E-BK WHP12 Protestantism in Germany from the Augsburg Confession to the Peace of Passau
By Wylie, J.A.
The prosperity of these peaceful days was, alas! disturbed by a most deplorable outbreak of lawless passion and horrible fanaticism. We have already narrated the tumults and bloodshed of which the provinces of Upper Germany were the scene about a decade before, caused by the efforts of men who had espoused principles that converted the liberty of the Gospel into worse than pagan licentiousness. The seeds of these evils were still in the soil, and the days of peace brought them to the surface a second time. In 1533, two Anabaptist prophets — John Matthias, a baker of Haarlem, and John Buckholdt, a tailor in Leyden — with a body of their followers, seized upon the city of Münster, in Westphalia, judging it a convenient spot from which to propagate their abominable tenets. They gave out that God had commissioned them to put down all magistracy and government, and establish the kingdom of heaven, which from its centre in Münster, or Mount Zion, as they styled it, was to reign over all the nations of the earth.Matthias, the baker, was the first monarch of this new kingdom.