Saturday, January 29, 2011


[quoted from "The Gospel magazine, and theological review. Ser. 5. Vol. 3, no. 1-July 1874"]

Plymouth, Feb. 26, 1810.

Dear Sir,—The Lord the Spirit, whose name is very sweetly made known by Christ to His body, the Church, as the Holy Ghost the Comforter, blessedly reveal Himself to your heart, and the heart of your dear daughter, under that endeared character, amidst the bereaving providence with which His wisdom, as well as his love, hath been pleased to visit yon.

Indeed, dear sir, your letter with the sad tidings of Mrs. Bowne's departure, received this morning, came wholly unexpected and unlooked for. I had not before heard of that dear friend's sickness; but I ought not to express myself on any event of death, as a matter either unexpected or unlooked for, in a dying world like ours, where the greater astonishment is, or ought to be, not that we die, but that we live. In relation to her flight into the world of spirits, whose absence hath made so great a breach in your heart and house, however painful the separation to you and dear Mrs. Rivers, on her account becomes a subject of thanksgiving and holy joy. This world is the worst place a child of God will ever dwell in; and had it not been so, the voice John heard from heaven would not have pronounced them " blessed which die in the Lord." It is blessed even here, amidst all the heartaches and headaches of a fallen state, to live in the Lord; and doubly blessed for all such to die in the Lord; and most " precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints."

I send this by way of saying that I sincerely sympathize with you and your mournful family on the present occasion; and, though absent in body, yet present in spirit, I mingle my grief with yours. But while I say this, I would say also with the Apostle, I pray you "to sorrow not as others which have no hope; for if we helieve that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus, will God bring with Him." Call to mind, dear sir, that your once-loved partner, though dear to you, is living with God. And the person of every one is where the spirit is, and that is with the Lord. One view of the unspeakable blessedness of that place will tend more, as it relates to her just departed, to dry up all tears than a thousand arguments addressed to nature's feelings. "They are (said one which could not be mistaken) before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple, and He that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light upon them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of water: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes."

Dear sir, my prayers will accompany my letter, that He whose province alone it is to comfort His people, will graciously sanctify this event to you and to your dear daughter and your household; and, if God the Holy Ghost, by His blessed influences, glorifies to your and their view, the Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ, and direct your hearts into the love of God, the Lord Himself will more than fill the vacancy made by dear Mrs. B.'s departure, and be your God and your glory, and your portion to live upon for ever.

I commend you to the Lord, and to all the tender bowels of Jesus, and remain, very truly yours in the Lord, Bobert Hawker.