What a Pastor Would Love to Hear
A while back I was reading Jean Crespin’s Histoire des Martyrs. This is the first Protestant book of martyrs. Crespin documents a lot of the persecution that took place in the Low Countries during the 1550s and 1560s. There are many captivating and inspiring stories. In one chapter, he speaks of an entire Reformed family that was martyred for the faith. The Ogviers were put to death in Lille in 1556. The family consisted of Robert, his wife Jeanne, their son Martin, and their daughter Baudechon. Their pastor had been none other than Guido (Guy) de Bres, the author of the Belgic Confession.
While they were in prison, Martin Ogvier wrote several letters and Crespin reproduces them, some in full and some in parts. At a certain point he mentions his pastor: “Flee from those who teach you the wide road, and hold in reverence those who teach the straight way, for it will take you to salvation. This is what our brother G. (whom you well know) has up till the present very faithfully and with exceptional diligence proclaimed to you…” “Brother G.” here is a reference to Guido de Bres.
Before he went to be with the Lord, Martin Ogvier spoke to his fellow prisoners and again he mentioned his pastor: “Lift up your hearts, my brothers, take courage, it’s done: I’ve endured the last assault. I pray you, don’t forget the holy doctrine of the Gospel and all the good teachings which you have heard from our brother Guy. Show that you have received them in your hearts and not only in your ears. Follow us, we’re going on ahead, and do not fear, for God will certainly not forsake you. Good bye, my brothers.” [translation mine]
I think that’s what every pastor would want to hear if his people were about to face the same death: remember what he preached! Praise God for faithful pastors in ages past, and may he continue to provide such pastors for his church today.
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