The Menfolk's Page
Menfolk, here is the touching account of a martyr who set a courageous and wonderful example for those following in his footsteps. May the men whom Yahweh has called as His own, and all whom Yahweh has called, be as this man was. I have typed it up the way it was written (Old English). For your better understanding of this writing, please remember that "f" is sometimes used instead of "s", that "u" is used where we would use "v", "v" is used where we would use "u", and there are some other minor differences in spelling.
The Righteous Example and Martyrdom of Eleazer
Eleazer one of the principall Scribes, an aged man, and of a well fauoured countenance, was constrained to open his mouth, and to eate swines flesh. But he chusing rather to die gloriously, then to liue stained with such an abomination, spit it forth, and came of his owne accord to the torment, As it behoued them to come, that are resolute to stand out against such things, as are not lawfull for loue of life to be tasted. But they that had the charge of that wicked feast, for the olde acuaintance they had with the man, taking him aside, besought him to bring flesh of his owne prouision, such as was lawfull for him to vse, and make as if he did eate of the flesh, taken from the sacrifice commanded by the king, That in so doing hee might bee deliuered from death, and for the olde friendship with them, find favour. But he began to consider discreetly, and as became his age, and the excellencie of his ancient yeeres, and the honour of his gray head, whereunto hee was come, and his most honest education from a child, or rather the set-apart lawe made, and giuen by Yahweh: therefore hee answered accordingly, and willed them straightwaies to send him to the graue. For it becommeth not our age, said he, in any wise to dissemble, whereby many yong persons might thinke, that Eleazer being fourescore yeres old and ten, were now gone to a strange religion, And so they through mine hypocrisie, and desire to liue a litle time, and a moment longer, should bee deceiued by me, and I get a staine to mine olde age, and make it abominable. For though for the present time I should be deliuered from the punishment of men: yet should I not escape the hand of the Almightie, neither aliue nor dead. Wherefore now manfully changing this life, I will shew my selfe such an one, as mine age requireth, And leaue a notable example to such as bee yong, to die willingly, and couragiously, for the honourable and set-apart lawes: and when he had said these words, immediatly he went to the torment, They that led him, changing the favor they bare him a litle before, into hatred, because the foresaid speaches proceeded as they thought, from a desperate minde. But when hee was readie to die with stripes, he groned, and said, It is manifest unto Yahweh, that hath the set-apart knowledge, that wheras I might haue bin deliuered from death, I [now] endure sore paines in body, by being beaten: but in soule am well content to suffer these things, because I feare him. And thus this man died, leauing his death for an example of a noble courage, and a memoriall of vertue not only vnto yong men, but vnto all his nation.
Did you find it fairly easy to read? It takes some getting used to. :-) This was taken from the 1611 edition of the King James Version of the Scriptures.