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JTtrst IPmoti. 

A.D. 1608. 





THE THIRD— 997-1301, ..... 6 



John Huss — His Death— Jerome of Prague— His Death — Doctrines of 
the Hussites — Spread and Persecution of these Doctrines in Bohemia, 
Hungary, and Transylvania, . . . . .16 







Simon Grynaus and Vitus Viezheim, Professors in Ofen — Queen Mary 
and her Chaplain John Henkel as friends of Luther — Contemporary 
Movements in Hermannstadt — First Reformers of Transylvania — Am- 
brosius and George summoned to Gran — Marcus Pempflinger, Count of 
Saxony — The Pope attempts to crush the Reformation — Ludwig II. — 
Cardinal Cajetan — Royal Decree against the Lutherans— Hungarian 
Students at Wittenberg — Burning of Luther's Books at (Edenberg — 
General Council in 1525— Louis II. writes to (Edenberg — Battle at 
Mohacs, . . . . . .31 




Death of Louis II.— Death of the Archbishop— The Cardinal Legate flies, 
and is overtaken — John Zapolya remains inactive— The Turks take 
Ofen, and burn the Carvinian Library— Consequences of the Battle in 
the spread of the Gospel, ..... 


FEEDINAND I. EULES ALONE. 1540-1564, ... 58 


Confession of Faith of the five towns of Upper Hungary on this side the 
Theiss — Activity of the Gospel Preachers — Temesvar — Stephen Kis of 
Szegedin — Peter Petrovitsh, Count of Temesvar — Stephen Losontzy — 
Szegedin banished— Temesvar conquered by the Turks— Death of 
Losontzy, . . . . . .64 


An Evangelical High School in (Edenberg — The Town Bela reformed — 
Letter of the Archbishop Nicolas Olah— Threats — Firmness of the 
Protestants — The Magnates of Hungary, with the exception of three 
Families, all Protestants — Introduction of the Jesuits, . . 71 


Death of Leonard Stockel and Thomas Nadasdy— Printing of the New 
Testament in Croatian — Bishop Dudith's Beport from the Council of 
Trent — Covenanting Soldiers at Erlau, . . .76 


Diet of Presburg — Synod of the Evangelical Church at Tarczal — Gabriel 
Perenyi — Close of the Council of Trent — The Cup granted to the Laity 
— Ferdinand's Medal — Provincial Synod of Tyrnau — Ferdinand's De- 
cease — Beview, . ..... 80 


Maximilian I. is made King — Communion in both kinds in Hungary — 
The Celibacy of the Clergy — Organisation of the Beformed Church, and 
Separation from the Lutherans — Unitarians in Transylvania — Pastor 
Lucas — Lazarus Schwend — Confession of Czenger, . . 84 


Jehoiachim Brandenburg— Death of Gabriel Perenyi, Bishop of Csanad — 
Synod of Kremnitz — The twenty-four Zips Towns and their Confession 
— David Chytraus, . . . . .87 



Diet at Presburg — John Kurber— Tyrnau— James Wolf— Death of Ser- 
pilius and Szegedinus — Formal Separation from Rome, . . 90 


Peter Bornemissa — Stephen Beytha — Michael Starinus — The Pastors of 
(Edenberg — Caspar Zeitvogel — Nicolas Telegdy appeals to the Pope — 
Maximilian's Death— His Character, . . .93 


RUDOLPH II., FROM 1576 TO 1608, IN HUNGARY | DIED 1612. 

His Education and Manner of Life — Archduke Ernest, Governor of 
Austria— Opitz and Scherer — The Concordia in Hungary — Roman 
Tactics, ...... 


Roman Catholic Synod at Steinamanger— Bishop Telegdy — Gregorian 
Calendar — Banishment of the Protestant Clergy of (Edenberg — Dras- 
kowitsh is made Cardinal — Adoption of the New Calendar out of respect 
to the King— Banishment of the Jesuits from Transylvania— Death of 
Draskowitsh, ...... 102 


Caspar Dragonus — Protestant Synods — Peter Berger — Hungarian Stu- 
dents banished from Wittenberg — The Formula Concordise — Roman 
Troops sent to Hungary — Basta in Transylvania — Destruction of the 
Evangelical Church in Styria and Carinthia — The Roman General Bar- 
biano in Kasha w and Leutshaw — The Magistrates of Leutshaw and the 
Bishop of Raab, . . . . . .106 


Diet of Presburg, 1604 — The famous 22d Article — Persecution of the Pro- 
testants — Stephen Botskay's Rebellion — The Peace of Vienna, . 112 


The Peace of Austria — Botskay's Objection to the Terms — Peace ratified 
— Botskay dies of Poison — Conditions of the Peace violated — Matthew 
summons a Diet — Matthew becomes King of Hungary, . . 116 


g>eccnli pertoiu 

SZATHMAR, 1608-1711. 


Presburg Church — Stephen Esterhazy — His Death — The Jesuits — George 
Thurzo, Palatine — Synod of Sillein, .... 121 


The Archbishops protest against the Synod of Sillein — Answer — Peter 
Pazmany — Protestant Princes turn to Popery — Synod of Tyrnau — John 
Moschovinus — The "Women of Hricsow — King Matthew gives an un- 
favourable Decision respecting the Peace of Vienna. '. . 127 


Peter Pazmany's Work — Christopher Thurzo returns to the Protestants 
— Oppression— Grabriel Bathyani and the Treaty of Tyrnau — Writings 
of the Protestants— Quarrels of the Reformed and Lutheran Clergy — 
Jubilee of the Reformation — Ferdinand made King — Siegmund Forgacs 
—Death of Matthew, . . . . .132 



Ferdinand's critical Position — His fanatical Vow — War with Bethlen 
— Bethlen conquers Presburg, and takes the Crown — Diet at Neusohl — 
Bethlen refuses to accept the title of King, . . . 138 


Reformed Synod at Hedervan — Death of Emerich Thurzo the Palatine— 
Bethlen again takes the Sword — Peace of Nikolsburg — Synod of Shin- 
taw — Numbers of exiled Protestants — Margrave George of Brandenburg 
— Diet of GMenberg — The Legate — Tumult at the Diet — Coronation of 
Ferdinand III., . . . . . .143 


Ferdinand II. nominates the Virgin Mary Generalissimo of his Army — 
Bethlen declares War again — Is joined by the Germans — Peace of Pres- 
burg — The Widow of Palatine Forgacs raging against the Protestants — 
George Rakotzy — Gustavus Adolphus — Conversion of several Mag- 
nates to Popery — Persecutions — Jesuits in GMenberg — Death of Fer- 
dinand II., . . . . . .147 



FERDINAND III. 1637-1657. page 

Death of Pazmany — Emerich Lasy, Archbishop of Gran— Diet of Pres- 
burg — New Persecutions — Deliberations at Kashaw — Deputation to the 
King— Torstenson in Moravia— Death of the Archbishop — George Lip- 
pay his Successor — George Rakotzy of Transylvania — Banishment of 
the Protestant Clergy from the Island Schutt— Robert Douglas— Death 
of the Palatine Nicolas Esterhazy, .... 152 


The Peace of Lira — Protest of the Popish Clergy — The King's Firmness 
— The Diet of 1647. The Protestants obtain Ninety Churches restored 
— Penal Laws against the Religious Persecutors — Bishop Szelepcsenyi — 
Bishop Draskowitsh — The King's Liberality, . . . 157 


New Persecutions of the Protestants in Hungary — Diet of Presburg in 
1649— Paul Pallfy, Palatine— Fruits of the Diet— The Jesuits in Tran- 
sylvania — Death of the young King of Rome — Leopold crowned King 
of Hungary in 1655— Troubles— Death of Ferdinand, . . 162 



Leopold's Education — He favours the Jesuits — The Synod at Tyrnau — 
Hungarian Diets, and Grievances of the Protestants — The Diet of 1662 
— The Protestant Deputies demand back the Churches and Schools — 
Petitions to the King — Specification of the Persecutors — Persecution in 
Transylvania — More Petitions — The Protestant Deputies leave the 
Diet— Its Close, . . . . . .170 


Effect of the Departure of the Protestant Deputies on the Patriots — Their 
Dissatisfaction — Diet of Neusohl — Leopold and the Divan — Attempt to 
Poison the King — The Procurator of the Jesuits disappears — Paris von 
Spantkaw — Imprisonments — The Malcontents in Kashaw — Assembly 
at Neusohl — Trial and Punishment of the Insurgents — Nicolas Drabi- 
cius — Renewed Persecutions — Presburg — Its banished Clergy — A new 
Insurrection crushed — Persecution still continues — The Archbishop 
resigns his Viceroyalty, . . . ... 181 


First Citation of Protestant Pastors to Presburg — The Charge — The 
Judges — The Trial — Archbishop's Declaration — Count Illyeshazy treats 
with the Pastors — The Pastors are prepared to go into Exile — The Con- 
ditions of Pardon — Attempt to gain the Pastors to the Popish Church 
—Suhajda— Stephen Fekete, . . . . 197 




The New Citation of the Evangelical Preachers — Condnct of the Pasha— 
The Trial — The Sentence — Separate Sentence on the Pastors of Bbsing, 
Modern, and St George — Two hundred and thirty-six sign their Deed 
of Resignation — The rest refuse — Treatment — Separation of the Luther- 
ans and Reformed — Firmness of the Reformed Pastors — Imprisonment 
— Treatment in the Prisons — The Jesuit Nicolas Kellio— Petition to 
the Emperor — Condemnation to the Galleys, . . . 204 


Treatment of the Prisoners in the other Fortresses — Journey to Trieste — 
Hopes of the possibility of Ransom — Ten join the Church of Rome — 
George and Philip Weltz — Appeals to Germany — Charles II. of Eng- 
land — The Vice- Admiral of the Dutch Fleet — Hopes of Delivery, and 
Disappointment— Admiral Ruyter — The Galley-slaves set free, . 214 


General View of the State of the Protestant Church in Hungary and 
Transylvania at the time the Pastors were released — The Pastors in the 
Woods and Caves — Cunning of the Priests in attempting to find them — 
(Edenberg a favoured City — Princess Eggenberg — Insurrection of the 
Hungarians — Tokely — Attempts to make Peace, . . 220 

Diet of (Edenberg, 1681— Election of the Palatine— Petition to the King 
— Memorial of the Roman Catholics — The Petitions of the Protestants 
without effect — George Gerhard's Motion — The Roman Catholic Deputy, 
Gabriel Kapy — Struggle of the Clergy — The Roman Catholic Magnates 
and Nobles assist the Protestants — The Imperial Decree — Further 
attempts of the Protestants — Close of the Diet,. . . 226 


Conduct of the Roman Catholic Clergy after the Diet — The Recorder of 
(Edenberg — War with Tokely — Vienna beseiged by the Turks — Re- 
lieved by the Poles — The Prince of Transylvania joins Leopold against 
the Turks — Ofen retaken after a hundred and forty-six years' Posses- 
sion by the Turks — General Karaffa — The Court of Assize at Debrecsin 
and Eperjes, . . . . . .239 



The Royal Commissioners and their Excesses — Banishment of Pastors 
Sextius and John Bury — Stephen Fekete a Persecutor — Bishop Mat- 
thew Rhadonai — Rakotzy's Imprisonment and Escape — Civil War — 
Rakotzy Conquers Hungary, and is elected Prince of Transylvania — 
Treaties of Peace — Foreign Intervention— Leopold's Death, . 247 


JOSEPH I. FROM 1705 TO 1711. 

Election of Superintendents — Quarrels between the Pastors and the Lay 
Office-bearers in the Church Courts — Pastor of Presburg banished by 
Kollonitz — Charles XII. founds Scholarships — Synod of Rosenberg — 
Diet of Onod — Rakotzy Excommunicated — Rakotzy and the Jesuits — 
Joseph favours the Protestants — Death of the King — Peace of Szath- 
mar, ....... 258 


Cfjtrfi IPetuto, 

LEOPOLD II, 1712-1792. 


CHARLES VI. 1712 TO 1740. PAG i 

Rakotzy's Retirement— Coronation of Charles in Presbnrg— New Perse- 
cutions — The King protects the Protestants — The Diet — The King still 
favourable to Impartial Justice — Renewal of the Acts of 16S1 and 1687 
—Quibbles— Proposed Oath to exclude the Protestants— The Protes- 
tants placed entirely in the hands of the King, . . .265 


The Difficulties of the King's Position — The Roman Catholics seize the 
Protestant Churches in the newly-conquered Lands — Jesuitical Justifi- 
cation of the Acts — The Churches of Komorn, Wesprim, Papa, and 
Lewens — The Tithes — Presumption of the Priests — Attempt to reduce 
the Number of Preachers— Petitions to the King, and his Reply, . 271 










The Protestants summoned to Rebellion — Misfortunes of the Imperial 
Army — Disgraceful Peace — Death of the King, . . . 303 



Dangerous Position of the Queen — She is delivered by the Hungarians — 
Fruitless efforts of the Protestants to obtain their Religious Freedom — 
Forbidden to present Petitions in Corporate Capacity — Extracts from a 
Petition to the Queen — Effects of this Petition— Examination of the 
Pastors respecting Baptism — The Resolutions of Charles VI. of 1731 
renewed — Sorrowful Consequences — Persecutions — The Protestant 
Schools, ....... 305 



Ecclesiastical Visitations — Bishop Biro — Processions — Mixed Marriages 
— Children taken from the Parents— Countess of Szent-Ivany — Perse- 
cution of the Protestant Pastors— Matthew Bohil, . . 315 


Imprisonment of Bohil — Cause — Escape — A Jewish Rabbi — Persecution 
of the Friends of Bohil — His Wife's Escape — Bohil's Works on the Eccle- 
siastical State of Hungary — The Papal Nuncio Camil Paulati and the 
Societies of St Joseph and St Stephen— Duties of Members— Banish ■ 
ment of Professors, . . . . . 321 


United Petition of the Protestants— Martin Biro's Pamphlet — Dealings 
of the Court — Appeal to Foreign Powers — Letter of Frederick the 
Great to the Archbishop of Breslau, Cardinal Schaffgotsch — His 
Appeal to the Pope— The Protestant Prelate Sweetmilk — The Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury interferes — The British Ambassador — Effects of 
the Interference — Gabriel Pronay, . . * . 326 


The Queen's Promises — The Chapels of Ease taken away — General Per- 
secution of the Protestants — Biots at Vadosfa — Imprisonment of the 
Superintendent and forty-four of his Church Members — The Seven 
Years' War with Prussia — Peace, and Diet at Presburg — The Death 
of the Queen's Consort, Francis I., . . . 334 


The Chancellor's Court — John Dourjan's Pamphlet — Provision made for 
Hungarian Students at Tubingen — Continued Persecutions, . 339 


Travels of the Emperor Joseph — He meets with the Protestants, and 
receives their Deputations — The Superintendent of Debrecsin — The 
Emperor's dislike to the Jesuits — Letter to the Duke of Choiseul — 
Letter to Earl Aranda, Minister of Spain — Suspension of the Jesuits 
in 1773, ....... 342 


Erection of new Bishoprics — The Protestants begin to breathe more freely 
— The Filial Churches freed from the Priests — Petitions to the Empe- 
ror and Empress — The Emperor's Journeys — Development of Religious 
Freedom, . . . . . .346 






JFmirfJ) Period 



General View of the Emperor's Position — His wonderful Letter — Edict 
of Toleration, . . . . . .359 


First Fruits of the Edict of Toleration : Thanks of the Protestants; 
Protest of the Priests of Hungary and some of the Counties — Efforts 
of Cardinal Migazzi-rThe Minister Kaunitz — The Confessor's Explana- 
tion—Pope Pius VI. comes to Vienna— His Efforts fruitless— His 
Master of Ceremonies — The Pope's Departure — The Leave-taking — 
The Emperor's Present, ..... 


Benefits of the Edict of Toleration — Freedom of the Press — The Em- 
peror popularly charged with Heresy — His Reply, and his Decree 
founded on it — The Six Weeks' Instruction of persons leaving the 
Church of Rome — Church-building in Hungary — The Commissions of 
Inquiry and the Homo Diocesanus — The Spirit of the Viceregal Court, 
and of some of the Counties — Extracts from the Petition of the Sister 
Churches to the Emperor, ..... 370 


Reform in the Schools — The Protestants Distrust the National Schools — 
Relief in Church -building — The Church Registers — Organisation be- 
yond the Danube — Abuse of the Six Weeks' Instruction — Poisoning of 
the Abbot Rautenstrauch at Erlau — Persecution of those who wish to 
leave the Church of Rome, .... 376 


Removal of the Bishops from Civil Offices — Application of the Religious 
Funds — School System — Farther evidence of Joseph's love of Justice 
— War with the Porte — Revolution of the Netherlands — Serious State 
of Hungary — The Emperor's Health gives way — Recall of his Reforms 
■ — The Crown sent back to Hungary — The Emperor's Death, . 382 


State of the Protestants under Leopold II., from 1790 to 1792 — Leopold's 
Arrival — Petition of the Protestants referred to the Diet — Royal "Re- 
solutions" and their Consequences — The Diet — The Seventeen Articles 
of the United Synod — Deputation of the Synod to the Cardinal Primate 
of Hungary— Sudden Death of the King, . . . 385 




PART FIRST, FROM 1792 TO 1800, . . . . .393 



1792-1800, ....... 404 


Fruitless Petitions of the Protestants — John Arban imprisoned — The 
command to keep Roman Catholics out of the Protestant Churches- 
Confiscation of London Bibles — Little Warfare of the Priests — A Depu- 
tation to Vienna — The Palatine Joseph's Audience in Vienna — Met- 
ternich and the Ministry, » 407 


The Inner Life of the Church — Attempts to improve the State of the 
Schools — The Famine — Legacies— Support of the Preachers — Ecclesias- 
tical Authority and Order decay^Attempts to get up a School Fund 
and a Periodical — The Bible Society — Preparations for the Reforma- 
tion Jubilee, ...... 414 



The Jubilee Celebrated only by the Lutherans — Fruits — Students For- 
bidden to Study Abroad — Register of Mixed Marriages — Children 
Separated from their Parents — Deputation to Vienna — Persecution of 
the Protestants in Puchow — The King in Hungary — Report of Ladis- 
lausTeleky, . . . . . .418 


The Theological Institution at Vienna — Prohibition of Bible Importation 
— The Roman Catholic National Synod — Hohenegger's Signs of the 
Times— Diet of 1825-27, . * . . . .425 


The General Archives — Catechisms and School-books — Military Chap- 
lains' Clerical Dress — The Summer Schools — The Unauthorised 
Teachers — The Diet of 1830 — Pastoral Letters of the Bishops — Count 
Butler's Conversion — Country Churches, their Attachment to the 
King — Death of the Emperor — Universal Mourning, . . 428 


FERDINAND V. FROM 1835 TO 1848. 

The Old Ministry— The Diet of 1836— The Roman Catholic Deputies- 
Pastoral Letter respecting Mixed Marriages — Payment of " Priests' 
Dues "—Royal Present to the Pastors of the Valley of Puchow — Diet 
of 1840, . . . . . . .431 




Plan for Church and School Reform — Protestant Soldiers in Italy — The 
General Archives — Theresa Szirmay's Foundations — Founding of the 
Hungarian Church at Pesth — Peace in the Church — Attempts at 
Union, ....... 434 


DIET OF 1843-44. 

Royal Resolutions of 5th July — Dissatisfaction of the Protestants and the 
Bishops — Debates at the Table of Magnates — Petition to the Palatine 
and the Diet— Wonderful Declaration of the Palatine, . . 437 


Calling of the Professors to Zay-Ugnacs — Coarse of Instruction — Popish 
Holidays — Provision for the Instruction of the Soldiers — Accusations 
— Death of the Palatine — Foundation of the Protestant Church in 
Ofen— Archduchess Maria Dorothea goes to Vienna — Archduke Stephen 
as Deputy-Governor— Diet of 1847-48, . . .442 

diet OF 1847-48, ... ... 445 

CONCLUSION, ...... £52 


I. List of the Scholarships and Foundations for the Benefit of Hungarian 

Students at Foreign Universities, .... 457 

II. Population of Hungary, ..... 458 

III. Petition of the Protestant Clergy of Hungary, assembled in 1851, near 

the Danube, and addi'essed to the Emperor Francis Joseph I., . 459 

IV. Address to Her Imperial Highness Maria Dorothea, . . 462 


During the course of a tour in Germany in the year 
1846, a number of documents, both printed and in 
manuscript, relating to the history of religion in Hun- 
gary, were kindly submitted to my consideration. The 
Christian friends who had bestowed so much care and 
pains in forming this collection, at the same time ear- 
nestly requested me to make use of its contents, for the 
purpose of writing a History of the Reformation in Hun- 
gary. They thought that such a narrative, while bring- 
ing to the notice of evangelical Christendom in the West 
many instructive facts which had been hitherto unknown, 
would at the same time evince to the Protestants of 
Hungary that the great principles of the Christian faith 
had been endeared to their forefathers, and had formed 
the groundwork of then own Eeformation in the six- 
teenth century. I recall to mind the place where this 
request was made to me, and the many interesting cir- 
cumstances that attended it, together with the persons 
who were the bearers of it, whom I shall probably never 
see again. That epoch of my life is associated in my 
memory with ineffaceable feelings of respect and love. 
It soon, however, became evident to me that these docu- 
ments did not so much appertain to the history of the 


Reformation in Hungary as to the general history of that 
country from the first introduction of Christianity, and 
more particularly to the period after the Eeformation. For 
this reason I considered it impossible to give up writing 
the history of evangelical religion in the first half of the 
sixteenth century, which I could with difficulty accom- 
plish, to enter upon an entirely new work. I was there- 
fore compelled to decline the request which had been 
made to me ; but at the same time I mentioned the 
names of several writers, both in Germany and the French 
cantons, whom I thought quite capable of performing the 
honourable task that had been proposed to me. 

I heard no more of the work in question until lately 
(July 1853), when I learnt that the book had been com- 
pleted^ and I was requested to edit it, or at least intro- 
duce it to the Christian public by writing a preface. 
The friend who asked me to do this urged as a motive 
for my compliance, that it would be for the sake of the 
gospel and of suffering Hungary. " The Lord," said he, 
" will, I hope, shew you plainly that the demand comes 
less from man than from God." Though I felt that there 
were other Protestant authors more capable than myself 
of making this work known to the public, still I did 
not feel justified in meeting this second request with 
another refusal, and therefore replied in the affirmative. 

I wish, therefore, in accordance with this desire, to 
recommend the narrative to the notice of all friends of 
the Protestant faith. "No complete history of the Church 
of God in Hungary has yet been published ; and the 
period intervening between the reign of Maria Theresa 
and the present time especially, has been hardly sketched, 
save in a few detached fragments. The work that we 


now offer to the public ought, therefore, to be considered 
worthy of attention, were it only for its novelty, but more 
particularly so on account of the labour that has been 
bestowed on its composition. The author is a man pos- 
sessed of enlightened piety, sound judgment, integrity, 
faithfulness, and Christian wisdom — qualities well calcu- 
lated to inspire perfect confidence. He has obtained his 
materials from the most authentic sources. Government 
edicts, convent protocols, visitation reports, and official 
correspondence, have all been consulted with scrupulous 
attention, as is proved by the numerous quotations which 
he cites. He has thus sought to place the authenticity 
of his book on an indisputable basis, and at the same time 
to render it impervious to the shafts of hostile criticism. 
It remains for the future to prove how far he has suc- 
ceeded. While bearing honourable testimony to the 
care that has been expended in the production of this 
book, I do not mean to affirm that, as a historical com- 
position, it is without faults. But I am writing an intro- 
duction, and not a critique. I think that in some parts 
the History might have been fuller and more detailed; 
but the author sought to be brief, and this is a merit 
that certainly possesses its own advantages. However 
that may be, I cannot help thinking that this volume 
will be read with interest, for it fills up a chasm that has 
long existed in the history of Protestant Christianity ; 
it unfolds a page in the annals of martyrdom that has 
been hitherto unread ; it opens up to the Protestant 
Christian the view of a suffering and oppressed Church ; 
and it makes known a nation, distant, it is true, but 
brought near to us by its faith, and which has ever 
become to those who have lived within it an object 


of warm and sincere affection. " Open thy month for 
the dumb, in the cause of all such as are appointed to 
destruction/' said the mother of King Lemuel to her son 
(Prov. xxxi. 8). This book obeys that ancient precept. 
It tells of wicked persecutions, and pronounces in favour 
of the oppressed party, while it brings to light the 
intrigues of their oppressors. The Christian, when he 
reads it, will surely be led to pay more attention to the 
cause of his suffering brethren in the east of Europe ; to 
intercede with Heaven in then behalf; to undertake their 
defence ; " to do justice to the afflicted and the needy " 
(vei\ 9) : for " if one member suffer, all the members 
suffer with it" (1 Cor. xii. 26). 

^ow, although this book is well calculated to interest 
us — the Christian people of Western Europe — it also 
reads a useful lesson to those who suffer persecution in 
Hungary, as well as to those who inflict it. I wish to 
address a few words to both these parties, and it is to 
our oppressed brethren that I would first speak. 

It is absolutely necessary to the very existence of a 
truly Christian Church that it should possess two quali- 
fications : one is authority ; the other, freedom. The 
authority of God, which calls for obedience of man, is the 
principle of faith and life ; and freedom is necessary to 
the action of the Church. Although these two principles 
may appear contradictory, they are nevertheless inti- 
mately connected. True freedom cannot exist without 
authority ; and authority, to be firm and salutary, must 
be blended with freedom. There is an authority which 
must exist in the Church ; and this I would especially 
recommend to the Hungarian Protestants. I cannot 
give them a stronger proof of my regard than in so 


doing, for never was submission to this authority more 
needful. Some Roman controversialists seem to believe 
that Christianity consists wholly in authority (the au- 
thority in the Church is their chief dogma); but, .while 
this is unquestionably far from being true, it is not untrue 
to affirm that a divine authority (the authority of Scrip- 
ture) forms the outward principle of Christianity, and 
without it faith is but a vapour that passeth away. Did 
not Christ himself rest his own teaching upon the words 
" It is written" ? . . . . There is a wide difference between 
the authority exercised by the gospel, and that claimed 
by the Church of Rome. For Rome rests her power on 
the earthly authority of councils and priests, while we 
derive ours from the will of God himself, made known in 
the writings which He has inspired. One is, the rebel- 
lious tyranny of fallen man ; the other, the legitimate rule 
of heaven itself. Let us reject the one, and hold fast by 
the other. 

It is probable that the Protestant Church of Hungary 
erred by departing from this divine authority, and 
therefore did not escape that blight of rationalism which 
swept over the whole of Europe during the second half 
of the eighteenth century. This History informs us that 
there were a party of laymen who exhorted their pastors 
to rest satisfied with teaching the people their duty as 
citizens and Christians, and to set aside the doctrines of 
what they denominated a vulgar orthodoxy. There were 
some ministers — blind guides — who thus yielded to the 
spirit of the age, and thought themselves wise in their 
own folly. This was the inward canker of the Hungarian. 
Church — an evil more dangerous in its consequences than 
the most cruel persecutions. 


The first thing needful, then, to restore the Hungarian 
Church, is to establish within it the perfect and undivided 
control of the will of God as revealed to us in Holy 
Scripture. This was the working principle of our glori- 
ous Reformation. " I have neither seen, nor heard, nor 
perceived anything of it," said Luther, when speaking of 
the mysteries of God ; " but, because God says it, I will 
believe it must be, and follow the word " (Watch x., pp. 
13, 14). This precept, in reference to the supreme 
authority of what is written, is not only to be met with 
in all the books of Luther ; it was also the guiding prin- 
ciple of his whole life. How does the Reformer write to 
the Pope? "I am ready," says he, "to give up to all 
men, and in all things ; but as for the Word of truth, I 
neither can nor will let that go." When the Pope 
ordered the books of Luther to be burnt, — "Let them 
burn," says he ; " 1 have only wished to bring men to the 
Bible." When officious mediators, in the solemn days at 
Worms, said to him, "Trust yourself to us, and we will 
settle this matter in a Christian way," he answered, 
"I can entrust to the power of the emperor both my 
person and my life, but — the Word of God — never!" 
Thus spoke, not Luther only, but Zwinglius, Pavel, 
Calvin, Tindal, Cranmer, and Knox. The doctors of 
the Genevese schoo] are perhaps even more explicit than 
the Lutheran teachers touching the paramount authority 
of Holy Scripture. 

This principle is a necessary concomitant of Christian 
life. Xo church or people can exist without obedience 
to this divine rule. I do not wish to enter now upon 
the field of political discussion ; neither is it my desire to 
depreciate the ancient constitution of nations, and the 


liberties which children have inherited from their fathers. 
But I declare, without any hesitation, that, in the exist- 
ing condition of Hungary, I know of but one cure for its 
numerous ills, for its deeply festering wounds ; and this 
remedy is pointed out in the passage of Revelation to be 
found in chapter xxii. 2. " The leaves of the tree of life, 
which are for the healing of the nations," represent the 
Word of God, and the authority, the teaching, the faith, 
and the life, which derive their source from Holy Scrip- 
ture. It is to this divine authority that Protestant 
Hungary ought to give in her hearty allegiance. She 
has sought a cure for her wounds in the sphere of politics, 
when she should, before all else, have sought it in the 
sphere of Christianity. I do not mean to say that poli- 
tical freedom is a chimera. Certainly not ! But I affirm 
that no nation can enjoy this condition of liberty, until 
the authority of the Word of God is paramount among 
them. There is some counterpoise necessary to freedom. 
Men cannot make a proper use of civil liberty, except 
they are inwardly influenced by the Word of God. 
Should the restraints of Holy Scripture ever cease to be 
exercised in England and the United States of America, 
the religious and political freedom which these nations 
now enjoy would soon be merged in the excesses of an 
unbridled democracy. That respect for law which dis- 
tinguishes these nations, is a pledge of the continuance 
of their liberty, their power, and prosperity. ~Now, this 
respect for the law is essentially derived from the influ- 
ence of Holy Scripture, from obedience to that Divine 
Word which has said, " Fear God ; honour the king " 
(1 Pet. ii. 17). 

If, however, I have descanted on authority in address- 


ing the people, I would now speak of freedom as relating 
to the princes and magistrates. No Protestant Church 
has experienced so much oppression as that of Hungary. 
The persecution arose at the time of the Reformation, 
and exists to this very day in some measure. Religion 
is a matter between God and man, or, as the great auto- 
crat, Napoleon I., himself expressed it, " The rule of the 
prince terminates where that of conscience begins." When 
governors fail to acknowledge this principle, then, under 
colour of enforcing order, a door is opened to all sorts of 
disturbances in the State. If a man is debarred from the 
freedom to worship God according to the dictates of his 
own conscience, he suffers in his holiest and highest 
feelings — he becomes disaffected, irritated, and indignant 
against that human authority which claims an obedience 
due to God alone. On the one hand, doubtless, men 
wanting in moral courage, and incapable of sacrificing 
the comforts of life for the sake of their faith, would 
yield to violence, give up their religious profession, and 
subscribe a fatal recantation from the truth. This has 
sometimes happened even in Hungary. Turning to the 
other side, we shall find pious, faithful Christians, holding- 
fast their confession, and suffering patiently the infliction 
of chains, even of death itself, rather than deny the 
gospel : they are, as their Master, sheep dumb before 
the shearers. But besides these two parties, there must 
always exist some proud, independent spirits, not brought 
as yet under the controlling influence of the Divine 
Word, who will be driven by oppression into fearful 
excesses. Wherever there is a Louis XIV., there will 
also be Camisards. It is an old saying, that " Persecu- 
tion stirs up revolt ;" and if it does not actually produce 


rebellion, it at least fosters discontent, disaffection, and 
ill-will — conditions essentially opposed to the public wel- 
fare. It is, then, for the sake of their own interest that 
we earnestly supplicate the higher powers to grant liberty 
of conscience. What is to be gained by refusing it ? De- 
spite of all that can be said or done, the subjection of 
conscience is beyond the reach of human power. A few 
harmless individuals may be terrified and ill-treated, but 
of their faith they cannot be deprived. Can those who 
attempt to justify religious persecution bring forward as 
an excuse the righteousness of their cause ? Ah ! if they 
had really at heart the prevalence of truth, they would 
allow it unrestrained action. By its own innate power, 
and the voice of inward conviction, it will make its way 
into the hearts of men. It has never yet been thrust 
upon them by the sword and the prison-house ; such a 
line of proceeding would be like teaching philosophy by 
means of the rod. Can we even allow the security of 
public welfare to be alleged as a motive in justification of 
proceedings hostile to religious liberty ? Is it not rather 
well known by experience, that a religion imposed by 
priests, and enforced by the civil power, has no intrinsic 
strength ? It is like the cords with which Delilah 
bound Samson — a single effort suffices to break through 
them (Judg. xvi. 9). Let us turn our eyes towards the 
Eoman Catholic countries of Italy, Spain, Portugal, 
and France — constantly a prey to revolution; while Pro- 
testant nations possess a stability united with freedom, 
and enjoy a public tranquillity which must command 
confidence in proportion as it is based upon the influence 
of the Word of God. For this reason, after requiring 
that the people should submit to the will of God, we 


would require of the prince to recognise the liberty of 
the Christian. 

Nevertheless, control and freedom are not alone suffi- 
cient for the Church : she must also possess faith and 
life. The dominion of the Church among the Romanists 
is an entirely outward system of rule, which is in a 
greater or less degree mechanically submitted to. The 
authority of the Word of God, as acknowledged by the 
Protestants, is. on the contrary, an inward power acting 
upon the affections, the will, and the intellect, renewing 
them by the Holy Ghost, and leading- the converted man 
to obey with joy and not with grief — with love and not 
with fear — from a strong internal conviction of duty, 
instead of a stupid and unreflecting servilitv. 

To enable the Church of Hungary to take the position 
that belongs to her among the other reformed Churches, 
the pure faith held by the children of God must become 
mio-htA" within her. She must, in obedience to the ATord 
of God, believe with the heart and confess with the 
mouth, the fall of man through Adam's transgression — 

* CO 

his corruption through sin — his utter inability to raise 
himself from the miserable condition into which he has 
fallen — the eternal Godhead of the Son of God, who 
became man, and was offered up for us on the altar of 
the cross — justification by faith, which, resting upon that 
sacrifice, rescues the sinner from the death which he has 
deserved, and gives him eternal life : — finally, the Holv 
Ghost (God as well as the Father and the Son) ruling in 
tli£ heart by the Word, and liberating it from the law of 
sin. It is necessary, then, that the Church of God in 
Hungary should confess in heartfelt sinceritv, with Luther, 
as have also confessed Calvin and all the other Refor- 


mers : " The first and principal article of our faith is, 
that Jesus Christ our Grod and Lord died for our sins, 
and rose again for our justification. All have sinned and 
are justified freely by his grace without works or merit 
of their own, by the redemption that is in Christ Jesus 
through his blood. No pious man can give up any por- 
tion of this belief, even if heaven, and earth, and all things, 
should be involved in ruin. In this belief is contained 
all that we teach, bear witness to in our lives, and act 
upon, in spite of the Pope, the devil, and the whole 

If faith in these articles be a living principle in the 
Church of Hungary, that Church is secure. "We demand 
then of that Church to hold this belief, to proclaim it 
from the pulpit, to keep it alive in the heart. We make 
this demand for the sake of its forefathers, for the sake 
of its martyrs, for the sake of its own life and prosperity, 
in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, which 
is pronounced over the heads of all its children. This 
Church has been illustrious in ancient times, and ought 
at the present period to rise up and again take her place 
among us. Perhaps she may only be able to raise her- 
self amidst privation and tears, bound like Lazarus " with 
grave-clothes, and swathed in a shroud ; " but if she lives 
by faith, that is sufficient : her reward will not fail her. 

* " Hie primus et principalis articulus est, quod Jesus Christus Deus 
et Dominus noster sit propter peccata nostra mortuus, et propter 
justitiam nostram resurrexerit. Omnes peccaverunt et justificantur gratis, 
absque operibus, seu meritis propriis, ex ipsius gratia, per redemptionera 

quae est in Christo Jesu in sanguine ejus De hoc articulo cedere 

nemo piorum potest, etiam si ccelum et terra ac omnia corruant. In hoc 
articulo sita sunt et consistant omnia quse contra papam, diabolum, et 
universum nrundum, in vita nostra docemus, testamur, et agimus." — (Artie. 
Smalcaldii, 2d part.) 


We can exhort her boldly from the west of Europe — 
from the foot of the Alps — from that town of Calvin 
which has always regarded her with affection — in words 
from Holy Writ—" Awake thou that sleepest, and arise 
from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light" (Eph. 
v. 14). 

In conclusion; I would return to what I have before 
expressed. This book is not one for ordinary reading. 
It is not simply to be considered as a book, for it is the 
exponent of a fact. A branch of the great family of the 
gospel has been forgotten by the rest, and this wrong, 
although of long existence, must be redressed. After 
having read this volume, the reader must not rest satis- 
fied, as is usually the case, with placing it upon the 
shelves of his library. These pages contain a solemn 
appeal to all true Christians. What God requires of 
those who shall read them is, — to pray, to believe, to hope, 
and to act towards Protestant Hungary in faith and love. 

I will terminate by quoting the prayer which Luther 
offered up when he saw the Turks threatening to attack 
Hungary, and thence Germany — " Here comes the 
Turk, the Rod of God, with a great and powerful army, 
sweeping over Hungary ;" and I would wish every Hun- 
garian, and every friend of Hungary, to pray with that 
reformer (Opp. xxii. p. 2350) : — 

" O Lord God, have mercy upon this poor land. Con- 
found the Devil according to thy great power. Protect 
thy Church against thy foes. Glorify thy Son. Look 
not on our sins. Give us thy Holy Spirit, and grant us 
a true and certain knowledge of thy pure Word. Amen." 

Merle d'Aubigne. 

Geneva, September 1853. 




JTtrst Period 

V1KNNA, A.D 1008. 



The kingdom of Hungary, also called Pannonia, once so 
mighty and powerful, is even now one of the largest crown lands 
of the Austrian empire ; containing above 5000 geographical or 
110,000 English square miles. It was only by slow degrees 
that it assumed its present form. It is divided into Upper and 
Lower Hungary, or the circuits beyond and on this side of the 
Danube and Teiss, and contains fifty-two counties, which in 
independence and form of jurisdiction much resemble the Swiss 
Cantons. Some of the counties occupy the space of a small 
kingdom ; for example, Bihar county contains 4200, and Pesth 
4050 English square miles. There are also entire circuits which 
have hitherto enjoyed peculiar immunities, freedoms, and privi- 
leges, as in the Jazygier and Rumania, as also in Little Rumania 
between the Danube and Teiss, which have always had the 
Palatine as their highest judge. To Hungary are also reckoned 
the regencies of Transylvania, Slavonia, Croatia, Dalmatia, and 
the military boundary. The whole territory is 460 English 
miles long, and 345 broad. 

This large kingdom — almost surrounded by the majestic Car- 
pathian chain as a garden with a fence, and intersected by vari- 
ous navigable rivers, abounding with the choicest fish, as the 
Teiss, the Save, the Drave, and the royal Danube — produces 



within itself all that the necessities and comforts of life demand. 
Distinguished by its excellent breeds of cattle, and by natural 
productions of every kind, as com, wine, and tobacco, gold and 
silver, rock-salt and iron ; with a climate temperate and (except- 
ing the marshy regions of Lower Hungary) very healthy ; the 
industrious inhabitants enjoy everywhere an abundance of all 
that they require. Strangers need only avoid the richer diet of 
the country, and they soon find themselves at home, ready to 
join in the songs of our fathers — 

" No other land like Hungary, 
No other songs like hers." * 

For these reasons, the Romans chose to take forcible possession 
of Hungary beyond the Danube f six years before the Christian 
era, and gradually pushed forward till, in the year 106, the terri- 
tory above the Teiss and the present Transylvania were con- 
quered under the Emperor Trajan, from whom it received the 
name of Dacia. Hither were Roman colonies sent, according to 
the usual custom ; but when the power of Rome began to decline, 
this land met with the fate of other Roman dependencies, and 
passed gradually into other hands. In the year 270, the Goths 
took possession of Dacia ; and a hundred years later, yielded to 
the Huns, who, coming from Asia like a swarm of locusts, 
covered the land. In the year 434, under Attila, " the scourge 
of God," had the power of the Huns reached its height ; but 
that power was doomed to crumble down in the year 469, 
through the quarrels of Attila's three sons. We now find in 
Dacia the Gepidse, and in Pannonia the Eastgoths, who, in the 
year 489, under their king Theodorick, passed over into Italy. 

Into their place came the Longobarden or Longbeards, and 
shortly after the Avari, a people nearly related to the Huns. 
These last, in the year 565, conquered the Gepidse, and thus 
took possession of Pannonia. They also conquered Styria, 
Illyria, Dalmatia, and Austria (Noricum), and even took posses- 
sion of Constantinople. 

By their plundering excursions in Germany, Italy, and even 
so far as France, the Avari drew on themselves the wrath and 

* " Mag mem Ungarn nicht vertauscben, 
Mag nicht fremden Liedern lauschen, 
Nirgends ist's wie hior, so gut." 
t Beyond the Danube means, here and elsewhere in this book, the south- 
western side of the river, or the part nearer Rome. 


the army of Charlemagne, who, in the year 803, defeated and 
drove them back. 

About this time we find some weak attempts made to intro- 
duce the gospel among this barbarous people ; pious and learned 
monks from England and Italy ventured among them, but, being 
ignorant of the language, and seeking to influence the people less 
by schools and regular continued training, than by the outward 
ceremonies of religion, they left but few traces of their work 
behind. The little which they had done was shortly after de- 
stroyed by the Magyars or Hungarians, who, coming over from 
Asia under the guidance of Almus, took possession of and 
gradually consolidated the entire land. These sought out the 
seats of their distinguished ancestors, the Huns, and increased in 
power until, under the renowned Arpad, they reached the summit 
of their glory, and made themselves the terror of all surrounding 
nations. About this time two distinguished Christian mission- 
aries, Cyrill of Illyria and his brother Methodius, laboured with 
much success in the countries adjoining Hungary. The former 
had been sent out by the Greek Emperor Michael into Bulgaria, 
from whence he passed, accompanied by his brother, into Croatia 
and Moravia. Here he succeeded, about the year 902, in per- 
suading Swatopluck, King of Moravia, with his whole nation, to 
embrace the Christian religion. 

Of all the accounts we have of the religion of the Magyars at 
that time, the best authenticated seems to be, that they wor- 
shipped Mars as their principal deity, and, on the outbreak of 
hostilities, summoned the warriors by sending round a sword — the 
symbol of their god. They worshipped also the earth, fire, the 
sun and moon, and a goddess* " Rasdi," whence u varayslo," 
the soothsaj^ers or prophets of Rasdi. Whether they offered 
human sacrifices is uncertain, but not improbable; for every 
religion devised by man leads more or less to intolerance and 
cruelty, and, instead of advancing the cause of humanity, sinks 
man deeper in vice and crime, j" 

* Vossius de Idolatria, lib. iii. p. 807. Bonfinius, Rerum Hung. Decade 
II. lib. ii. p. 223. 

t A passage in an edict of Ladislaus n 1077-1095, throws some light on 
the heathen worship of the Hungarians. It runs thus : — " Whosoever shall, 
after the usual heathen custom, offer sacrifice at lakes and springs, under 
trees or on heaps of stones, shall for each offence be fined in the penalty of 


Under Duke Zoltan, between the years 907-947, we find the 
Hungarians plundering in Bavaria and Saxony, Switzerland and 
Alsace, and bringing home a booty stained with the blood of 
their innocent victims. After a nine years' peace with Henry 
the First, sumamed the Bird-catcher, they resumed their preda- 
tory excursions, and learned to their cost that Henry could do 
more than catch birds, for, in a pitched battle at Merseberg, thirty- 
six thousand Magyars were left dead on the field. At Augsburg 
they sustained a still greater defeat in an engagement with the 
Emperor Otto, their forces being nearly completely swept away, 
while three of their chief leaders, Bulesu, Lehel, and Botond, 
were taken, and hanged. 

Humbled by these misfortunes, the remnant of the people 
listened more attentively to the message of the gospel. The 
number of the Christian teachers gradually increased in Upper 
and Lower Hungary ; and being favoured in their operations by 
the naturally mild disposition of the Regent Geyza, they soon 
succeeded in persuading many of this indomitable race to forsake 
their idols, and turn to the living God. 

According to some accounts. Joxus. the father of Geyza, had, 
so early as the year 950, commenced to favour the introduction 
of Christianity among his people. It is evident that under his 
reign some families had embraced Christianity, and that his own 
children were baptized ; for one son was called Michael, and 
another Ladislaus, one daughter Beatrix, and another Amies — 
names which are not found among the heathen. 

More marked was the influence of Charlotte in this great work. 
She was the daughter of a Transylvanian prince, Gyula. and was 
married to Geyza. She had been already baptized before mar- 
riage, and her genuine piety won the hearts of all around her. 
Among the captives, also, whom the Hungarians had brought 
home in their predatory excursions, were many Christians, even 
priests and monks, who, having learned the language, became, in 
the providence of God, the means of leavening the families in 
which they resided with the influence of Christianity. Exactly 
in proportion as they succeeded in this work did they themselves 
receive milder treatment, as if they should thus be spurred on to 
greater zeal. Artisans and merchants from Germany were in- 
vited to settle in the land. Light is coming into contact with 
darkness. The issue of the struggle will soon appear. The 
Emperor Otto hears of the spread of the gospel in Hungary, 


and, in the year 972, sends Bishop Bruno to encourage Geyza 
in favouring the great work. 

In the year 977, Geyza was solemnly baptized. The gospel 
plan of spreading the truth seemed now too slow. Some quicker 
method must be discovered by which the whole nation shall at 
once follow his example. Geyza tries compulsory measures, and 
a nation clinging with punctilious exactness to the customs of the 
fathers is driven to the verge of rebellion, while a baptism which 
they have been compelled to receive produces no correspond- 
ing change of character. His bright prospects are completely 

With his son \Vaik, who was baptized by Adalbert, Bishop of 
Prague, in the year 995, and who on his baptism received the 
name of Stephen, begins the more important era in the history 
of the Church of Christ in Hungary. 




Shortly after his baptism, the young prince Stephen ascended 
the throne, in his eighteenth year. Trying as the position might 
otherwise have been, it was rendered doubly so for him on account 
of his youth, and the religious excitement which then prevailed. 
Charlemagne had succeeded, though not without bloodshed, in 
spreading Christianity in Germany ; and about the year 890 the 
Christian religion had been firmly established in Bohemia. To- 
wards the year 965, the Poles followed the example of the Bohe- 
mians ; and shortly after, there came from Italy and Greece vast 
numbers of pious missionaries, who, with complete devotedness to 
their work, penetrated through the whole of Hungary. These 
labours were regarded favourably by the young king, who, under 
the guidance of his pious mother and the Christian teachers, 
aimed at making his people Christians as soon as possible. To 
this end he issued an edict, commanding them to change their 
religion, and affixing penalties in case of refusal. The natural 
consequence was, that the Magyars, jealous of their freedom, 
refused to obey, and the dissatisfaction which had shewed itself 
under the reign of Geyza now broke out under the guidance of 
Kupa, Duke of Samogy, into open rebellion. 

The young king soon gained a victory over the insurgents, 
and, as a grateful acknowledgment for his success, he finished 
and richly endowed the Benedictine monastery which his father 
had commenced. He was equally successful in an engagement 
with the Transylvanian prince Gyula; and, as he refused to 
embrace Christianity, Stephen kept him in prison for the re- 
mainder of his life, and joined his land to Hungary in the year 

Stephen enforced a strict observance of the Sabbath. All the 


cattle and implements which were found employed in the de- 
secration of that day were confiscated. He built also several 
churches- established and endowed many bishoprics and mo- 

He divided the kingdom into counties — (gespannschaften)-r- 
appointed a royal palatine, lieutenants of counties, and judges ; 
lie established schools for the education of the youth, and by 
strict laws secured the right of property. His last days, how- 
ever, were embittered by domestic troubles. His son Emerich died 
unexpectedly, in his twenty-fourth year. His wife, a Bavarian 
princess, rendered his life miserable by her intrigues. She suc- 
ceeded, by the assistance of the monks, in persuading Stephen 
to appoint his sisters son Peter, from Italy, as his successor, and 
thus exclude Vasul, Andrew, and Bela, who had a nearer claim. 
The two latter fled to Poland, but Vasul was put to death with 
excruciating torment, his eyes being put out, and boiling lead 
poured into his ears. 

The avenging justice of a righteous God soon visited Peter 
with ample retribution. By the extravagancies of his life, and 
still more by the preference shewn to foreigners at court, he 
excited his people twice to rebel. In the second revolution he 
was taken prisoner, had his eyes put out, and died in prison in 
Stuhlweissenburg in the year 1046. 

Glad to be freed from this king, the Hungarians recalled 
Andrew from banishment, and offered him the throne, on the 
express condition that he should root out Christianity; for, 
according to their opinion, all the evils they had suffered under 
Peter's reign were to be attributed to the religion which he pro- 
fessed. Though this condition was much opposed to his own 
inclination, yet Andrew unhappily consented. Little did he 
think how many chinches and monasteries should thus be wasted ; 
how many clergy, particularly foreigners, should be delivered up 
to the cruelties of an exasperated people. Without delay the 
Hungarians proceeded to demolish all that bore the Christian 
name ; and it was on this occasion that Bishop Gellert was 
thrown from the Blocksberg at Ofen, whence the hill to this day 
bears his name.* 

Yery shortly after his coronation, however, Andrew the First 
issued an edict, commanding the nation to return to the Chris- 
tian religion ; and his whole life was spent in its defence. His 
* Called by the Hungarians, "Szent Gellert Hegy," or Gellert's Hill. 


brother Bela came to the throne in 1060, and followed in his 
footsteps, but reigned only three years. 

Scarcely had Christianity thus gained a little stability in the 
land, when the devastating hordes of the wild Rhunen, during 
the reign of Solomon, breaking out of Moldavia, plundered Hun- 
gary to the banks of the Teiss. Equally destructive were the 
invasions of the Bulgarians and the Greeks about the same 
time ; and it was not till the reign of Ladislaus that the clouds 
began to scatter. 

With his reign commenced a bright period in the history of the 
Church of Christ in Hungary. Solomon was soon dethroned, 
and Ladislaus, thus set free, proceeded to invade Croatia, which 
he conquered in 1091, and founded there the bishopric of Agram. 
Having attacked a plundering horde of the Rhunen, he con- 
quered them at the river Temes, and took them all captive. He 
now gave his prisoners the choice between embracing Christi- 
anity and suffering death. They chose the former, upon which 
they received the present Zazygia as their place of residence. 

Ladislaus strove to advance the social condition of his people, 
and for this purpose summoned two general councils or parlia- 
ments. He died in the eighteenth year of his reign, A.D. 1095, 
and was buried in Grosswardein. The people mourned for 
him three years. During his reign, Pope Gregory VII. had 
given Stephen I. of Hungary, and his son Emerich, a place in 
the Calendar ; and a later Pope, in consideration of the great 
benefits which Ladislaus had rendered the Church, placed him 
also among the Romish saints. 

These costly and pompous ceremonies of canonisation tended 
only to enrich the Pope, and to flatter and deceive the people, 
by leading them to look for salvation in outward ceremonies, 
and forget the words of the Lord Jesus, a The kingdom of God 
is within you." 

Rome placed other gods beside the Lord Jesus. The Scrip- 
ture teaches us of only one God and one Mediator between God 
and men, the man Christ Jesus (1 Tim. ii. 5) ; only one Inter- 
cessor and Advocate with the Father (1 John ii. 1, 2) ; only one 
High Priest, holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, 
and made higher than the heavens, who is able also to save them 
to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever 
liveth to make intercession for tliem (Heb. vii. 25). 

At a very early period the Papacy had mixed up with the 


pure doctrines of the gospel many heathen rites and ceremonies. 
Thus was the effect of a preached gospel weakened or destroyed. 
How glorious might the fruits have been, had Rome availed 
herself of the opportunities offered by well-disposed princes, to 
spread the pure religion of Jesus ! What a bright morning 
might have dawned on the land if such an enlightened king as 
Kolomann had been properly supported and directed by the 
Church ! As a man of penetration and knowledge, far in advance 
of his time, we find him prohibiting the burning of witches, 
11 because there are none." The fever of the European Crusades 
had no power over him. The first companies of plundering 
Crusaders who reached his territory on the way to Jerusalem, 
were driven back j the next companies, under Godfrey of Bouillon, 
being more regular, obtained a free passage, with the necessary 
provisions by the way. By prudently yielding to their demands, 
he quieted the rebellious Croatians, and added Dalmatia to his 

After his death, in 1114, his son Stephen II. ascended the 
throne. He led a dissolute life, and died childless, having for 
the last years usually gone in the garb of a monk. He appointed 
the blinded Bela, the brother of Andrew, to be his successor. 
Bela died after a ten years' reign, leaving three sons, of whom 
the eldest, Geyza II., reigned till 1161. 

This wise prince invited labourers from Germany to work in, 
the mines and to till the land. It was during his reign, in the 
year 1142, that Saxons obtained a settlement in Transylvania, 
where they have ever since resided, retaining their freedom and 
their nationality, and numbering, at the present day, 200,000 

His son Stephen III., a good-natured, easy man, suffered Dal- 
matia to be taken from him by the wily Greek Emperor Mamul. 
This loss, together with some other reverses, so affected him, 
that it shortened his life, and he died in the twenty-third year of 
his age. 

His brother Bela III. reigned from the year 1173 till 1196. 
Although educated at the Greek court, yet he kept himself free 
from the corrupt principles and practices which there prevailed, 
and disappointed the fears of the Hungarians by his wise and 
good government. He introduced among his subjects the cus- 
tom of handing in all their complaints in writing. His private 
secretary wrote a history of Hungary. He recovered Dalmatia 


from the Greeks ; and, as he was preparing for a crusade to Jeru- 
salem, he died, in his forty-sixth year. To his eldest son, Erne- 
rich, he left the kingdom, and to the younger, Andrew, immense 
wealth, with the obligation to expend it in a crusade in the 
father's stead. 

Neither of the sons reached the father's expectations. The 
eight years' reign of Emerich is to us, however, of importance, 
chiefly because, during that time, a very considerable number of 
Hungarians joined that band of faithful men who had dared to 
claim the Word of God as their rule of faith and practice, and to 
raise then* voice against the errors of the Papacy • to act as the 
Greek Church had done long before, and break loose from Rome. 
It was the sect of the Waldenses and Albigenses, or, as they 
were called in Italy, Patareni, or Cathari,* which at this time 
gained so many adherents. 

As God has in the rich treasury of nature provided suitable 
remedies for all the ills that flesh is heir to, so has he also pro- 
vided abundant relief for our spiritual maladies. When the 
priests under the Old Testament dispensation forsook the word 
of God, neglected their office, and turned to the world, the Lord 
raised up prophets to instruct the people ; and when the Church 
of Christ was by a hireling priesthood reduced to a state of 
abject ignorance, He raised up single individuals, and quali- 
fied them to strive for his cause. Such a witness for God was 
Peter Waldus. This great man, distinguished by wealth, know- 
ledge, and a thorough acquaintance with the Word of God, who 
lived at Lyons, in France, and translated the Scriptures about 
the year 1170, was driven by fierce persecution from his native 
land, and came to reside in Bohemia. Here he gathered round 
him pious men, whom he sent out to preach the gospel in 

So early as the year 1176, we find in Hungary many adhering 
to the doctrines of the Waldenses, who had sought here an 
asylum before the vengeance of Rome ; f even among the clergy, 
the number who had adopted these sentiments was not incon- 
siderable 4 

Under Emerich' s reign, however, the number of Waldensian 

* See Moslieim, Eccl. Hist., cent. xi. ch. ii. 13. 

t A very satisfactory evidence that the sect of the "Waldenses existed 
long before the days of Peter Waldus — that is, Peter the Waldensian. — Tn. 
X Vitringa in Apocalyps. xii. 13. 


refugees became much more considerable. Those who in France, 
Spain, and Italy, escaped the fire and sword of Innocent III., 
fled over Venice to Dalmatia and Bosnia, where they applied for 
protection to the Banus Kulin, who was a member of the Greek 
United Church, and who stood imder the superior government of 
Hungary. At first the refugees found in him a protector, and 
afterwards a zealous friend. So soon as the wife of the Banus, 
and Daniel, Bishop of Bosnia, had declared their adherence to 
this sect, ten thousand Greeks publicly separated from the Ro- 
man Church. The Pope and Bernhard, Archbishop of Spalatro, 
now demanded of Emerich, King of Hungary, that he should 
punish the heretics, and drive them back to the arms of the 
loving mother Church. 

By the advice of the king, the Banus proceeded to Rome, and 
by his prudence succeeded in removing all danger for the present 
— at least from himself if not from his proteges. Soon, how- 
ever, his zealous neighbour, "Wolkven, ruler of Servia, accused 
the Ban Kulin once more to Innocent III. The Pope, urged on 
by Bernhard, now demanded that Kulin should be banished, as 
also that the bishop Daniel and all the heretics should be ex- 
pelled or subdued by force of arms. But little was wanting to 
make Hungary and the adjoining countries the scene of a bloody 
religious warfare, as the plains of France and Savoy had already 
been made at the bidding of him who styles himself " The Vicar 
of Christ on earth." 

Emerich was wise enough to refuse the Pope's demand. He 
advised the Ban and the Bishop to be cautious, and thus 
thousands escaped the fate of their brethren in the faith in other 
lands. Daniel continued bishop for life ; * after his death, how- 
ever, the Pope's legate, John, who came from Servia to Bosnia, 
succeeded, on the Tuesday after Easter 1203, in bringing a great 
number of the Patareni back to the Church of Rome. The Ban 
Kulin, probably tired of the commotions, assisted him in the 
work. The conditions were, however, very easy. The contract 
was first brought to be signed by Emerich at the royal residence 
on the Hare Island, between Old and New Ofen, and afterwards 
sent to the Ban to guide him in his future conduct towards Rome, 
and also towards the so-called heretics.f 

The doctrines of the Albigenses took deep root, however, among 

* Catal. testium verit. p. 724. 

t Fessler, Geschichte der Ungarn, 6tes Heft, p. 345. 


the Bosnians, and were by this trading people carried into Dal- 
matia, Croatia, and Slavonia, with so much effect, that the 
Hungarian bishops, in terror, demanded the introduction of the 
Inquisition in the year 1228.* 

About this time, after the death of Ladislaus III., the king- 
dom had passed to Andrew II. It was long before this prince 
thought of fulfilling his father's wish in undertaking the crusade. 
And then, the money left for that purpose being all spent, 
Andrew levied new taxes, and fanned out the royal revenues to 
the Jews and Mahomedans. The necessary funds being thus 
obtained, he had his son Bela crowned to rule the land in his 
absence, while he with ten thousand horsemen set out for the 
Holy Land. The only fruits of this crusade were, that after 
having narrowly escaped being poisoned in the valley of Le- 
banon, he returned laden with relics, and brought also with him 
the daughter of the Greek emperor, Laskaris, as a bride for his 
son Bela. 

He found the country like a garden run wild. The haughti- 
ness of the nobility, the rapacity of the clergy, the usurious 
oppression of those who farmed the public revenues, and the 
general demoralisation of the people, were unbounded. 

The difficulties were rather increased than diminished by the 
famous diet of 1222, in which, by the Golden Bull, new immu- 
nities were granted to the nobility. Contrary to his promise, 
Dionysius, who was much disliked, continued to be palatine, 
and the royal revenues still remained in the hands of the Jews 
and Mahomedans, who oppressed the people to that extent 
that many changed their faith for that of their oppressors. 
Thus far was the moral and religious- state of the land debased 
by a monopoly which had been granted without due restrictions. 
In vain did the Pope, who would gladly have had his own 
hand in the bag, warn the profligate Andrew to be more mode- 
rate in his expenditure, and to give the farming of the taxes 
only to Christians ; it came at last so far that Kobert, Arch- 
bishop of Gran, laid the whole land under the Papal ban. 

Thus was the thirty years' reign of Andrew II. one unbroken 
chain of difficulty, misfortune, and distress for him 'and his 
whole people ; and he left the kingdom, in a state of great demo- 

* The founder of the Inquisition was Innocent III. in 1215 ; but it was 
under Gregory IX., in the year 1233, that this institution first became so 


ralisation and poverty, to his son, Bela IV., in the year 1235. 
Soon was the royal authority again restored, and Duke Frede- 
rick of Austria, whom some malcontents had called into the 
land, was, in 1236, driven back as far as Vienna, and made to 
pay dearly for his ravages in Hungary. Misunderstandings 
soon crept in again between ruler and people; for, as the Rhunen 
were more and more annoyed by their neighbours, the wild 
Mongols of Moldavia, Bela brought forty thousand families of 
them into the present Great Rumania, which highly offended 
the Hungarians. Both king and people suffered for this on an 
early day ; for, when the wild hordes of the Tartars, coming as 
a scourge over Russia and Poland, broke into Hungary, only a 
few thousand Hungarians could with difficulty be brought 
together to meet them. " Love is the fulfilling of the law." 
The love of a people to their ruler is, in the hour of need, the 
key which unlocks the treasures, the talisman which conjures up 
armies, the secret power which enables to make every sacrifice ; 
mutual love forms the electric chain through which the spark of 
the ruler's will is communicated to all his subjects, and the 
subject's wish is brought back to the ruler. 

It was lamentable that this bond was not so firm as the king 
deserved, and as the people's danger required. On the 12th of 
March 1241, the wild hordes of the Mongols, to the number 
of half a million, under the guidance of Batu Khan, crossed the 
Carpathian mountains, and on the third day after they swarmed 
round Pesth. Contrary to his own wish, but by the advice of 
Archbishop Ugrin of Kalocz, Bela gave battle with one hundred 
thousand men, at the river Sajo. The Hungarians, in a bad 
position, and hampered in their movements, were completely 
routed. Kalman, the brother of the king, died of his wounds, 
and it was only with difficulty that the king himself escaped. 
He fled to Frederick, Duke of Austria, who, however, plundered 
him of all the money he had left. He then passed over to 
Dalmatia, where, on the islands Issa and Bua, he found safety. 

When the Tartars forsook Hungary, in 1242, they left it 
literally as a graveyard. Many villages, towns, and churches 
were burnt and plundered. Some of the inhabitants fled to the 
marshes and impenetrable woods ; but the rest, without excep- 
tion, were butchered. , When the remnant began to return from 
their concealments, they found the wild beasts so numerous 
that the wolves took the infants out of the cradle. In addition 


to all this, the plague broke out, and swarms of locusts came, 
devouring every green thing. The people lived on carrion — 
indeed, even human flesh was publicly sold in the market! 
A terrible judgment of God lay on the land. All religion, all 
the finer feelings of humanity, seemed completely vanished. 

The sorely -tried king did his utmost to alleviate the distress. 
He travelled through the land, strove to comfort the distressed, 
administered alms to the poor, invited foreigners to settle in the 
country, and thus rescued it from the verge of destruction. 
Bela IV. knew that the inhabitants of a land are its riches, and 
that king and country are rich and powerful in proportion to the* 
number of industrious hands they can claim as their own. To 
spare this treasure, which was, indeed, sufficiently small, the king 
declined obeying the repeated commands of Pope Gregory IX. 
to undertake a crusade against John Asan, the heretical king of 
the Bulgarians. Why ruin his people by another war? he 
thought. The Pope had, by his legate, James, raised sufficient 
disturbance in Hungary, so that the archbishop preferred taking 
the side of the king to that of his spiritual master. Bela had 
much to do to prevent the land falling back to heathen 

The two following kings did little for the land. Stephen 
V., the ungrateful son of Bela, reigned only two years, and 
was succeeded by his son, Ladislaus IV., who wore the crown 
of Hungary till 1290. He spent his time chiefly among the 
Bumanians, who were mostly heathens, and became a volup- 
tuary and sensualist like themselves. He looked quietly on 
while they plundered the chinches, and compelled those of their 
own people who had become Christians to ton back to heathen- 
ism. The exasperated Hungarians fell on the Bumanians, and 
were about to compel them to be baptized, on which they rose in 
troops to leave the land. They returned, to invade Transylva- 
nia, in 1282, but were repulsed by Ladislaus ; on which they 
joined with the Tartars, and returned with an immense host, in 
1285. They spread such devastations that many of themselves 
died of hunger ; the pestilence raged fearfully among them, and 
those who tried to escape were cut down by the Hungarians, so 
that very few reached their home. 

So great was the poverty of the people that many had no 
cattle to till the fields ; and though this was in part attributable 
to the wars, yet the profligacy of Ladislaus also bore part of the 


blame. The two-wheeled ears, which were about this time 
introduced, bear the name of the Ladislaus cars to this day, as a 
testimony of public opinion against the king, that he was, at 
least to some considerable extent, the cause of their poverty. He 
died a miserable death, being murdered by the Rumanians. He 
had neglected the customs of his people, and finding, therefore, no 
place in their affections, they called him " Khan Laszlo," the 
Rumanian Ladislaus. 

The land of the childless king was inherited by Andrew III., 
who reigned from 1290 till 1301. 

Though an intelligent and just prince, yet the land was not 
permitted, under his reign, to recover from its wounds. Mary, 
Queen of Naples, the daughter of Stephen, wished to raise her 
grandson, Charles Robert, then ten years of age, to the Hun- 
garian throne. This unjust claim was supported by the Pope, 
by Dalmatia, and by a faction of Hungarians. It came so far 
that Charles Robert was crowned at Agram in the year 1300, by 
the ungrateful Gregory, whom Andrew had made bishop, and to 
whom he had shewn so many favours. 

Andrew's reign was near an end. Not supported by the Pope 
or the clergy in his aims at religious and moral reform, he made 
little progress in this respect. While he and the clergy were 
jealously watching each other, the doctrines of the Waldenses 
increased rapidly ; and even at Ofen were the adherents so 
numerous, that the Papal legate, Philip Firmian, who had 
issued a strict edict against them, was obliged to save his life by 

In the following spring, as Andrew was, with his nobility and 
those of the clergy who had remained faithful, preparing to meet 
his rival in the field, a black deed stopped his course. His 
Italian body-servant, having been bribed, mixed poison in his 
food, and he died in the year 1301. 

With him ceased the male line of the house of Arpad. Hun- 
gary, formerly a hereditary monarchy, from this time elected her 
king ; and from 1301 till 1540, was governed by princes of 
different families. 



FROM 1301 TO 1540.— THE HUSSITES. 

John Huss — His death — Jerome of Prague — His death — Doctrines of the Hussites — 
Spread and persecution of these doctrines in Bohemia, Hungary, and Transylvania. 

Shortly after the death of Andrew III., we find the Waldenses 
in very considerable numbers in Hungary. Formed into separate 
congregations, and labouring with great zeal for the spread of 
their doctrines, they caused the Church of Rome much anxiety. 
About the year 1315, we find the numbers of this people en- 
lightened by the Word of God — and, even as their enemies con- 
fess, maintaining a high standard of morality in Bohemia, Austria, 
and the neighbouring lands — amounting to eighty thousand. 
Rome, therefore, did her utmost to have them suppressed. No 
term of disgrace was too bad, no crime too great, to impute to 
them. They were represented as maintaining the most terrible 
heresies, though their Catechism, published in 1100, and their 
Confession of Faith, in 1120, completely refuted the calumny.* 

It was in Austria that the influence of Rome was first felt. In 
Vienna some were publicly led to the stake, and among these we 
find mention made of Simeon Scaliger, a Hungarian, who is 
represented as an apostle and angel of the sect, and who nobly 
witnessed for the truth in a martyr's death.t 

In Hungary the priests of Rome were less successful in gaining 
over the civil power to serve their purposes. This land having 
been at all times more inclined towards the Greek than the Latin 
Church, afforded the Waldenses more protection, and furnished 
the priests with fewer blinded instruments for carrying out their 

* Joannes Honert in Dissert. Hist. Theol. de Fid. Religioneque Vet. Vald. 
pp. 38, 52, 62. 

t Catal. testium verit. p. 756. 


bloody designs. The greater freedom of the Hungarian constitu- 
tion was also unfavourable to the workings of the dark and 
slavish Inquisition ; so that even the commands which either by 
force or fraud were issued against the Waldenses were seldom 
carried out. Indeed, the Inquisition never gained a firm footing 
here, and was at no time so terrible as in other lands. Even 
many of the nobility embraced the new doctrines, and adhered to 
them with the more zeal, in proportion as they saw the riches 
and the pride of the Roman clergy increased. 

Thus lived the Waldenses in free Hungary, under the pro- 
tection of the powerful, almost independent, nobility, with little 
to annoy them till the reign of the Emperor Sigismund, when they 
received the name Hussites, and at which time the days of trouble 
and visitation came. 

In the year 1400, John Huss, who had previously been pro- 
fessor in the Academy of Prague, was preaching in the Bethle- 
hem Church in that city. The church was often too small to 
contain his audience. With a freedom, and in an evangelical 
spirit, which reminds us of Luther, he testified against the vices 
of the clergy and the nobility, and did not spare even the Pope 
and his court. Kindness and severity were both tried for the 
sake of silencing this voice, but in vain. Many of his sermons 
are so eloquent, so penetrating and powerful, that they would 
scarcely be allowed, even in the present day, to appear in Aus- 
tria without alteration. With him, gospel truth was every- 
thing, and in publishing this, he cared little for persons and 
rank. He thought with the apostles, " If I yet pleased men, I 
should not be the servant of Christ" (Gal. i. 10). 

As Pope John XXIII. , in the year 1411, ordered a crusade 
to be preached against Naples, and proclaimed a free pardon of 
sin to all who took part in this war, — John Huss, Jerome of 
Prague, and other pious men, protested against the act, and 
publicly declared the Pope to be Antichrist, because he was ex- 
citing Christians to wage a deadly war against their brethren. 
The students carried the Popish bulls and indulgences in dis- 
grace through the city, and afterwards burned them in the pre- 
sence of many thousands of the inhabitants. 

It was very natural that neither Rome, nor the degraded 
clergy, nor the immoral nobility, could bear such powerful testi- 
monies. " Because ye are not of the world, therefore the world 
hateth you." The fate of these witnesses is well known. The 



hatred of the Roman clergy succeeded in having Huss burned at 
Constance on the 6th of July 1415, and Jerome of Prague on 
the 10th May 1416, while the clergy of that tender church, out 
of which is no salvation, quieted their consciences respecting the 
u Safe-conduct " of the emperor, by declaring, " No one is bound 
to keep faith with heretics." * 

" Both of these men died praising God. On the way to the 
stake, they sang hymns, and were as cheerful as if going to their 
wedding. No mere philosopher ever suffered the fiery death so 
nobly as these men did." Thus does iEneas Sylvius testify of 
both.f Their ashes were thrown into a pool, but their doctrines, 
and the love of their followers, could not be drowned. Their 
friends took home, instead of the ashes, a portion of the earth 
where they had suffered. Their memory was blessed. The 
cruelty of their blood-thirsty enemies was in vain, and their hopes 
were put to shame, for the number of adherents to their 
doctrines, instead of diminishing, increased very considerably. 

Shortly afterwards, when the Bohemians were declared to be 
heretics, and when the soldiers of Sigismund attempted to reduce 
them to obedience, a valiant general and defender of the faith 
was raised up in the person of John Ziska, a nobleman, who 
was so well supported by the people, that he gained eleven 
victories in succession over the imperial troops. 

From this time the doctrines spread rapidly, even over 
Hungary and Transylvania, where many of the resident Saxons 
had already embraced the faith, but, for the sake of avoiding 
Sigismund's persecutions, had fled into Moldavia and Wallachiav, 
The doctrines were also, when contrasted with those of the 
Church of Rome, of such a nature, that they commended them- 
selves to every lover of truth. ' What most provoked the Court 
of Rome, and what was regarded as their principal offence, next 
to the rejection of the Roman sovereignty, was the translation of 
the Scriptures into the native language^ and the free use of this 
translation among the people. 

According to the account of iEneas Sylvius, afterwards Pope 
Sylvester II., their principal doctrines were as follows : — 

The Pope of Rome is nothing more than any other bishop. 

No difference of rank should be made among the clergy, and 
not the ordination, but the holy life, makes the priest. 

* Hist. Present. Bohem. pp. 26, 30, 31. 

t iEneas Sylvius, Hist. Boh. cap. xxxvi. p. 75. 


The souls of the deceased go immediately either to eternal life 
or eternal misery. 

There is no purgatory. 

It is a device of priestly avarice, and a useless thing, to pray 
for the dead. 

All pictures of the Divine Being, and of the saints, should be 

The consecrating of water is ridiculous. 

The clergy should be poor, and content with their alms. 

Confirmation and extreme unction are no sacraments. 

The confessional is mere child's play. 

Baptism should be performed simply with water. 

The consecrating of burying-grounds is only for the sake of 
gain, and it is all one where the dead lie. 

The priest's dress, the church ornaments and vessels, are of 
little importance. 

The priest can, at all times and places, prepare and administer 
the sacrament of the body of Christ, and the use of the words 
of consecration is for that purpose sufficient. 

Prayer to the saints reigning in heaven with Christ, is useless. 

On the Sabbath, one is bound to refrain only from daily 

The adoration of the saints must be completely rejected. 

Fasts appointed by the Church have no merit before God. 

The religion of the begging monks is an invention of Satan. 

Every man has a right to preach the gospel.* 

These were the principal doctrines which Rome considered 
dangerous to her interests, and which, by the deluded civil 
powers, she strove to extinguish in blood. The war which, under 
Sigismund, had not been very happily ended, was continued by 
Rome under the reign of his successor Ladislaus, in Hungary. 
Here, and especially in Upper Hungary, had many Hussites, 
during the war, found a home. This immigration had taken place 
especially about the year 1424, when Ziska had led the Huss- 
ites triumphantly through Lausitz and Silesia into Hungary. 
Thousands of them settled in the counties of Presburg, Trent- 
shin, Barsh, Neograd, Sol, Thurotz, Liptau, Arva, Sharosh, and 
Albania. Here they formed congregations of their own, and 
built churches, where they worshipped God according to the 
dictates of their own conscience. 

* Hist. Boh. cap. xxxv. p. 67. 


These circumstances annoyed Rome very much ; but what was 
to be done ? To banish them from Hungary would be little use. 
By so doing, the evil would only spread further. In the year 
1444, therefore, the Cardinal Julian concluded a contract with 
King UladislatiSj that the Hussites, wherever found, should be 
completely destroyed,. The carrying out of this bloody decree was 
hindered by the unsuccessful battle of Varna, where King Ula- 
dislaus. who had been persuaded by the legate and the clergy to 
break his solemnly sworn peace with the Turks, fell in battle, 
and had his head carried about in triumph on a pike among the 
Turks.* With him fell the principal Hungarian nobility, and 
the Cardinal Julian was killed while attempting to escape. 

The great misfortune which thus befel the nation was advan- 
tageous to the spread of the truth. Many of the clergy had 
fallen in battle ; a dangerous foe was approaching ; the cause of 
the Hussites, though as dangerous to Borne as the Mahometan 
invasion, was for the present forgotten. Under the regency of 
Hunyady, during the minority of Ladislaus V., the Hussites, 
united with the Bohemians under the guidance of Giskra. wasted 
and annoyed Upper Hungary. Even the brave Hunyady, 
■who had so often defeated the Turks, could do little against 
them, for his troops were strongly biassed in favour of the 
Hussites. He concluded a peace, therefore, with Giskra, which 
was the more likely to continue, as a terrible event set all Europe, 
and especially Hungary, in a state of feverish excitement. 

Mahomet the Second had taken possession of Constantinople 
on the 29th of May 1453, and thus was the Greek empire brought 
to an end. Pope Martin the Fifth proclaimed a crusade for the 
recovery of Constantinople, and, through the monk John Kapis- 
tran, issued a plenary indulgence to all who should take part in 
the war. 

The Hungarians soon mustered under the guidance of the 
brave Hunyady. But not many of the nobility were in arms ; 
for the diet which had been held at Ofen for considering the best 
means of defending the land, had led to no beneficial result ; and 
the king, with his evil counsellor Cilley. fled to Vienna, so that 
the defence of the country rested on Hunyady and his little 

* " God of the Christians," said Amurad II. as he saw the Hungarian 
king coming down to the fight, " punish the traitor who dishonourest thy 
holy name by breach of his solemn oath ! " Soon he fell under the 
swords of the Janisaries. 


noble band. He was soon strengthened by a company of sixty 
thousand volunteers whom John Kapistran had gathered. Other 
powers had promised help, but did not send. These volunteers, 
though of very different stations in life, and from different coun- 
tries, as well as being very badly armed, were soon, under the 
prudent management of Hunyady, in such a state that they 
attacked the Turkish army, consisting of two hundred thousand 
men, at Belgrade, and obliged them to fly, with a loss of forty 
thousand men. 

Shortly after this, Hunyady died at Zimon, in the eightieth 
year of his age, and in his stead his bitterest foe was appointed 
regent of Hungary. As he was about to punish with death 
Ladislaus, the son of Hunyady, at Belgrade, the army mutinied, 
and killed him. Thus were king and country freed from this 
evil counsellor. The king declared the sons of Hunyady not 
guilty, and, to relieve the mother's mind, took a solemn oath 
" that he would never avenge the death of Cilley on the sons of 
Hunyady." Notwithstanding this, however, he beheaded the 
eldest son Ladislaus on the 17th March 1457, and threw the 
younger son Matthew into prison. As the mother, and a near 
relative, Michael Kilagyi, raised troops to compel the king to 
set the guiltless youth free, Ladislaus Y. fled to Vienna, and 
took Matthew with him. Shortly after, he went to Prague, 
and died on the 23d November 1457. People remarked that it 
was on that day twelve months before, that he had taken the 
oath not to harm the sons of Huynady. 

Matthew remained in the power of George Podiebrad. Tt 
was not long, however, till the remembrance of his father's merits, 
and some other circumstances, awakened such a feeling in his 
favour, that, at a general council held at Ofen for settling the 
affairs of the kingdom, amidst universal rejoicing, Kilagyi, 
standing with forty thousand troops on the frozen Danube, pro- 
claimed this youth of fifteen years, King of Hungary. In a 
few days an embassy was sent to bring Matthew — known as 
Matthew Corvinus — with great honour to Ofen. 

The design of the present work will not allow us to follow 
this distinguished king, and recount all the good which he did 
for his country — especially to record how he, during the 
thirty-two years of his reign, advanced the cause of learning. 
Though constantly engaged in war, yet he spared no expense to- 
collect all the books and manuscripts which escaped the plunder 


in Constantinople and Athens, and to found a library in Ofen, 
and brought thither distinguished men from other countries. He 
also established a printing press. 

The more astonishing was it in this prince, that he dealt 
hardly with the Hussites. The Eoman clergy, however, and 
the Pope, were able to stir him up to this work with so much 
more success, as the Bohemian king Podiebrad had openly taken 
their part, and, to please them, was oppressing the Roman Catho- 
lics. When Paul II., therefore, had excommunicated the King 
of Bohemia, and promised to bestow the kingdom on any one 
who could conquer it, not only the Pope, but also the Emperor 
Frederick III., gave Matthew no rest till he took the field 
against his father-in-law Podiebrad, in the year 1468. Though 
the emperor neglected to send the promised assistance, yet 
Matthew at last conquered Moravia, Silesia, and Lausitz, and 
was crowned at Brtinn, King of Bohemia, in the year 1469. 
This was, however, of little use, for, at a diet in Prague, Podiebrad 
succeeded in having a resolution passed, that after his death the 
electors should choose Uladislaus, the son of Casimir, King of 
Poland, and not Matthew, to be their king. And they kept 
their word. 

Matthew was now not only involved in a dangerous war with 
Poland, but also engaged in quelling an insurrection in his own 
land. His former tutor, John Yitez, Archbishop of Gran, had 
excited this insurrection. The king was successful, and came 
away as conqueror in both cases. 

About this time, the king, who was naturally inclined to be 
just, and who had obtained better information respecting the 
Hussites, recalled those whom he had banished two years before 
to Moravia, and gave them a residence in their own land.* 
What the Jesuits, Szent, Yvanyi, and especially Florimund, 
relate of the great severity of Matthew against the Hussites, 
seems, therefore, to be unfounded, as being directly opposed to 
the general character of the king ; and especially as the latter 
historian shews himself to have been in other points badly in- 
formed. Florimund, for example, while telling of the burning 
of the Hussites before Ofen, makes Matthew to have died in 
1525, while his death really took place on the 5th April 1490. 

How little the king was inclined blindly to serve the interests 
of Rome, and how firmly he was resolved to protect his own 
* Historia Persecutionis Bohemiae, xxii. 


royal rights and privileges against all pretensions of the Pope, 
may be seen from the extraordinary letter which he wrote to the 
Cardinal of Arragon, in which he declares that the right of 
the crown to bestow the bishoprics and other places of trust, he 
would on no account surrender to the Pope.* It is also worthy 
of notice that he kept the learned and witty John, Bishop of 
Wardein, surnamed Pannonicus, as favourite poet at his court, 
and always near his person, although he was frequently writing- 
cutting satires against the abuses of Rome and the person of the 
Pope, with a keenness which sometimes resembles Juvenal : — f 

u Oh, Spaniards, Gauls, Slavonians, Germans, Huns, 
Ye seek the gates of him who bears the keys ; 
Why run so far, ye fools ? To enrich the Latian gods 1 
Is no one saved, then, who remains at home 1 " 

Matthew's successor was Uladislaus II., a good-natured and 
indolent prince, paying Jj|tle attention to the affairs of his king- 
dom. The Hussites had, therefore, heavy trials during his 
reign. He was in the habit of replying to every request, what- 
ever it was, " Dobre" (good), for the sake of being freed from 
all farther trouble, wherefore even the Hungarians called him 
in mockery, " Dobre Laszlo," Uladislaus the Good. When his 
queen was near her confinement, and her mind therefore more 
easily affected by the arguments and promises of her spiritual 
advisers, she was persuaded by the bishops to obtain from him 
an edict by which all the Hussites should be excluded from 
offices of trust, cast into prison, and, if they did not recant, be 
punished with death. | 

In the year 1508 the Hussites suffered another persecution, 
which proceeded chiefly from the Augustine monks. In self- 
defence they handed their confession of faith to the king ; and, as he 
very naturally could not find in this confession the heresies with 
which they were charged, and as they pictured forcibly the dis- 
tresses to which they had been exposed, he was so moved, that 
he modified very considerably the severe edicts which had gone 

* Apud Revan, cant. v. p. 45. 

.t Asa specimen, we may take a few lines out of his poem on the Roman 
Jubilee : — 

" Hispani, Galli, Slavini, Teutones, Hunni, 
Clavigeri petitis limiua sancti Petri ; 
Quo liiitis, stulti ? Latios ditare Penates ? 
Salvari in patria liiccine nemo potest ? " 

X Adrian Regenvolscius in Hist. Eccl. Slavoniae. 


out against them.* In forming this resolution, perhaps he was 
also moved by the fate of his wife. Shortly after persuading 
him to issue these severe decrees against the Hussites, she had 
died in Prague of a premature confinement. With much diffi- 
culty the life of the child was saved, and he afterwards reigned 
as King of Hungary till he met with his death in the battle of 

The threatening aspects of the times, arising from the fear that 
Selim I., the Turkish emperor, would invade Hungary, and still 
more from that irregular mass of crusaders, who, to the amount 
of forty thousand men, under the guidance of Dorsa, were 
turning their weapons against the nobility, — induced the priests, 
and indeed all who were possessed of property, to give the per- 
secuted Hussites a little rest. They lived then quietly and 
retired till the sun of the Reformation, with its enlightening and 
warming beams, shone also on them, ^s with the exception of 
a few points they held generally the same principles as the 
Reformers, agreeing with them completely in acknowledging the 
supremacy of the Word of God, they gladly united with this 
movement. To escape the bloody persecution under Ferdinand 
II. of Austria, many of them emigrated from Bohemia and 
Moravia into Germany, where they, under the guidance of Count 
Zinzendorf, founded flourishing congregations at Herrnhut and 
other places. These churches made most incredible sacrifices 
for the spread of the gospel in Greenland, Africa, and America ; 
and even to the present day their missions are in a most prosper- 
ous state. The Hussites in Hungary and Transylvania escaped 
from the oppression of the priests by emigrating to Wallachia, 
where they long maintained their principles uncontaminated. In 
the year 1716 they sent to the Reformed Church of Transylvania 
asking for preachers to be sent them. As this demand, however, 
could not be fully satisfied, part of them joined the Greek Church, 
and part fell into the hands of the Franciscan monks. 

* Tstvanfy, lib. ii. p. 177. 

t Hist. Present. Bohem. cap. xxiv. p. 83. 




How far the religion of Jesus had decayed in the middle ages 
under the hands of the priests of Rome, and how deep the Church 
and her servants were, both morally and intellectually, sunk, is 
universally acknowledged. The state of Hungary was naturally 
no better than other countries similarly situated. For, in the 
first place, the constant wars did not tend to improve the morals, 
and then the wealth and high rank of the clergy gave them 
frequent opportunities for sensual gratification. The bishops, 
abbots, and superior clergy of Hungary, were, in general, also 
wealthy landholders, who, under the prevailing feudal system, 
were often called on to decide not only with reference to the 
property, but also the lives and liberties, of their dependants. It 
was no wonder, then, that, instead of feeding the lambs of the 
fold of Christ, they involved themselves in worldly business and 
affairs of state, while their lives were notoriously ill calculated 
to adorn the gospel. 

The essence of religion was supposed to lie in the outward 
ceremonies of the Church, which were performed without devo- 
tion by the clergy, and attended on by the people merely out of 
custom. The orthodoxy of the people was tested by their 
attendance on these services. The Popes created one saint after 
another, and appointed them patron deities of certain lands, to 
whom altars were built, and to whom the superstitious people 
fled for protection in the time of need. Pretended wonders said 
to have been performed by these saints were, with the Pope's 
approbation, used as means of drawing the people still more 
closely to the worship even of their pictures and images. 

What Cardinal Bellarmin says of other countries, was also 
true of Hungary. " There was scarcely any true religion more." 


In proportion, however, to the want of vital godliness, was the 
number of " Holy places." In Hungary there were reckoned 
one hundred and forty different places where the image of the 
Virgin Mary was represented as working wonders. These were 
afterwards described with great care, and illustrated with wood- 
cuts, by Prince Paul Esterhazy, Palatine of Hungary, and 
printed in the Hungarian language, " for the conversion and 
confounding of all heretics, for the comfort of all orthodox (that 
is, Roman Catholic) Christians, and to the greater glory of the 
mother of God;" dedicated especially to this hereditary queen of 
Hungary, " on whose birthday the author also was born." 

To give the reader an idea of this book, which is very rare, 
we extract one description, entitled — 

The Wonder --working Image of our Lady at Prcsburg* u John 
Clemens, a native of Presburg, who died in 1641, in the sixtieth 
year of his age, returned shortly after to tell that, though he had 
died in a believing and penitent state, yet he must bear great 
pain in purgatory, because he had not done sufficient penance 
for his sins, especially for a murder for which he had paid only 
two hundred florins. He begged his wife, therefore, to divide 
two hundred florins more among the poor, otherwise he could not 
be saved, f Besides, in fulfilment of a vow which he had made, 
an image of the Virgin must be set on the altar of the largest 
chmch, and a certain number of prayers be read for him. As 
now a certain engraver was about to form a suitable image, the 
spirit of the deceased man shewed him an old image of the 
Virgin which he should set up in the church. When this was 
done, the spirit hung a veil over Mary, and placed a wax 
candle at the feet of Christ, which are preserved to this day. 
The spirit remained some days in the appearance of a white 
dove, and was seen by many, and then, surrounded with great 
glory, was taken up to the joys of the blessed. Many pious 
Christians receive to this day great benefits and blessings from 
this image, to the eternal glory of God." 

The wonders which are told of some of these images are so 
great, that those of the Lord and his apostles appear very small. 
Especially severe are the images of Mary against the Picards or 

* The woodcut represents Mary sitting dressed as a nun, with a stola ; 
the body of the Lord resting on her bosom, and his head supported by her 
right arm. At his feet may be seen a candle burning. 

t Eome's commentary on the text, 1 John i. 7-9 ! — Tr. 


Waldenses, the Lutherans, and Calvinists, who, on account of 
despising them, are struck with madness or other painful diseases, 
and sometimes lose their property and their life. One of the 
most wondrous, however, of all the images, is perhaps that which 
the Druids at Carnotum in France made one hundred and fifty 
years before Christ, to the Virgin and the Child which should be 

A church was built at the same time for preserving it, and 
thereby many a wonder was performed, but especially once, when 
the son of the king had been drowned and was laid out before 
this image, he immediately recovered. The monks in Transyl- 
vania made considerable profits by carrying such images through 
the country. 

In addition to all this, the sermons were filled with the most 
nonsensical fables and stories of saints, and of the wonders which 
they had wrought. Such a thick cloud rested on the hearts and 
minds of the people, and superstition was so universal, that 
escape from danger, victory gained, or any signal favour what- 
ever, was not ascribed to God or Christ, but to Mary, or Martin, 
or George, or Ladislaus. 

Indeed, they went so far as to set up public monuments to 
the saints for their imaginary help ; as, among others, Prince 
Bathory did, in the year 1489. 

That the ignorance of the monks was become proverbial, was a 
well known fact. With few exceptions, they knew nothing 
more than their u Miserere " and Breviary. The numbers of 
those who seemed born for nothing else than to eat, were, with 
their begging habits, a terrible plague to the oppressed country- 
people, and, by their ignorance, their superstition, and immo- 
rality, tended, in no small degree, still farther to degrade those 
with whom they came in contact. 

In bringing such sweeping charges, we are bound to sustain 
them with facts and dates. Let us look, then, at the Synodal 
Statutes of Stuhlweissenburg, in the preface to which Bishop 
Ladislaus Gereb complains so bitterly of the priests. Let us 
hear even the Jesuit Peterfy, who, in speaking of the year 1460, 
in the 33d Canon, refers to matters which shew how deeply the 
clergy were sunk. Single voices, which were raised against the 
prevailing immorality, fell a sacrifice to calumny and persecu- 
tion. Among these, some reckon John Vitez, Archbishop of 
Gran. This man, being accused of supporting the rebels against 


Matthew Corvinus, was deposed from office, and shortly after 
died of grief. 

The ambition and covetousness of the clergy seemed beyond 
remedy. The sums of money which they demanded at funerals 
were so enormous, that Matthew was obliged to restrain them by 
a severe edict.* For the sake of levying money, they often put 
single individuals, or whole districts, under the ban; and in 
collecting tithes, they took such liberties as required laws to be 
passed, at the general national council, to restrain them.t 

The immorality in the monasteries was incredible. In the 
year 1477, Matthew handed over a neighbouring abbey, " in 
consequence of the impure lives of the abbots," to the care of 
the monks of Hermannstadt. Other monasteries were, for the 
same reason, completely closed. It is, then, not true, what 
Cardinal Pazman asserts, that the monks fled away simply to 
avoid persecution, and that, without any crime chargeable 
against them, others came in and took their place. 

Matters were made still worse by Thomas Bakayius, Arch- 
bishop of Gran, in the year 1514. After the death of Pope 
Julius the Second, he went to Borne, in the hope of himself 
being made Pope,. and having wasted all his property in vain, he 
begged the newly-elected Pope, Leo X., to give him assistance 
against the Turks. As Leo had little money to spare, he 
supplied the Hungarian archbishop with an immense number of 
indulgences, promising forgiveness of sin and eternal life to all 
who went to battle against the common foe.J 

There appears something very terrible in this presumption, 
when compared with the Word of God. God alone can forgive 
sin ; and the keys, which were given, not to Peter alone, but to 
all the disciples, were never inherited by any one, in the Papal 
sense. The ignorance of the people, however, served best the 
purposes of the clergy ; for, when Archbishop Thomas Bakacs 
published the Papal bull, on the 16th April, at Ofen, there soon 
appeared an immense number, prepared to engage in this holy 
war. In one month, forty thousand were brought together, and 
shortly after, the number increased to one hundred thousand. 
They were, however, chiefly such as could be very well spared 
in their native villages, and who, from want of discipline, and 

* Article 63 of the year 1846, and Article 2 of the year 1351. 
f Article 45 of the year 1495, and Act 1 of the year 1504. 
X Timon in purpura Pannon., p. 30. 


want of leaders, were not likely to do any great injury to the 
Turk. Some dissatisfaction was felt by the nobles on losing so 
many of their serfs and labourers ; but the archbishop cared for 
none of these things. He appointed a leader, named George 
Dorsa, who soon distinguished himself at Zemendria, by killing, 
in single combat, the leader of a Turkish band. For this deed 
he received from the king double pay, a gold chain, a scarlet 
coat worked with gold lace, spurs and sword, an estate, and, 
out of the king's own hand, a coat of arms.* The archbishop 
made him a present of a white flag, with a red cross. 

The worst fears of the nobility respecting this crusade were 
soon realised. Some of the nobles had followed their runaway 
servants, and, with much severity, had brought them back. 
Besides, as there had been no provision made beforehand for 
the support of this band, they were soon under the necessity of 
stealing, to obtain a living ; and it was not long till Dorsa led 
them on regularly to plunder the nobles and the clergy. As a 
stone rolling down a hill, these bands went on with accelerating 
impetuosity in crime, till the name " crusader" became, as it con- 
tinues to this day, a word of terror. The education of the 
people had been neglected, and it was seen with how much 
truth Luther said, " Take away the schools and the churches, 
and the mass of the people will soon become like bears and 

And, really, like bears and wolves did these crusaders act. In 
this peasant war, which was only with great difficulty brought 
to an end, it was reckoned that seventy thousand men must have 
perished. Among these were four hundred of the nobility, and 
about fourteen bishops, whom the wild rabble either impaled or 
murdered in some other cruel way. 

That was the terrible result of papal indulgences bestowed on 
a people devoid of the fear of God and of true repentance. Sup- 
posed pardon of sin, without corresponding sanctification, made 
them like wild beasts. Means must be taken to prevent such 
excesses for the future. The proper means — educating and ele- 
vating the masses — was contrary to the spirit of the times ; no 
one thought of it. A decree was passed degrading all the pea- 
sants and tributary landholders. They and their children should 
for ever be excluded from all higher civil offices and places of 
confidence."!" But by such a proceeding the state of the nation 
* Istvanfy, lib. v. p. 41. t Act 24, in the year 1514. 


was in no respect improved. In this miserable condition was 
the civil, political, and religious state of the country when the 
report of Luther's work, and the ninety-five theses which he 
had nailed on the church door in Wittenberg, passed from one 
to another. Thousands, in a state of bodily and spiritual oppres- 
sion, paused to hear, and many hundreds asked, when they heard 
these new doctrines, with an earnestness equal to that which per- 
vaded the crowd on the great Pentecostal day, " What meaneth 




Simon Grynaus and Vitus Viezheim, Professors in Ofen— Queen Mary and her Chap- 
lain John Henkelas friends of Luther — Contemporary movements in Hermannstadt 
— First Reformers of Transylvania — Ambrosius and George summoned to Gran — 
Marcus Pempflinger, Count of Saxony — The Pope attempts to crush the Reformation 
— Ludwig II. — Cardinal Cajetan — Royal Decree against the Lutherans — Hungarian 
Students at Wittenberg — Burning of Luther's Books at Q3denberg — General 
Council in 1525 — Louis II. writes to CEdenberg — Battle at Mohiics. 

There was perhaps scarcely any other land in which so many, 
in so short a time, openly forsook the old Church and declared 
in favour of the Reformation. The Reformation appears at once 
before us like a powerful stream ; and when we search carefully 
after its source, we find it losing itself amid wars and misery — 
much like the rivers of Africa, whose sources lie hidden in the 
shifting sands. The immense success of the Lutheran doctrines 
in Hungary is in every respect an object of deep interest to the 
historian. It appears like a well organised and disciplined army 
under able leaders, driven out of the field by a few bandits in a 
guerilla warfare. 

To explain this extraordinary appearance, we must not forget 
how the doctrines of the Hussites brought over from Bohemia 
had, with more or less success, for more than a century, been 
spread over Upper Hungary, Transylvania, Moldavia, and Wal- 
lachia. In vain had been all attempts of the Pope and the 
clergy to banish these so-called heretics. Notwithstanding the 
fanatical zeal of Rome, the free Hungarian constitution pre- 
vented the priests from completing their designs. When a 
decree was obtained against the Hussites — by fair means or 
foul — the next step was to read this decree in the different 
parishes. Each parish must then attend to the carrying out of 
the decree within its own bounds j and when the punishment 


would have fallen on the nobility or their immediate dependants, 
as a matter of course there was no punishment inflicted. An- 
other reason why the Hussites had not been banished, lay in the 
deep hatred and contempt which the higher and lower nobility, 
as well as the mass of the people, entertained towards the clergy, 
so that they were not peculiarly inclined to carry out the wish of 
their priests. The very credible and respectable Thurnschwamm, 
who lived in Ofen contemporary with Louis II., has preserved, in 
his chronicles, a description of the clergy of his time : — 

" For many years," writes Thurnschwamm, " have the bishops 
and clergy ruined Hungary. They have ever anxiously sought 
all high offices at court, and have striven to become councillors, 
chancellors, treasurers, and governors. In my own time I have 
seen Peter, Bishop of Wessprin, acting as banus, that is, gover- 
nor-general, over Dalmatia, Croatia, and Bosnia, &c. See the 
Bishop Falkanus ! " cries this writer ; " under his dictatorial 
sway there is no money left in the treasury. He will not only 
govern the land, but also the king, who is compelled to submit 
to the bishop and depend upon him." * 

This position of affairs, equally injurious to the state and 
church, favoured the progress of the Reformation. Another 
impulse which it received was from the German troops which 
came to help Hungary against the Turks. For, though these 
soldiers generally did as little for the cause of Christ as for the 
cause of the Pope, yet there were many just now among them 
who had caught up the spirit of the Reformation, and carried the 
word of life, as the wind carries the seed, far away to other lands. 

The prose works and the hymns of Luther, which had 
awakened so much interest in other lands, came readily into 
Hungary ; and the more so, as no such strict examination of books 
took place then on the frontiers as now, while the great num- 
bers of Germans residing in the free cities and in Transylvania, 
kept up a close connexion with their native land. Hungary 
and Germany were bound closely together by the links of com- 
merce, and while the merchants brought with them to Hungary 
the tracts which at home excited so much attention, they were 
eagerly bought up and read by an inquiring people. At that 
time each one had liberty to speak and write as he chose, and 
the Hungarian constitution favoured this freedom. It is, then, 
not strange that the Hungarians now demand so earnestly the 
* John Bibiiryi, Memor. Aug. Conf. Part., p. 17. 


same privilege as their natural right, without which they have 
no security for their most sacred claims as Christians and as men. 

The first attacks on this liberty were made by the Popes and 
their emissaries. So soon as any one ventured, either in civil or 
religious matters, to broach doctrines calculated to limit the 
power of these false apostles of Christ, there was immediately a 
bull issued condemning him and his works as heretical, and 
every effort was then made to compel him to recant, or, if he 
refused, to taste the tender mercies of Kome, in the dungeon, or 
at the hands of the executioner. 

Like Galileo, Savonarola, and Huss, Luther was also doomed 
to feel the spirit-crushing power of Rome. As he not only 
refused to withdraw and recant his theses, but, on the contrary, 
continued ably to defend them, — Leo X., in 1520, hurled also at 
him the fiery bull of excommunication, hoping that he too would 
be destroyed by its power. Luther was not the man to tremble. 
He wrote a commentary on the Pope's bull ; shewed how it had 
been issued without hearing him in self-defence ; and then wrote 
another fly-sheet, entitled The Babylonian Captivity, in which 
he did not spare the blood-thirsty Leo. 

At this time Luther appears to have had many adherents in 
Hungary, "as may be easily seen from the steps which were taken 
by the enemies of the Reformation. In the following year (1521), 
George Szakmary, Archbishop of Gran, had a condemnation of 
Luther and his writings read from the pulpits of the principal 
churches in Hungary.* 

By this step, however, the friends of the gospel were only 
encouraged and increased. Many clergy and teachers who, with 
a desire for truth, had sighed under the oppression of the 
hierarchy, now stepped forward in different parts of the land at the 
same time, as if by previous arrangement, and declared Luther's 
doctrines to be founded on the Word of God, and his aim to be 
just. The living Word, coming from hearts warmed by con- 
viction, produced a wondrous effect ; and in a short time, whole 
parishes, villages, and towns — yes, perhaps the half of Hungary 
— declared for the Reformation. 

The Jesuit, Samuel Timon, tells us that a certain Simon 

Grynaeus, professor in the academy in Ofen, began to teach the 

doctrines of Luther ; and the apostolic notary Sigismund Podlus- 

sani complains of this Grynaeus, that he, in the year 1523, had, 

* Archbp. Strigon, Comp. dat. Zymavia 1762, fol. p. 96, 



with great pretensions of piety, recommended the writings of 
Luther, and having for this crime been cast into prison, he was 
again immediately set free. Contemporary with Grynaeus was 
Vitus Viezheim, labouring in the same school, and in the year 
1525 we find both of these men in exile, the latter as professor of 
Greek in Wittenberg, and the former as professor of philosophy 
in Basle. 

The same spirit animated the pastor John Cordatus,* and the 
chaplain of Queen Mary, John Henkel. This latter was the 
friend of Erasmus : and having explained to the queen the true 
nature and aim of Luther's work, he gained her over to the side 
of the Reformation. The chaplain was so highly esteemed by 
the queen, that she would on no account part with him. In 
1530, she and her chaplain went to the diet at Augsburg, and 
when all others were, by the order of Charles, prevented from 
preaching, Henkel still continued to proclaim the Word of God 
at the court of Mary. 

Her love to the truth may be seen from the fact that she 
always carried about with her a Latin Testament, which was 
afterwards found to be full of annotations in her own hand- 
writing. At the diet of Augsburg she is said to have warned 
her brother Charles to see that he should not be deceived by 
the priests as her husband Louis II. had been.f 

It is well known that when Luther wrote to Queen Mary, 
sending her four psalms which he had translated for her 
comfort, and one of his own hymns, J he remarks that 
" he has with great pleasure seen that she is a friend of the 

* After the death of the king and removal of the queen, Cordatus could 
remain no longer in Ofen. He is probably the pastor of Zwickau, to whom 
Luther wrote in 1530 ; and who, therefore, never returned to Hungary. We 
are confirmed in this opinion partly by the complete silence of church 
history, partly by a singular passage in a commentary on the 65th Psalm by 
Celusius ,— In loc. Theol. Hist. M. Casp. Titii, 1664,4 to Loc. 33, cap. v. § 8, p. 
1361; Conrad Cordatus, a very learned man, the first superintendent in 
Standal, used to say in his sermons — " As I used to tell my congregation," 
he said, " in Ofen, in Hungary, where I was for some time pastor, that on 
account of their sins God would send the Turks to punish them, — they 
found it ridiculous. It took place, however, on account of their impenitence, 
which is the greatest possible ingratitude, and the same can happen to you 
while you are despisers of the Word of God." 

t Spalatin relatio cle comitiis, August 1530. 

X " Mag auf Ungluck nicht widerstehn." 


It is therefore in vain that the Jesuit Gabriel Zerdahelyi denies 
that she favoured Protestantism ; for, even if all the proofs which 
have already been given were not sufficient to convince a Jesuit, 
still he should not close his ears to the complaint of the Pope's 
legate, Jerome Alexander, who, in the year 1539, when she was 
regent of Belgium, accuses her to her brother Charles V., " that 
she did not cease on all occasions to shew favour to the Lutheran 
religion." The ground of this complaint was, that she had 
attempted to draw away the Elector of Treves from the League 
of Nuremberg, and had detained the French embassy sent to 
consult with the emperor about the best means for crushing the 
Protestants. * We afterwards find her accompanying her brother 
to Spain, where she died in the year 1558. 

In the town of Bartfeld in Upper Hungary, a certain D. Isaiah 
had struggled hard against Popery till the year 1539, when 
Leonard Stockel, returning from Germany, persuaded the whole 
parish to become Protestant. The miners, who had been brought 
out of Germany many years before, and who still retained their 
German language and customs, had at once declared in favour of 
Luther, and from the beginning of the Reformation had partaken 
of the communion in both kinds, as even the reprobate physician 
Paul Bacsmegy acknowledges. f 

In the free cities Presburg, Guns, and CEdenberg, and still 
more among the Saxons in Transylvania, a most decided ad- 
herence to Luther's writings was exhibited. Rome saw the 
thunder-cloud gathering over her head, and made every effort to 
escape the impending danger. 

King Louis, who had only reached his sixteenth year, and was 
therefore not in a state to form an independent judgment, was 
made the blind tool of the priests. On his way home from 
Prague, where his wife was crowned in 1522, he had directed 
the citizens of Iglau in Moravia to meet him at Olmutz, and 
having warned and threatened them, he threw their faithful 
pastor John Speratus into prison. 

In the same spirit, immediately on his return to Ofen, he wrote 
.to the authorities at Hermannstadt ; and, as a faithful son of the 
Church, he had good reason to send a warning to that city, for 
Count Mark Pempflinger, under whose special protection the city 
stood, had at that time a quarrel with the Archbishop of Gran, 

* Seckendorff, lib iii. sect. 18, § 80, p. 206. 
+ Leisure Hours, p. 623. 


and it afforded him some satisfaction to be able to vex the 
archbishop by favouring the Protestants. God maketh even 
the wrath of man to praise him. When, therefore, Luther's 
writings were brought in thick succession by the merchants, and 
when the citizens read with astonishment what was written 
respecting " Christian Liberty," " Confession," " Repentance," 
" Baptism," " The Sufferings of Christ," " The Communion," 
" The Epistle to the Galatians," and similar works, they 
demanded that the Popish abuses should be removed.* 

Just at this time there came two monks out of Silesia, by name 
Ambrose and George, who had known Luther personally, and 
had heard him explain his own views. These men soon succeeded 
in clearing away any doubts which still remained on their minds, 
and very soon, by the power of the truth, many were brought to 
taste the glorious liberty of the children of God.f 

A third monk, John Surdaster, soon joined them. His zeal 
was so burning, that he, at first in the open air, and afterwards 
in the Elizabethan Church under the protection of Mark Pemp- 
flinger, delivered a series of lectures on Luther's theses. The 
people, and even the members of the town-council, heard him so 
gladly, that, notwithstanding the opposition of the clergy and 
the threats of the court, catechisations were held in the public 
squares and market-places. And though the archbishop suc- 
ceeded in bringing the two Silesian monks to Gran, and though, 
notwithstanding their "safe-conduct" from the king, they never 
returned to Transylvania, yet the fire which was kindled in the 
hearts of the Saxons in Hermannstadt was never extinguished. 
It was little wonder if those whom Rome had trained to the 
bitterest intolerance against all views of religion but their own, 
should all at once forget what had been so deeply imprinted on 
them. And, however the historian may deplore some things 
which took place, yet it certainly ill becomes Rome to complain 
that the Protestants sometimes mocked and annoyed the priests 
in their religious services ; turned some of them out of office, and 
filled their place with preachers of the gospel; and that the 
curates who came to gather in the tithes were often met with 
mockery, and sent away without their ducks and geese. 

During the magnificent processions of Corpus Christi day, 
many of the citizens might have been heard saying, " Our priests 

* Haner, Hist. Eccl. p. 147. 

t Snieizel de Statu Luth. in Transyl. p. 23. 


suppose God to be blind while they light him so many candles ;" 
and others replied, u They think God to be a child whom they 
must carry about."* They refused to give Mary the prescribed 
honour, and declared the chanting of the " horns" in the cathedral 
to be folly, for the Lord had taught us to pray, " Our Father 
who art in heaven." f 

Rome hoped to crush all these movements by force. At the 
instigation of Cajetan the Pope's legate, Louis issued the terrible 
edict of 1523, according to which, " All Lutherans, and those who 
favour them, as well as all adherents to the sect, shall have their 
property confiscated, and themselves be punished with death, as 
heretics and foes of the most holy Virgin Mary." 

The priests had now obtained their wish. The Archbishop of 
Grdn, Cardinal Ladislaus Szalkay, on his return from Rome, had 
a royal commission sent down to Transylvania, and especially to 
Herman nstadt, to purge it of its heresy. On their arrival, all 
the writings of Luther were sought for and taken by force out of 
the hands of the citizens, to be publicly burned in the market- 
place. The same took place in other towns in Hungary, and 
especially in OEdenberg, where we find the following entry in 
the accounts of the treasurer of the city, anno 1525 : — " Monday 
after New-year's-day, to the hangman for burning the Lutheran 
books, 1 d, d." \ 

When the binning of the books, and the excommunication of 
Luther and his followers, which was renewed on the 15th August 
1524, did not produce the desired effect, the legate and the 
archbishop brought the king and their party so far, that at the 
diet of Bakosch, a decree was passed, that " All Lutherans shall 
be rooted out of the land; and wherever they are found, either by 
clergy or laymen, they may be seized and burned." § 

Although the drawn sword seemed thus to hang over all who 
were not good Roman Catholics, yet the preachers of the gospel, 
as well as the friends of Luther, increased. The young men 
began to go to Germany, and especially to Wittenberg, to study; 
and the terrible decrees of 1523 and 1525 appeared, as in apo- 
stolic times, only to give more courage to profess the truth. A 

* In the original, " Die priester denken Gott sei ein Kind, dass man 
ifn fiihren und in den armen der alten Weiber in der Stadt herumtragen 

t Querelae seu scriptum dom. capit. super Luther, Anno 1526. 

% (Edenberg City Records, Acct. of Father Vipser, 1525. 

§ Csesar Baronius, Annal. 1525. Artie. 4, Anni 1525. 


Hungarian, of the name of Martin Cyriacus, went to Wittenberg 
in 1520. Dionisius Linzius Pannonius followed in 1524, as also 
Balthasar Gleba, a native of Ofen, as the records of the Univer- 
sity attest. Shortly afterwards, John Uttmann from Ofen, 
Christian Lany, John Sigler from Leutschan, Michael Szaly, 
Matthew Biro de Vay, and George Debrecsin, are found studying 
under Luther and Melancthon, at least previous to the year 1530. 
^11 of these returned to Hungary, as powerful agents for spread- 
ing the Reformation.* 

The Pope Clement VII. had written Louis a friendly letter, 
under date 2 2d January 1524, sending him 60,000 ducats 
(£28,000) for the war against" the Turks; and was, no doubt, 
gratified with the terrible law of 1525. ■ Indeed he had no reason 
to be displeased, either with his legate, or with his archbishop 
Szalkay, for both of them were sufficiently zealous, and the king 
was generally very submissive. But now, when the law was 
passed for the extirpation of the Protestants, Louis appeared to 
have no courage to execute it. Or did Queen Mary here act the 
part of the wife of Pontius Pilate, and warn her husband 
against the bloody work ? History furnishes us with no evidence 
on this point, but leaves abundant room for reasonable conjecture. 

All that the king could be persuaded to do, was to write once 
more to the authorities of different towns, reminding them of 
their duty. The archbishop had demanded the death of the 
Count of Saxony at Hermannstadt, but the king simply wrote him, 
reminding him of his office as executor of the laws, and promis- 
ing royal favour if he were diligent in banishing the heretics.f 

Count Pempflinger, however, who was really in earnest in 
advancing the Protestant cause, found occasion of delay, as he 
was about to present to the king a petition on behalf of the 
priests, monks, and students. The king had commanded them, 
under pain of death and confiscation of their property, to join 
immediately in the war, leaving only one priest behind for every 
two parishes. As Pempflinger was on his way to the king, he 
received news of the terrible defeat at Mohacs, on the 29th August 
1526. He now hastened back to quiet the disturbances which 
the monks had made in his absence, and with great prudence he 
succeeded in this attempt. 

* Petrus Monedulanus Lase. Hung. 

+ Smeizel de Stat. Luth. p. 34. Tinaon. Epitom. Chron. Kerum Hung. 




Death of Louis II. — Death of the Archbishop — The Cardinal Legate flies and is over- 
taken — John Zapolya remains inactive— The Turks take Ofen, and burn the Car- 
vinian Library — Consequences of the Battle in the spread of the Gospel. 

As the Turkish Emperor Soliman came nearer and nearer like 
the wasting lavine, little hope could be entertained for the safety 
of the country. Belgrade was taken ; the emperor was already 
in Peterwardein, the Hungarian Gibraltar, and still nothing done 
to defend the country. 

In a letter of 20th February, he demanded tribute of Louis, 
threatening him at the same time with the destruction of Ofen, 
the extinction of the Christian religion, and the complete subju- 
gation of himself and his princes, whom Soliman designated 
" fat oxen."* 

The misery of Hungary was almost incredible. The priests 
thought only of pursuing the heretics ; the nobility were divided 
into factions, and devoid of public spirit ; the divisions and 
jealousies were increased by the influence of the crafty lawyer 
Verboesy, who was now become palatine. With the exception 
of the Pope's 60,000 ducats, which were but as a drop in the 
ocean, the king had no money for the exigency. What was 
worse, he had no proper advisers. The rich and influential John 
Zapolya, who had hopes of one day becoming king, did not even 
assist him, so that he was compelled to force his nobles into the 
field, under threat of punishing for treason those who did not 

No one would exert himself to do his duty, and very few did 
* Fessler, Hist. Hung. vol. vi. p. 274. 


anything. The bishops, whose united income would have sup- 
ported an army, preferred giving up the silver coffin of their 
saint Gerhard and the treasures of the Church, rather than their 
own treasures. 

The country people, who, since the time of the disturbances 
under Dorsa, had been much neglected, were rendered still more 
indifferent to their native land, on account of being deprived of 
their most valuable right, religious liberty. 

On the 23d July 1526, Louis II. took leave of his young wife 
on the island Csepel, near Ofen, and set out with a small army 
to meet the vast forces of Soliman. 

As he proceeded, his army gradually increased by the influx 
of such hired servants and dependants as the bishops and nobles 
were bound to send ; yet, when he reached Mohacs in the county 
of Barany, he had only twenty-seven thousand men. In the 
absence of an experienced general, this army was intrusted to 
Archbishop Tomory, who had at one time been a Franciscan 
monk, at another time had gained a splendid victory over Terkat- 
Beg, and who now had the task of leading them on to be 
slaughtered by an army of fifteen times their own number. 

The blinded aristocracy, who had more valour than wisdom, 
in conjunction with the palatine, would not wait for the troops 
which were expected from King Ferdinand, but forced the 
king, against his will, to fight. The king, from all sides sorely 
pressed, must take the lead. On the 29th August he put on 
his armour, but his friends observed that he was deadly pale. 
Archbishop Tomory, and the more cautious officers, already saw 
the issue. 

Bishop Perenyi remarked, " Here go twenty-six thousand 
Hungarians under the guidance of the Franciscan Tomory into 
the kingdom of heaven as martyrs for the faith ; and it would 
be highly desirable if at least the chancellor — who is acquainted 
with the Pope — should be spared to go to Borne and have 
them all made saints." 

The worst fears were realised. Before evening the plain of 
Mohacs was covered thick with the slain. Seven bishops, twenty- 
eight princes, five hundred nobles, and twenty thousand warriors 
lay on the field. Very few escaped. The king and the legate 
made an attempt to fly. King Louis was about to cross the 
marshy lake Csele, and thus escape, but his horse, having 
reached the further bank, fell backwards and crushed him in the 


mud. The cardinal legate was overtaken in his flight, and 
killed. Such was the battle of Mohacs ! 

As the Turkish Emperor Soliman came on the morrow to 
see the slain, at the sight of Szalkay, the Archbishop of Gran, 
he is reported to have said, " He was a despicable miser, who, 
with all his wealth, refused to help his king in the time of 

Plundering and wasting without opposition, Soliman reached 
Ofcn on the 9th September. The town was set on Are, and the 
library, with its forty thousand volumes, and the precious manu- 
scripts which Matthew had collected with so much care, were 
all burned. After many years single volumes were rescued 
from the ruins, and, as doubly valuable monuments of a melan- 
choly epoch in the history of Hungary, they were bought up and 
preserved, partly by monasteries, partly by private individuals. 

Let us now look at the consequences of the battle of Mohacs 
in the spread of the gospel. The Lord advances his cause on 
earth generally in a way which we least expect. As a gardener 
prepares the ground, and lays in the seed, so He prepares the 
heart of man by a process which is often bitter to the flesh, and 
in astonishment we see the trees growing up and bearing luxu- 
riant fruit. 

Such was the case in the battle of Mohacs, which was at first 
considered not only as a great national, bat even European, cala- 
mity. God knew how to change the curse into a blessing. For, 
as the terrible defeat of the Hungarians in Bavaria in 955 broke 
down their pride, cured them of their lust for plunder, and pre- 
pared the way for receiving Christianity, so did the bloody 
battle of Mohacs remove so many powerful and bitter foes of 
the gospel, and took away at the same time means and agents 
for carrying out the bloody law of the last diet. 

To have a clear perception, however, of this comforting truth, 
we must review the political state, and the internal confusion, of 
the country at that time. 

The utter incapacity of Uladislaus, father of Louis II., to 
govern the country, had induced the assembled Hungarians, in 
the field of Eakosh in 1505, to pass the decree, " That in future 
no foreigner can be chosen king. A native Hungarian must 
wear the crown." Though the powerful and ambitious John 
Zapqlya had exerted himself to the utmost, for private reasons, 
to obtain this decree, which was not very complimentary to 


^ Uladislaus, yet there were many who voted with him in conse- 
quence of the remembrance of the bright period when Matthew 
reigned. Besides, for two hundred years past — ever since 
Arphad's line had ceased — the Hungarians had allowed neither 
Pope nor any other power to interfere with them in the free elec- 
tion of their king. 

On the death of Louis II., they were then, notwithstanding 
all that Fessler says, perfectly free to choose whom they 
wished. The family contracts between Ferdinand of Austria 
and Uladislaus, which had been made without their sanction, 
could not be binding on the nation. So soon, then, as Soliman 
left the country, after having plundered and burned nearly all 
that lay between the rivers Teiss and Raab, and having re- 
duced the population by two hundred thousand, the remainder 
proceeded to elect a king, and the choice fell on John Zapolya, 
who was then voyvod of Transylvania, and he was crowned at 
Stuhlweissenburg on the 12th November 1526. 

Ferdinand of Austria opposed the election, on the ground of a 
contract made between him and Louis II., and was supported 
partly by the adherents of his sister, the widowed Queen Mary, 
and partly by the deadly foe of the new king, Stephen Bathory, 
the powerful and ambitious palatine. 

At a diet held at Presburg, where many distinguished Hun- 
garians were present, the Archduke Ferdinand was proclaimed 
king, and invited to come and take possession of the crown of 
Hungary. After being first crowned King of Bohemia, he, on 
the 1st August 1527, proceeded with his army to Hungary, 
where he subdued all the country as far as the Danube. 
Zapolya fled from Ofen, and the same Archbishop of Gran, 
who had crowned him twelve months before, now crowned 
Ferdinand as King of Hungary at Stuhlweissenburg on the 3d 

Hungary had now two kings, and the miserable country was 
peeled and torn by a civil war, and by the persecutions of the 
Church against those who had left her communion. 

John was anxious to confirm his throne by securing the 
bishops, and especially the Archbishop of Gran, Paul Varda, on 
his side. He accordingly issued a strict edict against the 
Lutherans, threatening them with confiscation of their goods if 
they did not return to the Roman Catholic Church. | "The 
priests availed themselves of this edict to crush the pastor and 


schoolmaster of the mining town Bibethen. The circumstances 
were these : The labourers in the royal mines not having received 
their wages, became riotous, and refused to submit either to the 
royal commissioners or the soldiers ; the priests accused the 
pastor and the schoolmaster as the originators of the disturbance, 
and having arrested the latter, with six of the town councillors, 
brought them to be tried at Neusohl. 

They were required to abjure their heresies, and to declare 
where the pastor was concealed. The schoolmaster remained 
firm, though threatened to be led to the stake, but the others 
were weak enough to yield and return to the Roman Catholic 
Church. The pastor, being now betrayed, was soon discovered in 
his retreat in the mines. Pastor Xicolai was delivered up to 
the priests, with directions to be handed over to John. These 
men of tender conscience, however, being afraid that King 
John might be remiss in his duty to the heretics, took the 
responsibility on themselves, and had the schoolmaster burned in 
the neighbourhood of Altsol, on the 22d August 1527, and on 
the 24th Pastor Xicolai met the same fate, near the Castle of 
Dobrony. With the latter they tried every possible means by 
promises and threats to make him yield ; and remaining firm, he 
was first cruelly stabbed and then burned, as a heretic " who had 
refused the Virgin Mary her due honour."* 

When Ferdinand took possession of Ofen he was not less 
severe. He issued an edict which had previously been published 
in Austria — this time, however, was " given at Ofen the 20th 
August," — and complains that, despite of all that had been done 
against them, still in some places the strange doctrines are gain- 
ing ground, and that even Anabaptists and Sacramentarians — 
that is, Zwinglians — have ventured to shew themselves. The 
specific punishments for heresy are then recounted, according to 
which, " whoever mischievously and perseveringly holds and 
believes anything contrary to the twelve articles of our holy 
Christian faith, contrary to the seven sacraments, &c, by which 
he can be recognised as a heretic, shall, in proportion to time and 
circumstances, be punished in his body and life. Item, He shall 

* Mica Bury MSS. Leonhard Stockel, preacher at Bartfeld, a contem- 
porary, as well as the Church books of Vallens, put this account beyond 
doubt. See Pete, Peschie Malheurs Papist, cap. i. p. 9. See also Matricula 
Plebanorum, xxiv. regal, in Scepus ; where two are said to have been 
burned with the pastor. 


lose all the privileges of Christians. Item, He shall lose his 
honour and can never again be admitted to a place of trust. Item, 
No one is bound to keep any contract with him or pay any debt." 
The " Items " go on to say, " He has no right to buy or sell ; no 
right to trade or work at a profession ; he can make no will ; a 
father who is a Roman Catholic may justly "withhold all property 
from a heretical son, and in like manner, a son may disinherit a 
heretical father.* Whoever shall despise or dishonour the eternal 
pure elect queen, the Virgin Mary, by saying, holding, writing, 
or preaching, that she was only a woman like other women on 
earth ; that she ever committed mortal sin ; that she did not 
continue after the birth of Christ a pure virgin ; that she is not 
the mother of God 5 that she did not ascend to heaven ; — for 
these and such like heresies and errors they shall be. punished, 
according to time and circumstances, and according to the 
aggravation of the crime, in their body and life. Whoever shall 
unite together heretically to partake of what they call the Lord's 
Supper, and demand that both bread and wine shall be given 
them, they shall be punished in their body, life, and estate ; the 
houses in which such deeds take place shall be confiscated, or, 
according to the royal pleasure, be torn down for an eternal 
testimony against them. Lastly, Whoever mischievously holds 
that the mass has no merits for souls in purgatory, shall be 
banished from the kingdom." 

It was also enacted that all who harbour or receive heretics 
into their house are " ipso facto infames," deprived of the rights 
of citizens, and rendered incapable of ever holding office. If 
the magistrates and judges neglect to carry out this decree, the 
town in which such neglect takes place shall be deprived of all 
privileges. To take away the fuel from this fire, it was decreed 
that in the hereditary lands and those not hereditary , no one should 
print, write, copy, sell, buy, read, have or hold any book, writing, 
picture, product or remembrance of Luther, Zwingle, CEcolam- 
padius, or any of their adherents or successors. 

The informer should have the third of the fine or the third 
part of the confiscated property. The edict, of which the 
foregoing are a few extracts, was directed to be publicly read from 
every pulpit at the solemn festivals of Easter and Christmas.f 

* Compare Matthew xv. 4-7. — Tr. 

t See Erlautertes Evangelishes Oesterreich. Kaupach, # Hamburg, 1736, 
pp. 60-68, Supplement No. 17. 


"We can here easily see Ferdinand's bitter hatred of Luther 
and of his work; and if we find no martyrdoms under his reign, it 
is chiefly because the civil war left little opportunity for executing 
the decree. It must, then, be remembered that many of the 
magnates and a vast number of the nobility, as well as some of 
the free cities, had either openly declared in favour of Luther or 
were much inclined to favour his system ; the nobles, too, were 
proud and jealous of their freedom, boasting that they paid their 
king no tribute, and feeling an independence which in no other 
country was known ; Ferdinand's throne was not sufficiently 
stable to allow him to provoke such men/ The nobles having 
observed that the priests had drawn to themselves such pro- 
perties as had been confiscated, resolved at the diet that the posts 
of the deceased prelates need not be filled up, but the emoluments 
given to such men as deserved well of their country. Thus was 
the circle of Eger, with all its emoluments, given to Peter 
Perenyi, the keeper of the crown ; the circle of Neutrau to Valen- 
tine Torok of Ennig ; Wardein to the distinguished general 
Emerich Eibak ; Transylvania to Frances Bodo ; Esanader to 
Caspar Petusith ; Funfkirchen to John Szerecsen ; and Raab to 
Paul Bakith, nearly all of whom separated from the Church of 
Home, and became steady supporters of the Reformation.* 

It was necessary to refer to these matters, that we might not 
be led astray by Ferdinand's apparent tolerance towards the Re- 
formers at a later period. We may see how much he favoured 
the Pope and the Church of Rome by the order which he issued 
through the royal councillor Dr John Faber, to the professors at 
Vienna, that they should draw up a register of every article which 
contains a heresy, in as far as they knew, and hand it to his 
majesty the king.| * 

In the following year he sent a visitation and inquisition 
through the other crown lands, to inquire in how far the edicts 
against the Lutherans had been carried out. Under the direc- 
tion of Faber, several experienced theologians, assisted by lay- 
men, proceeded for this purpose through Austria, Styria, and 
Carinthia, and received everywhere proper assistance from the 
civil authorities. 

At court, also, there was no relaxation in favour of the Lu- 
therans, for, on the 20th July, a new edict was published requir- 

* Papai in Rud. red. 1526, Parman Kalanyi,lib. iii. p. 194. 
+ Raupach, Erl. Evang. Oest. Hamb. 1736, p. 46. 


ing that they should be punished with the greatest severity.* 
On the 24th, the printers and booksellers were threatened even 
with death if they distributed sectarian books. Thus, in as far 
as edicts could help them, the priests had all they desired. And 
yet Ernestus, Bishop of Passau, shortly afterwards discovered in 
the other crown lands, what could no longer be concealed in Hun- 
gary, that the doctrines of the Reformation were fast gaining 
ground. • The wealthy and the powerful were even there also 
very remiss in carrying out the royal decrees ; f and when the 
Pope fancied he had gained nearly all his desire, he had most 
reason to tremble for his dominion. 

At this time the powerful Hungarian magnate Peter Perenyi, 
with his sons Francis, George, and Gabriel, had openly declared 
themselves on the side of Luther. He was the son of that 
Emerich who had been palatine under the reign of Uladislaus ; 
from the year 1527 he was voyvod in Transylvania, and pos- 
sessed immense property in Upper Hungary, in the estates of 
Eger and Saros, Patak with several bordering castles. It was 
probably at the court of Queen Mary, during the reign of Louis 
II., that he had first become acquainted with the principles of the 
Reformation, and through the evangelical preachers Kopacsi and 
Michael Szeray, he was afterwards gained completely over. On 
his estates he used his utmost exertions to have pious and learned 
preachers appointed in the different parishes, and we shall have 
frequent opportunity of seeing how much service he rendered to 
the great work of reformation. 

The evangelical clergy were not labouring in vain. Emerich 
Osstorai had gained the two princes Ladany and Masaly, and 
Demeter Derezki had won over the great Caspar Dragfij openly 
to confess the truth. Dragfij's father had been voyvod of Tran- 
sylvania, and his marriage had been honoured with the presence 
of Uladislaus ; and now when this young prince had reached 
his twenty-second year, he not only himself joined the Reforma- 
tion, but having gathered the clergy and influential men on his 
estates, he persuaded them also to follow his example. The 
threats of King John and the bishops did not much annoy him, 
and he continued steady till his death in 1545. Many tied to 
him to escape persecution, and nobly and generously did he 
protect them. 

* Code. Auth. torn. i. p. 646, " hochmalefizisch zu bestrafen." 
t Raupach, Erl. Evang. Oest. p. 50. 


The reformation of that immense district between the rivers 
Maros and Koros is universally attributed to a woman, whose 
name deserves here to be honourably mentioned. It was the 
widow of Peter Jaxit, whose name is in this district gratefully 
remembered, for having not only herself loved the gospel, but 
for the exertions which she made over all her estates, to bring 
evangelical preachers and teachers into contact with the people. « 

With no less decision did D. Isaiah at Bartfeld labour against 
Popery. Martin Cyriacus and Bartholomew Bogner having re- 
turned from Wittenberg, preached the doctrine of free grace in 
Christ Jesus in Leutshaw, and the Boman Catholic churches 
were nearly empty. And in Hermannstadt, not only did they 
disregard the edicts against the so-called heretics ; but it seemed 
as if the town was making preparation for breaking completely 
free from Roman jurisdiction. 

Under such circumstances, Clement Vll. was not idle. By 
means of Dr Faber in Vienna, he could do what he chose in the 
hereditary lands of Ferdinand. In Bavaria, the duke was very 
obliging, and had Leonard Cohar, a man distinguished by his 
piety, burned in the year 1527. In Vienna, the priests brought 
Caspar Tauber to the stake ; * and, in Poland, the Dukes of 
Masovien had, in the year 1527, issued stringent decrees against 
the Lutherans.t 

There remained, then, only Hungary and Transylvania to be 
watched over. Accordingly, the Pope wrote to the distinguished 
general, Francis Frangepan, to try and prevent the decay of the 
Boman Catholic religion. The Pope had some claims on the 
general, for he had been once a Franciscan monk, King John 
had gratified him with the Archbishopric of Kalotsha, and, as a 
member of the order of St Francis of Assisi, he was peculiarly 
bound to obey his spiritual father. J 

Ferdinand and Zapolya had now fought desperately at Erlau 
and Tokay ; at the invitation of the latter, the Turks were 
approaching. Ferdinand left Ofen on the 3d February 1528, 
and, early in October, King John Zapolya, having gained a 

* " A True History of Caspar Tauber, citizen of Vienna, declared a heretic, 
and burned 1522." This rare document I have seen in the possession of 
Dionisius von Dobschall, pastor in Modena. 

t Stanislai Lublinski, Episcopi Plocencis, op. posth., p. 370. Antwerp, 
1643, fol. 

$ Timon, epit. 1528. 


victory at Saros, sat down at the fortress of Lippa, in Temes, to 
await the arrival of Soliman.* 

John's supporters increased. Many of the princes and clergy, 
who had sworn allegiance to Ferdinand, broke their oath. At 
the diet of Presburg, 27th November 1528, he was not in an 
enviable position, and very gladly did he avail himself of the 
Opportunity of coming away to attend the diet at Spires, in 
March 1529. 

Soliman crossed the Drave with a hundred and fifty thousand 
men, and, in the field of Mohacs, was met by John and his 
attendant nobles and princes. Peter Perenyi, who still adhered 
to Ferdinand, was brought thither as a prisoner, and with him 
the crown and the national treasures. On the 24th August, 
Soliman stood before Ofen ; and the German troops which had 
charge of the fortress, binding their general, Nadasdy, in chains, 
threw him into a cellar, and delivered the fort up to the sultan. 
The sultan knew both how to treat courage and what to do with 
traitors, for he set the general free, and delivered seven hundred 
of the soldiers to the tender mercies of his janisaries, who hewed 
them down.f Gran soon yielded, and the archbishop, Paul 
Warday, with three hundred nobles mounted, and as many on 
foot, going over to John, kissed his hand, and commended them- 
selves to his mercy. On the 25th September, Soliman had 
reached Vienna, and, despite the weakness of the garrison, he 
was so vigorously opposed by citizens and students, that he 
was obliged to retire, on the 12th October. 

The 18th of October, he returned to Ofen, where he held a 
divan, to which John Zapolya and the princes were invited. 
He here confirmed John as King of Hungary, and swore under 
no circumstances to forsake him, " even should it cost him his 
own kingdom." The sultan returned home, taking with him 
sixty thousand prisoners, chiefly Hungarians, and leaving the 
ill-famed Lewis Gritti as his representative at John's court ; 
he also left Kazum Pasha, with three thousand cavalry and the 
Danube fleet, at John's disposal. 

v The state of Hungary was now sufficiently lamentable, but not 
less so was the condition of Transylvania. After John's flight 
to Poland, in the previous year, Peter Perenyi and Valentine 
Torok had gone to bring the country to join Ferdinand ; but, 

* Fessler, Gesch. der Ungarn, vol. vi. p. 422. 
+ Fessler, p. 428. 


being attacked by the voyvod of Moldavia, their troops were 
nearly all cut off. A few months afterwards, the voyvod of 
Wallachia went through the same district, burning and plun- 
dering, and taking away prisoners. It was then no hard task 
for John's new voyvod of Transylvania to subdue the remainder 
of the Saxons. 

While the adherents of Ferdinand were now suffering in 
Transylvania, and especially in Hermannstadt, the monks in- 
creased the miseiy by doing all in their power against the 
Protestants. These servants of Kome could not bear that the 
decrees against the heretics should not be carried out. Matters 
went so far, that the authorities of Hermannstadt issued an 
order, dated the 8th February 1529, that " the monks and their 
adherents should, under pain of death, either leave Hermann- 
stadt_within eight days, and take with them all they had, or 
else they should give up their mummeries, and live according to 
the gospel." Immediately the monks and nuns either left the 
town, or laid aside their peculiar dress, so that in eight days not 
a single individual was to be seen wearing Rome's livery.* 

In the meantime, Ferdinand had been crowned King of Rome, 
and was waiting quietly in Germany, receiving the messengers, 
who told him of the desperately oppressed state of his adherents 
in Hungary, but doing nothing for their relief. Thus came the 
decisive year 1530. Even then, however, instead of coming 
himself, he sent one of the most unworthy of his generals, Rogen- 
dorf, to Ofen, to expel the Turks, and subdue King John. 

Arrived at Ofen, this general was soon driven back by the 
Pasha of Belgrade to Komorn, and having shewed himself com- 
pletely inadequate to his post, he died of his wounds on the 
island Schutt, whither he had fled. With this unceasing clash 
of arms, the time passed on, and the 25th of June 1530 dawned, 
and with it came a bright day for gospel truth and freedom of 
conscience. The Augsburg Confession was read. So simple, so 
clear, so concise, it was listened to with breathless attention in 
that august assembly, and removed many prejudices of the foes 
of the gospel. It softened many who had been enemies, and 
gained many to become decided friends to the truth. Even the 
emperor seemed somewhat milder. He took the Confession in 
German and Latin, and promised to examine the whole matter 
with great care. 

* Haner, Hist. Eccl. p. 199 ; Timon, Epit. ChronoL 118. 


In an incredibly short time, this Confession was translated into 
Spanish, Italian, French, English, and Portuguese.* There is 
no mention made, however, of a Hungarian translation, and 
unfortunately we can find in Hungary no traces of such. As, 
however, so many Hungarians were present at the time in Augs- 
burg, at the court of Ferdinand and his sister the widowed 
Queen Mary, we might almost presume that a translation was 
made at the time • or was it not considered necessary, while 
every Hungarian who had received even a moderate education 
understood Latin? Samuel Homarius remarks, that the Augs- 
burg Confession was translated into the Bohemian and Hun- 
garian languages, and sent to many distinguished men in both 
countries ; t but the libraries, which suffered so much from the 
Turks shortly after, contain no copy 4 We find, however, many 
stepping out of the dark background of the misery caused by 
war, and manifesting in their lives the same spirit which dic- 
tated that Confession. In Kashaw and some other towns the 
Reformation may have been considered as complete.- Antonius 
Transylvanus was labouring here with great success, and was so 
well known to Luther, that he received a letter from the great 
Reformer to use his influence with a preacher in Hermannstadt 
who had joined the Sabbatarians, § and to try to bring him 
back. Antonius wrote a circular. to the neighbouring clergy in 
Eperjes, encouraging them to faithfulness; and it is believed that 
John of Hermannstadt was, by their combined efforts, prevented 
from dividing the Protestant cause. || 

About this time appeared a man in Hungary on whom the 
spirit of Luther seemed to have descended. Matthew Devay, who 
had been for years on most intimate terms with Luther, even 
living in his house and eating at his table, was now returned 
from Wittenberg, and, with unwearying diligence, preached in 
his native land the word which he had received from the mouth 
of Luther and Melancthon. 

The nobles who resided in Neustadt, in the vicinity of Caspar 

* Coelestinus, torn. ii. fol. 191. 

f In Disput. 25 de Veritate Eelig. 

% Ribinyi remarks that this translation was only written, and not printed. 
The first printed edition in Hungarian appears to have been published in 
1633, by Stephen Letenyei, and the first Bohemian in 1576. 

§ A sect which kept the Sabbath on the seventh day of the week. — Tr. 

|| Hypomnena Severini Sculteti, for. xvii. fasc. 6. 


Dragfij, heard the truth from him, and embraced it ; and many of 
the surrounding villages followed the example, and publicly se- 
parated from Rome. Devay was accused before King John of 
being the cause of this commotion, and was thrown into prison in 
Ofen. It happened that in the same prison was a blacksmith 
who, in the shoeing, had lamed the king's favourite horse, 
and the passionate John had sworn that he should die for it. 
The blacksmith heard Devay converse as never man spoke; 
the words were to him as the words of Paul to the jailer at 
Philippi, and the consequence was, that when the blacksmith 
was shortly after to be set free, he declared he would share 
Devay's fate as a martyr, for he also partook of the same faith. 
The king, moved by this declaration, pardoned both, and set 
them free.* 

Devay had not been long free when he received a call to be 
pastor of Kashaw, in Upper Hungary, which was then in the 
possession of Ferdinand. Soon, however, must he again experi- 
ence similar trial. The monks, being exasperated at the power 
of his eloquence against the abuses of Rome, and knowing that 
they had nothing to expect if they brought their charge before 
the local authorities, laid their accusation directly before the king. 
To shew his zeal in the cause, and to stop the evil at once, Fer- 
dinand had him brought immediately to Vienna, and delivered 
over for examination to Dr Faber, the bitterest foe of the Refor- 
mation. For nearly two years he lay in prison, and his case 
seemed hopeless, but at last the king interfered and set him free. 
Perhaps it was in consequence of hearing the Confession read at 
Augsburg that Ferdinand was now more favourably disposed 
toward Luther's doctrines, and that the favourable impression 
either soon wore off, or he did not consider it prudent that it 
should afterwards be much observed. 

Once more set free, Devay betook himself to the lands which 
owned John's sceptre, and being supported by the nobles and the 
princes, he spread the gospel by itinerating as an apostle. His 
labours, however, were not confined to preaching, for he seems to 
have taken part in the translation of the epistles of Paul, which 
were printed in the Hungarian language by Benedict Komjath, 
at Cracow, in the year 1533, and dedicated to Catharine Fran- 
gepan, the mother of Perenyi. He wrote a book, entitled The 
Sleep of the Saints, and it was replied to by Gregory Szegedy, a 
* Matth. Scaricans Panonius in Vita D. Steph. Sreg. 


Franciscan, and Doctor of the Sorbonne, in a work entitled The 
Pillar of Salvation. Devay's book had attached to it a treatise 
on the principal articles of Christian faith, and was dedicated to 
Emerich Bebeck, Prohst of Stuhlweissenburg, who, as the dedi- 
cation informs us, had got married, and thus lost all his property.* 

It is therefore a mistake of Lampe, or an error of the press, 
when he says that Devay came to Hungary only in 1541.f 
Besides the evidence already given, we find in an old chronicle, 
in QEdenberg, a passage which explains some difficulties in 
Devay's history, and says, under date of 1536, " Devay goes a 
second time to Wittenberg." J The object of this journey seems 
to have been, to inform his friends of the progress of the gospel 
in Hungary, and renew his own strength to carry on the battle 
of the Lord. And there is nothing which tends more to strengthen 
our faith, than personal intercourse and communion with those 
whose hearts are devoted to the cause of God. On the way to 
Wittenberg, he fell sick at Nuremberg, and turned in to stop 
with Vitus Theodor, a preacher in that town. Having been 
kindly received by this pious and learned man, he soon recovered, 
and proceeded on his journey. Arrived at his destination, he wrote 
an account of his imprisonment and his examination under Dr 
Faber, and this was printed by Vitus Theodor, at Nuremberg, 
in June 1537. It was dedicated to Francis Batzi, and gives clear 
evidence of Devay's adherence at that time to the Augsburg 
Confession. The Chronicle of Leutshaw gives Devay the third 
place among those who supported the Augsburg Confession in 
Hungary, and calls him, at the same time, pastor of Debrecsin. 

At Wittenberg, he resided again with Luther, and was able to 
tell him how not only the epistles of Paul had been given to the 
Hungarians in their native language, but also how the four gospels 
had been published by Gabriel of Pesth, on the 13th July 1536. 
Entire parishes had declared in favour of the Reformation, as also 
free cities and villages ; and many even of the higher clergy 
had made great sacrifices, by openly professing the truth. He 
could also tell how great the danger was to which they were still 
exposed. The penal laws were still in force. The Bishop of 

* Valcte in Christo Jesu cum uxore vestrd, ob qnam, juxta informationem 
Verbi Dei, maluistis hereditatem amittere paternam, et non uti nonnulli 
assalent in carnalibus nequitiis vivere. Ascension Day, 1535. 

t Lampe, p. 80. 

$ Ribinyi, Memorabilia, p. 34. 


Eger, Thomas Szalakazi, had thrown Antony, a preacher of 
Eperjes, and Bartholemy, a chaplain, into prison. People did 
not know what to expect from John and Ferdinand. The latter 
had sent a decree to Bartfeld, which was now entirely reformed, 
ordering them, " under pain of death and confiscation," — he must 
have meant the death of every man, woman, and child in the 
town, — " under pain of death and confiscation, to abolish all inno- 
vations in the mode of worship ; to renounce all the heresies 
which a certain D. Isaiah had taught them ; not to recall him, 
but to be reconciled with their former clergy." * This order was 
issued in 1535, and how much attention was paid to it we shall 
soon see. That faith on the Son of God which overcometh the 
world had taken root here, and it knows of no fear. Strong in 
this faith, Devay returned from Wittenberg in the end of the 
year 1537. He brought with him a letter of introduction to 
Thomas Nadasdy, who, in the circuit beyond the Danube, had 
thoroughly reformed the old schools, and established a new one 
probably at Papa. The letter is dated from Leipzig on the 
nones of October 1537, and recommends, besides Deva^, a 
certain John Sylvester, who was destined soon to distinguish 
himself by signally advancing the Reformation in Hungary. 

Under the protection of this powerful count, Devay now 
laboured indefatigably in the district between the river Raab 
and the Balaton lake. ' His former district in Upper Hungary 
was, however, not neglected, for the learned and courageous 
Stephen Szantai filled that post well, and shared Devay's fate, 
in so far that the bishops George Frater, Statilius, and Fran- 
gepan, demanded of Ferdinand that he should be arrested and 
treated as a heretic- The king, just rejoicing in the treaty of 
peace which had been concluded with John, resolved, to the 
great dismay of the priests, to hold a public discussion on the 
great disputed points of religion. Thjs discussion actually took 
place in 1538. In that rare book called The Spanish Hunt, we 
find a full account of the transactions. 

When the bishops could not succeeed in having Stephen 
Szantai condemned without a hearing, they were at a great loss 
to find a worthy representative of Rome to meet him in discus- 
sion. At last they chose the monk Gregory of Grosswardein, 
and sent him with the other monks to Schaasburg to convince 
Szantai of his errors. The king chose two umpires, Dr Adrian, 
* Kibinyi, Mem. p. 38. 


vicar of Stuhlweissenburg, and Martin Kalmantshi, rector of the 
school. After the king had warned them to guide the matter so 
that truth should not suffer, the discussion began in the presence 
of a vast number of Protestants and Roman Catholics, some of 
whom had come from a great distance. 

The monks soon made such a noise and confusion by scream- 
ing all at once, that a pious physician, John Rehens, came to 
aid Szantai, and shewed that this noise arose simply from in- 
ability to answer the arguments. Szantai continued the discus- 
sion for several days, and after the umpires had noted all down, 
they came to present their decision to the king. They reported 
that all which Szantai had said was founded on the Scriptures, and 
what the monks had brought forward was mere fables and idle 
tales. But they added, " Should we state this publicly, we are 
lost, for we should be represented as enemies to our religion ; if 
we condemn Szantai, we act contrary to truth and justice, and 
would not escape Divine retribution." They begged, therefore, 
that the king would protect them from the danger on both sides. 
•Ferdinand promised to. do his utmost, and let them go. 

That same afternoon, at three o'clock, the bishops, prelates, 
and monks appeared before the king, and in their name, George 
Frater, Bishop of Grosswardein, spoke as follows :• — " May it 
please your majesty, we, as the shepherds of the Church, are 
bound to protect her from all ill. We therefore demand that 
this heretic shall be brought here and burned, for the sake of 
warning others of the danger of speaking and writing against our 
most holy religion. Your majesty has acted contrary to our wish. 
Your majesty has been pleased to grant this despicable heretic 
a public hearing, that others might suck in the poison. For 
this we are certainly under little obligation to your majesty. 
Besides, our most holy father, the Pope, will take this ill. 
There is no need of discussion while the Church has long since 
condemned these miserable heretics. Their condemnation is 
written on their forehead. One should not even remain in their 

The king replied with dignity and firmness, — " I will put no 
man to death until he has been proved guilty of a capital crime. 
Bring forward your charge, and he shall be judged according to 

" Is it not enough," cried Statilius, Bishop of Stuhlweissen- 
burg — " is it not enough that he declares the mass to be an 


invention of the devil ; and that he demands the Lord's Supper 
to be administered to all in both kinds — while Christ appointed 
this sacrament only for the priests? Any one may judge 
whether such expressions do not deserve death." 

u Tell me, my lord bishop," said the king, " is the Greek 
Church a true church?" The bishop answered in the affirma- 
tive, and Ferdinand proceeded — u The Greeks never had, and 
have not even now, the mass. Could not we also do without it ? 
The Greeks take the communion in both kinds, for the holy 
bishops Chrysostom, Cyril, and others, taught them so. If the 
Greeks can act thus without sin, why not we? " The bishops 
were silent. " In the meantime, however," added the king, 
" I will not protect Szantai, nor defend his cause. The truth of 
the case shall be investigated, so that God may not avenge him- 
self on me if this man die guiltless ; and besides, it does not 
become my royal dignity to punish innocence." 

" If your majesty do not grant our wish," cried Bishop 
Frater, " we shall find other remedies to free us from this 
vulture ;" and in bitter rage they left the royal presence. 

It was nine o'clock at night when the king, in the presence of 
the princes Francis Barfy and John Kassa, admitted Stephen 
Szantai to an audience. u What is then really the doctrine 
which you teach ? " demanded the king. u Most gracious prince," 
answered the preacher, "it is no new doctrine which I have 
invented, but a revealed doctrine which, by Divine grace, I 
have discovered ; it is the doctrine of the prophets and apostles, 
and every one who really seeks his soul's salvation must obey 
this truth." 

The king now opened his whole heart. " Oh, my dear 
brother Stephen, if we adhere to these doctrines, you and I are 
both undone ; meantime we commit the case to God, who knows 
what to do. You must leave my land, however, or the princes 
will imprison and condemn you to death, and I could only en- 
danger myself without delivering you. Yes, go, dear friend, sell 
what you have and place yourself under the protection of the 
prince of Transylvania, where you have liberty freely to profess 
the truth." 

Having given him some costly presents, the king ordered 
Christopher Osmos and the mayor of Kashaw to take him away 
by night and bring him in safety to his own people. 

This little circumstance, which bears all the marks of truth, 


gives us a view of the state of Ferdinand's mind at that time. 
In proportion as he had obtained a more favourable opinion of 
Luther and his doctrines, just in the same proportion must he 
despise the priests and their whole system. He remembered 
also how his own private chaplain, a Spaniard, had on his death- 
bed acknowledged to the king that he had not led him in the 
right path, and that Luther had most certainly taught the truth. 
But yet this perception of the truth had not become a living 
principle in the heart of the king ; his fear of Rome's power and 
influence was too great to allow him to venture to confess Christ, 
and join with other princes of Germany openly on the side of 
the Reformation. 

His faith had not taken root in the Rock which is Christ. He 
had not seen his own sin. He had not trembled before Divine 
justice. He had not searched the Scriptures for himself, to find 
there a Saviour of sinners on whom he himself could rely. He 
had not found the Lord Jesus as all his salvation and all his 
desire — as the chiefest among ten thousand, and altogether 
lovely. Of a naturally good disposition, without very fixed 
principles, he allowed himself to be carried away by impres- 
sions, and had neither the wish nor the power to form a decided 
judgment on some of the most important points. A double- 
minded man, saith the Word of God, is unstable in all his ways. 
And such was Ferdinand, as the history shews. Some represent 
him as a friend of the Reformation; others as its bitterest foe, 
who spared the Protestants merely from political motives. We 
don't believe either, but consider that the proper description is 
what we have given. 

We return, however, to our Hungarian Luther, Devay, and 
his zealous fellow-labourers, whose happy work we must now 
see so sadly marred by the disputes which arose concerning the 
Lord's Supper. The disputes which had been so unfortunately 
begun in Germany between Luther and Zwingle had been 
transplanted to the Hungarian soil, and exactly such spirits as 
sought most earnestly after truth were agitated and alarmed. 
Among these was Count Francis Reva, who, having read 
Zwingle's works, was much shaken, and wrote a long letter to 
Luther, asking him to clear up his doubts. Luther, who had at 
that time so much to do, answered only briefly, advising him to 
remain firm, and, above all things, to beware of mixing up 
reason and faith in such a way that reason should be made the 


judge of what is revealed to faith. The letter is dated Witten- 
berg, 4th August 1539. 

With the end of the civil war these struggles seemed to in- 
crease. The true friends of their country had long grieved that 
the land should be torn by civil strife. They had attempted to 
hold several meetings, but as these appeared dangerous to the 
kings, ways and means were found to make them comparatively 
useless. Not quite fruitless, however, were these attempts at 
pacification, for the two parties became milder, and the two kings, 
Ferdinand and John Zapolya, found it prudent to enter into a 
treaty in the year 1538, by which it was agreed, " That each 
should bear the title King of Hungary, and retain what he had 
in possession; after Zapolya's death, however, even in case of 
leaving male issue, Hungary and Transylvania should fall to 

The day of peace for the land appeared to be come. John, 
who had possession of the greater part of Hungary, and the 
whole of Transylvania, appeared even more pleased than Ferdi- 
nand. He laid his sword aside, and in 1540 married Isabella the 
daughter of the King of Poland. The news that she had born 
him a son in the following year, reached him on his death-bed. 
He died on the 22d July, after having named George Marti- 
nuzzi, Bishop of Grosswardein, Peter Petrovitsh, and the dis- 
tinguished Torok of Enged, guardians to his son, and giving 
them a charge, " on no account to deliver the land up to Fer- 
dinand." A terrible legacy for that ambitious man to leave his 
son and his country ! 




Neither the widow nor the guardians of John's son, nor the 
Turk, seemed at all disposed to yield the land to Ferdinand 
according to contract. The Turk felt himself quite comfortable, 
and was indeed sovereign ruler, and if anything could reconcile 
us to the miserable state of the country at that time, it is the 
wonderful religious freedom enjoyed there during the Turkish 
rule • so that one sees good ground for the statement of an 
English bishop some years ago in Parliament, when he said, 
if one should give him, as a Protestant, his choice between a 
residence in Turkey and the Austrian States, he would decidedly 
choose the first. In consequence of the greater fairness shewn 
by the Turks in the religious quarrels of the Christians, whom 
they despised, the gospel had already been spread from the 
Theiss to Transylvania and Wallachia, as is credibly reported 
to Melancthon.* At that time there was a close correspondence 
kept up between the Reformers at Wittenberg and their scholars; 
in Hungary, and very many who were already ordained, travelled 
to Wittenberg for the sake of making the personal acquaintance 
of these great men. From the year 1541 and later, we find 
Benedict Abadius, Emizich Osorius, Gregory Wisselmann, Martin 
Santa or Kalmautshy, afterwards a Zwinglian, Stephen Kopacsy, 
Caspar Heltus, and others, going in succession to Wittenberg, 
according to the testimony of Matthew Scarizaus, who was 
personally acquainted with the last, as being at the time a man 
advanced in life. 

The Lord had awakened in this land men who were driven 
by the Spirit of God, and who therefore did the works of God. 
Sylvester, who had been recommended to Count Nadasdy by 
Melancthon, received from this nobleman so much assistance as 

* Philip Melancthon, lib. xi. epist. p. 339. 


enabled him to publish an edition of the New Testament in 
the Hungarian language in 1541, at Sarvar, with a dedication 
in Latin to the two sons of Ferdinand L, Maximilian and Fer- 
dinand. In Raab, where the struggle between the old and new 
doctrines had been severe, the evangelical party succeeded in 
obtaining a preacher to their mind. In Stuhlweissenburg, the 
Roman party had demanded from the recorder of the city that 
lie should put a stop to the preaching, and to the distribution of 
the Lord's Supper in both kinds, as well as cast all who were 
guilty of such conduct into prison ; to which the magistrate 
replied, that in this case he must obey God rather than men, 
but in all other cases he would know how to discharge the duty 
of his office.* 

The cause of Rome was sinking. In Bartfeld, Michael Rad- 
ashinus had gained almost a complete victory for the cause of 
truth. The consequences of the Schaasburg discussion were 
beginning to be felt ; for many who had been prejudiced against 
the Reformation, and who had looked upon inquiry even as a 
crime, had now obtained other views on that subject. Some 
turned from Rome in consequence of conviction, others simply 
from the example which had been set them. Mediash, Kron- 
stadt, and the whole of Burzenland, joined the Reformation. In 
the last mentioned, John Honteris, who was now returned from 
Cracow and Basle where he had studied, established a printing- 
press so early as 1535, and in 1547 the whole district was 
leavened with the truth which had thus been disseminated, f 

The Protestants, however, were not without deep concern. 
Alexius Thurzo, a man of noble mind, who, although repre- 
sented by Timon to have been a zealous Roman Catholic, always 
urged Ferdinand to moderation towards the Protestants, was 
now dead. He left the Protestants, it is true, the comfort of 
knowing that he had trained his sons to be pillars of the 
Reformation. And now, in the year 1543, the Roman Catholic 
clergy unite in sending a petition to Ferdinand, complaining 
of the Protestants. Ferdinand's well-known regard for the 
Roman Catholic Church, makes this complaint so much more 
likely to be heard. In this complaint they state that his 
majesty's subjects are inclined to all evil ; that, though com- 
plainants are doing all in their power, yet they request the 

* Johannes Manlius Collect, torn. i. de Calamitate Afflict, p. 139. 
t Honteris, " Reform of Transylvania." 


king's assistance to prevent the appointment of any one in any 
parish as pastor without the approbation of the Church; and 
that no one be permitted to force the people to receive the gospel, 
for from this fountain proceed heresies, troubles, wrath, strife, 
contention, murders, drunkenness, and all lusts of the flesh! 
The Lord Jesus had taught that all these come out of the natu- 
rally corrupt heart, but it seems as if the Romanist clergy knew 
better. In consequence of this appeal, King Ferdinand issued 
an edict from Nuremberg such as the clergy wished, and placed 
at their disposal all the temporal and spiritual power, to enable 
them to protect the Romish religion with its praiseworthy customs 
and ceremonies. * 

In addition to troubles from without, the Protestants had also 
internal annoyance. For Devay, who had hitherto adhered to 
Luther's doctrine respecting the Lord's Supper, now adopted 
Zwingle's views, and thereby caused no small excitement. 
Luther was informed of this defection, and he replied, express- 
ing his astonishment, and at the same time urging the other, 
clergy to remain firm by the doctrine which they had received 
from him. f The Jesuit Timon mentions this letter, but in 
such a way as to shew his evil design against Luther and his 
doctrine. \ 

The excitement, in consequence of Devay's change of views, 
was increased by a new order of Ferdinand, addressed to the 
vice-palatine, Francis von Reva, expressing astonishment that 
he had hitherto been so remiss in his duty towards the heretics, 
and threatening him with the loss of the royal favour, if he did 
not chastise every one, of whatever rank, who left the true 
Church, in such a way as to bring him back. This letter bears 
date 1st July, and is written from Prague. 

Disregarding all these commands, the citizens of Leutshaw 
elected Bartholomew Rogner in this year to be their pastor. It 
was the courageous recorder of the city, Ladislaus Poleiner, who 
had strictly been the founder of the Reformation there, who 
placed himself at the head of the movement. This election soon 
bore happy fruits. Bogner, a native of Transylvania, had been 
a pupil of the distinguished Reformer, John Honter, and he 

* Analect. Scepus, P. xi. p. 234. 

t " Ceterum quod de Matthia Devay scribitis, vehementer sum admiratus, 
cum et apud nos sit ipse adeo boni odoris." Wittenberg, 1544. 
X Epitom. Chronol. 1544. 


laboured with such success, that within twelve years all the 
Roman ceremonies were abolished. He was equally successful 
in subduing the seditious Anabaptists, and died in Iglau, 
25th June 1557, leaving behind him five orphans. 

With equal success was the gospel preached also in Tasnyad, 
where the Protestants erected a school, and placed it under the 
direction of Stephen Kis of Szegedin, usually called Szegedinus, 
who was just returned from Wittenberg, and who also acted as 
preacher. By the great animation of his discourses, and the 
peculiar expressions which he made use of, he excited the anger 
of the Popish party to such an extent, that Bishop George Mar- 
tinuzzi sent the captain of his body-guard to box his ears. The 
valiant captain, Caspar Peruzitti, exceeded his commission, how- 
ever, and after abusing him with the spurs, and depriving him of 
his most valuable library of two hundred volumes, he drove him 
out of the city.* 

This was no reason, however, why he should cease to labour, 
for in the following year he was appointed to the academy in 
Gyula, and shortly after was called as pastor and schoolmaster to 
Czegled, in the district of Pesth, where he laboured for two 
years with much success. 

Ferdinand's edicts had, then, instead of injuring the cause of 
the gospel, only increased the zeal of its adherents. Under the 
protection of the powerful Caspar Draghj, there was a synod 
held in Erdod, a village in Szathmar county, at which twenty- 
nine preachers were present. The twelve articles of faith, which 
were then drawn up, are concluded with the following words : — 
" In other articles of faith we agree with the true Church, as she 
has declared her belief in the Augsburg Confession, as presented 
to the Emperor Charles V." The adherents of the Augsburg 
Confession and Ribinyi represent this as a meeting of Lutheran 
clergy, but the closing sentence is sufficient evidence that the 
adherents of the Swiss Confession were also represented ; for 
these words take for granted, that the twelve previous articles 
differed in some respect from the Augsburg Confession, otherwise 
the expressions have no meaning. | Of the articles themselves we. 
know nothing but the titles and the names of those who drew 
them up. The subjects were — of God • the Redeemer ; Justifi- 
cation of the Sinner before God ; Faith ; Good Works ; the 
Sacraments ; Confession of Sin ; Christian Liberty ; the Head 
* ScaricaiiSj in vita Szegedini. 


of the Church ; Church Government ; the necessity of separat- 
ing from Borne.* 

In the same year, 1548, we find another synod held at Medias, 
in Transylvania, which was, however, attended only by Luther- 
ans, according to Honter s account, but the results are unknown. 

The piety of the time was not only much advanced by these 
meetings of the clergy, but also by the letters of the Eeformers, 
written to many of the princes and clergy of Hungary, who were 
known to be friendly to the new movement. 

There is a letter of Melancthon's still preserved, which was 
addressed to that most distinguished friend of the Beformation, 
Peter Perenyi, who, under the false accusation of the enemies 
of the gospel, was, from the year 1542, lying in prison at Wiene- 
risch, Neustadt. In vain had Alexius Thurzo appealed on his 
behalf ; in vain whole countries ; even the diet had interceded 
with Ferdinand for him, but without success. His foes had per- 
suaded Ferdinand that he was aiming, as John Zapolya had 
once done, at the throne of Hungary, and his zeal in defence of 
the gospel was sufficient reason to exasperate them against him. 
Melancthon's letter affords evidence how he, even while in prison, 
was able still to advance the cause dear to his heart. All that 
his bitterest foes, the Jesuit Timon and the Archbishop Peter 
Pazman, can say of him is, that divine punishment rested on him, 
because of leaving the Roman Church, f In the year 1548, he 
was brought to Vienna, where death released him from all ills. 

The deeper the chasm became which separated the Protestants 
from Eome, the more anxious was Ferdinand to persuade the 
Pope to summon a general council ; for, with many others, he 
hoped still that the wound could be healed. By indulging this 
hope, however, he only shewed how little he knew of the terrible 
alienation of the Church of Borne from the Word of God, and 
that, to reconcile the contending parties on evangelical grounds, 
was equivalent to bidding the Pope lay aside his assumed power, 
cast his glory in the dust, and allow the sources of his immense 
revenue to be at once and for ever stopped. Yet, full of hope 
respecting the issue, Ferdinand looked forward to the Council of 
Trent, which was appointed to meet on the 13th December 1545, 
and thither he sent two distinguished bishops, Andrew Dudith, 
and George Draskowitsh. 

* Lampe, lib. xi. anno 1545, p. 93. Eibinyi, Memorab. p. 67. 

I Artie. Diet xiii. 


The instructions which Ferdinand gave his deputies are in so 
for worthy of notice as they throw a favourable light over the' 
king's views at that time. The deputies were directed to use 
their influence to bring on the discussion respecting a reformation 
of morals first, and of faith afterwards ; to have a reformation in 
the court at Rome ; to have the number of cardinals reduced to 
twelve or twenty-four ; to have the number of indulgences dimi- 
nished ; to have simony completely abolished, as well as all pay- 
ments in spiritul matters ; to have the clergy brought back to 
their original purity in dress, morals, and doctrines ; to have the 
eating of flesh permitted, and the Lord's Supper administered in 
both kinds. 

During the sittings of the Council, which lasted eighteen years, 
many additional instructions were sent, such as, " That the 
Council should not be prorogued or dissolved against its own 
consent, or without the approbation of the Roman Catholic 
princes ; that national deputations should be received ; that 
single bishops, and also princes, should have the right to make 
proposals ; that they should discuss freely, and resolve indepen- 
dently of Rome ; that the reformation should extend to the 
head and the members ; that the Pope should imitate the humi- 
lity of Jesus ; that large bishoprics should be divided ; the ban 
should be the highest punishment which the Church inflicts, and 
yet it should not be pronounced for every crime, nor until after 
a regular trial of the case." The instructions continued to say, 
u That the state of the monks should be reformed ; public schools 
should be established ; the number of the traditions diminished ; 
that the Council should see that those who minister in holy things 
should themselves lead a chaste life ; in divine service, German 
and Latin hymns should be sung alternately ;" and these pro- 
posals were well supported by the Hungarian bishops.* 

The two points, respecting the lives of the clergy, and dis- 
pensing the communion in both kinds, were of so much im- 
portance in Ferdinand's opinion, that he sent a bishop to Venice 
to observe the practices of the clergy of the Greek Church and 
their mode of administering the Lord's Supper.| We shall soon 
see how little Ferdinand, obtained from the Court of Rome, and 
how much labour it cost him to obtain that little from a council 
which was the willing slave of the Pope. 

* Lorandus Samuel Hald, Ann. 1743. Timon, Purp. Pann. p. 50. 
t In Oratione Davidis Chytraei super maxim, p. 94. 



Confession of Faith of the five towns of Upper Hungary on this side the Theiss — 
Activity of the Grospel preachers — Temesvar — Stephen Kis of Szegedin — Peter 
Petrovitsh, Count of Temesvar — Stephen Losontzy — Szegedin banished — Temesvar 
conquered by the Turks — Death of Losontzy. 

From the Council of Trent we look away to Hungary, where, in 
the towns which were inhabited chiefly by Germans, we see the 
Reformation making rapid progress. In Ofen, in lo47, the 
gospel was preached and many pressed to hear it.* In Temes- 
var the Protestants had opened a school and appointed Szegedinus 
from Czegled to be the teacher, under the patronage of Peter 
Petrovitsh, Count of Temes. Szegedinus did not confine himself, 
however, to the school, but, with his assistant, Christopher 
Lipensis, scattered the truth unsparingly among adults. His 
sphere of labour seemed the more secure as the count was a 
relative of Prince John, and a declared friend of the Reformation ; 
but it continued prosperous only for about three years, when the 
count was obliged to make way for Stephen Losontzy, who, as 
a mere warrior, was heartily devoted to Rome. Szegedin, with 
Gregory, formerly of Fiinfkirchen, and other Protestant teachers, 
was now banished, no doubt under Divine guidance, that they 
might not perish in 'the terrible slaughter which took place when 
the Turks very shortly after took the fortress. f 

About this time the gospel was preached with much success in 
the county and city of Tolnau, at that time under the Turkish 
government, by Emerich Czigerius, who had at one time studied 
at Wittenberg, and who in August 1549 gives an interesting 
account of his labours to his friend Matthew Flacceius Illyricus. 
He mentions that he had found the city so given to idolatry, that 
in two weeks he had not found among so many thousands more 

• A letter of Melancthon's, dated 3d Sept. 1547. 
t Scaricaus, Vita Szegedini. 


than three or four individuals prepared to receive the gospel. He 
mentions how on travelling farther he had gained some priests 
and schoolmasters, and how, after a discussion with the priest 
Michael Sztary, he had with his assistance preached the gospel 
in Lower Hungary and Upper and Lower Moesia, and, though 
they had met with much opposition and were often in danger, 
yet the Lord had protected them in the time of need. 

This preaching in Tolnau had been much blessed, for in less 
than three years some pious men called him back to preach in 
the new church which they had erected. One part of the town 
was still Popish, and its inhabitants defended their own cause in 
that way which Rome best understands. The Turks, however, 
favoured the Protestants ; for, when the recorder of the city 
brought the pasha a large present, requesting him at the same 
time to banish the Protestants, the Turkish ruler inquired 
closely into the matter, and, while the recorder narrowly escaped 
with his life, he gave orders u that the doctrines which Luther 
had discovered" — so he calls the gospel — " should be everywhere 
freely preached." 

Thus were the labours of the Protestants to a considerable 
extent protected and favoured by the Turks. Czigerius reports 
this to his friend — tells him of the opening of a new school with 
sixty pupils in opposition to the Popish school — that his church 
numbers five hundred souls — begs for books and help out of 
Germany — salutes Philip, and begs his countryman, Motzar, to 
hasten back to help him in his great work. 

In the towns under Ferdinand's sceptre the gospel was making 
equal progress. In Komorn we find the preachers Michael Sztary 
and Anthony Plattner labouring diligently in the Lord's vine- 
yard, and laying the foundation of what was afterwards the great 
and flourishing Church of the Helvetic Confession. 

In the free city Tyrnau we find Simon Grynaeus and Devay 
scattering the good seed; the works of the Reformers are ex- 
tensively circulated to water it, and the majority of those who 
embrace the faith adhere to the Augsburg Confession. 

The synod which had been held by the evangelical clergy in 
the mining districts, was now of signal benefit to themselves. For 
scarcely had the queen-dowager Mary given this district, which 
was her own private property, to her brother Ferdinand to 
manage for her, when the bishops, supposing him to be more 
accessible than Mary had been, got up their accusations against 



the Protestants. They represented these towns as hotbeds of 
Anabaptists, dangerons Sacramentarians (under which name they 
meant Zwinglians), and other sects. The struggle at that time 
between the Lutherans and the Reformed respecting the sacra- 
ment gave them sufficient colouring for their charge, and the 
numbers of distinguished men who were leaving the Church of 
Rome to join the Protestants, gave them just cause of anxiety 
for the stability of their party, and at the same time excited 
their rage. It was no small loss which they sustained in the 
conversion of that learned bishop Peter Paul Vergerius, whom 
the cardinal Alexander had accused of heresy, and who, about 
the year 1546, having openly declared himself on Luther's side, 
was called to Tubingen, and supported there by Christopher, 
Duke of Wurtemberg. He injured the cause of Rome very con- 
siderably, by publishing her secrets. 

His brother, Baptist, Bishop of Polu, died very shortly after 
his public profession of Protestantism, and not without strong 
suspicion of having been poisoned.* Besides, Martin, Bishop of 
Wassgrun, declared himself also on Luther's side, by publicly 
and honourably getting married; and it was not long till Bishop 
Thurzo also joined the evangelical party. 

Provoked by such losses, the Roman Catholics pressed Ferdi- 
nand, to the utmost of their power, that he should, especially in 
the mining districts, where the Protestants were becoming nume- 
rous and consolidated, use his power to have them scattered ; 
and it seemed for a time as if they had succeeded, for it was 
with no small consternation that the Protestants saw Stephen 
Berdala, Bishop of Waizen, and Schibrick, as royal commis- 
sioners, sent, on 14th August 1549, to examine into the state of 
religion in Upper Hungary. The innate power of truth, how- 
ever, soon gave them courage to draw up a confession of faith, in 
twenty articles, and present it to the royal commissioners, at 
Eperjes, in the same year. This confession, known as the 
Pentapolitan, or Confession of the Five Cities, became famous in 
Hungary. It was nothing else than an extract from the Augs- 
burg Confession, drawn up in Melancthon's soothing style; and 
so soon as Ferdinand had discovered that the charges brought 
against these cities were groundless, he permitted them to enjoy 
their privileges ; so much the more, also, as he had hoped that, 
at the Council of Trent, and the Diet of (Edenberg, which was 
* Seckendorff in Hist. Luth., lib. iii. sec. 30. 


soon to be held, all the differences between the contending parties 
should be removed. 

This circumstance gave the evangelical party much encourage- 
ment; for, in 1550, we find an ecclesiastical conference in the 
village Forna, limiting and defining the duties of the bishop or 
superintendent at ecclesiastical visitations. In 1552, we find 
another conference trying to reconcile the differences in reference 
to the Lord's Supper, abolishing the confessional, arranging 
respecting the support of the clergy in poor parishes, resolving 
that where the altars have been already removed they should not 
be renewed; where they are still remaining, however, it is not 
necessaiy to have them taken away ; — sufficient evidence that the 
Lutherans and Reformed were at that time conciliatory towards 
each other. In the same year, a synod was summoned at 
Hermannstadt, where Paul Viener was chosen first superin- 
tendent, and where the first evangelical ministers were ordained. 
Up till this time, the clergy had been ordained by the Roman 
Catholic bishop, or by the professors at the German univer- 

Important political changes were then taking place in Tran- 
sylvania ; for, as the wily Bishop of Wardein, George Mar- 
tinuzzi, had succeeded in freeing himself from the restraint of his 
two colleagues, in the guardianship of Prince John, in such a 
way that Valentine Torok, a distinguished supporter of the 
evangelical party, was lying in prison at Constantinople, and 
Peter Petrovitsh was living as an exile in Hungary, having 
been driven from Transylvania, he availed himself of the oppor- 
tunity to abuse his power. v He entered into a secret compact 
with Ferdinand, by which Austrian troops were admitted into 
Transylvania, and, with the basest ingratitude towards the 
queen-dowager Isabella and her son, who had been committed 
to his care, he compelled both to flee to Poland. He soon 
received the reward of his treachery ; for, in the same year, he 
was, as some report, taken out of the way by assassins in the 
employ of Castaldo, Ferdinand's general ; or, according to other 
accounts, hewn in pieces by the soldiers.* 

This occupation of Transylvania brought the Roman Catholic 
party little advantage. Ferdinand seemed still inclined to perse- 
vere in attempting a reconciliation of the two parties. He inter- 
fered very little with their contentions, and it was for the sake 
* Wolfgang de Bethl. Hist. lib. iv. pp. 173, 174. 


of peace that lie summoned the Diet of (Edehberg, in 1553. 
At this meeting the majority of votes was in favour of the 
Reformation, and the proposal to forbid the printing and distri- 
buting of heretical books was negatived. This circumstance had 
such influence with the inhabitants of the neighbouring free city, 
Guns, which was at that time a fortress of some importance, that 
they declared in a body in favour of the Reformation. The 
Hungarians, who in that city adhered to the Swiss Reformers, 
took possession of the Church of St James, and kept it for six 
years, when it was taken from them by the Lutherans, who 
were then become more numerous ; * and, in the year 1554, the 
last Roman Catholic priest left the city, as a shepherd who had 
no flock. 

The removal of the diet from CEdenberg to Presburg tended 
in no respect to lessen the enthusiasm for the Reformation. 
On the contrary, new accessions were gained, in the persons of 
the palatine, Thomas Nadasdy, the master of ceremonies, 
Stephen de Lindva, and, shortly after, the colonel of the body- 
guards, Ladislaus Banfy. 

Melancthon's letters may have had much influence with the 
palatine in inducing him to take this step ; for we find that a 
regular correspondence was kept up, and a deep interest taken, 
by the Reformers, in the state of Hungary. An instance of this 
we find in the case of the Church of Eperjes, where the pastor, 
Matthew Lauterwaldt, had preached the doctrine of the justifica- 
tion of a sinner before God partly by works and partly by 
grace. A dispute having arisen between him and the neigh- 
bouring clergy on this subject, an appeal was forwarded to 
Melancthon, who decided, that if Lauterwaldt did not yield, he 
ought to be deposed. + 

In the meantime the mining towns had cause of rejoicing, for 
the king sanctioned their confession of faith, which they had 
handed him in 1549, and which in twenty articles contained 
merely the substance of the Augsburg Confession. This may 
be regarded as a fruit of the peace of 1555, by which toleration 
was secured to all who adhered to this confession. 

While the Reformation was thus progressing so favourably at 
home and abroad, several zealous followers of Zwingle were 
labouring indefatigably to spread then- views. Among these 

* (Edenberger Chronik. MS. 

t Phil. Melancthon to the Senators of Eperjes, 6th Oct. 1554. 


were John of Hermannstadt, Francis Staukarus, surnamed the 
Lame, Mathew Devay, and Peter Melius. The Swiss Confession 
was printed at Torgan in 1556, was laid before a convention of 
the clergy in 1557 at D^brecsin, and ultimately signed at Ezen- 
ger in 1558. Thus was a breach made in the Protestant Church 
which centuries have not been able to heal. The Confession, as 
signed at Ezenger, was published in 1570 by Andrew Lupinus, 
and is to be found in Lampe. 

The conversion of the great and learned Bishop Francis 
Thurzo from the Church of Rome, and his marriage, accelerated 
the progress of the Reformation ; but still more powerful was 
the influence of Soliman's approaching troops in bringing out 
the power of vital godliness. Ferdinand's troops had been 
obliged to surrender Temesvar to the Turks ; his army, consist- 
ing of Italians, Spaniards and Germans, was oppressing the 
people ; and, driven to desperation, the nobles recalling Peter 
Petrovitsh from banishment, delivered him the necessary autho- 
rity to conquer and regulate the country for Isabella and her 
son. The Turkish emperor was satisfied with this arrangement, 
and promised aid in case of need. 

So soon as Peter Petrovitsh had assumed the government of 
Transylvania under the title of lieutenant, he took decided steps 
for confirming and finishing the work of reformation. As he 
had adopted the Swiss Confession, he removed all images out of 
the churches, drove the Roman Catholic priests out of their 
parishes, changed the monasteries into useful schools, converted 
the gold and silver vessels and images into money and distri- 
buted among the poor ; and all this with the design that when 
Isabella, who was a Roman Catholic, should return, there might 
be the less opportunity for again introducing the Romish cere- 

Thus, with the full consent and approbation of the people, 
was the whole of Transylvania freed from the power of the 
Popish clergy, and the Church property considered as belonging 
to the state, so that the titular Bishop of Weissenburg, Paul 
Bornemisze, left the country in 1556, at which time only two 
monasteries remained. 

As Isabella on her return demanded three-fourths of the tithes 
for herself, there was such opposition on the part of the Saxon 
clergy that she at last declared herself satisfied with one-fourth, 
while the remaining three-fourths were secured to the Protestant 


clergy, who remained in possession till the year 1848. This 
favour, however, was conferred only on the Saxons, for, as no 
voice was raised on behalf of the native Hungarian clergy, their 
tithes were taken by the queen, and never restored. The 
queen's income, which was thus very considerable, was much 
increased on the death of Petrovitsh in 1557, as he made her 
sole heir of his vast property.* 

* Waif. Bethlehem. 



An Evangelical High School in (Edenherg— The Town Bela reformed— Letter of the 
Archbishop Nicolas Olah— Threats— Firmness of the Protestants— The Magnates 
of Hungary, with the exception of three families, all Protestants — Introduction of 
the Jesuits. 

We have already seen the effect produced on Guns and the 
neighbouring towns by the Diet of (Edenberg ; and we must not 
omit to keep an eye fixed on (Edenberg, as this free city was 
so prominent in the movements of the time. That the Reforma- 
tion had early taken root here may be seen from the auto-da-fe 
of heretical books under Louis IL* The young men who had 
studied at Wittenberg, such as George Faber (in 1534), John 
Schreiner (1545), James Both, Charles Rosenberg, and others, 
were not idle after their return to their native town, as may be 
seen from the regular correspondence between this city and the 
Reformers. In 1557 such progress had been made that an Evan- 
gelical High School was established ; and the burgomaster 
supported the undertaking with so much spirit, that he gave his 
garden for the purpose of erecting the necessary buildings. 
Several young men from this city went to study in Wittenberg 
in this year, and one of them, by name Michael Vieth, returned, 
bringing with him a letter of recommendation from Philip 
Melancthon, written in beautiful Latin, and addressed to the 
town-council of (Edenberg. If this letter throws some light 
on the state of mind of the magistrates at that time, we have 
still clearer evidence in the year 1565 ; for in that year, the 
whole town-council, being evangelical, called the famous Simon 
Gerengel, formerly Roman Catholic priest in Lower Austria, to 
be pastor in (Edenberg. This priest had found a book of ser- 
mons by Spangenberg, the Augsburg Confession, and Melanc- 
thon's Commonplaces, by means of which he was led to the 

* Annales Eccl. Day. Hermann, MS. 


Bible, out of which he learned, as he says, " the horribly soul- 
destroying errors of Popery." His faith was tried by an im- 
prisonment of three years and a half at Salzburg ; and so closely 
was he kept, that his mother, who had come on foot above two 
hundred English miles to visit him, was not admitted into the 
prison. Neither the severity of the confinement, nor the false- 
hoods heaped upon him, could shake his faith. " Here we lie," 
he said — he was imprisoned with four other witnesses for the 
truth — " here we lie day after day, week after week, month after 
month, year after year, till it please the Lord Jesus to set us 
free, for we have committed our whole case to him." 

In 1562 this faithful servant of God had taken up his resi- 
dence in Rotenburg, where, with his mother, his wife, and 
child, he had a miserable subsistence, so that Raupach says, 
" nobody knows what has become of him ; " and suddenly, to 
our great joy, we find him preaching his first sermon and cate- 
chising in (Edenberg in May 1565. He came in the spirit 
and power of Elias, and within three years we find him welcom- 
ing the Roman Catholic pastor of the town, Aliatsch, into the 
bosom of the evangelical church, and shortly after uniting him 
in marriage to Eve Mitshka, a Protestant maiden.* 

While Gerengel was labouring with so much success in 
(Edenberg, the town Bela had an equally faithful pastor in 
the person of Lawrence Serpilius. He, too, had laid aside his 
monk's dress and taken up the Bible, and so early as 1558 he 
had persuaded the majority of the inhabitants to declare in 
favour of the Augsburg Confession. Such numerous desertions 
from the ranks justly awakened the deepest concern of the 
Roman Catholic Archbishop of Gran, Nicolas Olah, and com- 
pelled him to take some steps to bring back his erring sheep. 
Accordingly, in a letter dated Vienna, 10th April 1558, and ad- 
dressed to the clergy whom he suspected to be of evangelical 
sentiments, in the Gespannshaft of Houth and the town of 
Schemnitz, he laid down eighteen points which he required 
them to sign. The clergy met together, resolved that these 
points were Popish, and contrary to the Word of God ; declared 
their firm adherence to the doctrines contained in the Augsburg 
Confession ; and neither threats, nor flatteries, nor repeated letters 
were able to make them flinch. Even when the archbishop 

* Kaupach, Evang. Austria. Gerengel published several books intended 
especially for the young. 


summoned them to meet him at Kirchdorf, as they knew toler- 
ably well the design of the meeting, they did not attend.* 

The archbishop, on his arrival at Kirchdorf, finding no one to 
meet him, set about preparing a letter for the magistrates of the 
seven mining towns, but before sending it, he opened the way 
by a letter from Ferdinand of similar import. In the arch- 
bishop's letter there was no want of threatenings, but the effect 
produced was not quite according to his wish ; for the most 
influential men of these cities coming together at Kremnitz, in 
conjunction with the clergy prepared a refutation of the arch- 
bishop's eighteen articles, and sent it to him with the intima- 
tion that they were resolved to continue Protestants. 

This refutation was published at Schemnitz in December 1559, 
and a copy was sent to Ferdinand. It treated of the following 
points: — 1. Of the Triune God; 2. Creation; 3. Original Sin; 
4. The Incarnation of Jesus Christ the Son of God ; 5. Of Justi- 
cation, wherein is stated, that the sinner, in turning to God, is 
justified by faitli alone, and not by good works, of iclii'ch he has 
none before conversion ; 6. Faith ; 7. Good Works ; 8. The 
Church; 9. Baptism; 10. The Lord's Supper; 11. Confession; 
12. Repentance ; 13. Number of Sacraments ; 14. Church Office- 
bearers; 15. Ceremonies; 16. Civil Magistrates; 17. Marriage; 
18. Resurrection ; 19. Prayers to Saints, in which many keen 
expressions of Epiphanius and Ambrosius are introduced ; 20. 
Priests' Dress. The whole is concluded with a summary view 
of the Roman errors and traditions, with extracts from the 
Scripture and from the Fathers. 

The king and the archbishop saw that Rome's influence was 
lost. Only three families of the magnates adhered still to the 
Pope. The nobility were nearly all reformed, and the people 
were, thirty to one, attached to the new doctrine.f For an 
extraordinary evil, extraordinary remedies must be applied. 
Nothing else seemed likely to meet the case, and it was there- 
fore resolved to send the Jesuits into Hungary. 

The disciples of Ignatius Loyola had been already brought 
to Vienna. The writings of the Reformers were spreading fast 
in Austria, Carinthia, and even Tyrol ; the royal chaplain and 
Bishop Urban had considered these men most likely to counter- 

* Ribinyi. 

t Peter Wolff, History of the Jesuits, B. xi. p. 103. Raupach, Evang. 


act the Reformation ; and, being once invited, they did not refuse 
to come. The primary aim of this order was to restore the fallen 
dignity of the Pope ; a second object was to root out evangelical 
religion ; and a third was to spread Popery in foreign lands. 
To accomplish these purposes, any means whatever might be 
employed. The Jesuit Bobadilla had been in Vienna with little 
success from 1542, and nine years afterwards, Ferdinand, by 
the advice of his chaplain, sent for ten more. Among these 
was Peter Canisius, who, from his violence and the keenness 
of his scent in discovering heretics, is called in Hungary to this 
day, by a play on his name, " the Austrian Hound" — Canis 

Within a year they had gained fifty adherents. Then prin- 
cipal effort, however, was to obtain influence over Maximilian, 
the heir to the throne. He received them politely, and heard 
them without being much swayed, if he was even anything 
moved. On his wife, however, their influence was more fully 
felt ; for when Christopher Rodriguez was returning to Rome in 
1560, he was able to bring from the queen a declaration of her 
firm resolution even to die for the religion of her fathers, if by 
so doing she could advance the cause of Popery in the Austrian 
territory .t 

Not content with having sown the seeds of discord between 
the royal partners, the Jesuits contrived to banish Maximi- 
lian's chaplain, who was a Protestant, J and afterwards brought 
Pius TV. to the resolution to threaten Maximilian II. with the 
ban if he did not enter fully into the Pope's plans. They even 
proposed a new election, and the Pope entered into a suspicious 
connexion with the bigoted Albert of Bavaria, for the sake of 
carrying out his purposes. § 

The gentle Maximilian, instead of banishing them imme- 
diately out of the kingdom, contented himself with removing 
them from court, " that he might have no one who bore the 
name of Jesuit, or was any way connected with them, in his 
councils." It was such men that the Archbishop of Gran, 
Nicolas Olah, sent to Hungary. 

Two priests, Peter Victoria and John Seidel, with a lay 

* Sacchini, Comment, de vita P. Canisii. 
t Raupach, Erl. Ev. Aust. part i. p. 132. 
J Schelhorn's Letters. 
§ Laderchii Annales, torn, xxiii. p. 56. 


brother, Anton Schrader — the latter to attend to the kitchen and 
cellar, while the former preached — were sent to Hungary in 
1561. The emperor's and the archbishop's generosity made 
their position very agreeable, and they laboured diligently for 
some time ; but their house in Tyrnau having been burned down, 
they left Hungary, to the great joy of the heretics and the grief 
of all true Roman Catholic citizens.* 

Franz Kazy, Hist. Univ. Tyrnau. 



Death of Leonard Stockel and Thomas Nadasdy — Printing of the New Testament in 
Croatian — Bishop Dudith's Report from the Council of Trent — Covenanting Sol- 
diers at Erlau. 

The efforts of the Roman Catholic clergy were met by the 
Protestants in so far that the latter called men of still more 
distinguished faith and zeal to take charge of their churches and 
schools. Many who had already given evidence of evangelical 
faithfulness in Germany were called to Hungary, and many of 
their own young men were sent to Jena or Wittenberg to be 
there examined and ordained. Of this latter class were, besides 
others, Paul Nemesvath in 1553, and Erasmus Crossensky, who 
was ordained in Wittenberg, December 1559, to the pastoral 
charge of the church in Kasmark, his native town. This was 
one of the last public acts of Melancthon, for, on the 19th of 
the following April, he fell asleep in the Lord. His death was 
keenly felt and much lamented by all the friends of the Reforma- 
tion in Hungary. His learning, his modesty, and mildness of 
character, had won the hearts of many of the princes and nobles 
of Hungary, who had become much attached to him. 

Leonard Stockel, the rector of the Bartfeld High School, who 
had been a pupil of Melancthon's, was lying sick as he received 
a letter from him, and at the same time the news of his death. 
" I shall soon follow my beloved teacher," he cried, u and in 
another world give him the information he wanted;" and shortly 
after expired. 

Another heavy loss soon befell the Protestant Church of 
Hungary. The palatine, Thomas Nadasdy, alike distinguished 
by education, power, wealth, zeal, and generosity in supporting 
the cause of the gospel, sank into his grave. He had been a 


strong pillar of the Church in a day when every man was with 
one hand building the walls of Zion and with the other holding 
a weapon. 

Still one consolation remained. The heir to the throne was 
well disposed toward the Protestants. His chaplain, Pfauser, 
a man of evangelical sentiments, had been removed from court, 
but everybody knew that it was not in consequence of any 
change in Maximilian's sentiments. What his views and aims 
really were could easily be seen from the fact of his establishing 
a printing press in Croatia, where scarcely a book, not even a 
catechism, was to be found. Here the New Testament was 
printed in the Croatian language by Tauber, at the expense of 
John Ungnad, and dedicated by permission to Maximilian.* 
The first part, containing the Gospels and Acts of the Apostles, 
left the press 1562, and in the following year it was completed. 
By the generosity of John Ungnad, four thousand spelling-books 
were printed and circulated among the Croatians.f 

This noble-minded man, who had been appointed by Fer- 
dinand to some of the most important offices in Styria and 
Carinthia, was, in consequence of his evangelical sentiments, on 
some pretence got up by the Jesuits, banished from the country. 
He found an asylum with Duke Christopher of Wurtemberg, 
and, with burning zeal for the spread of the truth, he had Bibles 
and theological Avorks printed m the Turkish and Croatian 
languages, and sent over for circulation.^: 

If Ferdinand was still, by the advice of the Jesuits, issuing 
severe edicts and adopting stringent measures against the Pro- 
testants, Maximilian had, on the other hand, received the evan- 
gelical preachers Martin Mosador and Christopher Reuter, and 
had approved of the printing of the Augsburg Confession for 
the use of the Austrian evangelical churches. § But this comfort 
was much required, for every day made it more evident that, 
according to the Council of Trent, " The spirit of Popery admits 
of no reform, and the interests of the whole Church must be 
sacrificed to gratify Rome's peculiar views." || 

It might be well to give an extract from Bishop Dudith's 
report to his master Ferdinand, of the doings of that famous 

* Cyriacum-Spaugenberger Chron. f Mica Bury MS, 

X Thuanus, torn. i. lib. 38. Mica Bury MS. 

§ Raupach, Evang. Oester. t. i. p. 142. || Fessler, Band iv. p. 466. 


He writes — " As trie votes are numbered and not weighed 
here, the better-disposed party can do little good, the Pope can 
send hundreds, or even thousands, to vote against them. We 
see every day hangers-on at the Court of Rome, and poor beard- 
less bishops — young men who have lost their property and 
character — coming to Trent to vote in a way agreeable to the 
Pope. What these men want in learning and intelligence, is 
fully compensated by their impudence, and the affairs of the 
Church are not regulated here by bishops, but by puppets who 
are moved, like the fabled images of Daedalus, by foreign hand. 
With this meeting," continues the bishop, " the Holy Spirit has 
nothing to do. Here are simply human schemes to aggrandise 
Rome. From Rome we obtain the oracles as from Delphi or 
Dodona in other days. The spirit which is represented as 
guiding the meetings, comes in the postman's bag from Rome, 
and must wait at every swollen river by the way till the 
waters abate. Oh, monstrous folly!" So writes Dudith home 
to Vienna from that Council in which he and Bishop Draskowitsh 
sit as Ferdinand's deputies. * 

Where so little good was to be expected from Rome, it was 
very natural that the friends of truth and freedom of conscience 
should unite closely together. In the fortress and town of Erlau, 
which belonged to the family of Perenyi, we find, accordingly, 
an interesting covenanting scene in 1561. All the troops, both 
horse and foot, stationed in Erlau, with the nobles and citizens, 
bound themselves solemnly, by oath, not to forsake the truth, 
and, as a testimony of their earnestness, they prepared a confes- 
sion of faith corresponding with the Swiss Confession, and a 
covenant which they publicly signed. This document was sent 
to Debrecsin and the neighbouring parishes, where it was also 

The Roman clergy took the opportunity of representing to 
Ferdinand, that this league was merely a conspiracy against the 
throne, and, accordingly, on the 6th February 1562, the leaders 

* This intelligent and learned man was afterwards made by Maximilian 
a royal councillor and Bishop of Fiinf kirchen, and frequently employed on 
important embassies. In 1567, he resigned his office, went to Poland, mar- 
ried a lady of noble family, wrote a book against the celibacy of the clergy, 
and died in Breslau, after ten years spent happily in wedlock, as the monu- 
ment erected by his wife in the Elizabeth Church in Breslau testifies. 

t This paper is preserved in Presburg, in the library of George Adonys. 
See also Ribinyi, Mem. Aug. Conf. p. 162. 


stood before a court of justice, charged with high treason. They 
here declared that they were prepared to obey the king in all 
civil matters, and that they had entered into this league simply 
for the glory of God, and for preserving the truth uncontaminated, 
as Joshua, Ezra, and Nehemiah, had done. The explanation was 
accepted, and they had no farther trouble. 



Diet of Presburg — Synod of the Evangelical Church at Tarczal — Gabriel Perenyi — 
Close of the Council of Trent — The Cup granted to the Laity — Ferdinand's Medal — 
Provincial Synod of Tyrnau — Ferdinand's Decease — Review. 

That Ferdinand and the Archbishop of Gran were not idle in 
their attempts to restore Popery, was felt at the Diet of Presburg, 
in 1563, for here some of the old laws, unfavourable to the 
Protestants, were renewed, and thus a door was opened to the 
persecuting party to begin their work anew. 

All these persecutions, however, from without, could not injure 
the cause of truth so much as the internal dissensions which arose 
respecting predestination and the Lord's Supper. The party 
spirit rose so high that, at the Synod of Tarczal, in 1563, a formal 
resolution was passed by a majority, to discontinue the conse- 
crated wafer, and to teach diligently to the people the doctrine 
of predestination. 

This resolution was particularly disagreeable to Gabriel 
Perenyi, especially as the clergy on his estates had not told him 
beforehand. Accordingly he summoned these to meet him at 
Ujhely, and after an earnest remonstrance, directed them in 
future to preach and dispense the Lord's Supper in accordance 
with the Augsburg Confession. Paul Thurius, pastor of St 
Peter's Church, explained that their new declaration was only 
an attempt to make the Augsburg Confession more intelligible, 
and declared, at the same time, that neither he nor his colleagues 
could give up their conviction respecting these two articles. 

To heal the matter, Perenyi sent a deputation, at his own 
expense, to Saxony, to inquire of the theologians there what 
was to be done. Both from Leipzig and from Wittenberg the 
answer was returned, very naturally, condemning the step which 
the majority of the synod had taken, and urging them to remain 


firm to the Augsburg Confession. As Thurius and the party 
adhering to him did not submit to this decision, the separation 
continued, and the evangelical church was now divided into 
two parties — Lutheran and Reformed. 

The Council of Trent had now been closed by the Pope. The 
decisions, breathing execrations against all who refused to submit 
to them, had extinguished the last hopes of the most sanguine 
princes, and cast fresh oil on the fire of religious controversy. It 
is well known how much Ferdinand, Maximilian, and the King 
of France, were disappointed and displeased. The emperor 
gave Pope Pius IV. to understand how much he was dissatisfied ; 
and this remonstrance, together with the advice of some of the 
bishops, who hoped that the granting the cup to the laity might 
heal the breach in Austria, induced him to issue the bull of 
16th April 1564, addressed to Nicolas Olah, Archbishop of 
Gr£n, directing him to administer the communion in both kinds. 
At the same time, however, he protests against the supposition 
of papal fallibility, and asserts that the mass is no error, while 
he gives directions respecting the best way to bring heretics back 
into the bosom of the Church. 

The emperor was so much delighted with this concession, 
hoping it would have the desired effect, that he had a medal 
struck to commemorate the transaction. On the one side is his 
own image, with the motto, " Render unto Caesar the things that 
are Caesar's;"* and the letters below, u Fer.," for Ferdinand. 
On the reverse, a cup, with the motto, " Unto God the things 
that are God's ;"f "and below the cup the word " Oratio," — 
prayer. | 

The emperor partook of the communion himself in both kinds, 
and had the Pope's bull published in three churches in Vienna, 
namely, in St Stephen's, in St Michael's, and by the Jesuits. 
The Jesuits at first refused, because their general at Rome, Jacob 
Lainez, had at the Council of Trent protested against giving the 
cup to the laity; but on receiving orders from Rome they obeyed 
the emperor. § On this, the dissatisfaction of the emperor, as 

* " Giebt dem Kaiser was des Kaiser's ist." 

t " Giebt Gott was Gottes ist." 

$ Luckius in Syllog. Nuraism. p. 811. Eaupach raises some doubt 
whether the coin was designed for this time, but he acknowledges that he 
has no proof, and remarks, " Ita videtur, ita ego conjicio/' 

§ Eaupach, Ev. Aust., part i. p. 156. 



well as of the citizens of Vienna, which was beginning to "be 
expressed against them, ceased. 

The free city of Tyrnau, in the county of Presburg, had been 
at one time called by the Protestants " Little Home," in conse- 
quence of the activity of the Jesuits there ; but it had afterwards 
adopted the principles of the Reformation, in so far that, when 
the Jesuits returned in 1563, after a temporary absence, the two 
parties agreed that the Hungarians should keep the cathedral, and 
a new church should be built for the Jesuits. It was to this 
city that the archbishop summoned a provincial synod in 1564, 
inviting all the clergy without exception. As several of the 
clergy, and among these the pastor of the mining districts, did not 
appear, the Dean Timmerius and the Jesuit John Seidel were 
sent to Schemnitz to win the people over to adopt the decrees of 
the Council of Trent, and so return into the bosom of the Church.* 
On presenting their commission to the civil authorities, they 
were informed that there were so many excellent preachers in the 
town, their services were not required. The magistrates declared 
at the same time, that their Confession of Faith, as the arch- 
bishop himself knew, agreed with the Augsburg Confession, and 
by this they were resolved to abide. The archbishop complained 
to the emperor, and on 16th April an order was sent to the 
civil authorities of Schemnitz warning them to obey the arch- 
bishop, and threatening them with severe punishment for what 
they had done. This order was signed, among others, by Dudith, 
who had returned from the Council of Trent, but it did not pro- 
duce much effect, for, on the 25th July following, the angel of 
death knocked at Ferdinand's door and called him away. His 
death freed the magistrates of Schemnitz from their perilous 
position, and took a great weight from the hearts of the friends 
of the Reformation in Hungary and Germany. 

For thirty- eight years had Ferdinand I. been King of Hungary. 
He had, besides, worn the Roman imperial crown and that of 
Bohemia. The political historian must describe him as a wise 
prince and lover of justice. We have had opportunity of shewing 
that he was aware of the errors of the Chmch of Rome, and 
earnestly longed for a reform ; and yet in the decisive moment he 
avoided publicly declaring against Rome and, like other princes, 
joining the Reformation, although the great majority of his 

* Ribinyi, Mem. Aug. Conf., part i. p. 167. Godofry Schwartz, Life and 
Writings of Dudith, § xxi. p. 56. The Jesuit Peterfy. 


subjects in Austria, Bohemia, Styria, and Hungary, would have 
stood firmly by him in taking such a step. 

If we inquire into the reason of this conduct, we must mention 
in the first place his Spanish education, the first impressions of 
which were carefully nourished by the priests ; the example of 
his brother, the Emperor Charles ; the constant friendly relation 
between him and the Court of Rome; the moral and physical 
assistance which Rome gave him against the Turks, and which 
in his circumstances was indispensable; the falsehoods which 
were told of Luther ;* the ignorance of the Word of God which 
alone can make fallen man free ; — all these wrought together in 
making Ferdinand what he was. 

We are firmly of opinion that Ferdinand I. may justly be 
ranked among the warmest and most devoted friends of the Pope. 
He did all for Popery which any man could do in those stormy 
times and under his circumstances, without the greatest folly and 
danger. He did not understand that moving of the Holy Spirit 
on the troubled waters of the Christian Church in his day. And 
it is with regret that we must decline joining with such Pro- 
testant writers as Spondanus, who declare him to have been a 
friend of the Reformation. Should we give any other reasons for 
our decision, we would simply point to his conduct in Austria, 
where he was much less fettered than in Hungary, and yet this 
freedom was only used to oppress and hinder the Reformation, f 

* No one doubts any more that the letter of Ferdinand to Luther of 1st 
February 1537 is a forgery. 
+ Raupach, Ev. Aust. part ii. 



Maximilian I. is made King — Communion in both kinds in Hungary — The Celibacy of 
the Clergy — Organisation of the Reformed Church, and separation from the 
Lutherans — Unitarians in Transylvania — Pastor Lucas — Lazarus Schwend — Con- 
fession of Czenger. 

It was with their whole heart that the Protestants joined in the 
cry, " Long live the king ! " as Maximilian I. was crowned in his 
father's stead. 

Their hopes were also realised. As yet there was no formal 
separation from the Chnrch of Rome farther than that the senti- 
ments of the evangelical preachers were known. When Arch- 
bishop Olah therefore wrote to Presburg demanding that all 
heretical books should be sought out, and threatening excom- 
munication in case of disobedience, the citizens were much 
alarmed. They knew what he had done in the case of Peter 
Simeghi, the evangelical pastor of Selyr, throwing him into 
prison and subjecting him to all possible trial. And now the 
demand came to Presburg, not only to give up the books, but 
also to banish all the preachers who were known to be of senti- 
ments different from what Borne calls orthodox. In their distress 
they sent a deputation to the king to appeal against the arch- 

About the same time a similar complaint was brought by the 
Protestant clergy of the seven mining towns, and they had a 
better case made out ; for, by handing in their confession of faith, 
they had virtually separated from Rome's jurisdiction. They 
shewed how they were appointed by law " to preach the gospel 
diligently, and administer the sacraments according to the Augs- 
burg Confession." Maximilian immediately directed the arch- 
bishop " to cease disturbing the evangelical clergy ; to consider 
the times, and to take heed that he did not destroy more than 
he built up." * 

By a letter dated 2d September 1564, the king directed that 
the permission to use the cup in the communion should also be 
extended to Hungary. The edict was published by the arch- 
* Ribinyi, Mem. Mica Bury MS. 


"bishop himself in Presburg and Tyrnau, and by the bishops 
in Raab, Erlau, and Agram. Indeed, it was also published in 
the camp of Lazarus Scliwend, the imperial commander-in- 
chief, who laboured very successfully in advancing the Refor- 
mation in the neighbourhood of the Theiss, by bringing forward 
such preachers as were of evangelical sentiments. 

Maximilian went even farther, and entertained high hopes of 
being able to abolish the celibacy of the clergy, asserting that, 
were this evil removed, all would soon proceed smoothly.* He 
was of opinion that the Protestant and Roman Catholic Churches 
might very well exist together, and was therefore from his heart 
opposed to persecution in religious matters. At the diet of 1566, 
which was held to make preparation against the Turks, who, to 
the number of one hundred and fifty thousand men, were ap- 
proaching towards Hungary, no resolution was passed in any 
way molesting the Reformers. Encouraged, therefore, by the 
outward peace which they enjoyed, that distinguished light of the 
Reformed Church, the senior and pastor Caspar Karolyi, sum- 
moned a synod, at which the majority signed the Swiss Con- 
fession of Faith. They wrote to their brethren in Transylvania, 
recommending this confession, and sent the letter by Paul 
Thurius, who was now completely devoted to the Reformed or 
Swiss party. 

In like manner was a synod called at Debrecsin by Peter 
Melius, in which the Swiss Confession of Faith, as distinguished 
from the Augsburg Confession, was adopted and printed, so 
that the separation of the Reformed and Lutheran Churches was 
now complete. 

This organisation of the Protestant churches was not very 
acceptable to the Roman Catholics, and they succeeded in black- 
ening the character of the Reformed Church — whom they always 
denominated Sacramentarians — in the eyes of Maximilian, to 
such an extent, that when a similar synod was about being held 
in (Edenberg, Maximilian wrote to the magistrates, not only 
prohibiting the meeting, but also forbidding them to have any 
connexion with such preachers, requiring, at the same time, that 
if any such were among them, they should be banished, and 
their books destroyed.f 

Following the king's example, the commander-in-chief of the 
forces, Lazarus Schwend, who appears to have known very little 

* Kibinyi, Mem. Aug. Conf., part i. p. 199. 
t Ibid, part i. p. 208. 


about the Helvetic Confession, took a very decided stand against 
the Reformed, and in favour of the Lutheran, Church. This 
general had soon an opportunity of trying his skill in ecclesi- 
astical matters, in the case of Lucas, the pastor of Erlau, who 
had adopted Socinian views, and whose case was tried before the 
synod of Kashaw, in January 1568. It having been proved 
that Lucas denied the eternity of the Son of God, and so rejected 
the doctrine of the Trinity, the general adopted a military solu- 
tion of the theological quarrel, for he cast the accused into prison, 
and gave him his liberty again, after a long confinement, only on 
condition of recanting. It is true, the manner of conducting the 
trials of those who were suspected of Socinianism was veiy far 
from being an impartial inquiry after truth ; but it was at that 
time necessary for the evangelical church to shew that she had no 
sympathy with those who denied the divinity of the Lord Jesus 
Christ ; otherwise, the Roman Catholics were very ready to make 
this charge against individuals an opportunity of persecuting the 
whole Church. 

The Unitarians had, indeed, at this time, become very nume- 
rous; and, as John, Prince of Transylvania, seemed to favour 
them, they allowed themselves to be led very far in provoking 
the other party. In vain did the professors in Wittenberg write 
to the chancellor, Michael Csaky, urging the brethren not to 
suffer such heresies, in direct opposition to the Word of God, to 
spring up among them. In vain did they beg and entreat them 
to send their young men to foreign universities and support them 
there. The Italian doctor and preacher, Blandvater, with Francis 
David, drove matters so far that, at the Synod of Wardein, in 
Transylvania, the doctrine of the Trinity was openly denied, and 
the pastor of Klausenburg was appointed superintendent of the 

Many Hungarians were present at this Transylvanian synod, 
who did not adhere to the false doctrines. The Prince of 
Transylvania, however, with many of the nobility, and the great 
mass of the citizens of Wardein, openly joined the Unitarians. 
This was perhaps a reason why the Hungarians, though they had 
abeady signed the Confession of Torgau, in 1567, prepared and 
printed at Debrecsin a new confession entitled the u Confession 
of Czenger." The great historian Bossuet is quite mistaken 
when he calls this a Polish confession. It was drawn up by 
Hungarians, and is to this day the common confession of the 
Reformed Church in Hungary. 



Jehoiachira Brandenburg — Death of Grabriel Perenyi, Bishop of Csanad — Synod of Krem- 
nitz — The twenty-four Zips Towns and their Confession — David Chytraus. 

Solomon says, " To every thing there is a season, and a time to 
every purpose under the heaven;" and we may safely say that 
the reign of Maximilian was " the time for Confessions of Faith." 
From single cities, and from individual pastors, we find confes- 
sions of faith appearing, agreeing in so far with the Augsburg 
Confession that they give the Lord all glory. They were 
in general written as public replies to the disagreeable attacks 
made on these parties by such as, either through blindness or 
obduracy, could see no salvation out of the Church of Rome, and 
whose chief aim was, at any price, to bring all back again under 
the Roman slavery. It was for this reason that Jehoiachim 
Brandenburg, chaplain of the German cavalry at Raab, in the 
year 1567, published the confession of his faith at Ratisbon. 
In the preface, he informs us how, in consequence of his respect 
for Flacius and adherence to the doctrines which he taught, he 
was driven from place to place, till at last he had obtained leave 
to preach and dispense the sacraments at Raab. Even here he. 
had little rest, for, as he held divine service in a private house, he 
was represented as one who hated the light. Being, however, 
accustomed to preach in the open air,* he would not be prevented 
from continuing to do so, and, that every one might know what 
he taught, he hereby published the principal articles of his creed. 

Such decided witnesses were much required in Hungary at this 
time, for, during the sitting of the Presburg Diet, in 1567, 
Gabriel Perenyi was laid in the grave of his fathers, and the 
funeral oration was pronounced over this devoted supporter of the 
Lutheran Church by Fabricius Szikzovianus, in the presence of 
an august assembly of mourners. It was not long till the second 

* He had eight different places where he preached. Mica Bury MS. 


pillar of the Lutheran Church in Upper Hungary, Lazarus 
Schwend, was also laid in the narrow house. These losses were 
the more felt as Gregory Bornemissa, the Bishop of Csanad, 
had written to the twenty-four towns of Zips, informing them 
that he would soon visit " his towns," armed with the necessary 
powers to restore the disobedient wanderers from the fold. He 
informed them, also, that he would hold a synod, in which it 
would be shewn what every one is bound to teach and believe. 
In a second letter, in 1570, he renews the summons to the clergy 
to attend at his court, and adds, that he will leave no means 
untried to purge his diocese.* In the meantime, the influence 
of Rome was so far felt at Vienna that the evangelical 
professors at the university were excluded from the office of 

Under such circumstances, the representatives of the five 
mining towns met at Kremnitz in the year 1569 — renewed the 
confession of faith which they had presented to Ferdinand in 
1559 — resolved to instruct the children carefully in the Cate- 
chism, and to hold a clerical meeting conference twice a year. 

The representatives of the twenty-four Zips towns held a 
conference in the same year, and deputed two of their number, 
Valentine Meyander and Cyriacus Opsopaus, to draw up their 
confession. Their work was finished in 1573, and the several 
points agreed very fully with the Augsburg Confession; this, 
therefore, obtained much more of the royal approbation than did 
the confession of the Calvinistic Church, as is evident from the 
fact of Maximilian shortly after inviting Chytraus from Rostock, 
to bring all the evangelical churches of Austria to the Lutheran 

When Chytraus had finished his work in Austria, he travelled 
through Hungary and Transylvania, and in the account given 
of his journey, he mentions how the Arian heresy had spread: 
but, at the same time, that he had found the true Church of 
Christ scattered through all Hungary. He saw in Ofen a 
Lutheran and a Roman Catholic occupying the same church 
alternately, and in (Edenberg he found pastor, and magistrates, 
and citizens, firmly attached to the principles of the Reformation. 
He remarks, farther, that in the neighbourhood of the Neusiedel 
lake, by the banks of the Danube and the Raab, the Church 
was flourishing; in Zips, and among the Saxons in Tran- 
* Ribinyi, Mem., part i. p. 221. 


sylvania, he found most learned men in the churches and schools, 
who remained unmoved by all the exertions of Blandvater and 
the other Socinian teachers. 

This visit of the zealous Chytraus did far more for the benefit 
of the Church in Hungary than the letter of the Wittenberg 
theologians, warning so earnestly against the Socinian errors, 
had accomplished. The spoken word, and the personal influence 
of enlightened friends of truth, produce a far more permanent 
effect than it is possible for writings to do. It was thus that the 
travels of the apostles in the early times, and the travelling of 
missionaries in our own days, have had an influence far beyond 
anything which the dead letter of the written Word could ever 
claim in gathering and strengthening the chinches. i 



Diet at Presburg — John Kurber — Tyrnau — James Wolf — Death of Serpilius and 
Szegedinus — Formal Separation from Rome. 

The war with the Turks was ended by a truce for eight years, 
and the quarrel with John, Prince of Transylvania, was brought 
to a close in 1570, in such a way that John should hold, dur- 
ing life, a certain portion of the country. As he died in the 
following year, Maximilian was freed from much anxiety, and 
now the great aim must be to try and heal the wounds which 
half a century of war had inflicted. Accordingly, in 1572, two 
diets were held at Presburg, in neither of which any resolution 
unfavourable to the Protestants was adopted, and in the latter 
meeting, Rudolph, the son of Maximilian, was crowned King of 

In the place of Schwend, another zealous Protestant, John 
Kurber, was appointed commander-in-chief of the forces in Hun- 
gary.* Under his protection, the Germans in Tyrnau called an 
evangelical preacher, who laboured very acceptably among them. 
In their baptisms, funerals, and schools, they laid aside all the 
Popish customs and ceremonies, and set about building for them- 
selves a new church, which was finished during the reign of 

About the same time the town of Modem, which had just 
been raised to the title and privileges of a city, elected its first 
evangelical pastor in the person of James Wolf, a disciple of 
Luther, who fully carried out the principles of his renowned 

In all these prosperous times, the great Head of the Church 
was reminding his people that the cause of truth does not 
depend on man, whose breath is in his nostrils. He therefore 

* As governor of the city Kaab, he had introduced the first evangelical 
preacher into that city. 


called away by death Laurence Serpiiius, the Reformer of Bela, 
and shortly after, the great Stephen Szegedinus. The latter 
died in 1572 ; in the sixty-seventh year of his age. 

He had been eighteen years superintendent in the diocese 
lying between the Border Lake and the Save ; and at his death 
had one hundred and twenty Protestant churches under his 
superintendence. Through evil report and good report, in 
stripes and imprisonments, dangers by water and dangers by 
land, he had laboured on unweariedly in his Master's cause.* 
In his sixtieth year he had a public discussion in Pesth with a 
monk of the name of Seraphim Pantheus, and with the sword 
of the Spirit he carried off a brilliant victory. The Reformed 
Church claims him as one of her superintendents. There is, 
however, no evidence that he separated himself from the 
Lutheran party ; all that can be said is, that in the later years 
of his life he had a strong leaning to the Calvinistic doctrines, 
and lived on very intimate terms with the leaders of that Church. 

Although the evangelical churches, both Lutheran and Re- 
formed, had at this time a complete organisation, yet the Roman 
Catholic bishops did not cease to assert their claims, demanding 
from the Protestant clergy a constant recognition of their 
authority, and from the churches regular payments of Church 
dues. The Archbishop of Gran, in passing through Leutshaw in 
1573, took high offence at Anton Plattner, the evangelical pastor 
of the place, for not waiting on him with accustomed honour ; 
and when Plattner, reminded of his duty by the magistrates, 
hastened after the archbishop so far as Eperjes, in company 
with some of the neighbouring clergy, the archbishop complained 
grievously of their having left Rome. " The honour of being 
very learned men he would not deny them, and even to their 
marriage he had no objection, if they had only waited till per- 
mission had been obtained from Rome." Plattner returned safe 
and sound to his own dear Leutshaw. f 

In the same year the Bishop of Csanad wrote to the evan- 

* He had many narrow escapes for his life. At one time his horses ran 
away, and threw him into the Danube, where he was in great danger ; and 
at another time, while bathing, he came too near a whirlpool, and was with 
difficulty rescued. 

t Ribinyi, Mem. Aug. Conf., part i. Here is the great Roman principle 
asserted. The Pope has the power to pronounce any course of conduct to 
be right or wrong. Right and wrong mean, then, what is conformable to 
his will or otherwise. This is really setting himself in God's stead. 


gelical churches, demanding his dues. They answered by send- 
ing him their Confession of Faith, with some few words of 
explanation respecting the constitution of their churches. It is 
there said, " The Church is the visible body of those who hear 
and believe the gospel, and among whom the sacraments are 
administered according to Christ's appointment. The Spirit of 
God works among these to renew their minds by his appointed 
means ; there are, however, in this life, many in the visible 
Church whose minds are not yet renewed. Those, however, 
who falsify the Word, administer the sacraments contrary to 
Christ's intention, and kill the saints — such are not the Church 
of God, but, as the Lord says, l of their father the devil.' * He 
that is not with us is against us.' " 

By this document they declared themselves completely se- 
parated from Rome ; and it was not convenient for the bishop 
just at that time to take any farther notice of the proceedings. 

Other churches, wishing also to be free, sent their theological 
students to Wittenberg, where they were ordained, and then 
returned to labour in their native land. Some went for the 
same purpose to Transylvania, others to Gratz, and others still 
to Silesia.* 

* Memorabilia CEdenbergs MS. ; Ribinyi, Mem., part i. p. 246, where the 
diploma of Paul Hermelius is copied. 



Peter Bornemissa — Stephen Beytha — Michael Starinus— The Pastors of (Eden berg — 
Caspar Zeitvogel — Nicolas Telegdy appeals to the Pope — Maximilian's Death — His 

At the head of this chapter stand the names of three of the 
most distinguished Reformers in Hungary. Perhaps it is on 
this account that the Lutheran and Reformed writers strive to 
claim each for their own party. The following facts may per- 
haps help to clear up the darkness which rests on this point, and 
contribute towards settling the question, if it is one of so much 

Peter Bornemissa was born of noble family, at Pesth, and 
received his education at Kashaw and Vienna. In his eighteenth 
year, he permitted the public to visit him at his lodgings in 
Vienna, where he read and expounded the Scriptures to them. 
Being accused by Nicolas Olah, at that time archbishop, he was 
thrown into prison. On being set free, he travelled in Italy, 
France, and Germany, for eight years, pursuing his studies. 
On his return he was, by the patronage of Count Julius Salin, 
and his worthy countess, Elizabeth Thurzo, appointed preacher, 
first in Galgatz, and then in Shintaw. Here he laboured with 
much success, and published an incredible number of books. 
Especially valuable were his Hungarian sermons, which he 
printed between 1574 and 1584, partly in quarto, partly in folio, 
dedicated to Count Salm and Prince Stephen Torok. Other 
works which produced a great sensation at the time, were 
his Sum of Saving Knowledge, and Comfort in the Vicissi- 
tudes of Life, published in 1577, and dedicated to Anna Maria 
Losontcy, the wife of Christopher Unguad. Several liberal 
princes and pious ladies bore the cost of printing, and among 
these were Barbara Somi, wife of Ladislaus Banfy, Count 
Salm Bathyani, Thomas Nadasdy, and Francis Esterhazy. 


From the year 1584, we hear no more of this great man; 
probably about that time he died. His writings bear the cha- 
racter of the time, and give evidence that the Turkish dominion 
had very much injured the state of religion and morals. Lampe 
and others claim him as a Calvinist ; but we have evidence that, 
on a preacher being appointed at (Edenberg, the magistrates 
and citizens would not make the appointment till after Super- 
intendent Bornemissa had examined and approved of him. 
From the quarrels and bitter feelings between the two Con- 
fessions, and from the high stand which the citizens of (Eden- 
berg took on the side of the Augsburg Confession, we infer 
that they would not send their pastor to be examined by a 
Calvinistic superintendent. 

\This (Edenberg pastor was afterwards a very distinguished 
labourer in the Lord's vineyard. His name was Stephen 
Beytha. Born about 1528, he laboured first in the schools, 
and afterwards as preacher, for a period of forty-five years. 
Bornemissa recommends him to the church in (Edenberg, in 
1574, as a very worthy man, whom they should respect and 
support, and expresses the hope that he may.be a blessing to 
the town. Here he remained only two years, as Hungarian 
preacher, and then removed to Gussing, in Eisenberg, as pastor 
to the church there, and chaplain to Count Balthasar Bathyani. 
As an influential superintendent, we shall frequently hear farther 
of him. 

Another of the great leaders of the Eeformation was Michael 
Starinus. One benefit which he conferred on Hungary was the 
translation of the Psalms into Hungarian verse, and, indeed, the 
greater number of the Psalms in use among the Reformed 
churches to this day are said to be his translation. He was a 
most laborious minister of the gospel, but very little is known 
respecting the very peculiar sphere of his labours, beyond the 
facts, that he lived at Tolnau, in 1557 ; that he was settled at 
Papa, as pastor, previous to 1574; and that, while he and 
Stephen Beytha were candidates for the vacant post of 
Hungarian preacher in (Edenberg, in the last mentioned year, 
Beytha was preferred.* 

* There was a Hungarian preacher in (Edenberg previous to 156S ; for 
in that year we find the record of a presbyter of Guns applying for the 
vacant place. In .1568-69, Francis Novanus was placed there ; in 1570-71, 
Lucas of Blasteniz ; the name of the preacher in ' 72-73 is not given. In 


There were at that time five preachers in (Edenberg, namely, 
three in the German church, one in the Hospital, and Beytha in 
the Hungarian church. The names were, Jonas Peter Nusaus, 
a native of Nuremburg, James Ritshendel, Hans Hofer, and 
Andrew Pfendtner. In the Hungarian church, a service in 
Croatian was occasionally held, a custom which exists to this 
day, though the Croatians in the neighboring village, Culmhof, 
are now all Roman Catholics. Beytha was succeeded by Caspar 
Dragonus, in 1576.* 

The schools in (Edenberg were as prosperous as the churches. 
The gymnasium, which had been established in 1566, had 
Francis Hartwann as professor till the year 1577, and, as the 
school was prospering, Caspar Zeitvogel was called from 
Austria, as rector. Up to this time, it had been customary for 
the youth in the Latin school to hear mass eacli morning, from 
eight till nine o'clock, and vespers each evening, from three till 
four. The new rector discontinued this custom, to the great 
annoyance of the priest. He introduced the custom of singing 
German hymns, instead of Latin, at funerals, and dispensed with 
the attendance of priests, with their wax candles, on such 

As the priests were thus deprived of some of their fees, they 
were so enraged that, on one occasion, at a funeral, " a priest, 
in the public street, boxed the ears of Master Caspar Zeit- 
vogel." Shortly after, Zeitvogel was dismissed, by the influence 
of the Bishop of Raab and some of his creatures, and the next 
place we find him is in Basle, where he officiates as doctor of 
medicine. His place, as rector of the gymnasium, was filled by 
Michael Rusler, in 1574, who continued to labour successfully 
for four years. 

Up till this time, the St Michael's church had been used alter- 
nately by Protestants and Roman Catholics, but now a com- 
plete separation took place, and that chiefly by the influence of 
the sensual Romish priest, Walff Spillinger. 

1574, there is an entry to the effect, that, by order of the burgomaster, 
there was paid to the Hungarian preacher of Papa, Michael Starinus, two 
dollars, for preaching on trial at the (Edenberg Hungarian Church. 

* Caspar Dragonus signs himself pastor of the United Hungarian and 
Croatian Church. 

t Z. E. Russeus, Burgomaster of (Edenberg. Transactions during his 
Life. MS. 


The friends of the Reformation had struggled hard to gain a 
footing, and now they must not relax their efforts in attempting 
to maintain their ground against those who had no qualms of 
conscience respecting the means they adopted to gain their end. 
" And they who kill you," said the Lord Jesus, with such 
truth and power, "will think they do God service ;" " and all 
this they will do, because they neither know me nor my 

Some looked on the incredible spread of evangelical sentiments 
as a great evil. Among these was Mcolas Telegdy, Provost of 
Gran, about the end of Maximilian's reign. As he found the 
emperor's lukewarmness in persecuting the Protestants in- 
tolerable, he wrote to Pope Gregory, in May 1576, complaining 
especially of the people of Tyrnau, that they had appointed a 
most talented preacher, to whom crowds were listening in the 
hospital church. In vain had the legate demanded of the 
emperor to send this plague out of the town. In vain had the 
bishops of Erlau and Raab united to plead for the same pur- 
pose ; they had only succeeded in obtaining a promise that 
royal commissioners would inquire into the case. He there- 
fore begged the Pope to urge the emperor on to do his duty, 
while many in Tyrnau were trembling for the consequences of 
allowing this madman his full liberty. And, lastly, remarks the 
provost, if the heretics once gain a victory in Tyrnau, their 
teachers will then come like flies, and cover the land, so that the 
Roman Catholic faith would be overturned — yes, overturned by 
the preaching of the gospel ! 

Rome's power was thus waning fast in Hungary, when 
Maximilian died at Ratisbon, on the 12th October 1576. 

The Jesuit Mitterdorfer numbers him among the faithful 
sons of the Church, and says he yielded to the Protestants 
simply from dire necessity. Others think that Maximilian 
suffered the Church of Rome designedly to sink, and that 
he was a warm friend of the Reformation.* 

Let us remember that, as crown prince and king of Bohemia, 
he was decidedly in favour of the Reformation. At that time 
he wrote to the Duke of Wurtemburg, that it was of the 
utmost importance that the contending parties in the Protestant 
Church should be reconciled ; for, by so doing, the Pope would 
be the more hampered in his proceedings, which Maximilian 
* Martin Gratianus in vita Card. Commendoni. 


confessed would not vex him very much. In another letter, he 
calls the Papists " the other party," and the enemies both of 
himself and the duke.* As emperor, however, he is less open ; 
the circumstances require more moderation. As emperor, he 
attended mass, remained in communion with the Church of 
Rome, took as his chaplain that same Cithardus whom he 
had formerly so much despised; but, as Thuanus observes, 
u always at heart well inclined towards the Protestants." 

A singular proof of this he gave in his last years ; for as on 
the death of Cithardus they gave him one Martin Eisengriin, a 
Protestant apostate, to be his chaplain, and as he, in his first 
sermon, made a bitter attack on the Protestants, the emperor 
immediately found another situation for him in the Bavarian 
monastery of Dettingen. 

If we, then, consider further, in addition to what has been 
said, that the greater number of office-bearers at court were 
Protestants, that Protestants were sent as ambassadors to 
foreign courts, even to Rome, we may well doubt whether to 
receive with implicit confidence or not, what the Jesuit Mitter- 
dorfer says of him on his death-bed — " He gave full evidence of 
being a Roman Catholic prince." f This doubt will be further 
increased by the fact, that the Paris University refused him the 
customary honours after death, as they had doubts respecting 
his orthodoxy. We may also remember the memorable words 
with which he dismissed his evangelical chaplain, Pfauser, 
when compelled to do so by the influence of Ferdinand's court, — 
"Be of good courage, dear Pfauser, the service of God must 
not yield to the commandments of men." 

* Kaupach, Evang. Aust. 1st Part, Supplement, pp. 21, 22. 
f See Gerbach's Turkish Day-Book, p. 498. 



RUDOLPH II., FROM 1576 TO 1608, IN HUNGARY ; DIED 1612. 

His Education and Manner of Life — Archduke Ernest, Governor of Austria — Opitz 
and Scherer — The Concordia in Hungary — Roman Tactics. 

With the Emperor Rudolph begins a period of thirty-two 
years, which, for the Church in Hungary, abounded in suffer- 
ing and trials. The wonder, how it was possible for such an 
enlightened and gentle father as Maximilian to leave behind 
him such a son and heir as Rudolph, will be explained by a 
glance at his early education. 

Rudolph was born at Vienna in 1552, and while the father 
was occupied with the cares of government, the Spanish mother, 
by the aid of the Jesuits, formed the young mind after her own 
wish. While he was scarcely yet twelve years old, he was 
sent to be near the suspicious, tyrannical, cruel Philip, King 
of Spain. At the side of this dark monarch and his ghostly 
executioner, the Grand Inquisitor Torquemada, did Rudolph, 
while yet a youth, acquire that implicit submission to the 
Church of Rome, which made him respect every error, con- 
sider every change even of the most absurd customs as a 
heresy, and fitted him for being the blind tool of the priests 
of an infallible Church. They had only one difficulty in his 
character, and that was the pride of being a ruler, and of 
being considered such. Yet they knew well how to turn this 
to account, by directing this failing in such a channel as served 
their purpose. 

Such a mixture of dark suspicion and tyrannical pride as 
made up the character of Philip, just such was also Rudolph's 
character. Like Philip, it became always more and more 
difficult for his subjects to have access to him. Indeed, at one 
time, the citizens of Prague, where he generally resided, con- 
sidered him to be dead ,• and the only way to quell a riot, 


which was breaking out in consequence, was, that he came and 
shewed himself at a window. 

Devoted to astrology, alchymy, and painting, and with a 
decided aversion to affairs of state, his extensive dominions 
soon fell, like his own household, into desperate disorder. Like 
Louis II., he was always at a loss for money; and, though 
niggardly in matters of importance, yet he could waste his 
property on flowers, and pearls, and trifles. He was always 
surrounded with alchymists, astrologers, artists, and mistresses, 
who carried away with a full hand, while his troops were 
generally obliged to subsist on forced loans and friendly plunder. 
Of course, no attention was paid to the education of the people. 
The king set the example of adulterating the silver in dollars, 
and the brokers and usurers in his dominions knew how to 
imitate him in this respect. 

Under such a ruler, who, as Fessler remarks, " for the grati- 
fication of his own covetousness, transgressed all law and all 
morality, that he might bury his treasures by the million," 
it would have been indeed a wonder, if credit, justice, and 
morality had not disappeared, and cheatery taken their place. 

With that faithfulness and good-natured resignation which 
constitutes a principal trait of their character, the Hungarians 
accepted of this king, who was crowned 25th September 1572, 
in the twentieth year of his age. They hoped to find the just 
and virtuous father in the son ; and even what very soon after 
the coronation took place against the Protestants in Austria 
did not quite remove the scales from their eyes. 

In 1577, Eudolph had appointed his brother Ernest deputy- 
governor of Austria, who immediately, no doubt by the advice 
of the Jesuits, set about attempting a counter reformation. It 
was the learned and zealous, but at the same time headstrong 
and imprudent, evangelical preacher in Vienna, Joshua Opitz, 
who gave occasion to this step. Picturing, in his sermon, the 
consequences of monastic life, he mentioned that, in the time of 
Pope Gregory, in a certain pool or lake, six thousand skulls of 
children had been found, w T hich had all been thrown in by the 
women of the neighbouring convent, and that the Bishop of 
Augsburg had written to Pope Nicolas I. on the subject. 
Eight days after, the Jesuit Scherer preached against him, and 
soon raised such a storm, that, by express command of the 
emperor, the preachers Opitz, Tattelbach, and Hugo received 


orders, on the 21st June 1578, " on the same day, before 
sunset, to leave Vienna, and within fourteen days to be 
beyond the boundaries of the empire, never to return."* 

In the same year was the evangelical preacher at Krems, 
John Matthews, of Smalkalden, banished ; and many of the 
citizens, who were suspected of Protestantism, were called up, 
and strictly examined respecting their views. While the car- 
dinal Hosius was rejoicing over the banishment of the preachers 
and the suppression of the Protestant congregations, and while 
men of evangelical sentiments, who refused to take part in the 
processions, were excluded from the rectorship of the Uni- 
versity, the Bishop of Vienna was making preparations for an 
inquisition of the books, in which work he was faithfully 
assisted by the University. 

With equal zeal were the Jesuits labouring in Styria, where 
they succeeded in banishing Jeremiah Homberger, the pastor 
and rector of Gratz. 

Though the prospects of the Protestants were thus very 
gloomy, yet the Hungarians, depending on the oath of the 
king, and on their own constitution, seemed to have no fear 
that the fire of persecution might soon reach themselves. ) Was 
it the consciousness of the justice of their cause, or was it the 
number of members of their own party filling influential 
positions, or the success which had hitherto attended their 
struggles against Rome, that lulled asleep all suspicion, and 
prevented them taking energetic steps to meet the tricks of the 
Jesuits and their helpers ? 

Instead of combating the great foe from without, the internal 
quarrels were increasing, and synod after synod was held to 
discuss such questions among themselves as only tended to 
stir up strife. In the hope of settling the disputes, an attempt 
was made to have the Concordia signed 5 and though, at the 
Synod of Kremnitz, in 1580, the commander-in-chief of the 
Hungarian army, as well as lay deputies from some of the 
sister towns, used their utmost efforts to have the signature 
accomplished, yet the attempt only increased the evil which it 
was designed to heal. Indeed, Gregory Bornemissa, of Great 
Wardein, took the opportunity of warning the clergy under 
his superintendence, that as there were in this formula senti- 
ments reflecting dishonour on the person of Christ, they 
* Raupach, Ev. Austria, part i. p. 272. 


should refuse signing it, and threatened, if they did so, he 
would proceed against them as if they denied the humanity 
of Christ * 

The bishop having had heavy expenses at the Diet of Pres- 
burg, wrote to the evangelical clergy of Zips, in 1583, requesting 
them to send him, as usual, their share of his expenses, and 
expressing a wish that the usual sum of sixty ducats should this 
time be increased to a hundred. In the letter, he calls them his 
reverend brethren in Christ. Kow, though the evangelical 
clergy had, in general, paid the dues to the Popish bishops, still 
it happened, that the clergy of Zips had not paid the last oil 
account for extreme unctions, and even all the bishop's flattery 
did not now succeed in extracting even a part of the hundred 
ducats. The bishop's death in the following year prevented, for 
the present, any final settlement of the question. 

While the Protestant Church was torn with internal dis- 
sensions, the Roman Catholics, on the contraiy, fully organised 
and strengthened by the Jesuits, as well as supported by the 
court, were prepared to take advantage of every change. They 
knew well that for the present nothing could be undertaken on a 
large scale, and that the diet would not assist them • they there- 
fore chose prudent and courageous leaders, and began a guerilla 
warfare against individual pastors and single congregations. 

* This formula was drawn up by Andreas Chemnitz and Solnecker, 
and afterwards examined and approved by Chytraus Musculus and 
Kornir, and was published in 1577. In this formula, the ubiquity of 
Christ's human nature is asserted. 



Roman Catholic Synod at Steinamanger — Bishop Telegdy— Gregorian Calendar — 
Banishment of the Protestant Clergy of (Edenberg — Draskowitsh is made Cardinal 
— Adoption of the New Calendar ont of respect to the King — Banishment of the 
Jesuits from Transylvania — Death of Draskowitsh. 

The zeal of the Roman Catholics to bring back the Protestants 
to the Church of Rome was manifested in various ways. George 
Draskowitsh, Archbishop of Kolotscha, and imperial chancellor, 
summoned a general synod of the clergy of his diocese to Steina- 
manger, in Eisenberg, to meet in August 1579, to which he 
also invited the Protestant clergy. Count Francis Nadasdy, 
however, on whose estates many Protestants resided, took up the 
case warmly, and wrote to the archbishop in July 1579, sending 
.a copy of his letter to the magistrates of (Edenberg, in which he 
states, that the evangelical clergy need not appear before the 
archbishop to give an account of their faith, for this they have 
already done by signing the Augsburg Confession ; should it, 
however, be intended to hold a public discussion on matters of 
faith, the time appeared to be badly chosen, for it would only 
cause new excitement, and expose to further devastations from 
the Turks. The evangelical clergy did not appear at the synod. 
What the archbishop with all his power could not accomplish, 
was attempted by others in a different way. It is a singular 
trait of the Roman Catholic Church, that she is very unwilling 
to try the power of the two-edged sword of the Spirit, which is 
the Word of God, against her enemies, while she much prefers 
the more expeditious sword of the civil power. Yet here we 
find one exception to the general rule in the person of Nicolas 
Telegdy, Bishop of Fimfkirchen, who attacked the superinten- 
dent and strove to defend Rome with the pen — very probably 
because, as his diocese lay under the rule of the Turks, he could 
use no other weapon. Still, from whatever cause, from the time 
of the Albigenses, down to the wondrous conversion of Tahiti 


in modern times, we find, on the part of Rome's adherents, a 
singular dislike to this kind of warfare, and fondness to employ 
fleshly weapons. 

It was, therefore, very acceptable to the Roman bishops and 
Jesuits, when the new Gregorian Calendar appeared. From the 
state of feeling in the country, it was easy to foresee that the 
Protestants would not readily consent to adopt it ; and it turned 
out according to expectation ; but in no place was the opposition 
so bitter as in (Edenberg. When the command came to this 
royal free city from George Draskowitsh, in 1583, to introduce 
the new calendar, even the improvement was looked on with 
suspicion because it came from Rome, and in the spirit of the 
times such an attack was made from the pulpit, not only on the 
measure, but also on the bishop who introduced it, that he had a 
good opportunity for demanding the removal of the preachers. 

Though the magistrates did not obey this mandate, yet 
Draskowitsh, who was not only bishop, but also deputy-gover- 
nor, found ways and means in the following year to have the 
pastors, together with the rector and conrector of the school, 
removed. The pastors Musaus and Ritshandel, however, were 
no more exposed to these indignities ; the great Master had two 
years before called them away from the evil to come 

The citizens, deeply concerned for their own freedom and the 
well-being of their preachers and teachers, sent a deputation to 
Vienna to Archduke Ernest ; but he, instead of granting their 
petition, threw them into prison, and sentenced the city to a 
heavy fine for its audacity. After these innocent citizens had 
lain some time in prison in Vienna, they were set free — besides 
paying the fine — under the following conditions: — First, That 
the banished preachers should never be admitted, either publicly 
or privately, into the city or surrounding villages ; but that the 
citizens would open hearts and ears to the Popish priests already 
there, or who should in the course of time be sent to the city. 
Secondly, That they should never admit into the city any 
preacher or teacher without the express consent of the bishop, 
his vicar, or, at least, the archdeacon. Thirdly, They must 
appoint a Roman Catholic schoolmaster, who was always to be 
ready to help the priests. Fourthly, That in their private houses 
no one should be allowed to preach, and no one allowed to 
administer the sacraments, but a priest enjoying the full con- 
fidence of the bishop. 


These resolutions the Archduke Ernest sent to Wolfgang 
Spillinger, the Popish priest, and Archdeacon of GLdenberg, on 
the 18th June 1584, with directions to watch whether any one 
and who administered baptism, performed the ceremony of mar- 
riage, and such like, and to send the name, place, and circum- 
stances to the archduke, that he might, in the name of his 
Majesty, administer the proper punishment. 

As this letter was read in the council of the magistrates at 
(Edenberg, it cast the town into indescribable sorrow and con- 
sternation. Thousands should live without the comforts of the 
gospel ; children should be unbaptized ; the sick should die 
without the voice of a spiritual comforter, and the dead should 
be buried according to the rites of the Roman Church. Yet one 
thing remained. At a distance of about five English miles were 
two villages, German-Cross and Neckermarkt, where the gospel 
was preached still, and these villages did not belong to (Eden- 
berg. Faith gave the citizens strength, and they streamed out 
to these villages to hear the Word of God. And though many 
of them were taken prisoners, and carried off to the bishop's 
residence, and though the German evangelical normal school- 
master must be dismissed, still they did not succeed in annihilat- 
ing the Protestant Church in that city. 

For his great zeal in advancing the cause of Rome, Drasko- 
witsh was rewarded by Pope Sixtus V. with a cardinal's hat, in 
return for which he managed to introduce the Jesuits into 
Transylvania, and afterwards into Hungary. Contrary to law, 
and contrary to the Constitution, they soon received the pre- 
bendary (probstei) of Thurzo from Rudolph, and in vain did the 
diet afterwards try to remove them. Here they endeavoured — 
ever true to their principles — to annoy as much as possible those 
who differed from them in sentiment ; but, by so doing, they did 
not much advance the credit of the Roman See. For when, at 
the diet, the king and the cardinal were striving to introduce 
the new calendar, the States distinctly declared that they would 
adopt it only out of respect to their king, and not as an acknow- 
ledgment of the Roman supremacy. 

The Jesuits were less successful in Transylvania than in 
Hungary. They had stirred up strife to such an extent, that 
Prince Sigismund, at the unanimous earnest request of the 
States at the diet, gave his sanction to a decree, of 16th Decem- 
ber 1588, banishing them out of the kingdom. The diet 


declared their academy at Klausenberg to be a fortress erected 
against the liberties of the country, for they had taken up arms, 
and given occasion to rebellion. They sent their fanatical 
students into the houses of Calvinists, searching for books, which 
they brought out and burned ; and these scenes gave occasion to 
bloodshed and pillage.* 

Cardinal Draskowitsh did not live to see the black day when 
his favourites were driven legally out of Transylvania, for in 
February 1587 he had gone to render his account to his God. 

* Hist. Diplom. Fred. Schmidt Chroii. Thur. Germ., 1599, 4to. 



Caspar Dragonus — Protestant Synods — Peter Berger — Hungarian Students banished 
from Wittenberg — The Formula Concordise — Roman Troops sent to Hungary — 
Basta in Transylvania — Destruction of the Evangelical Church in Styria and 
Carinthia — The Roman General Barbiano in Kasha w and Leutshaw — The 
Magistrates of Leutshaw and the Bishop of Raab. 

The efforts of the Roman Catholics to annihilate the Protestant 
name in Hungary tended only to develop a new life and zeal 
among the friends of the truth. The banished clergy of (Eden- 
berg found a hearty welcome in other congregations and among 
the princes. Caspar Dragonus, for example, found an asylum 
first in Steinamanger, and afterwards in Castle Hezzo, till such 
time as he was appointed Professor of Theology in the flourish- 
ing academy at Hormend, and pastor of the church, where he 
continued for a considerable time, till he was afterwards appointed 
pastor of Rechnitz. 

The misfortunes at (Edenberg induced the Protestants for 
some time to hold their meetings chiefly where the Turks had 
dominion, for here they were not disturbed. The disciples of 
Abdallah's son understood toleration better than those who pro- 
fessed the faith of the Nazarene ; and with wondrous tact the 
Moslems knew how to afford each confession the same liberties. 

There was the Synod of Murany, where many useful resolu- 
tions were passed respecting Church discipline ; the Synod, of 
Surany, and the discussion of Csepregh in 1591, where Count 
Francis Nadasdy sought in vain to bring the Calvinistic super- 
intendent Stephen Beytha and the Lutheran Severin Skulteti 
of Bartfeld to a mutual good understanding respecting the Lord's 
Supper. Innumerable other meetings for discussing the same 
doctrine manifested considerable life in the Church. Still it was 
pity that the dogmatic side preponderated so much j and while 
the two contending parties were deepening the gulf which 
separated them, the ground was also laid for the great defection 
in spiritual life so soon to be manifested in the Reformed Church. 


There were at this time on the right side of the Danube three 
hundred ; on the left side, as far as Neograd, above four hundred ; 
and in Zips, Saras, Abanjvar, and Gomor, about two hundred 
fully organised churches of the Augsburg Confession with their 
own pastors, without reckoning the Reformed churches and those 
which were not fully organised. The Reformed churches were 
chiefly to be found in the provinces governed by the Turks, and 
among the Magyar population. So early as 1580, the Protestant 
Slavish churches in the circle of Trentshin amounted to seventy, 
and had their own separate constitution, government, and dis- 
cipline, under the protection of the obergespan of the county.* 

Although in this constitution much was done to remove the 
superstitious excresences of the Church of Rome out of the Divine 
service, still there were some who were not yet satisfied, and 
among these Peter Bcrger, who, in the year 1592, commenced a 
furious exterminating warfare against altars, pictures, wax 
candles, incense, and pulpit gown, and carried matters so far that 
he was suspended from his office by decision of the ecclesiastical 

The struggle between Lutheranism and Reform had reached its 
highest pitch about this time, and the antagonists knew no 
bounds in the bitterness of their expressions. And it is but poor 
consolation only to be able to say that Hungary was not alone in 
this disgraceful struggle. In Saxony the intolerance had also 
reached a high pitch ; for, towards the close of this century, 
twenty-five Hungarian students were turned out of the University 
of Wittenberg simply because they denied the ubiquity of the 
human nature of Christ, and could not, therefore, sign the 
u Formula Concordiae." 

This formula promoted anything but concord in Hungary. 
From end to end of the land the churches were torn with the 
controversy. As that distinguished man Severin Skulteti was 
elected Senior, the rector of Eperjes, John Mylius, protested 
against the election, charging him with having fallen from the 
evangelical faith. From the year 1591, when the discussion of 
Csepregh took place, other points were for many years neglected, 
and the clergy ranged themselves, in two parties, around this one 
question. Each party appointed a visitation of the churches in 
order to purify them in its own way. 

* Ribinyi, Mem. part i. p. 262. t Fessler, vol. viii. p. 418. 


The superintendent, Stephen Bey the, and the Senior of 
Csepregh, Samuel Reczes, the former on the part of Geneva, the 
latter as champion of Wittenberg, were the leaders of this 
unseemly quarrel, and there was no rest till the two parties 
separated from each other completely. While engaged with such 
matters, little did they think of the approach of Mahomet Til. 
with a hundred and fifty thousand men wasting the country. 
But, indeed, after all, as a church they had little reason to "be 
concerned, for under Turkish rule they had far more liberty than 
under Popish regime. When the Turks had taken possession of 
(Edenberg, one of the banished preachers returned and continued 
for some time, but was again obliged to leave. Even the imperial 
general, on entering the city and seeing the oppression of the 
Protestants, brought an evangelical preacher, Gabriel Griinberg, 
and placed him there. But what could a general do against a 
bishop walking faithfully in the steps of Draskowitsh ? In three 
quarters of a year he was again expelled, and the deputation 
which was sent to Vienna to represent their distressed case was 
not only thrown into prison, but the town was fined in six thou- 
sand florins for transgressing the orders of Archduke Ernest, and 
venturing to admit once more an evangelical preacher.* 

The persecution, which had hitherto fallen on isolated towns 
and single preachers, began now to become general. (The rumours 
1 of an agreement between the Pope, the Jesuits, and the Court of 
Vienna, to root out the Protestant name, seemed about to be 
realised in Hungary and Transylvania. ) With much jealousy 
and fear did the Protestants look on the ten thousand Roman 
troops under Aldobrand, Duke of Belgioyosa, formerly a Carthu- 
sian abbot, which came to help the emperor against the Turks ; 
for these auxiliary troops were nothing less oppressive and exor- 
bitant in their demands than the Turks had been. 

With equal severity were the inhabitants of Transylvania 
treated by George Basta, the imperial general. So soon as he 
had taken possession of the land in the king's name, he began to 
plunder, he enrolled the young men in his army, decimated the 
property of the rich, and kept the money to himself. He took 
away the churches and schools of the Protestants, and treated 
them so hardly that his name was mentioned with terror by 
children's children. Both he and the Popish general, knowing 
that there was nothing to fear from head-quarters even if they 
* Gamauf s Remembrances of (Edenberg. 


should be severe on the Protestants, followed but too faithfully | 
the example which was set by other servants of the emperor 
in the other crown lands. | The Bishop of Secca was burning 
and wasting all that belonged to Protestants in Styria and Carin- 
thia. The evangelical preachers were ordered to leave Griitz on 
eight days' notice, and give up their prosperous gymnasium to 
the Papists, while an oath was demanded from the civic autho- 
rities that they would immediately banish all who did not 
staunchly adhere to Rome. 

The States presented a petition to Archduke Ferdinand, in 
which they depicted the plots of the Jesuits, reminded him of his 
father's promise to the Protestants of Styria and Carinthia, and 
also how they had voluntarily lent considerable sums to the court 
in the time of need, — but it was all in vain.* The bishop went 
on with his cruelty. The Protestants at Eisengrub not having 
yielded implicit obedience to the stern commands, had their 
houses filled with soldiers, and many were carried away prisoners 
to Gratz. The castle of the knight John Hoffman was seized ; 
the Protestant church close by was blown up with powder, and 
the bones of the nobility resting in the vaults below the church 
were also blown to the winds. The altar of the evangelical 
church in Gratz was overturned, and the bones of the deceased 
pastor, Zimmermann, were taken up and thrown into the neigh- 
bouring river. 

Under such circumstances, the citizens of the capital of Carin- 
thia, who were chiefly Protestants, considered themselves justified 
in taking to arms. They closed their gates and made earnest 
preparations to protect their holiest rights, and to regain liberty 
of faith and conscience, without which man is the mere tool of 
tyranny, degraded to the level of the inferior creation. But 
repeated decrees of the archduke, sometimes cajoling, sometimes 
threatening, gained over the one part and terrified the other part 
of the citizens. The Jesuits had gained their object. Their j 
victory was soon so complete that, in all Styria and Carinthia, 
only a very few Protestant congregations remained. 

It was, no doubt, the intention in high places to do the same 
in Hungary and Bohemia, for the same spirit and principles ani- 
mated and directed the Government in all departments. 

* August Jacob Thuanus, torn ii. lib. 124, p. m. 1522 in 4to, anno 1601 ; 
David Rungius Wittenberg de persecutione in Styria ; Anander, and many 


But in spite of the league between the Pope and the Emperor 
to root out the Protestant name, what had been so easily accom- 
plished in other lands could not here be carried out. The higher 
and lower Hungarian nobility, as well as the free cities, had 
certain privileges secured to them by the Constitution, by means 
of which they were not so much exposed to arbitrary treatment, 
while at the same time their love of liberty increased. Not 
accustomed to bear arms, having lain long under the oppression 
of a foreign power, being now as bitterly oppressed by their own 
troops, they gave evidence of being prepared to take into their 
own hands the punishment of those offences on the part of the 
military which the Government seemed inclined to leave un- 

. In January 1603, the Eoman general Barbiano, assisted by 
three bishops, deprived the Protestants in Kashaw of their church, 
and handed it over to the Bishop of Erlau. The Protestant 
pastors were banished, the people were prohibited, under heavy 
fines, from going to other towns to partake of the communion or 
to enjoy any ecclesiastical privilege ; and it was hoped by this 
example to terrify the five mining towns. 

In the following October, the neighbouring free cities held 
a meeting to deliberate on the proper steps to be adopted 
in self-defence when their turn came. When the Bishop of 
Kaab, therefore, who was at the same time deputy-governor 
of Hungary, attempted in Leutshaw what had succeeded so 
well in Kashaw, he met with very decided opposition. He 
demanded of the magistrates, that the churches, schools, monas- 
teries, hospitals, and all the Church property, with the 
manses, should be handed over to him. As this was a matter 
which concerned the entire body of the citizens — so thought the 
burgomaster — it was necessary to hold a town meeting to con- 
sult together. At seven o'clock on the morning of the 9th 
October 1604, all the citizens, with pastor Peter Gabler and his 
colleague, met to hear the bishop's letter read. " Whereupon," 
says the record, " the pastor did give a beautiful warning to hold 
fast by the Word of God. He would risk his body, honour, 
property, and life, and abide with us. Upon which the judges 
and the council, together with the citizens and the reverend 
ministers, did bind themselves with an oath to risk their liberty, 
honour, property, and life, for the Word of God and the Augsburg 


Confession, and never to perjure themselves ; so help them God 
and his holy Word." 

From this time forward the warnings of the bishop as well as 
his threatenings were in vain. At one time he drove matters so 
far as to raise a tumult, and he must save his life by flight. He 
soon came back again, threatening to billet the military on them, 
and promising favours in case of yielding. The judges and coun- 
cil, with the tribunes of the people, gave the reply in the name 
of the whole city, in rather laconic style, for they bade the 
ambassador tell his master, " They would rather have God for a 
friend than the devil and all his followers." This answer might 
perhaps scarcely have helped them, if the Lord had not ordered 
that the bishop and his helpers must soon escape with all speed 
and leave the land. The enemies of the gospel must be the 
means of delivering them from their persecutor. 



Diet of Preshurg, 1604 — The famous 22d Article — Persecution of tie Protestants- 
Stephen Botskay's Rebellion — The Peace of Vienna. 

While the kings of Hungary, who always lived out of the 
country, in their public decrees praised the loyalty, faithfulness, 
and generosity of the nation, they manifested at the same time a 
certain want of confidence, by appointing foreigners to the com- 
mand of the troops, and by their influence carrying out political 
and religious measures contrary to the constitution. The fruits 
of this want of confidence were felt at other times under the 
house of Hapsburg, but very especially under Rudolph's reign. 
This suspicious prince brought himself often into a labyrinth 
out of which there was no escape. Thus, after the Diet of Pres- 
burg, held in 1604, under the presidency of Archduke Matthew, 
he permitted himself to be persuaded to add the 22d article by 
his own sovereign will, and without the sanction of the States. 
He thus violated his oath to the constitution, and exposed the 
life and liberty of the Protestants completely to the arbitary 
treatment of the Roman clergy. 

The inducement to add this article was, that two petitions had 
been presented to him by the Protestants requiring toleration, 
and at the diet there had been manifested a decided dissatisfac- 
tion with the oppressions which had hitherto taken place. 

This 22d article decreed, that, under severe penalties, no com- 
plaint should be brought before the diet in religious matters ; it 
described the Protestant religion as an innovation, and spoke of 
it in terms of contempt. It required all the laws formerly en- 
acted against dissent from the Church of Rome — consequently 
also the burning — to be strictly observed ; and it prescribed to 
the king the solemn and responsible duty of spreading the Roman 
Catholic religion, and rooting out all sects and heresies. 


Against this article the States had protested, and their protest 
■was supported by the seal of the palatine. But neither the 
imperial general Basta nor the Roman commander Barbiano, 
the former in Transylvania and the latter in Upper Hungary, 
nor yet the Bishop of Kalotsch, Matthew Pete, allowed this pro- 
test to terrify them. What they had fully obtained in Kashaw, 
and hoped shortly to accomplish in Leutshaw, was also at- 
tempted in Zips; and here the obergespan, Count Christopher 
Thurzo, who nine years before had joined the Protestants, and 
who now had returned to the Church of Rome, gave zealous 

Equipped with a decree of the Emperor Rudolph and Sigis- 
mund, king of Holland, under whose protection the towns of Zips 
stood, and resting on the 2 2d article of the Diet of Presburg, 
they began to expel the Protestant clergy, and appoint Popish 
priests in their place.* That no one might question Thurzo's 
orthodoxy, he handed over the Protestant church on his own 
estate in Galgatz to the Papists. In the village Lisska, the 
General Pete, brother to the bishop, drove away the Reformed 
pastor, Paul Stantai, and placed two Jesuits, George Vasarhe"ly 
and Paul Besseredy, in his room ; but it was not long till 
the general and the Jesuits must escape for their lives. For 
as Barbiano in his march against the Turks had oppressed 
the Protestants on the estates of Stephen Botskay, and had 
demanded from the proprietor a loan of several thousand dollars 
for the emperor, he proceeded to attack and plunder two of 
Botskay's castles.f 

It had also not been very long since Botskay had made a 
journey to Prague to see the emperor, and he had, with every 
mark of disrespect, been refused admittance. Being thus stirred 
up, he only waited for an opportunity of revenge ; and having 
induced a part of Barbiano's army to desert, he attacked the 
general on the 15th October at the castle of Diasrey, and obliged 
him to fly. When Barbiano had reached Kashaw in his flight, 
he begged in vain to be admitted. The citizens remembered 
what they had suffered, and refused him an entrance, because " he 
was a persecutor of those who believed on God;" but so soon 

* See Cardinal Wagner in Annal. Scepus, part iii. p. 96. 

t Thuanus, torn. ii. 1. 131 . Dr Y. Stickfusius in Nev. Lil. Chron. lib. i. cap. 
42, p. 255. Istvanfy, lib. xxxiv. p. 837. Petrus de Reva, in Coron Hung., 
Frankfort, cent. vi. p. 109. 



asBotskay's troops appeared, tlie gates were immediately thrown 

After Barbiano's flight, Basta could no longer maintain his 
position. He had crashed an insurrection under Closes Szekly 
and Gabriel Bethlen ; "but when Botskay's troops joined the 
insurgents, they completely routed Basta hi an engagement at 
Herrgrund in 1596. After this battle, Barbiano is reported to have 
said, that if they had succeeded in then plan they would have 
cut off with the sword every grown person in Hungary and 
Transylvania who refused to join the Roman Catholic Chinch. 
And if we consider what had already taken place in Styria and 
Carinthia, as well as the St Bartholomew's Day in France, this 
statement, as reported by Prince Keineny, does not appear at all 
improbable. Besides, what had the brutal Basta not done in his 
rage ? He had invariably plundered the princes of the Reformed 
Chinch j he had binned Protestant clergy on a pile constructed of 
their own books ; he had even in the height of his barbarity 
flayed some of them alive. t 

The Lutherans and Unitarians escaped for a time, bat they 
shortly after met the same fate. From Kronstadt he demanded 
eighty thousand ducats, and from Klausenburg twenty thousand. 
To please the Jesuits, he hanged some of the senators, and com- 
pletely prohibited the exercise of the Protestant worship. 

As the blind slave of the Jesuits, he earned out all their plans. 
But in the year 1601, the States took courage, and proclaimed 
Demetrius Xapraghi, the Bishop of Gyula and head of the Jesuits, 
a traitor to his country, took away the bishopric, and banished 
him ; so that, till 1716. or for a period of above a hundred years, no 
Roman Catholic bishop dared reside in the land.J 

In consequence of this fearful plundering of the land by Basta. 
it was veiy natural that a terrible famine soon followed. In ten 
villages there was often scarcely a single cow to be found. The 
oxen had disappeared, and the men themselves drew tlie loaded 
waggons, as in the days of Ladislaus : while a kubel of wheat 
rose to twenty-five ducats. 

* This account is confirmed by the Jesuit Istvanfy. who adds, that when 
Mahomet III. sent Botskay a crown, he handed it to George Szecky, re- 
marking that he could not use it while another duly-crowned king of Hun- 
gary was alive. 

t Mica Bury. 

J Hist. Diplom. in Append., p. 13. Act xi. 


Near Enyed, a Wallachian killed a woman, boiled and 
devoured the flesh, and a Wallachian mother killed her six 
children in succession. It is true that both were executed, 
yet so terrible was the famine, that even human corpses were 
not safe before the gnawing hunger. To such a pitch had a 
cruel general and a fanatical priesthood brought Transylvania. 
Rudolph might consider this land as lost; shortly after, he 
lost also Hungary, with the exception of a few towns in the 
borders, among which was (Edenberg. Hither came Botskay, 
and setting fire to the suburbs, the inhabitants fled into the body 
of the town to protect themselves in the fortress. The crowd in 
the town, however, was now so great, that the commander, 
Colonel Trantmansdorf, threatened to throw the children into the 
Foss, if the women and children did not immediately leave the 

This terrible condition of the citizens of (Edenberg was 
relieved sooner than had been expected. 

The cry of the mothers and their children came before God, 
and a short truce was agreed on between the leaders. The 
bishop and deputy-governor, Pete, took advantage of the truce, 
and gathering the treasures of the church, he carried them away 
and fled. The whole body of the clergy of (Edenberg followed 
his example. The burgomaster had warned the bishop in vain 
of his danger, but in a short time he was plundered by the Turks 
at Steinanger, and with great difficulty saved his life by flight. 

Besides (Edenberg, some other towns of Upper Hungary, as 
Eperjes, Leutshaw, Zeben, and Bartfeld,* remained faithful to 
Rudolph. But the insurgents were not much restrained in their 
excesses by their weak fortresses. 

When, therefore, through the union of the insurgents with 
Mahomet, the danger became even greater, the Government at 
Prague began to listen to more reasonable counsel. The 
mediator of peace was the evangelical Count Stephen Illyeshazy, 
who had been deprived of his property and banished to Holland. 
He used his influence with the Archduke Matthew, the repre- 
sentative of the emperor, and also with the representative of 
Botskay, with such good effect, that the Peace of Vienna was 
concluded on the 23d June 1606, approved by the emperor on 
the 6th August, and with all due solemnity published on the 
26th September. 

* See Mem. Aug. Conf. of Ribinyi, part i. p. 332. 



The Peace of Austria — Botskay's objection to the Terms — Peace ratified — Botskay 
dies of Poison — Conditions of the Peace violated — Matthew summons a Diet — • 
Matthew becomes King of Hungary. 

\ The Peace of Vienna was of great importance to the Protestants 
of Hungary, for it declared the 22d article of 1604 to have 
jbeen illegally introduced; it set aside all decrees which had 
(been enacted against the Protestants; it declared that every 
Hungarian, as well as those who resided in the military boundary, 
should have complete liberty of conscience, and that his Majesty 
would never in any way disturb or limit his subjects in the exer- 
cise of this privilege. A clause was added, explaining that this 
should not be interpreted as in any way detrimental to the Roman 
Catholic religion ; the churches, the clergy, and the rights of the 
Roman Catholics, should be respected ; but such churches as had 
during the late commotions been taken possession of by either 
party should be mutually restored. 

It was further decreed, that peace should be made with the 
Turks ; that a palatine should be elected ; and that, instead of 
Rudolph, Matthew should govern Hungary, under the advice of 
the palatine and an imperial parliament. The prelates Synkai 
and Mikatzi, who had been so inimical to the Protestants, should 
not return to the country till such time as the charges brought 
against them should have been legally settled. The abuses of 
the ecclesiastical courts, and especially with reference to tithes, 
should be settled at the diet. The Jesuits should never be 
allowed to possess immovable property, the king reserving, how- 
ever, his right to make them presents. The public, civil, and 
military offices should be open to all, without distinction on 
account of religion. Botskay obtained Transylvania as his 
hereditary right, and Hungary as far as the Theiss. Should he, 
however, die without male issue, all devolves to the crown. 

For a long time Botskay refused to accept some of the expres- 

I- \ 


sions in the treaty, and especially the clause, " without detriment 
to the Roman Catholic religion." As, however, the instrument 
was already signed by Rudolph, and the Archduke Matthew 
gave an explanation, to the effect that the approaching diet would 
settle the difficulty, that the whole agreement was made in good 
faith, that the objectionable passage was not intended as a threat, 
but simply and solely that each confession should be entirely 
free from all injury, detriment, or limit on the part of the other 
— Prince Botskay was satisfied, and the contract was signed by 
the most distinguished Hungarian magnates. It was, besides, 
guaranteed by the states of Bohemia, Moravia, and Silesia.* 

The hero of this great achievement for the Protestant Church/ 
was destined to see little of the fruits. It was but a few months 
till the prince, in the full vigour of manhood, sunk into his 
grave. He died of poison, at Kashaw, on the 7th January 1607. 
His friends said that the poison was administered by the chan-, 
cellor Michael Kathay, who had been bribed for the purpose. 
Kathay was thrown into prison, and the Haiduken, or Botskay's 
body guards, shortly after dragged him out, and hewed him in 
pieces in the public streets. The loss of this generous and noble 
prince was very severely felt by the Protestants. f 

With the death of Botskay the Roman party acquired new 
courage. As the Pope had already done at Munster on the part 
of Germany, so he now also protested against the peace in 
Hungary. A body of prelates and bishops met together, and 
soon found ways and means of removing the advantages of the 
contract of Vienna. 

Once more began the oppressions — once more was it forbidden 
to the Protestants to bring their accusations and complaints 
before the diet — once more was the attempt made, and not without 
success, to take away the churches — and the Protestants, driven 
to rebellion, placed the Roman Catholics sometimes in danger. 
The Emperor Rudolph gave posts of honour to those who had 
advised him against ratifying the Peace of Vienna ; he appointed 
the much hated prelate Synkai Archbishop of Kalotsha, and 
Francis Forgacs Archbishop of Gran. 

It was in Transylvania where the Jesuits, in consequence of 

* Hist. Diplom. p. 21. 

"j** He had made a present of 30,000 Hungarian florins to the Church of 
Tyrnau, which, it is true, was lost when the church and schools were seized 
by the Papists. 



Stephen Bathorly's letter, remained quiet, that the conditions of 
. the peace were observed. Not only the Protestants, but also 
the Archduke Matthew, was placed in a very critical position 
by this conduct. Accordingly, when the discontent was rapidly 
increasing, and the nobility found the diet of 1607, which Rudolph 
had summoned to Presburg, always postponed, and not likely to 
be opened, Matthew availed himself of the opportunity which the 
circumstances gave for gratifying his ambition, and summoned 
the advisers of the Hungarian crown to Vienna, to consult about 
the welfare of the state. It would appear that at this meeting 
the resolution was first adopted that Matthew should take 
Rudolph's place in the government of Hungary, and by the 
assistance of Prince Esterhazy the plan ripened towards execu- 
tion. It was not strange that Esterhazy and the other princes 
of Hungary had little love to Rudolph, for they saw their land 
divided between him and the Turks, and the former doing very 
little to its advantage • and it was equally natural that, where 
hearty and devoted love to the sovereign did not exist, nothing 
else could supply the place, so soon as the crown began to tremble 
on the ruler's head. The Hungarians knew right well how little 
Rudolph cared for them ; and when Matthew summoned a diet in 
Presburg, on the 23d January 1608, they not only gladly ap- 
peared, but also, when Rudolph, under date of 29th January, 
dissolved the diet, they continued still to sit and deliberate. 

When the first article of the Peace of Vienna, in which religi- 
ous liberty was guaranteed to the Protestants in the entire king- 
dom, was laid before the diet, the Bishop of Vesprim, Demetrius 
Mapraghi, in the name of the whole Popish clergy, protested 
against it. The higher morality of the lay nobility, however, 
and the firmness of Matthew, succeeded in carrying the point, so 
that this article, with a single dissentient voice, was made law. 
When, however, on the 23d February, Rudolph declared all the 
decisions of the diet null and void, Matthew immediately, with 
• an army of 20,000, broke into Bohemia, and the suspicious, silly 
Rudolph submitted to have the whole affair between himself and 
his brother left to arbitration. The end of the matter was, that 
Hungary and Austria were given to Matthew as an independent 
kingdom. On the 22d October 1608, Matthew appeared at the' 
Diet of Presburg. He readily complied with the wishes of the 
diet ; but the nobility, having learned to distrust kings, refused to 
crown him till he had signed certain articles which were laid before 


him. Matthew had in the meantime discovered that his imperial 
brother was trying to stir the nation up against him by making 
secret promises to them, and therefore readily signed the article. 

Thus was the Jesuitical clause of the Peace of Vienna, against 
which Botskay had protested, removed, and in clear and plain 
language was it permitted to the Protestants to have their own 
superintendents, while full and complete liberty of conscience, 
and of public worship, was guaranteed. 

The attempts of the Jesuits, under Cardinal Forgacs, to over- 
turn this arrangement, were unsuccessful. The archduke re- 
mained faithful to his promise, carrying out the resolutions of the 
diet, and was crowned with great splendour on the 19th Novem- 
ber. Esterhazy had, by a great majority, two years before, been 
elected palatine. The Popish nobility handed in a protest 
against the coronation, signed by them all, at the bidding of the 
Roman legate, with the one noble exception of Valentine Lepes; 
but it was for the present disregarded. 

As the seaman feels on entering the quiet harbour after escap- 
ing all the perils of the stormy sea, just such was the feeling of 
the Hungarian Protestants as they found that their lawfully 
crowned king had, in a legal way, by means of the assembled 
States, set them completely free from the intrigues of a persecut- 
ing Roman hierarchy. It was not the Protestants alone, who 
separated from Rudolph without a tear, but all the Hungarians ; 
for during twenty-three years they had not seen his face, and 
had been at all times delivered over by him to the most un- 
limited oppression. During twenty-four years the Hungarians 
had paid from thirty-five wasted and impoverished gespan- 
schaften (counties) the sum of 1,067,124 ducats to a foreign king, 
and in return had received nothing but the bitter necessity of 
constantly contending with more or less severity to maintain 
their civil independence from Austria, and their religious liberty. 

The angel of mercy turns away with a tear from such monarchs, 
who call themselves princes " by the grace of God," but who 
can neither understand nor fulfil the duties which such a title 
demands of them ; and poor humanity, trodden in the dust, looks 
up in tears after the retiring angel, who, as he flees away, turns 
one look more back on the oppressed, and, raising his arm to 
heaven, comforts them by pointing to Him who sits as King of 
kings and Lord of lords, ruling the earth in righteousness, at 
whose command the kingdoms fall and the fruitful palaces be- 


come a desert; who sits upon the circle of the earth, and the 
inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers ; that stretcheth out the 
heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell 
in ; that bringeth the princes to nothing : he maketh the judges 
of the earth as vanity. Yea, they shall not be planted; yea, they 
shall not be sown; yea, their stock shall not take root in the 
earth : and he shall also blow upon them, and they shall wither, 
and the whirlwind shall take the in away as stubble. 

decent pettoD- 

SZATHMAB, 1608-1711. 


Presburg Church— Stephen Esterhazy — His Death— The Jesuits— George Thurzo, 
Palatine — Synod of Sillein. 

AVe now see the evangelical Church of Presburg as a gradually 
ripening fruit of the Peace of Vienna. Although many had long 
resided here who Ave re favourably disposed to the gospel, yet till 
now they had not taken courage to break loose from the fetters 
of Rome. They applied to the town-councillor, Siegfried Kolo- 
nitsh, to obtain for them the Protestant pastor of the village 
Ratshdorf, which is now a filial church of Presburg ; and, as 
there was no church, he opened his services in a private house. 
They chose Master David Kilgar as rector of their school, and 
Master Adam Tattelbach as deacon, and these men were intro- 
duced to their new office by the town-councillors. 

The Protestants seemed now able to look into the future with- 
out concern. King Matthew had sworn to protect their rights ; 
the States had entered the decrees among the laws of the land ; 
Moravia, Bohemia, and Silesia had guaranteed their execution ; 
and Stephen Esterhazy, as elected palatine, stood like a protect- 
ing angel firm at his post. He had now once more been put in 
possession of his property, and was become the object of venera- 
tion on the part of all true Hungarians, especially, however, of 
the Protestants. Far removed from bigotry, he had advanced 
the cause of Protestantism by liberally supporting the schools. 
He called Jeremiah Sutorius, who had studied at Wittenberg, to 
be rector of the school at Trentshin, and a Meissner professor, 


Elijah WisinuSj to the gymnasium of Banowitz. The latter 

was supported at the expense of the palatine.* Esterhazy 
founded a bursary for the poor students, which was increased 
by his widow in 1609. Yet. not only for his own Hungarian 
countrymen, but also for the oppressed Protestants in Austria, do 
we find him carefully making provision, by interceding with the 
Elector of Saxony and other princes. His labours of love were 
very much hampered by the Jesuits, and his time of working 
was not long; for, on the 6th May 1609. he died, at Vienna, of 
cramp in the stomach. t Xo heavier loss could have befallen 
the country and the Chinch. Hungary's political and ecclesias- 
tical state was very unsatisfactory. 

The land was still bleeding from the wounds inflicted under 
Botskay's war. and the Peace of Vienna gave occasion to all 
manner of dispute. The Jesuits, whose head-quarters were at 
Gratz, represented this peace as being simply the Presburg con- 
spiracy, and provided favours and honours for those who laboured 
most diligently to oppose its operations. 

Under such circumstances, then, much depended on the choice 
of a proper person to become palatine. The king, being a So- 
man Catholic, would have inclined towards appointing a member 
of his own Church : and the Jesuits, ever fertile in inventions, 
proposed that the mode of election should be changed. These 
men proposed that the States should merely nominate a certain 
number of candidates, out of which the king should himself 
select. This plan was. however, too transparent to permit the 
nobles of Hungary to mistake its design, and they abode deter- 
minedly by their former custom. When the king, then, on the 
7th December 1609, proposed two Roman Catholic and two Pro- 
testant candidates, one of the latter, George Thurzo, was elected. 
by one hundred and fifty votes against fifty-three, to fill the 

George Thurzo. now in the forty-second year of his age, a man 
of learning, activity, and political talent, distinguished as a diplo- 
matist in the peace with Botskay. and raised to fill several im- 
portant offices under Rudolph and Matthew, is made palatine. 
While distinguished by moderation towards the Roman Catho- 

* Ribinyi, 'Mem. Aug. Conf., torn. i. p. 4:27. 

t He was buried in the clrurek at Dosing, in Hungary ; and his vrhite 
marble monument was. two hundred years later, removed by a zealous 
Popish priest. 


lies, as he had shewn himself on the recall of Michael Mikatzi, 
the Bishop of Wardein, from exile, still the prosperity of the 
Protestant Church lay near his heart, and he strove to advance 
its interests in a natural and reasonable way, by summoning a 
general synod. 

As yet, the Protestants were not quite freed from the jurisdic- 
tion of the Roman Catholic Church. 

They were still obliged to pay the u priests' dues," and were 
not safe from the interference of Popish visitations, on which 
occasions the doctrines and the ordination of their own clergy 
were attacked in an abusive manner ; the marriage of the clergy 
was declared illegal, and their children illegitimate; demands 
were made not only contrary to conscience, but also contrary to 
all justice ; and it was often only with golden or silver tears that 
the zeal of the visitors could be quieted.* 

By means of a general synod, held in the village Sillein, in 
Trentshin county, George Thurzo resolved to bring these abuses 
to a close. In conjunction with several nobles and princes, and 
in accordance with the letter and spirit of the Peace of Vienna, 
which secured to the elders, ministers, and superintendents of 
each confession the full authority over the members of their own 
church, he summoned this synod, and opened it in person on 
28th March 1610. 

It is true that, owing to the quarrels between the sister 
churches, and owing to the political state of the country, he was 
not able to include the whole land, and he therefore summoned 
only ten counties, indulging the hope that he would thus bring 
the discussions sooner to a satisfactory conclusion. The palatine 
sent a special invitation to each county, to the most dis- 
tinguished landed proprietors, and to the royal free cities, to 
elect representatives, who were men of peace, and clothed with 
power, not only to deliberate, but also to decide on ecclesiastical 
matters.f The summons was gladly attended to ; J and in 

* Petsekius in Mall. Penicul. Ja. Ap. ; c. v. p. 96. 

t Ribinyi, Mem., torn. i. p. 372. 

+ The most distinguished lay members of this synod "were Count George 
Thurzo, the imperial palatine ; Peter Revay, Count of Thurocy ; Moses 
Szunyogh, of Jessenitz ; Andrew Jakuhith ; Benedict Pogranyi ; Martin 
Benitsky ; Theodosius Shirmiensy ; Jeroslav Ymeskal ; Otskay, Majthenji, 
Gymgy, and others. See the "Acts and Decrees of the Synod of Sillein, 
1708. "William Kander," 4to (in possession of the family of Tihany). 


three days had the Synod of Sillein decreed the following 
weighty matters : — 

The ten counties were divided into three circles, and a super- 
intendent was elected for each. For Liptau, Arva, and Trentshin, 
Elijah Lanyi, pastor of Thurotz ; for Thurotz, Neograd 3 Sol, and 
Honther, Samuel Melick ; for Barska, Neutran, and Presburg, 
Isaac Abrahamides of Baimotz. The superintendents had each 
two inspectors under them, the one for German, the other for the 
Hungarian churches. There were, besides, seniors and deacons 
elected, who were men of sound faith, and whose place should be 
supplied by election, on their resignation or death. On the de- 
cease of a superintendent, two of the neighbouring superinten- 
dents had a right to collect the votes and preside at the election 
of one to supply his place.* 

For the support of the superintendents was reckoned the usual 
annual allowance from the inferior clergy as in Popish times, the 
registry fees, and a voluntary contribution from the churches. 

Respecting duties and labours was decreed : — 

That the inspectors, seniors, and superintendents, should lead 
an upright, unblameable life, that the enemy might find no occa- 
sion to speak evil of them. 

That the superintendents should, either in person or by the 
senior, visit the churches once a year; that they should always 
attend the synods to be held in January or February, and take 
special notice of the business of the chinches under their care; 
should decide on the questions brought before them at these meet- 
ings, should preserve strict church discipline, and collect their fees. 

They should inquire into the matter and manner of the preach- 
ing, whether the people are encouraged to prayer — whether the 
ordinances of religion generally are attended to by the people — 
whether the clergy lead a pious, sober, and chaste life — whether 
the people are grateful and submissive to authority — whether the 
dues are properly paid — whether the buildings are in a good 
state — and whether the schoolmasters discharge their duty pro- 
perly, and lead a proper life. In all these matters the senior 
should assist. 

The superintendent should have a correct list of all ecclesi- 
astical properties and revenues, and be in a state to apply to the 
civil authorities for protection in case of injury. 

* Here the great principle of the Protestant Church in her indepen- 
dence and self-government is kept prominently forward. 


He should protect the minister and schoolmaster from all 
injustice; and the civil power is bound to assist, after having 
first made strict inquiry into all the circumstances of each case. 

In the German churches there should be a pulpit gown and a 
form of prayer introduced. 

The superintendent should, with the assistance of the inspector, 
the senior, and some of the neighbouring clergy, examine candi- 
dates for the ministry, require from them the subscription of the 
Formula Concordia?, and ordain after the plan usually adopted 
at Wittenberg. The names should be entered in a registry, and 
a certificate of ordination be given. 

The students had permission to visit foreign universities, and 
also to be ordained abroad, only this dared not take place as a 
mark of disrespect to the home universities, and to the regularly 
constituted superintendents. 

In case of need, the superintendent might ask legal advice 
from such lawyers as are not related by ties of blood or friend- 
ship with either of the contending parties. 

Every minister, on receiving a call to a congregation, must 
appear before the senior or inspector, and bring evidence of his 
having regularly received the call, and also that his life and 
doctrines are consistent with the office which he seeks. 

Weightier matters respecting heresy, uncleanness, or other 
grave charges against clergy or deacons, were to be laid before the 
superintendent. Where the charge was fully proved, the guilty 
party might be degraded from his office, declared unfit ever again 
to hold office, and, in case of need, might be handed over to the 
civil authorities to be further dealt with. Less important matters 
might be given to the inspectors and seniors, and be settled at 
the annual meetings. 

From the senior there was always an appeal to the superin- 
tendent, who either confirmed the sentence or sent it back to be 
again considered, and, in peculiar cases, brought experienced 
men to assist with their counsel. No further appeal was ad- 
mitted, and the guilty party paid all costs. 

The superintendent should not judge according to his own 
opinion, but according to the law. Those who refused to 
submit after a second warning might be deposed and excom- 
municated, notice of the same having previously been given to 
the civil authorities. 

The clergy who were accused of any crime, must be summoned 


by the superintendent, after a formula in which the charge was 
duly entered ; and the summons was forwarded, not direct, but 
through the inspector or senior. 

The office-bearers of the Church, when hindered in the discharge 
of their duty, might appeal to the civil power, who dared not 
refuse to support them. 

The superintendents were bound at all times, on entering on 
their office, to take the following 


" I, A. B., the superintendent in county -, swear before the 

living God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and promise, during 
my life, neither publicly nor privately to teach or advance any 
other doctrines besides such as are contained in the writings of 
the prophets and apostles, as explained in the Augsburg Confes- 
sion, as presented to the Emperor Charles in the year 1530, 
and also in the Formula Concordia?. I promise to watch over 
the seniors and clergy of the church under my care with dili- 
gence and earnestness, that they also shall teach and hold no 
other doctrines. Through the grace of the Holy Spirit will I 
endeavour to lead such a life, and set such an example, as is 
worthy of my profession. I will myself respect the laws of the 
land, as well as take care that those under my charge do the 
same. That I earnestly seek to fulfil all these duties, so help 
me God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen." 



The Archbishops protest against the Synod of Sillein— Answer— Peter Pazmany — 
Protestant Princes turn to Popery — Synod of Tyrnau — John Moschovinus — The 
Women of Hricsow — King Matthew gives an uniavoui'able decision respecting 
the Peace of Vienna. 

The palatine, George Thurzo, had the decisions of this synod 
printed and distributed, that others might to some extent be 
guided by them. Among others, the churches of the mining- 
towns of Eperjes, of Leutshaw, Kashaw, and Bartfeld, re- 
ceived copies, but they were so deeply involved in controversy 
respecting the Formula Concordia^, that little united action could 
be expected. 

It was, however, not to be thought that the Popish clergy 
would look so lightly on the decrees of the Synod of Sillein. 
Within eighteen days the Cardinal and Archbishop Forgaes 
protested against the decrees with a bitterness very unbecoming 
in him who had crowned as King of Hungary the man who had 
signed the Peace of Vienna. 

Under the threat of excommunication he demanded the repeal 
of these resolutions, he called the persons who had there 
assembled wolves who had broken into the fold of Christ, 
declared the election of superintendents and their ordination of 
clergy an unheard-of audacity, contrary to the laws of the land 
{s-ic), and contrary to religious liberty! He charged them with 
perjury in reference to the 24th article of the Augsburg Confes- 
sion, and in genuine Popish style pronounced his curse against 
the decrees, and against those who should observe them. This 
precious .document is dated at " Our Archiepiscopal Court in 
Presburg, 17th April 1610," and was published first by means 
of a nail on the church door of St Martin's.* 

The Protestants did not long remain silent. The palatine 
was at that time from home. He soon heard, however, of the 

* Hist. Diplom. pp. 27-29. 


doings through Elijah Lanyi, and on the 25th May he wrote a 
reply from Szathmar, calling the documents a shabby invention, 
filled with all manner of paltry ribaldry. He begged the Protest- 
ants immediately to reply. 

In a paper which appeared in Kashaw, printed by John 
Fisher, with the motto, " Stand fast therefore in the liberty 
wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled 
again with the yoke of bondage" (Gal. v. 1), the princes and 
nobles who had met at Sillein, published through Elijah Lanyi 
an apology, in which they opposed the assumption of the arch- 
bishop by arguments drawn from the laws of the land, from 
history, and from the Holy Scriptures. Placing their trust in 
God, adducing the 110th Psalm, 46th chapter of Isaiah, 5th 
chapter of Acts of the Apostles, and other Scripture passages, 
they appealed to his Majesty and to the States for protection 
against the audacity of the archbishop. 

This apology was answered by a man who at this time became 
more than any other the object of the love and hatred of friends 
and enemies, Cardinal Peter Pazmany.* 

The style of his reply was of the lowest kind, and it made its 
appearance under the title Penniculus Papporum, bearing the 
name of John Jenitzy. The superintendent published a rejoinder 
under the title Malleus Penniculi Papistici, printed in 1612, and 
left no part of his adversary's argument untouched.f 

The controversy was continued with bitterness by Peter 
Pazmany ; and as the palatine was too lenient towards these 
violent attacks on the fundamental principles of civil and religious 
liberty, as guaranteed by the constitution of the country, the 
evangelical church rather suffered by the quarrel. Men of con- 
siderable importance and wealth, such as Francis and Nicolas 

* He was born at Gt, Wardein, in 1570, of a reduced noble family of the 
Eeformed Church, and in his thirteenth year became Roman Catholic. In 
his seventeenth year he joined the Jesuits. His noviciate was completed 
at Cracow ; his philosophical studies at Vienna, and theological at Rome. 
He became professor of theology at Gratz, and gladly accepted the post of 
missionary to Hungary. In 1608 he was the representative of the Jesuits 
at the Diet of Presburg. When turned out of the diet he asserted his right 
to sit, and with much power contested the points of the Jesuits. He 
published a powerful pamphlet in their favour. See "Majlath, History of 
the Magyars," vol. iv. p. 249. 

+ This paper was also ascribed, but without proper reason, to Peter 


Esterhazy, Melchior Allaghy, and George Daugesh of Hom- 
mona, fell off from the Protestant ranks. 

Forgacs had protested against the resolutions of the Synod of 
Sillein, but finding it necessary to take other steps, he sum- 
moned a provincial synod at Tyrnau, in 1611, which was 
attended by Placidus Maria, the Papal nuncio, eight bishops, 
six abbots, and twenty prebends, archdeacons, and canons, as 
well as also Peter Pazmany. The resolutions of this synod were 
known only to the initiated; the consequences, however, Avere 
soon felt in the renewed persecutions of the Protestant Church. 

It is of historical importance to note, that, from what is known 
of the proceedings of this synod, it is evident that at this time 
there were in the midst of the Roman Catholic Church priests 
who were regularly married, and who lived openly with wife and 
children. The communion was also by some administered in 
both kinds. The facts are proved by the resolution of this 
Roman Catholic synod, in direct opposition to the Word of 
God, forbidding absolutely that either of these practices should 
be tolerated in time to come. 

That they might not, through the intrigues of the Papists, lose 
the advantages already secured to them, the three superinten- 
dents met, in 1612, to consult respecting the general affairs of the 
Protestant Church. Hitherto there had been a striking dissimi- 
larity in the outward customs, in the forms of public worship, 
and also in the doctrines taught among the Protestants. It was 
therefore resolved that the Wittenberg ceremonial should be 
introduced, and that Luther's Shorter Catechism should be 
translated, and used in instructing the children. When the 
Catechism appeared, it was dedicated to Elizabeth Zober, the 
spouse of the palatine. 

An example of the zeal of the superintendents in preserving 
purity of doctrine, may be seen in the case of John Moschovinus, 
who is also sometimes called Poloni. He was accused of reviv- 
ing the heresy of Photinus, a heretic of the fourth century, and 
having been cast into prison by the palatine, his case was 
thoroughly considered by the superintendents. His heresy hav- 
ing been proved, he was handed over to the palatine, who 
banished him from the country. 

The Protestants of this period, much distinguished by purity 
of life, laid especial stress on the influence of prayer ; and with 
good reason, for the Lord had set the example, and had given 



the command, and the apostles and early Christians had been 
very diligent in waiting on the means of grace. Who does not 
know how zealous the Reformers were in the discharge of this 
duty"? How wondrous was the power which Luther and 
Zwingle obtained from heaven by means of prayer ! And what 
an astonishing moral strength was that which Knox obtained by 
wrestling with God, so that he stood unflinching in the face of 
Mary with all her influence, and having learned to tremble 
before God in the closet, he, at the same time, obtained power 
to tremble nowhere else. " I am more afraid of his prayers," 
Mary used to say, " than of an army of ten thousand men." 

In this light we must view those clergy who, on the 19th 
August 1614, in Hriesow, in the Trentshin county, visited a 
woman who was said to be possessed of a devil, on purpose to 
heal her by the influence of united prayer.* At the invitation 
of the aged Stephen Krusspier, five other ministers of the gospel 
united with him to try and help this woman. When their 
efforts remained fruitless, they applied to the superintendent, 
Elijah Lanyi, who advised the entire senioral division of clergy 
to meet together for prayer. This was done, and on the 12th 
September they came together, to the number of eighteen, at 
their own expense, and continued three days in prayer. They 
had the satisfaction of seeing, at the end of this time, that their 
prayer was heard, and she who had been pronounced incurable, 
was again fully restored.f 

Such experience is made by mortals in a time of need. Out- 
ward trials drive to Him who has the fulness of life and comfort, 
and they experience what to others is unintelligible and in- 
credible. Only he who knows by experience the power of 
prayer will be able to comprehend and properly estimate the 
above-mentioned fact. Times of trial gave David those glorious 
Psalms which have been the comfort of the Church in every age ; 
and the sweet songs of the martyrs, which were wrung from 
them in hours of darkness and trial, have still a power and 
sweetness for the weary soul. 

For the Church in Hungary days were fast approaching in 
which they should learn, under heavy trials, the meaning of 
this filial duty, or, rather, childlike privilege. A commence- 

* Mica Bury. 

t Mark xi. 24 ; John xvi. 23, 24 ; James i. 6, 7 ; chap. v. 16 ; 1 Timothy 
ii. 1—4. 


merit was already made openly to break the conditions of the 
Peace of Vienna. 

In Raab and Skalitz the Roman Catholics refused to admit 
Protestant clergy, and the king gave the decision that the Roman 
Catholics could not be compelled to admit clergy of other con- 
fessions within their walls ; for, while it had been only stipulated 
that every church should have its own superiors or superintend- 
ents, but nothing was added respecting a new ecclesiastical juris- 
diction, he could not at all permit a new jurisdiction to the pre- 
judice of the Roman Catholics, and would not allow in future 
that the money which had formerly been paid to the Roman 
Catholic archdeacons should be given to the Protestant superin- 
tendents.* This declaration of the king, and the royal letter 
requiring the officials in each coimty to take part in the visitation 
of the Protestant chinches, gave a clear insight into the king's 
views respecting the peace, and also respecting the Sillein Synod. 

* Fcssler, 1. c. vol. vii. p. 729. 



Peter Pazmany's Work — Christopher Thurzo returns to the Protestants — Oppression — 
Gabriel Bathyani and the Treaty of Tyrnau — Writings of the Protestants — Quarrels 
of the Reformed and Lutheran Clergy — Jubilee of the Reformation — Ferdinand 
made King — Siegmund Forgacs — Death of Matthew. 

No attack made on the Protestants did them so much harm as 
Pazmany's work, entitled, The Guide to Truth?* which was 
published at Presburg, in folio, in 1613. In a popular style, 
filled with sophisms, he defended the doctrines of Rome, and 
represented Luther and Calvin as servants of Antichrist ; while 
he sought to free his Church from the charge that she teaches one 
should keep no faith with heretics, and turned attention specially 
to the advantages of celibacy. 

This work soon appeared in the third edition, the first having 
been printed in 1613, the second in 1623, and the third in 1637, 
and was read with great avidity. Many who did not stand fast 
in the faith were by this book drawn back into the Roman 
Catholic Church. Some, it is true, soon repented of what they 
had done, and turning back again to the Evangelical Church, 
remained there steadily till death. Among these we may men- 
tion George Christopher Thurzo, who, nine years before, had, 
through the influence of Pazmany, joined the Papists, and had 
begun to persecute the Protestants. This distinguished relative 
of the palatine turned, 20th February 1613, once more back to 
the Protestant Church, and, after publicly confessing his sin, 
received the Lord's Supper in the Protestant church at Kirch- 
dorf, from the pastor and senior, Xylander. 

The return of the count soon shftwed itself to be no incon- 
siderable gain to the Protestant cause. On the advice and after 
the example of his relative, the palatine, he summoned a synod 
on 22d January 1614, in Kirchdorf, at which the pastors of Zips 
and Saras, the five towns Kashaw, Leutshaw, Eperjes, Bart- 

f Hodegus igussagra vezerlo Kalany. 


feld, and Szeben, assembled. Here were chosen two superin- 
tendents. The decrees of the synod were recognised by the 
palatine, in virtue of his office, and are known under the title, 
" Diploma minus Thurzoianus." Scarcely was this ended when 
Christopher Thurzo died, and on 26th May was laid in the grave 
of his fathers. 

By means of this synod, the chains which bound the Protest- 
ants under the influence of the higher clergy were broken, and 
no means were left untried to rivet them again. Some, among 
whom was the probst of Zips, tried in a friendly manner ; and 
others, depending on their power and influence, assumed a very 
different tone. Many, without troubling themselves about the 
Peace of Vienna, made direct attacks on the Protestants. In 
Vaswar, Shutz, Fakno, and Eisenstadt, the churches were taken 
away.* The appeals of the Protestants received little attention 
from Matthew ; for, though he had sworn to protect their Church 
in Hungary, yet in Austria he directly prohibited the Protestants 
from the exercise of public worship, f 

In addition to the spiritual trials, there was now added material 
and social oppression, and the land was made to bleed at every 
pore. In 1616, the representatives of the Presburg Diet, con- 
sisting, among others, of one archbishop, two bishops, and six 
princes, complained to Matthew that the bitterest foe could not 
crush the land worse than at that moment the king's own army 
did; all the higher offices and fortresses were intrusted to 
strangers, and the hireling foreigners were only wasting and 
plundering, but not protecting the land.| 

When there appeared no hope that a legitimate deliverance 
from their oppression was likely soon to appear, the Hungarians 
took once more to arms, declaring, however, first, through am- 
bassadors, that they were not proclaiming war against the king, 
but only against those who were depriving them of their civil 
and religious liberty. 

As, however, the Elector of Saxony and Prince Gabriel 
Bathyani undertook to mediate, the outbreak was prevented by 
the so-called " Transactio Tyrnaviensis," or Contract of Tyrnau. 

The Prince of Transylvania, Gabriel Bethlen, who was just 
returned from exile, pressed especially that the Peace of Vienna, 

* Hodegus igussagra vezerlo Kalany. 

t Pamauf Gottlieb. MS. 

X Coroli Memorab. vol. i. p. 368. Katoni, torn. xxix. p. 572. 


which secured the Protestants their full rights, should be once 
more renewed. This was granted ; and the contract was signed 
on the part of the king by Peter Pazmany, Count Aponyi, and 
Molard ; on the part of Hungary, by Senior Pecsi and Stephen 
Frater de Belmezo, in 1617. * 

In the following diet the agreement was approved. 

This must have been so much more desirable to the Protestants, 
as their friend and patron, George Thurzo, the palatine, was 
already dead,j and there were no prospects of another to fill his 
place. Doubly watchful, however, must they now be to avoid 
being overmatched by their diligent adversaries. Many single 
individuals distinguished themselves considerably on the field of 
controversy. Pastor Albert Molnar published a new edition of 
the Bible at the expense of the Lang-rave of Hesse, the edition 
of Caspar Karalyi having been all used, and it was not long till 
a third edition was published at Oppenheim.J: Count Thomas 
Esterhazy wrote a dialogue, exposing the errors of the Boman 
Church, and shewing their remedy. The superintendent, Nicolas 
Gratz, wrote a treatise on the Lord's Supper and a directory for 
public worship ; and the pastor of Kashaw, Peter Alvinzi, wrote 
a description of a journey, shewing how the errors of the Boman 
Church had gradually crept in during a period of fifteen hundred 
years. Emeric Zwonarics, pastor of Csepregh, translated the 
book of a Tubingen professor into Bohemian, and afterwards 
protected it against the attacks of Pazmany. But it was strange 
that no reply had yet been given to Pazmany's great work, 
The Guide to Truth, and it was thirteen years later that Baldwin 
of Wittenberg wrote a reply in Latin, which, partly from the 
language, partly from the time of its appearance, produced little 

There was no want of men capable of answering this work in 
the Hungarian language ; but while the enemy was attacking 
them on all sides, the representatives of the two sister churches 
were wasting their time in unseemly quarrels with each other. 

The letters of the superintendents of the two churches, the 
Beformed and Lutheran, give us a sad picture of bitterness in 
the minds of men who should have acted as shepherds to the 

* Kazy Reb. Hung. b. i. p. 229. 

t Died in 1616, shortly after Cardinal Forgacs. 

% Mica Bury. 

§ Literse ex MS. Bibl. Schechemianac Panauf*' Denkw. (Edenberg MS. 


fold of Christ. It is not possible here to repeat the titles which 
they gave each other ; but we find the Lutheran superintendent 
referring to a member of the Reformed Church who had translated 
a play into the Hungarian language, for the sake of turning the 
Lutheran doctrine of the Lord's Supper into ridicule, and how 
this man was for the crime condemned to death, though he after- 
wards obtained a reprieve.* 

These quarrels were very acceptable to the E omish clergy, and 
especially to Pazmany, who had been set free from his vow to 
the Jesuits and was become Bishop of Gran. Many left the 
Protestants altogether, but the loss was to the Protestant Church 
only like the stucco falling from a building, while the structure 
remained still secure. And there was no want of enthusiasm 
when the jubilee of the Reformation was to be celebrated. 

In Leutshaw the celebration of this festival was conducted 
with great pomp. The Protestant Church had been established 
here for seventy-three years, and just at this time Peter Zabler 
was pastor. The sermon was attended on that day by the whole 
town-council and all the civil officers. Taking for their pattern 
the 150th Psalm, and interpreting it literally, they celebrated the 
day by festive music in the church; and Count Stanislaus Thurzo 
invited the whole council to dine at his castle. An agreeable 
fruit of this festival was the resolution to build a new church as 
a suitable commemoration. 

With equal splendour was the festival celebrated in the castle 
of the Thurzos at Bitshe, where the magnates, Francis, George, 
and Gabriel Perenyi, George and Sigismund Rakotzy, Nicolas 
and George Zwinyi, Paul Nadasdy, Peter Revay, Caspar Illyes- 
hazy, Nicolas Botskay, Francis Banfy, and many others of the 
nobility were present. The well-known hospitality of the country 
gave occasion to the enemies to charge the Protestants with 
excess at these banquets, yet it was chiefly as the envy of 
the elder son who grieved that the father had shewn so much 
favour to the younger brother returned to the father's house. f 

In the year 1618, the Hungarian crown fell to the Archduke 
Ferdinand of Austria. The Jesuits had persuaded Matthew, 
who had no heirs, to transfer the inheritance to him. In Austria 
and the dependencies the nomination found no difficulty. In 
Bohemia, also, although the religious war was slumbering under 

* Mica Bury MS. + Ribinyi, Memor. torn i. p. 410. 


the ashes, and the strong bias of Ferdinand in favour of the 
Roman Catholics was well known, yet, notwithstanding a few 
dissentinent voices, even there he was accepted by the great 
majority. In Hungary, however, the work was not so light. 
The succession was not yet secured by the States. Jealous of 
their rights and privileges, the Hungarians remained, it is true, 
firm to the princes of the house of Austria, asserted their right, 
however, to elect, and it was only after this had taken place that 
they proceeded to crown Ferdinand king. 

It was at the Diet of Presburg, summoned for this purpose by 
Matthew, that this proceeding took place ; and the presidence at 
the meeting, as well as the crowning, was committed to the 
Papal nuncios, Melchior Klesel, John of Molard, and the vice- 
chancellor, John Lewis Ulm. 

Eight days later, the archduke himself arrived, as representa- 
tive of Matthew. 

The States wished first to choose a palatine, but afterwards 
yielded so far that king and palatine were chosen on the same 
day. The struggle reached its greatest height at the diet, when 
a series of articles were read previous to their being presented to 
Ferdinand. There were seventeen articles contained in the 
document, and the 6th should bind him " to grant a universal, 
unlimited, and unrestrained liberty of public worship in every 
place, and in every way, as had been guaranteed by the Peace of 
Vienna, and at the crowning of Matthew." The Roman Catho- 
lics did not refuse this privilege; intimated, however, that the 
public worship of the Protestants could be conducted without 
churches, and would not bind themselves on their estates to 
grant ground for building Protestant churches. 

This Jesuitical sophistry, supported by Pazmany and Klesel, 
was adopted, and the expression " una cum templis " was erased. 
The Protestants had nothing left but to enter a legal protest, 
which only called forth a counter-protest, — did not, however, 
take away the evil. 

Tired of quarrelling, Ferdinand accepted of the conditions on 
16th March 1618, and among the rest the 6th article, promising 
full protection to the Protestant Church, with the remark, " He 
would sooner lose his life than break his word." * 

On the 1st June Ferdinand was crowned, and Sigismund 

* Engel, vol. iv. page 392. 


Forgacs elected as palatine.* Both elections furnished the Pro- 
testants with little cause for joy. For, though Forgacs had been 
educated at the court of Bathyani, Prince of Transylvania, and 
had been such a zealous Protestant that all his brother's (the 
deceased archbishop) attempts to convert him were in vain, yet 
Peter Pazmany was able in three weeks to gain him over to 
Rome, and thus secure a mighty and zealous assistant. 

Under the burden of a weakly frame was the childless Matthew 
approaching near his end. In Bohemia the fire of revolution 
threatened to break out, and the new prince of Transylvania, 
Gabriel Bethlen, prepared himself to take the part of the mal- 
contents who fled to him from thence ; he seemed also prepared 
to defend with the sword the Protestant cause, which, in his own 
country, had begun to suffer considerable encroachments. On the 
23d May 1618, the signal was given for one of the bloodiest and 
most tedious of wars. At the royal palace of Prague, where the 
royal deputy-governors, who had torn down many Protestant 
churches, were assembled, appeared deputies of the Protestants in 
arms, and cast the detested Martinitz, and Slavata, as also the 
secretary Fabricius, eighty feet down into the ditcli of the 
castle, f This transaction, together with the removal of his 
friend Melchior Klesel, Bishop of Vienna, gave Matthew's health 
a severe shock. Shortly after followed the death of his brother 
Maximilian, and also of his dear and tender spouse Anna, who, 
in her thirty-third year, died in the royal castle at Prague in 
the year 1618. Dead to the joys of the world, sorely lowered 
down by sorrows as well as by gout, Matthew had a paralytic 
attack on the 20th March 1619, in the beginning of his sixty- 
second year. His brain was found to be one-half dried up. As 
a private person he had been very amiable, but as king he had 
not given any reason to justify him in removing his brother 
Rudolph from the throne. In his old age he sorely repented the 
ills he had done his brother; with the same measure he had 
meted, it was measured to him again. Sick and childless, he saw 
the world's gaze turned on his proud successor, who, impatient of 
delay, seized the government before his predecessor was removed, 
and hastened to dye his imperial mantle in the blood of heretics, 
thinking he did God a service by his fierce cruelty. 

* The other Roman Catholic candidate was Thomas Endody, imperial chan- 
cellor ; the Protestant candidates, Francis Bathyani and Stephen Torok. 
t Schiller's " Thirty Years' War," 




Ferdinand's critical Position — His fanatical Vow — "War with Bethlen — Bethlen conquers 
Presburg, and takes the Crown — Diet at Neusohl — BethlSn refuses to accept the 
title of King. 

On the death of Matthew, matters stood so ill for Ferdinand, that 
the words of Femelon might have been in his case very appro- 
priate, " None but a fool desires a crown." All Europe was in 
such a state of religious excitement as had not been the case since 
the time of Luther ; and this was the work of the Jesuits and Pope 
Clement VIII., who had entered into a contract with the princes 
and kings of Europe since the beginning of the century, to anni- 
hilate the Protestant name.* As the storm raises the water, and 
drives the mud and scum to the top of the waves, so did they by 
their immoral principles goad the nations to madness. They had, 
within the memory of that generation, made France a great church- 
yard, and in the St Bartholomew's Day — the height of their glory 
— they shewed what they could do when aided by debased women 
and a fanatical king. By the gunpowder plot they would have 
destroyed England's liberty, had not Providence interfered and 
prevented. In Carinthia, Styria, and Austria, they had, in the 
name of the one true Church, u out of which is no salvation," 
practised deeds which cried to high heaven for a speedy ven- 
geance. In Hungary, Bohemia, and Transylvania, they deserved 
the credit of having done only all the evil they could. In these 
lands, where a recognised constitution existed, and where con- 
siderable civil and political liberty prevailed, their influence was 
limited, and the people took to arms rather than bow themselves 
under the yoke of tyranny and unjust persecution. 

* Andreas Adver. MS. de Tauta Evang. div Franciscus Brocardus in 
Classico Suo, § 2. 


In this state was Bohemia. The Bohemian Count Matthew 
Turn had, with his adherents, nearly approached the walls of 
Vienna, and had drawn Silesia also with him in the revolt. 
Moravia was prepared to follow. In Austria, the states refused 
to submit. The Prince of Transylvania, Gabriel Bethle*n, 
threatened to invade Hungary, and the Turk was in secret 
making great preparations. Germany was looking quietly on; 
Spain's hirelings were far away, and all that adhered to Fer- 
dinand trembled for the result. The Bohemian cannon were 
pouring their shot into the royal castle, and sixteen Austrian 
barons were standing before Ferdinand to compel him to make a 
league with Bohemia. As one of the deputies, seizing him by 
the button of his coat, cried, " Ferdinand, will you sign ? " the 
faithful councillors advised to yield, and the Jesuits thought of 
better times coming ; but Ferdinand stood like a rock in the 

It was religious fanaticism, the idea that he was called of God 
to protect and advance the Church of Rome, that raised his 
spirit, so that amidst all the storm he developed a character which 
made him subject of the highest admiration on the part of the 
Roman Catholic Church, but in the eyes of Protestants, and 
of all friends of humanity, degraded him to the lowest pitch of 

Born on the 9th July 1578, he came, after the death of his 
father, Archduke Charles, the son of Ferdinand I., in the year 
1590, to Ingolstadt, into the hands of the Jesuits, and returned 
to his paternal property in Styria and Carinthia with the firm 
resolution that, whatever it might cost, no heretics should be 
tolerated under any condition on his estates. With cunning had 
the Jesuits taught him that the prosperity of Bavaria was owing 
alone to its connexion with the Church of Rome. He undertook 
a pilgrimage to Loretto, to the wondrous and wonder-working 
image of Mary, to beg the continued protection of this " queen of 
heaven." Accompanied by the Jesuits, he visited Rome on the 
way, to receive the blessing of the Pope, to strengthen him to 
keep his horrid vow, " that he would banish the Protestants out 
of all his estates, if it should cost him his life." 

On another pilgrimage to a similar image of Mary, which he 
undertook in his fortieth year, and as he lay praying before a 
crucifix in the midst of a violent storm, he conceived that he 
heard the voice, " Ferdinand, I will not leave thee." It must 


have been Mary. From that time forward he was her devoted 

It was on the 29th March 1619, that he summoned the Hun- 
garian Diet for the 26th May at Presburg, to sit under the guid- 
ance of the palatine Forgacs, while he himself hastened away to 
Frankfort, to have the imperial crown placed on his head. At the 
diet, the proposal to raise a standing army for the protection of 
the king should have been discussed, but all the meetings were 
filled up with religious quarrels. The States complained bitterly 
of Cardinal Klesel, of Archbishop Pazmany, and of the Jesuits, 
who, in consequence of their intolerant spirit, had been banished 
for ever from Transylvania by the princes of that land, but who 
had once more, under George Hommona, the rival of Bethlen, 
clandestinely returned. Bitter words were spoken respecting 
the limitation of evangelical freedom in Presburg, and it was 
asserted that a species of Spanish inquisition had been intro- 
duced by the Papists into Tyrnau. All relief for these and 
similar complaints was obstinately refused by the archbishop 
Pazmany and his followers, and the archbishop was not ashamed 
to say " he would rather see his villages forsaken of all their in- 
habitants and lying waste, than that on his estates a single church 
should exist for the benefit of Protestant subjects."* 

These sentiments prevailed very generally among the Roman 
Catholic magnates, and we find Count Stephen Pallfy, protector 
of Schutt-Somerain, erecting a gallows on which all the Protest- 
ant clergy who were called to churches in Schutt without his 
leave should be hanged ! Alas ! on the Protestant side, the 
principles of the gospel were, under such temptations, often 
forgotten, and Protestant proprietors frequently retaliated by 
dispensing to Pome the same treatment which she gave her 
antagonists. The complaints of both parties resounded through 
the whole land. 

While, under such circumstances, every peaceful arrangement 
of the difficulties was impossible, the Prince of Transylvania, 
Gabriel Bethlen, who was very well informed respecting all their 
proceedings, was approaching still nearer. In the beginning of 
September he conquered Kashaw, where the Jesuits Stephen 
Pougracy and Melchior Grodetzky, as well as a canon of Gran, 
Marcus Crisinius, who had not been able to make their escape, 
were executed ; the commander of the fortress, however, Andrew 
* Engel Goschichte, vol. iv. p. 398. 


Doczy, as an oppressor of the Protestants, was bound in chains 
and handed over to the victorious troops. 

On the 20th October, Bethlen conquered Presburg with the 
castle, took possession of the crown of Hungary with the state 
jewels, gained the palatine, Forgacs, over to his side, and on 
the same day had divine service conducted in gratitude for his 

In many places now the Protestants began to breathe some- 
what more freely. In Trentshin they held a synod, where, in the 
place of the deceased superintendents Lanyi and Melick, were 
elected respectively John Hodikius and Melchiar Robacs ; the 
latter continued in office till 1622, when he was succeeded by 
Peter Sextius. 

Passing on in his victorious career towards the south-east, 
Bethlen received the submission of the town and fortress of 
(Edenberg, where he left a garrison of fifteen hundred men. 
With his general, Paul Nadasdy, he proceeded to Gratz, whence 
he wrote to the superintendent for a chaplain to assist the court 
preacher during the approaching holidays. 

A truce was shortly after agreed on, and a diet was to be 
summoned by both parties to Neusohl, to meet in 1620. At this 
diet a solemn mutual compact was entered into between Be'thle'n, 
Prince of Transylvania, and the evangelical party in Bohemia ; 
and it was resolved that the religious freedom which had been 
guaranteed to Hungary should be extended to Bohemia also, and 
placed on a sure basis. As the royal commissioners, however, 
declared that they could not on any account take up this matter, 
and as the prince refused to make any treaty from which the 
Bohemian Protestants were excluded, the former withdrew on the 
17th August, and the Hungarians continued their deliberations 
alone. When Count Rombald Collato and the other imperial 
commissioners had retired, Emerich Thurzo proposed and carried 
that Bethlen should be proclaimed King of Hungary. 

Bethlen obstinately refused to accept the title, and neither the 
entreaties of the diet nor the representations of his chaplain could 
induce him to change his resolution. Four days afterwards he 
dissolved the assembly, after having confirmed the fifty-two 
articles, of which the chief points referring to the Church were as 
follows : — * 

" The Presburg articles of the previous year were removed, 
* Engel, vol. iv. pp. 416, 417. 


and parties chosen from all three confessions — the Lutheran, 
Reformed, and Arian — in the three districts, to watch over the 
fulfilment of the contract. Attacks on each other in writings 
and sermons were forbidden. The resolutions of the Synods of 
Sillein and Kirchdrauf were confirmed ; and it was resolved that 
the ecclesiastical organisation of other districts should be immedi- 
ately completed after this plan. The tithes and church fruits 
should fall to the clergy of all confessions alike. Three Roman 
Catholic bishops are sufficient for the country — namely, in Erlau, 
for Upper Hungary ; Neutra, for Hungary on this side; and Raab, 
for Hungary beyond the Danube ; — and for these a salary of 
2000 florins, equal to £200 per annum, should be sufficient. The 
Jesuits were once more banished ; and it was decreed that the 
regular clergy, with the exception of Pazmany and Balassfy, on 
condition of returning within a limited time, should have all their 
property restored. Only matters relating to marriages belonged 
to an ecclesiastical court, and mixed marriages were to be 
arranged before a court composed of members of both confessions. 

" Such church property as had hitherto tended to encourage 
luxury among the clergy, and such as had been abused so as to 
cause persecution of members of other confessions, and thus dis- 
turb the peace, should be confiscated to the crown. Archbishop 
Pazmany, and Balassfy, Bishop of Bosnia, were, as seditious 
men and foes of the country, to be banished for life. 

" These were the principal decrees of the diet at ISTeusohl, but 
they shortly after ceased to be in force, and were erased from the 
statute-book. It must not be supposed, however, that there 
were only Protestants at this meeting; for some of the most dis- 
tinguished are Catholics, adhered to Bethle'n, and among them 
were such names as Sigismund Forgacs, Sigismund Erdody, 
Christopher Erdody, Melchior Allaghy, and Michael Karalyi." 



Reformed Synod at Hedervan— Death of Emerich Thurzo the Palatine— Bethlen again 
takes the Sword— Peace of Nikolsburg— Synod of Shintaw — Numbers of exiled 
Protestants — Margrave George of Brandenburg — Diet of OEdenberg — The Legate 
— Tumult at the Diet — Coronation of Ferdinand III. 

While the diet was thus providing for the peace of the country, 
and at the same time for the benefit of the Protestant Church, 
the brethren of the Reformed Church were holding a synod 
at Hedervan, in the neighbourhood of Raab. Evil disposed 
parties spread reports of such a nature respecting the resolutions 
passed at this synod, that the Reformed superintendent, Nicolas 
Grtitz, found it necessary to write to the Lutheran superin- 
tendent, Stephen Klassekowitsh, denying that any resolutions 
inimical to the Lutherans had been passed.* 

Such approaches of the two confessions towards each other 
were the more necessary, as, by the death of the palatine 
Emerich Thurzo, both parties had sustained an equally great 
loss. He died suddenly at Nikolsburg, on the 5th January 
1621, and the general impression was, that his death proceeded 
from poison rubbed on the inside of his helmet, which he usually 
kept very tight on his head while riding.")" 

But though the foes of the Protestants considered no means too 
bad to gain their ends, yet for this time their hopes were vain ; 
for, as injustice began again to raise her head, and as especially 
in Bohemia many unjust executions of Protestants were reported, 
Bethlen returned once more, sword in hand, to take vengeance on 
the oppressors. A peace was made at Nikolsburg in 1621, and 
on that occasion the zealous Popish convert, Nicolas Esterhazy, 
received as reward for his zeal the valuable town Eisenstadt and 
its dependencies. In Rome's eyes he deserved some mark of 
distinction, for, in addition to his other feats for the benefit of 
Mother Church, he had compelled his wife against her wish to 

* (Edenberg Denkw. MS. 

t Mica Bury MS. ; Merken. Pall. Belg. torn. xiv. 1, 47 ; Ortel. Kediow. 
torn. p. 84. 


join the Roman Catholic communion.* To ratify the peace, a 
diet was summoned at CEdenberg, where Bethlen delivered up 
the crown. Ferdinand's spouse was crowned as Queen of Hun- 
gary, and Stanislaus Thurzo was made palatine. In the St 
Michael's Church, which at the time belonged to the Protestants, 
divine service was held to return thanks for the peace. 

The Lutherans availed themselves of the opportunity of hold- 
ing a synod, since known as the Synod of Shintaw, and passed 
a series of resolutions respecting the lives and doctrines of the 
clergy, all of which were confirmed by the palatine in virtue of 
his office. 

Scarcely had the joy-bells ceased to play in consequence of the 
peace of Nikolsburg, when crowds of oppressed and persecuted 
Protestants from Bohemia and Moravia came crying for protec- 
tion. It was impossible to see these spectacles of the inhumanity 
of the fanatic priests, and to recognise in them brothers in the 
faith, without being deeply concerned. Bethlen took the case 
warmly up, and reproached the king bitterly for this glaring 
breach of the Nikolsburg contract, and for allowing himself to be 
made the blind tool of the Jesuits in their deeds of darkness. 
He demanded immediate recognition of civil and religious 
liberty for the Protestants in Bohemia, Moravia, and Hungary, 
and promised in such case immediately to retire. When he 
found, however, that no attention was paid to his remonstrance, 
he crossed Hungary with a powerful army, and only then stopped 
when, by the mediation of the palatine, a satisfactory arrange- 
ment was made at Vienna.")" 

The cruelties of the Jesuits had already been terrible. All 
the Protestant clergy had been banished from Bohemia, and 
the churches handed over to their own creatures. In Moravia 
and Austria they had done the same. The evangelical preacher 
David Staudlin had been banished by the Jesuit father Keller 
out of his church in Hemals, near Vienna, simply because he 
had visited the sick servant of Captain Kobel, in Vienna, who 
was a Protestant, and had administered the Lord's Supper to him. 
Twelve thousand exiles lived in England, Belgium, Hungary, 
and Transylvania, and among these were one hundred and eighty- 

* (Edenberg Denkwiirdigkeiten MS. 

t About this time Bethlen endowed an evangelical school in Tjmau, at 
which twenty-four scholars had a free table. Many of the magnates followed 
his example. 


live magnates and one hundred clergy, who sometimes wrote in 
the bitterest distress to evangelical towns and churches, asking for 

Such oppressions raised many warm sympathising friends to 
the Protestants ; and here we will mention only one, namely, 
George of Brandenburg, who generously came in 1624 to 
BethleVs aid. He died of the prevalent epidemic at Leutshaw, 
and was buried at Whisburg in Transylvania, f 

In these troublous times, the bright spot towards which the 
eyes of the Protestants were turned in hope, was the Diet of 
(Edenberg, in 1625. It was, however, unfortunate at the very 
commencement, that the apostate from the Protestant faith, 
Nicolas Esterhazy, was chosen palatine. Besides, the Popish 
legate KarafYa was there, and he, in conjunction with Pazmany 
and the bishop, did the utmost to stir up the king against the 
Protestants. Indeed, the Bishop of Erlau made use of such 
expressions, that the Protestant members, in the excitement, 
had nearly thrown him out of the window. As it was, they 
dragged him by the hair and the beard to the door, and threw 
him out. As the palatine was about to institute an investigation, 
and bring some of them to trial, he found it impossible, for the 
Protestants stood firmly together, and Karaffa found it most con- 
venient not to press the matter further.^ 

The palatine gave the king the worst advice, and even, as 
Karaffa acknowledges, shewed him the plans which he should 
adopt, in spite of his oath, to limit the privileges of the Pro- 

The Roman Catholics thought they had satisfied every just 
claim of the Protestants when they renewed the 1st article of 
1608, and the 6th article of the treaty signed by Ferdinand on 
assuming the throne, and not without much fear and anxiety 
were the Protestants at last glad to have even so much. For at 
this time Pazmany stood higher than he had ever done in the 
royal favour and the esteem of his own party. It was but 
lately he had established the school at Tyrnau for the sons of 
the nobility, and so soon as Ferdinand III. was crowned, he 
hastened to have his sanction to the constitution of the seminary. 

* Pamauf MS., vol. vi. misc. p. 358. 
t Leutshaw Chronicle, MS. 

X (Edenberg DenkwUrdigkeiten MS. ; Theatr. Europ. Daniel Crudy, M.S. 
§ Kibinyi, Moxi. Aug. Conf. torn. i. p. 437. 



The synods, which about this time were held at Leutshaw, 
Csepregh, and other places, for maintaining discipline in the 
churches and schools, were of too little importance to be particu- 
larly noticed. But we must with pain acknowledge, that so 
soon as Ferdinand II. saw the crown tolerably firm on the head 
of his son, he considered himself at liberty to break through all 
bounds in his persecutions. 

Not contented with the feats he had accomplished in persecut- 
ing and banishing the Protestants of Styria, Bohemia, Moravia, 
and Austria, where the sister churches were more kindly disposed 
towards each other, he now broke out on a large scale against 
the Calvinists in Hungary. For the sake of giving his acts 
the appearance of laws, he created in the one year 1626, 
twenty-two princes, sixty counts and barons, of whom, it is 
true, many had only the title, but by means of their votes much 
might be done.* He demanded of the palatine not to allow 
the Protestants, who were flying from oppression in the other 
crown lands, to settle in Hungary ; and with much zeal Karaffa 
sought to prevent one family obtaining a residence there, the 
head of the family having been a printer in the neighbourhood 
of Linz, and now obliged to escape with his printing-press out of 
the country. The palatine was exceedingly complaisant and 
obliging in granting all such demands as were unfavourable to 
Protestantism.f On the estates in Hungary, the Protestants 
were now often compelled to join the Church of Rome ; and so 
effectually was the work accomplished in Laudser and Lacken- 
bach, that to this day not a Protestant family is there to be 

In Bitshe the Protestant church was taken from them; the 
superintendent, Hodickius, who had presumed to gain the 
victory over Matthew Heinal, a Jesuit, in a discussion on the 
worshipping of the saints, was immediately banished ; the 
flourishing gymnasium was destroyed, and the building turned, a 
few years later, into a cow-stall.§ 

* Karalyi, ii. 670. 

t Comment, de Germ. Saira rest. p. 372 ; "Waldau, Hist, of Prot. Aus., ii. 
p. 299. 

X (Edenberg Denkwiirdigkeiten. 

§ Chladuay, c. i. sect. 2 ; Zeiller, Nov. Hung. Desa, p. 46. 



Ferdinand II nominates the Virgin Mary General issimo of his Army — Bethlen declares 
War again — Is joined by the Germans — Peace of Presburg — The Widow of Pala- 
tine Forgacs raging against the Protestants — George Rakotzy — Gustavus Adolphus 
— Conversion of several Magnates to Popery — Persecutions — Jesuits in (Edenberg 
— Death of Ferdinand II. 

From a king who had nominated Mary commander-in-chief of 
his forces,* and who was merely a puppet in the hands of 
Karaffa, Pazmany, Nicolas Esterhazy, and the Jesuits, the 
Protestants of Hungary had little good to expect. The more just 
were their fears when they reflected how systematically he had 
despised and trampled on all the former resolutions of the diet ; 
how the Jesuits were every day gaming ground; how, by the 
aid of Pazmany, they had, first in Raab, and afterwards in 
Presburg, erected a college. 

By such faithlessness, there was nothing left but an appeal to 
the sword. Bethlen stirred up on all sides, and, receiving pro- 
mises of aid from the Turks, prepared once more for battle. In 
Germany the religious war was raging so violently, that 
Denmark and Norway had taken part in it, and thence also came 
promise of aid. The great General Count Ernest of Mansfeld, 
and Bernhard, Duke of Weimar, offered to join him, and coming 
with their troops through Silesia and Moravia, so far as Neutra, 
they had some engagements with Wallenstein ; but the prospects 
of Austria were so doubtful, that, in 1628, Ferdinand gladly 
made a peace with Bethlen at Presburg, in which the latter 
bound himself to abstain, in all time coming, from war against 
the house of Hapsburg, on condition of religious liberty being 

Whether Bethlen would have kept his word, is hard to decide. 
He remained, however, perfectly quiet till the following year, 
when, on 16th December 1629, he yielded up his spirit ; very 
shortly after, the Cardinal Klesel died also, as if the loss of a pro- 
tector was to be counterbalanced by having also one foe less. 

* Karalyi, ii. p. 914. 


Scarcely had Bethlen closed his eyes when the Papists began 
their oppressions once more ; for the slave is moral only so long 
as he fears the arm of justice — and this arm was now still in the 
grave. The Bishop of Waizen, Paul Almdsy, compelled the 
Protestants in his neighbourhood at an enormous price to pur- 
chase passports and safe-conducts from the pasha for his begging 
monks, that they might the more readily gather in the fowls, the 
eggs, and the butter, from the country, into their cloisters. 

In spite of the last diet, the Protestants could not succeed in 
establishing their most just demands. The churches were not 
restored ; the king, to whom they appealed, excused himself with 
the disturbed state of the country, and promised redress "ona 
future day." Neither could they succeed in obtaining a clear 
statement of the law, by which they might be protected from the 
caprice of the priests. The magnates had, in this case, the chief 
blame, for they insisted on the right to do what they chose with 
the church on their own property.* 

In consequence of this principle, the widow of the deceased 
Forgacs, Catherine Pallfy, in county Sharosh, annoyed the Pro- 
testants very much on her property. She broke the doors and win- 
dows of the Protestant church, and shortly after took the church 
itself completely away. When the removing of the roof of the 
manse, and breaking down the walls, did not serve the purpose of 
banishing the Protestant preacher from his numerous congrega- 
tion, she ordered him with all his family to be put on a cart and 
carted out of her territory. When they had reached the bounds 
of her estate, they were set down on the open field. By con- 
tinued annoyances and fines, she brought her tenants so far that 
they consented to accept of a Roman Catholic priest, j" 

In addition to these persecutions came the excommunication 
of the preachers of the twenty-four Zips towns, which was pub- 
lished by Pazmany on 22d December 1632. The occasion of 
this was found in a case of divorce, where the synod gave per- 
mission to one of the parties again to get married. The super- 
intendent, Peter Zabler, the senior, John Serpilius, and John 
Pillemann, were summoned before the archbishop to give an 
account of what they had done. As they received a written 
warning from Stanislaus Lupomirski, the civil governor of these 

* " Cujus regio illius religio." Peter Bad, Hist. Eccl. Hung. MS. 

t Acts of the Diet 1635 ; Daniel Crudy, Superintendent Prot. Church 

Law, MS. 


towns, which were at that time pawned to Poland, not to appear, 
they did not present themselves to the archbishop. Their ex- 
communication was published in the church in Zips, by which 
proceeding the Roman Catholics of the day were certainly 
more edified, and the clergy more annoyed, than we can at all 
comprehend. The clergy put themselves to no little trouble 
and expense to appease the wrath of the offended parties. 

Under such difficulties, the Protestants placed their chief 
confidence in the Prince of Dacia, St Bathory, and George 
Eakotzy, the elected Prince of Transylvania. Gustavus Adol- 
phus had already made a contract with the latter, in virtue of 
which he had already broken into Hungary; when, however, 
Gustavus fell by the hands of an assassin, at the battle of 
Lutzen, he drew back again, not having confidence in the 
probable success of the Swedes, and thinking all the while only 
of himself. It was with pain that the Protestants observed this 
selfishness of the artful Eakotzy. 

A steady supporter was just now so much the more requisite, 
as the number of the Protestant magnates was constantly being 
diminished by desertion. After the superintendent Tobiah 
Brunswick, whom a pitiful fear for his life and liberty drove into 
the Romish Church,* Adam Thurzo, the son of the late palatine, 
to whom Brunswick was chaplain, as also his younger brother 
and mother, were induced to join the ranks of Popery. After 
these the general, Adam Bathyani, passed over to the Popish 
Church, and he became so zealous, that he gave the Protestant 
churches beyond the Danube no small annoyance, and banished 
the preachers, " to the greater glory of Mary." f 

The citizens of (Edenberg were obliged to pay heavy fines 
though they remained true to the king, and their church was 
shortly after taken from them under the pretext that it had been 
built by Roman Catholics.^: 

In the circle on this side the Danube had the imperial general, 
John Hommona, whose ancestors had been Protestants, given 

* He had persecuted a Protestant preacher who had joined the Papists, 
to such an extent, that he was about to lay him in chains. Being on this 
account summoned as a disturber of the peace, Brunswick fled, and fell 
into the nets of the Jesuits to such an extent, that he openly left the Pro- 
testant Church and received an office among the Papists. Mica Bury. 

t Hist. Eeform. p. 378. 

t Karalyi, Mem. p. 853. 


the Protestants in Kashaw much annoyance ; and when the evan- 
gelical party in Presburg began to build a church at their own 
expense, they were ordered, under penalty of the royal displea- 
sure and its consequences, to desist. The citizens of Presburg 
appealing, however, to the laws which gave them a right to build 
if they chose, went on with their work, and in 1637 their new 
church was consecrated. 

As the Protestants were hampered, just in the same proportion 
were the Jesuits favoured. By a royal decree, dated Vienna, 
May 1636, the town of (Edenberg must undertake to build a 
Roman Catholic gymnasium, and, through fear of what might 
eventually occur, steps were taken by the citizens to prevent 
Jesuits becoming teachers. Another royal decree, dated Ratisbon, 
August 1636, required a dwelling to be furnished for the Jesuits, 
and the guidance of the school to be delivered up to them.* 

Under such a state of anxiety in Hungary, came the year 
1637 ; and on the 17th February, Ferdinand II. expired. 

Great was the kingdom and numerous the subjects over 
which Providence had called him to reign, and he had no want 
of talent to make his people happy. But his Jesuitical educa- 
tion and his advisers had chained his spirit, and, to the great mis- 
fortune of his country, he could not set himself free ; and scarce 
can the eye find a single point in his whole reign of eighteen 
years on which to rest with satisfaction. 

In Germany his fanaticism had driven the religious war to the 
highest pitch, and, as a sorrowful legacy, he could hand that war, 
unfinished still, over to his son. In Magdeburg were twenty-six 
thousand corpses of men, women, and children lying, who had per- 
ished under the hand of his general, Tilly, with his hordes of Croa- 
tian military. Bohemia, Moravia, and a great part of Hungary were 
miserably oppressed, and morality itself almost banished by the 
manner in which the war had been conducted. And what had 
he gained ? A few stone churches and schools stolen from the 
Lutherans and Calvinists ; a hundred thousand converts brought 
over to the Church of Rome by the unapostolical means of 
sword, prison, fine, or bribery ; and a depopulation of his mon- 
archy amounting to more than a million of human beings. 

Ferdinand II. had gained what he wished ; for the conversion 

* The original decrees lie in the (Edenberg town archives. They 
are countersigned by George Lippay, Bishop of Vesprim, and Lawrence 


of a heretic to his Church was to him always the greatest joy. 
Wherefore, as the Cardinal Klesel once thought that a little 
more moderation and consideration of circumstances might be 
advisable, he replied, " I will rather have a wasted than an 
accursed kingdom." * 

His conscience was always quieted with the Jesuitical reserve ; 
for, when he was once reminded of his royal oath, he gave the 
edifying answer, " With his mouth he had sworn to the Pro- 
testants, but with his heart to the Roman Catholics." f 

For all these benefits rendered to the Popish cause, the Car- 
dinal Pazmany, and Bishop Matthew of Xeustadt, asserted that 
Ferdinand passed immediately into heaven, without experiencing 
the pains of purgatory4 The Word of God had, however, 
said, " The Lord hateth the bloody and deceitful man." 

* Malo regnum desolatuin quani damnattim. 
t Peter Bad, Hist. Eccles. Ref., torn. ii. MS. 
£ Kazyi, ii. p. 326. 



FERDINAND III. 1637-1657 

Death of Pazmany — Emerich Lasy, Archbishop of Gran — Diet of Presburg — New Perse- 
cutions—Deliberations at Kashaw — Deputation to the King— Torstenson in Mo- 
ravia — Death of the Archbishop — George Lippay his Successor — George Rakotzy of 
Transylvania — Banishment of the Protestant Clergy from the island Schutt— Robert 
Douglas — Death of the Palatine Nicolas Esterhazy. 

Shortly after the death of his friend and patron Ferdinand II., 
the cardinal and archbishop, Pazmany, was also called away by 
death on the 19th March 1637. The Protestants now hoped, 
that under the new king, a man of wisdom and learning, the 
wounds which had been inflicted by the father would all be 
healed. They began, however, to have some fears when they 
saw that Ferdinand III. nominated Emerich Lasy, the Bishop 
of Erlau, as successor to Pazmany. This man was born of Pro- 
testant parents ; but while a student, he was led by Ferdinand's 
confessor to embrace the Popish faith, and he studied theology 
in Rome. As an especial friend of the Jesuits, he ascended, 
from being Canon of Gran, in a very few years, to be archbishop, 
and persuaded the king to give the Jesuits a large landed pro- 
perty in Thurotz ; a measure which even Pazmany had not 
ventured to propose. 

Under such circumstances, the Protestants could only hope 
for the diet in the following harvest in Presburg. When now 
the king appeared, demanding money for the war in Germany, 
and demanding of the Hungarians to protect their own borders 
against the Turks, the States appeared very ready to comply — 
demanded, however, that the religious dispute should, in the 
first place, be completely settled. The magnates did not give 
much support to this demand of the States; for above thirty 
families of the magnates had, by Pazmariy's influence, left the 
Protestant Church ; others were become indifferent, and thus 
the Jesuits and the Popish clergy had easy work. The demands 
of the latter went so far as to require that the Protestant exiles 


who had fled from persecution in Austria and Bohemia should 
be banished from Hungary, and especially from Presburg; a 
request which caused the greatest excitement at the diet. 

Between the Protestant Count Caspar Illyeshazy and the 
Roman Catholic Count Adam Forgacs, it came so far, that 
when one had called the other rebel, and a name even still 
worse had been retorted, they rushed on each other with drawn 
swords, and the king was obliged to set both for some time in 

By such quarrels, and the artful charges brought against the 
Protestants before the king, the evangelical party was often 
placed in great difficulty. As they, however, remained firm in 
their demand, and did not yield even to the royal threats, the 
circumstances of the times obliged Ferdinand III. to grant their 
request of toleration, and to accept of a form of contract, in which 
he pledged himself to guarantee liberty of conscience. 

That the evangelical party had good reason to demand ad- 
herence to the letter of the law in matters of toleration, will be 
readily seen from the difficulties encountered in the building of 
the church at Presburg; for it was only by the greatest exer- 
tion, and after obtaining written permission from Ferdinand to 
that effect, that the church could be opened. The Protestants 
of the Reformed Church at Tyrnau had been prevented, by arms, 
from building their church ; and those of the Augsburg Confes- 
sion at Lewenz had their church violently closed, and their pastor 
banished. The Protestant Church of Szakoly must bring a 
complaint before the diet, that they were not allowed to bury 
their dead in the common burying-ground, and requested another 
to be given them.t 

On the contrary, the Jesuits had obtained permission, contrary 
to law, to purchase houses in Tyrnau, and expected, in spite of 
the protest of the = magistrates in (Edenberg, shortly to have a 
church and landed property in that city also. J 

The incredible power of the Bishop of Gran can be seen from 
the fact, that the royal decree was set aside when it pleased him, 
and the Protestants had no respect whatever shewn to their rights. 
That part of the royal contract, preparatory to assuming the crown 
of Hungary, by which the king pledged himself to grant toler- 

* Theatr. Europ. et Artel, rediviv. torn. ii. p. 129. 

t Engel, 1. c. 490. 

+ (Edenberg Denkwurdigkeiten, band xii. 4to. MS. 


ation to his Protestant subjects, was, by the influence of this 
prelate, not entered among the laws of the land. 

When the diet had been completed according to their wish, 
the clergy and Popish magnates soon stepped boldly out to ac- 
complish their desires. Immediately after the diet, Count John 
Daugesh Hommouo took possession of the prebend of Neustadt on 
Waag, which the Protestants had long legally held. The old 
superintendent was carried out on a chair by the soldiers; and 
being too infirm to walk, he was again set into his dwelling, and 
shortly after died in consequence of this excitement and rough 
treatment. The church, and its property and fruits, were never 
restored. There were several villages and mills attached; a 
tenth and a sixteenth of the grain belonged to it, and a tenth 
of all fowls. Forgacs, and the renegade Adam Thurzo, acted 
with equal severity, and took away church and school, banishing 
pastor and schoolmaster out of Pasteny, Udvarnock, St Peter, 
Bajna, Ujlak, and many villages in the comity of Neutra. 

The palatine Count Nicolas Esterhazy followed their ex- 
ample. On the estates which he had bought from Thurzo in 
Neutra and Trentshin, where nearly all the inhabitants were 
Protestants, he took possession of the churches, schools, and 
manses, and banished the Protestant pastors and schoolmasters. 

Under such circumstances, several Protestant magnates and 
nobles assembled at Kashaw, in the beginning of the year 1640, 
to consult what was to be done. The result of their delibera- 
tion was, that a deputation was sent to the king, laying before 
him the facts, and begging for a diet to be summoned to obtain 

The time was not favourable for holding a diet, for French- 
men, Swedes, Hessians, had penetrated into the midst of Austria, 
and the successful general, Torstenson, though labouring under 
gout, was giving Ferdinand serious alarm. The king consented 
to summon a diet, and issued the necessary summonses, but the 
meeting was not held. With so much the more ease did the 
Roman Catholics continue their persecutions ; for, finding them- 
selves supported by the Roman Catholic magnates, and tolerated, 
if not encouraged, by the king, it was not strange that the posi- 
tion of the Protestants ceased to be enviable. The death of the 
archbishop Emerich Losy, in 1642, did not give them much 
relief, for, though one foe was removed, still the principles of 
Rome's adherents remained the same, and into the place of the 


deceased came George Lippay, if not a more bitter, at least a 
more persevering foe. 

To annoy the Protestants in eveiy possible way, seemed to be 
a necessity in the nature of the new archbishop ; and, instead of 
following the principles of the Saviour in collecting disciples, he 
seemed to be guided in his treatment of the Protestants by the 
most literal interpretation of the passage, " Compel them to come 
in, that my house may be filled." 

They therefore turned the eye often towards Transylvania, 
out of which the Lord had often sent delivery for their fathers, 
and still the prince George Eakotzy seemed to slumber unmind- 
ful of their ills. A time came, however, when, by the con- 
sent of the Turks, he nominated his son to be his successor. 
The complaints of the Protestants were becoming louder and 
louder. France and Sweden promised him money to support 
him in a war against Ferdinand ; and the jests which were made 
at his expense, at the court of Vienna, filled the cup of his in- 
dignation, so that, on the 26th April 1643, he entered into a league 
offensive and defensive with Torstenson, against Frederick, and 
that engagement was signed by Torstenson at his camp in 
Dobitshaw, on the 10th July. 

On the 13th February 1644, Prince Edkotzy issued at Kallo 
his declaration of war, stating the reasons why he drew the 
sword against Ferdinand. The latter lost no time, it is true, in 
issuing a counter proclamation, promising religious toleration, and 
warning against joining Eakotzy ; but the Protestants had now 
learned, by bitter experience, what faith was to be placed in such 
promises. At the very time that the Swedish army was pressing 
forward to join Eakotzy, the persecutions were raging as fiercely 
as ever. Count Francis Eevay, the obergespan, had just 
shortly before, in violation of his oath of office, and of all the con- 
tracts and laws to the contrary, deprived the Protestants of their 
churches in St Martin, Mosotz, Turan, Bela, and Blastnitz, and 
had compelled some to become Papists. He had erected gallows 
on which he threatened to hang all who visited the Protestant 
churches ; those who sung Protestant hymns on carrying their 
dead to the grave were cast into prison ; the Protestants who had 
their dead buried by the priest must pay extra fees. 

The archbishop Lippay had just banished all the Protestant 
pastors of both confessions out of the large island Schutt, which 
reaches from Presburg to Komorn, and had sent twelve Jesuits 


to discharge ministerial duties ; * but their first care was to intro- 
duce the worship of Mary, which had been taught by the Greek 
heretic Guappou in the year 470, and had been condemned by 
the Fifth (Ecumenical Council, f The Jesuits did not remain long 
in the island, for when Count Robert Douglas, a general under 
Torstenson, had conquered Presburg and received the capitula- 
tion of Tyrnau, he removed the priests and all their appendages 
to Presburg. 

By the approach and the conquests of these troops the hardly- 
oppressed Protestants of Skalitz obtained relief. The Popish 
clergy had just brought matters so far, that the Moravian exiles, 
who had lived here in peace for twenty years, were, with their 
preachers, banished from the city, and had their churches closed. 
So soon as Douglas heard of this, being already united with 
Rakotzy, they hastened to Skalitz, and gave the authorities a 
few hours to restore the church, and take away the Popish 
mummeries, or else be hanged. The Protestants of Skalitz thus 
obtained their church, and in a very short time the much denied 
religious toleration was also granted in Raab.j: 

The difficulties of the Roman Catholic Church were now 
increased by the death of the palatine Nicolas Esterhazy, which 
took place 11th September 1645. This man, who had been 
born of Protestant parents, his father having been vice-gespan 
(deputy-lieutenant) of Presburg, owed his position and his in- 
fluence chiefly to the fact of his having been unfaithful to his 
profession ; for Rome has held fast the principle of paying her 
proselytes well, by giving them high posts of honour. 

* Hist. Diplom. 

+ The words for which this priest was proclaimed a heretic are the very 
same as those which Rome universally employs : " Holy Mary, mother of 
God, pray for us, now and at the hour of death." 

J Ortel, Rediviv. torn. ii. ; Zeillems Coll., part i. p. 264. It appears that 
so early as 1567 Raab had already three Protestant preachers. 



The Peace of Linz — Protest of the Popish Clergy — The King's Firmness— The Diet of 
1647. The Protestants obtain Ninety Churches restored — Penal Laws against 
the Religious Persecutors — Bishop Szelepcsenyi — Bishop Draskowitsh — The King's 

The short but bloody war between Rakotzy and Ferdinand 
ended with the famous Peace of Linz, which was the second 
pillar of the rights and freedoms of the Protestant Church in 
Hungary. Rakotzy was soothed with the promise of several 
counties for himself, and was thus induced to give up his alliance 
with Sweden. On the 16th December 1645, when the monarchy 
was on the very brink of destruction, the peace was concluded 
at Linz in Upper Austria. 

This time, it must be confessed, both parties were equally 
earnest in the resolution to prevent the clergy from once more 
breaking the peace. Even the archbishop Lippay found himself 
unable any longer to oppose the laws favourable to the Protest- 
ants. By this peace, the Protestants obtained complete religious 
liberty, so that the exiled preachers might return to their con- 
gregations^ or new preachers be called. All churches and 
church property which had been taken away should be restored, 
and every transgression of the condition of this peace should be 
punished ; the banishing of the Jesuits was reserved for the 
next diet. It was on the 20 th October 1646 that R&kotzy 
ratified this peace at Weissenburg in Transylvania. 

The danger was, however, scarcely past, and the reproaches of 
Rome had only just reached the Popish clergy of Hungary, for 
having paid so little attention to the interests of the Church, 
when Lippay once more brought back the Jesuits, who soon 
found ways and means to deprive the country of all the blessings 
of the peace. Yes, the Hungarian clergy shewed themselves so 
servile to Rome, and so forgetful of all their duties to their king 
and country, that, contrary to the king's engagement to summon 


a diet within three months, they delayed it ten months, and then 
at the diet entered a protest against that treaty which they had 
before approved, and for many months prevented its "being 
received among the laws of the land.* 

One of the most zealous opponents of the Protestants in this 
case, was the newly-elected palatine, John Draskowitsh, who 
was also Banns of Slavonia, and had been elected to the palati- 
nate by a majority of only twelve votes. The king, however, 
who knew from what dangers he had just escaped, shewed the 
noblest traits of his character in exercising his authority over 
the contending parties. 

He proposed, on the 28th October, that the opposition of the 
clergy to the conditions of peace, now and in all time coming, 
should be declared irrelevant; and on the 8th November, when 
the Protestants brought forward their complaints, with evidence 
of the truth of the same, he proposed a resolution to be laid 
before the assembly, to the effect that, immediately, while the 
diet is still sitting, there should be eighteen churches in the 
circle on this side the Danube, and eight in the circle beyond the 
Danube, restored to the Protestants; wherever they have no 
churches, they should have full permission to build, and the 
landed proprietors are bound to give them building ground. No 
one should in future dare to take away a church contrary to the 
wish of the residents in the place. If the landlord did so, he 
should, for the first offence, be fined one thousand florins, and be 
obliged to give back the church ; for the next offence, his entire 
property in the village or district should be confiscated. If any 
of the clergy did so, they should be fined, for the first offence, 
one thousand florins ; for the second, two thousand florins. The 
patron's right, in so far as in accordance with the Peace of Vienna, 
should be preserved, and the States being satisfied with this, 
should proceed to discuss other matters. 

The evangelical party, taught by sore experience, could not 
possibly be satisfied with this arrangement, and proposed that 
impartial parties should be appointed to investigate each case, 
and to examine the reasons why the churches were taken away, 
and whether they ought to be restored. 

The palatine and the archbishop made every attempt to prevent 
a resolution favourable to the Protestants. The former, in his 
zeal to defend the Jesuits, drew his sword in the hall, and made 
* Fessler, vol. ix. p. 24. 


himself ridiculous ; the latter, however, went so far, that it was 
found necessary to threaten him with deprivation of office. The 
clergy held out so long, that they succeeded in keeping three 
hundred and ten out of the four hundred churches which they had 
taken by force. On the 10th February 1647, the court consented 
to restore ninety of the churches, but with the remark that, in 
time to come, not one single church more would be given up. 

The Protestants, tired after a struggle of seven months, gave 
way, and the States proceeded to arrange some of the articles. 
In the 6th article, the names of the ninety churches were entered.* 
In the 7th article, it was declared, " That no other church would 
be restored; the Protestants should have permission to occupy 
the chapels of ease, or to go if they chose to other parishes to 
hear the gospel." The 8th article declared freedom of reli- 
gious exercise in the town of Skalitz, both for the Lutheran 
and the Reformed Churches. In Tyrnau, the property belonging 
to the evangelical church should be restored, and no tradesman 
should be compelled to attend the ceremonies of which he 
disapproved. In Raab, permission was given to build a new 
church, and a piece of ground was granted for the purpose. 
The pastor should have permission to preach in the church, or in 
his own house. In Loreny a church was given to the Lutherans ; 
but in Tihany, while the place was small, and it might be incon- 
venient to have a second church, the pastor's dwelling was restored. 

The 10th article directed, that in places where the Papists 
retained the churches, the Protestants should have a right to 
build church, manse, schoolhouse, &c. ; and the landed proprietor 
must, within three months from that date, grant a plot of ground 
suitable for the purpose, entirely free from all taxes. The Pro- 
testants and Catholics should, in all cases, pay the same fee for 
the ringing of the church bells. 

The 11th article decreed, that while the Roman Catholics 
pay nothing to the Protestant clergy, in like manner should the 
Protestants pay nothing to the Popish clergy. In particular 
cases, however, where the Popish priest had no lands and no 
government endowment, but was dependent on the sessional taxes, 
if the number of Roman Catholics was small, then the sessional 
taxes should be collected by the city collector and equally 
divided. The stola dues, however, should only be claimed from 
members of their own confession. 

* Hist. Diplom. Appendix, p. 44. 


The 13th article directed the ninety churches which were 
to be restored to the Protestants to be handed over immediately, 
while the diet was still sitting, to a mixed commission, contain- 
ing an equal number of members of each confession. 

The 14th article declared the penalty for hindering the 
Protestants in obtaining their just claims. The guilty party 
should first be warned by the vice-gespan (deputy-lieutenant) 
of the county, and if he then submitted, there was no fine. If 
he disobeyed, he should be fined each time in six hundred 
florins. In affairs connected with marriage, the Protestants 
abide by their own customs, entirely independent of the Popish 
priests and Popish judicature. 

Finally, it was settled that, in the free town Kashaw, where 
the Lutherans were preventing both the Calvinists and the 
Roman Catholics from building churches, both parties should 
have a right to build churches and schools, as also should obtain 
suitable ground for the purpose, should enjoy full religious 
liberty, with the use of the church bells and burying-ground in 

These were the benefits which the Peace of Linz and the Diet 
of Presburg — which ratified and defined the terms of the peace — 
conferred on the Protestants of Hungary. If we overlook the 
three hundred churches which were lost, and also the double mean- 
ing of many of the enactments, still we shall see much gained. 
Much that had been only briefly mentioned before, was now 
entered in detail in the articles of peace, and a commencement 
was made to have these articles carried out. 

At this diet the eldest son of Ferdinand III. was, on the 16th 
June, crowned King of Hungary, under the title of Ferdinand 
IV., and on the 17th July 1647 the diet was closed. 

As it was presumed or feared that the Popish clergy would 
not cease to persecute, there was a paragraph entered in the 
transactions of the assembly, that at every diet his Majesty should 
inquire into the complaints of the Protestants, and have them 
redressed. A very little while shewed how necessary the law 
was, and how much trouble was taken to have it changed. 

Immediately on the close of the diet, the Bishop of Wesprin, 
George Szelepcsenyi, as imperial chancellor, refused to sign the 
articles, and the Bishop of Raab, George Draskowitsh, brother of 
the palatine, refused to give up the church to the Protestants, 
till the king compelled him to it by military force. 


It certainly was no easy matter for the prelates to support the 
ninety priests who were now turned out of office, but the king 
came to their aid by making the poor prelates a present of 5000 
florins, that they might not drive the land once more to rebellion 
before the past wounds were healed. It was a terrific sight for 
the king to look over his empire, and over the whole of Germany, 
and see what the Thirty Years' War had done ; and still that war 
was not yet ended. Well might he rejoice when, by the un- 
wearied exertions and great prudence of Count Maximilian of 
Trantmansdorf, this war was brought to a close by the Peace of 
Westphalia. But, alas ! while the Protestants in Germany were 
now able to enjoy complete civil and religious liberty, with the 
exception of Silesia, the Austrian empire was little affected by the 



New Persecutions of the Protestants in Hungary — Diet of Presburg in 1649 — Paul 
Pallfy, Palatine — Fruits of the Diet — The Jesuits in Transylvania — Death of the 
young King of Rome — Leopold crowned King of Hungary in 1655 — Troubles — 
Death of Ferdinand. 

The incredible struggles, the bloodshed, and the councils held 
for establishing, on a firm basis, the rights and liberties of the 
Protestant Church, were, contrary to all expectation, not yet suffi- 
cient to obtain the desired peace and toleration. The diet had 
scarcely been dissolved when the Jesuits, and the magnates 
whom they had gained over to their cause, began the work of 
persecution afresh. The death of Rakotzy, on the 23d October 
1648, gave them new courage; and, contrary to all laws and 
treaties, and despite all watchfulness, the treacherous disciples of 
Loyola found ways and means of creeping once more into Tran- 
sylvania. It was the plan of the Popish clergy to introduce 
these men into all parts of the kingdom, and, by means of these 
sworn foes of the gospel and of Protestants, gradually to obli- 
terate all traces of the truth. In. August 1648, the palatine, 
John Draskowitsh, was taken away by death, but Lippay 
remained and laboured till he had the Jesuits introduced into 
Skalka, Neusohl, Skalitz, Schemnitz, Trentshin, and Rosenau, 
where they soon succeeded in raising sufficient strife and con- 

The prelates and landed proprietors banished the Protestant 
pastor out of Sellyi by an armed force.* Francis Nadasdy, who 
had become Papist for the sake of obtaining in marriage the 
daughter of the palatine Nicolas Esterhazy, took away from the 
Protestant pastor the corn which was by the law secured to him. 
The miller was bound to give a proportion of all the corn ground 
on Saturday afternoon and the whole of Sunday to the Pro- 
testant pastor ; and this custom was discontinued, while the 
* Fessler, vol. ix. p. 38. 


schoolmaster "was also deprived of his grain. Francis Nadasdy 
and the widow of Klasins Apponyi compelled all their 
dependants to attend to the ceremonies of the Popish Church, 
and those who refused were fined and imprisoned. 

In several counties, as, for example, Eisenberg, Presburg, 
Xeutra, and Trentshin, no ground was given to the Protestants 
for building churches and schools, and several of the ninety 
churches, which had been restored, were again taken away. In 
Donnerskirchen, near Eisenstadt, in OEdenberg county, the Pro- 
testants were positively forbidden by Count Ladislaus Esterhazy 
to recall their pastor.* The inhabitants of the town of Neu- 
siedel, who had called an evangelical pastor without asking leave 
from the landlord, were sentenced to pay a fine of several hun- 
dred butts of wine, and were so much oppressed, that scarcely a 
trace of a church is now there to be seen. 

It was after such transactions that the king summoned a diet 
at Presburg on the 25th January 1649. There was little pros- 
pect of calm deliberation at this meeting, for the exasperation 
was very considerable. Even the king was so much afraid of 
the results, that he did not open the assembly till the 15th March. 
The first business was the election of a palatine. The king pro- 
posed two Roman Catholics and two Protestants, and the choice 
fell on the Roman Catholic Count Paul Pallfy, a man of great 
integrity and high honour. 

Immediately on entering on his office he had a considerable 
struggle with the archbishop Lippay, in which his character was 
favourably exhibited. The diet was assembled ; the palatine was 
in his place ; the archbishop alone was absent paying a morning 
visit to the king ; they had waited long, and at length the 
palatine rose to assure the assembled nobles how it was the king's 
wish and desire that all the quarrels on religious matters should 
be amicably arranged. The archbishop had now arrived, and 
rose to declare that he had just heard wishes of the very opposite 
nature expressed by the king. The palatine was astonished ; 
and, after a short deliberation, it was agreed to send a mixed de- 
putation, containing an equal number of Protestants and Roman 
Catholics, to speak with his Majesty. A reply was immediately 
returned, through the minister Trantmansdorf, that the palatine 
had correctly stated the royal wish. Having been thus attacked 
in his honour, the palatine turned in indignation towards the 
* At this day there does not reside a single Protestant there. 


archbishop, inquiring why he had entered on such barefaced false- 
hood, attempting thus to misrepresent the king, and to disturb 
the peace of the diet and of the country ; and he at the 
same time informed him that, were it not for his cloth, he would 
know how to treat him as he deserved.* 

So long as this palatine lived, the Protestants on his estate 
enjoyed all the protection they could wish. Entirely free from 
all fanaticism, he erected schools for the Protestants as well as 
for the Roman Catholics, and combined justice with moderation 
to such an extent, that he was justly beloved as a father of his 

At the diet, where the passions of the contending parties made 
his position so difficult, he guided the proceedings with much 
tact, leaving the legal time open to hear all the mutual com- 
plaints which the two parties wished to bring. The complaints 
of the Roman Catholics were far more numerous, but he had 
them entered in a list by themselves, in such a way that the 
evidence in each individual case could be easily seen by the king ; 
and it was soon evident that much was quite unfounded, and still 
more of the charges of the Papists were overcoloured. The pala- 
tine laid all before the king, with a request that each case should 
be carefully and impartially investigated.f 

Ferdinand, knowing well the nature of the case, was resolved 
to carry out all the proceedings in the spirit of the Peace of Linz. 
The determined opposition, however, on the part of the Roman 
Catholics, prevented him from benefiting the Protestants to any 
great extent. Besides the ninety churches which were granted 
in 1647, there were only three chapels of ease bestowed on the 
Protestants ; and a law was passed which eventually wrought 
great mischief, deciding that all quarrels on matters of religion in 

* Mica Bury, Theat. Europ. vol. vi. p. 877. Artel Kediviv. Mayer ad hoc 
Annum, torn. ii. p. 161. Daniel Crudy, torn. i. p. 169. It is true the Jesuit 
Szegedi represents the archbishop as suffering these reproaches unjustly 
from his zeal for religion. 

+ The archbishop declared to the king that his conscience did not allow 
him to give land which belonged to Roman Catholics, for the purpose of 
building a Protestant church, and the king informed him that his con- 
science was much too scrupulous. Fessler, kol. ix. p. 39. It was the same 
archbishop who declared, on a former occasion, that the king dared to 
tolerate Protestants just as little as thieves and robbers, and both should 
be borne with only so long as he could not eradicate them. Such is the 
tender mercy of Popish priests. 


future should be decided after the example set in 1647, by being 
referred back to the respective counties. 

One benefit was gained by this diet ; for, as the priests 
observed the desire of the king to do justice to the Protestants, 
they relaxed somewhat in their persecutions. The time of quiet 
was then employed in improving, as much as possible, the ecclesi- 
astical discipline, in building and repairing churches and school- 
houses, and in placing worthy men in the office of pastor. This 
was especially the case in the royal free cities, where the number 
of educated and wealthy members of the evangelical church was 
considerable. In (Edenberg we find at this time Matthew Lany 
was ordained, and in a neighbouring village called Horkaw, 
Christopher Sobitsh, who was afterwards a distinguished super- 
intendent. He preached his first sermon in the church of St 
Michaels, which at that time belonged to the Lutherans, and 
had been just embellished with a new altar and organ. At this 
time also lived the superintendent, George Lany, who presided 
at a synod held on the 10th June 1652, at which it was resolved 
that not only the superintendents should have a right to propose 
a new superintendent, but also the nobles, and even the citizens. 
The evangelical church at Presburg manifested at this time 
considerable activity and zeal. They built a new church for 
the Hungarians and Slovaken, where Daniel Abrahamides 
preached to a crowded house;* but within twenty years, this 
church, which lies behind the Franciscan garden, became the pro- 
perty of the nuns of St Ursula. 

A few years after, they built a magnificent gymnasium of four 
storeys high, where the rector, Bohm, who was afterwards pastor, 
laboured with great success among the youth. Andrew Segner, 
at that time inspector of the Protestant church, had a medal 
struck commemorative of the opening of the institution ; on the 
one side was the Trojan horse, and on the other, St Andrew's 
day 1656. In Neusohl, Schemnitz, Modena, and Eperjes, where 
Samuel Dirner was labouring with much acceptance, from the 
year 1650 — in all these places were very prosperous schools, 
chiefly under the guidance of foreigners, or of those who had 
studied at foreign universities. 

While the Protestants in Hungary were thus enjoying a little 
ease, the Jesuits had, with great cunning, transplanted them- 
selves into Transylvania. In this land, where the Protestant 
* Ribinyi, Memorab. torn. i. p. 493. 


Church had now stood for a considerable time under the protec- 
tion of Protestant princes, it had gained some degree of stability ; 
the arrogance of the Popish Church was considerably restrained, 
and the Jesuits were strictly forbidden to reside there. These 
men, however, found ways and means to obtain an entrance. 
To appear in their own dress would have been the sure way to 
have themselves banished ; they therefore assumed the ordinary 
clerical habit, and lived apart in the houses of Popish nobles who 
were friendly to them. Unobserved, they thus carried on their 
old work.* 

To their sorrow they discovered that prince George Rakotzy 
II. was quite too decided in his adherence to the Reformed 
Church to look quietly on and leave them to themselves. He 
had just discovered that they had gained an unbounded influence 
over his mother-in-law, a zealous Roman Catholic from Poland, 
as also over his wife Sophie Bathory, and that they were begin- 
ning to influence his son, a youth of seven years. He, therefore, 
in the first place, got a list of all the Jesuits in the country, and 
in the year 1651 made short work of having them removed. 
Ferdinand III. and the King of Poland wrote to Rakotzy to in- 
duce him to allow them to remain ; but the States, assembled in 
June, declared that it was contrary to the law of the land, and 
they must remove. 

Ferdinand had something of more importance to annoy him. 
Pope Innocent X. had declared his peace with the Swedes at 
Asnabruck on the 10th January 1651 to be a godless transaction, 
and refused to sanction the bishops whom Ferdinand had ap- 

His second wife, Leopoldina, to whom he had been married 
only thirteen months, was removed by death ; and still more, his 
hopeful son, whom he had just had crowned at Ratisbon on the 
30th May 1653, as the King of Rome, under the title of Ferdi- 
nand IV., was unexpectedly taken from him. On the 9th July 
1654, the young king died of small-pox in the twenty- first year 
of his age, to the great distress of the royal family. 

With this son many of the father's plans and hopes were also 
laid in the grave. One scheme, which seemed for a long time to 
have been arranged, must now be given up. He had intended to 
abolish the office of palatine, and to govern Hungary by means 
of a deputy. To this office the archbishop Lippay would have 
* Majlath, vol. iv. p. 270. 


been appointed, who knew much better how to accommodate him- 
self to the court than did the unflinching palatine Paul Pallfy, 
who, to the great distress of the country, was so soon removed 
by death. When the king found, however, that his scheme met 
with such violent opposition at the Diet of Presburg in 1654, he 
withdrew it, and, after the old custom, proposed two Roman 
Catholics and two Protestants for the office of palatine. The 
valiant, prudent, wealthy, and amiable Roman Catholic noble- 
man, Francis Vesselenyi Hadad, was elected.* 

Before the diet proceeded to crown Ferdinand's second son, 
Leopold, the Protestants attempted once more to bring their 
complaints forward for consideration, but they were informed that 
such matters did not now belong to the diet, but must be settled 
by commissioners in each county. The miseries of this law they 
were now doomed to feel, for when the commissioners gave an 
unjust decision there was no appeal. Only one remedy was 
open — they might appeal to the king. Accordingly, on the 
16th March they laid their case before the king, with a specified 
register of their complaints and charges, together with the evi- 
dence and proofs, and begged relief. Churches, it seemed, had 
been once more taken from them, pastors and schoolmasters had 
been banished and their incomes confiscated, in spite of the laws 
of the land; the proprietors had obstinately refused building- 
ground for new churches and schools. After several weeks they 
received a reply stating, that when the diet should be closed, he 
would then examine into the matters mentioned. Another petition 
to the king met with as little attention, and, in the meantime, 
the diet decided that all confessional quarrels and complaints 
should be settled immediately after the diet. 

The Jesuits had as yet no permission to acquire landed 
property, but the king promised to use his influence that they 
might obtain the same privileges as other clergy. Accordingly, 
in the following year, under the advice and with the aid of 

* In his youth he was a Protestant of the Reformed Church, but was 
induced by Pazmany to turn to the Papists. He distinguished himself in 
the war against Rakotzy. He took the invincible castle of Murany by fall- 
ing in love with the beautiful Mary Szecsy, the proprietress, and, having 
gained her heart, he soon gained the castle too ; it was handed over to him 
after the marriage. From this time forward he made great progress in 
amassing wealth and obtaining posts of honour, till at last he became 


Archbishop Losy, they built themselves an institution in 

Shortly after the coronation of his third wife, and also of his 
second son Leopold to be King of Hungary, on the 27th June 
1655, the diet came to a close. There was, however, just now 
very little calculated to comfort the king. The Turks, under the 
guidance of their wild borderers, burned the villages and carried 
away prisoners before the treaty had come to an end, and it was 
with great difficulty that they could be quieted. There was 
also a very serious war breaking out between Casimir of Poland 
and Charles Gustavus of Sweden, who had been Duke of 
Zweibrucken, and Eakotzy II. of Transylvania was just about 
to join the latter. Being on his way to join the Swedes, Ferdi- 
nand could only raise a weak detachment to prevent him. Such 
circumstances, in the very bloom of life of the king, might well 
tend to embitter his lot. 

Besides all this came another circumstance which was to him 
fatal. Close to the room which he occupied on the 2d April 
1657 there broke out a fire, and the king, who was at the time 
sick, would not suffer himself to be carried out till he saw the 
young prince Ferdinand, then three months old, first made safe. 
A servant seized the cradle, but in the haste ran against the 
wall and broke it, while he and the child tumbled together on 
the ground. The king survived the shock only a few hours. 

If it cannot be denied that Ferdinand III. was decidedly 
opposed to the Protestants, and very strictly attached to his 
own Church and to the Jesuits who had instructed him, still we 
have had abundant evidence that he knew how to distinguish 
between the pretensions of the priests and the substance of 
religion, and in intellectual and moral powers very far surpassed 
his father. His love of justice was so great, that he often caused 
the judicial decisions which were favourable to his chamber to 
be again examined, and he often sat in the court of justice 
trying to do his utmost to favour the accused party. It was 
with much hesitation and after long delay that he usually signed 
the sentence of death, and in his whole reign he remained true to 
his motto, " The fear of God, and Justice." 

Had he not been educated by the Jesuits, had he been able to 
withdraw himself from the all-powerful influence of the clergy, 
or had he lived in more peaceful times, the respect which even 
* (Edenberg Denkwiirdigkeiten MS. 


the enemies were obliged to shew him, would have risen to 
admiration, and have grown to such a love that he might justly 
have been regarded as father of his country. This name was 
afterwards given to his successor Leopold, who for half a century 
ruled over Hungary for weal and woe. In how far he deserved 
this title, history will shew, when we consider how he treated the 
Protestants, to whom he had sworn to shew the same regard as 
to the Papists. 


LEOPOLD L, 1657-1705. 



Leopold's Education — He favours the Jesuits — The Synod at Tyrnau — Hungarian 
Diets, and Grievances of the Protestants — The Diet of 1662— The Protestant 
Deputies demand back the Churches and Schools — Petitions to the King — Specifi- 
cation of the Persecutors — Persecution in Transylvania — More Petitions — The 
Protestant Deputies leave the Diet — Its Close. 

With Leopold's reign begins the golden age of the Jesuits on 
the one side, and the gradual progressive decay of the Protestant 
Church on the other. Intended by his father, Ferdinand III., 
to be Bishop of Passau, and till the death of his brother 
Ferdinand receiving an education suitable to such expectations, 
he ascended the throne in his seventeenth year. His uncle, 
Leopold William, Bishop of Passau, guided the affairs of the 
kingdom for some time, till they went into the hands of John 
Ferdinand Portia and Wenzel Lobkowitz, both of whom stood 
as much under the influence of the Jesuits as did their monarch. 

The king had received such an education, and was endowed 
with such dispositions, as might have been an honour to a bishop, 
but were very prejudicial to a king. His attention to trifles ; 
his indolence in comprehending and resolving, and his delay in 
carrying out his resolves ; his cold and heartless disposition, and 
his blind adherence to the forms of the Romish Church, which 
he could not distinguish from the religion of Jesus, promised 
him little happiness in the government of such a land as Hungary, 
and such a people as the Hungarians. 

The Jesuits now became arrogant, and, uniting with the 
nobles of their own party, despised the laws of the land, and 


trampled on the constitution whenever the benefits of their reli- 
gion demanded it. Thus, Archbishop Lippay held a synod at 
Tyrnau, on the 2d June 1658, which was numerously attended. 
The resolutions were at first kept secret, and afterwards an attempt 
was made to deny them, but their tendency was to annihilate the 
conditions of the Peace of Vienna and Linz.* 

As the king summoned a diet to Presburg in June 1659, and 
the Protestants came forward with all the complaints which had 
been heaped up during four years, he felt himself in great diffi- 
culty, for the grand vizier, Kiuprili, was approaching with great 
force, and had devoted nearly a hundred thousand Transylvanians 
to death and imprisonment. But the Protestants ceased to 
urge their complaints so soon as the king and the Archbishop 
of Grdn pointed to the imminent danger, and promised imme- 
diately after the diet to hold a full and impartial investigation. 
The palatine informed the heads of counties of the king's 
wish, and the people were satisfied with seeing the contract 
which the king had signed on his coronation entered among 
the laws of the land, although the first article of the Peace of 
Vienna of 1608, contrary to the usual practice on such occasions, 
was not included. 

The Protestants must soon bitterly repent this generosity, for 
the period up till the next diet was three years, and these were 
memorable as days of bitter persecution and wrong. Thrice 
had they been publicly deceived, openly before the whole 
country, in the years 1649, 1655, and now in 1659. The fourth 
time, however, should not be a repetition of the same. The 
representatives of the counties, therefore, received, on their 
election to the next diet, the strictest orders not to enter into 
any other matters till the religious complaints were completely 
settled, and the Protestants had obtained all their wish. As 
they then could not immediately succeed at the diet, they 
approached the king, on the 5th June, with a petition which one 
cannot even now read without sorrow and shame, f The deputies 
of thirteen counties brought the bitterest charges against those 
u who had by violence now for many years habitually trans- 
gressed the laws of the land, and prevented the exercise of that 
toleration which the law granted." They demanded that the 
churches and the property which had been forcibly taken away 
during the last thirteen years, within the bounds of seventeen 
* Engel, 1. ii. vol. v. p. 5. f Hist. Diplom. in App., p. 106. 


counties, by fifty-three magnates, prelates, and landholders, should 
be given back, and especially the forty churches which during 
the last three years had been taken away* They give the names 
of their persecutors, and history is bound to transmit them and 
their deeds to posterity. 

The petition to the king, having set forth how the deputy- 
lieutenants of counties (vice-gespan), being Roman Catholics, 
had contrived to terrify or to weary the Protestants who came 
seeking for aid, states farther, how, in particular, Prince Paul 
Esterhazy, after obtaining permission from the Pope to marry 
his brother's daughter, had, during the sitting of the diet in 
1659, endeavoured to persuade his people in the county of (Eden- 
berg, at Frakno and Eisenstadt, and in the neighbourhood of the 
Neusiedel lake, to become Roman Catholics ; and when he did 
not succeed, how he, immediately after the diet, sent the dragoons 
to compel them. By the aid of the dragoons he took away the 
church of Shattendorf, though it was one of the ninety which 
had been restored in 1647-t Equally illegal was the conduct of 
Francis Nadasdy, who filled the office of superior judge. He 
sent Hungarian and Austrian soldiers to abuse the Protestants. 
As the soldiery came once into the village Babath, the Protestant 
inhabitants had already escaped. There was now a chase made 
after them, and every one who could be found was made a 
Romanist. At St Nicolas and Great Zinkendorff, the Protestant 
pastors were banished by the servant of Nadasdy, and the house- 
hold furniture broken in pieces. The Jesuits compelled the 
country people in crowds to join the Popish communion. As the 
wife of Stephen Kovacs positively refused, two oxen were taken 
from her husband as a punishment for her obstinacy, and they 
did not cease to annoy till she also entered the Roman Catholic 
Chinch. In the village of Szill, the same count sent a servant, 
Peter Landor, with an armed force, to demand the keys of the 
church. Having, after some time, obtained them, he had the 
bells rung to summon all into the church, as if for worship, 
and then, in spite of all the weeping and mourning, directed 
a Roman Catholic priest to administer the Lord's Supper to all 

In 1651 the same Count Nadasdy directed the keeper of the 

* David Lany in Epierisi, 1663 ; Mica Bury ; Hist. Diploni. App. 104. 
t At present there is not a single Protestant in the village. Eisenstadt, 
the residence of the prince, and Forstenau, are also completely Popish. 


forests to watch for the Protestants who went from Borgois to the 
neighbouring Protestant church in Nemesker, and when they 
were returning they were robbed of their clothes, and sent home 
naked. In his property in (Edenberg, Eisenberg, and Neutra, 
he had more or less annoyed about two hundred Protestant 
churches, for which feats he became the darling of the Jesuits 
at the court of Vienna. But they either could not, or would 
not, shortly after, save him from the scaffold. When he had 
mounted the scaffold, he is reported to have said, " The Lord is 
just in all his ways," which the Protestants understood as an 
expression of repentance for his desertion of the faith of his 
youth ; the Papists, however, understood it as a consent to the 
justice of the punishment he was about to receive for his 

In Eisenberg county, and in the village of Wippendorf, Count 
George Erdody not only turned the Protestant pastor out of his 
house in the dead of winter, and threw his household furniture 
on the streets, but lie also made up a list of the Protestants on 
the estate, and informed them that unless they tinned to the 
Popish Church, they should be all banished, and none should 
take with him more than four florins for his journey. As this 
threatening did not produce the desired effect, he billeted on 
them the soldiers of Wallachia — the European Indians ; and in 
cases where that was not sufficient, he imprisoned them in his 
castle, till, worn and weary, they could resist no longer, and fell 
a prey to the Church. It is so much easier, in an hour of enthu- 
siasm, to make great sacrifices and endure much suffering, than 
to resist the long- continued vexations which weary the spirit 
and drive to the performance of actions which the heart abhors ; 
we therefore have need of the daily prayer, " O Lord, strengthen 
our faith." If the Lord do not keep the fire burning within us, 
it must soon expire. 

With cunning calculation the Jesuits carried on their work. 
In the village Xeusiedel, in the county of the Wieselburg, the 
landlords John and George Lippay ordered all the Protestants to 
attend the Church of Rome, and fined them in forty florins for 
every neglect. Protestant widows were not suffered to marry 
again. At funerals no hymn or psalm dared to be sung. The 
Protestants could hold no public office, and those who were 
already in office were dismissed. The pastor of a neighbouring 
* Joann. Bethlen con. ejus setatis 1670. 


village, Gols, was threatened with death if he should venture to 
shew himself at Neusiedel. 

In Raab the corporate trades admitted no more Protestants ; 
so that, without forsaking then religion, they could not become 
carpenters, or shoemakers, or tailors, or cloth-workers, or enter 
any guild. Archbishop Lippay, very shortly before his death, 
ejected all the Protestants from the village Balvany-Szakalos, 
and filled up their place with Eomanists. In Apaezu-Szakalos, 
the Presburg nuns, as proprietresses, forbade the exercise of Pro- 
testant worship, and threatened heavy punishments on those who 
attended the preaching of the gospel. 

In the county of Trentshin, Count Francis Revay adopted 
similar measures in Irnowv, Yissnyowo, and Bissitz. In the 
same county, the Jesuits took possession of the chapels of ease at 
Liborza and Szamarosz, which belonged to the Protestant con- 
gregation at Xemsowa and Trentshin, and compelled them to 
join the Romanists. In like manner, in the village Piecho, 
they threw the principal inhabitants for five weeks into prison in 
the Abbey of Skalka. The Bishop of Xeurra. who was also im- 
perial chancellor, George Szelepcsenyi, imprisoned the Protestants 
in Telso-Drietowa, in Dobrastow, and Isselnik, till they abjured 
their faith. In like manner did the widow of Paul Serenyi 
oblige the Protestants of Zablath and Eiba to separate from the 
church at Trentshin. The brothers George and Gabriel Illeshazy, 
whose evangelical father died in 1648, had their day of persecu- 
tion ; but it did not continue long, for George died in poverty in 
Moravia, and Gabriel, after tasting of the sweets of persecution 
for nearly a year, and regaling himself with the tears and sighing 
of the afflicted, could resist the entreaties of his wife and the 
powerful representations of her chaplain, Stephen Pilarick, no 
longer, but turned back to the evangelical church, and remained 
faithful till death. 

It was this same Stephen Pilarick who had been tinned out of 
Beczko by a military escort sent from Count Francis Xadasdy, 
and all his books had been brought to the castle of Cseithe ; the 
count here ordered a fire to be made in the castle, and all the 
property and books of the pastor, with the exception of his 
official gown, to be thrown into the lire : the Bible was put on a 
spit and turned round before the fire, while lie and some of his 
court stood by enjoying the spectacle. By some sudden blast 
several leaves of the Bible were blown about in the hall, and one 


was driven directly towards the count's breast ; Baron Ladislaus 
Revay caught at it, but it was seized out of his hand by the 
count, who began to read. It happened to be a portion of the 
fortieth chapter of Isaiah, and the first words he read were these, 
— " The grass withereth, the flower fadeth, but the word of our 
God shall stand for ever." The Count Nadasdy, turning pale, 
rose immediately and retired, and, when he was leaving the hall, 
the court fool cried after him, " How shall you feel, Sir Count, 
when the devils are roasting you on a spit in hell ? " * 

In Wartberg, Felso-Szeli, Nagyszegh, Vesekeny, and Mish- 
dorf, the churches were taken away about the same time. In 
the last mentioned the soldiers broke into the church, with drawn 
swords, during the ti.ne of divine service ; they barricaded the 
doors till the mass was celebrated, and thus was the congrega- 
tion " made Catholic " — mass had been read in their presence, 
and, therefore, the church and the congregation belonged to the 
Papists. Such was the reasoning, and it followed, as a matter 
of course, that the Protestant pastor was no more required. 
What matter did it make if he was sick ? The best treatment 
was to throw him out on the streets ! 

In Neustadt, on the Waag, the church which the Protestants 
had built was destroyed to the very foundation ; the organ and 
the bells were carried away to the prior ; the monuments on the 
graves were shattered. In the county of Neutra, the churches of 
Great Kosstolan, Portole, Cseithe, Verbo, Brezova, Mijawah, 
Vagyoes, Kraine, Botfalu, Krusso, and Bari, were handed over 
to the Papists, who compelled the worshippers to take the wafer, 
while the evangelical preachers were all banished. On this occa- 
sion, in Mijawah, it occurred that a peasant cried out in the 
church, " I swear by the living God, that if you thrust the wafer 
into my mouth, I will bite off your fingers."f 

In Baimocs, Francisca Kayn, the widow of palatine Pallfy, 
drove the superintendent, Martin Tarnoczy, out of Privigyi; 
George Graff and his assistant, Philipp Koberling, from Nemet 
Proua ; the rector, Andrew Zaskalik, from Koss ; Martin Novak 
and Andrew Eeichel, from Gaydel ; and took away, besides, 
the churches in which these men laboured, and many others. 

In Szerdahely, on the Waag, the Jesuits took the church, 
schoolhouse, and manse, for their own use ; turned the pastor 
and his family out of doors ; and though the pastor's wife was 
* Mica Bury MS. t Ibid. 


sick, yet they were not allowed to remain a single night in their 
own house, nor in the village. 

In Deaki, the Arch-abbot of St Martensbrag, Andrew Placidus, 
ordered the Protestant preacher to be whipped and turned out of 
his dwelling, and then oppressed the people till they shewed no 
more resistance. 

In Sellye, a company of Papists with flags and drums appeared 
before the dwelling of George Kassotis, the pastor ; dragged him, 
with all that he had, over the borders of the county ; destroyed 
the church which the Protestants had built for themselves ; 
billeted a hundred soldiers on the evangelical inhabitants, to 
prepare them for receiving the Romish ceremonies; and stole 
the three hundred dollars which the wife of Rakotzy the elder 
had given them, and which was at that time in the hands 
of the pastor. The church at Holitsh was, by order of the 
Bishop of Vesprin and Count Adam Czobor, levelled to the 
very ground. 

We proceed to extract from this petition to the king. It 
goes on to say, — " In the county of Gomor, Nicolas Andrassy 
and George Lippay were the most furious persecutors. The 
former banished the preachers from Olah, Patak, and Bethler, 
and put Popish priests in their places,- the latter did the same 
in Pelsocs, Czetnek, and Rossnobanya, and in the villages 
Berzetin, Also-Sajo, Gatzalfalva, and Ochtina; he allowed the 
emoluments of the preachers to be taken away ; the tithes were 
taken from them, and any grain which they had in store the 
archbishop applied to his own use."* 

Similar scenes of cruelty occurred also in Transylvania, and 
in that part of Hungary which was chiefly connected with the 
Reformed Church, and which under Rakotzy had enjoyed such 
days of glorious peace. So soon as Rakotzy died of his wounds, 
in 1660, his widow, Sophie Bathory, declared that she had 
joined the Reformed Church only in outward appearance, and had 
remained ever faithful to Rome. In spite of the father's care, 
she had trained her son Francis to be a Papist, and now all the 
Protestant subjects were placed at the mercy of the priests.f 

She took away the churches of the Reformed congregations by 
force, drew the schools and their revenues to herself, and avail- 
ing herself of her feudal rights, she converted her subjects to the 

* Acts of the Diet, 1662. Hist. Diplom. C in Appendix, p. 104. 
t Karalyi, Munor. Eccl. torn. ii. p. 261. 


Popish communion by the powerful argumentum ad baculum* 
A terrible storm was gathering, and was for the present averted 
by Rakotzy's brother-in-law restoring much of what had been 
taken violently away, putting a stop to farther injustice, paying 
a thousand ducats for damage already done, and promising 
redress at the approaching diet. This diet had now assembled, 
and the cry of the Protestants was sufficiently loud. Their com- 
plaints were specific, and supported by evidence, so that they had 
the firmest confidence that Leopold would afford assistance. 
Not till the 11th of June did the king give any reply, and then, 
through the minister, Prince Portia, informed the petitioners that 
u they should not annoy the king with such complaints at the 
diet, there was something more important to be done ; and for 
all these complaints in matters of religion the law had already 
made full provision, and appointed the proper punishment for 
each transgression." 

The astonished and distressed Protestants did not think that 
they ought to allow the matter to rest. Accordingly, on the 
following day they presented, through Ezekiel Gorgey, a 
petition, couched in strong language, but breathing loyalty and 
submission. They beg that the matter may not be regarded as a 
private affair. They quote the Treaty of Linz, and refer to the fact 
that not a single legal sentence has been pronounced against any of 
their persecutors, even when notoriously guilty ; and still more, 
if a sentence were pronounced, no one could be found to execute 
it. The Bishop of Neutra had carried his rage for making 
proselytes so far, that if any one joined the Popish Church, he 
should be entirely free from taxes for ten full years. He had 
threatened the magnates, who were less severe against the Pro- 
testants, with punishment, and, only a few days before, had 
again arrested a preacher, who had been set free from prison, and 
had thrown him into chains. When some parties applied in his 
favour, the bishop informed them they were pleading in favour 
of a robber ! Count George Illyeshazy had thrown John Vitz- 
ranswitz, a gospel minister, into a prison in Moravia in another 
county, and, notwithstanding the command of the palatine, had 
refused to let him go free. 

On the 4th of July, consequently, after three full weeks, there 
came a sealed paper out of the king's cabinet, with the following 

* Verbis et Verberibus, Hist. Diplom. App., pp. 120-123 ; Instancia ad 
Leopold, 1662. 



address : — u To the faithful members of the evangelical confes- 
sion assembled at the diet." 

As the palatine, Vesselenyi, handed over the paper to the Pro- 
testants, he made the manly and noble confession, u I had rather 
that the funeral-knell had tolled over me, than live to see this 
day; may the day and the hour be covered with eternal dark- 
ness." * 

When the Protestants saw that they were about to be de- 
prived of their political rights, they handed back the paper to the 
chancellor without opening it, till such time as the address 
should be corrected. When the paper was opened, it was 
discovered that they had gained nothing. They begged an 
audience of the king, and on the 8th of July, appearing at the 
foot of the throne, George Berenyi handed in their third appeal 
for redress. 

Here they recount all the ills borne since 1659, and accuse 
the supreme judge of the land, Francis Nadasdy, and Bishop 
George Szelepcsenyi, of injustice and cruelty. It did not occur 
to them to suppose that the king had ordered all these acts, still 
they were done in the king's name, and the diet was no court of 
appeal, for the Protestants were deprived of all legal means of 
entering the court. The king should also bear in mind that 
though the diet consists of four factors, still, in religious matters, 
only of two — the Protestants and Roman Catholics. All was of 
no avail. And not only so, but even while the diet was still 
sitting, Nicolas Mailath, the director of the royal domains, ven- 
tured to prohibit the Protestants of Presburg from building a 
church spire, and attempted to exclude them from the use of the 

On the 14th July, Portia gave a verbal reply to the deputies, 
informing them " it was not in the power of his Majesty to 
arrange this disputed point, and to settle these misunderstand- 
ings, otherwise than had been already done ; and his Majesty 
advises them to give over these private matters, and turn their 
attention to the public affairs of the state." 

Their patience was not yet exhausted, and on the 24th July 
they presented, through George Berenyi, their fourth memorial, 
renewing their former requests. As an attempt was now made 
to divide the Protestant interests, the Protestant deputies held a 
meeting, resolving, in the spirit of the instructions given at the 
* Fessler, vol. ix. p. 110. 


election, to enter on no other business till this was settled. They 
therefore resolved to approach the king for the last time- 
On the 31st July the memorial was read over in a full meet- 
ing, and on the 2d August they had an audience with his 
Majesty. Among those who appeared before the king, were 
Andrew Sze'kely, John Osslik, Balik, Feja, and Splenyi. Leopold 
read the petition, and replied immediately, " Your good wishes 
for our prosperity we gratefully accept. While we have already 
given our reply to your alleged grievances through our minister 
Portia, we had hoped you would have been satisfied, and have 
turned your attention to public business ; and even now we expect 
still from you, that you immediately proceed to consider the 
affairs of the state, and you shall always find us prepared to pay 
every due attention to your wishes." 

Eight days after, the Protestant deputies received a written 
reply of the very same import, and, still unwearied, they approached 
the heartless Leopold once more, being now the sixth time. 
Through his Jesuitical principles, he remained, however, perfectly 
unmoved : they received the same answer. 

In sorrow they now met together to consult over the state of the 
Church, the result of which was, that they sent a deputation to 
the palatine, to request that he might intercede for them with the 
king, and they then waited in patience till the 24th August. 
"When it appeared that the palatine was doing nothing, another 
meeting was summoned, at which many Roman Catholics 
attended, and the resolution was adopted to leave the diet. A 
large deputation, including the Roman Catholics, John Ebesky, 
Francis Cziesery, and Nicolas Michalek, and the Protestant 
deputies of the towns of QEdenberg, Eperjes, and Trentshin, com- 
municated this resolution to the astonished palatine, Vesselenyi, 
who begged them not to take this step, and he would do his 
utmost in their favour. They waited patiently till the 29th. 
The palatine now brought them the information that the king 
would not alter his decision ; he was, however, ready to give 
them every assistance in obtaining justice, but he must refuse 
them permission to leave the diet. Such a mockery of their 
rights was not to be borne, and on the 1st September they com- 
municated to the palatine then* firm resolution to leave on the 
following day. 

Vesselenyi begged them by all the seven sacraments to change 
their resolution; but they replied that they had begged, for the 


sake of the mercy of Grod, and for the sake of the blood of Jesus 
shed on the cross, that their Church should be protected from 
injustice, and yet all in vain ; and now the seven sacraments were 
not likely to alter their decision. 

In vain were now the threatenings of Nicolas Mailath ; in vain 
did he follow single deputies to their homes. Early on the morn- 
ing of the 2d September the Protestant deputies left Presburg. 
It was a decisive step, but their patience had been sorely tried, 
and there remained nothing else to do. The palatine sent his 
attorney-general, Dukovitz, to call them back — but it was too 

The deputies who remained continued their deliberations, and 
on the 19th September the diet was closed. The Fifty-five 
Articles received the royal sanction, but the committee of the 
thirteen counties of Upper Hungary, assembled at Zemplin, sent 
them back again to the king with the remark, u that these reso- 
lutions were of no avail while the Protestant States had not con- 
sented to them." The priests replied that, in this case, all the 
treaties which had been made with the Protestants, and all the 
statutes by which the Protestants had obtained exemption from 
the original penal decrees, were equally powerless, for the Popish 
clergy had protested against them all. The force of this argu- 
ment disappears, when it is considered that these latter decrees 
were all made in the ordinary course of debate in a full assembly ; 
that the priests generally gave in their protest when they knew 
there was no danger ; and between the priests, as a caste, and the 
Protestant States, as such, there was a very marked difference. 



Effect of the Departure of the Protestant Deputies on the Patriots — Their Dissatisfaction 
— Diet of Neusohl — Leopold and the Divan — Attempt to Poison the King — The 
Procurator of the Jesuits disappears — Paris von Spantkaw — Imprisonments — The 
Malcontents in K ash aw — Assembly at Neusohl — Trial and punishment of the 
Insurgents — Nicolas Drabicius — Renewed Persecutions — Presburg — Its banished 
Clergy — A new Insurrection crushed — Persecution still continues — The Archbishop 
resigns his Viceroyalty. 

The step which the Protestant deputies had taken was one 
to which they were compelled ; as conscientious men having 
received instructions at their election, they could not act other- 
wise. And perhaps the patriots saw with pleasure the breach 
which was taking place between the country and the court, for 
the oppression of the German soldiers who were billeted on the 
country was so heavy, that the Hungarians gladly sought oppor- 
tunity of being freed from them. 

On the 24th August there had been a deputation sent to the 
palatine, to demand from the king the removal of the German 
troops. No request could have been less welcome to Leopold. 
By promises and by the arts of the privy council he managed to 
decline granting the request, and the threatening position which 
the Turks had taken up furnished him with sufficient pretext. 

It was, therefore, not only the Protestants but also the patriotic 
Hungarians who had left the diet with discontent; and their dis- 
satisfaction soon rose to wrath when they saw Leopold supported 
by John Kemeny in the war with the Turkish protege, ApafTy, — 
reducing the country to the very brink of destruction ; but their 
indignation knew no bounds when, after the defeat of the Turks 
at St Gothard in 1664, a peace was concluded by Portia, without 
the knowledge or co-operation of the Hungarians, in such terms 
as to bring disgrace and misfortune on the country. 

Many formed the resolution to shake off the Austrian yoke. 


In the meantime came the Diet of ISTeusohl in 1667, and here, 
instead of seeking a legitimate pacification of the country, 
Leopold was closely occupied with, the councillors, and especially 
with Leslie, a Roman Catholic nobleman who had been banished 
out of Scotland, in persuading the Divan to withdraw its protection 
from ApafTy the Calvinistic Prince of Transylvania, and to put 
in his place Francis Rakotzy, who was now become Roman 

The corn-tiers at Vienna had said that the Hungarians must 
have their heron's feathers plucked off, their gold and silver 
buttons changed to lead, be dressed in the Bohemian coat,f and 
have their pride humbled ; and, as usual, this was repeated again 
in the hearing of those whom it concerned. 

When, therefore, contrary to all constitutional rights and cus- 
toms, at the Diet of Neusohl, two foreign counts, Rothsal and 
Heister, holding a commission in the imperial army, presumed 
to take the precedence, the palatine and the Hungarian magnates 
were so much offended, that the foundation was laid for a con- 
spiracy to rebellion, which shortly broke out. 

The leaders in this conspiracy were the palatine, Vesselenyi, 
who, however, soon died ; Count Francis Nadasdy, Nicolas and 
Peter Zwinyi, Francis Rakotzy, and Botskay, who were well 
known as the bitterest persecutors of the Protestants ; and yet 
many of the latter joined the plot too. When now that attempt 
was made to poison Leopold, and it was only Francis Barri, a 
knight of Milan, who informed the king and saved him from 
certain death, though the whole transaction is enveloped in 
mystery, yet the Jesuits took the opportunity of turning it to 
account for the sake of persecuting the Protestants. After cast- 
ing the deliverer of the king into prison for life, because he was 
supposed to entertain heretical opinions, and after causing the 
procurator of the Jesuits — who was deeply involved in the 
poisoning affair — to disappear so as never to be again heard of, 
they sent Paris Spantkaw to Leutshaw, as commander-in-chief 
or military governor of the thirteen counties of Upper Hungary. 
He threw many of the Hungarians into prison, especially Pro- 
testant pastors, but the leaders of the conspiracy had fled, partly 
with Botskay to Marmaros, and partly to Apaffy in Tran- 

The bitterest persecution now began. The evidence which 

* John Buihlen, C. C, p. 259. t A coarse homespun dress. 


proved any one to be a Protestant, was reckoned sufficient to 
prove him also to be a rebel.* As the design was to root out 
the Protestant religion, it was found particularly desirable to 
make attacks on the churches and schoolhouses. The pretence 
under which these sworn foes of Protestantism took possession 
of the church of Scliemnitz, throws some light on their proceed- 
ings. The daughter of Julius Lansee, a member of the Pro- 
testant Church, had formed an attachment to a clerk in the 
mines, of the name of Glantshick, a Roman Catholic, but her 
parents, friends, and pastor, opposed the match. The Jesuits 
laid an accusation against the friends of the bride before the 
Senate of Schemnitz ; and the evangelical pastors, John Nindish, 
Godfrey Titius, Christopher Hofstetter, and Isaiah Pilarik, were 
summoned before the archbishop, Szelepcse'nyi, to Tyrnau, to 
answer the charges. As the court was incompetent to summon 
or to deal with Protestant pastors, who were completely inde- 
pendent of the bishop, they did not appear, and were accordingly 
heavily fmed.f As they shewed no inclination to pay the fine, 
the archbishop seized the church, with all that belonged to it, 
and, surrounding it with cannon, he handed it over to the Roman 
Catholics, i 

The excitement still continued in Hungary, but the prospects 
were becoming gradually darker. Count Francis Vessel&ryi, 
who had remained faithful to his king till 1665, and who then, 
by the persuasions of his ambitious wife, had become the leader 
of the conspiracy against Leopold, died in 1667 ; and Lippay 
had died in January 1666. Notwithstanding the great hatred 
which the latter bore to Protestantism, he had sufficient patriot- 
ism to protest against Leopold's measures with such earnestness 
as to lose the royal favour. Another great loss to Hungary, was 
the death of Nicolas Zwinyi, who met with his death from a 
wounded boar while hunting. 

Count Peter Zwinyi now took the place of the palatine, as 
leader of the malcontents. He was a man of unbounded ambi- 
tion, but without talent or firmness sufficient to fill that dangerous 
post, and little confidence could be placed in his wisdom. Still 

* Fessler, vol. ix. t Mica Bury MS. 

X This transaction occurred loth February 1669, consequently before 
the capture of the Castle of Murany. As they had then no plea on account 
of the conspiracy, they adopted this plea of marriage to take away the 
church. > 


less worthy of confidence was Prince Francis Rakotzy, a man 
who regarded every religion with equal indifference. And if he, 
by his imprudence and fickleness, injured the cause which he 
joined, still more did his brother-in-law, Francis Frangepani, by 
his inordinate passions. Count Francis ISTadasdy, the Hungarian 
Croesus, was also on the side of the malcontents, but his position 
was not very well understood, as he still shewed himself such a 
friend of half measures. Count Erasmus Tattenbach, governor 
of Styria, was gained over to the Murany League hy his wife, 
the Countess Forgacs, and having received promises of lands, he 
advanced the cause in secret. 

The malcontents had been treating with the Prince of Tran- 
sylvania, with the grand vizier, who was then busy in Candia, 
and directly with the Divan, long before Leopold dreamt of any 
danger, and while he was still reckoning Zwinyi and Nadasdy 
among his faithful adherents. At length Panajot, the interpreter 
of the grand vizier, on the 12th June 1667, informed the 
Cabinet of Vienna of the plot, without, however, being able to 
name the conspirators. 

Leopold was terrified, and resolved to try milder measures. 
He promised to summon a diet ; he entered into treaty with 
the Prince of Transylvania ; he summoned a meeting in. March 
1670, at Neusohl, of such as possessed his confidence, to 
examine the state of the country, and relieve it, if possible, 
from political and religious oppression. Among his deputies 
were the Archbishop of Gran, Tzelepcsenyi, Nadasdy, Zichy, 
and Count Adam Forgacs. Partly because their instructions 
were insufficient, partly because they had no mutual confidence, 
little progress was made. 

Just at this time the Court obtained unexpectedly the desired 
information respecting the whole plot. In the year 1670, 
Charles of Lotringia surrounded the Castle of Murany, which 
he regarded as the centre of the conspiracy, and the widow of 
Vesselenyi, who now lost all courage, surrendered herself and 
her papers into his hands, to be dealt with according to the 
mercy of the sovereign. The countess was brought to Vienna 
under arrest, but treated as became her rank, while Peter 
Zwinyi and Frangepani broke out immediately into open hosti- 
lities in Croatia, and Francis Rakotzy in Upper Hungary.* 

Now came the misfortunes. Count Tattenbach was betrayed 
* John of Hormaye, Hist, of Vienna, vol. iv. part iii. p. 125. 


by a servant whom he had delivered over to be punished for 
theft. Zwinyi and Frangepani, who had been surrounded by 
General Spantkaw, escaped, and being betrayed by John Kery, 
at whose house they stopped, they were imprisoned in the new 
town of Vienna. Francis Nadasdy was taken out of his castle 
Pottendorf, on the borders of Hungary, in the night of the 3d 
September, and conveyed to the Landhaus of Vienna. Tokolyi 
was besieged by General Heister, in his castle of Arva, and 
died during the siege, so that, on the surrender, only his three 
daughters were found, who were taken to Vienna, and made 
Papists. The son, dressed as a peasant girl, escaped to Transyl- 
vania. Count Francis Csdky died a natural death towards the 
close of the year. 

The trial of the prisoners then began. Contrary to the coro- 
nation oath, the king chose exclusively foreigners to be judges, 
and not a single Hungarian, in this very weighty cause.* On 
the 30th day of March 1671, the trial was ended, and on the 
30th April N&dasdy was executed. His body was preserved in 
Lockenhaus, in Eisenberg county, where it lies to this day, 
with the beard and hair of the head in full preservation. Four 
millions of florins were found in his castle, in hard coin. 
Zwinyi and Frangepani died at the same time, on another 
scaffold, but not till after the rope had broken twice. Tatten- 
bach was not executed till December. All the property was 
confiscated, and the king ordered two thousand masses to be 
read for their souls, out of the proceeds of the confiscated pro- 

None but the young Rdkotzy escaped. He had fled to 
Transylvania, and his mother paid well for the mercy which 
she obtained. She sent to the cabinet forty-five thousand 
florins, and large sums to private parties about court; the 
Jesuits obtained a splendid gymnasium in Kashaw, and many 
of Rakotzy's best castles were handed over to German troops. 

Many of the nobility were involved in this conspiracy, and 
there was a special court of assize held at Presburg to have 
them tried. In this court, the archbishop as governor, Count 
Rottel as president, General Heister, and other noblemen who 
were completely submissive to the king, acted as judges. It 
was here resolved to confiscate the property of Vesselenyi, 
Csaky, Tokolyi, Michael Bori, Stephen Vittnyedi, and Andrew 
* Engel, vol. v. p. 63 ; Fessler, 1. c. vol. ix. p. 197. 


Dobay. Some of these escaped to Transylvania or Poland.* 
Still, about three hundred, chiefly Protestant nobles, were 
brought to trial, and condemned to different punishments, some 
to death, f In Presburg alone there were thirty-five distin- 
guished men brought to trial, and some of them died on the 
scaffold. Among these were Nagy of Fuged, and Francis 
Bonis of Toleswa, who, in the hope of obtaining favour through 
the Jesuits, sold their faith, and were then left by these 
promise-breakers to meet their fate. 

One of the most painful scenes was the execution of an old 
man of eighty-four years, whose case we must here notice more 
minutely. On the 4th of July 1671, in the 878th sitting of the 
court, the case of Nicolas Drabik or Drabicius was called. He 
was a native of Moravia, and in consequence of the persecutions 
in 1629, he had fled to Hungary. He belonged to the Moravian 
Brethren, and had with difficulty supported himself by dealing 
in a small way in woollen wares : he still cherished the hope of 
returning to close his days in his native land. Entirely destitute 
of 'learning r , and knowing no other than the Bohemian language, 
he fancied himself enlightened by the Spirit of God to see into 
futurity, and he wrote a book full of prophecies of ill against 
the house of Austria. \ He called the two Ferdinands and 
Leopold covenant-breakers ; the house of Austria the house of 
Ahab, a cruel, perjured house, which ought to be rooted out ; he 
prophesied to the Catholics a speedy and utter desolation. 

This man was' brought on a cart to be tried before the court 
at Presburg. In consequence of age he was very weak, but, 
not at all daunted, he took a seat near the Count Eottel, who 
understood Bohemian. After a little he had no other place to 
sit on than the ground. 

When the archbishop asked him whether he were the false 
prophet, he replied that he could not properly be called such. 
He acknowledged the book Light out of Darkness to be his ; and 
when the archbishop asked by whose orders and for what purpose 
he had written the book, he replied, " At the command of the 
Holy Spirit." " You lie," said the archbishop, " the book is 

* Engel, 1. c. vol. v. p. 67. 

t Wreisburg Kirch ii. Vihiil. snwl. p. 219, MS. 

% The book was translated by John Amos Comeriius, out of the original 
Bohemian into Latin, and was printed at Amsterdam in 1665, in folio, under 
the title, " Lux e Tenebris novis radiis an eta." 


from the devil." " In this you lie," said Drabik, unmindful of 
consequences. The examiners inquired what his belief was, 
and he repeated the whole Athanasian Creed, asking the bishop 
at the close, " And what do you believe? " u I believe all that, 
and a great deal more which is also necessary." " You don't 
believe any such thing," said Drabicius ; " you believe in your 
cows and horses and your estates." 

On the 16th July he was executed. His right hand was first 
to be cut off, then his head ; the tongue was to be taken out and 
nailed to a post, and his writings burned in the market-place 
together with his body. Some say that the tongue was torn out 
while he was still alive. 

The Jesuits boast that they succeeded in converting him 
before his death. The real state of the case, however, was this. 
After many attempts had been made in vain to shake the old 
man's faith, at length the Jesuit Peter Kubey or Kubmey suc- 
ceeded in gaining his confidence so far, that in a moment of 
weakness he yielded, and on the 4th of July did actually join 
the Popish Church. What prevailed with him seems to have been 
the promise of liberty ; he should be set completely at liberty, said 
the Jesuit pater, and should have a conveyance to take him back 
to his native land to die there in peace. So soon as he discovered 
that he had been deceived, the vile deed that he had committed 
stood in all its horror before him, he was deeply ashamed of 
his cowardice, and exclaimed, that he would die in the faith in 
which he had lived, and which he had only for a few moments 

The foes of the Protestants — and after them Lampe and 
Fessler — represented him as a Protestant pastor. His name 
stands, however, on none of the lists. It was an invention to 
blacken the character of the Protestant clergy, and represent the 
rebellion as proceeding from them, that there might be some 
pretext for exhibiting the most disagreeable spectacle which the 
abuse of power, under the name of religion, ever manifested. 
Respectable and influential men wrote the charges without giving 
any evidence or having any proofs. Examples may be seen in 
Francis Wagner the biographer of Leopold, in Damiani the canon 
of Waitzen, and lately in the bigoted bishop Alexius Jordansky, 
as well as the notorious Hohenegger, who sets all historical truth 
at defiance. 

Many Roman Catholics assert that the rebellion arose from 


taking away the revenues of the Calvinistic College of Saros- 
patak and of other Protestant preachers. Had it been so, then 
only the members of that confession should have been punished, 
but five times as many of the members of the Lutheran Church 
suffered. And if it was an affair of the clergy, why then should 
the congregations and the churches be attacked also? Where 
the punishment is not adapted to the crime, it is tyranny. 
Where the transgression of civil laws is punished with the de- 
privation of religious liberty, the civil authorities become then 
rebels against God, while they usurp a power which the Most 
High has never delegated. to man. Black is the crime and 
heavy the guilt of the Popish Church in Hungary in this respect. 
The plan of the Jesuits and their friends was quite clear ; they 
wished to be faithful to their oath, and accordingly, by any means 
whatever, utterly extinguish the Protestant Church. 

To this end the Prior of Zips, George Barshony, wrote a book 
entitled Truth laid before the whole World, in which he taught 
that the king was under no obligation to tolerate the Protestant 
sects. His reasons were, that the Peace of Vienna was made 
under circumstances which take away all obligations ; that the 
Protestants had themselves broken the treaty; that one of the 
constituent parts of the state, namely, the higher clergy, had not 
agreed to the terms ; and, lastly, the Lutherans and Calvinists 
did not hold firm by their original confession. 

The Protestants soon answered this work in a satisfactory 
manner ; but the persecutions went on, and, as the Protestants 
enjoyed the most protection in the royal free cities, under magis- 
trates chosen by themselves, it was against these cities that the 
principal efforts were directed. 

In Upper Hungary, the Archbishops of Gran and Kalatsha, 
Szelepcsenyi and Szechenyi, as also the president of the chamber, 
Count Leopold Kollonitz, the titular bishops George Barshony 
and Francis Szegedy, accompanied by Jesuits and dragoons, 
passed over the land, and wherever they appeared the knell of 
religious freedom tolled. Thus, in 1671, by the help of General 
Spantkaw, the bishop took possession of the Protestant church of 
Kashaw after breaking the doors, and, on a warrant signed by 
Count Volkru, the Popish president of the chamber at Zips, the 
six Protestant clergy, superintendent Michael Liefmann, Adam 
Kiss, Christian Ekkard, Adam Pitto, Stephen Koszeghy, and 
George Fisher, were thrown into prison. And this happened 


notwithstanding that the city Kashaw had, in 1670, readily 
opened the gates to the imperial troops, and had received the 
assurance that their liberty of faith and worship should be 

In Xeusohl the Scotch Papist and refugee Count Walter Leslie 
arrived at midnight on the 18th November 1671, and surrounded 
the castle, of which the Protestant church was a part, and where 
the three pastors resided. By the help of ladders he took pos- 
session of the chinch, and sent the German pastors away. On 
the 2d February following, the Slavonian church was also seized. 

The Archbishop of Gran, as proprietor of Bozok, summoned 
George Zabonyik, the pastor of the church, who was also super- 
intendent of three counties, Sol, Honte, and Thurotz ; and after 
bringing him to his table and calling him sometimes a heretic 
and a deceiver, sometimes a worthless person; then changing 
the tone, promising him great kindness, and calling him a brother, 
— when all this could not draw him over to Popery, he was 
handed to a secretary, who was ordered to drive him out of his 

Zabonyik died of grief, shortly after, at Karpfen, where Anna 
Ujfalusy had taken him into her house. A short time previously 
had Jeremiah Lucius, pastor of Schemnitz — whose son we shall 
soon meet in exile, and who had been twice banished from his 
parish — gone to the Father, there to wait till all the brethren 
who should witness for the truth should also be brought to rest 
with him under the altar, and to cry, " How long, O Lord, holy 
and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them 
that dwell on the earth? " 

After the churches in Trentshin and those of both confessions 
in Skalitz had been taken away, the turn came to Tyrnau and 
Sclmtt-Somerain on the 16th January 1672, where, by orders 
from Count Pallfy, the clergy of both confessions must imme- 
diately leave. 

At Bartfeld, on the 20th April, the Abbot Stephen Koloovari 
tried his fortune at this new game ; and being successful, he con- 
tinued his tour, under the pretence of church visitation, so far as 
Eperjes. Having met with no assistance from Melchior Hutter 
the military commander, after two attempts in May and June he 
desisted. In his place came the more experienced Szegedy , Bishop 
of Erlau, who on the 6th July broke open the door, under the 
pretext that the church had been built by Roman Catholics. 


Four Protestant pastors, the college with ten professors, and two 
churches, were lost to the Protestants, and four hundred stu- 
dents were turned out of the town. 

In the counties Barsod, Gomor, Tama, Saros, Abuivar, and 
Zemplin, the Archbishop of Kolotsha, supported by German 
dragoons, travelled round and took possession of the churches, 
Szanto, Tallya, Mada, Tokay, Keresztur, and Liska. In the two 
counties of Thurotz and Liptau, in the year 1672, Captain Lamb (!), 
accompanied by Popish priests and soldiers, took possession of 
above thirty Protestant churches in the course of one year. 

Bishop George Barshony took possession of the Protestant 
churches, Sprendorf, Smegen, Eisdorf, Slagendorf, Muhlenbach, 
Hunsdorf, St Andrew's, Great Lomnitz, and Botsdorf, lying in 
Zips, and he consecrated them to be Popish churches, sending 
pastors and teachers to beg their bread in the wide world, while 
he earned and received the highest praise from the Pope and 
from all his own party. Accompanied by his brother, and 
followed by some hundreds of wild Croatians, thirsting for 
heretics' blood, he now set out for Neutra. They arrived in 
July, prepared to visit the strong Protestant congregations of 
Pritszod, Szenitz, Szobotistye, Turaluku, and Mijava. They 
did their utmost to obtain possession of the churches, to banish 
the pastors, and appoint in their place Popish priests, but the 
inhabitants insisted that the king had given no orders to this 
effect. As they then proceeded to use force, they met quite 
unexpectedly with resistance. On the 14th July, in Mijava, it 
came to blows. The bishop and his followers began to force 
their way ; the country people, a strong race of men, resisted. 
The Croats fired, and two peasants fell deadly wounded. The 
peasants were enraged, and after having shot the brother of the 
bishop, they attacked himself with flails, and should certainly 
have killed him, had not the Protestant pastor, Daniel Kirmann, 
the father of the distinguished superintendent of that name, 
rushed in and saved him. 

Matters went worse in Szenitz the next year, where Count 
Valentine Balassa, Count Leopold Kollonitz, and John Majtheni, 
had, in 1671, in vain attempted to take possession of the church. 
The pastor was obliged to leave his place, and he found a home 
and protection at the house of Count Christopher Kollonitz, the 
nephew of his persecutor, and also with Baron Matthew Ostrosith 
in St John's. 


In his absence, his library was taken and committed to the 
flames. After a procession in June 1673, some Popish nobles 
and soldiers, encouraged by the revenue officer, Stephen Har- 
vath, attempted to force their way into the Protestant church. 
The Protestants assembled round the church, and drove them 
back till they sought for shelter in the dwelling of the Roman 
Catholic priest. There happened to be a fair in the village that 
day, and the people, inflamed with drink, crowded closer and 
closer round the priest's house, out of which the soldiers now 
began to fire. After one Protestant had been killed, and another 
deadly wounded, the mob rushed madly on the house, killed 
Harvath and some of the soldiers, and injured the priest so 
much that he died in a few days. 

The charge of riot was now brought against the Protestants, 
and two regiments were sent to the town, who, lighting a fire in 
the market-place, plundered and murdered to their very hearts' 
content. As the precentor, the organist, and the beadle, were 
proceeding to ring the alarm bells to summon the inhabitants of 
the neighbouring villages, they were seized, cast into chains, and, 
by order of the commanding officer, on the following day, 15th 
July 1673, were all hanged. In Tura, Luka, and Miawa, these 
valorous men cooled their rage by putting some of the country 
people on the wheel, and impaling others ; some they quartered, 
and others they hung up by the ribs.* In Szenitz, religious 
liberty was now completely crushed. i 

The citizens of Presburg were waiting with anxiety for the 
fate which they saw awaiting them. On the 3d February 1672, 
the Protestant and Roman Catholic citizens were summoned to 
the town hall, to hear a paper read which was said to be an order 
from the king. This decree commanded the Protestants to 
surrender up their churches to the priests. The Roman Catholic 
citizens declared themselves ready to obey his Majesty's orders, 
and accept of the churches. The Protestants refused to sur- 
render the keys, till by a deputation to the king they had learned 
whether this really were his wish.f 

On that very day a deputation went to Vienna, and among 

* See the full account of these transactions by Stephen Pilarik in his 
Curru Jehovce Mirabili. 

t The paper was a decree of Ferdinand II., of the year 1636, and the 
Jesuits were not ashamed to represent it as just now received from the 
royal chamber. 


them was John Vittnyedi, son of the deceased Stephen Vittnyedi, 
who had been suspected of taking part in the late conspiracy. 
As the deputation was crossing the Danube, they were fired on, 
and soldiers hastening down took them prisoners in Begebsbrunn 
to bring them back to Presburg. Vittnyedi was declared by 
Count Nicolas Pallfy to be a rebel, and was detained in prison. 

On the 5th of February, four other citizens started for Vienna, 
and reached it in safety. On the 7th, they obtained an audience 
of the king and handed in their petition. On the 18th, twenty 
citizens arrived to complain of fresh injuries, and they presented 
a second petition. On the 22d, a third petition was presented, 
and in the meantime everything was done to urge the delivery 
of the keys in Presburg. On the 18th March, the Canon of 
Presburg, Benedict Szomolanyi, and the town-councillor, 
Stephen Vattay, attempted to enter the schoolhouse by force, 
but the wives of the citizens hastening to the place, succeeded, 
by a few hard words and some blows, in driving them away. 
The story was told in Vienna, that Protestant women had 
beaten a priest till there was little prospect of his recovery. 

This affair of the women was made the ground of a heavy 
charge. On the 13th May, the citizens were summoned before 
the archbishop, and in consequence of this, the twenty-three 
women, the three pastors, and the deacon, were summoned to 
Tyrnau on the 23d May, to give an account before an extraordi- 
nary court, of the reasons why they had built the church, why 
they had taken Vittnyedi under their protection, and why the 
women had ventured to scold and drive away Szomolanyi and 

There were in all thirty-nine citizens before thirty-six judges 
and assessors, whose president was the bigoted Szelepcsenyi, 
Archbishop of Gran. The other judges were either bishops or 
Popish magnates, with the exception of one Protestant, George 
Perenyi. The sittings lasted till the 13th June, when the 
women were dismissed with a sharp reproof. The citizens, who 
had been kept all this time as prisoners, must await their 
sentence in the court of the archbishop's palace. The decision 
was, " That all the Protestant inhabitants of Presburg had 
been proved and found guilty of treason against his Majesty ; 
that their lives and property were therefore confiscated, and 
they must immediately deliver up churches and schools to 
the Papists." 


All the citizens of Presburg at that time in Tyrnau were 
immediately arrested and imprisoned, and among the rest the 
venerable preacher and senior David Titius, who was obliged to 
climb on a ladder into a most uncomfortable room, where he was 
kept a prisoner, under hard treatment, till the 13th September. 
After unwearied exertions, and by the intercession of the Elector 
of Saxony, freedom was at last granted to those citizens whose 
only offence consisted in not looking tamely on while their 
holiest privileges were about to be wrested from them, that they 
had taken part with a fellow-citizen who had not yet been 
proved guilty of crime , and that they had not, like sheep, borne 
every injustice without so much as bleating. 

A month after the close of the trial at Tyrnau, the persecutors 
proceeded to take possesssion of the churches and schools at 
Presburg. On the 18th July, the bishop and president of the 
chamber, Count Leopold Kollonitz, with several clergy and 
laymen, appeared before the schoolhouse. The Protestant 
pastors were brought thither, under an escort of fifty soldiers. 
As the citizens had been strictly commanded to remain in their 
houses, the pastors saw that all opposition here would be in vain ; 
they accordingly, in obedience to orders, demanded the keys of 
the church and schools ; the church officers, however, refused to 
give them up till they had received express permission from the 
citizens and from the congregation. Kollonitz then directed the 
doors of the schoolhouse to be broken open by a pioneer, and he 
marched in with thirty-four Popish clergy and his other retinue. 
In like manner they acted with the German and with the Hun- 
garian church, breaking the door with axe and hammer, and 
by nine o'clock in the morning they had their whole work and 
labour of love ended. 

Kollonitz then ordered the clergy to be all thrown into prison. 
Anton Reiser, Valentine Sutorius, the Hungarian preacher 
Stephen Horetzky, were confined, and the German deacon 
Christian Piringer was laid in chains, as he had spoken with 
energy against the surrender of the church. 

After administering an oath to them that they should never 
return, they were allowed to leave the city. But first they were 
plundered of their books, which were brought in five waggons 
to the court-house, and each one was permitted to choose only 

Yet the Lord did not forsake these faithful servants in their 


exile. Anthony Reiser, a native of Augsburg, well known as an 
author, became rector and librarian in his native town ; he was 
afterwards made court chaplain by Prince Holier lohe-Aehringen, 
and at last first pastor in St James's Church in Hamburg, where 
he died in the year 1686, beloved and lamented by many dear 
friends. Valentine Sutorius, a native of Franconia, was a short 
time at Coburg, and in his last years was pastor and superin- 
tendent in his native country. Christian Piringer became pastor 
in Laufen, a town in ^Vurtemberg. 

The senior David Titius fared the worst ; for, after being set 
free in Tymau, he was not allowed to return, but must wander 
with his family through Moravia to Breslau. Here the Lord 
opened the heart of the Princess of Brieg, who provided for him, 
and he became pastor and superintendent in Wahlaw in Silesia, 
where he died after a tedious illness in 1679. 

The Papists had now taken possession of the Protestant 
churches without even a shadow of right or of justice. Their 
own consciences appeared even to awake to the sense of wrong, 
for it was not till after seven weeks that they ventured to read 
mass there, and to give the building the appearance of a Popish 
church, by painting red crosses on the pillars. 

In like manner were the Protestants of Karpfen deprived of 
their beautiful church. A first attempt had been made in a night 
in June 1672, but the watchfulness of the citizens prevented the 
attack from being successful. By means of flails, pitchforks, 
and scythes, the Protestants drove Count de Souches and his 
soldiers away from the place, but without any bloodshed. The 
Croatian colonel Count Colalto, with five hundred wild Croats, 
then came, and seizing the keys, by force took possession of the 

While the cause of the Protestants in Hungary was so low, 
and while the constitution scarcely existed any more even in 
name, the malcontents, who had fled to Turkey and Transyl- 
vania, did their utmost to raise troops and money. Apaffy was, 
however, a man of great indecision, and the Divan thought it 
necessary for a little longer to keep up the appearance of friendly 
relations with the Cabinet of Vienna, 

Impatient, and in danger if they delayed much longer, a por- 
tion of the malcontents, secretly supported by Apaffy, and under 
the guidance of Stephen Petroczy, Gabriel Keude, Paul Szepessy, 
and Matthew Szuhay, broke into Hungary over the stream 


Szollos, about the end of August 1672. They had only five 
hundred Turks from the Pasha of Grosswardein. The Haiduken 
soon joined them, and increased their numbers by a few thou- 
sands. General Spantkaw was obliged to yield, and the insur- 
gents followed him as far as Kashaw. They were here joined 
by Michael Teleky of Transylvania, Paul Yesselenyi, Nicolas 
Forgoes, and others, to the amount of about twelve hundred 
cavalry and infantry. 

"Wherever they came, the Protestants had their churches and 
schools restored. The College of Eperjes was also received 
back. They injured their cause, however, very seriously, by not 
resting satisfied with this restoration; they sought out those 
who had been the most active agents in plundering the churches 
and schools, and especially the Popish priests, whom they treated 
very ill.* x4.t Nagy Szollos, two Franciscans, who shortly before 
had taken possession of the Reformed church, were thrown 
naked on a bed of thorns and thistles, and after being sadly 
abused, they were left apparently dead. The Jesuits and Fran- 
ciscans in Eperjes were treated as they had themselves treated 
the Protestant pastors shortly before ; the cup of Divine retribu- 
tion was poured on them in full measure by the hands of a sol- 
diery driven to madness by the inhumanities which these men 
had inflicted. It was Benedict Seredi who prevented their being 

In Homona, in the county of Zemplin, the insurgents, on the 
4th October, seized and abused the Franciscans, plundered their 
churches and monasteries, cleaned their guns with the conse- 
crated oil, gave the priests' dress to be worn by the women, and 
led away the monks in chains to Nagy Mihaly. 

When, however, the field-marshal, Wolff Frederick Kopp 
of Neuding, a second Alba in Hungary, with Count Paul 
Esterhazy and a considerable body of troops, arrived to free 
Spantkaw, who was shut up in Kashaw, the insurgents were 
completely beaten, and compelled for the present to give up 
their plans. The engagement took place on the 26th October 
1672, at the village of Gyorke, not far from Eperjes. 

This success made the king and his advisers only so much the 
more severe, and the archbishop's entreaties to preserve the poli- 
tical rights of the country were not regarded. The hardest mea- 
sures were carried out. It was then not at all disagreeable to 
* Fessler, 1. c, vol. ix. pp. 223, 228. 


the cabinet, when in a fit of spleen the archbishop resigned his 
viceregal post in Hungary, and it was on the 27th February 
1673 filled up by the appointment of John Ampringen, a hard- 
hearted man, who was capable of doing anything whatever which 
was considered necessary for confirming him in his post.* 

The archbishop now travelled so much the more freely through 
his diocese, accompanied by the usual retinue of Jesuits and 
dragoons, plundering the Protestants of their few remaining 
churches and schools, and driving the preachers and teachers 
into exile if they refused to become proselytes. In the royal 
free cities they deposed all Protestant councillors, and appointed 
Papists in their stead ; they disarmed the citizens, took away all 
ammunition, and levelled the walls. The citizens of Eperjes 
were required, on the 8th March 1673, to give up their churches 
and college to the Papists after five months' possession. The 
Protestant pastors were prohibited under pain of death from 
every official act. 

In 1673, this sacrilegious archbishop with his attendants took 
forcible possession of the church in Sillein, in Trentshin county; 
so Nikolas, Rosenberg, and Liptshe, in Liptau county ; Wartburg 
in Presburg ; RackendorfT, Hungarian Altenburg, ZorndorfT, and 
Gols, in Wieselburg county. 

Though the Protestant Church was thus bleeding from hun- 
dreds of wounds, still the progress in the conversion of the 
country was much too slow for the taste of the archbishop and 
his helpers. It was therefore resolved to banish all pastors and 
teachers completely out of the country, but, for the sake of 
security, it was considered best to begin on a small scale. 

* John Hormayer, 1st Plutarch, vol. ix. p. 85. 



First Citation of Protestant Pastors to Presburg — The Charge — The Judges — The 
Trial — Archbishop's Declaration — Count Illyeshazy treats with the Pastors — The 
Pastors are prepared to go into Exile — The Conditions of Pardon — Attempt to 
gain the Pastors to the Popish Church— Suhaj da — Stephen Fekete. 

It was on the 25th September 1673 that the Archbishop of 
Grari summoned before the viceregal court in Presburg thirty- 
three Protestant pastors from Lower Hungary and out of the 
counties Sol, Liptau, and Thurotz. 

Only one of these, Caspar Geranczy of Karpfen, belonged to 
the Reformed Church. They were summoned to appear in per- 
son before the royal fiscus (attorney-general). 

At the proper time they appeared in Presburg, strengthened 
by a consciousness of their innocence, though by the laws of 
the land, and by the resolutions of their synod, which had been 
confirmed by the palatine, they were not at all bound to pre- 
sent themselves before a spiritual court where prelates who 
were their deadly foes presided. Their judges were Szelep- 
csenyi, Archbishop of Grdn ; Szeehenyi, Archbishop of Kalotza ; 
Kollonitz, Bishop of jSTeustadt; Klobusitzky, Bishop of Fiinf- 
kirchen, and a large number of laymen, but among them not a 
single Protestant. 

Nearly all appeared when called in the archbishop's court. 
The most distinguished among them were the two superinten- 
dents, Kalinka and Tarnocsy — the superintendent beyond the 
Danube, Stephen Fekete, though summoned, did not appear — 
Clement Brecht and Matthew Porshius, Germans from Neusohl, 
with Peter Sextius and Samuel Csernak, Slavonian preachers, 
of whom the latter died during the trial ; Godfrey Titius and 
Christopher Hofstetter, Germans, and Isaiah Pilarik, Slavonian 
preacher at Schemnitz ; John Sextius, Slavonian, and John 
Burius, German pastor of Karpfen; Daniel Sinapius, of Rad- 
wany. John Burius, as eye-witness and sufferer in the transac- 


tion, lias left us abundant materials for writing tlie history of 
the trial. The charge appears at first sight so ridiculous, that 
one can scarcely know whether to despise or to abhor the 

We are bound to hand to the world a record of the manner 
in which titled men and bishops of the Popish Church did not 
blush to attempt to stamp men of honour and high character 
with disgrace, and to lower them to the level of common felons, 
that they might with more ease banish them from the country. 

They were accused of having excited the people to rebellion ; 
of hindering royal officers and clergy in the discharge of their 
duty ; of deposing judges and town-councillors ; of rescuing 
rebels from imperial guards ; of giving Roman Catholic children 
horrible food ; * of having plotted the death of imperial ministers ; 
of having been in correspondence with the Turks ; of sending 
deputations to foreign powers ; of joining the rebels in arms ; of 
having betrayed Popish priests to the Turks and rebels ; of 
having cruelly murdered nine priests ; of having assisted the 
Turks in taking the fortress of Fulek; of having instigated 
rebellion in Szenitz, Tura-Luka, and Miawa ; of having despised 
and trodden on the wafer of the communion ; of having stolen 
the consecrated vessels, and having made flags of the priests' 
vestments; of having blasphemed the Virgin Mary and the 
saints ; of having called the Papists worshippers of false gods ; 
of having given the consecrated host to the Turks ; of having 
attempted to destroy imperial troops; and of having laid fire 
with the intent of burning a fortress. 

These charges were only read, and not, as the law requires, 
communicated in writing to the accused parties. Not till the 
2d October did they receive legal advice, and then two advocates 
were appointed them by their judges. Mutual consultations 
among the accused were not permitted, and as the superintendent 
was at one time about to say something in self-defence, he was 
informed by the archbishop that this was not allowed. " Mr 
Kalinka," he said, laying his finger on his mouth, " there is no 
leave to speak here ; the fiscus (attorney-general) is like a raging 
lion, seeking whom he may devour." 

On the 3d October the charges were extended. The attorney- 
general assured Kalinka of having approved of the book of 

* Katholischen Kindern den Koth evangelischer Prediger zti fressen 
gegeben zu haben. 


Drabicius, and of having refused permission to the Popish arch- 
deacon officially to visit the Protestant Church of Illawa in 
Trentshin. Two other preachers were charged with having 
ridiculed the figure of the cross, and with having thrown down 
and trampled on it. He shewed a letter from Stephen Vittnyedi 
to Xicolas Bethlen, and another signed J. B., which announced 
that the Prince of Transylvania was approaching, and that the 
Protestants had everything to hope from him. He shewed 
another letter, in which evangelical pastors were invited to a 
meeting, but that the subject of the conversation should not be 

The advocate Roessler replied on the 4th October, shewing 
that the charges were unfounded, the evidence deficient, these 
anonymous letters of no importance in the case, and that the 
pastors were ready to clear themselves by oath from any of the 
charges which were really serious. It was of no avail. 

At the close of the sitting, the archbishop tinned to the 
pastors, and said, — " My friends, I find no pleasure in killing, 
for I love peace. I could not be even a cook, for when I hear 
the fowls screaming I pity them, and could not look even on 
the death of a hen. But here I sit as judge, and am compelled 
to do that which the king commands and this court decrees. 
Do the best, therefore, in your case, and obey ; as for me, I shall 
leave nothing untried which I conceive to be for your advantage." 
The poor men gave no reply. 

On the 5th October they were summoned to hear their sen- 
tence. The advocates, who had done their duty well, left them 
with sorrow. Count George Illyeshazy now appeared, willing 
to undertake the office of friendly mediator. He came to the 
pastors in the waiting-room, and addressed them : " Venerable 
and reverend pastors," he said, " listen to me. I was also once 
a Lutheran, but I became convinced of the truth of the Roman 
Catholic religion, and I therefore sympathise deeply with you, 
some of whom were my fellow-students, and others my good 
friends. Certainly, certainly you will have a terrible sentence. 
Four of you shall certainly be put to the torture, then beheaded, 
and have your hands cut off. The rest shall have a terrible 
exile. I would therefore advise you to apply to the king for 
mercy, and to beg also for those four, that no other evil may arise 
out of their sufferings." 

The pastors replied that they were conscious of innocence, and 


were prepared to obey the king in all things save and except in 
matters of conscience. The count, dissatisfied with this answer, 
went into the hall, and returning shortly after, told them that 
the four who should be put to the torture were the three super- 
intendents and Daniel Sinopius ; the rest should be partly be- 
headed and partly visited with other punishments. They replied 
that they wished to obtain favour. 

Returning after a little, the count informed them that, if they 
wished for favour, they must, with the exception of the four who 
were doomed to the torture, before the sentence, apply to his 
Majesty for gracious consideration. The favour would, however, 
be limited by the condition either to leave the country for ever, 
or, if they remained, to resign all claim to be regarded as gospel 
ministers, and to live as laymen. Scarcely two hours were given 
for reflection, when they declared that, if it be his Majesty's will, 
they were prepared to leave the country, and trust their fate to 
Divine Providence. At last Illyeshazy returned to say that these 
four could also obtain mercy if they immediately departed, and 
never returned to any of his Majesty's dominions. 

As they were, however, required to sign documents stating 
that, " having been found guilty of rebellion, they of their own 
free will went into exile ;" or if they wished to remain in the 
country, they required to say, that " having abused their office, 
they would in future abstain from every ministerial act;" new 
difficulties arose, and it was only when wearied out by the un- 
ceasing annoyances of the court that they at last yielded, and all 
signed the reverse in one form or other. 

Those who resolved to emigrate obtained thirty days to arrange 
their affairs, and those who remained in the country obtained a 
safe-conduct, by which they might reside as private individuals 
wherever they chose in Hungary. 

When the matter was so far advanced according to the wish of 
the priests, all left the hall, with the exception of the Archbishop 
of Gran and Bishop Kollonitz. The former now addressed the 
pastors : " Respected brethren, what I have done was compulsory 
upon me as judge. If you now join the Church of Rome, you 
may remain in the country ; I will advance your interests ; and if 
I had but one shirt left, I would sell it and give you the proceeds. 
I am archbishop, and wish the salvation of all. Tell this to those 
who are absent.* Think over what I have said, and if you do not 
* Some of them were sick. 


choose to communicate with me directly, you can do it through 
others, and I will hear and help you." 

The Bishop Count Kollonitz added, " I also will assist you, 
and furnish you with money out of the royal treasury so soon as 
you form your resolution." None of them all accepted of the 
proposal except the pastor of Warin, in Trentshin county, out of 
whose name, Suhajda, was formed the anagram, " Ah, Judas !" 

All who were distinguished by knowledge and zeal in their 
profession went into exile — Kalinka, Tarnoczy, Fekete, Neckel, 
Brecht, Isaiah Pilarik, Sextius, Burius, Sinapius, and others, 
who, in Lausitz, in Saxony, and Silesia, found a place of rest. 
Those who were old, or over-cautious, or who expected a speedy 
change, remained at home, and led a miserable life, striving to 
earn a livelihood by a profession to which they were not accus- 

Among the exiles we must take notice of Superintendent 
Fekete, who had been a distinguished and successful preacher at 
Guns, and who was now generously supported by Moritz, Prince 
of Saxony, and the noble citizens of Naumburg. In November 
1679 he ventured to return to Hungary, and lay some weeks 
strictly concealed in Guns. As his wife, however, died at this 
time, he then ventured to move about more publicly, and shortly 
after going to the island Rabakos, where there was a castle of 
Stephen OstfTy, he began, indeed without formal permission, to 
discharge his pastoral duties, and to keep a school. 

The Roman Catholic clergy hearing of it, sent a military de- 
tachment and overturned the castle to the very foundation. Fekete 
sought to escape to Germany, but was brought back in chains 
to Presburg. Afraid of losing his life, he went over and joined 
the Church of Rome ; he received the sacrament at the hands of 
Kollonitz, accepted of large presents which were made him, and 
was soon made Judge of Giins, where he exhibited himself as 
one of the bitterest persecutors of the Protestants ! (Oh, Judas !) 

The cowardliness of the pastors excited the indignation of the 
country people, and did in every respect much injury. The con- 
gregation at Schemnitz was very angry with its pastors, who had 
decided to leave the country. In a manuscript of that time, 
which has been preserved, it is stated : " The clergy might have 
remained without signing that hateful document, had it not been 
for their ridiculous timidity. Limpach and Dr Hellenbach had 
laboured in favour of the mining towns, that they might retain 


their Protestant services, and had begged the clergy not to sign; 
but these hirelings, as if glad to have the work accomplished, 
signed eight days "before the term was expired, and before they 
were peremptorily called to do so." 

There came a decree from Leopold, who was then residing at 
Grratz, dated 12th October 1673, directing that for the present all 
proceedings against the pastors of Schemnitz, Kremnitz, and 
JNTeusohl shonld be suspended, and if any proceedings had been 
already taken, they should be reversed, so that the pastors might 
remain. But it was now too late. 

In the mining districts of Lower Hungary the divine service 
was almost completely suspended, for if a church did remain in 
some places in the hands of the Protestants, there was no pastor, 
and no permission to call one. The congregations at Schemnitz 
and Neusohl laboured hard to obtain their ecclesiastical liberty 
once more. They sent a petition to the king about the end of 
the year 1673, which his Majesty handed over to Archbishop 
Szelepcsenyi, to whom he had committed everything having 
reference to religion in Hungary. The archbishop informed the 
deputies on the 16th January that their request would be con- 
sidered on the 5th of March; he refused, however, to give the 
promise in writing. 

Another petition was sent to the king, begging that each town 
might have one church and one pastor for the Protestant citizens, 
or at least a place appointed where they might meet ; but all this 
received no reply. In Kremnitz, where a contract had been made 
securing to the Protestants the hospital church instead of that 
which was taken from them, and giving them a right to keep a 
pastor, and to have public worship — it was only there that public 
worship was still conducted ; and this privilege continued only till 
the middle of December 1673, for, on the occasion of the pastor 
baptizing his own child, the priest found ground of accusation, 
and just at Christmas their meetings were dissolved and the 
church sealed. 

The pastors, who heard of another citation of the Protestant 
clergy to Presburg, and who saw that no trouble would be spared 
to drive them out of the land or sink them into disgrace, took 
leave of their congregations in January 1674, and prepared to 
leave the country. They were often stopped on the road, and 
obliged to pay very considerable sums for leave to proceed ; but 
after much annoyance and many delays, they at length arrived at 


Brieg, in Silesia. The precentor, Matthew Demosh, the beadle, 
Philip Oertel, and the schoolmaster, of Johannisberg, joined them 
in their exile. In spite of entreaties, and regardless of the con- 
tract, the archbishop took possession of the hospital church in 
Kremnitz, and had it consecrated to become a Popisli chapel on 
the 3d day of January 1G74. 



The New Citation of the Evangelical Preachers— Conduct of the Pasha — The Trial — 
The Sentence — Separate Sentence on the Pastors of Bosing, Modern, and St George 
— Two hundred and thirty-six sign their Deed of Resignation — The rest refuse — 
Treatment — Separation of the Lutherans and Reformed — Firmness of the Reformed 
Pastors — Imprisonment — Treatment in the Prisons — The Jesuit Nicolas Kellio — 
Petition to the Emperor — Condemnation to the Gralleys. 

A second more extensive summoning of the Protestant clergy 
was in course of preparation when the hospital church of Krem- 
nitz was surrendered to the Roman Catholics. The first attempt 
had succeeded so well that the priests could not suffer a very long 
time to pass till they had made another attempt on a larger scale. 
Thirty-two evangelical preachers had been covered with disgrace 
and torn away from their congregations. The rest Were terrified 
by the example. The king, the Popish magnates, and the army, 
all prepared to assist in this great work of eradicating Protestant- 
ism — what more could be desired ? 

The Archbishop of Gran, who was now very old, strained every 
nerve to have the work soon accomplished. He acted as if the 
words of the Lord at the last passover had been directed to him, 
" What thou doest, do quickly." Accordingly, on the 16th Janu- 
ary 1674, he summoned all the Protestant clergy, not only from 
the territory which belonged to Leopold, but also from that dis- 
trict which was under Turkish sway, and at the same time several 
teachers and some students, to appear at a special court of assize 
at Presburg. At the appointed time the parties appeared. 

Some Popish writers, wishing to conceal the extent of this 
affair, represent the numbers to have been only two hundred and 
fifty, while the Protestants speak of three or even four hundred. 
We have evidence that two hundred and fifty of the Lutheran 
Confession and fifty -seven of the Reformed Church, filling different 
offices in their respective churches, attended the meeting. That 
so few appeared from the counties of Gomor, Neograd, and 
Pesth, is to be attributed to the fact that the pasha had forbidden 
them to attend ; and, in consequence of Turkish protection, the 


proportional number of Protestant churches in the neighbourhood 
was considerably greater than in other countries ; and even after 
the Turks were expelled, the circumstances did not permit such 
severe persecution as had taken place before. 

The court consisted either of the same individuals or of 
men of similar sentiments, and among them was not a single 
Protestant. The old archbishop presided, as on the former occa- 
sion; but this time legal advice was allowed to the accused, 
and the advocates, Francis Szedeky, Melchin Heissler, and 
Stephen Szalonty, undertook and earned the case through 
with great tact and zeal. The grounds of the accusation lay 
in the following two letters addressed to Nicolas Bethlen. The 
former was written in short-hand, and the original was never 

u Eperjes^ 10th May. 

u I have to-day received your grace's letter at Eperjes. It is 

at last resolved to assert our liberties with our blood, and to place 

ourselves under the protection of the Turkish emperor. With the 

Prince of Transylvania we will be of one heart and soul. The 

king will furnish the money, and has declared his readiness 

through a French ambassador. And if he should decline, we 

will do so ourselves so soon as all is ready. No attention must 

be paid to the idle tattle of Lobkovitz or to the false Montekukulli. 

It would be well if the Prince of Transylvania wrote to all the 

pastors to use their influence with the common people to persuade 

them to pay the tribute, and also to prepare them for taking up 

arms at the proper time. The Protestant party has done its duty. 

The region beyond the Danube we have intrusted to the pastors 

of CEdenberg and Gtins. Presburg, Kashaw, Eperjes, and the 

other towns are organised by the superintendents and elders of 

those districts. We will all fight and die for God, for our Church, 

and for our liberty, and will teach the Papists, the dogs, a lesson 

which they have yet to learn. Your grace will please not to lose 

any time in treating with the Haiduken. Francis Rakotzy must 

be terrified and urged on to the work. If God be with us, who 

can be against us ? — Your sincere and obedient servant, 

" Stephen Votnyedi of Muzsay." 

The second letter was directed to Ambrose Ketzer, was writ- 
ten originally in Latin, and dated Presburg, 30th December 
1669. It announces that Stephen Vittnyedi, who, by the way, 


was already deceased, had been in correspondence with the chief 
pastors of Soma, Rayetz, and Thurna, and with the superin- 
tendents, who had everything prepared with the greatest secrecy. 
The elders of F. Z. were ready so soon as any one came from 
M. H. or S. The superintendents had done their duty. Bills 
of exchange to a large amount on Breslau and Danzig were 
ready. The cock (Gallus, the Frenchman) was delaying, but 
would soon shake his feathers. 

These letters served now as the foundation of the charge. 
The advocates did their duty so well in proving that the accused 
had been guilty of no crime, and that the evil had proceeded from 
the Roman Catholics, that two counts even in this court, Forgacs 
and Szecsy, had the courage and the honour to declare that the 
crime of rebellion was not proved. As this declaration was, 
however, not agreeable to the rest of the judges, the archbishop 
ordered " that the justification of the Protestant clergy from the 
suspicion of rebellion should be erased from the acts." After a 
month had been spent in superficial investigations and in debating, 
these men, who were at the same time accusers, witnesses, and 
judges, without making any distinction among them, or so much 
as hearing what they as individuals had to say, on the 4th April 
pronounced sentence on the clergy, and on the following day 
the same sentence on the teachers. The sentence was, behead- 
ing, confiscation, infamy, and outlawry. 

No one has ever pretended that this sentence had even the 
slightest appearance of justice. The design was to annihilate 
the heretics, and fanaticism considered every means allowable. 
This is sufficiently evident, not only from the manner in which 
the legal proceedings were conducted, but also from the fact that 
the pastors of Leutshaw were neither summoned nor annoyed in 
any way, because they had shortly before peacefully surrendered 
their church, with all its appurtenances, to the bishop.* This is 
still further evident from the efforts which were unceasingly made, 
till the Polish commissioners, under the influence and guidance 
of George Barskony, Bishop of Zips, consented to banish all the 
Protestant pastors and teachers from Zips, which at that time 
was under the sway of the King of Poland. 

A singular corroboration of the assertion that this trial was 
only a mockery for the sake of gaining a certain object, may be 
seen in the treatment of the evangelical pastors of Modern, 
* Engel, 1. c, vol. v. p. 81. 


Bosing, and St George, by the archbishop. These pastors were 
summoned to Presburg on the 5th March, in accordance with 
the king's command, to surrender their churches and schools to 
the Roman Catholics. Having demanded a copy of the royal 
edict, they were informed by the archbishop, that " they were 
not of sufficient importance that a special command should be 
given on their account." Afraid of the consequences, they came 
to an agreement with the attorney-general on the 28th February, 
to surrender all their churches, schools, and church property to 
the archbishop ; the attorney-general, on the other hand, de- 
clared the charges to be annihilated and buried ; secured them 
their private property ; directed them to appear previous to the 
meeting of the court at Presburg, and sign some kind of docu- 
ment, being a legal surrender of their church property ; they 
should then have a right to meet privately for their own edifica- 
tion, and to use the church bells and the burying-ground in 
common with the Roman Catholics. Seven of the pastors, Chris- 
topher Shedius, Michael Holier, and Stephen Pilarik, the first 
two German, the last the Slavonian pastor of Modern, as also 
Michael Risshaler, rector of the high school in the same town, 
Christopher Bohmer and John Michael Weber of Bosing, Michael 
Huber and Paul Galli of St George, resolved to go into exile ; 
and the two Slavonian preachers of the latter towns resolved to 
remain in the country as laymen. 

The sentence of death, which was pronounced indiscriminately 
on all who appeared at Presburg, was not carried into execution. 
Leopold's conscience appeared not to be capable of stretching so 
far. There was, however, so much gained by pronouncing the 
sentence, that the pastors now stood completely in the hands of 
their judges, and there was no choice left them besides volun- 
tary exile or dishonour, and degradation from office in their na- 
tive land. To the Protestant Church they were as good as 
dead, and this was all which the enemy wished. 

There were many, however, who refused to choose either 
alternative, and preferred bearing whatever the Lord might lay 
on them. These were annoyed in every possible way, and at 
last treated with the most cold-blooded inhumanity. After 
means had been used which were not always very creditable,* 
yet so successful, that two hundred and thirty-six signed their 
resignation, the majority of these going into exile, — the rest re- 
* Engel, 1. c, vol. v. p. 80, 


mained, in spite of all ill usage and threatening^, perfectly un- 

Every intercession was in vain, and indeed even dangerous. 
The Church of Rimasombath begged Count Adam Forgacs to 
intercede for their pastor, but they received the reply, — " For 
God's sake, let me rest in peace, for I solemnly protest I am 
myself not safe, and if I spoke a word in your favour, I should 
be immediately called a rebel and thrust into prison."* 

For some time these men had perfect liberty to move about in 
Presburg, with every opportunity for escaping, f Indeed, the 
Jesuits, meeting them on the streets, asked, in apparent astonish- 
ment, why they did not fly — what they were waiting for, — did 
they not know what was being prepared for them ? 

When the archbishop saw their perseverance, and discovered 
that they were strengthening each other in their resolution, he 
had four pastors of the Reformed Church arrested, namely, Ste- 
phen Seley, superintendent of Papa ; Michael Miskolzy of Filek ; 
Stephen Batorkessy of Wesprin, and Peter Czegled of Lewens, 
and chaining them two and two together, had them thrown into 
the dungeon. On the following day, George Lanyi, rector of 
Karpfen school, a Lutheran, was thrown into the same prison 
because he had refused to yield. On the 8th May there remained 
still in Presburg one hundred and eighty of those who had been 
condemned. The rest had signed the required documents and 
were already gone, and this number was thinning fast. 

While all this was going on in Presburg, Count Francis 
Hohenfeld wished also to have a little opportunity of showing 
his zeal for his Church. He sent orders to the chief magistrate 
of Hungarian Altenburg, about eighteen English miles from 
Presburg, informing him that it cannot be tolerated, that after 
the men have become Papists, the women should venture obsti- 
nately to adhere to the Protestant Church. Accordingly, they 
should be proclaimed rebels, and at next Whitsuntide should be 
compelled to join that Church in which alone salvation is to be 
had. Every one who refuses should be fined for the first offence 
in forty florins, and for every succeeding offence, that is, every 
time they are required to partake of the communion in the Popish 
Church and refuse, the fine should be doubled. This noble war- 
rior, who wished to earn his laurels in the glorious battle with 
women, concluded his edict with the modest request, that the 

* Hist. Diplom., p. 74. t George Lanyi, Captivitas Papistica. 


judge would please begin at home, and place his own wife first 
at the bar ! 

Time was passing on in Presburg, and still the majority of the 
condemned seemed very slow in submitting to the wishes of their 
judges. Accordingly, the members of the two confessions were 
separated, and all the Lutherans were imprisoned in the arch- 
bishop's palace. This step was, however, of little use, for the 
Calvinists remained very obstinate. As they in general knew 
the German language but very imperfectly, they had little pros- 
pect of usefulness in a foreign land, and had too much honour to 
sign their own degradation from the ministerial office, as the con- 
dition of remaining in the country.* Only one pastor and one 
schoolmaster, the latter quite a youth, on the persuasion of the 
landlord, signed the document, and remained. Not one had gone 
into exile. 

At the end of May there were still forty-one of them in Pres- 
burg. The other sixteen had either escaped before the sentence, 
or were gone back to their churches, where they were protected by 
the landed proprietors. Four were missing, either that the pasha 
had forbidden their return, or that they were lying in some un- 
known prison. 

When the eiforts to persuade them to embrace the Popish faith 
or to resign their office seemed in vain, they were taken out of the 
prison and put into common country carts ; seven were brought to 
Sarvar, as many to Kupuvar, and six to Eberhard, about three 
miles from Presburg, and thrust into dark and filthy cells. Eight 
days later, the rest of the Calvinistic preachers and teachers, after 
being, by order of Bishop Kollonitz, plundered of all their little 
property which had any value, were taken to Leopoldstadt ; one, 
however, by name Basil Kopecsy, of Skaros, came to Komorn. 

Of the Lutherans there were eighteen brought, on the 3d June, 
to Leopoldstadt, of whom John Hodikim became a Papist. Five 
came to Berutsh, nineteen to Komorn, and eight to Sarvar. The 
amiable and gentle Bishop Kollonitz sent the hangman, as likely 
to be an agreeable companion to those who were going to Leo- 
poldstadt, possibly that the pleasant associations connected with 
his office might suggest the prudence of joining the Roman 
Catholic Church. When this individual had taken his seat be- 
side the pastors in the cart which was to convey them to Pres- 
burg, he immediately commenced to recommend his Church to 
* Hist. Diplomatica. 


them, and at the same time to exhibit his zeal in his own profes- 
sion by beating them most unmercifully on the head with his 

Not less cruel was the old Archbishop of Gran, Szelepczenyi, 
who on festive occasions, after his splendid dinners at the Castle 
of Eberhard, summoned the Reformed pastors into his presence, 
and, after the bitterest insults and mockery, he sometimes des- 
cended to personal violence, because they still steadily refused to 
sign the deed of demission. On one occasion he struck Stephen 
Neinethy with a hammer so violently that his arm was rendered 
almost completely useless. 

No pen can describe the sufferings which these witnesses for 
the truth were now required to endure. With such perseverance 
and with such heartless calculations did the persecutors use their 
power, that many wished for death. The prisoners at Komorn 
declared at last that they could hold out no longer, they would 
sign their demission. But now the Jesuit who had charge of 
them was not satisfied even with this, and declared that nothing 
could set them free but their joining the Church of Rome. Here 
was the jailer inflicting another penalty than that which the court 
had pronounced ; still there was no appeal. 

At last, when completely wearied, seventeen Lutherans re- 
nounced their faith, and there remained only two, Nicolas Buganyi 
and Stephen Zedenyi, who, with their companion, the Calvinistic 
pastor, continued true to their profession. This latter must now 
experience the whole weight of Rome's fury, because it was 
through his influence that the other two refused to yield.f 

The renegades received fifty florins each, with directions to 
assist in persuading the others to follow their example. In some 
cases the priests gained their ends. In Sarvar, one Lutheran and 
one Calvinist yielded ; in Buccaria, seven Lutherans and three 

Less successful were the efforts in Leopoldstadt to gain con- 
verts, though here the sufferings were most severe. A Jesuit, 
Nicolas Kellio, to whom a kind of general inspection was 
committed, and a Popish schoolmaster of the place, who was a 
poor cripple, strove to outdo each other in their invention of new 
methods to torment and annoy the poor sufferers. They were 
treated worse than criminals of the first class. They had no 

* Andrew Small, and Lampe, Hist, rec, ref. ad annum 1674. 
t Hist. Diplomatica ; Andrew Small, Eccl. Luth. Adversaria. 


intercourse with friends. Their food was coarse bread and water. 
Without distinction of age or strength, all bore chains of the same 
weight ; and when they protested against this treatment, they were 
told by the jailers, " You are guilty of double rebellion against 
the Church and the king ; and even though some of you may have 
never thought of rebelling against the king, as I will readily sup- 
pose, still your disobedience to the Church deserves the heaviest 
punishment which can be inflicted." 

In the fortress they were ordered to perform the meanest offices 
in the middle of winter they were obliged with uncovered hands 
to carry away the ice and snow, and to clean the sewers.* If the 
consecrated wafer was carried past, they must fall on their knees. 
As Gregory Illes, a frail old man, once refused to kneel, he was 
struck so severely by Bene, that he bled. Even social singing 
and prayer were prohibited. 

As they were once ordered to dig themselves a new prison, 
Stephen Harsanyi, a man of much learning, and highly respected 
by the others, cried out, " You treat us worse than the most cruel 
tyrants treated the apostles and martyrs ; their prisons were at 
least prepared for them." " Very well," replied the overseers 
with a laugh, "you will work the more diligently till yours is 

By night they often suffered from thirst, and had no water ; 
by day they were prohibited from receiving any assistance, either 
in money or food. A man who attempted to give them some 
food was severely beaten, and a woman who at another time was 
discovered attempting the same was put into a kind of pillory, 
and led about in disgrace through the streets — a species of 
punishment in general reserved for harlots. 

These men lay in narrow cells, partially exposed to rain and 
snow, among thieves and murderers, who mocked them when they 
prayed. Being driven by force once to church to hear mass, they 
strove to turn back at the church door, upon which Kellio fell into 
such a rage, that even during the mass he had two of them, 
Szilvasy and Thurotz, stretched on the ground, and beaten in 
such a way, with the ramrods of the soldiers' guns, that they did 
not long survive. 

Kellio seemed afraid that the story of his tyranny should spread 

through the country, he accordingly for some time alleviated their 

sufferings, and treated them with considerable gentleness. He 

* And a Hungarian winter is often 40° to 60° F. below the freezing point. 


then applied to them to sign a certificate acknowledging his atten- 
tion to all their wants, and testifying that he had faithfully 'applied 
all the money and food which had been given him for them, as 
also certifying that he had allowed their friends free access to 
them, Entirely in his power, and having of late obtained better 
treatment than formerly, what was to be done ? What ought to 
be done we can easily decide, but who can say what he himself, 
under such circumstances, would do ? They signed the certificate. 
The Jesuit immediately published it as a justification of himself, 
and then treated them as cruelly as before. 

Towards the close of the year they found an opportunity of 
presenting a petition to Leopold,* and it may be that this had 
some influence in ripening the resolution to set them free.t 

After lying ten months in prison they had a change, but only 
for the worse. The three pastors who had remained faithful in 
Komorn, with thirty-three other companions in suffering, were, 
on the 18th March 1675, brought out of a secret gateway from 
the fortress, and committed to a company of about four hundred 
cavalry and as many infantry, to be taken to Italy. 

It is said that the king's order was to set them free, but that 
Bishop Pallfy of Neutra found ways and means of falsifying the 
edict, and of sending these detested heretics to the galleys. The 
edict had stated that it pleased his Majesty to have mercy, and 
to suffer them to go out of the fortress, to which the bishop added, 
" that they might learn to pray in the galleys." Had this been 
the king's wish, it was, instead of favour, a much higher punish- 

Even Bishop Kollonitz could not have wished more than this. 
He had once told the prisoners to their face, " You set too 
much confidence in the king's mercy, but it will be of no use, 
for if he should ten times give the most favourable decision, 
I could find a hundred ways of preventing its taking effect." 

The prisoners were brought by a circuitous route through 
Moravia to Leopoldstadt, where the brethren who had been there 
confined were brought out to join them. They embraced each 

* Ribinyi, Mem., torn. ii. p. 451. 

t The author of the Short Extracts gives himself trouble to attempt 
to prove that such a petition was never sent or never received. That it 
was drawn up and sent, there is not the slightest doubt, and if it did not 
reach the king's hands, it must have been because it was the interest of the 
priests to keep it back. 


other and wept, while they pledged themselves once more not to 
yield. ' As Stephen Selyei, the superintendent of the Reformed 
Church, saw the miserable state of the brethren in Leopoldstadt, 
he cried, u God, for what wondrous times hast thou reserved 
us! Give thou strength that we may bear all the sufferings 
which thou hast appointed us! " 

With the two feet chained together, under the mockery of the 
soldiers, they travelled on foot from Vienna to Trieste. Here the 
very buttons were cut off their coats, their beards shaved off, 
and even their heads shaved quite close, so that they could dis- 
tinguish each other only by the voice. * They had lain at night 
packed together in stables, and had scarcely obtained sufficient 
food, so that many fell sick, and four of them died in prison at 
Trieste, while two others died shortly after on the road. Their 
daily provision was a quarter of a pound of biscuit and a glass 
of water, with occasionally a little cheese. After some time, 
they had about three halfpence English money given them each 
day to feed themselves. 

On the journey to Xaples, Gregory Hely, who was already 
quite exhausted, and had been set on an ass to bring him for- 
ward, fell on the road, and died on the spot. He was left 
unburied on the public road. Near the end of the journey, 
Michael Gotsh entered into his rest. Three of the prisoners 
succeeded in escaping, — George Lanyi at Capra-Cotta, on the 
1st May, and John Simonides and Tobias Illaver at the town 
Liscerna, and, after much suffering and toil, arrived at last in a 
place of safety. 

Of the forty-one who had been taken away, only thirty entered 
the galleys at Naples on the 7th May. They were here sold 
for fifty Spanish piasters a-piece, and being divided among the 
boats, were chained to the benches like other galley-slaves. 
* George Lanyi, Captivitas Papistica. 



Treatment of the Prisoners in the other Fortresses — Journey to Trieste — Hopes of the 
possibility of Ransom — Ten join the Church of Rome — Greorge and Philip Weltz — 
Appeals to Germany — Charles II. of England — The Vice-Admiral of the Dutch 
Fleet — Hopes of Delivery, and Disappointment — Admiral Ruyter — The Galley- 
slaves set free. 

While this was going on, the fate of the brethren at Sarvar, 
Kupuvar, and Eberhard, was still uncertain. The enemy had 
hoped to break their spirit by a tedious imprisonment, but when 
this did not prevail, they also, to the number of twenty — being 
thirteen of the Eeformed Church, and seven Lutherans — were 
ordered off to Naples, there to await their doom. On the 1st 
July 1675, they were led out under the direction of Gabriel 
Koever and an armed band 5 Stephen Kapossy and John Szent- 
Niklossi were, by the king's command, set free in Hungary ; 
and the other eighteen, worn and weary, reached the seaport 

They were made to lodge in cow-houses, and when in Trieste 
one succeeded in escaping, the others were shaved and kept 
much stricter. The runaway was again taken ; and they de- 
manded that he should mention which of the others were aware 
of his escape. He did not mention any names. 

Hopes were held out that they might be bought off if any 
were willing to make the attempt, and both in Vienna and in 
Venice considerable sums were raised for that purpose — and 
actually paid; but the promise was soon forgotten, and the 
money was never returned. Only one was set at liberty, and 
that was Stephen Czusy, the Reformed pastor of Losoncz. The 
rest of the prisoners were brought to Buccaria, a town on the 
Adriatic, and their patience having been sorely tried, ten of 
them renounced their profession of Protestantism, and joined 
the Church of Eome on the 19th February 1676. It was the 


seven Lutherans, Stephen Mensatoris, John Raphanides, John 
Czabanyi, John Glogovius, John Rohacs, Philip Johannides, and 
John Esutka ; three of the Reformed Church, John Goemaery, 
Stephen St Peter, and John Szallay; three others of the 
Reformed Church had died on the way, and had been buried 
by their brethren, who sang the 88th Psalm over the lonely 

Only a few now remained, and their lot was becoming still 
harder. Their teeth fell out ; while yet alive, their bodies were 
decaying. On complaining to the vice-prefect, Starko, of the 
treatment, they were told that all was done according to the 
strictest orders received from Kollonitz, Jthat the heretical 
preachers should be very sorely tormented. 

At last the hour of deliverance came for them as well as for 
their brethren in the galleys at Naples ; but the manner is such 
a striking manifestation of the Divine glory, that we must 
examine it a little more closely. 

Powerful kings, princes, and people had interceded for these 
men, who had now been for many months chained to Turks, 
Moors, and Negroes ; and yet, notwithstanding the suffering, 
and notwithstanding the entreaty, the chains were not broken. 
The Lord then shewed them mercy first, through that rich and 
universally respected citizen of Naples, George Weltz, who, 
with his brother Philip, visited twice a-week these men who 
were the outcasts of society, and supplied them with food, 
clothing, and money. To have the opportunity of doing so, he 
made presents to the inspector, and invited the general, Nahrem- 
berg, often to his house, and he had nearly brought matters so 
far, that for a hundred ducats, a price which Weltz promised to 
pay, these men were to have their liberty. 

Still their situation was very lamentable. They therefore 
resolved to draw up a statement of their case and present it to 
the brethren of the Reformed Church residing in Naples or 
visiting it, begging for aid. A similar letter was written to the 
Dutch ambassador at Basle. With great zeal did the medical 
doctor, Nicolas Zaffius, take up their case. He was a native of 
Nuremberg, and a genuine Christian, and at this time residing 
at Naples. He wrote most thrilling appeals to the Swiss 
universities, as also to Holland, Germany, and England, and 
thus awakened a deep interest in their sufferings. Comforting 
replies were received from Professor Heidegger on 17th Sep tern- 


ber 1675 ; from Dr Wazer ; from the Geneva Professor, Francis 
Turrentine, and others ; and all these expressions of sympathy 
Zaffius hastened to communicate. 

Charles II. of England (of whom Macaulay says, " His con- 
science did not much trouble him in reference to the question of 
dispute which separated his Protestant subjects ")* also issued 
a royal letter to the chief towns, the universities, the arch- 
bishops, and the bishops, asking for contributions for those who 
were oppressed for conscience' sake ; and these collections were 
of great use to the prisoners after they were set free. 

The Elector of Saxony wrote an earnest word to the emperor 
at Vienna, under date 10th December 1675, but all was too 
little to obtain freedom for the sufferers. The noble-minded 
Weltz continued his exertions, and through him a representa- 
tion was made to the Prince Regent of Naples, Peter Alvarez, 
in which it was most satisfactorily shewn, that it was not on 
account of rebellion, but for the sake of their religion, that, con- 
trary to all Divine and human laws, they were thus condemned 
to such horrid slavery. " Had we been really guilty of rebellion 
or treason," they write, " there were scythes, and swords, and 
gallows, and executioners in Hungary ; and it is not to be sup- 
posed that the King of Hungary would thus surrender over to 
the Spaniards and Italians his sovereign right of punishing his 
own rebels, or that he would ask their aid to inflict the penalty 
if the sentence had been just." 

The prince regent replied that they were sold for life to the 
galleys, and he could do nothing for their deliverance. The 
same reply was given by the following regent ; and when 
Weltz, supported by the English ambassador Littleton, offered 
one hundred ducats a-piece to buy them off, begging at the 
same time for compassion to be shewn to the aged and infirm, 
the regent replied, " They are not Roman Catholics." 

But when all hope was at an end, it was then that the Lord 
remembered his promise, " I will redeem thee; I will never 
leave thee nor forsake thee, saith the Lord." 

It was on the 12th December 1675 that the Dutch fleet, 
under Vice- Admiral John de Staen, sailed into the harbour of 
Naples. The chaplain, Argid Vireth, was sent to the prisoners, 
begging of them exact information on the ten following points, 
so that the vice-admiral might, by Divine assistance, and by 
* Macaulay, vol. i. p. 168. 


the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, labour more efficiently on 
their behalf. 

The ten questions were the following : — 

1. Why were you first called together at Presburg previous to 
your imprisonment ? 

2. Were you summoned by order of the king or of any 
other person, and of whom '? 

3. When were you summoned ? 

4. What charge was brought against you, and why were you 
imprisoned ? 

5. How have you come out of your first imprisonment to be 
put into the galleys ? 

6. Is it by order of the king or of some other person that you 
are here? 

7. Have you been sold into slavery, and for what price ? 

8. Give your names, and the names of the villages or towns 
where you were placed as pastors ? 

9. Are your brethren in Hungary doing nothing for your 
release, or do they not care for you ? 

10. What means do you consider most likely to obtain your 
freedom and your former position ? 

The prisoners gave such satisfactory replies, especially to the 
2d, 4th, and 6th questions, that the vice-admiral, with some 
officers and the chaplain, immediately proceeded to the Regent 
of Naples, and begged their release. They were so kindly re- 
ceived, that the chaplain hastened to the ships to inform them 
that within three days they might expect to be free. As the 
fleet had immediately to leave the harbour in consequence of the 
war with France, the prisoners remained still in their chains. 

But there is One who hears the sighing of the prisoners, and 
bottles up their tears — the Lord of Hosts is his name, the 
Lord great in might ! The fleet was not far on its way towards 
Sicily till it met the admiral, Ruyter, who had been commanded 
by the States-General of Holland to take up the case of the pri- 
soners. At the same time, the admiral received a petition from 
the martyrs themselves, and immediately writing to the King of 
Naples, he forwarded the opinion of the Austrian ambassador 
respecting the innocence of these men, and committed their case 
to the Dutch ambassador, Cornelius Wandelen, and to George 
Weltz. The papers were now handed over to the court of 
assize, and after a close examination, the judges came, on the 


22d January 1676, to the following conclusion : — u That the 
pastors and professors at present confined on the boats are not 
guilty of the charges laid against thein, and should without delay 
be set free." 

The Dutch ambassador hastened down himself with the 
joyous message to the prisoners. George and Philip "Weltz. with 
an Italian advocate, came soon after. Even the taskmasters 
seemed moved, and wished the prisoners joy. 

And yet their faith must once more be tried. The heavens 
were once more black above them, and the mockery, and the 
hard labour, and the sorrows were all renewed, for a report had 
come that the Dutch fleet was going home. The last hopes 
seemed to have died away, when, quite unexpectedly, Ruyter, 
with full sail, entered the harbour of Naples. He had received 
orders to postpone his expedition, and he accordingly ran into 
the bay. 

On the 11th February 1676, the chaplain of the Dutch fleet, 
accompanied by several superior officers, went on board the 
boats, and, as in a dream, the prisoners forsook the place of their 
confinement, singing the 46th, the 114th, and 125th Psalms. 
Having reached the ship of the vice-admiral, he received and 
embraced them with unspeakable joy, and after the tears of gra- 
titude had freely flown, they knelt down together to thank God 
for their deliverance, and sung once more the 116th Psalm. Ee- 
freshed and strengthened, with hearts overflowing with gratitude, 
and then lips with praise to God, they spent the night on the 
vice-admiral's ship. 

The next morning they were brought before the admiral. 
The veteran hero received them with every possible kindness, 
and exclaimed, that " of all his victories, none had given him so 
much joy as the delivering these servants of Christ from their 
intolerable yoke." He would not listen to their thanks, u For," 
said he, " we are only the instruments — give all the glory to 
God." The noble admiral had clothes provided for them at 
his own expense, and took them with him. Of the thirty who 
entered the galleys, twenty-six were still remaining, and they 
went to Switzerland, Germany, England, and Holland, till such 
time as they were permitted to return to their native land. 

As the story was now spread over all Europe, it was found 
necessary to give some explanation of the conduct of the court. 
Accordingly the Jesuit Kellio, under an assumed name, published 


a book, stating that it was on account of rebellion, and not for 
their religion, that they had been punished.* George Lanyi, 
who had escaped on the road to Naples, and who was now 
living in Saxony, wrote a reply under the title Funda Davidis, 
David's sling against Goliath, in which he proves thirty false- 
hoods in the Jesuitical attempt to whitewash the court at Pres- 

In vain was it attempted to prove that the Protestant clergy 
were the originators or supporters of rebellion ; in vain was the 
charge brought against them of having instigated the murder of 
Popish priests. It was after the pastors were in prison, that three 
priests and one civil officer in Neutra county were murdered. 
The same was the case with the Franciscan in Keiskemar, and 
with the Eremite, George Csapelanyi, in Fuza, who was found 
dead not far from Erlau. In Neutra, three priests had been 
found cruelly murdered in a stormy night by common robbers. 

Nineteen individuals were suspected of the awful crime, were 
put to the torture, and afterwards executed, but none of them 
ever charged any of the pastors with having any part in the 

"We have the more reason to assert again that the whole affair 
was a mere Jesuitical trick, from the fact that, on the repeated 
applications of the Elector of Saxony, Leopold ordered, on the 
22d January 1676, that the grounds of the sentence should be 
once more investigated. "When it was now confessed that the 
sentence was unjust, the king, by a decree of the 24th January, 
ordered it to be reversed, and the prisoners to be set free. The 
clergy were afraid of them if they returned, and added the clause 
that the liberated prisoners should not revenge themselves or 
demand compensation, nor return to their country .f 

* Extractus verus et brevis quo candide demonstratur acatholicoruru 
predicantium ex regno Hungario proscriptionem et degradationem factam 
esse respectu rebellionis non autem religionis ; easdem predicantes non in 
genere sed in specie, convictos ac legitime esse condemnatos. Tyrnau, 1675. 
How could three hundred prisoners be accused, examined, tried, and con- 
demned separately, and all within four weeks 1 Why did they all deserve 
exactly the same punishment 1 

t See the admirable work of Heidegger — Amsterdam, 1684 — a book 
written with great accuracy and judgment. 



General View of the State of the Protestant Church in Hungary and Transylvania at 
the time the Pastors were released — The Pastors in the Woods and Caves— Cun- 
ning of the Priests in attempting to find them — (Edenberg a favoured City — Princess 
Eggenberg — Insurrection of the Hungarians — Tokely-— Attempts to make Peace. 

While we have been confining our attention exclusively to the 
prisoners on the galleys and at the Adriatic Sea, the Popish 
priests at home were carrying out their great work of annihilating 
the Protestant Church here, as they had already done in Austria, 
Styria, Carinthia,. and Bohemia. And they had certainly very 
nearly obtained their hearts' desire. For, except the provinces 
under the pasha, where the Protestants enjoyed their religious 
liberties, and a few districts on the Theiss, where, amid all 
dangers and difficulties, the Protestants, chiefly of the Reformed 
Church, had still been able to preserve a kind of liberty of wor- 
ship — but for these alone, that part of the kingdom which owned 
Leopold as its ruler had almost ceased to possess the gospel. 

Putting their lives in their hands, there were a few pastors 
who either had not been summoned to Presburg or who had 
not gone, and in lonely glens, in woods and mountains wild, in 
ruined castles and morasses inaccessible except for the initiated, 
these men resided, and preached the gospel to the faithful who 
were scattered over the land. From the dark cavern, scantily 
lighted, arose the Psalm of praise sung to those wild melodies 
which to this day thrill the heart of the worshipper. From lips 
pale and trembling with disease, arising from a life spent in con- 
stant fear and danger, the consolations of the gospel were pro- 
claimed to the dying. The Lord's Supper was administered ; 
fathers held up their infants to be devoted in baptism to Him for 
whom they themselves were willing to lay down their lives ; and, 
amid the tears which oppression wrung from them, they joined 
their hands and looked up to Him who bottles up the tears, and 
looked forward to a better land beyond the grave. 


This was especially the case in the mountainous countries of 
Neutra, Trentshin, Thurotz, Liptau, and Arva, where, despite 
the watchfulness of the foe, the Protestants continued in some 
way to enjoy the exercise of religion.* 

Among those faithful servants of Christ who, in the days of 
danger, by the Divine blessing, and by the watchful care of their 
friends, escaped the nets laid for them, some of the best known 
were Daniel Kirmann, in Tura-Luka ; Martin Zener, in Belluds; 
Daniel Reguli and Samuel Michalovitz, in Trentshin ; Nicolas 
Venitius, Michael Zaborsky, in Thurotz ; Zachariah Clementis, 
Balthasar Csip, and Thomas Coronides, in Liptau. But woe to 
him whose dwelling was discovered, or who was seized ! Heavy 
punishments and imprisonments were his lot, till he either re- 
nounced his profession, or died in misery in his lonely cell. It 
is Scid that priests, sometimes dressed in the simple garb of 
Protestant pastors, and assuming as much as possible their 
habits and forms of expression, went round and found out from 
the unsuspecting people where the pastors resided, and who they 
were. These wolves in sheep's clothing came offering their ser- 
vices as Protestant pastors, and professing to have endured much 
for the sake of their consciences, and easily gained the required 
information. A dark cloud rested on the servants of the Lamb. 
Only in the retirement of the closet, and in the family circle, 
where no stranger whatever joined, did many of them venture to 
engage in prayer. Out of the sacred Scriptures each sought 
for himself comfort and encouragement, waiting for better days. 

The shepherds were smitten, yet the sheep, though scattered, 
were not lost or forgotten by the Great Shepherd. 

In (Edenberg the brethren enjoyed wondrous marks of the 
Divine care, for here the landed proprietor left still some traces 
of religious liberty. On the 5th March 1764 their pastors had 
been summoned with the rest to Presburg, but a clear view of 
the aim of the enemy, as well as of his power, induced the 
citizens to send a deputation to Vienna, to attempt to rescue as 
much as possible of their freedom in the great trial. They suc- 
ceeded in their mission.f They voluntarily surrendered the greater 
part of what they held dear, that they might be sure to retain 
something. On 28th February they made a solemn treaty with 
the attorney-general, Nicolas Mailath, promising to surrender 

* Mica Bury. 

t Ribinyi, Memorab., torn. ii. p. 422 ; Mica Bury ; (Edenberg. 


all churches, chapels, and schools, with all the emoluments 
attached, into the hands of the attorney-general, and within 
fifteen days to cause that all pastors, teachers, and church officers 
should either leave the town, or pledge themselves not to dis- 
charge the duties of their office any more, but reside quietly as 
laymen in the city. 

The attorney-general promised in the name of the king that a 
place should soon be given them, where, under two pastors whom 
they themselves should select, they and the foreign ambassadors, 
and the members of the parliament who were Protestants, should 
enjoy the free exercise of their religion. These two pastors should 
have liberty to reside in town, and to discharge ministerial duties 
in private houses. Besides, the Princess Maria Eggenberg 
should have the privilege of retaining her own chaplain, whose 
services might also be enjoyed by the Protestants residing in 
the town. The Protestants should enjoy the use of the legacies 
which had been left them by members of their own confession, 
and should also have the use of the burying-grounds. 

They should have equal rights in the hospital, and, instead of 
the Yittnyedi house, they should have that which the Princess 
Maria Eggenberg occupied. No one should be compelled to 
become Roman Catholic or to emigrate, and all processes at pre- 
sent pending should be quashed. On the 21st September the 
king appointed the town of Eisenstadt as the . place where the 
two pastors should proceed to hold the service for the present ; 
it was about ten miles distant. Though this was not as they 
had expected, still they obeyed, and sent their two pastors, John 
Barth and Christopher Sobitsh, to conduct the services. While, 
however, at the following Easter so many people came, that the 
church could not contain them, a command came from the king 
that none but citizens of (Edenberg should be admitted. It was 
only at the end of the following year that they obtained the 
place which they should permanently occupy as a church. Not 
long after, the noble princess died, and she was soon followed by 
her worthy chaplain, Matthew Long, whose influence had been 
chiefly successful in obtaining these privileges for the Lutherans 
of (Edenberg which they did not elsewhere enjoy. Of the rest 
of Hungary it might well have been said, " Darkness covers the 
earth, and thick darkness the people." 

It was quite natural that, under such circumstances, the num- 
bers of the malcontents increased with every day. Bloody affrays . 


between these and the royalists were quite common. The con- 
stitution was overturned, and those whose duty it was to watch 
over it looked quietly on. The soldiers passed through the land 
oppressing it as they chose, and making such exactions as they 
saw fit. 

Many fled to Transylvania, where, under the Prince Michael 
Apafty, they found protection ; for, although he did not declare 
himself publicly on their side till Louis XIV. of France sent 
him aid and entered into a formal league, still he was at heart 
a steady friend of their cause. When, therefore, the ambitious 
Kara Mustapha became grand vizier, after the death of Ahmed 
Kioprili, and when the hopes of assistance from the Divan 
seemed tolerably certain, the malcontents, strengthened by Poles 
and Transylvanians, and supported by French money, had 
many successful engagements with the imperial troops.* This 
Avar was, as might be expected, very cruel. The German soldiers 
acted as they chose, impressing men and horses, and giving no 
remuneration. The peasants were obliged to pay the same tax 
three or four times. The most expensive food was always de- 
manded, and received with expressions of the bitterest scorn. The 
slightest resistance was visited with blows, and even with death. 
The military officers were the only judges, and they were at the 
same time in general the accusers. Children were threatened that 
if they did not keep quiet the Germans would come. When a 
complaint reached Leopold, he sent a warning to his generals, but 
they were in a situation completely to disregard it. 

Up till the year 1678 a Transylvanian nobleman, Michael 
Teleky, led the rebels, and not without courage and prudence. 
In consequence of a quarrel, however, with the French officer, he 
resigned, and returned to his native land. Stephen Vesselenyi 
had the command for a time, and was followed by Count Erne- 
rich Tokely, the son of Stephen, who had died in the castle 
Likava. He had scarcely attained his twentieth year, when he 
had collected above twenty thousand men, with whom he roved 
through Hungary, plundered the mining towns, and in 1680 con- 
quered Kesmark and Leutshaw. Adorned with the qualities 
which become a general — he spoke Latin, Hungarian, German, 
and Turkish with great fluency. His followers fought with 
bravery, but without reaching the desired end. The victories 
were alternate; — to-day a victory, to-morrow a defeat; here an 
* Mailart, 1. c, vol. v. p. 28. 


advantage gained, on another spot a loss sustained. Wherever 
the insurgents gained the day they gave the Protestants their 
churches; in a few days, perhaps, the royalists entered and re- 
stored them to the Roman Catholics. It was natural that pent- 
up religious hatred here broke out, and that the party in power 
abused its position for the purposes of persecution. The insur- 
gents wreaked vengeance on the priests, and especially on the 
Jesuits, whom they considered the originators of all the calami- 
ties; and the royalists in their turn treated the Protestants with 
similar cruelty. 

The miserable state of the country, and the advice of several 
influential men, seemed to incline Leopold to milder measures in 
matters of religion. Perhaps, too, the birth of a prince was not 
without effect. This prince was born of Eleonora, princess of 
the palatinate, and his third wife, on the 26th July 1678.* After 
recalling General Kopp, who was distinguished by awful cruelty, 
and setting in his place Stephen Count of Wiirben, as commander- 
in-chief in Upper Hungary, he sent a circular letter to all the 
bishops and higher civil officers, to inquire what means they 
thought most likely to restore peace. f 

The gentler counsel of the Bishop of Waitzen was overcome 
by the fiery and furious Barskony, Bishop of Erlau. The 
opinions were so different, that the king could come to no con- 
clusion. After the death of the Bishop of Erlau, he made 
another attempt to obtain peace, by summoning a commission 
to Presburg, carefully to inquire into the state of the country. 
The whole affair, however, was rendered useless by Leopold's 
imprudent step of appointing a German of the name of Hocker, 
who had lately become a nobleman, to be the president of the 
commission, and thus wounding the national prejudices of the 
Hungarian bishops and nobles. When, therefore, the president 
forgot himself so far as to call all the Hungarians rebels, a 
storm arose in the council, and in the heat Count Thomas Pallfy 
called the president a scoundrel, and naturally the discussions 
were soon brought to a close. 

A third attempt was made by the old Archbishop of Gran, 
in the king's name, but equally in vain. He went, towards the 
close of 1678, to the leader of the rebels, Tokely, to persuade 
him to give over hostilities, f The archbishop was kindly re- 

* Szirmay, Notit. Hist. Comitatis Zempl., p. 222. 
t Engel, 1. c, vol. v. p. 87. % Fessler, vol. ix. p. 289, 


ceived, and informed by Tokely that he would gladly cease 
on condition that complete and full pardon should be secured; 
that the constitution and the office of the palatine be again 
restored; that the Protestants should again obtain possession 
of their churches ; that certain priests should be banished ; and 
that sufficient security should be granted that all these con- 
ditions would be honestly and faithfully carried out.* As the 
archbishop would not grant so much, streams of blood must 
flow before there was peace. The work of peace was most 
hindered by the two princes who accompanied the archbishop, 
Swartzenberg and Nostitz, for they demanded that, before any 
proposals should be made, General Tokely should lay down 

Tokely once more drew the sword, and as the emperor had 
now made peace with France, he was so much the more inclined 
to try the chances of war. There was, therefore, no great earnest 
on either side in seeking peace. The scourge of civil war was 
equally terrible on both sides, and in 1679 a plague came to 
help on with the work of death. So fearful was the mortality, 
that from March till October even the war relaxed, and the 
deputy-governor of the land was chased away by the plague. 

After another attempt to arrange the affairs of the country had 
failed, through the imprudent advice of Leopold's German coun- 
sellors, the primate at length succeeded in obtaining a diet to be 
held at (Edenberg on the 28th April 1681. 

* Engel, 1. c, vol. v. p. 90. 



Diet of (Edenberg, 1681 — Election of the Palatine — Petition to the King — Memorial 
of the Roman Catholics — The Petitions of the Protestants without effect — .George 
Gerhard's Motion — The Roman Catholic Deputy, Gabriel Kapy — Struggle of the 
Clergy — The Roman Catholic Magnates and Nobles assist the Protestants — The 
Imperial Decree — Further attempts of the Protestants — Close of the Diet. 

This diet, which the Germans had so much opposed, was of great 
importance for Hungary. By the fact of summoning the diet, 
the king made the confession, that he did not expect, from the 
unconstitutional proceedings of the past years, that amount of 
prosperity for the land which was desirable, and that he was 
resolved to govern the country from this time forward in a 
different manner. And in fact we do find that from this time 
forward he was less imperious in his manner of treating political 
questions ; and though there was still much bigotry in Church 
affairs, it was not carried to such an extent as before. 

At this diet, which was one of the most splendid which had 
long been held, there appeared two Hungarian archbishops, six- 
teen bishops, eighteen royal barons and magnates, one hundred 
and eight noblemen, and one hundred and thirty-four deputies of 
the counties and free towns.* Tokely was also invited. But 
though he had concluded an armistice with Leopold, still, he 
and his friends thought it better to remain away. On the 24th 
May the king opened the deliberations with a Latin oration after 
ancient custom, and handed in the subjects of discussion. 

In the very beginning of the diet, dark clouds seemed to 
hover on the prospects of the Protestants. Contrary to ancient 
privilege, the Protestant members of diet were forbidden to have 
their preacher, and it was only with much trouble that they 

* In the whole assembly of three hundred and fourteen, there were 
only forty-five Protestants, — of these, twenty-nine Lutherans and sixteen 


at last obtained permission.* It was with trouble that -the 
Hungarians succeeded in electing a palatine. When, however, 
from among the four Roman Catholic candidates, Paul Ester- 
hazy was elected, the court expressed itself highly pleased, f 
Immediately after this election, the Protestant deputies inquired 
whether the diet were prepared to enter on the consideration of 
ecclesiastical affairs. Being referred to the magnates, they 
received the written reply, " that private affairs should be passed 
over, and only grand general questions be brought forward for 
discussion. The Protestants should receive no support from the 
magnates, yet they should still have liberty to complain and to 
petition." Having once more inquired whether the affairs of 
all the Protestants in the nation should be considered a private 
matter, the reply was sent, that the time from eight till twelve 
o'clock each day should be devoted to public business, and 
afterwards the Protestants could occupy themselves with their 
own affairs. 

The Protestants then met, and, under the guidance of George 
Gerhard as president, resolved to send a deputation to the king, 
the royal commissioners, and to the palatine, to recommend the 
cause of the Protestant religion with modesty, prudence, and 
zeal ; and they now begged the palatine to protect the Hungarian 
pastor from the insults to which he was constantly exposed. 

On the 21st June the deputation set out for the royal 
residence, and on the 2 2d had an audience of the king, setting 
forth their grievances, which are too important to be here 
omitted. The paper which they presented was as follows : — \ 

11 Most Gracious, Imperial, and Royal Majesty, — We have no 
doubt that your imperial Majesty will well remember the state- 
ment which was presented to your imperial Majesty in 1662, 
recounting the grievances and oppressions which the Protestant 
subjects of your Majesty had borne, and how that petition 
requested your Majesty to use your royal influence to put an end 
to those grievances which were then definitely and specifically 
recorded, with the proofs of the same. A request was made, 

* It was on the 1st July that the Lutheran deputies held their first 
service ; their place of meeting was a store in the little Pootshi Street, 
and on the 10th July the Calvinists held their meeting in a similar 

t Engel, vol. v. p. 96. 

X Hist. Diplomatics, in App., p. 87. 


that your Majesty would please to restrain those who, contrary 
to the constitution of the country, were hindering the free exer- 
cise of the Protestant religion. While the same evils still 
continue, and while those who are guilty of excess remain 
unpunished, thus giving encouragement to more glaring acts of 
oppression, unbounded liberty is taken in persecuting the Pro- 
testants, till it appears scarcely possible to preserve even a wreck 
of that religious liberty which was guaranteed by laws of the 
land and by royal ordinances. Churches, schools, gymnasia, 
hospitals, and all the property connected with them, which the 
Protestants had quietly possessed in dependence on the law of 
the land, have been taken away by threats, surprise, tricks, or 
sometimes by arms — indeed, by processes in which all law and 
justice are disregarded. Some of the buildings have been com- 
pletely removed, and the materials used for stables and other 
similar buildings. The dead can be buried in the churchyard 
only after paying enormous fees. Protestant pastors and school- 
masters have, under various pretences, been plundered by pre- 
lates, magnates, and others holding civil and military offices, 
even by foreign soldiers ; and then, chased out of their dwell- 
ings and bound with chains, have been carried out of the 
country. Some have been nailed on the ground on wood in 
the form of a cross ; others have been bastinadoed ; others 
only let loose after paying a heavy ransom. Many, under the 
pretence of their having originated or favoured a rebellion, were 
summoned to an extraordinary court at Presburg, and there 
sentenced to banishment or to the galleys ; and, after three vain 
attempts to hang a Protestant pastor, he was at last buried 
alive. The rest were compelled to resign their office and go 
into exile ; so that the most of the parishes are without pastors, 
and the people without divine service of any kind, living like 
the inferior creation, while the children are dying unbaptized. 

" Both noblemen and peasants have been taken prisoners, and 
led in chains to attend the service of the Popish priest. The 
consecrated wafer has been thrust by force into the mouth of 
some who did not wish it. Several Protestants have been un- 
justly driven out of their property, and whole villages have been 
plundered without redress. Many who were married by Pro- 
testant pastors, or received other ministerial services from them, 
were on that account summoned before the priests, and com- 
pelled to change their religion. Protestant parties are even by 


military force obliged to pay Popish priests. When Psalms are 
sung or prayers offered in private houses, the parties, and even 
sometimes noblemen, have been marched to prison by the officers 
of foreign troops, as if they were common felons. On the military 
frontiers your imperial Majesty has, by several special decrees, 
granted freedom of religious exercise, and yet in such places 
Protestant pastors have not been tolerated. In some counties 
all Protestants have been indiscriminately dismissed from all 
public offices, and therefore could not be elected to this diet. In 
some cities the Protestants are completely, and in others partly, 
deprived of their civil rights ; and the election of magistrates does 
not take place, according to long-established custom, by the free 
choice of the citizens, but by the nomination of commissioners of 
the Royal Chamber.* In some towns and corporate boroughs 
the Protestants are excluded from the common deliberations in 
public matters ; and though your Majesty's gracious decrees were 
directed to all, yet only the Roman Catholics were brought to- 
gether to hear them read ; and, contrary to the customs of the 
country, all Protestants were struck off the list of candidates to 
be elected to the diet. Protestants, who have been born among 
us, are either not admitted to the rights of citizens, or are 
admitted under great restrictions, and they are absolutely pro- 
hibited from acquiring property in houses and lands. Magis- 
trates who, on not finding Roman Catholics fitted for an office, 
have appointed Protestants, have been on that account fined and 
otherwise punished by the attorney-general. Churches, manses, 
glebe lands, schools, and private houses, have, despite the 
patron's or proprietor's protest, been delivered over to Jesuits, 
by which means the Jesuits have, contrary to law, obtained a 
footing in the country, while the protests of the citizens have 
been disregarded. Evangelical artisans are obliged to attend to 
Popish ceremonies ; some of the trades' corporations have been 
dissolved, and have again obtained their freedoms only on condi- 
tion of expelling all Protestants from among them. Very often 
has it occurred that our brethren were not admitted to learn or 
to practise a trade till they had renounced their faith. Mar- 
riages, baptisms, and other rites are often refused till the parties 

* This had taken place on the 24th April 1675, in (Edenberg, by order 
of the Royal Chamber, and in the year 1680 by Kollonitz, who removed 
the last Protestant secretary of the Council of Eisenstadt, and filled up his 
place with a Roman Catholic. 


have either actually joined the Church of Rome, or have pro- 
mised to do so. Legacies, which were left for Protestant pur- 
poses, have been wrested and applied to purposes contrary to the 
wish of the testator. Much of our ills we leave untold, that the 
petition may not be too wearisome to your imperial Majesty. 
Still we are prepared at all times, if required, to give all the par- 
ticulars of those complaints which we here mention in general, 
and to furnish proofs of the same. While we therefore renew our 
former complaint, we betake ourselves once more, with all be- 
coming respect, to the throne of your imperial Majesty, begging, 
for the sake of the mercy of God, that your imperial Majesty 
would cause, during the sitting of the present diet, that our 
distress may be relieved ; that we may be restored to the pos- 
session of our former privileges which have been violently taken 
away; that the disturbers of our religious liberties may be 
punished according to law ; and that the political rights of the 
evangelical party may be restored and guaranteed for all time 
coming, as the law of the land directs. 

" These favours of your imperial Majesty we shall not only 
acknowledge by fervent prayer to God for a blessing on your 
Majesty and on the house of Austria, but also by continued obe- 
dience and loyalty. — Waiting for a favourable decision on the 
part of your Majesty, we are, your imperial Majesty's most faith- 
ful and most obedient subjects." 


On the 30th June the Protestant deputies appeared before 
Count Nostitz, the Bohemian chancellor, who declared, in the 
name of the king, that his Majesty had really read their petition 
all through, but, as it contained many weighty matters, he must 
first hear the statement of the Roman Catholics. The Protestant 
cause thus seemed likely to be completely crushed. At the same 
time, on the 4th July, the Burgomaster of QEdenberg gave orders 
that none but the deputies and the foreign princes should venture 
to attend the preaching of the Protestant pastor, who was chap- 
lain to the Protestant members of the diet. 

The Papists had in the meantime also handed a memorial to 
the king, and Nostitz now appeared to inform the Protestant 
deputies that it was his Majesty's wish to settle the whole mat- 
ter quietly, and it would be only in case of the friendly delibera- 
tions proving unsuccessful that he would interfere as judge. The 


Protestants requested a sight of the memorial of the Papists, 
which the king refused, giving as a reason that it would only 
increase the bitter feeling. By means of the palatine, however, 
they got possession of the paper, and found that the Papists repre- 
sented that they had only taken possession of such churches as 
had been built by their party, and had been unjustly seized by 
the Protestants. The Protestants had secured their religious 
liberty by means of rebellion, and therefore they had no right to 
it. While the greater number of the magnates had again joined 
the Church of Kome, it would be very unseemly to take more 
notice of the peasant than of the peer. Protestant pastors had 
not been punished as such, but as rebels ; and those who had 
been burned had deserved the punishment by being incendiaries 
and tumultuous. They then related the most distressing stories, 
how Popish priests were obliged to hide in bushes, and could dis- 
charge the duties of then office only at the peril of their life ; how 
in some counties only two or three Roman Catholic priests were 
to be found, while hosts of Protestants were there ; how in one 
county, Simeghij not a single priest was to be found, while a 
hundred Protestant pastors were labouring in the county ; how 
in another county fifty Protestant pastors were instructing the 
people, and in the whole county not a single priest. Thus spake 
the Roman Catholics. 

The king was willing to appoint commissioners to settle the 
whole affair, but the Protestants had already learned that no con- 
fidence could be placed in such an arrangement, and therefore 
declined. They preferred leaving all to his Majesty's pleasure, 
for from their mighty antagonists there was little to be expected. 
Bishop Kollonitz had given evidence of his feeling in a sermon 
on the festival of Ignatius Loyola, in which he had, by way of 
reproach, called the one party of Protestants " Augsburg mer- 
chants," and the other " Swiss peasants." 

On the 2d August the Protestants handed a second petition to 
the emperor, in which they answered the charges of the Roman 
Catholics. The emperor received the speaker of the deputation 
very kindly, and promised to consider the contents closely and 
conscientiously ; he would decide so as to satisfy the Protestants 
of Hungary, and give them his decision through a commissioner. 

The Protestants begged not to be asked to enter into treaty 
with their antagonists, for they could yield nothing of their rights, 
and royal decisions which had already been made must remain 


sacred. They shewed the folly of supposing that the Protestants 
had slipped into Hungary with fire and sword, or by the aid of 
the Turks, and reminded the king how they had obtained the 
assurance of full toleration, not by force, but by the royal free 
will • for, in 1559, when his Majesty granted the toleration, there 
was perfect peace in the country. In 1647 there were ninety 
chinches restored to them which had been unjustly taken away, 
therefore no charge could be brought that they were taking the 
chinches of then opponents. The great majority of the inhabit- 
ants of the country was still on their side. They shewed the 
falsehood of the charge that the Papists had received more ill than 
they had done to others, by the fact that no Popish priest had 
been driven away by the Protestants ; and if individuals of the 
latter had injured individuals of the former confession, the Pro- 
testants had no means, as the Papists had, of protecting their 
party from injustice. 

While the Protestants were thus waiting between hope and 
fear, a letter arrived on the 18th August. Afraid to open it 
themselves, they laid it before the royal commissioners, so that 
there might be no accusation of having in any way altered the 
royal message. The commissioners praised them for what they 
had done, and sent the letter back. It was a veiy harmless note, 
simply advising them in then present critical position to be patient 
and moderate. And a very good advice it was, for they were just 
about to require an unusual amount of these virtues, when, after 
one petition to the queen and four to the king, his Majesty, who 
always received them kindly, could come to no decision in then- 
case. Towards the end of August they began to absent them- 
selves from the sittings, and, so soon as the king heard it, he 
immediately wrote them a severe reproof They now addressed 
themselves to the influential men about the king, such as Charles, 
Margrave of Baden, the Bishop of Vienna, Counts Nostitz, 
Zinzendorf, and Swartzenberg, as also to the Austrian chan- 
cellor, Hocker,* who were favourably disposed towards them. 
The diet had now been five months sitting, and still the Pro- 
testants had gained nothing. 

On the 1st October George Gerhard moved that the whole diet 

* The chancellor said, " If your patience under such trials had continued 
for ten days it would have been "wonderful, but that you could bear on for 
ten years, ever since the Presburg Commission in 1671, it is beyond con- 


should unite to petition the king respecting the religious grievances. 
The motion was ably supported by the Roman Catholic member, 
Gabriel Kapy, and after a very warm discussion, they resolved 
to send a deputation to the magnates, to move them that they 
should cause all parties to unite in the petition. "When the de- 
putation reached the council chamber of the magnates, they were 
informed by the palatine that the time had not yet arrived for 
discussing the religious affairs of the Protestants, but that he 
would intercede with the king on then behalf. He kept his word, 
and the very same day returned them an answer in the king's 
name, " that Leopold pledges his royal word that the case shall 
be decided, and begs that, till such time as the question comes 
before the house, they should quietly proceed with business ; the 
palatine would also earnestly and affectionately request them to 
adopt that course." 

On the 2d October Gerhard renewed his motion, and once more 
Gabriel Kapy rose courageously to support him. He was well 
informed respecting the exact state of the Protestants, and he 
declared that it was the firm resolve of the Roman Catholic 
deputies of thirteen counties to take the side of the Protestants. 
The matter was the most important which could come before 
them ; and he, for his part, would not return to those that sent 
him till the religious disputes were settled. A storm followed 
this declaration. The royal commissioners and the clergy de- 
clared it to be a hasty resolution ; that the question stood later 
in the order of discussion, being the sixth point ; the diet should 
wait till the proper time came. The clergy added that it was 
unbecoming their dignity to join in a petition in favour of the 
Protestants, and that, moreover, all the Roman Catholic laity 
were not so favourable to the motion as Kapy represented. Be- 
ing thus challenged to express their opinion, all the laity de- 
clared their readiness to vote in favour of the motion. The 
magnates having acknowledged the justice of the petition, the 
palatine, an upright, honourable man, declared that, even in 
case of the clergy refusing to join them, the laity should of 
themselves approach the monarch with their request. The king 
was regularly informed of all these proceedings. 

On the following day, the 3d October, the debates were again 
stormy ; high words were interchanged. During the discussion 
the vice-palatine arrived to say that all were agreed to send a 
deputation consisting of members of all three estates to the king, 


the palatine Himself would take the lead, and thus a decision in 
this matter should soon be obtained. This proceeding brought 
Leopold at last to a decision, and in five days the following royal 
message was delivered : — 

" All states in the whole land, magnates, nobles, royal free 
cities, and royal boroughs, should remain by their religion. This 
privilege should also be granted to the soldiers on the borders. 
Not only should there be full liberty of faith, but also fall and 
complete liberty of religious exercise in every form. ISTo party 
should have the liberty to depose the clergy of the opposite 
party, or to banish them from the districts where freedom of 
religious exercise is guaranteed. No more churches should be 
taken away, but those which had been seized since 1670 should 
remain in possession of the present occupants.* The Lutherans 
should have liberty to build a church, and to exercise their reli- 
gion in every county where no Lutheran church at present 
exists. The 1st article of the Peace of Vienna is renewed in all 
its clauses. Eoman Catholics have the free exercise of their 
religion in every part of the kingdom. It should be especially 
permitted to the Lutherans in Presburg to build a church in a 
convenient place which should be shewed them.f The town of 
(Edenberg should continue to enjoy her present liberty. All 
coming disputes in religious matters should be settled without 
the use of arms ; and the 8th article of the sixth decree of 
King Ladislaus should be renewed and conscientiously observed. 
Lastly, all the inhabitants should take special care not in any 
way whatever to mock or treat with disrespect the religion of 
any party at present in existence." 

As this declaration was neither signed by the king nor sealed 
with the imperial seal, the Protestants refused to accept of it. 
The clergy were much offended. The royal messenger took the 
part of the Protestants, and declared their demand, to have the 
sign-manual and the seal attached, perfectly just. The clergy 
were informed that it was the will of his Majesty, in case they 

* We see how the clergy knew to provide for themselves. The most 
notorious plunder was here sanctioned. Among these was the Presburg 
church, as well as others which had been built by the Protestants, and 
many of the ninety which had been lately stolen. 

t Wondrous generosity ! — to have liberty to build a new church 
instead of that splendid church and college of which they had been 
deprived ! 


should continue obstinately to resist claims so just as those of 
the Protestants, to take all necessary steps for carrying out the 
resolution entirely independent of them. This firmness was of 
some use, for on the 11th October the paper was handed to the 
Protestants with all diplomatic formality. Bitter was the wrath 
of Bishop Kollonitz, the president of the chamber, who could not 
bear that so many Roman Catholics had interceded in behalf of 
the heretics, and bitter was the opposition which the Protestants 
might expect in carrying out their aims. 

The king was often undecided as to which party he should 
yield to, for he hoped to bring them nearer to each other. He 
also expected that the Protestants would be perfectly satisfied 
with what they had now obtained. When he found, however, 
that the bitterness of party feeling did not subside, he issued, on 
the 12th November, another decree, in substance the same with 
the foregoing, but at the same time more specific, especially nam- 
ing several places where ground should be granted for building 
evangelical churches. The Protestants accepted all this as an 
instalment. They felt that they had been driven out of their 
rightful property, and had as yet only received a very small 
portion in return. The royal decree was acknowledged by the 
States on the 22d November, and exceptions were taken to some 
parts of it. The States were informed that they might soon 
expect a new decree. When the document appeared, it was 
only an advice to the Protestants to be content with what they 
had received. Instead of remaining quiet, however, they drew 
up a list of all the cirurches, schools, property, &c, which had 
been taken from them by force, and handed it to the king on 
the 8th December. The paper received, it is true, no atten- 
tion, but it contained the following statistical information : — It 
stated that in counties under Leopold's sway, they had lost, in 
(Edenberg, 27 ; Eisenburg, 97 ; Salad, 3 ; Eaab, 15 ; Komorn 
14 ; TTiesselburg, 24 ; Wesprin, 8 ; Presburg, 46 ; Neutra, 50 
Trentshin, 55 ; Arva, 10 ; Liptau, 35 ; Zips, 99 ; Sharosh, 7 ; Sol 
33 ; Thurotz, 23 ; Abanivarer, 67 ; Szathmar, 5 ; Beregh, 12 
Barsh, 25 ; Zemplin, 114 ; Gomor, 33 ; Tom, 20 ; Unghvar, 
36 ; Hont, 22 ; Neograd, 10 : Borshad, 1 ; together, 888 churches 
without counting the chapels (and houses for prayer). 

At the same time that the Protestants handed this statement 
to the king, the diet presented also a petition, with a request to 
the palatine to support it. They demanded that from the diet 


a decree should proceed, reversing all the involuntary resigna- 
tions and exiles; that all the exiles might return home and 
obtain possession of their property; and that all ecclesiastical 
decisions should be made consistent with the royal decree; in 
other words, that the decree should be made retrospective. On 
the 17th December, a verbal message was delivered from the 
king, that these matters should be all granted. The king was 
willing in such cases, where inconvenient building ground had 
been given to the Protestants, to have it exchanged for more 
suitable places. Such of the Protestant churches as the Roman 
Catholics already held, and which had not yet been consecrated, 
should be restored, and the Protestants might bury their dead as 
they chose. 

Not satisfied with the verbal message, the Protestants sent 
petitions on the 20th and 22d December, begging that all limita- 
tions to the free exercise of their religion should be legally 
removed ; and as the diet appeared to be drawing to a close, 
they threatened to absent themselves from the sittings, if their 
request was not granted. On the 24th December, they heard 
the reply read, which required, " That all the resolutions of the 
diet should be drawn up in perfect accordance with the will of 
all the States ; and that the articles respecting religion should be 
entered among the laws of the present diet. The king promised 
that all religious matters still undecided should be brought for- 
ward at the next diet." That was now the end of the exertions 
which the Protestants had made. Leopold granted nothing 
more. Only on the 29th December, the palatine brought them 
the information, that in Modern, Kasmark, and Zeben, the king 
permitted Protestant churches to be built. On the 30th Decem- 
ber the diet was closed notwithstanding the protest of the 
Protestants, and on the same day the king left the town. The 
articles of the diet numbered eighty-two. 

The bitterly- disappointed Protestants took the last constitu- 
tional measure, of entering on 31st December, both with the 
palatine and with the representatives of royalty, a protest against 
the decision respecting the religious disputes. 

The best article was the 25th, renewing the 1st article of 
the Peace of Vienna, but there was an unfortunate clause added, 
protecting the rights of the landed proprietor, which were de- 
clared not to be affected. This article formally annulled all the 
documents which the exiled clergy had been obliged to sign, 


allowed them to return to their homes, and guaranteed that 
no one should be in future disturbed in the exercise of his 
religion, nor compelled to observe ceremonies contrary to his 
conscience. In the 26th article this was still farther explained, 
and applied to particular cases. This article granted the restora- 
tion of such churches as had not yet been consecrated; and 
named the commissioners who should in the different counties 
grant land for building new churches, specifying at the same 
time what churches should belong to the Lutherans and what 
churches to the Reformed. Where the churches are not restored, 
still the Protestants should have the use of the bells and of the 
burying-ground. As had been resolved in 1647, no one should 
be obliged to pay any fees to the clergy of any church to which 
he did not belong. All the magnates had a right to build 
chapels in common with their own palaces and castles. The 
Protestants should be admitted to all offices in the state, whether 
higher or lower; and it was finally admitted, that the Protestants 
have a right still to claim much more than is here guaranteed, 
and, notwithstanding the opposition of the clergy, the way was 
declared to be open for them at a following diet. 

If we look at the way in which the Protestants were at that 
time oppressed, we see in these resolutions much cause of thank- 
fulness, and we must acknowledge that it was the laymen among 
the Roman Catholics, and neither the king nor the priests, to 
whom the Protestants were indebted for the change. 

If we look, however, at the law of the land, and at enactments 
then in full force ; if we consider the steps by which the Protest- 
ant Chinch had been oppressed, the churches taken away, and 
the pastors banished ; if we reflect on the parties who, under the 
holy names of religion and justice, themselves bearing the title of 
ministers of Jesus Christ, caused this distress, — the words of the 
Lord come involuntarily to our remembrance : " Woe unto you, 
scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites ! for ye shut up the kingdom of 
heaven against men : for ye neither go in yourselves, neither 
suffer ye them that are entering to go in. Woe unto you, scribes 
and Pharisees, hypocrites ! for ye devour widows' houses, and for 
a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the 
greater damnation." 

Why should we call up names ? But the Archbishop of Gran, 
George Szelepczeny, Bishop Leopold Kollonitz, and Ladislaus 
Mattyashowski, made themselves so notorious in all these pro- 


ceedings, that their names shall go down with disgrace to all 
coming ages. The archbishop boasted that he had rescued 
sixty-three thousand souls of heretics from damnation, and 
brought them back to the Church of Rome. How had he done 
so ? That was to a zealous Jesuit a matter of little consequence. 
The equally zealous Bishop Barskony gave the Pope a list of 
6768 heretics whom he had brought into the Church of Rome, 
and for this great work he was made Bishop of Erlau. 



Conduct of the Roman Catholic Clergy after the Diet — The Recorder of (Edenberg — 
War with Tokely — Vienna beseiged by the Turks — Relieved by the Poles — The 
Prince of Transylvania joins Leopold against the Turks — Ofen retaken after a 
hundred and forty-six years' Possession by the Turks — General Karaffa — The 
Court of Assize at Debrecsin and Eperjes. 

We have not yet done with our charges against the Roman 
Catholic clergy. History sits in judgment and condemns them. 
Their acts after the diet were as bitter as their words had been 
during the same. We cannot follow them into all the details, 
but we select one case to illustrate the spirit which actuated 
them in all their movements. 

The free city of (Edenberg was one of the first to build a 
church and a school, and thus to assert its rights in consequence 
of the decision of the diet. The majority of its inhabitants were 
indeed Protestants. In consequence of the diet having declared 
Protestants capable of holding office, the citizens met on the 
24th April 1682, and elected John Serpilius, a Protestant, to the 
office of recorder of the city. Bishop Kollonitz presided at the 
election as royal commissioner, and as he could ill brook not 
only that a Protestant church was built, but also a Protestant 
recorder elected in the city, he, on his own responsibility, set 
aside the election, and appointed Nicolas Horwath, a Roman 
Catholic, to the office. As the electors insisted, however, on 
retaining Serpilius, and refused to acknowledge the nominee of the 
bishop — going indeed so far as to carry the fasces, the insignia of 
office, to the house of the former ; and as they on the following day 
elected two Protestant senators, the enraged bishop left the city. 
On the 8th October he sent Count Nicolas Draskowitsh, the 
chief justice ; Count Erdody, the president of the chamber ; and 
Count Zichy, the keeper of the crown, to instal Horwath, but 
they were obliged to come away after three days without success. 


On tlie 16th. November they returned to attempt to unite the 
office of recorder and mayor in the same person, and thus settle 
the dispute. Being once more unsuccessful, they returned on 
the 10th December, and the chronicle records, — " While the 
Protestants and Homan Catholics held together, it was at last 
resolved that Gregory Natl should be recorder till the close of 
the year, and in future the city should have the liberty of elect- 
ing freely whom they would. 

Under these circumstances, it was not to be wondered at if 
the Protestants translated " Punica fides" into " Ne hidj neki 
mest Papista."* It was no wonder if between the Court of 
Vienna and Tokely the peace was only in appearance, and 
each only watched an opportunity to gain an advantage over 
the other. Each endeavoured to represent the other in as 
unfavourable light as possible at the Court of Constantinople. 

The disadvantage was just now on the side of Tokely. For 
while, during the truce between him and Austria, matters 
appeared so unfavourable to the Protestants at the Diet of 
OEdenberg, and it seemed as if new persecutions were likely to 
break out, he cunningly reckoned on the consequences, and 
promised obedience to the sultan if he would support him 
against Leopold. The warlike grand vizier wished nothing 
more eagerly, and sent orders to the Yoyvod of Moldavia and 
Wallachia, to the Pasha of Ofen, and to the Prince of Tran- 
sylvania, to be ready to support Tokely in case of need with 
money and arms. With such promises of assistance, he gave 
notice that the truce should cease, and summoned the surround- 
ing counties to join him. For this time, his summons was dis- 
regarded, for the Protestants were afraid of injuring their 

To protect himself against Tokely, who by the assistance of 
the Turks was become too powerful for him, Leopold, on the 18th 
June 1682, concluded the Treaty of Luxemburg with Saxony, 
Bavaria, Hesse-Brunswick, Luneburg, and the circles of Swabia 
and Franconia. An embassy was now sent to Constantinople 
and to Tokely to mediate peace, but without success, upon which 
a very bloody war commenced. 

In the month of August 1682, Tokely had possession of 
Szdthmar, Onod, Tokay, Kashaw, Leutshaw, and the whole of 
Zips. He now issued a bulletin calling the Hungarians to arms. 
* Don't believe him, he is a Papist. 


Leopold now made a truce, and Tokely availed himself of the 
opportunity of sending an embassy to Constantinople to conclude 
a solemn treaty with the sultan. This was in January, and on 
the 28th April Leopold entered into a treaty with John Sobiesky, 
King of Poland, promising him from the Pope, as head of the 
league, three hundred thousand dollars for the use of troops. 
With astonishing rapidity the Turk advanced, and so early as 
the 14th July he stood before Vienna. He besieged the city 
till the 12th September, during which time Tokely's troops had 
possession of Eisenstadt, (Edenberg, Guns, and Presburg. 

Wherever Tokely's troops appeared, the Protestants obtained 
possession of all their churches and schools, little dreaming how 
soon they must again surrender them. Tokely entered (Eden- 
berg on the 15th July, and on the following day the Jesuits, to 
the number of eleven, were removed from the town in three carts. 
They received one hundred florins for their expenses on the road, 
and twenty men to conduct them in safety. On the 17th July 
the Protestants obtained possession of St George's Church, which 
was consecrated by Pastor Acs ; and on the same day they were 
again put in possession of the Latin school, and of the Church 
property which, nine years ago, had been taken from them. 
The Roman Catholic senators were about being dismissed, but 
the Protestants interceded for them, and they remained in 

This possession of their churches and schools did not continue 
long, for when Vienna was relieved by the Polish troops, the 
slavery of the Protestants returned. At the same time with the 
Turkish troops did Tokely's retire, and in the month of Septem- 
ber all was again as it had been before the invasion. This could 
not be said of every place, for where the victorious arms of the 
league made way, there were the Protestants once more bitterly 
oppressed. The cruelty and severity of the Popish clergy will be 
best seen by an extract from the petition which was presented to 
the king by the Protestants in 1687 at the diet. 

In this petition the Protestants complain, " That the free 
exercise of the rights of their religion is almost universally pro- 
hibited ; that the pastors are being driven out of the villages, or 
prohibited from discharging their official duties ; they are deprived 
of their property and driven to beggary ; the churches are taken 
forcibly away; the poor people, and especially the miners, are 
compelled either to become Roman Catholics or lose their means 



of subsistence, indeed are sometimes imprisoned in heavy irons 
in case of refusal, or cannot receive their week's wages except 
they have been at mass. 

" Almost universally has the Church property, consisting of 
houses, gardens, vineyards, been taken away ; rectors and teachers 
imprisoned ; nobles and peasants compelled to observe Popish 
ceremonies and holidays ; Protestants obliged to sign declara- 
tions by which they engage to decline accepting of any office 
whatever simply on acoount of their religion, deprived of all cor- 
poration privileges ; — and all this done as if by command of the 

" The tithes, which the Protestants are not bound to pay, are 
demanded by the priests, and other payments made compulsory 
in direct opposition to the laws of the land ; the fees at funerals 
most oppressive ; the use of bells, and also of hospitals, denied ; 
public and private worship disturbed in every possible way, or 
prohibited; — and all this without redress." 

The Protestant Prince of Transylvania, terrified by the defeat 
of the Turks at Gran, 15th August 1685, and also by Tokely's 
misfortunes, joined the league on the 28th June 1686, and 
assisted the emperor very considerably in regaining Ofen, after 
it had been in possession of the Turks for one hundred and forty- 
six years ; still the prince was unable in any way to relieve the 
Protestants. On the contrary, the persecutions above described 
soon extended also to Transylvania. For when the unstable 
Prince ApafTy, shortly after entering the league, refused to ob- 
serve the conditions, his country was regarded as a conquered 

It is not consistent with the plan of this work to give a detail 
of the cruelties of that time ; still we cannot overlook the fearful 
human slaughter at Eperjes, as it casts some light on the com- 
plaints and sufferings of the Protestants, and gives a bad notoriety 
to the bloody and reckless men who, without shadow of law or 
of justice, despotically ruled over their fellows. 

After the misfortunes of the former year, Tokely had been 
for some time cast into chains by the pasha, and, on recovering 
his liberty, he made several attempts once more to stir up the 
inhabitants of Upper Hungary to rebellion. The enemies made 
use of this opportunity to injure the Protestants. Anton Karaffa, 
the military commander of the district, a tyrant and a courtier of 
the worst stamp, had laid a plan to accuse all the nobility of 


Upper Hungary, who were chiefly Protestants, of having con- 
spired against the king. It was represented that Gabriel Palasdy, 
one of Tokely's generals, had written letters and sent money to 
the fortress Munkacs, that the castle might be made the centre of 
a new revolution. 

Karaffa now went to Vienna, accused the nobility and the 
citizens of Upper Hungary of preparing to rebel, and begged 
full power to rescue the country and the emperor from this great 
danger. The Austrian and Bohemian chancellors supported his 
request, and Leopold granted him the desired power to examine 
and punish the guilty according to the laics of Hungary, and 
without molesting those who had already been pardoned* 

It was after the impulse of his own unbridled hate towards 
the Hungarians f that he summoned the extraordinary assize at 
De'bre'csin and Eperjes. Men like himself, without faith and 
without conscience, were made members of that court. In 
Eperjes there were two Italian huxters, Federigo and Giuleani, 
a native of Danzig and a Swabian, and Karaffa himself pre- 

Sending out spies and emissaries of the lowest grade, he filled 
the prisons with noblemen and citizens, with rich and poor, at 
pleasure. Thirty hangmen stood in his pay, and he had given 
six hundred florins for the invention of new modes of torture 
and refinements in the art of beheading, torturing, hanging, and 
quartering. \ So soon as the prisons were filled with men many 
of whom had faithfully served their king and their country, he 
opened the court on the 20th of February; and, according to 
previous arrangement, the principal accuser and witness was an 
abandoned woman named Eliza Ujhely, one of the most noto- 
rious camp followers. The nobility of Zemplin saw that there 
was, under these circumstances, only one way of escape. Through 
the Bishop of Grosswardein, Augustine Boskowitsh, they sent a 
present of four hundred ducats and twenty barrels of best Tokay 
wine, and thus delivered themselves from further persecution and 
from death. 

On the 15th March the sentence of death was executed on 

* Fessler's History, vol. ix. p. 393. 

t A common expression with him was, that if he thought he had a single 
nerve in his body favourably inclined to the Hungarians, he would cut it out 
and throw it in the fire. 

X Fessler, vol. ix. p. 396 ; Johannes Rezik, 1. c. 


Sigismund Zimmermann, a distinguished senator and inspector 
of the evangelical church, after he had "been four hours on the 
wheel. His godfather, Julian, also a senator, and an Italian by 
birth, stood by, good-naturedly watching the spectacle. At the 
same time and place, Caspar Eausher, a retiring, modest man, 
in the forty-fourth year of his age ; the noble-minded Andrew 
Ketzer, of Lippock, also a Protestant, and one of the deputies to 
the diet in 1662, who had then nobly defended the cause of free- 
dom ; and Francis Barany, a senator of Eperjes, also a Pro- 
testant, — having been first put to the torture, their right hands 
were then cut off, they were afterwards beheaded, and the bodies 
quartered and thrown into the streets. Karaffa then issued a 
decree that, under pain of death, no one should venture to assert 
that they died innocent.* 

On the 2 2d March, five others were put to death. Gabriel 
Ketzer, whose father had just been executed, and who was now 
in his thirtieth year, ascended the scaffold, singing,— 

" Lord Jesus Christ, my only light, 
The rock on which I build." 

With him were executed Martin Sharosfy, Samuel Medvetsky, 
and the senators George Fleishhacker and George Schonleben. 
Medvetsky's head fell as he had uttered the words, " Lord Jesus, 

into thy" . These men were simply beheaded, and 

quietly buried; and Fessler is not correct in saying that they 
were quartered like the rest.f 

A nobleman, Sigismund Guth, of Neusohl, who had been 
already some time under the torture, was at the last moment 
rescued by his relative, Michael Fisher, a favourite of Karaffa, 
and he was afterwards made senator, for which favours he 
became Koman Catholic.t 

On the 9th May, Andrew Szekely of Doba, George Bezegh, 
the wealthy and noble George Bavensky, Gabriel Palasdy, and 
the senators Frederick and Daniel Weber, were put to death 
with all the horrors and cruelty of the first execution. Bavensky 
was before his death so long exposed to the fire, that his body 

* Johannes Eezik, Prof. Ev. Coll. Eperjes, 1. c. 

t Johannes Eezik. Simon Fieldmajer had taken his own life in prison ; 
he had been a distinguished warrior, and had fought on the king's side at 
the taking of Pesth. 

t Eezik remarks, " It is the custom now that theft, homicide, or rebellion 
is not punished if the culprit is a Lutheran and turns to the Church of Eoine." 


was half roasted. David Feya, the recorder of Kashaw, went 
deranged under the torture, and died in prison, and in his place, 
a poor butcher of Kashaw, Samuel Lanyi, was, without accusa- 
tion or trial, set up and beheaded. After Feya's death the body 
was hung on a gallows and quartered. 

Michael Rosh, a nobleman from Neusohl, had been put to the 
torture till his strength was nearly exhausted, when a friend suc- 
ceeded in ransoming him for ten thousand dollars. Having been 
for some time carefully nursed, he began to recover from the effects 
of the torture. As he was explaining to some of the deputies of 
the diet at Presburg what he had suffered at the hands of Karaffa, 
one of them exclaimed it was impossible for the human frame to 
endure so much ; but, on taking them aside and shewing the scars, 
two of them immediately resolved to go to Vienna to demand that 
an end be put to such tortures. With the assistance of the pala- 
tine, Paul Esterhazy, these two deputies, Nicolas Berenyi and 
Ladislaus Barkotzy, succeeded in having the court dissolved and 
Karaffa recalled. The widows of Gabriel Ketzer and Sigismund 
Zimmermann, who had been judicially murdered without any 
just ground, had cried to the king for relief, and had received a 
few hundred florins ; but though an inquiry was promised into 
the transactions, yet not only was Karaffa not punished, but the 
king even granted him a medal as a mark of approbation. 

At the beginning of the diet in 1687 the Protestants handed 
in a faithful account of their sufferings, and begged for redress. 
They referred especially to the clause of the last diet — salvo jure 
dominorum terrestrium — which had in so many cases rendered 
the promised aid tantalising. But Leopold informed them that 
though, by their dissatisfaction with what had been already 
granted, they had forfeited all right to the privileges, neverthe- 
less he was resolved of his own free favour to continue all the 
liberties which had been granted in 1681, notwithstanding all 
opposition on the part of the Popish clergy and some of the lay 

This article was for the Protestants a source of much anxiety. 
He declares that they had lost all right to their legal privileges 
and freedoms, because they had raised their voice against the 
illegal limitations of the same ; and he declares it to be free royal 
favour if they should still continue to enjoy those rights. The 
bishops entered a protest even against this article, and by so 
doing, shewed what spirit was likely to actuate them for the 


future. This time it wsts no relief to the Protestants, but, on the 
contrary, a heavy stroke, that all the churches which had been 
taken on either side since 1681 should be restored. This was 
then interpreted to mean that all the churches which, by the 
diet at (Edenberg in 1681, had been ordered to be surrendered 
to the Protestants, were now to be returned. The royal com- 
missioners accordingly took possession of them, and banished the 
pastors. On the 24th January 1688, the Protestants handed in 
a modest but solemn declaration to the diet, in which they stated 
their grievances and their rights. An acknowledgment of the 
receipt was handed to them by the representatives of the crown, 
which acknowledgment they preserved, so that they might use it 
in happier times. Whether Joseph, the son of Leopold, who at 
this diet was crowned King of Hungary, realised the hopes of 
the Protestants, shall be seen in the course of this history. 




The Royal Commissioners and their Excesses — Banishment of Pastors Sextius and 
John Bury — Stephen Fekete a Persecutor — Bishop Matthew Rhadonai — Rakotz/s 
Imprisonment and Escape — Civil War — Rakotzy Conquers Hungary and is elected 
Prince of Transylvania — Treaties of Peace — Foreign Intervention — Leopold's 

Scarcely had the Diet of Presburg been dissolved, when the 
clergy found means of bringing the decrees of the Diet of GEden- 
berg, which had here been renewed, to bear with terrible effect 
on the Protestants. Under the direction of the powerful Arch- 
bishop Kollonitz, was the new royal commission made to consist, 
partly of priests, partly of such public officers as were completely 
devoted to Rome's interests ; and this commission was guilty of 
the most flagrant injustice, depriving the Protestants of all the 
churches and schools which they had legally obtained since 
1681. In Gomor county, which was mentioned in the 26th 
article of the Diet of OEdenberg as one of those in which the 
Protestants should retain their churches, an order was sent by 
the royal commissioner to the commander of the Castle of 
Murany, under date of May 30, 1688, directing that all the 
preachers on the estates of Murany and Berensh should be 
banished, and in case of opposition, should be thrown into 

In consequence of this decree, the clergy of Muranyallya, 
Hossureth, Vizesreth, Chisne, Suvetes, Rakos, and Nagykoese, 
left their congregations, and the churches were lost. 

In Sol, the royal commissioners drove the people to the 
necessity of emigrating. In Kremnitz and Schemnitz, the 
emigration of the Protestants was so extensive, in consequence 

* In some of the estates were from six to seven, in others ten or more, 
villages. See Crudy's Eccles. Prot., 2 torn., MS., Appendix No. 16. 


of the religious oppression, that the loss to the public revenue in 
eight years amounted to several millions.* 

In Schemnitz, the Count Erdody, Valentine Szente, and two 
others, took possession of the Protestant church in the king's 
name, and then proceeding to Neusohl, they demanded the keys 
of the two churches, and ordered the organ and furniture of the 
church to be within an hour brought to a private house, while 
both the preachers must immediately leave the town. 

The same work had already been done in the town of Dille, 
out of which the pastor, Kortonius, was banished for the third 
time. The commissioners, assisted by the vice-gespan, Samuel 
Bonicsky, a renegade Protestant, went through the same process 
in Bries ; and the pastor, Sextius, who was just returned from 
exile, was ordered within a very few hours to leave the town. 
With wife and five children, he left the town as an exile. The 
old pastor, Nicolas Nicolaides, was also with the schoolmaster 
ordered to quit ; but, on the entreaty of the congregation, he 
obtained leave to remain, on condition of resigning all claim to 
the pastoral office. The old man exclaimed, that he would 
rather emigrate to Germany, even if he should die on the public 
streets, than make such an engagement. The schoolmaster, 
Martin Dubowsky, might also have remained, on condition of 
educating the children in accordance with the tenets of the 
Church of Rome, but he scornfully rejected the proposal, and, 
with his faithful wife, accompanied the pastor in his exile. 

In Altsol, the Protestants received a message requiring 
that the surrender of the church should have taken place pre- 
vious to the arrival of the commissioners. In Karpfen, orders 
were received immediately to close the Protestant church, to 
cease to use the bells, and to banish the Protestant preachers 
without delay. In this church, John Bury, whose history of 
the transactions has so often been quoted, was labouring all the 
time, and he also was obliged to go into exile. An appeal to the 
laws of the last diet was disregarded, and the only reply was, 
that, on pain of death and confiscation of all his property, no 
pastor should in future discharge any of the functions of his 

John Bury appealed once more to the laws of the land, but 
was informed by the vice-gespan that " he had only executed 
his orders, and did not wish to shew the Protestants' ways and 
* Hist. Diplom., p. 124. 


means of remaining." Bury, who was at the time labouring 
under intermittent fever, answered that he had always stood 
under the special protection of the Most High ; even during his 
thirteen years' exile the Lord had provided for him, and, under 
the shade of the Most High, he and his children should never 
want. " Certainly the Lord will not forsake you," said the 
commissioner in a kindly tone, as if somewhat moved, to the great 
astonishment of some and chagrin of others of his assistants. 

The proposal was made that, by undertaking to resign the 
pastoral office, they might remain in quiet — but this was de- 
clined. A young priest, Emerich Kano, had in the meantime 
taken possession of the church with all the silver ; and when he 
found that, after three days, the two preachers were not yet 
gone, he threatened to drive them away by the military power. 
The vice-gespan quieted the young priest, however, bidding him 
wait till Leopold's decision in the matter had arrived, and the 
pastors had still a little quiet. 

Many other parishes were treated in the same way, and all 
appealed to the king for protection against the injustice done 
them. After the deputations had waited for years at Vienna, it 
was on the 2d April 1691 that Leopold broke silence by a de- 
claration little calculated to relieve the Protestants. We may 
enter more particularly into the consideration of this resolution or 
decree at the proper time. It is sufficient here to remark that 
the doubtful passage of the (Edenberg Diet was not explained, 
and some of the enactments of that diet were overturned. The 
persecutions were from this time forward intolerable. Often 
were the ambassadors of England and the Netherlands requested 
to interfere ; but when, by such means, a favourable concession 
was made, it was either counteracted in a few days by another 
decree, or was not carried out by those who had charge of the 
execution.* As evidence of this, we shall present to our 
readers only a few facts. 

In the spirit of Popish fanaticism, the royal commissioner^ 
John French, deputed by the Presburg chamber, came to Trent- 
shin. He deposed the Protestant senators, ordered the city not 
to retain more than one Protestant pastor, and after forbidding 
even him to baptize, to attend funerals, to marry, or to perform 

* Hist. Diplom., pp. 126, 127. 

t The commissioners were generally either bishops or men of distinc- 


any similar ministerial office, he at last, in 1696, banished him. 
The schoolmaster and some students were banished ; others 
were thrown into prison. Respectable citizens were publicly 
whipped on the market-day for no other crime than that of being 
Protestants. The commissioner compelled the Protestants to 
attend all the processions, and was in the habit of characterising 
them, without exception, even in public, as rebels, liars, thieves. 
This lasted for three years. 

Females, whether of the nobility, gentry, or peasants, who, 
from conviction, joined the Protestant Church, were immediately 
banished, and threatened, in case of return, to be publicly 
whipped by the hangman.* 

In the year 1700, when the complaints had become very loud, 
a new commissioner was sent to inquire into the cause of com- 
plaint j but, instead of making matters better, he made them 
worse. He compelled Protestants to carry the flags before the 
Popish processions ; and if, in the places under his protection, a 
pastor fell sick, no other could be admitted to supply his place. 
In a similar way were the royal commissioners, Earl Lowen- 
burg, Peterfy, and Meyer, perpetrating the most intolerable 
cruelties in Schemnitz, Kremnitz, Neusohl, and Bartfeld, for 
which they were never punished. 

In Guns, the royal commissioner was assisted by the bigoted 
Abbot Szalavar, and the renegade Stephen Fekete, once a Pro- 
testant superintendent, now Popish recorder of the city. The 
abbot had a soldier given to him as body-guard, and he abused 
this privilege so far as, without any assigned cause, to employ 
his guard in taking two Protestant senators and casting them 
into prison in the Castle of Forchtenstein. Here they lay for 
six weeks and three days, and were at last released by giving a 
promise, which they had no intention of keeping, and which they 
did not keep, of joining the Roman Catholic Church. Their 
names were John Simon and Daniel Gombassy. The abbot put 
the pastor in chains, and did not set him free till a thousand 
dollars were deposited as security that within twenty-four hours 
he should leave the town. On one of the citizens inquiring 
on whose authority this was taking place, the abbot drew out 
a pistol, saying, " This will answer the second question you 
ask." * 

In the meantime the abbot's military guard plundered fear- 
* Hist. Diplom., 1. c. t Ex protocollo Jesuitorum Gunsii. 


lessly and shamelessly in the town and suburbs. By circulating 
false reports in the king's name, and by giving to the Roman 
Catholics certificates that they were good citizens, many of the 
Protestants were driven into the forests, and during their absence 
their houses were plundered. Little behind the abbot was the 
priest George Ujvany in inventing new punishments. It was 
this priest who, in the year 1700, introduced the song of the 
night-watch, in which the following passage occurs : — " Glory 
be to God and to our Lady — the clock strikes nine." 

The hardest blow of all was the cruelty of Fekete against those 
over whom he had once been placed as pastor. In his new office, 
as recorder, he laid the heaviest portion of the taxes on the Pro- 
testants, and acted on the whole in such a way as to earn the 
most unbounded praise from the abbot. 

And all this persecution in Guns was in the face of the special 
royal protection which Leopold had granted them, and which 
had been guaranteed by the palatine and by Kollonitz in the 
year 1674, and renewed in 1701, in which patent Leopold de- 
clared it to be his royal will and pleasure, that the strictest faith 
be kept with the citizens of Giins, and that they be protected from 
every foe , and from every attack on their just rights.* 

But the Papists knew too well that they had the power in 
their hands. Without regarding the royal patent, they took pos- 
session of the Church funds, and of the money which had been 
gathered for evangelical purposes — a part of which had even 
been subscribed by brethren in foreign lands — and being now 
deposited with the Protestant citizens of Giins, it was all taken 
away, and never returned, f 

In Bartfeld, the provost, Tarnocsy, with two priests, the re- 
corder of the city, and sixteen soldiers, attacked the pastor, 
Elijah Sartori (who had been appointed with Leopold's sanc- 
tion), while engaged in public worship , drove him out of the church, 
placed him on a cart, and ordered him to leave the town. Those 
of the citizens who shewed any inclination to resist were thrown 
into prison, and many were fined in two hundred florins ; dur- 
ing which time the provost and his friends were eating and 
drinking in the house of the pastor. This took place on the 
10th April, and on the 10th of May following a similar scene 
was enacted at Bartfeld. 

The Bishop of Funfkirchen, Matthew Rhadonai, did not wish 

* Hist. Diplom., 1. c. t Hist. Diplom., and (Edenb. Denkwtirdigk. MS. 


to be behind bis brethren in zeal. He accordingly sent a circu- 
lar round his diocese, giving information that he would tolerate 
within the bounds of his diocese neither heretics, nor Jews, nor 
robbers, nor Calvinists, nor blasphemers, and. that everyone who 
wished to reside in his diocese must embrace the Roman Catho- 
lic religion — which alone can save them. If, however, the 
preachers should refuse to listen to reason, they should be 
treated like those of Nadasdy and Mobatz. " Be assured," he 
wrote in another letter, " that if you sent me twenty-rive bushels 
of ducats every day, I would not tolerate you in my diocese. 
For I tell you that an ox or an ass, the creeping things and the 
fish in the sea, yea, even the devil himself, would sooner be 
taken out of the abyss and obtain eternal life than a Calvinist. 
I know how dangerous the Calvinistic doctrine is. Robbers, 
Calvinists, and Turks, I will not tolerate." This letter bore 
date 17th March 1690. 

In this spirit were his letters written. Even more zealous 
than Kollonitz, he wrote in the following year to the landed 
proprietors, directing them for this once to have some little 
respect for the law of the land, nevertheless, to lose no oppor- 
tunity of advancing the glory of the Church of Rome. 

His next attempt was in writing " letters of conversion" to 
the Calvinists, filled with threats. Those were directed to the 
preachers in Kosmark, Darvocs, Siklos, and others. At the 
same time he urged his clergy on to the most violent measures 
in rooting out Calvinism. And it did not at that time require 
much exertion to produce this much-desired consummation. 
The clergy looked to their head, the Archbishop Kollonitz, and 
acted as he did. He and the palatine, however, stifled every 
feeling of justice and of humanity towards the Protestants. 
The evangelical inhabitants of Gran were, without distinction 
of sex, driven by force into the Popish Church, their Psalm- 
books which they had brought with them were struck out of 
their hands. In the country places, the churches of Bash, 
Moros, Boosen, and others, were, without ceremony, taken pos- 
session of by the Papists, and those who refused to turn to 
Popery were driven, quite irrespective of age or sex, from house 
and home. 

About this time the cardinal obtained from Rome a special 
licence permitting the palatine Paul Esterhazy to many his 
brother's daughter. The licence was granted on the express con- 


dition that he should use his utmost exertions to banish heresy 
from the apostolic empire.* The prince was really in earnest, 
and hoped by his zeal to atone fully for the sin of his marriage, 
and for every other. He soon surpassed even the clergy. As 
the richest landholder in Hungary, he abused his power to 
take possession of all the churches on his vast estates. Whole 
villages he compelled to become Papists. Whole districts he 
banished from house and home on refusing to comply with his 
wish, cast others into prison, inventing many new punishments. 
All this he did in his private capacity. Then, as palatine, he 
ordered all the lieutenants and deputy-lieutenants of counties to 
destroy these vermin out of the districts under their care. He 
set aside the law of the land, and gave orders in direct contra- 
diction to the decrees of the diets. 

The Jesuits are not ashamed openly to boast of such things, 
as appears in the book Phosphorus Austriacus, Vienna, 1699 ; in 
which they report triumphantly that in one year above eighteen 
thousand souls have been brought back to the Popish Church, 
and that the number of chinches taken from the Protestants 
cannot be counted. 

It was in the same spirit that, to the great vexation of Joseph, 
the court preacher Widmann, in Leopold's funeral oration, 
mentioned the great merits of the deceased in rooting out the 
heretics. By means of working on Leopold's weakness, and 
often without his knowledge, the Jesuits have succeeded in 
casting a stain on his character which remains there after his 
death. The personal character of the monarch is represented 
by many contemporaries as very different from that which we 
have seen developed in ecclesiastical matters. 

It was natural that the hatred of the Protestants for the throne 
of Austria increased under such treatment. The number of malcon- 
tents made by the persecution was increased by a host of honest, 
well-meaning patriots, who saw with the bitterest sorrow, that, 
notwithstanding the oaths and promises of Leopold to preserve 
the Constitution of Hungary in all its rights and privileges, yet 
Austrian ministers, and especially Cardinal Kollonitz and Pala- 
tine Paul Esterhazy, had brought matters so far, that Hungary 
was now treated only as a province of Austria.f All these 

* The usual name of the Austrian empire at the present time, 
t The cardinal's motto was, " I will make Hungary first captive, then 
poor, then Popish." 


liberal spirits were therefore hated by the ministry of Vienna, 
and traps were laid for them, that they might be first provoked 
to rebellion, and then betrayed. 

They thus succeeded in betraying the young Eakotzy. His 
was a character which even the training of Kollonitz and of the 
Jesuits had not been able to spoil. Em-aged that he should 
not join them in their counsels, they bribed his secretary, who 
delivered up a letter which had been written by Eakotzy to 
Louis XIV. of France, though that letter had never been sent, 
and the secretary had been ordered to bum it. 

Eakotzy and many of his most courageous friends were im- 
prisoned, and the former would certainly, in spite of Leopold's 
promises, and in spite of powerful intercessors on his behalf, 
have died on the scaffold, if his noble spouse, Amelia, daughter 
of the Landgrave of Hesse, had not promised Captain Lehmann, 
who had charge of the prisoners, thirty thousand florins in case 
of setting her husband free. Eakotzy escaped to Poland, and 
Lehmann died on the scaffold, but the money was duly paid to 
his family. 

This young and talented prince, whom the King of Poland 
refused to surrender up to Austria, now felt himself quite at 
liberty, and even called on, to draw the sword for his poor 
oppressed country. In April 1703 the first flame of civil war 
broke out, and as the insurgents were without arms and disci- 
pline, they might very readily have been oppressed. 

Eakotzy's arrival out of Poland, his valorous declaration, the 
delays of the Court of Vienna, which lay in perfect security, and 
some advantages gained by his army in the commencement, put 
Eakotzy in possession of the half of Hungary. The insurgents 
swanned round the walls of Vienna, and plundered and burnt 
all down. The repeated representations of the foreign ambassa- 
dors in favour of Hungary had for years been disregarded, and 
now the evident falsehood and insincerity of the Court of Vienna 
prevented any reasonable expectation of peace, even in spite of 
all the exertions of that best of patriots and most moderate of 
priests, Paul Szecsenyi, Archbishop of Kalotska. " Who can 
believe," wrote Eakotzy to the archbishop, " that the Court of 
Vienna really intends to keep its word, when the Turks are 
already invited to assist in quelling the discontent, and when 
the Jews are promised a great reward for assassinating myself?'' 
And again, — " The king acknowledges that the laws of the land 


have been transgressed by his officers without his wish or know- 
ledge, and yet he does nothing to cause the injustice to cease. 
He refers only to some coming diet, but, after what we have 
seen, we may rather expect the injustice and the oppression to 
increase than to cease when the diet meets." * 

Rakotzy was willing to enter into a treaty, but only on condi- 
tion that a guarantee be given by the foreign powers that the 
treaty shall really be carried out. Nothing could be more 
disagreeable to the Court of Vienna ; but the circumstances were 
such, that, owing to Rakotzy's success and talents, and to 
their own mistakes, they were now compelled to admit George 
Stepney, the English ambassador, and also the ambassador 
from the Netherlands, to take part in the deliberations with 
Rakotzy's deputies. These deliberations were conducted partly 
at Paks, partly at Gyongyos ; but, owing to the changeableness 
of the directions sent from Vienna, they came to no conclusion, 
and Leopold continued to waste and plunder not only Hungary, 
but also Transylvania. 

The Protestants who lived under the government of Calvin- 
istic princes had, since Botskay's days, about the year 1605, 
lived in peace with the Unitarians and the Papists. On the 
death of Apaffy, however, in the year 1690, this land was 
also doomed to drink the bitter cup which the Jesuits mix. 
With a prudent precaution, the States had, previous to their 
union with Austria, taken every legal means of securing, by 
repeated and varied enactments, their full civil and religious 
liberty. Leopold had, in the name of himself and his successors, 
in the most solemn manner, ratified these enactments, and bound 
himself by a decree, dated at Vienna, 4th December 1691, to the 
strictest observance. So early, however, as the 4th December 
1693, the king published a declaration, by which all the con- 
tracts were rendered of little avail, and in 1699 another, by 
which the Protestants were reduced to the greatest straits. 

For upwards of a hundred years there had been no Roman 
Catholic bishop in Transylvania, and it was contrary to law for 
any one to assume the title. A bishop made his appearance, 
however ; and shortly after, in the year 1700, the College of 
Weiskirchen was taken away from the Calvinists, and this was 
done by a company of soldiers under the command of a priest. 

Leopold had just a few years before sworn, " never to issue an 
* Fessler, 1. c.,. vol. ix. 


edict by which, the Protestants should be disturbed or hampered 
in their religious rights and liberties." Soon after, churches 
were taken away. They were in a short time obliged to restore 
the college, but the chamber now refused to pay the professors, 
and they were reduced to the greatest want. 

A new royal edict appeared in 1702, respecting the tithes. 
The tithes were to be taken from the Protestants, and they 
were about to be excluded from public offices, when an agree- 
ment was made — in which the Lutherans, however, had no part 
— according to which the tithes were to be divided between 
the Protestants and Roman Catholics. Even this, however, 
brought no peace, for " what the Calvinists and the Unitarians 
voluntarily surrendered, was kindly received by the Papists, 
and what they did not surrender on demand was taken by 
force." * 

Wherefore, in the year 1703, in the midst of the war, a depu- 
tation was sent to Vienna to beg the king to protect the Pro- 
testants. The deputation waited long ; and before they had 
received their reply, the king's general, Robutin, had laid the 
town of Enyed, with its Protestant college, in ashes. This took 
place on the Sunday before Easter, in 1704 ; and shortly after- 
wards, or in the following August, Transylvania elected 
R&kotzy to be prince. 

Under such circumstances was the consideration of the condi- 
tions of peace more earnestly taken up, in the presence and 
under the assistance of the foreign ambassadors. 

On the 1st May 1705, the king invited the English and 
Dutch ambassadors to join with Szecsenyi in shewing that he 
was prepared to remove all just ground of complaint. Rakotzy 
demanded other securities, such as the occupation of the for- 
tresses in the country by Hungarian soldiers, the removal of 
foreign generals from the army, and of the foreign civil officers — 
the blood-suckers of the country — according to the constitution ; 
and also the enjoyment of equal civil and religious privileges 
by all ranks and parties. 

Whether the king would have kept such a promise is doubt- 
ful ,* and the more so, when we see him regretting the privileges 
which the Protestants had obtained at the Diet of (Edenberg. 

On his death-bed he was distressed at the thought of the 
devastations in his kingdom, and at the prospects which awaited 
* Historia Transylvanise, p. 33. 


his son, Joseph I. In addition to this, a letter from the Elector 
of Bavaria, Maximilian, to R&kotzy, was intercepted, and the 
consequence was, that he gave the following wise advice to his 
son : — " Whatever the ministers may say, make peace with the 
Hungarians. Demand the fulfilment only of the conditions of the 
last Presburg Diet and the right of inheritance ; and whatever else 
the insurgents may demand, yield it, however hard it may appear ; 
that you may then be able to protect the whole kingdom from 
foreign invasion."* 

Thus departed Leopold, on the 5th of May 1 705, in his sixty- 
fifth year. People have given him the appellation of " The 
Great." In as far as Hungary was concerned, he had no title 
to it. This country could not call him even a just king. With 
the sword, and with constant fear and jealousy, the Hungarians 
must protect themselves from him and his courtiers, as from 
robbers. The noblest of her sons died on the scaffold or in exile, 
and Hungary must look quietly on. The deeds which Leopold's 
emissaries perpetrated in the name of true religion, would have 
brought disgrace on a heathen government. At Marienzell, the 
famous place for pilgrimages, which Leopold often visited, he 
usually began his prayers with the formula, u I, Leopold, the 
chief of sinners, and the unworthy servant of the Holy Virgin," 

What brought honour on his name was the distinguished 
general the Duke of Lutringia and Eugene of Savoy; his 
ministers, Strattmann and Kannitz, brought him respect from 
foreign courts ; but in as far as Protestantism in general is con- 
cerned, or in as far as Hungary and its Church was connected 
with him, we can only see him as the blind instrument of an 
archbishop, and it is only as a heartless persecutor that he 
deserves the epithet, " The Great." 

* Fessler, Gesch der Ungarn, vol. ix. p. 566. 



JOSEPH L— FROM 1705 TO 1711. 

Election of Superintendents — Quarrels between the Pastors and the Lay Office-bearers 
in the Church Courts — Pastor of Presburg banished by Kollonitz — Charles XII. 
founds Scholarships — Synod of Rosenberg — Diet of Onod — Rakotzy Excommuni- 
cated — Rakotzy and the Jesuits — Joseph favours the Protestants — Death of the 
King — Peace of Szathmar. 

With the banishing of a Jesuit, the notorious Widemann, who 
had delivered the funeral oration over the late king, and with a 
complete amnesty under date of 10th May 1705, Joseph the First 
of Austria "began his reign. The conciliatory spirit with which 
he commenced was also most firmly retained during life. What 
a privilege was this for the Protestants ! Under persecution 
and oppression, the inward life of the Church had suffered 
severely, and little had been done for the schools. Their 
principal members had been executed ; their pastors banished ; 
and since 1672, they had no superintendents in all that part of 
the country under Leopold's sway. It was in 1704, during the 
disturbances under Rakotzy, that the Lutherans took courage 
to elect Stephen Pilarik of Schemnitz, and by the assistance of 
the Baron Godfrey Hellenbach, to appoint him to the office of 
superintendent on the 19th of May. On the 22d May, Andrew 
Bodo, of Szetnek, and James Zabler (just returned from exile to 
his church at Bartfeld), were elected superintendents. The 
nobility elected a fourth, in the person of Daniel Kirmann, 
pastor of Sol, in the year 1706, and Stephen Pilarik ordained 
him without any opposition on the part of the congregations. 
There was just now great need of distinguished men at the head 
of the ecclesiastical movements, for very unpleasant misunder- 
standings existed in many cases between the pastors and the 
elders of the churches. The elders and deacons of the churches 
wished to place the pastor in a very dependent position, and the 


clergy, on the other hand, did not always treat the lay repre- 
sentatives of the Church with becoming deference. In Presburg, 
the quarrel between the town council and pastor Christian 
Krumbholz rose to such a height, that Cardinal Kollonitz inter- 
fered, and banished the pastor. In Modern, the superintendent, 
Stephen Pilarik, published a catechism in which the reply to the 
question, " What is God?" stated, " God is a Spirit." Now, 
in former catechisms, it had been added, u the most perfect ; " 
which expression Pilarik omitted, and the omission was the 
occasion of a quarrel, which rose to such a pitch, that Pilarik 
had to resign his office and retire to Saxony. There he lived 
many years as pastor of Meissen. 

The loss of such men could be ill borne just at this time, and 
was so much the more felt as they had by their learning done so 
much for the schools. The Latin proverb says, u When arms 
sound, the Muses keep silence ;" but the Protestants of Hungary 
had always made good use of the times of peace to make the 
schools efficient. 

And notwithstanding all that had taken place, still the high 
schools were in a tolerably satisfactory state. In GEdenberg, 
Noeschel had introduced a new curriculum, in which the Hun- 
garian language was made prominent — a measure which makes 
GEdenberg to this day a place of no small importance as the 
seat of a Hungarian college. In Presburg, Modern, Guns, and 
Posing, as also in the mining towns of Lower Hungary, Krem- 
nitz, Schemnitz, and Neusohl, there were distinguished professors, 
who, like Bury and Pilarik, had won themselves a high place in 
the hearts of many grateful students. In the free cities of Upper 
Hungary, as Leutshaw and Eperjes, the Protestants were not 
less zealous ; indeed, in the latter city, some thought them too 
zealous, for, instead of the college which had been destroyed in 
1672, they in 1684 commenced to build a new establishment, 
which, from its splendour, excited the envy of their foes, and 
brought on them much persecution. The Calvinists gave a 
pleasing evidence here of their kindly spirit towards their Luthe- 
ran brethren, in making a very liberal collection towards the 
building fund. 

While thus engaged in advancing the interests of the schools, 
the Protestants were not only favoured by the victories of Ea- 
kotzy, but also by the intervention of foreign princes. On the 
28th July 1705, Charles XII. of Sweden decreed that four 


Hungarian students of divinity should be supported at his 
expense at Greifswald, and he at the same time undertook to 
intercede with the king on behalf of the Protestant interests 
generally. In the counties of Thurocs and Liptau, many 
churches which, either by force or fraud, had been taken from 
the Protestants, were, by the order of Rakotzy, restored. Among 
these was the church of Libethen, where the first Protestant 
congregation in Hungary had been formed. In the free election 
of their pastors the Protestants were much less hampered than 
formerly; and this may have arisen from a conviction on the 
minds of the oppressors, that the dowager-empress and the king- 
were tired of fighting, and in case of complaint were prepared 
to shew the Protestants more justice. 

It appeared, then, to be a proper time for holding a synod to 
regulate the disorders which had crept in during the persecutions 
of Ferdinand. Accordingly, in April 1707, the Synod of Rosen- 
berg met. The burning of candles in daylight, and the chanting 
of the liturgy, were, at this meeting, directed to cease, and in 
their stead suitable portions of Scripture, and a selection of 
prayers for particular occasions, were ordered to be read. The 
singing of Latin hymns and the abuse of instrumental music 
in public worship were forbidden, and it was directed in future 
to abstain from funerals at night, as well as from carrying a 
cross before the coffins. Another regulation was as impolitic as 
it was opposed to the principles of the evangelical church, 
namely, that the superintendents should bear the title " Excel- 
lentissimus." Among other reasons, this was not without its 
influence on the bishops in inducing them at the following diet 
to urge that the decrees of this synod should be annulled. 

It was at this time that Rakotzy summoned the Diet of Onod, 
at which the throne of Hungary was declared vacant; and it 
was resolved that Hungary should in future be a republic. From 
this time forward Rakotzy 's good fortune began to forsake him, 
and the ambitious friends who surrounded him, but especially 
Count Beresenyi, the commander of the forces, drove him to ruin. 
At this diet, all the four churches, the Roman Catholic, Luthe- 
ron, Calvinistic, and Unitarian, were declared to have equal 
rights and privileges, and preparations were made for banishing 
the Jesuits. 

Several of the deputies now raised their voices in favour of the 
Jesuits, and brought charges against the Protestants. When a 


petition had been prepared, setting forth the great benefits which 
the Jesuits had conferred on the country, this Roman Catholic 
prince not only expressed his astonishment, but also in a length- 
ened reply expressed his entire dissatisfaction with the order 
and its schemes. He reminded the States how it was the Jesuits 
who had given him a spy in the person of Captain Longuevall, 
who betrayed him to the government of Vienna by means of 
the notorious letter to Louis XIV. ; how it was the Jesuits 
who were raising triumphal arches for him in Transylvania, 
and were supplying him with money for the war, while they, at 
the very same time, were representing themselves in Vienna as 
martyrs to the cause of the emperor.* All that they had done 
for the cause of education — so thought Rakotzy — had been more 
than counterbalanced by the persecutions, and the confusions, 
and mischief which they had caused in all lands, but especially 
in Hungary. f 

The prudence of the prince prevented a schism in the ranks of 
the insurgents, but this made it only the more necessary for 
Joseph to take energetic measures for protecting himself from 
the impending danger. Accordingly, while his generals, with 
all manner of troops — among whom were even Danes and 
Hanoverians — were watching every opportunity for successful 
operations, the king published once more a complete amnesty. 
He also summoned a diet to meet at Presburg in 1708, but, 
notwithstanding all assurances of personal safety, not one of 
Rakotzy's party appeared. The object of the diet was thus 
lost, but the spirit of the times was still manifest ; for, when the 
Protestants presented their petition for redress of grievances, the 
Roman Catholic party obstinately resisted, giving as a reason, 
that all the Protestants were rebels, and, as such, deserved no 
sympathy. The diet separated without bringing the Protestants 
any relief, and all appeared to go on as under the reign of 

It was on the 12th December 1709 that the dawn of a better 
day appeared. Under this date, Joseph issued an edict, together 
with a letter addressed to the Archbishop of Gran, directing that 
the priests should cease their clandestine persecutions; that in 
religious matters, all should remain as it was before the Rakotzy 

* Engel, Gesch., 1. a, p. 197. 

t Petr. Bad. Hist. Eccl. Hung., tom. iii., MS. ; Ribinyi, Memorabilia, 
torn. ii. p. 172. 


revolution ; that the articles of the (Edenberg Diet of 1681 
should be explained in their natural literal meaning, and should 
be scrupulously adhered to ; and that no change should be made 
except legally at the diet. By this step he gained the hearts of 
many Protestants, who, weary of war, were only waiting for an 
opportunity of laying down their arms with a good conscience. 
Eakotzy's ranks began to thin. Soon, however, must he sustain 
a heavier loss. Clement XI., in a bull of 18th December, 
through the Cardinal of Saxony, excommunicated Eakotzy. 
The Eoman Catholics, in great numbers, deserted him. Want 
of money and disagreements among his generals now induced 
him to take steps for a reconciliation with Joseph. His violent 
but short-sighted Hungarian advisers now piled difficulties in 
his way, and reminded him of his pledge, not to lay down arms 
till complete civil and religious liberty had been gained for the 
whole land. The war continued ; even the advice of the King 
of Poland was rejected j and Eakotzy's cause went on sinking 

One cause of Joseph's continued success was his faithfulness 
to the Protestants, even when danger seemed to be past. The 
clergy were again resuming their old tricks wherever Joseph's 
arms were victorious ; and the Protestants of Schemnitz, Krem- 
nitz, and Neusohl cried to the king for help against the royal 
commissioners, and especially against Ladislaus Borsehitzky, 
whose zeal in the restoration of the Catholic faith equalled the 
olden time. • ! 

On the 10th March 1710, Joseph issued an order to the arch- 
bishop and his coadjutor, * " That the Protestants should not 
be disturbed in the possession of such church property as was 
guaranteed by the (Edenberg Diet of 1681, and which they held 
previously to Eakotzy's rebellion ; those who had returned from 
exile should be allowed to remain quietly, and the Protestant 
pastors should not be disturbed in the possession of their 
revenues." The cardinal wrote a circular to the clergy, in 
which he explained this edict in a way prejudicial to the Pro^- 
testants ; but Joseph immediately issued a fresh order, in which 
he declared that the churches which Eakotzy had taken from 

* Christian August Duke of Saxony distinguished himself in the siege of 
Ofen, and in the year 1692 joined the Eoman Catholic Church. In the 
year 1695 he became Bishop of Raab, and coadjutor of the Archbishop of 


the Roman Catholics should be restored, but the Protestant pas- 
tors and schoolmasters should retain the revenues.* 

In this way was Joseph seeking to restore peace and harmony 
among his subjects, when the angel of death, in an unexpected 
wav, entered the royal dwelling. Joseph the First was attacked 
with small-pox, and very soon died. 

In the meantime, Rakotzy was pursued and driven out of 
Hungary to the borders of Poland. He had given his army 
into the command of one of his generals, Count Karolyi, and, 
though much smaller than formerly, still the numbers were con- 
siderable. He heard, however, nothing of the death of Joseph, 
and the communication having been stopped in consequence of a 
prevailing epidemic, the Court of Vienna succeeded for the present 
in keeping him in ignorance. 

By great exertions on the part of Count Paul Pallfy, the field- 
marshal, and Eleonora, the queen-dowager, a peace was at last 
concluded, known by the name of the " Peace of Szathmar." It 
was signed on the 10th of May 1711, and the conditions were 
guaranteed on the part of England by the Earl of Sutherland, 
and on the part of Holland by Baron Eechtan. It was a hard 
battle which those men fought on both sides before they could 
bring about a reconciliation. The manner in which they did 
their work, however, may be learned from a memorial which the 
same men, as representatives of their respective countries, handed 
to Leopold before his death. In this memorial they stated, 
u that the conduct of the landed proprietors, in compelling those 
who resided on their estates to adopt the religion of their land- 
lord, is in no way different from the awful French persecutions. 
It is not to be expected that by such treatment the souls of men 
can be brought nearer to God. If the dragoons and hussars are 
proper persons to do the work of the apostles of Jesus Christ, he 
would never have said, ' Behold, I send you forth as sheep among 
wolves ; ' and besides, these dragoons are not fishers of men, but 
' mighty hunters before the Lord,' who hunt for souls to drive 
them to perdition." 

The fruit of such representations these men reaped in the 

* These were chiefly churches where the whole village was Protestant, 
but where the church was claimed by the Catholics on the ground that 
they had built it. In such places the priests enjoyed the revenue without 
having a single individual under their care. In Harken, in (Edenberg 
county, in Missdorf. and elsewhere, this may be seen at the present day. 


Peace of Szathmar, some of the conditions of which were as 
follows : — 

" The Transylvanians shall be treated according to their own 
laws, rights, and customs. The ecclesiastical state of the Knma- 
nians, Jasyges, and free Haiduken, should be regulated at the 
next diet. The States have a right to demand at the diet what 
appears to them to be a sufficient guarantee of the king's sincerity 
in engaging to preserve the independence of Hungary and Tran- 
sylvania ; to appoint none but natives to civil and military 
offices ; and to grant the Protestants perfect freedom. It was 
forbidden, under heavy penalty, to make the participation in the 
confederation with Rakotzy any reason for punishment in time to 
come. The royal generals and civil officers received the most 
peremptory orders to treat all parties with perfect impartiality."* 

* Fessler, vol. ix. p. 646. 

€|)trtJ Pra'cto- 




CHARLES VI.— 1712 TO 1740. 

Rakotzy's Retirement — Coronation of Charles in Prcsburg — New Persecutions — The 
King protects the Protestants — The Diet — The King still favourable to Impartial 
Justice— Renewal of the Acts of 1681 and 1GS7— Quibbles — Proposed Oath to 
exclude the Protestants — The Protestants placed entirely in the hands of the 

The bloody war which had laid the country waste for a period 
of nine years, was now concluded at the Treaty of Szathmar. 
Thousands of labourers returned to the cultivation of the land. 
The nobility repaired the castles which had been burnt down, 
and resumed their patriarchal relation to their dependants. The 
amnesty had been universal, so that even Rakotzy might live at 
ease, if he chose, on his estates. Full of mistrust, however, to- 
wards the Austrian government, and of hatred towards his former 
adherents, he preferred residing out of the country. With a 
few faithful followers he went to Paris, where he resided for six 
years. Some historians say he was supported by the bounty 
of the French king, but this we cannot believe, as, by the Treaty 
of Szathmar, he had full right to enjoy the proceeds of his 
estates when and how he chose. He afterwards lived eighteen 
years at Constantinople, and died at Rodosto in Bessarabia, in 
his sixtieth year. 

In the meantime, Charles hastened home from Spain to take 
possession of the throne which had been unexpectedly vacated. 
The Capuchin monks of Mount St Jerome helped him to escape. 


The act cost the guardian and reader of the cloister their lives, 
but at a later time Charles richly repaid the favour which had 
thus been shewn him, by endowing that order of monks, on a 
magnificent scale, at Vienna. Charles was crowned emperor at 
Frankfort-on- the -Maine, and on the 25th January 1712 lie 
reached Vienna. One of his first acts was to surrender the 
royal crown of Hungary to deputies of the Hungarian nation, 
that this monument of their national independence, which had 
been so long shut up in the treasury at Vienna, might be in 
their own hands. 

A diet was soon summoned at Presburg, to take the necessary 
steps for his coronation as King of Hungary. The coronation 
took place with great splendour on the 2 2d of May, in the 
Cathedral of St Martin. Immediately afterwards, the Pro- 
testants presented an earnest statement of their case, and 
expressed a hope that the confidence which they had placed 
in him might be realised. 

Since the death of Joseph, the Protestants had experienced 
new oppressions, and, while the conditions of the Peace of 
Szathmar were not yet carried out, the public worship of the 
Protestants had already in some places been made to cease. At 
Neusohl, the soldiers had been employed in this work, and the 
empress-mother had been obliged to use her influence that the 
disturbances should cease. She had written, " that, both in 
Hungary and Transylvania, the rights of the Protestants as 
established by law should be respected, and that they should at 
all times have the liberty of presenting their grievances, either 
before the king or the diet." The bishops had, however, found 
means of evading the law and of manifesting their hatred to the 
Protestants in many forms of oppression. The petition, there- 
fore, which the Protestants presented at the coronation, was to 
the effect, that those pastors who had in the meantime been 
banished from their churches, or deprived of their income, might 
be restored to their rights. 

If we may judge from the number of decrees which Charles 
published in favour of the Protestants, and from the circum- 
stances mentioned in those edicts, we would infer, that the 
spirit of persecution was as rampant at this time as it had ever 
been. Though sometimes hardly pressed by the clerical party, 
yet we find him shewing no favour to the arbitrary acts even of 
those high in power. At the diet of 1712, he gave orders to 


allow the Protestants every opportunity of bringing forward 
their just complaints. And though he sent the archdeacon as 
royal commissioner to visit the Protestant churches of Gomor, 
yet he gave orders to the youthful Joseph Esterhazy on no 
account to disturb the Protestant church of Bartfeld, and he 
recalled and reinstated the Eeformed pastor of Lewens, after the 
clerical party had banished him. 

On the 14th August 1713 he issued an edict by which the 
authorities of Kashaw were warned to keep within the bounds of 
the law in their treatment of the Protestants ; that the clergy 
should not be prevented from receiving their just dues from the 
people ; that the tradesmen should not be punished for absenting 
themselves from the processions on Corpus Christi day ; and that 
the charge of having taken part with Kakotzy should no more 
be allowed to prevent any one from enjoying his fall rights. 

Such impartial justice filled the hearts of the Protestants with 
rejoicing, but tended only to excite the priests to greater watch- 
fulness to find grounds of accusation. It was bitter, they thought, 
that when they had so nearly gained their great end — the annihil- 
ation of the Protestant Church — a new respite should be afforded 
the heretics to enable them to gather strength. Accordingly, if a 
pastor preached, visited the sick, or discharged any pastoral duty 
out of the bounds of his parish, a charge was immediately pre- 
ferred against him. It was not unusual in such cases to excite 
the people and to raise a tumult, while the pastors were then 
charged as the cause of the riot.* 

In consequence of such representations, the clergy obtained 
from Charles, on 29th April 1714, an unfavourable edict for the 
Protestants, in which they were ordered on no account to go 
beyond the bounds of their parishes to open schools which had 
not existed previous to Rakotzy's time, nor to retain any pastors 
or teachers who were not actually and fully employed. 

The difficulty of the king's position may, however, be readily 
seen. Still his example had an effect on the cardinal-archbishop, 

* This conduct was not confined to that period, for in 1840 the same 
plans were with great effect carried out. A band of rioters, with the priest 
at their head, disturbing Protestant funerals ; the pastor arrested for 
assembling the children of his parishioners on a Sunday evening to cate- 
chise them ; on the decease of a pastor, the widow not allowed to inherit a 
commentary on the Bible, the property of her deceased husband, because it 
was a book not in accordance with the doctrines of the Church of Eome ; 
— such are occurrences in our own time. 


for, when the Protestants of G-omor county presented a petition 
complaining of the loss of their churches, he did not, it is true, 
restore them, but on the back of the petition wrote a direction 
to the Protestants and Catholics to live in peace with each other, 
and to the authorities that they should faithfully carry out the 
king's decrees. 

On the 26th of June 1714 we find another edict directing that 
the tradesmen who had been imprisoned for not attending the 
procession on Corpus Christi day, should be immediately released, 
and that the authorities of Kashaw should in future let religious 
matters alone. On the 10th of June we find another royal letter 
to the citizens of Eperjes, ordering them to obey the royal com- 
missioners, and to restore the Protestant church and schoolhouse. 
A very sharp reproof was also given to the Roman Catholic citi- 
zens of Bartfeld for annoying the Protestants in the building of a 
new church. 

The last diet had been dissolved on account of the plague, 
and Charles summoned a new meeting in Presburg, which 
lasted from 19th October 1714 till 10th June 1715. In the 
upper house the bishops, and in the lower house many of the 
Roman Catholic deputies, evinced such a spirit of hostility to 
the late conciliatory measures, that many presumed on this 
fact to renew the persecutions they loved so well. 

At the diet, an effort was made not only to annihilate the 
conditions of the Peace of Vienna and Linz, but also of the 
diets of 1681 and 1687, and to make the bishops supreme judges 
in all matters pertaining to religion. The king, however, on 
examining the proposed enactments, struck out such passages as 
seemed to him severe. He erased one declaration, which pro- 
posed to enact that no attention should be paid to any edict of 
toleration for the Protestants previous to the year 1681, and 
confirmed the following enactments : — 

u The king declares it to be his royal will and pleasure that 
the enactments of the diets of 1681 and 1687, in matters of dis- 
pute between the Roman Catholics and Protestants, be con- 
sidered as still binding, and are hereby renewed. Should any 
one consider himself aggrieved by the execution of these resolu- 
tions, he has a right personally, but not in a corporate capacity, 
to present his grievance before the throne. Commissioners 
shall be appointed by the king and the diet conjointly for carry- 
ing out this decree." 


The kingdoms of Dalmatia and Slavonia, as also some free 
cities, were to be left out of these enactments. The law had 
some benefits for the Protestants, but they were burdened with 
many disadvantages.* 

The laws of 1681 and 1687 had been mentioned, but were not 
entered ; it had been said that the enactments should be ex- 
plained according to their real meaning ; but who should decide 
what that is? Should the enactments of Leopold in 1691, of 
Joseph in 1709 and 1710, decide? or should the diet pass a 
declaratory act for explaining the resolutions ? Such questions 
gave the Protestants much annoyance before the commission, 
which soon met at Pesth. The quibbles were endless. It was 
said this enactment is a declaration of " the royal will and plea- 
sure," consequently the Protestants have no legal rights. It was 
said that the old statutes were u still" binding, which might imply 
that they could any day be suspended. Such were the quibbles 
of men resolved to be partial. 

The decision was also unfavourable, which directed the com- 
plaints in future not to be laid before the diet, but before the 
king. The number and the political weight of the Roman 
Catholic commissioners was so unfavourable, that the Pro- 
testants begged some alteration to be made. At this time, also, 
the Protestant religion was solemnly abolished in Dalmatia, and 
the Peace of Vienna thus openly violated. 

In the decree which annulled the decision of the Synod of 
Rosenberg bitter expressions were used respecting the Protest- 
ants ; and now they were prohibited from holding any synod or 
passing any decrees without the knowledge and approbation of 
the king. The alleged reason was to prevent rebellion, but the 
real reason was to undermine the independence of the Church, 
an object which the Popish clergy kept always prominent, as 
was evident from the violence with which they insisted on the 
formula of the oath in future being, " I swear by the Holy 
Virgin Mary, and by all the Saints," for with such an oath no 
Protestant could accept office. 

The priests represented the Protestant clergy as not adminis- 

* The commissioners appointed for carrying out the enactments were 
the imperial Baron George Berenyi, Councillor Michael Revay, Godfrey 
Hellenbach, Andrew Hunyady, Stephen Barlock, Stephen Nagy, John St 
Ivany, Joseph Sigray, Paul Skoliesany, Paul Roday, and others, amounting 
to twenty in number. 


tering the ordinance of baptism according to Scripture. And they 
found a case which suited their purpose. The Reformed pastor 
of Raab was a distinguished physician, and was often at dinner 
with the bishop. On one occasion, after dinner, he asserted 
that baptism was sufficient, if administered, not in the name of 
the Holy Trinity, but in the name of Christ ; and he appealed to 
passages in the Acts of the Apostles in support of his assertion. 
This story was told at the diet with all earnestness as being the 
" Protestant doctrine," and appears to have given occasion to 
the decree of Charles VI. at a later time, in which he directed 
that the Protestant pastors should be examined respecting their 
views of baptism before they could be ordained. 

With all their efforts to introduce the new form of oath, u by 
the Virgin and all the Saints," the priests did not for the present 
succeed. In another matter they were more successful, for 
when the deputies wished a declarative act, that the patron had 
no rights over the conscience of his subjects, the palatine and 
magnates contrived to leave the restrictive clause completely 
away, and thus give the landed proprietors the most unbounded 
rights over their tenants. Many churches were by means of this 
clause lost to the Protestants, and many trials had to be en- 

The Protestants protested against the clause placing all their 
liberties in the hands of the king, but the Lord had, for the 
present, so arranged the matter for the best. They were just 
now safer in the hands of the king than under the power of the 
bishops, who had so many means at their disposal, and who 
were so unscrupulous in the use of these means. From the Roman 
Catholic Church no compassion was to be expected. 

Whoever refused to acknowledge the Pope as head of the 
Church, Mary as intercessor with God, while the Scripture said, 
There is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the 
man Christ Jesus, — whoever refused to go to mass, to kneel to 
the host, or such like idolatry, — such an individual was to the 
priests what the Jews were to the Samaritans. Shut out from 
all compassion, and all the privileges of humanity, whoever 
killed them thought he did God service.* 

* A Jesuit preached in Lemberg in 1846. Among other edifying por- 
tions of the sermon occurred the statement — "The Protestants have no 



The Difficulties of the King's Position — The Roman Catholics seize the Protestaut 
Churches in the newly-conquered Lands — Jesuitical Justification of the Acts — The 
Churches of Komorn, Wesprim, Papa, and Lewens — The Tithes — Presumption of 
the Priests— Attempt to reduce the Number of Preachers— Petitions to the King, 
and his Reply. 

The hatred to the Protestants had reached such a pitch during 
the whole reign of Charles VI., that it appeared sometimes im- 
possible for the king to protect them. The question respecting 
the advantage of a measure was sometimes more pressing than 
respecting its justice. Still Charles deserves the high praise of 
endeavouring to do the best for the Protestants under existing 
circumstances, and of always to the utmost of his power protect- 
ing them from their sworn enemies the Jesuits. 

The forcible removal of churches and schools was now most 
felt in the districts where the Turkish crescent had been wont to 
stand. The Jesuits said that all the toleration edicts had been 
made for that part of Hungary which had stood under Austrian 
rule, and not for the districts under Turkish sway ; conse- 
quently the newly-conquered territories had no claim for relief, 
at least under those enactments. 

This argument was sufficient for the Popish zealots. Instru- 
ments were found to do the work. The Protestants, who had 
lived quietly under the Turks, were now exposed to violent 
persecution under the Popish government. 

The diet had scarcely ended, when Alexander Nedesky, 
deputy-lieutenant of Komorn, began to banish the Reformed 
clergy, and ceased only when the king ordered him to make up 
a list of the churches which the Protestants had held before and 
during the diet of 1681. The town of Wesprim must no more 
have a church, a manse, or school, said the priests, for it is no 
more a border town. For the same reason must the Protestants 


in Papa, who were the majority of the inhabitants, give up their 
claim to have a place of worship. In Lewens, the Protestant3 
were deprived of their religious liberty, and an attempt was 
made to reduce them absolutely under the power of the priests.* 
In Barsch, the priests took possession of one church after an- 
other, and made the people Catholic. The matters went so far, 
that on the 2d December 1716 the king ordered an official report 
of the proceedings to be handed to him. 

What grieved the Roman Catholics was, that in places where 
their religion had either entirely ceased, or where only few 
adherents remained, the Protestants were in possession of the 
revenues. The one party considered this most unjust, the other 
party thought it perfectly reasonable. The Protestants thought 
that a Popish priest and schoolmaster did not require any income 
where there was no work for them to do. The Papists thought 
that what had been originally built and endowed for their 
Church must always belong to her. The king was often greatly 
at a loss to know how to decide. This was evident from the 
decrees at this time published, in which he acted evidently 
without any fixed rule, yielding merely to the pressure of the 
individual case. In Sol the tithes were given to the priests; 
in Little Houta they were reserved for the Protestants.f This 
was accomplished by the intervention of the obergespan, Stephen 
Eokary, in April 1720. 

The priests assumed to themselves a kind of territorial right, 
and exercised the same authority over the Protestant as over the 
Eoman Catholic parishioners. The priest of Bakabanya drove 
this interference so far, that the Protestant knight, John Godfrey 
Hellenbach, appealed successfully against him at the county 

It was a mark of a good Catholic to hamper the Protestants 
in the exercise of every right. They sometimes could not con- 
veniently take possession of a church or school ; and just at 
that time it was no easy matter to get up a credible report of an 
intended rebellion ; so there remained nothing over but to repre- 

* The pastor of Garamsogh was summoned before the Bishop and 
Chapter of Gomor, to answer to the charge of having performed pastoral 
functions beyond the bounds of his parish, but the Protestant nobility 
protected him. 

t Only seven churches here and one in Neograd retained the tithes for 
the Protestants ; but this arrangement lasted till 1848. 


sent the meetings of synod as very dangerous affairs. Indeed, 
they obtained a decree prohibiting all synods. Another plan 
was to represent the number of pastors and teachers in the 
larger Protestant chinches as being quite too great for the cir- 
cumstances of the place, and to suggest that they were supported 
for other reasons than for the wants of that particular church. 
Their perseverance was so great, that the commander of the fort 
at Trentshin had, within two years, to receive three distinct 
orders from Vienna to cease to annoy the Protestants. Notwith- 
standing all these warnings, he succeeded in removing one of 
the pastors, as also the high school, in the year 1719, and pro- 
hibited those who resided in another parish from attending the 

The zeal of the commander went so far, that he was prevent- 
ing the church from electing a new pastor in the place of the 
aged and sickly John Blasius, and had also given orders that 
the neighbouring nobility should have no access to the church ; 
but a petition to the king set matters right, and the commander 
of the fortress was ordered to let the Protestants alone. 

In Neusohl the Protestants were more fortunate. Where an 
investigation had been instituted to inquire into the reason why 
this chmch supported three pastors, they were able to persuade 
Charles to allow all three to remain. The Calvinists at Bets- 
Volgye, in county Szalod, appealed successfully to the king 
for protection ; and also at Papa, though they lost their church, 
still they obtained permission to meet together elsewhere for 
worship. No one from another parish was permitted to join 
them. This was in 1720, and it was ordered that all should 
remain as it was till the commission at Pesth had finished its 
work, and given in the report to the king. This resolution was 
adopted to quiet the Protestants, who were violent in their de- 
mands for a speedy and final settlement of their grievances. 
Orders were then issued to the commission to take up the com- 
plaints of the Protestants, to examine them accurately, and to 
give a full report to the king. 




The Commission, which was expected to settle all the quarrels 
in religious matters, was summoned at first to Ofen, but com- 
menced its business afterwards at Pesth, under the guidance of 
Stephen Kohaiy as president, on the 16th March 1721. The 
basis of their deliberations should have been the 25th and 26th 
articles of the (Edenberg Diet ; and if the commissioners had con- 
fined themselves to their instructions, it would have been happy 
for the land. The Popish part of the Commission, however, re- 
solved to take as the basis of their transactions the decree of 
Leopold of 1691, which had been falsified by Kollonitz, and had 
never been recognised by the Protestants as genuine. They also 
introduced another decree of 1707, which was very unfavour- 
able to the Protestants, and in which the following sentences 
occur : — 

" That the Protestants of the Helvetic and Augsburg Confes- 
sions shall have the liberty of publicly professing their religion 
only in those lands which in 1681 were in possession of his Ma- 
jesty ; but in the newly-conquered territories there should be no 
liberty to profess any other religion than the Koman Catholic." 

" In many cities, the freedom of religious exercises was ori- 
ginally granted only because these cities lay on the border of 
the kingdom ; as the kingdom, however, has been extended so that 
these cities have ceased to be border towns, the religious tolera- 
tion must also naturally cease." 

" Religious toleration has not been granted for the purpose 
of allowing members of the Roman Catholic Church to join the 
Protestants. Accordingly, when any Roman Catholic attaches 
himself to the Protestant Church, or any Protestant having 


joined the Roman Catholic Church, should he again return to 
the Protestants, in all such cases the party concerned shall be 
dealt with as a perjured person, and shall be delivered over 
accordingly to the law of the land." 

The Protestants protested so much the more against the intro- 
duction of this mandate as the basis of the transactions of the 
Commission, as it was so directly in opposition to the royal 
decree of 1715. This decision had been as follows : — 

" His Majesty commands that the three acknowledged con- 
fessions in Hungary shall be tolerated according to the true 
meaning of the articles of the Diet of CEdenberg; the king 
will graciously take care that the guaranteed conditions shall 
be faithfully carried out, and that neither the landed proprietor 
nor any other shall avail himself of his position to" force the 
conscience of any individual. If, however, contrary to his 
expectations, such oppression should be threatened, the king 
will prevent it with all his royal power and influence." 

How different were the two decrees ! By adhering to the 
latter, peace might be obtained. The following demand was 
accordingly made on the commissioners : " That they recognise 
that religious liberty continue to be the right of every one, in 
every station whatever, in the land. That no difficulty be laid 
in the way of calling and supporting the pastors. That in 
the fortresses, in the capital cities, or in any other places, no 
one shall be prevented attending divine worship when he 
pleases ; no one shall be compelled to change his religion ; no 
one's property confiscated on account of change of religion; 
that no one should be deprived of his situation, or prevented 
from holding office in consequence of his religious views. No 
li priests' dues" shall be demanded from Protestants. They 
shall have the use of graveyard and church bells like the 
Catholics. No one shall be summoned before the deacons' 
court for having become Protestant. No landlord to have the 
right of compelling his tenants to become Catholics. The 
Protestants shall have a right to elect superintendents. They 
shall have their marriages under their own jurisdiction. They 
shall not be subjected to visitations on the part of the Popish 
bishops. Protestant pastors shall not in future be banished 
from their churches or obliged to resign; they shall have free 
access to the sick and the dying, to prisoners, and all others 
who are members of their Church. When a pastor comes to a 


town to visit the sick of his church, he shall not be prevented 
from remaining during the night within its walls. Mixed 
marriages, as also the baptism of the children of such mar- 
riages, shall be left to the free choice of the parties connected. 
Pastors may be called from one church to another. The 
number of pastors in each church shall be left to the disposal 
of the church itself. Evangelical books shall not be prohibited, 
and those which have been taken away shall be restored. 
Those who have studied at foreign universities shall not on 
that account be expatriated. The Protestants shall not be 
bound to attend the Roman Catholic ceremonies and processions, 
nor to swear by the Virgin and the Saints." 

These demands of the Protestants, which must be regarded 
as perfectly just, raised a storm in the Commission, and gave 
occasion to debates, the report of which fills several folio 

The difficulties of the Commission were increased by the num- 
ber of complaints pouring in upon them, and by the great diffi- 
culties which the clergy laid in the way of the Protestants, to 
prevent them bringing legal evidence of their charge. When the 
evidence was not immediately forthcoming, the clerical party 
strove to represent the case as suspicious, or as having failed for 
want of proof. It argued, however, anything but a sense of 
justice to demand that in all such cases legal evidence should be 
immediately presented. 

It was especially against the pastors of the flock that the 
hottest bolts were directed. On the very day that the Commis- 
sion had opened its sittings, a royal decree was obtained, requir- 
ing the authorities of Skalitz to search and report what the 
pastor of Tura-Luka had to do in that city which occupied him 
three full days ; what conventicles he had held, what money 
he had collected, and whither it had been sent — all this must be 
accurately reported. The authorities of Tyrnau and Skalitz put 
a stop to an examination which was turning out favourably for 
the Protestants. Such evidence was coming out as proved that 
they had a right to recover their church, and also evidence 
respecting maltreatment of a Protestant citizen named Lang- 
haffer. The king, on hearing of this interference of the 
magistrates, ordered them to assist the Protestants in their 

The clergy had, however, means at their disposal to counteract 


all the royal decrees, and to enable the civil authorities to disre- 
gard them. One of the heaviest blows on the Protestant cause, 
at this time, was the transfer of the censorship of the press 
entirely into the hands of the Jesuits. This was still not enough, 
and, afraid of the influence which a Protestant deputation, with 
the distinguished orator Paul Priletzky at its head, might 
have on the king, the clergy protested against all further con- 

The bitterness of the parties was increased by the fact of the 
Protestant commissioners at Pesth being forbidden to hold any 
public divine service. At the same time, also, the Bishop of 
Erlau, John Erdody, wrote a book on the theme, " Whether, 
and how far, a prince, magistrate, or landlord can tolerate 
heretics." (Tyrnau, 1721.) 

The difficulties had reached the highest pitch ; passion had 
closed both ear and heart against the voice of truth and justice. 
The hall which should have been a temple of peace and reconci- 
liation was become the arena of unbounded quarrels. The king- 
had his choice either to dissolve the meeting or to adjourn it in 
the hope that a time of quiet reflection might calm the boisterous 
spirits. He chose the latter alternative. On the 24th July he 
adjourned the meeting sine die, and when complaints were 
brought before him of fresh injustice, he ordered everything to 
remain as it was. 

During this time of uncertainty, the clergy continued to op- 
press the Protestants. Freedom of conscience and of religious 
exercise was to be found nowhere but on paper. The complaints 
and petitions to the king were numerous, and in the course of 
time so bitter, that in March 1722 the king ordered the petitions 
to be sent back. One ground of complaint was that the Jesuits 
now began to search for all religious books, and even Bibles, 
which had been printed out of the kingdom, and when such were 
found they were confiscated. 

The Reformed Church of Debre*csin had ordered 2894 Bibles 
for their own use, and these were seized and confiscated in Ka- 
shaw. In June 1723 the king ordered the Bibles to be restored 
to their rightful owners, but the perpetrators of the injustice were 
in no way punished. The command was also disobeyed, and 
none of the Bibles ever came to Debrecsin. 

With the anxiety with which those who are ready to perish 
in the waters look to a boat approaching them, forgetful that the 


boat is still floating on the same element which is about to de- 
stroy them, only hoping still for the possibility of relief — such 
was the anxiety of the Protestants as they looked forward to the 
approaching diet at Presburg, where the affairs of the royal com- 
mission were expected to be in some way arranged. 




Hitherto Charles VI. had no male issue; the most earnest 
desire of his heart was therefore to secure the kingdom to his 
daughters. To gain this end, he was willing to make the 
greatest sacrifices. And though the wise and valiant Eugene, 
Duke of Savoy, had so low an opinion of the morality of his 
time, that he ventured to say to the emperor, " that two 
hundred thousand bayonets were a better guarantee than a 
million oaths of all the courts of Europe," yet the emperor 
exerted himself to the utmost to obtain the ratification of the 
u Pragmatic Sanction." After having obtained the consent 
of England, Holland, and soon after also of Spain, he thought 
that all difficulty was removed, and little anticipated that 
Eugene's warning would one day prove true. 

In the year 1719 he informed the Bohemians, that in conse- 
quence of the testament of Ferdinand II., their crown was 
capable of descending in the female line. The whole of the 
States were then summoned in 1720, and the Pragmatic Sanction 
having been read, the States solemnly swore to protect it with 
life and property. Charles then declared his elder daughter, 
Maria Theresa, then in her third year, as the only heiress to the 
throne of the inseparable Austrian crown lands. The same 
ceremony took place shortly after in Moravia, Silesia, and 

In Hungary, the king was obliged to be more cautious in 
urging forward this work on which his heart was so intensely 
set. Independently of the oppression of the Protestants, the 
Hungarians generally had good cause of dissatisfaction with 
the king, for he had extracted nearly three millions of florins 
from the land for the expenses of war, and had concluded the 


peace of Passarowitz without asking tliem to take any part in 
drawing up the treaty. 

Charles, therefore, applied first to Transylvania, and on the 
30th March 1720 they responded to the king's wish by ratify- 
ing the descent in the female line, and promising to acknowledge 
the daughters of Charles as the rightful heiresses of the crown, 
and of the princely honour. 

When all this had been done, Charles then summoned a diet 
to meet at Presburg on the 27th June. The Cardinal- Arch- 
bishop of Kalotsh, Emerich Csaky, and the palatine protonotary, 
Francis Szluka, succeeded so well in gaining the hearts of the 
deputies, that after high mass, when each had made an eloquent 
and heart-stirring appeal to the assembled multitude, many 
hundreds of voices cried, " Long live the house of Austria ! 
Hurrah for the female line ! " 

The league between Hungary and Austria, acknowledging 
the descent both by the male and female sides, was solemnly 
ratified, and the glad tidings were forwarded to the king by a 
splendid embassy. In a short time, the king appeared at Pres- 
burg, to communicate to the States his wishes and plans, and 
the Pragmatic Sanction was entered among the statutes. Accord- 
ing to his coronation oath and the laws of the land, all that 
territory which had been rescued from the Turks ought now to 
have been united to the kingdom of Hungary. Among the 
districts in this state, was the banat of Temes, with Belgrade, 
Servia, and Bosnia. Hither had many of the most pious Pro- 
testants fled in the days of persecution, to find rest under the 
dominion of the Turks. But now that the territory belonged 
once more to the worshippers of Mary, these men, who had but 
lately escaped from persecution, were once more exposed to all 
the terrors of other days. 

The king having often had occasion to feel that the constitu- 
tion of Hungary hindered him very much in carrying out his 
sovereign will, manifested no particular desire, on this occasion, 
to observe the laws of the land. As he wished to have those 
waste lands cultivated, he, as Emperor of Germany, issued a 
proclamation, inviting German colonists to come and settle on 
the newly-conquered territory, guaranteeing them at the same 
time full liberty of faith and worship. The banat of Kraiovia 
he now granted to his Transylvanian general ; the banat of 
Temes, containing nine thousand English square miles, he 


granted to another general, Claudius Merry; and Belgrade and 
Servia he gave to Alexander, Duke of Wurtemberg. 

Under the guidance of the war-office at Vienna, and also of 
the imperial chamber, it was not so easy for the Papists to deve- 
lop so much of their sectarian spirit, and, under guarantee of the 
emperor, whole troops of immigrants, partly Protestant and 
partly Roman Catholic, with their pastors, priests, and school- 
masters, arrived to settle in these waste lands. They drained 
many of the marshes, they cultivated much of the land, built 
villages, established schools and flourishing churches, and 
changed the whole face of the country. Even to this day the 
dialect, the pronunciation, and the dress mark these colonists 
most distinctly.* 

While the emperor was thus acting in the spirit of humanity, 
and of high policy for the well-being of his land, the clergy 
and their adherents at the diet were not only quietly hindering 
every step towards redress of grievances, but were also openly 
protesting against every concession which was being made to 
the Protestants. On the 29 th June, under the guidance of Car- 
dinal Althan, Prince of Saxony, a solemn protest was handed 
in, stating, — 

" That inasmuch as the Word of God, and the preservation of 
the Catholic faith, is committed to the clergy, and as they have 
never forgotten their duty to the citizens of Hungary, they must 
now solemnly protest against any proposed toleration whatever 
towards those who are not Catholics, and must solemnly resist 
any proposal, either at the diet or elsewhere, to prejudice the rights 
of the Roman Catholic clergy and of the holy faith. They beg 
an authenticated copy of this protest." 

This one act throws full light upon all the deeds of the 
Church of Rome at all times, and shews us how much stress 
should be laid on the writings of the Jesuits who have attempted 
to free her from the charge of persecution. The fact is, that Rome 
has never consented to allow those who are out of the pale of 
her communion any rights or privileges whatever which she 
could prevent. 

The Protestants, full of anxiety, laid a counter protest in the 

hands of the notary ; they sent a full report of the transactions of 

the Pesth Commission to the king, and retired in sorrow from a 

diet which had done nothing to mitigate their sufferings. Their 

* Eibinyi, Mem. Aug. Conf., torn. ii. p. 204. 


regret was the more keen as they had hoped that, by acceding 
so readily to the wishes of the court, they might expect some 
little consideration in return. 

It was not in the king's power, however, at all times to act as 
he chose. The influence of the clergy was constantly around 
him ; the constitution of the country hampered him ; and those to 
whom the executive power was intrusted, being themselves en- 
tirely devoted to the interests of Rome,* shewed little zeal in 
giving a favourable turn to the statutes affecting the Pro- 

It is not difficult to understand how an unfavourable report 
might be sent in ; how the half of the truth might be told ; or 
how, after the Protestants had with unspeakable exertions ob- 
tained a favourable decision in any particular case, the authori- 
ties might delay carrying it out till such time as suited their own 
convenience, and this time was frequently very distant. The 
decree which the emperor issued from Luxemburg on 12th June 
1723, and which reflected so much credit on him, was never 
executed. In that decree he ordered, under severe penalties, 
that the Protestants should not be disturbed on account of their 
religion, and that they should on no account be compelled either 
to change their religion or to join in ceremonies inconsistent 
with their conscience. 

The persecutions still continuing, he issued in October a still 
more stringent decree against the excesses. This was, however, 
of little avail, for the Bishop of Waitzen took possession of the 
Protestant churches in Little- Waitzen, Kis-Ujfale, Hatvan, and 
elsewhere ; and though the king ordered an investigation, which 
turned out favourably, still the oppressed must wait many a 
weary day before obtaining redress. On 15th September, in 
the same year, an order was sent for the fourth time to the mili- 
tary governor of Trentshin, that he should prevent all opposition 
to the building of the Protestant chapel ; and still the clergy 
managed their affairs so well, that in December they persuaded 
the court to issue an edict prohibiting the building of a chapel, 

* The prince palatine was enrolled as a member of the "Society of 
Mary," made some magnificent endowments on the festival of the " Imma- 
culate Conception of the Virgin ;" at a great age he made a pilgrimage 
on foot to Marienzell. The president of the Pesth Commission was also 
a devotee of Mary, and left a legacy of thirteen thousand florins to the 
society peculiarly dedicated to her service. 


but at the same time graciously permitting the Protestants to 
purchase a house in which to hold their meetings. 

Thus were both king and counsellors wearied out, till, instead 
of the voice of truth, only that of policy was heard. The ques- 
tion was not so much what is right, as what is convenient. 
Indeed, the king was often sorely pressed in maintaining his 
own just rights. For, as the wealthy and noble George Radvany 
or Radvansky was about to marry Susanna de Reva, who was 
related to him in the fourth degree, and as the priests refused 
him the licence, he applied to the king. When the king had 
examined the case, and had ascertained that it was only a late 
law of Rome which extended the prohibition to the fourth de- 
gree, and that it had been entered among the laws of Hungary 
only in 1723 ; when he had farther ascertained that both the 
parties were Protestants, and that, according to the laws of their 
Church, the marriage was not forbidden, — he granted permission 
that the marriage should take place, and solemnly prohibited all 
parties whatever from raising any opposition. The ceremony 
was, however, scarcely ended, when a summons was put into 
the hands of the parties married, of the pastor, and of all the 
witnesses, requiring them to appear before the Chapter of Gran 
to answer to the charges which should be preferred against them. 
The king settled the matter by writing to the dean and chapter, 
that they had no right either to examine into the religious affairs 
of the Protestants, or to punish for any religious act. It was 
thus only by great energy and decision that he was able to pre- 
vent the clergy from trampling openly on his decree.* 

For these and similar evils the king hoped to find a remedy in 
a new court which he constituted under the name of a Deputy 
Privy Council. Though this court turned out ill, still it is evi- 
dent, from all the circumstances of the case, that the king's designs 
were good. This council consisted of twenty-two members no- 
minated by the king, and they appointed their own subordinate 
officers. The palatine was to be at all times president, j 

The province of this court was to publish and to watch over 

* Ribinyi, Mem. Aug. Coni'., torn. ii. p. 192. 

t Several Protestants assisted in persuading the king to organise this 
court, in the hope that the new council should consist of an equal number of 
Protestants and Roman Catholics. So soon, however, as the king had sanc- 
tioned the formation of the court, the promise was withdrawn. " Hesreticis 
nulla fides."' 


the execution of the laws of the land. With the exception of 
the fiscal matters and the courts of assize, all was intrusted to 
them. They had the censorship of the press, the guiding of the 
public education, the inspection of schools, churches, and public 
charities was intrusted to them, and they usually decided by a 
simple majority of votes.* 

On the 21st March 1724, this council was opened by Count 
Philip Louis Zinzendorf, in the castle at Presburg, with the 
following words : — " Out of this high council the clergy may 
expect honour and dignity, the magnates advantages, the nobility 
rights and privileges, the citizens advantages in trade and com- 
merce, the land alleviation of taxes, the whole kingdom the 
highest prosperity, so that it shall be said, i See how righteous- 
ness and peace kiss each other ! '" 

We have only to deal with the politico- ecclesiastical work- 
ings of this court, and the facts may be allowed to speak for 
themselves to shew what benefits and what ills were thereby 
conferred on the country .f 

On the part of the Jesuits and the clergy very little was done 
to realise the bright hopes held out by Zinzendorf. The first 
field of operations was connected with the mixed marriages, and 
with an ecclesiastical superintendence of the Protestant pastors, 
churches, and schools. A nobleman, George Pathy, who was 
about to marry a Roman Catholic lady, was told that he must 
either within a year himself become a Roman Catholic, or pay a 
heavy fine. He appealed to the king, and being a nobleman, he 
found means of escape from the sentence of the council. 

By a decree in June 1725, this council limited the rights of 
Protestants to study at foreign universities, though many founda- 
tions and scholarships existed for their support.^ It was now 
resolved that permission must in each case be asked and ob- 
tained ; and thus what was each one's right was exposed to the 

* Under Maria Theresa the court had increased to ninety-four members, 
and received a salary of eighty thousand eight hundred and fourteen florins. 
The members were elected from among the prelates, the magnates, and the 

f When the question was raised at the next diet, whether this court 
should be abolished, the Bishop of Erlau, Anton Gabriel Erdody, strove 
to persuade the Roman Catholic party to vote for its continuance, by assur- 
ing them that it was the hammer of the heretics — "malleus hcereticorum." 

X It was only a few months previously that a nobleman, Michael Kassay, 
had endowed two scholarships at Wittenberg for Hungarian students. 


caprice or whim of men in power. In cases where noblemen 
had built Protestant chapels on their own estates, an inquiry was 
instituted by this council in how far they should be tolerated, 
and the report was often highly unfavourable, and the matter 
was then much worse than when the decision had formerly rested 
with Charles. The Baroness Elizabeth Colisius de Eevay had 
built a chapel for the Protestants on her estate, and this council 
ordered it to be closed, as it had been built after the time of the 
Pesth Commission. 

On the other hand, the transgressions of the Roman Catholics 
were either not punished at all, or not in proportion to the 
offence. The Protestant inhabitants of Sol raised their voice in 
vain, petitioning against the unbounded oppression of their Po- 
pish landlord. In cases where the Protestants were far removed 
from a Protestant pastor, they had their children baptized, and 
their dead buried, by a priest. In such cases they must often pay 
four or five times as much as was customary under such circum- 
stances. It Avas only in a case of extremity that a formal charge 
was brought, and even then it was no easy matter to bring evi- 
dence sufficient to satisfy the judges, or to compel the priests 
to make restitution. The priest of St Martin Kata drove his 
oppressions so far that, by an order of council of 24th March 
1726, he was directed to return to the Protestants what he had 
unjustly exacted, and they were declared free from all priestly 
exactions in all time coming. Yet a clause was added to qualify 
this privilege, namely, " if the Protestants were free from these 
exactions previous to the Pesth Commission." 

Any little advantage which individual churches obtained 
afforded them little joy when they saw how the whole Church was 
suffering. In August 1725, shortly after the decree respecting 
attendance at foreign universities, an order was issued to inquire 
into the authority and jurisdiction of the Protestant superintend- 
ents, and two years later a circular was sent to all the counties, 
demanding accurate information on this head. The king's in- 
fluence in favour of the Protestants had been decreasing since 
the establishment of this court. In Pad the Reformed church 
was closed and deprived of all its revenues in 1728 ; and the 
pastor, Stephen Szecsy, being banished, the congregation was 
entirely broken up. In March in the same year, an order was 
issued for a return of all the apostates in the kingdom, that steps 
might be taken to have them restored to the Church. In April 


the Protestants were forbidden to make any public collections 
for religious purposes. And the worst of all was, that all the 
means of redress were taken away. 

Charles summoned a diet at Presburg in 1729, and here the 
Protestants hoped for some relief. But the passions of the clergy 
had blinded many to a sense of justice, and when, in the beginning 
of the sittings, some of the Protestants refused to take the " de- 
cretal oath " for conscience' sake, they were, with much uproar, 
turned out of the house. It is true that some of them had taken 
the oath, but it is equally evident that no sincere Protestant could 
do so with a good conscience. Among those who were thus 
turned out of the assembly were Andrew Petay, deputy of Bor- 
sod, Samuel Zsemberg, and Paul Katona. In addition to this 
they were obliged to pay a fine of sixty-four florins ; and when 
Paul Jessenack, the representative of Prince Eugene of Savoy, 
proposed to leave the decision of the case to the king, he was 
told that by such a . proposal he was bringing disgrace on the 
prince, for it was only by the assistance of the Virgin Mary that 
he had gained all his victories. 

The distinguished lawyers Stephen Kenessy and Samuel 
Bohas went immediately to Vienna to represent the case to the 
king, but on their return they were solemnly excluded from the 
sittings " as informers," till the king settled the quarrel by a 
decision in favour of the weaker party. 

In drawing up the articles of the diet, the clerical party in- 
serted a clause, which had not been enacted at the diet, to the 
effect that all witnesses should be sworn by the " decretal 
oath." So soon as the Protestants discovered this, a deputation 
was sent after the king — but it was too late, he had already 
signed. The Protestants had then no other comfort than this 
which many of the royal counsellors gave, namely, that they 
were not bound by a law for which they had evidently not 
voted. But when they looked back over the past, they found 
little consolation in such statements. 

And they had good reason to be concerned, for the noisy 
quarrels respecting the " decretal oath " were made to bear 
heavily against them in the explanation of the 9th article of 
the a Resolutions of Charles;" and in their anxiety they looked 
upwards like the disciples in the storm, and cried, " Help, Lord, 
or we perish! " 




The Pesth Commission had long since given in tlieir report, 
the Protestants had also forwarded their statements, bnt it was 
not till the year 1730 that King Charles handed the minutes 
to a commission to be examined. The commission consisted 
of Counts Zinzendorf, Stahreinberg, Dieterichstein, Nesselrode, 
Ferdinand Kinsky, and Lewis Bathyani, under the guidance of 
the veteran warrior and statesman Eugene of Savoy as presi- 
dent. The Hungarian prelates were excluded. 

In consequence of their report, Charles issued, on the 21st 
March 1731, the following resolutions, which the Protestants 
had so anxiously expected, but in which their hopes were so 
grievously blighted: — 

I. The decree of Leopold, of 2d April of the year 1691, is to 
be regarded as explanatory of the 25th and 26th articles of 
1681, of the 21st article of 1687, and 30th article of 1715. 
Private religious exercise is tolerated in all places, but the 
public exercises only in the places mentioned in the 26th 

II. The pastors of these authorised churches must confine 
themselves to the members of the churches living at these places 
or assembling there ; there may be, however, as many preachers 
in the one church as the wants of the place seem to require, 
subject to the sanction of the king. In these places they 
shall have the liberty of visiting the sick and the prisoners. 

III. Family worship may be tolerated in other places, but 
none beyond the members of the family shall be present on 
such occasions. Such isolated families must employ the priest 
for all ecclesiastical functions, yet they shall not be bound 
to pay more than the Roman Catholics pay on similar occasions. 


IV. Without interfering with the rights of the landowners, 
yet if they intend to make any alterations in ecclesiastical 
matters on their estates, they must first give a report to the 
king, stating their reasons for the change, and must wait for his 

V. Wherever the Protestants of both confessions elect super- 
intendents, they must first obtain the consent of the king. 
The jurisdiction of the superintendents shall extend only to 
the lives and morals of their clergy. In civil matters they are 
subject to the laws of the land, and in ecclesiastical matters 
subject to the archdeacon of the Roman Catholic Church, who 
shall be bound to take care that the baptisms are properly 
administered, and that the clergy are properly instructed in the 
nature of baptism. The marriages shall be all under the con- 
trol of the bishops subject to the law of the land, and for this 
purpose an appeal to the archbishop is allowed. 

VI. The apostates, and especially those who had once been 
Protestants, and who had joined the Roman Catholic Church, 
shall be severely punished at the pleasure of the civil magistrate, 
but each case must, previous to the infliction of the punishment, 
be reported to the king. 

VII. Mixed marriages can be celebrated only by the priest. 

VIII. The Roman Catholic holidays must be observed also 
by the Protestants, and the Protestant tradesmen are bound to 
take part in the processions to the honour of Mary and the 

IX. The Protestants shall be bound on taking office, and on 
other public occasions, to swear according to the formula of the 
" decretal oath," with the express clause, " by the Mother oi 
God and all the Saints." In criminal cases, the witnesses 
shall be sworn after the usual formula, that no delay may take 
place, and that the ends of justice may not be frustrated. Past 
transgressions in religious matters shall be looked on as can- 
celled. New transgressions, however, shall, on the charge of 
the attorney-general, be immediately and irreprievably punished. 
Each individual who thinks himself aggrieved can appeal to the 
king in his own name ; the appeal, however, in the name of a 
whole church is forbidden. 

These were the famous royal resolutions. The Protestants 
had heard something beforehand of what was to be expected, 
and had sent a deputation on the 20th February, consisting of 


John Radvan and Abraham Vay, to try and obtain as much 
favour as possible. 

So soon as the resolutions were published, the Protestants pre- 
pared a petition, and handed it to the king on the 6th April, 
protesting against the limitations of their rights ; when this pro- 
duced no effect, they on the 13th September renewed their pro- 
test, and on the 23d presented an extract of their grievances. 

The priests were as much dissatisfied as the Protestants ; they 
thought they had received far too little! Cardinal Althan, 
Bishop of Waitzen, entered a most decided protest against the 
resolutions, and declared his firm resolve to act as if they had 
not been published. The king having twice summoned him to 
appear at Vienna and withdraw his protest, on his non-appear- 
ance ordered the protest to be openly torn in pieces at Pesth ; the 
property of the bishop was ordered to be confiscated, and himself 
to be banished. By the assistance of the Jesuits a reconciliation 
took place, and the cardinal remained in the country. Though 
the protest had been publicly torn in pieces, yet we soon find it 
again in full health and spirits. 

The churches and church property of the Protestants were 
everywhere now seized upon, and directions were issued to draw 
up an accurate list of all the churches that were not secured to the 
Protestants by a positive declaration of the diet in their favour. 
These were all confiscated. In Eisenberg county the Lutherans 
alone lost forty churches ; and here, as well as in Neutra county, 
the public worship almost completely ceased. 

An excitement and commotion took place among the Protest- 
ants, who held meetings to plan what was to be done. This was 
especially the case in Barsh county, and the conscience-stricken 
government issued an edict requiring that the Protestants should 
remain quietly in their houses, but at the same time that the con- 
fiscation of churches should cease, till such time as the fatherly 
wisdom of the king should direct it to be resumed. 

This fatherly wisdom soon found an opportunity of displaying 
itself; for when all had become somewhat quiet, an imperial de- 
cree appeared, directing all the churches still in possession of the 
Protestants, which had not been guaranteed to them by express 
enactment, to be immediately confiscated. It was mid-winter, 
and a Hungarian winter ! One may picture the distress of the 
people, but much more of the clergy and their families, who were 
all turned out on the world. The priests were devoid of pity, 
and the work went on. In the county of Presburg the progress 



was slower than fanaticism might naturally have wished, and on 
the 9th April 1732 a new edict appeared directing to hasten and 
accomplish the work. The pastors betook themselves to the 
king, but in vain. One received the reply from the lord chan- 
cellor that this work could not be delayed. After all this perse- 
cution one might expect that, in the free cities, and in the churches 
guaranteed by the law of the land, if not a feeling of humanity, 
at least state policy might have dictated some degree of leniency 
and justice. The first and second resolutions had secured to the 
pastors of these churches the right of visiting the sick and the 
prisoners within their own bounds, and had also secured every- 
where the right of family worship. But in the execution of these 
decrees so little respect was paid to the wishes of the Protestants, 
and to the necessities of the place, that a wing of one parish was 
frequently attached to a far distant church, while the road thither 
was sometimes impassable. 

An order was issued from the viceregal court in December 
1732, directing the magistrates of Scliemnitz to examine whether 
the Protestant church in that city had any need of their third 
pastor ; how many dissenters were in the city ; what was the 
form of worship j whether the miners also partook of the labours 
of these pastors • who were the principal supporters of the Pro- 
testant cause; and how long they had enjoyed toleration. In 
the year 1733 the viceregal court laid a proposal before the king 
of a short and easy way for putting a stop to the church at Trent- 
shin, where the church and schools had once been so flourishing. 
An inquiry was instituted through the magistrates of Presburg, 
why the church in that city had three pastors ; why they had 
bought a common dwelling-house and fitted it up for a church ; 
whether they paid taxes for that house ; whether they held their 
schools, and what was the course of instruction. When the re- 
port had been handed in, a royal order was issued prohibiting the 
Protestants from having a school where anything beyond the 
rudiments was taught, unless they could bring evidence that a 
special permission to that effect had been granted. After many 
appeals, a new inquiry was instituted through the magistrates, 
whether it were safe to leave a higher school in the hands of the 

The preaching on the Lord's Day was now indispensably ne- 
cessary to strengthen the faith and to cheer the hopes of the Pro- 
testants, and the people flocked to those cities where preaching 
was tolerated ; but even in this respect every difficulty was thrown 


in the way by the king, who at this time stood so completely 
under priestly influence. 

That this wholesale robbery was not always peaceably accom- 
plished will be readily understood when we consider that some- 
times whole churches consisted of noblemen, who, as such, had 
many rights and privileges. In Lower Hungary they sometimes 
assembled their vassals, and surrounding the church with dung- 
carts, posted themselves behind the barricade. If no military 
happened to be in the neighbourhood, the priests, with their 
party, generally found it convenient to retire. 

We must especially record the seizing of the churches in the 
county of Neutra, and particularly the church of Miawa, which, 
in the days of Leopold L, had suffered severely, but was now 
made to drink the cup to the very dregs. 

The pastor of this large Slavonian church was Daniel Kir- 
mann, distinguished by learning and zeal in his office, as well as 
by the melancholy fate which afterwards befell him. At the Synod 
of Rosenau, notwithstanding the warning of John Bury of Neusohl 
and Adam Mittach of Losing, he broke out into the most violent 
invectives against the pietists, and adopted stringent measures 
against them. Bury, protesting in vain against these measures, 
burst into tears, and cried, " Let these tears witness against you, 
for<^ curse shall rest on every one who loveth not his brother." 
They were prophetical words which the enemy must put into 

The occasion of his misfortune was the conversion of a poor 
man named Wenzel Mlimar from the Eoman Catholic Church. 
This man had, under deep concern for his soul, fallen into me- 
lancholy, and, by the instruction of Kirmann, had been relieved 
from his mental agony. On learning the comforts of the gospel 
he joined the Protestant Church. This was enough for the 
priests. With a company of soldiers they came in the night to 
Miawa to cany the poor man away. Some of the citizens, hear- 
ing of the affair, hastened to ring the alarm bells, and the whole 
village was soon in commotion. The superintendent refused to 
deliver up the poor man, remarking that he would at all times be 

* This same Kirmann was sent by Francis Hakotzy to Charles XII. of 
Sweden about the time of the unfortunate battle of Pultawa, and obtained 
from him twenty thousand dollars for the school at Eperjes, the funds of 
which had been forcibly taken away by the Jesuits. He also obtained from 
the King of Sweden a thousand dollars as his own travelling expenses, and 
on returning to his own church he laboured to prepare a book of common 
prayer for the churches under his inspection. 


prepared in the proper place to give an account of what he was 
doing. On the 20th May 1731, consequently nearly two years 
after this transaction, he was, without much inquiry, found guilty, 
partly of blasphemy and partly of exciting his people to rebellion 
by ringing the alarm bells, and was accordingly sentenced to be 
imprisoned for life in the Castle of Presburg. Although not one 
of the soldiers had been either killed or wounded in the affray, 
yet the Protestants were ordered to surrender their church and 
school buildings over to the priests. The unfortunate Mlimar 
was imprisoned at Presburg, and in the year 1733 was secretly 
taken out of the way. 

Kirmann concealed himself for some time in the Carpathian 
mountains, but on receiving an anonymous letter, stating that 
it would be best for him to go to Presburg and cast himself on 
the emperor's clemency, he, conscious of innocence, resolved to 
follow the advice. He was cast into prison. On the 29th April 
1732, Frederick William, King of Prussia, appealed to the em- 
peror on Kirmann's behalf, and stated, through his ambassador, 
that any favour shewn to the superintendent or his family, the 
King of Prussia would consider as shewn to himself. But it was 
all in vain. After five years' heavy sufferings in prison, he peti- 
tioned the Emperor Charles, but also in vain. The Lord per- 
mitted that after nine years' imprisonment he should die in the 
prison. On his death-bed the priests forced the consecrated wafer 
between his teeth, and then spread the report that he had abjured 
his heresy, and had died in the communion of the Church of Rome. 

To give this falsehood some decree of credibility a splendid 
funeral was given, and a monument was erected to him in the 
cathedral ! By so doing, however, they gave evidence that he 
was not the criminal which they represented him to be. They 
remind us of the words of the Lord, Matt, xxiii. 31, " Where- 
fore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of 
them which killed the prophets." u Ye are of your father the 
devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do : he was a murderer 
from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is 
no truth in him" (John viii. 44). 

In the same way that Frederick William of Prussia had in- 
terested himself for the single individual, in like manner he 
appealed to Charles VI. for the whole Protestant Church of 
Hungary. This appeal was ably supported by the ambassadors 
from England, Holland, Denmark, and Sweden. The Swedish 
ambassador protested especially against the decretal oath, as one 


which no conscientious Protestant could take ; and he succeeded 
in so far, that some of the newly-elected officials of Presburg 
and Neusohl were not required to take the oath. 

Even this concession seemed to burden the tender consciences 
of the Jesuits, as if they had been too gentle ; and in the follow- 
ing year, 1733, an order was issued requiring that in all cases 
the decretal oath should be demanded, and only in case of posi- 
tive refusal on the part of the Protestants another formula 
should be substituted ; all, however, who were to be admitted to 
government offices should be prepared by all means to take the 

The annoyances which arose from all these decrees can be 
easily imagined. In 1734, in Szabolis, the newly-elected Pro- 
testant officials having refused to swear by " Mary and all the 
Saints," were, in spite of the law to the contrary, immediately set 
aside, and others elected. 

Deeply must it be deplored that the mind of the emperor was 
now so completely under the influence of the Jesuits that his 
former sense of discriminating justice seemed fast flying away. 
Like an expiring taper, he seemed sometimes to rally strength, 
and then fall once more into his torpor. 

Charles VI. had become what his father Leopold I. always 
was, and the Jesuits had glorious days in Hungary. The king- 
dom was ruled on the principles of " Mariolatry." No promise, 
no contract, no oath was kept with the heretics. Where no 
positive royal licence for a Protestant church existed, there were 
the Protestants compelled to perform all the ceremonies and join 
in all the processions of the Koman Catholic Church.* By one 
means or other, the schools were destroyed and the children taken 

Individual priests brought actions, frivolous and vexatious, 
against Protestant churches, and the punishment was sure to 
follow the charge — not the proof of the same.f Indeed, in some 
cases a legal sentence was considered so entirely a matter of 
course, that it was dispensed with, and the priests gave orders 
in their own name, so that the king had to interfere to prevent 
such glaring acts of revenge.:): * 

* Intimatum Carl. Reg., anno 1733 and 1738, ad Magistratum Presburg- 

t Fiscal action in 1731 ^,nd 1736, 24th March and 10th July, against 
the preacher Michael Marosy of Waitzen. 

+ Royal decree of 15th March 1734. 


Even the private religious exercises in the families of the 
Protestant nobility were often prohibited on the most vexatious 
and frivolous grounds, but especially if any stranger was per- 
mitted to be present, or if the chaplain was ever known to be 
guilty of visiting the Protestant families scattered through the 

Thus in the family of Bossany in Kisprona, Ujfalenssy in 
Divekujfelu, and in the family of Go stony in their castle at 
Krems, the family worship, which had been kept up from time 
immemorial, was, in 1732, forbidden. In county Wesprim the Pro- 
testants had, with the consent of Count Zichy, enlarged their 
chapel, when the sister-in-law of the count, the wife of John 
Zichy, was stirred up by the priests to such an unholy zeal, that 
she had the whole building torn down. In a neighbouring 
village, Polotai, the Protestants had put a new door on their 
chapel, and John Zichy fined the whole village for their presump- 
tion ; and, that no one might say that his zeal was less vigorous 
than that of his wife, he had the chapel levelled with the ground. 

From the workshop of the Jesuits, the imperial chancery at 
Vienna, orders were given respecting the baptism of children 
dying in the act of parturition;* and in a later order of 1738, 
directions were given to keep a close watch over the Calvinists 
during the time of the plague, that their doctrine of predestina- 
tion might not lead them to suffer the infected to remain among 
the healthy. 

Their police measures went farther, however, and interfered 
with other matters than predestination. An example we find in 
the case of Elizabeth Heritz. She was born of Protestant 
parents, and educated in the Protestant Chinch, but when, as 
widow, she was about to marry a Roman Catholic, and for that 
purpose was obliged nominally to connect herself with the 
Chmch of Pome, she thus brought herself under the power of 
the priests. As her conversion had been only nominal, so as 
to gain her end, she immediately returned to the Protestant 
Church, and lived in that state for eight years. On her decease, 
on the 7th August 1731, her husband, a tailor in Glins, obtained 
permission to bury his dead out of his sight. The story reached 
the ears of Cardinal Zinzendorf, who sent the hangman to raise 
the corpse five days after the burial, to strip it and leave it naked 
for three days under the gallows, and then to bury it in a span 

* Wo shall see that the impudence of the monks brought them even far- 
ther than this. 


deep of earth, as a warning that so it should be done with all 
those who leave the Church of Rome.* 

To sum up the picture of misery, we need only remember 
that the Jesuits had the censorship of the press entirely in their 
hands, and well did they watch over the spiritual food of the 
Protestants. Their arbitrary decisions knew no limits. In the 
year 1734 they confiscated the books of Stephen Szaboczly and 
George Megyessay, though these books had all been examined 
in Vienna, and declared to be free. What did it avail to shew 
the permission of the imperial censor ? When the books reached 
Bruck, they were carried to the chancery at Presburg ; and as 
in the fable the tracks of the beasts at the lion's den are all 
towards the den and none returning, so was it with these books ; 
having once reached Presburg, they never came out. 

The books of Stephen Banyai, the Reformed professor at 
Patak, met with the same fate at Neudorf. Among other 
books confiscated were several copies of his own work entitled 
Balm of Gtleady intended to prove " that the plague is in- 
fectious " ! Bookbinders had their whole stock of Bibles taken 
away. Books taken for examination, however harmless they 
might be, were seldom returned. How far the Jesuits went in 
the exercise of the censorship of the press under Charles VI. 
and Maria Theresa, may be seen froni the confessions of Alexius 
von Tteva. 

Pie acknowledges and confesses that Austria feared nothing 
more than the books which young men studying at foreign 
universities brought home with them. Therefore were the 
edicts, bulls, and proscribed lists of books so numerous. This 
nobleman acknowledges that the very name of Protestant used 
to fill him with such rage, that he fell on their books like a 
raging lion, but that, after glancing through them, he often came 
away as a lamb.f 

Under all these circumstances, the Protestants could feel the 
force of the Scriptural direction, " Trust not in princes, nor in 
the sons of men." The apparent favours which came from the 
court at Vienna were in reality limitations of their rights and 
freedoms. This was particularly the case with the royal per- 
mission to elect superintendents which was granted in 1734. 
Under the pretence that the visitation of the churches on the 

* Ribinyi, Mem. Aug. Conf., torn. ii. p. 264. 

t Esprit Post. J. Jos. e Comit. Trantsorm. Archiep. Viennensis, a L. B. cle 
Reva, illustr., pp. 24, 25. 


part of the superintendent was a burden, it was directed that in 
future the superintendent should only watch over the clergy, 
and not over the people. The numbers must therefore be 
reduced to four for each of the sister churches, though the 
Lutherans had five and the Reformed Church six districts. 
The confirmation of the appointment was left with the emperor. 

The favour was too small to be accepted with gratitude, and 
too great to be thrown away ; wherefore both churches accepted 
of the proffered boon. The Lutheran churches had at this time 
sunk down to the number of two hundred and fifty. 

The mining districts elected Samuel Michaellis of Neusohl, a 
man of considerable abilities, and very eloquent, and he was 
made superintendent in 1733.* In 1736, a substitute for the 
imprisoned Daniel Kirmann was found in the person of Zaborsky, 
an eloquent man, but without college training ; and just as the 
instructions were being handed to him, appointing him to his 
office, he was struck with paralysis and expired. In his place 
was elected in the following year Elijah Mohl of Modern. The 
third superintendent was Michael Torkosa; and in 1742, for the 
district beyond the Danube, as fourth superintendent they elected 
John Siphovis-Toth. 

The Reformed Church, which had had six superintendents, 
confirmed Stephen Major-Korsi as superintendent for the adjoin- 
ing circuits on both sides of the Danube, and George Zovanyi 
in Debrecsin. This latter died in 1757, old and full of days. 
He usually went about half in Hungarian, half in Turkish dress, 
with a huge knife hanging to his girdle. 

Another arrangement of great importance for the protection 
of the Protestants, was the appointment of a district inspector 
on the part of the influential nobility, who should stand as 
adviser by the side of the superintendent and protect the 
people in their civil and political rights. All actions, lawsuits, 
cases of oppression or of hardship, should be reported to him, 
and he should stand in constant correspondence with an agent 
in Vienna. The Lutherans elected to this office Christian 
Kalitsh, Michael Ossfy, John Radovansky, and General Thomas 

* A neighbouring priest was pleased, in a letter which he wrote to 
Michaellis, to denominate him " predicans sceleratissimus, nebulo im- 
postor, infernalis furcifer, draco tartareus, monstrum membrum abscissum 
et mortuum, sacrilegus, idololatra," &c. ; and all this because the people 
preferred going a long way to hear Michaellis, rather than sit under his 
own preaching. 


Szirmay, noblemen strongly attached to their Church. Peter 
Zay was the first general inspector.* The Keformed Church 
appointed Stephen Vesselenyi, Michael and Ladislaus Teleky, 
Ladislaus Bethlen, Ladislaus Balo, Joseph, Stephen, and Peter 

By the assistance of such district inspectors, the superin- 
tendents were to a certain extent protected, and the cause of 
liberty better supported than by mere paid agency. By the 
representations, the entreaties, and the influence of these men, 
who had high connexions in Vienna, many a favour was 
obtained, many a harsh measure was softened down, and many 
acts of arbitrary cruelty prevented. Many pastors and school- 
masters found in the hospitable abodes of the wealthy nobility a 
place of refuge and means of subsistence for months, or even for 
years. The remembrance of such things makes the clergy of 
the present day very willing to share the church government 
with the descendants of men who so ably and so zealously 
advanced the best interests of the Church in days gone by. It 
were much to be desired that the same brotherly-kindness which 
generally characterised the intercourse of the Lutheran and Cal- 
vinistic Churches at that time, should still continue ; for though 
in 1732 the Lutherans refused to join the Calvinists in their 
petition to the king, supposing the expressions to be too 
decided, yet very shortly after we find both once more joining 
in Pesth to send a united statement to the court. 

The active agents in Vienna, Matthew Bodo and Joseph 
Modori, assisted by Andrew Ottlick, laboured hard in the cause, 
and it was chiefly by their exertions that permission was obtained 
for the Protestant clergy to visit the sick and the dying of their 
own communion, even in places where no licensed Protestant 
church existed, only on condition of paying the priest the usual 
dues. It may be, also, that the war with France at this time 
made the court more inclined to listen to the appeals of the 
Protestants, t 

* Other noblemen strongly attached to the Protestant Church were 
Gabriel Pronay, John Podmanitzky, Stephen Zeitkowsky, Paul Jessenak, 
Von Hellenbach, Stephen Eadovansky, Alexander Podmanitzky, Adam 
GEsovski, Stephen Szirmay, Ladislaus Pronay, Balthasar Pongracs, and 
Alexander Vidas. 

t As in consequence of the unexpected war with France the soldiers 
were withdrawn from Hungary, and the Jesuits had therefore no more 
power to carry out their schemes, Count Pallfy is reported to have 
said, " The Protestants must either have God or the devil for their friend, 


The nobles recovered their ancient right to hold religious 
exercises in their castles, and many a thirsty soul came thither 
to be refreshed by the Word of life. They tasted here some- 
thing of the benefits of that light in their dark, dark night, and 
the Word of God was sweeter to them than honey and the 

The brethren in other parts of the kingdom were, by tMs 
success, encouraged to renew their efforts. The Protestants at 
Trentshin, whose church and school buildings had been taken 
from them, now obtained leave to build a wooden chapel in one 
of the suburbs, and directions were given to the governor of the 
city not to hinder them in their work. To prevent the Roman 
Catholics, however, from being too much provoked by this 
wondrous generosity, it was at the same time ordered, that no 
one from Bohemia or Moravia should be permitted to attend the 
preaching, and that neither the preacher nor the singing boys 
should be permitted to enter the city.* 

What labour the Protestants must have had in obtaining and 
enjoying these crumbs which fell from the master's table, may 
be seen from the fact, that on the third day of April 1737, Arch- 
bishop Kollonitz handed in to the king a protest against all 
these concessions. And it is hard to say whether he might not 
have been successful, had not the war with the Turks broken 
out, in consequence of which, mild measures were rendered 
absolutely necessary. 

The royal proclamations became less frequent and less fiery. 
The superintendents called on all the churches under their care 
to engage regularly in prayer for the success of the emperor. 
The emperor's position was becoming more and more critical. 
The Turks had Belgrade already in their hands, and were 
masters of the Banat. They were now approaching steadily 
towards Transylvania, which we have been obliged so long to 
pass over, but to the state of which country we now return. 

for, when everything is so completely in order for their annihilation, 
there comes always some untoward event to prevent its being carried out." 
— Smalii Advers., 1. c. 

* Mandat. Eeg. 3d, c. 5. September 1735. 




In this country, tlie Protestants enjoyed on the whole many 
advantages. Since the resolutions of Charles they had been 
occasionally annoyed, but as the Jesuits had not succeeded in 
bringing the magnates and higher nobility to join them, they 
were prevented from developing their full force. More than two 
thuds of the population were Protestants, and completely to 
overturn and destroy all their privileges appeared neither 
desirable nor, indeed, for the present, practicable. On the 
surrender of the country to Leopold I., father of Charles VI., 
the magnates had secured the fundamental principle, " that the 
right of patronage in church matters should remain intact, and 
that no clergy should be introduced to the country but such as 
were already there." 

This clause was directed against the Jesuits, who by the law 
of the land were prohibited from settling in Transylvania, and 
also against the settlement of a bishop. The last bishop had 
been banished under Siegmund Bathory, and his estates had 
been confiscated to the prince, and also to some of the magnates 
who had deserved well of their country. In spite, however, of 
this condition under which the emperor held the country, the 
military governor of Transylvania, Francis Stephen Steinriller, 
succeeded in the year 1716, in the king's name, in introducing 
George Martonfy de Garancsfalva as Transylvanian bishop for 
the Roman Catholic Church, and with him began scenes of 
anarchy and arbitrary government such as Borne alone can 

The so-called Carolin residence in Alba Julia was fitted up 
for his reception, and the superintendent with the professors and 
the college must be removed elsewhere. As a recompence for 


the loss to the Reformed Church, fifteen thousand florins were 
promised, but the money has as yet not been paid.* 

In the train of the bishop came the Jesuits, who settled in all 
the principal towns, — in Clausenburg, Alba Carolina, Hermann- 
stadt, Kronstadt, and Advarkely. The different orders of the 
Jesuits were carefully scattered over the whole country, and 
thus, through the narrow passes of a clear and strict law, and 
over the steep mountains of royal decrees and of binding and 
existing compacts, had Home safely conducted her warriors into 
a land which for a century had been closed against them. 
The firmest positions had been taken ; the general very pro- 
perly chosen ! Such battles as Rome, out of her unspeakable 
love to souls, usually fights, should also soon follow. 

In all places of learning and trust proper persons of moderate 
abilities were introduced, to be ready, without making any stir, to 
fill up all vacancies which might occur. This was all in full 
operation in 1727, under the guidance of the heads of the cathe- 
dral at Weissenberg and Kalos-Monastor. Proper persons were to 
be always ready for proposing to the king to fill up every vacant 
post ; and under the expression u proper persons," was to be 
understood members of their order. How zealously the plan was 
carried out may be seen from the fact, that among all who have 
the charge of the instruments and apparatus of science in Tran- 
sylvania only two at present are laymen, one a Protestant of the 
Reformed Church, and the other a Roman Catholic. 

A prohibition, now appeared forbidding the building of churches 
and the opening of schools or academies without royal commis- 
sion. The (Roman Catholic) Court of Inquiry was directed to 
pay particular attention to those who should desert the Roman 
Catholic Church. In the royal decrees it appeared in the pre- 
amble " that many had joined the Roman Catholic Church to 
obtain the royal favour or to avoid punishment for some crime 
■{sic!) , and when they had gained their end they then returned. 
Others who joined the Roman Catholic Church suffered so much 
persecution that they again fell off." Now it should be ordained 
that all who joined the Church of Rome, and remained steady, 
should be taken under the especial protection of the government ; 
those, however, who again fell off should be punished as the 
emperor in each case should direct. 

* Petr. Bad de Statu Reb. in Trans, sub Carolo VI., toni. iii. p. 2C1, 



When matters were thus far prepared that the Eoman Catho- 
lics had more courage, and the Court of Inquiry was prevented 
from taking decided steps, the priests proceeded to alter the laws 
which regulated the mutual relations of the four confessions, 
Lutheran, Calvinist, Unitarian, and Roman Catholic. 

These laws had been in so far favourable to the Protestants 
that they secured them the possession of their churches and 
church property against the ravages of a robber-priesthood of the 
Church of Rome. As, however, those laws had been made dur- 
ing the time of the Turkish government, and many articles in 
the laws required a certain line of conduct to be observed towards 
the Turks, the priests availed themselves of this circumstance to 
give them a plausible pretence for overturning the whole law. 
They succeeded, too, in gaining the Court of Inquiry entirely to 
their interests, so that the way seemed clear before them. 

The Protestants saw their danger, and took alarm. They 
reminded Charles VI. of his own solemn promise to them, as well 
as that of his father Leopold I., his mother Eleonora, and his 
brother Joseph, that they should still enjoy their rights as they 
at that time existed ; and the danger was for the present removed. 

The Protestants had to pay dearly for this. We do not men- 
tion here the Turkish war, nor the plague which began to rage 
very fiercely, but another event of vast importance which occurred 
on the 29th March 1735. On that night imperial soldiers broke 
into the castles of many of the most distinguished magnates, and 
carried them away as prisoners to different fortresses.* 

The same took place with the superintendent of the Reformed 
church in Enged, whose house was searched in every corner, his 
papers taken to Hermannstadt, and he himself to Alba Carolina. 
Other prisoners soon followed him, as Siegmund Boronyai, doctor 
of theology and professor in Enged ; Pastor Torsok-Szigeti and 
Andrew Szaboslai of Neudorf ; as also a nobleman, John Thurotz ; 
but these last were soon set free, without, however, any punish- 
ment being inflicted on those who had denounced them, one of 
whom, at least, was perfectly well known. 

Count Emerich Bethlen was sent to Vienna to intercede for 

* The names of those thus violently taken prisoners and carried out of 
their castles were — John Sajar ; Ladislaus Rhedri, in his twenty-sixth year ; 
Siegmund Toracky, sixty years old, and paralytic ; Francis Rhedri, nearly 
sixty years old ; Michael Toldalagi, seventy years old deaf and blind ; and 
Count Samuel Bethlen. 


the prisoners, and lie was so successful, that he obtained the ap- 
pointment of a military commission to examine the case. After 
a very strict investigation, all the prisoners were found not guilty 
of the charges laid against them, and the emperor ordered their 
innocence to be publicly proclaimed. 

And yet the raging enemies found ways and means of keeping 
them in prison till the 15th January 1739.* The magnates who 
had been thus so unjustly dishonoured and imprisoned, demanded 
the punishment of their accusers, but the court observed a strict 
silence on this matter, and no justice was granted. 

* Accordingly the statement of Fessler requires to be corrected. See 
Petr. Bad. Eccl. Hist., sub Carolo VI., MSS. 



The Protestants summoned to Rebellion — Misfortunes of the Imperial Army- 
Disgraceful Peace — Death of the King. 

The war with the Ottomans becoming more and more serious, 
occupied the attention of all Europe, and especially of the Pope 
and the Emperor, so much that for some time few imperial orders 
were issued. The few which came to the light, however, re- 
minded the Protestants of their miserable state and of their 
mighty foes. And yet, when the son of Prince Pakotzy, who 
stood under the protection of the Turks, summoned the Protest- 
ants of Hungary and Transylvania to revolt against the emperor 
and join the Turks, they refused to listen to his proposals. Not 
an individual of importance passed over to the Turkish ranks, 
though at that time the victorious party. 

In the unfortunate engagement of 23d July 1739 at Kroc- 
ska, the field-marshal, Wallis, had been nearly routed when he 
was relieved by the arrival of William Peinhard of Neupergs. 
Peinhard had received secret instructions from Maria Theresa 
and her consort to conclude a peace with the Turks ; but his un- 
fortunate position and his own imprudence, together with the 
cunning of Marquis Villeneuve, the French ambassador, who 
wished to humble Austria, induced him to conclude that dis- 
graceful peace on the 1st September, under the guarantee of 
France, by which the fortresses of Belgrade and Szobacs, to- 
gether with Servia, the whole of Austrian Wallachia, with the 
island and castle of Orsova, were ceded to the Turks.* 

The emperor's cheerfulness now forsook him. He sought soli- 
tude, and not unfrequently shut himself up in his cell in the 
Capuchin monastery, which he had built in the market-place. 

* By this peace the fundamental constitution of Hungary was violated. 
See Carl. III., Decret. 1715, art 41. See also Corpus Juris Hungarian 


Sometimes he went to his palace at Halbthurm, in Wieselburg, 
and here, by partaking of fruit and cold drink after the heats of 
the chase, he brought on the disease of which he died in Vienna, 
20th October 1740. The papal nuncio stood by him in his 
dying hours. 

The death of Charles VI. was no cause of joy to the Protest- 
ants, nor of sorrow to the Roman Catholic priests, in as far as 
the future was concerned, for his successor was his own daughter, 
Maria Theresa. 




Dangerous Position of the Queen — She is delivered by the Hungarians — Fruitless 
efforts of the Protestants to obtain their Religious Freedom — Forbidden to present 
Petitions in Corporate Capacity — Extracts from a Petition to the Queen — Effects 
of this Petition — Examination of the Pastors respecting Baptism — The Resolutions 
of Charles VI. of 1731 renewed — Sorrowful Consequences — Persecutions —The 
Protestant Schools. 

Maria Theresa was crowned with the usual ceremonies on the 
18th March 1741, and inherited from her father a land wasted 
by war, by fanatical oppression, and by an army of officials.* 
Having been attacked by Frederick the Great of Prussia, by the 
Elector of Bavaria, as also by France and Spain, it seemed to be 
hastening to its downfal. 

Forsaken by faithless allies among the princes, she, contrary to 
the advice of her German advisers, summoned a diet at Presburg, 
where, with her babe of six months old (Joseph) in her arms, she 
delivered such a powerful address in Latin, commending herself 
and her child to the care of the Hungarian States — casting herself 
on their generosity and valour — that when she had concluded, 
four hundred and ninety-seven Hungarians drew the sword, and 
cried, "Yes/ our life's blood for our king/ " t 

The happy consequences of this proceeding of the queen, both 
for herself and the monarchy, are well known. For Hungary 
this was one of her brightest days. Pity that religious intoler- 
ance and love of persecution cast a shade over the picture, and 
that the inner life of this brave people should be so soon turned 
to darkness and night. 

The queen had sworn " to preserve inviolable all the rights 
and privileges of the nation in all points, clauses, and articles, as 

* The officials in one single department amounted to forty thousand, 
who cost the land nearly ten millions of florins yearly. 

t " Moriamur pro rege nostro Maria !" The title of queen is not recog- 
nised in Hungary, even when a female monarch is actually reigning. 



had been settled between the king and the representatives of the 
country." Still this was not so much the ground of the nation's 
confidence as was that gentle and humane disposition which was 
universally believed to characterise the person of the sovereign. 
They thought, therefore, that now was the time to recover their 
inalienable rights and freedoms, which, partly by force, partly by 
fraud, had been wrested from them. As bitterly oppressed sub- 
jects, they reckoned on the tender heart of woman for redress, and 
took their measures accordingly. 

To lose no time, the Protestants sent a deputation to Maria 
Theresa in July 1740, but she replied through her chancellor 
Pallfy, that she was not willing to receive so numerous a depu- 
tation, and that it was besides contrary to law to approach the 
throne with the complaints of a whole class. Disappointed in 
their expectations, the deputies left the city, resolved to try some 
other plan. 

On the 20th January 1741, a deputation appeared in Vienna 
from Hout and Neograd, and in April another deputation fol- 
lowed j and as the queen seemed inclined to listen to them, the 
deputy of the Eeformed Church, Abraham Vay, and of the 
Lutheran Church, Maytheni, drew up and presented a petition 
which was too important to be here passed over. 

In the preamble of the petition it was set forth, that the pro- 
hibition of petitions in the name of a class had reference only to 
private interests, which were often so represented. It was also 
set forth that, in the present case, the evil was of such a nature 
that it could not otherwise be met than by a petition stating the 
oppressions of the whole Protestant body. The different enact- 
ments are recapitulated, according to which, " the Protestants of 
Hungary should in no way whatever be disturbed in the enjoy- 
ment of all their rights." The ten points of the Diet of (Eden- 
berg, 1681, are recapitulated, and it is shewn that not a shadow of 
religious freedom remains over.* Petitioners represent further, 
how Protestant pastors are banished out of whole circuits, as in 
the case of Arszeg and Tolsag in Eisenburg county, and that 
the people are not suffered to go to hear the Word of God or 
to receive the Lord's Supper in the neighbouring county. They 
are not even allowed the quiet use of their own religious books. 
When some have ventured to go to a neighbouring county to 
hear the Word of God, they have been waylaid by the authorities, 
* " Ut ne umbra quidem alicnjus libertatis appareat." 


and their books and even clothes taken from them, without respect 
to age, or sex, or station in life. Others are for the same offence 
summoned before the county court.* Here they have been sen- 
tenced to fines and imprisonments in chains. Some are compelled 
to join the Eoman Catholic Church, or subjected to endless an- 
noyances. The landed proprietors often abuse their rights so 
far as to compel those residing on their estates to become Koman 
Catholics, else imprisonment, banishment, and confiscation await 
them. Even after some have paid the fine to obtain leave to 
reside on the estates, they are even then banished. The decretal 
oath shuts Protestants out of office, and very often brings them 
to bear heavy persecution, simply because their consciences could 
not bear the blasphemy contained in that oath. Parties are re- 
fused marriage and other rites, indeed even Christian burial ; 
corpses are torn out of the earth and thrown into some dishonoured 
place, because it is feared that they have not died in the Catholic 
faith. If Protestant domestics are taken sick, and the priest is 
not sent for, that, too, is a crime to be punished with fines. 
Those who had long before 1731 joined the Protestant Church, 
are, under some pretence, seized, scourged as apostates, and 
again handed over to the Church of Pome. 

They complain that the Protestant schools are reduced to the 
elementary classes, indeed sometimes completely prohibited ; and 
that the books of the Protestants, such as the Bible, hymn and 
prayer books, as well as works on dogmatic theology, are not 
allowed to be imported into the country, or if found are confis- 
cated. Even in places where the Protestant worship is tolerated, 
the pastors are not allowed to visit the sick and the prisoners, 
or to comfort the dying. In many places, indeed in the greater 
number of the free cities in the entire kingdom, out of mere 
religious hatred, the Protestants are not permitted to enjoy 
the rights of citizenship ; and this measure extends not only to 
strangers, but also to those born in the place. The nobility, who 
in Hngary enjoy so many privileges, are excluded from office, 
however well fitted to fill the post, simply because they refuse 
to take the blasphemous decretal oath ; the post is then often 
filled up by men not at all qualified, and the votes of the nobility, 
who have a right to decide in such matters, are completely ne- 

* This court, called the " Herrenstuhl," was perfectly arbitrary in its 
decisions, and merely carried out the will of a few landed proprietors of the 
county. It was the source of much oppression up till the year 1845. 


glected. Petitioners inform the queen that all these complaints, 
and many others even worse than these, could be proved by 
documentary evidence. Petitioners further declare, that though 
her imperial Majesty had reserved to herself the right of finally 
deciding in all these matters, yet the grand cause of the evil lies 
in the fact of all these cases being handed for investigation to 
the very parties who have first instigated the injustice, that they 
might report. In this way the complaining party is put com- 
pletely at the mercy of the persecutors ; and if this course is con- 
tinued, there remains nothing over for the faithful Protestant 
subjects of her Majesty but persecution, misery, banishment, and 
complete destruction. 

Whilst it is impossible for her Majesty, with all her cares of 
government, to examine all the charges and complaints of the Pro- 
testants, and to decide according to the law of the land, the Protes- 
tant States, who are not behind their Koman Catholic country- 
men in devotedness to the throne, unite in the following petition : — 

First, That the Protestants of both confessions, as members of 
the kingdom, shall be treated like the Roman Catholic citizens, 
and shall not on account of their religion be excluded from any 
of the ofhces of state, or courts of law and appeal. 

Second, That in all oaths, the formula, " by the Triune God," 
shall be reckoned sufficient, and no farther burden be laid on 
the conscience. 

Third, At the election of civil office-bearers, the vote of the 
Protestants shall not be suppressed, but treated as of equal value 
with the vote of a Roman Catholic. 

Fourth, That the Protestant clergy shall, in matters pertaining 
to ecclesiastical discipline, be subject to their own superintendents 
alone, and to no foreign ecclesiastical authority 5 and that the 
matters relating to marriage shall be decided according to the 
acknowledged and authorised principles of the confession to 
which the parties belong. 

Fifth, That in the counties where the Protestants are in 
possession of churches and chapels, and enjoy the privileges of 
the public exercises of religion, it shall be permitted them to 
repair their churches and to build manses and school-houses 
where these do not already exist. That the nobility generally 
shall have the right of building chapels on their own land, and 
of supporting chaplains ; that those who come to attend divine 
service should in no way be molested ; and that the peasants 


who live beyond the prescribed bounds of the parish should 
not be prevented from receiving the visits of the Protestant 
clergy in case of need, and from obtaining the comforts of the 
gospel in a dying hour. 

Sixth, That those who join the Protestant Church should 
in the fixture not be persecuted and punished as apostates, or 
banished from the land of their fathers, and that those who are 
already banished should be recalled. 

Seventh, That the churches which, according to article 30th 
of the diet 1715, had fallen into the possession of the Roman 
Catholics,* should be restored, or, where that was impossible, at 
least no more should be taken away mider such pretexts. 

Eighth, That in the royal free cities the Protestant pastors 
shall no more be prohibited from entering the interior of the city, 
and that all the limitations of knowledge be removed, f 

Ninth, That Protestants coming to reside in the free cities 
should not, on account of their religion, be excluded from citizen- 

Tenth, That the system of seizing chinches, chapels, schools, 
and income of the Protestant clergy by force, should cease for 
ever, and that the " customary fine " which at all times might 
be levied from Protestants should also for ever cease, that the 
peace of the country might not be for ever disturbed by such 
unjust measures. And should complaints be brought to her. 
Majesty, that she would be pleased to direct inquiry and redress, 
not through the viceregal court at Presburg, but from the home 
office, for the viceregal coiut often took the liberty of decreeing 
exactly the opposite of what the court at Vienna had ordered. 

Should at any time doubts arise, then, in the spirit of the 
14th article of 1647, there should be a mixed commission, con- 
taining an equal number of Protestant and Roman Catholic 
members, appointed to examine the case, and when they had 
decided, her Majesty would please to direct the local magistrate 
to carry out the decision without the intervention of any other 
party ; for experience had shewn that royal resolutions in favour 
of the Protestants generally remained unexecuted. 

* This was the case when a priest by force or fraud succeeded in reading 
the mass or performing any other religious ceremony there. 

t This referred to the exclusion of Protestants from professorships, and 
also to the prohibition of anything beyond elementary schools in connexion 
with the Protestant churches. 


" By this means " — so said the petition at its close — u should 
the nation of Hungary, so devoted to her Majesty's interests, 
be delivered from much and grievous oppression. We, who 
humbly present this petition before your Majesty, should, by 
the granting of our supplication, be so firmly bound to your 
Majesty's throne, that we should ever consider it an honour and 
a privilege to shed our blood in defence of your Majesty's cause 
against every foe." The petition was signed by " Her Majesty's 
most obedient, ever faithful subjects of the Augsburg and Hel- 
vetic Confessions, residing in Hungary." 

A petition founded thus on facts, and supported by evidence, 
could not pass without leaving a deep impression on the mind 
of Maria Theresa, and so much the more as extracts of all the 
laws made in favour of the Protestants had, in January 1742, 
been handed to her and her councillors by that faithful nobleman 
Gabriel Perenyi. He had been assisted and supported, in mak- 
ing the extracts and presenting them, by John Botius and the 
general inspector John Radvan. 

The queen handed the petition of the Hungarian Protestants 
to her chancellor, with directions to report upon it. The report 
appeared on the 4th March 1742, advising that her Majesty 
should condescend no reply to the petitioners. As she, however, 
felt this suggestion incompatible with her sense of duty, she 
summoned on an early day her whole council, to present the 
chancellor's report, and to ask their advice. Her ministers 
advised her to act as the chancellor had reported, and, accord- 
ingly, no reply was given to the petition. 

We see that the queen and the Protestant cause were still 
in the hands of the Jesuits. This was soon made still more 
evident. The Bishop of Funfkirchen, in the visitation of his 
diocese, felt himself peculiarly pressed in conscience to look after 
the state of the poor erring Protestants who had left his fold. 
He not only inquired into outward and civil matters, but also 
examined the Protestant pastors respecting their views of bap- 
tism. Well, if Protestants were allowed to live, it was but 
reasonable to expect that they should teach only such doctrines 
as Rome approves. So at least thought the Bishop of Funf- 
kirchen. Now, on the occasion of an examination at Szokal, 
the bishop felt quite grieved in spirit at the answers which 
the Protestant pastors gave on the subject of baptism, and, 
astonished that any men pretending to hold the office of pastor 


in a Christian church could differ so far from what the infallible 
Mother Church teaches respecting the nature of the sacraments, 
he in his zeal denounced these men in his report to Vienna, as 
monsters of ignorance, who pretended to support by Scripture 
their own views of baptism, which were not the same as those 
of the Church of Rome. The bitterest part of the charge, 
however — at least to Popish ears — was, that these Protestant 
pastors caused many children to be eternally lost, by forbid- 
ding the midwives to baptize in case of death in the act of 

On the 15th September 1742, an order was published by the 
viceregal court at Presburg, and directed to be read in all coun- 
ties and parishes in the name of the queen. This royal decree 
brought heavy charges against the Calvinistic pastors, and 
directed that the authorities should prevent them, if necessary, 
by force, from spreading their dangerous doctrines by which 
any child may be suffered to die unbaptized. If any case of 
the kind should occur, then the Calvinistic pastor and the mid- 
wife are to be held accountable for the crime, and punished 

A heavier measure awaited the Protestants, for in the follow- 
ing December another proclamation appeared, by which the 
queen confirmed to its full extent the unfortunate resolutions of 
her father, of the year 1731. The desire of religious liberty 
was now a crime, and Maria Theresa brought a heavy stain on 
her character by sanctioning such a measure. From this time 
we see her led by bigotry to demand the heaviest oppressions 
and persecutions of her Protestant subjects. 

The decretal oath, which Charles VI., at the instigation of the 
foreign ambassadors, had allowed to be dispensed with, Maria 
Theresa again introduced, by which means the conscientious and 
influential Protestants were excluded from office. In this way 
was Joseph Klobuschisky, who had been duly elected as a 
member of the chamber at Presburg, removed from his office, 
and another illegally appointed in his place, but for the illegal 
steps there was no punishment inflicted on the parties con- 
cerned. Similar cases might be brought forward by hundreds. 

* It is the well-known principle of the Church of Kome, that children 
dying unbaptized are therefore lost ; wherefore the midwives are directed 
to baptize in case of need, to the saving of the souls of children. The same 
practice prevails also in the Lutheran Church. 


The greatest possible difficulties were laid in the way of young 
men who wished to study at foreign universities. Not only was 
the passport very expensive, but even before granting it, evidence 
must be brought that the individual seeking such permission 
had sufficient means to support him. In this way the rich 
endowments and scholarships intended for Hungarian students 
were rendered useless. If any one were too poor to study abroad, 
he was prohibited from seeking assistance from friends for that 

The candidates of theology, who were residing abroad, were at 
one time ordered home within . a month. Not even the poor 
traders who lived on the frontiers escaped, but, under the pre- 
tence that by their books they were spreading heresy in the 
land, their Bibles and hymn-books were taken from them. The 
Protestant carriers of Zips lost many religious books in this way ; 
those of Arva lost forty Bohemian Bibles, and at that time it was 
no trifle. An order of 1747, from the viceregal court, directed 
the Reformed Church to destroy their catechism, and have it 
immediately abolished. The old battles about church and school- 
houses, and the claims of the priests on the Protestants, were 
renewed and continued in the old way. The Diet of CEdenberg 
brought matters so far, that in eleven counties divine worship 
according to the Protestant form was to be tolerated only in two 
places in each county. Six of these counties had been already 
regulated ; the five remaining counties were to be examined with 
the greatest care, that none but the two legal Protestant churches 
should be tolerated, and when that was done the remaining nine- 
teen counties should not rest long behind. We shall see with 
what cunning the foes of light set to work. 

In Paab the Protestant worship had occasionally been sus- 
pended, but always restored again ; now, however, a charge was 
brought that the Protestants had no legal permission to meet for 
worship. No sooner had the charge been read in Presburg than 
an order was issued, and accordingly churches and schools were 
closed, the revenues seized, the pastors and teachers turned out 
of their dwellings, and permitted to continue in Paab only on 
condition of resigning all claim to be considered as office-bearers 
in the Church. In parishes where perhaps scarcely three Pom an 
Catholics resided, priests were forced upon the people. We 
might name the places where this occurred, — for example, in 
Dobschan in 1 746, in Ratho, in Csetnek, where very few Papists 


resided, but, on the contrary, which was the residence of the 
Protestant superintendent. In Asgyan the pastor had only but 
expired of fever, when an attempt was made to introduce a priest 
into his place. When the people protested, they were summoned 
by the attorney-general and subjected to a tedious legal process. 
When the congregation had found, however, in Stephen Borne- 
missa, an able advocate and zealous defender, the Papists found 
means of making him harmless by bringing an accusation against 
himself. He lost his right to practise as an advocate — certainly 
as a warning to all others not to be over-zealous in defending the 
Protestants. With much trouble did this unjustly-persecuted 
man again obtain leave to practise, but it was with the express 
and significant declaration that this favour was shewn " only for 
this time." 

The plundering and the forcible seizure of churches and 
schools continued; and the order of 1746, which was intended 
to put a stop to the proceedings, was published only in a few 
counties. Where the difficulties appeared insurmountable in 
carrying out their plans, the Popish party contrived to allow the 
churches to fall into decay. The repair was strictly prohibited. 
And when, after many pressing petitions, the queen at last per- 
mitted some of the churches to be repaired, the permission was 
clogged with so many conditions as to make it nearly useless. 
The court at Presburg threatened to tear down the whole build- 
ing, if the slightest alteration was made in the plan of repairs 
which had been sanctioned. 

Faith, however, finds a way. By it is the world overcome. 
In proportion to the difficulties is the strength of that principle 
which the Holy Spirit works in the soul. When preaching 
and the sacraments were forbidden, the people had strength and 
courage to travel for miles to those places where public worship 
was legal ; and the poor often spent their last penny in such 
attempts to obtain nourishment for their souls. Though this was 
not once to be compared with the pilgrimages which were custo- 
mary in the Roman Catholic Church, neither in moral tendency 
nor in expense, still the priests and the Popish nobles resolved not 
to tolerate it. Thus the young Earl Szirmay punished his 
tenants and vassals with great severity for attending divine 
service in Jacobfalva and Zoben. It was well known how Baron 
Stephen Klobuschisky sent his servants regularly on Saturday 
evening to warn his tenantry, under heavy penalties, not to 



venture to go to Eperjes to divine service on the following day. 
To be sure that they obeyed this injunction, he ordered them 
all to be present in the Eoman Catholic church. Whoever dis- 
obeyed had the choice of being publicly whipped, or of paying 
an indefinite fine ! 

Under these circumstances many emigrated to the neighbour- 
hood of the Theiss, and such numerous Protestant churches 
were there formed, that often twelve to eighteen thousand souls 
were under the pastoral care of only two pastors. It was true 
that those who emigrated were obliged to leave the greater part 
of their property behind. 

The Countess of Szent-Ivany imprisoned her tenantry on the 
estate at Alho-Sebes, near Eperjes, for the crime of attending 
a Protestant place of worship, and kept them in chains till 
they joined the Roman Catholic Church. ; and when one woman 
positively refused to accept of freedom on any such terms, she 
was banished from the village, leaving her husband and her 
property all behind. The miseries, however, of those who hap- 
pened to have priests or — as at Stavnik — Jesuits for the pro- 
prietors of the soil, are known only to the Lord, and cannot be 
described by mortal hand. 

Neither experience nor humanity seemed to have any influence 
in moderating the struggles to convert the Protestants. The 
deputy-governor of the county Houth once replied, as some one 
exultingly told him of the conversion of a Protestant to the 
Catholic faith, " that he knew no such fools as those who could 
rejoice over such things ; for," said he, u if all the Protestants 
turned over to us, there would not a single individual of those 
who are now Roman Catholics be permitted to remain in office ; 
for places must be provided for the converts." 

Though the Protestant schools were closed or oppressed, and 
the Roman Catholics were in their school system perfectly free, 
still the intelligence of the former was in no way behind the 
latter. The primate once exclaimed, in a consultation on the 
state of the schools, — " In vain have we lowered the schools of 
the Protestants ; in vain forbidden them to attend foreign 
universities : notwithstanding all we have done, they still surpass 
us in learning." And indeed it did appear as if the blessing 
which once attended the light food of Daniel and his followers 
rested here on the moderate opportunities which the Protestants 
enjoyed for cultivating their mental powers. 



Ecclesiastical Visitations — Bishop Biro — Processions — Mixed Marriages — Children 
taken from the Parents — Countess of Szent-Ivany — Persecution of the Protestant 
Pastors— Matthew Bohil. 

Next to the severe censorship exercised in the schools, the 
heaviest trial for the Protestants under Maria Theresa was, 
perhaps, the ecclesiastical visitation. The Popish bishops and 
archdeacons meddled in a most provoking way with all the 
affairs of the Protestant churches. Not only did they inquire 
into the manner of dispensing the sacraments, and require the 
sacrament of baptism to be dispensed in a way agreeable to their 
wishes, but also fomented quarrels between pastor and people, 
that they might have an opportunity of interfering to decide the 

While the bishops thus visited and regulated the affairs of 
the Protestant churches, the superintendents were forbidden to 
interfere ; for, it was said, the congregation cannot bear the ex- 
pense of a second visitation ; besides, it would be useless, as the 
bishop must of course know best what to do. A Popish bishop 
know best what to do in a Protestant church ! The pretence of 
sparing expense was very futile, for the bishop usually came in 
great splendour. 

As a specimen of the way in which the bishops exercised 
their power, we may look at Francis Barkotzy, Bishop of Erlau, 
who summoned the Calvinistic pastors on the 18th June 1748 to 
Nagy-Banya, to be examined on the nature and design of bap- 
tism. On this occasion he treated them sometimes with parental 
kindness, sometimes with episcopal severity ; and reminded them 
that their freedom was not dependent on the law of the land 
nor on the will of the sovereign, but on the words which occurred 

* Letter of the Vicar-General of Kalotsh to the Eeformed Church in 
Bagyaslo, 24th February 1748. 


in the enactment [adhuc toleratur) — merely for the present is 
toleration granted. 

Martin Biro, Bishop of Wesprim, issued an order on the 20th 
July, requiring the host to be carried through the streets to the 
sick, with burning tapers ; and that every person, of whatever 
religion he might be, who should meet the procession of the host 
on the street, or past whose house it might be borne, should fall 
on the knee to worship. 

The trades' unions were obliged to take part in the ceremonies 
of the Roman Catholic Church in the free cities, carrying the 
flags of their trade. If any apprentice or journeyman absented 
himself from the procession on Corpus Christi day, he was 
fined in several pounds of wax or in six florins — for such times, 
and for such people, a most fearful oppression. 

The government were obliged to interfere, and decide, that at 
Neusohl the journeymen tradespeople should not be obliged to 
pay more than two pounds weight of wax ; as also, that the 
household furniture of the Protestants, which had been seized 
to pay these enormous demands in consequence of refusing to 
take part in the processions, should be restored.* 

None of the Protestants, however, were so much to be pitied 
at this time as those who were married to Roman Catholics. 
Their domestic happiness was entirely at the command of the 
priests, who, partly by the influence of the confessional, partly 
by orders from higher quarters, were empowered to interfere and 
regulate the education of the children as they chose. 

In many cases the marriage with Protestants was forbidden, 
till the Protestant party joined the Church of Rome ; or if it 
was tolerated, all the children were regarded as by right belong- 
ing to that Church. The husband was no more " the head of 
the wife " in this respect, but all must be subject to the priests, 
who made themselves "lords over God's heritage." 

How far this went, may be illustrated by a case which occurred 
in the year 1746 at Nagy Saros. There appeared before the 
Roman Catholic priest, P. Karasy, two pairs wishing to be 
married. Both were intended to be mixed marriages, but in 
one case the bride, in the other the bridegroom, was Protestant. 
When the priest had tried in vain to persuade the Protestant 
parties to turn to the Church of Rome, and all his arguments 

* See decrees of viceregal court at Prosburg, 16th July 1743 and 28th 
July 1745. 


seemed useless, lie at last took them over to the church, and, 
without asking their leave, married the Protestant bridegroom to 
the Protestant bride, and the Koman Catholic to the Roman 

The fanatical attempts at so-called conversion penetrated into 
all the circumstances of life. It was a matter of no unfrequent 
occurrence that, where one of the parents had been Roman 
Catholic, but had joined the Protestant Church, so that both 
were now members of the Protestant communion, the priest 
stepped in, took possession of the children, and had them edu- 
cated in some convent in the Catholic faith. 

The Jesuit Szanty, in the neighbourhood of Eperjes, was 
particularly active in this way. A Roman Catholic who had 
been compelled against his will to join that communion, and who 
had married a Protestant, was training his son in the Protestant 
faith, for he said he would sooner suffer ten deaths than see his 
child Roman Catholic. When Szanty heard this, he went to 
the house and brought the child — at that time six years old — 
into the church, made him confess, and thrust the consecrated 
wafer into his mouth — thus he was made Catholic. The discon- 
solate parents applied to the preacher, Matthew Bohil, for advice, 
and he had the child sent to friends in another country, where 
it might escape from the men who were thus hunting after souls. 
The Jesuit pater complained to the Countess Szent-Ivany — 
the proprietress of the soil — and she had the father thrown into 
prison with a chain round his neck, while the mother was 
obliged to wander many a weary day and night among the 
mountains and forests, that she might escape the same fate. 

One child concealed himself for several days under a bed ; 
and another lay in a shed for fourteen days, seeking opportunity 
to escape from the attempts of the Jesuit to " convert " him ; 
while the mother was thrown into prison for not revealing where 
her boy lay hid.* 

The Jesuit Schewscluck, whom the contemporaries called 
the bloody miscreant, f surpassed his brethren in making prose- 
lytes. Assisted by armed bands, he went from house to house, 
seized the children of mixed marriages, shut them up, and 
wrought on their imaginations by promises and threats, till they 
joined the Church of Rome. Many females were also in a 

* Smalii Advers. loc. c. § 66. 

t " Blutiger Koth, und answurf der Holle." 


similar way imprisoned till they forsook their Church. The case 
of the children of a powder manufacturer in Eperjes was very 
severe. The widowed mother was obliged to surrender her two 
eldest children to the priests as a necessary preparation for a 
second marriage. She then married the Protestant citizen, 
Michael Rastatsy, and educated the younger children in the 
Protestant faith. The Jesuit, on hearing of this, carried the 
children by force from the mother, and shut them up in the 
college. On the evening of 30th June 1744, these boys, tired 
of the chastisements to which they were subjected, broke open 
the door, and fled to the Protestant pastor, who, without com- 
municating with the parents, sent them off to friends in a dis- 
tant country, to be there educated in the Protestant faith. 

A worthy pupil of the Jesuits was the Countess Szirinay, of 
the family of Barkotzy. Of a very different disposition from 
her husband Thomas, she gathered her Protestant servants, 
dependants, and tenantry to the castle, and had them whipped 
till their eyes were sufficiently clear to see the excellencies of the 
Church of Pome. 

The priests have always known how to use superstition for 
their own ends. Accordingly, the popular superstition that a 
mother could not venture on any work or undertake a journey 
after childbirth, without being " churched," was made the 
occasion of winning many Protestants over to Pome. The 
practice had come originally from the Jews, and the priests care- 
fully taught that some great misfortune might reasonably be 
expected, if this rite were not observed. They then in many 
cases refused to perform the service, till the party concerned had 
finally forsaken the Church of her fathers. If, however, the 
mother ventured to neglect the observance of the ecclesiastical 
ceremony, she was heavily fined. 

It was no easy matter for the pastors to escape ; for many spies 
were ever ready to inform if they ever crossed the bounds pre- 
scribed for their labours. Whether it was to visit the sick and 
dying, to administer baptism, to visit a brother minister, or 
whatever was the object, they were seized and whipped. This 
was the prescribed punishment for crossing beyond their bounds. 
Among others who were thus treated, we find Matthew Bohil, 
who, on passing through the village Podacs, on his way to visit 
pastor David Meltzel, was seized by some students of Kashaw, 
headed by the priest of the district, and openly, in broad day- 


light, was whipped in the streets. The pastor of Bartfeld, who 
was afterwards settled at Iglau, John Christopher Anders, 
having once obtained permission from the archdeacon to come 
within the walls of the city to visit a brother-in-law, for the 
purpose of arranging some family affairs, was, under the pre- 
tence of friendship, allured into the house of the archdeacon, 
and there treated as a prisoner. As he protested against this 
treatment, and was about to force his way out, the priest seized 
him, tore off his wig, administered some orthodox blows, and 
threw him out into the street with bare head. The boys before 
the priest's door now began to throw stones, and it was with 
trouble that some Protestant citizens were able to rescue him 
from the danger. 

An aged preacher, Andrew Hulvajdt, who had come to Uigfalu 
to have his coat re£>aired, was seized by the priest of the place, 
and was beaten. Andrew Gross, of Leutshaw, was seized by 
the Minorites in the street, and confined in an upper room of 
the monastery,* out of which he escaped, by binding his bed- 
clothes together, to make a cord to let him down from the 
window. His cord was too short, and the fall which he experi- 
enced was the cause of a tedious illness. 

Even within the bounds of their prescribed districts, the 
pastors had many difficulties to encounter. In Bartfeld, Trent- 
shin, and Eperjes, they were not suffered to go within the walls. 
When, therefore, a member of the church residing in the city 
fell sick, he must either remain without the comforts which his 
pastor could afford, or else be carried out to the suburbs, there to 
receive the consolations of religion. After many petitions the 
queen ordered this regulation to be rescinded ; but the court at 
Presburg, in transmitting the order to the civic authorities, in- 
stead of saying that the pastors " must be admitted," as the 
queen had directed, wrote that they " might be admitted into 
the city." When now, in dependence on the queen's decree, 
Matthew Bohil entered the city, he was threatened by the su- 
perior of the Jesuits, and ordered immediately to leave. 

Bohil, however, was not the man to be terrified. He knew 

* The monks considered themselves justified in doing so, for a decree 
had been issued from their workshop at Presburg, directing, that any 
clergyman found travelling, if a member of the nobility, was to be handed 
over to the attorney-general ; if not he was to be without ceremony im- 


that the palatine Count John Pallfy had written to the governor 
of the city to see that the queen's decree was executed, and in 
dependence on him, and in spite of all priestly protests, he con- 
tinued his visits to the sick. The Jesuits drove matters so far 
as to appeal to Presburg that the permission might be reversed. 
When, however, the priests could not gain their ends by legal 
means, they took care that the pastors should be pelted in the 
streets with mud and stones. 

We cannot do better, however, than allow this faithful witness 
to speak for himself, and describe his own experience and suf- 



Imprisonment of Bohil— Cause— Escape— A Jewish Rabbi— Persecution of the Friends 
of Bohil — His Wife's Escape — Bohil's Works on the Ecclesiastical State of Hungary 
The Papal Nuncio Camil Paulati and the Societies of St Joseph and St Stephen 
—Duties of Members— Banishment of Professors. 

0:: the 28th of November 1746 were gathered round the table of 
Matthew Bohil* at Eperjes, his dear friend Bartholomew Klein, 
pastor of Hermannstadt ; John Lougay, rector of the school at 
Eperjes; Bohil's wife, and three small children, who listened 
while the father told the tales of suffering of his childhood and 
youth. A knock was heard at the door, and two town-coun- 
cillors with two police officers entered, demanding that the pastor 
should appear before the magistrates' court to give information 
respecting a certain paper. Bohil, knowing the spirit of these 
gentlemen, went into the next room, and provided himself with 
a line on which his wife used to dry clothes. 

The cause of the summons and of the examination, which 
lasted two days, was a book which had appeared, entitled The 
Rise and Progress of Popery , translated into the Bohemian, with 
a supplement, containing the spirited address of the professors 

* Matthew Bohil was born in 1706. His father had been four years in 
exile during the reign of Charles VI. Matthew was distinguished by learn- 
ing and piety, and was ordained first in Czersent, and afterwards, in 1734, 
in Eperjes, one of the most sorely tried of all evangelical cities. In 1672 
the Jesuits had taken possession of the college of the German and Sla- 
vonian Churches, had turned out the Protestant town-council, and, because 
there were no Catholics capable of holding office, had appointed strangers. 
In consequence of the commission of 1681, the Hungarians and Bohemians 
obtained ground for building a church in the suburb. The Germans, how- 
ever, were shewn a place near the hangman's house, and when they refused 
to build there, they were accused as rebels and despisers of the royal cle- 
mency. In consequence of this, all their preaching stations were closed 
for eighteen years. 

These remarks will make some parts in the text more intelligible. 



at Wittenberg, which had been written a hundred years before, 
to encourage the Bohemian brethren to remain firm in the faith 
in the time of persecution. 

Thirty-three questions were laid before him to answer, and he 
was kept a prisoner in the house of Bogdany till the Jesuits had 
leisure to examine all his books and papers. Among the books 
they found a History of the Jesuits, by Hasenmuller, which in no 
small measure excited their rage. Bohil's fate was now sealed. 

To conceal, however, the real cause of their conduct from 
the public, they spread the report that they had found among 
the papers copies of a correspondence with Frederick the Great 
of Prussia, urging him to war with Austria. They also said 
that Bohil had two wives, of whom the one was still alive in 

Bohil was conscious of innocence, and as every one had access 
to him, he did not think of flight. When, however, from the 
12th December no one but his wife was admitted to see him — all 
his books, papers, and sermons were taken away to the Jesuit 
college — his former guards were dismissed — he was advised to 
bring his son, then five years of age, into the prison — his 
new guards, casting ominous looks at each other, slept and 
watched alternately by day and night; he felt that his fate 
was sealed, that Kirmann's doom awaited him, and that he 
should fall one sacrifice more to Jesuitical craft and cruelty. 

He committed his case to God in prayer, and resolved to 
attempt an escape. So soon as his resolution was formed, he 
felt such joy and inward peace as if he were already out of his 
prison, out of the city, and far away in some place of safety. 
And in a wondrous manner did the Lord help him out of all 
his troubles. 

On the same evening, some members of his church brought 
him a plentiful supply of wine and provisions, which he looked 
on as a confirmation of his resolution. And yet when he 
thought of his flock deprived of the spiritual comfort which he 
had been enabled to administer; and when he reflected that, 
without his resignation, no other pastor could be appointed, 
but that, like the churches of Guns and Miawa, they would be 
left to the mercy of the enemy, his heart sank within him. 
Gladly would he have communicated with his flock, but there 
seemed no way open. As he was thus engaged, he had a 
severe attack of toothache, and as the pain was very violent, 


the judge allowed his physician, Andrew Yensi, and his surgeon, 
Stephen Hap, both Protestants, to visit him. 

In the presence of his guard he revealed to these friends in 
Latin his whole plan of escape. They took leave in tears, and 
Bohil laid himself quietly down to sleep. Two guards stood 
by him in the same room, and it was their duty to relieve each 
other alternately ; but this night they seemed both inclined to 
sleep. Bohil prayed that their sleep might be as that of Saul 
and Abner when David passed unobserved through their camp. 
It was midnight. Both guards were quite overcome with sleep. 
Bohil took his clothes and the line which he had brought with 
him from home, and, on reaching the door, he found the key still 
there. With little trouble he passed to the yard. The dogs, 
which were usually so fierce, were still to-night. Passing the 
monastery of the Minorites, he turned to the city wall. Making 
the cord fast, he pressed through a small aperture in the wall, 
and let himself down with so little caution, that the flesh was 
torn from his hands by the small rope. The cord was too short, 
and being obliged to drop a considerable depth without its 
help, he received some wounds on the head. But he might 
now consider himself free. He praised God in the words of the 
124th Psalm :— 

" Even as a bird 

Out of the fowler's snare, 
Escapes away, 

So is our soul set free : 
Broke are their nets, 

And thus escaped we. 
Therefore our help 

Is in the Lord's great name, 
Who heaven and earth 

By his great power did frame." 

The second wail was easily passed. He wandered in the 
neighbourhood for some days undiscovered. Though it was 
winter, he slept in the woods ; often must he wade through the 
melted snow ; yet at last he got safely away and reached Hol- 
land. Here he met with a Jewish rabbi, to whom he told his 
tale, and the rabbi generously took him into his house. Not 
only had he food and clothing here, but his generous host pro- 
vided a skilled physician who soon cured him of his wounds.* 

* In his autobiography, Bohil concealed the name and the residence of 
his benefactor, that he might not be made to suffer for his kindness. 


On the 9th February he reached Breslau, where the kindly 
reception which there awaited him made him forget his sor- 
rows. How much was he now rejoiced to reflect that, on the 
night of his escape, he had not turned in to bid farewell to his 
wife and little ones ! for, so soon as his escape was known, the 
strictest examination was made of all his relations and friends, 
and under a terrible oath they were required to answer on the 
following points : — 

1. Who had advised him to escape? 

2. Whether he had not communicated his plan to some one ? 

3. Whether no one had seen him after his escape ? 

4. Who had given him the cord, and helped him over the 

5. Who had provided him with travelling expenses ? 

6. Where he now is; whether any letter had been written 
to him, or received from him ? 

7. Whether he had seen his wife since his escape, and what 
advice he had given her ? 

8. Whether none of his accomplices are known ? 

Bohil's wife was told that if she attempted to escape, the 
strictest orders were given to have her arrested at the frontiers 
and brought back, while in such case the heaviest punishment 
would be inflicted on her. But she was worthy of her husband, 
and found ways and means of bringing her three children and 
an orphan girl who lived with her, after twelve days' travelling, 
safely over the frontiers. She was received at Plessva with 
true Christian hospitality, and soon reached her husband at 
Breslau. Bohil was at the time engaged in writing a descrip- 
tion of the miserable state of the Protestant Church in Hun- 
gary, for the sake of awakening the sympathy of Protestant 
churches and Protestant princes in their favour.* He here 
opened the eyes of the Protestants who had been led to suppose 
that religious freedom had been again perfectly restored in 
Hungary, f 

The most cursory view of the oppressions recorded in this 
book might well tend to open the eyes to the true tendency of 
Home's efforts. The aim of the priests was to eradicate the 

* Tristissima Ecclesice Hungariae facies, &c, a Matth. Bohil, V.D.M. 
Brieg, 1747. 

t See Eesolution of Leopold I., 1691 — a masterpiece of Kollonitz eccle- 
siastical toleration — part iv. p. 322. CEcl. MS. 


entire Protestant Church. They hoped at least to bring Hun- 
gary as far as Croatia, Steierniark, Carinthia, and Austria had 
already been brought. 

This was the design of the societies which were formed in 
1744 under the guidance of the nuncio, Camil Paulati, and of 
the Bishop of Raab ; of which the one chose St Stephen, the 
other St Joseph, for patron ; and one of the fundamental princi- 
ples and conditions of membership was, that each member bound 
himself to obtain annually one recruit for Rome, that is, one pro- 
selyte to Popery, and use the utmost exertions to prevent the 
Protestants from obtaining posts of influence or honour.* 

These societies had a " religious fund," the contents of which 
were freely used in every way to annoy the Protestants. The 
poor were enticed by presents, others were promised lucrative 
posts, and institutions were built expressly for the purpose of 
receiving the proselytes. Orphan children were the especial 
object of the care of the priests ; indeed, sometimes, when the 
parents were still alive, the children were allured away and shut 
up in monasteries, that they might be educated in the Popish 

The most distinguished Protestant teachers were expelled ; as, 
for example, John Blasi, professor in Schemnitz, because he had 
permitted his pupils to write an essay on a theme displeasing to 
the Jesuits. J The chapels of ease were forcibly seized, and in 
whole counties at once. § Such cruelties were exercised towards 
the so-called apostates, that the queen was obliged to interfere 
in their behalf. 

* The statutes were printed in 1745 in Latin and German, 
f See the orders of the viceregal court for the years January 1749, May 
1764, July 1769, and July 1774. 
% Royal decree, 12th November 1748. 
§ Decree of 17th January. 



United Petition of the Protestants — Martin Biro's Pamphlet — Dealings of the Court — 
Appeal to Foreign Powers — Letter of Frederick the Great to the Archbishop of 
Breslau, Cardinal Schaffgotsch — His Appeal to the Pope — The Protestant Prelate 
Sweetmilk — The Archbishop of Canterbury interferes — The British Ambassador — 
Effects of the Interference — Gabriel Pronay. 

It was Ml time for the Protestant Church to raise her voice 
once more, notwithstanding that an edict of 1745 had revived 
the prohibition against joint petitions. A decree of the vice- 
regal court of 17th January 1749 explained very minutely, 
under nine heads, how the civil arithorities were expected to treat 
the " apostates/' that is, all who had under any circumstances, 
by force or fraud, been made members of the Church of Eome, 
or who had been born in its communion, — if they should ever join 
the Protestant Church. It was a piece of the greatest cruelty 
which a fully ripened priestcraft could invent. Martin Biro, the 
Bishop of Wesprim, had also written a pamphlet dedicated to the 
queen, and containing the most extraordinary charges against the 
Protestants ; * indeed, in the 21st page, the witty bishop, in de- 
manding the extirpation or banishment of all the Protestants, 
says, that as the Church of Rome was never blood-thirsty , she 
would be satisfied with the burning of the heretics. 

On the 3d August the Protestants handed in their memorial, 
with a full statement of their grievances, and also of the resolu- 
tions of the diet and royal decrees guaranteeing them the privi- 
leges which were now refused. The documents are too long to 
be here inserted, and contained only a statement of facts, with 
which we are now familiar, shewing that under her Majesty's 

* Euchiridion Martini Baronis, Padani, Episcopi Vespriniensis, de fide 
hseresiarchiis et eorum sociis, in genere de Apostatis, &c. 4to. There is 
also a German edition ; see Neue Zitzting von gelehrten Sachen. Leipzig, 
1751, February 11. 


government no relief had been obtained. They reminded the 
queen of her promise at the coronation, " to be a mother to all 
her subjects," and yet that, under her reign, the landlords were 
treating their Protestant vassals worse than the heathen treated 
their prisoners of war. They declare their readiness to place 
their life, property, and influence, unreservedly at her disposal, 
in defence of the crown, if she will only grant them liberty to 
worship God according to the dictates of their own conscience. 

Though they had expected much from this representation, and 
though petitions from single individuals were constantly pouring 
in to keep her in mind of the case, yet history records no good 
effects which ever proceeded from these applications. On the 
contrary, the policy pursued was, that for every small favour 
granted in any particular case, ten times as much was taken 
away in some other form. 

It is impossible to give a full and detailed account of the 
doings of the viceregal court, but a few statements may here be 
recorded as a specimen. 

Shortly after the petition had been presented to the queen, 
asking protection for the Protestants, the authorities in Sola took 
possession of the chapel belonging to the Protestant congrega- 
tion of Kiroly Falva, and turned them out. The chapel at Acsa 
was ready to fall, and one of the wealthiest Protestant noblemen, 
Gabriel Pronay, applied to the queen on 12th August 1749 
for leave to rebuild it in a more convenient place. The court 
now directed inquiry to be made, and especially respecting the 
condition of the Eoman Catholic church in the place, and 
whether the Protestants had had uninterrupted possession of a 
place of worship there ever since 1681 ; and at last permission 
was given to rebuild the chapel. The conditions attached were, 
that it should be built of wood, and outside the gates, in a place 
so full of water, that there would be no danger in case of the 
wooden church taking fire. 

Being dissatisfied with these conditions, they were kept wait- 
ing a year and seven months, after which time, in reply to 
numerous entreaties and representations, they obtained leave to 
build a proper church, but with the condition that it should not 
be ceiled. 

Another order was issued for the whole kingdom, directing 
that, in every case, the children of mixed marriages should be 
educated in the Eoman Catholic faith. In the counties of 


Neograd and Gomor, a commission had been appointed to 
investigate and report on the state of the Protestant churches ; 
and when the report turned out too favourable, the commissioners 
were dismissed, and new officers appointed, with directions to 
bring up a report of another kind. The result was, that this 
report, which might as well have been manufactured without the 
trouble of investigation, gave the government an opportunity of 
seizing the building. 

The Protestants of Netzpol in Thurotz, obtained leave to 
build a church on condition of its being built entirely of wood, 
without any foundation of stone, and that it should have no 
vestry nor other building attached to it.* 

When parties were suspected of having once been members of 
the Church of Rome, or when it was supposed that they ought 
to be in connexion with that Church, the most tedious oppressive 
lawsuits were commenced against them. One citizen of Neusohl, 
Samuel Holler, a goldsmith, was on this account thrown into 
irons, and no one but his wife was allowed access to him. The 
school at Eperjes was becoming more and more hampered in its 
operations ; and when, after many petitions, some of these restric- 
tions were taken away, the superior of the Jesuits protested 
against the royal patent in the presence of the magistrates, with- 
out punishment or even rebuke. 

On the 8th June, an order was issued forbidding the Pro- 
testant pastors to leave their usual place of residence to perform 
any ministerial act; forbidding the marriage, baptism, or burial, 
of any stranger from another parish ; and requiring that the 
fees of all ecclesiastical acts, or the stola dues, should be paid 
to the priests, and that even by Protestant noblemen.f 

Such annoyances, and others, which were more harassing than 
one might suppose, led many to form the resolution of taking 
the last legal step which remained open to them, that is, to 
appeal to the foreign powers which had guaranteed their liberties. 
It is very intelligible how they should, in taking this step, use 
the utmost caution. 

The Dutch and Hanoverian ambassadors wrote repeatedly, 
remonstrating with the empress. Some of the most distinguished 
Protestants gained access to the throne, and made their com- 

* Decrees of the years 1749-1751, issued at Presburg. 
f Decrees of 1750-51. 


plaints be clearly understood. And in addition to these, Frede- 
rick the Great of Prussia threw his influence into the scale. 

By comparing all the circumstances, it would appear that the 
Protestant clergy of Hungary had sent the fanatical pamphlet of 
the Bishop of Wesprim, together with a full description of their 
circumstances, to the consistory at Berlin; and that the book 
had been brought under the notice of the King of Prussia. 
Frederick immediately wrote to Count Philipp Gotthard SchafF- 
gotsh, cardinal and prince bishop of Breslau, under date 26th 
February 1751, in which he takes up the principles of the 
Boman Catholic bishops of Hungary, and particularly of Martin 
Biro, declaring that one might suppose they had resolved to 
extirpate Protestantism. The letter is, however, too valuable to 
be passed over, and runs thus : — 

" Frederick Bex. 

. . . . " You will no doubt have heard, as we have done, what 
hard persecutions and troubles have for some time past fallen to 
the lot of the Protestants of both confessions in Hungary ; and 
how, contrary to treaties guaranteed by the mediation of foreign 
powers, one church after another has, on the most frivolous 
pretences — indeed, under such pretexts as ought to make every 
honest man ashamed — been wrested from them. They have also, 
in their common rights and privileges as citizens, been so vexa- 
tiously molested, that one might almost suppose that the design 
of the government is to drive them to despair, and induce them 
to try such illegal means of redress as would place them entirely 
at the mercy of their rulers. 

" Though we stand in no connexion with these people ; and 
though they are prevented from applying to us, partly by the 
recollection of their obstinate opposition to our interests in the 
late troubles, partly by the strict orders of the court at Vienna, 
forbidding them to do so ; and though, if we looked at the 
matter merely in a political view, we should have more reason 
to rejoice than to grieve at seeing them so bitterly punished by 
their own countrymen, for their obstinate opposition to our in- 
terests ; not to mention the fact that such persecutions in a 
neighbour's territory must be most beneficial to us ; — notwith- 
standing all these considerations, the miserable condition of so 
many innocent people awakens our sympathy, and compels us 


to make some attempts to relieve them. We would have had 
no objection to apply in this case to the court at Vienna itself ; 
but when we see that the most friendly allies of that court can, 
with all their efforts, obtain no relief for the suffering Protestants ; 
that they to whom said court is under weighty obligations are 
powerless in this matter ; we feel that we should be much more 
so, and would by our interference only give a colouring to that 
charge which has so often been brought against the poor suf- 
ferers, namely, that they gladly seek foreign aid against their 
own government. 

" We are so much the more dissuaded from applying to the 
court at Vienna, as we are firmly persuaded that the guilt of all 
these persecutions does not rest with the imperial Queen of 
Hungary, whose well-known character would be entirely opposed 
to such transactions, but with the Roman Catholic clergy in 
Hungary, who have resolved on the entire eradication of Pro- 
testantism in that land ; and they are so zealous in carrying out 
their plan, that the wise empress, for the sake of having their 
assistance in some other schemes, is obliged to give them theii 
will in this case, or at least, not to oppose them with that energy 
which she might well wish. In this opinion we are confirmed 
by a scandalous publication of Martin Biro, Bishop of Wesprim, 
which has lately seen the light, in which he rings the alarm- 
bell against these so-called heretics, and stirs up his enlightened 
sovereign to the bitterest measures against them ; not blush- 
ing to assert the principles of his Church with such senti- 
ments as must tend to loosen every bond of society, and which 
fill every honest Roman Catholic with abhorrence. Under these 
circumstances we have thought it most practicable to attempt to 
bring influence to bear on the fountain of the evil, that is, on the 
Roman Catholic clergy of Hungary, and to make them feel in a 
suitable, but, at the same time, unmistakable manner, how a future 
age will judge these proceedings by which the men who have 
given the most satisfactory evidence of unwavering attachment 
to the crown, and have offered their property and life cheerfully 
in its defence, should, as a reward for their faithfulness, be 
plundered of their most just rights and liberties, and be brought 
to the very verge of despair. Yes, they should be brought to 
feel what a terrible retribution awaits their Church, if a time 
should come when the Protestant Church should by Divine per- 
mission gain the mastery, and the term heretic then be applied 


to the Roman Catholic — what a terrible retribution awaits them, 
if these same principles which are now published should then be' 
acted on. 

" To give these clergy, then, such an intimation, we know of 
no one so suitable as yourself; and we apply to you with so 
much more confidence, as we have frequently had opportunity to 
observe with pleasure that humanity, and the observance of the 
first principles of all religion, are not banished from your mind, 
and that you are very far removed from that superstitious pre- 
judice which maintains it to be a sacred duty to advance divine 
truths by unjust means. We know how embarrassing and in- 
tricate such a commission is, but we have such confidence in 
your wisdom and zeal, that we are assured you will find the 
proper ways and means for making yourself be heard, and we 
trust with good effect. By so doing, you would confer on us a 
very especial favour ; and though we do not at all make you 
responsible for success, yet, if your interposition should prove 
successful, it would increase in no small degree our pleasure and 
the obligations under which you have already laid us. We shall 
be glad to hear a report from you at the proper time, respecting 
the results of your exertion, and remain," &c. &c. 

On the 28th of February, the Cardinal and Bishop of Breslau, 
Count Schaffgotsh,* replied, and expressed his disapprobation of 
what the Hungarian clergy were doing; declined writing to 
them, however, as he had reason to believe that his letter would 
not be answered, and would produce no effect ; he was willing, 
however, to meet the wishes of his Majesty, and forward his 
Majesty's letter to the court at Rome, with a request that the 
matter might there be considered, and the result he would report 
in due time. 

The effects of this step of the cardinal's may be seen in a letter 
of the Chief Counsellor of the Consistory and prebend of St 
Peter's at Berlin, John Peter Sweetmilk, addressed to the super- 
intendents of the Protestant churches in Hungary, dated 2d 
August 1751, from which it appears that a most conciliatory let- 
ter from the Pope had reached the town-council of Berlin through 
the intervention of Schaffgotsh. The Chief Counsellor writes 
that he cannot send them a copy of the letter, as it is feared that 

p Count Schaffgotsh was born in 1716, was made bishop in 1747, and 
the following year, cardinal. 


the publishing of it would not be agreeable to the Pope ; still, hav- 
ing read the letter two or three times, he can give the substance. 
The Pope declares that, after several consultations with the cardi- 
nals, he cannot approve of the exertions {molimina) of the priests 
in Hungary, and, in accordance with the wish of the King of 
Prussia, he would interfere on behalf of the Protestants in 
Hungary. He must, however, be cautious, so that he may not 
be called a protector of the Lutherans. He would not write 
direct to the court, but would take the proper means of letting 
the bishops of Hungary know his will and pleasure. It is true, 
he is responsible only before the judgment-seat of Christ, and 
needs not be much concerned about the opinions of men • it is, 
however, prudent, so far as conscience allows, to have due regard 
to the circumstances in which one is placed. He would warn 
the bishops to be cautious lest, while striving to benefit the 
body of Christ in one place, they should injure it in an- 
other, and thus cause pain in the heart, and bring grief to the 

The Chief Counsellor Sweetmilk adds : — " May these words 
contain truth and really bring relief! " He incloses a letter from 
the Archbishop of Canterbury, from which it is seen that the 
archbishop had received a statement of the case of the Hungarian 
Protestants, and had laid it before the King of England, who had 
given directions to his ambassador at Vienna, D. Keith, to in- 
quire prudently into the case, and to put the Protestants in the 
way of applying to him for assistance. 

The archbishop declared himself ready at all times to be the 
faithful advocate of his poor brethren in the faith, and expressed 
the hope that the Pope would by his actions manifest as much 
kindness as the wisdom and policy of his words would lead one 
to expect, t He begs, in conclusion, that when any intelligence 
of importance should be received from Vienna it might be com- 
municated to him. J 

The Pope gave directions to his ambassador at Vienna to con- 
sult with the ministers respecting the way in which the rights of 
the Roman Catholics and Protestants in Hungary might be so 
defined, and in future so strictly observed, that no pretext should 

* It was Benedict XIV., otherwise called Prospero Lanibertino, one of 
the most moderate of the Popes, who held office from 1740 to 1758. 
t (Edenberg MSS., Fasc. xii. No. 21. 
1 The letter is dated at the Palace of Lambeth, 8th June 1751. 


be furnished to Protestant princes for making reprisals on the 
Chinch of Rome. 

And what were the consequences of these deliberations ? The 
first fruit was, that the empress directed the pamphlet of the 
Bishop of Wesprim to be confiscated. 

The next fruit, however, was, that the noble Gabriel Pronay, 
who was suspected of applying to the foreign powers, was threat- 
ened with chains and with an action for high treason ; for it was 
construed to be high treason to appeal to foreign powers on be- 
half of religious grievances. During the sitting of the diet at 
Presburg, he was summoned before Maria Theresa in the night- 
time, to receive a reprimand on the subject. 

So much were the Roman Catholics concerned on this point, 
that when Samuel Polsky, a wine-dealer, and a Protestant, was 
returning from a journey in Prussia, he was put to his oath, 
whether he had communicated with Frederick the Great respect- 
ing the religious state of the Protestants in Hungary. 



The Queen's Promises — The Chapels of Ease taken away — General Persecution of 
the Protestants — Riots at Vadosfa — Imprisonment of the Superintendent and 
forty-four of his Church Members — The Seven Years' War with Prussia — Peace, and 
Diet at Presburg — The Death of the Queen's Consort, Francis I. 

Other fruits of the interference of foreign powers on behalf of 
the Protestants we seek, as the Lord sought for figs on the 
barren fig-tree, and find them not. He found leaves, and we 
find here leaves also, — fair promises. The queen declares herself 
entirely ignorant of those fearful oppressions concerning which 
the Protestants complain ; declares herself determined not to 
suffer the like ; only she expects that they will not attempt to 
obtain relief by applying to foreign powers, but content them- 
selves by stating their individual grievances to her.* 

But the Jesuits and their colleagues, the bishops of Hungary, 
permitted the queen to make promises ; the Pope and his nuncio 
to hold councils with the Austrian ministers of state ; the Pro- 
testants to pour out their grievances before all the world ; and 
Frederick with his hand on the sword to take up his threatening 
position in the front ground; and yet they went on unmoved, 
unchecked, in their great work. According to the unsearchable 
counsel of God, the Babylonian captivity of the Church was 
doomed still to last a little longer. 

Under the pretence of holding religious meetings without 
leave, the churches of Csalonia in county Houth, and Estergal 
in Neograd, were once more exposed to expensive lawsuits, and 
the church-buildings of the former, as well as all the chapels of 
ease in Zemplin county, were by a decree of the viceregal court 
taken away.f 

* Fessler, vol. x. p. 371. 

t See decrees of 17th January, 14th March, 27th May, and 2d June, 


In Schenmitz and elsewhere, the Protestants were once more 
removed from all civil offices ; the Protestant pastors were sub- 
jected to examination by the bishops and archbishops. A noble- 
man of Schenmitz, Andrew Fritzy, who was suspected of having 
once belonged to the Church of Pome, was subjected to an 
expensive lawsuit, to oblige him to prove the contrary. All the 
Protestants who were in any way connected with the army were 
placed under the immediate jurisdiction of the clergy.* 

The private chapels at Azorotz and Padluysan were closed, 
and the newly-built chapel at Cyina was torn down, while the 
preacher was subjected to a tedious lawsuit for having visited 
the nobleman Ferdinand Zay, who lived beyond the bounds of 
his district. f 

The schools of the Protestants were now closed everywhere, 
except in the "articled parishes." :J The pastors were no more 
suffered to visit the Protestant prisoners. They were informed 
that the right of accompanying culprits to the scaffold from this 
time forward belonged only to the Roman Catholic priests, that 
they might prepare the unfortunate individuals for dying in the 
" right faith." § 

At Akaba, there was a pastor in advanced life, of the name of 
Nemethi, who married a very young wife. She was not happy 
in her new position, and committed suicide by drowning herself in 
the Lake of Platten. The widower was threatened with an action 
at law, as being the indirect cause of the fatal act ; and, to escape 
the punishment which, whether justly or unjustly, was sure to 
await him, he made his escape. A Poman Catholic priest now 
came, took possession of the church and pastor's dwelling, and 
conducted the service in future as in a Popish church. || 

Pastor Samuel Lessovingi was fined in one hundred dollars, 
for having administered the Lord's Supper to Baron Bulow, a 
captain in the army ; and the payment was enforced. 

The affair of Vadosfa was, however, one of the heaviest trials 
for the Protestants. The number of them residing at this place 
had increased greatly within a few years, in consequence of per- 

* Decree of October 3, 1752. 
t Viceregal decree of November 2, 1752. 
X Certain parishes exactly described in a decree of the diet. 
§ Orders received by the magistrates of CEdenberg, 7th May 1753. 
|| Protocol!. Evang. Eccles., Luth. Troetus, cis Danubium congest, anno 
1768. CEdenberg MSS. 


seditions in other parts having driven them away. With the 
exception of a few noblemen, nearly all the residents were Pro- 
testant. The distinguished superintendent Fabri was labouring 
here, when it occurred to a Roman Catholic landowner, Balas, 
to build a chapel on a spot of ground which was disputed pro- 
perty between the members of the two confessions. The Roinan 
Catholic chapel was to be consecrated on St Stephen's day. 
By some means a report was spread that, on the same day, the 
Bishop of Raab intended forcibly seizing the Protestant house of 
worship. He had of late been veiy diligent in this part of his 
calling, and there was some reason to fear that the report might 
prove true. Some of the resident nobility wrote, under these cir- 
cumstances, to friends in Rabakoy, and on the appointed day they 
came by thousands, armed, and prepared to defend the church if 
the Bishop of Raab should attempt to take possession. The day 
arrived, and crowds of pilgrims came to attend the consecration 
of the church. But the Protestants, fearing for their own in- 
terests, closed up the roads, refused to admit the pilgrims, and, 
what was very natural, as neither side would yield, there was a 
considerable riot, and the pilgrims were driven away. The 
consequences may naturally be supposed. Forty-four of the 
Protestants, some of whom were women, were imprisoned in the 
castle of Kopuvar for a year and seven months, and then dis- 
missed, some with one hundred and fifty lashes, some with 
one hundred, and some with fifty. Two of the women, who 
could bear the imprisonment no longer, and had joined the 
Church of Rome, were already released. One nobleman was 
thrown for a year into prison, and the remainder who were involved 
were fined in three thousand florins, and with this money a 
Roman Catholic church was built. The superintendent was 
thrown into a distant prison, deprived of his office both as 
superintendent and pastor ; and it was decreed that, in all time 
coming, the Protestant church of Yadosfa should remain closed 
every year on the 20th of August.* 

But who can recount all the tales of suffering, and persecution, 
and misery, endured by the Protestants under the reign of Maria 
Theresa? The rehearsal would fill volumes. We must pass 
over these harassing scenes, and only remark that, in other 
states under the Austrian government, the sufferings were, if 
possible, still greater than in Hungary. In Styria the Protest- 
* This punishment lasted till 1830. (Edenberg MSS, Fasc. xvi. No. 10. 


ants were banished by troops from the country ; their property 
■was held back or destroyed j their children, if not yet confirmed, 
were taken from them and retained in the country to be edu- 
cated in the Popish faith. Many of the pastors of Styria who 
were banished from their country, were taken up by Count Roday, 
and provided with lands and houses where they could reside. 
In 1752 they sent a petition from this retreat to the queen, re- 
questing their children to be delivered up to them. 

The Seven Years' War broke out with Prussia, but brought the 
Protestant subjects of Maria Theresa no relief. Frederick II. 
broke into the Austrian territory, and the queen permitted the 
valiant General Nadasdy to be set aside, and General Daun to 
take his place. Notwithstanding that the latter was armed 
with a sword which the Pope had consecrated, and also with 
a fanatical Popish bull of 30th January 1759, still both of 
these were not able to transfer to him the military talents of 

After seven years' bloody fighting, all parties were exhausted. 
Hungary alone had lost above fifty-two thousand of her sons 
in the war, and the whole affair was closed with little advantage 
to either side. 

On the 15th February 1763 the Peace of Hubertsburg was 
ratified, and in the following year the queen summoned a diet to 
meet at Presburg. This diet was opened on 22d June, but 
brought no relief to the Protestants. The demands which the 
queen made on the country for paying the expenses of the war 
could not be met, and in very low spirits did she dismiss the 
diet. Her sorrows were soon increased, for on 18th August 
1765, her consort, Francis the First, suddenly deceased. From 
this time she became more and more devoted to the ceremonies 
of her Church, and out of her private purse flowed rich donations 
to the proselytes who joined the Church of Rome. 

* The Pope's letter bore trie fisherman's seal, and in virtue of this letter 
Clement XIII. exalts General Daun above the immortal Eugene ; with the 
consecrated sword he should utterly eradicate all stinking Satanic heresy. 
The destroying angel should fight at his side to help in annihilating 
the accursed seed of Luther and Calvin ; and the Most High the Avenger 
should use his arm to destroy from the earth the Amalekite and Moabite, 
&c. &c. 

Smalii Adversar. Kelig. Protest., MSS. "When this brief was issued. 
Frederick had met with a loss, and the Pope then shewed his character 
in its true colours. 



She soon gave her talented son, Joseph, a share in the 
government ; and the hypocrisy which he discovered among 
the pious attendants of his mother, was, according to Fessler's 
opinion, the cause of that bitter hatred which taught him after- 
wards to make such sweeping reforms among the Jesuits and 
the monks. 



The Chancellor's Court — John Dourjan's Pamphlet — Provision made for Hungarian 
Students at Tubingen — Continued Persecutions. 

Under the co-regency of Joseph, the state of the Protestants 
was but little improved, for the jealousy and ambition of his 
mother left him little more than the name of king. When at 
last the petitions had reached a pitch that Maria Theresa could 
bear no more, she referred them to the chancellor's court, and 
asked the opinion of that court respecting the calamities, or at 
least the complaints. 

And this superior court of appeal, with bishops and Jesuits 
for its advisers, did not delay long with the report, but informed 
the empress, that the cause of all the complaints was to be 
found in the fact, that the decrees of her imperial father had not 
been sufficiently strictly carried out against the Protestants.* 
This supreme court, therefore, continued to grieve the Protest- 
ants to the utmost, partly in a direct way, partly also by not 
interfering to protect them from the illegal oppressions of the 
Roman Catholic priesthood. If a Protestant happened to 
transgress in the smallest point, the punishment was certain, 
and often far beyond the merits of the case ; but when a Protest- 
ant was the accuser, there was seldom any punishment inflicted 
on a Roman Catholic defendant. 

Bibles, and prayer-books, and catechisms, belonging to the 
Protestants, were confiscated, and yet for several years the 
fanatical pamphlet of John Dourjan of Waitzen, which was as 
bigoted as that of Martin Biro, and in which was taught, " that 
it is just and right to compel those who are not Roman Catholics, 
by any means whatever, to adopt the Roman Catholic faith," — 

* Very true. If the imperial decrees had been carried out as strictly as 
the Jesuits wished, there would have been no Protestants remaining over 
to complain. 


this pamphlet was allowed to circulate for many years unhin- 
dered." It was not till the year 1770 that it was declared to be, 
"in a political and religions aspect, a dangerous book which 
should be confiscated." 

The evil effects of such publications were counteracted by 
the violent and passionate style in which they were written. 
More dangerous, however, were the missionary institutions 
erected in the districts where the Protestants chiefly resided. 

The missionaries commenced the street and field preachings in 
the counties of Sol, Houth, and ^Neograd, about the year 1766. 
At first the people came out of curiosity, but after a time they 
were obliged to attend. The Protestants were in general so 
well acquainted with the Scriptures, that these sermons did not 
gain many over ; for, instead of preaching Christ, these mission- 
aries strove much more to proclaim the wonders done by the 
saints ; and instead of fixing the faith of the hearers on the Son 
of God, they strove to bring them to believe on images and 
relics, on miraculous wells and wonder-working temples and 

A part of the missionary exertions consisted in visiting the 
Protestants who happened to be sick ; f another, in watching 
strictly to prevent young men going to study at foreign universi- 
ties. This latter was brought to considerable perfection by 
Francis Barkotzy, Archbishop of Gran and imperial primate, so 
that few could avail themselves of the opportunities which 
foreign universities afforded for remedying the defects of the 
schools. When, however, the noble Duke of ATurternberg 
heard of these difficulties, and how poor students were forbidden 
to collect means for their support abroad, he founded those free 
tables at Tubingen for Hungarian students, of which, however, 
few could avail themselves till after the archbishop's death. :f 

At this time the persecutions of so-called apostates went on as 
before. Matthew Mailing, a town-councillor of Libetbanya, was, 
in his sixty-seventh year, accused of having, fifty years ago — 

* The title of the book was, * Justa Eeligionis Coactio." Anno 1763. 

t By some of the trades' unions it was enacted, that if a master trades- 
man fell sick, the head of the corporation must inform the priest, and if a 
journeyman fell sick, his master must send for the priest. Of course, if 
the patient were a Protestant, they were expected to be the more punctual 
in the. discharge of this duty. 

X (Edenberg Memorab., Fasc. vii. No. 45. See Ajopendix. 


consequently before the famous " Resolutions of Charles" — left 
the Church of Rome. He was thrown for three months into 
prison, and it was only as an act of peculiar kindness and 
clemency that he was allowed to retain his office afterwards.* 

The town-councillors of Debrecsin were members of the 
Reformed Church, and having once ventured to set a prisoner 
free who was charged with apostasy from the Church of Rome, 
they were not only punished with the loss of a whole year's 
salary, but in time to come two Roman Catholic councillors 
were joined with them in the office. If any one ventured to 
speak in favour of the Protestants, or even to use his influence 
to expose a notoriously malignant and false accusation, he was 
denounced as a " ringleader," and treated accordingly. Protest- 
ants were more and more strictly held to their duty of tilling 
the priests' land, of paying the stola dues and the " Lecticale,"f 
and of building and repairing Roman Catholic chapels and 
schools, while their own were plundered and hastening to decay. 

The bishops and landowners went so far as to roll all the 
burdens of themselves on their Protestant vassals; and a law 
was promulgated in the year 1770, requiring them also to bear 
their share of the support of the priests and schoolmasters. At 
a procession on Corpus Christi day, there arose a tumult at 
Reimasombath, and the consequence was, that the Protestants 
were punished with the loss of their church and church pro- 
perty : the protest of the attorney-general and the petition of 
the Protestants were equally fruitless in attempting to regain 

The daughter of Stephen Okolicsanyi — her mother being a 
Protestant — was positively forbidden to marry a Protestant of 
the name of Sontag ; and when the authorities announced that 
the order came too late, and that the marriage had already been 
solemnised, a sharp reproof was sent them for not having used 
proper means so as to secure his conversion. Indeed, in affairs 
relating to marriage the jurisdiction of the Protestants was 
entirely set aside ; and the Pope gave divorce, as in the case of 
Paul Bene von ISTador, without any reference to the laws and 
customs of the parties concerned. 

* As a matter of course, he must be a Roman Catholic in future. 

t " Lecticale " was the duty which every married couple must pay 
annually to the priest, amounting to about one shilling English for each 
family. In large parishes, it came to a very considerable sum. 



Travels of the Emperor Joseph — He meets with the Protestants, and receives their 
Deputations — The Superintendent of Debrecsin — The Emperor's dislike to the 
Jesuits — Letter to the Duke of Choiseul — Letter to Earl Aranda, Minister of 
Spain — Suspension of the Jesuits in 1773. 

While it appeared that the Protestants in Hungary were hope- 
lessly lost under the oppression of the priests, the Lord was 
preparing for them a wondrous deliverance. The book of the 
Bishop of Treves, John Nicolas Hontheim, concerning the 
origin of the Papacy, had done himself and the Jesuits great 
injury, and now, in a smaller sphere, the journeys of Joseph in 
Hungary helped on with this work. 

Joseph had already in Vienna become acquainted with the 
workings of the Jesuit system, and by his travels in Hungary 
he was brought into contact with the Protestants, with whom 
he frequently conversed. With the superintendent of Debrecsin, 
Samuel Szilaggi, he conversed in Latin for several hours, 
inquiring into all the particulars connected with the state of the 
Church, with the oppressions which they had endured, with the 
conduct of the royal commissioners, and the principal causes of 
dissatisfaction among the Protestants. On hearing that the 
most essentially necessary books were taken from the teachers 
of the Protestant schools, and that only a few days before this 
had happened to the superintendent's own son, Joseph directed 
immediately that the books should be returned. Many and long- 
were the conferences which Joseph had with Szilaggi, and it 
may be that those conversations had a considerable weight in 
preparing him for the famous Toleration Edict which he after- 
wards published. 

Joseph's gentle and winning manner gained the hearts of 
those who for half a century had been bowed down with oppres- 
sion ; and the consequence was, that innumerable petitions and 


complaints were constantly reaching him. And these petitions, 
coming with all the earnestness of men in distress, and not mis- 
represented by any intermediate courtier, fell like good seed into 
a ground which brought forth an abundant harvest. On his 
travels through Hungary, the emperor could not fail to observe 
that the Jesuits were the principal cause of all the calamities 
and immorality which prevailed. His dislike to this order was 
not less than that of the prime ministers of Spain and Portugal, 
who had already banished the monks ; and this feeling is very 
evident in the letter addressed to the Duke of Choiseul, prime 
minister of France, who appeared prepared to act in unison with 
the Court of Vienna in banishing the monks. 

This letter, dated January 1770, was as follows : — 

" Sir, — For the confidence placed in me, accept of my thanks. 
If I were once emperor, you may reckon on my support and 
my approval of your plan of dissolving the order of the Jesuits. 
You need not lay much stress on my mother ; the affection for 
this order of monies is hereditary in the house of Hapsburg. 
Even Clement XIV. has some evidence of this. In the mean- 
time Kaunitz is your friend, he has unbounded influence with 
the empress, and agrees with you and Marquis Pombal in this 
matter ; besides, he is not a man of half measures. 

u Choiseul ! I know these people well. I know their plans 
and exertions to spread darkness over the earth, and rule all 
Europe from Cape Finisterre to the North Sea. 

u In Germany they are mandarins, in France they are aca- 
demicians, courtiers, confessors ; in Spain and Portugal, nobles ; 
and in Paraguay, kings. 

u If my grand-uncle, Joseph I., had not become emperor, we 
might have seen in Germany Malagridas, Aveiros, and an at- 
tempt at regicide. He knew them, however, thoroughly ; and as 
they once suspected his confessor of the crime of honesty, and 
of placing more confidence in the emperor than in the Vatican, 
they had him summoned to Kome. The priest saw all the 
horror of his situation ; he knew what awaited him, and begged 
the emperor's protection. In vain was the interference. Even 
the papal ambassador at Vienna demanded that this man should 
be removed from court. Exasperated at this despotism of Rome, 
the emperor declared that, if this priest must go, he should not 
travel alone, but should have plenty of company, for all the 


Jesuits in tlie empire should go with him, and not he allowed to 
return. This unexpected decision of character obliged the Jesuits 
to yield. 

•• Thus was it once. Choiseul. I see there must be a change. 
Adieu ! may heaven long preserve you to France, to me, and to 
the host of your friends. " Joseph.'' 

The influence of the minister. Kaunitz, over the mind of the 
empress was. as Joseph here acknowledges, very considerable, 
and this influence he used to turn her against the Jesuits : for by 
obtaining from Madrid a copy of the sins which she had at the 
previous Easter confessed to the priest, he shewed how even the 
secrets of the confessional are used for political purposes. 

A letter which Joseph wrote to the Earl oi Aranda. Knight 
of the Golden Fleece, and a Spanish nobleman, immediately after 
the suspension of the Jesuits, is too important to be passed over. 
He writes : — 

" Sie, — Clement XIV. has by the suspension of the order 
of the Jesuits gained an immortal name. He has blotted out 
those sybils from the earth, and their names will in future be 
mentioned only in history and in connexion with Jansenism. 

" Before they were known in Germany, religion brought with 
it happiness to the nations : they have sunk that hallowed name 
to be an object of detestation, and made of it only a cloak for 
their covetousness and ambition. 

•• An institution which the heated imagination of a Spanish 
veteran contrived for the purpose of bringing the mind of man 
under one tyrant, and reducing all to be the slaves of the La- 
teran, was an unlucky present for the grandsons of Tuiskon. 

" The Council of the Loy elites regarded the advancement of 
their own glory and the spreading of darkness over the earth as 
their grand work. 

" It was their intolerance which brought on Gennarjy the 
Thirty Tears' AVar. Their principles have robbed emperor- 
crown and of life, and it was they who wrote their own 
history in its blackest dye. in connexion with the Edict of 

" Their influence over the house of Hapsburg is too well 
known. Ferdinand II. and Leopold I. were their protectors and 
patrons, even with their latest breath. 


u The education of children, arts and literature, the appoint- 
ment to ecclesiastical dignities, the ear of kings, and the heart 
of queens, all were intrusted to their wise guidance. 

u The world knows too well what use they made of their in- 
fluence, what chains they laid on the nations. 

u It is no secret that, besides the great Clement, the ministers 
of the Bourbons and Pombal of Spain assisted in having them 
set aside. Posterity will know to value their labours, and will 
erect altars to their memory. 

u If it were possible for me to hate, I must hate the men who 
persecuted Fenelon, and who procured the bull l De Ccena Do- 
mini.' " JoSErH. 

" Vienna , July 1773." 

In the same year was this order, which had nothing of Jesus 
but the name, suspended also in Hungary ; and like as when the 
frost is gone and the sun of April calls forth millions of flowers 
and buds, so was it in this land when the blighting frost was 
removed. All parties had good reason to rejoice, but especially 
did the Protestants lift up their heads, for their redemption was 
drawing nigh. 



Erection of new Bishopries — The Protestants begin to breathe more freely — The Filial 
Churches freed from the Priests — Petitions to the Emperor and Empress — The 
Emperor's Journeys — Development of Religious Freedom. 

With the banishing of the Jesuits, a new day dawned upon 
Hungary. It is true that with the property taken from the 
Jesuits new bishoprics were endowed, and that in the counties 
chiefly inhabited by Protestants. It is true that many Jesuits 
still remained in the country, many of their pupils still held 
offices of trust, many of the civil authorities still gave their 
orders in the old style : still a new day had dawned on 

Friend and foe knew, that though Joseph had been educated 
by a Jesuit, still he would never be the slave of the priests. 
Many a bright evidence had he given of his love of justice. 

The Protestant Church began to rouse herself from that 
torpor into which she had fallen. Her activity as a Church 
had nearly ceased. Sufficient evidence of her low state has 
already been given ; and if any one wish more, he need only 
glance at the fact, that one of the pastors at (Edenberg was 
summoned before the magistrates for having spoken in his 
prayer of faith as the only way of salvation .* 

In September 1773 the Reformed Church held a meeting at 
Buggi, to consult in what way then* cause might now be best 

In some places the Protestants now began to meet on the 
Lord's Day for reading the Scriptures ; but in the commence- 
ment, they had great difficulties to encounter. The Lutheran 
clergy met at Aesa, and resolved on a united address and peti- 
tion to Maria Theresa and Joseph. Their petition was presented 
* (Edenberg MSS. 


at court by the zealous and valiant Calvinistic general, Count 
Nicolas Belesneg, by Paul Vatey, Stephen Yay de V£za, and 
Joseph Battay. In Xeograd, an earnest movement commenced 
against the payments to the priests and Roman Catholic school- 
masters, and the compulsion to assist in building and repairing 
Roman Catholic chapels. 

Their petition to this effect was presented by Ladislaus 
Pere*nyi, and was not only graciously received, but also, on the 
part of the empress, an order was given to Samuel Nagy, the 
agent of the Protestant churches at Vienna, to draw up a concise 
history of the Reformation in Hungary, for the benefit of the 

The emperor came to Upper Hungary and Transylvania in 
the course of the year, and the Protestants in the neighbourhood 
of Kashaw availed themselves of the opportunity of presenting 
their grievances to him. They complained that they dared not 
meet together to worship God. So early as the 23d September, 
the emperor gave his reply, promising them full liberty of 
worship. Petitions flowed in from all sides. Joseph received 
and read them. The Lutherans wished for a consistorial court, 
and for that purpose appeared in a numerous deputation before 
him at Pesth. He received the deputation, and listened to their 
request to take the Protestant Church under his protection. 
Very shortly afterwards, permission was given to the filial 
chinch at Felso Petin, that the pastor of the nearest church 
might be allowed to visit their sick and to baptize their 

The free imperial cities obtained leave to enlarge their schools ; 
and in (Edenberg the pastors began to print catechisms and 
books which but a little before they dared scarcely have in 

It is true that pastors were still summoned before the magis- 
trates for having ventured to marry parties without the consent 
of the priests. In the absence of Joseph, many were entangled 
in knotty lawsuits. Some of the pastors were, as in the case of 
John Toth, deposed from office, and some were called up to 

* The manuscript is probably lying in the imperial library at Vienna. 

t When the pastors began to travel more frequently to visit the 
scattered members of their flock, the old edicts were once more, in the 
last year of the reign of Maria Theresa, renewed, and the pastors confined 
to the place where they resided. 


give a reason why they admitted strangers to be present during 
the celebration of divine worship. The senior Morosinetz was 
sentenced to three months' imprisonment for having read, and 
prayed, and sung, with brethren out of Moravia. Two pastors 
of the same church held different meetings at the same time, 
and for this they were both expelled. A nobleman, Michael 
Kubinyi, allowed his son to be instructed in the Protestant faith, 
and was on that account thrown into a prison, where he suffered 
severely from want of proper food, water, and fresh air, and 
after a year's imprisonment, he was dismissed on payment of a 
fine of a hundred florins into the mission fund, and for the 
future was placed under the special control of the police. 

The offensive names given to the Protestants still appeared in 
the legal documents. One church was forbidden to help another 
in the case of need. The authorities of the county of JNeograd 
were severely reprimanded by the viceregal court for their re- 
missness in punishing the pastors when they went beyond the 
bounds of their parish, and also for their sadly neglecting to 
seek out and to punish in an exemplary manner the apostates 
from the Church of Kome. A preacher at Neusohl was sus- 
pended for three months, and the priests wished him to be en- 
tirely superseded, because he had not passed an examination be- 
fore the Roman Catholic bishops in a satisfactory manner. He 
was declared to be deplorably ignorant respecting the nature of 
baptism, for he had asserted that baptism ought not to be ad- 
ministered to a child before it is completely born into the world.* 
The priest at Bosing removed the dust of the evangelical pala- 
tine Illyeshazy and his partner Catherine Pallfy, out of that 
church which they had so richly endowed. 

With all this, the demon of persecution was evidently bound 
with a chain, the last ring of which Joseph was holding with a 
firm hand. The attacks were more and more isolated, and at 
last the fiend seemed to have fallen at Joseph's feet into a death- 
like sleep. 

* The Jesuits had already decreed otherwise, and directed that, in case of 
death in the act of parturition, the child should be baptized by the mid- 




In the same year in which the Jesuits were banished, the Roman 
Catholic priests and bishops were ordered to have no communi- 
cation with Rome, otherwise than through the foreign secretary 
at the court of Vienna. Immediately afterwards the very ques- 
tionable institutions of the night asylums were closed. It was 
forbidden to apply to Rome for dispensations in case of marriage 
and for divorces ; and the priests were ordered to read these edicts 
from the pulpit. 

In the last years of Maria Theresa, when Joseph's influence 
was becoming greater and greater, new decrees were from time 
to time published, limiting the authority of the priests and re- 
lieving the Protestants. 

The pastor of Rosenau was permitted to enter within the walls 
of the town and to visit the sick ; the pastor of Nemesker was 
admitted even into the prisons ; while a priest in Grunau was 
forbidden to force himself on the Protestants when sick, and if 
they died they might be buried in whatever way they them- 
selves had wished. The children of Protestants were to be 
allowed, even in the Roman Catholic schools, to have their own 
books. In Liptau the authorities were ordered not to force the 
Protestants to assist at the building of the church of St Nicolas, 
except they voluntarily chose to do so. 

In many places the Protestants obtained leave to enlarge and 
improve their churches, and much less difficulty than usual was 
laid in the way. Indeed, a very unusual occurrence in Hungary 
happened at this time. The government brought an action at law 
against the Roman Catholio chapter at Erlau for having driven 
the Protestant inhabitants from the village Egyeg, for having 
torn down their houses, expelled their pastors, seized their books, 
and thus disturbed them in their religious privileges, as well as 
in their civil rights. The lawsuit was decided in favour of the 


Protestants, and the sentence was, that the Protestants should be 
immediately brought back to the village, their houses built at 
the expense of the chapter, the church immediately opened, and 
the county informed that it was hoped such excesses would not 
be repeated. 

The Bishop of Neutra had permitted his clergy, particularly, 
however, the priest at Holtsh, to demand exorbitant payments 
from the Protestants for services rendered, and now it was ordered 
that this priest should return all that he had unjustly taken since 
the year 1771 ; and this was done without the Protestants 
having asked it. The priest of Altenburg was forbidden to take 
double fees, or to punish the Protestants who did not send for 
him in cases of sickness. Parties who had been compelled at 
the time of marriage to engage to educate their children in the 
Church of Eome, and who had neglected to fulfil their engage- 
ments, were now allowed to speak in their own defence, and were 
sometimes set free from that obligation to which they had been 
morally compelled. 

Those who had been punished for apostasy had also some 
relief. Many were by the sentence of the Inquisition condemned 
to a long imprisonment, and then to work on the streets in 
chains. Many of these were now set completely free, and many 
had their punishment very considerably alleviated. The com- 
pulsory decretal oath began by degrees to be less rigidly enforced, 
and the orphan children of Protestants were allowed to be 
educated in the faith of their fathers, if any relatives chose to 
take charge of them. The emperor watched strictly over the 
executive powers, and punished severely for neglect of duty. 

The Protestants of Altsol gained a suit which they brought 
against the priests and the priest-ridden magistracy, and received 
back a thousand florins and fifty kreuzer, which between the 
years 1763 and 1776 had been taken from them as punishment 
for not attending processions and other Popish ceremonies. The 
Protestant church at Neusohl was dispensed from the sum of 
two hundred and thirty- three florins, thirty kreuzer, being the 
law costs for inquiries in religious matters. 

This was the state of matters in Hungary as the evening of 
the life of the Empress Maria Theresa was approaching with 
quick steps. Before we take leave of her, we must briefly glance 
at the brethren in Transylvania who had been subjected to her 




That die Protestant Church in Transylvania was m a miserable 
state, we have already seen. Still, however, it had many ad- 
vantages over the Church in Hungary. The great number of 
magnates zealously attached to the Church made it a matter of 
political wisdom not to exasperate them too much. Besides, the 
form of church-government was very advantageous to the peace 
and prosperity of the community. The superior church courts 
consisted of a combination of clergy and laity. The superin- 
tendents were ably assisted by the advice and influence of the 
magnates, and the most respected and influential of the nobles 
had a seat in the church courts, and a voice, ever since 1709. 

The Counts Teleky and Bethlen, as also the nobles Vessele*nyi 
and De Hadad, stood generally by the side of the superintendents, 
and guided the public affairs. 

They went also to Vienna, and by their fearless, dauntless 
demeanour, made it convenient that they should be treated with 
respect. When a large deputation came, however, to Vienna, 
they were not recognised as deputies from the Church, nor were 
they admitted as such to the queen. 

After several attempts, however, at last two of their number, 
Earl Teleky and Senator Bilder, were admitted, and they de- 
clared that the oppression of the Church was becoming every day 
more intolerable, and that neither in the laws nor in the judges 
did they see any hope of relief: they therefore, as the last re- 
source, applied to the sovereign, and besought her aid in the 
maintenance of their rights. 

The empress took the part of the petition referring to civil 
evils into consideration, and gave directions respecting them, but 
left the complaints in ecclesiastical matters untouched. 


In vain did they appeal to the solemn contract which had 
"been made between the four religious bodies, Roman Catholics, 
Lutherans, Calvinists, and Unitarians ; in vain to the Treaty of 
Vienna in 1686, and to the treaty of 1691 ; in vain did they 
remind the empress that they as a free principality had become 
united with Austria without giving up any of their own rights 
and privileges. All the contracts and royal decrees were appealed 
to in vain. 

The principal conditions of the Pragmatic Sanction were soon 
broken also in civil matters, and thus the seeds of contention and 
discord were sown between the two nations. 

The complaints in Transylvania were nearly the same as in 
Hungary, and they agreed in these points : — That very many 
churches, manses, and school-houses, were forcibly seized by the 
Roman Catholics, or by the military commanders. They had, 
for example, seized the cathedral of Alba Carolina with bells 
and clock, which had been presented by the Protestant prince of 
the country ; the college, and pastor's dwelling, had also been 
forcibly taken for Roman Catholic purposes. The churches of 
Barbard, Kent, and Matz met with the same fate ; and when 
new churches were built, they were torn down again by the 
Jesuits. The churches of Szamasfalva, Erhid, Katona, Egyhas- 
falva, and many others, were seized by Roman Catholic nobles 
and governors in spite of their oath of office, by which they had 
bound themselves to distribute impartial justice. 

In Miklosvar, the Count Kalnoki had not only seized the 
church, but had also imprisoned and annoyed the Protestants 
for the sake of compelling them to join the Roman Catholic 
Church, and, in spite of the direct enactments to that effect, he 
received no punishment whatever. 

At Ebesfalva, the administrator of the treasury had taken 
possession of the church by the military ; and at Bolasfalva the 
same thing took place, with the addition, that the bells and 
clock were carried away. The steward of Countess Haller 
assisted the priests in seizing the churches of Maros-Kerestner 
and St Pal, in the Kuhullar circuit. 

The commander-in-chief took possession of the Lutheran 
church at Hermannstadt, the college and collegiate church at 
Klausenberg, and other smaller chapels, not to speak of those 
which, by virtue of contracts, passed over into the hands of the 


The inhabitants of Transylvania complained, further, that the 
five articles of the constitution which pressed so heavily on 
them were inserted without their consent, and merely by the 
cunning of Kollonitz, therefore these could never be considered 

Further, the right was granted to Jews, Armenians, Bul- 
garians, Greeks, and even to those who were not natives or 
home-born, to build whatever houses they chose for religious 
purposes, while the Protestants alone were prevented, — yes, even 
had their churches torn down, though they possessed in all 
respects the same rights as the Eoman Catholics. 

Further, that deputations to the empress in religious matters 
were not received till they had first described their object, and 
obtained permission, by which means years passed before the 
subject of complaint was heard.* Petitions sent to the chan- 
cellor's office were sometimes not even read. In appointing to 
office, the Pragmatic Sanction, by which all religious parties had 
an equal right, was completely disregarded. For example, in 
the council there were six Roman Catholics, three Calvinists, 
two Lutherans, and one Unitarian ; by the commissariat there 
were no Protestants appointed. t 

In addition to these complaints, a paper drawn up at the time 
by Stephen de Daniel and Vargyas demanded — 

" That their churches should be all restored or rebuilt, accord- 
ing as they had been seized or demolished ; that the military 
commanders should not interfere in religious matters ; that the 
attorney-general should be punished for not stopping these 
acts of violence ; that the empress should repeal the five points, 
and declare them null and void ; that the Protestants should 

* The last privilege was thus taken away, namely, the beggar's right of 
asking relief. The same principle was adopted in 1851. 

t The injustice of this arrangement may be seen from the following 
statistics : — The Catholic magnates at that time amounted to twenty-eight, 
the Calvinists to fifty-one. Among the higher nobility, there were thirty- 
nine Catholics and ninety Calvinists ; among the lower riobility, one 
hundred and thirty-one Eoman Catholic families, and seven hundred and 
thirty-one families of Calvinists. The Lutherans, or Saxons, lived in six 
free cities, in twelve towns, and in many villages which were exclusively 
occupied by them. They numbered two hundred thousand — (See Petr. 
Bad.) In the circles Sepsi-Kesdi, Orbai, Miklosvar, Udvarhely, Marosh, 
and Aranyos — omitting Csik— there were sixty-one Catholic villages, and 
two hundred and eighty-three inhabited by Reformed and Unitarians, 



have the right of building churches and endowing pastors 
where and how they chose ; that they should have the right 
of at all times approaching the throne with petitions : and, lastly, 
that a proper distribution of patronage should be made in the 
offices of state." 

But the empress, who, in the beginning of her reign, and in 
the time of need, had promised so solemnly to preserve the 
rights and freedoms of the country, now forgot her promise and 
her oath so far that she never gave an answer to all these com- 

So far from carrying out the principles of the constitution, she, 
at the Diet of Hermamistadt in 1744, had all the articles erased 
which in any way hampered the Church of Home ; and by thus 
taking away the protection of the other churches, she virtually 
dissolved the union which had been made. 

Protestant churches were now forbidden to be built ; persons 
joining that communion were treated as criminals ; Popish priests 
alone had the right of solemnising mixed marriages ; Catholic 
children dared no more to attend Protestant schools : and the 
" Reformed States " were forbidden to retain that name. 

The forcible seizing of the churches was forbidden, it is true, 
in 1752, but that took place only when the Unitarians had by 
force succeeded in recovering a church which the Papists had 
taken from them. The decree to this effect was drawn up in 
such a way as if it was the greatest possible crime to protect 
one's property from the hand of the robber, or to take back what 
he had violently earned away. 

The Jesuits had now the ear of the empress, and they knew 
how to do then work. For a time they forbade the Transyl- 
vanian students to attend foreign universities, and it was not 
till 1759 that freedom was given to go and study in Belgium. 
They did not hinder the Eoman Catholic bishop, Anton Stayka, 
from appointing " saints' days " at his own option, and compel- 
ling all indiscriminately to celebrate these days by complete 
cessation from work. 

To give a clear picture of the state of the times, we will bring 
the reader to contemplate a family scene. The facts of the case 
are well authenticated. 

Count Dionysius PaufTy, with his wife Baroness Agnes 
Barcsai, both being descended from Calvinistic parents, had 
three sons and one daughter. The profligate life of the count 


had soon not only involved his own property, but had also placed 
that of his wife in the hands of the creditors. Contentions ran 
high between the count and his partner, and they were much 
increased by the conversion of the former to the Church of Rome 
in the year 1755. He now demanded his sons, to have them edu- 
cated in the Church of his adoption. The mother was not bound 
in this case by the Transylvanian law to surrender her right 5 but 
an imperial command, and the hope of being able to retain the 
daughter in her own faith, induced her to yield. 

The countess's mother, in the meantime, afraid of the ruin of 
the family, obtained a royal commission to examine into the state 
of the debts ; found them very heavy, paid them off, and took 
the property into her own hand, under the express condition that 
the count should surrender his right to the education of the 
children to her disposal. A formal contract was drawn up, and 
signed by the parties and by the proper legal authorities. This 
contract was confirmed by a royal decree of 8th February 1762. 

On the principles of this agreement, the count's mother-in-law, 
dying shortly after, left the property equally divided among the 
four children, and appointed the imperial Court of Inquiry to be 
executors of the will. 

The count and countess became once more reconciled, and 
lived together by virtue of a special contract, handing to him the 
right over the education of the sons, and to her that of the 
daughter. Both parties undertook not to disturb or annoy each 
other in carrying out this arrangement. 

The count soon returned to his former course of life, and the 
countess, for the sake of protecting her daughter, then eleven 
years of age, had her betrothed to the imperial Count Samuel 

The countess now made a will which received her Majesty's 
sanction, and the engagement with Teleky was so much the 
more readily confirmed, as his family had rendered good ser- 
vices to the crown, and had received a patent to that effect from 
Leopold I. 

The agreement was, that Agnetha should be married in her 
fifteenth year. 

The countess now thought herself in this matter quite secure, 
when, on the 15th of July 1767, at five o'clock in the evening, 
she received information that the count was in company with 
Count Nicolas Bethlen and a troop of hussars, within a few 


miles of the castle, coming to cany away her daughter. The 
carriage of Teleky, who happened to be there, was immediately 
brought out, and they tried to escape. After three hours, how- 
ever, they were overtaken by the hussars, and brought back as 
prisoners. On the way back, one of the party handed the 
countess a letter from General Andrew Hadick, stating that he 
had orders from the empress to prevent the marriage of her 
daughter with Teleky, and that he hereby forbids her to think 
farther of such a step. 

Arrived in the castle, a letter was presented by General 
Bethlen from Boytai, Bishop of Transylvania, requiring her, 
according to the wishes of the empress, to surrender up her 
daughter, that she might be educated by Bethlen, under the 
direction of the bishop. The mother and the intended husband 
refused to do so till they saw the letter of the empress, upon 
which orders were given to the soldiers to load, and Teleky was 
led away by sixteen armed men. The countess and Agnetha 
strove to conceal themselves, but were discovered, and the 
daughter was torn by force out of the mother's arms by Lieu- 
tenant Pichler, and carried away. 

That same night the mother started for Vienna to lay her 
complaint before the throne. A petition was presented by the 
two aggrieved parties to the empress, breathing the bitterest spirit 
of distress, despair, and rage, and demanding redress. 

The answer of the empress was, that her Majesty had already, 
for the weightiest of reasons, decreed that the father have the 
right of educating the children.* She would abide by her decree 
so much the more, as the said Agnes PaufTy had applied to her 
Majesty, begging for farther protection. 

Her Majesty disapproved, therefore, very highly, of the steps 
taken by the countess and by Teleky, but, in consideration of the 
circumstances, would not punish them for what they had done. 
Her Majesty hopes that the countess will look with the greatest 
gratitude on what has been done to secure her daughter a good 
education, and that in future no complaint on the subject shall 
ever reach the throne. 

Shall we now give a description of the character of this 
empress ? and shall we take as our guide the facts which trans- 
pired under her government and with her approbation, manifest- 
ing bigotry and unbounded hardness of heart ? or shall we take 
* Why not then in case of the father being Protestant ? 


the description given of her by the Jesuits and other writers, as 
a model of gentleness, goodness, and warmness of heart? We 
believe that she was in reality a person of warm feelings and 
kindly disposition. We would merely observe that her goodness 
of heart manifested itself generally as moving between two 
lines, one of which was drawn by the priests, and the other by 
an absolute and despotic ministry. In both regions — in religion 
and politics — she had little mercy for those who opposed her 
will, however legal and just the opposition may have been. 

It is well known with what severity the noblest families of 
Bohemia were, contrary to the articles of the capitulation of 
Prague, imprisoned, proscribed, and " otherwise put out oj the way" 
They were put to the torture, and exposed to cruel deaths for 
having acknowledged Charles Albert of Bavaria, who had taken 
possession of the country as their sovereign. There was no 
stop put to their cruelties till the King of Prussia interfered, and 
procured relief. 

It is told of her that, about the time of the coronation, a 
merciful priest brought upwards of fifty widows and children to 
meet her. and supplicate freedom for husbands and parents who 
had been confined in prison by the commission ; and that, when 
the attendants wept at the story of misery, the empress positively 
refused their request. 

That she did not treat Hungary as it deserved at her 
hands, is very clear, but the evidences lie beyond the 
bounds of a Church history. At the same time it cannot be 
denied that the empress understood how to chain the magnates 
to her court, and estrange them from their native land ; and she 
zealously watched those wdio were likely to become too popular. 
As the son of General Aspermont, who had been distinguished in 
the wars of Rakotzy, was once driving near Anod, and his heavy 
travelling carriage had got fast in the mud, the Hungarian peasants 
returning from market with their fiery horses, laughed at the 
" German " in his distress. Aspermont sprung on the box 
and cried, " What ! will you let Rakotzy' s grandson stick in the 
mud ? " They immediately attached their horses, and drove him 
in triumph into Anod. When Aspermont came to court, the 
empress, quite inflamed, cried, H Aspermont) hear ! We don't 
want you to stick in the mud, but you must give up your references 
to Rakotzy j or else ice will lay you in prison." * 

Such outbursts reveal the character better than the calmer 
* Diary of an Old Pilgrim, p. 178. 


acts of reflection. Maria Theresa had her happy hours and 
days, when she was capable of noble thoughts and feelings. It 
was at such a time that she ordered the torture to cease. 

Do we understand, however, by goodness of heart that prin- 
ciple which leads us to weep with those that weep, and rejoice 
with those that do rejoice ; which enables us to see in man an 
object of love and sympathy for which we shall do our utmost to 
make him happy ? In this case the character cannot be ascribed 
to Maria Theresa. Any goodness which she possessed was re- 
served for priests and members of her own party ; so that of her 
might be said, in the language of Scripture, " If ye love 
those who love you, what thank have ye ? do not even the pub- 
licans the same?" 

But can goodness of heart sit on a throne ? Can one remain 
long uncontaminated by the courtiers who surround the sove- 
reign'? Is it not the very object of courtiers to claim for them- 
selves, and to suck honey out of this flower, till it falls withered 
to the earth ? Is not the fate of such monarchs most to be de- 
plored, who have a heart to feel for suffering humanity, who 
grasp in its full extent the value of their position as rulers, and 
who desire to spread happiness far and wide around them ? 

The Protestants have indeed little cause to boast of the good- 
ness of Maria Theresa's heart, and much rather might they say 
of her what Fenelon wrote to Louis XIY. : — " You have no love 
to God. Indeed, you regard him with a slavish fear. You fear 
hell, and not God. Your religion consists in superstition, in 
trifling superfluous religious exercises. You are like the Jews, 
of whom the Lord said, i This people draweth nigh to me with 
their tongues, but their hearts are far from me.' Conscientious in 
small matters, but hardened in cases of great importance, you 
love your own glory and your own ease. You draw all to your- 
self, as if everything had been made only for you, while the truth 
is, that God has made you and placed you there for his people. 
But oh ! you do not understand these truths ; how could you 
find any pleasure in them ? — you don't know God ; you don't 
love him ; you don't pray to him with the heart ; you don't 
strive to know him." 

All this was applicable to Maria Theresa ; but in joy over her 
great and noble-minded son, the Protestants forgot and forgave 
the bigoted mother. They forgot and forgave the evils which, 
even under such favourable circumstances, a less decided charac- 
ter than Joseph II. could not have healed. 

iTottrtl) pertoU. 



General View of the Emperor's Position — His wonderful Letter — Edict of Toleration 

The Protestant Church of Hungary had been brought to the 
very verge of ruin. Under the appearance of faithfulness in car- 
rying out the laws of the land, and zeal for the supposed cause 
of religion — that is, for the support of the Church of Pome — no 
opportunity of crushing the Protestants had passed by without 
improvement. From being a recognised and established Church 
in the country, with the same rights and privileges which be- 
longed to the Roman Catholics, the Protestant Church was 
reduced to a state of abject slavery, receiving fewer privileges 
than were accorded to the Jews.* But little remained over, and 
Hungary would soon be like Austria, Carinthia, and Styria, 
where the veiy name of Protestants had ceased to exist. 

But the Spirit of God moved upon the waters, and among 
those whom his gentle breath quickened, was Joseph II., Empe- 
ror of Austria. 

It is not our intention to describe the virtues or the faults of 
this illustrious scion of the house of Hapsburg ; neither would we 
attempt to decide the question, whether, by a stricter regard to 
the constitution of Hungary, and to the national character of the 
Hungarians, his attempts at reform might not have been more 
successful. Certain it is, that the Hungarians, firmly attached 

* "Ut nobis civibus, non jam civitatis solum sed ilia etiam quae ut 
hominibus debebantur jura, passim negata meruit." — Petition of the Protest- 
ants of Hungary to Joseph IL, in the year 1781. 


to monarchy, but at the same time jealous of their constitution, 
were not moved to look kindly on ecclesiastical reforms pro- 
ceeding from one who had carried away the crown of Hungary 
out of the country ; who had divided the kingdom after Aus- 
trian fashion into circles ; who, instead of elective lieutenants 
and deputy-lieutenants of counties, had appointed imperial 
administrators who had repealed the municipal constitution of 
the free imperial cities of Transylvania and Rumania ; and who, 
by the introduction of the German language into the proceed- 
ings of the civil courts, had virtually shut out native Hun- 
garians from office. With due reverence, but with an energy 
becoming the citizens of a free kingdom, many counties raised 
their voices in solemn protest against these innovations. The 
county of Zemplin reminded the emperor that the legal courts 
of Hungary did not consist merely of imperial functionaries, but 
were made up of them and the nobility of the land acting in 
conjunction, and that it was impossible for the latter to acquire 
the German language in less than three years. Even Tamer- 
lane, or Timon the Tartar, the conqueror of Asia, did not, they 
said, require such hard conditions from the vanquished natives 
whom he had reduced to serfdom. Besides, they added, the 
Germans in Hungary were numerically the minority, and it was 
painful for a nation to bow to a fraction within itself; neither 
could it be asserted, they added in conclusion, that civilisation 
was chained down to the German language, for in all languages 
the arts and sciences could be cultivated, and the morals refined. 
The ill-humour of the Hungarians was increased by a new pro- 
ceeding, namely, a conscription of the houses and inhabitants ; 
and wild and bitter was the cry of indignation which this called 
forth from peasant and nobleman. 

In the midst of all this confusion the emperor laboured hard in 
repairing and clearing out the ship of Peter, in which the Bishop 
of Borne had under a false flag carried on for many years a most 
pernicious smuggling trade. The emperor knew the wares well, 
as also the secret stores, where they were kept, and the agents 
by whom they were disposed of. During the regency with his 
mother, he had thoroughly studied the intrigues of Borne, and 
was resolved to free Catholicism at once from its foulest stain and 
its greatest weakness — the Papacy ; and at the same time to 
relieve Protestantism from its greatest scourge. 

What served the emperor as guide in his work of reform seems 


to have been a protest of three electoral princes of Germany, 
handed to him during his regency, containing an appeal to the 
emperor against the usurpations of Rome.* 

There were also among the higher clergy in his own domi- 
nions men found who ably supported him in his noble work. 
Among these was the Archbishop of Prague, Count Prziehow- 
sky, who had prepared a translation of the Bible for Bohemia. 
At his side stood the president of the theological seminary at 
Prague, a man capable of imbuing the minds of the students 
with a love of truth. The Bishops of Budweis and Leitmeritz 
vied with John Leopold Hay, the Bishop of Koniggratz, in the 
noble race. The latter, in his charge to the clergy of his diocese, 
writes and exhorts them " not to search any more into the secrets 
of families, nor, under any pretence whatever, to deprive the 
people of their books. \Ve urge you to peace : and what can 
become the servant of the Lord better than that he be found pro- 
moting peace among the Lord's people ? Let there be an end of 
confusion, of persecution, and of devouring one another, for that 
is well-pleasing in the sight of God." 

In the same spirit was the learned Bohemian prelate, Augus- 
tine Zippe, and the Abbot Stephen Rautenstrauch, striving to 
support the emperor. The latter wrote several pamphlets, explain- 
ing to the people the nature of the emperor's reforming measures. 

Another of the worthies was Henry Kerres, Bishop of Vienna, 
who laboured successfully in abolishing the superstitious use of 
relics, pictures and images, amulets, and holy wells, or pilgrim- 
ages to them. He discouraged the offerings of wax, and silver 
shrines and images, and, for weighty reasons, directed the 
churches to be all closed at sunset. In the same spirit do we 
find the Archbishop of Salzburg, and also the emperor's ambas- 
sador at Borne, forwarding the good cause. 

All these on the side of the emperor. Against him, however, 
were arrayed the whole army of monks and priests, especially 
the priests of Hungary, and Rome with her Italian policy. 

That the emperor understood his position, and that he had 
thoroughly studied the strength of his antagonists, will appear 
evident from the close of his memorable letter to the Archbishop 
of Salzburg, on the commencement of his reign. 

* Gravamina trium archiepiscoporum Electoruni Moguntinensis, 
Trevirensis et Coloniensis, contra curiam Apostolicam. Anno 1769, ad 


" I have," he writes, " a heavy work before me. I should 
reduce the army of monks, and should try to transform these 
fakirs into human beings. My task is to reduce the power of 
those before whose shorn heads the rabble bows with reverence, 
and who have gained a dominion over the citizens such as 
nothing can equal." 

To give a full view, however, of the emperor's firm resolution 
and humane feelings, it is necessary to copy the letter which he 
wrote to the cardinal and legate, his minister at Rome. In this 
letter is much that is calculated to throw light on the so-called 
" Josephinism " with which a learned prelate of the latest times 
is attempting to blind the public. The letter is dated October 
1781, and is as follows : — 

" My Lord Cardinal, — Ever since I mounted the throne, 
and assumed the first diadem of the world, I have made philoso- 
phy to be the lawgiver of my kingdom. ... It is necessary to 
remove out of the category of religion some things which never 
belonged to it. As I hate superstition and Phariseeism, I shall 
deliver my people from them. To this end I shall dismiss the 
monks, abolish their monasteries, and bring them all under sub- 
jection to the bishops of the diocese. In Rome they will call this 
an aggression on the divine rights. They will cry and lament 
that the glory of Israel is fallen ; we shall hear that I am taking 
away the tribunes of the people, and am drawing a line between 
dogma and philosophy. Bitterer still will be the rage when 
they hear that I have done all this without consulting the ser- 
vant of servants, and awaiting his opinion. 

" We must thank him for the degradation of the human intel- 
lect. Never shall we bring these servants of the altar voluntarily 
to keep their place and confine themselves to the preaching of 
the gospel ; never will these children of Levi be willing to give 
up the monopoly of wisdom and knowledge. The monastic 
principle has been from the very first directly opposed to reason ; 
they give to the founder of their order a degree of honour ap- 
proaching to divine worship, so that in them we see the antitype 
of the Israelites who went to Dan and Bethel to worship the 
golden calves. This false system of religion has taken pos- 
session of the mass of the people, who, while they know not 
God, expect all from their patron saints ! 

" I shall restore the rights of the bishops, and give the 


people, instead of the monk, the regular priest, and instead of 
the legendary romance, a preached gospel ; where there is a 
difference of religion, there shall be a preaching of morality. 

u I shall take care that my plans serve also for the future. 
The seminaries are the schools of my priests, where they shall 
come forth enlightened and prepared to communicate knowledge 
to the people, and in a period of less than a century we shall 
have Christians. My people will understand their duty, and 
children's children shall bless us for having freed them from a 
too powerful Rome, and for having shewn the priests how to 
keep their proper place." 

Armed with this intrepid spirit, and supported by a compara- 
tively small number of friends, the emperor began his work of 
tearing down Rome's abuses. 

For very intelligible reasons, the emperor strove to separate 
the clergy of his kingdom from all foreign influence. Accord- 
ingly, under date of 24th March 1781, he forbade all connexion 
between the monasteries of the country and foreign monks or 
inspectors. No deputies dared be sent to attend deliberative 
meetings of clergy out of the country ; and no foreign inspector 
dared give any directions or prescribe any penalties to those 
residing in the country. None but natives could be received 
into the religious brotherhoods, and neither monks nor nuns 
dared collect money to send out of the kingdom. 

On the 26th March, it was ordered that no papal bull should 
be published in any part of the empire, without first having 
obtained the emperor's sanction ; the same principle was soon 
after extended to all foreign bishops whose jurisdiction extended 
in any way over the Austrian frontier. 

Returned from his journey to France, he immediately issued 
the memorable decree, by which the bull " Unigenitus " and the 
still more infamous bull u De Ccena Domini," must be expunged 
from the ritual ; and on the 30th June, a royal decree abolished 
the W religious patent " which the bigoted Ferdinand II. had 
laid on his people, and by which all dissent from the Church of 
Rome might be visited with the severest penalties. Another 
decree forbade the reception of novices into the cloisters, and 
ordered a correct census to be taken of the value of the property 
in the hands of the monks. 

At the same time that these excrescences of the Church of 


Rome were pruned, and that the Roman Catholics were taught 
to distinguish between the essentials of religion and the customs 
of their Church ; the Protestants, on the other hand, were per- 
mitted to taste privileges of which they had been long deprived. 
At the very commencement of his reign, the Protestants had 
handed the emperor a spirited memorial, detailing the historical 
development of their wrongs ; * and the monarch, who loved 
justice, was not slow in ordering that religious opinions should 
henceforth exclude from no civil office, and that fitness for the 
post should be the only qualification. This was the dawning 
of a bright day, and the full splendour of the sun of freedom 
burst out on the Protestants on the 24th of October 1781, when 
the Edict of Toleration was forwarded to all the bishops of 
Hungary, with the direction to use their influence to persuade 
the priests to a kindly feeling towards the Protestants. The 
decree explaining and regulating this edict, appeared in Decem- 
ber, and contained sixteen articles : — 

I. In all parts of the empire where the Protestants of both 
confessions were prohibited by law from holding meetings, they 
should now have liberty to meet privately for divine worship, 
without any inquiry being made whether Protestant meetings 
had been held there before or not. 

II. His Majesty declares these private meetings to mean, not 
what they had been hitherto in Hungary, but that, in eveiy 
district where there were one hundred or more families who pos- 
sessed conjointly the means of building a church, school-house, and 
manse, without unfitting them for paying their other taxes, they 
should have liberty to build ; their pastor should be free to visit 
the sick who wished to see him, without any limit whatever, 
only that the churches should have neither bell nor spire, and 
that there should be no entrance direct from the street. 

III. No one possessing the necessary talents and qualifications 
for an office should henceforth be excluded on account of his 
religion. Protestants should have leave to buy and hold landed 
property, to practise trades, and to obtain academic honours 
in the same way as Roman Catholics, even in those places where 
they were hitherto prevented from doing so. 

IV. No Protestant shall be obliged to swear by any form 

* The author of that memorial was John James Horvath, an advocate 
of Pesth. He was a pupil of the famous lawyer, Pongratz, and he lies 
buried in the wood near Pesth, with the simple inscription, "Fuit." 


inconsistent -with the fundamental principles of his religion. No 
one shall be obliged to attend mass. Much less shall an}' one 
be fined for absenting himself from the processions. All laws 
to the contrary are hereby repealed. 

V. The Protestants shall in all cases keep possession of the 
churches they at present hold ; and where these buildings are 
decayed, there is hereby perfect liberty granted to rebuild them 
of wood or stone — yet with this limitation, that the expense be 
not above the means of the people. 

YI. The chapels of ease which the Protestants possess shall 
remain in their hands, and pending lawsuits respecting them shall 
all be quashed in favour of the Protestants. 

In the remaining articles it was decreed respecting mixed 
marriages, that where the father is Roman Catholic, all the 
children of both sexes should be educated in that faith ; where 
the father was Protestant, the male issue should be Protestant. 
Priests were prohibited from visiting sick Protestants unless sent 
for ; and no visitation of Protestant churches or examination of 
the pastor on the nature of baptism should henceforth be insti- 
tuted by any priest. 



First Fruits of the Edict of Toleration : Thanks of the Protestants ; Protest of the 
Priests of Hungary and some of the Counties — Efforts of Cardinal Migazzi — The 
Minister Kaunitz — The Confessor's Explanation — Pope Pius VI. comes to Vienna 
— His Efforts fruitless— His Master of Ceremonies — The Pope's Departure — The 
Leave-taking — The Emperor's Present. 

The impression produced by the Edict of Toleration on the 
inhabitants of the vast empire was deep and vivid. The tidings 
were joyous for those who at heart hated the ceremonies of the 
Church of Home, but who had been obliged for generations to 
adhere outwardly to its communion. Like the trodden flower, 
when refreshed with dew, raising its head once more, so did these 
crushed spirits arise, and either formed new Protestant churches 
or attached themselves to those already in existence. 

On the 2d February 1782, the Protestants of the sister chinches 
in Hungary held a meeting in Pesth, at which Count Peter 
Zay and Nicolas Belesnay presided, to draw up an expression 
of their gratitude to the emperor. The vote of thanks was 
written in Latin and German, and sent to Vienna under charge of 
a numerous deputation.* The Protestants had not received all 
which they had a right to expect ; still the heaviest of their chains 
were taken off, and they hoped in the course of time to receive 
back the remainder of the privileges which had been guaranteed 
them by law, but wrested from them by the strong hand of 

Foreign countries heard the story, and rejoiced in the 

It could not be expected that Kome and her party would be 
satisfied ; and it was not long till protests, numerously signed, 

* At the same time instructions were sent to the ecclesiastical agent at 
Vienna, respecting the steps he ought to take in future ; and the pastors 
were directed to take heed that the edict was properly published through 
the country. 


were handed to the emperor, expressive of their extreme dissatis- 

The Cardinal Joseph Batty ani, on hearing what the emperor 
was about to do, even before the edict was published, handed in 
a protest signed also by the Bishops of Gran and Kalotsh, assert- 
ing that the emperor had no right to grant such a toleration, it 
was unconstitutional, and could only be binding on the country 
when adopted legally by a vote at the diet.* 

Not content with this, the bishops made use of their great 
wealth and influence to excite the counties and the free cities to 
protest. The supreme executive delayed in publishing the edict, 
and the authorities in the counties were thus animated in their 
resistance. Some of the counties brought up the old laws of 
1525-26, by which all Lutherans might on detection be burned, 
and urged these as legal reasons for refusing to publish, much 
less to act on, the edict ; and in this case their memory was 
exceedingly convenient, for, though they remembered the passing 
of the law, they had forgotten that it was repealed by the Treaty 
of Vienna. 

"With equal zeal did Cardinal Migazzi labour in Vienna ; and 
the papal nuncio was pouring in protests and representations, 
not only against the Edict of Toleration, but also against all the 
emperor's reforms, till the minister Kaunitz informed him dryly 
that his Majesty did not wish any more information on these 

The emperor's confessor also tried the weight of his lance in 
the contest, and declared that he could promise the emperor no 
success against his foes, if he did not cut off all the heretics, 
root and branch, and burn up their temples — if he did not seize 
their children to have them educated in the Church, of Borne, 
and annihilate all the heretical books. Alas ! poor man ! it was 
all in vain, for the emperor's name was Joseph II. 

On the 12th January the emperor wrote to Cardinal Battyani, 
informing him that the loyal bishops in the empire had. no 
scruple in fulfilling the royal law, " Whatsoever ye will that men 
shall do unto you, do ye even so unto them ; " — besides, he had no 
intention of forcing any man's conscience ; and if any man was 
dissatisfied with his measures of toleration, he was welcome to 

* When emperors overstepped their constitutional powers to crush the 
Protestants, the cardinals saw no harm, but much rather a high degree of 
virtue, in the proceedings. 


resign his office and leave the country. It was, however, 
expected from the bishops to see to it that the edict was not 
only published, but acted on, and to report the same to the vice- 
regal court. Finally, the cardinal primate would inform the 
other bishops of this his imperial Majesty's royal will and 

When all these efforts of the bishops did not succeed in chang- 
ing the emperor's resolution, Bishop Nagy, of Stuhlweissenburg, 
published a pastoral letter, purporting to be a statement of the 
motives which urged Joseph to his humane efforts. In the 
same letter the characters and lives of the Protestants were 
attacked, and no falsehoods were spared so as to mar the work- 
ing of the edict,* and the emperor was as little spared as any of 
the people.f 

As the emperor was still far from being satisfied with what he 
had done, and was proceeding still further to limit the power of 
the Pope, in an evil hour, and contrary to the advice of his wise 
cardinals, Pope Pius VI., urged on by Austrian refugees, and 
trusting in his own personal influence, resolved to undertake a 
journey to Vienna. Having signified his intention of visiting 
Vienna, the emperor sent a kind invitation, assuring him of 
a cordial reception. On the 22d of March, being the week 
before Easter, Pius VI. reached Vienna, and received such 
honour from the thousands of Roman Catholics who came to 
meet him, that he had no cause to complain of Austrian devotion 
to Rome. Crowds, even of the highest ranks, pressed into the 
anterooms to kiss the slipper which was there exhibited, and, for 
the sake of lightening the trouble, the Pope caused the slipper 
to be carried round to many of the most distinguished families in 
the city. With all this pomp and splendour the emperor and his 
minister Kaunitz remained unmoved ; and when, at the Easter 
festival, the master of the ceremonies raised the Pope's seat a 
step higher than the emperor's, the latter absented himself from 
the whole ceremony, with the remark, " Then the Pope can 
drive alone, and sit alone in the church." The emperor should 

* See Fessler, vol. x. p. 553. 

t When a paper was found nailed to the door of a monastery which 
Joseph had confiscated and sold to the Protestants for a chapel, charging 
the emperor with being a Lutheran, and being guilty of various other 
crimes and misdemeanours, the emperor had the paper printed and sold 
for twopence a copy, the money to be handed to the deacons of the Pro- 
testant church. 


Lave read the lesson of the clay on the occasion, and he excused 
himself to the Pope by pretending a pain in the eye. 

Meantime, there was no want of pamphlets explaining to the 
people the meaning of all this show on the part of the Pope ; 
and the wits of the capital were all on the side of the emperor. 

All attempts to bring the emperor and his minister away from 
the reforms which they had begun, were in vain. The emperor 
said, " He was no theologian, and could not argue with his holi- 
ness. He wished, however, that the arguments should be put 
in writing, and he would shew them to his divines. As to the 
monasteries," he said, " the Pope had been already informed of 
all that had been done ; and as this was no dogma, but a plain 
matter of business, he (the emperor) would just leave matters as 
they were." 

Only one conference was held in the presence of Kaunitz and 
of the cardinals ; but it led to no results. Pius VI. thought to 
gain Kaunitz over to his side, and accordingly paid him a visit. 
The wary minister received him without any ceremony, in his 
morning gown, and led him through his vast picture gallery. 
As the Pope strove to turn the conversation on ecclesiastical 
topics, the minister requested him to reserve such subjects for a 
more suitable time and place. 

The Pope's visit has been in vain. He has no hope of doing 
more. The emperor informs him that it would be pleasant to 
have the expression of his approbation of the measures of tolera- 
tion now in progress, but if this was not convenient, then it 
could be dispensed with. The Pope approve of toleration ! 
The Pope's approbation of measures a matter of indifference ! 
Which was the severest cut? 

On the 2 2d April Pius VI. left Vienna, accompanied by the 
emperor and his brother Maximilian as far as the village Maria- 
brunn — Mary's Well — about four miles from the city, where 
they took an affectionate leave. 

The emperor gave his holiness a present of a cross set with 
diamonds, valued at £20,000. The Pope went on his way to 
Rome, and the emperor pursued his course of reform quite un- 
moved, for, not many hours after the parting, the monastery at 
Mary's Well was closed. 

2 a 



Benefits of the Edict of Toleration — Freedom of the Press — The Emperor popularly- 
charged with Heresy — His Reply, and his Decree founded on it — The Six Weeks' 
Instruction of persons leaving the Church of Rome — Church-building in Hungary 
— The Commissions of Inquiry and the Homo Diocesanus — The Spirit of the Vice- 
regal Court, and of some of the Counties — Extracts from the Petition of the Sister 
Churches to the Emperor. 

The emperor still pressed forward. Difficulties seemed merely 
to accelerate his course. What was to him the dust of the fall- 
ing house? He had a clear plan of the manner in which it 
should be rebuilt. 

On the 19th November 1781 he repealed the law prohibiting 
the Protestant clergy from crossing the bounds of their parish, 
and allowed the exiled pastors to return. Priests were prohibited 
from forcing their services on sick Protestants, and wherever 
they attended, they were ordered to make use of Protestant 
prayer-books. The Protestants obtained leave at the same time 
to use the materials of old decayed churches in building and 
repairing their places of worship. 

The chase after the children of Protestants and Jews, to have 
them — especially if orphans — educated in the communion of the 
Church of Home, was still more limited, and it was decreed that 
they should be baptized only on their own request. As, how- 
ever, a certain age was hard to be fixed, it was only required to 
see that no bribe in the shape of reward or threatening was 
held out. Such young persons wishing to join the Church of 
Rome must wait six weeks after giving notice of the inten- 
tion, and, if still continuing in the same mind, might then be 
baptized. If, however, any of these conditions were wanting, 
the children could not be forcibly detained from their parents or 

* The Church of Eome had long claimed all orphans as her own, but it 
would appear from this, that even in cases where only one parent was 
deceased, the same claim was made. 


On the 22d of June, the Protestants obtained permission to 
print their Bibles and other religions books in the country. A 
list of the books which might be printed was furnished, and 
among them we find " a correct copy of the Bible ; Luther's 
Catechism ; the Heidelberg Catechism, only that some expressions 
offensive to Papists should be removed ; the Prayer-book and 
Liturgies of both the Lutheran and Reformed Churches ; Arndt's 
True Christianity; a good hymn-book ; and a few other books 

The books which had been confiscated during the previous 
reign, but especially the Bibles, were ordered to be restored, and, 
shortly after, the compulsory attendance of Protestant children on 
Roman Catholic schools was dispensed with. 

"Where priests strove to bring back the old reign of hatred, 
they did not any more escape unpunished ; and when the priest 
of Bossontya forcibly took possession of a Protestant church, he 
learned to his cost that the good old times were gone. The 
Archbishop of Gratz had simply inquired at Rome whether he 
ought to publish the Edict of Toleration, and for this he was 
summoned to Vienna to give an account of his doings. It was 
shortly before the Pope's visit, and, as a punishment, he was 
ordered to leave the city the day before his holiness arrived. 

By such proceedings the popular fury was soon directed 
against ' the person of the emperor. What had formerly fallen 
to the lot of the Protestants, now fell on his devoted head. 
From all sides he was attacked, so that in the year 1782 he was 
obliged to make a public declaration, that he had no intention 
of leaving the Church of Rome ; that he should be glad if all 
his subjects were Roman Catholics ; but that he did not feel at 
liberty to force any man to act against the dictates of his con- 
science. Besides teaching and setting a good example, he did 
not wish to use any other means for gaining over proselytes to 
his cause. If any one forced his servant or his child to leave 
any church and join another, he should not escape unpunished. 
It was then in December decreed, that any Roman Catholic 
wishing to join the Protestant Chinch must give notice six weeks 
beforehand, and receive religious instruction for that period. 

The opinion that the visit of the Pope had made the emperor 
a better Catholic was natural. Some other circumstances 
strengthened it. For some time the Protestants had done 
almost what they chose, but now an edict appeared requiring 


them to give notice of the meetings of their church courts, that 
a policeman might be in attendance, and to give notice also of 
the subjects to be introduced at these meetings. 

Like the ebbing and flowing of the tide is the popular feeling, 
and the Popish party were so elated by these movements, that 
they soon began their old tricks, and, in some cases, refused 
burial to the bodies of Protestants, and threatened to throw them 
out of the graves again if interred in the common graveyards.* 
These were, however, only isolated clouds to darken the bright 
heavens. The Protestants were annoyed — the humane plans of 
the emperor were retarded. Sometimes the priests did not come 
when called, and the expense of the Commission of Inquiry was 
incurred in vain. Sometimes they refused to sign the report of 
the commissioners, and forwarded, themselves, other reports in- 
jurious to the Protestants. 

The law said, that in erecting new places of worship for 
Protestants, care should be taken that sufficient means of 
support were forthcoming without overburdening the taxpayers. 
Here was a place for the enemy to work. And not without 
effect were the insinuations and open attacks ; for the emperor 
was obliged to issue a fresh edict, ordering that no unnecessary 
annoyance should be given to those seeking leave to form a new 
church ; that in the towns one month be allowed, and in the 
country three, to prepare a report j and that in no case should the 
delay be longer in investigating the circumstances. Besides, it 
was further decreed, that the civil authorities do not require to 
fix a salary for the pastor and schoolmaster, but may leave that 
to private agreement between the parties concerned. 

Even an edict of toleration cannot cure all the ills of a 
country. And this was felt by the Hungarians ; for, even though 
the emperor had prepared schedules of inquiry, and accurate 
tables of the questions which should, and of those which should 
not, be asked, yet the viceregal court, actuated by the old 
spirit, and consisting chiefly of the old members, was able still 
to throw difficulties in the way. Let us take a few illustrations. 

The Keformed Church of Boehenye petitioned that then 
exiled pastor might be restored to them, and, on the 15th July 
1782, an imperial order directed the necessary steps to be taken. 
And first, of course, an inquiry must be instituted why he had 
been banished ; and then an inquhy why he should be restored • 
* Intimatum, 6th July 1782. 


then a report, and afterwards an explanation of the report, must 
be obtained. For the sake of quashing the whole affair, a 
commission was nominated, composed exclusively of Roman 
Catholics, and it was only after an energetic protest and much 
delay, that the legal commission, consisting of an equal number 
of Protestants and Roman Catholics, was obtained. 

The commission reported that in the years 1681 and 1721 
public worship was conducted in this parish ; after their pastor 
was banished, they had been allowed to keep a schoolmaster; 
the number of families appeared to be sixty-nine ; the landlord 
was willing to furnish wood gratis for building a church, and the 
people were willing to undertake all the cartage ; residences for 
a pastor and schoolmaster, and sufficient funds for their support, 
were already provided ; if a pastor were among them, these funds 
would be increased. Such was the report, and the resolution of 
the county formed upon it was : " That, inasmuch as there are not 
a hundred families connected with the place, the Protestants be 
not allowed to recall their pastor or build a church." 

The Protestants of Nagy Bajom petitioned for the recognition 
of their claims to a church. The report stated that the con- 
ditions of the edict were all fulfilled, and the proper number of 
families was to be found. A nobleman of the district, however, 
exclaimed publicly, that, as they valued the salvation of their 
souls, they could not in any way assist in spreading heresy ; and 
the county gave its decision accordingly, stating, " That, inas- 
much as the Protestants now contribute to the support of the 
priests, if they had a pastor of their own the priest could not 
exist; and to support two clergy — a Protestant and Roman 
Catholic — out of a common fund, was above the means of the 
parish ; therefore the Protestants shall not have leave to build a 
church or to call a pastor." 

The Protestants of Csoekol were long kept back by the 
Bishop of Wesprim, who had reported that the soil was barren, 
that the parish was four thousand florins in debt, that they must 
pay the priest twenty-five florins, half a hogshead of wine, 
and certain duty labour, together with a fixed quantity of corn 
and his official dues. The resolution of the county was, that 
this county also should not be allowed to build a church or call 
a pastor. 

The viceregal court generally decided in accordance with the 
vote of the county, especially if that was unfavourable to the 


Protestants. Indeed, in the case of Tharos, they directed to make 
diligent search whether a Roman Catholic schoolmaster were not 
already in the neighbourhood, whose duty it was to instruct all 
the children of every party ; and to conduct the inquiry respect- 
ing the available funds in the presence of a u homo diocesanus." 
A village belonging to the free city of CEdenberg had already 
obtained permission to build a church, when a new difficulty was 
found in the fact that the town would not give them ground. 
Two peasants, George Swentenvain and John Kessener, then 
offered all they had — their house and garden — for the Lord's 
cause ; but the story coming to the emperor, orders were sent to 
the civic authorities to lay no more obstacles in the way of 
building, but to grant the ground at once. For the present they 
should not have a schoolmaster, for, if they had, the Eoman 
Catholic schoolmaster could not continue in office. 

But who could enumerate even a tithe of the grievances ? If 
the Eoman Catholic party could do nothing- else, they could in- 
volve the Protestants in heavy expense. An appeal to a higher 
court was often fruitless, and the emperor was far away; but 
the sighing of the prisoners came into the ears of the Lord of 
hosts, and was written in His book of remembrance. 

When the grounds of complaint had become veiy heavy, the 
two sister Churches united in a petition to the emperor, out of 
which we here insert a few extracts. 

After complaining that the authorities were very stringent in 
pressing eveiy point of the law in its most unfavourable sense, 
they state, that in every case where a«new church has been 
granted, the Protestants have been compelled, contrary to law, 
to assist in supporting the priest. The limitations of the Edict 
are strained and extended far beyond the evident intention. 
They had been promised some of then* old churches back, but 
not one had they obtained. At investigations his Majesty had 
simply required the presence of a Eoman Catholic priest, but the 
practice was to reject eveiy petition which was not countersigned 
by the priest. In many of the commissions, none but Eoman 
Catholics officiated. They then requested the revoking of the 
edict of the 10th February 1783, by which the Protestant 
churches are required to be an hour's walk asunder. They 
begged protection from those decisions by which they were pre- 
vented from appointing a schoolmaster, because "the Eoman 
Catholic schoolmasters would then have nothing to do." They 


complain that, contrary to the spirit of his Majesty's resolutions, 
the names of u akatholick," and "tolerated sectarians," are still 
applied to them as terms of disgrace. 

They request, finally, that the priests be declared incapable of 
holding office in courts where the affairs of the Protestants shall 
be investigated and decided. 

The petition was dated Vienna, 6th August 1783, and its 
fruits we shall have an opportunity of seeing. 



Reform in the Schools — The Protestants Distrust the National Schools—Relief in 
Church-building — The Church Registers — Organisation beyond the Danube — ■ 
Abuse of the Six Weeks' Instruction — Poisoning of the Abbot Rautenstrauch at 
Erlau — Persecution of those who wish to leave the Church of Rome. 

Under Maria Theresa a commencement had been made to 
reform the schools, and now, under Joseph, the principle was 
extended to the whole empire. A national school system was 
introduced, according to which, the schools, from the very com- 
mencement to the highest departments of the university, were 
conducted on one general plan. A central office of education 
was appointed, and the learned Godfrey Swieten appointed first 
president in 1784. The vice-presidents, who had the charge of 
the system in Hungary, and who resided at Ofen, were 
Christopher Nitzky and Joseph Klobusitsky. The university 
was removed from Ofen to Pesth • and chiefly by the learned 
ex-Jesuits, Szerdahely and Mako, was the new .system of 
education adapted to the state of Hungary, and extended also to 
the Protestant schools. To cover the expenses, however, it was 
required to return to the government a correct report of all 
property in Hungary which was intended to promote education 
in any form. Some time afterwards the Protestants were obliged 
to give up all their funds to the government. 

After many fruitless consultations with the school inspectors, 
and with the commissioners of education, the Protestants at last 
petitioned the emperor to allow them a little breathing time, 
before introducing the new system. It was, they said, necessary 
to bear in mind how closely a system of education was con- 
nected with religion and with the Church ; and certain modi- 
fications were then necessary, to secure freedom of conscience. 
They requested, therefore, that their school funds should be 
restored to them, and additional assistance given, as they were 
otherwise not able to provide the necessary number of professors, 


schools, seminaries, libraries, and printing establishments, nor 
yet to make provision for retired office-bearers or their widows, 
as the law directed. 

After some inquiries which were now instituted, the emperor 
issued the following regulation for the Protestant schools in 
Hungary : — 

In cases where the Protestants have schools already in 
operation, they shall be allowed to retain them ; where they, 
however, have no school nor schoolmaster, the precentor of the 
Protestant church shall have the same right as the Roman 
Catholic teacher, to instruct the children of his own creed, in 
the presence of children of other confessions, in the catechism of his 
Church. This privilege shall also be granted to those Protest- 
ants who, although not sufficiently numerous in the district to 
be formed into a church or to have a school, shall nevertheless 
be able to support a "cantor" or clerk. Several villages might 
also unite if they chose, to keep a "cantor" for this purpose; 
and in every case, the parents had a right to choose for them- 
selves to which of the neighbouring schools their children should 
be sent. It was necessary, however, that these Protestant cate- 
chists should have passed their examination in the Normal School 
of the National Board ;* and in every case, the Protestants must 
bear the entire expense connected with such an officer. In the 
higher national schools, where both Catholic and Protestant 
teachers were appointed, they should be paid out of the national 
fund. In districts where none but Protestants resided, and 
where, therefore, Protestant teachers were appointed by govern- 
ment, they should also be paid out of the general fund. In 
mixed schools, such prayers should be used as made it consistent 
for the children of all confessions to come and to leave at the 
same time. The days and hours of communicating religious 
instruction should be fixed and published, and the greatest 
possible regard should be shewn to the conscientious feelings of 
the children of Protestant parents. Change of religion on the 

* For the sake of keeping up uniformity of system in the empire, the 
directors and principals of the high schools and universities were obliged 
to attend for a definite period at the Central Normal School at Vienna, 
and there pass an examination. They were then required to open district 
normal schools, or to have classes for the training of teachers, who might 
afterwards be appointed as teachers, (a) in the high schools, (b) in the 
town schools, and (c) in the villages. Of course, the system could not in 
all cases be inflexiblv carried out. 


part of tlie cliildren in those schools should never be tolerated 
without the consent of the parents. Everything should be 
omitted in the school-books which could give the Protestants 
any just ground of offence. The Protestants had the immediate 
inspection of their own schools, and could be controlled only by 
the Superior Imperial District Commission. 

These extracts give us some notion of the emperor's benevolent 
intentions. Still, however, the black history of the past, the 
years of fierce persecution which the Protestants had borne, com- 
bined with the fact that a sum of ten thousand norms, which had 
just been collected in Zips for school purposes, was demanded 
from them, gave good ground to fear being entangled by the 
influence of an individual, so as to chain themselves and their 
children to a system. They avoided, therefore, most punctili- 
ously, affording any assistance to the national schools; and 
where a mixed school was erected by the government, the 
Protestants kept their children generally at home. When the 
school inspectors complained, the Protestants replied generally, 
that they had not received permission from the superintendents, 
or that the local circumstances required some modification of the 
system, before they could take part in the national schools. 

These excuses drove the emperor to propose some modifica- 
tion in the government of* the Protestant Church, by which a 
central general consistory should sit at Vienna, and thence issue 
orders more or less at the bidding of the court. 

The Protestants objected to this proposal, urging as reasons 
the size of the kingdom ; the fact that four superintendents with 
then consistoria already existed for each Church, Calvmistic and 
Lutheran ; that the expense of such a superior consistory would 
be too heavy, and the proper persons to fill the office could not 
easily be persuaded to leave their homes, and reside permanently 
at Vienna ; besides, such a constitutional change could only be 
made in consequence of a resolution of a grand national 

The emperor yielded for the present, and a general conference 
was summoned for the 8th of June 1788, to which the different 
congregations were directed to send deputies.* 

While this was going forward in reference to the schools, the 
Protestants were obtaining still more and more freedom from the 

* This is taken from a MS. in the library of Count Rocky, being a report 
of the superintendents to their agents at Vienna. 


grievances winch in their petition had been laid before the 

The Protestant pastors were permitted to visit and discharge 
ministerial duties among the diaspora or scattered adherents to 
their confession, under the condition that the priests' dues were 
in all such cases to be paid, and that the Roman Catholics 
should not be excited to dissatisfaction with their clergy. 

The Protestant tradesmen in Guns and other places obtained 
dispensation from attending mass and taking part in the pro- 
cessions, and the Protestant catechists were receiving more and 
more liberty, and encouragement in the schools. 

The one great struggle now was respecting the " stola dues." * 
The Protestants wished to be entirely freed from this demand on 
the part of the priest. The emperor thought to settle the matter 
by prohibiting first the priest, and then the Protestant pastor, 
from receiving money at baptisms, communions, and funerals ; 
but it was in vain, for pretexts were still found for keeping up 
the custom. One example we select, as illustrative of the state 
of parties at the time. 

The priest of Bogyoslo complained to the magistrates of the 
district, that the Lutherans had refused to pay him his stola 
dues. The magistrates decided, that inasmuch as he had been 
in possession of these dues before the Edict of Toleration, he had 
a right to them ; and the payment was accordingly enforced. 
The county magistrate sent out the hussars to enforce the pay- 
ment, and the soldiers not only drove in all the priests' dues, 
but also took some little perquisites for themselves. The people 
complained to the emperor, and an investigation was instituted. 
The result was, that the priest having himself acknowledged 
that he had not received these fees previous to the Edict of 
Toleration, was sentenced to return twofold all that he had 
unjustly taken. The county magistrate was sentenced to 
receive a public reprimand in his own court. The soldiers who 
had exceeded their duty were ordered to restore all that they 
had seized, and to be imprisoned three days on bread and water. 
The appellants received permission to build their church as they 
themselves wished, only on condition that the contributors 
to the building fund should not be overburdened. f 

* The money which the priest claimed for every act which he performed 
in the stola, or official dress. 

t The original sentence lies at Ofen, dated 22d November 1785, and is 


Such even-handed justice had not for many years been known 
in Hungary. There had still been one law for the Protestants, 
and another for the Roman Catholics. But, if their joy was great 
at obtaining simple justice, how much greater must it have been 
when the private religious exercises were no longer restricted, 
but the pastor could baptize, marry, attend funerals, &c, unmo- 
lested, on condition of paying the priest his fee ; and it was not 
long till the government, weary of the constant complaints, at last 
abolished the fees to the priests, and made them payable to the 
Protestant pastor. 

Still further, the Protestant churches were allowed to keep 
their own registers, and filial churches were permitted to attach 
themselves for civil and religious purposes to recognised existing 
congregations. By virtue of this connexion, the pastor of the 
congregation obtained a right to perform ministerial acts within 
the bounds of the filial or adjunct parish. In such cases, how- 
ever, the stola dues must still be paid to the priest, the exemption 
extending itself only to independent congregations which had 
their own pastor and church.* 

These last privileges gave the Protestants an opportunity of 
regulating the internal concerns of their congregations, which they 
had for a long time not been able to do. Especially manifest was 
the change which now took place in the circle beyond the Danube, 
where a new superintendent, Samuel Krabowsky, entered on 
office, and had the charge of thirteen " seniors' districts," and 
one hundred and twenty-five churches. Here the presbyterial 
form of church government was revived, the seniors were directed 
to summon the clergy of the district together at least once 
a year, and himself to inspect all the churches, for the sake of 
removing all abuses which might have crejot in. The exercise 
of discipline was of course much stricter among the Reformed 
churches than among the Lutherans ; still all were now revived 
and animated by a new spirit. 

The priests were enraged at seeing the fruits of the conces- 
sions in favour of the Protestants, and the steps they took to 
be avenged were often of such a nature as to baffle all attempts 
at justice. The annals of the time record black, and cruel, and 
tyrannical deeds, which could not be brought home to any 

numbered in the MS., No. 35,607. The records of the church go on to 
say that the sentence was literally executed. 
* See royal decree of 22d March 1784. 


individual, but respecting which popular opinion spoke out very 

The six weeks' instruction of intended proselytes gave the 
priests an opportunity of exercising their arbitrary power and 
tyranny. For example ; the priest of Lopejens had a youth of 
sixteen years of age for a long time shut up in his house under 
pretence of the " six weeks' instruction/' and during that time 
the youth was repeatedly bastinadoed. The priest said it was 
for theft. After a legal investigation, however, the president of 
the court of justice, Count Charles Pallfy, sent the report of the 
trial to the emperor, and with his own hand Joseph wrote on 
the report, that, for every stroke the youth had received, the 
priest should be confined a day in prison. 

Examples like this did not always succeed in terrifying into 
a sense of duty. When the Baron Schoenrich was dying, he 
addressed his assembled family with these words : "I would 
have left a large property behind me to be divided among you, 
had not the priests, by false accusations of me to the emperor, 
squandered it all away." 

The abbot Stephen Rautenstrauch, who had the inspection 
of all the theological faculties in the empire, and who has 
already been mentioned as an enlightened friend of reform, had 
been to Erlau to examine the theological school in that city, and 
after the examination, having sat down to supper in excellent 
health, he was soon seized with spasms, and after six hours ox 
violent convulsions, he expired. Poison had been administered 
in his food.' >v 

In Trentshin county the authorities were so decidedly on the 
side of the priests, that those who proposed leaving the Church 
of Rome were cast into prison ; and in (Edenberg, even those 
Roman Catholics who ventured to attend a Protestant place of 
worship were threatened with legal proceedings. 

* Fessler's History, vol. x. p. 571. 



Removal of the Bishops from Civil Offices — Application of the Religious Funds — School 
System — Farther evidence of Joseph's love of Justice — War with the Porte — 
Revolution of the Netherlands — Serious State of Hungary — The Emperor's Health 
gives way — Recall of his Reforms —The Crown sent back to Hungary — The Em- 
peror's Death. 

The conviction that, so long as bishops sat in the civil courts, 
little justice was to be expected for the Protestants, had induced 
them, in their petition to the emperor, to mention this as one of 
the evils to be remedied, and in the course of time Joseph 
seemed to have arrived at the same conclusion. In the year 
1785 they were all removed from the civil and judicial offices 
which they held, and their power in other respects was very 
much limited. When, in the reports to the emperor, hard ex- 
pressions were made use of in reference to the Protestants, the 
reports were sent in to be altered. 

In the schools constant alleviations were introduced, and in 
general, the wishes of the Protestants met with the kindest con- 
sideration. The emperor now introduced a law by which all 
children from six years of age were to be considered capable of 
attending school, and the parents were held responsible for their 
attendance. The school-books were improved, and not only the 
quantity but also the quality of the instruction given even to 
the Roman Catholic children, met with a favourable alteration. 
Especially were the Scriptures much more carefully read in the 
schools than had previously been the case ; and the emperor 
thus manifested his appreciation of the expression, " Man liveth 
not by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of 
the mouth of the Lord." 

Several monasteries and nunneries had been closed, and their 
incomes confiscated ; but it was neither for his own use, nor for 
general state purposes, nor for presents to favourite ministers, that 


this was used, but all was put together in a general religion and 
school fund.* 

The emperor used his influence to stop the abounding super- 
stitions, as he took away from the most renowned places of pil- 
grimage their silver and gold shrines, and sent them to the 
mint. Pie forbade presents of silver, iron, wax candles, &c. at 
these places, and discouraged the pilgrimages to the utmost. 

In the same way he strove to remove an evil which was 
likely seriously to injure the Protestant Church. From the 
poverty of many Protestant congregations, it had not been in 
their power to pay a pastor ; accordingly some schoolmaster or 
student generally came and conducted the preaching services — 
sometimes, indeed, not much to the edification of the people. 
The emperor now ordered that no one should be allowed to preach 
without having first obtained a licence by regularly constituted 
church courts.f 

The emperor strove to regulate the quarrels of contending 
parties concerning the joint use of the churches, and sometimes 
he succeeded ; but in general, when Protestants and Roman 
Catholics worshipped in the same house, the latter took the pre- 
caution to have it consecrated, and in case of separation afterwards 
this gave them a factitious right to retain the building, even 
though it had previously been the property of the Protestants. 

The case was much easier when it was a simple inquiry re- 
specting secular property, such as manses, fields, gardens ; for 
here they need only prove their original property, and justice was 
in all cases done. Let us take an example. In Schutt-Somerain, 
where the so-called "German house" had been taken by the 
military as a barrack, and the town had taken all the fields as 
public property, in the course of time documents were found 

* The emperor established eleven hundred and eighty-nine new parishes, 
and paid the working priests one hundred and thirty-three thousand six 
hundred florins annually, out of his confiscated monastic property. He 
intended to establish forty-seven more, with eighty-six vicarages, and one 
hundred and ninety-seven chaplaincies. — See Fessler, vol. x. p. 569. In 
Hungary alone were one hundred and thirty-four monasteries closed, in 
which twelve hundred and nine priests and two hundred and seventy-five 
lay brothers had resided ; and in one of the orders, namely, Eremites, the 
emperor found an immense sum in hard cash. The landed property 
which fell to the crown brought in a revenue of two hundred and three 
thousand six hundred and twenty-nine florins annually. 

t Royal decree, 11th September 1788. 


proving this all to "belong to the Protestant church, and im- 
mediately, notwithstanding all opposition, the emperor ordered 
the whole property to be delivered up. Another case, which was 
still more admired as a case of discriminating justice, was, when 
the Roman Catholics had, some fifty years before, taken a bell 
from the Protestant church, and set it up for themselves, the 
emperor, on examining the case, ordered the bell to be restored. 
The time was not to be long, however, in which the Protestants 
could enjoy such favours. The emperor was hastening fast to his 
grave. The shadows of the evening were lengthening, and 
death came on with giant strides. 

A war broke out with the Turks, and was carried on chiefly 
in the interest of Russia. Rebellion was threatening hi the 
country. The priests and the heads of the political parties were 
violent. Joseph had no kindly associations with the family 
hearth — no wife nor child to smoothe the brow of care ; and that 
great mind began to sink under the load. 

On the 28th of January 1790, he was so far exhausted, that he 
with his own hand withdrew many of the reforms which he had 
introduced ; to his honour be it said, however, that some of the 
measures which had been dear to him all his life through, were 
even now, despite all efforts to the contrary, still held fast. 
Among these were the Edict of Toleration, and the new parishes 
which he had formed. 

On the 17th February, the keepers of the crown of Stephen 
left Vienna with their sacred charge, which the Hungarian nation 
almost adored. They arrived in Ofen on the 21st, and five 
hundred cannon shots told the nation the glorious tidings of 
their arrival. The emperor was then no more. On the 20th 
he was found sitting up in his bed in the attitude of prayer, but 
life had fled. He had reached only his forty -ninth year, but 
had written his name deep in the hearts of his people. Wild 
were the weeds which defaced that lovely land as he ascended the 
throne, and in the sweat of his brow had he eaten kingly bread, 
attempting to sweep away the arrears of ages. For him it was 
enough to have the kingly reward of the consciousness that 
succeeding ages would acknowledge his efforts for his people's 
good. His successor, Leopold II., would have a lighter task, 
that of following in the track so nobly pointed out before. 



State of the Protestants under Leopold II., from 1790 to 1792— Leopold's Arrival- 
Petition of the Protestants referred to the Diet — Royal "Resolutions" and their 
Consequences — The Diet — The Seventeen Articles of the United Synod — Deputa- 
tion of the Synod to the Cardinal Primate of Hungary— Sudden Death of the 

When Leopold ascended the throne, the joy of the Roman 
Catholics knew as little bounds as the grief and sorrow of the 
Protestants. The latter feared, the former hoped, everything 
from the change ; for, notwithstanding the Edict of Toleration, the 
prospects of the Protestants were sufficiently dark. The liberties 
which they had of late enjoyed were regarded as mere royal 
bounty, and in the same way as Joseph had granted these privi- 
leges, might his successor withdraw them. Leopold might be 
guided by the same principles as his predecessor, and confirm 
all his just and liberal decisions, but he might once more sweep 
them all away ; and then what would avail the protest, and the 
cry of the oppressed ? 

In this uncertainty, every eye was directed towards him who 
had already earned the character of wisdom and moderation. 
Each party strove to make a good impression on the mind of the 
new king. The Roman Catholics approached him with a detail 
of the claims of their Church, supported by mutilated extracts 
from royal decrees and laws of the land. The Protestants did 
not fail in stating their case as well as circumstances permitted. 
Between the two parties the emperor stood as a rock in the sea, 
unshaken and undaunted. He heard the advice of the few 
faithful men who stood around the throne, and refused to yield 
to the claims of fanaticism. But let the facts speak for them- 

On the 12th of March Leopold arrived from Tuscany, and on 
the 10th of June he held a diet at Ofen. Early in November 
this meeting was transferred to Presburg.. 

2 B 


Meanwhile all the arrangements which Joseph had made 
ceased to be carried out, and fanatics who wished on account of 
the Edict of Toleration to make his name hateful, availed them- 
selves of the opportunity for carrying out their designs. The 
king, however, lost no time in relieving the minds of his 
subjects ; and when the petition from the Protestants reached 
him, it was immediately handed over to the diet, with an 
expression of his earnest desire that the grievances there com- 
plained of should be settled according to the laws of the land and 
the demands of equity. 

According to custom, this petition was handed to a mixed 
commission, and in the course of time reached the diet, the 
proposals having been thrown together in the form of seventeen 

After some fiery debates, it was resolved to send the articles 
to the king, with the request " that he would, of his own 
sovereign will, decide these matters as his own wisdom should 
direct." The emperor accepted of the powers thus vested in him, 
and, on the 7th November, to the dismay of the priests and the 
Roman party, appeared the royal resolutions, based, not on the 
deceitful laws of Leopold and Charles VI., but on the broad 
ground of the Treaties of Vienna and Linz, and the laws and 
resolutions of 1608 and 1647. 

All reasonable and moderate Roman Catholics expressed 
themselves satisfied with the resolutions ; but the joy of the 
Protestants knew no bounds. Three weeks later a vast assembly 
of priests and bishops, at the palace of the Archbishop of 
Kalotsh, gave vent to their indignation, and forwarded a re- 
presentation to the newly-crowned king, complaining of the 
injury thus done to the rights of their Church, and modestly 
requesting that the resolutions should be altered to meet their 
views. The emperor in his reply expressed extreme dissatis- 
faction with the tone adopted by these men ; and when the 
Protestants heard of the matter, they immediately forwarded a 
vote of thanks for his consistent kindness. 

The second series of royal resolutions soon appeared, and now 
came the hot struggle respecting their reception among the laws 
of the land. 

Accustomed to debate, and of naturally warm temperament, 
the Hungarian deputies struggled hard on both sides. From 
the 18th January till the 8th of February, all parliamentary 


tactics were made available for prolonging the discussion. The 
stakes were heavy, for the freedom of conscience of millions, and 
the powers of a hierarchy, were now opposed to each other, and 
Rome or liberty must triumph. 

" Such resolutions as tolerate heresy are directly opposed to 
the fundamental principles of the Roman Catholic religion," 
cried Joseph Boronkay, deputy of Simegh, " and they open the 
floodgates of vice and crime. Besides, Hungary is i Mary's 
kingdom,' and by these articles she would be dethroned, and the 
Queen of Heaven be banished from her dominions. Except the 
clause is inserted, declaring that tlic claims of the Roman Catholic 
Church shall be preserved intact , I vote against the resolution. 11 

Count Illyeshazy, of Trentshin, declared " he had directions 
from his constituents to go to a certain point in granting liberty 
of conscience, but these resolutions go far beyond — he could not 
vote for them." 

The deputy of Baros thought "there was no safety for the 
country except by adopting the 30th article of the Resolutions of 
Charles, in 1715, as a fundamental principle of government." 

On the other side, the first who raised his voice was the 
deputy of Presburg. He declared his willingness to vote for 
the resolutions, " if the Protestants would bind themselves never 
to complain again, nor to ask any more, nor to bring the cause 
of religion ever again before the diet." 

The deputy of Neograd asserted, " they had now no choice 
but to adopt the resolutions of the emperor, for they had volun- 
tarily appointed him umpire ; and it was, then, self-evident that 
the decision of the umpire voluntarily chosen must be binding 
on both parties." 

In speeches full of fire, and breathing the spirit of civil 
and religious liberty, many others poured out torrents of 
eloquence, till the bigoted members of the diet were terrified 
into silence. " The Protestants of both confessions," cried the 
venerated and beloved Count Alays Battyani, — " this we cannot 
deny — have often borne such civil and religious oppression as 
was sufficient to drive them to despair. If they have complained 
to the diet at different times of the unjust and inhuman treat- 
ment received, what else could they do? If the debates were 
long and keen, and the opposition to their just demands bitter, 
who was the cause — they or their adversaries ? Do they not, as 
citizens of our country, breathe the same air? Do they not 


share our burdens, and should they not enjoy the same civil and 
religious liberty as we ? Are these imperial resolutions opposed 
to the principles of the Church of Rome — how much more 
terrible is it to wage war with the first principles of Christianity 
and universal love ! Instead of modifying these resolutions, let 
us at once enter them on our statute books as an irrevocable law." 

Matters appeared favourable for the Protestants, when a 
motion for adjournment to another diet was made, and lost. 
The Archbishop of Kalotsh then objected to the resolutions 
altogether, as involving a decision on ecclesiastical dogmata; 
besides, the emperor had not been unanimously appointed um- 
pire. The archbishop was reminded that majority, not unanimity, 
constitutes a valid decision, upon which the cardinal and imperial 
primate handed in the protest of the clergy. He was tauntingly 
asked why this protest came so late ; why not when it was still 
uncertain towards which side the emperor should incline. If his 
decision had been adverse to the Protestants, would the Eomish 
clergy then have protested against the principle ? 

The notary took down the protest, but it was resolved that it 
should never be made the ground of future proceedings, and was 
declared for ever null and void. 

After such a struggle were the resolutions entered among the 
laws of the land ; the Protestants rejoiced over what had been 
done, for the sharpest weapon had been wrenched out of the 
hand of the foe. Instead of having their privileges dependent 
on the will of the monarch, they were now protected by the laws 
of the land.* 

The preamble of the seventeen articles set forth, that on the 
principles of common justice, for the sake of peace, and in 
accordance with the Treaty of Linz, the following articles shall 
be for all time coming the fixed law of the land : — 

Art. I. Declared that Hungarians of every rank and station, 
wherever they resided, should have the free use of churches, 
schools, bells, and burying-grounds, and should under no pre- 
tence be molested in the exercise of their religion. 

Art. II. Gave liberty to build churches and to hold worship 
where any one thought fit ; only with the condition that the 

* Out of the five hundred and forty-three members of the diet, four 
hundred and fifty-nine voted for the Protestants, and eighty-four for the 
priests. In the assembly, were seventy-eight Koman Catholic clergy who 
had votes. 


size and expense of the new church should be in some proportion 
to the means of the county, and the number of individuals of that 
confession residing in the district. The county courts should 
decide in such cases. So soon as it is shewn that a church or 
school is necessary, the landowner must give the necessary 
ground. The Roman Catholics, however, are not bound to con- 
tribute to the building of Protestant churches, and vice versa. 

Art. III. No one, whether tradesman or not, shall be bound 
to observe any religious ceremony, contrary to the dictates of his 

Art. IV. Referred to the synods and judicatures, and decreed 
that a synod could be held, or a consistory be appointed, where 
the ecclesiastical authorities thought fit ; only, that notice should 
previously be given to the king, of every general assembly of the 
whole Church, and a royal commissioner should be present at 
all these meetings, not as president, but simply as visitor. The 
resolutions of this general synod must first be countersigned by 
the king, before they are binding in law. 

Art. V. Declared that the Protestants had not only the right 
to retain their own schools, but also to found new ones where 
they choose ; only, in case of founding new colleges and high 
schools, the royal consent must first be obtained. Subject to 
royal approbation, they may appoint professors and teachers, 
and prescribe courses of study as they choose. Students shall 
not be prevented from studying at foreign universities, and en- 
joying the bursaries connected with such universities. The 
Protestants have the liberty of printing their own religious 
books, only nothing is to be introduced tending to throw con- 
tempt on the Church of Rome. 

Art. VI. Declared that the Roman Catholic priests can have 
no further claim on the Protestants for dues or fees. 

Art. VII. Gave liberty to the clergy of every denomination to 
visit the members of their own churches ; to visit the sick and 
condemned criminals ; only they should not deliver public ad- 
dresses on such occasions. 

Art. VIII. His creed shall not exclude any one from civil 

Art. IX. The clause " by the Holy Virgin, holy and elect of 
God," should be omitted from the official oath of all Pro- 

Art. X. Declared that under no pretence whatever should 


funds devoted to the support of Protestant churches, schools, 
hospitals, orphans' houses, or colleges, be taken from them or 
from their control. All similar foundations which have been 
unjustly taken from the Protestants during past reigns, should 
be immediately restored. The king should, however, have an 
opportunity of seeing that these funds are devoted to purposes 
according to the wish of the donors. 

Art. XL Each party shall have the right to decide respecting 
marriages and divorces among their own members. The 
marriage of first cousins may be permitted among the Protestants 
without special licence from the king. 

Art. XII. While the Protestants have now for all time coming 
freedom of religious exercise, and perfect liberty to build and to 
hold, in all places, churches, schools, and manses ; to prevent 
disturbance of the peace, actual possession shall for the present 
be a sufficient title to such buildings on both sides. Which- 
ever party shall in future attempt to take possession of a build- 
ing devoted to religious purposes, at present in the hands cf 
either party, shall forfeit and pay the legal fine of six hundred 
Hungarian florins.* 

Art. XIII. As the principles of the Eoman Catholic Church 
forbid any member of that Church passing over to another com- 
munion, it is decreed that all such cases shall be laid before the 
king, and any Protestant attempting to persuade a Eoman 
Catholic to forsake his Church and join the Protestants, shall be 
subject to a heavy fine. 

Art. XIY. These privileges extend only to the Protestants of 
Hungary, consequently the Protestants of Dalmatia, Slavonia, 
and Croatia, shall have no right to purchase immovable property, 
nor to hold any civil office, f If? however, the Protestants in these 
countries can prove that they once possessed certain houses and 
lands, they may apply to the courts of law to have them restored. 
The seven villages in the lower part of Slavonia, occupied 
partly by Lutherans, partly by Calvinists, shall have free 
exercise of their religion ; it shall also be allowable for strangers 

* Act XIV. of the year 1647. 

t And such is the case to this day. If a Protestant sells his house or 
land to a Roman Catholic, he may do so ; but if a Roman Catholic sells 
his property to a Protestant, the sale is held to be illegal. The Protestants 
may, therefore, retain among themselves such houses and lands as they 
possess, but shall not be able to acquire more. 


who are Protestants to settle there, and assist in the mills and 
factories, yet they may not purchase houses, nor rent any 
property belonging to the nobility. 

Art. XV. In mixed marriages, if the father is a Roman 
Catholic, all the children shall be educated in that faith ,* if, 
however, the father be a Protestant, he shall only have the right 
to educate his sons in his own confession. 

Art. XVI. All mixed marriages to be solemnized by the 
Roman Catholic clergy. 

Art. XVII. To avoid scandal, the Protestant shall be obliged 
outwardly to observe all the Roman Catholic holidays j they 
may do what they choose, if without noise, in their own houses ; 
no master, however, dares prevent his Roman Catholic servants 
from attending the public ceremonies of their Church. 

Besides the spirit manifested in these articles, the king shewed 
his sense of justice and regard for the well-being of his Protest- 
ant subjects, by cheerfully allowing them to hold their general 

On the 14th September 1791, the representatives of the four 
hundred and thirty-four Lutheran Churches met in Pesth, and 
were presided over by the worthy Baron Ladislaus Pronay. On 
the same day the representatives of the Reformed Church met at 
Ofen, and chose for their president Count Joseph Teleky. In 
consequence of a proposition of the Reformed Church to that 
effect, a mixed commission of members of both Churches was 
nominated, to digest as speedily as possible some plan by which, 
without interfering with doctrines, a certain unity of action and 
harmony should take place in the form of worship, marriages, 
schools, church revenues, and ecclesiastical discipline. 

The friendly feeling of the sister Churches appeared well at the 
beginning, but soon vanished when the commission handed in 
its report. 

The lay and clerical members had good ground of quarrel in 
the question, whether a pastor should have a right to sit with a 
layman in the president's chair, and also respecting the rights of 
the pastor in church courts. The clergy of both confessions had 
ground of quarrel in the dispute about their confession. The tact 
of the president, and a letter from that distinguished hero Prince 
Josias of Coburg, brought matters more to some degree of quiet. 
It was now resolved, that a general consistory for both Churches 
should meet twice a year at Pesth. A sum of thirty-four thou- 


sand two hundred and fifty florins, for the expenses, was in a few 
minutes subscribed by the wealthier members of the synod, and 
on the 14th October, the minutes of svnod were closed, and sent 
by a deputation to be laid before the king for his approbation. 

The synod also appointed a deputation to wait on the cardinal- 
primate, in the name of the members of their Church, to take a 
final leave of him. The cause was, that this prelate had been 
frequently inviting the more distinguished members of the synod 
to dinner ; and they thought in this way to shew him a mark of 
respect. The primate had, however, been actuated by other 
motives than those of Hungarian hospitality, for he had in the 
meantime prepared the way for preventing the recognition of 
the acts of the synod.* 

While these acts were still unrecognised, to the great distress 
of his Protestant subjects, death suddenly called away this great 
and good emperor. He had, two days before his decease, re- 
ceived a magnificent embassy from the Turkish emperor, and on 
the 28th of February 1792 he was seized with a violent inflam- 
mation, which carried him away. His motto had been, a A 
king's treasure lies in the hearts of his subjects;" and these 
words described the spirit by which he was animated. 

* See Fessler, vol. x. p, 651. 


FRANCIS L, 1792-1835. 


PART FIRST, FROM 1792 TO 1800. 

If we examine the state of the law at this time, in reference to 
the relation between the Protestant Church, and on the one side 
the State, on the other the Roman Catholic Church, there was 
much room left for anxiety and fear. And yet, all that Leopold 
could, with any just regard to the political state of the country, 
give the Protestants, they had received. They hoped, in the 
course of time, to receive a recognition of their former state of 
perfect equality with the Roman Catholics ; and they also hoped, 
by the recognition and approval of the acts of the synod, to 
have a new life imparted to their ecclesiastical movements. This 
hope was not extinguished by the death of their beloved king, 
when they heard his son, Francis I., at his coronation in Ofen, 
on the 6th of June 1792, declare to the States, which approached 
him with the fullest confidence — u That this generous nation 
never would have cause to repent the confidence placed in him ; 
never would he be behind in giving evidence of mutual confi- 

This promise was in a few days glaringly trampled on by the 
executive, for the censorship was enforced in such a manner as 
made the 15th article of the years 1791-92 a dead letter; and 
the power of the censor was now as rigidly enforced as under 
Maria Theresa. 

Still worse was, however, yet in store. The viceregal order 
of 25th September 1792 was published, and a whole sea of evils 
broke over the Protestant Church. 

By this edict, which was in direct opposition to the laws of 


the last diet, the priests were justified in morally compelling the 
Protestant party in mixed marriages to give up the right to the 
education of the children ; and the practice of removing children 
in such cases from the influence of the parents was formally and 
openly approved. It was reckoned a crime to take a child 
which ought thus to be educated in connexion with the Church 
of Kome into a Protestant house of worship, or to give it Pro- 
testant books. The Protestant clergy were required to turn 
Roman Catholics out of their churches, and even the suspicion 
that Protestants were tampering with the faith of the Roman 
Catholics, was to be regarded as evidence against them. 

The cruelties of the French Revolution gave the Roman 
party an opportunity of representing their Church as the only 
bulwark against anarchy. According to them, the Reformation 
was the cause of all the evils in France. They accordingly 
spared no pains to bring matters back to the state in which they 
were previous to Joseph's days. The king was often absent, 
and the palatine seldom attended the sittings of the viceregal 
court, and there was then little to prevent them trying the 
schemes with the law of 1791-92, which had been so successful 
with those of 1608 and 1647. 

They took the opportunity of the king's absence to publish 
the decree of 25th September. But a storm of indignation 
"burst from the counties, with a declaration that the right of 
making new laws is vested with the diet and the king ; and 
that the country cannot be governed by edicts directly opposed 
to the laws of the land; such a decree, they said, could only 
emanate from some evil counsellors around the throne. 

With equal firmness did the Protestants of both Churches 
hand in a protest through Alexander Pronay and Count Teleky, 
on the 7th January 1793, to the king himself. They received 
the most satisfactoiy assurances from his Majesty, who informed 
them that the edict had been published without his knowledge, 
and that he would inquire into the matter. 

The report of the viceregal court of Hungary stated, in reply 
to the king's inquiries, that these edicts respecting mixed 
marriages and proselytism, were necessary as an explanation of 
the 26th article, which was not sufficiently precise on these 

The Protestants declared that, by the first words of the 26th 
article, all the laws made against the Protestants, from the time 


of the Peace of Vienna, were repealed ; and now appeared a new 
edict on the 28th January, cancelling the spurious u royal 
mandate " of 25th September, and directing all the authorities to 
act according to the plain meaning of the 26th article. Many 
causes prevented the Protestants from obtaining much benefit 
from this new decree. In a few years the priests had gained a 
most unbounded influence over the civil authorities, and scarce a 
single point of all the privileges which Leopold II. had guaran- 
teed them now remained over. 

When the king now resolved on holding a diet, in 1796, the 
Protestants hastened to have their complaints prepared to lay 
before the assembly. 

On the 1st February, the Protestant deputies met at Pesth, 
those of the Eeformed Church at the house of Count Eoday, 
and the Lutherans with Privy Counsellor Tehanyi. The com- 
plaints were here examined, and on the following day the two 
commissions met together at the house of the obergespan, 
Count Peter Valagh, where a report and petition were agreed on 
to the king. So soon as the report was ready, it was forwarded 
to Vienna, with directions to the agents to defer its presentation 
till after the acts of the synod of September and October 1791 
had been confirmed.* 

In consequence of this unfortunate resolution, the agents were 
hampered in their operations, being obliged to wait for the con- 
firmation of the acts of the general synod, while the priests were 
going on and becoming bolder in their persecutions. It was not 
till July 1799 that the complaint and petition, occupying sixty 
sheets, was handed to the emperor and circulated among the 
members of the diet. A few extracts will shew us the miserable 
state of the Protestants at that time, and it was not often that 
the emperor's motto, " Justitia regnorum fundamentum," was 
able to protect them. 

After making grateful mention of Joseph and Leopold, the 
petitioners explain that it was their desire not to add to the cares 
which the troublous times had laid on the king's heart, which 
made them bear their sorrows so long ; but they entertain the 
hope that so soon as the facts of their case are laid before his 
Majesty, he will immediately grant relief. 

They complain — 

That the Bishop of Erlau and other priests speak of the 
* They expected every day to receive this ratification. 


Protestants of both confessions as heretics. In the schools the 
children are taught to call the Reformation "the rage of 
Lutheran and Calvinistic heresy, and the fanaticism of re- 
volution." It is therefore evident that the bishops look on the 
Protestants as men whom they have sworn to annihilate, and on 
the profession of the Protestant religion as a crime. 

That, in Ofen and Pesth, Protestant tradesmen have been pre- 
vented from establishing themselves in business for five, or 
indeed for ten years, under the pretence that the trade is over- 
stocked, while Eoman Catholic workmen have had no difficulty 
thrown in their way. 

That the Bishop of Erlau had taken three orphan Protestant 
children out of Harsamy, in the county of Borsad, contrary to 
the wish of their parents, to make them Catholics. Two of the 
children had run away, but the third, being too weak to follow, 
was brought back, and illegally detained. In vain do we appeal 
to the executive for protection. Their regulations to our dis- 
advantage are carried out to the letter, even when contrary to 
law; but when they even wish to do us justice, they are 
prevented by the influence of the priests. "We are therefore in a 
worse position than the Jews, whose children are at least not 
taken from them.* 

That the Protestants in Tornau are refused a grave in the 
common burying-ground, although Joseph had made the most 
definite arrangements on this head in 1788. The magistracy at 
Eaab had refused burial in their graveyard to Protestants from 
Eevfalu. The priest of Nyck had refused to allow the body of 
the landowner, Ladislaus Pagor, to be buried in the very ground 
which he had given for that purpose from his estate j and it was 
only after four days' struggling that the funeral was allowed to 
take place. 

That the pastor of Batisfalva, on going to Teplitz, in the 
county of Zips, to bury a woman, took the opportunity of 
addressing the women that were assembled, on the merits of the 
work of the Lord Jesus as embraced by faith, as the only ground 
of salvation, and he was interrupted by a Eoman Catholic priest, 
who asserted that out of the pale of the Eoman Catholic Church 
there was no salvation, threatening at the same time, that if the 
pastor came out again to preach there, he should be arrested. 

* This passage is said to have provoked the higher clergy ; and their 
creatures at court, to great rage. 


Other pastors were driven away by the priests after they had 
begun the funeral service. 

That in the valley of Puchow in Trentshin, many Roman 
Catholics had, under the reign of Joseph II., obtained leave in 
due course to join the Protestant Church, and had since then 
strictly adhered to it. Since 1792, however, they and their 
children are exposed to every sort of trial. They had sent a 
petition to the king, but as they were not able to pay the 
stamp duty on their petition, it was not presented.* 

While the case of these poor people was still undecided, they 
were driven by force to attend mass, and on resisting were 
thrown into chains ; so that, when the young monarch heard the 
story, he cried, " Will that country not give over its madness ? 
who is here to blame ? the chancellor shall this veiy day have 
orders to have this stopped." f 

Widows fled with their daughters to Vienna to escape persecu- 
tion. The priests went from house to house, and informed where 
young men were to be found who could serve in the army. 
Many promised to join the Church of Pome, and were then not 
bound to serve. Some who were already enlisted obtained 
their freedom again through the influence of the priests, when 
their affianced bride promised to join the Church of Pome. Ex- 
amples were to be seen in Luca. 

In the county Barainy, many of the filial churches were sepa- 
rated from the principal church, and in addition to other evils, 
the pastor was then often so far reduced that he was obliged to 
support himself by farming. 

In Bartfeld and elsewhere the Protestants had been obliged 
to buy ground on which to build church and schools, though 
the law had strictly ordered that the ground should be given 
free. In other places the greatest delay took place in the preli- 
minary investigation of the claims. 

The magistracy of Bartfeld compelled the Protestants to 
assist in building a house for the priest, and the landowner, 
Gabriel Gapy, whipped his tenantry for refusing to do so. When 

* The stamp duty was one florin and three-fourths for each petition ; as 
this petition was signed, however, by many of the peasantry, the court 
demanded this sum for each name attached to it. 

t Letter of the Protestant agent at Vienna, Stephen Yitkowsky, to 
Peter Valagh the general inspector, dated, Vienna, 27th January 1793. 
— Original. 


a complaint was made, he excused himself by saying it was 
reckoned to them instead of work on the roads. 

Many examples were given of unjust taxes levied from Pro- 
testants because of their religion ; of mothers compelled to pre- 
sent themselves before the priest to be churched ; office-bearers 
were taken to the Roman Catholic church there to be sworn ; 
miners had money deducted from their wages to pay for wax 
candles for Mary and the saints ; Protestant tradesmen were , 
sent out of Raab, and Roman Catholics were allowed to remain 
and work. Children playing in the churchyard had broken the 
nose of an image in the church with a stone, and for this the 
Protestants must pay forty florins, for which the priest gave them 
a receipt. 

The title " Right Reverend/' as attached to the names of the 
Protestant superintendents, was erased out of the county books at 
Saros. In some parishes, licences were demanded from the 
Roman Catholic bishops, to enable the Protestants to get married, 
contrary to the clear letter of the law. The Protestants should 
have their own censors, but now a royal censor was placed over 
them. The Protestants should have had assistance from the 
county funds for building and repairing their churches, according 
to law, but they sometimes obtained nothing, at other times very 
little, while the Roman Catholic priests often obtained more 
annually than the amount of the entire taxes paid by the Roman 
Catholics of the parish. 

Taxes mid bv Paid for the su PP ort 

xaxes paid .oy f Romau Catholic 

Roman Catholics. Religion. 

In Schemnitz, 3371 Florins. 4823 Florins. 

„ Bakabanya, 681 „ 713 „ 

„ Kasmark, 943 „ 2186 „ 

„ Libethanya, 111 ., 376 ,, 

In Debrecsin, the Roman Catholics paid taxes amounting to 
one thousand four hundred and eighty-six florins, and the 
Reformed, fifty-two thousand and twenty-seven florins ; but the 
Roman Catholic professors received of this money seven hundred 
and sixty-six florins, and the Protestant professors only nine 
hundred and six florins. 

In Torok, St Nicolas, the Roman Catholics numbered three 
hundred, and the Protestants six hundred inhabitants, but at the 
military conscription the Protestants were obliged to furnish four 
times as many soldiers as the Roman Catholics. 


The priests demanded baptismal dues from the parents of 
children baptized in the Protestant Church, and for any acts 
which they compelled Protestants to receive at their hands, 
they charged a higher fee than Roman Catholics were obliged to 

In Hunsdorf, a soldier's wife was taken very ill on the march, 
and the priest insisted on administering the communion. She 
refused to accept it, and on the following day, while quite uncon- 
scious, the priest forced the wafer into her mouth. After a few 
days the patient recovered a little, and sent for the Protestant 
pastor, but on hearing the circumstances, he dared not interfere ; 
and the poor woman died in a few days in great distress of mind, 
and was buried according to the rites of the Roman Catholic 

The aged widow of Stephen Berzewitzi, for nearly a century 
a zealous Protestant, asked in vain for a Protestant pastor to 
visit her on her death-bed. Her nephew brought the priest, and 
against her will, the wafer was thrust into her mouth.* 

Innumerable cases had occurred in which Protestants were 
excluded from office ; if admitted, were obliged to swear by the 
Holy Virgin and the Saints ; Protestant funds, as in Yanos, in 
Com or county, taken from them and handed to the Roman 
Catholics ; mixed marriages solemnised without consulting the 
Protestant pastor. 

In Valencye, when a pastor removed to another county, the 
landowner took possession of his manse, and surrendered the 
key only when compelled by the highest courts of the land. 

Those who wished to join the Protestant Church were sub- 
jected to incredible annoyances. The law said that the priest 
should have six weeks to instruct those intending to leave the 
Chmch, and, if he in that time could not persuade them to 
change their resolution, they might then be publicly received 
into the Protestant Church. 

Catherine Fessmaier and Catharine Grinya, however, after 
attending the priest twice a day for three weeks, without mani- 

* She was then regarded as being made Catholic. The petitioners ex- 
pressed their fear that it would one day go so far as in the case of Caspar 
Dubroway, whose body was, by a sentence of the county court of Trent- 
shin, taken out of the earth and burned, because the wafer which was put 
into the mouth of the dying man to make him a Catholic had fallen out. 
This sentence was confirmed by the Superior Court of Hungary, on the 
14th September 1727. 


festing any inclination to remain in the Church of Borne, were 
then dismissed, and by the assistance of the magistrate, who 
gave in a false certificate, they were detained six years before 
they conld obtain leave to shake off the ceremonies of a Church 
which they abhorred. 

In the village Papkessi, in Wesprim, Paul Harvath. with his 
wife, were accused by the archdeacons of an intention to leave 
the Church of Rome. On the 4th February 1794 he appeared 
before the county court, pleaded guilty to the charge, and asked 
leave to enter on his " six weeks' instruction." The county court 
decided not to grant his petition, because the court presumed 
that it was only laziness and dislike to the ceremonies which 
induced him to make the request. His infant children were now 
taken from him, and taken to the vicar. On the 21st July he 
presented his petition to the king, stating that he could not 
worship God in a church filled with images, and begged to be 
allowed the "six weeks 1 instruction." The petition came as 
usual to the viceregal court of Hungary, and now an investiga- 
tion was instituted " whether the expression respecting the 
worshipping of images was his own." Harvath declared that 
he had dictated the words, and expressed his determination to 
abide by the petition. The court ordered that he should be in- 
structed respecting the honour due to images. Harvath obeyed, 
and went to the bishop. The bishop refused to instruct him, 
and sent him to the vicar; the vicar had no time to attend to 
him, and sent him to a parish priest, from whom he received a 
book " on the worship of saints," and after reading it, he de- 
clared his opinions not to be altered. The priest told him that 
this instruction did not at all warrant him in leaving his Church, 
upon which, he once more petitioned the king in January 1795, 
but nothing further came from it, than an order not to allow 
him and other Catholics to leave their Church. In 1797 the 
matter still stood in the same way. 

In the same manner were Stephen Stigeti and his wife de- 
tained upwards of six years, before they obtained what the law 
of the land declared to be then right, after they had given six 
weeks' notice. 

In the county Beregh, the judge, Bornemissa, directed two 
men to be soundly flogged, because they persevered in their 
determination to leave the Greek Church. The names of the 
men so treated, were George Fajoh and Andrew Metzoe. 


Martin Holoma had become Protestant, and the priest of Csek- 
bryswa in Neograd invited the son to his house, kept him 
several days, and promised him money if he would turn back. 
Martin came to bring away his son, but the priest directed an 
official to give him twelve strokes with a stick and send him 
home. The Protestants begged that this priest might be 

The annoyances which parents had to endure for the sake of 
their children, made them glad to emigrate to other districts 
to obtain peace. 

The daughter of a Protestant widow, named Catharine Sputs, 
had in her twentieth year, contrary to the wish of the mother, 
publicly declared that she was willing to many Joseph Kowacs, 
a Roman Catholic youth. After some time she repented what 
she had done, and, for the sake of breaking off the connexion, 
removed to relatives residing in another county. The priest, 
now, on his own responsibility, had her brought back by a com- 
pany of dragoons, and kept her in his own house till she became 
a Roman Catholic. When he had brought matters thus far, he 
went a step further, and, contrary to the girl's own wish, and 
contrary to the wish of her mother, he married her to the young 

The daughter of the superior judge Thomas Titany wished 
to escape from her father's house, and place herself under other 
protection, and she found in the parish priest the willing accom- 
plice of her flight ; for, representing her as having become Roman 
Catholic, he claimed, in the name of the Church, the right of 
removing her from her Protestant parents. The king expressed 
his extreme dissatisfaction with the proceeding, and the Pro- 
testants took the opportunity of requesting him to issue a 
resolution by which not only that individual case should be 
regulated, but also the whole country might be protected from 
similar occurrences. 

In the mixed marriages, if the mother was Protestant, she 
had no claim on any of the children; if the father, however, 
belonged to the Protestant Church, he might demand the right of 
educating his sons in his own faith. The priests knew, however, 
that by a little well-timed zeal in these cases, they had the best 
chance of advancement, and they therefore seldom lost an 
opportunity of at least attempting to persuade or compel the 
father in such cases to waive his right. The means employed 



to gain their end were never too scrupulously chosen. If tne 
bridegroom could not read, he was generally directed to sign the 
paper with " his mark." and was informed that this paper m; le 
np a part of the marriage ceremony. In the course of time it 
tinned out that the paper had been a surrender of his paternal 
right of the education of his sons in the Protestant faith. One 
John Puckla was seized on the street by order of the priest of 
Bunsdorf, and led away to prison, for having neglected to 
observe a contract thus signed: and it was only after he was 
in the prison, that he learned for the first time that he had 
signed such a paper.* 

In the case of illegitimate children, the Protestants petitioned 
that they might be left in the care of their mother, and be edu- 
cated in her Church, except in eases where at baptism the father 
publicly acknowledges the child. 

Notwithstanding that the Protestants were bound by lav, 
only in so far to observe the holidays as not to disturb the 
Pionian Catholics, or prevent them from enjoying their religious 
exercises on those days — that is. though the law was only nega- 
tively bin 'ding — yet they were often compelled by the priests 
to take a positive part in the observance of saints' days. 

Though the king had. in 1793, given a full and satisfactory 
explanation of the meaning of the law respecting holidays, and 
had informed all the authorities that the Protestants were not 
bound further than merely that they should not disturb their 
Banian Catholic neighbours : yet cases occurred of persons being 

* As a specimen of the contents of such papers, we select one case out 
of the records of the county of Thurotz. It appeals from the legal evi- 
dence presented there, that a butcher, named Diera, had signed a paper 
previous to his marriage, declaring. u that though he would not change km 
own religion, yet he hereby surrendered all his children to the Church out 
of which is no salvation. And if he should even attempt to instruct any 
one of his children in the Lutheran heresy, he hereby binds himself to pay 
to the parish priest of St Mihaly, for each such child, the sum of five hun- 
dred florins, or sit a year in prison, and receive one hundred lashes. 
Farther, for every child which, on attaining its seventh year, neglected 
confession to the priest, he should pay one hundred dollars. Free every 
time that he detained his wife from attending mass, he should pay twelve 
florins, or receive twenty-four lashes, and he hereby surrendered all right 
of complaint or appeal against this punishment.' 1 It is quite clear that a 
man in a sober state would scarcely have signed such a paper, and far less 
a man who declared that he tea* resolved not to change ku 


summoned before the magistrates, and fined, for cutting grass 
for their cattle on such days. 

Some of the bishops, such as he of Erlau, had published the 
royal edict, requiring the Protestants to abstain from noisy and 
public labours on those days ; but they had forgotten to publish 
the other edict declaring in how far the Protestants were not 
bound by them. 

This memorable petition closed with the request that the king 
would not delay the remedy, under the plea of gaining time to 
examine the individual cases, but that he would take the 
Protestant Chmch under his protection, and afford her shelter 
from the crying injustice of her enemies. 



HUNGARY, 1792-1800. 

Before accompanying the Church farther in her contests with 
outward foes, let us take a glance at her own inward state during 
the first years of the reign of Francis I. 

The libertine spirit which had shewn itself in France, was 
every day spreading among the masses in Hungary also. 
Life and property were becoming more and more insecure. 
Especially in the county of Heves, matters were so far gone, 
that the authorities applied to the clergy, requesting them to 
instruct their people in their duty as citizens, and, on account of 
the times, to omit all the dry orthodox or the polemical doc- 
trines which had hitherto chiefly occupied their time.* 

But many of the Protestant clergy were themselves in a very 
unsatisfactory state. The religious and civil liberty which the 
Protestants had just obtained, was not in all cases wisely 
employed. There were so many new churches, that it was im- 
possible to obtain educated men to become pastors, and many 
who had scarcely even a good common education, were appointed 
to the pastoral office. Among these were many blinded zealots, 
and men devoid of true faith, but who stood so much the higher 
in their own esteem. These men soon quarrelled with their con- 
gregations, with their schoolmasters, with the neighbouring 
priests, and with the authorities, and from their ignorance 
generally put themselves in the wrong. 

In the schools, matters were not much better. In the whole 
kingdom was not a single institution for training schoolmasters ; 
and the consequence was, that it was generally youths of sixteen 
to eighteen years of age who were appointed to this responsible 
office, and who looked on it merely as a stepping-stone to some- 
thing else. Many of these young men were devoid of fixed 
* County laws of Pyula, 10th September 1795. 


religious principle, and, as might be expected, knew little of the 
philosophy of education. Besides, it was only the children of 
very poor parents who became schoolmasters ; those who had 
worldly means strove to attain to the honour of the pastoral office. 

In addition to all these evils, was still one more. Some of 
the school-inspectors, or of the elders of the churches who hap- 
pened to be men of property, thought themselves freed from the 
necessity of consulting the wishes of pastor or schoolmaster, or 
church, but took the liberty of carrying out their own uncon- 
trolled wish. An example of this we find in Paul Moskavitsh, 
who, without consulting the superintendent of the district beyond 
the Danube, or any of the deputies of the churches, with the 
assistance of a few pastors who were thoroughly devoted to him, 
held a visitation, and made such alterations in the churches as he 
himself thought fit. Such men sometimes did good, by at once 
removing crying grievances ; but the consequence was a long- 
continued bitter feeling on the part of the properly-constituted 
ecclesiastical authorities. The government was much to blame, 
that the acts of the Synod of 1791 had never been confirmed; 
and as a substitute, it was found necessary in some counties, as 
Neograd, to draw up a special code of discipline, as a provisional 
basis of church government, till the acts of the synod should 
have been ratified. These provisional codes were, however, not 
sufficient for all cases, and, still worse, they interfered with that 
unity of spirit and of action which the synod had striven to 
introduce. Many of the sub-districts refused to pay their share 
of the general expenses, and some of the filial churches separated 
from the parish churches. 

The Reformed Church has something more satisfactory to 
record respecting this period. 

The college at Papa was founded about this time, in the year 
1797, and from all sides great sacrifices were made for the sake 
of rendering it efficient. 

It was also about this time, and chiefly by the efforts of 
Count Grady, that the Reformed Church of Pesth was formed, 
notwithstanding the difficulties which were encountered in 
obtaining ground and the legal concession. The four super- 
intendents brought considerable sums together, and in the year 
1800 the church was fully organised. Liberal was the support 
which was sent to the Gymnasium of Yasarhely at the request 
of the professors ; for five hundred young men had just come from 


Saros Patar to study, and many of them were in very needy 
circumstances ; besides, the buildings were in much need of 

Not less important was the new edition of the Bible which 
the chancellor, Count Teleky, had got prepared in Utrecht, and 
when it had succeeded in crossing the frontier, was handed over 
to the four Reformed superintendents, to be sold in then diocese 
at a very low price.* 

There were at this time many meetings in larger and smaller 
ecclesiastical circles ; but unfortunately, at these meetings, there 
was more said about recruits for the army, and about the pay- 
ment of the clergy, than about the inward life of the Church. 
The king was obliged to join the army in person to watch over 
the movements of Napoleon; and we find in one of these 
synodical meetings, that a day of special prayer was appointed 
for seeking a blessing on the royal army, and praying for pro- 
tection for the person of the sovereign. 

* The superintendent on the Danube received one thousand nine hundred 
and seventy-live copies, whence we may infer that the edition was eight 
thousand. At that time a Hungarian Bible cost four florins, though now, 
thanks to the Bible Society, it costs only one. 



Fruitless Petitions of the Protestants — John Arban imprisoned — The command to 
keep Roman Catholics out of the Protestant Churches — Confiscation of London 
Bibles — Little Warfare of the Priests — A Deputation to Vienna — The Palatine 
Joseph's Audience in Vienna — Metternich and the Ministry. 

With the death of the Primate Cardinal Bathyani, the hopes of 
the Protestants became greater ; they lost no time, on the return 
of the emperor from the camp, in laying their case before him. 
Though the deputy at Vienna had renewed their petitions in 
1803, 1804, 1806, still pretexts were found to leave them with- 
out relief. 

In the year 1802 we find a man named John Arban im- 
prisoned, because his mother, having been a member of the Re- 
formed Church, had joined the Church of Rome, and he refused 
to accompany her. When he petitioned the king for redress, his 
request was refused, under the pretence that he had been a 
Catholic, and had turned without the usual forms. 

The case came back to be tried, and he was condemned to four 
weeks' close confinement, u for his obstinacy and indifference to the 
claims of the Churchy* 

In 1804 a new order appeared, requiring the Protestant pastors 
on no account to suffer a Roman Catholic to be present at their 
services. The cause of this decree was, that very many conver- 
sions were taking place in Zemplin, and as the law forbade any 
one, under heavy penalties, " inducing or encouraging a Roman 
Catholic to leave his Church, the priests thought they could give 
the law such an interpretation, and thus change the Protestant 

* While in prison, he was taken under the " six weeks' instruction " by 
priest Baloghi, but, as the priest soon died, his certificate was not re- 
ceived. In 1810 this poor man offered himself again for instruction, that 
he might have leave to join the Eeformed Church ; but theD, and in 1811 
and 1814, his petition was rejected under peculiarly aggravated circum- 


clergy into Papal body-guards, to prevent the Eoman Catholics 
from even hearing the gospel. 

The superintendents of both churches held a meeting in 
Pesth respecting this order, and prepared a representation to the 
king, stating, that as gospel ministers, they were bound to 
"preach the gospel to every creature," and could not therefore 
obey this edict. If the Koman Catholics must be kept away 
from Protestant churches, the king must contrive some other 
plan of doing so, and not lay the obligation on the pastors to 
exclude them. It was at the same time resolved to draw up a 
list of the grievances since 1793 which had as yet not been healed, 
and present them to the king with the expectation of justice. 

In the midst of the tumults of war this representation was 
disregarded ; and in 1806 a new edict appeared, directing that 
all whom the priests claimed as members of their Church, and 
who had been married by Protestant pastors, should be once 
more married by the priest. 

Some of the counties now took up the cause of the Protest- 
ants with warmth. On 16th December 1806, the authorities of 
Thurotz sent such a representation on the subject, that they 
called down on themselves the royal displeasure. Other counties 
brought forward authentic evidence that the edict was contrary 
to the Eoman Catholic Church. It was all in vain. The edict 
was even after a few years renewed. 

The systematic plan for reducing the numbers of the Protest- 
ants appeared now in shape of paternal care for the education 
of the children, which meant that the youth should be sent to 
Eoman Catholic schools.* 

This was the severest cut of all; for the Protestants had 
fancied themselves in this respect so fortified by the clear letter 
of the law, that no attack, even of Eome's heaviest artillery, 
could reach them. The executive power, however, acted as if 
the whole matter were settled, and demanded merely from the 
Protestants, within twelve months, an expression of their readi- 
ness to send their children to the Eoman Catholic schools. The 
eight superintendents met and resolved that a general council or 
mixed commission should be held at Pesth, to devise means of 
escape from the threatened evil ; but, before that meeting could 

* The Protestants had been working already for two years at a plan for 
the improvement of their schools, and this makes the steps of the govern- 
ment the more extraordinary. 


be held, a prohibition was issued, and they were forbidden to 
discuss the matter any further. 

The next blow was the confiscation of seven hundred Bibles 
of the British and Foreign Bible Society. The palatine had 
written to the magistracy of Presburg, and especially to the 
vice-gespan or deputy-lieutenant, Mailath, directing him to 
ascertain from the professors in what relation they stood to the 
British and Foreign Bible Society, how many Bibles they had 
obtained, in whose hands these were at that time, and how much 
money they had in their hands for the Bible cause. The pro- 
fessors were obliged to send all their letters and books for 
inspection, hoping that their Bibles would soon be restored. 

"While this was going on, the priests were not slow in carrying 
forward their guerilla warfare. They continued, under one pre- 
tence or other, to bring the Protestants to the payment of their 
dues. In Michelsdorf and Mattherz, the oppression of the priests 
had been very heavy, and the appeals so fruitless, that the Pro- 
testants wrote to the inspector-general — " After thirteen years 
of patient endurance, under incredible oppression and expense, 
and after trying many plans to obtain redress, we find ourselves 
as far as ever from obtaining what the clear letter of the law 
guarantees as our right." 

These circumstances induced the councillor and district- 
inspector, Bersewitzy, to write his book, entitled, The Present 
State of the Protestants in Hungary* He had good reasons for 
writing. He was not only urged to it by friends, but he had 
also learned by experience that there were Jesuits in long and in 
short coats, who were trying at court to misrepresent the Pro- 
testants. It was not only said that all Protestants are ipso facto 
rebels, but, also, that the Hungarian Protestants were so in a 
special manner. It was added that they had even altered their 
symbolical books; and that was very true, for, if they had 
retained the expressions, " the Babylonian Harlot," " Anti- 
christ," and the other names applied to Borne, they would never 
have obtained leave to print their Confession of Faith. 

Only one remedy remained open, and even that afforded little 
hope. The Protestants were ready, however, to grasp even at a 
straw, and accordingly a deputation was sent to Vienna to the 
imperial throne. 

* Nachricten tiber den jetzigen Zustand der Evangelischen in Ungarn. 
Leipzig, 1822. 


A resolution had already been passed, in the year 1816, that 
two deputies from the sister Churches should remain constantly at 
Vienna till such time as they succeeded in obtaining an audience 
of the emperor. They should also try to influence the ministry 
to prevent such men being appointed judges in religious matters 
as were themselves a party concerned in the dispute ; but that 
the spirit of the Treaty of Linz should in this respect fully be 
carried out. The great European transactions of the time, how- 
ever, prevented anything being done in this case till the year 

In April, a deputation, consisting of Privy-Councillor Peter 
Balogh, general inspector of the Lutheran Church, and Count 
Ladislaus Teleky, of the Eeformed Church, proceeded to Vienna. 
They considered it, however, prudent to inform the palatine of 
their journey and its objects, and to attempt to gain his influence 
on their side. They accordingly waited on him, and represented 
how the 26th article of the year 1791-92 was habitually dis- 
regarded almost in every point; how in many respects the 
Protestants were worse situated now than under Maria Theresa ; 
how children were literally stolen from their parents by priestly 
influence, and sent to distant counties ; and that many parents 
were reduced to beggary by the steps which they had been 
obliged to take to regain their own offspring. Though in- 
dividuals had from their infancy been notoriously members of an 
evangelical church, still, if the priest asserted the contrary, this 
assertion gave him almost unlimited control over the parties con- 
cerned. The difficulties thrown in the way of those who wished 
to join the Protestant Church were so great as to render the 
step in most cases impossible. Those who announced their 
intention of doing so, were frequently subjected to corporal 
punishment, because, it was said, they obstinately resisted the will 
of the supreme rulers* The deputation complained further, that 
Protestants were very seldom admitted to civil offices,- that to 
accept of Bibles from the British and Foreign Bible Society had 
been reckoned a crime ; and that to this day the acts of the 
Synod were, to the great detriment of the Protestant Church, not 
yet confirmed by the emperor. 

The deputation stated these and many other grievances with 

* Not of the Supreme Ruler, for it was taken for granted that no man 
had the right of private judgment, but must implicitly cringe to Rome and 
her creatures. 


firmness, but at the same time with becoming respect ; and the 
palatine, having heard their story in silence, promised to rise his 
influence in their favour. The deputation took their leave with 
the request that the palatine would not suffer out of the one 
kingdom two to arise, namely, a Protestant and a Roman Catholic 

Arrived in Vienna, the deputation had little difficulty in being 
introduced to the emperor, who received them with all possible 
civility. They congratulated him on his success and glory in 
the late wars ; expressed the desire of the Protestants, that his 
throne might long be firmly established, and then proceeded to 
open their case. They had never, they said, once imagined 
that the emperor had any part in the injustice which they were 
obliged to suffer, but they would simply request that the juris- 
diction in their case should be taken out of the hands of those 
who were at the same time accusers and judges, and that the 
emperor would be pleased to order that the spirit of the Treaty 
of Linz be in all points carried out. 

The emperor replied that he did not hate any one on account 
of his religion, if he only adhered firmly to the principles which 
he professed ; but he neither could nor would tolerate sectarians. 
He esteemed the Protestants of Germany, but in Hungary they 
were driving the Roman Catholics out of all the civil offices.* 

The deputation brought forward documents shewing that in 
the Hungarian chamber, among all the office-bearers, was only 
one Protestant secretary ; in the viceregal court were twenty-five 
councillors, of whom only one was Protestant ; of the twenty-two 
judges of the septemviral table, only four, and of all the judges 
of the district table, only three, were Protestants ; of the fifty- 
three lieutenants and deputy-lieutenants of counties, all but five 
were Roman Catholics. 

" We observe," remarked the emperor, " that the Protestants 
prefer always having their affairs settled by the German 
ministers, and perhaps they are more impartial. Among the 
Hungarians are very worthy men, but they like to make the 
throne yield." The deputation took the opportunity of request- 
ing to have the acts of the Synod confirmed. 

In reference to the confiscation of the Bibles, the emperor re- 
marked that too much reading in these books was dangerous to 

* One sees how the priests had misinformed the emperor for the sake of 
blackening the Protestants. 


the stability of the state. " The Protestants of both confessions 
in Germany don't believe anything. Wherefore, the leading 
men, as they find no comfort in their own system, are turning 
back to the Church of Borne." 

The deputation remarked that they had no knowledge of such 
a state of things ; besides, infidelity is not a fruit of Protestant- 
ism, but of the corrupt natural state of man. In France, and 
even Italy, were hosts of infidels, and no one ascribed this to 
the working of the Church of Rome, but to the natural heart. 

The conversation now turned on political and family matters, 
and the deputation were dismissed with the impression that the 
emperor really wished to see justice done. 

It was some days before the deputation could be admitted to 
see the Chancellor Metternich ; but when the appointed time 
came, they saluted him as the prince who had the chief merits 
of the glorious Peace. They then pointed out the bearing of that 
Peace on the Protestants of Hungary, and declared that justice 
never could be done so long as the same parties were accusers 
and judges. They laid stress on the fact that, while the sons of 
the Protestants were out of all proportion the majority in the 
army, and in the labours for the defence of the country,* yet, in 
the enjoyment of the state offices, f they were represented only 
in the ratio of one to two hundred. 

The deputation went on to shew how the children of mixed 
marriages were taken by force from their parents, and removed 
to distant counties; how the fact of a person's grandfather 
having been a Roman Catholic, was made a pretext for summon- 
ing him, involving him in heavy expense; and, if already 
married, he was compelled to be married again by the priest — 
which, they said, was contrary to the canons of the Roman 
Catholic Church, and in former periods was quite unknown. 

Prince Metternich replied that he could assure them, on his 
honour, that persecution or intolerance towards those who dis- 
sented from the Church of Rome was neither the wish of his 
Majesty nor did it lie in the character of the government. He 
acknowledged the advantages of Protestantism, and especially 
that it was much more advantageous to the rulers than Popery, 
which is still maintaining a State within a State. He acknow- 

* The lower nobility are chiefly Protestant, and in the time of Napoleon, 
they were obliged to take arms. 

f None but noblemen were admissible to these offices. 


ledged that the Protestants in Hungary were suffering great 
injustice ; but it was exceedingly difficult to find a remedy , for 
the royal decrees met with so many obstacles, that they did not 
always produce the effect which was intended. He remarked 
that though this was not his special department, yet he would 
not fail to urge on his Majesty the necessity of seeing justice 
done to the Protestants. 

The deputation left this powerful minister with high hopes, 
and proceeded to wait on the others who had influence over the 
affairs of the Protestants. Each one tried to shift the blame 
from himself, and made promises for the future ; but the deputa- 
tion laid little stress on the smooth words of hope.* 

* Report of the privy councillor Peter Balogh, MS. ; Gen. Conv. Archives, 
Balogh, Fasc. xii. No. 106. 



The Inner Life of the Church — Attempts to Improve the State of the Schools — The 
Famine — Legacies — Support of the Preachers — Ecclesiastical Authority and Order 
decay — Attempts to get up a School Fund and a Periodical — The Bible Society — 
Preparations for the Reformation Jubilee. 

A new and vigorous effort was now made in favour of the 
schools. The general inspector, Peter Balogh, issued an ener- 
getic appeal to the four Lutheran superintendents, urging them 
to greater diligence in enforcing more attention to the study of 
the Hungarian language and of theology. And the appeal was 
not made in vain. 

Hitherto the troubles from without had prevented the Pro- 
testants carrying out any fixed system of education in all their 
schools, but a commission was now given by the four Lutheran 
superintendents to the" professors Schwardtner and Shadius, of 
Pesth, to prepare a plan which might be expected to meet the 
approbation of the two sister Churches. 

When these men, however, had fulfilled their commission, 
there arose peculiar difficulties in the practical working. Some 
wished to have a gymnasium in every seniorate ; others thought 
it enough to have one in every district.* Some wished to have 
universities established ; others only academies for both Churches 
united; and these to be erected at Presburg and Debrecsin. 
Some wished the members of the Greek Church to be also ad- 
mitted. Some wished the German, and some the Hungarian 
language to be chiefly used. 

Want of harmony, and a regard for private and local in- 
terests, prevented the Protestants coming to any very favourable 
results, till an intimation was given that the government was 
about to require them to adopt the system at present in force in 
the Roman Catholic schools. 

* Including several of the former. 


A time of severe trial soon broke loose on Hungary, and tlie 
schools experienced the withering blast. The government had 
been so much exhausted by the war, that it was obliged to be- 
come bankrupt ; and the value of the circulating money was at 
once diminished by sixty per cent. The panic made the actual 
loss still greater. Then came the terrible years of famine, which 
are still remembered with horror. The salaries of the pro- 
fessors remaining nominally the same, were actually only two- 
fifths of their former value, and the great number of poor 
students who required to be supported by benevolent contribu- 
tions, not only suffered the greatest hardships, but lay on the 
professors as a burden too great to be borne. 

But as the dark night brings out the stars, and as troublous 
times make us acquainted with new friends, so did these weeks 
and months of trial bring out an amount of generosity and a 
depth of interest before unknown. Kich legacies came pouring 
in. One from Baron Calisius amounted to forty thousand 
florins, which was designed for the academy at Presburg. The 
general inspector, also, in addition to his own liberal donations, 
wrote to many of the wealthy families in the land, to the 
superintendents and seniors, appealing for assistance; and the 
result was, that many thousands of florins were subscribed, and 
provisions were sent to the schools for the support of the young 

Many others followed the noble example of the inspector. 
Some paid off old debts which lay heavy on the schools ; others 
provided bursaries ; others sent money or food ; till it was 
soon found that what the bankruptcy of the state had cost them 
was nearly all made up again by the private contributions of 
their own members.* 

The country pastors were in a much better state than the 
professors and pastors in towns. In the country it was customary 
to pay the pastor in fruits and produce of the farm. As the 
quantity was fixed, and the price so enormously high, many 
country pastors tinned it to good account for the benefit of their 

* In the famine of 1806, there were one hundred and three students 
supported at Presburg. The income for the year was two thousand one 
hundred and ninety florins, and the expense five thousand three hundred 
and forty-five. The deficit was afterwards paid by the voluntary contribu 
tions of friends. 


It was, however, subject of deep regret that the Church was 
still sinking in its value as a Church of Christ. Many congre- 
gations neglected to follow the acts of the Synod, which would 
have given unity and life to their operations ; forgetting that the 
circumstance of the emperor not having confirmed these acts, did 
not make them lose then: innate worth or their ecclesiastical 
authority, whatever influence this omission might have on those 
out of the pale of the Church. It was forgotten that the acts 
were ecclesiastically binding, though not in the eye of the civil 

Strange suicidal acts of insubordination occurred. A lay sub- 
inspector, John Fejas, held a visitation of the district without 
consulting the senior or any of the clergy, made arrangements to 
please himself, and even accused one of the pastors before the 
Roman Catholic bishop. The whole district was excited, and 
the war between the clergy and the wealthy laity waxed very 

In the year 1807, a nobleman in Szanto horsewhipped the 
pastor in the open streets, in broad day-light. A few years 
later, another pastor, John Suska, of Udvarnor, was treated in a 
similar way, because he had brought to light a system of 
dishonesty by which the nobleman had been appropriating to 
himself some of the income of the Protestant Church. 

In the Lutheran Church some of the pastors were forcibly 
expelled without any reason assigned ; and in the Reformed 
Church such matters occurred, though less frequently, for the 
congregation had the right of dismissing the pastor on every 
new year's day if he did not comply with their wishes. Many 
a worthy man was thus hampered in his work, or made to cringe 
before his wealthy parishioners. 

If each nobleman and wealthy or influential person did as he 
chose in the different parishes, it naturally follows that the 
decrees of the constituted authorities met with little respect ; and 
it was in vain to attempt to introduce unity of action. A general 
meeting was held at Pesth, in 1811, to consult about a new 
school fund; but the diocese beyond the Danube not only did 
not appear, but even sent in to the government its own views 
on the subject, as if it were a separate independent body. 

In the public discussions there was no mutual confidence, no 
deference to the wishes of others, and therefore no good results 
came out of them. 


Why should we record the plans proposed for establishing a 
theological institution at Vienna, or a printing press, or a 
periodical for the interests of the whole Church ? These schemes 
all perished for want of union. 

Many congregations refused to pay the sums for which they 
were morally bound. They ceased to send in their contributions 
for the support of the publicly recognised agents of the Church. 

In the midst of all these confusions and heart-burnings, a 
happy period was approaching, which, if properly improved, 
should heal all dissension, and renew the vigour of the whole 
Church. The jubilee of the Keformation was approaching. 
What a summons to self-examination lay in that word! — to 
call up the memories of the Lord's goodness in the past; to 
unite the scattered and disjointed members of the Church ; in one 
word, to renew the spiritual union of the members with one 
another, and with the Great Head, Jesus Christ. 

As a preparation for the jubilee, the British and Foreign 
Bible Society sent a new grant of five hundred Hungarian 
Bibles, and, besides, a very considerable sum of money for print- 
ing a new edition of a Slavonian New Testament. 

Both of the sister Churches were called on to make exertions 
to celebrate the jubilee in a worthy manner. It was the proper 
time for gather