Jacob Boehm, Running For Your Life



After learning a trade Jacob Boehm traveled, as was custom, as a itinerant journeymen for three years.  The purpose was to make him a finished workman.  In his wanderings Jacob fell in with a people called Pietists.  In many respects they resembled the Puritans.  He was converted among them.  The change was so great when he returned home, his language so strange, that his friends could not understand him.  His singular experience, his exposure of formal religion, his boldness in reproving sin, raised a storm of persecution.  The minister withstood him, and denounced him as a heretic.  His answers were so pertinent that his father gave him a severe reprimand.  The Church exercised civil as well as ecclesiastical authority, and young Boehm was convicted of heresy, and sentenced to prison.  An elder brother was appointed to conduct him to the prison-house.  He did not watch his brother closely, and as they were near the line that separated Switzerland from France the prisoner crossed over, and was forever free from his domestic and priestly persecutors.

He journeyed along the banks of the Rhine till he entered the Dukendom of Pfaltz.  This was the Palatine bordering on Belgium.  From this region were the ancestors of Philip Embury.  There young Jacob became acquainted with a people called Mennonites.  They took their name from Menno Simon, who was contemporary with Luther.  They were a simple-hearted people, and he united with them, and became a lay elder.

By the way, this is a relative of mine in which I am proud of.


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