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Good Words 1860
To our Bereaved

[Having met with the following elevating and consolatory remarks in a German theological pamphlet, which is not likely to become known in this country, the translator offers them with the hope that they may prove valuable to some afflicted child of God.]

I HAVE experienced the same trial with which God has visited you, and can therefore sympathise with you, and offer you counsel with full confidence, based, as it is, on my own experience. Be patient, and do not direct your thoughts so much to what is behind you, cherishing your grief by recalling the beautiful days which are gone, but rather meditate on what is before you, what is above, the far more beautiful days of the golden future. And this do, not merely to heal your wound, but do it as Paul tells us he looked unto the things which are before. (Phil. iii. 7.) It is thus that we get beyond the idea of merely meeting again our departed friends, which may still be but a cleaving to the creature. It is thus that we are brought nearer to the kingdom of God and the Lord of glory. It is thus that our loved ones become to us magnets in the higher firmament, drawing us to seek and build up homes in heaven, and to enter into a life-communion with the kingdom above—a communion which is not sentimental and imaginary, but real, and exerting spiritual and moral influence. If we wish to be heavenly-minded and not carnal, we must not merely meditate on eternity, but proceed from such meditations to a practical denial of worldliness—worldly gain and enjoyment. It is possible to think of heaven, merely in order to think of loved departed friends, and to idealise our former connexion with them. If so, God and His kingdom is not the end, but only means to an end. But reverse the order; seek first God's kingdom and His righteousness, press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus, press toward it by giving up the past, and the Lord will surely give unto us, in addition, a new and blessed reunion with our friends who have gone before, and who are ennobled by their separation from this world. We may expect to receive this renewed intercourse as a ripe fruit from His merciful hand. May the Lord guide you into all truth, and may He cause a brighter and higher light than you have known as yet to rise out of the darkness, which according to His counsel surrounds His chastisements, so that, after having sown in tears, you may reap with joy!

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