Page images

their princes; telling them, that he was commanded of God to destroy all wicked princes, and substitute new ones in their places; and that they were called indeed princes, but were tyrants. Moreover, that they would not restore unto the people their liberty, nor permit them to have the true religion and service of God; exhorting them rather to dye, then to allow their wickedness, and suffer the doctrine of the gospel to be taken from them; and therefore to play the men, and gratify God, in destroying such unprofitable people.

“Likewise, that this their great zeal towards God, and outward humility, got them in the beginning many followers; for their demands were first, that they might choose them such ministers, as should preach God's word sincerely, without any mixture of men's traditions. Secondly, That thenceforth they would pay no tythes, but of corn only; and the same to be distributed by the discretion of good men, partly to the ministers of the church, partly upon


poor, upon common affairs. Thirdly, That they had till that time been unworthily kept in bonds, considering how they were all made free in the bloud of Christ. Fourthly, That they refused not to have a magistrate, know

and partly

ing that he is ordained of God, and would obey him in all honest things; but could not abide to be any longer bound, unless it were shewed reasonable by the testimony of scripture.* Fifthly, That in all their letters, which their speciais they wrote to provoke and allure others to cal grounds for

rising. their fellowship, they made their boast, that they took up arms by God's commandment, and for a certain love and zeal to the common-wealth, to the intent the doctrine of the gospel might be set forth, augmented, and maintained. And fixthly, That truth, equity, and honest living might reign and flourish; as also, that they might so provide for them and theirs, that thenceforth they should not be oppressed with any violence.

“ And that when they had thus at few words declared the cause of their enterprize, they would then command their neighbours to arm, and come unto them immediately, and help them; if not, then would they threaten to come upon them with all their force.t But having gotten the power and Lutiver's judga arms into their hands, they committed di- anabaptists of vers horrid outrages; infomuch as Luther exhorted all men, that they would come to destroy them as wicked theeves and parricides,

his days.

[blocks in formation]

in like case as they would come to quench a
common fire, having most shamefully bro-
ken their faith to their princes, taken other
men's goods by force, and cloak all this abo-
mination and wickedness with the cover of
Christianity, which, faith he, is the vilest
and unworthiest thing, that can be ima-

« In Suevia and Franconia, about forty
thousand pesants took arms, robbed a great
part of the nobility, plundered many towns
and castles, Muncer being their chief captain;
so that the princes of the empire, Albert
count of Mansfield, John duke of Saxony, and
his cousen George Philip the landgrave of
Hesse, and Henry duke of Brunswick, were
neceffitated to raise what power they could ;
and having offered them pardon upon sub-
mission, and delivering up their principal
leaders, which was refused, marcht against
them. * But Muncer preparing for battel,
encouraged his followers, crying out to them
to take their weapons, and fight stoutly
against their enemies, singing a song, whereby
they called for help of the Holy Ghoftet
The success of which battel was, that the

[ocr errors]

Muncer de feated in open rebellion, taken, and be. headed.

• Sleidan's Com. f. 57.

+ Thus did the rebels here in England at the last battle of Newbery, 27 O&. 1644.


den revives

rebels at the first onset were soon put in diforder, and above five thousand sain on the place; and that Muncer Aed and hid himself; but being found and brought to the princes, was (with his fellow Phifer) beheaded at Mulhuse.

“And about the year 1535, * John of Leyden John of Ley(a taylor by trade and of this tribe) preach- the sect. ing the doctrine of Rebaptization so much infected the inferior fort of people by the means of private conventicles, that his followers grew numerous, and exercised violence against those, that were not of their sect. 'At last robbing their adversaries, and gathering together in great troops, they posfess themselves of the strongest part of the city of Munster, declaring, that all such, as were not rebaptized ought to be accounted pagans and infidels and to be killed. His companions were Rosman and Cnipperdoling, who gathered together to that city great numbers of the base fort of people, and feeing their strength, chose new senators of their own sect, making Cnipperdoling the chief, † who taught, that the people might put down their magistrate. And albeit that

[blocks in formation]

the apostles had no commandment to usurp
any jurisdiction, yet such as were their ini-
nisters of the church ought to take upon
them the right of the sword, and by force to
establish a new common-wealth. Hereupon
they spoiled the suburbs, and burnt the
churches; so that the bishop of Munfter (who
was lord of the city, and forced out) beseiged
them, the neighbour princes giving affift-

which seige continuing long, the fa-
mine grew to be such, as that the beseiged
miferably perished in great numbers; and at
length the beseigers forcing their entrance by
affault, few many, took the ring-leaders,
and having put them to death, hanged their
bodies in several cages of iron, on the highest
towers of that city. Thus far Sleidan.

“ It is not unworthy observation, that divers of these German phanatiques, to the end they might at that time be the better known to those of their own fect, did cut their hair round, as Petrus Crinitus (an author of good credit) in his book De Bello Rusticano, tom. 3. p. 209. avereth ;

* from which example there is no doubt, but that these of ours took their pattern, whence they were generally called roundheads.


[ocr errors]

* Agmen confile a rotunde detonfis capitibus.


« PreviousContinue »