Short yet truthful report of the Salzburg Reformation, which occurred in
the year of Christ 1686, in the remembrance of the banished exiles and
their children and delivered over to publication by a confessor of the
truth, the miner from Salzburg, banished for the sake of Protestant
faith, J.S.
Father, forgive them.  Lk 23, v 34
Beloved reader!  It is true, and will also remain true until the Judgement day, what our Jesus
previously proclaimed to his disciples, when he says: You must be hated by every one for my name's
sake, and whoever kills you will think that he is thereby doing God a service, Mt 10, Jn 16.  This
warning wasn't meant only for the apostles alone, but on the contrary many thousand pious and
steadfast confessors of the faith have had to experience suchlike at all times for the sake of the
teaching of Jesus; as the sad experience in Hungary, in France and many other places testifies.  O
how many thousand Protestant Christians have had to lay sleeping with bloody heads due to papal
coercion, or who through persecution have been banished from home and farm to bitter misery.  As I
myself had to experience and feel just a few years ago with tears.  Perhaps it will be known to every
one, that we poor exiles in total just a few years ago were banished from our Fatherland Salzburg,
and in great number had to stay in Protestant imperial cities now and again …

I myself was brought up by my parents and born in papal darkness, and until the 28th year of my life
lived under the papal yoke, for in our Fatherland, nothing was Protestant, but everything was
archcatholic.  And although right in the middle of the dark papacy we had no Protestant pastor who
taught us really thoroughly from God's Word, we did nevertheless through God's special grace learn
and understand this much from the Holy Bible, that the Protestant faith is alone the right and saving
faith.  For we have clearly seen, that in the Protestant catechism all articles of faith agree most clearly
and thoroughly with God's Word, which we how­ever haven't found in the Catholic catechism.  For
our fathers and fore-fathers have had the dear Bible and many other beautiful Protestant books, from
which they in their simplicity have instructed us from childhood on.  But all that happened in secret,
without the knowledge of secular authority and of the lords religious, who rarely asked us what we
believe; and although our forefathers spoke against their many papal Human Commands, they
nevertheless kept silent all the time, and in this way we and our fathers were for a long time in the
invisible church, just like the sheep who have no shepherd, and for that reason they called us all the
time the secret Lutherans.  For we have not bowed the knees of our hearts before the papal idols,
just like those seven thousand in Israel, Rom 11.

But finally we could no longer with good conscience pull on a foreign yoke with unbelievers, 2 Cor
6.  So we decided to leave Babylon completely, Is 48, Jer 53, for we had decided to leave papal
teaching and our Fatherland secretly, since we were not often attending the Catholic church, but
instead we had secretly performed for a while our own service with readings, prayers and singing in
our houses, often by night.  

When the powers learned of this, they had two men from amongst us called straight away to Hallein
to a local court and asked us: Where did we get our Lutheran books? and why don't we go to church
and to confession?  When we had clearly laid out our confession and said what we believe, then the
Administrator of the court had us thrown in jail without mercy, and three days later they led us,
caught and jailed as evil-doers, two miles further to Salzburg to appear before the Royal Court,
where they again interrogated us before spiritual and secular authority, and they questioned us clearly
and exactly concerning all the articles of religion and what we believe? whether we were Lutheran or
Catholic? After we had then confessed our faith freely and publicly, according to the admonition of 1
Pet 3, behold, they put us two men again in prison for fifty days, in order to scare off our fellow-
brothers.  

Two old Capuchin monks were also called and set over us, who were to instruct us anew in the
Catholic faith; but the good Fathers achieved little with us, for they couldn't change or refute our
faith on the basis of truth.  Indeed the Bishop had shown us grace and allowed us the Bible in prison,
from which we proved our faith and comforted ourselves. Otherwise, however, they treated us so
strictly, that I often feared for my life and thought that we were going to die, since they continually
threatened to take our life or to send us out on the wild sea.  

Through these means of deterrence and moral constraint, many of our own number really did fall
away and stay behind, and swore allegiance to the Catholic church out of fear and against their
conscience.  After we, however, had spent fifty days in prison and had proved our faith quite clearly
to the Capuchins, we were set free again, though the secular authority had instructed and
commanded us that we should put in writing our confession of faith and hand it over the Bishop
himself.  

When we had done this quite willingly, behold, they first of all took away from us our work in the
mine, since we were miners and had great freedom; and then they forbade us from any longer
owning the ancestral estates handed to us from our fathers, nor were we able to sell them.  At last, as
punishment for being violators of the Roman church, we had to work for fourteen days in penitence
with only water and bread.  

We were finally brought before them once again and asked if we wanted to abandon our heretical
faith and remain Catholic? Of course we didn't want to, and rather con­fessed our continuing
allegiance to the unchanged Augsburg Confession, and called on the written confession which we had
previously handed over to the Bishop himself.  

All of this didn't help though; with violence they held us back from our children and farms, and with
our wives and empty hands got us out of the territory, and it was in this way that in 1685 more than
a thousand of us miners and villagers of the Defereggen valley were banished from the territory, and
over six hundred children were kept behind. What kind of pain it was to leave our children behind,
that is known by God and Christian parents, who have experienced it.  

When however several of our fellow brothers saw how harshly the authorities had treated us, against
the Osnabrück Agreement of Peace of 1648, they got ready to set out and left the territory secretly
with wife and children, and left their own willingly, with their back turned; and indeed, as the first,
they tried to persuade us with good words, and even the Bishop himself promised great pardon, if we
would only remain in their Catholic religion.  But alas, our heart and conscience couldn't bear such a
burden, which they wanted to lay on us, for they wanted us to confess publicly with an oath:
Foreword
Greatly beloved reader!  Why I have brought this little book to print, this I want to report clearly and
briefly, with few words, for there are many thousands of people, who still to this hour don't know
why we left our father­land, and for just that reason most people judge us exiles falsely, and believe
that we left the land because of curiosity or through poverty; or they say, we could easily have been
saved under papal yoke.  For they say, each should remain as he was baptised.  Just such people
don't know what belief or unbelief is, for we haven't been able to serve God and the papal Antichrist
at the same time.  I am surprised that such people, who have been born and raised in the true church,
and who have been so thoroughly taught in God's Word from childhood on, still so simply and
childishly speak of the faith and of Christian religion.  For it stands written: Don't be yoked with the
unbelievers, but come out from them, and be separate from them, speaks the Lord,
2 Cor. 6.  For it says: My sheep hear my voice, but they flee from the voice of a stranger, Jn 10.  

If we had played the hypocrite for a while longer under the idolatrous Papacy, and had denied our
faith, then we could have remained on our lands in the Fatherland.  Our conscience alone didn't want
to suffer this, for who­ever believes in his heart must also, if he wants to further God's honour,
confess with his mouth, and whoever does not do that is a liar before God, and a hypocrite before
people,
Rom. 10.  For our Jesus says himself, Who­ever denies me before people, him will I also
deny before my heavenly Father on the Judgement Day,
Mt. 10.  In truth, we have not come into
bitter misery because of evil deeds, but on the contrary we have been banished from our Fatherland
with force because of the pure teaching of Jesus.  Therefore, no one should be angry about our
exodus, but rather see it as a wonder of God …
Now we deny completely
The Pope's doctrine and life
And remain until our dying day
Committed to Luther's teaching.  Amen
The Sendbrief was composed and published roughly over thirty years,
from 1686 to 1717 and consists of 24 books and covers around 600
pages including various kinds of literature: reports, letters, dialogues,
poems, hymns, prayers and morning and evening blessings.  
From Book Two: Neu Vermehrter Evangelischer Sendbrief  
by Joseph Schaitberger
Firstly: That the Protestant-Lutheran faith is a new, heretical and damnable faith.  Over and
against that we were to have believed and confessed that the Roman Catholic faith alone is the
right and true faith, apart from which no one can be justified and saved.
Secondly: we were to have believed, that the papal mass is a sacrifice for the sins of human
beings, and not for the living alone, but also for the dead
Thirdly: that without the intercessions of the Virgin Mary and of the dead no one can be
justified or saved.
Fourthly: that there certainly is a Purgatory, where the souls of the dead can purge their sins,
and through such penitence towards God can again attain grace
Fifthly: that we must not only be justified and saved through faith in Jesus Christ, but also
through our good works
Sixthly: We were to have believed, that their Catholic Lord's Supper is more powerful in one
kind than the Protestants' in both kinds …
(end of this fragment)
Some Excerpts from Joseph's Work Translations courtesy of Rev. Rhys Bezzant
JOSEPH SCHAITBERGER SENDBRIEF