A Letter to the Mourning

FlowerHaving almost finished “The Life of Adoniram Judson” by Edward Judson, I have been greatly impressed with this missionary’s constant placement of God as number one in his life, which enabled him to go through suffering with great perseverance. He lost his first wife and many of his children to tropical sicknesses. This letter was written to Mrs. Boardman, the wife of a deceased missionary to whom he would be married several years later. It is an outstanding example of humbly taking comfort in the Saviour, while acknowledging the sorrow of missing a saved loved one until meeting them again in the celestial world. I would highly recommend others read the book, as the life of Adoniram is a tremendous example of longsuffernig and resting in Jesus’ will.

To Mrs. Boardman.

“Ragoon, March 4, 1831.

My Dear Sister: You are now drinking the bitter cup whose dregs I am somewhat acquainted with. And though, for some time, you have been aware of its approach, I venture to say that it is far bitterer than you expected. It is common for persons in your situation to refuse all consolation, to cling to the dead, and to fear that they shall too soon forget the dear object of their affections. But don’t be concerned. I can assure you that months and months of heart-rending anguish are before you, whether you will or not. I can only advise you to take the cup with both hands, and sit down quietly to the bitter repast which God has appointed for your sanctification. As to your beloved, you know that all his tears are wiped away, and that the diadem which encircles his brow outshines the sun. Little Sarah and the other have again found their father, not the frail, sinful mortal that they left on earth, but an immortal saint, a magnificent, majestic king. What more can you desire for them? while, therefore, your tears flow, let a due proportion be tears of joy. Yet take the bitter cup with both hands, and sit down to your repast. You will soon learn a secret, that there is sweetness at the bottom. You will find it the sweetest cup that you ever tasted in all your life. You will find heaven coming near to you, and familiarity with your husband’s voice will be a connecting link, drawing you almost within the sphere of celestial music.

I think, from what I know of your mind, that you will not desert the post, but remain to carry on the work which he gloriously began. The Karens of Tavoy regard you as their spiritual mother; and the dying prayers of your beloved are waiting to be answered in blessings on your instructions.

As to little Georgie, who has now to earthly father to care for him, you can not, of course, part with him  at present. But if you should wish to send him home, I pledge myself to use what little influence I have in procuring for him all those advantages of education which your fondest wishes can desire. Or if you should be prematurely taken away, and should condescend, on your dying bed. to commit him to me, by the briefest line or verbal message, I hereby pledge my fidelity to receive and treat him as my own son, to send him home in the best time and way, to provide for his education, and to watch over him as long as I live. More than this I can not do, and less would be unworthy of the merits of his parents.




One thought on “A Letter to the Mourning

  1. Wow! That was powerful! What a great encouragement to me, and hopefully to others, on where our focus needs to be. So interesting when he said that there is a sweetness in the bottom of the bitter cup. I’m sure I’ll be pondering on that more throughout the day. He is one that spoke from experience. Thank you for sharing this and for your insightful introduction to his letter.

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