Zisca





The real name of this zealous servant of Christ was John de Trocznow,

that of Zisca is a Bohemian word, signifying one-eyed, as he had lost an

eye. He was a native of Bohemia, of a good family and left the court of

Winceslaus, to enter into the service of the king of Poland against the

Teutonic knights. Having obtained a badge of honour and a purse of

ducats for his gallantry, at the close of the war he returned to the

court of Winceslaus, to whom he boldly avowed the deep interest he took

in the bloody affront offered to his majesty's subjects at Constance in

the affair of Huss. Winceslaus lamented it was not in his power to

revenge it; and from this moment Zisca is said to have formed the idea

of asserting the religious liberties of his country. In the year 1418,

the council was dissolved, having done more mischief than good, and in

the summer of that year a general meeting was held of the friends of

religious reformation, at the castle of Wilgrade, who, conducted by

Zisca, repaired to the emperor with arms in their hands, and offered to

defend him against his enemies. The king bid them use their arms

properly, and this stroke of policy first insured to Zisca the

confidence of his party.



Winceslaus was succeeded by Sigismond, his brother, who rendered himself

odious to the Reformers; and removed all such as were obnoxious to his

government. Zisca and his friends, upon this, immediately flew to arms,

declared war against the emperor and the pope, and laid siege to Pilsen

with 40,000 men. They soon became masters of the fortress, and in a

short time all the south-west part of Bohemia submitted, which greatly

increased the army of the reformers. The latter having taken the pass of

Muldaw, after a severe conflict of five days and nights, the emperor

became alarmed, and withdrew his troops from the confines of Turkey, to

march them into Bohemia. At Berne in Moravia, he halted, and sent

despatches to treat of peace, as a preliminary to which, Zisca gave up

Pilsen and all the fortresses he had taken. Sigismond proceeding in a

manner that clearly manifested he acted on the Roman doctrine, that no

faith was to be kept with heretics, and treating some of the authors of

the late disturbances with severity, the alarm-bell of revolt was

sounded from one end of Bohemia to the other. Zisca took the castle of

Prague by the power of money, and on the 19th of August, 1420, defeated

the small army the emperor had hastily got together to oppose him. He

next took Ausea by assault, and destroyed the town with a barbarity that

disgraced the cause in which he fought.



Winter approaching, Zisca fortified his camp on a strong hill about

forty miles from Prague, which he called Mount Tabor, from whence he

surprised a body of horse at midnight, and made a thousand men

prisoners. Shortly after, the emperor obtained possession of the strong

fortress of Prague, by the same means that Zisca had before done: it was

soon blockaded by the latter, and want began to threaten the emperor,

who saw the necessity of a retreat.



Determined to make a desperate effort, Sigismond attacked the fortified

camp of Zisca on Mount Tabor, and carried it with great slaughter. Many

other fortresses also fell, and Zisca withdrew to a craggy hill, which

he strongly fortified, and whence he so annoyed the emperor in his

approaches against the town of Prague, that he found he must either

abandon the siege or defeat his enemy. The marquis of Misnia was deputed

to effect this with a large body of troops, but the event was fatal to

the imperialists; they were defeated, and the emperor having lost nearly

one third of his army, retreated from the siege of Prague, harassed in

his rear by the enemy.



In the spring of 1421, Zisca commenced the campaign, as before, by

destroying all the monasteries in his way. He laid siege to the castle

of Wisgrade, and the emperor coming to relieve it, fell into a snare,

was defeated with dreadful slaughter, and this important fortress was

taken. Our general had now leisure to attend to the work of reformation,

but he was much disgusted with the gross ignorance and superstition of

the Bohemian clergy, who rendered themselves contemptible in the eyes of

the whole army. When he saw any symptoms of uneasiness in his camp, he

would spread alarm in order to divert them, and draw his men into

action. In one of these expeditions, he encamped before the town of

Rubi, and while pointing out the place for an assault, an arrow shot

from the wall struck him in the eye. At Prague it was extracted, but,

being barbed, it tore the eye out with it. A fever succeeded, and his

life was with difficulty preserved. He was now totally blind, but still

desirous of attending the army. The emperor having summoned the states

of the empire to assist him, it was resolved, with their assistance, to

attack Zisca in the winter, when many of his troops departed till the

return of spring.



The confederate princes undertook the siege of Soisin, but at the

approach merely of the Bohemian general, they retreated. Sigismond

nevertheless advanced with his formidable army, consisting of 15,000

Hungarian horse and 25,000 infantry, well equipped for a winter

campaign. This army spread terror through all the east of Bohemia.

Wherever Sigismond marched, the magistrates laid their keys at his feet,

and were treated with severity or favour, according to their merits in

his cause. Zisca, however, with speedy marches, approached, and the

emperor resolved to try his fortune once more with that invincible

chief. On the 13th of January, 1422, the two armies met on a spacious

plain near Kamnitz. Zisca appeared in the centre of his front line,

guarded, or rather conducted, by a horseman on each side, armed with a

pole-axe. His troops having sung a hymn with a determined coolness drew

their swords, and waited for a signal. When his officers had informed

him that the ranks were all well closed, he waved his sabre round his

head, which was the sign of battle.



This battle is described as a most awful sight. The extent of the plain

was one continued scene of disorder. The imperial army fled towards the

confines of Moravia, the Taborites, without intermission, galling their

rear. The river Igla, then frozen, opposed their flight. The enemy

pressing furiously, many of the infantry, and in a manner the whole body

of the cavalry attempted the river. The ice gave way and not fewer than

2000 were swalled up in the water. Zisca now returned to Tabor, laden

with all the spoils and trophies which the most complete victory could

give.



Zisca now began again to pay attention to the reformation; he forbid all

the prayers for the dead, images, sacerdotal vestments, fasts, and

festivals. Priests were to be preferred according to their merits, and

no one to be persecuted for religious opinions. In every thing Zisca

consulted the liberal minded, and did nothing without general

concurrence. An alarming disagreement now arose at Prague between the

magistrates who were Calixtans, or receivers of the sacraments in both

kinds, and the Taborites, nine of the chiefs of whom were privately

arraigned, and put to death. The populace, enraged, sacrificed the

magistrates, and the affair terminated without any particular

consequence. The Calixtans having sunk into contempt, Zisca was

solicited to assume the crown of Bohemia; but this he nobly refused, and

prepared for the next campaign, in which Sigismond resolved to make his

last effort. While the marquis of Misnia penetrated into Upper Saxony,

the emperor proposed to enter Moravia, on the side of Hungary. Before

the marquis had taken the field, Zisca sat down before the strong town

of Ausig, situate on the Elbe. The marquis flew to its relief with a

superior army, and, after an obstinate engagement, was totally defeated

and Ausig capitulated. Zisca then went to the assistance of Procop, a

young general whom he had appointed to keep Sigismond in check, and whom

he compelled to abandon the siege of Pernitz, after laying eight weeks

before it.



Zisca, willing to give his troops some respite from fatigue, now entered

Prague, hoping his presence would quell any uneasiness that might remain

after the late disturbance: but he was suddenly attacked by the people;

and he and his troop having beaten off the citizens effected a retreat

to his army, whom he acquainted with the treacherous conduct of the

Calixtans. Every effort of address was necessary to appease their

vengeful animosity, and at night, in a private interview between

Roquesan, an ecclesiastic of great eminence in Prague, and Zisca, the

latter became reconciled, and the intended hostilities were done away.



Mutually tired of the war, Sigismond sent to Zisca, requesting him to

sheath his sword, and name his conditions. A place of congress being

appointed, Zisca, with his chief officers, set out to meet the emperor.

Compelled to pass through a part of the country where the plague raged,

he was seized with it at the castle of Briscaw and departed this life,

October 6, 1424. Like Moses, he died in view of the completion of his

labours, and was buried in the great church of Czaslow, in Bohemia,

where a monument is erected to his memory, with this inscription on

it--"Here lies John Zisca, who, having defended his country against the

encroachments of papal tyranny, rests in this hallowed place in despite

of the pope."



After the death of Zisca, Procop was defeated, and fell with the

liberties of his country.



After the death of Huss and Jerom, the pope, in conjunction with the

council of Constance, ordered the Roman clergy every where, to

excommunicate such as adopted their opinions, or commisserated their

fate.



These orders occasioned great contentions between the papists and

reformed Bohemians, which was the cause of a violent persecution against

the latter. At Prague, the persecution was extremely severe, till, at

length, the reformed being driven to desperation, armed themselves,

attacked the senate-house, and threw twelve senators, with the speaker,

out of the senate-house windows, whose bodies fell upon spears, which

were held up by others of the reformed in the street, to receive them.



Being informed of these proceedings, the pope came to Florence, and

publicly excommunicated the reformed Bohemians, exciting the emperor of

Germany, and all kings, princes, dukes, &c. to take up arms, in order to

extirpate the whole race; and promising, by way of encouragement, full

remission of all sins whatever, to the most wicked person, if he did but

kill one Bohemian protestant.



This occasioned a bloody war; for several popish princes undertook the

extirpation, or at least expulsion, of the proscribed people; and the

Bohemians, arming themselves, prepared to repel force by force, in the

most vigorous and effectual manner. The popish army prevailing against

the protestant forces at the battle of Cuttenburgh, the prisoners of the

reformed were taken to three deep mines near that town and several

hundreds were cruelly thrown into each, where they miserably perished.



A merchant of Prague, going to Breslaw, in Silesia, happened to lodge in

the same inn with several priests. Entering into conversation upon the

subject of religious controversy, he passed many encomiums upon the

martyred John Huss, and his doctrines. The priests taking umbrage at

this, laid an information against him the next morning, and he was

committed to prison as a heretic. Many endeavours were used to persuade

him to embrace the Roman catholic faith, but he remained steadfast to

the pure doctrines of the reformed church. Soon after his imprisonment,

a student of the university was committed to the same jail; when, being

permitted to converse with the merchant, they mutually comforted each

other. On the day appointed for execution, when the jailer began to

fasten ropes to their feet, by which they were to be dragged through the

streets, the student appeared quite terrified, and offered to abjure his

faith, and turn Roman catholic if he might be saved. The offer was

accepted, his abjuration was taken by a priest, and he was set at

liberty. A priest applying to the merchant to follow the example of the

student, he nobly said, "Lose no time in hopes of my recantation, your

expectations will be vain; I sincerely pity that poor wretch, who has

miserably sacrificed his soul for a few more uncertain years of a

troublesome life; and, so far from having the least idea of following

his example, I glory in the very thoughts of dying for the sake of

Christ." On hearing these words, the priest ordered the executioner to

proceed, and the merchant being drawn through the city was brought to

the place of execution, and there burnt.



Pichel, a bigoted popish magistrate, apprehended 24 protestants, among

whom was his daughter's husband. As they all owned they were of the

reformed religion, he indiscriminately condemned them to be drowned in

the river Abbis. On the day appointed for the execution, a great

concourse of people attended, among whom was Pichel's daughter. This

worthy wife threw herself at her father's feet, bedewed them with tears,

and in the most pathetic manner, implored him to commisserate her

sorrow, and pardon her husband. The obdurate magistrate sternly replied,

"Intercede not for him, child, he is a heretic, a vile heretic." To

which she nobly answered, "Whatever his faults may be, or however his

opinions may differ from yours, he is still my husband, a name which, at

a time like this, should alone employ my whole consideration." Pichel

flew into a violent passion and said, "You are mad! cannot you, after

the death of this, have a much worthier husband?" "No, sir, (replied

she) my affections are fixed upon this, and death itself shall not

dissolve my marriage vow." Pichel, however, continued inflexible, and

ordered the prisoners to be tied with their hands and feet behind them,

and in that manner be thrown into the river. As soon as this was put

into execution, the young lady watched her opportunity, leaped into the

waves, and embracing the body of her husband, both sunk together into

one watery grave. An uncommon instance of conjugal love in a wife, and

of an inviolable attachment to, and personal affection for, her husband.



The emperor Ferdinand, whose hatred to the Bohemian protestants was

without bounds, not thinking he had sufficiently oppressed them,

instituted a high court of reformers, upon the plan of the inquisition,

with this difference, that the reformers were to remove from place to

place, and always to be attended by a body of troops.



These reformers consisted chiefly of Jesuits, and from their decision,

there was no appeal, by which it may be easily conjectured, that it was

a dreadful tribunal indeed.



This bloody court, attended by a body of troops, made the tour of

Bohemia, to which they seldom examined or saw a prisoner, suffering the

soldiers to murder the protestants as they pleased, and then to make a

report of the matter to them afterward.



The first victim of their cruelty was an aged minister whom they killed

as he lay sick in his bed, the next day they robbed, and murdered

another, and soon after shot a third, as he was preaching in his pulpit.



A nobleman and clergyman, who resided in a protestant village, hearing

of the approach of the high court of reformers and the troops, fled from

the place, and secreted themselves. The soldiers, however, on their

arrival, seized upon a schoolmaster, asked him where the lord of that

place and the minister were concealed, and where they had hid their

treasures. The schoolmaster replied, he could not answer either of the

questions. They then stripped him naked, bound him with cords, and beat

him most unmercifully with cudgels. This cruelty not extorting any

confession from him, they scorched him in various parts of his body;

when, to gain a respite from his torments, he promised to show them

where the treasures were hid. The soldiers gave ear to this with

pleasure, and the schoolmaster led them to a ditch full of stones,

saying, Beneath these stones are the treasures ye seek for. Eager after

money, they went to work, and soon removed those stones, but not finding

what they sought after, beat the schoolmaster to death, buried him in

the ditch, and covered him with the very stones he had made them remove.



Some of the soldiers ravished the daughters of a worthy protestant

before his face, and then tortured him to death. A minister and his wife

they tied back to back and burnt. Another minister they hung upon a

cross beam, and making a fire under him, broiled him to death. A

gentleman they hacked into small pieces, and they filled a young man's

mouth with gunpowder, and setting fire to it, blew his head to pieces.



As their principal rage was directed against the clergy, they took a

pious protestant minister, and tormented him daily for a month together,

in the following manner, making their cruelty regular, systematic, and

progressive.



They placed him amidst them, and made him the subject of their derision

and mockery, during a whole day's entertainment, trying to exhaust his

patience, but in vain, for he bore the whole with true christian

fortitude. They spit in his face, pulled his nose, and pinched him in

most parts of his body. He was hunted like a wild beast, till ready to

expire with fatigue. They made him run the gauntlet between two ranks of

them, each striking him with a twig. He was beat with their fists. He

was beat with ropes. They scourged him with wires. He was beat with

cudgels. They tied him up by the heels with his head downwards, till the

blood started out of his nose, mouth, &c. They hung him by the right arm

till it was dislocated, and then had it set again. The same was repeated

with his left arm. Burning papers dipped in oil, were placed between his

fingers and toes. His flesh was torn with red-hot pincers. He was put to

the rack. They pulled off the nails of his right hand. The same repeated

with his left hand. He was bastinadoed on his feet. A slit was made in

his right ear. The same repeated on his left ear. His nose was slit.

They whipped him through the town upon an ass. They made several

incisions in his flesh. They pulled off the toe nails of his right foot.

The same repeated with his left foot. He was tied up by the loins, and

suspended for a considerable time. The teeth of his upper jaw were

pulled out. The same was repeated with his lower jaw. Boiling lead was

poured upon his fingers. The same repeated with his toes. A knotted cord

was twisted about his forehead in such a manner as to force out his

eyes.



During the whole of these horrid cruelties, particular care was taken

that his wounds should not mortify, and not to injure him mortally till

the last day, when the forcing out of his eyes proved his death.



Innumerable were the other murders and depredations committed by those

unfeeling brutes, and shocking to humanity were the cruelties which they

inflicted on the poor Bohemian protestants. The winter being far

advanced, however, the high court of reformers, with their infernal band

of military ruffians, thought proper to return to Prague; but on their

way, meeting with a protestant pastor, they could not resist the

temptation of feasting their barbarous eyes with a new kind of cruelty,

which had just suggested itself to the diabolical imagination of one of

the soldiers. This was to strip the minister naked, and alternately to

cover him with ice and burning coals. This novel mode of tormenting a

fellow-creature was immediately put into practice, and the unhappy

victim expired beneath the torments, which seemed to delight his inhuman

persecutors.



A secret order was soon after issued by the emperor, for apprehending

all noblemen and gentlemen, who had been principally concerned in

supporting the protestant cause, and in nominating Frederic elector

Palatine of the Rhine, to be king of Bohemia. These, to the number of

fifty, were apprehended in one night, and at one hour, and brought from

the places where they were taken, to the castle of Prague, and the

estates of those who were absent from the kingdom were confiscated,

themselves were made outlaws, and their names fixed upon a gallows, as

marks of public ignominy.



The high court of reformers then proceeded to try the fifty, who had

been apprehended, and two apostate protestants were appointed to examine

them. These examinants asked a great number of unnecessary and

impertinent questions, which so exasperated one of the noblemen, who was

naturally of a warm temper, that he exclaimed opening his breast at the

same time, "Cut here, search my heart, you shall find nothing but the

love of religion and liberty; those were the motives for which I drew my

sword, and for those I am willing to suffer death."



As none of the prisoners would change their religion, or acknowledge

they had been in error, they were all pronounced guilty; but the

sentence was referred to the emperor. When that monarch had read their

names, and an account of the respective accusations against them, he

passed judgment on all, but in a different manner, as his sentences

were of four kinds, viz. death, banishment, imprisonment for life, and

imprisonment during pleasure.



Twenty being ordered for execution, were informed they might send for

Jesuits, monks, or friars, to prepare for the awful change they were to

undergo; but that no protestants should be permitted to come near them.

This proposal they rejected, and strove all they could to comfort and

cheer each other upon the solemn occasion.



On the morning of the day appointed for the execution, a cannon was

fired as a signal to bring the prisoners from the castle to the

principal market-place, in which scaffolds were erected, and a body of

troops were drawn up to attend the tragic scene.



The prisoners left the castle with as much cheerfulness as if they had

been going to an agreeable entertainment, instead of a violent death.



Exclusive of soldiers, Jesuits, priests, executioners, attendants, &c. a

prodigious concourse of people attended, to see the exit of these

devoted martyrs, who were executed in the following order.



Lord Schilik was about fifty years of age, and was possessed of great

natural and acquired abilities. When he was told he was to be quartered,

and his parts scattered in different places, he smiled with great

serenity, saying, The loss of a sepulchre is but a trifling

consideration. A gentleman who stood by, crying, courage, my lord; he

replied, I have God's favour, which is sufficient to inspire any one

with courage: the fear of death does not trouble me; formerly I have

faced him in fields of battle to oppose Antichrist; and now dare face

him on a scaffold, for the sake of Christ. Having said a short prayer,

he told the executioner he was ready, who cut off his right hand and his

head, and then quartered him. His hand and head were placed upon the

high tower of Prague, and his quarters distributed in different parts of

the city.



Lord Viscount Winceslaus, who had attained the age of seventy years, was

equally respectable for learning, piety, and hospitality. His temper was

so remarkably patient, that when his house was broke open, his property

seized, and his estates confiscated, he only said, with great composure,

The Lord hath given, and the Lord hath taken away. Being asked why he

could engage in so dangerous a cause as that of attempting to support

the elector Palatine Frederic against the power of the emperor, he

replied, I acted strictly according to the dictates of my conscience,

and, to this day, deem him my king. I am now full of years, and wish to

lay down life, that I may not be a witness of the farther evils which

are to attend my country. You have long thirsted for my blood, take it,

for God will be my avenger. Then approaching the block, he stroked his

long grey beard, and said, Venerable hairs, the greater honour now

attends ye, a crown of martyrdom is your portion. Then laying down his

head, it was severed from his body at one stroke, and placed upon a pole

in a conspicuous part of the city.



Lord Harant was a man of good sense, great piety, and much experience

gained by travel, as he had visited the principal places in Europe,

Asia, and Africa. Hence he was free from national prejudices and had

collected much knowledge.



The accusations against this nobleman, were, his being a protestant and

having taken an oath of allegiance to Frederic, elector Palatine of the

Rhine, as king of Bohemia. When he came upon the scaffold he said, "I

have travelled through many countries, and traversed various barbarous

nations, yet never found so much cruelty as at home. I have escaped

innumerable perils both by sea and land, and surmounted inconceivable

difficulties, to suffer innocently in my native place. My blood is

likewise sought by those for whom I, and my forefathers, have hazarded

our estates; but, Almighty God! forgive them, for they know not what

they do." He then went to the block, kneeled down, and exclaimed with

great energy, into thy hands, O Lord! I commend my spirit; in thee have

I always trusted; receive me, therefore, my blessed Redeemer. The fatal

stroke was then given, and a period put to the temporary pains of this

life.



Lord Frederic de Bile suffered as a protestant, and a promoter of the

late war; he met his fate with serenity, and only said, he wished well

to the friends whom he left behind, forgave the enemies who caused his

death, denied the authority of the emperor in that country, acknowledged

Frederic to be the only true king of Bohemia, and hoped for salvation in

the merits of his blessed Redeemer.



Lord Henry Otto, when he first came upon the scaffold, seemed greatly

confounded, and said, with some asperity, as if addressing himself to

the emperor, "Thou tyrant Ferdinand, your throne is established in

blood; but if you kill my body, and disperse my members, they shall

still rise up in judgment against you." He then was silent, and having

walked about for some time, seemed to recover his fortitude, and growing

calm, said to a gentleman who stood near, I was, a few minutes since,

greatly discomposed, but now I feel my spirits revive; God be praised

for affording me such comfort; death no longer appears as the king of

terrors, but seems to invite me to participate of some unknown joys.

Kneeling before the block, he said, Almighty God! to thee I commend my

soul, receive it for the sake of Christ, and admit it to the glory of

thy presence. The executioner put this nobleman to considerable pain, by

making several strokes before he severed the head from the body.



The earl of Rugenia was distinguished for his superior abilities, and

unaffected piety. On the scaffold he said, "We who drew our swords,

fought only to preserve the liberties of the people, and to keep our

consciences sacred: as we were overcome, I am better pleased at the

sentence of death, than if the emperor had given me life; for I find

that it pleases God to have his truth defended, not by our swords, but

by our blood." He then went boldly to the block, saying, I shall now be

speedily with Christ, and received the crown of martyrdom with great

courage.



Sir Gaspar Kaplitz was 86 years of age. When he came to the place of

execution, he addressed the principal officer thus: "Behold a miserable

ancient man, who hath often entreated God to take him out of this wicked

world, but could not until now obtain his desire, for God reserved me

till these years to be a spectacle to the world and a sacrifice to

himself; therefore God's will be done." One of the officers told him, in

consideration of his great age, that if he would only ask pardon, he

would immediately receive it. "Ask pardon, (exclaimed he) I will ask

pardon of God, whom I have frequently offended; but not of the emperor,

to whom I never gave any offence should I sue for pardon, it might be

justly suspected I had committed some crime for which I deserved this

condemnation. No, no, as I die innocent, and with a clear conscience, I

would not be separated from this noble company of martyrs:" so saying,

he cheerfully resigned his neck to the block.



Procopius Dorzecki on the scaffold said, "We are now under the emperor's

judgment; but in time he shall be judged, and we shall appear as

witnesses against him." Then taking a gold medal from his neck, which

was struck when the elector Frederic was crowned king of Bohemia, he

presented it to one of the officers, at the same time uttering these

words, "As a dying man, I request, if ever king Frederic is restored to

the throne of Bohemia, that you will give him this medal. Tell him, for

his sake, I wore it till death, and that now I willingly lay down my

life for God and my king." He then cheerfully laid down his head and

submitted to the fatal blow.



Dionysius Servius was brought up a Roman catholic, but had embraced the

reformed religion for some years. When upon the scaffold the Jesuits

used their utmost endeavours to make him recant, and return to his

former faith, but he paid not the least attention to their exhortations.

Kneeling down he said, they may destroy my body, but cannot injure my

soul, that I commend to my Redeemer; and then patiently submitted to

martyrdom, being at that time fifty-six years of age.



Valentine Cockan, was a person of considerable fortune and eminence,

perfectly pious and honest, but of trifling abilities; yet his

imagination seemed to grow bright, and his faculties to improve on

death's approach, as if the impending danger refined the understanding.

Just before he was beheaded, he expressed himself with such eloquence,

energy, and precision, as greatly amazed those who knew his former

deficiency in point of capacity.



Tobias Steffick was remarkable for his affability and serenity of

temper. He was perfectly resigned to his fate, and a few minutes before

his death spoke in this singular manner, "I have received, during the

whole course of my life, many favours from God; ought I not therefore

cheerfully to take one bitter cup, when he thinks proper to present it?

Or rather, ought I not to rejoice, that it is his will I should give up

a corrupted life for that of immortality!"



Dr. Jessenius, an able student of physic, was accused of having spoken

disrespectful words of the emperor, of treason in swearing allegiance to

the elector Frederic, and of heresy in being a protestant: for the first

accusation he had his tongue cut out; for the second he was beheaded;

and for the third, and last, he was quartered, and the respective parts

exposed on poles.



Christopher Chober, as soon as he stepped upon the scaffold said, 'I

come in the name of God, to die for his glory; I have fought the good

fight, and finished my course; so, executioner, do your office.' The

executioner obeyed, and he instantly received the crown of martyrdom.



No person ever lived more respected, or died more lamented, than John

Shultis. The only words he spoke, before receiving the fatal stroke,

were, "The righteous seem to die in the eyes of fools, but they only go

to rest. Lord Jesus! thou hast promised that those who come to thee

shall not be cast off. Behold, I am come; look on me, pity me, pardon my

sins, and receive my soul."



Maximilian Hostialick was famed for his learning, piety, and humanity.

When he first came on the scaffold, he seemed exceedingly terrified at

the approach of death. The officer taking notice of his agitation, he

said, "Ah! sir, now the sins of my youth crowd upon my mind; but I hope

God will enlighten me, lest I sleep the sleep of death, and lest mine

enemies say, we have prevailed." Soon after he said, "I hope my

repentance is sincere, and will be accepted, in which case the blood of

Christ will wash me from my crimes." He then told the officer he should

repeat the song of Simeon; at the conclusion of which the executioner

might do his duty. He, accordingly, said, Lord! now lettest thou thy

servant depart in peace, according to thy word, for mine eyes have seen

thy salvation; at which words his head was struck off at one blow.



When John Kutnaur came to the place of execution, a Jesuit said to him,

"Embrace the Roman catholic faith, which alone can save and arm you

against the terrors of death." To which he replied, "Your superstitious

faith I abhor, it leads to perdition, and I wish for no other arms

against the terrors of death, than a good conscience." The Jesuit turned

away, saying, sarcastically, The protestants are impenetrable rocks. You

are mistaken, said Kutnaur, it is Christ that is the rock, and we are

firmly fixed upon him.



This person not being born independent, but having acquired a fortune by

a mechanical employment, was ordered to be hanged.--Just before he was

turned off, he said, "I die, not for having committed any crime, but for

following the dictates of my own conscience, and defending my country

and religion."



Simeon Sussickey was father-in-law to Kutnaur, and like him, was ordered

to be executed on a gallows. He went cheerfully to death and appeared

impatient to be executed, saying, "Every moment delays me from entering

into the kingdom of Christ."



Nathaniel Wodnianskey was hanged for having supported the protestant

cause, and the election of Frederic to the crown of Bohemia. At the

gallows, the Jesuits did all in their power to induce him to renounce

his faith. Finding their endeavours ineffectual, one of them said, If

you will not abjure your heresy, at least repent of your rebellion! To

which Wodnianskey replied, "You take away our lives under a pretended

charge of rebellion; and, not content with that, seek to destroy our

souls; glut yourselves with blood, and be satisfied; but tamper not with

our consciences."



Wodnianskey's own son then approached the gallows, and said to his

father, "Sir, if life should be offered to you on condition of apostacy,

I entreat you to remember Christ, and reject such pernicious overtures."

To this the father replied, "It is very acceptable, my son, to be

exhorted to constancy by you; but suspect me not; rather endeavour to

confirm in their faith your brothers, sisters, and children, and teach

them to imitate that constancy of which I shall leave them an example."

He had no sooner concluded these words than he was turned off, receiving

the crown of martyrdom with great fortitude.



Winceslaus Gisbitzkey, during his whole confinement, had great hopes of

life given him, which made his friends fear for the safety of his soul.

He, however, continued steadfast in his faith, prayed fervently at the

gallows, and met his fate with singular resignation.



Martin Foster was an ancient cripple; the accusations against whom were,

being charitable to heretics, and lending money to the elector Frederic.

His great wealth, however, seems to have been his principal crime; and

that he might be plundered of his treasures, was the occasion of his

being ranked in this illustrious list of martyrs.





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