The Book of Our Country/Chapter 117

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The Book of Our Country by Zacharias Topelius
117. First crusade to Finland

It has been thought that the first crusade to Finland occurred in 1157 after the birth of our Savior.

At that time only the southwestern corner of our country was called Finland, and the whole country was called eastern. To this south-west Finland, the king ruled, and he believed that he landed with her at the mouth of the Aura River in the vicinity of the present Turku.

In this part of the country they lived the warlike pavilions and were called the suomi people (suomalaiset). It is told that the king first sent commandments to them with the admonition that they would desecrate their pagan gods and let baptize themselves to the teaching of true God: otherwise the king would haunt them with war. The pavilions did not observe this premonition. When the Swedes were stiff, the pavilions were even stiffer and would not at all defile their old gods for a new god whom they did not know. They did not regard worthy brave men to obey the commandments of a foreign conqueror and gathered themselves to resistance to defend their freedom and the faith of their fathers.

The two heroes met and collided. It must have been a tough and bloody battle, as you could expect, when two of them fought for the best and holiest they knew in the world. The Christians took care of their lives against eternal salvation, and the Gentiles would rather die than give themselves and their land under foreign authority. Therefore, it is also said that the crash on both sides was great. At last, however, won the better-ordained Swedish army; The pagan suomi people became completely blunt and slippery. Those who avoided death fled to the forests or were caught. It is said that when the king watched the bloody battlefield, he had tears, not over his own dead, as the salvation of the cross of the doctrine of the cross, but over the fallen heathens, who were not partakers of the salvation of faith.

After this battle, the first resistance of the Pavilions was broken, and many of them were then baptized by Bishop Henrik i'Kuppi's source at Turku. There was no catechism at that time. Tron's articles were read and translated by an interpreter to the languages of the Gentiles. When they answered yes and amen, they were clothed in white clothes; the priest made the cross over them and poured water upon them from the source. Many of the baptized understood little or none of the new doctrine; but admittedly, it was a remarkable day when King Erik let them baptize these Finns at Kuppis. Christianity came to our country with violence, and violence can never build a lasting work. But after the violence came love; Its work was lasting, and consequently, had the right blessed day at Kuppis.