The death of an infant

(Letters of John Newton)

My Dear Friend,
I must leave a line to tell you that we sympathize with you and your wife in your severe trial. (The death of an infant.) But, at the same time, I rejoice exceedingly in the Lord's goodness, enabling you to be resigned and satisfied with His will, despite all the feelings and pinchings of flesh and blood.

If you can now believe and say, "He does all things well" — with what transport would you say it, if the whole plan of His wisdom and love was unfolded to your view? He will condescend to unfold it to you hereafter — and it will fill you with admiration. It is an affliction, to be cordially rejoiced in, when the Lord, who cares for us — intimates His will by the event.

Healing and wounding are equally from His hand — and are equally tokens of His love and care over us! "The Lord gives — and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord!" Job 1:21

You are in the wise and merciful hands of One who prescribes for you with unerring wisdom, and has unspeakably more tenderness than can be found in all human hearts taken together! He weighs all your painful afflictions with consummate accuracy! You shall not have a single grain of trouble more, nor for a single moment longer — than He will enable you to bear, and will sanctify to your good.

We know all things are dispensed to us by infinite wisdom — in number, weight, and measure — with a far greater accuracy than any doctor can adjust his medicines to the state and strength of his patients.

The flesh will feel the sharp affliction — but faith and prayer will lighten the burden, and heal the wound. Daily your sense of the Lord's goodness will increase, and the sense of pain will abate — so that you will have less sorrow, and more joy, from day to day.

What a blessing to be a Christian — to have a hiding place and a resting place always at hand! To be assured that all things work for our good, and that our compassionate Shepherd has His eye always upon us — to support and to relieve us.

I am affectionately and sincerely your friend, brother and servant,
John Newton