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Thread: MARTYRS MIRROR

  1. #451
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    The second letter of Clement Hendrickss

    Grace, peace and mercy from God our heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ His only beloved Son, who gave Himself for us, out of great love, to deliver us from the bond of death; this fervent love,with the power and strength of the Holy Ghost, I wish you my very dear and beloved N., as a token of gratitude, and for consolation and strength, now and forever. Amen.

    Further, my very dear and beloved, beloved by God, the heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, out of true Christian, brotherly love I cannot well forbear to write your love briefly as to how it still is with me in my bonds. I cannot thank and praise the Lord sufficiently, that He so comforts me in my tribulation, and that my mind is still fixed to fear the Lord with all my heart all the days of my life, according to my weak ability. Furthermore, very dear and beloved, I poor and unworthy one have undertaken to write you a little, though I am unfit to do so; but it is done out of true Christian, brotherly love; hence accept it from me in good part.

    O my very dear and beloved, what a beautiful consolation it is to us, that Christ says, "Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." Matt. 5:10. Christ also says, "Whosoever doth not take up his cross, and follow me, is not worthy of me; and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it." Luke 9:23, 24. Paul, further, says all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. II Tim. 3:12. Many are the afflictions of the righteous; but the Lord delivereth him out of them all. Ps. 34:19. Therefore, my very dear and beloved, the prophets suffered, yea, Christ Himself, and also all the pious witnesses of Jesus Christ even unto the present day. Hence, let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding, that, when he cometh and knocketh they may open unto him immediately. Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. Luke 12:35-37. Hence, my dear and much beloved,~what a beautiful comfort this is to us I For it is written, "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." I Cor. 2:9.

    He that shall endure unto the end. the same shall be saved. Matt. 24:13. And Esdras saw upon the Mount Sion a great people, whom he 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 every one of their heads he set crowns, and was more exalted; at which he [Esdrasl marveled greatly. So he asked the angel, and said, "Sir, what are these?" He answered and said, "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 he asked the angel, "What young person is it that crowneth them, and giveth them palms in their hands?" And he answered and said, "It is the Son of God, whom they have confessed in the world."

    Behold, my dear and much beloved in the Lord, what is our life? It is even a vapor, or as a smoke that is driven by the wind, not knowing whence it cometh, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. Jas. 4:14. But our dying is nothing less than an introduction into eternal life, to reign with God and Christ. Christ says, "He that believeth in me is passed from death unto life." John 5:24. If we die through Him, we live in Him, for God is not the God of the dead, but of the living; and Abraham believed in Him, and all believers live in God. Matt. 22:33; Jas. 2:23. Though they suffered death, they were the friends of God, so that He says, "He that toucheth you, toucheth the apple of my eye." Zech. 2:8. Behold, what manner of love the Father~hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth you not, because it knew Him not. Therefore, my dear and much beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that, when He shall appear we shall be like Him;for we shall see Him as He is. And every man that bath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as He is pure. I John 3:1-3. 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, that we may be clothed upon with it. II Cor. 5:1, 2.

    Yea, saith Paul, as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ; whether it be comfort or tribulation, it is all for our salvation, if we suffer as the saints suffered, that is, for the testimony of the Word of God. 1:5. 6; Rev. 6:9. Paul further says, "If we suffer with him, if we die with Christ, we shall live with him." I7 Tim. 2:11, 12. He further says; that our earnest expectation is nothing less than the manifestation of the sons of God, that is, we desire aid long so greatly for the appearing of our Lord in the clouds, that we may be caught up to Him in the clouds, and become like Him. Rom. 8:19; Matt. 24:30; I Thess. 4:17. While we are in these tabernacles, we are burdened; for we would rather be clothed upon with the immortal and heavenly glory with which Christ shall glorify us.. He that bath wrought us for this selfsame thing is God, who bath given unto us the earnest of the faith, through faith and trust in His Son. II Con 5:4, 5.

    Hence, my dear and much beloved, even as it is also written; Though our outward man 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 not at the things which are temporal, but at the things which are eternal. II Cor. 4:16-18. Herewith I commend you to the Lord; may He bless and keep you, the Lord make His face to shine upon you and upon us all, and be gracious unto us. Num. 6:24, 25. Greet the brethren much in my name, where it is convenient. I will commend you all to the Lord until,the appearing of our Lord. The peace of the Lord be with you now and forever. Amen.

    Written in bonds, on Christmas Monday, by me,

    CLEMENT HENDRICKSS,

    Unworthy prisoner in the Lord.


    Jude
    II Corinthians 4:3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:

    4
    In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.



  2. #452
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    Third Letter of Clement Hendrickss, to his father and mother

    I wish you, my dear and beloved father, and my dear and much beloved mother, the Spirit of truth, and the knowledge of the faith, according to the mind of Christ Jesus, a clear vision and an open heart in all divine matters and in: the Word of God, thereby rightly to discriminate which is. light or darkness, lies or truth, yea, flesh or spirit; in order that you may not be deceived, but firmly adhere to the word of God, so that you may receive a full reward, and lose none of those things which you have hitherto wrought through your faith. II John 8.

    Further, my dear and much beloved father and mother, whom. I well remember in my bonds, and still pray for you every morning and evening, that the Lord would comfort you in your sorrow, which you have for me, poor, unworthy man, who am not worthy that you should sorrow for me. Furthermore, my dear and.much beloved father and mother I inform your love, that I have undertaken to write your love a little, as to how it still is with me, and that it is still my purpose to fear the Lord with all my heart, with all my strength, and with all my soul,.as long as I remain in the flesh, for which I can never sufficiently thank and praise the almighty, great and only wise God for His unspeakable, yea, incomprehensible grace, which He has hitherto shown me and still daily shows me through Jesus Christ and the supply of His Spirit, Phil. 1:19. For this I thank the almighty God, and bow the knee of my heart (Prayer of Manasses) before the Father full of grace, who is a true and righteous God of mercy, and a God that comforts us all with His holy Word.

    Therefore, my dear and much beloved father and mother, sorrow not for me poor, unworthy man, but much rather rejoice herein, and praise the Lord for it, that He has called and made worthy your son, to suffer for His holy Word and His Gospel. And we find; that the apostles and the prophets, yea, Christ Himself, had to suffer according to the flesh, from evil and perverse men. Hence my dear father and much beloved mother, do not grieve too much, and be content herein, as much as is possible for you, this I most kindly ask you for the name of the Lord. And always comfort yourselves with the words of Christ where He says, "He that loveth aught more than me is not worthy of me; and everyone that forsaketh house, home, lands, and father and mother, shall receive a hundred fold." Matt. 10: 37; Luke 14:26; Matt. 19:29. Therefore, my dear and much beloved father and mother what else can we meet with in this life, than with great poverty?

    And what is man's life? nothing but as 'the flower of the field: the grass withereth and the flower fadeth; and as a vapor, that appeareth for a little time and then vanisheth away. Isaiah 40:6, 7; Jas. 4:14. Further, my dear and much beloved father, I am of good courage to offer up my sacrifice, and to suffer for the name of the Lord; for Christ says, "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven." Matt. 10:32. Christ also says, "Let your light shine before men." 5:16. And I fain would, when I am to offer up my sacrifice, that they would place me on a wagon and carry me around town, and scourge me four times, that I might let the light shine before this evil, blind and perverse generation; for I am not ashamed to suffer for the Gospel. Rom. 1:16. For I shall not suffer as a thief, or a rogue, or robber, or evildoer, but I shall suffer as a Christian. I Peter 4:15, 16. For if we suffer for evil doing, what profit is it to us? but if we suffer for well doing, this is acceptable with the heavenly Father. 2:20. Furthermore my dear and much beloved father and mother, I inform your love that they have let me know that I should commit myself into the hands of the clergy; then they thought I should get out of here. Thereupon I sent back word to them, that I had no intention of doing this, and that they should go to no trouble about it.

    Hence, my dear and much beloved father and mother, be not dismayed on account of this, I humbly pray you for the name of the Lord, for of such things a Christian ought not to be ashamed. For there was Joseph, who was tempted by the Egyptian woman; and she had caught him by his coat or mantle, and wished to commit whoredom with him; and she would not let him go; but he fled from her, and left the mantle or coat in her hand, rather than commit this great sin with her. Therefore, my dear and much beloved father and mother, if the whore of Babylon takes hold of our coat or mantle, that we should commit whoredom with her, rather let go, through the grace of the Lord, your coat or mantle, namely, your temporal life, than that you should commit whoredom with her. Rev. 17:1 , 2.

    Furthermore, my dear and much beloved father and mother, I ask you very humbly, with weeping eyes, for forgiveness for all that I have done amiss against you by word or deed, or by any thoughts, that you will forgive me. It seems that my time will soon be here now, when I shall offer up my sacrifice. Hence my dear and much beloved father and mother, I will commend you to the Lord, and bid you adieu till the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ. The peace of the Lord be with you forever and ever. Amen.

    Written by me, your beloved son, in my bonds.

    CLEMENT HENDRICKSS,

    Unworthy prisoner in the Lord.


    Jude
    II Corinthians 4:3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:

    4
    In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.



  3. #453
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    Fourth letter of Clement Hendrdckss, to his father and mother

    A most friendly greeting to you my beloved father and mother. I inform you, that I am still of good courage and well, as I hope that also you are.

    Further, my dear and much beloved father and mother, J inform your love how it is with me, according to the body, in my bonds. I cannot thank and praise the Lord enough for it, that He so comforts me in my tribulation, and that it is still my fixed purpose to fear the Lord as long as I am here, though flesh and blood should suffer on this account.

    Furthermore, my dear and much beloved father and mother, I inform your love, how they dealt with me when I was first apprehended. I had been invited out in the evening, which was on a Wednesday, and we were speaking of going home. Then the Watch met ' us, and we had no light with us, whereupon we were taken up above by the watch, where sat Floris den Bral, who asked us, whence we came, whether we had not been at a meeting of the new religion. We said, "No." He asked whether we would substantiate this with our oath. I said to him, "Will you not believe my word; I mean to tell you the truth." But he insisted on the oath, and we would not swear, then he said, "Take them back below." And we were forthwith taken in the rear, into the dungeon, as though we had been thieves or rogues. The next morning we were taken above, and they brought me first before the lords, having bound my hands behind my back, as though I had been a thief. Then the bailiff asked me and said, "Clement." And I said, "Sir bailiff." He asked, "How many times have you attended the meetings of the Mennists?" I kept silence and gave him no answer. And he insisted hard upon knowing it, whereupon I was led away into a room by myself. Then the others were brought before the lords, and asked concerning their faith.

    They confessed their faith,.and then I was again brought before the lords, and he again asked me, how often r had attended the meetings. He wanted to know whether I had been there ten times. I said, "No." Eight times?"No." Seven times?"No." Three times?"Yes." Then he asked me, who had been the preacher. I said, "I am not minded to tell it." He also wanted me to tell in what house I had been, and what people had been there. I told him that I was not minded to tell him. He said that he should make me tell it. I was then taken back into the dungeon. The day following I was again taken up before the lords, and the bailiff asked me, whether I would not yet tell him, who had been the preacher, where it had been, and what people had been present. I told him that I was not yet minded to tell it, and said, "I am in trouble, and I do not wish to bring any one else into trouble; you have me here, deal with me accordine to your pleasure." Jeremiah 26:14. Then the bailiff said to the judges, "I demand him to be Dut on the rack. in order to tear" all the particulars." And he said, "Take him to the rear;" and I was taken to the rack; where I was stripped, and my shirt tied before my body. Thus I was placed in a sitting posture on the rack, and my eyes blindfolded. Then the bailiff came to me, and asked me whether I would not yet tell it. I told him that I was not yet minded to tell it. Thereupon I was laid upon the rack, and tied to it with seven ropes.

    On my head there were two knots, which lay on my forehead; and a cord on each of my great toes, and the others around my body. The ropes were twisted together with billets of wood, and I expected nothing else but that he would twist in pieces the ribs in my body. Urine was also poured into my mouth, and as I lay there in pain, I was also scourged on my breast. The Lord knows how they dealt with me. Through the severe pain I named four persons; but I hoped that they were not in town. This lasted about half an hour. I said to them, that they should put a rope around my throat, and dispatch me at once. When they loosed the ropes, I was not able to get up by my own efforts; the servants had to help me up. I was then taken back into a dungeon. The next day I was again brought above before the lords, and if it had not been for Joost Buyck, I would have been tortured again, though I was scarcely able to walk. Then the bailiff asked me, whether I would not have a monk to come and see me. I said, that he might stay away. He said, "You have to hear a dog bark; can you not hear a man talk?"

    I was then taken back into the dungeon, and a priest and a monk came to dispute with me. They began to prate much of this and that, and to tell many fables; but I kept silence, and let them prate on; and they got angry because I did not reply to them more, and one of them said that I had the devil in me. Four days after I was taken above again, when they told me that I should prepare myself against Saturday. I said, "Whenever it pleases the Lord I am ready." I was then taken back into the dungeon, and expected nothing else than that. I should offer up my sacrifice on Saturday, and even on Saturday I had no other expectation but of offering up my sacrifice. There came a priest to me, and would have me confess to him. I said that I did not want to confess to him, since he could not forgive my sins; I said, "The best confession is to confess to the Lord my God."

    Then the bailiff with two judges came to me, and said, that they would wait with me two weeks yet; but I was of such good courage to offer up my sacrifice, as though I had known nothing of death. Phil. 2:17. And so I am still of such good courage, as though I knew nothing of imprisonment. It began to vex me that it is deferred so long. I long to be out of the flesh, and am quite cheerfully resigned to offer up my sacrifice; the Lord does not forsake His own who trust in Him. Furthermore, my dear and much beloved father, I inform you, that I received your letter, and I was rejoiced to learn that you are so well content herein.Further, my dear father and mother, I will bid you adieu, if it be the Lord's pleasure, till the appearing of our Lord. The peace of the Lord be with you forever. Amen. By me,

    CLEMENT HENDRICKSS,

    Unworthy prisoner in the Lord.


    Jude
    II Corinthians 4:3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:

    4
    In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.



  4. #454
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    Fifth letter of Clement Hendrickss

    I wish you, my dear and beloved in the Spirit and according to the truth, as I trust, in the knowledge of the faith, and in the mind of Christ Jesus, a clear vision, and an open heart, in all divine matters, and in the Word of God, thereby rightly to discriminate which is light or darkness, lies or truth, yea, flesh or spirit; in order that you may not be deceived, but adhere firmly to the Word of God, so that you may receive a full reward.

    Further, my dear and much beloved, I cannot well forbear to write you a little, how it still is with me in my bonds, and that my mind is still fixed to fear the Lord with all my heart, with all my strength, and with all my soul, for which I can never fully thank and praise the almighty, great and all-wise God, for His unspeakable, yea, incomprehensible grace which He has hitherto shown me and still daily shows me, through Jesus Christ, and the supply of the Spirit. For this I thank the almighty God, and bow the knee of my heart before the Father full of grace and truth, who is the true Father full of grace, and the God of all comfort, who can comfort us when we are in tribulation and distress. II Cor. 1:3, 4. Hence, my dear and faithful, keep well this good treasure, which is committed to you, given you of God through grace; for faith is the gift of God. Rom. 12:3. By it the elders obtained a good report, and assurance in their hearts, through the ancient word of the Spirit of Christ, who had testified before with their spirit, that they were the children of God, and heirs of all the glorious promises. Heb. 11:2; I Pet. 1:11.

    Hence they willingly forsook everything, and esteemed it nevertheless much more and greater riches, to suffer affliction with the children of God, than to enjoy all the temporal pleasures of this world; for they had respect unto the recompense of the reward, and to that which was eternal and not temporal. Heb. 11:25, 26; II Cor. 4:18. For faith looks to that which does not appear here now, nor is seen with carnal eyes, but which is beheld by the inner, hidden man, and by the eyes of the heart; and hence they hold it fast, as though they saw it before their eyes, and could touch it with their hands; for they judge Him faithful that promised, that He also will do it, for He cannot deny Himself. Heb. 11:1, 11; 10:23; II Timothy 2:13.

    Therefore, my dear and faithful, look not at the things which are seen; for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. II Cor. 4:18. And Christ says, "He that loveth aught more than me, is not worthy of me." Matt. 10:37. And in another place He says, "Every one that forsaketh house, home, lands, and father and mother, yea, also his own life, shall receive a hundred fold." Matt. 19:29. Hence we must forsake everything here, and love nothing more than the living God, and show it with works and by the deed, that we are the children of God, and not bastards. The righteous must through much affliction enter into the kingdom of heaven; but the Lord helps them in all their afflictions; He does not suffer His own to be tempted above that they are able, but has with the temptation also made a way to escape. Ps. 34:19; I Cor. 10:13. But the ungodly He reserves unto the day of judgment to be punished. II Pet. 2:9.

    Hence, my dear and much beloved, remember Joseph, who was tempted by the Egyptian woman to commit whoredom with her; and she had taken hold of his coat or mantle, and would not let him go; but he fled from her, and left the coat or mantle, in her hand, rather than commit this great sin with her. Therefore, my dear and much beloved, if the harlot of Babylon takes hold of our coat or mantle rather let go, by the grace of God, your earthly coat, namely, your temporal life, than that you should be compelled to commit whoredom with her; well knowing that our mortal clothing must first be put off before the immortal can be put on. And if our earthly house of this tabernacle be dissolved, we have a building in heaven, a house not made with hands, but which is eternal. II Corinthians 5:1.

    Furthermore, my dear and much beloved, I have undertaken to write you a little yet, of the words of Christ, where He says, "If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter [that he may abide with you forever]; even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive . . . . Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye shall see me, and ye know me, says the Lord." John 14:15-17, 19, 20. In another place Christ also warns us, saying, "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 . . . . Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire." Matt. 7:15-17, 19.

    Herewith I bid you adieu with the sure Word of His grace, until His coming. The peace of the Lord be with you forever and ever. Amen. Receive this my brief letter in good part.

    Written in my bonds out of love, by me,

    CLEMENT HENDRICKSS,

    Unworthy prisoner in the Lord.


    Jude
    II Corinthians 4:3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:

    4
    In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.



  5. #455
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    VEIT GREYENBURGER, A. D. 1570

    In the year 1570, Veit Greyenburger, a brother, was apprehended at Wald in Vintschgau as he wastraveling through there. He had been spied out, and a prize set upon his capture. When he arrived at the inn, and the peasants noticed him, but did not well know him, they came into the inn by night, and when they saw him pray before eating, they put their heads together and said, "He is the man, or he looks like him;" and acted as though it were wrong to pray-so plainly could the devil be seen in them. Hence they watched him in the inn, and sent word to the judge in the castle at Niedersol, who came with many footmen and servants, bound his hands behind his back, and took him to the prison in the castle of Niedersol. Very soon after he was examined, and led back into prison. Five weeks afterwards the grand bailiff came from Saltzburg, who took him with two servants and two footmen to the castle at Saltzburg, and there put him in prison in chain . A long time, namely, two years and a half, afterwards, priests came, namely, the preacher of the Cathedral at Saltzburg, also the ecclesiastical judge and other fellows. Each had before him ink and paper, and they addressed Brother Veit," and urged him to make his defense.

    The brother said, "What shall I say: You are accusers and judges, and what you are not able to carry out yourselves, the judge, the beadles, and the executioner must do in your stead. You tell it to the Prince, the Prince tells it to the judge, the judge to the beadles, the beadles to the executioner, who must finish it; this is your high priest who helps you to gain the victory." Among other things the brother also said to them, "The Spirit says plainly what you are; for Paul writes: 'That in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving."' I Tim. 4:1-3.

    Then one of the priests said to him, "We do not forbid marriage; moreover, I have eaten meat today." But the brother said, "Ah! it is well known that you forbid marriage and permit whoredom." But when the priest had well bethought himself he said, "Do you know what Christ says: 'The Scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat: all therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do'"? Matt. 23:2, 3. Then Brother Veit asked them, "Do you think that you are the same?" They replied, "Yes, we are they by the will of God." The brother said, "You are they indeed, since you confess it; but Christ pronounces many woes upon them, and calls them serpents and a generation of vipers, hypocrites, fools and blind guides, and such are you, as your own mouth testifies." Matt. 23. Then he was called an Anabaptist and the like.

    Thereupon Brother Veit asked them, whether they also considered Paul an Anabaptist. They said, "No." Then he was asked, "Why then did he baptize again those who had already been bap-tized with John's baptism, which was certainly from heaven, but was nevertheless not sufficient to salvation? How much less then can infant baptism, which is from men, be sufficient?" Then they were silent and Brother Veit said, "You allow midwives to baptize; where is this written?" But they did not know, and sat there as dumb as dogs. Thereupon they asked him, whether he belonged to the Huterite society.

    He replied, "Huter was a teacher." They asked, "Is he then your Messiah?" He answered, "Huter was a pious man, who was burnt at Innsbruck for his faith and the divine truth; but our Messiah is Christ. (John 1:21; 4:25.) But what kind of Messiah and father have you at Rome, and also here in this town?" Then they said that the pope had nothing to do with them. Then the brother said, "Then you have a superior here in town?" The priests said that he was not their father. The brother rejoined, "You certainly said yourselves before, that your father had sent you forth." Then they did not know what to say. In this manner he was examined several times; hence, Christ did not in vain say to His own, "When they shall bring you into their synagogues, council houses, before magistrates, powers and the learned, take no thought how or what ye shall say: for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which they shall not be able to gainsay or resist." Luke 21:12, etc.

    Having been imprisoned upward of six years at Saltzburg, suffering much misery and tribulation, Brother Veit, in the year 1576, through the help of God, escaped through a window of his prison. The people in the castle said that it was beyond the power of man to get out; but with God all things are possible. Matt. 19:26. Thus he returned to his brethren and the church, on the 9th of August of said year.


    Jude
    II Corinthians 4:3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:

    4
    In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.



  6. #456
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    Post Re: MARTYRS MIRROR

    FOUR FRIENDS OFFERED UP IN MAESTRICHT; ARENT VAN ESSEN; URSEL HIS WIFE; NEELT GEN, AN OLD WOMAN; AND TRIJNTGEN, HER DAUGHTER, IN THE YEAR 1570

    During the time of freedom following the destruction of the images, the church at Maestricht grew and flourished, increasing in number. But when the Duke of Alva came into the country, many fled out of the city whithersoever they best could; some, however, remained, among whom there was also a brother who was an elder and also a school teacher. His name was Arent van Essen, and he had a wife whose name was Ursel. In the same house with them there lived another couple, of whom the wife's name was Trijntgen; and the name of her mother, an old woman of about seventy-five years, was Neeltgen. These persons having been betrayed and reported to the authorities, one of the burgomasters of the city, a man of furious disposition, came violently, about twelve o'clock in the night, with his servants, called beadles, to the house of the schoolmaster, and with great noise apprehended this man Arent, and thelatter was led in the night to the council house, called the Landskroon. About an hour after, the burgomaster with his beadles again went to the house of the aforesaid schoolmaster, to apprehend two women yet, whom he had not seized before. Arriving there he also found Neeltgen the old woman, who had come to see how it was with her daughters Trijntgen and the others; for she had heard that Arent had been taken away and imprisoned. He also apprehended these three, and took them likewise to the Landskroon, to the man, so that in the morning all four were together, rejoicing together in God, and comforting one another.

    When they were brought before the lords, they each separately freely confessed their faith (I Pet. 3:15), and that they had received baptism upon their faith, and what else belongs to godly doctrines; in which, it seems, Ursel, though weak, according to the flesh, was not the most timid; for they separated her from the rest and delivered her to the lords (that is, to the bailiff and the judges), who judge in cases of capital punishment. And thus she was taken to the Dinghuys, a place thus called; where she was greatly harassed with many threats, all of which she meekly bore and suffered. Thus it went also with her husband, Arent, whom they likewise delivered to the lords, and brought him to the prisoners' gate, which is the highest prison, where also manifold wiles Were employed to cause him to apostatize.

    When this old woman Neeltgen and her daugh. ter Trijntgen, were also delivered to the lords, and conducted to the Dinghuys, and came into the street on their way thither, both of them being joyful and of good courage, Trijntgen for joy began to sing, thus she was kindled in the Lord.

    During their imprisonment in the Dinghuys they were frequently assailed by the lords, and also by monks and priests, who sought to move them to renounce their faith; but God preserved His sheep from the terrible rage of the wolves. After this they began first to torture Arent. Yea, it was said, that he was seven Times severely tortured, so that he fell into despondency in consequence of all these tortures: but the Lord extended to him His hand, strengthened him, and gave him new courage, so that he manfully fought through, as we shall hear. Ursel his wife was likewise brought from the Dinghuys to the prisoners' gate, where she exhorted her husband not a little, to the strengthening of his heart.

    There Ursel was also twice tortured on the rack; but she faithfully adhered to the truth. But it did not stop with this torturing in her case; for the executioner tied her hands together, and drew her up, and as she was hanging there he cut open her chemise with a knife baring her back, and severely scourged her with rods; this was done twice in one day. (It was said that a Jesuit advised this scourging.) But all this was patiently borne by Ursel, who, as said above, was also tender of body, so that before her imprisonment, she had to turn her stockings inside out, and put them on and wear them thus, because she could not bear the seams of the stockings inside on her limbs; but now, through the help of God, she was able to endure torturing and scourging. Neeltgen the old woman was also led to the torture, and when she came to the rack or ladder, she went and lay down upon it of her own accord; but the lords considering her age and feebleness, she was not tortured.

    They said to her, "It is not your first time, namely, that she lay on the rack; for they knew that she had also once in her youth been imprisoned and tortured for the truth, from which imprisonment she had been delivered in a remarkable manner. But her daughter Trijntgen was treated far less gently, for she was tortured very severely; and when she was taken from the rack almost in a fainting condition, she was laid upon a bed for a little while; but as soon as she was recovered a little she had to go on the rack again. And when she was tortured severely she cried aloud, "O Lord, succor me, and keep my lips." For she was severely tortured, that she should name others; for they were thirsting for more blood. And God heard her prayer, and kept her lips, so that they could obtain nothing from her which implicated her neighbor. When Trijntgen was tortured the last time, she said, "I praise and thank the Lord." Mother Neeltgen, who was not far off, hearing her daughter speak, asked, "Is that my child?" Hearing this, Trijntgen replied, "Yes, my mother;" and fell on her neck and kissed her.

    On the 9th of January, in the year 1570, Arent and Ursel his wife were notified in the name of the lords, that each was to be put to a stake and burned, in which message they greatly rejoiced, because they were to be counted worthy to die for the name of Christ; and were full of joy that day and night, thanking and praising God, and thus waited for the day of their redemption.

    In the morning a town beadle came to Ursel, and enjoined her in the name of his lords, that she should not speak in the street on her way to execution; this the beadle said in the presence of the lords. Ursel said to the lords, "And may I not sing a little, and say something now and then?" But this they would not permit her, and said among themselves, "We hear now what her intentions are." They further said to the executioner, "Do as you are commanded, and stop her mouth." The executioner had a piece of wood, which he put in Ursel's mouth, and tied up her mouth with a cloth. And as they had been taken back from the prisoners' gate, where they were tortured, to the Dinghuys, whence they were to go to execution, and where also Neeltgen and Trijntgen were still imprisoned, Trijntgen, when Ursel was led away from the Dinghuys, had come to a window above, and when she saw Ursel being led forth to death, she cried aloud over all the people, saying to Ursel, "Dear sister, contend manfully, for the crown of life is prepared for you." Thus Ursel, with her mouth gagged, went to the Vrijthof (the place where she was to be offered up), the people complaining greatly, because her mouth had been gagged so that she could not speak one word.

    When Ursel arrived at the scaffold which had been erected, she ascended it quietly as a lamb, and went directly into the hut, and the executioner immediately set fire to the same; and thus she was burned to ashes, and became a burnt offering unto the Lord.

    Very shortly after, Arent, Ursel's husband, was also notified to prepare himself for death, which he willingly received, and prepared himself accordingly. Before he was led forth to death, they also stopped and tied up his mouth, which presented a pitiful sight. They had erected a scaffold in another place than where Ursel bad been put to death, namely, in the Friday or cattle market, near the Poel. What the lords sought by putting them to death separately was not really known; but common report had it, that the lords did it in order that Arent and Ursel might not derive any comfort from each other. When Arent was thus led, with his mouth gagged, to this place, a joyful and undismayed_mind could be perceived. Having ascended the scaffold, he fell upon his knees, and fervently offered up his prayer.

    He then arose and went into the hut, where he divested himself of part of his clothing; but as this took up some time, the bailiff, who was present on horseback, called out to the executioner, "Go on with your work;" which the latter immediately did, and lighted the fire, and thus this martyr was likewise burned to ashes, as a witness of Jesus Christ.

    Above we said, that the old woman Neeltgen, and Trijntgen her daughter, remained still imprisoned in the Dinghuys. On the 23d of January of the same year, these two also received notice from the lords, that they should have to die as the others; which notice they so joyfully received, that time seemed very long to them before that day arrived. For they sought rest above in heaven with their dear heavenly Father, who, though He suffers His own to be tempted here, yet does never depart with His mercy from them, but delivers them out of all their distress. Hence, they were rejoiced in the Lord above measure, thanked and praised Him the whole night, and thus waited longingly for the day of their redemption. In the morning, when they were to be led to execution, the executioner puta piece of wood into the mouth of each, and tied it up with a cloth; and thus they joyfully went (escorted) to the Vrijthof.

    On the way Trijntgen put her hands up to the cloth with which her mouth was tied, and began to draw it away and to say something, and to call out why they died. But this they would in no wise tolerate; hence the executioner went up to her and laid his hand upon her mouth, and ordered her to go into the hut; for most of this was done on the scaffold. And thus Trijntgen and her dear mother were led into the hut, and both burned to ashes, having commended their souls into the hands of God; which took place on the 24th of January, A. D. 1569.


    Jude
    II Corinthians 4:3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:

    4
    In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.



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    Post Re: MARTYRS MIRROR

    ANNEKEN OGIERS, DAUGHTER OF JAN OGIERS, AND WIFE OF ADRIAEN BOOGAERT, DROWNED FOR THE TESTIMONY OF JESUS CHRIST, AT
    HAARLEM, A. D. 1570

    The misery of persecution continued, so that almost nowhere liberty could be found for an upright Christian soul. Herein also those of Haarlem, in Holland, incurred guilt; which appeared in the year of our Lord 1570, for then they laid their hands (which they had previously several times imbrued in the blood of the saints) on a God-fearing woman named Anneken, the daughter of Jan Ogiers, and wife of Adriaen Boogaert, who thirteen years previously had betaken herself from the darkness of popery to the true light of the Gospel, and, in proof that she desired to be a disciple of Jesus, had been baptized upon her faith, leaving and renouncing the pope and the Romish church, and, on the other hand, accepting and confessing Jesus Christ as the Son of God, and His church (namely, the cross-bearing church of the Anabaptists) as His beloved bride, wife and own body, by which she was then recognized as a member and fellow sister.

    When she in her imprisonment could by no means be turned from her faith, the rulers of the city of Haarlem, concluded her trial and, on the 17th of June, A. D. 1570, publicly in court, pronounced sentence of death upon her, namely, that she should be drowned and buried under the gallows. The sentence (excepting the title) reads word for word as follows:


    SENTENCE OF DEATH OF ANNEKEN, JAN OGIERS' DAUGHTER

    Whereas Anneken, Jan Ogiers' daughter, and wife of Adriaen Boogaert, porcelain-maker, prisoner, has confessed without torture and iron bonds, that about thirteen years ago, she, rejecting the Christian baptism received by her in her infancy, was rebaptized at Amsterdam, contrary to our Catholic faith, and the unity of the holy Roman church, and also in contempt of the decrees of his royal majesty, our most gracious lord; and what is still worse, though she has been instructed for the best concerning her error and heresy, she still obstinately persists therein; therefore, the judges, having heard the demand made in conclusion by Jacob Foppens, bailiff, of this city of Haarlem, in the name of his majesty, as Count of Holland, against said prisoner, that she should be condemned by their sentence, to be conducted to the scaffold here, and executed with fire, until death should ensue; and all her property confiscated for the benefit of his royal majesty, according to the decrees of his majesty aforesaid; have, by reason of what has been mentioned, condemned said Anneken, Jan Ogiers' daughter, prisoner, and by these presents do condemn her to be executed with water and drowned here in the city hall, until death ensues, and the body to be buried under the gallows; and declare all her property forfeited for the benefit of his majesty. Thus read from the city hall, by the sound of the bell, on the 17th of June, A. D. 1570, in presence of Jacob Foppens, bailiff, Mr. Gerrit van Ravensberge, Mr. Lambrecht van Roosvelt, Mr. Huge Bol van Zanen, Aelbrecht van Schagen, Mr. Gijsbrecht van Nesse, Wouter van Rollandt, and Frans Janss Teyng, judges.

    Extracted from the first book of penal sentences of the city of Haarlem (beginning A. D. 1539, and concluding the 27th of October, A. D. 1582; preserved in the archives of the city of Haarlem) and, after collation, found to accord with it; by me, the undersigned, secretary of the aforesaid city, the 14th of July, A. D. 1659.

    The above-mentioned sentence, we obtained, after much trouble, from the hands of the secretary of civil and criminal matters, or clerk of the criminal court of the city of Haarlem, through the instrumentality of one of our good friends, H. V., just as the same was read in court at the hour of the death of the aforesaid woman, and is still at the present day found in the city records of that place; from the particulars of which we have written the account that precedes the sentence.


    Jude
    II Corinthians 4:3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:

    4
    In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.



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    BARBER JANS, A. D. 1570

    At Haarlem in Holland, in the year 1570, a woman, named Barber Jans, was apprehended, because she had apostatized from the Romish church, and endeavored to be a follower of Christ; who, having boldly confessed her faith, and firmly adhering to it, was sentenced to death on the 13th of February, and secretly drowned for the Gospel's sake, and then burned to ashes.


    ALLERT JANSS, A. D. 1570

    In the same year 1570, on the 13th of April, also a pious brother, named Allert Janss, was brought prisoner to Haarlem; who, after many temptations and assaults, because of his steadfastness in the divine truth, an the 6th of May, after the sentence had been pronounced, boldly went to the stake, to be burnt alive to ashes, and thus offered up a sacrifice, well-pleasing to God, and serving as an example to all the God-fearing.


    ANDRIES N., WITH HIS FATHER AND BROTHER, A. D. 1570

    In this same year also a brother named Andries N., because he, having died unto the world, had entered the service of God, was apprehended at Antwerp, and about the same time also his father and brother, who, being imprisoned together, rejoiced in the Lord, that they were counted worthy to suffer for His name, which they also boldly confessed before the secular rulers, and professed a good profession of their faith, to which they firmly adhered, notwithstanding the sufferings or vexations which, by subtilty, promises and threats, were inflicted upon them on this account; so that they persevered unto the end in the truth, in the true faith, and in the love to God. All three were then sentenced and burnt, and thus, offering up their sacrifice, as a sweet smelling savor unto God, helped to fulfill the number of their brethren that had gone before.


    ANDRIES N., A. D. 1570

    In this same year 1570, there was also apprehended in Haarlem, for his faith and the truth, a brother named Andries N., who was tortured very cruelly for the space of three hours, but nevertheless, then as well as in other temptations and sufferings, always steadfastly adhered to his faith. Finally he was sentenced to death and burned, and thus, as a valiant soldier of the Lord, fought a good fight; hence, he is worthy not only to be remembered here for an example and perpetual memorial, but also to inherit the kingdom of his heavenly Father, which is prepared for all the pious.


    JORIS VAN MEESCH AND JACOB LOWIJS ABOUT 1570

    Christ says to His disciples, "The brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake

    but he that endureth to the end shall be saved." Matt. 10:21, 22. This also appeared about the year 1570 (for we do not know the exact time), when two pious followers of Christ, named Joris van Meesch and Jacob Lowijs, were apprehended at Ghent, in Flanders, where, after many temptations and severe threats (from the papists) they were put to death, testifying to and confirming the faith of the eternal truth with their blood. Hence, they shall at the last day be graciously accepted of God, and receive the crown of eternal glory at the hand of the Lard.

    I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.


    Jude
    II Corinthians 4:3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:

    4
    In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.



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    JAN THE RIBBON WEAVER, JOOST THE WHEELWRIGHT WITH HIS WIFE, MAERTEN VAN WYJCKE WITH LIJSKEN HIS WIFE AND JELIS THE MASON, IN THE YEAR 1570

    In the year 1570 there were apprehended at Antwerp, and put to death at the same place for the testimony of Jesus, the following God-fearing persons: Jan the ribbon weaver, Joost the wheelwright with his wife, Maerten van Wijcke with Lijsken his wife, and Jelis the mason's tender. Lijsken, however, the wife of Maerten van Wijcke, was kept imprisoned for one year, and then, on the 2d of May, 1571, burnt alive at said place.

    Thus these six pious, godly persons were martyred by the tyrants and bloodthirsty, not on account of any crime, much less for any heresy, but only for following the genuine faith of the truth. Herein the latter followed the footsteps of their forefathers, the false prophets, who thus persecuted and killed the upright followers of the truth from the beginning. Hence, it is to be feared, that they will repent when it is too late, and will also receive the same recompense with those whose works they herein followed. But those who followed the true prophet Christ Jesus in true obedience and upright faith, shall, on the other hand, upon Mount Zion, be clothed in white raiment, by their Bridegroom Christ Jesus for whose sake they suffered this, receive palms in their hands, and be crowned with crowns of eternal glory, which no one shall ever be able to take from them.


    FAES DIRCKS, AND TWO OTHERS, A. D. 1570

    In the year 1570, on the 7th of April, there was apprehended for the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus, at Gouda, in Holland, a pious follower of Christ, named Faes Dircks, a chairmaker by trade. Afterwards, the 27th of May, he was very unmercifully and tyrannically tortured by the bloodthirsty servants of antichrist, and led forth under the blue sky, and on the 30th of May of the same year, put to death, and burned for the genuine faith of the truth, following the footsteps of his Lord and Master Christ Jesus. Some time prior to this two other pious followers of Christ were put to. death at Gouda, for the testimony of Jesus, one of whom according to the counsel of God, was not yet baptized upon his faith; but the God of all grace, who knows the heart, mind and thoughts of all men, accepted in him the will for the deed. Thus they suffered with Christ, and shall be received. with Him into eternal glory, at that time when all the earthly, carnal generation of men shall weep and lament over themselves eternally.

    Subsequently, when Gouda was taken by the troops of the prince of Orange, it was deliberated upon to exhume the priest who had been the cause of the imprisonment and death of said Faes Dircks, and of the dispersion and persecution of many of those who feared God. They afterwards changedtheir mind, but hired a man for about four guilders, who took down the bones of Faes Dircks from the scaffold, and opened the grave of the aforesaid priest, who had previously died, and been interred in the church of the Franciscans, near the high altar, and then laid the bones of Faes Dircks upon the body of the priest; thus deriding this traitor, because he had deemed the God-fearing unworthy to live with him in the same town, and, after their death, their bodies unworthy of burial, but they had to be given as food to the birds of heaven. But at the speedy coming of Christ from heaven, this idolatrous priest shall find, when it will be too late for repentance, who of them both will be acknowledged and accepted by the chief Shepherd as an acceptable sheep, or as a rejected goat.

    Concerning this martyr Faes Dircks~ we have obtained three examinations, namely, two without torture and one on the rack, just as the same have been extracted by the secretary there from the town records of Gouda, which we therefore will communicate to our fellow believers for the greater confirmation of the foregoing account; they read as follows.


    Jude
    II Corinthians 4:3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:

    4
    In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.



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    COPY OF THE CONFESSION MADE BY FAES DIRCKS IMPRISONED HERE IN THIENDEWEGS GATE

    First Examination


    The 11th of May, 1570, the bailiff of Gouda brought toexamination the hereinafter mentioned person: there beingpresent, Gijsbert Jan Maertenss, and Gerraert Huygen,burgomasters, Dirck Andries, Mr. Heyndrick Jacobs, Mr. CornelisHeyndricks, judges.

    Faes Dircks, chairmaker, about thirty-one years of age, saysthat he is a native citizen of Gouda, and that on last EasterDay he heard the pastor of Gouda preach; that those who go tothe Lord's table do not receive roasted, sodden or raw meat,but that they receive the roasted flesh of our Lord, roasted onGood Friday, on the tree of the cross. Hence, hearing this, hewent out of the church, since he did not feel well at this, nordeem himself worthy to receive it, and did not go to the Lord'stable.

    He; says and confesses, that he does not consider thesacrament of the altar real flesh and blood, and this for thereason that there is but one God.


    He also confesses, that about a year ago he was baptized atRotterdam, and that he did not know the one that baptized him,but that the latter delivered an exhortation, saying that theLord had said"That all that believe and are baptized shall besaved."

    He further says, that the one who baptized him baptized himin the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, andthat water was poured over his head out of a basin, and thatthere were present ten or twelve persons, one of whom was namedWiert Claess, of Gouda.

    When asked whether Euwout the barber, and Dirck Jacobs, theshoemaker, or others from Gouda were not also present with him at Rotterdam, he says,"No,"but that Wiert Claess was present there, and that to hisknowledge Wiert was not baptized at that time.

    NOTE.-Here follow some more questions and answers, which aretreated of in the following examination; hence we have omittedto place them here. In conclusion the secretary wrote: Thusdone on the days and in the presence aforesaid, in theThiendewegs Gate; I being present as secretary of Gouda.


    JORIS JACOBS.


    Second Examination


    The 19th of May, 1570, the bailiff brought Faes Dircks, thesecond time to examination, in the presence of the pastor ofGouda', Mr. Joost Boorgoos, Gijsbert Jan Maertenss; JanGerritts Pels, and Gerrit Huygen, burgomasters, Gerrit GerritBouwenss, Dlrck Andriess, Mr. Heyndrick Jacobs, FlorisGijsberts; and Mr. Cornelis Heyndricks, judges.


    The afore-mentioned Faes Dircks, when he was asked whetherhe still persisted in and adhered to what he said and confessedon the 11th of this month, replied that he still adhered toit.


    He says, that he believes in Almighty God, and in JesusChrist; who was born of the virgin Mary. He also says, thatinfants cannot be regenerated, since they have no understandingto believe, and that water cannot save them.


    When he was asked whether he did not believe that ChristJesus is in the holy sacrament he says,"No," since there is notmore than one God, and He is in heaven, and not here in thesacrament. He says that he considers himself a sheep of Christ;and that he regards Christ as, his Shepherd, and that he knowsno other shepherd.


    When he was asked who baptized him, he says that he does notknow, and that he never saw the one that baptized him, eitherbefore or since; and that no one'was present there from Gouda,except Wiert Claess; who brought him there, and that he [FaesDireks] arrived in the place on an evening, and stayed therethe whole night and the following day, until the evening whenhe was baptized.; this took place at Rotterdam, in a house, ina large garret.*


    NOTE.-Here follow again solve questions and answers, -whichare more fully explained in the third and last examination; andwhich we have omitted in order to avoid repetition. Thesecretary then, after stating the time when, the place where,and the persons in whose presence this took place, againsubscribes himself, by the name of Joris Jacobs, secretary ofGouda.


    Third examination on the rack


    On the 27th of May, 1579, Johan Pieterss, mayor of Gouda, inthe name of Sir Cornelis Mylo, castellan and bailiff of thecity of Gouda, brought Faes Dircks to the torture, in thepresence of Gijsbert

    * Behold here the strait of the believers inthose times, who to hear the Word of God occasionally had tospend whole days and nights in order to attend the meeting.
    JanMaertens, Gerritt Huyge Hapkooper, burgomasters; Gerrit GerritBouwenss, Dirck Andriess, Dirck Janss Lonck, and Mr. CornelisHeyndricks, judges.


    Faes Dircks being asked whether he still adheres to theconfession which he made on the 19th of this month, says thathe still adheres to it.


    When brought to the torture, and asked, in whose house hewas baptized,'he said he did not know, but subsequentlyunderstood that it took place at the house of a shoemaker namedMichael, residing near the East Gate, at Rotterdam.


    He says that when he was baptized, about eight or nineothers were baptized with him, among whom were Dirck Jacobs, ashoemaker, and Jan Adrienss, a tanner, and that the wife ofMichael, the shoemaker, and Wiert' Claess, were present whenthe baptism took place, but that Wiert was not baptized.


    When asked whether Euwout the barber, Jan Aertss, theweaver, and Jan de Bagijn were also present when he wasbaptized, he says '.'No," and he says further that Dirck'Jacobss and the tanner came early in the morning beforedaylight into the house where they were baptized.


    He says that the one who baptized him had a strangelanguage, and talked somewhat loud.


    He says, that a woman named Maertjen Philips, residingin'the Cingel, is of his faith, and also Willem fanss, cutler,Wiert Claess, and-Jan Aertss, weaver.


    When asked whether Euwout the barber was'of the samepersuasion and faith with him, he says that he does not knowand that he has not had any conversation with him' in regard tomatters of faith, but that he has been at, his house. He saysthat he does not know whether Jan de Bagijn is also of the samefaith as he that speaks or not.


    Again; The above confession .was then read to the aforesaidFaes Dircks, under the blue sky, without torture and ironbonds, and being asked whether he adhered to it, he repliedthat he did, and that he desired mercy, and not justice. Donein the presence of the full court.


    JORIS JACOBS.


    NOTE.-Since not only the three afore-mentioned examinations,but also the sentence of death of said friend of God, were sentus by the present secretary of the town of Gouda, we. will addthe latter here, as it reads in the ,original, that no one mayin any wise doubt what has been related..


    Jude
    II Corinthians 4:3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:

    4
    In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.



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    EXTRACT FROM THE BOOK OF CRIMINAL SENTENCES OF THE TOWN OF GOUDA

    Faes Dircks executed with fire

    Whereas Faes Dircks, native citizen of this .town of Gouda, at present a prisoner, has confessed, without torture and iron bonds, under the blue sky, before my lords of the court, that about a little over a year ago he was rebaptized at Rotterdam, by a man whom he does not know; that he also for two years back has rejected communion with the holy church, our mother, and does not believe in the holy, worshipful sacrament of the altar, in which lies the salvation of man: without that said Faes Dircks has been willing to repent of this, to be instructed otherwise, but has added, that he would not listen to him that desired to instruct him, and to turn him from his error and heresy, all this being contrary to the written laws and decrees of his royal majesty published at different times in these countries; therefore the judges with the mature deliberation of the council, having examined and weighed all that is of importance in this case on the behalf and in the name of the King of Spain, as Count of Holland, Zealand and Friesland, our common lord and prince, have condemned the aforesaid Faes Dircks, at present a prisoner, and condemn him by these presents, to be brought to the scaffold without this town, and there to be executed with fire; and declare all his property confiscated for the benefit of his royal majesty; unless the aforesaid Faes Dircks depart publicly before the church, from his aforesaid heresy, and declare and confess that he has been led astray and deceived; in such case the judges reserve to themselves the punishment to be inflicted upon him for his crime, the same to be according as they shall find proper pursuant to the decrees of his majesty aforesaid.*

    Done by Jan,Claess Diert, and Simon Pieters, burgomasters, summoned, Gijsbert Jan Maertenss and Gerritt Huyges, burgomasters, Dirck Ottes van Slingerlandt, judge, summoned, Gerrit Gerrit Bouwenss, Dirck Andriess, Mr. Heyndrick Jacobs, Dirck Janss Lonck, Mr. Cornelis Heyndricks, judges, and announced to Dirck van Necq, judge, summoned. Published on the 30th of May, in the year 1570. Subscribed.

    JORIS JACOBS,

    Secretary of Gouda, A. D. 1570.


    ADRIAEN PIETERS AND BARBER JOOSTEN, IN THE YEAR 1570

    In the year 1570, there were imprisoned at Haarlem in Holland, a brother named Adriaen Pieters, and a sister named Barber Joosten, not on account of any crime or heresy, but only because they sought to follow Christ in the regeneration, for which they were envied by the servants of antichrist, who sought with many tyrannical means to draw them from Christ, and to make them follow their self-invented idolatry which militates against God. But these, as giants in the faith, valiantly resisted, through the grace of God, the snares of Satan. Hence, they were condemned and sentenced to death by the rulers of darkness. Adriaen Pieters was burnt, and Barber Joosten was drowned in great steadfastness, and thus they both remained faithful to the Lord their God unto death and hence out of grace, obtained the crown of eternal life.

    * That is, in this case, he would have been executed with the sword, but as he remained steadfast, it did not come to this.


    MAERTEN KARETTIER, A. D. 1570

    Maerten Karettier of Busbeke, who also would rather suffer affliction with the children of God, than enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season, and live in joy with the world, was apprehended for his faith at Rijssel and there made a good confession of it and evinced great steadfastness, for which reason he finally, as a valiant witness of God, had to taste death.


    LIJNTGEN KEMELS, A. D. 1570

    In like manner, there was also apprehended, at Luyck, a sister named Lijntgen Kemels, who, after having made a good and steadfast confession of her faith, was burnt there, and thus went boldly, with her lamp burning, to meet her bridegroom, who also joyfully took her as a wise virgin in to his [marriage] feast.


    Jude
    II Corinthians 4:3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:

    4
    In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.



  12. #462
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    Post Re: MARTYRS MIRROR

    JOOST VERKINDERT AND LAUWERENS ANDRIESS, BOTH PUT TO DEATH FOR THE TESTIMONY OF JESUS CHRIST, AT ANTWERP, THE 13TH OF SEPTEMBER, A. D. 1570

    A letter of Joost Verkindert to his wife, mother, brother, and sister; written on the 7th of June, being the ninth day of his imprisonment

    Grace and mercy from God the heavenly Father, and the merits of our dear Lord Jesus Christ, who redeemed us on the tree of the cross by the shedding of His precious blood, when we were yet His enemies, together with the consolation of the Holy Ghost, who comforts all afflicted hearts; all this I wish you together as a friendly and heartfelt greeting. I wholly commend myself to you, and also thank you all for the love shown me, and the exhortation and consolation in my present great tribulation, which I must now receive as permitted and foreordained by the Lord. For Christ says, "The very hairs of your head are all numbered. Matthew 10:30. Nevertheless, in going out I was apprehensive of meeting the officer, which also happened, since the plan of meeting together at that time was not well-timed; however all things must have a cause. I must relate to you something about our apprehension, how the bailiff with some of his servants met me and Lauwerens and asked, "Whence do you come? and whither are you going?" Hearing this we were both greatly consternated, so that they instantly perceived what kind of people we were. They immediately bound us, and conducted us above; and while they were leading us they greatly cursed us and called us rogues.

    Having arrived at the prison, they forthwith examined Lauwerens alone. Afterwards I was also brought before them, and was asked, whether I had received another baptism besides the one received in my infancy. I asked him in return, what he had to say against me. He said, "You are rebaptized; your servant has told me." I answered, "Let me alone; I shall tomorrow confess my faith before the margrave." But he was not satisfied with that, for he had a notebook to write in; and when he could obtain no other information from me, he became angry and said, "I shall make you say yes or no." I said, "My lord, be satisfied for this time." And when he saw that he could not obtain anything further from me, he made me sit in the emperor's chair, and thus they left me, I thinking that they were going for the executioner.

    While lying there alone I was troubled by various thoughts; moreover Satan greatly tormented me with wife and children, sustenance, and many other temptations, on account of which I heartily wept, calling to God for succor, and began to measure my life and conversation with the Word of God, from the beginning of my Christian life up to this present day, and found no cause just enough to cease from all the severe labor which I had done. Though I have often transgressed the commandment of God, yet it was not done wantonly and I found grace with God.

    The next day we were both brought into the tower where Lauwerens was tortured. They further asked me concerning my age and faith, all of which I freely confessed to them, and was not ashamed. They asked whether I had a wife. And when I had said,"Yes," they asked whether I had children. I said, "Two." They asked what their names were, and whether they were baptized. I answered, "They are not baptized, for I recognize no infant baptism; we also find in the Scriptures but one baptism upon faith, as Christ left it to us, and His apostles practiced." When I pronounced the names of the children, they laughed, because the children had names without being christened. We further had many other words, which it would take too long to relate; hence I write this to you very briefly for I am so closely guarded, that no one can speak with me; nor have I ever conversed with Lauwerens alone. Hence, keep quiet about everything, for I am apprehensive of being tormented still much more, of which I am greatly afraid according to the flesh; for they have here so many tortures, chains for suspending, pulley, cords, and rack, on which I was tortured, as you know.

    O friends, let all of you heartily entreat the Lord for me, and cause prayer to be made for me. Acts 12:5. O I pray the Lord with tears; yea, I water my couch with my tears before the Lord (Ps. 6:6), that He should make me worthy of Him through His grace.

    Herewith I commend you to the Lord and bid you all adieu.

    Written in bonds by me,

    JOOST VERKINDERT,

    Unworthy prisoner in the Lord.

    NOTE.-He was apprehended on the 30th of May, and put to death on the 13th of September of the same year.


    Jude
    II Corinthians 4:3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:

    4
    In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.



  13. #463
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    Post Re: MARTYRS MIRROR

    ANOTHER EDIFYING LETTER AND EXHORTATION OF JOOST VERKINDERT, WRITTEN IN HIS IMPRISONMENT, THE 20TH OF JUNE, TO THE CHURCH OF GOD AT A.

    Grace, mercy and peace from God the heavenly Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, who loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood; together with the consolation of the Holy Ghost, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, to comfort all them that are in any tribulation and affliction for His holy name's sake. To Him be praise, honor, glory, dominion, power and majesty, forever and ever. Amen. This we wish you all as a friendly greeting, my beloved brethren and sisters in the Lord. We prisoners for the testimony of our dear Lord Jesus Christ inform you, that it is still tolerably well with us according to the flesh; but as regards the spirit, we would that it were better, for we are compassed about with such a vile, evil flesh, which always lusts against the will of God, and shrinks much from suffering; however we must suffer and fight, if we are to overcome. For, dear brethren and sisters, the crown lies not at the beginning nor in the middle, but at the end; there the conflict lies; then the gold is tried by the fire of affliction, which no one knows better, than those who have been tried therein.

    It is indeed true what the apostle says, "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.

    Further, my dear friends, brethren and sisters, we pray you by the great love of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you be all of the same mind, and let there be no discord among you nor any strife about any matter; but let each seek to be wise and prudent in that which is good, and simple in what is evil, remembering the words of the apostle where he says, "If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, fulfill ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Yea, let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus, who, though he was rich, became poor for our sakes, that through his poverty he might make us rich, and purify unto himself a holy church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; which he hath purchased with his own blood, that they should be holy and without blame, and walk in love." Phil. 2:1-5; I Cor. 10:24; II Corinthians 8:9; Eph. 5:26, 27; Acts 20:28; Eph. 1:4.

    This church has now for a time suffered much sorrow; may the complaint ascend to the merciful Father in heaven, concerning the misery and sadness that have come upon Zion. But the God of all grace be praised for His great mercy which He has yet shown the church at Antwerp, which continues still in good peace and unity (as I think); wherefore there is great joy ar_d gladness there according to the spirit, but great distress according to the flesh. For the Lord tries His people with tribulation and distress, as Christ says, "They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known my Father, nor me." John 16:2, 3. For if they had known Him, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. I Corinthians 2:8. And though the persecution is not so severe in some places, the Lord can nevertheless try men by other means, by strife, discord, strutting and boasting, reveling and banqueting, in short by carnal works, all of which are not according to our vocation. Not, dear friends, that I would here accuse any one; but out of brotherly love we exhort every one; for before God nothing can be hid, for He will bring to light all that is done in secret. I Cor. 4:5.

    Therefore, my dear friends, let us not deceive the Lord; for His eyes are as a flame of fire, and He is a mighty, powerful and strong God; and sees everywhere in secret and openly; hence He may well be feared, for He has not spoken a single word in vain, as He says by the prophet, that the Word which goeth forth out of His mouth does not return unto Him void, but does accomplish all that He pleases. Rev. 1:14; Isa. 55:11.

    My affectionately beloved brethren and sisters in the Lord, receive this letter from your poor, weak brother in good part; for it has been written at the request of some brethren, if peradventure you might be comforted and refreshed a little by our simple epistle, for we have written these few lines out of cordial affection, and because we should exhort one another while it is called today; for we hope soon, by the grace of the Lord, here to put off our flesh. Heb. 3:13; II Pet. 1:14.

    O friends, the way that leads into life is so strait and narrow; but the way that leads into hell is so broad and easy for the flesh. Truly indeed does the prophet Isaiah say, that hell has opened wide her mouth, and both princes and the common people descend into it, yea, they go to hell like sheep to the slaughter. Isa. 5:14.

    Hence, my dear friends, let us take diligent heed, that we may not have received the grace of God in vain; but let us constantly remember the days of our illumination, and how little we then were in our own eyes, when we humbled ourselves under the mighty hand of God, yielding up ourselves entirely, to serve the Lord in holiness and righteousness acceptable before Him. Heb. 10:32; I Pet. 5:6; Luke 1:75. For we were then all like Saul when he was anointed king, who was of the least of the tribes of Israel and little in his own eyes. But when he became proud, the Lord rejectedhim. For the Lord said to Samuel, "Go and tell Saul to destroy Amalek from the earth, both man and beast." But Saul followed his own judgment and spared the king, and the best of the oxen, and of the sheep, to sacrifice them to the Lord; whereby he transgressed the commandment of the Lord, and was disobedient to His voice, notwithstanding the Lord ,desired obedience and not sacrifice. I Sam. 15,

    Behold, dear friends, for what a small matter Saul was rejected; hence let us take good heed, for He is still the same God. This is also the case with part of us, that we take too great liberty in our faith, in consequence of which we are rejected, and then do not know ourselves where the fault lies. Now a spirit of contention comes upon us, causing the pious to sigh and mourn: so that thereby division and schism are wrought in the church of God, which mostly occurs where Christians have great liberty. How much it is now like it was in the days of Israel; when they were in peace [from without], they waged war against one another, so that many thousands fell, when they fought against the Benjamites. Judg. 20. Hence, my dear brethren and sisters, let Christ Jesus be an example unto you, who has called us in peace. I Cor. 7:15. For the fruit of the Spirit is all manner of goodness, righteousness, and joy in the Holy Ghost. Eph. 5:9. And let us take good heed that we do not become like the church of Laodicea, which was neither cold nor hot, and thought she was rich and increased with goods, and had need of nothing.

    But the Spirit answered her, saying, "I commend thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see." Rev. 3:18. Hence, it is daily necessary to exhort one another with the word of the Lord, which is the true mirror and plumbline by which to measure our life and conversation according to our weakness. I say according to our weak ability; for if God should enter into judgment with us, no one could stand before Him. Ps. 143:2. Hence, no man may or can justify himself before God. But we must always remain debtors, remembering that we come short in many things. Matthew 6:12.

    Let us therefore take diligent heed, and have our predecessors constantly before our eyes, namely, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and all the prophets, who were strangers and pilgrims on the earth, and sought a country, a city that had foundations, whose builder and maker was God; and experienced tribulation and affliction, stripes and imprisonments; of whom the world was not worthy. Heb. 11, And Christ Jesus Himself had not so much in the world as upon which to lay His blessed head, for He says, "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. But He had to flee away everywhere (Matt. 2:13), even also, with much sighing and mourning, traveled through the wilderness of this world, compassed about with an evil flesh, which has never yet advised me to anything good: yea, if I had not fled for refuge to the word of the Lord, I would have been utterly overthrown in the wilderness of this world, for flesh and blood greatly desired to be one with the world, since they always shrank from suffering.

    But when I with David went into the sanctuary of God, and there beheld the recompense of the world, and how soon they are cut off, and that they were blots, and not children; and also remembered that it is written, "Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm; yea, cursed be their going out and coming.in." Ps. 73: 17; Deut. 32:5; Jer. 17:5; Deut. 28:19. However fine a captain one may choose, to prosper in the world, flesh and blood are nevertheless the ultimate object herein; for experience has taught me this; nor am I surprised at it, since men are now of no other material, than were the children of Israel. How often did the Lord sigh over them, and what great trouble did He have with them? Hence we may daily take good heed, and be up and doing, that no one may take our crown.

    Therefore, my dear brethren and sisters, be not troubled, that Fra. Ha. Jo. Ta. have gone back to Egypt, which does not surprise me. But let it be an example unto you, that they were overthrown in the wilderness of this world (I Cor. 10:5); and do you take better courage (as I trust you will), and constantly keep before your eyes the pious that were before us; for he that flees opt of the conflict, does not get the crown, for there is but one victory comprised in the Scriptures by which we are to be crowned. I Cor. 9:25; II Tim. 2:5; Rev. 2:10.

    O dear brethren and sisters, we now look through quite different eyes as to what salvation depends on than when we were out of bonds; for out of bonds I never could pray to God as I now sometimes do.

    Further, my dear brother, I commend to you my wife, whom I love from the heart; desiring and requesting of you, that you will exercise Christian care over her, the more so, since she desires to remain a widow; for the holy Scripture commands us to visit the widows and orphans in' their affliction. James 1:27. Hence, be the more diligent to aid her in everything wherein she may need your counsel, in order to gain a livelihood for herself and my children; so that she may not become despondent.

    O my dear brethren, this I exhort you with tears, for if the Lord had not taken me from them, J could have provided for them myself according to my weakness; but now the Lord has ordered it otherwise with me, since He knows best what we need, and what is for our best. Hence, I will also leave them for the Lord's sake; for, dear brother R., my wife has been with me, and we ate together a parting meal, and thus took final adieu from each other. Think for yourself, how bitter a parting it was, for I know that she also loves me from the heart.Hence, if the Almighty Lord did not give strength and power, it would not be possible to endure and overcome it; but through Him we can do all things. Phil. 4:13. Hence, I commit my cause now as before to the Lord, declaring that it is not on account of any crime, heaven and earth bear me witness herein, and God, who searches heart and reins, also knows very well my object in this matter.

    Furthermore, dear W., if it were possible, and you should be in the city, I should from the heart like to converse orally with you, which (as it seems to me) could very easily be done, by giving a piece of money. But as you live so far away, I fear it cannot well be done since it is so inconvenient for you; and in such case I hope to be patient herein; for we neither know nor hear when we are to die, nor have any priests assailed as yet; but a secular man came to see us once and assailed us. Neither have we been spoken to by the authorities, since we were tortured the first time; for as we hear, the margrave has had a sore leg. Thus we do not know if we shall be tortured any more or not. They would indeed like to find out much from us, but I hope that the Most High will keep our lips; for though one were to tell them something, they are not satisfied with that, but want to know more and more.

    Hence, my dear brother and sister in the Lord, we pray you, and all them that inquire after us, to remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body. Heb. 13:3. And pray the Lord heartily for us; we will also pray for you. Lauwerens, my fellow prisoner, and I, greet you all with the peace of the Lord, together with all our acquaintances in the Lord that are over there from here. Let all of you remain like minded, and the God of peace will be with you; and let there be no strife among you. Rom. 12:16, 15:5. Remember me, my dear brother and sister; I hope to wait you under the altar, where all tears shall be wiped away from our eyes. Herewith I will commend you to the crucified Christ Jesus; may He strengthen our hearts and minds, and direct them into all that is acceptable before Him. Herewith I bid you adieu. Adieu, my beloved brother and sister.


    Jude
    II Corinthians 4:3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:

    4
    In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.



  14. #464
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    ANOTHER LETTER OF JOOST VERKINDERT, WRITTEN ON THE 2ND OF JULY, FROM PRISON, TO HIS WIFE

    Grace, joy and peace from God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ; together with the Comforter, the Holy Ghost, who proceeds from both the Father, and the Son, to comfort all them that are in any tribulation and affliction; may He be multiplied in you, to whom be praise, honor, glory, dominion, power, and majesty, forever and ever. Amen. This I wish you as a cordial and friendly greeting, my dear, beloved wife and sister in the Lord, whom, with my children, I love from the depth of my heart, whose absence is to me such a great affliction in my bonds, that I many and many a time call upon the Lord with .weeping eyes, to take from me that which is too heavy for me. But I remember the words of the apostle, where he says, "Let my grace be sufficient for thee; I shall not leave thee, nor suffer thee to be tempted above that thou art able." II Cor. 12:9; I Cor. 10:13. For I know, that as long as man is in this life, he cannot be without conflict. Job 7:1.

    Further, my beloved, I have heard that we may probably soon offer up our sacrifice; but we know not the time. Hence, I very often pray the Lord with tears, to take from me the snare of death, in order that I may offer up my soul with joy to the Lord. And I hope through the great and unspeakable grace of God, that my soul shall be received in safe hands, not through my merits, but out of grace and because of the hope, that Christ with His faithful mouth says, "Whosoever shall lose his life for my sake or the gospel's the same shall find it hereafter." Mark 8:35; Matt. 10:39. And, "Whosoever shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my heavenly Father, and before his holy angels; but whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny in the glory of my heavenly Father." Matt. 10:32, 33. Thus, my most beloved, there is no better advice for us than to cleave to the truth, so that we may hereafter receive the eternal crown from the hand of the Lord. Know, furthermore, that I am much surprised that my brother W. does not write a letter: for if he, or any one else should desire to write-'us something, you could easily send it to us, as you also do; for it can be done quietly.

    I also hear that mother is in H., with whom we would so gladly have spoken once more, since it is very easy to come to us here, if one will not begrudge the money. For though the lord does not come into the prison, he does not trouble himself with anything but simply that for which he comes. Furthermore, my beloved, J. de B. told me that he had been with you, and that you wept much on my account; wherefore, when I heard this, I was also filled with much sorrow. But, my chosen, comfort yourself in the Lord, and let us commit the matter to Him, and pray for those who afflict us with this; for,"Vengeance is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord." Rom. 12:19. O my beloved, I feel indeed, that as long as I live I must bear you in my heart, but nevertheless, God above all; for God is a jealous God (Ex. 20:2), and I also give Him the praise for the kindness which He has shown me poor, weak servant, and still daily shows me.

    Herewith I will commend you to the crucified Christ Jesus, and to the Word of His grace. Lauwerens, my fellow prisoner, and I, greet you and all our acquaintances in the Lord very much with the peace of the Lord. Write to me occasionally, for a letter from you is more pleasing to me than gold and silver. If time should overtake us, I bidyou' adieu. Adieu, my beloved, and always persevere steadfastly. Written in my bonds, by me,

    JOOST VERKINDERT,

    Your dear husband.


    Jude
    II Corinthians 4:3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:

    4
    In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.



  15. #465
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    ANOTHER LETTER OF JOOST VERKINDERT, WRITTEN FROM PRISON, ON THE 12TH OF JULY, TO HIS:, MOTHER

    Grace, joy and peace from God the heavenly Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, who loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood, together with the Comforter, the Holy Ghost, who proceeds from both the Father and the Son, to comfort all them that are in any tribulation and affliction for His holy name's sake; may He be multiplied in you; unto whom be praise, honor, glory, dominion, power, and majesty, forever and ever. Amen. This and all divine virtues, I wish you as a cordial and friendly greeting, my dear and beloved mother and sister in the Lord. I inform you by this that I am still tolerably well according to the time, and I trust that you are well, too. My mind also is still fixed to adhere to the eternal truth, and not to forsake the same, whether it mean life or death; for Peter says that there is none other name under heaven, given to men, whereby to be saved, than only through the name of Jesus Christ. Acts 4:12; 10:43. Therefore, my dear mother, it is necessary that we constantly, according to our weak ability, seek to follow the footsteps of Jesus Christ; for John says, "Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, hath both the Father and the Son." II .John 9.

    Hence, my beloved, let us take heed that we may always be found to be of the little flock (Luke 12:32), that our sheaf may be gathered with all the elect saints of God into one barn for there is a great storm at hand. Oh, that we were all worthy of the Lord; then we should indeed have been born at a blessed hour! Oh, I pray the Lord most heartily for you, to keep you in His holy truth; so that we may hereafter be crowned with praise and honor. O my beloved, the bringing forth is so grievous to me; truly indeed does Christ say, "In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." John 16:33. And also, further, "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." vs. 20, 21. We have now also much sorrow, and the world is glad and joyful, and they do not once think how lamentably they are under the wrath of God, as long as they do not become converted, and show true repentance before the Lord. How applicable are the words of Isaiah, "Hell hath opened wide her mouth, that there may go in both their princes and the common people: yea, they go to hell like sheep to the slaughter." Isa. 5:14.

    May the complaint ascend to the Lord of heaven, that the false prophets so lamentably seduce the poor blind people (Ezek. 13:10), and, what is still more, so miserably oppress, persecute, rob, and make a prey for every one, those who seek to amend their lives. Truly indeed does Isaiah say, "Holy and pious men are taken away, but no man layeth it to heart." Isa. 57:1. Hence, my beloved, let us not fear men, who must perish like grass; for the moth shall eat them up like a garment, and the worm shall eat them like wool. 51:2, 8. O clear mother, they forbid the reading of the holy Scriptures, while Christ says and exhorts us, "Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they that testify of me." John 5:39.

    For Paul also says, "Whatsoever things were written beforetime were written for our learning." Rom. 15:4. Oh, how hard will it go with those who so little esteem the Scriptures; they are those that call good evil, and evil good. Isa. 5:20. Oh, that they might once consider, how grievously they have incurred the wrath of God. I pray the Lord most heartily, to open the eyes of their understanding, that they may see against whom they are fighting, that it is against God and the Lamb; but the Lamb shall overcome them. Rev. 17:14. For Isaiah says, "Though a mother should forget her child, and forsake the son of her womb, whom she brought forth herself, yet will I not forsake thee." Isa. 49:15. Yea, the Lord further says through Zechariah, "He that toucheth you toucheth the apple of mine eye." Zech. 2:8. And again, Isaiah says, "Fear not, O Jacob; when thou walkest through the fire, I will preserve thee; and when thou art in the water, it shall not harm thee: for I the Lord will keep thee." Isa. 43:1, 2.

    My beloved, His hand is not yet shortened; He is still the same God that delivered Israel out of the land of Egypt, and out of the hand of Pharaoh: who made the Red Sea a way so that the ransomed of the Lord passed over. He is also still the same God that fed them for forty years with bread from heaven, as is written, "He fed them with bread from heaven, and with angel's food." Psalm 78:25. He is also the same God that preserved Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the fiery furnace, and delivered Daniel out of the den of lions,and many other holy fathers, concerning which an abundance is written in the Scriptures.

    Therefore, my affectionately beloved sister in the Lord, my heart felt prompted once more to exhort you a little with the Word of the Lord, though you are yourself abundantly taught of Him; for Paul says, "Exhort one another [daily,] while it is called today" (Heb. 3:13), for the Lord cometh as a thief in the night, as you may well perceive in our case.

    Further, dear mother, I thank you for the affectionate love which you have shown me at all times;yea, even before I obtained your dear daughter to wife you were always kind to me. I also thank you for the good intercourse which we have always had together in peace (the Lord be praised); for I have often rejoiced my soul with you. And now, my beloved, I commend to you my dear wife and her two little orphans, desiring that you will help exercise a Christian care over them, and do not spare the rod on the children. Associate with R. as much as is possible for you, lest she becomes despondent; for I know that I am dear to her heart, and that she will therefore sorrow for a long time. But exhort her to be patient in her tribulation; for every dispensation of God toward us I hope will turn to the salvation of us all; for the Lord knows what we need. My beloved, receive this brief exhortation in good part as a testament, since it is written with a humble heart and mind. Herewith I will commend you to the crucified, bleeding Christ Jesus, and to the Word of His rich grace. Amen. Adieu, my dear mother, until another time, if we should here see each other no more. Lauwerens, my fellow prisoner, and I, greet you and our acquaintances in the Lord most cordially with the peace of the Lord.


    Jude
    II Corinthians 4:3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:

    4
    In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.



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