The following is an extract from Book 16 of the Ondergangh der Tyrannen, en Jaerlycksche Geschiedenisse (Downfall of the Tyrants, and Annual Events) by Peter Jansz Twisck, Pages 1074 and 1075, in which it is shown how wonderfully the Lord preserved Menno Simon, from the cunning artifices of his opponents, as in his divine zeal for the truth, he exhorted all men to true repentance and regeneration.

The daughter of Menno Simon, a praiseworthy woman, in our presence related the following incident: A certain traitor had agreed, without fail for a certain sum of money, to deliver the person of Menno or his head into the hands of his enemies, expecting to apprehend him in one of their meetings; but it so happened that he was not able to accomplish his object, for whenever he arrived at the place where he sought to spy him out, Menno in a providential manner escaped.

At another time this same traitor, in company with an officer or police, as they were in search of Menno, unexpectedly met him as he was going along on the canal, in a small boat. The traitor kept silent until Menno had passed them some distance, and had leaped ashore in order to escape with less peril. Then the traitor cried out, "Behold, the bird has escaped!" The officer chastized him - called him a villian, and demanded why he did not tell of it in time; to which the traitor replied, "I could not speak; for my tongue was bound." The lords were so displeased at this that the traitor, according to his promise, had to forfeit his own head. It is worthy of consideration, how wonderfully God, in this and in other like instances preserves his people, and especially how fearfully he punishes the tyrants.

Menno had to suffer so many dangers, perils and so much misery, that in the memory of the oldest persons it is almost indescribable, and afterwards died a natural death; notwithstanding he often with great zeal and resolution preached, conversed, disputed with, and reproved the priests of Baal, and opposed his opponents openly in their presence, so that a number of his fellow-laborers did not remain faithful under these severe persecutions.

Among other incidents it happened (which I have received as creditable), that Menno came into the priest's church in Eenigenburgh, a village in the north of Holland, after the pastor had performed his services, and conversed with him in Latin about different papistic superstitions, with great boldness, fluency and profoundness, upon which the priest or pastor was greatly surprised, and after he was through with his papal services, he had a long conversation with Menno. Menno often conversed with the priests, and at one time with no little boldness, unknown, entered a cloister, conversed with the Superior, pointed him to repentance, showed him his great folly, and such like things.

Although his name, and a description of his clothing, person, &c., was nailed to the church doors, with the certain promise of a hundred, or several hundred guilders to any one who should discover to or deliver him into the hands of his enemies, yet God preserved him from all the designs and cunning devices of his enemies, so that it truly is as he wrote in a letter to the wife of Leonard Bouwensz in which he says, "If you regard the life of your husband, think and believe, that our lives are but as a hand breadth; that both life and death are in the hands of the Lord; that not a hair shall fall from our heads without our heavenly Father's notice; he preserves us as the apple of his eye. Elias, Elisha, David, Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, Peter and Paul, all escaped the hands of the tyrants, and no one could injure a hair of them, as long as their day and hour had not come, for as long as the merciful Lord has more pleasure in our lives than in our death they shall not be permitted to injure us, but when the Lord shall be more pleased to remove us, then we will not escape their hands."

NOTE 1. - It is due to the reader, at the conclusion of this work, to say that in the translation of the writings of Menno Simon upon the "Incarnation of Christ," the publishers have taken the liberty to condense and abridge some parts thereof and also, here and there, to leave out such parts as they considered of no importance in the illustration and explanation of the subject, and which were not edifying to the reader. But in no case have they perverted the meaning or purpose of the author. Throughout the entire work they have labored, with the translator and reviewer, conscientiously to give the true sentiments of the writer, that they might be able to present to the reader, as true and faithful a translation as possible, and they hope that the blessing of God may rest upon their efforts, and that a generous public will throw the mantle of charity upon any errors that in any way may have crept into the w[or]k.


NOTE 2. - I have carefully read and compared with the original Holland, the entire works of Menno Simon, herewith presented to the public, and do hereby bear testimony that this is a true and faithful translation of the same.


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