A Must Read Letter If You Are Hurting At All !!!!!!

17 Nov

I am now back home in Oklahoma after being in New York last week. Last night my wife was preparing her Bible study for Tuesday morning and she ran across this letter from Samuel Rutherford. She asked me to read it. I had read it before, but it had been awhile. This is a letter he had written to a “gentlewoman” that had recently lost a daughter. This letter is very comforting if you are hurting, no matter the reason. I know there are always many hurting people and I decided to post it. I hope you will be blessed by it.


To A Christian Gentlewoman
[on the death of a daughter]

Anwoth, 23 April 1628


My love in Christ remembered to you. I was indeed sorrowful at my departure from you, especially since you were in such heaviness after your daughter’s death; yet I do persuade myself, you know that the weightiest end of the cross of Christ that is laid upon you, lieth upon your strong Saviour. For Isaiah saith that in all your afflictions he is afflicted [63.9]. O blessed Second, who suffereth with you! and glad may your soul be, even to walk in the fiery furnace, with one like unto the Son of man, who is also the Son of God. Courage up your heart; when you tire, he will bear both you and your burden [Psalm 55.22]. Yet a little while, and you shall see the salvation of God.

Remember of what age your daughter was, and that just so long was your lease of her. If she were eighteen, nineteen, or twenty years old, I know not, but sure I am, seeing her term was come, and your lease run out, you can no more justly quarrel against your great Superior for taking his own, at his just term-day, than a poor farmer can complain, that his master taketh a portion of his own land to himself, when his lease is expired. Good mistress, if you would not be content that Christ would hold from you the heavenly inheritance, which is made yours by his death, will not that same Christ think hardly of you, if you refuse to give him your daughter willingly, who is part of his inheritance and conquest? I pray the Lord to give you all your own, and to grace you with patience to give God his also. He is an ill debtor who payeth that which he hath borrowed with a grudge.

Indeed that long loan of such a good daughter, an heir of grace, a member of Christ (as I believe) deserveth more thanks at your creditor’s hand, than that you should murmur, when he craveth but his own. I believe you would judge them to be but thankless neighbours who would pay you a sum of money after this manner.

But what! do you think her lost, when she is but sleeping in the bosom of the Almighty? Think her not absent who is in such a friend’s house. Is she lost to you who is found to Christ? If she were with a dear friend, although you should never see her again, your care for her would be but small. Oh now, is she not with a dear friend, and gone higher, upon a certain hope that you shall in the resurrection see her again, when (be you sure) she shall neither be hectic nor consumed in body! You would be sorry either to be, or be esteemed an atheist; and yet not I, but the apostle [I Thess. 4.13] thinketh those to be hopeless atheists who mourn excessively for the dead. But this is not a challenge on my part; I speak this, only fearing your weakness; for your daughter was a part of yourself; and therefore nature in you, being, as it were, cut and halved, will indeed be grieved; but you have to rejoice, that when a part of you is on earth, a great part of you is glorified in heaven.

Follow her, but envy her not; for indeed it is self-love in us that maketh us mourn for them that die in the Lord. Why? because for them we cannot mourn, since they are never happy till they be dead; therefore we mourn on our own private account. Take heed then, that in showing your affection in mourning for your daughter, you be not, out of self-affection, mourning for yourself.

Consider what the Lord is doing in it; your daughter is plucked out of the fire, and she resteth from her labours; and your Lord in that is trying you, and casting you in the fire. Go through all fires to your rest; and now remember, that the eye of God is upon the burning bush, and it is not consumed; and he is gladly content that such a weak woman as you should send Satan away, frustrated of his design. Now honour God, and shame the strong roaring lion, when you seem weakest.

Should such an one as you faint in the day of adversity? Call to mind the days of old; the Lord yet liveth; trust in him, although he should slay you. Faith is exceedingly charitable, and believeth no evil of God. Now is the Lord laying, in the one scale of the balance, your making conscience of submission to his gracious will; and in the other, your affection and love to your daughter. Which of the two will you then choose to satisfy? Be wise then; and, as I trust you love Christ better than a sinful woman, pass by your daughter, and kiss the Lord’s rod. Men lop the branches off their trees round about, to the end they may grow up high and tall. The Lord hath this way lopped your branch in taking from you many children, to the end you should grow upward, like one of the Lord’s cedars, setting your heart above, where Christ is at the right hand of the Father. What is next, but that your Lord cut down the stock, after he hath cut the branches?

Prepare yourself; you are nearer your daughter this day than you were yesterday. While you prodigally spend time in mourning for her, you are speedily posting after her. Run your race with patience; let God have his own, and ask of him, instead of your daughter, whom he hath taken from you, the daughter of faith, which is patience; and in patience possess your soul. Lift up your head; you do not know how near your redemption doth draw. Thus, recommending you to the Lord, who is able to establish you, I rest.

Your loving and affectionate friend in the Lord Jesus,

Samuel Rutherford


Shalom, until next time, Lord willing






Posted by on November 17, 2014 in Christianity, Faith, Religion


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14 responses to “A Must Read Letter If You Are Hurting At All !!!!!!

  1. realchange4u

    November 17, 2014 at 9:31 am

    Well put Levi. It is well with my soul. Thank you for posting this letter. It brought comfort to me. If you don’t mind I would like to share it with my grief group surviving the holidays?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Levi Thetford

      November 17, 2014 at 10:15 am

      Tom, Im glad it was a comfort to you. You can use anything i have at any time. God bless you!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The True Light!

    November 17, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    It is a beautiful letter, Levi! How touching a pen it was that spilled out such a loving sentiment. Thanks for sharing this…


    Liked by 1 person

    • Levi Thetford

      November 17, 2014 at 1:57 pm

      I’m glad you liked it. A true pastor’s heart Rutherford had.

      Liked by 1 person

      • The True Light!

        November 17, 2014 at 10:34 pm

        Absolutely true!



  3. ropheka

    November 17, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    I like to think that when someone dies it is not for them we are crying but for ourselves because they have been taken from us. I think that is natural.


    • Levi Thetford

      November 17, 2014 at 5:14 pm

      I think that it is the reason we cry unless we know the person is not a believer in Jesus and then I would be crying for the dead because of their lost condition. It brings great sadness when I attend a funeral of a non believer.


  4. Sheila

    November 18, 2014 at 1:53 am

    Nearer today than yesterday. Now that’s an encouraging thought!

    Liked by 1 person


    November 18, 2014 at 4:25 am

    Wow, I need to read more from Rutherford. I’ve known him for his contribution to political philosophy with Lex Rex but I need to read him more for his pastoral side.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Paige Hamilton

    November 18, 2014 at 10:47 am

    Grief is such a natural emotion to loss … and yet it’s a hard, lonely and very selfish process, isn’t it? I’ve mulled this over and over in the two months since my dad passed away, not that it has made the grief any less or spurred it along any faster.

    What a though-provoking response to grief, written is a very beautiful and encouraging way. My heart feels like I’ve gotten a bit of a boost on this chilly November morning. I’m so glad Samuel Rutherford wrote it nearly 500 years ago and that you shared it today for all of us who are hurting while we miss someone we love.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Levi Thetford

      November 18, 2014 at 4:50 pm

      Hello Paige. Im so glad that this has been good to lift your spirits. It is natural to be down after a loss. It just takes time. Remember just wept after the loss of His good friend Lazarus. Good to hear from you. I hope all is good with your family. Stay warm. It was nine degress here this morning. 🌸


  7. K. Q. Duane

    November 23, 2014 at 3:58 pm

    We were just in the company of an Irish Catholic mother of 8, who has witnessed 5 of her adult children die in freak accidents. Her daughter in law, whose husband was another of the Mothers’s sons, just died last year. When she asked her “stoic” mother in law how she continues to cope with all this tragedy and loss, she turned to her grieving daughter in law and said, “My children were loaned to me by God. If He sees fit to take them home to Him, how can I object?” That’s such a powerful, and comforting, message to those who grieve.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Levi Thetford

      November 23, 2014 at 4:14 pm

      You aren’t kidding. She is very familiar with tremendous grief. Great testimony. Thanks for sharing this!!

      Liked by 1 person


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