Friday, June 15, 2012

Excerpt from The New Foxe's Book of Martyrs


In Kiangsi, China, two Christian girls, Chiu-Chin-Hsiu and Ho-Hsiu-Tzu, their pastor,________(name withheld), were sentenced to death. As on many such occasions in Church history, the persecutors mocked and scorned them for being so foolish as to die for an unseen God. Then they promised the pastor that if he would shoot the girls they would release him. He accepted.
        The girls waited patiently in their prison cells for the moment of their execution. They prayed quietly together. Soon guards came for them and led them out. A fellow prisoner who watched the execution through the barred window of his prison cell. said that their faces were pale but beautiful beyond belief, infinitely sad but sweet. They were placed against a wall, and their pastor was brought forward by two guards. They placed him close in front of the girls and put a pistol into his hand.
        The girls whispered to each other, then bowed respectfully to their pastor. One of them said:

        Before being shot by you, we wish to thank you heartily for what you have meant to us. You baptized us, you taught us the way of eternal life, you gave us holy communion with the same hand in which you now have a gun. May God reward you for all that you have done for us. You also taught us that Christians are sometimes weak and commit terrible sins, but they can be forgiven again. When you regret what you are about to do to us, do not despair like Judas, but repent like Peter. God bless you, and remember that our last thought of you was not one of indignation against your failure. Everyone passes through hours of darkness. We die with gratitude.

       They bowed again to their pastor, closed their eyes, and stood silently waiting. The pastor had obviously hardened his heart --- he raised the pistol and shot them. No sooner had they fallen to the ground, then the Communist guards put him against the wall for immediate execution. As they shot him, no one heard words of repentance, only the sound of screaming.