During the Reformation there was a Christian group called, Anabaptist, which means over-again-baptizer. Thy were driven out of the churches and had to meet in fields and forests. In Holland, they met for worship in boats, where the man at the helm read from the Bible. On the shores were the churches they were forced to flee from. Protestants and Catholics alike turned against them. In Protestant lands they were drowned. In Catholic lands they were either drowned or burned to death. These punishments however, did nothing to crush the movement. They split into branches; one of which were the Hutterites, who had spent many years wandering in Europe before finally finding a Home in America and Canada. Another group, the Mennonites, sprang up in the Netherlands. For a time they were severely treated in Holland. Spain was ruling this country at the time and was savagely Catholic.
The following is an account of the trial in Holland of a young Mennonite woman named, Elizabeth, who was taken in January of 1549. The examiner asked her on oath if she had a husband.
Elizabeth: “I cannot take an oath. All I can say is yes or no!”
Examiner: “What persons have you taught?”
Elizabeth: “I cannot tell you. I will confess my faith. “
Examiner: “We will torture you.”
Elizabeth: “I hope that with God’s help I shall keep my tongue and not be a traitor.”
Examiner: “What do you think of the Most Holy Sacrament?”
Elizabeth: “I have never in my life read in the Bible of a Most Holy Sacrament. I have only read of the Lord’s Supper.”
Examiner: “Why have you been baptized again?”
Elizabeth: “I haven’t been baptized again. I have simply been baptized.”
Examiner: “Do you think baptism saves you?”
Elizabeth: “No. All the waters in the sea cannot save me. Christ saves me.”
Then they tortured her with thumb screws till the blood gushed from her nails and she fainted. Coming to herself, she would not give in. She was sentenced to death by drowning.
(Excerpt from the book: The Church Of Our Fathers, by Roland Bainton)