In the year 1562 there was apprehended at Utrecht, for the testimony of our dear Lord Jesus Christ, a brother named Heyndrick Eemkens, a tailor, who, after all solicitations and pains suffered, finally received word that he was to die, at which he rejoiced that he should also have the privilege of being a witness for the name of the Lord. This message was brought him by the pastor of the Buerchurch and a Franciscan monk named Friar Jan van Herentals, who in a few words informed him of it, and then left him. He said to friar Jan, "You need not come again tomorrow, for I do not need you." In the morning he was brought out from his prison into another room, where he had many words with the monk, who forthwith condemned him. Thereupon he replied, "Judge not, and ye shall not be judged." Luke 6:37. The monk said, "You confessed that you
did not believe that Christ assumed flesh from Mary." He replied, "I have said it once in my confession; shall I tell you again?" and he referred him to John 1.
The monk then asked him whether he would not confess to him. He answered, "I have confessed to God." The monk said, "Have you lived to be so old without ever confessing?""No," said he,"I have indeed confessed to men; but God knows I heartily regret that I submitted so long to your confession." The monk then asked him whether he did not want to hear a mass. He replied, "I have read so many, that I loathe the mass; and even though I do not want to have it, yet if you want to read it, nevertheless, how can I prevent it? Hence, if you want to do it, do so, but not on my account; for I do not wish it." Then the monk asked him whether he would not have the sacrament; but he said, "No, but if I could partake of the Lord's Supper as instituted and commanded by the Lord, and observed by the apostles and their churcles, this I should heartily desire, and thank the Lard for it, but your deception I do not want." Upon this the monk again damned him two or three times.
The thief-takers then came, and wanted to give him something to drink, but he refused it. Then came one of the jailer's daughters, a wanton girl, and wanted to put it into his mouth with a spoon, as they were sitting and drinking with the thief-takers, but Heyndrick said to her, "I have certainly told you that I do not want it; hence, let me in peace, if it is possible." Thereupon one of the thief-takers said, "Do you want to go out of this world on an empty stomach?" He said to him, "I thirst for the true wine, of which I shortly hope to drink." But the monk said, "God does not put new wine into old bottles." But he said to the monk, "Because I have become renewed, therefore you hate me." Much more was said yet, which has been forgotten, since he himself could not write. This was written by one who was present when Heyndrick spoke with the monk. Though he was not a brother or fellow member with Heyndrick in thq church, yet his friendly disposition prompted hitn to write down what he remembered of it, just as he saw and heard it, for the remembrance of all lovers of the truth; and the following was seen and heard not only by him, but also by all the citizens generally, who can with him testify to it.
When Heyndrick had ascended the scaffold, he began to speak much to the people, saying, among other things, "Good citizens, repent, and believe only the Gospel and not the traditions of men."
When they led him to the lords, to hear his sentence, he again turned his face to the citizens and said that all the practices observed were only human traditions, and that whoever would not follow them had to be the reproach and offscouring of all men, yea, must thus suffer death. Matt. 15:6; I Corinthians 4:13.
The sentence having been read, many of the people, who pitied him, and did not wish to see him die, went away. But Heyndrick Eemkens fell upon his knees and face, on the scaffold, to pour out his earnest prayer before the Lord. When the executioner saw him fall down, he drew his cloak from his shoulders, and pulled him up by his shirt, so that he could not finish his prayer.
Heyndrick then said to the people, "Dear citizens, repent, for it is more than time. Live according to God's commandments and the words of the holy Gospel." And he called again with a loud voice, "This is the narrow way, and the strait gate;" and named the chapters where it was written, and many other Scriptures having the same bearing. He then stepped of his own accord, with a glad heart, upon the bench where. he was to be strangled and burnt, and said again, "This is the strait gate, press through it; through this pressed the men of God, for he that fights steadfastly unto the end shall be saved; of this I have no doubt." With great courage he put his body and neck to the stake, and said again with a joyful heart, "Dear citizens, repent; believe the Gospel and not men; for this is the narrow way which a Christian must walk." The executioner then took a chain, putting it around his body, and fastened a little bag of gunpowder to his neck, so that it hung over his breast. Heyndrick spoke boldly to the very last, but his words could not be understood very well, for the executioner took a cord, laid it around his neck, and twisted it tightly. Heyndrick closed his eyes, just as though he had fallen into a swoon, and he was not seen to move any more, save that he cast up his eyes to heaven once more, and then immediately lost consciousness. Thereupon the executioner drew away the bench from under his feet, and seizing a fork, thrust the same into a bundle of straw and held the latter to a pot with fire standing on the scaffold, until it caught fire, whereupon he applied it to the gunpowder. The blaze flashed up to his eyes but did not burn his hair. He lifted up his hands to heaven once more, after which he showed no further sign of life.
Thus did Heyndrick Eemkens offer up his sacrifice, as a valiant witness of the Lord, on the 10th of June, 1562, about between 10 and 11 o'clock, A. M.
This George Friesen, a cabinetmaker, and William van Keppel, formerly a mass priest, were both apprehended at Cologne, A. D. 1562, for the evangelical truth. When William was sought and found he willingly went with his captors, who first took him into a tower of the city, where, however, he did not remain long, since they removed him into the count's dungeon, whither those were taken who were condemned to death. In this dungeon he found said Georee Friesen, who was his brother
in the Lord, and also a prisoner, and whose company was a great comfort to him.
Manifold were .the nets spread and the snares laid, to catch their souls; but the principal ado and clamor was about infant baptism, which their adversaries claimed to be right; but as they could not prove it by the Word of God, they employed human wisdom, but to God be the praise, with this they could not move these men. Now the lords entreated them, now they severely 'threatened them with torture and death; but the prisoners rejoiced in it. The others said things sweet and things bitter, but this could not move the prisoners, for through the help of the Lord their hearts stood firm as a wall.
The count offered to give George money, and his servant maid to wife, if he would renounce his faith. But George would adhere to the truth and said to the count, "Your servant maid, riches, or money cannot take me to God, but I have chosen something better, for which I hope to strive." There also came to William a subtle individual, who made him fair promises and said that he would take him to England, who would soon have: drawn the net of delusion over his head if the Lord had not succored and preserved him.
When the last hour arrived that they were to be prepared for the offering, for which they greatly longed, they were both brought out of prison-the count's dungeon-to the house of the count, into a hall, at one o'clock in the night. There much arrogant and scornful language was used against them, and they were much tormented, to which George said nothing. William, also, answering but little. This continued half the night, till break of day or twilight, when the two prisoners were hurriedly taken to the Rhine, where they were to be drowned.
When George saw how hurriedly they were taken to the Rhine in the early morning, he called to the count, saying, "Sir count, what becomes of the promise you made us? for you said that you should put us to death in broad daylight." But no one paid attention to these words, but they were hurried to the place where they were to be put to death, namely the Rhine. And thus were fulfilled the words of David, where he says, "They have privily slain the upright." Ps. 11:2. May the Lord forgive them, for they know not what they do.
When they were taken out on the water, in a boat, William divested himself of his clothes, and laid his hands upon his feet, to be bound thus; for he thought that he was to be drowned and get home first. But this was not to be his fate, they made him put his clothes on again, and told him that he should wait.
And thus George was compelled to be the first one, to be made ready for an offering. When he was ready for death, he took brotherly leave from William, and they kissed each other with a holy kiss of love. Then George was thrown over-board, and drowned in the Rhine, thus. testifying with his death that he was a partaker of Christ's sufferings, to receive at His hands, through grace, the crown upon mount Sion, and rejoice forever with Him. II Esd. 2:43.
After George was drowned, the executioner said to William, "Put on your clothes; I will take you to the shore, and there behead you." William, through the grace of God, was willing and ready for it, and said, "You may do with me whatever God wills and permits."
When they came on shore, they set William at liberty. The executioner said to him, "Go your way." Whether they did this because William had been a priest, and they would have had to desecrate him, before putting him to death, and whether they therefore rather released him, than go to such trouble is not known.
I proclaim unto you, O men, one and all, a new message and glad tidings, through the Word of the Lord, which is, that you shall turn from your sinful life to God that your sins may be forgiven; cleanse your hearts, and forsake the world and its false show to which it lends so beautiful an aspect.
Behold, I proclaim unto you much joy, which I experience, as Christ the Son of God promised, saying, "I will not leave you comfortless." Those who trust in me, them will I help bear their sorrow, and deliver them out of all distress. For He Himself bound up our putrefying wounds, and healed them, which none other could do. Luke 10: 34. He healed us without merit on our part; when we were yet enemies, He washed' us with clean water, and sent us the Comforter, the Holy Ghost -as the faithful gracious Saviour Christ promised-who shall bring to our remembrance all that we have heard. Rom. 5:10; Ezek. 36:25; John 14:16. If we firmly abide in Him, and bring forth good fruits, He will give us a mouth and wisdom, as His divine Word says, if we diligently live according to His will; yea, such a mouth He will give us, that none of the wise of this world, who are yet in sin, and fail of the truth, shall be able to contradict us. Luke 21:15.
I daily find that, as the raging waves of the sea, driven by fierce winds, cast up their mire and dirt, and cannot rest, so it is also with these; if there were anything good in them, it would come to light. Isaiah 57:20. Now, even as the flowers of the field drop off, so it goes with those who consider too late; for the grass withereth, and the flower fadeth; but the Word of God abideth forever. Isa. 40:8:
I find still another matter which concerns me greatly, namely, that so many shall knock and say, "Lord, open unto us, and let us enter in also; to whom the Lord shall say: I know you not;" and that it will avail them nothing to say, "Did we not
believe that thou art the true God, and that he whom thou anointest, and whom the Jews mocked is thy Child?" Luke 13:25. If they persist in their evil deeds, anguish shall come upon them, so that they shall cry, woe, woe, .upon all the priests of Baal who have deceived them here, and who now sit in Moses' seat, persecute Christ, and .honor Baal, saying, "Do according to our words, and not after our works; by which they show that they do not walk aright." Matt. 23:2. O generation of vipers, who hath made you believe that you shall escape the wrath of God and the damnation of hell? Can the Lord not say to them,-"If you were so wise as to know me, why then did you not seek me by following the kingdom of my Father. Therefore, depart from me, all ye hypocrites, to the devil and his angels, into the lake of fire, and eternal damnation." Matt. 7:23. But you, brethren and sisters, who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19:9), make yourselves sincerely ready in these latter times, for the marriage supper; and do not suffer yourselves to be deprived of the food that is set before you, lest you perish with hunger; cling firmly to Jesus Christ; see that you lose not those things which you have wrought; and let no one lead you astray on this earth, nor be afraid of the princes of this world; for when they shall appear before the face of Christ, they will all be put to shame. II John 8'; Matt. 24:4; 10:28.
Betake yourselves now to the Lord, for now is the right time; and let not the world confound you, lest you be deceived. Watch, you that are on the ocean, lest you perish; believe in the Lord with all your heart, and you, will weather the tempest. May the King of kings, to whom all things are known, uphold us with His mighty hand, that we may on account of no adversity depart from Him, but may faithfully adhere to His Word even unto death. Hereby I will, gladly resign my life at.this time, and enter this narrow way through .Christ; by His help I will gladly bear His yoke, and in this yoke alone pull my plow. Ch God, that I might be so fortunate as to see the work begun in me brought to such a happy end, to the salvation of my soul and to Thy glory, and this solely through Thy powerricher or more highly exalted as a 'mortal I could not become! I should praise. and magnify Thee for it through Christ Thy,Son. Dear brethren and sisters, I have written this in my severe imprisonment, and give it to you for an admonition: I, George Friesen, have composed this in the night, while others slept; I hope. that ,daylight will soon shine brightly. O Lord that 'thou wouldst speedily come to me in prison, deliver me from my chains, and free me from my bonds, and protect me from the wicked-O then I should stand well before The,e! My brethren, if you would rejoice in t6e spirit, and herein understand me thoroughly, then beware of sin, and you will see clearly. And if you would spiritually understand the divine law, go to the Lord, and He will help you in it.
In the year 1562 there was apprehended at Honschote, in,Flanders, a young girl named Martijntgen Helmeers, of Steenwijcke, because she had been baptized upon her faith, and ordered her walk and conversatiori'according to the doctrine of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
After great steadfastness she was sentenced to death, and burnt, and thus offered up to God an acceptable, living sacrifice, and escaped the torment of eternal fire. .
The same year, Nikasen Aelmeers, the brother of the afore-mentioned Martijntgen, was apprehended for the faith and the divine truth, at Bruges in Flanders, and when na pain or torture could draw him from his faith, he was condemned and burnt, as a true witness of our Lord Jesus, Christ.
In the year 1562, there were apprehended at Honschote in Flanders, for the testimony of the truth, seven persons, namely, Karel van den Velde, of Ghent, with Proentgen his wife, Franchoy& de Swarte, of Belle, with Klaesken his wife, jasper the shoemaker, Charlo, a lad, and Martijntgen Amare, a young maiden, all of whom steadfastly adhered to the truth and the Word of God. Five of them, namely, the four male persons and the girl, were very soon after their apprehension burnt for their faith; but the two women, sisters, were sometime afterwards secretly drowned in a tub. One:of the women, when she saw that they intended to put her to death secretly, complained of it, since she would have preferred publicly to testify to the truth with her death; whereupon her sister said: ."It ,is all the same, for God sees it; He will reward us, and avenge our wrongs." II Chron, .16:9; Rev. 6:10.
Thus they all passed through the conflict as valiant heroes, and obtained leave to eat of the tree of life,' which is in the midst of the paradise of God. Rev. 2:7.
In the year 1562, a man named Jan Grendel, from Kortrijck, in Flanders, came from Cludewater to Goes, and was the same evening on which he arrived in town apprehended by bailiff Vijtwijck, who, upon having taken him to his house, interrogated him concerning his faith, of which he made open confession, whereupon he was put in prison, where he lay for about a year. Bailiff Vijtwijck having, for maladministration, been deposed
from his bailiwick, another named Floris Schaeck, stepped into this office, and under the latter, Jan, after many solicitations and sufferings, was publicly burnt, or put to death, in the marketplace, for his faith, in Lent of the year 1562.
In the year 1562 Brother Francis van der Sach, a native of Rovigo in Italy, and minister of the Word of God (still on trial) and one who had been sent with him, named Anthony Welsch, were apprehended at Capo d' Istria, about one hundred Italian miles from Venice, as they were about to return to the church in Germany, accompanied by a large number of people, who, however, were not taken along, but suffered to go. Francis was ironed on his feet like a malefactor, and they were separately confined. There at Capo d' Istria they tempted and assailed them in a satanic manner, as they are accustomed to do at such times, and they employed all their might to entrap them into their snares, in order to cause them to stumble, and to make them despond and apostatize from God; especially was Francis severely assailed; but they valiantly resisted it all. Having been heard and examined at Capo d' Istria concerning everything, they were left in confinement yet for three days, ironed hand and foot, and then sent to Venice. On this voyage they lay still for three days and nights, on account of the tempestuous sea, in the meantime comforting each other, and admonishing one another to constancy or steadfastness, so that it seemed as though they scarcely felt the pains resulting from the iron fetters and from other causes, which nevertheless hurt them greatly day and night.
Arriving at Venice the first day of September of said year, they were immediately separately confined in the dark dungeons of the chief senators, where they lay for a whole month, when they were brought before three Venetian secular, and also several so-called spiritual, lords, who sat there in great pomp, most magnificently arrayed, and they asked brother Francis, whether he still adhered to the belief which he had indicated to the examiners and lords who had examined him at Capo d' Istria in regard to his doings, and whether he still held it to be the truth. He said to them, "I hold it to be the truth, and it is the truth."
They then asked him whether he believed all that the holy, Catholic, apostolical, Christian church believes. He replied, "As far as the faith is concerned, I believe every article of the apostolical Christian faith." They then asked him also concerning baptism, the sacrament, confession, and many other things; but when he thoroughly answered everything, they urged him very hard, berating him most severely, and then remanded him to prison. They also examined Brother Anthony, who likewise made a good confession of faith to them.
Shortly after, they examined Francis again, especially in regard to infant baptism, but did not accomplish their purpose. After this, they had them brought before them several times yet, and argued with them. They also sent monks to them, who when they replied to their questions, continually called them heretics and gainsayers of so many councils, and said that if they would not desist, they should have to die, and with this they had them taken back to prison.
Soon after the lords again sent a monk, an inquisitor, to them, who was to speak with them concerning the faith. He first asked them whether they belonged to the transmontane church. Francis replied, "Yes." Thereupon the monk said, "This is the first error;" and asked whether he had also broken bread with them. Francis answering in the affirmative, the monk said, "This also is an error." And thus he spoke with regard to everything; no matter what they answered, the monk always said that they were heretics and deceivers.
The monk also said, "Tell me, who is the head of the church?" Francis replied, "Christ." The monk said, "This, too, is an error." Then Francis said, "You call us heretics, but you yourself are a heretic, and not we, for Christ is certainly the head of His church." But the monk said, "The pope is the head here on earth." Francis said, "A body with two heads is a hideous thing." Thereupon the monk again began to call him a heretic, and to admonish him to desist. But Brother Francis told him that he could not desist before he should have proved this to him by the holy Scriptures. The monk said, "We are not bound to prove this to you by the Scriptures." They were then taken back to prison, where Francis put his confession and defense in writing, and delivered it.
After this, they lay in prison for a long time yet, in all about two years, always steadfastly continuing, in many disputations, in the truth confessed, which they had accepted, and were then sentenced to death, and, in the year 1564, cast into the sea, at Venice, and drowned. But the sea will have to give up her dead at the judgment day of the Lord, when such murderers of the pious will be dearly requited, and will see with great terror, how heinous an offense against God it is, thus to touch His believers. See Zech. 2:8; Acts 9:5.
Jan de Swarte, a very good-hearted man, of Nipkerke, with his wife and adult children, came to the knowledge of the truth, and united with the church of God. Afterwards he was chosen and ordained a minister of the church, in which ministry he,
according to his ability, and in simplicity, so conducted himself (not only in the deaconship, by caring for the poor, but also, according to his gift received from God, in dispensing the Word of the exhortation), that he endeared himself to all that knew him. I Cor. 12:4; II Tim. 2:15.
And as the apostle Paul foretold, that all that will live godly in Jesus Christ shall suffer persecution, so he also met with it, on which account he resided in various towns and villages of Flanders, as in Honschote, Rijssel, Wervick, Meenen, and finally at Halewijn, supporting himself mostly with tapeweaving. With his wages he was very benevolent and liberal to the poor, not only to those of the household of faith, but to all in general (II Cor. 8: 1; Gal. 6:10), by which especially he left behind him a good name, to the praise and glory of God, as also by hospitality, as taught in the Scriptures (Romans 12:13), in which he was not negligent, since it appeared that when he was apprehended, there lodged with him a brother from Doornick, named Perceval van den Berge, a native of Zwevegem, and another, who had come from Honschote, whose name was Jan Maes.
At that time there resided at Halewijn various other. God-fearing brethren and sisters, which being greatly envied by N., the priest of the castle, he betrayed them into the hands of the Dean of Ronse, the inquisitor in Flanders, who, on a Saturday night, the 7th of March, 1563, quietly came thither with a great number of servants, from Rijssel, surrounded several houses, entered them, and apprehended the afore-mentioned Jan de Swarte, with Klaesken his wife and four sons, namely, Klaes, Christian, Hans, and Mahieu (who was only about sixteen years old), and also Perceval van den Berge, and Jan Maes, already mentioned. Besides these he also apprehended one Pieter the shoemaker, with jacomijntgen his wife, which latter did not remain steadfast. Also, one Heyndrick Aerts the hatter, with janneken Cabiljaus his wife, and another sister, Kalleken Steens, the wife of a brother whose name was Augustijn.
When Jan de Swarte was apprehended, his two younger sons were not present, but came in the meantime. When they came to the house the neighbors warned them, that those who apprehended their father and mother were in the house. The one said to the other, "Do not let us flee, but let us die with father and mother." In the meantime Jan de Swarte was led out of the house a prisoner, and seeing his sons, he said to them, "Children, do you want to, go along to the New Jerusalem?" They replied, "Yes, father;" and were thus led captive with them.
The inquisitor brought them all prisoners to Rijssel, and there had them very closely confined in the castle. Jan was put into a hole by himself, which was called the"Paradise," and was so small that he could neither stand upright in it, nor lie down full length.
It happened one day that divers brethren and sisters, prompted by love and compassion, had come from without the city, and were standing over against the castle, calling to the prisoners over the fortification, for their consolation, that among them there was one brother named Herman, who being noticed by one of the beadles of the town, who came out secretly, was also apprehended.
After an imprisonment of ten days, the inquisitor delivered these prisoners into the hands of the secular authorities, who first took out Jan de Swarte with his son Klaes, Pieter, the shoemaker, Hendrick Aerts, the hatter, Percival van den Berg, and Jan Maes, all six of whom, because they valiantly and steadfastly adhered to the divine truth, they sentenced to death, and took them in a wagon to the marketplace, where stood the scaffold, provided with earth and stakes. There they were taken up one after another, and two and two fastened to a stake.
As they were going to death, the clock struck. John asked what time it was. He was told that it was four o'clock. He consoled himself with this, saying, "At five o'clock we hope to be in our lodging or resting place." His son Klaes, said, "We have to die for the reason that we believe!!that Jesus Christ, the Son of the eternal God, is from heaven and not of the earth."
Pieter was gagged, to prevent him from speaking. When they stood at the stakes, wood and straw were placed around them, to which fire was then set, and they were thus burnt alive to ashes.
A few days afterwards also Klaesken, the wife of Jan de Swarte, with her three sons, and Herman, because they adhered immovably to the love of God, were all five sentenced to death by the authorities, and also burned alive to ashes, persevering unto the end as valiant witnesses of Christ.
Almost a year after this, after very long imprisonment, Janneken Cabiljaus and kalleken Steens, were sentenced to death, placed alive into the fire, and burnt to ashes, as valiant and steadfast witnesses of the divine truth.
It also came to pass that the priest of the castle, N., who had so spitefully betrayed these dear friends of God, was very sorely punished by God; for such putrefaction entered his flesh, that it fell off piecemeal, or was cut off from time to time, from his body, no physicians being able to cure the disease.!!Thus it happened on one occasion; a large piece, of putrid flesh having dropped, or been cut off from his body, that the same was eaten by a dog, while he beheld it with his own eyes. How he must have felt on this occasion, it is easy to imagine, especially when viewing it as the fulfillment of a curse said to have been pronounced upon him."That he should yet with his own eyes see the dogs eat his flesh."
It also happened that while the priest was lying sick, a man came to visit him, who, when the former complained to him of his great misery, remarked to him, "It is the coals from the fire at
Rijssel"-namely, from the burning of the friends mentioned above; which did not please the priest very much; but he had to bear this taunt as well as the punishment sent him from God. And in this way he at last died most miserably, even as we read that in former times it happened to Antiochus and Herod. II Macc. 9:9; Acts 12:23.
At Ghent in Flanders there were apprehended, for the faith, three brethren, namely, Dirk Lamberts, Christian van Wetteren, and Antonijn de Wale, who contended valiantly and heroically for their faith and the truth, from which they would not depart for any temptation, pain or suffering, so that they were finally sentenced to death. First Dirk Lamberts, and shortly afterwards the other two, had to follow Christ by entering through death into life; therefore they shall be clothed in fine linen with all the elect of God, and receive; palms into their hands, and the crown of life upon their heads.
The same year a brother named Joos Jans; was apprehended at Somerdijck, for living according to the truth, and was immediately taken to.Zierickzee; where he suffered much examination and hardship, but suffered himself nevertheless in no wise to be moved or turned away from the Word of God and the love of Christ, so that he was finally sentenced to death and beheaded, thus valiantly testifying with his blood to the truth.
NOTE - The repeatedly, mentioned decree of Emperor Charles V, enacted in the year 1550and confirmed by Philip II, King of Spain, A. D. 155.6 (for which year we have circumstantially shown the same), as also, A. D. 1560, was at this time, namely, A. D. 1564, renewed and established the third time, for the annihilation and 'destruction of the innocent and defenseless Christian believers, as may be seen in the. large book of decrees of Ghent, and Cited by William I, Prince of Orange, in his defence against his adversaries, edition 1599, page 165, etc.
Thereupon followed no small persecution, as, may be seen from the history of the following martyrs.
Daniel Kalvaert, a native of Thielt, in Flanders, was apprehended, A. D. 1564; at Arm' entiers, for the testimony of the truth, and thence taken to Rijssel, but after being subjected to some S*olicitation and torture, he was brought back to Armentiers, escorted by forty beadles, and there sentenced by the authorities, to be burnt alive to ashes; which offering he boldly brought, after which his ashes were thrown into the river Leye.
Pieter Floriss, called of Oosthove, a native of Nipkerke in Flanders, was apprehended for the divine truth, at Armentiers, A. D. 1564, and; through many solicitations and sufferings, was prevailed upon to apostatize from his faith, induced by the promise that he should not die, and be released. But when again in his prison, and coming to himself, he reflected how greatly he had suffered himself to be deceived, for though he should escape temporal death for a little while, he .should therefor have to taste eternal death. This produced in him such an agonizing sorrow, that he, like Peter, betook himself with earnest supplication to Almighty God, and besought Him with scalding tears for forgiveness for the great offense he had committed, and for a more steadfast mind than he had shown before. His prayer was not left unheard, for when he was brought before the authorities again, he utterly renounced his apostasy,' and thenceforth boldly confessed his faith, and steadfastly adhered to it, so that he was finally sentenced to death,to which he went with glad constancy, and was thus strangled and burnt.
In the year 1564 there was apprehended at Ghent in Flanders, for the truth; a brother named Steven de Graet, with Sijntgen, his aged mother. They were both well confirmed in the faith; and continued in it amidst all solicitations and sufferings, even unto death, which they, for the name of Christ, had to suffer publicly; hence they shall also openly praise the Lord; in the throne of heaven, and help sing the glad new song, in honor of the Lamb, and'of, Him that sitteth upon the throne. Rev. 14:3.
In the same year four sisters of Christ were apprehended at Ghent, namely, Pierijntgen Ketels, with Leentgen her mother, and two sisters, Pier i j ntgen and Mari j ntgen van Male. These did not counsel with flesh and blood, but with God, who was able to strengthen them, for whose name they, after many assaults and unwavering steadfastness, had to lay down their lives in the monastery of St. Peter, without the city of Ghent. Therefore they shall be crowned by the Young Man upon Mount Sion, and be joyfully received by their bridegroom. II Esdras 2:46; Matt. 25:10.
Shortly afterwards, also one brother Pieter vdn der Meulen contended so valiantly, at Ghent, for his faith in Christ, that, with firm faith and confidence in God, he withstood all who sought to turn
him away from it, even unto death, so that he departed this world, and went with Christ into peace and rest, to help judge at the last day those who judged him here. Luke 23:43; I Cor. 6:2; Matt. 7:2: