ART. IV.—1. The Protestant Exiles of Zillerthal: translated from the German of Dr. Rheinwald. By J. B. Saunders. London: Hatchard. 1840.
2. Persecution of the Lutheran Church in Prussia from 1831 to the present Time, compiled from German Publications: chiefly translated by J. D. Löwenberg. London: Hamilton and Adams. 1840.

[British Critic, vol. 28, July 1840.]

{160} THE former of these little works is an account of the expatriation of certain Protestants from the Catholic Tyrol, and the latter of certain Protestants from Protestant Prussia. They are both addressed to "the Protestant public;" the former being intended to promote "a juster appreciation and improvement of our own privileges, civil and religious"—p. xi.; while the latter appeals to the Protestant Churches of Great Britain, in the confidence that they will, on the grounds of an enlightened humanity, "bind up the wounds" of "their Lutheran sister." The former is intended as an argument against the Pope; the latter carries it on in its application to Protestant monarchs. In this "keen encounter of wits," we feel obliged injustice to award the prize to the Liberal over the more Conservative writer. The compiler of the second volume certainly proves against the translator of the former, that persecution is no peculiar badge of Rome; besides that it is more preposterous to persecute for not abjuring than for abjuring a received faith, and more unnatural that Protestants should suffer from Protestants than from Catholics. Austria harasses those who desert their own faith as well as hers; Prussia those who will not desert her own faith as well as theirs. One further observation deserves attention; Prussia receives "the Protestant exiles of Zillerthal" into the very country (Silesia) from which she drives her own Lutherans.

As to these Zillerdalers, their story, as contained in the friendly narrative before us, is us follows:—In the summer of 1826 nine heads of families among them informed their respective priests of their intention to become Protestants, and expressed a wish to take the preliminary steps required by law for a change of religion. The Dean of Zell and other ecclesiastics met this demand with moderation and kindness; but elsewhere angry feelings showed themselves on both sides. The application, however, was refused, and the government confirmed the refusal. So matters stood till the beginning of 1832, by which time the numbers of Protestantizers had increased to 240. They then sent a deputation to the emperor, to petition for leave to organize a Protestant Church; and opposite petitions were presented by the Catholics, deprecating the introduction of religious division into a peaceful {161} region. The emperor's decision was received in the spring of 1834, and seems to have had it in view, as far as might be, to satisfy both parties; it prohibited the Protestants from introducing a schism into a united country, but allowed them to betake themselves to provinces of the empire where Protestant congregations already existed. Persecution even in a mitigated form is always invidious; but those who take up strong religious views should not be unwilling to suffer for them; and whatever is to be thought of the conduct of the imperial government, we must confess our opinion that the Zillerdalers had not so much cause to complain of it as our canons prebendaries of the penalty of præmunire, which lies against their rejection of a crown candidate for the episcopate. To lose goods and chattels, and to be outlawed, is somewhat worse than to be told to depart with bag and baggage to another part of the country. "To such a transportation," however, as our narrator tells us, "the greater number showed no disposition. They had already directed their eyes to a foreign country, and accordingly in the summer of this year, some of them requested a passport."—p. 20. But they had not yet given up the hope of remaining at home; again they petitioned for toleration in the Tyrol; and nothing was done up to 1836. In the course of this year their bishop, the Prince Archbishop of Saltzberg, visited them. "His mild demeanour," we are told, "inspired them with confidence; but on their requesting his permission to attach themselves to the Protestant Church, he answered, 'That would be as if you wished to throw yourselves into the fire; to that I cannot consent.'"—p. 20. In the beginning of the following year they resolved on emigration, and received the imperial sanction for so doing.

It was not in human nature but that during these years of agitation and suspense, much angry collision should go on between the hostile parties. Specimens of such disputes are given in Dr. Rheinwald's narrative; of these, some were unavoidable; in others, the blame at one time lay with the Catholics, at another with the Protestants. One of the greatest grievances of the latter was their inability to obtain the rite of matrimony. The Catholics of course could not be expected to administer it; and the government did not allow a merely civil contract except to such as were members of specific denominations, whose toleration was formally recognized. In consequence, "it cannot be denied," says our panegyrist, "that there were instances among the Protestants of children being born out of wedlock."—p. 63. Here again, we do not pronounce what was the State's duty; but looking at these Zillerdalers, we do think that persons engaged in so momentous and awful a step as changing their religion, might {162} have been expected, if in earnest, to suspend for the time any thought of marrying and giving in marriage."

If we credit the account before us, individual priests and others behaved cruelly. One wished that Christ might enter the room, that he might say to Him, "See, these are the people, destroy them at once, by casting them into hell fire." When the leader of the dissenting party had recovered from a severe illness, the priest said to him, "Bartholomew, you look very ill, there is no great while longer for you." At another time "there was invective, mockery, &c. concerning the Protestant Church and its dogmas, interchanged with stories about the reformers, the preachers, their wives and children, and the like."—p. 41. And, when they were on their journey, "at Iglau, they were granted no lodging in spite of the badness of the weather;" but it is candidly added, "such treatment was contrary to the will of the supreme authorities, nor was it repeated to those who came after."—p. 93. The government indeed was most anxious, and not unnaturally, to avoid the odium of a persecution, and as the most discerning of the seceders acknowledged, did only what "its circumstances and difficult position rendered unavoidable,"—p. 47; and though many acts occurred of the same character with the above, which may be fancied without our detailing them, yet these honest Protestants seem to have given as good as they took, and to have received as much kindness from some as opposition from others.

Such is the celebrated case of the "exiles of Zillerthal," being in number about 600 persons; and now for its moral, which is not the least important part: "May we not hereby learn," says the translator, "the still unchanged spirit of intolerance and persecution of the Romish Church? The Austrian government seems even to have inclined to a lenient policy, and to give effect to its toleration-edicts; but there was an influence paramount to that of law and justice, and even the imperial will, and what was that but the dominancy of the priesthood?"—p. viii. It is plain, that unless the Church of Rome were involved in the history, we should never have heard a word from Mr. Saunders about the wrongs or the virtues of the Exiles of Zillerthal.

The proof of this surmise is to be found in the little book which we have placed in connexion with his publication. Unless Mr. Saunders's object was not to reprobate persecution, but to cast a stone at Rome any how, why does he not hear the cries and groans of the Silesians, under persecution, longer, more grievous, and more unjust, which they have endured from that Protestant sovereign, who, in his narrative, only appears as the magnanimous patron of the oppressed? Any one would think, for all {163} Mr. Saunders tells us, that Calvinists or other reformed communities, never interfered with the religious opinions of others. We intend no personal reflections on a prince who since the date of these publications has been taken from the world, and whose early misfortunes claim a respectful memory. We speak of his policy towards his Lutheran subjects, mainly with the view of exposing that hollow political and party spirit among ourselves which can bitterly condemn in Roman Catholics what it passes over in a Protestant. Let us condemn it in both. We assure the Reformation Society, Protestant Association, and their partizans, that this not the spirit which will make progress against the church of Rome.

Let us see what Fleidl, the Zillerdaler, addressed to the Prussian court:

"To the most illustrious, most mighty king.—Most gracious king and lord, in my own name, and in the name of my companions in the faith, whose number amounts to about 430 to 440, I venture a cry of distress on the magnanimity and grace of your majesty, as the august defender of the pure Gospel. With my whole soul I had desired to lay this prayer personally and orally before your majesty, yet I am content if permitted to do so only in writing. After more than a hundred years, another act of persecution and banishment has been repeated in our fatherland."      *      *      *      "Already once, Prussia gave to our persecuted forefathers a secure asylum; we too have placed all our trust in God and the good King of Prussia."    *      *      *    "We pray your Majesty to receive us paternally, that so we may live according to our faith. Our belief is grounded entirely on the doctrine of Holy Scripture and the Augsburg Confession."    *      *      *

"May God reward your majesty for all the kindness which your majesty may show to us! Faithful, honest, and thankful will we remain in Prussia, and will not lay aside the good qualities of our Tyrolese nature. We shall only increase the number of your majesty's brave subjects, and stand in history as a lasting monument that misfortune, when it dwells near compassion, ceases to be misfortune; and that the Gospel, when obliged to fly from the Papacy, ever finds protection from the magnanimous King of Prussia."—Exiles of Zillerthal, pp. 73, 76.

Now to change the scene, and turn to the rival volume, which thus opens:

"In the summer of 1839, a company of interesting strangers, in the German costume, were observed to enter the port of Newcastle-on-Tyne. They stayed there but a few hours, and then proceeded to Liverpool, from whence they were intending to take shipping for North America.

"Inquiry was made by the agents of the Bible Society as to their supply of the Holy Scriptures, and most satisfactory answers were elicited. Their deportment was very pleasing, but they appeared to have no letters of introduction to any parties in this country; and little could be learned of their history, excepting that they were Lutheran emigrants, proceeding {164} from the Prussian dominions to the wilds of America on account of severe persecution for conscience' sake in their native land. A week or two afterwards, another similar company arrived; and was followed by successive parties during the summer months, amounting altogether to about 640 individuals [Note 1].

"Public attention was roused, and more minute inquiry was made respecting their circumstances; for 'severe persecution for conscience sake,' in the present enlightened age, appeared a new and startling fact. These inquiries have been numerous and particular, and the result unravels a piteous tale of arbitrary and cruel oppression.

"For 300 years past, the forefathers of these people have adhered to the creed laid down in the Confession of Augsburg, and have never materially deviated from it. It is well known that this creed not only received the sanction of the champions of our Protestant faith, Luther and Melancthon, but has also been incorporated with the laws of the German empire, and with various treaties of peace, and other privileges of the state.

"For the last twenty years, the Prussian government has attempted to blend the two existing Protestant churches—the Reformed and the Lutheran—into one; and for the last seven, the most coercive measures have been used to effect this purpose. Heavy fines have been levied continually; and those who were unable to pay them, have been harshly thrown into prison, and allowed to lie there for months, and even years. Their clothing, furniture, cattle, agricultural implements, &c. have been sold, and the parties thus oppressed reduced to the lowest ebb of misery and want."    *      *      *

"Close inquiry was made whether anything like disaffection to their government could have led to the course they were pursuing; but this was always met by the most clear and satisfactory replies. On one occasion, when this question was directed to a group of young men, apparently peasants, their colour rose indignantly; and, with an unanimous burst of loyalty, they exclaimed, 'Any one of us would lay down his life for our king.'

"Even their oppressors cannot impugn their integrity, but are compelled to acknowledge their moral character unimpeachable. Various documents, respecting their sufferings and past history, have been received from Germany. These are too clear and circumstantial for any doubt to arise as to their veracity: they were printed on the continent, and have circulated there.

"This persecution continues; and by the latest accounts, many pious Lutheran pastors are still in prison. Should the Prussian government refuse to relax its coercive measures, some thousands of these worthy but oppressed people are intending to follow their friends in the course of the coming year. Those who have already reached America are in very straitened circumstances, and it is feared will have to pass through many severe trials before their settlement can be formed.

"Several letters on these subjects have been received at Newcastle, from Pastor Grabau, since his short visit to that town. This excellent minister has been twice imprisoned, for six months; and was only released {165} last spring, on account of apparently declining health."—Lutheran Church in Prussia, pp. vii-xii.

Emigration to America, and a prison in the interim, looks like greater intolerance than rough words and looks, with the liberty of returning them, and at length a land journey of three weeks amid Protestant sermons, songs, and triumphal greetings. But let us descend to particulars.

In the year 1817, when the Lutherans celebrated the third centenary of the Reformation, the King of Prussia had taken occasion to give effect to a project of which the foregoing extract speaks, and in which doubtless he thought he saw great advantages to the cause of Protestantism. However highly its advocates may be disposed to rate the blessings of that form of Christianity, one unfortunate blemish they have ever lamented in it, and that is its tendency to encourage disunion. Had it but a definite creed and worship, and strength enough to command the submission of its professors, it would be all that its warmest friends could desire; but even they must grant that it sanctions the principle of division, and encourages the spirit of change. Nor is there any remedy for this radical defect, but the authority of the State, which, by incorporating it into the structure of civil government, may infuse into it vigour, and, by the application of civil penalties, may force it into concord. The king of Prussia understood his mission as a Protestant prince, in relation to the differences of the followers of Luther and Calvin; and nothing was needed for the success of his benevolent intentions but that the said followers should understand it also. Unhappily they did not; and in consequence the Prussian government has but exchanged the old inconvenience of private judgment for the scandal of persecution.

In furtherance of his plan the king had, as early as 1822, framed a liturgy, which he intended, in the first instance, for the Royal Chapel at Berlin. By degrees it was imposed upon other churches, towns, and villages; a part of the clergy voluntarily receiving it, and all henceforth being called on to subscribe to it, as a condition of their appointment to the pastoral charge. Next it was urged upon general reception through Prussia. A great opposition followed; and, among others, on the part of the celebrated Schliermacher. The magistracy of Berlin rejected it, and twelve clergy of Berlin. A second edition was prepared, and the majority of the clergy, including the twelve at Berlin, were gained in its favour. These advantages being secured, the great Lutheran festival in 1830 was chosen as the day for introducing it into all churches. Some of the clergy, however, still resisted, and were suspended. After a time others laid it aside, and were {166} dismissed from their posts. The liturgy was professedly in accordance with the Confession of Augsburg; but statements were published by the recusants in proof of its utter contrariety to that celebrated formula. The court, however, persisted; and in 1834 an edict was passed, prohibiting any religious meetings, except with express permission of the consistories; which consistories, having subscribed to the act of Union, did not grant permission to those Lutherans who had not adopted it, and thus all Lutheran divine service was rendered illegal.

This illegality is no matter of words, but of deprivation, fine and imprisonment. By the year 1835 nineteen ministers had been either dismissed or imprisoned by the civil authorities for refusing to conform to the state religion. The congregations, following the example of their preachers, were also fined and imprisoned. The fine of twenty dollars was imposed for once attending the Lutheran service. The poor were imprisoned, and those who had any thing to lose were distrained upon to the amount of three or four times the fine levied. Farmers have lost their cattle and ploughs; mechanics and workmen were obliged to give up their tools; some persons were even stripped of their clothes. One of the leaders of a congregation of Militsch was imprisoned with a common thief. He was left for four days with no food but what the charity of his companion gave him from his own allowance. Another, called Sattler, who had been an officer in the army, was lined to the amount of seventy-nine dollars, and imprisoned for nine weeks.

"When in prison they tried to make him retract, proposing to set him free, and remit the fine, if he would promise to hold Lutheran worship no more. They invited Sattler (who is an elder) to accept liberty on these terms, and told him he might return to prison again, if he found himself unable to fulfil them. This otherwise firm man allowed himself to be over-persuaded, and accepted this condition of liberty on the 26th of August; but he found neither comfort at home nor joy in prayer. The Lord gave him a great support in his truly Christian wife, who, with his children, was distressed that he had accepted liberty on such terms; and his conscience becoming burdened by the thought, that, as an elder, he at least ought to have remained firm to his confession, after a few days he was induced to revoke his promise, and voluntarily return to prison, and allow the distraint to proceed.

"He and his family have since recovered their former cheerfulness; and when, on the 15th of September, the court again invited him to return home, on the same conditions as before—at least for the day when the bailiff was to distrain the goods—he firmly refused. On the 16th of September the distraint was effected; and for the eighty dollars fine, the bailiff took ten pigs, two capital milch cows, and a horse, which the bailiff valued, altogether, at seventy-nine dollars and three-quarters. On {167} Sunday, the 20th, the cattle were publicly sold at Guhre."—Luth. Church in Prussia, pp. 58, 59.

At Juliusburg the police broke open the door of a Lutheran meeting, and dispersed the congregation, the members of it being visited by heavy fines. The fines in the village of Lutziene alone have been levied to the amount of 3000 dollars, and are imposed to the amount of 9000.

"In Great Tschunkawe, the fines of ten individuals for having attended Lutheran worship amounted to 250 dollars. One female paid her fine in cash, from the rest they took away pigs, geese, leather, shoes and boots, earthenware, clocks and watches.

"At the public worship held in the beginning of September, the police took down the names of two hundred and forty persons, who were fined two dollars each.

"In September the fines already amounted to 1400 dollars; which even Prince Hatzfeld assured Baron Von Koszutski would be remitted if he would promise to abstain from holding Lutheran worship. A poor old man, named Zoller, from Suhlau, was fined four dollars, for having, with his son, a youth of sixteen years of age, attended Lutheran worship; and being too poor to pay this fine, and nothing equivalent being found in his dwelling, they were both sent, on the Sabbath evening, to Militsch, where they were thrown into a dreary dungeon, and kept behind iron gates, secured with heavy locks, the son for two, the father for three days."—Lutheran Church in Prussia, pp. 59, 60.

A child at Cattert, baptised by a Lutheran pastor, was carried off by the police to the state minister of Suplaw for re-baptism; another at Schwiebedawe was re-baptised at Militsch. Children, old enough for education, were taken away to the United schools, and if they had been confirmed by a Lutheran minister, the sum of five dollars a month imposed on the parents. The fines exacted from these poor people, since 1830, are said to amount to £10,000 sterling.

The following outrage seems to have occurred in the end of 1834.

"On Tuesday, at 12 o'clock at noon, a body of troops, consisting of four hundred infantry, thirty cuirassiers, and fifty hussars, advanced upon Hönigern, in Mikovski, (Silesia,) from their quarters, about a mile from that place. They were well received, and were astonished at finding a pious people; for they had been described to them as Polish rebels. Upon their march, when a short way from the church, the Major asked Weber Scholz, from Saabe, 'Is it true, as they have written from Berlin, that the people stand before the church with pikes and pitch-forks?' 'Oh, no!' was the answer, 'only with their hymn-books!'

"On the first day the soldiers were friendly; and, in order that the people might not collect on the day following before the church, a report {168} was spread that the military were merely passing through on their route to Poland, the baggage waggons were also ordered to be loaded early on Wednesday morning.

"At half-past four A.M. the next day, the whole of the troops marched up to Hönigern. Then the infantry surrounded the church on all sides; the hussars posted themselves on the east, the cuirassiers on the west, and thus the 200 members of the community, who had watched their beloved church through the whole snowy winter night, were hemmed in. The cavalry blocked up the approaches, and drove away those that came near.

"The President and the commanding Major then summoned them to leave the church, reminded them of the obedience due to the King, and warned them of the consequences of refusal. Reply was made, 'We stand here in defence of our faith, and ecclesiastical freedom.' Answer: 'We leave you your faith.' A Voice: 'But not the undisturbed confession of it.' The Major then gave them five minutes for consideration. The congregation sung. The Major summoned them again, and gave another five minutes. They continued to sing. He then summoned them for the third time, and ordered the soldiers to load their guns. Here a gun went off. The ball passed through the second window from the altar, and struck the northern side of the building. The hedges round the church were then broken down. The soldiers advanced in close ranks, and pushed away the people, and with the butt ends of their guns broke open the door and rushed in. This deed was done early in the morning, while it was yet dark.

"The people fled without so much as raising a finger in opposition, and dispersed on all sides: but how were they terrified when they found they were not allowed to go home in peace, the cavalry turning upon them, and striking them with the flat sides of their swords—many of the blades breaking with the violence of the strokes! Some of the broken pieces are still preserved.

"Several of the women received severe blows; the names of these are Schulz, Muller, &c. (others given in the original.) A child of twelve years, and an aged person of seventy, are mentioned among the sufferers. The first-named woman lost much blood from a cut in the head, so that it flowed through her straw bonnet. This happened at a distance from the church. Many fled, and took refuge in houses; but they were dragged from thence by the soldiers, one by the hair of his head; the police crying out, at the same time, 'The name of the King must be respected!' One woman was dragged from a stable, and beat so unmercifully, that she was confined to her bed for several days. Two other persons were rode down by the horses; and another was struck so severely, that he fell down senseless.

"Eight persons were taken up and imprisoned; one named Charlotte Schlemmel, for saying, 'If our beloved King, for whom we have prayed so often, could see how ill we are treated, his heart would bleed.' Some other inconsiderate words escaped the sufferers; for instance, one who had formerly been a soldier, and whose wife had been severely beat, till she bled, exclaimed, 'I would know how to finish those gallant cuirassiers.' {169} This man was handcuffed and taken to prison. The attack lasted for two hours."—pp. 28, 30.

The troops proceeded to quarter themselves upon the people of the place, the major and his adjutant taking possession of the pastor's house, who lay ill at Breslau. The narrative continues,

"The first day, the quartering of the soldiers upon the inhabitants was general and equal, except that eight individuals, who had joined the State Church, received none; but on the Wednesday, the most faithful of the Lutherans were burdened with the greatest number of soldiers. The deputy Hillman, who had been beat, carried to prison, and deprived of an ox, received fifteen men; the deputies, Litze, Berger, and Tabitz, twelve hussars; and Klunz, twenty of the infantry.

"On Christmas-day there was church parade. The soldiers were ordered to provide themselves with their military hymn-books and cartridges. Hahn, the Counsellor of the Consistory, the Superintendent Kelsch, and Pastor Bauch, stood by the altar. The Superintendent handed to the latter the new agenda, or prayer-book. The Counsellor of the Consistory delivered an address from the altar, not on the birth of Christ, but to prove to the congregation that his Christian sentiments coincided with those of their dismissed pastor. Pastor Bauch explained in his sermon, that the community showed little love to him, and spoke evil of him, and yet he was innocent of their misfortunes, and only obeying the royal commands. The few members present wept. Not that they were touched by the sermon, but from affliction at being compelled to listen to the voice of a stranger, instead of to that of their dearly beloved pastor. What had induced them to attend the service? Surely not free will; for the soldiers had been ordered to persuade some one from every house to visit the church. A serjeant, who was quartered with twelve men in the house of Wenzel, a peasant at Eckersdorf, said to him, 'Dear host, go yourself, or send some one to church, otherwise you will have to pay dearly for it; for we do not march until there is order re-established in the attendance at church.' The country being a poor one, and this a year of unusual scarcity, the quartering was a pressing burden to the people.

"The President went from place to place, accompanied by the Counsellor of the Consistory and the Counsellor of the Province, and declared 'The introduction of the New Agenda is the will and command of the King, and you are disobedient and refractory if you do not go to church.' It was continually laid before the people, that till they did this they would not get rid of the soldiers. The Counsellor of the Consistory constantly assured them, that, though the New Agenda was to be used in the church, yet they might remain Lutherans as before, and receive baptism and the Lord's-supper according to the old Lutheran forms, and that the sermon also might be Lutheran. But all these were but verbal assurances. No one can be surprised that with such persuasions, and under the heavy burdens occasioned by the quartering, most of those who had previously stood firm to the church of their fathers, and to {170} their beloved pastor, went to church, some on the second festival, and others on the Sunday following the festival.

"Those who were frightened, to whom the most incredible things had become a sad reality, saw that attendance at the church was the only means of preventing these military devouring the whole of their scanty provisions. The following words were used to Squire Fogdt: 'You are a perjured man; for as a vassal you have sworn obedience to the King, and you are for the Old Agenda, though you are aware that the will of His Majesty is decisive for the New one.' The landlords were at length induced to go to church on the Sunday following the festival, and on Monday the military marched off, after a stay of six days.

If they had not been instructed to compel the people to go to church by quartering the soldiers upon them, orders would have been given for their removal after the capture of the building. At the present time only a few individuals attend the service there, and fewer still receive the Lord's-supper. A still smaller number would do so, if a report had not been spread, that those who did not visit the church would have to pay the fifteen hundred dollars previously imposed on them. In addition to this, policemen have been stationed at Hönigern, to prevent those visits by which one might strengthen another in his faith. Under all these circumstances, but few stand firm; none, indeed, but those who, as Bible Christians, enlightened by the Spirit of God, have looked through the State Agenda and State Union, and would rather suffer the loss of all their property, than become members of such a church."—Lutheran Church in Prussia, pp. 31-34.

No wonder that, under such circumstances, the poor Silesians turned their thoughts, as did our friends the Zillerdalers about the same time, to emigration. The clergy in particular felt that even an unknown or barbarous soil would be better than the prisons into which a Protestant sovereign had thrown them. Of these, M. Krause was kept in close confinement for a year in Militsch, then for three-quarters of a year in the fortress of Erfurt. From this place he contrived to make his escape, and got off safe to: the United States. His congregation has since emigrated also, though after heavy fines to the amount of 5200 francs—a large sum in the case of a poor community. M. M. Grabau, of Erfurt, for speaking against the persecution from the pulpit, was suspended, and carried off to prison at Heiligenstadt. The following is the account of his journey:—

"When it became dark, the extra mail by which Grabau was to be sent away, was driven into the court-yard of the mayoralty house. The pastor was then delivered to a sergeant, a commissary of the police, named Rochlitz, who loudly boasted of being a free-thinker. The latter first placed his dagger in the carriage, then the pastor was obliged to get in, and the commissary of the police took his seat beside him. In order {171} that no human eye might see the deed, the leather curtains of the carriage were buckled fast, though Grabau objected to this with the remark, 'wherefore was it done? he was no criminal.'

"The people of Erfurt, who have spoken of this event, say that they remembered at the time the words of Holy Writ—'He that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.'

"The burgomaster (mayor) had assured the wife of Grabau, that every attention should be paid to his comfort, and that he would not miss the things required. But this was not true. He was but partially covered with a light woollen blanket, and exposed to a draught, and the severe cold of a winter night. Pastor Grabau's usual health is but delicate, and he was only provided with a light cloth coat, single boots, common hat, and light cloak. The sergeant sat carelessly by his side. When Grabau prayed on the road, the free-thinker felt great anguish, as he afterwards confessed.

"Grabau soon became dangerously ill; being seized with cramp in the stomach and violent sickness, so that the sergeant had serious apprehensions that his victim might die before he could be brought into the prison. In order to prevent this, he offered him some warm beer; but it was refused from such an evil-doer. On the second of March, a stay was made at Heiligenstadt. Here they intended to lock the pastor in a prison for criminals, the cell having scarcely half a window, barred up with iron rails; but he protested against this, and was afterwards brought into another apartment, of larger size, but damp, and containing a bed too dirty and disgusting to be used. Here he was obliged to do as well as he could. His food consisted of the same soup, both at dinner and supper, as was given to the criminals, and was consequently but ill suited to his weakly constitution.

"These were therefore the comforts which the burgomaster had promised to the wife of the pastor! It must also be remarked, in addition to the above, that he was not allowed to be alone, but a coarse felon was locked up with him, who chiefly spent his time in drinking and swearing. When the pastor endeavoured to impress him with the wickedness of such conduct, he one evening attempted to give him a severe beating. After some time, however, he left off swearing. Upon his return home, Rochlitz, the commissary of police, spoke publicly, and with malicious joy, of the miserable place in which he had left Grabau. This news spread quickly through the whole town, and induced Grabau's wife to reproach the burgomaster. The latter replied, 'this is not the case, your husband, is treated like a gentleman.' In a letter to Erfurt, Grabau described his situation. As this letter had to pass through the criminal courts at Heiligenstadt, it was opened and read, and the contents were written upon the outside. The letter was then sealed, and sent to the government at Erfurt, which instead of removing the evil, sent the letter back to the prison of Grabau. Thus they wished to suppress the publication of their barbarous cruelty."—Lutheran Church in Prussia, pp. 75-78. {172}

It is difficult from the documents before us to trace the line of his history after this; but the following is his general statement of his sufferings. He has since passed through Liverpool en route for America.

"On the 10th of June, I left the prison at Heiligenstadt, in the Prussian province of Eichsfeld, by way of Magdeburg to Hamburg, accompanied by a gens d'arme. Since the 1st of March, 1837, I have spent above eight months in prison; then ten months as a fugitive, pursued day and night by gens d'armes; and then again nine months in prison. During the last month, my imprisonment was rendered in some measure more tolerable, in consequence of my illness."—Lutheran Church in Prussia, p. 17.

In an account of the persecution written by M. Ernst in 1837, we are told that "the pastors Kellner, Berger, Gessner, and Bichler, were still in prison : Kellner since October, 1834; and Guerike in Halle under town arrest." Lasius of Berlin has since 1837 been thrown into prison and has been in want. Laymen and women have suffered in like manner, if influential persons. The countess Henkel of Donnersmark and two noble ladies of Lobeck were condemned as rebels to a fort for one year. Gerkendorf, a non-commissioned officer, was imprisoned on Palm-Sunday, 1837, because be could not conscientiously attend the garrison church parades." But the most detailed account of lay persecution given us, in the small volume under review, is that relative to the Baron von Koszutski, who opened his own house for Lutheran worship after the neighbouring churches had been closed against it. He is a young nobleman, originally a Roman Catholic, who united himself to the Lutherans at a time when the persecution had already commenced against them. The account is also interesting as letting us into the view taken of the whole affair by his persecutors.

"Death deprived him of his wife after they had been married but a short time, and from that period he occupied himself with the management of his estates, and the education of his infant daughter, with whom he lived in retirement. Family worship was regularly held in his house, and conducted by Gessner, then a candidate, and now pastor of the Lutheran community, in the circle of Lowenberg, where his labours have been greatly blessed. But the authorities were not long before they began to regard these proceedings with suspicious eyes; and, believing that the hated flame of Lutheranism was chiefly fanned by the presence of Gessner, his further residence with Baron von Koszutski was forbidden by the Council of the circle of Militsch.

"Pastor Krause was afterwards invited by Von Koszutski, and domestic worship continued; but the police were sent as spies, and in many instances disturbed the proceedings. In February, 1835, Von {173} Koszutski was fined ten dollars; then again, for worship held in his house on the 8th of March, twenty dollars.

"Pastor Biehler, having been invited to Kaulwitz, went thither, and, on the 20th of March, administered the Lord's-supper to thirty-one communicants. This religious festival was discovered; and the fines levied upon Von Koszutski in consequence amounted to sixty dollars, and the others present were fined the same sum. A policeman was quartered in Pastor Biehler's house to keep constant guard over him; and as the government considered Von Koszutski to be the main support of the Lutherans in that district, their attention was naturally directed toward him.

"A certain part of the castle at Great Tschunkawe had been set apart for public worship, and service was performed in a regular manner according to the Wittenburg Agenda; sermons were also preached, and the Lord's-supper was administered. This was generally at a very early hour in the morning, or late at night, on account of the spies; yet the number attending these services was so great, that pastor Krause was, on some Sundays, occupied for eight hours successively. On the 6th of June, pastor Krause received notice that he might expect to be severely fined if he persisted in conducting worship at Baron von Koszutski's, and on Sunday, the 19th of July, he was accordingly arrested at the conclusion of the service, and taken as a prisoner to Militsch, where he was quartered at an hotel under the guard of a patrol. Von Koszutski was then absent from Great Tschunkawe, having gone to Karlsbad, in Bohemia, for the re-establishment of his health. While there, he received a rescript from the Royal Government at Breslau, dated June 5th, which stipulated that he should no longer hold Lutheran church service in his house; and threatening him, in case he would not agree to this demand, with the loss of his liberty. If he would not promise to obey this order, a policeman was to be quartered upon him, at his expense, to watch his movements, and send back all who repaired thither for worship. In reply, Von Koszutski stated, that conscientiously adhering to the word of God, he could not obey the government in this matter, but would submit to their impositions, in humble subjection to God's will. On July 25th, be returned to Great Tschunkawe; and on the following day (Sunday), just as service was concluded with his fellow-believers, two policemen appeared from Militsch, and summoned Von Koszutski to follow them to town. He was in too weak a state to do so just then, but gave them his word of honour that he would appear before the Council on Monday, the 27th. Though expecting his physician that day, a policeman appeared, and he was obliged to follow him, and prepare for his imprisonment. All his rooms were sealed up, except two, one belonging to his little girl, the other to her governess [Note 2], and he was himself quartered at the hotel at Militsch, under the surveillance of {174} a policeman, at his own expense."—Lutheran Church in Prussia, pp. 36-38.

Here he remained some time, till he fell into a serious illness; upon this he was allowed to take private lodgings,

"but no one was allowed to visit him besides his little daughter Clara. Her governess was not allowed to accompany her. The fines levied upon him, on account of worship, amounted to three hundred dollars; but it was intimated to him, that he would immediately be set at liberty, if he would promise to hold no more religious assemblies. Truly, no small temptation! But Von Koszutski remained firm; and when he was afterwards again pressed to accept this offer, and even told that his fines would be remitted, and that he would be allowed to have family worship, if none but his own household were present, and also that duty to his king called for his submission, Von Koszutski refused to accept his liberty on such terms, saying that it was his highest duty to obey the King of kings, and asking, how he could receive the sacrament without a church communion. In the meantime Von Koszutski did not neglect to petition the royal government at Breslau, for the redress of his grievances, according to legal forms. In the first of these petitions, dated the 4th of August, he says, 'must not the body as well as the mind suffer, under such treatment: I have a beloved child, my greatest joy on earth, whose education is dear to my heart; I am informed this child is not to visit me with her governess; what a prospect for the future!'    *      *      *

"'I am, besides, the proprietor and manager of two extensive farms; no plans have been laid down for the future—I do not even know in what state the different branches of rural economy are, as I was not allowed time to review them. The law of our land honours conscience; and to compel men to violate it, is nothing less than to force them to commit moral suicide. The practice of Lutheran worship is, besides, confirmed by the treaty and peace of Westphalia; therefore, however ignorant government may appear to be of it, no pen can be used to dictate these persecutions, but conscience will whisper to the writer, 'what thou doest is contrary to law.' But setting aside the earlier guarantees for religious liberty (which seem now to be mere formalities in the most civilized state of Europe), how can the measures employed against me be justified by the royal commands, which, indeed, prescribed fines for holding Lutheran Church service, and in consonance with which edict, I have already been fined more than three hundred dollars, and the country will shortly behold the tragic-comic spectacle of the sale of my best cattle: but have the scaling up of my rooms and my imprisonment been also prescribed by the king? the imprisonment of an invalid—of a father—of a landed proprietor, who ought to see that order and discipline are maintained? It has been reported, that I am to be tried for rebellion; but I can only take this for idle talk, as a child may see that holding prohibited religious worship cannot be identified with such assemblies as meet to oppose themselves to the commands of government.'    *      *      *    'Surely when his majesty visits the province, it will be no joy to his heart to hear that the prisons in Silesia arc filled with Christians, persecuted on {175} account of their faith. The monarchs of Spain were shown such prisoners by the inquisitors, but our sovereign is no Spanish king of the times of the inquisition! I trust that the government, after conscientious and calm consideration of the above-mentioned reasons, will grant my humble request: viz., that I may be liberated from prison, and that an order may be given for my rooms to be unsealed; and I only add, that if this should not be done, my grief and bodily weakness may cause my death."—Lutheran Church in Prussia, pp. 42-46.

The reply made to this petition on the part of the government, is well worthy of the attention of all who may be disposed to accuse the Austrian government of intolerance, for deciding that the Zillerdalers should not disturb with religious feuds a hitherto quiet district.

"In reply to your representation of the 4th inst. we can only say that we find, with deep regret, that the essence of your faith, and the dictates of your conscience, rest in forms; by the observance or non-observance of which, you, and your fellow-sectarians, separate yourselves from the rest of evangelical Christians: for a doctrinal change has never been intended by the government; on the contrary, the state never wished to limit either your liberty of conscience, or that of any other individual. Domestic worship, therefore, in any form whatever, has never been prohibited. It may be seen, then, that the conscience of each individual is free, but that the state will not tolerate assemblies which exceed the domestic circle, and that there is no violation of liberty of conscience, in the prohibition of such assemblies, as might be self-evident to you, and any impartial judge; nay, in fact, to every one having the smallest idea of the constitution of a state."—Luth. Ch. in Prussia, 46.

To this the Baron gave the very obvious answer, "The sacraments of the Lord's Supper and Baptism do not come within the compass of domestic worship, and are therefore not included in that liberty of conscience which the state allows." p. 48. How the affair terminated does not appear from the narrative: Von Koszutski remained in confinement for some months; and a letter from Germany, of the year 1838, speaks of his wishing to emigrate.

By the year 1837, the King had forbidden all public transactions with the Lutherans, and withdrawing their cause from the courts of justice, had made it over entirely to the police. It may be asked what the effect of these vigorous measures has been on the community? It is pleasing to find that they have greatly increased the number of devoted Lutherans. A great many of those who had conformed to the state church have returned to them. Communities have been formed in Pomerania, Posen, Magdeburg, Halle, and Berlin; the members of which some years ago amounted to the number of 20,000. {176}

We have already noticed, that some of these poor people have escaped to North America; others have betaken themselves to Australia. Klavel, one of the exiled preachers, thus writes from Adelaide, in the latter country.

"Here, in Australia, no one scoff's at us hitherto. It seems almost as if Prussia—on which the Lord has shed such a bright light—contained the largest number of scoffers. This we have sufficiently experienced. The most illiterate individual in the towns and villages of that country, if he can do nothing else, can violently blaspheme the word of God."

*          *          *          *

"But such a scorner is a most pitiable individual; and I can explain to myself the cause of his mockery somewhat in the following manner. Supposing such a person to stumble upon one whom he regards as devout, he may perhaps feel his conscience affected by the Spirit of God, and think within himself, Such an one ought I to be. Now, the louder the monitor speaks to his soul, and the less inclined he is to obey it, the more strongly and strikingly is the picture of his own wickedness, in comparison of the pious man placed before him; and where repentance does not result from it, the basest mockery is manifested. How often have I experienced such treatment in my native land, and the town where I last resided; although I never took any notice of it, and have often been astonished at the existence of such degeneracy. May the Lord forgive these scoffers! Our only object in mentioning them here is, that if this should meet the eye of such an one, he may perceive that his conduct does not appear to be very magnanimous. Thank God! the savages are not such degraded characters, and probably scarcely know that it is possible to be so depraved, although they are certainly in a very pitiable and neglected state. Boast, if you will, of having driven the Lutheran church fourteen thousand miles across the sea! a voyage of this length is certainly preferable to living in such society."—Luth. Ch. in Prussia, 134.

Having brought our confessors to a land of rest, we conclude: in doing so, we cannot help avowing that we much prefer the Silesians to the Zillerdalers, and the hierarchy of Saltzburg to the anti-catholic government of Prussia.

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1. 400 more passed through England at the same time, by way of Hull.
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2. "The same measures were taken at Schwiebedawe, Von Koszutski's other estate, where, however, in compliance with the urgent request of the magistrate, his sitting room and a small room in the upper story, were left open for his daughter and her governess."
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Newman Reader — Works of John Henry Newman
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