In the same year, three brethren, named Hendrick Dirks, Dirk Jans, and Adrian Corneliss, were apprehended at Leyden, and examined in regard to their faith; but when they boldly confessed it, and would in no wise depart from it, they were also sentenced to death. Hendrick Dirks, advancing joyfully, said, "Blessed are they that weep now; for they shall laugh, and be rewarded with shining,robes; yea, with an eternal crown, if they strive steadfastly. This is the Sabbath of the Lord, which I have long desired; not that I am worthy to suffer for His name, but He has made me worthy; and thus we suffer not for theft or murder, but for the pure word of God." Luke 6:21; Matt. 13:43; II Tim. 4:8; Matt. 24:13; Isa. 58: 13; Acts 5:41; I Peter 4:15.
Dirk Jans said, "Though all men despise us, God does therefore not despise us. Remember, lords, that on high there is a judge over all, and believe that He will once judge and pass sentence. This suffering," said he,"is not so great; Christ had to suffer much more, when He shed His blood for us. He will strengthen us in what we suffer for His name; for we suffer not for schism or anything evil; for there is no other true faith to be found than that which we maintain. Therefore, O God, have compassion upon me, and receive me into Thine arms." .Ps. 7:11; Matt. 25:31; Isa. 53; Matt. 26:28.
Adrian Corneliss intrepidly said, "Christ has gone this way before us; and His beloved apostles likewise, and we His servants are not above our Lord." Luke 24:26; Acts 14:22.
They then fell upon their knees, earnestly prayed to God (Acts 20:36), and rising, said, "They think by killing us to exterminate the God-fearing; but for one whom they kill, a hundred others shall arise. Hence, fear not them that kill the body; but fear him who is able to cast both soul and body into everlasting torment." Matt. 10:28. Standing on the bench, they exclaimed, "Fear not that which is temporal, but fear that which will last forever; for eternity is so long." With this, they commended their souls into the hands of God, and offered up their burnt sacrifice. They now rest under the altar, and wait to be clothed in shining robes, and to receive the new wine in the throne of heaven. Matthew 26:29.
O Lord of heaven and earth, who hast made all things out of nothing, who hast given me members after the image of Thy Son, I hope to offer them up now for Thy holy name; for Thou art the Lord, before whom every knee must bow, both in heaven and upon earth; hear my prayer, and let my incense be acceptable before Thee. Take not Thy grace from me, a polluted man of unclean lips; purify my mouth, that Thy name may be praised thereby. Incline Thine ear to me, and Thou shalt see how they fall upon me; but it is better for me to fall into the hands of men, than to sin in Thy sight; for Thine eyes are as a flame of fire, and Thy Word as a sharp, two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and Thou art a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart, and there is nothing hid before Thine eyes. Therefore I exclaim with David, Thy dear prophet, that it is better to fall into the hands of men, than into Thy wrath. Matt. 11:25; Gen. 1:27; Rom: 12:1; Phil. 2:10; Isa., 6:5; Susanna 23; Rev. 1:14; Heb. 4:12, 13.
O Lord, lead me into the land of Haran, in which I have not so much inheritance as to set my foot on, namely, the promised land, which I pray Thou wilt give me, out of grace and not for my own works or merits. Acts 7:4, 5. Deliver me with Lot from this generation. Preserve me, Lord, from the fierce teeth of the lions, which are many, yea, from the ferocious evening wolves, that let nothing remain till the morning, whose feet make haste to shed innocent blood. Zeph. 3:3; Prov. 1
16. O Ldrd, preserve me with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that the fire of blasphemy which proceeds out of their mouth, may not harm me. Dan. 3:27. O Lord, let my prayer be heard with that of Tobit and Sarah; hear my prayer with that of Elijah, and receive me as a burnt offering, living, holy and acceptable unto Thee, that the prophets of Jezebel may be confounded, and seduce Thy people no longer. Tobit 3:1, 11; I Kings 18:36; 19:4. Lord, preserve me,with Joseph from the wicked woman, that I may rather suffer myself to be deprived of my garment, namely, my first body; for we read, "He which is joined to a harlot is one body with her." Genesis 39:7; I Cor. 6:16. Preserve me, Lord; for I call heaven and earth to witness, that I - die innocently; for whosoever seeks to save his life, shall lose it; and whosoever loses his life for Thy sake, Lord, and the Gospel's, shall preserve it. I Macc. 2:37; Matt. 16:25. Hence, I cry with old Eleazer, "I will rather diegloriously than live stained with abomination, ".,II Macc. 6:19.
O Lord, behold, the burning wrath of a great multitude is kindled over us, and they shall take away certain of us, and feed the idle with things offered unto idols; but Thou, Lord, preservest me, Thou givest Thy servant bread in time of need, and water when he is thirsty, and in 'the ,day of tribulation Thou forgivest sins. II Esd. 16:68; Sir. 2:11. And Thou has said to Thy dear prophet, that though a mother forget her child to which she herself has, given birth, yet wilt Thou not forget us; for it is Thy Word, Lord. Isa. 49:15. Thou hast spoken through Thydear apostle Paul, "Come out from this wicked generation, and touch not the unclean thing. Then Thou wilt deliver us, and be our Father, and we shall be Thy sons and daughters." II Cor. 6:17, 18. We now also go forth without the camp, and will help bear Thy reproach. Heb. 13:13. Lord, teach us to pray according to Thy will, that we may pray in spirit and in truth, that we may truly call Thee Father; for a son must honor his father, and a servant his master. Mal. 1:6. Grant us therefore to be partakers of the Word which declares, "These are they who have not loved their life, but have delivered it into death; for those that are slain by men, have a better hope to expect from God, namely, that they shall be raised again; for Thou provest Thy chosen; Thou triest them as gold in the furnace, and Thou receivest them as an offering of burnt sacrifice." Ps. 66:10. Lord, now let Thy servant depart in peace.. Holy Father, sanctify Thy Son, that I may be found unblamable at Thy appearing. Keep me, holy Father for Thy holy name's sake. Amen. Luke 2:29; John 17:11.
The rich .grace and peace of God our heavenly Father, who has purified us by the washing of regeneration, and the renewing of the Holy Ghost, has enlightened our hearts, and opened-the eyes of our understanding through the hope of the Gospel, and warned us, that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts; we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world, and keep ourselves unspotted from this world, before God the Father, who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge 'of the truth, that at the time of revelation we may have hope and consolation, and be counted among the number of the elect. The Father and His blessed Son Jesus Christ fit you for this, now and evermore. Amen. Tit. 3:5; I I Cor. 4:6; Eph. 1:18; Tit. 2:12; Jas. 1:27; I Tim. 2:4.
We, fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom all the building fitly framed together graweth unto a holy temple in the Lord, to the twelve tribes which are scattered
abroad through cruel edicts and severe persecution, greeting. Eph. 2:19-21; I Peter 2:6; James 1:1. Hence, my dear brethren and sisters, do not become weary because you now suffer for a season, and have to flee from one city into another; but remember, my dear friends, that it all conduces to your happiness, and take for an example Tobit, with his wife and son, how he had to flee, and to be hid naked; likewise, Matthias with his sons and those who loved him, when he said, "Whosoever is pious and of good cheer, let him make his testament, and follow me." Matt. 10:23; Rom. 8:28; Tobit 1:19; I Macc. 2:27.
Take also Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob for examples, who dwelled in tents, and also others; for here we have no continuing city; they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, in hunger,. want and affliction, of whom the world was not worthy. Genesis 12. See, my dear friends, think not that you are the only ones, or that you are forsaken by the Lord, when some tempest assails you; but remember that we must through much suffering take the kingdom of God. Sir. 2:10; Acts 14:22. If the above-mentioned had been mindful of the country from whence they came out, truly, they might have had opportunity enough to have returned; but they declare plainly that they sought a country, a city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God; wherefore God was not ashamed to be called their God. Ex. 3:6. Thus, also, my dear friends, will He not be ashamed of us; for He says through His pious prophet Isaiah, "Can a mother forsake her own child, to whom she herself has given birth? Yea, she may forget it, yet will thy God not forget thee." Isa. 49:15. Consider, therefore, how the gracious Father has been with all the pious children of God, and how He has preserved and upheld them under His powerful hand, as we may clearly understand from Abraham; for when he went into a strange country, he often had had God for his comforter. He gave Jacob courage when he fled before his brother Esau. He fed Hezekiah three days and three nights, who complained of the blasphemy of Sennacherib. II Kings 19:6. He delivered the Jews through Judith, when they were besieged by Holofernes. Judith 13:8. He delivered the three young men from the heat of the fiery furnace, and was in the pit with Daniel, so that the lions did not devour him. Dan. 3:2 .5; 6:22. He delivered Israel from the bondage of Pharaoh. He delivered Rahab from the shadow of death. Josh. 6:25. He saved Susanna through Daniel. He delivered Peter from prison. He delivered John from the Isle of Patmos. He comforted Paul by the vision on the way to Damascus. He comforteth the apostles through the Comforter, the Holy Ghost. He turned Joseph's great sorrow into great joy in Egypt. Thus, God will also turn the sorrow of everyone of you into great joy, even as He Himself declares, "The world shall rejoice; but ye shall mourn and be sorrowful; but be of good cheer, God shall turn your sorrowinto joy. A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a child is born into the world. And, ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your sorrow shall be turned into joy, and your joy no man taketh from you." John 16:20-22.
Therefore, my dear friends, be not afraid of the sons of men, who pass away as grass."Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom." Luke 12:32. Be not of raid, my dear friends, of this tyrannous generation; fear not theln that kill the body; but I will show you whom you shall fear: fear him who after you are dead has power to cast into eternal fire. And, my dear friends, we have here a little suffering of tribulation, but it is very small in comparison with the everlasting torment or punishment.
John the Revelator says, "Fear God, and give glory to him." Rev. 14:7. And the prophet Esdras says, "Behold, God himself is the judge, fear him
leave off from your sins, and forget your iniquities, to meddle no more with them forever: so shall God lead you forth, and deliver you from all trouble. For behold, the burning wrath of a great multitude is kindled over you, and they shall take away certain of you, and feed you, being idle, with things offered unto idols. And they that consent unto them shall be had in derision and in reproach, and trodden under foot. For there shall be in every place, and in the next cities, a great insurrection upon those that fear the Lord. They shall be like mad men, sparing none, but still spoiling and destroying those that fear the Lord. For they shall waste and take away their goods, and cast them out of their houses. Then shall they be known who are my chosen; and they shall be tried as the gold in the fire." Therefore, my chosen, behold, the days of trouble are at hand, but the Lord will deliver you from the same. Be yd not afraid, neither doubt; for God is your guide, and the Lord will not leave you orphans; for He cares for us all, and will preserve us as the apple of His eye. II Esd. 16:6775; Wisd. 3:6; Jno. 14:18.
Hence, faint not at the tribulation in which we are, but adhere to the Lord, and the tempest will soon attack you; but, my dear friends, remember, as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ, since 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. Eph. 3:13; Matt. 7:25; II Cor. 1:5; I Cor. 2:9. Let everyone therefore, that has this hope in him, purify himself, even as He is pure, and go out from this sinful generation, and have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light; for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise
from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. I John 3:3; Eph. 5:11-14.
Hence, my dear friends, if there should be yet some among you, that are slothful or drowsy, let them wake up now, or they will be shut out with the foolish virgins. O my dear friends, it will not avail that some of you know the way. O my dear friends, knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth; for it avails not to know the way, but it must be walked: and though it is' strait and narrow, and fraught with much labor, it must nevertheless be walked. I Cor. 8:1; John 13:17; Matt. 7:14.
Therefore, my dear friends, who have become partakers of the heavenly calling, make good use of the time of grace, and look not to those who proceed so lukewarmly and slothfully; but strive to enter in at the strait gate; for many will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. Luke 13:24. Why, my dear friends? Because they seek to enter in by another way, which is not commanded us. But those who enter in by Christ, since He is the way, they are the ones that shall inherit the city, whom the Bridegroom will make sit down at the table, and will serve them. But, my dear friends, the lukewarm, who are neither cold nor hot, God will begin to spew out of His mouth, who say they are rich, and increased with goods, and know not that they are poor, miserable, naked and blind. Hence, Solomon says, "Go to the ants, thou, sluggard, and consider their labor; they gather in the summer their sustenance for the winter." And Jeremiah says, "The crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming; but my people observe not the time." O ye ignorant, the ox knoweth his master's crib. Ye who say, It will be fair weather tomorrow, and it cometh to pass; O ye, who can discern the face of heaven and earth, why can ye not discern among yourselves that which is right? Matt. 16:3. Therefore, my dear friends, take heed that none of you be found slothful; but let your loins be girded, and have your staff in your hand, to eat the passover; for we have a passover to eat, which is Christ; Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. Ex. 12:11; I Cor. 7:8.
Hence, my dearly beloved friends, think it not strange, if you are tried by the fire of tribulation, as though some strange thing happened to you; but be partakers of Christ's sufferings, that in the time of revelation, you may have hope and consolation. Let none of you suffer as a thief or murderer; yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf. For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God; and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the Gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? Hence, Solomon says, "If the righteous arerecompensed, how much more the wicked and the sinner." I Pet. 4:12, 13, 15-18; Prov. 11:31.
Therefore, my dear friends, take heed and flee the shadow of this world, and seek not to escape the cross, so that you go into other countries, to obtain great liberty. Oh, no, my dear friends, but always submit to the cross; for the children that are under the rod are therefore obedient, fearing lest their Lord should come, and find them sleeping; hence, they are always watchful, that they may not be found sleeping; for as soon as the flesh obtains a little freedom, it takes still more of its own accord. My dear friends, though I have written this thus boldly, accept it nevertheless in good part; for I am not your lord in this matter; but I write as my own flesh testifies. Hence, my dear friends, walk in wisdom toward them that are without; remain among the scattered flock of Israel; for where blood is shed, gain is to be had; there put your pounds out to usury, each according to the gift received from God; in honor preferring one another; and endeavoring to show yourselves tried ministers unto God. -Col. 4:5; I Pet. 1:1; Matt. 25:15; Romans 12:10. Lay aside all malice and hypocrisy, and, as newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: if so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious, to whom ye have come, as unto a living stone; hence, build yourselves up a spiritual house, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people, that ye, as obedient children, should show forth the praises of him who hath called you. I Pet. 2:1-5, 9.
If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; fulfill your ministry wisely, that your treasure be not evil spoken of; and as you were diligent in going astray from God, so give now so much the more diligence to turn to the Lord, and abound therein. I Pet. 4:11; Baruch 4:28; Rom. 6:19. Do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith, and see that you add to your faith virtue; and to virtue, knowledge; and to knowledge, temperance; and to temperance, patience; and to patience, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, charity; for if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord; but he that lacketh these things is blind, and gropeth for the wall, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Gal. 6:10; II Pet. 1:5-9. Let it not be so with you, my friends; make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness, and if you are partakers in the spiritual things, share also the temporal things with one another, and let this be done in order, and remember that it is more blessed to give than to receive; for we read, John 6, that some followed the Lord, to whom He said, "Ye follow me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled." Luke 16:9; Rom. 15:27; I Cor. 14:40; Acts 20:35; John 6:26.
Therefore, my dear friends, labor not for the
meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life; for man doth not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God; for"meats for the belly, and the belly for meats; but God shall destroy both it and them." Luke 6:27; Deut. 8:3; 1 Cor. 6:13.
Thus, my dear friends, if you live according to the Gospel, you will be fruitful branches of the true vine Christ, comely olive branches grafted into Christ. My dear friends, be not moved away from the Gospel by the enemies of the cross of Christ, who would preach the Gospel without the cross. Do not believe them, for they are those who love your flesh, and kill your souls, and put pillows under the arms, or under the head. Avoid them, for such serve not the Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by good words and, fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple. For we are not ignorant of the devices of the devil; since he can transform himself into an angel of light; what wonder is it then that his ministers assume this appearance? Phil. 3:18; Ezek. 13:18; Rom. 16: 17,18; 11 Cor.11:14,15.
O my dear friends, a thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill; hence, beware, lest you be deceived by them, and thus fall from your own steadfastness. John 10:10; II Pet. 3:17. Therefore, hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown; and let him that standeth take heed lest he fall; for what hast thou that thou didst not receive? for every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. Rev. 3:11; I Cor. 10:12; 4:7; James 1:17.
Therefore, exhort one another daily, my dear friends, the more so, as the day of Christ is at hand, and while it is called today. Heb. 3:13. And see that you care for one another; and, my dear friends, when you assemble together, make not many inquiries concerning others, or as to where each particular one lives; in such things be ignorant, and in malice be children; but in understanding be old and hoary, and keep the doors of -thy mouth from her that lieth in thy bosom. I Cor. 14:20; Micah 7:5. My dear friends, if you have understanding, answer your neighbor; if not, lay your hand upon your mouth, lest you be caught in an unseemly word, and put to shame. Sir. 5:12. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, and may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Eph. 4:29, 30.
My dear friends, herewith I hope to take leave. Do not take it amiss that I have written you a little; I hope it will tend to edification; I have done my diligence with the little gift the Lord has given me.
By me; Adrian Corneliss, glazier, your unworthy brother, who am not meet to be called a brother. I Cor. 15:9. Written in my imprisonment, sittingin the stocks, with two fellow companions, and one who is separately confined, and two sisters that are below us. We wait daily for the redemption of our body; and our pilgrimage, I trust, is half finished. I hope that we shall soon- have completed the rest.
We commend you to the Lord, dear brethren. Remember the prisoners; we remember you in our prayers. Heb. 13:3. Salute all lovers of the only salvation by name; the times are too perilous now, to mention them; hence we must govern ourselves accordingly.
Let me inform you, how it went with us in our last time. When we were to be offered up on Monday, a priest came to us on Sunday, who talked to us, and said, "You have to die."
Answer. "Thus did also the Jews, who said
'We have a law, and by our law you must die.' So must we also, as the decree of the Emperor shows." But we asked the priest, whether their things were right.
He replied, "Not all; for we have also abuses in our church."
We then said, "A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump." I Cor. 5:6.
He replied, "It has to be leavened."
By this we may perceive that their things are not good. But beware of such; for they are not sent from God. Jer..14:15. Salute all lovers of the divine word.
My dearly beloved brethren and sisters, to the twelve tribes which are scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, with all that call on the Lord out of a pure heart, in their and in our places, greeting. Jas. 1:1; I Pet. 1:1; I Cor. 1:2; II Tim. 2:22. I must yet write to you a little, hoping herewith to take my leave. Let me tell you how it went in my imprisonment. I had come to Leyden, and there conversing with a brother, we wondered how it came that they kept our friends confined so long. We therefore agreed that I should go and see Jan of Delft, the Bailiff's servant, and ask him, how it stood with the prisoners, and whether they would not soon be offered up. He replied, "I hear nothing at ail concerning it." I then said, "This long imprisonment gives you much trouble."
Jan. "I would be well satisfied to see it come to an end soon."
Adrian. "You can hardly get away any more."
Jan. "Yes, that is so."
Adrian."You ought to have some rest."
Jan. "It would soon be time."
Adrian. "Jan Jans, I should like to have a little conversation with you about certain things."
Jan."I have something to do yet; I shall speak
with you; just wait here a little while for me."
I waited a little, and he returned, even before he had attended to the prisoners or brought them their
food. He came and spoke to me in a friendly way, and accepted my words with such suavity (Psalm 55:21), that I knew not but that he would also embrace our faith.
I then said, "Jan Jans, what do you think, will you abandon this service, and release the prisoners? I shall see that you will not be a loser by it; for it is in your power, you have the keys."
Previous to my saying this to him, he had said to our friends in prison, "Shall I leave the door open some time that you can escape?""Why should you do this?" replied our friends. On this account I spoke the more boldly to him, remembering the words concerning Paul and the jailer (Acts 16:29), if peradventure the Lord had showed like grace to this man; and having been urged by our friends, I had along conversation with him. He asked me whether I knew those whom he named to me. I said, "No, but I have heard of them." One, however, he mentioned, whom I well knew."Yes, I know him well," I said. He asked me, where I was from. I replied, "I am a native of Schoonhoven," but I did not tell him that I resided at Delft. But with all my prudence, the devil, as is well known, was still more- cunning. Gen. 3:1. When we had walked together for a long time, we arrived again at the prison. He then said, "Do you want to talk with the prisoners?" I went in without any fear, and coming to our dear sisters, we conversed together, without manifesting previous acquaintance, however. This servant then went off a little ways, and spoke to another servant. I then plainly saw what I had got myself into.
Now, someone may ask: Why did you go in? O dear friends, my flesh and blood did not impel me to go in there. In vain we run; it is just as the prophet says, "We may flee, but cannot escape." Ps. 139:7. Hence, we must all come whither our destiny calls us. I had anticipated that my journey to Leyden would not be a fortunate one.
The other servant then asked me whether I wished to go above to the others. I thought to myself that it was now as bad as it could ever become, and went above. They then shut the door after me, an one of them went for the bailiff. Having been lbove for a little while, and conversed with our friends, I went below again. They opened the door, and the night bailiff stood before it. He said, "You will have to remain here a little while." I then asked whether I should go above. He replied, "Yes." I then said: Christ had twelve apostles, and one was a Judas; but here were only two, and one was a Judas. However, the Lord be praised for His grace. Without much delay, they shut me up above alone, whereupon I immediately began to sing the hymn, "O Waerheydt hoe zijt gy nu vertreden!" Isa. 59:14.
I did not, however, enjoy a very long respite; since much people came, and hence they immediately came and took from me my Testament, and the hymn about our four friends, which I had composed. They then shut me up with E. S. Soonafter, the bailiff came with the whole council. The gates were shut, and it was reported that there were a dozen in Leyden; hence they were very assiduous, thinking they had caught a great gentleman or captain; but alas! they had not.
The bailiff then asked, "Where is your rapier?"*
I replied, "My Master has not taught me to carry a rapier."
Bailiff. "Who is your Master?"
Adrian. "Christ is my Master."
Bailiff. "Christ is the Master of us all."
Adrian. "If Christ were your Master, you would not dare fight against Him; but it will be hard for you to kick against the pricks." Acts 9:5.
Bailiff. "We are responsible for that." They then asked me where I had slept.
Adrian."I have slept well; did you sleep badly?"
Bailiff. "No, I shall make you tell." One of the lords then asked me whether I had been rebaptized. I replied, "No, I was baptized aright once."
Bailiff. "Who baptized you?"
I asked him whether he also wished to be baptized.
Bailiff. "Don't be ashamed to tell; I will tell you, where and by whom I was baptized: here in St. Peter's church."
Adrian. "If you wish to be also baptized, I will tell you."
Bailiff."I have no desire for it as yet."
Adrian. "Neither are you fit for it."
Bailiff. "Where is the servant with the hat, that accompanied you?"
Adrian."I know nothing of a servant with a hat."
Bailiff. "We saw him walk with you."
Adrian. "Lord bailiff, you lie; if you are a servant of Christ, you ought not to lie." Eph. 4:25. They then showed me the hymn about the friends and asked me who had written it.
I replied, "I wrote it."
Thereupon they asked,whether I had also composed it. I told them I wrote it, but said nothing about composing.' The under bailiff then said, "You were at my house one Friday, and taught me a refrain about Mary Magdalene?"
Adrian. "You have also lied; for my Master has taught me no refrains."
Under bailiff. "Or an exhortation?"
Adrian. "It is not so."
The servants and others then said, "The fellow is drunk."
Yes, dear friends, then I remembered the words of Peter, Acts 2; as they were drunk, so was I, having tasted neither beer nor bread all day. They were then about to leave, but found themselves at' a loss where to put me; for John of Delft, the servant, said, "It is all right with E. S.; but now this
rogue will spoil him again." Nevertheless, they put me with him. All this took place the same Monday on which I was apprehended.
The following Thursday the bailiff came, with two judges, and a commissary from the Hague; they asked me many questions, which I could not answer, and also demanded to know where I had slept, which I would not tell, together with many other things too tedious to relate. They also asked, "Do you know Jelis of Aix-la-Chapelle?" I replied, "I never in my life was at Aix-la-Chapelle." As they kept on asking me for a long time, I finally said, "I know him." They then asked where I had been with him. I replied, "I cannot tell you this;" more I would not say."We shall make you tell," said they."My lords," I replied,"I have always been careful not to know much, so that in case I should be apprehended, I might not have much to tell." They then laid before me the letters I had sent them, and also the hymn; they readily saw that it was the same handwriting; but I did not confess it. I thought to myself, "There is plenty of time yet for it; for I will have to tell them something any way, when they torture me." For the matter concerned myself; hence I did not keep it secret, when I was tortured; but as regards others, I had no warrant to accuse them, and hence I did not want to know where the friends lived, when I talked with any one. And let me tell you, dear friends, this matter is sadly overlooked by some, who are continually inquiring after this one and that one, and take it amiss, if you do not give them the desired information. O dear friends, if you knew what suffering it would mean if you were imprisoned, you would not make such inquiries. Hence, if you wish to make any inquiries, inquire after the faith that can save your souls. See, my dear friends, accept this in good part; for I have written it out of love. All the torture I have suffered was inflicted upon me, to make me inform on others; hence, the less you know, the less you have to answer. The commissary then examined my Testament, and said, "This is a proscribed testament." I replied, "There you have also lied." Thereupon he was silent, and evening came on. They then went away, promising to consider my case in the daytime.
Saturday morning they all came before eight o'clock, and took me into the torture chamber, where the executioner was. They then asked me whether I had not changed my mind, and would answer their questions. I began to admonish them. They said, "We have not come here to be taught by you; but we ask you whether you will answer our questions." But this I did not intend to do. The executioner then stripped me, and bound my hands behind my back. There was a windlass there, and tying a block to my feet, they drew me up and left me hanging. While thus suspended they interrogated me, but I did not answer. They then let me down, and the bailiff asked me where I had worked since I left Flanders. At Delft, I replied. Thereupon they asked me still other questions, and as I refused to answer them, they drew me up again, and untied the block. The executioner then placed a piece of wood or iron between my legs, which had been bound together, and stood on it. Being let down again, I was asked by the bailiff, whether I and six of my friends had not been at Leyden at a certain time, which he specified. I did not confess it. Again the executioner drew me up, they having blindfolded my eyes, and they took rods and scourged me. After I was let down, the bailiff said"Tell it, or I shall tell you?" I would not accuse any one. They drew me up again, pulled my beard and hair, and beat and scourged my back; but as my eyes were blindfolded, I could not see who did it. They might also have asked, "Who smote you?" Luke 22:64. This continued until I had been beaten with seven or eight rods. When they let me down, and I did not answer for a long time, they, fearing that I should faint away, poured water over me, which they had also done while I was suspended. I sat down, and as I did not speak for a long time, the bailiff said, "You will not tell it; I will tell you: you slept at Stephen Claess'."
Adrian. "That is true."
Bailiff."You were here before the prison, with six of your friends, and exhorted the prisoners, that they should strive valiantly, and adhere to their faith; and you went and hired a boat for six stivers. Who was the fellow to whom the boat belonged, and the one who was in the other boat, who gave the skipper half a stiver, into whose charge he committed his chest, because he was to sail with you? And he knew the fellow's name, and knew also what we had done, and that a woman was with us, and how we had read, and that two, sat there, bareheaded, and where we had gone up. I then acknowledged that it was so, and they wrote it down; however, I excused the two from those that were in the boat; but it was of no avail, and thus the matter was left. They then showed me the letters, about four or five in number."Yes," said I,"I wrote them." Upon this they said, "This is the placard writer.""It is certainly not proper," said the judges,"that you disparage the Emperor in such a manner." I replied, "I do not disparage the Emperor; however great the Emperor is, the Supreme Emperor is still greater. Bring me a Bible; I shall prove to you what I have written." Thereupon they said, "Why did you write these letters?" I replied, "I wrote them because my grief was stirred, and that you might no longer stain your hands with blood, and might repent, as did those of Nineveh." Jonah 3:5. Thus the matter rested.
They then asked me what I thought of the sacrament of the altar. I told them that it was good for nothing.
Ques."How long have you not been to it?"
Ans."Not for four years."
Ques. "Have you belonged to this belief so long?"
Ques. "Why did you not go, then?"
Ans. "Even in my ignorance I knew that it was good for nothing?"
Thereupon they went away, having been engaged with me from eight o'clock until half past eleven in the forenoon.
This is what I said on that occasion."Dear friends, be not discouraged, though what I have written presents rather a gloomy aspect; the Lord helps His own; if the Lord had not helped me, it would not have been possible for me to bear it; but we can do all things through Him who strengthens us, that is, Christ. And as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so also our consolation aboundeth by Christ." I Cor. 10:-13; Ps. 46:1; Phil. 4:13; II Cor. 1:5.
Here I will let this matter rest. I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus, spoken of by Paul. Gal. 6:17.
On Sunday morning they came, and read to me my examination, and asked me whether it was correct: Then I remembered the words of the prophet, "They are evening wolves, that let nothing remain till the morrow, yea, whose feet run swiftly to shed innocent blood." Zeph. 3:3; Prov. 1:16. I then asked the bailiff whether he was not yet sated with innocent blood, since he was so diligent in the way of unrighteousness. He replied, "I do not put you to death." I said, "The Emperor's edict puts us to death; but you ought therefore be satisfied with what you have, and not ask for more. By What will you prove that you may put us to death? It is written: 'If thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone; if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more; and if he will still not hear, tell it unto the church; and if he will then not hear, let him be unto thee as a heathen man and a publican."' Matt. 18:15-17. Here the Scripture says nothing about putting to death.
Bailif. "We have another Scripture, where Paul says: 'The powers are not ordained in vain; for God himself has ordained them."' Rom. 13:1.
Adrian. "Yes, for the protection of the good, and the punishment of the evil (I Peter 2:14); but it seems to me the order is inverted, that they are for the.punishment of the good, and the protection of the evil."
Bailiff. "We shall prove to you from books, that we may put you to death."
Adrian."You can not do this with the Gospel?"
Under bailiff. "What do you know about the Gospel?"
Adrian. "It is written: 'Repent ye, and believe the gospel."' Mark 1:15.
Under bailiff. "There are eight Gospels written."
Adrian."I am well content with four; if these cannot teach me, neither can the others."
Bailiff. "Shall we send you learned men, to instruct you with the Word of the Lord?"
Adrian."I am willing to be instructed with the Word of the Lord."
Bailiff. "Well said."
Adrian."I will not speak with them except in the presence of the court, and of those that are imprisoned with me."
This did not please them, and they went away, the bailiff leaving immediately for Delft.
Three weeks after this, the bailiff came into the prison where we three in number were sitting, and asked us whether we were not almost beginning to get tired of it., We said, "No." I then said, "James says-: 'Take it for an example of suffering affliction.'" James 5:10. It surprised them greatly that we minded it so little. I then said to the Bailiff, "As the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ." II Cor. 1:5.
Bailiff."I should think it would weary you?"
Adrian. "Don't you also begin to get weary of shedding this blood?"
He did not reply. Thereupon he asked whether they should send us learned men. We replied, "We are always willing to be instructed with the words of the Lord."
Bailiff."You will, not be instructed otherwise than with the Word of the Lord?"
Ans."We are always willing to give our faith for a better one, that it may not be said that we are obstinate; and our adversaries ought to do the same."
Bailiff. "That is so; suffer yourselves to be instructed, perhaps your stay here is but brief?"
Adrian."You do not know whether your stay here will be long. Though we are now as forsaken, the Lord will soon be gracious to us."
With this it rested. He then said, "We shall send you someone." We called to him, as he descended the stairs, that he should bring a Bible or Testament with him.
In the afternoon there came a priest with two servants; he advanced in fine style and laid out his wares, thinking to sell something, and his words were full of suavity. And when one of us spoke, he had much to say. Thereupon I said that the Lord liad warned us of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of them that go in long clothing.
Priest. "The clothing don't make it." I then told him that their things, as infant baptism, ringing of bells, mass, and all other trumpery, were good for nothing. Upon this he replied that holy baptism of infants was right. I asked where the authorization for it was to be found.
Priest."In the 16th chapter of the first epistle to the Corinthians." .
Adrian."There it is written: The house of Stephanas are the first in Achaia who addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints. These certainly could not have been infants; infants cannot addict
themselves to the ministry of the saints, but have themselves to be ministered unto."
He asked us in regard to the jailer and his household, whether there were no infants there.
Priest."How do you know it?"
Adrian. "It is written there: 'The jailer rejoiced with all his house, that he had become a believer in Christ Jesus.' Infants cannot rejoice in faith; for they have no faith." Then he was at his wit's end again. He fared likewise in regard to Lydia, the seller of purple.
Priest. "When I was young, my faith was as perfect as it is now."
Adrian. "What did you say then?"
He made no reply. He also said, "When I was born, I had my hand, and was not conscious of it; so also, my faith, which was hid in me; and the original sin which I had was taken away through the regeneration of the water which takes place in the font." I asked him whether the water had been crucified for him, or Christ.
Adrian. "And yet you seek your salvation in the water?" He was silent. Dirk Jans then asked
him where it was written that bells ought to be baptized.
Priest. "This is instituted by the holy church." He also asked him concerning the reading of mass. He replied that he had God in the mass, corporeally in flesh and blood. I then told him that he was a deceiver.
Priest. "Did not God say: 'Take, eat; this is my body; and drink, this is my blood, and as often as you eat this bread, ye do shew the Lord's death?"'
On this point we had much discussion. I then asked him whether he had read I Tim. 4?
Thereupon I inquired as to whether he had brought a Testament with him.
Priest. "Yes, here is a Latin Testament."
Adrian. "We have not studied in Latin universities, but in the highly celebrated school of the Gospel, of which the Spirit of God is teacher." John 16:13.
He said he could read it in Dutch. He then read the passage relating to the forbidding to marry, and the commanding to abstain from meats. I Tim. 4:3: I asked him concerning whom this was spoken. He replied that he did not know.
Adrian. "If you are a teacher you ought to know this?"
Priest. "It relates to the end of the world."
Adrian. "It speaks there of the latter times; now do you mean to say that these are not the latter times?"
Upon this he replied nothing, but said that he had not forbidden marriage, nor meats.
We said, "Your father, the pope, has done it, and you exerted yourselves with Haman to obtain mandates to put us and our people to death, andcontributed in giving the Emperor ten thousand pounds of silver?"
Priest. "I did not."
Adrian. "Are you Christians? Christians ought not to persecute any one."
Priest. "We do not persecute you."
I then asked him, whether the Christian church persecuted, or suffered persecution.
Priest. "It suffers persecution."
I asked him wherein he suffered persecution, whether we were not the ones that suffer persecution.
Priest. "We suffer persecution from the devil."
We then demanded to know where it was written that we might be put to death for our faith. He replied that it was ordained on account of the evil sects. We said, "We belong to no sect."
Priest. "It is suspected that it might also be the case with you."
Thereupon Dirk Jans said, "Is a man hanged because he is suspected of having stolen; though he has not done so? So neither may we be put to death before we are convicted."
The priest finally went away. We had silenced him in many things concerning which he had no understanding. I also said that he was one of those who rob God of His glory by their confession, presuming to forgive sins. Herein he was likewise defeated, whereupon he went away. I hope that we shall soon offer up our sacrifice together.
O my dear friends, see that you exercise a care for one another, and walk prudently; because men are so incensed, and make such strenuous efforts to apprehend our brethren, wherever they find them. Hence, walk a little more wisely herein, than some of you do for, dear friends, if the Lord permitted it, they would deal roughly with them if they had them. Therefore, take it in good part; for there are so few laborers in the harvest; hence, take good care of them that are in it. Moreover, dear friends, when you meet to speak of the Word of the Lord, spend not your time in idle talk, and old wives' fables, but exercise yourselves in godliness, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and stand protected in all things; and always give diligence, in honor to build up the spiritual temple until the appearing of the Lord. I Tim. 4:7; Eph. 6:13; I Pet. 2:5. He that is holy let him become holier still; he that is pure, let him become purer still; as Paul writes to the Thessalonians, that they need not that he should write unto them, but he said that they should increase more and more. Rev. 22:11; I Thess. 4:9, 10. Thus also you, my dear brethren. Read the exhortation I have written you, which will no doubt be shown you. Salute all the friends in the Lord, especially our Brother G., who is a faithful minister; all that are in bonds salute him, and they also greet all lovers of the truth. We commend you to the Lord; know, that we are all of good cheer yet; the Lord be praised always.
My dear friends, I must write you yet a little more. The paper was not sufficient before, for,
dear friends, paper is a precious article when we are in bonds; but as Habakkuk brought me some more, I write you a few additional lines concerning certain things that occurred in our .imprisonment, which were forgotten before. It happened that the servant who had betrayed me, came to bring us our food. I then asked him .to forgive me, if I had injured him in any way, and thus I often talked to him as kindly as I could, which we are commanded to do. Matt. 5:44. He replied, "You have -not injured me, nor have any of your people." My kind words, and the love I manifested, caused him to feel ashamed that he had betrayed me, and that I spoke to him so' affectionately. Rom. 12:20.
A few more things about the priest that came to instruct us. I asked him whether he had faith."Yes," he replied. .
Adrian. .'.If you should sit here in prison with us for a month, I think you.would deny your faith."
Priest. ."Possibly not."
He then commenced speaking about faith, and said that faith was incomprehensible.
I said, "If faith is incomprehensible, how then can we be saved?" Then he was beaten. Thereupon we touched upon the calling of preachers, and 'the words of Paul, that teachers must be blameless, and following the passage further on,"given to hospitality." I then said, "You would rather' be a guest, than entertain one, and receive strangers;" adding, "If I should come to' your house, would you receive me?"
We also discussed infant baptism, which he would prove by the households. I asked him to whom the Scriptures speak; do they not speak to them that have ears to hear, and hearts to understand?
I then asked him whether any Scripture belonged to infants.
Adrian. "If no Scripture 'belongs to infants, neither does baptism." Then he was caught and had nothing more to say about his infant baptism'. He also, spoke in regard to eating the flesh of Christ, and drinking His blood, how Christ, gave His apostles flesh from His flesh, and blood to drink outwardly.' I then said that he was worse than the Jews.
Adrian. "The Jews murmured and said: 'How can this man give us his flesh to eat?' but you now come and would eat it.""Be assured," said I to the priest,"Christ did not speak this passage in the sense in which you adduce it." In short; he would gladly have retreated, could he have done so honorably, for there was no market for his merchandise.