The Peasants War in Germany, 1525-1526

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Swan Sonnenschein, 1899 - Peasants' War, 1524-1525 - 367 pages
 

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Quick and interesting read on the goings-on in Germany during the Peasant Wars. The author brings a 19th century socialist perspective to the struggles of the "common man" of nearly 400 years prior. His attempt to read class struggle into the Peasant uprisings is not exactly apt -- the German peasants were just as quick to plunder an pillage as their lords, despite their stated desire to create a Kingdom of Christ where all were equal. It's obvious that Bax wishes they had succeeded!
However, his recounting of the facts is very interesting. Well worth the time if you're interested in this topic.
 

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Page 58 - ... excepted. Therefore do we find in the Scripture that we are free, and we will be free. Not that we would be wholly free as having no authority over us, for this God doth not teach us. We shall live in obedience and not in the freedom of our fleshly pride, shall love God as our Lord, shall esteem our neighbours as brothers, and do to them as we would have them do to us, as God hath commanded at the Last Supper.
Page 61 - Article up from day to day, and daily increased. We desire that this should be earnestly considered, and that we should be not so heavily burdened withal ; but that we should be mercifully dealt with herein, that we may serve as our fathers have served, and only according to the Word of God. The Seventh Article Seventhly will we henceforth no longer be opprest by a lordship, but in such wise as a lordship hath granted the land, so shall it be held according to the agreement between the lord and the...
Page 342 - Genesis," the instances of Abraham and Abimelech and other Old Testament worthies, as justifying slavery and the treatment of a slave as a beast of burden. " Sheep, cattle, men-servants and maid-servants, they were all possessions," says Luther, " to be sold as it pleased them like other beasts. It were even a good thing were it still so. For else no man may compel nor tame the servile folk
Page 53 - The basic and chief articles of all the peasants and subjects of spiritual and temporal lords, concerning the matters in which they feel they are being denied their rights. To the Christian reader: Peace and the grace of God through Christ. Many antichrists [I John 2:18] have recently taken advantage of the assembling of the peasants and used it as an excuse to speak scornfully about the Gospel. They say, "Is this the fruit of the new Gospel? Will no one be obedient anymore? Will the people rebel...
Page 58 - His precious blood, the poor hind as well as the highest, nobody excepted. Therefore do we find in the Scripture that we are free, and we will be free. Not that we would be wholly free as having no authority over us, for this God doth not teach us. We shall live in obedience and not in the freedom...
Page 56 - ... and His servants. If it be the due of a pastor who clearly proclaimeth the Word of God, then it is our will that our Church overseers such as are appointed by the community shall collect and receive this tithe and therefore shall give to the pastor who shall be chosen from a whole community suitably sufficient subsistence for him and his, as the whole community may deem just ; and what remaineth over shall be furnished to the poor and the needy of the same village, according to the circumstance...
Page 62 - ... Seventhly will we henceforth no longer be opprest by a lordship, but in such wise as a lordship hath granted the land, so shall it be held according to the agreement between the lord and the peasant. The lord shall no longer compel him and press him nor require of him new services or aught else for naught. But when the lord hath need of the peasant's services, the peasant shall be willing and obedient to him before others, but it shall be at the hour and at the time when it shall not be to the...
Page 62 - ... service for a befitting price. The Eighth Article Eighthly there are many among us who are opprest in that they hold lands and in that these lands will not bear the price on them, so that the peasants must sacrifice that which belongeth to them to their own undoing. We desire that the lordship will fix a price as may be just in such wise that the peasant may not have his labour in vain for every labourer is worthy of his hire. The Ninth Article Ninthly do we suffer greatly concerning misdemeanours...
Page 131 - Had Gotz been sincere in taking up the cause of the rebellion, there is no doubt that, experienced warrior as he was, he would have been a valuable acquisition. Even as it was some of his suggestions respecting the maintenance of discipline were in the right direction, but the fact remained that he was acting under compulsion in a cause with which he had no sympathy and his one concern was to get rid of his responsibility at the first possible moment, if not actually to betray his trust." Note...
Page 59 - We shall live in obedience and not in the freedom of our fleshly pride, shall love God as our Lord, shall esteem our neighbours as brothers, and do to them as we would have them do to us, as God hath commanded at the Last Supper. The Fourth Article Fourthly was it hitherto a custom that no poor man hath the right to capture ground game, fowls, or fish in flowing water, which to us seemeth unbecoming and unbrotherly. For when God the Lord created man He gave him power over all creatures over the fowl...

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