Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Of Whom the World was NOT WORTHY... part 2

Of Whom the World was NOT Worthy…
part 1

Chapter 11, Fox’s Book of Martyrs…

In 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.

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 sentence of death. 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.”
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.
Prayer from the Book of Common Prayer....
O Almighty GOD, Who+ didst give to Thy servants boldness to confess the Name of Our SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST before the rulers of this world, and courage to die for this faith: Grant that we may always be ready to give a reason for the hope that is in us, and to suffer gladly for the sake of the same, Our LORD JESUS CHRIST; Who+ liveth and reigneth with THEE, and Thy Blessed HOLY SPIRIT, ONE GOD, now and for ever and ever. Amen.

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