for it, and plot­ted it.

and caſhiers the twelve Commanders.Being now King, he who before was but a Taylor, at that inſtant caſhiereth the twelve; and on the ſuddain attireth himſelf with more then Royal Pompe and Magnificence: he choſe great Lords,Inveſts him­ſelf with kingly Robes. and commanded that they ſhould make two Crowns of pure Gold: he bore a Scepter with a Chain of Gold; and likewiſe his Spurs with Rowels of gold: in brief, he was not clad but with Silk, Velvet, and Gold, which they had ſtollen out of the Churches: his horſes were accordingly ac­coutred: he appointed certain daies to give audience to all ſuch as addreſſed themſelves unto him for any buſineſs;His Pompous Train and attendance. and when he went abroad, he was attended upon by his Ser­vants, and Gentlemen of his Court: next unto him there went two young men on horſeback magnificently clad; he that went on the right hand bare the Crown and the Bible, the other on the left hand bare a na­ked Sword, the Pommel whereof was of pure gold, and richly adorned with precious ſtones: the King had his chain of gold about his neck,28 and he was all glittering with gold and pre­cious ſtones: he bare in his hand a Globe of gold. His waiting Gentlemen were twenty eight, clad like Courtiers, with garments of mixed colour of green and blew, to ſignifie his heavenly and earthly power. Upon the Kings Girdle was written, The power of God is my ſtrength: thus was the Name of God propha­ned and blaſphemed, to cloak this Villains ſtinking infamy: Farthermore, his Title was, The King of the new Jeruſalem, King of Righte­ouſneſs, throughout all the World. The pompe of his chief wife, (for he had many together) was equal to his own: his ſervants were clad in green, and bordered with a brown colour; and upon their ſleeve there was a world with a little croſs about it, and two ſwords thwar­ted a-croſs. He had his Throne ſet up aloft, whereunto he aſcended by three ſteps, and all was beſet with gold and Jewels. The Law­ſuits which ordinarily came before him, were for the moſt part about women and divorces, inſomuch as ſome who had lived almoſt all their life long together, now ſeparated one from another. It came to paſs one day, that when the people were in the Market place, cloſe crouding, and in a throng to hear; that Knip­perdoling leaped on their heads,Knipperdo­ling's bla­ſphemy. and ſcram­bling with his hands and feet being now a­bove them, he breathed upon, the men one af­ter another in their mouths, ſaying, The Fa­ther hath ſanctified thee, receive the Holy Ghoſt. Confeſſes himſelf an whore-maſter.One day he fell a dancing before the King, ſaying, Thus I am wonted to do with my whore, but now the Father hath29 commanded me to do it before the King: but becauſe he did it too long, and would not make an end, the King was angry, and went his way. He ſuddainly mounted into the Throne; but the King ſurprizing him, threw him down, and three daies kept him in priſon.

Is there not here to be ſeen a wonder­full rage and madneſs? Who could have be­lieved that any bearing humane ſhape, ſhould have been left to commit things ſo fooliſh, abſurd, villanous, and execrable? but it cannot be otherwiſe with ſuch as vio­late, trample upon arid reject the word of God; they are by Divine judgement ſmitten, ſo as to be an example unto the elect. But let us behold their goodly glorious King, now mounted with more then Royal Pompe: where is the ſpirit of theſe Anabaptiſts, who were ſo ready to reprove and reject others? at firſt they cried out againſt all; if they ſaw any Matron wear ſilk, or any man of faſhion to wear a gold Ring, they cryed all down: but now their glorious King Taylor omitteth nothing, that may ſet forth his Pomp and State. In the beginning they would not bear to hear, that any honeſt man ſhould be a Bailiff, or Governour of a Village; but ſoon the wind is changed, and now by command from the Father, their King is not King of a Village, but of the whole World; for ſo he cauſed himſelf to be ſtiled. During this Siege, the Prophets of Munſter published a Book, which they intituled, The Reſtitution: wherein they maintained Muntzers damnable doctrine, and an infinite of errours.


Afterwards in the Moneth of Auguſt, on the day which is called St Bartholmews, the new Prophet called John Twiſcoſcar ſounded the Trumpet through the ſtreets, and cried out, that all ſhould meet in arms about the way to the great Church; for they muſt give a repulſe to the enemies of the City: being thi­ther come, they finde a Supper ready, which the King had provided; and by command the people did ſit down, to the number of four thouſand: the King, Queen, and Courtiers waited at the Table. Supper almoſt being fi­niſhed, the King gave unleavened bread to all,Becolds mock-Lords Supper. ſaying, Take, eat, declare the death of the Lord: then the Queen preſented the cup, ſaying, Drink, declare the death of the Lord. Behold the brave Supper of theſe Anabap­tiſts, which was rather a voluptuous Banquet, the Table of Devils, then the Table of our Lord Jeſus Chriſt. Now when the Supper was ended, the new Prophet gat him up into the Pulpit, and asked them whether they would obey the word of God? they all ſaid, Yes:Twiſcoſcar reveals that twenty eight Teachers muſt be ſent forth. he told them then that the command of the Father was, that they muſt ſend twenty eight Teachers of the word. Then he named them in order, declaring the place whither each ſhould go: ſix were ſent to Oſemberg, as many to Warrendort; eight to Suſar, and as many to Corsfield.

The King and Queen and the 28. Teachers ſup together.The King The King and the Queen with tho ſerved at the table, ſupped afterwards, and thoſe which were appointed to be ſent forth. As they were at Supper, the King roſe up, and ſaid, That he had received a commiſſion from31 the Father: whereas upon an adventure there was a Souldier which had been taken, the King accuſed him that he was a traitor as Judas, and with his own hands cut off his head. This being done, he returned to ſit down at Table, and by way of merriment re­cited what he had done. After Supper within night, they cauſed the twenty eight above mentioned, to depart out of the City; and o­ver and above their expences, they gave to every one of them certain pieces of gold, to leave in ſuch places where their doctrine ſhould not be received, in witneſs of their perdition, and eternal damnation; for their refuſal of the peace and doctrine of Salva­tion.

And when they were arrived at the places aſſigned unto them, they began to run through the City with horrible cries, crying, Repent, repent, otherwiſe ye will ſuddainly periſh: then they caſt their garments upon the ground, and threw their pieces of gold which were given unto them upon their garments, aſſuring them that they were ſent by the Fa­ther, to bring peace unto them if they would receive it: they commanded them to put all their goods in common: if they did refuſe it, by this ſign, and as by a mark, they did bear witneſs againſt their ingratitude, and evil deeds: for behold the time now is come, which was foretold by the Prophets, wherein the Lord God would, that righteouſneſs ſhould reign through all the earth: and after that the King ſhall have diſcharged his truſt, and ſhall have ſo done; that righteouſneſs32 ſhall reign every where; Then Chriſt ſhall deliver up the Kingdom to the Father.

Upon theſe words they were apprehended, and in the beginning fairly demanded, then by the rack examined of their faith, life, and ammunition of the City. They anſwered, that they alone had the true doctrine, which they would unto the death maintain: for ſince the Apoſtles time the Goſpel was not truly preached, and that there was no righteouſ­neſs: that there were four Prophets, two of which were true, namely, David George, and John Becold of Leyden; two were falſe, name­ly, the Pope, and Luther worſe then the Pope. Being asked why they drave the honeſt people out of the City, againſt their faith and pro­miſe, and detained their goods, wives and children; and by what text of Scripture, they could warrant that unrighteouſneſs: They anſwered, that the time was now come, where­in the word of Chriſt ſhould be fulfilled, that the meek ſhould poſſeſs the earth; and that God in this manner gave the goods of the Egypti­ans unto the Iſraelites: after, they declared their ammunition and victuals that was in the City, with their Garriſon, ſome of whom had above five wives. Moreover, that they looked for Souldiers from Friſeland and Holland, who being arrived, the King would take the Field with all his Army, to re­duce the whole World under his power and ſubjection, after that he had ſlain their Kings which did not righteouſneſs. After that they were queſtioned, and ſtill perſiſt­ed in their opinions, they were all beheaded, except one who eſcaped.


At the ſame time the aroſe another Prophet, called Henry Hilvers a wicked man, ſubtil and wary; he came to declare unto the King and the people, that the heavenly Father had re­vealed unto him, that three rich Cities with all their goods ſhould be given unto them by God, namely, Amſterdam, Deveater, and Weſel. The King hearing this, ſet himſelf to conſult with his Council, by what means they might bring theſe three Cities unto A­nabaptiſm; and to this effect they ſent cer­tain men unto theſe places. In the firſt place he ſent James Campenſe to Amſterdam, and commanded him to be Prince in that Ci­ty, and ordered him John Matthews of Mid­dleburg to be his conſort: they went into Hol­land, and hid themſelves at a Sectaries houſe, and there with their miſchievous doctrine they impoiſoned many, re-baptized their diſ­ciples, and ſecretly by night held Conven­ticles and Meetings; yea, alſo they ſcattered their poyſon in the neighbouring Cities: for in the City of Leyden, in the Moneth of Janu­ary, in the year following 1535, many were put to death for Anabaptiſm, and for their ſe­ditious counſels and enterpriſes. Moreover, in the end of the year 1534 the King ſent in­to Friſeland, John Gelen, a ſubtil man, and well vers'd in arms, he having formerly had charge in the Army; the King gave him good ſtore of gold out of the ſpoil of the Churches, and gave him in charge to raiſe an Army in Friſe; and acted ſo by certain men that aſ­ſiſted him, that on the 30. of March 1535. he muſtered up and raiſed an Army, and took a34 Monaſtery, and drave out the Friers, and there quartered his Camp, until his Army ſhould augment and be compleated. George Schonk who then was Governour of Friſe, ſpeedi­ly aſſaulted them as ſeditious perſons: they valiantly defended themſelves, but he gained the Victory and defeated them; but not without great loſs: they were all cut off except ſixty, who were brought to Leanard, and after were puniſhed according to their deſerts. Their Captain John Gelen eſcaped and fled to Amſterdam, to be the author of ſome further ſedition; where he found many Anabaptiſts, whom John Campenſe had ſeduced; he pro­miſed them great matters, highly exalting the glory and liberty at Munſter, magnifi­cently preaching the new raign of righteouſ­neſs upon earth. For by this time the re­nown of Munster was ſpread, which animated the courage of many; ſeeing ſo great an Ar­my had beſieged them, yea, and had ſtormed them often, with the loſs of many; and that they ſaw the Anabaptiſts to perſiſt in their purpoſe: many who were deſirous to be freed from their debts, and to triumph, did greatly deſire to enjoy the liberty of Munſter. Henry Gesbell a Citizen of Amſterdam, a ſtout man, and of renown for Souldiery, was gained by the Anabaptiſts, and was very familiar with John Gelen; who being drawn to their party by large promiſes, much was wrought by him: for in the concluſion 600 Anabaptiſts met together, with whom they intended and attempted to take Amſterdam, to ſet up their new raign, as they had done at Munſter: for35 upon the 10. of May, the firſt and the chiefeſt of them, aſſembled in the houſe of Peter Gale; where after conſultation they came forth into the ſtreet; for that day the Citi­zens were merry, and had according to a cuſtom among them been at a Game.

About 10. a clock, the Anabaptiſts ran to­gether in the ſtreets, about the Croſs, which was a publique place, crying out, Amend your lives, &c. whoſoever will this night beich and happy, let him march along with us: and as the number of their people en­creaſed more and more, they ſlew part of them who had charge of the watch, and the other part they took priſoners. Now the Citizens aſſembled themſelves, and aſſaulted the Anabaptiſts; but they carried the matter ſo ill, as that their Conſul was ſlain, and the reſt put to flight; but then they re-inforced their ſtrength, and gave battle unto the Ana­baptiſts, who were then defeated, though with much blood which then was ſhed; a­mong whom John Gelen and Henry Gesbell were ſlain.

James Campenſe was taken, and executed by the hand of Juſtice. Afterwards in many parts of thoſe places of Holland, the Anabap­tiſts raiſed tumults and ſeditions; not with­out loſs and great damage unto ſeveral honeſt people, for they could not keep themſelves quiet: for when they were defeated in one part, they began in another; making in ſe­cret many diſciples, who waited for the reſto­ring of the Kingdom unto Iſrael.

There was a certain man in the Town of36 Leyden, who being forced unto it by tor­ments, confeſſed that the King of the Ana­baptiſts dwelt in Utricht; but that he was not yet crowned, but only deſigned to be Prince in the Kingdom of Iſrael: this priſo­ner was not only found poſſeſſed of veſſels of ſilver and gold, which by evil practiſe he had ſtoln; but alſo guilty of ſeveral horrible crimes, for which he was executed: there is no doubt, but that by this King they did intend David George.

In the mean while, although at Munſter their King and Prophets had made unto the poor people moſt great and magnificent pro­miſes; yet now everyday they were oppreſſed with great neceſſity, and chiefly through fa­mine; inſomuch as many were ſtarved, and died for want of bread.

The Inhabitants ſecretly reſolved to ap­prehend the King, and to deliver him up un­to the Biſhop, and by this means to purchaſe their peace: the King making doubt hereof, and not truſting to himſelf; he choſe twelve men, whom he judged would be moſt faith­ful unto him, and appointed them to be Captains of each Quarter of the City, that he might be in the better reſt and aſſurance; afterwards he promiſed the people, that by Eaſter they ſhould be freed, and delivered from this ſiege, and all their poverty: for he ho­ped that the Legates which he had ſent into Friſe, and Holland, and other Regions, having raiſed Souldiers, would make ſome ſtirs; and that by this means the ſiege would be raiſed before Munſter: but he was deceived by his37 vain hopes, as we have heard (for there was a goodly diſpatch of his Legates:) He pro­miſed great matters to the Captains which he had choſen; how when the Camp ſhould be raiſed before the City, he would make them great Lords and Princes; and particularly he gave unto John Dents the Empire of Saxony: whereby appeared the brutiſhneſs and Dia­bolical rage of this pleaſant and goodly King Taylor, to promiſe to give that which was none of his own; and to take it away from him, to whom God had given it.

In the Moneth of February, the famine was ſo great, that many died through hunger and want. One of the Queens (for there were many) called Eliſa, out of pity to the people, occaſionally ſaid, That ſhe did not believe, that it was pleaſing unto God, that the peo­ple ſhould thus periſh through famine: The King, who had ſtore of good proviſion in his houſe, not only for neceſſity, but alſo to make good cheer; withal knowing this, brought her into the Market place with all the other Queens, and commanded them all to fall down upon their knees about her; and unſheathing his ſword he ſtruck off her head from off her ſhoulders: and not being conten­ted herewith, he reproached her as a bawd: the other wives fell a ſinging after this goodly deed, Glory be unto God in the higheſt; and gave thanks unto the heavenly Father: and then then they fell a dancing; the King led the Galliard, and exhorted the poor people to leap, dance, and to rejoyce alſo, who had nought left but a little bread and ſalt.


When Eaſter was come, and that there ap­peared no ſign of deliverance, the people were, and that not without cauſe, much grie­ved: the King who all along fed them with fair promiſes, fell ſick, and continued ſo ſix daies together, that he might cover himſelf with ſome excuſe: after thoſe ſix daies, he came into the Market place, and there ſhew­ing himſelf, he told the people, that he had promiſed them deliverance: but it muſt ſpi­ritually be underſtood, and behold this was the deliverance; he ſaid, That he had rode the blind Aſs, and that the Father had laid upon him the ſins of the multitude; and that he had borne them, and taken them away: and that now they were delivered from all their ſins; which was the deliverance that he had promiſed unto them. Thus muſt the poor and miſerable people content them­ſelves, to hear this execrable blaſphemy. The blind Aſs of this Gallant, whereupon this devilliſh and deſperate man rode, was the poor people, that endured and did bear the en­ormities of ſuch a villain, whom they adored.

If we ſhould reckon up the miſeries, cala­mities, and other evils which thoſe of the City endured, it were a miſerable thing to hear. Divers who could not bear the famine, fled to the enemy; not ſo much looking for mercy, as that their pain might be expired by death: many crawled upon their bellies in the ſtreets, and others died in the waies: it was an horrible thing to ſee many walking quite ſtripped of fleſh, nothing left but skin upon the bones. Their ears, lips, cheeks, and39 noſes were ſo ſhrunk up, as one might almoſt ſee day-light through them, as through a piece of paper. Through feebleneſs, they could not carry their bodies: ſome went to the enemy diſarmed, trailing a ſtaff in their hands: whiles proviſion laſted, none talked of going to the enemy; but now when this was ſpent, they began their deſolation and diſcon­tent: yet they helpt themſelves as long as they could: They ſowed in the ſides of the walls, and in all waſt places, rapes, peaſe and ſuch ſeeds, and with this they made ſhift to paſs the Summer: But when this crop was ſpent, then it was as Veniſon to them to feed on dogs, rats and mice; and when the City was taken, there were but two horſes left alive: many were ſo preſſed with hunger, as that they did eat the fleſh of dead carkaſſes. Fi­nally, they boiled ſhoos, old leather, and skins, and beat them together, and put them into a pot, and mingled all ſorts of matter to­gether which they could finde: this was in­ſtead of bread; and yet this villain and wic­ked cheater deceived them, telling them, God tried them, to ſee whether they would be faithful and conſtant; and that certainly the Father would deliver them in a ſhort time. Now they that would depart out of the City, to be delivered from theſe miſchiefs, were to preſent themſelves before the King: and there this Robber took from them all that they had; and when they were ranſacked, he ſaid, Now get you gone to the Hereticks.

The King had yet proviſion of victuals in his Palace, for about two Moneths; but it40 was only for his Courtiers. They conſulted how they might victual the City. Then there ſtood forth one named Hansken-Vander Langke-ſtrate, he was one of the Kings Secre­taries, and one in whom he confided much: he undertook to re-victual the City, and to bring in three hundred Souldiers to their aſ­ſiſtance, and all within 15. daies: he departed out of the City; and under this pretence went unto the enemy; and for a certain ſum of money ſold the City unto the Biſhop, offering to loſe his life if he did not accompliſh it: the time for this Plot to be put in execution; was the even of S. Johns day, at ten a clock in the night; and that he would open the Gate unto them, provided they came without noiſe, to the Gate of the Croſs. Then this Purveiour returned unto the City, and com­forted the King, telling him, that he had well ordered his buſineſs; and that within 15. daies, they ſhould have a recruit of Victuals and Souldiers. When the day was come, he told the Watch, that this night their aid and victuals ſhould come; and therefore when they ſaw them approach, that they ſhould take heed that they made no noiſe, but be very quiet: At the very time appointed, at ten a clock in the night, the Gate was opened; and the enemy entred. They kill'd the Sen­tinels, and the Corps du Gard, having got the Word. Being thus entred into the City, the trumpets ſound an Alarm; ſuddainly the King and his men put themſelves into a poſture to fight, and to repulſe the enemy back again to the Gate, which was now ſhut by ſome of41 the Citizens. The enemies without broke up the Gates; for they heard how they char­ged upon their people within: and being now entred in, they diſplay their Colours. Thoſe of the City abode the brunt a little at firſt, and were drawn up in the Market place: the Battle was very great. The King, Knipper­doling, Chretchting, were taken: then Rotman ſeeing no hope to eſcape, thruſt himſelf into the middle of the enemies, and there was run through, becauſe he feared to be taken a­live. But when the Anabaptiſts heard, that their King was taken, their courage failed them; and they hid themſelves here & there in Cellars, holes and Shop-bulkes; yea, if it had been poſſible, would have ran into mouſe­holes. They were ten daies in pillaging the City, and they found in the Kings Palace proviſion for 200. men for two Moneths: whereas the poor people were for a long time ſtarved. This was called, to have things in common; when as ſome had to eat, and o­thers were ſtarved. This was like Ananias and Saphira's dealing before the Apoſtle Peter.

Thus was the City of Munſter taken, the 25. of June 1538. the King was three daies after, by a guard of Souldiers brought to a Caſtle three leagues from the City, called Dulme. As ſoon as the Biſhop perceived the King, he cried out, Oh thou wretch! how haſt thou brought ſpoil and waſt to me, and to my poor people! The King readily and proudly anſwered, lifting up himſelf, and de­ſpiſing the Biſhop, ſaid, Prieſt, we have not damnified thee one mite, but we have deli­vered42 a ſtrong City into thine hands, which is able to ſtand out againſt all ſtrength: yet if We have done thee damage, if thou wilt hearken unto us, we will make thee rich. The Biſhop hearing that, could not forbear laugh­ing, and asked him, how he would do it? The King anſwered him, Get Baskets made of Iron, and cover them over with leather, and put me in one of them, and cauſe me to be carried through the Country, and let no man ſee me, but he that ſhall give thee a peny; and by this means, thou ſhalt receive more money then thou haſt ſpent in the War.

The better and moſt holy Anabaptiſts hung about their necks the mark and enſign of their King engraven in braſs, marked with theſe three letters, D. W. E. which in their language ſignified, The Word was made fleſh. The King had for his title, I John by the grace of God, and by vertue of the new Kingdome to come in the temple of God, Miniſter of righteouſ­neſs, &c.

Thus the King with his two companions were carried priſoners here and there unto the Princes, by which means the Miniſters of the Lantgrave had opportunity to confer with the King, and to diſpute with him, a­bout the principal points, viz. The Kingdom of Chriſt, The Magiſtrate, Baptiſm, The In­carnation of our Lord, The Lords Supper, Marriage: and by teſtimonies of Scripture unto them, ſo acted, as though in all things they changed not: notwithſtanding all the oppoſitions they made, to defend their opini­ons,43 yet they yielded ſomewhat; which the King did (as ſome thought) in hope to ſave his life: for at the ſecond time of their re­turn, he promiſed them, if they would grant him his liberty, to ſilence the Anabaptiſts, which were in great numbers in Holland, Brabant, England, and Friſeland, and to bring them in ſubjection to the Magiſtrate.

The 20. of Jan. 1536. the King and his two companions were brought back to Munster: & put in ſeveral priſons; the two next daies were ſpent in holy Remonſtrances, to reduce them from their errours. The King acknowledged his ſin, and had recourſe to Chriſt by prayer: The other two acknowledged not their faults, but ſtood out. The next day the King was brought forth upon a Scaffold, and tyed to a poſt; where were two executioners, with hot burning tongs: he indured the three firſt pinchings of the tongs, without ſpeaking word; afterward he ceaſed not to call upon the mercy of the Lord. Thus for a whole hour and more, was he torn, and diſmembred; and to diſpatch him out of the world, he was run through with a ſword: his two companions had the like end. Their bodies were put into iron cages, and hung upon St. Lamberts Tower, for a perpetual memorial. Let none think we re­cite ſtories of the Anabaptiſts, which are not to be believed, by adding thereunto of our own; God forbid that we ſhould ſo do: for there are many yet living, who were eye-witneſſes of theſe things, and preſent when they were done. I ſpeak this, that none might be hin­dred from getting profit by this Hiſtory,44 which is true and certain, and brought to light for the inſtruction of the people of God.

In the year 1535. upon the 3. of February, in the City of Amſterdam, in the ſtreet of the Salines, in the houſe of one John Silert, who then was far from home, there aſſembled ſeven men and five women then called Ana­baptiſts, among whom there was one called Theodore Sartor, who was there inſpired; he lay ſtretched out flat upon the ground, for ſome ſpace of time, before the other brethren and ſiſters: who in the end awakened; and prayer being made with great gravity, or ra­ther fair hypocriſie, he then ſaid, That he had ſeen God in his Majeſty, alſo that he had a viſion of all things in heaven and in hell; and that the great day of Judgement was now come: afterwards he pulled off all his Garments, not leaving ſo much as to co­ver his ſhameful parts withal. He comman­ded the reſt of his brethren and ſiſters to fol­low his example, upon this pretence, for ſaid he, The children of God muſt ſtrip them­ſelves, and put off whatſoever is made, and born of the earth; inaſmuch as truth is na­ked, and cannot abide to be wrapped up in any thing: therefore, they to ſhew themſelves ve­ritable and true, ought to uncloath them­ſelves. The poor people hearing this, put off their cloaths; and being no waies aſhamed, became quite naked. Theodore commanded them all to imiate him: he leapt out of doors into the publick quite naked, as alſo did the reſt of the men and women, who followed45 him, trying, after an horrible manner, Wo, wo, wo, Divine vengeance, Divine vengeance, &c. and in this manner they ran furiouſly through the City, like mad people, crying out ſo hideouſly as never was heard.

Then the Citizens ran to take arms (for they knew not whether the City were ſurpri­zed by enemies, or what would become of this ſtir.) Finally, theſe impudent people were ta­ken being quite naked; and being queſtioned upon the 5. of March, theſe ſeven men were beaten and ſcourged: the firſt of them cri­ed out, Praiſe the Lord for evermore: ano­ther ſaid, Lord avnge the bloud of thine: the third, Open your eyes: the fourth ſaid, Wo, wo. Afterwards the women were brought to puniſhment: when they were taken, they offered them garments, but they rejected them, ſaying, That the truth ought to be naked. What men ever heard of ſuch im­pudency or fury? In the ancient ſtories we reade of Adamites, who alſo went naked: but it was only among themſelves, and at their Feſtival daies; but theſe far ſurpaſs them.

When Adam ſaw himſelf naked, he ſought for covering; and finding nothing more fit then leaves, he made uſe of thoſe of a Fig­tree: but theſe, when as garments were ten­dred unto them, they refuſed them; and like dogs ran without ſhame. Behold, what be­falleth thoſe that leave the word of God, to cleave unto dreams and Satanical illuſions! but behold their madneſs, in that they dare attribute ſuch villany unto the holy Spirit of God, and to make him the author of their46 nakedneſs: they ought to have in remem­brance, with what gravity the Apoſtle Paul commandeth women to have their heads co­vered in the Church: what would he have ſaid if he had ſeen or known women to run without ſhame quite naked like Bitches, who comman­ded that women apparel themſelves in de­cent habit, with ſhamefac'dneſs and modeſty?

The things which were done by theſe A­nabaptiſts in the Town of St. Gall in Switzer­land, are not leſs hideous nor horrible then theſe, whereof we have already heard. For in the year 1526. two brethren which came out of the ſame womb, Thomas and Leonard Schitker, inhabiting neer unto the Town in the Mount called Mulleg; the 7. of February, by night there aſſembled a great number of Anabaptiſts in their Fathers houſe, who ſpent all the night in preaching and doing marvelous deeds, and receiving of viſions: at Sun-riſing, upon the 8. of February, Tho­mas took his brother Leonard, and ſet him in the midſt of his kindred, and of all the com­pany, commanding him to fall down upon his knees: now as the reſt admoniſhed him, to do no unbeſeeming thing unto his brother, he anſwered them, That they needed not to fear, for he ſhould do nothing there, but the will of the Father: in the mean while un­ſheathing a Sword, he cut off his brothers head, who was upon his knees, before them all. As all the company were ſmitten with great fear, and made great and lamentable complaints, Thomas who had committed this murther, ſuddainly flyeth out of the Town, uſing hor­rible47 behaviours, as the cuſtom of the Ana­baptiſts is to do.

This Enthuſiaſt at that time came, before the Conſul in the Town of St. Gall. Mr. Jo­achim Vadian, an excellent man, and renow­ned for piety and learning, being preſent, this Anabaptiſt cried out fearfully before him, The day of the Lord is at hand, the day of the Lord cometh: he added further, that at the break of day, there had been ſome great thing done, (but he concealed the matter) and that the will of the Father was accompliſhed, and that it had been ſteeped in gall and vi­negar: the Conſul reproved him, and chid him ſharply, becauſe of his fury and immo­derate cries, commanding him to cloath him­ſelf, and to return to his houſe, and to be­have himſelf peaceably. Suddainly his vil­lanous murther was divulged, and he was apprehended and diligently examined by torture; and afterwards for his villanous fact, by the hand of the Magiſtrate executed and put to death. This poor Anabaptiſt had for­got the doctrine of the Apoſtle, 1 Job. 3.12. &c. but God by his righteous judgement and providence, ſuffered ſuch villanous and execrable deeds to be committed by theſe perſons, that theſe waies may be abhomi­nated.

There was found at Appaſell in the Coun­try of Switzerland, a woman,A She-Meſ­ſiah. a ſiſter of this Sect, who taught and perſwaded many of her brethren, that ſhe was Chriſt the Meſſiah of women, and choſe twelve Apoſtles.

That befalleth theſe perſons, which is com­mon48 to ſuch as once ſtray, and turn aſide from the right path, and the good old way: by how much further they are off and diſtant from the right path, and the more progreſs they make; ſo much the farther do they wan­der from the right way: after that they had built the Tower of Babel, God ſo conſounded their language, that they underſtood not one another; and they are divided among them­ſelves, yea, they have damned and excom­municated one another, and made divers Churches apart, without familiarity, or com­munion together. But not to weary the Rea­der with ſuch diverſity, I ſhall only name fifteen.

  • 1. In the firſt place, there is Thomas Munt­zer with his rout.
  • 2. There are the Apoſtolical ones, as they call themſelves.
  • 3. The Spiritual ones, and ſeparated from the world.
  • 4. The holy and ſinleſs ones: theſe are the Perfectiſts.
  • 5. The Silentiaries.
  • 6. The Praying ones, and wholly truſting in God.
  • 7. The Enthuſiaſts.
  • 8. The great free Libertines.
  • 9. The Brethren Huttikes.
  • 10. The Auguſtinians
  • 11. The Glorians, and Triumphant Ana­baptiſts of Munſter.
  • 12. Thoſe of Melchior Hoffman.
  • 13. The Meherlanders.
  • 14. The Mennonites, the diſciples of Men­no Simons.
  • 49
  • 15. The Franiques, which alſo within theſe few daies are divied.

Let us now come to behold ſome of their ſtrange opinions; for that were a work never to be done, to deſcribe them all. We ſhall be­gin with Thomas Muntzer, of whom mention was made in the beginning of the Hi­ſtory.

Firſtly, He wrote and taught publickly, that the Miniſters and Preachers of the Go­ſpel, were not ſent of God: and that they preached not the true word of God, but were Scribes and Phariſees, preaching only the dead Letter of the Scripture.

Moreover, he ſaid, That the writing of the Old Teſtament, and the preaching of the eternal word, was not the word of God, but was only the teſtimony thereof: and that we muſt ſearch for the word in the internal part, i.e. in our hearts, where God hath put it, that we need not go far to ſeek it from without us: The Scribe-Miniſters (ſaith he) think that faith cometh by the Scriptures and preaching, but they are very-far off: for all the Scriptures lead us hither, that we muſt be taught and learned of God, Joh. 6.45. Iſa. 54.13. Jer. 31.34.

It was very needful for theſe Anabaptiſts, to begin here to ſet up their Sect and Facti­on:Anſw. they muſt ſay and plainly affirm, that the Miniſters are not ſent of God, that they might the more withdraw the poor people from them. The Reaſons which move them ſo to ſpeak, as they pretend, are Pauls wri­ting to Timothy, where he ſaith, Be an example,1 Tim. 4.12.50 &c. whereby the Apoſtle ſheweth it is need­ful for the Miniſter to approve his calling by purity of life, otherwiſe it will be vain and falſe;1. Tim. 3.2. alſo the Biſhop muſt be unblama­ble. Our new Mennoniſts and Franiques are of the ſame opinion. But in the mean while, who ſeeth not that they endeavour a­bove all things, to ſet up their own works and righteouſneſſes, and Phariſee-like to judge and condemn all ſuch as do not as many works as they? It is many times ſo, that Har­lots will boaſt themſelves more of their chaſtity then honeſt Matrons: ſo it was with the falſe Apoſtles at Corinth, that they might bring the true Apoſtles of Chriſt into diſre­pute; they ſo boaſted of their own vertue and lowlineſs, as if the true Apoſtles were in no wiſe to be compared with them. But the A­poſtle is in no wiſe aſtoniſhed at their vain and fooliſh braggings; yea, he plainly deri­ded them, ſaying, We dare not make ours of the number, nor compare our ſelves with ſome who commend themſelves: but they meaſuring themſelves by themſelves, and comparing themſelves with themſelves, are not wiſe: as if the Apoſtle ſhould have ſaid, They ſo pleaſe themſelves in themſelves, that they think and eſteem, that there are none in the world equal or to be compared with themſelves: they conſider not the gifts wherewith others are endued, but their ſight is ſo fixed upon themſelves and their own fair deeds, as that they are perſwaded, that they are the only ones, and the None-ſuch in the world. In the mean while, the Apoſtle51 lively upbraideth them, ſaying, Such falſe A­poſtles are deceitful workers, diſguiſing them ſelves into Apoſtles of Chriſt; and no mar­vel, ſaith he, for Satan transformeth himſelf into an Angel of light; it is no great matter then, if his Miniſters transform themſelves into the Miniſters of righteouſneſs: whoſe end ſhall be according to their works. More­over, who knoweth not well, that Doctrine far ſurpaſſeth works? ſo as if the Doctrine be not ſound, pure, and true; the works, how holy and fair ſoever they may be, will never prove the calling of a falſe Prophet, that he is ſent from God.

If it were lawful for us to boaſt, it ſhould not be in our ſanctity, perfection, & mortifi­cation, as they do; but only in the pure mercy of God through Jeſus Chriſt: if ſo be that gravity and honeſty of life, were the true ſign of the vocation to the Miniſtry; it would fol­low that all honeſt and good people, ſhould be Miniſters of the Church; but that is well known to be falſe, 1 Cor. 7.10. nor can it be: for there is a command for every one to walk in the calling wherein he is called, 1 Cor. 12.29. he asketh alſo, are all Apoſtles? are all Prophets? are all Teachers? Every Chriſtian may or ought to read, and diſcourſe of Scri­pture: it followeth not therefore that all Chriſtians are Preachers and Miniſters of the Churches, but only thoſe which are lawfully called; nor doth the calling ceaſe for any failing that may be found in the life of the called (wch is not ſpoken to give occaſion to make Miniſters negligent; (God forbid:) But52 the exhortation of the Apoſtle Paul, is alwaies neceſſary to the Miniſters) no more then Pe­ter ceaſed to be a true and lawful Apoſtle,Act. 6.6. Act. 13.3. 1 Tim. 5.22. 1 Tim. 4.14. 2 Tim. 1.6. when he ſo groſſely failed, Gal. 2.11, 12. It is well known that our Miniſters are called to Office by the voice and common conſent of all the Church; and that after faſting and calling upon the name of God, according to Apoſtolical inſtitution, and are confirmed in their Office by impoſition of hands: what reaſon is there for theſe Sectaries to ſay, That their Miniſters are called of God, but ours onely by the world and men? if their Miniſters have a ſpecial calling as the A­poſtles had, let them prove it by ſigns, mira­cles, gifts of tongues, and Apoſtolical Do­ctrine, as they did: the Church hath no need of your Miniſters; for the Doctrine of Repen­tance, Amendment of life, and of Remiſſion of ſins in the name of Chriſt, is abundantly declared in the Church of Chriſt: to teach the ſame thing is ſuperfluous: if you teach any other Doctrine, then you and your Do­ctrine is accurſed, and not to be heard.

I ſhall ſay no other thing, then what the Apoſtle Paul before ſpake to the like glori­ous Miniſters as theirs be, Gal. 1.18. If their ſpirit be ſo full of knowledge and light, ſo as they cannot contain themſelves from prea­ching without calling; why do they not preach where the Goſpel was never yet de­clared? they inſinuate themſelves into ſuch places, where the holy Goſpel hath been preached to the people, with great labour and hazard of life unto the poor Miniſters. 53It is a marvel, how they will vouchſafe to en­joy, and partake of the labours of thoſe Mi­niſters, whom they ſo much hate: they ſe­cretly by fraud and deceit, ſeduce and di­ſturb in ſuch places the poor ſheep of Jeſus Chriſt, which ought not to be withdrawn from their true Paſtors. Joh. 10.5.I pray all the flock of Chriſt, not to give heed to ſuch ſtrangers; but rather hearken to the voice of the Apo­ſtle, 1 Theſ. 5.12, 13. Heb. 13.17.

Theſe Sectaries do defame and reproach the Miniſters, and ſpeak all evil of them; but it is becauſe they touch them at the quick, becauſe they cry out upon theſe wolves, and pluck the ſheepskins from off their backs, that none might be ſurprized by their fair appearance: ſeeing the Goſpel-Miniſters are ſtiled the Salt of the earth, none muſt think ſtrange that the Salt biteth and pricketh, and maketh it ſelf to be Salt: the Salt biteth not where there is no wound, but it is felt where there is a raw place. It will appear then, that they have loſt their ſpi­ritual ſenſes, who ſay, That our Miniſters are not called of God: God hath put ſingu­lar honour upon the Miniſters; yea, what greater could he put upon them, then by ſay­ing, He that heareth you, heareth me; and he that rejecteth you, rejecteth me? the Lord not only by words, hath recommended the Mini­ſters unto the Church; but alſo by example, hath ſhewn what honour and reverence all ought to have them in. Act. 8.The holy Ghoſt could have taught the Ethiopian Eunuch, without the Miniſtry of man, but he would maintain this order.


So Cornelius;Act. 10.5. God could have taught him by the Angel, but he is bid by him to ſend for Peter. When our Lord called Paul, he could have inſtructed him himſelf, yet he is ſent to a Mortal man, to receive the Do­ctrine of Salvation, and Baptiſm: behold, a caſe which fell not out by raſhneſs, that an Angel of God ſhould withdraw from en­tring upon the Miniſtry;Act. 9.6. and ſhould ſend him to a man, a Miniſter, to preach unto him. Who with a good Conſcience dare then de­ſpiſe the true Miniſtry, ſo highly honoured of God; and to diſguſt men from the ſame, and to cauſe men to run after thoſe which were not lawful Miniſters, but thieves, rob­bers, and grievous wolves, which ſpare not the flock of our Lord Jeſus Chriſt?

Let us now come to the ſecond point: Muntzer after he had ſpued out his poyſon againſt the poor Miniſters of Chriſt; he falls upon the word of the eternal God: and there that he may leave nothing entire, with open throat he ſpits out his blaſphemies. It is no marvel if he fall upon the Miniſters of the word, to ſpeak evil of them, ſeeing he dareth ſo outragiouſly to ſet himſelf againſt the very mouth of God: Behold his own words

That the Scriptures of the Old. and New Te­ſtament,Object. and the eternal preaching of the word, is not the word of God; and that we muſt ſearch for the word, in the internal part in the heart: and that the Miniſters are much deceived, think­ing that faith cometh by reading of the Scri­ptures, or by hearing them preached; ſeeing all55 the Scripture ſaith, that they ſhall be taught of God. Theſe are his own words.

We plainly confeſs,Anſw. and are not ſo igno­rant (thanks be to God) and who knoweth not, that the external word, i. e. that the Letters written with ink upon paper, by the hand of the Writer; and that the voice ſoun­ding out of the mouth, is not the word of God, inaſmuch as it is written and ſpoken by man? yet we do notwithſtanding affirm, that the ſenſe of theſe words written, and ſpoken by the mouth of the Miniſter, is the true and indubitable word of God: as it more plainly appeareth,Jer. 36.4, 6, 8. where the Prophet Jeremi­ah commandeth Baruch to write from his mouth, all the words of the Lord. The words of Jeremiah written with ink in a Book, are called the word of the Lord.

How often do we hear in the Prophets, Thus ſaith the Lord! read theſe Scriptures. Jer. 25.15. Jer. 20.33. 1 Pet. 1.23. Iſa. 40.6. 1 Thes. 2.13. Deut. 10.18. Acts 4.31. Acts 6.2. Acts 8.14, 25. Acts 11.1. Acts 13.5, 7, 25. Acts 17.13. Acts 18.11. Heb. 13.7. Epheſ. 1.13. We ought rather to give credit to ſo many evident teſtimonies of Scripture, then unto ſuch Ravers, who do nothing but rave and dream.

Muntzer careth not for that, but dareth give the Apoſtle Peter the lye. Now they which thus leave the Scriptures, finding out another means to come unto God, through pride, they are deprived of their ſenſes. They pretend unto Revelations of the Spirit; and56 deſpiſing all reading, they mock at the ſim­pleneſs of thoſe, which yet follow the dead and killing Letter (as they call it.) By what ſpirit is it, by inſpiration whereof they are ſo highly rapt, as that they dare reject all the Doctrine of the Scriptures, as a babiſh and childiſh thing? they ſay, It is the Spirit of God, but it is plain mockery ſo to ſpeak. For they muſt needs grant us, that the Apo­ſtles and the faithful in the Primitive Church, were inſpired by the Spirit of Chriſt; yet none of them durſt contemn the word of God, and the holy Scriptures: but rather each of them, had them in very great reve­rence; as we may ſee it by their writings, which are furniſhed with many teſtimonies from the Old Teſtament: and certainly thus was it promiſed by God, through the mouth of the Prophet, Iſa. 59.21. where we ſee, that the Lord joyned theſe two together, his Word and his Spirit: wherefore ſhould we ſepa­rate, what God hath by an inviolable bond conjoyned?

Moreover,2 Cor. 12.4. Paul, who was rapt up into the third heaven, and there heard things un­lawful for man to utter, notwithſtanding, gave not over diligent reading, nor profiting by the Books of the Old Teſtament; Com­manding Timothy to bring with him the Books which he had left at Troas with Carpus. 2 Tim. 4.13. 2 Tim. 3.15. 1 Tim. 4.13.Yea, he exhorts Timothy, who though he was an excellent Teacher, and well inſtructed in the holy Scriptures, to give himſelf to reading: and what praiſe doth he put upon the Scri­pture! 2 Tim. 3.16. I would ask theſe men57 whether they have received another ſpirit, then our Saviour promiſed to give his Diſ­ciples: they will not dare to vaunt of ano­ther ſpirit: now what Spirit our Saviour pro­miſed to ſend unto his Diſciples, he ſhew­eth plainly, when he ſaith,Joh. 14.26. This Spirit ſhall not ſpeake of himſelf, but ſhould bring to their remembrance what they had formerly heard of him. It is not the Office of the ho­ly Spirit, that which Chriſt promiſed, to dream of dreams, of new and unknown revelations, or to hold forth new doctrine: but it is the work of the Spirit of God, to confirm us in that which he hath already ſpoken, by the Prophets and Apoſtles; ſeeing alſo that the Lord promiſeth not to ſend us another do­ctrine, ſaying, Hold faſt that which thou haſt, until I come, Revel. 2.24. Gal. 1.8, 9. whereby it appeareth, that we ought dili­gently to travel, as well in the hearing, as in the reading of the holy Scripture, if we will feel the benefit and fruit of the Spirit of God. Luke acknowledgeth the diligence of thoſe of Baerca in ſearching the Scriptures, Acts 17.11. To this purpoſe tend theſe Scriptures: 2 Pet. 1.19. Joh. 5.39. Luk. 4.21. Mat. 4.4. Epheſ. 6.16. Mat. 22.19. Luk. 24.27. Joh. 2.22.

And Paul would have a Biſhop, to hold faſt the faithful word, Tit. 1.9. &c. Apollos was mighty in the Scriptures, &c. Acts 14.24, 28.

If it were otherwiſe, how could we take heed of the deceits of Satan, who daily transformeth himſelf into an Angel of light?58 whereupon ſhould our faith reſt? we ſhould be carried to and fro without any ſtability.

But they do alleadge,Object. it were, a great ab­ſurdity to ſubject the holy Spirit unto the Scriptures, to whom all things are to be ſub­jected.

As if it were a ſhame and ignominy to the Holy Ghoſt,Anſw. to be alway like unto himſelf; and to be conſtant in the ſame word without wavering at all: if any ſhould reduce the Spirit to an Humane, or any other Rule, it were debaſed, yea, brought into ſervitude: but when we ſay, That the Holy Ghoſt having once ſpoken, is not mutable, and changeth not diſcourſe (now ſpeaking one thing, and then another, as men are wont to do) who will ſay, that we offer any injury to the Ho­ly Ghoſt?

But they ſay,Object. He is by this means ex­amined; which belongeth not unto men to do.

Is is very clear,Anſw. that it is ſuch an examina­tion, as he hath pleaſed to eſtabliſh in the Church; that we may not receive the ſpirit of Satan inſtead of him: wherefore it muſt needs be, that the Spirit abide for ever, ſuch as once he hath revealed and manifeſted himſelf to be in the holy Scriptures: It is no ſhame nor opprobry to the Spirit, for any to ſay of him, That it is no diſhonour for him not to be mutable, nor to renounce himſelf. As for that which they tax the Miniſters, to be Miniſters of the dead letter, one may plainly ſee the Lords taking vengeance up­on the outrage offred unto his holy Word;59 ſmiting them with a ſpirit of giddineſs, for having deſpiſed the true and only means of coming unto God, which is the Scripture and the Word of God. In that paſſage of the Corinthians where Paul ſaith,2 Cor. 3.6. The letter kil­leth, and the Spirit quickeneth; let any cloſely conſider, againſt whom the Apoſtle diſpu­teth, and they will underſtand his drift. It is very evident that Paul in this place, had to do with falſe Apoſtles, who preached and extolled the Law without Chriſt, & cauſed the people to recoil from Salvation purchaſed by Chriſt, and the grace of the new Covenant, whereunto the Lord had promiſed to write his Law in the heart of the faithful: the Law then being ſeparated from Chriſt, as a body without a ſoul;Jer. 31.33. Ezek. 11.19. Ezek. 36. Heb. 8.10. and nothing cometh from it but death, to thoſe that are under it: it doth nothing but beat and ſtrike the ears, without any quickning the ſoul, until by faith we are ſent from it unto Chriſt, as from the Uſher unto the Maſter; and then the Law will be found ſuch as David ſings it,Pſal. 19.8. The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the ſoul; the teſtimony of the Lord is faithful, making wiſe the ſimple: the commandments of the Lord are right, rejoycing the heart, &c. Thus muſt we under­ſtand how it is ſaid, The Letter killeth: Paul calleth the Law, The killing Letter, and faith, The Spirit quickneth; i e The Miniſtry of the Goſpel, which he oppoſeth unto the naked Law; and he himſelf calleth his preaching, The Miniſtry of the Spirit: we muſt not un­derſtand this place as thoſe dreamers, who as often as they meet with an obſcure place that60 maketh againſt them, ſay, The Letter killeth, i.e. According as they ſay, to underſtand the meaning of the Scripture this killeth, but we muſt come to the Spirit, i. e. to forge Alle­gories. Paul never thought of ſuch fopperies, as we may ſee in reading the ſame Chapter, 2 Cor. 3.8. It is then wretchedly and wickedly done, to caſt off the Scripture upon ſuch pre­tence of the Spirit,Luk. 24.27. ſeeing our Lord giveth us his Spirit to underſtand his word: as we ſee Chriſt opened the underſtanding of the two Diſciples, not by making them wiſe in themſelves, nor ſetting them to look for a new kinde of word, or natural and innate in them, in rejecting the Scriptures; but that they might underſtand the Scriptures. Af­ter this manner the Apoſtle Paul exhorteth the Theſſalonians not to quench the Spirit: he would not have them fly in the air, after vain and unprofitable ſpeculations, without the word of God, but conſequently he ad­deth, Deſpiſe not prophecie: thereby ſhewing, that then the Spirit is quenched, and ſuffo­cated, when Prophecie is rejected; what will thoſe poor ſouls anſwer, who have rejected the lanthorn,Pſa. 119.105. which God hath given to be a light unto their feet? We confeſs that the external word preached by men, of it ſelf, nor alone, cannot convert the heart, but the Spirit of God muſt work internally, to beget faith in us: now this is done in good order by the preaching of the Goſpel, as appeareth by Lydia the Purple-ſeller, Acts 16.14. ſhe heard Paul preach, but the Lord opened her heart, to underſtand the things which Paul61 ſpake: for this cauſe the preaching of the Word is called ſeed; we know that if ſeed fall upon a ſpot of ground which is deſert, and not tilled, it is loſt, without producing fruit: but on the contrary, falling upon ſoil tilled and well manured, it brings forth fruit in abundance. So the word of God,Luk. 8.15. if it fall upon the hard and rebellious brain, it re­maineth without fruit, as upon ſtony ſoil: but upon an heart prepared by the operati­on of the Holy Ghoſt, then it brings forth much fruit; and as the Husband-man when he hath ſown his ſeed, he can do no more, he cannot make, his grain to grow, but leaveth it to God: ſo muſt the Miniſters do; when they have preached and ſown the Word of God, they cannot make it grow, they muſt commend it unto God: as the Apoſtle ſaith, He that planteth is nothing,1 Cor. 3.7. and he that watereth is nothing, but it is God that muſt give the in­creaſe: he doth not therefore reject him that planteth, nor him that watereth, that is to ſay, the external Miniſters; for he ſoon addeth, We are co-workers or labourers with God; ye are Gods husbandry, ye are Gods building. It appeareth that the Miniſters are joyned in the work with God; inaſmuch as God maketh uſe of them as inſtruments, and he worketh by his word, by giving vertue in the internal man: one may ſee as plainly as day light, the errour of Muntzer, the firſt father of theſe Anabaptiſts, and that there is no reaſon in his ſpeech.

Our Mennoniſts have condemned their father in this point, notwithſtanding there62 be others who maintain this opinion, or ra­ther blaſphemy, as ſome ſtrange ſpirits, the diſciples of Sebaſtian Franque, who this day do renew the queſtion: yea, ſome little ſpace of time ſince, one of the chief of that Sect, whoſe name I ſhall forbear to declare, in the City of Frankfort, before ſeveral honeſt people told me, and with might and main maintained, with divers of his diſciples, That the earth never bare a more abomina­ble Idol, then that which is called the Bible; and that all the World doted upon it, look­ing therein for the word of God, whereas we ſhould look for it in our hearts: and one of them redoubled it, and ſaid, in the pre­ſence of Mr. Aloſco and of us all, What do you talk ſo much of the Scripture! I aſſure you on my part, I have learned more by ſee­ing an Hen or a Capon killed, then ever I learned by all the Sermons and Lectures of the Books that ever I read. Unto whom I an­ſwered, It muſt needs be that you eat often of Hens and Capons, ſeeing you have learned ſo much by their death: but I pray you, ſaid I, What good did you ever learn thereby? he anſwered, That he had learned to know, the obedience which Jeſus Chriſt rendred unto God his Father upon the Croſs: and that as the fowl was ſlain without making re­ſiſtance, and that for the good and life of man; ſo was Jeſus Chriſt ſlain for the life of mankind: it was ſaid then unto him, How do you know that ever there was ſuch an one as Jeſus Chriſt, and that he died for man? do you find that written in the Capons belly?63 the Turks alſo do kill Capons, but they can­not reade there, that Chriſt was their Savi­our. In the end they were very angry, and like people deprived of their ſences, when they were hampered by the word of God, and by their own reaſons. What man is there that would not wonder at ſuch fooliſh and ir­rational diſcourſe? is it not juſt that ſuch people ſhould be ſo handled, ſeeing they have rejected the word of the living God; which the Angels themſelves deſire to pry into, that they ſhould be ſent to School unto the bruit beaſts?

Further, I come to the Proposition of Muntzer, who ſaith, That the Miniſters are much deceived, thinking that faith cometh by hearing, and that it is written, Brother ſhall not teach brother any more, ſay­ing, Know the Lord; for they ſhall all know me, from the leaſt to the greateſt of them, being all taught of God.

If Miniſters be deceived by ſo thinking,Anſw. then was Paul alſo deceived; for he thus ſpake, How ſhall they believe, &c. yea,Rom. 10.14, 17. he ſaith, That the doctrine which was preached, was the word