Here follow three letters which Adrian Rogiers wrote from his prison.
First letter to his wife,
Out of tender love, an affectionate greeting to you my most dearly beloved wife, whom I love from the heart, this the Lord knows who knows all things, and, according to the words of Jeremiah, tries men's hearts and reins. Jer. 17:10. Further, my love, after this my proper and Christian salutation, let me, please, inform you, that I, the Lord be praised forever, am in tolerably good health according to the 'flesh, and according to the spirit, God be praised, my mind is disposed to'leap by' our God over a wall. Ps: 18:29. However, my dearest, I trust through the goodness of God, that you are also well in soul and body, and prepared, by the help of God rather to die honorably with Eleazar, than to live with ignominy.. II Mac. 6:19. The almighty Lord, who in time of need provides bread, and according to the words of the prophet, gives both wine and milk without price (Isa. 55:1), may so strengthen and confirm you and us all, by His Holy Spirit, that we may in our present tribulation be able to bear all that comes upon us for the Lord's sake, and may fear His name, for thereunto has God delivered us from him that was too strong for us, that we should serve and fear Him in true righteousness all our lives, for Sirach says, "There is nothing better than the fear of the Lord." Sir. 23:27. Therefore, O my dear wife, let us fear the Lord with all our heart, and in every distress let us flee to the Lord, and He will help us, for David says, "The Lord lays upon us a burden, but he also helps us bear it; for we have a God that helps, and the Lord of lords that delivers from death." Ps. 68:20. For He is, says the prophet, a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, and a shadow from the heat. Isa. 25:4. For He stands at the right hand of the poor, to save him from those that condemn his soul. Ps. 109:31, But God shall wound the head of His enemies, and the hairy scalp of such a one as goeth on still in his trespasses. Ps. 68:21. For Judith also says, "Woe to the heathen that persecute my people I for the Lord Almighty shall judge them, and visit them in the day of vengeance; he shall torment their body with fire and worms, and they shall burn and weep forever." Judith 16: 17. But that with which the Lord chastiseth us, O my chosen, endures but for a moment, for Davidsays, "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." Psalm 30:5."For God," says Judith,"chastens us, his servants, for correction; but the ungodly he punishes to their destruction." Judith 8:27.
Therefore, my dear wife, let us bear our cross patiently for a little while yet; and let us consider how much our dear Lord suffered for us, even as the prophet says, "He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief
and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath 'borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our tra.nsgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He yeas oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth." Isa. 53:3-7.
Hence, O my dear wife, since we know, as Peter teaches, that Christ suffered in the flesh, let us arm ourselves with the same mind; for he. that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of the flesh, but to the will of God. I Peter 4:1, 2.
Thus, my dearest, be of good cheer when the Lord tries you, for it is written, "The souls of the righteous are chastised a little, but much good shall come to them; for God proves them, and finds them worthy for himself. He tries them as gold in the furnace, and receives them as a fat sacrifice. And in-the time of their visitation, they shall shine. and run to and fro like sparks among the stubble. They shall judge the heathen, and have dominion over all nations, and the Lord shall reign over them forever. For they that put their trust in him shall find that he faithfully keepeth what he hath promised; and such as be faithful in love shall abide with him; for his saints are in his mercy, and he hath care for his elect." Wisd. 3:5-9.
Therefore, O my love, let us commit our cause and the distress that comes upon us to the Lord, and cast our care upon Him; for He, says Peter, careth for us; and if God be for us, says Paul, who will be against us? I Pet. 5:7; Rom. 8:31.
Hence, O my love, let us be of good courage, and watch diligently, that, when our Bridegroom comes, we may triumph with Him forever and ever. Amen.
Further, my very dear wife, I commit you to our dear Lord; may He in every way be your guide, for I take leave now, and bid you adieu. Do the best for the children, as I am confident you will.
Know further, my love, that I have received your letter, for which I thank you much; greet much in my name the one that wrote it. However,
you must also know that I am very much grieved that I have not heard from you so long; I beg you to let me know how it goes with you and the children.
I further bid you adieu once more; pray the Lord for me, as I do for you, and greet the acquaintances. We prisoners all greet you; pray the Lord for us.
Written in my bonds, for your best, by me your dear husband.
An affectionate loving salutation to you my most dearly beloved wife, whom I wedded before God and His glorious church.
Further, after all proper and Christian salutation, let me please inform your love, that I, the Lord be forever praised, am in tolerably good health according to the flesh, and according to the spirit, God be praised, my mind is still disposed, to leap by my God over a wall. However, I hope and trust that you are also well in soul and body, God be thanked, and unharmed in the faith. The Almighty Lord, who only, according to what David writes, doeth wondrous things, may keep and strengthen you and us all, together with His Holy Spirit, that we may live and die to His glory, and be patient in this present tribulation; and when we are tried, let us remember that we are not the only ones, but that God, according to Paul's writing, scourgeth every son whom he loveth. Heb. 12:6. As it also appeared, that God before our time tried our fathers, as Judith tells, when the city of Bethulia was besieged, and they, because of water famine, wanted to surrender the city after five days (Judith 8:11); whereupon Judith admonished them to patience, saying, "Who are ye that ye set the Lord the time and days when to help? for this tendeth not to obtain mercy, but much rather wrath and disfavor. Let us therefore be sorry for it, and with tears seek the face of the Lord. And ye men and brethren, ye that are the rulers of the people, go to the people and tell them, how God in former times tried our fathers, whether they served him from the heart or not. Even as our father Abraham was tried by many temptations, whereby he remained the friend of God; even as also Isaac, Jacob and Moses, and all who were of the number of God's beloved, who had to overcome through much affliction, as Sirach teaches us, saying: My child, if thou wilt be God's servant, prepare thyself for temptation. Endure and be constant, and depart not away, when the ungodly lure you. For as gold is tried in the fire, so righteousness is tried in the fire of affliction. But ye that fear the Lord, hope the best of him, and your comfort shall not fail. For consider the examples of the ancients, and lay them to heart; for never was any confounded that trusted in the Lord: or who was ever forsaken, that did abide in the fear of God?" Sir. 2:1.Thus, my very dear wife, despair not, when you are tried by the Lord; for after He has wounded, says job, He can heal again; for He kills, and makes alive again, He leads into hell, and out again. Job 5:18; Deut 32:39.
Thus, my very dear wife, cleave firmly to the Lord, and diligently exercise yourself in godliness, and you shall find that godliness is mightier than all things; for wisdom did not forsake the righteous when he was sold, but delivered him from sin; she went down with him into the pit, and left him not in bonds, till she brought him the sceptre of the kingdom, and power against those that oppressed him. Wisd. 10:13, 14.
Thus, my dear wife, though we are now for a little while in tribulation, let us possess our souls with patience, for God shall exalt us over all those that now do violence to and oppress us, for Christ says in the Gospel, "Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep; but rejoice ye that weep now; for ye shall laugh." Luke 6:25, 21.
Therefore, O my very dear wife, let us bear the heat of the sun, yet a little longer, and give our back to the smiters; for yet a little while, and he that shall come will come. Isa. 50:6; Heb. 10:37. Therefore, O my love, let us willingly help bear His reproach without the camp, and remember that the servant is not better than his Lord;for if they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of His household? Hebrews 13:13; Matt. 10:24, 25. Ah, if they have done these things in a green tree, what shall they do to us dry trees? Luke 23:31. Let us therefore lift up the idle hands which hang down, and, according to Isaiah's writing, confirm the feeble knees, to make straight paths for our feet, and run, according to Paul's teaching, with patience the race, that is set before us, and let us with Moses have respect unto the recompense of the reward; for it is certainly true what Paul writes, "If we suffer with Christ, we shall also rejoice and reign with him." Isa. 35:3; Heb. 12:12, 13; 11:26; II Tim. 2:12. Hence let us not be weary in well doing, for in due time we shall very abundantly and with joy reap the precious seed which we now sow with weeping. Gal. 6:9; Ps. 126:5, 6. 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. 4:17, 18. Thus, my very dear wife, I pray you have the Lord always before your eyes, that you may hereafter reign and triumph with the Lord forever and ever. Amen.
Further, my very dear wife, I commend you to the Lord, and to His Word full of all comfort and consolation, asking you to take my letter in good part, and kindly requesting that you will also remember me by writing, for I am often exceedingly desirous to hear from you.
I heard that you tried hard to come to me, but it
could not be; however, be of good cheer. I hope that though we cannot meet here, we shall hereafter meet together with the Lord, where parting will be no more.
Thus, I bid you adieu. Do the best for the children, and pray the Lord for me; I will do the same for you according to my ability.
Nothing more, but greet the acquaintances very cordially in my name; Maerten van der Straten, and Beliken van der Straten, his very dear wife, and Hansken, Margriet and Dingentgen also greet you and the acquaintances much; pray the Lord earnestly for us.
Written in my bonds, by me your dear husband and brother in the Lord.
Out of a loving heart an affectionate greeting to you my dearly beloved wife; whom I wedded before God and His glorious church, and whom I also love from the heart, this the Lord knows, who with His eyes that are as a flame of fire penetrates everyhing. Rev. 1:14. Further, after all proper and Christian salutation, let me, please, inform your love, that I am in tolerably good health according to the flesh, and my mind is still fixed, by the help of the Lord, to hold fast to the faith even to the very end. Furthermore, my dear wife, I trust that you are also well in soul and body, God be praised, and ready to pass the time of your sojourning here, with joy, to the praise of the Lord and the salvation of your soul. The good, eternal and Almighty God, who through His gracious goodness gives both wine and milk without price, strengthen and confirm you and us all together by His Holy Spirit, that we may serve the Lord in His fear, for there is nothing better than the fear of the Lord, for Sirach says, "Money and riches lift up the heart, but much more the fear of the Lord; for he that feareth the Lord, with him it shall be well at the last." Sir. 40:26. Therefore, O my dear lamb, cleave firmly to the Lord, and arm yourself; put on the armor of God, that you may be able to withstand all the subtle assaults of the devil, for our adversary, the devil, says Peter, rests not, but walks about us, as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Eph. 6:13; I Pet. 5:8. Hence, O my dear sister, stand fast in the faith, pray, and be on the watch; put on the bond of love, and beware of false prophets, for in the last days, as Christ says, many false prophets shall arise, saying, "Lo, here is Christ, and, lo, there is Christ," but do not go forth. And they shall say, "Behold, he is in the desert, and in the chamber; but believe them not. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be." Matt. 24:23. Therefore, O my love, persevere steadfastly, till you are taken hence; for yet a little while, and He that shall come will come, Hence possess your soul with patience, and endure the heat of the sun for a little while, for Christ has promised us tribulation in the world, and God also speaks through the prophet, saying, "Be in pain, and labor to bring forth, O daughter of Zion, like a woman in travail: for now shalt thou go forth out of the city, and thou shalt dwell in the field." John 16:33; Mic. 4:10. In short, the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force. Matt. 11:12. And Paul also says that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God. Acts 14:22. For Christ, who is our head, went before us, and had to suffer much reproach for our sake, as the prophet says, "He took upon him all our sins, and bore our reproach, and he is dumb as a sheep before her shearers: and when he was reviled, he reviled not again, and when he was threatened, he threatened not again, but committed vengeance to him that judgeth righteously." Isa. 53:6, 7; I Pet. 2:23. Thus we must also, my dear wife, according to the words of Peter, follow the Lord's footsteps. For Paul says, "Being reviled we bless." I Cor. 4:12. And Christ also taught us to pray for those that afflict us. Matt. 5:44.
Hence, O my dear lamb, let us in all things show ourselves true members of Christ, and think as Paul says, "If we suffer with Christ, we shall also reign with him." II Tim. 2:12. Let us therefore lay aside all malice, and shun the sin which doth beset us, and follow after holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord. I Pet. 2:1; Heb. 12:1, 14. Oh, let us adorn ourselves with a holy conversation, and let us not be conformed to the world, which shall pass away with its lusts.
Therefore, O my dear lamb, let us watch diligently, as servants that constantly wait for their Lord, that we may through the grace of God be partakers of the glorious reward, with all the elect children of God, forever and ever. Amen.
Further, my dear wife, I do not know much more to write you, but pray you to excuse my little gift, for if Habakkuk had brought something better, you would have fared better. Hist. of Dest. of Drag. 33, etc.
Furthermore, my dear wife, know that I received what you sent me, for which I thank you sincerely, for it was to me a great consolation. Further, my dear wife, Maerten van der Straten and his dear wife, Beliken van der Straten, greet you much. Margriet van der Sluys, and Dingentgen of Honschoten, and that honorable youth Hansken of Oudenaerde greet you much, and finally we all jointly ask you, earnestly to pray to the Lord for us, that He will make us meet rather to die honorably with Eleazar, than to live with ignominy. Nothing more, but I commend you to the Lord, and to the rich, comforting Word of His grace. And do the best for the children in every way; teach them to fear the Lord; though I am confident that you will do this; I can not forbear to write it; but whatever I do is done out of pure love and from a good heart.
Farewell; do the best in the beginning and in the end.
Written for your service, by me your dear husband and brother in the Lord.