WEYNKEN, A WIDOW, DAUGHTER OF CLAES, OF MONICKENDAM, BURNT TO DEATH IN THE HAGUE, THE 20TH NOVEMBER, A. D. 1527

On the 15th of November, 1527, Weynken, daughter of Claes, was brought prisoner from the castle of Woerden to the Hague, whither on the 17th day of the same month, came also the count of Hooghstraten, Governor in Holland. On the 18th, the aforesaid Weynken was arraigned before the governor and the full council of Holland. There a woman asked her, “Have you well considered the things which my lords proposed to you?”

Am.”I abide by what I have said.”

Ques. “If you do not speak differently, and turn from your error, you will be subjected to an intolerable death.” ‘

Am. “If power is given you from above I am ready to suffer.” John 19:11.

Ques. “Do you then, not fear death, which you have never tasted?”

Am. “This is true; but I shall never taste death, for Christ says: ‘If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death.’ (John 8:51.) The rich man tasted death, and shall taste it forever.” (Luke 16:23. )

Ques. “What do you hold concerning the sacrament?”

Am.”I hold your sacrament to be bread and flour, and if you hold it as God, I say that it is your devil.”

Ques. “What do you hold concerning the saints?”

Am. “I know no other Mediator than Christ.” (I John 2:19. )

Ques. “You must die, if you abide by this.”

Am.”I am already dead.” (Gal. 2:19. )

Ques. “If you are dead, how can you speak?”

Ans. “The spirit lives in me; the Lord is in me, and I am in Him.” (John 14:20. )

Ques.”Will you have ‘a confessor, or not?”

Am.”I have Christ, to Him I confess; nevertheless, if I have offended any, I would willingly ask them to forgive me.”

Ques. “Who has taught you this opinion, and how did you come to it?”

Am. “The Lord, who calls all men to Him; I am also one of His sheep; therefore I hear His voice.” (John 10:27. )

Ques.”Are you alone called?”

Am.”No; for the Lord calls to Him all that are heavy laden.” (Matt. 28:11.)

After many like words Weynken was led back to prison. During the two following days she was entreated and tempted by various persons, namely by monks, priests, women, and her nearest friends.

Among others, a woman came to her, prompted by sincerity, who commiserated her after this manner, “Dear mother, can you not think what you please, and keep it to yourself? then you will not die.”

Weynken replied, “Dear sister; I am commanded to speak, and am.constrained to do so; hence I cannot remain silent about it.”

Wom.”Then, ‘ I am afraid, they, will put you to death.”

Ans.”Though they burn me tomorrow, or put me into a bag, I cafe not; as the Lord has ordained it, so,it must be, and not otherwise; I will adhere to the Lord.”

Wom.”If you have done nothing else I hope you will not die.”

Ans.”As for me; it matters not.; but when I come down from the hall, I cry bitterly; and it grieves me to see that these good men are all so blinded;.I will pray the Lord for them.” .

Two Dominican friars also came to her, the one as a confessor, and the other as an instructor. The latter showed her the crucifix, saying, “See, here is your .Lord and your God.” She. answered, “This is not my God; the cross by which I have been redeemed, is adifierent one. This is a wooden god; throw him into the fire, and warm yourselves with him.” The other asked her in the morning of the day when she was to die, whether she would not receive the sacrament, adding that he would willingly administer it to her. She said, “What God would you give me? one that is perishable, and is sold for a farthing?” And to the-priest or monk, who rejoiced that he had read mass that day, she said that he had crucified God anew. He said:, “It appears to me that you have fallen unto error?”

Weynken replied, “I cannot help it, my Lord and my God, to whom be eternal honor, praise; and thanksgiving (Rev. 4:11), has thus given it unto me.”

Ques.” What do you hold concerning the holy oil?”

Ans. “Oil is good for salad, or to oil your shoes with.” I Tim. 4:4.

In the middle of the week she was brought before the Court, and when she came into the hall, the monk went up to her, and held the crucifix before her face, saying, “Do recant before sentence is, passed.” But Weynken turned from the crucifix, saying, “I adhere to my Lord and God; neither death nor life shall separate me from Him.” (Rom. 8:39.) As she stood before the judge, the’ monk whispered into her ear, “Fall down upon monk knees, and ask the Lord for pardon.” She replied, “Be still: did I not tell you, that you should not draw me from my Lord.”

The Dean of Naeldwijck, subcommissary and inquisitor, read the sentence, in Latin, from a doc-, ument, and repeating it in Dutch, said briefly, thatshe was found to be in error with regard to the sacrament, and that she immovably adhered to it; hence he decided that she was a heretic, and delivered Weynken to the secular arm, with the protest that he did- not consent to her death. He then retired from the council, together with his two associate ecclesiastics.

The chancellor immediately read, that she, as reported, had been found’ obstinate, which could not be passed by without punishment, and that she should be burnt to ashes; and all her property be confiscated. ‘

Then Weynken said: -“Has all been done now? I beg you all, that if I have harmed or offended any, you will forgive me.”

The monk then said to her, “Now for once kiss your Lord and God.” She answered, “This is not my Lord.”

As they were leaving the council chamber, the monk said to her that she should call upon our Lady to intercede for her.

She replied, “Our Lady, is well content in God.”

Monk: “Call upon her.”

Weynken, “We have Christ, who sitteth on the right hand of His Father.; I3 a prays for us, ” (Romans 8:34.) ‘,

On her way from the hall to the scaffold or place of execution, the monk said, “Behold for once your Lord, who died for you.”

Weynken: “This is not my Lord and my God; my Lord God is in me, and I in Him.”

Monk: “Consider! will you condemn all these lambs,. and are they all condemned?”

Weynken:, “Not all; judgment belongs unto God.” (Heb. 10:30. )

Monk: “Do you not fear the severe judgment of God?”

Weynken, “God comes not to condemn sinners, but to give them peace.” (Luke 9:56.)

Monk, “Do you not, fear the sentence which you must suffer in the fie?”

Weynken, “No, for I know how I stand with my Lord.”

On the scaffold there stood one who said to Weynken: ‘.’Mother, turn to the people, and ask them,to forgive you, if you have offended any.” This she did. Then she assisted the executioners to put the powder into her bosom. Here the monk again tempted her with the cross; but she pushed it away with her hand, turned around, and said, “How you tempt me? My Lord and my God is above.” She then went .gladly, as though.she were going to a marriage; and her face did not once be token fear of the fire:

The monk said, “Will you not always and firmly adhere to God?”

Weynken said, “Yes, indeed.”

Monk, “Now you will have to go into the fire; do recant, ”

Veynken, “I am well content; the Lord’s will must be done.”

Monk: “This is not the will of the Lord; the will of God is your sanctification.”

The executioner said, “Mother, cleave to God and do not suffer yourself to be drawn away from Him.”

In the meantime this pious heroine went alone undauntedly to the bench, and stationed herself at the stake at which she was to be burned, saying, “Is the bench firm; will I not fall?”

The executioner then made ready the ropes with which he was to strangle her. The woman took off her neckerchief or veil, and put the strap around her neck.

Then the monk exclaimed, “Mother Weynken, will you gladly.die as a Christian?,”

Ans. “Yes, I will.”

Ques.”Do you renounce all heresy?”

Ans.”I do.”

Monk: “This is well. Are you also sorry that you have erred?”

Ans. “I formerly did err indeed, and for that I am sorry; this however is no error, but the true way, and I adhere to God.”

When she had said this, the executioner began to strangle her, which when she felt it, she cast down her eyes and closed them, as though she had fallen into a sleep, and gave up the ghost, on the twentieth day of November, A. D. 1527.


(Martyrs Mirror)

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