The causes which led to the Colonization of America—French Colony in Florida—Colony of Massachusetts Bay—The Puritans—Intolerance of the Church of England—The Salzburgers—Contrast between them and the Puritans—Injustice done to the former—The Origin of the Salzburgers—Their persecutions by the dukes of Savoy—They embrace the Doctrines of the Reformation—Cruelty toward their pastor—The Valleys of TefFereck—Their Retreats discovered—Miximilian Gudolph—Salzburgers before the Bishop’s Court at Hallein—Renewed persecutions—Sympathy of Protestant States—Elector of Brandenburg—Corpus Evangelicum—Return of the Teffereckers—Duplicity and Treachery of the Catholic Authorities—Penalties imposed on the Salzburgers—Banishment and Confiscation of their Estates—Severe Sufferings of the Exiles—Joseph Schaitberger—Remarkable conversion of his daughter—Schaitberger as an author—The Confession of Faith—The Salzburg Emigrant’s Song—Persecutions under Leopold—Archbishopric of Salzburg—The City of Salzburg—Thirty thousand Protestants exiled—Their reception by Protestant States.
THE colonial history of our country derives much of its interest from the fact, that many of the early settlers were those who had been expatriated for conscience’ sake and were brought hither by their high veneration for the gospel. Forsaking their country and their homes—severing all those ties which bind man so strongly to the place of his nativity—abandoning the comforts and endearments of civilized life, they came to the wilderness of America, that they might enjoy without restraint that great birthright of the immortal mind—“freedom to worship God” at “a faith’s pure shrine.”
From the middle of the sixteenth to the latter part of the eighteenth century, companies of emigrants reached our shores from Great Britain and different parts of continental Europe, who were driven hither by the relentless persecutions of their religious adversaries. It is well known that those who came from England were outlawed by the bigotry and intolerance of the Established Church. By the act of Uniformity, passed in the reign of Edward VI., the Church of England attempted to conform the opinions of all British subjects, as well as their modes of worship, to her Canons and Liturgy. As might have been expected, these efforts to enslave the human mind and shackle the conscience were boldly resisted, and hundreds and thousands preferred imprisonment, exile, and even death, rather than endanger their spiritual interests by embracing error, or submitting their wills to “the commandments and ordinances of men.” Those who came from the continent of Europe, were Protestants, who had embraced the doctrines of the Reformation, as taught by Luther or Calvin, as distinguished from the doctrines of the Church of Rome, and who were consequently driven into exile, by the proscriptive and relentless spirit, which has always characterized that church.
As early as the year 1564, a colony of Huguenots, or French Protestants, was planted in Florida by John Ribault, under the patronage of the noble and philanthropic Admiral Coligny. The cruel sufferings endured by these devoted Christians during the reign of the imbecile Charles IX. and his perfidious mother, Catherine de Medicis, compelled them to forsake the vine-clad hills and the beautiful vales of France, to seek in the wilderness of the West, a retreat from the sword and fagot of the persecutor. Of the unhappy fate of this colony it is not necessary to speak, further than to remark, that it was entirely destroyed in 1565 by Pedro Melendez, the inhuman agent of the bigoted Philip II. of Spain, who murdered all the colonists, and completely devastated their settlement.
On the 22d of December, 1620, the colony of Massachusetts was commenced by the landing of the Pilgrim Fathers at Plymouth Rock. These venerable men, as is well known, were from England, where, by their rigid virtues and their resistance to the spiritual domination of the Established Church, they had acquired the name of Puritans, then a term of reproach, but now synonymous with unostentatious piety, sterling integrity, and uncompromising opposition to every species of despotism; and which shall be forever identified with the great principles of civil and religious freedom. By asserting the rights of conscience, and by refusing their assent to the unjust and unreasonable pretensions set up by the Church of England under the sanction of the British parliament, they became obnoxious to the displeasure of their civil and religious rulers. Arraigned before the Court of High Commission, the Puritans boldly asserted the principles of religious toleration, and claimed the free exercise of their judgment in all matters of faith. But in the liberal views that they entertained, they were too far in advance of the age in which they lived. They were consequently condemned. Hundreds of their ministers were deposed and deprived of their livings, and with their flocks, sentenced to imprisonment and the loss of country, and even of life.
It was for these causes and under these circumstances that the Pilgrims quitted the shores of England, and sought, among the savages of the New World, the free exercise of those privileges which they had been denied in the Old. Nor were they disappointed. Infusing their principles into all their institutions, civil, political, and religious, they prepared the way for the establishment of that great fabric of American freedom, which is now the pride of their posterity and the admiration of the civilized world. And by the influence which they exerted in shaping the destines of this republic, they have erected for themselves a monument which shall be coequal with our national existence.
Without stopping to notice other colonies of less importance, we pass on to the one which is more especially the subject of this little volume. We allude to the colony of Salzburgers, which was planted in Georgia in 1733. It has often been a matter of surprise, that so little notice has been taken of this colony in the various histories of our country which have been published from time to time. Like the Pilgrim Fathers, the Salzburgers were the victims of religious persecution: like them they were driven from their country and their homes on account of their unwavering attachment to the principles of the gospel; and there is a striking parellel in their characters and their early history. If the Puritans could boast of the venerable Robinson, as their pastor, the Salzburgers could point to their Bolzius and Gronau. If the Puritans were proud of Brewster and Carver, of Bradford, and Winslow, and Standish, the Salzburgers had their Von Reck, and Vatt, and Hermsdorf, and Dreisler, all men of mark, and who, in point of energy, firmness of principle, powers of endurance, and upright and consistent character, would compare favourably with any of the fathers of New England. But while the story of the Pilgrims has been a fruitful theme for the historian and the poet, the Salzburgers have either been entirely overlooked, or their history has been sketched very hastily and unsatisfactorily. This may be owing, in a measure, to the comparatively secluded spot which they selected for their settlement, together with the quietness and unobtrusiveness of their character. Beside which, the prevalence of the German language among them, the little intercourse which they cultivated with their English neighbours, and the preservation of their records in their native language, have no doubt all tended to obscure them, and deprive them of that position in the annals of our country to which their sufferings, their virtues, and their influence so justly entitle them.
The most satisfactory accounts of this interesting people which have been published in this country, are to be found in the collections of the Georgia Historical Society, Bancroft’s History of the United States, Dr. Hazelius’ History of the American Lutheran Church, and Dr. Steven’s History of Georgia. But while these authors have done much to rescue the Salzburgers from the obscurity into which they had been permitted to pass, it was not to have been expected, from the very character of these publications, that ample justice could have been done to the subject.
In attempting a particular history of the Salzburgers, it must be admitted that the work is attended with difficulty. Many of their records have been lost or destroyed, and those which have been preserved are so voluminous, and at the same time comprise so much matter that is of very little historical importance, that it would require months, if not years, of patient research to investigate them thoroughly. All that we shall aim at, therefore, will be, to notice briefly the origin of the Salzburgers, and the immediate causes which led to the planting of the colony in Georgia, with an account of their settlement at Ebenezer, and so much of their subsequent history as may be deemed of general interest.
The Salzburgers were descended from the Vallenses, a name derived from the Alpine valleys of Piedmont, and which was applied to all who had emigrated into that region, especially from the East. The Vallenses had, for several centuries prior to the Reformation, opposed the corruptions of the Church of Rome, and had consequently exposed themselves to severe persecutions, especially at the hands of the Dukes of Savoy, who waged against them a war of extermination. We may properly enumerate in their history ten bloody persecutions, from the establishment of their church in the commencement of the fifteenth century, until their exodus, which occurred toward the middle of the eighteenth century. To escape the dangers to which they were exposed, and to enjoy the free exercise of their religion, they were compelled to secrete themselves in the most inaccessible mountains of Dauphine in France, and the Alps of Switzerland and the Tyrol. Here, in their mountain retreats, secluded from the enjoyments of more civilized life, amid the wild majesty and grandeur of nature, they worshipped God in the true simplicity of the gospel, holding communion with Him, “who prefers above all temples the upright heart and pure;”, and acquiring continually, by a faithful improvement of their advantages, a fitness for that kingdom where the foot of the oppressor shall never enter, and the conflicts of the faithful shall end in everlasting peace and glory.
Nor were they content in seeking their own improvement: embarrassing as their circumstances no doubt were, they felt that it was their duty to embrace every opportunity to impart to others those religious truths which they had derived from the sacred Scriptures. Hence, as far as their situation would permit, they were constantly engaged in efforts to disseminate the doctrines of Christianity among the untutored inhabitants of those mountainous regions. And their labour of love was not in vain; for through their instructions, and more especially by the purity of their lives, hundreds were won to the cause of truth.
But this favourable state of things, which had continued for many years, was interrupted in the commencement of the seventeenth century. The doctrines of the Reformation, as taught by Luther and Calvin, having been proclaimed throughout Europe, found their way to the retreats of these devoted Christians ; and panting, as they no doubt did, for clearer views of religious truth, they readily embraced the doctrines of the reformed faith, and identified themselves with the friends of evangelical religion. When, therefore, the Church of Rome determined to stop the progress of the Reformation, by persecuting and if need be, by exterminating all who favoured it, these devoted people again became the subjects of Popish superstition and rage. They were hunted like wild beasts by the emissaries of Rome, and made to suffer every cruelty and indignity which the malice of man could possibly devise. One of their ministers, Anthony Brassus, was decapitated, and, as if to add insult to injury, his head was nailed to his pulpit; others were scourged with such severity that they expired at the whipping-post; and every pastor who fell into the hands of the priests was put to death under the most revolting circumstances. Nor were the lay members of these churches more fortunate than their spiritual shepherds. Some were blown up with gunpowder, others were driven into barns and houses, and suffocated, or made to perish amid the flames of their own dwellings. Neither age nor sex procured exemption from the cruelties of these inhuman monsters; and nothing but the providential escape of a small number, saved this entire people from extermination.
Those who survived this persecution retreated into the secluded valleys of Teffereck. Here they remained undisturbed, maintaining their religious principles amid great poverty and distress, but still with unshaken confidence in God, though they knew not how soon they would be exposed to new forms of cruelty and death. At the expiration of about seventy years, (during which time Protestantism was supposed to be extinct in the Archbishopric of Salzburg,) a whole congregation of Christians was discoved to exist, and it was ascertained that it had maintained its organization and regular worship for more than half a century. Teffereck is a valley of Salzburg, on the borders of the Tyrol, in the district called Windisch-Matrey; and in its solitudes and in the depths and darkness of its ravines, true faith seemed long to have found a safe retreat. The people had no minister or public instructor of any kind, but met together by night, in thick forests, or in the mines for mutual edification, by singing and prayer; reading of the Scriptures, Luther’s and Spangenberg’s sermons, the Augsburg Confession, the Shorter Catechism, and other good books. These were carefully perused in the families of such as could read, and the doctrines which they inculcated were communicated to their children and more intimate associates. In public, they occasionally attended the services of the Romish Church and partook of the Sacrament, but they were still regarded with suspicion by the public authorities, and were stigmatized by the priests as “Secret Lutherans.” Still they continued for a long time to enjoy something like peace. But as their numbers increased, they began to be watched more carefully, and the appointment for that suffragan of a priest who had been educated by the Jesuits, finally brought matters to a crisis. This man was exceedingly haughty and violent, and frequently denounced the pure doctrines of the gospel, which he suspected that these people had embraced. Hence their attendance at church became less and less frequent, and some of them, when there, arose and left the house when they heard what they regarded as the most essential truths of Christianity misrepresented and blasphemed. The reigning bishop, Maximilian Gaudolph was speedily informed of the state of things, and he immediately cited two of their number before his court at Hallein. Upon appearing in his presence, he asked where their Lutheran books were, and demanded to know why they did not attend confession and mass ? Upon honestly confessing their sentiments, they were thrown into prison and put into chains. During three days’ confinement they were treated with the utmost severity, after which they were conveyed to Salzburg, to be examined before a higher court. Here they were again asked whether they were Lutherans or Papists ; and upon their answering that they believed the Lutheran doctrines to be clearly founded upon the gospel, they were again imprisoned for fifty days. While in prison two old Capuchin monks were sent to convert them, but these priestly confessors could not shake their faith, being themselves discomfited by the apt quotations that these humble Christians made from the sacred Scriptures. Reason, or rather sophistry, failing to make any impression, resort was had to torture and the most terrible threatenings; but these witnesses for the truth remained firm. At length, they were required to furnish the archbishop with a written confession of their faith. With this demand they cheerfully complied, and accompanied their confession with a very humble petition, that they might either be tolerated in their native land, or allowed to depart from it with their wives and children. This confession was drawn up by Joseph Schaitberger, a poor miner, who had enjoyed no opportunities of education out of his own family, but it is in all respects a remarkable document. It commences thus:—“Most noble Prince, our most gracious Lord: Those are truly strong and terrible words, which our Lord Jesus Christ himself has spoken to hypocritical Christians, who deny their faith before the world, when he says: ‘He that is ashamed of me and denies me before men, of him will I be ashamed, and will deny him before my Father and the holy angels.’ Luke ix. and Matt. x. These words, may it please your princely grace, move us not to deny our faith before men, lest we should prove to be hypocrites in the sight of God and of men, which may God prevent.” They then proceed to say, that his highness must be aware, that they had always conducted themselves as dutiful subjects, but that as regarded things spiritual, they felt themselves bound to obey God, rather than man; and while “rendering unto Cæsar the things that are Cæsar’s, to render unto God the things that are God’s.” In reference, therefore, to the two points on which they were specifically interrogated, viz. the worship of saints and the Lord’s Supper, they would express themselves as simply as they could, in explanation of what they believed to be in accordance with the plain teachings of the word of God. In doing this, they very clearly announced their faith in the great doctrines of Christianity, especially the doctrine of justification by faith alone ; and occasionally refer to the Augsburg Confession and declare their agreement with its teachings. In reference to the Lord’s Supper, they thus expressed themselves : “As it regards the Holy Supper and Testament of our Lord Jesus Christ, it rests most heavily upon our hearts and consciences, in view of our soul’s salvation, as one of our highest duties. But that we have not hitherto drank, according to Christ’s command, the blood of Christ in the cup, this we and our forefathers have ever lamented, for it is indeed written, ‘Drink ye all of it,’ that is not only priests, but all men. Matt. xxvi.”
The result of this confession was a universal persecution of all, who were even suspected of having embraced these “heretical” views. They were refused employment, and their property was all taken from them. Their books were seized whenever found, and either torn or burnt. They were put to hard labour upon bread and water for fourteen days, and then required to recant. Some few were subdued by these cruelties, and such were required to renounce Lutheranism, as a new and damnable heresy, and profess their faith in all the doctrines of the papacy, such as the mass, the intercession of the Virgin Mary and other saints, the sufficiency of the sacraments under one form, purgatory, &c. Others endeavoured to flee, with their wives and children in the dead of winter, and left all their earthly possessions behind. But not even this privilege was accorded to them by their relentless persecutors. Their children were taken from them, under the pretence of giving them religious instruction. From one thousand parents who were driven from their country during the years 1684 to 1686, not less than six hundred children are said to have been taken. The accounts given by the fugitives of the indignities and cruelties to which they had been subjected, finally excited the sympathy of those Protestant princes in whose territories they had sought for refuge. About the commencement of the year 1685, Fredrick William, Elector of Brandenburg, addressed a letter to the Archbishop of Salzburg, in which he mildly remonstrated against these proceedings, and expressed the hope that they were unauthorized by his grace, especially as they were in direct violation of the peace of Westphalia. He also intimated, that in the absence of every other consideration, prudence alone would dictate another course, as Protestant states might become so incensed by such conduct as to retaliate upon their Roman Catholic subjects. In June of the same year, the evangelical representatives, (Corpus Evan-gelicum,) assembled at Regensburg, also addressed a remonstrance to the archbishop, who replied, that these people were neither Lutheran nor Reformed, and consequently could not claim the benefits of the treaty of Westphalia. But the evangelical body reiterating their demands early in the following year, and claiming these exiles as their brethren in a common faith, the episcopal government had no longer any pretext for their violent and illegal conduct, and the Catholic authorities agreed to restore to the Protestants their children and their rights of property. Filled with joy and holy gratitude, a number of the Teffereckers hastened to their once happy valley, provided with every thing which was regarded as necessary to establish their rights as parents and citizens. Great, however, was their surprise, when the Salzburg magistrate, Wolff Adam, to whom they reported themselves, without giving them an audience, thus addressed them: “What are you doing here, you Lutheran dogs ? Where are your passports ?” These being produced, he continued his revilings while he sent for a priest to assist in their examination. Upon his arrival their packs were searched, and all their books taken from them, with this remark, “When we have our baking done, we will use these books to heat the oven.” That night these devoted Christians were kept in prison under a guard of twenty soldiers, and the next morning they were ordered to pay a fine of thirty-four florins. Upon their demurring to do so, they were threatened with additional cruelties, until one of their number gave an order for the amount, to be raised from his property in the valley, upon which a guard conducted them over the frontier, and warned them never again to attempt to enter the country. Representations were duly made to the archbishop in relation to the conduct of his subordinates and an examination was professedly made, but the accused party escaped with a light reprimand. Finally, the archbishop endeavoured to extricate himself from all censure, by alleging that the valley of Teffereck was not under his jurisdiction, but a part of the Tyrol, and so subject to the Emperor of Austria. All representations made to the Imperial court were equally unavailing; and thus these poor people were stripped of all their earthly possessions. Nor was this all. Their wives and children were wrested from them, except when they succeeded in penetrating the country, and, despite the vigilance of the guards, carried off sometimes a wife, sometimes a child, or perhaps in a few cases, their whole family. During all this time, their sufferings were indescribable. Driven from their homes, they had no place of shelter. Deprived of all employment, they were destitute of the means of providing the necessaries of life. Going forth in the dead of winter, they suffered incredibly from cold and hunger, so that many, after reaching some Protestant state, perished from exhaustion. Still more melancholy was the fate of those from whom their children were torn, and given into the hands of their bitterest enemies, to be trained up under the most dangerous and ruinous errors.
One of the most remarkable of these sufferers was Joseph Schaitberger, to whom reference has already been made as the author of the Confession of Faith, which was presented to the archbishop. He was born on the 18th of March, 1658, at Dŭrenburg, in the district of Hallein, about two German miles from the city of Salzburg. His parents were both pious and decidedly attached to the evangelical faith, in which he was carefully educated. Being early taught to read by his brother, (who was a schoolmaster,) he soon manifested the deepest love for the sacred Scriptures, so that, like the Psalmist, he “meditated in them by day and by night,” and consequently became intimately acquainted with them. He was condemned by the archbishop’s court as a heretic, and his two daughters taken from him. He returned twice to recover them, but never succeeded. One of them, however, was finally restored to him in a most remarkable manner. Educated as a most zealous and bigoted Catholic, she had been taught to regard her father as a heretic, for whom there was no hope of salvation. When she had grown up, and was married, she became so interested in his eternal welfare as to make a journey to Nuremberg, where he was then residing, for the purpose of attempting his conversion. Her filial piety was rewarded; for the conversations with her father were so blessed to her, that she became a convert to the true faith, and after vainly attempting to induce her husband to follow her example, she spent the rest of her life, a voluntary exile, in Nuremburg, knowing that she would not be allowed to exercise her religion in Salzburg.
After his banishment, Schaitberger at first supported himself by cutting wood and other severe manual labour in the city in which he had taken refuge. But his zeal for religion knew no abatement, and he devoted himself to the spiritual interests of his countrymen, especially those whom he had left behind in Salzburg.
Besides visiting them on various occasions, he wrote letters and religious tracts for their instruction and edification, and poured forth his devout feelings in hymns admirably adapted to their circumstances. The influence of these simple productions, though for a long time circulated in manuscript, appears to have been very extraordinary. It is not known at what time they were first printed, but it was certainly some years after their good effects became manifest. They were, however, at length collected into a small volume, which was eagerly sought by the vast body of Protestants, who seemed suddenly to spring up from the soil out of which, it was supposed, that every germ of evangelical truth had been eradicated. As that immense body of martyrs wended their way to Prussia and other parts of Protestant Germany, and even to Holland and America, they were everywhere heard singing his simple hymns, especially that which was called “The Exile’s Hymn,” a translation of which is here appended. We are indebted for this translation, as well as much of the information in regard to Schaitberger, to Dr. Reynolds, President of Capitol University, Columbus, (Ohio.) Schaitberger lived to see this great work of revival in Salzburg, as he died at Nuremburg, toward the close of 1733. His last years were rendered comfortable by the provision made for him by the magistrate of the city, to whom he had so strongly recommended himself by his unblemished life.
I AM a wretched exile here—
Thus must my name be given—
From native land and all’s that dear,
For God’s word, I am driven.
Full well I know, Lord Jesus Christ,
Thy treatment was no better:
Thy follower I now will be;
To do thy will I’m debtor.
Henceforth, a pilgrim I must be,
In foreign climes must wander;
O Lord! my prayer ascends to thee,
That thou my path will ponder.
O faithful God ! be thou my stay;
I give me to thy keeping;
Forsake me not in this my day,
Nor when in death I’m sleeping.
Thy faith I freely have confessed:
Dare I deny it ? Never!
Not though they call me “heretic,”
And soul and body sever.
My ornament, the galling chain;
For Jesus’ sake I wear it,
And scarcely feel its weight or pain,
While in his faith I bear it.
Though Satan and the world conspire
To seize each earthly treasure,
If in my heart true faith but dwell,
I’m rich beyond all measure.
Thy will, O God! be done ! May I
Still cheerfully obey thee !
And may thy arm of power and love
Encompass still, and stay me !
Though I go forth to poverty,
For Christ’s sake, I am going,
And see in heaven, reserved for me,
A crown with glory glowing.
Forth from my home I now must go :
My children! Must I leave them ?
O God! my tears in anguish flow—
Shall I no more receive them ?
My God conduct me to a place,
Though in some distant nation,
Where I may have thy glorious word,
And learn thy great salvation.
And though in this dark vale of tears
I yet awhile must tarry,
1 know that thou to heaven, at length,
My ransomed soul will carry!
We come now to speak of the persecution which brought those emigrants to America who are more especially the subjects of this narrative. For forty years the persecuted Protestants who resided in the glens and fastnesses of the Alps had been permitted to enjoy their religion in comparative quiet. But, as we have intimated, their doctrines were spreading with too much rapidity, and it was therefore deemed necessary, to interpose the strong arm of civil power to arrest their further progress. This persecution, which was the most cruel and extensive of any that preceded it, was begun at the instance and under the direction of Leopold, Count of Firmain and Archbishop of Salzburg, who, having discovered that many of his subjects had renounced the religion of Rome, determined either to reduce them to submission or to extirpate them from his dominions.
The Archbishopric of Salzburg comprised at this time, the Suffragans of Friessingen, Ratisbon, Passau, Chiemré, Seckau, Lavant, Briscen, Gurk, and Neustadt, and contained, according to some authorities, a population of not less than 150,000 souls. We cannot ascertain exactly what was the proportion of Protestants within its jurisdiction, but it must have been considerable, if we may judge from the large numbers who were compelled to seek a place of safety in other countries. This archbishopric was then the most eastern district of Bavaria, but now forms a detached province in Upper Austria. It is called Salzburg, from the broad valley of the Salza, which is made by the approximating of the Norric and Rhetian Alps. All who resided in this region were consequently denominated Salzburgers.
Salzburg is the principal city in this district, and as a matter of history it may not be inappropriate to remark, that it is a place of great antiquity. It was destroyed by Attila in the year 448, but was afterward rebuilt by the Bavarian dukes, at the request of St. Rupert. It was the birthplace of the famous Paracelsus, and here his ashes repose. It contains the remains of the ancient Roman baths, from which many valuable antiquities have been obtained. The population is estimated at 15,000. It is the only fortress in Upper Austria.
Returning from this short digression, we remark that the persecution under Leopold commenced in 1729, and continued with unabated violence until 1732. The objects of his rage were sought out and pursued by the priests and soldiery of Rome, and experienced every species of outrage which an unbridled fanaticism could suggest. Resort was had to whipping and imprisonment, and when these failed the unhappy victims were murdered or banished, and their property confiscated. All the natural and sacred ties of life were disregarded. Husbands and wives were separated. Children were torn from the embraces of their parents, and forced into monasteries for education in the Romish faith. During this persecution upward of THIRTY THOUSAND Protestants were exiled, and compelled to seek for safety and peace among their Protestant brethren. Nor were the hearts of those brethren closed against them. Twenty thousand were received in the Prussian dominions, and many of them took up their abode in Wurtemburg, Baden, the city of Augsburg, and other free cities of Swabia. Some also emigrated to Holland and England, where they were received with kindness and Christian sympathy, and every effort made to relieve their wants and mitigate their sufferings. Though persecuted, they were not forsaken. Though they were forced to wander about as outcasts from the land of their nativity, yet God was with them, and in the course of his providence was preparing the way, for their permanent escape from spiritual despotism, and was about to transplant some of them at least, to a better country ; where, freed from the fear of man, they could worship Him without molestation, and under circumstances far more favourable, than any in which they had been placed in their much-loved fatherland.