(Taken from Martyrs Mirror, p. 560)
In the summer of 1556 there was in the city of Nimeguen, a faithful brother, named Gerrit Hasepoot, a tailor by trade. Having fled from the city, on account of severe persecution, he secretly returned, since his wife and children were still living there. He was seen by the bailiff’s guard, who reported it to their master. The bailiff, a very blood-thirsty man, immediately went after him, and took him with him. Thus this friend of Christ had to separate from his wife and children, and go into prison, tribulation and misery, for the name of Jesus. When very severely examined by the lords of this world, he freely confessed his faith, and was not ashamed of the truth. Rom. 1:16. He was therefore sentenced to death by them, that is, to be burnt at the stake, which sentence he received very bravely. This having taken place, his wife came to him, into the city hall, to speak with him once more, and to take leave and bid her dear husband farewell. She had in her arm an infant, which she could scarcely hold, because of her great grief. When wine was poured out to him, as is customary to do to those sentenced to death (Prov. 31:6), he said to his wife: “I have no desire for this wine; but I hope to drink the new wine, which will be given to me above in the kingdom of my Father.” Thus the two separated with great grief, and bade each other adieu in this world; for the woman could hardly stand on her feet any longer, but seemed to fall into a swoon through grief. When he was led to death, and having been brought from the wagon upon the scaffold, he lifted up his voice, and sang the hymn:
“Father in heaven, I call:
Oh, strengthen now my faith.”
Thereupon he fell upon his knees, and fervently prayed to God. Having been placed at the stake, he kicked his slippers from his feet, saying: “It were a pity to burn them for they can be of service still to some poor person.” The rope with which he was to be strangled, becoming a little loose, having not been twisted well by the executioner, he again lifted up his voice, and sang the end of said hymn:
“Brethren, sisters, all, good-bye!
We now must separate,
Till we meet beyond the sky,
With Christ our only Head:
For this yourselves prepare,
And I’ll await you there.”
The executioner again twisting the rope, this witness of Jesus fell asleep in the Lord and was burnt, voluntarily surrendering for the truth, his perishable body, which he had received from God, and thus fought the fight, finished his course, and kept the faith, and there is now laid up for him the crown of eternal glory.