The History of the Bohemian Persecution
conversion to Christianity in the year
894. to the year 1632.
Ferdinand the 2. of Austria, Reigning.
licy, Counsells, Arts, and dreadfull Judge-
ments are exhibited
Printed by B. A. for Iohn Walker at the Star
Popes-Head Ally MDCL.
To the Godly Reader.
Fter that some of the banished Bohemians, who were in Holland, understood that the Edition of Fox’s booke of Martyrs, was by some learned men, and well-wishing to posterity, again intended in England, and that Additions were every where fought for, and that they were admonished to adde unto it, the History of our present Persecution and banishment; they did not intermit forthwith to write to their exiled friends, in Misnia, Polonia, and Hungaria, that so farre as they could, they would declare those memorable things which were acted in this unhappy tragedy, we thought nothing could be declared by us, of which there was not sufficient example, whether wee consider the most bitter hured and rage of Sathan against the Church or the fraudulent machinations of Antichrist, or humane fragillity in persecutions; or the most wise counsell and help of God in preserving his: but because it is neither unpleasant nor unprofitable for Godly spirits to looke upon many examples; partly, to see upon what various occasions God doth exercise his Church with afflictions; partly, how craftily the old Serpent doth circumvent the Saints of God, likewise how men being exposed to trials do severall wayes fall, and lastly, how valiantly God doth corroberate some valiantly to undergo disgraces, banishments, prisons, deaths, and all things grievous for his Name, and how they overcame the world by bearing. Therefore wee were willing to communicate our affaires to the Churches of Christ dispersed through-the World, and Godlinesse it selfe doth command us to declare unto posterity, as much as in us lies, what waters wee have past through, and in what furnaces of fire wee have beene heated, that knowing to what vicisitudes the Church millitant is subject (as the Moon which sometimes increases and sometines decreases, sometimes with a full countenance she defuseth her light, sometimes the suffers a sad Eclipse) they may be the lesse troubled in future times, that they may seasonably prepare their minds for all hazards, and may learn to seek securities and blessings, not under the Sun, but in Heaven, for this reason from the first Originall, we have have briefly deliniated all the most famous mutations of the Bohemian Church, especially since the story of our Martyrs under Gentilisme, Papacy, and fained Protestantisme is communicated but to a few; for beside Hus, Jerom of Prague, and Milisius (whom the Catologue of the witnesses of truth remembers) the book of Martyrs is silent of other sufferers: we thought good therefore by this occasion to join old stories with new, comprehending them both with as much brevity as possible, and faithfully to declare them in a Historical stile; the former stories we have taken out of our Historians; the latter are faithfully collected, either out of our own proper observation, or from the testimony of eye witnesses: and this last persecution of Ferdinand, although it may seem to bee raised on politick causes, and a great part of those miseries which befell the faithfull, to be acted by the licenciousnesse of Souldiers, by the course of War, yet none will deny, but that the constant asserters of the Gospel were Martyrs, who will consider those words in the 13 Revel. 7. and it was given to the Beast to make Warre with the Saints, and overcome. Had not Nebucadonozor a politick cause to destroy Jerusalem (to wit) the rash and obstinate defection of the Jewish people from him, yet you may know what account God makes of his destroying them: consult with Isaiah 47. 6, 7. Jer. 50. 18, 19. Zach. 1. 14, 18. and in many other places. Did not the Jewes give occasion to the persecution of Antioch, by their Domestical tumults, as may appear in the 2. of Machabees 5. 11? there is another intention in God, who chastises his Church for their faults; and in the enemy who seeks to destroy it, therefore we lawfully say, with that Martyr mentioned 2. Machabees 7. 32. We suffer for our sinnes. Yet thou who doth wage war with God in persecuting his servants, thou shalt not escape the judgement of the Almighty. We could have wished these things more copiously to have been collected, and more accurately set down, than our present state will suffer us; but in regard we have been often admonished to communicate some late transactions done in our Country and Church, we had rather give this, than not to satisfie the desires of those that are good. When God shall bring us home again, which we hope, other memorable things may be added and these things which are now written, declared with more evidence Farewell.
In our banishment in
the year, 1632.
N. N. N. &c.