In the year 1576, Paul Glock, who had been imprisoned without intermission for nearly nineteen years, in the country of Wurtemberg, came to his deliverance, after:he had suffered much during his imprisonment, and at first been greatly tormented and tortured, and at such times been tempted in many and various ways, by the authorities as well as by noblemen and Lutheran preachers; they tried him with hard imprisonment and also with light imprisonment. In the year 1566 they did not try him for a whole half year, and also permitted him to go out several times, on his promising them with his word, that he would not go away without their knowledge. Subsequently, when the court chaplain of the prince and others examined him, and he still firmly adhered to his faith, and would not regard their magistracy, sword, and war, as in harmony with Christianity; they said that he was not worthy of going among the people; that he must remain in confinement all the days of his life, even until his death, or until he should say that they were good Christians. In the year 1567 he was sick, from Epiphany until St. John's day, being very feeble and miserable, lame in his hands, and .also in his knees, so that he was not able to stand up. He also had great pain in his mouth, so that for some time he could eat no bread, and there was no hope that he would ever get well again. When his enemies learned of this, they thought,"Now is our time," and sent two priests to him, who were to dispute with him, and to persuade him, in regard to infant baptism and the sacrament, and that they should convert him to themselves, since God so visited him with sickness. But brother Paul said, "Show me a Christian flock that has grown up by your preaching, doctrine and faith, and I will unite with it; and if there be anything in me that is contrary to God, I will lay it aside and forsake it, and adopt that which is better." Then the two priests said, "The Christian church cannot be pointed out with the finger." Brother Paul said, "It is evident what false prophets you are; Christ showed His church and disciples, when He stretched out His hand over His disciples, and said: 'Whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.' Matt. 12:50. Also: 'A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.' 5:14. Further: 'Ye are the light of the world.' The apostle Peter also speaks of it, where he says: 'Ye are a chosen generation, a holy nation.' I Pet. 2:9. Paul also shows her [the Christian church] where he says: 'Ye are the temple of the living God, the seal of mine apostleship.' II Cor. 6:16; I Cor. 9:2. But since you do not know her, you are the children of the night and of darkness, and not members of the body of Christ; and since you cannot show me Christ's body, how should I trust and commit myself to you, that you should make a Christian of me, when you have not yet shown me one Christian in your church. You
are even as Ahab's four hundred false prophets; into whose deceitful mouth a false spirit has been put, to deceive the whole world; yea, you are the thieves and murderers that now come to kill and steal." I Kings 18; John 10:8.
When he gave them such an answer, they were astonished that he could so answer them in his sickness, and did not come to him any more for a long time, to dispute with him. They also said, "Though your cause be right and good, it can yet not be tolerated, for it has never been tolerated." Brother Paul said, "Yes, the ungodly and the world could not tolerate Christ, His apostles, or any of the righteous; so also you, for you are ungodly, unrighteous, and wicked men, whose belly is their god. Phil. 3:19."
In the year 1572 the preachers of the prince came to him the third time, to the castle of Hohenwithing, talked much with him, and examined him concerning many things. In the year 1573 they had him brought into the city of Aurach, where then were the preachers and the steward of the country (who is the next after the prince), and they disputed with him about infant baptism. They said, "Children have faith, and hence they are justly brought to baptism; for the apostle says: 'Without faith it is impossible to please God."' Heb. 11:6. But Paul said, "The apostle does not say this of children, nor does he speak to children, but with adults; and he further says in the same place: 'He that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.' Now place before me a child, and if it shows so much confession and faith, then baptize it freely." They said, "A child needs no confession.""Then it also needs no baptism," said he. Then they were silent about that, and began to speak of the magistrates, saying that they were Christians, since the apostles calls them God's ministers. The brother replied, "The apostle calls them ministers (Romans 13:4) because of the council, and the council does not belong in the house of God or Christ." They said, "The council does certainly belong in the house of God." The brother said, "Then show me a lawful magistracy in the house or church of Christ; for the apostle ordained all offices in the house of God: hence show me where he ordained the princes or worldly kings with their offices in the church." Then the preachers began and said, "Cornelius was a centurion over soldiers, and became a Christian." Acts 10:1. They also mentioned Sergius Paulus, and said that he had been the deputy of the country. Acts 13-:7. Then the brother asked them, whether they also believed that the apostle had preached the Gospel to them, by which they had to become believers, and whether, also, the apostle had been a true follower and teacher of Christ. They answered, "Yes." He asked further, "Did he also judge in a worldly mannerbear a sword?" They said, "No; but he wielded a spiritual sword and judgment.""As you then also confess," said the brother,"you also well know that the apostles preached the Gospel to Cornelius and Sergius Paulus; also that the people wanted to make Christ a king, and that He fled (John 6:15); again: 'The princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them; but it shall not be so among you; ye shall not resist evil' (Matt. 20
25; 5:39): from all this they could easily learn that in following Christ they could not administer any worldly magistracy or governorship; or if they wanted to be like Paul, who says: 'Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ."' I Corinthians 11:1.
Thereupon they were silent, and then began and said, "God forgives all men or sinners, however great their sins may be." The brother answered and said, "I believe this, too, if they truly repent and are sorry for their sinful works." But he asked them, whether they also likewise forgave their fellow members and brethren, when they had sinned. They said, "Yes." He said, "Why then do you hang your criminals, and help them to the gallows and the wheel; seeing you have forgiven them their sins, and they are your brethren?" Then they laughed over their own folly, and finally said, "For this reason the magistracy is ordained, that they should punish that which is evil." The brother said, "Is repentance then a crime too?" The preachers said, "No; but it is a benefit." The brother said, "Has the magistracy then power or a command from the Old or the New Testament, that they may put to death the righteous or penitent (as you say that they have eaten your sacrament, and are also become Christians)?" They said, "They must nevertheless be punished, as a warning to others." The brother further asked, whether they also believed that, when by their preaching of infant baptism and the sacrament, they made such a criminal in prison pious, and he would accept the two articles, he was then a Christian, and could be regarded as a Christian? The preachers said, "Yes." The brother said, "If he is then become a believer, as you say, he has also been sealed with the Spirit of God, according to the words of Paul; is this not your belief too?" They said, "Yes." The brother said, "Then his body must also be a temple of God, because the Holy Ghost dwells in him." II Cor. 6:16. They said, "Yes.""See once then," the brother said,"how you act, how you dishonor the temple of God, hanging it to the gallows; do you not know what the apostle says: 'If any man dishonor the temple of God, him shall God also dishonor and destroy?' I Cor. 3:17. Behold your magistrates, what fine Christians they are, if they thus slay the penitent and dishonor the temple of God, if it is as you say and confess."
When he said such things to them, they looked at each other, as though they wanted to say, "We do ill with such a confession of Christianity." They then began to speak of the Supper, and asked him what he thought of it. He answered, "I think much of it, when it is observed as Christ ordained
it; but as you observe it, I do not think anything of it, and it is also vain to speak much with you about it." Then they were silent.
Finally the steward of the country began to speak in Latin with the court preacher, and when they had finished speaking, the preacher asked the brother, if he would leave the country, and not return into it any more, then they would release him from prison. The brother replied, "If you will give me a letter, that where I go, they shall freely receive me, I will leave your country." They said they could not do this. Thereupon he answered, "Then I can also not leave your country; but I will remove out of it, and if I return into it, and do that by which I merit the sword, then use it." This pleased them well. Then the steward of the country again spoke much in Latin to the preacher, and then said to the brother, "If you will be pious for yourself, or abide in your belief, and no more seduce any one, we will release you yet." The brother answered, "If I am wrong, use the sword, for this is your office; but if I ain right, then it is also right for him that hears and learns something good from me, .and according to this I will govern myself." Then the preacher said, "We will not force you to the faith, but we will always keep you imprisoned, so that you will not seduce any other." They then had him brought back to prison; thus he had to suffer and endure imprisonment quite innocently, only for his faith and for the sake of the divine truth; and this for about nineteen years.
Matthijs Binder, a minister of the Word of God, was apprehended for his faith and the testimony of Jesus Christ, at Neffen, in the country of Wurtemberg, and taken to Stuttgart, and thence imprisoned in chains at Maulbronn, where he was much examined and disputed with, by the first physician of the prince, by the chief of the clergy, and the abbott of Maulbronn, as well as by nobles, the prince's courtiers, and others of various stations; but when they could not accomplish their will with him, he was finally taken to Hohenwithing into the castle, where brother Paul Glock had long been confined. There they were confined together for about two years, but in the year 1576 God sent them deliverance. Through the carelessness of the people in the castle, there arose a fire, so that the latter burned to the ground; and these two imprisoned, brethren helped to extinguish the flames as much as any one else, and did not run away, but requested afterward, that they should be released, since they could well prove that they had harmed no one, and promised never to avenge their imprisonment. Thereupon an account was speedily (before the envious priests could prevent it) sent to the prince, who acquitted them and gave orders that they should be released, and some money .be given them for their journey.
Thus both Paul and Matthijs returned with a good conscience, in peace and joy, to their brethren and church.