« FöregåendeFortsätt »
sentiments. They became wild | my Popish abominations, my and frantic enthusiasts, and ran | mass, my pædobaptism, my into the greatest excesses, until ungodly life, and all my worldly the insurrection was quelled. In prospects, and determined to their character and principles spend my life in poverty, bearing they very much resembled the the cross of Christ. In my feeble fifth-monarchy men, especially measure, I feared God. I sought Venner and his followers, in 1661, for pious men, and found some, all of whom were Pædobaptists, though but few who were equally except one individual:* This distinguished for the soundness observation reflects no dishonour of their opinions, and the ardour upon the Pædobaptists: it only of their zeal. Thus, gentle shows that wicked and mad en-reader, did my gracious God, by thusiasts have been, in some way his rich grace towards me, a mior other, connected with every serable sinner, draw me to hima denomination; and that the Bap- self. It was He who filled my tists are no more disgraced by heart with inquietude ; it was He the insurrection of Munster, than who renewed me in the spirit of the Pædobaptists by that of Cole- my mind; it was He who humo man-street; or, than wise and bled me in his fear, who made rational Episcopalians by the me in some measure acquainted high-church mobs of Sacheverel, with himself, who drew me from and of Birmingham.
the path of death, and who in. To return to Menno :-his troduced me into the communion convictions at length became ir- of his saints, in the narrow path resistible. “ What shall I do?" that leadeth to life. To Him be he was accustomed to exclaim; the praise for ever. Amen." “ If I continue in this state, and After passing about a year in do not, to the utmost of my àbi- the society of a small, but faithlity, expose the hypocrisy of false ful, band of Christians, employing teachers, and the impenitent and himself chicfly in writing and careless lives of men; their de. reading, he received an praved baptism and supper, with pected visit from six or eight pertheir other superstitions; what sons, of one heart and mind with will become of me?" These con himself, who had been deputed victions ended in true conversion to him by a'society of pious perand repentance.
sons, of the same spirit and senIt was impossible for him long timents. These worthy people to maintain bis communion with besought him affectionately, and the church of Rome: it continued with great earnestness, to be their but nine months after his conver- pastor. sion. He writes as follows: This invitation threw him into 6. God then stretched out to me no small perplexity. On the one his parental hand, and imparted hand, he was deterred from acto me such a degree of his Spirit, cepting it by a sense of his own that I voluntarily made a surren- incompetency, ignorance, timi. der of my reputation, and of the dity, and feeble constitution; by honour which I had acquired his knowledge of the wickedness among men, together with all and tyrannical disposition of the
world; by the existence of nu• See Ivimey's History of the Baptists, merous and powerful parties in Vol. I. p. 308.
the religious world; and by the
severe trials which were then tions, miseries, and persecutions, connected with the preaching of living in every place in poverty, the gospel. But there were mo- in fear, and in perpetual hazard tives in the other scale which of a cruel death. While other preponderated. These were, the preachers have reposed themexcellent character of these pious selves on beds and pillows of men, their poverty, and their ur- down, we have generally been gent entreaty that he would accompelled to conceal ourselves cede to their request.
in secret hiding-places. Whilst After earnest prayer, therefore, they have been indulging themto God, he accepted the invita- selves at feasts for the celebration tion; upon which event he makes of marriages and of births, we the following reflections: “I have have been alarmed by the barkno connexion with the Munster- King of our dogs, fearing lest some ites, nor with any other seditious persecutor should be at our doors, sect, as has been slanderously While they have been saluted by reported; but though unworthy, every one as doctors, masters, and was called to this office by a peo- gentlemen, we have been compelple who confessed Christ and his led to hear ourselves saluted as word, and who passed their lives Anabaptists, house-preachers, sein penitence and the fear of God, ducers, and heretics, and greetserving their neighbours in love; ed in the name of the devil. In a people who bore their cross, a word, whilst they have been reand sought the salvation and munerated for their labours with good of all men; who loved annual stipends, and good days, righteousness and truth, and de- our stipend has been the fire, the tested injustice and wickedness.” sword, and a cruel death. In
His ministry was attended with this anxiety, poverty, wretchedgreat success.
“ God rendered,” ness, and hazard of life, I, an un
“ the form of his church worthy man, have to this day, So beautiful, and invested its faithfully discharged the ministry members with such invincible of the Lord. I hope also that, fortitude, that not only many by his grace, I shall continue to stubborn and haughty sinners discharge it to his praise till the were brought to supplicate for day of my death.
This state. mercy, the incontinent became ment has been extorted from me, chaste, the drunken sober, the since preachers on every hand churl bountiful, the cruel benign, calumniate me, and I am accused, and the impious devout; but without any shadow of truth, of they likewise bore a glorious tes having been called to this ministimony to the truth which they try by a seditious and nefarious professed, manifesting the great sect. Let him wlio fears God, est constancy in surrendering read and judge." their fortunes, their liberties, and In the year 1543, which was their lives."
about six years after his leaving “ To promote this great ob- the Romish church, a placard ject,” adds he,
66 it has been ne- was circulated throughout West cessary
for me to endure, with Friesland, promising not only my poor and feeble wife, and my pardon, but the favour of the infants, during a period of eigh- Emperor, the freedom of the teen years, numerous and various country, and a reward of a hunanxieties, burdens, griefs, afflic- dred Caroli-guilders, to any one
who should deliver up Menno He not only pitied them, but he Simon, to be tortured and exe- tolerated and acted kindly tocuted. Being thus in daily ex- wards those who were driven, by pectation of arrest and death, he persecution, from different parts. obeyed the injunction of the gos- Although this nobleman was pel, and, tearing himself from his originally of a cruel disposition, Hock, left his country. His first and on that account, an object of flight was to the city of Wismar, general dread, he persisted in afin the duchy of Mecklenburg; fording them his patronage. The but he was soon known there, archbishop of Kiel, and after that and compelled to seek another the king of Denmark interfered, refuge. There were many re. to prevent it: the latter even markable interferences of Provi- commanded him to expel them; dence in his favour, of which the but he always found the means of following was one: An informer avoiding the mandate. Hence stipulated with the magistrates of the pious Baptists fled thither, Wismar, that, if a certain sum of from all quarters, and quickly money were advanced to him, formed a church. This district he would either deliver Mennointo had been hitherto inhabited only their custody, or forfeit his own by boors, or peasants, who were life. The money was accordingly the property of their lord. paid. In the first attempt, he Among the refugees, were many failed: the second time, as the ingenious artisans, and some perinformer was going, with an offi- sons of property; in consequence cer, to apprehend him, Menno of which many trades were set unexpectedly sailed by them, in up, the country became flourisha boat: the informer saw him, ing, there was a great influx of inbut had not power to point him habitants, and Baptist churches out to the officer ; upon which, were established, and ministers Menno seeing his danger, rapidly settled over them. advanced, leaped on shore, and It was to this district that escaped from their hands. The Menno determined to re 'reat. informer involuntarily exclaiming, He safely arrived at it, and set“See, the bird is escaped ;" the tled in a village, called Wüstenofficer was in a rage, because he felde, where he enjoyed protechad not pointed him out sooner : tion during the remainder of his his reply was, “My tongue was life, which he devoted to the
gosheld, so that I could not speak.” pel ministry. The magistrates, not satisfied The patronage of Menno and with this apology, executed the his friends was continued by condition of the engagement, and this nobleman, not only from mothe poor wretch forfeited his life. I tives of humanity, but from a
Whilst Menno was deliberating perception, that it was his interto what place he should next di- Jest to protect them. He levied rect his course, his uncertainty on each householder an annual was terminated by the following tax of a rix-dollar, equal to circumstance: The lord of Fre- four shillings and sixpence of senberg, a territory between Hamour
money. This contribuburg and Lubeck, had frequently tion made them consider the visited the Netherlands, and had country as their home; whilst witnessed the persecution of the the smallness of the tax attached Baptists by the Romish clergy. them to it, and increased their
zeal for the interests of their sons of all ranks and characters, worthy protector, who thus be- and extremely zealous in promotcame to Menno, and his friends, ing practical religion and virtue, what the Elector of Saxony had which he recommended by his been to Lutherand his colleagues. example, as well as by his preAnd, notwithstanding the discepts. A man of such talents and pleasure of the neighbouring no- dispositions could not fail to atbility and clergy, which soon fol- tract the admiration of the peolowed, and a prohibition, on the ple, and to gain a great number of part of his Danish majesty, of adherents wherever he exercised the toleration of these strangers, his ministry." Vol. IV. p. 456. this nobleman continued, till his
(To be continued.) death, the protection which he bad promised to afford them.
The active mind of Menno soon undertook the accomplish
GREAT PHYSICIAN. ment of tbose plans, for the good of his fellow-creatures, which his heart dictated. One of these was To the Editors of the Baptist Magazine. the establishment of a printing- WALKING, lately, into a vilpress, by means of which, he pub- lage, to publish the glad tidings of lished the grounds of his faith, salvation, I passed by the Bedford a defence of himself against Gel Hospital. On enquiry, I found lius Faber, Martin Micron, and that it had been built principally John á Lasco, and various other by the munificence of the late Mr. works. A neighbouring noble Whitbread and his father. Sureman came upon him by surprise, ly, thought I, multitudes of the and seized his press; but his pa- most wretched of the human race, tron collected together bis vas- restored to health and vigour, sals, and compelled the invader and returning to the bosom of to surrender it to its owner. their families, shall bless their
This great man, after a life of memory, and praise the great ardent zeal and indefatigable in- Giver of all good, who put it industry, died January 15, 1561 ; to their hearts, to erect, for the and, according to the custom of most benign of purposes, this nothe primitive Christians, in the ble structure. Am I
wrong in times of persecution, was buried supposing, that, as succeeding in his own garden.
generations revolve, this great With respect to his character, work, which they have done, shall Mosheim, who evidently wrote be told for “a memorial” of under the influence of violent pre-them? I think not. judice against the Baptists, says, In imagination, I roamed from “ He had the inestimable advan-ward to ward-administered contage of a natural and persuasive solation to multitudes of the af. eloquence, and his learning was flicted-and perused the records sufficient to make him pass for an of the institution ;--and I really oracle in the eyes of the multi- presented earnest supplications to tude. He appears, moreover, to the Father of mercies, that the bave been a man of probity, of a sorrows of those who now inhameek and tractable spirit, gentle bited the pile, might be removed in his manners, pliable, and obse- and sanctified to their everlasting quious in þis commerce witb per- benefit.
The sight of this admirable surpassing in dignity the most building awakened a train of illustrious monarchs who have thought, which, to myself, was ever filled a throne ; yet, such is highly interesting. I was forci- his amazing condescension, that if bly reminded of the large hospi- the poorest, and the meanest, and tal, which it is my duty continu- the most unworthy of my patients, ally to visit, filled with persons humbly solicits him to visit them, exceedingly afflicted, either with he is sure to do it. I never knew moral or natural infirmities, and him, (and it has been my happi. in many instances, with both. I, ness to serve him for some years,) too, have my daily rounds of ob- reject a single petition. Moreéservation and exertion. Not, in- over, any of them who do indeed deed, that I cure any of my pa- sincerely and earnestly desire tients by my own care or skill ; | that he would undertake to heal no, my constantexperience proves them, and who are willing to be to me, that I can do nothing of guided solely by his directions any importance, without the pre- and prescriptions, are certain of sence and blessing of my adora- finding him ready to attend to ble Master. Hence, I am per their request. In multitudes of petually on my watch, and never cases, he has visited the wretched pass many hours without affec. unsolicited, and conferred tionately and earnestly present them the greatest favours, Isa. ing some of the cases of the Ixv. 1. 0, he is so tenderwretched to his kind regards. hearted that you would never forPerhaps, though I have nothing get, could you but be an eye-witto record respecting myself
, ness, the affecțion with which he worthy of your notice, you would gathers the poor suppliants in his be gratified to hear a little of my arms, and lays them in his bosom! Master. But, to say the truth, 1 He is evidently so touched with know not how, (and it is a fre- a feeling of their infirmities, that quent subject of grief to me,) suf. I do verily believe his whole ficiently to commend him : 'yet heart is made up of kindness and the subject is a favourite one, love. He is so free and generous, and I cannot dismiss it without that he charges nothing for the sending you a faint outline of his most extraordinary cures; and incomparable person I despair he invites, in the most liberal of ever seeing a full-length manner, all who have
desire portrait of him. Vandyke, or to possess the substantial bles. Reynolds, might here fail, with sings he alone can bestow, to out injury to their fame. I come to him with holy confidence. have never yet met with any You will see that this is the case, colours which could possibly do if you will peruse the Standing justice to the subject. I mean Orders, which it is my duty freto attempt only a slight sketch of quently to publish, of the institua part of his distinguished cha- tion. The following most enracter; and you will perceive couraging sentences are an exthat I shall be led, naturally, to tract:-"Come unto' me, all ye speak chiefly of his admirable that labour, and are heavy laden, skill and excellencies as a phy- and I will give you rest. Whosician. All other physicians are soever cometh to me, I will in no absolutely nothing, and can do wise cast him out. Ho! every "nothing without him. Though one that thirsteth, come ye to the