The blooming rose of the church of God, in the Swiss countries, had now for about twenty-one years enjoyed tolerable peace; for it appears, that the thorns which before and about the year 1614 had grown up over it for its oppression, were satisfied with the blood of the last named Hans Landis; until, in the year of our Lord 1635, the old hatred of the misnamed Reformed broke out again in those parts, and principally in the city of Zurich, which, already one hundred and ten years previously, namely, A. D. 1525, in the time of Zwingli, when their church was but five years old (as was shown fol. 80. col. 2), had commenced with public decrees against the Anabaptists.
This originated principally in the conversion of a certain influential, rich, and respected man in the city of Zurich, named Henry F., who being chosen
ensign by the authorities there, found his soul troubled with anguish and distress, and became unwilling to be used in the war, in which he was now to serve; hence seeking advice with the church of the defenseless Christians or Anabaptists, he entered into the convent, and forsaking war, was there accepted through baptism, and recognized as a dear brother of said church. This through the instigation of the learned there, was very illy received by the authorities in the afore-mentioned city; the more so, since he continued to live undisturbed on the borders of their territory, and this right opposite their adversaries, namely, the Roman Catholics.
Thereupon it followed that the magistrates issued a command, that all the Baptists (who contemptuously were called Anabaptists) should have to go to church with them and attend their worship, if they wished to retain their liberty.
But when they could not do this with a good conscience, and hence refused to comply with it, the magistrates, incensed at this, towards the close of the year 1635, caused many of them to be arrested, all of whom, with the exception of three, escaped (since the prison was not strong) and fled from the hands of the persecutors. The other three, however, namely, Rudolf Egli, Uhbi Schmied and Hans Muller, remained, and were each separately imprisoned, in the council house, where they persevered about twenty weeks, amidst much conflict, adversity and temptation, inflicted upon them in order to make them apostatize from their faith.
But when they in no wise wished to apostatize, and their adversaries could accomplish nothing with them; inasmuch as they indeed promised, if they should be released, to render their authorities, as they had previously done, all proper honor, subjection, and taxes, but that they would in no wise go to their church, nor attend their worship (which was the principal point); they were enjoined, that they, in order to come to a resolution, should deliberate and advise with their brethren; wherefore they, provisorily, were released from their imprisonment and bonds for a month's time.
Afterwards, when they, according to the charge given them, and their promise, returned, and could still not consent to or follow with a good conscience that which the authorities demanded of them touching their religion, they were again confined in prison.
But when, as before, their good resolution and firm faith could not be changed, they were finally again released upon the afore-mentioned condition, but afterwards, having proved what they had to expect, they did not again appear before them without safe-conduct. But all these things were but the beginning of sorrows. Compare Tract, Jer. Mang. after the preface, fol. 1, A., with Tract, M. Meyl%, fol. 2, A.
In the following year, namely 1636, on the 17th of March, also on the 17th of August of the same year, and also on the 8th of September, and towards the close of the year, but finally, in May of the following year, 1637, nearly all Anabaptists, brethren as well as sisters, in the parts of Switzerland, but principally, in the territory of Zurich, were summoned before certain persons, political as well as ecclesiastical, whom the authorities had delegated thereto.
First in the castles Wadischwyl, Knonow, and Groeningen, where they all had to make known their names and surnames, which were written down.
The second time, again in the same castles, where they were informed: That they should conform to the common mode of worship in the churches; which they refused.
The third time, at Zurich, in the consistory (however not all, but only some), where they disputed with them about three articles of religion, namely, about baptism, the Supper, and church discipline, or evangelical excommunication; so that when they had declared their views touching these points, as also concerning the whole foundation of their faith, and asked the committee, whether one could not be saved with such a faith; they received for an answer, "Yes, one could be saved with it." However, in the evening, this having occurred during the day, they were again greatly reviled, reproached, and threatened with regard to their faith; for, as the proverb says, "When the fox's skin does not reach, they use the lion's pelt."
The fourth time, again in the same consistory, where it was told them that they should indicate all their movable and immovable property; with the promise that not one stiver should be taken therefrom; which they candidly did and declared; hence all their property was written down and registered, and they were then put in arrest.
The fifth time, again in the afore-mentioned castles, to which end a letter of safe-conduct was given them. Here they were asked, what they had resolved as regards conforming to the common worship, etc., which they had been enjoined to consider; whereupon a letter from the high bailiff, by the order of the high authorities, was read to them, which contained that if they would not go to church, and therein obey the authorities, they should be imprisoned in certain places, and have to expect no mercy.
In the meantime the aforesaid brethren and sisters frequently requested permission to leave the country (namely, with their property), but consent was never granted, only two things were offered them, of which they might choose one, namely,
(1) that they should have to go to church with them; or, (2) that they should have to die in the prisons in which they were to be confined.
The first they would not promise or consent to, and hence had to expect the second.
This is the manner of the proceedings that preceded the last persecution of the believers in Switzerland. Jer. Mang., Tract, fol. 2, A. B.; also, M. Meyli, fol. 3, A. B.
After the afore-mentioned proceedings of the Swiss authorities against the true believers in those parts, had taken place, and said believers could not answer according to the former's pleasure, since their consciences did not feel free to do so, the afore-mentioned authorities, especially those of the city of Zurich, in the month of May, 1637, sent out their beadles in great numbers, who with raging and storming, cursing and swearing, cutting and chopping, even as ravening wolves among a flock of sheep, violently entered the houses of the believers, and took with them nearly all that they could get, sparing none; young and old, men and women, those enceinte, and mothers with infants, well and sick; among whom twelve brethren are especially mentioned by name, in the writings of the friends from Zurich; all of whom were imprisoned in the city of Zurich, in a very damp prison, called Othenbach, with some criminals; where much grief, vexation and misery befell them, solely for the steadfastness of their true faith. Some of them, who could not endure the severity of the imprisonment, the lack of food, and other hardships, died in bonds; some, however, escaped, by the help of God, unknown to the authorities, through the prison being opened, without doing violence to their faith; which matters will be treated more clearly and circumstantially in their proper place. Compare this with Jer. Mang., fol. 3, B.
NOTE.-In the year 1637, in the month of May three brethren, the names of two of whom are Jacob Rusterholtz and Peter Brubach, were summoned to a certain place and kept prisoners, by the high bailiff of Wadischwyl. There was also imprisoned at this time, Hans Landis the second, a confirmed minister of the church in Horgerberg; as also his daughter, Margaret Landis, who remained imprisoned about sixty weeks in Othenbach. In the meantime the authorities sold their property, realizing seven thousand guilders from it, which they kept for themselves.
Again, one Rudolf Egly, who two years previ ously, namely, 1635, had been imprisoned with two other brethren, in the council house at Zurich, but had escaped, was now, A. D. 1637, again imprisoned, his house destroyed, the children driven out of it, and everything sold; from which there was realized about five hundred guilders, which the authorities also took into their possession.
Afterwards his wife, Martha Lindingerin, was apprehended and confined at Othenbach, in a very damp prison. For a time she was very harshly treated, and also severely tempted in regard to the common money belonging to the poor of the church, of which her husband had charge; for she was conducted into the torture chamber, and the executioner sent for and placed beside her, and she was threatened with severe pain and torture, if she would not indicate it.
In consequence of this she weakened, and gave the desired information, whereupon she was released, and the property of the poor saints seized, amounting in money and notes to about two thousand rix-dollars.
But when her spirit, as it seems, could not rest, and she bewailed this with great sorrow, she was, a considerable time afterwards, again apprehended, and imprisoned in Othenbach; but was, with a good conscience (by breaking out), on the Friday before Easter, with others of her brethren and sisters, delivered from bonds.
Compare both tracts, viz.: Mangold and Meyli.
NOTE.-In continuation, we shall now show from the first mentioned tract of the Swiss elders and ministers, what persons, as far as we have learned of them, were apprehended during this persecution, as also how it terminated with them.
In the Knonow Bailiwick, the persecution, at this time, broke out with great violence, so that at one time about thirty thief catchers** entered, as by storm, the houses of the Anabaptists and defenseless Christians, made many watch-fires, raged and stormed, broke open doors and windows, ran with bare swords through the houses, and afterwards drank and rioted worse than soldiers.
Among others there was also vehemently assailed the house of an old man, named Hans Mevli, a minister of the church, who himself had been imprisoned in the year 1637; but now they also took along his son Martin's wife, notwithstanding she had an infant at the breast.
She was bound hard, and confined in the convent prison called Othenbach, fed for a long time on bread and water, and very severely treated, in order to cause her to apostatize; but she continued steadfast in all her temptations, and was ultimately,
through the grace of God, wonderfully delivered from bonds. Subsequently, being enceinte, she was again apprehended, and taken to the council house at Zurich, thence to Othenbach, and finally into the hospital, and there made fast to a chain, until the pains of travail came upon her, when she was loosed from her bonds, and seeing an opportunity for deliverance, once more escaped the persecutors' hands. See Tract of the year 1645, by Jer. M., fol. 4, B. and fol. 5, A.
NOTE.-The authorities laid their hands also on the property, movable a's well as immovable, of the old man, and realized from the sale of it fourteen thousand guilders, all of which they kept for themselves, without making any restitution.
NOTE.-On the 3d of May, A. D. 1639, the two sons of the afore-mentioned Hans Meyli, namely, Hans Meyli, Jr., and Martin Meyli, together with the wife of this Hans Meyli, were apprehended and imprisoned at Zurich, where there was inflicted upon them, especially upon the men, much misery, vexation and harm, with fetters and handcuffs, as well as iron shackles, which were put upon them twice, in order to make them apostatize from their faith.
Their children, as poor, forsaken orphans, were put out among strangers, which, as may easily be supposed, must have caused no small sorrow and anxiety to the hearts of these imprisoned parents; nevertheless they remained unchanged in their faith, refusing to apostatize therefrom, notwithstanding their love to their afflicted children, to whom they could not come, until they, on the Friday before Easter, A. D. 1641, after three years imprisonment, together with others of their fellow brethren, were delivered, in an unexpected manner, from their bonds, keeping a good conscience. See Tract of the year 1645, by Jer. Mang., fol. 5, A. B.
The north wind of persecution rose now more and more in the Knonow district, which also appeared in the case of an old sister, named Catharina Mulerin; who having also been apprehended and taken to Zurich, had to suffer much there in prison, for the faith and testimony of Jesus Christ; but was afterwards (as the preceding ones), beyond all hope and expectation, released from bonds. Tract, Jer. Mang., fol. 8, B.
The persecution did not cease with the foregoing; but they continued and laid their hands also upon four pious sisters, Barbara Meylin, Ottila Mulerin, Barbara Kolbin, and Elizabeth Meylin, who also had to drink out of the bitter cup of the dreadful Zurich prison; however, the Lord preserved them, so that they, unharmed in their faith, unknown to the authorities, unexpectedly also escaped from imprisonment and bonds. See the lastmentioned tract, fol. 10, A.
NoTE.-We made mention, for the year 1635, of one Hans Muller, who, being imprisoned in the council house at Zurich, with two of his fellow brethren, was released for a month upon condition and then again imprisoned, and released the second time upon the same condition.
He was subsequently (about the year 1639, as the circumstances show) again cruelly persecuted; insomuch that even his neighbors and their houses were not spared, through which the thief catchers ran like ravening wolves on the track of a sheep; but when they came into his house, from which he had already escaped, they, with pincers and other instruments, broke open chests and drawers, in the hope that they might there find the property of the church or the poor.
These thief catchers, that night, threatened his little children, with bare swords, that they would kill them, if they did not show them where their father was.
When they could not get him, they took along his wife, whom they bound and imprisoned in Othenbach. Thereupon, it was proclaimed in church, that no one was allowed to lodge, or give food or drink to Hans Muller from the Groeningen bailiwick, on pain of severe penalty and the disfavor of the authorities.
Now when his life was made exceedingly hard to him, the bailiff in the convent of Ruti, in the name of the burgomasters and councilors of Zurich, sent to him a letter of this import, namely, that he should have a safe conduct for three weeks, to go and remain wherever he would; also that he might freely come to him in the convent, and, after they should have finished their conference, leave free and unmolested.
Thereupon he voluntarily, with sure confidence in the aforesaid promise, went into the convent; but when he could not consent to the bailiff's demand about his having to go to church, he was confined there, guarded day and night, and then taken to Zurich, imprisoned for a time in the council house, and then in Othenbach (that being the place where also his wife was imprisoned), where he was stripped, and kept a prisoner about sixty weeks; in which time he was in irons sixteen weeks, till he with the other prisoners finally, one Friday before Easter, unexpectedly made his escape.
Afterwards he was again hunted with mad fury, even as before, and driven from one place to another, so that he did not dare to live in his house with his wife.
In the meantime it happened, that his wife, having been delivered of twins, and lain in but eleven days, was surprised by ten thief catchers, who, having surrounded the house by night, entered it with this threat: that if she would not indicate her husband's hiding place, she should not leave the house for six weeks, or else she would have to go to church herself. But when she would not comply with this, two of the ten remained, and guarded her day and night.
This filled the woman with such terror that, seeing their design, she, on a certain very cold night, broke away with her two infants, and went a long unbeaten way, over hill and dale, and thus escaped the enemies' hands, forsaking all that she had, which the authorities rented to strangers, realizing thereby a thousand guilders annually. See ler. Mang. Tract, fol. 13, A.
In the meantime they treated some far more severely and cruelly than the preceding ones; for they ceased not with mere imprisonment, but the people were suffered to die by sheer want, poverty and misery.
Among those that suffered death, there is numbered Elizabeth Hilzin, a God-fearing woman and sister of the church, who having been apprehended, bound, and imprisoned in Othenbach, was there treated so harshly, that she, from that time on, had but few well moments.
Nevertheless no mercy or compassion was shown her, until she, in consequence of all the hardships suffered, wasted in body, and having surrendered her spirit, which she had received from God, back to Him, died. However, the second death shall not hurt her, according to the promise of the Lord, "He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death." Rev. 2:11. See above.
NOTE.-The authorities extorted a fine of five hundred guilders from the surviving husband of Elizabeth Hilzin.
Further observations.-About this time, 1639, there was also apprehended a young man from Horgerberg, named Hans Aster. He was also taken to Zurich into Othenbach, fed an bread and water for a time, stripped in his bonds, etc., but subsequently helped out, through the assistance of some of his fellow believers.
When this occurred, he was so miserably crippled through the severe imprisonment, that he had to be carried a long distance in the night.
In the meantime, also his wife with her infant child was apprehended, and confined in Othenbach
for a time, but subsequently, through divine providence, escaped the enemies' hands.
The authorities expelled the children into poverty, and sold their house and homestead (realizing from it about four thousand guilders), without restoring anything.
The parents had therefore to work hard for a living, having lost everything; but in this they trusted in God's promises. Tract, Jer. and Meyli.
Like a sweeping tempest which strikes everything, and carries away whatever is loose, so it also went at this time in the matter of persecution. All that were called Anabaptists were taken along, wherever they could get hold of them. The district of Uticken-wage had to suffer much in consequence of this. Among those that lived here, they also apprehended a pious brother, named Hans van Uticken,* surnamed Muller, who, in the year 1639, was incarcerated in the convent prison at Zurich.
There they fed him on water and bread, stripped him in his bonds, and treated him most unmercifully, until he, having continued therein two years, became very sick, and as sick as he was, was helped out of prison, through the assistance of some of his fellow believers, who, as it seems, feared his untimely death.
But when he was brought to his wife and children, and attained to rest, he died; however, with a joyful hope and glad soul, because the course of his pilgrimage (since he was not weakened in his faith and conscience) was now finished.
Thereupon his wife, because she had lodged her husband, and the children, because they had shown mercy to their father, had to pay to the authorities, a fine of forty pounds. Tracts, Jer. Mang., fol. 6, A., and M. Mevli, fol. 7, B., nun. 13.
NOTE.-In the year 1639, the thief catchers of the city of Zurich, led by one of the ministers of the church there, who went before them with a light (a lantern, torch or candle) like maniacs and madmen, violently entered into the house of a pious brother, named Rudolf Hagi, whom they forthwith took prisoner and conducted to Othenbach, a damp and unwholesome prison of the city of Zurich.
Here he was stripped in his bonds, and kept confined for about eighty-three weeks; during which time he, with other of his fellow believers, was fettered and chained for sixteen weeks.
In the meantime they searched hard for his wife, but for the first captured only her oldest child, which they threatened with iron bonds and handcuffs, if it would not show where its mother was. Afterwards they also found the mother, whom they imprisoned in Othenbach. They, however, when there was no deliverance at hand, subsequently, by a certain means, made their escape, together with their brethren and sisters that were also imprisoned, without apostatizing from the faith. Tract Jeremiah Mang., fol. 6, A., compared with M. Meyli, on the name Rudolf.
Burckhardt Aman was a God-fearing brother, who lived on the lake of Zurich. He was from there taken to Zurich, and imprisoned in Othenbach. But when his imprisonment had lasted about a year and a half, he, through a certain accident, unexpectedly was released, unknown to the authorities, keeping the faith in a good conscience.
But as in his bonds he had been maltreated very unmercifully and miserably, through many hardships and afflictions that he had suffered, not the least true Christian love or assistance having been shown him, it was impossible for him to live long; and he fell into a lingering sickness, and ultimately died, and was thus numbered among the dead in Christ, who have suffered and fought for His name's sake. Jer. Mang. Tract for the year 1645, fol. 20, A.
NOTE.-About this time also two sisters, honorable women, were apprehended on the Lake of Zurich; who, after they had endured the trial of the faith, were released and delivered from their bonds. See Tract, Script., A. D. 1645.
The misery of the beloved friends and children of God continued; insomuch that in the year 1639 they laid their hands also on a pious hero and soldier of Christ, named Jacob Egli, from the Groeningen Bailiwick. He was also taken to Zurich, and there imprisoned in the convent dungeon Othenbach.
Herein he persevered upwards of seventy weeks,** but was finally no longer able to endure, according to the flesh, the severity of the place and the bad treatment, so that he at last, when his strength failed more and more, and his infirmities increased, with a cheerful heart, commended his soul into the hands of God, and through death departed this life.
Thus he finished the course of his pilgrimage, and entered into the saints' rest, to triumph hereafter, where there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, nor pain; where all things shall be made new and turned into joy, according to the Lord's promise, Rev. 21:4. See Tract Jer. Mang., fol. 18, B.; also M. Meyli. Tract, fol. 7, A., num. 10.
NOTE-A. D. 1639 there was also apprehended the Brother George Weber, an old man, from the county of Kiberg. The same was also taken to Zurich, into the convent Othenbach, and there fed on bread and water.
Finally, through the hardships and long duration of his imprisonment, be became greatly impaired in his body, and fell into a severe sickness, after he had been confined there seventy weeks.
Afterwards, through some of his fellow prisoners, who opened the prison, he was released, but never again recovered his property.
As regards the homestead of this George Weber, as also that of Jacob Egly, the owners of the same must each annually pay therefor to the authorities five hundred guilders. Jer. Mang. Tract, fol. 19, A.
The fire which the persecutors had kindled continued to burn, and their mad fury did not cease, until they had also apprehended a zealous and Godfearing minister of the church, named Ulli Schedme, surnamed Schneider, by descent from Hirtzenstal, in the seignioralty Wadischwyl.
In his imprisonment all manner of vexation and sorrow was inflicted upon him, in order to induce him to conform to the common mode of worship in the churches, and to turn him from his own with whom he had hitherto associated. But as he could not consent to this, and time passed on, he, because of the bad fare and other hardships suffered, continually grew weaker and weaker, till his soul left his body; and he thus, because of his faithfulness, became, through natural death, an heir of the eternal and blissful life; the full possession of which the Lord, at the last day, shall grant to, and make partakers, of, all those that have here faithfully and steadfastly served Him. Tract, M. Meyli, fol. 6, B., num. 4., "Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing." II Timothy 4:8.
In the year 1639, there was also brought prisoner to Zurich, Jacob Rusterhel, an old brother of the church at Horgerberg.
He was imprisoned in Othenbach, and they dealt very unmercifully, rigorously and cruelly with him; insomuch that he weakened, and consented to those that kept him in prison, to go to church; wherefore he was released.
But when he came to himself and considered what he had done; and what great offense should arise from it, he repented and very bitterly bewailed his fall, and again prepared himself very valiantly for the coming conflict.
Thereupon he suddenly became weak and sick according to the body, though full of divine power according to the soul, and kept quietly hid in his house.
However this could not remain concealed any longer; hence, being known, he was betrayed, again apprehended, and, as sick as he was, taken to Zurich, and, having been shackled with a chain, confined in the hospital there.
But as he could not endure this, and bodily infirmities came upon him more and more, he there departed this life, in misery, though with a joyful hope, waiting in blessed rest for the day of resurrection from the dead, which shall crown and comfort him and all true lovers of God, for all reproach and affliction suffered, with eternal honor and joy. Jer. Mang., Tract of the year 1645, fol. 13; also, M. Meyli, Tract, fol. 6, B., num. 14.
NOTE.-We have extracted this from the writing of the Swiss friends, of A. D. 1658, and it must be distinguished from that which is contained in the writing of A. D. 1645, concerning Brother Jacob Rusterholtz, who was imprisoned almost two years, and then with wife and child expelled from the country, leaving behind his property, from the sale of which the authorities realized 1700 guilders, without restoring anything of it. See Tract, Jer. Mangold concerning the name Jacob Rusterhel.
But if it is to be understood, that both accounts refer to one and the same person, so that the surnames Rusterhel and Rusterholtz are, only to be distinguished in the sound or spelling, and not in signification, it must follow, that said person was imprisoned only a few years ago, and then, when they could accomplish nothing with him, expelled from the country, and his goods seized and sold; but that he was finally again apprehended, and, when he, as before, remained steadfast, fastened to a chain in the hospital, until he died, having commended his soul to God. Compare both tracts, in the places which we have indicated.
On the 23d of September of the same year, 1639, there was brought bound to Zurich a God-fearing brother, aged in years, named Stephen Zehender, a member of the church at Knonow, but by descent from Byrmensdorf. He was there imprisoned for sixteen weeks, in iron bonds, in the convent prison, a very damp and unwholesome place, called Othenbach, stripped in his bonds, fed on bread and water, and kept very hard in every respect, until he could stand it no longer, and, impaired in body, was befallen with severe misery according to the flesh, and ultimately with death, after he had with a patient and steadfast mind, commended his soul unto God. See Jer Mang., Tract, fol. 7, B., compared with the account of M. Meyli, fol. 6, B., num. 6.
NOTE.-About this time an old sister named Catharina Grobin, lived concealed (on account of the persecution) with her daughter, in the Knonow Bailiwick; but the preacher of the church at Risterschwyl, knowing this, came and wanted to apprehend her, notwithstanding he was alone; the
daughter, however, out of filial love, wanted to save her, but he (Oh, what cruelty from a preacher!) gave her such a thrust, that the pains of travail came upon her, and she was delivered of a dead child. In the meantime the mother escaped the hands of this ungodly man. Tract, M. Meyli, compared with that of Mangold, about the year 1639.
On the same day that Stephen Zehender was apprehended at Knonow, namely, the 23d of September, of the year 1635, they also seized, in the Seignoralty Wadischwyl, Ulrich Schneider, who was likewise (for his true faith, and because he would not go to the common church with his adversaries) bound and brought into the dungeon Othenbach.*
But when he had persevered here for a long time, lain in irons, and suffered exceeding much temptation, adversity and conflict (inflicted upon him, to make him apostatize), and, moreover, been stripped in his bonds, his bodily strength left him, and having committed his spirit unto God; he died in prison, thereby triumphing valiantly and courageously in the conflict set before him, without having weakened in his faith.
After the death of their father, his two sons were also apprehended, and imprisoned in the same place where their father had died; but the Lord granted them deliverance, so that they, when it was least expected, with a good conscience, through a certain means, unknown to the authorities, obtained their freedom.
In the meantime the authorities broke up this whole family, drove the remaining children among strangers, and sold the house and homestead, realizing therefrom 7,000 guilders, which they kept for themselves, but the cast out and forsaken ones joyfully bore the spoiling of their goods.** Tract, Jer. Mang., fol. 11.
Two days and one month after the apprehension of the last-mentioned witness of Jesus Christ, namely, on the 25th of October, 1639, there also died in the dungeon Othenbach, very miserably, however with a steadfast and joyful mind, Henry Gutwol, of Lehnmer, from the Knonow Bailiwick, after he had suffered much want, poverty and misery there; which painful and prolonged misery, upon which death ensued, shall hereafter, because of his steadfastness in the accepted truth, be returned to him in an eternal, joyful and triumphant life, according to the Lord's promise, "Be thou faithful unto death and I will give thee a crown of life."
Among those who suffered in the Swiss persecution, there was none of the least Hans Jacob Hess, a chosen and confirmed minister of the Christian church.
He was apprehended for the third time in the year 1639; for from the two preceding imprisonments, the first of which had occurred already, in the year 1637, the Lord, beyond all expectation, had remarkably delivered him, through the aid of those that were imprisoned with him; as also out of this third imprisonment. The first lasted nineteen days; the second, eight weeks; the third, eightythree weeks, or more than a year and a half.
But in the meantime his life was made very bitter and vexatious; for he was stripped, and, together with some of his fellow believers, put in iron bonds sixteen weeks, which he nevertheless patiently bore with a steadfast mind, until the time of his deliverance.
While this was taking place, namely in the same year, also his wife was apprehended, who was first imprisoned in the council house, and then in Othenbach, where, through bad treatment and unfit food and drink, for sixty-three weeks, she was so impaired in her constitution, and weakened, that she was seized with consumption, and after suffering much misery, died in prison.
This then was the end of this pious heroine of Jesus, who, to receive the eternal, blessed life, because of the uprightness of her faith, chose to die a lingering death rather than enjoy the temporal rest and pleasure of this life; wherefore the gracious God shall hereafter crown and reward her, with all those that have valiantly suffered and
fought for His name's sake, with the unfading crown of honor. (I Peter 1:4) Tract, Jer. Mang., fol. 16, A. B., and fol. 17, A., etc.
NOTE.--The property of Jacob Hess was seized by the authorities, who realized from the sale of it 4,000 guilders, without restoring anything of it to those who remained. O great injustice! How will they be able to account for this before the righteous judgment seat of Jesus Christ?