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Chapters  11, 18, 22, misc

An Account of the Persecutions in the Netherlands

The light of the Gospel having successfully spread over the Netherlands, the pope instigated the emperor to commence a persecution against the Protestants; when many thousand fell martyrs to superstitious malice and barbarous bigotry, among whom the most remarkable were the following:

Wendelinuta, a pious Protestant widow, was apprehended on account of her religion, when several monks, unsuccessfully, endeavored to persuade her to recant. As they could not prevail, a roman catholic lady of her acquaintance desired to be admitted to the dungeon in which she was confined, and promised to exert herself strenuously towards inducing the prisoner to abjure the reformed religion. 

When she was admitted to the dungeon, she did her utmost to perform the task she had undertaken; but finding her endeavors ineffectual, she said, "Dear Wendelinuta, if you will not embrace our faith, at least keep the things which you profess secret within your own bosom, and strive to prolong your life." To which the widow replied, "Madam, you know not what you say; for with the heart we believe to righteousness, but with the tongue confession is made unto salvation." 

As she positively refused to recant, her goods were confiscated, and she was condemned to be burnt. At the place of execution a monk held a cross to her, and bade her kiss and worship God. To which she answered, "I worship no wooden god, but the eternal God who is in heaven." She was then executed, but through the before-mentioned roman catholic lady, the favor was granted that she should be strangled before fire was put to the fagots.

Two Protestant clergymen were burnt at Colen; a tradesman of Antwerp, named Nicholas, was tied up in a sack, thrown into the river, and drowned; and Pistorius, a learned student, was carried to the market of a Dutch village in a fool's coat, and committed to the flames.

Sixteen Protestants, having receive sentence to be beheaded, a Protestant minister was ordered to attend the execution. This gentleman performed the function of his office with great propriety, exhorted them to repentance, and gave them comfort in the mercies of their Redeemer. 

As soon as the sixteen were beheaded, the magistrate cried out to the executioner, "There is another stroke remaining yet; you must behead the minister; he can never die at a better time than with such excellent precepts in his mouth, and such laudable examples before him." He was accordingly beheaded, though even many of the roman catholics themselves reprobated this piece of treacherous and unnecessary cruelty.

George Scherter, a minister of Salzburg, was apprehended and committed to prison for instructing his flock in the knowledge of the Gospel. While he was in confinement he wrote a confession of his faith; soon after which he was condemned, first to be beheaded, and afterward to be burnt to ashes. On his way to the place of execution he said to the spectators, "That you may know I die a true Christian, I will give you a sign." 

This was indeed verified in a most singular manner; for after his head was cut off, the body lying a short space of time with the belly to the ground, it suddenly turned upon the back, when the right foot crossed over the left, as did also the right arm over the left: and in this manner it remained until it was committed to the flames.

In Louviana, a learned man, named Percinal, was murdered in prison; and Justus Insparg was beheaded, for having Luther's sermons in his possession.

Giles Tilleman, a cutler of Brussels, was a man of great humanity and piety. Among others he was apprehended as a Protestant, and many endeavors were made by the monks to persuade him to recant. He had once, by accident, a fair opportunity of escaping from prison and being asked why he did not avail himself of it, he replied, "I would not do the keepers so much injury, as they must have answered for my absence, had I gone away." 

When he was sentenced to be burnt, he fervently thanked God for granting him an opportunity, by martyrdom, to glorify His name. Perceiving, at the place of execution, a great quantity of fagots, he desired the principal part of them might be given to the poor, saying, "A small quantity will suffice to consume me." The executioner offered to strangle him before the fire was lighted, but he would not consent, telling him that he defied the flames; and, indeed, he gave up the ghost with such composure amidst them, that he hardly seemed sensible of their effects.

In the year 1543 and 1544, the persecution was carried on throughout all Flanders in a most violent and cruel manner. Some were condemned to perpetual imprisonment, others to perpetual banishment; but most were put to death either by hanging, drowning, immuring, burning, the rack, or burying alive.

John de Boscane, a zealous Protestant, was apprehended on account of his faith, in the city of Antwerp. On his trial, he steadfastly professed himself to be of the reformed religion, which occasioned his immediate condemnation. The magistrate, however, was afraid to put him to death publicly, as he was popular through his great generosity, and almost universally beloved for his inoffensive life, and exemplary piety. 

A private execution being determined on, an order was given to drown him in prison. The executioner, accordingly, put him in a large tub; but Boscane struggling, and getting his head above the water, the executioner stabbed him with a dagger in several places, until he expired.

John de Buisons, another Protestant, was, about the same time, secretly apprehended, and privately executed at Antwerp. The numbers of Protestants being great in that city, and the prisoner much respected, the magistrates feared an insurrection, and for that reason ordered him to be beheaded in prison.

A.D. 1568, three persons were apprehended in Antwerp, named Scoblant, Hues, and Coomans. During their confinement they behaved with great fortitude and cheerfulness, confessing that the hand of God appeared in what had befallen them, and bowing down before the throne of his providence. In an epistle to some worthy Protestants, they expressed themselves in the following words: 

"Since it is the will of the Almighty that we should suffer for His name, and be persecuted for the sake of His Gospel, we patiently submit, and are joyful upon the occasion; though the flesh may rebel against the spirit, and hearken to the council of the old serpent, yet the truths of the Gospel shall prevent such advice from being taken, and Christ shall bruise the serpent's head. We are not comfortless in confinement, for we have faith; we fear not affliction, for we have hope; and we forgive our enemies, for we have charity. 

Be not under apprehensions for us, we are happy in confinement through the promises of God, glory in our bonds, and exult in being thought worthy to suffer for the sake of Christ. We desire not to be released, but to be blessed with fortitude; we ask not liberty, but the power of perseverance; and wish for no change in our condition, but that which places a crown of martyrdom upon our heads."

Scoblant was first brought to his trial; when, persisting in the profession of his faith, he received the sentence of death. On his return to prison, he earnestly requested the jailer not to permit any friar to come near him; saying, "They can do me no good, but may greatly disturb me. I hope my salvation is already sealed in heaven, and that the blood of Christ, in which I firmly put my trust, hath washed me from my iniquities. I am not going to throw off this mantle of clay, to be clad in robes of eternal glory, by whose celestial brightness I shall be freed from all errors. I hope I may be the last martyr to papal tyranny, and the blood already spilt found sufficient to quench the thirst of popish cruelty; that the Church of Christ may have rest here, as his servants will hereafter." On the day of execution, he took a pathetic leave of his fellow prisoners. At the stake he fervently said the Lord's Prayer, and sung the Fortieth Psalm; then commending his soul to God, he was burnt alive.

Hues, soon after died in prison; upon which occasion Coomans wrote thus to his friends: "I am now deprived of my friends and companions; Scoblant is martyred, and Hues dead, by the visitation of the Lord; yet I am not alone, I have with me the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob; He is my comfort, and shall be my reward. Pray unto God to strengthen me to the end, as I expect every hour to be freed from this tenement of clay."

On his trial he freely confessed himself of the reformed religion, answered with a manly fortitude to every charge against him, and proved the Scriptural part of his answers from the Gospel. The judge told him the only alternatives were recantation or death; and concluded by saying, "Will you die for the faith you profess?" To which Coomans replied, "I am not only willing to die, but to suffer the most excruciating torments for it; after which my soul shall receive its confirmation from God Himself, in the midst of eternal glory." Being condemned, he went cheerfully to the place of execution, and died with the most manly fortitude, and Christian resignation.

William of Nassau fell a sacrifice to treachery, being assassinated in the fifty-first year of his age, by beltazar gerard, a native of Ranche Compte, in the province of Burgundy. This murderer, in hopes of a reward here and hereafter, for killing an enemy to the king of Spain and an enemy to the catholic religion, undertook to destroy the prince of Orange. Having procured firearms, he watched him as he passed through the great hall of his palace to dinner, and demanded a passport. The princess of Orange, observing that the assassin spoke with a hollow and confused voice, asked who he was, saying that she did not like his countenance. The prince answered that it was one that demanded a passport, which he should presently have.

Nothing further passed before dinner, but on the return of the prince and princess through the same hall, after dinner was over, the assassin, standing concealed as much as possible by one of the pillars, fired at the prince, the balls entering at the left side, and passing through the right, wounding in their passage the stomach and vital parts. On receiving the wounds, the prince only said, "Lord, have mercy upon my soul, and upon these poor people," and then expired immediately.

The lamentations throughout the United Provinces were general, on account of the death of the Prince of Orange; and the assassin, who was immediately taken, received sentence to be put to death in the most exemplary manner, yet such was his enthusiasm, or folly, that when his flesh was torn by red-hot pincers, he coolly said, "If I was at liberty, I would commit such an action over again."

The prince of Orange's funeral was the grandest ever seen in the Low Countries, and perhaps the sorrow for his death the most sincere, as he left behind him the character he honestly deserved, viz., that of father of his people.

In conclusion, multitudes were murdered in different parts of Flanders; in the city of Valence, in particular, fifty-seven of the principal inhabitants were butchered in one day, for refusing to embrace the romish superstition; and great numbers were suffered to languish in confinement, until they perished through the inclemency of their dungeons.

   

Personal note; 

My name Van Zanten, means "from" Zanten.  And Zanten is a town in Germany near the city of Coln on the Rhine river.   It is from there that we trace our roots as far as we were able to go back into time.  The town is still there and the spelling of the name is Xanten, the X over time having been replaced by  a Z.

Our forefather there had a number of sons, and they had property in Brussel (Belgium)   My forefather then requested of his sons, to go to Brussel to check on their property, perhaps with an aim to sell it,   Two of the older sons having gone to Brussel, and no sooner arrived or the papist clergy learning that the owners of the property had arrived they forthwidth murdered both of them, for no better reason than to rob them of their property.

But what else is one to expect of the devils servants practicing that which they have done throughout the centuries.

 

Chapter 18

An account of the persecutions of friends, commonly called Quakers, in the United States

About the middle of the seventeenth century, much persecution and suffering were inflicted on a sect of Protestant dissenters, commonly called Quakers: a people which arose at that time in England some of whom sealed their testimony with their blood.

For an account of the above people, see Sewell's, or Gough's history of them.

The principal points upon which their conscientious nonconformity rendered them obnoxious to the penalties of the law, were,

Their conscientious noncompliance in the preceding particulars, exposed them to much persecution and suffering, which consisted in prosecutions, fines, cruel beatings, whippings, and other corporal punishments; imprisonment, banishment, and even death.

To relate a particular account of their persecutions and sufferings, would extend beyond the limits of this work: we shall therefore refer, for that information to the histories already mentioned, and more particularly to Besse's Collection of their sufferings; and shall confine our account here mostly to those who sacrificed their lives, and evinced, by their disposition of mind, constancy, patience, and faithful perseverance, that they were influenced by a sense of religious duty.

Numerous and repeated were the persecutions against them; and sometimes for transgressions or offences which the law did not contemplate or embrace.

Many of the fines and penalties exacted of them, were not only unreasonable and exorbitant, but as they could not consistently pay them, were sometimes strained to several times the value of the demand; whereby many poor families were greatly distressed, and obliged to depend on the assistance of their friends.

Numbers were not only cruelly beaten and whipped in a public manner, like criminals, but some were branded and others had their ears cut off. Great numbers were long confined in loathsome prisons; in which some ended their days in consequence thereof.

Many were sentenced to banishment; and a considerable number were transported. Some were banished on pain of death; and four were actually executed by the hands of the hangman, as we shall here relate, after inserting copies of some of the laws of the country where they suffered.

"At a General Court Held at Boston, the Fourteenth of October,

1656"

"Whereas, there is a cursed sect of heretics, lately risen up in the world, which are commonly called Quakers, who take upon them to be immediately sent from God, and infallibly assisted by the Spirit, to speak and write blasphemous opinions, despising government, and the order of God, in the Church and commonwealth, speaking evil of dignities, reproaching and reviling magistrates and ministers, seeking to turn the people from the faith, and gain proselytes to their pernicious ways: this court taking into consideration the premises, and to prevent the like mischief, as by their means is wrought in our land, doth hereby order, and by authority of this court, be it ordered and enacted, that what master or commander of any ship, bark, pink, or ketch, shall henceforth bring into any harbor, creek, or cove, within this jurisdiction, any Quaker or Quakers, or other blasphemous heretics, shall pay, or cause to be paid, the fine of one hundred pounds to the treasurer of the country, except it appear he want true knowledge or information of their being such; and, in that case, he hath liberty to clear himself by his oath, when sufficient proof to the contrary is wanting: and, for default of good payment, or good security for it, shall be cast into prison, and there to continue until the said sum be satisfied to the treasurer as foresaid.

"And the commander of any ketch, ship, or vessel, being legally convicted, shall give in sufficient security to the governor, or any one or more of the magistrates, who have power to determine the same, to carry them back to the place whence he brought them; and, on his refusal so to do, the governor, or one or more of the magistrates, are hereby empowered to issue out his or their warrants to commit such master or commander to prison, there to continue, until he give in sufficient security to the content of the governor, or any of the magistrates, as aforesaid.

"And it is hereby further ordered and enacted, that what Quaker whosoever shall arrive in this country from foreign parts, or shall come into this jurisdiction from any parts adjacent, shall be forthwith committed to the House of Correction; and, at their entrance, to be severely whipped, and by the master thereof be kept constantly to work, and none suffered to converse or speak with them, during the time of their imprisonment, which shall be no longer than necessity requires. (American villains that will dearly pay in hell)

"And it is ordered, if any person shall knowingly import into any harbor of this jurisdiction, any Quakers' books or writings, concerning their devilish opinions, shall pay for such book or writing, being legally proved against him or them the sum of five pounds; and whosoever shall disperse or conceal any such book or writing, and it be found with him or her, or in his or her house and shall not immediately deliver the same to the next magistrate, shall forfeit or pay five pounds, for the dispersing or concealing of any such book or writing.

"And it is hereby further enacted, that if any persons within this colony shall take upon them to defend the heretical opinions of the Quakers, or any of their books or papers, shall be fined for the first time forty shillings; if they shall persist in the same, and shall again defend it the second time, four pounds; if notwithstanding they again defend and maintain the said Quakers' heretical opinions, they shall be committed to the House of Correction until there be convenient passage to send them out of the land, being sentenced by the court of Assistants to banishment.

"Lastly, it is hereby ordered, that what person or persons whosoever, shall revile the persons of the magistrates or ministers, as is usual with the Quakers, such person or persons shall be severely whipped or pay the sum of five pounds. (Do their offspring want my five pounds?)

"This is a true copy of the court's order, as attests "EDWARD RAWSON, SEC."

"At a General Court Held at Boston, the Fourteenth of October,

1657"

"As an addition to the late order, in reference to the coming or bringing of any of the cursed sect of the Quakers into this jurisdiction, it is ordered that whosoever shall from henceforth bring, or cause to be brought, directly, or indirectly, any known Quaker or Quakers, or other blasphemous heretics, into this jurisdiction, every such person shall forfeit the sum of one hundred pounds to the country, and shall by warrant from any magistrate be committed to prison, there to remain until the penalty be satisfied and paid; and if any person or persons within this jurisdiction, shall henceforth entertain and conceal any such Quaker or Quakers, or other blasphemous heretics, knowing them so to be, every such person shall forfeit to the country forty shillings for every hour's entertainment and concealment of any Quaker or Quaker, etc., as aforesaid, and shall be committed to prison as aforesaid, until the forfeiture be fully satisfied and paid.

"And it is further ordered, that if any Quaker or Quakers shall presume, after they have once suffered what the law requires, to come into this jurisdiction, every such male Quaker shall, for the first offence, have one of his ears cut off, and be kept at work in the House of Correction, until he can be sent away at his own charge; and for the second offence, shall have his other ear cut off; and every woman Quaker, that has suffered the law here, that shall presume to come into this jurisdiction, shall be severely whipped, and kept at the House of Correction at work, until she be sent away at her own charge, and so also for her coming again, she shall be alike used as aforesaid.

"And for every Quaker, he or she, that shall a third time herein again offend, they shall have their tongues bored through with a hot iron, and be kept at the House of Correction close to work, until they be sent away at their own charge.

"And it is further ordered, that all and every Quaker arising from among ourselves, shall be dealt with, and suffer the like punishment as the law provides against foreign Quakers.

"EDWARD RAWSON, Sec."

   

Chapter  22

The beginnings of American foreign missions  

Samuel J. Mills, when a student in Williams College, gathered about him a group of fellow students, all feeling the burden of the great heathen world. One day in 1806 four of them, overtaken by a thunderstorm, took refuge in the shelter of a haystack. They passed the time in prayer for the salvation of the world, and resolved, if opportunity offered, to go themselves as missionaries. This "haystack prayer meeting" has become historic.

These young men went later to Andover Theological Seminary, where Adoniram Judson joined them. Four of these sent a petition to the Massachusetts Congregational Association at Bradford, June 29, 1810, offering themselves as missionaries and asking whether they might expect support from a society in this country, or whether they must apply to a British society. In response to this appeal the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions was formed.

When a charter for the Board was applied for, an unbelieving soul objected upon the floor of the legislature, alleging in opposition to the petition that the country contained so limited a supply of Christianity that none could be spared for export, but was aptly reminded by another, who was blessed with a more optimistic make, that this was a commodity such that the more of it was sent abroad the more remained at home. 

There was much perplexity concerning plans and finances, so Judson was dispatched to England to confer with the London Society as to the feasibility of the two organizations cooperating in sending and sustaining the candidates, but this scheme came to nothing. At last sufficient money was raised, and in February, 1812, the first missionaries of the American Board sailed for the Orient. Mr. Judson was accompanied by his wife, having married Ann Hasseltine shortly before sailing.

On the long voyage out, in some way mr. and mrs. judson and mr. rice were led to revise their convictions with reference to the proper mode of baptism, reached the conclusion that only immersion was valid, and were re-baptized by carey soon after their arrival in Calcutta. This step necessarily sundered their connection with the body which had sent them forth, and left them wholly destitute of support. mr. rice returned to America to report this condition of affairs to the baptist brethren. They looked upon the situation as the result of an act of Providence, and eagerly planned to accept the responsibility thrust upon them. Accordingly the baptist missionary union was formed. So Mr. Judson was the occasion of the organization of two great missionary societies. 

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Note:

I have deleted or omitted the balance of this chapter, dealing with the misfortunes of the persons noted above.   For it is not in my desire to maintain in the annals of history the record of the unworthy.  I will do all I can to praise the worthy, but whatever the unworthy may have suffered in this world there is yet more of the same awaiting them in their departure from it.

These persons noted herein were the least able to act as missionaries, since they lacked the very footing, the Spirit of Truth.    Once anyone is baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, cannot again be baptized in the same, lest he for his part places the Lord onto the cross for a second time.   It is a gross mockery to God and the Son, as well as the Counselor of God, to renounce Him and the Son, by accepting or pronouncing a re-baptism.

For look at the ignorance of the mind, in the reason for it - to be immersed preferable to whatever else, as if the water was to make any difference.  O how foolish, the Israelites crossing the red sea did not touch any water and yet were baptized, and neither did Noah or his household.   You blind ones do you not known into whom you were baptized?    

Tens of millions times tens of millions are baptized, in whatever water was used for the symbolic gesture, yet will they not enter the kingdom of heaven because they were not baptized in fire nor in Spirit, like as the Lord said;  "Unless you are baptized in fire and in Spirit you shall in no wise enter the kingdom of heaven."

Leonard