Letter 17

Date (sent): 15 March 1876
Writer: Gerrit Jan te Selle
Sender: Gerrit Jan te Selle
Place: Holland, Lancaster County, Nebraska
Addressee: D. W. te Selle
Address (sent to): Winterswijk, Netherlands


  • Harmen Jan loses his wife on March 11, 1876, after she had given birth to daughter Dina (born March 4)
  • Harmen Jan is left alone with four children
  • Gerrit Jan writes a Christian epilogue

Date:              March 15, 1876

Sender:         Gerrit Jan te Selle

Addressee:   D.W. te Selle

Holland Neb  March 15, 1876

Greatly beloved friends: At present, I take up the pen to perform a sad task to me of letting you know that brother Harmen Jan on March 4 got a young daughter and they have called her name Dina.

At the beginning, all was well, but on the third day she became sick, and since is the mother passed away on the 11th this month at the age of 35 years.  For her being in Christ, her passing away was gain. Peaceful and calm in this man­ner she passed away in Christ.

This was her highest joy and indicates her longing to be released and to be with Christ. Here on earth she only could serve him in a poor/slightly way. Up there in heaven before the throne of the Son in the line of angels she will be able to pay Him as he deserves, although now she has left alone brother Harmen Jan with four uncared for children. He doesn’t know what to do.

Yet is there a joy for her: to be allowed to know that she is in the Eternal Heavenly home, where there is no more pain or sorrow, and where all tears will be wiped from their eyes. O how blessed is the departure of somebody who is devoted to Christ. Better then to see the arising of a mortal who is already a pray of the devil at the moment of dying off. Satan who is already enjoying himself about the fact that he has performed his task.

Let us always think over that we go to the grave with rapid strides and that it could be that then our sins are a too heavy burden. O, that we may give our hearts over to the Lord, and that we might learn to pull out eyes and cut off hands for the sake of our souls. May His word be a light upon our path and a lamp to our feet. But let it not be for us a sealed book, because it will appear as a witness for us or against us in the day of judgment. In Gods word we find here already our sentence, may it be for better or for worse. For that reason examine that Word early and late, timely (in good time) and untimely. It will teach us what it is like to be ashamed of me and of my Gospel, so I also will be ashamed before my Father in Heaven.

Be greeted from all of us,

G. J. te Selle

Added at the last page:

Further, I let you know that we are all very well.  We received your letter and noted that Aunt Veenhuis has passed away.

We have also received a letter from Bloemers. He writes that you did not receive a letter from us. I had written a letter to mother at the first of June, and then waited for an answer.

We had a soft winter. The summer was cold and wet. Wheat was bad, we had 329 bushels and about 400 of corn.

Plenty of potatoes. Wheat gave 60 cents, corn 20, oats 25, potatoes 10, pork -alive- 6. Butter 12½ , eggs 10 cts a dozen.

To our regret, we have no more preacher. Sunday, 14 days ago he performed his farewell lesson (farewellspeech). His text was Deut. 30:15, “See I have set before you this day life and good, death and evil..” We have again extended a call, but I fear that we don’t succeed.

Greetings to all from me…

G. J. te Selle

(Literal translation: “Be All greeted from me

Who calls himself G.J. te Selle)…