Adding to and Taking From Perfection

16th to 18th Centuries
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(a)      All green  passages refer to objections made by "protestors" (protestants) to the changes in doctrine and methods                 
(this includes translations of the Bible into the local common language)

(b)       All blue passages refer to the INTRODUCTION or the formal ORDAINING
of a particular change in doctrine from the 1st century.

(c)       All red passages refer to persecutions for protesting.

(d)       All brown centered poetry are familiar hymns
written during time of persecution.
                          16th Century (cont)

Back in Paris in 1534, Frenchman John Calvin had gone through a conversion experience that broke him away from the Roman Church.  
The following year, while living briefly in Italy, he wrote The Institutes of the Christian Religion which is still referred to today.  He settled in
Geneva, Switzerland, where he organized the church with
four types of officers:  Pastors who heard all cases of church discipline, elders
who visited all families, deacons, and teachers.    

Through the next 30 years, he taught that everyone has been predestined by God whether they are to be saved, Jesus died only for the
saved, people cannot resist the Spirit if they were called to be saved, they cannot fall from grace.  Those who followed Calvin in various
areas of Europe were called French Reformed, Dutch Reformed, German Reformed, Swiss Reformed, and Hungarian Reformed.  

In 1547, to counter-attack the movement toward people reading the Bible for themselves and breaking away from the mainline Roman
Church despite hideous tortures and deaths, the Catholic Council of Trent was called.  Many major decisions were made at this Council.  

It was declared that the Scripture and Church Tradition were equally valid sources of religious truth, and the Catholic Church had the sole
right to interpret the Scriptures.   


They listed which books should be included in the Old and New Testament, including several that were not previously admitted and which
today Protestants still do not admit.  This had already been done centuries earlier, but they made it official this time in an effort to regain
control of the scriptures which they now declared exclusively under the power of the Roman Church.  

                                                       SEVERAL NOT ACCEPTED BY PROTESTANTS

They also declared the Latin translation from the Greek by Jerome in the fourth century was the only authorized text of scripture.  They
called it the Latin Vulgate.  It had 2000 mistakes in it.  


They also stated that Christ instituted seven sacraments.  They also confirmed Transubstantiation - the bread and wine become the actual
body and blood of Jesus; and they condemned the Lutheran, Calvinist, and Zwiglian doctrines of the Lord's Supper.  They also said that
Mass (the Lord's Supper) was required to be said by the bishop in Latin.  


                                                               ORDAINED LORD'S SUPPER IN LATIN  

They declared that babies inherit original sin, so much be baptized or end up in purgatory.  They declared absolutely the existence of
purgatory and described it.  


                                                          ORDAINED EXISTENCE OF PURGATORY  

Also, the term "minister" was to refer to anyone in the church who was a deacon or above.  They reiterated and declared that all sins must
be confessed in private to a priest.  They also declared that all pastors must be ordained.   


                                                   ORDAINED ALL SINS BE CONFESSED TO PRIEST  

                                                 ORDAINED HOW PASTORS ARE TO BE ORDAINED  

Further, by this time, all choir members were required to wear vestments.  Gold was determined as the color where churches could not
afford a variety.  For ordinary worship, green was worn.  White was used for Christmas and Easter, Red for Pentecost, violet for lent,
black for funerals.  


Then, for the next 100 years, Catholics and Protestants clashed violently, always politically, and sometimes in war.  

In 1545 Albigense Francis Bribard in France spoke in favor of reforming the Romans Church and had his tongue cut out, then was burned.  
That same year James Cobard said Mass was useless and absurd and so was burned at the stake.  At Malda 14 other men were burned
for similar beliefs.  In 1546, Peter Chapot brought a number of Bibles in the French language to France and sold them there.  He was
executed for it.    

In 1549, Monsieur Blondel, an Albigense in Paris, was burned for his faith, as were 19-year-old Herbert in Dijon and Florent Venote,

Soon after, Louis Bourgeois set to music these hymns (in part):

Protect me from the arrogant and proud;
They scorn and laugh at those who seek your pleasure.
Sometimes I am depressed and sad at heart;
Revive my soul according to your precepts.

O Lord, my enemies rise up to conquer me.
They shower me with taunting.

Comfort, comfort now my people;
Speak of peace:  So says our God.
Comfort those who sit in darkness [dungeons]
Mourning under sorrow's load.

Lord, to you my soul is lifted.  Let me never be ashamed
That I trust in you to keep me, though I seem to wait in vain.

And Christians all over the world still today sing this next hymn of courage set to music by Bourgeois:

All people that on earth do well,
Sing to the Lord with cheerful voice.
Serve him with joy, is praises tell.
Come now before him and rejoice!

Also that year, another Frenchman, Claude Goudimel, wrote this hymn:

Defend me, Lord, from those who charge me
With shameful insults, lies, and slurs.
Come, save your servant from evil ones.
In you alone I can find refuge....
Our faith seems in vain.
All covered with darkness, to you we complain.

CZECH TRANSLATION OF THE BIBLE:  Around 1550 Jan Blahoslav translated the New Testament into the language of his people.  
It was the basis of the later Bible of Kralice published in 1579.  

DANISH TRANSLATION OF THE BIBLE:  In 1550, J. Seklucyan published the New Testament in the language of his people from the
original Greek.  It was the first Polish Bible put out with the new printing press.  

Back in 1547, King Henry of England had died and his 10-year-old son, Edward, had become king.  His uncle and guardian, Edward
Seymour, ordered the Mass be turned into a communion service in the common language.  In 1553, Edward died and his oldest sister,
Mary, became queen.  Mary had been raised Catholic, so became a tool for the Roman Church.  

Under "Bloody Mary" in Great Britain thousands of Protestants were put to death.  In 1554 it included John Rogers, a close friend of
William Tyndale and Miles Coverdale who both had translated the Bible into English; a preacher, Lawrence Saunders.    

In 1546 Martin Luther in Germany died.  Then Charles V, the last Emperor of the "Holy Roman Empire" and King of Spain began a
renewed campaign against the protestants in Germany, Spain, and Italy.

In Germany Henry Voes, John Esch and Henry Sutphen were burned at the stake.  All Protestants in Middleburg were killed by the sword,
and those in Vienna burned at the stake.    

Peter Spengler of Schalet was sentenced to execution for not going to Mass, not making confession, and not believing the bread and wine
because Jesus' actual body and blood.  He encouraged those watching, sang a hymn, and was thrown into a river to drown.  

A Protestant man was encouraged to at least whisper his renunciation of Protestantism in the ears of the friar.  He replied loudly, "Trouble
me not, friar, I have confessed my sins to God, and obtained absolution through the merits of Jesus Christ.  Let me not be pestered with
these men, but perform your duty."  Then he was beheaded. [1]       

POLISH TRANSLATION OF THE BIBLE:  In 1553, J. Seklucyan translated the New Testament into the language of his people from
the original Greek.   

Meanwhile, John Mollius had been raised in a monastery and prepared to become a priest.  Having read the scriptures in Latin, when he
came across writings of the Protestants, he saw they made sense, so began preaching against the Catholic Church.  He taught against
original sin, infallibility of the church and pope, purgatory, Mass, prayers for the dead in purgatory, prayers for saints, performing services in
an unknown tongue and so on.  

Persecution of Protestant Waldenses in Italy had continued.  Now a declared Protestant himself, Mollius was arrested, hung, and his body

DUTCH TRANSLATION OF THE BIBLE:  In 1554, the New Testament was translated into the language of the common people based
on Erasmus' Greek text of the New Testament.  

In 1554, two Albigenses in Niverne, France, were smeared with grease, brimstone, and gunpowder, their tongues cut out, and burned to

In 1555 in Italy, Protestant Waldensian Algerius was arrested and sent to Rome where appeals were made to him to recant.  When they
saw it was no use, they burned him at the stake.  

Queen Mary of England ("Bloody Mary"), a staunch Catholic had the Parliament vote to return her country to the Church of Rome.  But
the people refused to obey the bishops, so in 1555 the persecution rose to its heights.  One of the first, Bishop Latimer, said just before his
burning, "Have faith, Master Ridley; today we shall light a fire which shall illuminate the world."

Under this queen were burned at the stake John Hooper, former bishop; Dr. Rowland Taylor who refused to allow Easter Mass; William
Hunter who refused to go to Mass; Robert Farrar for preaching against popish idolatry; Rowlands White for refusing to bow down to the
host (bread of the Lord's Supper becoming Christ); George Marsh for preaching against the papacy; William Flower, a former monk and
priest; John Cardmaker and John Warne for refusing to bow to idols.  

In 1556, the burnings continued, mostly among Protestant leaders, and numbered at least one hundred.  

In 1557, Archbishop Parker rhymed the 23rd Psalm for singing as follows:  

To feed my neede; he will me leade
To pastures green and fat:
He forth brought me in libertie
To waters delicate.

Meanwhile, in Scotland, Protestants continued to be persecuted and executed.  In 1546 the Protestants had stormed the castle and killed
the Catholic cardinal.  Among them was John Knox.  Spending the next ten years in Protestant England, he prayed, "Lord, give me
Scotland or I die!"  

By 1560 he had won over the Scottish to Protestantism.  
The Scottish Parliament rejected papal authority, abolished the Mass, withdrew
authority of the bishops, and adopted a confession of faith drawn up by Knox later to be known as the Westminster Confession, which
organized the church into presbyteries.  Thus was born the Presbyterian Church.  

In England in 1556, Archbishop Cranmer, who had translated parts of the Bible into English, read it in church, and openly sold it.  He was
burned at the stake, as were probably a hundred other leaders of the Reformation Movement.  

Meanwhile, in Italy in 1559, John Alloysius and James Bovellus were burned as heretics in Rome.  In 1560  a young Englishman visiting
Rome saw a bishop carry the bread of the Lord's Supper with pomp and ceremony.  He grabbed it, threw it on the ground and stepped on
it, declaring, "Ye wretched idolaters, who neglect the true God, to adore a morsel of bread."  

Thereupon, the pope ordered that he be led naked through the streets of Rome with the image of the devil on his head, his right hand cut
off, then burned.  "At his place of executed he kissed the chains that were to bind him to the stake.  A monk presenting the figure of a saint
to him, he struck it aside."  Then he was burned. [2]

SWISS TRANSLATION OF THE BIBLE:  This Bible was translated in 1560 into the language of the common people, and published in

UPPER ENGADINE TRANSLATION OF THE BIBLE:  J. Bifrun translated the Bible from the Vulgate into this Romanish Swiss dialect
in 1560.  

In 1560, Pope Pius IV began persecuting Waldenses in the area of Calabria, Italy, for not being Roman Catholics and going to Mass, not
making their boys priests and girls nuns, and not bowing to images and going on pilgrimages.    

Instead of giving in, the Waldenses fled to the forests outside their cities.  Many were hunted down and killed - men, women and children.  
Some were hung, some burned, some stabbed, and some were starved to death.  

In one city, thirty who did not comply were put on the rack.  Those who survived "boldly declared that no tortures of body, or terrors of
mind, should ever induce them to renounce their God or worship images" (Fox's Book of Martyrs, pg. 92).  In another city, sixty women
were tortured on the rack where the ropes cut through their arms and legs to the bone and many died there.  

Many of these were stripped naked and beaten to death with iron rods, stabbed, thrown off towers, or covered with pitch and burned
alive.  One monk personally cut the throats of 80 men, women and children, then quartered their bodies to be taken on stakes to nearby
towns.  The brutalities continued until they were satisfied all the Protestant Waldenses had been exterminated.

POLISH TRANSLATION OF THE BIBLE:  This Cracow Bible was the first entire Bible published in the language of the people, and
was translated from the Latin in 1561.  

RUMANIAN TRANSLATION OF THE BIBLE:  Coresi translated the Acts of the Apostles from earlier manuscripts written during the
Huss movement.  

Amidst this, in 1562, this hymn appeared in the Genevan Psalter which is sung by many Christians even today:

Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord, for he is kind.
Sound again his name abroad,
For of gods, he is the God.

WELSH TRANSLATION OF THE BIBLE:  William Salesbury translated the New Testament from the original Greek into the common
language of his people in 1567.  

ENGLISH TRANSLATION OF THE BIBLE:  The Bishop's Bible was published in 1568 in English.  

In Antwerp, Netherlands, in 1568 Scoblant, Hues and Coomans were imprisoned.  Prior to his execution, Hues declared, "I am now going
to throw off this mantle of clay, to be clad in robes of eternal glory.  I hope I may be the last martyr...that the Church of Christ may have
rest here, as his servants will hereafter."  At the stake, he said the Lord's prayer and sang the Fortieth Psalm, then was burned.  


                                                ORDAINED A CRUCIFIX MUST BE ON ALTAR  


In 1572, the Roman church declared that all Christians must bow before the bread and wine of the Lord's Supper  

                                 ORDAINED BOWING TO AND WORSHIPPING BREAD AND WINE  

C. de Reyna translated only the Old Testament from the Hebrew especially for Spanish-speaking Jews in 1569.  

In 1570, the Roman church declared that the crucifix (cross with Jesus on it) was required to be on table of Lord's Supper, and that the
chalice containing the wine to be held up during Lord's Supper.

In France between 1562 and 1595, the Protestants - now called Huguenots - fought eight wars with the Catholics.  
The worst was St.
Bartholomew's Massacre of 1572 in which some 70,000 Protestant Huguenots were killed, even those in the palace who ran through its
halls trying to escape in vain.  Similar orders were sent to all the provinces of France, resulting in 100,000 Protestants slaughtered for their

During the peaceful reign of Bloody Mary's sister in England, Elizabeth, smaller groups of reformers arose here and on the mainland of
Europe, some temporarily and others permanently.  Those insisting on the leading of an inner light were called Spiritualists, though each
group varied somewhat from the others.   

The Evangelical Rationalists got involved with whether God was one or three.  One leader, Servetus, was burned at the stake in Geneva
under order of Protestant John Calvin and his council.
 Sozzini went to Poland where he laid the foundation for the Unitarian Church (which
has more recently eliminated the New Testament as an authority).  [Note that later a few Protestants in America began to burn people at
the stake, calling them heretics and witches.]  

The most numerous groups, though, were Anabaptists which began in Switzerland under Zwingli.  They did not believe in infant baptism
and rebaptized adults who entered the sacrament with faith and understanding.
 However, many practiced sprinkling and pouring.  Many
became known as the Swiss Brethren.  They moved to the Netherlands, but were wiped out in a battle with the Catholics and Lutherans.  

Menno Simons, A Dutchman whose brother died in that battle, gave direction to the remaining Anabaptists, and they became known as the
Mennonites who, even today, learned their lesson and refuse to take up arms.  

In the 1580s, Robert Browne in England led a splinter group of Puritans called the English Baptists.  Jacobus Arminius began the Arminians
who disagreed with Calvin, and believed no one was predestined to be saved, Jesus died for everyone, and saints can fall from grace.  

In 1559 the English Parliament voted to reinstitute the Church of England.  In 1563 the statement of doctrine called the Thirty-Nine
Articles, strongly Calvinist in theology, was drawn up to represent the Church of England.  

In 1560, Nicholas Burton, an Englishman who sailed to Spain with many goods for sale, was imprisoned in order to illegally confiscate his
goods.  While there he explained the Word of God and converted the other prisoners or Protestantism.  For this he was burned at the

For similar reasons, Mark Brughes, and Englishman visiting Portugal, was burned at the stake.  Sixteen-year-old William Hoker, also
visiting Spain, was stoned to death in Seville.  

In 1561, William Kethe set this still familiar poem to a tune written by Louis Bourgeois:

All people that on earth do dwell,
Sing to the Lord wit cheerful voice;
Him serve with fear, His praise forth tell;
Come ye before Him and rejoice.

For why?  The Lord our God is good;
His mercy is forever sure;
His truth at all times firmly stood,
And shall from age to age endure.

In 1570 Pope Pius V excommunicated and deposed Queen Elizabeth of England, which she didn't care about anyway.  Because so many
practices were Roman Catholic, however, many later Anglican members called themselves the Anglo-Catholics.  It would be another two
centuries before they began to officially be called the Anglican Church.           

Those later known as Puritans wanted to "purify" the church further, especially doing away with garments warn by priests and preachers
during service.   Although they liked formal worship, they preferred the simple robes typical of the Calvinists.

In 1572, Joachim Magdeburg wrote this hymn:

Who trusts in God, a strong above in heave and earth possesses;
Who looks in love to Christ above, no fear his heart oppresses.
In Thee alone, dear Lord, we owe sweet hope and consolation;
Our shield from foes, balm for woes, great and sure salvation.

Also in 1572, King Charles IX of France decided to marry his sister, Margaret of Valois, to Henry of Navarre, son of the king of Navarre.  
Two days after a grand wedding on a high platform in Paris, a massacre began of Protestant Huguenots taking thousands of lives there and
in nearby cities.   

Stories abound of people running through the streets only to meet their death anyway through stabbing, beheading, drowning, shooting,
slow torture.  One city was surrounded seven months and 18,000 inhabitants died by slow starvation.  A total of 100,000 were killed
around France.  

In 1579, William Daman wrote this hymn:

O Lord, how many they who deeply trouble me;
How greatly are they multiplied who do me injury.

After the massacre, Henry of Navarre became the leader of the Protestant Huguenots.  In 1589, after three kings had died without a son,
Henry, a distant cousin of the king, inherited the throne.  But Catholic Paris refused to accept him.  Fighting continued four more years.  
Finally, in 1593, he converted to Catholicism, becoming King Henry IV.  

Still, he was sympathetic to the Huguenots and gave them permission to worship whenever and where ever they wanted except in Paris,
while also maintaining their civil and political rights.  And as a guarantee, he allowed them to have 200 fortified garrisons throughout France,
supported by the king.  This was called the Edict of Nantes.  It lasted 100 years.  

RUMANIAN TRANSLATION OF THE BIBLE:  In 1582 the Old Testament was translated into the language of the common people
who were Calvinists.  

WELSH TRANSLATION OF THE BIBLE:  In 1588, this Bible was translated by William Morgan into the language of his people.  In
some ways it was an offshoot of the Salesbury N.T. translated thirty years earlier.  It is used today.  

HUNGARIAN TRANSLATION OF THE BIBLE:  In 1590, G. Karoli translated the Bible into the language of his people from the
original Greek and Hebrew.  

In 1592, rejoicing in the triumphs of Christianity, this well-known Christmas hymn was written by T. Este:

While shepherds watched their flocks by night,
All seated on the ground,
An angel of the Lord came down,
And glory shone around.

                         17th Century

Early in this century, David Dickson in Scotland wrote this hymn:

O Mother dear, Jerusalem!
When shall I come to thee?
When shall my sorrows have an end?
Thy joys when shall I see?

O happy harbor of the saints!
O sweet and pleasant soil!
In thee no sorrow may be found.
No grief, o care, no toil.

In 1600, Pope Clement VIII tried to bribe the Protestants in Italy to become Catholics.  He also offered rewards to anyone witnessing
them committing a crime.  Nothing stopped them.   

Among many others, Sebastian Basan was imprisoned, tortured for 15 months, then burned at the stake.  

With the death of Mary Queen of Scots in 1587, and his cousin Queen Elizabeth of England in 1603, James VI became King of both
countries, thus joining the monarchy until this day.  

In 1604 when the Puritans wanted to reduce the power of bishops, King James refused.  But at the same conference, he approved an
authorized English translation of the Bible.  In 1611, the King James Version of the Bible was published.  It contained these introductory

"To the most high and mighty prince, James, by the Grace of God, King of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, defender of the faith.  The
translators of the Bible wish Grace, Mercy, and Peace, through Jesus Christ our Lord....  

"Among all our joys, there was no one that more filled our hearts, than the blessed continuance of the preaching of God's sacred Word
among us....manifesting itself abroad in the farthest parts of Christendom, by writing in defense of the Truth, (which hath given such a blow
unto that man of sin, as will not be healed)....  

"There are infinite arguments of this right christian and religious affection in Your Majesty; but none is more forcible to declare it to others
than the vehement and perpetuated desire of accomplishing and publishing of this work....Things of this quality have ever been subject to
the censures of ill meaning and discontented persons....  

"So that if, on the one side, we shall be traduced by Popish Persons at home or abroad, who therefore will malign us, because we are poor
instruments to make God's holy Truth to be yet more and more known unto the people, whom they desire still to keep in ignorance and
darkness; or if, on the other side, we shall be maligned by self-conceited Brethren, who run their own ways, and give liking unto nothing,
but what is framed by themselves, and hammered on their anvil....  

"We may rest secure, supported within by the truth and innocency of a good conscience, having walked the ways of simplicity and
integrity...which will ever give countenance to honest and Christian endeavours against bitter censures." [3]  

DANISH TRANSLATION OF THE BIBLE:  In 1607, Hans Poulsen Resent translated the Bible from the original Greek and Hebrew
into Danish.  

ITALIAN TRANSLATION OF THE BIBLE:  That same year, Giovanni Diodati published this Bible in the language of the common
people.  It was used in Geneva for the Protestants.  

ENGLISH TRANSLATION OF THE BIBLE:  Not able to fight the tide of translations into the language of the Common people, between
1582 and 1610, the Catholic Church commissioned this Reims-Douai translation and became its official English Version.  Still used today, it
is usually called the Douai version.  

ENGLISH TRANSLATION OF THE BIBLE:  Under the authority of King James, 54 scholars were assembled and translated the version
that would be officially authorized for use in all churches in England.  It was published in 1611.  

The Roman Church decided about this time that candles must always be used in connection with the Lord Supper, the Mass.  

                                                       ORDAINED CANDLES AT MASS [LORD'S SUPPER]

In 1620, persecution of the Albigenses in France became severe; also in Germany in 1630.  Tortures like those already mentioned were
repeated on thousands of people.
 Finally Great Britain intervened and the persecutions stopped.  

In 1623, John Milton wrote this hymn:  

Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord, for He is kind;
For His mercies aye endure,
Ever faithful, ever sure.

And in 1625, this famous Thanksgiving hymn appeared in the Netherlands, written by A. Valerius:

We gather together to ask the Lord's blessing;
He chastens and hastens His will to make known;
The wicked oppressing now cease from distressing;
Sing praises to His name; He forgets not His own.

England and Scotland continued to vacillate between Protestantism and Catholicism.  William Laud was made Catholic Archbishop of
Canterbury in 1633.  He was so anti-Puritan that he began an Inquisition aimed directly at the Puritans.   

During this time, Johann Heerman wrote this hymn:

When dangers gather round,
O keep me calm and fearless;
Help me to bear the cross
When life seems dark and cheerless.

But with the government back in Puritan hands with Oliver Cromwell, the Scottish Parliament eliminated government of the church by
bishops, and adopted the Westminster Confession of Faith, the Larger Catechism and Shorter Catechisms, three documents on which the
Presbyterian Church rely even today.  

In 1636, Martin Rinkart wrote this well-known hymn:

Now thank we all our God with heart and hands and voices,
Who wondrous things has done, in whom is world rejoices.

But persecution was still far from over, and in 1641, George Neumark of Germany wrote this hymn:

What can these anxious cares avail thee,
These never-ceasing moans and sighs?
What can it help, if thou bewail thee
O'er each dark moment as it flies?
Our cross and trials do but press
The heavier for our bitterness.

FINNISH TRANSLATION OF THE BIBLE:  In 1642, the Bible was translated into the language of the common people from the original
Greek and Hebrew.  

In 1644, Matthaus A. von Lowenstern wrote this hymn:

Lord, Thou can't help when earthly armor faileth;
Lord, Thou canst save when sin itself assaileth;
Christ, o'er Thy Rock nor death nor hell prevaileth;
Grant us Thy peace, Lord.

DANISH TRANSLATION OF THE BIBLE:  In 1647, the Bible was translated into the language of the common people, being an
updated revision of Resen's earlier edition.  

RUMANIAN TRANSLATION OF THE BIBLE:  In 1648, Simion Stefan published the Four Gospels in parallel with Greek, Latin, and

1648 heavy persecution raged throughout Lithuania and Poland.  Among them was Adrian Chalinski who was put close enough to a fire to
singe him, and was roasted alive.  

In 1653, Johann Cruger wrote this hymn:

The foes who hate me unprovoked are strong and still increase,
Though to disarm their enmity my right I yield for peace.

In January 1655 in the Piedmont Valleys of Italy, the church ordered confiscation of all property to anyone who did not return to the
Catholic Church within three days.  The Protestants fled into the Alps.  They were followed by troops.  Following is an account of just a
few of the deaths.  

In one village they beheaded 150 women and beat the children to death.  Protestants in Vilario and Bobbio refusing to go to Mass above
age 15 were crucified upside down, and those under that age were strangled.  Sarah Rastignole des Vignes, age 60, refused to pray to a
saint so was stabbed with a sickle, then beheaded.    

A man in Thrassiniere had swords run into his ears and through his feet, his fingernails and toenails were torn off.  He was dragged through
the street, then strangled with a rope.    

A woman named Armand, had her arms and legs cut off.  Two old women were stabbed and left for dead.  A very old woman had her
nose and hands cut off and left to die.  Magdalen Bertino was stripped naked, her head tied between her legs, and thrown off a cliff.  Mary
Raymondet was skinned alive.  Magdalen Pilot of Vilario was cut up in a cave of Castolus.  Ann Charboniere had a stake thrust up her
body and was left to die.    

Jacob and David Perrin, elders of the church in Vilario, were skinned.  Giovanni Rostagnal, 80 years old, had his nose and ears cut off,
then was skinned.  Seven others had their mouths stuffed with gunpowder and set on fire.    

Jacob Birone of Rorata was stripped naked, had his fingernails and toenails torn off, holes bored through his hands, led through the streets
being bludgeoned on the way.  He constantly refused when asked, "Will you go to Mass?  Will you go to Mass?"  So they beheaded him.  

Paul Garnier's eyes were put out, then he was skinned.  Historian Fox reports "he bore all his sufferings with the most exemplary patience,
praised God as long as he could speak." [4]  

Daniel Cardon of Rocappiata was beheaded.  Two old blind women of St. Giovanni were burned.  A widow and her daughter of La
Torre, were stoned.  Paul Giles had his neck shot, nose and chin slit, then was stabbed.  

Eleven men of Garcigliana were forced to push each other into a furnace.  Michael Gonet, 90 years old, was burned, and Baptista Oudri,
also old, was stabbed.  Tormentors drew ropes through the heels of Frasche Bartholomew, dragged to prison with them, then died.    

Cypriania Bustia, refusing to turn Catholic, said, "I would rather renounce life, or turn dog."  When Jacob Roseno refused to pray to the
saints, soldiers beat him and shot him, but still he cried out his refusal.  He was then beheaded.  

Paul Clement, an elder of the church in Rossana, was shown the recently executed bodies of other Protestants.  He replied, "You may kill
the body, but you cannot prejudice the soul of a true believer."  He was ordered hung.  

Daniel Rambaut of Vilario was arrested and refused to believe the Catholic doctrine, which someone put in writing.  It is reported in Fox's
Book of Martyrs
in part, as follows:

"To believe the real presence [of Jesus] in the host [bread] is a shocking union of both blasphemy and idolatry.  That fancy words...by
converting the wafer and wine into the real and identical body and blood of Christ, which was crucified and which afterward ascended into
heaven, is too gross an absurdity for even a child to believe...nothing but blind superstition could make the Roman Catholics put a
confidence in anything so completely ridiculous....  

"The doctrine of purgatory was more consistent and absurd than a fairy tale....the pope's being infallible was an impossibility, and the pope
arrogantly laid claim to what could belong to God only....saying Masses for the dead was ridiculous...as the fate of all is finally decided on
the departure of the soul from the body...praying to saints for the remission of sins is misplacing adoration....God only can pardon our

Thereupon, one finger was cut off every day, then every toe, then daily a hand and a foot.  "But finding that he bore his sufferings with the
most admirable patience, increased both in fortitude and resignation, and maintained his faith with steadfast resolution and unshaken
constancy they stabbed him to the heart."  [5]

Numerous others were thusly tortured and murdered for being Protestants and wanting to follow only the Bible.  

In mid-century Paulus Gerhardt of Saxony, Germany, a follower of Luther, was caught between the beliefs of Luther, Calvin, and the
Catholic Church and sometimes persecuted by one of the groups.  He began writing his hymns at the end of the Thirty Years' War.  Among
his 120 hymns he wrote were these written in 1653:

Give to the winds your fears, in hope be undismayed;
God hears your sighs and counts your tears,
God shall lift up your head.

In 1657, Australian Johann Scheffler wrote this hymn:

Thee will I love, my strength, my tower;
Thee will I love, my joy, my crown....
Uphold me in the doubtful race,
Nor suffer me again to stray;
Strengthen my feet with steady pace
Still to press forward in Thy way.

ARMENIAN TRANSLATION OF THE BIBLE:  In 1666, Oskan of Yerevan translated the Bible into the language of his people and had
it printed in Amsterdam.  

FRENCH TRANSLATION OF THE BIBLE:  The following year in 1667, Isaac Louis de Sacy translated the Bible into the language of
his people from the Latin.  He was Catholic.  

In 1674, an Englishman named Thomas Ken, who would alternately grow in and out of favor with various kings of England over a period of
40 years, wrote this still-familiar hymn:

Prise God from whom all blessings flow,
Praise Him all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly hosts,
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

In 1666, French King Louis XIV, a Catholic king, had come to power and stripped the Huguenots of every favor provided them by King
Henry. He enacted sixty clauses by which Huguenots could legally be persecuted.  The government closed their hospitals, schools, and
colleges, and many of their church buildings.    

Many Huguenot children were abducted and raised as Catholics.  He executed thousands of Huguenots on the galleys for resisting Catholic
conversions.  Ministers were exiled, but the people were forbidden to leave the country.  Yet 250,000 managed to leave.  

In 1685 in France, the peace Edict of Nantes with the Huguenots was revoked and the persecution started once more.  Protestants
(Huguenots) were expelled from all offices and employments, children age 7 and above were taken away to be raised Catholic, were
forbidden to meet for religious purposes, and passage out of the country was denied.    

Soldiers entered cities and announced, "Die, or be Catholics!"  They were led by bishops, and urged on by monks among them.  Some
Huguenots were tortured with smoke while hanging upside down, others had their hair plucked out one strand at a time, their bodies were
used as pin cushions, or dragged by the nose.  Women and children who still refused to become Catholic were imprisoned in monasteries,
and the men were put in dungeons for perpetual torture.  

Still about 150,000 escaped to other countries.  

Over in Germany, which was receiving many fleeing persecution in Western Europe, Johannes Olearius wrote this hymn of comfort in 1671:

Comfort, comfort ye, My people,
Speak ye peace, thus saith our God.

And in 1677 this famous German hymn of unknown origin appeared to bring peace to aching Christian hearts:

Fairest Lord Jesus!  Ruler of all nature!
O Thou of God and man the Son!
Thee will I cherish!  Thee will I honor,
Thou my soul's glory, joy, and crown!

In 1680 amidst religious and political turmoil often brought on by the kings themselves, Joachim Neander was associated with Calvin
Reformed Church in Germany.  He wrote this hymn set to a tune composed by Erneurten Gesangbuch of Stralsund:

Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation!
O my soul, praise Him, for He is thy health and salvation!
All ye who hear, now to His temple draw near;
Join me in glad adoration!

RUMANIAN TRANSLATION OF THE BIBLE:  In 1688, a group of scholars translated the Bible from the Septuagint into the language
of their people.  

This same year came the death of one of the most well-known restorationists, a Baptist named John Bunyan.  For preaching in England
without being ordained, he was imprisoned.  During that time he wrote the most famous Christian book outside the Bible in history:
Pilgrim's Progress.  

In 1693 in England, Thomas Shepherd wrote this hymn to spread courage and a reason for it all among the persecuted:

Must Jesus bear the cross alone,
And all the world go free?
No, there's a cross for everyone,
And there's a cross for me.

The consecrated cross I'll bear
Till he shall set me free,
And then go home my crown to wear,
For there's a crown for me.

                               18th Century

In 1703, Irishman Nahum Tate wrote this famous Christmas hymn (though Christmas did not exist then):

While shepherds watched their flocks by night,
All seated on the ground,
The angel of the Lord came down,
And glory shone around.

In 1704, Benjamin Schmolke wrote this hymn of courage and hope:

My Jesus, as Thou wilt!
All shall be well wit me;
Each changing future scene
I gladly trust with Thee.

Straight to my home above
I travel calmly on,
And sing, i life or death,
My Lord, Thy will be done

But this century brought the beginning of secularization into much of Europe.  People were satisfied to be members of whatever church they
were born into.  Many denominations took on infant baptism so that the child would grow up believing s/he was of that sect; a speculation
that usually became true.   

Possibly trying to urge Christians to penetrate the new philosophy, Laurentius Laurenti wrote this hymn:

Rejoice, all ye believers,
And let your lights appear;
The evening is advancing,
And darker night is near.

The Bridegroom is arising,
And soon He draweth nigh;
Up, pray, and watch, and wrestle;
At midnight comes the cry.

Further, religion moved from interest in the scriptures to rationalizing one's sins, self-pietism, that parts of the Bible were mythical, a belief in
science over faith.  Europe began to lose interest in religion and replace it with the Renaissance arts.   

During this ho-hum period of religion, worshippers in England did not have hymn books, so had to follow a leader who sang a verse,
followed by the congregation who repeated the verse.  Not many hymns were made available to the people at that time.  

Isaac Watts decided to help the problem, and in 1707 published his
Hymns and Spiritual Songs, the first hymn book in the English
language.  One of the hymns was:

I'm not ashamed to own my Lord,
Nor to defend His cause;
Maintain the honors of His Word,
The glory of His cross.

Another, among the 600 hymns he ended up writing was:

O God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Our shelter from the stormy blast
And our eternal home.

In 1709, Thomas Ken of England, amidst the continual shift of kings and religious alliances that he tried to keep happy, often in vain, wrote
this hymn:

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Faith, Son and Holy Ghost.

Three years later in 1712, Joseph Addison wrote this comforting hymn:

When all Thy mercies, O my God, my tender soul surveys,
Transported with the view, I'm lost in wonder, love and praise.

He also wrote these words set to the unforgettable music of Franz Joseph Hayden:

The spacious firmament on high,
With all the blue ethereal sky,
And spangled heavens, a shining frame,
Their great Original proclaim.

The unwearied sun, from day to day]
Does his Creator's power display,
And publishes to every land
The work of an Almighty hand.

To the northeast, Erdmann Neumeister wrote this hymn in 1718:

Sinners Jesus will receive:
Sound this word of grace to all
Who the heavenly pathway leave,
All who linger, all who fall.

Sing it o'er and o'er again:
Christ receiveth sinful men;
Make the message clear and plain:
Christ receiveth sinful men.

In 1719, Isaac Watts wrote this Christmas hymn of triumph:

Joy to the world!  The Lord is come!
Let earth receive her king.
Let every heart prepare him room,
And heaven and nature sing.

The fight to follow just the Bible without man's additions, continued.  While reflecting all that was done to make freedom of religion and
personal access to the Bible possible, Isaac Watts wrote this anthem:

Am I a soldier of the cross, a follower of the Lamb,
And shall I fear to own His cause, or blush to speak His Name?
Must I be carried to the skies on flowery beds of ease,
While others fought to win the prize and sailed thru bloody seas?

Are there no floes for me to face?  Must I not stem the flood?
Is tis vile world a friend to grace to help me on to God?
Since I might fight if I would reign, increase y courage, Lord;
I'll bear the toil, endure the pain, supported by Thy Word.

And back in England there arose two brothers, Charles and John Wesley, both unordained evangelists.  At Oxford in 1728, Charles
organized the Holy Club.  Later in his life he would write some 6500 hymns, mostly paraphrases of the Bible.   

When brother John arrived, he organized the Bible Moths Club and Super-erogation Men, referring to their methodical ways of studying
the Bible.  

In 1735 John Wesley met the Moravians and were impressed with their calm faith and pietism.  At a devotional gathering that year, while
someone was reading Luther's commentary on Romans, "I felt my heart strangely warmed.  I felt that I did trust in Christ, Christ alone, for
salvation; and an assurance was given me that he had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death."  

Because of this experience, he decided there should be no ritual attached to salvation.  The established churches refused to let him preach
there, so he began preaching to the poor in open fields.  His revival swept through England.  Although his original methodist clubs grew into
nonconformist churches, after his death his followers named the new movement the Methodist church.  

In 1738, Charles Wesley wrote this poem, later set to music to Thomas Campbell, a Scotsman who moved to America and began ye
another movement among several that had already begun in that country to restore the simplicity of first-century worship:

And can it be that I should gain
An interest in the Savior's blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain?
For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love!  How can it be
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

The following year, he wrote this now-famous hymn:

Hark!  The herald angels sing,
"Glory to the newborn King;
Peace on earth and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!"

Joyful, all ye nations rise;
Join the triumph of the skies;
With the angelic hosts proclaim,
"Christ is born in Bethlehem!"

Among his hundreds of other hymns was also this one, written in 1749:

Soldiers of Christ, arise and put your armor on;
Strong in the strength which God supplies,
Through his beloved Son.

William Williams in Wales broke away from the "Established Church."  He preached everywhere in his home country away from
established church buildings, despite blistering sun, drenching rain, and hunger.  Among his 800 hymns was this one written in 1745:

Guide me, O Thou great Jehovah,
Pilgrim through this barren land;
I am weak, but Thou art mighty;
Hold me with Thy powerful hand;
Bread of heaven, feed me till I want no more.

In 1748, the Roman Church decided that no one receives grace and favors from God unless granted by the Virgin Mary.  

                                                     ORDAINED MARY GRANTS ALL FAVORS  

That same year in England, John Newton, captain of a slave ship, walked onto land and never returned to sea.  Although he retained his
captain's outfit, he became a minister.  One of his 284 hymns was this one written soon after his conversion:

Amazing grace!  How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

Also in England in 1755, Philip Doddridge, wrote 375 hymns, among them:

Awake, my soul, stretch every nerve,
And press with vigor on;
A heavenly race demands thy zeal,
And an immortal crown.

In the mean time, Robert Robinson, who had never been religious, changed his life at age 20 and was baptized into Christ.  Eventually he
began preaching in a small congregation in Cambridge.  Among the hymns he wrote was this one, written in 1757, three years after his

Oh, Thou Fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.

In 1758, Robert Robinson, a Baptist in England, wrote this hymn:

Come, Thou fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.

But during this same period of time, Germans, with great respect for Immanuel Kant, moved to a humanistic type of Christianity that
resembled agnosticism - that God cannot be proven or disproven.  

In 1765, Joseph Grigg, a Presbyterian in England, wrote these two hymns:

Jesus, and shall it ever be,
A mortal man ashamed of Thee?
Ashamed of Thee, whom angels praise,
Whose glories shine through endless days?


Behold a Stranger at the door!
He gently knocks, has knocked before,
Has waited long, is waiting still;
You treat no other friend so ill.

In 1769, tired of all the kings of Europe fighting over which would be their official religious affiliation, offenses of which were punishable by
death, Italian Felice de Giardini wrote this famous hymn:

Come, Thou almighty King, help us Thy name to sing,
Help us to praise,
Father all glorious,o'er all victorious
Come and reign over us, Ancient of Days.

In 1775, Edward Perronet, a Huguenot of England, wrote this hymn:

All hail the power of Jesus' name!
Let angels prostrate fall;
Bring forth the royal diadem,
And crown Him Lord of all!

In 1776, Augustus Montague Toplady, a friend of the Wesleys in England, wrote this hymn:

Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee;
Let the water and the blood,
From Thy riven side which flowed,
Be of sin the double cure,
Cleanse me from its guilt and power.

In 1782, John Fawcett of England wrote this hymn:

Blest be the tie that binds
Our hearts in Christian love;
The fellowship of kindred minds
Is like to that above.

And in France, under the influence of Voltaire, there was a complete denial in the existence of God, preferring personal morals over the
immoral church they had lived with for so many centuries.  

In 1787, George Keith wrote this hymn, seemingly trying to get through to those who were forsaking religion completely:

How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in His excellent word!
What more can He say than to you He hath said,
You who unto Jesus for refuge have fled?

That same year, Samuel Stennett of England wrote:

Majestic sweetness sits enthroned upon the Saviour's brow;
His head with radiant glories crowned,
His lips with grace o'erflow.

The last of the imprisonments, tortures and barbarous executions of people who just wanted to follow the Bible outside the mainline Roman
church was in France.  It continued well into the next century.

France, the first of Europe to receive the gospel, either by the Apostle Simon (the Zealot) or Ireneaus who preached and lived most of his
life in Lyons....  
France, the stronghold of Christianity during the dark ages....
France the originator of the reformation movement and restoration movement four centuries before it became famous in Germany....             
France, the Christian nation that now was
headed into atheism.  

The strongest centers of the Restoration movement, by now, had moved to and was thriving in North America.  What will this
movement ultimately bring to the new continent?  The same?  Agnosticism?  Atheism?   

And among the few God-believers left, how strong will Christianity be?  Strong enough to stand up against New Agers who
believe everyone's god is the true God and take us all the way back to the paganism of Jesus' time?   

After all, we've been putting opinion above scripture all these centuries.  Why stop now?  

Interestingly, the center of Christianity in the first century was Jerusalem and the Middle East.  It is almost non-existent there today.  Then it
moved to Turkey and southern Europe, but it is almost non-existent there now too.  Then it moved to France, but it is almost non-existent
there.  Finally it moved to North America.  Will the same thing happen there?   

They said it wouldn't.  They said it couldn't.


[1].  Forbush, William B., Fox's Book of Martyrs, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, 1968, pg. 168ff  

[2].  Fox, pg. 105  

The Holy Bible, The World Publishing Co., Cleveland, "The Epistle Dedicatory" pg. 3-4

4].  Fox, pg. 111  

[5].  Fox, pg. 114


D'Aubigne, J. H. Merle, History of the Reformation of the Sixteenth Century, The Religious Tract Society, London, 1846  

The Ecclesiastical History of Eusebius Pamphilus, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, 1971  

Encyclopedia Britannica, William Benton Publisher, Chicago, 1966  

Forbush, William B., Editor,
Fox's Book of Martyrs, Zondervan  Publishing House, Grand Rapids, 1926  

Goold, G. P., Editor,
Bede Historical Works:  Ecclesiastical  History of the English Nation, Vol. I and II  

Keyes, Nelson B.,
Story of the Bible World, Reader's Digest Assn,  Pleasantville, NY, 1962  

Lightfoot, J.B., Editor,
The Apostolic Fathers, Baker Book House,  Grand Rapids, 1965  

McDonald, William J., Editor,
The New Catholic Encyclopedia,  McGraw-Hill, Chicago, 1962  

North, James B.,
From Pentecost to the Present, College Press Publishing, Joplin, Mo., 1983  

Simon, Edith,
Great Ages of Man:  The Reformation, Time-Life Books, NY, 1968  

Burrage, Henry S., [
Ana]Baptist Hymn Writers and their Hymns, Brown Thurston & Co., Portland, Maine, 1889  

Wells, H. G.,
The Outline of History, Garden City Books, NY, 1961