Saturday, September 26, 2009

A Country Beyond the Grave

A selection from a letter by Thomas Chalmers to a close friend, Jane Morton. Mrs. Morton’s daughter, Catherine, had recently died and Chalmers wrote to extend his sympathy and offer a word of comfort. He contemplated the day of his own death and charged Jane to join him in proper preparation for meeting the Lord. The letter was written May 4, 1845.

I am now more than half way from sixty to seventy; and certain it is, that though free of any specific complaint, there has been a general decay of strength during the last year, which tells me that I should forthwith set my house in order, and be in readiness for the coming of the Lord.

But this readiness is a duty which lies upon all of every age and condition; and may the death over which we have been called to mourn bring the lesson forcibly home to us. May the event be sanctified and blessed to all your family. Though in itself not joyous but grievous, may it yield to you and yours the peaceable fruits of righteousness. Let us stand, my dear Jane, more disengaged than ever from a world that will soon pass away; and with the feeling that we are strangers and pilgrims here, let our doings plainly declare that we seek a country beyond the grave—that we are looking forward to a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

Letters of Thomas Chalmers, edited by William Hanna, first published 1853, reprinted by The Banner of Truth, 2007, p. 248.

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