In the year 1592, in the month of July, there were apprehended at Ghent in Flanders, for the practice of the Word of God, two brethren and a sister, named Bartholomeus Panten, Michiel the widower, and Kalleken N., who suffered much temptation, and were severely examined, by the priests, the Jesuits, and also by the pensionary, before whom they freely and fearlessly confessed their faith, to which they adhered steadfastly without departing from it. Thereupon it happened, that the sister was released from her bonds and set at liberty. But the brethren were severely tortured, in order that they should apostatize from their God, and indicate their fellow brethren. But God, who does not forsake His own, but keeps them as the apple of .His eye, so succored them, that they were enabled to adhere steadfastly to Him and His word, and to keep their lips from bringing their neighbor into trouble. Hence they were finally sentenced to death as heretics, for the testimony of Jesus Christ, and having first been hanged to the gallows, and strangled, in the Count's castle, they were then buried without in the gallows' field. And as they helped the Lord Jesus Christ bear His reproach, so shall they also be received up with Him into His glory full of honor and light, to live with Him forever in joy and gladness.
We have also added here, for the benefit of the reader, the letters which Bartholomeus Panten wrote in his bonds.
After an affectionate greeting to you, my beloved brother, without forgetting your wife and household, I inform you, that through the grace of the Lord I am well in body; and as regards the spirit, it is my purpose, by the help of the Lord to adhere to the truth unto the end, which I also wish you. Further, my beloved brother, I inform you of the condition in which I now am, that is, that I am now imprisoned at Ghent together with anotr er man and a woman, for the testimony of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the truth of the Gospel, for which the other man and I have been tortured, and I have unworthily suffered: and they threatened to inflict still further sufferings on us. But Peter says, "And be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; but sanctify the Lord God in your hearts;" since they cannot do .to you more than is permitted them of God. I Pet. 3:14, 15. And Paul says to the Corinthians, "For we know that, if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: if so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. For we that are in
this tabernacle do groan, being burdened." TI Corinthians 5:1-4.
Thus, my dear brother, I see no other way to attain to eternal life than to bear the cross which God has laid upon us, as Christ says, "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" Matt. 16:24-26. But the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us, for which cause, says Paul, we faint not; but 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 seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. Rom. 8:18. II Cor. 4:16-18. Know, that I had temptation from the Jesuits and priests, and from the pensionary, but by the help of God I have hitherto resisted all these storms, and hope that He will further help me by His Spirit and power, without which we are not able to do anything; for of myself I have nothing but all weakness, misery and imperfection, which I have lamented with tears before God, praying Him, that He would not enter into judgment with me, without His grace, for there shall no living soul stand innocent before Him.
Herewith I commend you to God, and remember the words of Paul, where he says, "I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit." Eph. 4:1-4. And to the Colossians, "Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any; even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful." Colossians 3:13-15. And to the Galatians, "If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another. Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such a one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another's burdens . . . . For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For every man shall bear his own burden." Gal. 5:2'5, 26; 6:1-5. Again, in James 5:19, 20 we read, "Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins." And Peter says, "Above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins." I Pet. 4:8. For John says, "Whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that ye should love one another. Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother." I John 3:10-12.
Hence, my dear brother, be kind and affectionate with one another, and forgive one another, even as God has forgiven you through Christ. Paul also says, "Warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men. See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men."
Herewith, my dear brother, I bid you adieu, if we should see each other no more.
Written in my bonds, to Karel Panten, my brother, by me,
As the lily among thorns, so is my love, etc. Canticles 2:2
Christ Jesus teaches. us, Matt. 5:10-12, "Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake.: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for. so persecuted they the prophets which were before you." Hence let us be patient, and rejoice in it, and bless them that curse us, and pray for them that despitefully use and persecute us; that we may be the children of our Father which is in heaven, who maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. Vv. 44-48.
Thus, my dear friends, let us show common love (charity), and also brotherly love, according to Peter's teaching. II Pet. 1:7. And also according to the teaching of Paul, "Let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith." Gal. 6:10. And, "See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men." I Thess. 5:15. Again, Peter also teaches us, "Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for rail-
ing: but contrariwise, blessing; knowing that ye are therefore called, that ye should inherit a blessing. For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: let him eschew evil and do good: let him seek peace, and ensue it. For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their -prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good? But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye; and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; but sanctify the Lord God in your hearts. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evil-doer, or as a busybody in other men's matters. 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?" I Pet. 3:9-15; 4:15-18., "Wherefore, let them that suffer according to the will of God, commit the keeping of their souls to him in well-doing, as unto a faithful Creator." V. 19."And let us look unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who, for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin." Heb. 12:2-4. And Peter also says, "Christ suffered for us in the flesh, and left us an example, that we should follow his steps; who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth; who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously." I Pet. 2:21-23.
Hence, dear friends, if we want to be of His servants, we must serve the Lord according to His divine will and demands. That is, we must suffer and bear here, and not resist; else we should live to ourselves, and not to the Lord, and so doing we should not follow the footsteps of Christ, for we must bless, and not curse, them that persecute us. As Paul teaches us, "Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore, if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good." Rom. 12:17-21.
Hence, my dear friends, and all those that seek their salvation, learn from this to know the sheep from wolves, the doves from hawks. For Christ sent out His own like sheep in the midst of wolves, and admonished them, to be wise as serpents and simple as doves. Matt. 10:16. For all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. II Tim. 3:12, 13.
But when I told it to our persecutors, they said that they also had been persecuted; whereupon I told them, that they only suffered persecution when they were too weak and feeble; but when they had the ascendancy again, they were persecutors themselves, and took our goods, and tormented and threatened us, so that there is fulfilled the prophecy of Esdras, "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 gold in the fire." II Esdras 16:71-73. Also Christ says, "These things have I spoken unto you, that you should not be offended. 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 the Father, nor me. But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them." John 16:1-4.
But, my dear friends, the sufferings of this present time are, not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us; for ear hath not heard, nor eye seen, what God has prepared for them that love Him; for the righteous shall live forever; the Lord is their reward, and the care of them is with the Most High; therefore they shall receive a glorious kingdom and a beautiful crown from the Lord's hand. Wisd. 5:15, 16. Hence let us with the eyes of the spirit look at the beautiful promises, and with Moses rather choose to suffer affliction with the children of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward, and esteemed the reproach of Christ greater than all the treasures of Egypt. Hebrews 11:2'5, 26.
Herewith, my dear friends, I will commend you to the Lord, and to the rich Word of His grace; that thereby you may in this time grow up, blossom, be fruitful and flourishing. By me,
The following are some controversies which we prisoners had with the Jesuits. I have written them briefly, according to the best of my recollection; for to write them word for word would be impossible. If we could have been together, I could have written a little more fully, for quite a number of days have passed, since it took place. Again, for proof they quote much from Augustine, and other of their teachers, and also assert that they have existed so long. They know not or will not know, that they have possessed the earth for a long time with deceit, violence and tyranny, kept down the
untarnished truth, and instead of the truth believed lies, as Paul declares how that God sends strong delusions, because they received not the love of the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness: Read II Thess. 2. There it is written of the man of sin and the son of perdition, who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped.
I further inform you, that they have assailed me, and would have liked to bring me back to their doctrine. I would have liked to show them by the parable of the tares of the field (Matt. 13:24) that it is unbecoming and contrary to the doctrine of Christ, and also contrary to common love and propriety that any one should be apprehended for his faith (of misapprehension of the holy Scriptures), spoiled of their goods, tortured or put to death; and I partly presented to them the declaration of Christ, that the Father of the household commanded His servants, that they should permit the tares and the wheat to grow up together until the harvest, which is the end of the world, according to Christ's own declaration. But they said: Jam marces est, that is, "It is now harvest." I said, "The harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels;" adding, "You assume the service of angels."
They wanted to excuse themselves with the authorities; but I warned them, seeing that they were the teachers and preachers of the authorities; that our blood should be required at their hands, if they teach the authorities this, and encourage, constrain or counsel them thereto, as they do according to my understanding, for it is contrary to the doctrine of Christ, and the command of God. When His servants asked Him, whether they should root it out, He told them, "Nay, lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them." But they want to be wiser, and to rule over Christ; whereby they show that they are antichrist, that is, contrary to Christ and His doctrine. For if they were true Christians, and disciples of Christ, the bride, yea sheep, doves and members of Christ, or branches on the vine, they would not persecute or inflict suffering upon any one, but would rather suffer and bear persecution. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. II Tim. 3:12, 13.
Again, we also had a controversy concerning baptism with the same Jesuits, and also with the Dean of St. John's and their pastor, who defended infant baptism and considered it necessary for salvation. But I quoted to them divers Scriptures, that baptism pertains to believers, and that it is not enough, that the faith is confessed with the mouth, but that it must also be apprehended with the heart, as Philip said to the eunuch. Acts 8:37."If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest." I also told them that Philip preached the Word of God to those of Samaria, and when they believed Philip (who preached to them of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ), they were baptized both men and women. And Michiel quoted the Scrip ture from the Acts of the Apostles, in the seconc chapter, "Therefore let all the house of Israe know assuredly, that God hath made that same je sus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ Now when they heard this, they were pricked it their heart; and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren what shall we do Then Peter said unto them, Repent." Thereupon one of them said, "What is it, to repent?" That is"Be sorry for your sins, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." In the same chapter it is also written, "And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added to them about three thousand souls."
And the Dean of St. John's, and the pastor of the same church, when we talked with them, made a long speech from John 3, where Christ declares, "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." I said that He had spoken that to the adult; but he would claim, that it was spoken of every one, of children as well as adults; and wanted to conclude from it, that infants that died without baptism were lost, which is untrue, for the kingdom of God belongs to infants, according to Christ's own promise; and the words which Christ speaks to Nicodemus do not concern infants, but only those that have ears to hear, and hearts to understand. But they insisted, "Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." And they thought that water baptism constitutes the new birth, and that infants are thus regenerated; which is a great misapprehension; for, according to Peter's words, it is as he says in his first epistle, "Purifying your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently; being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever." I Pet. 1:22, 23. And James says, "Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures." James 1:18. And John says, "Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God." I John 5:1. Christ also says, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou Nearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth; so is every one that is born of the Spirit." John 3:6-8. Behold, thus, the new birth is effected by receiving the word of God; for the old man and his works must be put off, and the new man put on, and this is no child's work. This I have added here as an explanation to you of the new birth.
We also spake with the Jesuits, and with others, about the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ, in which we did not agree, for they said that He had flesh and blood from Mary. And I said that He is the Son of God, who was born of the virgin Mary, since she had known no man: and I also said, that Paul says, "For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life." Rom. 5:10. And in the Acts of the Apostles it is written, "Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities." Acts 3:26. And John says in his first epistle, "The blood of Jesus Christ his Son," and not the blood of Mary. I John 1:7. The apostle. Paul also says to the Corinthians, "The first man is of the earth, earthly; the second man is the Lord from heaven." I Corinthians 15:47. And in the Gospel we read, "He that cometh from above is above all; he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth; he that cometh from heaven is above all. And what he hath seen and heard, that he testifieth; and no man receiveth his testimony. He that hath received his testimony, hath set his seal that God is true." John 3:31-33. And unto the Hebrews it is written, "Wherefore, when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me." Heb. 10:5. And Matt. 1:20 it is written, "Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife; for that which is received (conceived) in her is of the Holy Ghost." That which she received (mark well) did not come from her; else it would be of the earth, as was Mary, and as are all the children of Adam. Not that we had all these words with them, but that you might the better understand the foundation of our faith. The others used many more words than are put here, but I have not remembered them all. They asserted that He was of the natural seed of David. Thereupon we confess that He came forth from the seed of David, and that He is of the house of David, and born of the virgin Mary, through the power and operation of the Holy Ghost, for Mary herself was astonished at this work, when she received the message from the angel, and said to the angel, "How shall this be seeing I know not a man?" And the angel answered and said unto her,"The Holy Ghost shall come upon.thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God." Luke 1:34, 35. In John it is written, "'I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world." John 6:51. Mark well here, whence this bread, which He calls His flesh, came,. whether it came from Mary, who was of the earth, or whether it came from heaven? We say with Christ, "From heaven, and not from the earth, of which Mary was."
Again, I also inform you, that we spoke some concerning the Lord's Supper and the breaking of the bread, with the Dean of St. John's and their pastor, and their view was, that Christ's flesh and blood were in their sacrament. Thereupon Michiel said, "If this was so, then they would be eating flesh on Fridays"; which they took amiss, and said that it was not eaten like other flesh. And Kalleken said from John 6, "The flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life." And I quoted to them the declaration of Paul, I -Cor. 11:26, "As often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew forth the Lord's death till he come.""Hence He is certainly not there," said I. They said that He was everywhere; and there stood ink on the table at which we sat, and they, or one of them, said that He was in the ink. And one among them had a pen in his hand and said, "He is in the pen." One of them also said that He was in hell. It did certainly seem, according to their saying, that God was everywhere; and I said, "Into a malicious soul wisdom shall not enter; nor dwell in the body that is subject unto sin; for the Holy Spirit flees from the froward." Wisdom 1:4, 5. And there were many other words said, concerning their images and idols and their view was that they might be made and set up, but that they might not be worshiped, and that if there were any one that did this, he should be reproved, as they said; and after this manner they spoke. I said to the Jesuits, "If candles are lighted or placed before them, and they are carried upon the shoulders, is that not honoring and serving them?" And I said, "The gods of the heathen are of silver and gold, and the work of men's hands; they have ears, but hear not; they have eyes, but they see not." Ps. 115:4-6. One of them, when he heard this, wanted to say, that they did not have any; but upon maturely considering the matter, they had some of silver and gold. And there was still more said about it between Michiel and them; but what I said I have remembered best.
Herewith adieu for this time; farewell; read with understanding, and keep it secret for the present, that the lords may not get to hear of it. By me,
My dear child, hear the instruction of your father, and forget it not, if God permits you to grow up, and you attain to your understanding; and remember how I went before you, according to my limited ability, in all imperfection (which I lament before God), to enter in through the strait gate, for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which
go in thereat: because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. 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? My dear child, I say that it is impossible; hence take heed to their fruits; for it agrees in no wise with the holy Scriptures, that any one should be apprehended, spoiled of his property, and put to death, for his faith; for neither Christ nor His disciples did this; but they had to suffer themselves from unbelievers, and were put to death by them, as it clearly appears, that Christ Himself was numbered among the transgressors, and was led to death like a lamb, and as a sheep dumb before her shearers.
Hence, my dear child, endeavor to follow this Shepherd, if you would be one of His sheep; for Peter declares of Him, "Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that we should follow his steps; who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously." I Pet. 2:21-23. Hence, my dear child, the author of our faith went before, as Paul declares to us, "Wherefore, seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith: who for the joy. that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin." Heb. 12:1-4.
Thus, my dear child, lay this to heart, and when you attain to your understanding, it is my fatherly request of you, that you will join yourself to those that fear God, who are by far the least among all people, but are yet the true congregation and church of God, who regulate themselves according to the ordinances of the Lord, and according to the practice of the holy apostles, namely, a baptism which is founded upon faith, and must be received as Christ has commanded, and is written in Matthew, "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you." Matt. 28:19, 20. Also in Mark, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved." Mark 16:15, 16. Also in the Acts of the Apostles, where Peter practiced it on many. This confession of faith must not only be made with the mouth, but it must also be apprehended with the heart, and shown by the works, even as John de clared to the Pharisees and Sadducees, whom, hi saw coming to his baptism, and said, "O genera tion of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance." Matthew 3:7, 8.
It must withal be understood, that confession i; not enough, but that sorrow of heart must also be evinced by good works; that the old man with hi; evil works, must first be put off, and that it must be done out of pure faith, as Philip said to the eu nuch, "If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest." Acts 8:37. For all outward action, without renewing of the spirit, cannot please God. And the Supper we keep in remembrance of the Lord': bitter death and sufferings, as is declared [a letter] to the Corinthians, "I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread: and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat; this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, this cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come." I Cor. 11:23-26. Now if we are to show His death till He come, He is not daily in their mass, nor in all their idolatry, nor in their idol, with which they visit the sick in their distress, where they say He is; this is far from the truth.
And as regards the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ, we believe what the holy Scriptures declare concerning it, and are satisfied with the confession of Peter, when Christ asked His disciples, who men said that He was, "Some said Jeremiah, Elias, or one of the prophets. Hence Christ asked his disciples: But whom say ye that I am? Peter answered
Lord, thou art the Son of the living God." Matthew 16:13. And as also Nathaniel testifies, "Thou art the King of Israel." John 1:49. Paul says, "For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son; much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life." Rom. 5:10. And John says, "The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin." I John 1:7. And in the Acts of the Apostles it is written, "God raised up his child Jesus." Acts 3:26. Now if He raised up His child, it must certainly have been dead. And in Isaiah it is written, "A virgin shall receive [conceive], and bear a son." Isa. 7:14. If she received [conceived] him, it is my belief that she did not receive more than she brought forth; and I am satisfied with the work of God, however, it may have been effected. That I should believe, that He is of her flesh and blood, of this I have no testimony in the holy Scriptures, and am content with the aforesaid confession.
We further practice, according to the doctrine of Christ and of the apostles, an excommunication, whereby the disorderly, who pervert their faith in
improper works must be punished, as Christ and Paul declare. It must be used with those that have entered into the communion of the saints and been baptized into one body with them, but relapse into any carnal works, as in adultery, who.redom, murder, drunkenness, idolatry, and the like. Matthew 16:19; I Cor. 5:11; I Tim. 5:20.
Hence, my child, when you attain to your understanding, defer not to take up the cross, as much as you value your soul, for it is written, "If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple." Luke 14:26, 27. Hence everything must be forsaken for the Lord's sake, for Christ also says in the same chapter, "Whosoever forsaketh not all that he hath cannot be my disciple." Verse 33.
Therefore, my dear child, look not at the great multitude, but remember the time of Noah, how few there were saved when the world perished by the flood. And that from the five cities of Sodom and Gomorrah there were left but three persons.
Hence, my dear child, separate also from the spiritual Sodom, that you be not a partaker of her sins, and receive not of her plagues. Rev. 18:4. It is also written, II Cor. 6:17, 18; 7:1, "Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty." Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. For the time will come when they shall lament it, who have spent their life here in that which was not proper; for when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. I Thess. 5:3.
Hence, my dear child, Paul says, "But ye are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep, sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, watch and be sober." Verse 4. As also Peter says, "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world." I Pet. 5:8, 9.
We also believe in a resurrection of the flesh at the last day, of the good and of the evil, of the just and the unjust, so that all that are in the grave, shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and they that have done good shall come forth unto the res urrection of eternal life; and they that have done evil shall come forth unto eternal damnation. John 5:28, 29.
Hence, my dear child, order your paths according to the holy Scriptures, which will show you the right truth; for he that seeketh findeth, and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Hence, pray the Lord for help and assistance, for He is the Giver of every good thing; that after this life you may hear the welcome voice, "Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was a hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me." Matt. 25: 34.
Hence, my dear child, exercise yourself herein, and have your delight in it: do according to Tobit's advice, "If thou hast much, give much; if thou hast little, give little, and that with a faithful heart." Tobit 4:8.
O my dear child, be mindful of what I have written you, and be always faithful and obedient to people, in all that is not contrary to the truth; and be diligent in your labor, courteous, gentle and meek; for the fruit of the Spirit is-in all goodness and righteousness and truth. Eph. 5:9.
Herewith I commend my dear child to the Lord, and to those that fear God.
This was written by me your father, Bartholomeus Panten, on the same day that I was tortured for the name of the Lord; some, of it before the torturing, and some after it. Let all of you that read this, or hear it read, bear in mind, and not be surprised, though this has taken place, for the apostle Peter says, "Beloved, think it not strange, as though some strange thing happened unto you; but rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that in the time of revelation ye may be glad with exceeding joy, if ye are now reproached here for the name of Christ." Amen. By me,