by Arthur W. Pink
Philologos Religious Online Books
Studies in the Scriptures
by Arthur W. Pink
My best beloved: I am now going from a prison to a palace. I have finished my work: I am now to receive my free-grace wages. I am going to Heaven, where are two of my children and leaving thee on the earth, where are three of my babes: those above need not my care but the three below need thine. It comforts me to think two of my children are in the bosom of Abraham and three of them will be in the arms and care of so godly a mother. I know thou art a woman of a sorrowful spirit, yet be comforted, God hath many mercies in store for thee; and the prayers of a dying husband for thee will not be lost. To my shame I speak it, I never prayed so much for thee at liberty as I have done in prison. I cannot write more, but I have a few practical counsels to leave with thee.
1. Keep under a sound orthodox and soul-searching ministry. Oh! there are many deceivers gone out into the world; but Christ's sheep know His voice and a stranger they will not follow. Attend on the ministry that teaches the way of God in truth and follow Solomon's advice: “Cease to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge” (Prov. 19:27). 2. Bring up my children in the knowledge and admonition of the Lord. The mother ought to be a teacher in the father's absence. “The prophecy that his mother taught him” (Prov. 31:1); and Timothy was instructed by his grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice (2 Tim. 1:5).
3. Pray in the family daily, that thy dwelling may be among the number of the families that do call on God. 4. Labour for a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price (1 Peter 3:4). 5. Pore not on the comforts thou wantest, but on the mercies thou hast. 6. Look rather at God's end in afflicting than at the measure and degree of thy afflictions. 7. Labour to clear up thy evidences for Heaven when God takes thee from the comforts of earth; that as thy sufferings do abound, thy consolations in Christ may much more abound (2 Cor. 1:5). 8. Though it is good to maintain a holy jealousy of the deceitfulness of thy heart, yet it is evil for thee to cherish fears and doubts about the truth of thy graces. If ever I had confidence touching the graces of another, I have confidence of grace in thee; I can say of thee, as Peter said of Silvanus, “This is the true grace of God wherein ye stand” (1 Peter 5:12). Oh! my dear soul, wherefore dost thou doubt? whose heart hath been upright, whose walkings have been holy, and I could venture my soul in thy soul's stead, such confidence have I of thee. 9. When thou findest thy heart secure, presumptuous and proud, then pore upon thy corruptions more than upon grace; but when thou findest thy heart doubting and unbelieving, then look on thy graces, not on thy infirmities. 10. Study the covenant of grace and the merits of Christ, and then be troubled if thou canst. Thou art interested in such a covenant that accepts purposes for performances, desires for deeds, sincerity for perfection, the righteousness of another, namely, that of Jesus Christ, as if it were thine own. Oh my love! rest, rest then, in the love of God, in the bosom of Christ!
11. Swallow up thy will in the will of God, it is a bitter cup we are to drink, but it is the cup our Father hath put into our hand. When Paul was to go to suffer at Jerusalem, the Christians could say, “The will of the Lord be done.” 12. Rejoice in my joy; to mourn for me inordinately argues that thou either envy or suspect my happiness The joy of the Lord is my strength—O let it be thine also! Dear wife, farewell! I will call thee wife no more, I shall see thy face no more; yet I am not much troubled, for now I am going to meet the Bridegroom, the Lord Jesus Christ, to whom I shall be eternally married. Thy dying, yet most affectionate friend till death, Christopher Love.
(The above is a letter written to his wife, from the Tower of London, on August 22, 1651, on the day of his execution).
N.B. What a striking illustration does the above supply of the marvel of Christian perseverance in the faith! Here is a man in the prime of life, an affectionate husband and father, innocent of any crime, cruelly cast into prison, to suffer death. Yet at the end (whatever there may or may not have been previously) there is no bitterness against his persecutors, no complaining at the injustice of his lot, no murmuring against God; but serenity of mind and joy of heart!