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Mortal Coils

Aldous Huxley

Leaves of Grass

Walt Whitman

Theory of Colours

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The Count of Monte Cristo

Alexandre Dumas

History of the Mennonites

by Daniel Kolb Cassel


Menno renounced the Catholic faith January 12th, 1536, and shortly afterwards he was baptized at Leeuwarden (see B. Karl Rooscn, p. 25) by Johann Matthys (see Gemeindeblattfi'sr Mcnnoniten, Bande 4. wsd $,Jahrg.

After his severance from the Catholic Church he lived retired, spent his time in reading and writing, until the year 1537.

Ubbo Philipps, a brother of Dirk Philipps, was ordained to the ministry by Johann Matthys, says Berend KarlRoosen, of Hamburg, Altona, and Menno Simons was ordained a minister by Ubbo Philipps in 1537, in the Old Evangelical (Taufgesinnten, or Waldenser) Church, afterwards called Mennonites.

Menno Simons' departure from the teachings of his childhood naturally caused the greatest indignation in Catholic circles, and from that time on he and his followers were subjected to the basest persecution—a persecution which has been transmitted through successive generations and exists to-day, although not to such an extent. «

After Menno's ordination to the ministry in 1537, he exercised an influence upon the remaining Munsterites, strong enough to cause them to renounce their warlikeattitude and become peaceable Christians. He tried to persuade them to hold peace, even when he was yet a Catholic priest.

The quiet Old Evangelical Baptists, who strongly renounced every kind of warfare, called upon Menno in 1537, after he had renounced his office as Catholic priest, and only after much deliberation and prayer he consented to accept the call and become their bishop (see B. K. Roosen, p. Jj), and, being a learned and eloquent man, he accomplished a vast amount of good, the effect of which is felt in Mennonite circles to-day. His unquestioned piety and sincerity, together with his eloquence, swayed the multitudes and many thousands en

Nach dem der Mennoniten Kirche in Hamburg und Altona gehörendem Bildnisse.


BORN 1491. DIED 1559.

listed in the good cause. In the year 1537 Menno Simons commenced traveling throughout Northern Germany as a teacher of the Scriptural truth. Everywhere he went his life was endangered by indignant followers of the faith he had renounced, but he was not dismayed, and went on in his laudable effort to convert men to be believers in and followers of the teachings of Christ. He founded many congregations in Kuropc, and labored assiduously in his undertaking until death put an end to his earthly career.

The exact date of Menno Simons' birth and death is somewhat shrouded in mystery. Nearly all writers in the home of Menno Simons have fixed 1496 as the year of his birth, and 1561 as the year of his death. We find in his foundation book, in late German editions, "that it [the dawning of the new spiritual light] occurred in 1524, in his twenty-eighth year," which would make the year of his birth 1496; but the first Dutch collected edition to which we have access does not contain any such date. It appears, then, he never wrote this sentence; it has evidently been added by some writer or printer in later years.

E. K. Martin, Esq., of the Lancaster Bar, in his pamphlet called the " Mennonites," fixes the year of Menno's birth in 1492.

Professor J. G. De Hoop Scheffer, who has charge of the Mennonite archives at Amsterdam, in Holland, whom we must acknowledge as good authority, and have no reason to doubt has better facilities of ascertaining than many others, also fixes the year of Menno's birth, A.D. 1492, and that of his death 1559, on the 13th of January.

Much could be written on this subject and explanations given, but this must suffice. The good that Menno Simons had done in life did not end at his death; it lived after him. The seed he had sown took deep root in the hearts of those he had taught, and although some writers accuse his followers of degenerating after Menno's death, they continued to labor on in the good cause. There is no evidence to prove the theory that his followers became lukewarm after his death. There has been a disposition in some quarters to depreciate the work accomplished by Menno Simons, and much of the credit that rightfully belongs to him was given to Luther and Calvin and others of his contemporaries. The time will come, however, when the concession will be made that he did as much towards the enlightenment of mankind as did those illustrious personages who shed such lustre on the history of the Reformation.

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