From Jan van Hasebroeck three letters have fallen into our hands, which we have likewise added here for the benefit of the reader.
The abundant grace, peace and mercy from God the heavenly Father, and the love of our dear Lord Jesus Christ, shows us by the shedding of His holy and precious blood on the tree of the cross; may He strengthen and stablish you in the inner man, with His Word and the power of His Holy Spirit; the same give you much wisdom and understanding, that you may be able to stand, to the praise of the Lord, and the salvation of your soul; this I wish you, my dear and much beloved wife and sister in Christ Jesus, and all that fear the Lord from the heart, as a cordial greeting. Amen.
After all affectionate greetings, I inform you, my dear and much beloved wife, that I am still reasonably well, inwardly and outwardly-the Lord be praised forever for His great grace and mercy-as I trust by the grace of the Lord that it is also with you, in the inner man and in the outward, as it pleases the Lord. For, my most beloved, if it pleased the Lord, He would soon have ordered it otherwise; hence be content with what the Lord has ordered in regard to you; for He knows what tends to your salvation, O my most beloved love, be pleased to know, that you were a medicine to my heart the last time I saw you at the lattice; for, as a hart panteth after the water brooks, so did my heart long to see your face again. Ps. 42:1. O my dear wife, that I might see and speak to you once more, and bid you adieu. But, my dearest, the Lord has not commanded me to take leave from my friends, but to follow Him in the obedience of the truth. Luke 9:61. O my most beloved wife, whom I have wedded before Christ and His church, for a helpmeet in my pilgrimage, over which helpmeet the Lord has placed me as head and protector, to feed and nourish you as my own body. Eph. 5:28. Now, my most beloved, if I have not well attended to my calling, during the time that we have been together; if I have grieved you in anything, I kindly ask you from the bottom of my heart, to forgive me; I have asked the Lord with tears, to forgive me. O my dear wife, I forgive you from the heart everything you may have done amiss to me. O my dear wife, you have done nothing amiss to me; but I have grieved myself; hence I have prayed the Lord, to forgive me the same. And do you also, my dear wife, pray the Lord in my behalf, that I may be an acceptable offering to Him; for I trust by His grace to go before you, with our fellow brethren, and to await you under the altar. O my most beloved, my heart's prayer for you is, that you would always walk worthily before God and His church (Phil. 1:27), as you have also hitherto done; so that at the last day we may stand and hear His voice, "Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world."
Christ also says, "Fear not, little flock; for it is my Father's good pleasure to give you his kingdom." Luke 12:32. He also says, "Fear not, for the very hairs of your head are all numbered." Verse 7. My most beloved, comfort yourself with the Word of the Lord, and with the beautiful promises of God; that you may not faint in the way of the Lord, because of the great persecution and torments which are inflicted on His people for His name's sake; for He says Himself, "Be not
afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do; but fear him, which after he hath killed, hath power also to cast the soul into hell." Luke 12:4, 5. And as the prophet Isaiah has said, "Fear not men, or the children of men, that perish like grass." Isaiah 51:12. Therefore, my most beloved, be not afraid of this pain; for Paul says that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. Rom. 8:18. In another place Paul also says, "Though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal." II Cor. 4:16-18.
O my most beloved wife, my heart's prayer and desire is, that you would always associate with them that fear the Lord, as I likewise trust to do; that hereafter we may meet where men shall not part us, but where we shall abide forever with the Father and His Son. If we only remain steadfast, we shall be saved. Matt. 10:22.
O my dear wife, as the prophet Malachi says, that the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven, and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. But unto you (he says) that fear my name shall the Son of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and you shall go in and out, and find pasture. Mal. 4:1, 2.
Behold, my dear wife, what a difference there is between them that fear God, and those that fear Him not. For as the apostle Paul says to the Thessalonians, in his second epistle, in the first chapter, "When the Lord Jesus Christ shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power, where the fire shall not be quenched, and their worm shall not die; but the smoke of their torment shall ascend forever and ever." Mark 9:44; Rev. 14:11.
Behold, this shall be their reward. Rom. 6:23. But they that fear God, love Him, and keep His commandments, according to their weakness; their reward shall be life and peace, as the Scriptures sufficiently testify. And Paul, also, says that eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. I Cor. 2:9.
Herewith I will draw to a close with my discourse, and commend you to the Almighty Lord, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, who has given you to me, and, as said before, placed me as a head, to feed and nourish you as my own flesh, which I have done according to my weakness, during the time that I have been with you. And now that I am taken from you, I commend you, my dearest wife and sister in the Lord, to the God of peace, who has given you to me; humbly praying Him, through Jesus Christ, His dear and much beloved Son, that He would keep you, and my two little lambs, always in His truth, unto the end. And also you, my dear wife, I pray you in all sincerity, to do the best for my two little children, as I trust you will do. Oh. that it pleased the Lord, I would so gladly do my best for you yet. My most beloved, I have heard that you sent me a letter; but I did not receive it; hence if you want to send me word in regard to anything, speak to N., and ask her whether she knows of any one that would come to the common prison, and ask for the brother-in-law, in the fullet's house. For we trust that if you can prudently give it into his hand there, we shall get it; hence act circumspectly in this matter, and do not send it without speaking to the rest; that it may go through at once and attract the less notice. For we have been greatly distressed on account of a letter that came in from without; in which stood that they had received two of our letters. This letter fell into the hands of the jailer, who seemed beside himself that we had written. Therefore, my dearest love, when you want to write me something, write not that you received a letter from me; but if you have received this letter from me, and send me another, place under your letter the sign that will stand under this, thereby I shall know that you received my letter. And if you speak to my brother, greet him much from me, and tell him to enter with Noah into the ark, lest the flood come upon him, which is the wrath of God; and to go with Lot out of Sodom, and not to look back, like Lot's wife, who became an example to those who in future times should commit ungodliness; for Christ says, "No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God." Luke 9: 62. Hereby greet him much in my name, and greet all those who inquire after me, especially him who was my master, and my country-man and his wife, and the woman who the day before was at our house, and, also, my most beloved, whom I know upon earth, yea, who is as dear to me as my own life; for my natural life was not near so dear to me; this the Lord knows, who is rich in mercy.
O my beloved, I commend you, and all them that fear God, to the Lord, and to the Word of His grace. Amen.
Written by me, JAN VAN HASEBROECK,
Your husband and weak brother in Christ.
Abundant grace and peace be with you from God the heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, His
dear and much beloved Son, our Lord, through whom we expect our salvation; may He by His Spirit confirm, strengthen, and comtort you in all your tribulation and temptation, outward and inward, that you may be able to stand firm and immovable in His truth, to the end of your life, to His praise, and to the salvation of your soul; this I wish you, my dear and much beloved wife and sister in the Lord, as a friendly greeting and adieu in Ghrist Jesus. Amen.
After all heartfelt greetings, my dear and much beloved wife, be pleased to know, that I am still reasonably well according to the flesh, the Lord be praised forever for His grace; and my mind is always ready yet to go on in what I declared and confessed before the rulers of the darkness of this world; and I trust by the grace of the Lord to seal the same with my blood and death, so that I unworthy one may obtain the promise, where He says, "Whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's the same shall save it; and whosoever shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven." Mark 8:35; Matthew 10:32.- Therefore, my most beloved love, be of good cheer, and always comfort yourself, and be comforted with the words of the Lord; and do not grieve too much on account of the work and will of the Lord, for He worketh all things after the counsel of His own will (Eph. 1:11), and no one has ever been the Lord's counselor. Hence, my dear and much beloved wife and sister in the Lord, though we have had little joy with each other during the time that the Lord has joined us together, and must now part with sorrow, we know that the Lord has promised us nothing here but tribulation and sorrow, as Christ said to His disciples, "Ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice; and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy." John 16:20. Christ also says, "In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world" v. 33. He further says, "Blessed are they that weep now: for they shall laugh; but woe unto them that laugh now: for they shall weep." Luke 6:21, 25. Again, in another place he says, "Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted."
Thus, my dear and much beloved wife and sister in the Lord, comfort yourself with these beautiful words and promises of Christ, which partly also belong to you; for in that you are sorry, you are sorry after a godly manner. And Paul says, that godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of this world worketh death. II Cor. 7:9, 10.
O my dear wife, Paul, in another place, further says, that our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eter nal. II Cor. 4:17, 18. And the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. Rom. 8:18. For the apostle says, that eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him. I Cor. 2:9. Therefore, my dear and much beloved wife and sister in the Lord, since we have such beautiful promises for this little and temporal suffering, be of good cheer, and always patient in your tribulation and temporal sufferings, continuing instant in prayer, patient in hope (Rom. 12:12 ), and wait for the time of your redemption with long suffering. I trust by the grace of the Lord to be an example and pattern to you, and to leap by my God over a wall (Ps. 18:29), to go to meet Christ, my Bridegroom, as He has commanded me (Matthew 25:1); and also to go and await you under the altar of the Lord, where all God's elect shall rest, until the number of their fellow brethren that must yet be killed for the testimony of Jesus, like we, is fulfilled. Rev. 6:9, 11.
Therefore, my dear and much beloved wife and sister in the Lord, always wait with patience for the Lord your God, as did the wise virgins, who had oil in their vessels, and were ready to go in with their bridegroom, whereunto we all that believe in Christ are called, to sup with Him. Rev. 3:20. For, as Christ Himself says, Luke 12:37, "Blessed are those servants, whom the Lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them." Matthew 24:46.
Hence, my dear wife and sister in the Lord, always be of good cheer, comfort yourself with the words of the Lord, and be patient and resigned in that which the Lord has ordered concerning you. Though He now comes to visit you with tribulation, suffering or poverty, think that Christ, when He was rich, for our sakes became poor, that through His poverty He might make rich us who were poor. II Cor. 8:9. And James, also, says, that God has chosen the poor of this world rich m faith, and heirs of the kingdom which He hath promised to them that love Him. James 2:5.
O my dear wife, think of old Tobit; when all his goods had been taken from him, and he had to flee with his wife and his son, he said, "And fear not, my son; true, we are poor, but we shall have much wealth, if we fear the Lord, keep his commandments, shun sin, and do good." Tobit 1:20; 4:21.
Hence, my much beloved wife and sister in the Lord, Christ also says in the Gospel, "Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast body and soul into hell." Luke 12:4, 5. And in another place, "Fear not, little flock; for it is your father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom." Verse 32. And the
prophet Isaiah also says, "Fear not men, nor the children of men, who must perish like grass; for all flesh is as grass; and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field: the grass withereth, the flower fadeth, but the word of the Lord abideth forever." Isa. 51:12; 40:6, 8.
Further, my dear and greatly beloved wife and sister in the Lord, be pleased to know, that it was a great joy for me to hear that you were of such good cheer in your tribulation, and that you have committed us four to the Lord; wherefore I rejoice, and pray the Lord from the heart, that He would strengthen and stablish you, and give you His divine Spirit for a Comforter and Guide, since now is the time of which Christ said (Matt. 24:24), that many false prophets and false Christs should arise, yea, that even the very elect, if it were possible, should be led into error.
Therefore, my dear and much beloved wife, take good heed, that no robber deceive you by philosophy and vain deceit, after the rudiments of the world; and that you may not have labored in vain, but may receive your reward, so that no man may take your crown. Hence have your conversation always in heaven, from whence we look for our Saviour, Christ Jesus our Lord; who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body. Phil. 3:20, 21. Herewith I will commend you, my dear and much beloved wife, and both my children, to the Lord, and bid you farewell, until we shall meet hereafter, where men shall part us no more; for the apostle says, that the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, and with the voice of the archangel; and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord (I Thess. 4:16, 17): then men shall not part us. O my most beloved wife and sister in the Lord, I herewith bid you adieu, and commend you to the Lord, and to the Word of His grace; and may the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, rule m your heart. Adieu, my dear wife, and greet much them that inquire after me, especially my brother, and bid him adieu, adieu. O adieu, my dear and much beloved wife. Jan Koopman and Hansken greet you most heartily, and also bid you adieu. Amen.
The abundant grace, peace and mercy from God the heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ His dear and much beloved Son our Lord, be multiplied unto you, with the power and communion of the Holy Ghost; may He strengthen, comfort and stablish you in the inner man, so that you may be able to stand firm and immovable in His truth to the end of your life, to His praise and to the salvation of your soul; this I wish you my dear and much beloved wife and sister in the Lord, as a cordial and friendly greeting. Amen.
After all heartfelt greetings, my dear and much beloved wife, be pleased to know that I am reasonably well yet according to the flesh, the Lord be praised forever for His grace; and my mind is still unchanged to go on in that which I unworthy one declared and confessed in His name. I also hope to seal the same with my blood, and I trust that the Lord will help me in my last extremity; for Paul says (Heb. 2:18) in that He Himself hath suffered [being tempted], He is able to succor them that are tempted. O my dear and much beloved wife, be pleased to know that I was partly rejoiced, and partly grieved, when I heard how it is with you. For on account of your sickness I was sorrowful; but when I heard again, that you were of such good cheer in your tribulation and suffering, I greatly rejoiced, and thanked the Lord for His great grace and compassion. And I humbly beseech Him from the depth of my heart, through Jesus Christ His dear Son, that He would comfort, strengthen and stablish you, and always guide you into His truth, to the end of your life. O my dear and much beloved wife, always be of good cheer, and think that we must through much tribulation and suffering enter into the kingdom of God, like all the pious and God-fearing men that lived before our time, as Paul tells us (Heb. 11), that they suffered mockings, scourgings, and stoning, yea, bonds and imprisonment, and died by the sword, yea, suffered distress and want: they went in sheepskins and goatskins, wandering about in deserts; and had to hide in caves of the earth. Therefore, my dear lamb, rejoice with all the pious, of whom Paul says, that they took joyfully the spoiling of their goods, and that all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. II Tim. 3:12. For Christ Himself says, "If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my sayings, they will keep yours also. Yea, if they have called the master of the House Beelzebub, -how much more shall they call them of his household?" John 15:20; Matthew 10:25.
O my dear and much beloved wife and sister in the Lord, though the Lord come to visit us with tribulation and suffering, Paul says, that it is given unto us, not only to believe on His name. but also to suffer for it; and as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ. Phil. 1:29; II Cor. 1:5. O my dear and much beloved wife, receive willingly the chastening of the Lord; for He chasteneth everyone whom He loveth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless, afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. Heb. 12:6, 11.
O my dear and much beloved wife, herewith I will commend you to the Lord, and kindly ask you from the depth of my heart. that you would always do the best with my two little lambs, as I also trust that you will do, as you sent me word. Neverthe-
less, I kindly ask you, that if the Lord should spare you until they attain to their understanding, that you would instruct them in the obedience of the truth; and always associate with them that fear God, so that at the last day we and they may stand together on the Lord's right hand, and hear His voice, "Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world."
O my dear and much beloved wife and sister in the Lord I Herewith I commend you to the Lord Almighty, and to the Word of His grace, and bid you adieu, my dear wife, adieu, and the peace of the Lord be with you and all them that fear Him. Jan Koopman and Hansken greet you much; and Jan Koopman greets his wife much; he and Hansken are also of good cheer. Amen.
Written by me JAN VAN HASEBROECK, your husband and weak brother in the Lord.
Dirk Andriess, a pious and God-fearing brother, was apprehended at Zierickzee, A.D .1569; and as he, in all temptations and sufferings, firmly adhered to the love of Christ, he was finally sentenced to death as a heretic, and thus, in order to follow Christ, who had died a bitter death for him, he also gladly for the Lord's sake delivered up his temporal life to death, to enter with Him into life eternal. Matt. 25:46.