a spectacle unto God.

From A Spectacle Unto God–Christopher Love was a preacher coming into the prime of his pastoral ministry when the English government in 1651 executed him. This is his wife’s letter to him, holding Christ above everything else, the day before his execution:

” Before I write a word further, I beg you not to think that your wife is now writing rather, a friend. I hope that you have freely given up on your wife and children to God, who has said in Jeremiah 49:11, ‘Leave your fatherless children, I will preserve them alive and let your widow trust in Me’. Your maker, Christopher, will be my husband and the father to your children. O, that the Lord would keep you from having one troubled thought about your family. I desire freely to give you up to your Father’s hands, and not only to look upon it as a crown of glory to die for Christ, but as an honor for me that I should have a husband to leave for Christ.

I dare not speak to you, nor have I thought within my own heart of my unspeakable loss but wholly keep my eye fixed on your inexpressible and inconceivable gain. You’re leaving your children, brothers, and sisters to go on to the Lord Jesus, your eldest brother. You leave your friends on the earth to go to the enjoyment of the saints and angels, and the spirits of just men made perfect in glory. You leave the earth for heaven in exchange of prison for a palace. And if earthly affection should begin to arise, Christopher, I hope that a spirit of grace that’s within you will quell them knowing that all the things here are but dross in comparison to those things that are above. I know that you will have your eyes fixed on the hope of glory that makes your feet trample on the loss of earth. My dear, I know God has glory for you, but also for you, it.  But I am persuaded that He will sweeten the way for you to come to the enjoyment of it.

When you’re putting on your clothes tomorrow morning, I will think, ‘I am now putting on my wedding garments to go be with my everlasting Redeemer to be married.’ When the messenger of death comes to you, to take you to the block, let him not seem dreadful to you, but look to him as a messenger that brings you tidings of eternal life. When he brings you to the scaffold, think, as you told me you would, that you are climbing aboard the fiery chariot to carry you to your Father’s house. And when you lay down your precious head to receive your Father’s stroke, remember what you said to me, ‘Though my head should be severed from my body, yet in that moment my soul will be united with my Head, the Lord Jesus Christ in Heaven. And though it might seem something bitter that I am leaving this life sooner than I had wanted, Mary, let us consider that it is the decree and the will of our Heavenly Father, and that it will not be long before we shall enjoy one another in Heaven again.’

Let us comfort one another with these things, be comforted my dear heart. It is but a little stroke and you shall be there. Remember that you may eat dinner with the bitter herbs, but you shall have a sweet supper with Christ tomorrow night. My dear, by what I write to you I do not intend to teach you for all these comforts I receive from the Lord by you teaching me. I will write no more, nor ever trouble you further but commit you into the arms of God with whom you and I will forever be. Farewell my dear, I shall never see your face until we both behold the face of the Lord Jesus at that great day.”

Love,
Mary

WOW. That pretty much sums up my reaction to reading that letter. This is the Love relationship between a wife and her husband; one of friendship, encouragement, and an understanding of Christ’s will. This letter sent chills down my spine considering the circumstances they were facing. I just had to share it.

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