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"...The church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."
I Timothy 3:15
John Newton Brown
From Memorial of Baptist Martyrs, 1854
About the year 1547, there lived in Friesland, in the Ylst., not far from Sneek, a very pious woman, a Baptist, of the name of Richst Heynes, so called after her husband, according to the manner of that country.
She had taken upon her the easy yoke of Jesus, hearing and following his blessed voice, and avoiding all who were strangers to Christ and his church. Her holy conduct being observed by the enemies of religion, they resolved either to compel her to abandon her religion, or to put her to death.
To this end they employed several cruel emissaries, who, like devouring wolves, soon got into their power this meek and harmless follower of the Son of God.
Her husband becoming acquainted with their designs, escaped with great peril and danger of his life; but they succeeded in imprisoning his, wife, cruelly binding her, and treating her with great severity thought not far front confinement, the midwife being with her.
In this trying condition they led her away from her home, regardless of the screams and tears of her little children, to the prison at Leuwarden, where, after three weeks imprisonment, she gave birth to a son. This child bore the marks which its mother had received from these inhuman persons, more especially in its arms, which excited much attention and surprise among all who saw her.
These enemies of Christ, after this, inflicted still greater sufferings on this pious disciple, and tortured her to such a degree that she could not raise her hands to her head. Thus was she inhumanly put to the rack, because she would not give evidence against her Christian associates; for these awfully cruel men still thirsted for innocent blood.
The great Redeemer she served, always a fit faithful Refuge in time of need, and a shield to those who trust him, guarded her lips, so that no one suffered through her.
After all means had failed to shake her religion and her constancy, and to induce her to forsake Christ, she was condemned to death; and, as though she were but a brute beast, was placed in a sack, tied up, and thrown into the water until life was extinct.
All this cruelty did this amiable woman endure: patiently and unmoved, remaining faithful to her Saviour until death; and thus was she removed from suffering to enjoy her crown of everlasting life.