|This flower appears to be bearing seed as it stands out amid the grass. May we do the same with the Word of God, amid this wicked generation.|
Psalm 92:7 In rising up of the sinners as grass, and [all the ones working lawlessness look on.], that thus they shall be utterly destroyed in to the eon of the eon.
(forever & ever).
I found these letters on Martyrs Mirror a blessing--hoping others will also benefit from them. They bring good testimony to a Christian's need to lay down their life. They also bring perspective to those of us living free from persecution. Our modern day trials our shallow, trivial. Lord help us to shake off the sins that do so easily beset us, & press in that we may be able to stand fast in the faith & glorify Him when the pains & afflictions of bearing witness to the Gospel fall upon us. The wicked are springing as the grass--the darker it gets the brighter true Gospel bearing Christians shine."This Christiaen Rijcen lived still in these latter days as a faithful witness, at Hontschoten, in Flanders, where he, as a true Christian, was imprisoned for the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ, in December of the year 1587. And after suffering much trial and temptation there, he was very cruelly tortured, and burned to ashes there, the seventh day of April, 1588, under the bloody tyranny and reign of the Prince of Parma. And thus he steadfastly delivered over unto death his corruptible body, for the truth of Christ, and expects now a new house in heaven, which God shall prepare for him, that it shall endure forever. II Cor. 5:1.
Of this friend of God a book has been published, containing fifteen letters, with some hymns, which this true witness wrote from prison to his wife and his friends, for comfort and encouragement;..."
"Further, my beloved brother, I have learned that my children are at your house, that you are to keep them till my wife comes home, whereby you show me great friendship, that you have done this; and I also pray you, my dear brother, that if you should have a small chamber that you could spare, that my wife might also live with you until the Lord bring about a change with me; and if they should deprive me of my life, I should like it very much, if you would aid her in getting to Bruges, there to make her living, or back to Holland, wherever it should please her to go. For, my beloved brother, women that are thus situated, have need of help and comfort; hence I pray you, do your best in this matter; remember that James says, that true religion is to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. James 1:27 "
ANOTHER COMFORTING LETTER FROM CHRISTIAEN
"I, Christiaen Rijcen, imprisoned for the Lord's sake, wish
my very dear and beloved wife, the eternal wisdom of the
Father, and the love of the Son, and the consolation of the
Holy Ghost, as an affectionate greeting.
WRITTEN TO HIS WIFE, IN WHICH HE EXHORTS HER TO PERSEVERANCE IN THE FEAR
OF GOD, AND INFORMED HER, HOW THE PASTOR OF HOUTEN HAD TEMPTED HIM,
PROMISING HIM TO HELP HIM OUT, IF HE WOULD HEARKEN TO HIM
And after all salutation, I inform my very dear and beloved wife, that I am not very well at present, for I have pain in the head, and am in great tribulation for you and the children's sake, that I can not assist you in helping to gain a living. Yet I hope that the Lord, who has taken me from you, will assist you and provide you with what you shall need, for faithful are the promises which He has made, saying, "Seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." And Peter says, "Cast all your care upon the Lord; for he careth for you." Hence, my dearest love, flee for refuge solely and entirely to the Lord; for he that gives seed to the sower will also give you bread for food.
Know further, that I received your letter, and I thank you from the heart for the comforting treasures you sent me. Knowing that they greatly rejoiced me, when I heard your mind, and that you still confirm me in the truth, to continue valiant in the Lord unto death. I hope so to do by the grace of God, and to obtain the glorious 'promises. And I also pray you, my dear wife, always take heed to yourself, so that we may hereafter, by the grace of the Lord, rejoice together where joy shall endure forever. If it can be no more here in this world, that it may certainly be hereafter, that we may then rejoice eternally; though we must now sow in tears, that we may then reap with joy. Hence, my dearest love, be of good courage, and thank God, that we are worthy to suffer for His name; for thus the saints went before, and we must also through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God. It is now my turn; it may perhaps soon be your turn. Hence, my dear wife, endeavor diligently to please the Lord and to serve Him faithfully, that when He comes to you, you may be watching; for blessed are those servants whom the Lord when He cometh shall find so doing: He shall gird Himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. Luke 12:37. Hence, my dear wife, always continue steadfast in the word of the Lord, and faint not at my tribulation which is now present; but be the more diligent to serve the Lord, and always keep yourself pure, my dear wife, this I pray you, as I hope that you will do. And take great pains to set the children to work, the best you can; and always conduct yourself discreetly toward them, so that they may learn discretion; and thus do in all things the best, this I pray you. I do not know yet what they will do with me. I now hear reports sometimes, that they will leave me in confinement till I turn and adopt the Romish religion. But the Lord, to whom I have committed the matter, can soon , bring about a change, if it is His will; hence. I commit my cause to Him. Last Tuesday I had the pastor of Houten here with me, and we had many words together, but he did not know much to say from the Scriptures. However, it would be too long to write all that we said; but in parting, as he was leaving, he said that if I would hearken, he would soon help me out. I said that I would do the best; so we parted from each other.
Thus, my very dear and beloved wife, my hope and confidence are fixed upon the Lord, to serve and obey Him all the days of my life, by His divine help and power.
Herewith, I commend you and my children to the Lord and to the rich Word of His grace. Amen. Greet much in my name all the acquaintances that live near you, and give this letter to N., your landlord, and greet him much from me. Nothing more for this time, but farewell. In haste, on the 5th of March. By me, CHRTSTIAEN RIJCEN.
Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: but rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his, glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye. I Pet. 4:12-14."