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The Chapel of the Martyrs

You have come to a very sacred place in our magazine. We sincerely pray that God will speak to your heart as you visit here. God’s true believers will always face persecution…II Timothy 3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
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The Chapel of the Martyrs

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As related by Tertullian

Perpetua and Felicitas were two very pious and honorable Christian women, at Tururbi, a city in Mauritania, a providence of Africa. Both were very untimely apprehended, to suffer for the name of Christ, as Felicitas was very far advanced in pregnancy, and Perpetua had recently given birth to a child, which she was nursing. But this did not make them fainthearted, nor so surprise them that they forsook Christ, nor did it prevent them from going on in the way of godliness; but they remained equally faithful disciples of Christ, and became steadfast martyrs.

According to the Roman laws, they waited with the pregnant woman, until she was delivered, before they sentenced her and put her to death. When the pains of labor seized her in prison, and she cried aloud for fear and anguish, the jailer said to her: “Thou are so much afraid and distressed now, and criest aloud for pain; how then wilt thou behave, when, tomorrow, or the day after, thou will be led to death?” Felicitas replied thus:

“Now I suffer as a poor woman the punishment which God on account of sin has laid upon the female sex; but tomorrow I shall suffer as a Christian woman for the faith and the confession of Jesus Christ.” By these words she sufficiently indicated that she had firmly immovably founded her faith upon Christ, who never forsakes His own, even though they be in the midst of the fire, and are consumed, God also specially strengthened her, that she might be able to endure her sufferings. With reference to this, “Tertullian says: “Perpetua, the very strong and steadfast martyr, had a revelation or vision of the heavenly paradise, on the day of her sufferings, in the which she saw none but her fellow martyrs. And why no others? Because the fiery sword which guards the door of paradise gives way to none but those who die for Christ.”

In the meantime these two pious heroines of Christ were martyred, that is, they died a violent death, for the name of their Saviour; for which they will afterwards be crowned with the unfading wreath of immortality, as a triumph over the foes they overcame, namely, the cruelties and pains of death.

The names of their fellow martyrs are Revocatus, Satyrus, Saturninus, and 
Serundulus. It is supposed that the last-mentioned one of these died in prison
from extreme hardship, but the others were all thrown before the wild beasts,
such as, bulls, lions, bears, leopards, ect., to be torn by them. Thus these
exchanged their dear lives for death, for Christ sake. That the dead bodies of the two afore-mentioned women were brought to Carthage, and were buried there is testified to by (Victor Uticensis, Pers. Vandal., lib. 1) 

(Idem., for. 26, col. 3,4,
ex August. in Psalm. 74. and de Tempore Barbarico, cap. 5, Beda Usuard. Ado Martirol. Rom. 7. Martii.) Also, (Tertull, de anima, cap. 5) 


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Justin, Chariton, Charites, Paeon, and Liberianus, Who Suffered at Rome.

[Translated by the Rev. M. Dods, M.a.]

In the time of the lawless partisans of idolatry, wicked decrees were passed against the godly Christians in town and country, to force them to offer libations to vain idols; and accordingly the holy men, having been apprehended, were brought before the prefect of Rome, Rusticus by name. And when they had been brought before his judgment-seat, said to Justin, “Obey the gods at once, and submit to the kings.” Justin said, “To obey the commandments of our Saviour Jesus Christ is worthy neither of blame nor of condemnation.” Rusticus the prefect said, “What kind of doctrines do you profess? “Justin said, “I have endeavoured to learn all doctrines; but I have acquiesced at last in the true doctrines, those namely of the Christians, even though they do not please those who hold false opinions.”

 Rusticus the prefect said, “Are those the doctrines that please you, you utterly wretched man? “Justin said, “Yes, since I adhere to them with right dogma.” Rusticus the prefect said, “What is the dogma?” Justin said, “That according to which we worship the God of the Christians, whom we reckon to be one from the beginning, the maker and fashioner of the whole creation, visible and invisible; and the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who had also been preached beforehand by the prophets as about to be present with the race of men, the herald of salvation and teacher of good disciples. And I, being a man, think that what I can say is insignificant in comparison with His boundless divinity, acknowledging a Certain prophetic power, since it was prophesied concerning Him of whom now I say that He is the Son of God. For I know that of old the prophets foretold His appearance among men.”

Rusticus the prefect said, “Where do you assemble? “Justin said, “Where each one chooses and can: for do you fancy that we all meet in the very same place? Not so; because the God of the Christians is not circumscribed by place; but being invisible, fills heaven and earth, and everywhere is worshipped and glorified by the faithful.” Rusticus the prefect said, “Tell me where you assemble, or into what place do you collect your followers? “Justin said, “I live above one Martinus, at the Timiotinian Bath; and during the whole time (and I am now living in Rome for the second time) I am unaware of any other meeting than his. And if any one wished to come to me, I communicated to him the doctrines of truth.” Rusticus said, “Are you not, then, a Christian? “Justin said, “Yes, I am a Christian.”

Then said the prefect Rusticus to Chariton, “Tell me further, Chariton, are you also a Christian? “Chariton said, “I am a Christian by the command of God.” Rusticus the prefect asked the woman Charito, “What say you, Charito? “Charito said, “I am a Christian by the grace of God.” Rusticus said to Euelpistus, “And what are you? “Euelpistus, a servant of Caesar, answered, “I too am a Christian, having been freed by Christ; and by the grace of Christ I partake of the same hope.” Rusticus the prefect said to Hierax, “And you, are you a Christian? “Hierax said, “Yes, I am a Christian, for I revere and worship the same God.” Rusticus the prefect said, “Did Justin make you Christians? “Hierax said, “I was a Christian, and will be a Christian.” And Paeon stood up and said, “I too am a Christian.” Rusticus the prefect said, “Who taught you? “Paeon said, “From our parents we received this good confession.” Euelpistus said, “I willingly heard the words of Justin. But from my parents also I learned to be a Christian.” Rusticus the prefect said, “Where are your parents? “Euelpistus said, “In Cappadocia.” Rusticus says to Hierax, “Where are your parents? “And he answered, and said, “Christ is our true father, and faith in Him is our mother; and my earthly parents died; and I, when I was driven from Iconium in Phrygia, came here.” Rusticus the prefect said to Liberianus, “And what say you? Are you a Christian, and unwilling to worship [the gods]? “Liberianus said, “I too am a Christian, for I worship and reverence the only true God.”

The prefect says to Justin, “Hearken, you who are called learned, and think that you know true doctrines; if you are scourged and beheaded, do you believe you will ascend into heaven? “Justin said, “I hope that, if I endure these things, I shall have His gifts. For I know that, to all who have thus lived, there abides the divine favour until the completion of the whole world.” Rusticus the prefect said, “Do you suppose, then, that you will ascend into heaven to receive some recompense? “Justin said, “I do not suppose it, but I know and am fully persuaded of it.” Rusticus the prefect said, “Let us, then, now come to the matter in hand, and which presses. Having come together, offer sacrifice with one accord to the gods.” Justin said, “No right-thinking person falls away from piety to impiety.” Rusticus the prefect said, “Unless ye obey, ye shall be mercilessly punished.” Justin said, “Through prayer we can be saved on account of our Lord Jesus Christ, even when we have been punished, because this shall become to us salvation and confidence at the more fearful and universal judgment-seat of our Lord and Saviour.” Thus also said the other martyrs: “Do what you will, for we are Christians, and do not sacrifice to idols.”

Rusticus the prefect pronounced sentence, saying, “Let those who have refused to sacrifice to the gods and to yield to the command of the emperor be scourged, and led away to suffer the punishment of decapitation, according to the laws.” The holy martyrs having glorified God, and having gone forth to the accustomed place, were beheaded, and perfected their testimony in the confession of the Saviour. And some of the faithful having secretly removed their bodies, laid them in a suitable place, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ having wrought along with them, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. 

This document is from the Christian Classics Ethereal Library at Calvin College. 


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The Encyclical Epistle of the Church at Smyrnam 
Concerning the Martyrdom of the Holy Polycarp

The Church of God which sojourns at Smyrna, to the Church of God sojourning in Philomelium,1 and to all the congregations2 of the Holy and Catholic Church in every place: Mercy, peace, and love from God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, be multiplied..

We have written to you, brethren, as to what relates to the martyrs, and especially to the blessed Polycarp, who put an end to the persecution, having, as it were, set a seal upon it by his martyrdom. For almost all the events that happened previously [to this one], took place that the Lord might show us from above a martyrdom becoming the Gospel. For he waited to be delivered up, even as the Lord had done, that we also might become his followers, while we look not merely at what concerns ourselves but have regard also to our neighbours. For it is the part of a true and well-founded love, not only to wish one’s self to be saved, but also all the brethren.

The devil did indeed invent many things against them; but thanks be to God, he could not prevail over all. For the most noble Germanicus strengthened the timidity of others by his own patience, and fought heroically with the wild beasts. For, when the proconsul sought to persuade him, and urged him to take pity upon his age, he attracted the wild beast towards himself, and provoked it, being desirous to escape all the more quickly from an unrighteous and impious world. But upon this the whole multitude, marvelling at the nobility of mind displayed by the devout and godly race of Christians, cried out, “Away with the Atheists; let Polycarp be sought out!”

Now one named Quintus, a Phrygian, who was but lately come from Phrygia, when he saw the wild beasts, became afraid. This was the man who forced himself and some others to come forward voluntarily [for trial]. Him the proconsul, after many entreaties, persuaded to swear and to offer sacrifice. Wherefore, brethren, we do not commend those who give themselves up [to suffering], seeing the Gospel does not teach so to do.

But the most admirable Polycarp, when he first heard [that he was sought for], was in no measure disturbed, but resolved to continue in the city. However, in deference to the wish of many, he was persuaded to leave it. He departed, therefore, to a country house not far distant from the city. There he stayed with a few [friends], engaged in nothing else night and day than praying for all men, and for the Churches throughout the world, according to his usual custom. And while he was praying, a vision presented itself to him three days before he was taken; and, behold, the pillow under his head seemed to him on fire. Upon this, turning to those that were with him, he said to them prophetically,” I must be burnt alive.”

And when those who sought for him were at hand, he departed to another dwelling, whither his pursuers immediately came after him. And when they found him not, they seized upon two youths [that were there], one of whom, being subjected to torture, confessed. It was thus impossible that he should continue hid, since those that betrayed him were of his own household. The Irenarch10 then (whose office is the same as that of the Cleronomus ), by name Herod, hastened to bring him into the stadium. [This all happened] that he might fulfil his special lot, being made a partaker of Christ, and that they who betrayed him might undergo the punishment of Judas himself.

His pursuers then, along with horsemen, and taking the youth with them, went forth at supper-time on the day of the preparation1 with their usual weapons, as if going out against a robber. And being come about evening [to the place where he was], they found him lying down in the upper room of a certain little house, from which he might have escaped into another place; but he refused, saying, “The will of God be done.” So when he heard that they were come, he went down and spake with them. And as those that were present marveled at his age and constancy, some of them said. “Was so much effort made to capture such a venerable man?1Immediately then, in that very hour, he ordered that something to eat and drink should be set before them, as much indeed as they cared for, while he besought them to allow him an hour to pray without disturbance. And on their giving him leave, he stood and prayed, being full of the grace of God, so that he could not cease for two full hours, to the astonishment of them that heard him, insomuch that many began to repent that they had come forth against so godly and venerable an old man.

Now, as soon as he had ceased praying, having made mention of all that had at any time come in contact with him, both small and great, illustrious and obscure, as well as the whole Catholic Church throughout the world, the time of his departure having arrived, they set him upon an ass, and conducted him into the city, the day being that of the great Sabbath. And the Irenarch Herod, accompanied by his father Nicetes (both riding in a chariot), met him, and taking him up into the chariot, they seated themselves beside him, and endeavoured to persuade him, saying, “What harm is there in saying, Lord Caesar, and in sacrificing, with the other ceremonies observed on such occasions, and so make sure of safety? “But he at first gave them no answer; and when they continued to urge him, he said, “I shall not do as you advise me.” So they, having no hope of persuading him, began to speak bitter words unto him, and cast him with violence out of the chariot, insomuch that, in getting down from the carriage, he dislocated his leg [by the fall]. But without being disturbed, and as if suffering nothing, he went eagerly forward with all haste, and was conducted to the stadium, where the tumult was so great, that there was no possibility of being heard.

Now, as Polycarp was entering into the stadium, there came to him a voice from heaven, saying, “Be strong, and show thyself a man, O Polycarp!” No one saw who it was that spoke to him; but those of our brethren who were present heard the voice. And as he was brought forward, the tumult became great when they heard that Polycarp was taken. And when he came near, the proconsul asked him whether he was Polycarp. On his confessing that he was, [the proconsul] sought to persuade him to deny [Christ], saying, “Have respect to thy old age,” and other similar things, according to their custom, [such as], “Swear by the fortune of Caesar; repent, and say, Away with the Atheists.” But Polycarp, gazing with a stern countenance on all the multitude of the wicked heathen then in the stadium, and waving his hand towards them, while with groans he looked up to heaven, said, “Away with the Atheists.” Then, the proconsul urging him, and saying, “Swear, and I will set thee at liberty, reproach Christ; “Polycarp declared, “Eighty and six years have I served Him, and He never did me any injury: how then can I blaspheme my King and my Saviour? “

And when the proconsul yet again pressed him, and said, “Swear by the fortune of Caesar,” he answered, “Since thou art vainly urgent that, as thou sayest, I should swear by the fortune of Caesar, and pretendest not to know who and what I am, hear me declare with boldness, I am a Christian. And if you wish to learn what the doctrines of Christianity are, appoint me a day, and thou shalt hear them.” The proconsul replied, “Persuade the people.” But Polycarp said, “To thee I have thought it right to offer an account [of my faith]; for we are taught to give all due honour (which entails no injury upon ourselves) to the powers and authorities which are ordained of God. But as for these, I do not deem them worthy of receiving any account from me.” 

The proconsul then said to him, “I have wild beasts at hand ; to these will I cast thee, except thou repent.” But he answered, “Call them then, for we are not accustomed to repent of what is good in order to adopt that which is evil; and it is well for me to be changed from what is evil to what is righteous.” But again the proconsul said to him, “I will cause thee to be consumed by fire, seeing thou despisest the wild beasts, if thou wilt not repent.” But Polycarp said, “Thou threatenest me with fire which burneth for an hour, and after a little is extinguished, but art ignorant of the fire of the coming judgment and of eternal punishment, reserved for the ungodly. But why tarriest thou? Bring forth what thou wilt.”

While he spoke these and many other like things, he was filled with confidence and joy, and his countenance was full of grace, so that not merely did it not fall as if troubled by the things said to him, but, on the contrary, the proconsul was astonished, and sent his herald to proclaim in the midst of the stadium thrice, “Polycarp has confessed that he is a Christian.” This proclamation having been made by the herald, the whole multitude both of the heathen and Jews, who dwelt at Smyrna, cried out with uncontrollable fury, and in a loud voice, “This is the teacher of Asia, the father of the Christians, and the overthrower of our gods, he who has been teaching many not to sacrifice, or to worship the gods.” Speaking thus, they cried out, and besought Philip the Asiarch to let loose a lion upon Polycarp. But Philip answered that it was not lawful for him to do so, seeing the shows of wild beasts were already finished. Then it seemed good to them to cry out with one consent, that Polycarp should be burnt alive. For thus it behooved the vision which was revealed to him in regard to his pillow to be fulfilled, when, seeing it on fire as he was praying, he turned about and said prophetically to the faithful that were with him, “I must be burnt alive.” 

This, then, was carried into effect with greater speed than it was spoken, the multitudes immediately gathering together wood and fagots out of the shops and baths; the Jews especially, according to custom, eagerly assisting them in it. And when the funeral pile was ready, Polycarp, laying aside all his garments, and loosing his girdle, sought also to take off his sandals,-a thing he was not accustomed to do, inasmuch as every one of the faithful was always eager who should first touch his skin. For, on account of his holy life, he was, even before his martyrdom, adorned with every kind of good. Immediately then they surrounded him with those substances which had been prepared for the funeral pile. But when they were about also to fix him with nails, he said, “Leave me as I am; for He that giveth me strength to endure the fire, will also enable me, without your securing me by nails, to remain without moving in the pile.”

They did not nail him then, but simply bound him. And he, placing his hands behind him, and being bound like a distinguished ram [taken] out of a great flock for sacrifice, and prepared to be an acceptable burnt-offering unto God, looked up to heaven, and said, “O Lord God Almighty, the Father of thy beloved and blessed Son Jesus Christ, by whom we have received the knowledge of Thee, the God of angels and powers, and of every creature, and of the whole race of the righteous who live before thee, I give Thee thanks that Thou hast counted me, worthy of this day and this hour, that I should have a part in the number of Thy martyrs, in the cup of thy Christ, to the resurrection of eternal life, both of soul and body, through the incorruption [imparted] by the Holy Ghost. Among whom may I be accepted this day before Thee as a fat and acceptable sacrifice, according as Thou, the ever-truthful God, hast fore-ordained, hast revealed beforehand to me, and now hast fulfilled. Wherefore also I praise Thee for all things, I bless Thee, I glorify Thee, along with the everlasting and heavenly Jesus Christ, Thy beloved Son, with whom, to Thee, and the Holy Ghost, be glory both now and to all coming ages. Amen.” 

When he had pronounced this amen, and so finished his prayer, those who were appointed for the purpose kindled the fire. And as the flame blazed forth in great fury, we, to whom it was given to witness it, beheld a great miracle, and have been preserved that we might report to others what then took place. For the fire, shaping itself into the form of an arch, like the sail of a ship when filled with the wind, encompassed as by a circle the body of the martyr. And he appeared within not like flesh which is burnt, but as bread that is baked, or as gold and silver glowing in a furnace. Moreover, we perceived such a sweet odour [coming from the pile], as if frankincense or some such precious spices had been smoking there.

At length, when those wicked men perceived that his body could not be consumed by the fire, they commanded an executioner to go near and pierce him through with a dagger. 

But when the adversary of the race of the righteous, the envious, malicious, and wicked one, perceived the impressive nature of his martyrdom, and [considered] the blameless life he had led from the beginning, and how he was now crowned with the wreath of immortality, having beyond dispute received his reward, he did his utmost that not the least memorial of him should be taken away by us, although many desired to do this, and to become possessors of his holy flesh. For this end he suggested it to Nicetes, the father of Herod and brother of Alce, to go and entreat the governor not to give up his body to be buried, “lest,” said he, “forsaking Him that was crucified, they begin to worship this one.” This he said at the suggestion and urgent persuasion of the Jews, who also watched us, as we sought to take him out of the fire, being ignorant of this, that it is neither possible for us ever to forsake Christ, who suffered for the salvation of such as shall be saved throughout the whole world (the blameless one for sinners ), nor to worship any other. For Him indeed, as being the Son of God, we adore; but the martyrs, as disciples and followers of the Lord, we worthily love on account of their extraordinary affection towards their own King and Master, of whom may we also be made companions and fellow-disciples!

The centurion then, seeing the strife, placed the body in the midst of the fire, and consumed it. Accordingly, we afterwards took up his bones, as being more precious than the most exquisite jewels, and more purified than gold, and deposited them in a fitting place, whither, being gathered together, as opportunity is allowed us, with joy and rejoicing, the Lord shall grant us to celebrate the anniversary of his martyrdom, both in memory of those who have already finished their course, and for the exercising and preparation of those yet to walk in their steps.

This, then, is the account of the blessed Polycarp, who, being the twelfth that was martyred in Smyrna. 

These things Caius transcribed from the copy of Irenaeus (who was a disciple of Polycarp), having himself been intimate with Irenaeus. And I Socrates transcribed them at Corinth from the copy of Caius. Grace be with you all.

his document is from the Christian Classics Ethereal Library at Calvin College.


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The Martyrdom of Ignatius

When Trajan, not long since, succeeded to the empire of the Romans, Ignatius, the disciple of John the apostle, a man in all respects of an apostolic character, governed the Church of the Antiochians with great care, having with difficulty escaped the former storms of the many persecutions under Domitian, inasmuch as, like a good pilot, by the helm of prayer and fasting, by the earnestness of his teaching, and by his constant spiritual labour, he resisted the flood that rolled against him, fearing [only] lest he should lose any of those who were deficient in courage, or apt to suffer from their simplicity. Wherefore he rejoiced over the tranquil state of the Church, when the persecution ceased for a little time, but was grieved as to himself, that he had not yet attained to a true love to Christ, nor reached the perfect rank of a disciple. For he inwardly reflected, that the confession which is made by martyrdom, would bring him into a yet more intimate relation to the Lord. Wherefore, continuing a few years longer with the Church, and, like a divine lamp, enlightening every one’s understanding by his expositions of the Holy Scriptures, he [at length] attained the object of his desire.

For Trajan, in the ninth year of his reign, being lifted up [with pride], after the victory he had gained over the Scythians and Dacians, and many other nations, and thinking that the religious body of the Christians were yet wanting to complete the subjugation of all things to himself, and [thereupon] threatening them with persecution unless they should agree to worship daemons, as did all other nations, thus compelled all who were living godly lives either to sacrifice [to idols] or die. Wherefore the noble soldier of Christ [Ignatius], being in fear for the Church of the Antiochians, was, in accordance with his own desire, brought before Trajan, who was at that time staying at Antioch, but was in haste [to set forth] against Armenia and the Parthians. And when he was set before the emperor Trajan, [that prince] said unto him, “Who art thou, wicked wretch, who settest thyself to transgress our commands, and persuadest others to do the same, so that they should miserably perish? “Ignatius replied, “No one ought to call Theophorus wicked; for all evil spirits have departed from the servants of God. But if, because I am an enemy to these [spirits], you call me wicked in respect to them, I quite agree with you; for inasmuch as I have Christ the King of heaven [within me], I destroy all the devices of these [evil spirits].” Trajan answered, “And who is Theophorus? “Ignatius replied, “He who has Christ within his breast.” Trajan said, “Do we not then seem to you to have the gods in our mind, whose assistance we enjoy in fighting against our enemies? “Ignatius answered, “Thou art in error when thou callest the daemons of the nations gods. For there is but one God, who made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that are in them; and one Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, whose kingdom may I enjoy.” Trajan said, “Do you mean Him who was crucified under Pontius Pilate? “Ignatius replied, “I mean Him who crucified my sin, with him who was the inventor of it, and who has condemned [and cast down] all the deceit and malice of the devil under the feet of those who carry Him in their heart.” Trajan said, “Dost thou then carry within thee Him that was crucified? “Ignatius replied, “Truly so; for it is written, `I will dwell in them, and walk in them.'” Then Trajan pronounced sentence as follows: “We command that Ignatius, who affirms that he carries about within him Him that was crucified, be bound by soldiers, and carried to the great [city] Rome, there to be devoured by the beasts, for the gratification of the people.” When the holy martyr heard this sentence, he cried out with joy, “I thank thee, O Lord, that Thou hast vouchsafed to honour me with a perfect love towards Thee, and hast made me to be bound with iron chains, like Thy Apostle Paul.” Having spoken thus, he then, with delight, clasped the chains about him; and when he had first prayed for the Church, and commended it with tears to the Lord, he was hurried away by the savage cruelty of the soldiers, like a distinguished ram the leader of a goodly flock, that he might be carried to Rome, there to furnish food to the bloodthirsty beasts.

Wherefore, with great alacrity and joy, through his desire to suffer, he came down from Antioch to Seleucia, from which place he set sail. And after a great deal of suffering he came to Smyrna, where he disembarked with great joy, and hastened to see the holy Polycarp, [formerly] his fellow-disciple, and [now] bishop of Smyrna. For they had both, in old times, been disciples of St. John the Apostle. Being then brought to him, and having communicated to him some spiritual gifts, and glorying in his bonds, he entreated of him to labour along with him for the fulfilment of his desire; earnestly indeed asking this of the whole Church (for the cities and Churches of Asia had welcomed the holy man through their bishops, and presbyters, and deacons, all hastening to meet him, if by any means they might receive from him some spiritual gift), but above all, the holy Polycarp, that, by means of the wild beasts, he soon disappearing from this world, might be manifested before the face of Christ.

And these things he thus spake, and thus testified, extending his love to Christ so far as one who was about to secure heaven through his good confession, and the earnestness of those who joined their prayers to his in regard to his [approaching] conflict; and to give a recompense to the Churches, who came to meet him through their rulers, sending letters of thanksgiving to them, which dropped spiritual grace, along with prayer and exhortation. Wherefore, seeing all men so kindly affected towards him, and fearing lest the love of the brotherhood should hinder his zeal towards the Lord, while a fair door of suffering martyrdom was opened to him, he wrote to the Church of the Romans the Epistle which is here subjoined.

Having therefore, by means of this Epistle, settled, as he wished, those of the brethren at Rome who were unwilling [for his martyrdom]; and setting sail from Smyrna (for Christophorus was pressed by the soldiers to hasten to the public spectacles in the mighty [city] Rome, that, being given up to the wild beasts in the sight of the Roman people, he might attain to the crown for which he strove), he [next] landed at Troas. Then, going on from that place to Neapolis, he went [on foot] by Philippi through Macedonia, and on to that part of Epirus which is near Epidamnus; and finding a ship in one of the seaports, he sailed over the Adriatic Sea, and entering from it on the Tyrrhene, he passed by the various islands and cities, until, when Puteoli came in sight, he was eager there to disembark, having a desire to tread in the footsteps of the Apostle Paul. But a violent wind arising did not suffer him to do so, the ship being driven rapidly forwards; and, simply expressing his delight over the love of the brethren in that place, he sailed by. Wherefore, continuing to enjoy fair winds, we were reluctantly hurried on in one day and a night, mourning [as we did] over the coming departure from us of this righteous man. But to him this happened just as he wished, since he was in haste as soon as possible to leave this world, that he might attain to the Lord whom he loved. Sailing then into the Roman harbour, and the unhallowed sports being just about to close, the soldiers began to be annoyed at our slowness, but the bishop rejoicingly yielded to their urgency.

They pushed forth therefore from the place which is called Portus; and (the fame of all relating to the holy martyr being already spread abroad) we met the brethren full of fear and joy; rejoicing indeed because they were thought worthy to meet with Theophorus, but struck with fear because so eminent a man was being led to death. Now he enjoined some to keep silence who, in their fervent zeal, were saying that they would appease the people, so that they should not demand the destruction of this just one. He being immediately aware of this through the Spirit, and having saluted them all, and begged of them to show a true affection towards him, and having dwelt [on this point] at greater length than in his Epistle, and having persuaded them not to envy him hastening to the Lord, he then, after he had, with all the brethren kneeling [beside him], entreated the Son of God in behalf of the Churches, that a stop might be put to the persecution, and that mutual love might continue among the brethren, was led with all haste into the amphitheatre. Then, being immediately thrown in, according to the command of Caesar given some time ago, the public spectacles being just about to close (for it was then a solemn day, as they deemed it, being that which is called the thirteenth in the Roman tongue, on which the people were wont to assemble in more than ordinary numbers ), he was thus cast to the wild beasts close, beside the temple, that so by them the desire of the holy martyr Ignatius should be fulfilled, according to that which is written, “The desire of the righteous is acceptable [to God],” to the effect that he might not be troublesome to any of the brethren by the gathering of his remains, even as he had in his Epistle expressed a wish beforehand that so his end might be. For only the harder portions of his holy remains were left, which were conveyed to Antioch and wrapped in linen, as an inestimable treasure left to the church by the grace which was in the martyr.


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In the new Keysers Chronijk there is related a cruel and iniquitous deed 
perpetrated by Emperor Maximin on the Christians. The author says: The
Christians were assembled in their churches or meeting places, praising
their Saviour, when the Emperor sent for th his soliders, and had all the 
churches or meeting places locked up, and then wood placed around them and
set on fire, in order to burn all the Christians within. But before the 
wood was ignited, he caused it to be proclaimed, that whoever would come 
out and sacrifice to the god Jupiter, should be secure of his life, and, 
moreover, be rewarded by the Emperor. They replied that they knew nothing of 
Jupiter; that Christ was their Lord and God, by the honor of His name, and
calling upon the same they would live and die. It is to be regarded as a 
special miracle, that among so many thousand Christians there was not found
one who desired to go out, in order to save his life by denying Christ; for 
all remained together with one accord, singing, and praising Christ, as long
as the smoke and vapor permitted them to use their tongues. (P. J. Twisck,
3d book, page 64, col. 1, from Chron. Mich. Sach., fol 146, Niceph., lib. 7,
cap. 6. Hist. Mandri, fol. 10.)


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In order to give a thorough account of this bloody edict, and this in the best
possible manner, we shall present the different versions which we have found of it, word for word, and then state our own views in regard to the matter.

CHRONIJK, 1563, FOL. 136. COL. 3

“The most important matter in this transaction” he writes, “is the imperial
code, which contains (cap. 1, lib. 2), an edict issued by the Emperors
Theodosius and Honorius, which reads thus: ” ‘If any minister of the
Christian church is found guilty of having rebaptized any one, he, together
with the preson thus rebaptized, provided the latter is proved to be of such
an age as to understand the crime, shall be put to death.’ “


“Since we must speak,” he writes, “of that imperial code, we will relate the 
following, namely, about the law contained in the first codex prohibiting 
rebaptism. Joined to the other, it reads thus: 

“The Emperiors, Honorius and Theodosius, to A. A. Antonius, the magistrate:

If information is obtained that any one has rebaptized a servant of the
Catholic (general) religion, he shall be put to death, together with the 
latter, who has committed a punishable crime, provided he is of an age 
admitting of the capability, to commit such (and has been instructed concerning
the matter.).”

From “Martyr’s Mirror” written in 1660 by Thieleman Van Braght  


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The sword of Edelfrid drew nearer. The magnitude of the danger seemed to recall the Britons to their pristine piety; not to men, but to the Lord Himself will they turn their thoughts. Twelve hundred and fifty servants of the living God, calling to mind what are the arms of Christian warfare, after preparing themselves by fasting, met together in a retired spot to send up their prayers to God. A British chief, named Brocmail, moved by tender compassion, stationed himself near them with a few soldiers; but the cruel Edelfrid, observing from a distance this band of kneeling Christians, demanded: ‘Who are these people, and what are they doing?’ On being informed, he added: ‘They are fighting, then, against us, although unarmed;’ and immediately he ordered his soldiers to fall upon the prostrate crowd. Twelve hundred of them were slain. They prayed and they died. The Saxons forthwith proceeded to Bangor, the chief seat of Christian learning, and razed it to the ground. Romanism was triumphant in England. The news of these massacres filled the country with weeping and great mourning; but the priests of Romish consecration (and the venerable Bede shared their sentiments) beheld in this cruel slaughter the accomplishment of the prophecy of the ‘holy pontiff’ Augustine; and a national tradition among the Welsh for many ages pointed to him as the instigator of this cowardly butchery. -

–James D. McCabe, Jr., “Cross and Crown”, National Pub. Co., Philadelphia, 1874, P. 402-403.


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It is stated that in the eleventh year of the sixth century, a certain pious
teacher, by the name of Arnold, not willing to bury the talent given him by 
God, in the earth, but if possible, to obtain some spiritual gain for Christ
his Saviour, by preaching the Gospel, exchanged his life for death in the 
forests of France, and has thus been reckoned among the number of pious martyrs.
Concerning this, PJ. Twisck, among others, notes the following, for the year
511: “When Arnold preached the Gospel of Christ and the Christian faith in a
forest in France, near Paris, he was martyred, and was buried there by his wife.”
(Chron., 6th books, p. 117, col. 2, from Chron. Nicol. Gillem., fol. 44)

NOTE: All the particulars mentioned respecting said Arnold, clearly indicate
the uprightness of his mind and views, as well as how far he stood aloof from
the superstitions of the Roman church, which superstitions then had already risen
very high. The latter especially appears from various circumstances.

First, Because it is stated that he did not preach the traditions and legends of
the Romanists, but the Gospel.

Secondly, Because it is shown when he preached from the Gospel, namely, Christ and the Christian faith, but nothing about the power of the Roman bishop, or about the Roman faith.

Thirdly, because it is stated, according to ancient writers, that having been
martyred for said faith, he was buried there (where he had been put to death) by
his wife; but to have a wife the Romanists had many years before forbidden, to
teachers and deacons, on pain of deposition. With regard to this, the article 
established about the year 495, in a certain papal council, reads as follows:
“The priests, that is, those who also preach, and deacons shall abstain from taking them selves wives; if they do not observe this, they shall be deposed from their office.” (Seb. Franck, Chron. Rom. Concilen, fol. 48 col. 4, from Concil. Aphr.)

Fourthly, because we have found, in the ancient registers, in which the names of the principal ancient teachers and martyrs are recorded, not the least charge laid against this man, either of superstition, or anything else; although we searched diligently, and had others search.

NOTE: It appears that about nine years after the death of said martyr, Arnold, namely, A.D. 520, a great persecution arose in Arabia against the Christians;
of which P.J. Twisck writes the following: “A.D. 520, a seditious Jew, who 
pretended to be the second Moses, caused an awful massacre and persecution of the Christians, at Nagra in Arabia, in the reign of the Emperor Justin; he slew the pious Bishop Arethas and many thousands of Christians. (Chron. 6th book, page 180, col. 1, from Nicephor., lib. 16, cap. 6.) But as we have not been able to obtain reliable information, except that which we have shown, concerning this Bishop Arethas, as to whether he was a true and orthodox bishop, as well as in regard to the many thousands of Christians who were slain with him, as to whether they professed a good profession of faith, which we doubt very much, we will not concern ourselves with them. Nevertheless, it must be considered, that among so great a number there were at least some, here and there, who died in the true faith, seeing the same where sometimes scattered in various countries. Of this we will let the well-meaning reader judge for himself.

From “Martyr’s Mirror” written in 1660 by Thieleman Van Braght


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It is recorded that A.D. 923, an upright Christian woman, called Eugenia,
was apprehended in the afore-mentioned persecution, and, remaining steadfast
in the confession of the faith in the Son of God, was beheaded, on the
sixteenth of March, A.D. 923, through the tyrant and persecutor Habdarrhaghman.

It is stated that in digging the foundation of some building, in a village called
Marmolejos, near Cordova, where she was martyred, an epitaph was found, the
first letters of each line of which spelled her name: Eugenia Martyr, that is,
Eugenia the Witness (namely, of Jesus), as a token that she had died for the
testimony of Jesus her Saviour. There could be gathered from it, further, the 
time when this took place, as well as the manner in which she was put to death, 
namely, that she was beheaded with the sword, at the time indicated above.*

From “Martyr’s Mirror” written in 1660 by Thieleman Van Braght


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We read in the ancient chronicles, that in the year 1135, several persons were burnt alive by the Emperor Lotharius, at Treves and Utrecht; concerning which the Chron. Sax., in particular, expressly mentions, that they were burnt as heretics.  However, in what their alleged heresy consisted, is not clearly expressed.  This however, is certain: that they separated from the Roman church, and opposed her errors.

Abraham Mellinus concludes, from the circumstances mentioned with regard to them, that they were Berengarians, or followers of Berengarius.  “For,” says he, “the reader must know, that after Berengarius’ death very many were condemned as heretics, simply because they had the same belief with Berengarius, respecting the Lord’s Supper, and opposed the bread-god of the mass.”   Second book, fol. 395, col. 3, from Chron. Sax.  


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H. Montanus states, from Caesar Baronius, that this Peter Abelard was the one from whom the afore-mentioned Arnald had obtained the doctrine against infant baptism, drawn, however, chiefly from the holy Scriptures; which is not contradicted, but sufficiently confirmed, by Mellinus, when he say:  “That said Arnald was a disciple of Peter Abelard, from France, where he had pursued his studies,”  Second book, page 425, col. 3.

He then adds this account:  “That Pope Innocent, after the great synod which he had held, at Rome, against the abettors of this doctrine, wrote letters to Samson, Archbishop of Rheims, Henry, Archbishop of Sens, and Bernhard, abbot of  Clairvaux, against Arnald of Brescia, and his teacher Peter Abelard; charging the former, that wherever they should find these two, they should confine them separately, in a monastery, as originators of a perverted doctrine, and antagonists of the Catholic faith, and burn their books or writings wherever they should discover them.”

As to what was the belief of Peter Abelard,” says   Mellinus, “and in what points he assailed popery, can be seen and read in all his works, which have just been published in print in France; where it will also be found, in his letters, how much he had to suffer for his belief.”

Touching his belief and death.–Concerning Peter Abelard and his belief, especially how he opposed infant baptism, and instructed his disciple,    Arnald, in this point, see  Jacob Mehrn., Bapt. Hist., page 598.  Baron., A.D. 1139, num. 3, and A .D. 1145. H. Montan, Nietigh., page 84.  Also Introduction, fol. 49.

Mellinus finally states, from ancient writers, that Peter Abelard, after much suffering, died in the monastery in which he had been confined, by order of the o   pope on account of his faith.  This happened, according to our reckoning, about the year 1146, after the death of his disciple   Arnold.


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P. J. Twisck gives the following account in his Chronijck, for the year 1145:  “About this time there were famous in France, Peter Bruis, formerly a priest, and his disciple, Henry of Toulouse; both had been monks, were learned men, and great nor small.  They called the pope the prince of  Sodom, and the city of Rome the mother of all unrighteousness, abomination, and execration.  They sopke against the mass, images, pilgrimages, and other institutions of the Roman church.  They renounced infant baptism, saying that none but the believing were entitled to baptism.

When Peter had preached about twenty years, namely, from before the year 1126 until 1145, the people flocking to him in great numbers, he was finally publicly burnt in the city of St. Giles, also called St. Aegidius.

His disciple Henry, who followed him in the doctrine, was intercepted and apprehended some time after by the legate of the pope, and put out of the way, so that his fater is not known.  This is held to have occurred two years after the death of Peter Bruis, numely A.D. 1147.

After their death a cruel persecution arose against all those who had followed their doctrine, many of whom went joyfully to meet death.  In short, however assiduously the popes with all their shaves heads aided by princes and secular magistrates, exerted themselves to exterminate them, first, by disputations, then by banishment and papal excommunications and anathemas, proclamation of crusades, indulgences, and pardons to all those who should do violence* to said people, and, finally by all manner of torment, fire, gallows, and cruel bloodshedding, yea, so that the whole world was in commotion on account of it; yet, could they not prevent this persuasion from spreading everywhere, and going forth into every country and kingdom, holding their worship secretly as well as openly, with great or small numbers, according to the tyranny, cruelty or persuasion of the times, and continuing until the year 1304; of whom over a hundred persons were put to death, or burnt, at Paris; and thus their descendants, as history states, continued, though under much tribulation, until this time.  P.J. Twisck, Chron., page 450, from Philip Marnix Tafer, 3d part, cap. 12, fol. 141, 142.  Merula, fol. 748, 853.  Hist. Mart. Doopsg., fol. 15.  Also, Introduction, page 49.


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For the year 1183 we read of many more such people, who were called publicans (of which name we have already spoken) and whom Philip, Count of FLanders, and William, Archbishop of Rheims, caused, most unmercifully, to be burnt.

Concerning this, Rigordus, an ancient historian of those times, writes as follows for said year:  “At this time, very many heretics (thus this papistic writer calls the true Christians), were burnt in Flanders, by the reverend bishop of Rheims, cardinal priest of the title of Sancta Sabina, Legate of the Pope, and by Philip, the illustrious count of Flanders, rig. p. 168, edit. Wechelian.

“The same year,” says the above author, “over seven thousand Cottarelli (Thus he calls the pious witnesses of Jesus, also called Waldenses and Albigenses), were salin in the province of Bourges, by the inhabitants of the land, who all united against them, as against the enemies of God.”

Notice here, that they must all have been defensless people, since so great a number suffered themselves to be put to death b y so few people as there were at that time in the small province of Bourges; however, we leave this to God.

The same writer adds also this:  “In the same year, Pope Lucius condemned as heretics those who in Italy were called Humilitani, and in France, Poor Men of Lyons (the Albigenses and Waldenses), whereupon, as may well be supposed, no small persecution took place in those hot times.

This decree, it seems, was the first published, or else renewed, A.D. 1184, or, as others state A.D. 1885, according to the account of Mellinus, 2d book, fol. 443, col. 2.


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A.D. 1198, Innocent III became pope in the place of    Celestine.  At his consecration he applied to himself the words which John the Baptist spoke of Christ; “he that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which    standeth and  heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice.”

Upon these words Innocent addressed his   bridesmen, the cardinals, archbishops and bishops as follows:  “And am I not the bridegroom, and every one of you a friend of the bridegroom?  Yea, I am the bridegroom; for I have the noble, rich, and high exalted, yea, the honorable, pure, gracious, and holy Roman church for my bride, who, by the ordinance of God, is the mother of all the faithful, and the     supreme mistress over all the churches.  She is wiser than Sarah, more prudent than Rebecca, more fruitful than Leah, more agreeable than Rachel, more devout than Anna, purer than Susanna, more valiant than Judith, more beautiful than    Edessaea.  Many daughters have gathered great riches; but she has excelled them all.  I have espoused her  sacramentally.  This bride has not been wedded to me  portionless, but has given me her rich dowry, namely, the fullness of spiritual and of temporal power.”  Innocent. 3, in  Consecra. Pontif., Serm. 3, page 19.

Pope Innocent III was the first who instituted the office of the inquisition, with ordained inquisitors; to which end he also wrote a letter, in the first year of his popedom, on the first day of April, to the archbishop of Auxitana; in which he greatly complains of the enemies of St. Peter’s Shiplet, as he calls it, and then speaks as follows:

“We desire that you and your fellow bishops, by your prudence, shall guard the more vigorously against this malady (meaning the doctrine of the Waldenses and Albigenses), and oppose it the more strenuously, as you see the more reason to fear that the sound part of the body may become infected by the disease; lest by such contagions, which spread gradually like a cancer, the minds of the faithful become infected by a general corruption.

“Therefore we send you brotherly love, and charge you most earnestly by this apostolic letter, that you do your utmost, to exterminate (all) heresy, and to banish from your province all those that are contaminated therewith; and that against them and all those who are contaminated therewith, or have any fellowship with them, or who are openly suspected of having familiar intercourse with them, you do not only exercise all the rigor of church discipline, without intervention of appeal, but also, if necessary, subdue or punish them by the power of the material sword,  by princes, or by the people.” 

On these words the papistic commentator remarks, in the margin:  “Up to this time, no inquisitors had yet been sent or appointed by the pope.”

In the same month, namely on the 21st of April, 1198, twenty days after the writing of the first letter, Pope Innocent III wrote another letter, not only to the above-mentioned Bishop of Auxitana, but also to the archbishops of Aix, Narbonne, Vienne, Arles, Ebredun, Tarragon, Lyons, Etc., and at the same time appointed one Reinerius and one Guido as his commissaries or inquisitors, to apprehend those who sought to escape the dominion of the Roman church.  The contents of the letter were directed against the Waldenses, and commanded that they should be caught, as little foxes that sopil the vineyards.  Finally he commands them to be driven out of the country.  Ipist. de Cretal., lib. 1, pages 56, 57, edit. Colon.

In the following month, namely on the 13th of May, Innocent wrote still another letter for the same purpose; in which he again aommanded that the little foxes should be caught, and promises to send the inquisitors, adding:

“We pray, admonish, and entreat you all together, in the name of the Lord, and charge you, unto remission of sins, that you receive them (the inquisitors, Reinerius and Guido), kindly, aid them manfully and vigorously, and lend them a helping hand by good counsel and with the deed.

“But, as brother Reinerius, for urgent and important matter of the church, has first, by order of the apostolical see, gone to Spain, we will and command nevertheless, that you archbishops and bishops, draw the spiritual sword, when requested so to do by said brother Guido, against the heretics whom he shall name to you; but let the lay power confiscate their goods, and banish them from the country, and thus separate the chaff from the wheat.

“Furthermore, to all who in this great difficulty which now threatens the church, shall faithfully and devotedly assist her in maintaining the Christian faith, we grant the same indulgence, pardon, or remission of sins, which we have granted to all those who go on a pilgrimage to St. Peter’s or St. Jacob’s church.  Given at Rome, on the above day, A. D. 1198.” Page 98.


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Born in Bonaduz, a village in Grisons, Switzerland, in 1941. George Blaurock was destined to become a leader among the Anabaptists. We know little of his early life, but he was educated in the University of Leipzig, was a married man before becoming involved with the Anabaptists, and had been a Roman Catholic priest. He has been alluded to as “the Hercules of the Anabaptist,” but the name “Blaurock” was given to him because of the “blue coat” that he wore. He has also been referred to as “the second Paul” because of his oratorical gifts.

Blaurock was primarily known for his boldness and zeal rather than his intellectual ability, but his debates with Zwingli evidenced that he had a keen mind too. In personal appearance he was described as being “tall, powerful figure with fiery eyes, black hair and a small bald spot.”

His record of imprisonment and suffering is amazing. Blaurock was arrested on February 7, 1525, along with Manz and twenty-four parents who had refused to have their children baptized, and for a week he was incarcerated in the Augustinian cloister. At the end of the week, he was released. On November 6, 1525, he was rearrested and placed in chains. On the eighteenth of the month, he was sentenced to imprisonment in the New Tower, to be kept on a diet of bread and water. On January 5, 1527, the day of Felix Manz’s glorious martyrdom, “Blaurock’s hands were bound, his body was stripped to the waist, and as he passed along the street from the Fishmarket to the Niederdorf Gate, he was beaten with rods until the blood flowed from the wounds thus made. Blaurock endured his sufferings not less heroically than Manz. At the gate an oath that he would not return was demanded of him by the officers who had conducted him thither; but he refused saying that to take an oath is forbidden by God. On this account, he was taken back to the Wellenberg to await the further decision of the Council. Blaurock soon concluded to take the oath, it is said; but as he left Zurich he shook the dust from his blue coat and his shoes as a testimony against his persecuting adversaries.”

But Blaurock was a man of conviction and could not be silenced. He continued for two years to carry on the work of the Anabaptists in Switzerland. “On September 6, 1529, when he was the pastor of a small church of believers in Tyrol, George was burned at the stake. That little group of believers was once more without a pastor; its previous one had been burned there a mere three months earlier.”

Thank God, truth cannot be drowned or burned! As we read the accounts of such men of God, may we resolve within our hearts as well to be witnesses of the Lord Jesus Christ, either by life or by death!

from “This Day in Baptist History”, by E. Wayne Thompson and David L. Cummins.

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Joan Boucher, known also as Joan of Kent in England, was a lady of note, possessing much wealth. She was also well known at the palace in the days of King Henry VIII and King Edward VI. Joan belonged to the Anabaptist Assembly in Kent and with her friend Anne Askew was devoted to the study and circulation of Tyndale’s translation which had been printed at Cologne in 1534. It is reported that she carried copies of this prohibited book under her clothing on her visits to the court and very likely to the prisons also, which she visited often and where she used her wealth to relieve those who suffered for Jesus’ sake.

Joan was arrested in May of 1549 and was exposed to cruel interrogations. She was examined and cross-examined, entreated and threatened, but she would not moved from her faith. The whole futile operation was a travesty of properly exercised authority. If she were an empty-headed woman, as they pretended, they brought no honor to themselves in spending eightenn months of their time, before and during her imprisonment, trying to prove her a heretic. Lord Richie kept her at his house for two weeks as Bishops Cranmer and Ridley of the Church of England attempted to dissuade her from her Baptist convictions. Her judges called her demeaning titles but not “lady,” where her parentage, position, and character demanded.

Foxe, also of the Church of England but of a tender heart, tried to save her and to induce the Vicar, John Rogers of St. Sepulcher, to help him. Rogers refused, however, believeing that Joan ought to be executed, and reportedly, he spoke lightly of death by burning. Only five years later, Roger’s poor wife and eight children saw him consumed by flames at Smithfield, London, as he became the first martyr under Bloody Mary’s reign.

Joan Boucher suffered amongst the flames May 2, 1550, to the eternal disgrace of all concerned. Common decency might have spared her the mockery of hiving Bishop Scorey preach to her while at the stake and vilify her there under pretense of pious exhortation. Yet possibly her last act did him a service which he needed very much and which had never been been done for him previously. Her sermon to him is immortal, while his to her has long since been forgotten. Listening to him just before her soul ascended to heaven in the flame, she sad in reply, “You like like rogue. Go read the Scriptures.”

She believed in Christ’s miraculous incarnation but rejected the doctrine of the immaculate conception of Mary and her subsequent sinlessness, insisting that Mary, like other womn, needed to rejoice in God her Saviour. Joan was a woman dedicated to God and His Word. While men of rank and station in this life capitulated, she stood firm as a lady of strong conviction and Christian character. We thank God for courageous woman who, through sufferings, remained faithful to God’s truth. Many women are included in God’s roll of the faithful.

from “This Day in Baptist History”, by E. Wayne Thompson and David L. Cummins.

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The Vaudois (Waldenses) were the especial objects of the hatred of Rome, and this period of their history is marked by many martyrdoms. The Pope and the Jesuits found time to note almost each individual Vaudois who refused to submit to them, and in October, 1566, the Pontiff threatened to break off diplomatic relations with the Duke of Savoy if he refused to put to death a poor Protestant named George Olivet. 

“Jordan Tertian was burned alive at Suza; Hyppolyte Rossier was burned at Turin; Villermin Ambroise was hanged on the Col de Meane; Ugon Chiamps, of Fenestrelle, was taken at Suza, and conducted to Turin, where his bowels were torn out, and flung into a basin, without his sufferings being terminated even by this frightful torture. Peter Geymonat, of Bobi, died at Lucerna, with a living cat in the interior of his body; Mary Romaine was buried alive at Roche-Plaate; Madeleine Fontane suffered the same fate at St. John; Michel Gonet, a man almost a hundred years of age, was burned alive at Sarcena; Susanna Michelin, at the same place, was left in a dying state upon the snow. Bartholomew Frache, having been hacked with sabres, had his wounds filled with quicklime, and expired in this manner at Fenil. Daniel Michelin had his tongue torn out at Bobi, for having praised God. James Baridon died covered with brimstone matches, which they had fastened between his fingers, and about his lips, his nostrils, and all parts of his body. Daniel Revel had his mouth filled with gunpowder, which was set on fire, and the explosion of which tore his head in pieces. Mary Mounin was taken in the Combe of Liousa, the flesh of her cheeks and of her chin was removed, so that the jaws were exposed, and in this way she was left to die. Paul Garnier was slowly mangled at Rora; Thomas Marguet mutilated in an indescribable manner at the Fort of Mirabouc, and Susanna Jaquin cut in pieces at La Tour. 

A number of young women of Taillaret, in order to escape outrages still more dreadful to them than death, flung themselves from a precipice, and perished among the rocks. Sarah Rostagnol was cleft up through the middle of her body, and was left in a dying state on the road from Eyrals to Lucerna. Anne Charbonnier was impaled alive, and borne in this state like a banner from St. Jean to La Tour. At Paesane, Daniel Rambaud had his nails torn out, then his fingers cut off, then his feet and hands were severed by blows of hatchets, and then his arms and legs were separated from his body upon each refusal that he made to abjure the Gospel.

“There is not a rock in the Vaudois Valleys which may not be looked on as a monument of death, not a meadow but has been the scene of some execution, not a village but has had its martyrs. No history, however complete, can contain a record of them all.” 

–James D. McCabe, Jr., “Cross and Crown”, National Pub. Co., Philadelphia, 1874, P. 402-403.


Aeltgen Baten was an aged woman, and Maeyken Wouters was a young woman of about twenty-four years. Through the grace of God, they obtained the true knoweldge of the gospel of Jesus Christ, believed the same, amended their lives according to its requirements, and were baptized upon their faith in Christ according to His commandment and the practice of the apostles.

This behaviour could not be tolerated by the authorities of the state church; so they sent fourteen trappers (men who were charged to bring in those who offended the officials) to apprehend those two inoffensive women. On their way to prison, much sympathy was expressed for them. Maeken said to them that she would rather go to prison for the testimony of Christ than go home.

They were imprisoned ten weeks in the officials’ tower, where they were vexed with threatening and entreaties to turn from their faith. One bishop’s chaplain came to Maeyken with bland words and a can of wine in the hope of getting her to recant. He appealed to her on bended knee, but she proved herself faithful and repelled the devil’s deceit.

On another occasion an acquaintance appealed: “My dear friend Maeyken, oh that you would obey, and yeild a point, to be released from these bonds. When you get out, you can live as before.” She replied, “My dear friend, would you advise me this, that I should forsake God and become a child of the devil?” The man said, “Then you will have to die.” Thereupon Maeyken said, “I should rather have this come to pass with us, than enjoy the light of day.”

These two saints of God endured the worst tortures devised by depraved mankind, often fainting and being revived with dashes of cold water. They were so sustained by God thaqt Aeltgen said, “Yes, if the door stood open, I should not wish to go away.” In all their sufferings they were joyful in their God and thanked Him in their hearts and sang praises to Him in the prison.

Their sentences were that they be drowned by being cast alive, bound, from the Meuse River bridge. They were gagged, bound, and led to the bridge where their gags were removed. Aeltgen said, “O Lord, this is a beautiful city indeed: would that it repented with Nineveh,” and as she commended herself to God, the executioner cast her from the bridge were she was instantly drowned. Maeyken said to the executioner, “Grant me, that in my greatest extremity I may pray to God and call upon Him.” The executioner answered, “Pray to our lords the magistrates, and believe with us in the Romish Church, and you should save your life.” Maeyken said, “I have never done a miss to the magistrates; hence I also need not worship them.” She was cast into the water, and with radiant countenance, she drifted upon the water for a long time until she was swallowed up into its depths. Thus these two faithful Christians began their lives in the presence of their Lord on July 24, 1595.

from “This Day in Baptist History”, by E. Wayne Thompson and David L. Cummins.


Baptist pastors were “marked” men in England when George Fownes became the pastor of the Baptist church in Broadmead, Bristol, in 1679. Thomas Ewins, a former pastor at Broadmead, had died as the result of his imprisonments while pastoring there (cf. April 26). Thomas Hardcastle, the next pastor, served from 1671 to 1678, and he was “imprisoned oft” and wrote blessed epistles to the saints from his Bristol cell to encourage and edify them.

George Fownes “was…born in Shropshire, bred up in school-learning in Shrwsbury; and his father dying, his mother sent him to Cambridge, where he was reckoned a considerable scholar, and one of a shar wit.” Soon fater his arrival in Bristol, new persectuion broke out, and the authorities attempted to arrest Pastor Fownes. On August 3, 1680. Fownes proposed that the congregation seriously consider the steps that should be taken if the services were interrupted by law officers. In essence they determined to continue their worship services unless the magistrate himself used violence. This tactic worked well until December 18, 1681, when the civil, ecclesiastical, and military powers invaded the house of God on the Lord’s Day and Pastor Fownes was sent to prison at Newgate. After six weeks in jail, he appeared befor the judge and was acquitted due to a flaw in the warrant.

Returning to his flock, he made arrangements, for safety’s sake, to hold services in the fields rather than in their church building. Regardless of the weather, the saints gathered to worship and to hear the Word of God. In March of 1682 Pastor Fownes was arrested again on the highway in Kingswood for suspicion of coming from a meeting, though the accusers could not prove it. He was committed to Gloucester Jail, and his warrant was for six months. The persecutors declared publicly that he would not leave the jail alive. An effort was made to suborn witnesses, but this attempt proved futile. A jury was impaneled, and the man of God served as his own attorney. When the jury returned and pronounced the verdict of “not guilty,” the bishop’s chancellor, being one of the justices on the bench, said, “What! Not guilty?” The foreman reported the jury’s findings, but the pastor was returned to prison in spite of the verdict. When his six months had ended, Pastor Fownes demanded his freedom; however, a bond was demanded of him and the promise to cease preaching. He refused and requested a judicial inquest. Two justices appeared before the judge stating that if Fownes were released “he would draw all the country after him” Thus it was that for the next two and a half years the dear man of God was held in the Gloucester prison until the Lord in mercy released him in death in December of 1685.

After the Act of Toleration, the Broadmead Church finally knew peace, and Pastor Fownes’s son, George Fownes, became the pastor in 1693. In 1695 “the church built a new meeting-house 50 feet long by 40 feet, in the clear, and a vestry room 20 feet square.” How we ought to thank the Lord for staunch forebears who were willing to be faithful regardless of the cost.

from “This Day in Baptist History”, by E. Wayne Thompson and David L. Cummins.


Mamas, a shepherd, who pastured his sheep upon the mountains and in the wildernesses of Cappadocia, lived very poorly, without a hut, dwelling under the blue heavens, and subsisting on the milk and cheese of his flock, as Basilius testifies.  Nazianzenus adds, that the hinds also suffered themselves to be milked by him daily, and that he was thus fed by  them.

Basilius says, that from the course of the heavenly bodies he learned to know the wonderful works of God, his Creator, and thus His eternal power and wisdom.  However, the accounts written concerning him state that he had the Word of God with him in the desert, and that he read in it daily.

It is quite probable, writes Mellinus, that this Mamas, in order to escape the persecution in the time of Decius and Valerian, went into the wilderness, and remained there till the time of Aurelian, whose proconsul of Cappadocia, Alexander, caused him to be brought out of the wilderness, and to appear before him, at Caesarea, the capital of Cappadocia.

The proconsul called him a sorcerer or conjurer, because the wild animals of the wilderness so tamely submitted to him.

Mamas answered:  “I am  a servant of Christ, and know nothing about sorcery; but would rather live among the wild animals, than among you:  for they feel the power of their Creator in and through me; but ye will not know God.  I cannot sufficiently wonder that you, who have attained to gray hairs, are still in such gross darkness of ignorance, as to forsake the true and living God, and give divine honor to deaf and dumb idols.”

When he was requested to say at least with his lips, that he would sacrifice to the gods, so as to escape punishment, Mamas replied: “I shall never, either with my lips, or with my heart, deny the true God and King, Jesus Christ.  So far as I from seeking to escape suffering for the name of Christ, that I, on the contrary, consider it the highest honor, the greatest gain, and the utmost benefit, which you can confer upon me.”

Upon this confession, the proconsul had him placed on the rack, cruelly scourged, tormented with pincers, burnt on his sides with lamps and torches, and tortured in various other ways.  But seeing that in all these and other torments he remained steadfast, he finally had him thrust through with a three-pronged spear; and thus Mamas became Aurelian, at Caesarea in Cappadocia.

From “Martyr’s Mirror” written in 1660 by Thieleman Van Braght  


It is state that at this time, as the heathen at Augustodunum, now called Autum, in Burgundy, on a feat-day of the goddess Cybele, whom they called the mother of the gods, carried around her image on a wagon, in procession, a certain pious Christian, called Symphorianus, met this image, and refused to worship it; in consequence of which he was apprehended as an impious person, or despiser of the gods, and brought before Heraclius, the Proconsul, who, in that city, exercised the strictest vilgilance over the Christians. When he stood before the judgment seat, the Proconsul asked him for his name. Symphorian replied that he was a Christian by religion, was born of Christian parents, and had received the name Symphorian.

The judge said: “Why didst thou not honor the mother of the gods, or worship her image?” 

Symphorian answered: “Because, I am a Christian, and call only upon the living God, who reigns in heaven. But as to the image of Satan I not only do not worship it, but, if you will let me, I will break it in pieces with a hammer.”

The Judge said: “This man is not only sacrilegious at heart, but also obstinate and a rebel; but perhaps he knows nothing of the ordinances or decrees of the Emperors.”

The decrees having been read to him, Symphorian said: I shall notwithstanding never confess that this image is anything but a worthless idol of Satan, by which he persuades men that he is a god; while it is an evident demonstration of their eternal destruction for all those who put their trust in it.”

Upon this confession, the Judge caused him to be scourged and cast into prison, to keep him for some other day. Some time after, he had him brought again before his judgment seat, and addressed him with kind words, saying: “Symphorian, sacrifice to the gods, that thou mayest be promoted to the highest honor and state at court. If not, I call the gods to witness that I am compelled this day, after various tortures, to sentence thee to death.”

Symphorian answered: “What matters it, if we deliver up this life to Christ, since, by reason of debt, in any event we must pay it to Him? Your gifts and presents are mingled with the sweetness of the adulterated honey, with which you poison the minds of the unbelieving. But our treasures and riches are ever in Christ, our Lord, alone; and do not perish through age or length of time; whereas your desire is insatiable, and you possess nothing, even though you have everything in abundance. The joy and mirth which you enjoy in this world, is like fine glass, which, if placed in the radiance and heat of the sun, cracks and breaks in two; but God alone is our supreme happiness.

After Symphorian had said these and like things before the Judge, Heraclius, the Proconsul, pronounced sentence of death upon him, saying: “Symphorian, having openly been found guilty of death, because he hath blasphemed against the holy altars, shall be executed with the sword.”

When this godly confessor was led to death, to be offered up to Christ, his mother called down to him from the wall of the city this comforting admonition: “Symphorian, my son! my son! remember the living God; let thy heart be steadfast and valiant. We can surely not fear death, which beyond doubt leads us into the true life. Lift up thy heart to heaven, my son, and behold Him who reigns in heaven! Today thy life will not be taken from thee, but be changed into a better one. If thou remainest steadfast today, thou shalt make a happy exchange; leaving this earthly house, thou shalt go to dwell in the tabernacle not made with hands.”

Symphorian, having been thus strengthened by his mother, was taken out of the city, and beheaded there, having commended his soul into the hands of God, in the time of Emperor Aurelian, and Heraclius, the Proconsul, at Autum in Burgundy. His dead body was buried by certain Christians.

From “Martyr’s Mirror” written in 1660 by Thieleman Van Braght  


Not long afterwards, under the same Emperor and Proconsul, and in the same year, Zenobius, Bishop of the church of Aegea in Cilicia, and his sister, were apprehended; and when there were held out to him on the one hand, great wealth, honor, and position, if, in accordance with the command of the Emperor, he would serve the gods, but on the other hand, manifold torments, Zenobius answered: “I love Jesus Christ more than all the riches and honor of this world. Death and the torments with which you threaten me, I do not consider a disadvantage, but my greatest gain.”

Having received this answer from the martyr, Lysias caused him to be suspended on the rack, and inhumanly tormented on his whole body.

While the executioners were busy with Zenobius, his sister Zenobia, having learned of it, came running, crying with a loud voice: ‘Thou tyrant, what villainy has my brother committed, that thou dost thus cruelly torment him?”

Having thus addressed Lysias, and set at naught his entreating as well as his threatening words, she, too, was seized by the servants, stripped naked, and stretched out, and roasted beside her brother on a red-hot iron bed, or roasting pan. The tyrant, deriding the martyrs, said: “Now let Christ come and help you, seeing you suffer these torments for Him.”

Zenobius replied: “See, He is already with us, and cools, with His heavenly dew the flames of fire on our bodies; though thou, surrounded as thou art with the thick darkness of wickedness, canst not perceive it on us.”

Lysias, almost beside himself, commanded that they should be put naked into boiling caldrons. But seeing that the boiling water did not injure them, or at least, that they could not thereby be made to apostatize, he had them taken out of the city and beheaded. Their dead bodies were buried by Caius and Hermogenes in the nearest cave. This happened A.D. 285, on the 30th day of October, in the city of Aegae in Cilicia.

From “Martyr’s Mirror” written in 1660 by Thieleman Van Braght  


Upon Charles II’s death, his brother James II ascended the throne of England.  He was an avowed Catholic and was ready to re-establish Catholicism in England, regardless of what is might cost him.  It was during his short reign (1685-88) that Benjamin and William Hewling surrendered their lives at a young age (Benjamin 22 and William 19) “for the English liberties, and the Protestant religion.”

They had been preceded in death by their father and had been brought up by a gentle mother and grandfather.  William Kiffin, who was one of the wealthiest and most eminent preachers among the Baptists of that day.  These young man, seeing popery encouraged and religious liberty likely to be invaded, furnished themselves with arms and joined the Duke of Monmouth in an unsuccessful struggle for civil and religious freedom.  After the dispersing of the duke’s army, they fled by ship but were driven back and forced to surrender themselves.

They were imprisoned in Newgate, where they were separated and their families forbidden to see them.  Their grandfather made an appeal for the release of his grandsons, which was rejected by the king and those representing him.  The Hewling brothers were transported from place to place and ultimately tried and condemned to death.  Their sister was finally able to follow them and minister to some of their needs.  She gave this account:

They with great cheerfulness professed that they were better and in a more happy condition than ever in their lives, from the sense they had of the pardoning love of God in Jesus Christ to their souls; wholly referring themselves to their wise and gracious God to choose for them life or death… “We know he is able to deliver; but if not blessed be His name; death is not terrible now, but       desirable.  As for the world, there is nothing in it to make it worth while to live, except we may be serviceable to God therein.  Oh!  God is a strong refuge:  I have found Him so indeed.”

At the time of his execution, William wrote these few lines to a friend, “I am going to launch into eternity, I hope and trust, into the arms of my blessed redeemer; to Whom I commit you, and all my dear relations.”

Benjamin received news of his brother’s execution with great assurance and comfort, and as the hour of his own execution was near, he said, “When I have considered others under these circumstances, I have thought it very dreadful; but now God hath called me to it….I can cheerfully embrace it as an easy passage to glory; and though death separates from the enjoyments of each other, it will be for a very short time, and then we shall meet in such enjoyments as now we cannot conceive of, and forever enjoy each other’s happiness.”

On September 30, 1685, Benjamin Hewling came to the place of execution, which was surrounded with spectators.  His testimony of cheerfulness and joy gave evidence of the presence of God.  There were all sorts of people present, including the soldiery, who were exceedingly affected and amazed at the composure and strength of this young martyr.  God’s grace is sufficient, no matter how trying the circumstance.

[1]  J. Newton Brown, Memorials of Baptist Martyrs  (Philadelphia:  American Baptist Publication Society, 1854), p. 247.

[2]  Ibid, p. 249

[3]  Ibid, p. 216

rom “This Day in Baptist History”, by E. Wayne Thompson and David L. Cummins.


The Rye-house Plot, as it was called, stands associated in English history with acts of atrocious cruelty, perpetrated under the color of the administration of justice.  The perpetrators were said to have contemplated the assassination of Charles II, but of this accusation there is no evidence.  Those accused of perpetrating the “plot” committed no overt act, and those executed died as the result of the most flagrant violation of law and justice.

Elizabeth Gaunt, a godly Baptist woman who lived in London, spent a great part of her life doing acts of charity, visiting jails, and looking after the poor of whatever religious persuasion they might be.  However, her compassion became her undoing.  An accused rebel was looking for refuge from his pursuers.  Elizabeth, thinking him one who was escaping religious persecution, took him in while she looked for opportunity to send him out of the kingdom.  He heard that Charles II would sooner pardon the rebels than those who harbored them.  Upon receiving this information, he delivered himself up and accused her who had harbored him in exchange for his life.  Elizabeth was seized, tried, and condemned, though there was no other witness to prove that she knew that the person she harbored was guilty of high treason.  She truly thought she was rpotecting a nonconformist.  Though in the eye of the law she was innocent and though witnesses were ready to attest to her virtues, the judge refused to let them testify and instructed the jury to find her guilty.

Elizabeth was condemned and burned, as the law directed in the case of women guilty of treason.  She died with a steadfastness and cheerfulness that amazed all who saw it.  She said that charity was as much a part of her religion as faith.  She hoped she had reward with Him for whose sake she did this service, however unworthy the person was who made so ill a return for it.  Elizabeth rejoiced that God had honored her to suffer by fire and that her suffering was a martyrdom, for that religion which was all love.

William Penn, the Quaker, saw Elizabeth lay the straw about her for a speedy burning and witnessed her behavior that was in such a way that all the spectators were moved to tears.  Not knowing whether she would have strength at the stake to speak because of weakness fro her hard and severe imprisonment,  Elizabeth left a short epistle in which she wrote:  “Neither do I find in my heart the least regret at anything I have done in the service of my Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, in securing and succoring His poor sufferers, that have showed favor to His righteous cause.”

Elizabeth Gaunt was executed at Tyburn, near London, October 23, 1685.  She is entitled to an eternal monument in the hearts of all true Christians as one who gave refuge and sustenance to God’s servants who were fleeing the wrath of the Papist rulers.  She was truly a Dorcas who “was full of goods works and alms deeds,”  (Acts 9:36)  The annals of Baptist history are full of the deeds of godly women.  May our generation add to those records women of Christian character an faithfulness.

[1]  J. Newton Brown, Memorials of Baptist Martyrs  (Philadelphia:  American Baptist Publication Society, 1854), p. 301.

 from “This Day in Baptist History”, by E. Wayne Thompson and David L. Cummins.

The Martyrdom of John Kelly

A Rhode Island pastor helping Iraqi Christians start a church is killed in a Valentine’s Day ambush near Baghdad

08:25 AM EST on Tuesday, February 17, 2004

A pastor leaves a legacy of love BY PAUL DAVIS Journal Staff Writer

SOUTH KINGSTOWN — Just before he left for Iraq, pastor John Kelley asked a friend to deliver a dozen roses to his wife, Jane.
She got the flowers — along with a red, heart-shaped balloon that said “I Love You” — on Valentine’s Day. That same day her husband, in Iraq to start a church, was killed when gunmen pulled up alongside the car he was riding in and opened fire, church officials said.

Jane, the pianist for her husband’s tiny Curtis Corner Baptist Church, played hymns the next day during two Sunday services. She kept a box of tissues on the floor while the congregation sang “Count Your Blessings” and “Nothing But the Blood.”

Three other pastors — Kirk DiVietro, of the Grace Baptist Church in Franklin, Mass.; David G. Davis, of the Grace Bible Baptist Church in Vernon, Conn., and Garland Carey, of the Valley Bible Baptist Church in Newburgh, N.Y. — were slightly injured in the attack, church officials said.

Kelley, a former Marine and pastor of the Curtis Corner church for 19 years, will be buried Tuesday at the Rhode Island Veterans Cemetery in Exeter. The 48-year-old South Kingstown man was a part-time minister at the ACI.

“I feel like I lost a brother,” said Roland Vukic, a church member and a close friend of Kelley’s. “Pastor Kelley was not aloof — he was not one to run around in fancy robes. He could be your brother, he could be your best friend.”

A self-taught carpenter, Kelley wanted to build a bigger church for his congregation because the old one, built in 1842, needed more classrooms.

He also planned to go skydiving with Vukic’s son, Erik, who helped Kelley remodel several houses. He wanted to take a boat out of Galilee to go cod fishing in March. “He was probably the most straightforward guy I knew,” said Erik Vukic. “He didn’t think of himself as better than anybody else.”

The U.S. military in Baghdad confirmed yesterday that gunmen killed an American Baptist minister and wounded several others in a Feb. 14 ambush near the town of Mahmudiyah, about 15 miles south of Baghdad. U.S. officials would not identify the missionaries.

But New England church officials said Kelley was part of a small group of ministers who went to Iraq on Feb. 6 to help Iraqi Christians start a church in Baghdad. Kelley planned to return Friday.

“They were going to ordain a pastor,” help organize the church “and offer some training,” said Doug Pettit, assistant pastor of the Grace Baptist Church in Connecticut.

Kelley and the other missionaries had left the ancient city of Babylon and were riding back to Baghdad in a taxi when gunmen in a white sedan started shooting at the rear of the van, Pettit said. “They pulled around the right side . . . and continued shooting.”

Kelley sat behind the Iraqi driver, who was unharmed. According to Pettit, a bullet entered the back of Kelley’s seat. DiVietro “took a little shrapnel in the back of his head and in his right hand,” said Pettit, who communicated with the Connecticut pastor by e-mail yesterday.

“The driver hit the accelerator” and drove the men to an Iraqi hospital, Pettit said.

U.S. paratroopers learned of Saturday’s attack while conducting a patrol in the town of Mahmudiyah. The pastors were moved to a U.S. combat hospital for additional treatment.

“Nobody has claimed responsibility,” said Pettit. But the missionaries “were trying to plant a Christian church in Baghdad, and they were Americans. So they had two strikes against them.”

The ministers may complete their work on the new church before they return to the United States on Friday, Pettit said. “They don’t want Pastor Kelley’s death to be in vain.”

Robert Lewis, the former pastor of the Blackstone Valley Baptist Church in Cumberland, was also in Iraq, but was not with Kelley at the time of the attack, his son Randy said yesterday. Robert Lewis, who has done missionary work for 30 years, was in Baghdad several years ago, he said.

Kukic yesterday described the Curtis Corner Baptist Church as a small, close-knit congregation of 120.

The church, at the corner of South and Curtis Corner Roads, features a short white spire, aluminum siding, black shutters and a sign on a grassy knoll that says “independent, fundamental, friendly.”

But the church’s reach isn’t limited to the community where the Kelleys live.

The church supports nearly a dozen missionaries in the Philippines, South Africa, Cuba and elsewhere. “Our job is not to stay behind the pulpit,” Vukic said.

Yesterday, Vukic opened the church to talk to the media. Kelley’s roses stood on the corner of a piano. The helium-filled heart-shaped balloon sagged a bit.

Kelley was born and grew up in Milford, Conn., and served in the Marine Corps from 1971 to 1976.

A graduate of Hyles-Anderson College, a Bible college in Crown Point, Ind., he preached in Beaufort, S.C., before joining the Curtis Corner church. He leaves four children: Jenney, 15, Jason, 17, James, 21 and Julia, 23.

Vukic said the family members have not decided where they will hold Kelley’s memorial service. The Curtis Corner church is too small, he said.

“I was asked the other day, wasn’t it kind of stupid to go to a dangerous place like Iraq?” Vukic said. “But we’re following in the steps of Jesus Christ. He put himself in harm’s way. Jesus left us with just one command: Go out and preach my word. He didn’t say, go everywhere except Iraq.”

His wife:

Mrs. Jane Kelley
154 Winter Street
Wakefield, RI 02879


If you care, be a blessing to this dear family. Email your friends. And email the media. We are perplexed at the media ignoring of this outrageous act. Call them and ask them why no one seems to care about this brutal treatment of an American missionary pastor. –Pastor Beller.


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