November 30 – 1762 = Lataver publishes letter “Unjust Baliff” anonymously
Zechariah 7:10 do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor, and let none of you devise evil against another in your heart.
John Casper Lataver was a minister in Zurich. Here he preached the gospel, but he also lived it out. In 1762, in the small village of Gruningen, a local sheriff named Grebel oppressed the poor and lowly in town. He confiscated things that belonged to them and enriched himself knowing they had the least ability to speak out about his offenses, and if they tried, he made their life worse. Lataver heard of this and wrote an anonymous letter warning Grebel to stop, but the letter was ignored. So, Lataver wrote a pamphlet entitled, “Unjust Baliff”, and delivered it to the doors of the city council, but again it was without a name. The City Council was upset at the accusations and tended to believe Grebel and ordered the author of the pamphlet to reveal himself and prove his charges. Lataver strode forth and revealed himself to the astonishment of all, and soon the victims came forward and backed up the claims made by Lataver. Grebel eventually ran off confessing his guilt and the city council restored the stolen wealth. Lataver had stood up for the oppressed and poor and gave a voice to the voiceless. In this we should remember his bravery and example.
Read more in James I. Good’s “History of the Swiss Reformation” pg. 238
Category: history devotional