At Marburg, one of the principal towns in Hessia, there is a small Baptist church, whose members, at the present time, are suffering a severe persecution on account of their principles as Baptists. The subjoined extract from a letter, written by Dr. Raumer, a member of the church at Stuttgart, to Mr. Lehmann, pastor of the Baptist church at Berlin, describes the following scene as having lately occurred at Marburg. The letter is dated July 6, 1842: -"Our sister church at Marburg, of which you have heard, has now been for a long time an object of persecution and hostile treatment on the part of the magistrates there. A beloved brother there, Jeremiah Grimmel, who neglected to bring his infant child into the state church to be sprinkled, was at first punished in the payment of a heavy fine, which was intended to compel him to obey the requisition. As he did not of his own accord pay the money exacted of him, he was fined still further, and his furniture, even to chairs and beds, was seized and taken from him. These measures having failed to shake the firmness of the brother and his like-minded wife, the magistrate then threatened to take the child from them by force, and to perform upon it themselves the rite of church baptism. As the first step to the execution of this threat, a guardian was appointed to the child and the parents. At length, on last Monday, the plan was carried fully into effect. The guardian, taking advantage of the absence of the father, came into the house with a band of police officers and soldiers, and demanded the child of the mother. Upon her refusal to surrender it, the infant was torn from her by force, and immediately dragged away in order to have the act of church baptism, so called, performed upon it, before the father could return to prevent it."To prevent the recurrence of such scenes, the brethren propose to petition the Government for a relaxation of the laws in their behalf. Their prospects of success in this application are not, however, for the present at least, the most encouraging.
This article appeared under the section called "Baptist Intelligence," that included news items from various locations of Baptist works.
[From The Baptist Report, 1843, p. 67. On-line edition via Google Books.
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