The very pleasant and favored country of Flanders, in and about the year 1569, was as a dreadful den of murderers, in which they did not hestitate to put to death the chosen friends and followers of Jesus Christ, yea, to deprive them little by little of life in the most awful and horrible manner, namely, by fire, to the sorrow and grief of many, who living at that time beheld it with weeping eyes. This appeared, among many others, in two valiant heroes, and champions of Jesus Christ. One of them was named Jacob de Roore, or the Chandler; he was a teacher in the church, and a very God-fearing, intelligent, kind, and eloquent man, who was not afraid at the peril of his life to lead and feed, the flock of Jesus in the green meadows of the true evangelical doctrine, though it was in forests and wildernesses. The name of the other was Herman van Vleckwijck; he was a common member, but possessed nevertheless no small gifts.
These were both brought prisoners into Bruges, one of the Flemish cities, where they had to endure many hard and severe temptations from the papists, who sought to make them apostatize from the faith; but as they were founded upon the im movable corner stone, Christ Jesus, the edifice of their faith also remained firm, and they could by no means be moved or swerved therefrom. Hence the rulers at said place, through the instigation of the Romish so called spirituality (clergy) concluded their process, and delivered them both from life to death, to be burned to ashes at the stake, which was done on the 10th day of the month of June, A.D. 1569. Concerning this the following verses have been composed, "In fifteen hundred and sixty-nine,
On the tenth of June, in the city of Bruges,
Encircled wholly by fiery flames,
With intrepid spirit, both Jacob and Herman.
Did testify before all the world
To the word of God, which they sealed with their heart's
And thus their sacrifice they did bring
To the mighty God that inhabiteth heaven."
Of these two offered up children of God, two disputations are extant, which a certain monk, called Friar Cornelis held with them at said place, and which, because of the wise, intelligent and prudent answers of said two friends, are well worthy to be added here.
Friar Cornelis. Well, I've come here to see whether I can convert you (Jacob, I believe, is your name) from your false and evil belief, in which you are erring, and whether I cannot bring you back to the Catholic faith of our mother, the holy Roman church, from which you have apostatized to this damnable Anabaptism. What do you say to this, eh?
Jacob. With your permission, as regards that I have an evil, false belief, this I deny; but that through the grace of God I have apostatized from your Babylonian mother, the Roman church, to the members, or the true church, of Christ this I confess; and thank God for it, who has said, "Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues." Rev. 18:4; Isa. 52:11.
Fr. Corn.Is it true? And do you call our mother the holy Roman church, the whore of Babylon? And do you call your hellish, devilish sect of Ana-
There are also a number of accounts of martyrs, not given in the edition of 1660, but inserted in the subsequent editions, which are also given in this translation.-Publishers
baptists the members, or the true church of Christ? Eh I hear this fine fellow once. ..Who the devil has taught you this? your accursed Menno Simons, I suppose,
Jac. With your permission, you talk very wickedly. It was not necessary that Menno Simons should have taught us as something new, that the Babylonian whore signifies your mother, the Roman church, since John teaches us enough concerning this in his Apocalypse, or Revelation, in the 14th, 16th, 17th, and 18th chapters.
Fr. Corn.Ah bah! what do you understand about St. John's Apocalypse? at what university did you study? At the loom, I suppose; for I understand that you were nothing but a poor weaver and chandler, before you went around preaching and rebaptizing out here in the Gruthuysbosch. I have attended the university at Louvain, and studied divinity so long, and yet I do not understand anything at all about St. John's Apocalypse; this is a fact.
Jac. Therefore Christ thanked His heavenly Father, that He had revealed and made it known to babes, and hid it from the wise of this world, as is written, Matt. 11:25.
Fr. Corn.Exactly; God has revealed it to the weavers at the loom, to the cobblers on their bench, and to bellows-menders, lantern-tinkers, scissorsgrinders, broom makers, thatchers, and all sorts of riff-raff, and poor, filthy, and lousy beggars. And to us ecclesiastics who have studied from our youth, night and day, He has concealed it. Just see how we are tormented. You Anabaptists are certainly fine fellows to understand the holy Scriptures; for before you are rebaptized, you can't tell A from B, but as soon as you are baptized, you can read and write. If the devil and his mother have not a hand in this, I do not understand any thing about you people.
Jac. I can well hear that you do not understand our way of doing; for you ascribe to Satan the grace which God grants our simple converts, when we with all diligence teach them to read.
Fr. Corn.See here once; these heretics presume to have the grace of God, and regard our mother, the holy Catholic Roman church as the whore of Babylon-is this not a fine grace of God? Ah, bah! you have the grace of the very devil of hell. What shall I say in regard to this? If you regard our mother, the holy Catholic Roman church as the
whore of Babylon, I can well imagine what you consider our holy father the pope, the vicar of God. Let us hear once.
Jac. I consider the pope the vicar of God; for he occupies the place of God, as Paul writes concerning him, in the second chapter of his second epistle to the Thessalonians, "Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?"
Fr. Corn. Hush, hush, you have preached enough; here you are not in the Gruthuysbosch, nor do I sit down to hear you preach. Bah I you accursed Anabaptist, would you apply the prophecy of St. Paul to our holy father the pope? * *"Hear this accursed heretic once; how he understands St. Paul. Bah I St. Paul thereby means the antichrist; that he does.
Jac. I too believe that Paul thereby means antichrist. But does not the pope of Rome do the very works of antichrist? Does he not command you, that you are not to marry? Does he not command you to abstain from meats which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe? as Paul writes in the fourth chapter of his first epistle to Timothy.
Fr. Corn. The devil sits in your cheeks; the devil and his mother play with your ugly mouth, that you know how to twist all the holy Scriptures according to your heretical notions, and to turn them on your thumb. But just wait, I shall show you very well; that our holy father the pope is the vicar of God, for did not Christ say to St. Peter;"Feed my sheep;" and that upon him he would build his church? And did he not also give St. Peter the keys of heaven, and all priestly authority, to loose from sin, and to bind, or to remit and to retain? And do not the holy popes sit upon the same seat, as successors of St. Peter, and have the same command and the priestly authority of the keys of heaven, to forgive sins and to retain them, through absolution after confession? What do you say to this now? let us hear.
Jac. Christ said, that upon this rock (that is, upon such a faith as Peter confessed, Matt. 17:16) He would build His church; He said nothing about a seat, or of vicars, or of successors, or popes, or of priestly authority.
Fr. Corn. He certainly spoke of the keys of heaven, and of loosing and binding. And if there were no pope, or high priest, nor subpriests who then should have the authority, to hear confession, to absolve, and to forgive sins? scavengers, etc., I suppose.
Jac. Christ is our only true high priest, as Paul writes to the Hebrews, in the 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th chapters.
Fr. Corn. That is just where I wanted to have you; for if St. Paul thereby means that besides Christ no other high priests or common priests are necessary, why then does he say in the fourth chapter of the first epistle to the Corinthians, "I will that every one so account of us, as of Christ's priests over the sacraments of God?" that is, administer the sacraments of the altar, of baptism, of confirmation, of extreme unction, of marriage, of confession and absolution, of penitence, and of consecrating and anointing priests. What do you hold concerning priestly estate, or the sacrament of the priesthood? Let us hear.
Jac. Next to Christ, we believers in Christ are all priests alike, according to the words of Peter in the second chapter (9th verse) of hij first epistle, where he says to the believers in Chfist, "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation." Again; Rev. 1:5, 6, "Christ who loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood. and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father." Again, Rev. 5:9, 10, "For thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us [to God] by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made us unto our God kings and priests."
Fr. Corn. Tush, tush! now you begin to preach again, do you? keep silence, or reply to me in regard to what St. Paul writes in the fourth chapter of his first epistle to the Corinthians, "I will that every one so account of us, as of Christ's priests over the sacraments of God." Answer to this ***
Jac. With your permission, Paul does not write as you say, and hence there is nothing to answer to it.
Fr. Corn. O you cursed Anabaptist that you are; I could swear by the saints, that St. Paul writes as I say: what do you say of this accursed, hellish, devilish heretic?
Jac. The Lord God forgive you this judging and cursing, and do not account it to your own condemnation. Christ also says (Matt. 5), do not swear an oath; but let your communication be, Yea, yea, Nay, nay.
Fr. Corn. Bah, this means that one is not to swear a false oath; but what I would swear is true. But you Anabaptists also have the fancy, that you are not to swear any manner of oaths. Bah, what a lousy fancy this is I I should like to hear W_ by one may not swear a good oath.
Jac. Because Christ, in Matt. 5, says, "Ye have heard that it hath been said to them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths; but I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne: nor by the earth; for it is his footstool. But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil." In like manner, also James savs, in the fifth chapter (v. 12), "But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your
yea be yea; and your nay, nay: lest you fall into condemnation."
Fr. Corn. Is it true? in this you would follow St. James; but when he in the same chapter speaks of the sacrament of extreme unction, saying, "Is any sick, call for the priests of the church, and cause him to be anointed;" and also, where, in the same chapter, he speaks of the sacrament of confession; herein you heretics are not willing to follow him. I have asked you once or twice, what you think of confession, and of the power of absolution, or remission and retention of sins; but you do not reply to me in regard to this.
Jac. You answer yourself, saying, "Who then should have the authority of hearing confession, absolving, and forgiving sins? scavengers, etc., I suppose." For since you supposed the same I left it to you to answer.
Fr. Corn. Well, answer me then now, what you think of the sacrament of confession and absolution.
Jac. My answer is: If you would take and understand confession (which you papists now use) from the fifth chapter of James, you must also confess your sins to him that confesses his sins to you; for James says, "Confess your faults one to another." Now if I confess to you all my sins, will you also confess your sins to me? I think not, and that you yourself would much rather acknowledge and say, that James did not mean such a confession as you papists now employ.
Fr. Corn. * * * You accursed Anabaptist that you are. You seek nothing but to tangle up everything that is advanced against you- the devil wags your tongue. But let us hear what you can say against this, where Christ says, "Go and shew yourselves to the priests." Matt. 8:4.
Jac. This Christ said to those whom He had healed and cleansed from leprosy, that they should go and show their bodies to the priests and let them see, that they were clean again, in order that they might go among the people again, from whom they had been separated on account of their leprosy. Matthew 8:4; Luke 17:14.
Fr. Corn. * * * Bah, it was plainly said: Go and confess to the priest: for so our mother the holy Catholic Roman church understands it. This was the reason why Christ gave His vicar, St. Peter, the keys, that he might also have the power to bind and loose from sin, or to forgive and to retain, after confession as I told you. Hence, answer me once, but in a few words, without much preaching, see!
Jac. From this power of the keys, which Christ gave Peter, it is not to be understood, that you priests in popery have power to forgive or to retain sin.
Fr. Corn. Is it true? would accursed heretic say that the power which Christ gave His successor or vicar, St. Peter, does not pertain to us priests? What! no! do not the popes, as the successors of St. Peter, who sit in his seat, and we priests, still have the power as well as did the scribes and Pharisees, as the successors of Moses, who at the time of Christ still sat in Moses' seat? of whom Christ says, in the twenty-third chapter (vs. 1, 2) of Matthew's gospel, "The scribes and the Pharises sit in Moses' seat: all therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do." What do you say to this, eh? Let us hear it.
Jac. With your permission, but do not get angry; for I should have been afraid of incurring your abuse, if I had compared you to the scribes and Pharisees; but since you compare yourselves to them, I will reply to you. What Christ means is this: Whatsoever they command you to do from the law of Moses, that do. But He also commands His disciples, in Matt. 16:6, that they should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees. And though the Pharisees and scribes should have boasted themselves of the power which Moses had, as you priests boast of having the power which Peter received from Christ, of forgiving sin, who would have believed the Pharisees? since Christ pronounces woe over them so many times, Matt. 23, "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men
for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayers. Woe unto you," etc.
Fr. Corn. Fie, tush, tush; hear all this preaching. Bah, I know myself quite well, that Christ cries woe, woe, but do you think, that I have come here to hear preaching? I can preach myself, that I can.
Jac. Still, you desired that I should reply to your comparison between the authority of the Pharisees and that of you priests.
Fr. Corn. Ali, bah! do you think you can satisfy me with such a meagre answer? By no means * * * we priests do not care for this; though the schibes and Pharisees were not of much account, their authority was none the less, on that account; and just so it is also with our priestly authority, after confession to absolve from and forgive, or to retain, sin, seel
Jac. What authority has a man that is already himself excluded from heaven, to help another into it; for Christ says, Matt. 5:20, "Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven." How shall an unrighteous man forgive the sins of one whose righteousness is greater than his own?
Fr. Corn. My lord the inquisitor wrote truly enough from Kortrijk, where you were born, that your tongue was well hung, and that it was labor lost to dispute against you. In troth, if you are so exceedingly opposed to all priestly authority, and say, that all men that believe, yea, even your wives
and children, are all priests, why do you have more episcopal authority than the other Anabaptists? For you are their bishop, teacher and preacher. You rebaptize them, lay your hands upon their heads, and endow them all alike with the Holy Ghost, as they think. Hence, let us hear what you yourself think of your episcopal authority; for no one can lawfully administer the sacrament of confirmation, unless he be a bishop, or at least a suffragan. Hence, let us hear once, how you administer the sacrament of confirmation, and what you think of it.
Jac. I know nothing to say of episcopal authority, or of confirmation. How then should I administer it, or what should I think of it; for confirmation is a bugbear about which I know nothing.
Fr. Corn. Is it possible, do you Anabaptists call the sacrament of confirmation a bugbear? Ah, accursed heretic, the devil take you into the fire of hell, to burn you forever; see!
Jac. Do not get so angry and excited, for I call it a strange bugbear, because it is so unknown to me. But tell me what it is, and what you hold concerning it; then I can tell you better what I think of it.
Fr. Corn. Bah, this blockhead presumes to be a bishop of the Anabaptists, and does not yet know what the sacrament of confirmation is. If you are a bishop, you ought to confirm yourself. My lords, see once, what a fine bishop the Anabaptists have had out there in the Gruthuysbosch, who preached so many sermons there; is it not a fine bishop, teacher and preacher? Bah, see once, with what we have been vexed and tormented
Jac. I am no bishop, nor do I consider myself a teacher; but I have sometimes led the brethren and sisters and converts of our church, with exhortation from the Word of God or the holy Scriptures, according to my small ability.
Fr. Corn. Bah, you are a fine leader, that you do not yet know the sacrament of confirmation. Confirmation is, that the bishop or the suffragan anoints the grown children, and sometimes also adult persons (that are not yet confirmed) with the holy chrism on their forehead, and gives them a blow on the cheek, in token that they should remember that they have been confirmed; which confirmation signifies the confirmation of baptism. Now you will understand or know it, I think.
Jac. Just as little as before, since I also do not know what chrism and the confirmation of baptism are.
Fr. Corn. It seems that you know nothing concerning the Christian religion; so does the devil hold you by the throat. And you presume nevertheless to be a teacher and preacher of the Anabaptists. Bah, is it not a shame, that you have to be taught yourself yet, how children are confirmed, and that chrism is a substance mixed together of holy, consecrated things, which must not be told you? and that one has to teach you yet, that con firmation signifies the imposition of the priest's hands, as the apostles laid their hands upon them that were baptized. Do you not yet understand it, blockhead that you are?
Jac. In the nineteenth chapter of Acts we read, that, after Paul had caused some Christian believers to be baptized at Ephesus, and had then laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came down upon them, and they spake with tongues, and prophesied. Hence I do not believe that your confirmation or chrism, and your blow on the cheek, have anything in common with the imposition of the hands of the apostles.
Fr. Corn. Is it possible, so outspoken? you accursed Anabaptist, though you do not believe it, the sacrament of confirmation is therefore not one whit worse, for we Catholics believe it so much the more. My lords, what do you say of this accursed Anabaptist? for he does not believe in anything, that he don't.
Recorder. Suffer yourself to be instructed, Jacob, and believe that which a Christian ought tc believe, and don't argue so much.
Jac. My lords, with your permission, I only answer to all his questions, and I believe only that which is written in the holy Scriptures.
Fr. Corn. Do you? * * * for you do not believe, that St. Paul, in the beginning of the fourth chapter of his first epistle to the Corinthians, writes, "I will that every one so account of us, as of priests of Christ over the sacraments of God." And as I said, St. James writes the same in his fifth chapter, "Is any sick, call for the priests of the church; and let them pray over him, and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord." Are we priests then not dispensers or administrators of God's sacraments? and you say now, that you believe in all that is written in the holy Scriptures. It remains now to be seen or heard, what you believe concerning the sacrament of holy unction, of which St. James writes, as I tell you. Let us hear once.
Jac. I do not believe that the anointing with oil of which James writes has anything in common with the oil with which you anoint the sick among you; for the oil of which James writes healed the sick, as did also the oil concerning which Mark writes in the sixth chapter, that the apostle anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them. But however much you priests adjure and conjure your oil, it can nevertheless not heal the sick; hence, that was another oil, than your oil which you call a sacrament.
Fr. Corn. A thousand devils (God bless us) what ails this hellish heretic now, that he makes sorcery of our reading, consecrating, blessing, and sanctifying over the sacrament of extreme unction. You bewitched, bedeviled, possessed Anabaptist, have reproved me once, because I cursed and condemned you; but I should go at you quite differently yet, in cursing, condemning andanathematizing
you; but you are not worthy that I should so incense and excite myself about you. Therefore I tell you, yes, we Catholics call holy unction a sacrament, and regard it as a sacrament, and it is a sacrament, in spite of your mouth. Do you understand this, you bewitched, accursed Anabaptist, that you are?
Jac. If you want to imitate all the things which the apostles did, and regard them all as sacraments, why do you not also regard your aprons or handkerchiefs as sacraments, and lay them upon the sick, as Paul did? For what greater sacredness was there in the oil of which James writes, than in Paul's aprons, by which he also healed the sick, as is written in the nineteenth chapter of the Acts of the apostles?
Fr. Corn. If the devil does not wag your tongue, I do not understand the matter. You accursed Anabaptists may yourselves make a sacrament of your filthy handkerchiefs or aprons; for you people have no sacrament, but we Catholics have seven sacraments; is it not enough, eh?
Jac. Yea, in troth; for since the term sacrament is not once mentioned in the holy Scriptures, you have only seven too many.
Fr. Corn. Bah, does not St. Paul call marriage a sacrament? And he does not bestow too much honor upon marriage, when he says, in the fifth chapter to the Ephesians: This sacrament is great. Would you reject this honor, put it from you, and trample upon it with your feet, I suppose?
Jac. Paul says, "Two shall be one flesh; this is a great mystery." Eph. 5:31, 32. If you want to make sacraments of all the mysteries, I am surprised that you have only seven sacraments.
Fr. Corn. It is easy to hear, that you Anabaptists do not esteem marriage very highly; for, if we priests should say, that priesthood only is a sacrament, and marriage not, I think you would reply, Show us where priesthood is called a sacrament, as is marriage. But when I consider the matter well, you Anabaptists do not observe marriage, since you have the women and maidens in common, and run together promiscuously, like dogs, the father with his daughter, the mother with her son, the brother.with his sister, just like the beasts -is this not a fine thing?
Jac. With your permission, don't get incensed, we are slandered in regard to this.
Fr. Corn. Ah bah! would you deny it, what ails you?
Jac. If it were true, I would not deny it; but this can never be said with truth of us.
Fr. Corn. Bah! bah I this is the most aggravating monstrosity yet. I thought you would go and show or prove to me from the Holy Scriptures, that the women may be had in common; and do you now want to deny it, eh!
Jac. But should I not deny those things that are lies?
Fr. Corn. This miserable Anabaptist would give me the lie. But do you think you can swindle me out of a matter which I so certainly know to be true? Bah, why will you deny it, seeing you have already so flatly denied the five sacraments, which is a hundred thousand times worse and more damnable, than to make common all the women and maidens of the whole world, that it is.
Jac. You are very wrong in accusing us with it; for it is something of which we are innocent.
Fr. Corn. Ah bah, now it is getting to be downright idiocy with this denying. I am mad and indignant enough to jump right out of my skin, that this accursed Anabaptist here would deny a matter so public, and known to all the world. Ali bah, I will stake my neck, that I have preached more than a hundred times, that you Anabaptists have the women and maidens in common, and that you also sever the marriage tie, giving to one man, when he is tired of his wife, another man's wife; and, in like manner, to one woman, when she is tired of her husband, another woman's husband. Don't I know these things, eh?
Jac. I have heard it said sometimes, that a certain Friar Cornelis here, often preaches such things concerning us: is it you, permit me to ask?
Fr. Corn. Yes, I am Friar Cornelis, who preaches such things concerning you. Just take a good look at me. I ought to know that I am the man; and I will also clearly show to you, that I preach it with truth; for were they not Anabaptists who at Amsterdam, and elsewhere in Holland, ran stark naked through the streets, men and women, young maidens and boys, and said to one another: My spirit desires your flesh; eh?
Jac. Those were not of our brethren; for formerly there were such false brethren, as David Joris and Hendrick Nicolaus, who taught these things in secret, and said that no one might have anything as his own, and that therefore, no one might marry a wife for himself, but that women ought to be had in common. Others also wanted to prove from the Scriptures, that women that are unmannered or disorderly might be abandoned.
Fr. Corn. * * * Ah; bah, why would you deny, that you Anabaptists have the women in common. They certainly were Anabaptists, who, at Amsterdam, forcibly took possession of the city hall, and who overpowered and took the city of Munster, and afterwards were besieged, bombarded, stormed, defeated, captured, and put to death, with their king, Jan Beukelss, a tailor of Leyden. They certainly had the women in common, yea, not only the women, but also the property; yea, they robbed churches and convents, in Holland, Friesland, and Gelderland. Why would you then say, that these also were not of your brethren? You must be an idiot, I think.
Jac. These all belonged to the same (strange) false brethren; for as they taught, that women might not be held as own, so they also taught that
property might not be owned individually, but was to be held in common, and that the property of the papists belonged to the Christians, and that they might seize it wherever they could, in order thereby to exterminate the ungodly with the external sword, and to abolish all governmer:t, in order thus to set up a new kingdom of Christ in this world. And through these this unchristian report has unjustly come upon us.
Fr. Corn. Is it possible? It remains to be seen yet, whether this evil report has unjustly come upon you. If you Anabaptists also had a head, like the Calvinists, you would persecute, trouble, torment, and ma rtyrize us Catholics just as they do; this I swear to you. Well, enough of this; but that you would deny, that you Anabaptists have the women in common, this I cannot take in, or swallow. You may deny, twist, sneak, dive, and cover up as much as you will, but you shall not swindle me out of it, that you shall not.
Jac. We are not the only ones that have to bear this from you; for you also often preach, I understand, that the Calvinists have the women in common.
Fr. Corn. And so they do; for in the point of having the women in common they agree with the Anabaptists. Ali, bah, don't I know what the Calvinists and Calvinistresses do when they blow out the candles after they have held their accursed, devilish supper. Bah, you want to teach me how to preach, I suppose; see.
Jac. If this were true, it would certainly now be known to all the world; for the Calvinists have had public churches, in which they have preached, and held the supper; and if they had undertaken to put forth such things in them, in regard to having the women in common, as you say, what strange things would be noised abroad through every country.
Fr. Corn. O you accursed Anabaptist, and will you now also begin to upbraid me with slandering the accursed Calves-tails,* eh? Don't I say that they do this together, after they have held their devil's supper when the candles have been extinguished? bah, what strange things can be said of a matter which no one can see? But you Anabaptists, tell us something about your supper; or don't you have any, I suppose, since you don't know anything to say about sacraments? Hence, speak, and let us hear: What do you hold concerning the sacrament of the altar?
Jac. I have never seen nor read this name in the holy Scriptures; hence I can say nothing about it.
Fr. Corn. Fie, the devil and his mother are here again already. How would you have it called the supper, as the Beggarst call it, I suppose, eh?
Jac. I have read much in the holy Scriptures concerning the breaking of bread in remembrance of the broken body of Christ, Matt. 26; Mark 14; Luke 22; Acts 2; I Cor. 11; but of the sacrament of the altar I have never read.
Fr. Corn. Bah, you certainly have the Scriptures at your finger ends; and because you Anabaptists will read nothing but simply the holy Scriptures, therefore it is, that you never read of a sacrament of the altar. For as I am informed by my lord, the provincial of the Augustinians, you flatly refuse to hear, by way of instruction, anything that the old fathers, or teachers of the holy Catholic church, write; as St. Ambrose, St. Jerome, St. Augustine. St. Gregory, St. Chrysostom, St. Bernard, St. Anselm, St. Bede, Doctor Sanctus, and many others, yea, such as are more ancient yet, as: Irenaeus, Cyprian, Basil, Cyril. and Tertullian. If you would read these, you would find the sacrament of the altar mentioned frequently by many different names, sometimes the eucharist, now a holocaust, then a sacrifice, oblation, etc. But you Anabaptists would far rather delve and root in the accursed, damnable books of your arch-heretic Menno Simons. And therefore you do not know anything of the sacrament of the altar-is this not a fine thing?
Jac. We are satisfied with the simple holy Scriptures; for all that is necessary for us to know for our salvation, we find abundantly contained in them, and we need not to search the doctrines of men.
Fr. Corn. Tush, tush, speak and let us hear, whether you also believe, that Christ is truly present in the consecrated host with His natural flesh and blood? Now, do you understand it better so?
Jac. Now I understand it much less yet, since nothing is taught in the holy Scriptures of a consecrated host; and therefore we also do not trouble ourselves with such things, but use in our church the memorials of the Lord's body, as I told you.
Fr. Corn. Bah, what monsters are these memorials? This begins to sound quite Zwinglian and Calvinistic; and are you Anabaptists also Sacramentarians-I suppose so. Bah, what is it about these memorials? Let us hear once.
Jac. The memorials are bread and wine, which we use in remembrance of the body and blood of Christ, because Christ in His last supper commands us, that we are to break and eat the bread in remembrance of His body, which was broken on the cross; and that we are to distribute the cup with wine, and all drink out of it, in remembrance of His blood, which was shed for many, for the remission of sins.
Fr. Corn. Is it possible! you are fine fellows with your memorials. My lords, what do you think of this accursed, hellish devil's crew? for they are Anabaptists and Sacramentarians. Bahl Jesus, Jesus, worthy mother of God, protect us; what abominableness this is I My, my, my, oh. oh, oh, oh! My lords, now you can well hear, what a Beelzebub brood and hellish generation you have here in
Flanders, in the city of Bruges, and you sometimes ridicule my sermons yet, when I preach against these accursed heretics, and say, "That lousy little fool, the crazy friar Cornelis is always engaged with the heretics in his pulpit." Hear now for yourselves whether I have not just reason for it. And now listen, you Sacramentarian: Why then did not Christ say,"Take and eat; this bread is a memorial of my body, and this wine is a memorial of my blood?" But He said expressly, "Take and eat; this is my body." Further, "Drink ye all out of this cup; this is my blood." Answer me once in regard to this, * * *
Jac. I am heartily sorry that you always get so incensed and excited at my answers, and that you do not consider, that Paul says to Titus, in the first chapter that a teacher must not be angry, snappish or contentious.
Fr. Corn. Tush, tush, hold your tongue, and answer me without much talk or crackling.
Jac. Christ did not mean that the apostles should eat His body, which the day after was crucified; nor drink His blood, which the next day was shed; but His meaning was, that His body was food for the soul, and His blood drink for the soul, even as bread and wine are food and drink for the body; hence He said, "Take and eat; my body is this, or, my body is such as this bread is," namely, food.
Fr. Corn. Ali, bah, what madness this is; now I could jump out of my skin for anger, yea, should I not? For Christ did not say, "My body is this, or my body is such." How you heretics pervert and twist the naked, plain words, This, is my body.
Jac. It means the same to say, "This is my body, or, my body is this," when regard is had to Christ's true meaning; for since His body was food, therefore He took bread and said, "My body is this, or this is my body," namely, food.
Fr. Corn. Is this not enough to make one crazy? -God bless us again, and the worthy mother of God. Bah, did not Christ say, "Take and eat; this is my body, which is given for you." Now, was it the same body, which was given them? then it was not bread which He gave His apostles to eat. Let us hear what you will answer to this.
Jac. Even as I answered, that Christ says, that the same body which was given for us is food for the soul, as bread is for the body of man.
Fr. Corn. Bah, what mischief is this, and shall I not be able to advance something against you, by which I can once stop your accursed mouth? Did not St. Paul say, in the eleventh chapter of his first epistle to the Corinthians, "Whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord?" And should it be only a bit of common, simple bread, and a draught of stale wine? What does St. Paul make such an exceeding great matter of it, and say, that a man should examine himself, and eat worthily of that bread, and drink worthily of that cup; for he that eateth and drink eth unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. Bah, you accursed Sacramentarian, is it still only a bit of common bread, or a memorial, eh?
Jac. The unworthy eating of the bread and the unworthy drinking of the cup of which Paul writes, lies in our conscience; for if I want to unite with the body of Christ, and with many brethren become one bread, and am at variance or in contention with any brother, I eat unworthily of that bread, and drink unworthily of the cup of the Lord; I shall thereby be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. Therefore let a man examine himself, how he stands with his brother; for he that comes hypocritically, with a gnawing, troubled conscience, and eats and drinks unworthily, the same eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning that the body of the Lord in the breaking of the bread (which we break) becomes one with, or is participated in by us; and that the cup of blessing (which we bless) becomes one with, or is participated in by us in the blood of Christ, as Paul writes in the tenth chapter of the first epistle to the Corinthians.
Fr. Corn. There you are caught; for if it is a communion or participation in the body and blood of Christ, it is certainly no longer bread and wine, I think.
Jac. Can you not understand, that by the participation in the broken bread we only signify and remember, that through the breaking of the body of Christ on the cross, and through the participation in the cup, we are become partakers of His blood, and have thereby obtained communion with His body. As we all become partakers of, and have communion in, a bread which we break and eat, so we being many are one body with the body of Christ, because we all are partakers of, and have communion in, His body, which we signify and remember, when we make ourselves partakers and communicants of one bread. This is the meaning of Paul in the tenth chapter of the first epistle to the Corinthians.
Fr. Corn. Ah, bah, now I understand clearly, out and out, that you Anabaptists are so wicked, false, vile and crafty sacramentarians, as the *
calves-tails can be; for the sacrament with you is nothing but a representation, signification and remembrance of the body and blood of Christ, and only a bit of bread and a cup of wine. I * * * upon your bit of bread, and your cup, by which you would represent, signify and remember the body of Christ, see.
Jac. I beg pardon, this is strange language concerning the ordinance of Christ; for He has nevertheless instituted the breaking of the bread and the drinking of the cup for our remembrance. But if the bread is Christ Himself, as you say, how shall it be to us a remembrance of Christ, who, according to your saying, is present there Himself? And if you get so angry at me, because I called the com-
munion only bread and the cup, you must also be very angry at Paul, because, I Cor. 11:26, he writes, "As often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup," etc.
Fr. Corn. Silence I not so much talk; hold your tongue. For though St. Paul calls the sacrament of the altar so, it was nevertheless Christ Himself, as He was born of His blessed mother, and died on the cross, see.
Jac. This is a strange notion of yours; for if it is Christ Himself as He died on the cross, then it must also be Christ Himself as He rose from the dead, and ascended up to heaven.
Fr. Corn. Yea, in troth, and as He sits at the right hand of His Father, see.
Jac. Why then did Paul say to the Corinthians, "As often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, shew ye the Lord's death till he come?" For if the bread had been Christ Himself, then the Corinthians might well have said, "It is no longer necessary to show the Lord's death; for He is now come; He is here; this bread which we break and eat is Christ Himself."
Fr. Corn. Bah, talk and chatter as much as you will; I flatly say, that the Corinthians ate Christ with skin and hair, as we Catholics also do, bah, see.
Jac. Yet Christ says, John 16:28, "I leave the world, and go to the Father." Again, verse 5, "But now I go my way to him that sent me." Again, verse 7, "Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you." Again, verse 10, "Because I go to the Father, and ye see me no more." Again, John 12:8: Me ye have not always.
Fr. Corn. Bah, you begin to preach again, do you? And do you think that you can spirit away and wrest from me everything? but wait, wait, I shall come at you in another way. It is John here, John there; but why do you not tell me of what John writes in the sixth chapter, where Christ says, "The bread that I will give is my flesh," eh?
Jac. Christ says in the same chapter, that He is the bread which came down from heaven. Here He does not speak of a bread that grows out of the earth.
Fr. Corn. Bah, is this not a wicked, vile, crafty and cunning heretic; for hear how the devil wags his accursed tongue, my, my, my I
Jac. Yet I do not say anything but what Christ Himself says and means; for these are His own words, throughout the whole chapter, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is He which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world." Again, "I am the bread of life." Again, "Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world." Again,"Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. He that eateth thy flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him." Again, "When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you? what and if ye shall see the Son of Man ascend up where he was before? It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. John 6."
From all these words of Christ we are to understand, that by eating His flesh He means nothing else but His Word, or His doctrine, by which we attain to the faith, without which faith in Him we cannot be saved, and live forever.
Fr. Corn. Bah, are you done preaching now, eh? Did it not seem to you that you were standing in the Gruthuysbusch and preached, eh? But, Oh, you audacious heretic, show it more fully, that Christ means nothing else by this eating of His flesh, than His Word or doctrine. Bah, would you array yourself against the holy council of Trent? For there all the cardinals, bishops and fathers understood these words of Christ with reference to the worthy sacrament of the altar. Hence, let us hear, how you will prove the contrary, you accursed Anabaptist and Sacramentarian that you are.
Jac. You have heard, that Christ in His sermon said to the Jews, "The bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. I am that bread of life: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him." Now you must understand, that if Christ by this bread, or by this flesh, meant His natural body, as you say, all men to whom you, according to your saying, give it to eat, would live forever, and none of them would be damned; for if they had once eaten it, they would dwell in Christ and Christ would dwell in them.
Fr. Corn. Bah, hear once, my lords, is it not astonishing, how this lousy weaver, this chandler, comes by this great wisdom. Bah I this filthy
bishop, Jacob, would be wiser than all our holy cardinals, bishops, and theologians, or doctors of divinity, who, in the holy council of Trent, by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, unanimously concluded, that all the words of Christ, in the sixth chapter of St. John are to be understood with reference to the holy, worthy sacrament of the altar. And now this * * * bishop Jacob the weaver would like to make us believe, that Christ by His blood meant nothing else than His Word and preaching; is this not a fine thing?
Clerk of the criminal court. Suffer yourself to be instructed, Jacob, and do not argue so much.
Recorder. I also desire this of you, Jacob, and do not rely so much upon your own wisdom.
Jac. I beg your pardon; my lords, I do not rely upon my own wisdom, but I rely upon the words of Christ.
Fr. Corn. Bah, do you? bah, you do what I will not mention. Bah, you cunning, vile, crafty heretic in quoting the words of Christ, you have very slyly left out, and omitted to say, that in the same chapter He also says, "My flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed." Bah, do you think you can deceive us by such rascality, eh?
Jac. I have not omitted these words of Christ from craftiness or rascality, but they did not enter my mind; and it is not necessary for me to omit these words, since they tend to confirm the answer I gave you. Namely, if Christ by the eating and drinking means His own natural flesh and blood, as you say, they will all live forever, and not die, or be damned, who have once eaten and drunk in your church, no matter what evil-doers they may be; for you deny the sacrament of the altar to no one; every one that comes partakes of it, and there also come drunkards, gluttons, misers, cheats, swearers, blasphemers, contentious, envious, and unrighteous persons, whores, rogues, adulterers, murderers, and many other wicked people, concerning whom Paul says, I Cor. 6:10; Gal. 5:21, that they shall not inherit the kingdom of heaven.
Fr. Corn. Bah, but those who first confess themselves, and are absolved by the priest, and then worthily receive the holy sacrament, they will live forever, see.
Jac. Christ does not speak here of eating and drinking worthily or unworthily; but He says, that all who eat this flesh, and drink this blood shall live forever.
Fr. Corn. But St. Paul speaks about eating and drinking the body and blood of Christ unworthily, to the Corinthians, in the eleventh chapter of his first epistle, see there once.
Jac. Hence the breaking of bread of which Paul writes, in another, ordinance of Christ, different from this.
Fr, Corn. But you blockheaded bishop, Christ with these words, in John 6, did not yet institute the sacrament of the altar, but promised to institute it; saying, "The bread that I will give [that is, which He will give when He institutes the mass at His last supper] is my flesh, and the cup of wine which I will give is my blood," not wine nor any substance of wine; so the bread also is no substance of bread; but my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. Bah, now where are you? what can you reply to this? now you are caught.
Jac. In regard to this, I reply again, that if Christ means such flesh as you according to your saying, give men to eat, not one of these will die or be damned, according to the words of Christ, but they will all live forever.
Fr. Corn. Bah, for this reason I again ask you, for whom confession and absolution are instituted? for the pigs, I suppose, eh?
Jac. You may very likely suppose this. The blood of Christ was shed for men for the remission of sins, as He says in His last supper, which you now begin to call the institution of the mass. Matthew 26:28.
Fr. Corn. Yes, the supper was the institution of the mass in spite of your teeth. Let us hear once, what you think of the mass.
Jac. Is your mass as something different yet, than your sacrament of the altar?
Fr. Corn. Ali, bah, you are a preacher, a teacher, yea, a bishop (though you deny it) of the Anabaptists, and do not know yet, that the mass is something different than the sacrament of the altar. Bah! shame upon you.
Jac. Alas! because these are all things which are neither mentioned nor known in the holy Scriptures therefore I do not understand them.
Fr. Corn. * * * Though they are things which are not so named in the holy Scriptures, they are nevertheless known in the Scriptures; for the mass is a sacrifice or offering, in which the priest sacrifices and offers up the real flesh and blood of Christ for the living, and for the dead, or for the souls that are in purgatory. Bah, do you understand now what the mass is, eh I
Jac. I do not believe that you can sacrifice and offer up Christ again. But I believe, that Christ Himself was an offering on the cross for the living and the dead: for Paul writes to the Hebrews, in the ninth chapter, that Christ by His own blood entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us."For, if the blood of bulls and of goats, [and the ashes of a heifer] sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh; how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge our conscience from dead works, to serve the living God?"
Fr. Corn. Bah, you have preached enough now; for my head begins to ache severely from it. Hence let us now dispute about Anabaptism and infant baptism, and be done with it. Speak, and let us hear why the sacrament of baptism is not necessary to children for their salvation, as you Anabaptists preach and teach; though ill betide you.
Jac. Christ says, Mark 16:16, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved: but he that believeth not shall be damned." Now if one of the two were necessary to children for their salvation, faith is more necessary to them for salvation than baptism.
Fr. Corn. Indeed? and would you thus exclude from heaven all the poor, innocent children that die unbaptized in original sin? and would you relegate them with so many hundred thousand millions to hell into eternal perdition, eh?
Jac. No, we do not want to do this; for we believe that infants are nevertheless saved, though they die unbaptized; for they are baptized and cleansed in the blood of Jesus Christ, as John says, in the first chapter (v. 7) of his first epistle, "The
blood of Jesus Christ his son cleanseth us from alt sin." Christ, also (Matt. 19:14) says, "For of such is the kingdom of heaven."
Fr. Corn. Yes, if they are first washed and cleansed by baptism from original sin which they have inherited from Adam; otherwise they go to the devil, into perdition, see.
Jac. Paul writes to the Corinthians, in his first epistle, in the fifteenth chapter (v. 22), "As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." Again, to the Romans, in the fifth chapter (verses 12, 1 5);"As by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; so grace hath abounded by Jesus Christ."
Fr. Corn. Tush, tush, tush, much talk and little information, these are all things that do not concern unbaptized and uncircumcised children. Hence I tell you plainly, that all the children that in the Old Testament died without circumcision, and now in the New Testament without baptism,
and will yet die, are damned; and he that says otherwise is a heretic. But now, since you Anabaptists so little esteem baptism, that you allow children to die unbaptized, thinking that they will be saved nevertheless, why then do you who have been baptized once have yourselves rebaptized, and teach others, that they must also suffer themselves to be rebaptized, if they would be saved. Ah, bah, is this not a hellish, devilish madness; frenzy, demonianism, and fascination?
Jac. We, according to the command of Christ, baptize the believing, but you, contrary to His commands, baptize the unbelieving.
Fr. Corn. Indeed; Anabaptist? Bah, though the children are not believing, they must nevertheless be baptized, if they are to be saved; for in the third chapter of St. John's Gospel we read that Christ said to 1Vicodemus, "Verily, verily, except every man be born again of water and -of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." Bah, is this not saying plainly enough, that children must be baptized, though they are yet unbelieving? why then would you Anabaptists upbraid us by saying that-we baptize the unbelieving, and that you bap tize the believing? Ha I accursed Anabaptist thai you are I Bah, answer me now in regard to this. ***
Jac. Water baptism signifies the washing of regeneration in which Christ baptizes with the Spirit, as John the Baptist said, Mark 1, "I have baptized you with water; but one that cometh after me shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost." Also in Matthew 3, and Luke 3, we read, "He shall baptize you with the Holy'Ghost and with fire." Again, John 1:33."But he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost." From this we can hear and understand, that water baptism does not give an entrance into the kingdom of God, but only the baptism by the Holy Ghost with which Christ baptizes.
Fr. Corn. Bah, in this you lie, you Anabaptist, with your accursed mouth, for Christ says, "Of water and of the Spirit;" hence the baptism of the Holy Ghost does not alone make the entrance into the kingdom of God, but the water and of the Spirit, see.
Jac. Then I must ask you, whether none were ever baptized by God and by Christ in the Holy Ghost, without water?
Fr. Corn. What a devilish question this is; bah, who is there that could answer to such an accursed question? Bah, see once, with what this * * * bishop, Jacob the weaver, does now come to vex and torment us. Bah, answer yourself.
Jac. Well then, when Christ saw and heard, that Nicodemus was so greatly astonished at the words which He spake to him, and that Nicodemus could not understand His words, and asked, how these things were possible, Christ answered him and said, "Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?" From these words of Christ we can understand, that Christ did not speak of baptism, but that He spoke to him of things that were comprehended in the law of the Israelites, namely, the regeneration by the Holy Ghost, in which all the holy fathers and elect of God, before the coming of Christ, were regenerated or baptized. For if Christ had spoken of water baptism, as you papists think, Nicodemus might have said to Christ, "I have never read of a water baptism in the whole law." But now Christ spoke to him of things that were written in the law, or in the holy Scriptures of the Old Testament, though He called them by another name, namely, a regeneration of the water and of the Spirit, though the Holy Ghost is therein called a water. But Christ thereby wanted to prove to Nicodemus, in order to astonish him in regard to a matter which he ought to have known and understood very well, since he was a master of Israel. Behold, for this reason the regeneration in which Christ baptized with the Holy Ghost is only signified by the outward baptism of water.
Fr. Corn. Bah, Jesus, Jesus, how well you can talk, how well your tongue is hung 1 Bah, never in all my life did I hear the Scriptures expounded so strangely, contrary to the views of our mother, the holy Catholic Roman church, and the ancient teachers and fathers. Bah, now I am not surprised, that the Anabaptists have made you their teacher, preacher and bishop; for to hear such sermons, the people of Bruges ran at so tremendous a rate to the Gruthuysbosch. But I must ask you one more question: When you Anabaptists have children that remain simple or idiots, and they grow to be twenty, thirty, forty, yea, eighty, or ninety years old, do you allow them to die unbaptized, because they cannot comprehend your belief and doctrine? for one that remains all his life simple, or an idiot, can certainly not be taught. What do you do with them at any rate? let us hear once, but briefly; for your long talk begins to be very
irksome to these good sirs, as well as to me, and it is getting late, and I am tired, that I am.
Jac. To such innocent, simple and childish persons belongs the kingdom of heaven, as Christ says, Matt. 19:14.
Fr. Corn. Bah! tush, tush, tush! I say that it is not necessary to teach men first their confession of faith, before they are baptized, as you Anabaptists teach and do, when you baptize, or rebaptize; for though the infants are unlearned in the Christian faith, we Catholics baptize them upon the faith of the holy church, and because they have believing parents; therefore they need not be taught first, that they need not.
Jac. Yet Christ says, in the sixteenth" chapter of Mark;"Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved." Here certainly preaching and believing are mentioned before baptizing. Again, Matt. 28, Christ says, "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them," etc. Here certainly teaching is mentioned before baptizing.
Fr. Corn. Tush, tush! you are beginning to preach again, are you? Hence one more question, and then enough. In good faith, if an unbaptized person of your Anabaptistic church were instructed far enough in your devil's faith, to receive baptism, and,he should come to be baptized, and should become so sick and faint as to lose all self-consciousness, and could therefore not confess his faith before or in baptism, would you also suffer him to die unbaptized, I suppose you would? hence your nonsense and twiddle-twaddle deserve no respect or regard.
Jac. Though he should die in that faintness, unbaptized, he would be saved through his faith; for Christ (Mark 16:16) says, "But he that believeth not shall be damned."
Fr. Corn. Well, I have no desire tof dispute any longer with you. I shall go my way, and let the executioner dispute with you, with a burning fagot * * * and afterwards the devil in hell, with burning pitch, brimstone and tar, see.
Jac. No; for Paul writes (II Cor. 5:1), "If our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens."
Fr. Corn. Bah! in hell, in hell. Expect nothing else than to go through this temporal fire into the eternal,; hell yawns and gasps for your soul, you accursed, damned Anabaptist that you are, see.