Foxe's Book of Martyrs -- 133. RECENT DEFEATS OF THE TURKS


Moreover, as I was in writing hereof, opportunely came to my hands a certain writing out of Germany, certifying us of such news and victory of late achieved against the Turk, as may not a little increase our hope and comfort us, touching the decay and ruin of the Turk's power and tyranny against us. Which news are these: That after the Turkish tyrant had besieged, with an army of thirty thousand men, the famous and strong town and castle of Jula in Hungary, lying forty Dutch miles beyond the river Danube, which city had by the space of six weeks sustained many grievous assaults; God, through his great mercy and goodness, so comforted the said town of Jula and the poor Christians therein, at their earnest prayers, that the Turk with all his host was driven back by the hands of the general, called Karetshim Laslaw, and his valiant company; who not only defended the said town, but also constrained the Turks to retire to their great shame and confusion, with a great slaughter of the Turkish rabble; for the which the everlasting God be praised for ever.

The manner of the overthrow was this. As the aforesaid general did see his advantage, with Captain George and other horsemen of the Silesians and Hungarians, they set on the rearward of the Turks, and killed about eight thousand of them, and took also some of their artillery, and followed them so fast, that the Turks were constrained to fly into a marsh ground, and to break the wheels of the rest of their artillery to save themselves, and therewith they got a very rich booty, rescuing besides and taking from the Turks a great number of Christian prisoners. Like thanks are also to be given to God for the prosperous success given to Magotschy the valiant captain of Erla; who making toward the Turks, and encountering with the Tartarians, slew of them about eight hundred.

Not long after this it happened, through the like providence of our God, a Turkish captain called Begen, accompanied with a thousand fresh horsemen, came newly out of Turkey, to go toward the city named Finffenkyrchen, with whom the earl of Serin by the way did encounter, and in the night setting upon him, killed the captain, and took eight camels, and eight mules laden with treasure, and also got two red standards, with a whole great piece of rich cloth of gold, and with another fair and strange jewel. The horse of this aforesaid Turkish captain was betrapped and decked most richly. The saddle whereof had the pommel and back part covered over with plate of fine Arabic gold, and the rest of the saddle, beside the sitting-place, was plated with silver very fair gilded. The seat of the saddle was covered with purple velvet; the trappers and bridle beset with little Turquoises and rubies: which horse was sent to Vienna unto the Emperor Maximilian for a present.

Although the earl would very fain have saved the captain, not knowing what he was, yet the Janizaries, labouring to carry away their captain, so stiffly defended themselves, that the earl with his company, was constrained to kill both them and their captain. From whom the said earl of Serin the same time got fifteen thousand Turkish and Hungarian ducats; which money was brought for the payment of the Turkish soldiers in the town aforesaid of Finffenkyrchen, &c. All which be good beginnings of greater goodness to be hoped for hereafter, through the grace of Christ our Lord, especially if our Christian rulers and potentates, first the churchmen and prelates for their parts, then the civil powers and princes for their parts, withholding their affections a little, will turn their brawls and variance into brotherly concord and agreement, which the Lord of peace put in their minds to do. Amen. Or otherwise, if it will so please the Lord that the Turk come further upon us, so as he hath begun, for our punishment and castigation, his grace then give to the flock of his poor Christians constancy of faith, patience in suffering, and amendment of life. For so I understand by public fame, although uncertainly rumoured by the voice of some, that the Turk's power of late, this present year of our Lord 1566, hath pierced the parts of Apulia within Italy, wasting and burning the space of a hundred miles toward Naples. Which if it be certain, it is to be feared, that the Turk having thus set in his foot, and feeling the sweetness of Italy, will not so cease before he get in both head and shoulders also so far into Italy, that he will display his banners within the walls of Rome, and do with old Rome the like as Mahomet his great grandfather did with new Rome, the city of Constantinople, and as the Persians did with Babylon.

The causes why we have so to judge be divers; first, that the see of Rome hath been defended hitherto and maintained with much blood; and therefore it may seem not incredible, but that it will not long continue, but be lost with blood again, according to the verdict of the gospel; He that striketh with the sword, shall perish with the sword, &c. Another cause is, the fulfilling of the eighteenth chapter of the Apocalypse, where it is written, That great Babylon shall fall and be made an habitation of devils, and a den of unclean spirits, and a cage of filthy and unclean birds: the fall whereof shall be like a millstone in the sea, that is, which shall not rise again. And this to come before the day of judgment, the text of the said chapter doth apertly declare; where the words do follow, showing that the kings of the earth, and the merchants which had to do with the whorish city, standing afar off for fear of the heat, and beholding the smoke of the said city flaming and burning with fire, shall bewail and rue her destruction and desolation, &c. What city this is, called great Babylon, which like a millstone shall fall and burn, and be made an habitation of unclean spirits and beasts, let the reader construe. This is certain and plain, by these her kings and merchants standing afar off for fear, and beholding her burning, that the destruction of this city (what city soever it be) shall be seen here in earth before the coming of the Lord's judgment, as may easily be gathered by these three circumstances, that is, by the standing, the beholding, and bewailing of her merchants. By the which merchants andkings of the earth, peradventure may be signified the pope, the rich cardinals, the great prelates and fat doctors, and other obedienciaries of the Romish see, who at the coming of the Turks will not adventure their lives for their church, but will flee the city (no doubt) and stand afar off from danger; and when they shall see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, the city of Rome to be set on fire and consumed by the cruel Turks, the sight whereof shall seem to them piteous and lamentable, to behold the great and fair city of Rome, the tall castle of St. Angel, the pope's mighty see, (where they were wont to fish out such riches, dignities, treasures, and pleasure,) so to burn before their eyes, and to come to such utter desolation, which shall never be re-edified again, but shall be made an habitation of devils and unclean spirits, that is, of Turks, and heathen sultans, and barbarous Saracens, &c. This (I say) peradventure may be the meaning of that prophetical place of the Apocalypse; not that I have here any thing to pronounee, but only give my guess what may probably be conjectured. But the end at length will make this and all other things more plain and manifest. For mystical prophecies lightly are never so well understood, as when the event of them is past and accomplished.

Another cause, concurring with the causes aforesaid, may be collected out of Paulus Jovius, who writing of the subversion of Rhodes, whieh was, as ye heard, A. D. 1522, upon Christmas day, saith, That it chanced suddenly the same day in Rome, that as Pope Hadrian the Sixth was entering into the church to his service, suddenly over his head the upper frontier or top of the chapel door, which was of marble, immediately as the pope was entering, fell down, and slew eertain of his guard waiting upon him. Whereby peradventure may be meant, that the ruin of Rome was not long after to follow the loss of Rhodes.

The fourth cause I borrow out of Johannes Aventinus, who in his third book alleging the names, but not the words, of Hildegard, Bridget, and other prophetical men, hath these words: "If the sayings and prophecies of Hildegard, of Bridget, and of other prophetical persons, be true, which being foretold long before, we have seen now in these our days accomplished, the town of Cologne, will we, nill we, must needs be the head city of the Turks," &c.

And this I wrote not as one pronouncing against the city of Rome what will happen, but as one fearing what may fall. Which if it come to pass, (as I pray God it do not,) then shall the pope well understand, whither his wrong understanding of the Scriptures, and his false flattering glossers upon the same, have brought him.

Wherefore my counsel is to the pope, and all his popish maintainers and upholders, to humble themselves, and to agree with their brethren betime, letting all contention fall; lest that while the bishop of Rome shall strive to be the highest of all other bishops, it so fall out shortly, that the bishop of Rome shall be found the lowest of all other bishops, or peradventure no bishop at all.

Whereunto also another cause may be added, taken out of Hieronymus Savanarola, who prophesieth, that one shall come over the Alps like unto Cyrus, and destroy Italy. Whereof see more before.

This Solyman, if he be yet alive, hath now reigned forty-six years, who began the same year in the which the emperor Charles the Fifth was crowned, which was A. D. 1520, and so hath continued by God's permission, for a scourge to the Christians, unto this year now present, 1556. This Solyman by one of his concubines had his eldest son, called Mustapha. By another concubine, called Rosa, he had four sons, Mahomet, Bajazet, Selim, and Gianger. Of the which sons, Mustapha and Gianger were slain, as ye heard before, by the means of their own father. And thus much concerning the wretched tyranny of the Turks out of the authors hereunder written.

The authors of the Turks' stories.

Laconicus Chalcondyla.
Nicolaus Eboicus Episc. Saguntinus.
Johannes Ramus.
Andræas a Lucana.
Wolfgangus Drechslerus.
Johannes Crispus.
Johannes Faber.
Ludovicus Vives.
Bernardus de Breydenbach.
Mityleneus Archiepisc. Sabellicus.
Isidorus Rutherus.
Marinus Barletus.
Henricus Penia de bello Rhodio.

Melchior Soiterus.
Paulus Jovius.

Johan. Martinus Stella.
Gaspar Peucerus, &c.
Nicolaus a Mogen Burgundus.

Sebast. Munsterus.
Baptista Egnatius.
Barthol. Peregrinus.

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