Martyrs' Mirror

1. Arrested "I still don't hear anything suspicious," the officer reported when he crept back from the house. "Are you quite sure the Anabaptists are meeting inside?" "You said much the same the first time you listened at the door," snapped the Dean of Ronse. He was a large man with a goatee and a double chin, with an expensive

2. Jail "Prisoners!" the bailiff on the horse shouted in Flemish, and the gates of the Meenen jail swung open. A dozen armed officers pushed two thieves through the door, into the hands of the guards. The man on the horse waved his cap at the jailer, and his long feather with it, and wheeled around. Behind him, six prisoners

3. Waiting After each of the six prisoners was questioned, they were put back into a common cell, where they began to converse with one another: Two of the sisters, Haddie Byler and young Elisabeth van Roder, lived in the same house. So did two of the brothers, a shoemaker named Dirk Willems and his partner Hans Segers. The other

4. Elisabeth Escapes "Elisabeth, your mother and I have decided it is time for you to go to school at the convent," her father announced. Perhaps Elisabeth van Roder didn't really need go to school, and certainly she didn't need to learn to work. She lived in a large palace, with servants of her own, for her father was one

5. Haddie's Drummer One day, a year before Haddie Byler became a believer, she answered the door to find a soldier standing there, a friend of her husband's. "Where is Jans?" the soldier cheerfully asked. Her husband Jans was also a soldier, stationed in Leewarden, in the same company as her visitor. Jans played the drums when the men marched,

6. Algerius's Letter To my beloved brethren and fellow servants of Jesus Christ, who have left Babylon to go to mount Zion, whose names I do not omit without cause, grace, peace and mercy from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Amen. In order to sweeten or take away some of the pain which

7. Haddie Escapes Meanwhile, in her new cell, Haddie poured out her heart to the Lord: "Oh Father, exceedingly good and loving Saviour, look with compassion on me. You know my weakness and ignorance. Do not let them test me beyond my ability. If it is your will, save me from this trial by Your divine hand." As she prayed,

8. Dirk Leaps "How did you come to believe, Brother Dirk?" asked Elisabeth. "How indeed!" smiled Dirk. "When I think of what I was without Him, it hardly seems possible. I still have far to go before I finish the race. But the abundant power of God is stronger than our sin. Let me tell you what happened to me."

9. George Turns Back Dirk smiled as he finished his story. The brothers and sisters were talking more about the good things of the Lord when one of the priests came into their cell: Grinning broadly, he announced, "The Lord be praised, George Baumann has returned to the true faith." "I don't believe it," said Elisabeth. "But it's true. As

10. The Inquisitor Before sunset on their first day in prison, all six believers had been sent to their own cells. Now it was Dirk Willems' turn to be separated from the others. Elisabeth cried when he left. Guards pushed him into an upstairs room, empty except for a tattered sheet, and locked the door behind him. Dirk shivered, looked