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In that year, he writes, the Emperor Theodosius issued an edict against the Anabaptists, commanding that they should be put to death.
This was subsequently also quoted by the inquisitor of Leeuwaerden, in his controversy with Jacques d' Allchi, in the year 1558. See register of the 2d book, on the name Jacques. Also, Inwoduction, fol. 47, col. 2.
These several versions of the edict of Honoriu and Theodosius unanimously indicate three things 1. That at that time, A. D. 413, there were peopl who were called Anabaptists. 2. That on accoun of this matter of rebaptizing, these people were exceedingly hated by the world, especially by the great. 3. it is shown how they were hated, namely, unto death, so that the command was given, that they should be punished with death. However, intelligent people well know, that Christ, our Saviour predicted long before, that such thing would befall His disciples and followers. Matt 10:22; 24:9; Mark 13:9; Luke 21:12; John 15:19; 16:2.
Moreover, that the afore-mentioned (people against whom said edict was issued, were no strange, unknown, erring spirits, but such peopl as are also in our day styled Anabaptists; this no only the inquisitor of Leeuwaerden, A. D. 1558 readily admitted, as has been shown in the prope place, but all the particulars of the last mentione authors make it almost as clear as the sun at midday, that this is the general opinion of the Roman ists. Nay, it appears that the edict of Honoriu and Theodosius was carried into execution, no only A. D. 413, and in some of the subsequen years, but that it was no small cause of the last great persecution of the Anabaptists, which began about A. D. 1524, through the strong urging of the Papists, especially of their clergy, who, to all appearance, by it induced the Emperor, Charles V to renew said edict against the Anabaptists of thei time, as being an identical people, and of the same faith, with those who lived in the time of Honoriu and Theodosius. At least, that many papistic magistrates put to death innumerable pious Anabaptis Christians, by virtue of said ancient edict of A. D. 413, appears with such certainty from various authors, that it cannot, with truth, be denied. Compare Seb. Franck, fol. 136, col. 3, with Marti Bellius, page 53.
Now the couplet of Prosperus was verified namely, that baptism did indeed sanctify the true candidate in some measure, but that all this was perfected by the crown of martyrdom. This was afterwards rendered in German, by Jacob Mehrn ing, thus
"Was heylligs bringt die Tmuffe schon
Solchs gants erfuellet der Martrer chron."*