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V» PRINCETON, N. J. ■»% 

BX 4805 .W95 v. 3 

Wylie, James Aitken, 1808 

The history of Protestantisr 

v. ^ 

Th e H istory 



Rev. J. A. WYLIE, LL.D., 

Author of '■'The Papacy," "Daybreak in Spain," &=i:. 


'Protestantism, the sacred cause of God's Light and Truth against the Devil's Falsity and 

Darkness." — Carlyle. 

Volume IIL 

Cassell Fetter & Galpin: 



^aoJi CigfitccntTj. 


I. — The Nethehlands and theiu Inhaiutants 
II. — Introdvctiox of Protestantism into the Netherlands . 
III. — Anttterp : IT.-. Confessors and Martyrs . 
rV.— Abdication op Charles V., and Accession of Philip II. 
V. — Philip Arranges the Government of the Netherlands, and Departs for Spain 
VI. — Storms in the Council, and Martyrs at the Stake • . 
VII. — Retirement of Granvelle — Beloic Confession of Faith 
VIII. — The Risino Storm 
IX. — The Confederates or "Beggars" 
X. — The Field-Preachings 
XI. — The Imaoe-Bkeakinbs 

XII. — Reaction — ^Submission of the Southern Netherland: 
XIII. — The Council op Blood .... 

XrV. — "William Unfurls his Standard — Execution of Eomont and Horn 
XV. — Failure op William's First Campaign .... 

XVI. — The "Beggars of the Sea," and Second Campaign of the Puince of OR.Uf 
XVII. — William's Second Campaign, and Submission of Bkahant and Fi.andebs 
XVni. — The Siege of Haarlem ....... 

XIX. — Siege of Alkma^ir, and Recall of ..... 

XX. — Third Campaign of William, and Death oi- Count Louis of N.vssai' 
XXI. — The Sieoe of Leyden ....... 

XXII. — March of the Spanish Army through the Se.\ — Sack or Antwerp . 
XXIII. — The " Pacuu ation of (jhent," and Toleration 
XXIV. — Administration of Don John, and First Synod or Dor.T 
XXV. — Akjur.\tion of Philip, and Rise of the Seven United Provinces 
XXVI. — Assassination of William the Silent ..... 

XXVII. — Order and Government of the Netherland Church . 
XXVin. — Disorganisation of the Provinces ..... 

XXIX. — The Synod of Dort ........ 

XXX. — Grandeur or the United Provinces ..... 





















"Sooft Jiitnctecntfe. 


I. — Rise axd Spueab op Protestantism ix Polaxd . 
II. — John- Alasco, axd Kefokmation of East Fkiesland 
III. — Acme of Protestantism is Poi.axi> .... 

r\'. — Organisation of the Protestant Chvrch of Poland 

v. Turning of the Tide of Protestantism in Pol.and 

VI._The Jesiits Enter Poland— Destruction of its Protestantism 
Vn. — Bohemia — Entrance of Reformation .... 
Vm. — Overthrow of Protestantism in Bohsmia 
IX. — An Army of Martyrs ...... 

X. — Suppression of Protestantism in* Bohemia 

%00k Orwcnticttl. 

I. — Planting of Protestantism ....-• 
n.— Protest.antism Flourishes in Hungary anu Transylvania 
m. — Ferdinand II. and the Eiu. of Persecution 
TV. — Leopold I. and the Jesuits ..... 

v. — Banishment of Pastors and Desolation of the Church of Hungary 

■^oofi (3riBcnt?-ficst. 
I. — Great Periods of the Thirty Years' War .... 

n. — The Army and the Camp ....... 

III. — The Maiech and its Devastations ...... 

IV. — Conquest of North Germany iiy Fekdinanh II. and the " Catholic League 
V. — Edict of Restitution ....... 

VI. — Arrival of Gustavus Adolphus in Germany .... 

VII. — Fall of Magdehuro and Victory of Leipsic .... 

VIII. — Conquest op the Rhine and Bavarh — Battle of Lutzen 
IX. — Death op Gustavus Adolphus ...... 

X. — The Pacification op Westphalia ...... 

XI. — The Fatherland after the War ..... 

'2Pooh (€«)ctitii-8cconti. 


I. — Louis XIII. and the Wars tw Religion ........ 309 

■ II. — Fall of La Rochellk, and Enh of the Wars of Religion ...... 316 




IV. — The Dragos.'Nades ...... 

V. — Kevocation of the Edict of Nantes 
VI. — The Prisons and the Galleys .... 

VII. — The " Church of the Desert " . 

^ooh Cttjcntp-tjiirti. 
I. — ^The King and the Scholars .... 

H. — Cardinal Wolsey and the New Testament of Erasmus 
III. — William Tyndale and the English New Testament 
IV. — Tyndale's New Testament Arrives in England , 

V. — The Bible and the Cellar at Oxford — Anne Boleyn 
VI. — The Divorce — Thomas Bilney, the Martyr 
VTI. — The Divorce, and Wolsey's Fall 
Vni. — Cranmer — Cromwell — The Papal Sufremacy Abolished 
IX. — The King declared Head op the Church of England 
X. — Scaffolds — Death of Henry VIII. 
XI. — The Church of England as Reformed by Cranmer 
XII. — Deaths op Protector Somerset and Edward VT. 
XTTI. — Restoration of the Pope's Authority in England 
XIV. — The Burnings under ILuiv .... 

XV. — Elizabeth — Restoration op the Protestant Church 
XVI. — Excommunication of Elizabeth, and Plots of the Jesuits 
XVn. — The Armada — Its Building .... 

XVIII. — The Armada Arrives off England 
XIX. — Destruction op the Armada .... 

XX. — Greatness of Protestant England 

■JBoofi (arwents-fourtft. 
I. — The Darkness and the Daybreak .... 


m. — Wishart IS Burned, and Knox comes forward 
TV. — Kkox's Call to the SIinistuy and First Sermon 
V. — Knox's Fi.nal Return to Scotland .... 

VI. — Establishment op the Reformation in Scotland 
VII. — Constitution op the " Kirk " — Arrival of Mary Stuart 
VIII. — Knox's Interview with Queen Mary .... 
IX. — Trial of Knox for Treason ..... 



X. — The Last Days of Qieen Mary and John Knox 
XI. — Andkew Melville — The Tulchan Bishops 
XII. — Battles for Pbesbyterianism and Liberty 
XIII. — James VI. in England — The Gunpowder Plot . 
XIV. — Death of James VI., and Spiritual Awakening in Scotland 
XV. — Charles I. and Archbishop Laud — Eeligiovs Innovations 
XVI. — The National Covenant and Assembly of 1638 
XVII. — Civil War — Solemn Leaoie — Westminster Assembly . 


XIX. — Eestokation of Charles II., and St. Barthclomew Day, 166 
XX. — Scotland — Middleton's Tyranny — Act Recissory 
XXI. — Establishment of Prelacy in Scotland . 
XXII. — Four Hun-dred Ministers Ejected 
XXIII. — Breach of the " Triple League " and War with Holland 
XXIV. — The Popish Plot, and Death of Charles II. 
XXV. — The First Eising of the Scottish Presbyterians 
XXVI.— The Field-Preaching or "Conventicle" 
XXVU. — Drumclog — Bothwell Bridge — The "Killing Times" . 
XXVIII. — James II. — Projects to Restore Popery . 
XXIX. — A Great Crisis in England and Christendom . 
XXX. — Protestantism Mounts the Throne of Great Britain . 






John Knox and Mary Queen of Scots at Holyrood Palace 
View of a Canal in Holland ..... 

View of the High Altar in the Church of Rotterdam 
Nicholas Preaching to the Crowd from a Boat on the Scheldt 
View of Antwerp ....... 

The Emperor Charles V. Addressing the Estates on Resigning the Crown to his Son 
Philip's Fleet Scattered hy the Tempest .... 

Margaret, Duchess of Parma ..... 

Walter Capel Reading the Scriptures to his Daughter 
View of the Chapel of "Saint Sang" (Holy Blood), Bruges 
Cardinal Granvelle ...... 

View of the Town-hall, .\mstcrdam .... 

A Field-preaching near Ghent ..... 

Dutch Protestants in Hiding ..... 

Iconoclasts Destroying the Images and Altar Decorations of a Roman Catholic Church 
A Village Green in Holland ..... 

The Countess de Rcux Visiting De Bray and La Grange in Prison 
View of a Church in Holland ..... 

The Duke of Alva ....... 

Count Egmont on the Scaffold before his Execution 

Lamoral, Count of Egmont ..... 

Philip Montmorency, Count of Horn .... 

View of the Gate of Dort or Dordrecht .... 

Repulse of the Spanish Soldiers at Amsterdam 

View of the Hotel do Ville, Middelburg .... 

Action between the Spanish Fleet and the Ships of the Sea Beggars 
View of Porte Rabot, Ghent ..... 

William the Silent, Prince of Orange .... 

View of the Belfry, Ghent ..... 

View on the Canal, Ghent ...... 

View of the Church of St. Laurence, Rotterdam . 

Don John of Austria ...... 

The Prince of Orange in his Barge on his way to Brussels 
Alexander Famese, Duke of Panna .... 

Death of William the Silent, Prince of Orange . 

View in Haarlem : the Com Market .... 

View of Flushing ....... 

James Arminius ....... 

Episcopius Addressing the Members of the Synod of Dort 
Prince Slaurice of Nassau ...... 

View of the Court of the T'niversity of Cracow . 
John Alasco and his Congregation leaving England 




Radziwill's Miracle : Curing a Sham Demoniac . 

View of the Market-place of Cracow .... 

The Marshal of Pohmd Demanding the Oath from the Difke of Anjou 
View of the Tomh of Anne Jagellon in the Cathedral of Cracow 
View in Prague : the Powder Tower . . ■ 

Louis A'ictor and the Monk ..... 

Arrest of One of the Bohemian Chiefs .... 

View of the Palace of the Bohemi:m Kings, and the Cathedral of Hardschin 
Tower of the Bridge of Prague, to which the Heads of the Martyrs were affixed 
Departure of the Banished ilinisters from Kuttcnherg . 
View of the Grosse Ring, Prague, where the BlartjTS were Executed 
Soliman the Magnificent ..... 

Eoumanian Peasants of Transylvania 

View of a Mining Village in Transylvania 

View of Old Grate at Kolosvar, Transylvania 

Leopold I. . 

The Chemist and the Emperor .... 

The Scala Sancta, or " Holy Stairs," Rome 

Ejecting a Himgarian Protestant Pastor in the Winter time 

View of Presburg ...... 

Market in Nurcijiberg ..... 

Storm on a Moor in Saxony .... 

In Nuremberg ...... 

Under the Linden-trees ..... 

Albrecht von Wallenstein ..... 

View of the Town-hall of Halberstadt 
Gusta\-us Adolphus taking Leave of the States . 
Gustavus Adolphus ..... 

Fig. I. — Fac-simile of a Lutheran Envelope {Eeverse) : Centenary of the Deliverance of Augsburg 
Fig. n. — ,, „ „ (04w)-5c) : Entry of Gustavus Adolphus into Augsburg 

View of the Town-hall, Breslau (Silesia) ..... 

Death of Gusta\Tis Adolphus ....... 

John, Count de Tilly ........ 

Court of a House in Nuremberg ....... 

Axel, Count Oxenstiema ........ 

The Banquet at Nui-embcrg ....... 

View of the Tomb of St. Sebald, Nuremberg ..... 

View in La Rochelle : the Street of the Bishopric and St. Bartholomew Belfry 
Cardinal Richelieu ........ 

View of La Rochelle : the Lantern Tower and Harbour Entrance, from the Mail Gardens 
Huguenot Medals or Communion "Tokens" ..... 

Cardinal Mazarin ......... 

View in Nantes, showing the Tower ...... 

A Protestant Pastor Addressing a Secret Assembly of Huguenots 

Portrait of Louis XIV. ........ 

Fac-similes of Medals struck in honour of the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes 

Protestants Worshipping by Night in the Church of the Desert 

Old St. Paul's Cathedral ....... 

View of Linacre's House, Knightridcr Street, London . 

Sir Thomas More ........ 

Procession of Wolsey to Westminster Hall .... 

View of the Interior of Old St. Paul's Cathedral, looking East . 

Fac-simile of St. Matthew's Gospel, Chapter xiii., verses 1 — 15, from Tjmdale's 

Henry VIII 

View of Latimer's Supposed Birth-place in Thurcaston . 

Testament (Octavo Edition) 


View of Thurcaston Church ..... 

Fac-similc of Numhers x-xiv. 16 — 19 (Tyndtik, 15.31) 

Fac-simile of Isaiah xii. {Ti/ndale, 1534) . 

Portrait of AVilliam Tj-ndale ..... 

Thomas Bilney on his way to the Stake .... 

View at Hampton Court ...... 

An-ival of Wolsey at the Abbey at Leicester 

Fisher, Bishop of Rochester .... 

The Coronation Procession of Anne Bole}ii to Westminster Abbey 

Reduced Fac-simile of the Title-page of the Great Bible 

Coronation of Edward VI. — Procession Passing Cheapside Cross, 1547 

Archbishop Cranmor ...... 

Views of Westminster Abbey: the Western Towers — Heniy VII.'s Chapel — the Cloisters 

Nicholas Ridley — John Rogers — John Hooper — Hugh Latimer .... 

Fae-simile of the llcdal struck to celebrate the Return of England to Roman Catholicism 

Latimer Exhorting Ridley at the Stake ....... 

Views in the Tower of London : White Tower — Middle Tower — Staircase in White Tower — Bloody Tower- 
Tower — St. John's Chapel — Byward Tower — Passage in Bloody Tower — Bell Tower — Byward 
Traitor's Gate ...... 

Queen Eli2abeth ....... 

View of the West Porch of Rochester Cathedral . 

Queen Elizabeth Addressing her Troops at Tilbiuy 

EngUsh Fire-ships sent into the Armada .... 

Thanksgiving Procession for the Defeat of the Armada . 

John Jewell ....... 

Edmund Grindal ....... 

John Fox ........ 

John Aylmer ....... 

View of the Ruins of the Fends or Gateway of a Monastery, St. Andrews 

View of Linlithgow Palace ..... 

View of St. Salvator's Church, St. Andrews 

Parting of Patrick Hamilton from his Friends at the Stake 

George Wishart ....... 

View of the Ruins of the Castle, St. Andrews (Cardinal's Palace) 

George Wishart Protecting his would-be Assassin 

Knox's Pulpit, St. Andrews' Parish Church 

View of St. Giles's Cathedral, Edinburgh 
■ Mary Queen of Scots Entering Holyrood .... 

Portrait of Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots .... 

View of Knox's House, High Street, Edinburgh . 

Portrait and Autograph of John Knox .... 

John Knox ........ 

The Death-warrant of Mary Queen of Scots 

View of the Ruins of Blackfriars' Chapel, St. Andrews . 

George Buchanan ....... 

Guy Fawkes's Cellar ...... 

Guy Fawkes and the Chief Conspirators .... 

View of IIoljTOod Palace ...... 

Family WorHhip in a Cavalier's Household 

Archbishop Laud ....... 

Janet Gcddcs Flinging her Stool at the Dean of Edinburgh 

The Swearing and Subscribing of the National Covenant in Gre)-friars' Churchyard, EiUnbur; 

Charles I. ........ 

View of the Old Market Cross, Edinburgh 

Richard Baxter ....... 

View of the Kuins of the Cathedral of St. Andrews 



Tower — 


View of Edinburgh C'ustlo from the Grassmarkct 

View of Glasgow Cathedral ..... 

A Conventicle : Worship on the HiU-side 

View of Dunkii-k from the Sea ..... 

The Interior of the Chapel Koyal (Banqueting House), WTiitehall 

Burning the Tope in Effigy at Temple Bar 

The Pentland Hills 

The Old Covenanter's Last Sermon .... 

Thomas Dalzicl of Birms ...... 

Covenantors Worshipping by the Banks of the 'Whitadder 
View of the High Street, Lanark ..... 

Robert Lcighton, Archbishop of Glasgow {^i. 40) 

View of the Martj-rs' Monument, Greyfriars' Churchyard, Edinburgh 

Richard Baxter before Judge Jeffreys .... 

View of Judge Jeffreys' House, Duke Street, Westminster 
Portraits of the Seven Bishops . . . . 

View of the Interior of the Chapel Royal, St. James's . 
William III 



VIEW OF A CANAL IN HOLLAND (Fioil (lie PttintlJlJ 6/ Ian del H ? ) 

History of Protestantism. 

Boofe €igl)tffntl;. 




Eatavi.a— Formed by Joint Action of the Rhine and the Sea— Dismal Territory— The Pii-st Inhabitants— Belgiuni 
—Holland— Their First Strugsjles with the Oeean— Their Second with the Roman Power-They Pass under 
Charlemagne— Rise and Greatness of their Commerce— Civic Rights and Liberties— These Threatened by the 
Austro-Burgundian Emperors— A Divine Principle comes to their Aid. 

Descending from the summits of the Alps, and 
rolling its floods along tlie vast i)lain which ex- 
tends from the Ural Mountains to the shores of 
the Gennan Ocean, the Rhine, before finally falling 

into the sea, is parted into two streams which en- 
close between them an island of goodly dimensions. 
TliLs island is the heart of the Low Countries. Its 
soil spongy, its air Ivumid, it had no attractions 


to iiulucc mail to make it his dwelling, save in- 
deed that nature had strongly fortified it by 
enclosing it on two of its sides with the broad 
arm* of the disparted river, and on the thii-d and 
remaining one with the waves of the North Sea. 
ItsS earliest inhabitants, it is believed, were Celts. 
About a century before our era it was left unin- 
habited ; its first settlers being carried away, partly 
in the rush southward of the first horde of war- 
riors that set out to assail the Roman Empu-e, and 
partly by a tremendous inimdation of the ocean, 
wliieh submerged many of the huts which dotted 
its forlorn surface, and drowned many of its misei'- 
able inhabitants. Fiuiling it empty, a German 
tribe from tlie Hercyniau forest took possession 
of it, and called it L'etaiiw, that is, the " Good 
JMeadow," a name that has descended to our day in 
the appellative Batavia. 

North and south of the " Good Meadow " the 
land is similar in character and origin. It owes 
its place on the surfiice of the earth to the joint 
action of two forces — the powerful current of the 
Rliine on tlie one side, continually bi-ingiug down 
vast quantities of materials from the mountains 
and higher plains, and the tides of the restless 
ocean on the other, casting uj) sand and mud from 
its bed. Thus, iji the course of ages, slowly rose 
the land which was destined in the sixteenth 
century to be the seat of so many proud cities, 
and the theatre of so many sublime actions. 

An expanse of shallows and lagoons, neither land 
nor water, but a thin consistency, quaking beneath 
the foot, and liable every spring and winter to tlie 
terrible calamities of being drowned by the waves, 
when the high tides or the fierce tempests heaped 
lip the waters of the North Sea, and to be over- 
ilo\ni V)y the Rhine, when its floods were swollen 
Ijy the long-continued rains, what, one asks, tempted 
the first inhabitants to occupy a countiy whose 
conditions were so wretched, and which was liable 
moreo^■er to be overwhelmed by catastrophes so 
tremendous ? Perhaps they saw in this oozy and 
lierbless expanse the elements of future fertility. 
Perhaps they deemed it a safe retreat, from which 
thoy might issue forth to spoil and ravage, and to 
which they might retire and defy pursuit. But 
from whatever, both the centre island and 
tlie whole adjoining coast soon found inhabitants. 
The Germans occupied the centre ; the Belgaj took 
possession of the strij) of coast stretching to the 
south, now known as Belgium. The similar strip 
running ofi" to tlie north, Holland namely, was pos- 
sessed by the Fiisians, wlio formed a population 
in which the German and Celtic elements were 
blended without uniting. 

The youth of these three tribes was a severe one. 
Their first struggle was with the soil ; for wliile other 
nations choose their country, the Netherlanders 
had to create theu-s. They began by converting 
the swamps and quicksands of which they had 
taken possession into grazing-lands and corn-fields. 
Nor could they rest even after this task had been 
accomplished : they had to be continually on the 
watch agauist the two great enemies that were ever 
ready to spring upon them, and rob them of the 
comitry which their industry had enriched and 
their skUl embellished, by rearing and maintaining 
great dj'kes to defend themselves on the one side 
from the sea, and on the other from the river. 

Their second great struggle was with the Roman 
power. The mistress of the world, in her onward 
march over the West, was embracing within her 
limits the forests of Germany, and the warlike tribes 
that dwelt in them. It is the pen of Julius Ca;sar, 
recoi'ding his victorious advance, that first touches 
the darkness that shrouded this land. When the cur- 
tain rises, the tribe of the Nervii is seen drawn up 
on the banks of the Sambre, awaitmg the appi'oach 
of the master of the world. We see them closing 
in terrific battle with his legions, and maintaining 
the fight till a ghastly bank of corpses proclaimed 
that they had been exterminated rather than sub- 
dued.' The tribes of Batavia now passed under 
the yoke of Rome, to which they submitted with 
great impatience. When the empire began to 
totter they rose in revolt, being joined by their 
neighbours, the Frisians and the Belgie, in the hope 
of achieving their liberty ; but the Roman power, 
though in decay, was stiU too strong to be shaken 
by the assault of these tribes, however brave ; and 
it was not till the whole German race, moved by 
an all-pervading impulse, rose and began their 
march upon Rome, that they were able, in com- 
mon with all the peoples of the North, to throw off 
the yoke of the oppressor. 

After four centuries of chequered fortunes, dur- 
ing which the Batavian element was inextricably 
blended with the Frisian, the Belgie, and the 
Frank, the Netherlanders, for so we may now call 
the mixed population, in wliich however the 
German element predominated, came under the 
empu-e of Charlemagne. They continued under his 
sway and that of his successors for some time. 
The empire whose greatness had severely taxed 
the energies of the father was too heavy for the 

' Cajsar, Comment, dc Bella Gallico, lib. ii., cap. 15 — 30. 
"Hoc praelio facto, et prope ad internecionem gente, ao 
nomine Nerviorum redacto," are the words of the con- 
queror (lib. ii., cap. 28). Niebuhr, Lectures on Roman 
History, vol. iii., pp. 43, 44; Lond and Edin., 1850. 


shoulders of Ms degenerate sons, and they contrived 
to lighten the burden by dividing it. Germany 
was finally severed from France, and in a.d. 922 
Charles the Simple, the last of the Carlovingiau 
line, presented to Coiuit Dirk tlie northern horn of 
this territory, the portion now known as Holland, 
which henceforth became the inlieritance of his 
descendants ; and about the same time, Henry the 
Fowler, of Germany, acquired the sovereignty of the 
southern portion, together with that of Lotharinga, 
the modern Lorraine, and thus the territory was 
broken into two, each part i-emaining connected 
\vith the German Empire ; but loosely so, its rulers 
yielding only a nominal homage to the head of the 
empire, whUe they exercised sovereign rights in 
their own special domain.' 

The reign of Charlemagne had effaced the last 
traces of free institutions and government by law 
which had lingered in Holland and Belgium since 
the Roman era, and substituted feudalism, or the 
government of the sword. Commerce began to 
flow, and from the thirteenth century its elevating 
influence was felt in the Netherlands. Confedera- 
tions of trading towns arose, with their chai-tere 
of freedom and their leagues of mutual defence, 
which greatly modifled the state of society in 
Europe. These confederated cities were, in fact, 
free I'epublics flourishing in the heart of despotic 
empires. The cities which were among the first 
to rise into eminence were Ghent and Bruges. 
The latter became a main entrepot of the trade 
carried on with the East by way of the Mediter- 
ranean. " The \vives and daughters of the citizens 
outvied, in the richness of their dress, that of a 

queen of France At Mechlin, a single 

indi\'idual possessed counting-houses and commer- 
cial establishments at Damascus and Grand Cairo. "-' 
To Bruges the merchants of Lombardy brought 
the wares of Asia, and thence were they dispersed 
among the towns of Northern Europe, and along 
the shores of the German Sea. " A century later, 
Antwerji, the successful rival of Venice, could, it 
is said, boast of almost five hundrctl vessels daily 
entering her ports, and two thousand carriages 
laden \ni\\ merchandise p.assiiig tjirough her gates 
every week."^ Venice, Verona, Nuremberg, and 
Bruges were the chief links of the golden chain that 
united the civilised and fertUo Eiist with the com- 
paratively rude and unskilful West. In the former 
the arts had long floiuishcd. There men were 
expert in all that Ls woven on the loom or em- 

• Miiller, JJrdv. Hist., vol. ii., bk. xiv., sec. 13—18. 
' Stevens, Hist, of the Scot. Church, Itollerdam, pp. 259, 
2G0 ; Ediu., 1833. 
s Ibid., p. 260. 

broidered by the needle ; they were able to 
engi-ave on iron, and to set precious jewels in 
cunningly-wrought frames of gold and silver and 
brass. There, too, the skOful use of the plough 
and the pruning-hook, combined with a vigorous 
soil, produced in abundance all kinds of luxuries ; 
and along the channel we have indicated were all 
these various products poured into countries where 
arts and husbandry were yet in their infancy.^ 

Such was the condition of Holland and Flanders 
at the end of the fifteenth and the beginning of 
the sixteenth centuries. They had come to rival 
the East, with which they traded. The surface 
of then- country was richly cultivated. Their 
cities were numerous ; they were enclosed witlmi 
strong ramparts, and adorned with superb public 
buildings and sumptuous churches. Theii' rights 
and privileges were guaranteed by ancient charters, 
which they jealously guarded and knew how to 
defend. They were governed by a senate, which 
possessed legislative, judicial, and administrative 
powers, subject to the Sujjreme Council at Mechlin 
— as that was to the sovereign authority. The 
population was numerous, skUful, thriving, and 
equally expert at handling the tool or -wielding tho 
sword. These artisans and weavers were divided 
into guilds, which elected their own deans or rulers. 
They were brave, and not a little turbulent. When 
the bell tolled to arms, the inmate of the workshop 
could, in a few muuites, transform himself into a 
soldier ; and these bands of artificers and weavers 
would present the appearance as well as the reality 
of an army. " Nations at the present day scarcely 
named," says Miiller, " supported their struggle 
against great armies with a heroism tliat reminds 
us of the valour of the Swiss."-' 

Holland, lying farther to the north, did not so 
largely share in the benefits of trade and commerce 
as the cities of Flanders. Giving itself- to the 
development of its internal resources, it clothed 
its soil with a fertility and beauty which more 
southern lands might have envied. Tui-ning to its 
seas, it reared a race of fishermen, wlio in process 
of time developed into the most skilful and adven- 
turous seamen in Eui'ope. Thus were laid the 
foundations of that naval ascendency which Hol- 
land for a time enjoyed, and that great colonial 
empire of which this dyke-encircled territory was 
the motlier and the mistress. "The connnon opinion 
is," says Cardinal Bcntivoglio, who was sent as 
Papal nuncio to the Low Countries in the begin- 
ning of the seventeentii century — "The common 

■* See "Historical Introduction" to Rise of the Dutch 
Jiepuhlic, by John Lothiop Motley; Edin. and Loud., ISJO. 
' Miiller, Univ. Hist., vol. ii., p. 230. 


opinion is that the navy of llnlhuid, in tlio num- 
ber of vessels, is etj[ to all the rest of Europe 
together."' Othei-s have written that the United 
Provinces have more ships than houses." And 
Bentivoglio, speaking of the Exchange of Amster- 
dam, says that if its harbour was crowded with 
ships, its piazza was not less so ynth merchants, 
"so (liat the like was not to be seen in all Europe ; 
nay, in all the world.''^ 

By the time the Reformation was on the eve of 
breaking out, the liberties of the Netherlanders had 
come to bo in great peril. For a century past the 
Burgundo-Austrian monarchs had been steadily 
encroaching upon them. The chai-ters mider which 
their cities enjoyed municipal life had become little 
more than nominal. Their senates were entirely 
subject to the Supreme Court at Mechlin. The 

forms of their ancient liberties remained, but the 
spii'it was fast ebbing. The Netherlanders were 
fighting a losing battle with the empire, which 
year after year was growing more powerful, and 
stretching its shadow over the independence of 
their towns. They had arrived at a crisis in their 
liistory. Commerce, trade, liberty, had done all 
for them they would ever do. This was becoming 
every day more clear. Decadence had set in, and 
the Netherlanders would have fallen under the 
jjovver of the empire and been reduced to vassalage, 
had not a higher principle come in time to save 
them from this fate. It was at tliis moment that a 
celestial fire descended upon the nation : the country 
shook olf the torpor which had begun to weigh upon 
it, and girding itself for a great fight, it contended 
for a higher liberty than any it had yet known. * 



Power of the Churcli of Rome in tlie Low Countries in the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries— Ebb in the 
Fifteenth Century— Causes— Forei-unners—Waldenses and Albigenses- Komaunt Version of the Scriptiu'os — 
Influence of Wicliffe's Writings and Huss's Martyrdom— Influence of Commerce, &o. — Charles V. and the 
Netherlands — Persecuting Edicts — Great Number of Martyrs. 

The great straggle for religion and liberty, of which 
the Netherlands became the theatre in the middle 
of the sixteenth century, properly dates from 1555, 
when the Emperor Charles V. is seen elevating 
to the throne, from which he himself has just 
descended, his son Philip II. In oi'der to the 
light perception of that momento\is conflict, it is 
ncce.ssary that we should rapidly survey the 
three centuries that preceded it. The Church of 
Rome in the Netherlands is beheld, in the thir- 
teenth century, flourishing in power and riches. 
The Bishops of Utrecht had become the Popes of 
ti)c North. Favoured by the (;mperors, wliose 
<|uarrel they esi)0used against the Popes in the 
Middle Ages, tlu^se ambitious i)relates were now 
all but independent of Rome. " They gave place," 
says Brandt, the historian of the Netherlands' 
Refonnation, " to neither kings nor emperors in 
the stiite and magnificence of theii- court; they 
reckoned the gi-eatest princes in the Low Countries 

' Relationi del Cardinal Bentivoglio, in Pareigi, 1631; 
lib. i., cap. 7, p. 32. 

- Misson, Travels, vol. i., p. 4. 

'■' Relai. Card. Bentiv., lib. i., cap. 7, p. 33 : " Che sia 
nou solo in Europa, ma in tutto il mondo." 

among their feudatories because they held some 
land of the bishopric in fee, and because they owed 
them homage. Accordingly, Baldwin, the second 
of that name and twenty-ninth bishop of the 
see, summoned several princes to Utrecht, to re- 
ceive investiture of the lands that were so holdeu 
by them : the Duke of Brabant as first .steward ; 
the Count of Flanders as second ; the Count of 
Holland as mai'shal."'' The clergy regulated their 
rank by the spiritual princedom established at 
Utrecht. They were the grandees of the land. 
They monopolised all the privileges but bore none 
of the burdens of the State. They imposed taxes 
on others, but they themselves paid ta.xes to no 

■' The Papal nuncio, Bentivoglio, willingly acknow- 
ledges their great physical and mental qualities, and 
praises them alike for their skill in arts and their bravery 
in war. " Gli huomini, die produce il pa^se, sono ordi- 
nariamentc di grando statnra ; di bcllo, e candido aspetto, 
e di corpo vigoroso, o robusto. Hanno gli .animi non 
men vigorosi de' corpi ; e cio s' i veduto in qneUa si lunga, 
e si pertinae^ resistenza, die da lore s' e f atta all' armi 
Spagnuole," &c. (Relat. Card. Bentiv., lib. i., cap. 3, 
pp. 4, 5.) 

■"' Brandt, History of the Reformation in the Low Countries, 
vol. i., p. 14; Loud., 1720. 


one. Numberless dues and offerings had already 
swollen tlieir possessions to an enormous amount, 
while new and ever-recurring exactions were con- 
tinually enlarging their territorial domains. Their 
immoralities were restrained by no sense of shame 
and by no fear of punishment, seeing that to the 
opinion of their countrymen they jiaid no deference, 
and to the civil and criminal tribunals they owed 
no accountability. They framed a law, and forced 
it upon the government, that no charge shoidd lie 
received against a cardinal-bishop, unless supported 
by seventy-two witnesses ; nor against a cardinal- 
priest, but by forty-four ; nor against a cardinal- 
deacon, l)ut by twenty-seven ; nor against the lowest 
of the clergy, but by seven.' If a voice was raised 
to hint that these sei'vants of the Church would 
exalt tliemselves by being a little more humble, 
and enrich them.selves by being a little less covetous, 
and that charity and meekness were gi'eater orna- 
ments than sumptuous apparel and gaily-caparisoned 
mules, instantly the ban of the Church was evoked 
to crush the audacious complainer ; and the ana- 
thema in that age had terrors that made even 
those look pale who had never trembled on the 

But the power, affluence, and arrogance of the 
Church of Rome in the Low Countries had reached 
then- height; and in the fom-teenth century we find 
an ebb setting in, in that tide which till now had 
continued at flood. Numbers of the Waldenses 
and Albigenses, chased from Southern France or 
froni the valleys of the Alps, sought refuge in the 
cities of the Netherlands, bringing with them the 
Romaunt version of the Bible, which was translated 
into Low Dutch rhymes. - 

The city of Antweip occupies a most distinguished 
place in this gi-eat movement. So early as 1 lOG, 
before the disciples of Peter "Waldo had appeared 
in these parts, we find a celebrated preacher, Tanchc- 
linus liy name,endeavouring to purge out the leaven 
of the Papacy, and spread ])urer doctrine not only 
in Antwei-]), but in tlic adjoining parts of Brabant 
and Flanders ; and, although vehemently opposed 
by the pi-iests and by Norbert, the first founder of 
the order of Premonstratensians, his opinions took 
a firm hold of some of the finest minds.^ In the 
following century, the thirteenth, "William Cornelius, of Antwerp, taught a purer doctrine than the 
common one on the Eucharistic Sacrament, which 
he is said to have received from the disciples of 
Tanchelinus. Nor must we omit to mention 
Nicolas, of Lyra, a town in the east of Brabant, 

1 Br.andt. vol. i., p. 14. » Ilid. 

^ Gerdesius, Hist. Evan.Ren.,tom. iii., p. 3; Gioning.,l'(tO. 

who lived about 1322, and who impregnated his 
Commentary on the Bible with the seeds of Gospel 
truth. Hence the remark of Julius Pthi;'ius, the 
celebrated Romish doctor^ — " Si Lyra non lira.sset 
Lutherus non saltasset."^ In the fourteenth cen- 
tury came another sower of the good seed of the 
Word in the countries of which we speak, Gerard 
of Groot. Nowhere, in short, had forerumiers of 
the Reformation been .so nmnerous as on this 
famous sea-board, a fact doubtless to be accounted 
for, in jjart at least, by the commerce, the intelli- 
gence, and the freedom which the Low Countries 
then enjoyed. 

Voices began to be heard prophetic of greater 
ones to be raised in after-years. Whence came 
these voices? From the depth of the convents. 
The monks became the reprovers and accusers of 
one another. The veil was lifted u])on the darkness 
that hid the holy places of the Roman Church. In 
1290, Henry of Ghent, Archbishop of Tournay, 
published a liook against the Papacy, in which he 
boldly questioned the Pope's power to transform 
what was evil into good. Guide, the forty-second 
Bishop of Utrecht, refused — rare modesty in those 
times — the red hat and scarlet mantle from the 
Pope. He contrasts with Wevelikhoven, the fiftieth 
bisliop of that see, who in 1380 dug the bones of 
a Lollard out of the gra'S'e, and burned them before 
the gates of his episcopal palace, and cast the ashes 
into the to^vll ditch. His successor, the fifty-first 
Bishop of Utrecht, cast into a dungeon a monk 
named Matthias Grabo, for writing a book in sujv 
port of the thesis that " the clergy are subject to 
the civil powers." The terrified author recanted 
the doctrine of his book ; but the magistrates of 
several cities esteemed it good and sound notwith- 
standing. As in the greater Papacy of Rome, so 
in the lesser Pajjacy at Utrecht, a schism took 
place, and rival Popes thundered anathemas at one 
another ; this helped to lower the prestige of the 
Church in the eyes of the people. Henry Loedei-, 
Prior of the Monastery of Fredesweel, near Nor- 
tliova, ^\^•ote to his brother in the following manner 
— " Dear brother, the lo'S'c I bear your state, and 
welfiire for the sake of the Blood of Christ, obliges 
me to take a rod instead of a pen into my hand. 
.... I never saw those cloisters flourish and 
increase in godliness which daily increased in tem- 
poral estates and possessions Tlie filth of 

yoiir cloister gi'catly wants the broom and the mop. 
.... Embrace the Cross and the Crucified Jesus ; 
therein ye shall find full content." Near Haarlem was 

* Gerdesius, torn, iii., p. 3. 

^ " If Lyra had not piped, Lutlior had not danced." 



the cloister of " The Visitation of the Blessed Lady," 
of which John van Kempen was prior. "We find 
him censuring the lives of the monks in these 
words — '• We would be humble, but cannot bear 
contempt ; patient, withotit oppressions or sufler- 
ings ; oljedient, without subjection ; poor, without 
wanting anything, iSrc. Our Lord said the kingdom 
of lieaven is to be entered by force." Hemy Wilde, 
Prior of the Jlonastery of Bois le Due, pm-ged the 
Jirain-books of the wanton songs which the monks 
h id inserted with the imthoms. " Let them pray 
for us," was the same prior wont to say when 
asked to sing masses for the dead; "our prayers 
will do them no good." We obtain a glimpse of 
the rigour of the ecclesiastical laws from the at- 
tempts that now began to be made to modify 
them. In 1434 we find Bishop Rudolph gi-anting 
power to the Duke of Burgundy to arrest by his 
bailiffs all drunken and fighting priests, and deliver 
them up to the bishop, who promises not to dis- 
charge them till satisfaction shall have been given 
to the duke. He promises farther not to gi-ant the 
protection of churches and churchyards to mm-- 
derers and similar malefactors ; and that no subject 
of Holland shall be summoned to appear in the 
bishop's court at Utrecht, upon any accoimt what- 
soever, if the person so summoned be willing to 
appear before the spiritual or temporal judge to 
wliose jurisdiction he belongs.' 

There follow, as it comes nearer the Eeforma- 
(ii>n, the gi-oater names of Thomas k KempLs and 
John Wessel. We see them trim their lamp 
and go onward to show men the Way of Life. 
It was a feeble light that now began to break 
over these lands ; still it was sufficient to reveal 
many things wliich had been iinobsei'ved or im- 
thonght of during the gi-oss darkness that preceded 
it. It does not become Churchmen, the barons now 
began to say, to be so enormously rich, and so 
efleminately luxurious ; these possessions are not 
less ours than they are theirs, we .shall share them 
with them. Tliose daring barons, moreover, learned 
to deem the sjjiritual authority not rpiite so impreg- 
nable as they had once believed it to be, and the 
consequence of this was that they held the persons 
of Ciliurchmen in less reverence, and their excom- 
munications in less awe than before. There 
was j)lanted tlius an iiicij>ient revolt. The move- 
ment received an impulse from the writings of 
WiclifTe, which began to be circulated in the Low 
Countries in the end of the fourteenth century.- 
Tliere followed, in the beginning of the next cen- 
turj-, the martyrdoms of Huss and Jerome. The 

light which these two stakes shed over the plains 
of Bohemia was reflected as far as to the banks of 
the Rhine and the shores of the North Sea, and 
helped to deepen the inquii-y which the teachings 
of the Waldenses and the Miitings of Wiclifl'e had 
awakened among the burghei-s and aitLsans of the 
Low Countries. The execution of Huss and Jerome 
was followed by the Bohemian campaigns. The 
victories of Ziska spread the terror of the Hussite 
arms, and to some extent also the knowledge of the 
Hussite doctrines, over Western Europe. In the 
great amiaments which were raised by the Pope to 
extinguish the hei-esy of Huss, numerous natives of 
Holland and Belgium em-olled themselves ; and of 
these, some at least retiu-ned to their native land 
converts to the liei-esy they had gone forth to sub- 
due.^ Their opinions, quietly disseminated among 
their countrymen, helped to pi'epare the way for 
that great struggle in the Netherlands which we 
are now to record, and which expanded into so much 
vaster dimensions than that which had shaken 
Bohemia in the fifteenth century. 

To these causes, which conspii-ed for the awaken- 
ing of the Netherlands, is to be added the influence 
of trade and commerce. Tlie tendency of commerce 
to engender activity of mind, and nourish inde- 
pendence of thought, is too obvious to require that 
we should dwell upon it. The tiller of the soil 
seldom pei-mits his thoughts to stray beyond his 
native acres, the merchant and trader has a whole 
hemisphere for his mental domain. He is com- 
pelled to reflect, and calculate, and compare, other- 
wise he loses his ventures. He is thus lifted 
out of the slough in which the agi-iculturist or the 
herdsman is content to lie all his days. The Low 
Countries, as we have said in the j)revious chapter, 
were the heart of the commerce of the nations. 
They were the clearing-house of the world. This 
vast ti'ade brought with it knowledge as well as 
riches ; for the Fleming could not meet his cus- 
tomers on the wharf, or on the Bourse, without 
hearing things to him new and strange. He had to 
do with men of all nations, and he received from 
them not only foreign coin, but foreign ideas. 

The new day was coming apace. Already its 
signals stood displayed before the eyes of men. One 
powerful instrumentality after another stood up 
to give rapid and universal diffusion to the new 
agencies that were about to be called into existence. 
Nor have the nations long to wait. A crash is 
heard, the fall of an ancient empire shakes the 
earth, and the sacred languages, so long imprisoned 
within the walls of Constantinople, are liberated, 

Brandt, bk. i., passim. 

Ibid., vol. i., p. 17. 

3 Brandt, vol. i., p. 19. 



ami become again the inheritonee of the race. The 
eyes of men begin to be turned on tlie sacred page, 
•which may now be read in tlie very words in which 
the inspired men of old time wrote it. Not for a 
thou.sjxnd years liad so fair a morning visited the 
iiartlx. ISIen felt after the long darkness that truly 
" light is sweet, and a ple:isant thing it is for the 
eyes to behold the sun." The dawn was pale and 
chilly in Italy, but in the north of Europe it 
brought witli it, not merely the light of pagan 
literature, but the warmth and brightness of 
Chmtian truth. 

"We have already seen with what fierce defiance 
Charles V. flung down the gage of battle to Pro- 
testantism. In manner the most public, and with 
vow the most solemn and awful, he bound himself 
to extirjjate heresy, or to lose armies, treasures, 
kingdoms, body and soul, in the attempt. Ger- 
many, happily, was covered from the consequences 
of that mortal threat by the sovereign rights of its 
hereditary princes, who stood between their subjects 
and that terrible arm that was now uplifted to 
cnLsh them. But the less fortimate Netherlands 
enjoyed no such protection. Charles was master 
there. He could enforce his will in liLs patrimonial 
estates, and his will was that no one in all the 
Netherlands should profess another than the Roman 

One furious edict was issued after another, and 
these were puljlicly read twice every year, that no 
one might pretend ignorance.' These edicts did not 
remain a dead letter as in Germany ; they were 
ruthlessly executed, and soon, alas ! the Low 
Countries were blazing with stakes and swimming 
in blood. It is almost incredil)le, and yet the 
historian Meteren asserts that during the last thirty 
yeara of Charles's reign not fewer than 50,000 Pro- 
testants were put to death in the provinces of the 
Netherlands. Grotius, iir his Annals, raises the 
number to 100,000." Even granting that these 
estimates are extravagant, still they ai-e sufficient 
to con\'ince us that the number of victims was (n-eat 
indeed. The bloody work did not slacken owinc 
to Charles's many absences in Spain and other 
countries. His sister Margaret, Dowagei--queen of 

' Sleidan, bk. xvi., p. 342; Lond., 1089. 
= Grot., 4nnal., lib. i., 17; Amsterdam, 1G58. Watson, 
Philip II., vol. i., p. 113. 

Hungary, who wa-s appointed regent of the pro- 
vinces, was compelled to carry out all his cruel 
edicts. Men and women, whose crime was that 
they did not believe in the mass, were beheaded, 
hanged, burned, or buried alive. These proceed- 
ings were zealously seconded by the divines of 
Louvain, whom Luther styled " bloodthirsty 
heretics, who, teaching impious doctrines which 
they could make good neither by reason nor Scrip- 
ture, betook themselves to force, and disputed with 
fire and sword.^ This terriljle work went on 
from the 23rd of July, 1523, when the proto- 
mai-tyi\s of the provinces were burned iir the great 
square of Brussels,' to the day of the emperor's 
abdication. The Dowager-qiieen, in a letter to her 
brother, had given it as her opinion that the good 
work of jjurgation should stop only when to go 
fiii-ther would be to efl'ect the entii-e depopulation of 
the country. The " Christian Widow," as Erasmus 
styled her, would not go the length of burning the 
the last Netherlander ; she would leave a few 
orthodox inhabitants to repeople the land. 

Meanwhile the halter and the axe were gathering 
theii- victims so fast, tliat the limits traced by the 
regent — wide as they were — bade fair soon to be 
reached. The genius and activity of the Nether- 
landers were succumbing to the terrible blows that 
were bemg unremittingly dealt them. Agiiculture 
was beginning to languish; life was departing from 
the great towns ; the step of the artisan, as he went 
to and returned from his factory at the hours of 
meal, was loss elastic, and his eye less liright ; the 
workshops were being weeded of their more skilful 
workmen ; foreign Protestant merchants were fleeing 
from the country ; and the decline of the internal 
trade kept pace wtli that of the external commerce. 

It was evident to all whom bigotry had not ren- 
dered incapable of reflection, that, though great 
progress had been made towards the ruin of tlie 
country, the extinction of heresy was still distant, 
and likely to be reached only when the land had 
become a desert, the hai-bours empty, and the cities 
silent. The blood with which the tyrant was so 
profusely watering the Netherlands, was but 
nourishing the heresy which he sought to dro^v^l. 

^ Sleidan, bk. xvi., p. 343. 

■' See ante, vol. i., bk. ix., chap. 3, p. 490. 




Antwerp — Its Convent of Augustines — Jacob Spreng— Henry of Zutphen — Convent Eazed— A Preaclier Drowned — 
Pkicards of the Emperor Charles V. — "Well of Life — Long and Dreadful Series of Edicts — Edict of 15-10— The 
Inquisition— Spread of Lutheraniam — Confessors — Martyrdom of John de Bakker. 

No cit}' did the day that was now breaking over 
the Low Countries so often touch ^viih its light as 
Antwerp. Within a year after Luther's appear- 
ance, Jacob Spreng, prior of |the Angustinian con- 
vent in that town, confessed liimself a disciple of 
the Wittemberg monk, and began to preach the 
same doctrine. He was not suflered to do so long. 
In 1519 he was seized in his own convent, carried 
to Bnissels, and threatened with the punishment of 
the fire. Though his faith was genuine, he had not 
courage to be a martyr. Vanquished by the fear of 
death, lie consented to read in public his recanta- 
tion. Being let go, he repaired to Bremen, and 
there, " walking softly from the memory of his fall," 
he passed the remaining yeai's of his life in preaching 
the Gospel as one of the pixstore of that northern 

The same city and the same convent furnished 
another Reformer yet more intrepid than Spreng. 
This was Henry of Zutphen. He, too, had sat at 
the feet of Luther, and along with his doctrine had 
carried away no small amount of Luther's dramatic 
power in setting it forth. Christ's office as a 
Saviour he finely put into the following antitheses : 
— "He became the servant of the law that he might 
be its master. He took all sin that he might take 
away sin.* He is at once the victim and the 
vanquisher of death ; the captive of hell, yet he it 
was by whom its gates were burst open." But 
though he refused to the sinner any share in the 
great work of exjjiating sin, reserving tliat entnely 
and exclusively to the Saviom-, Zutjihcn strenu- 
ously insisted that the believer should be careful to 
maintain good works. " Away," he said, " with a 
dead faith." His career in Antwerp was brief. 
He was seized and thrown into prison. He did not 
deceive himself as to the fate that awaited him. 
He kept aw.ako during the silent hours of night, 
preparing for the death for which he looked on the 
coming day. Suddenly a great uproar arose roimd 
liis prison. The noise was caused by his townsmen. 

' Gerdesius, torn, iii., pp. 23—25. 

- "Totum peccatum tolerans ct tollens." (Gerdesius, 
torn, iii., Appendix, p. 18.) 

who had come to rescue him. They broke open his 
gaol, penetrated to his cell, and bringing him forth, 
made hini escape from the city. Henry of Zutphen, 
thus rescued from the fires of the Inquisition, 
visited in the coui-se of his wanderings several pro- 
vinces and cities, in which he preached the Gosjiel 
with gi-eat eloquence and success. Eventually he 
went to Holstein, where, after laboui-ing some time, 
a mob, instigated by the pi-iests, set upon him and 
mui-dered him' in the atrociously cruel and bar- 
liarous manner we have described in a previous part 
of our history.'' 

It seemed as if the soU on which the convent of 
the Augustines in Antwerp stood produced heretics. 
It must be dug up. In October, 1522, the convent 
was dismantled. Such of the monks as had not 
caught the Lutheran disease had quartere provided 
for them elsewhei-e. The Host was solenuily 
removed from a place, the very air of which was 
loaded vnth deadly pravity, and the building, like 
the house of the leper of old, was razed to the 
ground.^ No man lodged under that roof any more 
for ever. 

But the heresy was not driven away from 
Brabant, and the inquisitors began to ■wreak their 
vengeance on other objects besides the innocent 
stones and timbers of heretical monasteries. In 
the following year (1523) three monks, who had 
been inmates of that same monastery whose ruins 
now warned the citizens of Antwerp to eschew 
Lutheranism as they would the fire, were burned at 
Brussels." When the fire wa.s kindled, they first 
recited the Creed ; then they chanted the Te Dciiiii 
Laudamus. This hymn they sang, each chanting 
the alternate verse, till the fiamcs had deprived 
them of both voice and life.' 

In the following year the monks signalisetl their 
zeal by a cruel deed. The desire to hear the Gosj)el 
continuiug to spread in Antwerp and the adjoining 

3 Gerdesius, tom. iii., pp. 28—30. 
•• See ante, vol. i., bk. ix., chap. C, p. 506. 
■' "Dirutum est penitusquo eversum." (Gerdesius, 
tom. iii., p. 29.) 
'' See ante, vol. i., bk. ix., chap. 3, p. 490. 
' Brandt, vol. i., p. -15. 



country, t!ic pastor of I\Ieltz, a little place near 
Antwerp, began to preach to the people. His 
church was often unable to contain the crowds 
that came to hear hiiu, and he was obliged to 
retire with his congregation to the oi)en fields. In 
one of his sermons, declaiming against the priests 
of his time, he said : — " We are worse than Judas, 
for he both sold and delivered the Lord ; but we 
sell him to you, and do not deliver him." This was 
doctrine, the public preaching of which was not 
likely to be tolerated longer than the priests lacked 
jjower to stop it. Soon there appeared a placard or 
proclamation silencing the pastor, as well as a 
certain Augustinian monk, who preached at times in 
Antwerp. The assemblies of both were prohibited, 
and a reward of thirty gold caroli set upon tlieii' 
heads. Nevertheless, the desire for the Gospel was 
not extinguished, and one Sunday the people con- 
vened in great numbers in a ship-building yard on 
the banks of the Scheldt, in the hope that some 
one might minister to them the Word of Life. In 
that gathering was a young man, well versed iir 
the Scriptures, named Nicholas, who seeing no one 
willing to act as i)reaclier, himself to address 
the people. Entering into a boat that was moored 
by the river's blink, he read and expounded to the 
multitude the parable of the five loaves and the two 
small fishes. The thing was known all over the 
city. It was dangerous that such a man should be 
at large ; and the monks took care that he should 
preach no second sermon. Hiring two butchers, 
they waylaid him next day, forced him into a sack, 
tied it with a cord, and hastily carrying him to 
the river, threw him in. When the murder was 
known a thrill of horror ran through the citizens 
of Antwerp).' 

Ever since the emperor's famous fulmination 
against Luther, in 1521, he had kept up a constant 
fire of placards, as they were termed — that is, of 
persecuting edicts — upon the Netherlands. They 
were posted up in the streets, read by all, and pro- 
duced univei-sal consternation and alarm. They 
succeeded each other at brief intervals ; scarcely 
had the echoes of one fulmination died away 
when a new and more terrible peal was heard re- 
sounding over the startled and affrighted provinces. 
In April, 1524, came a placard forbidding the 
printing of any book without the consent of the 
officers who had cliargc of that matter.= In 1525 
came a circular letter from the regent Margaret, 
addressed to all the monasteries of Holland, enjoin- 
ing them to send out none but discreet preachers. 

' Gerdesius, torn, iii., p. 37. BraiuU, vol. 
' Gerdesius, torn, iii., p. 39. 

who would be careful to make no mention of 
Luther's name. In March, 152C, came another 
placard against Lutheranism, and in July of the 
same year yet another and severer. The preamble 
of this edict set forth that the "vulgar had been 
deceived and misled, partly by the contri\ance of 
some ignorant fellows, who took upon them to 
preach the Gospel privately, without the leave of 
their superiors, explaining the same, together with 
other holy writings, after theii- own fancies, and not 
according to the orthodox sense of the doctors of the 
Chm'ch, i-acking their brains to produce new-fangled 
doctrines. Besides these, divers secular and 
regular priests presumed to ascend the pulpit, and 
there to relate the eri'ors and sinister notions of 
Luther and his adherents, at the same time reviv- 
ing the heresies of ancient times, and some that had 
likewise been propagated in these countries, recall- 
ing to men's memories the same, with other false 
and damnable opinions that had never till now 
been heard, thought, or spoken of. . . . Where- 
fore the edict forbids, in the emjieror's name, all 
assemblies in order to read, speak, confer, or preach 
concerning the Gospel or other holy writings in 
Latin, Flemish, or in the Walloon languages — :is 
likewise to preach, teach, or in any sort promote the 
doctrines of Martm Liither ; especially such as 
related to the Sacrament of the altar, or to con- 
fession, and other Sacraments of the Chui'ch, or any- 
thing else that affected the honoiu- of the holy 
mother Mary, and the saints and saintesses, and 
their images. . . . By this placard it was 
fui-ther ordered that, together with the books of 
Luther, &c., and all their adherents of the same 
sentiments, all the gospels, epistles, prophecies, and 
other books of the Holy Scriptures in High Dutch, 
Flemish, Walloon, or French, that had marginal 
notes, or expositions according to the doctrine of 
Luther, should be brought to some public place, 
and there burned ; and that whoever should 
presume to keep any of the aforesaid books and 
writings by them after the promulgation of this 
placard should forfeit life and goods." ' 

In 1528 a new jilacard was issued agamst jiro- 
hibited books, as also against monks who had 
abandoned their cloister. There followed in 1529 
another and more severe edict, condemning to 
death without pardon or reprieve all who had not 
brought their Lutheran books to be burned, or had 
otherwise contravened the former edicts. Those 
who had relapsed after having abjured their crroi's 
were to die by fire ; as for others, the men were 
to die by the sword, and the women by the pit — 

i., p. 51. 

2 Brandt, vol. i., p. 56. Gerdesius, torn, iii., p. 56. 



that is, they were to bo buried alive. To liarbour 
or conceal a heretic was death and the forfeiture 
of goods. Informers were to have one-half of the 
estates of the accused on conviction ; and those 
who were commissioned to put the placard m exe- 
cution were to proceed, not witli " the tedious for- 
malities of trial," biit by summar}' process.' 

It was about this time that Erasmus addressed 
a letter to the inhabitants of the Low Countries, 
in which he advised them thus : — "Keep yourselves 
in the ai'k, that you do not perish in the deluge. 
Continue in the little shij) of our Saviour, lest ye 
bo swallowed by the waves. Remain iii the fold 
of the Church, lest ye become a prey to the wolves 
or to Satan, who is always going to and fro, seek- 
ing whom he may devour. Stay and see what 
resolutions will be taken by the emperor, the 
liruiccs, and afterwards by a General Council. "- 
It was thus that the man who was reposing in the 
shade exhorted the men who were in the fire. As 
regarded a " General Council," for which they were 
bidden to wait, the Reformers had had ample 
experience, and the result had been uniform — the 
mountani had in every case brought forth a mouse. 
They were able also by this time to guess, one 
should think, what the ein])eror was likely to do 
for them. Almost every year brought with it a 
new edict, and the space between each several fulmi- 
nation was occuijied in giving practical application 
to these decrees — that is, in working the axe, the 
halter, the stake, and the pit. 

A new impetus was given about this time to the 
Reform movement, by the translation of Luther's 
version of the Scrijrtures into Low Dutch. It 
was not well executed ; neveitheless, being read 
in their assemblies, the book instructed and com- 
forted these young converts. Many of the priests 
who had been in office for years, but who had never 
read a single line of the Bible, good-naturedly 
taking it for granted that it amply authenticated all 
that the Cliurch taught, dipped into it, and being 
much astonished at its contents, began to bring 
both their life and doctrine into greater accordance 
with it. One of the printers of this first edition 
of the Dutch Bible was condemned to death for his 
l)ains, and died by the a.\e. Soon after this, some 
one made a ccillfction of certain ])assages from the 
Scriptures, and published them under the title of 
" The Well of Life." The little book, with neither 
note nor comment, contained but the words of 
Scripture itself; nevertheless it was very obnoxious 
to the zealous defenders of Popery. A " Well of 
Life" to othei-s, it was a Well of Death to tlieii- 

' Brandt, vol. i., pp. .57, 58. 


Church and her rites, and they resolved on stopping 
it. A Franciscan friar of Brabant set out on pur- 
pose for Amsterdam, where the little book had been 
printed, and buying tip the whole edition, he com- 
mitted it to the flames. He had only half done 
his work, however. The book was printed in other 
towns. The Well would not be stopped; its waters 
would gush otit ; the journey and the expense 
which the friar had incurretl had been in vain. 

We pass over the edicts that were occasionally 
seeing the light during the ten following 3'ears, as 
well as the Anabaptist opinions and excesses, with 
the sanguinary wars to which they led. These we 
have ftilly related in a previous part of our his- 
tory.' In 15i0 came a more atrocious edict than 
any that had yet been promulgated. The monks 
and doctors of Louvain, who spared no pains to 
root out the Protestant doctiine, instigated the 
monarch to issue a new placard, which not only 
contained the substance of all former edicts, but 
passed them into a perpetual law. It was dated 
from Brussels, the 22nd September, 1.540, and was 
to the following effect : — That the heretic should 
be incapable of holding or disposing of property; 
that all gifts, donations, and legacies made by 
him should be null and void ; that informers who 
themselves were heretics should be pardoned that 
once ; and it especially revived and put in force 
against Lutherans an edict that had been promul- 
gated in 1535, and specially directed against Ana- 
baptists — namely, that those who abandoned theii' 
errors should have the privilege, if men, of dying by 
the sword ; and if women, of being buried alive ; 
such as should refuse to recant were to be burned.* 

It was an aggravation of these edicts that they 
were in violation of the rights of Holland. The 
emperor promulgated them in his character of 
Coimt of Holland ; but the ancient Counts of 
Holland could issue no decree or law till first they 
had obtained the consent of the nobility and 
Commons. Yet the emperor issued these placards 
on his own sole authority, and asked leave of no 
one. Besides, they were a virtual estaljlishment 
of the Inquisition. They commanded that when 
evidence was lacking, the accused shouUl them- 
selves be put to the question — that is, by torture or 
other inquisitorial methods. Accordingly, in 1522, 
and while only at the beginning of the terrible 
array of edicts which we have recited, tlie emperor 
appointed Francis van Hulst to make strict inquiry 
into people's opinions in religious matters all 

^ See ante, vol. i., bk. ix., chap. 8; and vol. 11., bU. lii., 
chap. 2. 
■* Brandt, vol. i., p. 7'.'; Gerdosius, torn, iii., p. 1-43. 



thronghout the Netliei-lands ; and lie gave him as 
his fellow-comiuissioner, Nicolas van Eginout, a 
Carmelite monk. These two worthies Erasmus 
happily and characteristically hit off thus : — 
" Hiilst," said lie, " is a wonderfid enemy to learn- 
ing," and " Egmont is a madman with a sword in 
liis hand." "Tlicse men," says Brandt, " first threw 
men into prison, and then considered what they 
should lay to their charge."' 

Meanwhile the Reformed <loctrinc was spreading 

many of the principal inhabitants — among others, 
Nicolas Quich, under-master of the school there. 
At Utrecht the Reformation was embraced by 
Rhodius, Principal of tht College of St. Jerome, and 
in Holland liy Cornelius Honius, a learned civilian, 
and counsellor in the Courts of Holland. Honiiis 
interpreted the text, " This is my body," by the 
words, "This signifies my body" — an interpretation 
which he is said to have found among the pnpers 
of Jacob Hook, sometime Dean of Naldwick, and 


among the inhabitants of Holland, Brabant, and 
Flandei'.s. At Bois-le-Duc all the Dominican 
monks were driven out of the city. At Antw erp, 
in spite of the edicts of the emperor, the con- 
venticles wore kejtt up. The learned Hollaiider, 
Dorpius, Professor of Divinity at Lo\ivain, was 
thought to favour Luther's doctrine, and he, as 
well as Erasmus, was in some danger of the stake. 
Nor did the emperor's secretary at the Court of 
Brabant, Philip dc Lens, escape the suspicion of 
lieresy. At Naiirden, Anthony Frederick became 
a convert to Protestantism, and was followed by 


' Bi'.amU, vol. i., p. 12. 

wliiih was believed to have been handed down 
from hand to hand for two hundred yoai-s.- 
Among the disciples of Honius was William Cim- 
phanis. Rector of the Gj'mnasium at the Hague. To 
these we may add Cornelius Grapheus, Secretary 
of Antwerp, a most e.stimable man, and an en- 
lightened friend of the Reformation. 

The first martyr of the Reformation in Holland 
deserves more particular notice. He wiis John 
de Bakker, of Woerden, which is a little town 
between Utrecht and Leyden. He was a priest 
of the age of twenty-seven yeai-s, and had incurred 

Bi-ancU, vol. i., p. 52. 



the suspicion of liorcsy l>y speaking against tlie 
edicts of tlie emperor, and by marrying. Joost 
Laurence, a leading member of tlie Inquisition, 
presided at liis trial. He declared before his 
judges that " he coidd submit to no rule of faith 
save Holy Writ, in the sense of the Holy Ghost, 
ascertained in the way of interpreting Sci'ipture by 
Scrii)ture." He held that "men were not to be 
forced to ' come in,' otherwise than God forces them, 
which is not by prisons, stripes, and death, but by 
gentleness, and by the strength of the Divine Word, 
a force as soft and lovely as it is powerful." Touch- 
ing the celibacy of priests, concerning which he was 
accused, ho did " not find it enjoined in Scripture, 
and an angel from heaven could not, he maintained, 
introduce a new article of faith, much less the 
Church, wliich was subordinate to the Word of 
God, but had no authority over it." His aged 
fiither, who was churchwarden — although after this 
expelled from his office — was able at times to 
approach his son, as he stood upon his trial, and 
at these moments the old man would wliis])er iiato 
his ear, " Ee strong, and pei-sevei-e in what is good ; 
as for me, I am contented, after the example of 
Aliraham, to ofier up to God my dearest cliild, that 
never offended me." 

The presiding judge condemned liim to die. The 
next day, which was the 15th of September, 1525, 
lie was led out \ipon a high scaflbkl, where he was 
divested of his clerical garments, and dressed in 
a short yellow coat. " They put on his head," 
says the Dutch Book of Martyrs, " a yellow hat. 

with flaps like a fool's cap. When they were 
leading him away to execution," continues the 
martyrologist, " as he passed by the prison where 
many more were sluit up for the faith, he cried 
with a loud voice, ' Behold ! my dear brethren, I 
have set my foot upon the threshold of martyrdom ; 
have courage, like brave soldiers of Jesus Christ, 
and being stirred up by my example, defend the 
truths of the Gospel against all unrighteousness.' 
He had no sooner said this than he was answered 
by a shout of joy, triumph, and clapping of hands 
by the prisoners ; and at the same time they 
honoured his martyrdom with ecclesia.stical hymns, 
singing the Te Deum Latalamus, Certamen Mwj- 
num, and heata Martyruvi Soleiimia. Nor did 
they cease till he had given up the ghost. When 
he was at the stake, he cried, ' O death ! where is 
thy sting I O grave ! where is thy victory 1 ' And 
again, ' Death is swallowed iip in the victory of 
Christ.' And last of all, ' Lord Jesus, forgive 
them, for they know not what they do. O Son 
of God ! remember me, and have mercy u2)on me.' 
Ajid thus, after they had stopped his breath, he 
departed as in a sweet sleep, without any motions 
or convulsions of his head and body, or contortions 
of his eyes. This was the end of John de Bakker, 
the fii'st martyr in Holland for the doctrine of 
Luther. The next day Bernard the monk, Gei-ard 
Wormer, William of Utrecht, and perhaps also 
Gnaphwus himself, were to have been put to 
death, had not the constancy of our proto-martyr 
softened a little the minds of his judges."' 



Decrepitude of the Emperor— Hall of Brabant Palace-Speech of the Emperor— Failure of his Hopes and Labours— 
PliiUp II.— His Portrait— Slender Endowments— Portrait of WiUiam of Orange— Other Netherlaud Nobles— Close 
of Pageant. 

In the midst of his cruel work, and, we may say, 
in the midst of liis yeai-s, the em|ieror was over- 
taken by old ago. The sixteenth century is waxing 
in might around him ; its great forces are showing 
no sign of exliaustion or decay ; on the contrary, 
their vigour is gi'owing from one year to another ; 
it is plain that they arc only in the opening of their 
career, while in melancholy contrast Charles V. is 
closing his, and yielding to tlie decrei)itn(le that is 
creeping over hinist^lf and his empire. The sceptro 

and the faggot — so closely united in his case, and 
to be .still more closely united in that of his suc- 
cessor — he must hand over to his son Philip. Let 
us place ourselves in the hall where the act of 
abdication is about to take place, and be it ours 
not to record the common-places of imperial flat- 
tery, so lavishly bestowed on this occasion, nor 
to describe the pomjis under which the gi'eatest 

' Brandt, vol. i., p. 53. 



monarch of his age so adroitly liid his fall, but 
to sketch the portraits of some of those men who 
await a great part in the future, and whom wo 
shall frequently meet in the scenes that are about 
to open. 

We enter the great hall of the old palace of 
Brabant, in Brussels. It is the 25th of October, 
1555, and this day the Estates of the Netherlands 
have met here, sunmioned by an imperial edict, to 
be the witnesses of the surrender of the sovereignty 
of his realms by Charles to his son. With the act 
of abdication one tragedy closes, and another and 
bloodier tragedy begins. No one in that glittering 
throng could forecast the calamitous future which 
was coming along with the new master of the 
Sjjanish monarchy. Charles V. enters the gor- 
geously tapestried hall, leaning his arm on the 
shoulder of William of Nassau. Twenty-five 
ye.irs before, we saw the emperor enter Augsbiu'g, 
bestriding a steed of " brilliant whiteness," and 
exciting by his majestic port, his athletic frame, 
and manly countenance, the enthusiasm of the 
spectators, who, with a touch of exaggeration par- 
donable in the circumstances, pronounced him "the 
handsomest man in the empire." And now what 
a change in Charles ! How sad the ravages which 
toil and care have, during these few years, made on 
this iron frame ! The bulky mould in which the 
outer man of Chai-les was cast still remains to 
him — the ample brow, the broad chest, the mus- 
c\dar limbs; but the force that animated that 
])owerful framework, and enabled it to do such 
feats in the tournament, the bull-ring, and the 
battle-field, has departed. His limbs totter, he 
lias to suiiport his steps with a crutch, his hair 
is white, his eyes have lost their brightness, his 
shoulders stoop — in short, age has withered and 
crippled hini all over ; and yet he has seen only 
fifty-five years. The toils that had worn him down 
he briefly and affeotingly summarised in his address 
to the august assemblage before him. Resting 
this hand on his crutch, and that on the .shoulder 
of the young noble by his side, he proceeds to 
count up forty expeditions undertaken by him 
since he was .seventeen — nine to Germany, six to 
S]>ain, seven to Italy, four to France, ten to the 
Netherlands, two to England, and two to Africa. 
He had made eleven voyages by sea ; he had fought 
foiu- battles, won victories, held Diets, framed tn^a- 
tie.s — so ran the tale of work. He had passed 
niglits and nights in anxious deliberation over the 
gi-owth of Protestantism, and he sought to 
alk^viate the mingled mortification and akuTii its 
jirogress caused him, by fulminating one persecut- 
ing edict after another in the hope of arresting it. 

In addition to marches and battles, thousands of 
halters and stakes had he erected ; but of these he 
is discreetly silent. He is silent too regarding the 
success which had crowned these mighty efforts 
and projects. Does he retire because he has suc- 
ceeded ? No ; he retires because he has failed. 
His infirm frame is but the image of his once 
magnificent empiie, over which decrepitude and 
disoi'der begin to creep. One young in years, and 
alert iii bod}', is needed to recruit those ai'mies 
which battle has wasted, to replenish that exchequer 
which so many campaigns have made empty, to 
restore the military j)restige which the flight from 
Innspruck and succeeding disasters have tarnished, 
to quell the revolts that are springing up in the 
various kingdoms which form his vast monarchy, 
and to dispel those dark clouds which his eye but 
too plainly sees to be gathering all round the 
horizon, and which, should he, with mind enfeebled 
and body crippled, continue to linger longer on the 
scene, will assuredly burst in ruin. Such is the 
true meaning of that stately ceremonial in which 
the actoi'S played so adi'oitly, each his part, in the 
Brabant palace at Bnissels, on the 25tli of October, 
1555. The tj'rant apes the father; the murderer 
of his subjects would fain seem the paternal ruler ; 
the disappointed, baflled, fleeing opponent of Pro- 
testantism puts on the airs of the conqueror, and 
strives to hide defeat under the pageantiies of 
State, and the symbols of victory. The closing 
scene of Charles V. is but a repetition of Julian's 
confession of discomfiture — " Thou hast overcome, 
O Galilean." 

We turn to the son, who, in almost all outward 
respects, presents a complete contrast to the father. 
If Charles was prematurely old, Philij), on the 
other hand, looked as if he never had been young. 
He did not attain to middle height. His small 
body was mounted on thin legs. Nature had not 
fitted him to shine in either the sports of the 
tournament or the conflicts of the l^attle-field ; 
and both he shunned. He had the ample brow, 
the blue eyes, and the aquiline nose of his father ; 
but these agreeable features were forgotten in the 
ugliness of the under part of his face. His lower 
jaw protruded. It was a Burg\uidian deformity, 
but in Philip's case it liad received a larger than 
the usual family develojjment. To this disagree- 
able feature was added another repulsi\e one, also 
a family peculiarity, a heavy hanging \inder-lip, 
which enlarged the apjiarent size of his mouth, and 
strengthened the impiession, which the unpleasant 
protrusion of the jaw made on the spectatoj-, of 
animal voracity and savageness. 

The puny, meagre, sickly-looking m:ui who stood 



beside the warlike aiul once rolmst form of Charles, 
was not more unlike his father in body than he was 
unlike him in mind. Not one of his father's gi'eat 
qualities did he possess. He lacked his statesman- 
bhij) ; he had no knowledge of men, he could not 
enter into their feelings, nor accommodate himself 
to theii- ways, nor manifest any sympathy in what 
engaged and engrossed them ; he, therefore, shiumed 
them. He had the shy, shrinking air of the vale- 
tudinarian, and looked around with something like 
the scowl of the misanthrope on his face. Charles 
moved about from province to province of his vast 
dominions, speaking the language and conform- 
ing to the manners of the people among whom he 
chanced for the time to be ; he was at home in all 
places. Philip was a stranger everywhere, save in 
Spain. He spoke no language but his mother 
tongue. Amid the gay and witty Italians — amid 
the familiar and courteous Flemings — amid the 
frank aiul open Germans — Philip was still the 
Spaniard : austere, haughty, taciturn, imappi-oach- 
able. Only one quality did he share with his father 
• — the intense passion, namel}', for extinguishing the 

From the two central figures we turn to glance 
at a third, the young noble on whose shoulder 
the emperor is leaning. He is tall and well- 
formed, ^vith a lofty brow, a brown eye, and a 
peaked beard. His service in camps has bronzed 
his complexion, and given him more the look of 
a Spaniard than a Fleming. He is only in his 
twenty-third year, but the quick eye of Charles had 
discovered the capacity of the young soldier, and 
placed him in command of the army on the frontier, 
where resource and coui'age were specially needed, 
seeing he had there to confront some of the best 
generals of France. Could the emperor, who now 
leaned so confidingly on his shoulder, liave foreseen 
liis future career, how suddenly would he have 
■withdrawn his arm ! The man on whom lie re- 
posed was destined to be the great antagonist 
of his son. Despotism and Liberty stood em- 
bodied in the two forms on either hand of the 
abdicating emperor — Philiji, and William, Prince 
of Orange ; for it wa.s he on whom Charles leaned. 
The contest between them was to shake Cliristen- 
dom, bring down from its pinnacle of power that 

' Badovaro MS.. "/<«<' Motley, Rise of the Dutch Repuhlic. 
pt. i., chap. 1 ; Edin., 1859. 

great monarchy which Charles was bequeathing 
to his son, raise the httle Holland to a pitch of 
commercial prosperity and literary glory which 
Spain had never known, and leave to William a 
name in the wars of liberty far surpassing that 
which Charles had won by his many campaigns — a 
name which can perish only with the Netherlands 

Besides the three principal figures there were 
others in that brilliant gathering, who were either 
then, or soon to be, celebrated throughout Europe, 
and whom we shall often meet in the stirring 
scenes that arc about to open. In the glittering 
throng around the platform might be seen the 
bland face of the Bishop of Arras ; the tail form of 
Lamoral of Egmoiit, with his long dark hair and soft 
eye, the representative of the ancient Frisian kings ; 
the bold but sullen facv, and fan-shaped beard, of 
Count Horn ; the debauched Brederodc ; the in- 
famous Noii'carmes, on whose countenance played 
the blended lights of ferocity and greed ; the small 
figure of the learned Viglius, with his yellow hair 
and his gi'een glittering eye, and round rosy face, 
from which depended an ample beard ; and, to close 
our list, there was the slender form of the cele- 
brated Spanish grandee, Ruy Gomez, whose coal- 
black hair and burning eye were finely set off by a 
face which intense application had rendered as 
colourless almost as the marble. 

The pageant was at an end. Charles had handed 
over to another that vast possession of dominion 
which had so severely taxed his manhood, and which 
was crushing his ago. The princes, knights, war- 
rior's, and counsellors have left the hall, and gone 
forth to betake them each to his own several road 
— Charles to the monastic cell which he had inter- 
posed between him and the grave ; Philip to that 
throne from which he Wiis to dkect that fearful 
array of armies, inquisitore, and executioners, that 
was to make Em-ope swim in blood ; AVilliam of 
Orange to prepare for that now not distant struggle, 
which he saw to be inevitable if bounds were to 
be set to the vast ambition and fanatical fury of 
Spain, and some remnants of liberty preserved in 
Christendom. Othera went forth to humbler yet 
import;vnt tasks ; some to win true glory by worthy 
deeds, others to leave behind them names which 
should be an execration to jiosterity ; but nearly 
all of them to expire, not on the bed of i)caco, but 
on the liattle-field, on the scafibld, or by the poignard 
of the assassin. 





Philii) II. Renews the E diet of 1533of liia Fatlier— Other Atrocious Edicts — Further Martyrdoms— Inquisition introduced 
into the Low Countries — Indignation and Alarm of the Netherlanders — Tliii-teen New Bishops — The Spanish Troops 
to bo left in the Country — Violations of the Netherland Charters — Bishop of Arras — His Craft and Ambition — 
Popular Discontent— Margaret, Duchess of Parma, appointed Eegent— Three Councils — Assembly of the States at 
(ilient— The States request the Suppression of the Edicts— Anger of Philip — He sets Sail from Flusliing — Stonu — 
Arrival in Spain. c 

Some few years of comparative tranquillity were 
to intervene between the accession of Philip II., 
and the commencement of those terrible events 
wliich made liis riign one long dark tragedy. But 
oven now, though but recently seated on the 
throne, one startling and ominous act gave wai'n- 
iiig to the Netherlands and to Europe of what 
was in store for them under the austere, bigoted, 
priest-ridden man, whom half a world had the mis- 
fortune to call master. In 1559, four years after 
his accession, Philip renewed that atrociously in- 
human edict which his father had promulgated in 
15-10. This edict had imported into the civilised 
Netherlands the disgusting spectacles of savage 
lauds; it kept the gallows and the stake in constant 
operation, and made such havoc in the ranks of the 
friends of freedom of conscience, that the more 
moderate historians have estimated the number of 
its victims, as we have already said, at 50,000. 

The commencement of this work, as our leaders 
know, was in 1521, when the emperor issued at 
"SV^orms his famous edict against " Martin," who 
was " not a man, but a devil under the form of a 
man.' That bolt passed harmlessly over Luther's 
head, not because being " not a man," but a spirit, 
even the imjierial sword could not slay him, but 
simply liecause he lived on German soil, where the 
euii)eror might issue as many edicts as he pleased, 
but could not execute one of them wthout the 
consent of the prineas. But the shaft that missed 
Luther struck deep into the unhappy .subjects of 
Chailes's Paternal Estates. " Death or foi-feiture of 
goods" was the sentence decreed against all Liitheraus 
in tlie Netherlands, and to efTeet the unsparing and 
vigorous execution of the decree, a new court was 
erected in Belgium, which Viore a startling resem- 
blance to the Incjuisition of Sp.ain. In Antweqi, in 
Brussels, and in other towns piles began straightway 
to blaze. 

The fires once kindled, there followed similar 
edicts, which kojrt the flames from going out. These 
made it death to pray with a few friends in private ; 
death to read a page of the Scriptures ; death to 

discuss any article of the faith, not on the streets 
only, but in one's own house ; death to mutilate an 
image ; death to have in one's possession any of the 
writings of Luther, or Zwingle, or QScolampadius ; 
death to express doubt respecting the Sacraments 
of the Church, the authority of the Pope, or an}' 
siuiilar dogma. After this, in 1535, came the edict 
of which we have just made mention, consigning to 
the horrors of a living grave even I'epentant heretics, 
and to the more dreadful horrors, as they were 
deemed, of the stake, obstinate ones. There was 
no danger of these cruel laws remaining inoperative, 
even had the emperor been less in earnest than he 
was. The Inquisition of Cologne, the canons of 
Louvain, and the monks of Mechlin saw to their 
execution ; and the obsequiousness of iVLiry of 
Hungary, the regent of the kingdom, pushed on 
the bloody work, nor thought of pause till she 
should have reached the verge of " entire depopula- 

When Philip II. re-enacted the edict of 1540, he 
re-enacted the whole of that legislation which had 
disgraced the last thirty years of Charles's reign, 
and which, while it had not extinguished, nor even 
lessened the Lutheranism against which it was 
directed, had crijipled the industry and commerce 
of the Low Countries. There had been a lull in the 
terrible work of beheading and burning men for 
conscience sake during the few last yeai-s of the 
emperor's leign ; Charles's design, doi;btless, being 
to smooth the way for his son. The fires were not 
extinguished, but they were lowered ; the scaffolds 
were not taken down, but the blood that flooded 
them was less deep ; and as duiing the last years 
of Charles, so also during the first years of Philip, 
the furies of persecution seemed to slumber. But 
now they awoke ; and not only was the old con- 
dition of things brought back, but a new machineiy, 
more sure, swift, and deadly than that in use under 
Charles, was constructed to carrj' out the edicts 
which Philip had piiblished anew. The emperor 
liad established a court in Flanders that sufficiently 
i-esembled the Inquisition; but Philip II. made a 



still nearer ai)proacli to that rcdoiilituUle institution, 
which has ever been the pot engine of the bigot and 
])ersecutor, and the execration of all free men. The 
court now established l)y Philii) was, in fact, the 
Inquisition. It did not receive the name, it is true ; 
but it was none the less the Inquisition, and kicked 
nothing wliich the " Holy Office " in Spain pos- 
sessed. Like it, it had its dungeons and screws 
and racks. It had its apostolic inquisitors, its 
secretaries and sergeants. It liad its ftimiliars 
dispersed throughout the Provinces, and who acted 
as spies and 'informers. It apprehended men on 
suspicion, examined them by torture, and condemned 
them witliout confronting them with the ^vitnesses, 
or pei-mitting them to lead proof of their innocence. 
It permitted the civil judges to concern themselves 
with prosecutions for heresy no ftirther than merely 
to carry out the sentences the inquisitors had pro- 
nounced. The goods of the victims were confiscated, 
and denunciations were encouraged by the promise 
of rewards, and also the assurance of impunity 
to informers who had been co-i-eligionists of the 

Even among the submissive natives of Italy and 
Spain, the estaljlishment of the Inquisition had 
encountered opposition ; but among the spirited and 
wealthy citizens of the Netherlands, whose privileges 
had been expanding, and whose love of liberty had 
been growing, ever since the twelfth century, the 
introduction of a ooui-t like this was regarded with 
universal horror, and awakened no little indigna- 
tion. One thing was certain. Papal Inquisition and 
Netherland freedom could not stand together. The 
citizens beheld, in long and t<>rrible vista, calamity 
coming upon calamity ; tlieir dwellings entered at 
midnight by mask'jd familiars, their jiarents and 
chihlren dragged to secret prisons, their civic digni- 
taries led through the streets with halters round 
their necks, the foreign Protestant merchants fleeing 
from their country, their commerce dying, anios 
dafe blazing in all their cities, and liberty, in the 
end of the day, sinking under an odious and merci- 
less tyranny. 

There followed another measure which intensified 
the alarm and anger of the Netherlanders. The 
number of bishops was increased by Philip from 
four to seventeen. The existing sees were those of 
Arras, Cambray, Tournay, and Utrecht ; to these 
thirteen new sees were adde<l, making the n\imber 
of bLshoprics e((ual to that of the Provinces. The 
bull of Pius IV., ratified within a few months by 
that of Paul IV., stated that " the enemy of man- 
kind being abroad, and the Netherlands, then under 
the sway of the beloved son of his Holiness, Philip 
the Catholic, being <;onipassed about with heretic 

and schismatic nations, it was believed that the 
eternal welfare of the land was in great danger ;" 
hence the new labourei's sent forth into the harvest. 
The object of the measiire was transparent ; nor 
did its authors aflect to conceal that it was meant 
to strengthen the Papacy in Flanders, and extend 
the range of its i-ight arm, the Inquisition. These 
thirteen new bishojis were viewed by the citizens 
but as thirteen additional inquisitors. 

These two tyrannical steps necessitated a third. 
Philip saw it advisable to retain a body of Sj)anish 
troops in the country to compel submission to the 
new arrangements. The number of Spanish soldiei'S 
at that moment in Flanders was not gi-eat: they 
amounted to only 4,000 : but they were excellently 
disciplined : the citizens saw in them the sharp end 
of the wedge that was destined to introduce a 
Spanish army, and reduce theii' country under a 
desjiotism ; and in truth such was Philip's design. 
Besides, these troops wei-e insolent and rapacious 
to a degi-ee. The inhabitants of Zealand refused 
to work on their dykes, saying they would rather 
that the ocean should swallow them up at once, 
than that they should be devoured piece-meal by the 
avarice and cruelty of the Spanish soldiers.' 

The measures adopted by Philip caused the 
citizens the more irritation and discontent, from the 
fact that they were subvei-sive of the fundamental 
laws of the Provinces. At his accession Philip had 
taken an oath to uphold all the chartered rights of 
the Netherlanders ; but the new edicts traversctl 
every one of these rights. He had sworn not to 
raise the clergy in the Provinces above the state in 
which he found them. In disregard of his solernu 
]iledge, he had increased the ecclesiastical dioceses 
from four to seventeen. This was a formidable 
augmentation of the clerical force. The nobles 
looked askance on the new spiritual peers who liad 
come to divide with them their influence ; the 
middle classes regarded them as clogs on their in- 
dustry, and the artisans detested them as spies on 
their freedom. The violation of faith on the part 
of their monarch rankled in their bosoms, and in- 
spired them with gloomy forebodings as regarded 
the future. Another fundamental law, ever esteemed 
by the Netherlanders among the most valuable of 
their privileges, and which Philip had sworn to re- 
spect, dill these new arrangements contravene. It 
was unlawful to bring a foreign soldier into the 
country. Philip, despite his oath, refused to 
withdraw his Spanish troops. So long as they 
remained, the Netherlanders well knew that the 
door stood open for the entrance of a much larger 

' Watson, PlnUp II., vol. i., p. 118, 



force. It was also in-ovided in the ancient charters 
that the citizens should be tried before the ordi- 
nary courts and by the ordinary judges. But 
Philip had virtually swept all these courts away, 
and substituted in their room a tribunal of most 
anomalous and terrific powers : a tribunal that 
sat in darkness, that permitted those it dragged to 
its bar to plead no law, to defend themselves 
by no counsel, and that compelled the prisoner 
by torture to become his own accuser. Nor was 
tliis court reiiuired to assign, either to the prisoner 
himself or to the public, any reasons for the dread- 
ful and horrible sentences it was in the haoit of 
pronouncing. It was allowed the most unrestrained 
indulgence in a ca])ricious and murderous tyranny. 
The ancient chartei-s farther provided that only 
natives should serve in the public offices, and that 
foreigners should be ineligible. Philip paid as little 
respect to this as to the rest of their ancient usages 
and rights. Introducing a body of foreign ec- 
clesiastics and monks, he placed the lives and 
properties of liis subjects of the Netherlands at the 
disposal of tliese strangers. 

The ferment was great : a storm was gathering 
in the Low Countries : nor does one wonder when 
one reflects on the extent of the revolution wliicli 
had Ijeen accomplished, and which outraged all 
classes. The hierarchy had been suddenly and 
portentously expanded : the tribunals had been 
placed in the hands of foreigners : in the destruc- 
tion of their charters, the pi-ecious acquisitions of 
centuries had been swept away, and the citadel of 
their freedom razed. A foreign army was on their 
soil. The Netlierlanders saw in all this a complete 
machinery framed and set up on purpose to carry 
oni the despotism of the edicts. 

The blame of tlie new arrangements was.generally 
charged on the Bisliop of Arras. He was a plau- 
sible, crafty, ambitious man, fertile in expedients, 
and even of temper. He was the ablest of the 
counsellors of Philii), who honoured him with his 
entire confidence, and considted him on all occasions. 
Arras was by no means anxious to ho thought the 
contnver, or even prompter, of that scheme of des- 
potism which supplanted the liberties of his 
native land ; but the more he pi-otested, the more 
did the nation credit him with the plan. To him 
had been assigned the place of cliief authority among 
the new bishops, the Archbishopric of JMcchlin. He 
was coy at first of the proffered dignity, and 
Pliilip had to urge him before he would accept 
the mitre. " I only .accepted it," 
we find him afterwards wiiting to the king, " that 
I might not live in- idleness, doing nothing for God 

and your Majesty." If his See of Mechlin bi-ought 
liim labour, wliich he professed to wish, it brought 
him what he feigned not to wish, but which never- 
theless he greedily coveted, enormous wealth and 
vast influence ; and when the people saw him taking 
kindly to his new post, and working his way to the 
management of all afl'airs, and the control of the 
whole kingdom, they were but the more confirmed 
in theii' belief that the edicts, the new bishops, the 
Inquisition, and the Spanish soldiers had all sprung 
from his fertile brain. The Nethei'landers had un- 
doubtedly to thank the Bishop of Arras for the 
first, the edicts namely, and these were the primal 
fountains of that whole tyranny that was fiited to 
devastate the Low Countries. As regards the 
three last, it is not so clear that he had counselled 
their adoption. Nevertheless the nation persisted 
in regarding him as the chief conspirator against 
its liberties ; and the odium in which he was held 
increased from day to day. Discontent was rijjcn- 
ing into revolt. 

Pliilip II. was probably the less concerned at 
the storm, which he could not but see was gather- 
ing, inasmuch as he contemplated .an earl}' retreat 
liefoi'e it. He was soon to depart for Spain, and 
leave othei's to contend with the great winds he 
had unchained. 

Before taking his departure, Philip looked round 
him for one whom he might appoint regent of this 
important part of his dominions in his absence. 
His choice lay between Christina, Duchess of 
Lorraine (his cousin), and Margaret, Duchess of 
Parma, a natural daugliter of Charles V. He fixed 
at last on the latter, the Ducliess of Parma. The 
Duchess of Lorraine would have been the wiser 
ruler ; the Duchess of Parma, Philip knew, would 
be the more obsequious one. Her duchy was sur- 
rounded by Philip's Italian dominions, and she was 
willing, moreover, to send her son — afterwards the 
celebriited Alexander Farnese — on pretence of 
being educated at the court of Spain, but in reality 
as a pledge that she would execute to the letter the 
injunctions of Philip in her government of the Pro- 
vinces. Though for away, the king took care to 
retain a direct .and firm grasp of the Notherl.ands.' 

Under Margaret as regent, three Councils were 
organised — a Council of Finance, a Privy Council, 
and a Council of State, the last being the one of 
highest authority. These three Councils were 
appointed on the pretence of assisting the regent in 
her government of the Provinces, but in reality to 
mask her arbitrary administration by lending it 
the air of the popular will. It was meant that the 

' jRelat. Card. Sent., lib. ii., cap. 1, p. 45. 



government of the Provinces should possess all the 
simplicity of absolutism. Philip would order, 
Margaret would execute, and the Councils would 
consent ; meanwhile the old charters of freedom 
would be sleeping their deep sleep in the tomb that 
Philip had dug for them ; and woe to the man 
who should attempt to rouse them from their- 
slumber ! 

Before setting sail, Philip convoked an assembly 
of the States at Ghent, in order to deliver to them 
his parting instructions. Attended by a splendid 
rotiuuc, Philip presided at their opening meeting, 
but as he could not speak the tongne of the Flemings, 
the king addressed the convention by the mouth of 
the Bishop of Arras. The orator set forth, vnth 
that rhetorical grace of wluch he was a master, that 
" intense affection" which PhUip bore to the Pro- 
vinces ; he next craved earnest attention to the 
three millions of gold florins which the king had 
asked of them ; and these preliminaries dispatched, 
the bishoj) entered upon the great topic of his 
harangue, with a fen'our that showed how much 
this matter lay on the heart of his master. The 
earnestness of the bishop, or rather of Philip, can 
be felt only by giving his words. " At this 
moment," said he, " many countries, and particu- 
larly the lands in the immediate neighbourhood, 
were greatly infested by various ' new, reprobate, 
and damnable sects;' as these sects, proceeding 
from the foul fiend, father of discord, had not failed 
to keep those kingdoms in perpetual dissension 
and misery, to the manifest displeasure of God 
Almighty; as his Majesty was desirous to avert 
such terrible evils from his own realms, according 
to his duty to the Lord God, who would demand 
reckoning from him hereafter for the well-being of 
llie I'rovinces ; as all experience proved that change 
of religion ever brought desolation and confusion to 
the commonweal ; as low pereons, beggars, and 
^iigabondiS, under colour of religion, were accus- 
tomed to traverse the land for the puiisose of 
plunder and disturbance ; ;us his Majesty was most 
desirous of following in the footsteps of his lord 
and father ; as it would be well remembered what 
the emperor had said to him on the memorable 
occasion of his abdication, therefore his Majesty had 
commanded the regent Margaret of Parma, for the 
sake ofreligion and the glory of God, accurately and 
exactly to cause to be enforced the edicts and decrees 
made by liis Imperial JMajesty, and renewed by his 
]iresent Majesty, for the extiri)ation of all sects and 
heresies."' The charge laid on the regent Margaret 
was extended to all governors, councillors, and 

Motley, Rise of the Dutch Republic, pt. i., ch. 3, p. 110. 

others in authority, who were enjoined to trample 
heresy and heretics out of existence. 

The Estates listened -with intense anxiety, expect- 
ing every moment to hear Philip say that he would 
withdraw the Spanish troops, that he would lighten 
their heavy taxation, and that he would respect 
their ancient charters, which indeed he had sworn 
to observe. These were the things that lay near 
the hearts of the Netherlanders, but upon these 
matters Philip was profomidly silent. The con- 
vention begged till to-morrow to return its answer 
touching the levy of three millions which the king 
had asked for. 

On the following day the Estates met in pre- 
.sence of the king, and each province made answer 
separately. The Estate of Artois was the first to 
read its address by its representative. They would 
cheerfully yield to the king, not only the remains 
of their- property, but the last drop of their blood. 
At the heai-ing of these loyal words, a gleam of 
delight shot across the face of Philip. No ordi- 
nary satisfaction could have lighted up a face so 
habitually austere and morose. It was a burst of 
that " affection " which PhiUp boasted he bore the 
Netherlanders, and which showed them that it 
extended not only to them, but to theirs. But the 
deputy proceeded to append a condition to this 
ajjparently unbounded surrender; that condition 
was the withdrawal of the Spanish troops. In- 
stantly Philip's countenance changed, and sinking 
into his chair of state, with gloomy and wrathful 
brow, the assembly saw how distasteful to Philip 
was the propo.sition to withdraw his soldiers from 
the Netherlands. The rest of the Estates followed ; 
each, in its turn, makmg the same offer, Imt 
appending to it the same condition. Every florin 
of the throe millions demanded would be forth- 
coming, but not a soldier must be left on the soil of 
the Provinces. The king's face grew darker still. 
Its rajjid changes showed the tempest that was 
r.aging in his breast. To ask him to witlulraw his 
soldiers was to ask him to give up the Netherlands. 
Without the soldiers how could he maintain the 
edicts and Inquisition l and these let go, tlie 
haughty and heretical Netherlandei-s would again 
1)0 their own masters, and would fill the Provinces 
with that rampant heresy which he had just cui-sed. 
The very idea of such a thing threw the king into 
a rage which ho was at no pains to conceal. 

But a still greater mortification awaited him 
before the convention broke ujj. A formal remon- 
strance on the subject of the Spanish soldiei-s was 
presented to Philip in the name of the States- 
General, signed by the Prince of Orange, Count 
Egmont, and many other nobles. The king was at 



the same time asked to Miinul, or at least to 
moderate, the edicts ; and when one of his ministers 
represented, in the most delicate terms possiljle, 
that to persist in their execution would be to sow 
the seeds of rebellion, and thereby lose the sove- 
reignty of the Provinces, Philip replied that " he 
had much rather be no king at all than have 
hex-etics for his subjects.'" 

So ii'ritated was the king by these requests that 
he flung out of the hall in a rage, remarking that 
as he was a Spaniard it was perhaps expected that 
lie, too, should withdraw himself. A day or two, 
however, sufliced for liis passion to cool, and then 
he saw that his true jwlicy was dissimulation till lie 
should have tamed the stubbornness and pride of 
these Nethcrland nobles. He now made a feint of 
concession ; he woiild have been glad, he said, to 
carry his soldiers with him in his fleet, had he 
been earlier made acquainted with the wishes of the 
Estates ; he promised, however, to withdraw them 
in a few months. On the matter of Lutheranism 
he was inexorable, and could not even bring him- 
self to dissemble. His parting injunction to the 
States was to pursue heresy with the halter, the 
axe, the stake, and the other modes of death duly 
enacted and set forth in his ovra and his royal 
father's edicts. 

On the 26th of August, Philip II., on the shore 
of Flushing, received the fiirewell salutations of the 
grandees of the Provinces, and then set sail for 
Spain, attended by a fleet of ninety vessels. He 
had quitted an angry land ; around him was a yet 

angrier ocean. The skies blackened, the wind rose, 
and the tempest lay heavy upon the royal squadron. 
The ships were laden with the precious things of 
the Netherlands. Tapestries, silks, laces, paintings, 
marbles, and store of other articles which had been 
collected by his father, the emperor, in the course of 
thirty years, freighted the ships of Philip. He 
meant to fix his capital in Spain, and these pro- 
ducts of the needles, the looms, and the pencils of 
his skilful and industrious subjects of the Low 
Coimtries were meant to adorn his palace. The 
greedy waves swallowed up nearly all that lich and 
various spoil. Some of the ships foundered out- 
right; those that continued to float had to lighten 
themselves by casting their precious cargo into the 
sea. " Philip," as the historian Meteren remarks, 
" had robbed the land to enrich the ocean." The 
king's voyage, however, was safely ended, and on 
the Stli of September he disembarked at Loredo, on 
the Biscayan coast. 

The gloomy and superstitious mind of Philip 
interpreted his deliverance from the storm that had 
burst over his fleet in accordance wdtli his o^vn 
fanatical notions. He saw in it an authentication 
of the grand mission with which he had been en- 
trusted as the destroyer of heresy ;- and in token 
of thankfulness to that Power which had rescued 
him from the waves and landed him safely on 
Spanish earth, he made a vow, which found its ful- 
filment in the magnificent and colossal palace that 
rose in after-years on the savage and boiilder strewn 
slopes of the Sierra Guadarrama — the Escorial. 



Three Councils— T}iese Three but One-Margaret, Duchess of Parma— Cardinal Granvelle— Opiiosition to the New 
Bisliops- Storms at tlie Council-board— Position of Prince of Or.angc, and Counts Eg-mont and IIoru-Tlicir joint 
Letter to the King— Smouldering Discontent— Persecution— Peter Titlemann— Severity of the Edicts— Father and 
Son at the Stake— Heroism of the Flemish Martyrs— Execution of a Schoolmaster— A Skeleton at a Feast- 
Burning of Three Refugees— Great Number of Flemish Martyrs— What their Country Owed them. 

Three councils were organised, as we have said, 
to assist the Duchess of Parma in the government 
of the Provinces ; the nobles selected to serve in 
these councils were those who were highest in rank, 
and who most fully enjoyed the confidence of their 

' Bentivoglio. " Chegli voleva piu tosto restar senza 
regni ehe possedergli cou heresia." 

countrymen. This had very much the look of 
popular go^•cnlment. It did not seem exactly the 
machinery which a despot would -set up. Tlie ad- 
ministration of the Provinces ajjpeared to be within 
the Provinces themselves, and the popular will, 
expressed through the members of the councils, 

= Brandt, vol. i., pp. 132, 133. 


must needs he an influential element in the decision 
of all ufl'airs. And yet the administration which 
Philip Lad constructed was simply a despotism. 
He had so arranged it that the three councils were 
hut one council ; and the one coimcil was but 
one man ; and that one mau was Philip's most 
obedient tool. Thus the government of the Nether- 
lands was worked from Madrid, and the hand that 
directed it was that of the king. 

A few words will enable us to explain in what 
way Philip contrived to convert this semblance 
of popular rule into a real autocracy. The affairs 
of the nation were managed neither by the Council 
of Finance, nor by the Privy Council, nor by the 
Council of State, but by a committee of the latter. 
That committee was formed of three members 
of the Council of State, namely, the Bishop of 
Arras, Viglius, and Berlaymont. three men 
constituted a Consulta, or secret conclave, and it 
soon became appai'ent that in that secret committee 
was lodged the whole jiower of government. The 
three were in reality but one ; for Viglius and 
Berlaymont were so thoroughly identified in senti- 
ment and will with their chief, that in point of 
fact the Bishop of Arras was the Consulta. Arras 
was entirely devoted to Philip, and the regent, in 
turn, was instructed to take counsel with Arras, 
and to do as he should advise. Thus from the 
depths of the I'oyal cabinet in Spain came the 
orders that nded the Netherhinds. 

IMargaret had been gifted by nature with great 
force of will. Her talents, like her i)erson, were 
masculine. In happier circumstances she would 
have made a humane as well as a vigorous ruler, 
but placed a.s she was between an astute despot, 
whom she dared not disobey, and an unscrupulous 
and cunning minister, whose tact she could not 
overrule, she had nothing for it but to carry out 
the high-handed measures of others, and so draw 
down upon herself the odium which of right belonged 
to guiltier parties. Educated in the school of 
Machiavelli, her statesmanship was expressed in a 
single word, dissimulation, and her religion taught 
her to regard thieves, robbers, and murderers its 
criminals less vile than Luthei-ans and Huguenots. 
Her spiritual guide had been Loyola. 

Of Anthony Perrenot, Bishop of Arras, we have 
already spoken. He had been raised to the Sue of 
Mechlin, in the new scheme of the enlarged 
hierarchy ; and was soon to be advanced to the 
l)urple, and to become known in history under the 
more celebrated title of Cardinal Granvelle. His 
learning wius gi'eat, his wit wius ready, his eloquence 
fluent, and his tact exquisite. His appreciation of 
men wajj so keen, penetrating, and perfect, that he 

clothed himself iis it were with their feelings, and 
projects, and could be not so much himself an them. 
This rare power of sympathy, joined to his 
unscrupulousness, enabled him to inspire others 
with his own policy, in manner so natural and 
subtle that they never once suspected that it was 
his and not their- own. By this masterly art — 
more real than the necromancy in which that age 
believed — he seated liimself in Philip's cabinet — in 
Philip's breast — and dictated when he appeared only 
to suggest, and governed when he appeared only to 
obey. It is the fate of such men to be credited at 
times with sinister projects which have arisen not 
in their own brain, but in those of others, and thus 
it came to pass that the Bishop of Ai'ras was 
believed to be the real projector, not only of the 
edicts, which Philip had republished at his sug- 
gestion, but also of that whole machinery which 
had been constructed for carryuig them out — the 
new bislkops, the Inquisition, and the Spanish 
soldiers. The idea refused to quit the popular mind, 
and as grievance followed grievance, and the nation 
saw one after another of its liberties invaded, the 
storm of indignation and wrath which was daily 
growing fiercer took at first the direction of the 
bishop rather than of Philij). 

The new changes began to take effect. The 
bishops created by the recent bull for the extension 
of the hierarchy, began to arrive in the country, and 
claim possession of their several sees. Noble, aljliot, 
and commoner with one consent opposed the en- 
trance of these new dignitaries ; the commoners 
because they were foreigners, the abbots because 
their abbacies had been partially despoiled to provide 
livings for them, and the nobles because they re- 
garded them as rivals in power and influence. TIk^ 
reyeut Margaret, however, knowing how unalter- 
able was Philip's will in the matter, braved the 
stonn, and installed the new bishops. In one case 
she was compelled to yield. The populous and 
wealthy city of Antwerp emphatically refused to 
receive its new spiritual ruler. With the bishop 
they knew woiild come the Inquisition ; and with 
secret denunciations, midnight apinehensions, and 
stakes blazing in their market-i)laco they foresaw 
the flight of the foreign merchants from their 
coimtry, and the ruin of their commerce. They 
sent deputies to Madrid, who put the matter in 
this light before Philip; and the king, having 
respect to the state of liis treas\u-y, and the sums 
with which these wealthy merch;mts were accu.s- 
to'med to replenish his coffers, wa.s graciously 
pleased meanwhile to tolerate theii- opposition.' 

' Bentivoiflio. 



At the State Council storms were of frequent 
oucuri'ence. At that table sat men, some of whom 
wei'e superior in rank to Ai'ras, yet his equals in 
talent, and wlvo moreover had claims on PhUip's re- 
gard to which the bishop could make no pretensions, 
seeing they had laid him under great oliligations 
by the brilliant services which they hud rendered 

Meanwhile the popular discontent was gi'owing ; 
Protestantism, which the regent and her ministers 
were doing all that the axe and the halter enabled 
them to do to extirpate, was spreading every day 
wider among the people. Granvelle ascribed this 
portentous growth to the negligence of the magis- 
trates in not executing the "edicts." Orange and 


(From a Portrait of the period in the BiUiotheiim Nationale.) 

in the field. There were especially at that board 
the Piince of Orange and Counts Egmont and 
Horn, who in addition to great wealth and dis- 
tinguished merit, held high j)osition in the State 
as the Stadtholdei-s of important Provinces. Yet 
they were not consulted in the public business, nor 
was their judgment ever asked in State afiaii-s ; on 
the contrai-y, all matters were determined in secret 
by Granvelle. They were but puppets at the 
Council-board, while an an-ogant and haughty 
ecclesiastic ruled the countiy. 


Egmont, on the other hand, threw the blame on 
the cardinal, who w;is replaoing old Netherland 
liberty with Spanish desi)otism, and they demanded 
that a convention of the States should be simimoned 
to devise a remedy for the commotions and evils 
that were distracting the kingdom. 

This proposal was in the highest degi-ee distaste- 
ful to Granvelle. He could tell beforehand the 
remedy which the convention would prescribe for 
the popular discontent. The convention, he felt 
asam-ed, would demand the cancelling of the edicts, 



the suppression of the Inquisition, and the revival 
of those chartei-s under which civil libei-ty and 
commercial enterprise had reached that palmy state 
in which the Emperor Charles had foiuid them when 
he entered the Netherlands. Granvelle accordingly 
wrote to his master counselling him not to call a 
meeting of the States. The advice of the cardinal 
but too well accorded with the views of Philip. 
Instead of summoning a convention the king sent 
ordei\s to the regent to see that the edicts were 
more vigorously executed. It was not gentleness 
but rigour, he said, that was needed for these 
tiu'bulent subjects. 

Things were taking an ominous turn. The 
king's letter showed plainly to the Prince of Orange, 
and Counts Egmont and Horn, that Philip was 
i-esolved at all hazards to carry out his grand 
scheme against the independence of the Provinces. 
Not one of the edicts would he cancel ; and so 
long as they continued in force Philip must have 
bishops to execute them, and Spanish soldiers 
to protect these bishops from the violence of an 
oppressed and indignant people. The regent, in 
obedience to the king's new missive, sent out fresh 
orders, urging upon the magistrates the yet hotter 
prosecution of heresy. The executions were nndti- 
plied. The scaffolds made many \-ictims, but not 
one convert. On the contrary, the Protestants 
increased, and every day furnished new evidence 
that sufferers for conscience sake were commanding 
the admii-ation of many who did not share their 
faith, and that their cause was attracting attention 
in quarters where before it had received no notice. 
The regent, and especially Granvelle, were daily 
becoming more odious. The meetings at the 
Council-board were stormier than ever. The bland 
insolence and supercilious haughtiness of the 
cardinal were no longer endurable by Egmont and 
Horn. Bluff", out-s[)oken, and ii-ascible, they had 
come to an open quarrel wth liim. Orange could 
jjarry the thrust of Granvelle Avith a weapon as 
polished as his own, and so was able still to keep on 
terms of apparent friendliness with him ; but his 
j)Osition in the Council, where he was denied all 
share in the government, and yet lield responsible 
for its tyrannical proceedings, was becoming un- 
bearable, and he resolved to bring it to an end. 
On the 23rd of July, 15G1, Orange and Egmontad- 
dressed a joint letter to the king, stating how matters 
stood in Flandere, and craving leave to retire from 
the Council, or to be idlowed a voice in those 
measures for which they were held to be responsible. 
The answer, which was far fi-om satisfactory, was 
V>rought to Flanders by C!ount Horn, who had been 
on a visit to Madrid, ami liad parted from the king 

in a fnme at the impertinence of the two Flemish 
noblemen. His majesty expected them to give 
attendance at the Council-board as aforetime, with- 
out, however, holding out to them any hope that 
they would be allowed a larger share than heretofore 
iti the business transacted there. 

The gulf between Orange and Cardinal Granvelle 
was widening. The cardinal did not abate a jot of 
his tyranny. He knew that Philip would support 
him in the policy he was pursuing ; indeed, that he 
could not retain the favour of his master unless he 
gave ligorous execution to the edicts. He must go 
forward, it mattered not at what amount of odium to 
himself, and of hanging, burning, and buiying alive 
of Philip's subjects of the Netherlands. Granvelle 
sat alone in his " smithy " — for so was his country 
house, a little outside the walls of Brussels, de- 
nominated — ■writing daily letters to Philip, in- 
sinuating or dii-ectly advancing accusations against 
the nobles, especially Orange and Egmont, and 
craftily suggesting to Philip the policy he ought to 
pm'sue. In I'eply to these letters would come 
fresh orders to liimself and the regent, to adopt 
yet sterner measures toward the refractoiy and the 
heretical Netherlanders. He had suspended the 
glory of his reign on the trampling out of heresy in 
this deeply-infected portion of his dominions, and 
by what machinery could he do this unless by that 
which he had set up — the edicts, the bishops, and the 
Inquisition 1 — the triple wall ^vithin which he had 
enclosed the heretics of the Low Countries, so that 
not one of them should escajie. 

The Flemings are a patient and much-enduring 
people. Their patience has its limits, however, 
and these limits once passed, then determination 
and ii-e are in proportion to their former forbear- 
ance. As yet their submissiveness had not been 
exhausted ; they permitted their houses to be 
entered at midnight, and themselves dragged from 
their beds and conducted to the Inquisition, with 
the meekness of a lamb that is being led to the 
slaughter ; or if they opened then- mouths it was 
only to sing one of Marot's psalms. The familiars 
of this abhorred tribunal, therefore, encountered 
hardly any resistance in executing their dreadful 
office. The nation as yet stood by in silence, and 
saw the agents of Granvelle and Philip he^^-ing 
their victim;; in pieces with axes, or strangling 
them with halters, or drowaiing them in ponds, or 
digging graves for then- li\"ing entombment, and 
gave no sign. But all the while these cruelties 
were writing on the nation's heart, in ineffaceable 
characters, an abhon-ence of the Spanish t3Tant, 
and a stern unconquerable resolve, when the hour 
came, to throw off his yoke. In the crowd of tjiose 



monsters who were now revelling in the blood and 
lives of the Netherlanders, there stands out ono 
cons])icuous monster, Peter Titlemann by name ; 
not that he was more cruel than the rest of the 
crew, but because his cruelty stands horridly out 
against a gi-im pleasantry that seems to have cha- 
racterised the man. " Contemporary chroniclers," 
says Motley, " give a picture of him as of some 
grotesque yet terrible goblin, careering through the 
country by night or day, alone, on horseback, 
smiting the trembling peasants on the head with a 
great club, spreading dismay fiir and wide, dragging 
suspected persons from theii- firesides or their beds, 
and thrusting them into dungeons, airesting, tor- 
turing, strangling, burning, with hardly the shadow 
of warrant, information, or process." ^ 

The whole face of the Low Countries during the 
years of which we write (1560 — 65), was crossed 
and recrossed with lines of blood, traced by the 
cruel feet of monsters like tliis man. It was death 
to pray to God in one's own closet ; it was death 
not to bow when an image was carried past one in 
the street ; it was death to copy a hymn from a 
Genevese psalter, or sing a psalm ; it was death 
not to deny the heresy of which one was suspected 
when one was questioned, although one had never 
uttered it. The monster of whom we ha\e made 
mention above one day arrested Robei't Ogier of 
Ryssel, wth hLs wife and two sons. The crime of 
which they were accused was that of not going to 
mass, and of practising woi-ship at home. The civil 
judges before whom Titlemann brought them 
examined them toucliing the rites they practised in 
j)rivate. One of the sons answered, " We fall on 
our knees and pray that God may enlighten our 
minds and pardon our sins; we pray for our 
sovereign, that his reign may be prosjierous, and 
his life happy ; we pray for our magistrates, that 
God may preserve them." This artless answer, 
from a mere boy, touched some of the judges, even 
to tears. Nevertheless the father and the eldsr son 
were adjudged to the flames. " O God," prayed 
the youth at the stake, " Eternal Father, acce]>t 
the saciifice of our lives hi the name of thy 
beloved Son!" "Thou Uest, scoundrel!" fiercely 
interrupted a monk, who was lighting the fire. 
" God is not your father ; ye are the devil's 
chikh-en." The flames rose ; again the boy ex- 
claimed, " Look, my father, all heaven is opening, 
and I see ten hmidred thousand angels rejoicing 
over us. Let us be glad, for we are dying for the 
truth." " Thouliest, thou liest," again screamed the 

monk ; " I see hell opening, and ten thousand devils 
waiting to thrust you into eternaJ tire." The father 
and son were heard talkmg with one another in the 
midst of the flames, even when they wore at the 
fiercest ; and so they continued till botli expLred.- 

If the fury of the persecutor was grejit, not les.s 
was the heroism of these martyrs. They refused all 
communion with Rome, and worshipped in the 
Protestant foi-ms, in the face of all the dreadful 
penalties with which they were menaced. Nor 
was it the men only who were thus coiu'ageous ; 
women — nay, young gii'ls — animated by an equal 
faith, displayed an equal fortitude. Some of them 
refused to flee when the means of escape from prison 
were ofiered to them. Wives would take their 
stand by their husband's stake, and whUe he was 
enduring the tire they would whisper words of 
solace, or sing psalms to cheer him ; and so, in 
their own words, woidd they bear him company 
while "he was celebrating his last wedding feast." 
Young maidens would lie down in their living 
gi-ave as if they were entering into then- chamber 
of nightly sleep ; or go forth to the seaflbld and the 
fire, di'essed in theii- best apparel, as if they were 
going to theii- marriage.' In April, 1654, GaleLn 
de Mulere, schoolmaster at Oudenard, was ar- 
rested by Inquisitor Titlemann. The poor man 
was in great straits, for he had a -vrife and five 
young children, but he feared to deny God and the 
truth. He endeavoured to extricate himself from 
the dilemma by demanding to be tried before the 
magistrate and not by the Inquisition. " You are 
my prisoner," replied Titlemann ; " I am the Pope's 
and the emperor's plenipotentiary." The school- 
master gave, at first, evasive answers to the ques- 
tions put to him. "I adjure thee not to trifle 
with me," said Titlemann, and cited Scripture 
to enforce his adjuration ; " St. Peter," said the 
terrible inquisitor, " commands us to be i-eady 
always to give to every man that asketh us, a 
reason of the hope that is in us." On these woixis 
the schoolmaster's tongue broke loose. " My God, 
my God, assist me now according to thy promise," 
prayed he. Then tiu'ning to the inquisitors he said, 
" Ask me now what you please, I shall plainly 
answer." He then laid open to them his whole 
belief, concealing nothing of his abhorrence of 
Popery, and his love for the Saviour. They used 
all imaginable ai-ts to induce him to recant ; and 
finding that no argument would i>rcvail with him, 
" Do you not love your wife and children V said 
they to him as the last appeal. " You know," 

' Motley, Rise of the Dutch Republic, vol. i., p. 170; 
Edm., 1850. 

= Brandt, vol. i., pp. 108, 109. 
' Xbid., vol. i., p. 93. 


replied he, " that I love them from my luiut ; iiud 
I tell you truly, if the whole world were turned iiito 
gold, and given to me, I woidd freely resign it, so 
that I might keep these dear pledges with me in 
my confinement, though I should live upon bread 
and water." " Forsake then," said Titlemami, 
" your heretical opuuons, and then you may live 
■\vith your wife and children as formerly." " I 
shall never," he replied, " for the sake of wife and 
chilcken renounce my religion, and sin against God 
and my conscience, as God shall strengthen me 
■with his grace." He was pronounced a heretic; 
and being delivered to the secular arm, he was 
strangled and burned.' 

The very idiots of the nation lifted up their 
voice in reproof of the tyrants, and in condemna- 
tion of the tyramiy that was scourging the country. 
The following can hardly be read without horroi'. 
At Dixmuyde, in Flanders, lived one Walter Capel, 
who abounded in almsgiving, and was much lie- 
loved by the poor. Among others whom his 
bounty had fed was a poor simple creature, who 
hearing that his benefactor was being condemiied 
to death (1553), forced his way into the presence 
of the judges, and cried out, " Ye are murderers, 
ye are murderers ; ye spill innocent blood ; the 
man has done no ill, but has given me bi-ead." 
When Capel was buniing at the stake, this man 
would have thrown himself into the flames and 
died with his patron, had he not been restrained by 
force. Nor did his gi-atitude die ■with his bene- 
factor. He went daily to the gallows-field where 
the half-burned carcase was fastened to a stake, 
and gently stroking the flesh of the dead man ■with 
his hand, he said, " Ah, poor creature, you did no 
hann, and yet they have spilt your blood. You 
gave me my bellyful of victuals." When the 
flesh was all gone, and nothing but the bare 
skeleton remained, he took down the bones, and 
laying them upon his shoiddei-s, he cai-ried them to 
the house of one of the burgomasters, -with whom 
it chanced that several of the magistrates were 
at that moment feasting. Throwing his ghastly 
burden at their feet, he cried out, "There, you 
murderers, first you have eaten his flesh, now eat 
his bones." - 

The following tlirco martyrdoms connect them- 
selves with England. ChrLstian de Qiieker, Jacob 
Die)issart, and Joan Konings, of Stienwerk, in 
Flanders, had found an asylum in England, under 
Queen Elizabeth. In 1559, luning visited th(,'ir 
native country on their private ufl'airs, they fell 
into the bands of Peter Titlemann. Being brouglit 

before the inqui.sitoi"s, they fi-eely confessed their 
opiniorts. Meanwhile, the Dutch congregation in 
London procured lettei-s from the Archbishop of 
Canterbury and other English prelates, wliich 
were forwarded to the magistrates of Furness, where 
they were confined in prison. The writers said 
that they had been informed of the ajjprehension of 
the three travellers ; that they were the subjects of 
the Queen of England; that they had gone into the 
Low Countries for the dLspatch of their private 
aflaii's, ■with intent to return to England; that they 
had avoided disputes and contest by the way, and 
therefore could not be charged with the breach of 
any law of the land ; that none of the Flemings had 
been meddled with in England, but that if now 
those who had put themselves under English jvu-is- 
diction, and were members of the English Church, 
were to be thus treated in other countries, they 
should be likewise obliged, though muoh against 
their wills, to deal out the same measure to 
foreigners. Nevei-theless, they expected the magis- 
trates of Fiu-ness to show prudence and justice, and 
abstain from the spilling of innocent blood. 

The magistrates, on i-eceipt of this letter, deputed 
two of their' number to proceed to Bnissels, and lay 
it before the Council. It was read at the Board, 
but that was all the attention it received. The 
Coimcil resolved to proceed with the prisoner 
according to the edicts. A few days thereafter 
they were conducted to the court to receive their 
sentence, their brethren in the faith lining the 
way, and encouraging and comforting them. They 
were condemned to die. They went cheerfully to 
the stake. A voice addi-essing them from the 
crowd was heard, saying, "Joan, behave valiantly; 
the cro%vn of glory is prepared for you." It was 
that of John Bels, a Carmelite friar. While the 
executioner was fastening them to the stake, with 
chains put round their necks and feet, they sang 
the 130th Psalm, " Out of the depths have I cried 
to thee, O Lord ;" whereupon a Dominican, John 
Campo, cried out, " Now we jjerceive you are no 
Christians, for Christ went weeping to his death ;" 
to which one of the bystanders immediately made 
answer, " That's a lie, you false prophet." The 
martyrs were then strangled and scorched, and 
their bodies publicly hung in chains in the gallows- 
field. Their remains were soon after taken down 
by tlie Protestants of Furness, and buried.'' 

These men, although in number amounting to 
many thousands, were only the first rank of that 
gi'eater army of mai-tyrs which was to come after 
them. With the exception of a very few, we do not 

> Brandt, vol. i., p. 94. 

= find., vol. i., p. 93. 

3 Brandt, vol. i., p. 135. 



know even the names of the men who so will- 
ingly oflered theu- lives to plant the Gospel in theii- 
native land. They wei"e known only in the town, 
or village, or district in which they resided, and 
did not receive, as they did not seek, wider fame. 
But what mattei-s it i They themselves are safe, 
and so too are their names. Not one of them but 
Ls inscribed in a record more lasting than the 
liistorian's page, and from which they can never be 
blotted out. They were mostly men in humble 
station — weavers, tapestry-workers, stone-cutters, 
tanners ; for the nobles of the Netherlands, not 
even excepting the Prince of Orange, had not yet 
abjured the Popish faith, or embraced that of Pro- 

testantism. While the nobles were fuming at the 
pride of Granvelle, or luimbly but uselessly petition- 
ing Philip, or fighting wordy battles at the Council- 
board, they left it to the middle and lower classes 
to bear the brunt of the great war, and jeopardise 
their lives in the high places of the field. These 
humble men were the true nobles of the Nether- 
lands. Their blood it was that broke the power of 
Spain, and redeemed their native land from vassal- 
age. Their halters and stakes formed the basis of 
that glorious edifice of Dutch freedom which the 
next generation was to see rising proudly aloft, 
and which, but for them, would never have been 



Tumults at Valencieimes— Rescue of Two Martyrs— Terrible Revenge— Rhetoric Clubs— The Cardinal Attacked in 
Plays, Farces, and Lampoons— A Caricature— A Meeting of the States Demanded and Refused — Orders from 
Spain for the more Vigorous Prosecution of the Edicts — Orange, Egmont, and Horn Retire from the Council — 
They Demand the Recall of Granvelle— Doublings of Piiilip II.— Granvelle under pretence of Visiting his Mother 
Leaves the Netherlands— First Belgic Confession of Faith— Letter of Flemish Protestants to Philip II.— 

The murmui-s of the popular discontent grew 
louder every day. In that land the storm is heard 
long to mutter before the sky blackens and the 
tempest bursts ; but now there came, not indeed 
tlie hurricane — that was deferred for a few years 
— but a premonitory burst like the sudden wave 
which, wliile all as yet is calm, the ocean sends 
as the herald of the storm. At Valenciennes 
were two ministers, Faveau and Mallart, whose 
jn-eacliing attracted large congregations. They 
were condemned in the autumn of 1561 to lie 
Inirned. When the news spread in Valenciennes 
that their favourite preachers had been ordered for 
execution, the inhabitants turned out upon the 
street, now chanting Clement Marot's psalms, and 
now hurling menaces at the magistrates should 
they dare to touch then- preachers. The citizens 
crowded round the prison, encouraging the mini- 
sters, and promising to rescue them should an 
attemjjt be made to put them to death. These 
commotions were continued nightly for the space 
of six months. The magistrates were in a strait 
l)etween the two e\-ils — the anger of the cardinal, 
who w;is daily sending them peremptory orders to 
have the heretics burned, ajad the wrath of the 

people, which was expressed in furious menaces 
should they do as Granvelle ordered. At last they 
made up their minds to brave what they took to be 
the lesser evil, for they trusted that the people 
would not dare openly to resist the law. The 
magistrates brought forth Faveaii and Mallart one 
Monday morning, before sunrise, led them to the 
market-place, where preparations had be&n made, 
tied them to the stake, and were about to light the 
fires and consume them. At that moment a woman 
in the crowd threw lier shoe at the stake ; it was 
the preconcerted signal. The mob tore down the 
baiTiers, scattered the faggots, and chased away the 
executionei's. The guard, however, had adroitly 
canied off the prisoners to their dungeon. But the 
people were not to be batilked ; they kept pos- 
session of the street ; and when night came they 
broke open the prison, and brought forth the two 
ministers, who made their escape from the city. 
This was called " The Day of the Ill-bumed," one of 
the ministei-s ha-ving been scorched by the jiartially 
kindled faggots before he was rescued.' 

A terrible revenge was taken for the slur thus 

1 Brandt, vol. i., pp. 138. 139. 



cast upon the Inquisition, and the affront offered to 
the authority of Granvelle. Troops were poured 
into tlie ill-fated city. The prisons were filled with 
men and women who had participated, or were sus- 
pected of having participated, in the riot. The 
magistrates who had trembled before were furious 
now. They beheaded and burned almost indLs- 
ei-iminately ; the amount of blood spUt was truly 
frightful — to be remembered at a future day by the 
nation, and atonement demanded for it. 

We return to the Council-board at Brussels, and 
the crafty tyrannical man who presided at it — the 
minion of a craftier and more tyrannical — and who. 
buried in the depths of his cabinet, edited his edicts 
of blood, and sent them forth to be executed by 
his agents. The bickerings still continued at the 
Council-table, much to the disgust of Granvelle. 
But besides the rough assaults of Egmont and 
Horn, and the delicate wit and ridicule of Orange, 
other assailants arose to embitter the cardinal's exis- 
tence, and add to the diflBculties of his position. The 
Duchess of Parma became alienated from him. As 
regent, she was nominal head of the government, 
but the cardinal had reduced her to the position of a 
|)uppet, by gi-asping the whole power of the States, 
and learaig to her only an empty title. However, 
the cardinal consoled himself liy reflecting that if 
lie had lost the favour of Margaret, lie could very 
thoroughly rely on that of Philip, who, he knew, 
jilaeed before every earthly consideration the execu- 
tion of his edicts against heresy. But what gave 
more concern to Granvelle was a class of foes that 
now ai'ose outside the Council-chamber to annoy and 
sting him. These were the membei's of the " Rhe- 
toric Clubs." We find similar societies springing 
up in other countries of the Reformation, especially 
in France and Scotland, and they owed their 
existence to the same cause that is said to make wit 
flourish under a despotism. These clubs were 
composed of authors, poetasters, and comedians ; 
they wi-ote plays, pamphlets, pasquDs, in which 
they lashed the vices and superstitions, and attacked 
the despotisms of the age. They not only assailed 
error, but in many instances they were also largely 
instrumental in the diffusion of truth. They dis- 
charged the same service to that age which the 
new.spaper and the platform fulfil in ours. The 
literatui'e of these poems and plays was not high ; 
the wit was not delicate, nor the satire polished — 
the wood-carving that befits the interior of a cathe- 
dral would not STiit for the sculpture-work of its 
fi"ont — but the writers were in earnest ; they went 
straight to the mark, they expressed the pent-u]> 
feeling of thousands, and they created and intensi- 
fied the feeling which they expressed. 

Such was the battery that was now opened upon 
the minion of Spanish and Papal tp-anny in the 
Low Countries. The intelligent, clever, and witty 
artisans of Ghent, Bruges, and other towns chas- 
tised Granvelle in theii- plays and lampoons, 
ridiculed him in their forces, laughed at him in 
their burlesques, and held him up to contempt and 
scorn in their caricatures. The weapon was rough, 
but the wound it inflicted was rankling. These 
farces were acted in the street, where all could see 
them, and the poem and pasquU were posted on the 
walls where all could read them. The members of 
these clubs were indi^'iduaUy insignificant, but 
collectively they were most formidable. Neither 
the sacredness of his own piu'ple, nor the dread of 
Philip's authority, could afford the cardinal any 
protection. As numerous as a crowd of insects, 
the annoyances of his enemies were ceaseless 
as theii- stings were countless. As a sample of 
the broad humour and rude but truculent satire 
with which Philip's unfortunate manager in the 
Netherlands was assailed, we take the following 
caricature. In it the woi-thy cardinal was seen 
occupied in the maternal labour of hatching a 
lirood of bishops. The ecclesiastical chickens were 
in all stages of development. Some were only chi]i- 
ping the shell ; some had thrust out their heads and 
legs ; others, fairly disencumbered from their original 
envelopments, were running about with mitres on 
theii- heads. Each of these fledglings bore a whim- 
sical resemblance to one or other of the new 
bishops. But the coarsest and most cutting part of 
the caricature remains to be noticed. Over the 
cardinal was seen to hover a dark figure, with 
certain appendages other than appertain to the 
human form, and that personage was made to say, 
" This is my beloved son, hear ye him." ' 

Such continued for some years to be the imsatis- 
factory and eminently dangerous state of aftaii's in 
the Low Coimtries. The regent Margaret, humi- 
liated by the ascendency of Granvelle, and trembling 
at the catastrophe to which his rigotir was driving 
matters, proposed that the Stjites should lie sum- 
moned, in order to concert measures for i-estoring 
the tranquillity of the nation. Philip would on 
no account permit such an assembly to be con- 
voked. Margaret had to yield, but she resorted to 
the next most likely expedient. She summoned a 
meeting of the Knights of the Golden Fleece and 
the Stadtholders of the Provinces. Viglius, one of 
the members of Council, but less obnoxious than 
Granvelle, was chosen to .address the knights. He 
was a leai-ned man, and discoursed, with much 

' Hooft, ii. 42— opud Motley, i. 178. Brandt, i. 127, 128. 



plausibility and in the purest Latin, on the dis- 
turbed state of the country, and the causes which 
had brought it into its present condition. But it 
wiis not eloquence, but the abolition of the edicts 

Orange called a meeting of the nobles at his own 
house, and the discussion that took place, although 
a stoiniy one, led to an underetanding among them 
touching the course to be pursued in the future. 

li CAl'KL UHAUIXi; TllK SfHU'TU ItKS Tu HIS KAl'l^ llTKll. 

and the su])prcssion of the luqui.sition, that was 
needed, and this was the very thing which Philip 
w.a.<! determined not to grant. In vain had the 
Knights of the Fleece and the Sta<Ulioldf'rs 
a-isemljled. Still some good cauie of the gathering, 
although the result was one which Margaret had 
neither contemplated nor desired. The Prince of 

The Lord of Montiguy was sent as a deputy to 
Spain to lay the state of matters before Pliilip, 
and urge the necessity, if his principality of the 
Ni^therlands was to be sa\'ed, of stop{)ing tlie per- 
secution. Pliilip, who appeared to have devoted 
liimself wholly to one object, the extirpation of 
heresy, was incapable of feeling the weight of tlie 



representations of Montignj-. He said that he had 
never intended, and did not even now intend, 
establishing the Inquisition in the Low Countries 
in its Spanish form ; and while he bade Montigny 
carr}- back this assurance — a poor one even had it 
been true — to those from whom he had come, he 
sent at the same time secret orders to Granvelle to 
cany out yet more rigorously the decrees against 
the heretics. 

Orange, Egmont, and Horn, now iitterly dis- 
gusted and enraged, retired from the CouncU-table. 
They wrote a joint letter to the king, stating the 
fact of their withdrawal, with the reasons which 
had led to it, and demanding the dismissal of the 
cardinal as the only condition on which they could 
resume then- place at the Board. They also plainly 
avowed their belief that should Granvelle be con- 
tinued in the administration, the Netherlands 
woidd be lost to Philip. The answer returned to 
tliis letter was meant simply to gain time. WhUe 
Philip was musing on the steps to be taken, the fii-e 
was spreading. The thi-ee seigniors ^vrote again to 
the monarch. They begged to say, if the statement 
had any interest for him, that the country was on 
the road to ruin. The regent Margaret about the 
same time wrote also to her brother, the king. As 
.she now heartOy hated Granvelle, her representa- 
tions confirmed those of Orange, although, reared as 
she had been in the school of Loyola, she still 
maintained the semblance of confidence in and 
affection for the cai'dinal. The king now began to 
deliberate ui earnest. Pendijig the anival of 
Philip's answer, the Flemish grandees, at a gi-eat 
feast where they all met, came to the resolution of 
adopting a livery avowedly in ridicule of the 
grand dresses and showy equipages of the cardinal. 
Accordingly, in a few days, all their retainers 
appeared in worsted hose, and doublets of coarse 
grey, with hanging sleeves, but with no ornament 
whatever, except a fool's cap and bells embroidered 
upon each sleeve. The jest was understood, but 
the cardinal affected to laugh at it. In a little 
while the device was changed. The fool's cap and 
bells disappeared, and a sheaf of arrows came in the 
room of the former symbol.' The sheaf of arrows, 
Granvelle, in \vi'iting to Pliilip, intei-preted to 
mean " conspiracy." Meanwhile the king had 
made up his mind as to the course to be taken. 
He disjiatched two sets of instructions to Brussels, 
one open and the other secret. According to the 
first, the Duchess Margai-et was commanded to pro- 
secute the heretics with more rigour than ever ; the 
three lords were ordei'ed to return to their ])osts at 

the Council-table ; and the cardinal was told that 
the king, who was still deliberating, would make 
his resolution known through the regent. But by 
the secret letter, written at the same time, but sent 
oil' from Madrid so as to arrive behind the others, 
Philip wrote to the cardinal, saying that it ap- 
peared to him that it miyht he well he should 
leave the Provinces for some days, in order to visit 
hLs mother, and bidding him ask pennission to 
depart from the regent, whom he had secretly in- 
structed to give such permission, without allowing 
it to be seen that these orders had come from 
the king. 

The plan mystified all parties at the time, save 
Orange, who guessed how the matter really stood ; 
but the examination of Philip's correspondence has 
since permitted this somewhat complicated affair to 
be imravelled. The king had, in fact, yielded to the 
storm and recalled Granvelle. All were delighted 
at the cardinal's new-sprung affection for his motlxei', 
and trusted that it would not cool as suddenly as it 
had arisen;- in short, that "the red fellow," as they 
termed him, had taken a final leave of the country. 
Nor, indeed, did Granvelle ever return. 

It is time that we should speak of the summary 
of doctrines, or Confession of Faith, which was put 
forth by these early Protestants of the Netherlands. 
About the year 1561, Guido de Bres, with the 
assistance of Adrian Saravia, and three other 
ministers, published a little treatise in French under 
the title of " A Confession of the Faith generally 
and unanimously maintained by the Believers dis- 
persed throughout the Low Countries, who desii-e 
to live according to the purity of the holy Gospel of 
our Lord Jesus Chi-ist."^ This treatise was after- 
wards translated into Dutch. Saravia, who assisted 
De Bres in the compilation of it, states in a letter 
which the historian Brandt says he had seen, that 
" Guido de Bres communicated this Confession to 
such ministers as he coidd find, desiring them to 
coiTect what they thought amiss in it, so that it 
was not to be considered as one man's work, but 
that none who were concerned in it ever designed 
it for a rule of faith to others, but only as a 
scriptural proof of what they themselves believed." 
In the year 156.3, this Confession was published 
both in high and low Dutch. It consists of thirty- 
seven articles. Almost every one of these aiiicles 
is formally and antithetically set over against some 
one dogma of Romanism. With the great stream 
of Reformation theology as set forth in the Con- 
fessions of the Protestant Churches, the Belgic 
Confession is in beautiful harmony. It differs from 

' Strada, t>k. iv., p. 79; Lend., 1667. 

2 Strada, bk. iv., p. 80. 

3 Brandt, vol. i., p. 143. 



the Augsburg Confession under the liead of the 
Lord's Supper, inasmuch as it i-epudiates the idea 
of consiibstantiation, and teaches that the bread 
and wine are only syiiibols of Chiist's presence, and 
signs and seals of the blessing. In respect of the 
true catholicity of the Church, the doctrine of 
human merit and good works, and the justification 
of sLuners by faith alone, on the righteousness of 
Christ, and, in short, in all the fundamental doctrines 
of the Scriptures, the Belgic Confession is in agi-ee- 
ment vnth the Augustine Creed, and very specially 
with the Confession of Helvetia, France, Bohemia, 
England, and Scotland. The Reformation, as we 
have seen, entered the Low Countries by the gate of 
Wittemberg, rather than by the gate of Geneva : 
nevertheless, the Belgic Confession has a closer 
resemblance to the theology of those coimtries 
termed Reformed than to that of those usually 
styled Lutheran. The proximity of Flanders to 
France, the asylum sought on the soil of the Low 
Countries by so many of the Huguenots, and the 
numbers of English merchants trading with the 
Netherlanders, or resident in their cities, natui-ally 
led to the greater prominence in the Belgic Con- 
fession of those doctrines which have been usually 
held to be peculiar to Calvinism ; although we 
cannot help saying that a very general misappre- 
hension prevails upon this point. With the one 
exception stated above, the difl'erence on the Lord's 
Supper namely, the theology of Luther and the 
theology of Calvin set forth the same views of 
Divine truth, and as respects that class of questions 
confessedly in their full conception and reconcile- 
ment beyond the reach of the human faculties, 
God's sovereignty and man's free agencj', the two 
great chiefs, whatever dilierences may have come 
to exist between their respective followers, were 
at one in then- theology. Liither was quite as 
Calvinistic as Calvin himself 

The Belgic Creed Ls notable in another respect. 
It first saw the light, not in any synod or Church 
assembly, for as yet the Church of the Low Counti-ies 
as an organised body did not exist ; it had its 
))eginning with a few private believers and 
preachers in the Netherlands. This is a very 
natural and very beautiful genesis of a creed, and 
it admii-ably illustrates the real object and end 
of the Refonners in framing their Confessions. 
They compiled them, as wc see these few Flemish 
teachers doing, to be a helj) to themselves and to 
their fellow-believers in understanding the Scri))- 
tures, and to show the world what they believed 
to be the truth as set forth in the Bible. It did 
not enter into their minds that they were forging 
a yoke for the conscience, or a fetter for the 

understandiiig, and that they were setting u]) a 
Ijarrier beyond which men were not to adventure in 
the inquiry after truth. Nothing was further 
from the thoughts of the Reformers than this; they 
claimed no lordship over the consciences of men. 
The documents which they compiled and presented 
to the world they styled not a decree, or a rule, 
much less a creation, but a Confession, and they 
issued their Confessions under this reservation, that 
the Bible alone possessed inherent authority, that 
it alone was complete and perfect, and that their 
confession was only an approximation, to be re- 
viewed, altered, amended, enlarged, or abbreviated 
according as believers advanced in the more precise, 
full, and accurate iinderstanding of the meaning of 
the Spii'it speaking in the Word. We have no- 
where found the views of the Reformers on this 
point so admii'ably set forth as in the celebrated 
John a Lasco's preface to his book on the Sacra- 
ments ; and as this is a matter on which great 
misapprehension has been spread abroad, we shall 
here give his words. Speaking of the union of the 
Churches of Zurich and Geneva on the doctiine 
of the Lord's Supper, he says: "Our union is not 
so to be understood as if we designed to exclude 
the endeavours of all such as shall attempt to 
introduce a gi-eater purity of doctiine. We 
perceive, indeed, that many things are now taught 
much better than formerly, and that many old ways 
of speaking, long before used in the Church, are 
now altered. In like manner it may hereafter 
happen, that some of our forms of speaking being 
changed, many things may be better explained. 
The Holy Ghost will doubtless be present with 
others, in the Church of Christ after us, as he has 
vouchsafed to be with us and our ancestors ; for he 
proceeds gradually, or by steps, and gives an in- 
sensible increase to his gifts. And since we find 
that all things tend to farther perfection, I do not 
know, I own, whether it becomes us to endeavour 
to confine the gradual increase of his gifts within 
the compass of our forms of speaking, as within 
certain palisades and entrenchments ; as if that 
same Spirit were not at liberty, like the vnad, to 
blow how, and when, and where he listeth. I do 
not pretend to give a loose to the sowing of all 
kinds of new-fangled doctrines, but I contend for 
the liberty of adorning and explaining the founda- 
tions when once laid, and %vith design to show that 
the Spirit of God does not cease from daily im- 
parting to us more and more light." How truly 
catholis ! and how happily the mean is here 
sti-uck between those who say that Confessions 
ought to be abolished because they tyrannically 
forbid progi-ess, and those who hold that they are 



to be changed in not one iota, because they are 
already perfect ! 

This Confession of Faith, being revised by a synod 
that met in Antwerp in May, 1566, was in that 
year reprinted and published.' Following the 
example of Calvin in his celebrated letter to the 
King of France, which accompanied his Insti- 
tutes, the Reformed in the Netherlands pre- 
faced theu- Confession of Faith wth a letter to 
the King of Spain. Theu- Confession was theii- 
defence against the charges of heresy and disloyalty 
which had been preferred against them ; it was 
then- " protestation before God and his angels" that 
what they sought was " to enjoy the liberty of a 
pure conscience in serving God, and reforming 
themselves according to his Word and Holy 
Commandments ; " and it was their appeal to be 
freed from " the excommunications, imprisonments, 
banishments, racks and tortures, and other num- 
berless oppressions which they had undergone." 
They remind the king that it was not then- 
weakness which prompted this appeal to his com- 
passion ; and that if they did not resist, it was not 
because they were few in number — " there being," 
say they, " above one hundred thousand souls in 
these Provinces who profess the same religion, of 
which they presented him the Confession " — but to 
prevent his " stretching out his hand to embue and 
embathe it in the blood of so many poor innocent 
men," and thereby bringing calamity upon liis 
kingdom and throne. 

They appended to their CT"fession a " Repre- 
sentation" to the magistrates and higher powei-s 
throughout the Low Countries. In this Represen- 
tation we see these Flemish Protestants taking theu* 
stand at the very threshold of tho modern religious 
liberties. Nay, they so state the functions of the 
magistrate, and so define his jurLsdiction, that fairly 
interpreted their words approximate very nearly, if 
not altogether, to our own idea of toleration. They 
indeed condemn those who taught that it is " un- 
lawful for the magistrate to .speak of the Scripture, 
or to judge of doctrines and matters of religion." 
But these words in their mouths have a very dif- 
ferent meaning from that which they would have in 
ours. The Church of Rome said to tlic m.igis- 
trates. You are not to speak of Scripture, nor 
to judge of doctrines ; that belongs exclusively to 
us : you are to believe that whatever we call 
hei'esy, is heresy, and, without farther inquiiy, are 
to punish it with the sword. On the contrary, 
the Flemish Protestants vindicated the rights of 

princes and magistrates in this matter. They were 
not to be the blind tools of the Church in putting 
to death all whom she may choose to condemn as 
heretical. They must, for their own guidance, 
though not for the coercion of others, judge of 
doctrines and matters of religion. "They are not 
for going so far," they say, " as those good old 
fathers who say that our consciences are not to be 
molested, much less constrained or forced to believe, 
by any powers on earth, to whom the sword is only 
entrusted for the punishment of robbers, murderers, 
and the like disturbers of civil government." " We 
acknowledge," they add, " that the magistrate may 
take cognisance of heresies." But let us mark what 
sort of heresies they are of wliich the magistrate may 
take cognisance. They are heresies which involve 
" sedition and uproars against the government." ^ 

Thus again, when they explain themselves 
they come back to their grand idea of the freedom 
of conscience, as respects all human authority, in 
matters appertaining to God and his worship. 
Toleration had its birth in the same hour with Pro- 
testantism ; and, like the twins of classic story, the 
two powei-s have flourished together and advanced 
by equid stages. Luther exhibited toleration in 
act ; Calvin, ten years before the time of which wc 
wiite, began to formulate it, when he took heresy, 
strictly so called, out of the jurisdiction of the 
magistrate, and left him to deal with blasphemj', 
"which unsettled the foundation of civil order;" 
and now we behold the Protestants of the Low 
Coimtries treading in the steps of the Refoi-mer of 
Geneva, and pei-mitting the magistrate to take cog- 
nisance of heresy only when it shows itself in dis- 
tui'bances and uproars. It is important to bear in 
mind that the Reformers had to fight two battles at 
once. They had to contend for the emancipation 
of the magistrate, and they had to contend for the 
emancipation of the conscience. When they chal- 
lenged for the magistrate exemption from the 
authority of Rome, they had to be careful not to 
appear to exempt him from the authority of the law 
of God. The Papists were ever i-eady to accuse 
them of this, and to say that the Reformation had 
assigned an atheistic position to princes. If at 
times they aj)pear to deny the toleration which at 
other times they teach, much, if not all, of this is 
owing to the double battle which the times imposed 
upon them — the emancipation of the magistrate 
from the enslavement of the Church, and the 
emancipation of the conscience from the enslavement 
of both the magistrate and the Church. 

1 Brandt, vol. i., 158. 

= Biaudt, vol. i., pp. 158, 159. 





Speech of Prince of Orange at the Council-table — Egmont sent to Spain— Demand for the States-General, and the 
Abolition of the Edicts — Philip's Keply — More Martyrs — New and More Rigorous Instructions from Philip— The 
Nobles and Cities Remonstrate— Ai'rogance of the Inquisitors — New Mode of putting Protestants to Death — 
Rising Indignation in the Low Countries — Rumoui-s of General Massacre— Dreadful Secret Imparted to Prince of 
Orange— Council of Trent — Programme of Massacre. 

The cardinal had taken flight and was gone, but 
the Inquisition remained. So long as the edicts were 
m foi-ce, what could be expected but that the waves 
of popular tumult would continue to flow i Never- 
theless, the three lords — Orange, Egmont, and Horn 
■ — -came to the helm which Granvelle had been com- 
)ielled to let go, and, along with the regent, worked 
hard, if haply the shipwi-eck that appeared to im- 
pend over the vessel of the State might be averted. 
The clear eye of Orange saw that there was a 
deeper evil at work in the country than the car- 
tUnal, and he demanded the removal of that evU. 
Two measures he deemed essential for the restora- 
tion of quiet, and he strenuously lu-ged the instant 
adoption of these : — fii'st, the assembling of the 
States-General ; and secondly, the abolition of the 
edicts. The pi-ince's proposition struck at the evil 
in both its roots. The States-General, if permitted 
to meet, would resume its go^'el•nment of the nation 
after the ancient Flemish fashion, and the abolition 
of the edicts would cut the ground from under the 
feet of the bishops and the inquisitors — in short, it 
would break in pieces that whole macliinery by which 
the king was coercing the consciences and burning 
the bodies of his subjects. These two measures 
would have allayed all the ferment that was fast 
ripening into revolt. But what hope was there of 
their adoption"! None whatever while Pliilip 
existed, or Spain had a single soldier at her ser\'ice 
or a single ducat in her treasury. The Prince of 
Orange and his two fellow-councillors, however, let 
slip no opportunity at the Council-board of urging 
the expediency of these measures if the country was 
to be saved. " It was a thing altogether impracti- 
cable," they said, " to extiqjate .such a multitude of 
lioretics by the methods of fire and sword. On the 
contrary, the more these means wore emjiloyed, the 
fuster would the heretics multiply." ' Did not 
I'acts attest the truth and wisdom of their observii- 
tion 1 Neither cords nor stakes had been spared, 

' Brandt, vol. i., p. 149. 

and yet on every hand the complaint was heard that 
heresy was spreading. 

Waxing yet bolder, at a meeting of Council held 
towards the end of the year (1.564), the Prince of 
Orange energetically pleaded that, extinguishing 
their fires, they should give liberty to the people to 
exercise theii' religion in theu' own houses, and that 
in public the Sacrament should be administered 
under both kinds. "With commotions and reforma- 
tions on every side of them, "he said, "it was madness 
to think of maintaining the old state of matters by 
means of placards, inquisitions, and bishops. The 
king ought to be plainly informed what were the 
wishes of his subjects, and what a mistake it was to 
propose enforcing the decrees of the Council of 
Ti-ent, while their neighboiu's in Germany, as well 
Roman Catholics as Protestants, had indignantly 
rejected them." "As for himself," he said, in 
conclusion, " although resolved to adhere to the 
Roman Catholic religion, he could not approve that 
princes should aim at any dominion over the souls 
of men, or deprive them of the freedom of their 
faith and religion." 

The prince warmed as he spoke. His words flowed 
like a torrent. Hour passed after hour, and yet 
there were no signs of his oration drawing to a close. 
The coimcillors, who usually sat silent, or contented 
themselves witli merely giving a decorous assent 
to the propositions of Granvelle, might well be 
astonished at the eloquence that now resomided 
through the Council-chambei*. It was now seven 
o'clock of the evening, and the orator would not 
have ended even yet, had not the Duchess of Parma 
hinted that the dinner-hour liad arri\'ed, and that 
the debate must be adjourned for the day. Viglius, 
who had taken the place of the cardinal at the 
Council-table, went home to his liouse in u sort of 
stupefaction at what he had witnes-sed. He lay 
awake all night ruminating on the line of argiunent 
he .should adojjt in reply to Or.uigs. He felt how 
necessar}' it was to etlhcc the impression the prince's 
eloquence had niiulc. The dawn fouiul him still 



perturbed and perplexed. He got up, and was 
dressing himself, when a stroke of apoplexy laid him 
senseless upon the floor. The disease left him 

It was resolved to dispatch Count Egmont to 
Madrid, to petition PliDip for permission to the 
States-General to meet, as also for some mitigation 


shattered in mind as in body, and his place at the 
CouncU-board had to be supplied by his friend 
Joachin Hopper, a professor of Louvain, but a man 
of very humble parts, and entirely subservient to 
the regent.' 

> Brandt, vol. i., p. 150. 

of the edicts. But first the terms of Egmont's in- 
stnictions had to be adjusted. The people must 
not cry too loudly, lest their- tyrant should heat 
their fimiace seven-fold. But it was no easy 
matter to find mild epithets to designate burning 
wi-ongs. Words that might appear sufficiently 
humble and loyal on the comparatively free soil 



of the Low Countries, might sound almost like 
treason when uttered in the Palace of Spain. Tliis 
delicate matter arranged, Egmont set out. A most 
com-teous reception awaited the deputy of the 
Netherlands on liis an-ival at Madrid. He was 
caressed by the monarch, feted and flattci'ed by the 
nobles, loaded with rich gifts ; and these blandish- 

professed to defer much to Egmont's opinion ; he 
gave no promise, howe^-er, that he would change his 
policy as regarded religious matters, or soften in 
aught the rigour of the edicts. But to show Egmont, 
and the seigniors of the Netherlands through him, 
that in this he was impelled by no caprice of cruelty 
or bigotry, but on the contrary was acting from 


CARDINAL GRANVELLE. (Front a Portrait of tlte jjcn'od in the BiUiothequc Naiionale.) 

ments and arts had the effect, which doubtless they 
were meant to produce, of cooling his ardour as the 
advocate of his country. If the terms of the re- 
monstrance which Egmont was to lay at the foot 
of the throne had been studiously selected so as not 
to grate on the royal ear, before the ambassador left 
Flandei-s, they were still further softened by Egmont 
now that he stood on Spanish soil. Philip fre- 
quently admitted him to a private aiidience, and 
consulted with him touching the matters respecting 
which he had been deputed to his court. The king 


high and conscientious motives, Philiji assouiblrd a 
council of divines, at which Egmont assisted, and 
put to them the question, whether he was bound 
to gi-ant that liberty of conscience which some of 
the Dutch tovniH so earnestly craved of him ? The 
jiulgment of the majority was that, taking into 
account the present troubles in the I^ow Countiies 
— which, unless means were found for allaying them, 
might result in the Pro\inces falling away from 
their obedience to tlio king's authority and to 
theii- duty to the one tnic Church — his Majesty 



might accord them some freedom iii matters of 
religion without sinning against God. On tliis 
judgment being intimated to Philip, he informed 
the Fathers that they had misapprehended the 
special point of conscience he wished to have 
resolved, \\1iat lie desired to know was, whether 
he must, not whether he miyht grant the liberty his 
Flemish subjects desired. The ecclesiastics made 
answer plainly that they did not think that the 
king was bound in conscience so to do. Whereupon 
Philip, falling down before a crucifix, addressed it 
in these woi'ds : — " I beseech thee, O God and Lord 
of all things, that I may persevere all the days of 
my life in the same mind as I am now, never to be 
a king, nor called so of any country, where thou 
art not acknowledged for Lord." ' 

Egmont's embassy to the court of Spain being 
now ended, he set out on liis return to the Low 
Countries. He was accompanied on his journey by 
the young Prince Alexander of Parma, the nephew 
of Philip, and son of Slargaret, Regent of the 
Netherlands, and whose destiny it was in after- 
years to bo fatally mixed up wth the tragic woes 
of that land on which he now set foot for the 
first time. The results of Egmont's mission 
were already known at Brussels by letters from 
Spain, which, although ^VTitten after his depai-tiu'e 
from jNIadrid, had arrived before him ; nevertheless, 
he appeared in the Council on the 5th of May, 
1565, and gave in a report of the measures which 
the king had in contemplation for the pacifica- 
tion of the Provinces. The Prince of Orange 
clearly saw that the "holy water" of the coui-t 
had been sprinkled on Egmont, and that the man 
who had gone forth a patriot had come back a 
courtier and apologist. The deputy informed the 
Council that on the matter of the edicts no relaxa- 
tion was to be expected. Heresy must be rooted 
out. Touching the meeting of the States-General, 
the king would send his decision to the regent. 
This was all. Verily Egmont had gone far and 
brought back little. But he had a little codicil 
or ])ostscript in resei-N'e for the Council, to the 
ettect that Philip graciously granted leave for 
a synod of ecclesiiustics, with a few civilians, 
to convene and concert measures for the in- 
struction of the peo[)le, the reformation of the 
schools, and the purgation of heresy. And further, 
if the i)enal laws now in use did not serve their 
end, they Philip's pel-mission to substitute 
others " more efficacious." The Prince of Orange 
and others were willing to belic\-e that by the 

"more efliaicious" methods against heresy, milder 
methods only could be intended, seeing that it 
would be hard to invent mejisures more rigorous 
than those now Ln use ; such, however, was not the 
meaning of Philip." 

During the absence of Egmont, the persecution 
did not slacken. In February, Joost de Cruel was 
beheaded at Rosen. He had been first drawn to 
the Reformed faith by a sermon by Peter Title- 
manii. Dean of Rosen, who had since become 
the furious persecutor we have described above. 
In the same month, John Disreneaux, a man 
of seventy years, was burned at Lisle. At 
the same time, John de Graef was strangled and 
burned at Hulst, with the New Testament hung 
round his neck. His persecutors had subjected 
him while in prison to the extremities of hunger, 
and thirst, and cold, in the hope of subduing him. 
Mortification had set in, and he went halting to 
death, his frost-bitten toes and feet refusing then- 
oftice. Tranquil and coiu'ageous, notwithstanding, 
he exhorted the by-standers, if they had attained a 
knowledge of the truth, not to be deterred by the 
fear of death from confessing it. In the following 
month, two youths were discovered outside the 
town of Tournay reading the Scriptures. An 
intimacy of the closest kind, hallowed by theii- love 
of the Gospel, had knit them together all their 
lives j nor were they parted now. They were 
strangled and burned at the same stake.'' Con- 
sidering the number and the barbarity of these 
executions, it does not surprise one that Orange luid 
his associates believed that if the methods of ex- 
tirpating heiesy were to be changed, it could only 
Ije for milder inflictions. They had yet to learn 
the fertility of Philip's inventive genius. 

Scarcely had Egmont given in his report of his 
mission, when new instructions arrived from Philip, 
to the eflect that not only were the old placaixls to 
be ligorously enforced, but, over and abo^■e, the 
canons of the Council of Trent were to be promul- 
gated as law throughout the Netherlands. These 
canons gave the entire power of trying and jiunish- 
ing heretics to the clergy. In short, they delivered 
over the inhabitants of the Netherlands in all 
matters of opinion to the sole irresponsible and 
merciless jurisdiction of the Inquisition. Alarm, 
terror, and consternation overspread the Pro- 
vinces. The nobles, states, and cities sent deputies 
to the governor to remonstrate against the outrage 
on their ancient rights about to be perpetrated, and 
the destruction into which such a policy was 

' Stvacla, p. 183— »rm( Braudt, vol. i., 
Laval, vol. iii., p. 134. 

pp. 150, 151. 

- Brandt, vol. i., p. 1.54. 
3 Brandt, vol. i., p. 153. 

Laval, vol. iii., p. 134 



sure to drag the country. " There couhl be no 
viler slavery," they said, " than to lead a trembling 
life in the midst of spies and informers, who 
registered every word, action, look, and even every 
thought which they pretended to read from thence." 
The four chief cities of Brabant, Loiivain, Brussels, 
Antwerp, and Bois le Due sent deputies to the 
Chancellor and Council of that Province, to say 
plainly that the orders of Pliilip were sounding the 
death-knell of the Province ; the foreign merchants 
were making haste to get away, the commerce of 
theii- States was hastening to extinction, and soon 
their now flourishing country would be a "mere 
wilderness." The Prince of Orange wrote to the 
Duchess of Pai-ma to the effect that if this business 
of burning, beheading, and drowning was to go on, 
he begged that some other might be invested Avith 
the functions with which his sovereign had clothed 
hira, for he would be no party to the ruin of his 
country, which he as clearly foresaw as he was 
powerless to avert. Other Stadtholders wrote to 
the Duchess of Parma, in reply to her earnest 
exhortations to assist in cariying out the edicts, 
saying that they were not inclined to be the life- 
guards of the Inquisition. One of the chief magis- 
trates of Amsterdam, a Roman Catholic, happening 
one day to meet a sheriff who was very zealous in 
the work of persecution, thus addressed him : " You 
would do well, when called to appear before the 
tribunal of God, to have the emperor's placards in 
your hand, and observe how far they will bear you 
out." Papers were being daily .scattered in the 
streets, and posted on the gates of the palace of 
Orange, and of other nobles, calling on them to 
come to their country's help in its hour of need, 
to the end that, the axe and the halter being 
abolished in the affairs of religion, every one might 
be able to live and die according to his conscience. 

On the other hand, the governor was besieged 
by remonstrances and outcries from the bishops and 
monks, who complained that they were withstood in 
carrying out their sovei-eign's wish in the matter of 
the execution of the edicts. The aid they had been 
encouraged to expect in the work of the extirpation 
of heresy was withheld from them. The tribunals, 
prisons, and scaffolds of the coimtry had been made 
over to them, and all magistrates, constables, and 
gaolers had been constituted their servants ; never- 
theless, they were often denied the use of thiit 
machinery which was altogether indispensable if 
their work Wius to be done, not by halves, but 
effectually. They to bear odium and calumny, 
nay, sometimes they were in danger of their 
lives, in their zeal for the king's service and the 
Church's glory. On all sides is heard the cry 

that heresy is increasing, continued these much- 
injured men; but how can it be that heretics should 
not multiply, they asked, when they were denied 
the use of prisons in which to shut them up, and 
fires in which to burn them '! The position of the 
Duchess of Parma was anything but pleasant. On 
the one side she was assailed by the screams and 
hootings of this brood of Inquisitors ; and on the 
other was heard the muttered thunder of a nation's 

Rocked thus on the gi-eat billows, the Duchess 
of Parma wrote to her brother, letting him know 
how difficult and dangerous her position had be- 
come, and craving his advice as to how she ought 
to steer amid tempests so fierce, and every hour 
growing fiercer. Philip replied that the edicts 
must ever be her beacon-lights. Philip's will was 
unalterably fixed on the extiii^ation of heresy in 
his kingdom of the Netherlands, and that will must 
be the duchess's pole-star. Nevertheless, the tyi-ant 
was pleased to set his wits to work, and to devise a 
method by which the flagrancy, but not the cnielty, 
of the persecution might be abated. Instead of 
bringing forth the heretic, and beheading or burn- 
ing him at midday, he was to be put to death in 
his prison at midnight. The mode of execution 
was as simple as it was barbarous. The head of 
the prisoner was tied between his knees with a 
rope, and he was then thrown into a large tub full 
of water, kept in the prison for that use. This 
Christian invention is said to have been the original 
device of the "most Catholic king." The plea which 
Bishop Biro of Wesprim set up in defence of the 
clemency of the Chiu'ch of Rome, would have been 
more appropriate in Philip's mouth, its terms 
slightly altered, than it was in the mouth of the 
bisliop. " It is a calumny to say that the Church 
of Rome is bloodthirsty," said the worthy prelate, 
Biro ; " that Church has always been content if 
heretics were burned" 

A new and dreadful rumour which began to cir- 
odate through the Netherlands, added to the alarm 
and teiTors of the nation. It was during this same 
summer that Catherine de Medici and the Duke of 
Alva held their celebrated conference at Bayonne. 
Soon thereafter, whispei-s which jta.ssed from land to 
land, and from mouth to mouth, reached the Low 
Countries, that a dark plot had been concocted 
between these two personages, having for its object 
the utter extirpation of the new opinions. These 
rumours corresponded with what was said to have 
been agi-eed upon at one of the last sessions of the 

' Brandt, vol. i., pp. 154, 155. Laval, vol. iii., pp. 130, 137. 



Council of Trent, wliich lirtd closed its sittings the 
year before, and on that account greater stress was 
laid on these whispei-s. They appeared to receive 
still further authentication, at least in the eyes of 
William, Prince of Orange, from the circumstance 
that a plot ])recisely identical had been disclosed to 
him six years before, by Heniy II., when the king 
and the prince were hunting togethei' in the Wood 
of Vincennes. The rest of the hunting-party had 
left them, Henry and William were alone, and the 
mind of the French king being full of the project, 
and deeming the prince, then the intimate friend 
both of Philip II. and the Duke of Alva, a safe 
depositary of the great secret, he unhappily for 
himself, but most happily for humanity, communi- 
cated to the jn-ince the detail.s of the plan.' Henry 
II. told him how apprehensive he was of his throne 
being swept away in the flood of Protestantism, 
but he hoped, -Nvith the help of his son-in-law 
Philip II., soon to rid France of the last Huguenot. 
The monarch went on to explain to the prince how 
this was to be done, by entrapping the Protes- 
tants at the first convenient moment, de.stroying 
them at a single blow; and extending the same 
thorough purgation to all countries to which heresy 
liad spread. William could not have been more 
astounded although the earth had suddenly yawned 
at his feet ; however, he carried the secret in his 
breast from that dark wood, without permitting 
the French king to read, by word or look of his, 
the shock the disclosure had given him. And he 
retained it in his breast for years, without speaking 
of it to any one, although from the moment of his 
coming to the knowledge of it, it began to shape 
his conduct. It is from this circumstance that he 
received the significant name of " William the 

All three — the rumours from Bayonne, the 
tiding.<i from the Council of Trent, and the dark 
secret imparted to William in the Forest of Vin- 
cennes — pointed to a storm now gathering, of more 
than \isual severity, and which should burst over 
all Christendom, in which the Netherlands could 
not miss having their full share. But what had 
been plotted at Trent among the Fathers was 
nearly as little known as what had been agi-eed 
on at Bayonne, between Catherine and Alva. The 
full truth — the definite plan — was locked up in 
the archives of the Vatican, whence it is ]irobable 
its first suggestion had come, and in the brciists of 
the little coterie met at the closing sessions 
of the Comicil. But a paper by one of the .secre- 
taries of Cardinal Boromeo, since given to the 

' Sleidaii, Continuation, bk. ii., p. 27. 

world, has ])ublished on the housetops what was 
then spoken in whispers in. the cabinets of kings or 
the conclaves of ecclesiastical synods. " First, in 
order that the business may be conducted with the 
gi-eater authority, they" (the Fathers of the Coimcil) 
"advise to commit the superintendence of the whole 
aflair to Philip the Catholic king, who ought to be 
appointed with common consent the head and con- 
ductor of the whole enterprise." The Catholic king 
was to begin by preferring a complaint to his neigh- 
bour, Anthony Bourbon, King of Navan-e, " that, 
contrary to the institutions of his predecessors, he 
entertains and nourishes a new religion." Should 
the King of Navan-e turn a deaf ear to this remon- 
strance, Philip was to essay him " by fair promises 
to draw him ofi' from his wicked and \inhappy 
design." He was to hold out to him the hope of 
having that portion of his ancesti-al dominions 
of which he had been stripped, restored, or an 
equivalent given him in some other pai-t of EiU'ope. 
Should Philip succeed in soothing him, " the opera- 
tions of the future wai' will then be rendered more 
easy, short, and expeditious." If he stUl contuiued 
obstinate, the King of Spain was to " iutenuix 
some threatenings with his promises and flatteries." 
Meanwhile Philip was to be collecting an army " as 
privily as possible ; " and in the event of the King 
of Navan-e continuing obdurate, the Spanish king 
was to fall upon him suddenly and tmawares, and 
chase him from his kingdom, which the leaguers 
were to occupy. 

Fi-oni the mountains of Navarre the war was 
to be moved down to the plains. The Huguenots 
of France were to be extii-pated root and branch. 
For the execution of this part of the pi-ogramme, 
the main stress was rested on the zeal of the Duke 
of Guise, aided by reinforcements from Spain. 
While the sword was busy drowning the plains of 
that country in Protestant blood, such of the Ger- 
man princes as were Roman Catholic were to stop 
the passes into France, lest the Protestant princes 
should send succour to their brethren. Shut in, and 
left to contend unaided with two powerful armies, 
the fall of French Protestantism could not be 
<loubtful. France, chastised and restored to obe- 
dience to the Roman See, would regain her pristine 
purity and glory. 

Matters being thus " ordered in France," Ger- 
many was next to be vindcrtakcn. " Luther and 
his era" — that hour of portentous eclipse which 
had thnist itself into Germany's golden day — must 
bo razed from the tablets and chronicles of the 
Fatherland, nor ever be once remembered or spoken 
of by the generations to come. " It will be neces- 
sary," says the document from wliicli we qviote, 



" with men collcctcrl from all quarters, to invade 
Germany, and with the aid of the emperor and the 
l)ishops, to render and restore it again to the Holy 
Apostolic See." It was an-anged that this war of 
purgation should support itself. " The Duke of 
Guise shall lend to the emperor and the othei' 
princes of Germany, and the ecclesiastical lords, all 
the money that shall be gathered from the spoils 
and confiscations of so many noble, powerful, and 
■wealthy citizens as shall Ije killed in France on 
account of the new religion, which ^vill amount 
to a veiy great sum; the said Lord of Gviise taking 
.sufficient caution and seciu'ity, that so he may, 
after the conclusion of the war, be i-eimbursed of 
all the money employed for that piu-pose, from the 
spoils of the Lutherans and others who shall, on 
account of religion, be slain in Germany." 

What of Helvetia whUe this great conflagration 
should be raging aU round it t At the cry of their 
brethren the Reformed Swiss would rush from theii- 
mountains to aid their co-religionists. To prevent 
their doing so, work was to be found for them at 
home. " For fear," says the document, " that the 
cantons of Switzerland should lend aids, it is neces- 
.sary that the cantons which continue still obedient 
to the Roman Church declare war against the rest, 
and that the Pope assist these cantons that are of 
liis religion to the utmost of his power." 

The branches cut oif in France and Germany, 
a last and finishing blow was to be dealt at the 
root of the tree in Geneva. " The Duke of 
Savoy, whilst the war thus embroils France and 
the Swiss, shall rush suddenly and luiexpectedly 
with all his forces upon the city of Geneva, on the 
lake of Leman, a.ssault it by force, and shall not 
abandon it nor withdraw his men until he become 
master and obtain full possession of the said city, 
putting to the point of the sword, or casting into 
the lake, every living soid who shall be found 
therein, without any distinction of age or sex ; 
that all may be taught that the Divine Power 
in the end hath compensated for the delay of the 
punishment by the greatness and severity of 

Tlie tempest seemed about to burst in the days 
of Henry II., but the fatal tournament which sent 
that monarch to a pi-emature grave di-ew off the 
storm for a time. It continued, however, to 
lower in the sky of Europe ; the dark cloud would 
at times approach as if about to break, and again 
it would roll away. At last it e.xploded in the St. 
Bartholomew Massacre, and its awfid reverberations 
were reiterated again and again in the wars of 
Philip II. in the Low Countries, and in the cam- 
paigns and battles which for thirty years continued 
to devastate Germany. 



League of the Flemish Nobles— Franciscus Junius— The "Confederacy "—Its Object — Number of Signatories — Meet- 
ing of the Golden Fleece and States-General— How shall Margaret Steer ?— Procession of the Confederates— Their 
Petition- Perpleiuty of the Duchess— Stormy Debate in the Council— The Confederates styled " Beggars " 
— Medals Struck in Commemoration of the Name — Livery of the Beggars — Answer of the Duchess — Promised 
Moderation of the Edicts- Martyrdoms Continued— Four Martyi-s at Lille — John Cornehus Beheaded. 

Finding that new and more tyrannical orders were 
every day arriving from Sp.nin, and that the des])ot 
was tightening his hold \ipon their country, the 
leading nobles of the Netherlands now resolved to 
combine, in order to prevent, if possible, the utter 
enslavement of the nation. The " Compromise," 
as the league of the nobles was called, was formed 
early in the year 1.566. Its first suggestion was 
made at a conventicle, held on the Prince of Pamia's 
marriage-day (.Ird of No^-ember, l.'JG.')), at which 
Fi-anciscus Jiuiius, the minister of the Walloon 

or Huguenot congregation in Antwerp, preached.'-' 
This Junius, who was a Frenchman and of noble 
birth, had studied in Geneva, and though not more 
than twenty years of age, hi.s great learning and 
extraordinaiy talents gave his counsel weight with 

' IHscours des Conjurations de ccux de la Maison de Chase, 
centre le Roy, son Eoyaumc, Ics Princes de son Sanij, et ses 
Etats; printed in 1505, and republished at Riitisbon m 
1712, among the proofs of Satyre ilenipie, tom. iii. 

- So Bianilt aiErms, on the authority of a MS. Journal 
in Junius'a own handwriting (vol. i., p. 162). 



the Flemisli nobles who sometimes consulted him 
in cases of emergency. As he studied Tully, De 
Legibus, in his youth, there came one who said to 
him, in the words of the epicure, " God cares for 
none of us," and plied Junius with arguments so 
subtle that lie sucked in the poison of this dreary 
belief. Libertinism laid the reins on the neck of 
passion. But a iiuirvellous escape from death, which 

me, O my God, according to the multitude of thy 
mercies, and calledst home thy lost sheep into the 
fold." From that day he studied the Scriptures ; 
Ills life became pure ; and his zeal waxed strong in 
proportion as his knowledge enlarged. He possessed 
not a little of the fearless spirit of the great master 
at whose feet he had sat. He would preach, at 
times, with the stake standing in the square below. 

VIEW OF THE TO-nN-II.U-L, AMSTERD.IM. (After Van in Heydm.) 

he experienced at Lyons about a year afterwards, 
arrested him in his wickedness. He opened the 
Nt!W Testament, and the passage on which his eyes 
first lighted was this : " In the beginning was tlio 
Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word 
was God," itc As the stare grow dim and vanish 
when the sun rises, so tlie wisdom and eloipience of 
the ])agans paled before the surpassing majesty and 
splendour of tlie Gospel by St. John. " My body 
trembled," said he, " my mind was astonished, and 
I was so affected all that day that I knew not 
where nor what I was. Thou wast mindful of 

and the flames in which his brethren were beinf 
burned darting their lurid flashes through the 
windows of the apartment ujion the faces of Ids 
aiulience.' On the present occasion the younc 
])reacher addressed some twenty of the Flemish 
nobles, and after sermon a league against the " bar- 
barous and violent Inijuisition " was proposed. All 
Brussels was ruiging with the marriage festivities of 
Panmu There were triumi)hal arches in the street, 
and songs in the banquet-hall; deep goblets were 

' Brandt, vol. i., p. 163. 



dniined to tho hiippmess of Parma, iind the pros- 
perity of the great monarchy of Spain. At the .same 
moment, in the neighbourmg town of Antwerj), 
tliose movements were being initiated which were to 
loosen the foundations of Philip's empire, and ulti- 
mately ca-st down the tyi-ant from the pinnacle ou 
which he so proudly, and as he deemed so securely, 

The aims of the leaguers were strictly consti- 
tutional ; they made war only agamst the Inqui- 
sition, " tliat most pernicious tribunal, which is not 
only contrary to all human and divine law.s, but 
exceeds in cruelty the most barbarous institutions 
of the most savage tyi'ants in the heathen world." 
" For these reasons," say they, " we whose names 
are here subscribed have resolved to provide for 
the security of our families, goods, and persons ; 
and for this pm-pose we hereby enter into a secret 
league with one another, promising with a solemn 
oath to oppose with all our power the introduction 
of the above-mentioned Inquisition into these Pro- 
vinces, whether it shall be attempted secretly or 
openly, or by whatever name it shall be called. 

We likewise promise and swear 

mutually to defend one another, in all places, and 
on all occasions, against every attack that shall be 
made, or prosecution that shall be raised, against 
any individual among us on account of his concern 
in this Confederacy." ' The first three who took 
the pen to sign this document were Count Brede- 
rode, Charles de Mansfeld, and Louis of Nassau. 
Copies were circulated over the country, and the 
subscribers rapidly multiplied. In the course of 
two months 2,000 persons had appended their 
names to it. Tidings of the league were wafted 
to the ears of the governor, and it was added — 
a slight exaggeration, it may be — that it was 
already 1.5,000 strong.^ Roman Catholics as well 
ivs Protestants Avere pennitted to sign, and the 
array now gathering round this uplifted standard 
was, as may be supposed, somewhat miscellaneous. 

The Duchess of Parma was startled by the 
sudden rise of this organisation, whose numbers 
increa.sed every day. Behind her .stood Philip, 
whose truculent orders left her no retreat ; before 
her was the Confedorsvcy, a less foi-midable Ijut 
nearer danger. In lier perplexity the governor 
summoned the Knights of the Fleece and the Stadt- 
holders of the Pi-oviiices, to ask their advice touch- 
ing the steps to be taken in this grave emergency. 
Two courses, she said, appeared to be open to her — 
the one was to modify the edicts, the other was 

to suppress the Confederacy by arms ; the latter 
course, she said, was the one to which she leaned, 
especially kno\\'ing how inexorable was the will of 
ther king, but her difficulty lay in finding one to 
whom she could safely entrust the command of 
the troops. Orange was disqualified, having pro- 
nounced so strongly against the edicts and in favour 
of liberty of conscience ; and Egmont had positively 
declined the task, saying that " he would never 
fight for the penal laws and the Inquisition." '' 
What was to be done i 

While the Council was deliberating, the Confe- 
derates arrived in a body at Brussels. On the 3rd 
of AprU, 1566, a cavalcade of 200 nobles and 
knights, headed by the tall, military form of Bre- 
derode, rode into Brussels. The nobleman who 
was foremost in the procession traced his lineage 
backwards 500 years, in unbroken succession, to 
the old sovereigns of Holland. Amid the chances 
and turnings of the contest now opening, who 
could tell whether the sovereignty of the old 
country might not return to the old line^ Such 
was the vision that may have crossed the mind 
of Brederode. The day following the number of 
Confederates in Brussels was augmented by the 
arrival of about 100 other cavaliers. Their pass- 
age through the streets was greeted, as that of 
the first had been, by the acclamations of the popu- 
lace. " There go," said they, " the deliverers of 
our country." Next day, the 5th of April, the 
whole body of Confederates, cbessed in their 
richest robes, walked in procession to the old 
palace of Brabant, and passing through the stately 
hall in which Charles V. eleven years before had ab- 
dicated his sovereignties, they entered the audience 
chamber of the Regent of the Netherlands. Mar- 
garet beheld not without emotion this knightly 
assemblage, who had carried to her feet the wi-ongs 
of an oppi-essed nation. Brederode acted as spokes- 
man. The count was voluble. Orange possessed 
the gift of eloquence, but the latter had not yet 
enrolled himself among the Confederates. William 
the Silent never retraced his .steps, and therefore 
he pondered well his path before going forward. 
He could not throw down the gauntlet to a gi-eat 
monarchy like Spain with the light-hearted, jaunty 
defiance which many of the signatories of the 
Confederacy were now hurling against the tyi-ant, 
but whose heroism was likely to be all expended 
btfore it reached the battle-field, in those Baccha- 
nalian meetings then so common among the Flemish 

Brederode on this occasion was prudently brief. 

1 Watson, Philip II., vol. i., pp. 2.">.5, 25G. 

2 Motley, vol. i., p. 234. Laval, vol. iii., p. 138. 

3 Brandt, vol. i., p. 165. 



After defending himself and his associates from 
curtain insinuations wliich liad been thrown out 
against their loyalty, ho read the petition which 
luul been drafted in view of being presented to the 
duchess, in order that she might convey it to Pliilip. 
The petition set forth that the country could no 
longer bear the tyranny of the edicts : that rebellion 
was rearing its head, nay, was even at the palace- 
gates ; and the monarcli was entreated, if he would 
not imperil his empire, to abolish the Inquisition 
and convoke the States-General. Pending the 
king's answer, the duchess was asked to suspend 
the edicts, and to stop all executions for religious 

When Brederode had finished, the duchess sat 
silent for a few minutes. Her emotion was too 
great to be disguised, the tears rolling down her 
cheeks.- As soon as she had found words .she 
dismissed the Confederates, telling them that she 
would consult witli her coimcillors, and give her 
answer on the morrow. The discussion that fol- 
lowed in the council-hall, after Brederode and his 
followers had withdrawn, was a stormy one. The 
Prince of Orange argued strongly in favour of 
liberty of conscience, and Count Berlaymont, a 
ke(!n partisan of Rome and Spain, argued as vehe- 
mently, if not as eloquently, against the Confede- 
rates and the liberty which they craved. This 
debate is famous as that in which Berlaymont first 
applied to the Confederates an epithet which he 
meant should be a brand of disgi'ace, but which 
the)' accepted with pride, and wore as a badge of 
honovu', and by which they are now known in history. 
" Why, madam," asked Berlaymont of the duchess, 
observing her emotion, " why should yoii be afraid 
of these beggars V The Confederates caught up the 
words, and at once plucked the sting out of them. 
" Boggai-s, you call us," said they; "henceforth we 
sliall be known a.s beggars."' The term came soon 
to bi^ the distinguishing apjiellatiou for all those in 
the Netherlands who declared for the liberties of their 
country and the rights of conscience. They never 
met at festival or funeral without saluting e.ach 
other a-s " Beggars." Their cry was " Long live the 
Beggars!" They had medals struck, fii-st of wax and 
wood, and afterwards of silver and gold, stamped 
uu the one side with the king's effigies, and on 
the other with a beggar's scrip or bag, held in two 
clasped right hands, with the motto, " Faitliful 
to the king, even to beggary." Some adopted grey 

1 Brandt, vol. i., pp. Ifi."). ICC. 

- Pontus Peyeu, ii., MS.—apud Motley, vol. i., p. 254. 

^ Ouexix. It is a French word, "and seems to be de- 
rived," says Brandt, " from the Dutch Quiis, which signi- 
fies !is much as rogxies, vagabonds, or sturdy beggars.' 

cloth an livery, and wore the common felt hat, and 
displayed on then- breasts, or suspended i-ound 
their beavers, a little beggar's wooden bowl, on 
which was wrought in silver, Vive le Gueux. At 
a great entertainment given by Brederode, after 
drinking the king's health out of wooden bowls, 
they hung the dish, together with a beggar's scrip, 
round their necks, and continuing the feast, they 
pledged themselves at each potation to play their 
part manfully as " Beggars," and ever to yield a 
loyal adhei'ence and stout defence to the Coi\- 

The duchess gave her answer next da)'. She 
promised to send an envoy to Spain to lay the 
petition of the Confederates before Philip. She 
had no power, she said, to suspend the Inquisition, 
nevertheless she would issue orders to the inquisi- 
tors to proceed with discretion. The discretion of 
an inquisitor ! Much the Beggars marvelled what 
that might mean. The new project shortly after- 
wards enlightened them. As elaborated, and pub- 
lished in fifty-three articles, that project amounted 
to this : that heretics, instead of being burned, 
wei-e to be beheaded or hanged ; but they were 
to be admitted to this remarkable clemency only 
if they did not stu- up riots and tumults. The 
people appear to have been but little thankful for 
this uncommon " moderation," and nicknamed it 
" murderatiou." It would appear that few were 
deemed worthy of the Government's mercy, for 
not only did blood continue to flow by the axe, 
but the stake blazed nearly as frequently as before. 
About this time, four martyi's were bunied at 
LUle. " They all four'," says Brandt, " sung as 
■with one mouth the first verse of tlie twenty- 
seventh Psalm, and concluded their singing and 
their life together with the hymn of Simeon, 
' Now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace.' " 
A tapestry weaver of Oudenard, near Ghent, by 
name John Tiscan, who had committed the indis- 
cretion of snatching the wafer from the hand of 
the priest and crumbling it into bits, to show 
the people that it was bread and not God, had 
liis hand cut off, and afterwards his body cast 
into the flames. Some there were, however, who 
were judged to fall withm the scope of tJic 
Government's indulgence, and were pemiitted to 
die by the sword. John Cornelius Winter had 
been mmister in the town of Horn, and had spent 
some thirty yeara in the quiet but zealous diffu- 
sion of the truth. He was apprehended and 
thro^v^l first into prison at the Hague, and after- 
wards into the Bishop of Utrecht's prisons, and 

■* Braudt, vol. i., p. 1G7. Laval, vol. iii., p. 139. 



now this year he vras brought forth to be beheaded. 
He submitted himself cheerfully, and it was ob- 
served that, singing the Te Ueuiii on the scaffold, 

the executioner stnick, and his head was severed 
from his body just as he had finished the line, 
"All the martyrs praise thee."" 



The Protestants Eesolve to Worship in Public— First Field- Preaching near Ghent— Herman Modet— Seven Thou- 
sand Hearers— The Assembly Attacked, but Stands its Ground— Second Field-Preaching— ^iTangements at 
the Field-Preaching — Wall of Waggons — Sentinels, &c. — Numbers of the Worsliippers— Singing of the Psalms— 
Field-Preaching near Antwerp— The Governor Forbids them— The Magistrates unable to put them down— Field- 
Preaching at Tournay — Immense Congregations — Peregrine de la Grange — Ambrose Wille — Field-Preaching in 
Holland — Peter Gabriel and John Arentson — Secret Consultations — First Sermon near Horn — Enormous Con- 
venticle near Haarlem — The Town Gates Locked — The Imprisoned Multitude Compel their Opening — Grandeur 
of the Conventicle — Difference between the Field-Preachers and the Confederates— Preaching at Delft— 
Utrecht— The Hague — Arrival of more Preachers. 

The Confederates had been given proof of what 
was meant by the discretion of the inquisitors, and 
the Protestants were able to judge how far their 
condition was likely to be improved under the pro- 
mised " Moderation of the Placards." It neither 
blunted the sword nor quenched the violence of 
the stake. If the latter blazed .somewhat less 
frequently, the former struck all the oftener ; and 
there was still no diminution of the numbers of 
those who were called to seal their testimony wth 
their Ijlood. Desj)airing of a Government that was 
growing daily milder in word, but more cruel in 
act, the Protestants resolved that from this time 
forward they would hold their worshipping assem- 
blies in public, and try what effect a display of 
their numbers would have upon their oppressors. 
At a meeting held at Whitsuntide, 1566, at which 
the Lord of Aldegonde — who was destined to play 
tlie most distinguished part, next to Orange, in the 
coming drama — was present, it was resolved that 
" the ch\irches should be opened, and divine service 
publicly performed at Antwerp as it was already 
in Flanders." This resolution was immediately 
acted upon. In some places the Eefonned met 
together to the number of 7,000, in others to that 
of 15,000.' From West Flanders, where preaching 
in public took its rise, it passed into Brabant, and 
tlience into other provinces. The worshippers at 
the beginning sought the gloom and seclusion of 
wood and forest. As they grew bolder, they assem- 
bled in the plains and open places ; and last of all, 

Laval, vol. iii., p. 140. 

they met in villages, in towns, and in the .suburbs 
of gi-eat cities. They came to these meetings, in 
the first instance, unarmed ; but being threatened, 
and sometimes attacked, they appeared with sticks 
and stones, and at last provided themselves with 
the more formidable weapons of swords, pistols, 
and muskets.^ 

It is said that the first field-preaching in the 
Netherlands took place on the 14th of June, 1566, 
and was held in the neighbourhood of Ghent. Tlie 
preacher was Herman Modet, who had formerly 
been a monk, but was now the Reformed pastor 
at Oudenard. " This man," says a Popish chro- 
nicler, " was the first wlio ventured to preach in 
public, and there were 7,000 pereons at his first 
sermon."^ The Government " scout," as the head 
of the executive was named, ha^•ing got scent of 
the meeting, mounted liis horse and galloped off 
to disperse it. Arriving on the scene, he boldly 
rode in amongst the multitude, holding a drawn 
sword in one hand and a pistol in the other, 
and made a dash at the minister with intent ,to 
ap])rehend him. Modet, making off quickly, con- 
cealed himself in a neighbouring wood. The people, 
surprised and without arms, appeared for a moment 
as if they would disperse ; but their courage rally- 
ing, they plentifully supplied themselves with 
stones, in hick of other weapons, and saluted the 
officer with such a shower of missiles on all sides 

= Brandt, vol. i., pp. 168, 169. 
3 Ihid., p. 171. 

■• N. Burgund, Mist. Belg., lib. iii., p. 21S—apud Brandt, 
vol. i., p. 171. 



that, throwing iiwuy his sword and pistol, he 
begged for quarter, to which his captoi'S admitted 
liini. He escaped witli his life, although badly 

The second great lield-preaching took place on 
tlie 23rd of July following, the people assembling 
iu a large meadow in the vicinity of Ghent. The 
'• Word" was precious in those days, and the people, 
thirsting to hear it, jjrepared to remain two days 
consecutively on the ground. Their arrangements 
more resembled an army pitching their camp than 
a peaceful multitude assembling for worship. 
Ai'oimd the worshippers was a wall of barricades 
in the shape of carts and waggons. Sentinels were 
planted at all the entrances. A i-ude pulpit of 
planks was hastily run ujj and placed aloft on a. 
cart. Modet was preacher, and around him were 
many thousands of hearei's, who listened with their 
pikes, hatchets, and guns lying by their side, ready 
to be grasped on a sign from the sentuaels who kept 
watch all around the assembly. In front of the 
entrances were erected stalls, whereat pedlars oflered 
prohibited books to all who wshed to buy. Along 
the roads running into the country were stationed 
certain persons, whose office it was to bid the casual 
jiassenger turn in ,and hear the Gospel. After ser- 
mon, water was fetched from a neighbouring brook, 
and the Sacrament of baptism dispensed. When the 
services were finished, the multitude would repair to 
other districts, where they encamped after the same 
fashion, and remained for the same space of time, and 
so passed through the whole of West Flanders. At 
these conventicles the Psalms of David, which had 
been translated into Low Dutch from the version 
of Clement Marot, and Theodore Beza, were always 
sung. The odes of the Hebrew king, pealed forth 
by from live to ton thousand voices, and borne by 
the breeze over tlie woods and meadows, might be 
heard at great distances, arresting the ploughman 
as he tin-ned the furrow, or the traveller as he 
)im-sued his way, and making him stop and wonder 
whence the minstrelsy jiroceeded. 

Heresy had been flung into the air, and was 
spreading like an infection far and near over the 
Low Countries. The contagion already pervaded 
all Flanders, and now it appeared in Brabant. 
The first jHiblic sennon in this part of the Nether- 
lands was preached on the 24th of June, in a wood 
belonging to the Lord of Berghen, not far from Ant- 
werj). It being St. John's-tide, and so a holiday, 
from four to five thousand jjersons were present. A 
rumour had been circulated that a descent would be 
made on the wor.shippers by the military; and armed 
men were ])osted at all the avenues, some on foot, 
othei-s on horseback : no attack, however, took place, 

and the assembly concluded its worship in peace.' 
Tidings having reached the ear of the governor 
that field-preachings had commenced at Antwerp, 
she wrote to the magistrates of that city, command- 
ing them to forbid all such assemblies of the 
people, and if holden, to disperse them by force of 
amis. The magistrates replied that they had not 
the power so to do, nor indeed had they ; the 
burgher-guai'd was weak, some of them not very 
zealous in the business, and the conventicle-holders 
were not only numerous, but every third man went 
armed to the meeting. And as regai-ds the Pro- 
testants, so little were they terrified by the threats 
of the duchess, that they took forcible possession of 
a large common, named the Laer, within a mile of 
Antwei-p, and having fortified all the avenues lead 
ing into it, by massing waggons and branches of 
trees in front, and planting armed scouts all around, 
they preached in three several jilaces of the field 
at once.'^ 

The pestilence, which to the alarm and horror of 
the authorities had broken out, they sought to wall 
in by placards. Every day, new and severer pro- 
hibitions were arriving from the Duchess of Parma 
against the field-preachings. In the end of June, 
she sent orders to the magistrates of Antweqi to 
disperse all these assemblies, and to hang all the 
preachers." Had the duchess accompanied these 
orders with troops to enforce them, theu- execution 
might have been possible : but the governor, much 
to her chagi-ia, had neither soldiers nor money. 
Her musketeers and cross-bowmen were them- 
selves, in many instances, among the frequenters of 
these illegal meetings. To issue placards in these 
cii-'cumstances was altogether idle. The magistrates 
of Antwerp replied, that while they would take 
care that no conventicle was held in the city, they 
must decline all responsibility touching those vast 
masses of men, amoiuiting at times to from fifteen 
to twenty thousand, that were in the practice of 
going outside the walls to sermon. 

About this time Tournay became famous for its 
field-preachings. Indeed, the town may be said to 
have become Protestant, for not more than a si.xth 
of its population remained with the Roman Church. 
Adjoining France its preachers were Walloons — that 
is. Huguenots — and on the question of the Sacra- 
ment, the main doctrinal difl'erence between the 
Lutheran and the Reformed, the citizens of Tour- 
nay were decided Calvinists. Nowhere in the 
Netherlands had the Protestants as yet ventured 
on i)reachuig publicly within the walls of a city, 

> Brandt, vol. i., p. 172. 

3 ifrtd., p.174. 

Vni.., p. 173. 



and the inhabitants of Tom-nay, like those of all 
the Flemish towTis, repaired to the fields to wor- 
ship, lea^'ing for the time the streets sUent. One 
day in the beginning of July, 1566, some 10,000 
citizens passed out at its gates to hear Peregiine de 
la Grange, an eloquent preacher from Provence. 
La Grange had brought to the Low Countries the 
warm and impulsive temperament and lively 
oratory of the South ; he galloped -mth the air of 
a cavalier to the spot where thousands, gathered 
round a hastily prepared pulpit, waited his coming; 
and when he stood up to begin, he would fire a 
pistol over the heads of his immense audience as 
a signal to listen. Other two days passed, and 
another enormous conventicle assembled outside 
Tournay. A preacher even more popular than 
Peregrine de la Grange was this day to occupy the 
pulpit in the fields, and the audience was twice as 
large as that which had assembled two days 

Ambrose WUle had sat at the feet of Calvin, 
and if the stream of his eloquence was not so 
rapid, it was richer and deeper than that of the 
Provencal ; and what the multitudes which thronged 
to these field-preachings sought was not so much to 
have their emotions stirred as to have their under- 
standings informed by the truths of Scripture, and 
above all, to have their consciences set at rest by 
healing the way of pardon clearly explained to 
them. The risks connected with attendance were 
far too tremendous to be hazarded for the sake of 
mere excitement. Not only did the minister preach 
•with a price set upon his head, but eveiy one of 
these 20,000 now before him, by the mere fact of 
hearing him, had violated the edicts, and incurred 
the penalty of death. Their silence bespoke then- 
intense anxiety and interest, and when the sermon 
had ended, the hcaitiness of their psalm testified 
to the depth of their joy. It was at the peiil of 
their lives that the inhabitants of the Netherlands 
sought, in those days, the bread of their souls in 
the high places of the fields. 

The movement steadily maintained its march 
northwards. It advanced along that famous sea- 
board, a mighty sUent power, bowing the hearts 
of young and old, of the noble and the artisan, of 
the wealthy city merchant and the landward tiller 
of the soil, and gathering them, in defiance of fiery 
j)lacards, in tens of thousands round that tree 
whereon w;i,s offered the true Saci-ifice for the 
sins of the world. We have seen the movement 
advance from Flanders into Brabant, and now we 
are to follow it from Brabant into Holland. In 
vain does Philip bid it stop ; in vain do the placards 
of the governor threaten death ; it continues its 

majestic march from province to province, and from 
city to city, its coming, like that of morning, 
heralded by songs of joy. It is interesting to mark 
the first feeble begimiings of Protestant preaching 
in a country where the Reformation was destined 
to win so many brilliant triumphs. In an obscui-e 
street of Amsterdam, there lived at that time Peter 
Gabriel, formerly of Bruges, with his wife Eliza- 
beth, who wa.s childless. He had been a monk, 
but having embraced the Protestant faith, he threw 
off the frock, and was now accustomed to explain 
the Heidelberg catechism every Sunday to a small 
congregation, who came to him by twos and threes 
at a time for fear of the magistrates, who were 
animated by a sangiunary zeal against the Reforma- 
tion, and trembled lest the jilague of field-preaching 
should invade then- city. There also dwelt at 
Kampen at the same time John Arentson, a basket- 
maker by trade, but gifted with eloquence, and 
jiossessed of a knowledge of the Scriptures. Him 
a few pious bui'ghers of Amsterdam invited to meet 
them, that they might confer touching the steps to 
be taken for commencing the public preaching of 
the Gospel in Holland. They met near St. An- 
thony's Gate, outside Amsterdam, for Arentson 
dui-st not venture into the city. They w-ere a little 
congregation of seven, including the ]ireacher ; and 
having prayed for Divine guidance in a crisis so 
important for their country, they deliberated ; and 
having weighed all the difficulties, they resolved, 
in spite of the danger that threatened their lives, 
to essay the public jireaching of the Word in 

Before breaking xip they agreed to meet on the 
same spot, the same afternoon, to devise the jirac- 
tical steps for carrying out then- resolution. As 
they wei'e re-entering Amsterdam, by separate 
gates, they lieard the great bell of the Stadthouse 
ring out. Repaii-ing to the market-place they 
found the magistrates promulgating the last placard 
wdiich had been transmitted from the court. It 
threatened death against all preachers and teachere, 
as also against all their harbourei-s, and divers 
lesser penalties against such as should attend their 
preaching. The six worthy burghers were some- 
what stumbled. Nevertheless, in the afternoon, at 
the appointed hour, they returned to their old 
rendezvous, and having again earnestly prayed, they 
decided on the steps for having the Gospel openly 
preached to the people in all parts of Holland. On 
the Mth of July the first sermon was preached by 
Arentson, in a field near Horn, in North Holland, 
the people flocking tliither from all the vdllages 
around. In the humble basket-maker we see the 
pioneer of that numerous band of eloquent preachers 



and erudite divines, by which Holland was to be 
distinguished in days to come.' 

The movement thus fairly commenced soon 
gathered way. News of what had taken place at 
Horn spread like lightning all over Holland, and 
on the following Sunday, the 21st of July, an 
enormous gathering took place at Ovcreen, near 

canals converging on Haarlem were crowded. The 
burgomasters of Amsterdam sent notice to the 
magistrates of Haarlem of what was impending. 
The Stadthouse bell was rung at nine o'clock of the 
evening of Saturday, and the magistrates hastily 
assembled, to be told that the plague of which they 
had heard such dreadful reports at a distance, was 

Haarlem. Proclamation of the intended field- 
preacliing had been made on the Exchange of Am- 
sterdam on the previous day. The excitement was 
immense ; all the boats and waggons in Amsterdam 
were hired for the transport of those who were 
eager to be present. Every village and town 
I)Oured out its inhabitants, and all the roads and 

Brandt, vol. i., pp. 178, 179. 

at last at their gates. Haarlem was already full of 
strangers ; not an inn in it that was not crowded 
with persons who purposed being present at the 
field-preaching on the coming day. The magistrates 
deliberated and thought that they had found a way 
by which to avert the calamity that hung over 
them : they would imprison this whole multitude 
within the walls of their town, and so extingiush 
the projected conventicle of to-morrow. The magis- 
trates were not aware, when they hit on this clever 
expedient, that hundreds had already taken up 
their position at Overeen, and were to sleep on the 
gi-ound. On Sunday morning, when the travellei-s 
awok(! and sallied out into the street, they found 




the city gates locked. Hour passed after hour, 
still the gates wi're kept closed. The more adven- 
tiu'ous leaped from the walls, swam the moat, and 
leaving their imprisoned companions behind them, 
hastened to the ]ilace of meeting. A few got out 
of the towni when the watch opened the gates to 
admit the milk-women, but the great bulk of the 
conventiclers were still in durance, and among 
others Peter Gabriel, who was that day to be 
preivcher. It was now eleven o'clock of the fore- 
noon ; the excitement on the streets of Haarlem 
may be imagined ; the magistrates, thinking to 
dispel the tempest, had shut themselves in with it. 
The mui-murs grew into clamours, the clamours 
into threatenings, every moment the tempest 
might be expected to burst. There was no alterna- 
tive but to open the gates, and let the imprisoned 
multitude escape. 

Citizens and strangers now poured out in one 
vast stream, and took the road to Overeen. Last 
of all arrived Peter Gabriel the minister. Two 
stakes were driven perpendicularly into the groimd, 
and a bar was laid across, on which the minister 
might place his Bible, and rest his arms in speaking. 
Around this rude pulpit were gathered first the 
women, then the men, next those who had arms, 
forming an outer ring of defence, which however 
was scarcely needed, for there was then no force in 
Holland that would have dared to attack this 
multitude. The worship was commenced with the 
singing of a psalm. First were heard the clear 
soft notes of the females at the centre ; next the 
men struck in with their deeper voices ; last of 
all the martial forms in the outer cii'cle joined the 
symphony, and gave completeness and strength to 
the music. When the psalm had ended, prayer was 
offered, and the thrilling peals that a moment before 
had tilled the vault overhead were now exchanged 
for a silence ytit more thrilling. The minister, 
opening the Bible, next read out as his text the 
8th, 9th, and 10th verses of the second chapter of 
the Ei)istle to the Ephesians : " For by gi'ace are ye 
saved through faith ; and that not of yom'selves : 
it is tlie gift of God. Not of works lest any man 
should boast. For we are his workmanshij), created 
in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath 
before ordained that we should walk in them." 
Here in a few vei'scs, said the minister, was the 
essence of the whole Bible — the " marrow " of all 
true theology : — " the gift of God," salvation ; its 
source, " the grace of God ;" the way in which it is 
received, " through faith ;" and the fruits ordained 
to follow, "good works." 

It was a hot midsummer day ; the audience was 
not fewer than 5,000 ; the preacher was weak and 

infirm in body, but his spirit was strong, and the 
lightning-power of his words held liis audience 
captive. The sermon, which was commenced soon 
alter noon, did not terminate till past four o'clock. 
Then again came pi-ayer. The preacher made 
supplication, says Brandt, " for all degi'ees of men, 
especially for the Government, in such a mamier 
that there was hardly a dry eye to be seen." ' The 
worshij) was closed as it had been commenced, with 
the melodious thunder of 5,000 voices raised in 

So passed tliis gi-eat movement through Holland 
in the coiu-se of a few weeks. '^Tierever it came 
it stiiTed the inhabitants not into wrath, nor into 
denunciations of the Government, and much less 
into seditions and insurrections ; it awoke within 
them thoughts which were far too serious and 
solemn to fimd vent in tunndt and noise. They 
asked, " What must we do to be saved V It was 
the hoj)e of having this the gi-eatest of all ques- 
tions answered, that drew them out into woods and 
wildernesses, and ojien fields, and gathered them 
in thousands and tens of thousands around the 
Book of Life and its exjjositor. While Brederode 
and his fellow Confederates were traversing the 
country, making fiery speeches against the Govern- 
ment, wi'itiug lampoons vipon the bishops, draining 
huge bowls of wine, and then hanging them round 
then- necks as political badges — in short, rousing 
passions which stronger passions and firmer wills 
were to quell — these others, whom we see searching 
the Scriptures, and gathering to the field-preach- 
ings, were fortifying themselves and lea\ening 
their comitrymen with those convictions of truth, 
and that inflexible fidelity to God and to duty, 
which alone could carry them through the un- 
speakably awful conflict before them, and form a 
1>asis strong enough to sustain the glorious fabric 
of Dutch liberty which was to emerge from that 

By the middle of August there was no city of 
note in all Holland where the free preaching of tlie 
Gospel had not been established, not indeed ■vvithiu 
the walls, but outside in the fields. The magis- 
trates of Amsterdam, of all others, ofiered the most 
determined resistance. They convoked the town 
militia, consisting of thirty-six train-bands, and 
asked them whether they would supjjort them in 
the suppi-ession of the field-conventicles. The 
militia replied that they would not, although they 
would defend with theu' lives the magistrates and 
city against all insiuTections." The authoi-ities 

• Memoirs of Laurence Jacobson Eeal, an eye-witness 
— apud Brandt, vol. i., pp. 179— 181. 
2 Brandt, vol. i., p. 183. 



were thus under the necessity of tolerating the 
public sermon, which was usually preached outside 
the Haarlem gate. The citizens of Delft, Leyden, 
Utrecht, and other places now took steps for the 
free preaching of the Gospel. The fii'st sermon 
was preached at Delft by Peter Gabriel at Horn- 
brug, near the city. The concourse was great. 
The next city to follow was the Hague. Twenty 
waggons filled with the burghers of Delft accom- 
panied the preacher thither ; they alighted before 
the mansion of the president, Cornelius Suis, who 
had threatened the severest measures should such a 
heretical novelty be attempted in his city. They 
made a ring with the waggons, placing the preacher 
in the centre, while his congregation filled the 
enclosure. The armed portion of the worshippers 
remained in the waggons and kept the peace. They 
sang their psalm, they offered their prayer, the 
preaching of the sennon followed ; the hostile 
president surveying all the while, from his own 
window, the proceedings which he had strin- 

gently forbidden, but was quite powerless to pre- 

There were only four Protestant ministers at this 
time in all Holland. Their laboui-s were incessant ; 
they preached all day and journeyed all night, but 
their utmost efforts could not overtake the vastness 
of the field. Every day came urgent requests for a 
preacher from towns and villages which had not 
yet been visited. The friends of the Gospel turned 
their eyes to other countries ; they cried for help ; 
they represented the greatness of the crisis, and 
prayed that labourers might be sent to assist in 
reaping fields that were already white, and that 
promised so plenteous a harvest. In answer to this 
appeal some ten pastors were sent, mainly from the 
north of Germany, and these were distributed among 
the cities of Holland. Other preachers followed, 
who came from other lands, or arose from amongst 
the converts at home, and no long time elapsed till 
each of the chief towns enjoyed a settled ministra- 
tion of the Gospel. 



The Confederate Envoys— Philip's Cruel Purpose— The Image-Breakers— Their Character— Their Devastations— Over- 
spread the Low Countries in a Week— Pillage of 400 Churches— Antwerp Cathedral— Its Magnificence— Its 
Pillage— Pillage of the Rest of the Churches— The True Iconoclast Hammei-— The Preachers and their People 
take no part in the Image-Breakings— Image-Breaking in Holland- Amsterdam and other Towns— What Protes- 
tantism Teaches concerning Image-Breaking— The Popular Outbreaks at the Reformation and at the French 
Revolution Compared. 

We have seen the procession of the 300 noblemen 
who, with Count Brederode at their head, on the 
5th of April, 1.566, walked two and two on foot to 
the old palace of Brabant in Brussels, to lay the 
grievances under which their nation groaned at the 
feet of Margaret, Regent of the Netherlands. We 
have also heard the answer which the regent re- 
turned. She promised to send their petition by 
special envoys to Philip, with whom alone the 
power lay of granting or withholding its request ; 
and meanwhile, though she could not close the 
Inquisition, she would issue orders to the inquisitors 
to proceed " with discretion." The noblemen whom 
Margaret selected to carry the Confederate Petition 
to Spain were the Marquis de Berghen and the 
Baron de Montigny. They gladly undertook the 
mission entrusted to them, little suspecting how 
fniitless it would prove for their countiy, and how 
fatidly it would end for tliemselve-s. The tyrant. 

as we shall afterwards see, chose to consider them 
not as ambassadors, but as conspiratora against 
his Government. Philip took care, however, to 
keep the dark purpose he harboured in connec- 
tion therewith in his breast; and meanwhile he 
professed to be deliberating on the answer which 
the two deputies, who lie purposed should see the 
Nethei'lands no more, were to can-y back. While 
Philij) was walking in " leaden shoes," the country 
was Imrrying on wth " winged feet." 

The progress of the movement so far had been 
peaceful. The psalms sung and the prayei's ofiei-ed 
at the field-preachings, and above all the Gospel 
published from the pulpits, tended only to banish 
thoughts of vengeance, and inspu'e to amity and 
good-wll. The consideration of the forgiveness 
of Heaven, freely accorded to the most enormous 
offences, disposed all who accepted it to forgive in 
theii' turn. But numerous other causes were in 



openition tending to embroil the Protestant move- 
ment. The whole soil of the Netherlands Wius 
volcanic. Though the voice of the pulpit was 
peace, the harangues which the Confederates were 
diiily tiring off breathed only war. The Protestants 
were becoming conscious of their strength ; the re- 
membrance of the thousands of their brethi'en who 
had been barbarously miu'dered, rankled in their 
minds — nay, they were not permitted to forget tlie 
past, even had they been willing so to do. Did not 
their pastors preach to them ynth a price set upon 
their heads, and were not their bi'ethren being 
dragged to death before their eyes ? With so many 
inflammable materials all about, it needed only a 
spark to kindle a Ijlaze. A mighty conflagi-ation 
now buret out. 

On the lith of August, the day before the 
fete of the Assumption of the Vii-gin, there sud- 
denly appeared in Flanders a band of men armed 
with staves, hatchets, hammers, ladders, and ropes; 
some few of them carried guns and swords.^ This 
party was composed of the lowest of the people, 
of idlei-s, and women of disreputable character, 
" hallooed on," says Grotius, " by nobody knows 
whom."" They had come forth to make war upon 
images ; they prosecuted the campaign with sin- 
gular energy, and, being unopposed, with complete 
success. As they marched onwards the crosses, 
.shrines, and saints in stone that stood by the road- 
side fell before them. They entered the villages 
and lifted up their hammers upon all theii' idols, 
and smote them in pieces. They next visited the 
gi-eat town-s, where they pulled down the crucifixes 
that stood at the corners of the streets, and broke 
the statues of the Virgin and saints. The churches 
and cathedrals they swept clean of all their conse- 
crated symbols. They extinguished the tapers on 
the altars, and mounting the wall of the edifice 
with their ladders, pulled down the pictures that 
adorned it. They overturned the Madomias, and 
throwing their ropes around the massive crosses 
that surmounted altars and chapels, bore them 
to the gi'ound ; the altars too, in some cases, they 
demolished ; they took a special delight in soiling 
the rich vestments of the priests, in smeaiing their 
shoes with the holy oil, and trampling imder foot 
the consecrated bread ; and they departed only when 
there was nothing moic to break or to profane. 
It was in vain that the dooi-s of some clmrches and 
convents were hastily banicaded. Tliis iconoclast 
army was not to be withstood. Some sturdy 

image-hater would swing his hammer against the 
closed portal, and ^vith one blow thi-ow it open. The 
mob would i-ush in, and nothing would be heard but 
the clang of axes and the crash of falling pictures 
and overtm-ned images. A few minutes would 
suflice to complete the desolation of the place. Like 
the brook when the rains descend, and a himdi-ed 
mountain torrents keep pouring then- waters into it, 
till it swells into a river, and at last Aiadens into a 
devastating flood, so this little band of iconoclasts, 
swelled by recruits from every village and town 
through wliich they passed, grew by minutes into an 
army, that army into a far-extending host, which 
pursued its march over the country, bursting open 
the doors of cathedrals and the gates of cities, 
chasing burgomasters before it, and striking monk 
and militia-man alike with terror. It seemed even 
as if iconoclasts were rising out of the soil. They 
would start up and begin their ravages at the same 
instant in provinces and cities widely ajjart. In 
thi'ee days they had spread themselves over all the 
Low Countries, and in less than a week they had 
plundered 400 churches.^ To adapt to this destroy- 
ing host the words of the prophet, descriptive of 
the ravages of another army — before them was a 
garden, clothed in the rich blossoms of the Gotliic 
genius and art, behind them was a wilderness 
strewn over vnth ruins. 

Tliese iconoclasts appeared first in the district of 
St. Omer, in Flanders, where they sacked the con- 
vent of the Nuns of Wolverghen. Emboldened by 
their success, the cry was raised, " To Ypres, to 
Ypres!"'' "On their way thither," says Strada, 
" their number increased, like a snowball rolling 
from a mountain-top into the valley." ^ They pm-ged 
the roads as they advanced, they ravaged the 
churches around Ypres, and entering the town they 
inflicted imsparing demolition upon all the images 
in its sanctuaries. " Some set ladders to the walls, 
with hammers and staves battering the jnctures. 
Others broke asunder the iron-work, seats, and 
pulpit. Others casting i-opes about the great 
statues of Our Saviour Christ, and the saints, pulled 
them down to the ground."" The day following 
there gathered " another flock of the like bii-ds of 
prey," wliich directed their flight towards Courtray 
and Douay, ravaging and jikindering as they went 
onward. Not a penny of property did they ajipro- 
jn'iate, not a hau- of the head of monk or nun did 
they hm-t. It was not plunder but destruction 
which they sought, and their wrath if fierce was dis- 

> Strada, lib. v. 

• Orotius, Annales, lib. i., p. 22—apud Brandt, vol. i., 
p. 191. 

3 Hooft, lib. iii., p. 99. Strada, lib. v., p. 260. Brandt, 
vol. i., p. 191. 

■" Strada, lib. v. '' Ibid. '' Ibid. 



charged not on liuman beings, but on graven images. 
Tliey smote, and defaced, and broke in pieces, with 
exterminating fury, the statues and pictures in the 
churches, wthout permitting even one to escape, 
" and that with so much security," says Strada, 
"and with so little regard of the magistrate or pre- 
lates, as you would thiak they had been sent for by 
the Common Council, and were in pay of the city." ' 
Tidings of what was going on in Flanders were 
speedily carried into Brabant, and there too the 
tempest gathered -svith like suddenness, and ex- 
pended itself with like fury. Its more terrific 
burst was in Antwerp, which the wealth and de- 
votion of preceding ages had embellished with so 
many ecclesiastical fabrics, some of them of superb 
architectural magnificence, and all of them filled 
with the beautiful creations of the chisel and the 
■pencil. The crowning glory of Antwerp was its 
cathecb-al, which, although begun in 1124, had been 
finished only a few yeai's before the events we are 
nan-ating. There was no chiu-ch in all Northern 
Europe, at that day, which could equal the Notre- 
Dame of the commercial capital of Brabant, whether 
in the imposing grandeur of its exterior, or in the 
variety and richness of its internal decorations. 
The magnificence of its statuary, the beauty of its 
paintings, its mouldings in bronze and carvings in 
wood, and its vessels of silver and gold, made it the 
pride of the citizens, and the delight and wonder ot 
strangers from other lands. Its .spire shot up to a 
height of 500 feet, its nave and aisles stretched out 
longitudinally the same length. Under its lofty 
roof, borne up by columns of gigantic stature, hung 
round w^th escutcheons and banners, slept mailed 
warriors in their tombs of marble, while the boom 
of organ, the chant of priest, and the whispered 
prayers of niimberless worshippers, kept eddying 
continually roimd their beds of stUl and deep and 
never-ending repose. 

When the magistrates and wealthy burghers ot 
Antwerp heard of the storm that was raging at 
no great distance from their gates, theii- hearts 
began to foil them. Should the destructive cloud 
roll hither, how much will remain a week hence, 
thoy asked themselves, of all that the wealth and 
skill and penitence of centuries have gathered into 
the Church of Our Lady l It needed not that 
the very cloud that was devastating Flanders should 
transport itself to the banks of the Scheldt; the 
whole ail- was electrical. In e\ery quarter of the 
firmament the same dark clouds that hung over 
Flanders were appearing, and wherever stood Virgin, 
or saint, or crucifix, there the lightnings were seen 

to fall. The first mutterings of the storm were 
heard at Antwerp on the fete-day of the Assump- 
tion of the Vii-gin. " Whilst," says Strada, " her 
image in solemn procession was carried upon men's 
shoulders, from the gi-eat chui-ch through the streets 
some jeering rascals of the meaner sort of artificers 
first laughed and liissed at the holy solemnity, then 
impiously and impudently, with mimic salutations 
and reproachful words, mocked the efiigies of the 
Mother of God."- The magistrates of Antwerp in 
their wisdom hit upon a device which they thought 
would guide the iconoclast tempest past their un- 
rivalled cathedral. It was their little manoeu\Te 
that cU-ew the storm upon them. 

The great annual fair was being held in their 
city;^ it was usual during that concom-se for the 
image of the Virgin to stand in the open nave of 
the cathedral, that her votaries might the more 
conveniently ofier her theii- worship. The ma<ns- 
trates, thinking to take away occasion from those 
who sought it, bade the statue be removed inside 
the choii-, behind the iron railing of its gates. 
When the people assembled next day, they found 
"Our Lady's" usual place deserted. They asked 
her in scorn "why she had so early fiown up to 
the roostf " Have you taken fright," said they 
sarcastically, " that you have retreated within this 
enclosure ? " As " Our Lady " made them no reply, 
nor any one for her, their insolence waxed gi-eater. 
"Will you join us," said they, "in crying, ' Long live 
the Beggars'?" It is plain that those who began 
the iconoclast riots in Antwerp) were more of 
Confederates than Reformers. A mischievously 
frolicsome lad, in tattered doublet and old battered 
hat, ascended the pulpit, and treated the crowd to 
a clever caricature of the preaching of the friars. 
All, however, did not approve of this attempt to 
entei-tain the multitude. A yoimg sailor rushed 
up the stau-s to expel the caricaturist preachei-. The 
two struggled together in the pulpit, and at last 
both came rolling to the ground. The crowd took 
the part of the lad, and some one di-awing his 
dagger wounded the sailor. Matters were be- 
coming serious, when the church ofilcers interfered, 
and with the help of the margrave of the city, 
they succeeded with some difficulty in ejecting the 
mob, and locking the cathedral-doors for the niglit.' 
The governor of the city, William of Orange, 
was absent, having been summoned a few days 
before to a council at Brussels ; and tho two bm-go- 
masters and magistrates were at their wits' end. 

' Strada, lib. v. 

- Strada, lib. v. 

2 Hooft, Strada, &c.—apxid Brandt, vol. i., p. 192. 

■* Brandt, vol. i., p. 11)2. 



Tliey had forbidden the Gospel to be preached 
within the walls of Antwerp, having rejected the 
petition lately presented to that effect by a num- 
ber of the principal burghei-s ; but the gates 
which the Gospel must not enter, the iconoclast 
tempest had burst open without leave of the 
Senate. Where the psalm could not be sung, the 
iconoclast satiu-nalians lifted up their hoai-se voices. 
The night pa.ssed in quiet, but when the day re- 
turned, signs appeared of a renewal of the tempest. 
Crowds began to collect in the square before the 
cathedi-al ; numbers were entering the edifice, and 
it was soon manifest that they had come not to 
perform their devotions, but to stroll irreverently 
through the building, to mock at the idols in nave 
and aisle, to peer through the ii'on railings behind 
which the Virgin still stood ensconced, to taimt and 
jeer her for fleeing, and to awaken the echoes of 
the lofty roof with their cries of "Long live the 
Beggars !" Every minute the crowd was increasing 
and the confusion growing. In front of the choii-, 
sat an ancient crone selling wax tapers and other 
things u.sed in the worship of the Vii-gin. Zealous 
for the honour of Mary, whom Antwerp and all 
Brabant worshipped, .she began to rebuke the crowd 
for then- improper behaviour. The mob were not 
in a humour to take the admonition meekly. They 
turned upon theii- reprover, telling her that her 
patrones.s' day was over, and her owTi with it, and 
that she had better " shut shop." The huck- 
ster thus baited was not slow to return gibe 
for gibe. The altercation drew the youngsters in 
the crowd aroinid her, who possibly did not confine 
their annoyances to words. Catching at such 
missiles as lay witliin her reach, tlie stall-woman 
threw them at her tormentors. The riot thus begun 
rapidly extended through all parts of the church. 
Some began to play at ball, some to throw stones at 
the altar, some to shout, "Long live the Beggars !" 
and othei-s to sing psalms. The magistrates has- 
tened to the scene of uproar, and strove to induce 
the people to quit the cathedral. The more they 
entreated, the more the mob scowled defiance. They 
would remain, they said, and assist in singing 
Ave Maria to the Vii-gin. The magistrates replied 
that tlicre would be no vespers that night, and 
again urged them to go. In the hope that the mob 
would follow, tlie magistrates made their owni exit, 
locking the great door of the cathedral behind them, 
and leaving open only a little wicket for the people to 
come out by. Instead of tlie crowd within comuig 
out, the mob outside imshed in at the wicket, and 
the iiproar was increased. The margi-ave and 
burgoma-sters re-entered the church once more, 
and made yet another attempt to quell the riot. 

They found themselves in presence of a larger and 
stormier crowd, which they could no more control 
than they could the waves of an angi-y sea. Secur- 
ing what portion they could of the moi'e valuable 
treasures in the church, they retired, leaving the 
cathedral in the hands of the rioters.' 

All night long the work of wholesale destruction 
still went on. The noise of wrenching, breaking, 
and shouting, the blows of hammere and axes, 
and the crash of images and pictures, were heard 
all over the city ; and the shops and houses were 
closed. The first object of the vengeance of the 
rioters, now left sole mastere of the building and 
all contained in it, was the colossal image of the 
Virgin, which only two days before had been borne 
in jewelled robes, with flaunt of banner, and peal 
of trumpet, and beat of drum, through the streets. 
The iron railing within which she had found refuge 
was torn down, and a few vigorous blows from the 
iconoclast axes hewed her in pieces and smote her 
into dust. Execution being done upon the great 
deity of the place, the rage of the mob was next 
discharged on the minor gods. Traversing nave 
and side-aLsle, the iconoclast paused a moment 
before each statue of wood or stone. He lifted 
his brawny arm, his hammer fell, and the image lay 
broken. The pictures that himg on the walls were 
torn down, the crosses were overturned, the carved 
woi'k was beaten into atoms, and the stained glass 
of the windows shivered in pieces. All the altars 
— seventy in number — were demolished;- in short, 
eveiy ornament was rifled and destroyed. Tapers 
taken from the altar lighted the darkness, and 
enabled the iconoclasts to continue their work of 
destraction all through the night. 

The storm did not expend itself in the cathedi-al 
only, it extended to the other churches and chapels 
of Antwerp. These underwent a like speedy and 
terrible purgation. Before morning, not fewer than 
thirty churches wthin the walls had been sacked. 
When there remained no more images to be broken, 
and no more pictures and crucifixes to be pulled 
down, the rabble laid their hands on other things. 
They strewed the wafers on the floor ; they filled 
the chalices with wine, and drank to the health of 
the Beggars ; they donned the gorgeous vestments 
of the priests, and, breaking open the cellars, a 
vigorous tap of the hammer set the red wine 
a-flowing. A Carmelite, or bare-footed monk, who 
had languished twelve years in the prison of his 
monastery, received his liberty at the hands of these 
image-breakei-s. The mmneries were invaded,' and 

Strada, p. 254— opud Brandt, vol. i., p. 193. 

Ihid., lib. V. 

Ibid., pp. 255, 260— ojrad Brandt, vol. i., p. 193. 



the sistei-s, iinpclled by friglit, or moved by the 
desii-e of freedom, escaped to tlie houses of tlieir 
relatives and friends. Violence was ofl'ered to no 
one. Unpitj-iug towards dead idols, these icono- 
clasts were tender of li\'ing men. 

Wlien the day broke a body of the rioters sallied 
out at the gates, and set to work on the abbeys and 
i-eligious houses in the open country. These they 
ravaged as they had done those of the city. The 
libraries of some of these establishments they 
burned. The riotings continued for three days. 
No attempt to put them down was made by any one. 
The magistrates did notliing beyond their visit to 
the cathedral on the lii'st day. The burghal militia 
were not called out. The citizens kept themselves 
shut up in their houses, the Protestants because 
they suspected that the Roman Catholics had con- 
spii-ed to murder them, and the Roman Catholics 
because they feared the same thing of the Protes- 
tants. Though the crowd was immense, the actual 
perpetrators of these outrages were believed not to 
number over a hundred. A little fu-mness on the 
part of the authorities at the beginning might 
easily have restrained them. " All these -vdoleuces, 
plunderings, and desolations," said those of the 
Spanish faction, " were committed l)y about a 
hmidred unamied rabble at the most." The famous 
Dutch liistorian, Hooft, says : " I do not think it 
strange, since there are good and bad men to be 
foimd iu all sects, that the vilest of the [Reformed] 
party showed their temper by these extravagances, 
or that others fed their eyes with a sport that grew 
up to a plague, which they thought the clergy had 
justly deserved by the rage of their persecutions." 
" The generality of the Reformed," he adds, " cei-- 
tainly behaved themselves nobly by censuring things 
which they thought good and proper to be done, 
because they were brought about by improper me- 
thods."' In an Apology which they published 
after these occurrences had taken place the Reformed 
said : " The Papists themselves were at the bottom 
of the image-breaking, to the end they might have a 
pretext for charging those of the Religion with 
rebellion : this, they adiled, plainly appeared by the 
tumult renewed at Antwerp by four Papists, who 
were hanged for it next day."- 

It is light and not axes that can root out idols. 
It is but of small avail to cast down the gi-aven 
image, unless the belief on which the worship oi 
it is founded be displaced from the heart. This 
was not understood by these zealous iconoclasts. 
Cast images out of the breast, said Zwingle, and they 
will soon disappear from the sanctuary. Of this 

opinion were the Protestant preachers of the Low 
Countries. So far from lifting axe or hammer 
upon any of the images aroimd them, they strove 
to the utmost of their power to prevent the rabble 
doing so. The preacher Modet, in an Apology 
which he published soon after these disorders, says 
" that neither he himself nor any of his consistory 
had any more knowledge of this design of de- 
stroying images when it was first contrived than 
of the hour of their death." It was objected against 
him that he was in the chiu'ch whUe the mob was 
In-eaking and defacmg the images. Tliis he owns 
was trae ; but he adds that " it was at the desire of 
the magistrates themselves, and at the peril of his 
own life, that he went thither to quiet the mob, 
though he could not be heard, but was pulled 
do^vn from the pulpit, and thrust out of the church; 
that, moreover, he had gone fii'st to the convent 
of the Grey Friars, and next to the nunnery of 
St. Clara, to entreat the people to dejiart ; that of 
this matter fifty or sixty nuns could testify. That 
was all the concern he had in that aflaii-." A 
written addi-ess was also presented to the burgo- 
master by the ministers and elders of the Dutch 
and "Walloon congregations, in which " they called 
God to witness that what happened in the taking 
away and destroying of images was done without 
either theii- knowledge or consent ; and they de- 
clared their detestation of these violent deeds." ^ 

This destroying wind passed on to Breda, Bergeu- 
op-Zoom, and other towns of Brabant. Eight 
men presented themselves at the gates of Lier, and 
said they had come to ascei-tain whether the idols 
had been taken down. The magistrates admitted 
two of them iirto the city, led them from church to 
church, and removed whatever they ordered, wth- 
out once asking them by whose authority they had 
come. * At Toumay the churches were stripped to 
the very walls ; the treasures of gold and silver 
which the priests had buried in the earth, exhumed ; 
and the i-epositories broken into, and the chalices, 
reliquaries, rich vestments, and precious jewels scat- 
tered about as things of no value. At Valenciemies 
the massacre of the idols took place on St. Bar- 
tholomew's Day. " Hardly as many senseless 
.stones," says Motley, " were victims as there wei-e 
to be living Huguenots sacrificed in a single city 
upon a Bartholomew which was fast approaching. 
In the Valenciennes massacre not a human being 
was injured."^ 

The storm turned northward, and inflicted its 
ravages on the churches of Holland. Hague, Delft, 
Leyden, the Brill, and other towns were visited 

> Brandt, vol. i., p. 194. 

= Ibid., p. 258. 

3Braiidt,vol.i.,p.l96. 4jiid.,p. 197. ^ Motley, i., 282. 



iind purged. At Dort, Gouda, Rotterdam, Haar- 
lem, and other places, the magistrates anticipated 
the coming of the iconoclasts by giving orders 
beforehand for the removal of the images. Whether 
the pleasure or the mortification of the rioters was 
the gi-eater at having the work thus taken off their 
hands, it would be hard to affirm. At Amsterdam 
the matter did not pass off so quietly. The magis- 
trates, hearing that the storm was travelling north- 
wards, gave a hint to the jariests to remove theii- 
valuables in time. The precaution was taken with 
more haste than good success. The priests and 
friars, lading themselves with the plate, chalices, 
patens, pyxes, and mass-vestments, hmi-ied with 
ihem along the open street. They were met by 
tlie operatives, who were returning from their 
labour to dinner. The articles were deemed public 
property, and the clergy in many cases were re- 
lieved of their burdens. The disturbances had 
begim. The same evening, after vespers had been 
sung, several children were brought for baptism. 
While the priest was performing the \isual exor- 
cisms one of the crowd shouted out, " You priest, 
forbear to conjure the devil out of him ; baptise the 
child in the name of Jesus, as the apostles were 
wont to do." The confusion increased ; some 
mothers had theii" infants hastily baptised in the 
mother tongue, others hun'ied home with theii-s 
unbaptised. Later in the evening a pointer named 
Jasper, sauntering near that part of the church 
where the pyx is kejit, happened to light upon a 
placard hanging on the wall, having reference to 
the mystery in the pyx. " Look here," said he to 
the bystanders, at the same time laying hold on the 
board and reading aloud its inscription, which ran 
thus : " Jesus Christ is locked up in this box ; 
whoever does not believe it is damned." There- 
upon he threw it with violence on the floor ; the 
crash echoed through the church, and gave the 
signal for the breakings to begin. Cei-tain boys 
began to throw stones at the altar. A woman 
threw her slipper at the head of a wooden Mary — 
an act, by the way, which afterwards cost her her 
own head. The mob rushed on : images and cruci- 
fixes went dowai before thorn, and soon a heap of 
jiicturcs, vases, crosses, and saints in .stone, broken, 
liruised, and blended iindistinguishably, covered 
with their Siicred ruins the floors of the churches.' 

It does not appear from the naiTatives of con- 
temporary historians that in a single instance these 
outrages were .stimulated, or approved of, by the 
Protestant ]ireachers. On the contraiy, they did 
all in theii- power to prevent them. They wished 

' Hooft, lib. iii.— opud Brandt, vol. i., pp. 199, 200. 

to see the removal of images from the churches, 
knowing that this method of worship had been for- 
bidden ill the Decalogue ; but they hoped to accom- 
plish the change jaeacefully, by enlightening the 
public sentiment and awakening the pubHc con- 
science on the matter. He is the true iconoclast, 
they held, who teaches that " God is a Spirit, and 
must be worshipped in spii'it." This is the hammer 
that is to break in pieces the idols of the nations. 

Nor can the destruction of these images, with 
truth, be laid at the door of the Protestant con- 
gi'egations of the Low Coimtries. There were 
fanatical persons in their ranks, no doubt, who may 
have aided the rioters by voice and hand ; but 
the great body of the Refoiiuers — all, in short, 
who were worthy of the name, and had really been 
baptised into the spirit of Protestantism — stood 
aloof from the work of destruction, knowing it to 
be as useless as it was culpable. These outrages 
were the work of men who cared as little for Protes- 
tantism, in itself, as they did for Roman Catholicism. 
They belonged to a class found in every Popish 
country, who, mitaught, vindictive, vicious, are 
ever ready to break out into violence the moment 
the usual restraints are withdrawn. These re- 
straints had been greatly relaxed in the Low Coun- 
tries, as in all the countries of Christendom, by 
the scandals of the priesthood, and yet more by 
the atrocious cruelty of the Government, which had 
associated these images in the min ds of the people 
with the 30,000 victims who had been sacrificed 
duiing the three or four- decades past. And most 
of all, perhaps, had Protestantism tended to relax 
the hold which the Church of Rome exercised over 
the masses. Protestantism had not enlightened the 
authors of these outrages to the extent of convincing 
them of its own truth, but it had enlightened 
them to the extent of satisfying them that Popery 
was a cheat ; and it is of the nature of the human 
mind to avenge itself upon the impositions by 
which it has been deluded and duped. But are we 
therefore to say that the reign of impostiu-e must 
be eternal ? Are we never to unmask delusions 
and expose fiilsehoods, for fear that whirlwinds 
may come in with the light 'i How many absurdi- 
ties and enormities must we, iii that case, make uj) 
our minds to peqietuate ! In no one path of reform 
should we ever be able to advance a step. We 
should have to sternly interdict progress not only 
in religion, but in science, in politics, and in every 
department of social well-being. And then, how 
signally unjust to blame the remedy, and hold it 
accoiuitable for the ilisturbances that accompany 
it, and acquit the evil that made the remedy neces- 
sary ! Modern times have presented us with two 



grand disruptions of the bonds of authority ; the 
fii-st was that produced by Protestantism in the 
sixteenth centiuy, and the second was that caused 
by the teachings of the French Encyclopiedists in 
the end of the eighteenth century. In both cases 
the masses hxrgely broke away from the control of 
the Roman Church and her priesthood ; but every 
candid mind \vill admit that they broke away not 
after the same fashion, or to the same effect. The 
revolt of the sixteenth centuiy was attended, as 
we have seen in the Low Countries, by an immense 
and, we shall grant, most merciless execution of 

images ; the revolt of the eighteenth was followed 
by the slaughter of a yet greater number of vic- 
tims ; but in this case the victims were not images, 
but living men. Both they who slew the images 
in the sixteenth century, and they who slew the 
human beings in the eighteenth, were reared in 
the Church of Rome ; they had learned her doctrines 
;ind had received theii- first lessons from her priests ; 
and though now become disobedient and rebellious, 
they had not yet got quit of the instincts she had 
planted in them, nor were they quite out of her 



Treaty between the Governor and Nobles — Liberty given the Reformed to Build Churches — Remonstrances of 
Margaret— Reply of Orange — Anger of Philip — His Cruel Resolve — Philip's Treachery— Letters that Read Two 
Ways— the Governor raises Soldiers — A Great Treachery Meditated — Egmont's and Horn's Compliance with the 
Court, and Severities against the Reformed — Horn at Tournay — Forbids the Reformed to Worship inside the 
Walls— Permitted to erect Churches outside — Money and Materials — the Governor Violates the Accord— Re- 
formed Religion Forbidden in Tournay and Valenciennes — Siege of Valenciennes by Noircarmes — Sufferings of 
the Besieged— They Surrender — Treachery of Noircarmes — Execution of the Two Protestant Ministers — Terror 
inspired by the Fall of Valenciennes — Abject Submission of the Southern Netherlands. 

The first effect of the tumults was favoui-able to 
the Reformers. The insurrection had thoroughly 
alarmed the Duchess of Paima, and the Protestants 
obtained from her fear concessions which they 
would in vain have solicited from her sense of 
justice. At a conference between the leading 
nobles and the governor at Brussels on the 25th of 
A\igust, the following treaty was agi-eed to and 
signed :— The duchess promised on her part " that 
the Inquisition should be abolished from this time 
forward for ever," and that the Protestants should 
have liberty of worship in all those places where 
their worahip had been previously established. 
These stipulations were accompanied with a promise 
that all past offences of image-breaking and Beg- 
gar manifestoes should be condoned. The nobles 
undertook on their part to dissolve their Confede- 
r.icy, to retui-n to the service of the State, to see 
that the Reformed did not come armed to their 
assemblies, and that in their sermons they did not 
inveigh against the Popish religion. ' Thus a gleam 
broke out through the cloud, and the storm was 
succeeded by a momentary calm. 

' GrotiuB, AnnaUs, lib. i., p. 23. Brandt, vol. i., pp. 204, 205. 

On the signing of this treaty the princes went 
down to their several provinces, and earnestly 
laboured to restore the public peace. The Piince 
of Orange and Counts Egmont, Horn, and Hoog- 
straten were especially zealous in this matter, nor 
were their efforts without success. In Antwerp, 
where Orange was governor, and where he was 
gi'eatly l)eloved, quiet was speedily re-established, 
the great cathedral was again opened, and the 
Romish worship resumed as aforetime. It was 
agreed that all the consecrated edifices should 
remain in the possession of the Roman Catholics, 
but a convention was at the same time made with 
the Dutch and Walloon congi-egations, empowering 
them to erect places of worship witliin the city- 
walls for their own use. The latter arrangement, 
• — the privilege, namely, accorded the Reformed of 
worshipping within the walls — was a concession 
which it cost the bigotry of Margaret a giiidge to 
make. But Orange, in reply to her remonstrances, 
told her that, in the first place, this was exjiedient, 
seeing assemblies of 20,000 or 2.5,000 persons 
were gi-eater menaces to the public peace outside 
the walls, where they were removed from the 
eye of the magistrate, than they could possibly 



be within the city, where not only were their con- 
gregations smaller, tlieii- numbers seldom exceeding 
10,000, but their language and bearing wei'e more 
modest ; and, in the second place, this concession, 
ho reminded the duchess, was necessary. The 
Reformed were now 200,000 strong, they were 
determined to enjoy their rights, and he had no 
soldiers to gainsay their demands, nor could he 
prevail on a single burgher to bear arms against 
them. ' In a few days the Walloon congregation, 
availing themselves of their new liberties, laid the 
first stone of theii' futuie church on a .sjjot which 
had been allotted them ; and their example was 
speedily followed by the Dutch Reformed congrega- 
tion. Through the eflbrts of Orange the troubles 
were quieted all over Holland and Brabant. His 
success was mainly owing to the great weight of 
his personal character, for soldiei's to enforce sub- 
mission he had none. The churches were given 
back to the pz-iests, who, doffing the lay vestments 
in wliich many of them had encased themselves in 
their terror, resumed the public celebration of their 
rites ; and the Protestants were contented with the 
liberty accorded them of worshipping in fabrics of 
thcii' own creation, which in a few places were 
situated witliin the walls, but in the great majority 
of cases stood outside, in the suburbs, or the open 

Meanwhile the news of churches sacked, images 
destroyed, and holy things profaned was travelling 
to Spain. Philip, who during his stay in Brussels 
had been wont to spend his nights iu the stews, or 
to roam masked through the streets, satiating his 
base appetites upon their foul garbage, when the 
tidings of the profanation reached him, first 
shuddered with horror, and next trembled with 
rage. Plucking at his beard, he exclaimed, " It 
shall cost them dear, I swear it by the soul of my 
father."- For every image that had been mutilated 
hundreds of living men were to die ; the afiront 
oU'ercd to the Roman Catholic faith, and its saints 
iu stone, nuist be washed out in the blood of the 
inhabitants of the Netherlands. So did the tyrant 

Meanwhile keeping secret the temble purpose iu 
his breast, he began to move toward it with his usual 
slowness, but with more than his usual doggedncss 
and duplicity. Before the news of the image- 
lireaking had arrived, the king had written to Mar- 
garet of Parma, m answer to the petition which the 
two envoys, the Marquis of Berghen and the Count 

' Hooft, p. 111. Strada, p. 268. Brandt, vol. i., p. 206. 

- Letterof Morillon to Granvelle, 29th September, 15GG, 

in Gachard, Annal. Belg., 254— apwd Motley, vol. i., p. 2&t. 

de Montigny, had brought to Madrid, saying to her 
■ — so bland and gi-acious did he seem — that he would 
pardon the guilty, on certain conditions, and that 
seeing there was now a full staff of bishops in the 
Provinces, able and doubtless willing vigilantly to 
guard the members of their flock, the Inquisition 
was no longer necessary, and should henceforth 
cease. Hei'e was pardon and the abolition of the 
Inquisition : what more coidd the Netherlanders 
ask 1 But if the letter was meant to I'ead one way 
in Brussels, it was made to read another way in 
Madrid. No sooner had Philip indited it than, 
summoning two attorneys to his closet, he made 
them draw out a formal protest in the presence of 
witnesses to the effect that the promise of pardon, 
being not voluntary but compulsory, was not 
binding, and that he was not obliged thereby to 
spare any one whom he chose to consider guilty. 
As regarded the Inquisition, Philip wi-ote to the 
Pope, telling him that he had indeed said to the 
Netherlanders that he would abolish it, but that 
need not scandalise his Holiness, inasmuch as he 
neither could nor would abolish the Inquisition iin- 
less the Pope gave his consent. As regarded the 
meeting of the Assembly of the States for which 
the Confederates had also petitioned, Philip replied 
with his characteristic j)rudence, that he forbade its 
meeting for the moment ; but in a secret letter to 
Margaret he told her that that moment meant for 
ever. The two noblemen who brought the petition 
were not permitted to carry back the answer : that 
would have been dangerous. They might have 
initiated their countrymen into the Spanish reading 
of the letter. They were still, upon various pre- 
tences, detained at Madrid. 

Along with this very pleasant letter, which the 
governor was to make known to all Philip's sub- 
jects of the Netherlands, that they might know 
how gracious a master they had, came another 
communication, which Margaret was not to make 
known, but on the contrary keep to herself. Philip 
announced in this letter that he had sent the gover- 
nor a sum of money for raising soldiers, and that 
he wished the new battalions to be enlisted ex- 
clusively from Papists, for on these the king and 
the duchess might rely for an absolute compliance 
with their -will. The regent was not remiss in 
executing this order; she immediately levied a 
body of cavalry and five regiments of infantry. 
As her levies increased her fears left her, and the 
conciliatory spirit which led her to consent to the 
Accord of the 25th of Augtist, was changed to a 
mood of mind very diflerent. 

But if the Accord was to be kept, the good 
effects of which had been seen in a jiacified coimtry, 



and if the gnilty were to be pardoned and tlie 
Inquisition abolished, as the king's letter had pro- 
mised, where was the need of raising armaments 1 
Surely these soldiere are :iot merely to string 
beads. A great treachery is meditated, said Orange 
and his companions, Egmont and Hor]i. It is not 
the abolition of the Inquisition, but a rekindling of 

light. The train-bands of the tyrant were gathering 
round the country, and the circle of its jirivileges 
and its liberties was contracting from one hour 
to another. The regent had no cause to complain 
of the lukewarmness of Egmont and Horn, what- 
ever suspicions she might entertain of Orange. 
The prince wa.s now a Lutheran, and he had 

VILLAGE GRBIiN IN HOLLAND. (After Van dfr ITci/dcn.) 

its fires on a still larger scale, that awaits us ; and 
instead of a resun-ection of Flemish liberty by the 
assembling of the States-General, it is the entire 
effacement of whatever traces of old rights still 
remain in these unha))))y countries, and the esta- 
blishment of naked despotism on the ruins of 
freedom by an anned force, that is contemplated. 
Of that these levies left Orange in no doubt. In 
the Council all three nobles expressed their dis- 
approbation of the measure, as a rekindling of the 
flames of civil discord and sedition. 

E\Try day new proofs of this wen^ comiug to 

calmed the iconoclastic tumults all over Brabant, 
Holland, and Zealand, without staining his hands 
with a single drop of blood. The Counts Egmont 
and Horn were Romanists, and their suj)pression 
of the image-breakings in Flanders and Tournay 
had been marked by great severity towards the 
Reformers. Egmont showed himself an ardent 
partisan of the Government, and his proceedings 
spread terror tlu-ough Flanders and Artois. Thou- 
sands of Protestants fled the country ; tlieir wives 
and fainilies were left destitute ; the public pro- 
fession of the Refomied religion was forbidden. 




despite the Accord ; and numbei-s of its adherents, 
including ministei-s, hanged.' The chief guilt of 
these cruelties rests with Egmont's secretar}', Bak- 
kerzeel, who had great influence over tlie count, 
and who, along with his chief, received his reward 
in due time from the Government they so zealously 
and unscnipulously served. 

It was much after the same fashion that Toui-nay 
was pacified by Count Horn. Five-sixths of the 
inhabitants of that imiioi-tant place were Calvinists ; 
Horn, therefore, feared to forbid the public preach- 
ings. But no church and no spot inside the walls 
would Horn permit to be defiled by the Protestant 
worahip ; ne^'ertheless, three places outside the gates 
were assigned for sermon. The eloquent Ambrose 
Wille, whom we have already met, was the preacher, 
and his congregation generally numbered from fifteen 
to twenty thousand hearers. Permission was at 
last given for the erection of churches on the tlu-ee 
spots where the field-preachings had been held ; 
and Councillor Tafien made what he judged an 
eminently reasonable pro25osal to the magistrates 
toucliiug the cost of their erection. The Papists, 
he said, who were not more than a fourth of the 
citizens, retained all the old churches; the other 
tti-ee-fourths, who were Protestants, were compelled 
to build new ones, and in these circumstances he 
thought it only fair that the community should 
defray the expense of their erection. The Romanists 
exclaimed against the proposal. To be compelled 
to refrain from burning the heretics was much, but 
to be taxed for the support of heresy was an 
tmheard-of oppression. Money and materials, 
however, wei-e forthcoming in abundance : the 
latter were somewhat too plentiful ; fragments of 
broken images and demolished altars were lying 
about everywhere, and were freely but indiscreetly 
used by the Protestants in the erection of their new 
fabrics. The sight of the tilings wliich they had 
worshipped, built into the walls of a heretical 
temple, stung tlie Romanists to the cpiick as the last 
disgi-ace of their idols. 

The levies of the regent were coming in rapidly, 
and as her soldiers increased her tone waxed the 
bolder. The Accord of the 25tli of August, which 
wa.s the charter of the Protestants, gave her but 
small concern. She had made it in her weakness 
with the intention of breaking it when she should 
be strong. She confiscated all the liberties the 
Refomied enjoyed \mder that an-angement. The 
sermons were forbidden, on the ridiculous pretext 
that, although the liberty of preaching had been 
conceded, that did not include the other exercises 

' Brandt, vol. i., p. 24.3. 

commonly pi-actised at the field assemblies, such as 
singing, pi-aying, and dispensing the Sacraments. 
Gan-isons were placed by the regent in Tournay, in 
Valencieiuies, and many other towns ; the profes- 
sion of the Reformed religion was suppressed in 
them ; the Roman temples were re-opened, and the 
Popish rites restored in their former splendour. 

The fiill of Valenciemies as a Protestant city 
exerted so disastrous and decisive an influence 
upon the whole coimtiy, that it must detain us for 
a little while. In the end of the year 1566 — the 
last year of peace which the Netherlands were to 
see for more than a generation — the regent sent the 
truculent Noircarmes to demand that Valenciennes 
should Oiieu its gates to a gai-rison. Strongly forti- 
fied, Protestant to all but a fourth or sixth of its 
population, courageous and united, Valenciennes 
refused to admit the soldiei-s of Margaret. Her 
general thereupon declaimed it in a state of siege, 
and invested it ■with his troops. Its fate engaged 
the interest of the siu-rounding villages and dis- 
tricts, and the peasants, armed with pitchforks, 
picks, and rusty muskets, assembling to the num- 
ber of 3,000, marched to its relief. They were 
met by the troops of Noircarmes, discomfited, 
and almost exterminated. Another company also 
marching to its assistance met a similar fate. 
Tliose who escaped the slaughter took refuge in 
the church of Watrelots, only to be overtaken Ijy 
a inore dreadful death. The belfry, into which 
they had retreated, was set on fire, and the whole 
perished. These disasters, however, did not dispirit 
the besieged. They made vigorous sallies, and kept 
the enemy at bay. To cut ofi" all communication 
between the city and the suiTOunding countrj', and 
so i-educe the besieged by famine, orders were given 
to the soldiers to lay the district waste. The villages 
were pillaged or burned, tlie inhabitants slaughtered 
in cold blood, or stripped naked in the dead of 
winter, or roasted alive over slow fires to amuse a 
brutal soldiery. Matrons and ^-ii-gins were sold in 
public auction at tuck of drum. While these horrilile 
butcheries were being enacted outside Valenciennes, 
Noii'carmes was di-awing his lines closer about the 
city. In answer to a summons from Margaret, the 
inhabitants offered to surrender on certain condi- 
tions. These were indignantly rejected, and Nou-- 
carmes now commenced to bombard Valenciennes. 
It was t*he morning of Palm-Sunday. Tlie bells in 
the steeples were chiming the air to which the 
22nd Psalm, " My God, my God, why hast thou 
forsaken Tnel" as versified by Marot, was com- 
monly sung. The boom of the cannon, the 
quaking of the houses, the toppling of the 
chimneys, mingling -with the melancholy chimes 



of the steeples, and tlie wailings of the women 
and children in the streets, formed a scene depress- 
ing indeed, and which seems to have weighed 
down the spiiits of the inhabitants into despair. 
The city sent to Noircarmes offering to surrender 
on the simple condition that it should not be sacked, 
and that the lives of the inhabitants should be 
spared. The general gave his promise only to break 
it. Nou'carmes closed the gates when he had 
entered. The wealthy citizens he arrested ; some 
hundreds were hanged, and others were sent to 
the stake.' Tliere was no regular sack, but the 
soldiei's were quartered on the inhabitants, and 
m\irdered and rol.ibed as they had a mind. The 
elders and deacons and priuciital members of the 
Protestant congi-egation were put to death." The 
two Protestant preaehei-s. Guide de Bray and 
Peregi-ine de la Grange, the eloquent Huguenot, 
made their escape, but being discovered they were 
brouglit back, cast into a tilthy dungeon, and 
loaded with chains. 

In their prison they were visited by the Countess 
of Iveux, wlio asked them how they could eat and 
drink and sleep with so heavy a chain, and so 
terrible a fate in prospect. " My good cause," 
replied De Bray, " gives me a good conscience, and 
my good conscience gives me a good ajipetite." 
" My bread is sweeter, and my sleep sounder," he 
I continued, " than that of my persecutors." " But 
your heavy ii-onsl" intei-jiosed the countess. "It 
is guilt that makes a chain heavy," replied the 
prisoner, " innocence makes mine light. I gloiy in 
. my chains, I account them my badges of honour, 
I their clanking is to my ear as sweet music ; it re- 
freshes me like a psalm." ' 

They were sentenced to be hanged. When their 
fate was announced to them, says Brandt, "they 
received it as glad tidings, and prepared as cheer- 
fully to meet it as if they had been going to a 
wedding-feast." De Bray was careful to leaA-e 
liehind lum the secret of his sound sleep in heavy 
^ irons and a filthy dungeon, that others in like cir- 

j cumstances might enjoy the same trancpiillity. "A 
good conscience, a good conscience ! " " Take care," 
said he to all tliose who had come to see him die, 
•' Take cai-e to do notliing against your, 
otherwise you will have an executioner always at 
your heels, and a pandemonium buruuig witliin you." 
Peregrine de la Grange addressed tlie spectators 
fi-om the ladder, " taking heaven and eartli to 
witness that he died for no cause save that of 

' Valenciennes MS. (Koman 
Motley, vol. i., p. 32.5. 
- Laval, vol. iii., p. lt-3. 
^ Brandt, vol. i., pp. '250, 251. 

Catliolicl, quotetl by 

having preached the pure Word of God." Guido 
de Bray kneeled on the scaffold to pray ; but the 
executioner instantly raised him, and compelled him 
to take his place on the ladder. Standing with the 
rope round his neck he addressed the people, bidding 
them give all due reverence to the magistrate, and 
adhere to the Word of God, which he had pui-ely 
preached. His discourse was stojiped by the hang- 
man suddenly throwing him off. At the instant a 
strange frenzy seized the soldiers that guarded the 
market-place. Breaking their ranks, they ran about 
the town in great disorder, " nobody knowing what 
aUed them," firing off their muskets, and woiniding 
and kOling Papists and Protestants indiscrimi- 

We stand on the threshold of a second gi-eat era 
of persecution to the Church of the Netherlands. 
The hoiTors of this era, of which the scaffolds of 
these two learned and eloquent divines mai'k the 
commencement, were to be so awful that the suf- 
ferings of the past forty years would not be remeni- 
bered. The severities that attended the fall of the 
powerful and Protestant Valenciennes discouraged 
the other cities ; they looked to see the tenible 
Noircannes and his soldiers arrive at their gates, 
offeiing the alternative of accepting a garrison, or 
enduring siege with its attendant miseries as wit- 
nessed in the case of Valenciennes. They made up 
their minds to submission in the hope of better days 
to come. If they could have read the future : if 
they had known that submission would deepen into 
slavery ; that one teirible woe would depart only 
to make room for another more terrible, and that 
the despot of Spain, whose heart bigotry had made 
hard as the nether mOlstone, would never cease 
emptying upon them the vials of his wrath, they 
would have chosen the bolder, which would also liave 
been the better part. Had they accepted conflict, the 
hardest-fought fields would have been as nothing 
compared with the humiliations and inflictions that 
submission entailed upon them. Far better would 
it have been to have died with anns in their hands 
than with halters round their necks ; far Ijetter 
would it have been to struggle with the foe in the 
breach or in the field, than to oft'er their limbs to 
the inquisitor's rack. But the Flemings knew not 
the gi-eatness of the crisis : their hearts fainted in 
the day of trial. The little city of Geneva had 
withstood single-handed the soldiers of tlie Duke 
of Savoy, and the threats of France and Spain : tlio 
powerful Proxinces of Brabant and Flanders, with 
their numerous inhabitiints, their- strong and opulent 

< Brandt, vol. i., p. 251. Pontus Peyen MS.— aj>i«J 

Motloy, vol. i., I>. 325. 



cities, and tbeir burghal militia, yiokled at the firet 
summons. Even Valenciennes sun-endered while 
its walls were yet entire. The other cities seem to 
have been conquered by the very name of Noir- 
carmes. The Konianists themselves were astonished 
at the readiness and abjectness of the submission. 
" The capture of Valenciennes," wrote Noii-carmes 
to Granvelle, " has worked a mii'acle. The other 
cities all come forth to meet me, putting the rope 
round then- o-svn neck."' It became a saying, "The 
governor has found the keys of all the rest of the 
cities at Valenciennes."- Cambray, Hasselt, Maseik, 
and Maestricht surrendered themselves, as did also 
Bois-le-Duc. The Reformed in Cambray had ikiven 
away the ai-chbishop ; now the archbishop returned, 
accompanied with a party of soldiers, and the Re- 
formed fled in their turn. In the other towns, where 
hardly a single image had escaped the iconoclast 
tempest, the Romish worship was restored, and the 
Protestants were compelled to conform or leave the 
place. The Prince of Orange had hardly quitted 
Antwerp, where he had just succeeded in preventing 
an outbreak which threatened fearful destruction 
to propeiiy and life, when that commercial metro- 

polLs submitted its neck to the yoke wliich it seemed 
to have cast off wtli contempt, and returned to a 
faith whose very symbols it had so recently trampled 
down as the mii-e in the streets. Antwerj) was 
soon thereafter honoured with a visit from the 
governor. Margaret signalised her coming by 
ordeiing the churches of the Protestants to be pulled 
down, their chikb'en to be re-baptised, and as many 
of the church-plunderei-s as could be discovered 
to be hanged. Her commands were zealou-sly 
earned out by an obsequious magisti-acy.^ It was 
tnily melancholy to witness the sudden change 
which the Southern Netherlands underwent, 
Tliousands might be seen hurrying from a shore 
where freedom and the arts had found a home for 
centuries, where proud cities had arisen, and 
whither were wafted vnth every tide the various 
riches of a world-wide commerce, lea^-ing by their 
flight the arts to languish and commerce to die. 
But still more melancholy was it to see the men 
who remained casting themselves prostrate before 
altars they had so recently thi'O'wn down, and 
participating in rites which tkey had repudiated 
with abhorrence as magical and idolatrous. 



Orange's Penetration of Philip's Mind— Conference at Dendermonde— Eesolution of Egmont— WiUiam Eetires to 
Nassau in Germany— Persecution Increased — The Gallows Full— Two Sisters— PhUip resolves to send an Army to 
the Netherlands— Its Command given to the Duke of Alva— His Character- His Person— His Fanaticism and 
Bloodtliirstiness- Character of the Soldiers— An Ai-my of Alvas— Its March— Its Morale— Its Entrance Unopposed 
—Margaret Eetires from the Netherlands— Alva Ai-rests Egmont and Horn— Eefugees— Death of Berghen and 
Montigny— Tlie Council of Blood— Sentence of Death upon all the Inhabitants of the Netherlands— Constitution 
of the Blood Council— Its Terrible Work — Shrovo-tide — A proposed Holocaixst- Sentence of Spanish Inquisition 
upon the Netherlands. 

"Whirlwinds from the terrible land of the South " 
— in literal terms, edicts and soldiere from Spain — 
were what might now be looked for. Tlie land had 
been subjugated, but it had yet to be chastised. 
On every side the priests lifted up the head, the 
burghers hung theii's m shame. The psalm pealed 
forth at the field-pi'caching rose no longer on the 
breeze, the orison of monk came loud and clear 
instead ; the gibbets were filled, the piles were re- 
lighted, and thousands were fleeing from a country 

' Gachard, Preface to William the Silent— apud Motley, 
vol. i., p. 326. 
" Brandt, vol. i., p. 251. 

wliich seemed only now to be opening the dark 
page of its history. The future in reserve for the 
Low Countries was not so closely locked up in the 
breast of the tyi-ant but that the Prince of Orange 
could read it. He saw into the heart and soul of 
Philip. He had studied him in his daily life ; he 
had studied him in the statesmen and councillors 
who sei-ved him ; he had studied him in his public 
policy; and ho had studied him in those secret 
pages in which Philip had put on record, in the 
depth of his own closet, the projects that he 
was revolving, and which, opened and read while 

3 Brandt, vol. i., p. 254. 



PLilip slept, by tlie spies wHch WiUiam liad placed 
around liim, were communicated to this watcliful 
friend of his coimtry's liberties ; and all these 
several lines of observation had led him to one 
and the same conclusion, that it was Philip's 
settled purpose, to be pursued through a thousand 
windings, chicaneries, falsehoods, and solemn hypo- 
crisies, to drag the leading nobles to the scaffold, 
to hang, burn, or bury alive every Protestant in 
the Low Countries, to put to death every one who 
should hesitate to yield absolute compliance with 
liis ^vill, and above the gi'ave of a murdered nation 
to plant the twin fabrics of Spanish and Romish 
despotism. That these were the purposes which 
the tyrant harboured, and the events which the 
future would bring forth, unless means were found 
to prevent them, William was as sure as that the 
revolution of the hours brings at length the night. 

Accordingly he invited Horn, Egmont, Hoog- 
straaten, and Count Louis to an interview at Den- 
dermonde, in order to concert the measures which 
it might be advisable to take when the storm, -with 
which the air was already thick, should burst. 
The sight of Egmont and the other nobles un- 
happily was not so clear as that of William, and 
they refused to believe that the danger was so great 
as the prince represented. Count Egmont, who 
was not yet disenthralled from the spell of the 
court, nor fated ever to be till he should arrive at 
the scaffold, said that " far from taking paii in any 
measure offensive to the king, he looked upon every 
such measure as equally imprudent and undutiful." 
Tliis was decisive. These thi-ee seigniors must act 
in concert or not at all. Combined, they might 
have hoped to make head against Philip ; singly, 
tliey could accomplish nothing' — nay, in all likeli- 
hood would be cruslied. The Prince of Orange 
resigned all his offices into the hands of the regent, 
and retired with his family to his ancestral estate 
of Nassau in Germany, there to await events. 
Before leaving, however, he warned Count Egmont 
of the fate that awaited liim shoaild he remain in 
Flandei-s. " You are the bridge," said he, " by 
which the Spanish army will pass into the Nether- 
lands, and no sooner shall they have passed it than 
they will break it do%vn."' The warning was un- 
heeded. The two friends tenderly embraced, and 
parted to meet no more on earth. 

No sooner was William gone (April, l.'jGT) than 
a cloud of woes descendud upon the Netherlands. 
The disciples of the Reformation fled as best they 
could from Amsterdam, and a gari-ison entered it. 
At Horn, Clement Martin preached his farewell 

sermon a mouth after the departureof William, and 
next day he and his colleague were expelled the 
town. About the same time the Protestants of 
Enkhuizen heard theii' last sermon in the open air. 
Assemblies were held over-night in the houses of 
certain of the burghers, but these too were dis- 
continued in no long time. A deep silence — "a 
famine of hearing the Word of the Lord" — fell 
upon the land. The ministers were chased from 
many of the cities. The meetings held in out-of-the- 
way places were surprised by the soldiers ; of those 
present at them some were cut in pieces or shot down 
on the spot, and others were seized and carried off 
to the gallows. It was the special delight of the 
persecutors to apprehend and hang or behead the 
members of the consistories. " Thus," says Brandt, 
" the gallows were filled with carcases, and Ger- 
many with exiles." The minister of Cambray first 
had his hand cut oft", and was then hanged. At 
Oudenard and other towns the same fiite was in- 
flicted on the pastoi-s. Monks, who had ceased to 
coimt beads and become heralds of the glorious 
Gospel rather than return to the cloister, were 
content to rot in dimgeons or die on scaffolds. Some 
villages furnished as many as a hundi-ed, and others 
three hundred victims.- A citizen of Bommel, 
Hubert Selkart by name, had the courage to take 
a Bible to the market-place, and disprove the errors 
of Pojjcry in presence of the people assembled 
there. A night or two thereafter he was put inte 
a sack and thro\vn into the liver WaeL There 
were no more Scripture expositions in the market- 
place of Bommel. All the Protestant churches in of erection were demolished, and their 
timbers taken for gallows to hang their biulders. 
Two young gentlewomen of the Province of Over- 
Issel were sentenced to the fire. One of the sisters 
was induced to abjure on a promise of mercy. She 
thought she had saved her life by her abjuration, 
whereas the mercy of the placards meant only an 
easier death. When the day of execution arrived, 
the two sisters, who had not seen each other since 
they received their sentence, were brought forth 
together upon the scaffold. For the one who re. 
raained steadfast a stake had been prepared; the 
other saw with horror a coffin, half filled witli 
sand, waiting to receive her corpse as soon as the 
axe should have severed her head from her body. 
"This," said the strong sister to the weak one, 
" this is all you have gained by denying Ilim before 
whom you are within an hour to appear." Con- 
science-stricken she fell upon her knees, and with 
strong cries besought pardon for her gi-eat sin. 

' Strada, bk. vi., p. 286. 

Meteren, voV ii., f. 45. 



Tlien rising up — a sudden calm succeeding the 
sudden tempest — she boldly declared herself a 
Protestant. The executioner, fearing the efftct of 
her words upon the spectators, instantly stop])od 
her by putting a gag into her mouth, and then he 
bound her to the same stake with her sister. A 
moment before, it seemed as if the two were to be 
parted for ever; but now death, which divides 
others, had united them in the bonds of an eternal 
fellowship :' they were sLstera evei-more. 

As regarded the Netherlands, one would have 
thought that their cup of suffering was already full ; 
but not so thought Philip. New and more terrible 
severities were in 
course of pi'eparatiou 
at Madrid for the 
unliappy Provinces. 
Tlie King of Spain, 
after repeated delibe- 
rations in his council, 
resolved to send a 
powerful army under 
the command of the 
Duke of Alva, to 
chastise those turbu- 
lent citizens whom he 
had too long treated 
with gentleness, and 
exact a full measure 
of vengeance for that 
outbreak in which 
they had discovered 
an equal contempt for 
the true i-eligion and 

the royal authority. The Duke of Alva, setting s^iil 
from Carthagena (May 10th, 1.5C7), landed in the 
north of Italy, and repairing to Asti, there assembled 
under his standard about 10,000 picked soldiers 
fix)m the army in Italy, consisting of 8,700 foot 
and 1,200 cavalry.- He now set out at the head of 
this host to avenge the insulted majesty of Rome 
and Spain, by drowning Netherland heresy in the 
blood of its professors. It was a holy war : those 
against whom it was to be waged were more 
execrable than Jews or Saracens : they were also 
greatly richer. The wealth of the world was trea- 
sured up in the cities of the Netherlands, and their 
gates once forced, a stream of gold would be jioured 
into the coffers of Spain, now beginning to be i)ar- 
tially deplenished bj' the many costly entei-prises 
of Philip. 

A fitter instrument for the dreadful work which 
Philij) had now in linnil tlian the Duke of Alva, it 

would have been impo.ssible to find in all Euroiie. 
A daring and able soldier, Alva was a very great 
f\xvourite with the Emperor Charles V., under whom 
he hnd served in both Eui'ope and Africa, and some 
of the more brilliant of the victories tliat were 
gained by the armies of Charles were owing to his 
luiquestionable ability, but somewhat headlong 
courage. He had wan-ed against l>oth the Turks 
and Lutherans, and of the two it is likely that 
the latter were the objects of his greatest avei-sion 
and deepest hatred. He was now sixty, but his 
years had neither impaired the vigour of his body 
nor quenched the fire of his spirit. In person 
he was thin and tall, 
with small head, 
leathern fiice, twink- 
ling eyes, and silvery 
beard.^ He was cool, 
patient, cruel, .selfish, 
\-indictive, and though 
not greedy of wine 
and the pleasures to 
which it often in- 
cites, was inflamed 
with a most insatia- 
ble greed of gold. 
Haughty and over- 
bearing, he could not 
tolerate a rival, and 
the zeal he afterwards 
showed in dragging 
Count Egmont to the 
scaffold is thought to 
have been inspired, 
in part at least, by the renown Egmont had ac- 
quii-ed over the fii'st generals of France, and which 
had thrown Alva somewhat into the shade, being 
compelled to occupy an inglorious position in the 
north of Italy, while his rival was distinguishing 
himself on a far more consi)icuo\as theatre. But 
the master-passion of this man'.s soul was a ferocious 
fanaticism. Cruel by natiu'e, he had become yet 
more cruel by bigotry. This overbearing passion 
had heated his instincts, and crazed his judgment, 
till in stealthy bloodthirstiness he had ceased to 
be the man, and become the tiger. 

As was the general, so were the soldiers. The 
Duke of Alva was, in fact, leading an army of 
Alvas across the Alps. Their courage had been 
hardened and their .skill perfected in various climes, 
and in numerous cam])aigns and battles ; they 
were haughty, stern, and cruel beyond the ordi- 
nary measure of Spanish soldiers. Deeming them- 

' Brandt, vol. i., p. 

Strada. bk. vi., p. 29. 

2 Badovai-o MS. apvd Motley, vol. i., p. 339. 



selves champions of the Cross, the holy war in 
which they were figliting not only wai'rauted, but 
e.en .sanctified in their eyes, the indulgence of the 
most vindictive and sanguinary passions against 
those men whom they were marching to attack, 
and whom they held to be worthy of death in the 

raine,' attended by two armies of ooservation, the 
French on this side and tlie Swiss on that, to see 
that they kept the straight road. Their march 
resembled the progress of the Ijoa-constrictor, which, 
resting its successive coils upon the same spot, 
moves its glittering but deadly body forwards. 

THE DIKE or \M \ (Fiom thi Paiiiait Ij Titian.) 

most terrible form in which they coidd possiljly 
inflict it. 

Climbing the steep sides of Mont Cenis, the 
duke himself leading the van, this invading host 
gained the summit of the pass. From this poinl, 
where nothing is visible save the little circular lake 
that fills the crater of a now exhausted volcano, 
and the naked i)eaks that environ it, the Spaniards 
descended through the narrow and sublime gorges 
of the mountains to Savoy. Continuing their 
march, they passed on through Bui-gundy and Lor- 

Where the van-guard Iiad encamped this niglit, tlie 
main body of the army was to Jialt the next, and 
the rear the night following. Thus this Apollyon 
host went onward. 

It was the middle of August when the Si>aniards 
arrived at the frontier of the Low Countries. 
They found the gates 0])en, and their entrance un- 
opposed. Those who would have .suffered the in- 

' Strada, bk. vi., p. 30. Le Clerq, Hist, des Provinces 
Unies des Pays Bas, torn, i., livr. ii., p. 13 ; Amsterdam, 1723. 



vaders to ciitei- oiilj' over their dead botlies were 
in tlieir graves; the nobles were divided or in- 
different ; the cities were paralysed by the triumph 
of the royal arms at Valenciennes ; thousands, at 
the firet rising of the tempest, had retreated into 
the Church of Eome as into a harbour of safety ; 
tameness and terror reigned throughout the coimtry, 
and thus the i»werful Netherlands permitted 
Philip to put his chidii upon its neck without 
striking a blow. The only princijile wluch could 
have averted the humiliation of the present hour, 
and the miseries of the long years to come, had 
meanwhile beeia smitten down. 

Cantoning his soldiers in the chief cities, the 
Duke of Alva in the end of August took up Ids 
residence in Brussels, Count Egmont riding by 
liis side as he entered the gates of the Belgian 
capital. He soon showed that he had arrived 
with a plenitude of power ; that, in fact, he 
was king. Margaret felt her authority over- 
topped by the higher authority of the duke, and 
resigned her office as regent. She accompanied 
her retirement with a piece of ad\'ice to her 
brother, which Wios to the effect that if the mciV 
sures that she feared were in contemplation should 
be carried out, the result would be the ruin of 
the Netherlands. Although Philip had been as 
sure of the issue as Margaret was, he would ha\-e 
gone forward all the same. Meanwhile his repre- 
sentative, without a moment's delay, opened his 
career of tyranny and blood. His lii-st act was 
to arrest the Counts Egmont and Horn, and in 
manner as crafty as the deed was cruel. He in- 
vited them to his house on pretence of consulting 
with them respecting a citadel which he meant to 
erect at Antwerp. When the invitation reached 
these noblemen, they were seated at a banquet 
given by the Prior of the Knights of St. John. 
" Take the fleetest horse in your stable," whispered 
the prior in the ear of Egmont, " and flee from 
this place." The infatuated nobleman, instead of 
making his escape, went straight to the palace of 
the duke. After the business of the citadel had 
been discussed, the two counts were conducted into 
separate rooms. " Count Egmont," said the captain 
of the duke's guard, " deliver your sword ; it is the 
will of the king." Egmont made a motion as if he 
would flee. A door was thrown open, and he was 
showai the ne.\t apartment filled with Si)anish mus- 
keteers. Eesistance was vain. The count gave 
up his sword, saying, " By this sword the cause of 
the king has Ijcen oftener than once successfully 
defended."' He was aonducted ujj-stairs to a tein- 

' Strada 

jiorary prison; the windows were closed; the walls 
were hung in black, and lights were burned in it 
night and day — a sad presage of the yet gloomier 
fate that awaited him. Count Horn was treated 
in a precisely similar way. At the end of fourteen 
days the two noblemen were conducted, under a 
strong guard, to the Ciistle of Ghent. At the same 

time two other important arrests were made 

Bakkerzeel, the secretary of Egmont; and Straalen, 
the wealthy Burgomaster of Antwerp. - 

These arrests spread terror over the whole 
country. They convinced Eomanists equally with 
Protestants that the policy to be pursued was one 
of indiscriminate oppression and violence. Count 
Egmont had of late been, to say the least, no luke- 
warm friend of the Government ; his secretiuy, 
Bakkerzeel, had signalised his zeal against Protes- 
tantism by spilling Protestant blood, yet now 
both of these men were on the road to the scaflbld. 
The very terror of Alva's name, before he came, 
had driven from the Low Countries 100,000 
of their inhabitants. The dread iiLsjiii-ed by the 
arrests now made compelled 20,000 more to flee. 
The weavers of Bruges and Ghent carried to 
England their art of cloth-making, and those of 
Antwerp that of the sQk mMiufacture. Nor 
was it the disciples of the Eeformation only 
that sought asylum beyond seas. Thomas Tillius 
forsook his rich Abbey of St. Bernard, in the neigh- 
bourhood of Antwerp, and repaii-ed to the Duchv 
of Cleves. There he threw ofl" hLs frock, manied, 
and afterwards became pastor, first at Haarlem, and 
next at Delft.^ 

Every day a deeper gulf opened to the Nether- 
lands. The death of the two Flemish envoys, the 
Marquis of Berghen and the Baron de Montigny, 
was immediately consequent on the departure of the 
duke for the Low Countries. The precise means 
and manner of their destruction can now never be 
known, but occun-ing at this moment, it combined 
with the imprisonment of Egmont and Horn in 
prognosticating times of more than usual calamity. 
The next measure of Alva was to erect a new 
tribunal, to which he gave the name of the 
" Council of Tumults," but ■ which came to be 
known, and ever u-ill be known in history, by the 
more dreadful appellative of the " Council of 
Blood." Its erection meant the overthrow of 
every other institution. It proscribed all the 
ancient charters of the Netherlands, with the rights 
and liberties in which they vested the citizens. 

- Bentivoglio, lib. ii., cap. 3, pp. 50, 51. Hooft, vol. iv., 
pp. 1.50, 151. Brandt, vol. i., p. 260. 
2 Brandt, vol. i., p. 260. 



The Council of Tumults assumed absolute and 
sole j urisdiction in all mattei-s gi-owing out of the 
late troubles, in opposition to all other law, jmis- 
diction, and authority whatsoever. Its work was 
to search after and punish all heretics and traitors. 
It set about its work by first defining what that 
treason was which it was to punish. This tribunal 
declared that " it was treason against the Divine 
and human Majesties to subscribe and pre.sent any 
petition against the new bishops, the Inquisition, or 
the placards ; as also to suffer or allow the exercise 
of the new religion, let the occasion or necessity be 
what it would." ' Further, it was treason not to have 
opi)Osed the image-breaking ; it was treason not 
to have opposed the field-preachings ; it was treason 
not to have opposed the presenting of the petition 
of the Confederate nobles; in fine, it was treason to 
have said or thought that the Tribunal of Tumults 
was obliged to confonn itself to the ancient charters 
and privileges, or " to have asserted or insinuated 
that the king had no right to take away all the 
privileges of these Provinces if he thought fit, or 
that he was not discharged from aU his oaths and 
promises of pardon, seeing all the inhabitants had 
been guilty of a ci-ime, either of omission or of 
commission." In short, the King of Spain, in this 
fulmination, declai-ed that all the inliabitants of the 
Low Countries were guilty of treason, and had 
incurred the penalty of death. Or as one of the 
judges of this tremendous tribunal, with memoi-able 
simplicity and pithiness, put it, "the heretical in- 
habitants broke into the churches, and the orthodo.x: 
inhabitants did nothing to hinder it, therefore they 
ought all of them to be hanged together." - 

The Council of Blood consisted of twelve judges ; 
the majority were Spaniards, and the rest fost 
fi-iends of the Spanish interest. The duke himself 
was president. Under the duke, and occupying 
his place in his absence, was Vargas, a Spanish 
lawyer. Vargas was renoAvned among his country- 
men as a man of insatiable gi-eed and measureless 
cruelty. He it was who proposed the compendious 
settlement of the Netherlands question to which 
we have just refen-ed, namely, that of hanging all 
the inhaljitants on one gallows. " Tlie gangixuio 
of the Netherlands," said the Spaniards, " has 
need of a sharp knife, and such is Vargas."' This 
man was well mated with another Spaniard nearly 
a-s cruel and altogether as imscrupulous, Del Rio. 
Tliis council pronounced what sentences it pleased, 
and it penuitted no appeal. 

' Brandt, vol. i., p. 260. Meteren, lib. iii., p. CG. 
" Iljid., vol. i., p. 261. 

' IjO Clerq, Hist, des Provinces Unies, SiC, torn, i., livr. ii., 
p. 14. 

It would be both wearisome and disgusting to 
follow these men, step by step, in theu' path of 
blood. Theii- council-chamber resembled nothing 
so much as the lair of a wild beast, vnth its 
precincts covered with the remains of ^^ct^ms. It 
was simply a den of murder ; and one could see in 
imagination all its approaches and avenues soaked 
in gore and strewn with the mangled carcases of 
men, women, and children. The subject is a 
horrible one, upon which it is not at all pleasant to 

All was now ready ; Alva had erected his 
Council of Blood, he had distributed his soldiers 
over the country in such formidable bodies as to 
overawe the inhabitants, he was erecting a citadel 
at Antwerp, forts in other places, and compelling 
the citizens to defray the cost of the instruments of 
their oppression ; and now the Low Countries, 
renowned in former days for the mildness of their 
government and the happiness of theu- people, 
became literally an Aceldama. We shall pei-mit 
the historian Brandt to .summarise the horrors 
with which the land was now overspread. " There 
was nothing now," says he, " but imprisoning and 
racking of all ages, sexes, and conditions of people, 
and oftentimes too without any previous accusation 
against them. Infinite numbers (and they not of 
the Religion neither) that had been but once or 
twice to hear a sermon among the Reformed, were 
put to death for it. The gallows, says the Heer 
Hooft in his history, the wheels, stakes, and trees 
in the highways were loaden with carcases or limbs 
of such as had been hanged, beheaded, or roasted, 
so that the air which God had made for the respu-a- 
tion of the living, was now become the common 
grave or habitation of the dead. Every day pro- 
duced fresh objects of pity and mourning, and the 
noise of the bloody passing-bell was continually 
heard, which by the martyrdom of this man's 
cousin, or t' other's friend or brother, rung dismal 
peals in the hearts of the sur\dvors. Of banish- 
ment of persons and confiscations of goods there 
was no end ; it was no matter whether they had 
i-eal or pei-sonal estates, free or entailed, all was 
seized upon ^vithout regarding the claims of credi- 
tors or others, to the unspeakable prejudice both of 
rich and poor, of convents, hospitals, widows and 
orphans, who were by knavish evasions deprived of 
theu- mcomes for many years."' 

Bales of denunciations were sent in. These were 
too vohuninous to be read by Alva or Vargas, and 
were remitted to the other councils, that still re- 
tained a nominal existence, to be read and i-eported 

■I Brandt, vol. i., p. 261. 


on. Tlioy knew tlie sort of report tliat was expected 
from them, and took care not to disappoint tlie 
expectations of tlie men of the Blood Council. 
With shai-p reiterated knell came the words, 
" Guilty : the gallows." If by a rare chance the 
accused was said to be innocent, the report was 
sent back to be amended : the recommendation to 
death was always carried out within forty-eight 
hours. This bloody harvest was gathered all over 
the country, evei-y town, village, and hamlet fur- 
nishing its group of victims. To-day it is Valen- 
cieuues that yields a batch of eighty-four for the 
stake and the gallows ; a few days thereafter, a 
miscellaneous crowd, amounting to ninety-five, are 
brought in from diiferent places in Flanders, and 
handed over by the Blood Council to the scafibld ; 
next day, forty-six of the irJiabitants of Malines 
are condemned to die ; no sooner are they disposed 
of than another crowd of thirty-five, collected from 
various localities by the sleuth-hounds of the 
Blood Council, ai-e ready for the fire. Thus the 
Iioriible work of atrocity went on, prosecuted 
with unceasing vigom- and a zeal tliat was truly 

Shrovetide (1568) was approaching. The in- 
habitants of the Netherlands, like those of all 
Polish countries, were Avont to pass this night in 
rejoicings. Alva resolved that its songs shoidd be 
turned into bowlings. Wliile the citizens should 
Ije making meriy, he would throw his net over 
all who were kno^vn to have ever been at a 
field-preaching, and prepare a holocaust of some 
thousand heads fittingly to celebrate the close of 
" Holy Week." At midnight his m^Tmidons were 
sent forth ; they burst open the doors of all su.s- 
pected persons, and dragging them from then- beds, 
hauled them to prison. Tlie number of aiTests, 
liowever, did not answer Alva's expectations ; some 
had got thuely warning and had made theii- escaiie; 
those who remained, having but little heart to 
rejoice, were not so much ofl" their guard, nor so 
easy a prey, as the officers expected to find them. 
Alva had enclosed only .")00 disciples or favourers 
of the Gospel in his net — too many, alas ! for sueli 
a fate, but too few for the vast desires of the per- 

secutor. Tliey were, of coui-se, ordered to the 

Terror was chasing awaj- the inhabitants in 
thousands. An edict was issued threatening severe 
penalties against all carriers and shiji-masters who 
should aid any subject of the Netherlands to 
escape, but it was quite inefiectual in checking tlie 
emigration ; the cities were becoming empty, and 
the land comiiaratively depojiulated. Neverthe- 
less, the per.secutioii went on -n-ith unrelenting fury. 
Even Viglius coimselled a little lenity ; the Pope, 
it is said, alarmed at the issue to wliich matters 
were tending, was not indisposed to moderation. 
Such advisers ought to liave had weight with the 
King of Spain, but Philip refused to listen even to 
them. Vargas, whom he consulted, declared, of 
course, for a continuance of the persecution, telling 
his sovereign that in the Netherlands he had found 
a second Indies, where the gold was to be had 
without even the trouble of digging for it, so 
numerous were the confiscations. Thus avarice 
came to the aid of bigotry. Philip next submitted 
a "Memorial and Representation" of the state of 
the Low Countries to the Spanish Inquisition, 
craving the judgment of the Fathers upon it. After 
deliberating, the inquisitors pronounced their de- 
cision on the 16th of Februaiy, 1-568. It was to 
the efiect that, " with the exception of a select list 
of names which had been Iianded to them, all the 
inliabitants of the Netherlands were heretics or 
abettors of heresj', and so had been guilty of the 
crime of high treason." On the 26th of the same 
month, Philip confirmed this sentence by a royal 
proclamation, in which he commanded the decree 
to be can-ied into immediate execution, without 
favour or respect of persons. The King of Spain 
actually passed sentence of death upon a whole 
nation. We behold him erecting a common scaf- 
fold for its execution, and digging one vast grave 
for all the men, and women, and children of tlie 
Low Countries. " Since the beginning of the 
world," says Brandt, " men have not seen or heard 
any jjarallel to this horrible sentence."' 

Brandt, vol. i., p. 263. 

IIM., p. 2GC. 




William cited by the Blood Council— His Estates Confiscated — Solicited to Unfurl the Standard against Spain— Funds 
raised — Soldiers Enlisted — Tlie War waged in the King's Kame— Louis of Nassau — The Invading Host Marches 
— Battle at Dam— Victory of Count Louis — Eage of Alva — Executions — Condemnation of Counts Egmont and 
Horn— Sentence intimated to them — Egmont's Conduct on the Scaffold — Executed — Death of Count Horn— Battle 
of Gemmingen— Defeat of Count Louis. 

The Prince of Orange liad fled from the Nether- 
lands, as we have ah-eady seen, and retired to his 
patrimonial estates of Nassau. Early in the year 
1.5G8 the Duke of Alva cited him to appear before 
the Council of Blood. It was promised that the 
greatest lenity would be shown him, should be obey 
the summons, but William was far too sagacious to 
walk into tliis trap. His brother Louis of Nassau, 
liis brother-in-law Count van den Berg, and the 
Counts Hoogstraaten and Culemberg were sum- 
moned at the same time ; thrice fourteen days were 
allowed them for putting in an appearance ; should 
they fail to obey, they were, at the expiration of 
that period, to incur forfeiture of their estates and 
perpetual banishment. It is needless to say that 
these noblemen did not resjoond to Alva's citation, 
and, as a matter of course, theu" estates were con- 
fiscated, and sentence of banishment was recorded 
against them. 

Had they succeeded in ensnaring William of 
©range, tlie joy of Philip and Alva would have 
been nnbounded. His sagacity, his strength of 
character, and his influence witli his countrymen, 
made his capture of more importance to the success 
of their desigirs than that of all the rest of the 
Flemish nobility. Their mortiiication, when tliey 
found that he had escaped them, was therefore 
extreme. His figure I'ose menacingly before them 
in tiieir closets ; he disturbed all their calculations ; 
for while this sagacious and dauntless friend of his 
country's lilierties wiis at large, they could not be 
sure of retaining their hold on the Netherlands, 
their prey might any day be -wrested from them. 
But thougli his ])erson had escaped them, his 
property was witliiu their rcacli, and now his 
numerous estates in France and the Low Coun- 
tries were confiscated, their revenues appropriated 
for the uses of Philip, and his eldest son, Count 
van Buren, a lad of thirteen, and at the time a 
student in the LTniversity of Lo\ivain, was seized as 
a hostage and carried oft' to Spain. 

There was but one man to whom the inhabitants, 
in the midst of their ever-accumulating misery and 

despair, could look with the smallest hope of de- 
liverance. That was the man whom we have just 
seen stripped of his property and declared an outlaw. 
The eyes of the exiles abroad were also turned to 
William of Orange. He began to be earnestly 
importuned by the refugees in England, in Grer- 
many, in Cleves and other parts, to unfurl the 
standard and strike for his country's liberation. 
William wished to defer the enterprise in the hope 
of seeing Spain involved in war with some other 
nation, when it would be more easy to compel her 
to let go her hold upon the unhappy Netherlands. 
But the exiles were importunate, for their numbers 
were being daily swelled by the new horrors that 
were continually darkening their native country. 
William therefore resolved to delay no longer, but 
instantly to gird himself in obedience to the cry 
from so many countries, and the yet louder cry, 
though expressed only in groans, that was coming 
to him from the Netherlands. 

His fii-st care was to raise the necessary funds 
and soldiei-s. He could not begin the war with a 
less sum in hand than two hundred thousand 
florins. The cities of Antwerp, Haarlem, Amster- 
dam, and otliers contributed one-half of that sum ; 
tlie refugee merchants in London and elsewhere 
subscribed largely. His brother. Count John of 
Nassau, gave a considerable sum ; and the pxince 
himself completed the amount needed by the sale 
of his plate, furniture, tapestiy, and jewels, which 
wei-e of gi-eat value. In this way were the funds 

For troops the chief relianeoof Williaui was on 
the Protestant princes of Germany. He rej)rcscnted 
to them the danger with which their own prosperity 
and liberties would be menaced, should the Nether- 
lands be occupied by the Spaniards, and their ti-ado 
destroyed by the foreign occupation of the seaboard, 
and the conversion of its great connnercial cities into 
camps. The Gennan princes were not insensible to 
these considerations, and not only did they advance 
him sums of money — they winked at his levy- 
ing recruits within tlicir territories. He reckoned, 


too, on receiving help from tlie Huguenots of 
Fi-ance ; nor would the Protestant Queen of Eng- 
land, he trusted, be lacking to him at this crisis. 
He could confidently reckon on the Flemish refugees 
scattered all over the northern countries of Europe. 
They had been warriors as well as traders in their 
own country, and he could rely on their swelluig 
his ranks with brave and jiatriotic soldiers. With 
these resources — how diminutive when compared 
with the treasures and the armies of that Power to 
which he was throwing down the gage of battle ! — 
William resolved on beginning his gi'eat struggle. 

By a fiction of loyalty this war against the 
king was made in the nanie of the king. William 
nnfui'led his standard to diive out the Spaniards 
from Philiji's dominions of the Netherlands, in order 
that he might serve the interests of the king by 
saving the land from utter desolation, the inhabit- 
ants from dire slavery, the charters and privileges 
from extinction, and religion from utter overthrow. 
He gave a commission to his brother, dated Dillen- 
burg, Gth AprU, 1.568, to levy troops for the war 
to be waged for these objects. Louis of Nassau 
was one of the best soldiers of the age, and had the 
cause as niuch at heart as the prince himself The 
count was successful in raising levies in the north 
of Germany. The motto of his arms was " The 
freedom of the nation and of conscience," and 
blazoned on his liannei-s were the words "Victory 
or death."' 

Besides the soldiers I'ccruited in the north of 
Germany by Count Louis, levies had been raised in 
France and in the Duchy of Cleves, and it was 
arranged that tlie liberating army should enter the 
Netherlands at four points. One di\'ision was to 
march from the south and enter by Artois ; a 
second was to descend along the Meuse from the 
east J Count Louis was to attack on the north; and 
the prince himself, at the head of the main body of 
liberators, was to strike at the heart of the Nether- 
lands by occujjyiiig Brabant. The attacking forces 
on the south and east were repulsed with great 
slaughter ; but the attack on the north under Count 
Louis was signally successful. 

On the 2-tth April, 1.568, the coimt entered the 
Provinces and advanced to Dam, on the shores of 
the Bay of Dollart, the site of thirty-three 
villages till drowned in a mighty inundation of the 
ocean. Troops of volunteers were daily joining his 
standard. Here Count Aremberg, who had been 
sent by Alva with a body of Spanish and Sardinian 
troops to oppose him, joined battle with him. The 
Count of Nassau's little army was strongly posted. 

Bi'a.ndt, vol. i., p. 267. 

On the right was placed his cavalry, under the com- 
mand of his brother Count Adolphus. On the left 
his main army was defended by a hill, on which ho 
had planted a strong band of musketeei-s. A 
wood and the walls of a convent guarded his rear ; 
while in front stretched a nicrass full of pits from 
which peat had been dug. When the Spaniards 
came in sight of the enemy dra\ra up in two little 
squares on the eminence, they were impatient to 
begin battle, deeming it impossible that raw levies 
could withstand them for a moment. Their leader, 
who knew the natui-e of the ground, strove to 
restrain their ardour, bvit in vain : accusations of 
treachery and cowardice were hurled at him. "Let 
us march," said Ai'emberg, his anger kindled, " not 
to victory, but to be overcome." The soldiers rushed 
into the swamp, but though now sensible of their 
error, they could not retreat, the front ranks being 
piished forward by those in the rear, till they were 
fairly under the enemy's fire. Seeing the Spaniards 
entangled in the mud, Comit Louis attacked them 
in front, while his brother broke in upon their 
flank with the cavalry. The musketeers poured 
in then- shot upon them, and one of the squares of 
foot wheeling round the base of the hill took them 
in the rear; thus assailed on all sides, and un;il>le 
to resist, the Spanish host was cut in pieces. Both 
Adolphus, brother of Louis of Nassau, and Arem- 
berg, the leader of the Spaniards, fell in the battle. 
The artillery, baggage, and military chest of the 
Spaniards became the booty of the conquerors." 

This issue of the affair was a gi-eat lilovr to 
Alva. He knew the effect which the prestige 
of a first victory was sure to have in favour of 
William. He therefore hastened his measiu'es that 
he might march against the enemy and inflict on 
him summary vengeance for having defeated the 
veteran soldiers of Spain. The fii-st burst of the 
tyrant's rage fell, however, not on the patriot army, 
but on those unhappy persons who were in prison at 
Brussels. Nineteen Confederate noblemen, who had 
been condemned for high treason by the Council of 
Blood, were ordered by Alva for immediate execu- 
tion. They were all beheaded in the horse-market 
of Brussels. Eight died as Eoman Catholics, and 
their bodies received Christian burial ; the remain- 
ing eleven professed the Reformed laith, and their 
heads stuck on poles, and their bodies fastened to 
stakes, were left to moidder in the fields.' The 
next day four gentlemen suflfered the same fate. 
Comit Culemberg's house at Bnissels was razed 

- Bentivoglio, lib. ii., cap. 3, p. 52. Strada, "lib. vii 
Brandt, vol. i., p. 267. 
•* Strada, lib. vii. 



to the gi-oiintl, and Lii the centre of the desolated 
site a phicard was set up, announcing that the ill- 
omened spot had been made an execration because 
the great " Beggar Confederacy " against king and 
Church had been concocted here. These minor 
tragedies but heralded a gi'eater one. 

The last houi-s of Counts Egmont and Horn were 
now come. Tliey had lain nine months in the 
Castle of Client, and conscious of entire loyalty to 
the king, they had not for a moment apprehended 
a fatal issue to their cause ; but both Philip and 
Alva had from the first determined that they should 
die. The secretary of Egmont, Bakkerzeel, was 
subjected to the torture, in the hope of extorting 
from him condemnatory matter against his master. 
His tormentors, however, failed to extract anything 
from him which they could use against Egmont, 
whereat Alva Wixs so enraged that he ordered the 
miserable man to be pulled in pieces by wild horses. 
The condemnation of the unfoi-tunate noblemen was 
proceeded with all the same. They were brought 
from Ghent to Brussels under a strong escort. 
Alva, taking up one of the blank slips with Philip's 
signature, of which he had brought a chestful from 
Spain, drafted upon it the sentence of Egmont, con- 
demning him to be beheaded as a traitor. The 
same formality was gone through against Count 
Horn. The main accusation against these noble- 
men was, that they had been privy to the Con- 
fedei-acy, which had been formed to oppose the 
inti'oduction of the Inquisition and edicts ; and that 
they had met with the Prince of Orange at Den- 
dermonde, to deliberate about opposing the entrance 
of the king's army into the Netherlands. They 
knew indeed of the Confederacy, but they had not 
been members of it ; and as regai'ded the conference 
at Dendernionde, they had been present at that 
meeting, but thej' had, as our readers will remem- 
ber, Tlisapproved and opposed the proposition of 
Louis of Nassau to unite their endeavours against 
the entrance of the Spanish troops into Flanders. 
But innocence or guilt were really of no account to 
, the Blood Council, when it had fixed on the victim 
to be sacrificed. The two counts were roused from 
sleep at midnight, to have the sentence of death in- 
timated to them by the Bishop of Ypres. 

At eleven o'clock of the following day (5th of 
May) they were led to execution. The scafibld had 
boen erected in the centre of the great square of 
Brussels, standing hard by if not on the identical 
spot where the stake of the first martjTS of the 
Reformation in the Netherlands had been set iiji. 
It was covered with black cloth ; nineteen com- 
panies of soldiere kept guard around it ; a vast 
a.ssembly occupied the space beyond, and the 

windows of the houses were crowded with spec- 
tators, among whom was Alva himself, who had 
come to witness the tragedj' of his o%™ ordering. 
Count Egmont was the first to ascend the scaflbld, 
accompanied by the Bishop of Ypre.s. He had 
walked thither, reciting the 51st Psalm : " In the 
multitude of thy compassions, O Go'.l, blot out all 
mine iniquities," &c. He conducted himself with 
dignity upon the scaflbld. It was vain to think of 
addressing the spectators ; those he wished to reach 
were too far ofl" to hear him, and his words would 
have fiillen only on the ears of the Spanish soldiei-s. 
After a few minutes' conversation with the bishop, 
who presented him with a silver cross to kiss, and 
gave him his benediction, the count put oft' his black 
mantle and robe of red damask, and taking the 
Cross of the Golden Fleece from his neck, he knelt 
down and put his head on the block. Joining his 
hands as if in the act of supplication, he cried 
aloiid, " O Lord, into thy hands I commit my 
spirit." Thereupon the executioner emerged from 
underneath the scafibld, where till that moment he 
had been concealed, and at one blow severed his 
head from his body. 

Count Horn was next led upon the scaflbld. 
He inquired whether Egmont were already dead. 
His eye was directed to a bkck cloth, which had 
been hastUy thrown over the tnink and severed head 
of that nobleman, and he was told that the remains 
of Egmont were underneath. " We have not met 
each other," he observed, " since the day we were 
apprehended." The crucifix presented to him he 
did not kiss ; but he kneeled on the scaflbld to 
pray. His devotions ended, he rose up, laid his 
head on the block, and uttering in Latin the same 
exclamation which Egmont had used, he received 
the stroke of the sword. The heads of the two 
counts were stuck up on iron poles on the scaflbld, 
between burning torches, and exhibited till late in 
the afternoon. This horrible deed very much 
deepened the detestation and abhorrence in which 
both Philip and Alva were held by the Nether- 

The dismal tragedy ended, Alva was at liberty 
to turn his attention to the war. He set out from 
Brussels with an army of 12,000 foot and 3,000 
horse to meet Louis of Nassau. He came up with 
him (14th of July, 1.568) in the neighbourhood of 
Groningen. On the approach of the duke, Count 
Louis retreated to the small town of Gcnnningen 
on the Ems, where he encamped. His position 
was not unlike that in which he had joined battle 
with Aremberg, being strongly defended by 

1 Straila, lib. vii. Brandt, vol. i., p. 207. 



morasses and swamps. The soldiers under him 
were somewhat inferior in numbers, but far more 
inferior in discipline, to the troops led by Alva. 
But Count Louis was more in want of money than 
men. The pay of his soldiers was gi-eatly in arrear, 
and when they saw the Spaniards approach, and 
knew that a battle was imminent, tliey refused to 
figlit till fiKt their aiTears had been paid. Intelli- 
gence of this mutinous disposition was duly carried 
to Alva by spies, and he accordingly chose that 

moment to attack. Count Louis and the Flemish 
exiles fought bravely, but deserted by tlie Cierman 
mutineers, they were compelled at last to retreat. 
The Spanish army rushed into the camp ; most of 
the Germans who had refused to fight were put to 
the sword ; Count Louis, with the remains of his 
routed host, escaped across the river Ems, and soon 
thereaftei', in company with Coimt Hoogstraaten, 
he set out for Germany to join his brother, the 
Prince of Orange.' 


FAILURE OF William's first campaign. 

Execution of Widow van Dieman— Herman Schinkel— Martyrdoms at Ghent— .T,t Bois-le-Duc— Peter van Kulen 
and his Maid-servant— A New Gag Invented— William Approaches with liis Army— His Manifesto— His Avowal 
of his Faith— William Crosses the Rhine— Alva Declines Battle-WiUiam's Supplies Fail— Flanders Refuses 
to Rise— William Retires— Alva's Elation— Erects a Statue to himself— Its Inscription— The Pope sends him 
Congratulations, etc.- Synod of the Church of the Netherlands— Presbyterian Church Government Established. 

From the battle-field of Gemmingen, Alva went on 
his way by Amsterdam and Utrecht and Bois-le-Duc 
to Biiissels, instituting inquiries in every district 
through which he passed, touching tliose of the 
inliabitants wlio had been concerned in the late 
tumults, and leaving his track marked thro\ighout 
by halters and stakes. At Bois-le-Duc he pa.ssed 
sentence on sixty refugees whom he foiind in tliat 
town, sending some to the gallows and others to 
the fire. Some noblemen and councillors of Utrecht 
were at the same time executed, and their estates 
confiscated. Many in those days perished for no 
other crime but that of being rich. A gentle- 
woman of eighty-four years, widow of Adam van 
Dieman, a foi-mer Burgomaster of Utrecht, and 
who had received imder her roof for a single night 
the minister John Arentson, was sentenced to die. 
When the day came, the executioner made her sit in 
a chair till he should strike ofi" her head. Being a 
Romanist she knew that her gi-eat wealth had as 
much to do with her death as the night's lodging 
she had given the Refonned pastor, for when 
brought Tipon the scaffold she asked if there was no 
room for pardon. Tlie officer answered, " None." 
" I know what you mean," replied the brave old 
lady ; " the calf is fat, and must therefore be 
killed." Then tm-ning to the executioner, and 
jesting playfully on her giieat age, which ought to 
have proe\u-ed lier respect and favour, she said, " I 
hope your sword is sharp, for you will find my neck 

somewhat tough." The executioner struck, and 
her head fell." 

A month after (2.5th of September) the widow 
of Egbert van Broekhuissen, a wine merchant at 
Utrecht, was beheaded. Her sentence set forth 
that she had been at a conventicle, but it was 
strongly rumoured that her real offence was one on 
which the judicial record was silent. One of the 
commissioners of the Council of Blood was a 
customer of her husband's, and was said to be deep 
in his debt. It would seem that the judge took 
this way of paying it, for when the effects of the 
widow were confiscatetl for the king's use, the ledger 
in which the debt was posted could not be found.' 
About the same time three persons were hanged 
at Haarlem. One of them had mutilated an image; 
another had Iteen a soldier of Brederode's, the Con- 
federate leader; the third had written a poem, styled 
the Eecho, satirising the Pope. This man was the 
father of eight children, whose mother was dead. 
His own mother, a woman of eighty years, earnestly 
interceded that he might be spared for liis children's 
sake. But no compassion could be sho-svn him. 
His two companions had already been strangled ; 
his own foot was on the ladder, when a sudden 
tumult arose round the scaffold. But the per- 
secutoi-s were not to be defrauded of their prey. 

• Strada, lib. vii. Watson, PUlip II., vol. i., pp. 329, 330. 
= Brandt, vol. i., pp. 269, 270. ' Ibhl. 



Tliey ImiTied ofi" their victim to the burgomaster's 
chamber; there they tied him to a ladder, and 
having strangled liim, they hung np his corpse on 
the public gallows beside the other two. At Delft, 
Herman Schiukel, one of the lettered printers of 
those days, was condemned to die for having printed 
the " Psalm-book, the Catechism, and the Confes- 
sion of Faith," or short confession of the Christian 
doctrine from the Latin of Beza. He made a 
powerful defence before his judges, but of what 
avail was it for innocence and justice to plead 
before such a tribunal l He composed some verees 
in Latin on his death, which he sent to a friend. 
He wrote a letter to his infant son and daughters, 
breathing all the tenderness of a father ; and then 
he yielded uji his life.' 

In Brabant and Flanders the persecution was 
still more severe. At Ghent, Giles de Meyer, the 
Reformed pastor, was condemned to the gallows. 
But the Spaniards who lay there in garrison, 
deeming this too good a death for the heretical 
preacher, changed it to one more befitting his 
demerits. Putting a gag into his mouth, and 
throwing him in, bound hand and foot, among a 
stack of faggots, they set fire to the heap and 
burned him. Meyer was one of four ministers 
who all sealed their doctrine with their blood in 
the same diocese. In the towns and villages around 
Ghent, men and women were being every day hanged 
— some simply for having taught children to sing 
psalms ; others for having two years before given 
the use of their barns for sermon. At Bois-le-Duc, 
on the 28th of August, 1.568, 110 men and three 
women were cited by toll of bell. Every few days 
a little batch of prisonei-s were brought foi-th, and 
distributed between the gallows and the block, on 
no principle that one can see, save the caprice or 
wliim of the executioners. Thus the altars of per- 
secution continually smoked; and strangled bodies 
and headless trunks were perpetually before the 
eyes of the miserable inhabitants. 

Peter van Kulen, a goldsmith liy trade, and an 
elder of the congregation at Breda, was thrown into 
prison. He had a maid-servant, a fellow-disciple 
of the same Lord and Master, who ministered to 
him in his bonds. She brought him his daily meal 
in the prison ; but other Bread, which the guards 
saw not, she also conveyed to him — namely, that 
destined for the food of the soiil; and many a sweet 
and refreshing repast did he enjoy in his dun- 
geon. His faith and courage were thereby greatly 
strengthened. This went on for nine months. At 
last the guards suspected that they had a greater 

hei-etic in the servant than in the master, and 
threw her also into prison. After two months both 
of them were condemned, and brought out to be 
burned. As, with cheerful and constant aspect, 
they were being led to the scaffold, some of their 
townswomen forced their way through the guards 
to take their last farewell of them. "Van Kulen 
had the commiseration sho-mi him of being fii-st 
strangled, and then committed to the fire ; but for 
his pious maid-sei'vant the more pitiless doom was 
reserved of being burned alive. This woman con- 
tinued to encourage her master so long as he was 
capable of understanding her ; when her words 
could no longer be useful to him, she was heard by 
the bystanders, with invincible coui"age, magnifj'ing 
the name of God in the midst of the flames.- 

It was now that a more dreadful instrument 
than any which the cpiick invention of the per- 
secutor had yet devised, was brought into play to 
prevent the martyrs speaking in tlieir last moments. 
It was seen how memorable were words spoken 
in circumstances so awful, and how deep they sank 
into the hearts of the hearere. It had been usual 
to put a wooden gag or ball into the mouth of the 
pereon to be burned, but the ball would roll out at 
times, and theia the martyr would confess his faith 
and glorify God. To prevent this, the following 
dreadful contrivance was resoi-ted to : two small 
bits of metal were screwed down upon the tongTie ; 
the tip of the tongue was then seared with a red- 
hot iron ; instant swelling ensued, and the tongue 
could not again be drawn out of its eaiclosure. The 
pain of burning made it wriggle to and fro in the 
mouth, yielding " a hollow sound," says Brandt, 
" much like that of the lirazen bull of the tyrant of 
Sicily." "Arnold van Elp," continues the historian, 
" a man of known sincerity, relates that whilst he 
was a spectator of the martyrdom of some who were 
thus tongue-tied, he heard a friar among the ci'owd 
saying to his companion, ' Hark ! how they sing : 
should they not dance too V"' 

From this horrible, though to Alva congenial, 
work, the viceroy was called away by intelligence 
that William of Orange was approaching at the 
head of an army to invade Bi-abant. To open the 
gates of the Netherlands to his soldiers, William 
issued a manifesto, setting forth the causes of the 
war. " There was," he said, " no resource but 
arms, unless the ancient charters were to be utterly 
extinguished, and the country itself brought to 
ruin by a tyi'anny exercised, not by the king " (so 
he still affected to believe), " but by Spanish coun- 
cillors in the king's name, and to the destruction 

' Brandt, vol. i., p. 271. 

= Brandt, vol. i., p. 275. 



of tlie king's interest." To avei-t tbi.s catastroplie 
was he now in arms. The cause, he aihrmed, was 
that of every man in the Low Coiintries, and no 
Netlicrhuider " could remain neutral in this 
struggle without becoming a traitor to his countrj'." 
In this manifesto the prince made the first public 
amxomicement of that great change which his own 
religious sentiments had undergone. All that is 
noble in human character, and heroic in himian 
achievement, must spring from some great ti'uth 
realised in the soul. Willianr of Orange gave a 
forecast of his future career — his unselfish devo- 
tion, his unwearied toil, his inextinguishable hope 
of his country — when he avowed in tliis manifesto 
liis conviction that the doctrines of the Reformed 
Church were more in accordance with the "Word of 
God than were those of the Roman Church. This 
elevated the contest to a higher basis. Hence- 
forward it was no longer for ancient Flemish 
chai"ters alone, it was also for the rights of con- 
science ; it allied itself with the great movement of 
the human soul for freedom. 

The Prince of Oi'ange, advancing from Germany, 
crossed the Rhine near Cologne, with an army, in- 
cluding horse and foot, not exceeding 20,000. 
The Spanish host was equal in numbers, but 
better furnished with military stores and pro- 
visions. William approached the banks of the 
Meuse, which he crossed, much to the dismay of 
Alva, by a bold expedient, to which Julius Caesar 
had had recourse in similar circumstances. He 
placed his cavalry in the river above the ford, and 
the force of the current being thus broken, the 
army was able to effect a passage. But Alva 
declined battle. He knew how slender were the 
finances of William, and that could he prolong the 
campaign till the appi-oach of winter, the prince 
would be under the necessity of disbanding his 
army. His tactics were completely successful. 
Whichever way William turned, Alva followed 
him ; always straitening him, and making it im- 
possible for him to enter any fortified town, or to 
find provisions for his army in the open country. 
The autumn wore away in marches and coimter- 
marches, Alva skOfully avoiding battle, and en- 
gaging only in slight skirmishes, which, barren of 
result to William, were jirofitable to the Spanisli 
general, inasmuch as they helped to consume time. 
William had expected that Brabant and Flanders 
would rise at the sight of his standards, ;;nd shake 
off the Spanish yoke. Not a city opened its gates 
to him, or hoisted on its walls the fiag of defiance 
to the tyi-ant. At last both money and provisions 
failed him. Of the .300,000 guilders which the 
Flemish Protestants at home and abroad had 

undertaken to furnish towards the deliverance of 
the country, barely 12,000 were forthcoming. His 
soldiers became mutinous, and the prmce had no 
alternative but to lead back liis army into Germany 
and there disband it. The Flemings lost far more 
than William did. The offer of freedom had come 
to their gates wiih the bamiers of William, but they 
failed to perceive the hour of their opportunity. 
With the retreating standards of the Deliverer 
liberty also dejiarted, and Belgium sank down under 
the yoke of Spain and Rome. 

The Duke of Alva was not a little elated at his 
success, and he set about rearing a monument 
which should perpetuate its fame to after-ages. He 
caused the camion taken in the battle of Gem- 
mingen to be melted, and a colossal bronze statue 
of himself to be cast and set up in the citadel of 
Antwerp. It pleased Alva to be i-epresented in 
complete armour, trampling on two prostrate 
figures, which were variously interpreted, but from 
the petitions and axes which they held in their 
hands, and the symbolical devices of the Beggars 
hung round theii- necks, they were probably 
meant to denote the image-breaking Protestants 
and the Confederates. On the pedestal was the 
following inscription in Latin : " To the most 
faithful minister of the best of kings, Ferdinand 
Alvarez, Duke of Alva, Governor of the Low 
Countries for Philip II., King of Spain, who, after 
having extinguished the tumults, expelled the 
rebels, restored religion, and executed justice, has 
established peace in the nation." A truly modest 
inscription ! The duke, moreover, decreed himself 
a triumphal entry into Brussels, in the cathedral of 
which a Te Beuia was sung for his victory. Nor 
was this all. Pius V. sent a special ambassador from 
Rome to congratulate the conqueror, and to present 
him with a consecrated hat and sword, as the special 
champion of the Roman Catholic religion. The 
sword was richly set, being chased with gold and 
precious stones, and was presented to tlie duke liy 
the hands of the Bishop of Mechlin, in church after 
the celebration of mass. The afternoon of the same 
day was devoted to a splendid toinnament, the place 
selected for the spectacle being the same square in 
which the bloody tragedy of the execution of Counts 
Egmont and Horn had so recently been enacted.' 

It was in the midst of these troubles that the 
persecuteil disciples of the Gosi)el in the Nether- 
lands met to perfect the organisiition of their 
Church. A synod or assembly wiis at this time 
held at Embden, at which Jasper von Heiden, then 
minister at Franken-deal, presided. At this synod 

' Strada, lib. vii. Brandt, vol. i., p. 276. 




l^Fiom a Poibait of the petiod, m the Bibhothtiue Natwnah ) 

niles were made for the holding of consistories or 
kii-k-sessions, of chasses or presbyteries, and sjniods. 
The firet article of the constitution ordained for the 
Netherland Church was as follows : — " No Church 
shall have or exercise dominion over another ; no 
minister, elder, or deacon shall bear nile over 
another of the same degree ; but eveiy one shall 
beware of liis attempting or giving the least cause 
of suspicion of his aiming at such dominion." "This 
article," says Brandt, " was levelled chiefly at the 
prelatic order of Rome, as also at the episcopacy 
established in some of the countries of the Refor- 
mation." Tlie ministers assembled signed the 
Confession of Faith of the Church of the Nether- 
land.s, " as an evidence of their uniformity in 
doctrine;" as also the Confession of the Churches 
of France, " to .show their iniion and conformity 
with them." It was agreed that all the ministers 

then absent, and all who should thereafter be 
admitted to the office of the ministry, shoidd be 
exhoi-ted to subscribe these articles. It was also 
agi'eed that the Geneva catechism shoidd be used 
in the French or Walloon congregations, and the 
Heidelberg catechism in those of the Dutch ; but 
if it happened that any of the congregations 
made use of any other catechism agreeable to the 
Word of God, they were not to be required to 
change it.' WhUe Alva was scatteiing and burn- 
ing the Netherland Chiu'ch, its members, regardless 
of the tyrant's fury, were linking themselves to- 
gether in the bonds of a scriptiu'al organisation. 
While his motto was " Raze, raze it," the founda- 
tions of that spiritual edifice were being laid 
deeper and its walls raised higher than before. 

' Brandt, vol. i., p. 294. 




(From o PoHrait of the period, in the Bibliotheque Nationale.) 



Brabant Inactive — Trials of the Blood Council— John Hassels— Executions at Valenciennes— The Year 15G8— More 
Eilicts — Individual Martyrdoms— A Martyr Saving the Life of his Persecutor— Burning of Four Converted Priests 
at the Hague-William enters on his Second Campaign — His Appeal for Funds— The Refugees- The " Beggars of 
the Sea"— Discipline of the Privateer Fleet— Plan for Collecting Funds— Elizabeth— De la Marck— Capture of 
Brill by the Sea Beggars— Foundations laid of the Dutch Republic— Alva's Fury— Bossu Fails to Retake Brill — 
Dort and Flushing declare against Spain— Holland and Zealand declare for William— Louis of Nassau takes 
Mons— Alva Besieges it— The Tenth Penny— Meeting of the States of Holland— Speech of St. Aldegonde— Tolera- 
tion— William of Orange declared Stadtholder of Holland. 

William, Pi-ince of Orange, hanng consecrated liis 
life to the great sti-uggle for the rights of con- 
science, earned the first offer of deliverance to 
Brabant. Had its gi-eat and powerful cities 
heartily entered into his spirit, and risen at the 

sound of the advancing steps of then- deliverer, the 
issue woidd have been far different from what it 
was. But Brabant .saw that the struggle must be 
tremendous, and, rather than gird itself for so 
terrible a fight, preferred to lie still ingloriously iu 



its cliaiiis. Sad in heart William retired to a 
-distance, to await what further ojienings it might 
please that great Power, to whose service he had 
consecrated himself^ to present to him. 

The night of horrors which had descended on the 
Low Countries continued to deepen. The triumph 
vof Alva, instead of soothing him, made him only 
the more intolerant and fierce. There came new 
and severer edicts from Spain ; there were gathered 
yet greater crowds of innocent men for the gallows 
iind the stake, and the outflowing tide from that 
doomed shore continued to roll on. A hundred 
thousand houses, it is thought, were now left empty. 
Their inmates transported their trade and handi- 
crafts to other nations. Wives must not correspond 
with their exiled husbands ; and .should they venture 
to visit them in then- foreign asylum, they must 
not return to their native land. The j'outh of 
Flanders were forbidden to go abroad to acquire a 
foreign tongue, or to learn a trade, or to study in 
any university save that of Rome. 

The carelessness with which the trials of the 
Blood Council were conducted was shocking. 
Batches were sent off to the gallows, including 
.some whose cause had not been tried at all. When 
•such were inquired for to take their trial, and it 
was found that their names had been inserted in 
.the death-list, and that they had been sent to the 
■gallows — a discovery which would have startled 
and discomposed most judges — the news was very 
coolly received by the men who constituted this 
terrible tribunal. Vargas on those occasions would 
console his fellow-judges by saying that "it was all 
the better for the souls of such that they were in- 

One member of the Blood Council, John Hassels 
by name, was accustomed on the bench to sleep 
tlirough the examinations of the prisoners, and 
-»vhen awakened to give his vote, he would rub his 
eyes and exclaim, " To the gallows ! to the 
gallows !"' In Valenciennes, in the space of three 
days, fifty-seven citizens of good position were 
beheaded. But Alva wanted more than their 
blood. He had boasted that he would make a 
stream of gold, three feet in depth, flow from the 
Netherlands to Spain, and he proceeded to make 
good his words. He imposed heavier subsidies 
aipon the inhabitants. He demanded, fii-st, the 
hundredth penny of every man's estate ; secondly, 
the twentieth penny of all immovable property; 
and, thirdly, the tenth penny of all movable goods. 
'This last was to be paid every time the goods were 
sold. Tims, if they changed hands five times it is 

' " Ad patibulum, ad patibulum." (Brandt.) 

clear that one-half theu- value had passed to the 
Government ; and if, as .sometimes happened, they 
changed hands ten times, their entii'e value was 
swallowed up by the Government tax. Under such 
a law no market could be kept open ; all buying 
and selling must cease. Tlie Netherlanders refused 
to siibmit to the tax, on the gi-ound that it would 
bring what remained of theii- commerce to an utter 
end, and so defeat itself. After many cajoleries and 
threats, Alva made a vii'tue of necessity, and 
modified the tax. 

Such is the melancholy record of the year 1.568. 
Its gloom deepened as the months rolled on. First 
came the defeat of Count Louis, and the overcast- 
ing of the fair morning of a hoped-for deliverance 
for the miserable Provinces. Next were seen the 
scaflblds of Egmont and Horn, and of many others 
among the more patriotic of the Flemish nobility. 
Then followed the disastrous issue of the attempt 
of William to emancipate Brabant, and with it the 
loss of all his funds, and many thousands of 
lives, and a tightening of the tyrant's grasp upon 
the country. Wherever one tm-ned one's eye there 
was a gibbet ; wherever one planted one's foot 
there was blood. The cities were becoming silent ; 
the air was thick with terror and despair. But if 
1.568 closed in gloom, 15 69 rose in a gloom yet 

In the beginning of this year the sword of per- 
secution was still further sharpened. There came 
a new edict, addressed to the Stadtholders of the 
Provinces, enjoining that " when the Host or the 
holy oil for extreme unction was carried to sick 
people, strict notice should be taken of the be- 
havioui', countenance, and words of every person, 
and that all those in whom any signs of irre^'erence 
were discovered should be punished ; that all such 
dead bodies to which the clergy thought fit to deny 
Chx-istian burial and the consecrated ground, should 
be thrown out on the gallows-field ; that notice of 
it should be given to him (Alva), and theii' estates 
registered ; and that all midwivcs should report 
every bu-th within twenty-foiu' hours after the child 
had come into the world, to the cud that it might 
be known whether the children were baptised after 
the Roman manner."- The carrying out of this 
order necessitated the creation of a new class of 
agents. Spies were placed at the corners of all the 
streets, whose duty it was to watch the counte- 
nances of the passers-by, and pounce on those whose 
looks were ill-favoured, and hale them to pri.son. 
These spies were nick-named the " Sevenpeiuiy 
Men," because the wages of their odious work was 

• Braiidt, vol. i., p. : 



paid tliem iii pieces of that value. Thus the gallows 
and the stake coutiuued to be fed. 

The crowd of martyi-s utterly defies enumeration. 
Many of theni were of low estate, as the world 
accounts it, but they were rich in faith, noble in 
spii-it, and heii-s of a greater kingdom than Philip's, 
though they had to pass through the fii'e to receive 
IX)8session of it. The deaths of all were the same, 
yet the circumstances in which it was endured were 
so varied, and iu many cases so peculiar and tragic, 
that each diflers from the other. Let us give a 
very few examples. On the 8th of July, 15G9, 
William Tavart was led to the place of execution 
in Antwerp, in order to undergo death by burning. 
Wliile hLs executioners were binding liLs hands, and 
putting the gag into liLs mouth, being a man of 
eighty years, and infirm, he fainted in their hands. 
He was thereupon carried back to his prison, and 
drowned. Another martyr, also very aged, worn 
out moreover by a long imprisonment, was kneeling 
on the faggots in prayer before being bound to the 
stake. The executioner, thinking that he was 
spending too much time in his devotions, rushed 
forward to raise him up and put him into the fire. 
He found that the old man was dead. The mai-tji- 
had ofiered up his life in intention, and his gracious 
Master, compassionating his age and frailties, had 
given him the crown, yet spai-ed him the agony 
of the stake. Richard Willemson, of Aspern, being 
pursued by an oflicer of the Blood Council, was 
making his escape on the ice. The ice gave 
•way, and the oflScer fell in, and woidd have been 
drowned but for the humanity of the man whom he 
was pursuing, who, percei\'ing what had happened, 
turned back, and stretching out his hand, at the 
risk of being himself dragged in, pulled out his 
enemy. The magnanimous act touched the heart of 
the officer, and ho would have let his deliverer 
escape; but unhappOy the burgomaster happened 
to come up at the moment, and called out sharply 
to him, " Fulfil your oath." Thereupon he seized 
the poor man who but a moment before had saved 
his life, and conducted him to prison. He was con- 
demned to the fire, and burned without the walls of 
Aspern, on the side next to Leerdam. While at 
the stake, a strong east wind springing up, the 
flames were blown away from the uii[>er part of 
his body, leaving the lower extremities exposed to 
the torment of a slow fire. His cries were heard 
as far as Leerdam. In this fashion was he rewarded 
for saving his enemy's life at the peril of his own. 

About the same time, four pai-ish priests were 
dcgi-aded and burned at the Hague. The bishop 
first clothing them with their mass-garaients, and 
then striiiping them, a-s is usual on such occasions, 

said, in the Latin tongue, " I divest you of the robe- 
of Righteousness." " Not so," replied one of the 
four ; " you divest us of the robe of Um-ighteous» 
ness." "Nor can you," added the other three, 
"strip us of our salvation as you strip us of these 
vestments." Whereupon the bishoji, with a grave 
countenance, laid his hand upon his breast, 
and calling on God, solemnly declared that " he 
believed from his heart that the Romish religion 
was the most certain way to salvation." " You did 
not always think so," replied Arent Dirkson, a man 
of seventy yeai-s, and known to be learned and 
judicious ; " you knew the truth formerly, but yon 
have maliciously rejected it, and you must answer 
for it at the gi-eat Day of Judgment." The words 
of the old man found a response in the conscience 
of the apostate. The bishop shook and trembled 
before his own prisoner. Nevertheless he went on 
with the condemnation of the four men, delivering 
them to the temporal arm with the usual prayer 
that the magistrate would deal tenderly -with them. 
Upon this, the grey-haii-ed pastor again buret out, 
" Qiiam j^harisalce! How pharisaically do they 
treat us!" They were sent back to prison. The 
same night they celebrated the Lord's Supper for 
their mutual consolation, and continued till break 
of day in singing psalms, in reading the Holy Scrij)- 
tures, and in prayer. The hour of execution being 
come, the father of one of the martyrs, mingling in 
the crowd, waited till his son should pass to the 
stake, that he might whisper a few words of en- 
couragement. " My dear son," said he, when he 
saw him approach, " fight manfully for the crown 
of everlasting life." The guards instantly dragged' 
the old man away to prevent him sa3'ing more.. 
His sister now came forward, and spoke to him 
with equal courage. " Brother," cried she, " be 
constant ; it will not last long ; the gate of eternal 
life is open for you." The scene made a deep im- 
jwession upon the spectators. 

A burgher and bargeman of Amsterdam, Gerrit 
Cornelison by name, was one day brought out to 
be burned. In prison he had twice been tortured 
to force him to betray his associates, but no paiir 
could overcome his constancy. Turning to the 
jieople at the stake, he cried, " Good iioople,, 
eternity is so long, and our sufl'ering here Ls so 
short, and yet the combat is very sharp and! 
cniel. Alas ! how am I distressed ! O my flesh, 
bear and resist for a little, for this is th_y last 
combat." This, his li\st battle, he fought courage- 
ously, and received the crown.' "^ 

While these humble men were dying for theii- 

' Brandt, vol. i., pp. 286, 287. 



faith, Providence was preparing in higli quarters 
for the deliverance of the country. After the close 
of his fii-st unsuccessful campaign, William of 
Orange reth-ed for a short time to France, and 
was present at the battle of Jarnac, where he wit- 
nessed the disaster which there befel the Huguenot 
arms. It seemed as if a thick cloud was every- 
where gathering above the Protestant cause. In 
a few months he was recalled by his friends to 
Germany. Disguising himself as a peasant, and 
accompanied by onlj' five attendants, he crossed the 
French lines, traversed Flanders in safety, and 
reached his principality of Nassau. He there 
learned all that had passed in the Netherlands 
during his absence. He was told that every day 
the tyranny of Alva waxed gi-eater, as did also the 
odium in which both his person and government 
were held. The uirliappy country had but one hope, 
and if that should misgive it, it must abandon itself 
to utter despair. That hope was himself. From all 
sides, from Roman Catholics as well as Protestants, 
from the exiles abroad and from the sufferers at 
home, came the most urgent appeals to him to again 
unfurl the standard of battle. He had consecrated 
his life to tlie defence of the Reformed religion, and 
the maintenance of his country's liberties, and was 
ready to respond to the appeal of those who had 
no human help save in his wisdom and courage. 
But he recollected what had so largely contributed 
to the failure of liLs first attempt, and before un- 
sheatliing the sword he set about collecting the 
sinews of war. William had already all but 
beggared himself in his attempt to break the yoke 
from the neck of the Netherlands ; his plate and 
jewels and furniture had all been sold to pay his 
soliliers; his paternal estates were heavily biu-dened; 
he would give what remained of his possessions, 
together with his courage and blood, in pi'omotion 
of the cause; but others also, at home and abroad, 
must contribute both tlieii- money and their blood, 
and in no stinted measure, if success was to crown 
their efforts. William took the first step by fonn- 
ing a comprehensive plan for raising the necessary 

The FlemLsh refugees in London and other pai-ts 
liad united together, and had fitted out a gi-eat 
niunber of aimed vessels. These they sent to 
cruise on the English and Flemish seas, and make 
jn-izc of all Spanish ships that came in their way. 
Their skill and daring were rewarded by numerous 
rich captures. As the growing fury of Alva 
swelled the number of refugees in London and other 
cities, so did the strength of the privateeiing fleet 
continue to increase. While Alva was gathering 
his taxes on land, they were reaping a rich harvest 

at sea. T'iiey scoured the English Channel, they 
hovered on the coast of the Netherlands, and preyed 
upon the merchandise of Spain These cruisera 
became renowned under the title of the " Sea 
Beggai-s." It occurred to the Prince of Orange 
that these " ten-ible beggars " might do good service 
in the cause of their country's emancipation ; and 
it was ultimately arranged that a fiifth of the value 
of all the prizes which they made should be given 
to officers appointed by William, and the sum de- 
voted to the support of the war of liberation. 

Measures were at the same time adojjted to 
improve the morale and disciplitie of a fleet that 
was becoming the terror of Alva and the Spaniards. 
No one was to exercise authority in it save those to 
whom William himself should grant commissions. 
Every ship was to carry a Protestant minister on 
board, whose duty it was to conduct regular 
religious service ; and no one who had ever been 
convicted of a crime was to be permitted to serve in 
the fleet. The ships of all friendly Powers were to 
pass untouched, and Alva and his adherents only 
were the Sea Beggars to regard as lawful prey. 

At the same time the prince adopted another 
method of improving his finances in prospect of the 
coming war of independence. Commissions were 
given to the Protestant preachers, who traversed 
the Provinces in disguise, and collected money from 
all who were disaffected to the Spanish Govern- 
ment, or inimical to the Romish religion. None 
knew so well as they to whom to apply, or were so 
able by their eloquence to recommend the cause. 
William, besides, acquired by then- means an 
intimate and accurate knowledge of the dispositions 
of all classes in the Netherlands. Their mission 
was specially successful in Holland and Zealand, 
where the Reformed religion had made greater 
progress than in the southern Provinces, and where 
the people, enjoying the natiu-al defences of canals, 
rivers, and sea-friths, felt less the terror of the 
Spaniards. On these grounds, too, William re- 
solved to seek in these northern parts a fii-st 
footing for his enterprise. While these mca- 
sm-es were being vigorously prosecuted in Holland, 
a tnistworthy agent, Sonoy, was sent to 
the Governments and people of Germany, ad- 
juring them in the name of a common faith and 
a common liberty to put their shomlder to the great 
enterprise. Not a whisper of what was in prepara- 
tion was wafted to the ears of Alva, although the 
jn-ince's designs must have been known to a vast 
number of persons, so universal was the detestation 
in which the tyrant was held. AJva himself uncon- 
sciously helped to prepare the way for William, and 
to draw down the tii'st blow of the "reat conflict. 



It was about the end of March, 1572, and the 
fleet of tlie Beggars of the Sea was lying off Dover. 
Spain, smarting from the damage that these darmg 
sea-rovera were constantly inflicting on her mer- 
chandise, comi)lained to England that she opened 
her ]iarbour.s to Flemish i)irates, and permitted 
tlie goods stolen by them from Spanish subjects 
to be sold in her dominions, and so violated the 
treaties subsisting between the Spanish and English 
crowns. Elizabeth, though secretly friendly to the 
Flemish exiles, was yet unwilling to come to an 
open rupture with Philip, and accordingly she 
ordered tlieir ships to quit her ports, ' and forbade 
lier subjects to supply ^jrovisions to their crews. 
The Sea Beggars insfcmtly weighed anchor, and shot 
across the German Sea. Half famished they 
arrived off the mouth of the Meuse, and sailed up 
its Ijioad channel to Brill. The fleet was under 
tlie command of Admiral de la Marck, wlio held a 
commission fi'om William of Orange. Coming to 
anclior opposite Brill, Dc la Marck sent a herald to 
summon the town to surrender. "The people," 
says Strada, " supposed them at first to be mer- 
cliautmen cast upon their coast by storm, but 
b;-fore they were aware they brouglit war, not 
merchandise."- Brill, thougli a small place, was 
strongly foitified, but the summons of the Beggars 
of the Sea inspired such a terror that the magistrates 
fled, and were followed by many of the inliabitants. 
De la Jlarck's soldiers battered open the gates, and 
having entered they lioisted their flag, and took 
jiossession of Brill, in the name of William of 
Orange. Thus on the 1st of April, 1572, were laid 
the foundations of tlie Free Protestant Holland, 
and thus was opened a conflict whose course of 
thirty years was to be marked by alternate defeats 
and triumphs, by the tragedies and crimes of a 
colossal tyranny, and the heroism and self-devotion 
of a not less colossal virtue and patriotism, till it 
sliould end in the overthrow of the mighty Empire 
of Spain, and the elevation of the little tenitory of 
Holland to a more stable prosperity, and a more 
enviable greatness and renown, tlian Pliilip's 
kingdom could boast in its palmiest days. 

Meanwhile Alva was giving reins to a fury wliich 
had risen to madness. He was burning tlie Prince 
of Orange in eftigy, he was dragging his escutclieon 
through the streets at the tails of horses, and pro- 
claiming William and his ofl'spring infamous to all 
pcstcrity. At the same time he was fighting with 
the inhabitants about "the tenth penny." The 
consequences of enforcing so ruinous a tax, of wliicli 
ho liatl been warned, had now been realLsed : all 

buying and selling was suspended : the shops were- 
shut, and the citizens found it impossible to 
purcliase even the most common necessaries- 
Thousands were thrown out of employment, and' 
tlie towns swarmed with idlers and beggars. 
Em-aged at being thus foiled, Alva resolved to read? 
the shopkeepers of Brussels a lesson which they 
should not soon forget. He made arrangements 
that when they awoke next morning they should see- 
eighteon of the leading members of their fraternity 
hanged at the doors of their own shoj)s. The. 
hangman liad the ropes and ladders prepared over- 
night. But morning brought with it other things- 
to occupy Alva's attention. A messenger an-ivedl 
with the news that the great Sea Beggar, De la 
Marck, had made himself master of the town o£ 
Brill, and that the standard of William was floating; 
on its walls. Alva was thunderstruck.' The duke,- 
instantly dispatched Count Bossu to retake tlie- 
town. The Spaniards advanced to the walls of 
Brill and began to batter them with their cannon^ 
A carpenter leaped into the canal, swam to a sluice- 
and with liis axe hewed it open, and let in the sea.. 
The rising waters comjielled the besiegers to remove 
to the soutli side of the to^\ai, which chanced to be- 
that on which De la Marck had jilanted his largest 
cannon. While the Sjianiards were thundering at 
tliis gate, La Marck's men, issuing out at the 
opposite one, and rowing to the Spanish ships, set 
lire to them. When the Spaniards saw their ships 
beginning to blaze, and marked the waves steadily 
rising round them, they were seized with panic, and 
made a hasty retreat along the dyke. Many 
perished in the waves, the rest escaping to the fleet 
crowded into the vessels that remained unliurned, 
weighed anchor and set sail. The inhabitants who 
had fled at the first surprise novi- returned, their 
names were registered, and all swore allegiance 
to the Prince of Orange, as Statltholder for 

Misfortune continued to dog the steps of the- 
Spaniards. Bossu led his troops toward Dort, but 
the inhabitants, who had lieard of the capture of 
Brill, closed their gates against him.'^ He next 
took his way to Eotterdaui. There too his demand 
for admission to a garrison in the king's name was 
met with a refusal. The crafty Spaniard had re- 
course to a stratagem. He a.sked leave for liis. 
companies to pass tlirough one by one ; tliis was 
given, but no sooner liad the fii-st company entered 
than Bossu, regardless of his promise, made his 

' Strada, lib. vii. 

' Brandt, vol. i., p. 295. 

* Watson, Philip II., vol i., pp. 426—431. 

' Str;ula, lib. viL 



soldiers keep open the gates for Lis wliole army. 
Tlie citizens atteinjited to close the gates, but were 
hewn down ; and the Spaniards, giving loose to their 
fury, spread themselves over the city, and butchered 
400 of the inhabitants. The sanguinary and 
brutal ravages which Bossu's soldiers inflicted on 
Rotterdam had nearly as great an eflect as the 
capture of Brill in spreading the spirit of revolt 
over Holland. 

Flushing, an important town from its position at 
the mouth of the Scheldt, was the next to mount 
the flag of defiance to the Spaniards. They cb'ove 
out the garrison of Alva, and razed the foundations 
of a citadel which the governor was preparing as 
the chain wherewith to bind them. Next day the 
Spanish fleet appeared in their harbour ; the citizens 
were deliberating in the market-place when a 
drunken fellow proposed, for three guilders, to mount 
the ramparts, and fire one of the great guns upon 
the ships. The efiect of that one unexpected shot 
was to strike the Spaniards with panic. They let 
slip their cables and stood out tc sea. 

Two hundred years afterwards we find Flushing 
commemorating its deliverance from the j'oke of 
Alva. The minutes of the consistory inform us 
" that the minister, Justus Tgeenk, preached [April 
5th, 1772] in commemoration of Flushing's delivery 
from Spanish tyranny, which was stopped here on 
the 6th April, 1572, when the citizens, unassisted 
and unsupported by any foreign Power, drove out 
the Walloons and opened their gates, and laid the 
comer-stone of that singular and always remarkable 
revolution, which placed seven small Provinces in 
a state of independency, in despite of the utmost 
efibrts of Philip II., then the most powerful 
monarch in Europe." The Sunday after (April 1 2th), 
the Lord's Supper was dispensed, and " at the table," 
say the minutes, was used " a silver chalice," the 
property of the burgomaster E. Clyver, " wherein 
two hundred years ago the Protestants in this town 
had, for the first time, celebrated the Lord's Supjjer 
in a cellar here at the head of the Great Market, on 
account of the unrelenting persecution."' 

In a few months all the more important towns 
of Holland and Zealand followed the example of 
Brill and Flushing, and hung out upon their walls 
the standai-d of the man in whom they recognised 
their deliverer.- Haarlem, Leyden, Gouda, Horn, 
Alkmaar, Enkliuizen, and many others broke their 
chain. No soldier of the pi-ince, no sea-rover 
of De la Marck's incited them to revolt : the 
movement was a thoi'oughly spontaneous one ; it 

originated with the citizens themselves, the gi'eat 
majority of whom cherished a hatred of the Roman 
fiiith, and a detestation of Spanish tyranny. 
Amsterdam was the only exception that is worth 
noting in Holland. The flame which had been 
kindled spread into Friesland, and Utrecht and 
other towns placed their names on the distinguished 
list of cities that came forth at this gi-eat crisis to 
the help of conscience and of liberty against the 

A small incident which happened at this moment 
was fraught with vast consequences. Count LouLs 
of Nassau, approaching from France, made himself 
master of the frontier to^vn of Mens in the south.'' 
Alva was excessively mortified by this mishap, and 
he was bent on recovering the place. He was 
counselled to defer the siege of Mons till he should 
have extinguished the rising in th.e north. He was 
reminded that Holland and Zealand were deeply 
infected with heresy ; that thei'e the Prince of 
Orange was personally popular ; that nature had 
fortified these Provinces by intersecting them with 
rivers and arms of the sea, and that if time were 
given the inhabitants to strengthen then- canals and 
cities, nuiny sieges and battles might not sufiice to 
reduce them to their obedience. This advice was 
eminently wise, but Alva stopped his ear to it. He 
went on with the siege of Mons, and while " he 
was plucking this thorn out of his foot," the con- 
flagi-ation in the north of the Netherlands had 
time to spread. He succeeded eventually in ex- 
tracting the thorn — that is, he took Mons — but at 
the cost of losing Holland. 

William himself had not yet anived in the 
Netherlands, but he was now on his way thither 
at the head of a new army wellnigh 20,000 strong, 
which he had raised in Germany. He caused to be 
distributed before him copies of a declaration, in 
which he set forth the grounds of his taking up 
arms. These were, in brief, " the security of the 
rights and privileges of the country, and the freedom 
of conscience." In the instructions which he issued 
to his deputy in Holland, Diedrich Sonoy, he 
required him, " first of all, to deliver the towns of 
that Province from Spanish slavery, and to restore 
them to their ancient liberties, rights and pri\-ileges, 
and to take care that the Word of God be preached 
and published there, but yet by no means to sufller 
that those of the Romish Church should be in any 
sort prejudiced, or that any impediment should be 
offered to them in the exercise of their religion."* 

MeimwhUe, Alva was left literally without a 

' Steven, Hist. Scottish Church, Rotterdam, p. 304 
' Strada, lib. vii. 

^ Bentivoglio, lib. ii., p. 54. 
< Brandt, vol. i., p. 298. 

VIKNV 01' THE UATli Oi- UUllT Oil DOllDUECllT 




penny; and, finding it hard to prosecute tlie siege 
of Mons on an empty military chest, he announced 
his \\'illingness to remit the tax of the tenth penny, 
provided the States-General would give him " the 
aiuiual twenty tims of gold " ' (about two millions 
of florins) which they had formerly promised him 
in lieu of the obnoxious tax ; and he summoned 
the States of Holland to meet at the Hague, on the 
15th of July, and consider the matter. 

The States of Holland met on the day named, 
not at the Hague, but at Dort ; and in obedience to 
the summons, not of Alva, but of William. Nor 
liad they assembled to deliberate on the proposal of 
Alva, and to say whether it was the "tenth penny" 
or the " twenty tmis of gold" that they were hence- 
forth to lay at his feet. The banner of freedom 
now floated on their walls, and they had met to 
devise the means of keeping it waving there. The 
battle was only beginning : the liberty which had 
1)een proclaimed had yet to be fought for. Of this 
we fijid then- great leader reminding them. In a 
letter which William addressed at this time to the 
States of Holland, he told them, in words as plain 
as they were weighty, that if in a quarrel like this 
thej' .should show themselves sparing of theii- gold, 
they would incur the anger of the gi'eat Rider, they 
would make themselves the scorn of foreign nations, 
and they would bind a bloody yoke on themselves 
and their posterity for ever. William was not 
present in the assembly at Dort, but he was ably 
represented by St. Aldegonde. This eloquent pleni- 
potentiary addressed the members in a powerful 
speech, in which he rehearsed the efibrts the Prince 
of Orange had already made for the deliverance 
of the land from Spanish cruelty; that he had 
embarked the whole of his fortune in the struggle; 
tliat the failure of the expedition of 1568 was 
owing to no fault of his, but entirely to his not 
being adequately supported, not a Fleming liaving 
lifted a linger in the cause ; that he was again in 
the field with an army, and that supplies must be 
found if it was to be kept there, or if it was to accom- 

1 Brandt, vol. i., p. 298. 

plish anything for the country. "Arouse ye, then," 
were the thrilling words in which St. Aldegonde 
concluded his oration, "awaken your own zeal 
and that of your sister cities. Seize Opportunity 
by the locks, who never appeared faii-er than she 
does to-day." 

St. Aldegonde was fin-ther instructed by the 
prince to state the broad and catholic aims that 
he proposed to himself in the struggle which they 
were to wage together. If that struggle should be 
crowned with success, the Papist woidd have not 
less cause to rejoice than the Protestant ; the two 
should divide the spoils. " As for religion," said 
St. Aldegonde, " the desires of the i)rince are 
that liberty of conscience should be allowed as well 
to the Reformed as to the Roman Catholics ; that 
each party should enjoy the public exercise of it in 
churches or chapels, without any molestation, hiii- 
dx'ance, or trouble, and that the clergy should remain 
free and unmolested in their several functions, pro- 
vided tliey showed no tokens of disafl'ection, and 
that all things should be continued on this footing 
tUl the States-General otherwise directed." In these 
intentions the States expressed themselves as at one 
with the prince. 

A patriotic response was made to the prince's 
appeal by the Northern Netherlands. All classes 
gii-ded themselves for the gi-eat struggle. The 
aristocracy, the guilds, the religious houses, and the 
ordinary citizens came forward mth gifts and loans. 
Money, plate, jewellery, and all kinds of valuables 
were poured into the common treasury. A unani- 
mous resolution of the States declared the Prince of 
Orange Stadtholder of Holland. The ta.xes were 
to be levied in his name, and all naval and land 
ofiicers were to take an oath of obedience to him. 
What a contrast between the little territory and the 
greatness of the contest that is about to be waged ! 
We behold the inhabitants of a small platform of 
earth, walled in by dykes lest the ocean should 
drown it, heroically offering themselves to tight the 
world's battle against that great combination of 
kingdoms, nationalities, and armies that compose 
the mighty monarchy of Sjinin ! 




William's second campaign, and submission of brabant and flanders. 

William's New Levies — He crosses the Rhine — Welcome from Flemish Cities — Sinews of War — Hopes in France — 
Disappointed by the St. Bartholomew Massacre — Reverses— Mutiny — William Disbands his Army — Alva takes 
Revenge on the Cities of Brabant— Cruelties in Mons— Mechlin Pillaged — Terrible Fate of Zutphen and 
Naarden— Submission of the Cities of Brabant — Holland Prepares for Defence— Meeting of Estates at Haarlem 
— Heroic Resolution— Civil and Ecclesiastical Reorganisation of Holland — Novel Battle on the Ice — Preparations 
for the Siege of Haarlem. 

WlLLiAiM, Prince of Orange, Stadtholder and 
virtual King of Holland, Zealand, and Friesland, if 
the prayers and suffrages of an entii-e people can 
avail to invest one vnth. that august office, was ap- 
proaching the Netherlands at the head of his 
newly - enrolled levies. He crossed the Rhine 
on the 7th of July, 1572, with an army of 
17,000 foot and 7,000 horse. Advancing as 
far as Roermonde, he halted before that town 
to demand a supply of provisions for his sol- 
diers. The government of the place was in the 
hands of zealous Roman Catholics, and the refusal 
of Roermonde to comply with the i-equest of the 
Liberator was rendered still more ungracious by 
the haughtiness and insolence with which it was 
accompanied. William stormed the city and took 
it. Unhappily his soldiere here dishonoured the 
cause for which the prince was in arms, by putting 
to death certain priests and monks under circum- 
stances of great barbarity. Germany was at that 
time a magazine of mercenary soldiers, from which 
both the Prince of Orange and Alva drew supplies, 
and troops of this class were but little amenable 
to discipline when theii- pay fell into aiTears, as 
was now the case. But William felt that such 
excesses must be checked at all hazai-ds, otherwise 
his cause would be disgraced and ultimately ruined; 
and accordingly he issued an order forbidding all 
such barbarities in future umler pain of death.' 

For some time his mai-ch was a triumphal one. 
The standards of William shed a gleam through 
the darkness that shrouded Brabant, and the spirits 
of its terror-stricken inhabitants for a moment 
revived. On the first occasion when the Deliverer 
approached their cities, the Flemings abode within 
their gates, but now they seemed as if they would 
rise at his call, and redeem themselves from the 
yoke of Spain. The important city of Mechlm 
declared in his favour. Louvain refused to admit 
a garrison of his soldiers, but sent him a contri- 
bution of 16,000 ducats. Tirlemont, Termondc, 

> Bor, vi. 398, 399. Strada, vii. 75; Lond., 1667. 

Oudenarde, Nivelles, and many other towns and 
villages opened their gates to the prince ; the 
most part spontaneously, in the eager hope of de- 
liverance from a tyranny which threatened to cease 
its ravages only when nothing more shoidd be left 
in the Netherlands to destroy. 

A successful beginning of the great struggle had 
been made, but now the piince began to be in 
straits. The friends of the cause had not yet 
realised its full grandeur or its immense difficulty, 
and their scale of giving was totally inadequate. 
If the tide of bigotry and tyranny now overflowing 
Christendom was to be stemmed, the friends of 
liberty, both at home and abroad, must not be 
sparing either of their blood or their gold. But as 
yet it was hardly understood that all must be parted 
with if the pearl of freedom was to be won. 

But if the States of Holland, and the refugees in 
England and other countries, were sending supplies 
which were disproportionate to the enormous ex- 
pense to which William had been put in levying, 
equipping, and maintaining his troops, he had the 
best hopes of succours from France. The net was 
being then woven for the Huguenots, and their 
great chief, Admiral Coligny, was being caressed 
at the court of the Louvre. " I will fight Philip 
of Spain on the soil of the Netherlands," said that 
consummate dissembler, Charles IX. " William of 
Orange shall not want for money and soldiera," 
continued he, with a frankness that seemed the 
guarantee of a perfect sincerity. Coligny sufiered 
himself to be persuaded of the good faith of the 
king, and laboured to produce the same conviction 
in the mind of the Prince of Orange, bidding him 
expect him soon at the head of 15,000 Huguenots. 
William, believing that France was at his back, 
thought that the campaign could have but one 
issue — namely, the expulsion of the Spaniards, 
and the liberation of the Netherlands from their 
unbearable yoke. But his hopes wore destined 
to a cruel overthrow. Instead of an army of 
Huguenots to help him on to victory, there came 
tidings that felled him to the earth. Three weeks 



from the date of Coligny's letter, William re- 
ceived tlie ten-ible news of the St. Bartholomew 
Massacre. The men who were to have emanci- 
pated the Low Countries were watering \nth their 
blood and strewing with then- corpses the plains 
of theii- nati\e land ! The Prince of Orange 
opened his eyes on blank desolation ; he saw the 
campaign ending in inevitable failure, and the 
dark night of Spanish oppression agaui closing 
in around a countiy wluch he had believed to be 
as good as emancipated. The shock was terrible, 
Ijut the lesson was salutary. Those instnunents 
whom Providence selects to fight the holy battles of 
religion and freedom need a higher training than 
ordinary warriors. To genius and courage heroes 
of this class must add faith ; but this quality they 
can acquii-e only in the school of repeated disap- 
pointment. They can never learn this virtue in 
the midst of numerous and victorious hosts, where 
success is won by mere numbers, and where victory 
is of that ordinary and vulgar sort wliich the worst 
as well as the best of causes can command. 

The fate of his second campaign had been decided 
at Paris wlien the St. Bartholomew was struck, 
but William still continued to prosecute the war. 
His attempts, however, to stem the swelling tide of 
Spanish tyranny were without success. Fii'st, he 
failed to relieve liis brother, who was shut up in 
the city of Mons, besieged by Alva ; next, he 
himself naiTowly escaped being captured by the 
Spaniards in a night attack on his camp, in which 
600 of his soldiers were slain. He owed his escape 
to a small spaniel which he kept in his bed-chambei', 
and which awoke him by scratching his face.' 
There followed a mutiny of his troops, provoked 
by the repeated disasters that had befallen them, 
and the an-eai-s due to them, but which the prince 
was imable to discharge ; they talked, indeed, of 
delivering him up to Alva. They soon became 
ashamed of having harboured so base a design, but 
the incident convinced William that he had no 
alternative but to disband liis army and retire to 
Holland, and this course he now adopted. 

The departure of the Prince rf Orange was the 
signal for Alva to take a tenible revenge on those 
cities in Brabant which had hoisted the flag of the 
Deliverer. Mons surrendered, but the terms of 
the capitulation were most perfidiously violated by 
the Spaniards. The citizens were sent in hundreds 
to the gallows ; murder and spoliation ran riot in 
its streets ; the axe and the halter rested not for 
well-nigh a whole year, till the awful silence pro- 
claimed that Mons was now little else than a 

charnel-house. Its commercial prosperity never 
recovered this tei-rible blow. Those of its mer- 
chants and artisans who had escaped the gibbet 
were driven away, and only beggars and idlers 
were left in th«ir i-oom — a meet population, surely, 
to wear the yoke of Spain. 

In the eyes of Alva, the archiepiscopal city of 
Mechlin was a greater oflender than even Mons, 
and he resolved to vvreak upon it, if possible, a yet 
more terrible vengeance. Considering the strength 
of its Romanism, and the rank and influence of its 
clergy, one would have expected that it woidd bo 
the last city in Brabant to ojien its gates to William ; 
it was, as we have seen, the first. The conqueror 
resolved that it should sufler as pre-eminently as it 
had sinned. His regiments had recently received 
no pay, and Alva pointed ^to the rich city of tho 
priests, and bade them seek their wages in it. The 
soldiers threw themselves upon the town, like a 
pack of hungry wolves upon their prey. Some 
swam the moat, others battered open the gates, 
while hundreds, by the help of scaling-ladders, 
climbed the walls, and swarmed down into the city. 
Along every street and lane poured a torrent of 
furious men, robbing, murdering, violating, without 
making the least distinction between friend and foe, 
Papist and Protestant. No age, nor sex, nor rank, 
nor profession had exemjftion from the sword, or 
the worse brutality of the soldieiy. Blood flowed 
in torrents. Chm'ches, monasteries, private dwell- 
ings, and public estabHshments were broken into 
and pillaged to the last penny. Altars were pidled 
down, the chalices and other rich vessels used in 
the mass were carried ofl', the very Host itself was 
profaned and trodden under foot by men who pro- 
fessed to regard it as the body and soul of Christ, 
and who had come from a distant land to avenge 
the insults which had been offered to it by others. 
Then- rage far exceeded that of the iconoclasts, 
who had vented then- fury on idols alone. Three 
days this ikeadful work went on," and then 
the soldiers of Alva collected their booty, and 
carrying it on board ship, sent it off to Antweii), 
to be conv ex-ted into money.' The inhabitants of 
the other cities which had submitted to William 
were permitted to redeem theii- lives by the \kij- 
ment of an enormous ransom. 

Not so, however, the cities of Zutphen and 
Naarden. Zutphen was subjected to the same 
shocking barbarities which had been inflicted on 
Mechlin. Here the spoil to be gathered was less, 
for the town was not so rich as Mechlin, but the 
licence jriven to the sword was on that account all 

* Strada, vii. 76. 

■ Sti-ada, vii. 77. 

3 Bor, vi. 409—415. 



the gi'eater ; and when the soldiers grew weary 
with slaughtering, they threw their victims into 
the Issel, and indulged themselves in the horrid 
pastime of pelting the drowning men and women 
with missiles as they rose to the surface before 
finally sinking. We record the fate of Naarden 
last, because its doom was the most appalling of the 
three ; for it is a series of horrors which we are 
thus briefly tracing to its climax. Naarden opened 
its gates to Don Frederic de Toledo, the son of 
Alva, on a promise of immunity from sack for a 
slight equivalent. The promise of Toledo was 
\'iolated with a shocking perfidy. First the male 
population were put to the sword ; then their wives 
and daughters were bnitally outraged, and after- 
wards nearly all were massacred. The dwellings, 
the convents, and the hospitals were ransacked for 
treasure and spoil ; and when the fiends had satiated 
to the utmost their bloodthirstiness, lust, and greed, 
they drove out the few miserable inhabitants that 
remained into the open fields, and setting fire to 
Naarden they burned it to the ground. A blackened 
spot covered with charred ruins, ashes, and the vc- 
mains of human carcases marked where the city had 
stood. It was amid these clouds and tempests that 
the year 1572 closed. What a contrast to the 
brilliant promise vnth which it had opened, when 
city after city was hanging out the banner of 
WilHam upon its walls, and men were congratu- 
lating themselves that the black night of Spanish 
usurpation and oppression had come to an end, and 
the fair morning of independence had dawned ! 
Smitten down by the mailed hand of Alva, the 
cities of Brabant and Flanders are again seen 
creeping back into their chains. ' 

Occupied in the siege of Mons and the reduction 
of the revolted towns in the Southern Netherlands, 
the Spanish army were compelled meanwhile to 
leave the Northern Pro\ances in peace. The leisure 
thus aflbrdod them the Hollanders wisely turned 
to account by increasing the number of their ships, 
repaiiing the fortifications of then- to-\vns, and 
enrolling soldiers. They saw the terrible legions 
of Alva coming nearer every day, their path 
marked in ruins and blood ; but they were not 
without hope that the preparations they had made, 
joined to the natural defences of their country, here 
intersected by rivers, there by arms of the sea, 
would enable them to make a more successful 
resistance than Brabant and Flanders had done. 
Wlicn the tyrant should ask them to bow again 
their necks to the yoke, they tiiisted to l)e able to 
say, "No," witliout undergoing the temble alterna- 
tive with which Alva chii-stised refusal in the case 
of the Brabant cities — namely, haltera for them- 

selves, and horrible outrage for their families. 
Meanwhile they waited anxiously for the coming 
of William. He would breathe courage into theii 
hearts, ready to faint at the dreaded prowess of the 

At length William arrived in Holland ; Irat ho 
came alone ; of the 24,000 troops which he had led 
into the Netherlands at the opening of his second 
campaign, only seventy horsemen now remained ; 
nevertheless, his arrival was hailed with joy, for 
the Hollanders felt that the wisdom, patriotism, 
and bravery of the prince would be to them in- 
stead of an army. William met the Estates at 
Haarlem, and deliberated with them on the course 
to be taken. It was the darkest hour of the Nether- 
lands. The outlook all round was not only dis- 
couraging, but appalliiig. The wealthy Flandei-s 
and Brabant were agam under the heel of the 
haughty and cruel vSpaniard. Of their populous 
cities, blackened ruins marked the site of some ; 
those that existed were sitting in sullen silence 
with the chain around their neck ; ths battle for 
liberty of conscience had been forced back into the 
Northern Holland ; here the last stand must 
be made; the result must be factory or utter ex- 
termination. The foe with whom the Hollanders 
were to do battle was no ordinary one ; he was 
exasperated to the utmost degree ; he neither re- 
spected an oath nor spared an enemy ; if they 
should resist, they had in Naarden an awful monu- 
ment before their eyes of what their own fate 
would be if their resistance wei-e unsuccessful ; and 
yet the alternative ! Submission to the Spanish 
yoke ! Rather ten deaths than endure a slavery 
so vile. The resolution of the Convention was 
prompt and decided : they would worship according 
to then- consciences or die. 

William now began to prepare for the great 
struggle. His sagacity taught him that Holland 
needed other defences besides ships and walls and 
soldiers, if it was to bear the immense strain to 
which it was about to be subjected. Fii-.stof all, he 
settled the boundaries of his own power, by volun- 
tarily agi-eeing to do nothing but ^^•ith the consent 
of the States. By limiting he strengthened his in- 
fluence. Next he consolidated the union of the 
nation by admitting twelve new cities into tjie 
Convention, and giving them the same voice in 
public affairs as the older towns. Ho next set about 
re-organising the civil service of the country, which 
had fallen into great disorder during thase unsettled 
times. Many of the iirincipal inhabitants had fled; 
numbere of the judges and oUicei-s of the revenue 
had abandoned their jjosts, to the great detiiment 
of justice and the loss of the finances. William 



filled up these vaciincies with Protestants, deem- 
ing them the only thoroughly trustworthy persons 
in a contest that was to determine which of the 
two faiths was t« be the established religion of 

Before opening the campaign, the Prince of 
Orange took a step toward the settlement of the 
religious question. It was resolved that both 
Papists and Protestants should enjoy the public 
exercise of their worship, and that no one should 
be molested on account of his religion, provided 
he lived quietly, and kept no correspondence with 
the Spaniards.' In this William obeyed the wishes 
of the great body of the people of Holland, who 
had now es])0used the Reformed faith, and at the 
same time he laid a basis for unity of action by 
purging out, so far as he could, the anti-national 
element from the public service, and took reason- 
able precautions against sui'prise and treachery 
when Holland should be waging its great battle 
for existence. 

At the moment that the Hollanders were not un- 
naturally oppressed with grave thoughts touching 
the issue of the struggle for which they were girding 
themselves, uncertain whether their country was to 
become the burial-place of their liberties and their 
persons, or the theatre of a yet higher civilisation, 
an incident occurred that helped to enliven their 
.spirit.s, and confirm them in their resolution to 
resLst. The one city in Holland that remained on 
the side of Alva was Amsterdam, and thither 
Toledo, after the biitchery at Naarden, marched 
with his army. In the shallow sea around Amster- 
dam, locked up in the ice, lay part of the Dutch 
fleet. The Spanish general sent a body of troops 
over the frozen waters to attack the ships. Their 
advance was perceived, and the Dutch soldiers, 
fastening on their skates, and grasping their mus- 
kets, descended the ships' sides to give battle to the 
Spaniards. Sweeping with the rapidity of a cloud 
towards the enemy, they poured a deadly volley into 
his ranks, and then wheeling round, they retreated 
with the same celerity out of reach of his fire. In 
this fashion they kept advancing and retreating, 
each time doing murderous exec\ition upon the 
Spanish lines, while their own ranks remained 
unbroken. Confounded by this novel method of 

1 Brandt, vol. i., bk. i., p. 298. 

battle, the Spaniards were compelled to quit the 
field, leaving some hundreds of their dead upon 
the ice. Next day a thaw set in, which lasted just 
long enough to permit the Dutch fleet to escape, 
while the returning frost made pursuit impossible. 
The occurrence was construed by the Dutch as a 
favourable omen. 

Established at Amsterdam, the Spanish sword 
had cut Holland in two, and from this central point 
it was resolved to carry that sword over North and 
South Holland, making its cities, should they resist, 
so many Naardens, and its inliabitants slaves of 
Alva or corpses. It was agreed to begin with 
Haarlem, which was some twelve English miles 
to the south-west of Amsterdam. Toledo essayed 
first of all to wdn over the citizens by mediation, 
thinking that the fate of Naarden had inspired them 
with a salutary terror of his arms, and that they 
only waited to open their gates to him. The tragic 
end of Naarden had just the opposite effect on the 
citizens of Haarlem. It showed them that those 
who submitted and those who resisted met the same 
fearful destruction. Notwithstanding, two of the 
magistrates, moved by ten-or and cowardice, secretly 
opened negotiations -with Toledo for the surrender 
of Haarlem ; but no sooner did this come to the 
ears of Rijiperda, a Friesland gentleman, to whom 
William had committed the government of the town, 
than he assembled the citizens and garrison in the 
market-place, and warned them against entertaining 
the idea of submission. What have those gained, 
he asked, who have trusted the promise of the 
Spaniards ? Have not these men shown that they 
are as devoid of faith as they are of humanity"? 
Their assurances are only a stratagem for snatching 
the arms from your hands, and then they will load 
you wth chains or butcher you like sheep. From 
the blood-sprinkled graves of Mechlin, of Zutphen, 
and of Naarden the voices of our brethren call on 
you to resist. Let us remember our oath to the 
Prince of Orange, whom we have acknowledged the 
only lawful governor of the Province ; let us tliink 
of the righteousness of our cause, and resolve, rather 
than live the slaves of the Spaniards, to die with 
arms in our hands, fighting for our religion and our 
laws. This appeal was responded to by the stout- 
hearted citizens with enthusiastic shouts. As one 
man they proclaimed their resolution to resist the 
Spaniard to the death. 





Haarlem— Its Situation— Its Defences— Army of Amazons— Haze on the Lake— Defeat of a Provisioning Party- 
Commencement of tlie Cannonade — A Breach— Assault — Kepulse of the Foe — Haarlem Eeinforced by William — 
Eeciprocal Barbarities— The Siege Renewed — Mining and Countermining— Battles below the Earth — New Breach 
—Second Eepulse of the Besiegers — Toledo contempLates Raising the Siege— Alva Forbids him to do so— The City 
more Closely Blockaded— F.amine — Dreadful Misery in the City— Final Effort of William for its Deliverance— It 
Fails— Citizens offer to Capitulate — Toledo's Terms of Surrender— Accepted— The Surrender— Dismal Appearance 
of the City— Toledo's Treachery— Executions and Massacres — Moral Victory to the Protestant Cause— William's 
Inspiriting Addi-ess to the States. 

Both sides began to prepare for the inevitable 
struggle. The Prince of Orange established himself 
at Leyden, the town nearest to Haarlem on the 
south, and only some ten English miles distant from 
it. He hoped from tliis point to be able to dii-ect 
the defence, and forward provisions and reinforce- 
ments as tlie brave little town might need them. 
Alva and his son Toledo, on the other hand, when 
they learned that Haarlem, instead of opening its 
gates, had resolved to resist, were filled with rage, 
and immediately gave orders for the march of their 
troops on that presumptuous little city which had 
dared to throw down the gage of battle to the whole 
power of Spain. 

Advancing along the causeway which traverses 
the narrow isthmus that separates the waters of tlie 
Haarlem Lake from the Zuyder Zee, the Spanisli 
army, on the 11th of December, 1572, sat down 
before Haarlem. Regiment continued to an-ive 
after regiment till tlie beleaguering army was 
swelled to 30,000,' and the city was now com- 
pletely invested. Tliis force was composed of 
Spaniards, Gennans, and Walloons. The popula- 
tion of Haarlem did not exceed 30,000 ; that is, 
it was only equal in number to that of the 
host now encamped outside its walls. Its ramparts 
were far from strong ; its garrison, even when at 
the highest, was not over 4,000 men,- and it 
was clear that the defence of the town must lie 
mainly with the citizens, whom pati-iotism had con- 
verted into heroes. Nor did the war-spirit bum 
less ardently in the breasts of tlie wives and daugli- 
ters of Haarlem than in those of their fathers 
and husbands. Three Iiundred women, all of 
them of unblemished character, and some of liigh 
birth, enrolled themselves in defence of the city, 
and donning armour, mounted the walls, or sally- 
ing from the gates, mingled with their husbands 

and brothers in the fierce conflicts waged with the 
enemy under the ramparts. This army of amazons 
was led by Kenau Hasselaer, a widow of forty-seven 
yeai's of age, and a member of one of the first 
families of Haarlem.^ " Under her command," 
says Strada, " her females were emboldened to do 
soldiei's' duty at the bulwarks, and to sally out 
among the firelocks, to the no less encouragement 
of their own men than admii'ation of the enemy." 

Toledo's preparations for the siege were favoured 
by a thick mist which hung above the Lake of 
Haarlem, and concealed his operations. But if the 
haze favoured the Spanish general, it befriended 
still more the besieged, inasmuch as it allowed pro- 
visions and reinforcements to be brought into the 
city before it was finally invested. Moving on 
skates, hundreds of soldiers and peasants sped 
rapidly past the Spanish lines unobserved in the 
darkness. One body of troops, however, which liad 
been sent by William from Leyden, in the hope of 
being able to enter the town before its blockade, 
was attacked and routed, and the cannon and pro- 
visions destined for the besieged were made the 
booty of the Spaniards. About a thousand were 
slain, and numbers made prisoners and carried off" 
to the gibbets which already bristled all round tlie 
walls, and from this time were never empty, relay 
after relay of unhappy captives being led to execu- 
tion upon them. 

Don Frederic de Toledo had fixed his head- 
quai-ters at the Gate of the Cross. This was the 
strongest part of the fortifications, the gate being 
defended by a ravelin, but Toledo held the besieged 
in so great contempt that he deemed it a matter of 
not the least consequence where lie should begin his 
assault, whether at the weakest or at the strongest 
point. Hiiarlem, he believed, following the example 
of the Flemish cities, would capitulate at almost the 

' Motley, vol. ii., p. 58. 

Strada, vii. 7i. 

' Strada, vii. 74. 



iii-st sound of Lis carmen. He allotted one week 
for the captui-e, and another for the massacring 
and ravishing. This would be ample time to finish 
at Haarlem ; then, passuig on in the same fashion 
from city to city, he woidd lay waste each in its 
turn, till nothing but ruins should remain in 
Holland. With this j^rogrammo of triumph for 
himself, and of overthrow for the Dutch, he set 
vigorously to work. His cannon now began to 
tlnuider against the gate and ravelin. In three 
day.s a breach was made in the walls, and the 
soldiers were ordered to cross the ditch and deliver 
the assault. Greedy of jihmder, they rushed eagerly 
into the breach, but the Spaniards met a resistance 
which they little anticipated. The alarm-bell in 
Haarlem was I'ung, and men, women, and children 
swarmed to the wall to repel the foe. They opened 
then- cannon iipon the assailants, the musketry 
poured in its fire, but still more deadly was the 
shower of miscellaneous yet most destructive mis- 
siles rained from the ramparts on the hostile masses 
below. Blocks of stone, boiling pitch, blazing 
ii'on hoops, which clung to the necks of those on 
whom they fell, live coals, and other projectiles 
equally dreadful, which even Spanish ferocity could 
not withstand, were hurled against the invaders. 
After contending some time with a tempest of this 
sort, the attacking party had to retii-e, leaving 300 
dead, and many oflicers killed or wounded. 

This repulse undeceived Toledo. He saw that 
behind these feeble waUs was a stout spii-it, and 
that to make himself master of Haarlem would not 
be the easy achievement he had fancied it would 
prove. He now began to make his preparations on 
a scale more commensurate with the difficulty of the 
entei-prise; but a whole month passed away before 
he was ready to renew the assault. Meanwhile, the 
Prince of Orange exerted himself, not unsuccess- 
fully, to reinforce the city. Tlie continuance of the 
frost kept the lake congealed, and he was able to 
introduce into Haarlem, over the ice, some 170 
sledges, laden with munitions and provisions, 
besides 400 veteran soldiers. A still larger body 
of 2,000 men sent by the prince were attacked 
and routed, having lost their way in the thick 
mist which, in these winter days, hung almost per- 
petually ai'ound the city, and covered the camp of 
the besiegers. Koning, the second in command of 
this expedition, being made prisoner, the Spaniards 
cut off his head and threw it over the walls into 
the citj% with an inscription which bore that " this 
Koning or King was on liis road, with two thousand 
auxiliaries, to raise the siege." The rejomder of 
the Haarlemers was in a vein of equal bai-baiity. 
Thoy decapitated twelve of theii' prisoners, and, 

putting then- heads into a cask, they rolled it down 
into the Spanish trenches, with this label affixed : — 
" The tax of the tenth penny, with the interest due 
thereon for delay of payment." The Spaniards re- 
taliated by hanging up a group of Dutch pi-isoners 
by the feet in view of their countrymen on the walls; 
and the besieged cruelly responded by gibbeting a 
number of Sjianish prisoners in sight of the camp. 
These horrible reciprocities, begun by Alva, were 
continued all the whUe that he and his son re- 
mained in the Netherlands. 

By the end of January, 1573, Toledo was ready 
to resume the operations of the siege. He dug 
trenches to protect his men from the fire of the 
ramparts, a precaution which he had neglected at 
tlie beginning, owing to the contempt in which he 
held the foe. Three thousand sappers had been 
sent him from the mines of Liege. Thus reinforced 
he resumed the cannonade. But the vigilance and 
heroism of the citizens of Haarlem long rendered 
his eflbrts abortive. He found it hard by numbera, 
however gi'eat, and skill, however perfect, to batter 
down walls which a patriotism so lofty defended. 
The besieged would sally forth at unexpected 
moments ujDon the Spanish camp, slay hmidreds of 
the foe, set fire to his tents, seize his cannon and 
provisions, and return ia triumph into the city. 
When Toledo's artdlery had made an opening ia 
the walls, and the Spaniards crowded into the breach, 
instead of the instant massacre and phmder which 
their imaginations had pictured, and which they 
panted to begin, they would find themselves in 
presence of an inner battery that the citizens had 
run up, and that awaited the coming of tho 
Spaniards to rain its murderous fire upon them. 
The sajjpers and miners would push their imder- 
ground trenches below the ramparts, but when 
just about to emerge upon the streets of the city, as 
they thought, they would find theii- progress sud- 
denly stopped by a counter-mine, which brought 
them face to face in the nari'ow tmmel with the 
citizens, and they had to wage a hand-to-hand battle 
with them. These underground combats were of 
frequent occurrence. At other times the Haar- 
lemers would dig deeper than the Spaniards, and, 
undermining them, would fill the excavation with 
gunpowder and set fire to it. The ground would 
BuddeiJy open, and vomit forth vast masses of earth, 
stones, mining implements, mixed horribly with the 
dissevered limbs of human being.s. 

After some days' cannonading, Toledo succeeded 
in battering down tho wall that extended between 
the Gate of the Cross and that of St. Jolm, and now 
he resolved to storm the breach with all his forces. 
Hoping to take the citizens by surprise, he assem- 



bled his troops ovei'-night, and assigning to each 
liis post, and particularly instructing all, he ordered 
them to advance. Before the sentinels on the walls 
were aware, several of the storming party had 
gained the summit of the breach, but here their 
progress was arrested. The bells of Haarlem rang 
out the alarm, and the citizens, roused from sleep, 
hurried en vmsse to the ramparts, where a fierce 
struggle began with the Spaniards. Stones, clubs, 
tire-brands, eveiy sort of weapon was employed to 
repel the foe, and the contest was still going on 
when the day broke. After morning mass in the 
Spanish camp, Toledo ordered the whole of his 
army to advance to the walls. By the sheer force 
of numbers the ravelin which defended the Gate of 
the Cross was carried — a conquest that was to cost 
the enemy dear. The besiegers pressed tiimultuously 
into the fortress, expecting to find a clear path into 
the city; but a most mortifying check awaited them. 
The inliabitants, labouring incessantly, had reared a 
kalf-moon battery behind the breached portion of 
the wall,' and instead of the various spoil of the 
city, for which the Spaniards were so greedily 
athii'st, they beheld the cannon of the new erection 
irowning defiance upon them. The defenders 
opened fire upon the mass of their assailants pent 
up beneath, but a yet greater disaster hung over 
the enemy. The ravelin had been previously 
undermined, the citizens foreseeing its ultimate 
capture, and now when they saw it crowded vfith. 
the besiegei's they knew that the moment was come 
for firing it. They lighted the match, and in a few 
moments came the peal of the explosion, and the 
huge mass, with the hundreds of soldiers and oflicers 
whom it enclosed, Wiis seen to soar into the air, and 
then descend in a mingled shower of stones and 
mangled and mutilated bodies. The Spaniards 
stood aghast at the occurrence. The trumjiet 
sounded a reti'cat ; and the patriots issuing forth, 
before the consternation had subsided, chased the 
besiegers to their encampments." 

Toledo saw the siege was making no progress. 
As fast as he battered down the old walls the 
citizens erected new defences ; their constant sallies 
were taxing the vigilance and thinning the numbers 
of his troops ; more of his men were perishing by 
cold and sickness than by battle ; his supi)lies were 
often intercepted, and scarcity was beginning to be 
felt in his camp ; in these circumstances he began 
to entertain the idea of raising the siege. Not a 
few of his oflicers concurred with him, deeming the 
possession of Haarlem not worth the labour and 
lives which it was costing. Others, however, were 

opposed to this course, and Toledo referred the 
matter to his father, the duke. 

The stern Alva, not a little scandalised that his 
son should for a moment entertain such a thought, 
wrote commanding him to prosecute the siege, if he 
would not show himself unworthy of the stock from 
which he was sprung. He advised him, instead of 
storming, to blockade the city ; but in whatever 
mode, he must prosecute the siege tUl Haarlem had 
fallen. If he was unwilling to go on, Alva said he 
would come himself, sick though he was ; or if his 
illness should make this impossible, he would bring 
the duchess from Spain, and place her in command 
of the army. Stung by this sai'casm, Toledo, re- 
gardless of all difficulties, resumed the operations of 
the siege. 

In the middle of February the frost went ofi', and 
the ice dissolving, the Lake of Haarlem became navig- 
able. In anticipation of this occurrence, the Prince 
of Orange had constructed a number of vessels, and 
lading them with provisions, dispatched them from 
Leyden. Sailing along the lake, with a favourable 
wind, they entered Haarlem in safety. This was 
done oftener than once, and the spectre of famine 
was thus kept at a distance. The besi€ged were in 
good spirits ; so long as they held the lake they 
would have bread to eat, and so long as bread did 
not fail them they would defend their city. Mean- 
while they gave the besiegers no rest. The sallies 
from the town, sometimes from one quarter, some- 
times from another, were of almost daily occurrence. 
On the 25th of March, 1,000 of the soldier-citizens 
threw themselves upon the outposts of Toledo's 
army, drove them in, burned 300 tents, and 
captured camion, standards, and many waggon - 
loads of provisions, and returned with them to the 
city. The exploit was perfornred in the fiice of 
30,000 men. This attacking party of 1,000 had 
slain each his man nearly, having left 800 dead in 
the Spanish camp, while only four of their own 
number had fallen.' The citizens were ever eager 
to provoke the Spaniards to battle ; and mth this 
view they erected altars upon the walls in sight of 
the camp, and tricked them out after the Romish 
fashion ; they set up images, and walking in pro- 
cession dressed in canonicals, they dei'ided the 
Popish rites, in the hope of stinging the champions 
of that faith into fighting. They feared the 
approach of fiimine more than they did the Spanish 
sword. Alva was amazed, and evidently not a 
little mortified, to see such valour in rebels and 
heretics, and was unable to withhold the exjiression 
of his astonishment. " Never was a place defended 

Hooft, vii. 293. 

•" Tliaunus, torn, iii., p. 218. 



with such skill and bravery as Haarlem," said he, 
writing to Philip; "it was a war such as never was 
seen or heard of in any land on earth." ' 

But now the tide began to turn against the 
heroic champions of Protestant liberty. Haarlem 
was more closely invested than ever, and a more 
terrible enemy than the Spaniards began to make its 
a])pearance, gaunt famine namely. Count Bossu, 
the lieutenant of Toledo, had mustered a fleet of 
armed vessels at Amsterdam, and entei-mg the Lake 
of Haarlem, fought a series of naval battles with 
the ships of the Prmce of Orange for the posses- 
sion of that inland sea. Being a vital point, it 
was fiercely contested on both sides, and after 
much bloodshed, victory declared for the Spaniards. 
This stopped nearly all supplies to the city by 
water. On the land side Haarlem was as com- 
pletely blockaded, for Alva had sent forward 
additional reinforcements; and although William 
was most assiduous in dispatching relief for tlie 
besieged, the city was so strictly watched by 
the enemy that neither men nor provisions could 
now enter it. In the end of May bread failed. 
The citizens sent to make William aware of their 
desperate straits. The prince employed a carrier 
pigeon as the bearer of his answer.'' He bade 
them endure a little longer, and to encourage them 
to hold out he told them that he was assembling a 
force, and hoped soon to be able to throw pro- 
visions into their city. Meanwhile the scarcity 
became gi-eater every day, and by the beginning of 
Jiuie the famine had risen to a most dreadful 
height. Ordinary food was no longer to be had, 
and tlie ^v^•etched inhabitants were reduced to the 
necessity of subsisting on the most loathsome and 
abominable substitutes. They devoured horses, 
dogs, cats, mice, and similar vermin. When these 
failed, tliey boiled the hides of animals and ate 
them; and when tliese too were exhausted, they 
searched the graveyards for nettles and rank grass. 
Groups of men, women, and children, smitten down 
by the famine, were seen dead in the streets. But 
though their numbers diminished, their courage did 
not abate. Tliey stUl showed themselves on the 
walls, "the few performed the duties of many;"= and 

'^ Correspondance de Philippe II., ii. 1230. 

- "They rcTived," says Strada,;" the ancient invention 
of carrier pigeons. For a while before they wore blocked 
up they sent to the prince's fleet, and to the neai'cst towns 
of their own party, some of these pigeons. . . By these 
winged posts the Prince of Orange encouraged the towns- 
men to hold out for the last three months ; till one of 
them, tired with flying, lighted upon a tent, and being 
shot by a soldier, ignorant of the stratigem, the mystery 
of the letters was discovered." (Bk. vii.j p. 71.) 

^ Strada, bk. vii., p. 74. 

if a Spanisli helmet ventured to appear above the 
earth-works, a bullet from the ramparts, shot with 
deadly aim, tumbled its owner into the trenches. 

They again made the prince aware of the misery 
to which they were reduced, adding that unless 
succours were sent ivithin a very short time they 
would be compelled to surrender. William turned 
his eyes to the Protestant Queen of England, and 
the Lutheran princes of Germany, and implored 
them to intervene in behalf of the heroic little city. 
But Elizabeth feared to break with Philip; and the 
tide of Jesuit reaction in Germany was at that 
moment too powerful to permit of its Protestants 
undei-takmg any enterprise beyond their own 
borders; and so the sorely beleaguered city was 
left wholly in the hands of the prince. He did all 
which it was possible for one in his circumstances 
to do for its deliverance. He collected an army of 
5,000, cliiefly bui-ghers of good condition in the 
cities of Holland, and sent them on to Haarlem, 
with 400 waggon-loads of provisions, having first 
given notice to the citizens by means of can-ier 
pigeons of their approach. This expedition William 
wished to conduct in person, but the States, deem- 
ing his life of more value to Holhuid than many 
cities, would not sufier him to risk it, and the 
enterprise was committed to the «harge of Count 
Battenburg. The expedition set out on the evening 
of the 8th of July, but the pigeons that carried the 
letters of Orange having been shot, the plan of 
relief became known to the Spaniards, and their 
whole army was put under arms to await the 
coming of Battenbui-g. He thought to have passed 
their slumbering camp at midniglit, but suddenly 
the whole host surrounded him; his fresh troops 
were unable to withstand the onset of those 
veterans ; 2,000 were slain, including their leader ; 
tlie rest were dispersed, and the convoy of pro- 
visions fell into the hands of the victors. William 
could do no more — the last hope of Haarlem was 
gone.'' The patriots now offered to surrender on 
condition that the town wei'e exempt from pillage, 
and the gamson permitted to march out. Toledo 
replied that the surrender must be unconditional. 
The men of Haarlem understood this to mean tliat 
Toledo had devoted them to destruction. Tliey had 
before them deatli by starvation or death by the 
Spaniards. The latter they regarded as by niueli 
the more dreadful alternative. The fighting men, in 
theii- despair, resolved on cutting their way, sword 
in [hand, through the Spanish cainp, in the liojie 
that the enemy would put a curb on his ferocity 

* Bor, vi. 440. Hooft, viii. 312. Motley, vol. ii., p. 68. 
Watson, vol. ii., pp. 82, 83. 



when he found only women iuul children, and these 
emaciated and woe-struck, in tlie city. But the 
latter, terror-stricken at the thought of being aban- 
doned, threw themselves down before their husbands 
and brothers, and clinging to thcrr knees, piteously 
implored them not to leave them, and so melted 
them that they could not carry out their purpose. 
They next resolved to form themselves into a hol- 
low square, and placing their wives and children in 
the centre, march out and conquer or die. Toledo 
learned the de-sperate attempts which the men of 
Haarlem were revolving; and knowing that there 
was nothing of which they were not capable, and 
that should it happen that only ruins were 
left him, the fruits and honours of his dearly- 
won victory would escape him, he straightway sent 
a trumpeter to say that on jiayment of 200,000 
guilders the city would be spared and all in it 
pardoned, with the exception of lifty-seven persons 
whom he named.' 

The exceptions were important, for those who 
had rendered the greatest service iii the siege were 
precisely those who were most obnoxious to Toledo. 
It was ■with agony of mind that the citizens dis- 
cussed the proposal, which would not have been 
accepted had not the German portion of the gar- 
rison insisted on surrender. A deputation was 
sent to Toledo on the 12th of July, to announce the 
submission of the city on the proposed terms. At 
the very moment that Toledo gave the solemn pro- 
mise which led to this surrender, he had in his 
possession a letter from the Duke of Alva, com- 
manding him to put the garrison to the sword, with 
the exception of the Germans, and to hang all the 
leading citizens of Haarlem.- 

The first order issued to the Haarlemers after 
the surrender was to deposit their arms in the 
town-house; the second was to .shut themselves up, 
the men in the Monastery of Zyl, and the women 
ill the cathedral. Toledo now entered the city. 
Implacable, indeed, must that revenge have been 
which the sights of woe that now met his gaze 
could not extinguish. After an exposure for seven 
mouths to the Spanish cannon, the city was little 
better than a heaj) of burning ruins. The streets 
were blocked up with ])iles of rubbish, mingled with 
the skeletons of animals from which the flesh had 
been torn, and the unburied bodies of those wlio had 
fallen in the defence, or died by tlie fiimine. But 
of all the memoiials of the siege the most affect- 
ing were the survivors. Their protruding bones, 
parchment skin, hollow cheeks, and sunken eyes 

' Hooft, viii. 313. 

' Correspondance de Philippe II., ii. 1253. 

made them seem corpses that still retained the 
power of moving about. If they had been guilty 
of a crime in defying the soldiers of Spain, surely 
they had sufficiently atoned for then- presumption. 

On the third day after the surrender the Duke of 
Alva visited HaLU-lem, rode round it, and then took 
his departure, leaving it to his son to carry out the 
sequel. The treachery and barbarity of Naardeii 
were repeated here. We shall not shock our 
readers \vitli details. The fifty-seven persons ex- 
cepted from the amnesty were, of course, executed ; 
but the murders were far from ending with these. 
The garrison, with the exception of the Germans, 
were massacred ; 900 citizens were hanged as if 
they had been the vilest malfefactors ; the sick 
ill the hospitals were carried out into the court- 
yard and disjjatched ; the eloquent Ripperda, 
whose patriotic address, already recorded, had so 
largely contributed to excite the men of Haarlem 
to resist, was beheaded in company of several noted 
citizens. Several hundreds of French, English, and 
Scotch soldiers were butchered. Five executioners, 
each with a staff of assistants, were kept in constant 
employment several days. At last, tired of labours 
and sick with horrors, they took 300 victims that 
still remained, tied them back to back in couples, 
and threw them into the lake.' The number put 
to death in cold blood is estimated at about 2,300, 
in addition to the many thousands that perished 
in the siege. 

So awful was the tragedy of Haarlem ! It wore 
outwardly the guise of victory for the Spaniards 
and of defeat to the Hollanders ; and yet, when 
closely examined, it is seen to be just the reverse. 
It had cost Alva 12,000 men; it had emptied his 
treasury ; and, what was worse, it had broken the 
spell of invincibility, which lent such power to the 
Spanish arms. Eui'ope had seen a little town defy 
the power of Philip for seven long months, and 
surrender at last only from pressure of famine. 
There was much here to encourage the other cities 
of Holland to stand for their liberties, and the 
renewed exhibition of perfidy and cruelty on the 
part of Toledo deepened their resolution to do so. 
It was clear that Spain could not accept of many 
such victories without eventually overthrowing her 
own power, and at the same time investing the 
cause of the adversary she was striving to crush 
with a moral prestige that would in the issue con- 
duct it to triumph. 

Such was the view taken by the Prince of Orange 
on a calm survey of all the cii'cumstances attending 

' Brandt, vol. i.,p.303, Bor,vi.441. Hooft, viii. 315, 316. 
Motley, vol. ii., p. 70. 



the fall of Haarlem. He saw notliing in it that Holland, to mspiiit the States to resist the power 
should cause him to thiiik for one moment of of Spain to the death. "Though God," he said, 
abandoning the prosecution of his great design, or " had suflered Haarlem to fall, ought men therefore 


that should shake his confidence in the ultimate to forsake his Word ! Was not their cause a 

tiiumph of his cause; and without abating a jot of righteous one! was not the Di\ine ami still able 

courage he wrote to his deputy, Sonoy, in North to uphold both it and them ! Was the destniction 




of one city the ruin of the Church ? The calamities 
and woes of Haarlem well deserved their commi- 
seration, but the blood of the martyrs was the 
seed of the Church, and ha'V'ing now had a full 
disclosure made to them of the character and inten- 
tions of their enemy, and that in the war he was 
waging for the utter extii'pation of truth, he shrunk 
from no perfidy and cruelty, and trampled on all 
laws, Di\-ine and human, they ought the more 
courageously to resist him, convinced that the great 
Ruler would iii the end appear for the vindication 
of the cause of righteousness, and the overthi-ow of 
■wickedness. If Haarlem had fallen, other and 
stronger towns still stood, and they had been able 
to put themselves into a better jiosture of defence 
from the long detention of the Spaniards under 
the walls of Haarlem, which had been subdued at, not by the power of the enemy, but by the 
force of famine." The prince wound up his address 
with a reply to a question the States had put to 
him touching his foreign alliances, and whether 
he had secured the friendship of any powerful 
potentate abroad, on whose aid they could rely in 
the war. The answer of the prince reveals the depth 
of his piety, and the strength of his faith. " He had 
made a strict alliance," he informed the States, 
" ^vith the Prince of princes for the defence of the 
good Christians and others of this oppressed country, 
who never forsook those who trusted in him, and 
would assuredly, at the last, confound both his 
and their enemies. He was therefore resolved 
never to forsake his dear coimtry, but by venturing 
both life and fortime, to make use of those means 
which the Lord of Hosts had supi^lied him with."' 



Alkmaar— Its Situation — Its Siege— Sonoy's Dismay — Courageous Letter of the Prince — Savage Threats of Alva — 
Alkmaar Cannonaded — Breach— Stormed — Fury of the Attack — Heroism of the Eepulse— "WTiat Ensign Solis saw 
within the Walls— The Spaniards Eefuse to Storm the Town a Second Time— The Dutch Threaten to Cut the 
Dykes, and Drown the Spanish Camp — The Siege Raised— Amsterdam— Battle of Dutch and Spanish Fleets 
before it— Defeat of the Spaniards — Admiral Bossu taken Prisoner — Alva Eecalled— His Manner of Leaving — 
Number Executed during his Government — Medina Coeli appointed Governor — He Eesigns — Eequesens ap- 
pointed—Assumes the Guise of Moderation — Plain Warning of William — Question of Toleration of Koman 
AVorship — Eeasoniiigs— The States at Leyden Forbid its Public Celebration — Opinions of William of Orange. 

The Duke of Ah-a soon found that if he had taken 
Haarlem he had crippled himself The siege had 
emptied liis military chest; he was gi-eatly in 
arrears with his troops, and now his soldiers broke 
out into mutiny, and absolutely refused to march 
to Alkmaar and commence its siege till the simis 
Giving them were paid. Six weeks passed away 
before the army was reduced to obedience, and the 
duke enabled to resume his programme of the 
war. His own prestige as a disciplinarian had 
also suffered immensely. 

Alkmaar was situated at the extremity of the 
peninsula, amid the lagunes of North Holland. It 
Was late in the season when the Spanish army, 
16,000 strong, sat down before this little town, 
■with its gan-ison of 800 soldier.s, and its 1,300 
citizens capable of bearing arms. Had it been 
invested earlier in the summer it must have fallen, 
for it was then comparatively defenceless, and its 
population di\'ided between the prince and the 
duke ; but while Ah'a was quelling the mutiny of 

his troops, Alkmaar ■was strengthening its defences, 
and William was furnishing it with provisions and 
garrisoning it wth soldiers. The commander of 
the besieging army was still Toledo. 

When Governor Sonoy saw the storm rolling up 
from the soiith, and when he thought of his own 
feeble resources for meeting it, he became somewhat 
despondent, and ^vl•ote to the prince expressmg a 
hope that he had been able to ally himself with 
some powerful potentate, who would supply him 
with money and troops to resist the terrible 
Spaniard. William replied to his deputy, gently 
chiding him for his want of faith. He had indeed 
contracted alliance, he said, ■with a mighty King, 
who would provide armies to fight his ovm battles, 
and he bade Sonoy not grow faint-hearted, as if the 
anu of that King had gro^wn weak. At the very 
moment that William was striving to inspirit him- 
self and his followers, by lifting his eyes to a 

Brandt, vol. i., p. 304. 



mightier throne than any on earth, Alva was 
taking the most effectual means to raise up invin- 
cible defenders of Holland's Protestantism, and so 
realise the expectations of the prince, and justify 
his confidence in that higher Power on whom he 
mainly leaned. The duke took care to leave the 
people of Alkmaar in no doubt as to the fate in 
resei-ve for them should their city be taken. He 
had dealt gently with Haarlem; he had hanged 
only 900 of its citizens ; but he would wreak a full 
measure of vengeance on Alkmaar. " If I take 
Alkmaar," he wrote to Philip, " I am resolved not to 
leave a single creature alive ; the knife shall be i)at 
to every throat. Since the example of Haarlem 
has proved of no use, perhaps an example of 
cruelty will bring the other cities to theii' senses."' 
Alva thought that he was rendering certain the 
submission of the men over whose heads he hung 
that terrible threat : he was only preparing dis- 
comfiture for liimself by kindling in theii' breasts 
the flame of an luiconquerable courage. 

Toledo planted a battery on the two opposite 
sides of the town, in the hope of dividing the 
garrison. After a cannonade of twelve houre he 
had breached the walls. He now ordered his 
troops to stoiin. They advanced . in overwhelming 
numbers, confident of victory, and rending the air 
with their shouts as if they had already won it. 
Thej' dashed across the moat, they swarmed up 
the bi-each, but only to be grappled with by the 
courageous burghera, and flung headlong into the 
ditch below. Thrice were the murderous hordes of 
Alva repulsed, thrice did they return to the assault. 
The rage of the assailants was inflamed with e;ich 
new check, but Spanish fiuy, even though sustained 
by Spanish discipline, battled in vain against Dutch 
intrepidity and patriotism. The round-shot of the 
cannon ploughed long vacant lines in the beleaguer- 
ing masses ; the musketry jxiured in its deadly 
volleys ; a terrible rain of boiling oil, pitch, and 
water, mingled with tarred burning hoops, unslaked 
lime, and great stones, descended from the fortifi- 
cations ; and such of the besiegers as were able to 
force their way up through that dreadful tempest 
to the toj) of the wall, found that they had scaled 
the ramparts only to fall by the daggers of their 
defenders. The whole population of the town bore 
its part in the defence. Not only the matrons and 
virgins of Alkmaar, but the very children, were 
constantly passing between the arsenal and the 
walls, car)-ying ammunition and missiles of all sorts 
to their husbands, brothers, and fathers, careless of 
the shot that was falling thick around them. The 

' Correapondance de Philippe II., ii. 12&1. 

apprehension of those far more ten-ible calamities 
that were sure to follow the entrance of the 
Spaniards, made them forgetful of every other 
danger. It is told of Ensign Solis, that havin" 
mounted the breach he had a moment's leisure to 
survey the state of matters within the city, before 
he was seized and flung from the fortifications. 
Escaping with his life, he was able to tell what that 
momentary glance had revealed to him within the 
walls. He had beheld no masses of military, no 
men in armour ; on the streets of the beleaguered 
town he saw none but plain men, the most of whom 
wore the garb of fishermen. Humiliating it was 
to the mailed chivalry of Spaiii to be checked, 
flung back, and routed by " plain men in the garb 
of fishermen." The burghers of Alkmaar wore 
their breastplates under their fisherman's coat — the 
consciousness, namely, of a righteous cause. 

The assault had commenced at tkree of the after- 
noon ; it was now seven o'clock of the evening, and 
the darkness was closing in. It was evident that 
Alkmaar would not be taken that day. A thousand 
Spaniards lay dead in the trenches,^ while of the 
defenders only thirteen citizens and twenty-four of 
the garrison had fallen. The trumpet sounded a 
recall for the night. 

Next morning the cannonade was renewed, and 
after some 700 shot had been discharged against 
the walls a breach was made. The soldiers were 
again ordered to storm. The army refused to obey. 
It was in vain that Toledo threatened this moment 
and cajoled the next, not a man in his camp would 
venture to approach those terrible ramparts which 
were defended, they gravely believed, by invisil)le 
powers. The men of Alkmaar, they had been told, 
worshipped the devil, and the demons of the pit 
fought upon the walls of their city, for how other- 
wise could plain burghers have inflicted so terrible 
a defeat upon the legions of Spain t Day passed 
after day, to the chagrin of Toledo, but still the 
Spaniards kept at a safe distance from those dreaded 
bulwarks on which invisible champions kept watch 
and ward. The rains set in, for the seiuson was 
now late, and the camping-gi'ound became a marsh. 
A 3'et more terrible disaster impended over them, 
provided they remained much longer before Alk- 
maar, and of this they had certain information. 
The Dutch had iigreed to cut their dykes, and bury 
the countay round Alkmaar, and the Spanish camp 
with it, at the bottom of the ocean. Already two 
sluices had been opened, and the waters of the 
North Sea, driven by a strong north-west wind, had 
rushed in and partially inundated the land ; this 

" Uooft, viii. 324. Bor, vi. 453. Watson, ii. 95, 96. 



was only a begiiuiing : the Hollanders had resolved 
to sacrifice, not only their crops, but a vast amount 
of property besides, and by piercing their two gi-eat 
dykes, to bring the sea over Toledo and his soldiers. 
The Spaniards had found it hard to contend against 
the burghers of Alkmaar, they would find it still 
harder to combat tlie waves of the North Sea. 
Accordingly Don Frederic de Toledo summoned a 
council of his oiScers, and after a short delibera- 
tion it was resolved to raise the siege, the council 
having first voted that it was no disgrace to the 
Spanish army to retire, seeing it was fleeing not 
before man, but before the ocean. 

The humiliations of Alva did not stop here. To 
reverses on land were added disasters at sea. To 
punish Amsterdam for the aid it had given the 
Spaniards in the siege of Haarlem, North Holland 
fitted out a fleet, and blockaded the narrow en- 
trance of the Y which leads into the Zuyder Zee. 
Shut out from the ocean, the trade of the great 
commercial city was at an end. Alva felt it in- 
cumbent on him to come to the help of a town 
which stood almost alone in Holland in its ad- 
herence to the Spanish cause. He constructed a 
fleet of still krger vessels, and gave the command 
of it to the experienced and enterprising Count 
Bossu. The two fleets came to a trial of strength, 
and the battle issued in the defeat of the Spaniards. 
Some of their ships were taken, others made their 
escape, and there remained only the admiral's 
galley. It was named the Inquisition, and being 
the largest and most powerfully armed of all in the 
fleet, it oSered a long and desperate resistance 
before striking its flag. It was not till of the 
300 men on board 220 were killed, and all the 
rest but fifteen were wounded, that Bossu sui'ren- 
dered himself prisoner to the Dutdi commander.' 
Well aware that it was of the last consequence for 
them to maintain their superiority at sea, the 
Dutch hailed this victory -with no common joy, and 
ordered public thanks to be offered for it in all the 
churches of Holland. 

Witli the turn in the tide of Sjianish successes, 
the eyes of Philip began to open. Alva, it is true, 
in all his barbarities had but too faithfully carried 
out the wishes, if not the express orders, of his 
master, but that master now half suspected that 
this policy of the sword and the gallows was 
des-tined not to succeed. Nor was Philip alone in 
that opinion. There were statesmen at Madrid 
who were strongly counselling the monarch to 
make trial of more lenient measures with the 

' Thaunus, lib. Iv., sec. 
vol. ii., p. 99. 

Metcren, p. 23. Watuoii, 

Netherlanders. Alva felt that PMlip was growing 
cold toward him, and alleging that his health 
had sustained injury from the moist climate, and 
the fatigues he had undergone, he asked leave to 
retire from the government of the Low Countries. 
The king immediately recalled him, and appointed 
the Duke de Medina Cceli, governor in his room. 
Alva's manner of taking leave of Amsterdam, where 
he had been staying some time, was of a piece with 
all his previous career. He owed vast sums to the 
citizens, but had nothing wherewith to pay. The 
duke, however, had no difficulty in finding his way 
out of a position which might have been embar- 
rassing to another man. He issued a proclamation, 
inviting his creditors to present their claims in per- 
son on a certain day. On the night previous to the 
day appointed, the duke attended by his retinue 
quitted Amsterdam, taking care that neither by 
tuck of di'um nor saivo of cannon should he make 
the citizens aware that he was bidding them adieu. 
He travelled to Spain by way of Germany, and 
boasted to Count Louis van Koningstein, the uncle 
of the prince, at whose house he lodged a night, 
that during his government of five and a half years 
he had caused 18,000 heretics to be put to death by 
the hands of the executioner, besides a much greater 
number whom he had slain with the sword in the 
cities which he besieged, and in the battles he had 
fought. " 

When the Duke de Medina Coeli an-ived in the 
Netherlands, he stood aghast at the terrible wreck 
his predecessor had left behind him. The treasury 
was empty, the commerce of the country was 
destroyed, and though the inhabitants were im- 
poverished, the taxes which were still attempted to 
be wrung from them were enormous. The cry of the 
land was going up to heaven, from Roman Catholic 
as well as Protestant. The cautious governor, see- 
ing more difficulty than glory m the administration 
assigned to him, •' slipped his neck out of the 
collar," says Brandt, and returned to Spain. He 
was succeeded by Don Luis de Requesens and 
Cuniga, who had been governor at Milan. The 
Netherlanders knew little of their new ruler, but 
they hoped to find him less the demon, and more 
the man, than the monstrous compound of all 
iniquity who for five years had revelled in their 
blood and treasure. They breathed more freely for 
a little space. The first act of the new governor 
was to demolish the statue which Alva had erected 
of himself in the citadel of Antwerp ; Requesens 
wished the Netherlanders to infer from this begin- 
ning that the policy of Alva had been disavowetl 

= Hooft, lib. viii. 332. Brandt, vol. i., p. 300. 



at head-quarters, and that from this time forward 
more lenient measures would be pursued. William 
w;\s not to be imposed upon by this shallow device. 
Fearing that the lenity of Requesens might be even 
more fotal in the end tlian the ferocity of Alva, he 
issued an address to the States, in which he re- 
minded them that the new deputy was still a 
Spaniard — a name of terrific import in Dutch ears 
— that he was the servant of a despot, and that not 
one Hollander could Requesens slay or keep alive 
but as Philip willed ; that in the Cabinet of Madrid 
there were abysses below abysses ; that though it 
might suit the monarch of Spain to wear for a 
moment the guise of moderation, they might depend 
upon it that liLs aims were fixed and unalterable, 
and that what he sought, and would pursue to the 
last soldier in hLs army, and the last hour of his 
earthly existence, was the destruction of Dutch 
liberty, and the extermination of the Protestant 
faith ; that if they stopped where they were — in 
the middle of the conflict — all that they had already 
sufiered and sacrificed, all the blood that had been 
shed, the tens of thousands of their brethren hanged 
on gibbets, biuned at stakes, or slain in battle, 
theii' mothers, wives, and daughters subjected 
to horrible outrage and murder, all would have 
been endured in vain. If their desii-e of peace 
should reduce them into a compromise with the 
tyrant, it would assuredly happen that the abhorred 
yoke of Spain would yet be riveted upon their 
necks. The conflict, it was true, was one of the 
most awful that nation had ever been called to 
wage, but the part of wisdom was to fight it out to 
the end, assui-ed that, oome when it might, the end 
would be good ; the righteous King would crown 
them with victory. These words, not less wise 
than heroic, revived the spirits of the Dutch. 

At this stage of the struggle (1.57.3) a question 
of the gravest kind came up for discussion — namely, 
the public toleration of the Roman worship. In the 
circumstances of the Netherlanders the delicacy of 
this question was equal to its difiiculty. It was 
not proposed to proscribe belief in the Romish 
dogmas, or to punish any one for his faitli ; it was 
not proposed even to forbid the celebration in 
l)vivate of the Romish rites ; all that was inoposed 
was to forbid their public exercise. There were 
some who argiied that their contest was, at bottom, 
a contest against the Roman faith ; the first object 
was liberty, but they sought liberty that their 
consciences might be free in the matter of worship; 
their opponents were those who professed that 
faith, and who sought to reduce them under its 
yoke, and it seemed to them a virtual repudiation 
of the justness of their contest to tolerate what in 

fact was their real enemy, Romanism. This was 
to protect with the one hand the foe they were 
fighting against with the other. It was replied to 
this that the Romanist detested the tyranny of 
Alva not less than the Protestant, that he fouglit 
side by side on the ramparts with his ProtestMit 
fellow-subject, and that both had entered into a 
confederacy to oppose a tyrant, who was their com- 
mon enemy, on condition that each should enjov 
liberty of conscience. 

Nevertheless, not long after this, the States of 
Holland, at an assembly at Leyden, resolved to 
l^rohibit the public exei'cise of the Romish religion. 
The Prince of Orange, when the matter was firet 
broached, expressed a repugnance to the public 
discussion of it, and a strong desire that its decision 
should bo po.stponed ; and when at last the resolu- 
tion of the States was arrived at, he intimated, if 
not his formal dissent, his non-concurrence in the 
judgment to which they had come. He tells us so 
in his Apology, published in 1580 ; but at the same 
time, in justification of the States, he adds, " that 
they who at the first judged it for the interest and 
advantage of the country, that one religion should 
be tolerated as well as the other, were afterwards 
convinced by the bold attempts, cunning devices, 
and treacheries of the enemies, who had insinuated 
themselves among the people, that the State was in 
danger of inevitable destruction unless the exercLse 
of the Roman religion were suspended, since those 
who professed it (at least the priests) had sworn 
allegiance to the Pope, and laid greater sti'ess ou 
their oaths to him than to any others which they 
took to the civU magistrate." The prince, in fact, 
had come even then to hold what is now the 
geiierally received maxim, that no one ought to 
suflfer the smallest deprivation of his civil rights on 
account of his religious belief; but at the same 
time he felt, what all have felt who have anxiously 
studied to harmonise the rights of conscience with 
the safety of society, that there are elements in 
Romanism that make it impossible, without en- 
dangering the State, to apply this maxim in all its 
extent to the Papal religion. The maxim, so just in 
itself, is applicable to all religions, and to Romanism 
among the rest, so far as it is a religion ; but 
AVilliam found that it is more than a religion, that 
it is a government besides ; and while there may be 
a score of religions in a country, there can be but 
one government in it The first duty of every 
government is to maintain its own unity and 
supremacy ; and whan it prosecutes any secondary 
end — and the toleration of conscience is to a 
government but a secondary end — when, we say, it 
prosecutes any secondary object, to the jjarting in 



twain of the State, it contravenes its own primary 
end, and overthrows itself. The force with which 
this consideration pressed itself upon the mind of 
William of Orange, tolerant even to the measure of 
the present day, is seen from what he says a little 
farther on in his Apology. " It was not just," lie 
adds, " that such people should enjoy a privilege by 
the means of which they endeavoured to bring the 
land under the power of the enemy ; they sought 
to betray the lives and fortunes of the subjects by 
depriving them not of one, two, or thi-ee privileges, 
but of all the rights and liberties which for im- 
memorial ages had been preserved and defended by 
their predecessors from generation to generation." ' 
From this time forward the Reformed religion as 
taught in Geneva and the Palatinate was the one 

faith publicly professed in Holland, and its worship 
alone was practised in the national churches. No 
Papist, however, was required to renounce his 
faith, and full liberty was given him to celebrate 
his worship in private. Mass, and all the attendant 
ceremonies, continued to be performed in private 
houses for a long while after. To all the Protestant 
bodies in Holland, and even to the Anabaptists, 
a full toleration was likewise accorded. Con- 
science may err, they said, but it ought to be 
left free. Should it invade the magistrate's sphere, 
he has the right to repel it by the sword ; if it 
goes astray within its o^\ti domain, it is equally 
foolish and criminal to compel it by foi'ce to return 
to the right road ; its accountability is to God 



Middelburg— Its Siege— Capture by the Sea Beggars— Destruction of One-half of the Spanish Fleet— Sea-board 
of Zealand and Holland in the hands of the Dutch— William's Preparations for a Third Campaign— Funds — 
France gives Promises, but no Money — Louis's Army — Battle of Moot — Defeat and Death of Louis — William's 
Misfortunes— His Magnanimity and Devotion — His Greatness of the First Rank— He Retires into Holland 
— Mutiny in Avila's Army — The Mutineers Spoil Antwerp — Final Destruction of Spanish Fleet— Opening of 
the Siege of Leyden— Situation of that Town— Importance of the Siege— Stratagem of Philip— Spirit of the 

The only town in the important island of Wal- 
cheren that now held for the King of Spain was 
Middelburg. It had endured a siege of a year and 
a half at the hands of the soldiers of the Prince of 
Orange. Being the key of the whole of Zealand, 
the Spaniards struggled as hard to retain it as the 
patriots did to gain possession of it. The garrison 
of Middelburg, reduced to the last extremity of 
famine, were now feeding on horses, dogs, rats, and 
other revolting substitutes for food, and the Spanish 
commander Mondrogon, a brave and resolute man, 
had sent word to Requesens, that unless the town 
was succoured in a very few days it must neces- 
saiily surrender. Its fall would be a great blow to 
the interests of Phili]i, and his Go^■emo^ of the 
Low Countries exerted himself to the utmost to 
throw supjjlies into it, and enable it to hold out. 
He collected a fleet of seventy-five sail at Bergen- 
op-Zoom, another of thirty ships at Antwerp, and 
storing them with provisions and military equip- 
ments, he ordered them to steer for Middelburg 
and relieve it. But unhappily for Requesens, and 

' Brandt, vol. i., pp. 307, 308. 

the success of his project, the Dutch were masters 
at sea. Their ships were manned by the bravest 
and most skilful sailors in the world ; nor were 
they only adventurous seamen, they were firm 
patriots, and ready to shed the last drop of their 
blood for their country and their religious liberties. 
They served not for wages, as did many in the land 
armies of the prince, which being to a large extent 
made up of mercenaries, were apt to mutiny when 
ordei-ed into battle, if it chanced that their pay was 
in arrears ; the soldiers of the fleet were enthu- 
siastic in the cause for which they fought, and 
accounted that to beat the enemy was suflicient 
reward for their valour and blood. 

The numerous fleet of Requesens, in two squad- 
rons, was sailing down the Scheldt (27th January, 
1.574), on its way to raise the siege of Middelburg, 
when it sighted near Romerswael, drawn up in 
battle array, the ships of the Sea Beggars. The two 
fleets closed in conflict. After the first broadside, 
ship grappled with shij), and the Dutch leaping on 
board the Spanish vessels, a liand-to-hand combat 
with battle-axes, daggers, and pistols, was com- 
menced on the deck of each galley. The admiral's 



ship ran foul of a sand-bank, and was then set 
fire to by the Zealanders ; the other commander, 
Romers, hastened to his relief, but only to have the 
flames communicated to his own ship. Seeing his 
galley about to sink, Romers jumped overboard and 
saved his life by s-n^imming ashore. The other 
ships of the Spanish fleet fared no better. The 
Zealanders burnt some, they sunk othei's, and tlie 
rest they seized. The victory was decisive. Twelve 
hundred Spaniards, including the Admu-al De 
Glimes, perished in the flame.s of the burning ves- 
sels, or fell in the fierce struggles that raged on 
tbeir decks. Requesens himself, from the dyke of 
Zacherlo, had witnessed, without being able to 
avert, the destruction of his fleet, which he had con- 
Btracted at great expense, and on which he built 
such great hopes. "When the second squadron 
learned that the ships of the first were at the bottom 
of the sea, or in the hands of the Dutch, its com- 
mander instantly put about and made haste to 
return to Antwerp. The surrender of Middelburg, 
which immediately followed, gave the Dutch the 
command of the whole sea-board of Zealand and 

Success was lacking to the next expedition im- 
dertaken by William. The time was come, he 
thought, to rouse the Southei'n Netherlands, that 
had somewhat tamelj' let go their liberties, to make 
.another attempt to recover them before the yoke 
of Spain should be irretrievably riveted upon their 
neck. Accordmgly he instructed his brother, 
Count LouLs, to raise a body of troops in German)^ 
where he was then residing, in order to make a third 
invasion of the Central Provinces of the Low Coun- 
ti'ies. There would have been no lack of recruits 
Lad Louis possessed the means of paying them ; 
but his finances were at zero ; his brother's fortune, 
a-s well as his own, was already swallowed up, and 
before enlisting a single soldier, Louis had first of 
all to provide funds to defray the expense of the 
projected expedition. He trusted to receive some 
help from the German princes, he negotiated loans 
from his own relations and friends, but his main 
hopes were rested on France. The court of 
Charles IX. was then occupied with the matter of 
the election of the Duke of Anjou to the throne 
of Poland, and that monarch was desirous of 
appearing friendly to a cause wliich, liut two years 
befoi'e, he had endeavoured to crush in the St. Bar- 
tholomew Massacre ; and so Count Louis received 
from France as many promises as would, could he 
have coined them into gold, have enabled him to 
equip and keep in the field ten armies ; but of 
sterling money he had scarce so much as to defray 
the expense of a single battalion. He succeeded, 

howevei', in levying a force of some 4,000 horse 
and 7,000 foot ' in the smaller German States, and 
with these he set out about the beginning of Feb- 
ruary, 1575, for Brabant. He crossed the Rhine, 
and advanced to the Meuse, opposite Maestricht, in 
the hope that his friends in that town would open 
its gates when they saw him approach. So gi-eat 
was their horror of the Spaniards that they feared 
to do so ; and, deeming his little army too weak to 
besiege so strongly fortified a place, he continued 
his march down the right bank of the river till he 
came to Roeremonde. Here, too, the Protestants 
were overawed. Not a single person durst show 
himself on his side. He continued his course along 
the river-banks, in the hope of being joined by the 
troops of his brother, accordmg to the plan of the 
campaign ; the Spanish armj', imder Avila, followmg 
him all the whUe on a parallel line on the opposite 
side of the river. On the 13th of April, Louis 
encamped at the -^'illage of Mook, on the confines of 
Cleves ; and here the Spaniards, having suddenly 
crossed the Meuse and sat do^vn right in his path, 
oifered him battle. He knew that his newly- 
levied recruits would fight at great disadvantage 
with the veteran soldiers of Spain, yet the count 
had no alternative but to accept the combat ofiered 
liim. The result was disastrous in the extreme. 
After a long and fierce and bloody contest the 
patriot army was completely routed. Present on 
that fatal field, along with Count Louis, wei-e his 
brother Henry, and Duke Christo])her, son of the 
Elector of the Palatinate ; and repeatedly, during 
that terrible day, they intrepidly rallied their sol- 
diers and turned the tide of battle, but only to be 
overpowered in the end. AVhen they saw that the 
day was lost, and that some 6,000 of their followers 
lay dead ai'ound them, they mustered a little band 
of the survivors, and once more, with fierce and 
desperate courage, charged the enemy. They were 
last seen fighting in the 'melee. From that conflict 
they never emerged, nor were their dead bodies 
ever discovered ; but no doubt can be entertained 
of theii- fate. Falling in the general butchery, 
their corpses would be undistinguishable in the 
ghastly heap of the slain, and would receive a 
common burial with the rest of the dead. 

So fell Count Louis of Nassau. He was a bril- 
liant soldier, an .able negotiator, and a firm patriot. 
In him the Protestant cause lost an enthusiastic 
and enlightened adherent, his country's liberty a 
most devoted champion, and his brother, the prince, 
one who was "his right hand" as regarded the 
prompt and able execution of his j)lans. To Orange 

1 Thauuus, lib. Iv. Metereii, p. 133. 



the loss was iiTcpai'able, and was felt all the more 
at this moment, seeing that St. Aldegonde, upon 
whose sagacity and pati'iotism Orange placed such 
reliance, was a captive in the Spanish camp. This 
was the third brother whom William had lost in the 
struggle against Spain. The repeated deaths in the 
circle of those so dear to him, as well as the many 
other friends, also dear though not so closely re- 
lated, who had fallen in the war, could not but 
alllict him with a deep sense of isolation and loneli- 
ness. To abstract his mind from his sorrows, to 
forget the graves of his kindred, the captivity and 
death of his friends, the many thousands of his 
followers now sleeping their last sleep on the 
battle-field, his own ruined fortune, the vanished 
splendour of his home, where a once princely afflu- 
ence had been replaced by something like penury, 
his escutcheon blotted, and his name jeered at — to 
rise above all these accumulated losses and dire 
humiliations, and to prosecute with unflincliing 
resolution his gi-eat cause, required indeed a stout 
heart, and a firm faith. Never did the prince 
appear greater than now. The gloom of disaster 
but brought out the splendour of his virtues and 
the magnanimity of his soul. The burden of the 
great struggle now lay on him alone. He had to 
provide funds, raise armies, arrange the plan of 
campaigns, and watch over their execution. From 
a sick-bed he was often called to dii-ect battles, and 
the siege or defence of cities. Of the friends who 
had commenced the struggle with him many were 
now no more, and those who survived were coun- 
selling submission; the prince alone refused to 
despair of the deliverance of his country. Through 
armies foiled, and campaigns lost, through the 
world's pity or its scorn, he would march on to 
that triumph which he saw in the distance. When 
friends fell, he stayed his heart with a sublime 
confidence on the eternal Ann. Thus stripped of 
human defences, ho displayed a pure devotion to 
country and to religion. 

It was this that placed the Prince of Orange 
in the first rank of greatness. There liave been 
men who have been borne to greatness upon the 
steady current of continuous good foi-tune; they 
never lost a battle, and they never sufiered check or 
repulse. Their labours have been done, and their 
achievements accomplished, at the head of victorious 
armies, and in the presence of admii-ing senates, 
and of applauding and grateful nations. These are 
great ; but there is an order of men who are gi-eater 
still. There have been a select few who have ren- 
dered the very liighest ser^•ices to mankind, not 
with the ajiphmse and succour of those they sought 
to benefit, but in spite of their opposition, amid the 

contempt and scorn of the world, and amid ever- 
blackening and ever-bursting disasters, and who 
lifting their eyes from armies and thrones have 
fixed them upon a great unseen Power, in whose 
righteousness and justice they confided, and so have 
been able to struggle on till they attained their 
sublime object. These are the peers of the race, 
they are the first magnates of the world. In this 
order of great men stands William, Prince of 

On receiving the melancholy intelligence of the 
death of his brother on the fatal field of Mook, 
William retreated northward into Holland. Ho 
expected that the Spaniards would follow him, and 
improve their victory while the terror it inspired 
was .still recent; but Avila was prevented pur- 
suing him by a mutiny that broke out in his anny. 
The pay of his soldiers was three years in aiTears, 
and instead of the bai'reu pursuit of William, the 
Spanish host turned its steps in the direction of the 
rich city of Antwerp, resolved to be its own pay- 
master. The soldiers quartered themselves upon 
the wealthiest of the burghers. They took possession 
of the most sumptuous mansions, they feasted on 
the most luxurious dishes, and daily drank the most 
delicate wines. At the end of three weeks the 
citizens, wearied of seeing their substance thus 
devoured by the army, consented to pay 400,000 
cro^vns, which the soldiers were willing to receive 
as part payment of the debt due to them. The 
mutineers celebrated their victoiy over the citizens 
by a great feast on the Mere, or pi-incipal street of 
Antwerp. They were busy carousing, gambling, 
and masquerading when the boom of cannon struck 
ujDon theii- ears. William's admiral had advanced 
up the Scheldt, and was now engaged with the 
Spanish fleet in the river. The revellers, leaving 
their cups and grasping their muskets, humed to 
the scene of action, but only to be the witnesses of 
the destruction of their ships. Some were blazing 
in the flames, others were sinking with their crews, 
and the patriot admiral, having done his work, was 
sailing away in triumjjh. We have recorded the 
destruction of the other division of Philip's fleet; 
this second blow completed its ruia, and thus the 
King of Spain was as far as ever from the supre- 
macy of the sea, without which, as Ecquesens 
assured him, ho would not be able to make himself 
master of Holland. 

Another act of the great drama now opened. Wo 
have already recorded the fall of Haarlem, after 
unexampled horrors. Though little else than a city 
of ruins and corpses when it fell to the Spaniards, 
its possession gave them gi-eat advantages. It wa-s 
an encampment between North and South Holland, 



and cut the country in two. They were desii-ous of 
strengthening their position by adding Leyden to 
Hiuirlem, the town next to it on the south, and a 
])lace of yet gi'eater importance. Accordingly, it 
wius first blockaded by the Spanish troops in the 
winter of 1574 ; but the besiegers were withdrawn 
in the spring to defend the frontier, attacked by 
Count Louis. After his defeat, and the extinction 
of the subsequent mutiny iir the Spanish army, 
the soldiers returned to the siege, and Leyden was 
invested a second time on the 26th of May, 1574. 
The siege of Leyden is one of the most famous in 
history, and had a most important bearing on the 
establishment of Protestantism in Holland. Its 
devotion and heroism in the cause of libei'ty and 
religion have, like a mighty torch, illumined other 
lands besides Holland, and fired the soul of more 
peoples than the Dutch. 

Leyden Ls situated on a low plain covered -with 
rich pastures, smiling gardens, fruitful orchards, 
and elegant villas. It is washed by an arm of 
the Rhine, that, on approaching its walls, parts 
into an infinity of streamlets which, flowing lan- 
guidly through the city, fill the canals that 
travei"se the streets, making it a miniature of 
Venice. Its canals are sjjanned by 150 stone 
bridges, and lined by rows of limes and poplars, 
which soften and shade the arcliitectxire of its 
spacious streets, that present to the view public 
buildings and sumptuous private mansions, churches 
with tall steeples, and universities and halls with 
imposing facades. At the tune of the siege the city 
had a numerous population, and was defended by a 
deep moat and a strong wall flanked -with bastions. 
The city was a jjrize well worth all the ardour dis- 
played both in its attack and defence. Its standing 
or falling would determine the fate of Holland. 

When the citizens saw themselves a second 
time shut in by a beleaguering army of 8,000 men, 
and a bristling chain of sixty-four redoubts, they 
reflected with pain on their neglect to introduce 
provisions and reinforcements into their city during 
the two months the Spaniards had been withdrawal 
to defend the frontier. They must now atone for 
their lack of jirevision by i-elying on theii- own stout 
arras and bold hearts. There wei'e scarce any troops 
in the city besides the burghal guard. Orange told 
them plainly that three months must pass over 
them before it would be possible by any efforts of 
their friends outside to raise the siege ; and he 
entreated them to bear in mind the vast conse- 
quences that must flow from the struggle on which 
they were entering, and that, according as they 

should bear themselves in it with a craven heart or 
with an heroic spu'it, so would they transmit to 
their descendants the vile estate of slavery or the 
glorious heritage of liberty. 

The defence of the to'wn was entrusted to Jean 
van der Does, Lord of Nordwyck. Of noble birth 
and poetic genius. Does was also a brave soldier, and 
an illustrious pati-iot. He breathed his own heroic 
spirit into the citizens. The women as well as men 
worked day and night upon the walls, to strengthen 
them against the Spanish guns. They took stock 
of the provisions in the city, and aiTanged a plan 
for their economical distribution. They passed from 
one to another the terrible words, " Zutphen," 
" Naarden," names suggestive of hori'ors not to 
be mentioned, but which had so bui-ned into the 
Dutch the detestation of the Spaniards, that they 
wei'e resolved to die rather than surrender to an 
enemy whose instincts were those of tigers or 

It was at this moment, when the struggle around 
Leyden was about to begin, that Philip attempted 
to filch by a stratagem the victory which he found 
it so hard to van by the sword. Don Luis de 
Requesens now published at Brussels, in the king's 
name, a general pai'don to the Netherlandei-s, on 
condition that they went to mass and received abso- 
lution from a priest. ' Almost aU the clergy and 
many of the leading citizens were excepted from 
this indemnity. "Pardon!" exclaimed the indig- 
nant Hollanders when they read the king's letter 
of grace ; " before we can receive pardon we must 
first have committed oflence. We have suffered 
the wrong, not done it ; and now the wrongdoer 
comes, not to sue for, but to bestow forgiveness ! 
How grateful ought we to be !" As regarded 
going to mass, Philip could not but know that this 
was the essence of the whole quarrel, and to ask 
them to submit on thLs point was simply to ask 
them to surrender to him the victory. Then- own 
reiterated vows, the thousands of their bretlu-en 
martyred, their own consciences — all forbade. 
They would sooner go to the halter. There was 
now scarcely a native Hollander who was a Papist ; 
and speaking in their name, the Prince of Orange 
declared, " As long as there is a living man loft in 
the country, we will contend for our liberty and our 
religion."- The king's pardon had fiiUed to open 
the gates of Leyden, and its siege now went 

1 Brandt, vol. i., p. 310. 

- Archives ih la Maison d'Orange, v. '27—apud Motley, 
vol. ii., p. 122. 





Lcyden — Provisions Fail— William's Sickness — His Plan of Letting in the Sea — The Dykes Cut— The Waters do not 
Kise— The Flotilla cannot be Floated — Dismay in Leyden— Terrors of the Famine — PestUence — Deaths — Unabated 
Kesolution of the Citizens— A Mighty Fiat goes forth — The Wind Shifts— The Ocean Overflows the Dykes— The 
Flotilla Approaches— Fights on the Dykes— The Fort Lammen— Stops the Flotilla — Midnight Noise— Fort 
Lammcn Abandoned — Leyden Relieved — Public Solemn Thanksgiving — Another Prodigy — The Sea Eolled Back. 

For two months the citizens manned tbeii' walls, 
and with stern courage kept at bay the beleaguering 
host, now rLsen from 10,000 to three times that 
number. At the end of this period pro'i'i.sions failed 
them. For some days the besieged subsisted on 
uudtcake, and when that was consumed they had 
recourse to the flesh of dogs and horses. Numbers 
died of staiwation, and others sickened and perished 
through the iinnatm'al food on which the famine 
had thrown them. Meanwhile a greater calamity 
even than would have been the loss of Leyden 
seemed about to overtake them. 

Struck down by fever, the residt of ceaseless toil 
and the most exhausting anxiety, William of 
Orange lay apparently at the point of death. The 
illness of the prince was carefully concealed, lest the 
citizens of Leyden should give themselves up alto- 
gether t despaix'. Before lying down, the prince 
had aiTangcd the only plan by which, as it appeared 
to him, it was possible to drive out the Spaniards 
and raise the siege ; and in spite of his illness he 
issued from his sick-bed continual orders respecting 
the execution of that project. No force at his dis- 
l)Osal was sufficient to enable him to break through 
the Spanish lines, and throw provisions into the 
starving city, in which tlic suflertng and misery had 
now risen to an extreme pitch. In this desjDerate 
strait he thought of having recourse to a more 
terrible weapon than cannon or armies. He would 
summon the ocean against the Spaniards. He 
would cut the dykes and sink the country beneath 
the sea. The loss would be tremendous ; many a 
rich meadow, many a fruitful orchard, and many a 
lovely villa would be drowned beneath the waves ; 
Imt the loss, though great, would be recoverable : 
the waves would again restore what they had 
swallowed up ; whereas, should tlic country be over- 
whelmed by the power of Spain, never again would 
it be restored : the loss would be eternal. What 
the genius and patriotism of William had dared, 
his eloquence pi-evailed upon the States to adopt. 
Putting their spades into the gi-eat dyke that 
shielded thcii' land, they said, " Better a drowned 

country than a lost country." Besides the outer 
and taller rampart, within which the Hollanders 
had sought safety from theii' enemy the sea, there 
rose concentric lines of inner and lower dykes, all of 
which had to be cut through before the waves could 
flow over the country. The work was executed 
with equal alacrity and perseverance, but not ynth 
the desired result. A passage had been dug for the 
waters, but that ocean which had appeared but too 
ready to ovenvhelm its baniers when the inhabi- 
tants sought to keep it out, seemed now un^\illing 
to overflow then- country, as if it were in league 
mth the tyrant from whose fui-y the Dutch besought 
it to cover them. Strong north-easterly ^vinds, 
prevailing that year longer than usual, beat back 
the tides, and lowering the level of the German Sea, 
prevented the ingress of the waters. The flood lay 
only a few inches in depth on the face of Hol- 
land ; and unless it should rise much higher, 
William's plan for relieving Leyden would, after all, 
prove abortive. At great labour and expense he 
had constructed a flotilla of 200 flat-bottomed vessels 
at Rotterdam and Delft ; these he had mounted 
■with guns, and manned with 800 Zealanders, and 
stored with provisions to be thrown into the famine- 
stricken city, so soon as the depth of water, now 
slowly lising over meadow and corn-field, should 
enable his ships to reach its gates. But the 
flotilla lay immovable. The expedition was 
committed to Admiral Boisot; the crews were 
selected from the fleet of Zealand, picked veterans, 
with faces hacked and scarred with wounds which 
they had received in their former battles with the 
Spaniards ; and to add to their ferocious looks they 
wore the Crescent in their caps, with the motto, 
"Turks rather than Spaniards." Ships, soldiera, 
and ^ictuals— all had William provided ; but unless 
the ocean should co-operate all had been provided 
in vain. 

Somctliing like panic seized on the besiegers 
when they beheld this new and tenible power 
advancing to assail them. Danger and death 
in every conceivable form they had been used 



to meet, but they never dreamt of liaving to 
coirtront tlie ocean. Against such an enemy what 
could their or any liumaii power avail 1 But when 
they saw that the rise of the waters was stayed, 
their alarm subsided, and they began to jeer and 
mock at the stratagem of the prince, which was 
meant to be grand, but had proved contemptible. 
He had summoned the ocean to his aid, but the 
ocean would not come. In the city of Leyden de- 
spondency had taken the place of elation. When 
informed of the expedient of the prince for their 
deliverance they had rang their bells foi' very joy ; 
biit when they saw the ships, laden with that bread 
for lack of which some six or eight thousand of 
their number had already died, after entering the 
gaps in the outer dyke, arrested in their jorogress to 
their gates, hope again forsook them. Daily they 
climbed the steeples and towers, and scanned with 
anxious eyes the expanse around, if haply the ocean 
was coming to their aid. Day after day they had 
to descend with the same depressing rejsort ; the 
wind was still adverse ; the waters refused to rise, 
and the ships could not float. The starvation and 
misery of Leyden was greater even than that which 
Haarlem had endured. For seven weeks there had 
not been a morsel of bread within the city. The 
^'ilest substitutes were greedily devoui'ed; and even 
these were now almost exhausted. To complete 
then- suffering, pestilence was added to famine. 
Already reduced to skeletons, hundreds had no 
strength to withstand this new attack. Men and 
women every hour dropped dead on the streets. 
Whole families were found to be corpses when the 
doors of their houses were forced open in the morn- 
ing, and the survivors had hardly enough strength 
left to bury them. The dead were carried to their 
graves by those who to-morrow would need the 
same office at the hands of others. Amid the awful 
reiteration of these dismal scenes, one passion still 
survived — resistance to the Spaniards. Some few 
there were, utterly broken down under this accumu- 
lation of sorrows, who did indeed whisper the word 
"sun-ender," deeming that even Spanish soldiei-s 
could inflict nothing more terrible than they were 
already enduring. But these proposals were in- 
stantly and indignantly silenced by the great body 
of the citizens, to whom neither famine, nor 
pestilence, nor death appeared so dreadful as the 
entrance of the Spaniards. The citizens anew ex- 
changed vows of fidelity with one another and with 
the magistrates, and anew ratified their oatli.s to 
that Power for whose truth they were in arms. 
Abandoned outside its walls, as it seemed, by all : 
pressed within by a host of tenible evils : succour 
neither in heaven nor on the earth, Leyden never- 

theless would hold fast its religion and its liberty, 
and if it must perish, it would perish free. It was 
the victory of a sublime faith over despair. 

At last heaven heard the cry of the suti'ering city, 
and issued its liat to the ocean. On the 1st of 
October, the equinoctial gales, so long delayed, gave 
signs of their immediate approach. On that night a 
strong wind sjjrung up from the north-west, and the 
waters of the rivers were forced back into theii- 
channels. After blowing for some hom-s from 
that quarter, the gale shifted into the south-west 
with increased fury. The strength of the winds 
heaped up the waters of the German Ocean upon 
the coast of Holland ; the deep lifted up itself ; its 
dark flood driven before the tempest's breath with 
mighty roar, like shout of giant loosed from his 
fetters and rushing to assail the foe, came surging 
onwards, and poured its tumultuous billows O'ver 
the broken dykes. At micbiight on the 2nd of 
October the flotilla of Boisot was afloat, and under 
weigh for Leyden, on whose walls crowds of gaunt, 
famished, almost exanimate men waited its coming. 
At every short distance the course of the ships was 
disputed by some half-submerged Spanish fort, whose 
occupants were not so much awed by the terrors of 
the deep which had risen to overwhelm them as to 
be unable to offer battle. But it was in vain. 
Boisot's fierce Zealanders were eager to grapple with 
the hated Spaniards ; the blaze of cannon lighted up 
the darkness of that awful night, and the booming 
of artillery, rising above the voice of the tempest, 
told the citizens of Leyden that the patriot fleet was 
on its way to their rescue. These naval engage- 
ments, on what but a few days before had been 
cornland or woodland, but was now ocean — a waste 
of water blackened by the scowl of tempest and the 
darkness of night — formed a novel as well as awful 
sight. The Spaniards fought with a desperate 
Ijravery, but everywhere without success. The 
Zealanders leaped from their flat-bottomed vessels 
and pursued them along the dykes, they fired on 
them from their boats, or, seizing them with hooks 
fixed to the ends of long poles, dragged them down 
from the causeway, and put them to the sword. 
Those who escaped the daggers and harpoons of the 
Zealanders, were drowned in the sea, or stuck fast 
in the mud till ovei-taken and dispatched. In that 
flight some 1,.500 Spaniards perished. 

Boisot's fleet had now advanced within two miles 
of the walls of Leyden, but here, at about a mile's 
distance from the gates, rose the strongest of all the 
Spanish forts, called Lammen, blocking up the way, 
and threatening to render all that had been gained 
without avail. Tlie admiral reconnoitred it; it 
stood liigh above the water; it was of gi-eat 



strength and full of soldiers ; and lie liesitated 
attacking it. The citizens from the walls saw his 
fleet behind the fort, and understood the difficulty 
tliat prevented the admii-al's nearer approach. They 
had been almost delii'ious with joy at the prospect 
of immediate relief Was the cup after all to be 
dashed from their lips ? It was arranged by means 
of a carrier-pigeon that a combined assault shouhl 
take place upon the fort of Lammcn at dawn, the 

large portion of the city walls of Leyden had fallen 
over-night, and hence the noise that had caused such 
alarm. The Spaniards, had they known, might 
have entered the city at the last hour and massacred 
the inhabitants ; instead of this, they wei-e seized 
with panic, believing these terrible sounds to be 
those of the enemy rushing to attack them, and so, 
kindling their torches and lanterns, they fled when 
no man pursued. Instead of the cannonade which 

citizens assailing it on one side, and the flotilla 
bombarding it on tlie other. Night again fell, and 
seldom has blacker night descended on more tragic 
scene, or the gloom of nature been more in unison 
with the anxiety and distress of man. At midnight 
a terrible crash was heard. What that ominous 
sound, so awful in the stillness of the night, could 
be, no one could conjecture. A little after came a 
strange apparition, equally inexplicable. A line of 
lights was seen to issue from Lammen and move 
over the face of the deep. The darkness gave ten-or 
and mystery to eveiy occurrence. All waited for 
the coming of day to exjilain appearances. 
At last the dawn broke ; it was now seen that a 

was this morning to be opened against the formid- 
able Lammen, the fleet of Boisot sailed under the 
silent guns of the now evacuated fort, and entered 
the city gates. On the morning of the 3rd of 
October, Leyden was relieved. 

The citizens felt that their first duty was to ofl'er 
thanks to that Power to whom exclusively they 
owed their deliverance. Despite their own heroism 
and Boisot's valour they would have fallen, had 
not God, by a mighty ^\-ind, brought up the ocean 
and o\erwhelmed their foes. A touching i)rocession 
of haggard but heroic forms, headed by Admiral 
Boisot and the magistrates, and followed b^y the 
Zealanders and sailora, walked to the great church, 



and there united in solemn prayer. A hjniin of 
thanksgi\'ing was next raised, but of the multitude 
of voices by which its fii-st notes were pealed forth, 
few were able to continue singing to the close. 
Tears choked theii* voices, and sobs were mingled 
with the music. Tlioughts of the a-\vful scenes 
through which they had passed, and of the many 
who had shared the conflict with them, but had not 
lived to join in the hymn of victory, rushed with 
overmastering force into their minds, and compelled 
them to mingle tears with their 2'raises. 

A letter was instantly dispatched to the Prince 
of Orange with the great news. He received it 
while he was at wor.ship in one of the churches of 
Delft, and instantly handed it to the minister, 
to be read from the pulpit after sermon. That 
moment recompensed him for the toil and losses of 

years ; and his joy was heightened by the fact that 
a nation rejoiced with him. Soon thereafter, the 
States as.sembled, and a day of public thank.sgiving 
was appointed. 

This series of wonders was to be fittinglj- closed 
by yet another prodigy. The fair land of Holland 
lay drowned at the bottom of the sea. Tlie whole 
vast plain from Rotterdam to Leyden was under 
water. What time, what labour and expense 
would it require to recover the country, and restore 
the fertilitj- and beauty which had been so sorely 
marred ! The very next day, the 4th of October, 
the wind shifted into the north-east, and blowing 
with great violence, the watei-s rapidly assuaged, 
and in a few days the land was bare again. He 
who had broiight up the ocean upon Holland with 
his mighty hand rolled it back. 



The D.arkest Hour Passed— A University Founded in Leyden— Its Subsequent Eminence — Mediation— Pliilip 
Demands the Absohite Dominancy of the Popish Worsliip-The Peace Negotiations Broken off— The Islands of 
Zealand— The Spaniards March through the Sea— The Islands Occupied— Tlie Hopes that Philip builds on this— 
These Hopes Dashed— Death of Governor Requesens— Mutiny of Spanish Troops— They Seize on Alost— Pillage 
the Country around— The Spanish Army Join the Mutiny— Antwerp Sacked— Terrors of the Sack— Massacre, 
Eape, Burning— The "Antwerp Fury"- Ketribution. 

The night of this great conflict was far from being 
at an end, but its darkest hour had now passed. 
With the clieck received by the Spanish Power 
before the walls of Leyden, the first streak of dawn 
may be said to have broken ; but cloud and tem- 
pest long obscured the rising of Holland's day. 

The country owed a debt of gi-atitude to that 
heroic little city which had immolated itself on 
the altar of the nation's religion and liberty, and 
before resuming the great contest, Holland must 
first mark in some signal way its sense of the 
service wliich Leyden had rendered it. The dis- 
tinction awarded Leyden gave happy aiigury of the 
brilliant destinies awaiting that land in yeai^s to 
come. It was resolved to found a university within 
its walls. Immediate effect was given to this reso- 
lution. Though the Spaniard was still in the land, 
and the strain of ai-mies and battles was ujion 
William, a gi-and procession was organised on the 
5th of Febniaiy, 1.575, at which symbolic figures, 
drawn through the streets in triumphal cars, were 
employed to represent the Divine fonu of Chris- 

tianity, followed by the fair train of the arts and 
sciences. The seminary thus inaugurated ^^■as 
richly endowed ; men of the greatest learning were 
sought for to fill its chairs, their fame attracted 
crowds of students from many countries ; and its 
printing presses began to send forth works which 
have instructed the men of two centuries. Thus 
had Leyden come up from the " sea's devouring 
depths " to be one of the lights of the world.' 

There came now a bi-ief pause in the conflict. 
The Emperor INIaximilian, the mutual friend of 
Philip of Spain and William of Orange, deemed the 
moment opportune for mediating between the 
parties, and on the 3rd of March, 1575, a congress 
assembled at Breda with the view of devising a basis 
of peace. The prince gave his consent that the 
congress should meet, although he had not the 
slightest hope of fruit from its labours. On one con- 
dition alone could peace be established in Holland, 
and that condition, he knew, was one which Philip 

1 Brandt, vol. i., pp. 312, 313. 



would never grant, and wliich the States could 
never cease to demand — namely, the free and open 
profession of the Reformed religion. When the com- 
missioners met it was seen that William had judged 
rightly in believing the religious difficulty to be 
insurmountable. Philip would agree to no peace 
unless the Roman Catholic religion were installed 
in sole and absolute dominancy, leaving professors 
of the Protestant faith to convert their estates and 
goods into money, and quit the country. In that 
case, replied the Protestants, duly grateful for the 
wonderful concessions of the Catholic king, there 
will hardly remain in Holland, after all the heretics 
shall have left it, enough men to keep the dykes 
in repair, and the country had better be given back 
to the ocean at once. The conference broke up 
without accomplishing anything, and the States, 
with William at theii' head, prepared to resume the 
contest, in tlie hope of conquering by theii- own 
jierseverance and heroism what they desimired ever 
to obtain from the justice of Philip. 

The war was renewed with increased exasperation 
on both sides. The opening of the campaign was 
signalised by the capture of a few small Dutch 
towns, followed by the usual horrors that attended 
the triumph of the Spanish arms. But Governor 
Requesens soon ceased to push his conquests in 
that direction, and turned his whole attention to 
Zealand, where Philip was exceedingly desirous of 
acquiring harbours, in order to the reception of a 
fleet which he was buUding in Spain. This led to 
the most brilliant of all the feats accomplished by 
the Spaniards in the war. 

In the sea that washes the north-east of Zealand 
are situated three large islands — Tolen, Duyveland, 
and Schowen. Tolen, which lies nearest the main- 
land, was already in the hands of the Spaniards; 
and Requesens, on that account, was all the more 
desirous to gain possession of the other two. He 
had constructed a flotilla of flat-bottomed boats, 
and these would soon have made him master of the 
coveted islands ; but he dared not launch them on 
these waters, seeing the estuaries of Zealand were 
swept by tliose patriot buccaneers whose bravery 
suffered no rivals on their own element. Reque- 
sens, in his gi-eat strait, bethouglit him of another 
expedient, but of sucli a nature tliat it miglit 
well seem madness to attempt it. The island of 
Duyveland was separated from Tolen, the foothold 
of the Sjianiards, by a strait of about five miles in 
width ; and Requesens learned from some traitor 
Zcalanders that there ran a naiTOW flat of sand 
from shore to shore, on which at ebb-tide there wiis 
not more than a depth of fi-om four to five feet of 
water. It was possible, therefore, though certainly 

extremely hazardous, to traverse this submarine 
ford. The governor, however, determined that his 
soldiers should attempt it. He assigned to 3,000 
picked men the danger and the glory of the enter- 
prise. At midnight, the 27th September, 1575, the 
host descended into the deep, Requesens himself 
witnessing its departure from the shore, " and witli 
him a pi-iest, praying for these poor souls to the 
Prince of the celestial militia, Christ Jesus."' A 
few guides well acquainted with the ford led the 
way ; Don Osorio d'Ulloa, a commander of dis- 
tinguished courage, followed ; after him came a 
regiment of Spaniards, then a body of Germans, 
and lastly a troop of Walloons, followed by 200 
sappers and miners. The night was dark, with 
sheet-lightning, which bursting out at frequent 
intervals, shed a lurid gleam upon the face of the 
black waters. At times a moon, now in her fourth 
quarter, looked forth between the clouds upon 
this novel midnight march. The soldiers walked 
two and two ; the water at times reached to their 
necks, and they liad to hold their muskets above 
their head to prevent their being rendered use- 
less. The path was so narrow that a single 
step aside was fatal, and many sank to rise no 
more. Nor were the darkness and the treacherous 
waves the only dangers that beset them. The 
Zealand fleet hovered near, and when its crews 
discerned by the pale light of the moon and the 
fitful lightning that the Spaniards were crossing 
the firth in this mest extraordinary fashion, they 
drew theu- ships as close to the ford as the shallows 
would permit, and opened their guns upon them. 
Their fiji-e did little harm, for the darkness made 
the aim tmcertain. Not so, however, the harpoons 
and long hooks of the Zealanders ; their throw 
caught, and numbers of the Spaniards were dragged 
down into the sea. Nevei'tlieless, they pursued 
their dreadful path, now struggling with the waves, 
now fighting with their assailants, and at last, after 
a marcli of six hours, they approached the opposite 
shore, and ^vitll ranks greatly thinned, emerged 
from the deep.- 

Wearied by theii- fight with the sea and witli 
the enemy, the landing of the Spaniards miglit 
have been withstood, but accident oi- treachery 
gave them possession of the island. At the moment 
that they stepped upon the shore, the commander 
of the Zealanders, Charles van Boisot, fell bv a 
shot — whether from one of his owi men, or from 
the enemy, cannot now be determined. The in- 
cident caused a panic among the patriots. The 

• Strada, bk. viii., p. 11. 

- Bor, lib, viii., pp. Gi8— 050. Strada, bk. viii., pp. 11,12. 



strangeness of the enemy's advance — for it seemed 
iis if the sea had miraculously opened to aflbrd 
them passage — helped to increase the consternation. 
The Zealanders fled in all directions, and the in- 
vading force soon found themselves in possession of 

So far this most extraordinary and daring at- 
tempt had been successful, but the enterprise could 
not be regarded as completed till the island of 
Schowen, tlie outermost of the three, had also been 
occupied. It was divided from Duyveland by a 
narrow strait of only a league's width. Emboldened 
by their success, the Spaniards plunged a second 
time into the sea, and waded through the iii'th, the 
defenders of the island fleeing at theii- approach, 
as at that of men who had conquered the very 
elements, and ^yii\l whom, tlierefore, it was madness 
to contend. The Spanish commander immediately 
set about the reduction of all the forts and cities on 
the i.sland, and in this he was successful, though 
the work occupied the whole Spanish army not 
less than nine months.' Now fully master of 
these three islands (-June, 1576), though their ac- 
quisition had cost an immense expenditure of both 
money and lives, Requesens hoped that he had 
not only cut the communication between Holland 
and Zealand, but that he had secured a rendezvous 
for the fleet which he expected from Spain, and 
that it only remained that he should here fix the 
head-quarters of his power, and assemble a mighty 
naval force, in order from this point to extend his 
conquests on every side, and reconquer Holland and 
the other Provinces which had revolted from the 
sceptre of Philip and the faith of Rome. He 
seemed indeed in a fair way of accomplishing all 
this ; the sea itself had parted to give him a fulci-um 
on which to rest the lever of this great expedition, 
but an incident now fell out which upset his calcu- 
lations and dashed all his fondest hopes. Holland 
was never again to own the sceptre of PhUip. 

Vitelli, Marquis of Cetona, who was without con- 
troversy the ablest general at that time in the 
Netherlands, now died. His death was followed in 
a few days by that of Governor Requesens. These 
two losses to Philip were quickly succeeded by a 
third, and in some respects gi-eater, a foi'midable 
mutiny of the troops. The men who had jier- 
formed all the valorous deeds we have recited, had 
received no pay. PhOip had exhausted his treasury 
in the war he was carrying on with the Turk, and 
had not a single guelden to send them. The soldiers 
had been disappointed, moreover, in the booty they 
expected to reap from the conquered to\n)is of 

' Strada, bk. viii., pp. 13, 14, 

Schowen. These labourers were surely worthy of 
their hii'e. What dark deed had they ever refused 
to do, or what enemy had they ever refused to 
face, at the bidding of their master I They had 
scaled walls, and laid fertile provinces waste, for 
the pleasure of Philip and the glory of Spain, and 
now they were denied their wages. Seeing no help 
but in becoming their own paymasters, they flew 
to arms, deposed theii' officers, elected a com- 
mander-in-chief from among themselves, and taking 
an oath of mutual fidelity over the Sacrament, 
they passed over to the mainland, and seizing on 
Alost, in Flanders, made it their head-quarters, 
intending to sally forth in plundering excursions 
upon the neighbouring to'svns. Thus all the labour 
and blood with which their recent conquests had 
been won were thrown awr.y, and the hojies which 
the King of Spain had built upon them were frus- 
trated at the very moment when he thought they 
were about to be realised. 

As men contemplate the passage of a dark cloud 
charged with thunder and destruction through the 
sky, so did the cities of Brabant and Flanders watch 
the march of this mutinous host. They knew it 
held pillage and murder and rape in its bosom, but 
their worst fears failed to anticipate the awful 
vengeance it was destined to inflict. The negotia- 
toi-s sent to recall the troops to obedience reminded 
them that they were tai'nishing the fame acquired 
by years of heroism. Wliat cared these mutineers 
for glory ? They wanted shoes, clothes, food, money. 
They held their way j)ast the gates of Mechlm, 
past the gates of Biiissels, and of other cities ; but 
swarming over the walls of Alost, while the 
inhabitants slept, they had now planted themselves 
in the centre of a rich country, where they promised 
themselves store of booty. No sooner had they 
hung out their flag on the walls of Alost than the 
troops stationed in other parts of the Netherlands 
caught the iiofection. By the beginning of Septem- 
ber the mutiny was universal ; the whole Spanish 
army in the Netherlands were united in it, and all 
the forts and citadels being in their hands, they 
completely dominated the land, plundered the citizens, 
pillaged the country, and murdered at their pleasure. 
The State Council, into whose hands the government 
of the Netherlands had fallen on the sudden death 
of Requesens, were powerless, the mutineers holding 
them prisoners in Brussels ; and though the Coimcil 
prevailed on Philip to issue an edict against his 
revolted army, denouncing them as rebels, and 
cmpowermg any one to slay this rebellious host, 
cither singly or in whole, the soldiers paid as little 
respect to the edict of theii" king as to the ex- 
hortations of the Council. Thus the instrument 



of oppression recoiled upon the hands that were 
\vielding it. 

War now broke owt between the Flemings and 
the army. The State Council raised bands of 
militia to awe the proscribed and lawless troops, 
and bloody skirmishes were of daily occurrence be- 
tween them. The carnage was all on one side, for 
the disciplined veterans routed at little cost the 
peasants and artisans who had been so suddenly 
transformed into soldiers, slaughtering them in 
thousands. The rich cities, on which they now 
east greedy eyes, began to feel their vengeance, but 
the awful calamity which overtook Antwerp has 
efl'aced the memory of the woes which at their 
hands befel some of the other cities. 

Antwerp, since the beginning of the troubles of 
the Netherlands, had had its own share of calamity; 
its cathedral and religious houses had been sacked 
by the image-breakers, and its warehouses and 
mansions had been partially pillaged by mutinous 
troops ; but its vast commerce enabled it speedily to 
surmount all these losses, and return to its foimer 
flourishing condition. Antwerp was once more the 
richest city in the world. The ships of all nations 
unloaded in its harbour, and the treasures of all 
climes were gathered into its warehouses. Its 
streets were spacious and magnificent; its shops 
were stored with silver and gold and precious stones, 
and the palaces of its wealthy merchants were filled 
with luxui'ious and costly furniture, and embellished . 
with precious ornaments, beautiful pictures, and 
tine statues. This nest of riches was not likely to 
escape the greedy eyes and rapacious hands of the 

Immediately outside the walls of Antwerp was 
tlio citadel, with its garrison. The troops joined 
the mutiny, and from that hour Antwerp was 
doomed. The citizens, having a presentiment of the 
ruin that hung above their heads, took some very 
inefl'ectual measures to secure themselves and their 
city against it, which only ch-ew it the sooner \ipon 
them. The mutineers in the citadel were joined by 
the I'ebellious troops from Alost, about 3,000 in 
number, who were so eager to begin the plundeiing 
that they refused even to refresh themselves after 
their march before throwing themselves upon the 
ill-fated city. It was Sunday, the 4th of November, 
and an hour before noon the portals of Alva's citadel 
were opened, and 6,000 men-at-ai-ms rushed forth. 
They swept along the esplanade leading to the city. 
They crashed through the feeble barrier which the 
burghers had reai'ed to protect them from the ap- 
prehended assault. They chased before them the 
Walloons and the militia, who had come out to with- 
stand them, as the furious tempest drives the cloud 

before it. In another minute they were over the 
walls into the city. From every street and lane 
poured forth the citizens to defend their homes; but 
though they fought with extraordinary courage it was 
all u\ vain. The battle swept along tlie streets, the 
Spanish hordes bearing down all before them, and 
follo\ving close on the rear of the vanquished, till 
they reached the magnificent Place de Mere, where 
stood the world-reno%vned Exchange, in which 7,000 
merchants were wont daily to a.ssemble. Here an 
obstinate combat ensued. The citizens fought on 
the street, or, retreating to their houses, fired 
from their windows on the Spaniards. The carnage 
was gi'eat ; heaps of corpses covered the pavement, 
and the kennels ran with blood ; but courage availed 
little against regular discipline, and the citizens were 
broken a second time. The battle was renewed 
with equal obstinacy in the Grand Place. Here 
stood the Guildhall, accounted the most magnificent 
in the world. Torches were brought and it was set 
fire to and burned to the gi-ound. The flames 
caught the surrounding buildings, and soon a 
thousand houses, the finest in the city, were 
ablaze, their conflagration lighting up the pin- 
nacles and the unrivalled spire of the neighbourinn- 
cathedral, and throwing its ruddy gleam on the 
combatants who were struggling in the area below. 
The battle had now spread over all the city. In 
eveiy street men were fighting and blood was 
flowing. Many rushed to the gates and sought to 
escape, but they found them locked, and were thrown 
back upon the sword and tii-e. The battle was 
going against the citizens, but their rage and hatred 
of the Spaniards made them continue the fight. 
Goswyn Verreyck, the margrave of the city, com- 
bated the foe with the burgomaster lying dead at 
his feet, and at last he himself fell, adding his corpse 
to a heap of slain, composed of citizens, soldiers, 'and 
magistrates. While the fii-e was devouring hundreds 
of noble mansions and millions of treasure, the 
sword was busy cutting off the citizens. The 
Spaniard made no distinction between friend and 
foe, between Papist and Protestant, between jioor 
and rich. Old men, women, and children ; the 
father at the hearth, the bride at the altar, and the 
priest in the sanctuary — the blood of all flooded 
the streets of their city on that terrible day. 

Darkness fell on this scene of horrors, and now 
the barbarities of the day were succeeded by the 
worse atrocities of the night. The fii-r;t object of 
these men was plunder, and one would have thought 
there was now enough within their reach to content 
the most boundless avarice. Without digging into 
the earth or crossing the sea, they could gather the 
treasures of all regions, which a thousand ships had 



carried thither, and stored up in that city of which 
they were now masters. They rifled the shops, they 
troke into tlie warehouses, they loaded themselves 
■n-ith the money, the plate, the wardrobes, and the 
jewels of private citizens; but their greed, like the 
"rave, never said it was enough. They began to 
search for hidden treasures, and they tortured their 
supposed possessors to compel them to reveal what 
often did not exist. These crimes were accompanied 
by infamies of so foul and revolting a character, that 
by their side murder itself grows pale. The narrators 
of the "Antwerp Fury," as it has come to be styled, 
have recorded many of these cruel and shameful 
deeds, but we forbear to chronicle them. For three 
days the work of murdering and plundering went 
on, and when it had come to an end, how awful the 
spectacle which that city, that three days before 
had been the gayest and wealthiest upon earth, 
presented ! Stacks of blackened ruins rising where 
marble palaces had stood ; ya\vning hovels where 
princely mansions had been ; whole streets laid in 
ashes ; corpses, here gathered in heaps, there lying 
about, hacked, mutilated, half-burned — some naked, 
others still encased in armour ! Eight thousand 
citizens, according to the most trustworthy accounts, 
were slain. The value of the property consumed by 
the fire was estimated at £-4,000,000, irre.spective of 
the hundreds of magnificent edifices that were de- 
stroyed. An equal amount was lost by the pillage, 
not reckoning the merchandise and jewellery appro- 
priated in addition by the Spaniards. Altogether 
the loss to the mercantile capital of Brabant was 
incalculable ; nor was it confined to the moment, 
for Antwerp never recovered the prosperity it had 
enjoyed before the bloody and plundering hand of 
the Spaniard was laid upon it.^ 

But this awful calamity held in its bosom a great 
moral. During fifty years the cry had been going 
up to heaven from tens of thousands of scaflblds, 
where the axe was shedding blood like water ; from 
prisons, where numberless victims were writhing on 
the rack ; from stakes, where the martyr was con- 
suming amid the flames ; from graveyards, where 
corpses were rotting above-gi-ound ; from trees and 
door-posts and highway gibbets, where hiiman bodies 
were dangling in the air ; from gi-aves which had 
opened to receive living men and women ; from 
sacked cities ; from violated matro"" ond maidens ; 
from widows and orphans, reared in affluence but 
now begging their bread ; from exiles wandering 
de.solate in foreign lands — from ali these had the 
cry gone up to the just Judge, and now here was 

' Bor, ix. 728-732. Hoof t, xi. 460—465. Meteren, vi. 110. 
Strada, viii. 21, 22. Brandt, i. 325. Motley, ii. 18.5—195. 

the beginning of vengeance. The powerful cities of 
the Netherlands, Antwerp among the rest, saw all 
these outrages committed, and all these men and 
women ckagged to prison, to the halter, to the stake, 
but they " forbore to deliver," they " hid themselves 
from their o^vll flesh." A callous indifl'erence on 
the part of a nation to the wTongs and sufierings of 
others is always associated with a blindness to its 
own dangers, which is at once the consequence and 
the retribution of its estranging itself from the 
public cause of humanity and justice. Once and 
again and a third time had the Southern Netherlands 
manifested this blindness to the mighty perils that 
menaced them on the side of Spain, and remained 
deaf to the call of patriotism and religion. When 
the standards of William first approached theii- fron- 
tier, they were unable to see the door of escape from 
the yoke of a foreign tyrant thus opened to them. 
A tithe of the treasure and blood which were lost 
in the " Antwerp Fury " would have carried the 
banner of William in triumph from Valenciennes to 
the extreme north of Zealand ; but the Flemings 
cared not to think that the hour had come to 
strike for liberty. A second time the Deliverer 
approached them, but the ease-lo\-ing Netherlanders 
understood not the offer now made to them of 
redemption from the Spanish yoke. When Alva 
and his soldiers — an incarnated ferocity and bigotry 
— entered the Low Countries, they sat still : not 
a finger did they lift to oppose the occupation. 
When the cry of Naarden, and Zutphen, and 
Haarlem was uttered, Antwerp was deaf. Wrapt 
in luxury and ease, it had seen its martyrs 
burned, the disciples of the Gospel driven away, 
and it returned to that faith which it had been 
on the point of abandoning, and which, by 
retaining the soul in vassalage to Rome, per- 
petuated the serfdom of the Spanish yoke ; 
and yet Antwerp saw no immediate evil effects 
follow. The .ships of all nations continued to 
sail up its river and discharge their cargoes on 
its wharves. Its wealth continued to increase, and 
its palaces to gi-ow in splendour. The tempests 
tliat smote so terribly the cities ai'ound it rolled 
harmlessly past its gates. Antwerp believed that 
it had chosen at once the easier and the better part ; 
that it was vastly preferable to have the Romish 
faith, with an enriching commerce and a luxurious 
ease, than Protestantism with battles and loss of 
goods ; till one day, all suddenly, when it deemed 
calamity far away, a lilow, terrible as the bolt of 
heaven, dealt it by the cham])ions of Romanism, 
laid it in the dust, together with the commerce, 
the wealth, and the splendour for the sake of which 
it had parted with its Protestantism. 


WILLIAM THE SILENT, misCE OF OUASGE. (From the Portrait in Joannis ileursii Ather,,^.) 





William of Orango more than King of Holland— The "Father of the Country"— Policy of the European Powers— 
Elizabeth— France— Germany— Coldness of Lutheranism — Causes— Hatred of German Lutherans to Dutch 
Calvinists — Instances— William's New Project— His Appeal to aU the Provinces to Unite against the Spaniards 
—The "Pacification of Ghent"— Its Articles— Toleration— Services to Toleration of John Calvin and William 
the Silent. 

The gi'eat struggle which William, Prince of 
Orauge, was maintaining on this foot-breadtli of 
territory for the religion of Refox-med Christendom, 
and the liberty of the Nethei-lands, had now reached 
a well-defined stage. Holland and Zealand were 
united under him as Stadtholder or virtual 
monarch. The fiction was still maintained that 
Philip, as Count of Holland, was the nominal 
monarch of the Netherlands, but this was nothing 
more than a fiction, and to Philip it must have 
appeared a bitter satire ; for, according to this 
fiction, Philip King of the Netherlands was making 
war on Philip King of Spain. The real monarch 
of the United Provinces of Holland and Zealand 
was the Prince of Orange. In his hands was 
lodged the whole administrative power of the 
country, as also wellnigh the whole legislative 
functions. He could make peace and he could 
make war. He appointed to all oflices ; he disposed 
of all afiairs ; and all the revenues of the kingdom 
were paid to him for national uses, and especially 
for the prosecution of the gi'eat struggle in which 
he was engaged for the nation's independence. 
These revenues, given spontaneously, were larger 
by far than the sums which Alva by all his taxa- 
tion and terror had been able to extort from the 
Provinces. William, in fact, possessed more than 
the powers of a king. The States had unbounded 
trust in his wisdom, his patriotism, and his 
uprightness, and they committed all into his hands. 
They saw in him a sublime example of devotion to 
his country, and of abnegation of all ambitions, 
save the one ambition of maintaining the Pro- 
testant religion and tlie freedom of Holland. They 
knew that he sought neither title, nor power, 
nor wealth, and that in him was perpetuated that 
order of men to whicli Lutlier and Calvin belonged 
— men not merely of prodigious talents, but what is 
infinitely more rare, of heroic faith and magnani- 
mous souls; and so "King of Holland" appeared 
to them a weak title — they called him the " Father 
of their Country." 

The gi'eat Powers of Europe watched, with an 
interest bordering on amazement, this gigantic 

struggle maintained by a handful of men, on a 
diminutive half-submerged territory, against the 
greatest monarch of his day. The heroism of the 
combat challenged theii- admiration, but its issues 
awakened their jealousies, and even alarms. It 
was no mere Dutch quarrel ; it was no question 
touching only the amount of liberty and the kind 
of religion that were to be established on this sand- 
bank of the North Sea that was at issue ; the cause 
was a world-wide one, and yet none of the Powers 
interfered either to bring aid to that champion who 
seemed ever on the point of being overborne, or to 
expedite the victory on the powerful side on which 
it seemed so sure to declare itself ; all stood aloof 
and left these two most unequal combatants to 
fight out the matter between them. There was, in 
truth, the same play of rivalries around the little 
Holland which there had been at a former era 
aroxmd Geneva. This rivalry reduced the Pro- 
testant Powers to inaction, and prevented theii" 
assisting Holland, just as the Popish Powers had 
been restrained from action in presence of Geneva. 
In the case of the little city on the shores of the 
Leman, Providence plainly meant that Protest- 
antism should be seen to triumph in spite of the 
hatred and opposition of the Popish kingdoms ; 
and so again, in the case of the little country on 
the shores of the North Sea, Providence meant 
to teach men that Protestantism could triumph 
independently of the aid and alliance of the Powers 
friendly to it. The great ones of the earth stood 
aloof, but WOliam, as he told his friends, had con- 
tracted a firm alliance with a mighty Potentate, 
with him who is King of kings ; and seeing this 
invisible but omnipotent Ally, he endured in the 
awful conflict till at last liis faith was crowned 
with a glorious victory. 

In England a crowd of statesmen, divines, and 
private Christians followed the banners of the 
Prince of Orange with theii' hopes and their 
prayers. But nations then had found no channel 
for the expression of their sympathies, other than 
the inadequate one of the policy of their sove- 
reign ; and Elizabeth, though secretly friendly to 



William and the cause of Dutch independence, 
had to sliape hei" conduct so as to balance con- 
flicting interests. Her throne was surrounded 
with intrigues, and her person with perils. She 
had to take account of the pretensions and par- 
tisans of the Queen of Scots, of the displeasure of 
Philip of Spain, and of the daggers of the Jesuits, 
and these prevented her supporting the cause of 
Protestantism in Holland with arms or, to any 
adequate extent, with money. But if she durst not 
accord it public patronage or protection, neither 
could she ojienly declare against it; for in that 
case France would have made a show of aiding 
"William, and Elizabeth would have seen -with envy 
the power of her neighbour and rival consider- 
ably extended, and the influence of England, as 
a Protestant State, proportionately curtailed and 

France was Roman Catholic and Protestant by 
turns. At this moment the Protestant fit w;is upon 
it : a peace had been made with the Huguenots 
which promised them everything but secured them 
nothing, and which was destined to reach the term 
of its brief ciuTency within the year. The protean 
Mcdici-Valois house that ruled that counti-y was 
ready to enter any alliance, seeing it felt the 
obligation to fidelity in none ; and the Duke 
of Anjou, to spite both Philip and Elizabeth, 
might have been willing to have taken the title of 
King of the Netherlands, and by championing the 
cause of Dutch Protestantism for an hour ruined 
it for ever. This made France to William of 
Orange, as well as to Elizabeth, an object of both 
hope and fear ; but happily the fear predominating, 
for the horror of the St. Bartholomew had not j^et 
left the mind of William, he was on his guard 
touching oSers of help from the Court of the 

But what of Germany, with which the Prince of 
Orange had so many and so close relationships, and 
wliich lay so near the scene of the great conflict, 
whose issues must so powerfully influence it for 
good or for ill t Can Germany fail to sec that it is 
its own cause that now stands at bay on the 
extreme verge of the Fatherland, and that could 
the voice of Liithcr speak from the tomb in the 
Schloss-kirk of Wittemberg, it would summon the 
German princes and knights around the banner of 
William of Orange, as it formerly summoned them 
to the standard of Frederick of Saxony t But 
since Luther was laid in the gi'ave the gi'eat heart 
of Gennany had waxed cold. Many of its princes 
seemed to be Protestant for no other end but to be 
able to increase their revenues by appropriations 
from the lands m\d hoards of the Roman establish- 

ment, and it was liardly to be- expected that 
Protestants of this stamp would feel any lively 
interest in the gi-eat struggle in Holland. But the 
chief cause of the coldness of Germany was the 
unhappy jealousy that divided the Lutherans from 
the Reformed. That difl'erence had been widening 
since the evil day of Marburg. Luther on that 
occasion had been barely able to receive Zwingle 
and his associates as brethren, and many of the 
smaller men who succeeded Luther lacked even 
that small measure of charity ; and in the times of 
William of Orange to be a Calvinist was, in the 
eyes of many Lutherans, to be a lieretic. AVhen 
the death of Edward VI. compelled the celebrated 
John Alasco, with his congregation, to leave 
England and seek asylum in Denmark, West- 
phalus, a Lutheran divine, styled the wandering 
congregation of Alasco " the martyrs of the 
devil;" whilst another Lutheran, Bugenhagius, 
declared that " they ought not to be considered as 
Christians ; " and they received intimation from 
the king that he would " sooner suffer Papists than 
them in his dominions ;" and they were compelled, 
at a most inclement season, to embark for the 
north of Germany, where the same persecutions 
awaited them, the fondness for the dogma of con- 
substantiation on the part of the Lutheran ministers 
having almost stifled in their minds the love of 
Protestantism.' But William of Orange was an 
earnest Calvinist, and the opinions adopted by the 
Church of Holland on the subject of the Sacra- 
ment were the same with those received by the 
Churches of Switzerland and of England, and hence 
the coldness of Germany to the great battle for 
Protestantism on its borders. 

WUliam, therefore, seeing England irresolute, 
France treacherous, and Germany cold, withdrew 
his eyes from abroad, in seeking for allies and aids, 
and fixed them nearer home. Might he not make 
another attempt to consolidate the cause of Pro- 
testant liberty in the Netherlands themselves'! 
The oft-recuri-ing outbreaks of massacre and rapine 
were deepening the detestation of the Spanish rule 
in the minds of the Flemings, and now, if he should 
try, he might find them ri])e for joining with their 
brethren of Holland and Zealand in an effort to 
throw off" the yoke of Philip. The chief difficulty, 
he foresaw, in the way of such a confederacy was 
the difference of religion. In Holland and Zealand 
the Reformed faith wa.s now tlio established re- 
ligion, whereas in the other fifteen Provinces the 
Roman was the national faith. Popery had had a 
marked revival of late in the Netherlands, the date 

• Krasinski, Ulavonia, p. 213. 



of this second growth being that of their submission 
to Alva ; and now so attached were the great body 
of the Flemings to the Church of Rome, that they 
were resolved " to die rather than renounce their 
faith." This made the patriotic project which 
William now contemplated the more difficult, and 
the negotiation in favour of it a matter of great 
delicacy, but it did not discoiu-age him from 
attempting it. The Flemish Papist, not less than 
the Dutch Calvinist, felt the smart of the Spanish 
steel, and might be roused to vindicate the honour 
of a common country, and to expel the massacring 
hordes of a common tyrant. It was now when 
Eequesens was dead, and the government was for 
the time in the hands of the State Council, and the 
fresh atrocities of the Spanish soldiers gave added 
weight to his energetic words, that he wrote to the 
people of the Netherlands to the effect that " now 
was the time when they might deliver themselves 
for ever from the tyranny of Spain. By the good 
pro^'idence of God, the government had fallen into 
theii' own hands. It ought to be their unalterable 
resolve to hold fiist the power which they possessed, 
and to employ it in delivering their fellow-citizens 
from that intolerable load of misery under which 
they had so long gi-oaned. The measure of the 
calamities of the people, and of the iniquity of the 
Spaniards, was now full. There was nothing worse 
to be dreaded than what they had akeady suffered, 
and nothing to deter them from resolving either to 
expel their rapacious tyrants, or to perish in the 
glorious attempt."' To stimulate them to the effort 
to which he called them, he pointed to what Holland 
and Zealand single-handed had done ; and if " this 
handful of cities " had accomplished so much, what 
might not the combined strength of all the Pro- 
vinces, with their powerful cities, achieve ? 

This appeal fell not to the ground. In November, 
1576, a congress composed of deputies from all the 
States assembled at Ghent, which re-echoed the 
patriotic sentiments of the prince ; the deliberations 
of its members, quickened and expedited by the 
Antwerp Fury, which happened at the veiy time 
the congi-ess was sitting, ended in a treaty termed 
the "Pacification of Ghent." This "Pacification" 
was a monument of the diplomatic genius, as well 
as patriotism, of William the Silent. In it the 
prince and the States of Holland and Zealand on 
the one side, and the fifteen Provinces of the 
Netherlands on the other, agreed to bury all past 
differences, and to unite their arms in order to 
effect the expulsion of the Spanish soldiers from 

' Watson, Philip II., toI. ii., p. 180. See also Letter to 
States of Brabant, in Bor, lib. ix., p. 685. 

their country. Their soil cleared of foreign troops, 
they were to call a meeting of the States-General on 
the plan of that gi-eat assembly wliich had accepted 
the abdication of Charles V. By the States- 
General all the affair's of the Confederated Provinces 
were to be finally regulated, but till it should meet 
it was agi-eed that the Inquisition should be for 
ever abolished ; that the edicts of Philip touching 
heresy and the tumults should be suspended ; that 
the ancient forms of government should be revived ; 
that the Reformed faith should be the i-eligion of 
the two States of Holland and Zealand, but that no 
Romanist should be oppressed on account of his 
opinion ; while in the other fifteen Provinces the 
religion then professed, that is the Roman, was 
to be the established worship, but no Protestant 
was to sufler for conscience sake. In short, the 
basis of the treaty, as concerned religion, was 

A great many events were crowded upon this 
point of time. The Pacification of Ghent, which 
united all the Provinces in resistance to Spain, the 
Antwerp Fury, and the recovery of that portion 
of Zealand which the Spaniards by their feats of 
daring had wrested from William, all arri^■ed 
contemporaneously to signalise this epoch of the 

This was another mile-stone on the road of the 
Prince of Orange. In the Pacification of Ghent he 
saw his past eflbrts beginning to bear fruit, and he 
had a foretaste of durable and glorious triumphs to 
be reaped hereafter. It was an hoiu- of exquisite 
gladness in the midst of the soitow and toil of his 
great conflict. The Netherlands, participating in 
the prince's joy, hailed the treaty with a shout of 
enthusiasm. It was read at the market-crosses of 
all the cities, amid the ringing of bells and the 
blazing of bonfires. 

But the greatest gain in the Pacification of 
Ghent, and the matter which the Protestant of the 
present day will be best pleased to contemplate, is 
the advance it notifies in the march of toleration. 
Freedom of conscience was the basis on which this 
Pacification, which foreshadowed the future Dutch 
Republic, was formed. Cah-in, twenty years be- 
fore, had laid down the maxim that no one is to 
be disturbed for his religious opinions unless they 
are expressed in words or acts that are inimical to 
the State, or prejudicial to social order. William 
of Orange, in laying the first foundations of the 
Batavian Republic, placed them on the principle of 

= Bor, lib. ix. , pp. 738—741 . Brandt, vol. i., pp. 327, 328. 
Sir William Temple, United Provinces of the Netherlands, 
p. 33; Edin., 1747. Watson, Philip II., vol. ii., pp. 193—195. 



toleration, as his master Calvin liad defined it. To 
these two great men — John Calvin and William the 
Silent — we owe, above most, this great advance on 
the road of progress and human freedom. The first 

liad defined and inculcated the principle in his 
•wi-itmgs ; the second had embodied and given 
practical eflect to it in the new State which his 
genius and patriotism had called into existence. 



Little and Great Countries— Their respective Services to Eeligion and Liberty— Tlie Pacification of Ghent brings 
with it an Element of Weakness— Divided Counsels and Aims — Union of Utrecht— The new Governor Don John of 
Austria— Asked to Eatify the Pacification of Ghent— Refuses— At last Consents— " The Perpetual Edict"— 
Perfidy meditated — A Martyr— Don John Seizes the Castle of Namur — Intercepted Letters — William made 
Governor of Brabant — His Triumplial Progress to Brussels— Splendid Opportunity of achieving Independence— 
Eomau Catholicism a Dissolvent — Prince Mattliias — His Character— Defeat of the Army of the Netherlands — 
Bull of the Pope — Amsterdam — Joins the Protestant Side — Civic Revolution — Progress of Protestantism in 
Antwerp, Ghent, &c. — First National Synod — Their Sentiments on Toleration — " Peace of Eeligion " — The 
Provinces Disunite— A Great Opportunity Lost— Death of Don John. 

The gi'eat battles of religion and liberty have, as a 
rule, been fought not by the gi-eat, but by the 
little countries of the world. History supplies us 
witli many strikmg examples of this, both in 
ancient and in modern times. The Pacification 
of Ghent is one of these. It defined the territory 
which was to be locked in deadly straggle -with 
Spain, and greatly enlarged it. By the side of the 
little Holland and Zealand it placed Brabant and 
Flanders, with their populous towns and their 
fertile fields. With this vast accession of strength 
to the liberal side, one would have expected that 
henceforth the combat would be waged with gi-eater 
vigour, promptitude, and success. But it was not 
so, for from this moment the battle began to 
languish. William of Orange soon found that if 
lie had widened the area, he had diminished the 
power of the liberal cause. An element of weak- 
ness had crept in along with the new ten'itories. 
How this happened it is easy to explain. The 
struggle on both sides was one for religion. Philip 
had made ^■oid all the charters of ancient freedom, 
and abolished all the privileges of the cities, that he 
might bind down upon the neck of the Netherlands 
the faith and worship of Rome. On tlie other 
hand, William and the States that were of his 
mind strove to revive these ancient charters, and 
innnemorial privileges, that under their shield they 
might enjoy freedom of conscience, and he able to 
profess the Protestant religion. None but Pro- 
testants could be hearty combatants in such a 
battle ; religion alone could kindle that heroism 
which was needed to bear the strain and face the 

perils of so great and so prolonged a conflict. But 
the fifteen Provinces of the Southern Netherlands 
were now more Popish than at the abdication of 
Charles V. The Protestants whom they contamed 
at that era had since been hanged, or burned, or 
chased away, and a reaction had set in which had 
supplied their places with Romanists ; and there- 
fore the Pacification, which placed Brabant 
alongside of Holland in the struggle against Spain, 
and which gave to the Dutch Protestant a-s his 
companion in arms the Popish Fleming, was a 
Pacification that in fact created two armies, by 
proposing two objects or ends on the liberal side. 
To the Popish inhabitants of the Netherlands the 
yoke of Spain would in no long time be made easy 
enough ; for the edicts, the Inquisition, and the 
bishops were things that could have no great 
terrors to men who did not need their coercion 
to believe, or at least profess, the Romish dogmas. 
The professors of the Romish creed, not feeling 
that. wherein lay the sting of the Spanish joke, 
could not be expected therefore to make other 
than half-hearted efforts to throw it ofl'. But 
far different was it with the other and older com- 
batants. They felt that sting in all its force, and 
therefore could not stop half-way in their great 
struggle, but must necessarily press on till they had 
plucked out that which was the root of the whole 
Spanish tjTanny. Thus William found that the 
Pacification of Ghent had introduced aniong the 
Confederates divided counsels, dilatory action, and 
uncertain aims; and tlu-ee yeai-s after (1579) the 
Pacification had to be rectified by the '■ Union 



of Utrecht," which, without dissolvmg the Con- 
federacy of Ghent, created an inner alliance of 
seven States, and thereby vastly quickened the 

working of the Confederacy, and presented to the 
world the original framework or first constitution 
of that Commonwealth which has siiice become 
so renowned under the name of the " United 

Meanwhile, and before the Union of Utrecht 
had come into being, Don John of Austria, the 
newly-appointed go^■el•nor, arrived in the Low 
Countries. He brought with him an immense 
prestige as the son of Charles V., and the hero of 
Lepanto. He had made the Cross to triumph over 
the Crescent in the bloody action that reddened the 
waters of the Lejiantine Gulf ; and he came to the 
Netherlands with the puqwse and in the hope of 
making the Cross triumphant over heresy, although 
it should be by dyeing the plains of the Low 
Countries with a still greater caniage than that 
■with which he had crimsoned the Greek seas. He 
an-ived to find that the seventeen Provinces had 
just banded themselves together to drive out the 
Spanish anny, and to re-assert theii' independence ; 

and before they would permit him to enter they 
demanded of him an oath to execute the Pacification 
of Ghent. This was a preliminary which he did not 
relish ; but finding that he must either accejit the 
Pacification or else return to Spain, he gave the 
promise, styled the "Perpetual Edict," demanded of 
him (17th February, 1577), and entered upon his 
government by dismissing all the foreign troops, 
which now returned into Italy.' With the depar- 
ture of the soldiers the brilliant and ambitious 
young governor seemed to have abandoned all the 
great hopes which had lighted him to the Nether- 
lands. There were now gi-eat rejoicings in the 
Pro\-inces : all their demands had been conceded. 

But Don John trusted to recover by intrigue 
what he had surrendered from necessity. No sooner 
was he installed at Brussels than he opened nego- 
tiations with the Prince of Orange, in the hope 
of dl•a^ving him from " the false jjosition " in which 
he had placed himself to Philip, and winning him to 
his side. Don John had hatl no experience of such 
lofty spirits as William, and coidd only see the 
whims of fanaticism, or the aspirings of ambition, in 


the profound piety and grand aims of William. 
He even attemjited, througli a malcontent party 
that now arose, headed by the Duke of Aerschot, to 

> Strada, bk. iz., p. 32. 



work the Pacification of Ghent so as to restore 
the Roman religion in exclusive dominancy in 
Holland and Zealand, as well as in the other 
Provinces. But these attempts of Don John were 
utterly futile. William had no difficulty in ])ene- 
tratiiif' the true character and real design of the 

a tailor by trade, and a man of most exemplary lite, 
and whose only crime had been that of hearing a 
sermon from a Reformed minister in the neighbour- 
hood of Mechlin. The Prince of Orange made 
earnest intercession for the martyr, imploring the 
governor " not again to open the old theatres of 

\iceroy. He knew that, although the Spanish 
troops liad been sent away, Philip had still some 
15,000 German mercenaries in the Provinces, and 
held in his hands all the great keys of the country. 
William immovably maintained his attitude of 
opposition despite all the little arts of the viceroy. 

Step by step Don John advanced to his design, 

which was to restore the absolute dominancy at 

once of Philip and of Rome over all the Provinces. 

His first act was to condeuni to death Peter Panis, 


tyranny, which had occasioned the shedding of 
rivers of blood;"' notwithstanding the poor man 
was beheaded by the order of Don John. The 
second act of the viceroy, which was to seize on the 
Castle of Namur, revealed his real purpose with 
even more flagrancy. To make himself master of 
that stronghold he hatl recourse to a stratagem. 
Setting out one morning with a band of followei"s. 

' Brandt, vol. i., p. 333. 



attired as if for the chase, but with arms concealed 
under their clothes, the governor and his party took 
their way by the castle, which they feigned a great 
desire to see. No sooner were they admitted by 
the castellan than they drew their swords, and Don 
John at the same instant winding his horn, the 
men-at-arms, who lay in ambush in the surrounding 
woods, nished in, and the fortress was captured.' 
As a frontier citadel it was admirably suited to 
receive the troops which the governor expected 
soon to return from Italy ; and he remarked, when 
he found himself in possession of the castle, that 
this was the first day of hLs regency : it might with 
more propriety have been called the first day of 
those calamities that pursued him to the gi-ave. 

Intercepted letters from Don John to Philip II. 
fully unmasked the designs of the governor, and 
completed the astonishment and alarm of the 
States. These letters m-ged the speedy return of 
the Spanish troops, and dilating on Ihe inveteracy 
of that disease which had fastened on the Nether- 
lands, the letters said, " the malady admitted of 
no remedies but fire and sword." This discovery of 
the viceroy's baseness raised to the highest intch 
the admiration of the Flemings for the sagacity of 
William, who had given them early warning of the 
duplicity of the governor, and the cniel designs he 
was plotting. Thereupon the Provinces a third 
time thi-ew off their obedience to Philip II., de- 
claring that Don John was no longer Stadtholder 
or legitimate Governor of the Provinces.- Calling 
the Prince of Orange to Brussels, they installed 
him as Governor of Brabant, a dignity which had 
been bestowed hitherto only on the Viceroys of 
Spain. As the prince passed along iu his barge 
from Antwerp to Brussels, thousands crowded to 
the banks of the canal to gaze on the great patriot 
and hero, on whose single shoulder rested the 
weight of this struggle with the mightiest empire 
then in existence. The men of Antwerp stood on 
this side of the canal, the citizens of Bnissels lined 
the opposite bank, to ofier their respectful homage 
to one gi-eater than kings. They knew the toils he 
had borne, the dangers he had braved, the jirincely 
fortune he had sacrificed, and the beloved brothers 
and friends he had seen sink around him in the 
contest ; and when they saw the head on which all 
these storms had burst still erect, and prepared to 
brave tempests not less fierce in the future, rather 
than permit the tyranny of Spain to add his native 
country to the long roll of unhappy kingdoms 
which it had already enslaved and ci-ushed, their 

' Bentivoglio, lib. x., pp. 192—165. 
- Bor, lib. xi., p. 916. 

admiiution and enthusiasm knew no bounds, and 
they saluted him with the glorious appellations 
of the Father of his Country, and the guardian of its 
liberties and laws.'' 

This was the thii'd time that liberty had oflered 
herself to the Flemings ; and as this was to be the 
last, so it was the fiiirest opportunity the Provinces 
ever had of placing their independence on a firm 
and permanent foundation, in .spite of the despot of 
the Escorial. The Spanish soldiers were ^vith- 
dra^^'n, the king's finances were exhausted, the 
Provinces were knit together in a bond for the 
jirosecution of their common cause, and they had 
at their head a man of consummate ability, of 
incorruptible patriotism, and they lacked nothing 
but hearty co-operation and union among themselves 
to guide the straggle to a glorious issue. With 
liberty, who could tell the gloi-ies and prosperities 
of that future that awaited Pro^■inces so populous 
and rich 1 But, alas ! it began to be seen what a 
solvent Romanism was, and of how little account 
were all these great opportunities in the presence 
of so disuniting and dissolving a force. The Roman 
Catholic nobles grew jealous of William, whose great 
abilities and pre-eminent influence threw theirs into 
the shade. They affected to believe that liberty was 
in danger from the man who had sacrificed all to 
■vindicate it, and that so zealous a Calvinist must 
necessarily persecute the Roman religion, despite 
the eflbrts of his whole life to secure toleration for 
all creeds and sects. In short, the Flemish 
Catholics would rather wear the Spanish yoke, with 
the Pope as their spiritual father, than enjoy free- 
dom under the banners of William the Silent. 
Sixteen of the grandees, chief among whom was the 
Duke of Aerschot, opened secret negotiations with 
the Archduke Matthias, brother of the reigning 
emperor, Rudolph, and invited him to be Governor 
of the Netherlands. ]Matthias, a weak but ambi- 
tious youth, gi'eedUy accepted the invitation ; and 
without reflecting that he was going to mate liimself 
with the first politician of the age, and to conduct 
a struggle against the most powerful monarch in 
Christendom, he departed from Vienna by night, 
and arrived in Antwer]), to the astonishment of 
those of the Flemings who were not in the intrigue. ' 
The archduke owed the permission given him to 
enter the Provinces to the man he had come to 
supplant. William of Orange, so far from taking 
oflcnce and abandoning his post, continued to con- 
secrate his gi-eat powers to the liberation of his 
country. He accepted Matthias, though forced upon 

' Watson, Philip II., vol. ii., p. 221. 

•• Bor, lib. si., p. 900. Strada, bk. is., p. 38. 



him by an intrigue ; he prevailed upon the States 
to accept him, and install him in the rank of 
Governor of the Netherlands, he himself becoming 
his lieutenant-general. Matthias remained a puppet 
by the side of the great patriot, nevertheless his 
presence did good ; it sowed the seeds of enmity 
between the German and Spanish branches of the 
House of Austria, and it made the Roman Catholic 
nobles, whose plot it was, somewhat obnoxious in 
the eyes both of Don John and Philip. The 
cause of the Netherlands was thus rather bene- 
fited by it. And moreover, it helped William to 
the solution of a problem which had occupied his 
thoughts for some time past — namely, the pemia- 
nent form which he should give to the government 
of the Provinces. So far as the matter had 
shaped itself in his mind, he purposed that a 
head or Governor should be over the Netherlands, 
and that under this vii-tual monarch should be 
the States-General or Parliament, and under it a 
State Council or Executive ; but that neither the 
Governor nor the State Council should have power 
to act without the concurrence of the States-General. 
Such was the programme, essentially one of consti- 
tutionalism, that William had sketched in his own 
mind for his native land. Whom he should make 
Governor he had not yet determined : most certainly 
it would be neither himself nor Philip of Spain; and 
now an intrigue of the Roman Catholic nobles had 
]>laced Matthias of Austria in the post, for which 
William knew not where to find a suitable occupant. 
But first the country had to be liberated ; every 
other work must be postponed for this. 

The Netherlands, their former Confedei'acy rati- 
fied (December 7th, 1577) in the "New Union" of 
Brussels — tlie last Confederacy that was ever to be 
formed by the Provinces — had thi'own do'wn the 
gauntlet to Philip, and both sides prej)ared for war. 
The Prince of Orange strengthened himself by an 
alliance with England. In this treaty, formed 
through the Marquis of Havree, the States ambas- 
sador, Elizabeth engaged to aid the Netherlanders 
with the loan of 100,000 j)ounds sterling, and 
a force of 5,000 infantry and 1 ,000 ca\alry, then- 
commander to have a seat in the State Council. 
Nor was Don John idle. He hud collected a con- 
siderable army from the neighbouring Provinces, 
and these were joined by veteran troops from Italy 
and Spain, which Philip had ordered Alexander 
Farnese, Duke of Parma, to lead back into tlie 
Netherlands. The States army amounted to about 
10,000; that of Spain to 1.5,000; the latter, if 
superior in numbe^rs, were still more superior in 
discipline. On joining battle at Gemblours the 
army of the Netherlands encountered a terrible 

overthrow, a result which the bulk of the nation 
attributed to the cabals and intrigues of the Roman 
Catholic nobles. 

At this stage the two great antagonistic princi- 
ples which were embodied in the respective policies 
of Philip and William, and whose struggles with 
one another made themselves audible in this clash 
of arms, came again to the front. The world was 
anew taught that it vas a mortal combat between 
Rome and the Reformation that was proceeding on 
the theati'e of the Netherlands. Tlie torrents of 
blood that were being poured out were shed not to 
i-ev'-"e old charters, but to rend the chains from 
conscience, and to transmit to generations unborn 
the heritage of religious freedom. In this light did 
Pope Gregory XIII. show that he regarded the 
struggle when he sent, as he did at this time, a bull 
in favour of all who should fight under the banner 
of Don Jolm, " against heretics, heretical rebels, 
and enemies of the Romish faith." The bull was 
drafted on the model of those which his predecessors 
had been wont to fulminate when they wished to 
rouse the faithful to slaughter the Saracens and 
Turks ; it offered a plenar}' indulgence and remis- 
sion of sins to all engaged in this new crusade in 
the Low Countries. The bull further authorised 
Don John to impose a tax upon the clergy for the 
support of the war, " as undertaken for the defence 
of the Romish religion." The banners of the 
Spanish general were blazoned with the sign of the 
cross, and the following motto : In hoc signo vici 
Turcos: in hoc siyno vincam hereticos (" Under 
this sign I have vanquished the Turks : under this 
sign I will vanquish the heretics "). And Don 
John was reported to have said that " the king 
had rather be lord only of the ground, of the trees, 
shrubs, beasts, wolves, waters, and fishes of this 
country, than sufier one single person who has taken 
up amis against him, or at who has been 
jiolluted with heresy, to live and remain in it."' 

On the other side Protestantism also lifted itself 
up. Amsterdam, the capital of Protestant Holland, 
still remained in the hands of the Romanists. This 
state of matters, which weakened the religious 
power of the Northern States, was now rectified. 
Mainly by the mediation of Utrecht, it was agreed 
on the 8th of February, 1578, that Amsterdam 
should enroll itself with the State.s of Holland, and 
swear allegiance to tin; Prince of Orange as its 
Stadtholdcr, on condition that the Roman faith 
were the only one pi;blicly professed in the city, 
with right to all Protestants to jiractise their 
ovn\ worshiji, without molestation, outside the 

1 Brandt, vol. i., p. 333. 



walls, and privilege of burying their dead in 
uuconsecratcd but conveuieut ground, provided 
that neither was psalm sung, nor pi'ayer offered, 
nor any religious act performed at the grave, and 
that tlie corpse was followed to the tomb by not 
more than twenty-six persons. To this was added 
a not less important concession — namely, that all 
who had been driven away on account of difference 
of religious opinion should have liberty to return to 
Amsterdam, and be admitted to their former rights 
and privileges.' This last stipulation, by attracting 
back crowds of Protestant exiles, led to a revolution 
in the government of the city. The Reformed faith 
had now a vast majoi-ity of the citizens — scarcely 
were there any Romanists in Amsterdam save the 
magistrates and the friars — and a plot was laid, and 
very cleverly executed, for chauging the Senate and 
putting it in harmony with the popular sentiment. 
On the 26th May, 1578, the Stadthouse was sur- 
i-ounded by armed citizens, and the magistrates were 
made prisoners. All the monks were at the same 
time secured by soldiers and others dispersed 
through the city. The astonished senators, and 
the not less astonished friars, were led through the 
streets by their captors, the crowd following them 
and shouting, " To the gallows ! to the gallows with 
them, whither they have sent so many better men 
before them!" The prisoners trembled all over, 
believing that they were being conducted to execu- 
tion. They were conveyed to the river's edge, 
the magistrates were put on board one boat, and 
the friars, along with a few priests who had also 
been taken into custody, were embarked in another, 
and both were rowed out into deep water. Their 
pallid faces, and despairing adieus to their relations, 
bespoke the apprehensions they entertained that the 
voyage on which they had set out was destined to 
be fatal. The vessels that bore them would, they 
believed, be scuttled, and give them burial in the 
ocean. No sucii martyrdom, however, awaited 
them ; and the worst infliction that befell them was 
the terror into which they had been put of a water}' 
death. They were landed in safety on St. Anthony's 
Dyke, and left at liberty to go wherever they would, 
with this one limitation, that if ever again they 
entered Amsterdam they forfeited their lives. 
Three days after these melo-dramatic occurrences a 
body of new senators was elected and installed in 
office, and all the churches were closed during a 
week. They were then opened to the Reformed by 
the magisti'ates, who, accompanied by a number of 
carpenters, had previously visited them and removed 
all their images. Thus, without the effusion of a 

1 Brandt, vol. i., p. 334. 

drop of blood, was Protestantism established in 
Amsterdam. The first Reformed pastors in that 
capital were John Reuolielin and Peter Hardenberg.- 
The Lutherans and Anabaptists were permitted to 
meet openly for their worship, and the Papists were 
allowed the private exercise of theirs. 

With this prosperous gale Protestantism made 
way in the other cities of Holland and of Brabant. 
This progress, profoundly peaceful in the majority 
of cases, was attended with trunult in one or two 
instances. In Haarlem the Protestants rose on a 
Communion Sunday, and coming upon the priests 
in the cathedral while in the act of kindling then- 
tapers and unfurling then- bamiers for a grand 
procession, they dispossessed them of their church. 
In the tumult a priest was slain, but the soldier who 
did the deed had to atone for it with his life ; the 
other rioters were summoned by tuck of drum to 
restore the articles they had stolen, anol the Papists 
were assui-ed, by a public declaration, of the free 
exercise of their religion.^ The jiresence of the 
Prince of Orange in Brussels, and the Pacification 
of Ghent, wliich shielded the Protestant worship 
from violence, had infused new courage into the 
hearts of the Reformed in the Southern Netherlands. 
From their secret conventicles in some cellar or 
dark alley, or neighbouring wood, they came foi'th 
and practised their worshijj in the light of day. 
In Flanders and Brabant the Protestants were 
increasing daily in numbers and courage. On 
Sunday, the 16th of ]\Iay, in the single city of 
Antwerp, Protestant sermons were preached in not 
less than sixteen places, and the Sacrament dispensed 
in fourteen. In Ghent it was not uncommon for 
Protestant congregations to convene in several 
places, of four, five, and six hundred persons, and 
all this in spite of the Union of Brussels (1577), 
which trenched upon the toleration accorded in the 
Pacification of Ghent. ■* 

The first National Synod of the Dutch Reformed 
Church met at Dort on the 2nd of June, 1578. 
This body, in a petition equally distinguished for 
the strength of its reasonings and the liberality of 
its sentiments, urged the States-General to make 
provision for the free exercise of the Reformed 
i-eligion, as a measure righteous in itself, and the 
surest basis for the peace of the Provinces. How truly 
catholic were tlie Dutch Calvuiists, and how much 
the cause of toleration owes to them, can lie seen only 
from their own words, addressed to the Archduke 
Matthias and the Council of State. After having 
proved that the cnielties practised upon them had 
led only to an increase of their numbers, with the 

= Brandt, vol. i., p. 338. ■'' Hid., p. 3;!9. •" Hid., p. 339. 



loss nevertheless of the nation's welfare, the desola- 
t ion of its cities, the banishment of its inhabitants, 
and the ruin of its trade and prosperity, they go on 
to say that the refusal of the free exercise of their 
religion reduced them to this dilemma, " either that 
they must live mthoiit any religion, or that they 
themselves mxist force a way to the public exercise 
of it." They object to the alternative as leading 
to an epicurean life, and the contempt of all laws 
liuraan and divine; they dread the second as tending 
to a breach in the union of the Provinces, and pos- 
siljly the dissolution of the present Government. But 
do they therefore ask exclusive recognition or supre- 
macy '( Far from it. " .Since the experience of past 
years had taught them," they .say, " that by reason 
of their sins they could not all be reduced to one 
and the same religion, it was necessary to consider 
how both religions could be maintained without 
damage or prejudice to each other. As for the ob- 
jection," they continue, " that two religions are in- 
compatible in the same country, it had been refuted 
by the experience of all ages. The heathen emperors 
had found their account more in tolerating the 
Christians, nay, even in using their service in their 
wars, than in persecuting them. The Christian 
emperors had also allowed public churches to those 
who were of a quite different opinion from them in 
religious matters, as might be seen in the history 
of Constantine, of his two sons, of Theodosius, and 
others. The Emperor Charles V. found no other 
expedient to extricate himself from the utmost 
distress than by consenting to the exercise of both 
religions." After citing many other examples they 
continue thus : " France is too near for us to be 
ignorant that the rivers of blood with which that 
kingdom is overflowed can never be dried up but by 
a toleration of religion. Such a toleration formerly 
produced peace there ; whereas being interrupted 
the said kingdom was immediately in a flame, 
and in danger of being cpiite consumed. We may 
likewise learn from the Grand Seignior, who knows 
how to tyrannise as well as any prince, and yet 
tolerates both Jews and Christians in his dominions 
without ap])rchending either tumults or defections, 
though there be more Christians in liLs territories 
who laevcr owned the authority of the Pope, than 
tliero are in Europe that sicknowledge it." And 
tliey concluded by cra^^ng "that both religions 
might bo equally tolerated till God should be pleased 
to reconcile all the opposite notions that reigned in 
the land." ' 

' Brandt, vol. i., pp. 339— S-tl.— Motley in his great 
hi.story. The Rise of the Dutch Republic, when speak- 
ing of the intolerance and bigotry of the religious 
bodies of the Netherlands, specially emphasises tho 

In accordance with the petition of the Synod of 
Dort, a scheme of " Religious Peace," drafted bv 
the Prince of Orange and signed by Matthias, was 
presented to the States-General for adopticHi. Its 
general basis was the equal toleration of bolli 
religions throughout the Netherlands. In Holland 
and Zealand, where the Popish worship had been 
suppressed, it was to be restored in all places where 
a Imndred resident families desired it. In the 
Popish Provinces an equivalent indulgence was to 
be granted wherever an equal number of Protestant 
families resided. Nowhere was the private exercise 
of either faith to be obstructed ; the Protestants 
were to be eligible to all oflices for which they were 
qualified, and were to abstain from all trade and 
labour on the great festivals of the Roman Church. 
This scheme was approved by the States-General, 
under the name of the " Peace of Religion." 
William was overjoyed to behold his most ardent 
hopes of a united Fatherland, and the vigorous 
prosecution of its great battle a common 
tyranny, about to be crowned. 

But these bright hopes were only for a moment. 
The banner of toleration, bravely uplifted by WUUam, 
had been waved over the Netherlands only to be 
fiu'led again. The Roman Catholic nobles, with 
Aerschot and Champagny at their head, refused to 
accept the " Peace of Religion." In theii- immense 
horror of Protestantism they forgot their dread of 
the Spaniard, and rather than that heresy should 
defile the Fatherland, they were 'svilling that the 
yoke of Philip should Ije bound do'wn upon it. 
Tumults, violences, and conflicts broke out in many 
of the Pro\'inces. Revenge begat revenge, and 
animosity on the one side kindled an equal animo- 
sity on the other. Something like a civil war 
raged in the Southern Netherlands, and the sword 
that ought to have been drawn against the common 
foe was turned against each other. These strifes 
and bigotries wi'ought at length the separation of 
the Walloon Provinces from the rest, and in the 
issue occasioned the loss of the greater ])art of the 
Netherlands. The hour for achieving liberty had 
passed, and for three centuries nearly these unwise 
and uidiappy Provinces were not to know inde- 
pendence, but were to be thrown about a.s mere 
political make-weights, and to be the property now 
of this master and now o' that. 

Meanwhile the two armies lay inactive in th« 
presence of each other. Both sides had recently 

intolerance of the Calvinists. It is strange, with the 
above document and simihar proofs before him. tlxat 
the historian should bo unable to see that the French 
Huguenots and the Dutch Calvinists were the only 
champions of toleration then in Christendom, 



receivi'd an aiigiiR'ntation of strength. The Nother- 
land.s army liad been increa.sed to sometliing like 
30,000, first by an English levy led by John 
Casimir, and next Ijy a French troop under the 
command of the Duke of Aleni^on, for the Nether- 
lands had become the pivot on which the rival 
jKjlicies of England and France at this moment 
revolved. The sinews of war were lacking on both 

.suddenly changed its splendoui's into blackness, and 
transformed the imagined theatre of triumph into 
one of misfortune and defeat. Fortune forsook her 
favourite the moment his foot touched this charmed 
soil. Withstood and insulted by the obstinate 
Netherlanders, outwitted and baffled by the great 
William of Orange, suspected by his jealous brother 
Pliiliji II., by whom he was most inadequately 


Ihe Fortran hu Jfassarcl in (lie Galcric Uistoriqnr, T'lrsnillfs.) 

sides, and hence the pause in hostilities. The scenes 
were about to shift in a way that no one anticipated. 
Struck down by fever, Don John lay a corpse in the 
Castle of Namur. How different the destiny he 
had pictured for himself when he entered this fatal 
land ! Young, biilliant, and ambitious, he had 
come to the Netherlands in the hope of adding to 
the vast renown he had already won at Lepanto, 
and of making for himself a gi-eat place in Christen- 
dom — of mounting, it might be, one of its thrones. 
But a mysterious finger had touched the scene, and 

supported with men and money, all his hours were 
onil)ittere(l l;y toil, disappointment, and chagrin. 
The constant dread in which he was kept by the 
perUs and pitfalls that surrounded him, and the 
continual circumspection which he was compellec 
to exercise, furrowed his brow, dimmed his eye 
sapped his strength, and broke his spii-it. At last 
came fever, and fever was followed by delirium. 
He imagined himself upon the battle - field : he 
shouted out his orders : his eye now bi-ightened, 
now faded, as he fancied victory or defeat to be 



attending his arms. Again came a lucid interval,' his thii'tieth year. Another hammer, to use Beza's 
b\it only to fade away into the changeless dark- metaphor, had been worn out on the anvil of the 
ness of death. He died before he had reached Chui-ch.- 



Alosantler, Duko of Parma — His Character — Divisions in the Provinces — Siege of Maestricht — Defection of tlio 
Walloons— Union of Utrecht — Bases of Union — Germ of the United Provinces — Their Motto— Peace Congress at 
Cologne— Its Grandeur — Pliilip makes Impossible Demands — Pailiu'e of Congress — Attempts to Bribe William — 
His Incorruptibility — Ban Fulminated against liim — His "Apology " — Arraignment of Phihp — The Netherlands 
Abjure Philip II. as King — Holland and Zealand confer their Sovereignty on WiUiam — Greatness of the Kevolu- 
tion — Its Place in the History of Protestantism. 

Don John having on his death-bed nominated 
Alexander Farnese, Duke of Parma, to succeed 
him, and the choice having soon afterwards been 
ratified by Philip II., the duke immediately 
took upon him the burden of that terrible 
struggle which had crushed his predecessor. If 
brilliant abilities could have commanded cor- 
responding success, Parma would have speedily 
re-established the dominion of Spain throughout the 
whole of the Netherlands. His figure was finely 
moulded, and his features were handsome, despite 
that the lower part of his face was biuied in a bushy 
beard, and that his dark eye had a scjuint wlucli 
warned the spectator to be on his guard. His round 
compact head was one which a gladiator might have 
envied; his bearing was noble ; he was temperate, 
methodical in business, but never pei-mitted its 
pressure to prevent his attendance on morning mass ; 
his coolness on the battle-field gave confidence 
to his soldiers ; and while his courage and skill 
fitted him to cope with his antagonists in war, his 
wisdom, and cunning, and patience won for him not 
a few victories in the battles of diplomacy. His 
conduct and valour considerably retrieved at the 
beginning the affairs of Philip, but the mightier 
intellect with which he was confronted, and the 
destinies of the cause against which he did battle, 
attested in the end their superiority over all the 
gi-eat talents and dextero\is arts of Alexander of 
PaiTna, seconded by the powerful armies of Spain. 
After the toil and watchfulness of years, and .after 
victories gained with much blood, to yield not fruit 
but ashes, he too had to retire from the scene dis- 
appointed, baffled, and vanquished. 

A revived bigotry had again split up the lately 

• Strada, bk. x., p. 16. 

united Fatherland, and these divisions opened an 
entrance for the arts and the arms of Parma. 
Gathering up the %vreck of the army of Don John, 
and reinforcing the old battalions by new recruits, 
Parma set vigorously to work to reduce the Pro- 
vinces, and restore the supremacy of both Philip 
and Rome. Sieges and battles signalised the open- 
ing of the camjjaign ; in most of these he was 
successful, but we cannot stay to give them indivi- 
dual narration, for oiir task is to follow the footsteps 
of that Power which had awakened the conflict, and 
which was marching on to victory, although through 
clouds so dark and tempests so fierce that a few only 
of the Netherlanders were able to follow it. The 
first success that rewarded the arms of Parma was 
the capture of Maestricht. Its massacre of three 
days renewed the horrors of former sieges. The cry 
of its agony was heard three miles off; and when 
the sword of the enemy rested, a miserable remnant 
(some three or four hundred, say the old chroniclers)^ 
was all that was spared of its thirty-four thousand 

- Of the transport of his body through France, and its 
presentation to Pliilip II. in the Escorial, Strada (bk. s.) 
gives a minute but horrible account. "To .avoid those 
vast expenses and ceremonious contentions of magistrates 
and priests at city gates, that usually waylay the progress 
of princes whether alive or dead, he caused liim to be 
taken in pieces, and the bones of his arms, thighs, legs, 
breast, and head (the brains being taken out), with other 
the severed parts, filling three mails, were brought 
safely into Spiiin ; where the bones being set again, with 
small wires, they easily rejointed all the body, wliieh 
being filled with cotton, armed, and richly habited, they 
presented Don John entire to the king as if he stood only 
resting himself upon his commander's-staff, looking as if 
he lived and bi-eathed." On presenting himself thus 
before Philip, the monarch was graciously pleased to 
permit Don John to retire to liis grave, whicli he had 
wished might be beside that of his father, Charles V., in 
the Escorial. 

3 Bor, lib. xiii., p. 65; Hooft, lib. xv., p. 633. 



inhabitants. Crowds of idlers from tlie Walloon 
countiy flocked to the empty city ; but though it 
was easy to repeople it, it was found impossible to 
revive its industry and prosperity. Nothing be- 
sides the grass that now covered its streets woidd 
flourish in it but vagabondism. The loss which the 
cause of Netherland liberty sustained in the fall of 
Maastricht was trifling, compared with the injury 
inflicted by another achievement of Parma, and 
which he gained not by arms, but by diplomacy. 
Knowing that the Walloons were fanatically at- 
tached to the old religion, he opened negotiations, 
and ultimately prevailed with them to break the 
bond of common brotherhood and form themselves 
upon a separate treaty. It was a masterly stroke. 
It had separated the Roman from the Batavian 
Netherlands. William had sought to unite the 
two, and make of them one nationality, placing 
the key-stone of the arch at Ghent, the capital of 
the SouSheru Provinces, and the second city in the 
Netherlands. But the subtle policy of Parma had 
cut the Fatherland in twain, and the project of 
William fell to the ground. 

The Piince of Orange airxiously considei'ed how 
best to parry the blow of Parma, and neutralise 
its damagmg efiects. The master-stroke of the 
Spaniard led William to adopt a policy equally 
masterly, and fruitful beyond all the measures 
he had yet employed ; this was the " Union of 
Utrecht." The alliance was formed between the 
States of Holland, Zealand, Utrecht, Guelder- 
land, Zutphen, Overyssel, and Groniugen. It 
was signed on the 23rd of January, 1579, and 
.six days thereafter it was proclaimed at Utrecht, 
and hence its name. This " Union" constituted the 
iirst foundation-stone in the subsequently world- 
renowned Commonwealth of the United Provinces of 
the Low Countries. The primary and main object 
of the Confederated States was the defence of then- 
common liberty ; for this end they resolved to remain 
hereafter and for ever united as one Province — 
\vitho\it prejudice, however, to the ancient privileges 
and the peculiar customs of each several State. As 
i-cgarded the business of religion, it was resolved 
that each Province should determine that question 
for itself — with this, that no one should be 
molested for his opinion. The toleration previously 
enacted by the Pacification of Ghent was to rule 
throughout the bounds of the Confederacy.^ When 
the States contrasted their own insignificance with 
*lu> might of then- gi-eat enemy, seven little Pro- 
vinces banding themselves against an aggregate of 

• See Articles of TTnion in full in Brandt; Sir W. 
Temple ; "Watson, Philip II. ; Motley, Dutch liepuhUc, &c. 

nearly twice that number of powerful Kingdoms, they 
chose as a fitting representation of thcii- doubtful 
fortimes, a ship labouring amid the waves without 
sail or oars, and they stamped this device upon 
theii- first coins, with the words Incertum quo fata 
ferant " (" We know not whither the fates shall bear 
us"). Certamly no one at that hour was sanguine 
or bold enough to conjecture the splendid future 
awaiting these seven adventui-ous Provinces. 

This attitude on their part made the King of 
Spain feign a desire for conciliation A Congi-ess 
was straightway assembled at Cologne to make 
what was represented as a hopeful, and what was 
certainly a laudable, attempt to heal the breach. 
On the Spanish side it was nothing more than a 
feint, but on that account it wore externally aU 
the gi-eater pomp and stateliness. In these respects 
nothing was lacking that could make it a success. 
The first movers in it were the Pope and the emperor. 
The deputies were men of the first rank in the State 
and the Chm-ch ; they were princes, dukes, bishops, 
and the most renowned doctors in theology and law. 
Seldom indeed have so many mitres, and princely 
stars, and ducal coronets gi-aced any assembly as 
those that shed their brilliance on this ; and many 
persuaded themselves, when they beheld this union 
of rank and oflice with skill in law, in art, and 
diplomacy, that the Congress would give birth to 
something correspondingly magnificent. It met in 
the begimiing of May, 1579, and it did not separate 
till the middle of November of the same year. But 
the six mouths during which it was in session were 
all too short to enable it to solve the problem which 
so many conventions and conferences since the 
breaking out of the Reformation had attempted to 
solve, but had faUed — namely, how the absolute de- 
mands of authority are to be reconciled with the 
equally inflexible claims of conscience. There were 
only two ideas promulgated in that assembly ; so 
far the matter was simple, and the prospect of a set- 
tlement hopeful ; but these two ideas were at opposite 
poles, and all the stars, coronets, and mitres gathered 
there could not bridge over the gulf between them. 
The two ideas wei-e those to which we have already 
referred — Prerogative and Conscience. 

The envoys of the Netherland States presented 
fourteen articles, of which the most imj)ortant was 
the one referring to religion. Theii- proposal wiis that 
"His Majesty should be pleased to tolerate the 
exercise of the Reformed religion and the Confession 
of Augsburg in such towns and places where the 
same were at that time publicly professed. That 
the States should also on their part, presently after 

- Temple, United Province!, &c., chap, i., p. 88. 



the peace was declared, restoi-e the exercise of tlie 
Roman Catholic religion in all the aforesaid towns 
and places, upon certain equitable conditions wliich 
should be inviolably preserved." " The Chiistian 
religion," said the envoys in supporting their pro- 
posal, " was a great mystery, in promoting of which 
God did not make use of impious soldiere, nor of 
the sword or bow, but of his own Spirit and of the 
ministry of pastors, or shepherds sent by him. 
That the dominion over sovils and consciences 
belonged to God only, and that he only was the 
righteous Avenger and Punisher of the abuses 
committed in matters of religion. They insisted 
particularly upon the free exercise of religion." ' 

The deputies on the king's side refused to listen 
to this proposal. They would agree to nothing 
as a basis of peace, save that the Roman Catholic 
religion — all others excluded — should be professed 
in aU the Provinces ; and as regarded such as 
might refuse to return to the Roman faith, time 
would be given them to settle their aflaii-s, and 
retire from the countiy." Half the citizens well- 
nigh would have had to exile themselves if this 
condition had been accepted. Where so large a 
body of emigrants were to find new seats, or 
how the towns left empty by their departure 
were to be re-peopled, or by what hands the arts 
and agi'iculture of the country were to be carried 
on, does not seem to have been provided for, or 
even thought of, by the Congress. 

William of Orange had from the first expected 
nothing from this Conference. He knew Philip 
never would grant what only the States could 
accept — the restoration, namely, of their chartei's, 
and the free exercise of then- Protestant faith ; he 
knew that to convene such an assembly was only 
to excite hopes that could not possibly be fulfilled, 
and so to endanger the cause of the Provinces ; 
he knew that mitres and ducal coronets were not 
argimients, nor could render a whit more legiti- 
mate the claims of prerogative ; that ingenious 
and quirky expedients, and long and wordy dis- 
cussions, would never bring the two parties one 
hair'sbreadth nearer to each other ; and as he had 
foreseen, so did it turn out. When the Congress 
ended its sitting of six months, the only results 
it had to show were the thousands of golden 
guilders needed for its expenses, and the scores of 
hogsheads of Rhenish wine which had been con- 
sumed in moistening its dusty delibei-ations and 

Contemporaneously with this most august and 

' Brandt, vol. i., p. 36G. 

2 Bor. lib. liii., pp. 58, 59. Brandt, vol. i., p. 366. 

most magnificent, yet most resultless Congress, 
attempts were made to detach the Prince of Orange 
from his party and win him over to the king's 
side. Private overtures were made to him, to the 
eftect that if he would forsake the cause of Nether- 
land independence and retu-e to a foreign land, he 
had only to name his " price " and it should be 
instantly forthcoming, in honour, or in money, 
or in both. More particularly he was promised 
the payment of his debts, the restitution of his 
estates, reimbm-sement of aU the expenses he had 
incuiTed in the war, compensation for his losses, 
the liberation of his son the Count of Buren, 
and should William retire into Germany, his son 
would be placed in the Government of Holland 
and Utrecht, and he himself shoidd be indemnified, 
^vitli a million of money as a gratuity. These 
oifers were made in Philip's name by Coimt 
Schwartzenbui'g, who pledged his faith for the 
strict performance of them. 

This was a mighty sum, but it could not buy 
William of Orange. Not all the honours which 
this monarch of a score of kingdoms could bestow, 
not all the gold which this master of the mines of 
Mexico and Peru could ofier, could make William 
sell himself and betray his country. He was not 
to be turned aside from the lofty, the holy object 
he had set before him, the glory of redeeming 
from slavery a people that confided in him, and of 
kindling the lamp of a pure faith in the land 
which he so dearly loved. If his presence were 
an obstacle to peace on the basis of his country's 
liberation, he was ready to go to the ends of the 
earth, or to his grave ; but he would be no party 
to a plot which had only for its object to deprive 
the country of its head, and twine round it the 
chain of a double slaveiy.^ 

The gold of Philip had failed to cori-upt the 
Patriot : the King of Spain next attempted to 
gain his end by another and a diSerent stratagem. 
The dagger might rid him of the man whom armies 
could not conquer, and whom money could not buy. 
This " evil thought " was first suggested by Car- 
dinal Granvelle, who hated the prince, iis the vile 
hate the upriglit, and it was eagerly embraced by 
Philip, of whose policy it was a radical pi-inciple 
that " the end justifies the means." The King of 
Spain fubninated a ban, dated 15th March, 1580, 
against the Prince of Orange, in which he oflered 
" thirty thousand crowns, or so, to any one who 
should deliver liim, dead or alive." The preamble 
of the ban set forth at great length, and with due 

■■' Reidanus, ann. ii., 29. Grachard, Covrespondance de 
Ouillawme le Tacit, vol. iv.. Preface. Bor, lib. liii., p. 95. 



formality, the " crimes," iii other words the sei-vices 
to liberty, which had induced his patient aud 
loving sovereign to set a price upon the head of 
William, and make him a mark for all the mvir- 
derers in Christendom. But the indignation of the 
\irtuous king can be adequately understood only by 
perusing the words of the ban itself. " For these 
causes," said the documeut, " we declare him traitor 
and miscreant, enemy of ourselves and of the 
country. As such we banish him perpetually from 

all our realms, forbidding all our subjects 

to administer to him victuals, drink, lire, or other 

necessaries We expose the said William ;is 

an enemy of the human race, giving his property 
to all who may seize it. And if any one of our 
subjects, or any stranger, should be found suffi- 
ciently generous of heart to rid us of this liest, 
delivering him to us, dead or alive, or taking his 
life, we will cause to be furnished to him, imme- 
diately after the deed shall have been done, the 
sum of twenty-live thousand crowns of gold. If 
he have committed any crime, however heinous, we 
promise to pardon him; and if he be not already 
noble we will ennoble him for his valour." 

The dark, revengeful, cowardly, and bloodthirsty 
nature of Philip II. appears in every line of this 
jiroclamation. In an evil hour for himself had the 
King of Spain lamiched this fulminatiou. It tLxed 
the eyes of all Europe upon the Prince of Orange, 
it gave him the audience of the whole world for his 
justification; and it compelled him to bring forward 
facts which remain an eternal monument of Philip's 
inhumanity, infamy, and crime. The Vindication 
or "Apology" of William, addressed to the Con- 
federated States, and of which copies were sent 
to all the courts of Europe, is one of the most 
l)recious documents of history, for the light it 
throws on the events of the time, and the expo- 
sition it gives of the character and motives of the 
actors, and more especially of himself and Philip. 
It is not so much a Defence an an Arraignment, 
which, breaking in a thunder-peal of moral indig- 
nation, must have made the occupant of the throne 
over which it rolled to shake and tremble on his 
lofty seat. After detailing his own efforts for the 
emancipation of the down-trodden Provinces, he 
turns to review the acts, the policy, and the 
character of the man who had fulminated against 
him this ban of assassination and murder. He 
charges Philij) witlx the destnictiou, not of one 
nor of a few of thoie liberties which he had sworn 
to maintain, but of all of them ; and that not once, 
but a thousand times ; he ridicules the idea that 
a people remain bound while the monarch has re- 
leased himself from every promise, and oath, and 

law; he hurls contempt at the justification set up for 
Philip's perjuries — namely, that the Pope had loosed 
him from his obligations — branding it as adding 
blasphemy to tyranny, and adopting a principle 
which is subversive of faith among men; he accuses 
him of having, through Alva, concerted a plan 
wth the French king to extirpate from France and 
the Netherlands all who favoured the Reformed 
religion, giving as his informant the French king 
himself. He pleads guilty of having disobeyed 
Philip's orders to put certain Protestants to death, 
and of having exerted himself to the utmost to 
prevent the barbarities and cruelties of the 
'■ edicts." He boldly charges Philip with living 
in adultery, with having contracted an incestuous 
marriage, and opening his way to this foul couch 
by the murder "of his former wife, the mother of 
his children, the daughter and sister of the kings 
of France." He crowns this list of crimes, of 
which he accuses Philip, with a yet more awful 
deed — the murder of his son, the heir of his vast 
dominions, Don Carlos. 

With withering scorn he speaks of the King 
of Spain's attempt to frighten him by raising 
against liim " all the malefactors and criminals in 
the world." " I am in the hand of God," said 
the Christian patriot, " he will dispose of me as 
seems best for his glory and my salvation." The 
jjiince concludes his Apology by dedicating afresh 
what remained of his goods and life to the service 
of the Stiites. If his departure from the country 
would remove an impediment to a just peace, or it' 
his death could bring an end to their calamities, 
Philip should have no need to hire assassins and 
poisoners : exUe would be sweet, death would be 
welcome. He was at the disposal of the States. 
They had only to speak — to issue their orders, 
and he would obey ; he would depart, or he would 
remain among them, and continue to toil in their 
cause, till death should come to release him, or 
liberty to crown them with her blessings.' 

This Apology was read in a meeting of the 
Confederated Estates at Delft, the 13th of De- 
cember, 1580, and their mind respecting it was 
sufficiently declared by the step they were led soon 
thereafter to adopt. Abjuring their- allegiance to 
Philip, they installed the Prince of Orange in his 
room. Till this time Philip had remained nominal 
sovereign of the Netherlands, and all edicts and 
deeds were passed in his name, but now this for- 
mality was dropped. The Prmce of Orange had 
before this been earnestly entreated by the States 

' The Apology is given at nearly full length in "Watsou, 
Philip II., vol. iii.. Appendix. 



to assume the sovereignty, but he had persistently 
declined to allow himself to be clothed with this 
office, saj-ing that he would give no ground to 
Philip or to any enemy to say that he had begun 
the war of independence to obtain a crown, and 
that the aggrandisement of liis family, and not the 
liberation of his country, was the motive which had 
prompted him in all his efforts for the Low Coun- 
tries. Now, however (5th July, 1581), the dignity 
so often put aside was accepted conditionally, the 
prince assuming, at the solemn request of the States 
of Holland and Zealand, the " entire authority, as 
sovereign and chief of the land, us long as the war 
should continue."' 

This step was finally concluded on the 26th of 
July, 1581, by an assembly of the States held at 
tlie Hague, consisting of deputies from Brabant, 
Guelderland, Zutphen, Flanders, Holland, Zealand, 
Utrecht, Overy.ssel, and Friesland. The terms of 
their "Abjuration" show how deeply the breath 
of modern constitutional liberty had entered the 
Low Countries in the end of the sixteenth century; 
its preamble enunciates tniths which must have 
shocked the adherents of the doctrine of Divine 
right. The "Abjuration" of the States declai-ed 
" that the people were not created by God for the 
sake of the prince, and only to submit to his com- 
mands, whether pious or impious, right or wrong, 
and to serve him and his slaves ; but that, on the 
contrary, the j)rince was made for the good of the 
people, in order to feed, preserve, and govern them 
according to justice and eqtiity, as a father his chil- 
dren, and a shepherd his flock : that whoever in 
opposition to these principles pretended to nde his 
subjects as if they were his bondmen, ought to be 
deemed a tjTant, and for that reason might be 
rejected or deposed, especially by virtue of the re- 
solution of the States of the nation, in case the 
subjects, after having made use of the most humble 
supplications and prayers, could lind no other means 
to divert him from his tyrannical purposes, nor to 
secure theii- own native rights. "-' 

They next proceed to apply these principles. 
They till column after column with a history of 
Philip's reign over the Low Countries, in justifi- 
cation of the step they had taken in deposing him. 
The document is measured and formal, but the 
horrors of these flaming years shine through its 
di-y technicalities and its cold phraseology. If ever 
there was a tp-ant on the earth, it was Philip II. 
of Spain ; and if ever a people was warranted in 
renouncing its allegiance, it was the men who 

• Uor, lib. XV., pp. 181—185. 

- Br.andt, vol. i., p. 383. 

now came forward ^nth this terriljle tale of vio- 
lated oaths, of repeated perfidies, of cruel wars, of 
extortions, banishments, executions, martyrdems, 
and massacrings, and who now renounced solemnly 
and for ever their allegiance to the piince who was 
loaded with all these crimes. 

The act of abjuration was carried into immediate 
execution. Philip's seal was broken, his anus were 
torn down, his name was forbidden to be used in 
any letters-patent, or public deed, and a new oath 
was administered to all persons in pulilic otfice and 

This is one of the great revolutions of history. 
It realised in fact, and exhibited for the first time 
to the world. Representative Con.stitutional Govern- 
ment. This revolution, though enacted on a small 
theatre, exemplified principles of univereal applica- 
tion, and furnished a precedent to be followed in 
distant realms and by powerful kingdoms. It is im- 
portant to remark that this is one of the mightiest 
of the bu-ths of Protestantism. For it was Pro- 
testantism that inspii'ed the struggle in the Low 
Countries, and that maintained the martyr at the 
stake and the hero in the field till the conflict was 
crowned with this ever-memorable victory. The 
mere desii-e for liberty, the mere reverence for old 
charters and municipal privileges, would not have 
carried the Netherlanders through so awful and 
protracted a combat ; it was the new force 
awakened by religion that enabled them to struggle 
on, sending relay after relay of martyrs to die 
and heroes to fight for a free conscience and a 
scriptural faith, without which life was not worth 
ha\ing. In this, one of the greatest episodes of 
the gi'eat drama of the Reformation, we l^ehold 
Protestantism, which had been proceeding step 
by step in its great work of creating a new society 
— a new world — making another great advance. 
In Germany it had produced disciples and churches ; 
in Geneva it had moulded a theocratic republic ; 
in France it had essayed to set up a Reformed 
throne, but, fiiUing in this, it created a Reformed 
Church so powerful as to include well-nigh half 
the nation. Making yet another essay, we see 
it in the Netherlands dethroning Philip of Spain, 
and elevating to his place William of Orange. 
A constitutional State, simimoned into being by 
Protestantism, is now seen amid the despotisms of 
Christendom, and its appearance was a presage that 
in the centuries to follow. Protestantism would, in 
.some cases by its direct agency, in others by its 
reflex influence, revolutionise all the governments 
and effect a transference of all the cro\ras of 



(I'mn a Portrait 0/ Ihc perM in the Gallcr-'j 0/ I'crsaiUciiJ 



WTiat the United Provinces are to boeome— The Walloons Return to Philip— William's Sovereignty— Brabant and 
the Duke of Anjou— His Entry into the Netherlands— His Administration a Failure— Matthias Departs— Tho 
Netherlands o£fer their Sovereignty to William— He Declines- Defection of Flanders— Attempt on William's 
Life— Anastro, the Spanish Banker— The Assassin— He Wounds the Prince— Alarm of the Provinces- Recovery 
of William— Death of his Wife-Another Attempt on William's Life— Balthazar Gerard- His Project of 
Assassinating the Prince— Encouraged by the Spanish Authorities— William's Murder— His Character. 

number of their inhabitants, the splendour of their 

The Seven United Provinces — the foir flower of 
Netherhmd Protestantism — had come to the birth. 
The clouds and tempests that overhung the cradle 
of the infant States were destined to roll away, the 
sun of pi'osperity and power was to shine forth 
upon them, and for the space ef a full centui-y the 

cities, the beauty of their country, the vastness of 
their commerce, the gi-owth of their wealth, the 
number of their ships, the strength of their ai-mies, 
and the gloiy of their lettere and arts, were to 
make them the admiration of Europe, and of the 



world. Not, however, till that man who had helped 
above all others to find for Protestantism a seat 
wher'e it might expand into such a miiltifonn mag- 
nificence, had gone to his gi'ave, was this stupendous 
growth to be beheld by the world. We have now 
to attend to the condition in which the dissolution 
of Philip's sovereignty left the Netherlands. 

In the one land of the Low Countries, there 
were at tliis moment three commimities or nations. 
The Walloons, yielding to the influence of a 
common faith, had returned under the j'oke of 
S}iain. The Central Pro\'inces, also mostly Popish, 
had ranged themselves under the sovereignty of the 
Duke of Anjou, brother of Henry III. of France. 
The Pro\'inces of Holland and Zealand had elected 
(1581), as we have just seen, the Prince of Orange 
as theii- king.' His acceptance of the dignity was 
at first provisional. His tenure of sovereignty was 
to last only during the war ; but afterwards, at the 
earnest entreaty of the States, the priace consented 
that it should be perpetual. His lack of ambition, 
or his exceeding sense of honoui-, made him decline 
the sovereignty of the Central Provinces, although 
this dignity was also repeatedly pressed upon him ; 
and had he accepted it, it may be that a happier 
destiny would have been in store for the Nether- 
lands. His persistent refusal made these Provinces 
cast theii- eyes abroad in search of a chief, and in 
an evil hour their choice lighted upon a son of 
Catheiine de Medici. The Duke of Anjou, the 
elect of the Pro\T.nces, inherited all the vices of the 
family from which he was .spinmg. He was trea- 
cherous in principle, cruel in disposition, jirofuse 
in liis habits, and deeply superstitious in his faith ; 
but his true character had not then been revealed ; 
and the Prince of Orange, influenced by the hope 
of enlisting on the side of the Netherlands the 
powerful aid of France, supported his candidature. 
France had at that moment, with its habitual 
vacillation, withdrawn its hand from Philip II. 
and given it to the Huguenots, and this seemed to 
justify the prmce in indulging the hope that this 
gi-eat State would not be unwilling to extend a 
little help to the feeble Protestants of Flanders. It 
was rumoured, moreover, that Anjou was aspiring to 
the hand of Elizabeth, and that the English queen 
favoured his suit ; and to have the husband of the 
Queen of England as King of the Netherlands, was 
to have a tolerable bulwark against the excesses 
of the Spanish Power. But all these prudent 
calculations of bringing aid to Protestantism were 
destined to come to nothing. Tlie duke made his 
entry (February, 1582) into the Netherlands amid 

> Bor, lib. IV., pp. 185, 18G. 

the most joyous demonstrations of the Provinces ;- 
and to gi-atify Jiim, the public exercise of the 
Popish religion, which for some time had been 
prohibited in Antwerjj, was restored in one of the 
churches. But a cloud soon overcast the fair 
morning of Anjou's sovereignty in the Netherlands. 
He quickly showed that he had neither the prin- 
ciple nor the ability necessary for -so lUthcult a task 
as he had undertaken. Bitter feuds sprang up 
between him and his subjects, and after a short 
administration, which neither reflected honour on 
himself nor conferred benefit on the Provinces, he 
took his departure, followed by the reproaches and 
accusations of the Flemings. The cause of Pro- 
testantism was destined to owe nothing to a son of 
Catherine de Medici. Matthias, who had dwindled 
in William's overshadowing presence into a non- 
entity, and had done neither good nor evO, had gone 
home some time before. Thi'ough neither of these 
men had the intrigues of the Romanists borne 
fruit, except to the prejudice of the cause they 
were intended to further. 

The Duke of Anjou being gone, the States of 
Brabant and Flanders came to the Prince of 
Orange (August, 1583) with an offer of then- crown ; 
but no argument could induce him to accept the 
sceptre they were so anxious to thrust into his 
hand. He took the opportunity, however, which 
his declinature oflered, of tendering them some 
wholesome advice. They must, he said, bestir 
themselves, and contribute more generously, if they 
wished to speed in the great conflict in which they 
had embarked. As for himself, he had nothing 
now to give but his services, and his blood, should 
that be required. All else he had already parted 
with for the cause : his fortune he had given ; his 
brothers he had given. He had seen with pleasure, 
as the fruit of his long struggles for the Fatherland 
and freedom of conscience, the fan- Provinces of 
Holland and Zealand redeemed from the Spanish 
yoke. And to think that now these Pro\THces 
were neither oppressed by Philip, nor darkened 
by Rome, was a higher rewai'd than would be ten 
cro'wns, though they could place them upon his 
head. He would never put it in the power of 
Phili]) of Spain to say that William of Orange had 
sought other recompense than that of rescuing his 
native land from slavery.'' 

William, about this time, was dee] ily wounded by 
the defection of some friends in whom he had 
reposed confidence as sincere Protestants and good 

- Bor, lib. xvii., pp. 297-301. Hooft, lib. six., p. 295. 
3 Message of William to tbo States-Genoral, MS.— apud 
Motley, vol. ii., p. 437. 



patriots, and he was not less mortified by the 
secession of Flanders, with its powerful capital, 
Ghent, from the cause of Netherland independence 
to the side of Parma. Thus one by one the Pro- 
vinces of the Netherlands, whose hearts had gi'own 
faint in the struggle, and whose "strength was 
weakened Ln the way," crejDt back under the shadow 
of Spain, little dreaming what a noble heritage they 
had forfeited, and what centuries of insignificance, 
stagnation, and serfdom .spiritual and bodily 
awaited them, as the result of the step they had 
now taken. The rich Southern Provinces, so 
stocked with cities, so finely clothed, so full of men, 
and so replenished \vith commercial wealth, fell to 
the share of Rome : the sand-banks of Holland 
and Zealand were given to Protestantism, that it 
might convert the desert into a garden, and rear on 
tills naiTOw and obscure theatre an empire which, 
mighty in arms and resplendent in arts, should fill 
the world with its light. 

The ban which PhiUp had fulminated against the 
prince began now to bear fruit. Wonderful it 
would have been if there had not been found among 
the malefactoi's and murderers of the world some 
one bold enough to risk the pei-il attendant on 
gi-asping the golden prize which the King of Spain 
held out to them. A year only had elapsed since 
the publication of the ban, and now an attempt was 
made to destroy the man on whose head it had set 
a price. Gaspar Anastro, a Spanish banker in 
Antwerp, finding himself on the verge of bank- 
ruptcy, bethought him of earning Philip's reward, 
and doing the world a service by ridding it of so 
great a heretic, and helping himself, at the same 
time, by retrieving his iiiined fortimes. But lack- 
ing courage to do the bloody deed with his own 
hand, he hired his servant to execute it. This man, 
having received from a priest absolution of his sins, 
and the assurance that the dooi-s of paradise stood 
open to him, repaii-ed to the mansion of the prince, 
and waited an opi)ortunity to commit the horrible 
act. As Orange was crossing the hall, from the 
dinner-table, the miscreant approached him on pre- 
tence of lianding him a petition, and putting his 
pistol, loaded with a single bullet, close to his head, 
dischai-ged it at the prince. The ball, entering a 
little below the right ear, passed out through the 
left jaw, carrying with it two teeth. The wound 
bled profusely, and for some weeks the prince's life 
was despaired of, and vast crowds of grief-stricken 
citizens repaired to the churches to beseech, ^^dth 
supplications and tears, the Great Disposer to inter- 
pose his power, and save from death the Father of 
his Country. Tlie prayer of the nation was heard. 
William recovered to resume his liurden, and con- 

duct another stage on the road to freedom the two 
Provinces wliich he had rescued from the paws of 
the Spanish bear. But if the husband survived, 
the wife fell by the mm-derous blow of Philip. 
Charlotte de Bourbon, so devoted to the prince, 
and so tenderly beloved by him, worn out with 
watcliing and anxiety, fell ill of a fever, and 
died. William sorely missed from his side that 
gentle but heroic spii-it, whose words had so often 
revived him in liis hours of darkness and sorrow. 

The two years that now followed witnessed the 
progressive disorganisation of the Southern Nether- 
lands, under the combined influence of the mis- 
management of the Duke of Anjou, the intrigues 
of the Jesuits, and the diplomacy and arms of 
the Duke of Parma. Despite all warnings, and 
their own past bitter experience, the Pro^dnces of 
Brabant and Flanders again opened their ear to 
the " cunning charmers " of Spain and the " sweet 
singers " of Rome, and began to think that the 
yoke of Philip was not so heavy and galling as 
they had accoimted it, and that the pastures of 
" the Church " were richer and more pleasant than 
those of Protestantism. Many said, " Beware ! " 
and quoted the maxim of the old Book : " They 
who wander out of the way of understanding shall 
remain in the congregation of the dead." But the 
Flemings turned away from these counselloi-s. Divi- 
sions, distractions, and perpetual broils made them 
fain to have peace, and, to use the forcible metaphor 
of the Burgomaster of Antwerp, " they confessed to 
a wolf, and they had a wolf's absolution." 

It was in the Northern Provinces only, happily 
under the sceptre of William, who had rescued them 
from the general shipwreck of the Netherlands, 
that order prevailed, and that anything like steady 
progi-ess could be traced. But now the time was 
come when these States must lose the wisdom and 
courage to which they owed the freedom they 
already enjoyed, and the yet greater degi-ee of 
prosperity and power in store for them. TSventy 
years had William the SUent "judged " the Low 
Countries : now the tomb was to close over him. 
He had given the labours of his life for the cause 
of the Fatherland : he was now to give his blood 
for it. Not fewer than five attempts had been 
made to assassinate him. They had failed ; but the 
sixth was to succeed. Like all that had preceded 
it, this attempt was directly instigated by Philip's 
proscription. In the summer of 1584, William 
was residing at Delft, liaving married Louisa de 
Coligny, the daughter of the admiral, and the 
widow of Teligny. who perished, as we have seen, 
in the St. Bartholomew. A yoimg Burgimdian, 
who hid great duplicity and some talent under a 



mean and insignificant exterior, had that spring 
been introduced to tlie prince, and liad Leen em- 
ployed by liiiu in some business, though of small 
moment. This stranger professed to be a zealous 
Calvinist, the son of a French Protestant of the 
name of Guion, who had died for his faith. His real 
name was Balthazar Gerard, and being a fanatical 
Papist, he had long wished to " serve God and the 
king" by taking off the arch-heretic. He made 
known his design to the celebrated Franciscan, 
Father Gery of Tournay, by whom he was " much 
comforted and strengthened in his determination." 
He revealed his project also to Philip's Governor 
of the Low Countries. The Duke of Parma, who 
had at that time four ruffians lurking in Delft on 
the same business, did not dissuade Gerard from 
his design, but he seems to have mistrusted his 
fitness for it ; although afterwards, being assm-ed 
on this point, he gave him some encouragement 
and a little money. The risk was great, but so 
too were the inducements — a fortune, a place in 
the peerage of Spain, and a crown in paradise. 

It was Tuesday, the 10th of July, 1584. The 
prince was at dinner with his wife, his sister (the 
Princess of Schwartzenberg), and the gentlemen of 
his suite. In the shadow of a deep arch in the wall 
of the vestibule, stood a mean-looking personage 
with a cloak cast round him. This was Balthazar 
Gerard. His figure had caught the eye of Louisa 
de Coligny as, leaning on her husband's arm, she 
passed thi-ough the hall to the dining-room, and his 
pale, agitated, and darkly sinister countenance smote 
her with a presentiment of evil. " He has come 
for a passport," said the prmce, calming her alarm, 
and passed into the dining-hall. At table, the 
pidnce, thinking nothing of the muffled spectre in 
the ante-chamber, was cheerful as usual. The 
Burgomaster of Leeuwarden was present at the 
family dinner, and William, eager to inform himself 
of the religious and political condition of Friesland, 
talked much, and with great animation, mth his 
guest. At two o'clock William rose from table, 
and crossed the vestibule on his way to his private 
apartments .above. His foot was ah-eady on the 
second step of the stairs, which he was ascending 
leisurely, when the assassin, i-ushing from his hiding- 
place, fired a pistol loaded with three balls, one of 
wliich passed tlu'ough the p)-inco's body, and struck 
the wall opposite. On receiving the shot, William 
exclaimed : " O my God, have mercy on my soul ! 
O my God, have mercy on this poor people!"' 
He was carried into the dining-room, laid u]ion a 

' " Mon Dieu, ayez pltiC- ilc luou ilmu ! mou Ditu, ;i,m 
pitifi de ce pauvre peuple ! " 

couch, and in a few minutes he breathed his last. 
He had lived fifty-one years and sixteen days. On 
the 3rd of August he was laitl in his tomb at Delft, 
mourned, not by Holland and Zealand oidy, but 
by all the Netherlands — the Walloons excepted — 
as a father is mourned. - 

So closed the great career of William the Silent. 
It needs not that we paint his character : it has 
portrayed itself in the actions of his life which we 
have narrated. Historians have done ample justice 
to his talents, so various, so hannonious, and each 
so colossal, that the combination presents a cha- 
racter of surpassing intellectual and moral grandem- 
such as has rarely been equalled, and yet more 
rarely excelled. But as the ancient tree of Nether- 
land liberty never could have borne the goodly 
fruit that clothed its boughs in the sixteenth and 
seventeenth centuries unless the shoot of Protest- 
antism had been gi'afted upon it, and new sap 
infused into the old decaying charters, so the talents 
of William of Orange, vai'ied, beautiful, and biillijuit 
though they wei-e, unless linked with something 
diviner, could not have evolved that noble character 
and done those great deeds which have made the 
name of William the Silent one of the brightest on 
the page of history. Humanity, however richly en- 
dowed with genius, is a weak thing in itself ; it needs 
to be grafted with a higher Power in order to reach 
the full measure of greatness. In the case of William 
of Orange it was so gi-afted. It was his power of 
realising One unseen, whose will he obeyed, and on 
whose arm he leaned, that constituted the secret 
of his strength. He was the soldier, the statesman, 
the patriot; but before aU he was the Christian. 
The springs of his gi'eatness lay in his faith. Hence 
his lofty aims, which, rising high above fame, above 
power, above all the ordinary objects of ambition, 
aspii-ed to the only and supreme good. Hence, too, 
that inflexible principle wliich enabled him, without 
turning to the right or to the left, to go straight on 
through all the intricacies of his path, making no 
compromise ^\•ith falsehood, never listening to the 
solicitations of self-interest, and alive only to the 
voice of duty. Hence, too, that luifaltering perse- 
verance and midying hope that upheld lum in the 
darkest hoiu', and amid the most terrible calamities, 
and made him confident of ultimate victory where 

- The original authority from which the liistorians Bor, 
Meteren, Hooft, and others have di-awn their details of 
the assassination of William of Orange is the " Official 
Statement," compiled by order of the States-General, of 
which there is a copy in the Royal Library at the Hague. 
Tho basis of this "Statement" is the Confession of 
balthazar Gerard, written by liimself. There is a recent 
edition of tliis Confession, printed from an ohl MS. copy, 
and published by M. Gachaid. 



another would Imvc abanrloncd tlio conflict as 
hopeless. William of Orange persevered and 
triiiinjihed where a Cassar or a Napoleon would 
liave despaii-ed and lieen defeated. Tlie man and 
the country are alike : both ai-e an epic. (Supremely 
tragic outwardly is the history of both. It is defeat 
.succeeding defeat ; it is disaster heaped upon dis- 
aster, and calamity piled upon calamity, till at last 
there stands jiersonified before us an lUad of woes. 
But by some marvellous touch, by some transform- 
ing fiat, the whole scene is suddenly changed : the 
blackness kindles into glorious hght, the roar of the 

tempest subsides into sweetest music, and defeat 
grows into victory. The man we had expected 
to see prostrate beneath tlie ban of Philip, rises 
up greater than kings, crowned wth the wreath 
of a deathless sovereignty ; and the little State 
which Spam had thought to consign to an eternal 
slavery, rends the chain from her neck ; and from 
her seat amid the seas, she makes her light to 
cii'culate along the shores of the islands and con- 
tinents of the deep, and her power to be felt, and 
her name reverenced, by the mightiest kingdoms 
on the earth. 



Tlie Spiritual Movement beneath the Armed Struggle — The Infant Springs — Gradual Development of the 
Chm'ch of the Netherlands— The "Forty Ecclesiastical Laws "—Their Enactments respecting the Election of 
Ministers — Examination and Admission of Pastors— Care for the Purity of the Pulpit — The "Fortnightly 
Exercise "— Yeai-ly Visitation— Worship and Schools— Elders and Deacons— Power of the Magisti-ate in the 
Church— Controversy respecting it— Efforts of the States to Compose these Quarrels— Synod at Middelburg— It 
Completes the Constitution of the Dutch Church. 

The development of the religiovis pi-inciple is some- 
what overshadowed by the sti-uggle in arms which 
Protestantism had to maintain in the Low Coun- 
tries. But the well-defined landing-place at which 
we have anived, permits lis to pause and take a 
closer view of the iimer and sjimtual conflict. 
Amid the ai-mies that are seen marching to and 
fro over the soil of the Netherlands ; amid the 
liattles that shake it from side to side ; amid the 
blaze of cities kindled by the Spaniard's torch, and 
fields drowned in blood by the Spanish sword, wc 
can recognise the silent yet not inefficacious pre- 
sence of a great power. It Is here that wc find the 
infant springs of a movement that to the outward 
eye seems so very martial and complex. It is in 
closets where the Bible is being read ; it is in little 
a.ssemblies gathered in cellar or tliicket or cave, 
where prayer is being offered up and the Scriptures 
are being searched ; it is in the prison where the 
confessor languishes, and at the stake whei-e the 
martyr is expu-ing, that we fijid the beginnings of 
that imjndse which brought a nation into the field 
with arms in its hands, and raised up William of 
Orange to withstand the power of Spain. It was 
not the old charters that kindled the fire in the 
Netherlands. These were slowly and silently re- 
turning to dust, and the Provinces were sinking 
with them into slavery, and both would have con- 
tinued uninterruptedly theii- quiescent repose had 

not an old Book, which claims a higher than human 
authorship, awakened conscience, and made it more 
indispensable to the men of the Netherlands to 
have freedom of worsliip than to enjoy goods or 
estate, or even life itself. It was this inexorability 
that brought on the conflict. 

But was it not a misfortmic to transfer such 
a controversy to the arena of the battle-field ? 
Doubtless it was; but for that calamity the dis- 
ciples of the Gospel in the Netherlands are not to 
blame. Thoy waited long and endured much before 
they betook them to arms. Nearly half a cen- 
tury passed away after the burning of the fu-st 
martyrs of Protestantism in Brussels till the first 
sword was unsheathed in the war of independence. 
During that period, speaking generally — for the 
exact number never can be ascertained — from 
50,000 to 100,000 men and women had been 
])ut to death for religion. And when at last 
war came, it came not from the Protestants, 
but from the Spaniards. We have seen the power- 
ful army of soldiers which Alva led across the 
Alps, and we have seen the terrible work to which 
they gave themselves when they entered the coim- 
try. The Blood Council was set uj), the preacliing 
of the Gospel was forbidden, the ministers were 
hanged, whole cities were laid in ashes, and, the 
gibbets being full, the trees of the field were con- 
verted into gallows, and their boughs were seen 



laden with tlie corpses of men ;inil women whose 
only crime was that they were, or were suspected of 
being, convei-ts to Protestantism. As if this were 
not enough, sentence of death was ])assed upon all 
the inhabitants of the Netherlands. Not even 
yet had a sword been drawn in opposition to a 
tp-anny that had converted the Provinces, recently 
so floiu-ishing, into a slaughter-house, and that 
threatened speedily to make them as silent as a 
gi-aveyard. Nor did Philip mean that his strang- 
lin^s, bumings, and massacrings should stoji at the 
Netherlands. The orders to liis devastating hordes 
were to follow the steps of Protestantism to 
every land where it had gone ; to march to the 
shores of the Leman ; to the banks of the Thames ; 
to France, should the Guises fail in the St. Bar- 
tholomew they were at that moment plotting : 
every^vhere " extennination, utter extermination," 
was to be inflicted. Protestantism was to be torn 
up by the roots, although it should be necessaiy to 
tear up along with it all human rights and liberties. 
It is not the Netherlands, with William at their 
head, for whom we need to offer vindication or 
apology, for coming forward at the eleventh hour 
to save Chiistendom and the world from a cata- 
strophe so imminent and so tremendous ; the parties 
that need to be defended are those more powerful 
States and princes who stood aloof, or rendered but 
inadequate aid at this supreme crisis, and left the 
world's battle to Ije fought by one of the smallest 
of its kingdoms. It is no doubt true, as we are 
often reminded, that the great Defender of the 
Church is her heavenly King ; but it is equally true 
that he saves her not by miracle, but by blessing the 
counsels and the arms, as well as the teacliing and 
the blood of her disciples. There is a time to die 
for the truth, and there is a time to fight for it ; 
and the part of Christian wisdom is to discern the 
" times," and the duty which they call for. 

Leaving the armed struggles that are seen on the 
surface, let us look at the under-current, which, 
from one houi' to another, is waxing in breadth and 
power. Protestantism in the Nethei'lands does not 
form one great river, as it did in some other coun- 
tries. For half a century, at least, it is a congeries 
of fountains that bin-st out here and there, and 
send forth a multitude of streamlets, that are seen 
flowing through the country and refreshing it with 
li\-ing water. The course of Netherland Protest- 
antism is the exact reverse of that of the great river 
of the land, the Rhine, which long keeping its floods 
united, divides at last into an infinity of streams, 
and falls into the ocean. Netherland Protestantism, 
long parted into a multitude of courses, gathers at 
length its waters into one chamiel, and forms hence- 

forth one gi'eat river. This makes it somewhat 
diflicult to obtaiii a clear view of the Netherland 
Protestant Church. That Church is first seen in 
her martyrs, and it may be truly said that her 
martyrs are her glory, for they are excelled in 
numbers, and in holy heroism, by those of no 
Church in Christendom. The Netherland Church 
is next seen in her individual congi'egations, scat- 
tered through the cities of Flanders, Brabant, and 
Holland ; and these congregations come into view, 
and anon disappeai", according as the cloud of per- 
secution now rises and now falls ; and last of all, 
that Church is seen in her Synods. Her days of 
battle and martyrdom come at length to an end ; 
and under the peaceful sceptre of the princes of the 
House of Orange, her courts regularly convene, her 
seminaries flourish, her congregations fill the land, 
and the writings of her theologians are diSiised 
through Christendom. The schools of Germany 
have ceased by this time to be the crowded resort 
of scholare they once were ; the glory of the French 
Huguenots has waxed dim ; and the day is going 
away in Geneva, where in the middle and end of 
the sixteenth century it had shone so brightly ; but 
the light of Holland is seen burning purely, form- 
ing the link between Geneva and the glory destined 
to illuminate England in the seventeenth century. 

The order and government established in the 
Church of Holland may be clearly ascertamed from 
the " Forty Ecclesiastical Laws," which in the year 
1577 were drawn up and published in the name of 
the Prince of Orange as Stadtholder, and of the 
States of Holland, Zealand, and their aJlies. The 
preamble of the Act indicates the great principle 
of ecclesiastical jurisprudence entertained by the 
framers, and which they sought to embody in the 
Dutch Church. " Haraig," say they, " nothing 
more at heart than that the doctrine of the holy 
Gospel may be propagated in its utmost purity 
in the towns and other places of our jurisdiction, 
we have thought tit, after mature deliberation, to 
make the following rules, which we will and require 
to be inviolably preserved ; and we have judged it 
necessary that the said rules should chiefly relate 
to the administration of Church government, of 
which there are to be found in Holy Scripture 
four principal kinds : 1. That of Pastors, who are 
likewise styled Bishops, Presbyters, Ministers in 
the Word of God, and whose office cliiefly consists 
in teaching the said Word, and in the administra- 
tion of the Sacraments. 2. That of Doctors, to 
whose ofiice is now substituted that of Professors of 
Divinity. 3. That of Elders, whose main business 
is to watch over men's morals, and to bring 
transgressors again into the right way by friendly 



admonitions ; and 4. That of Deacons, who have 
tlie care of the sick." 

According to tliis programme of Chm-ch govern- 
ment, or body of ecclesiastical canons, now enacted 
by tlie States, the appointment of ministers was 
lodged in the hands of the magistrates, who were to 
act, however, upon " the information and with the 
advice of the ministers." Towns whose magis- 
trates had not yet embraced the Reformed religion, 
were to be supplied with pastors from a distance. 
No one was to assume at his own hands an office so 
sacred as the ministry : he must receive admission 
from the constituted authorities of the Church. 
The minister " elect " of a city had iirst to vmdergo 
exammation before the elders, to whom he must 
give proofs that his learning was competent, that 
his pulpit gifts were such as might enable him 
to edify the people, and, above all, that his life 
was pure, lest he should dishonour the pulpit, 
and bring reproach upon "the holy office of the 
ministry." If found qualified in these three par- 
ticulars, " he shall be presented," say the canons, 
" to the magistrate for his approliation, in order 
to his preaching to the people," that they, too, 
may be satisfied as to his fitness to instruct them. 
There still awaits him another ordeal befoi'e he can 
enter a pulpit as pastor of a flock. He has been 
nominated by the magistrate with advice of the 
ministers ; he has been examined by the elders ; 
he has been accepted by the people ; and thus has 
given guarantees as to his learning, his life, and 
his power of communicating insti-uction ; but before 
being ordained to the office of the ministry, " his 
name shall be published from the pulpit," say the 
canons, " three Sundays successively, to the end 
that if any man has aught to object against liim, 
or can show any cause why he should not be 
admitted, he may have time to do it." We shall 
suppose that no objections have been ofiered — at 
least none such as to form a bar to his admission — 
the oath of allegiance is then administered to him. 
In that oath he swears obedience to the lawful 
authorities " in all things not contrary to the will 
of God." To this civil oath was appended a solemn 
vow of spii-itual fidelity, in these words : " More- 
over, I swear that I will preach and teach the 
Word of God after the jnirest manner, and with 
the gi-eatest diligence, to the end it may biing 
forth much fniit in this congi-egation, as becomes 

a true and faithful shepherd Neither 

will I forsake this ministry on account of any 
advantage or disadvantage." It was to the eccle- 
siastical authorities that this promise was commonly 
given in other Presbyterian Churches, but in Hol- 
land it was tendered to the nation through the 

magistrate, the autonomy of the Church not being 
as yet complete. The act of ordinatien was to 
be preceded by a sermon on the sacred function, 
and followed by prayers for a blessing on the 
pastor and his flock. So simple was the ritual, 
in studied contrast to the shearings, the anoint- 
ings, and the investitures of the Roman Church, 
which made the entrance into sacred orders an afl'air 
of so much mystic pomp. "This," the canons 
add, " we think sufficient, seeing that the ancient 
cei-emonies are degenerated into abominable insti- 
tutions," and they might have added, had failed to 
guard the piu-ity of the priesthood.' 

In these canons we see at least an earnest desire 
evinced on the part of the civil authorities of 
Holland to secure learned and pious men for its 
pulpits, and to provide guarantees, so far as himaan 
foresight and arrangement could do so, against the 
indolent and unfaithful discharge of the office on 
the pai-t of those entrusted with it. And in thi.s 
they showed a wise care. The heart of a Protes- 
tant State is its Church, and the heart of a Church 
is its pulpit, and the centuries wliich have elapsed 
since the era of the Reformation furnish us ■with 
more than one example, that so long as the pulpit 
retains its purity, the Church will preserve her 
vigour ; and while the Church pi-eserves her vigom-, 
the commonwealth will continue to flourish ; and 
that, on the other hand, when languor invades the 
pidpit, corruption sets-in in the Church, and from 
the Church the leprosy quickly extends to the 
State ; its pillars totter, and its bulwarks fall. 

Following an example fii-st originated at Geneva, 
the ministei-s of a city and of the parishes aroimd 
met every fortnight to confer together on religious 
matters, as also on their studies, and, in short, on 
whatever concerned the welfare of the Chiu'ch and 
the efficiency of her pastors. Every minister, in 
his turn, preached before his brethren ; and if hi ■ 
sermon was thought to contain anytliing contrary 
to sound doctrine, the rest admonished him of his 
error. In order still more to guard the purity aird 
keep awake the vigilance of the ministry, a com- 
mission, consisting of two elders and two ministers 
of the chief town, was to make a yearly circuit 
through the dependent Provinces, and report the 
state of matters to the magistrate on their retm-n, 
" to the end," say the canons, " that if they find 
anything amiss it may be seasonably redi-essed." 
Not fewer than three sermons a week were to be 
preached " in all public places," and on the after- 
noon of Sunday the Heidelberg Catechism was to 
be expounded in all the chiu-ches. Baptism was to 

1 Brandt, vol i., pp. 318, 319. 



\»' adminLstered by a minister only ; it was not 
to be denied to any infant ; it was " pious and 
jjraiseworthy " for the parent himself to bring the 
chUd to be baptised, and the celebration was to 
take place in the chiu-ch in presence of the con- 
gregation, unless the child were sick, when the 
ordinance might be dispensed at home " in pre- 
sence of some godly persons." The Lord's Supper 
was to be celebrated foiu- times yearly, care being 
taken that all who approached the table were 
well instructed in the faith. The canons, more- 
over, prescribe the duty of ministers touching the 
■visitation of the .sick, the care of prisoners, and 
attendance at funerals. A body of theological pro- 
fessors was provided for the University of Leyden ; 
and the magistrates planted a school in every town 
under theii- jurisdiction, selecting as teachera only 
those who professed the Reformed faith, " whose 
business it shall be to instU into them principles of 
true religion as well as leai'ning." 

The ciders were chosen, not by the congre- 
gation, but by the magistrates of the city. They 
were to be .selected from then' own body, "good 
men, and not inexperienced in the matters of reli- 
gion ; " they were to sit wth the pastors, consti- 
tuting a court of morals, and to rejjort to the 
Government such decisions and transactions as it 
might concern the Government to know. To the 
deacons was assigned the care of the poor. The 
Htate aiTangements in Holland for this class of 
the community made the office of deacon well- 
nigh superfluous ; nevertheless, it was instituted as 
being an integral part of the Church machinery ; 
and so the canons bid the magistrates take care 
" that fit and godly stewards be appointed, who 
understand how to assist the poor according to 
their necessities, by which means the trade of beg- 
ging may be prevented, and the poor contained 
within the bounds of theii- duty ; this will be easily 
brought about as soon as an end shall be put to 
oiu' miseries by peace and public tranquillity."' 

This firet framework of the Netherland Refoi-med 
Church left the magistrate the highest functionary 
in it. The final decision of all matters lay -with 
him. In matters of administration and of disci- 
]>line, in questions of morals and of doctrine, he 
was the colu^; of last appeal. This presents us 
wth a notable difference between the Protestant 
Church of the Netherhmds and the Chiu-ches of 
Geneva and France. Calvin aimed, as wc have 
seen, at a complete separation of the civil and the 
spiritual domain ; ho sought to exclude entirely the 
power of the magistrate in things purely spiritual. 

and he eflected this in the important point of 
admission to the Communion-table ; but in Geneva 
the Cliui-oh being the State, the two necessarily 
touched each other at a gi-eat many points, and 
the Reformer failed to make good the perfect 
autonomy which he aimed at conferiing on the 
Church. In France, however, as we have also seen, 
he realised his ideal fully. He established in that 
country an ascending gi-adation of Church courts, 
or spiritual tribunals, according to which the final 
legislation and administration of all spiritual affaii-s 
lay within the Church herself. We behold the 
French Protestant Church taking her place by the 
side of the French Government, and exliibiting a 
scheme of spiritual administration and i-ule as 
distinct and complete as that of the civil govern- 
ment of the country. But in the Netherlands we 
fail to see a marked distinction between the spiritual 
and the civil power : the ecclesiastical courts merge 
into the magistrate's tribunal, and the head of the 
State is to the Church in room of National Synod 
and Assembly. One reason of the difference is to 
be found in the fact that whereas in France the 
magistrate was hostile, in the Low Countries he 
was friendly, and was oftener found in the van 
than in the rear of the Refoi-m. Moreover, the 
magistrates of Holland could plead a very vener- 
able and a vei-y unbroken precedent for theii- 
interference in the affairs of the Church : it had 
been, they affirmed, the practice of princes from 
the days of Justinian downwards. - 

This was one source of the troubles which after- 
wards afflicted the States, and which we must not 
pass wholly wthout notice. Peter Cornelison and 
Gaspar Koolhaes, ministers in Leyden, were (1579) 
the fii'st to begin the war which raged so long 
and so fiercely in Holland on the question of the 
authority of the Civil Government in Ecclesiastical 
mattei-s. Peter Cornelison maintained that elders 
and deacons ought to be nominated by the Con- 
sistory and proposed to the congi-egation without 
the intervention of the miigistrate. Gaspar Kool- 
haes, on tho contrary, maintained that elders imd 
deacons, on being nominated by the Consistory, 
should be approved of by the magistrates, and 
afterwards presented to the congregation. TIic 
dispute came before the magistrates, and decision 
was given in favour of the latter method, that 
elders and deacons elect should receive the ap- 
jiroval of the magistnitc before being presented 
to the people. The States of Holland, with the 
view of preserving the public peace and putting 

> Brandt, vol. i., pp. 321, 32-J. 

^ See "Reasons of prescribing these Ecclesiastical 
Laws "—Brandt, vol. i., p. 322. 



an end to these quarrels, appointed certain divines 
to deduce from Scripture, and embody in a concise 
treatise, the Relations of the Civil and Ecclesiastical 
Powers — in other words, to give an answer to the 
question, what the magistrate may do and what 
he may not do in tlie Churcli. It is almost un- 
necessary to say that theii- dissertation on this 
difficult and delicate question did not meet the views 
of all parties, and that the tempest was not allayed. 
The worthy divines took somewhat decided views 
on the magistrate's functions. His duty, they 
said, was " to hinder those who corrupt the Word 
of God from disturbing the external peace of the 
Church, to fine and imprison them, and inflict cor- 
pora] punishments upon them." As an illustration 
Peter Comelison, the champion of the Consistorial 
rights, was dismissed from his charge in Leyden, 
an apology accompanying the act, in which the 
magistrates set forth that they " did not design to 
tyrannise over the Church, but to rid her of violent 
and seditious men," adding "that the Church ought 
to be governed by Christ alone, and not by minis- 
ters and Consistories." This looked like raising 
a false issue, seeing both parties admitted that 
the government of the Church is in Christ alone, 
and only disputed as to whether that government 
ought to be administered through magistrates, or 
through ministers and Consistories.' 

The National Synod which met at Dort in 1578, 
and which issued the famous declaration in favour 
of toleration, noticed in a previous chapter, agreed 
that a National Synod should be convened once 
every three years. In pursuance of that enact- 

ment, the Churches of Antwerp and Delft, to whom 
the power had been given of convoking the as- 
sembly, issued circular letters calling the SjTiod, 
which accordingly assembled in 1581 at Middelburg 
in Zealand. The constitution of the Netherland 
Refonned Church — so ftir framed by the " Eccle- 
sia.stical Laws " — this Synod completed on the 
French model. The Consistories, or Kirk-sessions, 
it placed under classes or Presbyteries ; and the 
Presbyteries it placed imder particular Synods. 
The other regulations tended in the direction of 
curtailing the power of the magistrate in Chui'ch 
matters. The Synod entii-ely shut him out in the 
choice of elders and deacons, and it permitted him 
to interfere in the election of ministers only so 
far as to approve the choice of the people. The 
Synod likewise decreed that all ministers, elders, 
deacons, and professors of divinity should subscribe 
the Confession of Faith of the Netherland Church. 
In the case of KooLhaes, who had maintained 
against Cornelison the right of the magistrate to 
intervene in the election of elders and deacons, 
the Synod found his doctrine erroneous, and or- 
dained him to make a public acknowledgment. 
Nevertheless, he refused to submit to this judgment, 
and though excommunicated by the Synod of Haar- 
lem next year, he was sustained in the spiritual 
functions and temporal emoluments of his office by 
the magistrates of Leyden. The matter was abun- 
dantly prolific of strifes and divisions, which had all 
but ruined the Church at Leyden, until it ended 
in the recalcitrant resigning his ministry and 
adopting the trade of a distUler.- 



Vessels of Honour and of Dishonour— Memorial of the Magistrates of Leyden— They demand an Undivided Civil 
Authority— The Pastors demand an Undivided Spiritual Authority— The Popish and Protestant Jurisdictions 
—Oath to Observe the Pacification of Ghent Refused by many of the Priests— The Pacification Violated— Dis- 
orders— Tumults in Ghent, etc.— Dilemma of the Eomanists— Tlieii- Loyalty— Miracles— The Prince obliged to 
Withdraw the Toleration of the Roman Worship— Priestly Charlatanries in Brussels— William and Toleration. 

In projiortion as the Reformed Cliurch of the 
Netherlands rises in power and consolidates her 
order, the Provinces around her foil into dis- 
organisation and weakness. It is a process of selec- 
tion and rejection that is seen going on in 

' Abridgment of Brandfs History, vol. i., pp. 200—202. 

the Low Countries. All that is valuable in the 
Netherlands is drawn out of the heap, and gathered 
round the gi'eat principle of Protestantism, and set 
apart for liberty and glory ; all that is worthless is 
thrown away, and left to be burned in the fii-e of 

2 Brandt, vol. i., pp. 381, 382. 



despotism. Of the Seventeen Provuices seven are 
taken to be fashioned into a "vessel of honour," 
ten are left to become a " vessel of dishonour." 
The first become the "head of gold," the second are 
the " legs and feet of clay." 

Notwithstanding the efforts of the Synod of 
Middelburg, the peace at large was not restoi-ed; 
there was still war between the jjastors and some 
of the municipalities. The next move in the battle 
came from the magistrates of Leyden. Their pride 
Iiad been hiu-t by what the Synod of Middelburg 
had done, and they presented a complaint against it 
to the States of Holland. In a Synod vested with the 
power of enacting canons, the magistrates of Leyden 
saw, or professed to see, another Papacy rising up. 
The fear was not unwan-anted, seeing that for a 
thousand years the Church had tyrannised over the 
State. " If a new National Synod is to meet every 
three years," say the magistrates in theii- memorial 
to the States, " the number of ecclesiastical decrees 
\vill be so great tliat we shall have much ado to find 
the beginning and the end of that link." It was 
a second canon law which they dreaded. " If we 
receive the decrees of Synods we shall become their 
vassals," they reasoned. "We demand," said they 
in conclusion, " that the civil authority may stOl 
reside in the magistrates, whole and undivided ; we 
dcsii-e that the clergy may have no occasion to usurp 
:i new jurisiUction, to raise themselves above the 
Government, and rule over the subjects." 

The ministers and elders of the Chiu-ches of Hol- 
liind met the demand for an undivided civil autho- 
rity on the part of the magistrates by a demand for 
an undivided spiritual authority on the part of the 
Church. They asked that " the govei-nment of the 
Church, which is of a spiritual nature, should still 
reside, whole and undivided, in the pastors and 
overseers of the Chiu-ches, and that politicians, and 
jjarticularly those who plainly showed that they 
were not of the Reformed religion, should have no 
occasion to exercise an luu-easonable power over the 
Church, which they could no more endure than the 
yoke of Popery." And they add, " that having 
escaped from the Poiiish tyranny, it behoved them 
to see that the people did not fall into unlimited 
lit^entiousness, or libertinage, tending to nothing but 
disorder and confusion. The bhmted rod should 
not bo thrown away lest peradventurc a sharper 
should grow up in its room." ' It is true that both 
tlio Popish and the Protestant Churches claim a 
spiritual jurisdiction, but there is this essential dif- 
ference between the two powers claimed — the former 
is lawless, the latter is regulated by law. Tlie Popish 

juiisdiction cannot be resisted by conscience, because, 
claiming to be infallible, it is above conscience. The 
Protestant jurisdiction, on" the contrary, leaves con- 
science free to resist it, should it exceed its just 
powers, because it teaches that God alone is Lord of 
the conscience. 

But to come to the root of the unhappy strifes 
that now tore up the Netherlands, and laid the 
better half of the Provinces once more at the feet 
of Rome — there were two nations and two faiths 
struggling in that one country. The Jesuits had 
now had time to bring their system into full 
operation, and they succeeded so far in thwarting 
the measures which were concerted by the Prince 
of Orange ^vith the view of uniting the Pi'ovinces, 
on the basis of a toleration of the two faiths, in a 
common struggle for the one liberty. Led by the 
discijiles of Loyola, the Romanists in the Nether- 
lands would neither be content with equality for 
themselves, nor would they grant toleration to the 
Protestants wherever they had ^he power of re- 
fusing it ; hence the failure of the Pacification of 
Ghent, and the Peace of Religion. The Fathers 
kept the populations in contiinial agitation and 
alarm, they stiri-ed up seditions and tumults, they 
coerced the magistrates, and they provoked the 
Protestants in many jilaces into acts of imprudence 
and violence. On the framing of the Pacification of 
Ghent, the Roman Catholic States issued an order 
requii-ing all magistrates and priests to swear to 
observe it. The secular priests of Antwerp took 
the oath, but the Jesuits refused it, " because they 
had sworn to be faithful to the Pope, who favoured 
Don John of Austria."^ Of the Franciscan monks 
in the city twenty swore the oath, and nineteen 
refused to do so, and were thereupon conducted 
peaceably out of the town along with the Jesuits. 
The Franciscans of Utrecht fled, as did those of 
other towns, to avoid the oath. In some places 
the Peace of Religion was not accepted, and in 
others where it had been formally accepted, it was 
not only not kept, it was flagrantly violated bj^ the 
Romanists. The basis of that treaty was the tolera- 
tion of both worsliips all over the Netherlands. 
It gave to the Protestants in the Roman Catholic 
Provuices — in all places where they numbered a 
Inindred — the right to a chapel in which to colc- 
Inate their worship ; and wliero their numbers did 
not enable them to claim this privilege, they were 
nevertheless to be jiermittcd the unmolested exer- 
cise of their worship in private. But in many 
places the rights accorded by the treaty were 
denied them : they could have no chapel, and even 

> Brandt, vol. i., pp. 384—386. 

' Abridgment of Brandt's Sistory, vol. i., p. 185. 



tlie private exercise of their worship exposed them 
to molestations of various kinds. The Protestants, 
incensed b_v this anti-national spirit and bad faith, 
and emboldened moreover by theii' own grov\dng 
numbers, seized by force in many cities the rights 
which they could not obtain by peaceable means. 
Disorders and seditions were the consequence. 
Ghent, the city which had given its name to the 
Pacification, led the van in these disgraceful 

them into cannon, and having fortified the town, 
and made themselves masters of ii, they took 
several villages in the neighbourhood and en- 
acted there the same excesses.' These deplorable 
disorders were not confined to Ghent ; they ex- 
tended to Antwerp, to Utrecht, to Mechlin, and to 
other towns — the Protestants taking the initiative 
in some pliices, and the Romanists in othei-s ; but 
all these \'iolences grew out of the rejection of the 


tumults; and it was remarked that nowhere was the 
Pacification worse kept than in the city where it 
had been framed. The Reformed in Ghent, excited 
by the harangues delivered to them from the 
pulpit by Peter Dathenus, an ex-monk, and now a 
Protestant high-fiicr, who condemned the toleration 
granted to the Romanists as impious, and styled the 
prince who had framed the treaty an atheist, rose 
vipon the Popish clergy and chased them away, 
voting them at the same time a yearly pension. 
They pillaged the abbeys, pulled do^vn the con- 
vents, broke the images, melted the bells and cast 

Peace of Religion, or out of the flagrant violation 
of its articles.- The commanding influence of the 
Prince of Orange succeeded in pacifying the citizens 
in Ghent and other towns, but the tumults stOled 
for a moment broke out afresh, and raged with 
greater violence. The coimtry was torn as by a 
civil war. 

This state of matters led to the adoption of 
other measures, which still more complicated and 

1 Brandt, vol. i., p. 342. 

- Abridgment of Brandt's History, vol. i., p. 196. 



embarrassed the movement. It was becoming 
evident to William that his basis of operations 
must be narrowed if he would make it stable ; tliat 
tlie Pacification of Ghent, and the Peace of Re- 
ligion, in themselves wise and just, embraced 
peoples that were diverse, and elements that were 
irreconcilable, and in consequence wei-e failing of 
their ends. A few Romanists were staunch 
l)atriots, but the great body were showing them- 
selves incapable of symjiathising with, or heartily 

and danger. There came a sudden outburst of 
propagandist zeal on the part of the priests, and of 
miraculous vii-tue on the part of statues and relics. 
Images began to exude blood, and from the bones 
of the dead a healing power went forth to cure the 
diseases of the living. These prodigies gi'eatly edified 
the piety of the Roman Catholics, but they inflamed 
then" joassions against their Protestant fellow- sub- 
jects, and they rendered them decidedly hostile to 
the cause of then- country's emancipation. The 

viE'w or rLisiii 

co-operating in, the great sti-uggle for the libera- 
tion of their native land. Their consciences, in the 
guidance of the Jesuits, stifled tlieii- patriotism. 
They were awkwardly jilaced between two altema- 
ti\cs : if Philip should conquer in the war they 
would lose their country, if victory should declare 
for the Prince of Orange they would lose their faith. 
From this dilemma they co\dd be delivered only by 
becoming Protestants, and Protestants they were 
determined not to become ; they sought escape by 
the other door — namely, that of perauading or com- 
pelling the Protestants to become Romanists. 
Their desire to solve the difficidty by this issue 
introduced still another element of disorganisation 

jirince had always stood up for the full toleration 
of their worship, but he now began to perceive 
tliat what the Flemish Romanists called worship 
was what otlier men called political agitation ; antl 
though still holding by the truth of his great 
maxim, and as ready to tolerate all religions as 
ever, he did not hold himself bound to tolerate 
charlatanry, especially when practised for the over- 
throw of Netherland liberty. He had proclaimed 
toleration for the Roman worship, but he had not 
bound himself to tolerate everything which the 
Romanist might substitute for worship, or whicli it 
might please liim to call worsliip. The prince came 
at length to the conclusion that he had no altema- 



tive but to withdraw by edict the toleration which 
he had pi-ochiimed by edict ; nor in doing so did he 
feel that he was trenching on the rights of con- 
science, for he recognised on the pai-t of no man, or 
body of men, a right to plead 'conscience for feats 
of jugglery and tricks of legerdemain. Accord- 
ingly, on the 26th of December, 1581, an edict 
was published by the prince and the States of 
Holland, forbidding the public and private exercise 
of the Roman religion, but leaving opinion free, by 
forbidding inquisition into any man's conscience.' 
This was the first " placard " of the sort published 
in Holland since the States had taken up arms for 
their liberties ; and the best j'roof of its necessity 
is the fact that some cities in Brabant, where the 
bulk of the inliabitants were Romanists — Antwerp 
and Brussels in particular — were compelled to have 
recoiu-se to the same measure, or submit to the 
humiliation of seeing their Government bearded, 
and their public peace hopelessly embroiled. 
Antwerp chose six " discreet ecclesiastics " to 
baptise, marry, and visit the sick of then- own 
commiinion, gi-anting them besides the use of two 
little chapels ; but even these functions they were 
not pennitted to luidertake till first they had 
sworn fidelity to the Government. The rest of the 
priests were requii'ed to leave the town within 
twenty-four hoiu's under a penalty of 200 
crowns.- In Brussels the suppression of the Popish 
worship, which was occasioned by a tumult raised 
by a seditious ciu'ate, brought with it an exposure 
of the arts which had rendered the edict of sup- 

pression necessary. " The magistrates," says the 
edict, " were convinced that the thi'ee bloody Hosts, 
which were sho-svn to the people by the name of the 
Sacrament of Mii'acles, were only a stained cloth ; 
that the clergy had exposed to the people some 
bones of animals as relics of saints, and deceived 
the simple many other ways to satisfy theii- 
avai'ice ; that they had made them worehip some 
pieces of alder-tree as if they had been a pai-t of 
oiu- Saviour's cross ; that ra some statvies several 
holes had been discovered, into which the priests 
poured oil to make them sweat ; lastly, that in 
other statues some sjarings had been found by which 
they moved several parts of tlieu- bodies."^ 

These edicts, unlike the terrible placards of 
Philip, erected no gibbets, and dug no gi'aves for 
living men and women ; they were in aU cases 
temporary, "till public tranquillity should be re- 
stored ; " they did not proscribe opinion, nor did 
they deny to the Romanist the Sacraments of his 
Chiu-ch ; they suppressed the public assembly only, 
and they sujjpressed it because a himdred proofs 
had demonstrated that it was held not for worship 
but sedition, and that its fruits were not piety but 
tumults and distiu'bances of the public peace. 
Most unwilling was the Prince of Orange to go 
even this length; it placed him, he saw, in ap- 
parent, not real, opposition to his formerly declared 
views. Nor did he take tliis step till the eleventh 
horn-, and after being perfectly persuaded that 
■without some such measure he could not preserve 
order and save libei-ty. 



First Moments after William's Death— Defection of the Southern Provinces— Courage of Holland— Prince Maurice — 
States offer their Sovereignty to Henry III. of Prance— Treaty with Queen Elizabeth— Earl of Leicester— Retires 
from the Government of the Netherlands— Growth of the Provinces- Dutch Reformed Church— Calvinism the 
Common Theology of the Reformation— Arminius— His Teaching— His Party— Renewal of the Controversy 
touching Grace and Free-will— The Five Points— The Remonstrants— The Synod of Dort— Members and 
Delegates— Remonstrants Summoned before it — Tlieir Opinions Condemned by it— Remonstrants Deposed and 
Banished— The Reformation Theology of the Second Age as compared with that of the Fii'st. 

William, Prince of Orange, had just fallen, and 
tlie murderous blow that deprived of life the gi'eat 
foimder of the Dutch Republic was as much the 
act of Philip of Sjiain as if his own hand had fii-ed 

1 Brandt, vol. i., p. 383. 

2 Ibid., p. 382. 

the bidlet that passed through the prince's body, 
and laid him a corpse in the hall of his own 
dwelling-house. Grief, consternation, despaii- over- 
spread the Provinces. The very cluldren cried in 

2 Abridgment of Brandt, vol. i., p. 207. 



the streets. Father William had fallen, and the 
Netherlands had fallen with hini ; so did men 
believe, and for a time it verily seemed as if the 
calamity had all the frightful magnitude in which 
it presented itself to the nation in the fii'st mo- 
ments of its surprise and terror. The geni^ls, 
wisdom, courage, and patriotism of which the 
assassin's shot had deprived the Low Countries 
could not possibly be replaced. William could 
have no successor of the same lofty stature as 
himself. While he lived all felt that they had a 
bulwark between them and Spanish tyranny ; but 
now that he was dead, the shadow of Rome and 
Spain seemed again to approach them, and all 
trembled, from the wealthy merchant on the ex- 
changes of Antwerp and Brussels, to the rude 
fisherman on the solitary coast of Zealand. The 
gloom was imiversal and tragical. The diplomacy of 
Parma and the ducats of Spain wei-e instantly set 
to work to corrupt and seduce the Provinces. The 
faint-hearted, the lukewarm, and the secretly hostile 
were easily drawn away, and induced to abandon 
the gi'eat struggle for Netherland liberty and the 
Protestant faith. Ghent, the key-stone of that 
arch of which one side was Roman Catholic and 
the other Protestant, reconciled itself to Philip. 
Bruges, Brussels, Antwerp, Mechlin, and other 
towns of Brabant and Flandei-s, won by the 
diplomacy or vanquished by the arms of Pai-ma, 
returned under the yoke. It seemed as if the free 
State which the laboiu's and sacrifices of William 
the Silent had called into existence was about to 
disappear from the scene, and accompany its 
founder to the tomb. 

But the work of WUliam was not so to vanish ; 
its root was deeper. When the first moments of 
panic were ovei-, the .spu'it of the fallen hero 
asserted itself in Holland. The Estates of that 
Province passed a resolution, the very day of his 
murder, "to maintain the good cause, by God's 
help, to the uttermost, without sparing gold or 
blood," and they communicated their resolve to all 
commanders by land and sea. A State Council, or 
provisional executive board, was established for the 
Seven Provinces of the Union. At the head of it 
was placed Prince Maurice, William's second son, 
a lad of seventeen, who already manifested no 
ordinary decision and energy of character, and who 
in obedience to the summons of the States now 
quitted the University of Leyden, where he liad 
been pursiiing his studies, to be invested with 
many of his father's commands and honours. The 
blandishments of the Duke of Panna the States 
strenuously repelled, decreeing that no overture of 
reconciliation should be received from "the tyrant;" 

and the city of Dort enacted that whoever should 
bring any letter from the enemy to any private 
pei-son " should forthwith be hanged." 

It was Protestantism that had fired Holland and 
her six sister Provinces with this great resolve ; 
and it was Protestantism that was to build up theii' 
State in the face of the powerful enemies that sur- 
roimded it, and in spite of the reverses and disasters 
to which it still continued to be liable. But the 
Hollanders were slow to understand this, and to 
see wherein their great strength lay. They feared 
to trust their future to so intangible and invisible 
a protector. They looked abroad in the hope of 
finding some foreign prince who might be willing to 
accept their crown, and to employ his power in 
their defence. They hesitated some time between 
Henry III. of France and Elizabeth of England, 
and at last their choice fell on the former. Heniy 
was nearer them, he could the more easily send 
them assistance ; besides, they hoped that on his 
death his crown would devolve on the King of 
Navarre, the futui-e Henry IV., in whose hands 
they believed their religion and liberty would be 
safe. Willingly would Henry III. have enlianced 
the splendoiir of his cro'vvn by adding thereto the 
Seven United Provinces, but he feared the wi-atli 
of the League, the intrigues of Philip, and the ban 
of the Pope. 

The infant States next repau'ed to Elizabeth 
with an offer of their sovereignty. This ofler the 
Protestant queen felt she could neither accept nor 
decline. To accept was to quarrel with PhUip; and 
the state of Ireland at that moment, and the num- 
bers and power of the Roman Catholics in England, 
made a war mth Spain dangerous to the stability 
of her own throne ; and yet should she decline, 
what other resource had the Provinces but to throw 
themselves into the arms of Philip? and, reconciled 
to the Netherlands, Spain would be stronger than 
ever, and a stage nearer on its road to England. 
The prudent queen was in a strait between the 
two. But though she could not be the sovereign, 
might she not be the ally of the Hollanders 1 This 
she resolved to become. She concluded a treaty 
with them, "that the queen should furnish the 
States with f),000 foot and 1,000 horse, to be com- 
manded by a Protestant general of her appointment, 
and to be paid by her during the continuance of 
the war; the to\vns of Brill and Flushing being 
meanwjiilc put into her possession as security 
for the reimbui-sement to her of the war expenses." 
It was further stipulated " that should it be found 
expedient to employ a fleet in the common cause, the 
States should furnish the same number of ships as 
the queen, to be coumianded by an English admiral." 



The force agreed upon was immediately des- 
patched to Holland under the command of Robert 
Dudley, Earl of Leicester. Leicester posses.sed but 
few qualities fitting him for the weighty business 
now put into his hands. He was vain, frivolous, 
gi'cedy, and ambitious, but he was an immense 
favourite with the queen. His showy accomplish- 
ments blmded at the first the Hollanders, who 
entertained him at a series of magnificent banquets 
(December, 1585), loaded him with honoiu-s and 
j)Osts, and treated him more as one who had already 
achieved theii- deliverance, than one who was only 
beginning that difficult and doubtful task. The 
Provincas soon began to see that their independence 
was not to come from the hand of Leicester. He 
proved no match for the genius and address of the 
Duke of Parma, who was daily winning victories 
for Spain, while Leicester could accomplish nothing. 
His pnidence failing him, he looked askance on the 
grave statesmen and honest patriots of Holland and 
Zealand, while he lavished his smiles on the artful 
and the designing who .submitted to his caprice and 
flattered his vanity. HLs ignorance imposed re- 
strictions on their commerce which greatly fettered 
it, and would \iltimately have ruined it, and he 
gave still deeper offence by expressing contempt 
for those ancient charters to which the Dutch were 
unalterably attached. Misfortune attended all that 
he undertook in the field. He began to intrigue to 
make himself master of the coimtry. His designs 
came to light, the contempt of the Provinces 
deepened into disgust, and just a year after his 
first arrival in Holland, Leicester retiu-ned to Eng- 
land, and at the desh-e of EUzabeth resigned his 

The distractions which the incapacity and 
treachery of the earl had occasioned among the 
Dutch themselves, offered a most inviting oppor- 
tunity to Parma to invade the Provinces, and 
doubtless he would have availed himself of it 
but for a dreadful famine that swept over the 
Southern Netherlands. The famine was followed 
by pestOence. The number of the deaths, added 
to the many bauLshments which had previously 
taken place, nearly emptied some of the gi-eat 
towns of Brabant and Flanders. In the country 
the peasants, owing to the ravages of war, had 
neither horses to plough their fields laor seed 
wherewith to sow them, and the harvest was a 
comjjlete fiiilure. In the ten-ible desolation of the 
country the beasts sf prey so multiplied, that within 
two miles of the once populous and wealthy city of 
Ghent, not fewer than a hundred persons were de- 
vom'ed by wolves. 

Meanwhile Holland and Zealand presented a 

pictiu'e which was in striking contrast to the 
desolation and ruin that overspread the Southern 
and rieher Provinces. Although torn by factions, 
the residt of the intrigues of Leicester, and bur- 
dened with the expense of a war which they wei'e 
compelled to wage wth Parma, their inhabitants 
contmued daily to multiply, and their wealth, 
comforts, and power to grow. Crowds of Protes- 
tant refugees flocked into the Northern Provinces, 
which now became the seat of that industry and 
manufacturing skill wliich for ages had enriched 
and embellished the Netherlands. Ha^•ing the 
command of the sea, the Dutch transported then- 
products to foreign markets, and so laid the 
foundation of that world-wide commerce which 
was a source of greater riches to Holland than 
were the gold and silver mines of Mexico and 
Peru to Spain.' 

We have seen the thi-oes and agonies amid which 
the Dutch Republic came to the bu-th, and before 
depicting the prosperity and power in wliich the 
State cidmmated, it is necessary to glance at the 
condition of the Dutch Church. From and after 
1603, dissensions and di\'isions broke out in it, 
which tended to weaken somewhat the mightj'' 
influences springmg out of a free conscience and a 
pure faith, which were liftmg the United Provinces 
to prosperity and renown. Up till the year we 
have named, the Church of the Netherlands was 
strictly Calvinistic, but now a party in it began to 
divei'ge from what liad been the one common 
theology of the Reformation. It is an error to 
suppose that Calvin held and propagated a doctrine 
peculiar to himself or difl'erent from that of his 
fellow-Reformei's. His theology contained nothing- 
new, being essentially that of the gi'eat Fathers of 
the early Christian Chiu-ch of the West, and agi-ee- 
ing very closely with that of his illustrious fellow 
labourers, Luther and Zwingle. Our readers will 
remember the battles which Luther waged with the 
champions of Rome in defence of the Paulme 
teaclmig imder the head of the corruption of man's 
whole nature, the moral inability of his will, and 
the absolute sovereignty of God. It was on the 
same great lines that Calvin's views developed 
themselves. On the doctrine of Di^ane sovereignty, 
for instance, we find both Luther and Zwingle 
expressing themselves in terms fully stronger than 
Calvin ever employed. Calvin looked at both sides 
of the tremendous subject. He mamtained the 
free agency of man not less strenuously than he 
did God's eternal fore-ordination. He felt that 
both were gi-eat facts, but he doubted whether it 

1 Meteren, lib. iv., p. 434. 



lay within the power of created intelligence to 
reconcile the two, and he confessed that he was 
not able to do so. Many, however, have made this 
attempt. There have been men who have denied 
the doctrine of God's eternal fore-ordination, think- 
ing thereby to establish that of man's free agency ; 
and there have been men who have denied the 
doctrine of man's free agency, meaning thereby to 
strengthen that of the eternal fore-ordination of all 
things by God ; but these reconcilements are not 
solutions of this tremendous question — they are 
only monuments of man's inability to grapple with 
it, and of the folly of expending .strength and 
wasting time in such a discussion. Heedless of the 
warnings of past ages, there arose at this time in 
the Eeformed Church of Holland a class of di\'ines 
who renewed these discussions, and attempted to 
solve the awful problem by attacking the common 
theology of Luther, and Zwingle, and Calvin^ on the 
doctrines of grace and of the eternal decrees. 

The controversy had its begimiing thus : the 
famous Francis Junius, Professor of Divinity at 
Leyden, died of the plague in 1602; and James 
Arminius, who had studied theology at Geneva 
under Beza, and was pastor at Amsterdam, was 
appointed to succeed liim.- Arminius was op- 
posed by many ministers of the Dutch Church, 
on the ground that, although he was accounted 
learned, eloquent, and pious, he was suspected of 
holding views inconsistent with the Belgic Con- 
fes.sion and the Heidelberg Catechism, which since 
l.'iTO had possessed authority in the Church. 
Promulgating his views cautiously and covertly 
from his chaii-, a controversy ensued between him 
and his learned colleague, Gomarus. Arminius 
rested God's predestination of men to eternal Hfe 
on his foresight of theii" piety and virtue ; Gomarus, 
on the other hand, taught that these were not the 
causes, but the fruits of God's election of them to 
life eternal. Arminius accused Gomarus of instil- 
ling the belief of a fatal necessity, and Gomarus 
i-eproached Arminius with making man the author 
of his o^vn salvation. The controversy between 
the two lasted till the death of Armmius, which 
took place in 1609. He died in the full hope of 
everlasting life. He is said to have chosen for liis 
motto. Bona conscieniia Paradisus." 

After his death, his disciple Simon Episcopius 
became the head of the party, and, as usually 
happens in such cases, gave fuller development to 
the views of his master than Ainiinius himself had 

1 See Calv.. Tnst, lib. iii., cap. 21, 22, &c. 

- Brandt (abridg.), vol. i., bk. xviii., p. 267. 

2 Brandt—" A good couacience is Pai-adise." 

done. From the university, the controversy passed 
to the pulpit, and the Chm-ch was divided. In 1610 
the followers of Ai-minius presented a Piemonstranco 
to the States of Holland, complaining of being 
falsely accused of seeking to alter the faith, but at 
the same time craving revision of the standard 
books of the Dutch Church — the Belgic Confession 
and the Heidelberg Catechism — and demanding 
toleration for their views, of which they gave a sum- 
mary or exhibition in five points, as follow — I. That 
the deci-ee of election is gi-ounded on foreseen good 
works. II. That Christ died for all men, and pro- 
cured remission of sins for all. III. That man cannot 
acquire saving faith of himself, or by the strength 
of his free-will, but needs for that purpose the 
grace of God. IV. That, seeing man cannot believe 
at first, nor continue to believe, without the aid of 
this co-operating grace, his good works are to be 
ascribed to the grace of God in Jesus Chi-ist. 
V. That the faithful have a sufiicient strength, 
through the Divine grace, to resist all temptation, 
and finally to overcome jt. As to the question 
whether those who have once believed to the sa\-ing 
of the soul can again fall away from faith, and lose 
the grace of God, the authors of the Remonstrance 
were not prepared to give any answer. It was a 
point, they said, that needed further examination ; 
Ijut the logical train of the previous propositions 
clearly pointed to the goal at which theii- views 
touching the " perseverance of the saints " must 
necessarily arrive ; and accordingly, at a subsequent 
stage of the controversy, they declared, " That those 
who have a tnie faith may, nevertheless, fall by 
theii' own fault, and lose faith wholly and for ever."'' 
It is the fii'st receding wave witliiii the Protestant 
Church which we are now contemplating, and it is 
both instructive and curious to mark that the ebb 
from the Pieformation began at what had been the 
starting-point of the Reform movement. We have 
remarked, at an early stage of our history, that the 
que.stion touching the Will of man is the deepest in 
theology. Has the Fall left to man the power of 
willing and doing what is spiritually good ? or has 
it deprived him of that power, and inflicted upon 
his will a moral inability ? If we answer the first 
question affii-matively, and maintain that man still 
retains the power of willing and doing what is 
spiritually good, we advance a proposition from 
which, it might be argued, a whole system of 
Roman theology can be worked out. And if wo 
answer the second question affirmatively, we lay 
a foundation from which, it might be contended 
on the other hand, a whole system of Protestant 

* Brandt (abridg.), vol. i., bk. xix., pp. 307, i 



theology can be educed. Pursuing the one line of 
reasoning, if man still has the power of willing and 
doing actions spiritually good, he needs only co- 
operating grace in the matter of his salvation ; he 
needs only to be assisted in the more difficult parts 
of tliat work which he himself has begun, and 
which, uuiinly in the exercise of his own powers, 

to life eternal. The point, to an ordinaiy eye, seems 
an obscure one — it looks a purely speculative point, 
and one from which no practical issues of moment 
can flow ; nevertlieless, it lies at the foundation of 
all tlieology, and as such it was the fii-st great 
battle-ground at the period of the Reformation. 
It was tlip question so keenly contested, as we ha^-e 



JAMI.S .\IlMINns. 
I oJil Eivjmrino ni (he BiUioUiiim: Nalionale.) 

lie himself carries on to the end. Hence the 
doctrine of good works, with all the dogmas, rites, 
penances, and merits that Rome has built ujion 
it. But, following the other lino of reasoning, if 
man, by his fall, lost the power of doing what is 
si)iritually good, then he must be entirely dependent 
\ipon Divine gj-ace for his recovery — he must owe 
all to God, from whom must come the beginning, 
the continuance, and the end of his salvation ; and 
hence the doctrines of a sovereign election, an effec- 
tual calling, a free justification, and a perseverance 

already narrated, between Dr. Eck on the one side, 
and Carlstadt and Luther on tlie otlier, at Leipsic' 
This question is, in f\ict, the dividing line between 
the two theologies. 

Of the fi^c points stated above, the third, 
fourth, and fifth may be viewed as one ; they 
teach the same doctrine — namely, that man fallen 
still possesses such an amount of spiritual strength 
as that he may do no inconsiderable \>art of 

' See ante, vol. i., bk. v., chap. 15. 



the work of his salvation, and needs only co- 
operating gi-ace ; and had the authors of the Re- 
monstrance been at Leipsic, they must liave 
ranged themselves on the side of Eck, and done 
battle for the Roman theology. It was this which 
gave the affaii- its gi'ave aspect in the eyes of 
the majority of the pastors of the Church of Hol- 
land. They saw in the doctrine of the " Five Points " 
the gi'Oiind surrendered which had lieen won at 
the beginning of the Reformation ; and they saw 
seed anew deposited from which had sprung the 
great tree of Romanism. This was not concealed 
on either side. The Remonstrants — so called from 
the Remonstrance given in by them to the States 
— put forward their views avowedly as intermediate 
between the Protestant and Roman systems, in the 
hope that they might conciliate not a few members 
of the latter Church, and lead to peace. The 
orthodox party could not see that these benefits 
would flow from the course their opponents were 
pursuing ; on the contrary, they believed that they 
could not stop where they were — that their views 
touching the fixll and the power of free-will must 
and would find theii' logical development in a 
greater divergence from the theology of the Pro- 
testant Churches, and that by remo\T:ng the great 
boundaiy-line between the two theologies, they were 
opening the way for a return to the Church of 
Rome ; and hence the exclamation of Gomarus one 
day, after listening to a statement of his views by 
Arminius, in the University of Leyden. Rising up 
and leaving the hall, he uttered these words : 
" Henceforward we shall no longer be able to 
oppose Popery."' 

Peace was the final goal which the Remonstrants 
sought to reach ; but the first-fruits of theii- labours 
were schisms and dissensions. The magistrates, 
sensible of the injury they were doing the State, 
strove to put an end to these ecclesiastical wars, 
and with this view they summoned certain pastors 
of both sides before them, and made them discuss 
the points at issue in their presence; but these 
conferences had no effect in restoring harmony. 
A disputation of this sort took place at the Hague 
in IGll, but like all that had gone before it, it 
failed to reconcile the two parties and establish 
concord. The orthodox pastors now began to 
demand the assembling of a National Synod, as a 
more legitimate and competent tribunal for the 
examination and decision of such matters, and a 
more likely way of putting an end to the dissen- 
sions that prevailed ; but the Remonstrant clergy 
opposed this proposal. They had influence enough 

' Brandt (abridg.), vol. i., bk. xviii., p. 285. 

with the civil authorities to prevent the calling of a 
Synod for several years; but the war waxing louder 
and fiercer every day, the States-General at last 
convoked a National Synod to meet in November, 
1G18, at Dort. 

Than the Synod of Dort there is perhaps no 
more remarkable Assembly in the annals of the 
Protestant Church. It is alike famous whether we 
regard the numbers, or the leai-ning, or the eloquence 
of its members. It met at a great crisis, and it 
was called to review, re-examine, and authenticate 
over again, in the second generation since the rise 
of the Reformation, that body of tiiith and system 
of doctrine which that great movement had pub- 
lished to the world. The States-General had agreed 
that the Synod .shoidd consist of twenty-six di- 
vines of the United Provinces, twenty-eight foreign 
divines, five theological professors, and sixteen lay- 
men. The sum of 100,000 florins was set apart to 
defray its estimated expenses. Its sessions lasted 
six months. 

Learned delegates were present in this Assembly 
from almost all the Reformed Churches of Europe. 
The Churches of England, Scotland, Switzerland, 
Geneva, Bremen, Hesse, and the Palatinate were 
represented in it. The French Church had no 
delegate in the Synod. That Chm-ch had deputed 
Peter du Moulin and Andrew Rivet, two of the 
most distinguished theologians of the age, to repre- 
.sent it, but the king forbade theii' attendance. 
From England came Dr. George Carleton, Bishop 
of Llandafi'; Joseph Hall, Dean of Worcester; 
John Davenant, Professor of Theology and Master 
of Queen's College, Cambridge ; and Samuel Ward, 
Archdeacon of Taunton, who had been appointed 
to proceed to Holland and take part in the pro- 
ceedings at Doi't, not indeed by the Church of 
England, but by the King and the Archbishop of 
Canterbury. Walter Balcanqual represented Scot- 
land in the Synod." 

The Synod was opened on the 16th of November, 
1618, with a sermon by Balthazar Lydius, minister 
of Dort. Thereaftei-, the members repau-ed to the 
hall appointed for then- meeting. Lydius oflered a 
pi-ayer in Latin. The commissioners of the States 
sat on the right of the president, and the English 
divines on his left. An empty seat was kept for 
the French deputies. The rest of the delegates took 
their places according to the rank of the country 
from which they came. John Bogennan, minister 
of Leeuwarden, was cho.sen president ; Daniel 
Heinsius was appointed secretary. Heinsius was 
an accomplished Latin scholar, and it had been 

- B.andt (abridg.), vol. ii., bk. xxiii., p. 394. 



agi-eed thiit that language should he used iii all the 
transactions of the Assembly, for the sake of the 
foreign delegates. There came tliii-ty-six ministers 
and twenty elders, instead of the twenty -six pastors 
and sixteen laymen which the States-General had 
appointed, besides deputies from other Provinces, 
thus swelling the roll of the Synod to upwards of 
a hundred. 

The Synod summoned thirteen of the leading 
Remonstrants, including Episcopius, to appear 
within a fortnight. Meanwhile the Assembly occu- 
j)ied itself with an-angements for a new translation 
of the Bible into Dutch, and the framing of rules 
about other matters, as the catechising of the young 
and the training of students for the ministry. On 
the 5th of December, the thirteen Remonstrants 
who had been summoned came to Dort, and next 
day presented themselves before the Assembly. 
They were saluted by the moderator as " Reverend, 
famous, and excellent brethren in Jesus Clu'ist," 
and accommodated with seats at a long table in 
the middle of tlie hall. Episcopius, their spokes- 
man, saluting the Assembly, craved more time, 
that himself and his brethren might prepare them- 
selves for a conference with the Synod on the 
disputed points. They were told that they had 
been sunmioned not to confer with the Spiod, but 
to submit their opinions for the Synod's decision, 
and were bidden attend next day. On that day 
Episcopius made a speech of an hour- and a half's 
length, in which he discovered all the art and 
power of an orator. Thereafter an oath was ad- 
ministered to the members of Synod, in which they 
swore, in all the discussions and determinations of 
the Synod, to "use no human ^VTiting, but only 
the Word of God, which is an infallible rule of 
faith," and " only aim at the glory of God, the peace 
of the Church, and especially the preservation of the 
purity of doctrine." 

The Remonstrants did battle on a gi-eat many 
preliminaiy points : the jurisdiction of the court, 
the manner in which they were to lay their opinions 
before it, and the extent to which they were to be 
permitted to go in vindicating and defending their 
five points. In these debates much time was wasted, 
and the patience and good temper of the Assembly 
were severely tried. When it was found that 
the Remonstrants persisted in declining the au- 
thority of the Synod, and would meet it only to 
discuss and confer with it, but not to be judged by 
it, the States-General was iufoi-med of the dead- 
lock into which the aflair had come. The civil 
authority issued an order requiring the Remon- 
strants to submit to the S}Tiod. To this order 
of the State the Remonstrants gave no more 

obedience than they had done to the authority of 
the Church. They were willing to argue and 
defend then- opinions, but not to submit them for 
judgment. After two months spent in fruitless 
attempts to bring the Remonstrants to obedience, 
the Assembly resolved to extract their \'iews from 
their writings and speeches, and give judgment 
upon them. The examination into theii' opinions, 
and the deliberations upon them, engaged the 
Assembly till the end of April, by which time 
they had completed a body of canons, that was 
signed by all the members. The canons, which 
were read in the Cathedi-al of Dort with gi-eat 
solemnity, were a summing-up of the doctrine of 
the Reformation as it had been held by the first 
Reformers, and accepted in the Protestant Churches 
■without division or dissent, the article of the 
Eucharist excepted, until Ai-minius arose. The 
decision of the Synod condemned the ojjinions of 
the Remonstrants as innovations, and sentenced 
them to deprivation of all ecclesiastical and 
academical functions.' The States-General followed 
up the spiritual part of the sentence by banishing 
them from theii- country. It is clear that the 
Government of the United Provinces had yet a 
good deal to learn on the head of toleration ; but it 
is fair to say that while they punished the disciples 
of Ai'minius ^vith exile, they would permit no 
inquisition to be made into theii' consciences, and 
no injiuy to be done to their persons or property. 
A few years thereafter (1626) the decree of banish- 
ment was recalled. The Remonstrants returned to 
theii- country, and were permitted freely to exercise 
their worship. They established a theological semi- 
nary at Amsterdam, which was adoraed by some 
men of great talents and emdition, and became a 
renowned fountain of Arminian theology. 

The Synod of Dort was the first great attempt 
to arrest the begun decline in the theology of the 
Reformation, and to restore it to its pristine purity 
and splendour. It did -this, but not with a perfect 
success. The theology of Protestantism, as seen in 
the canons of Dort, and as seen in the writings of 
the first Reformers, does not api)ear quite the same 
theology : it is the same in dogma, but it lacks, as 
seen in the canons of Dort, the warm hues, the 
freslmess, the freedom and breadth, and the stii-ring 
spiritual vitalities it possessed as it flowed from 
the pens, or was tlumdered from the pulpits, of the 
Reformers. The second generation of Protestant 
divines was much inferior, both ui intellectual 
endowments and in spii-itual gifts, to the firet. In 
the early days it was the sun of genius that 

' Biandt (abridg.)> vol. u., bks. zxiii.-xzTili., pp. 397-504. 



irradiated the heavens of the Chui'ch : now it was 
the moon of culture that was seen in her waning 
skies. And in proportion to the more restricted 
faculties of the men, so the theology was narrow, 
stinted, and cold. It wa.s formal and critical. 
Turning away somewhat from the grander, objec- 
tive, soul-inspii-ing truths of Christianity, it dealt 
much with the abstruser questions, it searched into 
deep and hidden things ; it was quicker to discern 
the apjjarent antagonisms than the real harmonies 
between truth and ti-uth ; it was prone to look 
only at one question, or at one side of a question, 
forgetful of its balancings and modifications, and 
so was in danger of distortmg or even caricatuiing 
truth. The empiiical treatment wliich the doctrine 
of predestination received — perhaps we ought to 
say on both sides — is an examjile of tliis. Instead 
of the awe and reverence with which a question 
involving the character and government of God, 
and the eternal destinies of men, ought ever to 
inspii'e those who undertake to deal with a subject 
so a\vful, and the solution of which so far trans- 
cends the human faculties, it was approached in a 
proud, self-sufficient, and flippant spirit, that was 
at once imchristian and unphilosophical. Election 
and reprobation were singled out, separated from 
the great and surpassingly solemn subject of which 
they are only parts, looked at entu'ely dissociated 
from their relations to other necessary truths, 

subjected to an iron logic, and compelled to yield 
consequences which were impious and revolting. 
The very interest taken in these questions marked 
an age more erudite than religious, and an intellect 
which had become too subtle to be altogether 
sound ; and the prominence given them, both in the 
discussions of the schools and the ministrations of 
the pulpit, reacted on the nation, and was jiroduc- 
tive of animosities and dissensions. 

Nevertheless, these evils were sensibly abated 
after the meeting of the Synod of Dort. The 
fountains of truth were again purified, and peace 
restored to the churches and tlie schools. The 
nation, again reunited, resumed its onward march 
in the path of progress. For half a centm-y the 
imiversity and the pulpit continued to be mighty 
powei-s in Holland — the professors and pastors 
took their place in the firet rank of theologians. 
Abroad the canons of the Synod of Dort met with 
a very general acquiescence on the part of the 
Protestant Churches, and continued to regulate the 
teaching and mould the theology of Christendom. 
At home the people, imbued with the spii'it of the 
Bible, and impregnate with that love of liberty, 
and that respect for law, wliich Protestantism ever 
engenders, made their homes bright with vii'tue 
and their cities resplendent with art, while their 
land they taught by their industry and frugality to 
bloom in beauty and overflow with riches. 



The One Source of Holland's Strength— Prince Maurice made Governor— His Character— Dutch Statesmen- Spanish 
Power Sinking— Philip's Many Projects— His Wars in Franco— Successes of Maurice— Death of the Duke of 
Parma— Mighty Growth of Holland— Its Vast Commerce— Its Learning— Desolation of Brabant and Flanders- 
Cause of the Decline of Holland— The Stadtholder of Holland becomes King of England. 

We have narrated the ill success that attended the 
government of the Earl of Leicester in the Low 
Countries. These repeated disappointments re- 
buked the Provinces for looking abroad for defence, 
and despising the mightier source of strength which 
existed within themselves ; and in due time they 
came to see that it was not by the arm of any 
foreign prince that they were to be holden up 
and made strong, but by the nurturing vii-tue of 
that gi'eat principle which, rooted in theii- land by 
the blood of their martyrs, had at last found for 
their nation a champion in William of Orange. 

This principle had laid the foundations of their 
free Commonwealth, and it alone could gi\'e it 
stability and conduct it to greatness. 

Accordingly, after Leicester's departure, at a 
meeting at the Hague, the 6th of February, 1587, 
the States, after asserting then- own supremfe 
authority, xmanimously chose Prince Maurice as 
their governor, though still ■\vith a reservation to 
Queen Elizabeth. It was not respect alone for the 
memory of his gi'eat father which induced the 
States to repose so great a trust, at so momentous 
a period of theii- existence, in one who was then 



only twenty-one years of age. From his earliest 
jouth the prince had given proof of his superior 
prudence and capacity, and in the execution of his 
iiigh command he made good the hopes entertained 
f)f liim when he entered upon it. If he possessed 
in lower degree tlian liis illustrious sire the faculty 
of governing men, lie was nevertheless superior to 
him in the military art, and this was the science 
Jiiost needed at this moment by the States. Maurice 
liecame the greatest captain of his age : not only 
was he famous in the discipline of his armies, but 
his genius, rising above the maxims then in vogue, 
enabled him to invent or to perfect a system of 
fortification much more complete, and which soon 
liccame common.' The marvellous political ability 
of William, now lost to the States, was supplied in 
some sort by a school of statesmen that arose after 
his death in Holland, and whose patriotic honesty, 
allied with an uncommon amount of native sagacity 
and .shrewdness, made them a match for the Machia- 
vellian diplomatists with wluch the age abounded. 

Philip II. was at that time getting ready the 
Ai-mada for the subjugation of England. The 
Duke of Parma was required to furnish his con- 
tingent of the mighty fleet, and while engaged in 
this labour he was unable to undertake any opera- 
tion in the Netherlands. Holland had rest, and 
the military genius of Prince Maurice found as yet 
no opportunity of displaying itself. But no sooner 
had Philip's " invincible " Armada vanished in the 
North Sea, pursued by the English admiral and 
the tempests of heaven, than Parma made haste to 
renew the war. He made no acquisition of mo- 
ment, however — the gains of the campaign remained 
with Prince Mamice ; and the power of Spain in 
the Low Countries began as visibly to sink as that 
of Holland to rise. 

From this time foi-ward blow after blow came 
upon that colossal fabric wliich for so long a period 
had not only darkened the Netherlands, but had 
overshadowed all Christendom. Tlie root of the Power was dried up, and its branch began 
to wither. Philip, aiming to be the master of the 
world, plunged into a multitude of schemes which 
drained liis resources, and at length broke in pieces 
that mighty empire of which he was the monarch. 
As Ms years gi'ew his projects multiplied, tUl at 
last he found himself warring with the Turks, the 
Morescoes, the Portuguese, the French, the English, 
and the Netherlandere. The latter little comitry 
he would most certainly have subdued, had liis 
ambition pei-mitted him to concentrate his power 

' Miiller, fJniversa; Histoi'v, iii. 67. Sir William Temple, 
United Provinces, chap, i., p. 48 ; Edin., 1747. 

in the attempt to crash it. HappUy for the Low 
Countries, Philip was never able to do this. And 
now another dream misled him — the hope of seizing 
tlie crown of Fi'ance for himself or his daughter,- 
Clara Eugenia, during the troublous times that 
followed the accession of Henry of Navarre. In 
this hope he ordered Pai'ma to withdraw the 
Spanish troops ft-om the Netherlands, and help the 
League to conquer Henry IV. Parma remon- 
strated against the madness of the scheme, anil 
the danger of taking away the army out of the 
country ; but Philip, blinded by his ambition, 
refused to listen to the prudent counsels of his 
general. The folly of the King of Spain gave a 
breathing-space to the young Republic, and enabled 
its governor. Prince Mam-ice, to display that re- 
som-ce, prudence, and promptitude which gained 
him the confidence and esteem of his subjects, and 
wliich, shining forth yet more brilliantly in future 
campaigns, won for him the admiration of Europe. 
When Parma returned from France (1590) he 
foimd Holland greatly stronger than he had left it : 
its frontier was now fortified; several towns beyond 
the boundary of the United Provinces had been 
seized by their army ; and Parma, with a treasuiy 
drained by his campaign, and soldiers mutinous 
because ill-paid, had to undertake the work of 
recovei-ing what had been lost. The campaign now 
opened was a disastrous one both for himself and 
for Spain. After many battles and sieges he found 
that the Spanish Power had been compelled to 
retreat before the arms of the infant Republic, and 
that his own prestige as a soldier had been eclipsed 
by the renown of his opponent, acquired by the 
prudence with which his enterprises had been 
concerted, the celerity with which they had been 
executed, and the success with which they had 
been crowned. The Duke of Parma was a second 
time ordered into France to assist the League, and 
pave Philip's way for moiuiting the throne of that 
country ; and foolish though he deemed the order, 
he had nevertheless to obey it. He returned 
broken in health, only to iind that in his absence 
the Spanish Power had sustained new losses, that 
the United Provinces had acquired additional 
strength, and that Prince Maurice had suiromided 
his name with a brighter glory than ever. In 
short, the affairs of Spain in the Low Countries he 
perceived were becoming hopeless. Worn out with 
cares, eaten up -wnith vexation and chagi-in, and 
compelled the while to strain every nerve in the 
execution of projects which his judgment con- 
demned as chimerical and ruinous, his sickness 

3 Mttller, iii. 68. 



increased, and on the 3rd of December, 159:2, he 
expired in the forty-seventh year of his age, and the 
fourteenth of Ids government of the Netherlands. 
" Witli the Duke of Parma," says Sir William 
Temple, " died all tlie discipline, and with that all 
the fortunes, of the Spanish arms in Flanders."' 

There now oj)eued to the United Provinces a 
career of prosperity that was as uniform and un- 
interrupted iva their previous period of distress and 
calamity had been continuous and unbroken. The 
success that attended the arms of Prince Maurice, 
the vigour with which he extended the dominions 
of the Republic, the prudence and wisdom -with 
which he administered alfaii's at home, the truce 
with Spain, the League with Henry IV. of France, 
and the various circumstances and methods by which 
the prince, and the upright and wise counsellors that 
surrounded him, advanced the credit and power of 
the United Provinces, belong to the civil history of 
the country, and hardly come within the scope of 
our special design. But the mighty growth of the 
United Provinces, which was the direct product of 
Protestantism, is one of the finest proofs wliich 
history furnishes of the spirit and power of the 
Reformation, and affords a lesson that the ages 
to come will not fail to study, and an example 
that they will take care to imitate. 

On the face of all the earth there is not another 
such instance of a nation for whom nature had 
done literally nothing, and who had all to create 
fiom their soil upwards, attaining such a pitch 
of greatness. The Dutch received at the be- 
ginning but a sand-bank for a country. Then- 
patience and laborious skill covered it with verdure, 
and adorned it with cities. Theii- trade was as 
truly their own creation as their soD. The narrow 
limits of their land did not furnish them -with the 
materials of their manufactures ; these they had to 
import from abroad, and having worked them up 
into beautiful fabrics, they carried them back to 
the countries whence they had obtained the raw 
materials. Thus their land became the magazine 
of the world. Notwithstanding that their country 
was washed, and not unfrequently inundated, by the 
ocean, nature had not given them harboure ; these, 
too, they had to create. Their scanty territory led 
them to make the sea their country; and their wars 
with Spain compelled them to make it still more 
their home. They had an infinity of ships and 
sailors. They sent their merchant fleet over every 
sea — to the fertile islands of the West, to the rich 
continents of the East. They erected forts on pro- 
montories and creeks, and their settlements were 

• The United Provinces, chap, i., p. 49. 

dispersed throughout the world. They fonned com- 
mercial treaties and political alliances with the most 
powerful nations. The various wealth that was 
wafted to theii' shores was even greater than that 
which had flowed in on Spain after the discovery of 
the mines of Mexico and Peru. Theii- land, wliich 
yielded little besides mUk and butter, overflowed 
with the necessaries and luxuries of all the earth. 
The wheat, and wine, and oil of Southern Euroi)e ; 
the gold and silver of Mexico ; the spices and 
diamonds of the East ; the furs of Northern Europe ; 
silk, cotton, precious woods, and marbles — every- 
thing, in short, which the earth produces, and which 
can contribute to clothe the person, adorn the 
dwelling, supply the table, and enliance the comfort 
of man, was gathered into Holland. And while 
every wind and tide were bringing to their shores 
the raw materials, the persecutions which raged in 
other countries were daily sending crowds of skilful 
and industrious men to work them nj). And with 
every increase of their population came a new 
expansion of then- trade, and by consequence a new 
access to the wealth that flowed from it. 

With the rapid gro'wth of material riches, their 
I'espect for learning, theii' taste for intellectual 
pursuits, and their love of independence still con- 
tinued with them. They were plain and frugal in 
habit, although refined and generous in disposition. 
The sciences were cultivated, and theii' universities 
flourished. To be learned or eloquent inferred 
as great eminence in that country as to be rich or 
high-born did in others. All this had come out of 
theii' great struggle for the Protestant faith. 

And, as if to make the lesson still plainer and 
more striking, by the side of this little State, so 
illustrious for its virtue, so rich in all good tilings, 
and so powerful among the nations of the world, 
were seen those unhappy Provinces which had re- 
treated within the jiale of Rome, and submitted to 
the yoke of Philip. They were fallen into a condition 
of poverty and slavery which was as complete as it 
was deplorable, and which, but a few years before, 
any one who had seen how populous, industrious, and 
opulent they were, would have deemed impossible. 
Commerce, trade, nay, even daily bread, had fled 
from that so recently prosperous land. Bankers, 
merchants, farmers, artisans — all were sunk in one 
gi'eat iiiin. Antwerp, the emporium of the com- 
merce of Europe, with its river closed, and its 
harbour and wharves forsaken, was reduced to 
beggary. The looms and forges of Ghent, Bruges, 
and Namur were idle. The streets, trodden erewhile 
by armies of workmen, were covered with grass ; 
fail' mansions were occupied by paupers ; the fields 
■were falling out of cultivation ; the farm-houses 



were sinking into ruins ; and, in the absence of 
men, the beasts of the field were strangely multi- 
plying. To these evils were added the scourge of 
a mutinous soldiery, and the incessant rapacious 
demands of Philip for money, not knowing, or not 
cai-ing to know, into what a plight of misery and 

1666 we find Holland and her sLster States at the 
acme of theii- jirosperity. They are populous in 
men; they have a revenue of 40,000,000 florins ; 
they possess a land army of 60,000 men, a fleet of 
above 100 men-of-war, a countless mei'cantile navy, 
a world-wide commerce, and, not content with being 

rniNCE MAiiucE or 

, Versailles). 

penury his tyranny had ah-eady sunk them. Spain 
itself, towards the close of the ninetoonth centui y, 
is still a.s gi-eat a wreck ; but it required three 
hundred years for despotism and Popery to ri|icn 
their fruits in the Iberian Peninsula, whereas in 
the Southern Netherlands their work was consum- 
mated in a very few years. 

We turn once more to tlioir northern sister. The 
era of the flourishing of the United Provijiccs was 
from 1.J79, when the Union of Utrecht was formed, 
till 1C72— that is, ninety-three years. In the year 


one of the great Powers of Europe, they are con- 
testing with England the supremacy of the seas.' 

It is hardly j)0Rsiblc not to ask what led to the 
decline and fall of so groat a Power 1 Sir William 
Temple, who had studied with the breadth of a 
statesman, and the insight of a philosopher, both 
the rise and the fall of the United Provinces, lays 
their decay at the door of the Amiinian con- 
troversy, wliich had parted the nation in two. 

' Sir William Temple, chap. 7, p. 174. 



At least, this he makes the primaiy cause, and 
the oue that led on to others. The Prince of 
Orange or Oalvinist fection, he tells ns, contended 
for the purity of the faith, and the Anuinian 
faction for the liberties of the nation ; and so far 
this was true, but the historian forgets to say that 
the contest for the purity of the foith coTered the 
nation's liberties as well, and when the sacred fire 
•wliich had kindled the conflict for liberty was 
permitted to go out, the flame of freedom sunk 
down, the nation's heart waxed cold, and its hands 

grew feeble in defence of its independence. The 
decay of Holland became marked from the time the 
Arminian party gained the ascendency. ' But 
though the nation decayed, the line of William of 
Orange, the great founder of its liberties, continued 
to flourish. The motto of Prince INIanrice, Tandem 
Jit surculas arbor (" The twig will yet become a 
tree"); was made good in a higher sense than he had 
dreamed, for the epics of history are gi-ander than 
those of fiction, and the Stadtholder of Holland, 
in due tune, mounted the throne of Great Britain. 




The '■'Catholic Eostoration" — First lutroduction of Christianity into Poland — Influence of TVicIiffe and Huss— 
Luther— The Light Shines on Dantzic — The Ex-Monk Knade— Eashness of the Dantzic Eeformers— The Movement 
thrown back — Entrance of Protestantism into Thorn and other Towns — Cracow — Secret Society, and Queen Bona 
Sforza— Efforts of Eomish Synods to Arrest the Truth— Entrance of Bohemian Pi-otestants into Poland — Their 
great Missionary Success — Students leave Cracow : go to Protestant Universities — Attempt at Coercive Measures 
—They Fail— Cardinal Hosius— A Martyr— The Priests in Conflict with tlie Nobles— National Diet of 1552— 
Auguries— Abolition of the Temporal Jurisdiction of the Bishops. 

We are now appi'oaching the era of that gi'eat 
" Catholic Restoration " which, cumiingly devised 
and most perseveringly carried on by the Jesuits, 
who had now perfected the organisation and 
discipline of their corps, and zealously aided by the 
arms of the Popish Powers, scourged Germany with 
a desolating war of thiity yeai's, trampled out 
many flourishing Protestant Churches in the east 
of Europe, and nearly succeeded in rehabilitating 
Rome in her ancient dominancy of all Christendom. 
But before entering on the history of these events, 
it is neces.sary to follow, in a brief recital, the rise 
and progi'css of Protestantism in the countries of 
Poland, Bohemia, Hungary, and parts of Austria, 
seeing that these were the Churches which fell 
before the spiritual cohorts of Loyola, and the 
militaiT' hoi'des of Au.stria, and seeing also that 
these were the lands, in conjunction with Germany, 
which became the seat of that great struggle which 
seemed as though it wei-e destined to overthrow 
Protestantism wholly, till all suddenly, Sweden 
sent forth a champion who rolled back the tide of 
Popish success, and restored the balance between 

the two Churches, which has remained much as it 
was then settled, down to almost the present hour. 
We begin with Poland. Its Reformation opened 
with biilliant promise, but it had hardly reached 
what seemed its noon when its light was overcast, 
and since that disastrous hour the farther Poland's 
stoiy is pursued, it becomes but the sadder and 
more melancholy ; nevertheless, the historj^ of Pro- 
testantism in Poland is franght with great lessons, 
specially applicable to all free countries. Chris- 
tianity, it is believed, was introduced into Poland 
by missionaries from Great Moravia in the ninth 
century. In the tenth we find the sovereign of the 
country receiving baptism, from which we may 
infer that the Christian faith was still spreading in 
Poland. - It is owing to the simplicity and apostolic 
zeal of Cyi-illus ' and Methodius, two pastors from 

' Sir 'William Temple. Compare chap, i., p. 59, with 
chap, viii., p. 179. 

- Krasinski, History Reform, in Polam.l, vol. i., p. 2; 
Lond.; 1838. 

^ A remaiiable man, the inventor , of the Slavonic 
alphabet . 



Thessalonica, that the nations, the Shivoiiiaus 
.among the rest, who iiiliabited the wide temtories 
lying between the Tp-ol and the Danube on the 
one side, and the Baltic and Vistula on the other, 
were at so early a period visited with the light of 
the Gospel. 

Their first day was waxing dim, notwithstanding 
that they were occasionally visited by the Wal- 
denses, when Wiclifle arose in England. This 
splendour which had biu'st out in the west, 
travelled, as we have already narrated, as far as 
Bohemia, and from Bohemia it passed on to Poland, 
where it came in tune to arrest the return of the 
pagan night. The voice of Huss was now resound- 
ing through Bohemia, and its echoes were heard in 
Cracow. Poland was then intimately comiected 
with Bohemia ; the language of the two countries 
was almost the same ; numbers of Polish youth 
resorted to the University of Prague, and one of 
the first martyrs of Huss's Reformation was a Pole. 
Stanislav Pazek, a shoemaker by trade, suffered 
death, along wth two Bohemians, for opposing the 
indulgences which were pr'eached in Prague in 
1411. The citizens interred their bodies with 
gi-eat respect, and Huss preached a sermon at their 
funeral.' In 1431, a conference took place in 
Craeow, between certain Hussite missionaries and 
the doctors of the university, in presence of the 
king and senate. The doctors did battle for the 
ancient faith against the " novelties " imported 
from the land of Huss, which they described as doc- 
trines for which the missionaries could plead no 
better authority than the Bible. The disputation 
lasted several days, and Bishop Dlugosh, the his- 
torian of the conference, complains that although, 
" in the opinion of all present, the heretics were 
vanquished, they never acknowledged then- defeat." - 

It Ls interesting to find these three countries — 
Poland, Bohemia, and England — at that early 
period turning their ftices toward the day, and 
hand-in-hand attempting to find a path out of 
the darkness. How nuich less happy, one cannot 
help reflecting, the fate of the first two countries 
than that of the last, yet all three were then 
directing their steps into the same road. ]Nrany of 
the first fiuuilies in Poland embraced openly the 
Bohemian doctruies ; and it is an interesting fact 
that one of the professors in the univei-sity, Andrea.s 
Galka, exjjounded the works of Wiclifle at Cr.acow, 
and wi-oto a poem in honour of the English Ee- 
foiTiier. It is the earliest production of the Polish 
muse in existence, a jxiem in praise of the Virgin 

' Krasinski, Hist. Reform. PoUmd, vol. i., p. 61. 
2 Krasinski, Slavonia, p. 174. 

excepted. The author, addressing "Poles, Gcrmaiw, 
and all nations," says, " Wiclifle speaks the truth ! 
Heathendom and Christendom have never had a 
gi-eater man than he, and never will." Voice after 
voice is heard in Poland, attesting a growing 
opposition to Rome, till at last in 1515, two years 
before Luther had spoken, we find the seminrd 
principle of Protestantism proclaimed by Bernard 
of Lublin, in a work wliich he published at Cracow, 
and in which he says that " we must believe the 
Scriptures alone, and reject human ordinances." •* 
Thus was the way prepared. 

Two years after came Lutlier. The lightnings of 
his Theses, which flashed through the skies, of all 
countries, lighted up also those of Polish Prussia. 
Of that flourishing province Dantzic was the 
capital, and the chief emporium of Poland with 
Western Europe. In that city a monk, called 
James Knade, threw off" his habit (1518), took a 
wife, and began to preach publicly against Rome. 
Knade had to retire to Thorn, where he continued 
to diff'use his doctrines under the protection of a 
powerful nobleman ; but the seed he had sown in 
Dantzic did not perish ; there soon arose a little 
band of j)reachers, cemposed of Polish youths who 
had sat at Luther's feet in Wittemberg, and of 
pi-iests who had found access to the Reformer's 
wi-itings, who now proclaimed the truth, and made 
so numerous converts that in 1524 five churches 
in Dantzic were given up to their use. 

Success made the Reformers rash. Tlie town 
council, to whom the king, Sigismund, had hinted 
his dislike of these innovations, lagged behind in 
the movement, and the citizens resolved to replace 
that body with men more zealous. They sur- 
rounded the council, to the number of 400, and 
with arms in their hands, and cannon pointed on 
the coimcU-hall, they demanded the resignation of 
the members. No sooner had the council dis- 
solved itself than the citizens elected another from 
among themselves, The new council proceeded to 
complete the Reformation at a stroke. They sup- 
pressed the Roman Catholic worship, they closed 
the monastic establishments, they ordered that the 
convents and other ecclesiastical edifices should bo 
converted into schools and hospitals, and declared 
the goods of the " Church " to be public property, 
but left them initouched.* This violence only 
threw back the movement ; the majority of the in- 
habitants were still of the old faith, and had a right 
to exercise its worship till, enlightened in a better 
way, they should be pleased voluntarily to abandon it. 

5 Krasinski, Slavonia, p. 182 ; Lond., 1849. 

* Ki-asinski, Hist. Reform. Poland, vol. i., pp. 115, 116, 



Tlic dei)0scd coiuicilloi-s, seating themselves in 
carriages liung in black, and encircling their heads 
■with crape, set out to appear before the king. They 
implored him to interpose his authority to save 
his city of Dantzic, which was on the point of being 
d^■o^^^led in liQi-csy, and re-establish the old order 
of things. The king, in the main upright and 
tolerant, at first temporised. The members of 
council, by whom the late changes had been made, 
were summoned before the king's tribunal to justify 
then- doings ; but, not obej-ing the summons, they 
were outlawed. In April, 152G, the king in per- 
son visited Dantzic ; the citizens,' as a precaution 
against change, received the monarch in arms ; but 
the royal troops, and the anned retainere of the 
Popish lords who accompanied the king, so greatly 
outnumbered the Reformers that they were over- 
awed, and submitted to the court. A royal decree 
restored the Roman Catholic worship ; fifteen of 
the leading Reformers were beheaded, and the rest 
banished ; the citizens were ordered to return within 
the Roman pale or quit Dantzic ; the priests and 
monks who had abandoned the Roman Church were 
exiled, and the churches aj^propriated to Protestant 
worship were given back to mass. This was a sharp 
castigation for leaving the peaceful jjath. Never- 
theless, the movement in Dantzic was owly arrested, 
not destroyed. Some years later, there came an 
epidemic to the city, and amid the sick and the 
dying there stood up a pious Dominican, called 
Klein, to preach the Gospel. The citizens, awakened 
a second time to eternal things, listened to him. 
Dr. Eck, the fiimous opponent of Luther, impor- 
tuned King Sigismund to stop the preacher, and 
held up to him, as an example wortliy of imitation, 
Henry VIII. of England, who had just published a 
book against the Reformer. "Let King Hemy 
write against Martin," i-eplied Sigismund, " but, 
with regard to myself, I shall be king eqiially of 
the sheep and of the goats.'" Under the following 
reign Protestantism triumphed in Dantzic. 

About the same time the Protestant doctrines 
began to take I'oot in other towns of Polish Prussia. 
In Thorn, situated on the Vistula, these doctrines 
appeared in 1520. There came that year to Thorn, 
Zacharias Fereira, a legate of the Pope. He took 
a truly Roman way of warning the inhabitants 
against the heresy which had invaded their town. 
Kindling a gi-ewt fire before the Church of St. John, 
he solemnly connnitted the eftigies and VTitings of 
Lutlier to the flames. The fixggots had hardly begun 
to lilaze when a shower of stones from the towns- 
men saluted the legate and his ti'ain, and they were 

' Krasinski, Slavonia, p. 185. 

forced to flee, before they had had time to con- 
summate theii- auto-da-fe. At Bi-aunsberg, the seat 
of the Bishop of Ermeland, the Lutheran woi-ship 
was publicly introduced in 1520, without the 
bishop's taking any steps to prevent it. When re- 
proached by Ms chapter for his supLneness, he told 
his canons that the Reformer foimded all he said 
on Scripture, and any one among them who deemed 
himself competent to refute him was at liberty to 
do so. At Elbing and many other towns the light 
was spreading. 

A secret society, composed of the first scholars of 
the day, lay and cleric, was formed at Cracow, the 
university seat, not so much to projiagate the Pro- 
testant doctrines as to investigate the grounds of 
their truth. The queen of Sigismund I., Bona 
Sforza, was an active member of this society. She 
had for her confessor a learned Italian, Father 
Lismanini. The Father received most of the Pro- 
testant publications that appeared in the vai-ious 
countries of Em'ope, and laid them on the table of 
the society, with the view of their being read and 
canvassed by the members. The society at a future 
jjeriod acquired a greater but not a better reuo\vn. 
One. day a priest named Pastoiis, a native of Bel- 
gium, rose in it and avowed his disbelief of the 
Ti'init}', as a doctrine inconsistent ^^'ith the imity of 
the Godhead. The members, who saw that this 
was to ovei'throw revealed religion, were mute with 
astonishment ; and some, believing that what they 
had taken for the path of reform was the path of 
destruction, drew back, and took final refuge in 
Romanism. Others declared themselves disciples 
of the priest, and thus were laid in Poland the 
foundations of Socinianism.^ 

The rapid dittusion of the light is best attested 
by the vigorous eftbrts of the Romish clergy to 
suppress it. Numerous books appeared at this 
time in Poland against Luther and his doctrines. 
The Synod of Lenczyca, in 1527, recommended the 
re-establishment of the " Holy Inquisition." Other 
Synods drafted schemes of ecclesiastical reform, 
which, in Poland as in all the other countries 
where such projects were broached, were never 
realised save on papei-. Others recommended the 
appointment of popular preachers to instnict the 
ignorant, and guide their feet past the snares which 
were being laid for them in the writings of the 
heretics. On the principle that it would be less 
troublesome to prevent the planting of these snares, 
than after they were set to guide the unwary past 
them, they prohibited the introduction of such 
works into the country. The Synod of Lenczyca, 

- Krasinski, Hlsi. Reform. Poland, vol. i., pp. 138—140. 



in 1532, went a step foitlier, and in its zeal to 
preserve the "sincere faith" in Pohiud, recom- 
mended the banishment of " all heretics beyond the 
bounds of Sannatia."' The Synod of Piotrkow, in 
15i2, i)ublislied a decree prohibiting all students 
from resorting to universities conducted by heretical 
professors, and threatening with exclusion from all 
offices and dignities all who, after the passing of 
the edict, should repair to such universities, or who, 
being already at such, did not instantly return. 
This edict had no force in law, for besides not being 
recognised by the Diet, the ecclesiastical jurisdiction 
was carefully limited by the constitutional liberties 
of Poland, and the nobles still continued to send 
their sons to interdicted miiversities, and in par- 
ticular to Wittemberg. Meanwhile the national 
legislation of Poland began to flow in just the 
opposite channel. In 1539 a royal ordinance esta- 
blished the liberty of the press; and in 1513 the 
Diet of Cracow gi-anted the freedom of studying at 
foreign univereities to all Polish subjects. 

At this period an event fell out which gave an 
additional impulse to the diii'usiou of Protestantism 
in Poland. In 1518, a severe persecution, which 
vriW come under our notice at a subsequent stage 
of our history, arose against the Bohemian brethi-en, 
the descendants of that valiant host who had com- 
bated for the faith under ZLska. In the year 
above-named Ferdinand of Bohemia published an 
edict shutting up their churches, imprisoning theii- 
ministei-s, and enjoining the brethren, under severe 
penalties, to leave the country within forty-two 
days. A thousand exiles, marshalling themselves in 
three bands, left their native villages, and began 
their march westward to Prussia, where Albert of 
Brandenburg, a zealous Reformer, had promised 
them asylum. The pilgrims, who were under the 
conduct of Sionius, the chief of their community — 
"the leader of the people of God," as a Polish 
historian styles him — had to pass through SUesia 
and Poland on their way to Prussia. Arriving 
iu Posen in Jmie, 1518, they were welcomed 
by Andreas Gorka, first magistrate of Grand 
Poland, a man of vast possessions, and Pro- 
testant opinions, and were offered a settlement iii 
his States. Here, meanwhile, their journey ter- 
minated. The pious wanderers erected churches 
and celebrated their worship. Their Iiymns chanted 
in the Bohemian language, and their sermons 
preiiched in the same tongue, drew many of the 
Polish iuliabitants, speech was Slavonic, to 
listen, and ultimately to embrace their opinions. A 
Eiissionai-y army, it looked to them as if Providence 

had guided their steps to this spot for the conver- 
sion of all the provinces of Gi-and Poland. The 
Bishop of Posen saw the danger that menaced his 
diocese, and rested not till he had obtained an order 
from Sigismund Augustus, who had just succeeded 
his father (1518), enjoining the Bohemian emigrants 
to quit the territory. The order might possibly 
have been recalled, but the brethren, not wishing 
to be the cause of trouble to the grandee who had 
so nobly entertained them, resumed their journey, 
and arrived in due time in Prussia, where Duke 
Albert, agreeably to his promise, accorded them the 
rights of naturalisation, and full religious liberty. 
But the seed they had sown in Posen remained 
behind them. In the following year (1519) many 
of them returned to Poland, and resumed their 
propagation of the Reformed doctrines. They pro- 
secuted their work without molestation, and with 
great success. IMany of the principal families 
embraced theii- opinions; and the ultimate result 
of their labours was the formation of about eighty 
congregations in the provinces of Grand Poland, 
besides many in other parts of the kingdom. 

A quarrel broke out between the students and 
the university authorities at Cracow, which, al- 
though originating in a street-brawl, had important 
bearings on the Protestant movement. The breach 
it was found impossible to heal, and the students 
resolved to leave Cracow in a body. " The schools 
became silent," says a contemporary writer, "the 
halls of the university were deserted, and the 
churches were mute."^ Nothing but farewells, 
lamentations, and groans resounded through Cracow. 
The pilgrims assembled in a suburban church, to 
hear a farewell mass, and then set forth, singing a 
sacred hymn, some taking the road to the College 
of Goldbei'g, in Silesia, and others going on to the 
newly-erected University of Konigsberg, iu Prussia. 
The first-named school wixs under the direction of 
Frankeudorf, one of the most eminent of Melanc- 
thon's jmpils; Konigsberg, a creation of Alljert, 
Duke of Prussia, was already fulfilling its founder's 
intention, which was the diffusion of scriptural 
knowledge. In both seminaries the predominating 
influences were Protestant. The consetpience was 
that almost all these students returned to then- 
homes imbued with the Reformed doctrine, and 
powerfully contributed to spread it in I'oland. 

So stood the movement when Sigismund Augustus 
a-scended the throne in 1548. Protestant truth was 
widely spread throughout the kingdom. In the 
towns of Polish Prussia, wkerc many Germans re- 

Conslitutioncs Sitjnodorum—apud Krasiuski. 

= Zalaszowski, Jus Puhlicum Regni PoZoii«s— Krasiuski, 
Hist. Ecfoi-m. Poland, vol. i., p. 157. 



sided, the Reformation was received in its Lutheran 
expression ; in the rest of Poland it was embraced 
in its CalvinLstic form. Many powerful nobles had 
abandoned Romanism ; nimibere of priests taught 
the Protestant faith ; but, as yet, there existed no 
organLsation — no Church. This came at a later 

The priesthood had as yet erected no stake. They 
thought to stem the torrent by violent denxmcia- 
tions, thundered from the pulpit, or sent abroad 
over the kingdom through the press. They raLsed 
their voices to the loftiest pitch, but the torrent 
continued to flow broader and deeper every day. 
They now began to make trial of coercive measiu-es. 
Nicholaiis Olesnicki, Lord of Pinczov, ejecting the 
images from a church on hLs estates, established 
Protestant woi"sliip in it according to the forms of 
Geneva. This wa-s the first oj^en attack on the 
ancient oi'der of things, and Olesnicki was sum- 
moned before the ecclesiastical tribunal of Cracow. 
He obeyed the summons, but the crowd of friends 
and retainers who accompanied him was such that 
the court was ten-ified, and dared not open its 
sittings. The clergy had taken a first step, but had 
lost ground thereby. 

Tlie next move was to convoke a Synod (1552) 
at Pioti'kow. At that Convocation, the afterwards 
celebrated Cardinal Hosius produced a summary 
of the Roman fiiith, which he proposed all priests 
and all of senatorial and eqviestrian degi-ee should 
be made to subscribe. Besides the fundamental doc- 
trines of Romanism, tliLs creed of Hosius made the 
subscriber express his belief in purgatory, in the 
wonshij) of saints and images, in the eflicacy of 
holy water, of fasts, and similar rites.' The sugges- 
tion of Hosius was adopted ; all priests were 
ordered to subscribe this test, and the king was 
petitioned to exact subscription to it from all the 
oflicci-s of his Government, and all the nobles of 
his realm. The Synod further resolved to set on 
foot a vigorous war against heresy, to support 
which a ta.x was to be levied on the clergy. It was 
sought to i)urchase the a.ssistance of the king by 
offei-ing him the confiscated property of all con- 
demned heretics.- It seemed as if Poland was 
about to be lighted up with martyi-piles. 

A beginning was made with Nicholaus, Rector of 
Kurow. This good man began in 1550 to preach 
the doctrine of salvation by grace, and to give the 

' Vide Hosii Opera, Antverpise, 1571 ; and Stanislai 
Hosii Vita autore Roscio, Romse, 1567. Subscription to the 
above creed by the clergy was enjoined because many of 
the bishops were suspected of heresy — "quod multi inter 
episcopos erant suspecti." 

- Bzovius, ann. 1551. 

Communion in both kinds to his parishionei-s. For 
these offences he was cited before the ecclesiivstical 
tribunal, where he coui'ageously defended himself. 
He was afterwards thrown into a dungeon, and 
deprived of life, but whether by starvation, by 
poison, or by methods more violent still, cannot 
now be known. One victim had been offered to 
the insulted majesty of Rome in Poland. Con- 
temporaiy ckroniclers speak of others who were 
immolated to the intolerant genius of the Papacy, 
but their execution took place, not in open day, but 
in the secresy of the cell, or in the darkness of the 

The next move of the priests landed them in 
open conflict with the popular sentiment and the 
chartered rights of the nation. No country in 
Europe enjoyed at that hour a gi-eater degree of 
liberty than did Poland. The towns, many of 
which were flourishing, elected their own magis- 
trates, and thus each city, as regarded its internal 
afl'au's, was a little republic. The nobles, who 
formed a tenth of the population, were a peculiar 
and privileged class. Some of them were owners 
of vast -domains, i^abited castles, and lived in 
gi-eat magnificence. Others of them tilled their 
O'vvn lands ; but all of them, grandee and husband- 
man aUke, were equal before the law, and neither 
their persons nor property could be disposed of, save 
by the Diet. The king himself was subject to the 
law. We find the eloquent but versatile Orichovius, 
who now thundered against the Pope, and now 
threw himself prostrate before him, saying in one 
of his philippics, " Your Romans bow their knees 
before the crowd of your menials; they bear on 
their necks the degi-ading yoke of the Roman 
scribes ; but such is not the case -svith us, where 
the law lilies even the throne." The free consti- 
tution of the country was a shield to its Protes- 
tantism, as the clergy had now occasion to experience. 
Stanislav Stadnicki, a nobleman of large estates 
and great influence, having embraced the Reformed 
opinions, established the Protestant worshii) accord- 
ing to the forms of Geneva on his domains. He 
was summoned to answer for his conduct before 
the tribunal of the bishop. Stadnicki replied that 
he was quite ready to justify both his opinions 
and his acts. The court, however, had no wish to 
hear what he had to say in behalf of his faith, 
and condemned him, by default, to civil death and 
loss of property. Had the clergy wished to raise a 
flame all o^'er the kingdom, they coidd have done 
nothing more fitted to gain their end. Stadnicki 
assembled his fellow-nobles and told them what the 
priests had done. The Polish grandees had ever 
been jealous of the throne, but here was an eccle- 



MEW OF THE COl KT 01 THE l,M\tK>.IT\ 01 tUVC)W 

siastical body, acting under an irresponsible foreign 
cliief, a-ssuming a power which the king had never 
ventured to exercise, disposing of the lives and 

properties of the nobles without reference to any 
will or any tribunal save their own. The idea waij 
not to bo endiux'd. There rung a loud outcry 



against ecclesiastical tyranny all througliout Poland; 
and the indignation was brought to a height by 
numerous apprehensions, at that same time, at the 
instance of the bishops, of influential persons — 
among otliei's, priests of blameless life, who had 
olfeuded iigainst the law of clerical celibacy, and 
whom the Roman clergy sought to put to death, 
but could not, simply from the cii-cumstance that 
they could find no magistrate willing to execute 
their sentences. 

At this juncture it happened that the National 
Diet (1.552) assembled- Unmistakable signs were 
apparent at its opening of the strong anti-Papal 
feeling that animated many of its members. As 
usual, its sessions were inaugurated by the solemn 
performance of high mass. Tlie king in Ids robes 
was present, and with him were the ministers of 
liis council, the officers of liis household, and the 
generals of his army, bearing the symbols of their 
office, and wearing the stars and insignia of their 
rank; and there, too, were the senators of the 
Upper Chamber, and the members of the Lower 
House. All that could be done by chants and 
iiicense, by sjilendid vestments and priestly rites, to 
make the service impressive, and revive the decay- 
ing veneration of the worshippers for the Roman 
Church, was done. The great words which efl'ect 
the prodigy of transubstantiation had been spoken ; 
the trumpet blared, arid the clang of grounded arms 
rung thi'ough the building. The Host was being 
elevated, and the king and his court fell on theii- 
knees ; but many of the deputies, instead of pros- 
trating themselves, stood erect and turned away 
their faces. Raphael Leszczynski, a nobleman of 
high character and great possessions, expressed his 
ilissent from Rome's gi-eat mystery in mamier even 
more marked : he wore his hat all throngh the 
performance. The priests saw, but dared not re- 
prove, this contempt of theii- rites.' 

The auguries with which tjie Diet had opened 
did not fail of finiling ample fulfilment in its sub- 
sequent proceedings. The assembly chose as its 
president Leszczynski — the nobleman who had 
remained uncovered during mass, and wlio had 
previously resigned liis senatorial dignity in order 

' Krasinskij Hist. Reform. Poland, vol. i., pp. 186 — 188. 

to become a member of the Lower House.- The 
Diet immediately took into consideration the juris- 
diction wielded by the bishops. The question put 
in debate was this — Is such jurisdiction, carryuig 
civil eftects, compatible with the rights of the 
crown and the freedom of the nation ] The Diet 
decided that it was consistent with neither the pre- 
rogatives of the sovereign nor the liberties of the 
people, and resolved to abolish it, so far as it had 
force in law. King SigLsmund Augustus thought 
it very possible that if he were himself to mediate 
in the matter he would, at least, succeed in softening 
the fall of the bishops, if only he could persuade 
them to make certain concessions. But he was 
mistaken : the ecclesiastical dignitaries were per- 
verse, and resolutely refused to yield one iota of 
of their powers. Thereupon the Diet issued its 
decree, wliich the king ratified, that the clergy 
should retain the power of judging of heresy, but 
have no jiower of intiictmg civil or criminal punish- 
ment on the condemned. Their spiritual sentences 
were henceforward to carry no temporal effects 
whatever. The Diet of 1553 may be regarded as 
the epoch of the downfall of Roman Catholic pre- 
dominancy in Poland, and of the establishment in 
that country of the liberty of all religious confes- 

The anger of the bishops was inflamed to the 
utmost. They entered their- solemn protest against 
the enactment of the Diet. The mitre was shorn 
of half its splendour, and the crozier of more than 
half its power, by being disjoined from the swonL 
They left the Senate-hall in a body, and threatened 
to resign their senatorial dignities. The Diet 
heard then- threats unmoved, and as it made not 
the slightest efl'ort either to prevent their departure 
or to recall them after they were gone, but, on the 
contraiy, went on with its busmess as if nothing 
miusual had occurred, the bishops returned and 
took their seats of their own accord. 

- This nobleman was the descendant of that Wences- 
laus of Leszna who defended Jolrn Huss at the Council 
of Constance. He had adopted for his motto, Malo jien- 
culosam Ubcrtatem quam tutam scrvitium — "Better tho 
dangers of liberty than the safeguards of slavery." 

3 Vide Krasinski, Hist. Reform. Poland, vol. i.. pp. 188, 
189, where the original Polish authorities are cited. 





No One Loader— Many Secondary Ones— King Sigismiind Augustus— His Cliaracter— Favourably Disposed to Pro- 
testantism— His Vacillations— Project of National Reforming Synod— Opposed by the Roman Clergy— John 
Alasco— Education— Gfoes to Louvain — Visits Zwingle — His Stay with Erasmus— Recalled to Poland — Purges 
himself from Suspicion of Heresy — Proffered Dignities— He Severs himself from the Roman Church — Leaves 
Poland — Goes to East Friesland — Begins its Reformation — Difficulties — Triumi)h of Alasco — Goes to England 
— Friendship wltli Cranmer — Becomes Superintendent of the Foreign Church in Loudon— Retires to Denmark 
on Death of Edvrard VI.— Persecutions and Wanderings— Returns to Poland— His Work there— Prince Rad- 
ziwill— His Attempts to Reform Poland— His Dying Charge to liis Son— His Prophetic AVords to Sigismund 

We sec the movement marching on, but we can see 
no one leader going before it. The place filled )jy 
Lnther in Germany, by Calvin in Geneva, and by 
men not dissimilarly endovced in other countries, is 
vacant in the Keformation of Poland. Here it is a 
^^'aldensian missionaiy or refugee who is quietly 
sowing the good seed wliiuli he has drawn from the 
gamer of some manuscript copy of the New Te.stix- 
ment, and there it is a little band of Bohemian 
brethren, who liave pi'eserved the traditions of John 
Huss, and ai'e trying to plant them in tliis new sod. 
Here it is a university doctor who is expounding 
the writings of Wicliffe to his pupils, and there it is 
a Polish youth who has just returned from Wittem- 
berg, and is anxious to communicate to his country- 
men the knowledge which he has there learned, and 
which has been so sweet and refreshmg to himself. 
Nevertheless, although amid all these labourers we 
can discover no one who first gathers all the forces 
of the new life into himself, and agam sends them 
forth over the land, we yet behold the darkness 
vanis4ung on every side. Poland's Reformation is 
not a sunrise, but a daybreak : the first dim streaks 
are succeeded by others less doubtful ; these are 
followed by brighter shades still ; till at some- 
thing like the clearness of day illuminates its skj'. 
The truth has visited some nobleman, as the light 
will strike on some tall mountain at the morning 
liour, and straightway his I'ctainei'S and tenantrj- 
licgin to worsliip as their chief worships ; or some 
cathedral abbot or city priest has embraced tlio 
fJospel, and their flocks follow in the stops of 
their shepherd, and find in the doctrine of a free 
salvation a peace of soul which they never expe- 
rienced amid the burdensome rites and meritorious 
seiwices of tlio Church of Rome. There are no 
combats; no stakes; no mighty hindrances to 
be vanr|uished ; Poland seems destined to enter 
without struggle or bloodshed into possession of 

that precious inheritance which other nations are 
content to buy with a great price. 

But althougli thei'e is no one who, in intellectual 
and spiritual statiu'e, towers so far above the other 
workers in Poland as to be styled its Reformer 
there are three names connected with the history 
of Protestantism in that country so outstanding as 
not to be passed without mention. The fii'st is 
that of King Sigismund Augustus. Tolerant, ac- 
complished, and pure in life, this monarch had 
read the Institutes, and was a correspondent of 
Calvm, who sought to inflame him with the ardour 
of making his name and reign glorious by labouring 
to eftect the Reformation of his dominions. Sigis- 
mund A\igustus was favourably disposed toward 
the doctrines of Protestantism, and he had nothing 
of that abhorrence of heresy and teiTor of revolu- 
tion which made the kings of France drive the 
Gospel from then- realm with fire and sword ; but 
he vacillated, and could never make up his mind 
between Rome and the Reformation. The Polisli 
king would fain have seen an adjustment of the 
differences that divided his subjects into two great 
parties, and the dissensions quieted that agitated 
his kingdom, but he feared to take tlie only eflectual 
steps that could lead to that end. He was sur- 
rounded constantly with Protestants, who cheiished 
the hope that he would yet abandon Rome, and 
declare himself openly in favour of Protestantism, 
but he always drew l)ack when the moment came 
for deciding. We have seen him, in conjunction 
with the Diet of 15.53, pluck the sword of persecu- 
tion from the hands of the bishops ; and he was 
willing to go still further, and make trial of any 
means that promised to amend the administration 
and reform the doctrines of the Roman Church. 
He was exceedingly fa^•ourable to a project nuieh 
talked of in his reign — namely, that of convoking a 
National Synod for reforming the Church on tlie 



basis of Holy Scnpture. Tlie necessity of such an 
assembly had been mooted in the Diet of 1552 ; it 
was revived in the Diet of 1555, and more earnestly 
pressed on the king, and thus contemporaneously 
with the abdication of the imperial sovereignty by 
Charles V., and the yet unfinLshed sittings of the 
great Council of Trent, the probability was that 
Christendom would behold a truly Oecumenical 
Council assemble in Poland, and put the topstone 
upon the Reformation of its Church and kingdom. 
The projected Polish assembly, over which it was 
proposed that King Sigismund Augustus should 
preside, was to be composed of delegates from all 
the religious bodies in the kingdom — Lutherans, 
Calvinists, and Bohemians — who were to meet and 
deliberate on a perfect equality with the Roman 
clergy. Nor was the constituency of this Synod to 
be confined to Poland ; other Churches and lands 
were to be represented in it. All the living Re- 
formers of note were to be invited to it ; and, 
among others, it was to include the great names 
of Calvin and Beza, of Melancthon and Vergei'ius. 
But this Synod was never to meet. The clergy 
of Rome, kno^ving that tottering fabrics can stand 
only in a calm air, and that their Church was in a 
too shattered condition to sur\'ive the shock of free 
discussion conducted by such powerful antagonists, 
threw every obstacle in the way of the Synod's 
meeting. Nor was the king very zealous in the 
affair. It is doubtful whether Sigismund Augustus 
was ever brought to test the two creeds by the 
gi-eat question which of the twain was able to 
sustain the weight of his soul's salvation; and so, 
with convictions feeble and ill-defined, his purpose 
touching the reform of the Church never ripened 
into act. 

The second name is that of no vacillating man 
— we have met it before — it is that of John 
Alasco. John Alasco, born in the last year save 
one of the fifteenth century,^ was sprung of one of 
the most illustrious families in Poland. Destined 
for the Church, he received the best education 
which the schools of his native land could bestow, 
and he afterwards visited Germany, France, Italy, 
and Belgium in order to enlarge and perfect his 
studies. At the University of Louvain, renowned 
for the purity of its orthodoxy, and whither he 
resoi'ted, probably at the locoramendation of his 
uncle, who was Primate of Poland, he contracted a 
close friendship with Albert Hardenberg.- After a 
short stay at Louvain, finding the air murky with 

' Gerdesius, Hist. Reform., vol. iii., p. 146. 

- Tbid. Tliis is the (late (1523) of their friendship as 
given by Gerdesius ; it is doubtful, however, -wlietlicr it 
began so early. 

scholasticism, he turned his steps in the direction 
of Switzerland, and aniving at Zurich, he made 
the acquaintance of Z^vingle. " Search the Scrip- 
tures," said the Reformer of Zurich to the young 
Polish nobleman. Alasco turned to that great light, 
and from that moment he began to be delivered 
from the darkness which had till then encompassed 
him. Quitting Zurich and crossing the Jura, he 
entered Basle, and presented himself before Erasmus. 
This great master of the schools was net slow to 
discover the refined grace, the beaiitiful genius, and 
the many and great acquirements of the stranger 
who had sought his acquaintance. Erasmus was 
charmed with the young Pole, and Alasco on his 
part was equally enamoured of Erasmus. Of all 
then living, Erasmus, if not the man of highest 
genius, was the man of highest culture, and doubt- 
less the young scholar caught the touch of a yet 
greater suavity from this prince of lettei-s. as 
Erasmus, in the enthusiasm of liis friendship, con- 
fesses that he had growii young again in the society 
of Alasco. The Pole lived about a year (1525) 
under the roof," but not at the cost of the great 
scholar ; for Ms disposition being as generous .as 
liis means were ample, he took upon hhnself the 
expenses of housekeeping ; and in other ways he 
ministered, with equal liberality and delicacy, to 
the wants of his illustrious host. He purchased 
his library for 300 golden crowns, leaving to 
Erasmus the use of it during his life-time.'' He 
formed a friendship with other eminent men then 
living at Basle ; in particulai-, with Qicolampadius 
and Pellicanus, the latter of whom initiated him 
into the study of the Hebrew Scriptures. 

His uncle, the primate, hearing that his nephew 
had fallen into " bad company," recalled him by 
urgent letters to Poland. It cost Alasco a pang 
to tear himself from his friends in Basle. He 
carried back to his native land a heart estranged 
from Rome, but he did not dissever himself from 
her communion, nor as yet did he feel the necessity 
of domg so ; he had tested her doctrines by the 
intellect only, not by the conscience. He was 
received at court, where his youth, the refinement 
of his mamiers, and the brilliance of his talents 
made him a fivvouritc. The pomps and gaieties 
amid which he now lived weakened, but did not 
wholly eflace, the impressions made upon him at 
Zurich and Basle. Destined for the highest offices 
in the Church of Poland, his uncle demanded that 
he shoidd purge himself by oath from the suspicions 

^ " Is in iisdem cum Erasmo jedibus vixerat Basilese.' 
(Gerdesius, vol. iii-, p. 146.) 
■* Krasinski, Hist. R^orm. Poland, vol. i., p. 247. 



of heresy wliicli had hung about him ever since his 
return from Switzerhind. Alasco complied. The 
document signed by him Ls dated in 1526, and in it 
Alasco promises not to embrace doctrines foreign 
to those of the Apostolic Roman Church, and to 
submit in all lawful and honest things to the 
authority of the bishops and of the Papal See. 
" This I swear, so help me, God, and his holy 

This fall was meant to be the first step towards 
the primacy. Ecclesiastical dignities began now 
to be showered upon him, Init the duties which 
these imposed, by bringing him into close contact 
with clerical men, disclosed to him more and more 
every day the corruptions of the Papacy, and the 
need of a radical reform of the Church. He re- 
sumed his readings in the Bible, and renewed his 
correspondence with the Reformers. His spiritual 
life revived, and he began now to try Rome by the 
only infallible touch-stone — " Can I, by the per- 
fonuance of the works she prescribes, obtain peace 
of conscience, and make myself holy in the sight 
of God?" Alasco was constrained to confess that 
he never should. He must therefore, at whatever 
cost, separate himself from her. At this moment 
two n^itres — that of Wesprim in Himgary, and that 
of Cujavia in Poland — were jjlaced at his accept- 
ance." The latter mitre opened his way to the 
jirimacy in Poland. On the one side were two 
kings proffering him golden dignities, on the other 
wa.s the Gospel, with its losses and afflictions. 
\^^lich shall he choose t " God, iir his goodness," 
said he, writing to Pellicanus, " has brought me to 
myself" He went straight to the king, and 
frankly and boldly avowing his convictions, de- 
clined the Bishopric of Cujavia. 

Poland was no place for Alasco after such an 
avowal. He left his native land in l.')3G, uncertain 
in what country he should spend what might yet 
remain to him of life, which was now wholly 
devoted to the cause of the Reformation. Sigis- 
mund, who knew his worth, would most willingly 
have retained Alasco the Romanist, but perhaps 
he was not sony to see Alasco the Protestant leave 
his dominions. The Protestant jtrinces, to whom 
his illustrious birtli and great parts had made him 
known, vied with each otlicr to seoire his ser\ices. 
The Countess Regent of East Friesland, where the 
Reformation had been commenced in lo28, urged 
him to come and complete the work by assinning 
the .superintendence of the churches of that jiro- 
vince. After long deliberation he went, but the 

' Alasco, Opp., vol. ii., p. 548— aputJ D'AubignC-, vii. 5-10. 
^ Gerdesius, Hist. Reform., vol. iii., p. U7. 

task was a difficult one. The country had become 
the battle-ground of the sectaries. All things were 
in confusion ; the churches were full of images, and 
the worship abounded in mummeries ; the people 
were nide iii manners, and many of the nobles 
dissolute in life ; one less resolute might have been 
dismayed, and retired. 

Alasco made a commencement. His quiet, 
yet persevering, and powerful touch was telling. 
Straightway a tempest arose around him. The 
wrangling sectaries on the one side, and the monks 
on the other, united in assailing the man in whom 
Ijoth recognised a common foe. Accusations were 
carried to the court at Brussels against him, and 
soon there came an impei-ial order to expel " the 
fii-e-brand" from Friesland. "Dost thou hear the 
gi-owl of the thunder?"^ said Alasco, writing to 
his friends ; he expected that the bolt would 
follow. Anna, the sovereign princess of the king- 
dom, terrified at the threat of the emperor, began 
to cool in her zeal toward the supermtendent and 
his work; but in proportion as the clouds grew 
black and danger menaced, the courage and resolu- 
tion of the Reformer waxed strong. He addressed 
a letter to the princess (1543), in which he deemed 
it " better to be unpolite than to be unfoithful," 
warning her that should she " take her hand from 
the plough" she would have to "give account to 
the eternal Judge." " I am only a foreigner," he 
added, "burdened with a family,'' and having no 
home. I wish, therefore, to be friends with all, 
but .... as fiir as to the altar. This barrier I 
cannot pass, even if I had to reduce my family to 
beggary. "■■ 

This noble appeal brought the princess once more 
to the side of Alasco, not again to withdraw her 
support from one whom she had found so devoted 
and so courageous. Prudent, yet resolute, Alasco 
went on steadily in his work. Gradually the rem- 
nants of Romanism were weeded out ; gradually 
the images disappeared from the temples ; the 
order and discipline of the Church were reformed 
on the Genevan model ; the Sacrament of the 
Lord's Supper was established according to the 
doctrine of Calvin;" and, as regarded the monks, 
they were permitted to occujiy their convents in 
peace, but were forbi<lden the public jiei-formance 
of their woiship. Not liking tliis restraint, the 
Fathers quietly withdrew from the kingdom. In 
six yeare John Alascohad completed the Refoi-mation 

' Alasco, Opj>., vol. ii., p. 558. 

■' In 15t0, Alasco had married at Mainz, to put an in- 
Burmoimtable ban-ior between himself and Rome. 
•'■ Alasco, OpiK, vol. ii., p. 5G0. 
" Gerdesius, Hist. Reform., vol. iii., p. 14S. 




of the Church of East Friesland. It was a great 
service. He had prepared an asylum for the 
Protestants of the Netherlands during the evil 
days that were about to come upon them, and he 
)iad helped to pave the way for the appearance of 
William of Orange. 

The Church order established by AJasco in 
Friesland was that of Geneva. This awoke against 
him the hostility of the Lutherans, and the ad- 
herents of that creed continuing to multiply in 
Friesland, the troubles of Alasco multiplied along 
with them. He resigned the general direction 
of ecclesiastical aflairs, which he had exercised as 
superintendent, and limited his sphere of action to 
the ministry of the single congi'ogation of Emden, 
the capital of the country. 

But the time was come when John Alasco was 
to be removed to another sphere. A pressing letter 
now reached him from Archbishop Cranmei', in- 
viting him to take part, along with other distin- 
guished Continental Reformer.s, in completing the 
Reformation of the Church of England.' The 
Polish Reformer accepted the invitation, and tra- 
versing Brabant and Flanders in disguise, he 
arrived in London in September, 1548. A six 
motiths' residence with Cranmer at Lambeth satis- 
fied him that the archbishop's views and his own, 
touching the Reformation of the Church, entirely 
coincided; and an intimate friendship sprang up 
between the two, which bore good fiuits for the 
cause of Protestantism in England, where Alasco's 
noble character and great learning soon won him 
high esteem. After a short visit to Friesland, in 
L^IO, he returned to England, and was nominated 
by Edward VI., in 1550, Superintendent of the 
German, French, and Italian congi-egations erected 
in London, numbering between 3,000 and 4,000 
persons, and which Cranmer hoped would yet prove 
a seed of Reformation in the vaiious countries from 
which persecution had driven them,- and woidd also 
excite the Church of England to pursxie the path of 
Protestantism. And so, doubtless, it would have 
been, had not the death of Edward VI. and the ac- 

' GerdesiuB, Hist. Reform., vol. iii., p. 150. 

' Strype, Cranmer, pp. 234—2-10. The young king 
granted him letters patent, erecting Alasco and the other 
ministers of the foreign congregations into a body cor- 
porate. Tlie affairs of each congregation were managed 
by a minister, ruling elders and deacons. Tlie oversight 
of all was committed to Alasco as s\ipcrintendent. He 
had greater trouble but no more authority than tho 
others, and was subject equally with them to the disci- 
pline of tho Church. Although he allowed no superiority 
of ofliee or authority to superintendents, ho considered 
that they were of Divine appointment, and that Peter 
held this rank among t)i9 apostles. (Vide M<:Crie, Life oj 
Knox, vol. i., f. 407, notes.) 


cession of Mary suddenly changed the whole aspect 
of affairs in England. The Friesian Reformer and 
his congregation had now to quit our shore. They 
embarked at Gravesend on the 15th of September, 
1553, in the presence of thousands of English Pro- 
testants, who crowded the banks of the Thames, 
and on bended knees supplicated the blessing and 
pi-otection of Heaven on the wanderers. 

Setting sail, their little fleet was scattered by 
a storm, and the vessel which bore John Alasco 
entered the Danish harbour of Elsinore. Chris- 
tian III. of Denmark, a mild and pious prince, 
received Alasco and his fellow-exiles at first with 
gi-eat kindness ; but soon their asylum was invaded 
by Lutheran intolerance. The theologians of the 
court, Westphal and Pomeranus (Bugenliagen), 
poisoned the king's mind against the exiles, and 
they were compelled to re-embark at an inclement 
season, and tempestuous seas in quest of 
some more hospitable shore.' This shameful breach 
of hospitality was afterwards repeated at Lubeck, 
Hamburg, and Rostock ; it kindled the indigna- 
tion of the Churches of Switzerland, and it drew 
from Calvin an eloquent letter to Alasco, in which 
he gave vent not only to his deep sympathy with 
him and his companions in suffering, but also to his 
astonishment " that the barbarity of a Christian 
people should exceed even the sea in savageness."' 

Driven hither and thither, not by the hatred of 
Rome, but by the intolerance of brethren, Gustavus 
Vasa, the reforming monarch of Sweden, gave a 
cordial welcome to the pastor and his flock, should 
they choose to settle in his dominions. Alasco, 
however, thought better to repair to Friesland, the 
scene of his former labours ; but even here the 
Lutheran spirit, which had been growing in his 
absence, made his stay unpleasant. He next 

sought asylum in Frankfort-on-the-Maine, where 
he established a Church for the Protestant refugees 
from Belgium.'' During his stay at Frankfort he 
essayed to heal the breach between the Lutheran 
and the Calvinistic branches .of the Reformation. 
The mischiefs of that division he had amply expe- 
rienced in his own person; but its noxious influeuco 
was felt far beyond tho little comnuiuity of which 
he was the centre. It was the grent scandal of 
Protest<rntism ; it disfigured it with dissensions 
and hatreds, and divided and weakened it in the 
presence of a powerful foe. But his eflbits to heal 
this deplorable and scandalous schism, although 

3 Gerdesius, vol. iii.. p. 151. Krasinski, Hist. Reform. 
Poland, vol. i., pp. 264—266. 

■• ride Letter of Calvin to John Alasco— Bonnet, vol. ii., 
p. 432. 

* Gerdesius, vol. iii., p. 151. 



secoiuled by the Senate of Fi-ankfoit and several 
CJerraan princes, were in vain.' 

He ne^■er lost sight of his native land ; in all his 
wanderings he cherished the hope of returning to it 
at a future day, and aiding in tlie Reformation of its 
Church; and now (1555) he dedicated to Sigismimd 
Augustus of Poland a new edition of an account he 
had formerly published of the foreign Churches in 
London of which he had acted as superintendent. 
He took occasion at the same time to explain in 
full his o^\■n sentiments on the subject of Church 
Reformation. With gi'eat calmness and dignity, but 
mth gi'eat strength of argument, he maintained 
that the Scriptures wei-e the one sole basis of Re- 
formation ; that neither from tradition, however 
venerable, nor from custom, however long estab- 
lished, were the doctrines of the Church's creed 
or the order of her government to be deduced; that 
neither Councils nor Fathers coiild infaUibly deter- 
mine anything ; that apostolic practice, as recorded 
in the inspii'ed canon — that is to say, the Word 
of God — alone possessed authority in this matter, 
and was a sure guide. He also took the liberty of 
urging on the king the necessity of a Reformation 
of the Church of Poland, " of which a prosperous 
beginning had already been made by the gi-eatest 
and best part of the nation;" but the matter, he 
added, was one to be prosecuted " with judgment 
and care, seeing every one who reasoned against 
Rome was not orthodox ; " and touching the 
Euchaiist — that vexed question, and in Poland, as 
elsewhere, so fertile in divisions — Alasco stated 
" that doubtless believers received the flesh and 
blood of Christ in the Communion, but by the lip 
of the soul, for there was neither bodily nor per- 
sonal presence in the Eucharist." ^ 

It is probable that it was this publication that 
led to his recall to Poland, in 1556, by the king and 
nobles.' The Roman bishops heralded his coming 
with a shout of teiTor and wr-ath. " The 'butcher'* 
of the Church has entered Poland!" they cried. 
" Diiven out of eveiy land, he retin-ns to that one 
that gave him birth, to afflict it mth troubles and 
commotions. He is collecting troops to wage war 
against the king, root out the Chuiches, and spread 
riot and bloodshed over the kingdom." Tliis clamour 
had all the effect on the royal mind which it de- 
served to have — that is, none at all. ^ 

Alasco, soon after his return, was appointed 

superintendent of all the Reformed Churches of 
Little Poland." His long-cherished object seemed 
now within his reach. That was not the tiara 
of the pnmacy — for, if so, he needed not have 
become the exile ; his ambition was to make the 
Church of Poland one of the brightest lights in 
the galaxy of the Reformation. He had ariived 
at his gi-eat task with fully-ripened powei-s. Of 
illustrious birth, and of yet more illustrious learning 
and piety, he was nevertheless, from i-emembrance 
of his fall, humble as a child. Presiding over 
the Churches of more than half the kingdom. Pro- 
testantism, under his fostering care, waxed stronger 
eveiy day. He held Synods. He actively assisted 
in the translation of the first Protestant Bible in 
Poland, that he might give his countiymen duect 
access to the fountain of truth. He laboured 
unweai'iedly in the cause of union. He had espe- 
cially at heart the healing of the great breach 
between the Lutheran and the Reformed — the sore 
through which so much of the vital force of Pro- 
testantism was ebbing away. The final goal which 
he kept ever in eye, and at which he hoped one 
day to arrive, was the erection of a national Chiu'ch, 
Reformed in doctrine on the basis of the Word of 
God, and constituted in government as similarly 
to the Churches over which he had presided in 
London as the cii'cumstances of Poland would allow. 
Besides the opposition of the Roman hierarchy, 
which was to be looked for, the Reformer fomid 
two main hindrances obstructing his path. The 
first was the gi-owth of anti-Trinitarian doctrines, 
first broached, as we have seen, in the secret 
society of Cracow, and which continued to spread 
■widely among the Chm'ches superintended by 
Alasco, in .sjjite of the polemical war he constantly 
maintained against them. The second was the 
vacillation of King Sigismund Augustus. Alasco 
urged the convocation of a National Synod, in order 
to the more speedy and imiversal Reformation of 
the Polish Chm-ch. But the king hesitated. Mean- 
while Rome, seemg in the measures on foot, and 
more especially in the projected Synod, the impend- 
ing overthrow of her power in Poland, dispatched 
Lippomani, one of the ablest of the Vatican diplo- 
matists, with a promise, sealed with the Fisherman's 
ring, of a General Coxuicil, which should reform the 
Church and restore her miity. What need, then, 
for a National Council ? The Pope would do, and 

' Krasinski, Slavonia, pp. 214, 215. 

- Krasinski, Slavonia, p. 217 ; and Hist. Reform. Poland, 
vol. i., pp. 272, 273. 
^ Oerdesius, vol. iii., p. 151. 
■• " Camifei." 
' Krasinski, Slavonia, pp. 217, 218. 

" Poland was divided politically into Great and Little 
Poland. The first comprehended the western parts, and 
being the original scat of the Polish power, was called 
Great Poland, although actually less than the second 
division, which comprehended the south-eastern pro- 
vinces, and was styled Little Poland. 



witli more oi-der and quiet, what the Poles wished 
to have done. How many score of times had this 
promise been made, and when had it proved aught 
save a dehision and a snare 1 It served, liowever, 
as an excuse to the king, who refused to convoke 
tJie Synod which Alasco so much desired to see 
assemble. It was a great crisis. The Reformation 
had essayed to crown her work in Poland, but she 
was hindered, and the fabric remained unfinished : 
a melancholy monument of the egregious eiTor of 
letting slip those golden opportunities that are 
given to nations, which " they that are wise " 
embrace, but they that are void of wisdom neg- 
lect, and bewail then- folly with floods of tears and 
toi'i'pnts of blood in the centuries that come after. 
In January, 1.5G0, John Alasco died, and was 
bviried with gi-eat pomp in the Church of Pintzov.' 
After him there arose in Poland no Reformer of 
like adaptability and power, nor did the nation 
ever again enjoy so favourable an opportunity of 
jilanting its liberties on a stable foundation by 
completing its Reformation.' 

After John Alasco, but not equal to him, arose 
Prince Radziwill. His i-ank, his talents, and his 
zealous labours in the cause of Protestantism give 
him a conspicuous place in the list of Poland's 
Reformere. Nicholas Radziwll was sprung of a 
wealthy family of Lithuania. He was brother to 
Barbara, the fii-st queen of Sigismund Augustus, 
whose unlimited confidence he enjoyed. Appointed 
aml)assador to the courts of Charles V. and Fer- 
dinand I., the grace of his manners and the charm 
of his discourse so attracted the regards of these 
inonarchs, that he received from the Emperor 
Charles the dignity of a Piince of the Empire. 
At the same time he so acquitted himself in the 
many affairs of importance in which he wsvs em- 
ployed by his own sovereign, that honours and 
wealth flowed upon him in his native land. He 
was created Chancellor of Lithuania, and Palatine 
of Vilna. Hitherto politics alone had engi-ossed 
him, but the time was now come when something 
nobler than the pomp of courts, and the prizes of 
earthly kingdoms, was to occupy his thoughts and 
call forth his energies. About 1.5.'5.3 he was brought 
into intercourse with some Bohemian Protestants 
at Prague, who instructed him in the doctrines of 
the Reformation, which he embraced in the Grenevan 

' Gerdesius, vol. iii., p. 152. 

- Krasinski saya that but scanty materials exist for 
illustrating the Lost four years of John Alasco's life. 
Tliis the count eiplains by the fact that his descendants 
returned into the bosom of the Eoman Church after his 
death, and that all records of his labours for the Reforma- 
tion of liis native land, as well as most of his published 
works, were destroyed by the Jestiits. 

form. From that time his influence and wealth 
— both of which were v;ist — were devoted to the 
cause of his country's Reformation. He summoned 
to his help Vergerius^ from Italy. He suppoi-ted 
many learned Protestants. He defrayed the ex- 
pense of the printing of the Protestant Bible 
at Brest, in Lithuania, in 1563. He diffused works 
written in defence of the Reformed faith. He 
erected a magnificent church and college at Vilna, 
the capital of Lithuania, and in many other ways 
fostered the Reformed Church in that powerful 
province where he exercised almost royal authority. 
Numbers of the priests now embraced the Protes- 
tant faith. " Almost the whole of the Roman 
Catholic nobles," says, " including the 
first families of the land, and a gi-eat number of 
those who had belonged to the Eastern Church, 
became Protestants ; so that in the diocese of 
Samogitia thei-e were only eight Roman Catholic 
clergymen remaining. The Reformed worship was 
established not only in the estates of the nobles, 
but also in many towns." ■• On the other side, 
the testimony to Radziwill's zeal as a Refoinner 
is equally emphatic. We find the legate, Lippo- 
mani, reproaching him thus: — "Public I'umour 
says that the Palatine of Vilna patronises all 
heresies, and that all the dangerous innovators are 
gathei-ing under his protection ; that he erects, 
whei-ever his influence reaches, sacrilegious altars 
against the altar of God, and that he establishes 
pulpits of falsehood against the pulpits of truth." 
Besides these scandalous deeds, the legate charges 
Radziwill with other heinous transgressions against 
the Papacy, as the casting down the images of the 
saints, the forbidding of prayers to the dead, and 
the giving of the cup to the laity ; by all of which 
he had greatly ofl'ended against the Holy Father, 
and put his own salvation in peril. 

Had the life of Prince Radziwill been prolonged, 
so great was liis influence with the king, it Ls just 
jiossible that the vacillation of Sigismund Augustus 
might have been overcome, and the throne perma- 
nently won for the cause of Poland's Reformation ; 
but that possibility, if it ever existed, was suddenly 

' There were two brothers of that name, both zealous 
Protestants. The one was Bishop of Capo d'lstria, and 
set about writing a work against "tlie apostates of Ger- 
many," which resulted in his own conversion to Protes- 
tantism. Ho communicated his change of mind to his 
brother, Bishop of Pola, who at first opposed, and at Last 
embraced his opinions. Tlie Bishop of Pola soon after 
met his fate, though how is shrouded in mystery. The 
Bishop of Capo d'lstria wa.s witness to the horrors of 
the death-bed of Francis Spira, and was so impressed by 
them that he resigned his bishopric and left Italy. He it 
was that now came to Poland. (Sec MiCrie, Italy.) 

* Krasinski, Slavonia, p. 227. 



extingiiishe<l. In 150"), while yet iii the prime of 
life, and in the midst of his lahoui-.s for tlie eman- 
cipation of liis native land from tlie Papal yoke, the 
prince died. When he felt his last hour approach- 
ing he summoned to his bed-side his eldest son, 
Nichola.s Christopher, and solemnly charged him to 
abide constant in the profession of his father's 
creed, and the service of his father's Clod ; and to 
employ the illustrious name, the vast possessions, 
and the great influence which had descended to him 
for the cause of the Reformation. 

So ill did that son fulfil the charge, delivered to 
him in circumstances so solemn, that he returned 
into the l>osoni of the Roman Church, and to repair 
to the utmost of his power the injury his father had 
done the Papal See, he expended .5,000 ducats in 
purchasing copies of his father's Bible, which he 
burned publicly in the market-place of VUna. On 
the leaves, now sinking in ashes, might be read the 

following words, addressed in the dedication to the 
Polish monarch, and which we who are able to 
compare the Poland of the nuieteenth century with 
the Poland of the sixteenth, can hardly help re- 
garding as prophetic. •' But if your Majesty 
(which may God avert) continiung to be deluded 
by this world, unmindful of its vanity, and fearing 
still some hypocrisy, will persevere in that error 
which, according to the prophecy of Daniel, that 
impudent priest, the idol of the Roman temple, has 
made abundantly to grow in his infected \'ineyard, 
like a true and real Antichrist ; if your Majesty 
wUl follow to the end that blind chief of a genera- 
tion of vipers, and lead us the faithful people of 
God the same way, it is to be feared that the Lord 
may, for such a rejection of his tnith, condemn us 
all ^viiil your ]\Iajesty to shame, humiliation, and 
destruction, and afterwards to an eternal pci-- 
dition." ' 



Arts of the Pope's Legate — Popish Synod — Judicial Murder — A Miracle— The King asks the Pope to Eeform the 
Churcli— Diet of 1563 — National Synod craved — Defeated by the Papal Legate — His Representations to the King — 
Tlie King Gained over — Project of a Religious Union — Conference of tlie Protestants — Union of Sandomir — Its 
Basis— The Encharistic Doctrine of the Polish Protestant Church — Acme of Protestantism in Poland. 

In following the labours of those eminent men 
whom God inspired with the wish to emancipate 
their native land from, the yoke of Rome, we have 
gone a little way beyond the point at which we had 
an-ivcd in the history of Protestantism in Poland. 
We go back a stiige. We have seen the Diet of 
1.5.52 inflict a great blow on the Papal power in 
Poland, by abolishing the civil jurisdiction of the 
bishops. Four years after this (1556) John 
Alasco returned, and began his labours in Poland ; he was prosecuting with success, when Lip- 
pomani was sent from Rome to undo his woi'k. 
Lippomani's mission bore fniit. He revived the 
fainting spirits and rallied the wavering coui-agc of 
the Romanists. He sowed -sWth subtle art sus- 
picions and dissensions among the Protestants ; he 
stoutly promised in the Pope's name all necessary 
ecclesiastical reforms ; this fortified the king in liis 
vacillation, and furnished those within the Roman 
Church who had been demanding a reform, witli an 
excuse for relaxing their- eflbrts. They would wait 

"the good time coming." The Pope's managei- 
with skilful hand lifted the veU, and the Romanists 
saw in the future a purified, imited, and Catholic 
Church as clearly as the traveller sees the mirage 
in the desert. Vergerius laboured to convince 
them that what they saw was no lake, but a shim- 
mering vapour, floating above the burning sands, 
but the phantasm was so like that the king and 
the bulk of the nation chose it in preference to the 
reality which John Alasco would liave given them. 
Sleanwhile the Diet of 1552 had left the bLshops 
crippled; their temporal arm been broken, 
and their care; now was to restore this most im- 
portant branch of their jurisdiction. Lippomani 
assembled a General Synod of the Popish clergy at 
Lowicz. This Synod passed a resolution declaring 
that heretics, now springing up on every side, 
ought to be visited with pains and penalties, and 
then proceeded to make trial how far the king and 

' Krasinski, Hist. Reform . Poland, vol. i., p. 309, foot-note. 



nation would permit them to go in restormg their 
punitive power. Tliey summoned to theii- bar the 
Canon of Przemysl, Lutomirski by name, on a sus- 
picion of The canon appeared, but with 
liim came his friends, all of them provided with 
Bibles — the best weapons, they thouglit, for such a 
battle as that to which they were advancing ; but 
when the bishops saw how they were armed, they 
closed the dooi-s of their judgment-hall and shut 
them out. The fii'st move of the prelates had not 
improved their position. 

Theu- second was attended with a success that 
was more disastrous than defeat. They accused a 
l)Oor girl, Dorotliy Lazecka, of having obtained a 
consecrated wafer on pretence of communicating, 
and of selling it to the Jews. The Jews carried 
the Host to their sjTiagogue, where, being pierced 
v\ith needles, it emitted a quantity of blood. The 
miracle, it was said, had come opportunely to show 
how unnecessary it was to give the cup to the 
laity. But further, it was made a criminal charge 
agaiiLst both the girl and the Jews. The Jews 
pleaded that such an accusation was absurd ; that 
they did not believe in transubstantiation, and 
woidd never thuik of doing anything so prepos- 
terous as experimenting on a wafer to see whether 
it contained blood. But in spite of theii' defence, 
they, as well as the unfortunate gu-1, were con- 
demned to be burned. This atrocious sentence 
could not be carried out without the royal exe- 
quatur. The king, when applied to, refused hLs 
consent, declaring that he could not believe such an 
absiu-dity, and dispatched a messenger to Sochaczew, 
where the parties were confined, with orders for 
their release. Tlie Synod, however, was deter- 
mined to complete its work. Tlie Bishop of Chelm, 
who was Vice-Chancellor of Poland, attached the 
royal seal without the knowledge of the king, and 
immediiitely sent ofi" a messenger to have the sen- 
ti'uce instantly executed. The king, upon being 
informed of the forgery, sent in haste to counteract 
the nefarious act of his minister ; but it was too 
late. Before the royal messenger arrived the stake 
had been kindled, and the innocent persons con- 
sumed m the flames.' 

This deed, combining so many crimes in one, 
filled all Poland with horror. The legate, Lip- 
l>omani, disliked before, was now detested tenfold. 
Assailed in pamphlets and caricatures, he quitted 
the kingdom, followed by the execration of the 
nation. Nor was it Lippomani alone who was 
struck by the recoil of this, in eveiy way, unfor- 

' Baynaldus, ad ann. 1556. StarowolsM, Epitoma: Syno- 
dov.—apud Kraeinski, Hist. Reform. Poland, voL i., p. 305. 

tunate success ; the Polish hierarchy suffered lUs- 
grace and damage along with him, for the atrocity 
showed the nation what the bishops were prepared 
to do, should the sword which the Diet of 1552 
had plucked from their hands ever agam be gra,sped 
by them. 

An attempt at miracle, made about this time, 
also helped to discredit the chai-acter and weaken 
the influence of the Roman clergy in Poland. 
Christopher Radziwill, cousm to the famous Prince 
Radziwill, grieved at Ids relative's lapse iuto what 
he deemed heresy, made a pilgi image to Rome, in 
token of his own devotion to the Papal See, and 
was rewarded v,-ith a box of precious relics from 
the Pope. One day after his retiu-n home with his 
inestimable treasure, the friars of a neighbouring 
convent waited on him, and telling him that they 
had a man possessed by the deyH under theit- care, 
on whom the ordinary exorcisms had failed to 
eflect a cure, they besought him, in pity for the 
poor demoniac, to lend them his box of relics, 
whose vii'tue doubtless would compel the foul 
spirit to flee. The bones were given with joy. On 
a certain day the box, with its contents, was placed 
ou the high altar; the demoniac was brought for- 
ward, and in presence of a vast multitude the relics 
were applied, and with complete success. The evU 
spirit, departed out of the man, ydih the usual con- 
tortions and grimaces. The spectators shouted, 
"Miracle!" and Radziwill, overjoyed, lifted eyes 
and hands to heaven, in wonder and gi'atitude." 

In a few days thereafter his servant, smitten in 
conscience, came to him and confessed that on their 
journey from Rome he had carelessly lost the true 
relics, and had replaced them with common bones. 
This intelligence was somewhat disconcerting to 
Radziwill, but greatly moi'e so to the friars, seeing 
it speedily led to the disclosui'e of the impostiu-e. 
The pretended demoniac confessed that he had 
simply been playing a part, and the monks like- 
wise were constrained to acknowledge their share in 
the pious fraud. Great scandal arose ; the clergy 
bewailed the day the Poi)e's box had crossed tlie 
Alps ; and Christopher Radziwill, receiving from the 
relics a virtue he had not anticipated, was led to 
the perusal of the Scriptures, and finally embraced, 
with his whole fiimHy, the Protestant faith. "When 
his great relative. Prince Radziwill, died in 1565, 
Chi-istopher came forward, and to some extent 
supplied his loss to the Protestant cause. 

The king, still pursuing a middle coui-se, solicited 
from the Pope, Paul IV., a Refoi-mation which he 

- Kjasiuski, HUl. Reform. Poland, vol. i., pp. 310, 311. 
Bayle, art. "Kadziwill." 



might have had to better effect from liis Protestant 
clergy, if only he would have permitted them to 
meet and begin the work. Sigismiind Augustus ad- 
dressed a letter to the Pontiff at the Council of Trent, 
demanding the five following things : — 1st, the 
performance of mass in the Polish tongue; 2ndly, 
Communion in both kinds ; 3rdly, the marriage of 
priests; -ithly, the abolition of annats ; 5thly, the 
convocation of a National Council for the reform 
of abuses, and the reconcilement of the various 
opinions. Tlie effect of these demands on Paul IV. 
was to in-itate this very haughty Pontiff; he fell 
into a fume, and expuessed in animated terms liis 
amazement at the arrogance of his Majesty of 
Poland ; but gradually cooling down, he declined 
civilly, as might have been foreseen, demands which, 
though they did not amount to a veiy gi-eat deal, 
were more than Eome coidd safely grant.' 

This rebuff taught the Protestants, if not the 
king, that from the Seven Hills no help would come 
— that their trust must be in themselves ; and they 
grew bolder eveiy day. In the Diet of Piotrkow, 
1.559, an attempt was made to deprive the bishops 
of theu- seats in the Senate, on the gi-ound that 
their oath of obedience to the Pope was wholly 
in-econcilable to and subversive of their allegi- 
ance to their sovereign, and their duty to the 
nation. The oath was read and commented on, 
and the senator who made the motion concluded 
his speech in support of it by saying that if the 
bishops kept their oath of spiritual obedience, they 
must necessarily violate their vow of temporal 
allegiance; and if they were faithful siibjects of the 
Pope, they must necessarily be traitore to their 
king. ^ The motion was not carried, probably be- 
cause the vague hope of a more sweeping measure 
of reform still kept possession of the minds of 

The next step of the Poles was in the direction 
of realising that hope. A Diet met in 1563, and 
passed a resolution that a General Synod, in which 
all the religious bodies in Poland would be rejjre- 
sented, should be a.ssembled. The Pi'imate of Poland, 
Archbishop Uchanski, who was known to be secretly 
inclined toward the Reformed doctrines, was favour- 
able to the proposed Convocation. Had such a 
Council been convened, it might, as mattei-s then 
stood, with the first nobles of the land, many of 
the gi-eat cities, and a large portion of the nation, 
all on the side of Protestantism, have had the most 

decisive effects on the Kingdom of Poland and its 
future destinies. " It would have upset," saya 
Kra.sinski, " the dominion of Rome in Poland for 
ever."' Rome saw the danger in all its extent, 
and sent one of her ablest diplomatists to cope with 
it. Cardinal Commendoni, who had given efficient 
aid to Queen Mary of England in 1553, in her 
attempted restoration of Popery, was sti'aightway 
dispatched to employ his great abilities in arrest- 
ing the triumph of Protestantism, and averting 
ruin from the Papacy in the Kingdom of Poland. 
The legate put forth all his dexterity and art in his 
important mission, and not without effect. He 
directed his main efforts to influence the mind of 
Sigismund Augustus. He drew with masterly 
hand a frightfid pictme of the revolts and seditions 
that were sure to follow such a Council as it was 
contemplated holdmg. The warring winds, once 
let loose, would never cease to rage till the vessel of 
the Polish State was di-iven on the rocks and ship- 
wrecked. For every concession to the heretics and 
the blind mob, the king would have to part with as 
many rights of his own. His laws contemned, his 
throne in the dust, who then would lift him up and 
give hiin back liis crown t Had he forgotten the 
Colloquy of Poissy, which the King of France, then 
a child, had been pei-suaded to permit to take jilace ] 
What had that disputation proved but a trumpet 
of revolt, wliich had banished peace from France, 
not since to return ? In that unhappy coimtry, 
whose iiiliabitants were parted by bitter feuds and 
contending factions, whose iields were reddened by 
the sword of civil war, whose throne was being 
continually shaken by sedition and revolt, the king 
might see the picture of what Poland would become 
should he give his consent to the meeting of a 
Council, where all doctrines would be brought into 
question, and all things reformed without reference 
to the canons of the Church, and the authority of 
the Pope. Commendoni was a skilful limner ; he 
made the king hear the roar of the tempest which 
he foretold ; Sigismund Augustus felt as if his 
throne were already rocking beneath him ; the 
peace-loving monarch revoked the permission he 
had been on tlie point of giving ; he would not 
permit the Council to convene.'' 

If a National Council could not meet to essay the 
Reformation of the Church, might it not be possible, 
some influential persons now asked, for the three 
Protestant bodies in Poland to unite in one 
Church 1 Such a union woidd confer new strength 

' Pietro Soave Polano, Hist. Counc. Trent, lib. r., p. 399 ; 
Loud., 1629. 

- " Episcopi sunt non custodes sed proditores reipub- 
licK." (Krasinski, Hist. Ueform. Poland, vol. i., p. 312.) 

^ Krasinski, Slavonia, p. 232, foot-uo*-n. 
■• Yie de Commendoni, par Gratiani, Fr. Trans., p. 213 
et seq, — apud Krasinski, Ulavonia, pp. 232—234. 



on Protestantism, would remove the scamlal oflered 
by the dLsseusions of Pi-otestants among themselves, 
and would enable them in the day of battle to unite 
their arms against the foe, and in the hour of peace 
to conjoin their labours in building \ip their Zion. 
The Protestant communions in Poland were — 1st, 
the Bohemian ; 2ntlly, the Reformed or Calvinistic ; 
and 3rdly, the Lutheran. Between the first and 
second there was entire agreement in point of 
doctrine ; only inasmuch as the first pastors of the 
Bohemian Church had received ordination (1467) 
from a Waldensian superintendent, as we have 
pre\-iously narrated,' the Bohemians had come to 
lay stress on this, as an order of succession j^ecu- 
liarly sacred. Between the second and third there 
was the important divergence on the subject of the 
Eucharist. The Lutheran doctrine of consubstantia- 
tion approached more nearly to the Roman doctrme 
of the mass than to the Reformed doctrine of the 
Lord's Supper. If change there had been since the 
daj-s of Luther on the question of consubstantiation, 
it was in the du-ection of still greater rigidity and 
tenacity, accompanied with a gi'owing intolerance 
toward the other branches of the great Protestant 
family, of which some melancholy proofs have come 
before us. How much the heart of John Alasco 
was set on healing these divisions, and how small 
a measure of success attended his eflbrts to do so, 
we have already seen. The project was again 
revived. The main opposition to it came from the 
Lutherans. Tlie Bohemian ChTirch now numbered 
upwards of 200 congregations in Moravia and 
Poland,- but the Lutherans accused them of 
heing heretical. Smaiting from the reproach, and 
judging that to clear their orthodoxy would pave 
the way for union, the Bohemians submitted their 
Confession to the Protestant princes of Germany, 
and all tlie leading Reformers of Europe, including 
Peter Martyi- and Bullinger at Zurich, and 
Calvin and Beza at Geneva. A unanimous verdict 
was returned that the Bohemian Confession was 
" conformable to the doctrines of the Gospel." This 
judgment silenced for a time the Lutheran attacks 
on the purity of the Bohemian creed ; but this good 
understanding being once more disturbed, the 
Bohemian Church in 1.568 sent a delegation to 
Wittemberg, to submit their Confession to the 
theological faculty of its university. Again their 
creed was fully approved of, and this judgment 
carrying great weight with the Lutherans, the at- 
tacks on the Bohemians from that time ceased, and 
the negotiations for union went prosperously forward. 

At last the negotiations bore fruit. In 1.569, 
the leading nobles of the three communions, having 
met together at the Diet of Lublin, I'esolved to 
take measures for the consummation of the union. 
They were the more incited to this by the hope that 
the king, who had so often expressed his desii-e to 
see the Protestant Chiu-ches of hLs realm become 
one, would thereafter declare himself on the side 
of Protestantism. It was resolved to hold a Sjaiod 
or Conference of all three Churches, and the town 
of Sandomu- was chosen as the place of meeting. 
The Synod met in the beginning of April, 1570, 
and was attended by the Protestant grandees and 
nobles of Poland, and by the ministers of the 
Bohemian, Reformed, and Lutheran Churches. 
After several days' discussion it was found that the 
assembly was of one heart and mind on all the 
fundamental docti-ines of the Gospel ; and an agi-ee- 
ment, entitled " Act of the Religious LTnion 
between the Churches of Great and Little Poland, 
Russia, Lithuania, and Samogitia," was signed on 
the 14th of April, 1570.' 

The subscribers place on the front of their famous 
document their unanimity in " the doctrines about 
God, the Holy Trinity, the Incarnation of the Son 
of God, Justification, and other princijial points of 
the Christian religion." To give eflect to this 
unanimity they " enter into a mutual and sacred 
obligation to defend unanimou.sly, and according to 
the injunctions of the "Word of God, this theii- 
covenant in the true and pure religion of Christ, 
against the followei-s of the Roman Church, the 
sectaries, as well as all the enemies of the truth and 

On the vexed qiiestion of the Saci-ament of the 
Lorfl's Supper, the United Church agreed to 
declare that " the elements are not only elements 
or vain sjnnbols, but are sufficient to believers, 
and impart by faith what they signify." And 
in order to express themselves with still gi-eater 
clearness, they agreed to confess that " the substan- 
tial presence of Christ is not only signified but really 
represented in the Communion to those that receive 
it, and that the body and blood of our Lord are 
really distributed and given with the sj'mbols of 
the thing itself ; which according to the nature of 
Sacraments are by no means bare signs." 

" But that no disputes," they add, " shoiild 
originate from a diS"erence of expi-essions, it Las 
been resolved to add to the articles inserted into our 
Confession, the article of the Confession of the Saxon 
Churches relatuig to the Lord's Supper, which was 

' See anie, bk. iii., chap. 19, p. 212. 

= Krasinski, ilisf. Reform. Poland, vol. i., p. 368. 

' This union is known in history as the Consensus 




scut ill 1551 to the Council of Trent, and whicli wc 
acknowledge as pious, and do receive. Its expres- 
.sicms are as follows : ' Baptism and the Lord's Supper 
are signs and testimonies of gi'ace, as it has been said 
before, which remind us of the promise and of the 
rodemption, and show that the benefits of the Gospel 
belong to all those that make use of these rites. . . . 
In the established use of the Communion, Christ is 
sub.stantially present, and the body and blood of 
Christ are tiidy given to those who receive the 
Communion.'" ^ 

Ttie confedei-ating Churclies further agreed to 
" abolish and bury in eternal oblivion all the conten- 
tions, troubles, and dissensions which have hitherto 
impeded the progress of the Gospel," and leaving 
free each Church to administer its own discipline 
and practise its own rites, deeming these of " little 
importance " provided " the foundation of our faith 
and salvation remain pure and unadulterated," they 
say : " Having mutually given each other our hands, 
we have made a sacred promise faithfully to main- 
tain the peace and faith, and to promote it every 
day more and more for the edification of the Word 
of God, and carefully to avoid all occasions of dis- 
sension." ' 

There follows a long and brOliant list of palatines, 
nobles, superintendents, pastors, elders, and deacons 
belonging to all the three communions, who, forget- 
ting the party-questions that had divided them, 
gathered round this one standard, and giving their 
hands to one another, and lifting them up to 
heaven, vowed liencefoi"\vard to be one and to con- 
tend only against the common foe. Tliis was one 
of the triumphs of Protestantism. Its spirit now 
gloriously prevailed over the pride of church, the 
rivali-y of party, and the naiTOwness of bigotry, and 
in this victory gave an auguiy — alas ! never to be 
fulfilled — of a yet greater triumph in days to come, 
by which this was to be completed and crowned. 

Tlu-ee years later (1573) a gi-eat Protestant Con- 
vocation was held at Cracow. It was presided 

' These articles are a compromise betweeurthe Lutheran 
and Calvinistic theologies, on tho vexed question of the 
Eucharist. Tlie Lutherans soon began loudly to complain 
that though their phraseology was Lutheran their sense 
was Calviuistic, and the union, as shown in the text, was 

'- Ki-asinski, Hist. Reform. Poland, vol. i., chap. 0. 

oxer by John Firley, Grand Mai-shal of Poland, 
a leading member of the Calviuistic communion, 
and the most influential grandee of tlie kingdom. 
The regulations enacted by this Synod sufficiently 
show the goal at which it was anxious to arrive. 
It aimed at refonning the nation in life as well as 
in creed. It forbade " all kinds of wickedness and 
luxuiy, accursed gluttonj- and inebiiety." It pro- 
hibited lewd dances, games of chance, profane oaths, 
and night assemblages in taverns. It enjoined 
lando\vners to treat then- peasants with " Christian 
charity and humanity," to exact of them no op- 
pressive labour or hea\'y taxes, to permit no 
markets or faii-s to be held upon their estates 
on Sunday, and to demand no service of their 
peasants on that day. A Protestant weed was but 
the means for creating a virtuous and Christian 

There is no era like this, before or since, in the 
annals of Poland. Protestantism had reached its 
acme in that country. Its churches numbered 
upwards of 2,000. They were at jjcace and floui-Lsli- 
ing. Theii- membership included the firet dignitaries 
of the cro'wii and the first nobles of the land. In 
some parts Romanism almost entirely disappeared. 
Schools were planted througliout the country, and 
education flourished. The Scriptures were trans- 
lated into the tongue of the people, the reading of 
them was encouraged as the most efficient weapon 
against tlie attacks of Rome. Latin was already 
common, but now Greek and Hebrew began to be 
studied, that dii-ect access might be had to the 
Divine fountains of truth and salvation. The 
national intellect, invigorated by Protestant tiiith^ 
began to expatiate in fields that had been neglected 
hitherto. The printing-press, which rusts unused 
wherePopery dominates, was vigorously wi'ought, 
and sent forth works on science, jurisprudence, 
theology, and general literature. This was tho 
Augustan era of letters in Poland. The toleration 
which was so freely accorded in that country di-ew 
thither crowds of refugees, whom persecution had 
driven from their homes, and who, can-ying with 
them the arts and manufactures of their own lands, 
enriched Poland with a material pro.sperity which, 
added to the political power and literary glory that 
already encompassed her, raised her to a high jjitch 
of rfrcatncss. 





Several Clmrch Organisations in Polanel— Causes — Church Government in Poland a Modified Episcopacy— Tlie 
Superintendent— His Powers — The Senior, &c. — The Civil Senior— Tlie Synod the Supreme Authority— Local and 
Provincial Synods — General Convocation— Two Defects in this Organisation — Death of Sigismund Augustus— 
"Who shall Succeed him ? — Coligny proposes the Election of a French Prince — Montluc sent as Ambassador to 
Poland— Duke of Anjou Elected— Pledges — Attempted Treaclieries— Coronation — Henry Attempts to Evade the 
Oath — Firmness of the Polish Protestants— The King's Unpopularity and Flight. 

The shoi-t-livecl golden age of Poland was now 
waning into the silver one. But before recording 
the slow gathering of the shadows — the paissing of 
the day into twilight, and the deepening of the 
t\\'ilight into night — we must cast a momentaiy 
glance, first, at the constitution of the Polish Pro- 
testant Church as seen at this the period of her 
fullest development ; and secondly, at certain poli- 
tical events, which bore with powerful effect upon 
the Protestant character of the nation, and sealed 
the fate of Poland as a free country. 

In its imperfect unity we trace the absence of 
a master-hand in the construction of the Protestant 
Church of Poland. Had one great mind led in 
the Reformation of that country, one system of 
ecclesiastical government would doubtless from 
the first have been given to all Poland. As it 
was, the organisation of its Church at the be- 
ginning, and in a sense all throughout, differed 
in different provinces. Other causes, besides the 
want of a gi-eat leader, contributed to this diver- 
sity in i-espect of ecclesiastical government. The 
nobles were allowed to give what order they 
pleased to the Protestant churches which they 
erected on their lands, but the same liberty 
was not extended to the inhabitants of towns, 
and hence very considerable divei-sity in the eccle- 
siastical an-angements. Tliis diversity was still 
farther increased by the circumstance that not 
one, but three Confessions had gained gi-ound in 
Poland — the Bohemian, the Genevan, and the 
Lutheran. The necessity of a more perfect organ- 
isation soon came to be felt, and repeated attempts 
were made at successive Synods to imify the Chm-ch's 
government. A gi-eat step was taken in this 
direction at the Sjmod of Kosmin, in 15.').'), when 
a union was concluded between the Bohemian and 
Genevan Confessions ; and a still greater advance 
was made in 1.570, as we h.ave naiT.ated in the 
preceding chapter, when at the Sjmod of Sandomir 
the three Protestant Cliurches of Poland — the 
Bohemian, the Genevan, and the Lutheran — agreed 

to merge all theii- Confessions in one creed, and com- 
bine their several organisations in one government. 

But even this was only an approximation, not 
a full and complete attainment of the object aimed 
at. All Poland was not yet iided spiritually from 
one ecclesiastical centre ; for the three great poli- 
tical divisions of the comitry — Great Poland, Little 
Poland, and Lithuania — had each its independent 
ecclesiastical establishment, by which all its religious 
affairs were i-egidated. Nevertheless, at intervals, 
or when some matter of gi-eat moment arose, all 
the pastore of the kingdom came together in Synod, 
thus presenting a gi-and Convocation of all the 
Protestant Churches of Poland. 

Despite this tri-partition in the ecclesiastical 
authority, one form of Church government now 
extended over all Poland. That form was a modi- 
fied episcopacy. If any one man was entitled 
to be styled the Father of the Polish Protestant 
Church it was John Ala.sco, and the organisation 
which he gave to the Reformed Church of his 
native land was not unlike that of England, of 
which he was a great admii-er. Poland was on a 
gi-eat scale what the foreign Church over which 
John Alasco presided in London was on a small. 
First came the Superintendent, for Alasco pre- 
ferred that term, though the more learned one of 
Senior Primarins wa-s sometimes used to designate 
this dignitary. The Superintendent, or Senioi- 
Primarnis, corresponded somewhat in rank and 
powers to an archbishop. He convoked Synods, 
presided in them, and executed their sentences ; but 
he had no judicial authority, and was subject to 
the Synod, which could judge, admonish, and depose 

Over the Churches of a disti-ict a Sub-Super- 
intendent, or Senior, presided. The Senior corre- 
sponded to a bishop. He took the place of the 
Superintendent in his absence ; he convoked the 
Synods of the district, and possessed a certain 

' Krasinski, Hist. Reform. Po}an<l, vol. ii. 

,,p. 294 



limited jurisdiction, thougli exclusively spii-itual. 
The other ecclesiastical functionaries were tlie 
Minister, the Deacon, and the Lecturer. The Polish 
Protestants eschewed the fashion and order of the 
Roman hierarchy, and strove to reproduce as far 
as the circumstances of their times would allow, or 
as thoy themselves were able to trace it, the model 
cxldbited in the primitive Chiirch. 

Besides the Clerical Senior each district had a 
Civil Senior, who was elected exclusively by the 
nobles and landowners. His duties about the 
Clmrcli were mainly of an external nature. All 
things appertaming to faith and doctrine were left 
entu'ely in the hands of the ministers ; but the 
Civil Senior took cognisance of the morals of 
ministers, and in certain cases could forbid them 
the exercise of their functions till he had reported 
the case to the Synod, as the supreme authority 
of the Church. The support and general welfare 
of churches and schools were entrusted to the Civil 
Senior, who, moreover, acted as advocate for the 
Cluirch before the authorities of the country. 

The supreme authority in the Polisli Protestant 
Cliurch was neither the Superintendent nor the 
Civil Senior, but the Synod. Four times every 
year a Local Synod, composed not of ministers 
only, but of all the members of the congi-egations, 
was convened in each district. Although the 
members sat along -with the pastors, all questions 
of faith and doctrine were left to be determined 
exclusively by the latter. Once a year a Pro- 
vincial Synod was held, in which each disti'ict was 
represented by a Clerical Senior, two Con-Seniors, 
or assistants, and fotir Civil Seniors ; thus gi^^ilg 
a slight predominance to tlie lay element in the 
Synod. Nevertheless, ministers, although not dele- 
gated by the Local SjTiods, could sit and vote on 
equal terms with others in the Provincial Synod. 

The Grand Synod of the nation, or Convocation 
of the Polish Church, met at no stated times. It 
assembled only when the emergence of some great 
question called for its decision. These gi'eat gather- 
ings, of coui-se, could take place only so long as tlie 
Union of Sandomir, which bound in one Church 
all the Protestant Confessions of Poland, existed, 
and that unhappily was only from 1.570 to 1.59.5. 
After the expiry of these twenty-five years those 
gi'cat national gatheiings, which had so impressively 
attested the strength and grandeur of Protestantism 
in Poland, were seen no more. Such in outline 
was the constitution and government of the Pro- 
testant Church of Poland. It wanted only two 
things to make it complete and perfect — namely, 
one supreme court, or centre of authority, with 
jurisdiction covering the whole country; and a 

permanent body or " Board," having its seat in the 
capital, through which the Chm'ch might take in- 
stant action when great dilEcidties called for united 
councils, or sudden dangers necessitated united 
arms. The meetmgs of the Grand Synods were 
intermittent and ii'regular, whereas their enemies 
never failed to maintain union among themselves, 
and never ceased theii- attacks upon the Protestant 

We must now turn to the course of political 
afiaii-s subsequent to the death of King Sigismund 
Augustus, of which, however, we shall treat only 
so far as they gi-ew out of Protestantism, and 
exerted a reflex influence upon it. The amiablej 
enlightened, and tolerant monarch, Sigismund Au- 
gustus, so often almost persuaded to be a Protestant, 
and one day, as his coui-tiers fondly hoped, to be- 
come one in reality, went to his grave in 1572, 
without having come to any decision, and without 
leaving any issue. The Protestants were naturally 
desirous of placing a Protestant upon the throne ; 
but the intrigues of Cardinal Commendoni, and the 
jealousy of the Lutherans against the Reformed, 
which the Union of Sandomir had not entirely 
extinguished, rendered all efibrts towards this 
efiect in vain. Meanwhile Coligny, whom the 
Peace of St. Germains had i-estored to the court 
of Paris, and for the moment to influence, came 
forward 'svith the proposal of placing a French 
prince upon the throne of Poland. The admiral 
was revolving a gigantic scheme for humbling 
Romanism, and its gi'eat champion, Spain. He 
meditated bringing together in a political and re- 
ligious alliance the two gi-eat countries of Poland 
and France, and Protestantism once triumphant in 
both, an issue which to Coligny seemed to be near, 
the vmited arms of the two countries would soon 
put an end to the dommancy of Rome, and lay 
in the dust the overgro^v^l power of Austria and 
Spam. Catherine de Medici, who saw in the pro- 
ject a new aggrandisement to her family, warmly 
favoured it ; and Montluc, Bishop of Valence, was 
dispatched to Poland, fm-nished with ample in- 
structions from Coligny to prosecute the election of 
Henry of Valois, Duke of Anjou. Montluc had 
hardly crossed the frontier when the St. Bartho- 
lomew WiW struck, and among the many victims 
of that dreadful act was the author of that very 
scheme which Montluc was on his way to advo- 
cate and, if possible, consummate. The bishop, on 
receiving the tenible news, thought it useless to 
continue his journey ; but Catherine, feeling the 
necessity of following the line of foreign jwlicy 
which had been originated by the man she had 
murdered, sent ordei-s to Montluc to go forward. 





Tlic ambassador had immense difficulties to over- 
come in the prosecution of his mission, for the 
massacre had inspired universal horror, but by dint 
of stoutly denying the Duke of Anjou's participa- 
tion in the crime, and promising that the duke 
would subscribe every guarantee of political and 
religious liberty which might be required of him, 
he finally carried his object. Firlej^, the leader of 
the Protestant;;, drafted a list of jorivileges which 
Anjou was to grant to the Protestants of Poland, 
and of concessions which Charles IX. was to make 
to the Protestants of France ; and Montluc was 
required to sign, or see the rejection of 
his candidate. The ambassador promised for the 

Henry of Valois ha\"ing been chosen, four am- 
bassadors set out from Poland with the diploma of 
election, which was presented to the duke on the 
10th September, 1.573, in Notre Dame, Paris. A 
Romish bishoj), and member of the embassy, entered 
a protest, at the beginning of the ceremonial, 
agamst that clause in the oath which .secured re- 
ligious liberty, and which the duke was now to 
swear. Some confusion followed. The Protestant 
Zborowski, interruptmg the proceedings, addressed 
Montluc thus : — " Had you not accepted, in the 
name of the duke, these conditions, we should not 
have elected him as our monarch." Henry feigned 
not to understand the subject of dispute, but 
Zborowski, advancing towards him, said — "I repeat, 
sire, if your ambassador had not accepted the con- 
dition securing religious liberty to us Protestants, 
we would not have elected you to be our king, and 
if you do not confirm these conditions you shall 
not be our king." Thereupon Henry took the 
oath. When he had sworn, Bishop Karnkowski, 
who had protested against the religious liberty pro- 
mised in the o.ath, stepped forward, and again 
protested that the clause should not prejudice the 
authority of the Church of Kome, and he received 
from the king a \nitten declaration to the effect 
that it would not.' 

Although the sovereign-elect had confirmed by 
oath the religious liberties of Poland, the su.spicions 
of the Protestants were not entirely allayed, and 
they resolved jealously to watch the proceedings 
at the coronation. Their distnist was not without 
cause. Cardinal Hosius, who had now begun to 
exercise vast influence on the affaii-s of Poland, 
reasoned that the oath that Henry had taken iii 
Paris was not binding, and he sent his secretary to 
meet the new monarch on the i-oad to his new 
dominions, and to assure him that he did not even 

need absolution from what he had sworn, seeing 
what was unlawful was not binding, and that as 
soon as he should be crowned, he might proceed, 
the oath notwithstanding, to diive from his kmg- 
dom all religions contrary to that of Rome." The 
bishops began to teach the same doctrine and to 
instruct Henry, who was approaching Poland by 
slow stages, that he would mount the throne as an 
absolute sovereign, and reign wholly imfettered and 
unconti'olled by either the oath of Paris or the 
Polish Diet. The kingdom wa.s in dismay and 
alarm ; the Protestants talked of annulling the 
election, and refusing to accept Henry as their 
sovereign. Poland was on the brink of civil war. 

At the coronation a new treachery was at- 
tempted. Tutored by Jesuitical councillors, Henry 
proposed to assume the crown, but to evade the oath. 
The ceremonial was proceeding, intently watched 
by both Protestants and Romanists. The final act 
was about to be performed ; the crown was to be 
placed on the head of the new sovereign ; but the 
oath guaranteeing the Protestant liberties had not 
been administered to him. Fii'ley, the Grand 
Marshal of Poland, and first grandee of the kmg- 
dom, stood forth, and stopping the proceedings, 
declared that unless the Duke of Anjou should 
repeat the oath which he had sworn at Paris, he 
would not allow the coronation to take place. 
Henry was kneeling on the steps of the altai', but 
startled by the words, he rose up, and looking 
round him, seemed to hesitate. Firley, seizing the 
cro^Ti, said in a firm voice, " Si non jurabis, non 
regnabis " (If you will not swear, you shall not 
reign). The courtiers and spectators wei-e mute 
with astonishment. The king was awed ; he read 
iu the crest-fallen countenances of his advisers that 
he had but one alternative — the oath, or an igno- 
minious return to France. It was too soon to go 
back ; he took the copy of the oath which was 
handed to him, swore, and was crowned. 

The courageous act of the Protestant grand mar- 
shal had dispelled the cloud of civil war that hung 
above the nation. But it was only for a moment 
that confidence was restored. The first act of the 
new sovereign had revealed him to his subjects as 
both treacherous and cowardlj' ; what trast could 
they repose in him, and what affection could they feel 
for him? Henry took into exclusive favour the 

> Krasinski, Uisl. Jtefonii. Poland, vol. ii., pp. 15— 3t. 

' Hosius wrote in the same terms from Rome to the 
Archbishop and clergy of Poland : "Que co que le Eoi 
avait promis h Paris n'etait qu'une feinte et dissimula- 
tion ; et qu'aussitfit qu'il serait eouronn^, il chasserait 
hers dii I'oyaume tout cxevcice de religion autre que la 
Komainc." (MS. of Dupuis in the Library of Eiehelicu 
at Paris — apud Krasinski, Hist. Reform. Poland, vol. ii., 
p. 39.) 



Popish bishops ; and, emboldened by a patronage 
unkno\\n to tiieni during former reigiis, they boldly 
declared the designs they had long harboured, but 
whieh they had hitherto only whispered to their most 
trusted confidants. The great Protestant nobles 
were discountenanced and discredited. The king's 
shameless profligacies consummated the discontent 
and disgust of the nation. The patriotic Firley 

was dead — it was believed in many quartei-s that 
he had been poisoned — and civil war was again on 
the point of breaking out when, fuituuutely for 
the unhapjiy country, the flight of tlie monarch 
saved it from that great calamity. His brother, 
Charles IX., had died, and Anjoii took his seci-et 
and quick departure to succeed liim on the throne 
of France. 



Stephen Bathory Elected to the Throne— His Midnight Interview — Abandons Protestantism, and becomes a Eomanist 
—Takes the Jesuits under his Patronage- Builds and Endows Colleges for them— Eoman Synod of Piotrkow— 
Subtle Policy of the Bishops for Recovering their Temporal Jurisdiction— Temporal Ends gained by Spiritual 
Sanctions— Spiritual Terrors versus Temporal Punishments — Begun Decadence of Poland — Last Successes of its 
Arms— Death of King Stephen— Sigismund III. Succeeds—" The King of the Jesuits." 

After a year's iuteiTegnum, Stephen Bathory, a 
Transylvanian prince, who had married Anne 
Jagellon, one of the sisters of the Emperor Sigis- 
mund Augustus, was elected to the crown of 
I'oland. His worth was so great, and his popu- 
larity so high, that although a Protestant the 
Roman clergy dared not oppose his election. The 
Protestant nobles thought that now their cause 
was gained ; but the Romanists did not despair. 
Along with the delegates commLssioned to announce 
his election to Bathory, they sent a prelate of emi- 
nent talent and learning, Solikowski l)y name, to 
conduct their intrigue of bringing the new king 
over to their side. The Protestant deputies, 
guessing Solikowski's errand, were careful to give 
him no opportunity of conversing with the new 
sovereign in private. But, eluding their vigilance, 
lie obtauied an interview by night, and succeeded 
in jKjrsuading Bathory that he should never be able 
to maintain himself on the throne of Poland unless 
he made a public jjrofession of the Roman faith. 
The Protestant deputies, to their dismay, next 
morning beheld Slei)hen Bathory, in whom they 
had placed their hoi>es of triumph, devoutly kneel- 
ing at niiuss.' The new reign had opened with no 
auspicious omen ! 

' The fact that Bathory before his election to the throne 
of Poland was a Protestant, and not, as historians 
commonly assert, a Romanist, was first published by 
Kraslnski, on the authority of a MS. history now in the 
Library at St. Petersburg, written by Orsolski, a con- 
temporary of the events. (Krasinski. Hist, neform. PoJaml, 
Tol. ii., p. 48.) 

Nevertheless, although a pervert, Bathory did 
not become a zealot. He repressed all attempts 
at persecution, and tried to hold the balance wntli 
tolerable impartiality between the two pai'ties. 
But he sowed seeds destined to yield tempests in 
the future. The Jesuits, as we shall afterwards 
see, had already entered Poland, and as the Fathers 
were able to persuade the king that they were the 
zealous cultivators and the most efficient teachers 
of science and letters, Bathory, who was a patron 
of literature, took them under his patronage, and 
built colleges and seminaries for theii' use, endow- 
ing them with lands and heritages. Among other 
institutions he founded the University of Vilna, 
which became the chief seat of the Fathers in 
Poland, and whence they spread themselves o\er 
the kingdom. - 

It was during the reign of King Stephen that 
the tide began to turn in the fortunes of this 
great, intelligent, and free nation. The ebb (ii'st 
showed itself in a piece of subtle legislation wliich 
was achieved by the Roman Synod of Piotrkow, 
in 1577. That Synod decreed excommunication 
against all who held the doctrine of religious 
toleration.' But toleration of all religions was one 
of the fundamental laws of the kingdom, and the 
enactment of the Synod wa.s levelled against this 
law. True, they coidd not blot out the law of the 
State, nor could they corai)el the tribunals of the 
nation to enforce their own ecclesiastical edict; 

- Krasinski, Hist. Eeform. Poland, vol. ii., p. 53. 
» Ihid., vol. ii., pp. *), 50. 



nevei-theless tbeiv sentence, though spiritual iii its 
form, was very decidedly temporal in both its 
substance and its issues, seeing excommunication 
carried with it many grievous civil and social in- 
flictions. This legislation was the commencement 
of a stealthy policy which had for its object tlie 
recovery of that temporal jurisdiction of which, as 
we have seen, the Diet had stripped them. 

This first encroachment being permitted to pass 
unchallenged, the Roman clergy ventured on other 
njid more violent attacks on the laws of the State, 
and the liberties of the people. The Synods of the 
diocese of Warmia prohibited mixed marriages; 
they forbade Romanists to be sponsors at the 
baptism of Protestant chilcb-en; they interdicted the 
use of books and hymns not sanctioned by eccle- 
siastical authority; and they declared hei'etics 
incajDable of inheriting landed property. All these 
enactments wore a spiritual guise, and they could 
be enforced only by spii'itual sanctions; but they 
were in antagonism to the law of the land, and by 
implication branded the laws with which they 
conflicted as immoral; they tended to widen the 
breach between the two great parties in the nation, 
and they disturbed the consciences of Romanists, 
by subjecting them to the alternative of incurring 
certain disagi'eeable consequences, or of doing what 
they were taught was nnIa^vful and sinful. 

Sti-etching their powers and prerogatives still 
farther, the Roman bishops now claimed joayment 
of their tithes from Protestant landlords, and 
attempted to take back the churches which had 
been converted from Romanist to Protestant uses. 
To make trial of how far the nation was disposed 
to yield to these demands, or the tribunals pre- 
pared to endoi'se them, they entered pleas at law to 
have the goods and possessions which they claimed 
as theii-s adjudged to them, and in some instances 
the courts gave decisions in their favour. But the 
hierairchy had gone farther than meanwhile was 
prudent. These arrogant demands roused the 
alai-m of the nobles; and the Diets of 1.581 and 
l.')S2 administered a tacit rebuke to the hierarchy 
liy annulling the judgments which had been pro- 
nounced in their favour. The bishops had learned 
that they must walk slowly if they would walk 
safely ; but they had met with nothing to convince 
them that their course was not the right one, or 
that it would not succeed in the end. 

Nevertheless, under the appearance of having 
sufi'ered a rcbuft', the hierarchy had gained not a 
few substantial advantages. The more extreme of 
their demands had been disallowed, and many 
thought that the contest between them and the 
civil coiu-ts was at an end, and that it had ended 

adversely to the spiritual authority; but the 
bishops knew better. They had laid the founda- 
tion of what would grow with every successive 
Synod, and each new edict, into a body of law, 
divei-se from and in opposition to the law of the 
land, and which presenting itself to the Romanist 
with a higher moral sanction, would ultimately, in 
his eyes, deprive the civil law of all force, and 
transfer to itself the homage of his conscience and 
the obedience of his life. The coercive power 
wielded by this new code, which was being 
stealthily put in operation in the hfeart of the 
Polish State, was a power that could neither be 
seen, nor heai'd ; and those who were accustomed 
to execute theii' behests through the force of ai'mies, 
or the majesty of tribimals, were apt to contemn it 
as utterly unable to cope with the power of law ; 
nevertheless, the result as wrought out in Poland 
showed that this infliience, apparently so weak, 
j'et jienetrating deeply into the heart and soul, had 
in it an omnipotence comjiared with which the 
power of the sword was but feebleness. And 
farther there was this danger, jiei'haps not foreseen 
or not much taken into account in Poland at the 
moment, namely, that the Jesuits were busy manipu- 
lating the youth, and that whenever public opinion 
should be ripe for a concordat between the bishops 
and the Government, this .S2Jiritual code would 
start xq> into an undisguisedly temporal one, having 
at its service all the powers of the State, and 
enforcing its commands with the sword. 

What was now introduced into Poland was a 
new and more refined policy than the Church of 
Rome had as yet employed in her battles with Pro- 
testantism. Hitherto she had filled her hand with 
the coarse weapons of material force — the armies 
of the Empire and the stakes of the Inquisition. 
But now, appealing less to the bodily senses, and 
more to the faculties of the sold, she began at 
Trent, and continued in Poland, the plan of 
creating a body of legislation, the pseudo-divine 
sanctions of which, in many instances, received 
submission where the teiTors of punishment would 
have been withstood. [The sons of Loyola came 
first, moulding opinion'; and the bishojjs came after, 
framing canons in conformity with that altered 
opinion — gathering where the others had strewed 
— and noiselessly achieving victory where the 
swords of their soldiers would have Init sustained 
defeat. No doubt the liberty enjoyed in Poland 
necessitated this alteration of the Roman tactics ; 
but it was soon seen that it was a more efiectual 
method than the vulgar weapons of force, and that 
if a revolted Christendom was to be brought back 
to the Papal obedience, it must be mainly, though 



not exclusively, by the means of this sijii-itual 

It was under the same reign, that of Stephen 
Bathory, that the political influence of the Kingdom 
of Poland began to wane. The ebb in its national 
prestige was almost immediately consequent on the 
ebb in its Protestantism. The victorious wars 
which Bathory had carried on with Russia were 
ended, mainly through the counsels of the Jesuit 
Posscvinus, by a peace which stripped Poland of 
the advantages she was entitled to expect from her 
victoi-ies. This was the last gleam of military 
success that shone upon the country. Stephen 
Bathory died in 1586, ha\'ing reigned ten years, not 
without glory, and was succeeded on the throne of 
Poland by Sigismund III. He was the son of 
John, King of Sweden, and grandson of the re- 
nowned Gustavus Vasa. Nurtui-ed by a Romish 
mother, Sigismund III. had abandoned the faith 
of his famous ancestor, and during his long reign of 
well-nigh half a century, he made the grandeur of 
Rome his first object, and the power of Poland only 
his second. Under such a prince the fortunes of 
the nation continued to sink. He was called " the 
King of the Jesuits," and so far was he from being 

ashamed of the title, that he gloried in it, and strove 
to prove himself worthy of it. He surrounded him- 
self with Jesuit councillors ; honours and riches he 
showered almost exclusively upon Romanists, and 
especially upon those whom interest had converted, 
but argument left unconvLnced. No dignity of the 
State and no post in the public service was to be 
obtained, unless the aspirant made friends of the 
Fathers. Their colleges and schools midtiplied, 
their hoards and territorial domains augmented 
from year to yeai". The education of the youth, 
and especially the sons of the nobles, was almost 
wholly ill their hands, and a generation was being 
created brimful of that "loyalty" which Rome so 
highly lauds, and which makes the understandings 
of her subjects so obdurate and their necks so 
supple. The Protestants were as yet too powerful 
in Poland to permit of direct persecution, but the 
way was being prepared in the continual decrease 
of their numbers, and the systematic diminution of 
their influence ; and when Sigismund III. went to 
his grave in 1632, the glory which had illuminated 
the country during the short reign of Stephen 
Bathory had departed, and the night was fiist 
closing in around Poland. 



Cardinal Hosius— His Acquirements— Prodigious Activity— Brings the Jesuits into Poland— Tlicy rise to vast Influence 
—Their Tactics- Mingle in all Circles— Labour to Undermine the Influence of Protestant Ministers— Extra- 
ordinary Methods of doing this — Mob Violence— Churches, &c., Burned— Graveyards Violated— The Jesuits in 
the Saloons of the Great— Their Schools and Method of Teaching— They Dwarf the National Mind— They 
Extinguish Literature— Testimony of a Popish Writer — Eeign of Vladislav — John Casimir, a Jesuit, ascends the 
Throne — Political Calamities— Eevolt of the Cossacks — Invasion of the Eussians and Swedes— Continued Decline 
of Protestantism and Oppression of Protestants— Erhaustion and Euin of Poland — Causes which contributed 
along with the Jesuits to the Overthrow of Protestantism in Poland. 

The Jesuits had been introduced into Poland, and 
the turning of the Protestant tide, and the begun 
decadence of the nation's political power, which was 
almost contemporaneous with the retrogression in 
its Protestantism, was mainly the work of the 
Fathers. The man who opened the door to the 
disciples of Loyola in that country is worthy of a 
longer study than we can bestow ujion him. His 
name was Stanislaus Hosen, better known as 
Cardinal Hosius. He was born at Cracow in 1504, 
and thus in bii-th was nearly contemporaneous with 
Knox and Calvin. He was sprung of a family of 
German descent which l^ad been engaged in trade. 

and become rich. His great natural powers had 
been perfected by a finished education, first in the 
schools of his own country, and afterwai-ds in the 
Italian universities. He was unwearied in liis 
apiflication to business, often dictating to .several 
secretaries at once, and not unfrequently dis- 
patching important matters at meals. He was at 
home in the controversial literature of the Refonna- 
tion, and knew how to employ in his own cause 
the arguments of one Protestant polemic against 
another. He took care to inform himself of eveiy- 
thing about the life and occupation of the leading 
Refoi-mers, his contemporaries, wliich it was im- 



portant for him to know. His works are numerous; 
they are in various languages, written with equal 
elegance in all, and with a wonderful adaptation in 
their style and method to the genius and habit of 
thought of each of the various peoples he addressed. 
The one grand object of liis life was the overthrow 
of Protestantism, and the restoration of the Roman 
Church to that place of power and glory from which 
the Reformation had cast her down. He brought 
the concentrated forces of a vast knowledge, a 
gigantic intellect, and a strong will to the execution 
of that task. History has not recorded, so far as 
we are aware, any immorality in his life. He 
could boast the refined manners, liberal sentiments, 
and humane disposition which the love and culti- 
vation of letters usually engender. Nevertheless 
the marvellous and mysterious power of that 
system of which he was so distinguished a cham- 
pion asserted its superiority in the case of this 
richly endowed, highly cultivated, and noble-minded 
man. Instead of imijai-ting his virtues to his 
Church, she transferred her vices to him. Hosius 
always urged on fitting occasions that no faith 
should be kept with heretics, and although few 
could better conduct an argument than himself, 
he disliked that tedious process with heretics, 
and recommended the more summary one of the 
lictor's axe. He saw no sin in spilling heretical 
blood ; he received with joy the tidings of the St. 
Bartholomew Massacre, and writing to congi-atulate 
the Cardinal of Lorraine on the slaughter of Coligny, 
he thanked the Almighty for the great boon be- 
stowed on France, and implored him to show equal 
mei'cy to Poland. His great understanding he 
pi-ostrated at the feet of his Church, but for whose 
authority, he declared, the Scriptures would have 
no more weight than the Fables of JEsoj). His 
many acquirements and great learning were not 
able to emancipate him from the thrall of a gloomy 
asceticism ; he grovelled in the observance of the 
most austere performances, scourging liimself in the 
belief that to have his body streaming with blood 
and covered with wounds was more pleasing to the 
Almighty than to have his soul adorned with virtues 
and replenished wth graces. Such was the man 
who, to use the words of the historian Krasinski, 
" (leseiwed the eternal gratitude of Rome and the 
curses of his own country," l)y introducing the 
Jesuits into Poland.' 

Returning from the Council of Trent in 1.564, 
Hosius saw with alarm the advance which Protes- 

' See his Life by Resoius (Roszka), Rome, 1587. Nu- 
merous editions have been published of his works ; the 
best is that of Cologne, 1584, containing his letters to 
many of the more eminent of his contempor.iries. 

tantism had made in his diocese during his absence. 
He immediately addressed himself to the general of 
the society, Lainez, requesting him to send him some 
members of his order to aid him in doing what he 
despaired of accomplishing by his own single arm. 
A few of the Fathers were dispatched from Rome, 
and being joined by others from Germany, they 
were located in Braunsberg, a little town in the 
diocese of Hosius, who richly endowed the infant 
establishment. For six years they made little 
progress, nor was it till the death of Sigismund 
Augustus and the accession of Stephen Bathory that 
they began to make then- influence felt in Poland. 
How they ingi-atiated themselves with that monarch 
by their vast pretensions to learning we have 
already seen. They became gi-eat fixvourites with 
the bishops, who finding Protestantism increasing 
in their dioceses, looked for its repression rather 
from the intrigues of the Fathers than the labours 
of their own clergy. But the golden age of the 
Jesuits in Poland, to be followed by the iron age 
to the people, did not begin until the bigoted 
Sigismund III. mounted the throne. The fiivours 
of Stephen Bathory, the colleges he had founded, 
and the lands with which he had endowed them, 
were not remembered in comparison with the far 
higher consideration and vaster wealth to which 
they were admitted under his successor. Sigis- 
mund reigned, but the Jesuits governed. They 
stood by the fountain-head of honours, and they 
held the keys of all dignities and emoluments. 
They took care of their friends in the distribution 
of these good things, nor did they forget when 
enriching others to enrich also themselves. Con- 
versions were numerous ; and the wanderer who 
had returned from the fatal path of heresy to the 
safe fold of the Church was taught to express his 
thanks in some gift or service to the order by 
whose instructions and prayei-s he had been rescued. 
The son of a Protestant father commonly expressed 
his penitence by building them a college, or be- 
queathing them an estate, or expelling from his 
lands the confessors of his father's faith, and re- 
j)lacing them with the adherents of the Roman 
creed. Thus all things were prospering to their 
wish. Every day new doors were opening to them. 
Their missions and schools were springing up in all 
corners of the land. They entered all houses, from 
the baron's do^vnward ; they sat at .all tables, and 
listened to .all conversations. In .all assemblies, 
for whatever purpose convened, whether met to 
mourn or to make merry, to trans.act business or 
to seek amusement, there were the Jesuits. They 
were present at baptisms, at marriages, at funei-als, 
and .at foirs. While their learned men taught 

Ml \ 01 r 11 lUMl Ul V NL \ UN IN 1 



the young noliles in tlic universities, they hivcl 
their itinerant orators, who visited villages, fre- 
quented markets, and erecting their stage in 
public exhibited scenic representations of Bible 
histories, or of the combats, martyrdoms, and 
canonisations of the saints. These wandering 
apostles were furnished, moreover, with store of 
relics and wonder-working charms, and by these as 
well as by pompous processions, they edified and 
awed the crowds that gathered round them. 

They strenuously and systematically laboured to 
destroy the influence of Protestant ministei-s. 
They strove to make them odious, sometimes by 
malevolent whispei-ings, and at other times by open 
accusations. The most blameless life and the most 
venerated character afforded no protection against 
Jesuit calumny. Volanus, whose ninety years bore 
witness to his abstemious life, they called a dnuikard., who had incurred then- anger by a work 
written against them, and whose learning was not 
excelled by the most erudite of their order, they 
accused of theft, and of having once acted the 
pai-t of a hangman. Adding ridicule to calumny, 
they strove in every way to hold up Protestant 
sermons and assemblies to laughter. If a Synod 
convened, there was sure to appear, in no long 
time, a letter from the devil, addressed to the 
members of court, thanking them for their zeal, and 
instructing them, in familiar and losing phrase, 
how to do then- work and his. Did a minister 
marry, straightway he was complimented with an 
epithalamium from the ready pen of some Jesuit 
scribe. Did a Protestant pastor die, before a few 
days had passed by, the leading members of his 
flock were favoured with letters from their de- 
ceased minister, duly dated from Pandemoiiixun. 
These effusions were comjiosed generally in doggerel 
verse, but they were barbed with a venomous wit 
and a coarae humour. The multitude read, laughed, 
and believed. The calumnies, it is true, were 
refuted by those at whom they were levelled ; but 
that signified little, the falsehood was repeated 
again and again, till at last, by dint of perseverance 
and audacity, the Protestants and thcu' worship 
were brought into general hatred and contempt.^ 

The defection of the sons of Radziwill, the zea- 
lous Reformer of whom we have previously made 
mention, was a groat blow to the Protestantism of 
Poliwid. That family became the chief support, 
after the crown, of the Papal reaction in the Polish 

' Lukaszewicz (a Popish author). History of the Hel- 
veHan Churches of Lilhuania, vol. i., pp. 47, 85, and vol. ii., 
p. 102 ; Posen, 1842, 184S—apud Krasmsld, Slavonia, 
pp. 289, 294. 

dominions. Not only were their influence and 
wealth freely employed for the spread of the 
Jesuits, but all the Protestant churches and schools 
which their father had built on hLs estates were 
made over to the Church of Rome. The example 
of the Radziwills was followed by many of the 
Lithuanian nobles, who i-eturned within the Roman 
pale, bringing with them not only the edifices on 
their lands formerly used in the Protestant service, 
but their tenants also, and expelling those who 
refused to conform. 

By this time the populace had been sufficiently 
leavened with the spirit and principles of the 
Jesuits to be made theii- tool. Mob violence is 
commonly the fu'st form that persecution assumes. 
It was so in Poland. The caves whence these 
popular tempests issued were the Jesuit colleges. 
The students inflamed the passions of the multitude, 
and the public peace was bi-oken by tumult and 
outrage. Protestant worshipping assemblies began 
to be assailed and dispersed, Protestant chin-ches 
to be wrecked, and Protestant libraries to be 
given to the flames. The churches of Cracow, 
of Vilna, and other towns were pillaged. Pro- 
testant cemeteries were violated, their monuments 
and tablets destroyed, the dead exhumed, and their 
remains scattered about. It was not possible at 
times to cari-y the Protestant dead to theii- gi-aves. 
In June, 1578, the funeral procession of a Protes- 
tant lady was attacked in the streets of Cracow by 
the pujiils of All-hallows College. Stones were 
thrown, the attendants were driven away, the body 
was torn from the coffin, and after being dragged 
through the streets it "was thro^^^^ into the Vistula. 
Rarely indeed did the authorities interfere; and 
when it did happen that punishment followed these 
misdeeds, the infliction fell on the wretched tools, 
and the guiltier instigators and ringleaders were 
sirfFered to escape.'' 

While the Jesuits were smiting the Protestant 
mmisters and members ^^•ith the arm of the mob, 
they were bowing the knee in adulation and flattery 
before the Protestant nobles and gentry. In the 
saloons of the gi'cat, the same men who sowed from 
their chairs the jninciples of sedition and tumult, 
or vented in doggerel rhyme the odious calumny, 
were transformed into paragons of mildness 
and inoffcnsiveness. Oh, how they loved order, 
aliominated coarseness, and anathematised all im- 
charitableness and violence ! Having gained access 
into Protestant fiimilies of rank b^^ their whining 
manners, their showy accomplishments, and some- 
times by important services, they strove by every 

- Albert Wengiersi. 


means— by argument, by wit, by insinuation — to 
convert them to the Roman faith ; if tliey failed to 
pervert tlie entire family they generally succeeded 
with one or more of its members. Thus they 
established a foothold in the household, and had 
fatally broken the peace and confidence of the 
family. The anguish of the perverts for their 
parents, doomed as they believed to perdition, 
often so alfected these parents as to induce them to 
follow their children into the Roman fold. Rome, 
as is well kno\vn, has made more victories by 
touching the heart than by convincing the reason. 

But the maiia arai with which the Jesuits 
operated in Poland was the school. They had 
among them a few men of good talent and gi-eat 
erudition. At the beginning they were at pains 
to teach well, and to send foi-tli fi-om theii- semi- 
)iaries accomplished Latin scholars, that so they 
might establish a reputation for efficient teaching, 
and spread theii- educational institutions over the 
kingdom. They were kind to their pupils, they gave 
their instructions without exacting any fee ; and 
they were thus able to compete at great advantage 
with the Protestant schools, and not unfrequently 
did they succeed in extinguishing theii- rivals, and 
drafting the scholars into their own seminaries. 
Not only so : many Protestant parents, attracted 
by the high repute of the Jesuit schools, and the 
brilliant Latin scholars whom they sent forth from 
time to time, sent their sons to be educated in the 
institutions of the Fathers. 

But the national mind did not grow, nor did the 
national literature flourish. This was the more 
remarkable from contrast with the brilliance of the 
era that had preceded the educational efforts of the 
Jesuits. The half-century during which the Pro- 
testant influence was the predominating one was 
" the Augustan age of Polish literature ;" the half- 
century that followed, dating from the close of the 
sixteenth century, showed a marked and most 
melancholy decadence in every department of mental 
exertion. It was but too ob\'ious that decrepitude 
had smitten the national intellect. The press sent 
forth scarcely a single work of merit ; capable 
men were disappearing from professional life ; 
Poland ceased to have statesmen fitted to counsel 
in the cabinet, or soldiers able to lead in the field. 
The sciences were neglected and the arts lan- 
guished ; and even the veiy language was becoming 
corrupt and feeble ; its elegance and fire ^vei'e sink- 
ing in the ashes of formalism and barbarism. Nor 
is it difficult to account for tliis. Without 
freedom there can bo no vigour ; but the Jesuits 
dared not leave the mind of their jmpils at liberty. 
That the intellect should make fv\ll jiroof of its 

powers by ranging freely over all subjects, and in- 
vestigating and discussing unfettered all questions, 
was what the Jesuits could not allow, well knowing 
that such freedom would overthrow their own autho- 
rity. They led about the mind iir chains as men 
do wild beasts, of whom they fear that should 
they slip their fetters, they would turn and rend 
them. The art they studied was not how to edu- 
cate, but how not to educate. They intrigued to 
shut up the Protestant schools, and when thej' had 
succeeded, they collected the youth into their own, 
that they might keep them out of the way of that 
most dangerous of all things, knowledge. They 
taught them words, not things. They shut the page 
of history, they barred the avenues of science and 
philosophy, aiad they drilled their pupils exclusively 
in the subtleties of a scholastic theology. Is it 
wonderful that the eye kejit perpetually poring on 
such objects should at last lose its power of vision ; 
that the intellect confined to food like this should 
pine and die ; and that the foot-prints of Poland 
ceased to be visible in the fields of literature, in the 
world of commerce, and on the ai-ena of politics l 
The men who had taken in hand to educate the 
nation, taught it to forget all that other men strive 
to remember, and to remember all that other men 
strive to forget ; in short, the education given to 
Poland by the Jesuits was a most ingemous and 
successful plan of teaching them not how to think 
right, but how to think -svi-ong ; not how to reason 
out truth, but how to reason out falsehood ; not how 
to cast away prejudice, break the shackles of autho- 
rity, and rise to the independence and noble freedom 
of a rational being, but how to cleave to error, 
hug one's fetters, hoot at the light, and yet to be 
all the while filled with a proud conceit that this 
darkness is not darkness, but light ; and this folly 
not folly, but wisdom. Thus metamorphosed this 
once noble nation came forth from the schools of 
the Jesuits, the light of their eye quenched, and tJio 
strength of then- arm dried up, to find that they 
were no longer able to keep their place in the 
sti-uggles of the world. They were p\it aside, they 
were split up, they were trampled down, and at 
last thoy perished as a nation ; and yet their re- 
mains were not put into the sepulchre, but wei-c 
left lying on the fiice of Euroi>e, a melancholy 
monument of what nations become when they take 
the Jesuit for their schoolmaster. 

This estimate of Jesviit teaching is not more 
severe than that whicli Popish authors themselves 
have expressed. Their system was admu-ably de- 
scribed by Broscius, a zealous Roman Catholic clergy- 
man, professor in the University of Cracow, and one 
of the most learned men of his time, in a work pul> 



lished originally in Polish, in the beginning of the 
seventeenth century. He says : " The Jesuits teach 
chiUlion the grammar of Alvar,' which it is very 
(lillicult to umlerstaml and to learn; and much 
time is spent at it. This they do for many reasons : 
first, that by keeping the child a long time in the 
school they may receive in gifts from the parents 
of the children, whom they pretend gratuitously to 
educate, much more than they would have got had 
there been a regular payment; second, that by 
keeping the children a long while in the school 
they may become well acquainted with their minds ; 
third, that they may train the boy for their o\vn 
plans, and for their own purposes ; fourth, that in 
case the friends of the boy wish to have him from 
them, they may have a pretence for keeping him, 
saying, give him time at least to learn grammar, 
which is the foundation of every other knowledge ; 
fifth, they want to keep boys at school till the age 
of manliood, that they may engage for their order 
those who show most talent or expect large in- 
heritances ; but when an individual neither pos- 
sesses talents nor has any expectations, they \vill 
not retain liim."- 

Sigismund III., in whose reign the Jesuits had 
become firmly rooted in Poland, died in 1632, 
and was succeeded by his eldest son Vladislav IV. 
Vladislav hated the disciples of Loyola as much as 
his father had loved and courted them, and he 
sti-ove to the utmost of his power to counteract the 
evil effects of his father's partiality for the order. 
He restrained the persecution by mob riots ; he 
was able, in some instances, to visit with punish- 
ment the ringleaders in the burning down of Pro- 
testant churches and schools ; but that spirit of 
intolerance and bigotry which was now diffused 
throughout the nation, and in wliich, with few ex- 
ceptions, noble and peasant shared alike, he could 
not lay ; and when he went to his grave, those 
bitter hatreds and evil passions which had been 
engendered during his father's long occupancy of 
the thi'one, and only slightly repressed during 
his own short I'oign, broke out afresh in all their 

Vladislav was succeeded by his brother John 
Casimir. C;isimir was a member of the Society of 
Jesus, and had attained the dignity of the Roman 

' A Spanish Jesuit who compiled a grammar which the 
Jesuits used in the schools of Poland. 

" Dialnqve of a Landowner with a Parisli Priest. The 
work, puljlishcd about 1020, excited the violent anger 
of the Jesuits; but being imable to wreak their ven- 
geance on the author, the printer, at their instigation, 
was publicly flogged, and afterwards banished. (See 
Krasiuski, Slavonia, p. 296.) 

purple ; but when his brother's death opened his 
way to the throne, the Pope relieved him from his 
vows as a Jesuit. The heart of the Jesuit rcmain(.'d 
mthin him, though his vow to the order had licen 
dissolved. Nevertheless, it is but justice to say 
that Casimir was less bigoted, and less the tool of 
Rome, than his father Sigismrmd had been. Still 
it was vain to hope that under such a monarch the 
prospects of the Protestants would be materially 
improved, or the tide of Popish reaction stennned. 
Scarcely had this disciple of Loyola ascended the 
throne than those political tempests began, which 
continued at short intei'vals to burst over Poland, 
till at length the nation was destroyed. The first 
calamity that befell the unhappy country was a 
terrible revolt of the Cossacks of the Ukraine. 
The insurgent Cossacks were joined by crowds of 
peasants belonging to the Greek Church, whose 
passions had been roused by a recent attempt of 
the Polish bishops to compel them to enter the 
Communion of Rome. Poland now began to feel 
what it was to have her soul chilled and her bonds 
loosened by the touch of the Jesuit. If the insur- 
rection did not end in the dethronement of the 
monarch, it was owing not to the valour of his 
troops, or the patriotism of his nobles, but to the 
compassion or remorse of the rebels, who stopped 
short in their victorious .career when the king was 
in then- power, and the nation had been brought to 
the brink of ruin. 

The cloud which had thieatened the kingdom 
with destruction rolled away to the half-ci%ilised 
regions whence it had so suddenly issued ; but 
hardly was it gone when it was again seen to 
gather, and to advance against the inihappy king- 
dom. The perfidy of the Romish bishops had 
brought this second calamity upon Poland. The 
Archbishop of Kioff, Metropolitan of the Greek 
Church of Poland, had acted as mediator between 
the rebellious Cossacks and the king, and mainly 
through the archbishop's friendly ofliccs had that 
peace been effected, which rescued from immi- 
nent peril the throne and life of Casimir. One of 
the conditions of the Pacification was that the 
archbishop should have a seat in the Senate ; but 
when the day came, and the Eastern prelate entered 
the hall to take his place among the senators, the 
Roman Catholic bishops rose in a body and left the 
Senate-house, saying that they ne^er would sit with 
a schismatic. The Archbishop of Kioff had lifted 
Casimir's throne out of the dust, and now he had 
his services repaid with insult. 

The warlike Cossacks held themselves afl'rontcd 
in the indignity done their spiritual chief ; and 
hence the second invasion of the kingdom. This 



time the insurgents were defeated, but that only 
broiiglit greater evils upon the country. The 
Cossacks tlu'ew themselves into the arms of the 
Czar of Muscovy. He espoused their quarrel, 
feeling, doubtless, that his honour also was in- 
volved in the disgrace put upon a high dignitary 
of his Church, and he descended on Poland with 
an immense army. At the same time, Charles 
Gustavus of Sweden, taking advantage of tlie 
discontent which prevailed against the Polish 
monarch Ca.simir, entered the kingdom with a 
chosen body of troops ; and such were his own 
talents as a leader, and such the discipline and 
valour of his army, that in a short time the prin- 
cipal pai't of Poland was in his possession. Casimir 
had, meanwhile, sought refuge in Silesia. The 
crown was ofl'ered to the valorous and magnani- 
mous Charles Gustavus, the nobles only craving 
that before assuming it lie should permit a Diet 
to assemble and formally vote it to him. 

Had Gustavus ascended the throne of Poland, 
it is probalile that the Jesuits would have been 
driven out, that the Protestant spirit would have 
been reinvigorated, and that Poland, built up into 
a powerful kingdom, would have proved a protect- 
ing wall to the south and west of Europe against 
the barbaric masses of the north ; but this hope, 
wdth all that it implied; was dispelled by the reply 
of Charles Gustavus. " It did not need," he said, 
" that the Diet should elect him king, seeing he 
was already master of the country by his sword." 
The self-love of the Poles was wounded ; the war 
was renewed ; and, after a great struggle, a jieace 
was concluded in 1000, under the joint mediation 
and guarantee of England, France, and Holland. 
Jolni Casimir returned to resume his reign over 
a country bleeding from the swords of two armies. 
The Cossacks had exercised an indiscriniinate ven- 
geance : the Popish cathedral and the Protestant 
church had alike been given to the flames, and 
Protestants and Papists had been equal sufferers in 
the calamities of the war. 

The first act of the monarch, after his return, 
was to place his kingdom under the special pro- 
tection of the " Blessed Virgin." To make himself 
and his dominions the more worthy of so august 
a suzerainty, he i-egistered on the occasion two 
vows, both well-pleasing, as he judged, to liis 
celestial patroness. Casimir promised in the first 
to redress the grievances of the lower orders, and 
in the second to convert the heretics— in other 
words, to persecute the Protestants. The first vow 
it wa.s not even attempted to fulfil. All the efforts 
of the sovereign, therefore, were given to the second. 
But (ho shieid of Eu'daud and Hollan.l was at 

that time extended over the Protestants of Poland, 
who were still numerous, and had amongst them 
some influential families ; the monarch's eflbrts 
were, in consequence, restricted meanwhile to the 
conversion of the Socinians, who were numerous 
in his kingdom. They were offered the alternative 
of return to the Roman Church or exile. They 
seriously proposed to meet the prelates of the Roman 
hierarchy in conference, and con\ince them that 
there was no fundamental difference between theii- 
tenets and the dogmas of the Roman Church.' 
The conference was declined, and the Socinians, 
with great hardship and loss, were driven out of 
the kingdom. But the persecution did not stop 
there. England, with Charles II. on her throne, 
grew cold in the cause of the Polish Protestants. 
In the treaty of the peace of 1 GOO, the rights of all 
religious Confessions in Poland had been secured ; 
but the guaranteeing Powers soon ceased to enforce 
the treaty, the Polish Government paid but small 
respect to it, persecution in the form of mol) 
violeiace was still continued ; and when the reign 
of John Casimir, which had been fatal to the 
Protestants throughout, came to an end, it was 
found that their ranks were broken up, that all the 
gi-eat families who had belonged to their communion 
were extinct or had passed into the Church of 
Rome, that their sanctuaries were mostly in ashes, 
their- congregations all dispersed, and their cause 

There followed a succession of reigns which oidy 
furnished evidence how weak the throne had 
become, and how powerful the Jesuits and the 
Roman hierarchy had grown. Religious equality 
was still the law of Poland, and each new sovereign 
swore, at his coronation, to maintain the rights 
of the anti-Romanists, but the transaction was 
deemed a mere fiction, and the king, however much 
disposed, had not the power to fulfil his oath. The 
Jesuits and the bishops were in this matter above 
the law, and the sovereign's tribunals could not 
enforce their own edicts. What the law called 
rights the clergy stigmatised as abuses, and de- 
manded that they should be abolished. In 1732 
a law was passed excluding from all public ofliccs 
those who were not of the communion of the 
Church of Rome.'' The public service was thus 
deprived of whatever activity and cnli.i;htonmcnt of 
mind yet existed in Poland. The country had no 
need of this additional stimulus : it was already pur- 
suing fast enough the road to ruin. For a century, 

' Kiasinski, Slavonia, p. 333. 

- Krasinski, Hist. Keform. Polami, vol. ii., chap.1'2. 

•■• Krasinski, Slavonia, p. 350. 



one disaster aftor another liad devastated its soil 
and people. Its limits had been curtailed by the 
lass of several provinces ; its population had been 
diminished by the emigration of thou.sands of 
Protestants ; its i-esources had been drained by its 
efibrts to quell revolt within and ward off inviision 
from without ; its intelligence had been obscured, 
and well-nigh extinguished, by those who claimed 
the exclusive right to instruct its youth ; for in 
that laud it was a greater misfortune to be educated 
than to grow np untaught. Ovei'spread by torpor, 
Poland gave no signs of life save sucli as indicate 
paralysis. Placed luider foreign tutelage, and sunk 
in dependence and helplessness, if she was cared for 
by her powerful protectors, it was as men care for 
a once noble palace which they have no thought of 
rebuilding, but from whose fallen masses they hope 
to extract a column or a topstone that may helj) 
to enlarge and embellish their own dwelling. 

Justice requires that we should state, before dis- 
missing this part of oiu- subject, with its many 
solemn lessons, that though the fall of Protestantism 
in Poland, and the consequent ruin of the Polish 
State, was mainly the work of the Jesuits, other 
causes co-operated, though in a less degree. The 
Protestant body in Poland, from the first, was 
parted into three Confessions : the Genevan in 
Lithuania, the Bohemian in Great Poland, and the 
Lutheran in those towns that were inhabited by a 
population of German descent. This was a source 
of weakness, and this weakness was aggi-avated by 
the ill-will borne by the Lutheran Protestants to 
the adherents of the other two Confessions. The 
evil was cured, it was thought, liy the Union 
of Sandoniir ; but Lutheran exclusiveuess and in- 

tolerance, after a few years, again broke uj) the 
united Chui'ch, and deprived the Protestant cause 
of the strength which a common centre always 
gives. The short lives of John Alasco and Prince 
liadziwill are also to be reckoned among the causes 
wliich contributed to the failure of the Reform 
movement in Poland. Had their labours been pro- 
longed, a deeper seat would have been given to 
Protestant truth in the general population, and the 
throne might have been gained to the Reformation. 
The Christian chivalry and jjatriotism with which 
the great nobles placed themselves at the head of 
the movement are worthy of all praise, but the 
people must ever be the mainstay of a religious 
Reformation, and the great landowniers in Poland 
did not, we fear, take this fact .sufficiently into ac- 
count, or bestow the requisite pains in imbuing their 
tenantry with great Scriptural principles : and hence 
the conipai'ative ease with which the people were 
again transferred into tlie Roman fold. But an 
influence yet more hostUe to the triumph of Protes- 
tantism in Poland was the rise and rajjid diffusion 
of Socinian views. These sprang up in the bosom 
of the Genevan Confession, and inflicted a blight 
on the powerful Protestant Chiu-ches of Lithuania. 
That blight very soon overspread the whole land ; 
and the gi-een tree of Protestantism began to be 
touched with the sere of decay. The Socinian was 
followed, iis we have seen, by the Jesuit. A yet 
deeper desolation gathered on his track. Decay 
became rottenness, and blight deepened into death ; 
but Protestantism did not perish alone. The 
throne, the country, the people, all went down 
with it in a catastro]>he so awful that no one 
could have eHected it but the Jesuit. 



D.arkness Concealing Boliemiau Martyrs— John Huss— First Preachers of the Eofoi-mctl Doctrine in Bohemia- False 
Brcthron — Zaliera — Passek— Tlioy Excite to rersGcutions — Martyrs— Nicolas Wrzetenarz— The Hostess Clai-a — 
Martha von Porzicz— The Potter and Girdlor— Pate of tlio Persecutors— Ferdinand I. Invades Bohoiiila — Perse- 
cutions and Emigrations -Flight of the Pastoi-s— John Augusta, &c. — A Heroic Sufferer — The Jesuits brought 
into Boliemia— Ma.\imilian II.— Persecution Stopped— Bohemian Confession— Rudolph— The Majostats-Brief— 
Full Liberty given to the Protestants. 

In resuming the story of Bohemia wo re-enter a 
tragic field. Our rehearsal of its conflicts and 
suflcrings will in one sense be a sorrowful, in 
another a truly triumphant task. What we arc 
about to witness is not the victorious march of a 

nation out of bondage, with banners xmfurled, and 
singing the song of a recoverctl Gosjiel ; on the 
contrary, it is a crowd of sufferers and martyrs that 
is to pass before lis ; and when the long procession 
begins to draw to an end, we shall have to confess 


that tliese are but a few of that gi-eat army of partially dispelled. Their names and sufferings arc 

confessors who in this land gave their lives for the locked up in the imperial arcliivcs of Vienna, iu tlie 

triitli. Where are the rest, and why are not their arcliiepiscopal archives of Prague, in the liljraric;; 

viKw IS I'UAnvE: the powder toweu. 

deaths liere recorded I They still abide under that of Leitmeritz, Koniggi-iitz, Wittingau, and other 

darkness with wliich their martjTdoms were on places. For a full revelation wo must wait (ho 

purpose covered, and which as yet lias been only coming of that day when, in the eniphaUc l.iu- 



giiage of Scripture, " The earth also shall disclose 
her blood, aud shall no more cover her slaiii."' 

Ill a former book - we brought down the history 
of the Bohemian Church' a century beyond the 
stake of Huss. Speaking from the midst of the 
flames, as we have already seen, the martyr said, 
" A hundred years and there will arise a swan 
whose singing you shall not be able to silence." ^ 
The century had revolved, and Luther, with a 
voice that was rolling from east to west of Chris- 
tendom, loud as the thunder but melodious as the 
music of heaven, was preaching the doctrine of 
justification by faith alone. We resume our history 
of the Bohemian Church at the point where we 
broke it ofl". Though fire and sword had been 
■wasting the Bohemian confessors duiing tlie- 
greater part of the century, there were about 
200 of their congregations in existence when 
the Reformation broke. Imperfect as was their 
knowledge of Divine truth, their presence on the 
soil of Bohemia helped powerfully toward the 
reception of the doctrines of Luther in that 
country. Many hailed his appearance as sent to 
resume the work of their martyred countryman, 
and recognised in his preaching the " song " for 
which Huss had bidden them wait. As early as 
the year 1519, Matthias, a hermit, arriving at 
Prague, preached to great crowds", which assem- 
bled round him in the streets and market-place, 
though he mingled with the doctrines of the 
Reformation certain opinions of Ins own. The 
Calixtine.s, who were now Romanists in all save 
the Eucharistic rite, which they received in both 
kinds, said, " It were better to have our pastors 
ordained at Wittemberg than at Rome." Many 
Bohemian youths were setting out to sit at 
Luther's feet, and those who were debarred the 
journey, and could not benefit by the living voice 
of the gi-eat doctor, eagerly possessed themselves, 
most commonly by way of Nuremberg, of his 
tracts and Ijooks ; and those accounted themselves 
happiest of all who could secure a Bible, for then 
they could drink of the Water of Life at its fountain- 
head. In January, 1523, we find the Estates of 
Bohemia and JMoravia assembling at Prague, and 
having summoned several orthodox pastors to 

' Isaiah xxvi. 21. 

- See ante, vol. I., bk. iii. 

» Wo have in the sauio place narrated the origin of the 
"United Brethren," tlieir election by lot of three men 
who were afterwards ordained by Stephen, associated 
■with whom, in the laying on of hands, were other 'Wal- 
densian pastors. Conieniiis, who relates tlie transaction, 
terms Stephen a chief man or bisliop among the 
denses. He afterwards suffered martyi'dom for the faith. 

* See ante, vol. i., hk. iii., chap. 7, p. 1G2. 

assist at their deliberations, they promulgateil 
twenty articles — " the forerumiers of the Refor- 
mation," as Comenius calls them — of which the 
following was one : " If any man shall teach 
the Gospel without the additions of men, ho shall 
neither be reproved nor condemned for a heretic." "" 
Thus from the banks of the Moldau was coming 
an echo to the voice at Wittemberg. 

" False brethren " were the first to raise the cry 
of heresy against John Huss, and also the most 
zealous in dragging him to the stake. So was it 
again. A curate, newly returned from Wittemberg, 
where he had daily taken his place in the crowd 
of students of all nations who assembled around 
the chair of Luther, was the fu'st in Prague to call 
for the punishment of the disciples of that very 
doctrine which he professed to have embraced. His 
name was Gallus Zahera, Calixtme pastor in the 
Church of Lieta Curia, Old Prague. Zahera joined 
himself to John Passek, Burgomaster of Prague, 
" a deceitful, cruel, and superstitious man," who 
headed a powerful faction in the Council, which 
had for its object to crush the new opinions. The 
Papal legate had just arrived in Bohemia, and 
he wrote in bland terms to Zahera, holding out the 
prospect of a union between Rome and the 
Calixtines. The Calixtine pastor, forgetting all he 
had learned at Wittemberg, instantly replied that 
he had " no dearer wish than to be found constant 
in the body of the Churc'i by the unity of the 
faith ; " and he went on to speak of Bohemia in a 
style that have done credit, in the eyes of the 
legate, at once to his rhetoric and his orthodoxy. 
" For truly," says he, " our Bohemia, supporting 
itself on the most sure foundation of the mast sure 
rock of the Catholic faith, has sustained the fury 
and broken the force of all those waves of error 
wherewith the neighbouring countries of Germany 
have been shaken, and as a beacon placed in the 
midst of a tempestuous sea, it has held forth a 
clear light to every voyager, and shown him a safe 
harbour into which he may retreat from ship- 
wreck;" and he concluded by promising to send 
forthwith deputies to expedite the business of a 
union between the Roman and Calixtine Churches." 
When asked how he could thus oppose a faith he 
had lately so zealously jirofessed, Zahera replied 
that he had jilaced himself at the feet of Luther 
that he might be the better able to confute him: 
"An excuse," observes Comenius, " that might have 
become the mouth of Judas." 

' Comenius, Hisioria PcrsecuHonum Ecclesia Boheniica; 
cap. 28, p. 98; Lugd. Batav., 1C47. 
6 Ibid., cap. 28, p. 29. 



Zaliera and Passek were uot the men to stop at 
half-measures. To pave the way for a union with 
the Roman Church they framed a set of articles, 
which, ha\'ing obtained the consent of the king, 
they required the clergy and citizens to subscribe. 
Those who refused were to be banished from 
Prague. Si.v pastors declined the test, and were 
driven from the city. The pastors were followed 
into exile by sixty-five of the leading citizens, 
including the Chancellor of Prague and the fonner 
burgomaster. A pretext being sought for severer 
measures, the malicious ijivention was spread 
abroad that the Lutherans liad conspired to mas- 
sacre all the CalLxtines, and three of the citizens 
were put to the rack to extort from them a con- 
fession of a conspiracy which had never existed. 
They bore the torment' rather than witness to 
a falsehood. An agreement was next concluded 
by the influence of Zahera and Passek, that no 
Lutheran shoidd be taken into a workshop, or ad- 
mitted to citizenship. If one owed a debt, and 
wius unwilling to pay it, he had only to say the 
other was a Lutheran, and the banishment of the 
creditor gave him riddance from his importunities.- 
Branding on the forehead, and other marks of 
ignominy, were now added to exile. One day 
Louis Victor, a disciple of the Gospel, happened to 
be among the hearers of a certain Barbarite who 
was entertaining liis audience with ribald stories. 
At tlie of his sermon Louis addressed the 
monk, saying to him that it were " better to in- 
struct the peojile out of the Gospel than to detain 
them ^\'ith such fables." Straightway the preacher 
raised such a clamom' that the excited ci'owd lai<l 
hold on the too courageous Lutheran, and haled 
him to prison. Next day tlie city sergeant con- 
ducted him out of Prague. A certain cutler, in 
whose possession a little book on the Sacrament 
had been found, was scourged in the market-place. 
The same punishment was inflicted upon John 
Kalentz, with the addition of being branded on the 
foreliead, because it was said tliat thovigh a layman 
he liad administered the Eucharist to liimself and 
his family. John Lapatsky, who had returned 
from banishment, under the impression that the 
king had published an amnesty to the exiles, was 
ap])rehendcd, thrown into prison, and murdered.'' 

The tragic fate of Nicolas Wrzetenarz deserv(^s 
a more circumstantial detail. Wrzetenarz was a 
learned man, well stricken in j-ears. He was accuseil 
of PicardLsra, a name by which Protestant sentiments 

' " Placide eipirarunt." (Comcnius, cap. 30, p. 109.) 
' Comenius, cap. 29, p. 102. 
=• Hid., cap. 29, p. 105. 

were at times designated. He was summoned to 
answer before the Senate. When the old man 
appeared, Zahera, who presided on the tribunal, 
asked him what he believed concerning the Sacra- 
ment of the altar. " I believe," he replied, "what 
the Evangelists and St. Paul teach me to believe." 
" Do you believe," asked the othei-, " that Christ is 
present in it, having flesh and blood i" "I 
believe," replied Wrzetenarz, " that when a pious 
minister of God's Word declares to a faithful. con- 
gregation the benefits which are received by the 
death of Christ, the bread and wine are made to 
them the Supper of the Lord, wherein they are 
made partakers of the body and blood of Chi-Lst, 
and the benefits i-eceived by his death." After a 
few more questions touching the mass, praying to 
the saints, and similar matters, he was condemned 
as a heretic to the fire. His hostess, Clara, a 
widow of threescore years, whom he had instructed 
in the truth, and who refused to deny the faith she 
had received into her heart, was condemned to be 
burned along with him. 

They were led out to die. Being come to the 
place of execution they were commanded to adore 
the sign of the cross, which had been elevated in 
the east. They refused, saying, " The law of God 
permits us not to worship the likeness of anything 
either in heaven or in earth ; we will worship only 
the living God, Lord of heaven and earth, who 
inhabiteth alike the south, the west, the north, the 
east;" and turning their backs upon the crucifix, 
and prostrating themselves toward the west, with 
their eyes and hands lifted up to heaven, thsy 
invoked with great ardour the name of Christ. 
Having taken leave of their children, Nicolas, with 
great cheerfulness, mounted the pile, and standing 
on the faggots, repeated the Ai-ticles of the Creed, 
and having finished, looked up to heaven and 
prayed, saying with a loud voice, " Lord Jesus 
Christ, Son of the living God, who was born of a 
pure Virgin, and didst vouchsafe to undergo the 
shameful death of the cross for me a vile sinner, 
thee alone do I worshij)— to thee I coumiend my 
soul. Be merciful unto me, and blot out all mine 
iniquities." He then repeated in Latin the Psalm, 
" In thee, O Lord, have I put my trust." Mean- 
while the executioner having brought forward Clara, 
and laid her on the pile, now tied down both of 
them upon the wood, and heiiping over them the 
books that had been found in their house, he lighted 
the faggots, and soon the martyre were cn%-eloped in 
the fl.imes. So died this venerable scholar and aged 
matron at Prague, on the lUth December, 152G.* 

* Comenius, cap. SO, pp. 105, lOfi. 



Ill the following year Martha vou Porzicz was 
burued. She was a woman heroic beyond even the 
heroism of her sex. Interrogated by the doctors of 
the univei-sity us well as by the councillors, she 
answered intiepidly, giraig a reason of the faith 
she had embraced, and upbraiding the Hussites 
themselves for their stupid adulation of the Pope. 
The jiresiding judge hinted that it was time she 
was getting ready her garment for the fire. " My 
petticoat and cloak arc both ready," she replied ; 
" you may order me to be led away when you 
please."' She was straightway sentenced to the 
lire. The towncrier walked before her, proclaiming 
that she was to die for blaspheming the holy Sacra- 
ment. Raising her voice to be heard by the crowd 
she said, " It is not so ; I am condemned because I 
will not confess to please the priests that Christ, 
with his bones, hairs, sinews, and veins, is con- 
tained in the Sacrament." " And raising her voice 
yet higher, she warned the people not to believe 
the priests, who had abandoned themselves to 
hypocrisy and every vice. Being come to the place 
where she was to die, they importuned her to adore 
the crucifix. Turning her back upon it, and 
elevating her eyes to heaven, " It is there," she 
said, "that our God dwells : thither must we direct 
our looks." She now made haste to mount the 
pile, and endured the torment of the flames mth 
invincible courage. She was burned on the 4th of 
December, 1527. 

On the 28th of August of the following year, two 
German artificers — one a potter, the other a girdler 
— accused of Lutheranism by the monks, were con- 
demned by the judges of Prague to be burned. As 
tliey walked to the stake, they talked so sweetly 
togetlier, reciting passages from Scripture, that 
tears flowed from the eyes of many of the spectators. 
Being come to the pile, they bravely encouraged 
one another. "Since our Lord Jesus Clu-ist," said 
the girdler, " hath for us sufJ'ered so grievous things, 
let us arm ourselves to sufler this death, and let us 
rejoice that wo have found so gi-eat favour with him 
as to be accounted worthy to die for his Go.spel ; " 
to whom the potter made answer, " I, truly, on my 
marriage-day wa.s not so glad of heart as I am at 
tliis moment." Having ascended the pyre, they 
l)rayed with a clear voice, " Lord Jesus, v/lio in 
thy suflerings didst pray for thine enemies, we also 
pray, forgive the king, and the men of Prague, and 
the clergy, for they know not what they do, and 
their hands are full of blood." And then address- 

ing the people, they said. " Dearly beloved, pray 
for your king, that God would give liim the know- 
ledge of the truth, for he is misled by the bishops 
and clergj'." " Having ended this most penitent 
exhortation," says the chronicler, " they therewith 
ended their li\-es." 

After this the fury of the jiersecutiou for a little 
while subsided. The knot of cruel and bloodthirsty 
men who had lU'ged it on was broken up. One 
of the band fell into debt, and hanged himself in 
despair. Zahera was caught in a political intrigue, 
into which Ids ambitious spirit had drawn him, 
and, being banished, ended his life miserably in 
Franconia. The cruel burgomaster, Passek, was 
about the same time sent into perpetual exUe, after 
he had in vain thrown himself at the king's feet 
for mercy. Ferdinand, who had now ascended 
the throne, changed the Council of Prague, and 
gave the exiles liberty to return. The year 1530 
was to them a time of restitution ; their churches 
multiplied ; they corresponded -ivith their brethren 
in Germany and Switzerland, and wei-e thereby 
strengthened against those days of yet greater trial 
that awaited them.^ 

These days came in 15-17. Charles V., ha\ing 
overcome the German Protestants in the battle of 
Muhlberg, sent his brother, Ferdinand I., ^^•ith an 
army of Germans and Hungarians to chastise the 
Bohemians for refusing to assist him in the war 
just ended. Ferdinand entered Prague like a city 
taken by siege. The magisti-ates and chief barons 
he imprisoned ; some he beheaded, others he scourged 
and sent into exile, while others, impelled by terror, 
fled from the city. " See," observed some, " what 
calamities the Lutherans ha\e brought upon us." 
The Bohemian Protestants were accused of dis- 
loyalty, and Ferdinand, opening his ear to these 
malicious chai'ges, issued an order for the shutting 
up of all their churches. In the five districts in- 
habited mainly by the " Brethi-en," all who refused 
to enter the Church of Rome, or at least meet 
her more than half-way by joining the Calixtiiies, 
were driven away, and their hindlords, on various 
})retexts, were arrested. 

This calamity fell upon them like a tluuuler-bult. 
Not a few, yielding to the violence of the persecution, 
fell back into Rome; but the great body, unalter- 
ably fixed on maintaining the faith for which Huss 
liad died, chose rather to leave the soil of Bohemia 
for ever than apostatise. In a previous chapter 
we have recorded the march of these exiles, in three 

' '■ Parata mihi sunt et indusium et pallium, quando 
lubet duel jubete." (Comenius, p. 107.) 

' " Cum ossibus, capillis, nervis et venis in Sacramento 
contincri." (Comenius, p. 108.) 

' Comenuis, p. 110. The Reformation and Anii-Reforma- 
(ion in Bohemia (from the German), vol. i., pp. 60, 67; 
Loud., 1845. 



divisions, to their new settlements in Prussia, and 
the hiilt they made on their journey at Posen, 
wliorp thoy kindled the light of truth in the midst 
of a population sunk in darkness, and hiid tlie 
foundations of that prosperity -which their Cliurcli 
at a subsequent period enjoyed in Poland. 

The unfilled fields and emiity dwellings of the 
expatriated Bohemians awakened no doubts in the 
king's mind as to the expediency of the course he 
was pm-suing. Instead of pausing, there came a 
third edict from Ferdinand, commanding the arrest 
and imprisonment of the pastors. All except three 
saved themselves by a speedy flight. The greater 
part escaped to Moravia ; but many remained near 
the frontier, lying liid in woods and caves, and 
venturing forth at night to visit their former flocks 
and to dispense the Sacrament in private houses, 
and so to keep the sacred flame from going out in 

The three ministers who failed to make their 
escape were John Augusta, James Bilke, and George 
Israel, all men of note. Augusta had learned his 
theology at the feet of Luther. Courageous and 
eloquent, he was the terror of the Calixtines, whom 
he had often vanquished in debate, and "they 
rejoiced," says Comenius, " when they learned his 
arrest, as the Philistines did when Samson was 
delivered bound into their hands." He and liis 
colleague Bilke were thrown into a deep dungeon 
in the Castle of Prague, and, being accused of con- 
spiring to depose Ferdinand, and place John, Elector 
of Saxony, on the throne of Bohemia, they were put 
to the torture, but without eliciting anything which 
their pei-secutors could constnie into treason. 
Seventeen solitary and son-owful years passc<l 
over them in prison. Nor was it till the death of 
Ferdinand, in l.'iGI, 0])cned their prison doors 
that they were restored to liberty. George Israel, 
by a marvellous providence, escaped from the 
dungeon of the castle, and fleeing into Prussia, he 
afterwards preached with great success the Gospel 
in Poland, where he established not fewer than 
twenty churches.' 

Many of the noliles shared with the ministers in 
these .sufierings. John Prostiboi-sky, a man of great 
learning, beautiful life, and heroic spirit, was put to 
a cruel death. On the rack he bit out his tongue 
and cast it at his tormentors, that he might not, as 
lie afterwards declared in writing, be led by the 
torture falsely to accuse either himself or his 
brethren. He cited the king and his councillors 
to answer for their tjTanny at the tribunal of God. 
Ferdinand, desirous if possible to save his life, sent 

him a physician; but he sank under his tortures, 
and died in ])rison.- 

Finding that, in spite of the banishment of 
pastors, and the execution of nobles. Protestantism 
was still extending, Ferdinand called the Jesuits to 
his aid. The fii'st to arrive was Wenzel Sturm, 
who had been trained by Ignatius Loyola him.self. 
Sturm was learned, coui-teous, adroit, and soon made 
himself popidar in Prague, where he laboured, with 
a success equal to his zeal, to revive the decaying 
cause of Rome. He was soon joined by a yet more 
celebrated meml)er of the order, Oanisius, and a 
large and sumptuous edifice having been assigned 
them as a college, they began to train priests who 
might be able to take their place in the pulpit as 
well as at the altar; "for at that time," says 
Pessina, a Romish writer, "there were so few ortho- 
dox priests that, had it not been for the Jesuits, 
the Catholic religion would have been suppressed in 
Bohemia."'' The Jesuits gi-ew powerful in Prague. 
They eschewed public disputations; they afiected 
gi'^at zeal for the instruction of youth in the 
sciencas ; and their fame for learning drew a-owds 
of jjupils around them. When they had filled all 
their existing schools, they erected others ; and 
thus their seminaries rapidly multiplied, " so that 
the Catholic verity," in the words of the author last 
quoted, " which in Bohemia was on the point of 
Ijreathing its last, appeared to revive again, and 
rise publicly." 

Toward the close of his reign, Ferdinand became 
somewhat zealous in the cause of Rome. 
Having succeeded to the imperial crown on the 
abdication of his brother, Charles V., he had wider 
intei-ests to care for, and less time, as well as less 
inclination, to concentrate his attention on Bohemia. 
It is even said that before his death lie expressed his 
sincere regret for his acts of oppi-ession against his 
Bohemian subjects ; and to do the monarch justice, 
these severities were the outcome, not of a natu- 
rally cruel disposition, but rather of his Spanish 
education, which had been conducted under the 
superintendence of the stern Cardinal Ximenes.'' 

Under his son and successor, Maximilian II., the 
sword of persecution was sheathed. This prince had 
for his in.structor John Fauser, a man of decided 
piety, and a lover of the Pi-otestant doctrine, the 
pi-inciples of which he took care to instil into the 
mind of his royal pupil. For this Fauser had neariy 
paid the penalty of his life. One day Ferdinand, 
in n fit of rage, burst into his chamber, and seizing 

' ComeniuB, cap. 36. 

' Oomenius, cap. 37. 

a Reform, and Anli-Rc/orni. in Bohew., vol. i 

■• Krasinski, Slamnin, p. 145. 



liim by the throat, and ]5utting a drawn sword to 
liis breast, upbraided Lim for seducing his son from 
the true faitli. Tlio king forbore, however, from 
murdering him, and was content witli command- 
ing his sou no further to receive his instructions. 
Maximilian was equally fortmiate in his physician, 
Crato. He also loved the Gospel, and, enjoying the 
friendship of the monarch, he was able at times 

great distress of mind, put his hand to the hostile 
mandate. " But," says the old chronicler, " God 
had a watchful eye over his own, and would not 
permit so good and innocent a prince to have 
a hand in blood, or be burdened with the cries of 
the oppressed."' Joachim, o\erjoyed, set out on 
his journey homeward, the fatal missives that 
were to lay waste the Bohemian Church carefully 

to do service to 
the " Brethren." 
Under this gentle 
and upright prince 
the Bohemian Pro- 
testants were ac- 
corded full liberty, 
and their Churches 

The historian 
Thaunus relates a 
Kiriking incident that occurred in the third year 
i)f his reign. The enemies of the Bohemians, 
having concocted a new plot, sent the Chancellor 
>>f Bohemia, . Joachim Neuhaus, to Vienna, to 
jiersuade tin? emperor to renew the old edicts 
against the Protestants. The ai-tful insinuations 
of the chancellor prevailed over the easy temper 
of the monarch, and Maximilian, although -mth 

deposited in his chest. He was crossing the bridge 
of the Danube when the oxen broke loose from 
his carriage, and the bridge breaking at the same 
instant, the chancellor and his suite were precipi- 
tated into tlie river. Six knights struck out and 
swam ashore ; the rest of the attendants were 
drowned. The chancellor was seized hold of by 
his gold chain as he was floating on the current 
of the Danube, and was kept partially above water 
till some fishermen, who were near the scene of the 
accident, had time to come to the rescue. He was 
drawn from the water into their boat, but found 
to be dead. Tlie box containing the letters patent 
sank in the deep floods of the Danube, and was 
never seen more — nor, indeed, \\as it ever sought 
for. Thaunus says that this catastrophe happened 
on the fourth of the Ides of December, 1565. 

Comenius, cap. 39, pp. 126, 127. 



111 Maximilian's reign, a measure was passed 
tli:it helped to consolidate the Pi'otestantism of 
Lolicmia. In 1575, tlie king assembled a Par- 
liament at Prague, which enacted that all the 
Churches in the kingdom which received the 
Sacrament under both kinds — that is, the Utra- 
quists or Calixtines, the Bohemian Brethren, the 
Lutherans, and the Calvinists or Picardines — were 
at liberty to drav.' up a common Confession of their 

Entirely different in disposition and character 
was his son, the Emperor Rudolph II., by whom 
he was succeeded. Educated at the court of his 
cousin Philip II., Rudolph brought back to his 
native dominions the gloomy superstitions and the 
tyramiical maxims that prevailed in the Escorial. 
Nevertheless, the Bohemian Churches were left 
ill peace. Their sleepless foes were ever and anon 
intriguing to procure some new and hostUe edict 

faith, and unite into one Church. In spite of the 
eftbrts of the Jesuits, the leading pastors of the four 
communions consulted together and, animated by 
a spu'it of moderation and wisdom, they compiled 
a common creed, in the Bohemian language, 
which, although never rendered into Latin, iior 
jirinted till 1G19, and therefore not to be found 
in the "Harmony of Confessions," was ratified l)y 
the king, who promised his protection to the 
subscribers. Had this Confession been universally 
signed, it would have been a bulwark of strength 
to the Bohemian Protestants.' 

Tiie reign of the Emperor Maximilian came all 
too soon to an end. lie died in 157G, leaving a 
name dear to the Protestants and venerated by all 

' Comenius, cap. 39. Reform, and Anti-Re/oim. in 
Iiohem., vol. i., pp. 105, 107. 

from the king; but 
Rudolpli was too 
much engrossed in 
tlie study of astro- 
logy and alchemy 
to pursue steadily 
any one line of 
policy, and so these 
edicts slept. His 
brother Matthias -Z" 

was threatening 

liis throne; this made it necessary to conciliate 
all cla.sscs of his subjects ; hence originated the 
famous Majestiits-Brief, one object of which was 
to empower the Protestants in Bohemia to open 
churches and schools wliorever they pleased. This 
" Royal Charter," moreover, made over to them * 

- Krasinsld, Slavonia, pp. 115. 1 16. 



tlie University of Prngup, and permitted them to 
appoint a piililic administrator of their affairs. It 
was in vii-tue of this last very important conces- 

sion that the Protestant Church of Bohemia now 
attained more nearly than ever, before or since, to 
a perfect union and a settled government. 



Protestantism Flourishes— Constitution of Bohemian Church — Its Government— Concord between Eomanists and 
Protestants— Temple of Janus Shut— Joy of Bohemia — Matthias Emperor — Election of Ferdinand II. as King of 
Bohemia — Reaction — Intrigues and Insults — Council-chamber — Three Councillors Thrown out at the Window 
—Ferdinand II. elected Emperor— "War— Battle of the White Hill — Defeat of the Protestants — Atrocities — 
Amnesty — Apprehension of Nobles and Senators — Their Frightful Sentences — Their Behaviour on the Scaffold — 
Their Deaths. 

The Protestant Church of Bohemia, now in her 
most flourishing condition, deserves some attention. 
That Church was composed of the three follo'vving 
bodies : the Calixtines, the United Brethren, and 
the Protestants — that is, the Lutheran and Calvinist 
communions. These three formed one Church under 
the Bohemian Confession — to which reference has 
lieen made in the pre\-ious chapter. A Consistory, 
or Table of Government, was constituted, consisting 
of twelve ministers chosen in the follo\ving manner : 
three were selected from the Calixtines, three from 
the United Brethren, and three from the Lutheran 
and Calvinistic communions, to whom were added 
three professors from the univei-sity. These twelve 
men were to manage the affairs of their Chui'ch in 
all Bohemia. The Consistory thus constituted was 
entirely independent of the archiepiseopal chair in 
Prague. It was even provided in the Royal 
Charter that the Consistory should " du-ect, con- 
stitute, or reform anything among their Churches 
without hindrance or interference of his Imperial 
Majesty." In case they were imable to determine 
any matter among themselves, they were at liberty 
to advise with his Llajesty's councillors of state, and 
with the judges, or with the Diet, the Protestant 
members of which were exclusively to have the 
power of deliberating on and determining the 
matter so referred, " without hindrance, either 
from their Majesties the future Kings of Bohemia, 
or the party sub una " — that is, the Romanist 
members of the Diet.' 

From among these twelve ministers, one was to 
be chosen to fill the office of administrator. He 
was chief in the Consistory, and the rest sat with 
him as assessors. The duty of this body was to 

determine in all matters appertaining to the doctrine 
and wor.slup of the Church — the dispensation of 
Sacraments, the ordination of ministers, the inspec- 
tion of the clergy, the admiiristration of discipline, 
to which was added the care of widows and orphans. 
There was, moreover, a body of laymen, termed 
Defenders, who wei'e charged with the financial 
and secular affairs of the Church. 

Still further to sti'engthen the Protestant Church 
of Bohemia, and to secure the peace of the king- 
dom, a treaty was concluded between the Romanists 
and Protestants, in which these two parties bound 
themselves to mutual concord, and agreed to certain 
rides which wei'e to regulate their relations to one 
another as regarded the possession of churches, the 
right of burial in the public cemeteries, and similar 
matters. This agi-eement was entered upon the 
registers of the kingdom ; it was sworn to by the 
Emperor Rudolph and his councillors ; it was laid 
up among the other solemn charters of the nation, 
and a protest taken that if hereafter any one should 
attempt to disturb this arrangement, or abridge the 
liberty conceded in it, he shoidd lie held to be a 
disturber of the peace of the kingdom, and punished 

Thus did the whole nation unite in closing the 
doors of the Temple of Janus, in token that now 
there was peace throughout the whole realm of 
Bohemia. Another most significant and fitting act 
signalised this happy time. The Bethlehem Chapel 
— the scene of the ministry of John Huss — the 
spot where that day had dawned which seemed now 
to have reached its noon — was handed over to the 
Protestants as a jmblic recognition that they were 

' P.eform. and Anii-Rcform. in Bohem., vol. i., p. 187. 

- Comenius, cap. 40. Bcfoni 
Bohem., vol. i., p. VJ"> et seq. 

\,rl Anii-Rr/orm. in 



the true otispoi-Lng of the gi-eat Pioformor and mai-tjr. 
Bohemia loiiy be said to be now Protestant. 
'■ Religion flourished throughout the whole king- 
dom," says Comenius, '• so that there was scarcely 
one among a hundred who did not profess the 
Reformed doctrine." The land was glad ; and 
the people's joy found vent in such unsophisticated 
couplets as the following, which might Ije read 
upon the doors of tlie churches : — 

" Oped are the temples ; joys Bohemia's lion : 
What Max protected, Kudolph does maintain." ' j.. 

But even in the hour of triumph there were 
some who felt anxiety for the future. They 
already saw ominous symptoms that the tranquillity 
would not be lasting. The great security which 
the Church now enjoyed had brought with it a 
relaxation of morals, and a decay of piety. "Alas !" 
said the more thoughtful, " we shall yet feel the 
mailed hand of some Ferdinand." It was a true 
presage ; the little cloud was even now appearing 
on the homou that was I'apidly to Idacken into the 

The Archduke Matthias renewed his claims upon 
the crown of Bohemia, and supporting them by 
arms, he ultimately deposed his brother Rudolph, 
and seated himself upon his throne. Matthias 
was old and had no son, and he bethought 
him of adopting his cousin Ferdinand, Duke oi 
Styria, who had been educated in a bigoted attach- 
ment to the Roman faith. Him Matthias persuaded 
the Bohemians to crown as their king. They knew 
something of the man whom they were calling to 
reign over them, but they relied on the feeble 
security of his promise not to interfere in religious 
matters while INIatthias lived. It soon became 
apparent that Ferdinand had sworn to the Bohe- 
mians with the mouth, and to the Pope with the 
heart. Their old enemies no longer hung their 
heads, but began to walk about with front erect, 
and eyes that presaged victory. The principal 
measures brought to bear against the Protestants 
were the work of the college of the Jesiuts and 
the cathedral. The partisans of Ferdinand oj)enly 
declared that the Royal Charter, having been 
extorted from the monarch, was null and void ; 
that although Matthias was too weak to tear in 
pieces that rag of old parchment, the j>ious 
Ferdinand would make short work with this 
bond. By little and little the persecution wa.s 
initiated. The Protestants were forbidden to 
jirint a single line except with the approbation 
of the chancellor, while their opponents were 

' Comenius, cap. 40, pp. 131 — 136. 

circulating without let or hindiance, lar and 
near, pamphlets filled with the most slanderous 
accusations. The pastors were asked to produce 
the original titles of the churches in their j)os- 
session ; in short, the device painted upon the 
triumphal arch, which the Jesuits had erected at 
Olmutz in honour of Ferdinand — namely, the Bo- 
hemian lion and the Moravian eagle chained to 
Austria, and underneath a sleeping hare with 
open eyes, and the words "I am used to it"- — 
expressed the consummate craft with which the 
■T suits had worked, and the criminal drowsuiess 
into which the Bohemians had permitted them- 
selves to fall.^ 

No method was left unattempted against the 
Protestants. It was sought by secret intrigue 
to invade their rights, and by open injury to 
sting them into insurrection. At last, in 1618, 
they rushed to arms. A few of the principal 
barons having met to consult on the steps to be 
taken in this crisis of their aflaiis, a sudden man- 
date arrived forbiddmg their meeting under pain 
of death. This flagrant violation of the Royal 
Charter, following on tlie destruction of several of 
then- churches, irritated the Reformed party beyond 
endurance. Their anger was still more inflamed by 
the reflection that these bolts came not fi'om Vienna, 
but from the Castle of Prague, where they had 
been forged by the jmito whose head-quartera were 
at the Hardschin. Assembling an armed force 
the Protestants crossed the Moldau, climbed the 
narrow street, and presented themselves before the 
Palace of Hardschin, that crowns the height on 
which New Prague is built. They marched right 
into the council-chamber, and seizing on Slarata, 
Martiuitz, and Secretary Fabricius, whom» they 
believed to be the chief authoi-s of their troubles, 
they threw them headlong out of the window. 
Falling on a heap of soft earth, sprinkled over with 
torn papers, the councilloi-s sustained no harm. 
" They have been saved by mu-acle," said their 
friends. " No," replied the Protestants, " they 
have been spared to be a scoiu'ge to Bohemia." This 
deed was followed by one less violent, but more 
w isi; — the expulsion of the Jesuits, who were for- 
bidden under pain of death to return.^ 

The issue was war ; but the death of Matthia.s, 
which happened at this moment, delayed for a little 
whde its outbreak. The Bohemian States met to 

- "Adsuevi." (Comenius.) 

3 Comenius, cap. 42. Krasinski, Shivonia, p. 14G. 

■■ Balbin assures us that some Jesuits, despite the 
order to withdraw, remained in Pra^me disguised as coal- 
fire men. (Reform, anil Anti-Reform, in Bohem., vol. i., 
p. 336.) 



deliberate whether they sliouIJ contmue to owii 
Ferdinand after Lis flagrant violation of the 
Jlajestiits-Brief They voted him no longer their 
sovereign. The imperial electors were then sitting 
at Fmukfort on thc-Maine to choose a new emperor. 
The tloliemiiins sent an amba.ssador thither to sny 
that they had deposed Ferdinand, and to beg the 
electors not to recognise him as King of Bohemia 
by admitting him to a seat in the electoral college. 
Not only did the electors admit Ferdinand as still 
sovereign of Bohemia, but they conferred upon him i 
the vacant diadem. The Bohemians saw that the ', 
were in an evil case. The bigoted Ferdinavia, 
whom they had made more then- enemy than ever 
by repudiating him as theii- king, was now the head 
of the " Holy Roman Empii-e." 

The Bohemians had gone too far to retreat. 
They could not prevent the electors conferring the 
imperial diadem upon Ferdinand, bxit they wei-e 
resolved that he should never wear the crown of 
Bohemia. They chose Frederick, Electoi'-Palatine, 
as their sovereign. He was a Calvinist, son-in-law 
of James I. of England : and five days after his 
arrival in Prague, he and his consort were cro\vned 
with very gi-eat pomp, and took possession of the 

Scarcely had the bells ceased to ring, and the 
cannon to thunder, by which the coronation was 
celebrated, when the nation and the new monarch 
were called to look in the face the awful struggle 
they had invited. Ferdinand, raising a mighty army, 
was already on his march to chastise Bohemia. On 
the road to Prague he took several towns inhabited 
by Protestants, and put the citizens to the sword. 
Advancing to the capital he encamped on the 
White Hill, and there a decisive battle was fought 
on the 8th of November, 1620.' The Protestant 
army was completelj^ beaten ; the king, whom 
the unwelcome tidings inteiTupted at his dinner, 
lied ; and Bohemia, Moravia, and Silesia lay 
prostrated at the feet of the conqueror. The 
generals of Ferdinand entered Prague, " the 
conqueror promising to keep articles," says the 
chronicler, " but aftei'wards performing them ac- 
cording to the manner of the Council at Constance." 

The ravages committed by the soldiery were 
most frightful. Bohemia, Moravia, and Silesia 
were devastated. Villages were set on fii-e, cities 
were pillaged, churches, schools, and dwellings 
pulled down ; the inhabitants were slaughtered, 
matrons and maidens violated ; neither the cliild in 
its cradle nor the corpse in its grave was spared. 
Prague was given as a spoil, and the soldiers boasted 

' Comenius, cap. 41, p. 15-i. 

that they had gathered some millions from the 
Protestants ; nor, large as the sum Ls, is it an 
unlikely one, seeing that all the valuables in the 
countrj' had been collected for security into the 

But by far the most melancholy result of this 
battle was the overthrow, as sudden as it was 
complete, of the Protestantism of Bohemia. The 
position of the two parties was after this com- 
pletely reversed; the Romanists were now the 
masters ; aud the decree went forth to blot out 
utterly Protestant Bohemia. Not by the sword, 
the halter, and the wheel in the first instance. The 
Jesuits were recalled, and the work was committed 
to them, and so skilfully did they conduct it that 
Bohemia, which had been almost entirely Protestant 
when Ferdinand II. ascended the throne, was at 
the close of his reign almost as entirely Popish. No 
nation, perhaps, ever ruiderwent so great a change 
in the short term of fifteen years as Bohemia. 

Instead of settmg up the scaffold at once, the 
conquerors published an amnesty to all who should 
lay down theii- arms. The proclamation was as 
welcome as it was unexpected, and many were 
caught who otherwise would have saved theii- lives 
by flight. Some came out of their hiding-places in 
the neighbourhood, and some returned from distant 
countries. For three months the talk was only of 
peace. It was the sweet piping of the fowler till 
the birds were snai-ed. At length came the doleful 
20th of February, 1621. 

On that evening fifty chiefs of the Bohemian 
nation were seized and thrown into prison. The 
capture was made at the supper-hour. The time 
was chosen as the likeliest for finding every one at 
home. The city captains entered the house, a 
wagon waited at the door, and the prisoners were 
ordered to enter it, and were driven off to the 
Tower of Prague, or the prisons of the magistrate. 
The thing was done stealthily and smftly ; the 
silence of the night was not broken, and Prague 
knew not the blow that had fallen upon it. 

The men now swept off to prison were the 
jjersons of deepest jiiety and highest intelligence in 
the land. In short, they were the flower of the 
Bohemian nation." They had passed their youth 
in the study of useful ai-ts, or in the practice of 
arms, or in foreign travel. Their manliood had 
been devoted to the service of their country. They 
had been councillors of state, ambassadors, judges, 
or professors in the university. It was the wisdom, 
the experience, and the corn-age which they had 
brought to the defence of their nation's liberty, and 

s "Lumina et columina patris." (Comenius, cap. 59.) 



tlie promotion of its Reformation, es^)ec•iulIy in tlie 
recent times of trouble, which hud drawn upon 
them the displeasure of the emperor. The majority 
were nobles and barons, and all of them were 
venerable by age. 

On the day after the transaction we have recorded, 
■wiits were issued summoning all now absent from 
the kingdom to appear- within six weeks. When 
the period expired they were again summoned by a 
herald, but no one appearing, they were proclaimed 
traitors, and theii- heads were declared forfeit to 
the law, and their estates to the king. Their 
execution was gone through in their absence by 
the nailing of theii' names to the gallows. On the 
day following sentence was passed on the heirs of 
all who had fallen in the insurrection, and theii' 
properties passed over to the royal exchequer.' 

In prison the patriots were strenuously urged to 
beg pardon and sue for life. But, conscious of no 
crime, they refused to compromise the glory of 
their cause by doing anything that might be con- 
strued into a confession of guilt. Despairing of 
tlieir submission, theii- enemies proceeded with their 
trial in May. Count Schlik, while undergoing his 
e.Kamination, became wearied out with the impor- 
tunities of his judges and inquisitors, who tried to 
make him confess what had never existed. Ho 
tore open his vest, and laymg bare his breast, 
exclaimed, " Tear this body in pieces, and examine 
my heart ; nothing shall you find but what wc 
have already declared in our Apology. The love of 
liberty and religion alone constrained lis to draw 
the sword ; but seeing God has permitted the 
emperor's sword to conquer, and has delivered us 
into your hands, His will be done." Budowa and 
Otto Losz, two of his co-patriots, expressed them- 
selves to the same efl'ect, adding, " Defeat has made 
our cause none the worse, and victory has made 
yours none the better." - 

On Saturday, the 1 9th of June, the judges assem- 
bled in the Palace of Hardschm, and the piisoners, 
brought before them one by one, heard each his 
sentence. The majority were doomed to die, some 
were consigned to ))erpetual imp-isonment, and 
otlici-s were sent into exile. Ferdinand, that he 
might have an opportunity of appearing more cle- 
ment and gracious than liis judges, ordered the 
sentences to be sent to Vienna, where some of them 
were mitigated in tlieir details by the roj-al )ien. 
We take an instance : Joachim Andreas Schlik, 
whose courageous reply to his examiners wc have 

' Comenius, pp. 209—211. Refomi. and Anti-Reform, in 
Bohem., pp. 287—290. 
- Comoniiis, pp. 211, 212. 

ali-eady quoted, was to have had his hand cut ofl", 
then to have been beheaded and quartered, and his 
limbs exjjosed on a stake at a cross-road ; but this 
sentence was changed by Ferdinand to beheading, 
and the affixing of his head and hand to the tower 
of the Bridge of Prague. The sentences of nearly 
all the rest were similarly dealt with ]>y the merciful 

The condemned were told that they were to die 
witliin two days, that is, on the 21st of June. This 
intimation was made to them that they might have 
a Jesuit, or a Capuchin, or a clergyman of the 
Augsburg Confession, to prepare them for death. 
They were now led back to prison : the noblemen 
were conducted to the Castle of Prague, and the 
citizens to the prisons of the pra;tor. Some "fellows 
of the baser sort," suborned for the purpose, in- 
sulted them as they were being led through the 
streets, crying out, " Why don't you now sing, 
'The Lord reigneth"!" The ninety-ninth Psalm 
was a favourite ode of the Bohemians, wherewith 
they had been wont to kindle their devotion in 
the sanctuary, and their courage on the battle- 

Scarcely had they re-entered theii- prisons when 
a flock' of Jesuits and Capuchin monks, not waiting 
till they were called, gathered round them, and 
began to earnestly beseech them to change theii- 
religion, holding out the hope that even yet theii- 
Hves might be spared. Not wishing that hours so 
precious as the few that now remained to them 
should be wasted, they gave the intruders plainly 
to imderstand that they were but losing their 
pains, whereupon the good Fathers withdrew, loudly 
bewailing their ob.stinacy, and calling heaven and 
earth to witness that they were guiltless of the 
blood of men who had put away fi-oni them the 
gi-ace of God. 

The Protestant ministers were next introduced. 
The barons and nobles in the tower were attended 
by the minister of St. Nicholas, Rosacius by name. 
The citizens in the prisons of Old Prague were 
waited on by Werbenius and Jakessius, and tliose 
in New Prague by Clement and Hertwiz. The 
whole time till the hour of execution was sjient in 
religious e.xercises, in sweet converse, in earnest 
prayers, and in the siuguig of psalms. " Lastly," 
says the chronicler of the persecutions of the 
Bohemian Church, "they did prepare the holy 
martyi-s by the administration of the Lord's Supper 
for the future agony." 

On the evening of Sunday, as the ])risouers shut 
up in Old Prague were conversing with their pastor 

3 " Ut muscic atlvolabunt." (Comeuiua.) 



Werbenius, the cliief gaoler entered and announced 
the hour of supper. Tliey looked at each other, 
and all declared that they desired to eat no more 
on earth. Nevertheless, that their bodies might 
not be faint when they should be led oiit to exeoxi- 
tion, they agi-eed to sit down at table and partake 
of something. One laid the cloth, another the 
plates, a third brought water to wash, a fourth said 
grace, and a fifth observed that this was their last 
meal on earth, and tliat to-morrow they should sit 

fellow-martyrs : " Yea, for thy sake we arc killed 
all the day long ; . . . Rise, Lord, cast us not off 
for ever." A great crowd, struck with consternation 
at seeing their greatest and most venerated men 
led to death, followed them with sighs and tears. 

This night was spent as the preceding ono had 
been, in prayers and psalms. They exhorted one 
another to be of good courage, saying that as the 
glory of going first in the path of martyrdom 
had been awarded them, it behoved them to leave 


down and sup with Christ in heaven. The remark 
was overheard by the Prefect of Old Prague. On 
going out to his friends he observed jeeringly, 
"What think ye? These men believe that Christ 
keeps cooks to regale them in heaven ! " On these 
words being told to Jakessius, the minister, he 
replied that " Jesus too had a troublesome spectator 
at his last supper, Judas Iscariot." 

Meanwhile they were told the barons and 
noblemen wore passing from the tower to the court- 
house, near to the market-place, where the scaffold 
on which they were to die had already been erected. 
They hastene<l to the windows, and began to sing 
in a loud voice the forty-fourth Psalm- to cheer theii- 

an example of constancy to their posterity, and of 
courage to the world, by showing it that they did 
not fear to die. They then joined in singing tlie 
eighty-sixth Psalm. When it was ended, John 
Kutnauer turned the last stanza into a prayei-, 
earnestly beseeching God that he would " show 
some token which might at once strengthen them 
and convince their enemies." Then turning to his 
companions, and spe.aking to them with great 
fervour of spirit, he said, " Be of good cheer, for 
God liath heard us even in this, and to-morrow he 
will bear witness by some visible .sign that we 
are the martyrs of righteousness." But Pastor 
Werbenius, when he heard this jirotestation, bade 





them be content to have as sufficient token from 
God, even this, " that that death whicli was bitter 
to the world he made sweet to tliem." . 

When the day liad broken tlicy Wi\slied and 
changed their clothes, j)utting on clean apparel as 
if they were going to a wedding, and so fitting their 
doublets, and even then- frills, that they might not 
iie<'d to re-arrange theu* dress on the scafibld. All 
tJie while John Kntnaiicr was praying fer\'ently 
that some token might be voiiclisafed them as a 
testimony of their innocence. In a little the sun 
rose, and the broad stream of the Moldau, as it 
rolled between the two Pragucs, and the roofs and 
steeples on either side, began to glow in the light. 
But soon all eyes were turned up^^ai'ds. A bow of 
dazzling brilliance was seen spanning the heavens.' 
There was not a cloud in the sky, no rain liad 
fallen for two days, yet tliere was this bow of mar- 
ToUoas brightness hung in the clear aii-. Tlie 
soldiers and townspeople rushed into the street to 
gaze at the strange phenomenon. The martyrs, 
who beheld it from their windows, called to mind 
the bow which greeted the eyes of Noah when he 
camo forth from the Ark. It was the ancient token 
of a faithfulness more steadfast than the pillars of 
eaxth;' and their feelings in witnessing it were 
doubtless akin to those -with which the second great 
father of the human family beheld it for the first 
time in the young skies of the post-dilu-vian world. 

The bow soon ceased to be seen, and the loud 
discliarge of a caimon told them that the hour of 
execution had arrived. The martj'rs arose, and 
embracmg, they bade each other be of good 
dieer, as did also the muiisters present, who 
exhorted them not to faint now when about to 
receive the cro^vn. The .scaffold had been erected 
Lard by in the great square or market-place, and 
several squadrons of caviilry and some companies of 
foot wei'e now seen tiiking up their position ai'ound 
it. The imperial judges and senatoi's next came 
forward and took their seats on a theatre, whence 
they could command a full view of the scaffold. 
XJndci' a canoj)y of state Lichtcnstein, the 
Governor of Prague. " Vast numbers of spec- 
tators," says Oomcnius, "crowded the market-place, 
tlie streets, and all the ho\ises." 

The martjTS were called to go forth and die one 
after the other. When one had offered his life the 

' "Nuntiatur formosiasiinus caelum cinxisse arcus." 
' Comeniue, pp. 223, 22-1. 

city officei's r'etunied and summoned the next. As 
if called to a banquet they rose with alacrity, and 
with faces on which shone a serene cheerfulness 
they walked to the bloody stage. All of them sub- 
mitted with undaunted courage to the stroke of the 
headsman. Rosacius, who was with them all the 
while, noted down their words, and ho tells us that 
when one was called to go to the scaffold he would 
addi-ess the rest as follows : " Most beloved friends, 
farewell. God give you the comfort of his Spuit, 
patience, and courage, that what before you con- 
fessed with the heart, the mouth, and the hand, you 
may now seal by your glorious death. Behold I go 
before you, that I may see the glory of my Lord 
Jesus Christ ! You ^\'ill follow, that we may to- 
gether behold the face of om- Father. This 
hour ends our sorrow, and begins our everlasting 
joy." To whom those who remained behind would 
make answer and say, " May God, to whom you 
go, prosper your joui-ney, and gi-ant you a happy 
passage from this vale of miseiy into the heavenly 
countiy. May the Lord Jesus send his angels to 
meet thee. Go, brother, before us to our Father's 
house.; we follow thee. Presently we .shall re- 
assemble in that heavenly glory of which we 
are confident throiigh him in whom we have be- 

The beaming faces and meek yet courageous 
utterances of these men on the scaffold, exhibited 
to the spectators a more certain token of the good- 
ness of their cause than the bow which had 
atti'acted their wondering gaze in the morning. 
Many of the senators, as well as the soldiere who 
guarded the execution, were moved to tears ; nor 
could the crowd have withheld the same tribute, 
had not the incessant beating of dnims, and the 
loud blaruig of trumpets, drowned the words spoken 
on the scaflbld. 

But these words were noted down by theii- pas- 
tors, who accompanied them to the block, and as 
the heroism of the scaffold is a spectacle more 
sublime, and one that will better repay an attentive 
study, than the heroism of the Ijattle-fiold, we shall 
permit these martyr-patriots to pass before ns one 
by one. The clamour that di'owned their dying 
words has long since been hushed ; and the voices 
of the scaffold of Pi-ague, rising clear and loud 
above the momentary noise, have travelled down 
the years to us. 

' Comenius, p. 225. 





Count Schlik — His Cruel Sentence — The B:u-oii of Biulowa — His Last Hours — Ar^es with the Jesuits — His Execu- 
tion — Christopher Harant— His Travels— His Death— Baron Kaplirz — His Dream — Attires himself for the 
Scaffold— Procopius Dworschezky— His Martyrdom— Otto Losz — His Sleep and Execution— Dionysius Czernin 
—His Behaviour on the Scaffold— Kochan—Steffek—Jessenius— His Learning — His Interview with the Jesuits- 
Cruel Death— Kliobr — Schulz— Kutnauer— His gi'eat Courage- His Death— Talents and Eank of these Martyi-s 
—Their Execution the Obsequies of their Country. 

Joachim Andreas Schlik, Count of Passau, and 
cliief justice under Frederick, comes first in the 
glorious host that is to march past us. He was 
descended of an ancient and ilhistrious family. A 
man of magnanimous spii-it, and excellent piety, 
lie united an admirable modesty with gi-eat business 
capacity. When he heard his sentence, giving his 
body to be quartered, and his limbs to be exposed 
at a cross-road, he said, " The loss of a sepulchre is 
a small nuUter." On hearing the gun in the morn- 
ing fired to announce the executions, " This," said 
lie, " is the signal ; let me go first." He walked 
to the soafibld, dressed in a robe of black silk, 
lioldijig a prayer-book in liis hands, and attended 
l>y four German clergymen.' He mounted the 
scaffold, and then marking the gi'eat brightness of 
the sun, he broke out, " Christ, thou Sim of 
righteousness, grant that through the darkness 
of death I may pass into the eternal light." He 
[laced to and fro a little while upon the scaffold, 
o^-idently meditating, but with a serene and dig- 
nified countenance, so that the judges could scarce 
icfrain from weeping. Having prayed, his page 
.'issisted him to undress, and then he kneeled down 
on a black cloth laid there for the purpose, and 
which was removed after each execution, that the 
next to die might not see the blood of the victim 
who had preceded him. While engaged in sUent 
pniyor, the executioner struck, and the head of 
Bohemia's gi-eatest son i-olled on the scaffold. His 
right hand was then stnick off and, together with 
his head, wa-s fixed on a spear, and set up on the 
tower of the Bridge of Prague. His body, un- 
touched by the executioner, was wraiiped in a cloth, 
and carried from the scaffold by four men in black 

.Scarcely inferior in weight of character, and 
superior in the variety of his mental acconiiilish- 
ments to Count Schlik, was the second who was 
called to die— Wenceslaus, Baron of Budowiu He 

' The Reformation and Anti-Reforn 
vol. i., p. 401. 

niton til Bohemia, 

was a nuan of incomparable talents and great learn- 
ing, which he had further improved by travelling 
through all the kingdoms of Western and Southern 
Em-ope. He had filled the highest oflices of the 
State under several monarch.s. Protestant writers 
speak of him as " the glory of his countiy, and the 
bright shining star of the Church, and as rather 
the father than the lord of his dependents." T[\e 
Romanist historian, Pelzel, equally extols his up- 
rightness of character and his renown in learning. 
When urged in prison to beg the clemency of 
Ferdinand, he replied, " I will rather die than see 
the ruin of my country." When one told him that 
it was rumoured of him that he had died of grief, 
he exclaimed, " Died of grief ! I never experienced 
such happiness as now. See here," said he, point- 
ing to his Bible, " this is my paradise ; never did 
it regale me with such store of delicious fruits as 
now. Here I daily stray, eating the manna of 
heaven, and drinking the water of life." On the 
third day before receiving his sentence he dreamed 
that he was walking in a pleasant meadow, and 
musing on the issue that might be awaiting his 
affairs, when lo ! one came to him, and gave him a 
Ijook, which when he had opened, he found the 
leaves were of silk, white as snow, with nothing 
written upon them save the fifth verse of the 
thirty-seventh Psalm : " Commit thy way unto the 
Lord ; trust also in him ; and he shall bring it to 
pass." While he was poudeiing over these words 
there came yet another, carrying a white robe, 
which he cast over him. Wlien he awoke in the 
moniing he told his dream to his sen'ant. Some 
days after, when he moiuited the scaffold, " Now," 
said he, " I attire my.self in the white robe of my 
Savioiir's rigl i tcousness. " 

Early on the morning of his execution there 
came two Jesuits to him. who, complimenting him 
on his gi'cat learning, said that tlicy desired to do 
him a work of mercy by gaining his soul. 
" Would," he said, " you were as sure of your sal- 
vation as I am of mine, through the blood of the 
L;imb." "Good, my lord," .said they, ''but do not 



presume too much ; for doth not the Scripture say, 
' No man knoweth whetlicr he deserves gi-ace or 
■wrath' ? " " Where find you that wTitten ? " lie 
asked ; " ]iei"c is the Bible, show me the words." 
" If I be not deceived," said one of them, " in the 
Epistle of Paul to Timothy." "You would teach 
me the way of sah'ation," .said the baron somewhat 
angrily, " thou wlio knowest thy Bible .so ill. But 
that the lielievcr may be sxii'e of his salvation is 
proved by the words of St. Paul, ' I know whom I 
Lave believed,' and also, ' there is laid up for me a 
crown of lighteousness.' " " But," rejoined the 
Jesuit, " Paul saj's this of himself, not of othere." 
" Thou art mistaken," said Budowa, '■ for it 
continues, ' not for me only, but for all them who 
love his aj^eaiing.' Depart, and leave me iii 

He ascended the scaftbld with undaunttd look, 
and stroking his long white beard — for he was a 
man of seventy — he said, " Behold ! my gi'ey haii's, 
what honour awaits you ; this daj' you shall be 
crowned with martyrdom." After this he diiected 
Lis speech to God, praying for the Chiu-ch, for his 
country, for his enemies, and ha\'ing commended 
Lis soul to Christ he yielded his head to the e.xecu- 
tioner's swoi'd. That head was exposed by the 
side of that of his fellow patriot and martyi', 
Schlik, on the tower of the Bridge of Prague. 

The third who was called to ascend the scaffold 
was Christopher Harant, descended from the 
ancient and noble family of the Harauts of 
Pohdcz and Bezdruzicz. He had travelled in 
Europe, Asia, and Afiica, visiting Jerusalem and 
E^ypt, and publishing in his native tongue his 
travels in these various lands. He cultivated the 
sciences, wrote Greek and Latin verses, and had 
filled high office under several emperors. Neither 
his many accomplishments nor his great seiwices 
could redeem his life from the block. "VMien 
called to die he said, "I have travelled in many 
countries, and among many barbarous nations, I 
have undergone dangers manifold by land and sea, 
and now I sufl'er, though innocent, in my own 
country, and by the hands of those for whose good 
both my ancestors and myself have spent our 
fortunes and our lives. Father, forgive them." 
WLen he went forth, he prayed, " In thee, O Lord, 
have I i^ut my trust; lot me not be confounded." 
WLen he stejjped upon tLc scaffold Le lifted up Lis 
eyes, and said, " Into thy hands, O Lord, I com- 
mend my spirit." Taking off his doublet, he 
stepped upon the fatal cloth, and kneeling down, 
again prayed. The executioner from some c;iuse 
delaying to strike, he again broke out into sup- 
plication, " Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy 

upon me, and receive my spii-it." TLe sword now 
fell, and Lis prayer and life ended togetlier. ■ 

Tlie fourtli to offer up Lis life was Caspar, Baron 
Kaplirz of Sulowitz, a kniglit of eighty-six yeai-s of 
age. He had faithfully served four emperors. Before 
going to the scaffold he called for Rosacius, and said, 
"How often Lave I entreated that God would be 
pleased to take me out of this life, but instead of 
granting my, Le Las reserved me as a sacrifice 
for Limself Let God's will be done." " Yester- 
day," said Le, continuing his speech, " I was told 
tliat if I would petition PiLiice LicLtenstein for 
pardon mj' life would be spared. I never offended 
tlie jirince : I will desire pardon of Him against 
whom I have committed many sins. I have lived 
long enough. When I cannot distinguish the taste 
of meats, or relish tLe sweetness of drinks ; wLen 
it is tedious to sit long, and u-ksome to lie ; wLen I 
camiot walk imless I lean on a staff", or be assisted 
by otLers, what profit would such a life be to 
me 1 God forbid that I should be pulled from this 
holy company of martyi's." 

On the day of execution, when the minister who 
was to attend him to the scaflbld came to him, he 
said, " I laid this miserable body on a bed, but 
what sleep could so old a man have 1 Yet I did 
sleep, and saw two angels coming to me, who wiped 
my face with fine linen, and bade me make ready 
to go along with them. But I trust in my God 
that I have these raigels present with ■ me, not by 
a dream, but in truth, who minister to me while 
I live, and shall carry my soul from the scaflbld 
to the bosom of Abraham. For although I am 
a sinner, yet am I purged by the blood of my 
Redeemer, who was made a propitiation for our 

Having put on Lis usual attire, Le made a robe 
of tLe finest linen be tlu'own over him, covering 
his entire person. " Behold, I put on my wedding 
gai-ment," he said. Being called, he arose, put on 
a velvet cloak, bade adieu to all, and went forth 
at a slow pace by reason of liis great age. Fear- 
ing lest ill mounting the scaffold he should fall, 
and his enemies flout him, he craved permission 
of the minister to lean upon him when .ascending 
the steps. Being come to the fatal spot, he had 
much ado to kneel down, and his head hung so 
low that the executioner feared to do his office. 
" My lord," said Pastor Rosacius, " as you have 
commended your soul to Christ, do you now lift 
up yourself toward heaven." He raised himself 
up, saying, " Lord Jesus, into thy hands I com- 
mend my spirit." The executioner now gave his 

' Comenius, cap. 63. 



stroke, his grey head sank, and hLs body lay pros- 
trate on the scatibkl.' 

The fiftli to fall beneath the executioner's sword 
Wiis Procopius Dworschezky, of Olbraniowitz. On 
receiving his sentence he said, " If the emperor 
promises himself anything when my head is ofl', 
let it be so." Ou passing before tlie judges ho 
said, " Tell the emperor, as I now stand at his 
tribunal, the day comes when he shall stand before 
the juilgment-seat of God." He was procealing 
in his addi-ess, when the drums beat and drowned 
his words. When he had undressed for the exe- 
cutioner, he took out his purse containing a 
Hungarian ducat, and gave it to the minister 
who attended him, saying, " Behold my last riches ! 
these are unprofitable to me, I resign them to 
you.' A gold medal of Frederick's coronation, that 
hinig round his neck, he gave to a bystander, 
saying, " When my dear King Frederick shall sit 
again upon his throne, give it to him, and tell 
him that I wore it on my breast till the day of 
my death." He kneeled down, and the sword fall- 
ing as he was praying, his spiiit ascended with his 
last words to God." 

Otto Losz, Lord of Komarow, came next. A 
man of great parts, he had travelled much, and 
discharged many important offices. When he re- 
ceived liis sentence he said, " I have seen barbarous 
nations, but what cruelty is this ! Well, let them 
send one part of me to Rome, another to Spain, 
another to Turkey, and throw the fourth into the 
sea, yet will my Redeemer bring my body together, 
and cause me to see him with these ejes, praise him 
with this mouth, and love him with this heart." 
Wlien Rosacius entered to tell him that he wa.s 
called to the scaflbld, " he rose hastily out of his 
seat," says Comenius, " like one in an ecstacy, 
saying, ' O, how I rejoice to see you, that I may 
tell you what has happened to me ! As I sat here 
grieving that I had not one of my own communion 
[the United Brethren] to dispense the Eucharist to 
me, I fell asleep, and behold my Saviour appeared 
unto me, and said, ' I purify thee with my blood,' 
and then infused a drop of his blood into my 
heart ; at the feeling of this I awaked, and leaped 
for joy : now I uudei-stand what that is. Believe, 
(Did thou hast eaten. I fear death no longer." 

As he went ou his way to the scaffold, Rosacius 
said to him, " That Jesus who appeared to you in 
your sleep, will now appear to you in hLs glory." 
" Yes," replied the martyi-, " he will meet me 

' Comemus, cap. 64. TJie Reformation and Anti-Rcfur- 
mation in Bohernia, vol. i., pp. 41G, 417. 
' Comenius, c.ip. C3. 

with liLs angels, and conduct me into the banquet- 
ing-chamber of an everlastincj n-.arriage." Being 
come to the scaffold, he fell on hi.s face, and prayed 
in silence. Then rising up, he yielded himself to 
the executioner. 

He was followed on the scaflfold by Dionysius 
Czernin, of Chudonitz. This sufferer was a Ro- 
manist, but his counsels not ])lc;ising the Jesuits, 
he fell under the suspicion of heresy ; and it is 
probable that the Fathers were not sorry to see him 
condemned, for his death served as a pretext for 
aihrming that these executions were for politiwiJ, 
not religious causes. Wlicn the other prisoners 
were declaring their faith, Czernin protested that 
this was his faith also, and that in this faith did he 
die. When the othei-s received the Lord's Supper, 
he .stood by dissolved in tears, pra3ing most 
fervently. He was offered the Eucharistic cup; 
but smiting on his breast, and sighing deeply, he 
said, " I rest in that grace which hath come imto 
me." He was led to the scaflbld by a canon .and a 
Jesuit, but gave small heed to their exhortationa 
Declining the " kiss of peace," and turning his back 
upon the crucifix, he fell on his face, and prayetl 
softly. Then raising himself, and looking up into 
the heavens, he said, "They can kill the body, 
they camiot kill the soul ; that, O Lord Jesus, I 
commend to thee," and died. 

There followed other noblemen, whose behavioui- 
on the scaflbld was equally courageous, and whose 
dying words were equally im])ressive, but to record 
them all would unnecessai-Uy prolong our naiTation. 
We take a few examples from among the citizens 
whose blood was mingled with that of the nobles 
in defence of the religion and liberty of theii" native 
land. Valentine Kochan, a learned man, a Go- 
vernor of the Umvei-sity, and Secretary of Prague, 
protested, when Ferdinand II. was thrust upon 
them, that no king should be elected without the 
consent of Moravia and Silesia. This caused him 
to be marked out for vengeance. In his 
hours he bewailed the divisions that had prevailed 
among the Protestants of Bohemia, and which had 
opened a door for their calamities. " O ! " said he, 
" if all the States had employed more thought and 
diligence in maintaining union; if there had not 
been so much hatred ou both sides ; if one had 
not sought preference before another, and had not 
given way to mutual suspicions ; moreover, if tlie 
clergy and the laity had assisted each other witli 
counsel and action, in love, unitj-, and peace, we 
should never have been thus far misled."' On the 

•■' The Reformation and Anti- Reformation in Bohemia, 
vol. i., p. 423 



scaflfold he sang the last verse of the sixteenth 
Psalm : " Thou wilt show me the path of life ; in 
thy presence is fulness of joy, at thy i-iglit hand 
arc pleasiu-es for evenuore;" and then yielded his 
head to the exeoitioner. 

Tobias Steffek was a man of equal modesty and 
piety. He liad been chosen to fill impoi-tant tnists 
by his fellow-citizens. " Jlany a cup of blessing," 
said he, " have I received from the hand of the 
Lord, and shall I not accept this cup of affliction ? 
I am going by a narrow path to the heavenly king- 
dom." His time in prison was mostly passed in 
sighs and tears. Wlien called to go to the scafibld, 
he looked up with eyes suffused with weeinng, yet 
with the hope shining throngh his teai-s that the 
same stroke that should sever his head from his 
body wouLI wipe them away for ever. In this 
hope he died. 

John Jessenius, professor of medicine, and 
Chancellor of the University of Prague, was the 
next whose blood was spilt. He was famed for 
his medical skill all over Europe. He was the 
intimate friend of tlie illustrious Tycho Brahe, and 
Physician in OnUnaiy to two emperors — Rudolph 
ind Matthias. He it was, it is said, who intro- 
luced the study of anatomy into Prague. Being 
i, man of eloquent addi-ess, he was employed on an 
important embassy to Hungary, and tliis made him 
a marked object of the vengeance of Ferdinand II. 

His sentence was a cruel one. He was fii-st to 
liave his tongue cut out, then he was to be be- 
headed, and afterwai'ds quartered. His head was 
to be affixed to the Bridge-tower, and his limbs 
were to be exposed on stakes in the four quarters 
of Prague. On hearing this sentence, he said, 
" You use us too cruelly ; but know that tliere 
wDl not be wanting some who ^vill take dovm the 
heads you thus ignominiously expose, and lay tlieni 
in the grave."' 

The Jesuits evinced a most lively desire to bring 
this learned man over to their side. Jessenius 
listened as they enlarged on the efficacy of good 
works. " Aks !" replied he, "my time is so short 
that I fear I shall not be able to lay up such a 
"stock of merits as will suffice for my salvation." 
Tlie Fathers, thinking tlie \-ictory as good as won, 
exclaimed, " My dear Je.ssenius, though you should 

' This anticipation was realised in 16.31. After the 
victory of Gustavus Adolphus at Loipsic, Prague was 
entered, and Count Thorn took down the heads from the 
Bridge-tower, and conveyed them to the Tein Church, 
followed by a lai-ge assemblage of nobles, pastors, and 
citizens, who had returned from exile. They were after- 
■w.irds buried, but the spot was concealed from the 
knowledge of the Romanists. (Comenius, cap. 73.) 

die this verj' moment, we promise you that yon 
shall go straight to heaven." "Is it soV replied 
the confessor; " then where is your Purgatory for 
those who are not able to fill up the number of 
tlieii' good deeds here?" Finding themselves but 
befooled, they departed from him. 

On mounting the scafibld, the executioner ajv 
proached him, and demanded his tongue. He at 
once gave it — that tongue which had pleaded the 
cause of his country before princes and States. It 
was drawn out with a pail- of tongs. He then 
dropped on his knees, his hands tied behind his 
back, and l^gan to {iray, " not siieaking, but 
stuttering," says Comenius. His head was stnick 
ofi", and affixed to the Bridge-tower, and his body 
was taken below the gallows, and dealt with ac- 
cording to the sentence. One of the lights, not of 
Boliemia only, but of Europe, had been put out. 

Chi-istoplier Khobr was the next whose life 
was demanded. He was a man of heroic mind. 
Speaking to his fellow-sufierers, he said, " How 
glorious is the menaoi-y of Huss and Jerome ! And 
■\vhy1 because they laid down theii- lives for the 
truth." He cited the words of Ignatius — "lam 
the com of God, and shall be ground with the 
teeth of beasts." " We also," he added, " are the 
corn of God, so^\^l in the field of the Chui-ch. Be 
of good cheer, God is able to raise up a thousand 
witnesses from every drop of our blood." He went 
with firm step, and face elate, to the place where 
he was to die. Standing on the scaffi3ld, he said, 
"Must I die hei-e? No! I shall live, and declare 
the works of tlie Lord in the land of the living." 
Kneeling down, he gave his head to the execu- 
tioner and his spirit to God. 

He was followed by John Schulz, Burgomaster 
of Kuttenberg. On being led out to die, he sent 
a message to his friends, saying, " The bitterness 
of this parting will make our reunion sweet 
indeed." On mounting the scafibld, he quoted tlie 
words of the Psalm, " Whj^ art tliou cast down, O 
my soul V When he had gone a few paces forward, 
he continued, " Tiiist in God, for I shall yet praise 
him." Advancing to the spot where lie was to die, 
he threw himself on his face, and spread forth his 
hands in prayer. Then, rismg up, he received that 
stroke which gave him at once temporal death 
and eternal Kfe. 

In this procession of kingly and glorious spirits 
who travel by the crimson road of the scafibld to 
the everlasting gates, there are others whom we 
must permit to pass on in silence. One other martyr 
only shall we notice ; lie is the youngest of them 
all, and we have seen him liefore. He is John 
Kutnauer, senator of Old Prague, tlie same whom 



wo siiw praying that there might be given some 
" token" to the martyi-s, and who, when the bow 
apiM'iiroJ a little after sunrise spanning the heavens 
al)Ove Prague, accepted it as the answer to his 
ti:-iyor.' No one of all that heroic company was more 
courageous than Kutnauer. When the Jesuits 
came round him, he said, "Depart, gentlemen; why 
slioidd you persist in labour so unprofitable to 
yourselves, and so troublesome to us!" One of the 
Fathers observed, "These men are as hard as rocks." 
" We arc so, indeed," said the senator, " for we are 
joined to that rock which is Christ." 

When summoned to the scaflbld, his friends 
threw themselves upon him, overwhelming him 
with their embraces and tears. He alone did not 
weep. " Refrain," he said, "let us be men; a little 
while, and we shall meet in the heavenly glory." 
And then, says the chronicler, " with the face of a 
lion, as if going to battle, he set forward, singing 
in his own tongue the German hymn : ' Behold 
the hoiu- draws near,' &c. " 

Kutnauer was sentenced to die by the rope, not 
by the sword. On the scaffold he gave his purse 
to the executioner, and then placed himself beneath 

the beam from which he was to be suspended. He 
cried, or rather, says the chronicler, " roared," if 
haply he might be heard above the noise of the 
di-imis and tnmipets, placed around the scaffold 
on pui'pose to drown the last words of the suf- 
ferers. " I have plotted no treason," he said ; " I 
have committed no murder; I ha\e done no deed 
worthy of death. I die because I have been 
faithful to the Gospel and my country. O God, 
pardon my enemies, for they know not what they 
do. Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." He was then 
thrown ofl' the ladder, and gave up the ghost." 

We close this gi-and procession of kings, this 
march of palm-bearers. As they pass on to the 
axe and the halter there is no pallor on theii' coun- 
tenances. Theii- step is firm, and their eye is bright. 
They are the men of the greatest talents and the 
most resplendent virtues in their nation. They be- 
long to the most illustrious families of their country. 
Tliey had filled the greatest offices and they wore 
the highest honours of the State ; yet we see them 
led out to die the death of felons. The day that 
saw these men expire on the scaflbld may be said 
to have witnessed the obsequies of Bohemia. 



rolicy of Ferdinand II. — Murder of Ministers by the Troops— New Plan of Persecution— Kindness and its Effects 
— Expulsion of Anabaptists from Moravia — The Pastors Banished— Sorrowful Partings- Exile of Pastors of 
Kuttenberg— The Lutherans "Graciously Dismissed" — The Churches Eazud — Tlie New Clergy — Purification of the 
Chiu'ches — The Schoolmasters Banished — Bibles and Religious Books Burned — Spanish Jesuits and Lichtenstein's 
Dragoons — Emigration of the Nobles— Eeigu of Terror in the Towns — Oppressive Edicts— Ransom-Money — 
Unprotestantising of Villages and Rural Parts— Protestantism Trampled out — Bohemia a Desert— Testimony of 
a Popish Writer. 

The sufferings of that cruel time were not confined 
to the nobles of Bohemia. The pastors were their 
companions in the horrors of the persecution. 
After the first few months, during which the con- 
queror lured back by fair promises all who had fled 
into exile, or had hidden themselves in secret places, 
the policy of Ferdinand II. and his advisers was to 
crush at once the chief men whether of the nobility 
or of the ministry, and afterwards to deal with the 
common people as they might find it expedient. 

' This how is mentioned by both Protestant and Popish 
writers. The people, after gazing some time at it, admir- 
ing its beauty, were seized with fear, and many rushed 
in terror to their houses. 

either by the rude violence of the hangman or the 
subtle craft of the Jesuit. This astute policy was 
pursued with the most unflinching resolution, and 
the issue was the almost entire. trampling out of 
the Protestantism of Bohemia and !Moravia. In 
closing this sad story we must briefly narrate the 
tortures and death which were inflicted on the 
Bohemian pastoi's, and the manifold woes that befell 
the unhappy country. 

Even before the victory of the Weissenberg, the 
ministers in various parts of Bohemia suflered 
dreadfidly from the licence of the troop.s. No 

■ Comenius, cap. 78. The Reformation and Anti-Refor- 
mation in Bohemia, vol. i., pp. 429, 430. 



soonci' had the Austrian array crossed the frontier, 
than the soldiers began to plunder and kill as thej- 
had a mind. Pastors found preaching to theii- 
flocks were murdered in the pul[)it ; the sick were 
shot in their beds ; some were lianged on trees, 
othei'S were tied to posts, and their extremities 
scorched with fire, while others wore tortured 
in various cruel ways to compel them to disclose 
facts which they did not know, and give up trea- 
sure wliich they did not possess. To the barbarous 
murder of the father or the husband wa.s sometimes 
added the brutal outi-age of his family. 

But when the victory of the Weis.senberg gave 
Bohemia and its capital into the power of Ferdi- 
nand, the persecution was taken out of the hands 
of the soldiers, and committed to those who knew 
how to conduct it, if not more humanely, yet more 
systematically. It was the settled purpose of the 
emperor to bring the whole of Bohemia back to 
Rome. He was ten'ified at the spirit of liberty 
and patriotism which he saw rising in the nation ; 
he ascribed that spirit entii'cly to the new religion 
of which John Huss had been the gi-eat apostle, 
since, all down from the martyi-'s daj', he could trace 
the popular con^iilsions to which it had given rise : 
and he despaired of restoring quiet and order to 
Bohemia till it shoiUd again be of one religion, and 
that religion the Roman. Thus political were 
blended with religious motives in the terrible per- 
secution which Ferdinand now commenced. 

It was nearly a year till the plan of persecution 
was arranged; and when at last the plan was 
settled, it was resolved to baptise it by the name 
of " Reformation." To restore the altai-s and 
images which the preachers of the new ftiith had 
cast out, and again plant the old faith in the 
defm-med churches, was, they affirmed, to effect a 
real Reformation. They had a perfect right to the 
word. Tliey appointed a Commission of Reformers, 
having at its head the Archbishop of Prague and 
several of the Bohemian grandees, and miited -n-ith 
them was a numerous body of Jesuits, who bore 
the chief burden of this new Reformation. After 
the executions, which we have described, were over, 
it was resolved to proceed by kincbiess and jier- 
suasion. If the Reformation could not be completed 
without the axe and the halter, these would not 
be wanting ; meanwhile, mild measures, it was 
thought, would best succeed. The monks who 
dispersed themselves among the people assured 
them of the emperor's favour should they embrace 
the emperor's religion. The times were hard, and 
such as had fallen into straits were assisted with 
money or with seed-coni. Tiie Protestant poor 
were, on the other hand, refused alms, and at times 

could not even buy bread with money. Husbands 
were separated from their wdves, and children from 
their parents. DisfranchLsement, expulsion from 
corporations and offices, the denial of burial, and 
similar oppressions were inflicted on those who 
evinced a disposition to remain steadfast in their 
Protestant profession. If any one declared that he 
would exile himself rather than apostatise, he wa.s 
laughed at for his folly. " To what land will you 
go," he was asked, " where j'ou shall find the 
liberty you desire % Everywhere you shall find 
heresy proscribed. One's native soil is sweet, and 
you will be glad to return to yours, only, it may be, 
to find the door of the emperor's clemency closed." 
Numerous convei-sions were efiected before the 
adoption of a single harah measure ; but wherever 
the Seriptui-al knowledge of Huss's Reformation 
had taken root, there the monks found the work 
much more difficult. 

The first gi-eat tentative measure was the expul- 
sion of the Anabaptists from Moravia. The most 
uubefriended, they were selected as the fii-st \'ic- 
tims. The Anabaptists wei'e gathered into some 
forty-five communities or colleges, where they had 
all things in common, and were much i-espected 
by their neighbours for their quiet and orderly 
lives. Then- lands were skilfully cultivated, and 
their taxes dul_y paid, but these qualities could 
procure them no favour in the eyes of theii- sove- 
reign. The order for their banishment arrived in 
the beginning of autumn, 1622, and was all the 
more severe that it mferrod the loss of the labours 
of the year. Lea-\-ing their fields mireaped and 
their gi-apes to rot upon the bough, they arose, and 
quitted house and lands and vineyards. The chil- 
dren and aged they placed in carts, and setting 
forward in long and soi'ro'n'ful troops, they held on 
then- way across the Moravian plains to Hungary 
and Transylvania, where they fovnid new habita- 
tions. The}' were happy in being the first to be 
compelled to go away ; greater sevei'ities awaited 
those whom they left behind. 

Stop the fountains, and the streams will dry up 
of themselves. Acting on this maxim, it was 
resolved to banish the pastors, to shut up the 
chiu'ches, and to burn the books of the Protestants. 

In pursuance of this programme of pei-secution, 
the ministers of Prague had si>: articles laid before 
them, to which their submission was demanded, 
as the condition of their remaining in the country. 
The first called on them to collect among them- 
selves a sum of several thousand pounds, and give 
it as a loan to tlie emperor for the pajmient of the 
troops employed in suppressing the rebellion. Tlie 
remaining five articles amounted to an abandon- 



ment of the Pi-otestant faith. Tlie ministcr.s re- 
plied imanimoxisly that " they would do nothing 
against their consciences." The decree of Ixinish- 
ment wa.s not long defen-ed. To pave the way for 
it, an edict was issued, which threw the -whole 
blame of the war upon the ministers. They were 
stigmatised as "turbulent, rash, and seditious 
men," who had " made a new king," and who even 
now " were plotting pernicious confederacies," and 
preparing new insurrections against the empei-or. 
They must therefore, said the edict, be driven from 
a kingdom which coidd know neither quiet nor 
.safety so long as they were in it. Accordingly on 
the 1.3th of December, 1621,' the decree of banish- 
ment was given forth, ordering all the ministers in 
Prague within three days, and all others through- 
out Bohemia and the United Provinces within eight 
days, to remove themselves beyond the bounds of 
the kingdom, " and that for ever." If any of the 
proscribed should presume to remain in the countr^y, 
or should retiu-n to it, they were to suffer death, 
and the same fate was adjudged to all who should 
dare to harbour them, or who should in the least 
favour or help them.^ 

But, says Comenius, " the scene of their depar- 
tiu-e cannot be described," it was so overwhelmingly 
soiTowful. The pastoi-s were followed by their 
loving flocks, bathed in tears, and so stricken with 
anguish of spirit, that they gave vent to their grief 
in sighs and groans. Bitter, thrice bitter, were 
their forewells, for they knew they should see 
each other no more on earth. The churches of the 
banished ministers were given to the Jesuits. 

The same sorrowful scenes were repeated in all 
the other towns of Bohemia where there were 
Protestant ministers to be driven away ; and what 
town was it that had not its Protestant pa.stor? 
Commissaries of Reformation went from town to 
town with a troop of horse, enforcing the edict. 
Many of the Romanists sympathised with the exiled 
pastors, and condemned the cruelty of the Govern- 
ment ; the populations generally were friendly to 
the ministers, and their departure took jilace amid 
public tokens of mourning on the part of those 
among whom they had lived. The crowds on the 
streets were often so great that the wagons that 
bore away then- little ones could with difficulty 
move forward, while sad and tearful fiioes looked 
down upon the departing troop from the windows. 
On the 27th of Jidy, 1G23, the ministers of Kut- 
teuberg were commanded to leave the city before 
bi-eak of day, and remove beyond the bounds 
of the kingdom within eight day.s. Twenty-one 

ministers j);ussed out at the gates at early morning, 
followed by some hundreds of citizens. After they 
had gone a little way the assembly halted, and 
dra^ving aside from the highway, one of the minis- 
tei-s, John Matthiades, preached a farewell sermon 
to the multitude, from the words, " They shall cast 
you out of the synagogues." Earnestly did the 
preacher exhort them to constancy. The whole 
assembly was di-owned in teai-s. When the sermon 
had ended, " the heavens rang again," says the 
chronicler, " with their songs and their lamenta- 
tions, and with mutual embraces and kisses they 
commended each other to the grace of God."' The 
flocks returned to the city, and their exiled shep- 
herds went on their way. 

The first edict of proscription fell mainly upon 
the Calvinistic clergy and the ministers of the 
United Brethren. The Lutheran pastors were 
left unmolested as yet. Ferdinand II. hesitated to 
give offence to the Elector of Saxony by driving 
his co-religionists out of his dominions. But the 
Jesuits took the alai-m when they saw the Cal- 
vinists, who had been deprived of their own 
pastors, flocking to the churches of the Lutheran 
clergy. They complained to the monarch that the 
work was only half done, that the pestilence could 
not be arrested till every Protestant minister had 
been banished from the land, and the urgencies of 
the Fathers at length prevailed over the fears of 
the king. Ferdinand issued an order that the Lu- 
theran ministers should follow their brethren of the 
Calvinistic and Moravian Communion into exUe. 
The Elector of Saxony remonstrated against this 
violence, and was politely told that it was very 
far indeed from being the fact that the Lutheran 
clergy had been banished — they had only received a 
" gracious dismissal."'' 

The razing of the chm-ches in many places was 
consequent on the expulsion of the pastors. Better 
that they should be ruinous heaps than that they 
should remain to be occupied by the men who were 
now brought to till them. The lowest of the priests 
were drafted from other places to enjoy the ^^acaui 
livings, and fleece, not feed, the desolate flocks. 
There could not be found so many cui'ates as there 
were now empty churches in Bohemia; and two, six, 
nay, ten or a dozen parishes were committed to the 
care of one man. Under these hirelings the peoi)le 
learned the value of that Gospel which they had, 
l)erhaps too easily, permitted to be taken from them. 

Comenius, cap, 51, p. 181. 

3 " Tandem cantu et fletu resouante ccelo, amplexibus 
ct osculis umtuis Divina; so commendarunt gratiae." 
(Comenius, p. 19.5.) 

■• TJte Reformalion and Anti-Rfformation in Bohemia. 
vol. ii., pp. 32, 33. 



in tlic persons of Hieir banished pastors. Some 
cliurches remained without a priest foryeare; "but 
the people," says Comcnius, " found it a less afflic- 
tion to lack wholesome instraction than to resort 
to poisoned pastures, and become the prey of 
wolves." ' 

A number of monks were impoi-ted from Poland, 
that countiy being near, and the language similar, 
but their dissolute lives were the scandal of that 
Christianity which they w-ere brought to teach. 
On the testimony of all historians, Popish as well 
as Protestant, they were riotous livers, insatiably 
gi-eedy, and so shamelessly profligate that abomin- 
able crimes, unknown in Bohemia tUl then, and 
not fit to be named, say the chroniclers, began 
to pollute the land. Even the Pojiish historian 
Pelzel says, " they led vicious lives." Many of 
them had to retmni to Poland faster than they had 
come, to escape the popular venge^-iuee which their 
misdeeds had awakened against them. Bohemia 
was doubly scourged : it had lost its pious ministers, 
and it had received in their room men who were 
fitter to occupy the culprit's cell than the teacher's 

The cleansing of the chui-ches which had been 
occupied by the Protestant ministers, before being 
again taken possession of by the Eomish clei-g}-, 
presents us with many tilings not only, but 
droll. The pulpit was first whipped, next sprinkled 
■with holy water, then a priest was made to enter it, 
and speaking for the pulpit to say, "I have sinned." 
The altars at which the Sacrament of the Lord's 
Supper had been dispen.sed were dealt vdth much in 
the same waj'. When the Jesuits took possession of 
the church in Prague which had been occupied by 
the United Brethren, they first strewed gunpowder 
over its floor, and then set fire to it, to disinfect the 
buUding by flame and smoke from the poison of 
heresy. Tlie " cup," the well-known Bohemian 
symbol, erected over church portals and city gates, 
was pulled down, and a statue of the Virgin put up 
in its stead. If a church was not to be used, 
because it was not needed, or because it was incon- 
veniently situated, it was either razed or shut up. 
If only shut up it was left unoonsecrated, and in 
that dreadful condition the Romanists were afraid to 
cuter ii. The churchyards shared the fate of the 
churches. The monumental tablets- of the Protes- 
ttint dcail were broken in pieces, the inscriptions 
were eflticed, and the bones of the dead in many 
inst.ances were dug up and burned.^ 

AAer the pastore, the iron hand of jiersecution 
fell upon the schoolmasters. All teachei's who 
refused to conform to the Church of Rome, and 
teacli the new catechism of the Je.siiit Canisius, 
were banished. The destiiiction of the Protestant 
University of Prague followed. The non-Catholic 
professors were exiled, and the building was de- 
livered over to the Jesuits. The third great 
raeasiire adopted for the overthrow of Protestantism 
was the destruction of all religious books. A com- 
mission travelled from town to town, which, 
assembling the people by the tolling of the bells, 
explained to them the cause of their visit, and 
" exhorted them," says George Holyk, " in kind, 
sweet, and gentle words, to bring all their books." 
If gentle words failed to draw out the peccant 
volumes, threats and a strict inquisition in every 
house followed. The books thus collected were 
examined by the Jesuits who accompanied the 
commissioners, and while immoral works escaped, 
all in which was detected the slightest taint of 
heresy v.-ere condemned. They were carried away 
iu baskets and carts, piled up in the market- 
place, or under the gallows, or outside the city 
gates, and there burned. Many thousands of 
Bohemian Bibles, and countless volumes of general 
literature, were thus destroyed. Since that time 
a Bohemian book and a scarce book have been 
.synonymous. The past of Bohemia was blotted 
out ; the great writers and the illustrious warriors 
who had flourished in it were forgotten ; the noble 
memories of early times were buried in the ashes of 
these fires ; and the Jesuits found it easy to make 
their pupils believe that, previous to theu- arri\-al, 
the country had been immersed Ln darkness, and 
that with them came the first streaks of light in its 

The Jesuits who were so helpful in tliLs " Refor- 
mation " were Spaniards. They had brought with 
them the new order of the Brethren of Mercy, 
who proved their most efficient coadjutors. Of 
these Brethren of Mercy, Jacobeus gives the fol- 
lowing graphic Init not agi-eeable picture : — " They 
■were saints abroad, but furies at home ; their dre-ss 
was that of paupers, but their tables were those of 
gluttons ; they had the maxims of the ascetic, but 
the morals of the rake." Other allies, perhajjs even 
more efficient iii promoting convei-sions to the 
Roman Church, came to the aid of the Jesuits. 
These were the well-known Lichtenstein dragoons. 
These men hiul never faced an enemy, or leai-ned 
on the battle-field to be at once brave and merciful. 

Comonius, cap. 51, p. 103. 

1 Anii-Bfformalion in Bohemia, 

- The lUforwdiion 
vol. ii., pp. 10—10. 

' ComeniuB, cap. 10."). The Refomiaiion »nd Anti-Refor. 
vialion in Bohcmiii, vol. ii., chap. 3. 



They wore a set of viL-Ious and cowiudly ruffians, 
wlio delighted in terrifying, torturing, and mur- 
dering the pious peasants. They drove them like 
cattle to church with the sabre. When billeted on 
Protestant families, they conducted themselves like 
incarnate demons ; the members of the household 
had either to declare themselves Romanists, or flee 
to the woods, to be out of the reach of their violence 
and the hearing of their oaths. As the Jesuits 
were boasting at Rome in presence of the Pope 
of having converted Bohemia, the famous Capuchin, 
Valerianus Magnus, who was present, said, " Holy 
Father, give me soldiers as they were given to the 
Jesuits, and I will convert the whole world to the 
Catholic faith."' 

We have already narrated the executions of the 
most illustrious of the Bohemian nobles. Those 
whose lives were spared were overwhelmed by 
burdensome taxes, and reiterated demands for sums 
of money, on various pretexts. After they had 
been tolei'ably fleeced, it was resolved to banish them 
from the kingdom. On Ignatius Loyola's day, the 
31st of July, in the year 1627, an edict appeared, in 
which the emperor declared that, having " a fathei ly 
care for the salvation of his kingdom," he would 
permit none but Catholics to live in it, and he 
commanded all who refused to return to the Chiuch 
of Rome, to sell their estates within six months, and 
depart from Bohemia. Some there were who parted 
with " the treasure of a good conscience " that ihey 
might remain in their native land ; but the greater 
part, more steadfastly -minded, sold theii- estates for 
a nominal price in almost every instance, and went 
forth into exile." The decree of banishment was 
extended to widows. Their sons and daughters, 
being minoi-s, were taken forcible possession of by 
the Jesuits, and were shut up in colleges and 
convents, and their goods managed by tutors ap- 
pointed by the priests. About a hundred noble 
families, forsaking their ancestral domains, were 
dispei^sed throughout the neighbouring countries, 
and among these was the gi-ey-headed baron, Charles 
Zierotin, a man highly respected throughout all 
Boiiemia for his piety and courage. 

The places of the banished grandees were filled 
by persons of low degree, to whom the emperor 
could give a patent of nobility, but to whom he 
coidd give neither elevation of soul, nor dignity of 
character, nor grace of niamiers. The free cities 
were placed under a reign of teiroiism. New 
governors ?.nd imperial jv.dges .vere appointed to 

ride them ; but from what class of the popidutioa 
were these oflicials drawn ? The first were selected 
from the new nobility ; the second, says Comenius 
— and his statement was not denied by his contem- 
poraries — were taken from " banished Italians or 
Germans, or apostate Bohemians, gluttons who had 
squandered theii- fortimes, notorious mmderers, 
bastards, cheats, fiddlers, stage-players, mutineers, 
even men who were unable to read, without pro- 
perty, wthout home, without conscience." * Such 
were the judges to whom the goods, the liberties, 
and the lives of the citizens were committed. The 
less infamous of the new officials, the governors 
namely, were soon removed, and the " gluttons, 
murderers, fidcUers, and stage-players " were left to 
tjTamiise at pleasure. No complaint was listened to; 
extortionate demands were enforced by the military; 
marriage was forbidden except to Roman Catho- 
lics ; funeral rites were prohibited at Protestant 
bui'ials; to harbour any of the banished ministers 
was to incur fine and imprisonment ; to work on a 
Popish holiday was punishable \vith imprisonment 
and a fine of ten florins ; to laugh at a priest, or at 
his sermon, inferred banishment and confiscation of 
goods ; to eat flesh on prohibited days, without an 
indulgence from the Pope, was to incur a fine of ten 
florins ; to be absent from Church on Siuiday, or on 
festival-mass days, to send one's .son to a non- 
Catholic school, or to educate one's family at home, 
was forbidden under heavy penalties ; non-Catholics 
were not i^ermitted to make a will ; if nevertheless 
they did so, it was null and void ; none were to be 
admitted into arts or trades unless they first em- 
braced the Popish faith. If any should speak 
unbecomingly of the '• Blessed Virgin the Motlicr 
of God," or of the " illustrious House of Austiia," 
" he shall lose his head, without the least favour or 
pardon." The poor in the hospitals were to be con- 
verted to the Roman Catholic faith before the feast 
of All Saints, otherwise they were to be turned out, 
and not again admitted till they had entered the 
Church of Rome. So was it enacted in July, 1624, 
by Charles, Prince of Lichtenstein, as " the con- 
stant and unalterable will of His Sacred Majesty 
Ferdinand 11."^ 

In the Hiuim year (1624) all the citizens of 
Prague who had not renounced their Protestant 
faith, and entered the Roman communion, were 
informed by public edict that they had forfeited 
their estates by rebellion. Nevertheless, their 

' The Reformation and Anti-Reformation in Bohemia, 
vol. ii., p. 114. 
^ Comeniusj cap. 89. 

' "Lurcones qui sua docoxerant, homicidas infames, 
spurios, mangones, fiJieines, comajdos, cinifloncs, qnos- 
dam etiam alphabeti igiiaros homines," lic. (Comenius, 
cap. 90, p. 313.) 

■■ Comenius, cap. 91. 



gracious monarch was willing to admit them to 
pardon. Each citizen was required to declare on 
oath the amount of goods which he possessed, and 
his pardon-money wa.s fixed accordingly. The 
"i-ansom" varied from 100 up to G,000 guilders. 
The next " thunderbolt " that fell on the non- 
Catholics was the deprivation of the rights of 
citizenship. No one, if not in communion 
with the Church of Rome, could cany on a 
trade or business in Prague. Hundreds were 

and once Protestant Pra;,aie bowed its neck to the 
Papal yoke.' In a similar way, and with a like 
success, did the " Commissioners of the Pieforma- 
tion " carry out their instructions in all the chief 
cities of Bohemia. 

After the same foshion were the villages and 
rural parts "unprotestantised." The Emperor 
Matthias, in 1610, had guaranteed the peasantry 
of Bohemia in the free exercise of the Protestant 
religion. This jsrivilege was now abolished. 


sunk at once by this decree into poverty. It was 
next resolved to banish the more considerable of 
those citizens who still remained " unconverted." 
First four leading men liad sentence of exile re- 
corded against them ; then seventy othei-s were 
expatriated. Soon thereafter several hundreds were 
sent into banishment ; and the crafty persecutoi's 
now paused to mark the effect of these sevei'ities 
upon the common people. Terrified, ground down 
into poverty, suflbring from impi-isonment and other 
inflictions, and deprived of their leaders, they found 
the people, as they had hojied, veiy ]iliant. A 
small number, wlio voluntarily exiled themselves, 
excepted, the citizens conformed. Thus the populous 

beginning was made in the villages, where the flocks 
were deprived of their shepherds. Theii- Bibles and 
other religious books were next taken £i-om them 
and destroyed, that the flame might go out when 
the fuel was withdrawn. The ministers and Bibles 
out of the way, the monks ajipcared on tlie scene. 
They entered with soft words and smiling faces. 
They confidently promised ligliter burdens and 
happier times if the people would only forsake then- 
heresy. They even showed them the beginning of 
this golden age, by bestowing upon the more ne- 
cessitoiis a few small benefactions. When the 

' Comenius, cap. 92. 



con^-cv.sions did not answer tlic fond expectations 
of tlic Ftitliers, tliey changed their fii-st bland 
utterances into rough words, and even threats. 
The peasantry were commanded to* go to mass. 
A list of the parishioners was given to the clerk, 
that the absentees from church might be marked, 
and A^isited with fine. If one was detected at a 
secret Protestant conventicle, he was punished vdth 
fiagellatiou and imprisonment. Marriage and bap- 
tism were next forbidden to Proteistants. The 
peasants were sunnnoned to the towns to be 
examined and, it might be, punished. If they 
fiHed to obey the citation they were sm'prised over- 
night by the soldiers, taken from their beds, and 
driven into the towns like herds of cattle, where 
they were thrust into prisons, towers, cellars, 
and stables ; many perishing through the hunger, 
thirst, cold, and stench which they thei-e endured. 
Other tortures, still more horrible and disgusting, 
were invented, and put in practice upon these 
miserable creatures. Many renounced their faith. 
Some, unwilling to abjure, and yet unable to bear 
their pi-olonged tortures, earnestly begged their 
pei-secutoi-s to kill them outright. "No," would 
tlieir tormentors reply, "the emperor does not 
thii-st for your blood, but for your salvation." Tliis 
sufficiently accounts for the paucity of martyi-s unto 
blood in Bohemia, notwithstanding the lengthened 
and cniel persecution to which it was subject. 
There were not wanting many who would have 
braved death for their faith ; but the Jesuits 
studiously avoided setting up the stake, and pre- 
ferred rather to wear out the disciples of the Gospel 
by tedious and cruel tortures. Those only whose 
condemnation they could colour mtli some political 
pretext, as was the case ^vith the noblemen whose 
martyrdoms we have recorded, did they bring to 
the scaffold. Thus they were able to suppress the 
Protestantism of Bohemia, and yet they could say, 
with some little plaitwibility, that no one had died 
for his religion. 

But in trampling out its Protestantism the 
jiersecutor trampled out the Bohemian nation. 
First of all, the flower of the nobles perished on the 

scaffold. Of the great families that remained 185 
sold their castles and lands and loft the kingdom. 
Hundreds of the aristoci-atic families followetl the 
nobles into exUe. Of the common people not fewer 
than 36,000 families emigrated. There was hardly 
a kingdom in Europe where the exiles of Bohemia 
were not to bo met with. Scholars, merchants, 
traders, fled from a land which was given over as a 
prej^ to the disciples of Loyola, and the dragoons 
of Ferdinand. Of the 4,000,000 who inhabited 
Bohemia in 1020, a miserable remnant, amo^mting 
not even to a fifth, were all that remained in 1 648.' 
Its fenatical sovereign is reported to have said that 
he would rather reign over a desert than over a 
kingdom peopled by heretics. Bohemia was now a 

This is not our opinion only, it is that of Popish 
historians also. "Until that time," says Pelzel, 
" the Bohemians appeared on the field of battle as 
a separate nation, and they not unfrequently earned 
glory. They were now thrust among other nations, 
and their name has never since resounded on the 
field of battle. . . . Till that time, the Bohemians, 
taken as a nation, had been brave, dauntless, 
passionate for gloi-y, and enterprising ; but now 
they lost all corn-age, all national pride, all 
spirit of enter^irise. They fled into forests like 
sheep before the Swedes, or suffered themselves to 

be trampled under foot Tlie Bohemian 

language, which was used in all public transactions, 
and of which the nobles were proud, fell into 
contempt. ... As high as the Bohemians had 
risen in science, literature, and arts, in the reigns 
of Maximilian and Budolph, so low did they now 
sink in all these respects. I do not know of any 
scholar who, after the expulsion of the Protestants, 
distinguished himself in any learning. . . . With 
that period the history of the Bohemians ends, and 
that of other nations in Bohemia begins." - 

• Ludwig Hiiusser, Period of the Befonnatioji, vol. ii., 
p. 107 ; Lond., 1873. 

- Pelzel, GeschicMe von Bohmen, p. 185 et seq. Kra- 
sinski, Slavonia, p. 158. 



iBook CtDfiitirtlj. 




Early History of Hungary— Entrance of Protestantism — Its Rapid Diffusion— Causes— First Preachers —Henkel and 
Queen Mary of Hungary— Persecuting Edicts -Tlie Turk Appears— John Zapolya — Louis II.— Count Pemflinger— 
Battle of Mohiicz— Slaughter of King and Nobility— Protestantism Progresses— Zapolya and Ferdinand Contest 
the Sovereignty— Matthias Devay — His Zoal and Success as a Reformer— Imprisoned— The Blacksmith — Count 
Nadasdy — His Efforts for the Reform of Hungary — Discussion before Ferdinand I.— Defeat and Wrath of the 
Bishops — The King Protects Devay — Character of Ferdinand I. 

Crossing the fiontier of Bohemia, we entei- those 
far-extendiug phiins which, covered with corn and 
the \'ine, watered by the Danube, the Theiss, and 
other great rivei-s, and enclosed bj^ the majestic chain 
of the Carpathians, constitute tlie Upper and Lower 
Hungary. Invaded by the Romans before the 
Christian era, this rich and magnificent territory 
passed under a succession of conquerors, and was 
occupied by various peoples, till finally, in the 
ninth century, the Magyars from Asia took posses- 
sion of it. The well-known missionaries, CyrUlus 
and Methodius, ariiviug soon after this, found the 
inhabitants worshipping Mars, and summoning 
their tribes to the battle-field by sending round a 
sword. In the tenth century, the beams of a pm-er 
faith began to shine through the pagan darkness 
Lhr.t covered them. The altars of the god of war 
were forsaken for those of the '^Prince of Peace," 
and this warlike people, which had been wont 
to cany back captives and blood-stiiined booty 
from their plundering excursions into Germany 
and France, now began to practise the husbandry 
and cultivate the arts of Western Europe. The 
Christianity of those days did not go deep into 
either the individual or the national heart ; it was 
a rite rather than a life; there were 1.50 "holy 
places " in Hungary, but very few holy lives ; 
miracles were as common as virtues were rare ; 
and soon the moral condition of the nation under 
the Roman was as deplorable as it had been 
under tlic pagan worship. Hungaiy was in this 
stiite, wlieji it was suddenly and dee])ly startled by 
the echoes from Luther's hammer on the church door 
at Wittemberg. To a people sunk in physical oppres- 
sion and spiritual misery, the soimds appeared like 
those of the silver trumpet on the day of Jubilee. 

Perhaps in no country of Europe were the doc- 
trines of the Reformation so instantaneously and so 

widely diffused as in Hungary. Many causes con- 
tributed to this. The spread of the doctrines of 
Huss in that country a century previous, the number 
of German settlers in Hungarian towns, the intro- 
duction of Luther's tracts and hymns by the Ger- 
man soldiers, who came to fight in the Hungarian 
armies against the Turk, the free civil constitution 
of the kingdom — all helped to prepare the soil for 
the reception of the Reformation. Priests in dif- 
ferent pai-ts of the land, who had gi'oaned under 
the yoke of the hiei'archy, appeared all at once as 
preachers of the Reformed faith. " The Living 
AVord, coming from hearts warmed by con^-iction, 
produced a wondrous effect, and in a short time 
whole parishes, villages, and towns — yes, perhaps 
the half of Hungary, declared for the Reformation."' 
In 1.523 we find Giyna3us and Viezheim, both 
in the Academy of Ofen (Buda-Pesth), in Hungary, 
teaching the doctrines of Luther. Two years after- 
wards we find them in exile — the former in Basle, 
teaching philosophy ; and the latter at Wittemberg, 
as professor of Greek. John Henkel, the friend of 
Erasmus, and the chaplain of Queen Mary — the 
sister of Charles V., and wife of Louis II. — was a 
friend of the Gospel, and he won over the queen to 
the same side. We have already met her at the 
Diet at Augsburg, and seen her using her influence 
with her brother, the emperor, in behalf of the 
Protestants. She always earned about with her a 
Latin New Testament, which was afterwards found 
to be full of annotations in her own handwriting. 
In several of the free cities, and among the Saxons 
of Tran.sylvania, the reception given to the Re- 
formed doctrines was instant and coixlial. Merchants 

' History of the Protestant Church in Hungary, compiled 
from original and authentic Documents. Translated by 
the Rev. Dr. Craig, Hamburg ; with Preface by Dr. Merle 
D'Aubignc. Page 33. Lond., 1854 



anil hawkers brought the \mtings of Luther to 
Hiniaanstadt. The eflfect which theii- perusal pro- 
duccil was greatly deepened by the arrival of two 
monks from Silesia, converts of Luther, who, joined 
by a thii-d, John Surdaster, preached, sometimes in 
the open air, at other times in the Elizabethan 
church, to gi-eat crowds of citizens, including the 
members of the town council. After dismissing 
theii- congregations they held catechisings in the 
public squares and market-places. Thus was the 
tire kindled in the heart of the mountains of 
Transylvania. Many of the citizens began to scoff 
at the Popish ceremonies. " Do our priests suppose 
God to be blind," said they, when they saw the 
magnificent procession of Corpus Christi sweeping 
past, '-seeing they light candles to him at midday?" 
Othei-s declared that the singing of the " hoiu'S " to 
Our Lady in the cathedral was folly, foi- the Lord 
had taught them to pray, " Oiu- Father who art in 
heaven." The priests were occasionally ridiculed 
while occupied in the performance of theu-wor.ship; 
some of them were turned out of office, and Protes- 
tant preachei-s put in then- room ; and others, when 
they came to gather in their tithes, were sent away 
wthout their " ducks and geese." This cannot be 
justified ; but surely it ill becomes Rome, in presence 
of her coimtless crimes, to be the tiret to cast a 
stone at these offenders. 

Rome saw the thunder-cloud gathering above her, 
and .she made haste to dispel it before it should 
biu-st. At the instigation of the Papal legate, 
Cajetau, Louis II. issued the terrible edict of 152.3, 
which ran as follows : — " All Lutherans, and those 
who favoiu" them, as well as all adherents to their 
sect, shall have their property confiscated, and 
themselves be punished with death, as heretics, and 
foes of the most holy Vu'gin Mary." A commission 
wa.s next appointed to search for Lutheran books in 
the Transylvaniau moiuitains and the Hungarian 
towns, and to burn hem. Many an cmto-da-fe of 
heretical volumes blazed in the public squai-es ; but 
these S2)ectacles did not stop the progi-ess of heresy. 
" Hennanstadt became a second Wittemberg. The 
Catholic ministers themselves confessed that the 
new doctx'ine was not more powerful in the town 
where Luther resided."' It was next resolved to 
burn, not Lutheran books merely, but Lutherans 
them.selves. So did the Diet of l.TS.^ command : — 
'• All Lutherans shall be rooted out of the land ; 
and wherever they ai-e found, either by clergymen 
or laymen, they may be seized and burned. "- 

' Secret History of the Austrian Government, compiled 
from Official Documents, by Alfred Michaels. Page 91. 
Lond., 1859. 

- Baronius, Annal., art. 4, anu. 1525. 

These two decrees appeared only to inflame the 
courage of those whom they so terribly menaced. 
The heresy, over which the naked sword was now 
suspended, spread idl the faster. Yoimg men began 
to resort to Wittemberg, and returned thence in 
a few years to preach the Gospel in their native 
land. Meanwhile the king and the piiests, who 
had bent the bow and were about to let fly the 
aiTOw, found other matters to occupy them than the 
execution of Lutherans. 

It was the Turk who suddenly stepped foi^ward 
to save Protestantism in Hiuigary, though he was 
all iuiawai"e of the ser\-ice wliich he performed. 
Solimau the Magnificent, setting out from Constan- 
tinople on the 23rd of April, 1526, at the head of 
a mighty aimy, which, recei^'ing accessions as it 
marched onward, was swollen at last to 300,000 
Turks, was coming nearer and nearer Hungary, 
like the " wasting levin." The land now shook 
with terror. King Louis was without money 
and without soldiere. The nobility were divided 
into factions ; the priests thought only of pursuing 
the Protestants ; and the common people, deprived 
of their laws and then- liberty, were without spirit 
and without patriotism. Zapolya, the lord of 
seventy-two castles, and by far the most powerful 
gi'andee in the country, sat still, expecting if the 
king were overthrown! to be called to mount the 
vacant throne. Meanwhile the terrible Tiu-k was 
ajiproaching, and demanding of Louis that he should 
pay him tribute, luider the threat of planting the 
Crescent on all the churches of Hungary, and 
slaughtering him and his grandees like "fat oxen." 

The edict of death passed against the Protestants 
still remained in foi-ce, and the monks, in the face 
of the black tempest that was rising in the east, 
were stirring up the peojsle to have the Lutherans 
put to death. The powerful and pati'iotic Comit 
Penifliuger had received a message from the king, 
commanding him to put in execution his cruel 
edicts against the heretics, thi-eatening him with his 
severest displeasure if he should refuse, and pro- 
mising him gi'eat rewards if he obeyed. Tlie comit 
shuddered to execute these horrible commands, nor 
could he stand silently by and see others execute 
them. He set out to tell the king that if, instead 
of pei-mitting his Protestant subjects to defend their 
country on the battle-field, he should di-ag them to 
the stake and burn them, he would bring down the 
■«Tath of Heaven upon himself and his kingdom. 
On the road to Buda, where the king resided, 
Pemflinger was met by terrible news. 

WliUe the coimt was exerting himself to shield 
the Protestants, King Louis had set out to stop 
the ad\ance of the powerful Soliman. On the 



29tli of August his little army of 27,000 met 
the multitucliuous hordes of Turkey at Mohiicz, on 
the Danube. Solimau's force was fifteeu times 
greater than that of the king. Louis gave the com- 
aiand of his army to the Archbishop of Cologne 
— an ex-FrancLscan monk, more familiar- with the 
sword than the chaplet, and wlio had won some 
glory in the art of war. Wlieu the king put on 
his armour on the morning of the battle he was 
observed to be deadly pale. All foresaw the issue. 
" Here go twenty-seven thousand Himgariaus," 
exclaimed Bishop Perenyi, as the host defiled past 
him, " into the kingdom of heaven, as martyrs 
for the faith." He consoled himself with the 
hojie that the chancellor would survive to see to 
their canonisation by the Pope.' 

The issue was even more terrible than the worst 
anticipations of it. By evening the plain of 
Mohiicz was covered with the Hungarian dead, 
piled up in gory heaps. Twenty-eight prmces, five 
hundi'ed nobles, seven bishops, and twenty thou- 
sand warriors lay cold in death. Escaping fi-om 
the scene of carnage, the king and the Papal legate 
sought safety in fliglit. Louis had to cross a black 
pool which lay in his course ; his horse bore liim 
through it, but in climbing the opposite bank the 
steed fell backward, crusliing the monarch, and 
giving him burial in the marsh. The Papal nuncio, 
like the ancient seer from the mountains of Aram, 
was taken and slain. Having trampled down the 
king and his army, the victoiious Soliman held on 
his way into Hungary, and slaughtered 200,000 of 
its inhabitants. 

This calamity, which thrilled all Europe, brought 
rest to the Protestants. Two candidates now con- 
tested the sceptre of Hungary — John Zapolya, 
the unpatriotic gi-andee who saw his king march 
to deatli, but sat stUl in his castle, and the Arch- 
duke Ferdinand of Austria. Both caused them- 
selves to be crowned, and hence arose a civil war, 
which, complicated with occasional appearances of 
Soliman upon the scene, occupied the two rivals 
for years, and left them no leisure to cany out 
the persecuting edicts. In the midst of these 
t)-oubles Protestantism made rapid progi'ess. Peter 
Perenyi, a powerful noble, embi'aced the Gospel, 
with his two sons. Many other magnates followed 
his example, and settled Protestant muiisters upon 
tlieii- domains, built churches, planted schools, and 
sent their sons to study at Witteniberg. The gi-catcr 
number of the towns of Hungary embraced the 

At this time (1.531) a remarkable man returned 

■ Hist. Prot. Church i/i Hungary, p. 40. 

from Wittemberg, where he had enjoyed the inti- 
macy, as well as the public instnictions, of Luther 
and Melancthon. Matthias Devay was the descen- 
dant of an ancient Hungarian family, and having 
attained at Wittemberg to a remarkably clear and 
comprehensive knowledge of the Gospel, he began 
to preach it to his countrymen. He commenced 
his ministry at Buda, which, connected by a bridge 
with Pesth, gave him access to the population of 
both cities. Only the year before (1.530) the 
Augsburg Confession had been read by the Lu- 
theran priaices in presence of Ferdinand of Austria, 
and many Hungarian nobles;- and Devay began 
his ministry at a favourable moment. Otlier 
preachers, trained like Devay at Wittemberg, Mere 
labouring in the surrounding districts, and nobles 
and wliole villages were embracing tlie GosjjeL 
Many of the priests were separatiug themselves 
from Rome. The Bishops of Neutra and Wesprim 
laid aside rochet and mitre to preach the Gospel^ 
Those who had bowed before the idol, rose up to 
cast it down. 

Devay, anxious to diffuse the light in other 
parts, removed to Upjjer Hungary ; but soon his 
eloquence and success drew upon him the wrath of 
the priests. He was thrown into prison at Vienna, 
and ultimately was brought before Dr. Faber, then 
bishop of that city, but he pleaded liis cause in a 
manner so admirable that the court dared not con- 
demn liim. 

On his release he returned to Buda, and again 
commenced preaching. The commotion in the 
capital of Hungary was renewed, and the -WTath 
of the priests grew hotter than ever. They accused 
him to John Zapolya, whose sway was owned in 
this part of the kingdom, and the Reformer was 
thrown into prison. It happened that in the same 
prison was a blacksmith, who in the shoeing had 
lamed the king's favourite horse, and tlie passionate 
Zapolya liad sworn that if the horse died the black- 
smith should pay the forfeit of Iiis life. Trembling 
from fear of death, the evangelist had pity upon 
him, and explained to him the way of salvation. 
As the Pliilippian gaoler at the hearing of Paul, 
so the blacksmith in the prison of Buda believed, 
and joy took the place of tenor. The hoi-se re- 
covered, and the king, appeased, sent an order to 
release the blacksmith. But the man would not 
leave his prison. " My fellow-sufleror," said he, 
" lias made me a partaker with him in Iiis faitli, 
and I will be a partaker witli him in his deatli." 
The magnanimity of the blacksmith so touched 

2 See ante, vol. i., bk. ix., chap. 23, p. 504'. 
' Michiels, Secret Hist., p. 02. 


that lie commandcii both to be set at 

the kill 

The powerful Count Nadasdy, whose love of 
learning made him the friend of scholars, and his 
devotion to the Gospel the protector of evangelists, 
invited Devay to come and rest awhile in his Castle 

and Melancthon, and they were not less so by 
hearing the joyful news from Hungary. He passed 
on to Basle, and among its learned and munificent 
printers, he found the means of issuing some of his 
works. He returned again to Buda, in the end 
of 1537, and found his former patron, Nadasdy, 


of Sarvar. In the library of the count the evan- 
gelist set to work and composed several polemical 
pieces. He had no printing-press at his command. 
This placed him at disadvantage, for his enemies 
replied in print while his own wiitings slumbered 
in manuscript. He went to Wittcmberg in search 
of a printer. Ti-uly refreshed was he by seeing 
once more in the flesh his old instructors, Luther 

' Hist. I'rot. Church in Hungary, pp. 50, 51. 

occupied in the reformation of the old schools, 
and the erection of new ones. The Reformer asked 
Nadasdy for a printing-press. The request was 
at once conceded, and the press was set up by the 
side of one of the schools. It was the first print- 
uig-press in Hungary, and the work which Devay 
now issued from it — a book for children, in wliich 
he taught at once the rudiments of the language 
and the rudiments of the Gospel — was the first 
ever printed in the language of the country. 




From these more private, but fundamental and 
necessary labours, Devay turned to put Ins hand 
once more to the work of public evangelisation. 
He preached indefotigably in the district between 
the right bank of tlie Danube and Lake Balaton. 
Meanwhile his former field of labour, the Upper 
Hungaiy, was not neglected. This post was ener- 
geticixlly filled by Stephen Szantai, a zealous and 
learned preacher. His success was great, and the 
bishops denounced Szantai, as they had formerly 
done Devay, to the king, demanding that he should 
be arrested and put to death. Ferdinand, ever 
since his return from Augsburg, where he had 
listened to the famous Confession, had been less 
hostile to the new doctrines ; and he replied, to the 
dismay of the bishops, that he would condemn no 
man without a hearing, and that he wished to hold 
a public discussion on the disputed points. The 
pi'elates looked around for one competent to main- 
tain their cause against Szantai, and fixed on a 
certain monk, Gregory of Grosswardein, who had 
some reputation as a controversialist. The king 
having appointed two umpires, who he thought 
would act an enlightened and impartial part, the 
confei-ence took place (1538) at SchUsburg. 

It lasted several days, and when it was over the 
two umpires presented themselves before the king, 
to give in their report. "Sire," they said, "we are 
in a great strait. All that Szantai has said, he 
has pi'oved from Holy Sciipture, but the monks 
have prodiiced nothing but fables. Nevertheless, 
if we decide in favour of Szantai, we shall be 
held to be the enemies of religion ; and if we 
decide in favour of the monks, we. shall be con- 
demned by our own consciences. We crave your 
Majesty's protection in this difficulty ! " The king 
promised to do his utmost for them, and dismissed 
them. ' 

The king was quite as embarrassed as the 
umpires. In truth, the only parties who saw their 
way wei'e the priests, and they saw it vei'y clearly. 
On the afternoon of that same day, the pi'elates and 
monks demanded an audience of Ferdinand. On 
being admitted to the presence, the Bishop of Gross- 
wardein, acting as spokesman, said : " Sire, we are 
the shepherds of the flock, and it behoves us to 
guard fl-om wolves the sheep committed to our care. 
For this reason we demanded that this heretic 
should be brought here and burned, as a warning 
to those who speak and write against the Church. 
Instciul of this, your Majesty has gi'anted to this 
wretched man a public conference, and aflbrded 

• The Spanish Hunt, a rare book, gives a full account of 
this discussion. See also Hist. Prot. Church in Hungai~y, 
pp. 53-57. 

opportunity to others to suck in his poison. What 
need of such discussions ? has not the Church long 
since pronounced on all mattei-s of faith, and has 
she not condemned all such miserable heretics ] 
Assuredly our Holy Father, the Pope, will not be 
pleased by what you have done." 

The king replied, with dignity, " I will put no 
man to death till he has been proved guilty of a 
capital crime." 

" Is it not enough," cried Statilius, Bishop of 
Stuhhveissenburg, " that he declares the mass to be 
an invention of the de\il, and would give the cup 
to the laity, which Christ meant only for priests^ 
Do not these opinions deserve death ? " 

" Tell me, my lord bishop," said the king, " is 
the Greek Church a true Church 1 " The bishop 
replied in the affirmative. " Very well," continued 
Ferdinand, " the Greeks have not the mass : cannot 
we also do without it 1 The Greeks take the Com- 
nninion in both kinds, as Chryso.stom and Cyril 
taught them to do : may not we do the same 1 " 
The bishops were silent. "I do not defend 
Szantai," added Ferdinand, " his cause shall be ex- 
amined ; I cannot punish an innocent man." 

" If your Majesty do not gi'ant our i-equest," said 
the Bishop of Grosswardein, " we shall find other 
remedies to free us from this vidture." The bishojjs 
left the royal presence in great wrath. 

The king passed some anxious hours. At nine 
o'clock at night he gave an audience, in presence 
of two councillors, to S.'^antai, who was intro- 
duced by the Burgomaster of Kaschau. " What 
really is, then, the doctrine that you teach?" in- 
quired the king. The evangelist gave a plain and 
clear exposition of his doctrine, which he said was 
not his own, but that of Christ and Iiis apostles, as 
recorded in the Scriptures of truth. The king had 
heard a similar doctrine at Augsburg. Had not 
his confessor too, when dying, acknowledged that ho 
had not led him in the right path, and that it was 
the truth which Luther taught? Ferdinand M-as 
visibly disturbed for some moments. At last he 
burst out, " O my dear Stephen ! if we follow this 
doctrine, I greatly fear that some calamity will 
befall both of us. Let us commit the matter to 
God. But, my friend, do not tarry in my domi- 
nions. If you remain here the princes will deliver 
you up to death ; and should I attempt to save you, 
I would but expose myself to danger. Sell what 
tliou hast, and go ; depart into Transylvania, where 
you wOl have liberty to profess the truth. "- 

Having given the evangelist some presents to- 
wai'ds the expenses of his journey, the king turned 

- The Spanish Hunt. 



to the Burgomaster of Kaschau, and desii-ed him to 
t^ike Szantai away secretly by niglit, aud to conduct 
liiiu in safety to liis o-vm. people. 

In tliis transaction all the parties paint theii- own 
characters. We can read the fidelity and courage 
of the humble evangelist, we see the overgrown in- 
solence of the bishops, and not less conspicuous is 
the weakness of Ferdinand. Of kindly disposition, 
aud aiming at being upright as a king, Ferdinand I. 
nevertheless, on the great question that was movmg 
the world, was unable to pui'sue any but an incon- 

sistent and waveiing course. Ever since the day 
of Augsbm-g he had halted between Wittemberg 
and Rome. He was not, however, without some 
du-ection in the matter, for something within him 
told him that truth was at Wittemberg ; but on 
the side of Rome lie saw two lofty personages — 
the Pope, and his brother the Emperor Charles — 
and he never could make up hLs mind to break 
with that august companionship, and join himself 
to the humble society of Reformera and evangelists. 
Of double mind, he was unstable in all his ways. 



Chai'actcristic of the Reformation in Hungary, its Silence and Steadiness— Edition of the New Testament in 
Hungarian— Eivalship between Zapolya and Ferdinand favourable to Protestantism— Death of Zapolya— His Son 
proclaimed King— The Turk Returns— He Protects Protestantism— Progi-ess of Reformation- Conflicts between 
the Lutherans and the Calvinists— Synod of Erdoed— Its Statement of Doctrines— The Confession of the Five 
Cities- Formation of the Helvetian and Lutheran Churches— The Diet, by a Majority of Votes, declares for the 
Reformation— The Preacher Szegedin— Count Petrovich— Reforms— Stephen Losonczy— The Mussulman again 
Rescues Protestantism— Grants Toleration— Flourishing State of Protestantism in Transylvania and Hungary. 

One vei-y remarkable characteristic of the progi-ess 
of Protestantism in Himgary, was its silence and 
its steadiness. No one heard the fall of the Roman 
hierarchy : there was no crash as in other countries, 
and yet it was overthrown. The process of its 
removal was a dissolution rather than a destruction. 
The uprising of the new fabric was attended with 
as little noise as the falling of the old : the Bible, 
the pidpit, and the school did their work; the light 
waxed clearer every hour, the watera flowed wider 
aroimd eveiy day, and ere men were aware, the 
new verdure covered all the land. Young evan- 
gelists, full of knowledge and faith, returned from 
tJie Protestant schools in Germany and Switzerland, 
and began to puljlish the Gospel. Some laljourcd 
among the mountains of Transylvania, others evan- 
gelised on the plains and amid the towns of 
Hungary ; and from the foot of the Caiijathians to 
the bordei-s of Turkey and the confines of Germany, 
the seeds of tnith and life were being scattered. 
As Luther, and Zwinglo, and Calvin had been the 
teachers of these men, they in their turn became the 
instructors of the curates and priests, who lacked 
the opportunity or the will to ^•^sit foreign lands 
and learn Divine knowledire from those who had 

dra■^\^^ it from its original fountains. In proportion 
as they discovered the way of life, did they begin 
to make it known to theii- flocks, and thus whole 
parishes and districts gradually and quietly passed 
over to Protestantism, carrying \vith them church, 
and parsonage, and school. In some instances 
where the people had become Protestant, but the 
pastor continued to be Popish, the congregation 
patiently waited till his death, and then called a 
preacher of the Word of God. 

Three things at tliis time contributed to the pro- 
gress of Protestant truth in Hungary. The first was 
the conference at Schiisburg. The news spread 
through the country that the priests had been unable 
to maintain their cause before the evangelist Szantai, 
and that the king had stood by the preacher. After 
this many began to search into the truth of the 
new doctrines, who had hitherto deemed inquiry a 
crime. The second favourable circumstance was 
the publication, in 1541, of an edition of the New 
Testament in the Hungarian language. This was 
the work of John Sylvester, assisted by Count 
Nadixsdy, to whom Melancthon had given Syl- 
\ester a letter of recommendation. The Epistles 
of Paul had been published in the Hungarian ver- 



naciilar, at Cracow, in 1533,' but" now the whole 
New Testament was placed within reach of the 
people. The third thing that favoured the Refor- 
mation was the division of the country under two 
rival sovereigns. This was a cahimity to the king- 
dom, but .° shield to its Protestantism. Neither 
Ferdinand I. nor John Zapolya dared oflend theii- 
great Protestant nobles, and so their persecuting 
edicts remained a dead letter. 

It seemed at this moment as if the breach were 
about to be closed, and the land placed under one 
sovereign, whose arm, now greatly more powerful, 
would perchance be stretched out to crush the 
Gospel. In the same year in which the conference 
was held at Schiisburg, it was arranged by treaty 
between the two kings that each should continue 
to sway his sceptre over the States at that moment 
subject to him; but on the death of John Zapolya, 
without male issue, Hungary and Transylvania 
should revert to Ferdinand I. When the treaty 
v,-as framed Zapolya had no child. Soon thereafter 
he married the daughter of the King of Poland, 
and next year, as he lay on his death-bed, word 
was brought him that his queen had borne him a 
son. Appointing the Bishop of Grosswardein and 
Count Petrovich the guardians of his new-born 
child, Zapolya solemnly charged them not to de- 
liver up the land to Ferdinand. This legacy, which 
was in flagrant violation of the treaty, was equally 
terrible to his son and to Hungary. 

The widow, not less ambitious than her deceased 
husband; caused her son to be proclaimed King of 
Hungary. Feeling herself unable to contend in 
arms with Ferdinand I., she placed the young 
prince under the protection of Soliman, whose aid 
she ci-aved. This led to the reappearance of the 
Turkish army in Hungary. The country endured, 
in consequence, manifold calamities ; many of the 
Protestant pastors fled, and the evangelisation was 
stopped. But these disorders lasted only for a 
little while. The Turks were wholly indifferent to 
the doctrinal controversies between the Protestants 
and the Papists. In truth, had they been disposed 
to draw the sword of persecution, it would have 
been against the Romanists, whose temples, filled 
with idols, were specially abhorrent to them. The 
consequence was that the evangelising agencies 
were speedily resumed. The pastore returned, the 
Hungarian New Testament of Sylv&ster was being 
circulated through the land, the jirogress of Pro- 
testantism in Hungary became greater, at least 
more obvious, than ever, and under the reiga of 
Islam the Gospel had greater quietness in Hun- 

' Hist. P.-ot. Church in Hungary, p. 51. 

gary, and flourished more than perhaps would have 
been the case had the kingdom been governed 
solely by the House of Austria. 

A more disturbing conflict arose in the Pro- 
testant Church of Hungarj' itself A visit which 
Devay, its chief Reformer, made at this time to 
Switzerland, led him to change his views on the 
Sacrament of the Lord's Suppei'. On his return he 
let his change of opinion, which was in the direction 
of Zwingle, or rather of Cahdn, be known, to tlie 
scandal of some of his brethren, who having drawn 
their theology from Wittemberg, were naturally of 
Luther's opinions. A flame was being kindled." 
No greater calamity befell the Reformation than 
this division of its disciples into Reformed and 
Lutheran. There was enough of unity in essential 
truth on the question of the Eucharist to keep 
them separate from Rome, and enough, we submit, 
to pre\'ent them remaining separate from one 
another. Both repudiated the idea that the Sacra- 
ment of the Lord's Supper was a sacrifice, or that 
the elements were transubstantiated, or that they 
were to be adored ; and both held that the benefit 
came through the working of the Spirit, and the 
faith of the recipient. The great essentials of the 
Sacrament were here, and it was not in the least 
necessary to salvation that one should either 
believe or deny Luther's supei-added idea, wliich 
he never coidd clearly explain, of consubstantiation. 
The division, therefore, was without any sufficient 
ground, and was productive of manifold evils in 
Hungary, as in all the countiies of the Reformation. 

From this time dates the formation of two Pro- 
testant Churches in Hungary — the Reformed and 
the Lutheran. In 1545 a synod was held in the 
town of Erdoed, Comitat of Szmathmar, in the 
north of Transylvania. It consisted of twenty-nine 
ministers who were attached to the Helvetian 
Confession, and who met under the protection of 
the powerful magnate Caspar Dragfy. They con- 
fessed their faith in twelve articles, of which the 
headings only are known to us. The titles were — 
Of God; The Redeemer; Justification of the Sinner 
before God; Faith; Good Works; The Sacraments; 
Confession of Sin ; Christian Liberty ; The Head of 
the Church ; Church Government; The Necessity of 
Separating from Rome.'' To this statement of their 
views they added, in conclusion, that in other 
matters they agree<l with the Augsburg Confession. 
In the following year (154G) five towns of Upper 
Hungary convened at Eperies for the purpose of 

- Bist. Prot. Church in Hungary, p. 60. 
3 Lampe, lib. ii., anno 1545, p. 93; Traj. Ehen., 1728. 
Ribini, Memorahilia, p. C7. 


dl•a^\'ing up a Confession of their faitli. Tliey 
drafted sLxteen articles, the doctrine of wliich was 
substantially that of the Augsburg Confession. 
This document became famous in Hungary as the 
Pentapolitan, or Confession of the Five Cities. 
The synod added to their Confession several regu- 
lations with the view of guarding the soundness of 
the ministers, and the morals of the members of 
the Church. A pastor who should teach doctrine 
contrary to that set forth in the Pentapolitan was 
to be deposed from office ; no one was to be ad- 
mitted to the Communion-table without exami- 
nation ; and in order to render the exercise of 
church discipline, especially excommunication, the 
less necessary, the magistrate was exhorted to be 
vigilant in the repression of vice, and the punish- 
ment of crime. 

We now see two Protestant communions on the 
sod of Hungary, but the separation between them 
was, as yet, more in name than in reality. They 
felt and acted toward one another as if still mem- 
bers of the same Church, though differing in their 
views on the one question of the Eucharist, and not 
till an after-period did the breach widen and heats 
ai'ise. This epoch is, too, that of the fonnal separa- 
tion of the Protestants of Hungary from the 
Church of Rome. Up to this time their clergy had 
been ordained by the Popish bishop of the diocese, 
or appointed by the professors at the German 
universities ; but now the Himgarian Protestants 
themselves chose superintendents, by whom their 
ministers were ordained, and they convoked assem- 
blies from time to time for the regulation of all 
matters appertaining to their Church.' 

The progress of Protestantism in Transylvania 
was henceforward rapid indeed. The Diet of 1553 
declared by a majority of votes in favour of the 
Reformation. One consequence of this was that 
the neighbouring free citj- of Huns, at that time 
an important fortress, became entirely Protestant, 
and in the follo-sving year (1554) the last PopLsh 
priest left the town, as a .shepherd who had no 
flock. The Palatine, ■ Thomas Nadasdy, and othei-s 
of nearly as exalted a rank, were among the ac- 
cessions to Protestantism at this time. Nor must 
we omit to mention the impulse given to the move- 
ment by the convei-sion of the powerf\d and learned, FrancLs Thurzo, from the Church of Rome ; 
nor the yet greater aid contributed by Francis Cis, 
or Szegedin, who was equally great as a theologian 

' Hist. Proi. Chnrch in Hunf/ary, p. C7. 

= The Palatine was the officer appointed Ijy the Diet 
to execute its decrees when not in session. Ho was for 
the time chief administrator. 

and as an orator. His activity and success drew 
upon him the wi-ath of the Romanists, and after 
being set iipon and nearly beaten to death by an 
officer of the BLshop of C4rosswardein's body-gtiard, 
he was driven out of the country. This great 
preacher was recalled, however, by Count Peter 
Petrovich, a zealous friend of the Reformation, 
who now governed Transylvania in the name of the 
young son of King Zapolya. Petrovich, wielding 
for the time the supreme power in Ti-ansylvania, 
took steps for completing its Refonnation, and in 
the prosecution of tliis great object he found 
Szegedin a most efficient ally. The preacher pro- 
claimed the faith, and the governor removed all 
hindrances to the reception and profession of it. 
Petrovich took away all the images from the 
churches, converted the monasteries into schools, 
removed the Popish priests from theii- parishes, 
coined the gold and silver vessels into money, ap- 
propriated the Church property in the name of the 
State, and secured three-fourths of it for the salaries 
of the Protestant clergy. Thus was the whole of 
Transylvania, with the consent and co-operation 
of the people, freed from the jurisdiction of the 
Romish hierarchy,* and the vast majority of its in- 
habitants passed over to the Protestant Confessions. 

There came a momentary turning of the tide. 
In 1557 the reforming Count Petrovich was 
obliged to give way to Stephen Losonczy. The 
latter, a mere man of war, and kno^ring only 
enough of the Gospel to fear it as a cause of dis- 
tui-bance, drove away all its preachei-s. Not only 
was the eloquent and energetic Szegedin sent into 
exile, but all his colleagues were banished from 
the country along with him. The sequel was not 
a little remarkable. Scarcely had the ministei-s 
quitted the soil of Transylvania, when the Tm-ks 
burst across its frontier. They marched on Temes- 
war, besieged and took the fortress, and slaughtered 
all the occupants, including the unhappy Losonczy 
himself. The ministers would probably have 
perished with the rest, had not the governor, with 
the intent of ruining them, forced theni before- 
hand into a place of safety.'' 

Again the Protestants found the sceptre of tho 
Turks lighter than the rod of the Papists. The 
pashas were besieged by solicitations and bribes 
to put the preachei-s to death, or at least to banish 
them ; but their Turkish iidei-s, more just than 
their Christian opi)onents, refused to condemn till 
first they had made inquiiy ; and a short interro- 

3 Htst. Prot. Ch. in Hungary, p. 69. Lampe, lib. ii., p. 99. 
* Scaricaus, Vita Ssegedini.—Hist . Prot. Church in Hun- 
gary, p. &i. 


gation commonly sufficed to make patent tlie fact 
that, while the Romanists worshipped by images, 
the Protestants bowed to God alone. This was 
enough for the Mussulman governor. Without 
seeking to go deeper into the points of diflerence, 
he straiglitway gave orders that no hindrance 
should be offered to the preaching of that Gospel 
which the gi'eat Mufti of Wittemberg had (//*■- 
covered ; and thus, in all the Transylvanian towns 
and plains under the Moslem, the Protestant faith 
continued to spread. 

Scarcely less gratifying was the progress of the 
truth in those portions of Hungary which were 
luider the sway of Ferdinand I. In Koniorn, on 
the angle formed by the junction of the Waag 
with the Danube, we find Michael Szataraj' and 
Anthony Plattner preaching the Gospel with dili- 
gence, and laying the foundation of what was 
aftei-wards the gi-eat and floiu-ishing Church of the 
Helvetian Confession. In the free city of Tyrnau, 
to the north of Komorn, where Simon Grynseus 
and the Reformer Devay had scattered the seed, 
the writings of the Reformers were employed to 
water it, and the majority of the citizens embraced 
the Protestant faith in its Lutheran form. In the 
mining towns of the mountainous districts the 
Gospel flourished greatly. These to-svns were held 
as the private proitei-ty of the Protestant Queen 
Mary, the mdow of Louis II., who had perished 
at the battle of Mohacz, and while imder her rule 
the Gospel and its preachers enjoyed perfect secu- 
rity. But the queen transferred the cities to her 
brother Ferdinand, and the priests thought that 
they now saw how they could reach their heretical 
inhabitants. Repairing to Ferdinand, they i-epre- 

sented these towns as hotbeds of sectarianism and 
setlition, wliich he would do well to suppress. The 
accusation kindled the zeal of the Protestants; they 
sent as their defence, to the monarch, a copy of 
theii- Confession {Pentapoltiana), of which we have 
spoken above. Ferdinand found it the echo of that 
to which he had listened with so much interest at 
Augsburg twenty years before, and he commanded 
that those whose faith this Confession expressed 
should not be molested.' 

Everywhere we find the greatest ferment and 
activity prevailing. We see town councils inviting 
preachers to come and labour in the cities under 
then- jurisdiction, and opening the churches for 
their use. School-houses are rising, and wealthy 
burgomastei-s are giving their gardens in free grant 
for sites. We see monks throwing ofi" the cloak and 
betaking themselves, some to the pulpit, others to 
the school, and others to handicrafts. We find arch- 
bishops launching fulminatory letters, which meet 
with no response save in their own idle reverbera- 
tions. The images are vanishing from the churches ; 
the tapers are being extinguished at the altar ; the 
priest departs, for there is no flock; processions 
cease from the streets and highways ; the begging 
friar forgets to make his round ; the pilgrim comes 
no more to liis favourite shrine ; relics have lost 
their power ; and the evening air is no longer vexed 
by the clang of convent bells, thickly planted all 
over the land. "Alas! alas!" cry monk and nun, 
their occupation being goiie, "the gloiy is departed." 

" Only three families of the magnates adhered 
still to the Pope. The nobiKty were nearly all 
Reformed, and the people were, nearly thirty to 
one, attached to the new doctrine. "- 



The Reformation of Hungary not Perfected— Defects— Intestine War— " Formula of Concord "—The Jesuits— Their 
Show of Humility— Come to Tyrnau— Settle in Kaab — Ferdinand II. Educated by the Jesuits— His Devotion to 
Mary— His Vow— His Mission— A Century of Protestantism— Tragetlies— Ferdinand II. hopes to Extinguish 
Protestantism— Stephen Bethlen— Diet of Neusohl— Decrees Toleration— "War between Bethleu and Ferdi- 
nand II. — Betlileu Declines the Crown of Hungary— Renews the "War— Peace— Bethlen's Sudden Death — Plan 
for Extirpating Protestantism— Its Execution Postponed— Ferdinand's Death. 

As the morning spreads light, and the spring ver- 
dure over the earth, so Protestantism, -with its soft 
breath, was diffusing light and warmth over the 
torpid fields of Hungary. Nevertheless the crown 
was not put upon the Reformation of that land. 

The ^■ast majority of the population, It is true, had 
embraced Protestantism, but they fiiilel to reach 

' Ribini, Memorahilia, i., p. 78. Hist. Prot. Church in, 
Hungary, pp. G5, C6. 
- Hist. Prot. Church in Hungary, p. 73. 



the goal of a united and thoroughly organised 
Protestant Church. Short of this, the Hungarian 
Protestants were hardly in a condition to resist the 
ten'ible shocks to which they were about to be 
exposed. The Latin nations have ever shown a 
superior genius in organising — a talent which they 
have received from Old Rome— and this is one 
reason, doubtless, why the Protestant Chiu'ches of 

bring it into play, fii'st individual congregations and 
pastors, and ultimately the whole Chui-ch, succumbed 
to the tire of her artillery. 

Another defect cleaving to the Hungarian Church 
was the want of a clear, definite, and formal line of 
separation from the Romish Church. The hier- 
archy of Rome was still in the land ; the bishops 
claimed theii' dues from the Protestant jiastors, and 

Vll-W 1 \ M1M\ 

IN iUANoil \ iSli 

Latin Clnistendom were more perfect in theii- auto- 
nomy than those of Saxon Christendom. The 
moment we cross the Rhine and enter among 
Teutonic peoples, we find the Protestants less firmly 
marshalled, and their Chiu-ches less vigoi'ously 
governed, than in Western Europe. The Protestant 
Church of Hungary had a government — she was 
ruled by superintendents, seniors, pastors, and 
deacons — but the vigour and efficiency of this go- 
vei-nment rested mainly with one man ; there was 
no michinery for rallying promptly the whole force 
of the body on great emergencies; and so when 
Rome liad had time to constmct her opposition and 

in most cases received them, and occasional cftbrta 
on the part of Romish dignitaiics to exercise juris- 
diction over the Protestants were tamely submitted 
to. Tliis state of matters was owing partly to causes 
beyond the control of the Protestants, and partly 
to the quiet and easy manner in which the Refoi-- 
mation had diffused itself over the countiy. There 
had been no convulsion, no jjcriod of national 
agony to wrench the Hungarians, as a people, from 
the communion of Rome, and to teach them the 
wisdom, not only of standing apart, but of putting 
theii' Church into a posture of defence against the 
tempests which might aiise in the future. The 



jiuu-iuer wlio lu'.s uevt-v suilod save ou calm seas, is 
ai>t to leave uuitteis negligently arrauged on board, 
iuul to pay tlie penalty of liis carelessness when at 
last the horizon blackens, and his liark becomes the 
sport of the mountainous billows. 

It was a yet greater calamity that a bitter uites- 
tine war was weakening the strength and destroying 
the unity of the Hungarian Cluireli. In its early 
days, the Lutherans and C'alvinists lia.l dwelt to- 
gether in peace ; but soon the concord was broken, 
not again to be restored. The tolerant Ferdinand I. 
had gone to the grave : he had been followed first 
on the throne, and next to the tomb, by his son 
Maximilian II., the only real friend the Protestants 
ever had among the king; of the Hapsburg line : 
and now the throne was filled by the gloomy and 
melancholy Rudolph II. Engrossed, as we have 
seen, in the dark studies of astrology and alchemy, 
he left the government of his kuigdom to the 
Jesuits. The sky was darkening all round with 
gathering storms. At Vienna, in Styria, and in 
other provinces. Cardinal Hosius and the Jesuits 
were initiating the persecution, in the banishment 
of pastors and the closing of churches. But, as 
though the violence which had begun to desolate 
neighboiuing churches were to be restrained from 
approaching them, the Hungarians continued to 
convoke synod after synod, and discuss questions 
that could only stir up strife. In 1577 the famous 
"Formula of Concord" was drafted and published, in 
the liope that a general concuiTcnce in it would end 
the war, and bring in a lasting peace. What wa.s 
that Formxda ? It made the subscriber profess his 
belief in the nhiquity of Christ's human nature. So 
far from healing the breach, this " Formula of Con- 
cord" became the instrument of a wider division.^ 
The war raged more furiously than ever, and the 
Protestants, alas ! inti nt on their conflict with one 
another, heard not the mustering of the battalions 
who were preparing to restore peace by treading 
both Lutlieran and Calvinist into the dust. 

These various evils opened the door for the 
enti-ance of a great'- r, Ijy which the Protestantisni 
of Hungary was ultimately crushed out. That 
greater evil was the Jesuits, " the troops of Hades," 
as they are styled by a writer who is not a Protes- 
tant.- With cpiiet foot, and down-cast eyes, the 
Jesuits glided into Hungary. In a voice lowered 
to the softest tones, they announc:d their mission, 
in terms as beneficent as the means by which it 
was to be accomplished were gentle. As the nurse 
deals with her child — coaxing it, by promises which 

' Hist. Frot. Chv,rh in UuHgary, chap. Ill, pp- 100, 101- 
■* Alfred Michiels. 

shj has no intention to fulfil, to part with some 
deadly weajion which it has grasped — so the Jesuits 
were to coax, gently and tenderly, the Hungarians 
to abandon that heresy to which they clung so 
closely, but which was destroying their souls. We 
lunc already seen that when these pious men first 
cjime to Vienna, so far were they, in outward show, 
from seeking riches or power, that they did not care 
to set up house for themselves, but were content to 
share the lodgings of the Dominicans. Their rare 
merit, however, could not be hid, and soon these 
unambitious men were seen at coiu-t. The emperor 
ere long was kneeling at the feet of their chief, 
Father Bobadilla. They first entered Hungary iu 
1561. Four priests and a lay brother settled in the 
town of Tyrnau, where they began to build a college, 
but before their edifice was finished a fire broke out 
in the city, and laid their not yet completed fabric 
in ashes, along with the neighbouring dwellings. 
Their general. Father Borgia, not having money t« 
rebuild what the fiames had consumed, or not caring 
to expend his treasures in this restoration, inter 
preted the catastrophe into an intimation that it 
was not the will of Heaven that they should plant 
themselves in Tyrnau, and the confraternity, to the 
great joy of the citizens, left the place. 

Thirteen years elapsed before a Jesuit was again 
seen on the soil of Hungary. In 1579 the Bishop 
of Raab imported a single brother from Vienna, 
whose eloquence ;is a preacher made so many con- 
versions that the way was paved, though not till 
after seven years, for the establishment of a larger 
number of this sinister community. The I'ebellion 
of Stephen Botskay, the dethronement of Endolph 
II., the iiccession of liis brother Matthias — mainly 
by the arms of the Protestants — restrained the 
action of the Jesuits for some years, and delayed 
the bursting of the storm that was slowly gathering 
over the Protestant Church. But at last Ferdi- 
nand II., " the Tiberius of Christianity," a.s he has 
been styled, mounted the throne, and now it was 
that the evil days began to come to the Protestant 
Churches of the emj)ire, and especially to the 
Protestant Church of Hungary. 

Ferdinand II. was the son of the Archduke 
Charles, and grandson of Ferdinand I. After the 
death of his father, he was sent in 1590 to 
Ingolstadt, to be educated by the Jesuits. These 
cunning artificers of human tools succeeded in 
making him one of the pliant that even their 
hands ever wielded, as his whole after-life proved. 
From Ingolstadt, Ferdinand returned to his patri- 
monial estates in Styria and Carinthia, with the 
firm resolve, whatever it might cost himself or 
others, that foot of Protestant should not defile the 



temtories that called liira master. He would 
rather that his estates should become the abode of 
wolves and foxes than be the dwelling of heretics. 
Soon thereafter he set out on a pilgi-image to Loretto, 
to invoke the protection of the "Queen of Heaven," 
visiting Rome by the way to receive grace from 
the " Holy Father," to enable him to fulfil his vow 
of thoroughly purging his dominions. In his 
fortieth year (1.517) he made a pilgrimage to a 
similar slu'ine ; and as he lay prostrate before the 
image of Mar}', a violent storm came on, the 
lightnings flashed and the thunders rolled, but 
above the roar of the elements Ferdinand heard, 
distinct and clear, a voice saying to him, " Fer- 
dinand, I will not leave thee." "Whose voice could 
it be but Slary's 1 He rose from the earth with 
a double consecration upon him. This, however, 
did not hinder his subscribing, on the day of his 
coronation as King of Bohemia (IGtli March, 1G18), 
the article which promised full protection to the 
Protestant Church, adding that " he would sooner 
lose his life than break his word " — a gi-atifjdng 
proof, as his former preceptors doubtless regarded 
it, that he had not forgotten the lessons they hail 
taught him at Ingolstadt. 

On his return from the Diet at Frankfort (1G19), 
elothed with the mantle of the Cresars, he held 
himself as elected in the sight of Christendom to do 
battle for the Church. What did the imperial 
diadem, so suddenly placed on his brow, import, if 
not this, that Heaven called liini to the suljlime 
mission of restoring the empii'e to the pure 
orthodoxy of early days, and its t\vin-institute, the 
PontLtical chair, to its former peerless splendour i 
Protestantism had fulfilled its century ; for it was 
rather more than a hundred years since Luther's 
hammer had summoned from the abyss, as Ferdi- 
nand deemed, this terril)le disturber of the world — 
this scourge of Rome, and terror of kings — which 
no sword seemed able to slay. Charles V. had 
staked empire and fame against it ; but the result 
was that he had to hide his defeat in a monastery. 
A life of toil had he imdcrgone for Rome, and 
i-eceived as recompense — oh ! dazzling reward — a 
monk's cowl. Philip II. had long battled with it, 
but worn out he at last laid him down in the little 
closet that looks into the cathedral-church of tlie 
Escorial, juid amid a heap of vermin, which issued 
from his owni body, he gave \i\) the ghost. Lea^•ing 
these puissant monarchs to rot in theii- marble 
sepulchres, Protestantism starts afresh on its great 
career. It enters the dark cloud of the St Bar- 
tholomew, but soon it emerges on the other side, 
its garments dripping, but its life intact. It is 
next seen holding its path amid the swimming 

scatiblds and the blazing stakes of the Netherlands. 
The cords with which its enemies would bind it are 
but as green ^vithes npon its arm. But now its 
enemies fondly think that they see its latter end 
drawing nigh. From the harbom-s of Spain rides 
fortii galley after galley in proud array, the 
"invincible Armada," to chase from ofi" the earth 
that terrible thing which has so long troubled the 
nations and tlieii- monarchs. But, lo ! it is the 
Armada itself that has to flee. Careering spectre- 
like, it passes between the Protestant .shores of 
England on the one hand, and Holland on the 
other, hastening before the furious -winds to hide 
itself in the darkness of the Pole. 

Such are the tragedies of the fii-st century of 
Protestantism. No one has been able to weave 
a chain so strong as to hold it fast; but now 
Ferdinand believes that he has discovered the secret 
of its strength, and can speak the " hitherto, but no 
farther." Tlie Jesuits have furnished him with 
weapons which none of his predecessors knew, to 
combat this terrible foe, and long before Pro- 
testantism shall have completed the second century 
of its existence, he will have set bounds to its 
ravages. The nations will return to their obedience, 
kings will sleep in peace, and Rome will sway her 
scejrtre over a subjugated Christendom. 

We have already seen after what terrible fashion 
he inaugurated his attempt. The first act was the 
scaffold at Prague, on which twenty-seven magnates, 
the first men of the land, and some of them the 
most illustrious of the age, poured out their blood. 
This terrible day was followed by fifteen terrible 
years, during \\hich judicial murders, secret tor- 
turings, banishments, and oppressions of all kuuls 
wei'e wearing out the Protestants of Bohemia, till 
at last, as we have seen, the nation and its Pro- 
testantism sank together. But in the other 
provinces of his dominions Ferdinand did not find 
the work so easy. In Austria jiroper, the States 
refused to submit. The Hungarians felt that the 
circle around their religious and civil lights was 
being dra^vn tighter every day. The Jesuits hud 
returned. Something like the Spanish Inquisition 
had been set up at Tj'rnau. The Romish magnates 
were carrying it with a high hand. Count Stephen 
Pallfy of SchuttSomerain erected a gallows, de- 
claring that he would hang on it all Protestant 
clergymen called to churches ui Schutt without liis 
leave. In this state of matters, the Prince of 
Transylvania, Gabriel Bethlen, a zealous Protestant, 
and a general of equal bravery and skill, took up 
arms. In the end of 1019 he took the towns of 
Kaschau and Presbing. In the castle of the latter 
place he fomid the crown of Hungary, with the state 



jewels ; and luul he woni them as king, as at au 
aftoi'-stagc of his career he was urged to do, the 
destinies of Hungary might lia\c been happier. 

Passing ou iu his \'ictorious career toward the 
south-east, Bethlcn recei\ed the submission of the 
tow n and castle of Oldenburg. He finally arrived 
at Griitz, and here a truce was agi-eed on between 
him and F-erdiuand. In the following year (1620) 
a Diet was held at Neusohl. Ou the motion of the 
Palatine Thurzo, the Diet unanimously resolved to 
proclaim Bethlcn King of Hungary. He declined 
the crown ; and the earnest entreaties of the Diet, 
seconded by the exhortations of his own chaplain, 
were powerless to induce him to alter his resolution. 
At this Diet important measures were adopted for 
the peace of Hungary. Toleration was enacted for 
all creeds and confessions ; tithes and first-fruits 
were to fall to the Eoman and Protestant clergy 
alike; three Popish bishops were recognised as 
suflicieut for the country : one at Erlau for Upper 
Hungary ; a second at Neutra, for Hungary on this 
side the Danube ; and a thii'd at Eaab, beyond the 
river. The Jesuits were banished ; and it was 
resolved to complete the organisation of the Pro- 
testant Church in those districts where it had been 
left amfinished. The Protestants now breathed 
freelj-. They thought that they had, as the in- 
fallible guarantees of their rights, the victorious 
sword of the Prince Bethlen, and the upright 
administration of the Palatine Thurzo, and that 
they were justified in believing that an era of 
settled peace had opened upon them.' 

Their prosperity was short-lived. Fii-st the 
Protestant Palatine, Coimt Thurzo, died suddenlj' ; 
and the popidar suspicion attributed his death to 
poison. Next came the cry of the tragic horrors 
which had opened iu Bohemia. Prince Bethlen 
again gi-asped the sword, and his bravery and 
patriotism extorted a new peace from the perse- 
cutor, which was arranged at Nikolsbru'g in. 1621. 
On this occasion Bethlen delivered up to Ferdinand 
the crown of Himgary, which had remained till 
now in his possession. The jewel which Bethlen 
had declined to wear passed to the head of the 
spouse of Ferdinand, who wa,s now crowned Queen 
of Hungary.