Below is a letter that Josh recently brought to my attention. It is a letter from a wife to her husband on the eve of his execution. The incredible focus, faith and love that comes through in the writing astounds me. And it makes me think, if I were in the same situation, would I ever be able to write such words? Is my faith and the foundation of our marriage such that we would speak with such boldness, or would we revert to the sappy, tearful writings that are much more common? Please read:
My Dear Heart,—Before I write a word further, I beseech thee, think not that it is thy wife, but a friend now that writes to thee. I hope thou hast freely given up thy wife and children to that God, who hath said, in Jeremiah 49:11, ‘Leave thy fatherless children, I will preserve them alive, and let thy widow trust in me.’ Thy Maker will be my husband, and a father to thy children. O that the Lord would keep thee from having one troubled thought for thy relations! I desire freely to give thee up into thy Father’s hands, and not only look upon it as a crown of glory for thee to die for Christ, but as an honour to me, that I should have an husband to leave for Christ. I dare not speak to thee, nor have a thought within my own heart, of my unspeakable loss, but wholly keep my eye fixed upon thy inexpressible and inconceivable gain. Thou leavest but a sinful, mortal wife, to be everlastingly married to the Lord of glory: thou leavest but children, brothers and sisters, to go to the Lord Jesus, thy eldest brother: thou leavest friends on earth to go to the enjoyment of saints and angels, and the spirits of just men made perfect in glory: thou dost but leave earth for heaven, and changest a prison for a palace. And if natural affections should begin to arise, I hope that spirit of grace that is within thee will quell them; knowing that all things here below are but dung and dross in comparison of those things that are above. I know thou keepest thine eye fixed on the hope of glory, which makes thy feet trample on the loss of earth.
My dear, I know God hath not only prepared glory for thee, and thee for it; but I am persuaded he will sweeten the way for thee to come to the enjoyment of it. When thou art putting on thy clothes that morning, O think, I am now putting on my wedding garments, to go to be everlastingly married to my Redeemer! And when the messenger of death comes to thee, let him not seem dreadful to thee; but look on him as a messenger that brings thee tidings of eternal life. When thou goest up the scaffold, think (as thou saidst to me) it is but thy fiery chariot, to carry thee up to thy Father’s house. And when thou layest down thy precious head to receive thy father’s stroke, remember what thou saidst to me, though thy head were severed from thy body, yet in a moment thy soul should be united to thy head, the Lord Jesus, in heaven. And though it may seem something bitter, that by the hands of men we are parted a little sooner than otherwise we might have been; yet let us consider, it is the decree and will of our Father; and it will not be long ere we shall enjoy one another in heaven again. Let us comfort one another with these sayings. Be comforted, my dear heart, it is but a little stroke, and thou shalt be there where the weary shall be at rest, and where the wicked shall cease from troubling. Remember, though thou mayst eat thy dinner with bitter herbs, yet thou shalt have a sweet supper with Christ that night. My dear, by what I write unto thee, I do not hereby undertake to teach thee; for these comforts I have received from the Lord by thee. I will write no more, nor trouble thee any further, but commit thee into the arms of that God with whom, ere long, thou and I shall be. Farewell, my dear, I shall never see thy face more, till we both behold the face of the Lord Jesus at the great day.
Mary Love, July 14, 1651.
Taken from: http://www.go-newfocus.co.uk/pages.php?section=21&subsection=4&artID=138