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then consider it as a fresh workman engaged in our favour; and not only so, but look upon it as one who, in consequence of singular strength, will dispatch business (though of a heavy nature,) at a greater pace. Thus, those for whom they are employed, will grow rich at last.
Among others, let patience have her perfect work ; she is a pensive, but a precious grace. Have likewise labours abundant in the Lord. Desire goes in search after celestial productions; Hope stands on tiptoe to view them; and Faith goes to receive them and bring them home. Thus the “just shall live by faith ;" for what faith brings, love cordially receives, and volition bids it welcome. Joy sings and makes sweet melody, peace possesseth, rest receives, and fear causeth to quake, and jealousy to tremble. How well is it for the soul when tribulation worketh for her, and when every grace is active in her! Angels encamp about her, and God rejoiceth in her to do her good.
I would not be tedious-excuse my prolixity. I remain your affectionate and sympathising friend, and, I hope, brother, in the kingdom and patience. of Christ Jesus,
MY DEAR SIR,
October 10th, 1835. I
HAVE been informed of the sad bereavement
with which it has pleased God to visit you; and I have too lively a recollection of all the kindnesses that I have received at your hands, to satisfy myself without assuring you of my sincere condolence. You have lost an indulgent motheryour fondest, your first earthly friend-who smiled upon your cradle, and held you in her arms, and listened to your cries, and nurtured you in her bosom, when you were a litle child ; and who, in every period of your life, through the whole of your progress in the world, has never, whether in your joys or in your sorrows, looked upon you with any feeling but that of unutterable affection. You have reason to be cast down. You would be a stranger to the common sensibilities of our nature if you were not to mourn.
We are forbidden to murmur and complain; but we are nowhere forbidden to weep. God will forgive your tears. At the same time, your consolations are rich and sacred. It is your privilege, I am sure, to appropriate to yourself all the comfort with which the heart of an everdutiful child can soothe its grief. How touching is the representation given us in the Hebrew Scriptures of the filial piety of Solomon! We are told that when his mother drew near to plead with him, he rose up to meet her, and bowed himself unto her, and sat down on his throne, and caused a seat to be set for her on his right hand.* And it may bring a sweet pleasure to your mind to remember, that you too have never been wanting in delicate and respectful attentions to your mother. She has invariably been the object of your tenderest gratitude. You have done all you could to make her some return, an adequate return it was impossible to make her, for the thousand, thousand cares and anxieties that she has known for you.
Though you may lament your separation from her, forget not that the separation is only for a season. Let “the future brighten on your sight.” Fulfil her wishes, consecrate your powers to God, and ere long, in a better and happier scene, in your Heavenly Father's courts, you will be re-united to her, and to those who, like her, have been dear to you as your own soul; and not only will you bear a part in their adoring song of triumph over death, but you will be a sharer with them in their blessedness and in their immortal ministry of love.
It is not a vision of romance that I describe. Oh no! It is a doctrine clothed with divine authority : it is a truth written in the word of God, and in the principles, powers, and impulses of the heaven-born spirit within us.
That will indeed be “ a land of pure delight.” In the prospect of it many a Christian, under the
* 1 Kings ii. 19,
burden, and amidst the trembling infirmities, of earth, has been ready to exclaim,
“ Welcome sweet hour of full discharge,
And gives me with my God to dwell.”* Adieu! my dear friend. Present my best regards to Mrs. and believe me to be, ever yours,
MY DEAR MRS.
August 24th, 1827. IF; F, in this sad and trying hour, I knew what words
would most faithfully convey to you the expression of the sincerest and tenderest sympathy, I would employ them.
Another light in which you were accustomed to rejoice, has been quenched at your side; you have lost another dutiful child; who, while her health was spared to her, diffused animation and cheerfulness over every circle in which she moved, and who, during her long decline, gave ample and affecting testimony that, with her, religion was not merely
an assent of the understanding, but a deep and operative persuasion of the heart. She acquainted herself with her heavenly Father, and found that his promises which—to use the emphatical language of Scripture—“ are yea and amen,” had power to sustain, to soothe, to guide, and to satisfy the soul. He answered her dying prayer, and was nigh, the Great Shepherd, with his rod and his staff, to comfort her.
To those who admired and loved her, the change has been most appalling ; to her it has doubtless been pre-eminently happy. On her account, therefore, though the bonds of nature cannot be rent asunder without occasioning great distress, your sorrow may be turned into joy. Her angel spirit has fled to the bosom of her God, its congenial home. And, oh! what a blessing is it that you can muse on the train of beautiful reflections and on the treasure of glorious hopes which she has left you. I affectionately commend you and Mr.
and those around you, to the gracious care of that Being who never forsakes even the most desolate and afflicted. He chastens us because we are his children. May His mercy descend as the dew upon your drooping hearts, to refresh and strengthen them! Believe me to be, my dear Madam, yours, with unfeigned regard,