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and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Do you not now feel your need of other supports than this world can give ? Oh, then, come unto Jesus; take his yoke upon you, and learn of him, and you
shall find rest to your soul. He will teach you how to bear your afflictions, and how to improve them, so that they may be converted into blessings. Yes, one of his inspired apostles has said, Although no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous; nevertheless, afterwards, it yieldeth the peaceable fruits of righteousness to them that are exercised thereby.” And he himself has said, “ I am the resurrection and the life; whosoever believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.”—“ Sorrow not, then, as those who have no hope ; for if we believe,” thus the apostle addresses his afflicted friends, “ that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also who sleep in Jesus, will God bring with him.” Think not of your beloved friend merely as the cold tenant of the tomb. His mortal part indeed is there ; but his spirit is gone to God who gave it.
Let your thoughts, then, be directed to the world of spirits. Let your affections, which have clung, perhaps too fondly, to earthly objects, be set on things above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Remember that one thing is needful; and let it be your first, your chief concern, to choose and to secure that good part which cannot be taken away from you. Your affectionate friend, J. ALLEN.
FROM DR. BALFOUR, AFTER THE DEATH
OF HIS ONLY SON. *
Glasgow, August 17, 1766. I BEG you will let me know particularly how you
and Mrs Dennison are. I can say with truth, that from the moment of receiving the severe shock, an anxiety about you all has mixed itself with my tears and prayers. If my intended visit is on any account, or in any way, disagreeable, fully tell me ; for nothing is more remote from my mind than giving the least pain to any one of you. So far am I from looking with an evil eye at as the cause of my distress, the loss of my dear boy appears to be attended with many alleviating circumstances, which probably could not have been the case any where else. The time, the divinely appointed time, was come for his removal from the tender embraces of a fond parent. And since this was the divine will, I dare not say, unkind or unjust, of his and my Father in heaven, I adore and bless his name for enabling me to acquiesce with perfect satisfaction in his sovereign will. I knew this high and unsearchable will of God took effect amidst all that immediate attention which a parent's eye, a parent's hand, a parents breast could have thought of for his safety. Instead,
* Dr. Balfour was,
for many years, an eminent divine in the Church of Scotland. His son was drowned while on a visit at the house of Mr. Dennison, the friend to whom this admirable letter is addressed.
therefore, of one reflection, I now most sincerely give, and if able, will in person give, with
whole heart, the most grateful acknowledgments to you, and all about your house, for flying to the instant relief of my perishing child ; that lady first. And the good God, who frustrated all these kind and friendly endeavours, which I shall never forget, has taught me, and will teach you, “ he does all things well,” according to the counsel of his own will! I greatly feel for the deep distress it has brought upon you, and worthy Mrs. Dennison, because you participate so much in my sorrow.
I wish now, my dear friend, to set before you some of the consolations, which have relieved my otherwise sorrowful spirits. The God who has visited me with this sore calamity, has, I assure you, been to me a God of all comfort! When afflictions abound, his consolations are made much more to abound; he has comforted me by fixing my attention on his divine perfections, his glorious gracious character, design, and relations. I see there can be no error, or rashness, in any part of infinite wisdom; nor cruelty, nor unkindness in the intention of Him, who is righteous, and good and merciful.
I hope that you, Mrs. Dennison, will not be afraid to meet me. I shall endeavour to cheer you with the consolations which are in Jesus Christ. They are strong, everlasting; and when the streams of worldly comfort are dried up, whither should we go, but to the comforts of divine love and faith? This is a fountain, which pours forth its gracious influence, adapted to all our situations. This dispensation is to teach us the vanity of this life, and the temporary nature of all earthly joy. What is this world, with all its riches, honours, pleasures and connections, without God for ever? What with his blessed presence, can we want, that is good for us? Though our house be not so with God, he hath made with us an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things and sure. We may well add, “ This is all our salvation and all our desire ;” and with the prophet Habakkuk, “ Although the fig-tree should not blossom, yet we will rejoice in the God of our salvation.” Oh, how divine is that religion, that presents such truths to the mind ! how solacing are its comforts ! Let us look forward to the bright morning of the resurrection, which will turn all our sorrow into joy: then shall our companions in the faith and patience of Jesus Christ appear with him in glory. How wondrously changed their forms! No more corruption; no more tendency to disease or death; no possibility of any future separation; shining forth in all the perfections of unfaded beauty, spotless purity, and immortal honour. The unfolded mystery.of redemption, and the glory of their Saviour, will open, and show them such resplendent surveys of grace and greatness, as shall more than satisfy them with regard to past events; the most overwhelming and confounding, will fill them with eternal admiration. I trust you will not be offended at the freedom and earnestness, with which a friend, more than ever concerned for your best interests, has written.
FROM * * *, ON THE DEATH OF HIS
How the world falls to pieces all around,
MY DEAR S.,
March 20th, 1837. I
HAD just taken up my pen this morning, to write
to you, when I received your letter. And has my poor father indeed breathed his expiring sigh? And am I, in this world, to see him no more?-no more to be gladdened by his smile ?—no more to hear his instructive voice?-But, I will restrain myself, and endeavour to pour out my heart in thankfulness that, I have been blessed with such a father,--a father who was so indulgent, so enlightened, so upright, so generous,-in whom the richest moral and intellectual qualities were so harmoniously blended, -.whose mind was so fruitful in expedients for doing good,and who endeared himself, so far beyond the common lot, to all who knew him, making“ every place a home, and every home a heaven,” and raising the song of praise in the abodes of sorrow.
He is not lost, but gone before. Oh, no! He is not lost. The hour that shall restore him to our embrace is at hand. Yet a little while, and this dream of life will be over with us all; then, if faith and repentance have been in lively exercise, we shall meet him again ;-yes, we shall meet him again, and dwell with him for ever.