Anna Jansz was an only child born into a wealthy family in the Netherlands. She was married to a man named Ardent and they were well to do. One evening a young man named Meynaert talked to them about following Christ, before he left Ardent and Anna were baptized upon their faith. This brought immediate consequences and due to persecution they fled to London. In London, a son Isaiah was born however Ardent became sick and died. Anna and Isaiah took their meager belongings and returned to the believers in the Netherlands. In the Netherlands Anna and another believer named Christina Michael Barents were traveling on a wagon loaded with people and the two began singing Christian songs. Someone suspected they were Anabaptist and reported them to the authorities and the police arrested the two sisters in faith. They were imprisoned for one month along with Anna’s son, Isaiah, where Anna could care for him. (Secret of the Strength-Pg. 228)
Anna of Rotterdam wrote the following on the morning of her martyrdom: “My son, hear the instruction of your mother; open your ears to hear the words of my mouth. Prov. 1:8. Behold, I go today the way of the prophets, apostles and martyrs, and drink of the cup of which they all have drank. Matt. 20:23. I go, I say, the way which Christ Jesus, the eternal Word of the Father, full of grace and truth, the Shepherd of the sheep, who is the Life , Himself went and who went this way, and not another and who had to drink of this cup, even as He said: ‘I have a cup to drink of, and a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!’ Having passed through, He calls his sheep, and His sheep hear His voice, and follow Him withersoever He goes; for this is the way to the true fountain. John 10:27; 4:14. This way was traveled by the royal priests, who came from the rising of the sun, as we read in revelation and entered into the ages of eternity, and had to drink of this cup. I Peter 2:9.
In this way walked also those who were marked by the Lord, and received the mark Thou upon their foreheads (Ezek. 9:6), who were chosen from among all nations of men, who were not defiled with women (understand this), and who follow the Lamb withersoever he goeth. Revelation. 14:4.
Behold, all these had to drink of the cup of bitterness, as will also all those have to do, who are still wanting to complete the number and fulfillment of Zion, the bride of the Lamb, which is the new Jerusalem coming down out of heaven (Rev. 21:2), the city and throne of God, in which the glory of the great King shall be seen when the feast of tabernacles will be kept and celebrated in the days of eternal rest and joy. Zechariah. 14:16.
Behold, all these could not attain to this, without first suffering judgment and chastisement in their flesh; for Christ Jesus, the eternal truth, was the first; when it is written: ‘The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.’ Rev. 13:8. So Paul says: ‘Thus it please the Father, that all whom He predestinated from eternity, He called, elected, justified, and made to be conformed to the image of His Son.’ Rom. 8:29, 30. Our blessed Saviour also says: The servant in not above his Lord; but it is sufficient for him, that he be like his Lord and Master. Matt. 10:24. Also Peter says: ‘The time has come that judgment must begin at the house of God; and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?’ I Pet. 4:17, 18. Read also Proverbs (11:31): ‘Behold, the righteous shall be recompensed in the earth: much more the wicked and the sinner.’ See my son, here you can hear that no one can come unto life, except through this way. Therefore enter in through the strait gate, receive the chastisement and instruction of the Lord, bow your shoulders under His yoke, and cheerfully bear it from your youth, with thanksgiving, rejoicing and honor; for He accepts or receives no son, whom He does not chasten. Hebrews 12:6. Paul further says: ‘If you forsake the chastisement, whereof they were all partakers, ye are bastards, and not children, and shall be cast out from the inheritance of the children of God.’” (Martyrs Mirror-Pg. 453)
After composing her testament on January 24, 1539, “Anna folded it and tied it up in a piece of cloth along with a few coins she had left. She dressed up Isaiah and at nine o’clock in the white winter sunlight, they led her and Christina down the street of Delft toward the city gates and the River Shie.
Crowds of people lined the streets. On the way, Anna called out: ‘I have a baby five quarters of a year old. Who will take him?’ A baker, a poor man and father of six, reached out and took Isaiah. Anna gave him the folded piece of cloth with the coins and the letter. Then they tied the women up, broke the ice, and threw them into the river to drown.” (Secret of the Strength-Pg. 230) Compiled by an Apostolic Brother