Racked, Scourged, and Burned for Christ

On June 7, 1561, the Margrave of Antwerp went out with a great number of people, well–armed with staves, and apprehended Joos Verbeek, a minister of God’s word and of his church. He was racked twice in four days. He was scourged till the blood flowed. His right hand having been “lamed by torture,” his last letter to his wife was written with his left hand, “with great difficulty.” He was burnt in a straw hut, as was the common practice towards the end of the persecution.

When Verbeek approached the straw hut and stood before the door in which he was to present himself as a burnt offering, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and prayed “O holy Father, support thy servant in this time of need.” The executioner’s man wished to put a cord with a knot in his mouth to prevent his speaking; nevertheless, he was not silent, for he was heard to exclaim, “O Lord, Thou Son of David, have mercy upon me. “

The executioner performed his work with fear and trembling. When the fire was kindled, Verbeek exclaimed, “O Heavenly Father, into Thy hands I commend my spirit. O Lord of Hosts, who separated me from my mother’s womb, be with Thy servant in this last distress which I suffer for Thy name.”  He once more exclaimed, “O Heavenly Father, into Thy hands I commend my spirit,” and presented a peaceful burnt sacrifice, an example to us all.

Dr. Dale R. Hart: Adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I. (Thompson/Cummins) p. 234.

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