Tag Archives: Felix Manz

38 – February 07 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST


 

 

Blaurock, GeoGeorge Blaurock

A man that they could not silence

1525 – ANABAPTISTS IN SWITZERLAND ARRESTED AND BURNED AT THE STAKE FOR REFUSING TO BAPTIZE THEIR CHILDREN IN THE EARLY 16TH CENTURY – George Blaurock was arrested on February 7, 1525, along with Felix Manz and 24 other Swiss Anabaptists for refusing to have their children  baptized. He was held for a week in the Augustinian cloister and then released. On Nov. 6 he was rearrested and placed in chains. On the 18th he was sentenced to imprisonment in the New Tower, to be kept on a diet of bread and water. On Jan. 5, 1527, the day of Felix Manz’s glorious martyrdom, the following report is given of Blaurock: His hands were bound, his body stripped to the waiste, and he was made to walk along the street, while being beaten with rods until the blood flowed from his wounds. When he was finally released, as he left Zurich, he shook the dust from his blue coat and shoes as a testimony against his persecutors. Blaurock a man of conviction who could not be silenced continued for two years to carry on the work of the Anabaptists in Switzerland. On September 6, 1529, when he was the pastor of a small flock of believers in Tyrol, Blaurock was burned at the stake. The little church’s former pastor had also been burned three months prior. Blaurock had been born in Bonaduz, a village in Grisons, Switzerland in 1491.  He was therefore only 38 years of age when he was called home to meet the Lord Jesus.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 51.

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17 – Jan. 17 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST


He had forsaken the priesthood
 Jan. 17, 1525, was the first time that George Blaurock is heard of, and that is in connection with a discussion of the Anabaptists concerning infant baptism.  The very basis of soul liberty is at the very heart of this issue.  This was clearly seen by the Anabaptists before and after the Reformation.  Pilgram Marpeck said, “By infant baptism men coerce people to enter the Kingdom of God; and yet there should be no coercion there…”  The repudiation of infant baptism in Jan. 1525, led to the banishment of Ludwig Hetzer, William Reublin, and others, and to the imprisonment of Conrad Grebel, Blaurock and Felix Manz.  Blaurock had been a monk, but had renounced the religion of ritual for one of reality.  Following the deaths of Grebel and Manz he had become a leader among the Swiss Anabaptists, until he was burned at the stake.  He was martyred because “…he had forsaken the priesthood, he disregarded infant baptism, he rejected the mass; he rejected the confession of the priests, and the mother of Christ is not to be invoked or worshipped.”  At the place of execution he earnestly spoke to the people, and pointed them to the scriptures.  In his death he exemplified one of the hymns he had written:  “Blessed are those in all tribulation who cling to Christ to the end.”  He was known as the second Paul and the “Hercules of the Anabaptists.”  Another Blaurock hymn: “As he himself our suffering bore; When hanging on the accursed tree; So there is suffering still in store; O pious heart, for you and me.”
Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. IIII: Cummins, pp. 35-36.

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05 – Jan. 05 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST


Anabaptist Memorial in Zurich

[the] Anabaptists… realized their principles had long endured.
 On this date, Jan. 05, 1527 two outstanding Anabaptists paid the price for their faith.  Felix Manz, known as the Apollo of the Anabaptists, was drowned in Lake Zurich for his testimony for Christ.  George Blaurock, considered the Hercules of the movement, was stripped to the waist and severely beaten.  Many church historians speak of the Anabaptists as mere heretics.  Franklin Hamlin Littell, in The Origins of Protestantism (New York: The Macmillan Co. 1964), wrote, “Information on the…[Anabaptists] has been notoriously scarce and has rested in the main upon hostile polemics.”  It is apparent that the Anabaptists in the days of the Reformers realized their principles had long endured.  They maintained, according to Littell, the “…principle that the True Church could not have been destroyed since the founding. …”  Dr. Roland H. Bainton connects Anabaptists with the ancient Donatists he when acknowledges that “The parallels between the Anabaptists and Donatists were however, more than superficial.”  One of the things he wrote of was their similar enemies and persecutions and enemies.  He also said, “To call these people Anabaptists, that is rebaptizers, was to malign them, because they denied that baptism was repeated, inasmuch as infant baptism is no baptism at all.  The called themselves simply Baptists.  The offensive name was given to them to bring them under the Justinian Code which had been written against the Donatists.  Leonard Verdin, historian of the Christian Reformed Denomination wrote, “We know that at the time of the birth of the Hybrid [The Anabaptists of the days of the Reformation] there were already people who were called Anabaptists.”  Interestingly C. A. Cornelius (1819-1903) a Roman Catholic scholar was among the first historians to call for modern research of the Anabaptist movement.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. IIII: Cummins /, pp. 9-10.
The picture above is a memorial in Zurich listing the names of 43 Anabaptists who were martyred by the Roman Catholic Hierarchy (Church/State) in the 16th Century. (Wickepedia)

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