Posted tagged ‘James Henley Thornwell’

Letters of James Henley Thornwell.

July 18, 2011

From Mr. Robbins:

my Dear James: I have just received your letter,conveyning the afflictive intelligence of the loss of your dear babe.We are both much afflictited by this unexpecred calamity,and desire to join our sympathies in the sorrow of the parents.We can do so most deeply and affectionately.We know what it is to watch the gradual unfolding of the physical and intellectual faculities of a dear child,a first child; and in the full flood—-tide of our enjoyment,to have the dear object of our love snatched from our presence and our care. Such a loss is heart-rending indeed; and the mourner is disposed to attach little value to other blessings of life, for a season, since the greatest has been withdrawn. But a short time and a little reflection will dispel the blackness of the cloud, and show us a clear and serene sky beyond it.We do know,James that our Heavenly Parent, whose love to us surpasses that of a woman to the child of her bosom, is the immediate author of these bereavements.We do know that he never afflicts willingly, or grieves the children of men; always for some cause–great, good, adequate cause. What this cause is, it is our privilege and our duty to inquire.Sometimes it is wisely witheld from our search; but frequently; very frequently, it is within the reach of our reflection.It may be in mercy to the child, to rescue it from a more dreadful calamity which would have attended it in life; It may be in mercy to the parents to spare the more acute suffering at beholding an unworthy life, or an unworthy connection in life.Those were some of my own reflections when called on to mourn,as you now do; but, my dear James, I beleive most men can find—I think I found——-some unfaithfulness in myself, for which the visitation befell me; and with the blessing of God, I have endeavoured to reform it. Should this be your case, I pray most devoutly that He, whose grace is sufficient for us, may enable you to discover and cast it out. Rest assured of the sincere personal and Christian sympathy of yours.

W.H.Robbins