This Christiaen Rijcen lived still in these latter days as a faithful witness, at Hontschoten, in Flanders, where he, as a true Christian, was imprisoned for the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ, in December of the year 1587. And after suffering much trial and temptation there, he was very cruelly tortured, and burned to ashes there, the seventh day of April, 1588, under the bloody tyranny and reign of the Prince of Parma. And thus he steadfastly delivered over unto death his corruptible body, for the truth of Christ, and expects now a new house in heaven, which God shall prepare for him, that it shall endure forever. II Cor. 5:1.
Of this friend of God a book has been published, containing fifteen letters, with some hymns, which this true witness wrote from prison to his wife and his friends, for comfort and encouragement; of which the following few are here communicated to the reader.
Grace, peace and love be unto you, from God our heavenly Father, through His Son Jesus Christ. Amen. This I wish you my dear and beloved wife, for an affectionate greeting.
And after all salutation, I inform you, my very dear wife, that it is still tolerably well with me, according to the flesh; and according to the spirit it is my mind and purpose, by the help of God, to adhere to the Lord unto the end of my life.
The reason of my writing is further to inform you, that I have been before the lords once, and they questioned me concerning my faith, which I confessed to them. And they asked me whether I had had myself baptized. I said, "Yes." They asked me how long ago it was. I said, "About eight years." They then asked me concerning my children, whether they were not baptized. I said, "No." They asked whether my wife was like me.
I said, "Yes." Then they asked in what house I had been baptized. I told them that it stood in the South East corner. They asked me what the name of the man was that lived in it. I said"Pieter.""And his surname?" said they. I said"We do not inquire much after surnames." Thus they wrote down all that I told them. And they sent for the pastor, and read to him what I had confessed before them. And the pastor spoke much to me about baptism, and said that the children must be baptized, in order to be cleansed from original sin. I said that Paul, Romans 5, says that as death passed upon all men through Adam, so righteousness came upon all men through Christ Jesus. Yea, even as we all die through Adam, so we are all made alive by Christ. This he would not accept, but said that John says, "Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven." Hence the children must be baptized, if they are to be delivered from original sin. I said to him, "The Scripture does not say in John 3: 'Except a man be baptized of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God;' but the Scripture says: 'Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God,' and this the children cannot, and need not do, since they have not committed sin, that they must be born again." Thus, my dear and beloved wife, we had many other words also, which I have forgotten, and which do not deserve to be written. Thus, I know not what they will do with me, whether they will pursue their old course, or not. But, my dear wife, though they deal with me as they have been accustomed to do in old times, let us therefore not be surprised, even as Peter writes, "Think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: but rejoice inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings. For if ye [he says] be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the Spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified." I Pet. 4:12-14. Not, my dear wife, that I have heard as yet, that they shall kill me; but though they should do it, it were nothing new, for Christ Himself has foretold, "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." John 16:2, 3. Thus, my dear wife, be of good cheer in the Lord, and let us commit our cause to Him, and from Him expect a day that shall comfort us. For this is what is first promised here upon earth, namely, weeping and lamenting; but the world shall rejoice; we must now be sorrowful, but our sorrow shall be turned into joy. And Paul says, "I know that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us." Rom. 8:18. Thus, my dear wife, be of good cheer in the Lord; I hope that He will help us; and do the best with the children, to nourish them up in the fear of God. And since your burden is great, it oppresses me so much, when I think of you and the children; the tears often flow from my eyes, because I have had to leave you under so great a burden and with little temporal substance. But, my love, when I think that we must leave each other for the Lord's sake, or we cannot be worthy of Him, I hope that the Lord will care for you, because it is written, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all that ye need shall be added unto you." Matthew 6:33. And Peter says, "Cast all your care upon the Lord; for he careth for you." I Pet. 5:7. Thus, my dear wife, since the Scriptures comfort me, that we have such a good Provider, I hope that He will provide you and me and our children with all that we need. Hence, my dear wife, faint not. Write me how it is with you and with the children, according to the flesh and according to the spirit. But, my dear wife, I must also inform you, that the pastors have often talked with me here in prison; but we cannot agree. Sometimes they use harsh words, and sometimes fair words, and they always want to prove their infant baptism from John 3, adducing yet many other Scriptures, as Romans 6; Col. 2; Eph. 5; Tit. 3, and others, which do not serve their purpose, but treat of regeneration, of the burial of sin by baptism, or that God has cleansed His church by the washing of water in the Word. These Scriptures, which do not serve their purpose, they quote to prove their infant baptism. Hence, I have a great conflict here; it seems to me that I am in the wilderness at Marah, where the children of Israel were, at the water of Meribah,* where the waters were bitter; but the Lord showed them a tree, which they were to cast into the waters, to make them sweet. Ex. 15:23-25. So the Lord has also shown me a green tree which sweetens all this water; which is Christ Jesus, the true green tree. When I think of Him, how He was delivered over by the chief priests and the scribes, to be crucified and put to death, it makes it very sweet for me; for I think that the servant is not better than his master, but that it ought to be enough for the servant, that he be as his master.
Herewith I will commend you, my dear wife, for this time, to the Lord, and to the rich Word of His grace; who is able to keep your treasure, and to give you His eternal kingdom.
Written on the 2d of January, A. D. 1588, by me, your husband.
The eternal, imperishable wisdom of the Father, and the love of the Son, and the illumination of the Holy Ghost, this I wish my very dear and beloved brother N., as an affectionate greeting in the Lord. Amen.
And after all salutation, I inform my dear and beloved brother, that I am still in tolerably good health according to the flesh; and according to the spirit, it is my purpose, by the help of God's goodness, to adhere to the Lord as long as I live.
Further, my beloved brother, I have learned that my children are at your house, that you are to keep them till my wife comes home, whereby you show me great friendship, that you have done this; and I also pray you, my dear brother, that if you should have a small chamber that you could spare, that my wife might also live with you until the Lord bring about a change with me; and if they should deprive me of my life, I should like it very much, if you would aid her in getting to Bruges, there to make her living, or back to Holland, wherever it should please her to go. For, my beloved brother, women that are thus situated, have need of help and comfort; hence I pray you, do your best in this matter; remember that James says, that true religion is to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. James 1:27. And, my dear brother, though I must now suffer a little for the Lord's sake, let this not deter you from following the Lord, but let it make you the more zealous to build the house firmly upon the rock, so that when such storms come, it may stand. And neglect not to exhort one another with the gifts that the Lord has given you, so that no one may be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin; also to provoke one another to love and good works, so that should it be tomorrow or the day after, that any of you should come into bonds, you may then be strong through the Lord, and through the power of His might, to resist all those that exalt themselves against the knowledge of Jesus Christ. For Paul makes known how we are to arm ourselves with the armor of God, saying that the loins must be girt about with truth, and the breast protected with righteousness, and the feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace; and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God; and above all, take the shield of faith, wherewith you shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. Eph. 6. Thus, my beloved brother, such weapons are of good service to him that is tried as I am now tried.
Hence, my dear brother, I beg you pray the Lord for me, that I may overcome all; and do also in my place assist my wife and children, this I pray you; and greet N. N., and above all, greet your wife much in my name.
Written on the 17th of January, by me,
Grace, peace and love be unto you from God our heavenly Father, through His Son Jesus Christ, Amen. This, I Christiaen Rijcen, wish you my dear wife, as an affectionate greeting in the Lord.
And after all salutation, I inform you, my very dear wife, that I am still in tolerably good health (praise and glory to the Lord for His grace), as I trust is also the case with you and the children.
I further inform you, that I received your letter, and I thank you for the treasure you sent me. I further also learn that you live in N's house, and that he has provided you with wood, of which I am very glad, that you find some comfort there yet. If it should please the Lord, to deliver me out of this again, I hope that we shall repay it to him; but so far I think there is little prospect for me to get out. For I have learned that no advice has come from the court as yet. Though the recorder has come, there has no comfort come for me with him, except that I thank the Lord, who comforts me in this tribulation. And I hope to approve myself as a minister of Gad, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in watchings, in fastings; by pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, by honor and dishonor, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true; as unknown, and yet known before God; as dying, and behold, we live. II Cor. 6 .Thus, my dear wife, I hope to approve myself in all things as the minister of God; for I often hear evil reports, and sometimes good reports, and so the time passes away; and I think that it may probably be so also with you. Hence, my beloved wife, let us be patient in tribulation, fervent in hope, and continuing instant in prayer; and remember me in your prayers, for I do the same for you. For there passes not much time that I do not think of you and the children. I pray you, do the best with them, and if you have some work, make them labour diligently. Tell them that I command them to this; and wren you have some leisure, teach them in the book; this I pray you; so that hereafter, when they sh:1l have lost you and me, they may search, as to what tends to their salvation.
I furthermore also learn from, your letter, that you desire me to write your landlord a short letter; which I have done. However, I wrote at the top of the letter, to N. N.; but it does not matter to me who has it; may the fruit of righteousness spring from it. But I hope to write another yet, if the Lord permits me. Nothing more for this time, but be commended to the Lord, and greet all acquaintances in my name.
Written the 27th of February, by me,
I, Christiaen Rijcen, imprisoned for the Lord's sake, wish my very dear and beloved wife, the eternal wisdom of the Father, and the love of the Son, and the consolation of the Holy Ghost, as an affectionate greeting.
And after all salutation, I inform my very dear and beloved wife, that I am not very well at present, for I have pain in the head, and am in great tribulation for your and the children's sake, that I can not assist you in helping to gain a living. Yet I hope that the Lord, who has taken me from you, will assist you and provide you with what you shall need, for faithful are the promises which He has made, saying, "Seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." And Peter says, "Cast all your care upon the Lord; for he careth for you." Hence, my dearest love, flee for refuge solely and entirely to the Lord; for he that gives seed to the sower will also give you bread for food.
Know further, that I received your letter, and I thank you from the heart for the comforting treasures you sent me. Knowing that they greatly rejoiced me, when I heard your mind, and that you still confirm me in the truth, to continue valiant in the Lord unto death. I hope so to do by the grace of God, and to obtain the glorious 'promises. And I also pray you, my dear wife, always take heed to yourself, so that we may hereafter, by the grace of the Lord, rejoice together where joy shall endure forever. If it can be no more here in this world, that it may certainly be hereafter, that we may then rejoice eternally; though we must now sow in tears, that we may then reap with joy. Hence, my dearest love, be of good courage, and thank God, that we are worthy to suffer for His name; for thus the saints went before, and we must also through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God. It is now my turn; it may perhaps soon be your turn. Hence, my dear wife, endeavor diligently to please the Lord and to serve Him faithfully, that when He comes to you, you may be watching; for blessed are those servants whom the Lord when He cometh shall find so doing: He shall gird Himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. Luke 12:37. Hence, my dear wife, always continue steadfast in the word of the Lord, and faint not at my tribulation which is now present; but be the more diligent to serve the Lord, and always keep yourself pure, my dear wife, this I pray you, as. I hope that you will do. And take great pains to set the children to work, the best you can; and always conduct yourself discreetly toward them, so that they may learn discretion; and thus do in all things the best, this I pray you. I do not know ygt what they will do with me. I now hear reports sometimes, that they will leave me in confinement till I turn and adopt the Romish religion. But the Lord, to whom I have committed the matter, can soon , bring about a change, if it is His will; hence. I commit my cause to Him. Last Tuesday I had the pastor of Houten here with me, and we had many words together, but he did not know much to say .from the Scriptures. However, it would be too long to write all that we said; but in parting, as he was leaving, he said that if I would hearken, he would soon help me out. I said that I would do the best; so we parted from each other.
Thus, my very dear and beloved wife, my hope and confidence are fixed upon the Lord, to serve and obey Him all the days of my life, by His divine help and power.
Herewith, I commend you and my children to the Lord and to the rich Word of His grace. Amen. Greet much in my name all the acquaintances that live near you, and give this letter to N., your landlord, and greet him much from me. Nothing more for this time, but farewell. In haste, on the 5th of March. By me, CHRTSTIAEN RIJCEN.
Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: but rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his, glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye. I Pet. 4:12-14.
Grace, peace and love from God the heavenly Father, through His Son Jesus Christ. Amen. This I wish you, my dear and beloved wife, as an affectionate greeting in the Lord.
And after all salutation, I, Christaen Rijcen, inform you, my dear wife, that I am in tolerably good health (praise and glory to the Lord for His grace), as I trust that is the case also with you. Only that I have a little pain in my throat so that by reason of it my appetite is not very good, but otherwise it still goes very well with me; it is still my purpose (the Lord be praised) to obey the Lord and to continue in His commandments all the days of my life, by the help of the Lord. Know further, that I received your letter and I rejoice that you always. comfort me by the treasures which you send me; and I thank you greatly from the heart, that you write these treasures for my consolation, for they come very convenient to me, since I am thinking a great deal daily, because of the long time that I must remain here: sometimes sorrowful, sometimes of good cheer, and thus time passes away with great desire. O my dearest love, I think that this is also the case with you. But my dear wife, let us firmly persevere till we are taken hence, for now is the time of which it has been told us, that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God, and that we must weep and lament, but the world rejoices; we must now be sorrowful, but our sorrow shall be turned into joy. And Paul also tells us, "As the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ." II Cor. 1:5. And Paul further says, "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 that 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." II Cor. 4:16-18. Hence, my dear wife, we must now have respect unto what Moses had respect, and esteem the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt, and always have respect unto the reward, and by faith forsake the Egyptian nation, and not fear the cruelty of the king, but always cleave to the invisible God, as though we saw Him. Thus, my dear wife, I commend you and my children to this same God, that He will keep you, and provide for you in all your needs, for I do not know whether I shall be able to write you any more; I now expect a change soon, for the bailiff is come, so that it seems to me, that there may probably be a change in my situation. You wrote me about that man at. Cassel: but I do not think that he was of our faith, for the priest considers us the worst sect under heaven. Hence, it may turn out differently with me, than with the man at Cassel, for we are the filth or offscouring of this world. For the priests said to me that in the last council of Trent we were denied all countries, and had no liberty. Hence, my dear wife, if I must also be one to fulfill the number, be patient, this I pray you, and do the best with the children, and commit your matters to the Lord, and hope in Him; He will bring it to pass for Sirach says, "The Lord never forsook any that abode in the fear of God, nor that put their hope in him." Eccl. 2.
Herewith, I commend my dear wife to the Lord, and to the rich Word of His grace. Amen.
Greet the acquaintances that are with you much in my name, and always keep yourself pure in the fear of God.
Written on the 12th of March, 1588, by me, your husband.
Grace, mercy, peace and love be unto you from God our heavenly Father, through His Son Jesus Christ. Amen. This I wish you, my dear and beloved wife, as an affectionate greeting.
And after all salutation, I, Christiaen Rijcen, inform you, my dear wife, that I am in tolerably good health (praise and glory to the Lord for His grace), as I trust is also the case with you and the children.
Know further, that I received your letter, and I am much rejoiced that you are of such good cheer, and that you still comfort me, for which I heartily thank you. And I would also like to write something for your consolation, that you may be of good cheer; but, my dear wife, the greatest consolation is the Lord, who has taken me from you; who, as I hope, will assist you in all your need, and provided for you, if you do not forsake Him. For Paul says, "We are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken." II Cor. 4:8, 9. Paul further says that He will not leave us.nor forsake us, so that we may boldly say, "The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me." Hebrews 13:5, 6. Sirach also says, "Did ever any trust in the Lord, and was confounded? or did any abide in his fear and was forsaken? or whom did he ever despise, that called upon him?" Eccl. 2:16. Hence, my dear wife put your entire hope in God, and say with Jeremiah, "Lord, thou art my refuge, my strength, and my comfort in distress." Jer. 16:19. And also with David, saying, "If I only have thee Lord, I care not for heaven or earth; yea, though my body and soul should fail, thou art the comfort and portion of my heart." Ps. 73:2'5, 26. And remember also, that Sara, when she was in great tribulation, said, that she well knew that all those that will serve God, after temptation, are delivered, and comforted in sorrow, and after all correction, they find grace; and after the great storm He makes the sun to shine again, and after weeping and lamenting, He gives joy abundantly, Tob. 3. Thus, my dear wife, console yourself with these words; though we must now mourn and weep, let us have good courage; for the Lord shall
see us again, and our hearts shall rejoice, and no man shall take away our joy. And Christ says, "Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy; for, behold, your reward is great in heaven, for in like manner did their fathers unto the prophets." Luke 6:22, 23. Christ further says, "Blessed are ye that weep now, for ye shall laugh," v. 21. With these words comfort yourself.
Herewith I commend you to the Lord, and as regards my case, I know nothing special to write you. I expected this week, that they would dispose of the matter; but it seems to me, that God has not given them the power yet. There are some, as I think, that would have it; but it seems that the Lord does not permit them. Some console me with the [conclusion of] peace, that they shall then release me. Thus, my dear wife, I have committed it to the Lord. Do you so also, and greet all acquaintances much in my name, and always keep yourself pure in the fear of God, and always do your best with the children. Nothing more for this time, but farewell. In haste, this 19th of March, 1588.
By me, your beloved husband.
Grace, peace and love be unto you from God our heavenly Father, through His Son Jesus Christ. Amen. This, I wish you, my very dear and beloved wife, as an affectionate greeting in the Lord.
And after all salutation, I inform you, my very dear and beloved wife, that I am still well according to soul and body, praise, glory and thanks be forever to the Lord, for His great goodness, who has called me to this time, and kept me, that I am worthy to suffer a little for His name; and I also trust by the grace of the Lord, that you and the children are also well, though I understand from your letter, that you have had the ague. I hope in our dear Lord, that He will succor you; and not suffer you to be tempted above that you are able; but that with this temptation He will also make a way to escape, so that you will be able to bear it. O my dearest love, trust with all your heart in the Lord, and do not forsake your friend, that loves your soul, since you have found Him, as the bride in Cant. (3:4); but cleave faithfully to Him, and take Him for your Husband, and for a Father for my children, and diligently instruct my children, that they obey this Father all the days of their life; and you too, my dear wife, be also faithful to your Husband Christ, and do not forsake Him in any distress, for His promises are, that He will also not forsake you. I must now leave you with sorrow; but, my dear wife, I hope that we shall find each other in life eternal, where we shall part no more. O my dear wife, I would like it so much, if the fight here were fought, so that I might say with Paul, "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for us the crown of life." II Tim. 4:7. Oh, then my heart would rejoice; but there is conflict here yet sometimes. This week I have had with me the pastor and a Franciscan friar once more, who came to see whether I would not hearken. The pastor said that the recorder had told him, that letters had come from the court [to the effect that] if I would not hearken, and repent, they knew what they were to do with me. I told the pastor, that I wanted to wrong no one; but as regards my faith, I said, I have received it from the Lord, and I cannot forsake it. Then they used fair words and said, "If you will hearken, you may live here with us, and be a man of honor." I said, "I want to do well, like a man of honor, and to wrong no one; and that if I should do wrong to any one, that they should punish me twice as much as another that had done the same thing as L" Against this they did not say very much. We had many words, which it would take too long to write. I therefore do not know what they will do with me.
My dear and beloved wife, you must know yet, that the night after the pastor had been with me, a great terror came upon me, inasmuch as I thought that they should put me in irons, or place me upon the rack, which so terrified me, that the perspiration issued from my body, so that I was wet from it; which made me very sorrowful, but I remembered Christ, when His sufferings came upon Him so that His sweat rolled from Him as drops of blood, down to the ground; wherein I consoled myself a little, and it also seems to me, that the Lord sent it to me, that I should not boast of myself, but that I should rely only upon the Lord and not upon my own strength, as I also hope to do. And I pray my dear wife, that she will help me pray to the Lord, that the Lord will strengthen and confirm me with His Spirit, that I need not fear men, nor the children of men, since they shall perish as grass.
Herewith I commend you to the Lord, and to the .rich Word of His grace. Amen.
And greet your landlord in my name, and give him for this time this hymn; and greet from me also all the others that live near you. Nothing more for this time, except that I heartily thank you for your comforting treasures, which you send me to my great consolation, for they come very convenient to me. Farewell and console yourself in the Lord, for these, my bonds shall be no disgrace to you, for I have done nothing amiss to any one (the Lord be praised) that can say anything evil of me, wherein I greatly rejoice.
Thus, my dear wife, be faithful to the Lord, for He that shall continue faithful unto death, shall have the crown of eternal life.
Written on the 27th of March, A. D. 1588, by me, your beloved husband. CHRISTIAEN RIJCEN.
I must inform you of something yet, my dear wife, namely, that I constantly hoped last week, that I should receive my sentence: but it did not come; hence I longed much the more for it, so that I daily waited for comfort, which did not come, as I think, my dear wife, that you have also done. But I have now committed it to the Lord, and hope to wait with patience for the day that shall comfort us; and I pray you, my dear wife, that you do likewise. I further inform you, my dear wife, that about eighteen or nineteen days I was confined with an iron on my leg, with a log, upon the straw, which was quite uncomfortable, and always in my clothes. But the Lord be praised, it did not grieve me, but I thought that we must follow the Lord through want and adversity, even as the saints went before; but now I have good comfort and am very well according to the body, and Joost shows me great friendship, more than I shall be able to repay him. And, my wife, I pray you, make as few words with those of Hontschote as you can, lest peradventure the authorities should hear that you were there, and send word of it to those of Bergen. But if you can speak to N. [do so;] he often comes to Bergen. But, my dear wife, if you have any word to send me, tell it to N. or N., who will deliver the message to me; and neglect by no means to write to me how it is with you and the children, and how you get along. Nothing more for this time, but be commended to the Lord, and to the rich Word of His grace. Amen. By me, your husband.
In the year 1588, Pieter Saymer was apprehended at Freiburg in Bavaria; having staid there over night, in an inn, with a landlord, and about to proceed on his way in the morning, a beadle seized and apprehended him. He was then conducted. to Berckhausen, and very briefly examined, and continuing steadfast, was taken back to Freiburg. The third day after, the judge himself had him brought out of prison, and advised him to renounce. But he answered, "I cannot renounce the true faith in Jesus Christ, nor the keeping of Goal's commandments, though it should cost me body and life." Then his end was announced to him, and the staff broken over him, which caused his heart to leap for joy, and he greatly thanked and praised God, saying then, "I have one head, and if I had two, or still more, I would rather suffer them all to be cut off, than to renounce my faith."
There was much people present, and some wept over him when he was led out; but he said, "You need not weep over me, for I am of good cheer in God;" and he sang for joy, which the priests would not tolerate, neither the actuary. There came a simple man, a fisherman, to him and said"Dear Pieter, renounce, and spare yourself." But he said, "Be silent, you neither know nor are able to comprehend what there is at stake for me." He then knelt down and offered up his prayer .to God in heaven, and while he thus kneeling performed his prayer, the executioner struck off his head, which when it fell down to the ground, rolled about wonderfully, and finally lay still with the face turned toward the executioner, at which the people greatly marveled.
Thus, he testified with his blood to the faith and the divine truth, and obtained the crown of eternal life, which occurred on the 8th of July, 1588.