Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Heart Wants a Companion

A portion of a letter from Joseph Kinghorn to his father about marriage. A quick P.S. was added to his father’s last letter, “This day thirty-two years ago we were married.” Joseph, pastor of a leading Baptist church in the county of Norfolk, England, was single. He once was engaged but things didn’t work out so he remained unmarried all his days. But he understood the bliss of married life and expressed it in his letter, which was written, probably in early May of 1797.

Terry Wolever, book editor for Particular Baptist Press, pointed out this letter to me in a phone conversation yesterday. Terry, who wrote the forward to the book that contains this letter, is scheduled to give a paper on Joseph Kinghorn at the Baptist Spirituality Conference, which is being held August 24-25 at the Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies, Louisville, Kentucky (see for more information).

I was struck with your relation of the anniversary of thirty-two years marriage. May that day often find you both in health and happiness. There is a solitariness in single life; the heart wants a companion, a friend to whom all can be told is not to be met with in our common intercourse. I dare say if I had a wife I loved, and who loved me, I should tell what now lies buried till it is forgotten.
What are generally called friends are very valuable. I own it, and I have many I esteem, yet there is an intercourse of sentiment of a higher kind, and which it seems impossible to enjoy but where the interest and happiness of two are completely made one. You will be this time suspect that I am at least half in love, perhaps courting, etc. No; but I could not help saying what I have, from the circumstance you mention.

The Life and Works of Joseph Kinghorn, by Martin Hood Wilkin, reprinted by Particular Baptist Press, 1995, p. 270.

No comments: