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MARTYRS MIRROR


OF THE


DEFENSELESS CHRISTIANS


Old Book


ENLARGED AND IMPROVED FROM VARIOUS CREDIBLE CHRONICLES,

MEMOIRS, TESTIMONIES, ETC.


[The following part of Martyrs Mirror was not originally written by van Braght, but was the outgrowth of a compilation from different authors, and published in different editions, which from time to time were enlarged and improved. The original book, as appears from the writings of Samuel W. Pennypacker, of Philadelphia, Pa., was published in Holland, in 1562, under the title, Het Offer des Heeren. Later editions were printed in the years 1567, 1570, 1576, 1578, 1580, 1589, 1595, and 1599. In 1617, a large quarto edition, containing 863 pages, written by Hans de Reis and Jacques Outerman, and printed by Zacharias Cornelisz, at Hoorn, was published, bearing the title, Historie der Warachtighe getuygen Jesu Christi. This book was succeeded by a folio volume of ten hundred fifty six pages, printed at Haerlem, by Hans Passchiers, von Wesbusch, in 1631, entitled, Martelwrs Spiegel der Werelose Christenen, that is, The Martyrs Mirror of the defenseless Christians. This book, our author, van Braght, embodies as "Second Part," in his own work under the title of The Bloody Theatre, or Martyrs Mirror of the defenseless Christians, as he says, without change, except where some correction was needed, adding, however, such matter as seemed profitable and necessary. This will explain to the reader the above remark: "Old Book." Publishers.]


HANS KOCH AND LEONHARD MEISTER, DESCEND;

ANTS OF THE ANCIENT WALDENSES, BOTH

PUT TO DEATH AT AUGSBURG, FOR THE

TRUTH OF THE HOLY GOSPEL,

A. D. 1524


From A. D. 1160 until this time (A. D. 1660) we have followed according to our ability the trail and footsteps of the ancient Waldenses, of which we have by no means, until this time, lost sight; neither have we now lost sight of them, but still keep them in view.

This appeared in the case of two pious men of said profession. (which agrees with that of the Anabaptists) who, loving the truth of Christ, which they maintained more than their own lives, were put to death at Augsburg, in Germany, in accordance with the rigor of the court, there, in the year 1524.


----

----


Concerning this, we read in Jacob Mehrning's History of Baptism the following words, translated from the German: "From these Bohemian and Moravian Old Waldensian brethren afterwards sprang several excellent men; as, among others, Hans Koch and Leonhard Meister, who were both put to death at Augsburg, A. D. .* Bapt. Hist., page 748.

NOTE. The year 1160 was the time in which Peter Waldo appeared against popery, at Lyons, in France, and made a sound confession, of which we gave an account in the first book. As regards his descendants, this Hans Koch and Leonhard Meister are counted as none of the least of them; as also, afterwards, Michael Sattler, Leonhard Keyser, John Hut, etc. See Jac. Mehr., Ba¢t. Hist., page 748.


* A. D. 1527, the printer had set it; but it is an error.




PRAYER OF HANS KOCH AND LEONHARD MEISTER


The following earnest prayer to God was spoken by Hans Koch and Leonhard Meister before their death, and left for the consolation of all their fellow believers

O God! behold now from Thy high throne the misery of Thy servants, how the enemy persecutes them because it is their purpose to walk in the narrow way, and how abominably they are scorned. He who learns to know Thee, and holds fast to Thy words, is despised and scorned by them. O God of heaven! we have all sinned before Thee; therefore chastise us in mercy. We beseech Thee, let us enjoy Thy grace, that Thy honor may not be profaned by us before this world, which now seems determined to extinguish Thy Word. We might well have peace with them, if we would not confess Thy holy name, and not believe on Thy Son, that He atoned for us on the cross, bore our sins, and paid our debt. The enemy has no other reason for his daily raging against us, than because we do not fulfill his will, but love Thee, O God, in our hearts, which neither Satan nor his adherents can endure. Therefore they compel us with great distress, and afflict us with much tribulation. Thus, our misdeed, on account of which the enemy fights so hard against us, is, that we place our hope in Thee alone, and in Thy dear Son Christ Jesus, and in the Holy Ghost; therefore we must suffer reproach, because we do not set ourselves against Thee; if we would give ourselves up to idolatry, and practice all manner of wickedness, they would let us live unharmed, in peace and tranquillity. Therefore, O dear Lord, take up arms for us, and judge all those who disregard Thy power and might. If we would deny Thy Word, antichrist would not hate us; yea, if we would believe his false doctrine, follow his error, and walk with the world on the broad road, we would have favor with them; but because we seek to follow Thee, we are hated and forsaken by the world. But though the enemy brings us to torment, it does not happen to us alone, but was also done to Christ our Redeemer; for they afflicted Him first with much reproach and suffering; and thus it was with all p~hat adhered to Him, and believed in His Word. Hence Christ says Himself: "Marvel not, if the world hate you; for it hated me first; they have not received my words; thus shall they also not receive your words. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; and when all these things happen to you, rejoice and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven." Christ comforts us still more through the mouth of His beloved apostles, saying: "If we suffer with him, we shall also rejoice with him, and reign in everlasting joy." What matters it, if we are ridiculed and scorned here for a little while? since God promises us eternal rest and bliss. O Lord, Thou seest and hearest the derision and contumely, and the suffering with which Thy children are afflicted. Thou also knowest their small and feeble ability; therefore we pray Thee, O God, that Thou wouldst protect Thine own honor, and sanctify Thy name, which is now so fearfully profaned by all those who, here on earth, are of high and low estate. Manifest Thy power, that the enemy may perceive and understand Thy divine strength, and may learn to be ashamed. O Lord God, have compassion upon Thy poor sheep, that are scattered, and have no longer a true shepherd who will henceforth teach them. Send them Thy Holy Spirit, that He may feed and satisfy them with Thy grace, and that they may not hearken to the voice of a stranger, unto the end. O God, in Thy high majesty, graciously hear our petition, and do not forsake us, since we are in great tribulation and conflict. Give us steadfast patience through Christ Thy Son, our Captain, who can vanquish Satan with all his host. To Him be honor, and praise to His holy name. Amen.

Matt. 7:14; Ps. 106:6; Dan. 9:5; I Pet. 2:24; Matt. 22:37; I Pet. 4:3; Matt. 7:13; John 17:14; 1 Pet. 4:1; Isa. 53; Matt. 27; Luke 24:26; John 15:18; I John 3:13; Matt. 5:12; Rom. 8:11; II Tim. 2:12; John 10:5.


CASPAR TAUBER, A. D. 1524


In this year, also Caspar Tauber, a tradesman and citizen of Vienna, in Austria, was apprehended for the Christian faith; and as he faithfully and steadfastly continued to confess Christ, without apostatizing, he was condemned and burned.


OF A CERTAIN DECREE WHICH THOSE OF ZUERICH

PUBLISHED AGAINST THE ANABAPTISTS,

A. D. 1525


At this time not only the papists, but also the Zwinglians or so called Reformed in the city of Zuerich laid their hands on the innocent and defenseless flock of Christ; yet not, as far as we can learn, punishing them with death, or depriving them of life by the executioner, but confining them under severe imprisonment, until ultimately, as may be inferred, death followed.

However, in order to determine from this time on, what course was to be pursued in this matter, the magistrate of said city ordained, among other things, the following:

"Therefore we ordain and will, that henceforth all men, women, youth, and maidens forsake Anabaptism, and practice it no longer from this time on, and that they have their infants baptized; and whosoever shall act contrary to this public edict, shall, as often as it occurs, be fined one mark silver; and if any should prove utterly disobedient and obstinate, they shall be dealt with more severely; for we shall protect the obedient, and punish the disobedient according to his deserts, without bearing with him any longer. Let everyone act accordingly. All this we confirm by this public document, sealed with the seal of our city, and given on St. Andrew's day, A. D. 1525."




Compare Chron. van den Ondergang, page 1010, col. with Henr. Bull. against the Anabaptists, lib. 1, cap. 5, 6; also the open letter of the council of Zuerich, published A. D. 1525.

The Zwinglian church at Zuerich, where this decree was made, was at this time only about five years old, and was also subjected to the hatred and persecution of the papists; certainly a lamentable matter, that those who had but a short time before purified themselves in many respects from the leaven of popery and were opposed to the tyranny of the pope, should nevertheless continue, in this respect, united with the papists; that is, in persecuting others who did not have the same faith with them.

Still, it would have been well if they had stopped with this decree, since with one mark of silver one could have atoned for the first offense in neglecting to baptize a child. But this was not the end of it, as a few years later, especially in A. D. 1530, when they became a little bolder, they decreed, that the so called Anabaptists should be punished with death, which we shall show in its proper place.


FELIX MANTZ, A. D. 1526


Felix Mantz was also an originator of the Reformation of the faith, in Germany, and when he, with great zeal, practiced, taught, and preached, the recognized truth of the Gospel, he was envied, accused, and imprisoned by his adversaries, and finally drowned at Zuerich, for the evangelical truth, thus becoming a witness of the sufferings of Christ. This occurred in the year of our Lord 1526. He left the following admonition to his fellow brethren, for their comfort

"My heart rejoices in God, who gives me much knowledge and wisdom, that I may escape the eternal, and never ending death. . Therefore I praise Thee, O Lord Christ from heaven,. that Thou dost turn away my sorrow and sadness; Thou whom God has sent me as a Saviour, and for an example and a light, and who has called me into His heavenly Kingdom, already before my end has come, that I should have eternal joy with Him, and should love Him and all His righteousness, which exists here, and which shall endure forever hereafter, and without which nothing avails or subsists; hence so many who do not have this in truth, are deceived by a vain opinion. But alas I how many are found at the present who boast of the Gospel and speak, teach, and preach much about it, but are f ull of hatred and envy, and who have not the love of God in them, whose deceit is known to all the world, as we have experienced in these latter days, that those who have come to us in sheep's clothing are ravening wolves, who hate the pious on the earth, and obstruct the way to life and to the true sheepfold. Thus do the false prophets and hypocrites of this world, who curse and pray with the same mouth, and whose life is disorderly. They call upon the authorities to kill us, by which they destroy the very essence of Christianity. But I will praise the Lord Christ, who exercises all patience towards us; for He instructs us with His divine graces, and shows love to all men, according to the nature of God His heavenly Father, which none of the false prophets are able to do.

"Here we must observe this difference, that the sheep of Christ seek the praise of God; this is their choice, and they do not suffer themselves to be hindered either by possessions or temporal good, for they are in the keeping of Christ. The Lord Christ compels no one to come to His glory; only those that are willing and prepared attain unto it by true faith and baptism. Whenever a person brings forth genuine fruits of repentance, the heaven of eternal joys is, through grace, purchased and obtained for him by Christ, through the shedding of His innocent blood, which He so willingly poured out; thereby showing us His love, and enduing us with the power of His Spirit, and whoever receives and uses it grows and is made perfect in God. Only love to God through Christ shall stand and prevail; not boasting, denouncing, or threatening. It is love alone that is pleasing to God: he that cannot show love shall not stand in the sight of God. The true love of Christ shall not destroy the enemy; he that would be an heir with Christ is taught that he must be merciful, as the Father in heaven is merciful. Christ never accused any one, as do the false teachers of the present day; from which it is evident that they do not have the love of Christ, nor understand His Word; and still they would be shepherds and teachers; but at last they will have to despair, when they shall find, that everlasting pain shall be their recompense, if they do not reform. Christ also never hated any one; neither did His true servants, but they continued to follow Christ in the true way, as He went before them. This Light of life they have before them, and are glad to walk in it; but those who are hateful and envious, and do thus wickedly betray, accuse, smite and quarrel, cannot be Christians. They are those who run before Christ as thieves and murderers, and under a false pretense shed innocent blood. By this we may know them that are not on the side of Christ; for they, as children of Belial, prompted by envy, destroy the ordinances of Jesus Christ; even as Cain slew his brother Abel, when God accepted the offerings of Abel.


With this I will finish my discourse, desiring that all the pious be mindful of the fall of Adam, who when he accepted the advice of the serpent, and became disobedient to God, the punishment of death came upon him. Thus it shall also happen to those who do not accept Christ, but resist Him, love this world, and have not the love of God. And thus I close with this that I will firmly adhere to Christ, and trust in Him, who is acquainted with all my needs, and can deliver me out of it. Amen.


I Pet. 5:1; John 16:20; Gal. 5:21; John 5:42; Matt. 7:15; II Thess. 3:7; John 10:3; Acts 2:38;




Luke 6:36; John 8:12; John 10:1; Gen. 4:8; 3:6; I John 2:15; John 5:42.


GEORGE WAGNER, A. D. 1527


George Wagner, of Emmerich, was apprehended at Munich, in Bavaria, on account of four articles of the faith. First, That the priest cannot forgive sins. Secondly, That he does not believe that a man can bring down God from heaven. Thirdly, That he does not believe that God or Christ is bodily in the bread which the priest has upon the altar; but that it is the bread of the Lord. Fourthly, That he did not hold to the belief that water baptism possessed any saving power. As he would not renounce these articles, he was most severely tormented, so that the prince felt great compassion for him, and personally came to him in the prison, and earnestly admonished him thereto, promising that he would call him his friend all his life time. Thus also the tutor of the prince, earnestly admonished him to recant, and likewise made him many promises. Ultimately his wife and child were brought before him in prison in order, on this wise to move him to recant. But neither was he to be moved in this way; for he said that though his wife and child were so dear to him that the prince could not buy them with all his dominion, yet he would not forsake his God and Lord on their account. Many priests and others also came to him, to persuade him; but he was steadfast and immovable in that which God had given him to know. Hence he was finally sentenced to the fire and death.

Having been delivered into the hands of the executioner, and led into the middle of the city, he said: "Today I will confess my God before all the world." He had such joy in Christ Jesus, that his face did not pale, nor his eyes show fear; but he went smilingly to the fire, where the executioner bound him on the ladder, and tied a little bag of powder to his neck, at which he said: "Be it done in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost;" and having smilingly bid farewell to a Christian, who was there, he was thrust into the fire by the executioner, and happily offered up his spirit, on the eighth day of February, A. D. 1527. The sheriff, however, surnamed Eisenreich von Landsberg, while returning home from the place!!of execution, traveling on horseback; purposing to apprehend others of the brethren, died suddenly in the night, and was found dead in his bed in the morning, having thus been removed through the wrath of God.

NOTE. It is known that Balthasar Pacimontanus opposed infant baptism, and was therefore burned at Vienna, A. D. 1527. See second part o f Jacob Mehrning's History o f Baptism, page 777, ex Bellarm., Tom. 3, lib. 1, de Bdpt., cap. 8.


MELCHIOR VET.


This Melchior Vet. was a companion of George Blaurock, who was of the same faith with him, and also served with him in the Gospel. He was burned in the time of Michael Sattler, at Drache, for the testimony of the faith and of the divine truth, which he boldly confessed.


MICHAEL SATTLER, A. D. 1527


After a long trial an the day of his departure from this world, the articles being many, Michael Sattler* requested that they should be read to him again and that he should have another hearing. This the bailiff, as the governor of his lord, opposed and would not consent to it. Michael Sattler then requested permission to speak. After a consultation, the judges returned as their answer, that if his opponents would allow it, they (the judges) would consent. Thereupon the town clerk of Ensisheim, as the attorney of said Governor spoke thus: "Prudent, honorable and wise Sirs, He has boasted of the Holy Ghost. Now, if his boast is true, it seems to me, it is unnecessary to grant him this; for if he has the Holy Ghost, as he boasts, the same will tell him what has been done here." To this Michael Sattler replied: "Ye servants of God, I hope my request will not be denied; for said articles are as yet unknown to me." The town clerk responded: "Prudent, honorable and wise Sirs, Though we are not bound to do this, yet in order to give satisfaction, we will grant him his request that it may not be thought that injustice is done him in his heresy, or that we desire to wrong him; hence let the articles be read to him."


ARTICLES OR CHARGES AGAINST MICHAEL SATTLER


First, that he and his adherents have acted contrary to the mandate of the Emperor.

Secondly, he has taught, held and believed that the body and blood of Christ are not present in the sacrament.

Thirdly, he has taught and believed that infant baptism does not conduce to salvation.

Fourthly, they have rejected the sacrament of extreme unction.

Fifthly, they have despised and condemned the mother of God and the saints.

Sixthly, he has declared that men are not to swear before the authorities.

Seventhly, he has commenced a new and unheard of custom in regard to the Lord's Supper, placing the bread and wine on a plate, and eating and drinking the same.

Eighthly, he has left the order, and married a wife.

Ninthly, he has said that if the Turks should invade the country, no resistance ought to be offered them; and if it were right to wage war, he would rather take the field against the Christians than against the Turks; and it is certainly a great matter, to set the greatest enemies of our holy faith against us.


He was also one of the Waldensian brethren, as Jacob Mehrning writes. 13apt. Hist., 2d part, page 748.




1Thereupon Michael Sattler requested permission to confer with his brethren and sisters, which was granted him. Having conferred with them for a little while, he began and undauntingly answered thus: "In regard to the articles relating to me and my brethren and sisters, hear this brief answer

"First, That we have acted contrary to the imperial mandate, we do not admit; for the same says that the Lutheran doctrine and delusion is not to be adhered to, but only the Gospel and Word of God. This we have kept; for I am not aware that we have acted contrary to the Gospel and the Word of God; I appeal to the words of Christ.

"Secondly, That the real body of Christ the Lord is not present in the sacrament, we admit; for the Scripture says: Christ ascended into heaven and, sitteth on the right hand of His heavenly Father whence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead; from which it follows, that if He is in heaven, and not in the breads He may not be eaten bodily. Mark 16:19; Acts 1:9; Col. 3:1; Acts 10:42; 11 Tim. 4:1.

"Thirdly, As to baptism we say: Infant baptism is of no avail to salvation; for it is written, that we live by faith alone. Again: He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved. Peter likewise says

The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), by the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Romans 1:1 7; Mark 16:16; 1 Pet. 3:21.

"Fourthly, We have not rejected the oil; for it is a creature of God, and what God has made is good and not to be refused; but that the pope, the bishops, monks and priests can make it better, we do not believe; for the pope never made anything good. That of which the epistle of James speaks is not the pope's oil. Gen. 1:11; 1 Tim. 4:4; James 5:14.

"Fifthly, We have not condemned the mother of God and the saints; for the mother of Christ is to be blessed among all women; for to her was accorded the favor of giving birth to the Saviour of the whole world. But that she is a mediatress and advocatess, of this the Scriptures know nothing; for sh¢ must with us await the judgment. Paul said to Timothy: Christ is our Mediator and Advocate with God. As regards the saints; we say that we who live and believe are the saints; which I prove by the epistles of Paul to the Romans, Corinthians, Ephesians; and in other places where he always writes: To the beloved saints. Hence we that believe are the saints; but those who have died in faith we regard as the blessed. Luke 1:28; Matthew ' 1:21; I Tim. 2:5; I Cor. 1:2; Eph. 1:1; Rev. 14:13.

"Sixthly, We hold, that we are not to swear before the authorities: For the Lord says: Swear not; but let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay. Matt. 5:34; James 5:12.

"Seventhly, When God called me to testify of His Word, and I had read Paul, and also considered the unchristian and perilous state in which I was; beholding the pomp, pride, usury, and great whoredom of the monks and priests, I went and took unto me a wife, according to the command of God; for Paul well prophesies concerning this to Timothy: In the latter time it shall come to pass that men shall forbid to marry, and command to abstain from meats which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving. I Cor. 7:2; 1 Tim. 4:3.

"Eighthly, If the Turks should come, we ought not to resist them; for it is written: Thou shalt not kill. We must not defend ourselves against the Turks and others of our persecutors, but are to beseech God with earnest prayer to repel and resist them. But that I said, that if warring were right, I would rather take the field against the so called Christians, who persecute, apprehend and kill pious Christians, than against the Turks,was for this reason: The Turk is a true Turk, knows nothing of the Christian faith; and is a Turk after the flesh; but you, who would be Christians, and who make your boast of Christ, persecute the pious witnesses of Christ, and are Turks after the spirit. Ex. 20:13; Matt. 7:7; Tit. 1:16.

"In conclusion: Ye ministers of God, I admonish you to consider the end for which God has appointed you, to punish the evil, and to defend and protect the pious. Whereas, then, we have not acted contrary to God and the Gospel, you will find that neither I nor my brethren and sisters have offended in word or deed against any authority. Therefore, ye ministers of God, if ye have not heard or read the Word of God, send for the most learned, and for the sacred books of the Bible, of whatsoever language they may be, and let them confer with us in the Word of God; and if they prove to us with the Holy Scriptures, that we err and are in the wrong, we will gladly desist and recant and also willingly suffer the sentence and punishment for that of which we have been accused, but if no error is proven to us, I hope to God, that you will be converted, and receive instruction." Wisd. 6:4; Acts 25:8; Rom. 13:4; Acts 25:11.

Upon this speech the judges laughed and put their heads together, and the town clerk of Ensisheim said

"O you infamous, desperate villain and monk, shall we dispute with you? The hangman shall dispute with you, I assure you."

Michael said: "God's will be done."

The town clerk said: "It were well if you had never been born."

Michael replied: "God knows what is good."


Town Clerk: "You arch heretic, you have seduced the pious; if they would only now forsake their error, and accept grace."


Michael: "Grace is with God alone."


One of the prisoners also said: "We must not depart from the truth."


Town Clerk: "You desperate villain and archheretic, I tell you if there were no hangman here,




I would hang you myself, and think that I had done God service."

Michael:. "God will judge aright."

Thereupon the town clerk said a few words to him in Latin, what we do not know.

Michael Sattler answered him Judica.

The town clerk then admonished the judges and said:  "He will not cease from this talk today; therefore my Lord judge, proceed with the sentence; I will commit  it to the law."

The judge asked Michael Sattler whether he also committed it to the law.

He replied: "Ye ministers of God, I am not sent to judge the Word of God; we are sent to bear witness of it, and, hence, cannot. consent to any law, since we. have no command from God concerning it; but if we can not be. discharged from the law, we are ready to suffer for the Word of God whatever sufferings are, or may be imposed upon us all for the sake of the faith in Christ Jesus our Saviour,, as long as we have breath within us; unless we be dissuaded from it by the Scriptures."

The town clerk .said: "The hangman shall convince you; he shall dispute with you, arch-heretic."

Michael: . "I appeal to the Scriptures."

Then the judges arose, and went into another room, where they remained for an hour and a.half, and determined on the sentence. Matt. 6:10; John 16:2; I Cor. 4:5; John 1:8; Job 27:3.; Acts 25:11.

In the meantime, some in the room treated Michael Sattler most unmercifully, heaping reproach upon him. One of them said: "What have you in expectation  for yourself and the others, that you have so seduced them?" With this, he also drew forth a sword which lay upon the table, saying: "See, with this shall they dispute with thee." But Michael did not answer. upon a single word concerning his person, but willingly endured it all. One of the prisoners said: "We must not cast pearls before swine." Matt. 27:14; 7:6.

Being also asked, why he had not remained a lord in the convent, Michael answered: "According to the flesh I was a lord; but it is better so." He did not say more than what is recorded here, and this he spoke fearlessly.


The judges having returned to the room, the sentence'was read. It was as follows: "In the case of the Governor of his Imperial Majesty versus Michael Sattler, judgment is passed, that Michael Sattler shall be delivered to 'the executioner, who shall lead him to the place of execution, and cut out his tongue; then throw him upon a wagon, and there tear his body twice with red hot tongs; and after he has been brought without the gate, he shall be pinched five times in the same manner."

After this had been done in the manner prescribed, he was burned to ashes as a heretic. His fellow brethren were executed with the sword, and the sisters drowned. His wife, also; after being subjected to many entreaties, admonitions and threats, under which she remained very steadfast, was drowned a few days afterwards. Done the 21st day of May, A. D. 1527:


A LETTER WRITTEN BY MICHAEL   SATTLER, IN

PRISON, TO THE CHURCH OF GOD AT HORB


My beloved companions in the Lord! grace and mercy from God our heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ our Lord, and the power of ,their Spirit, be with you beloved of God, brethren and sisters.

I can not forget you; though I am not present with the body (Col. 2:5 ), yet I continually care for and watch over you, as my fellow members, lest the body be taken away, and the whole body tthe church], with all its members be overwhelmed with sorrow, especially at this time, when the ferocity of the ravening wolf has risen to such a pitch; and increases in power; so that he has aroused also me to fight against him;   but eternal praise be to God, its,head is completely broken, and I hope that his whole body shall soon be no more, as is written.

Dear brethren and sisters, you'well know with what ardent love I admonished you the last tune 1 was with you, that you should be upright and godly in all patience and in the love of God, by which you may be known among this 'adulterous and ungodly generation, as shining lights (Matthew 5:14) whom God the heavenly Father has, illuminated with His knowledge and the light of the Spirit. With like fervency I now beseech and admonish you; that you walk surely and prudently towards those that are without as unbelievers, that our office, which God has imposed upon us, may in no wise be profaned and justly reproached.

Remember the Lord, who has given you the talent, for Ile shall require it again with usury: That the one talent rnay not be taken from. you, put it to usury, according to the command' of the Lord, who has. given you the talent. Matt., 15:19.

I say to you through the grace of God, that,ye be valiant, and walk as become the saints of God. Consider what the Lord metes out to idle servants; namely, to utterly lukewarm and slothful hearts; unfit and cold for all love to,God and the brethren. You have experienced what I .now write.

Be admonished by this, lest God let a like punhment come upon you. Beware, beware of such as as act contrary to the command of God lest ye learn their abominations; but reprove it with strict attention, and excommunication, according to the command of Christ, yet with all love and compassion for their cold hearts. Matt. 18:17. If you do this, you shall readily see how the flock of God dwells among the wolves (Acts 20:29), and shall witness a brief and speedy separation of those who will not walk in the right paths and living, ways of Christ, namely, through crosses, misery, imprisonment, self denial, and ultimately through death. Then you can present yourselves to God' your heavenly Father, a pure, godly, true church of Christ, which is cleansed through His blood (Eph. 5:26), that it may be holy and unblamable in the sight of God and men, separated from all idolatry and abomination, and redeemed, that the Lord of all dominion may dwell in it, and that it may be a tabernacle unto Him. Beloved brethren, understand whether what I write unto you be truth, and use diligence to walk according to it. Let no one divert you from your aim, as has been the case with some even until now; but go straight on in all patience, without deviating, that you do not take up the cross which God has laid upon you, only to lay it down contrary to the honor and praise of God, and to the transgression and violation of His eternal, true, just, and life giving commandments.

Do not become weary, if you are chastened of the Lord (Heb. 12:5); for whom God loves He chastens, even as a father that is well pleased with his son. To what will you have recourse, if you would flee from God? What can help you if you forsake God? Is it not God who fills heaven and earth? Does He not know all the secrets of thy vain heart, and the lasciviousness of thy reins? All things are manifest to Him, and there is nothing concealed from Him. Vain man, whither will you go, that God shall not see you? Why do you flee the rod of your Father? (Heb. 12:8). If you will not be chastened according to the will of the Father, you cannot inherit His riches. Why do you love a short and transient rest more than the godly and moderate correction and chastisement of the Lord to your salvation? How long will you eat flesh of the fat of Egypt? How long will you be carnally minded? (Rom. 8:8). The flesh perishes, and all its glory; the word of the Lord alone abides forever.

Beloved brethren, mark what I write to you; for it is necessary, since you see that there are but few who will endure the chastening of the Lord; for by far the greater number when they suffer a little in the flesh, become faint and weary, and do no longer look unto Jesus, the Captain and Finisher of our faith. They also forget all His commandments, and esteem the jewel which the calling of God every where presents and points out to those that overcome of small value; but they regard this temporal rest, which is before their eyes as far better and more profitable, than the eternal for which we must hope. Moreover, there are some who, when this is presented to them, accuse God, though very unjustly, of not being willing to keep them under His protection. You know whom I mean, take heed that you have no fellowship with them.

Furthermore, dear fellow members in Christ, be admonished that you forget not charity, without which it is pot possible for you to be a Christian flock. You know what charity is, from the testimony of Paul our fellow brother, who says

"Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things." I Cor. 13:4-7: Understand this passage, and you will find the love of God and the love of your neighbor; and if you love God, you will rejoice in the truth, and believe, hope and endure all that comes from God. In this way the aforesaid failing will be removed and avoided. But if you love your neighbor, you will not punish or excommunicate with fire, you will not seek your own, think no evil, not vaunt yourselves, and, finally, not be puffed up; but will be kind, just, liberal in all giving, humble and compassionate with the weak and imperfect. Rom. 13:8.

This love has been adulterated by some brethren (I know who they are); they have not been willing to edify one another by love, but are become puffed up and unprofitable with the vain knowledge and understanding of things which God would have remain hidden to all but Himself alone. I Cor. 8:1. I do not censure nor reject the grace and revelation of God, but the puffed up make use of this revelation. What would it profit, says Paul, if I should speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and understand all mysteries and knowledge, and have all faith, tell me, what profit is all this, if love be not exercised? You have experienced what such presumptuous speaking and ignorance has produced; you still daily see their false fruits, though they have given themselves to God.

And let no man remove you from the foundation which is laid through the letter of the holy Scriptures, and is sealed with the blood of Christ and of many witnesses of Jesus. Hear not what they. say of their father, for he is a liar; and do not believe their spirit, for he is entirely swallowed up in the flesh. Judge what I write to you; take these matters to heart, that this abomination may be separated far from you, and that you be found humble, fruitful and obedient children of God. Beloved brethren, marvel not that I treat this matter with such earnestness; for I do so not without reason. The brethren have doubtless informed you that some of us are in prison; and afterwards when the brethren at Hbrb had also been apprehended, they brought us to Binzdorf. At this time we met with various designs of our adversaries. Once they threatened us with bonds; then with fire, and afterwards with the sword. In this peril I completely surrendered myself into the will of the Lord, and together with all my fellow brethren and my wife, prepared myself even for death for His testimony and then I thought of the great number .of false brethren, and of you, who are but few, namely, a little flock; and also, that there are but few faithful laborers in the Lord's vineyard (Matt. 9:37); hence I deemed it necessary to stir you up by this admonition, to follow after us in the divine warfare, in order that you may comfort yourselves with it, that you may not become weary of the chastening of the Lord.

In short, beloved brethren and sisters this letter shall be a farewell to all of you who truly love and follow God (others I do not know); and also a testimony of my love which God has given into my heart towards you, for the sake of your salvation. I did indeed desire, and it would have been profitable, I trust, if I had labored a little while longer in the work of the Lord; but it is better for me, to be released, and to await with Christ the hope of the blessed. The Lord is able to raise up another laborer to finish this work.

Pray that reapers may be constrained into the harvest; for the time of threshing is nigh at hand. Luke 10:2. The abomination of desolation is manifest among you; the chosen servants and handmaidens of God are marked with the name of their Father on their foreheads (Rev. 13:16); the world rises up against those who are delivered from its error; the Gospel is proclaimed before all the world, as a testimony against it; therefore it will be necessary that the day of the Lord do not tarry.

You know, my most beloved fellow members, that it becomes us to conduct ourselves in a godly and Christian manner. II Tim. 3:12. Take heed, watch and pray, lest your wisdom bring judgment upon you. Pray without ceasing (I Thess. 5:17) that you may stand worthy before the Son of man. Remember your forerunner Jesus Christ, and follow Him through faith and obedience, with love and patience. I Peter 2:20. Forget that which is carnal, that you may in truth be called Christians, and children of the Most High God. Endure the chastening of your father in heaven, and turn neither to the right nor to the left, that you may enter by the door (John 10:1), and will not have to walk in a strange path, in which sinners, sorcerers, idolaters, and whosoever loves and makes a lie, must go. Rev. 22:15. Remember our assembly, and strictly follow that which was resolved on therein; and if anything has been forgotten, pray the Lord for understanding. Be liberal towards all that are in want among you (Heb. 13:3), but especially towards those who labor among you in the Word, and are driven about, and cannot eat their bread in peace and quietness. Forget not to assemble yourselves together, but give diligence that you constantly meet together, and be united in prayer for all men, and in breaking of bread; and this with the more diligence, because the day of the Lord is approaching. Heb. 10:25. In this assembling you will make manifest the hearts of the false brethren, and will speedily rid yourselves of them.

Finally, beloved brethren and sisters, sanctify yourselves for Him that has made you holy, and hear what Esdras says: "Look for your Shepherd; he shall give you everlasting rest; for he is nigh at hand, that shall come in the end of the world. Be ready to the reward of the kingdom, . . . . Flee the shadow of this world, . . . . Arise up and stand, behold the number of those that be sealed in the feast of the Lord; which are departed from the shadow of the world, and have received glorious garments of the Lora. laKe my numuci, v JLVIL, and shut up those of thine that are clothed in white, which have fulfilled the law of the Lord. The number of thy children whom thou longedst for, is fulfilled . . . . I Esdras saw upon the mount Sion a great people; whom I could not number, and they all praised the Lord with songs. And in the midst of them there was a young man of a high stature, taller than all the rest, and upon everyone of their heads he set crowns, and was more exalted; which I marveled at greatly. So I asked the angel, and said, Sir, what are these? He answered and said unto me, These be they that have put off the mortal clothing, and put on the immortal, and have confessed the name of God: now are they crowned, and receive palms. Then said I unto the angel, What young person is it that crowneth them, and giveth them palms in their hands? So he answered and said unto me, It is the Son of God, whom they have confessed in the world. Then began I greatly to commend them that stood so stiffly for the name of the Lord." II Esdras 2:34-36, 38-47; Rev. 19:12; Matt. 13:43.

Bear in mind most beloved members of the body of Christ, what I indicate by this scripture, and live according to it, and if I be offered up to the Lord, do for my wife what you would for me. The peace of Jesus Christ, and the love of the heavenly Father, and the grace of their Spirit, preserve you unspotted from sin, and present you glad and pure for the beholding of their glory, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you may be found in the number of those called to the feast (Luke 14:15) of the one essential, true God and Saviour Jesus Christ, to whom be eternal praise and glory, Amen.

Beware of false brethren (Acts 20:39); for the Lord will perhaps call me to Him; so take warning, I wail for my God. Pray without ceasing for all that are in bonds. God be with you all. Amen.

Written in the tower at Binzdorf. Brother Michael Sattler of Staufen, together with my fellow prisoners in the Lord.

Of this hero and witness of Jesus Christ there are also other writings extant in print, treating of the atonement of Christ; brotherly union; divorce; of evil overseers, and the hearing of false prophets.


LEONHARD KEYSER, A. D. 1527


When the believers greatly increased under persecution and the cross (Ex. 1:12), there was, in Bavaria, a learned priest of the mass, named Leonhard Keyser, who examined the writings of Zwingli and Luther, and also went to Wittenberg, where he conferred with the doctors and commemorated the Supper with them.

Having returned to Bavaria, he examined the fruits and doctrine of the Anabaptists, as well as of Zwingli and Luther, and joined himself under the cross to the separated cross bearing church of the Anabaptists, in the year 1525, and forthwith





continued in his ministry, with great power and zeal, undaunted by all the tyranny which arose over the believers, in the way of drowning, burning and putting to death. Acts 9:20. In the second year of his ministry, Leonhard Keyser was apprehended at Scharding, in Bavaria, and condemned by the bishop of Passau and other priests and capitulars, to be burned on Friday before St. Lawrence day, in August of the same year. Having bound him on a cart, they took him to the fire, the priests going alongside, and speaking Latin to him, but he, on account of the people, answered them in German; even as they had refused to speak to him in German before the court, which he had frequently requested. When he came out into the field, and was approaching the fire, he, bound, as he was, leaned down at the side of the cart, and plucked a flower with his hand, saying to the judge, who rode on horseback along side of the cart

"Lord judge, here I pluck a flower; if you can burn this flower and me, you have justly condemned me; but,. on the other hand, if you cannot burn me and this flower in my hand, consider what you have done and repent," Thereupon the judge


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and the three executioners threw an extraordinary quantity of wood into the fire, in order to burn him immediately to ashes by the great fire. But when the wood was entirely burned up, his body was taken from the fire uninjured. Then the three executioners and their assistants built another great fire of wood, which when it was consumed, his body still remained uninjured,!!! only his hair and his nails were somewhat burnt brown, and, the ashes having been removed from his body, the latter was found smooth and clear, and the flower in his hand, not withered, or burnt in the least, the executioners then cut his body into pieces, which they threw into a new fire. When the wood was burned up, the pieces lay unconsumed in the fire. Finally they took the pieces and threw them into the river Inn. This judge was so terrified by this occurrence that he resigned his office, and moved to another place. His chief servant, who was with the judge, and saw and heard all this, came to us in Moravia, became our brother and lived and died piously. That it might not be forgotten our teachers have recorded this as it came from his own lips, and now cause it to be promulgated and made known,




FURTHER OBSERVATION CONCERNING THE DEATH

OF LEONHARD KEYSER


Seb. Frank, in his Chron. der Rom. Kett. letter L.,. gives the following account of this matter: "Having been brought a prisoner to Scharding, he was taken to the fire by three executioners; bound cross wise on a ladder, .and thrust into the fire. When he called upon Christ Jesus the ropes fell from his body and were burned; and as he was still alive, he rolled out of the fire at one side. The executioners instantly thrust him back into the fire, with hop poles, that happened to be there, so that he rolled out on the other side. There the executioners cut him alive into pieces, which they cast into the fire, without being able, however, to burn them, as I have read." etc. Concerning this, see also P. J. Twisck, Chron., fol. 1020, col. 2.


THOMAS 'HERMANN, AND SIXTY SEVEN OTHERS,

A. D. 1527

!!!!

A. D. 1527, Thomas Hermann, a minister of the Gospel and Word of God, was executed. Some persons had been apprehended at Kitzbuehl, and, through the tyranny of the authorities, had been brought to apostatize from the truth. The latter furthermore brought them into a public place before a great multitude of people, where the others reviled them shamefully, and said: "Ali, how finely your teachers and pastors now give their lives for you!" John 10:11; I John 3:16. Then the beforementioned Thomas Hermann made his way through the people, stepped forth and boldly said: "It is the truth which I have taught you; and I will testify to it with my blood." He was immediately apprehended, tortured, sentenced to the fire, and burned. On his way to the place of execution, he composed and sang a hymn, which is still extant.!!!! They could not burn his heart; hence, they threw it into the lake which was near the place of execution. After him sixty seven of his fellow believers were executed in the same place. The judge of Kitzbuehl, who assisted in condemning and putting to death many of them, and who because of their faith, both before and after, called them heretics was afterwards suffered by God to come to such awful disgrace, that he was himself found to be a heretic, and justly regarded as such by all men; which nevertheless, occurred not at all on account of the faith, but because God permitted him to fall into such disgrace, that he came to reproach and great infamy; also before the world.

The vengeance of God also came upon the townclerk of Kitzbuehl, who had likewise been instrumental in this shedding of innocent blood, and had declared that he would not lay down his head in peace until he had helped to exterminate these people. For, as he was out riding in a sleigh in the town, and about to make a turn, the horse threw him against a wall, and an oak tree in the street, so that his brains were dashed out, and thus he did not lay down his head in peace, but came to a terrible end, as the brethren Hans Kitzbuehl and Christian Haring have testified concerning it.


WEYNKEN, A WIDOW, DAUGHTER OF CLAES, OF

MONICKENDAM, BURNT TO DEATH IN

THE HAGUE, THE 20TH NOVEM;

BER, A. D. 1527


On the 15th of November, 1527, Weynken, daughter of Claes, was brought prisoner from the castle of Woerden to the Hague, whither on the 17th day of the same month, came also the count of Hooghstraten, Governor in Holland. On the 18th, the aforesaid Weynken was arraigned before the governor and the full council of Holland. There a woman asked her

"Have you well considered the things which my lords proposed to you?"

Am. "I abide by what I have said."

Ques. "If you do not speak differently, and turn from your error, you will be subjected to an intolerable death." '

Am. "If power is given you from above I am ready to suffer." John 19:11.

Ques. "Do you then, not fear death, which you have never tasted?"

Am. "This is true; but I shall never taste death, for Christ says: `If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death.' (John 8:51.) The rich man tasted death, and shall taste it forever." (Luke 16:23. )

Ques. "What do you hold concerning the sacrament?"

Am. "I hold your sacrament to be bread and flour, and if you hold it as God, I say that it is your devil."

Ques. "What do you hold concerning the saints?"

Am. "I know no other Mediator than Christ." (I John 2:19. )

Ques. "You must die, if you abide by this."

Am. "I an i already dead." (Gal. 2:19. )

Ques. "If you are dead, how can you speak?"

Ans. "The spirit lives in me; the Lord is in me, and I am in Him." (John 14:20. )

Ques. "Will you have 'a confessor, or not?"

Am. "I have Christ, to Him I confess; nevertheless, if I have offended any, I would willingly ask them to forgive me."

Ques. "Who has taught you this opinion, and how did you come to it?"

Am. "The Lord, who calls all men to Him; I am also one of His sheep; therefore I hear His voice." (John 10:27. )

Ques. "Are you alone called?"

Am. "No; for the Lord calls to Him all that are heavy laden." (Matt. 28:11.)

After many like words Weynken was led back to prison. During the two following days she was entreated and tempted by various persons, namely by monks, priests, women, and her nearest friends.




Among others, a woman came to her, prompted by sincerity, who commiserated leer after this manner

"Dear mother, can you not think what you please, and keep it to yourself? then you will not die."

Weynken replied: "Dear sister; I am commanded to speak, and am.constrained to do so; hence I cannot remain silent about it."

Wom. "Then, ' I am afraid, they, will put you to death."

Ans. "Though they burn me tomorrow, or put me into a bag, I cafe not; as the Lord has ordained it, so,it must be, and not otherwise; I will adhere to the Lord."

Wom. "If you have done nothing else I hope you will not die."

Ans. "As for me; it matters not.; but when I come down from the hall, I cry bitterly; and it grieves me to see that these good men are all so blinded;.I will pray the Lord for them." .

Two Dominican friars also came to her, the one as a confessor, and the other as an instructor. The latter showed her the crucifix, saying: "See, here is your .Lord and your God." She. answered

"This is not my God; the cross by which I have been redeemed, is adifierent one. This is a wooden god; throw him into the fire, and warm yourselves with him." The other asked her in the morning of the day when she was to die, whether she would not receive the sacrament, adding that he would willingly administer it to her. She said: "What God would you give me? one that is perishable, and is sold for a farthing?" And to the priest or monk, who rejoiced that he had read mass that day, she said that he had crucified God anew. He said:

"It appears to me that you have fallen unto error?"

Weynken replied: "I cannot help it, my Lord and my God, to whom be eternal honor, praise; and thanksgiving (Rev. 4:11), has thus given it unto me."

Ques. " What do you hold concerning the holy oil?"

Ans. "Oil is good for salad, or to oil your shoes with." I Tim. 4:4.

In the middle of the week she was brought before the Court, and when she came into the hall, the monk went up to her, and held the crucifix before her face, saying: "Do recant before sentence is, passed." But Weynken turned from the crucifix, saying: "I adhere to my Lord and God; neither death nor life shall separate me from Him." (Rom. 8:39.) As she stood before the judge, the' monk whispered into her ear: "Fall down upon monk knees, and ask the Lord for pardon." She replied

"Be still: did I not tell you, that you should not draw me from my Lord."

The Dean of Naeldwijck, subcommissary and inquisitor, read the sentence, in Latin, from a doc , ument, and repeating it in Dutch, said briefly, that she was found to be in error with regard to the sacrament, and that she immovably adhered to it; hence he decided that she was a heretic, and delivered Weynken to the secular arm, with the protest that he did  not consent to her death. He then retired from the council, together with his two associate ecclesiastics.

The chancellor immediately read, that she, as reported, had been found` obstinate, which could not be passed by without punishment, and that she should be burnt to ashes; and all her property be confiscated. '

Then Weynken said:  "Has all been done now? I beg you all, that if I have harmed or offended any, you will forgive me."

The monk then said to her: "Now for once kiss your Lord and God." She answered: "This is not my Lord."

As they were leaving the council chamber, the monk said to her that she should call upon our Lady to intercede for her.

She replied: "Our Lady, is well content in God."

Monk: "Call upon her."

Weynken: "We have Christ, who sitteth on the right hand of His Father.; I3 a prays for us:" (Romans 8:34.) ',

On her way from the hall to the scaffold or place of execution, the monk said: "Behold for once your Lord, who died for you."

Weynken: "This is not my Lord and my God; my Lord God is in me, and I in Him."

Monk: "Coiisider! will you condemn all these lambs,. and are they all condemned?"

Weynken:: "Not all; judgment belongs unto God." (Heb. 10:30. )

Monk: "Do you not fear the severe judgment of God?"

Weynken: "God comes not to condemn sinners, but to give them peace." (Luke 9:56.)

Monk: "Do you not, fear the sentence which you must suffer in the fie?"

Weynken: "No,, for I know how I stand with my Lord."


On the scaffold there stood one who said to Weynken: `.`Mother, turn to the people, and ask them,to forgive you, if you have offended any." This she did. Then she assisted the executioners to put the powder into her bosom. Here the monk again tempted her with the cross; but she pushed it away with her hand, turned around, and said

"How you tempt me? My Lord and my God is above." She then went .gladly, as though.she were going to a marriage; and her face did not once be= token fear of the fire:

The monk said: "Will you not always and firmly adhere to God?"

Weynken said: "Yes, indeed."

Monk: "Now you will have to go into the fire; do recant:"

Veynken: "I am well content; the Lord's will must be done."




Monk: "This is not the will of the Lord; the will of God is your sanctification."

The executioner said: "Mother, cleave to God and do not suffer yourself to be drawn away from Him."

In the meantime this pious heroine went alone undauntedly to the bench, and stationed herself at the stake at which she was to be burned, saying

"Is the bench firm; will I not fall?"

The executioner then made ready the ropes with which he was to strangle her. The woman took off her neckerchief or veil, and put the strap around her neck.

Then the monk exclaimed: "Mother Weynken, will you gladly.die as a Christian?,"

Ans. "Yes, I will."

Ques. "Do you renounce all heresy?"

Ans. "I do."


Monk: "This is well. Are you also sorry that you have erred?"


Ans. "I formerly did err indeed, and for that I am sorry; this however is no error, but the true way, and I adhere to God."


When she had said this, the executioner began to strangle her, which when she felt it, she cast down her eyes and closed them, as though she had fallen into a sleep, and gave up the ghost, on the twentieth day of November, A. D. 1527.


JOHN WALEN, WITH TWO OF HIS FELLOW BRETH 

REN, A. D. 1527


In the year 1527, there was also a faithful brother (Rev. 2:10), named John Walen, residing in Waterlandt, on Crommenies Dijck, and with him two of his fellow brethren. These three were together brought prisoners, for the testimony of Jesus (Revelations 2:13; 20:4), by the bloodthirsty papists, to Haarlem, and after a little while they were sent from there to Gravenhage, where they were examined very severely; yet, through the power of the Most High (Eph. 6:10; Acts 1:8), with which they were endued, they patiently endured it; thus valiantly overcoming by faith all their inquisitors and tormenters, together with the world and all visible things. I John 5:4. On this account the rulers of darkness (Eph. 6:12), at said place sentenced them to the following inhuman and tyrannous death: They were chained to stakes, and a fire built around, them, and thus they were slowly roasted, until the marrow was seen to trickle down from their thighbones; thus being burned and roasted till death came to their relief.7 After their death the garments on the upper part of their bodies were taken off piece by piece, the color of the cloth still being recognizable. And as they suffered all this for the name of Jesus and the Word of God, and not on account of any misdeed committed, but only in order to testify to and confess the firm foundation of the truth before this false and adulterous generation, the Son of God shall hereafter, when coming in His glory, not he ashamed of them, but confess them before His Father and His chosen angels, and crown them with everlasting glory in heaven. Rev. 20:4;,I Pet. 4:14, 15; Mark 12:39; Luke 9:26; II Tim. 4:8.


LEONHARD SCHOENER, A. D. 1528; AND AFTER HIM

ABOUT SEVENTY OTHERS


In the year 1528, Leonhard Schoener of Becklasburg was apprehended. He was a minister of God, and was well versed in the holy Scriptures, and also in the Latin language. He faithfully taught the true baptism of Christ and His apostles, the true Lord's Supper, and the articles of the Christian faith; yea, the Word of God. He also testified against infant baptism, the abominable sacrament, and other abominations of antichrist. He had originally been a barefoot friar for about six years, but beholding the impurity, wantonness, hypocrisy (Matt. 7:15 ), and viciousness of the monks and priests, and judging their lives by the Word of God, he left the monastery at Judenburg, in Austria, and went to Nurenberg, learned the tailor's trade, and then traveling about as journeyman tailor, he came to Nulasberg, in Austria. There he heard of Baithasar Heubmer and his baptism, and learned that a number of the same faith formed a little society at Veyen. He sought them out, came to them, heard them, and, led thither by Oswald, was baptized. After this he went to Steyen to work at his trade; where he taught and baptized, having been elected teacher by them; and thus teaching and baptizing, he proceeded through Bavaria, as far as Rothenburg, in the valley of the Inn; where he was apprehended for his faith, disputed much with his opposers, and was examined. Previous to this he proposed: that, if  they regarded his faith and doctrine as wrong and heretical, they should produce learned persons, doctors, monks and priests, to dispute with him concerning the matter. Should he, in disputing on true scriptural grounds, be found to be in the wrong, they should punish him as unrighteous; and for still further confirmation of the truth, he offered, in order to confirm his assertion and his writings, that, if any of the learned could convince him with the truth of the Word of God, that his doctrine was not conformable.to the holy Scriptures, he should, as having been vanquished be severed limb from limb by the executioner, and, when deprived of all his limbs, have the ribs torn out of his body, until he should be dead. But if he should not be able to obtain a hearing and disputation, and they should judge and put him to death unheard, he asked all the witnesses of his death, and all those standing by, that they would be his witnesses before God, in His judgment at the last day. But by virtue of the mandate of the Emperor, and the edict of the King of Hungary and Bohemia, he was condemned, delivered to the executioner, beheaded, and burnt to ashes, on the fourteenth day of January of said year; at Rothenburg, for the testimony of Christ, from which he would not depart.' After the death of this Leonhard, about seventy persons bore witness with their blood in the same' place. Leonhard Schoener, among others, left the following admonition for the consolation of all those who suffer for the name of Christ

"We beseech Thee, O eternal God, incline Thy gracious ear to us, Lord Sabaoth, Thou Prince of hosts, hear our complaint; for great distress and affliction prevails, and pride has entered into Thy heritage. And with it many supposed Christians have joined, and thus set up the abomination of desolation. Matt. 24:15. .They rage, and destroy the sanctuary of the Christians. They have trampled' it under foot, and the abomination of des6lation is worshiped as God. II Thess. 2:4. They have destroyed Thy holy city, overthrown Thy holy altar, and killed the servants in it, wherever they could apprehend them. And now that we remain as a little flock (Luke 12:32), they have driven us with reproach and disgrace into every country. We are scattered like sheep that have no shepherd. We have to abandon house and home, and are as the, night ravens, which lodge in the rocks. Our chambers are in eaves and cliffs; and snares are laid for us as for the birds of the air. We go about in forests, and are hunted with dogs. We are led captive and bound as dumb lambs which do not open their mouth. Acts 8:32. We are proclaimed rebels and heretics. We are led as sheep to the slaughter. Many sit in distress and bonds, and their bodies have perished. Some have been overcome by the severe sufferings, and died without any guilt. Here is the patience of the saints on earth; and thus must we be proved by suffering. Rev. 13:10. The believers have here been hanged on trees, strangled, cut in pieces, drowned secretly and openly; not only men, but also women and maidens have testified here to the faith that Jesus Christ is the truth and the only way to eternal life. John 14:6. Still the world is not at rest, but rages like a madman, and forges lies against us. They cease not to burn and kill. They make the world too small for us. O Lord how long wilt Thou be silent with regard to this? How long wilt Thou not judge the blood of Thy saints? Rev. 6:10. Let it ascend before Thy throne. How precious in Thy sight is the blood of Thy saints. Therefore we have in all our distresses a comforting confidence in Thee alone, and in no other; neither have we consolation, rest or peace in the earth. But he that hopes in Thee shall never be confounded. O Lord, there is no sorrow so great that it can separate us from Thee; hence we call upon Thee without ceasing, through Christ Thy Son, our Lord, whom Thou, out of pure grace, hast given us for our consolation, and who has prepared and made known to us the narrow path and the way unto eternal life. Matt. 7:14. Eternal glory, triumph, honor and praise be unto Thee now and in all eternity, and Thy righteousness abide forever. All nations bless


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Thy holy name, through Christ, the coming righteous judge of the whole world, Amen. Acts 17:31."


BANS SCHL)EFFER AND LEONHARD PRICK, IN,THE

YEAR 1528


In the year 1528, Brother Hans Schlaeffer, for= merly a Roman priest, but afterwards a teacher of the Word and Gospel of Christ, a highly gifted man, was apprehended at Schwartz, in the valley of the Inn, and with him Brother Leonhard Frick. They tried him greatly with many severe tortures, and disputed with him, through the priests, about infant baptism; but he, orally as well as in writing, showed them his defense, as it is commanded, and as it will be found, throughout the entire New Testament, namely: That the Word of God must first be taught, and that only those who hear, understand, believe, and receive it, are to be baptized. This is the true Christian baptism, and no anabaptism. The Lord has nowhere commanded to baptize infants; they are already the Lord's, and as long as they are in their innocence and simplicity, they are not to be condemned at all. They also asked him, in what the foundation of these anabaptistic sects did properly consist. To this he replied: "Our faith, practice, and baptizing is founded on nothing else than the command of Christ: `Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.' (Mark 16:16; Matt: 28: 19); and many other Scriptures."

They also asked what design lay concealed under this anabaptism, since they had thus exhorted them to raise a new uproar and sedition. But he replied that it had never entered his heart, to make an uproar; neither had he ever approved of it in others; yea, he had fled from a house in which they lived in contention; which he could prove by all with whom he had ever lived. And there is no other design concealed under it, than to amend the life, and to forsake the vicious ways of the world; so that in the doctrine which he teaches, this is not the least commandment, that we are in duty bound to be subject to the authorities in all good things; how, then, should he raise and purpose uproar and sedition?

They also desired to know of him, who were the true authors and principals of these heretical and chief sects, as they falsely call them. He told them that he knew of no other principal of his faith, than the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who is the true Captain of the faith. I feb. 12:2. But as, regards that they are called heretics and seditious sects, he referred them to the complaints of the Jews against Christ before' Pilate, and the complaints against the apostle Paul, before Felix the Governor. Matthew 27:1; Acts 24:2.

He was likewise asked what had caused and induced him to forsake his office as priest. Concerning this he told them, that he had done it for conscience' sake, because he knew that he was in the place of a prophet, and believed that God had sent him.

They would also know of him, who had told him to go into Germany, to plant the evil seed of Anabaptism. He told them, that no one had ordered him thither; but that, since he had no abiding place as yet, and had to go about in misery, he came there to one of his friends, with whom he stayed, and thence carne to Schwatz, where he was apprehended, according to and for the will of God. As to the evil seed of which they spake, he knew nothing at all; he intended nothing evil, but much rather the pure divine truth.

After this and other things, when he had been in prison for some time, and could not be moved, he and his fellow prisoner and brother were condemned to death, and executed with the sword at Schwatz, thus testifying with their blood to the divine truth. He left the following admonitory thanksgiving to his brethren in Christ

O God, I beseech Thy grace; do not impute to me my sins, since Christ atoned for them before I was born. Rom. 5:10. I was Thine enemy, and Thou hast loved and graciously accepted me, and given for my redemption the innocent blood of Thy beloved Son (I Pet. 1:19), though I still experience in me much molestation from remaining sin; which rises in my flesh. For when I would do good, evil is present with me. Rom. 7:21. For this cause I am sorrowful, and may well sigh and exclaim with the apostle Paul: O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? Romans 7:24. And I must reply to myself and say: But thanks be to God, which giveth me the victory through Christ. Thou art'my comfort; for if I thus believe with the heart, I cannot be condemned. The spirit is willing and ready, but the flesh is weak, so that' if cannot fulfill the law of God, until Christ strengthens us with His Spirit: Where human laws rein on earth, there the distressed minds are seduced; yea, where Christ Jesus is not the sole Ruler, that which He does riot build, is always torn and broken; and no building can stand, which He does not uphold. Though the world highly esteems other things, they are condemned before God; and hence we all pray together, young and old, great and small, that Thou, O God, wouldst have compassion upon us; and send us poor children faithful shepherds and stewards of Thy gifts (Matt. 9:38), that all human doctrine may be rooted outfor it is time to truly repent and forsake evil; for' the severe judgment of God is at hand. Mark 1:15. Hence let us take our refuge to the chastisement of our Father, and submit ourselves in obedience, that He may chastise us as His children. The world is blinded, sloes not know the Christian life, abominates it, flees the cross, and thinks it is enough, if they can talk finely of the Christian life, but do little indeed.

"But, my brethren, he that would be a true Christian, must put on Christ (Rom. 13:14), and resemble Him in His humble form while on earth, and be of good cheer in everything which happens to him in this world: No external semblance of loving Christ, and of suffering for His name, avails here; we must not be ashamed of Him, who first loved us (I John 4:19), and gave Himself for us to an ignominious death. It is in truth not otherwise, than that judgment must first begin at the house of God. I Pet. 4:17. Thus the Holy Scripture is now fulfilled, so that the punishment with which the world is to be visited, is ready and at hand; hence no one ought to be negligent; for the sword is drawn, the bow is bent, the arrow laid upon it, and aim is taken.

By this I do not mean that we are to seek any other refuge, than to accept the chastisement of the Father, as has been said above; by Which He refines us for that whereunto He has sealed us, that we 'may be assured of the eternal and imperishable kingdom with Him, and forever to possess it with Him in life everlasting; to this may God strengthen us all. Amen."


LEOPOLD . SCHNEIDER, A. D.. 1528


This Leopold Schneider was beheaded as a pious witness of the suffering of Christ, for the truth, at Augsburg, A. D. 1528. He left the following admonition for the comfort and instruction of others

"My God, I will praise Thee in my last hour; Thee who .art high above in heaven, I will praise Thee with heart and mouth, for Thou art worthy of it; strengthen my faith (Luke 17:5), now that I must go on this pilgrimage of suffering; remember me in mercy in the severe conflict. I commend my spirit into Thy hands (Luke 23:46); in Thee I rejoice. Christ, help me to stand in my sufferings. Heavenly Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do. Because I cannot forsake Thy Word, I am hated, and they seek to separate my body from the soul. Therefore I call upon Thee, O God, for gracious help; I trust in Thee, for I have no other comforter. That which is so clearly written, Mark 16:16; `He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved," can certainly not be contradicted by any one; hence it is to be heeded. O ye blind, why are you troubled and grieved because the command of Christ is observed? acquaint yourselves With the holy Scriptures, and you will find what Christ the Son of God has commanded us to do. I beseech you all, beloved brethren and sisters, that you would firmly trust in God, and let not my bitter death grieve you; 'for God will richly reward it; we must once take our leave of this vale of 'sorrow. The Scripture clearly declares, that he who would have laughing and joy here, shall hereafter mourn and weep: Luke 6:25; we must suffer here with patience; the Lord grant that it be done innocently. He that would here bring his gift to the altar; and remembers that his brother has aught against him, must leave his gift at the altar, and first go and be reconciled to his brother, and then come and offer his gift. Matt. 5:23, 24. Therefore,




I beseech Thee, O God, graciously to forgive those who put me to death. I commend my spirit and soul into Thy hand, O God; deliver me out of all my distresses, and never turn away from me; deprive my flesh of all its power, that I may overcome and be victorious in Thee. Amen." Rev. 2:11.


EIGHTEEN PERSONS BURNED AT SALZBURG; IN THE

YEAR 1528


These eighteen persons, besides many others, were kindled with zeal in the fear of God, and had turned to God from the world and its idolatry, and been baptized upon faith in Christ, entering upon obedience towards His holy Gospel. This the adversaries could not endure; these eighteen were therefore apprehended, and finally, as they, under many tortures, piously adhered to their faith, were all sentenced to the fire, and burned, on the same day, at Salzburg, about the year 1528. They left the following as a memorial:

"O God of heaven, watch over Thy sheep: who are such a little flock, that they may not depart from Thee, or be led astray. Keep them under Thy protection, and deliver them from this lamentable distress; for the beast pursues . them even unto death, which they must suffer, for they are thrown into severe prisons, where they, in the death of the dungeon, sing praises unto the Lord, and magnify Him with heart and mouth. Acts 16:25. O Lord, .have compassion therefore, and let this our complaint come before Thee. Come quickly, and help us poor children, and sustain us in Thy will. They would drive us from Thee, and they beset us very hard with their great power and pomp. O God, grant us Thy divine power; we have no other Lord in heaven and earth, than Thee. I Cor. 8:6. Grant us what we desire of Thee. The Lord Christ sends out His messengers, and through them offers us His heavenly kingdom, which is derided by the world: but we have accepted the Lord's kingdom and His grace with great joy and satisfaction; therefore the priests roar and rage against us, and terribly hate us. They have greatly hid the truth for more than five hundred years, and seduced the multitude of men with false doctrine: they trample the Word of God under their feet,.and it is despised by them. O Lord, grant that they may amend their steps and do Thy will.

"And is, that which has been witnessed at Salzburg not a lamentable matter; namely, that eighteen persons were burned together on the same day, only for the doctrine of Christ, whom they confessed to be the only Lord? They would not honor the image, nor worship the beast. They would not receive their words, nor the mark of antichrist into their hand or on their forehead. Thereforethey could neither buy, nor sell in the land; but they adhered to Christ, and received His, mark, and their names are written in the book of life


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(Ps. 69:28); as Christian soldiers they, through grace, obtained the crown." II Tim. 4:8.

Thus they were burned with fire, and are now awaiting everlasting joy.


WOLFGANG ULMAN, A. D. 1528


Wolfgang U1man, a celebrated and excellent man in matters of faith, after maintaining and practicing the faith for some time, was burned, together with his brother and ten other persons, all steadfastly testifying to their faith with death, at Walzen, about the year 1528.


HANS PRETLE, A. D. 1528


Subsequently also Hans Pretle, who had been a preacher, but had afterwards become a minister of the church,of Christ, having exercised his ministry for a time, and pointed many to the knowledge of the Gospel, was burned for the testimony of Jesus Christ. Rev. 6:9.


LITTLE HANS OF STOTZINGEN, A. D. 1528


Little Hans of Stotzingen, having been in prison for a time, for the evangelical truth, at Zabern, Alsace, was finally condemned to death, about the year 1528. On his way to the place of execution, he addressed the following admonition to the peo;ple, and was then beheaded with the sword.

"In our extremity we now begin to cry unto our God, to deliver us from all our distress, that our hearts may offer up to Him a pure sacrifice acceptable in His sight. Rom. 12:1. The sacrifice which I mean is my whole body, life, skin and bones, and also wife and children. We are willing to offer up all our members, love impelling and constraining us. Pharaoh would fain prevent and alter this; but we care not for it, and have not the least desire to desist from it, but to bring the offering before the Lord, and to press our way through with His assistance (Matt. 1.1:12); He will aid and succor us. Come hither, beloved brethren, let us valiantly take hold, of the matter: We are now members of Jesus Christ (Rom. 12:4, 5); He is our Captain (Ephesians 1:22); He has prepared a glorious crown, with which He will crown those who shall persevere unto the end. Matt. 10:22. Be of good courage and undaunted, thou worm Jacob. Isa. 41:14. The Red Sea shall stand open; if Pharaoh will pursue thee, he will perish in it. Thou little flock, be not afraid, for it is but a little while here, and our flesh is of no consequence. But in the city which God has prepared us in the everlasting kingdom, we shall be as the angels of God. Heb. 11:10; Matthew 22:30. Who can estimate their value? This God has promised us; yea, through His Child, Jesus Christ, He promises us much comfort and joy, and everlasting rest, if we continue steadfast in Him. iBut we must also drink the cup of suffering, and suffer with His Son Christ Jesus (Matt. 20:23), and He will deliver and well succor us. Though the heathen slay us, He will not forsake us, but break their power in pieces, snatch us out of their hand, and through grace gloriously crown us. God is the Lord who can protect. He is also our shield (Genesis 15:1), since we have Him for a Father, who is so good and gracious; that though men drive us away from them, yet will we always adhere to Him. His great power is over us, and He does not suffer them to faint, who keep His covenant; therefore, though we be defamed and accused, rejoice over it in your hearts. Have confidence in God, and He shall help you. Therefore fear neither pain nor death. I give praise and thanks to my God, that I have become a sacrifice. I have long longed for it, for to die is gain for me. Phil. 1:21. O God, let me partake of the sacrifice of Thy Son Jesus Christ. Amen." Heb. 9:14.

Thus he offered his neck, and was beheaded for the testimony of Jesus Christ. Acts 1:8.


THOMAS, BALTHASAR, AND DOMINICUS, A. D. 1528


In the same year 1528, Thomas and Balthasar, both ministers of the Gospel, and with them one Dominicus, were apprehended, condemned to death, and burned, suffering it very steadfastly, for the faith and the divine truth, in the city of Bruenn, in Moravia. But before they were apprehended, they advised the council, that they should take care and not shed innocent blood, for God would not let it go unpunished. Jer. 7:6. One of the council, named Thomas Pelzer arose and did as though he were washing his hands, saying: "Thus shall I wash my hands in their blood, and think to do God service." John 16:2. But a few days after the judgment of God came upon him. He was found dead in his bed, beside his wife; and thus by his sudden death, was not permitted, to see the death of these pious persons, which struck terror into the hearts of many.

Brother Bastelwart well knew this Thomas Pelzer, who died so suddenly; and also Brother Andrew Gauper was acquainted with the circumstance.


HANS FEIERER, WITH FIVE BRETHREN AND THREE

SISTERS, A. D. 1528


About this time also Hans Feierer, a minister of the Word, and five of his brethren or fellow believers were condemned and burned for the faith and divine truth, at Munich in Bavaria; there three sisters, wives of three of them, were drowned, and boldly, cheerfully, and gladly surrendered their lives, being willing much rather to lose this temporal life, than to desist from what God had given them to know. They gave up a' miserable life, in due time to find another (Matt. 10:39; 24:13; Rev. 2:10), with Christ, and with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and all the saints and pious, in the kingdom of God, which is promised to all those who endure to the end.


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THREE BRETHREN AND TWO SISTERS, A. D. 1528


A. D. 1528, Three brethren and two sisters were put in prison at Znaym, in Moravia. There was a judge at Znaym, called Sir Louis, who greatly hated the brethren, as was manifest in the imprisonment of these brethren and sisters, With stern words he asked the council what they intended to do with the Anabaptist heretics, since' they had a royal command and mandate, and yet did not have them executed. He said he would himself go to the king, and inform him of their disobedience; but if they would have them executed, he would draw the wood to burn them with his own horses. Thereupon the council answered and said: "Dear Sir Louis, we will commend them to thee; do with them as you please; it is committed to you. Then he had the wood drawn with his own wagon, and caused the three brethren and two sisters to be burned, who were thus speedily executed, paying unto God, who permitted this true burnt offering, the vow made in baptism, and fighting unto death for the divine truth confessed. '


This Louis, actuated by the hatred and envy of the old serpent, was not yet satisfied with the blood of the pious~and innocent sheep of the Lord, and had to fill up the measure of his judgment. He commanded money to be given to those who should tell him where the brethren assembled. A house having been pointed out to him, he took bailiffs and watchmen, and went with them to the place. There Judge Louis stepped unawares into an opening before the house, used for letting down wine, and sprained his foot. He fell down and cried piteously that they should lift him up, and let the rascals go. The brethren heard the noise, and escaped from the house. After this Louis took sick unto death, and as he lay there in his agony and severe sickness, he suddenly began to exclaim: "Q the Baptists, the Baptists!" He spoke nothing else, but repeated this cry innumerable times. Finally he roared like an ox, and like a wild beast and bit his own tongue, and foam and blood ran out of his mouth, so that his wife and children could not stay with him; only his servant woman, who was attached to him, remained with him until he was strangled in his own blood. This servant woman related the circumstances to Brother Bastelwart, who was a minister. All his kindred do not like to have it spoken  of; and it was a common saying among the people that he had shed innocent blood. Prov. 6:17; Jer. 7:6; 22:3. And thus God has often (more than is shown in this book, or can be related) checked the wicked with like examples, that thereby His work might make the greater progress among His people, to His praise, and to the salvation of many who seek that which is right, and the amendment of life; for if God had not always sustained His work, the enemy would in the course of time, have extinguished it, and not have left one spark or germ of truth remain; but this God does not permit him to do.




NINE BRETHREN AND THREE SISTERS, A. D. 1528


In this year 1528, nine brethren and three sisters were apprehended at Bruck, on the Mur, in Steyermark. They were condemned for their faith, and taken in bonds out of the city, to the place of execution; but they were glad and of good cheer, and said: "This day we will suffer in this place for the word of God, and offer to Him our sacrifice." Rom. 12:1; II Tim. 4:6. They also earnestly admonished the lords of Bruck, that they should know that they rendered themselves guilty of innocent blood. A ring having been formed, they all knelt down (Acts 7:60; 20:36), and earnestly prayed to God; that they might now finish this their evening sacrifice. They then arose and submitted to the sword. The executioner was sad; for he did not like to do it. The youngest of them all entreated his brethren, that, since he felt of good cheer and bold, they should let him suffer the first pain; he then kissed them, and said: "God bless you, my beloved brethren; today we shall all be together in Paradise." Luke 23:43. Thus these nine brethren were beheaded in a green field; they were so undaunted that it was astonishing to behold it. They knelt down; and thus poured out their blood through the smiting of the sword. The three sisters were drowned; they would in no wise depart from God and His truth. The youngest one laughed at the water; which was seen by many a one there. Some held that the devil had hardened them; but others were moved in their hearts, so that they confessed that God must have given this, since otherwise it could not be possible. Thus they valiantly testified to the holy and divine truth.


VILGARD AND CASPAR OF SCHOENECK, ABOUT THE

YEAR 1528


These two were beheaded for the truth, at Ries, in the Fluchtthal, near Brixen, and thus died as faithful witnesses of Christ, leaving the following admonition to their brethren

"Hearken, all of you, and take to heart, that God will visit all sinners great and small,. who now despise Him and revile His name, and do not consider their sinful life. God shall speedily awaken, and deliver His children. If we consider the doctrine of the prophets, we see that this is the last time, and in this time God calls upon all men that they should turn unto Him (Isa. 45:22), live according to His will, and keep His commandments; and that if they do this, His wrath shall cease, and He will be their God and Father; for God, because of His great goodness, is longsuffering in His judgment; therefore beware of sin, and do not follow the devil;. but free yourselves from unrighteousness, and your God will not forsake you in this last hour; for God is rich and gracious, and with Him there is much grace; He willingly forgives the sinner who will forsake his sins, who believes in Christ, and calls upon His name; to such He will not only, through grace remit his sins, but also freely give him the eternal reward. Heed well these things. Oh all of you who belong to the Church of Jesus Christ, and have become children of God. Praise God with shouting, young and old, great and small; you who, have believed His Ward, love God as His dear children, and walk before Him with pure hearts, and you shall never be forsaken, but He will ever preserve you. O God, who art rich in grace, keep us Thy children, that we may hold to Thee, and that those who have come to Thee, may not be confounded; lead them diligently with Thy right hand into the promised land, the eternal heavenly kingdom. O God, honor be unto Thee in Thy high throne, who hast given us Christ Thy Son, and imparted divine grace to us, by which we now confess Thee with heart and mouth, and are not ashamed to call them our brethren who call upon Thee in truth as their Father. Praised by Thy holy name, Amen."

NOTE. Sebastian Franck relates that the Anabaptists in the beginning increased by many thousands, so that the world feared that they would cause an uproar; but of this, as I hear, he writes, they were found innocent and, were persecuted with great tyranny; first especially in popedom. They were forcibly imprisoned, and tormented with the sword, fire, water, and manifold imprisonments, so that within a few years very many were put to death. Some compute the number of those put to death far more than two thousand. They were put to death in many places; at Ensisheim alone about six hundred were slain, all of whom patiently and steadfastly suffered as martyrs.

Compare the account of Seb. Franck, Chron, fol. 55,109, with the old Offer boeck, lib. 1. Leonh., lib. 7; also Chron. van den Ondergang, p. 1025.


SIX PERSONS AT BASEL, A. D. 1529


In the year 1529, those of Basel imprisoned nine of those who were baptized according to the command of Christ; six* of whom, as they write, were banished.

They further write, that at Bomburg, a castle in the dominion of Basel, some of the chief Anabaptists were imprisoned by one Bartholomew Sincken who was castellan there. However, what they ultimately did with them, the record does not state. Compare this with the account in the preface to the Offer boeck der Doopsgesinde, of the year 1615, letter Y, p. 2.


HANS LANGMANTEL WITH HIS MANSERVANT AND

MAIDSERVANT, A. D. 1529


Hans Langmantel, a wealthy citizen and of noble descent, during the re establishment of the churches in Germany, received with his manservant and maidservant the truth of the Gospel, and, kindled with zeal, they believed the truth, forsook their


* After many disputations three of the nine apostatized; the rest remaining steadfast, were banished.




sinful life, and were baptized upon their faith in Christ Jesus, for the remission and forgiveness of their sins; on which account all three were imprisoned, and, after .enduring many assaults and torments, they were finally put to death for their faith, which they constantly confessed. Hans Langmantel and his manservant were. beheaded with the sword, while the maidservant was drowned in the water. When they were still in severe confinement they sent the following; as a thank offering and prayer to God, which they made use of in prison, to their brethren, for consolation, admonition, and as a memorial, about A. D. 1529.


"O God, our heavenly Father, come with the power of Thy Holy Spirit, that Thou mayest rejoice our mind, heart and soul; give all three of us a manful heart, that in this anguish we fight and overcome. Rev. 2:7. Hold us with Thy right hand, for Thou art our strength; fight the battle for us (Ex. 14:14), and watch over us in distress, that we may stand in the conflict, and not go back when it is at its height. Therefore, O Lord, keep watch over us, and take care of us in this extremity, now that the wicked rise up against Thy Word, and would drive us from it. O God, preserve us in Thy keeping, that we may not faint and abandon Thy Word. Let us enjoy the faithfulness which Thou hast shown us through Thy Son Jesus Christ; and in order that we may always earnestly contemplate this, send us Thy Holy Spirit, and kindle in us the fire of Thy divine love; lead us, Thou who didst teach it in deed, that we may also exercise ourselves therein, and observe and practice it as Thy dear children, that this gift may come upon us, and that, even as we are called, we may by it order our lives in this Thy truth; maintain peace and unity, and love one another in truth with a pure heart. To this end, O God, let the light of Thy divine glory illuminate its, that we may walk in it. O Lord, keep us in it as Thy dear children, and let us never become obscured by the abominable darkness of this world, which has gained the upper hand with all unfaithfulness, and which will be followed by death. But Thou, our Father, dost love equity. In Thee there is no darkness (I John 1:5); but the world is hardened with it. But Thou art the eternal light, which penetrates the darkness; that we may no longer be children of the night, but children of the day. Watch over us with Thy Holy Spirit, and teach us thus to go in this light with de= light and joy according to Thy divine nature.


"O' God, we beseech Thee for one thing more: Send us, to this end Thy Holy Spirit, endue us with His power, renew our hearts, and make us strong in Thee, that we may obediently hear Thee in Thy obedience, and praise Thy name. When this world rises, and opposes Thy words, so that our soul sighs to Thee in all severe distresses by which they seek to tear us away, then, O Lord, grant us to look to Thee for aid, and help us to overcome: Grant, Lord, that we may not stain ourselves by any sin or guilt, and take from our flesh the fear by which they would draw us away, and stop us in this work; that, when they shall lead us to death, we may not waver in the conflict, but may go to meet Thee with all the pious in the true, adorned wedding garment, at the marriage feast, prepared for Thy Son, when He shall receive His bride with everlasting joy and delight. Lord, assist us in every anguish and distress, and in the pain of death; give us the heavenly bread; send us Thy Comforter, for God is the Comforter of the miserable. He.makes the poor rich, and strengthens the feeble; He can, refresh .the weary and give strength to the faint, that they may come to Thee. Through Thee they overcome, who have now entered the conflict, to fight for the truth. In Christ, Thy, Son, help us to win the field on this earth, yea in Him alone. Be Thou alone our Helper, protect us with Thy sword,, that we may together, as Thy heroes, obtain the crown, and be forever with Thee. Amen." 


GEORGE BLAUROCK, AND HANS VAN DER REVE,

A. D. 1529


About this, time, George of the house of Jacob, called Blaurck, having for about two or three years, in Switzerland, but particularly in the earldom of Tyrol, whither he had gone, spread and proclaimed the doctrine of the truth, that he might put his talent to use (Matt. 25:15 ), and by his zeal for the house of God be a means of salvation, was apprehended with his companions, at Gusodaum, condemned for the faith, and burnt alive not far from Clausen, for these articles, namely: That he had forsaken his office as priest, which he had formerly exercised in popery; that he disregarded infant baptism, and taught people a new baptism; that he rejected the mass; that he likewise rejected the confession of the priests as founded by them, and that the mother of Christ is not to be invoked or worshiped. For these reasons he was executed, and laid down his life, as behooves a soldier and hero of the faith: On the place of execution he earnestly spoke to the people, and pointed them to the Scriptures.

The love of the truth having begun to burn among .the nations, and the fire of God having thus started, many were put to death for the testimony of the truth, in the earldom of Tyrol, especially in the following places: In the Gusodein district: at Clausen, Brixen, Stertzing, Balzen, Neumark, Katren, Terlen, Gundersweg; in the valley of the Inn; at Imst. ketersberg, Stejen in the Spruckthal, Schwatz, Rattenburg, Kufstein and Kitzbuehl. In these places a great multitude of believers constantly testified with their blood to the truth, through fire, water and the sword. Thus the people of God, as well as the great persecution increased daily. Jacob Huter became one of the overseers and teachers in the earldom of Tyrol, and not long after, with his people, united with the church which was in Moravia. After Jacob Huter removed with his people from the earldom to Moravia, partly compelled by great persecution, the tyranny in the earldom of Tyrol became daily more vehement; so that the pious had but few places where they could remain and many of them were apprehended, and put to death in various ways, for the faith. To this end the priests violently and furiously proclaimed from the pulpit, that  care should be taken, to ferret them out; and to destroy them with fire and sword. Much money was also repeatedly offered and promised to those who should inform against then; by means of which they were several times betrayed. They were sought in every way, in forests and in houses, wherever their presence was suspected; in every place, also in closed gardens, which had to be opened, or they would be broken open, and searched. . There was a Judas, called Prabeiger, who made use of his subtle artifice, thinking to obtain a large reward. He went to the authorities, and betrayed them all, bringing with him bailiffs and children of Pilate, with swords, spears, and staves, and went before them, just as Judas the traitor did, Matt. 26:47. They caught a great number, and dispersed the rest. Not long after, when they again assembled, another Iscariot, called George Frueder, manifested himself. He went to the priests, saying that if they would pay him, he would, go, and none of the brethren should be able to conceal himself from him. Then the priests, the generation of the scribes and Pharisees, gave him money and good wages, and also .a letter. This rogue then went out, assumed the form and,semblance of an angel, and visited now and then such as he suspected of having knowledge of this matter. He inquired everywhere in the Pusterthal, where the brethren were, and how he could find their, desiring assistance to this end. With much weeping the rogue made this request, pretending that he could not rest until he were with them. Thus he deceived them, so that he finally came to them. He, appeared before them very sad, humble and tender. As one who seeks to repent and to amend his way. He then very suddenly said: "My brethren, grant me this, and wait a little while, and I will go home and fetch my wife and child." Many thoughts came to the minister and he said to hint: "If you, are false of heart, and your intention evil, God will certainly find you, and you shall speedily bring down' His judgment upon you." But he said: "Oh no, God preserve me from that; come with Me. into my house." Thus he went away, and hastened to the judge, the magistrate, and the priests, who came with force, with swords and sticks, and apprehended the brethren and sisters.

Several other villains of this class manifested themselves, especially, one whose name was Peter Lantz, and one named Pranger. Sonic went about by night with much craftiness, acted in the same manner, and went to places and houses where they expected to find these people; but God gave them the recompense which they deserved, so that they might have wished that they had never been born.

Besides the above mentioned George Blaurock. there was also .one Hans van der Reve, both of whom belonged to the number of those who sincerely received the truth of the holy Gospel, and helped found and build the Christian church, in the time when the truth had long been obscured in popery and by other errors. And when they had thus for a time faithfully exercised their ministry, edified and instructed many, and put their talent effectually to usury (Matt. 25:15), they were finally apprehended by the envious children of Cain, and burned at Clausen, in Etzlandt, A. D. 1529.

And in order to show that in all. .this they rejoiced in God, and also sought to console and strengthen their brethren, they left them the following memorial:

"Lord God, I will praise Thee now and until my end; because Thou hast given me faith, by which I have learned to know Thee. Thou sendest to me Thy divine Word, which I am able to find and perceive that it is from pure grace. From Thee, O God, have.I received it as Thou knowest.  I firmly hope that it will. not return unto Thee void. Isa. 55:11. O Lord, strengthen my heart to this. My heart rejoices because I know Thy will. When I felt the heavy load of sin in me, which exceedingly troubled me (Ps. 3$:6), I would have had to perish and suffer everlasting pain hadst Thou,C God, not come to me with the Word of Thy divine grace. Acts 10:37. For this I will now 'magnify and praise Thy glorious name forever, because Thou dost always show Thyself a merciful dear Father. Cast me not off but receive me as Thy child. Therefore I cry unto Thee, help, O Father, that I may be Thy child and heir. O Lord, strengthen my faith (Luke 17:5)., else, if Thy help should not succor me, my building should soon fall. Do not forget me, O Lord, but be with. me always; thy Holy Spirit protect and teach me,,that in all .my sufferings I may, ever receive Thy consolation, so that valiantly fighting, in this conflict, I may gain the victory. I Cor. 9:25-27.

"The enemy fights a battle with me in the field in which I now am; he would fain drive me from the field. But Thou, ,O Lord, givest me the victory. He ran against me with sharp weapons, so that all my limbs quaked before the false doctrine and their constraints. But Thou, O Lord, hadst compassion upon me; and didst help me, Thy son, poor man, with Thy. grace, and powerful hand, and madest me to overcome. O God, how soon didst Thou hear me; thou speedily camest with Thy help and turnedst back mine enemies; therefore I will sing praises unto Thy name in my heart, and forever spread abroad the grace, which has come to me.

"Now, I pray Thee, Father, for all Thy children; preserve us all forever from all the enemies of our souls. I must not trust in the flesh (I Peter 1:24), which perisheth and abideth not; but I will firmly trust in Thy Word (Ps. 115:9), this be my consolation, on which I rely; it shall deliver me, from all my distresses, to everlasting rest. The hour of the last day, to which we all must come, is at hand. Dear Lord, help us to bear the cross to the destined place, and turn Thyself to us with all grace, that we may commend our spirit into Thy hands. I sincerely pray Thee for all our enemies, O Lord, however many there may be; do not lay their sins to their charge; Lord, I entreat this according to Thy will. Acts 7:60. And thus we (I George Blaurock, and Hans van der Reve) will depart in peace. May the good God through grace lead us into His everlasting kingdom, as we firmly trust that He will, and finish His holy work in us and give us strength to the end, Amen."

This evidently came to pass, when these two so steadfastly and boldly died and were burned, for the truth.


HERE FOLLOWS ANOTHER CONSOLATORY ADMONI;

TION LEFT BY GEORGE BLAUROCK TO

HIS DESCENDANTS


God administers a righteous judgment (Ps. 7:11; Rom. 2:5), which no one can set aside, and him who does not His will, He will judge. But Thou, O Lord; art good, and sufferest Thyself to be found gracious, and all those who use diligence to do Thy will, Thou acceptst as Thy children. We justly give praise and thanks to Thee' through Jesus Christ, for all Thy benefits and goodness, and beseech Thee to preserve and guard us from sin, The sinner in this life brings a severe judgment upon himself, which he shall hereafter regret; for though God faithfully warns him, yet will he not forsake his sinful life; but when the Lord shall come in His glory to judge, then shall the sinner repent; for no excuse will then avail.


He now causes His divine Word to be published, and instructs men, that they should turn from their sinful life, believe in Christ, be baptized upon faith, and obey the Gospel. Therefore, ye children of men, forsake your sins, and remain no longer hardened, sick wicked and blind; now that you can find the physiician, who can heal all infirmities, and avail yourselves of his help without money. Matt. 9:12. Oh, how awful will it be with the sinner who now refuses help and counsel, when he shall be sentenced by God into everlasting pain, where he will have to remain and suffer forever and ever. Matt. 25:46. But Thou, O Lord, art a righteous God. Thou wilt deceive no one, but wilt preserve those that sincerely love Thee, from the second death.

Thou, O Lord, art a strong God, who will cast into hell, which has now opened wide her mouth, all the wicked and those who hate and afflict Thy children. But Thy mercy is great over those who repent, and Thou, through Jesus Christ, forgivest their sins. This is what God requires: that the whole human race should fear and love Him, that they should follow His Son Jesus Christ, and observe His divine doctrine. But when the sinner is exhorted to the love of God, he shows by the deed that he considers it a mockery; for this however he shall pay dearly, for God can not be deceived by appearance.

Antichrist threatens those who fear God with great severity and ignominy. Therefore we beseech Thee, O Lord, strengthen Thy feeble vessels: but we know, that if we patiently endure all this for Thy name's sake, Thou, in Thy faithfulness, wilt not forsake us; but dost renew and strengthen us daily, that we may continue on Thy narrow way. Matt. 7:14. We cry to Thee through Christ, for the sake of His bitter suffering (Isa. 53), in which we recognize Thy faithfulness and love; and this consoles us on our pilgrimage. Do not forsake us, Thy children, henceforth unto the end; but constantly offer us Thy fatherly hand that we may finish our course; for when we have finished our course, the crown is prepared by the young man (II Esd. 2:43) who hung on the cross for us, on which he suffered greatly for our sakes. Grant, O Lord, that we may be thankful, so that we may joyfully behold Thee, our Father. O Father, through grace Thou didst choose us, and didst not despise to put us into Thy work; grant that, when the evening comes, we may receive the hire with rejoicing. Matt. 20:1, 8.

Through Christ Thy Son make us ready for the heavenly supper, and clothe us with Thy Holy Spirit. In that supper, Thy Son, our Redeemer, shall serve us at the table. Luke 12:37. Oh, how blessed are they which are called to this supper (Rev. 19:9), and who in all sorrow adhere to Christ unto the end, even as He steadfastly suffered for us on the cross; and thus it is with all His followers on the earth; and all who shall keep their wedding garment undefiled to the end. Upon their heads the young man shall set crowns. But he who is not clothed with this garment, when the King will inspect His guests, shall be sternly reproved, bound hand and foot, and cast into outer darkness. O Lord, give us true love so to walk, that when we come we will not find the door closed, as was the case with the foolish virgins, who had no oil in their lamps, and said: "Lord, open to us," but could not go in: but that we may happily watch with the five wise virgins, and may also enter into the glorious marriage feast of eternal heavenly joy, when the King, with His trumpets, shall call and assemble His elect. Therefore, O Zion, thou holy church of God, see that thou hold fast unto the end that which thou hast received, and keep thyself unspotted from sin, and thou shalt, through grace, receive the eternal crown. I Cor. 9:25; II Tim. 4:8.


VIGIL PLAITNER, A. D. 1529


In the year 1529, Brother Vigil Plaitner, a minister of Jesus Christ, at Scharding, in Bavaria, was condemned and executed, after great steadfastness




(Matt. 24:13), for the faith and the divine truth. He would depart neither to the right hand nor to the left, and did not love his life unto death (John 12:25), but surrendered it for Christ, in order that in the abode of the righteous above he might receive it again forever with all the saints and pious. II Peter 3:13.


LOUIS, AND TWO OTHERS, A. D. 1529


In this year also a brother named Louis,* a minister of Jesus Christ, learned and well versed in the Hebrew, Greek, and Latin languages, and experienced in the holy Scriptures, was executed with the sword, at Constance, on the lake of the same name, after being long imprisoned there. At his departure he gave many excellent instructions, so that many were astonished, and were moved to weep with him.


JOHN HUT, A. D. 1529


In this year, John Hut,** a faithful minister of Jesus Christ, was apprehended for the divine testimony, at Augsburg, in Swabia, where he was brought into a tower. Finally.they ceased their severe questions and tortures, and he was left lie as one dead. Then they went away, leaving a light in the prison, near the straw, by which the straw was set on fire. When they returned to the tower they found him dead. They then carried him, dead as he was, in a chair on a wagon, before the court, where he was condemned to be burned. His son, Philip Hut, fell asleep in the Lord, in the church at Heim. This John Hut composed a hymn of thanksgiving, which we sing at the memorial or supper of the Lord; besides this he composed one or two other hymns.


WOLFGANG BRANDHUBER, HANS NIEDERMAIR, AND

MANY OTHERS, ABOUT SEVENTY IN

ALL, A. D. 1529


In this year, also Brother Wolgang Brandhuber of Passau, and Hans Niedermair, both ministers of the Word and Gospel of Christ, were apprehended, together with many of the pious at Lintz, in the country above the Enns, for the divine truth; they were condemned to fire, water and the sword, and were immediately executed, in all over seventy persons. Among these also Peter Niedermair of Hirschberg, at Gminden, was apprehended, on St. Andrew's eve, A. D. 1529, and though, in the extreme fear of death, he was tempted in various ways, yet he remained faithful and constant. Rev. 2:10; Matt. 10:22. Ultimately, through the providence of God, he was set free, after being imprisoned there for over three years.


* Louis belonged to the church of the Waldenses, whose sound faith we have shown elsewhere. See the author cited below, in the satne place.


** This John Hut was also one of the old Waldensian Brethren. See Bapt. Hist. p. 748.


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Concerning said Wolfgang Brandhuber, writings are still extant in the church, how faithfully he taught the Christian church, and also said, that in everything which is not contrary to God, we should be obedient and subject to the authorities, and that he strictly held to the true baptism of Christ, and to the true Lord's Supper, rejecting infant baptism, the sacrament, and other antichristian abominations and anathemas, as is shown by his writings, which are still extant.


CARIUS PRADER, WITH SEVERAL OTHER PERSONS,

A. D. 1529


About this time also Carius Prajer, a minister of the church of God, in the country of Salzburg, and several other persons were shut up together in a house and burned. A hymn is still extant in the church which this Carius composed.


SEVEN BRETHREN, A. D. 1529


These seven brethren were executed together on the same day, with the sword, for the evangelical truth, at Gmuend, in Swabia, and thus steadfastly testified with their blood to the name of Christ, A.D. 1529. The account of it is as follows

"I could not forbear to acquaint my brethren with What is taking place here in Germany, even as it is known to many how the world rages and storms against the true believers, and how she robs the servants of God of life and property. For God, graciously looking down upon the children of men, gave them, in the midst of their blindness, His brightly shining Word for a light, that believing it, we should avoid all sin and shame. Many recognized this Word as the truth, accepted it with the mouth, and were called Christians, but continued nevertheless in their sinful life, supposing that the bare name was sufficient, if only the semblance existed. Afterwards the Lord so ordered it that His Word did effectually work in some, so that, in the language of the prophet Isaiah (Isa. 55:11), it accomplished that whereunto God sent it, and did not return unto Him void, but guided many into the right way. And thus, those who sought to live faithfully, were hated, and despised as anabaptists by the rest, just as though they had apostatized from God, and turned to Belial; while they earnestly sought and desired nothing else, than to keep God's commandments with His assistance, according to all their ability (I Cor. 7:19); and,yet they were reproachfully stigmatized as anabaptists,  they who sincerely forgave every one, assisted their neighbors by lending to them without usury, and prayed for their persecutors and enemies (Matt. 5:44), as was seen at the hour of their death, and who thus attested their faith with the deed, as was publicly witnessed, A. D. 1529, in the town of Gmuend, where the enemy employed manifold wiles with some of them, to terrify them, without being successful however. There they had apprehended a lad only fourteen years old, whom they put into the tower, where he lay very severely confined almost a year, suffering many an assault, but always remaining immovable, however frequently they came to him, to induce him to forsake his faith, with him six other brethren, pious men, were apprehended and imprisoned in the tower for life. There they together praised God (Acts 16:25 ), and comforted one another; and God assisted them with His grace, so that they faithfully adhered to the faith, and did not allow themselves to be moved either by threats or terrors. When the time of their departure from this world drew near, their death sentence was read to them, and it was added, that if they would desist from their faith, they need have no fear, but might return home to their wives and children. The prisoners turned to their enemies, and replied: "We have committed our wives and children to God, who is well able to preserve them; hence cease these words; for we are willing and ready to die." A ring was then drawn on the spot, as is customarily done at executions, with the sword. As this lad stood in the ring, to be beheaded, a count rode up to him into the ring, and thus addressed him: "My dear child, desist from this error, and I will give you a prebend, and always keep you with me." The youth replied: "Should I love my life (John 12:25), and therefore forsake my God, and thus seek to escape the cross? this I must certainly not do; thy wealth can be of no help to either of us, but I expect a better in heaven." Thus the youth fearlessly replied, adding, "in the kingdom of my Father, who has chosen me, and who can order and equalize all things as is best. Hence cease these entreaties; to Him who has always fed and sustained me, I desire to show obedience also in this my last distress. To Him we must call from the bottom of our heart, when the hour is at hand, that we may depart with good cheer out of this world. If we do not depart from Him, He will give us the everlasting, glorious crown."

At this a great tumult arose among the people, r*h spears and other weapons, and each spoke of the hatter as he understood it. And thus they died through the sword, as pious heroes, and became a sacrifice unto the Lord, as faithful witnesses of Jesus Christ, A. D. 1529.

While these seven brethren were still in prison, they together, each giving his own mind,, wrote and practiced the following,, and sent it to their brethren.

The first made the following prayer: "Out of the depths of my soul I cry unto Thee, O God; hear my cry. Send Thy Holy Spirit, even as Thou, Ch Christ, hast until now not withdrawn, but graciously imparted Him to me. We rely on what Thou hast commanded us; .but the heathen seek to kill us." Ps. 130:1.

The second prayed: "The flesh is weak, O Lord; Thou well knowest that it fears the least pain; hence, fill us with Thy Holy Spirit, which we entreat of Thee from the bottom of our hearts; so that we may continue steadfast unto the end, and cheerfully and valiantly enter upon the suffering which now awaits us, and that we may fear no agony or pain." Matthew 26:41; 10:22.

The third prayed: "The spirit is willing and ready to desire the suffering. O Lord, hear our prayers, through Jesus Christ Thy Son. We also pray for our enemies, who, alas! are so ignorant, that they do not know what they are doing, and are not mindful of Thy wrath." John 15:16; Matt. 5:44; Luke 23:34.

The fourth prayed: "We beseech Thee, O Father, and dear Lord, through Christ Thy Son, increase Thy little flock. Kindle in them and also in us Thy divine life, and our hearts will rejoice; for after this our hearts do hunger and thirst." Matt. 6:9; Luke 12:32; I I Cor. 3:18; Matt. 5:6.

The fifth prayed: "O God, Thou hast received us in grace, and made us Thy ministers. Through Thy divine assistance we have also willingly fulfilled Thy ministry in our weakness. Preserve us still further firm in Thy Word; we desire to obey Thee also henceforth; come to our aid, and be our Comforter." I Cor. 1:4.

The sixth prayed: "Thou Lord God art my Protector; we will cleave to Thee, and then pain will not seem severe to us; though they deprive us of our life, Thou hast prepared it for us forever in heaven, and though here we suffer reproach and pain, it shall not be in vain."

The seventh said: "The body, life, soul, and all members we have received from Thee O God; these we will now offer up to Thee, to the praise of Thy holy name. It is only (lust and ashes. We commend our spirits into Thy hands. Amen." Romans 12:1; Gen. 1:7; Luke 23:46.


ANNA OF FREIBURG, A. D. 1529


This Anna of Freiburg was zealous in the fear of the Lord and as she believed in Christ, and, was baptized upon faith in Him, and thus sought to arise with Christ; and walk in newness of life, the adversary could not endure it; therefore Anna was envied, accused, 'apprehended by his ministers, and after steadfastly suffering many torments, sentenced to death, and drowned in the water, and afterwards burned with fire. This happened at Freiburg, in the year 1529. When she was about to die, she spoke the following prayer to God, and left these admonitions to all descendants.

"Dear, eternal heavenly Father, I call upon Thee, from the depths of my heart; do not let me turn from Thee, but keep me in Thy truth unto my end. O God, keep my heart and mouth; guard me, that I may never separate from Thee, on account of impending sorrow and anguish, or any manner of distress; keep me cheerful and glad in my sufferings: Eternal God, my dear Father instruct and teach  me, Thy poor, unworthy child, that I may heed Thy ways and paths. Father, this is my sincere desire, that through Thy power I may press even unto death, through all sorrows, sufferings, anguish and pain, and in this let me persevere, O God, that I may not be separated from Thy love. There are many who now walk in this way; but the cup of suffering is given them to drink. We are also accused of false doctrine, in order to draw us from Christ our Lord. But O God, I lift up my soul unto Thee and trust in Thee in every adversity; do not let me be confounded, lest my enemy exalt himself over me in this earth. I am now imprisoned here by him, but, O God, I sincerely wait for Thee with great desire, until Thou wilt awaken, and deliver Thy prisoners. O dear heavenly Father, make us prepared with the five wise virgins (Matt. 25:2), that we may prudently wait for the bridegroom with .His heavenly host. heavenly King, feed and refresh us according to the spirit with Thy heavenly meats, which never perish but abide in life eternal; for if Thou shouldest withdraw Thy food from us, all that we do, would with ourselves be in vain and perish. But, through Thy grace, we trust in Thee, that we shall not fail. I do not doubt in the least, the power of God; for His judgments are honored. He will forsake no one who firmly holds to Him in faith, and seeks to walk in His true ways. Heb. 13:5; Matt. 7:14. ye Christians, rejoice (Phil. 3:1), and always be of good cheer in the Lord Jesus Christ; may He increase love and faith in us. God comfort us by His holy word, irl which we may firmly trust. I commend myself to God and His church; may. He be my Protector today, for His holy name's sake. O my Father, let it be done through Jesus Christ, Amen."


Thereupon she voluntarily submitted to death, and was drowned in the water, as mentioned above.


DANIEL KOPF, WITH TWO. BRETHREN AND FOUR

SISTERS, A. D. 1529


Daniel Kopf, a minister of the Word, was apprehended with six other persons, at Bairisch Graitz, in Steyermark; he and two brethren were sentenced to the sword, while the four sisters were drowned. They testified with their body and life, that this is the true way (Matt. 7:14; John 14:6) to eternal life in Christ Jesus, and though the executioner, fire, water and the sword sought to turn them away, they would nevertheless adhere to it as long as breath remained in them. Of this Daniel, writings are also extant in the church, concerning baptism: and other points; as well as four hymns composed by him.


FOUR BRETHREN AND FOUR SISTERS


In the year 1529, four brethren, named Wolfgang of Mos, Thomas Imwald of Aldein, George Frick of Wirzberg, and Mankager of Fuessen also four sisters, Christina Tolinger of Penon, a widow, Barbara of Thiers, Agatha Kampner of


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Breitenberg, and her sister Elizabeth, were apprehended in the Ful, in Elschland, and led up to the castle, where they died on the sixteenth of November. Each: was separately examined concerning their faith in the following articles

Brother Wolfgang of Mos confessed that on the Sunday after the feast of our Lady; it was just one year that one Michael (who was afterwards executed with fire for this matter, at Goffedaum, and testified to the truth) presented and taught to me, Wolfgang, Martin . von Neck, and another, the Gospel and the Word of the Lord, and then rebaptized all three of us according to the command of God. Matt. 28:19. He further said that he did not believe in infant. baptism, that God the Lord had said nothing of it, nor had Christ commanded it. Matthew 15:13; 28:20; Mark 16:19. He also confessed that Christ is not bodily in the host, when it is consecrated by the priest. Furthermore; he said that. he did not believe in fast days, Sunday, and other feast days, otherwise than in the manner spoken of in the New Testament.

Thomas Imwald of Aldein confessed that he had been baptized before St. Ulric's day, at Breitenberg by a teacher who had formerly been a priest, but had forsaken his office as priest, and whose name was George Blaurock, from Switzerland. Of .the mass, also, he, believed that it is nothing but a human invention , and institution, and not a commandment of God. Concerning the sacrament he did not.believe that the priests, by their consecrating or blessing, could bring our Lord God into the host, or change it; and he also showed them, that Christ was to be received in the Word, .and that the bread is only a sign and memorial. Neither does he believe in the confession as it is instituted by the priests; as it is not used according to the command of God. Again, to our Lady he assigns the,position to which God has chosen her; he believes that she was a virgin and, the mother of, our Redeemer. He was furthermore asked whether if their number had become great, they would not have attempted to bring someone's country or people over to their faith by force. He answered: "No, that they did not believe in compelling any one to it; since God desired a willing and unconstrained heart; and Himself had constrained no one, but the Lord gave it into their minds." .

George Frick of Wirzberg, a tailor, confessed thation last St. Gallus' fair he was rebaptized by one Benedict, who belonged to their faith,  at Philip Kopfler's in the Ful. He also did not believe that the priests could bring our Lord God into 'the host, or change Him into bread, since God had neither commanded nor instituted the mass, but the sacrament was only a bread of, remembrance. In confession he likewise did not believe; for how can one forgive sins, who is himself _a whoremonger and idolater. II Pet. 2:19. Concerning our Lady he believed that God favored her and that before and after the birth she was a virgin; for God is able to do more than this. Again he would adhere to his




God, and not depart from this faith, but that the will of God should be done. Matt. 6:10.


Mankager of Fuessen, a journeyman shoemaker, confessed that in the forepart of the summer, about St. James' day, he was baptized, at George Karniter's of Kunen, by one George of Chur, in Switzerland, who had been a priest, but had resigned said office, and was burned in the summer, at Clausen. He did not believe in infant baptism, nor in the mass; neither did he believe that our Lord God is in the sacrament. He believed that Mary the mother of Christ, was a pure virgin; but the idea of her intercession, as well as that of the saints, he rejected, since Christ is the Mediator, between God and men. I Tim. 2:5. In the auricular confession of the priests he did not believe at all. Again, concerning Sunday he said, that God Almighty, in the beginning, in six days, created the world, and rested on the seventh; hence the origin of Sunday; there he would let it rest, work was not prohibited, but we should rest and fast from sin. He further declared that in the forenoon the priests committed idolatry, and in the afternoon fornication, and what he confessed with the mouth, he would testify to with his blood, and would not depart from the faith, but firmly adhere to it unto his end.


Christina Tolinger, of Penon, confessed that Brother George Blaurock baptized in her house with the true Christian baptism. Concerning the sacrament as used by the priests, she did not believe at all, that they can bring our Lord God into the host or wafer; it is only bread, and the performance of the priests is in every respect a deception. As to whether infants were worthy of salvation without baptism, the Lord said: "Suffer little children, and forbid them not to come unto me; for of such is the kingdom of heaven." Matt. 19:14. The priests baptize the infants, and have much unnecessary care while they are in their infancy; but though they wash them from sin, they do not attempt to draw them away from sin. Regarding our Lady she believed that she is the mother of Christ and a pure virgin. Matt. 1:23. In confession as used by the priests, she did not believe; if one confesses his sins, and forsakes and desists from them, it is a true confession. Concerning holidays and Sundays she said that in six days God the Lord created the world, and rested the seventh day; and that the other holidays had been instituted by popes, cardinals, and archbishops. and that she did not believe in them. Since she lived in the world, she observed them as others did, to avoid giving offense; however, none is condemned for working. Again, the priests commit idolatry in the forenoon, and fornication in the afternoon. With the help and grace of God she intended to die in this her resolution.


Barbara of Thiers, wife of Hans Portzen confessed that about last St. Michael's day she was baptized with the true Christian baptism, at Craum on the Moss, near Eintempichel, by a teacher of the Word of God, named Benedict. Again, she did not believe in the idolatrous sacrament of the priests, nor in the mass; since the priests commit idolatry in the forenoon, and fornication in the afternoon. In confession as used by the priests, she did not believe. Concerning our Lady, she had nothing to say. Regarding Sundays and holidays, she said that God the Lord had commanded to rest the seventh day, and there she would let it rest. With the help and grace of God she intended to adhere to this, and to die therein; since it was the true faith and the right way in Christ.


Agatha Kampner of Breitenberg confessed that next Christmas it would be about a year since she was baptized, in Switzerland, in a place called Auf der Tiefe, near St. Gall, by one Brother Topigh, a teacher of the Word of God. She did not believe in infant baptism, though they had all been baptized. If children die in or before baptism, they die in innocence, and are the Lord's. She did not believe in the mass, since Christ did not say to His disciples: "Go and read mass;" but: "Go, and preach the gospel." Matt. 16:15. Concerning the sacrament she said that since in the creed it is confessed that He (Christ) sitteth at the right hand of His heavenly Father, whence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead, she believed in no wise that He permitted Himself to be changed by the priests, into the host or bread. Regarding our Lady she said that she believed that she brought forth Christ the Lord, who alone has redeemed us, and that the Word of God became man in her and suffered for us on the tree of the cross. John 1:14. As regards holidays, she said that one day is not any holier than another, and that Sunday was ordained for the purpose of assembling together, preaching the Gospel, and speaking of it; but that it was abused through drunkenness and other forms of wickedness. With the help and grace of God she would steadfastly adhere to this her faith.


Elizabeth, sister of the afore mentioned Agatha, confessed that in the early part of the summer she was baptized at Breitenberg, by Brother Blaurock, according to the command of the Lord Christ, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. In the sacrament and mass of the priests she did not believe, since it is not found that God commanded it. Concerning our Lady she believed that she brought forth Christ our Redeemer, and was a virgin; and that the saints had indeed to enter [into the kingdom] through tribulation (Acts 14:22), like we and others; but that they are intercessors, she did not believe; since Christ has reserved to Himself all power in heaven and earth. As to holidays, she esteems none more highly than the rest, but that we should always wait for the great day of the Lord, and rest from sin. To this she would constantly adhere. Thereupon they were executed as those who truly loved God (Luke 10:27), and as innocent sheep of the Lord; and their names are written in heaven.




ANNA MALER, AND URSULA, A. D. 1529


In the year 1529, two sisters, Anna Maler, and Ursula,, were condemned to death for the divine truth, and drowned in the water, at Hall, in the valley of the Inn, and thus, though women, they were manful and valiant in God, so that many were amazed at their steadfastness, that thus in life and death they testified to the divine truth, as is declared by those who knew them, and are still alive:


NINE BRETHREN, SEVERAL SISTERS, AND ANOTHER

SISTER, A. D. 1529


About the year 1529, the knowledge of the truth began to shine also in the places on the river Rhine, so that divine zeal and the fire of God arose, which the priests, by instigating the authorities, strenuously attempted to stop. First nine brethren and several sisters were apprehended for the faith, in the city of Altzey, without the order of the Elector or Palsgrave, simply through the instigation of the priests, and the aid of the nobility. They lay in prison for a considerable time, and as they were waiting how to deal with them, the Burgrave at Altzey inquired of the Palsgrave, his prince and lord, what he should do with them. The prince answered him that they had a court of justice at Altzey, and that he should let them examine and judge them. The Burgrave did so, and brought them before the court of justice, which, however, would not sentence them, because they had been apprehended simply for the sake of their faith, and no other cause of death existed. Acts 18:15, 16. In the meantime an imperial diet was held, at which the Pals rave, stated that he had some prisoners who had been apprehended on account of their faith for Anabaptism; and asked how he should deal with them. The matter was committed to the four inquisitors, as they are called; whom, however, they referred to the mandate of the Emperor, where they would sufficiently find what imperial constitutions, institutions and ordinances were made concerning such; according to which they should deal with them.


For the constitution clearly implies that each and all Anabaptists and anabaptized, whether men or women, if possessing reason, and of adult age, are to be executed with fire, the sword, or some other way according to the character of the persons; and that wherever they were found, they should be brought before the court, accused, and convicted, and be judged or dealt with in no other way, on pain of severe punishment.


Moreover, when they would not apostatize, the mandate was also read to them; upon which without further sentence, they were led out to death, by virtue of the imperial mandate. The brethren were executed with the sword, but the sisters drowned in the horse pond. While they were yet imprisoned, a sister came to them, and comforted the sisters (Matt. 25:39); she told them valiantly and firmly to adhere to the Lord, and not to regard these sufferings, for the sake of the eternal joys which should follow. II Cor. 1:5. When this was noticed she was also very speedily apprehended. She was afterwards burned, because she had thus comforted and strengthened the others.


TWO OTHER BRETHREN, AND TWO SISTERS,

A. D. 1529


Thus they meant to extinguish the light of the truth and the fire of God; but it was kindled only the more. They then apprehended a man, a woman, a manservant and a maidservant. Whoever embraced the faith, and desired to separate from the ways, society and idolatry of the world, was apprehended by them. In several places they filled all the prisons with them, intending to deter them by fear; but they sang and rejoiced in prison, so that their enemies who had cast them into prison were more troubled and afraid than the prisoners. They knew not what to do with them, especially since it was only on account of the faith.


ABOUT THREE HUNDRED AND FIFTY PERSONS PUT

TO DEATH FOR THE FAITH, NEAR ALTZEY,

PURSUANT TO THE IMPERIAL MAN;

DATE, A. D. 1529


The Palsgrave, then, in pursuance with the imperial mandate, in a short time, caused about three hundred and fifty persons to be executed for the faith; especially his Burgrave at Altzey, namely Dietrich von Schoenburg, caused many in the town of Altzey to be beheaded, drowned and otherwise put to death; even as the lords who came to the church, and at that time were residents in Altzey, saw themselves how thev were taken from the houses in which they were known to be, and led as sheep to the place of execution. They could in no wise be persuaded to apostatize, but went joyfully to meet death; while the others were being drowned, and executed, the rest who were yet alive and waited for death sang until the executioner took them. They were very steadfast in the truth confessed, and, assured in the faith which they had received from God, conducted themselves as valiant soldiers. Matt. 10:22. All the learned and great of this world were confounded by them. I Cor. 1:25, 26.

Some whom they did not wish to execute they tortured and maimed their bodies; of some they cut oil the fingers, others they burned crosses on their foreheads, and subjected them to much wanton injury; so that even the aforesaid Burgrave said: "What shall I do? the more I cause to be executed, the more they increase." Ex. 1:22.

This Burgrave Dietrich, who had shed much innocent blood, died a sudden and terrible death, as he was rising from his table. Chron. van den Ondergang, page 1029, cot. 1, from the old History o f the Baptist Martyrs, lib. 1,



PHILIP OF LANGENLONSHEIM, A. D. .1529


One of the last brethren whom they executed in the town of Creitze, was Philip of Langenlohsheim. When the executioner struck off his head, something flew into his face, so that he put up his hands to it, which was well noticed by the people; however they knew not what it was, or why he did it. Then the saying went abroad that something like a black hen had fluttered before his face, so that he defended himself with his hands; some said that the blood had squirted into his face; and though he himself knew best what it was, it was nevertheless seen afterwards, what it must have been: for the executioner's nose dropped off close to his face. Thus God punished and visited him, because of the innocent blood, with which he had stained his hands to so large an extent (Prov. 6:17); and God openly and palpably made known thereby, how greatly they oppressed the pious. The Palsgrave also was terrified and troubled in various ways, so that afterwards he had no longer a desire to wash his hands in innocent blood,, and would have given much, if it had never taken place.


GEORGE BAUMAN, A. D. 1529


About this time, a brother named George Bauman was apprehended at Banschlet, in Wurtemburg, for the faith and the Word of God. The nobleman whose subject he was, kept him imprisoned for a time, and also 'had 'him dreadfully racked and tortured, and did so much to him, by imprisonment, torture and pain, and also by various promises, so that they persuaded him and gained his assent to follow them. They then demanded of him, that he should recant in church, and confess that he desisted [from his faith], which he did once or twice; went to church, and performed that for which his consent had been extorted from him. In the meantime he came to himself, and considered the honor of God and His holy name, and also whither he was going.

Hence, when he came to church the third time for recantation, he said to the priest and the bystanders: "You have condemned me and through pain and fear prevailed upon me to follow you; but now I renounce and revoke it all, and I am sorry that I did it." Thus he began, and confessed anew that this was the divine truth and the true faith; yea, the way to life in Christ, and that, on the other hand, the idolatrous life and ways of the world are a delusion and contrary to God. In this his faith and confession he intended to continue and persevere unto the end. For what should the priests and servants wait any longer? hence they quickly apprehended him again, and he was speedily sentenced to death. When he was led out to the place   of execution, he sang joyfully on the way. It' was very muddy in the village, but he walke=.1 briskly nevertheless; so that his shoes remained fast in the mud; but he took no notice of it, left them there, hurried on to the place of execution, and sang for joy that God had again given him such courage and heart. Thus he was beheaded with the sword. The nobleman who caused his execution, and nearly all who had sat in judgment, and condemned him, died almost everyone of them a miserable death, and came to a dreadful end, so that their happy days in this world terminated in sorrow.


THE SECOND EDICT BY THOSE OF ZURICH, IN

WHICH ALL SO CALLED ANABAPTISTS ARE

THREATENED WITH DEATH,

A. D. 1530


There has existed, writes a certain author, in the Zwinglian churches, from their beginning, a great hatred and bitterness against the Anabaptists, or more properly speaking, against those baptized according to the ordinance of Christ as history certifies; by which they commenced very early to tyrannize over them; for we believe the Zwinglian church was not yet ten years old when said abuse occurred. Yet it did not stop at this, but they proceeded, the longer, the worse, in this tyranny; so that those of Zurich, A. D. 1530, emitted an edict very much like the bloody decrees of the Roman Emperor, in which they write as follows

"Therefore we strictly command all the inhabitants of our country, and those who are in any wise united with them, particularly high and low magistrates, bailiffs, constables, judges, elders of churches, and ecclesiastical officers, that, if they hear of any Anabaptists, they give us information concerning them; by virtue of the oath with which they are bound to us; that they nowhere tolerate them, or allow them to multiply; but that they apprehend them, and deliver them to us; for we shall punish with death, according to the purport of our laws, the Anabaptists with all those who favor them or adhere to them; and we shall also punish without mercy, according to their deserts, as having violated the faith and oath which they swore to their authorities," those who assist, and do not report, drive away, or bring as prisoners to us, all such persons.

This we have taken word for word fronh the edict, as Bullinger (contra, etc.) has cited it. Compare the note in the preface to the Oferboeck der Doopsgesinde, A. D. 1615, letter Y, with P. J. Twisck's, Chron., p. 1031, col. 1, from different authors.


GEORGE GRUENWALD, A. D. 1530


In the year 1530, Brother George Gruenwald, a shoemaker, and minister of the Word of God, and of His flock, wag apprehended for the divine truth, at Kufstein, on the Inn, condemned to death, and burned. Thus he valiantly testified with his blood, that which he had confessed and taught with his mouth, and confessed Christ, yea, His divine truth, before men, forsaking this earthly and perishable praise, that Christ at His day should confess him before His heavenly Father, and, moreover, give him immortal life in the eternal  glory of heaven. Matt. 25:46.


BROTHER ALDA, A. D. 1530


A few days after the execution of the above person, Brother Alda was also executed for the faith, at Kufstein.


GEORGE STEINMETZ, A. D. 1530


This George Steinmetz was apprehended and beheaded for the testimony of Jesus Christ, at Portzen, in Germany, A. D. 1530. He left the following admonition for consolation in suffering, to all believers

"We sincerely thank Thee, O God, .for Thy fatherly faithfulness. No one ought to mock at or despise His grace, lest at last, when his departure is at hand, he regret it. O Lord, help and assist us, through Jesus Christ. God has called many to His eternal light, whom He also visits with suffering and pain, as we see in this earth; ,for it seems that here we must be refined by the fire of affliction, since we must all enter through much tribulation into the kingdom of God, and be purified from all sin and vice (I Peter 1:7; Acts 14

22); .for he that herein follows Christ, walks in the true path. Christ says: I am the .Way and the Door, the Truth and the Life; enter in by me; before me there is yet a hedge; the cross, which each who would come to the Father must carry,, stands in the way. John 10:9. And according to my experience, I must state the ti:uth, that the cross appears much heavier than it really is; which deters many a one, as though he 'should not be able to bear it, and hence would pass it by, and seek another way. But we cannot come to God unless we bear the yoke of Christ. Matt. 11:29. For he that.:would enter in by any other way into the sheep fold, than through this door, the same is a thief and a murderer (John 10:1), and shall have to suffer the vengeance of God everlasting. pain. Christ would have such disciples as bear the cross after Him, follow Him in all His ways, as I hope to show, and carry his .yoke unto the end. Matt.:16:24. But he that will not bear his cross, but allows himself to be moved and hindered by Satan, inay take heed that Christ says: "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven." Matthew 10:32, 33. O God, sustain us to Thy praise and honor, that love may not wax cold in us. Matthew 24:12. To this end give us strength, wisdom and understanding, through Thy holy spirit, who can guide us into all truth (John 16:13) , that we may never despond, but keep good courage, and remain steadfast and proceed straight on in the narrow way, and at the risk of body life; go on through Christ to the Father. John 14:6. Praised be the Lord our God, who has called us to be His servants and children. Him we will constantly praise forever and ever, because we may wash our robes in the blood of the Lamb (Rev. 7:14), and afterwards, from this brief death and suffering, go into everlasting joy with Him. With this mind this witness of Jesus Christ was beheaded and died at Portzen, as stated above.


MARTIN THE PAINTER; WOLFGANG ESLINGER, PAIN,

MELCHIOR, AND THREE OTHERS, A. D. 1531


In this year, Martin the painter, a minister of the Word of God, and six others from the Swabian church, were apprehended for the faith and the divine .truth. After long proceedings, they were promised, that if they would renounce, tl~ey might go home unmolested to their wives andi children. But they answered frankly: "No," but that they would willingly die, and not renounce. Afterwards, having been imprisoned almost a year, all seven were sentenced to death. They were led under the town hall, and several articles of their doctrine were read to them. When the first article was read Brother Wolfgang Eslinger said: "As you judge today so shall God judge you when you come before His face; God shall well know you." Matt. 7:23.

When the third article was read, Brother Pain said: "You stain your hands with our blood (Jer. 7:6); God shall certainly not remit it to you, but require it at your. hands."

When the fourth article was read, Brother Melchior said: "Today we will testify with our blood, that that wherein we stand is the truth."

When the fifth article was read, Brother Walfgang Eslinger said: "Forsake your sins and unrighteousness, and repent, and God shall never remember it to you." Jer. 26:13. All seven were then led under a guard, to the place of execution. There Brother Martin, and all the others commended themselves unto God their Lord, praying that .He would grant them a happy end, and care for,. His sheep. When they were brought to the field,:the miller's servant, who was about sixteen years old, said to the people present, that they should forsake their sins, and turn to God, since there was no other way to heaven, than through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died on the cross, and redeemed us. Ps. 34:14; Isa. 45:24; John 14:6; Matt. 27:50. When they were brought into the ring, a nobleman rode up to said servant, admonished and entreated him, saying: "My son, desist from, your error, and renounce it. Why do you allow yourself to be thus persuaded? spare your young life. I will take you home with me, and always keep you; you shall enjoy good things with me all your life, if you obey me." But the servant said.: "God forbid that this should ever come to pass; if I should keep thistemporal life (Jno. 12: 25), and lose the eternal, I would act foolishly. I will not do it; your wealth can help neither you nor me; I expect one that is far better, if I persevere to the end. Matt. 10:22. I will surrender my spirit to God, and commend it to Christ (Luke 23:46), that His bitter suffering, which He endured on the cross, may in my case not be in vain." This servant was inspired by God in his purpose; for though he was younger in years than his brethren, they were nevertheless, as far as the purpose is concerned, of like age. Thus all seven valiantly and joyfully confessed God and His truth, even unto death and the shedding of their blood. The above mentioned Martin, when he was led out over the bridge, said

"This once yet the pious are led over this bridge, but no more hereafter." This came true; for a short time afterwards, such a violent storm and flood came that the bridge was demolished and carried away.


WALTER MAIR, AND TWO OTHERS, A. D. 1531


In the year 1531, Walter Mair, a cooper by trade, and minister of the Word of God, was apprehended with two others, at Walsburg, in Kaernthen, and executed with the sword; and thus they steadfastly testified in death, to the truth, and gave their lives for the covenant of God, and for His holy Word; therefore their names shall also be found in the book of life, and the second death shall have no power over them. Phil. 4:3; Rev. 20:6.


GEORGE ZAUNRINGERAD, A. D. 1531


In the year 1531, Brother George Zaunringerad, a minister of the Word of God, who, through the help of Jacob Huter, had been placed in the ministry of the Word of God, in the earldom of Tyrol, was sent by Jacob, with others, hither to the church in Moravia. Subsequently he, because of his office and ministry, was kept in Franconia, where he was executed with the sword, not far from Bamberg, for the divine truth; thus testifying with his blood to his faith and doctrine, from which he would in no wise depart, and suffering with Christ, in order that through His grace he might also be made an heir of glory with Him in the eternal kingdom. I Cor. 1:5.


VEIT PELGRIMS, AT GLABBECK, A. D. 1532


There must by no means be omitted here the manly and divinely confirmed steadfastness of Veit Pelgrims, a German brother; who regarded nothing so much as he did the salvation of his soul. Notwithstanding the cruelty of those who follow the footsteps of Cain, in shedding innocent blood, he freely confessed the Gospel, and ordered his actions and conversation in accordance with it, in all uprightness and simplicity. But as the world, through his holy life, was reproved of its wickedness it could not endure it; hence he was apprehended in the winter of A. D. 1532, at Glabbeck, in the Duchy of Juelich. He was ready to testify with suffering to his doctrine and life; however through the aid of his friends and relatives he was released from prison for this time. But as nevertheless undauntedly walked, in holiness and godliness, in the same heavenly way, he again fell into the hands of the bloodthirsty, and had to suffer much from the wicked; on the one hand, the priests and monks, by much crafty examining, and through wiles and strategies, sought, though in vain, to cause him to apostatize; on the other hand, they endeavored to deter him by severe tortures; but overcoming all these vexations and tortures, he valiantly confirmed the truth, and showed that above all temporal and visible things, he had in view something higher, that is, the eternal and heavenly riches; hence, regarding not his own life, and esteeming it blessedness to suffer for the name of Christ, he said with remarkable frankness, he hoped that the sheep was now ready and fat for the slaughter. The bloodthirsty, seeing they could in no wise prevail upon this unconquerable hero and soldier of Christ, resorted to the most extreme means which cruelty could invent. They brought it about that sentence of death was passed upon him. The hour having come for him to offer up his sacrifice, they (O inhuman tyranny I) opened his left side, and poured in boiling oil. Having then been contemptuously laid upon a sled, he was brought to the place of execution, where he commended his soul to God and was burned to ashes.


LAMBRECHT GRUBER, HANS BECK, LAURENCE SCHU;

MACHER, PETER PLAVER, HIS SERVANT PETER,

AND HANS TALLER, A. D. 1532


In this year six brethren, named Lambrecht Gruber, Hans Beck, Laurence Schumacher, Peter Plaver, his servant Peter, and Hans Taller, were apprehended for the divine truth, at Stertzing, in Etschland, and greatly tortured and racked, in order to compel them to apostatize; but they valiantly and firmly persevered in that which God had given them, and which they had promised God in Christian baptism. They were then sentenced to death and executed; all six valiantly testifying with their blood to the truth of God, and greatly rejoicing (Acts 5:41) over the day of their departure from this world, because of the suffering and pain in the abominable wickedness of the world, which they had to endure for a long time, also because of the awful blasphemy and contempt of God (which causes pain to all lovers of God), which they had to hear during their imprisonment. They took leave from us, and admonished us not to be dull or heedless in hearing and retaining the Word of God, nor in prayer and the worship of God; for if one comes to such places, it is necessary for him to have done so, and he regrets it if he has spent an hour unprofitably.




CONRAD FEICHTER, AND SEVERAL OTHERS,

A. D. 1532


In this year, also Conrad Feichter was apprehended for the faith, at Stertzing, and much pain was inflicted upon him. He was so racked and stretched that the ungodly executioners and children of Pilate themselves thought that he could not endure it, but would be torn asunder. There were also some imprisoned with him, who were much tempted by a multitude of priests and others, by perversion of the Scriptures, with knavery, craftiness, deceit and delusion, in order to subdue them; it was. also tried to gain them by promising to leave them in possession of home, wife, children, and life, but as they could by no means turn them from the truth, they sentenced and forthwith executed them; and thus they steadfastly attested the truth with their blood.


HUGO JACOB KR2EN, AND HIS WIFE MARY, WITH

TWO OTHERS, A. D. 1532


When the Word of Gad, through the grace of the Lord, came again to the light, and was accepted with great desire by many, and attested and confirmed by the life and death of a great number, said Word of God was also received and accepted (Acts 8:14; 17:11) by one Hugo Jacob Kraen of Assersouw, his wife Mary, and two others, whose names we have not learned. And as it was foretold by Paul, that "all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution" (II Tim. 3:12); and by Isaiah that: "He that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey" (Isa. 59:15); so it was also seen in the case of these persons; for as soon as they renounced this dark world (Eph. 6:12; I John 1:5), with its carnal walk, and false, invented worship, and sought and followed the eternal light and glory of Christ Jesus (Matt. 19:28), they were hated, and persecuted unto death, by the children of darkness and Belial. John 15:18, 19. Finally Mary, the wife of Hugo Jacob, was apprehended at Haarlem, and after. suffering many trials, was drowned at said place, in the year A. D. 1532, enduring it with great steadfastness; thus confirming with her death the accepted truth. Rev. 2:10. But Hugo Jacob Kraen, with two of his fellow believers, were brought prisoners into Gravenhage, where they had to suffer much for the truth. But as they were founded upon a rock (Matt. 16:18), they could, by no torments, be brought to apostatize. Therefore the servants of antichrist condemned them to die, and this, such a terrible death, that all who saw it must justly have pitied them! for, in the year 1532, at said place, they were chained to stakes, a great fire built around them, and in this manner they were roasted until they. expired. And as they did not love their lives here, but obediently surrendered them for the testimony of Jesus, and died steadfastly: they, at the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, shall, for this mortal garment of the flesh, be clothed with the immortal, and be rewarded by God with the crown of everlasting glory. Rev. 12:17; 2:13; II Tim. 1:8; Acts 22:18; 23:11; II Thess. 1:7; Phil. 3:21; Wisd. 5:16; II Esd. 2:43; I Cor. 9:25; I Pet. 5:4; James 1:12; Rev. 2:10.


LUDWIG FEST, A. D. 1533


In the year 1533, Ludwig Fest, a steadfast witness of the divine truth, was sentenced to death, and executed, at Schwatz, in the valley of the Inn, for the testimony of Jesus Christ. He admonished us not to be selfish. In the beginning of his tribulation he besought us, by the mercies of God, that we should not burden or grieve one another; for when one comes to this trial, it will cause him pain; and it is no wonder that then it should trouble him in his heart. He also desired that we should have a good assurance concerning him, since he hoped, with the help and power of his heavenly Father, to remain faithful, which he also did. Rev. 2:10.


CHRISTINA HARING, A. D. 1533


In the year 1533, a sister, named Christina Haring, was apprehended, taken to Kitzbuehl, and there fastened to a chain; she, however, remained steadfast in the faith. But as she was with child, and was soon to be confined, they let her go home until she should be delivered of her child; and though she knew that she would be apprehended again, and might have escaped ten times, or even more, she did not flee, but boldly remained. When she saw the officer coming, she went out to meet him, and asked him what he desired. He said

"I have come to take you away again;" and thus they again took her to the town of Kitzbuehl, where shortly afterwards she was executed with the sword (which is not usually done with a woman), for the faith, to which she steadfastly adhered. Her body was afterwards burnt. Matt. 24:13. This courageous, heroic woman or sister in Christ, who forsook her husband, infant, house and home, and all temporal things, strengthened her womanly heart with such valiant manliness, and by the grace of God so armed herself in the faith, that she paid her vow unto the Lord, and joyfully went to meet Christ her bridegroom, with her lamp burning, and her light shining so that many were filled with astonishment. Matt. 25:1.


SICKE SNYDER, A. D. 1533


About the year 1533 there was another pious hero and follower of Jesus, named Sicke Snyder, who, according to the counsel of the Holy Ghost, separated from the Babylonian whore, and all her false, self invented, imaginary worship, which was all contrary to God, and accepted Christ Jesus; seeking to follow the unblamable footsteps of this true Lawgiver (James 4:12), and to hear only His voice as contained in the holy Scriptures: John 10:4. Therefore he obediently submitted to the example and ordinance of Christ, and in accordance with the doctrines of His Word received Christian baptism upon his faith, as the sign of a regenerated child of God, seeking thus to live and walk in obedience toward his Creator. For this reasbn:he was put into bonds and in prison at Leeuwaerden, in Friesland, and had to suffer much from the enemies of the truth. I Tim. 6:20. And as he could by no tortures be induced to apostatize, he was executed with the sword at said place, enduring it with great steadfastness; thus attesting and confirming the true faith with his death and blood.. Rev: 2:13; 20:4. Hence he shall, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ, together with all true conquerors, be clothed in white, shining raiment, and inherit the blessing. II Tim. 2:3; Rev. 3:5; I Pet. 3:9.

Concerning this account see, besides this, Menno Simon contra Gellius Faber, fol. 98.*.


WILLIAM WIGGERS OF BARSINGHORN, IN NORTH

HOLLAND, A. D. 1534


About the year 1534, a God fearing pious brother, named William Wiggers, residing at Barsinghorn, a village in North Holland, hear. Sehagen, was brought thence to the castle at Schagen, for the true faith and the practice of it. In that place he was imprisoned for about eight days, and was then beheaded with the sword, at early dawn, in the gate of said castle, for the testimony of Jesus Christ, enduring it with great steadfastness. And as he was a Godfearing and an agreeable man, he was often employed by the lord of Schagen to transact his temporal business. Hence it came that when the servants of Schagen came to his house, for the purpose of apprehending him, he supposed they had come for former friendship and acquaintance' sake; hence he sent his wife to get some viands with which to treat these servants; but before she returned, the dean with his servants, sent by the Roman antichrist, came and took this defenseless sheep of Christ with them to Schagen, notwithstanding the bailiff of Barsinghorn offered himself as security for the prisoner. Wigger Hendericks, father of the before mentioned William Wiggers, who was also secular magistrate, having seen, that his God fearing son had, without right and reason, been thus secretly murdered with the sword, instantly forsook his office, and ,would. no longer administer the secular power.


OF THE EDICT ISSUED BY EMPEROR CHARLES V.

AGAINST THE ANABAPTISTS, A. D. 1535


By the Emperor: To our beloved and faithful commanders in chief, the president and members. of our Privy Council, the Chancellor and members of our council in Braband, the Governor and Coun 


** See also Menno Simons' Works, Holland Edition of 1646, page 471. Also Complete Works of Menno Simons, English Edition of 1871, page 3.


----

----


cilors in Limburg, the President and Councilors in Flanders, the Governor, President and Councilors in Artois, the chief Bailiff in Hainault, the Councilors of Bergen, the Lieutenant, President and Councilors of Holland, Namur, Friesland, and Utrecht, to the Lieutenant of Over Yssel, the Governor of Rijssel, Douay and Orchies, the Bailiff and:Councilors of Doornick and Tournesis, the stewards of Bewest and Beoosterschelde, in Zealand, the Provost of. Valenciennes, the Bailiff of Mechlin, and all other judgesand officers of our territories, cities and seigniories, and of our subjects, or their governors, to whom these presents shall come, happiness and favor.

In order to guard against and remedy the errors which many sectarians and authors of contempt, with their adherents, have dared for some time to sow and spread in our territories, against our holy Christian faith, sacraments, and the commandments of.our mother the holy church, we have at different times ordained, and caused to be executed and proclaimed many decrees containing statutes, edicts and ordinances, as also penalties to be incurred by transgressors, so that by means thereof the common, simple.people, and others, may beware of said errors and abuses, and that the chief promulgators and sectarians may be punished and and corrected, as an example unto others. And since it has come to our knowledge, that notwithstanding our aforesaid decrees, many and various sectarians, even some who call themselves Anabaptists, have proceeded, and still daily proceed, to spread, sow, and secretly preach their aforesaid abuses and errors, in order to allure a, great number of men and women to their' false doctrine and reprobate sect, to seduce them and to rebaptize some, to the great reproach and disregard of the sacrament of holy baptism,. and of our edicts, statutes and ordinances; therefore we, intending to guard against and remedy this, summon and command you, that, immediately upon receipt of this, you cause it to be proclaimed within every place and border of your dominions, that all those, or such as shall be found ,polluted by the accursed sect of the Anabaptist, of whatever rank or condition they may be, their chief leaders, adherents, and abettors, shall incur the loss of life and property, and be brought to the most extreme punishment, without delay; namely, those who remain obstinate and,continue in their evil belief and purpose, or who have seduced to their sect and rebaptized any; also those who have been called prophets,` apostles or bishops  these shall be punished with fire. All other persons who have been rebaptized, or who secretly and with premeditation have harbored any of the'aforesaid Anabaptists, and who renounce their evil purpose and belief, and are truly.sorry and penitent for it, shall be executed with the sword, and the women be buried in a pit.

And in order to better detect these Anabaptists, their adherents and accomplices, we expressly command ail subjects, to make known and report them to the officer of the place where they reside or shall be found; and if any one shall know of persons' of this sect, and do not report them to the officer of the place, he shall be punished as a favorer, adherent, or abettor of the sect of the Anabaptists; but he who shall report or make them known, shall have, if the accused is convicted, one third of their confiscated property.

Moreover, we prohibit all our subjects from ask=;ing for mercy, forgiveness, or reconciliation for the aforesaid Anabaptists, or from presenting any petitions for this purpose, on pain of summary punishment; for because of their evil doctrine, we will not have or permit that any Anabaptists shall have any mercy shown them, but that they shall be punished, as an example unto others, without any dissimulation, favor or delay. And in order to do this with all that pertains to it, we give each and all of you full power and special command.

Given at Brussels, under our counterseal, stamped here in the margin, on the tenth .day of June, in the year 1535. Subscribed by the Emperor and his council, and signed Pensart.


PETER KOSTER, A. D. 1535


In the year 1535, there was a pious brother, named Peter Koster, who had been sexton of the church at Sardam, in North Holland. But having come to the knowledge of the truth; he was ordained a teacher of the church, and because of the persecution, went to reside at Amsterdam, where he was apprehended by the bailiff, having been reported by a woman living in his neighborhood, who through ill directed zeal revealed the place where he had concealed himself. And as this took place at a time when some wicked rebellions and conspiracies were taking. place in the world, this friend of God was suspected of this matter; but it appeared from his own writings, as well as in his confession, that he was innocent, and various credible witnesses testify that he, had always sincerely opposed these things. Nevertheless, as he had been baptized upon faith, according to the command and ordinance of Christ, and,.moreover, had been a teacher, he was sentenced to death, and executed with the sword, at Amsterdam, and is now awaiting, with all the pious, the reward which Christ has promised, saying: "Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven." Matthew 5:11, 12.


SYBRANT JANS, HENDRICK GIJS13RECHTS VAN CAM;

PEN, STEPHEN BENEDICTUS, FEMMETGEN,

DAUGHTER OF EGBERT, AND WEL;

MUT, DAUGHTER OF JANS


In the year 1535, three brethren and two sisters named Sybrant Jans, Hendrick Gijsbrechts van Campen, Steven Benedictus, Femnietgen, daughter of Egbert, and Welmut, daughter of Jans, were apprehended at Hoorn, in West Friesland, because they no longer sought to obey the Roman church; but the commandments of God. When they were examined, they freely confessed their faith, principally with regard to baptism. When they were asked whether they had been rebaptized, they answered in the affirmative, saying that they were not sorry for it; that they had been baptized according to the ordinance of Christ, to the remission or burying of their sins, and the putting on of Christ, with the answer of a good conscience towards God. Rom. 6:4; I Pet. 3:21. The rulers of darkness, perceiving that they were not sorry for it, and intended valiantly to adhere to their faith, sentenced them to death, pursuant to the imperial edict, as the following sentence, which thev pronounced upon them clearly shows.


"Whereas M. Anthony Sonck, Bailiff, has entered legal complaint against Sybrant Jans, Hendrick Gijsbrechts van Campen, Steven Benedictus; Femmetgen, daughter of Egbert, and Welmut, daughter of Jans, that, contrary to the written laws, and contrary to our Christian faith, and the edict of his imperial Majesty our most gracious lord, they were rebaptized, without having .repented of it, and without having obtained remission therefor, therefore. we determine that each and all of them have forfeited their lives and property, and that they be executed, namely, the men with the sword, and their bodies to be placed upon the wheel, and their heads upon stakes, and the women drowned with a stone tied to their necks; and desire that the judges pass sentence accordingly."


"My lords of the court, having heard the answer and defense of the aforesaid defendants, by which, they openly, confess that .they were rebaptized, without having obtained remission therefor, deem it just, through .their sentence, that all the aforesaid persons, according to. the edict of his imperial Majesty, and the written laws, have forfeited their lives and pro perty, by virtue of the privileges of this city, and that all are to die, namely, the men to be executed with the sword, their bodies placed upon the wheel, and their heads upon stakes, unless the lords are willing to show them mercy, especially those who renounce and are penitent; and the women to be drowned with a stone tied to their necks or bodies. Passed in the presence of all the judges and three burgomasters, the seventh of June, A. D. 1535."


This sentence having been given, they were led forth to death; they went boldly to the place of execution; and among other things said: "The servant is not greater than his master; if they have done this in the green tree, what will they do in the dry," and the like. Having come to the place prepared for this purpose, they were beheaded. The two women were led to the sea, where stones were tied to their necks, and they were cast in, and drowned. Their bodies were ignominiously left to float about' for a long time, until the rulers were moved to have them taken out and buried.

Christian reader, here you can clearly see why and for what reasons these people had to die; that what some blind zealots of idolatrous popery say, falsely charge and say is not true, namely, that no one was put to death because of his religion or faith, but on account of their rebelliousness and crimes. But how falsely and shamelessly they act herein, may be judged from this single fact that the same year when these persons were put to death, the siege of Munster took place, and that they were not accused of, much less participated in, this wicked crime. But herein they show the nature of the old Pharisees, who, when they brought Christ to death, did not say, that it was on account of His good doctrine that He had to die, but for His blasphemy. This is the way of all tyrants, that, besides inflicting suffering and death upon the innocent, they also heap upon them false accusations. But when the day cometh that shall come, they shall see whom they have pierced, and say with astonishment: "Behold, these are they whom we had sometimes in derision, and a proverb of .reproach: we fools accounted their life madness, and their end to be without honor: how are they numbered among the children of God, and their lot is among the saints?" Wisd.5:3-5.


ANDREW CL)ESSEN OF DROURIJP, BEHEADED FOR

THE TESTIMONY OF JESUS CHRIST, UNDER

THE STADTHOLDER GEORGE SCHENCK,

AT LEEUWAERDEN, A. D. 1535


(Copy of a certain old document)


"It is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation," which our Saviour spoke and left for our instruction, saying: "Whosoever will save his, life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose it for my  sake, or the gospel's, shall save it" unto life eternal. Matt. 16:25; Luke 9:24.

This evangelical doctrine, given for admonition and consolation, many faithful witnesses of Christ have taken to heart, who voluntarily surrendered their lives for His holy name's sake, looking to the promises, aryd the glorious reward which shall be given them not in this, but in the future world; for in the third chapter of Wisdom we read: "The souls of the righteous are in the hand of God, and there shall no torment touch them. In the sight of the unwise they seem to die: and their departure is taken for misery, and their going from us to be utter destruction: but they are in peace. For though they be punished in the sight of men, yet is their hope full of immortality, and having been a little chastised, they shall be greatly rewarded: for God proved them, and found them worthy for himself. As gold in the furnace hath he tried them, and received them as a burnt offering." Verses 1-6.

This a glorious testimony, and well accords with the words of the holy apostle Paul, that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of heaven (Acts 14:22); as also our Saviour says that the way is narrow, and the gate is strait, that leadeth unto life; and that there are few who walk in it; few, when compared to the great multitude and majority who choose the broad way, and walk through the wide gate, to their own destruction and eternal perdition.

Few were found at Sardis, who had not defiled their garments; nevertheless these few were to be crowned as conquerors, clothed in white raiment, and their names were not to be blotted out of the book of life; and the Son of God shall confess their names before His Father and His angels, which is promised to all that overcome. Rev. 3:5. This was taken to heart by those who did not look upon what is visible and perishing, but upon the invisible, as appears in the pious witnesses and martyrs of Christ, who, for Christ's sake, gladly forsook not only all their property and the distinction which they enjoyed in this world, but also their own lives; for neither persecution, nor any creature in the world could deter them from the love of God and Christ. Rom. 8:39.


Among others, it was seen also in the case of a manful hero and armed soldier of Christ, named Andrew Claessen of Drourijp, a village in Friesland, situated between Leeuwaerden and Franneker; who, A. D. 1535, under the Stadtholder George Schenck, was apprehended, brought to Leeuwaerden, beheaded on the sixteenth of March, and placed upon a wheel. This took place three days after his imprisonment; however, the pious secretly took him down and buried him; and his soul is now also resting under the altar of God.


FURTHER OBSERVATION


He had seven children, who after the death of their father had to wander about in poverty and misery, yet were supported by some kindly disposed persons, though not without peril. These things we have recorded from the testimony of their descendants, who, to this end, have sent us their written attestations, from the town of Franneker, in Friesland, dated March the 13th, 1658, and subscribed,

JOUKE WYBES.


SEVEN BRETHREN, A. D. 1536


In this year, also seven brethren, namely, Hans Beck, Wolfert Schneider, Christian Alzeiter, Balthasar Gesel, Wolfert from Getzenberg, Hans Maurer, and Peter Kranewitter, from Gofedaum in Etschland, were apprehended. Various things were resorted to with them, in order to conquer them, and to draw them away; but as they could not be prevailed upon, but adhered to their faith and to the truth, they were sentenced to death by the children of Pilate, who, through the advice of the high priest, delivered them to the executioner, who had to bring the matter to a close. Thus they were put to death., mightily admonishing the people to repent, and that this was the divine truth, showing that no impure, false, idle, or heedless hearts can stand the test. Wolfert had once apostatized, and consented to the will of the wicked; but afterwards deplored and bewailed his course. When after a few days he was again called before the judge, he again confessed the Lord, and said that the devil had deceived him in what he had done against God. He was then put back into the tower to the others, and with them steadfastly suffered death, and in this manner they together testified with their blood to the truth, at Gofedaum.


PETER GERRITS, PETER JORIS, PETER LEYDECKER,

AND JOHANNA MELS, A. D. 1536


In the year 1536, on St. Margaret's day, in the morning, the Bailiff at Zierichzee apprehended three brethren and one sister, named Peter Gerrits, Peter Joris, Peter Leydecker, and Johanna Mels, whom he took with him half dressed, and put them in prison, where they were confined for seven weeks; but no suffering or misery inflicted upon them could induce them to apostatize. When they were examined, and many human institutions were presented to them, which they endeavored to refute with the Word of God, the Burgomaster said

"We care not for your Word of God, but hold to the mandate of the Emperor, and shall ignominiously exterminate all those who act contrary to it."

They answered: "Lord Burgomaster, by this you prove yourself to be a protector of the kingdom of Babel and of Bel for which you will indeed reap some reward here on earth, but hereafter, with antichrist and the crowned beast, eternal damnation in the lake of fire." I John 2:18; Revelation 13; 19:20.

They were then placed upon the rack, though contrary to their privileges, for they were mere citizens; however, they would not apostatize, though they were tortured so that the blood ran down their feet: but they trusted in and cried to God alone. After being tortured, they were brought up above again, where they comforted each other with the Word of God. I Thess. 4:18.

Finally, on the 4th of September, they were sentenced to death. They were brought bound upon the scaffold, yet came forth boldly and humbly, as lambs of Christ, and finally knelt down, saying with Stephen: "Lord Jesus, receive our spirits into Thy hands." Acts 7:59. They were all then speedily beheaded, their bodies burned, and their heads placed upon stakes. Thus they offered up their sacrifice.


JEROME KELS, MICHAEL SEIFENSIEDER, AND HANS

ODERACKER, A. D. 1536


In the beginning of the year 1536, Jerome Kels of Kufestein, Michael Seifensieder of Wald in Bohemia, and Hans Oberacker from Etschland were dispatched to go into the Earldom of Tyrol. Acts 13:2. But when they arrived at Vienna, in Austria, they were apprehended, having been betrayed by the host with whom they had lodged. Acts 4:3; 5:26. While they were eating supper, the people tried to ascertain their character by drinking to their health; but when they perceived that they would not respond, the host had some paper brought, and wrote a letter in Latin, which, among other things, read as follows: "Here are three persons who appear to me to be Anabaptists." But he did not know that Brother Jerome understood Latin. Then said Jerome to the other brethren, they would watch together, let things go as the dear Lord should please. Two hours afterwards the constables came and brought them bound before the judge, and when they had been examined they were put in prison.

Eight days afterwards the judge had them brought before him and his assessors, where they were told to recant. Brother Jerome said that they themselves should forsake their unbelief, and not so falsely bear the name of God, or of Christ. Thereupon the judge became highly incensed at Jerome, and when the latter said they were no Christians, the judge said: "You are a desperately wicked fellow." And though he was asked this as much as ten times, he constantly confessed as before. The assessors then said: "This reprobate fellow is not worthy that your wisdom should become enraged at him." They were then led back into prison, and the judges were highly offended at Jerome and his brethren. After another eight days the judge again summoned all three before him, taking to him three of the most wicked priests. When these would speak with Jerome, contemned our calling, reviled our faith, and said that they were sent to instruct them regarding their error, Jerome boldly and fearlessly said: "We are in the right way: our calling is from God, and Christ has taught us that we should not hear a stranger's voice." John 10:5. He also said: "We are willing to give an answer to every man, and to show the ground of our hope; but with monks and priests, who are sent by the pope, who is the antichrist, we do not desire to speak, for they are great rogues, whoremongers, perjurers, deceivers and seducers, even as these."

Thereupon the judge said: "My good Jerome, you do not yet know these good lords." Jerome said: "God is my Lord, but not they." Matthew 11:25; Luke 10:21. He then, for almost two hours and a quarter gave answer concerning the mass, original sin, infant baptism, calling, and their awful, idolatrous sacrament. Then followed many entreaties that he should regard his dear life, wife and child, and take to heart their sincere promise; and that he should pray to God; they would also. But he said that they had the truth and would adhere to it, they might do what they pleased, and as they could also not overcome the other brethren with their poison, the judge remanded them to prison, in which they sang comforting hymns together, and rejoiced in God. And as, they could hear each other, they, called to one aother, comforting and strengthening one another. They also delivered their written confession of faith, with full proof from the holy Scriptures, to the lords at Vienna, and to the judge.

To the aforesaid 'brother Hans Oberacher the day of the Lord appeared three times, as he informed us from prison, and he 'saw unutterable things, with the eyes of the spirit, as also with his bodilyeyes; he saw the condition of the children of God, and how great grace they received from God ,` on the other' hand, how mighty and terrible this day is for the wicked; so that he prayed that God would never let him incur this wrath, which is so great and dreadful upon wickedness. Mal. 3:17; 4,:1, 2.

Many attempts having been made to,,prevail upon these brethren, and they remaining steadfast in the faith, as strong soldiers, and lovers of God, they were condemned to death by the children of Pilate, and burned to ashes, at Vienna, on the Friday preceding iudica, in I:xnt of the aforesaid year.


GEORGE VASER, AND LEONHARD SAILER,

A. D. 1536


In this year, George Vaser, a minister of the Lord and His church, and Brother Leonhard Sailer, his companion, were apprehended at Neudorf, in Austria, where they were passing through, and were put in the stocks there. The next day, the Judge of Metling, and the whole council, as also other people with them, came and asked him on what account they we're imprisoned there. They replied: "For the faith of Christ, and the divine trpth."

They then took them, and brought them into the market town of Metling, a distance of several furlongs from Neudorf, and two leagues from Vienna. On the whole way they testified with great boldness to the truth, and with many words declared'to them the judgment of God, so that the judge and all the ,others were amazed and dared not say a single word against it. Thereupon they put them all into, the common prison,, in which they met with ail manner of ungodly and shameful impropriety on the part of their fellow prisoners, which daily caused them great sorrow of heart, so that they would rather have been cast into an offensive dungeon where they would not have beers obliged to listen to this impiety. .

During their imprisonment they were much questioned with regard to infant baptism, the sacrament, and that we call them all ungodly and unbelieving; but' they told them, that, as regards infant baptism, they were entirely welcome to it, and also said,: "Because they called themselves Christians; but falsely bore the name of Christ, and did not'move with a finger the least of Christ's commandments; therefore they should know that they were of the devil (John 8:44); and if they would not repent of their sins, God would destroy their false boast, so that they, with the whole world, and the rich man would be cast into the abyss of hell, which would certainly come to pass, though they now did not believe it. Having been in prison nearly a whole year, and being fully prepared for death; yea, of good courage and cheer, and joyful in the Lord, they prayed that the Lord, the gracious God, would deliver them from this mortal tabernacle, and this wicked, blind world; for they had a good hope and great joy and a sincere desire to depart, and expected every hour, to die manfully and boldly, through the help and power of God, for the divine truth, and for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, notwithstanding all the pain and suffering, which might be inflicted upon them.

However, through a special providence of God, they were wonderfully liberated, unharmed in their consciences, and came in peace to the church at Trasenhofen, and were joyfully received in the spirit, as good, worthy and beloved brethren.


FURTHER ACCOUNT OF GEORGE VASER,

A. D. 1537


In the following year, at the request of some of the zealous, the above mentioned George Vaser, was sent to Pechstall, in Austria, where he gladly began to teach the Word of the Lord, notwithstanding he had just come out of the prison at Metling. He gathered the believers, and established a church, according to the command of God. But he could not escape a certain deceiver, a genuine tool of all treachery, who, under a false appearance, pretended to learn the grounds of the truth of him as a minister, but, in the meantime appointed many servants, commanding them at a suitable time to apprehend this George Vaser, which they faithfully did..

He was then subjected to much cruel torturing, and while in prison was tempted in manifold ways but he remained very steadfast and faithfully followed unto death Him whom he had proclaimed in the faith; thus testifying with his blood (being executed with the sword), to the faith and the truth of God. Matt. 24:13; John 10:4; I Peter 5,:l.


SEBASTIAN GLASMACHER, AND HANS GRUENFEL

DER, A. D. 1537


In the year 1537, also Sebastian Glasmacher and Hans Gruenfelder were apprehended for the faith and divine truth, at Imst. in the upper valley of the Inn. They were executed with the sword, and then burned. They confessed the Lord and His holy Word and truth with great gladness. A countless multitude were present at their execution. Hans called and spoke with a very loud voice, admonishing and warning the people, to the best of his ability; so also did Sebastian, and in this they continued, until their death. This greatly astonished the people!! Their bones however could not be wholly burned; hence they were afterwards thrown into the water. The heart also of the one could not be burned, which was no doubt for a remarkable testimony. John 15:27, .


HANS PEIZ, AND SOME ,OTHERS; A. D. 1537


In this year 1537, also Hans Peiz, a minister of the Gospel, and several of. his fellow believers were apprehended for the divine truth, at Passau; on the Danube. They were imprisoned along time, suffered much, and, together with others, who confessed their faith and the truth, fell asleep in prison, after great steadfastness; and heroic piety.


HANS WUCHERER, AND HANS BARTEL, A. D. 1537


In this same year 1537,Brother Hans Wucherer was apprehended in Bavaria, and with him another brother, named Hans Bar tel, a weaver. They were taken to Mermes, Where they were confined for sixteen days, and were twice examined by Caiphas and the priests, and twice. through the torture. They were asked what they believed concerning the sacrament. They spoke mightily against it, that it was an abomination, and an idol before the Lord; and that it was not to be believed, that they `could give the body of Christ, with flesh and blood, just as He hung on the cross to eat so many hundred thousand times; but they said that the supper was a memorial of His suffering, death and the shedding of His blood, by which fie redeemed us, Matt. 26: 25; Luke 22:19. T o commemorate this; and to search their hearts, is the purpose for which believers, who are members of His body, or His church, are to observe it, with sincere thanksgiving to Him. They then asked them concerning infant baptism and what they held of their priests and churches. They spoke against all these according to the truth. They then questioned them about their viewsregarding their matrimony, and the Ten Commandments. To this they also gave their reply. They were then brought bound to Bruckenhausen, where each was separately put in chains in prison.' Six times they were brought forth and examined, in order to induce them to'recant, which if they would do, mercy would be shown them. But they would in no wise exchange the divine grace for the favor of the world, since they felt assured that they were in the true faith and in the truth of God.

The seventh time .the priests came to them into the prison; but they adhered constantly to God. They also greatly tortured them, severely racking Hans, and Brother Bartel twice, without, however, prevailing upon them. '

The eighth time the judge came to them, together with three others: After maltreating them fearfully, he sentenced them to' be burned; but they .hoped in the Lprd, to'rcmairi faithful and steadfast unto the end, in the divine truth, through the unspeakable riches and power of God. They were then burned for the faith, valiantly testified to the truth, and obtained the crown of the martyrs of Christ.


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PHILIP DE KEURS, A. D. 1537


In the year 1537, there was at Cassel, in Flanders, a God fearing pious brother, whose name was Philip Keurs, a joiner by trade. And since he had also separated from this present wicked world, and had entered upon the peculiar way of the cross, which leads to the kingdom of God, he, like his Lord and Master, Jesus, was hated, despised and persecuted by the servants of this world, so that he finally, fell into the hands of tyrants, who cruelly maltreated him with severe imprisonment. But as he was not founded upon drifting sand, but upon the immovable Rock (Matt. 7:24, 26; 16:18), he remained steadfast in every respect, as gold which is tried in the fire. I Pet. 1:7. And since nothing could move him to swerve from the truth, he was sentenced to death at said place; in this manner confirming the faith of the truth with his death and blood. And as he here became a partaker of the sufferings of his Lord and Master Christ Jesus, so he shall also, when His glory shall be revealed, receive and enjoy great gladness and joy, and in eternity the crown of everlasting ,glory. II Tim. 4:8.


TWELVE PERSONS, MEN AND WOMEN, BURNED AND

BEHEADED FOR THE TESTIMONY OF JESUS

CHRIST, AT VUCHT, NEAR HERZO;

GENBUSCH, A. D. 1538


(Copied from certain very old testimonies)


In the year 1538, in August, there were apprehended' in the town ten or seventeen men and women, who were said to have been rebaptized, all of them humble (or poor) people, etc., except a goldsmith, who was among the number, whose name was Paul Vandruynen, and who was said to be their teacher.*

This Paul, together with three other men, was strangled alive and burned, upon a scaffold at Vucht, on the ninth of September.

The other three were named: Michael Stevens of Oosterhont, a potter; John Block of Ghent, a tapemaker; 'and Adrain of Gravenhage, also a tapemaker.

A rope was tied into the mouth of each that they should not speak or cry aloud.

Two 117inorites and two Dominicans were also present, who wanted to say much to them, and show them a crucifix; but they would not look at it, saying that they had God in their hearts, and, therefore, would worship neither wood nor stone; they also prayed for those who put them to death, and said that the servant was not better than his master, and that they did willingly die in His name, but would not listen to the monks.


The trial was conducted by a commissary from the court, named Sir. Adrian van de Grave a licentiate in both laws. He had with him a man of the aforesaid sect, whose misdeed had been remitted to


* "Bishop" says the writer.




him (probably an apostate), who pointed out their residences.

To said commissary seven judges were added, who together sentenced them; namely: Sir Goosen van der Stege, Gisbert Heyn, and Matthew Stooters, in the ring.

The four other judges were: Hendrick Pelgrim, alias Ketelaer; Sir Hendrick Luysterisan van der Stege, Heyligengoestmeister, and Govert Symons, jailer.

On the eleventh of September, at the afore said place, three women and one man were strangled, who were said to be rebaptized; one of whom was the wife of Paul, the teacher, here also monks were present, to induce them to renounce.


Paul's wife said: "O Lord, enlighten the eyes of those who inflict this suffering upon us, that they may see what they are doing. I thank Thee, O God, that Thou countest me worthy to suffer for Thy name's sake."

The Dominican said to another woman: "Will you not adhere to the holy church?"


She said: "I adhere to God; is this not holy church enough for me?"


The Dominican then said to the man, John van Capelle: "Ask God to forgive you for having set a bad example unto us."


He answered: "I did not err, but dealt with the Word of God, and am sorry that I have been so long in darkness. I entreat you, citizens, read the Gospel, and live according to it; forsake your drunkenness, knavery, cursing and crossing yourselves," etc.

The third woman said: "O God Almighty, do not lay upon me more than I can bear," etc. Thus they gladly died.


The aforesaid Paul and his wife had an infant of nine months, which was still unbaptized; this they took from the mother in prison and baptized it. Lord Philip van Doorn, dean of St. John, Postulia, wife of Sir John van der Stegen, and Anna, wife of Sir Goosen van der Stegen acted as sponsors to said child.


All of them were then put to death, and on the fourteenth of September, at six o'clock in the morning, a young man of the above named sect was also beheaded.


Thus far the old document sent to us from Friesland. Compared with the account in the History van den Opgang van's Hertogenbosch, by Borre van Uytrecht, concerning the persons who were brought thither as prisoners.


NOTE. It appears that the entire above account was written by some one who had not yet come to the faith; since he calls the true faith of said persons who were put to death a sect; of whose death he seems to have been an eye witness; hence we can assume this with the greater confidence, since it is certain that the opponent of a belief will not embellish, but much rather speak against it.


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LEONHARD LOCHMAIR, AND OFFRUS GREIZINGER,

A. D. 1538


In the year 1538, Brother Leonhard Lochmair, a minister of the Word, in the Earldom of Tyrol, was apprehended, and taken to Brixen, where a great number of priests practiced all manner of craftiness with him, until they caused him to apostatize. They then demanded of him, that he should go about the country for a whole year, with Doctor Gallius, and preach against and renounce the divine truth. This he would not do; hence they confined him in prison; for he had been a priest before he became a brother. He came to himself and repented of his apostasy, and great fear came upon him, for the judgment of God pressed upon him; but since God knew his sorrowful heart, He so ordered it that he was restored again, as will follow in the sequel.

In the same year, 1538, Offrus Greizinger, also a minister of the Word in the Earldom of Tyrol, was apprehended. He was sought on the mountains and in the valley, and spied on bridges and elsewhere. A large sum of money was also offered for his apprehension, and spies and traitors were sent out, who pretended to have a desire to become pious. When they had apprehended him, he was also brought to Brixen and put in prison there, his apartment being so near to that of Leonhard Lochmair's, that they could converse together. There Leonhard greatly deplored his apostasy to Offrus, and sorrowed greatly on account of it. Offrus then gave him much consolation, when, after genuine sorrow and true repentance, he proclaimed to him the remission of his sins in the name of the Lord; yea, through his intercession, re established him in his faith, and received him again as a fellow member and brother.

Not long after, when Brother Offrus, the faithful servant of the Lord and His church, was sorely tried in manifold ways, and much threatened with the torture, if he would not point out to them his brethren who had not yet been driven away, especially those who had harbored him, and done good to him, he said to them: "I have resolved to endure all pain and suffering which man can endure, even unto death, through the power of God, before I shall tell you this, and become a traitor. I well knew beforehand that this would be my fate. You have me in your power, do whatever Gad will permit you to do; if you want to tyrannize over me, you may do so; God will find you. I have nothing to say or to show." They then assailed him with threats, and urged him that if he had the truth, they would admonish him in the name of the truth, to show and speak the truth. Then Brother Offrus said: "I know you and your truth; you have heard what I said."


They also asked him whether it was not true that if our numbers should increase, we would rise up against and kill them, if they would not come over to our side? He told them that if we should do this, we would not be Christians, but only such in name; adding: "If you were true Christians you would not torture or kill any one." Hence they bound him, and drew him up, but speedily let him down from the torture, and threatened him, asking why he would have his members thus torn asunder. He replied: "I am in your hands; do with me, whatever God will permit you to do; you can take from me no more than my life." They then despaired of accomplishing anything with him.

Eight days after, they again drew him up, this time twice, yet more gently: but he said: "I have told you once what I can tell, and be it known to you that God will find you for your tyranny." They again despaired, and thenceforth left him alone, torturing him no further. He was sick in consequence of the torture, so that he said the less.

After another eight days, they again came to him, called him before them twice, but did not remain with him long, because he laid before their eyes their rascality, roguery, and unrighteousness.

After much suffering and tribulation he was then sentenced to death by the children of Pilate, placed alive into the fire, and burned to ashes; thus valiantly and steadfastly, as a Christian hero, testifying to and sealing his life and doctrine, with his blood, on Halloween, A. D. 1538. And though he had previously wrestled hard with death, yet when he went forth unto death, he was glad and joyful in his heart.


But as Leonhard Lockmair had formerly been a priest, the priests prevented his dying together with Offrus; for they intended first to divest him of their accursed ordination. In this, in order to bring to naught their counsel, God so ordered it, that the suffragan who was to do this, died. Thus he was executed with the sword, a .few days after Offrus, and, as a true priest, offered up and gave himself as an acceptable offering unto God, and testified to His truth unto death. Rom. 12:l; II Tim. 4:6.


MICHAEL WIDEMAN OR BECK, A. D. 1538


About this time also Brother Michael Wideman or Beck was apprehended at Ricten in Allgau, together with some other persons, which other persons, however, were sent home, while this brother was put in prison for the faith. Many things were resorted to with him, and he was admonished to renounce, but he had a good assurance of his faith in Christ, and said: "When I was living with the world in all unrighteousness, in sins and wickedness, no one admonished me to renounce, but I was considered a good Christian before the world. But now that I have become converted, and amended my life, I am told to renounce; but I have become converted once, and have renounced all unrighteousness, and in this conversion I will persevere unto the end, and will not be turned from it, for that in which I stand is the true foundation." After being imprisoned almost half a year, he was beheaded and burned.


MARTIN OF VILGRATEN, AND CASPAR SCHU;

MACHER, A. D. 1538


In the year 1538, the brethren Martin of Vilgraten, and Caspar Schumacher, were both apprehended for the divine truth, at Michelsberg, in Priesterthal, and, after great steadfastness, sentenced to death, and executed with the sword; thus manfully persevering in the faith unto the end. They were of good cheer in their bonds and tribulation, and held fast to the love of God, from which they could not be separated through tribulation, fear, persecution, hunger, poverty, nakedness, or danger. No sword was so keen, no fire so hot, no devil so wicked, no man so diligent, as to turn them from God and His truth, and from their Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; but they, through the grace and power of God, kept that which God had given them to know, even unto death.


JOHN STYAERTS, AND PETER, A. D. 1538


About this year, there were, in Flanders, two cousins, one named Styaerts, the other Peter. These two blooming and God seeking youths resided with their parents in a village called Mereedor, in Flanders. And as they were very zealous for God, and searched the holy Scriptures, they soon perceived, that the believing and regenerated  according to the doctrine of Christ, as a sign of having buried the former sins, and risen with Christ, and walking in newness of life had to receive Christian baptism, in the water; and since they were desirous of this, they journeyed to Germany, to seek others of their fellow believers. But as they could not find such as suited their wishes, they soon returned to their parents in Flanders, where they earnestly sought the Lord their God, so that they had a good report, doing much good to the poor, and saying with Zaccheus, that if they had defrauded any one, they would restore it fourfold. Luke 19:8. When the blinded papists, who most bitterly hated the light of truth, perceived this, they took these two young lambs out of the houses of their parents, at Mereedor, and brought them beyond Ghent, into a village called Vinderhout, where they most severely imprisoned them in a dungeon. Jer. 38:6. Once when their sister came to bring them some fine shirts, they told her that they could not keep them from the worms, which were in their food, eating it, and in their clothes and shirts on their bodies. They further said: "Here is a Bible, the contents of which, as well as the cause of our bonds, will yet come to light after our death." The aforesaid John Styaerts was once released from prison, on account of sickness, and, as is thought, could easily have obtained his liberty; but he voluntarily returned to prison, desiring gladly to die with his dear brother for the name of Jesus. Thus after a certain time they were led to the slaughter. Peter; who came forth first to die, casting his eyes up to heaven, boldly called out to John Styaerts: "Fight valiantly, my dear brother; for I see the heavens open above us." Acts 7:56. They were together put to death with the sword at Vinderhout. Thus these young branches in the court of the Lord (Jer. '17:8; Ps. 1:3), were also devoured by the awful beast which rose up out of the sea (Rev. 13:1), but they had no power over their immortal souls, which escaped from them unto God, where they, shall forever live in unspeakable joy. When their parents came from Mereedor to Vinderhout, and inquired for their children, the villagers told them that they had already been executed with the sword. And thus they were deprived of their children by these tyrants.


HANS SEYEL, AND HANS OF WELS, A. D. 1538


In the same year, 1538, on Wednesday before Christmas, Hans Seyel of Mur, and Hans of Wels, were apprehended for the faith and .the divine truth, at Sandweid, in Kaernthen. After, valiant steadfastness in the faith, they were condemned to death and executed with the sword; thus, even unto death, boldly testifying with their blood, to the way of truth, from which they would not depart as long as their eyes were open, and breath remained in their nostrils.


OF A CERTAIN DECREE PUBLISHED IN ENGLAND

AGAINST THE ANABAPTISTS, A. D. 1538,

AND WHAT FOLLOWED THERE;

UPON, A. D. 1539


"After manifold tyranny, persecution and putting to death," writes P. J. Twisck, "in various countries and kingdoms, against the Christian flock, also in England a decree was proclaimed, in December, A. D. 1538, against the believers baptized according to the ordinance of Christ. By virtue of the same, they, right in the face of cold winter, were banished from the country, and had to flee whithersoever they could.

Thus it came, that some of them fled for refuge to Holland, and having come to Delft, they were there spied out by their enemies, and fell into the hands of .the tyrants; and, after . manifold trials, and steadfastness in their faith, they were sentenced to death for the truth, at said place, and, on the 7th of January, A. D. 1539, put to death. Sixteen men were beheaded with the sword, and fifteen women drowned.

These sixteen men and fifteen women, thirty one persons in all, who, in the year 1539, fled from England to Delft, and were there put to death. in the same year, for the true confession, of Jesus Christ, must plainly and positively be distinguished from other twenty seven persons who lost their lives there one year earlier, namely, A. D. 1538; whose written examinations and death   sentences we have seen; but as we have not found sufficient light therein, we pass them by, commending them to God, and thus take our leave of them.


APOLLONIA, WIFE OF LEONHARD SEYLE,

A. D. 1539


In the year 1539, one sister Apollonia; wife of Leonhard Seyle, having been with. him in the upper country, was apprehended in the Earldom of Tyrol, and brought to Brixen; but, through the immutable grace and power of God, who valiantly aided her womanly heart, she constantly and firmly continued in the true faith, and in what she had promised God in Christian baptism, and would depart neither to the right nor to the left. Hence she was then sentenced to death, and drowned, thus receiving the martyrs' crown.


GREAT PERSECUTION IN AUSTRIA, A. D. 1539


In said year, 1539, the church having dwelt for a little while at Steinborn, in Austria, and having begun to increase there, the old serpent, the envious and arch wicked satan, who so miserably tormented the pious, could not endure or overlook it, but in his wrath stirred up the children of wickedness, especially the priests, who in all this are his agents and executors; so that they constantly filled the ears of King Ferdinand with their unjust accusations of the pious, and instigated him, so that he complied with their demand, and sent his Marshal from Vienna, with provosts and a number of horsemen, who unexpectedly came to Falkenstein, whence they took with them a great mob, and fell upon the church at Steinborn, on the 6th day of December, in the evening or at night, in the abovementioned year. All the men whom they found, they put into one room, and thus they also did with the women and maidens. With great tumult and noise they kept watch during the night, and brought in all whom they could find. Their chief intention was to apprehend the elders and ministers of the church, hoping to obtain much money from their people, and thus deprive the poor people of their sustenance, notwithstanding God would severely punish such wickedness. But God through His providence prevented them, so that they could not find a single minister. In every nook and corner they rummaged for the sustenance of widows and orphans, and persevered greatly in their ungodly assiduity. But God. brought to naught and folly their counsel, when they thought to find wealth among the poor. In their tyranny they apprehended sick people, children, and pregnant women, so that it could have moved a heart of stone to the deepest, and enduring compassion.

The imprisoned brethren and sisters made themselves ready to offer up their bodies and lives unto God, whether through fire or through the sword. On the evening when this persecution took place, some men of Philip's people had also  come, with the intention of making known to them the ground of the church, and of their whole life. Thus as many as a hundred and fifty brethren were together apprehended, and, well guarded, were brought up to the,castle of Falkenstein. Among their number there were some who had not yet received the baptismal covenant of grace; as also some who had apostatized from the truth, and were now penitents. Having all arrived in the castle of Falkenstein, they conferred with those who had not yet bound themselves in the faith. These they asked what they purposed to do in this tribulation, and told them that, if they, for the testimony and honor of God, would firmly adhere; in all suffering, to the Lord Christ, whatever distress and anguish might befall them, they would consider them fellow companions in the kingdom of Christ, and hope that God would be gracious to them however, with this understanding, that with those who through the providence of God should be released, and return to the church,. the latter should have authority, by virtue of the Lord's command, to deal according to their confession,,in the proper measure and order; and since .they had this intention and resolution, they would write to the elders and the churches, and afterwards give them full information.


Thereupon they all indicated their willingness, and, with a joyful heart and great thankfulness, desired to accept this covenant as a grace of God. Immediately upon this, the church was informed of it by letter. A written answer speedily came, that all the believers were well satisfied with this resolution; since such as had not yet been incorporated, according to  divine ordinance, into the church, but agreed with it in all things, and desired to show forth an honest testimony of the truth, ,to suffer with it and to give their lives for it in this extremity, might well be received as fellow believers.


When they were again informed of the decision of the church, they willingly entrusted themselves to the Lord, manifested, patience in all tribulation, as others of .the pious, and made a good confession before many witnesses. While they were yet at Falkenstein, King Ferdinand sent his Marshal, several doctors from among the priests; and the executioner, that, they should go to them. These; on Christmas night, which is customarily celebrated in every country, began to deal with much craftiness with the imprisoned witnesses of the truth; they also put subtle questions to some of them, as to what was their ground and hope, and where their treasure or money was. Thereupon they confessed in truth, that Christ was their Lord and Saviour, their only comfort, their only hope, their dearest heart treasure and best portion, in whom .they received God's help and grace. They also treated with them about other articles, and wanted to instruct, teach, and convert them, as they said, especially with regard to their sacrament, which they highly extolled, and would have them believe that the flesh.and blood of Christ were present in it, and that it was our Lord God, as they said but the brethren answered that it was a dumb god, and that the Lord's Supper had quite a different signification than, they perversely represented, tnus shamefully deceiving and seducing the world. With these and many other contessions the king's messengers returned to Vienna; but these imprisoned brethren remained in custody in the castle of 1~ alkenstem.


Thus it continued until the beginning of the year 154U, when the kings marshal came, together with a Spaniard, the Provost of the Empire, and other horsemen with their equipments. ~I hese further examined the imprisoned Brethren, and those who did not comply with their demands, but held to the truth contessed, they speedily laid in iron chains and bonds, coupling them two and two together by their hands. In the meantime many of the sisters, their fellow believers, came into the castle of Ealkenstein, when the prisoners were to be taken to the sea; some were waiting' for the imprisoned brother Eegmachel, and others were particularly engaged in earnest and fervent prayer and supplication to God Almighty, that He would keep them from all wrong and sinful action, on sea as well as on land, and also give them a steadfast mind, and grant that they might persevere in the With unto the end. Alter this prayer, a Spaniard was commanded to send all of them away. Hence they began to take leave from one another, with many scalding tears and weeping eyes, affectionately admonishing each other, that each should firmly and unfalteringly adhere to the Lord and the truth confessed. Time and again they commended each other to the gracious protection of God, not knowing whether in their lifetime they should ever see each other again with their bodily eyes. Thus man and wife had to separate from each other, and leave their little children; which flesh and blood would not have been equal to, had it not been done through the power of God, and for His sake. This leave taking was so pitiful, that the king's marshal, and others like him, could not keep back their tears. When everything was arranged, and the escort was ready, the pious went forth, firmly trusting in God, that .He would aid and deliver them. Thus they were brought from the tower, two and two together, ninety in all, after having been confined five weeks and a half in Falkenstein; but the sisters had to remain in the castle, and from the walls, looked after the brethren, with much sighing and sorrow, as long as they could see them.


After this, the sisters were all sent away from the castle to the place where they resided; but the brethren whom they did not want to take to the sea; on account of infirmity or sickness, and some because of their youth, they retained as prisoners in the castle; now and then they gave some of the young lads as slaves to Austrian nobles; however, nearly all of them returned to the church; the others remained in the castle, and for them God also wrought a gracious deliverance.

The cause of this great distress of the pious was solely, that in antichristendom they testified against the idolatrous and unrighteous life and ways of the priests, for which, as an abomination, God should once severely punish them, and make an end with them and their sins. Hence, King Ferdinand gave the crew of priests, who are a band of robbers, and delight in killing and slaying, power to do with them as they pleased. These condemned them as worthy of death, that they should not be tolerated on the earth, but should be sent to sea, thus to wear out their lives in much anguish and distress, as a warning to other brethren; and that the other three should be delivered into the hands of the Admiral of the Armada on the sea, and be employed on the galleons, in pillaging and waging war against the Turks and other enemies; though these imprisoned brethren previously told the messengers of the king, that they would not go against the enemy, to pillage and wage war, neither would they consent to do wrong on the sea just as little as on the land, nor sin against God in heaven; and that, since it was contrary to their faith and conscience, God through His unconquerable power, and His grace, could preserve them on the sea as well as on the land. Nevertheless, these witnesses of the divine truth were led, through the king's messengers and his strict command to the authorities, through cities, towns and villages, to be brought from one court to another. In this they suffered much and manifold adversity and great sorrow; but God always granted them gracious means, particularly in this, that every morning and evening they could all unmolestedly pray to God, and that one brother could without hindrance comfort the other; which they accepted very gratefully as a special grace and gift of God.

By this and the ordering of their whole life they convinced the people in many places, so that many who at their arrival regarded them as malefactors, had great compassion on them. Moreover, the king's servants, their conductors, frequently bore them testimony, and told them that they should not pass silently through the cities and towns, but should make their faith known by singing or otherwise.

Thus the faithful company was led, like a flock of sheep, through countries and cities, to the sea; journeying from the castle of Falkenstein to Vienna, thence to Neustadt and Schottwien, over the Semmering, to Bruck on the Mur, to the borders of Bavaria, to Luebeck and Marburg, to Tiele, to Stein, in Carniola, over the Save to Laibach, but still no comfort came. During their imprisonment there they had to suffer much hunger and distress; they were fed with the bread of anguish, and had to drink the water of sorrow; but thus it was the will of God to reveal His Word and truth in every place and country, and to make it known to the nations that were ignorant of it, and to let them hear the sound thereof; even as He always provides gracious means to lure men away from unrighteousness, so also here, where these witnesses of the faith and the divine truth were led to many and various places, and also to places where strange languages were spoken, where the truth had not been heard, and where it was unknown and hidden among the nations. They caused some from Carniola to search after the truth, and thereby some attained to a knowledge of it, who are still at this day serving God with a sincere heart. But how these captive brethren, while on their journey, were treated in many places, how they were beaten, driven, and coupled together with ropes and chains, and what resulted to them from this, would be too long to write; still, however great the tribulation they suffered, God always comforted them in their hearts.

But since God always remembers His own for the best, even when in the greatest fear, and never entirely forgets them, He strengthened some in their imprisonment, so that they trusted in God with a good assurance and hope, that He would work for and show them a deliverance. Therefore they prayed with the others in the fear of God, though they were firmly resolved to suffer for the truth of God, and to die rather than to participate in wicked piracy; yet they had reason enough, constantly to persevere in prayer to God, with heartfelt lamentation and sighing, that He would promote His divine honor in them. In this God showed them, how they should hold proper converse with each other, the strong care for the weak, and assist one another. And though they had but very little sustenance, yet they trusted in the Lord, that He would provide for them, so that they should not have to beg for their bread. Then, on the twelfth night, at Trieste, they were all delivered from their chains and bonds, and went out of prison. Through the providence of God a place was shown them, where they all in the same hour let themselves down by cords from the walls of the city. Thus the very bonds in which they had been brought thither as prisoners, had to minister to their deliverance.

From this it can be seen, that; though the ungodly devise many things against the pious, God always turns it for the best to His people. Thus, through the providence of God, fney escaped from the hands of their enemies, in spite of the watchful guards whom they had placed in the city and upon the walls; for God changed their prudence to folly, so that they escaped over the walls right near the guardhouse.

When all of them, both sick and well, had escaped over the walls a good many of them gathered together, knelt down, and together offered praise and thanks to God. God thus sped them on their way, that the greater part of them returned with joy and glad hearts to the church in Moravia. Twelve of them, however, were recaptured by the wicked, who pursued them, and, together with the other three, they were delivered to the Emperor's Admiral over the Armada, taken to sea, and brought upon the galleons, with the intention of employing them as pirates, but the pious risked their lives, and would rather be scourged. But as to the end of each one of these nothing certain is yet known, but, it is to be supposed that, if they constantly adhered. to the Lord, they did not have many  good days while they lived. But the abovementioned brethren whom God had delivered, when they, about the year 1540 returned from Trieste to the church in Moravia, they were received with great joy and gratitude, as a gift from God.


ANNA OF ROTTERDAM, PUT TO DEATH IN THAT

PLACE, A. D. 1539


The following is the Testament which Anna of Rotterdam left and presented to her son, Isaiah, on the twenty fourth of January; A. D. 1539, at nine o'clock in the morning, as she was preparing herself to die .for the name and the testimony of Jesus, and took leave of her son, at Rotterdam.

Isaiah, receive your testament

"My son, hear the instruction of your mother; open your ears to hear the words of my mouth. Prov. 1:8. Behold, I go today the way of the prophets, apostles and martyrs, and drink of the cup of which they all have drank. Matt. 20:23. I go, I say, the way which Christ Jesus, the eternal Word of the Father, full of grace and truth, the Shepherd of the sheep, who is the Life, Himself went, and who went this way, and not another, and who had to drink of this cup, even as He said: `I have a cup to drink of, and a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!' Having passed through, He calls His sheep, and; His sheep hear His voice, and follow Him whithersoever He goes; for this is the way to the true fountain. John 10:27; 4:14. This way was traveled by the royal priests who came from the rising of the sun, as we read in revelation, and entered into the ages of eternity, and had to drink of this cup.' I Peter 2:9.

"This way was trodden by the dead under the altar, who cry, saying: Lord, Almighty God, when wilt Thou avenge the blood that has been shed? White robes were given unto them, and it was said to them; Wait yet for a little season, until the number of your brethren that are yet to be killed for the testimony of Jesus, be fulfilled. Rev. 6:9-11. These also drank of the cup, and are gone above to keep the eternal, holy Sabbath of the Lord. This is the way in which walked the twenty four elders, who stand before the throne of God, and cast their crowns and harps before the throne of the Lamb, falling down upon their faces, and saying: Lord, unto Thee alone be praise, glory, power, and strength, who shalt avenge the blood of Thy servants and ministers, and shalt through Thyself gain the victory. Great be Thy name, Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. Rev. 4:8, 10.


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"In this way walked also those who were marked by the Lord, and received the mark Thau upon their foreheads (Ezek. 9:6), who were chosen from among all nations of men, who were not defiled with women .(understand this), and who follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth. Rev. 14:4.

"Behold, all these had to drink of the cup of bitterness, as ,will also all those have to do, who are still wanting to complete the number and fulfillment of Zion, the bride of the Lamb, which is the new Jerusalem coming down out of heaven (Rev. 21:2), the city and throne of God, in which the glory of the great King shall be seen, when the feast of tabernacles will be kept and celebrated in the days of eternal rest and joy. Zech. 14:16.

"Behold, all these could not attain to this, without first suffering judgment and chastisement in their flesh; for Christ Jesus, the eternal truth, was the first, when it is written: `The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.' Rev. 13:8. So Paul says: `Thus it pleased the Father, that all whom He predestinated from eternity, He called, elected, justified, and made to be conformed to the image of His Son.' Rom. 8:29, 30. Our blessed Saviour also says: The servant is not above his Lord; but it is sufficient for .him, that: he be like his Lord and Master. Matt. 10:24. Also Peter says: `The time has come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?' I Pet. 4:17, 18. Read also in Proverbs (11:31): `Behold, the righteous shall be recompensed in the earth: much more the wicked and the sinner.' See, my son, here you can hear that no one can come unto life, except through this way. Therefore enter in through the strait gate, receive the chastisement and instruction of the Lord, bow your shoulders under His yoke, and cheerfully bear it from your youth, with thanksgiving, rejoicing and honor; for He accepts or receives no son, whom He does not chasten. Hebrews 12:6. Paul further says: `If you forsake the chastisement, whereof they were all partakers, ye are bastards, and not children, and shall be cast out from the inheritance of the children of God.'

"If you, therefore, desire to enter into the regions of the holy world, and into the inheritance of the saints, gird your loins, and follow after them; search the Scriptures, and it shall show you their ways. John 5:39. The angel who spake to the prophet said: `There is also another thing: A city is builded, and set upon a broad field, and is full of all good things: the entrance thereof is narrow, and set in a dangerous place to fall, like as if there were a fire on the right hand, and on the left a deep water: and one only path between them both, even between the fire and the water, so small that there could but one man go there at once. If this city now were given unto a man for an inheritance, if he never shall pass the danger set before it, how shall he receive this inheritance?' II Esd. 7:6-9.




See, my son, this way has no retreats; there are no roundabout or crooked little paths; whosoever departs to the right or to the left, inherits death: Behold, this is the way which is found by so few, and walked by a still far smaller number; for there are some who well perceive that this is the way to life; but it is too severe for them; it pains their flesh.

"Therefore, my child, do not regard the great number, nor walk in their ways. Remove thy foot far from their paths, for they go to hell, as sheep unto death; even as Isaiah says: `Hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure; and their glory, and their multitude . . . shall descend into it.' Isa. 5:14. `It is a people of no understanding: therefore he that made them will not have mercy on them.' Isa. 27:11. But where you hear of a poor, simple, cast off little flock (Luke 12:32), which is despised and rejected, by the world, join them; for where you hear of the cross, there is Christ; from there do not depart. Flee the shadow of this world; become united with God; fear Him alone, keep His commandments, observe all His words, to do them; write them upon the table of your heart, bind them upon your forehead, speak day and night of His law and you will be a pleasant tree and a sprout in the courts of the Lord, a beloved plant growing up in Zion. Ps. 92:13. Take the fear of the Lord to be your father, and wisdom shall be the mother of your understanding. If you know this. my son, happy are you if you do it. John 13:17. Observe that which the Lord commands you, and sanctify your body to His service, that His name may be sanctified, praised, and made glorious and great in you. Be not ashamed to confess Him before men; do not fear men; rather give, up your life, than to depart from the truth. If you lose your body, which is earthly, the Lord your God has prepared you a better one in heaven. II Cor. 5:1.


"Therefore, my child, strive for righteousness unto death, and arm yourself with the armor of God. Be a pious Israelite, tramnle under foot all. unrighteousness, the world and all that is in it, and love only that which is above. I John 2:15. Remember, that you are not of this world, even as your Lord and Master was not. John 15:19. Be a faithful disciple of Christ; for none is fit to pray, unless he has become His disciple' and not before. Col. 1:7; john 9:31. Those who said: `We have left all.' also said: `Teach us to pray.' Luke 18:28; 11:1. They were those for whom the Lord prayed, and not the world (John 17:9); for when the world prays, they call uoon their father, the devil, and desire that his will be done, as is also the case. Therefore, my son, do not become like them, but shun and flee them, and have neither part nor fellowship with them. Rom. 12:2; II Pet. 1:4. Do not regard that which is before your eyes, but seek only those things which are above. Col. 3:1. O my child, be mindful of my admonition, and forsake it not. May the Lord cause you to grow up in


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His fear, and fill your understanding with His Spirit. II Peter 3:18. Sanctify yourself to the Lord, my son; sanctify your whole conduct in the fear of your God. Lev. 20:7. Whatever you do, do it all to the praise of His name. Honor the Lord in the works of your hands, and let the light of the Gospel shine through you. Love your neighbor. Deal with an open; warm heart thy bread to the hungry, clothe the naked, and suffer not to have anything twofold; for there are always some who lack. Matt. 26:11. Whatever the Lord grants you from the sweat of your face, above what you need, communicate to those of whom you know that they love the Lord (Genesis 3:19; Ps. 112:9); and suffer nothing to remain in your possession until the morrow, and the Lord shall bless the work of your hands, and give you His blessing for an inheritance. Deut. 28:12. O my son, let your life be conformed to the Gospel, and the God of peace, sanctify your soul and body, to His praise. Amen. Phil. 1:27; I Thess. 5:23.

"O holy Father, sanctify the son of. Thy handmaiden in Thy truth, and keep him from the evil, for Thy name's sake, O Lord."

Thereupon . she sealed this with her blood, and thus, as a pious heroine and follower of Jesus Christ, she was received among the number of the witnesses of God who were offered up.


TJAERT REYNERTS, A. D. 1539


About the year 1539, there was also a God fearing peasant, named Tjaert Reynerts, who lived near Harlinger, in Friesland. He was brought a prisoner to Leeuwxrden, where he had to suffer much for the truth, from the bloodthirsty papists. Proverbs 29:10. The cause of his imprisonment was, that, out of compassion and brotherly love, he had secretly harbored Menno Simons in his great misery, in his house. This having been brought to the notice of the enemies, he was apprehended and very cruelly examined; but he, as a valiant hero and witness of Jesus (Rev. 2:13; 20:4), would not forsake his Creator in this extremity, but freely and undauntedly confessed the faith of the everlasting truth against these tyrants and bloodthirsty men; on which account he, at said place, as a chief of murderers (according to the example of his Lord Jesus), was placed upon the wheel, though even his greatest enemies bore witness that he was an upright and pious man. I Tim. 3:7.

At this time the tyranny and persecution against the God fearing Christians was very dreadful, so that the envious papists, who hated the truth, caused likenesses of many of the principal teachers and overseers of the church of Jesus Christ to be made, and posted up on doors, gates, and other public places, promising a large sum of money, to such as should deliver them into the hands of the officers and executioners. And since the Godfearing Menno Simons, who was zealous for God, was one of the principal teachers and elders in this bloody and perilous time, who, by his glorious admonitions, and writings from the Word of God, so flourished, that none of his adversaries dared come before him in an open and free scriptural disputation, though he at various times and very earn= estly requested it; through which sound doctrine and Christian admonition, and the power of 'the Most High, said Menno Simons, drew, turned, and won to God a great number of men, from dark and erring popery; yea, from the dumb idols, to the living God. Therefore the servants of antichrist were embittered the more against him, and, in order to quench and hinder this, caused, A. D. 1543, a dreadful decree to be proclaimed against him throughout.all West Friesland; in which all malefactors and murderers were offered remission of their crimes, the pardon of the Emperor, the freedom of the country, and one hundred Carl Guilders, if they could deliver Menno Simons, into the hands of the torturers and executioners. But though these envious men thirsted with such exceeding tyranny and great bitterness for his blood, and sought and persecuted him unto death, yet the Almighty God preserved him, and most miraculously protected him from the designs of all his enemies, so that they could not execute their tyrannical desires on him; for he died a natural death, as God had appointed it to him, at Wuestefeld, near Luebeck, on the 13th of January, in the year 1559, in his sixty sixth year. Ps. 31:15; Job 14:5; Ps. 139: 16.

He that desires, may read Menno Simons, contra Gallius Faber, fol. 23, where the offering of Tjaert Reynerts is referred to.*


ARENT JACOBS, WITH HIS WIFE AND ELDEST SON,

A. D. 1539


Even as it was in the time of ' Esau and Jacob, that he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit (Gen. 27:l; Galatians 4:29), so it was also abundantly witnessed in this time; which, among others, appeared in the case of one God fearing brother named Arent Jacobs, and his wife and eldest son. These resided in the Rijp, and being. born again from above of God, and seeking the eternal inheritance which is reserved for such in heaven, they were hated and persecuted unto death by the followers of Esau, who brought them prisoners from the Rijp to Monickendam, in North Holland, where they had to suffer much for' the truth; but as they were built upon Christ, and suffered themselves by no torments to be led away, they were, at said place, A. D. 1539, sentenced to suffer death by drowning, which was accordingly done. To this end heavy stones were used, which the executioner was not able to lift, so that  the prisoners were obliged to assist him. Thus, like irrational beasts they were cast into the water, with stones tied to


* "Menno Simons' Complete Works," English Edition, published by John F. Funk and Brother, Elkhart, Indiana, 1871, part first, page 8.


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their necks, and so departed this life. Thus they did not love their lives, but surrendered them unto death for the witness of Jesus, who at His glorious coming shall raise their rejected bodies from the dead, and crown them with immortality in heaven. Rev, 12:11; 20.:4; II Thess. 1:7; Phil. 3:21; II Tim. 4:8.


BANS SIMERAVER, A. D. 1540


In the year 1540, Brother Hans Simeraver was imprisoned for the divine truth, at Schwatz, in the valley of the Inn; but,as they could not draw him from his faith, nor convince hiln with the holy Scriptures, they delivered him to their high priest, the executioner, who had to lead him out and conquer him. Thus he was executed with the sword, and sealed his faith in God with his blood, thus resisting unto blood, or striving against sin and the abomination of 'desolation. Heb. 12:4; Matt. 24: 15. Therefore he shall also, on Mount Sion, among the great number of those who testified to and confessed the name of God in the world, receive a palm in his hands, and be crowned with the unfading'crown of life. II Esd. 2:45; II Tim. 4:8.


WALTER. OF STOELWIJK, A. D. 1541


On the eleventh of February, A. D. 1538, another pious and faithful brother, named Walter of Stoelwijk, at Vilvoorden, in Brabant, fell into the hands of the ravening wolves (Matt. 7:15), and had to suffer much for the truth, from these envious papists. But he, as a wise builder, had founded his house upon the firm and immovable rock, Christ Jesus; and therefore remained steadfast in all these great trials, though he had to suffer cruel imprisonment for three years, and much severe and tyrannous examining and torturing from these bloodthirsty men. Finally, on the 24th of March, in the year 1541,, he was sentenced and burned at said place. Thus he remained faithful to his Lord and Creator unto death, and steadfastly confirmed with his death and blood the genuine faith of the truth, and his unwavering, living hope. He shall therefore, as an obedient sheep, also hear the voice of the great Shepherd of the sheep saying to him: "Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world." John 10:3; Hell. 13:20; Matt. 25:34.


A LETTER WRITTEN BY SAID WALTER OF STOEL;

WIJK, TREATING OF THE SUFFERING AND THE

GLORY OF CHRISTIANS


Grace, peace, and mercy from God our heavenly Father, and from Jesus. Christ our Lord and Saviour, be with all those who live godly in Christ Jesus, and therefore suffer persecution, to the glory and praise of the true God, to the trial of their faith, and the eternal salvation of their souls. Amen. Rom. 1:7; I Cor, 1:3; II Cor. 1:2; Gal. 1:3; II Tim. 3:12,




Blessed be God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who in His unfathomable grace and mercy hath called us out of darkness unto His marvelous light, and still daily lets His face shine upon us, that we may know His way on the earth, and His salvation among the Gentiles.  Yea, blessed, praised, and glorified be God our most blessed Lord and most merciful Father, who, through His unspeakable goodness, and not through the merits of our works, has chosen us, through Jesus Christ, to be His children, that we should be heirs of His eternal kingdom, and inherit all things as true children and heirs of God; children of God and joint heirs with Christ, if we do the will of God our heavenly. Father, that we may be glorified with Him, and enter into His glory. Tit. 3:5; II Tim. 1:9; Eph. 2:6; Rom. 8:17. For it is true what Christ says: "Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heav.';en; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." Matt. 7:21. Now it is the will of our heavenly Father, that we deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Jesus Christ.


In the first place, we must deny ourselves; that is, we must forsake our own will, and surrender ourselves wholly to Jesus Christ, so that according to the words of the apostle, we live no more unto ourselves, but unto Jesus Christ, who died for us, that He may be Lord both of the dead and living, and that no one shall live unto himself, but unto Him who died for him, and rose again. O to deny themselves, and desire only to do the will of God; yea, how many do not yet know which is the true will of God, but hold to the doctrine and commandments of the Roman pope, and antichrist, and are in such a condition, that they do not know Jesus Christ. To these, the Almighty God, according to the pleasure of His will. must open the eyes of their understanding, with the radiance of His grace, that they may emerge from this blindness into the true light, and know with all the saints, what is the delusion and sorcery of the Babylonian whore (Rev. 18:2), and that the teachings and commandments of Christ Jesus alone are to be kept, yea, that we must follow and preserve only the teachings and commandments of Christ Jesus, and that we may in no wise live according to our own will, but are to consider that Christ Jesus Himself did not His own will, but the will of His Father, who sent Him; which was done and written for our admonition and instruction, that we should not fulfill our own will, which, because of the innate wickedness of our cursed nature, is prone to evil; but the acceptable and perfect will of God, so that we may pray aright, as Christ has taught us, saying: Heavenly Father, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Matt. 6:9, 10. How many there are who do not say this with a good heart, but with false lips, even as Judas said to Christ: "Hail, Master" (Matt. 26:49; Mark 14:45; Luke 22:47) , at the same time betraying Him; so they say with the mouth, that God's will is to be done; while at the same time all their thoughts and works are contrary to the will of God. These are those real false Christians who say to Christ Jesus: "Lord, Lord," and yet do not what He has commanded them. These are the true Pharisees, the hypocritical saints, who honor God with their lips, while their heart is far from Him. These are the true unbelievers of whom St. Paul says that with their words they profess to know God, but in works deny Him, so that they are abominable to the Lord, because they are disobedient to Him, and reprobate unto every good work. Yea, these are the true hypocrites,' the disciples of deceitful Satan, who have learned from their master, to disguise their inward craftiness, and outwardly to adorn themselves with a beautiful appearance. Such hypocrites the Lord will forever curse and cast out, and say to them: "Depart from me, ye workers of iniquity; I know you not." Matt. 7:23; Ps. 6:8. But He will bless the pious Christians and bless and glorify the good and true disciples of Jesus Christ, who deny themselves, and have surrendered themselves unto the will of God, which is the true beginning of the Christian life, and without which life can not be begun.

In the second,place, we must take up our cross, namely prepare ourselves for suffering, according to the teaching of Jesus Sirach, who says: "My son; if thou come to serve the Lord, prepare thy soul for temptation. Set thy heart aright, and constantly endure, and make not haste in time of trouble. Cleave unto him, and depart not away, that thou mayest be increased at thy last end. Whatsoever is brought upon thee, take cheerfully, and be patient when thou art changed to a low estate. For gold is tried in the fire, and acceptable men in the furnace of adversity." Sir. 2:1-5; Wisd. 3:6. With this accords also what Paul says: "All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." II Tim. 3:12. Yea Christ Himself says to His apostles: "Ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake." Mark 13:13. From all these words it must incontrovertibly follow, that all servants of God; all godly men, all disciples of Jesus Christ, must suffer persecution for His name's sake; and be tried through manifold temptations.

Therefore it is an awful blindness, that men boast of the Gospel and Christianity, and know what belongs to a Christian life, but, alas I they have the least thought of suffering anything for the name of Christ Jesus; yea, though they know and confess that all the works which take place in papal desolation are evil, and nothing but blasphemy against God, yet have they fellowship therewith, and commit the most shameful idolatry, in order that they may avoid and escape the cross,;in which cross all pious Christians may glory (Gal. 6:14) and still they want to be considered good Christians. O what wicked servants 1 O what wicked disciples! Wicked servants we say, because they would be above their Lord Jesus Christ; wicked disciples we say, since they reject and condemn the doctrine of their Master Jesus Christ.. O people, people, mockers of the living God I who think to deceive God with your dissimulation, and to pay Him with words, unmindful of the words of Paul; namely: that the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power I I Cor. 4:20. O people, true hypocrites! who fancy that they serve Christ, but how far are they from glorying with Paul, the pious and faithful minister of Christ, only in the cross of Christl Gal. 6:14. O miserable people, who would rather now live for ,a little season in peace and voluptuousness with the Babylonian whore, and afterwards be tormented with her in everlasting pain, than suffer with Christ Jesus for a little while, and thus enter into eternal glory!

Ah 1 the true saints and servants of God did differently; they would rather suffer death, than transgress the commandment of God. Pious Joseph would rather go to prison; yea, into death, than offend the Lord his God, and commit adultery with the adulterous woman. Gen. 39:8. Moses, the ardent and jealous lover of God, through his faith, chose rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to live in carnal and worldly lusts with the Egyptians; esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than all the treasures of Egypt; for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward. Ex. 2:11; Heb. 11:25. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego feared God the Lord more than all the torments of the tyrannous king, and would rather die a temporal death, and adhere to their God, than deny Him. Dan. 3:16. Daniel who was rich in spirit and strong in faith, did not shrink from the den of lions, in which he would rather be cast, than worship any strange God. Dan. 6. The pious Tobit would rather transgress, the commandment of the king at the peril of his lie, than to forsake God his Lord; wherefore he also commanded his son, to fear God all his life, and never to let his will be set to sin, or to transgress the commandments of God his Lord. Tobit 1:18; 4:5. Eleazar, the pious Israelite would rather die for the law of God, than act contrary to it; yea, than to dissimulate once, and thus cause offense in Israel. The mother and her'seven sons were so ardent in the love of God, that they were not afraid of all the tyranny of the wicked king, nor would they act contrary to the law of God, but much rather suffer a severe death for it. II Macc. 7. Yea, how many saints and witnesses of Jesus Christ are still hated, persecuted and slain by the Babylonian whore, because they will not drink of the wine of her fornication, or have fellowship with her idolatrous works.

Therefore all hypocritical saints, all wicked hypocrites, who boast of being called Christians, yet will not suffer for the name of Christ, may well be ashamed. Christ may justly say to them: If I be your Lord, why do you not keep My commandments? if I be your Master, why do you not hear and believe My words? Mal. 1:6; Luke 6:46. Well then, let all hypocrites, and falsely prudent, unfaithful servants, and falsely wise disciples of Jesus Christ, depart from their Lord and Master, we nevertheless, through the grace of God, intend to adhere to Christ, and are ready to suffer for His sake, even as He suffered for our sakes. But He suffered as Lord, and we as disciples; hence we servants and disciples must not bear the cross reluctantly seeing our Lord and Master Himself bore it.

In the third place, we must follow Jesus, but not as did many Jews, who followed Him, because they had eaten of the loaves; which, alas! many false Christians still do, who join the Christian church, not because they truly seek Christ Jesus, not because they love the truth, but that they may be aided and fed by the Christian church (whom they perceive to be the most charitable). But to follow Christ in this manner is nothing but a mockery of God, and Christ will not have such followers, as we may clearly understand from the case of the scribe whom Christ condemned, because he wanted to follow Him from covetousness; for the Lord beheld the heart o£ the scribe, and therefore did not answer him according to his words, but according to his thoughts, saying: "The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head." Matt. 8:20; Luke 9:58. Just as if Jesus had intended to say: If you will follow me, follow me in the manner in which I go before you. For Christ well knew his intention, namely, that he wanted to follow Him for gain, and thought that Christ should give him power to perform wonderful signs and miracles, as He had given to His apostles, by which he might have sought gain. But such designs are not good, and cannot succeed; for the Lord Himself was poor (Zech. 9:9), as He declares: If I the Lord and Master am poor, it is evident that My servants are poor, and that My disciples do not seek or desire riches. As though the good Lord had meant to say: He that would follow Me, must follow Me in the poverty in which I walk before Him. But, alas! many people at the present day think that gain is godliness, as Paul says (I Tim. 6:5), and, under the semblance of the Gospel and the Christian name, seek their own profit. O what perverted men! who will not go in the right way, but follow the way of the traitor and thief Judas, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; when he received the awful punishment of his wickedness, as everyone know. Matt. 27:6; Mark 14:18; John 12:4. O what blinded men, who can not take to heart that Ananias and Sapphira were put to such great shame, and punished, for their equivocation, by which the Almighty Lord God has undoubtedly given us an example, that all hypocritical and double minded men shall be thus put to shame and punished; as we find in Jesus Sirach

Woe unto those that are of a double heart, to those of wicked lips that enter the land by two ways. Therefore the wise man also teaches us, that our hearts should be without any deceit and, dissimulation, saying: "Be not obstinate, and distrust not the fear of the Lord . . . and come not unto him with a double heart. Be not a hypocrite in .the sight of men, and take ,good heed what thou speakest. Exalt not thyself, lest thou fall,,and bring dishonor upon thy soul, and so God discover thy secrets, and cast thee down, in the midst of the congregation, because thou camest not in truth to the fear of the Lord, but thy heart is, full of deceit."; Sir. 1:28-30.

O that all hypocrites would earnestly consider the words of Jesus. Sirach, and reform, before they be confounded and punished by God, which shall be done to all the double minded, if not now, yet in the day of judgment, when the .ungodly shall not stand, nor sinners remain in the congregation of the righteous. Ps. 1:5. Then.,Christ_ will bring to light what is now in darkness, and make manifest the counsels o£ the hearts; yea, He will take the fan into His hand, and purge His floor, and, gather the wheat into the garner, but the chaff will He burn up with unquenchable fire. Matt. 3:12; Luke 3:17. Hence, let everyone beware of hypocrisy; and let him truly follow Christ Jesus, as is proper, not with the Jews, for the sake of the loaves, nor with the scribe, from covetousness. But, O ye Christians, follow Christ, your Lord and Master with a pure heart, a clean conscience, unfeigned faith, and ardent love, without turning to the right or to. the left. But those who follow Christ Jesus. differently, are among good Christians what chaff is among the wheat, and their end will be everlasting fire, from which the Almighty Father preserve us through Jesus Christ.,


Moreover, we must, from ardent love, follow Jesus Christ even unto the end, and not do as did some of His disciples, who forsook Him, and became offended at His words, saying: "This is a hard saying; who can hear it?" John 6:60. O how many are unwilling to hear the divine words of our Lord Jesus Christ, yea, rave, when told that Christ Jesus promises tribulation and suffering.  to all His servants and disciples. ,From a stony, heart and an embittered mind they say: Must one always suffer? Must one always. be ,persecuted? This is a hard .saying; who can hear it? O God, how is the sweet honey changed into gall, and the clear wine into bitter water,! Alas!how have they come to loathe that precious, heavenly bread, and how has the eternal medicine, by which every soul must be healed, become a deadly poison to them!And how do men who will not believe the Word of God, nor receive the holy doctrine, of our Lord Jesus Christ, condemn the comforting Gospel, which has been sent us from heaven through the Holy Ghost, and sealed by Christ with His own precious blood; but if a lying prophet comes, a messenger prophesying of temporal peace and happiness, though it never comes to pass, he is heard, while the good Lord Jesus Christ, who has promised us the eternal peace of His heavenly kingdom, can not ,obtain a hearing; so that it is as Christ said to the Pharisees: "I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive." John 5:43. Yea, many now do as did the rebellious and unbelieving Israelites, who forsook God the Lord, who had delivered them out of Egypt, and desired other gods for leaders and protectors. Num. 14:2; Ex. 32:1; Acts 7:39. Thus also now many Christians forsake Jesus, who has freed them from the power and tyranny of Satan, and. delivered them from the jaws of, the lions, who devoured them; yea, had hastened with them in the way to eternal damnation, utterly to destroy them. Then Christ delivered them, and placed them again in the way of eternal salvation. John 1:29. Many now forsake the good Shepherd, who spared not. His life for our sakes, but delivered.it unto death, because of the great love which He had to us; and trust in men, of whom the prophet says that their assistance availeth not, and they cannot help; for their breath must go forth and return to the earth, and the thoughts of all them that put their trust in men and follow false prophets, who delight in unrighteousness shall perish. Hence all pious Christians must follow no other than Christ Jesus, who, as Peter says, suffered for us, leaving us an example, that we should follow His steps. I Peter 2:21. The same is declared also by Paul, with these words

"Let us lay aside all guile and hypocrisy, and the besetting sin, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him; endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God:" Heb. 12:1, 2; Mark 16:19. In these words of the apostles we may perceive, that we are to follow Jesus Christ, and look to Him as the Captain of the faith, the Bishop and Shepherd of our souls, yea, the good Lord and Master, who has given an example to all His servants and disciples, that they must suffer even as He suffered. Heb. 2:10; John 10:11; I Peter 2:25: But, O God, how much Christ had to suffer! He who was Lord of heaven and earth became so poor for our sakes, that He had not where to rest, or lay His head when He was in the. form of God, He humbled Himself, and took upon Him the form of a servant (Phil. 2:6, 7; John 13:5), that He might serve us, and gave His life for our redemption; yea, though He was the eternal wisdom of the Father, who upholds all things by the word of His power, He had nevertheless to hear. the Pharisees call Him a flatterer and deceiver of the people, a sinner, yea, a demoniac and madman, and many other abominable blasphemies, reproaches and mockeries; in short, though He was the only begotten Son of God, the Almighty Father, yet He was counted a malefactor, and had to die the most bitter death, so that Isaiah could well say of Him: "He hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our grief s, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities." Isa. 53:2-5. Hence He could justly say

"I restored that which I took not away. For, for my friends' sake I have suffered pain; shame hath covered my face. I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother's children. And I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none. They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink. All they that see me, laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head. They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and roaring lion. I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels. My strength is dried up like a potsherd.; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death. For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have enclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet. I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me. They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture." Ps. 69:4, 7, 8, 20, 21; 22:7, 13-18; Matthew 27:34; Matt. 15:23; John 19:23. Yea, as He says through the prophet: "I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people." Ps. 22:6. Yea, my beloved brethren, God the heavenly Father laid the chastisement of our peace upon Him; for by His stripes we are healed. All we went astray, as sheep that have no shepherd; we have turned everyone to his own way; but the Lord laid on Him the iniquity of us all. "He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth." I Peter 2:24, 25; Isaiah 53:5-7; Acts 8:32.


Are you pious Christians? Then consider what Christ Jesus suffered for us poor sinners; the Lord for His servants, the Master for His disciples, the Shepherd for H'is sheep, yea, God for men. I Peter 4:1; John 10:11; Ezek. 34:23. O deep humility of the Master, that He would serve His disciples, and give Himself unto death for theml John 13:5. O great grace of the Lord, that He would suffer so much for His servants! O infinite righteousness of the Shepherd, who would give His life for His sheep I John 10:11; 17:9. O unspeakable love of God to us poor mortals, that He would redeem us by His own precious blood: This every Christian should at all times remember, and feel grateful to Jesus Christ for these benefits, not only with words but also with works. But alas! some have gone so far, that they can indeed talk of Christ, that He suffered and atoned for us, and are desirous also of partaking of the redemption purchased for us with the blood of Christ; but they never once think of suffering with Christ Jesus, though they nevertheless hope to be .glorified with Him. But it is a faithful saying, says Paul, that if we are dead with Christ, we shall also live with Him; if we suffer with Him, we shall also rejoice with Him. forever; if we deny Him, He also will deny us. II Tim. 2:11, 12; Rom. 6:23; Luke 12:9. Let all apostate Christians, who return to the Roman Babylon, from which they had separated, and make friendship with the whore whom they had hated bear this in mind. What shall we say to such unstable persons? How can men who once knew the truth be so blinded as to depart from Christ Jesus their only Saviour, and return to the infamous accursed whore of Babylon, the mother of all unrighteousness, and queen of all the children of unbelief and cursing, who has become their comfort and protection, yea, their idol. Woe unto such perverse men, who depart from righteousness, from light to darkness, from life to death, and go from Jesus Christ to antichrist, seeking consolation from Satan, and not in God. Woe unto such fearful ones, who fear those who can kill only the body, more than God, the Almighty Lord, who can cast both body and soul into eternal damnation. Revelation 21:8; Matt. 10:28; Luke 12:4, 5. Woe unto such, that they were ever born unless they remarkably amend their ways and go out of Babylon; for the Scripture says not in vain: "Go ye out of the midst of Babylon, my people, and touch not the unclean thing, that ye be not partakers of her plagues, or sins." Isa. 52:11; II Cor. 6:17; Revelation 18:4. These are the clear words of the Lord; Who can blot them out? Who can endure the stings of a guilty conscience? let him begin as he may, he will find it a hard undertaking, and shall not be successful in it. Acts 9:5; 5:5.


Here also no excuse will avail, as is clearly shown in the parable of the wicked servant, who, out of fear, had buried his Lord's pound into the earth, but was not heard when he wanted to excuse himself to his lord. Matt. 25:26; Luke 19:22. By this wicked servant we understand all the fearful, who are not fruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, and relish and seek all earthly things more than heavenly things. They may excuse themselves as ever they will, their excuse shall not avail, but eternal damnation will be their recompense; for every tree which does not bring forth good fruit, shall be hewn down, and cast into the fire. There must be fruits; leaves alone will not avail. Matt. 21:19. Christ is our example; He practiced and taught. He taught His disciples to suffer and endure, for He Himself suffered and endured; hence Paul teaches us to look unto Christ Jesus, saying: "Consider him (Christ Jesus), ye Christians, that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself; lest ye be wearied, and faint in your minds. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin. And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: for whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection to the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness." Heb. 12:3-10; Prov. 3:11; Rev. 3:19.

By these words the apostle indicates to us, how necessary and profitable chastisement is for us, yea, so necessary and profitable that we can not be children of God unless we are chastened by our God and heavenly Father, as is clearly declared in these words: "For what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards and not sons." With this accord the words of Judith, namely: that Abraham was tried by many tribulations, and became the friend of God; so also Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and all that pleased God were found faithful through many tribulations. Judith 8:26. But those who did not receive their trial in the fear of the Lord, and showed their impatience and the evil of their murmurings against the Lord, were destroyed by the destroyer, and killed by the serpents. I Cor. 10:6; N um. 21:6. Therefore, as gladly as we have God for our Father, so readily must we receive the chastisement of our heavenly Father; and as unwillingly as we would be counted bastards by God, so unwillingly must we also be to be without chastisement and correction, and so willing must we also be to be tried by tribulation. In short, as much as we love God and the salvation of our souls, and as much as we fear the punishment of God, so cheerfully must we receive all sufferings imposed upon us by God,  and remember that Christ says: "He that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, cannot be my disciple." Matt. 10:38; 16:24; Mark 8:54; Luke 9:23. Also: Whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever loses his life in this world, for the Gospel's sake, shall save it forever. Where now are the false Christians, who do not lose their life for Christ's sake, and still think to keep it in eternity? Yea, so Saul thought that he could please the Israelites, and still remain the friend of God; but God rejected him for his double mindedness. I Sam. 15:26. Thus they may also think to save their temporal life, and still obtain eternal life; but they shall find themselves disappointed in their hope. O Lord God, how can men be so blinded as to so love this transient life, seeing they know neither the day nor hour when they must die; even as the apostle James says that this life is but a vapor, which appears for a little time, and then vanishes away. Jesus Sirach also says that our life, compared wit the days of eternity, is as dust or as a grain o sand to all the sand of the sea, or as a drop of water unto all the water of the sea. What then i man 1 and what is his beauty? or what are his possessions on which he would rely?

Since then our life is so uncertain and brief, i is a lamentable matter, that men take so muc care for it, and bestow so little thought upon the eternal life. This is partly owing to false teacher and deceitful laborers, the adversaries of Chris and His apostles, who openly teach that Christian are not to suffer any more.

They shall be confounded with their people, wh prophesy lies in the name of the Lord; they shal be punished with Zedekiah and Ahab who shame fully sin, and seduce the Israel of God, causin them to trust in vain things. They shall be put t shame with the Egyptian magicians, who now resis the truth, even as they resisted Moses. They shal be accursed with Balaam the son of Bosor, wh with him forsake the right way, and go in crooke paths; yea, they shall sink into hell with Dathan Korah, and Abiram, who with them caused conten tion and offence in the church of God, and despis the godly doctrine of Jesus Christ, by which the awaken, the wrath of the Almighty God, and treas ure up unto themselves the wrath of God agains the day when Christ Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that knew not God, an obeyed not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Chris (Rom. 2:5; Matt. 25:31; II Peter 3:4; II Thess 1:7-10); who shall suffer pain and everlastin destruction from the presence of the Lord, whet He shall come to be glorified in His glory, an glorified in all them that believe in Him. Isa. 2:10 Wisd. 5:2.

Now, who are these unbelievers, who do not be lieve the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and shall therefor suffer everlasting pain? They are those who no do not observe the commandments of Jesus Chris and will not suffer for the name of God, or confes the truth according to the instruction of the Gospel hence Christ shall also not confess them, or kno them before His Father, and before His angel with whom He shall come from heaven, to punis such unfaithful and fearful servants, and to glori fy the faithful and valiant soldiers, who have com out of great tribulation, and have washed and puri fied their robes in the blood of the Lamb. Mat 10:33; Mark 8:38; Luke 9:26; II Tim. 2:12 Matt. 25:31; Rev. 7:14. Therefore are they befor the throne of God, and serve Him day and night i His temple: and He that sitteth on the throne sha dwell among them. They shall hunger no mor neither thirst any more; neither shall the su tighten them, nor any heat. For the Lamb whic is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, an shall lead them unto living fountains of water and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.




Rev. 7:15-17; Isa. 49:10. The prophet Esdras says: "I Esdras saw upon the mount Sion a great people, whom I could not number, and they all praised the Lord with songs. And in the midst of them there was a young man of high stature, taller than all the rest, and upon every one of their heads he set crowns, and was more exalted; which I marveled at greatly. So I asked the angel, and said, Sir, What are these? He answered and said unto me, These be they that have put off the mortal clothing, and put on the immortal, and have confessed the name of God: now are they crowned, and receive palms. Then said I unto the angels, What young person is it that crowneth them, and giveth them palms into their hands? So he answered and said unto me, It is the Son of God, whom they have confessed in the world. Then began I greatly to commend them that stood so stiffly for the name of the Lord." II Esdras 2:42-47; Matt. 16:16; 10:32; Mark 8:29.

O what joy and glory are prepared for all pious Christians 1 Who now is so faint hearted and fearful, as to be unwilling to suffer a little for such joy and glory? It is indeed true, that suffering and tribulation are hard for the flesh; but we must remember the words of Paul: "Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous; nevertheless, afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby." Heb. 12:11. Christ says the same to His apostles: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice; and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world. And ye now therefore have sorrow; but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you." John 16:20-22; Isa 26:17.

Behold, all ye believers, who now suffer tribulation, anguish and persecution for the truth, for a little season, consider these words, and take comfort: do not let it terrify or grieve you, and though tribulation is not pleasing to the flesh, remember that for a little sorrow you shall receive eternal joy; yea, remember that it is written: "The souls of the righteous are in the hand of God, and there shall no torment touch them. In the sight of the unwise they seem to die; and their departure is taken for misery, and their going from. us to be utter destruction: but they are in peace. For though they be punished in the sight of men, yet is their hope full of immortality, and having been a little chastised they shall be greatly rewarded for God proved them, and found them worthy for himself. As gold in the furnace hath he tried them, and received them as a burnt offering. And in the time of their visitation, they shall shine, and run to and fro like sparks among the stubble. They shall judge the nations and have dominion over the people, and their lord shall reign forever. They that put their trust in him shall understand the truth: and such as be faithful in love shall abide with him: for grace and mercy is to his saints.'." Wisd. 3:1-9; Deut. 33:3; Phil. 1:21; Wisd. 5:1; I Peter 1:7; Matt. 13:43; I Cor. 6:2. Oh, what beautiful promises are these for all that are persecuted for the truth; and how comforting are the promises made to us by Christ in the Gospel, namely that we are blessed when we mourn, for we shall be comforted; and that we are blessed when we are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for the kingdom of heaven is ours; in short, that we are blessed when men shall despise and revile us, and say all manner of evil against us falsely, for Christ Jesus' sake; then shall we rejoice and be exceeding glad: for great is our reward in heaven. Matt. 5:4, 10-12; Luke 6:22; I Peter 2:20. Yea, great is our reward, as Isaiah tells us: "that eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him." Isa. 64:4; I Cor. 2:9. And the prophet David says: "O Lord, how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men!" Ps. 31:19.

But how few now labor for this great glory? It is as represented in the parable of the Lord, where it is said that the householder prepared a supper to which he invited many, for all things were ready. But one had bought a farm, and had to go and see it. Another had bought five yoke of oxen, which he must needs go to prove. Another had married a wife, and therefore could not come. But when the householder heard of this, he was wroth, and said that none of those who would not come should taste of his supper. Matt. 22:2; Luke 14:16; Revelation 19:7. Oh, what severe judgment and sentence is uttered against all those who will not come, despising the call of the Lord, and loving anything rather than God; that is, those who for father, mother, brother, sister, wife, child, wealth, poverty, praise, or reproach, forsake God, and do not obey His voice; yea, who do not count all earthly things and excellence, but dung, that they may win Jesus Christ, even as Paul did, and also the Hebrews of whom the apostle says that they took joyfully the spoiling of their goods, knowing that they had in heaven a better and enduring substance. Matthew 10:37; Phil. 3:8; Heb. 10:35. But, O God, how little do men now regard heavenly things. Oh, how little do they think, what difference there will be between the righteous and the wicked. Yea, there will be such a difference as the Lord has declared through Isaiah. "Behold, my servants shall eat but ye shall be hungry; behold, my servants shall drink, but ye shall be thirsty; behold, my servants shall rejoice, but ye shall be ashamed; behold, my servants shall sing for joy of heart, but ye shall cry for sorrow of heart, and shall howl for vexation of spirit." Isa. 65:13. 14. Hence Christ says in the Gospel:




"There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth; when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob; and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out." Luke 13:28. Oh, how glad shall the pious Christians then be, who fight valiantly for the name of Christ, and through Him overcome. Yea, how glad, say we, will they be, when they shall receive the beautiful promise of which the Spirit of God says: "To him that over= cometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God. Fear none of. those things which thou shalt suffer; behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. To him that overcometh, will I give to eat of the hidden manna; and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it. And he that overcometh and keepeth my words unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations and he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers even as I received of my Father. And I will give him the morning star. He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God; and the name of the city of my God, which is New Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven f rom my God: and I will write upon him my new name. As many as I love, I will rebuke and chasten; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcome, and am set down with my Father in his throne." Rev. 2:7, 10, 17, 26-28; 3:5, 10-12, 19=21; Prov. 3:12. Yea, my beloved brethren, that  they shall shine as the sun in the kingdom of their Father, and possess all things.


Oh, how sorrowful will the persecutors of the Christians be, when the righteous God will mete to them with the same measure with which they measured to the Christians. Where shall murderous Cain then hide himself, when the sorrowful and innocent blood of righteous Abel shall cry unto God for vengeance against him? Where shall the BabyIonian whore, who now sits in her pleasure house and pomp, and has become drunken with the blood of His saints, and of the martyrs of Christ Jesus, escape the punishment of God, when the Lord will avenge the blood of His saints and witnesses, and require it at her hands? Which shall undoubtedly come to pass, as has been said through the prophet

"Behold, the innocent and righteous blood crieth unto me, and the souls of the just complain continually. And therefore, saith the Lord, I will surely avenge them, and receive unto me all the innocent blood from among them:" II Esd. 15:8; 9. Christ says: "Shall not the God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily." Luke 18:7, 8. Oh, how fearful will the punishment be, with which the Almighty God will avenge all the blood of His saints! How dearly had tyrannous Pharaoh to pay for the blood, of the innocent children, which he had shed! Ex. 1:22; 14:28. How severely was Amalek punished, because he had shed the innocent blood of the Israelites! I Sam. 15:33. The bloodthirsty Jezebel was thrown into the field, so that the dogs licked her blood, because she had shed innocent blood. II Kings 9:33. O Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets that are sent to thee, and stonest the Levites, thou art therefore trodden down by the Gentiles, and art become a sport unto all nations! Thus shall God punish those who now shed innocent blood, and it shall come to pass as is written in the book' of Wisdom: "Then shall the righteous man stand in great boldness before the face of such as have afflicted him, and made no account of his' labors. When they see it, they shall be troubled with terrible fear, and shall be amazed at the strangeness of his salvation, so far beyond all that they looked for. And they repenting and groaning for anguish of spirit shall say within themselves: This was he; whom we had sometimes in derision, and a proverb of reproach: we fools accounted his life madness, and his end to be without honor: How is he numbered among the children of God, and his lot is among the saints! Therefore have 'we erred from the way of truth, and the light of righteousness bath not shined unto us, and the sun of righteousness rose not upon us. We wearied ourselves in the way of wickedness and destruction: yea, we have gone through deserts, where they lay no way, but as for the way of the Lord, we have not known it. What hath pride profited us? or what good hath riches with our vaunting brought us?" Wisd. 5:1-8.


All these things shall they say; who are in hell, having sinned: "For the hope of the ungodly is like dust that is blown away with the wind; like a thin froth that is driven away with the storm; like as the smoke which is dispersed here and there with the tempest, and passeth away as the remembrance of a guest that tarrieth but a day. But the righteous live forever more; their reward also is with the Lord, and the care of them is with the Most High. Therefore shall they receive a glorious kingdom, and a beautiful crown from the Lord's hand: for with his right hand shall he sever them, and with his arm shall he protect them." Wisd. 5:14-16. O unfathomable grace of the Almighty,God 1 O unspeakable,  love of the heavenly Father, how abounding is Thy grace, and how infinite is Thy goodness, that Thou hast prepared such glory for Thine elect? Who. can thank Thee aright for all the benefits which Thou hast so richly shown us, and.dost still daily show? Blessed be Thy name forever. Therefore we pray, and admonish  all pious Christians, all who love their .salvation, to deny themselves, to take up their cross, and to follow Christ Jesus, and thus to  do the will of God, that we may receive the promise. Let no one be afraid of or terrified by the ungodly, tyrants; but let each do as Matthias taught his sons, saying

"Now, therefore, my sons, be ye zealous for the law, and give your lives for the covenant of your fathers. Call to remembrance what acts our fathers did in their time; so shall ye receive great honor and an everlasting name. Fear not then the words of a sinful man: for his glory shall be dung and worms. Today he shall be lifted up, and tomorrow he shall not be found, because he is returned into his dust, and his thought is come to nothing. Wherefore, ye my sons, be valiant, and show yourselves men in behalf of, the law; for by it shall ye obtain glory." I Macc. 2:50, 51, 62-64.

O ye pious Christians, take these words of God to heart, and arm yourselves therewith, to do battle for righteousness, even unto death, and God shall fight for you and subdue your enemies. "And fear not them who are able to kill the body, and after that, have no more that they can do; but fear the Almighty God, the righteous Lord and ,judge; who is able to cast soul and body into eternal perdition:" Matt. 10:28; Luke 12:4, 5. Him alone let us fear, and walk in His ways, serving Him in holiness .and righteousness all the days of our life; yea, suffering death for His name, that we may say with Paul: "I have, fought a good fight, I.have finished my course, I ave kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord Christ shall give me." II Tim. 4:7, 8. May God, the Father of mercy, and the God of all comfort, by whom it is. given unto us,  not only, to believe on Him, but also to suffer for His nae, strengthen, confirm and establish us with His Holy Spirit, that we may not become weary of suffering for the truth, but continue steadfast unto the end, and rejoice with all the pious and true saints, when we are reviled and persecuted for the name of Christ Jesus. This grant us the Almighty Father, through Jesus Christ His only begotten Son,. our Saviour, unto whom be glory, majesty, blessing, the kingdom, and everlasting dominion, Amen.


Be manful, strong and very courageous, to keep and do all things, even the words and the law of God. Depart not therefrom, neither to the right nor to the left; add not thereto, nor take away therefrom, that you may act wisely. Whithersoever you go, be not terrified, and fear not, for the Lord your God is with you, when you pass through the waters, or into the fire; and though through hypocrisy or dissimulation you may now evade pain and punishment, you can neither alive nor dead escape the power of Almighty God. I Pet. 3:14; II Macc. 6:26.

Therefore let us forsake all that is in this world, for it lieth in wickedness.; and let each take up his cross, and follow Jesus Christ; for He is nigh unto and with all those who are in distress, and will deliver them, and bring them to honor, if they are of a broken heart, and contrite spirit. Oh, what great comfort is it, to have such a powerful and faithful companion, and what great honor is it, that He Himself will so kindly aid us 1 But we must know that our Lord Christ Jesus is our Companion and Helper only at His own proper time, according to the counsel of the divine will and pleasure, in which He has ordered everything after one measure and weight; for even as He is the Head of the holy church, and beholds her sufferings, so He has also appointed the number, measure, and weight, how far He will permit the wicked .to go, how far they shall reach, and not longer nor farther, even as the Babylonian captivity should continue seventy years. Jer. 29:10. Yea, when, the distress, is at its height, and men think that God has utterly forsaken and forgotten them, at this very time the help of God is nearest them; yea, properly speaking, the Lord comforts before and in the midst of all affliction, for the Christian has in his heart the Spirit of God, the fountain of living water, by which he is always refreshed, comforted,. rejoiced, and made glad. John 4:10; 7:37; II Cor: 7:7. Yea, the more sufferings increase, the greater the help and aid we receive; "for God will not suffer us to be tempted above that we are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that we may be able to bear it." 1 Cor. 10:13. Behold, in these words Paul tells us for our great consolation, that God will not suffer us to be assailed or tempted above that we are able to bear; for if the sufferings of Christ abound in us, our consolation also abounds by Jesus Christ our Lord. II Cor. 1.;5.


As a captain makes his soldiers valiant by encouraging words and promises, how then should not the true and faithful God make us manful and strong by His divine Word of the Gospel, which is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth. Rom. 1:16. Yea, the righteous God does not stop at mere words, but is present with us with His Spirit, who, as an  earnest, assures our hearts of His divine grace and help, and strengthens our weakness. Eph. 1:13; Gal. 4:6; Rom. 8:23; II Cor. 1:22. For if the devil, by his lying spirit, so animates men, that they are  perfectly willing to commit wickedness, though it cost their life; why should not the grace of God, by, His true Spirit, make us equally ready unto every good work, in all distresses and tribulations? This the gracious God also does, not only through His Spirit, but also through angels, stars, elements, beasts, men, and all manner of creatures. For  instance, Elisha said to his servant: "Fear not: for, they that ~be with us are more than they that come against us." II Kings 6:16. The Red Sea and Jordan divided, so that the children of Israel passed through them dry shod. The sun and the moon stood still for Joshua at the time when he defeated the five kings. Elijah was miraculously fed by the ravens. The children of Israel were delivered by the hand of a woman from their wicked enemies. Judith 14

18. Gad the Lord generally comforts men through their fellows: for all the saints and Christians on earth have fellowship with one another, in adversity as well as in prosperity; for when one suffers pain and grief, he suffers it not alone, but Christ and all Christians suffer it with him. For He says in the Gospel: Ye have fed, clothed, entertained, and comforted me. And all Christians are one body, one bread, one drink in the Lord Christ Jesus. Acts 9:4; Matt. 25:35; I Cor. 10:17.

Now if Christ Jesus our Lord frequently spent whole nights in prayer, and also prayed in the garden before His death, we should also pray without ceasing, especially in our distress, to the Father of lights, from whom alone is every good and perfect gift, that He may forgive our sins, for the death of His clear Son, who was delivered for our offenses, and was raised for our justification. Matt. 14:23; Luke 6:12; Matt. 26:36; Mark 14:32; Luke 22:41; I Thess. 5:17; Jas. 1:17; Rom. 4:25.

Hence we are to pray that He would deliver, or punish us, not according to our judgment, but according to His divine wisdom, lest we utterly perish. Yea, we must give praise and thanks to God also in our tribulation, that He do not forget us, but chasten us according to His fatherly mercy, and graciously help us to bear every burden, even as Paul thanked God in his affliction, saying

"Blessed be God, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort; who comforteth us in all our tribulation. Amen." I Cor. 1:3, 4.


PRAYER


Merciful Father; look upon me with eyes of compassion, as Thou didst look upon the prodigal son; for to Thee only, O Father, belongs praise and honor, but unto us nothing but shame before Thy face; hepce, good Father, I commit soul and body into The divine and gracious keeping: guide me, through Jesus Christ Thy dear Son, into all things that are well pleasing to Thy divine Spirit; and bring to folly and madness the counsel of the ungodly, and preserve us by Thy divine Word now and forever. Amen.

Composed by WALTER OF STOELWIJCK.

________________


DIRK PIETERS KROOD, PIETER TRIJNES, CLASS RO;

DERS, PIETER CLASS JANS, OF WORMER, IN

WATERLANDT


The Word of God having, according to His will, been proclaimed in many and various countries, and attested and confirmed by the blood of many Christians, it came to and was accepted also at


--

--


Wormer, in North Holland, where, among others, there were Dirk Pieters Krood, Pieter Trijnes, Claes Roders, Pieter Claes Jans. These turned their ears away from the papistic fables, amended their corrupt life, and, in place thereof, through the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, willingly received the Word of God into their hearts, and regulated their whole conduct according to it. I Thess. 2:13. And even as Christ predicted: "The time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service" (John 16:2), so it was also very clearly manifested in the case of the aforesaid persons; for because they lived according to the Word of God, they were brought prisoners to Enchuysen, and being built upon Christ, they all remained steadfast and faithful in all this trial and severe temptation; for which reason they were sentenced to death at said place, and offered up their bodies as a sweet savor to the Lord, thus obtaining a glorious crown.

With regard to this offering, we have not been able to ascertain the year in which it took place.


JACOB AND SELI HIS WIFE, OF WORMER, A. D. 1542


Among many others who voluntarily forsook and delivered up their property and life for the truth of the holy Gospel, there were also a brother at Wormer, in Waterlandt, named Jacob, and his wife Seli. These sought and also found the pearl of great price, which was hid in a field and for joy thereof renounced all earthly riches, the lusts of this world, and the papal superstitions, which militate against God, and sought to order and regulate their whole life according to this precious treasure of the divine Word. Thus it came to pass, that the envious papists, in order to stop this, apprehended them, and brought them to Amsterdam, where they had to suffer much for the truth. And as they could by no temptation be moved from it, but unto death adhered to Christ and His holy Word, they were condemned to death at said place, and burned, suffering it with great steadfastness. Thus they delivered their bodies up to the fire, and commended their souls into the hands of God, and are now waiting under the altar, until the number of their fellow brethren will be fulfilled.


JAN EGTWERCKEN, CLASS MELISS, AECHT MELISS,

WILLIAM HER HUSBAND, HEYNE WALINGS,

TRIJN AMKERS, CORNELIS LUYTS, CLASS

DIRKS, CLASS CLAESS, AND JONKER

DIRK GERRITS VAN DEN BUSCH,

NEAR KROMMENIERSDIJCK,

A. D. 1542


As the Word of God was proclaimed in many places, and received with great thankfulness by many, it was also heard, believed and accepted in Waterlandt, on Krommeniersdijck. It wrought so effectually, that some were by it drawn away from their sinful life and dumb idols, and converted to the true and living God; which, among others, appeared in the case of Jan Egtwercken, Claes Meliss, Aecht Meliss, William her husband, Heyne Walings, Trijn Amkers, Cornelis Luyts, Ciaes Dirks, Claes Claess, and Jonker Dirk Gerrits van den Busch. These together separated from the pope and his adherents, and put themselves under the faithful Shepherd Christ Jesus, inclining their ears to His heavenly voice, and preparing their bodies for His service. Rev. 18:4; II Cor. 6:17; John 10:4; 15:20. And as Christ predicted the cross and persecution to His faithful followers, so the abovementioned persons also richly experienced it; for they were apprehended and tormented by the bloodthirsty papists, and, after suffering many assaults, put to death, all of which they suffered in patience for the name of Jesus, thus obtaining the crown of life; and are now waiting for the revelation of Jesus, their Saviour for their full and eternal reward.


BALTHASAR HUBMOR, AND HIS WIFE


At the time of Zwinglius there was also one Balthasar Hubmor of Friedberg, whom the papists called a doctor of the Holy Scriptures, a learned and eloquent man. He was first a teacher and preacher at Ingolstadt, and subsequently came to Reinsburg, where he preached mightily against the Jews and their usury. Through the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, the abomination of popery was made manifest to him, in consequence of which he, according to the counsel of God, separated therefrom. Subsequently he rejected, together with other errors, the self invented infant baptism, and taught with all his might the baptism of believers, as commanded by Christ. But as the eyes of this dark world can not bear the clear light of the holy Gospel, and since in this way their false faith and evil works are testified against, the above mentioned Balthasar Hubmor, together with many others, was hated and persecuted by the world. After many temptations, expulsions and imprisonments, he came to Nichlasburg, in Moravia. Afterwards they apprehended him and his wife, and brought them to Vienna, in Austria, where, after manifold trials and long imprisonment, he was burned to ashes, suffering it with great steadfastness, and his wife drowned; and thus both steadfastly confirmed with their death the faith which they had received from God. Eph. 2:8.


Read also Sebastian Franck, on the Roman Heretics, letter B.


NOTE.=This Balthasar Hubmor published a small book, in which he complains of Zwinglius and his followers. He writes that they brought about, that at one time twenty persons, men, pregnant women, widows, and young girls were miserably cast into a dark tower, and this sentence passed upon them, that they should never more, in their lifetime, see either sun or moon, and conclude their last days on bread and water; so that they all,. dead and alive, should remain and decay together in the dark tower, until none should be left alive.

Thus some did not taste a morsel of bread for three days in order that the others might have something wherewith to sustain their lives.

"O God," he further writes, "what a terrible, severe, and rigorous sentence against pious Christian people, of whom none could say any evil thing, only that they, according to the command of Christ, had received water baptism!"


O ' sad def ormation, we say, of the so called Reformed! May the Lord forgive them and be gracious to their blindly zealous souls. See com;plaint o f Balthasar Hubinor, against Zwinglius, throughout; also, the Preface to the O f erboeck, A. D. 1615, letter I., etc., also, Chron. van den Ondergdng, etc., p. 1031, col. 2.


LEONARD BERNKOP, A. D. 1542


In the year 1542, Brother Leonard Bernkop was apprehended for the faith, at Salzburg. Much was tried to induce him to apostatize, but as he steadfastly persevered in the narrow way of the truth of God, and there was no hope that he would apostatize; they condemned him to death, led him out to the place of execution, and built a fire close to him, at which they immediately roasted him; but he adhered firmly to the Lord, and said to the bloodhounds and executioners: "This side is roasted enough; turn me around, and scorch and roast also the other; for through the power of God this suffering is insignificant in comparison with the eternal." Rom. 8:18. Thus he gained the victory over the beast and his image, over the abomination of desolation and his mark. Rev. 15:2. Rather than receive his mark, or do aught which was contrary to God His heavenly Father, he, like the seven valiant and God fearing sons (II Macc. 7), gave his body to be roasted and executed by fire, which could in no wise separate him from the love of God (Rom. 8:39), hence he shall also have in his hands the harp of God, and, together with all conquerors in the faith, who have come out of great tribulation, shall have his mouth filled with laughter, and his tongue with praise, and shall sing the new song with the servants of God, and the song of the Lamb, yea, he shall forever behold the Almighty God. Rev. 15:2; 7:14; 14:3. I Cor. 13:12.


HANS HUBER, A. D. 1542


In this year, Brother Hans Huber, or Schumacher, was imprisoned at Waserburg, in Bavaria, under the Count of Oting. Much having been resorted to, to draw him from the faith, but he remaining quite steadfast, constantly confessing and testifying, that this wherein he stood was the true ground of truth, and the true faith in Christ Jesus our Saviour wherefore he also said that it was not hard for him to suffer this for Christ's sake, and was sentenced to death, and led out to the place of execution. The fire having reached his face,so that his hair and beard were singed off, they asked him whether he would recant, and they would let him live. He, however, would not recant, but remained steadfast in Christ. Hence he was immediately burnt alive, and thus faithfully paid his baptismal vow unto the Lord Christ, and delivered up his life as a true burntoffering for the Word of God; for he would rather lose this temporal life, than become unfaithful to the Lord, thus showing himself to be a steadfast lover of God.


DAMIAN OF ALGAU, A. D. 1543


About this time, a brother named Damian, from Algau, was apprehended at Ingolstadt, in order to draw him away from the faith; but when he could in no wise be turned from it, he was condemned to death. On his way to the place of execution, he admonished the people, and gave answer concerning his faith, so that a student said that one of two things was certain: that this man had his faith either from the wicked devil, Or from the Spirit of God, since his knowledge was so extensive, because to all appearance he was a!!!!simple man. Someone also admonished him, and asked him whether he would die as a pious Christian.

He replied. "Yes."

He again asked him: "What sign will you give us by which we may know this?"

The brother said: "Pay attention when they burn me; the smoke shall ascend straight to heaven."

This also came to pass.

When he was executed, the executioner. inquired the direction of the smoke, whether he had justly executed him. The judge answered: "You have, executed him according to your pleasure; I did not judge." Thus this witness of God and Christ obtained the martyrs' crown.


OF A CERTAIN DECREE PUBLISHED IN ALL WEST

FRIESLAND AGAINST MENNO SIMONS, AND,

CONSEQUENTLY,. AGAINST ALL AD;

HERENTS OF HIS DOCTRINE,

ABOUT A. D. 1543


In Chronijk van den Ondergang, page 1104, col.  2 and 3, we find these words

About this time the servants of antichrist caused a dreadful decree to be proclaimed throughout all West Friesland, in which all malefactors and murderers were promised pardon for their crimes, the favor of the Emperor, freedom of the country, and one hundred earl guilders, if they would deliver vlenno Simons into the hands of the tormentors and executioners.

This decree, when properly considered, indicates the extreme wickedness and tyranny of the West Friesian Regents of those times, against those who maintained or, at least favored the true faith. All malefactors and murderers, who certainly, according to the laws of the country, were subject to very severe punishment, yea, to death, because of their crimes and murders, were here accounted better than a pious Christian, who injured no one; yea, their crimes were remitted them, and over and above this, ,a large sum of money, according to that time, was promised them, merely to deliver into the hands of the criminal judges, a single person, who maintained the true doctrine. How much may we suppose would they have promised them, had they been able to exterminate all orthodox believers, and, consequently, the entire church of God? We certainly have just cause for the belief, that this came down very severely upon the heads of the true witnesses of Jesus in general; that is, on those that resided in these regions; in regard to which we shall also show in the proper place, how very unmercifully the authorities there, through the instigation of some so called spiritual persons, dealt with the innocent and defenseless sheep of the flock of Christ.


GEORGE LIBICH, AND URSULA.. HELLRIGLING,

A. D. 1544


About the year 1544, George Libich was imprisoned for the faith and the divine truth, at Filleburg, near Innsbruck, and as this is a place of particular danger because of evil spirits, as is well known; this brother therefore had much to resist, and was:greatly tempted by the Evil One (I Peter 5:9), who tempted him in visible form. He especially tried him in various ways during the first year. Once he came to him in the form of a maiden, and, wanted to embrace him. When the brother knelt `down and prayed, he put something into his way, to prevent his praying. He, also tried to take him off with him, but was not able to effect it. He further came to him in the form of a youth, and also in that of a soldier; thus trying many and various means; but when he could not accomplish anything; he went out of the tower at the top. He also told him much what happened among the church in the country; that he had conversed with such brethren. and that they had told him such and such things. But when brother George reproved him, he finally let him be in peace, and attempted but little with him afterward. But the enemy tempted him not only himself, but also though his children. Thus once there came to him one wearing the garb of a brother, and acting as one. He saluted him, saying: "The Lord be with us, my brother," and wished him peace, in order to seduce and deceive him by such craftiness. But George asked him whence and from whom he, came. He answered: "From Moravia, from the church of God." Then George asked him what message he brought, and how matters stood there. He told him that the church and the brethren were utterly driven away and dispersed; that each was separated from the rest, and that it was all over with them. Then George perceived that it was deception, reproved him for his craftiness, of which he was well aware, and drove him away by his earnest admonitions, which in all probability he did not soon forget. Over and above all this, when all temptation from Satan and his children was about to come to an end, a sister named Ursula H ellrigling, a beautiful young woman, who had also been apprehended for the faith, was put to him in prison, placed at the feet of George, and much of the tine left with him. It is easy to imagine, what the devil and his seed would have liked to see. But they [these two pious witnesses of Christ] were valiant and God fearing; and could by no allurements be moved or caused to fall.


This George Libich knew beforehand the day and year when he was to be released. There were several others imprisoned near him, who were all liberated on the same day, returned to the church, and afterwards fell asleep in the Lord.

Sister Ursula, who was imprisoned with him, through the providence of God, also obtained release, and unharmed in her faith and conscience, returned to the church, and there fell asleep in the Lord.


MARIA VAN BECKUM, AND URSULA, HER BROTH;

ER'S WIFE, A. D. 1544


In the year 1544, there was a sister in the Lord, named Maria van Beckum, whom her mother had driven from home on account of her faith. This. having become known in the Bishopric* of Utrecht, and reported to the Stadtholder, he sent one Goossen van Raesveldt with many servants,. to apprehend this maiden at her brother's, John van Beckum, whither she had fled: She was compelled to rise from her bed, and accompany them; and when she saw the great number of people who had come on her account, she asked Ursula, her brother's wife, whether she would go with her and keep her company. The latter answered: "If John van Beckum is satisfied, I will gladly go with you, and we will rejoice together in the Lord." When Maria put this request to her brother, he consented, and Ursula went with her. Here love was stronger than death, and firmer than the grave. Cant. 8:6. Her mother and sister had come from Friesland to see her; but this.could not move her, she took leave of them, for she chose to suffer affliction, rather than to have worldly joy; hence she went with her sister Maria. They were together brought to Deventer. There blind leaders came to them, who with subtlety sought to win them to human institutions. But they answered: "We hold to the Word of God, and do not regard the dictates of the pope, nor the errors of the whole world." Friar Grouwel also sought to teach them much, but was not able to prove his assertions by the Scriptures.


* Province.


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----


Now as he could not overcome them, he said "The devil speaks through your mouth, away with them to the fire.".

They greatly rejoiced that they were worthy to suffer for the name of Christ, and to help bear His reproach. Acts 5:41,

They were then brought to the house at Delden; where many efforts were made to cause them to apostatize, yet all in vain. A commissary came from the court of Burgundy, who greatly extolled the mass and all the institutions of the pope; but he could not prevail against the Scriptures which they adduced. He then asked them whether they were rebaptized.' They replied: "We have been baptized once according to the command of Christ and the practice of the apostles; for there is but one true baptism, and he who receives it, has put on Christ, and leads an unblamable life through the Holy 'Ghost; in the answer of a good conscience." Eph. 4:5; Gal. 3:27; I Pet. 3:21. He also asked them, whether they believed that Christ was wholly present in the sacrament. This they considered a blind question, and said: "God will have no likeness or image, neither in heaven nor on earth (Exodus 20:4); for He says through the prophet: `I, even I am the Lord; and beside me there is no Saviour.' Isa. 43:11. But as regards the Supper, we find that Christ left it as a memorial of His death, with bread and wine; as often as we commemorate it, we are to show forth His death till He come." I Cor. 11: 26.

Now as Maria and Ursula regarded all the institutions of the pope as heresy, they were brought into open court at Delden, on the thirteenth of November, before the children of Pilate and Caiaphas, where they were sentenced to death, in which they rejoiced, praising God. When they were led to the stake, many of the people, seeing their steadfastness, wept. But they sang for joy, and said: "Weep not, on account of what is inflicted upon us." "We do not suffer," said Maria, "as witches or other criminals, but because we adhere to Christ, and will not be separated from God; hence be converted, and it shall be well with you forever."

When the time of suffering drew nigh, Maria said: "Dear sister; heaven is opened for us; for what we now suffer for a little while, we shall forever be happy with our bridegroom." They then gave each other the kiss of peace. Thereupon they prayed together to God; that He would forgive the judges , their sins, since they knew not what they were doing; and that as the world was sunk in blindness, God would have compassion on them, and receive their souls into, His eternal kingdom: They first took Maria; who entreated the authorities not to shed any more innocent blood. Then she fervently prayed to God, and also prayed for those who put her to death; whereupon she joyfully arose, and went with such great gladness to the stake, that it cannot be told, saying: "To Thee, O Christ, I have given myself; I know that I shall live with Thee forever. Therefore, O God of heaven, into Thy hands do I commend my spirit." The executioner swore because the chain did not suit him; but she said: "Friend, consider what you are doing; my body is not worthy that you should blaspheme Christ on account of it; repent, lest you burn for it in hell." The preacher, a teacher at Delden, turned Ursula around, but she turned back again, and urgently said: "Let me behold the end of my sister, for I also desire to receive the glory into which she shall enter."

After Maria was burned, they asked Ursula, whether she would not yet apostatize. "No," said she, "not for death; I will not thus forsake the eternal riches." They would also honor her with the sword, but she said: "My flesh is not too good to be burned for the name of Christ." To one of her relatives she said: "Bid John van Beckum good night, and tell him to serve God, to whom I am now about to be offered." When she came to the wood, she clasped her hands, and said: "Our Father which art in heaven." "Yea," said the priest, "there you will find Him." "Because I seek Him there," she said, "I must die this temporal death. If I should confess Him in the bread, I might live longer." When she stepped upon the wood, her foot slipped. "I think I am falling off," she said. "Stop," cried the tyrant; "she means to apostatize." "No," said she, "the block slips from under me; I will not faint in the Word of God, but constantly adhere to Christ." Thus both remained steadfast unto the end, and sealed the Word of God with their death, in great patience and boldness, leaving us a good example.


JOHN CLAESS, AND LUCAS LAMBERTS, AN OLD MAN,

CALLED GRANDFATHER; TOGETHER WITH

SEVERAL TESTAMENTS WRITTEN BY JOHN

CLAESS, WHILE IN PRISON AT AMSTER;

DAM, TO HIS WIFE, CHILDREN,

AND OTHER FRIENDS, IN

THE YEAR 1544


A testament to his wife


An affectionate salutation in the Lord, to my beloved wife, whom I no longer love after the flesh, but after the soul. Hear my admonition

You know that as long as we enjoyed prosperity with Israel according to the flesh, we were ignorant of ourselves; but now that the good Father lays His hand upon us, we feel that we are sick, weak, miserable, poor, and naked. Therefore, my dear wife, take Jesus Christ for an example, and behold the way in which He went before us, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of heaven. Jas: 5:10; II Tim. 3: 12. Forget my flesh and all your sensuality and all your carnal desires, and pray to God for faith that you may overcome. And I will willingly give myself to the Lord in the same manner as He comforts my heart by His grace. You have yet time for amendment, but I am bound to His grace, in which I trust. Hence think not of what is past, but persevere with a firm confidence in the Lord; He will help you in everything for the best; give yourself up to this and always join yourself to those who fear the Lord, for this will be for your best interests. For "blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in his law doth he meditate day and night." Ps. 1:1,2.

My beloved wife, the God fearing speak of it, and thereby men depart from evil; for by the fear of the Lord men depart from evil, and through love every good thing is accomplished. Prov. 16:6: Awake, for we have both been negligent. Let the word of the Lord incite you to all good. Ask Him for His holy Spirit; who can comfort you; for the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. Romans 8:18. For this is the trial which must be found in our faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire. I Peter 1:7.

My dear wife, if we might have entered into the kingdom of God as we began, and have so long been doing, the way would not have been narrow. But our Saviour had to enter through suffering and anguish into His own glory, how then will we enter by the broad way? For narrow is the way, says the Lord, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it, and still fewer who rightly walk in it. Matt. 7:14. The good Father did indeed show me this way, but my evil flesh was too powerful and forced me away from it. Nevertheless, I hope to be saved through the grace of the Lord; for Paul says: "Though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing." Eph. 2:4; I Cor. 13:3.

Consider what this charity is, and you shall be able to accept for the best whatever the Lord sends you. How should I be able to express it,..love is the nature of God; may it be with you and us all. I give it to you as an affectionate salutation: May the good and merciful Father shed it abroad into all our hearts, through His beloved Son. Amen.

Salute all dear friends in the Lord. Pray the Lord for me; all that He gives me, I will impart again. III John 14; I Thess. 5:25.


Another testament of John Claess, to his wife,

A. D. 1544


Know, my dearly beloved wife, that it is my will and testament to you in no wise to depart from the word of the Lord, but always to comfort yourself with it; for the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us, if we continue in the faith. Oh, let us thereby overcome, and not turn away, and we shall receive the crown which the good Lord has promised unto all that love His appearing. II Tim. 4:8. If we desire to remain here, we do not love His appearing; but if we ask Him for the Holy Spirit; the same will teach us in all things, and comfort and strengthen us through His grace, O let us pray; for through prayer we must receive everything. Hence, my dear wife, take no thought for the things that concern the body; but seek the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you. Herewith I commend you to God, and to the word of His grace, which is able to strengthen and keep you in all temptation. The grace of the Lord be with you and us all. Amen. Bring up my dear children in the admonition of the Lord, this is my will to you; and associate with the good, for they prosper. Care not for temporal things; for that which is visible must perish. What you can get take with you, and commit the rest to faithful friends; and remove with your little ones far enough to be out of danger, from men. Bring them up in the admonition of the Lord, and keep with those that fear the Lord. Deut. 6:20. My dear wife, be well contented; if the Lord had taken me away by a sudden sickness, it would have been your duty to thank Him; do so now. I` leave you this as a testament. Watch every day of your life for the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ. I Tim. 6:14. The grace of the Lord be with you. Amen.


A testament to his children, and then to his wife


My dear little children, Claes Jans and Gertrude Jans, I leave you this as a testament when you come of age. Hear the instruction from your Father. Hate all that the world and your carnal nature love, and love the commandments of God. I John 2:16. Let this instruct you, for it teaches: "If, any marl will come after me, let him deny himself;" that is; let him forego his own wisdom and earnestly pray: "Lord, Thy will be done." Luke 9:23; Prov. 3:5; Matt. 6:10. If you do this, the Holy Spirit will teach you all that you ought to believe. Believe not what men say, but obey the commands of the New Testament, and ask God to teach you His will. Trust not to your understanding, but trust in the Lord, and let all your counsel be in Him, and ask Him to direct your paths.

My children, how you are to love God the Lord, how you must honor and love your mother, and love your neighbor, and fulfill all other commandments required of you by the Lord, the New Testament will teach you. Matt. 22:37, 39. Whatever is not contained therein, believe not; but obey everything that is embraced in it. Associate with those who fear the Lord, who depart from evil, and who do every good thing through love. Oh, look not to the multitude or the' old custom, but to the little flock which is persecuted for the word of the Lord; for the good do not persecute, but are persecuted. When you have given yourselves to this, beware of all false doctrine; for John says: "Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ he hath both the Father and the Son." II John 9. The doctrine of Christ is: Love, mercy, peace, chastity, faith, meekness, humility and perfect obedience to God. Gal. 5:22, 23.

My dear children, surrender yourselves to that which is good, and the Lord will give you understanding in all things. I give you this as my last farewell. Regard the chastening of the Lord; for if  you do evil; He will punish you in your souls. Job 5:17. Hence desist, and cry to the Lord for help; and hate that which is evil, and the Lord shall deliver you, and you shall prosper. May God the Father, through His beloved Son Jesus Christ, give you His Holy Spirit, that He may guide you into all truth. Amen. John 16:13.


I, John Chess, your father, have written this while in prison for the word of the Lord. May the good Father grant you His grace. Amen.


MY DEAR WIFE, I request you to bring up my children, in all good instruction, to have my testament read to them, and to bring them up in the Lord, according to your ability, as long as you remain with them. And I desire of you, that you love neither, yourself nor your children more than the Lord and His testimony. Luke 14:26. Suffer not your flesh to overcome you. I Peter 2:11. If they do not tolerate you in this city, remove into another. Matt. 10:23. But this I earnestly request of you: always keep with the good; for blessed is he that associates with them. He who has always been the helper of the lowly, that is, the good Father, will help you. Luke 1:48. If you cannot stand alone, take a husband that fears the Lord (I Corinthians 7:2); but whatever you do, forsake not the Lord for a little mess of pottage. Gen. 25:34. May your excuse be never so great, but not for all Amsterdam forsake the Lord. By His grace I will not forsake Him for the whole world, and do you also likewise. Matt. 16:26. Oh, let us press our way through by force; I must, through the grace of the Lord, lose my flesh; forsake yours also. Matthew 11:12;16:25.


My dear wife, if we should consider suffering, we would never get out of it; but we must look beyond it to the eternal reward. I joyfully comfort myself in the Lord; do so also. The Lord might have taken me from my bed and you would have had to content yourself; how much more now, for you know not how long you will remain here? Therefore do as the Lord counsels you: be always ready for His appearing, and you shall be able to overcome all things, to those that overcome everlasting rest is promised. Rev. 21:7.


A firm faith, a sure hope of the eternal reward, and a burning love to God and our neighbor be with you and me, and us all. Amen. Matt. 21:21; I Peter 4:8.


Write to me immediately how you are, and I shall be the more comforted if you comply with my request. Pray; the Lord will be entreated; this I now experience. Pray together all of you, that the will of the Lord be done in me and in us all. Amen. Matt. 6:10; 7:11.


A testament of John Class to his brothers and

sister after the flesh


Know, my dear brothers, Cornelis Clxss, and Gerritt Chess, and my dear sister Adriaentgen Chess, that I affectionately desire of you, that you turn to the Lord, and forsake all your pride, covetousness, and all wickedness, as also all bad company, and be quiet, and associate with the good. Search the Word of the Lord, and ask Him for His Holy Spirit, and the same shall instruct you in everything which is needful for you. This will come to pass, if you deny yourselves and forego your own will; for the Lord says: "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow me." Therefore die unto all your lusts, and you shall never die, for the wages of sin is death. Col. 3:5; Rom. 6:23. But ask God for His Holy Spirit, who will so change your minds, that you will hate evil and shun it. Oh, my most beloved, hate that which is evil, and love the good, and God, who alone is good, will be with you. But if you will continue in your wicked sensuality, I testify to you from the mouth of the Lord, that you will condemn yourselves. Rom. 8: 13. But I am persuaded better things of you, though I thus speak. Heb. 6:9. Oh, keep what the Lord hath made known to you, namely: "Whatsoever' ye would that men should do' to you, do ye even so to them," and it will be well with you, and you shall prosper in every good thing. To this end may the good God help you, through Jesus Christ His beloved Son. Amen.


Another testament o f John Class, to all his

kindred


Be it known to you, dear brothers and sisters, cousins and relatives, and all my kindred, that I do not suffer as a thief, murderer or evildoer, but for the ordinance which the apostles of the Lord taught and instituted, namely the ordinance of the holy church, made fifteen hundred years ago, which Jesus Christ enjoined upon His dear disciples, and sealed with His blood, and which the apostles preached and taught, and confirmed with their blood. I Pet. 4:15; Mark 16:15; Heb. 9:14; Acts 2:14; 7:58; 12:2. My dear friends, do not be dejected or cast down on my account, because men say that I died as an Anabaptist and heretic. There is but one baptism given, and that upon faith; before faith God has not commanded baptism. Now someone might ask: "What I ought infants not to be baptized?" No; but they are nevertheless saved through the merits of Jesus Christ, and are baptized in His blood; for it is written: "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." I Cor. 15:22. This is done through pure grace, without any sign. Acts 15:11. But my dear friends, the Lord has commanded to preach the Gospel, and they that believe it, are to be baptized.


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Mark 16:16. He also commanded that the believers should observe His Supper, in remembrance of Him, in such a manner as He instituted, and the apostles practiced it. Matt. 26:26; Acts 2:42. Besides these, He.did not command them anything; no mass, no infant baptism, no auricular confession, nor any other outward worship. But He commanded to love God alone, to obey His Word, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. Luke 10:27. Oh, where are they to be found who do this? Search the Word of God; there is no Christian who does not know this. You cannot maintain thereby, what they teach, namely, that you should continue in the holy  church. You must know what the holy church is, namely, the assembly of believers born by the Word of God (I Pet. 1:23); for you well know that no one can come into this world without being born, so no one can come into the future world, unless he is born  again as Peter declares

"not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever." John 3:3; I Pet. 1:23. Oh, well for him who is born'of it! they that are thus regenerated, practice the true baptism and the true Supper. They also separate themselves from all who teach a scandalous doctrine, or live disorderly; they do not destroy their bodies, for this is not taught in the Word of God; but they avoid their company.until they repent (II Thess. 3:6); for they are the Christian church, the community of the saints; they have forgiveness of sins; for there is none other name given in heaven or on earth whereby they can be saved, but the name of Jesus; that is, through His merits. Acts 4:12. They believe and live only according to His ordinances. He did not kill those who did not believe in Him, neither did His holy church do this. But He and His own have been slain from the beginning, and thus it shall continue. Rev. 13:8. By this you shall know who are His own. Not those who boast of His name, and maintain their cause with the sword; but those that live according to the example of their Lord, and confirm their cause with the Word of God, which is the sword of the true believers. I Pet. 2: 21; Eph. 6:17. Now some might say: "What has become of the forefathers, who did not know better?" We leave this to God. It might also be said that the Lord promised to be with us even unto the end of the world. Matt. 28:20. He is always with believers but never with unbelievers namely, with His word and the right use of Iris signs, that is, baptism and the Supper, and will always be with those who walk aright, and live conformably to His Word.

Dear friends, at the time of the apostles there arose seven different sects among them, but the true doctrine was therefore not to be rejected. Now, though many wicked miscreants have arisen under the Gospel, the Word of God has not depreciated he that would be saved must submit to it. Romans 9:6. In the time of the righteous Tobit all Israel worshiped golden calves, which king Jeroboam had caused to be made; he [Tobit] alone adhered to the Lord his God, and did what He had. commanded him.


Friends, look not to the multitude, but to the Word of God, which will not deceive you. "Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm; but blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord." Jer. 17:5, 7. I trust in this, that He prays to His Father, not only for those who were with Him, but also for. all them who shall turn to Him through the word. John 17:20. May the good Father, through His only San Jesus Christ, give you a true understanding, that you may henceforth learn to know Him. II: Tim. 2:7.


ACCOUNT OF THE SENTENCE , PASSED ON JOHN

CL2RSS, AND THE, OLD MAN NAMED LUCAS LAM;

BERTS OF BEVORgN, ALSO CALLED GRAND=

FATHER; ANDHOW THEY DIED


When John Chess, and. Lucas  Lamberts, an old man of eighty seven years, called grandfather, came into court, they greeted each other with a kiss.

John Claess said to the grandfather: "My dear brother, how do you feel?"

The grandfather replied pleasantly with a glad countenance: "Quite well, lily dear brother."

Then said John Claess: "Fear neither fire nor the sword; Oh, what a joyful feast will be prepared for us before the clock strikes twelve I"

Upon this they were separated.

The bailiff then said: "You are rebaptized."

John Chess answered: "I was baptized upon my faith, as all Christians ought to be, according to the Scriptures; read this." Matt. 28:19.

They said to 'him again: "You belong to the accursed Anabaptists, who originate strange sects, opinions, errors and contention among the people." Acts 16:20; 17:6.

John Class': "We are not such people; we, desire nothing else than the true Word of God; if I am to suffer therefore, I demand the seven judges."*

He was then asked whether he did not confess that he was rebaptized four years ago or thereabouts.

John Chess replied: "Three years ago or thereabouts I was baptized as all Christians ought to be."

The court said: "You acknowledge, it then?"

John Class: "Yes."

Court: "Well, since you confess it, we have full power from the seven judges."

John Class: " Can I not obtain the full court? it is granted even to thieves and murderers, why should it not be granted to me?",


* We have in our possession the original sentence of these two persons; but as the gist of the same is given here, it is not necessary to adduce it verbatim.


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The four judges then went out to pronounce the sentence.

Lifting up his voice, John Claess said: "O merciful Father, Thou knowest that we do not desire revenge" (Rom. 12:19), and he wrung his hands, saying: "O merciful Father, grant them Thy Spirit, that. Thou mayest not count this to them as wickedness." Acts 7:60,

The four judges now returned into the court, and sat down to declare the sentence, saying: "John Ciaess, a native of Alkmaar, who has taught the people false doctrines, errors and new opinions "

Upon this John Claess answered: "It is not so."

The lords of the court then forbade John Claess to speak, and good John Chess observed silence, that be, might hear his sentence. They then proceeded with their sentence, and said to the clerk: "Read his crime." He read that he had caused to be printed at Antwerp six, hundred books, which he had concluded with enno Simons, and scattered abroad in this country, containing strange opinions and sectarianism, and had kept school and held meetings, to introduce errors among the people (Acts 17.:6), which is contrary to the decree of the Emperor,, and our mother the holy church, and which it is not proper for my lords of the court to tolerate, but to correct.

Here John, Chess reproved them as before, saying: "They are not sectarianisms, but it is the Word of God." Acts 24:14,

Then the lords of the court said: "We sentence you to death, to be executed with the sword, the body to be placed on the wheel, and the head upon a stake; we do not sentence you, but the court does."

As John Claess went out of the court, he said

"You citizens bear witness that we die for no other reason than for the true Word of God." This occurred in the court. Having ascended the scaffold, John Claess audibly addressed the people with these words: ,"Hear, ye citizens of Amsterdam; lie it known unto you, that I suffer not as a thief or murderer, or because we have sought the property or life of others. However, do not understand me as justifying or exalting myself; but I come with the prodigal son, and depend only on the pure Word of God."

Upon this' the executioner struck him on his breast. John Chess turned around, and exclaimed with .a. loud voice:

"O Lord, forsake me not, now or in eternity. Lord, Thou Son of David, receive my soul."

Thus the dear brother John Chess confirmed the Ward of God with his crimson blood, his head then being placed upon a stake, and his body on the wheel, as food for the birds and wild beasts. And the old grandfather of eighty seven years, also willingly, for the truth of Christ Jesus, yielded his hoary head and beard to the sword of these tyrants. They now rest together under the altar.




A NUMBER. OF BELIEVERS, BAPTIZED ACCORDING TO

THE COMMAND OF CHRIST, HAVING ASSEM;

BLED TO HEAR THE WORD OF GOD, ARE

PUT TO'DEATH AT ROTTERDAM, IN

THE YEAR 1544


As Saint Paul, through the Spirit of God, foretold that all.who will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution, so it was also verified in the city of Rotterdam, about A. D. 1544, where a number of the pious followers of Jesus Christ had assembled together in the name of the Lord, to converse with each other about the Word of God, and thus to edify and strengthen one another in the accepted truth of the holy Gospel; also to pray with an humble heart and with one accord to the great God of heaven and earth, for forgiveness and remission of sins, and the gift of the Holy Ghost, and thus to give praise and thanks with one mind to His most adorable name. Eph. 5:1; Heb. 10:24; 3:13; I Thess. 5:11; Rom. 15:16; Acts 1:14.


This good exercise in godliness the papists, who hate the truth, sought to prevent and stop as much as lay in their power, so that said God fearing assembly fell into their hands, having been betrayed by a woman who came to the house to borrow a kettle. The defenseless sheep having thus fallen into the claws of the wolves, these, according to their nature, treated them in the most cruel manner, in order to draw them away from the truth; all of which they willingly suffered and endured in patience for the name of Jesus, in the firm hope of His imperishable kingdom. Therefore, since they could by no tortures be brought to apostatize, they were sentenced to death, which sentence was executed in the following manner: The men were beheaded with the sword at the said place, while the women, in the most cruel manner were thrown into a boat, and thrust under the ice until death followed. Thus these two assemblies, or classes of people, that is the church of God, and the congregation of Satan clearly evinced of which spirit they werer children (I John 3:10; Luke 9:55); which cart easily be seen by their fruits and nature. The anti Christians by this, that, as ravening and devouring wolves, they were born by nature to seize and destroy. The congregation of Jesus Christ by this, that, as humble sheep and lambs, dumb, and with no desire for revenge, they were thus led to the slaughter, and willingly gave their bodies for the name of the Lord. Matt. 7:15; 10

16; Ps. 44:22; I Peter 4:13. Therefore; these sheep shall, .at the reappearing of the great Shepherd, hear, together with all faithful servants, the,joyful voice: "Enter into the joy of your Lord." Heb. 13:20; Matt. 25:23.


Among those that were thus offered, there was also a young maiden of but fourteen years. She composed the hymn in the old hymnbook, beginning thus:


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Emanuel die is uytgetogen, uyt sijns haders riick fn's werelts pleyn.*


FRANCIS OF BOLSWEERT, A. D. 1545


At Bolsweert, in Friesland, there was a true lamb of Christ, named Francis, who lived uprightly in the fear of God. Job 1:1. He was therefore apprehended, and conveyed in a sleigh to Leeuwaerden, where he was asked before the council, why he would not swear, nor observe the Supper with them in the church. He answered: "My lords; Christ teaches us that we must not swear at all; and because you people are unbelieving and unclean, I will not keep fellowship with 'you?" At these words the lords were offended, and said: "We are neither thieves nor murderers; what uncleanness then have we? but it seems to us, that you hold a false doctrine, and of such heretics there are still more, all of whom we intend utterly to exterminate." Francis said: "My lords, be not angry; but you high priests, show me the false doctrine which I hold, and this from the Bible, for I have brought one with me; come and instruct me from it."

The lords then counseled with the priests of Jezebel, and said: "He has despised our mass; he condemns our customs, and we have a strict mandate, to which we must be obedient, and according to that he must die. Thus he' was sentenced to be burned to ashes on Palm Sunday eve, A. D. 1545. For this sentence he undauntedly thanked the Lords and said: "I will forgive you all this from my heart, wishing that the Spirit of God would enlighten you unto reformation, that you may repent and live according to the Word of God; I now go to the holy city, and the inheritance of my Father." He was then led to death, as a sheep to the slaughter. Many that saw it wept; but he said: "Weep not, but prepare yourselves to die unto your sins, for this is the true way to enter into life." .He also spoke many other comforting wcrds.

After he had openly prayed: "Lord God, receive my soul and guide it into Thy peace," the executioner commenced his work. Having stripped him of his clothes, and fastened hire to the stake, he was about to strangle him with a rope, when the rope broke, and he fell down. This frightened the executioner, and he endeavored quickly to burn him to ashes with much peat and wood; but God manifested His miraculous power, so that the fire lost its natural force, and the body could not be burned entirely; on which account the lords became angry at the executioner, and said that he had not brought enough wood; but it was the will of God that he should thus be received into the number of the martyrs.


OSWALD OF JAMNITS, A. D. 1545


In this year, Brother Oswald of Jamnits, was imprisoned for the faith, at Vienna, in Austria, and


* Emanuel went forth from His Father's kingdom into this world.




various means were tried to cause him to apostatize. The citizens came to him in prison, and in a friendly manner earnestly admonished him to recant, or they would have to drown him in the Danabe. But he said: "Though you drown me, I will not depart from God and His truth. Christ died for me, and Him will I follow, and also die for His truth, far rather than forsake it." No matter whatever they said, they could not make him apostatize. Two brethren then came to him, who comforted him; to them he commended his wife and child. They embraced each other, and thus took leave from one another, wishing him patience in his suffering, which he innocently had to endure. After having been confined for one year and six weeks, they took him from prison on a certain Wednesday night; took him out of the city, that the multitude of the people should neither see nor hear anything, and drowned him in the Danube. There was no trial held over him, nor was his crime made known.

Since he patiently and cheerfully persevered unto the end, God shall also confess him; and though they executed him secretly and at night, yet he shall appear in the open judgment of the Lord in the valley of Jehosaphat, where another judgment will be held. Joel 3:2. And that judgment will fall a hundredfold more heavily upon the heads of those who thus presumptuously condemn innocent blood on earth; yea, it shall be more tolerable for those of Sodom and Gomorrah in the last day, than for such. Matt. 10:15.


ANDREW KOFLER, A. D. 1545


In the year 1545, one Andrew Kofler from Etschland was also apprehended for the faith and the divine truth, at Ips, on the Danube. As he would not renounce, and could not be made to apostatize by the priests and false prophets, he was sentenced to death by the children of Pilate, and delivered to the executioner, who executed him with the sword, thus satisfying the ungodly. Thus he valiantly confessed and testified to the truth of God even unto death, and is now gone before into eternal light and life, and rests in Abraham's bosom, yea, under the altar, under which those lie, who have been beheaded and slain for the Word of God, and the testimony of Jesus Christ, until the number of their fellow brethren who shall also be killed as they were, shall be fulfilled.


HANS BLIETEL, A. D. 1545


In this year, also Brother Hans Blietel, .who had been sent by the church, was apprehended at Ried, in Bavaria; for those of Ried had offered a sum of money to the one who should apprehend him. Hence, there was a traitor, who addressed him with fair words, pretending to be very zealous, and under a desire to be with him, decoyed him into his house. The brother supposed that he was concerned for the salvation of his soul, and went with him. He then locked him into his house, and said:


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"Hans, you are a prisoner." But Hans replied "God forbid that you should do this; have I not come to thee for good?"

The traitor demanded money of him, and he would release him; but when the brother refused to accede to this demand, he went to the authorities and betrayed him. While he went, the wife of the traitor also demanded money of him; for, said she, the authorities would take him along any way; she wanted fifteen guilders, and they would let him go away from the house. But Brother Hans Blietel would not consent to give her one farthing; but would with the help of God await all tribulation. In the meantime, the authorities came with a great number of armed men, and apprehended the brother, together with the traitor and his wife, securing them well with ropes, bonds and straps.

Having arrived in the market town of Ried, they took them, and tormented them dreadfully, the traitor as well as the brother; for the authorities thought that he had taken money from the brother, because they found so little on him. The traitor's wife also had her hand squeezed until the blood flowed from it; for they wanted her to tell it. And though they had not received anything, their treachery became a source of sore grief to them.

When Brother Hans had lain in prison for four or five weeks, he was sentenced to death, about St. John's day, to be burnt alive. He was led out to the place of execution, where the priests attempted to induce him to desist from and forsake his faith; but he said to them: "You may well desist from your wicked deception; I will not hear or embrace your false doctrine; I have at this day something else to do, than to listen to you false prophets; I must follow the Lord my God in Christ, and fulfill what I have promised." The priests, therefore, stood back, and left him be in peace. On his way to the place of execution he met one of his acquaintances, named Michael Dirks, or Kramer. Hans Blietel looked at Michael with a smiling countenance, and pointed him to heaven. The latter was astonished that he could smile, going as he was to death and the fire. This produced a complete contrition of heart in Michael, as also in his wife, who did not eat anything for three days, but sought to join the church, and become pious, and others with them.

When the dear Brother Hans arrived at the place of execution, he thought of the church, and cried with a loud voice unto the multitude of the people assembled: "Is there any one here, who has courage to tell the church of God in Moravia, that I, Hans Blietel, was burned for the Gospel, at Ried, in Bavaria?" Thereupon a zealous man, full of piety, kindled thereby, revealed himself, and though he could not get to him, he called to him, that he would inform the church in Moravia, that he was burned at Ried, for the faith; which encouraged Brother Hans, so that he again cried out to the people: "This my faith is the divine truth, which I will show to you; and I say unto you, repent, reform, and desist from your unrighteous, wicked, and vicious life; for if you do not do this, the eternal God shall visit you for your sins; and punish you with the everlasting pain which is prepared for all sinners, and He shall require the in= nocent blood at your hands, and punish you for it."

The fire having been kindled and prepared, he was tied upon a ladder. In the meantime; he testified again that this was the truth and the Way to eternal life, and the true church of Gbd, appealing to heaven and earth as His witnesses: "And, today," said he, "shall God give a sign in heave, to testify that this is the way to eternal life:" This also occurred; for the sun in the sky was darkened and became full of spots, so that he gave forth no shadow. Though the sky was quite clear and bright; yet the sun emitted a very pale and yellow light upon the earth; for God intended to confirm' it  by this sign. This lover of God also sang in the fire; in which he lived for some time, praising God by his singing, and praying for all men who were worthy, that God would enlighten them. And thus he was found constant and steadfast in the faith, in the trial of the fire, even as  the precious  and pure gold. He had also foretold as a sign, that his smoke would quickly rise on high over him, and his soul ascend in it unto heaven;, which came to pass, the smoke ascending straight up to heaven. Some said that a beautiful white dove flitted in the fire, and flew over him to heaven. Thus God assisted him very powerfully.


MICHAEL MATSCHILDER, ELIZABETH `HIS WIFE,  

AND HANS GURTZHAM, A. D. 1546


In the year 1546, Brother Michael Matschilder, also called Little Michael, a minister of ,Jesus Christ and His church, and two others; namely, his wife, Elizabeth, and Hans Gurtzham, a shoemaker, were apprehended and examined at Altenburg,.in Upper Kaernthen. A doctor and a learned man of Villach disputed with them; but this brother gave them such answers, that they had to withdraw in confusion, unable to accomplish ,anything:

They were then led in iron chains through  Styria, and delivered into the bailey, at Vienna, to the jailer, who said: "Come, I will bring you into.a vault, where others of your brethren are. In there were Hans Stautdach and three fellow: prisoners.

When they met, they embraced and kissed each other, and praised God, who had brought them together for the glory of His name. Hans Stautdach and his three fellow prisoners were then executed; but these others were kept in prison longer; that is, about three years, namely, until the .year 1549, when a conflagration occurred in the city: Then, as is customary in that city when a: conflagration occurs, the gates of the city were closed, and the prisoners released. After the fire was extinguished, Brother Michael and his wife,. through the providence of God and the assistance of a citizen, escaped from the city, and came to the church.


----

----


Thus God delivered them. unharmed and in peace. But Hans Gurtzham went back to prison, and was confined there one year longer; namely, until the year 1550; vv hen he was executed, about June, being drowned in the Danube, early on a certain Friday morning.


QUIRINUS PIETERS OF GR(ENINGEN, BURNT ALIVE

FOR THE TESTIMONY OF JESUS CHRIST, AT

AMSTERDAM; IN HOLLAND, ON THE

16TH OF APRIL, A. D. 1545


When the constraint of conscience and faith did not cease, but increased and broke forth more and more through the adherents of popery, against the pious Christians, who, according to the command of Christ had been baptized upon their faith, it occurred, that a certain pious brother, named Quirinus Meters, a native of Groeningen, also separated from popery; and joined the cross bearing church of Jesus Christ, called Baptists, or, contemptuously; Anabaptists, having been received into the church through baptism upon confession of his faith, by Menno Simons, who was at that time one of the most eminent teachers in Friesland.

But when he, about six years ago, went .to Holland; and settled down at Amsterdam, there to live in quiet according to his faith and conscience, be was very speedily discovered by the authorities, apprehended; and finally, as he would not apostatite, sentenced to death, on the sixteenth of April, A. D: 1545, namely, to be burned to death; which dreadful and severe punishment this pious hero of Christ steadfastly endured, having commended his soul into the hands of God.

Ail of this we have taken from the following sentence, which was publicly read to him, on the day of his death, by the rulers of darkness, and a true copy of which, extracted from the book of criminal sentences, has now been transmitted to us through the secretary there. The contents of the same, with the exception of the title, are as follows


Sentence of death pronounced upon Quirinus

Pieters o f Grcpningen


Whereas Quirinus Pieters, a native of Grceningen, has embraced the unbelief and heresy of the Anabaptists, having been rebaptized about'six years ago, by Menno Simons, a teacher of the aforesaid sect, and whereas he holds pernicious views concerning the sacraments of the holy church, and, moreover, has induced others, into such unbelief and errors, persuading them into it, directly contrary to the holy Christian faith, the ordinances of the holy church, and the decrees of his Imperial Majesty; our.,gracious lord; and whereas he obstinately continues in the aforesaid unbelief, therefore, my lords the judges, having heard the demand made by my lord the bailiff concerning the aforesaid Quirinus Pieters; as also his answer and confession; and having fully considered the circumstances of said matters, sentence the aforesaid Quirinus Pieters to be burnt by the executioner; and furthermore; declare his property confiscated for the benefit of the exchequer of his Imperial Majesty. Pronounced this sixteenth of April, A. D. 1545, in the presence of the entire bench of judges, except Sir Henry Dirks, Burgomaster.

Pursuant to this sentence, Quirinus Pieters was executed by the executioner on the same day.

The whole of this was extracted from the book of criminal sentences, in the keeping of the secretary of the city of Amsterdam. N. N.


HANS STAUDTACH, ANTONY KEYN, BLASIUS BECK,

AND LEONHARD SCHNEIDER, A. D. 1546


In the year 1546, four brethren, namely, Hans Staudtach of Kaufbeuren, Anthony Keyn, a tailor of Gunzenhausen, Blasius Beck and Leonhard Schneider, both of them also of Kaufbeuren, while on their way, with their wives and children. to the church in Moravia, were apprehended in Austria. On the third of August they were brought to Vienna, two and two fettered together, with great chains on their feet, and led through the city like criminals, with their wives and children following after them. They were brought into prison, with their wives and children, and left for four days. In these four days they were examined, and sorely assailed, w~ ,  aer they would continue in this faith; this they confessed, with the help and power of God they would do. Thereupon the four brethren were put into another prison. Afterwards they examined them again, and brought their wives and children into the house of the judge, but prevented the brethren from talking much with them.

On Sunday, the sixteenth of August, much people came to them in prison, and talked with the brethren, and concerning their wives. But however hard they were pressed to recant, they remained valiant and steadfast, though they threatened to take away their children from them. In the meantime, however, their wives were released, and came to the church. Subsequently much craftiness was resorted to, to intimidate them, and cause them to apostatize. Four times they were brought before the authorities at Vienna, also before monks, priests and doctors, whom Christ does not in vain designate ravening wolves, of whom we are to beware; for their priests are like wolves, and indeed come under a fair appearance, to devour them; yea, would have them all killed and destroyed. Hence, it grieves the false prophets to leave any one pious and unseduced, and therefore they labor much and in many various ways. They have enough who follow the doctrine of their false prophets, and walk after their ungodly and vicious life; they might well leave the pious in peace.

Thus they also tempted these lovers of God, yet could not gain them, but were put to shame and reproach: for no one can pluck Christ's own out of His hand. John 10:28. They also read to them the mandate of the king, and threatened them with fire, water and the sword, or that they should be kept on bread and water, and separated, or drowned in the night, like Brother Oswald of Jamnits, as related previously. By these things they endeavored to intimidate them; but there was no intimidating these soldiers and heroes of the truth of God.

On the fifth day after St. Michael's they were subjected to another hearing, whether they would renounce their faith; if not, they had orders to put them to death by fire, water or the sword. This was  the last warning. But when they could accomplish nothing by their threats, they brought all four of them back into the Joppen (a prison). Hans Staudtach was left in prison, Blasius in the woodroom, .and Leonhard, with another, in a vacant apartment; but afterwards, about All Souls Day, they were put together again.

After all this, as they remained constant and steadfast, and continued to confess that they were going in the true way of the divine truth, which they were willing to seal with their blood, they were condemned to death, a little after St. Martin's day, on the 22d of November, and delivered to the executioner, who bound them, and, in order to avoid too great a sensation, and not to have a large concourse of people come together he led them out to the place of execution, in the morning, at daybreak.

When they were being led out to the slaughter, they boldly and joyfully sang. A ring was made, as the executioners usually do. The brethren then knelt down and fervently prayed, offering up this burnt offering as their final farewell to the world.

The executioner became sad, acted with reluctance, and was grieved in his heart that he had to perform this execution. The other children of Pilate also wished to be innocent, yet they had to do it because of their superiors in authority, and by virtue of their office; but they would much rather have been excused.

They then blessed each other, and exhorted one another to steadfastness, to be strong and of good cheer, saying: "Today we shall be together in the kingdom of our heavenly Father," etc.

Thus all four were beheaded with the same sword and undauntedly and boldly surrendered their necks for the name of Christ.


DIRK PIETERS SMUEL AND JACOB DEN GELDERS;

MAN, BURNT ALIVE AT AMSTERDAM, ON THE

24TH OF MAY, A. D. 1546


After manifold tribulations and afflictions upon the pious followers of Jesus Christ, it came to pass, that the procurator from the Hague, and the bailiff of Amsterdam, Waterlandt and Zeevanck, came to Edam with a whole troop of beadles. These came on the 12th of March, that is on the Friday preceding Shrove Tuesday, A. D. 1546, at night, with torches, and lanterns, to the house of Dirk Pieters Smuel and Jacob den Gelders•nan, both of them citizens of Edam, of one faith, and seekers of the truth. They took them out of their own houses from their beds, and led them from the east end out of the stone portal to the west end, where they were put into a boat, and thus brought prisoners to Amsterdam, whence, after a certain time, they were brought to the Hague, where, on the 16th of May of the same year, they were examined concerning their faith, and as they would steadfastly adhere to the accepted truth, were sentenced, on the 22d of May, in the high court of the lords of this world, to be burnt alive. Thereupon they were again brought to Amsterdam, where, after suffering many trials, they were bound on ladders, and burned alive, enduring it with great steadfastness. They joyfully surrendered and forsook their earthly habitations, and are now awaiting a building of God, which shall endure forever in heaven. II Cor. 5:1.


ANDREW SMUEL AND DIRK DIETERS. THE DEFENSE

AND CONFESSION OF FAITH WHICH THEY

MADE AT AMSTERDAM BEFORE THE

COMMISSARIES, AND CONFIRMED

WITH THEIR DEATH, IN

THE YEAR 1546


Blessed be God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ forever and ever, Amen. Hear my confession to the princes of this world. In the first place, they inquired concerning my faith. I therefore said to them: "A scribe came to the Lord, and asked Him, saying: `Master, which is the great commandment?' The Lord said to him: 'Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and thy neighbor as thyself; this is the greatest commandment, and there is no other.' The scribe answered and said

'Thou hast answered well, that there is one God, and to love him with all the heart, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love our neighbor as ourself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.' "

To this they replied: "We know that there is one God; but do you believe, that when the priest stands at the altar, God is in his hands?"

I said, "No. Stephen said: `Behold, I. see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of the Almighty Father."' Acts 7:.56.

They again said: "Then you do not believe that he is there?"

I said: "No."

Question: "We have been told, that when your pastor went on one side of the street, and you and two others on the other, you gave no honor either to him or to the sacrament; is this true?"

Answer: "Yes."

Ques. "Why did you do this?"

Ans. "I will tell you, my lords: the Lord says through the prophet Isaiah, chapter 2, verse 8: `They worship the work of their own hands: that which their own fingers have made: and the mean man boweth down, and the great man humbleth himself: therefore forgive them not."'

Ques. "Did you do it for the reason that it was made by the hands of men?"

Ans. "Yea, my lords, because I would not offend my Lord and my God with it."

Ques. "How long ago is it since you went to confession the last time?"

Ans. "About two or three years."

Ques. "Why so?"

Ans. "Because the Lord has said: `Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."' Matt. 11:28.

Ques. "Did you do it on this account?"

Ans. "Yes."

Ques. "How long is it since you attended the sacrament?"

Ans. "Also about two or three years:"

Ques. "Why so?"

Ans. "Because Paul says: `Christ presented to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish."' Eph. 5:27.

Ques. "Did you do it because you were not worthy of it?"

Ans. "Yes, because I have spots and wrinkles."

Ques. "What do you believe concerning the holy church?"

Ans. "I know of no holy church, except the congregation of the apostles, of which Christ is the cornerstone."

Ques. "We well know this, that there was a holy church then."

Ans. "Can another foundation be laid, than that is laid? I Cor. 3:11. Paul says to the Galatians, in the first chapter: `I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ, unto another gospel: which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you, than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it.' Gal. 1:6-12. He further says, to the Corinthians: `For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified."' I Cor. 2:2.

Ques. "Well, what do you hold concerning Mary the mother of God?"

Ans. "Much, for she humbled herself before the Lord, and was exalted through her humility."

Ques. "You have answered well. What do you hold with regard to purgatory?"

Ans. "I know of only two ways." Matt. 7:13.

Ques. "Do you know your pastor well?"




Ans. "I know him well by sight; but I have never spoken to him, nor he to me."

Ques. "Why did you not hear him?"

Ans. "Because James says in his first chapter

`A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.' "

Ques. "Well, what did he say?",

Ans. "I have heard say that he said that man can not be saved through the death of Christ alone."

Ques. "Did he say amiss in this?"

Ans. "Yes; Paul says: `By him all that believe are justified from all things, from which we could not be justified by the law of Moses.' " Acts 13:39.

Ques. "It is well known that we can not be saved through the law."

Ans. "Peter says that there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby they can be saved, than through the name of Jesus Christ."

Ques. "How long is it since you were baptized?"

Ans. "Ever since I was born."

Ques. "Are you satisfied, that you can be saved by baptism?"

Ans. "I believe to be saved through the death of Christ."

Ques. "We nevertheless must know whether you believe that you will be saved by it?"

Ans. "I believe to be saved through the death of Christ."

Ques. "If you had the opportunity, would you not be baptized again?"

Ans. "I know not; for God knows both to will and to do."

Ques. "Still, we want to know whether you regard the baptism which you received in your infancy as the true baptism, or that which is administered on faith?"

Ans. "If this is all you want to know, it is written that the Lord said to His apostles: `Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.' Mark 16:15, 16. Further, the men said to Peter and the other apostles: `What shall we do to be saved? R¢pent, he said, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread and in prayers. And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. And all that believed were together, and had all things common; and sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. And they continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, praising God, and having favor with all the people."' Acts 2:37-47.

Ques. "There you say yourself that the apostles went into the temple?"

Am. "Yes, this is true; that was a temple which God had commanded to be built."

Ques. "The apostles certainly went forth to teach; where did they go to teach?"

Ans. "Whithersoever they came, they went into the synagogues, and preached the Gospel of Christ." Acts 13:14.

Ques. "We have heard that you also teach wherever you go?"

Ans. "O Lord, what should I preach; we may have read the Gospel together."

Ques. "Where did you read it together?"

Ans. "At the dyke."

Ques. "With whom did you read it?"

Ans. "This I do not know."

Ques. "How should you not know with whom you read it?"

Ans. "How should I know it, sometimes with this one, and sometimes with another."

They therefore mentioned the names of a good many, and said: "Do you know this and that one?"

Ans. "Yes, I know them well."

Ques. "Have you any books of Menno Simons and of David Joris?"

Ans. "No, I have no books in the house, except a Bible and a Testament, and a little book on the fait."

Thus they asked me many questions, and said, that: so much had been reported, how we had preached in this and that place, and that there was no town where he had been, but they knew it better than myself.

Now, my dear brethren, I commend you to God, and to the Word of His grace, which is able to strengthen and keep you, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified. Acts 20:32. Hence, let everyone see to it, that no one be so presumptuous as to pour water into the living fountain; for the Lord says, John 6:44-46: "No man can come to me, except the Father which bath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, and they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me. Not that any man hath seen the Father." Isa. 54:13. Therefore dear brethren and sisters; let us with one accord pray to God for wisdom, as the apostle James teaches us, and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees, which is hypocrisy; hence let us follow our supreme Lord and Shepherd Christ, and praise Him through God the Father, unto whom be praise forever and ever, Amen.




TESTAMENT WRITTEN BY DIRK PIETERS SMUEL, DECEASED IN PRISON, TO HIS WIFE, WHEN HE WAS

PREPARING TO DIE FOR THE NAME AND TESTI 

MONY OF JESUS; IN WHICH RE COMFORTED  

AND ADMONISHED. HER DILIGENTLY TO

PROVIDE FOR THE BRINGING UP. OF HER

CHILDREN THAT THEY MIGHT LEARN

TO FEAR GOD FROM THEIR YOUTH


Grace and peace from God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Amen. I beseech you, therefore, my most beloved. sister'and wife Wellemoet Claes, that you present your body a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service, and be not conformed to this world. I Cor. 1:3; Rom. 12:1, 2. James says: "Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God." James 4:4. For the Lord Jesus says

"Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice; and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remernbereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world. And ye now therefore have sorrow; but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you." John 16:20-22. Therefore let us say with St. Paul: "Who shall separate us from the 'love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or' nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us." Rom. 8:35-37. "He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the spirit saith unto the churches." Rev. 3:5, 6. Hence, T beseech you, my most beloved, "See then that you walk circum= spectly, not: as fools, but as 'wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore, be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is;" "for the time past of your life 'may suffice you to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when you walked in lasciviousness, lusts; excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries." "Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he fall. There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that you are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that you may be able to bear if." Eph. 5:15-17; I Peter 4:3; 1 Cor. 10:12, 13.

"Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry" (I Cor. 10:14), and "Know; that' ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation . . . but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God." I Peter 1:18-21. Now, the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure .heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned." I Tim. 1:5. "These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come, glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: as thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou has given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." John 17:1-3. "For such a high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's: for this he did once, when he offered up himself. For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was since the law, maketh the Son, who is consecrated for evermore." Hebrews 7:26-28.

Therefore I admonish you,;my most beloved, seeing we have such "a high priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart, in full assurance of faith." Heb. 10:21, 22. John says

"My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: and he is the propitiation for our sins." I John 2:1, 2. "And now . . . I commend. you. to God, ,and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified."* Acts 20:32.

The grace of our Lord be with you now and f orever, Amen.

So I admonish you, my most beloved mother [wife]., diligently to see to it, that you teach the children from their youth to fear God.


A LETTER OF CONSOLATION AND ADMONITION,

WRITTEN IN PRISON BY DIRK PIETERS SMUEL,

DECEASED, WHO WAS BURNT ALIVE AT

AMSTERDAM, IN HOLLAND, FOR THE

NAME AND TESTIMONY OF JESUS;

TO ALL LOVERS OF THE

EVANGELICAL TRUTH,

A. D. 1546


"Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ; the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the suf 


* He deems eternal salvation of greater value than temporal necessities.




ferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ."* II Cor. 1:3-5. Hence Paul says: "I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory. For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named." Eph. 3:13-15. He Himself says: "I thank thee, O Father Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight . . . And no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him." Matt. 11:25, 26, 27.

He therefore says: "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."** Matt. 11:28-30.

Therefore, my dear brethren, seeing we have such "a high priest, let us draw near with a true heart, in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; for he is faithful that promised: and let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is, but exhorting one another and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching .... For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." Heb. 10:21-25, 30, 31. For he says: "Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose it for the Gospel's sake, shall save it."$ Mark 8:34, 35.

Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy. But I give you a new commandment, says Christ: "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans so?" Matt. 5:43-47.

"Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; and walk in love, as Christ also has loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and


* Having abundance of consolation in his sufferings, he comforts his brethren.

** He who has not Christ in him, is poor and miserable.

*** He loves his brethren according to the soul; hence he admonishes them, to seek their salvation. He that desires the heavenly riches, hates everything which hinders him therein.


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a sacrifice to God for .a sweet smelling savour."* Eph. 5:1, 2.

"Flee youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes. And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient; in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; and that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will."** II Tim. 2:22-26.

"Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him show out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace."*** Jas. 3:13-18.

"Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: for he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds." II John 9-11. "Beware of false prophets,**** which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire." Matt. 7:15-19. "Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the salve measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again. And he spake a parable unto them; Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch? The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master." Luke 6:36-40. "He that overcometh the world,


* He who seeks God in visible things, will not find Him.

** In God are life and peace; he that desires peace and life, let liim cuter into Him.

*** Pure love loves a blameless life.

**** A person can have a Pharisaical holiness, without the Spirit and righteousness' of Christ.




shall inherit all things; all things are in God, and God works all in all." I John 5:4.

Therefore, my dear brethren, "Let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; and in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation . . . . For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake; having the same conflict which ye saw in me, and now hear to be in me."* Phil. 1:27-30.

"Therefore, my most beloved brethren, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: but rejoice,** inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the Spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evil doer, or as a busy body in other men's matters. Yet if any suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf. For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the Gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? Wherefore, let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator." I Peter 4:12-19.

"It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: if we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: if we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself."*** II Tim. 2:11-13.

Therefore, my dear brethren, let us "walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is." Eph. 5:15-17.

"Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affec 


* The nature of God is made manifest in His children, who love Him in godly works.

** It is a joy to the godly, when they see men living in accordance with the word of God.

*** What great boldness, through the power of God!


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tions and lusts." Gal. 5:19-24. Yea, say the wise of this world, the heretics do not believe that God is in the sacrament. Indeed, they are right in not believing it, for Paul says: "He dwelleth not in temples made with hands; neither is worshiped with men's hands." Acts 17:24, 25. "I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession; that thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ

. the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see to whom be honor and power everlasting. Amen."* I Tim. 6:13-16.


"No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son . . . he hath declared him." John 1:18. Stephen said: "I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God." Acts 7:56. "At the appearing of Jesus Christ: whom having not seen, ye love; i n whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls." I Pet. 1:7-9. I say that it is great presumption for men to undertake to say that they handle God. For John, concerning whom the Lord Himself declared, that a greater was not born of women, than John the Baptist, did not consider himself worthy to unloose the latchet of His shoes.**


And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: so Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation. But this is my belief: That to those who through faith in Christ Jesus are dead from the rudiments of the world (Col. 2:20), and have crucified the flesh with its evil affections and lusts (Galatians 5:24). Christ left the Lord's Supper in remembrance of His death, that they should show the Lord's death till He come (I Cor. 11:25, 26), as Paul says: "I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say. The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread. Behold Israel after the flesh: are not they which eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar? What say I then? that the idol is anything, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is anything? But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils. Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of


* All his delight is in speaking of God, and in strengthening men in that which is good.

** All the pious constantly lament the vain boasting and unbelief of the world.




devils; ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils."* I Cor. 10:15-21.

End of these letters, translated and finished the 12th of January A. D. 1614.


RICHST HEYNES, A. D. 1547


About the year 1547, there was a God fearing woman, whose name was Richst Heynes (so named after her husband, according to the custom of the country), and who lived in the Ilst, not far from Sneeck, in Friesland. She also bowed her shoulders under the easy yoke of the Lord Jesus, hearing and following His blessed voice, avoiding that of strangers opposed to Him. The enemies of God perceiving this, very speedily sought to hinder and stop it; to which end, they sent forth tyrannical servants, who came as ravening wolves, and apprehended this defenseless sheep. Her husband perceiving it, escaped with great peril of life. She was very roughly handled, and cruelly bound, without the least mercy or compassion, though she was pregnant, and very near the time of her delivery, so that the midwife had already been with her. But notwithstanding all this, they took her with them, though her little children cried and wept piteously. They brought her to Leeuwaerden in prison, where after three weeks imprisonment, she gave birth to a son. The child, to the great astonishment of all who beheld it, very plainly showed on his arms the marks which his mother had received from the cruel fetters. They afterwards tortured her so cruelly, that she could not lay her hands upon her head. Thus she was maltreated with inhuman tortures, mainly for the reason that she would not betray her brethren, for these wolves were as yet by no means satisfied, but thirsted greatly after more innocent blood. The faithful God, however, who is a fortress in time of need, and a shield to all them that trust in Him, guarded her lips, so that none were betrayed by her. Hence, as nothing could move her to separate from Christ, she was sentenced at said place, thrust into a bag, like an irrational brute, and cast into the water and drowned. All this she as an innocent lamb of Jesus Christ patiently and steadfastly endured for the name of the Lord, remaining faithful unto death; hence she is worthy ultimately to receive the crown of everlasting life from God, and to enjoy it forever and ever.


CLASS LECKS, A. D. 1548


Claes Lecks, a native of Ostende, was summoned to the town house, in the year 1548, on account of certain reports that were circulating about him. Having arrived there, he was examined respecting his faith, and, making a good confession, he was committed to prison. He was a man of very good reputation, on account of the many alms which he gave to the poor. When he was examined, he renounced the papistic, Roman church, and also


* He that gives heed to the Word of God will gather wisdom.


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infant baptism, which he refuted with the holy Scriptures. Thereupon, as he steadfastly adhered to his faith in God, he was sentenced to be strangled and burned. As he was being led out to death, the priest presented the crucifix to him to kiss it, which he refused to do. The priest also said to the people

"Pray for this deceiver; for he is going from this fire into the eternal fire." To this he simply replied

"This is what you say, but I have a better assurance." Thus he offered up his sacrifice as a true child of God.


ELIZABETH, A. D. 1549


Elizabeth was apprehended on the 15th of January, 1549. When those who had come to apprehend her entered the house in which she lived, they found a Latin Testament. Having secured Elizabeth, they said: "We have got the right man; we have now the teacheress;" adding: "Where is your husband, Menno Simons, the teacher?"

They then brought her to the town house. The following day two beadles took her between them to prison.

She was then arraigned before the council, and asked upon oath, whether she had a husband.

Elizabeth answered: "We ought not to swear, but our words should be Yea, yea, and Nay, nay; I have no husband."

Lords: "We say that you are a teacher, and that you seduce many. We have been told this, and we want to know who your friends are."

Elisabeth: "My God has commanded me to love my Lord and my God, and to honor my parents; hence I will not tell you who my parents are; for what I suffer for the name of Christ is a reproach to my friends."

Lords: "We will let you alone in regard to this, but we want to know whom you have taught."

Elizabeth: "Oh, no, my lords, let me in peace with this, but interrogate me concerning my faith, which I will gladly tell you."

Lords: "We shall make you so afraid, that you will tell us."

Elizabeth: "I hope through the grace of God, that He will keep my tongue, so that I shall not become a traitoress, and deliver my brother into death."

Lords: "What persons were present when you were baptized?"

Elizabeth: "Christ said: Ask them that were present, or who heard it." John 18:21.

Lords: "Now we perceive that you are a teacher; for you compare yourself to Christ."

Elizabeth: "No, my lords, far be it from me; for I do not esteem myself above the offscourings which are swept out from the house of the Lord."

Lords: "What then do you hold concerning the house of God? do you not regard our church as the house of God?"

Elizabeth: "No, my lords, for it is written: 'Ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said,




I will dwell in them, and walk in them."' II Cor. 6:16.

Lords: "What do you hold concerning our mass?"

Elizabeth: "My lords, of your mass I think nothing at all; but I highly esteem all that accords with the Word of God."

Lords: "What are your views with regard to the most adorable, holy sacrament?"

Elizabeth: "I have never in my life read in the holy Scriptures of a holy sacrament, but of the Lord's Supper." (She also quoted the Scripture relating to this.)

Lords: "Be silent, for the devil speaks through your mouth."

Elizabeth: "Yea, my lords, this is a small matter, for the servant is not better than his lord."

Lords: "You speak from a spirit of pride."

Elizabeth: "No, my lords, I speak with frank. nes~."

Lords: "What did the Lord say, when He gave His disciples the Supper?"

Elizabeth: "What did He give them, flesh or bread?"

Lords: "He gave them bread."

Elizabeth: "Did not the Lord remain sitting there? Who then would eat the flesh of the Lord?"

Lords: "What are your views concerning infant baptism, seeing you have been rebaptized?"

Elizabeth: "No, my lords, I have not been rebaptized. I have been baptized once upon my faith; for it is written that baptism belongs to believers."

Lords: "Are our children damned then, because they are baptized?"

Elizabeth: "No, my lords, God forbid, that I should judge the children."

Lords: "Do you not seek your salvation in baptism?"

Elizabeth: "No, my lords, all the water in the sea could not save me; but salvation is in Christ (Acts 4:10), and He has commanded me to love God my Lord above all things, and my, neighbor as myself."

Lords: "Have the priests power to forgive sins?"

Elizabeth: "No, my lords; how should I believe this? I say that Christ is the only priest through whom sins are forgiven." Heb. 7:21.

Lords: "You say that you believe everything that accords with the holy Scriptures; do you not believe the words of James?"

Elizabeth: "Yea, my lords, why should I not believe them?"

Lords: "Does he not say: `Go to the elder of the church, that he may anoint you, and pray over you?" James 5:14.

Elizabeth: "Yea, my lords; but do you mean to say that you are of this church?"

Lords: "The Holy Ghost has saved you already; you need neither confession nor sacrament?"


Elizabeth: "No, my lords, I acknowledge that I have transgressed the ordinance of the pope, which the Emperor has confirmed by decrees. But prove to me that I have transgressed in any article against my Lord and my God, and I will cry woe over me, miserable being."

The foregoing is the first confession.

Afterwards she was again brought before the council, and led into the torture chamber, Hans, the executioner, being present. The lords then said: "We have thus long dealt with you in kindness;, but if you will not confess, we will resort to severity with you. The Procurator General said

"Master Hans, seize her."

Master Hans answered: "Oh, no, my lords, she will voluntarily confess."

But as she would not voluntarily confess, he applied the thumbscrews to her thumbs and fbrefingers, so that the blood squirted out at the nails.

Elizabeth said: "Oh I I cannot endure it any longer."

The lords said: "Confess, and we will relieve your pain."

But she cried to the Lord her God: "Help me, O Lord, Thy poor handmaiden I for Thou art a helper in time of need."

The lords all exclaimed: "Confess, and we will relieve your pain; for we told you to confess, and not to cry to God the Lord."

But she steadfastly adhered to God her Lord, as related above; and the Lord took away her pain, so that she said to the lords: "Ask me, and I shall answer you: for I no longer feel the least pain in my flesh, as I did before."

Lords: "Will you not yet confess?"

Elizabeth: "No, my lords."

They then applied the screws to her shins, one on each.

She said: "O my lords, do not put me to shame; for never a man touched my bare body."

The Procurator General said: "Miss Elizabeth, we shall not treat you dishonorably."

She then fainted away. They said to one another: "Perhaps she is dead."

But waking up, she said: "I live, and am not dead."

They then took off all the screws, and plied her with entreaties.

Elizabeth: "Why do you thus entreat me? this is the way to do with children."


Thus they obtained not one word from her, detrimental to her brethren in the Lord, or to any other person.


Lords: "Will you revoke all that you have previously confessed here?"


Elizabeth: "No, my lords, but I will seal it with my death."

Lords: "We will try you no more; will you voluntarily tell us, who baptized you?"


Elizabeth: "Oh, no, my lords; I have certainly told you, that I will not confess this."


Sentence was then passed upon Elizabeth, on the 27th of March, 1549; she was condemned to death




 to be drowned in a bag, and thus offered up her body to God.


SIX BRETHREN AND TWO SISTERS, NAMELY: PIETER

JANS, TOBIAS QUESTINEX, JAN PENNEWAERTS,

GIJSBERT JANS, ELLERT JANS, LUCAS MI;

CHIELS, BARBARA THIELEMANS, AND

TRUYKEN BOENS, ALL BURNT ALIVE

AT THE STAKE ON THE SAME

DAY, AT AMSTERDAM, ON

THE 20TH OF MARCH,

1549


In the year 1549 there were imprisoned at Amsterdam, for the truth of Jesus Christ, about twenty persons, men as well as women, all of whose names are not known, especially since some of them escaped from prison in the following manner: One of the prisoners had two brothers living in Waterlandt, who were rough fellows, and spent much of their time in taverns. So at a certain time it happened, that as they were sitting in the tavern, they began to think of their imprisoned brother, and supposing that the time when he should be offered up, was drawing nigh, they deliberated among themselves, how they could best liberate him, and swore an oath that they would shrink from neither labor nor peril, even though it should cost their lives; in confirmation of which they held up their fingers, tossed their hats in the air, and called God to witness. In the morning, when they were awake and had become sober, their perilous plan somewhat troubled them; but renuembering the solemn oath which they owed to God, as also the sad departure of their dear brother, they manifested the firmness of Romans, and proceeded in the following manner. They took a rope with a block, which had been well greased, so that the dry block should make no noise. This they packed into a basket, and took it to the house of Jan Jans, who lived opposite the prison, in the crescent, and said to him: "Jan Jans, may we leave this basket here, and call for it late in the evening, as it may suit us?"

Jan Jans assented, without ever thinking of the dangerous plan, till they came to get their basket.

This Jan Jans had a cousin among the prisoners, named Ellert Jans, who had a wooden leg and was a tailor whom the Bailiff had taken from his shop on the new dyke. Therefore these two brothers availed themselves of a dark evening, and brought a boat hook with them, which they thrust into the window, and then climbed up by it. They then made fast a rope, and broke open the windows with a crowbar. Having thus effected their purpose, they let their brother down from the window with a rope, and forthwith, went to other prisoners, all of whom they let down through the window, except Ellert Jan, who refused to go out, telling them as his reason, that he was of such good cheer to offer his sacrifice, and felt so happy that he did not expect even through a long life to become any better, since he feared that on the way through the long desert his courage might fail him, and thus he would never get across the Jordan, and reach the promised land. He also said that he was too well known by his wooden leg, so that he could easily be described for the purpose of apprehension.

But Tobias, Pieter, Grietgen, Jan, Lyntgen and Barbartgen were confined in other dungeons, where they could well hear, but not get to, them. They remained in confinement till the time of their offering up was fulfilled, except Lyntgen, who was spared on account of her pregnancy. She also gave birth to a child while in bonds; but the pain of delivery so affected her, that she became utterly deranged in her mind; after this she laid yet for a long time at Amsterdam, in a little house, in which she also died.

When the day had arrived, on which the aforementioned persons were to offer up their sacrifices, said Jan Jans stationed himself close to the tribunal, to see what spirit his cousin Ellert Jans would show in the last hour of his life. As soon as Ellert Jans perceived his cousin, he addressed him with such a happy countenance that all the hearers listened with astonishment. He also handed him a testament through the iron bars of the tribunal; but the bailiff cried out like a ferocious lion

Where is the book? but could not find it out.

With many good arguments he admonished every one, principally his cousin Jan Jans, that he should no longer suffer himself to be seduced by the adorned woman, the whore of Babylon, but should enter upon the way to the city of all good things. Yea, he said, that he never had lived a happier day; which Jan so took to heart, that he afterwards also took upon him the burden of the cross. Thus all the afore mentioned friends ended their lives in great joy, and were burnt alive. Shortly after a lover of the truth composed a hymn in remembrance of them, the first letter of each verse of which accords with the first letter of the names. It is found in the old hymnbook, and is the first of those beginning with T: "'Tis nu schier al vervudt," etc.


The sentence of these six brethren and two sisters, we obtained from the book of criminal sentences of the city of Amsterdam, through the secretary of said place; excepting the title which reads as follows


SENTENCE OF DEATH OF PIETER JANS, TOBIAS

QUESTINEX, JAN PENNEWAERTS, GIJSBERT

JANS, ELLERT JANS, LUCAS MICHI;

ELS, BARBARA THIELEMAUS, AND

TRUYKEN BOENS


Whereas Pieter, son of Jans, a native of Lininckhuysen, Tobias Questinex, citizen of this city, shoemakers, by trade; Jan Pennewaerts of Loenen, Gijsbert Jans of Woerden, Ellert Jans, also citizen of this city, tailors, Lucas Michiels of Dortrecht, glazier by trade, Barbara Thielemaus of Dortrecht, and Truyken Boens, daughter of William Boens of




Antwerp, have been rebaptized by one Giles of Aix la Chapelle, and have joined the sect and heresy of the Anabaptists, holding pernicious views with regards to the sacraments of the holy church, contrary to the holy Christian faith, the ordinances of said holy church, and the written laws and decrees of his Imperial Majesty, our gracious lord; and, moreover, obstinately persist in their unbelief, errors and heresies; therefore, my lords the judges, having heard the demand made by my lord the bailiff concerning said persons, together with their confession, and having duly considered the circumstances of said case, condemn said persons to be burnt by the executioner; and, furthermore, declare all their property confiscated for the benefit of his Imperial Majesty, as Count of Holland and our gracious lord, without prejudice to the privileges of this city. So pronounced and ordered to be executed, this 20th day of March, 1549, in the presence of the bailiff, Egbert Gabriels and Joost Buyck, burgomasters, and all the judges.

Of these delinquents three were subjected to the torture, namely, Tobias Questinex, on the 14th of Feliruary, Pieter Jans, on the 15th of the same month, and Ellert Jans on the 8th of the present month, March.

Extracted from the book of criminal sentences of the city of Amsterdam, in the keeping of the secretary there.

N. N.


FIJE AND EELKEN AT LEEUWARDEN, A. D. 1549


In the year 1549, about three weeks before Easter, two beloved men, named Fije and Eelken, were apprehended at Boorn, in West Friesland. They were brought before the lords, where they boldlv confessed their faith.

They first interrogated Eelken, saying: "Who has authorized you to assemble the people, to teach them?"

Ans. "God has authorized me." Heb. 10:25.

Ques. "What have you taught?"

Ans. "Ask them that heard it, what we taught among ourselves; for you have apprehended a woman that heard it."

They then asked the woman what she had heard from Eelken.

Ans. "He read the four Evangelists, Paul, Peter, the epistles of John, and the acts of the, apostles."

Eelken was then asked again: "What do you hold concerning the sacrament?"

Ans. "I know nothing of your baked God."

Ques. "Friend, take care what you say; such words cost necks. What do you think of the mother of God?"

Ans. "Much."

Ques. "What do you say; did the Son of God not receive flesh and blood from Mary?"

Ans. "No: With regard to this, I believe what the Son of God Himself declares concerning it." John 1:14.


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Ques. "What do you hold concerning our holy Roman church?"

Ans. "I know nothing of your holy church. I do not know it; I never in all my life was in a holy church."

Ques. "You speak too spitefully; I have compassion for you," said one of the lords of the council, "and fear that you will lose your neck. Are you not baptized?"

Ans. "I am not baptized, but greatly desire baptism."

Ques. "What do you think of these false teachers who run about and baptize the people?"

Ans. "Of false teachers I think nothing, but have greatly longed to hear a teacher sent from God?"

They said: "But we have heard that you are a teacher?"

Eelken said: "Who made me a teacher?"

They replied: "We do not know."

Eelken said: "If you ask me what you do not know yourselves, how should I know it? I know of no one that has made me a teacher; but God has given me all for which I have besought Him."

They said: "We have now written down all the articles concerning which we have interrogated you on this occasion; if there is anything of which you repent, we will gladly strike it out I"

Ans. "Do you think that I should deny God?"

Eelken and Fije were then both sentenced and brought together; they embraced each other, yea, kissed one another's hands and feet with great love, so that all that saw and heard it were astonished. The beadles and servants ran to the lords and said: "Never men loved one another as do these." Eelken said to Fije: "Dear brother, do not take it amiss, that you have been brought into suffering through me." Fije answered: "Dear brother, do not think so, for it is the power of God."

Their execution was deferred till the third day after the sentence was passed. Eelken was first executed with the sword. When Fije's sentence was read, he did not listen to it, because of his great joy; and, ignorant of what had happened, or was to happen, to Eelken, he sang and leaped; praising and thanking God, saying: "This is the only way."

They led Fije into the boat in which Eelken lays beheaded, and beside him the wheel upon which Eelken was to be placed, and the stake at which Fije was to stand, to be burned. In the boat Fije's hands became loose, but he sat still nevertheless. The monks then said: "Bind him again." The hangman replied: "You bind him." But the castellan commanded him to bind Fije again. Some women who beheld it wept bitterly. But Fije said

"Weep not for me, but for your sins."

He further said to the executioner: "What are you going to do to me?"

Ans. "That you will see."

"Yea, yea," said Fije, "do what you will; I have committed myself into the hands of my Lord."




The brethren went out with him, together with the common. people, and when Fije saw some of his acquaintances, he cried out: "Friends, rejoice with me over this marriage feast which is prepared for me.

When he arrived at the place of execution, some brethren, who greatly rejoiced with him, spoke to him, saying: "This is the narrow way; this is the Lord's wine press; from this depends the crown." But when the castellan heard this cry, he called out

"Let no man lay his hands on him, on pain of life, and property."

The executioner had forgotten his instruments, and ran to the town to get them. In the meantime, the castellan and the two monks had Fije in the confessional, greatly tempting him with bread and wine; but they could not prevail upon him, for Fije did nothing but sing and speak, praising and thanking God.

When they could not prevail on him, and the executioner returned, they said to Fije: "How is it that you are so obstinate, when you say that you are a member of Christ? Why then will you not do the works of mercy, and receive this bread and wine as bread and wine, for our sakes."

Am. "I do not hunger for.your bread and wine; for there is food prepared for me in heaven."

When they could not prevail upon him, they said: "Begone, you heretic, begone!"

The castellan said: "I have seen many a heretic; but in all my life I never saw a more obdurate one than,this."

Fije, standing prepared for death, said to the executioner: "Master, have you finished your work?"

He replied: "Not yet."

Fije said: "Here is the sheep for which you are wanted."

The executioner, then went up to Fije, tore open his shirt, took the cap from his head, and filled it with gunpowder. Standing at the stake at which he was to be strangled, Fije exclaimed: "O Lord, receive Thy servant."

He was then strangled and burnt, and thus fell asleep in the Lord. The common people cried out saying: "This was a pious Christian; if he is not a Christian, there is not one in the whole world."


JACOB CLAESS OF LANTSMEER, AND CECILIA JER;

ONYMUS HIS WIFE, BURNT IN GREAT CON;

STANCY FOR THE TESTIMONY OF JESUS

CHRIST, AT AMSTERDAM, IN THE

YEAR 1549*


The tribulation, anguish and distress of the beloved friends and children of God continued; for they did not cease to persecute and kill them, yea, to put them to death in a dreadful, miserable and lamentable manner, which, in the year 1549, ap 


* We have had some doubts as to whether these two persons were not the same ones who, under the names of Jacob and Se1i, have been noticed previously, for the year 1542, and whom we allowed to remain there; but as we find some contrary circumstances, we took cause to regard them as not the same, but different persons; hence we have put them here in their proper place.


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peared also in the city of Amsterdam, in Holland, in the case of two pious and very God fearing persons, named Jacob Claess of Lantsmeer, and Cecilia Jeronymus of Wormer, who, as they, after suffering many assaults, conflicts and tribulations from secular as well as ecclesiastical persons, who sought to draw them away from the faith, remained constant, were. sentenced to the fire as heretics, which punishment of death they steadfastly endured, on the 9th of November, A. D. 1549, as appears from the following two sentences, which were publicly pronounced on the day of their death, in the court of Amsterdam; true copies of which, obtained by us through the clerk of the court there, we shall adduce here, for the further confirmation of said matter.


SENTENCE OF DEATH OF JACOB CLAESS OF LANTS;

MEER


Whereas Jacob Claess of Lantsmeer has joined the doctrine, sect and heresies of the Anabaptists, having been rebaptized, and holding pernicious views in regard to the sacraments of the holy church, contrary to the holy Christian faith, the ordinances of the holy Christian church, and the written laws and decrees of his Imperial Majesty our gracious lord; and, moreover, obstinately persists in his errors and heresy, notwithstanding the instruction which has been given him concerning the true faith; therefore, my lords the judges, having heard the demand made by my lord the bailiff, in the name of his Imperial Majesty, concerning said Jacob Claess, together with his confession, and having considered the circumstances of said case, sentence said Jacob Claess, pursuant to the aforesaid decrees, to be burnt by the executioner, and, furthermore, declare his property confiscated for the benefit of his Imperial Majesty, as Count of Holland. So pronounced, and executed by the executioner, on the 9th of November, A. D. 1549, in the presence of the bailiff, Sir Hendrick Dirks; burgomaster, Jan Willems; Claes Meeuwess, Simon, Claess Kops, Florus Marts, Jan Claess van oppen, and Hendrick Jans Croock, Judges.

Jacob Claess was subjected to the torture on the 22d of October, A. D. 1549.

Extracted from the book of criminal sentences, in the keeping of the secretary of the city of Amsterdam.

N. N.


SENTENCE OF DEATH OF CECILIA JERONYMUS


Whereas Cecilia, daughter of Jeronymus, of Wormer, has joined the doctrine, sect and heresies of the Anabaptists, having been rebaptized, and holding pernicious views in regard to the sacraments of the holy church, contrary to the holy Christian faith, the ordinances of the holy Christian church, the written laws and decrees of his Imperial Majesty our gracious lord, and, moreover, obstinately persists in her errors and heresies, notwithstanding the instruction which has been given her concerning the true faith; therefore, my lords the judges, having heard the demand made by my lord the bailiff, in .the name of his Imperial Majesty, concerning said Cecilia, together with her confession, and having maturely considered the circumstances of said case, sentence said Cecilia Jeronymus, pursuant to the aforesaid decrees, to be burnt by the executioner, and, furthermore, declare her property confiscated for the benefit of his Imperial Majesty, as Count of Holland. Done and executed as above.

Extracted from the book of criminal sentences, in the keeping of the secretary of the city of Amsterdam.

N. N.


HANS VAN OVERDAM PUT TO DEATH AT GHENT;

ALSO HIS CONFESSION, WRITTEN IN PRISON,

AND AFTERWARDS SEALED WITH HIS

BLOOD, IN THE YEAR 1550


Hans van Overdam, together with his fellowprisoners for the testimony of Jesus Christ, wishes all brethren and sisters in the Lord, grace, peace, and an ardent love, from God the Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ, to whom be praise, honor, and majesty forever and ever. Amen.

My most dearly beloved, grieve not on my account (Eph. 3:13), but praise the Lord that He is so good a Father to me, that I can suffer bonds and imprisonment for the testimony of Christ, for which I also hope to go into the fire. The Lord give me strength through His Holy Spirit. Amen. Walk in the fear of the Lord, even as you are called. I Cor. 7:17. And though we see one another no more in the flesh, may we behold each other hereafter, in the kingdom of our Father, where I hope soon to be: The peace of the Lord be with you. Amen.

O dear brethren and sisters in the Lord, my heart's deepest desire and prayer is (Rom. 10:1), that you may constantly give more and more diligence to make sure the calling whereunto.you are called by God the Father, through Christ, to the majesty and glory of the kingdom 'of His beloved Son, who purchased His church with His own blood, and gave Himself for it; that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. Eph. 5:25-27.

Therefore, O dear friends, mark here what great love the Father has shown us, that He did not spare His only begotten Son, and how Christ so willingly delivered Himself up, and suffered the most ignominious and shameful death of the cross, and shed His precious blood, for us, to wash and cleanse us from our sins. O dear brethren and sisters, let us take heed, and diligently pray and watch, lest the saving grace of God, and the unspeakable love of the Father, and of Christ, be neglected or forgotten by us (Heb. 12:15) , through the cares and anxieties of this world, or through the lusts and desires which kill the soul, and we be washed and scoured off as spots and wrinkles from the glorious church of Christ; yea, cut off as unfruitful branches, and destined to the fire. For, my most beloved, it  is not enough, that we have received baptism upon faith, and been engrafted by it into Christ, if we do not hold the beginning of our confidence Steadfast unto the end. Heb. 3:14. Therefore, if there is any one that feels that he is become a spot or wrinkle, let him see to it that he make haste, before the day come upon him, as the snare upon the bird; let him repent with true sorrow and penitence, lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, .and run with full strength the race that is set before him, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but that it may much rather be healed and strengthened, that we may pass the time of our sojourning here in the fear of God, and keep ourselves unspotted from this wicked evil world, which is full of deceit, snares, and nets, which the devil sets for the purpose of seducing the souls of men, and of taking them captive by manifold lusts and wiles.

O Lord,.preserve (from this murderer) Thy pilgrims who walk in the hope of Thee, and expect their help and comfort from Thee alone. O, heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ our Lord, preserve us that Thou mayest perform the good work which Thou hast begun in us, to the praise and glory of Thy holy name. O Thou Almighty and everlasting God, how utterly incomprehensible is Thy grace and fatherly mercy upon those that fear and love Thee.. O Father, who should not fear such a God, who knows how to deliver His own; though they may seem to be forsaken here for a little season, despised of all men, rejected and cursed on this earth; yet He does not forsake His own through the consolation of His Holy Spirit in our hearts, who makes us bold and joyful, that we may suffer reproach for His name. And we hope through the goodness of God; that our pilgrimage will soon end, and we shall be delivered from this miserable world and vale of tears, and that this earthly house of our tabernacle will be dissolved, that we may be brought home to our heavenly Father, and receive the crown of everlasting life, which is set before us, and which we hope no creature shall take from us. To this end, may the Almighty and eternal God, the merciful Father, strengthen us through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Dear friends, let me tell you, how it went with me before my imprisonment, and how they treated us after my imprisonment.


At the time when the four friends concerning whom I composed the hymn, and whose burning I witnessed, were offered up, I heard it stated that they had. assailed the friends who yet remained in prison, with great cunning and deception, through the advice of the false prophets, whose minds are constantly filled with the subtlety of the devil, even as they had boasted that they would do. Our friends that remained there, were two lads and a girl, for whom we daily very diligently prayed the Lord, fearing, lest they might by some means be moved from the faith. We daily expected that they would also be put to death, and because of their youth I was impelled in my heart to station myself at the scaffold, when they were to be put to death, in order that, if they should be troubled on any account, I might comfort them, and also reprove the monks, who greatly distress and vex our friends when they are led to death. But, alas! the poor children did not get so far; for they imprudently allowed themselves to be drawn into disputations with the false prophets, though they had been sufficiently warned to beware of it as they valued their souls; for it is not given to everyone to dispute, but boldly to confess the faith. This when received from the Lord, well becomes Christians.

But when these poor lambs engaged in controversy, they became perplexed in their consciences, and apostatized from the truth, which gave the false prophets cause for great boasting, since they had won their souls, and brought them back to the holy church. When I heard this, my soul and spirit were greatly grieved on account of the loss of the poor sheep, and because the false prophets, and also the councilors gloried so much in the fall and destruction of the poor lambs and children, whom they had driven to this by adjuring them as you shall hear in the sequel.

Being thus sorrowful, I sighed and complained to God over the violence and power of the devil, which he exerts through the children of unbelief. Then the thought came to me, to write a few letters for the purpose of informing them in several places reprehending their vain joy over the loss of the poor lambs whose souls they had murdered. I then began to write, and while thus engaged, my soul was so kindled, that what I had intended to be a little letter of a handbreadth, became a letter of a whole leaf. The Lord opened my understanding, so that in a wonderful manner I proved to the lords, by references to the Scriptures, their punishment with the whole Roman Empire and its end. In the letter I wrote, that I desired and requested liberty publicly to dispute with all their learned men, in the presence of a great fire, into which the defeated party should be cast; also, that they should let the poor lambs in peace, and that they should leave the sword to the secular power, and contend with the Word of God.

Having completed this letter,' I showed it to the brethren, who were well pleased with it. I then had a brother, who was a better writer than I, make six copies of it. In the meantime, the poor, ruined lambs were released from prison, and recanted everything. One of the lads died the same day on which he came out, a league from the city, and thus became an example to those who seek to save their life.


At the time that this occurred I came with Hansken Keeskooper from Antwerp, and we made all our arrangements for the disposing of our letters. On Saturday evening we sent the letters to the lords of the city, and also posted two open ones in the middle of the city, that everyone might read them. We greatly praise and thank the Lord, that we did this before we were apprehended: for we were all betrayed by a Judas, who was among us, and who seemed to be one of the most pious of all the brethren that were there, so successfully could he practice his deception. It had long been his aim, as we now perceive, to betray a large number of the friends. This traitor was present when the letters were posted. We had appointed to meet together on Sunday morning, to speak of the word of the Lord: for I desired to take leave of the brethren, intending to go on a journey the next day. But the Lord be praised, who had ordered it otherwise. Early in the morning, Hansken went with me to the woods where we were to assemble. We did not find our friends at the place where we expected to meet them. We hunted for them a good half hour, and came to the conclusion that they had not yet come, as there had been a heavy rain the evening before. We were about to turn back; when I .said: "Let us go; they may be here ahead of us," and sang softly; that, if they were there, they might hear us. I then heard a rustling in the woods, and said to Hansken: "Our friends are here." We stood still, and looked to see who should come out. Then three men with weapons and sticks came forth.

I said: "Well, boys, have you been hunting a hare, and have not caught it?"

Their faces turned pale as death, and they stepped up to us, and seized me by the arm, saying: "Surrender."

Thus they apprehended us, saying: "We have caught a great number besides."

We then saw a whole wagon full of our brethren sitting bound, and three judges with all their servants, a great number, who guarded them. When we came to them, we saluted our brethren with the peace of the Lord, and comforted them with His words, boldly to contend for His name.

We then reproved the judges for being so desirous of shedding innocent blood. Thereupon they coupled Hansken and me together with iron fetters, and also our thumbs. We expected they would take us to the city; but as we had been apprehended in another seigniory, we had to go half a league further. We regarded it as very fortunate that we could be together so long, thus being enabled to comfort one another on the way, with the Word of the Lord, before they separated us.


We were then taken to a castle, a league from the city, where we were all kept together in one room, remaining there three days; for this was the law of the seigniory where we had been apprehended. There we thanked and praised the Lord our God for having ordered it so well, that we had so much time freely to admonish one another. Much people also came from the city, to see and hear us; but towards the last no one was permitted to come into our room. There the chief bailiff of the country of Aelst examined us in regard to our faith, which we freely confessed to him. We expected to be taken to Aelst; but as the bailiff of Ghent had put us into the wagon when we were apprehended, to take us to Ghent, all of us had to be taken to that city. The traitor who had betrayed us, was apprehended with us, that we might not notice it. He was put into a separate room, and we felt much compassion for him, because he could not be with us; for we knew not that he was our betrayer. He was also taken along in the wagon, to the prison at Ghent, where we first learned that he had betrayed us.

When we were brought out of the castle, to be taken to the city, much people had come from the city to see us; there my brother's wife, who was a sister, was apprehended, because she spoke to me, and was put into the wagon; also a man who wished us Godspeed. We freely spoke to the people that had come, telling them that those who would turn from wickedness, and follow Christ, had to be a prey for everyone. Isa. 59:15. There were many who would have liked to talk with us, but did not dare do so, because of the wicked judges. There were ten of us; two were ready [for baptism], and four were novices; the other two were apprehended because they spoke to us. Thus they took two wagon loads to the city, in broad daylight. On the way, they also apprehended a woman, only because she said to us: "God keep you." She also had to sit in the wagon. But if they had apprehended all who spoke to us when we came into the city, and to whom we replied with the Word of God, they could not have carried them in twenty wagons, as the people came running from every corner which we passed; as water which runs down from the mountains, and becomes a large stream, so the people flowed together, which continued from one of the gates of the city to the castle of the count, which stands at the other end of the city, a walking distance of about one hour. We were led up to the castle, and the judge of the country of Aelst, delivered us over into the hands of the lords of the Imperial Council. Here we were separately confined, some into upper rooms. The women also remained above; but eleven of us were led into a gloomy, deep dungeon, containing divers dark cells built of masonry, in which we were put in separate parties of three and three. But Hansken and I. were put into the darkest of all, in which there was a small quantity of crumbled straw, about an apron full, with which we might help ourselves. I said: "It seems to me that we are with Jonah in the whale's belly, so dark it is here; we may well cry with Jonah to the Lord, that He will be our comforter and deliverer; for we are now deprived of all human comfort and assistance." This did not defect us, but we praised and thanked God, that we were permitted to surer for His name. We also spoke to our brethren that lay in other cells; for we could easily hear each other speaking. After we had lain there for three or four days, Hansken and I were both summoned before the lords, where we were examined, and interrogated concerning the ground of our faith, and when we had been baptized.

The Lord then, according to His promise, gave us a mouth, to speak boldly, and we requested to be allowed publicly to defend ourselves with the Word of God. They replied to us, that they would send us learned men, who would instruct us; whereupon we were taken below again.

Shortly after, I was taken above into another room, to two councilors and a clerk. There they interrogated me very closely, where I had been, and if I knew that I had been banished six years ago, in the time of Martin Huereblock, and where we had held our meetings; all of which they knew, for the traitor had already told them. I said: "Why do you ask me, who have come from foreign countries?" (For I purposely did not wish to ask much, that, in case I should be apprehended, I might not have much to answer.) "Why do you question me so closely? Have you not yet enough innocent blood to shed? Do you thirst for still more?" "Ask as closely as you want to," said I; "the righteous judge shall ask you again, if you do not repent."

They then asked me still more, and adjured me by my baptism, that I should tell them; "For," said they, "we know that you people do not lie; hence tell us."

I said: "That you know that we do not lie, is to us a testimony of salvation, but to you of perdition (Phil. 1:28), because you put such to death; but your adjuration has no power against the truth."

All that I said was written down, and they threatened to torture me if I would not tell them everything. I said: "I can not tell you what I do not know." Thus they tormented me for a very long time. Thereupon I was taken below again. In this manner they dealt with all our friends, with each separately.

One Saturday I was taken above again into the same room. Four monks were present; the guardian of the Minorites, with another, and the Superior of the Jacobines, with another. With me there came a young brother, who had not yet received baptism, but was ready for it.

When I had seated myself, I asked them what they wished. They said they were sent by the lords, to instruct us, and to converse with us concerning the ground and articles of faith. I replied that I was ready to be instructed with the Word of God, and to hold converse concerning the ground and articles of faith, and this publicly, in the presence of the judges who were to judge us, and of our brethren and sisters that were imprisoned with us.

Arcs. "This they will not permit."

Hans van Overdaw. "Well, let them do what they please; we will not dispute secretly and alone, lest our words be perverted behind our backs."




Ans. "We will not pervert your words."

Hans. "No, we know you well."

Ques. "What do you take us for? What evil did we ever do you? Pray, tell us what evil do you know of us?"

Hans. "If you would know it then; I regard you as false prophets and seducers."

Here we got into a dispute concerning their spiritual semblance, and the command of the pope regarding the purity of the priests and monks, and why they were called spiritual, and others secular, when all ought to be spiritual.

They then said: "This is not profitable; let us dispute about the articles of faith."

Thereupon I said: "What I have said I have said."

They replied that they would tell it to the lords. Thus we separated, having disputed with each other for fully two hours. Two days after, Hansken and I were summoned before the lords; the four monks were present, and attempted to engage us in a disputation.

I then said to the lords: "My lords, I ask you, in what house are we, in a house of justice, or of violence?"

Ans. "In a house of justice."

Hans. "God grant that it be so; but, my lords, of what do you accuse us, that you keep us imprisoned and confined like thieves and murderers? Have we wronged any one, or do you charge us with violence, murder, or roguery?"

Ans. "No; we know no such thing of you."

Hans. "Well, my lords, why then have you imprisoned us?"

Ans. "Your adversaries will tell you that."

Hans. "Are you our adversaries?"

Ans. "No, but we are judges."

I then said to the monks: "Are you our adversaries?"

Ans. "No."

Haw. "Well, if no one is our adversary, why are we imprisoned?"

A councilor then said: "The Emperor is your adversary."

Hans. "We have not offended against his Imperial Majesty according to the power which he has received from God, and will obey him in every ordinance, as far as we can do so consistently with the truth."

Councilor. "You have held meetings of this new doctrine, and the Emperor has commanded that this should not be done."

Hams. "God has not authorized him to make such commandments; in this he transcends the power which God has given him, and in this we do not recognize his supremacy; for the salvation of our souls concerns us more, so that we show obedience to GocA."

The monks then said: "We are your adversaries, in that your doctrine is not good; for if it were good, you would not preach in woods and corners, but openly."


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Hans then said: "Grant us a. free place in the market, or in your monasteries and churches, and see whether we then shall go into the woods; but no, you are afraid that you would be reproved; hence you have brought it about, that you cannot be reproved, and have driven us from cities and countries."

Monks. "Alas! we have not done it; the Emperor does it."

Hans. "You have urged him to it."

Monks. "We have not."

The lords also then began to speak against us, why we were not content with the faith of our parents, and with our baptism.

We replied: "We know of no infant baptism, but of a baptism upon faith, concerning which the Word of God teaches us."

We then had many other words, and reproved them for undertaking to be judges in matters of faith, when they did not understand the Scriptures. "If you would be judges, be impartial, and let the matter proceed in regular order; let both parties appear together, and let our brethren and sisters that have been brought prisoners here together with us, be with us. Then one of us, whose mouth the Lord shall open, will speak, and the others shall listen in silence while he is speaking; and thus shall also our adversaries do."

Lords: "We will not let you come together; we would have you dispute alone here."

We then said: "My lords, it would be the most convenient for you, and the whole matter could be finished with one disputation; otherwise you will constantly have to dispute anew with one or two at a time."


Lords. "What then? We will not have it so."


Then a councilor said: "They want to have them together, in order to seduce one another still more; therefore they cannot be allowed to come together."


Hans. "My lords, you say that you are judges, but we regard you as our adversaries; for you seek to injure us in every way, and to cause us and our brethren by violence and subtlety, to apostatize from our faith."


Ans. "Why should we not do this, in order to bring them back?"


Hans. "Well, my lords, hear this: since we see that you are no judges, but our adversaries, and employ, wherever you can; all violence and subtlety, to your advantage, and our detriment: Firstly, you have by violence deprived us of our testaments, in which we find our consolation; secondly, you have confined us separately, some in deep, dark dungeons, others in rooms up above; and thirdly, you seek to outwit and deceive us by separate disputations, afterwards to say behind our backs, to our brethren, that you had overcome us, and, vice versa, to say the same to us concerning our brethren and sisters; therefore, my lords, we will not dispute here, unless our brethren and sisters are present."




When they heard that their design against us did not proceed according to their wish, they became greatly enraged, and also the monks. We saw easily enough to what it amounted, and that all they did was pure deception; for though it was proved by the Scriptures, with regard to several articles, that they were in the wrong, yet they would not acknowledge it, and excused themselves with the Emperor and his mandates, and the monks with the long continued customs of the Roman church (Wisdom 14:16), and the great number of our forefathers: and when the contrary had been proven to them from the Scriptures, it was just as before, even as though one should have talked to the stove.

We then said: "My lords, will you not permit us, to dispute in regular order, as we have requested?"

IAns. "No."

"Well then," said we, "You know the ground of our faith, which we have freely confessed to you; you may now do with us as you please (Jer. 26:14), as far as God will permit; but take good heed what you do, for there is a judge still higher than you. Eph. 6:9. May the Lord open the eyes of your understanding, that you may see how miserably you are seduced and deceived by the false prophets, indeed so that you fight against God and the Lamb, for which it will go hard with you, unless you, repent."


We were then led away again, as we would not dispute further; for we had agreed upon this, when we were together yet in the castle, out of the city, lest they should take the simple unawares by disputations. Hence they.could not persuade any that they had overcome them, all knowing that they were not to dispute, except in the presence of the others, in which case the disputation would tend to the consolation and admonition of our brethren and sisters who should hear it; for when we saw that they did their best we would not let anything be wanting on our part, seeing necessity demanded it. When they perceived that this did 'not promise success, they tried another scheme. They sent a councilor and two friars,:a grey and a black, into a room, before whom a brother or sister, one at a time, were brought, to dispute with them and to defend the ground of their faith; but they declared that they would not dispute alone in a room, but openly, when we should be together before the lords. They then said: "We adjure you by your faith and baptism, that you dispute here." The brother replied: "I know my faith and baptism but with your adjuration I have nothing to do; hence let us come together; for this is just what we wish, to dispute openly with you, but not thus alone in a room." Another'was then summoned, and thus it went until all had' been brought before them; but no one would dispute in this manner. Thereupon I also had to appear alone in a room, before a councilor and two monks, who likewise began to adjure me. I then said: "Why would you adjure me, to cast roses before dogs, and pearls before swine, that you may trample on them? No, this the Lord has forbidden me to do. Matt. 7:6. Nay, I esteem the words of God far too precious, than that I should  let the light shine in vain here, whereby no one would be enlightened, but it would only be blasphemed and mocked, as you do when the truth is told you."

Then they adjured me still much more; but I replied: "Why do you adjure so much? I care not for your adjuration; for it is the manner of sorcerers, who adjure against the truth. II Chron. 33:6. But I now see clearly, how the souls of our two brethren and sisters were murdered and seduced (Ezek. 13:19), it was through your sorcerous adjuration, as they did not guard themselves against the subtlety of the devil, and had not the gift to dispute."

The guardian then said: "You boasted in your letter, that you would dispute publicly; why do you not dare do it now?"

Hans. "You monk, I still desire with all my heart to defend my faith with the Word of God, publicly before all men (I Pet. 3:15); but your cap would shake quite differently, if you had to dispute with me at the risk of the fire, and if the authorities would not protect you."

Councilor. "No, we have no desire to let you dispute publicly; you are now in our hands."

Hans. "I desired it, before I knew that I should fall into your hands; but I see well now, that I have fallen into the talons of the eagle (II Esd. 11), and whoever gets into them cannot escape without losing soul or body."

Councilor. "Who is the eagle, the Emperor?"

Hans. "No, it is the Roman Empire or power; read the letter I wrote you; it will tell you."

We then exchanged many more words, and the monks became angry at me, and commenced to utter puffed up words. I then said that Paul had prophesied correctly concerning them, that they were blasphemers, proud, and puffed up. II Tim. 3:2.

Thereupon friar Jan de Croock became so enraged that he began to cry: "Fools, fools, heretics, heretics are you!"

Hans. "Behold, is this, not a fine teacher? but Paul says that a teacher must not be a brawler, nor angry." I Tim. 3:3; Tit. 1:7. The councilor felt ashamed that the monk acted so disgracefully, and commanded him to be silent.


At another subsequent time there came two secular priests: Sir Willem of Nieuwenland, and the parish priest of St. Michael. I asked them what they desired. They replied: "We have come to seek your soul." This time I kept under cover as much as I could, in hopes that we might dispute openly before the lords, as they told me that they would use their best endeavors in this direction. But when I heard that it could not be, I thought, when they came again with the clerk, we must accost each other in quite a different way, from what we did the last time. I then asked: "What do you wish?"

Ans. "We desire'that you suffer yourself to be instructed; for, behold, we seek your soul."

Hans. "Do you then take so much pains to seek souls?"

Ans. "Yes."

Hans. "Well then, go into the city, to every place, to the drunkards, whoremongers, swearers, railers, covetous, proud, idolaters, revellers, gluttons, and murderers, who shed innocent blood; ail these are still your brethren; go, seek their souls; Christ has found mine."

Ans. "We admonish them, and then we have delivered our souls."

Hans. "That is not enough; you must go to them, and reprove them, and if they will not hear you, you must bring them before the church, and reprove them openly; if they still refuse to hear, exclude them from the church, and let them be unto you as heathen and open sinners, as Christ teaches, and Paul writes to the Corinthians. Reprove also your judges, who do violence and injustice, yea, who shed innocent blood."

One of the priests then said: "Should we go and reprove the magistrates?"

I asked whether God was a respecter of persons.

Ans. "No."

Hans. "Would you be a minister of God, and have respect to persons?"

Ans. "This would cause an uproar in the city, and they would kill us."

Hans. "Then suffer for righteousness' sake."

But it seemed to me they had no great desire to suffer for it. In short, we treated so much of the ban, that if the words of Christ and Paul were followed, the pope, prelates, emperor and king, yea, they themselves with all their multitude would be excluded, and only a very small number remain.

I then told them that their house was all on fire, kindled by the flames of hell, and that they should first extinguish that, before coming to see whether our house was in danger of fire. Whereupon they went away; one of the priests came no more. In this manner I dealt also with Sir Anthony van Hille; he tormented the others, but let me alone.

Herewith I commend my dear brethren and sisters in the Lord into the hands of the Almighty God and Father; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Written while in prison for the testimony of Christ. I lay in a dark dungeon for a month; I am now in a deep, round hole, where there is a little more light, and here I have written this letter. I hope to offer up my sacrifice this week, if it is the Lord's will, together with those whom the Lord has foreordained thereto; for if it does not take place this week, it will no doubt be deferred for two months yet, because no court will be held for six weeks. Know, that our brethren and sisters are of good cheer and courage, through the grace of the Lord; God be praised for it. I beseech you, by the brotherly love which you bear to me, that you send this letter to Friesland, particularly to Emdenland; I mean this same letter, as soon as you can; you may copy it, but make haste with it. I kindly desire that it be preserved, so that it may not be torn or soiled. The brethren that are in the dungeon with me, greet you all with the peace of God. We daily pray to the Lord for you; do so also for us. Walk in the peace of the Lord, and it will be well with you. When this letter has been read, send it to Antwerp, that it may be sent to the church at Emden, so that it may be read to everyone; this I desire of my dear brethren, through the brotherly love which you bear to me.


A LETTER BY HANS VAN OVERDAM, WHICH HE

SENT TO THE LORDS OF THE LAW, AT GHENT

AND TO THE COUNCILORS, THE DAY

BEFORE HIS APPREHENSION


Understand well:


He that bath ears to hear, let him hear, and he that reads, let him attend, and judge with the understanding of the holy Scriptures; but woe to him that judges without understanding. Hearken, I speak to you, O carnal generation, you Ishmaelites, who boast of being Christians, because you are born of water without the Spirit, and persecute the children of the promise, who, through faith in the Word of God, are born of the water and of the Spirit; yea, you persecute them, as Ishmael persecuted Isaac, as Esau did Jacob, and as the Jews persecuted Christ. Even so the antichristians, who are born of the flesh, now persecute the Christians, who are born of the Spirit, who shall receive the promise of the everlasting kingdom through Christ, who is the heir of all things, .and causes His kingdom to be proclaimed through the Gospel, unto repentance and true sorrow for dead works, through faith in Him; they contemn his witnesses, etc. This is the wind, O eagle, mark! which bloweth where it listeth, and thou canst not tell whence it cometh, or whither it goeth. Hear now His voice, which the Most High has reserved unto the latter times, to reveal to thee thy transgressions and punishment, who now begins to deliver His people through much misery and tribulation.

Therefore, mark! O thou eagle, the end of thy time is very nigh; art thou not the fourth beast? Oh, yes, thou art the beast seen by Daniel (Dan. 7:7), which devoured everything with his iron teeth, and stamped the residue with his feet, and brought forth the most wicked little horn. Dan. 7:7, 8. Thou hast dwelt a long time upon the earth with deceit, and hast not judged the earth with truth. For thou hast afflicted the meek, thou hast hurt the peaceable, thou hast loved liars, and destroyed the dwellings of them that brought forth fruit, and hast cast down the walls of such as did thee no harm. Therefore is thy wrongful dealings come up unto the Highest, and thy pride unto the




Mighty. And therefore appear no more, thou eagle, that the earth may be refreshed, and may return, being delivered from thy violence, and that she may hope for the judgment and mercy of Him that made her, whose judgment shall be better and more just than thine, O thou eagle 1 Therefore, shall thy wicked heads which remain to the last, be the end of the eagle to accomplish his most wicked wickedness, together with his wicked feathers, which also are kept unto the last. Therefore hear, vain body of eagle, who vainly boast of what you are not, namely, Christians. Hear also, you most wicked claws, which are willing and ready to destroy and rend what your most wicked heads command you, through the counsel of liars, whom they love. Why do you rejoice in the misery and fall of the poor lambs and sucklings, who feed still on milk, and whom you keep imprisoned with violence, and whose souls you murder with false, deceitful wiles; who have heard the truth only a year or two at the most; you have none as yet, that can instruct you in all the articles of faith? Be ashamed of your boasting, that through your carnal, blind, learned men you have overcome the innocent, with subtle, deceitful wiles and broken Scriptures. Oh, woe, woe! for the great misery and the terrible times, that wickedness has gained so much the upper hand, that truth is not permitted as much as openly to defend itself. Let the misery, violence, and great distress of the pregnant and the sucklings of these times ascend to the ears of the Most High, because no help, comfort, or assistance can be rendered them by those whom the Lord has endowed with more grace and gifts to stop the mouths of adversaries.

But perhaps you say: "Let them come forward then, that are better endowed, and have received more grace." To this we reply, that the wolf might call for a long while before the sheep would come; they well knowing that he would tear them with great cruelty, and without right and reason. Alas, alas! what awful judgment and terrible punishment from the fierce and devouring wrath of God shall fall upon those who without mercy distress, persecute and murder the innocent and God fearing, and themtelves live so ungodly in all the unrighteous works of the flesh, so that they shall not inherit the kingdom of heaven. O thou spiritual Babylon, how shall the Lord visit and avenge upon you the innocent souls and the blood of His witnesses; for all this is found in thee. Thou bast made the kings of the earth, and all nations, so drunken with the wine of spiritual whoredom, that they can neither see nor hear the truth., Oh, that we might once freely defend ourselves publicly with the Word of God, in the presence of a large, flaming fire, against all you learned doctors, licentiates, priests and monks, who help strengthen, protect, preserve and maintain the kingdom of antichrist, and that the vanquished party should be cast into the fire; then it would not be necessary to torment and distress the poor, innocent lambs, and your faith could be tried, as to how it accords with the truth; then there would be no need of washing the hands with Pilate, or of the imperial mandate, and the authorities would remain free from the blood of the innocent, if they would not let the Word of God be judge over the faith. But no, the false prophets and deceivers well know that their trickery and deceit would be made far too much manifest thereby. Therefore they cry just as assiduously as did the scribes and Pharisees; "Crucify him, crucify him." The mandate of the emperor must prevail. Thus it was in the beginning of the fourth beast, and so it is now at the end of it. Let him that can comprehend with it, observe with understanding, that the end is the worst of all.

"Princess, repent and amend your ways; for the end of all things is at hand. Woe unto you false prophets who resist the truth, even as the Egyptian magicians resisted Moses; but your wickedness shall yet be made manifest to all men, even as it already begins. Woe unto you champion antichrist, who put on the time honored customs of the Roman church as an armor with which to defend yourselves against the truth, and use the mandate of the emperor as a shield, and wield the sword of the magistracy, in every country to shed the innocent blood of those who will not defend themselves with temporal or carnal weapons, but only with the Word of God, which is our sword, and which is sharp and two edged. But we are daily greatly slandered by those who say that we defend our faith with the sword, as did those of Munster. May the Almighty God preserve us from such abominations.

Be it known to you, noble lords, councilors, burgomasters and judges, that we recognize your officers as right and good; yea, as ordained and instituted of God, that is, the secular sword for the punishment of evildoers, and the protection of the good, and we desire to obey you in all taxes, tributes and ordinances, as far as it is not contrary to God. And if you find us disobedient in these things, we will willingly receive our punishment as malefactors. God, who is acquainted with every heart, knows that this is our intention. But understand. ye noble lords, that the abuse of your stations or offices we do not recognize to be from God, but from the devil, and that antichrist, through the subtlety of the devil, has bewitched and'blinded your eyes, so that you do not know yourselves, who you are, and how sorely you have incurred the wrath of God. Be sober, therefore, and awake, and open the eyes of your understanding, and see against whom you fight, that it is not against man, but against God. Therefore we will not obey you; for it is the will of God, that we shall be tried thereby. Hence we would rather, through the grace of God, suffer our temporal bodies to be burned, drowned, beheaded, racked or tortured, as it may seem good to you, or be scourged, banished, or driven away, and robbed of our goods, than show you any obedience contrary to the Word of God, and we will be patient herein, committing vengeance to God; for we know Him that hath said, "Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord." And again, "The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." Hebrews 10:30, 31. And the spirit testifies, that this is at hand, and has already commenced.

Hearken, thou whose time for bearing is half fulfilled: Prepare thy bed.; for thou shalt bring forth. What shall I bring forth? The fruit of thy labor, with pain and anguish, and afterwards death. Hearken, thou on the right hand: Prepare the measure. What shall I prepare it for? To measure thy neighbor, and then shalt thou also be measured. Get thee ready, thou fire, and do not tarry. Hearken, I speak to you who are of one mind with the horns (Rev. 17:13), the day of your feast has come, your meat is ready; eat quickly the fat flesh of the drunken, that the power may be given to the beast. It has been put into your hearts, so to do. After the beast you shall have power for a little while. You fight against the Lamb, but the Lamb shall overcome you; He is King of kings, and Lord of lords, and His kingdom will endure .forever. Amen.

We testify of Him that it is He that shall come, yea, He comes quickly, the Lord Jesus, who shall reward every man according to his works.


A LETTER OF JANNIJN BUEFKIJN, CALLED HANS

KEESKOOPER, A NATIVE OF VERURCKE, WHICH

HE WROTE WHILE IN PRISON AT GHENT

A. D. 1550


A holy conversation, a living, spiritual faith, hope, and a true evangelical confidence in God the Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ, our only Helper and Saviour, I wish to my beloved friends, for glad tidings and an affectionate salutation, that through said faith and confidence in God you may grow up in a new and pure life, which life is perceived and richly found in the holy Gospel. Oh, blessed are they who purify and sanctify themselves according to the tenor of the Gospel; without which purification and sanctification no man shall see God nor the Lord. Thus follow the advice of the Lord Jesus, who says: "Search the Scriptures." John 5:39. I have done nothing else; as I and my fellow prisoners said before the lords of the Imperial Council; and they can not, in truth, bring any charge against us. They asked us, me first, and then the others, one after another, whether we were baptized.

I said: "Yes, my lords."

Ques. "How long since?"

Ans. "Four years, my lords:"

Ques. "What do you hold concerning your baptism received in infancy?"

Ans. "Nothing at all, my lords."

Ques. "Concerning the sacrament of the priests, do you not believe that flesh and blood is there, and that it is God?"


----

----


Ans. "No my lords, how should it be flesh and blood and God," said I before the priests of Jezebel. "Cover over this whole table with them [with wafers], and I will blow them away like dust; hence they are not God, for God can not be handled or eaten bodily."

They then asked whether I would hold to this. I replied: "Yes, my lords, till the contrary is proved to me with the Scriptures."

Thereupon I was led away from the council,  and another brought forward, until ten had made this confession, one of whom is not baptized yet, but he confessed that it is right and good, and said that he once went to the teacher to be baptized.

The lords then asked him: "How came it that he did not baptize you?"

The person, a mere lad yet, and a dear child, replied: "My lords, when the teacher presented the faith to me, and had interrogated me, he well perceived that I was still young in understanding, and bade me search the Scriptures still more; but I desired that it be done. He then asked me whether I knew that the world puts to death and burns such people. I replied: `I know it well.' He then said to me: `Hence I pray you, that you have patience for this time, until I come again another time. Search the Scriptures, and ask the Lord for wisdom; for you are yet a youth. Thus we parted."'

The lords then asked: "Are you sorry that you are not baptized?"

He said: "Yes, my lords."

They asked him further: "If you were not imprisoned, would you be baptized?"

He replied: "Yes, my lords."

He was then led away from the council.

See, dear friends, these are beautiful signs and miracles; open  your eyes, and behold when such young persons give themselves for the truth, delivering their bodies into prison, and even unto death. We have told the lords, that they should bring forward all their learned men, and we would prove to them with the truth, that they are all false prophets, and that they have deceived the world for almost thirteen hundred years with their deceitfulness, and that we would rather dispute with them publicly upon a scaffold, in the midst of the marketplace, than secretly; but this the priests will not do, and will spare no pains to escape it. Thus all the learned men were called to dispute in the consistory, all the lords of the council being present, and also four of the most learned priests of Ghent; I was present and heard it myself.

Therefore, search the Scriptures, which the Lord commands you to do, and to act according to them, on pain of the damnation of your souls, and of being cast into everlasting fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth forever; which Scriptures the priests forbid you to read, on pain of being hated by all men all the days of your life, and of having your body burned at the stake; which is soon done, as may be seen. Hence we rather do what the Lord commands, though we are despised for a little while, and by men cast out of this miserable world, and rest in the Lord, than do what men command, and be forever the enemy of God, in the horrible pit of hell. Therefore, search the Scriptures with an upright heart towards God, and the Lord will give you understanding. The Lord be with you. My love to you.

From me Jannijn Buefkijn, imprisoned at Ghent, for the testimony of Jesus. I wish salvation to all that seek the Lord with an unfeigned heart. Written in, the dark with poor materials.


AN ACCOUNT OF THE DEATH OF HANS VAN OVER;

DAM AND HANS KEESKOOPER


When these two lambs had been sentenced, the procurator general said: "That you are sentenced as heretics, is for the reason that divers learned men disputed with you, and you would not suffer yourselves to be instructed."

Hans van Overdam. "My lords, if we could have disputed publicly, it would soon have been seen what kind, learned men they were."

Procurator General. "It is too late now; it is too late now 1"

Both were sent away then, going with a smile on their lips.

Hans van Overdam. "Yes, yes, it is too late now I"

Hans Keeskooper had agreed with Hans van Overdam, that on the scaffold he would take off his stockings, and in the meantime Hans van Overdam should speak to the people; which was also done. When the executioners would assist Hansken, the latter desired to do it alone, that Hans van Overdam might speak the longer to the .people. This done, each was placed at a stake, and they offered up their bodies to God.


GOVERT, GILLIS, MARIKEN, AND ANNEKEN,

A. D. 1550


On the last of January, 1550, there were offered up for the faith, at Lier, in Brabant, four pious Christians, named Govert, Gillis, Mariken and Anneken, who, as sheep for the slaughter, had been apprehended without violence. When they were brought before the council, and questioned concerning their faith, they made a frank and unfeigned confession of it. The bailiff then said

"You stand here to defend yourselves?"

Govert replied: "As regards my faith, I have freely confessed it, and shall turn to no other; though it cost my life, I will adhere to it."

Forthwith the imperial edict was read to them, and the bailiff asked them whether they understood its contents.

Govert said: "God has commanded , us through Christ, as is recorded in the sixteenth chapter of Mark, that all who believe and are baptized shall be saved, and that those who do not believe shall be damned; but the emperor, in his blind judgment, has commanded that whoever is baptized upon his faith, shall be put to death without mercy. These two commands militate against each other; one of the two we must forsake; but everyone ought to know that we must keep the command of God; for though Satan teaches that we are heretics, yet we do not act contrary to the Word of God."

When they were led to the tribunal, Govert said to the priests: "Take off your long robes, put on sack cloth, put ashes on your heads, and repent, like those of Nineveh."

In the court the bailiff asked him whether he desired no favor.

He replied: "I will not ask for your favor; for what I cannot do without, the most high God will give me."

The bailiff said also to Anneken: "Do you not desire a favor, before sentence is passed upon you?))

She answered: "I shall ask favor of God, my refuge."

Mariken, an old woman of seventy five years, was asked whether she would confess her sins to the priest.

She replied: "I am sorry that I ever confessed my sins to the mortal ears of the priests."

Seeing some brethren, Govert turned his face and joyfully comforted them, saying among other things: "I pray God, that you may be thus imprisoned for His glory, as I now am."

The bailiff very fiercely said: "Be still, for your preaching is of no account here."

"My lord bailiff," said he, "I speak only five or six words, which God has given me to speak, does this give you so much pain?" And when the people murmured on this account, he said: "This has been witnessed from the time of righteous Abel, that the righteous have suffered reproach; hence be not astonished." The two servants that stood by him said: "You must not speak; the bailiff will not have it; hence be still."

Immediately God closed his mouth, which grieved many. Gillis was not questioned, and he said nothing at all; but they were led back to prison, where they rejoiced together, and sang: Saligh is den man, en goet geheeten; and also the forty first psalm. The bailiff then came into prison, and asked Govert, whether he had considered the matter; to which be replied: "Unless you repent, the punishment of God shall come upon you." The bailiff looked out of the window, and said: "Will God damn all this multitude of people?"

Govert replied: "I have spoken the Word of God to you; but I hope there are still people here who fear God?"

The bailiff then turned to Anneken, and asked her what she had to say to it.

She replied: "Lord bailiff, twice I have been greatly honored in this city, namely, when I was married, and when my husband became emperor; but I never had a joy that did not perish, as I now have."

On his way to death, Govert delivered an excellent admonition, reproving the wicked railing, and said: "Be it known to you, that we do not die for theft, murder or heresy, but because we seek an inheritance with God, and live according to His Word."

The executioner commanded him silence, but he said: "Leave God be with me for a little while; repent, for your life is short."

A brother then said: "God will strengthen you."

"Oh, yes," said he, "the power of, His Spirit is not weakening in me."

The monk attempted to speak to Mariken, but Govert said: "Get you hence, deceiver, to your own people; for we have no need of you."

Entering the ring, Govert said to the gild brothers: "How you stand here with sticks and staves? Thus stood the Jews when they brought Christ to death; if we had been afraid of this, we would have fled in time."

They then knelt down together, and prayed; whereupon they kissed each other. Anneken immediately commenced to sing: "In thee, O Lord; do I put my trust." Ps. 71:1. The servants told her to be still; but Govert said: "No, sister, sing on," and helped her sing. Enraged at this, the bailiff called to him a servant, and whispered something in his ear. The latter went to the assistant of the executioner, who, upon receiving the order, immediately put a gag on Govert; but the latter held his teeth so firmly closed, that the gag did not hinder him much, and he laughingly said: "I could easily sing with the gag on; but Paul says: `Sing in your heart to God."' Eph. 5:19.


The executioner, in order to put her to shame, made Anneken stand in her bare chemise. A servant asked Gillis whether he did not see some of his people. Gillis said: "Do you know of nothing else to torment us with?" "What does he say?" asked Govert. "He inquires for our fellow brethren," replied Gillis. Govert said: "Though I could count twenty, I would not mention a single one. You think that by killing us you can suppress the Word of God; but of those that hear and see this, hundreds shall yet come forth." Standing at the stake, he said: "Amend your ways and repent; for after this there will be no more time for repentance." A servant who had a bottle of wine, asked them whether they wished to drink. Govert said: "We have no desire for your insipid wine; for our. Father shall give us new wine in His eternal kingdom." Matt. 26:29. When it was thought that the old woman had been strangled at the stake, she began to sing a hymn in honor of her Bridegroom, which when Anneken heard it, she, from ardent love, sang with her. When they all stood at their stakes, each with a strap around the neck, they smiled at and nodded to one another, thus affectionately saluting and comforting each other, and commending their souls into the hands of God, they fell asleep in the Lord, and were burned.


WILLEM, MARTIGEN, DIEUWERTGEN, AND MARIT;

GEN JANS, A. D. 1550


In the year 1550, there were apprehended at Leyden, in Holland, four lambs of Christ, namely, a brother and three sisters, named Willem, Maritgen, Dieuwertgen and Maritgen Jans, who, having frankly confessed their faith, and no pain or suffering have power to cause them to apostatize, were finally sentenced to death as heretics.

When they were brought forth, Willem said

"We suffer not as thieves or murderers, but for the name of,the Lord; therefore, O Lord, forgive them that do this to us."

Maritgen said: "Lord, strengthen us, who suffer for Thy Word, which few are willing to do. I am not worthy to suffer for Thy name; but, Lord, Thou shalt make me worthy." Acts 5:41.

Dieuwertgen came forward singing, and then said,: "Dear citizens, do not avenge this; for it is done for the name, of the Lord:" She further said

"Lord, look upon' us, who suffer for Thy word; for our trust is in Thee alone."

Maritgen Jans said: "This is the narrow way to salvation. O Lord, receive my spirit. And you lords of the council, only consider what great injury you are doing to your souls, in shedding innocent blood; hence repent, like those of Nineveh; for we suffer, not on, account of heresy or sedition; we seek not to contend, save with the sword of the Spirit, which is. the Word of God." Thereupon, commending thir souls into the hands of God, they offered up. their sacrifice, presenting an acceptable savor to God, for, which they will hereafter not lose their reward.


TEUNIS VAN HAUSTELRAED, A. D. 1550


As this Teunis van Haustelraed was a zealous man in the fear of God, and very diligent with the talent which the Lord had committed to him, to get gain _for the Lord, to bring many to the knowledge of the truth, and to strengthen those who had received the truth, in the same;. and as he thus most faithfully oversaw and served the church of Christ, he was finally apprehended, and ,imprisoned at Limmick, a city in:the province of Jueelick,  where he had many, a. severe contest with many subtle and shrewd spirits, and had to suffer and endure many torments for his faith. The controversy was principally about infant baptism and the sacrament, in which he.did not agree with the papists. And as he could not be overcome or moved by them, but adhered firmly to the truth, he was finally condemned to, be burred. They led him out of the city into the open field, and there burned him to ashes, about the year 1550.

While he was yet in prison,.he remembered his brethren and sisters with a consolatory admonition, which he sent to them from prison; it reads as follows

"O God, grant that in my great suffering I may unceasingly press to Thee, and not fear any pain, or death. Yea, dear Lord, I beseech Thee, who art God over all things, that I may not be ensnared by whatever may and will yet come upon me, which I shall suffer with Christ, unto salvation; for I know that the crown of life is prepared for those who persevere herein. Therefore, O ye pious, despair not, but earnestly betake yourselves to your Captain Christ, for He can win the field; and He shall come at the last day, in flaming fire, and hold a severe judgment over all the ungodly. He shall then say to the sheep on His right hand: `Come, inherit the kingdom of my Father, prepared for you from the foundation of the world.' Matt. 25:34. O all ye Christians, cast from you all that burdens you, and stand with your loins girt, and watch for the Lord. Heb. 12:1; Luke 12:35.

"If you are righteous, become still more righteous; for, believe me, you will need it all. O all ye members of Christ together, I beseech you, wake up now, that you may not sleep when the Bridegroom comes; for then the wise will be admitted to salvation, but the foolish will be shut out into eternal damnation. Matt. 25:10.

"The Lord, to whom belonged the talent entrusted to you, will come again, and strictly inquire what each has gained. He shall then commend the wise, saying: `Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.' But the slothful shall be reproved for his wickedness, and committed to torment. Matt. 25:26. O ye lambs of the Lord, feed now, that you may become ready, so that you may not be unprepared when you are to come to the wedding. Otherwise the king will say: `Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment?' Then the man, having no good answer, shall be speechless. But the king will command him to be cast into everlasting darkness. Matt. 22:13.

"Do not become buyers of lands, but rather sell, you that are bidden, and give to the poor. Luke 14:18; Matt. 19:21. O dear brethren, have compassion on the poor, and comfort and assist them. I have nearly fought the fight, and my course will soon be finished; God grant that I may keep the faith, and the crown of life will be prepared for me. II Tim. 4:8. O Lord, raise up faithful servants, and make them rulers over thy household, that they may give them meat in due season. Matt. 24: 45. Pious Christians, I give you this as a brotherly adieu, for your good. It has been written with a faithful heart, and I hope to seal it with my blood."


TIJS VAN LINDT, A. D. 1550


Tijs van Lindt was a zealous and devout man, a resident of Remunde, in Guelderland, and walked, according to the knowledge which God had given him, devoutly in the fear of the Lord; he was especially gifted with a sympathizing and merciful heart towards the poor and needy, so that, through the manifold alms and assistance which he rendered to the poor in general, he had a good report with many; for, with that which God had given him, he comforted many in their distress. But as he had forsaken popery, with its idolatry, accepted the evangelical truth, received the saving faith in Jesus Christ, repented of his sinful life (abused in ignorance), been baptized upon his faith, and daily sought to go on in the new and holy life, to the honor of God, the edification of his neighbor, and the enlightenment of those who still sat in blindness, in order thus to present his body a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, the adversaries of the truth could not bear it, and this pious man was reported and charged with heresy. He was put into prison, where he had to endure many conflicts and assaults; they assailed him severely with torments, that he should apostatize from his faith. But as he notwithstanding all sufferings and torments steadfastly adhered to his faith, he was finally condemned by virtue of the imperial mandate, and burned to ashes.

Shortly after the burning of this pious witness of Jesus Christ, in Remunde, the city itself took fire, and was almost entirely reduced to ashes. How it was is not known, unless of its own accord. Many think that it was a punishment for the innocent blood, which judgment we leave to God.


PALMKEN PALMEN, A. D. 1550


Palmken Palmen was a resident of Borren, near the bailiwick of Millen, and was very zealous to live in the truth of the holy Gospel, and to follow Christ his Lord in obedience, whom he had put on when he was baptized upon his faith. But as the light is hated by darkness, and there was at this time a severe persecution in the country, by certain bloodthirsty authorities, instigated by the priests there, this good man was often in great distress, and was finally imprisoned, in which imprisonment he suffered much reproach and many assaults; and as he immovably kept his faith in every fear and distress, he was finally sentenced to be burned to ashes, which sentence, as appeared, he received with gladness; for, when he was taken away from the house at Borren, he joyfully kept singing a hymn until the last moment, that is, as long as he had breath, while he was standing at the stake at which he was burned to ashes; which took place between Sittert and Limmerich, in the open field, where a gravestone still marks the place where he is said to have died.


ELEVEN, AND THEN SEVEN, PUT TO DEATH IN

THE BAILIWICK OF MILLEN AND BORREN,

A. D. 1550


A short time previously there were seven brethren at one time, and eleven at another, executed with the sword, in the bailiwick of Millen and.Borren, and thus bore  testimony with their blood to the name of Christ.


REMKEN RAMAECKERS, A. D. 1550


There was also a ,pious and devout brother and fellow member of the church of Jesus Christ, named Remken Ramaeckers, burned for the evangelical truth, near Sittert.


GERRIT VAN KEMPEN, A. P. 1550


In like manner, Gerrit van Kempen was burners for the testimony of Jesus Christ, at Wislen.


THREE BRETHREN AT ANTWERP, OF WHOM THE

OLDEST WHO WAS SPOKESMAN WAS NAMED

JAN, A. D. 1550


The malice of the priests was so great that they could not bear it, that those who sought in quietness to serve God the Lord in simplicity and sincerity should reside in Antwerp; but they so instigated the Margrave, that rather than lose his office, he went about to apprehend them, and having to this end sent out his servants, he arrested three of them, which caused the priests great joy. The captive brethren, on the other hand, also rejoiced that they were worthy to suffer for the name of the Lord. They were sharply examined concerning their faith, of which they made a good confession, with regard to baptism, and the sacrament, as well as to other articles; and though greatly assailed with subtlety by the priests, and the doctors of Louvain, they so.sagaciously defended themselves with the Scriptures, that the margrave himself declared that he had never heard so clear an exposition of the Scriptures, and that if he were with them only two weeks they should persuade him. Thereupon the brethren said: "Judge yourselves, whether it is not the true faith and the truth for which we pledge our lives, and from which we will not depart, but persevere therein to the praise and the glory of the Lord, who did not forsake us, even when we were sitting in darkness." Heb. 10:28; Matt. 24:13; Heb. 13:5; Matt. 4:16.

Now when the doctors produced many Scriptures in a perverted and wrong manner, the brethren said: "How dare you be so presumptuous as to teach the way of the Lord so pervertedly?" One of the.doctors replied: "It is because we are not willing to be imprisoned and in fear and tribulation with you; but in about seven or eight years I will promulgate the truth aright, and make great gain by it. "Poor man I" said one of the brethren, "you trust in a vain hope, since you are sure of neither evening nor morning, hour nor time, which came true; for he died shortly after." Luke 12:20. "Behold," said they, "you acknowledge yourselves, that we have committed no crime; why then will you take our lives?" The council said: "The decree of the emperor commands us to put you to death." "Take then," said they, "the decree with you into the judgment of the Lord, and see what it will avail you; indeed nothing."

They were then sentenced, each to be burned at a stake. This sentence did not terrify them; but they greatly rejoiced, and comforted each other. The council said to the youngest: "Pray the margrave, and:ie will very probably release you." "Oh, no," replied he. "I will suffer with my brethr=en for the truth." Thus they went together gladly and boldly to the stakes, saying to one another

"We go in peace to the peaceable house of God, there to obtain an everlasting habitation." They also prayed for the lords, that God would not lay this deed to their charge, but enlighten them, that they might come to repentance. Finally, standing at the stake, they cried out: "Heavenly Father, receive our spirits into Thy hands," and thus they offered up their sacrifice as true children of God.


ANTHONY VAN ASSELROYE, A. D. 1550


The Lord Jesus said to Peter, who was not only a lamb of Jesus Christ, but also a faithful shepherd, elder and overseer of the flock: "Verily, Verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself and walkedst whither thou wouldest but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not." "This spake he," says John, "signifying by what death he should glorify God." John 21:18, 19. Here no great bishopric, benefice, or yearly stipend is promised to the high apostle Peter, by his Master Christ Jesus, for this his faithful service, which he should begin and carry out in watching and feeding the sheep and lambs of the Lord; but much rather tribulation, bonds, and the bitter death with which he should meet. John 16:33; 15:20.

But even as his Master entered through tribulation and suffering into His glory, so it was His will, that His servants should follow His footsteps. This was exemplified, about the year 1550, in the case of one Anthony van Asselroye, a faithful follower of Christ and His chosen apostle Peter. He also bowed his neck under the easy yoke of our Lord Jesus, following Him from the whole heart in the regeneration, so that he was chosen by the church of God, to feed and pasture, like Peter, the souls of the sheep of the Lord with the Word of God; which he faithfully did in that dark, perilous and bloody time, until he fell into the hands of the bloodthirsty papists, who bound him, and carried him whither he would not; for no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous to the flesh, but grievous. Heb. 12:11.

Thus this teacher and elder was compelled to tread the bloody wine press, and suffered and endured many torments from these persecutors. And as he patiently passed through all this, and no tyranny could move him to apostatize, he was condemned and put to death, and thus torn and devoured by these ravening wolves, according to the flesh, but in no wise according to the Spirit. But even as this hero and soldier of Jesus Christ obediently followed Christ and His faithful followers, in the faith and the regeneration, so he, at the appearing of the Lord, shall sit with them upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. Matt. 19:28. There he shall receive again, in glorious immortality, like unto the glorious body of our Lord Jesus Christ, the members which he delivered into bitter death, for the truth and the name of the Lord, and shall live with Him forever. Phil. 3:21; I Thess. 4:17.

Peter Bruynen, who was offered up at Antwerp, A. D. 1551, confesses that he received Christian baptism upon his faith, by said Anthony van Asselroye.


JOHN KNEL OR BUCHNER, AND ANNA CANTIANA,

A. D. 15.50


In the year 1550, there were imprisoned in the city of London, in England, two pious witnesses of Jesus, a man by the name of John Knel or Buchner, and a woman named Anna Cantiana; who, among other things, believed and confessed with Menno Simons and all true believers, that the Son of God became man for our sakes, and that He did not receive His humanity from Mary or any other source, but that the eternal Word or Son, became Himself flesh or man. As the afore mentioned could by no means be brought to apostatize, but would firmly adhere to the truth accepted, they, after suffering many torments, were condemned to death at said place. John Knel was burned the second of May, A. D. 1550. Anna Cantiana was also burned to ashes the same year. According to the testimony of John Fox she was ever ready to render service to others especially to those who were in bonds and imprisonment, with whom she constantly was, to minister to them. And as these above mentioned martyrs suffered all this for the testimony of Jesus, and not on account of any crime, and steadfastly died for the truth, and were not ashamed of Christ and His 'word; in this life, before men, He shall also not be ashamed of themm, before His Father, but, out of grace, bestow upon them and all the blessed, the kingdom prepared for them from the beginning.

Concerning this, see preface to the old Oferboeck of the year 1616, letter J,'other side:


JACQUES DOSIE AT LEEUWAERDEN


At a certain time, which we have not been able precisely to ascertain, a lad named Jacques Dosie, was imprisoned at Leeuwaerden, in Friesland, for the truth of the holy Gospel. It is said that he was only about fifteen years of age; but the wonderworking God, by the holy Spirit, manifested His power through this little one, and perfected His praise out of the mouth of this young child. Matt. 21:16; Ps. 8:2. For; on a certain occasion, when the lord and lady of Friesland, with many nobles and ladies, were assembled at Leeuwaerden, they summoned Jacques before them, conversed with him, and examined him, whether he was contaminated with any heresy. But the faithful God, according to His promise (Luke 21:14; Matt. 10:19; Mark 13:11; Luke 12:11) , gave him a mouth and wisdom, which they could in no wise resist or quench.

Thus it came, that after a few words the lord of Friesland went his way, because the people were waiting for him; but the lady of Friesland, moved to compassion; it seems, talked with him, asking him why ,he,' who was still so young, was thus severely imprisoned and bound.

Jacques answered: "This was  done only because I believe in Christ, adhere to Him alone, and will in no wise forsake Him."

The lady asked him: "Do you not belong to the people who rebaptize themselves, perpetrate so much evil in our country, make rebellion, run together; and say that they are dispersed on account of the faith, and boast of being the church of God, although they are a wicked set, and cause great commotion among the people?"

Jacques. "My lady,, I do not know any rebellious people, nor am I one of their number; but we would much rather, according to the teachings of the Scriptures, assist also our enemies, satisfy them, if they hunger and thirst, with food and drink, and resist them in no wise with revenge or violence." Rom. 12:20, 17; Matt. 5:39.

Another said: "It would be seen, if you only had the power.

Jacques replied: "Oh, .no my lady, believe; if it were permitted among us, to resist the evil with the carnal sword, know, that no seven men should have brought me here, and I should have kept out of your hands, for there would have been power to do it."

Lady. "I know there are such sects, who are very wicked and kill the people, and also have their goods and wives in .common."

Jacque s. "Oh, no, my lady, we are quite unjustly charged with these wicked things, and occasion is thereby sought, to persecute us; but we must suffer and endure all this with patience." Matt. 5:11; Acts 21:38; 11 Tim. 2:3.

Lady. "Was it not your people, who with great dishonor took up arms against the government at Amsterdam and Muenster?"

Jacques. "Oh, no, my lady; for those people erred greatly; but we regard it as a doctrine of the devil, to seek to resist the authorities with the external sword and violence, and would much rather suffer persecution and death from them, together with everything that is inflicted upon us." Rom. 13:1_; I Pet. 2:13; Tit. 3:1.

Lady. "Nevertheless, it is imputed to you, and they who make uproar do very wrong; however, I believe what you say concerning it."

Jacques. "My lady, do we not read much of this character, how wicked men spoke evil of the apostles themselves, and the whole band of Christians, and, by many wicked things, sought to incite the authorities to vengeance against them,  though it was all falsehood?" Acts 28:22; 24:5; Luke 2:34.


Lady. "Do you not believe that all are damned who are not baptized according to your way?"


Jacques. "Oh, no, my lady, for judgment with regard to this belongs to God alone, who shall reward everyone according to his works, as is clearly evident in many places of the holy Scriptures. Moreover, the water has not power to cleanse us from sin, as Peter says, but is merely a sign of all obedience." I Peter 3:21; Matt. 3:15.


Lady. "When you are baptized, tell me, can you still sin?"


Jacques. "Yes, my lady, for this appears very clearly from the words of Paul; since we are still clothed in a weak and sinful body, and sin in many things. Rom. 7:14, 18; Gal. 5:17; Jas. 3:2: But we must constantly crucify and mortify it, and not practice or fulfill the works of the flesh; or the righteousness of God will condemn us to eternal death."


Lady. "Wherein do you still differ with the inquisitor, let me hear once?"


Jacques. "My lady, because I will in no wise accept his doctrine, unless he first clearly prove to me that it accords in every respect with the Word of God; otherwise he labors in vain; for my faith is founded on the pure Word of God alone. As regards the practice of infant baptism, we contradict it with reason, since it is not a command of God Almighty, but much rather the invention of men, seeing infants have not the least knowledge or discernment of what is required or comprised in baptism. But Christ in His love for such innocent ones has promised them the kingdom of God through grace, without requiring any of these conditions. Matthew 19:14; Mark 10:14; Matt. 18:3. My lady, I find that popery is infected with many other errors besides this; for they seek to make Christ come into the bread, or that the bread should become changed into His flesh and blood; which we in no wise believe, but .regard as an exceedingly gross error and absurdity. But we believe that Christ truly ascended to heaven, and sits on the right hand of His Father. Mark 16:19; Luke 24: 51; Acts 1:9. Thus we do not believe that there is any salvation in their flour, mass, purgatory, or any of their services for the dead, and all like human inventions, of which they have a great number, and all of which are nowhere recognized in the holy Scriptures, but excluded therefrom: Gal. 1:14; I Tim. 4:2. But, on the contrary, we call upon God and seek our salvation in Him, and not in any creature, that we may not corrupt God's own glory, and give it to any of His creatures. Jer. 13:16; Josh. 7:19.


The provincial having come, he began to speak, and said: "Will you not believe in the sacrament, which Christ Himself instituted?"


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Jacques. "My lord, Paul says that the bread is broken in remembrance of Him, and that the cup of blessing is the communion of the blood of Christ." I Cor. 11:24; 10:16. Thus he ended his words.

Lady. "I consider this the worst thing in you, that you will not have the children baptized; for all Germany and every kingdom regards your doings as heresy."

Jacques. "My lady, it is indeed true that we are everywhere despised, .and, like the apostolical band, evil spoken of in all the world; but do not think that such shall therefore perish at the last day." I Cor. 4:9; Matt. 5:11; II Pet. 2:2.

Lady. "My dear child, behold, I pray thee, come over to our side, and repent, and you shall get out of this trouble, and I promise to procure your release."

Jacques. "My lady, I thank you very much for your affection and favor towards me; but I will not change my faith, to please mortal man; unless it be proved to me with the Scriptures, that I err; for I have given myself entirely to God, to be His friend, and herein I hope to live and die." Galatians 1:10; Phil. 3:8; John 15:14.

Laxly. "My son, behold this multitude of men; I have compassion for you, and entreat you, repent of your baptism and do not remain so obstinate; if you, so young a child, should die for this cause, it would, be a heavy cross for my heart; hence see that you are released, and may go home."

Jacques. "My lady, I can not see that there is any crime at all in my baptism, seeing I herein have not followed my own, but the holy institution of our Lord Jesus Christ; had I been able to find another, better way to the kingdom of God, it would not have happened; for I was inclined with my whole heart to seek the Lord my God." Isaiah 56:6.

Lady. "Should they then all err, so many learned men that have been before you; do you dare be so presumptuous as this?"

Jacques. "My lady, in Israel four hundred prophets were against the single Micaiah, who alone spoke the truth, and w4s kept imprisoned on bread and water; which King Ahab experienced in his distress, but too late." I Kings 22:27; II Chronicles 18:5.


The lady finally said: "I find many good things in you; but your greatest error I consider to lie in your baptism, which does not seem to me to be of God."

In this manner she had him brought before her many times; but as he, young in years, but old in the knowledge of Jesus Christ (Wisd. 4:8; I Cor. 14:20), had built his foundation upon the rock Jesus Christ, he valiantly repelled all the subtle devices of Satan whether consisting in many severe threats, or in fair promises of the kingdom of this world (Matt. 4:8) with the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God; and as nothing could move him to forsake Christ, he was condemned to death by the rulers of the darkness of this world (Eph. 6:12), and thus testified and confirmed the true faith of the truth with his death and blood, and, through grace, obtained the crown of everlasting glory.

Concerning this, see  a hymn in the Gulden Harp, beginning: Tot Leeuwaeyden op eenen dagh.


HANS VAN MONSTER, AND BARTEL, AND OLD JA;

COB, PUT TO DEATH IN THE CASTLE OF

BERCHEM, NEAR ANTWERP


As it has from the beginning been abundantly heard and seen, that the truth is envied and trampled upon by its enemies and haters, and that its pious confessors have had to suffer from them in manifold ways; so, among many other examples, it was verified, at a certain time after Mary van Beckum and her sister had been offered up at Delden, in the case of a faithful brother named Hans van Monster, who lay imprisoned for the truth, in the castle of Berchem, near Antwerp. And since Jesus very earnestly teaches and recommends to us the visiting of the sick and imprisoned, in their tribulation (Matt. 25:36; Heb. 13:3), a single man named Old Jacob, and another by the name of Bartel, moved by the spirit and brotherly love, went from Antwerp to Berchem, to comfort their brother, according to their ability; in his tribulation. When they arrived there; the enemies watched them, supposing that old Jacob was a teacher and elder; for at that time the bloodthirsty papists had put a reward of three hundred guilders upon teachers, to be given to any who should deliver them into the hands of the executioners; and as old Jacob was very eloquent, and could defend himself very ably with the Word of God, they hoped to earn said money by him, in which, however, they; failed, as Jacob was no teacher. Nevertheless, they kept them, and imprisoned them with their fellow brother; and as they together were built upon the immovable rock Christ Jesus, they remained steadfast in all these tempests; and since no torment could induce them to depart from the truth, they were together put to death in the castle of Berchem, valiantly offering their lives for the truth, and are now waiting with all the saints of God, the blessed resurrection unto eternal life. Rev. 6:11; I Thess. 4:16.

In the beginning of the conversion of the beforementioned Bartel, and another, named Gerrit, it occurred that these two young men were present when Mary van Beckum and her sister were offered up in the castle of Delden; and they testified that they heard Mary van Beckum declare publicly before the people, when she was placed at the stake, to be burned: "You shall see this stake at which I am to be burned grow green, by which you may know that it is the truth for which we here suffer and die." These two young men, who heard this themselves, some time afterwards went of their own accord to the stake, and saw it flourish. Terrified thereby, they went together to Antwerp, to inquire for such people; and having come to an elder by the name of Hendrick van Aernem, and Jan Lubberts of B., they related the above to them. Thereupon Hendrick van Aernem replied: "I would not dare repeat this after you." They said

"Should we not tell what we have heard and seen ourselves?" Thus they adhered to their assertion concerning what had occurred with regard to Mary van Beckum, and, accordingly, lent their ears to the truth, repented, became converted, and united with the church of God. Afterwards Gerrit went to Amsterdam, where he resided until his death; but Bartel lost his life for the truth, as has been heard.


TWO YOUNG GIRLS, ABOUT A. D 1550


About the year 1550, it happened in the bishopric of Bamberg, that two young girls espoused and received Christ by faith, were baptized upon their faith, according to the doctrine of Christ, and arising from sin, sought to walk in newness of life with Christ. On this account the antichristians sought to hinder them in this good resolution, and to quench their good intention as much as lay in their power: They therefore cast these two young lambs into prison, where they tortured them with great severity, and sought also with other unchristian means to cause them to apostatize; but as they were firmly built upon Christ, thev remained faithful and steadfast during the entire trial. Col. 2:7; Rev. 2:10. Hence, the authorities, who herein generally follow the advice of the false 'prophets, condemned them to death; at which they were joyful and undaunted. When they were led out to execution, their persecutors, by way of reproach and mockery, placed wreaths of straw upon their heads; whereupon one said to the other: "Since the Lord Christ wore a crown of thorns for us, why should not we wear these crowns of straw in honor of Him? The faithful God shall for this place a beautiful golden crown and glorious wreath upon our heads." Thus these two young branches armed themselves with patience, according to the example of their Captain Jesus, remained faithful unto death, died steadfastly, and. obtained, through grace, the glorious crown with God in heaven.


To these girls their adversaries accord the praise, that they died quite undauntedly and steadfastly, and that they had the true foundation and ground of the Christian faith in their Redeemer Christ Jesus, whom they openly confessed, and called upon in their distress, wherein they steadfastly died with a firm hope; so that doubts were entertained among their adversaries, as to whether they themselves were not in greater error before God, than these young girls, though they were Anabaptists.

He that wishes may read, with regard to this account, Johannes Manlius, printed at Frankfort, A. D. 1550.





A LAD OF FIFTEEN YEARS, A. D. 1550


At the same time a lad of fifteen years was put to death, suffering it with great steadfastness, at I_eeuwaerden; whose faith is compared to that of the aforementioned two young girls put to death at Bamberg. See Ondeygang, page 1130, col. 1.


OF A DECREE FOR THE INTRODUCTION OF THE

INQUISITION, A. D. 1550


It appears that at this time the bitterness of the Romish clergy increased and broke forth more and more, against those who sought to .follow the evangelical doctrine of .Jesus Christ; so that they prevailed upon the Emperor, through decrees, to revive the inquisition aver the consciences of the inhabitants of the Netherlands, which for a time had seemingly abated, and to introduce it with greater rigor than before; which was accordingly done in the manner prescribed, which caused great dissatisfaction and sorrow to the common people of said countries. In regard to this, a certain author writes thus:

"Though many severe decrees had been pub;


--

--


lished before at different times, for the oppression of the evangelical believers, whereby many thousands were miserably put to death for the faith, in the Netherlands; yet the hatred and ill will of the people increased to an unwonted degree, in the year 1550, in consequence of the decree in regard to the inquisition, issued by Emperor Charles V, at Brussels, on the 29th of April; for thereby it was declared, that it was the intention, from that time forth publicly to introduce the spiritual inquisition, but to have the cruel and bloody mandates nevertheless rigorously executed by the secular power." Chron. van den Ondergang, page 11.29, col. 1, compared with Eman. de Met., lib. 1. Pieter Bor., lib. 1. Oorspronch der Nederlantsche Beroerten, old edition, fol. 5, 6.

Further Observation. Though the writer says its the sequel, that some magistrates would not publish this decree concerning the inquisition, and that some, by humble petitions to the Emperor, obtained a mitigation; yet it had come so far, that actual means were secretly employed to carry out this purpose, through the inquisitors; in consequence of which, the minds of the people became the more agitated and disaffected; so that many emigrated from the cities of Brabant, particularly from West Flanders. See the authors cited.


REFER DIRCKS, A BOATMAN, BURNT AFTER DREAD;

FUL TORTURE, FOR THE TESTIMONY OF JESUS

CHRIST,,AT AMSTERDAM, IN HOLLAND,

IN THE YEAR 1550


At this time, also Reyer Dircks, a pious hero and valiant soldier, of Jesus Christ, though of small repute in the eyes of the world, who gained his livelihood with a little boat on the river Amstel, enlisted under the bloody banner of his Saviour, .and united with the cross bearing church, contemptuously called Anabaptists. Having been with them about three years, he virtually experienced that the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and that the violent take it by force; inasmuch as he could not enter the spacious halls of the blessed palace of God without pressing through the strait gate, so that his flesh, yea the whole body, remained on the posts, and this in the fire, as food for the birds and wild beasts.

He was imprisoned at Amsterdam, in Holland, and, though he was most miserably tortured, he nevertheless refused to depart from his faith, and the promise which he had made to God in baptism. He was then condemned to death as a heretic, and very cruelly executed with flaming fire.

The foregoing may be clearly seen from the following sentence, which was read on the day of his death, in the court at Amsterdam, by the ecclesiastical rulers.


Sentence of Death of Ryer Dircks


Whereas Ryer Dircks, boatman, citizen of this city,. did, about three years ago, embrace the doctrines, errors, sects, and heresies of the Anabaptists, and is holding pernicious views with regard to the sacraments of the holy church, contrary to the holy Christian faith, the ordinances of the holy church, and the written laws and decrees of his Imperial Majesty, our gracious lord, and, moreover, persists in his errors and heresies, notwithstanding the instruction given him in the true faith; therefore, my lords of the court, having heard the demand made by my lord the bailiff, in the name of his Imperial Majesty, concerning the afore mentioned Ryer Dircks, as also his confession, and having duly considered the circumstances of the case, condemn said Ryer Dircks, pursuant to the aforesaid decrees, to be executed with fire by the executioner; and, furthermore, declare his property confiscated for the benefit of his Imperial Majesty, as Count of Holland, without derogation and'prejudice to the privileges of this city.

Thus pronounced, and committed to the executioner for execution, this sixteenth day of August, A. D. 1550, in the presence of the bailiff, all the burgomasters, and all the judges, with the exception of Jan Dunen.


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Ryer Dircks was examined by torture the ninth of July, A. D. 1550.

Extracted from the book of criminal sentences, in the keeping of the secretary of the city of Amsterdam.

N. N.


A SMITH AT KOMEN, A. D. 1551


In or about the year 1551, a smith was apprehended for the divine truth, .at Komen, in Flanders. He freely confessed his faith, and as he would not depart from it, he was sentenced to death in two ways, namely, if he recanted, he was to be executed with the sword; otherwise to be burned alive. To this end, twofold preparations were made; but seeing the multitude, and fearing trouble, the authorities kept the brother in prison. Hence, some climbed to the top of the prison and broke through the roof, to see what was being done with the doomed man. At last, one knocked at the door of the prison, desiring to know whether the brother was alive or dead. Having been admitted, he immediately returned with blood on his hand, which he showed to the people, saying: "He is dead! He is dead!" The dead man was then brought out on a ladder, with his head lying between his legs, and the ladder placed upon the wall of the churchyard, where the priest made a long speech (a sermon probably), saying among other things, that he had renounced his heretical belief, and reaccepted the Roman church and her saving faith; and "holding now a good resolution," said he, "he was instantly executed, lest he might fall back into his old error." But it was firmly believed that the priest slandered the dead man, and this the more so; since after relating the sentence, he said that he obstinately adhered to his previous confession. Thus God constrains the wicked, in the telling of their lies; themselves, unawares, to reveal the truth of the matter.


GILLIS AND ELIZABETH, A. D. 1551


On the 21st of July, A. D. 1551, two pious Christians, a brother by the name of Gillis, and a sister named Elizabeth, were sentenced to death as heretics, pursuant to the imperial decree, at Ghent, in Flanders. They were not led forth to death at the usual time, but at 1 o'clock in the afternoon. Having ascended the scaffold, they prayed to God. In the meantime, the executioner unlaced the gown of Elizabeth, which, when she arose, fell down, so that she stood there in her shift and linen trousers, which the executioner, by way of mockery, had made her put on. Feeling greatly ashamed on this account, she immediately went to the stake, and then said: "I thank Thee, O Lord, that I am worthy to suffer for Thy name. I now stand at the touchstone, at which God's elect .are tried. O Lord, strengthen me, and delay not."

Gillis said: "Dear sister, be patient in your suffering, and comfort yourself in God; He will not forsake you."




"O dear brother," said she, "I will never depart from Him."

Gillis then cried: "O Lord, forgive them their sins, who inflict death upon me; for as they do not know Thee, they know not what they do."

Finally they cried out: "O heavenly Father, into Thy hands we commend our spirits." And thus, through fire, they died a blessed death well pleasing unto God.


JORIS, WOUTER, GRIETGEN AND NAENTGEN, IN

THE YEAR 1551


On account of the severe and great persecution which was carried on everywhere in the Nether= lands, against the true Christians, .four pious believers, among others, named Joris, , Wouter; Grietgen and Naentgen, fled, in the year 1551,. from Lier in Brabant, to Ghent in Flanders. They had not resided long in the latter place when they were betrayed by a Judas, and brought prisoners from their houses to the castle of the count, where. they joyfully thanked God, and sang praises to Him, because they were .:ounted worthy to suffer for His name. When assailed by the monks and oth.er sophists, they freely confessed their faith, from which no subtlety could turn them; but they valiantly withstood, with the truth, the seducers who sought to murder their souls, and were then condemned to death by virtue of the imperial mandate, because they had apostatized from the Roman church, condemned infant baptism, and had been baptized upon faith. They were sentenced to be burned at the stake without being strangled. They thanked the lords, and Grietgen said: "My lords, save three stakes; we can all four die at one; for we, are spiritually of one mind." Rom. 12:16. They were joyful in the Lord, and thanked. God greatly. Naentgen said: "This is the day for which I have longed so much." Eight monks then came, to torment them; however, they did not accept their advice, but Grietgen said: "Take off your long robes and teach yourselves, before you undertake to teach others." They were led to death like' sheep to the slaughter, the monks accompanying, them, to whom they said:. "Stay back; let us in peace, for we know you well, and do not wish to hear you."

Having ascended the scaffold, Joris said to the people: "Be it known to you, that we do not die for theft, murder, or heresy." At this the monks became enraged, and contradicted it.

They then fell upon their knees, prayed to God, and arose and kissed each other with the kiss of peace. But when they with glad countenances addressed the people, the monks, to hinder them, went and stood before them; but one of the people cried out: "You furious antichristians, stand back, and let them speak."

Wouter said: "Citizens of Ghent, we suffer. not as heretics or Lutherans, who hold in one hand a beer mug, and a testament in the other, thus dishonoring the Word of God, and dealing in drunkenness; but we die for the genuine truth." The executioner then hung each of them by a rope to a stake, but did not strangle them. They then strengthened each other, saying: "Let us fight valiantly, for this is our last pain; hereafter we shall rejoice with God in endless joy." Matt. 25: 23. As they were hanging in pain, before the fire was kindled, Joris fell through the rope, and Wouter cried: "O brother, be of good cheer!" "O Lord!" exclaimed Joris, "in Thee do I trust; strengthen my faith." Luke 17:5. The fire then commenced to burn, and they cried out: "O God Father, into.Thy hands we commend our spirits." Thus they offered up their sacrifice according to the will of the Lord, and their faith was tried like gold in the fire, and found good, and so accepted of God.


CATHARINE BURNED AT THE STAKE, A. D. 1551


Eight days after the sacrifice of the preceding persons, a woman named Catharine was also sentenced to the fire. While yet in prison, she was greatly tormented by the monks, in order to make her apostatize, but she said: "I stand so firmly to my faith that for it, to the honor of God, I will suffer my self to be burned at the stake. What would you do for your faith? not much, I think. Hence repent, before you be brought to shame."

Having been sentenced to be burned alive, and on her way to death, she was saluted by a brother. When she arrived on the scaffold, her hands were untied at her request. She then knelt down, and prayed fervently to God for strength, which He also gave her; for when she had arisen, and was tied to the stake, she boldly said: "I am put to death for the truth's sake; whatever you are able to inflict upon me, I am freely ready to suffer." A seducer then came up, to comfort and strengthen her, . as he said, but she replied: "Be still, I am tired of your tormenting; forbear comforting me, and comfort yourself; for He whose name I suffer, shall now be my comfort.".

Thereupon, calling with a firm confidence upon God, she was burned alive in the sight of all men, steadfastly offering up soul and body to God, as a burnt. sacrifice.


BROTHER JOHN BAIR, OF LICHTENFELS, A. D. 1551


In the year 1528, on the Wednesday after All Saints Day, Brother John Bair of Lichtenfels, was apprehended for the faith and the divine truth, and was confined for twenty three years in a tower at Bamberg, in Franconia, on account of his constancy, as is seen from the following letter, written by him from there to the elders of the church. It reads thus

"Dear brethren, I have received the writing tablets and the account of the doctrine and faith of our religion, as also six candles and pens; but most important, the Bible, I did not receive, as is written in the forepart of the tablets; but it is my request, that you will send it to me, if it can still be found; for I would like to have it above all things; if it can be according to the will of God; for I am sadly in want of it, and suffer great hunger and thirst for the Word of the Lord these many long years. To God and His church I make this complaint; the days of my miserable imprisonment are twenty years, wanting eight weeks; the Wednesday after All Saints Day will be the anniversary. I John Bair of Lichtenfels, the most miserable of the miserable, and the most forsaken of the forsaken, captive in Jesus Christ our Lord, again make the complaint to God and His angels, and to all His laborers and churches. Now, my most dearly beloved brethren and sisters in the Lord, pray to God for me, that He will deliver me from this peril and great distress, a distress which is unspeakable; this God knows, and I poor man, and you know it with me. Adieu."

Written at Bamberg, in a dark dungeon, in the year 1548.

After this writing, he remained in prison three years longer, that is, twenty three years in all; when, in the year 1551, he cheerfully fell asleep in the Lord, in his prison, and obtained the martyr's crown.


JEROME SEGERS, WITH HIS WIFE LIJSKEN DIRCKS,

AND BIG HENRY, A. D. 1551


In the year of our Lord 1551, Jerome Segers, with his wife Lijsken Dircks, and Big Henry fell into the hands of the tyrants, for the testimony of Jesus, at Antwerp in Brabant. They suffered many severe torments and sharp examinations, but, through the grace of God, endured them all. And as they, through faith, were so firmly bound to their Captain Christ Jesus, that nothing could induce them to apostatize, they brought Jerome Segers and Big Henry to the slaughter, on the second day of September, A. D. 1551. Both, each at a stake, surrendered their bodies in great steadfastness to God as a well pleasing sacrifice. Lijsken Dircks, the wife of Jerome Segers, who was pregnant, was (after her delivery) thrust into a bag early in the morning, between three and four o'clock, and murderously thrown into the Scheldt and drowned, before people were up. Nevertheless, there were some that saw it, who testified to her firm and steadfast faith unto death. They now rest together under the altar. Read the following beautiful letters written by them, which attest their strong faith, firm hope and ardent love to God and His holy truth.


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A LETTER FROM JEROME SEGERS, WRITTEN IN THE

PRISON AT ANTWERP, TO HIS WIFE LIJSKEN,

WHO WAS ALSO IMPRISONED THERE

A. D. 1551


Always fear God


In narrow prison walls I lay, well guarded and contined;

Because for Christ I testified, sore troubles 1 did find;

But it cometh from the Lord,

Who to me doth strength afford.


Grace, peace, joy, gladness consolation, a firm faith, and good assurance, together with an ardent love to God, I wish to you, my most beloved wife, Lijsken Dircks, whom I wedded before God and His holy church, and thus took to wife, according to the command of the Lord; may consolation, gladness and joy be increased and multiplied to you my dear wife.


I earnestly pray the Lord, that He will comfort you, and remove from you that which is too grievous. I well know, my chosen lamb, that you are in great sorrow on my account; but lay aside all sorrow, and look to Jesus the Captain and Finisher of our faith, and let us henceforth walk in all righteousness and holiness, as children of peace, and let us make good use of the time of grace, and consider what great mercy the Lord has shown us. O my dear wife, remember how faithful a God we serve; He will not let us be confounded. Remember how faithfully He led the children of Israel with an outstretched arm, from Pharaoh's house of bondage, and out of Egypt, through the Red Sea, and remember how they had to prepare themselves, before they could go out, and how they did eat the paschal lamb with unleavened bread. They had to eat the paschal lamb standing, and the unleavened bread which they had, they bound up in their clothes, and began to go out to the wilderness. And the angel of the Lord went before them, by day in a pillar of cloud, and by night in a pillar of fire, and thus He gave them light. But when they were closely pressed by Pharaoh and his host, the people began to murmur against Moses; for they had not firm confidence in the Lord, that He would lead them out. But the Lord told Moses, what He would do, and how He would show His power on Pharaoh and his host; and He commanded Moses, to take the rod and smite the sea; and when Moses smote the sea, it dried up, and the waters were divided, and stood like walls to the right and to the left, so that they went through the sea on dry ground. Pharaoh followed with his host, and was drowned, with all his lords and people; but Israel passed through unharmed, and praised and thanked God, that He had delivered them from Pharaoh's house of bondage. But they were not yet in the promised land; they came into the dreadful wilderness, where there was no bread. The bread which they had brought from Egypt, was but a small quantity; it was the unleavened dough which they had bound up in their clothes, when they left Egypt. Then they were troubled, because they had nothing to eat; but the Lord fed them with bread from heaven.


So also, my most beloved wife, we have not gained all, when we have confessed the truth, separated ourselves from the world, and renounced all lusts and desires; but we must also fight against the enemies, that is, we must here contend against emperors and potentates, and the princes of this world. We must suffer in this world; for Paul has said that all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. I Tim. 3:12. We must overcome the world, sin, death and the devil, not with external swords or spears, but with the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, and with the shield of faith, wherewith we shall be able to ward off all sharp and fiery darts of Satan, and with the helmet of salvation on our head, and with the breastplate of righteousness, and our feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel. If we are thus strengthened with these weapons, we shall get through the wilderness with Israel, and overcome and withstand all our enemies: they shall be confounded, who fight against the truth. II Tim. 3:8. Now, when the children of Israel were out of the wilderness the dreadful and horrible wilderness, where the serpents spewed fire, after they had been wandering forty years through it, had passed through so many dangers, and taken so many cities and countries on this side of Jordan; they nevertheless were not yet in possession of the promised land, for they had not yet crossed the Jordan; however, the Lord showed Moses the promised land from afar. O my clear wife, I have also seen the promised land from afar; I hope soon to come into the beautiful city of which John writes; which is greatly adorned; her foundations are twelve precious stones, and her walls and streets are of, pure and clear gold; and the city has twelve gates, each gate of one pearl; and there is no night there, for the Lord her God lightens her. Rev. 2'1. And the Lord told Moses, that he should not lead the people into the promised land; but Joshua brought them into it, and the Lord led them over Jordan dry shod, and commanded them to keep His commandments and laws, and He should drive out their enemies from before them. But when they transgressed His commandments and laws, the Lord delivered them into the hands of their enemies, so that they were defeated by them. After they had passed over Jordan, they still did not have the promised land, which flowed with milk and honey; but they had to take it by sheer force, destroy all their enemies, and burn the cities with fire. So must also we take the promised land by force; for Christ says that the kingdom of heaven suffers violence. Not until now have I known what it is to contend; no one knows it better than he who has tried it, such is the subtlety with which they come to seduce us.


Know, that I received your letter through my mother. I read it with tears. I thank you, that you so affectionately comfort me thereby, and I rejoiced when I heard that you are so well contented.

Let me inform you, my chosen and beloved wife Lijsken, that I have been before the margrave. He had with him two Dominicans, two judges, and the clerk of the criminal court. He asked me whether I had changed my mind yet, and added that he had prevailed upon these two good men or lords, to try and win my soul, if I would repent. I replied that I would not forsake my faith, since it was the truth. They then asked me what my faith was, I said to the monks: "Ask the margrave, I have confessed my faith to him; ask him." They tormented me much, but I would not tell them anything. They asked whence I knew that it was the truth whether God had spoken orally with me. When they could get nothing else out of me, my confession was read, namely, that I had no regard for the sacrament. I said: "No, it is nothing more than a god of bread." The priests were angry, because I thus despised their god. They all wished to talk with me. I said: "I will not hear you, nor talk with you; but let my brother come here to me, and I will talk with you, and confess our faith."

They then asked me whether I was not strong enough in my faith, since I appealed to my brother.

I replied: "Yea, my faith is strong enough; but that you may not pervert our words."

They then said: "We shall not pervert your words."

I said: "I know you and your roguery well."

The margrave said: "It shall be granted to you.

I understood him to say, that he should bring a Bible with him.

The priests said that when the children are baptized, they then have faith.


I laughed at it, and said: "Why then do you not go into Turkey, and baptize the Turks; if thereby men become believers, as you say, they would all become believers."

They replied: "Though the Turks should be baptized, they would still remain Turks."


They importuned me greatly, to apostatize, and become a child of the Roman church. And the margrave and the judges felt such unrighteous compassion for me, that they said: "If your life should be spared, and you should repent and become a good child of the Roman church, I should have good hopes of you; for you have been brought to this in your youth and innocency. I well know by whom (he meant Jelis of Aix la Chapelle); and because you descended from such good parents, and your mother is almost dead with grief."

I replied: "Though the door should stand open, and you should say: `Go, only say: "I am sorry;" I should not go; for I well know that I hold the truth.'


The margrave then said: " I shall cause you to be burnt alive, if you will not hear." I laughed again, and said: "All that you inflict upon me for my faith, I will willingly suffer." He said.:, '!His wife is the greatest heretic in the city.". ._


I cannot thank the Lord enough for all the great strength and power which Ht gives me in this distress. I perceive now, that the Lord is with us; for He helps us so faithfully out of all distress (Psalm 91:15); He is such a faithful Captain, He gives His servants such courage and strengthens them, that they are not afraid (Job 5:22); they, neither fear nor tremble, because of the great love which they have to their heavenly Father: for Paul says

"Who shall separate us from the love of God? shall, tribulation, or distress, or persecution; or famie, or nakedness, or peril or sward? As it is written, For thy sake we ,are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than, conquerors through him that loved us. For I  am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth; nor, any other creature, shall be able to separate us 'from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Rom. 8:35-39.


Therefore, my most beloved wife Lijsken,.,redeem the time, be patient in tribulation, continue instant in prayer, and look constantly ,to the. beautiful promises that are promised us everywhere, if we persevere unto the end. And let us guard well the treasure; for we have this treasure in earthen vessels (II Cor. 4:7), and cannot conceal. it;"it breaks out everywhere; it is far too'precious to be hid. We rejoice greatly in. this treasure, which treasure is our faith, hope, and love; and these will not leave us destitute, even though they put us singly into dark dungeons, separated. from one another. The treasure is of such a nature that it will not be hid; one calls to the other, and so pours out his treasure, that it may be seen. We are so cheerful, eternal praise and thanks be to the Lord! we call, we sing with each other, we have such joy..in comforting and strengthening each other; the Lord gives us such strength and power, that we cannot thank Him sufficiently for the great grace which He shows ds. Mal. 3:16: "For which cause we faint not; but though our outward rnan perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For.our light affliction, which is but for a. moment; worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look riot at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen." II Cor. 4:16-18.


Hence, my dear wife, cease not to serve the Lord thy God with the whole heart, and to follow His footsteps; "For we know that, if our .earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. `For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with  our .house which is from heaven . . . not for that we, would be' unclothed, but clothed upon . . . for whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord." Mark 12:30; I Pet. 2:21; II Cor. 5:1, 2, 4, 6.

Therefore, my dear wife, give diligence that you pass the,time of your sojourning here in fear and trembling (I Pet. 1:17); not with such fear and trembling. as that we should fear the. world, and tremble before it, because they rage so against us; but we are to fear and tremble before the Lord, so that we shall keep His commandments and statutes, and thus pass the time of our sojourning here in the fear of the Lord, and receive the end of our faith, even the salvation of our souls; then shall we rejoice forever with the Lord, and go to meet Him in the resurrection of the dead. Isa. 51:11; Philip. 3:11. Therefore do not fear the world; for the very hairs of your head are all numbered; they have no power, except it be given them from above. Matt. 10:30; John 19:11. And Christ says: "Be not afraid of them that kill the body; but fear him, who after he has killed the body. has power to cast the soul into hell; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, and their worm shall not die, and they shall have no rest day nor night." Luke 13:28; Isa. 66:24; Rev. 14:11. May the Almighty, eternal and strong God so strengthen and comfort you with His blessed Word, that you will remain faithful unto the end, and you shall also, come under the altar to all the dear children of God, where all tears shall be wiped from our eyes. Rev. 2:10; 6:9; 21:4. There all tribulation will have an end, and there shall our vile body be glorified, and be like unto the image of His glory. Philip. 3:21. Then shall our weeping be turned into laughter, and our sorrow into joy (John 16:20); then shall we; who for a little while have been despised and rejected, yea, persecuted and dispersed, and put to death with great ignominy, pain and reproach, for the testimony of Jesus Christ, triumph forever, and live eternally with the Lord. We shall be clothed with white robes, as John testifies in his Revelation concerning the souls of them that were slain for the Word of God, and for the testimony which. they held. And they lay under the,altar, and they cried with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou. not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled." Rev. 7:9; 20:4; 6:9-1.


Oh, what a glorious people shall we be; when we shall be with that great multitude of which Esdras writes, and John in his Revelation, says: "I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; and cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more, neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes." Rev. 7:9, 10, 14-17. Esdras also declares of the same multitude: "that they stood upon Mount Sion, and were clothed in white, and that in the midst of them stood one taller than all the rest, who gave palms into the hands of every one, and set crowns upon every one of their heads." II Esdras 2:42, 43, 46. And John says: "I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire; and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb." Rev. 15:2, 3. Behold, my dear wife, what glorious promises we everywhere find, which God will give to all His dear and true children who here faithfully adhere to Him, who have ended their lives to the praise of the Lord, and washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. I Cor. 2:9.

O my dearly beloved wife, I cannot thank the Lord enough for all His great goodness shown to me; He gives me such strength and power that I cannot express it. Oh, now I experience that the Lord is a faithful helper in tine of need; He does not forsake those that trust in Him, for He that trusts in the Lord, shall not be confounded. Isa. 45:17; Rom. 9:33. He will keep us as the apple of His eye; He will deliver us from all the power of the devil, and the tyranny of this world; yea, He will keep us, that we shall not go into hell, if we remain faithful to Him unto the end; for Christ says: "He that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved." Matt. 24:13.

O my dearly beloved wife, continue faithful to the Lord unto death; for the crown is not at the beginning, nor in the middle, but at the end. If you continue faithful to the Lord, He will not forsake you; He will give you the crown of eternal life, and lead you into His kingdom. Jas. 1:12. He will crown you with glory and honor; and will wipe away all tears from your eyes.


Dear Lijsken, if He will wipe away all tears, tears must here first be shed. Matt. 5:4. He will heal us from our sufferings; hence we must first suffer in this world. Yea, we must fight and contend against ferocious lions, dragons, and bears (Ps. 91:13) , yea, against the wicked and perverse generations of vipers (Matt. 3:7) and serpent rulers, and against the subtle serpents of this world, and the wicked seed of Cain; for Paul says that we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers of darkness, and the principalities and powers of this world, yea, against the spirits that work in the air, which is the old serpent and Satan (Rev. 20:2), who, as Peter says, walks about as ,a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. I Pet. 5:8. Therefore defend yourself diligently, with prayer and supplication to the Lord, and hold fast to the doctrine of Jesus Christ our Saviour, that you may receive the end of your faith, even the salvation of your soul. Fight with Paul the good fight. Herewith I commend you, my dearly beloved wife and sister, to the Almighty, eternal and strong God, and to the word of His rich grace, that you may be able to stand against all the gates of hell. Amen.


A LETTER FROM JEROME SEGERS TO THE BRETHREN

AND SISTERS


The eternal joy, peace and grace of God the Father; and the unfathomable mercy, favor, and love of the Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, who has been sent through grace, by God the Father, to the salvation of all those that are born again with Him, through His imperishable Word or Gospel, and do His will; and the deep and unspeakable consolation, power, strength and communion of the Holy Ghost, who is sent by both from heaven, to the everlasting consolation, joy, and gladness of all true, penitent and obedient children of God, who have amended their life, and thus have risen with Christ, through His Gospel, into newness of life. May this only God strengthen you all in His eternal truth, and uphold you with the mighty Word of His grace in all righteousness, holiness and truth unto the end, and keep your understanding, and your hearts and minds, in Christ Jesus. To Him be praise, honor, glory, might, power, and strength forever and ever. Amen.

My dearly beloved and chosen brethren and sisters, and all lovers of the unfeigned and eternal truth, I wish you the true, penitent faith, which works by love, and avails before God, and a pure, chaste and holy conversation and walk in the fear of God, and an ardent love to God our heavenly Father, and your neighbor, and to His eternal, clear and unchangeable truth. And I pray the Lord for you day and night without ceasing, that He will open the eyes of your understanding, and enlighten your hearts with knowledge, that you may know that it is the truth, and that He will strengthen you with His divine Word, and confirm you in the faith, that you may walk in this truth, in all humility and meekness, being a light to all men, and may continue steadfast unto the end. I also pray the Lord, that He will keep you from all ravening wolves, that have gone out from us, and will yet rise up among you, who will not spare the flock, and from all false; heretical and satanic teachers, who rise up under the name of Christ, and come forth in a semblance of holiness, as though they were sent by Christ, while they have proceeded from and are sent by the devil. Acts 20:29; II Cor. 11:15.

Therefore, my dear brethren, be vigilant, watch and pray; for it is very necessary; and remember after, my departure, that I warned you from. prison against false prophets. Thus, with the help of God, I have briefly written to you, and with Peter exhorted you, well knowing that shortly I must put off my mortal clothing and sleep with my brethren and sisters in Christ. Though you are yourselves taught and strengthened in this present truth, I nevertheless deem it profitable to admonish you yet a little more, if haply thereby someone may be bettered, edified and strengthened, the name of the. Lord be praised and thanked, and I be remembered;;how I have been an example unto you in that which the Lord gave me, and have walked among you in, all humility. Tit. 2:7.

Hence I admonish you now, my dearly beloved brethren and sisters in the Lord, and beseech you with Paul, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this evil, wicked and perverse world; but he ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God. Rom. 12:1, 2; Eph. 5:17.

O my dear brethren, I earnestly beseech you, that you will all amend your lives, and forsake the world and its lusts, and will look to the life of Christ, how He walked before us; for John says

"He that would boast of Christ ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked." I John 2:6.

Behold, my dear friends, it is not enough that we are baptized in the name of Christ, that we are called brethren or sisters of Christ, and bear the name of Christians. Oh, no, all this cannot save; for John says: "Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil." John 3:7, 8, 10. And Christ says: "Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you." John 15:14: Again: "If a man love me, he will keep my words and commandments; and lie that hath my commandments and keepeth 'them, he it is that loveth me." John 14:23, 21. For John says: "He that saith he loveth God, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him." I John 2:4; And you know that a liar has no part in the kingdom of God. Rev. 21:8. Therefore, be not Christians with the mouth, nor with the tongue, but in deed and in truth. I John 3:18. For it is utterly in vain to bear the name of Christ, so long as we are not conformed to Him in word, work and thought; for Paul says: "Whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that 'he might be the first born among many brethren." Rom. 8:29. If He then has called and predestinated you, use diligence that you become conformed to Him, so that you may be found true Christians in deed when you come into the tribulation in which we now are; ° f or though we are in it now, tomorrow you may also be in it. Therefore watch and pray; for you know neither the day nor the hour; and be diligent to please the Lord; for we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that everyone may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. I Thess. 4:1; II Cor. 5:10. .

Now, as the Lord is to be feared, I counsel and humbly beseech you, to conform your life to the Gospel. For, to. bear the name of a Christian, .and to be called a brother, avails nothing; but the fulfilling of the commandments of God alone; for I have: seen many among us who boast of being Christians; who love Christ with the tongue, but with the deed forsake Him (Tit. 1:16), which is greatly to be deplored; for they are like counterfeit money, which from the outside seems to be good gold; but, when brought to the touchstone, or to the fire, it is nothing but copper within. Thus they walk among the pious, as though they were true Christians; but when the Lord begins to try them in tribulation, it is seen that all is built upon the sand,.and that they love their belly more than Christ, as appears now in the case of those that are in bonds with us; for so long they allowed themselves to be called pious brethren, but now they talk differently. Matt. 13:21; 7:26; Rom. 16:18.

Therefore, my dearly beloved brethren and sisters in the Lord, all who desire to offer up an acceptable sacrifice to the Lord, take us for an example (Jas. 5:10) and be followers of us, and be no longer so slothful or lukewarm in.love; so that, when you are also imprisoned, you will not sorrow because you did not lead a better life; for with this the devil tempts us night and day. Hence I warn you, out of brotherly love, to take heed to yourselves while you have time; for Paul says: "The grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world, looking for that blessed hope , and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works " Tit. 2:11-14; Eph. 5:2.

Behold, my dear friends, such a people Christ has chosen, who are not vain or light minded, but who, by patient continuance in well doing, seek for eternal life; hereunto he has called and chosen us, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love; for such a holy church he has chosen, which has not spot or wrinkle, but that should walk holily and unblamably before him in love. Rom. 2:7; Eph. 1:4; 5:27. Therefore be holy in all your conversation; since it is written: "Ye shall be holy, for I am holy." Lev. 11:45. Oh, see my dear brethren, it is time for you to take heed; for the axe is now laid at the root of the trees; every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit shall be hewn down, and cast into the fire. Matt. 3:10. "For not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." Matt. 7:21. For, "being dead unto sin, and purified by the knowledge of the truth, you must not be empty, lest the devil take with him the seven spirits and return into you, and the last state be worse than the first." Rom. 6:11; Matt. 12:45.

"Let not sin reign therefore in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin; but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God;" and "pray that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day;" and be not found in darkness, dear brethren, lest that "day should overtake you as a thief." Rom. 6:12, 13; Matt. 24:20; I Thess. 5:4. For if ye do so, ye shall be children of light and of the day; for they are not the children of God, who boat of the faith, but do not fulfill it with the works, for Christ says: "If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them." John 13:17. For he that knows it, and does it not, is likened unto a fool; and the servant that knows the will of his lord, and does it not, shall be beaten with many stripes. Matt. 7:26; Luke 12:47. But those who believe with the heart, and do as they believe, are the true children of God, and shall also be accounted believers in the kingdom of heaven. Hence I counsel you, and beseech you with Peter, that, giving all diligence you add to your faith, virtue; and to virtue, knowledge; and to knowledge, temperance; and to temperance, patience; and to patience, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness, charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ; but an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into everlasting life. But he that lacketh these things is blind and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. II Pet. 1:5-8, 11, 9. Therefore, purify your souls in obeying the truth, in true unfeigned love of the brethren, and love one another with _a pure heart fervently: being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God, which liveth and abideth forever. I Pet. 1:22, 23. Gird up the loins of your mind, be sober and place all your hope in God; have fervent love among yourselves, and be of one mind; mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate; let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth nor spend your time in vain conversation, which increases only unto more ungodlinegs; but speak that which is good to the use of edifying that it may minister grace unto the hearers: let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt (Col. 4:6); for Peter says,: "If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God;" (I Pet. 4:11) that you may be an example unto all men; for Christ says: "Ye are the salt of the earth; but if the salt have lost his savor, it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men

. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick, and it giveth light unto all that are in the house." "Ye are the light of the world." "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify yout Father which is in heaven." Matt. 5:13;16. And Peter says: "Have your conversation honest among the Gentiles; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evil doers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in the fear of God." I Pet. 2:12, 3:16.

He further says: "He that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace and ensue it. For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers, but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil." I Pet. 3:10-12. Hence, take good heed, that the angry face of the Lord do not look down upon you; for in the last day the ungodly shall exclaim

"O ye hills and mountains, fall upon us, and cover us, that we may not see the angry face of him that sitteth on the throne." Hos. 10:8; Rev. 6:16. And Christ says: "Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven." Matt. 5:20. Again, "Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven." Matt. 18:3.

See; my dear brethren and sisters, if you are not thus humble, give diligence that you become so; for Christ's words are no lies; He says: "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not eaten and drunk in thy presence? and in thy name have cast out devils? But then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." Matt. 7:22, 23; Luke 13:26. And Paul says: "He that lives after the flesh, shall die." Rom. 8:13. O friends, there is a great number of you, that are like unto asses and mules, which are so lazy that they have to be urged on with blows and kicks. Oh, this is not walking according to love. Lift up the hands that hang down, and the feeble knees; you have slept long enough, for Paul says: "Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light!" Heb. 12:12; Eph. 5:14. "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affections on things above, not on things of the earth." Col. 3:1, 2.

O my dear brothers and sisters in the Lord, be followers of God, as chosen children and walk in love, as He also hath loved us and hath given Himself an offering and sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savor. . But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints.; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient, but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Be ye not therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometime darkness, but now are ye' light in the Lord: walk as children of light; for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. Ephesians 5:1-5, 7-9, 11. I therefore admonish you, as fellow helpers, for the Lord  says: "I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in a day of salvation have I succored thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation." Let us give no offense in anything, that the ministry be not blamed; but in all things approve ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses,. in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in nakedness; in perils,under the sword; by pureness, by knowledge, by long suffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, by the word of truth, by the power of God, by honor and dishonor, by evil report and good report, as deceivers, and yet true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying and, behold, we live; as chastened and not killed; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things. II Cor. 6:1-10; 11, 26, 27.

My dear friends, my mouth is open ,unto you, out of brotherly love, and I humbly beseech you, let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus, showing such love with the deed among yourselves; for this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that ye should love one another; for he that loveth not, abideth.in death. But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My dear brethren and sisters in the Lord, let us no longer love in tongue, but in deed and in truth. II Cor. 6:11; Philip. 2:5; I John 3:11, 14, 17, 18; 4:8. Always remember the poor, and let each give according to his ability, with joy; for God loveth a cheerful giver, and Paul says: "He that sheweth mercy, let him do it with cheerfulness." Tobit 4:7; II Cor. 9:6; Rom. 12:8. For, consider once, whether, if you were as fervent. in love, as you have been in the world, you would not as easily know to find two or three stivers to give to the poor, as you found them for drinking or gambling purposes? Not my dear friends, that I would burden or oppress you, only that each show his love herein, according to his weak ability; for you cannot take your possessions with you. You may take me for an.example; for they have taken everything, yea, all the money we had, and asked us yet whether we did not have more.

It is therefore far better, that you help the poor with it, than that the lord* have it, and if you are willing to give your life for your brother, how much more ought you to assist him with your temporal goods! that it be as it is written: "They that gathered much had nothing over, and they that gathered little had no lack." I John 3:16; Jas. 2:16; Ex. 16:18: And see to it also, that all be done honestly, that it be as a matter of bounty, and not as of covetousness, and that the offering be acceptable unto the Lord: For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but aboundeth also in many thanksgivings to God. II Cor. 9:5, 12. Hence give diligence, to show your love herein, that the Lord may be glorified and thanked thereby, and that you may approve yourselves in all things as ministers of God. I Pet. 4:11. Read what Paul says to the Corinthians; he will teach you how to conduct yourselves herein; and I humbly beseech you, that when you have read it, you will also act according to it; for it is necessary.

Furthermore, I beseech all of you young married people, that you live together in all humility, simplicity and harmony. Young wives, submit yourselves unto your husbands, in the fear of God: and you, young men, love your wives as your own selves; support and bear them with all humility and kindness, and affectionately admonish and instruct them with the Word of the Lord; for you know neither the day nor the. hour when the Lord shall separate you. I Pet. 3:l; Eph. 5:22; Matt. 25:13. Take me and my wife for an example, how soon the Lord separated us, to His glory. Hence; live together in all humility, so long as the Lord permits you to be together: for your time is short here, seeing the Lord delights to have His chosen with Him. Job 14:1. And furthermore, I beseech you, my dear brethren, that you also give diligence to get usury (Matt. 25:27); for I trust in the Lord, that through seeing and hearing this, many shall yet turn to the truth, and I will also do my best with those who come here to see me. And gather the poor, scattered flock, for which I am greatly concerned; for they scarcely know where to go or dwell, and are in greater distress than we here. Acts 8:1-4. But be of good cheer, my dear brethren and sisters in the Lord; though we enjoy more freedom than you, be patient in your persecution: you shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Lord shall deliver you. Matt. 10:23. Be diligent, therefore, in assembling together, and in comforting and admonishing one another with the Word of the Lord, that love may not wax cold among you. Matt. 24:12.

Thus, admonish and instruct one another in the love of God: and I  beseech you, not to forget us in your prayers, and now and then to write a. letter to my wife, to comfort her, since she will be con;


* The worldly ruler.




fined a long time yet. I would further tell you, that I am in great joy, and cannot sufficiently praise and thank my Lord day and night, for His great love shown us, in that He has made both of us worthy to suffer for His name;. and for the power and strength He shows in us, and for His promises given us; for this is the hour for which I so long prayed the Lord, not considering myself good enough, that I should be worthy to suffer for His name. Therefore I am so rejoiced, because my hour is come, that I shall be delivered from this flesh.

Thus strengthen yourselves in the, love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen. Greet one another with a holy kiss of peace. Jude 21, 24, 25; I Cor. 16:20.

Let all the friends hear this letter; for I have written to you out of brotherly love, and am sorry that I can write to you no more. I commend you all to the Lord. Salute G. S. H. D. in the Lordwhom I sincerely love, and also all brethren and sisters in the Lord. Receive this brief admonition in good part (Heb. 13:22); for my spirit impelled me to admonish you a little.

Written in prison, by me,

JEROME SEGERS.


A LETTER FROM JEROME SEGERS, WRITTEN TO HIS

WIFE LIJSKEN DIRCKS


The grace and mercy of God the Father, the loving kindness and love of the Son, and the communion and peace of the Holy Ghost, who is sent us by the Father, through the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, for the consolation and joy of all true and faithful children of God, and by whom we are impelled, taught and led; the same . keep your hearts, understanding and mind in Christ Jesus, to the praise and glory of the Father, to the salvation of your afflicted soul, and to the edification of all brethren and sisters that fear and love the Lord; to this only wise God, be glory, honor; power and strength, for ever and ever. Amen.

I wish to you, my dear wife, a true, genuine, godly love, a true, unfeigned, penitent faith, which works by love, a firm hope and confidence in God, and a firm steadfastness in your faith towards God the Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. To Him I commend you, and to the Word of His grace; and since I cannot converse orally with you,, my dear wife Lijsken, I have, with the help of God, written to you a little from the Word of the Lord; for though we are absent from each other in the flesh, yet are we present in the Spirit; for I remember you day and night in my prayers, beseeching the Lord to strengthen you with His Spirit of truth, since I well know that you will have much conflict yet, before you will be released; and I also know that you will be greatly tempted by the cunning foxes and ravening wolves, yea, which are much more lions and dragons; yea, a generation of vipers, who will not spare your soul, but destroy, devour and murder it.

Hence Paul says: "Beware lest any man spoil you through false philosophy and the sleight of men, whereby they lie in wait to deceive." Col. 2:8; Eph. 4:14. Yea, Christ Himself has warned us in this respect, saying that in the latter days many false prophets, and many false Christs, shall arise, insomuch that, if it were possible, they should deceive the very elect; but this is impossible: for the Lord preserves them with His strong arm, so that the gates of hell cannot harm them. Matt. 24:24; 16:18. Yea, Paul says: "That in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created." I Tim. 4:1, 3. And

"Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience." Eph. 5:6. Christ has also warned us of the doctrine of the Pharisees; yea, of those who come in sheep's clothing; for inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Matt. 16:6; 7:15, 16. Even as Paul says: "Marvel not, that the ministers of antichrist will transform themselves into ministers of God; since Satan himself can transform himself into an angel of light; for they come in a feigned holiness, and will speak lies." II Cor. 11:14, 15.

Therefore see, my most beloved lamb, how faithfully Christ and His apostles have warned us of the false and subtle serpent, that we should not suffer ourselves to be deceived by the old serpent, which is the devil and Satan, who seeks nothing but to bring our souls into everlasting damnation, even as Peter says that he walks about us as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour; him resist with a firm faith. Rev. 12:9; I Peter 5:8. Therefore I beseech you, my dear wife. from the bottom of my heart, since we are so faithfully warned of the false prophets, who have nothing but the doctrine of devils, and seek nothing but to ruin and devour souls; therefore I beseech you once more, not to hearken to them, and to have nothing to do with them; for Paul says: "Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them." Eph. 5:11. Yea, John says that he that has not the doctrine of Christ, has not God. II John 9. And Paul says: "Though an angel from 'heaven preach any other Gospel  unto you than that which I have preached unto you, let him be accursed." Gal. 1:8. If they then have not God, and have nothing but a false, heretical, accursed and devilish doctrine, how can they teach us anything good? Therefore Christ and His apostles have so faithfully warned us, that we should not suffer ourselves to be deceived by the cunning foxes, and subtle philosophy and craftiness; for there shall never any other foundation be laid, than that is laid, namely Christ, upon whom you have founded and built; and no other Gospel may be preached, than that which is preached, in which you believe, and for the testimony of which you are also in bonds.

Hence I beseech you, my dear wife Lijsken, by the mercies of God, constantly to have the Word of the Lord before your eyes, and not to suffer yourself to be moved from your faith, by the sleight of men,'whereby they lie in wait to deceive you; for I know that you will suffer much temptation yet. Therefore, my most beloved, look not unto men; for cursed is the man, says the prophet, that trusteth in man; yea, the fear of man bringeth a snare, says the wise man. Jer. 17:5; Prov. 29:25. And regard not the torture of flesh and blood; for this is the heat of the sun, yea, the storms by which the work of the Lord is tried. Matt. 13:6; 7:25. Hence confess Christ now, and He shall confess us before His heavenly Father; for He will try the third part with fire, as gold in the furnace, and all that remains shall be found pure gold. Matt. 10:32; Zech. 13:9; I Pet. 1:7. You have partly passed through the trial, and have remained steadfast in it, eternal glory, praise, and honor to the Lord, and may the gracious Lord: strengthen  you, that as you have commenced, you may be found pure gold before God and all His church.

Thus, my most beloved, continue steadfast in the doctrine of Christ; for now is the day of which Christ spoke, that we should be brought before lords and princes, for a testimony to His name, and that we should be rejected by all men; but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. Matt. 10:18; 24:13. And Christ says: "If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; and the time cometh, that whosoever killefh you will think that he doeth God service. But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them. And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father nor me." John 15:20; 16:2, 4, 3. Behold, my dear wife, thus Christ has warned us how they should deal with us. Therefore, my dear, fear not, neither despond, though you now are confined with Daniel in the den of lions; trust in the Lord, and He will preserve you, that they shall not destroy you; He will also deliver you from their teeth, that they shall not tear you. Forsake Him not and He will not forsake you; for He says: "He that despiseth you, despiseth me; lie that persecuteth you persecuteth me; he that toucheth you, toucheth the apple of mine eye." Luke 10:16; Acts 26:14; Zech. 2:8.

If they then do not persecute us, but the Lord, fight valiantly, as a pious soldier of Christ, and contend for His glory. And even as He fought unto death, so by the grace of God do also you; for Paul says: "If a man strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully." II Tim. 2:5. Therefore, my dear, put on the whole armor of


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God, and be not ashamed to confess His Word before men, but always remember the words of Christ: "Whosoever shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven; but whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him also shall I be ashamed before my heavenly Father. For whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; but whosoever loses his life for the sake of the Gospel, shall find it. But he that loveth aught more than me, cannot be my disciple; yea, no man, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God. And Paul says: It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him; but if we deny him, he also will deny us." Eph. 6:11; Matt. 10:32; Mark 8:38; Matthew 16:25; 10:37; Luke 9:62; II Tim. 2:11, 12.

Hence, my most beloved, do not forsake the Lord; for we are nothing but dust and ashes, yea, nothing but mortal flesh, which must die in dishonor, but is raised in glory. Gen. 18:27; I Cor. 15:43. Be patient, therefore, in tribulation; for it is the true way, which leads to life eternal, which all the saints of God, the prophets and apostles, yea, Christ Himself went. all having to drink of this cup. Therefore look not to death, but through death, lest another come before you, and take your crown. Hence, my most beloved, be long suffering in your tribulation, and patient in suffering, and wait for your deliverance, even as the husbandman waits for his fruits; for blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love Him. James 1:12. For Christ says: "Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." Matt. 5:10. Behold, we count them happy which endure, says James. Jas. 5.:11. Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that we should follow His steps: forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered, arm yourself likewise with the same mind. I Peter 2:21; 4:1. With this agree the words of John, who says that Christ laid doyen His life for us, and that we ought also to lay down our lives for the brethren. I John 3:16.

Hence, be not discouraged, chosen and beloved, at their threatening; but praise and glorify the Lord in this matter; for Christ says: "Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, for my name's sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad; for great is vour reward from my Father which is in heaven." Matt. 5:11, 12. My dear, this is not said that we should be sad, but that we should rejoice that we are worthy to suffer for His name. Paul says: "Ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together; for the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us; for eye hath not seen, nor heart known, neither mouth confessed, but God alone, what shall be revealed to those that love him, and keep his word." Rom. 8:15-18; I Cor. 2:9. And Paul says that it is not enough for you to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His name. Phil. 1:29.

Hence, my most beloved, be a willing bride, and prepare for the conflict; for He will not suffer you to be tempted above that you are able; but will with the temptation also make a way for you to escape. I Cor. 10:13. For though a mother forget her child, yet will I not forget thee, says the Lord. Isa. 49:15. He will preserve you as the apple of His eye. Zech. 2:8. Therefore, fear not men, who perish like grass (Isa. 51:12); but valiantly journey with Joshua and Caleb to the promised land; wait with Noah for the day of the Lord; for Christ says: "My sheep hear my voice, and they follow me; but the voice of strangers they hear not; and no man shall pluck them out of his hand, since it is impossible, that the elect of God should be deceived;" as Paul says: "Who shall separate us from the love of God?" Nay, no torments of this world.; "for we know that all things work together for good to them that love God; for our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding weight of glory." John 10:27; Rom. 8:35, 28; II Cor. 4:17. Since it is the will of the Lord, I hope that this your trial will also be for your good; for the Lord has appointed your time, which we cannot pass. Hence, fear not, for God is your Captain; He is your strength; He is your guide (II Esd.16:76); forsake Him not; He will not forsake you; trust in Him, and you shall not be ashamed (Ps. 31:1), be faithful unto death, the crown of life is prepared for you. Rev. 2:10. I desire willingly to offer up my body to the praise of God, yea, not only my body, but if every member, yea, every hair were a body, I would, through the power of God, offer them all up to the praise of the Lord, in order to obtain His promises; for what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God; therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not. "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him." John 3:1, 2. Yea, Peter says that we shall be partakers of His divine nature; yea, we shall be where Christ Himself will be, and shall with Him judge all nations; yea, we shall follow the lamb whithersoever he goeth; yea, we shall sing the new song on Mount Sion, and we know assuredly that, if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God. eternal in the heavens. II Peter 1:4; John 12:26; Matt. 19:28; Rev. 14:4; II Esd. 2:42; II Cor. 5:1. Who would exalt this corrupt, decaying flesh, which is nothing but a heap of earth, over these beautiful promises 1 O see, what beautiful promises Christ has given His own, who remain steadfast unto the end; for there is no other way to eternal life, than this way; for all righteous souls, from the beginning, have had to suffer, and thus gain possession of the kingdom of God. Gen. 4:8. Hence, my most beloved wife, since there is no other way, be a willing bride, prepared to receive your bridegroom; and you shall then be crowned with praise and honor.

Thus, my most beloved, I have written a few things, with which you may somewhat strengthen yourself through the Word of the Lord; for Christ says: "The world shall rejoice, and ye shall be sorrowful; but be of kind cheer; I have overcome the world; and your sorrow shall be turned into joy, and your joy no man taketh from you; for he that worketh in us is stronger than he that is in the world." John 16:20. And John says that our faith is the victory that overcometh the world. I John 5:4. Always remember Lot's wife (Gen. 19:26), and the man of God who was slain by the lion, because he had eaten bread contrary to God's command, being deceived by the false prophet. I Kings 13:1. Thus you also suffer yourself in no wise to be deceived by false prophets; but fight with the prophet David against Goliath, and you shall devour him like bread; for the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent who remain steadfast take it by force; for Joshua and Caleb took the promised land by force, and those that were not steadfast, could not enter into it. Hence, be not dismayed though you are tried here for a little season; for it is His will. Therefore, receive willingly from His hand whatever He sends you; for Paul says: "We know that all things work together for good to them that love God." Rom. 8:28. For Christ means to show His wonderful power and strength in you, against the dragons and the generation of vipers, yea, against the ravening wolves, who daily resist Christ, and fight against you to destroy you. But be bold and trust in Christ; He will not forsake you; for He is your strength. He cares for you (I Peter 5:7); He is your Protector, by whom you shall overcome all your adversaries; for He shall feed you with the bread of life, yea, with the bread of understanding, and give you the water of wisdom to drink, and shall comfort you in all your tribulation, and impress into your heart a firm and steadfast faith, which they shall not be able to resist. Sir. 15:3. For He who has begun this good work in you, will, through His grace and power, also carry out and finish it, to His praise, to the salvation of your soul, and to the edification of all them that fear the Lord. Phil. 1:6. To this God, who can deliver you from all tribulation, and preserve you f rom all the snares of the devil, and from all false doctrine, be praise, honor, power and strength, for ever and ever. Amen.

See, my dear wife, as I can not help you with my weeping, or with my blood, I have written a few things; to comfort you, and for a memorial or a testament, that you may remember me by it, how I walked before you; for I hope to seal this letter with my blood, namely,. that it is nothing but the pure truth, for which I desire to lay down my life, to the praise of the Lord and the edification of all that fear' Him. I pray the Lord that He will let you follow me as I through His grace hope to go before you; and I trust in the Lord that He will let you follow me thus, and have confidence in you, that you will follow me thus steadfastly, through the grace of the Lord; and 'I pray the Lord, that He will let the fruit grow up to His praise, that it inay also be found worthy to suffer for His name. Thus I have commended the fruit to the Lord, who is more able to preserve you and it, than I am. And that the Lord will preserve you, I do not doubt. I hope that my blood will be the seal of this letter.

Thus I commend you to the Lord, and to the word of His grace, that He will keep you in all righteousness, holiness and truth; `and though we must separate here, I know, and firmly trust in the Lord, that we shall be together in life eternal; hence, I will freely bring my offering.

Oh, that I might suffer for you; I should gladly offer my flesh for you. I am sorry that I can write to you no, more. 1. herewith commend you to the Lord. Be not solicitous about the child; for my friends will take good care of it, yea, the Lord will care for it. Hendrick of Deventer salutes you much in the Lord, whom he entreats day and night for you,. that you may continue steadfast unto the end.


ANOTHER LETTER FROM JEROME SEGERS TO HIS

WIFE


Grace, peace, heartfelt joy, through the knowledge of Jesus Christ, be with you, my dear wife Lijsken in the Lord. Z wish you, my dear wife Lijsken, an ardent love to God, and a joyful mind to Christ Jesus. Know, that I remember you day and night in my prayers, supplicating and sighing to God for you; for I am very sorrowful on your account, because you have to be imprisoned so long; and I would fain wish, had it been themill of the Lord, that you had been released; but now the Lord has willed it otherwise; because He means to try you, and to reveal His power and strength in you, against all those who resist the truth. Hence, I can do nothing against the will of the Lord, lest I .tempt Him; but I will much rather praise and thank Him, that He has made us both Worthy to suffer for His name; for thereto are all His chosen lambs elected; for He has redeemed them from among men, as first fruits unto God. Rev. 14:4.

Furthermore, my most beloved, I have greatly rejoiced until this hour, praising and thanking the Lord for having fitted us for this purpose, but when I heard from you, that your sorrow was greater than your lips could express, it caused me to weep many tears, and grieves my heart; for it is a great affliction. And I understood that it is because you often told me to depart from Assuerus, which I did not do; this has cost me many a. tear, and I am very sorry; yet I can do nothing against the will of the Lord. (Rom, 9:19), and had it been His will, He would have provided a deliverance for us; but He has appointed our bounds, which we can not pass. Job 14:5; Tob. 13:2. Thus, we cannot escape from the Lord; hence let us not be grieved at His work, but much rather, as Christ says, let us rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is our reward in heaven; and as Peter says, we ought to praise and glorify God on this behalf. Matt. 5:12; I Peter 4:16. O my dear; this is not said that we should sorrow. Be patient, therefore, in your tribulation and suffering; for Paul says that all things work together for good to them that love God; hence, I have confidence in the Lord, that it will also be for your good, that you have to be imprisoned so long. Therefore receive willingly at His hand whatever He sends you; for He suffers no one to be tempted above that he is able. Hence, be a partaker of the sufferings of Christ; for all that are without chastisement, are bastards, and not sons. Heb. 12:8. . And James says

"Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to them that love him." James 1:12.


Be therefore a follower of Christ, patiently and joyfully take up your cross, and follow Him with gladness, since He has suffered so much for our salvation; hence let us also suffer for His praise. Since our hour has now come, let us joyfully strive for the crown of life, which is prepared for us.


Therefore I pray you, my love, that you will not sorrow any longer; for the Lord will preserve you as the apple of His eye; yea, though a ,mother forget her child, yet shall I not forget thee, says the Lord, yea, my sheep hear my voice, says the Lord, and they follow me, and no man shall pluck them out of my hand. Therefore, my most beloved, be content, and trust in the Lord; He will not forsake you. Moreover, I learned partly from my sister, that you also grieved because you were not more patient with me. See, my dear lamb, you have not been obstinate towards me, and we have not lived together otherwise than we were in duty bound to live; why then will you grieve. Be content; Christ will not lay it to your charge, for He will not remember our sins. I thank the Lord, that you have lived so humbly with me as you did. Gladly would I be imprisoned for you for a whole year, on bread and water, yea, and then die, a tenfold death, if you could be released. Oh, that I could help you with my tears and with my blood, how willingly should I suffer for you; but my suffering can avail you nothing. Hence, be contented; I will pray the Lord still more for you. I have written this letter in tears, because I heard that your grief is so very great. I pray you, that you will write to me how you are. Herewith I ,commend you to the Lord.




A LETTER FROM LIJSKEN, JEROME'S WIFE, WHICH

SHE WROTE TO HIM IN PRISON AT

ANTWERP, A: D. 1551


Grace and peace be to both of us from God the Father, and the love of the Son, and the commun . ion of the Holy Ghost be with us, to the strengthening, consolation, joy, and salvation of our souls.

My beloved husband in the Lord, know that at first the time seemed very long to me, because I was not used to imprisonment, and heard nothing but temptations to depart from the Lord. They said: "Why do you trouble yourself with the Scriptures; attend to your sewing. It seems that you would follow the apostles; where are the signs which you do? They spake with different tongues, after they had received the Holy Ghost." Mark 16:17; Acts 2:4. And they said: "Where is your language which you received through the Holy Ghost?" But it is sufficient for us; that we have believed through their word, as John tells us, where Christ says: "Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word." John 17:20. Herewith I commend you to the Lord; the grace of God be with us always.

Thanks be to God the Father, who had and showed such love to us, that He gave His dear Son for us; may He give us such love, joy, wisdom, and such a steadfast mind, through Christ, and through the power of the Holy Spirit, that we may prevail against all ravenous beasts, dragons, serpents, and all the gates of hell, which are now using great subtlety to seize, deceive, destroy, and seduce our souls. Well may we therefore humbly pray the Lord without ceasing, day and night; for the devourer walks about us, seeking whore he 'may devour; for we are not ignorant of his designs. But though they are very crafty, yet the Lord's hand is not shortened, in them that love Him, and do His will; for the eyes of the Lord are upon those that love Him, and His ears are open unto their cry; but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. Isa. 59:1; Ps. 34:15, 16. Hence, let everyone take good heed, that the face of the Lord be not against him; for the soul that sinneth, it shall die, unless he repent before the Lord come. But we are not assured of the time when the Lord will come; for He shall come as a thief in the night. I Thess.. 5:2. Hence, we may well pray the Lord for one another, that our flight be not on the Sabbath Day, when we are idle, nor in the winter, when we have no fruit on our trees, for every tree which bringeth forth not good fruit shall be hewn down, and cast into the fire; but every tree that beareth good fruit, He shall purge, that it may bring forth fruit abundantly. Matt. 24:20; 3:10; John 15:2. The mouth of the Lord also tells us: "If any man sin willfully . . . there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. The law of Moses was so strict, that he who transgressed it had to die without mercy under two or three witnesses; of how much sorer punishment shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God?" Heb. 10:26-29. The Holy Ghost also declares: "If we be dead with him, we shall also live with him; if we suffer we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: if we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself." II Tim: 2:11-13. "Seeing we are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame; who threatened not, when he suffered for our sins unto the salvation of our souls." Hebrews 12:1, 2; I Peter 2:23. Thus we also, my most beloved in the Lord, to His praise, and to the consolation of all dear friends. I wish to us both the crucified Saviour for an everlasting joy and strength. I trust to the Lord, who alone is wise, and who has given His wisdom only to the simple, the innocent and outcasts of this world, that He will comfort us till our travail is over. Rev. 12:5.

My dear husband in the Lord, whom I married before God and His church, and with whom they say I have lived in adultery, because I was not married in Baal; but the Lord says: "Rejoice, when all men shall speak evil of you, for my name's sake: rejoice, and be exceeding glad; for great is your reward in heaven."