Continued... Therefore Solomon says, "Beware of murmuring, which avails nothing, for though we had spent all that we have in the world, and the Lord would prove us with poverty, as he did Israel, our anxiety could avail us nothing." Hence we must cast our care on the Lord, who cares for us; for He permitted Israel to suffer hunger, to prove them whether they loved Him or not, and to try whether they should be patient. Hence my dear wife and sister in the Lord, always possess your soul with patience, and you shall overcome with all the pious witnesses of God, and inherit salvation, and say with the prophet Baruch, "O Israel, happy are we; for God has revealed to us his will." Bar. 4:4. Even as Moses says, "O people saved by the Lord, the shield of thy help, and who is the sword of thy excellency!" Deut. 33:29. Therefore, my much beloved sister in the Lord, though we must suffer for His sake, we must nevertheless possess our soul with patience, and remember that the apostle says, "That it is acceptable with God, to suffer for well doing." I Pet. 2:20. Notwithstanding that the world does not deem it acceptable, as Paul says, "The preaching of the cross is to them that perish, foolishness: but unto us which are saved, it is the power of God;" which power God works in them by His Spirit, to the comforting and strengthening of their minds, so that they, by their God, leap over a wall; and, with Caleb and Joshua, devour their enemies as bread; and, with Jael, drive a nail (that is, the enemy of the house of Israel), through Sisera's head, with the hammer of the divine word (Judg. 4:21); and, with David, overcome, with the stone, Christ Jesus, the giant Goliath, that is, the devil and Satan who fights against Israel (I Sam. 17:50); and say with the apostle Paul, "Thanks be unto God who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." I Cor. 15:57. And he further says, "Thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ." II Cor. 2:14. They also say with David, "The Lord is my life and strength." Ps. 27:1. As the prophet writes, "They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." Isa. 40:31. Hence, my much beloved wife and sister in the Lord, the world cannot partake of this comfort, because they do not believe in the Lord and thus deem the word of the cross foolishness, as is written, "We preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling-block, and unto the Greeks foolishness." I Cor. 1:23. But they that believe and will be saved regard it as the power and wisdom of God, that they are worthy to suffer shame for the name of the Lord, as did Peter and John, when they had been scourged by the Pharisees. Acts 5:41. Hence Peter writes, "What glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall-take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. For even hereunto were ye called." I Pet. 2:20, 21. Paul also writes, "Those of old time had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: they were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword; they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, affilicted, tormented; of whom the world was not worthy." Heb. 11:36-3$. See, my dear and in God beloved wife, how the world cannot become a partaker of this grace, since it does not esteem the Lord worthy to suffer for His name; for no one can suffer for the name of the Lord, except he have through faith obtained power to become a child of God. John 1:12. Hence, my cordially beloved sister T. H., let us never be grieved by what we must suffer for the name of God, but willingly and lovingly endure it, and look to the reward; for such as seek to live unto the Lord, and to promote His glory, and do not seek their own, but much rather what is to the praise of the Lord and to the edification of their neighbor. Oh, what glorious promises of salvation are theirs, and what ,great riches are promised them! Romans 24:8; I Cor. 10:24; Matt. 10:22. But we must know that if we would come to honor, we must first suffer, for thus it has been from the beginning with all the righteous children of God. Hence John writes that the Lamb was slain from the beginning. Rev. 13:8. Not that Christ Himself was slain according to His flesh from the beginning; for Paul says that Christ appeared in the end of the world, to put away the sins of many by the sacrifice of Himself. Heb. 9:26. But He was slain from the beginning in righteous Abel; and thus He still daily suffers in all believers; hence it is evident that they suffer for His name, whereto the world is unworthy yet, for they do not have Christ, and hence they cannot surer for His name; hence their suffering is nothing but vexation, for the sorrow of this world worketh death. II Cor. 7:10. But godly sorrow worketh to salvation, whether it be outward or inward; if inward, that one is sorry for sin, it is to amendment; if outward, because one suffers for the name of Christ, it is to consolation, for Paul says, "As the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ." II Cor. 1:5. Therefore Peter says, "If ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye." I Pet. 3:14. He further says, "If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the Spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified." I Pet. 4:14. O my dearest, consider what precious words these are, for us to whom these promises, without any doubt belong. For though Christ by the Spirit of God cast out devils, yet, according to their saying, He had to do it by Beelzebub, the prince of devils. Matt. 12:24. Therefore Christ rightly spake, "If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also; for the servant is not greater than his lord, nor the disciple above his master." John 15:20; Matthew 10:24. For the angel said to Tobit, "Since thou didst please God, thou couldst not remain without temptation." Tob. 12:13. For it is written, "Temptation alone teaches to observe the word." Isa. 28:19. Therefore, my dear wife, take these words to heart, and mark them well, namely, how the Lord has visited His own in many ways, and how well He is pleased, when His children show obedience in all things, and willingly receive chastisement, and do not seek to escape from the cross of Christ, but gladly and willingly take His yoke upon them; and who are so minded, that through the great love and firm confidence which they have to Christ Jesus, they will far rather forsake all that they have in the world, father, mother, sister, brother, husband, wife, children, yea, even their own life, with all that they possess, and, moreover, endure and suffer all that comes upon them, tribulation, distress, persecution. sorrow, and affliction. Oh, how gloriously will God receive those who have become so poor for Christ's sake. Oh, how rich shall He make them; for as they are humbled with Him, and for His sake, so shall they be exalted and made glorious with Him. As they have confessed Him in the world, so shall He also confess them before His Father which- is in heaven; and they shall shine forth with Him as the sun in the Father's throne (Matt. 13:43) , and shall be clothed in white raiment, because they have overcome through their faith (I John 5:4), even as John writes, "After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; and cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen. And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, these are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes. Revelation 7:9-17.