[To the Rev. B. G.] London, 12 October 1841.
My dear Friend,
How shall I lament the death of one who has been so sweetly put to sleep in Jesus? * 'Tis true you will find a heavy loss; nevertheless on a due consideration of the sorrows and vanities of this life, which continually cast down the child of God, so sweet a relief must he admitted as desirable. Poor H. said, when she read the account, "I am only sorry it is not I." What a true Friend the Lord always proves in the hour of extremity, and no doubt he will be so to you who are left behind, if you dare to make free, and try hire to the utmost of his word.
I know what it is to sink in spirit beyond expression, but even then the everlasting arms have been underneath. Last night I was pondering my manifold difficulties and presenting them mournfully before the Lord, and he was pleased most graciously to whisper in my heart that he chastens every son, and corrects all whom he receives; this brought sweet peace, quietness, and resignation, and the sight of these words confirmed the feeling in my heart - "God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved." I assure you the light and power which attended those words made me entirely to cast my burdens upon the Lord, as upon an assured and faithful Friend. I quite accord with you in feeling a sad difficulty in so doing, and also in finding little at times but oppression of spirits; yet in patiently waiting and quietly hoping the Lord comes, and brings such seasonable relief that we then can rejoice in tribulation, knowing that it is every way for the furtherance of the Gospel.
The Lord has not taken you by surprise in this heavy dispensation, but has kindly led you both on most gently to expect the event, and has softened the whole of it with his sweet presence and favour, so that there was no trace of a desire left in the heart of our departed friend to continue here. She felt it was far better to depart, and be for ever with the Lord. Your part is otherwise, and a new line of things will open to you altogether, new troubles, new difficulties, and new crosses; but God is all-sufficient, and will show to his people that he is a very present help; and I truly hope you will constantly go to him for that help, in all your various difficulties. I have had ten thousand fears, but, blessed be his holy Name for ever and ever, he has been a faithful near and dear Friend to me.
Believe me yours affectionately, J. B.
* Referring to the death of Mrs. G., whose many spiritual conflicts had ended in the sweetest hope and joy through faith in Jesus Christ. The following lines, which she composed a few weeks before, so beautifully express the sorrow which the Lord, at his appearing, turned into joy, that it is thought their insertion here will not be unacceptable.