That the way which leads to eternal life is strait and narrow, is shown by the holy Scriptures, and moreover, also many devout children of God have actually found this to be so; among whom was also a simple, God-fearing woman, by the name of Maeyken Pickelen, who would no longer live according to the commandments and ordinances of men, but much rather sought to obey God, and to follow her Leader, Lord, and Bridegroom, with the oil of love in her vessel, and a burning lamp in her hand. Hence she could also not remain without temptation, but experienced that the kingdom of God must be taken by force; for in the year 1590 she was imprisoned for her faith and the practice of the evangelical truth, and on this account, after much vexation, torment, and suffering, she finally had to lose her life, and thus obtained the martyr's crown, which the young man (of whom Esdras speaks, II Esdras 2:43) shall set upon her head, whereby she shall be permitted to enter into the eternal, everlasting joy, with all God's chosen children.
In the year 1591, on a Friday, the 8th of March, Leonhard Boltzinger a brother, was executed for the Christian faith, not far from Plunaven, in Bavaria, after he had been imprisoned twenty-three weeks; for he had been apprehended there the day before St. Michael's, in the year 1590, and from there been taken into the town of Brauna, and put into a dark dungeon. They also tortured him greatly, in order to make him apostatize from his faith. Once he was drawn up by ropes, and the other time very miserably stretched on the rack; but he would not depart from the truth. Ultimately he was taken back from Brauna to Ulba, the place of his apprehension, where they on the aforesaid Friday led him out to the place of execution. He greatly rejoiced when he saw that he was so near his end, though they strenuously urged him to recant; but he replied, "I stand m the right faith, and therefore, though I had ten heads for one, I should rather have them cut off one after another, before I should renounce my faith.
The executioner then beheaded him with the sword and burned his body.
Thus he persevered steadfastly in the love of God, and refused to separate therefrom, to which end God gave him power, comfort, and strength, that though his sufferings were severe, he esteemed them so lightly, as though they had not been sufferings at all; so firm was his hope of entering into the glory of God, into everlasting joy, that he did not regard this short and transient tribulation.
In this same year 1591, on the fifth day of the month of August, George Wanger, a tailor, was executed for the faith, at Lorenzi, in the Puster-
thal, in the earldom of Tyrol, after he had been confined for more than a year; for he was apprehended the evening before St. James' day, in the year 1590. At Lorenzi he was brought into the bailiff's house, and put into a common prison. The next day he was brought before the bailiff, judge, clerk, and a priest, where they wanted to know of him, who had gone out with him, and where he had staid or lodged. But he answered, "God keep me from this evil; we do not betray our enemies; should I then betray my friends and dear brethren? by the help of God I shall not do this, for it is contrary to the love for our neighbor." The judge strenuously assailed him with smooth and with hard words; but the brother said, "I received my sound members from God; to Him I will offer them up again, and this with a good conscience."
Having been confined long at Lorenzi, and examined three times by the authorities, he was in the castle of Michelsberg placed upon the rack, and when he would not, according to their wicked demand, tell what was contrary to God, his conscience, or neighborly love, he was twice so tortured, that the marks of it could be seen on him for thirteen weeks.
Having been confined in the castle of Michelsberg about two weeks, he was, on the sixteenth day of the month of September, taken to Brixen, and there put in chains in the tower, in which there was much vermin; scorpions also crawled about his head, on his bed and on the walls; he could not well turn over, and always had to keep his head covered, on account of the vermin. During the nineteen weeks that he was imprisoned at Brixen, his death was announced to him twice, and he was at the same time earnestly admonished to recant. But he said, "I have no desire to go to this people to whom you want to drive me; but to amend my life, if I err, and to exhort others that have not yet amended their life, to repentance; this I consider a work of God, and will gladly do it, and keep to God what I promised Him in baptism, to my soul's salvation." The priests at Brixen often pestered him in prison with their visits, and also had him summoned before the vicar or provost of the cathedral, twice before the commander, ten times also before monks and priests, nobles and others, and
wanted to lead him back to the true church. But he said, "I have not forsaken the true doctrine, faith, or church of Christ, but through the grace of God have obtained it, and want to adhere to it."
Having been imprisoned at Brixen seven weeks, he was taken back to Lorenzi, and it was intended to execute him after two nights; but this was frustrated by the death of the Bishop of Brixen. He was taken back to Michelsberg, and imprisoned in the castle, until the fifth day of August, when'he was again brought to Lorenzi into the judgment hall, where the priests held judgment over him, first trying whether they could not make him apostatize; but when they could not accomplish that, he was sentenced to death upon the imperial mandate, and it was read to him, that he had apostatized from the Catholic, Roman Church, and been baptized again, and had afterwards also sought to bring others to it, and to seduce them to his heretical sect, as they called it. But Brother George said, "It is no heretical sect, but it is -the divine truth and the true way to the kingdom of Gad." He was then led out to the place of execution, where the commander of Lorenzi again earnestly admonished him, with smooth words, to recant; he would give him so much that he should have enough all the days of his life; and would-moreover be surety for him at the last day, if he did wrong in it. But the brother said, "If I did this, and were to accept you as my surety, and the devil should first make off with the surety, where should I then have to go and seek my surety and pledge." Thus the commander was made ashamed, and desisted from him.
There were also many people present, some of whom wept. He also requested that his hands be released a little, that he might lift them up to God, to thank and praise Him, and to ask Him, that He would give him strength to resist the false prophets and evil spirits. Finally. he commended his spirit into the hands of God, and was thus beheaded 'for the Word of God, and His truth.
In this year 1591, on the nineteenth day of August, the brother Jacob Platser, a locksmith, was apprehended at Silgen, in the Pusterthal, in the earldom of Tyrol, and remained in bonds and imprisonment about eight weeks, until the fifteenth day of October. When they could not accomplish their purposes with him, and he would in no wise renounce that which God had made known to him, nor depart from the truth, he was, in pursuance with the imperial mandate, sentenced -to the sword. He was then led out to the place of execution, where he offered up his prayer to God, in which he was of good cheer, to die for the sake of His truth and the faith. The executioner then beheaded him, and afterwards buried him. Thus he testified valiantly unto death, to the Word of God and the true faith, to which God gave him His grace and power.