Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life.
A better resurrection
Christ and his resurrection have such a potent influence upon the resurrection of the saints. But it is the duty, and will be the wisdom of the people of God, so to govern, dispose, and employ their bodies, as becomes those that understand what glory is prepared for them at the resurrection of the just. Particularly …
Be not fondly tender of the body, but employ it for God. How many good duties are lost and spoiled by sinful indulgence to our bodies. Alas, we are generally more solicitous to live long than to live usefully. How many Christians have active, vigorous bodies, yet God has little service for them. If your bodies were animated by some other souls that love God more than you do, and burn with holy zeal in his service, more work would be done for God in a day, than is now done in a month. To have an able, healthy body, and not use it for God, is as if one should give you a strong and stately horse, upon condition you must not work or ride him. Wherein is the mercy of having a body, except it be employed for God? …
Let not the indulgence of your bodies draw your souls into snares, and bring them under the power of temptations to sin. This is a very common case. Oh, how many thousands of precious souls perish eternally for the satisfaction of a vile body for a moment! Their souls must suffer, because the body must be indulged. It is recorded to the immortal honour of those worthies, Hebrews 11:32-35, that they accepted not deliverance, ‘that they might obtain a better resurrection.’ They were made of as tender flesh as we, but such was their care of their souls, and hope of a better resurrection, that they listened not to the complaints of their bodies. Oh that we all had the same resolution.
— John Flavel, The Fountain of Life, pp. 489-491 (B.B.)
From Daily Devotions from the Puritans – the 1997 Bryntirion Press book by I.D.E. Thomas