A Letter To A Sister In Christ – December 14th, 1867
My dear afflicted and widowed Friend, Mrs. Brown,
I desire sincerely to sympathize with you under your most distressing bereavement. It has indeed not come upon you unexpectedly, and thus your mind must have been in some good measure prepared for this desolating stroke. You have also the unspeakable consolation of knowing that your dear husband has passed away from this world of sin and sorrow to be forever with that dear Lord whom he so sincerely loved and faithfully served when here below. Still, with these sources of consolation, when such a bereavement comes, though they alleviate the shock, yet nature must ever feel the pain and grief of the loss; and, therefore, there is no use in friends trying to make a burden light, which cannot but be from its nature heavy.
Under such circumstances no one but the Lord Himself can administer support and comfort; and His way often is to allow the stroke to be deeply felt, giving just sufficient support under it, that it may do its appointed work. You may, therefore, not at present receive that strength and consolation for which you might look; but if the Lord grants you faith and patience, He will in due time appear for you and fulfill every promise which He has given to the widow, and to her especially who is desolate, and a widow indeed.
Few men have died more in the esteem and affection of God’s saints and servants than your late dear husband. His great sincerity and uprightness of character, boldness and faithfulness in the declaration of truth, and the sweet spirit which more especially of late years accompanied his ministry, much endeared him to all who knew him, especially to those who sat under his ministry. I always found him a sincere and affectionate friend, and could only regret that for the few last years I have seen so little personally of him. But I most highly esteemed him for his work’s sake.
The Lord support and comfort you in your affliction.
Yours affectionately in the Lord,
J. C. P.