Thieleman J. Van Braght, Martyrs Mirror

73. Germanicus

Germanicus, An Eminently Pious Man, Devoured By The Beasts, At Smyrna In Asia Minor, For The Testimony Of Jesus Christ, A.D. 170

In P. J. Twisck’s Chronicle is found the following account for the year A. D. 170: Germanicus, with other dear friends of God, had to suffer severe persecution and torture for the name of Christ, and was finally cast before the wild beasts, and thus willingly ended his life.” 2d book, van den undergang, page 46, col. 1, from Euseb., lib. 4.

Concerning the cause of his conversion, suffering and death, other authors write thus: “When the bystanders (while the Christians were being miserably put to death) beheld with their eyes, that the flesh of the martyrs of Christ, by many scourgings and stripes, was lacerated and torn loose even to the inmost veins and deepest sinews, so that their entrails and the most secret parts could be seen moving; and that the torturers then strewed potsherds, sea-shells, and even caltrops on the ground, over which they rolled, dragged, and on which they pressed the Christians thus tormented, with their naked bodies; and that at last, when they, on account of the previous torments, could scarcely live or draw breath any longer, they cast them before the wild beasts, to be devoured by them; I say, when the spectators of these tragedies saw, how inhumanly these people were treated, and, on the other hand, how patiently the suffering Christians endured the tortures, they were greatly amazed, yea terrified.

“Among these was the aforementioned Germanicus, who, being strengthened through the grace of God, so powerfully overcame the natural and innate weakness of the mind, which so much dreads the bodily death, that, on account of his singular steadfastness, he could well be considered one of the most eminent martyrs. For, when the Stadtholder sought to persuade him, and to move him, and to move him by soft words, to spare the bloom of his youth, and to have mercy upon himself, he despised his counsel, and, for the sake of the Lord Jesus Christ did not count his youthful life precious.”

“After that, it is stated by the ancient writers, how the wild beasts were let out to him, and how greatly he desired to be devoured by them, that he might be delivered from this body of sin and death; so that both Jews and heathen who stood by, were exceedingly astonished at him. Thus this pious witness of the Son of God departed this life with an immovable heart, and became united with Christ, his blood-bridegroom and Saviour.” Compare Abr. Mell., 1st book, of the Hist., fol. 39, col. 1, 2, with Joh. Gysii Hist., fol. 16, col. 4, and fol. 17, col. 1, from Ettseb., lib. 4.

Thieleman J. Van Braght (1625-1664) was an Anabaptist who is best known for writing a history of the Christian witness throughout the centuries entitled “The Bloody Theater or Martyrs Mirror of the Defenseless Christians who baptized 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” (1660).

Thieleman J. Van Braght, Martyrs Mirror