Month:

November, 2011

The Bloody Theatre, or, Martyrs Mirror of the Defenseless Christians

Who baptised only upon confession of faith, and who suffered and died for the testimony of Jesus, their Saviour, from the time of Christ to the Year A. D. 1660.

Compiled from various authentic chronicles, memorials, and testimonies, by Thieleman J. Van Braght, 1660

Translated from the original Dutch or Holland language, by Joseph F. Sohm, 1886

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To God, my Lord, the Creator, Preserver and Redeemer of my soul, be praise, honor and majesty, forever and ever.

Pardon me, O my Lord and my God! that I, who am but dust and ashes, approach Thee. Gen. 18:27. I fear to come to Thee, because Thou art a consuming fire, while I am wood, hay and stubble, subject to be burned; yet I must not remain away from Thee, because I have that which is Thine, yea, which is Thy most precious treasure, even the blood and offering of the saints; I must needs come and offer it to Thee.

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To my beloved friends and companions in Christ Jesus our Saviour

Next to God we are joined to our fellow-believers who have received the same faith with us; and we shall therefore address ourselves to them.

But most beloved, do not expect that we shall bring you into Grecian theatres, to gaze on merry comedies or gay performances. Here shall not be opened unto you the pleasant arbors and pleasure gardens of Atlas, Adonis or Semiramis, which are said to have been built in the air, and of which the ancients used to sing their merry lays; yet far be it from us to conduct you to places of sadness, surely not to such as can, in verity, be called places of sadness.

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Good friends and fellow citizens:

Of old, among the heathen, the greatest and highest honors were accorded to the brave and triumphant warriors, who, risking their lives in the land of the enemy, conquered, and carried off the victory. [The victors at the Olympic games (so-called from Mount Olympus in Greece, where they were held) were crowned with Wreaths of oak and laurel, which was considered a great honor.] Thus Homer, the foremost of the writers of heroic poetry in Greece, has, in twenty-four books, extolled and embellished with many eulogies the warlike deeds of Ulysses…

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Summary of the Following Work

This work comprises two books, each of them containing a different and independent topic. The first is a treatise of the holy baptism and of that which pertains to it. The second is a historical account of the holy martyrs who suffered on account of baptism, or, generally, for the testimony of Jesus Christ. These two topics have been briefly, yet not less clearly, treated, throughout, in every century, from the days of Christ up to our present time; and this order has been followed: through every century first an account is given, through faithful and authentic authors . . .

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