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Account of the death and martyr of Han's Landis in 1614.

Excerpted from the Martyr's Mirror, Thieleman J. Van Braght, 1659
(The researcher is a multiple descendant of Hans Landis.)


Excerpted from the Martyr's Mirror, Thieleman J. Van Braght, 1659
(The researcher is a multiple descendant of Hans Landis.)

That the bloody constraint or dominion over the consciences of men still obtains, is a sad thing, and especially is it to be deplored, that those who boast of being, more than others, followers of the defenseless Lamb, have not more the nature of the lamb, but much rather that of wolves in them. It certainly cannot stand as an excuse, that such a course is conducive to the maintenance of purity of the church; but it appears to be a hot zeal to weed out the tares (or what they judge to be tares); whereas the servants of the lord, when their zeal urged them to root out the tares, did not venture to do it; but asked permission, and when they were forbidden to do it, they forbore. If these would also ask, or examine the law book of their Lord, they would find there, that the Shepherd does not teach His flock to devour, but sends them as sheep among wolves; that it is also not His will, that the erring should be destroyed, but that they should be guided into the true way; and that He also does not desire t

When the council at Zurich learned of this, they, instigated by the disposition of the envious scribes and Pharisees, could not tolerate this, but instantly caused it to be forbidden him, as though they had thought thereby to hinder the true progress of the word of the Gospel. But he, who knew with Peter, that we must obey God's commands more than the commandments of men, had such love to the truth, and to the young sucklings on Zion's breasts, that no human threats could induce him to forbear feeding them with the true food of the soul. Hence the enviers of the same apprehended him, and sent him ironed from Zurich to Solothurm, to the papists, expecting that he should forthwith be sent to sea or upon the galleys; but through the help of good- hearted people he was there released; but subsequently apprehended again and taken to Zurich, where he was rigorously examined concerning his doctrine, and when he would in no wise desist from his godly purpose or from his faith, they showed in him, that their d

In this they evinced their old nature of Pharisees; who, when they condemned to death the innocent Lamb, the Saviour of us all, did not say that it was for His virtuous doctrine by which He converted man to God, but that He had to die for His blasphemy. And this is the nature of all tyrants, to heap upon the innocent, besides sufferings and death, also false accusations. But when the last day of judgment shall come, when they must also expect and shall receive a sentence for their inconsiderate sentences, and shall lament in amazement: "Behold these whom we once had in derision, and a proverb of reproach, how are they now exalted"; then they shall too late repent of their wicked course, and lament it forever with gnashing of teeth.

But on the other hand, this pious martyr and witness of God, and all the righteous that are still under the altar and wait for the fulfillment of the number of their brethren who shall also make their robes white in the blood of the Lamb, shall receive a glorious reward, and shall then together, in shining raiment, with great boldness, as valiant heroes and confessors of Christ, with the wise virgins, be admitted by the Bridegroom to His marriage, where they shall enjoy eternal happiness, and possess the kingdom of the Father, prepared for them from the beginning. Amen.



Having through our good friends B. Louwr and H. Vlaming come into possession of a certain extract from a letter dated, A. D. 1659, July 19-29, from one of the preachers at Zurich, who witnessed the death of the afore-mentioned martyr, we have deemed it well to add it here, that is, as much of it as is necessary to be given here for fuller information.

"Further you remember," he writes, "that Hattavier Salr. witnessed the beheading of Hans Landis, which I also still remember well, having seen it myself in the Wolfsstadt, the whole transaction being as fresh in my recollection, as though it had happened but a few weeks ago.

Continuing, he speaks of his personal appearance and the manner of his death, saying.

"Hans Landis was a tall, stately person, with a long black and gray beard, and a manful voice.

"When he, cheerful and of good courage, was led out, by a rope, to the Wolfsstadt (being the place made ready for his execution), the executioner, Mr. Paull Volmar dropped the rope, and lifting up both of his hands to heaven, spoke these words: 'O that God, to whom I make my complaint, might have compassion; that you, Hans, have come into my hands in this manner; forgive me, for God's sake, that which I must do to you."

"Hans Landis comforted the executioner, saying that he had already forgiven him: God would forgive him, too; he well knew that he had to execute the order of the authorities; he should not be afraid, and see that there was no hindrance in his way.

"Thereupon he was beheaded. After his head 4 been struck off, the executioner asked: 'Lord bailiff of the Empire, have I executed this man rightly according to imperial law and sentence?' Otherwise it was customary to say: 'This poor fellow,' etc. As though he believed that he died saved and rich.

"The people were of the opinion, that the executioner by dropping the rope meant to indicate to Hans that he should run away, it was also generally said: that if he had run away, no one would have lowed him, to stop him." So far the aforementioned extract.

Further Statement.-It is also appropriate to give here what has been stated to us through credible testimony, namely, that when the aforementioned Hans Landis was standing in the place of execution, to be put to death, his dear wife and children came to him with mournful crying and lamentation, to take a last and final adieu and leave from him. But when he saw them, he requested them to go away from him, in order that his good resolution and tranquillity of heart for the death awaiting him might not be disturbed or taken away their weeping and grief; which having been done, and he having commended his soul into the hands of God, the quickly descending stroke of the sword put an end to his life.

Hattavier mentioned in the Martrys' Mirror on page 1104 as a witness of the execution of Hans Landis is Izak Hattavier, a Protestant merchant of Amsterdaym, who had some sympathy for the Anabaptists.

Linked toHOCHSTRASSER Barbara Margaretha; HOCHSTRASSER Barbara Margaretha; LANDIS Hans; LANDIS Hans Heinrich (Heine)

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