In this chapter
(632-633) ... An unbroken Chain of witnesses
(633-653) EUROPE--THE ANABAPTISTS AND SABBATH KEEPERS
(633-634)... The Anabaptists
(634-639)... The attitude of the Reformers Towards the Anabaptists
(639-640)... Sabbath Keepers among the Anabaptists
(640-644)... The Sabbatarians In Moravia
(644-646)... Their Belief Concerning Isaiah 58
(646)........... Schwenkfeld’s Mystic Refutation
(646-649)... Witnesses in Bohemia
(649-650)... Silesia, Poland, Holland
(651-652)... Their View according to Hespinian
(652-659) LUTHER AND CARLSTADT
(652-657)... Carlstadt and the Sabbath
(657-659)... Luther “Against the Sabbatarians”
659-663) TRANSYLAVANIA: EOSSI AND PECHI
(659-660)... Eossi and Pechi
(660-661)... Persecution of the Transylvanian Sabbath Keepers
(661-663)... Their Literature
(663-672) RUSSIAN SABBATARIANS,
(663-667)... Christian Sabbatarians in Russia before the Reformation
(667-669)... Their Persecution
(669-672)... The “Enlightener”
(672-683) NORTHERN EUROPE AND SABBATH KEEPERS
(672-674)... Saturday Keeping Condemned in Norway (A.D. 1435)
(674-676)... Puzzle to Church Historians
(676)........... Lutheran Edicts Against “Saturday Keeping”
(676-679)... The Epistle of Gustavus I to Finnish Sabbatarians
(679-680) ... The Sabbath Movement in Sweden
(680-683)... Its Origin and Association with Revivals
(683-684)... “A Sect everywhere Spoken Against,” and “Yet true”.
AN UNBROKEN CHAIN OF WITNESSES
An unbroken chain of Christian Sabbath-keepers extends from the apostolic church through the Middle Ages. At the height of papal darkness, their light shone high up in their Alpine retreats, and their voice of warning was also heard in eastern Europe, and in spite of advancing Islam, whole bodies of them existed in Ethiopia, India, Syria, Armenia, etc. When the Reformation lifted the veil of darkness covering the nations, not only did traces of these Sabbath-keeping Christians appear afresh all over the Old World, but simultaneously with the new life emanating from this mighty movement, Sabbatarians were found in Moravia, Bohemia, Tranylvania, Germnay, Holaand, England, Finland, Scandinavia; yea, even as early as the fifteenth century they had quite a history in Russia.
When, in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, untiring persecutors pressed the true believers far into the Alps, many of them found new retreats in Moravia and Bohemia. Amid the multitudes of a corrupt church, the persecuted few still retained a true idea of the church of Christ, as Mosheim thus confirms:--
As the Reformation broke forth, this concealed principle sprang up with it everywhere.
Living faith in Christ being the test of church admission, it became evident to some that infant sprinkling must be discarded, and in its stead only the believer was to be buried with his Lord by immersion, upon his profession of faith, to rise with him to a new life. Because of this, the proper name of these believers was Baptists, but they were misnamed rebaptists, or Anabaptists, by their opponents. The differences between these and the Reformers are thus set forth by Dr. Ph. Schaff, who also styles them Radicals:--
How the teachings of the Anabaptists impressed Zwingli, we learn from Ranke:--
“Although Zwingli had gone much farther than Luther, he was soon opposed by a still more extreme party; he had to contend with the Anabaptists. He was called upon to form a separate congregation of true believers, since they alone were the subjects of the promises. He replied that it was impossible to bring heaven upon earth; Christ had taught that we were to let the tares grow up together with the wheat.” 3
How the controversy was settled, Dr. Schall informs us:--
“Zwingli…had no mercy on the Anabaptists, who threatened to overthrow his work in Zürich. After trying in vain to convince them by successive disputations, the magistrate under his control resorted to the Cruel irony of drowning their leaders (six in all) in the Limmat near the lake of Zürich (between 1527 and 1532).”4
"He opposed the doctrine of the Anabaptists with every argument at his command, but disapproved the cruel persecution to which they were subjected in Protestant as well as Catholic countries. It is not right," he said in a book against them (1528), "and I deeply regret that such wretched people should be so miserably murdered, burned, and cruelly put to death; every one should be allowed to believe what he pleases. If he believes wrongly, he will have punishment enough in the eternal fire of hell. Why should they be tortured in this life also?"“
However, no less an authority than Dr. A. Harnack remarks that after Luther had come in contact with them, “he in many respects really hardened himself into an attitude of bold defiance toward reason, and then yielded also to that Catholic spirit which worships in paradox and in contradiction of terms the wisdom of God, and sees in them the stamp of divine truth.”
“Luther himself had to suffer for the obscuration to which he subjected his conception of faith; still greater, however, was the penalty for those who adhered to him, who degraded to a new scholastic wisdom from what he had defiantly proclaimed.”
“The position which the Reformation took up towards the Anabaptists, and towards others who had affinity with them, became most disastrous for itself and for its subsequent history.”
“There are, in fact, also many considerations that make it fully intelligible why the Reformation simply rejected everything that was offered to it by the ‘enthusiasts.’ Yet…the fact remains unaffected thereby, that the unjust course followed by the reformers entailed upon them and their cause the most serious losses. How much they might have learned from those whom they despised!” 5
Dr. Harnack pays the following tribute to the Anabaptists:--
“But the spirit of a new age reveals itself among them, not only in their entertainment in many ways of Reformation thoughts, but also in the stress they lay on Christian independence. It is with this in view that their opposition to infant baptism is to be understood.”
“In this vastly great group also, which had its representatives during the sixteenth century in Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Venice, Moravia, Poland, Livonia, and Sweden, and had connection with the Waldensians (and ‘Bohemians’), the modern spirit displayed itself in close association with the medieval,”
“The more closely the history of the Reformation in particular provinces and towns has been studied, the more apparent has it become that these Baptists, entering frequently into alliance with Waldensian and Hussite elements, or falling back, on former medieval movements, formed the soil into which the Reformation was received, and that for many decenniums they continued closely interconnected with it in many regions.” 6
On account of their rapid spread and constant increase, a general persecution against the Baptists arose:--
“Papists and Protestants. . .treated them in the same manner,”
“The Episcopalians and the Presbyterians of England, the Lutherans of Germany, and the Reformed in Switzerland, differing from one another, and refusing inter-communion, agreed in persecuting the Baptists. They were a sect everywhere spoken against.”
“The Baptists traveled too fast, and went too far; if they could not be stopped by other means, the fire must be lighted, or the headman’s axe employed. Thus the men were silenced: the emperor, Charles the Fifth, ordered all the women to be drowned or buried alive, and no judge could mitigate these decrees, unless he was willing to be regarded as a protector of the heretics, and be proceeded against as such.
“Notwithstanding the deadly onset that was made upon them from all quarters, they spread and increased most astonishingly. Leonard Bouwens, an eminent Baptist minister in Holland, who died in 1578, left in writing a list of upwards of ten thousand persons whom he had baptized. Menno Simon and other laborers in the cause introduced “great multitudes” into the churches. The spirit of reform must have taken fast hold of the minds of the people, or they would not have embraced so readily a system, the profession of which was a sure passport to persecution in its most painful and revolting forms. Luther and his coadjutors opened the door of the temple of freedom to others, but remained themselves in the porch. They feared to penetrate into the interior. The Baptists passed by them, entered in, and explored the recesses of the hallowed place. For this they were reviled and oppressed. Thousands of them fell in the fight. But multitudes pressed after them.” 7
How the “patience and faith of the saints” shine forth here, an extract from Dr. Beck’s history demonstrates:--
* “Luther, for example, urged that no Baptist be tolerated in the country, and demanded each subject to hand over the ‘hedge preacher’ to the magistrate.” --De Wett, 4, 354: Erlang, Augs., 31, 213-226, “Concerning Sneakers and Hedge Preachers,” October, 1532)
The author of the preface to the “History of the Martyrs of Christ” (A.D. 1610) says of them:--
Erasmus bears the following honourable testimony to them:--
The following are a few samples of the terms employed against the Anabaptists by the Reformers:
Dr Schaff fitly adds:
“They only half do their work”
“They mix God’s word with human doctrines, and practise a censurable forbearance toward papal errors.”
“By the Evangelicals there is not real earnestness manifested:, , , the word of God bears no fruit: and all this because they preach justification by faith only, but do not urge good works; they always represent Christ as the one who has done enough for us, instead offsetting him forth as our example to follow.” 12
SABBATH KEEPERS AMONG THE ANABAPTISTS.
[Robert Cox, The Literature of the Sabbath Question, vol.2, pp. 201, 202.
"I find from a passage in Erasmus that at the early period of the Reformantion when he wrote, there were Sabbatarians in Bohemia, who not only kept the seventh day, but were said to be...scrupulous in resting on it."
"In 1310, two hundred years before Luther's theses, the Bohemian brethren constituted one-fourth of the population of Bohemia, and were in touch with the Waldenses who abounded in Austria, Lombardy, Bohemia, north Germany, Thuringia, Brandenburg, and Moravia. Erasmus pointed out how strictly Bohemian Waldenses kept the seventh day Sabbath."
"Erasmus testifies that even as late as about 1500 these Bohemians not only kept the seventh day scrupulously, but were also called Sabbatarians." R. Cox. op. cit.]
The Baptists were by no means organized into one body; there was no absolute uniformity of opinion, they were shy of creeds; they differed on various points, as is stated by Ranke:
But they were agreed that the “sole authority” of Scripture in matters of religion should be carried to its legitimate “issues”, and it was the case that a number not only “held it to be unchristian to celebrate Sunday,” but also associated true faith and the right mode of baptism with the proper observance of God’s holy rest day. To this the old chronicle of Sebastina Frank (A.D. 1536) testifies:--
“Some have suffered torture and separated themselves simply because they would not rest when others kept Sunday, for they declared it to be the holiday and law of Antichrist, with whom they would have nothing in common, as well as were the other holidays.” 14
Among the churches of the sixteenth century, A. Ross enumerates also:--
THE SABBATARIANS IN MORAVIA
Where and when these Sabbath-keepers appeared, Luther himself furnishes information in his Lectures on genesis, given A.D. 1523-27:--
“such examples are opposed to the frenzy of the Jews and Sabbatarians, who now exist in Austria, and undertake to drive the people to the law of circumcision as though they could not be saved without it.” 17
One of the chief centers where thousands gathered, was Nikolsburg, belonging to the prices of Lichtenstein. About A.D. 1529 the following division is reported by A. Gindely:--
The church at Nikolsburg was also divided. He followers of Phipp Jaeger and Jacob Wideman were call “Kleinhaufler” (the small body) or “Stabler’ (staffmen), and the followers of Hans Spittelmaier received the name of “Schwertler” (sword-bearers) and Sabbatarians. Leonhard Lichtenstein held to the latter party.” 18
Lord Leonhard, of Lichtenstein, asked the Sabbatarians to submit to him a statement of their belief, which they readily did. This was sent to Wolfgang Capito, a leading Strassburg Reformer, and to Caspar Schwenkfeld (then living as an exile at Strassburg), the founder of the mystic sect that is perpetuated among the Schwenkfeldian congregations in eastern Pennsylvania.
Probably the statement of faith drawn up by these Sabbatarians has long since been burned, but there exists in the Hamburg library a copy of the refutation by Schwenkfeld, in which are preserved some of the statements made by the Sabbatarians in their document to him, so that some of their doctrines are thus handed down to us through the writings of their opponents.
The refutation contains one hundred eighty-six pages. The writing of it was finished on New-Year’s day, A.D. 1532; but according to the following title, it was not printed until 1599; “The Christian Sabbath and the difference between the Old and the New Testament. The difference between the Jewish and the Christian Sabbath. What the Christian Sabbath is, an dhow it should be observed. Written to the Lord Leonhard of Lichtenstein at Nikolsburg, etc. 1599.” In its dedication, this declaration is made:--
MOST GRACIOUS SIR: You have recently sent E.C. D. Wolfgang Capito and myself a writing, wherein you notify us that several in Moravia have dared (among other things which to their mind had been wrongly dropped and omitted) to re-establish the Sabbath, as the Jews term their holy day, because they think it necessary to their salvation, and want to keep only Saturday holy, and have also offere to prove this to be right, and in accordance with the Holy Scripture. Your honor has sent us a written copy of their reasons and argument, requesting us to carefully study it and render our judgment,”
“The Sabbatarians (they will pardon if I term them so on account of their opinion) teach that the outward Sabbath, ie Saturday, still must be observed, for such be God’s word, will, and command. Exodus 20 and 31. Here they way, we read in God’s Word plainly that he wants to have the Sabbath kept as long as the world stands. He who acts contrary to the divine commandment will not remain unpunished.” --Page 10
Although Schwenkfeld, following the illustrious example of Pope Gregory the Great, knew no difference between the Sabbath and circumcision, yet the Sabbatarians of both the seventh and sixteenth centuries, enlightened by God’s own Word, were well aware of the truth on this point. On page 71 we find again:--
“The strongest argument of the Sabbatarians is the number of the ten precepts, of which we have also heard before. They tenaciously hold that God has not given eight or nine, but ten commandments, which he wants to have dept by everybody, and which neither Christ nor the apostles have tried to change. On the strength of Jeremiah 31, they claim that, instead of abrogating them, Christ was really the one who established them. With this they wish to say that, in short, either the Sabbath must be observed, or else all the other nine commandments must also be discarded. From which they conclude: If the Sabbath is void, all the other commandments are also.”
This demonstrates how well the observers of the Sabbath were then armed with the word of God, to give a reason of the hope that was in them. But most remarkable is their belief concerning Isaiah 58 and Nehemiah 13.
THEIR BELIEF CONCERNING ISAIAH 58
Concerning their belief on the Sabbath from Isaiah 58 and Nehemiah 13, Schwenkfeld states thus on page 128:--
The underlying motive that actuated the Christian Sabbath-keepers to adhere to the observance of the Sabbath of Jehovah, even under the greatest difficulties at the time of the Reformation, is here revealed: the prophetic word of God was a bright light, shining in a dark place. On the strength of it, they considered themselves called of God to build the old waste places and to repair the breaches in his law, although many had to seal their faith with theiir own blood. Instead of spiritualising everything, as did their opponents, they accepted the Word of God as it was written. This Schwenkfeld calls the Jewish way.
On page 133 their arguments are again quoted;
Schwnekfeld charges Christ with breaking the Sabbath by the miracles he performed on that day; but they, on the other hand, according to his statement on page 157, “undertake to excuse Christ our Lord, stating that he had never broken nor abrogated the Jewish Sabbath, but that, on the contrary, he had confirmed and truly established it.”
How they regarded Sunday, and how Schwenkfeld met their ideas, we learn from page 169:--
SCHWENKFELD’S MYSTIC REFUTATION
In this refutation, Schwenkfeld approached th old Gnostic ideas, by claiming: “Resting from sin is the true, spiritual Sabbath; true Sabbath sanctification was not to cease from manual labour and be idle, but to do no evil, and to let the old man rest from all his works,”
Dr. Zoeckler calls his refutation an “extreme mystic holy day’s theory.”
Schwenkfeld fell out with Luther in A.D. 1524, in the controversy about the Lord’s supper. When in 1541, he sent some of his books to Luther, the latter, who nicknamed him “Stinkfield,” returned these books, accompanied by a note in which he called him a “nonsensical fool possessed of the devil,” and stated that his books were “spit out by the devil”.19
WITNESSES IN BOHEMIA
That there were some Sabbatarians in Bohemia, Czerwenka’s “History of the Evangelical Church” in Bohemia shows, but the following incident:--
“A certain John Balbus was imprisoned in November, 1528, because he had publicly taught some doctrines contrary to Utraquism: he asserted that one ought first to believe and afterwards to be baptized; the extreme unction was to be regarded as an anointing of joy and comfort; the festivals of the saints were not to be observed; and Saturday (Sabbath) was to be kept holy instead of Sunday; meat might be eaten on Friday, for the law made no distinction of days, and people must eat what they have.
Balbus had resigned his priesthood, because he regarded it a popish, and therefore, a human institution, and he had taken a wife. He was called upon to renounce his ‘errors.’ How he was treated may be seen from the statement in the minutes, that time was the best physician, and that what reasonable remonstrance could not do, time would settle; for the bread of sorrow would force him to confess the true faith, and the torture of imprisonment and hunger would bring everything into the proper line. Such are the words of the consistory, preceding the statement of Balbus having recanted, on November 17.” 20
The Pope assisted King Ferdinand to extirpate heresy and civil liberty under the opprobrious character of sedition. The Jesuits being reinstated, it was thought proper to begin with those Baptists whose principles would not allow them to make any resistance.
“Many thousands of Baptists emigrated (A.D. 1530) from Switzerland, Tyrol, the Austrian crown lands, Steyermark and Bavaria, under the leadership of Jacob Hutter, and settled in Moravia.” “But in 1535 Ferdinand, king of Bohemia, decreed their expulsion, and sent soldiers to execute it.” “They retired to the forests, where they lived as well as they could, and waiting in patience, held their religious services.”
“Hutter wrote the governor of Moravia, entreating him to revoke the decree. In this lengthy epistle he says: ‘We believe in God Almighty, his Son our Lord Jesus Christ, who is now and forever our protection in every danger, and in whose hands we have committed all we are and owe, to keep his commandments and cease from all unrighteousness and sin. Therefore all the world persecutes and derides us.’
Once more they were granted respite, but in A.D. 1547 their expulsion was carried out with indescribable harshness and cruelty.”
“Ferdinand wrote first to Prince Lichtenstein and to Cardinal Dietrichstein, the first general of the army in Moravia and the last governor of the province, to inform them of his design, and to require their concurrence on pain of his displeasure,” He banished the Anabaptists “from all his hereditary and imperial dominions on pain of death. The Jesuits contrived to publish this edict just before harvest and vintage.” “They allowed them only three weeks and tree days for their departure; it was death to be found even on the borders of the country beyond the expiration of the hour.” “At the border they filed off, some to Hungary, some to Transylvania, some to Wallachia, others to Poland.” 22
SILESIA, POLAND, HOLLAND, GERMANY
That there were also Sabbath-keepers in other countries of Europe, although they were few in number and somewhat secluded because of the severe persecutions against them, proofs are not lacking. We have found them in Bohemia. They were also known in Silesia and Poland. Likewise they were in Holland and in northern Germany. Dr. Cornelius states of east Friesland, that when the Baptists were numerous, “Sunday and holidays were not observed, but later their observance was again established.” 23
Braght’s Martyrology speaks of a certain Barbara of Thiers, wife of Hans Portzen, who was executed on the sixteenth of September, 1529. She rejected the ungodly sacraments, mass, and confession, and concerning Sunday and holidays declared:--
“God has commanded us to rest on the seventh day. Beyond this she did not go: but with the help and grace of God she would persevere therein, and in death abide thereby; for it is the true faith, and the right way in Christ.” 24
There were at this time Sabbath keepers in France:--
That Sabbatarians again appeared in England by the time of the Reformation, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth (A.D. 1533-1603), Dr. Chambers testifies in his Cyclopaedia. 27 How they developed there in the next century, we shall consider in chapter 27.
THEIR VIEW BY HESPINIAN
The principle reasons on which the Christian Sabbatarians founded the observance of the Sabbath at the time of the Reformation, are given by a noted Swiss writer, R. Hospinian. In his work on the festivals of the Jews and Gentiles, written in A.D. 1592, he enumerates them as follows:--
2. Only the ceremonies instituted by Moses have been abrogated; the Sabbath, however, is not of Moses. It has been kept holy since the beginning of the world, and therefore has not been abrogated.
3. The benefit of creation is intended for all men, Christians as well as Jews; and consequently, belongs to all ages in which men have existed; but therefore, the symbol that is to keep the remembrance of creation fresh among men, must also be observed by all. Easter, Pentecost, and the feast of tabernacles are based on a different foundation; for they are holidays on which are to be commemorated the benefits God had shown especially to the children of Israel. But the Sabbath does not concern the Israelites alone.
4. The Sabbath is, according to Ex. 31.:17, in the covenant made by God, called the eternal ie the everlasting covenant.
5. The spiritual Sabbath rest is the same in the Old as in the New Testament; therefore the Sabbath ought to be the same also.” 28
Before we follow the persecuted Sabbatarians to Hungary and Transylvania, we shall consider one who, as Luther’s senior colleague, led out in the debate with Dr, Eck at Leipzig, and who afterward occupied himself considerably with the Sabbath question --Professor Andreas Carlstadt.
Ranke describes Carlstadt fittingly as “one of those men, not rare among Germans, who, with an inborn tendency to profundity, unite the courage of rejecting all that is established and defending all that others reject, without ever rising to a clear view and solid conviction,” 29
His view of the Sabbath is expressed in a small pamphlet, styled “About the Sabbath and commanded Holidays,” It was published at Jena, early in A.D. 1524, for already in May of that year a second edition came from the press at Strasburg. This little pamphlet is divided into thirteen chapters. It deals, however, more fully with the observance of the Sabbath than with the question as to which day ought to be kept. The following are some of his views entailed therein, which we take from Haeger’s Biography of Carlstadt, as they are more briefly set forth there:--
“All commandments of God demand of us a resemblance of this divinity, and are given us that we may grow into his likeness. Lev. 20:26. Therefore the Sabbath was instituted of God, that we should desire to be holy as he is, and to rest and cease from work as he did. We are to be passive in his hand, that he may work through us without ceasing. That is the spiritual purpose of the Sabbath, commanded for his honor and our benefit”
“If a soul does not conceive this, it is unconscious of the real purpose of the Sabbath institution, and God hates such a Sabbath.”
“Another purpose of the Sabbath is the brotherly love which the head of a household should show his servants; such comes from the love of god. God knows that man would kill himself had he not some rest after labour, and Carlstadt demands this rest also for all working animals.” 30
Having thus explained the nature of the Sabbath, in the third chapter he shows that the Sabbath law is intended for the angels as well as for men; “so it is for the inhabitants of the divine city,” in the fourth chapter he tells “how to keep the Sabbath,” and remarks, “This is more difficult to feel and to examine than to understand, because it is above all our natural powers.” This Sabbath observance is two fold, answering the two “purposes” of the Sabbath. “With God man must be at peace and rest, and from God he must ask and expect all holiness.” According to chapter four, the positive side of Sabbath-keeping is this: “that thou shouldst realize I lovely wisdom the infinite glory of Christ. He is the perfection of the Sabbath; by him all angels and men must be taught to keep the Sabbath, and through him, and accordingly to him, only can they keep it.” He refers to Isa. 58:13, 14, as the basis of this doctrine: “the holy day demands a clear mind enlightened with the light that lightens all men; such a spirit rides above the high places of the earth, and has no pleasure in earthly things.” 31
Then he inveighs against all kind of work on the Sabbath, including that of hired help and of bondmen. In the fifth chapter he enumerates a series of desecrations, from which we may gather some idea as to how Sunday (here styled the Sabbath) was observed at that time. Not only did the people indulge in the most noisy amusements, but that which particularly vexed him was the fact that “the Christians and greedy priests on that day dun their debtors from the pulpit.” Not until we reach the tenth chapter does he consider which day of the week ought to be kept:--
“If servants have worked six days, they shall be free of service on the Sabbath. God says, without distinction, Remember that thou keep holy the seventh day. He does not say that we ought to take Sunday or Saturday for the seventh day. Concerning Sunday, one feels uneasy, because men have established it. Concerning Saturday, it is a disputed question. But so much is clear, that thou shalt keep holy the seventh day, and give the servants rest when they have worked six days.” 32
Carlstadt mistrusted Sunday as a human initiation; still he was not clear on the Sabbath; he chiefly considered the way of keeping it, and in this he was in advance of the other Reformers. However, he went no further. In the twelfth chapter, he protests against dedication of days to angels and saints:--
“The devil and his first-born son, the Pope, have deceived us into dedicating Sabbaths to angels and saints; this squarely contradicts the Sabbath idea, which is a figure, symbolizes that God alone is holy. The figure would be a lie if the Sabbath be kept in honor of one who cannot make us holy, which always happens if we keep it in honor of some saint. One thereby rejects Christ, and says that he can obtain glory by some other one than Christ. . .Besides, by such observance, one encroaches upon God’s creation, because he has created all things and all days, while no saint has ever made an hour. Whoever attributes a day to a creature, he robs God of his created work, and attributes it to him who has not created, and who cannot create. This is sinning against God’s might, and Is directed against his almighty power. 33
“Luther does not know that he hit’s the apostles, prophets, and Christ. These all have often dealt with such matter, as, for example, circumcision, the Sabbath, and frequently baptism, the Lord’s supper and the meats offered to idols.” 35
[In two of his major works of 1523, Carlstadt stresses the importance of living in harmony with the commandment of God. Because of Carlstadt’s emphasis on the sanctified life, Luther accused him of legalism and “work-righteousness,” but Carlstadt denies this when he says: “Nothing leads us to eternal life and God’s kingdom except faith alone.” In his early years Carlstadt first thought the Sabbath was part of the ceremonial law. But as his thinking matured, he realized that God had enshrined the Sabbath commandment in the Decalogue deliberately because of its eternal significance, curious enough, though, he does not seem to have regarded the change to Sunday as contrary to the commandment. Though seeing the significance of the weekly Sabbath day, and though feeling uncomfortable with Sunday because of it’s human origin, he did not step out and embrace the Biblical Sabbath. Thus we see that Luther, in opposing Carlstadt was the more perceptive when he said, “Whoever wants to make a necessary command of the Sabbath as required of God must keep Saturday and not Sunday.” ]
Every lover of truth must regret that Carlstadt did not always use good judgment in making his hasty reforms, but he failed more in reference to the proper time than with regard to doctrines. There were points in which he was ahead of the other Reformers. He wrote an able treatise on “The Canon of Scripture,” in which he contended against Luther for the authority of James. He was ahead of Luther in maintaining that all ceremonies not warranted by the Bible were to be rejected; while Luther asserted, “Whatever is not against the Scripture is for the Scriptures, and they for it.” He was far ahead of Luther in his understanding of the Lord’s supper. He opposed not only transubstantiation, but consubstantiation, the real presence, and the elevation and adoration of the host. Luther rejected the first, asserted the second and third, and allowed the other two. In regard to the real presence, Luther says: `In the sacrament is the real body of Christ and the real blood of Christ, so that even the unworthy and ungodly partake of it; and "partake of it corporally" too, and not spiritually as Carlstadt will have it.' Carlstadt, for maintaining the doctrine now held by almost all Protestants, concerning the supper, and for denying Luther's doctrine that Christ is personally present in the bread, was rendered a homeless wanderer for years.
As long as Carlstadt agreed with Luther, he was a “man of unequalled wisdom,” but when he dissented from Luther’s opinion, the latter called him, in his Table Talk, an “incarnate devil.” 36 Carlstadt had to leave Saxony in A.D. 1524; the following year he was allowed to return, on the condition that he would keep silent; but he had again to flee in 1528. For some time he wandered about in great poverty. He joined the Zwinglians, was on a friendly footing with the Baptists, and was professor of theology at Basel (A.D.1534-41). Had he taken a positive stand on the Sabbath, would he have fared any better than the thousands who were killed or tortured in Moravia, Bohemia, and Germany?
LUTHER “AGAINST THE SABBATARIANS”
How the movement to restore the right Sabbath gained in power in spite of the terrible persecution, is evidenced by the fact that as late as A.D. 1538 Luther wrote a letter to a friend of his, “against the Sabbatarians.” 37
In his introduction, he thus states the reasons for writing:
Then applying Isaiah 66 to this present world, Luther ridicules the idea that “all flesh should meet at Jerusalem each week, as the Jews could not get there in a hundred Sabbaths, and have been driven hence for fifteen hundred years.” At the close of the letter, he expresses the hope that “this letter may protect his friend against the Sabbatarians and that he may preserve his Christian faith in purity.”
EOSSI AND PECHI
At an early date seeds of the Sabbath truth must have been carried to Hungary and Transylvania. In these countries, as in most other lands, the Reformation brought about an age of inquiry. With the Lutherans and the Reformed faith, the Sabbath truth accompanied the refugees, also the Unitarian Baptists. They increased so rapidly in Transylvania that by A.D. 1571 the Unitarian faith was acknowledged as a state religion , along with the catholic, Lutheran and reformed faiths. It is among these Unitarians that we find the first distinct traces of the Sabbath in Transylvania. The chronicle of a contemporary, Franz Nagy Szabo, give this information:--
“As far as I can recollect, the Arian religion reformed and divided itself about the year 1588. There lived a lord of the manor at St. Elizabeth [a village in the district of Udvarhely] by the name of Andreas Eossi, who studied his Bible until he at length nicely invented the Sabbatarian religion.” 38
PERSECUTION OF THE TRANSYLVANIAN SABBATH KEEPERS
In 1610 the diet, under the catholic prince Gabriel Bathory decreed:--
“A time of grace is to be granted to the Jews and Sabbatarians for conversion, but their preachers are to be locked up I respectable prisons.”
Again Providence interfered, and new troubles arose; in the year 1618 the Reformed prince Gabriel Behtlen, in harmony with his own desires, was authorized to summon before him and to punish all who would not forsake their faith by Christmas time. He called a synod, which is reported in the Unitarian Spiegel as follows (page 15)
Eossi soon found talented co-workers. While he devised the fundamental principles of their belief, including the Sabbath, yet the detailed work and the finishing touches were carried forward by his disciples. Among quite a number of prominent men, Bogathi Fazakas Millos, and Simon Pechi, the scholar and statesman, deserve special mention.
After the death of his sons, Eossi adopted Pechi, but immediately sent him on an extended tour, in which he visited the greater part of Europe, and even Palestine, Egypt, and northern Africa. Thus he formed a thorough acquaintance with Oriental literature. He mastered the Hebrew, Latin, and German. He returned in 1599, and as Eossi died shortly after that, he inherited his large fortune. With his experience, wealth, and learning, a political career awaited him, in which he might easily forget the Sabbath.
Pechi advanced to the position of chancellor of state, and King Ferdinand II, during the negotiations of peace in 1621, gave him even to understand by his legates that in case the sickly Bethlen should die, there were some prospects of his being elevated to the throne of Transylvania. But shortly after this, he lost favor of the prince, and was imprisoned for nine years. Here God’s truth came to him with new force. He studied his Bible, and composed a number of hymns, mostly in honor of the Sabbath.
During a visit of the author to Hungary in May, 1890, Prof. J.Koncz, of the Reformed College at Maros-Vasarhely, showed him a commentary on Genesis, dated 1634, folio size, which Pechi wrote in prison. It bore the seal of the Inquisition, but in some way it escaped the intended burring. At Klausenburg, in the Unitarian library he also found a number of prayer and hymn books. Among them was a work of four hundred pages, written by Jacob Elik; it is a commentary on the Psalms, dated A.D. 1604, and also contains some doctrinal poems, a few of which treat on the death of Christ, on the Lord’s supper, on baptism, faith in God, etc.
As Pechi had studied the Talmud, his writings were influenced by it, while Eossi closely adhered to the Scriptures. When Pechi was again set at liberty, he publicly taught the Sabbath, and his doctrines were embraced by many, not only of the common people, but also of the noblemen. The churches steadily increased.
Influenced by “covetousness,” Prince Rakocski I had confiscated all the estates of Pechi, save that of St,. Ersebeth; and in the diet of 1635 it was decided that “if the Sabbatarians had not joined one of the four acknowledged state religions by next Christmas, they would lose their life and property,” But new political disturbances postponed the execution of this sentence until, in 1638, the agreement of Dees was signed by fifty-six secular and ecclesiastical lords, authorizing the prince to execute the previous decisions. The Sabbataians were summoned to Dees, and sentence was passed upon them in the Reformed Church.
Those who still openly professed the observance of the Sabbath were taken to fortresses, their property was confiscated, and they were left to perish in dungeons: and those who outwardly confessed adherence to one of the four acknowledged religions, but secretly kept up their divine worship, were forced to attend church services. Pechi was also arrested, and according to Benkoe, he died in a decent prison in 1640. Some emigrated as far as Constantinople. Thus by brute force Sabbath observance was suppressed even in a country where the Reformed faith was in power.
In closing this section on Transylvanian Sabbath keepers, we give a translation of one of the Sabbath hymns:--
Yet, a still greater Sabbath movement among Christians appeared in Russia as early as the fifteenth century. In chapter 21 we found that the Sabbath-keepers, generally called Pasaginians, hailed from the East, where the old Nazarene element existed as late as the twelfth century. According to church historians, the great reform movement of the twelfth century extended east into Poland, Lithuania, Slovenia, Livonia, and Samatia. Church historians record a similar reform movement in Russia during the fourteenth century. In view of the fact that the Russian and kindred languages call Saturday Subbota or Sabbath, and seeing that their standard catechism teaches every child that while the Sabbath “is not entirely dept as a festival, still in memory of the creation of the world and in continuation of its original observance, it is distinguished from the other days of the week by a relaxation of the rule of fasting,: one would naturally expect a Sabbath reform the moment the attention of the people was directed to the Word of God.
The knowledge of this Sabbath movement in Russia is furnished to us through the “History of the Russian church,” by Archbishop Philaret (A.D. 1805-66) 39 Writing in the nineteenth century, he had to collect his facts and data from old chroniclers, who, on account of the relentless persecution waged, and biased by their own religious views, colored their history even to such and extent that Philaret, as a Christian, had to question it.
Since the days of the Laodicean council, “Judaizing” is the official stamp placed upon the cessation from labour on the seventh day. When, in the summer of 1886, the author organized the first church of German Sabbath-keepers in Russia, Protestants at once preferred the charge of “Jewish heresy” against him, and he was arrested by the Russian government. So grave was this charge that no bail was permitted, and no release was granted until the American ambassador gave his word of honor to the Russian minister of the interior, that, form personal knowledge, he knew this to be the work of an evangelical denomination.
Bearing this in mind, we let Archbishop Philaret inform us of the contents of the ancient Russian church records:--
a. History of the heresy until 1490
“All attempts made by the Papacy against the liberty of the orthodox church of the North left no obnoxious results: the Russians regarded them with unconcern, as the plans of long-known ambitions. But the heresy of the Judaizing sectarians did concern the Russian church. This new heresy, which had begun and prospered in secret, though of short duration, was yet not without influence on the hearts of the Russians.”
“A certain Jew, named Zacharias, who came from Kief with Prince Michael in 1470, laid the ground for this heresy, at Novgorod. Zacharias, being well acquainted with the natural sciences, which were at that time known under the seductive form of alchemy, and also being well versed in cabalism, blinded some with the wonders of natural magic, and succeeded in leading them into error. Two priests, Dionysius and Alexis, deceived by Zacharias, and four Jews who had recently come from the South, spread the infection of this false doctrine broad, and arch-priest Gabriel was among the many who were deluded.”
“The grand duke Ivan, not knowing their views, appointed (A.D. 1480) the two principal leaders of the sect, Dionysius and Alexis, as priests of St. Mary’s Cathedral and of the court chapel of St. Michael. Working here under the same veil of mystery as in Novgorod, they soon found adherents, even at the court, most prominent among whom was Theodore Kuritzyn, the state secretary of the grand duke.”
“The archbishop Gennadius, of Novgorod, an active, sharp, and ardent man, first discovered members of this sect after reaching his flock. An investigation began. But four, who had been released on bail, fled to Moscow. Gennadius reported the matter there. In February, 1484, the metropolitan and the grand duke excommunicated three of the fugitives, who were also subject to civil punishment; the fourth was released. . . .All of them were sent back to their shepherd for admonition and further examination.”
“But it was difficult for Gennadius to ascertain the real facts in the case, for the heretics denied under oath what they had previously admitted. But at last, through the assistance of the civil magistrates, statements were obtained which the guilty signed, and witnesses confirmed. Manuscripts of the heretical ritual, and an Easter calendar conforming to the Jewish manner of reckoning were found. Much was disclosed by Naum, a priest who once belonged to the secret faction. The heretics who truly confessed their error were subjected to a church penance by Gennadius, while he handed over the others to the civil court. Then he forwarded a detailed report to the metropolitan, and awaited further orders--that the more, as some of the inhabitants of Moscow were also involved,”
“However, his report did not have the same effect as before. The metropolitan Gerontius had died (May 28, 1489). State Secretary Kuritzyn, who had been ambassador in Hungary, returned and protected the faction.” “Gennadius was no longer even invited to the common church councils. The heretics of Novgorod, learning that the investigation had been stopped and that their companions were left unmolested, fled to Moscow. Here, under the protection of Kuritzyn, the excommunicated priests even conducted divine service-- yea, Dionysius went so far as to insult the holy cross of the church.”
“But Gennadius did not remain inactive. He sent a copy of his former report to the bishop of Sarai Prochor, who acted as temporary metropolitan, and by letter he requested two other bishops, Niphont of Susdal and Philotheus of Perm, to employ their care as shepherds against the heretics, describing their former atrocities. After the election of a new metropolitan, although Gennadius was displeased with some of the demands of Sozimus, yet he most earnestly besought him to hand the heretics over to be judged by a council, At the time, Gennadius was unaware that the metropolitan, Sozimus himself, was a secret member, and owed his election to the efforts of his associates! But though he desired to do so, yet Sozimus could not pass by the affair of the heretics unnoticed.”
Paragraph 19 is the history of the “heresy” since 1491; the efforts of Gennadius and Joseph against it, and its condemnation at the council of 1504, are considered. We quote an extract:--
In order to defend the degraded faith, Gennadius appealed to Joseph, abbot of Wolokolamsk, celebrated for his pious works. Gennadius and Joselph did their utmost against the heresy, notwithstanding the influence the heretics had gained at the court. Well versed in the Holy Scripture and in the church fathers, Joseph began by writing a history of this heresy from its commencement until 1490, and from time to time he published refutations of it.” “Sozimus retired from office as metropolitan (May 17, 1494) Only the influential secretary Kuritzyn remained. Under his protection, the heretics found an asylum with the archimandrite Cassian at Dorpat, who had obtained his position through Kuritzyn’s influence. Here the mockery of holy things became loathsome in its shamelessness. The shepherd of Novgorod circulated translations of works against the Jewish sect, made by the translator Demetrius. Joseph himself waited upon the ruler, and besought him to place the heretics under a new trial,” “Yet the matter rested another year, and Joseph asked, by letter, that the confessor of the grand duke would remind him of his promise.”
“In June, 1504, the holy Gennadius was obliged to retire. Finally, in December 1504, a council was called with reference to the heretics, at which the heir to the throne, Basil Iwanositch, was present.” “The decision of the grand duke was: Some are to be burned; others to have their tongue cut out, and to be exiled; however, the major part was to be confined in monasteries. . . The church commanded during the week of orthodoxy [the first week of fasting] that anathema be pronounced against the Jewish sect. Some who succeeded in escaping this punishment by feigned repentance retained their heretical opinions, while on the other hand, the capital punishment of heretics for a long time remained the object of censure, thou no one any longer dared to spread the heresy openly.”
These very admissions of their two most relentless persecutors, that the doctrine of this “Jewish sect” contained “Christian heresies which have great similarity to old and well-know heresies,” is the best evidence that it was not “Judaism”, but ancient, primitive Christianity. Philetus, viewing the old records as an enlightened historian, justly says that the history of this heresy is its own proof that the whole doctrine was by no means expressed by the term “Jewish sect.” That a metropolitan of the Russian church, priests in high standing, an ambassador, courtiers, yea, even the grand duke himself, all professing Christianity, should b influenced-- and that for so many years-- by common Judaism, which denies the first advent and the death of Chris, is beyond all probability. Being so entirely improbable, this whole story of a Jew using magic and cabalism, appeals to us as a fiction fabricated and circulated by crafty priest, I order to conceal the true fact that sincere men, by searching the Word of God, found that the Orthodox Church had departed from the Scriptures, and that, in trying to restore the church to its ancient purity, thy desired, among other things, to re-establish the Sabbath of the Decalogue, the eternal memorial of creation.
Joseph’s book, called the “Enlightener,” “An Ornament to the Russian Church,” consists of fourteen parts:
1. Trinity; 2. Advent of the Messiah in the Person of Christ; 3. Significance of the Mosaic Law; 4. Causes for the Incarnation of the Son of God; 5,6,7 Reverence to Images: 8,9,10. Second Advent of Christ; 11,12. Monasticism: 13,14. The Way and Manner of Dealing with Heretics.
According to the minutes of the council, some of the other heresies of this sect were, to think more of the Old Testament than of the New; to celebrate Easter in harmony with the Jewish reckoning; to omit fasting on Wednesday and on Friday; to disregard the Lord’s supper as a symbol, and to recognize in the eucharist the body and the blood of Christ.
The admission of the council that they believed the New Testament is another significant proof that this was a Christian sect. “Hauck-Herzog’s Realencyclopoedia,” which questions the sect’s being “Jewish,” gives some addition information:--
“Be it as it may, its chief aim was not to pay reverence to the mother of God, to images, to the cross, to the eucharist, to fasting and to holidays. The archbishop Gennadius of Novgorod, an admirer of the Spanish Inquisition, instigated its persecution. The chief leaders, Alexey and Deni, supported by the secretary Kuritzyn, gained quite an influence over Ivan III. The metropolitan Zosimus, who favoured them, was never the less forced to condemn them and to afterwards resign. Joseph Hanin fought them passionately in his book, “Enlightener,’ and enforced the principle of everywhere spying out and executing the heretics.” 40
The following further details show what circles were touched by this Sabbath movement:--
However, their opponents did not rest. Archbishop Gennadius, like an enraged tiger, persecuted the converts at Novgorod, and by his plots and intrigues, he so prevailed with Czar Ivan Wasiljewitch that he listened to his suggestions.” 41
In finishing, the account from Russia, we look at Sternberg ‘s remarks: “Nearly every town and every large place in the Russian empire records the name of some one who has died for having taught these doctrines.”
SATURDAY KEEPING CONDEMNED IN NORWAY (A.D. 1435)
But there are still more striking facts when we come to consider the Sabbath movement in Scandinavia and in Finland. This extends from the fifteenth to the seventeenth century, during which Roman Catholicism had to give way to Lutheranism in these parts, so that both churches were affected. The minutes of a Catholic provincial council, held in A.D. 1435 at Bergen, Norway, Archbishop Bolt presiding, contain the following interesting information:--
“The clergy from Nidaros, Oslo, Stavanger, Bergen, and Hamar, assembled with us in Bergen at this provincial council, are fully united in deciding in harmony with the laws of the holy church that Saturday-keeping must under no circumstances be permitted hereafter further than the church canon commands. Therefore, we counsel all the friends of God throughout all Norway who want to be obedient towards the holy church, to let this evil of Saturday - keeping alone; and the rest we forbid under penalty of severe church punishment to keep Saturday holy. If, however, there be those who on Saturday rather than on other days desire to do good, then let them fast, or give alms to the poor or contribute to the cathedral church , or cloister, from such honest income as they can gain by fishing or other work on Saturday.” 42
At a provincila council held at Osol (Christiania) in 1436, the same archbishop presiding, it was decreed:--
PUZZLE TO CHURCH HISTORIANS
A century before the Reformation, the observance of the true Sabbath still existed in the most northern portion of the papal dominions. What a testimony for its divine vitality! And the Papacy continued to oppose, fine, and condemn! Scandinavian church historians are puzzled to account for this, and various solutions are proposed.
Prof. L. Daae, Norway’s university historian, deals with the subject in a treatise entitled “Evidence in the Norwegian Church of a Religious Influence From Russian.” 44 His evidence is that the threat King Christian made to the Papal See, that if the latter would not yield to Norway’s wish in supplying a successor to Archbishop Bolt (who died in 1449), Norway would join the Russian church. The existence of the Sabbath movement in Norway, which, in his opinion, had its origin with the Christian sect in Russia at perhaps an earlier date than 1470, would convey to the kings’ threat “an expression of facts of some importance.”
J. Fritzner offers another solution, by considering this statute only “a decree against an over strict observance of Saturday in honor of the Virgin Mary,” 45 His grounds for this supposition are: the decree of pope Urban II (1095); an Icelandic legend (later circulated by crafty priests), that “the Virgin Mary agreed with two women in Iceland, to cure them if they in turn would keep Saturday feasts, and sing a third of the psalter every Saturday;” 46 and finally, that a century later two pretenders, calling themselves St. Olaf and St. Nicolas, tried to influence the Lutherans again to regard Saturday in honor of Mary, for which crime the court condemned them to be burned at the stake. 47
If the Pope’s action in turning the Sabbath into a memorial of Mary led some honest people, after closer investigation, to rest on that day in obedience to the divine law in honour of the creation, then the words of2 Cor. 13:8 also apply in this instance. But as Professor Daae suggest from the wording of the decree itself, so we also would see in these words “a confirmation of the fact that Saturday-keeping in Scandinavia was the result of a certain. . .movement within the church,” and “the result of a desire to keep holy that definite rest day specified in the law of God.” But instead of its being “a certain Judaizing movement,” it was an eminently Christian movement, based upon God’s Word.
The next edict against Sabbath observance in this same region of Norway isdated 1544, shortly after the Reformation had commenced. It reads:--
Now it is decided by the local diet for the diocese of Bergen and Stavanger, that whoever shall be found keeping Saturday, must pay a fine of ten marks; this I want you to give heed to . . .You are rebellious and disobedient in regard to your holy days, since you are discontented with those which the church ordinance and the priest command you to observe. Now then I bid you on behalf of his majesty, the king, that you earnestly and honestly obey his gracious commands. Whoever shall be found transgressing these will be ny my servants punished as a disobedient and rebellious subject.” 48
Thus the Reformation only changed the name of the persecutor of the true Sabbath-keepers, from the Catholic to the Lutheran Church. And J. Fritzner properly states the case:--
“After the Reformation, no better way of making Saturday-keeping despised was found than to pronounce it a Jewish custom.” 49
THE EPISTLE OF GUSTACUS I TO FINNISH SABBATARIANS
The next document we shall consider, confirms this idea. It is “an open letter addressed to the common people in Finland on account of their error, that they, because of hard times, turn Jews an keep Saturday holy,” The author is none less than King Gustavus Vasa I, of Sweden (A.D. 1496-1560) who introduced the Reformation there. The letter is dated Dec. 6, 1554, and is, in substance:--
Therefore Sunday is, for everyone who correctly keeps it, a sure and perfect sign that Christ truly came and fulfilled all the prophecies. Therefore can the opinion of those who desire to keep Saturday be only understood in this way, that they do not fully believe that Christ has come and has gained eternal life for us by shedding his precious blood. Christian liberty has been freely granted us, so that we are no longer under the outward law and precepts. Not to believe in such a great and infinite benefits of Christ, seems to us a terrible sin against God, by which his wrath is not reconciled, but increased. Consequently, to keep Saturday and follow dreams and other errors can only lead to damnation. Therefore we not only exhort, but earnestly command all in whatever condition any of you might be who have fallen into such error, to forsake it at once, and to walk according to god’s Word, and to be instructed thereby. 50
That this theological discussion of the first Lutheran king of Sweden, and his royal command to forsake Saturday rest, were backed up by employing force, if not heeded, is a matter of fact, which will plainly appear as we follow the movement to Sweden.
THE SABBATH MOVEMENT IN SWEDEN
“The Swedish Church After the Reformation,” by Norlin, thus lengthily treats “Saturday-keeping:’--
“We find traces of these Jewish doctrines throughout the entire Swedish kingdom, form Finland, northern Sweden, Dalarne, Westmanland, and Neriko, down to Westergotland and Smaaland. Even King Gustavus I was obliged to issue a special letter of warning against the error so general among the laity of Finland.” “The next case of Judaism we find in Westeraas, in 1597. The cathedral records there contain an acount of several trials that yeark of two Jewish teachers-- a rich citizen, Hans Jonsson, of Westeraas, and a peasant called Hofdesta Peter.” 51
These two men were forced into a “sealed agreement,” which was read at the city hall before the Lutheran bishop, priests, mayor, and council, “not only to abstain from keeping the Jewish Sabbath, which was an offense to all believers, but also to keep Sunday as other Christians, or else to leave the country.” Both men, breaking this agreement, were placed on a new trial, during which Jonsson died. His son defended his father’s faith until 1618.
Bishop L.A.Anjou says that all we know further of this sect is that a man from Grytnos suffered death in 1519, “because he always disputed with the schoolmasters and priests, and depised our creed and church.” 52
Then Bishop Anjou continues:--
“The belief in the sacredness of a Sabbath day could. . . Very easily raise the question if it was not Saturday that ought to be observed. The people very naturally began to think that the Sabbath law really had no binding force unless applied to that definite day which the old Testament designates. The great liberty associated with Sunday rest, the close application of the Old Testament which in those days was customary at the divine service, and Bible readings, and especially the common practise of following the law of God even in civil lawsuits-- all these things could induce the people to study the commandment which commands Saturday -keeping.
Bishop Anjou continues:
One thing is certain; this belief in Saturday as the Sabbath did not generally stand alone; it was a part of the revival work of those times and connected with preaching and warning against the common sins and vices or the evils regarded as such, namely pride, luxury, fine clothes, Immorality, and contention. God was to be appeased ad a better spirit secured by the keeping of Saturday. This conviction gained such an influence that many not only of the laity, but also priests who were friendly to this zeal for piety, abstained from work on Saturday, which in several places caused much strife. In Westergotland, Smaaland, and Neriko these contentions were especially common. In the last-named place Saturday-keeping was defended by the daughter of a priest from Kumla. After having received several angel visions, which she fully describes, and after having passed through many severe trials from doubts as to her own acceptance with God, and from opposition of enemies, -- sufferings which caused her bitter agony and even convulsions, -- she finally herself preached repentance and conversion. Her experiences attracted wide-spread attention. People from far and near gathered to hear the now-renowned woman who had the gift of prophecy. Bishop Paulinos made this matter the topic of a special lecture, which he delivered in the diocese of Streugnos.” 53
Bishop Anjou then continues:
A boy in Agumaryd, Vexio diocese, saw (A.D. 1667), in a vision, an angel who exhorted him to be converted, to forsake pride, -- the most wide-spread sin,-- and who taught him that Saturday should be kept holy, and that it is a sin to work on that day.”
“A SECT EVERYWHERE SPOKEN AGAINST,” AND “YET TRUE”.
While thus the observers of the true Sabbath were persecuted all over Europe, at the same time the Papacy employed crafty Jesuits to suppress sabbatarianism in Africa and in Asia, as we have already seen in chapter 21.
What a cloud of faithful witnesses is revealed to us by the Sabbath movement of the fifteenth to the seventeenth century, even from the meager records that have come down to us! What an array of martyrs from every continent that was then known! The Roman and the Greek churches, Lutheran and Calvinistic countries, popes and Reformers, Catholic and Protestant rulers, ecclesiastical and civil powers, from the arctic north to the tropical south, a mighty host, with all their power, talents, and wealth, -- united to put a stop to the obnoxious “Saturday-keeping,” to brand the Christian observance of the Sabbath of Jehovah as “Jewish,” and to exterminate this “Jewish heresy” by the sword, by the rack, by the dungeon, by fire and by water. But as it was of God, it lived and thrived.
To set over against the “Thus saith the Lord” of the Sabbatarians, even the Reformers have only a mystic, “spiritual” Sabbath, or a “church ordinance”. Their boast of “Christian liberty” often means no liberty but hard oppression for the faithful observer of the Sabbath, in the same way as did the papal supremacy. But as God’s sure word of prophecy foretold, “They shall be helped with a little help,” 54 Contemporaneous with the Reformation, the repairers of the breach” made in God’s law, appear everywhere, and, moved by his Word and Spirit, they, by turning away their foot from the Sabbath, b calling “the Sabbath a delight, the holy of Jehovah, honourable” “build the old waste places” and “raise up the foundations of many generations.” The Sabbath-keepers of these centuries were indeed “the sect everywhere spoken against,” as “deceivers” “and yet TRUE!” The Reformation had restored their only sword of defense, -- the Word of God, -- bringing, as its greatest boon to the people, an open Bible, in which the Sabbath is engraved with the finger of God right in the center of his eternal law.
1. Eccl. Hist., cent. 16, sec. 3, pt, 2, chapt. 6, par. 2 Return>
2. Schaff, “Hist. of Christian Church” Vol. 8, “Swiss Reformation” chap. III, par. 24, pp. 71, 74-75 Return>
3.Ranke, “Hist. Of the Reformation,” 3, b. 5, sec. 3, p. 100 Return>
4.Schaff, “Hist. Of Christian Church,“ Vol 7, “German Reformation,” chap. I, par. 11, p. 65 Return>
5.Harnack, “Dogma” 7, pp. 236-237 Return>
6.Id. 7 pp. 1250126 Return>
7. Cramp, “ History of the Baptists” Chapt. VI, “The Troublous Period, Sect. 1, Chapt. V. The Reformation Period. Sect, 1,
..... for more particulars see also “Martyr’s Mirror,” Thieleman J.Von Braught,. Return>
8.Oestreichische Geshichtsquellen, Vienna, 1883, vol. 43, Introduction, pp. 18-21 Return>
9.A letter to the archbishop Tolouse, , Martyrol, I, 165 Return>
10.See Cramp. Pp. 129, 130; Schaff, German Reformation sec. 102, p. 610 Return>
11.Schaff, German Reformation, sec. 102, 607 Return>
12.Herzog, Realencyclopaedie, Second edition, vol. I, 362, article, “Anabaptisten.” Return>
13.Ranke, Reformation, vol. 2, b. 5. Chap. 3, p. 100 Return>
14.Frank’s Chronica, 3, 193 Return>
15.Abbildung d. Relig. In europa, 1665, p. 440 Return>
16.Erlang. Augs., Emarr. On Gen 4:46 Return>
17.Id. On gen. 10:31 Return>
18.Geshichte der bomishen Bruder, I, 212. Return>
19.De Wette, 5, 613 Return>
20.Geshlichte der ev. Kirche in Boehmen, 2, 194 Return>
21.Benedict’s Gen. Hist. Of the Bapt. Denom,., I, 161-164; Cramp, Geshc. D Baptisten, pp. 209-216;
..... Dr. Cornelius Gesch, d. munst. Aufruhrs, 2, 70-71 Return>
22.Dr. G. Kohn, “A. Szombatosok Toertenuek,” p. 25: Sternberg’s Geshichte der Juden in Polen, Leipzig, 1878, pp. 116-126 Return>
23.Der Anteil Ostfrieslands an d. Ref., Muenster, 1852, pp. 29, 34 Return>
24.Martyrol, of the Churches of Christ, commonly called Baptists, during the era of the Reformation,
..... from the Dutch of T.J. Van Braught, London, 1850, I, pp. 113,114 Return>
25.Id. 113 Return>
26.Utter’s Manual of Seventh-day Baptists,” p. 16 Return>
27.Article, “Sabbath,” 8, 402, London, 1867 Return>
28.De origine festorum Judaeorum, Zurich, p. 10 Return>
29.Zeitalter der Reformation, 3, p. 13 Return>
30.A. Bodenstein v. Calstadt, Stuttgart, 1856, pp. 393-395 Return>
31. Id. Pp. 395-397 Return>
32.Taken from the tract itself. Basel Library. Return>
33.Jaeger’s Carlstadt, pp. 397-406 Return>
34.Erlang, Augs., 29, 152 Return>
35.Anzeig, etl. Hauptartikeln Christl. Lehre, in welcher Dr. Luther den A. Carlstadt verdaechtig macht, 1525 Return>
36.Erlang. Augs., 61, 91 Return>
37.Erlang Augs., 31, pp. 416-449 Return>
38.Miko, Erdelyi, Toerten. Adatok.,I,29,I. For the details thereon I refer to the following sources: Kleiner Unitarier -Spiegel, Vienna, 1879; Lampe: Historia Ecclesiae Ref, in Hungaria, etc., Rhenum 1728; J. Benkoe, Transylvania, Claudiopolis 1833; Adolf Dux: “Aus Ungarn, “ Leipzig 1880; Allg, Ev-Lutherische Kirchenzeitung, Jahrg. 1876: “A. Szombatosok Toertenuek,” etc., by Dr. Kohn Samuel, Budapest, 1890 Return>
39.Geschichte der Kirche Russlands, Frankfurt, 1872, pp. 287-296 Return>
40.17, 249, article, “Russland” Return>
41.H. Sternberg Geschichte der Juden, Leipzig, 1878, pp. 117-122. Sternberg quotes above from a Russian book,
..... “The heresy and Divisions in the Russian Church,” Nik, Rudnjew, Moscow. 1838 Return>
42.Dipl, Norveg., 7, 397 Return>
43.Den norske Kirkes Historie under Katolicismen, 2, 488, by R. Keyer Return>
44.Theol. Tidsskrift., 1871 Return>
45.Historisk Tidsskrift, vol. I, Christiania, 1871 Return>
46.Forusvensk legendarium, 3, 104 Return>
47.Krag Christian III, Historie, I, chap. I 386 Return>
48.Niels Krags and S. Stephanie’s “Kristian d. 3djes Historie” 2, 377 Return>
49.Historisk Tidsskrift, 1871 Return>
50.State Library at Helsingfors, Reichsregister vom J., 1554. Teil B.B. leaf 1120, pp. 175-189a Return>
51.Vol, I, 357 and pt. 2, 256 Return>
52.Svenska Kirkans Historia efter Motet I Upsala 1593 Return>
53.Svenska Kirkans Historia efter Motet I Upsala, 1593 Return>
54.Dan. 11:34 Return>