The History of the Bohemian Persecution/Chapter 98

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The History of the Bohemian Persecution  (1650)  by Johan Amos Comenius, translated by Anonymous
Chapter 98


The Reformation of Zaticum.

Zaticum (called in the German tongue,) is that City which Prince Anhaltinus Georgius in his Sermon concerning the Sacrament saith, they did never receive the Communion under one kinde, but did constantly, even from its first conversion to Christian Religion retaine the custome of communicating, or receiving it, under both kinds. This lets mee ad, that it did even maturely shake off the follies of the Calickstines, and followed alwayes more pure and received opinions.

2. The Monkes being by the helpe of an Army, alwayes lying about the City, settled in the place of that Orthodox Pastor, Iohn Regius, who was banished; did severall wayes trouble this City not onely according to their manner in their Sermons rayling against heresie and Hereticks, but also beating their heads, and other parts of their bodies with canes, pulling off their hats, and giving them to the souldiers, who would not be present at the carrying about of the Host, and kneel and uncover their heads. In the year 1625. they carried things in a more severe manner upon the day of the body, they bear about there breaden diety, accompanied with no small number of the common people; the Consul Bohuslaus Strialus being absent he was fined fifty royalls, the souldiers spent three whole dayes in junketting and using the creatures not onely to saciety, but also horribly abusing them in like manner, other Senators and whosoever were absent were by them fin’d.

3. The same year, the twelfth day of August, Don Martin de Hewerda, caused two Mandates to bee proclaimed both in the church and Court, the former concerned the bringing in of Bibles and other Evangelicall bookes into the Court, and that upon pain of payment of a hundred Bohemian Florences, or five weekes imprisonment, in the other was required a constant attendance upon Church and Masse, upon the pain of payment of five Florences and three pound of wax: whereupon there arose great alterations and hesitations among the people, there being a great quantity of books brought upon the 22 day of the same moneth into the Court, they were forthwith burnt without the walls.

4. In the year 1626 the 6 of January the Martinian horse-men, having finished their intended deformation in the neighbouring Lunencian Church, go with speed to Zaticum, and being brought into the houses of those Citizens that did refuse to dissert from the Gospell, they did extort from them a great summe of money, to be paid day by day. Upon the 20 of Jan. Don Martin himself follows these, upon whose comming, many of the faithfull, through fear, did forthwith forsake their houses, and other enjoyments, and yielded themselves up to the hardships of a banished condition. He in the mean time proclaimed, that none without his consent should goe out of the gates, under pain of death. Which Proclamation he caused to be set upon the doors of the Court. The day following the Consull was arrested, nor could he have his liberty restored unlesse upon the promise of Apostacy: but two Senators, Matthias Litomiskie, and Samuel Klatowskey (because that a little before they had refused to adore the Host) were bound with Iron chains, and for fourteen days together grievously tormented, till that they also by reason of their sufferings were forced to consent to the like Apostacy.

5. The 26. day of January the Senate and the people being called together, he being accompanied with Iesuites, and the chief Commanders of the Souldiers enters the Court, and Commands that all should submit themselves to sars will to Auricular Confession, and should receive the Sacrament under one kind: withall, telling them that those that were obedient, should be eased of the Souldiers, but that those that were disobedient, should have their burthens doubled, and likewise commanding that every one in order, should answer for himself: whether he would promise to perform this within three weeks.

6. There being none of the Senate through fear of the Tyrants refusing, Wenceslaus Wysotsky, Tribune of the people modestly pretending the Lawes of Conscience, desires a freedom for himselfe, but the furious deformator leaping out of his seat, beats him about the head, abused him with most cursed words, among others take these, Thou art an unworthy knave, that thou shouldest be in this place, I will command thee to be bound all fower, and to be throwen into a deep Dungeon, where thou shalt not see the light of Heaven, and when thou hast vomited out thy wicked soule, I will deliver thee to the Hangman to be buried, &c.

Presently he commands the Prætor of the Souldiers that he should command chaines and fetters to be brought, Officers were then present, they bind his hands and feete with Iron, and put upon his neck an Iron choller, with a thick chaine from whence Manacles hung down, and so bring him thus bound into the Dungeon, where for the space of three weeks, [none being permitted to come to him, no not his Wife nor Children] being tormented with hard chaines, and sustained with nothing but bread and water, he was also continually vexed and infected by the Iesuites, when that they had discovered unto him the sentence of death [because that in a rebellious Sermon he sought to move tumults among the common people] he seemed willingly rather to choose this then Apostasie. P. Chanowskie the Iesuite said, that he was possessed with the Devill, and commanded that he should be more strictly bound; so the good man seeing himself neither to be in likelihood of life or death, being in a most weak condition, does now at last consent to the auricular confession, and having obtained leave to go to the bathes, for the recovery of his health, he betook himself to Aniburgh of Misnia intending not to return to the Tyrants.

7. In like manner all the best of the Citizens did desire banishment, and because that the gates were more strictly beser, least that any should get out or carry away any thing of their Housholdstuffe, many went about to take out of the hands of Babylon which way soever they might, even by the ruines of the walles, their miserable lives, or rather their soules, by which way more then thousands went out leaving all to the persecutors: and among these the wife of the Lord Kralitz, a rich woman, who having left behind her abundance of good Housholdstuffe, got out of the City through a Channel of the wall, by which the filth of the City was carried out, and so followed her Husband.

8. But if any of the banished were opprest with want (for Misnia could exhaust mony out of the banished) but did not know how to afford never any Councelor help, they went into Bohemia, seeking every where help, or rather almes, and so being betrayed, were taken as it happened lately to two Masters, Citizens of Zalicum, Mr. Lucius and Stalco, which the Popish Priest [the good man Woolfegang Sekera being already thrust out of pay] Paulus Sekera not worthy to be a blower of Coles, having taken them, did punish them first with a yeares imprisonment at home, afterwards Don Martin sent them into welhartice Castle to be tormented, who being by their long imprisonment deprived of their health, and almost of the use of their reason, they are sent away halfe alive to certain places.