Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Coleman Anecdote 19 Mrs Gaunt

Mrs Gaunt
There is another female martyr that we cannot pass by, who died for her religion in the same period, and by the same guilty hands as Lady Alice. Mrs. Gaunt, who is called by Burnet an Anabaptist, was an inhabitant of London, where she spent all her time in acts of charity, visiting the poor and theprisoners in jails, without confining her attention to any religious profession. A person of her character was likely to become odious, and thus be singled out as a mark for the arrows of persecution, which thus flew thick around the most excellent in the nation. A rebel took refuge in her house, where she concealed him till she should find an opportunity of sending him out of the country, he, with unparalleled baseness, betrayed her to save his own life, which he learned would be the reward of the treacherous ingratitude. But, though theevidence was not sufficient for a legal conviction, she was condemned to be burnt. Penn, the quaker, who saw her die, says Bishop Burnet, told me, "she laid the straw about her to burn her speedily, and behaved herself in such a manner that all the spectators melted into tears." With amazing cheerfulness and firmness she said, "I exult that God has honoured me to be the first that is called to suffer by fire in this reign, and that my suffering is a martyrdom for that religion that is all love. Charity," said she, "is a part of my religion, as well as faith. My crime is at worst only thatof feeding an enemy, so I hope I shall have my reward from Him for whose sake I did this service, how unworthy soever the person was that made so ill a return for it." The rebel received a pardon as a recompense for his treachery, she was burned alive for her charity.

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