87 – March 28 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST
Posted: 27 Mar 2015 04:42 PM PDT
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 his 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 condensed from: This Day in Baptist History III (David L. Cummins), pp.180-181.
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Burning at the Stake – They died like men
16th Century – This bloody century continued to drink the blood of the Anabaptists in the heroic story of Jacob Dirks and his sons, Andrew and Jan. Literally thousands had been put to death by the Roman Catholic State Church of Holland. The blood of the aged was mixed with the blood of the youths. Women were tortured with the same ferocity as were the men, but still the Whore was not satisfied. Jacob, a tailor residing in Utrecht with his family, hearing that the magistrate was soon to arrest him fled to Antwerp in Belgium. His wife, not sharing his doctrinal views, remained behind only to die from natural causes. Upon arrival at the place of execution, Jacob said to his sons “How is it with you, my dear sons?” They answered, “Dear father, all is well.” Andrew was soon to be married, but he had forsaken his earthly bride and chosen that heavenly Bridegroom, the Lord Jesus Christ. These brave men were each strangled by the executioner, which was considered an act of mercy, before the fire was kindled and their smoke was offered up to God as a sweet smelling sacrifice. These executions down through the centuries have given authority and validity to the gospel of Christ, as well as the sustaining grace of God, under the most trying circumstances. In some instances the martyr would raise his hands toward heaven in a prearranged signal that God had truly provided supernatural strength to bear the flames. Others would sing songs of praise and hymns until the flames silenced their voices. The greatest trial was when the wood was green or the wind would blow the smoke away and cause death to come more slowly. These acts demonstrate the utter depravity of man and the inadequacy of man’s religion which always has to be by force and not by persuasion.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson /, pp. 109.
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A courage that honored God
1944 – According to Winston Churchill, was the day that the Nijmegen Bridge over the Waal-Rhine River in Holland, the longest bridge in Europe, fell into American hands in World War II. Baptist Chaplain Captain Delbert Kuehl tells of the heroism of Henry, a nineteen year old Baptist paratrooper. Because of his Christian witness Henry had been given the nickname of “chaplain” of “H” company, and some less honorable names as well. The Germans were caught by surprise, but as the Americans reached the water, they opened fire. Many of our soldiers were hit by machine gun and mortar fire including Henry. However Henry, ignoring his wounds ministered to the fallen soldiers. Chaplain Kuehl insisted on Henry leaving in one of the boats which he did but then the Chaplain was surprised to see him back again, head bandaged, to assist others to get across even in the midst of heavy fire. He helped load one more man into the boat, and then collapsed, being weakened by loss of blood. At that time Henry, who was semi-conscious, was loaded into the boat and taken back to the friendly side of the river. Chaplain Kuehl said, “I shall never forget the courage of this young Christian Paratrooper—a courage that caused every fighting man to marvel and a courage that honored God.” [Winston S. Churchill, Triumph and Tragedy (Cambridge: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1953), p 198. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp. 515-17]
Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon
A Name of Honour
John Dillahunty, descended from a noble French family. His grandfather, David de la Hunte, was expelled from France, and fled to Holland and then later made his way to Ireland. John’s father, Daniel Dillahunty, came to America in 1715 and settled in Kent County, Maryland. It was there that John Dillahunty was born and later married Hannah Neal, a Quakeress. John and Hanna later settled in New Bern North Carolina.
John and Hanna were soundly converted under the preaching of the Separate Baptists Shubal Stearns, Daniel Marshall, and others preaching the gospel in 1755. Adopting Baptist principles, and growing in maturity, John was granted a license to preach. John preached frequently but like most Baptist preachers of the time engaged in the activities of the Revolutionary War. After the war in 1794 he led six families to relocate in Middle Tennessee west of Nashville, where they established the Richland Creek Baptist Church. John Dillahunty continued to serve the pastorate of the Richland Creek Baptist Church until his death in Nashville on February 4, 1816.
Dr. Dale R. Hart, adapted from: This Day in Baptist History III (David L. Cummins), pp. 71,72.