The death of your godly daughter
(by John Berridge, 1716-1793)
I received your letter, about the death of your godly daughter--and hope that you will soon learn to bless your Redeemer for snatching her away so speedily. Methinks I see great mercy in the suddenness of her removal; and when your affections have done yearning for her--you will see it too.
O! what is she snatched from? Why, truly, from the plague of an evil heart, a wicked world, and a crafty devil--snatched from all future bitter grief, and from everything which might wound her ear, afflict her eye, or pain her heart!
And what is she snatched to? To a land of everlasting peace, where every inhabitant can say, 'I am no more sick!' No more affliction in the body, no more plague in the heart--but all full of love and full of praise; ever seeing with enraptured eyes, ever blessing with adoring hearts--that dear Lamb who has washed them in His blood, and has now made them kings and priests unto God, forever and ever!
Oh, madam! What would you rather have? Is it not better singing in heaven, 'Worthy is the Lamb who was slain!' --than crying out on earth, 'O wretched woman that I am!'
Is it not better to have your daughter taken to heaven--than to have your heart divided between Christ and her? If she was a silver idol before--might she not prove to be a golden idol afterwards?
She has gone to the most blessed place, and will see you again by and by--never more to part. Had she crossed the sea and gone to Ireland--you would have born it; but now that she is gone to heaven--should this be difficult for you? Strange love is this!
Such behavior in others would not surprise me--but I could almost chasten you for it. And I am sure your daughter would chasten you too, if she was called back but one moment from the glories of heaven--to gratify your fond desires! I cannot soothe you--and I must not flatter you. I am glad the dear creature has gone to heaven before you. Lament, if you please; but 'Glory, glory, glory be to God!' says John Berridge.