Letter from Elizabeth, Dutch Anabaptist Martyr (1573)

… And now, Janneken*, my dear lamb, who are yet very little and young, I leave you this letter, together with a gold real, which I had with me in prison and this I leave you for a perpetual adieu, and for a testament; that you remember me by it, as also by this letter. Read it, when you have understanding, and keep it as long as you live in remembrance of me and of your father, if peradventure you might be edified by it. And I herewith bid you adieu, my dear Janneken Munstdorp, and kiss you heartily, my dear lamb, with a perpetual kiss of peace. Follow me and your father, and be not ashamed to confess us before the world, for we were not ashamed to confess our faith before the world, and this adulterous generation; hence I pray you, that you be not ashamed to confess our faith, since it is the true evangelical faith, another than which shall never be found.

Let it be your glory, that we did not die for any evil doing, and strive to do likewise, though they should also seek to kill you. And on no account cease to love God above all, for no one can prevent you from fearing God. If you follow that which is good, and seek peace, and ensue it, you shall receive the crown of eternal life; this crown I wish you and the crucified, bleeding, naked, despised, rejected and slain Jesus Christ for your bridegroom.

*Elizabeth’s one month old daughter

in Hans J. Hillerbrand, Ed., The Protestant Reformation, (Harper, 1968), 152.

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