announce to you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, for verily it will not tarry, and shortly you shall see that we have told you nothing but the truth of God, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and are witnesses against you, and against all who set at nought his commandments. We beseech you to forsake iniquity, and to turn to the living God with weeping and lamentation, that you may escape all these woes.
"We earnestly entreat you, submissively and with prayers, that you take in good part all these our words. For we testify and speak what we know, and have learned to be true in the sight of God, and from that true Christian affection which we follow after before God and men. Farewell."
The fierceness of this persecution soon declined, since there was no adequate local sentiment to sustain it, but it was again renewed in 1547, and from this time to Ferdinand's death, in 1564, was a period of suffering known in the Anabaptist literature as "the time of the great persecution." The reign of Maximilian II. (1564-1576) and the first half of his successor's reign (Rudolf II., 1576-1612) was a time of comparative freedom from molestation, and is called in the chronicles "the good time
- This document is given by Ott, Annales Anabaptistici, pp. 75-78, and in several other collections of Anabaptist documents. There can be no doubt of its genuineness. The above translation, with some changes, is from the Martyrology of the Hansard Knollys Society, i., 149-153.