I want to tell you about the Christian rules of thumb and the way that leads to the heavenly fatherland. Deny yourself, the Lord will be your Leader. Give yourself over to the Lord without reservations; follow like a child would follow his mother. Work in silence for your eternal reward and forget not those who suffer and are in need: a downcast heart can turn gold into lead.
If they mock you, cast your eyes downward. If they beat you, receive it joyfully. Battle for the Truth, but with a humble spirit; direct your path towards Zion. The weapons of your knighthood should not be earthly weapons. Jesus, the Master of love, does not tolerate any violence.
Don’t fight over opinions; the Lord is your One and only. Suffer resolutely and bring everything before the Lord and He will help you to overcome it. Your seat of honor is in heaven. If you want to shine, shine before God with your inner man. To raise yourself up before man is an abomination before God.
Seeking riches has no reward. True riches are found in a clean heart; it’s the treasure of the kingdom of heaven that will last for all eternity. Seek wisdom from the Holy Word. Appeal to the Holy Spirit, for mighty is the faith in Jesus and stronger is love, because it overcomes death. Forbearance, suffering and silence are the pilgrim’s way; your interactions with God and your fellow man show your true faith. I ask the Lord Jesus for guidance so that I can fulfill it. Amen.
Dear brothers, receive these words in love. I commit you to the Lord, Who is almighty and true, Who will deliver His children from the trials that come for all believers, when all of the dross is burned off, only the pure gold remains. To endure this you need to love God with all of your soul, heart and being, with all of your strength.
Samuel H. Froehlich
These words were found in a letter recently discovered in an old German Bible that originally belonged to Elder Brother Jacob Honegger, a minister of the Forrest, Illinois church. The letter was addressed to him. He was born in 1832 and had been a minister in the Apostolic Christian Church in Zurich, Switzerland before he moved to Illinois, where he worked as a farmer. He preached until his death in 1920. We have reworked the original rough translation from German so that it can be better understood by the contemporary English reader.