Monday, November 16, 2009

Letter from a Reformation Martyr

Here's an interesting post from the Aquila Report. This is a letter written by Guido de Bres to his wife from prison less than two months before his execution for Protestant beliefs during the Spanish Inquisition. De Bres was the author of the Belgic Confession and it was written from where he ministered in the low countries to the Spanish Government to try to clarify what Protestants believed and to explain why they were not a radical movement like the Anabaptists but rather desired to reform the church.

Particularly interesting in the letter is how much de Bres trusted in the good providence of God even in the face of his own impending martyrdom. It expresses a heartfelt confidence in what we confess in Article 13 of de Bres' written confession and is a wonderful example of why it is so important that we do not only believe that God is our Father but that as omnipotent Creator he works all things out for good and that his decrees are both right and certain:

We do not wish to inquire with undue curiosity into what he does that surpasses human understanding and is beyond our ability to comprehend. But in all humility and reverence we adore the just judgments of God, which are hidden from us, being content to be Christ's disciples, so as to learn only what he shows us in his Word, without going beyond those limits.

This doctrine gives us unspeakable comfort since it teaches us that nothing can happen to us by chance but only by the arrangement of our gracious heavenly Father. He watches over us with fatherly care, keeping all creatures under his control, so that not one of the hairs on our heads (for they are all numbered) nor even a little bird can fall to the ground without the will of our Father.

In this thought we rest, knowing that he holds in check the devils and all our enemies, who cannot hurt us without his permission and will.

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