Friday, January 30, 2009

Reformation: Love and Faith: Martyrs: Guido de Bres

Guido de Bres was a *snaps fingers* um... I can't think of it. He was born in Mons, a city in a Belgian province. His father had been a glass maker, and he started out in that profession too. He was only 14 when news of Tyndale's martyrism reached him. He became intrested in Protostantism, and since Mons was located on the border of France and the Lowlands (which is now Belgium) the Huegenots who were coming over from France influenced him greatly. Later in life, in his late twenties and early thirties, he studied at Geneva under John Calvin. After this he pastored a small town, but their true doctrine was kept secret. When the officials found out, they ransacked de Bres' house (he had escaped) and burned his papers including letters FROM JOHN CALVIN!!! (Wouldn't it be so great if those hadn't been destroyed?!) Later he was finally captured, and put to death by hanging. He was buried in a shallow grave, and dogs dug up his body and consumed it. He had a wife whom he had been married to for seven years, and five children. (He was also the author of the Belgian Confession.)

Much is known about John Calvin, Martin Luther, William Tyndale, (of course, not as much as we would LIKE to... but still). But not much is known about Guido de Bres. However, his character can be somewhat determined by this letter he wrote to his wife just before he died:

"My dear and well-beloved wife in our Lord Jesus.

Your grief and anguish are the cause of my writing you this letter. I most earnestly pray you not to be grieved beyond measure . . . . We knew when we married that we might not have many years together, and the Lord has graciously given us seven. If the Lord had wished us to live together longer, he could easily have caused it to be so. But such was not his pleasure. Let his good will be done . . . . Moreover, consider that I have not fallen into the hands of my enemies by chance, but by the providence of God . . . . All these considerations have made my heart glad and peaceful, and I pray you, my dear and faithful companion, to be glad with me, and to thank the good God for what he is doing, for he does nothing but what is altogether good and right . . . . I pray you then to be comforted in the Lord, to commit yourself and your affairs to him, he is the husband of the widow and the father of the fatherless, and he will never leave nor forsake you . . . .

Good-bye, Catherine, my well-beloved! I pray my God to comfort you, and give you resignation to his holy will. Your faithful husband, Guido de Brès."

Guido de Bres, 1522-1567

What faith he had in Christ! What trust and love he had to commit his wife and children to the Lord's care while he died for Christ!! I can't think of anything else to say, because I happen to be too overwhelmed by his example of faith and love.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I like it. I know, I know, I'm supposed to be watching the Super Bowl. But, nothing good is happening right now! Oh, snap, here comes the next play. Gotta run.