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my Popish abominations, my mass, my pædobaptism, ungodly life, and all my worldly prospects, and determined to spend my life in poverty, bearing the cross of Christ. In my feeble measure, I feared God. I sought for pious men, and found some, though but few who were equally distinguished for the soundness of their opinions, and the ardour of their zeal. Thus, gentle

sentiments. They became wild and frantic enthusiasts, and ran into the greatest excesses, until the insurrection was quelled. In their character and principles they very much resembled the fifth-monarchy men, especially Venner and his followers, in 1661, all of whom were Pædobaptists, except one individual.* This observation reflects no dishonour upon the Pædobaptists: it only shows that wicked and mad en-reader, did my gracious God, by thusiasts have been, in some way or other, connected with every denomination; and that the Baptists are no more disgraced by the insurrection of Munster, than the Pædobaptists by that of Coleman-street; or, than wise and rational Episcopalians by the high-church mobs of Sacheverel, and of Birmingham.

To return to Menno-his convictions at length became irresistible. "What shall I do?" he was accustomed to exclaim; "If I continue in this state, and do not, to the utmost of my ability, expose the hypocrisy of false teachers, and the impenitent and careless lives of men; their depraved baptism and supper, with their other superstitions; what will become of me?" These convictions ended in true conversion and repentance.

It was impossible for him long to maintain his communion with the church of Rome: it continued but nine months after his conversion. He writes as follows: "God then stretched out to me his parental hand, and imparted to me such a degree of his Spirit, that I voluntarily made a surrender of my reputation, and of the honour which I had acquired among men, together with all

See Ivimey's History of the Baptists, Vol. I. p. 308.

his rich grace towards me, a miserable sinner, draw me to him. self. It was He who filled my heart with inquietude; it was He who renewed me in the spirit of my mind; it was He who humbled me in his fear, who made me in some measure acquainted with himself, who drew me from the path of death, and who introduced me into the communion of his saints, in the narrow path that leadeth to life. To Him be the praise for ever. Amen."

After passing about a year in the society of a small, but faithful, band of Christians, employing himself chiefly in writing and reading, he received an unexpected visit from six or eight persons, of one heart and mind with himself, who had been deputed to him by a society of pious per sons, of the same spirit and sentiments. These worthy people besought him affectionately, and with great earnestness, to be their pastor.

This invitation threw him into no small perplexity. On the one hand, he was deterred from accepting it by a sense of his own incompetency, ignorance, timidity, and feeble constitution; by his knowledge of the wickedness and tyrannical disposition of the world; by the existence of numerous and powerful parties in the religious world; and by the

severe trials which were then | tions, miseries, and persecutions,

living in every place in poverty, in fear, and in perpetual hazard of a cruel death. While other preachers have reposed themselves on beds and pillows of

connected with the preaching of the gospel. But there were motives in the other scale which preponderated. These were, the excellent character of these pious men, their poverty, and their ur-down, we have generally been gent entreaty that he would ac- compelled to conceal ourselves cede to their request. in secret hiding-places. Whilst After earnest prayer, therefore, they have been indulging themto God, he accepted the invita-selves at feasts for the celebration tion; upon which event he makes of marriages and of births, we the following reflections: "I have have been alarmed by the barkno connexion with the Munster-ing of our dogs, fearing lest some ites, nor with any other seditious persecutor should be at our doors. sect, as has been slanderously While they have been saluted by reported; but though unworthy, every one as doctors, masters, and was called to this office by a peo-gentlemen, we have been compelple who confessed Christ and his led to hear ourselves saluted as word, and who passed their lives Anabaptists, house-preachers, sein penitence and the fear of God, ducers, and heretics, and greetserving their neighbours in love; ed in the name of the devil. In a people who bore their cross, a word, whilst they have been reand sought the salvation and munerated for their labours with good of all men; who loved annual stipends, and good days, righteousness and truth, and de- our stipend has been the fire, the tested injustice and wickedness." sword, and a cruel death. In His ministry was attended with this anxiety, poverty, wretchedgreat success. "God rendered," ness, and hazard of life, I, an unsays he, "the form of his church worthy man, have to this day, so beautiful, and invested its faithfully discharged the ministry members with such invincible of the Lord. I hope also that, fortitude, that not only many by his grace, I shall continue to stubborn and haughty sinners discharge it to his praise till the were brought to supplicate for day of my death. This statethe incontinent became ment has been extorted from me, mercy, chaste, the drunken sober, the since preachers on every hand churl bountiful, the cruel benign, calumniate me, and I am accused, and the impious devout; but without any shadow of truth, of they likewise bore a glorious tes- having been called to this ministimony to the truth which they try by a seditious and nefarious professed, manifesting the great- sect. Let him who fears God, est constancy in surrendering read and judge." their fortunes, their liberties, and their lives."

In the year 1543, which was about six years after his leaving "To promote this great ob- the Romish church, a placard ject," adds he," it has been ne- was circulated throughout West cessary for me to endure, with Friesland, promising not only my poor and feeble wife, and my pardon, but the favour of the infants, during a period of eigh- Emperor, the freedom of the teen years, numerous and various country, and a reward of a hunanxieties, burdens, griefs, afflic-dred Caroli-guilders, to any one

Although this nobleman was originally of a cruel disposition, and on that account, an object of general dread, he persisted in affording them his patronage. The archbishop of Kiel, and after that the king of Denmark interfered, to prevent it: the latter even commanded him to expel them; but he always found the means of avoiding the mandate. Hence the pious Baptists fled thither, from all quarters, and quickly formed a church. This district had been hitherto inhabited only by boors, or peasants, who were the property of their lord.Among the refugees, were many ingenious artisans, and some persons of property; in consequence of which many trades were set up, the country became flourishing, there was a great influx of inhabitants, and Baptist churches were established, and ministers settled over them.

who should deliver up Menno | He not only pitied them, but he Simon, to be tortured and exe- tolerated and acted kindly tocuted. Being thus in daily ex-wards those who were driven, by pectation of arrest and death, he persecution, from different parts. obeyed the injunction of the gospel, and, tearing himself from his flock, left his country. His first flight was to the city of Wismar, in the duchy of Mecklenburg; but he was soon known there, and compelled to seek another refuge. There were many remarkable interferences of Providence in his favour, of which the following was one: An informer stipulated with the magistrates of Wismar, that, if a certain sum of money were advanced to him, he would either deliver Menno into their custody, or forfeit his own life. The money was accordingly paid. In the first attempt, he failed: the second time, as the informer was going, with an officer, to apprehend him, Menno unexpectedly sailed by them, in a boat: the informer saw him, but had not power to point him out to the officer; upon which, Menno seeing his danger, rapidly advanced, leaped on shore, and escaped from their hands. The informer involuntarily exclaiming, "See, the bird is escaped;" the officer was in a rage, because he had not pointed him out sooner: his reply was, "My tongue was held, so that I could not speak." The magistrates, not satisfied The patronage of Menno and with this apology, executed the his friends was continued by condition of the engagement, and this nobleman, not only from mothe poor wretch forfeited his life.tives of humanity, but from Whilst Menno was deliberating perception, that it was his interto what place he should next di-est to protect them. He levied rect his course, his uncertainty on each householder an annual was terminated by the following tax of a rix-dollar, equal to circumstance: The lord of Fre- four shillings and sixpence of senberg, a territory between Ham- our burg and Lubeck, had frequently visited the Netherlands, and had witnessed the persecution of the Baptists by the Romish clergy.

It was to this district that Menno determined to re'reat. He safely arrived at it, and settled in a village, called Wüstenfelde, where he enjoyed protection during the remainder of his life, which he devoted to the gospel ministry.

a

money. This contribution made them consider the country as their home; whilst the smallness of the tax attached them to it, and increased their

zeal for the interests of their worthy protector, who thus became to Menno, and his friends, what the Elector of Saxony had been to Luther and his colleagues. And, notwithstanding the displeasure of the neighbouring nobility and clergy, which soon followed, and a prohibition, on the part of his Danish majesty, of the toleration of these strangers, this nobleman continued, till his death, the protection which he had promised to afford them.

sons of all ranks and characters, and extremely zealous in promoting practical religion and virtue, which he recommended by his example, as well as by his precepts. A man of such talents and dispositions could not fail to attract the admiration of the people, and to gain a great number of adherents wherever he exercised his ministry." Vol. IV. p. 456. (To be continued.)

THE

GREAT PHYSICIAN.

To the Editors of the Baptist Magazine.
WALKING, lately, into a vil-

The active mind of Menno soon undertook the accomplishment of those plans, for the good of his fellow-creatures, which his heart dictated. One of these was the establishment of a printingpress, by means of which, he pub-lage, to publish the glad tidings of lished the grounds of his faith, a defence of himself against Gellius Faber, Martin Micron, and John á Lasco, and various other works. A neighbouring nobleman came upon him by surprise, and seized his press; but his patron collected together his vas-restored to health and vigour, sals, and compelled the invader to surrender it to its owner.

This great man, after a life of ardent zeal and indefatigable industry, died January 15, 1561; and, according to the custom of the primitive Christians, in the times of persecution, was buried in his own garden.

salvation, I passed by the Bedford Hospital. On enquiry, I found that it had been built principally by the munificence of the late Mr. Whitbread and his father. Surely, thought I, multitudes of the most wretched of the human race,

and returning to the bosom of their families, shall bless their memory, and praise the great Giver of all good, who put it into their hearts, to erect, for the most benign of purposes, this noble structure. Am I wrong in supposing, that, as succeeding generations revolve, this great work, which they have done, shall be told for a memorial" of them? I think not.

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With respect to his character, Mosheim, who evidently wrote under the influence of violent prejudice against the Baptists, says, In imagination, I roamed from "He had the inestimable advan- ward to ward-administered contage of a natural and persuasive solation to multitudes of the afeloquence, and his learning was flicted-and perused the records sufficient to make him pass for an of the institution ;--and I really oracle in the eyes of the multi-presented earnest supplications to tude. He appears, moreover, to have been a man of probity, of a meek and tractable spirit, gentle in his manners, pliable, and obsequious in his commerce with per

the Father of mercies, that the sorrows of those who now inhabited the pile, might be removed and sanctified to their everlasting benefit.

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surpassing in dignity the most illustrious monarchs who have ever filled a throne; yet, such is his amazing condescension, that if the poorest, and the meanest, and the most unworthy of my patients, humbly solicits him to visit them, he is sure to do it. I never knew him, (and it has been my happiness to serve him for some years,) reject a single petition. Moreover, any of them who do indeed sincerely and earnestly desire that he would undertake to heal them, and who are willing to be guided solely by his directions and prescriptions, are certain of finding him ready to attend to their request. In multitudes of cases, he has visited the wretched unsolicited, and conferred them the greatest favours, Isa. lxv. 1. O, he is so tenderhearted that you would never forget, could you but be an eye-witness, the affection with which he gathers the poor suppliants in his arms, and lays them in his bosom ! He is evidently so touched with a feeling of their infirmities, that I do verily believe his whole heart is made up of kindness and love. He is so free and generous, that he charges nothing for the most extraordinary cures; and he invites, in the most liberal manner, all who have any desire to possess the substantial blessings he alone can bestow, to come to him with holy confidence. You will see that this is the case, if you will peruse the Standing Orders, which it is my duty frequently to publish, of the institution. The following most encouraging sentences are an extract:"Come unto me, all ye that labour, and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Whosoever cometh to me, I will in no wise cast him out. Ho! every one that thirsteth, come ye to the

The sight of this admirable building awakened a train of thought, which, to myself, was highly interesting. I was forcibly reminded of the large hospital, which it is my duty continually to visit, filled with persons exceedingly afflicted, either with moral or natural infirmities, and -in many instances, with both. I, too, have my daily rounds of observation and exertion. Not, indeed, that I cure any of my patients by my own care or skill; no, my constant experience proves to me, that I can do nothing of any importance, without the presence and blessing of my adora>>ble Master. Hence, I am perpetually on my watch, and never pass many hours without affectionately and earnestly present ing some of the cases of the wretched to his kind regards. Perhaps, though I have nothing to record respecting myself, worthy of your notice, you would be gratified to hear a little of my Master. But, to say the truth, I >know not how, (and it is a frequent subject of grief to me,) sufficiently to commend him : yet the subject is a favourite one, and I cannot dismiss it without sending you a faint outline of his incomparable person I despair of ever seeing a full-length portrait of him. Vandyke, or Reynolds, might here fail, without injury to their fame. I have never yet met with any colours which could possibly do justice to the subject. I mean to attempt only a slight sketch of a part of his distinguished cha'racter; and you will perceive that I shall be led, naturally, to speak chiefly of his admirable skill and excellencies as a physician. All other physicians are absolutely nothing, and can do nothing without him. Though

VOL. X.

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