Susanna and Cornelia Teelinck – Inspiring Courage and Faith During the Dutch Reformation

 By Simonetta Carr - Posted at Place for Truth:

Largely unknown today, Susanna and Cornelia Teelinck inspired two generations of Dutch Christians to trust God to deliver them from Spanish domination.

They were born in 1551 and 1553 respectively into a distinguished family from Zierikzee, in the Dutch province of Zeeland. Their father Eewoud Teellinck (d. 1561) was a brewer who also served as an alderman and treasurer in the City Council. Judging by the statues of saints and the crucifix found among Eewoud’s belongings, the family was probably Roman Catholic. It was also a cultured family, who owned a small but rich library of French, Latin and German books. All four children, however, converted to the Reformed faith.

Eewoud died in 1561 and his wife Helena Willem Jansdr followed him four years later, leaving their oldest son Joos to act as a guardian to his siblings.

Around 1573, nineteen-year-old Cornelia, the youngest, requested admission to the Lord’s Supper from her local Reformed church. She marked the occasion by writing a confession of faith which she presented to her consistory. While not innovative (it was modeled after the approved confession of Guido de Brès), her confession was simple and to the point, inspiring many to copy it by hand and distribute it to others.

It was a heartfelt confession, which she concluded with a bold statement: “Here I have written the foundation of my belief based on the examination of Holy Scripture, and as a sign that I am not ashamed, I have also included my name.”[1]

It was a courageous stand because at that very moment Spanish troops were terrorizing Netherlandish cities in what contemporaries called the “Spanish Fury," taking particular aim at Reformed Christians.


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