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A FEMALE MARTYR.
MANY a foul deed, done in days of popish darkness, will never be brought to light in this world. But a record is kept in Heaven. Fox, the British martyrologist, has, however, furnished a long list of sufferers for the truth. "Braght's Bloody Theatre of Martyrs, of Baptist Churches; or Dutch Martyrology," contains, also, many remarkable incidents. The following sketch of a scene before the popish inquisitors is a translation, from the pages of the Baptist Magazine :—
On the 15th of January, in the year 1549-reckoning the beginning of the year from new year's day-Elizabeth was apprehended. When they who were to take her came into the house (namely, where she lived,) they found there a Latin Testament. And having apprehended Elizabeth, they said,-" We have, we have the right person, we have now the teacher;" and asked, Where is your husband, the teacher Menno Simons?" and they brought her to the council-house. The next day two white Capuchin friars took her between them, and led her to the Block-house.
She was then placed before the council, and they asked her upon her oath, if she had a husband? Elizabeth answered,
It is not permitted us to swear; but our words must be yea, yea; and nay, nay. I have no husband."
Council. We say that you are a teacher, who mislead many, and this we have been told concerning you by others. wish to know who are your friends.
Elizabeth. My God has commanded me to love the Lord my God, and therefore to honour my parents. I will not thus tell you who are my parents: for to suffer for Christ's name, is to the dishonour of my friends.
Council. On this we will not further press you, but we would know what people you have taught.
Eliz. Oh no, gentlemen, excuse me herein, and ask me concerning my faith, that I will most readily confess.
Council. We shall use such severe measures as will make you confess.
Eliz. I trust, through the grace of God, that he will keep my tongue, so that I shall not become a traitor, and deliver my brother to death.
Council. What persons were present when you were baptized?
Eliz. Christ said,
A FEMALE MARTYR.
Ask those that were present, or that
Council. Now we see that you are a teacher; for you wish to make yourself like Christ.
Eliz. No gentlemen. God forbid I should; for I esteem myself no better than the sweepings of the house of the Lord.
Council. What then do you hold concerning the house of God? Do you not consider our church to be the house of God?
Eliz. No indeed, gentlemen, for it is written, "Ye are the temples of the living God;" as God says, "I will dwell in them, and walk in them."
Council. What do you think of our mass?
Eliz. I do not approve of your mass, but whatever agrees with God's word, that I highly esteem.
Council. What do you think of the most holy sacrament? Eliz. I have never in my life read in holy Scriptures of a holy sacrament; but I have read of the supper of the Lord. (She repeated the scripture which referred thereto.)
Council. Be silent; for the devil speaks by your mouth. Eliz. This indeed, gentlemen, is but a small matter; for the servant is not better than his Lord.
Council. You speak with a proud spirit.
Eliz. No, gentlemen; I speak with freedom of spirit. Council. What did the Lord say when he gave the supper to his disciples?
Eliz. What did he give them, flesh or bread?
Eliz. Did not the Lord then continue sitting there? Who then could eat the Lord's flesh?
Council. What do you hold concerning infant baptism, that you should have had yourself baptized again.
Eliz. No, gentlemen; I have not been baptized again; I was baptized once on my confession of faith; for it is written that baptism belongs to believers.
Are our children then lost, because they have been baptized?
Eliz. No, gentlemen; far be it from me that I should condemn the children.
Council. Do you not expect salvation from baptism?
Eliz. No, gentlemen. All the waters in the sea cannot save me; but salvation is in Christ; and he has commanded me to love the Lord my God above all things, and my neighbour as myself. Council. Have the priests power to forgive sins?
A FEMALE MARTYR.
Eliz. No, gentlemen; how can I believe that? I say that Christ is the only Priest through whom is the forgiveness of sins. Council. You say that you believe all that agrees with the holy scripture: do you then agree with the words of James? Eliz. Yes truly, gentlemen. How could I not agree with them!
Council. Has he not said, "Go to the elder of the church, that he may anoint you and pray for you?"
Eliz. Yes, gentlemen. Do you then mean to say that you are of such a church?
Council. The Holy Ghost has already saved you; you need neither confession nor sacrament!
Eliz. No, gentlemen. I acknowledge, indeed, that I have transgressed the command of the pope, which has been confirmed by the emperor's proclamation. But show me any article in which I have transgressed against the Lord my God, and I will say, "Woe is me, poor miserable creature."
This is recorded as the first confession.
She was afterwards brought again before the council, and led into the torture tower, the executioner, Hans, being preThe council then said, "We have thus far proceeded with mildness, and if you will not confess, we will treat you with severity." The procureur-general spoke, "Master Hans, lay hold of her." Hans answered, "Oh no, gentlemen, she will confess voluntarily." And as she would not make a voluntary confession, he put thumb-screws on both her thumbs and forefingers, so that the blood sprang out from her nails. Elizabeth exclaimed, "Oh, I cannot longer bear it!" "Confess, and we will ease your pain." But she cried to the Lord her God, "Help, O my God, thy poor handmaid: for thou art a helper in time of need." The council cried out, "Confess, and we will ease your pain; for we spoke to you of confessing, and not of calling on God the Lord." And she continued stedfastly calling upon the Lord her God, as above related. And the Lord relieved her pain, so that she said to the council, "Ask me, and I will answer you; for I feel no longer any pain my body as before."
Council. Will you not yet confess?
Eliz. No, gentlemen.
They then put on two iron screws, one on each ankle. said, "Oh, gentlemen, put me not to shame." The procureurgeneral said, "No, Miss Elizabeth, we shall not treat you indecently." She then fainted; and they said one to another,
THE CHRISTIAN'S DESTINY.
"perhaps she is dead." Coming to herself, she said, “I am alive and not dead." They then loosened all the iron screws, and spoke to her with entreaties.
Eliz. Why did you thus entreat me? They deal so with children.
Thus they drew not from her a word to the injury of her brethren in the Lord, or of any individual.
Council. Will you recant all the things you have before confessed?
Eliz. No, indeed, gentlemen; but I will seal them with my blood.
Council. We will no longer distress you, if you now freely tell us who it was that baptized you.
Eliz. Oh no, gentlemen, I have already told you that I will not confess that to you.
After this, the sentence was pronounced upon Elizabeth, in the year 1549, the 27th of March, and she was condemned to death by being drowned in a sack. And thus she offered up her body a sacrifice to God.
THE CHRISTIAN'S DESTINY.
How may we raise our ideas and our expectations of that glory which is reserved for those who are redeemed by Christ! All things were created by Him who is "not ashamed to call them brethren." The Creator of the universe has condescended to become their Redeemer and their brother! A more domestic, a more intimate and affectionate union subsists between Jesus Christ and the church, which is His body and His bride, than between Himself and those holy angels who are not His bride, but His servants. What exalted hopes ought not christians to form and cherish of their eternal destiny in Christ their head! Often, my dear brethren, consider Jesus Christ as he is now dignified in heaven! the first-born among many brethren! the first-fruits of them that sleep in Him! They that follow His steps will partake His exaltation, they will be quickened and raised with Him, and "sit down together in heavenly places with Christ Jesus!" they will experience the desire of His heart, and behold His glory! changed themselves into the same image, while with open face they behold the glory of the Lord! Be assured that God has greater things in reserve for those who love Him, than eye has seen, or ear heard, or heart of man conceived! and doubt not that those things will bear the full stamp of the eternal love of God. ROBERT HALL.