Consolation To a Youth
St Peter's, March 1.1842. My Dear A.
"I did not think I was to have answered your kind letter in the time of bitter grief. But so it pleases Jehovah, whose will must be our will, if we would be happy. It is good for you to bear the yoke in your youth. This is the way God trains his saints, and especially his ministers. I saw your dear little brother twice on his dying bed, and indeed I could not believe he was dying, except that his calm eye was directed to the hills of Immortality, and he seemed already to breathe some of the atmosphere of the world of sinless joy. I do trust and believe that he was a saved boy. You know I am rather slow of coming to this conviction, and not fond of speaking when I have not good evidence; but here, I think, God has not left us in doubt.
At Blairgowrie he used several times to speak to me about divine things, and the tear would gather in his eye when he said that he feared he had never been brought to Jesus. Once, when he' had a sore throat, he told me he was not ready to die. But now he was quite different. The veil seemed to be lifted away from his heart and he saw divine things simply and fully*
Over and over he told me that he was not afraid to die, for Christ had died. " How kind it was in God to send Jesus to die for sinners." He seemed tranquil and happy, even when the pain came on in his head and made him knit his brows. You have reason to mingle praise with your tears. Do not sorrow as one who has no hope. Only seek a right improvement of this bereavement. He is not lost but gone before, and we shall soon put off this clay cottage also. And soon we and he, made new, body and soul, shall meet the Lord in the air, and so be for ever with the Lord. I was at your house on Sabbath night, and saw them all, sorrowful, yet rejoicing. Your dear little brother lies like a marble statue in the peaceful sleep of death, till Jesus' voice shall waken him. Happy boy ! he shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more, neither shall the sun light on him nor any heat. The days of his mourning are ended, and his eternity of love and holy joy is begun.
Improve this sharp wind, dear A., for you will soon lose the benefit, if not carefully sought after. Search out the Achan in your heart at such an hour. Let affliction strike heavy blows at your corruptions, your idolatries, and self'pleasing and worldly schemes. Learn much of Christ at such an hour Study him at the grave of Lazarus—John xi.; and at the gate of Nain—Luke viii. 11.; and also within the veil—Rev. i. 18. Do not be ashamed to grieve deeply, but let your sadness find relief in the bosom that was pierced with the spear
" Is any afflicted ? let him pray." Strange, Satan often tempts us to restrain prayer at such a time. Be very gentle towards the souls of your kindred now.
Remember D and H at the throne of grace. If God had taken them, where would they have been ? Learn also that ministers must care for lambs. " Preach the gospel to every creature."
Pray for me, also, that I may do so, that I may be made a better man and a more faithful pastor of old and young. Ever yours, till we meet in glory, &c."
Robert M. M'Cheyne