Monday, August 16, 2010

Your Little Child Was Born for Eternity

A letter from John Elias to a relative, the Rev. W. Roberts, who had lost an infant girl in death. The parents were naturally grieving and Rev. Elias offered sympathy and encouragement to them under such distressing circumstances. I can well imagine how this letter must have been read many times over in their days of sorrow. The letter was written July 12, 1838.

I hope you both shall have much strength from above to bear under the trial that is so painful to flesh and blood. To be enabled to view the secret movements of the good and wise providence of God towards us, would afford great calmness and ease of mind. He does all things right, they cannot be better; and he can bring us to see that, and to reconcile us to his proceedings, though so disagreeable to our natural feelings.

To lose dear infants, and to commit them to the dust, is most poignant bitterness. But some meet with more distressing circumstances in the conduct of those that are spared! Your little child was born for eternity; it is her dwelling, her home. The Lord has been pleased to remove her there, according to his eternal counsel, sooner than you expected. Who can say how great was his goodness in this act? She was taken out of the reach of many temptations, and out of many evils and sorrow.

You have no need to be uncomfortable as to the state of the child; your heavenly Father took her to himself. It was very distressing to you and her mother to behold her affliction; it was becoming to mourn and to sympathize; but now, she being dead, arise and wash away your tears, and worship God (2 Samuel 12:20). May the Lord give you help in the time of need, may he support and comfort you!

John Elias: Life, Letters and Essays, by Edward Morgan, first published in 1844, published by the Banner of Truth in 1973, pp. 219-220.

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