In this dark bloody reign of antichrist two other pious brethren fell into the hands of the tyrants, one of whom was a minister of the Word, named Tijs Jeuriaenss, residing in North Holland, at Karop in Waterland. The name of the other was Jan Claess, born near Wesop, and residing in the same town; he was still a single man, about twentyfive years of age. And as said Tijs Jeuriaenss had gone to Muyen near Amsterdam, to serve the church of God in the Word, while said Jan Claess in company with some others went to Muyen to hear the exhortation. Thus he was apprehended with Tijs Jeuriaenss, and brought to the castle of Muyen, where they remained in imprisonment for about half a year, and were then sent to the Hague, where they were also kept confined for about half a year, and were then sent back to Muyen. at which place after about three months both were sentenced to be strangled and burnt at the stake.This was so done, and they were burnt black in their faces with reed, and were each put at a stake outside of the dyke, in the reed, at Muyen, for food to the birds. And as these pious witnesses of God suffered all this, not on account of having committed any crime (upon which alone the secular power has a right to visit punishment), but only for the truth of the Word of God, and a good conscience, they are under the blessed promise of God, who has said, "Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." Matt. 5:10. And as they have here for Christ's sake delivered up their bodies unto death, for a living sacrifice holy and acceptable unto God, in confirmation of the truth, so they shall receive these their mortal and corruptible bodies again in the resurrection of the just, in eternal, glorious immortality, and shall live forever with Christ, whom they confessed here.
The particulars of this offering we have received from the lips of Symon Fijts, teacher of the church of God in Tessel, who was present in a chamber at their apprehension, and visited them in prison, and with his own eyes witnessed their steadfast departure from this world.
This Tijs Jeuriaenss was a very zealous follower of Christ, who in his long imprisonment also wrote many excellent letters for the consolation of the God-fearing, some of which have long before this been published in a separate book; treating, among other things: of the bringing in and incarnation of Jesus Christ, and, again, of His departure; and also of the free will of man. Of these letters we, in order to avoid prolixity, present two to the reader; they are as follows
The manifold grace of our God, and the abounding, deep love of His Son Jesus Christ, with the unsearchable, rich mercy of our dear Lord Jesus Christ, who hath translated us into the kingdom'of His dear Son and delivered us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father, and the communion, love, joy, comfort and mighty power of His Holy Spirit, we wish to all dear brethren and sisters, and all our fellow believers; also much wisdom, patience, a valiant faith, immovable hope, the breastplate, helmet and armor of our God, certain victory, the triumphant, twoedged sword of the Spirit, and the power of God through the blood of the Lamb. To this high God and Lord, and His blessed Son be power, strength, might, praise, honor, and glory, forever and ever. Amen.
I desire out of a pure heart with the prophet Daniel, imprisoned in Babylon, from pure love, to open the windows of my heart toward the pleasant city of my God, Jerusalem, now to look lovingly upon her with a glad heart, and to show her a joyful face out of pure love; and thus to turn the eyes of pleasant desire to her, and to show her out of pure love a pleasant, glad and joyful countenance, with the sound of rejoicing; for Jerusalem signifies, vision of peace. This adorned and pleasant
city of Jerusalem was shown by the angel of God to the apostle John. Rev. 21:10. He saw it in the Spirit and in a vision, with a joyful heart, and confessed that Jerusalem is a vision of peace, and therefore it cannot be beheld but through the vision of peace. John saw her in a vision, and discerned her by the Spirit of truth; hence no one cap now see her but by the vision of the Spirit, and through the Spirit of truth. This city has the glory of God; her streets are like unto gold, yea, of pure gold. Verse 21. Here is the river of life, clear as crystal. 22:1. In short, here is the pleasant tree, which yields her fruit every month; the leaves of it are for healing, for they are fruits of life. This city has high walls, twelve foundations, and twelve gates. 21:12, 19. She has also twelve watchmen, with twelve trumpets, the pleasant sound and glorious voice of which rejoice my soul. This is that joyful, pleasant and sweet voice which delighted John; for it is like the voice of harpers playing on their harps. 14:2. The sound and voice of all kinds of music in Babylon caused the Babylonians to kneel down and worship the high image (Dan. 3:7); but this sound causes my soul to rejoice with the joy of the Holy Ghost. This city is far more glorious than all other cities, for her builder and maker is God. Heb. 11:10. This city comes down from heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God; for God will dwell with them, and He shall wipe away all tears from their eyes. Rev. 21:2, 3, 4. Behold, here is the spiritual Solomon of the spiritual tabernacle or temple. Here is the spiritual sea which is carried by twelve oxen. I Kings 7:23. In short, here everything is spiritual; according to the request of Peter, lively stones in this living or spiritual temple or house. I Peter 2:5. Here the golden vessels filled with incense are brought to the altar of the Lord. These golden vessels filled with incense are poured out before the Lord, for they are the prayers of the saints. Rev. 5:8. Thus everything is renewed in spirit and in truth. For here is the spiritual paradise planted or founded by God Himself. Here men eat of the tree of life. Here is the spiritual Adam, of which the literal was a figure, after whose image all Christians strive, till they are like unto Him in weakness, for they must be conformed to the image of His Son. Romans 5:14; 8:29. Here has also the spiritual Eve and bride of this spiritual husband come forth, through the spiritual sleep, and is thus flesh of His flesh, and bone of His bones. Gen. 2:23;. Eph..5:30. There is also here, in spirit and in truth, the spiritual ark seen by John. Rev. 11:19. Here we enter in a spiritual manner into the ark of God, through the baptism of Jesus Christ, inwardly prompted to it by fire and the Holy Ghost, and outwardly all the evil carnal lusts washed with water; yea, baptized into his death. Rom.. 6:3. For as by the flood all flesh perished, so must now also perish, through baptism. all lust of -the flesh, and die without .theark, which is represented by the former. I Peter 3:20, 21. Here is the spiritual dove, which brought the spiritual olive branch into the ark of the Lord; for as the dove brought an olive branch in her mouth into Noah's ark, to show that the flood was abating, so the Holy Ghost came down in the form of a dove upon Christ, to show that He was the Son of God, as had been said to John the Baptist, "Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, he it is." John 1:33. In the second place, to show that the flood or punishment had departed, and joy and glad tidings were come.
Behold, this is the spiritual dove, as Esdras says, "Of all the fowls thou hast chosen thee one dove." II Esd. 5:26. And Christ Jesus says to His disciples, "Be harmless as doves." Matt. 10:16. These doves bear the pleasant olive branch, which is Christ, to all those that with Noah desire and apprehend it by faith. I desire once more, with the eyes of love, and with the vision of peace, to turn my heart and mind with John to the glorious woman (Rev. 12:1) since the Lord has shown her to me through faith and the vision of His Word; for her beauty has drawn me, her loveliness inflames me, I am inclined to her, she has with her sweet singing conquered my heart, she has captivated me with her lovely eyes, she has bound me with heavenly bonds, for her bond is the girdle of truth, the bond of peace and love. Ephesians 6: 14; 4:3; Col. 3:14.
I have on account of her forgotten my father's house. How charming and lovely is this woman, how glorious is her raiment I This woman. has a crown of twelve stars upon her head; she is also clothed with the sun, and the moon is under her feet, and two wings also are given her to escape from the dragon. This woman is spiritual, and hence she must be viewed with spiritual eyes; all the proud and vain-glorious cannot behold her beauty; she is clothed with the sun, with the clear sun of understanding and of truth, says the Scripture.
I rejoice with John, for he says, "Let us be glad and rejoice, [and give honor to him:] for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints." Revelation 19:7, 8.
Whosoever now hears this woman falls in love with her, and he who lovingly turns his eyes and face to her, and beholds her beauty, is captivated by her loveliness, for she is the Queen of the Son of the Most High God. This woman pours out the unadulterated sweet wine which comes from the true vine. Over this woman or city of Jerusalem I will rejoice with David and say, "I had rather be a door keeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness." Ps. 84:10. O Jerusalem, thou city of God, glorious things are spoken of thee; for the Lord loveth the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob. Ps. 87:3, 2. 0 Je-
rusalem, thou most beautiful, most pleasant, and most glorious city, above all royal cities 1 O Jerusalem, thou pleasant city and vision of peace, over thee is the King of Peace, the Mighty God, and Lord is His name. Isa. 9:6. Behold these are the pleasant looks which mine eyes cast upon thee; these are the windows of joy through which I behold thee. Once more I must through the window of the divine truth view thy glory; mine eyes and face are thus fixed upon thee, that the tears run down my cheeks. I cannot turn mine eyes and face from thee; though the winds blow into my face, that the tears flow from mine eyes, I will dry them with the beautiful, lovely, pure, and white handkerchief with which my most beloved has given me to dry them, that I may behold her so much the more clearly. Behold, thus I will now with the beloved prophet David turn my heart's delight to thee, and thus give thee the desire of my heart, and say, "Jerusalem is builded as a city that is compact together: whither the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord, unto the testimony of Israel, to give thanks unto the name of the Lord. For there are set thrones of judgment, the thrones of the house of David. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem; they shall prosper that love thee. Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces. For my brethren and companions' sakes, I will now say, Peace be within thee." Ps. 122:3$. Peace be with you all. Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God. Concerning this house read Isaiah 2; Micah 4.
We poor prisoners in the Lord, and bound of Jesus Christ, for the testimony of our God, and for the incontrovertible truth of our dear Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; also severed and banished for still holding fast to the truth and to this testimony; wish salvation, joy, gladness, love, comfort, strength, and the fellowship, operation and power of the Holy Ghost to all our dear brethren and sisters, that are rejected and oppressed by the proud, for the true knowledge of Jesus Christ and the fear of God, for a proof of their severe blindness and pride, and for a proof of patience and pure fear of God in all of you; in short, for a proof, that through the power of our God you are kept in the faith, and also for a confirmation of His Word, that the gates and fiends of hell cannot cast you down. May the strong God with His mighty power and word henceforth keep us all through the abundant riches of His grace; to Him be for it praise, honor, glory, power, might, and strength in glory, forever and ever. Amen.
Out of pure, brotherly, unfeigned love, and from the inmost of our soul and the depth of our heart, with a pure conscience toward all banished, oppressed, burdened, and distressed souls, I write this simple and plain letter to you, out of a pure heart, as a drop of morning dew, dropping down for the refreshing, cooling and comforting of your hearts; hence I beseech you with all my strength, yea, from the inmost depth of my heart, and bythe cross and sufferings of our Lord Jesus Christ, and also by His bitter death and His precious blood shed for us all, discern and comprehend it with pure, clear eyes, ears and hearts. O brethren and sisters, behold and consider diligently from what the mighty power, Spirit and Word of the Lord have delivered you. The hand of the Lord has powerfully delivered you, that you might not be punished with the severe darkness and blindness into which many are fallen. God has also well preserved you from all the plagues and sorceries of Egypt, while so many now lose their birthright.
O brethren and sisters, take heed to it. Because you firmly and confidently hope in the living God; therefore the consuming, and devouring, severe fire (which devours all around it) has not been able to devour or consume you, though all heat, cunning, and craftiness were used in Babylon's fiery furnace; yea, my friends, though the lions of Babylon gnashed their teeth, you have, like Daniel, not been harmed by them, God be forever praised for it. Hence, my most beloved brethren and sisters, whom I love with all my heart, from this, and much more, the power of the Lord has preserved you, for through His victory you have triumphed, and shall triumph, till you receive the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. Amen. I Peter 1:9.
I beseech you all with an unfeigned faith, open your heart once, and consider and lay to heart in spirit and in truth these words of the prophet, "Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name's sake, said, Let the Lord be glorified; but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed, saith the Lord." Ps. 66:5.
In another place' he says, "I sat not in the 'assembly of mockers, nor rejoiced; I sat alone because of thy hand: for thou hast filled me with indignation." Jer. 15:17.
In the third place, mark with an attentive heart the words of the prophet, "I will also leave in the midst of thee (saith the Lord) an afflicted and poor people, and they shall trust in the name of the Lord. The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies; neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth: for they shall feed and lie down, and none shall make them afraid. Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel; be glad and rejoice with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem. The Lord bath taken away the judgments, he bath cast out thine enemy: the King of Israel, even the Lord, is in the midst of thee: thou shalt not see evil any more. In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem, Fear thou not: and to Zion, Let not thy hands be slack. The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing. I will gather them that are sorrowful for the solemn assembly, who are of thee, to whom the reproach of it was a burden. Be hold, at that tune I will undo all that afflict thee." Zephaniah 3:12-19; Isa. 43; 41:14.
The prophet Ezekiel also says, "Because with lies ye have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad, and strengthened the hands of the wicked, that he should not return from his wicked way, that I should save his life." Ezekiel 13:22; Jer. 23:14.
See, my worthy, chosen brethren and sisters, here you have comfort and.joy in these and other, similar passages, in which you can with the afflicted in Israel find joy and gladness; hence these passages belong to you. For it has been done out of the true fear of God, and because we feared in our conscience, we renounced them (God be praised), according to the word of the prophet (Jer. 15:17 ) and the teaching of the apostle; for I declare. before the Lord, and before His angels and hosts, yea, that I am ready with all my heart, and desirous, by the help and grace of the Lord, to testify to this with my flesh, blood and death. This is the solid ground of truth, firm and incontrovertible. I doubt not that they are wrong, and we, through the grace of God, right. Thus I longingly expect to, testify with a joyful mind to their wrong, even unto death, and also to confirm my faith and little gift. May the Lord strengthen me and my fellow prisoner. But we must first drink the bitter cup with fear and trembling. Oh, that we might taste it! for I have already given myself to,Him who was first given for me.
Hence, I further pray for the sake of the fellowship and unity of the Spirit, that everyone love the brotherhood. I Pet. 2:17: O brethren and' sisters, take heed thereto with a pure heart and, faithful love; for we have all been made to drink into one Spirit, and are baptized into one body. I Cor. 12 13. Therefore serve one another diligently in love cleave to Christ's body, abide with your members, and neither separate nor divide. Let-each esteem other better than themselves, and you.will remain together with peace and joy; (Phil. 2:3); the merciful God grant this to you and us.all. Amen.
In the third place, I further pray by the power of the Spirit, and by the conqueror Jesus Christ, yea, I beseech you by the love of the Father toward us,-the words are full of joy, spirit and gladness, "As my heavenly Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love." John 15:9. . O brethren and friends, take heed to it; love must be according to the example of Christ firm and sure, for therein love is revealed, known and shown to us, yea, herein love stands fast; declared by the death, blood and confession of His Son. O friends, my most beloved, this is the true measuring reed, according to John's writing. Rev. 11:1. Consider this in the depth of your heart.
In the fourth place, I further beseech your love, consider with an attentive heart, and inwardly and outwardly, with a live, sober mind, prove, measure and correct yourselves with the Word of God, and follow and hold fast the same. Oh, hold fast to the Word of God, and you will never be deceived.
In the fifth place, I beseech all my brethren andsisters, as one that loves you with all his heart, if you would have your souls saved, receive the warning, of the Holy Ghost, that in the latter times many shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, I Tim. 4:1.
O brethren and chosen sisters, consider, and learn to know the lying spirits. Oh, diligently try the spirits by faith, and the knowledge of the Word of God. I John 4:1. Distinguish the good and the evil consciences of men. Oh, discern and learn to know with diligence them whose minds are corrupt, also who have the form of godliness, but deny the power of the Spirit. These and other points despise not; let them never depart from your heart, but hold them fast according to the Word of God; try all spirits, and measure them therewith, and you will know what form or appearance they have. O brethren, beware with a pure fear of God, beware every way, that no one set up liis reason or conscience as a head, and relapse into his old natural state. But much rather let the heart and conscience grow and increase according to the Word of God. Let your understanding be of the unadulterated milk, and of the wine from the pure vine Christ. Refresh your heart with the living waters. Hold fast to the fountain and rock unto death.
Lastly, I beseech your love yet, by the crying of Jesus Christ, by the weeping of the 'apostle Paul (Phil. 3:18), and by the many tears of the prophet Jeremiah, diligently to attend to and consider, and, with a living and working faith to hold fast to and not depart from the solid ground, and immovable foundation in Sion. I Pet. 2:6. My brethren, we longingly expect to have to go hence; help us, therefore, to contend for the faith (Jude 3) and to defend it unto death. We hope by His power and strong grace, help and consolation to go before you, if it is His divine will. We have already given our bodies to Him who bought our souls with His precious blood. T Cor. 6:20; I Peter 1:19.
Thus, my dear brethren and sisters, we will herewith bid you adieu, and take leave for this time; if it were the will of the Lord, I would from the heart that it might, be our final farewell and adieu till in life eternal-His divine will be done with us.
We greet all brethren and sisters that love us in the, faith, especially those that are banished, out of a, pure, brotherly, unfeigned, sound love, with the mighty power, the word and peace of our dear Lord Jesus Christ, till in His eternal glory. Amen.
Further, do not forget us poor, miserable, weak fellow members, and receive our letter in good part, it is written out of love. We would have written more, but it is now not necessary; besides, we may soon be debarred from it, for we are chained together like horses. We expect, as the bailiff says, a letter from the stadtholder as to what he shall then do with us.
The Spirit of peace, love, joy, peace; comfort and grace be upon all the God-fearing, especially do we wish much good to the banished, who, for the, testimony of the truth, through their faith, have
overcome the wicked and still overcome in Christ. The Spirit of peace be with your spirit. Amen.
Written on the 15th day of our imprisonment. I hope that through the grace of God we are bound with a strong chain of love; love abides steadfast unto death. By me, TIJs JEURIAENSS.
I beseech all my brethren and sisters, and you, as a prisoner in the Lord, by the mercies of God, and by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto Him, that ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled neither by spirit nor by word, nor by letter as from us. II Thessalonians 2:1, 2. This is the faithful warning of Paul to his friends.
My dear brethren and sisters, one with us in our most holy Christian faith, I wish you the weapons of light, to fight against the works of darkness; yea, from the depth of my heart and my inmost soul I wish you new tidings, glad news, an evangelical greeting, grace, mercy, peace, longsuffering, love, comfort, wisdom and steadfastness; yea, from God our heavenly Father all His heavenly treasures and riches, through Jesus Christ, our Giver and Distributor, our Prophet; great Apostle, and High Priest, our Ground, Foundation and Cornerstone in Sion, our Trumpet, and Horn of salvation in the house of David and camp of Israel, our Way, Door, Truth and Life, our Reconciler, Mediator and Advocate, our Peace, Atonement and Righteousness, our paschal Dove and paschal Lamb, our Sun, Light, Morning Star, our delightful Emmanuel, Peace, Comfort, and Captain of the faith, our Shepherd, David and Solomon according to the spirit, our Comforter and Rejoicer, our joy, Gladness, Might and Strength, our Fortress, Castle, Wall and Strength, our Hero, Warrior and Conqueror, who led captivity captive, deprived death of its might, power, and strength, that is, Him that had the power of death, brought life and immortality to light, spoiled principalities and powers, triumphed over them in Himself, broke down the middle wall of partition, blotted out the handwriting and nailed it to the cross, fulfilled the promises, satisfied the law, confirmed the testament with His death, and sealed it with His blood, and renewed all things, and put them under His feet, at the mercy seat upon the ark of God, above the cherubim, in the most holy place. that is, the head of His church forever. Amen. Eph. 4: 8; Heb. 2:14; Col. 2:15; Eph. 2:14; Matt. 5:17; Heb. 9:17; Rom. 3:25; Ex. 25:17; Eph. 1:22.
Since you are often in our hearts, dear and in God beloved, sanctified brethren and sisters, we cannot well forbear to visit your love, in spirit, through love, with our unworthy letters. For though according to the flesh, we are not present together, we are nevertheless together in spirit, and we rejoice in our bonds, afflicted in the flesh, butjoyful and delighted in spirit, when we consider your love, piety, brotherly love and godliness, the steadfastness of your faith, the assurance, constancy and confidence of your mind, your steadfastness and the obedience of the Gospel, your boldness of Jesus Christ, and the strengthening of our God through the power of His Holy Spirit. Hence the Word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the wicked one, which no one can do except he remain grounded, rooted and fixed in God through Jesus Christ, and God, again must dwell, walk and rest in Him through Christ, that is: there must be the Word and the wholesome knowledge of God, and an unconquerable love, hope and faith; and this is the power of the Spirit, irrefutable and unconquerable, in the firm foundation stone in Sion, which is to the unbelieving, a hard touchstone of stumbling and offence. Hence, whosoever shall fall on it shall be broken and crushed; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder, that is, destroy him. I John 2:14; Eph. 3:17; I I Cor. 6:16; I Cor. 13:13; I Pet. 2:6; Matt. 21:44.
Hence our unworthy letter is not especially written to your love, nor to teach or admonish your love. Oh, no, you have the anointing of Him that is holy, and hence you are already taught and enlightened in God, through Jesus Christ, by the Holy Ghost. I John 2:27; John 6:45. Besides, you have and know the holy criptures which can instruct and exhort you unto godliness. But we unworthy ones pray and wish day and night for the holy God and King of eternity, the Father of light and mercy, to strengthen and confirm through His unfathomable grace, and by His Holy Spirit, us and you in the spirit of our minds, according to the heart, and that Jesus Christ according to the inner man may dwell in our hearts by faith, that we, being rooted and grounded, steadfast and immovable from the hope of the Gospel, may be able to know and comprehend with all the saints of God, and with all Christian believers and chosen children of God, what is the abundance of His power and might, the riches of His glory, and His unfathomable grace, yea, the height, depth, breadth and length, and to know the love of God and Christ, which passes all knowledge, wisdom and understanding, that He would herein and hereby fill you with all the fullness of God. Eph. 4:23; 2:16.
See, my affectionately beloved, sanctified brethren and sisters, who are partakers of the kind and nature of our common, most holy, Christian faith, I say, of the kind and nature of God, through the regeneration of God, the heavenly Father, by His incorruptible seed and Word, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, in heavenly places, in the illumination and brightness of the heavenly glory, in newness of spirit, in the mind of Jesus Christ, by the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ unto obedience in the sanctification of the spirit. II Peter 1:4; I Peter 1:2. Hence we have all been made to drink into one spirit, and are baptized into
one body, and sealed by one Spirit unto the day of our redemption. lI (:or. 12:13; Eph. 4:30. Where this thus exists, there is certainly the nature of the Christian faith and the nature of God, without which faith and regeneration cannot be, exist, or be named; but where this is found and thus exists in full power of the spirit, as said, there are without doubt the blessing of God, the dew of the Holy Ghost and of the heavenly benediction, and the rain of righteousness, in all manner of fruitfulness, growth and incense in the knowledge of God and the mind of Jesus Christ. Ah, there is Abraham's holy seed of peace, the children of the promise, not of the flesh, nor of the law, but of the Spirit, in Isaac sanctified, justified, and blessed with all spiritual blessings in new and heavenly places in Jesus Christ. Rom. 9:8; Eph. 1:3. And therefore they have, and there pertain to them the adoption, the law, the service of God, the glory, the testaments, and the promises that were made to the fathers, which belonged to Israel according to their birthright, that is, according to the flesh, but who on account of their unbelief were rejected, and failed in them. Rom. 9:4. But the spiritual Israel of God, namely, the seed of Abraham, the children of the promise, have obtained it by their faith, and have attained to, and been called and elected thereunto through grace; they have contrary to nature been grafted into the good olive tree, and have through grace become partakers of the root and sap. Rom. 9:8; 11:20-24. And this is now the great mystery of God, and the unsearchable grace of Jesus Christ, the mystery of the Holy Ghost, above the wisdom of the Jews, and the understanding of the Greeks, as Paul-says, and signifies to us. Eph. 3-:3-5.
Yes, my chosen friends, and sanctified of God, what a great benefit, love and mercy of God our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is this, namely, that we who were not a people, are now the people of God; we who had no hope in the covenants of promise are now by faith in Jesus Christ ingrafted and partakers and fellow heirs of His promises. I Pet. 2:10; Eph. 2:12. Behold, thus acts and works the only wise and eternal God, who in, with and by His wisdom measured and fathomed all things, and in the twinkling of an eye looked over and knew them from eternity to eternity; I say, who through the eyes of His wisdom, in the twinkling of an eye, looked over and knew all things in eternity from everlasting to everlasting. Oh, how unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out I For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been His counselor? [or who hath first given to Him, and it shall be recompensed unto Him again?J For of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things: to whom be glory forever. Amen. Rom. 11:33-36.
This holy, unsearchable and only wise God wrought all things according to His wisdom, purpose, and predetermined counsel, first in figures, promises, types and shadows, unto the bringing inof a better hope, by the which we draw nigh unto God. Heb. 7:19. For the figures, shadows and heavenly types point us to the true substance and perfect truth itself in Christ Jesus, which especially the Epistle to the Hebrews tells us, which also so gloriously speaks of the advent or bringing in of Jesus Christ, and of His departure and perfection, as may most satisfactorily be seen in great power and glory, which is very pleasant and delightful to read, consider and lay to heart, Heb. 1: 6; 5:9. Happy he who therein has his joy and delight, who considers it in the depth of his heart, and sincerely treasures it up.
For since God in His wisdom and foresight has wrought and ordered all things to man's profit and salvation, and in order to signify and show something else, mark well, the priests in the law were made priests without an oath, and this because of weakness and imperfection, and because death did not suffer them to continue, that is, the law made. nothing perfect, nor could it; with all its services and sacrifices, bring or give us perfection, salvation, or righteousness; for they could not make or become perfect in conscience, who worshiped; for if there had been a law given which could make perfect, righteousness would be by the law, and thus no better means would have been sought or used; and therefore the law has an end because of imperfection, and terminates in Christ. Heb. 7; Romans 10:4. For the word of the oath which was since the law, makes the Son our high priest perfected for evermore. Heb. 7:28. And He ever liveth to make intercession for our sins. v. 25. For He has neither beginning of days, nor end of life. v. 3. He dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over Him; for in that He died, He died unto sin once (Rom. 6:9), that is, He became a propitiation and sacrifice for sins, which is perfect, constant and perpetual. I John 2:2. For as the priests had to have compassion on them that sinned and erred through ignorance, because they themselves were also compassed with infirmity; therefore our high priest became a poor, passive and mortal man, that He might have compassion on our sins and infirmity, because He became Himself like unto us in all things, and was tempted like as we are, yet without sin, as may be seen everywhere in the New Testament. Hebrews 5:2; 4:15.
For since Adam was unclean in his nature, and with his seed and generation lay in sin and death, because of transgression, and the law of God required a pure, undefiled, holy, and blameless sacrifice for sin and transgression, that is, satisfaction for transgression and propitiation for sin, in order to help and save men; therefore the pure, undefiled and immaculate Word of the heavenly Father, out of great love and compassion had to come down here from hieh heaven, and, according to the promises of the prophets and the word of the angel, be conceived of the Holy Ghost in Mary, and, through the power of the Most High, be born of the holy virgin, and be holy, innocent, undefiled,
and separate from sinners, if He according to the law was to be a pure, holy, undefiled, and blameless sacrifice for sin. if the law was to be fulfilled, the sins propitiated, the sacrifice made, and our high priest made perfect as such for evermore by the oath. And He ever lives to make intercession for our sins; for such a high priest became us. Rom. 8:34.
Hence this was the greatest joy on earth that has ever been heard, seen and received: that God came and was seen and manifested in the flesh. I Timothy 3:16. The Lamb of God, which beareth and taketh away the sins of the world (John 1
29), came upon earth, in human form and in the likeness of sinful flesh (Rom. 8:3), taught the kingdom of God (Mark 1:15), preached the Gospel of His peace and the word of His reconciliation (Luke 4:18; Ephesians 2:16), and declared life and His grace, the good Gospel news, the trumpet sound, to gather Israel to Jerusalem out of every land, to keep the feasts of Easter, Pentecost, and of Tabernacles, one new moon and Sabbath after another (Ex. 12:16; Isa. 66:23), as the prophet says, "Hearken, thou chosen daughter of Zion, and ye holy inhabitants of Jerusalem, what joyful sound and shouting is in thy streets! O what joyful and good news and glad tidings are in the camp of Israel, to gather the heavenly manna, which lies there, giving delight and sweetness." Ex. 16:16; Wisd. 16:21. But there had to be a golden pot in which the holy manna of God was preserved (Ex. 16:33), so there must be a clean flask and cruse in which the spiritual waters of eternal life must be gathered. And he that eats of this heavenly bread, and drinks of this water of life, shall live forever, and shall neither hunger nor thirst any more; for it shall be in him a well of living water springing up into everlasting life, John 6:51; 4:14.
See now, my dear and in God beloved, sanctified brethren and sisters, partakers of His promise, [fellow] citizens [with the saints], and of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the prophets and apostles, yea, a habitation of God through the Spirit, a spiritual house and holy temple, and lively stones, a royal generation, and an holy priesthood. Heb. 2:12; Eph. 2:19-22; I Pet. 2:5, 9. I say, holy inhabitants of Jerusalem, who have a free and open fountain for sin and uncleanness (Zech. 13:1); who completely and entirely place their hope in the grace of God, which is brought to you through the Gospel sent from heaven, which things the angels of God desire to look into. I Peter 1:13, 12. Who ascended up far above all thrones and heavens, and who is set above all power, might and dominion, in this and in the world to come. Eph. 4:10; 1:21. But many neither understand nor regard this life, nor do they heed this great love and grace of God, and therefore they are offended in their heart because of their unbelief, and hardened through the deceitfulness of sin, and thus a root of bitterness springs up, bywhich many are defiled (Heb. 12:15), as has now been seen and found in the case of so many; and they are thus greatly embittered and defiled, that all medicines, yea, the flowing waters that issue from God's sanctuary, which can sweeten and heal everything, cannot heal or sweeten these pools and marshes, but they are given to salt, as the prophet says. Ezek. 47:1, 11. How unwholesome and barren is this water, which cannot be healed or made fruitful by the strength of the salt from the new cruse, through the power of the word of the holy prophet. II Kings 2:20-22.
Ah, these bitter waters cannot be made sweet by the pleasant tree (Ex. 15:25); for he that drinks thereof must die, as John says in his Revelation, "There fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters; and the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters because they were made bitter. And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third of it, and the night likewise." Rev. 8:10-12. And he further says that the smoke arose out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit. 9:2.
Hence, my very dear and in God beloved holy brethren and sisters, let us put on the armor of light, to fight against the works of darkness, that is, to walk in the Spirit, and we shall not fulfill the works of the flesh. Rom. 13:12; Gal. 5:16. With the same meaning also Peter says, "Dearly beloved, we beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul." I Pet. 2:11. Hence we must arm ourselves in weakness with the mind of Jesus Christ, with the Holy Ghost, with the word of truth, with the armor of light, and with the power of God, on the right hand and on the left (II Cor. 6:6, 7), that is, we must yield ourselves unto God, and live in God, as those that are become alive from the dead, and our members as instruments of righteousness unto God; then the wicked will not have dominion over us, as Paul teaches. Rom. 6:13, 14. And where this thus triumphs, works and prevails in the power of the Spirit, there are not only conflicts, dying unto the sins of the flesh, and unto the old Adam with his lusts and desires, but there is also, through the divine knowledge and the mind of Jesus Christ, together with an invincible, firm faith, a sure and certain mind in the word and truth of the Lord: a conflict against principalities, powers, the rulers of the darkness of this world, and wicked spirits; and we also bring all reason, and every high thing and what exalts itself against the truth into captivity to the obedience of Christ. Eph. 6:12; II Cor. 10: 5. And this, as has been said, through a pure, wholesome, sure, and steadfast knowledge of God,
and a constant and certain mind, with the invincible shield of faith, with which all the fiery darts of the wicked are quenched. Eph. 6:16. And where this thus takes place and exists, as said above, there is the armor of light, but not of the flesh; there the power and armor of God have been put on; there is the mind of Christ, of the Spirit, but not of the flesh: there they war in, by and with faith, by which everything is conquered and put down in mighty power and in the strength of the Spirit, as has been said, etc.
O my dear friends, regenerated, children of the resurrection and of life, of light and of the day (Luke 20:36; I Thess. 5:5), children of God, and brethren and sisters of Jesus Christ, His companions and anointed members of His body, lively stones (I Pet. 2:5), temples of the Holy Ghost (I Cor. 6:19), kings and priests of God, I say, inhabitants of Jerusalem, and fellow heirs of His promise, yea, my sanctified brethren and sisters of our common, most holy Christian faith, also guests, strangers and pilgrims with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, in this world (I Pet. 2:11; Heb. 11:9), Oh, what power, operation, nature and evidence have and pertain to these and like names, yea, what comfort, joy and gladness lie in them, belong in them, and would follow from them, that is, an evidence of obedience (Heb. 11:8), yea, an evidence, that one seeks the future promised land, firmly believes God's promises, despises the earthly, and loves the heavenly; yea, these names attest and confirm God's promises, that is, that no one has a right to, can have, bear, keep, and, in the power of the Spirit, maintain and live up these names, except he have with the patriarchs a firm assurance of faith, and judge him faithful who has promised it, and who is also able to keep it. Heb. 11:11. And therefore they all willingly journeyed as pilgrims, and through steadfast faith saw the future things, and held fast to them, and thus evinced their names in power and indeed, for our instruction, comfort, example and imitation.
Herein rejoice now with us, O you holy brethren and sisters in the Holy Spirit of truth, in the invincible, strong knowledge of God, and of the faith which leads to the hope of everlasting life; my most beloved, in the mind of Jesus Christ and nature of God. Yea, my immovable holy brethren and sisters, as I hope forever, brethren according to the Spirit, and not the flesh, according to the Gospel, and not the letter. Yea, I repeat it, my holy brethren and sisters, regenerated from the dead by the resurrection of Jesus Christ into heavenly places, here in the Holy Ghost, and hereafter in perfection. Then you shall rejoice with joy unspeakable; then you shall live eternally and be forever happy; then the fiery lake and the second death shall not be able to terrify you; then shall your body, soul and spirit together be saved and forever blessed; then you shall eternally be filled and anointed with the Holy Ghost; then you shall be clothed in white raiment, and crowned and rewarded with thecrown of life, of joy, and of everlasting gladness and pleasure; then you shall enter into eternal joy and rest, and be taken and caught up in the air, to meet the Lord, and ever be with Him (I Thess. 4:17); then you shall be changed in the twinkling of an eye (I Cor. 15:51, 52) and your body and face be glorified with heavenly glory; there you shall shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of your Father (Matt. 13:43), then you shall laugh and rejoice (Luke 6:21); then you shall forever behold yourselves as in a mirror, in His face, brightness and glory, and behold Him who thus loved you that he gave His only begotten Son, who loves you even as His dear heavenly Father loved and blessed Him in eternity. I John 3:1; John 3:16.
Yes, then you shall in perfection, with soul, body, and spirit, inwardly and outwardly; burn in the fire of His love, and be forever inflamed in His abounding grace, sit at His table (Luke 12:37), and eat the bread of angels, of life and salvation and drink to the full of the waters of wisdom, life, of eternal salvation, and of everlasting joy; then shall He rejoice in Himself with His angels and holy hosts, and be joyful over you with the shouting of His multitude; then shall you receive, inherit and possess the imperishable riches that shall endure forever; then shall you be rich in body, soul and spirit; then shall you sing, leap, and cry, "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, hallelujah" (Isa. 6:3); then shall a thousand years be to you as one day (II Pet. 3:8); then shall eternity be to you as the twinkling of an eye; then sha:l your years and days not grow old or be fulfilled; then shall you be without beginning of days and end of life: then you shall pass eternity as a moment of time; then you shall forever be without change, which now heart cannot comprehend, nor tongue or mouth express and fathom. Behold, this is now to be hung as a bright mirror before the eyes of our hearts; they are fruits of the promised land, the sweet Word of God, and immortal fruits, the powers of the world to come.
See hereby, my very dear and most beloved holy brethren and sisters in the regeneration and resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead into heavenly places, that is, through the renewing of the spirit of the mind (Eph. 4:23), through the mind of Jesus Christ, as firm walls and pillars in the truth of God, my dear friends, the apple of my eyes, my right hand and foot, hold fast to, and continue to stand upon, the firm ground of truth, upon which you are built and placed, whereunto we are from eternity foreordained, called and created of God, that is, according to the likeness of God, and to eternal life, through Jesus Christ. I commend you all to the holy, invincible God, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and to His holy Word and everlasting peace, in your holy assemblies, to the praise of His holy name, and to our salvation. We give and commend you and all of us again, for an eternal adieu, into the invincible arms of His pow-
er, and into the invincible hands of His strength; the powers of heaven and the firmament of faithfulness be our foundation and strength, to enter through death into life eternal. We unworthy ones greet your love out of pure unfeigned, heartfelt, brotherly love, yea we greet all our brethren and sisters, the regenerated in the resurrection of Jesus Christ into heavenly places, the mind of Christ, the new likeness and brightness of His glory, the undefiled, pure knowledge of God, that leads to the hope of eternal life, through firm faith and power, and the communion of the Holy Ghost forever. Amen.
This we unworthy ones have written you in haste in our bonds, if haply it should please God, that we might be worthy of being remembered by you in your holy prayers, harping and hallelujahs, and that we with you, and you with us, might forever rejoice. Greet therefore, in our name, all the saints of God, and you among yourselves, with pure hearts, holy and bent knees, uncovered heads, in the holy name of our God, with the pleasant kiss of peace, embrace and bless one another cordially in fervent love. Once more I commend you to the faith of God's elect, the health of Jesus Christ, the knowledge of God that leads to godliness, and to the hope of eternal life; and remain invincible forever. The Lord be praised forever. Amen.
Written by me TIJs JEURIAENSS, your weak, poor and miserable brother, from our bonds, A. D. 1569, the 5th day of February, imprisoned in the Hague for the testimony of the truth.