Imatges de pÓgina

1769. Including that of an Enthufiaßic Republic. 349 fection of their principles. The most resolution, the appearance of fan&tity, remarkable of religious tenets related bold pretenfions to inspiration, and to the facrament of baptism, which, as a confident and plausible manner of they contended, ought to be admini. difcourfing, they foon gained many stered only to perions grown up to converts. Among these were Roth years of únderitanding, and should man, who had firti preached the probe performed, not by sprinkling teftant doctrine at Munster, and them with water, but by dipping Cnipperdoling, a citizen of good birth, them into it : for this reason they and considerable eminence. Embolcondemned the baptism of infants, dened by the countenance of such disand baptifing all whom they admitted ciples, they openly taught their opiniinto their fociety, the fe& came to be ons ; and not satisfied with that li. diftinguished by the name of Anabap- berty, they made several attempts, tifts

. To this peculiar notion concern though without fuccefs, to seize the ing baprism, which has tlie appearance town, in order to get their tenets of being founded on the practice of established by public authority. At last, the church in the apostolic age, and having secretly called in their associates cohtains nothing inconsistent with from the neighbouring country, they the peace and order of human society, suddenly took poffeffion of the arres they added principles of a moft en- nal and senate-house in the night. thusiastic, as well as dangerous nature. time, and running through the streets They maintained, that among Chris. with drawn (words and horrible howl. cians, who bad the precepts of the ings, cried out alternately, “ Repent, göfpel to direct, and the spirit of God and be baptised!" and " Depart, ye unto guide them, the office of magi- godly!” The senators, the canons, the Aracy was not only unnecessary, but nobility, together with the more sober an unlawful encroachinent on their citizens, whether papists or protes. Spiritual liberty: that the distinctions tants, terrified at their threats and occafioned by birth, or rank, or outcries, fed in confusion, and left wealth, being contrary to the spirit of the city under the dominion of a franthe gospel, which confiders all men tic multitude, consisting chiefly of as equal, should be entirely abolished: ftrangers. Nothing now remaining that all Chriftians, throwing their pof- , to overawe or controul them, they feffions into


common stock, fet about new modelling the govern: hould live together in that ftate of ment according to their own wild equality which becomes members of ideas: and though at first they Mewed the fame family: that as neither the so much reverence for the ancient laws of nature, nor the precepts of constitution, as to elect senators of the New Testament, had placed re- their own fect, and to appoint CnipAtraints upon men, with regard to the perdoling and another profelyte connumber of wives which they might fuls, this was nothing inore than marry, they should use that liberty form ; for all their proceedings were which God himself had granted to directed by Matthias, who, in the ftile the patriarchs.

and with the authority of a prophet, Such opinions, propagated and uttered his commands, which it was maintained with enthusiastic zeal and instant death to disobey. Having beboldness, were not long of produ- gun with encouraging the multitude cing the violent effects natural to to pillage the churches, and deface them.

their ornaments, he enjoined them to Two anabaptist prophets, John destroy all books except the Bible, as Matthias, of Haerlem, a baker, and useless, or impious : he appointed the John Bocold, or Boukels, a journey. estates of such as led to be confirman taylor of Leyden, pofleired with cated, and sold to the inhabitants of the rage of making profelytes, fixed the adjacent country: he ordered their refidence at Munster, an impe- every man to bring forth his gold, rial city in Westphalia, of the firft filver and precious effects, and to lay rank, under the fovereignty of its them at his feet : the wealth amassed bithop, but governed by its own fe- by these means he deposited in a pub. nare and confuls. Aš neither of fic treasury, and named deacons to these fanatics wanted the talents ne- difpenfe it for the common use of all. ceffary for such an undertaking, great The members of his commonwealth,


The History of Anabaptifm;

July being thus brought to a perfect equality, that he succeeded him in the absolute he commanded all of them to eat at ta- direction of all their affairs. As he did bles prepared in public, and even pre. not possess that enterprizing courage, scribed the dishes which were to be which distinguished his predecessor, he ferved up each day. Having finished satisfied himself with carrying on a his plan of reformation, bis next defensive war, and without atteinprcare was to provide for the defence of ing to annoy the enemy by failies, the city: and he took measures for he waited for the succours he expected that purpose, which savoured nothing from the Low Countries, the arrival of fanatism. He collected vast maga- of which was often foretold and zines of every kind : he repaired and promised by their prophets. But extended the fortifications, obliging though less daring in action than every person without distinction to Matthias, he was a wilder enthufiaft, work in his turn : he formed such as and of more unbounded ambition. were capable of bearing arms into Soon after the death of his prede. regular bodies, and endeavoured to ceffor, having by obscure visions and add the vigour of discipline to the im prophecies prepared the multitude petuofity of enthusiasm. He sent for some extraordinary event, he eniislaries in the Low Countries, invit. ftripped himself naked, and march. ing them to assemble at Munster, ing through the Atreets, proclaimed which he dignified with the name of with a loud voice, That the kingdom Mount Sion, that from thence they of Sion was at hand: that what. might set out to reduce all the na. ever was highest on earth fould be tions of the earth under their domi. brought low, and whatever was loweft, nion. He himself was unwearied in hould be exalted. In order to fulfil attending to every thing necessary for this, he commanded the churches, as the security, or increase of the sect, the most lofty buildings in the city, animating his disciples by his own ex- to be levelled with the ground: be ample to refuse no labour, as well as to degraded the senators chosen by Matrepine at no hardship; and their en- thias, and depriving Coipperdoling thusiastic passions being kept from sub- of his consullhip, the highest office fiding by a perpetual succession of ex. in the commonwealth, he appointed hortations, revelations and prophe- him to execute the lowest and most cies, they seemed ready to undertake infamous, that of common hangman ; or suffer any thing in maintenance of to which strange transition, the other their opinions.

agreed not only without murmuring, Meanwhile the bishop of Munster but with the utmost joy: and such having assembled a considerable army, was the despotism and rigour of Boadvanced to besiege the town. On cold's adminiftration, that he was his approach Matthias fallied out at called almost every day to perform the head of some chosen troops, at- some duty or other of his wretched tacked one quarter of his camp, for- function. In place of the deposed ced it, and, after great Naughter, re- senators he named twelve judges, acturned to the city loaded with glorycording to the number of tribes in and spoil. Intoxicated with this fuc- lsrael, to preside in all affairs ; retaincess he appeared next day brandishing ing to himself the fame authority a spear, and declared, that, in imi which Moses anciently possessed as letation of Gideon, he would go forth gilator of that people. with a handful of men and smite the Not satisfied, however, with power host of the ungodly. Thirty, per- or titles which were not supreme, a sons whom he named followed him prophet, whom he had gained and without besitation in this wild enter. iutored, having called the multitude prize, and rushing on the enemy with together, declared it to be the will of a frantic courage, were cut off to a God, that John Bocold thould be man. The death of their prophet king in Sion, and lit on the throne occafioned at first great consternation of David. John kneeling down acamong his disciples; but Bocold, by the cepted of the heavenly cal, which he fame gifts and pretensions which had folemnly protested had been revealed gained Matthias credit, soon revived likewise to himself, and was imme. their Spirits and hopes to such a degree, diately acknowledged as monarch by



Including that of an Enthusiastic Republic. 351 the deluded multitude. From that mo. of men are capable, was committed, ment be assumed all the state and pomp when restrained neither by the authoof royalty. He wore a crown of gold, rity of laws, nor the sense of decency : and the richest and most sumptuous and by a monstrous, and almost in. garments. A Bible was carried on his credible conjunction, voluptuousness one hand, a naked sword on the other. was engrafted on religion, and dilloA great body of guards accompanied lute riot accompanied tlie austerities him when he appeared in public. He of fanatical devotion. coined money ftamped with his own Meanwhile the German princes image, and appointed the great offi- were highly offended at the insult offers cers of his bouilhold and kingdom, ed to their dignity, by Bocold's preamong whom Cnipperdoling was no- sumptuous usurpation of royal hominated governor of the city, as a re- nours; and the profligate manners of ward for his former submission. his followers, which were a reproach

Having now attained the height of to the christian name, filled men of power, Bocold began to discover par. all professions with horror. Luther, fions, which he had bitherto restrained, who had teftified against this fanatical or indulged only in secret. As the ex. spirit on its first appearance, now cesses of enthusiasm have been observed, deeply lamented its progress, and exin every age, to lead to sensual gratifi- posing the delusion with great strength cations, the fame constitution that is of argument, as well as acrimony of fusceptible of the former, being re- file, called loudly on all the states of markable prone to the latter, he in- Germany to put a stop to a phrenzy, fructed the prophets and teachers to no less pernicious to society, than harangue the people for several days fatal to religion. The emperor, occuconcerning the lawfulness, and even pied with other cares and projects, beceffity, of taking more wives than had no leisure to attend to such a dira one, which they asserted to be tant object. But the princes of the one of the privileges granted by God empire, assembled by the king of the to the saints. When their ears were Romans, voted a supply of men and once accustomed to, this licentious money to the bishop of Munster, who doctrine, and their passions enflamed being unable to keep a sufficient army with the prospect of such unbounded on foot, had converted the liege of indulgence, he himself set them an ex- the town into a blockade. The ample of using what he called their forces, raised in consequence of this christian liberty, by marrying at once resolution, were put under the com. three wives, among which the widow mand of an officer of experience, who of Matthias, a woman of fingular approaching the town towards the beauty, was one. As he was allured end of the year 1535, prefied it more by beauty, or the love of variety, he closely than formerly, but found the gradually added to the number of his fortiñcations so strong, and sodiligently wives, until they amounted to eigh- guarded, that he durit not attempt an teen: though the widow of Mat. assault. It was now above fifteen months thias was the only one dignified with since the Anabaptists had established the title of queen, or who shared with their dominion in Muntter: they had him the splendor and ornaments of during that time undergone prodigiroyalty. After the example of their ous fatigue in working on the for. prophet, the multitude gave them. tifications, and performing military felves to the most licentious and un- duty. Notwithstanding the prudent controuled gratification of their de. attention of their king to provide for fires. No man remained satisfied with their subsistence, and his frugal and a fingle wife. Persons were appointed regular economy in their public to search the houses for young women meals, they began to feel the approach grown up to maturity, whom they of famine. Several small bodies inftantly compelled to marry. Toge- of their brethren, who were ad. ther with polygamy, freedom of di. vancing to their assistance from the yorce, its inseparable attendant, was Low Countries, had been intercepted introduced, and ne a new source and cut to pieces : and while all of corruption.

Germany was ready to combine Every excels, of which the paffions against them, they had no prospect of


The History of Anabaptism.

July succour. But such was the ascendancy with chains, was carried from city to which Bocold had 'acquired over the city as a spectacle to gratify the curimultitude, and so powerful the fasci. Osity of the people, and was exposed nation of enthusiasm, that their hopes to all their insults. His fpirit, hor. were as fanguine as ever, and they ever, was not broken, or humbled by hearkened with implicit credulity this fad reverse of his condition, to the visions and predictions of their and he adhered with unthaken firmprophets, which affured them, that ness to the distinguishing tenets of his the Almighty would speedily interpose, feet. After this he was brought back in order to deliver the city. The to Munfter, the scene of his royalty faith however of some few, shaken and crimes, and put to death with by the violence and length of their the most exquidte and lingering cor. Jufferings, began to fail but being tures; all which he bore with aito. suspected of an inclination to surrender nishing fortitude. This extraordito the enemy, they were punished nary man, who had been able to acwith immediate death, as guilty of quire such amazing dominion over the impiety in diftrusting the power of minds of his followers, and to excite God. One of the king's wives hav- commotions so dangerous to fociety, ing uttered certain words - that im- was only, twenty-six years of age, plied fome doubt concerning his di- Together with its monarch, the vine mision, he instantly called the kingdom of the Anabapuits.came to whole number together, and com

an end. Their priociples having taken manding the blasphemer, as he called deep root in the Low Countries, the her, to kneel down, cut off her head party ftill subGfts ibere, under the with his own hands: and so far were name of Mennonites : but by a very the reft from expressing any horror at fingular revolution, this sect, ro murithis cruel deed, that they joined him nous and sanguinary at its frst origin, in dancing with a'frantic joy around hath become altogether innocent and the bleeding body of their companion. pacific. Holding it unlawful to page

By this time the besieged endured war, or accept of civil offices, they the utmost rigour of famine; but they devore themselves entirely to the du. chofe rather to suffer hardships, the re- ties of private citizens, and by their cital of which is 'shocking to huma. industry and charity endeavour to nity, thap listen to the terms of capi. make reparation to fociety for the tulation offered them by the bishop. At violence committed hy their founders. last a deferter, whom they had taken A small oumber of this lect, which into their service, being either less in- is settled in England, retain its pecutoxicated with the fumes of enthufi. liar tenets concerojng baptism, but arm, or unable longer to bear such without any dangerous mixture of diitress, made his escape to the enemy, enthusiasm. He informed their general of a weak part in the fortifications, which he considerations on tbe Elasticity and Grahad observed, and alluring them that uity of tbe sir, continued and (2xthe besieged, exhausted with hunger

clailed from lafi Month. and fatigue, kept watch there with HE great action of animal dve, little care, he offered to lead a party thither in the night. The proporal and expiration of air, is owing to was accepted, and a chosen body of the pressure and Spring of the air care troops appointed for the service; who, jointly,, as is evident by the contrace fcaling the wall upperceived, seized tion and expansion of a bladder in 2 one of the gates, and admitted the small receiver, with a bladder tyed rest of the army. The Anabaptists, on at the bottom, to represent the though surprized, defended themselves diaphragm. in the market-place with valour, That air pafling through the firs. heightened by despair ; but being over- and beared brais cube, is last fur powered by numbers, and surrounded animal respiration, is fiewed by the on every band, most of them were sudden death of any animxal put into Alain, and the rest taken prisoners. a receiver filled therewith. Alla canAmong the last were the king and dles and live coals, put into this Cnipperdoling. The king, loaded aduft air, immediatly go opt. Hence S


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