About this, time, George of the house of Jacob, called Blaurck, having for about two or three years, in Switzerland, but particularly in the earldom of Tyrol, whither he had gone, spread and proclaimed the doctrine of the truth, that he might put his talent to use (Matt. 25:15 ), and by his zeal for the house of God be a means of salvation, was apprehended with his companions, at Gusodaum, condemned for the faith, and burnt alive not far from Clausen, for these articles, namely: That he had forsaken his office as priest, which he had formerly exercised in popery; that he disregarded infant baptism, and taught people a new baptism; that he rejected the mass; that he likewise rejected the confession of the priests as founded by them, and that the mother of Christ is not to be invoked or worshiped. For these reasons he was executed, and laid down his life, as behooves a soldier and hero of the faith: On the place of execution he earnestly spoke to the people, and pointed them to the Scriptures.
The love of the truth having begun to burn among .the nations, and the fire of God having thus started, many were put to death for the testimony of the truth, in the earldom of Tyrol, especially in the following places: In the Gusodein district: at Clausen, Brixen, Stertzing, Balzen, Neumark, Katren, Terlen, Gundersweg; in the valley of the Inn; at Imst. ketersberg, Stejen in the Spruckthal, Schwatz, Rattenburg, Kufstein and Kitzbuehl. In these places a great multitude of believers constantly testified with their blood to the truth, through fire, water and the sword. Thus the people of God, as well as the great persecution increased daily. Jacob Huter became one of the overseers and teachers in the earldom of Tyrol, and not long after, with his people, united with the church which
was in Moravia. After Jacob Huter removed with his people from the earldom to Moravia, partly compelled by great persecution, the tyranny in the earldom of Tyrol became daily more vehement; so that the pious had but few places where they could remain and many of them were apprehended, and put to death in various ways, for the faith. To this end the priests violently and furiously proclaimed from the pulpit, that- care should be taken, to ferret them out; and to destroy them with fire and sword. Much money was also repeatedly offered and promised to those who should inform against then; by means of which they were several times betrayed. They were sought in every way, in forests and in houses, wherever their presence was suspected; in every place, also in closed gardens, which had to be opened, or they would be broken open, and searched. . There was a Judas, called Prabeiger, who made use of his subtle artifice, thinking to obtain a large reward. He went to the authorities, and betrayed them all, bringing with him bailiffs and children of Pilate, with swords, spears, and staves, and went before them, just as Judas the traitor did, Matt. 26:47. They caught a great number, and dispersed the rest. Not long after, when they again assembled, another Iscariot, called George Frueder, manifested himself. He went to the priests, saying that if they would pay him, he would, go, and none of the brethren should be able to conceal himself from him. Then the priests, the generation of the scribes and Pharisees, gave him money and good wages, and also .a letter. This rogue then went out, assumed the form and,semblance of an angel, and visited now and then such as he suspected of having knowledge of this matter. He inquired everywhere in the Pusterthal, where the brethren were, and how he could find their, desiring assistance to this end. With much weeping the rogue made this request, pretending that he could not rest until he were with them. Thus he deceived them, so that he finally came to them. He, appeared before them very sad, humble and tender. As one who seeks to repent and to amend his way. He then very suddenly said, "My brethren, grant me this, and wait a little while, and I will go home and fetch my wife and child." Many thoughts came to the minister and he said to hint, "If you, are false of heart, and your intention evil, God will certainly find you, and you shall speedily bring down' His judgment upon you." But he said, "Oh no, God preserve me from that; come with Me. into my house." Thus he went away, and hastened to the judge, the magistrate, and the priests, who came with force, with swords and sticks, and apprehended the brethren and sisters.
Several other villains of this class manifested themselves, especially, one whose name was Peter Lantz, and one named Pranger. Sonic went about by night with much craftiness, acted in the same manner, and went to places and houses where they expected to find these people; but God gave themthe recompense which they deserved, so that they might have wished that they had never been born.
Besides the above-mentioned George Blaurock. there was also .one Hans van der Reve, both of whom belonged to the number of those who sincerely received the truth of the holy Gospel, and helped found and build the Christian church, in the time when the truth had long been obscured in popery and by other errors. And when they had thus for a time faithfully exercised their ministry, edified and instructed many, and put their talent effectually to usury (Matt. 25:15), they were finally apprehended by the envious children of Cain, and burned at Clausen, in Etzlandt, A. D. 1529.
And in order to show that in all. .this they rejoiced in God, and also sought to console and strengthen their brethren, they left them the following memorial:, "Lord God, I will praise Thee now and until my end; because Thou hast given me faith, by which I have learned to know Thee. Thou sendest to me Thy divine Word, which I am able to find and perceive that it is from pure grace. From Thee, O God, have.I received it as Thou knowest. -I firmly hope that it will. not return unto Thee void. Isa. 55:11. O Lord, strengthen my heart to this. My heart rejoices because I know Thy will. When I felt the heavy load of sin in me, which exceedingly troubled me (Ps. 3$:6), I would have had to perish and suffer everlasting pain hadst Thou,C God, not come to me with the Word of Thy divine grace. Acts 10:37. For this I will now 'magnify and praise Thy glorious name forever, because Thou dost always show Thyself a merciful dear Father. Cast me not off but receive me as Thy child. Therefore I cry unto Thee, help, O Father, that I may be Thy child and heir. O Lord, strengthen my faith (Luke 17:5)., else, if Thy help should not succor me, my building should soon fall. Do not forget me, O Lord, but be with. me always; thy Holy Spirit protect and teach me,that in all .my sufferings I may, ever receive Thy consolation, so that valiantly fighting, in this conflict, I may gain the victory. I Cor. 9:25-27., "The enemy fights a battle with me in the field in which I now am; he would fain drive me from the field. But Thou, ,O Lord, givest me the victory. He ran against me with sharp weapons, so that all my limbs quaked before the false doctrine and their constraints. But Thou, O Lord, hadst compassion upon me; and didst help me, Thy son, poor man, with Thy. grace, and powerful hand, and madest me to overcome. O God, how soon didst Thou hear me; thou speedily camest with Thy help and turnedst back mine enemies; therefore I will sing praises unto Thy name in my heart, and forever spread abroad the grace, which has come to me., "Now, I pray Thee, Father, for all Thy children; preserve us all forever from all the enemies of our souls. I must not trust in the flesh (I Peter 1:24), which perisheth and abideth not; but I will firmly
trust in Thy Word (Ps. 115:9), this be my consolation, on which I rely; it shall deliver me, from all my distresses, to everlasting rest. The hour of the last day, to which we all must come, is at hand. Dear Lord, help us to bear the cross to the destined place, and turn Thyself to us with all grace, that we may commend our spirit into Thy hands. I sincerely pray Thee for all our enemies, O Lord, however many there may be; do not lay their sins to their charge; Lord, I entreat this according to Thy will. Acts 7:60. And thus we (I George Blaurock, and Hans van der Reve) will depart in peace. May the good God through grace lead us into His everlasting kingdom, as we firmly trust that He will, and finish His holy work in us and give us strength to the end, Amen."
This evidently came to pass, when these two so steadfastly and boldly died and were burned, for the truth.
God administers a righteous judgment (Ps. 7:11; Rom. 2:5), which no one can set aside, and him who does not His will, He will judge. But Thou, O Lord; art good, and sufferest Thyself to be found gracious, and all those who use diligence to do Thy will, Thou acceptst as Thy children. We justly give praise and thanks to Thee' through Jesus Christ, for all Thy benefits and goodness, and beseech Thee to preserve and guard us from sin, The sinner in this life brings a severe judgment upon himself, which he shall hereafter regret; for though God faithfully warns him, yet will he not forsake his sinful life; but when the Lord shall come in His glory to judge, then shall the sinner repent; for no excuse will then avail.
He now causes His divine Word to be published, and instructs men, that they should turn from their sinful life, believe in Christ, be baptized upon faith, and obey the Gospel. Therefore, ye children of men, forsake your sins, and remain no longer hardened, sick wicked and blind; now that you can find the physiician, who can heal all infirmities, and avail yourselves of his help without money. Matt. 9:12. Oh, how awful will it be with the sinner who now refuses help and counsel, when he shall be sentenced by God into everlasting pain, where he will have to remain and suffer forever and ever. Matt. 25:46. But Thou, O Lord, art a righteous God. Thou wilt deceive no one, but wilt preserve those that sincerely love Thee, from the second death.
Thou, O Lord, art a strong God, who will cast into hell, which has now opened wide her mouth, all the wicked and those who hate and afflict Thy children. But Thy mercy is great over those who repent, and Thou, through Jesus Christ, forgivest their sins. This is what God requires: that the whole human race should fear and love Him, that they should follow His Son Jesus Christ, and observe His divine doctrine. But when the sinner is exhorted to the love of God, he shows by the deed that he considers it a mockery; for this however he shall pay dearly, for God can not be deceived by appearance.
Antichrist threatens those who fear God with great severity and ignominy. Therefore we beseech Thee, O Lord, strengthen Thy feeble vessels: but we know, that if we patiently endure all this for Thy name's sake, Thou, in Thy faithfulness, wilt not forsake us; but dost renew and strengthen us daily, that we may continue on Thy narrow way. Matt. 7:14. We cry to Thee through Christ, for the sake of His bitter suffering (Isa. 53), in which we recognize Thy faithfulness and love; and this consoles us on our pilgrimage. Do not forsake us, Thy children, henceforth unto the end; but constantly offer us Thy fatherly hand that we may finish our course; for when we have finished our course, the crown is prepared by the young man (II Esd. 2:43) who hung on the cross for us, on which he suffered greatly for our sakes. Grant, O Lord, that we may be thankful, so that we may joyfully behold Thee, our Father. O Father, through grace Thou didst choose us, and didst not despise to put us into Thy work; grant that, when the evening comes, we may receive the hire with rejoicing. Matt. 20:1, 8.
Through Christ Thy Son make us ready for the heavenly supper, and clothe us with Thy Holy Spirit. In that supper, Thy Son, our Redeemer, shall serve us at the table. Luke 12:37. Oh, how blessed are they which are called to this supper (Rev. 19:9), and who in all sorrow adhere to Christ unto the end, even as He steadfastly suffered for us on the cross; and thus it is with all His followers on the earth; and all who shall keep their wedding garment undefiled to the end. Upon their heads the young man shall set crowns. But he who is not clothed with this garment, when the King will inspect His guests, shall be sternly reproved, bound hand and foot, and cast into outer darkness. O Lord, give us true love so to walk, that when we come we will not find the door closed, as was the case with the foolish virgins, who had no oil in their lamps, and said, "Lord, open to us," but could not go in: but that we may happily watch with the five wise virgins, and may also enter into the glorious marriage feast of eternal heavenly joy, when the King, with His trumpets, shall call and assemble His elect. Therefore, O Zion, thou holy church of God, see that thou hold fast unto the end that which thou hast received, and keep thyself unspotted from sin, and thou shalt, through grace, receive the eternal crown. I Cor. 9:25; II Tim. 4:8.