• “I never felt such an entire emptiness of self-love, or any regard to any private, selfish interest of my own. It seemed to me, that I had entirely done with myself. I felt that the opinions of the world concerning me were nothing, and that I had no more to do with any outward interest of my own, than with that of a person whom I never saw. The glory of God seemed to be all, and in all, and to swallow up every wish and desire of my heart” – Sarah Edwards, wife of Jonathan Edwards

Seventeenth Century



[After the preceding, sixteenth century closed with the burying alive of Anneken van den Hove, in the year 1597, the following, seventeenth century commenced, not without threats, and the shedding of the blood of the pious witnesses of the Lord.

The first year of this century begins with a decree (though not unto death), published by those of Groeningen and Sneeck against the Anabaptists.

Huybert op der Straten, Trynken his wife, Pieter ten Hove, and Lysken to Linschoten, near Witgensteyn, for the afore-mentioned faith, led around the gallows, scourged and banished from the country, in 1601.

Hemes Nimrich, a teacher of the aforementioned people, and others, four years subsequently, namely, 1605, near Steyn, scourged out of the city, Hemes having first been led through under the gallows.

Marcus Eder and Hans Poltzinger apprehended on the 24th of April, of the same year, at Nimbach, in Bavaria, and on the 26th of the same month taken to Riet; and, for the steadfastness of their faith finally put to death with the sword, and burnt with fire, on the 26th of August, A.D. 1605.

Hans Landis beheaded in the city of Zurich; further observations touching the circumstances of his death; for the year 1614.

An account respecting a certain prohibition published by those of Aerdenborgh against the Anabaptists, and what was done by the Lords States General of the United Netherlands for the abolishment of the same.

An extract from certain letters of said Lords States to the Lords of Haultain, Governor of Sluys, as also to the bailiff and magistrates of Aerdenborgh, for the cessation of the oppression began A. D. 1619.

A decree of those of Deventer against the Mennists or Anabaptists, A. D. 1620.

A note touching severe slanders against the Anabaptists in Holland, and how they, by a certain con-fession of faith, defended themselves before the States of said country, A. D. 1626.

The inauguration of the last Swiss persecution, as also the cause of the same, A. D. 1635.

The progress of the inauguration of said persecution in the castles Wadischwyl, Knonow and Groeningen, as also in the consistory, at. Zurich, A. D. 1636.

Concerning said persecution, and the manner in which twelve brethren were apprehended, and imprisoned in the place Othenbach, at Zurich, as also how it terminated, A. D. 1637.

Hans Meyli, Sr., and his son’s wife conducted to Zurich and imprisoned A. D. 1638.

This year (1639), fruitful of martyrs and martyresses, many having suffered in prison, at Zurich, in body as well as in life; an account of whom is given in order, namely, Catharina Mulerin; the four sisters, Barbara Meylin, Ottila Mulerin, Barbara Kolbin, and Elizabeth Meylin; as also, Elizabeth Hilzin; the brethren, Hans von Uticken, Burckhardt Aman, Jacob Egly, Ully Schedme, surnamed Schneider, Jacob Rustenhel of Horgerberg, Stephen Zehender of Byrmensdorf, Ulrich Schneider, with his two sons, Henry Gutwol of Lehnmer, Hans Jacobs Hess, as also his wife.

A certain manifesto published by those of Zurich in excuse of the persecution commenced, answered and refuted by the persecuted; in the aforesaid year 1639.

Werner Phister, and his son’s wife, as also Callus Schneider, Rudolph Bachman, and Ulrich Muller, put to death in the year 1640, at Zurich, in the prison Othenbach.

A supplication of those of Amsterdam to the council of Zurich, for mitigation of the persecution; as also the answer, A. D. 1642.

Felix Landis (the son of Hans Landis) dies of hunger and want in prison Othenbach, A. D. 1642; his wife delivered out of her bonds.

Rudolph Suhner, a young lad, follows in the footsteps of the aforesaid Felix, and also dies of want, A. D. 1643.

A number of women suffer much for the truth, namely, Elizabeth Bachmanni, Elsa Bethezei, Sarah Wanry, Verena Landis, Barbara Neff, and Barbly Ruff, about A. D. 1643.

Henry Boller dies bound in prison, A. D. 1644.

A certain letter from Switzerland, touching the threats made by those of Berne against the Anabaptists in those parts, A. D. 1645.

Mention is made, A. D. 1650, of a decree published by those of Schaffhausen against those called Anabaptists.

A certain mandate proclaimed against the Anabaptists, three years later, namely, 1653.

Ully Wagman and another brother, both imprisoned; Ully dies A. D. 1654, while the other brother remained in prison long afterwards.

A certain letter from Mackhenheym, in defense of the brethren persecuted in Switzerland, sent to Amsterdam, A. D. 1658.

Seven -teachers apprehended at Berne, namely, Ully Bogart, Anthony Hinnelberg, Jegly Schlebach, Hans Zaug, Ully Baumgartner, Christian Christians, and Rudi Peters. See year 1659.

A decree published by those of Berne, against those called Anabaptists, on the 9th of August, A. D.;1659.

A record of what the Lords States of the United Netherlands did with those of Berne,_ for the mitigation of the aforesaid decree, by letters of recommendation, as also of letters of recommendation of some Dutch cities in particular, for the same purpose; A. D. 1660.

Herewith this whole work, and consequently the whole Book of Martyrs, is abridged and concluded.

This century will be brief, and extend not over much more than half a century. Neither will the martyrizations that occurred in it be so severe as those in any of the preceding centuries. Beheading people, or suffering them to die of want in prison, will be the severest punishments that were inflicted according to the body upon the following witnesses of the Lord. In the meantime, when the north wind of persecution began to blow its fiercest, according to the course of the times, the pleasant south wind of rest and liberty from persecution intervened. The most, however, mischief in this brief century, in the parts of Zurich and Berne, was caused by such as called themselves Reformed; others, who bore the same name, and especially the rulers of the United Netherlands (as being friends of peace, and enemies of constraint of conscience), opposed it, and kindly and in a fatherly manner protected the innocently persecuted ones, according to all their ability.

This work begins with Groningen and Sneeck in Vriesland, and ends with Zurich and Berne, in the confines of Switzerland. This is the order which we shall follow.

(Martyrs Mirror)


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But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” — Matthew 19:14 (NKJV)

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