A man that they could not silence
1525 – ANABAPTISTS IN SWITZERLAND ARRESTED AND BURNED AT THE STAKE FOR REFUSING TO BAPTIZE THEIR CHILDREN IN THE EARLY 16TH CENTURY – George Blaurock was arrested on February 7, 1525, along with Felix Manz and 24 other Swiss Anabaptists for refusing to have their children baptized. He was held for a week in the Augustinian cloister and then released. On Nov. 6 he was rearrested and placed in chains. On the 18th he was sentenced to imprisonment in the New Tower, to be kept on a diet of bread and water. On Jan. 5, 1527, the day of Felix Manz’s glorious martyrdom, the following report is given of Blaurock: His hands were bound, his body stripped to the waiste, and he was made to walk along the street, while being beaten with rods until the blood flowed from his wounds. When he was finally released, as he left Zurich, he shook the dust from his blue coat and shoes as a testimony against his persecutors. Blaurock a man of conviction who could not be silenced continued for two years to carry on the work of the Anabaptists in Switzerland. On September 6, 1529, when he was the pastor of a small flock of believers in Tyrol, Blaurock was burned at the stake. The little church’s former pastor had also been burned three months prior. Blaurock had been born in Bonaduz, a village in Grisons, Switzerland in 1491. He was therefore only 38 years of age when he was called home to meet the Lord Jesus.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 51.
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He bore the Saviors Marks in his body
Wouters van Kuijck was finally burned at the stake on this day in 1572 after he was tortured and scourged in the prison at Dordrecht, Holland. He had been moving his family from place to place in his effort to avoid arrest, for he was considered a heretic by the State Church for his belief that salvation was a personal matter of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ alone. The bailiff learned where Jan was residing and he and his men came to arrest him. Knowing that his arrest would end in the capture of his entire family, Jan said in a booming voice, “it is I” when the bailiff knocked and asked, “Does Jan van Kuijck live here?” Of course it was designed to allow is family to escape, which they did. During his imprisonment he wrote a dozen letters that have been preserved, eleven to family including his daughter and one to his captors presenting clearly his faith and a warning to them of judgment. He concluded that letter with these words, “I confess one Lord, one faith, one God, one Father of all, who is above all, and in all believers. I believe only what the Holy Scriptures say, and not what men say.” Fearing his testimony Jan’s mouth was gagged before he was taken to the place of execution. Somehow he managed to relieve himself of the gag. A fellow believer was able to draw close to him and he opened his shirt and showed him his bloody body from the scourgings, and said, “I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.” As the fire was kindled he looked over those assembled and cried, “…farewell, my dear brethren and sisters, I herewith commend you to the Lord, to the Lord Who shed his blood for us.”
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, adapted from: This Day in Baptist History III (David L. Cummins), pp.180-181.
He had forsaken the priesthood
Jan. 17, 1525, was the first time that George Blaurock is heard of, and that is in connection with a discussion of the Anabaptists concerning infant baptism. The very basis of soul liberty is at the very heart of this issue. This was clearly seen by the Anabaptists before and after the Reformation. Pilgram Marpeck said, “By infant baptism men coerce people to enter the Kingdom of God; and yet there should be no coercion there…” The repudiation of infant baptism in Jan. 1525, led to the banishment of Ludwig Hetzer, William Reublin, and others, and to the imprisonment of Conrad Grebel, Blaurock and Felix Manz. Blaurock had been a monk, but had renounced the religion of ritual for one of reality. Following the deaths of Grebel and Manz he had become a leader among the Swiss Anabaptists, until he was burned at the stake. He was martyred because “…he had forsaken the priesthood, he disregarded infant baptism, he rejected the mass; he rejected the confession of the priests, and the mother of Christ is not to be invoked or worshipped.” At the place of execution he earnestly spoke to the people, and pointed them to the scriptures. In his death he exemplified one of the hymns he had written: “Blessed are those in all tribulation who cling to Christ to the end.” He was known as the second Paul and the “Hercules of the Anabaptists.” Another Blaurock hymn: “As he himself our suffering bore; When hanging on the accursed tree; So there is suffering still in store; O pious heart, for you and me.”
Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. IIII: Cummins, pp. 35-36.