This Day in Christian History: January 5
January 5, 1527: Felix Manz becomes the first Protestant to be martyred at the hands of Protestants.
|Grossmunster, Zurich by Robert Scarth|
One of the main subjects of dispute was the baptism of infant children. Felix and Conrad believed a person should be baptized after they had reached the age of accountability and accepted Christ, however Zwingli and his movement still practiced infant baptism.
Felix used his learning to translate texts into the language of the people, and was also an evangelist. He was arrested several times between 1525 and 1527 before he was caught by surprise while preaching and taken to Wellenburg Prison.
The Zurich council had passed a law stating that re-baptizing was a crime punishable by drowning. On January 5, 1527 they carried out this sentence on Felix, making him the first martyr of the law and the first protestant to be killed at the hands of protestants.
A hymn written by Feliz Manz is still sung in some Amish churches. Below is the English version.
With gladness will I now sing;
My heart delights in God,
Who showed me such forbearance
That I from death was saved
Which never hath an end.
I praise Thee, Christ in heaven
Who all my sorrow changed.