The Widow Directed to the Widow's God

by John Angell James, 1841


Yes! consolation! Yours, even yours, is not a case that excludes all comfort. There is balm for the wounds of a widow's heart!

1. It may seem a strange and unlikely method of comforting you, to remind you of happiness forever fled, and scenes of enjoyment that have vanished like some bright vision. But is it not a comfort to retrace the history of your union, and to remember that you loved and were beloved; that you lived in harmony and peace with your departed husband; that you had his confidence and his heart, and he yours; that you traveled pleasantly together in this desert world, and made the journey a delightful one while it lasted? You have nothing but holy and happy reminiscences. Is not this better than the retrospect of an ill-formed marriage—and the scenes of discord and strife which such unions bring with them? His picture, his chair, his dear name—if they form the most sorrowful memories—yet, at the same time, they awaken the most sacred memories. His image, as it rises in the region of imagination, is no sullen specter—cold, frowning, and perturbed—and which looks upon you as if to upbraid you for the past. But it is a blessed image—smiling, complacent, and calm, that still beams with the same affection with which it was accustomed to do—and you feel as if you had nothing to offer in the way of apology or penitence—for the purpose of satisfying and soothing. You still feel in mysterious and happy fellowship, though separated by the wide deep gulf of the grave.

Extract comfort, then, from your very tears, for love has left a drop even in them. You were happy, and that should prevent you being wretched now—you were his comfort on earth, and assisted him on his pilgrimage to heaven; where, perhaps, he is now thinking of you before the throne, and finding a place for your name in the song of his gratitude before the fountain of mercy.

2. Perhaps you were permitted to be with him in his dying sickness, and to minister to his comfort, as long as he needed it and was capable of understanding your soothing touch. "I am glad I am not a king," said a dying husband to an affectionate and devoted wife, who never left him night or day, until his spirit forsook its clay—"for then," continued he, "I would not be waited upon by you." How tender and how soothing are the attentions of a wife at all times. But oh, how much greater are her comforts, in the chamber of sickness and death. Men who set little value on the kind offices of their wives in the time of health and activity, have been glad to have them at their bedside, in the season of disease, and at the last hour. How doubly precious are such offices in death, to those who loved their wives, and prized their attentions in life.

Such, afflicted woman, was, perhaps, your case. You were his constant attendant. You waited, watched and labored, to the uttermost of your strength—to smooth the pillow of sickness, and the bed of death. The food, and the medicine were always most welcome from your gentle hand; he forgot his pains in your presence. And it was some mitigation of your sorrows, while as his ministering angel you occupied the post of observation, darker every hour—that you saw how much you contributed to his comfort. You heard the words of love and gratitude that fell from the sufferer's lips; you saw the looks and tears which spoke what words were too weak to utter—and taxed your energies almost beyond what nature could supply—to meet the necessities of one whose flickering lamp seemed to be kept from extinction, by your vigilance and tenderness.

Well, it is all over now! Affection has done its last—as well as its best—and its uttermost! Is it not consoling to you to think of all this? Especially if you were enabled to minister to the comfort of the soul, as well as to the body, and by words of scripture promise, to drive away the gloomy thoughts and disturbing fears which came upon his spirit as he approached the dark valley of the shadow of death. Perhaps it was reserved for that solemn hour, for your dying husband to disclose to you the state of his soul, and to express to your more entire satisfaction, than you had felt before, his sense of sin, his faith in Christ, and his hope of glory.

3. And this is intimately connected with another source of consolation, I mean the consideration of the happiness of your departed sainted husband, where indeed there is satisfactory ground to believe that he died as a true Christian. "How does the reflection," said Mrs. Huntingdon, after she became a widow, "that our departed friends have reached the point which we must reach before we can be happy—sweeten and soothe the anguish of separation! Let us contemplate them in every supposable view, and the prospect is full of consolation. We cannot think of them as what they were, or what they are, without pleasure. They are the highly favored of the Lord, who, having finished all that they had to do in this valley of tears, are admitted to the higher services of the upper temple. True, when we look at our loss, nature will feel sorrowful." Be it so, that you are sorrowful. Yet it is not, as regards your husband, a sorrow without hope. You have no grief on his account. Time was when you wept for him—you saw him burdened with care; exhausted by labor; perplexed with difficulties; sometimes humbled by a sense of his imperfections; and in his closing scenes, pale with sickness, racked with pain, until the tears glistened in his eye, and the groan escaped his bosom. But he will suffer no more; the days of his mourning are ended; and he is basking in the fullness of joy in God's presence, and surrounded with pleasures forevermore at his right hand. Strive then so far to rise above your grief, as to rejoice with him, though he cannot weep with you. You loved, and tried to make him happy upon earth—and he smiled when you in any measure succeeded; take some comfort in the thought that God has made him happy in heaven. Think of him not as in the grave—but as in glory! Say in the language of that beautiful epitaph–

Forgive, blessed one! the tributary tear,
That mourns your exit from a world like this,
Forgive the wish, that would have kept you here,
And ceased your progress to the seats of bliss.

No more confined to groveling scenes of night,
No more a tenant pent in mortal clay,
Now should we rather hail your glorious flight,
And trace your journey to the realms of day!

But perhaps, in all this, I do but lacerate some widows' heart already wounded, by the fear, their husbands' souls are not in heaven. Then turn from the subject in deep and silent submission. Confide in the justice of God. Rely upon his unerring wisdom. If you cannot reflect with comfort, and hope—then endeavor not to reflect at all. Say, "shall not the judge of all the earth do right?" If this source of consolation be closed, turn to the others, and they are many.

4. Recollect that God lives. "He lives," said the Psalmist, "and blessed be my rock, and let the God of my salvation be exalted." God lives! What a compass of thought and of consolation is there in that one expression; and akin to it is the language of Christ, to the beloved apostle in the isle of Patmos, "Behold, I am alive forevermore!" All will die—yet Christ lives! How often is he called in scripture, "the living God"—it is one of his most frequently repeated titles. And dwelling as we do, amid the tombs, it is one of his most comforting titles—as well as one of his most sublime and impressive ones, especially to those who have been called to sustain the loss of friends by death.

Thus we find there is a title, and attribute, and view, and operation of God—suited to all the varieties of our circumstances, our needs, our woes, and our fears. There is bounty for our needs; mercy for our sins and miseries; patience for our provocations; power for our weakness; certainty for our fears; wisdom for our ignorance; immutability for our vicissitudes! And because our friends are dying, and we also are following them to the grave—he is presented to us as the living God. And as he lives, all who belong to him, live with him. His attributes neither change nor die.

Just look at one view of his nature and conduct as given by the apostle—"The God of all comfort." Beautiful representation! And akin to it is that other, "God, who comforts those who are cast down." What ideas are contained in these two aspects of God. They seem to tell us that not only is all comfort in him, and from him, and for all people who are willing to be comforted; not only that his consolations are such as by way of eminence and excellence, deserve to be called comfort, almost exclusively. But also that he is in his nature all comfort to his people, and in his dealings always comforting them. His nature is one vast fountain of consolation, and his operations, so many streams flowing from it. Now this God lives—and he lives to comfort you.

Your earthly comforter is gone. But your heavenly comforter remains. Is there not enough in his power to protect and support you? Is there not enough in his wisdom to guide you? Is there not enough in his all-sufficiency to provide for you? Is there not enough in his goodness to pity you? Is there not enough in his love to supply you? Is there not enough in his presence to cheer you? In your troubled and broken condition of mind, you need consolations which are not only sufficient in themselves—but which can be simply expressed and easily apprehended, without any long train of thought, or elaboration of argument. Here then is one, containing all comforts in one, "My God lives!" Seize the simple yet wondrous conception; take it home to your afflicted bosom; apply it to your forlorn and desolate spirit; repeat it to yourself—and by the power of it, drive away unbelief, distrust, and all the crowd of dark, desponding thoughts—which hover like evil birds of prey over the desolate heart, there to nestle, and utter their moaning voices. Learn from a little child who seeing her widowed mother in utter sorrow and tears, asked the question, "Is God Almighty dead, Mamma?"

5. The Lord Jesus Christ in all his mediatorial offices, all his redeeming grace, all his tender sympathy, and all the blessings of his salvation—still remains! "Don't be afraid! I am the First and the Last. I am the living one who died. Look, I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and the grave!" Rev. 1:17-18. Oh there is enough in these sublime words to support and comfort all the widows that are alive at this moment—or ever will be upon earth. Here they are not only told, that the Redeemer has exclusive dominion over death and the invisible world, so that none ever turns, or holds the key but himself—but also that he lives in all the plenitude of his power and grace to comfort those who survive! All that there is in the incarnation and death of Christ as the Savior of a lost and ruined world; in his resurrection from the grave; in his ascension into heaven, and intercession at the right hand of the Father; in his universal government of the world; in the promise, the purpose, and the hope of his second coming; in the assurance that he is now in the midst of his church, and will never leave it; in the distant prospect of the millennial days when his glory shall cover all lands—all this remains to console the hearts of his mourning people in their sorrows upon earth! And connected with all this, are the blessings that result from his mediatorial work—the pardon of all our sins, our full justification, the sanctification of our nature, adoption, final perseverance and preservation—in short, a perfect salvation!

And is there one who can think so little of these things as to find in them no adequate consolation in the hour and scene of her woe! Oh believer, is there not enough in all this, to save you from fainting? Bereaved woman, shall your sorrows at the grave of the most affectionate husband that a wife ever had—or ever lost—weigh down the cross, the atonement, the righteousness, the sympathy, the grace of Christ? He is still the same as to compassion, as he was when upon earth. Those eyes that wept at the grave of Lazarus, look on you! That bosom that groaned over the sorrows of Martha and Mary, cherishes you! He who pitied the widow of Nain, pities you! "In all their suffering he also suffered, and he personally rescued them. In his love and mercy he redeemed them. He lifted them up and carried them through all the years." Isaiah 63:9.

In all his unsearchable riches of grace, in his promises of truth, and in his invitations—he is with you, and has said, "I will never leave you, nor forsake you! Not a promise died—when your husband died; not a fruit of grace, or a pledge of glory withered—when he departed. Not a single gospel consolation lies entombed in his sepulcher. The cup of your earthly prosperity may be emptied—but not a drop is lost from the cup of salvation. Death has deprived you of your temporal enjoyment—but your eternal salvation in Christ still remains! You are called to bear your cross—but Christ has borne his also. In one sense your husband sleeps in the tomb of Jesus—for we "are dead and buried with him." Therefore comfort yourself with these thoughts.

6. God has in a most especial manner interested himself on behalf of widows, and their fatherless children.

Just see how he has literally crowded the page of inspiration, with declarations concerning widows, and their fatherless children. He has revealed himself in a very especial manner as "the widow's God".

Observe how he has fenced in their interests and protected them from injury. "You shall not afflict any widow or fatherless child." Exod. 22:22. "You shall not take the widow's garment in pledge." Deut. 24:17. "Cursed be he who perverts the judgment of the fatherless and the widow." Deut. 29:19. "Judge the fatherless, plead for the widow." Isaiah 1:17. "If you oppress not the fatherless and the widow, . . .then will I cause you to dwell in this place." Jer. 7:6-7. "Oppress not the widow, nor the fatherless." Zech. 7:10. "In this have they vexed the widow." Ezek. 22:7.

Observe next the injunctions delivered not even to neglect the widow. "At the end of every third year bring the tithe of all your crops and store it in the nearest town. Give it to . . . the orphans, and the widows in your towns, so they can eat and be satisfied. Then the Lord your God will bless you in all your work." Deut. 14:28-29. "Every third year you must offer a special tithe of your crops. You must give these tithes to the . . . orphans, and widows so that they will have enough to eat in your towns. Then you must declare in the presence of the Lord your God, 'I have taken the sacred gift from my house and have given it to the . . . orphans and widows, just as you commanded me. I have not violated or forgotten any of your commands." Deut. 26:12-13.

Then dwell upon those passages in which kindness to widows is spoken of by men, or by God himself. "I caused the widow's heart to sing for joy." Job 26:13. In opposition to which he gives it as the mark of the wicked– "They drive away the donkey of the fatherless, and take the widow's ox for a pledge." Job 24:3. "The Lord will establish the border of the widow." Prov. 15:25. "A judge of the fatherless and widows is God in his holy habitation." Psalm 69:5. "Leave your fatherless children, I will preserve them alive, and let your widows trust in me." Jer. 49:11. "Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction." James 1:27.

What widow is there who in casting her eye over such passages as these—but must be comforted in thus witnessing the deep interest and concern, which God takes in her forlorn condition, when he has not only promised her what he will do himself—but commanded in every variety of form and expression—all others to sympathize with her, and actually to befriend her. She may surely say–
Poor though I am, despised, forgot,
Yet God, my God! forsakes me not.

Whoever is passed over by Jehovah, the Christian widow receives his special notice!

7. Perhaps you have still many FRIENDS left—for it is rarely the case that a widow has none, either on her own side, or on that of her late husband. There is something in your case that calls forth sympathy. Your very widow's dress, with silent but expressive signs, seems to say, "My husband is in his grave, pity me!" Hearts not easily moved have relented, and eyes unaccustomed to weep have shed tears—at the recital of your loss. Low as human nature has sunk by our apostasy from God, it has not lost all that is kind and amiable towards our fellow creatures—and in the exercise of this kindness, many are predisposed to be the friends of the widow. Do not refuse their friendship. Open your hearts and let them pour in the balm of sympathy. Do not discourage them in their efforts to interest or please—nor undervalue them. The 'sun' of your bright day has set, and it is night—but do not despise the 'lunar' beams—nor even the twinkling of a few scattered stars—even this is better than rayless gloom! Some, I admit there are, who in losing their husband, lose almost every friend they have on earth. Let them think of the friend, who is all friends in one—I mean, "the widow's God".

8. Is there not upon record such an assurance as this, "All things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to his promise." Romans 8:28. The consolation I know is limited to a particular class of people, "to those who love God and are called according to his purpose," and none have a right to appropriate the comfort—but those who answer to the character. To no others can good come out of evil—for no others is God preparing a happy result of all their troubles—for no others are his mighty and glorious attributes of wisdom and power weaving the 'dark threads' of their history into a texture of felicity, and a garment of praise. But then, all are invited, and may instantly accept the invitation—to come within the comprehension of this circle of good, by coming through faith into the love of God.

To those who are already there, how inexpressibly consoling, if they have faith to receive it—is the assurance that there is good to be extracted for the widow, from her tears. Observe it is good—not ease; concealed—not apparent good; future—not present good. What an illustration of this passage of scripture is the history of the patriarch Joseph. Sorrow upon sorrow settled on the heart of his venerable father, as one bad report of his children after another fell upon his ear—until in the agony of his spirit he exclaimed, "All these things are against me!" And judging by appearances, he was right. Appearances, however were fallacious. Jacob could not see to the end—and he who cannot see the end, should not pronounce what the end will be. All things were at the time working together for good—though it was impossible for him to imagine in what way.

Equally impossible is it for you to see, or even to imagine, nor do I pretend to foretell—in what way good can come to you, from a husband's grave. All your brightest hopes have vanished; all your springs of earthly consolation are dried up; your support, and that of your children, is cut off. In such an event, 'human reason' can see nothing but unmixed evil for the present—and prognostications of woe for the future! And it really seems like a mockery of your woe to tell you, that it will work for your good. But is not good promised? If so, it must be fulfilled, though in a way unknown to us.

Suppose any one had gone to the venerable patriarch Jacob, when he was weeping, first for Joseph, and then for Benjamin, and uttered this astonishing language in his hearing, "All is working for your good!" Would he not have looked up, and with a reproving voice, said, "Do you come to mock me?" Yet he lived to see that it was so! If God says it is good—it must be so—for he can make it good! It may not be good for your temporal comfort—but it may be good for your eternal welfare! And if not for yours, it may be good for your children's eternal welfare! And if not for theirs, it was good for your Christian husband's eternal happiness!

In this present world, you may never see how the death of your husband is for good. Many go all their lives without having the 'mystifying characters' of the sad event deciphered—and the secret workings of God's love laid open. They die in ignorance of his plans—though not of his purposes. So it may be with you. The 'finished side' of the embroidery may never be turned to you here; and looking only at the tangled threads and dark colors of the back part—all now appears to be in confusion! But when the front view shall be seen, and the design of the divine artist, and all the connections of the finely embroidered piece shall be pointed out, and the coloring shall be shown in the light of eternity—with what adoring wonder, delight, and gratitude will you exclaim, as the 'whole picture' bursts upon your sight, "O the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His methods! How unfathomable are His ways! All things have worked together for my good!"


9. Realize that TIME is short. "What I mean, brothers, is that the time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they had none; those who mourn, as if they did not; those who are happy, as if they were not; those who buy something, as if it were not theirs to keep; those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away. 1 Cor. 7:29-31.

"Time is short!" Solemn expression! It is the death of the worldling's joy! But it is the solace of the Christian's sorrows! Widow, you cannot weep long, even though you go weeping all the way to your grave! The days of your mourning are numbered—and must end soon. The 'valley of tears' is not interminable. You are passing through it— and will soon pass out of it! Be patient, the coming of the Lord draws near! Eternity is at hand, through the everlasting ages of which, you will weep no more—for God himself shall wipe away all tears from the eyes of his people! In hell sinners weep forever! In heaven saints never weep!

10. Realize what felicity awaits you on that blessed shore, on which your departed husband stands looking back wonderingly on the dark waters of the river he has passed, and beckoning you, as it were—to come away to the realms of immortality! You will soon follow to the regions of which it is said, "there will be no more death." Heaven is a world of life—eternal life—never to be interrupted by the entrance of death—or even the fear of death! And this is reserved for you, Christian! Those who are united by the bonds of Christian love, as well as marital love—do not lose one another in the dark valley, never to meet in the world of immortals. They drop the 'fleshly union' in the grave, and all that appertained to it—but not the 'spiritual union' that makes them one in Christ.

United in the honors and felicities of that blessed world, where all are blessed perfectly and forever—you shall receive together the answer of those prayers you presented upon earth. You shall realize the 'anticipations of heaven' which you indulged, while traveling across the 'desert of mortality'. You shall trace together the providential events of your earthly history. You shall learn why you were united—and why separated. You shall see the wisdom and goodness of those events, which once appeared so dark, and drew so many tears from your eyes. You shall indulge in reminiscences, all of which will furnish new occasions of wonder—new motives to praise—and new sources of delight. You shall point one another to the vista of everlasting ages opening before you, through which an endless succession of joys are advancing to meet you! And then, filled with a pure, unearthly love for each other, you shall fall down before the throne of the Lamb, and feel every other affection absorbed in supreme, adoring love to him! Such a scene is before you! And since it is—then bear your sorrows, afflicted widow, for in what felicities are they to result—and how soon!

But, perhaps, I should help to comfort the mourner, if, in addition to those gracious promises and directions which are specially appropriate to the case of widows, and which have been already presented to your notice, I lay before you a selection of passages of Scripture, which are applicable to all people in trouble. What words may be expected to have such power over the sorrowful heart, as those of God. Many of these have been already quoted—but there may be an advantage in bringing them all together in one view before the mind.

"For you, O God, tested us; you refined us like silver." Psalm 66:10
"Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness." Hebrews 12:9-10

"He has not punished us for all our sins, nor does he deal with us as we deserve." Psalm 103:10
"I know, O Lord, that your decisions are righteous; you disciplined me because I needed it." Psalm 119:75
"The unfailing love of the Lord never ends! By his mercies we have been kept from complete destruction." Lament. 3:22
"Why should we, mere humans, complain when we are punished for our sins?" Lament. 3:39
"I will be patient as the Lord punishes me, for I have sinned against him. The Lord will bring me out of my darkness into the light, and I will see his righteousness." Micah 7:9

"My child, don't ignore it when the Lord disciplines you, and don't be discouraged when he corrects you. For the Lord corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights." Proverbs 3:11-12
"For the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes those he accepts as his children." Hebrews 12:6
"I am the one who corrects and disciplines everyone I love." Rev. 3:19

"The Father of compassion and the God of all comfort." 2 Cor. 1:3
"God, who comforts the downcast." 2 Cor. 7:6

"God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. So we will not fear, even if earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea. Let the oceans roar and foam. Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge! The Lord Almighty is here among us; the God of Israel is our fortress!" Psalm 46

"Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you! When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior." Isaiah 43:1-3

"He knows the way that I take; when he has tested me I shall come forth as gold." Job 23:10

"Can a mother forget the baby at her breast, and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!" Isaiah 49:15

"Those who know your name trust in you, for you, O Lord, have never abandoned anyone who searches for you." Psalm 9:10
"And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you." Psalm 39:7
"You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, whose thoughts are fixed on you! Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord God is the eternal Rock." Isaiah 26:3-4
"Though he slays me, yet will I trust in him." Job 13:15.

"Affliction does not spring from the soil, and trouble does not sprout from the earth." Job 5:6
"Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry—but those who trust in the Lord will never lack any good thing." Psalm 34:10
"Trust in the Lord and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper." Psalm 37:3
"Once I was young, and now I am old. Yet I have never seen the godly forsaken, nor seen their children begging for bread." Psalm 37:25
"In all their suffering he also suffered, and he personally rescued them. In his love and mercy he redeemed them. He lifted them up and carried them through all the years." Isaiah 63:9
"So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today's trouble is enough for today." Matthew 6:34
"Since he himself has gone through suffering and temptation, he is able to help us when we are being tempted." Hebrews 2:18
"I will never fail you. I will never forsake you." Hebrews 13:5

"His anger lasts for a moment—but his favor lasts a lifetime! Weeping may go on all night—but joy comes with the morning." Psalm 30:5
"Those who plant in tears—will harvest with shouts of joy." Psalm 126:5
"Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will give us later." Romans 8:18
"For our present troubles are quite small and won't last very long. Yet they produce for us an immeasurably great glory that will last forever!" 2 Cor. 4:17
"So be truly glad! There is wonderful joy ahead, even though it is necessary for you to endure many trials for a while." 1 Peter 1:6

"Trust me in your times of trouble, and I will rescue you, and you will give me glory." Psalm 50:15
"Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall." Psalm 55:22

"And Aaron remained silent." Leviticus 10:3
"It is the Lord's will. Let him do what he thinks best." 1 Samuel 3:18
"In all of this, Job did not sin by blaming God." Job 1:22
"Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?" Job 2:10
"I am silent before you; I won't say a word. For my punishment is from you." Psalm 39:9
"Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will, not mine." Luke 22:42

"I used to wander off until you disciplined me; but now I closely follow your word." Psalm 119:67
"The suffering you sent was good for me, for it taught me to pay attention to your principles." Psalm 119:71
"I will bring that group through the fire and make them pure, just as gold and silver are refined and purified by fire." Zech. 13:9
"We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us—they help us learn to endure. And endurance develops strength of character in us, and character strengthens our confident expectation of salvation. And this expectation will not disappoint us. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love." Romans 5:3-5
"You know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." James 1:3-4

"You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever." Psalm 16:11
"These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb and made them white. That is why they are standing in front of the throne of God, serving him day and night in his Temple. And he who sits on the throne will live among them and shelter them. They will never again be hungry or thirsty, and they will be fully protected from the scorching noontime heat. For the Lamb who stands in front of the throne will be their Shepherd. He will lead them to the springs of life-giving water. And God will wipe away all their tears!" Rev. 7:14-17

Daughter of sorrow! These are the words of God! And they are tested words. Millions now in glory, and myriads more on the way to glory—have tried them in the dark hour of their affliction—and have found them a cordial to their fainting spirits! "Unless your word had supported me," they have each said, "I would have perished in my affliction." That word did support them, and though the torrent was roaring and rushing furiously, that word kept them buoyant upon its surface, when they otherwise must have sunk. A single text has in some instances saved the despairing soul from destruction. Read the previously selected list—what variety of representation; what kindness and compassion of sentiment; what tenderness of language; what beauty in the figures; what force in the allusions; what appropriateness in the epithets; what universal comprehension in the descriptions! Whose case is omitted? Whose circumstances are untouched? Whose sorrows are unnoticed? Remember, I say again, this is the consolation of your heavenly Father! It is Jehovah coming to you, and saying to you, "Woman, why are you weeping? Is not all this enough to comfort you? Do not close your heart against such consolations as these! Be still, and know that I am God!"