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A History of the Reformation (Vol. 2 of 2)

His conversion through Jan Matthys changed his whole life


633: Jan Bockelson, commonly called Jan van Leyden, was the illegitimate son of a village magistrate, and was born near Leyden in 1510. After a brief time of education at a village school he was apprenticed to a tailor, and in his leisure hours diligently educated himself. He travelled more widely than artisans usually did during their year of wandering--visiting England as well as most parts of Flanders. On his return home he married the widow of a shipmaster, and started business as a merchant. He was a prominent member of the literary "gilds" of his town, and had a local fame as a poet and an actor. His conversion through Jan Matthys changed his whole life; there is not the slightest reason to suppose that he was not an earnest and honest adherent of the Anabaptist doctrines as taught by Matthys. He is described as strikingly handsome, with a fine sonorous voice. He had remarkable powers of organisation. His whole brief life reveals him to be a very remarkable man. He was barely twenty-five when he was tortured to death by the Bishop of Muenster after the capture of the town.]

[Footnote 634: SOURCES: _Bibliotheca Fratrum Polonorum_ (Amsterdam, 1656) i. ii. _Racovian Catechism_ (London, 1818).

LATER BOOKS: Fock, _Der Socinianismus nach seiner Stellung in der Gesammtentwickelung des christlichen Geistes, nach seinem historischen Verlauf und nach seinem Lehrbegriff dargestellt_ (Kiel, 1847); A. Ritschl, _Jahrbuecher

f. deutsche Theologie_, xiii. 268 _ff._, 283 _ff._; _A critical History of the Christian Doctrine of Justification and Reconciliation_ (Edinburgh, 1872); Dilthey, _Archiv f. Geschichte d. Philos._ vi.; Harnack, _History of Dogma_, vii. 118 _ff._ (London, 1899).]

[Footnote 635: Pp. 397 _ff._]

[Footnote 636: Cf. i. 426 _ff._]

[Footnote 637: Harnack, _History of Dogma_, vii. 167.]

[Footnote 638: Cf. p. 427.]

[Footnote 639: Cf. i. 461.]

[Footnote 640: Erasmus, _Opera Omnia_, iv. 465.]

[Footnote 641: A very full analysis of the contents of the Racovian Catechism is given in Harnack's _History of Dogma_, vii. 137 ff., also in Fock, _Der Socinianismus_, etc. ii. A. Ritschl has shown that the Unitarianism of the Socinians is simply the legitimate conclusion from their theory of the nature of God and of the work of Christ, in his two essays in the _Jahrbuecher f. deutsche Theol._ xiii, 268 ff., 283 ff.]

[Footnote 642: SOURCES: Laemmer, _Monumenta Vaticana historiam ecclesiasticam seculi 16 illustrantia_ (Freiburg i. B. 1861); Weiss, _Papiers d'Etat du Cardinal Perronet de Granvelle_ (in the _Collection des documents inedits de l'Histoire de France, 1835-49)_; Fiedler, _Relationen Venetianischer Botschaften ueber Deutschland und Oesterreich im 16ten Jahrhunderte_ (in the _Fontes Rerum Austriacarum, Diplomatica et Acta_, xxx., Vienna, 1870); Friedenburg, _Nuntiaturberichte aus Deutschland, 1533-39_ (Gotha, 1892-93); _Carteggio di Vittoria Colonna_ (Rome, 1889).

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