In the year of our Lord 1567, one Sunday morning, being the 10th of August, Christian Langedul went out to take a letter to his brother R. L., and then proceeded to a .place called the Schelleken, whither he had been summoned to help mediate a difference between two persons. I Cor. 6:5.
This meeting having been spied out, a captain named Lamotte (who was at that time in Antwerp) came there, under the pretense of seeking some of his soldiers, and seeing the assembly, he had his armed soldiers (who were waiting for it) occupy the house, and immediately dispatched his servant boy for the Margrave. In the meantime Christian spoke with the captain, in French, to show him why they had come together, during which some of the assembled company escaped through a back door.
When the Margrave arrived on horseback, and entered the house with his people, he took the rest prisoners, and marched them off to prison, where they spent the time in great tribulation and patience until the following day, when they were examined in regard to their faith, which four of them, namely, the aforesaid Christian Langedul, Cornelis Claess, Mattheus de Vick, and Hans Symons, boldly confessed. They were then so cruelly tortured and so lamentably treated that they did not fear death so much as the torture, as Christian mentions in a letter to his wife.
Having spent over a month in great longing, they were finally sentenced to death. When they received -information that they were to die, they were bold and of good cheer; Christian, however, lamented greatly on account of his wife and children (previously throughout his imprisonment, but especially in this last night), and their grief was a great sorrow to his heart.
On the 13th of September, being on a Saturday, early in the morning, these four friends were brought out and, two and two coupled together, led to the great market place before the city hall, where a circle of soldiers had been formed. In the midst there was a but with four stakes, to which they were tied. Hans Symons and Mattheus went first, and then Cornelis and Christian. While going, Christian said to the people, "Had we been willing to speak lies, we would have escaped this." Mattheus said, "Citizens, that we suffer here, is for the truth, and because we live according. to the word of God." Hans Symons exhorted his brethren, not to fear them that kill the body, but him who has power to cast the soul into damnation. And thus they arrived at the place where they were to be offered up: There the executioner's assistant first took Christian, and placed him to a stake in the hut, from where he called to his brethren that were still without, exhorting them to contend valiantly for the truth, who then gave one another the last kiss of peace. Thereupon Cornelis was also placed to a stake, then Mattheus, and finally Hans Symons. The drums were beaten, in order that they should not be heard to speak. The executioner strangled them, and then set fire to the hut, and thus these four friends came to a blessed end, according to the words of the Lord, "He that endureth to the end shall be saved." Matt. 10:22.
The first letter of Christian Langedul, written to his wife, Maeyhen Raedts, on the llth of August; in which he relates the joy of his mind, as also, on the other hand, his sorrow for his wife and children, and, finally, how he and his fellow prisoners were examined
I wish you grace and peace all the days of your life, from God our heavenly Father, through Christ Jesus, in the power of His Holy Spirit. Amen.
My chosen and most affectionately beloved wife, and sister in the Lord because of the faith, as I hope by the grace of the Lord, and that this relationship will exist forever. Matt. 12:50; Gal. 3:26.
Had it been possible for me, I should have written you sooner the great grace, joy and comfort that I have enjoyed during this brief time in prison;
and I pray the Lord to let me enjoy said blessings unto the end, to my salvation; however, the Lord knows the great sorrow and tears I have had, and still have, and shall yet have, before my departure comes, for you, the children, grandmother, and for all the friends.
I have wondered, and an still unable to comprehend what a God it is that we have; for He is the God of all comfort, who comforts me in all my temptations; and I hope that He will also comfort you whenever you need comfort. II Cor. 5:3.
My most beloved wife, be of good cheer in all your sufferings which you have with me; for the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared to the glory which, shall be revealed in
us; for we have thus accepted our pilgrimage, and always counted these costs. Hence comfort yourself with the Word of the Lord, as I hope you will do; and I also have confidence in you, that you will not make me more sorrowful than I am already; I know you to be too brave for it. Thus I hope that the Lord will strengthen us unto the end. Always pray the Lord for us, for we need it, for the prayer of the righteous avails much, of whom you are one in my heart's estimation, and I hope to see you after this life in the eternal, where we shall part no more. And in whatever I have at any time grieved you, forgive me for- the Lord's sake, for I gladly forgive them everything, who have sinned against me, so that I hope that the Lord will forgive me everything; all my sins and weaknesses. I cannot sufficiently wonder at, nor thank the Lord enough for what He does for me; He is too wonderfully good a God, this I now truly realize.
Thus I inform you that we were all examined today before the margrave, and of us six we four freely confessed our faith, for it had to be; either the soul or the body had to be sacrificed; the Lord had to be either forsaken or confessed.
Thus, Hans Symons, Cornelis the shoemaker, and Mattheus, confessed as also, I unworthy one, and I hope to keep it to the praise of the Lord, but not through my own power or merit, but by the power and grace of God; for through weakness we are made strong, this I must confess. Eph. 1:19; II Cor. 12:9. Hence be of good cheer in the Lord, and do the best with the children, of whom I dare not think, for they lie heavily on my heart.
When the margrave examined me today, concerning my faith he asked me about nothing but baptism, and I held out against him as long as I could, by saying that I knew but one baptism according to the Gospel and Christ's own command and injunction; but his constant question was, "Say yes or no, whether you are satisfied with the baptism you received in your infancy, or whether you have received another?"
I replied that I knew nothing to say about infant baptism; but this did not suffice, I had to confess that I had received another, and thus I confessed it, the Lord be praised, and I have not regretted it yet, and I hope that I shall not regret it unto the end, for it is the truth.
I must stop, since my paper will reach no further. Greet all the friends much in the Lord, whenever you have a proper opportunity, as also, all friends according to the flesh; especially, greet grandmother, and comfort her as best you can, since I have great anxiety for her sake, and for you and my children. I often think of my sweet P., but I am glad when he is out of my thoughts. Do the best in everything; I greet you with a holy kiss of peace. I hope the Lord will shorten my days, because He loves me. To L. E., I hope to write yet, when I get time; greet her much in my name. Herewith I commend you to the Lord. Written as above.
By me, your very weak husband, Christian Langedul, from prison, in which I am for the testimony of the Lord.
The second letter of Christian Langedul, in which
he relates how cruelly he was tortured, and the
misery of his body after the torture, as
also, his sure hope and firm confidence in the Lord
Know, my beloved wife, that yesterday about three o'clock I had written you a letter, which I now send you. I could not send it then, for soon afterwards the margrave came here to torture us; hence I was not able to send the letter, for then all four of us were one after another severely tortured, so that we have now but little inclination to write; however, we cannot forbear, we must write to you.
Cornelis the shoemaker was the first; then came Hans Symons, with whom also the captain went down into the torture chamber. Then thought I, "We shall have a hard time of it; to satisfy him." My turn came next-you may think how I felt. When I came to the rack, where were the lords, the order was, "Strip yourself, or tell where you live." I looked distressed, as may be imagined. I then said, "Will you ask me nothing further then?" They were silent.
Then thought I, "I see well enough what it means, it would not exempt me from the torture," hence I undressed, and fully resigned myself to the Lord: to die. Then they racked me dreadfully, twisting off two cords, I believe, on my thighs and shins; they stretched me out, and poured much water into my body and my nose, and also on my heart. Then they released me, and asked, "Will you not yet tell it?" They entreated me, and again they spoke harshly to me; but I did not open my mouth, so firmly had God closed it.
Then they said, "Go at him again, and this with a vengeance." This they also did, and cried, "Go on, go on, stretch him another foot." Then thought I, "You can only kill me." And thus stretched out, with cords twisted around my head, chin, thighs, and shins, they left me lie, and said, "Tell, tell."
They then talked with one another of my account which J. T. had written, of the linen, which
amounted to six hundred and fifty-five pounds; and that it was so much cash and rebate. Then the margrave said, "He understands the French well;" and I lay there in pain. Again I was asked, "Will you not tell it?" I did not open my mouth. Then they said, "Tell us where you live; your wife and children, at all events, are all gone away." In short, I said not a word."What a dreadful thing," they said. Thus the Lord kept my lips, so that I did not open them; and they released me, when they had long tried to make me speak.
Thereupon two of them, the executioner and his assistant, bore me from the rack. Think how they dealt with us, and how we felt, and still feel. Then they half carried, half dragged me from the torture chamber up into the jailer's room, where was a good fire of oak wood. There they, once or twice, gave me some Rhenish wine to drink, which revived me in a measure. And when I had warmed myself somewhat, they again half dragged me up over the porter's room. There they had such commiseration for me; they gave me wine again; they gave me spices, and of everything you had sent me, all of which rendered me very good service. They had wine brought and helped me to bed. But the sheets were very coarse, and greatly hurt my shins and thighs; however, soon afterwards the sheets and pillow you sent me arrived, and there were also two or three pocket handkerchiefs. They then covered me with the sheets, which came very convenient to me, as did also the spices. Had the sheets not come, I know not how I should have passed the night; but so I slept tolerably well. But I am hardly able to stand yet, and the lower part of my legs is as though they were dead from racking; however, it is all well, as I trust by the grace of the Lord.
We have such a God, so mighty, that He did not suffer me to be tempted above that I was able to bear, and I hope He will also not in the future, so firmly I trust in Him; for I know assuredly that there will never be found another way or another truth. Hence be instant, whether in season or out of season. II Tim. 4:2.
I receivFd your letter, and thank'you much, that you remember me so kindly, as you have always done. I wrote you in my first letter, before I received yours, the right answer to the letter you sent me. I have still much to write to you, but am not well able to do so now, for it is too soon.
After me Mattheus was tortured; he named his house and the street in which we live, and said it was in a gate; however, I am of the opinion that there are no longer any gates in that street. Hence move away altogether, if you have not done so yet; for I think the lord will find his way there. Let therefore no one who stands in any danger go into the house. He also named R. T.'s house, and the street where F. V. St. lives. Do herein immediately the best you can. He is very sorry for it.
-Cornelis and Hans told nothing. I have much to write yet, but the time is too short. I hope to write today yet, if it is the Lord's pleasure. I wish that H. T. would, once come out. I greet you all most affectionatel. It was well that J. T. went away yesterday, for the margrave came soon after. But I cannot write you much more, for the time until daybreak is too short.
Herewith I commend you to the Lord, and to the Word of His grace. Pray the Lord diligently for us, for he that asketh receiveth. I dare not let my thoughts dwell much on the children and you; it is so exceedingly hard for me to part from you and them. Satisfy all the friends as best you can, for I am tolerably well content, only it grieves me much on their account; however, the Lord has ordered it so.
By me, your weak husband, Christian Langedul, in prison at Antwerp, the 12th. of August 1567.
I have not fully recovered yet from the torture, as may be imagined; but I trust it is all well; do not grieve too much about it. If J. T. could bring along my account book, I should be glad; I should show him everything, or write it down for him. Bring us something to seal letters with.
Another letter of Christian Langedul, in which he shows the assurance of his mind, the nothingness of his own self, his love to his son-in-law, J. T., and lastly, the fear which they had of being tortured again, and why
Grace, mercy, and joy in the Holy Ghost, from God our heavenly Father, through Christ Jesus, this I wish you, my chosen and greatly beloved wife in the Lord, and all them that love His appearing. II Tim. 4:8.
Dearly beloved wife in the Lord, I hope you partly know by this time how it is with me, by the two letters I wrote you yesterday, which I hope you have already received. In them I wrote to you partly concerning the state of my mind, which is still unchanged, praise the Lord forever for His grace, which He gives to me, poor, unprofitable and exceedingly great sinner; for I deem myself unworthy and unfit for this glory, to which the Lord now calls me. Of myself or by my own strength I cannot attain it; hence I hope by His grace to adhere unto the end to the truth and the faith once delivered to the saints; for I am assured in my heart, and have certainly known it all the time of my pilgrimage (which is now about twelve yearstrue, only a short time, and imperfectly spent), that there will never be found another. Hence I hope to adhere to it, only by the strength and grace of the Lord, and not through my own; and I hope by the grace of God to rejoice, by my death, all those whom I may at any time in my life have grieved. And I hope that all those whom I may have wronged in any way will forgive me, since I have always been very ready to forgive, whenever any one wronged me; I hope that all men and the Lord will also do so towards me. I am greatly concerned for J. T., for I know his kindness; hence I will let this suffice, and wish him, as I have often
done, true faith. This the Lord must give him; but he must also pray for and heartily desire it. Oh, that I might die another death for- him, and all the friends, that they might be saved; how gladly I should do it! O J. T., how much you have done for me, and, I hope, will yet do for my weak wife (your mother), and my children, on whom I dare not let my thoughts dwell much. .She (your mother) is a woman who fears God with all her heart. Associate with her, for she will seek nothing but your common salvation. I will let this suffice for the present, else I should not have time to send this letter. I wrote you yesterday that I hoped to write to you during the day, but I could not do it; Mattheus and I lay in bed until two o'clock, so greatly were we afraid, because the margrave came here to torture Cornelis again, and we feared that we should also be tortured a second time, of which we had a great dread, more than of death, for it is an excruciating pain. Cornelis was tortured and scourged to such a degree the second time, that three men had to carry him up, and they say that he could scarcely move a member, except his tongue. He sent word to us, that if they come again it is his opinion it will finish him. Thus the Margrave did not come yesterday, but we expect him today again; may the Lord help us, for it is a horrible pain. Yesterday I received a small basket with eatables and a nightcap from J. T. I have lent the nightcap to Mattheus, and should like to have another, when convenient, as also a comb, and a Testament, a hymn book, or something else to read, that we may delight ourselves a little with the Word of the Lord. There is a turnkey here, by the name of Pieter, who will see that we get it. Enclosed I send you a little memento, and W. D. B.'s account. Yesterday evening we were told that J. T. and P. V. D. tried hard to get to me; but it could not be, because the margrave had said that he should come again; however, he did not come, for he attended a great banquet at Mansfield.
While I am sitting here, and writing, we are informed that the margrave will hold a penal court today; I hope it is for us. Pray for us. I hope God will strengthen us by His power, which surpasses everything. Oh, that we might be delivered thus soon; but I am afraid it will not be.
Herewith I commend you to the Lord, and to the Word of His grace. Always adhere to the truth, which, and nothing else, I have confidence you will do. I heartily greet you and all the God-fearing with the peace of the Lord; and Mattheus does the same. Greet all the friends, especially grandmother, most heartily, when convenient. Mattheus would say to you and all the God-fearing, that if he has grieved you in that he did not guard his lips better, he is sincerely sorry for it. Written in bonds, at Antwerp, on the 13th of August, 1567, by me, your weak husband,
Do the best, and be of good cheer, and pray for us.
Another letter of Christian Langedul, in which he exhorts his brother R. L. to perseverance in the pilgrimage begun; and, being assured in his mind, requests, for completion, the prayers of the saints; commends his wife to him, and relates how a little priest came to speak with him
The eternal, Almighty God and Father of mercy, through His Son, our Lord and Saviour, the same almighty, eternal, worshipful, only wise God and merciful Father of all grace, strengthen and stablish you unto the end with His Holy Spirit, my dear brother and sister in the Lord, and also according to the flesh; that you may receive the crown of life with all the saints and elect children of God; herewith I will bid you final farewell and greeting in this present time, with all dear brethren and sisters in the Lord who live with you and know me. Amen.
My dearly beloved brother and sister, whom I love from the bottom of my heart, I feel prompted now at the close of my life to write you a little for a memorial. I trust you will accept in good part, so that it may be a perpetual memento and admonition from this your second brother now that has been imprisoned here in the city of Antwerp for the testimony of the Lord, for which I hope to lay down my life by the grace of God, and hope that you will not faint on account of this our tribulation which we now suffer for Christ's sake, hoping that it happens for the furtherance of the Gospel, and to the awakening of many who possibly have long walked drowsily and half asleep, (that they may become awakened and sober); and I hope by the grace of the Lord that it will not tend to your abatement, but much rather to your greater edification, and that it will serve you as a perpetual direction in your pilgrimage which you have yet to take through a dismal wilderness, in which you may yet meet with many trials. Phil. 1:12; Eph. 5:14; I Thess. 5:6; I Pet. 2:11. Hence take diligent heed, and lust not after evil things; neither be like those who murmured; but give diligent care that you constantly press on to the promised land, with valiant Joshua and Caleb, so that you may take it by force. I Cor. 16:6, 10. And be content with the Word of the Lord, and look to the promise, for He is so faithful, and you know that the Israelites remained without for no other reason, than because of their unbelief. Heb. 3:19. Hence, my dear friends, believe God's work, and adhere:o it unto death, and God will give you the victory. Though they seem like giants in our eyes, we shall devour them as bread, and this through our faith, by which. we overcome the devil, hell, death and the world. Num. 13:33; I John 5:4.
O dearest friends, you know that all the pious overcame by faith, as you yourself, my dear brother, know better than I can write it to you. Hebrews 11. Take good heed, my beloved, that you fall not in the wilderness, as so many do; for in that case it
were better for us not to have known the truth, yea, never to have been born; for if we lose our birthright, wherewith will we obtain the blessing again? for it is written that Esau sought it with tears, but found it not. II Pet. 2:21; Heb. 12:17. Therefore faint not, but firmly persevere, it is the true grace of God wherein you stand, as I hope you yourselves know. I doubt not that there will never be found another way. I Pet. 5:12.
O brother, were another to be found, than this anxious, narrow and strait way, how gladly should the flesh put up with it; but it must pass the strait. gate, and O how narrow this is, so that flesh and blood will adhere to the posts. But, dear and faithful brother, what great salvation the merciful Father has provided for me, who am so utterly unworthy; what great thanks shall I give Him for it, who has so endowed me with His grace and provided such a salvation for me. Continue in it, my dear brother and sister, and pray the Lord for us, that He may preserve us in out sorest distress, and comfort us when we are most in affliction, and in extreme need of consolation and help, as. I hope He will do, for He is faithful that promised it. He also will do it, and will be with us even unto death, and not forsake us; for who was ever confounded that trusted in Him? I hope He will not suffer us to be confounded, and that He will finish the good work which He has begun in us, and this through His unfathomable mercy and grace. To this end, help us to fight, with your prayers to God in our behalf; this is my desire and the desire of us all; in this you can now aid us the most.
My dear brother, why do you grieve for me; rather take comfort in it, for the Lord has obviously ordered it so. He loves us, and means to bring us into rest. I feel that it is all of the Lord, for when I for a time hear of no deliverance, I receive great joy in my heart and refreshing from the Lord; but as soon as something comes again, and the flesh lusts greatly after it, joy departs, and we have great difficulty to get it back from the Lord. Therefore I hope that you will resign yourselves better herein, for the Lord intends to deliver us from this body of death, and to help us out of this anxiety. The Lord be praised forever for the love He shows me, and that He so helps me. I hope He will keep also you in His truth; hence be of good cheer, and comfort yourselves with His beautiful promise, with which also we comfort ourselves entirely.
Therefore, dear brother, I will herewith conclude my letter; and I kindly ask you to accept it in good part, for it has been written to you and your dear wife out of heartfelt brotherly love, for a perpetual farewell and memorial. I herewith also thank you for the' great trouble and labor you have put yourself to for my sake and for the great expense you have on my account. I can never repay it to you; but I hope that the Lord will recompense it to you and yours, now and hereafter; also as regards that other matter, which you well know. O brother, do not let it vex you that I was so situated; I should so gladly have done it for you and yours, as God knows, who is acquainted with every heart. If convenient for you, lend my wife a little assistance while you are here, in the things in which she may need your services, and comfort her in the exceedingly great sorrow in which she now is; this I kindly request of you.
Herewith I will commend you to the Lord, and to the Word of His grace; may He strengthen and stablish you in His truth unto the end of your lives, to His praise, and to your salvation, and the salvation of us all.
This afternoon a little, lean priest visited us. I believe he is a Jesuit, and that he sometimes preaches in Koppenken's church. There is very little in the man: The bailiff accompanied him. He (the priest) damned us exceedingly, which was about all he had to say. I was with -them about two hours. It would take too long to write all. His arguments were very weak. It seems strange to me that the lords are not ashamed to come with such men, who will by no means defend themselves with the Holy Scriptures, but with the teachers of the Roman church, with Ambrose, Jerome, and Augustine; whom [they say] we are to believe. I then confessed that it could not be proved with the apostolical writings that the apostles baptized infants; also, that baptism belonged to believers, and that infants had no faith. But he constantly asserted that the ancient teachers had written it, and that the holy Roman church so observed it, hence also we had to observe it. A poor argument. The others had something at least, but he was too wretchedly deficient. Hence it would be too tedious to write about it.
Herewith I commend you to God. Written at Antwerp, in prison, by me, your weak brother in the Lord, and also according to the flesh, Christian Langedul, imprisoned for the testimony of the Lord and my conscience, the 10th of September, 1567.
Christian Langedul's leave and last adieu to Maeyken Raedts, his wife after he was sentenced to death
Grace and peace from our heavenly Father, through Christ Jesus, this I wish you, my dear and chosen wife and sister in the Lord; and may the Comforter, the Holy Ghost comfort you in your tribulation, as He will do according to His promise. And I trust, my wife, that all (whether tribulation or sorrow), will tend to salvation to the Christian, as I also trust it will conduce to your salvation, and also to mine, although no tribulation for the present seems to be joyous, and this according to the words of the apostle. Heb. 12:11. However, afterward, my beloved, it will work the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them that by good works seek eternal life, as we have done according to our weakness, for thus I may well say, and I speak it from the.heart. Nevertheless, I expect to inherit salvation through the grace of the Lord, and am of
good cheer herein; I will therefore thank the Lord forever for His love. O my love, the winepress must now be trodden; and I am quite ready for it,. the Lord be praised. Truly, He is a God of all COmfort- who comforts us in all our tribulation. Oh, that I could fully thank the Lord for all the comfort and strength He grants to me, unworthy .one.
Therefore, my beloved, comfort yourself in the Lord, and in His word; therein you will find such great consolation and refreshment; and may the. Holy Ghost dwell in you with all wisdom as, I doubt not that the Spirit of God does dwell in you, and that He will guide you into all truth and righteousness.
Your letter I received this noon; I thank you very much for it: J. was here, but we could scarcely speak together. I felt somewhat sorry on account of it afterwards; when I parted from him; but the jailer drove us away, saying that. the lord was coming, which I half thought was not so; nor was it so, for the lord did not come. I would fain not have parted from him in this manner, but the Lord disposes. Tell J. T. and his wife; that I wish their salvation from all my heart, and that he and she, and all men, might know the truth. If f promised it to him in weakness, I hope, by the, grace of God, tomorrow to, demonstrate it in power. J. told me that you. were writing me another letter: O my love, you .put yourself to too much trouble, I fear;, do rest, for it will soon be over with me.
Herewith I commend you to the Lord, and to the word of His grace. Greet all the friends most cordially with the peace of the Lord; greet warmly R. Langedul; also your sister, and all the friends, whenever it is convenient, and bid them all adieu. Adieu, my dear lamb, adieu. Written on the 12th of September, 1567 by me, Christian Langedul, your husband and weak brother in the Lord, imprisoned and sentenced to death for the testimony of Christ, and for .our conscience. All four of us greet you very much in the Lord. We are of good cheer and courage in the Lord, as Kalleken, who visited us, will tell you: Thank R. most heartily in my name for his letter; it rejoiced my heart, the Lord be praised. Amen.
NOTE.--.As there has been put into our hands a letter written by Hans Symons (who was burnt at Antwerp, A. D. 1567, together with Christian Langedul and two others of our fellow believers) to his wife, shortly before his death, we deem it well herewith to insert the same; the copy of the letter reads.as .follows
Grace, peace and mercy from God the heavenly Father; also steadfastness in the faith, and constant adherence to God in all temptations and tribulations, by the power and operation of the Holy Ghost; unto Him, blessed forever, be praise and thanks. This I wish you, my most beloved wife and sister in the Lord, whom I love after a godly manner, as my own flesh, yea, have loved more than my own self, as evidenced by many favors and acts; this is my heartfelt greeting to you, and that it may go well with you, both in soul and body. Amen.
Further, my dear and much beloved wife, and sister in the Lord, know that I have received your letter, which comforts me in my bonds, because I learn that you still remember me and my fellow prisoners in the Lord, in your prayers, that the Lord would strengthen and comfort us, and help us finish the good work by Him begun in us, to His praise and the salvation of our souls.
O dear lamb, I also beseech you on high from the bottom of my heart, to keep you from all error of unbelief, and to help finish, to His praise and honor, and to the salvation of your soul, the good work which He has begun in you.
Let us pray together with a broken heart, an humble spirit and a pure conscience, lifting up holy hands, without contention or strife, praying to God steadfastly in the faith, then will our prayer be a sweet savor and an acceptable offering to God; for every gift comes from the Father of lights.
O my dear wife, lay to heart the virtues which the Lord has caused to be proclaimed to you, as the prophet says, "He hath shewed thee O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God." Micah 6:8.
Always remember those who have walked the way before you through much tribulation, and have always remained valiant in the faith, with a firm confidence."Who was ever confounded that trusted in the Lord?" says the prophet. Hence, dear wife, do not slightly esteem the great grace which the Lord has shown you. Always persevere steadfastly, and trust in the Lord with a firm confidence; He will not forsake you; nor will He leave you without comfort; for in time of need He succors His own, and says, "A mother may forget her child, yet will I never forget thee."
Be of good cheer, I pray you, in your trial, which the Lord sends you, and take job for an example, how patient he was; and the Lord blessed him.
I trust the Lord will let His merciful eyes rest upon you and upon all sorrowing and afflicted hearts, to comfort them by the Spirit by which He Himself was comforted in His sufferings.
I am much troubled and afflicted in my heart, when I think of you, and of my four poor little lambs, whom I must all leave.
I pray you, Tanneken, remember them in your heart as long as you live.
Do not forget my request of you, namely, that you walk in the law of your Lord all the days of your life, and that you be to my and your children, whom the Lord has given us during the time
of our wedlock, a pattern in all humility and obedience, in instruction in righteousness,; and take for remembrance, the Maccabean mother, how she strengthened her children, that they should not forsake the law of God.
I commend them to you, my dearest wife, and to the Lord. He will help you; His hand is not shortened, that He cannot help us. For better is one child that fears God, than a thousand ungodly children; yea, it were better to die childless, than to leave ungodly children behind. I pray you, exercise good care over them; I commit them to you, and to the Lord, for I am taken from you and them, which greatly troubles me, according to the flesh; but I remember that it is written, "Whosoever forsaketh not everything, father, mother, sister, brother, wife, children, property, lands, yea, also his own life, the same is not worthy of me;" in short,"Whosoever loveth aught more than me, is not worthy of me." I do not know what the Lord has seen in me, when I consider that I am so miserable and unworthy to suffer for His name. I can praise and thank the Lord for the great benefits which He has shown me in my bonds. Well do I now find, that the Lord has helped us. unworthy ones, especially me.
According to the Spirit, my heart- rejoices in the hope of future glory. I hope that I shall soon put off this mortal garment, and put on the immortal; may the Lord direct our hearts thereto, for we need help from the Lord of hosts, in our tribulation. See, my dear and much beloved wife and sister in the Lord, take this, with your little children, as a testament and, as a remembrance from him who has lived with you in the bonds of wedlock for about five years. We must now part, because of the covenant which we made with God., never to depart therefrom; hence I must now depart from the marriage covenant, for the sake of the covenant which we made with God; I now go (though unworthily), the way which the prophets, Christ, and His apostles went, through much tribulation and pain, with many tears, and must drink the cup of bitterness which they all drank. Though the Lord Himself said, "Holy Father, if it be possible that this cup pass from me, let it be done; but if not, Holy Father, thy will be done;" yet He was given us for an example, that we should follow His footsteps in obedience; for Christ entered into His glory through much suffering, thereby leaving us an example that we should follow His steps:
Therefore, my beloved in the Lord, comfort yourself with His Word, and remember- that John writes, that the Lord said to Ibis disciples and to His friends, "In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer, your .tribulation shall be turned into joy." Hence, dear Tanneken, rejoice in the hope of future happiness; be patient in tribulation, continue instant in prayer, that the Lord would comfort you and not suffer you to fall into temptation, but with it also make a way of escape. Commend your matters to the Lord; I hope and trust in God that, if you continue in His laws, and constantly keep the Lord before your eyes, He will raise up some one who -will help, comfort and assist you. Never separate from the God-fearing. How pleasant it- is to be among. the Lord's people! I say with Moses, "I would rather suffer affliction with the people of God than enjoy temporal pleasure."
Always associate with the saints of the Lord; for among the holy, one becomes holy, says the apostle.:And remember the words of the Lord, "He that overcometh shall inherit all things, and be clothed in white raiment, and God shall wipe away all tears from our eyes."
O dear Tanneken, it seems that there must be tears; for where no tears are, none can be wiped away. The Lord grant (as I trust in Him that He will) that after this tribulation, which has come upon us for His name's sake, and which is a sore affliction to my heart, we may rejoice together in the kingdom of God and of Christ. For, my dear and much beloved wife and sister in the Lord, whom I love from the bottom of my heart, together with my four little, children, it, is very hard for me when I, think of your heavy burden, the spoiling of our property, and that the Lord has deprived you of the provider of your daily bread.. I, fain would, had it been the Lord's pleasure, that He had spared us. this affliction; however as it cannot be otherwise, we will commend our affliction to the Lord.
When I consider, Tanneken, our past time, I think that it is a fatherly chastisement, for He says, "Whom I love I chasten." I well know that we have merited it at the hands of the Lord, since we ofttimes were disobedient in the sufferings sent us by Him. When we (as is true enough) had little success, as the world counts success, we complained and murmured against God, because we had not more to live on, and many children were born to us; just as though God's hand had been shortened, that He could not have fed us. And now that little vanishes away as a prey, and we must be satisfied; however, it is for the Lord's sake; and for His sake I gladly suffer. The Lord gave it me, and for His sake I will also gladly resign it.
Hence, dear Tanneken, I have often before told you this. I do not write it to trouble you, but to indicate to you that God is chastening us; for He shows that He still loves us. Though the Lord chasten us, let us not cast His chastisement from us; for He that rejects chastisement and instruction will perish.
Therefore, my beloved, I earnestly pray the Lord for you, and for my four children whom God has given me-which you bore me, and brought forth in pain-that He would not forsake you, but comfort, strengthen and stablish you, and feed all my four little orphans, and their mother, both according to the soul and body. Always trust in the Lord; I trust He will not forsake you. Take counsel with the Lord, and with them that fear Him; and take better heed to walk in the obedience of Christ. I
am sorry from the bottom of my heart, that I have not improved my time better. And I ask you to excuse and forgive me in whatever I have grieved you; for I am heartily sorry for it; and wherein you may have grieved me, I forgive you all from the bottom of my heart. And I pray the Lord, that He would also forgive us the same, as I hope, and also trust in Him, that He has done: I thank you for the good intercourse we had together during the time of our wedlock; and I thank also all the brethren and sisters in the Lord, for the intercourse I had with them in the faith, for their faces were always pleasing to me. The Lord grant us grace that hereafter we may all live together in joy with the Lord, and be crowned with the crown of salvation, with which all the saints of God will be adorned, and this out of pure grace. Amen.
This is my testament, my dear and much beloved Tanneken. In parting, let me tell you, that my mind is still unchanged in the Lord, namely, I, unworthy one, am determined to bear testimony to the Lord, and to seal the same with my blood, in token that it is the truth; nor do I know any other way to be saved through grace, for a witness to the world, to the honor of God, and to the salvation of our souls. Amen.
Cornelis, Mattheus, and Christian are also thus minded. Entreat the Lord for us all, that He would help us finish the good work by Him begun in us, to His honor and to the salvation of our souls. Amen.
Pray the Lord for us all, and remember the prisoners, as being imprisoned with them. All four of us heartily greet you and them that live in the same house with you, with the peace of the Lord.
No more for the present; excuse my letter, for my mind is not in the best condition for writing. Herewith I commend you to God, and to the rich Word of His grace. Amen.
By me, Hans Symons, your husband in the Lord, confined in prison at Antwerp.
Grace and peace be unto you from God our Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; who comforted us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also .aboundeth by Christ. And whether we be afflicted or comforted, it is all for our good, and for our salvation. II C'or. 1:3-6. This I wish you, my dear brethren and sisters in the Lord, Vincent, Kaerle, Willem, and Hans Symons, and Tanneken, Vincent's wife, as a heartfelt greeting in the Lord. And brethren and sisters in general, I write this that you may remember me, what tribulation and distress I suffered in Antwerp for the testimony of our Lord Jesus Christ; and because the time has come that I must part from you all. Amen.
Further, my dear brethren and sisters in the Lord, and coworkers and followers of the Gospel, whom God has shown great mercy in this world, in that He, out of grace, revealed His will. Hence, dear brethren and sisters in the Lord, I beseech you from the depth of my heart, that you receive not the grace of God in vain, for He says, "I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succored thee." Therefore, dear brethren, let us not give offense to any one, that our ministry be not blamed; but let us approve ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in necessities and distresses. II Cor. 6:1-4. Hence, dear brethren, accept this as a sincere request from me, that you take heed to your calling, wherein you are called to holiness, for He says, "Be ye holy; for I am holy." I Pet. 1:16. And I pray you, that you show love to one -another all the days of your life, for Christ says, "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." John 13:35. If any prosper more than others, let one assist the other, and do not become alienated from one another, lest one be grieved on account of another; but exhort one another with the law of the Lord when ye come together, and always remember the days when you were illuminated-how zealous we all were when we came together, to speak of the great benefits which God has bestowed upon us, in that He has called us from the power of darkness into His marvelous light, which is kindled in our hearts, so that we have surrendered ourselves to serve the Lord all the days of our life, and no more to live to ourselves. Heb. 10:32; I Pet. 2:9; Romans 14:7.
O dear brethren and sisters, always write the law of the Lord into your hearts, and keep Him ever before your eyes, and serve Him faithfully unto the end of your lives; for if there is anything that is not clear, be it ever so small, in which the conscience is troubled, Satan produces, by way of accusation, all he can produce, in order that he may at least lead astray or trouble us; however, he frequently has cause, for we all sin in many things, as James says. Rev. 12:10; Jas. 3:2.
Therefore, dear brethren and sisters, awake, and make straight paths for your feet, that you may always be prepared for the Gospel of peace, which calls us only to peace, for.beautiful are the feet of them that fear the Lord. Eph. 5:14; Heb. 12:13; Eph. 6:15; Rom. 10:15. Never separate from the church of the Lord; for it is the body of Christ, and He is the Saviour of His body. And though sometimes there are some in it who do not truly follow the Lord, think, "Lord, I have no right to sin, too, because another sins, since the Lord has no pleasure in the multitude of sin, but that everyone turn from his evil way, and he shall live." And I pray
you and all the brethren and sisters in the Lord, that they do not think it a small thing to grieve their neighbor, whether by word or deed, or by the putting on of apparel. We can avoid this sometimes, but we will not, caring not that our neighbor is troubled thereby.
O dear brethren, when one is apprehended or put into bonds, or the Lord takes us from this world, it greatly troubles our conscience. And our stay here is so brief; hence prepare well your lamps, that when the bridegroom comes, you will not have to go for oil, for the doors will then be shut. What is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what will you give in exchange for your soul? Matt. 16:2:1. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, but sanctify God in your hearts, and give thanks unto the Father, who has made you meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light. Rom. 6:12; I Pet. 3:15; Col. 1:12. O dear brethren, how true and certain we daily find it to be, that it is the truth for which we must suffer, of which I am becoming convinced more and more every day, though I never doubted that it was the truth.
O dear brethren and sisters, continue herein unto the end, and you will prosper; and do not suffer yourselves to be deceived through philosophy, or vain deceit; through vain pomp and subtle inventions; for men are soon corrupted from their simplicity which they -have in Christ, for it is a great grace which we have received from God, that the truth is revealed to us, which is hid from so many thousands. Col. 2:8; II Cor. 11:3; Eph. 1:9. Hence, my dear brethren and sisters, think now of us, how many tortures we have endured, how many sighs we have spent, how much weeping and supplicating to God we have done., with strong crying and tears unto Him for help, that you might be able to keep unto the end the faith wherein you stand.
O dear brethren, it is so hard for us, and the cup which we must drink is so bitter. O how am I straightened till the child is born I These woes are so bitter, dear brethren; I speak the truth; it is impossible to make any one believe what pain it is to bring forth a child, except him who has experienced it; however, when it is born, then the pain is remembered no more. Thus it is also with me and my fellow prisoners; we are now in the throes of travail, many a heart grief fills us with anguish, and we must cry to God for help. And He comforts us, for He is a God of comfort, who can comfort all troubled hearts, as He also does. But I hope that we shall soon have brought forth; then we shall remember the anguish and distress no more, and all the tears, that now ofttimes course down our cheeks, so that at times we almost, with David, water our bed with our tears, will be wiped away; for He is faithful that promised it us, and will also keep it. We comfort one another much with the Lord's promises. John 16:21; Isa. 26:17; II Cor. 1:3, 4; Ps. 6:6; Isa. 25:8; I Thess. 5:24.
Therefore, dear brethren and sisters, exhort one another daily, and be subject to one another in love. And I pray you, dear brethren and brothers-in-law in the Lord, I pray you, exercise good care over my sisters, for you are placed over them; the watch over them is committed to you. Dear brothers, live with them according to knowledge, as I also trust you will do. I commend them to you. from the heart. And you sisters in the Lord, and according to the flesh, I pray you from my inmost soul, in my bonds, which I suffer for Christ's sake, that you bear with all modesty your husbands, whom the Lord and His church have given you, that you should live with them in all subjection and obedience. It well becomes women to honor their husbands, for a woman of understanding is the crown of her husband, and the wife is honored through the husband, and the husband through the wife. Therefore I entreat you, dear sisters, assist your husbands with all willingness, lest you discourage them. Oh, if the wife knew what trouble and grief she can cause her husband in his work, she would shun to do it as she would shun poison; for the wife can cause her husband to consume soul and body in his labor. Encourage each other in spiritual and temporal matters, and always shun whatever might give rise to trouble, for Satan is wily; he is satisfied with any means by which he can cause contention; he walks about man, as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Hence I beseech you for the Lord's sake, lay to heart what I write you with sighing; I do it because I love you all in my heart, and also all them that fear the Lord. I say with Moses, "I would rather suffer affliction with the children of God, than enjoy the pleasures of sin." Always associate with those who fear the Lord, and pray, lest Satan take you unawares; for when it is least expected, the Lord comes, as I and my fellow prisoners can testify. I trust the Lord has thus ordered it with us. We are now in it; may the Almiehty God help us through, as I trust He will do. Help pray the Lord for us; for the effectual fervent prayer of the righteous avails much. Acts, 12:5; Jas. 5:16. I beseech you, my dear brethren and sisters, take heed unto yourselves; the time is short, and it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the Lord. I Cor. 7:29; Heb. 10:31. Call to remembrance the day when you were illuminated, how ardent we were in the law of God, to walk in it. v. 32. I hope you are better instructed in everything, than I can write. And above all, I pray you. keep the Lord before your eyes above all else. and love one another ferventlv
thereby men shall know that you are children of the Most High, for love abides forever, it never perishes. John 13:35; I Cor. 13:13, 8. Be hosnitable, remember them that are in bonds, comfort the sorrowing, remember the poor, each according to his circumstances. Oh, it gives such peace to the conscience. I wish indeed I had done much more. Heb. 13:2. 3; II Cor. 1:4.
Herewith I commend you all to the eternal, Almighty God; may He comfort, strengthen and
stablish you all, and us poor, forsaken sheep, -deprived of all men, unto the end of our lives; for it lies not in the beginning, nor in the middle, but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. Matt. 24:13. Behold, dear brethren, I go before, and hope to wait for you under the altar, where they cry, "Lord, Lord, when wilt thou avenge the blood of thy saints?" Rev. 6:9, 10. But the Lord will shorten the days for His elect's sake; and then will He clothe them in white raiment, and wipe away all tears from their eyes, and they will see sorrow no more, for it has never entered into the heart of man what God has prepared for them that love Him. Matt. 24:22; Rev. 3:5; I Cor. 2:9. Herewith I bid you all a final adieu in this world, and thank you all for the good intercourse I have had with you in my life. And wherein I have grieved you, or any one else, forgive me; I am heartily sorry for it. I hope and trust to God that He has forgiven it me; and if there be any one who has wronged me, I forgive him from the bottom of my heart, no matter who he be. We four, Hans, Cornelis, Mattheus, and Christian, in bonds for the testimony of Jesus, greet you and all that fear the Lord with His peace. Amen.
The mighty God keep you all from evil. Greet my mother, Charles and his wife; and Maeyken, who took care of my wife. Adieu to you all. This is my testament to you all, Vincent, Kaerle, Neelken, Willem, Hans, to each with his wife.
By me, Hans Symons, your dear brother, imprisoned at Antwerp for the testimony of Jesus.
The grace and mercy of God the Father, the love of the Son, and the communion and peace of the Holy Ghost, who is sent us from the Father, through the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to the comfort of all true and faithful children of God; by whom we are led, taught and healed; the same keep your heart, understanding and mind in Christ Jesus, to the praise and glory of His heavenly Father, to the salvation of your troubled soul, and to the protection of all the brethren and sisters that fear and love the Lord. This I wish you, my affectionately and much beloved wife, as a heartfelt greeting.
My dearest wife, whom I wedded before God and His church, and took to wife according to the ordinance of the Lord, I wish you comfort, joy and gladness in all your great sorrow which has now come upon you through my bonds and imprisonment. O my dear wife, I most earnestly pray the Lord for you, that He would comfort you, since I well know. my dear lamb- that vn» are very cnr rowful on my account. But I pray you, lay your grief aside, if possible, for a little while, and comfort yourself with the Author of the faith, and look to Jesus the Finisher. Heb. 12:2. Walk henceforth in all righteousness; make good use of the time of grace, and always remember what great grace the Lord has shown you; and bear in mind what a faithful God you serve, who will not forsake you. Rom. 6:13; Eph. 2:7; I Cor. 1:9.
O my most beloved iamb, I cannot fully praise or thank the Lord for all the great power and strength which He gives me in all my distress. Isa. 40:29. He is so faithful a God, He gives me such courage, so that I may say with Paul, "Who shall separate us from the love of God? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Rom. 8:3539.
O my dear wife, I pray and exhort you, be patient in your tribulation, continue instant in prayer, and always remember the beautiful promises which are so abundantly promised us in the Scriptures, if we persevere unto the end. Matthew 10:22.
Oh, let us well guard the treasure given us, so that no man may by any means deprive us of it. Hence continue steadfastly, and faint not; for though the 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 these are eternal. II Corinthians 4:7, 16-18.
Hence, my dear and much beloved wife, do not cease to serve the Lord your God with all your heart, and to follow His footsteps. For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens, and that we shall be clothed with it: if so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. Now 'He that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. II Cor. 5:1-5.
O my dear wife, since we shall put off the flesh, and inherit such a dwelling, let us walk fearlessly in faith before God and His church, and purpose not to depart from the Lord, nor to separate from His love which He has shed abroad in our hearts
by the Holy Ghost on account of any affliction or tribulation; then He can succor and comfort you in your request, when you are deprived of all human help and comfort; since He comes to the help of those.who forsake their own selves, and of the despairing, for He dwells and will dwell alone in the hearts of men, and would not have us serve any one besides Him.
Thus, my dear sheep, be firmly founded and built up in Him, as you are taught, and let love grow and increase in all righteousness and holiness, which avail and are acceptable before God; and always give diligence to excel in virtue, and look not to the walk of the idle and heedless, but consider them-that live conformably to the doctrine of Christ; have your intercourse always with them, so that you run neither too high nor too low, nor too wide nor too long; for many go astray because one looks to the other, whereby they sometimes wax cold.
Therefore, my dear and much beloved wife, always seek those things which are above, and let yor.r mind constantly be fixed on the things which are not seen; put off the old man, and put on the new man, and deny ungodliness and worldly lusts; be transformed by the renewing of your mind, and you will have part in the resurrection. Col. 3:1; II Cor. 4:18; Col. 3:9, 10; Tit. 2:12; Rom. 12:2; Luke 20:35. Hence know that you must first have crucified the old man, so that the body of sin 'nay cease. And be not weary in well doing, since your labor will not be in vain. For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end. Heb. 3:14.
Hence, my dear wife, suffer not yourself to be moved from your purpose or faith, for it is, the true grace of God wherein we stand."For though an angel should come," says Paul,"and teach you anything else than what has been.preached unto you, let him be accursed." Gal. 1:8. Neither fear such men as would draw you away from.this doctrine; for they will perish like grass; nor can they do anything without. God's permission. Therefore fear God and humble yourself under Him, for He is honored of the lowly; always condescend to men of low estate, and you will be great in the eyes of God; think not yourself .to be something, lest you deceive; always forsake your own self, and regard not what men may do unto you, though you be wronged; for it is acceptable with God, if a man for conscience' sake gets into grief, suffering wrongfully. Hence be patient in all that comes upon you for the Lord's sake, so that you may be a partaker of Christ's sufferings, and thus inherit His promise; for the time that reproach must be suffered here is short, compared with the joy which shall be revealed _in us in the last time; for though we have a miserable life here, we shall enjoy much good hereafter; we are accounted here as dying, but we enter into certain rest and peace. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. I Corinthi ans 15:43, 44. Therefore our house of this tabernacle must be dissolved, if we want to obtain the house prepared us of God. Hence fear not them that kill the body; for they cannot harm the soul. Let us therefore not grieve because of the work of the Lord, but as Christ says, rejoice and be glad therein, for it shall be rewarded you in heaven: and, as Peter says, Praise and glorify the Lord in this matter. Matt. 5:12; 1 Pet. 3:15; 4:16.
O my dear lamb, this is not said, that we should grieve. Thus, be patient in your tribulation and sufferings; for Paul says that all things work together for good to them that love God; hence I trust to the Lord, that it will conduce to your good. Therefore receive willingly from the hand of the Lord the sufferings and afflictions He sends you, for He will not suffer you to be tempted above that you are able to bear. Thus, bear patiently Christ's sufferings; for all that are without chastisements are bastards, and not children. Heb. 12:8. James says, "Blessed is the man that endureth temptation; for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which God hath promised to them that love him." James 1:12.
Thus, my dear wife, follow Christ, and take up your cross with patience and joy, and follow Him all the days of your life, for He had to suffer so much for our sakes, to save us. Therefore let us suffer for His sake; since it is our hour, let us joyfully contend for the crown of life, which is- prepared for us and them that fear and love the Lord. Hence let us be satisfied in Him, and take our cross upon us with joyfulness and patience, and wait, with firm confidence for the promises which He has made us, and that we may be crowned upon Mount Sion, and adorned with palms, and may follow the Lamb. I I Esdras 2:42; Rev. 14:4.
Thus, strengthen yourself, and wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ in the eternal life."Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen." Jude 24, 25.
See, my dear wife and sister in the Lord, since I can no longer serve you with my presence, I have written you a little to comfort you; and this for a memorial or testament, that thereby you may remember me, how I walked before you. I hope to seal this letter with my blood, that it is the truth; and for this I, want to lay down my life, to the praise of the Lord-, and to the edification of all who fear the Lord from the heart. I commit you to the Lord and to the Word of His grace, that He would keep you in all righteousness and truth. And though we must separate, yet I know and firmly trust the Lord, that we shall be together in the life eternal. I hope that you will always so order and regulate your way all the days of your life, that you may obtain salvation.
Herewith I bid you adieu, my dear lamb; adieu
till in eternity. Adieu and farewell to all that fear the Lord: Pray the Lord for all four of us, that we may offer up unto Him an acceptable sacrifice, so that our souls may be saved forever; to this end may God the Lord give His grace. Amen.
Written by me, Cornelis the shoemaker, imprisoned for the testimony of our Lord Jesus Christ.