I could wish He would have spared my son

(Letters of William Romaine, 1714-1795)

My good Friend,
I never was more obliged to you than for your Christian sympathy with us in this time of need. It is a great trial, but it is the Lord who has a right to do what He will with His own. It is my Lord, my old Friend, who never alters His love to me. He has acted for His own glory, and has done the best—what more would I wish? Nothing, but only for His grace to make me submit to His sovereign will.

I could wish He would have spared my son
—my soul delighted in him. He was a sweet youth. The remembrance of his person and manners and behavior, his dutifulness (for he never offended me but once in his life), his upright conduct—these draw tears from my eyes while I am writing. I do feel as a parent; I am no stoic.

But thanks be to my good God, His grace conquers nature. The struggle is hard, but God is with me—and through Him, I conquer myself. He forces me to go to Him every moment for His support and His comforts. I have no stock of resignation. It is outside of myself, laid up in the fullness of Jesus; and while I live upon Him for it, He helps me to kiss His chastening rod. He keeps my rebel will under control, and teaches me to say from my heart, "Not my will, Lord, but may Your will be done." Such is the kindness of my Jesus, for which I adore and worship Him.

"The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away." He has a right to do what He will with His own. He has enabled me to reply, "Blessed be the name of the Lord." And I do praise Him for giving me some of Job's resignation, that I could use his words with the same spirit.